Thursday, April 17, 2008

Catholic Quotes on the Bible

"One particular area of theological study is joint study of the Bible and the Qur'an. We need to read our scriptures together and, let me suggest, we need to bring our scholars together for sessions of joint exegesis. By interpreting our scriptures together, we gain valuable insight not only into the message of the scriptures but how the scriptures themselves have been lived by the generations. Common themes will be found, and differences in teachings and beliefs will be noted. We will also learn from one another how we approach the diversity of texts in Scripture and how Scripture relates to that body of literature we call, for want of a better term, Tradition. We can open for one another classical methods of interpretation and commentary on Scripture and modern methods too. The benefits could be enormous, not only for mutual understanding but also for broadening our own views and growing in our respect for the ways that God continues to work among all of us."

-United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

31 comments:

TheDen said...

Carrie,

How do you think we should evangelize Muslims? Don't you realize that if we do joint exegesis, that we can point them to Christ? Or would you rather yell and scream at them and tell them they're sinners and fall short of the glory of God?

I find no problems with what's written. We need to evangelize to the world and bring all people to Christ. By working together with our non-Christian brothers, we can evangelize the world.

Even Paul used Greek Mythology to point people to God.

That's all this bishop is doing.


Peace,

Dennis

"Knight" said...

Theden,

I doubt Carrie disagrees with you. What reason have you to believe she does?

TheDen said...

Knight,

I guess I don't know as Carrie did not add her thoughts to the quote. I assume that she has problems with the quote as she placed it on her blog.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I'm not convinced that "joint exegesis," whatever that really looks like, is in the best interests of Christ's Church, the advancement of the gospel and the Kingdom of Heaven.

I would need to see and consider prayerfully some kind of detailed plan before committing to any such program. At this point, I don't see any way in which it would be beneficial to anyone.

I would also add a caution here that we keep in mind what the Bible has to say about the word brethren. It is used exclusively to refer to those who are in Christ.

James Swan said...

We will also learn from one another how we approach the diversity of texts in Scripture and how Scripture relates to that body of literature we call, for want of a better term, Tradition.

Well, I've studied the RC concept of "Tradition" for quite some time,I never thought of using the Qur'an as a tool to unpack the contents and meaning of "Tradition." Thanks for the helpful tip!

Peter Sean Bradley said...

Well, I've studied the RC concept of "Tradition" for quite some time,I never thought of using the Qur'an as a tool to unpack the contents and meaning of "Tradition." Thanks for the helpful tip!

Did your studies teach you that the Catholic concept of "Tradition" could be found in a "body of literature"?

What the author - John Borelli of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs - may in fact be referring to are the "Hadith", the Muslim "body of literature" that contain traditions about Muhammed.

It's not clear, but the capital "T" suggests that that may be what he has in mind.

Saint and Sinner said...

"What the author - John Borelli of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs - may in fact be referring to are the "Hadith", the Muslim "body of literature" that contain traditions about Muhammed."

It would make us Protestants VERY happy if he compared the ahadith (i.e. plural of hadith) to RC tradition since even Islamic scholars admit that the ahadith contain mythical additions from later periods.

See here:
http://www.answering-islam.org/Books/Guillaume/Traditions/index.htm

EA said...

"How do you think we should evangelize Muslims? Don't you realize that if we do joint exegesis, that we can point them to Christ? Or would you rather yell and scream at them and tell them they're sinners and fall short of the glory of God?"

Oh so, if we don't do as the bishop suggests, our only other option is to yell and scream?
This is a false choice.


The bishop states:
"The benefits could be enormous, not only for mutual understanding but also for broadening our own views and growing in our respect for the ways that God continues to work among all of us."

To me it sounds like an exercise in becoming more accepting of other's beliefs rather than conversion. You see, if God is already working among the Muslims, and we want to 'respect that', then why would want to convert them? This is just another way of saying that "there a many ways to eternal life". But what did Jesus say? He said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

TheDen said...

ea,

My first question to Carrie is to how she thinks we should evangelize. Yelling and screaming about falling short of the glory of God is not the only way. It just seems like the only thing she likes to talk about.

I agree that there are many other ways. I want to hear them. It's easy to criticize Catholics (or other Christians for that matter) who are attempting to evangelize.

It's harder to evangelize--and no, you attempting to explain Romans 3 and that I'm a sinner is not evangelization. Evangelization is explaining God, Talking about Jesus and moreso living Jesus in a way that makes Him known to the reader and to the people with whom you are speaking. It's the ability to reveal Christ in all that you do. Specifically it's about His love for you. That's evangelization. Through dialogue with Muslims, we can bring them closer to Christ.

Regarding what the writer's intentions are, I'm 100% positive that he has no intention of converting to Islam. His only objective is to bring them closer to Christ. Through this dialogue, he can show them the Truth about Jesus Christ and he can show them where the Islam religion falls short. He can also show them some truths in Islam that may point them to Jesus Christ.

His objectives are the same as mine. To call people to Christ.

GeneMBridges said...

My first question to Carrie is to how she thinks we should evangelize. Yelling and screaming about falling short of the glory of God is not the only way. It just seems like the only thing she likes to talk about.

Is presenting the Gospel insufficient or not?

Even Paul used Greek Mythology to point people to God.

Really? Is that what the text of Acts actually says?

Evangelization is explaining God, Talking about Jesus and moreso living Jesus in a way that makes Him known to the reader and to the people with whom you are speaking. It's the ability to reveal Christ in all that you do. Specifically it's about His love for you. That's evangelization

No, that's apologetics and Christian living. It's not "evangelism," that's part of evangelism. At some point you have to confront the unregenerate with their sin and with the necessity of repentance and faith in Christ alone.

It's also pandering to the self-interest of the sinner to talk about God's love for him as if that's what th Bible uses as a warrant for conversion. Where, pray tell, do we ever find an evangelistic presentation in the Bible that says "God loves you" or "Jesus died for you."

He can also show them some truths in Islam that may point them to Jesus Christ.
What truths are those?

Carrie said...

Let me give some of the context of that quote:

"Christians and Muslims can view one another as monotheists, and many of us believe firmly that we share a faith in the one God of Abraham. John Paul II has reiterated this point time and again. I think the best example was in 1985 in Morocco when he addressed tens of thousands of Muslim youths:

'Christians and Muslims have many things in common, as believers and as human beings. We live in the same world, marked by many signs of hope, but also by multiple signs of anguish. For us, Abraham is a model of faith in God, of submission to his will and of confidence in his goodness. We believe in the same God, the one God, the living God, the God who created the world and brings his creatures to their perfection. . . . (August 19, 1985).

I believe that we, Christians and Muslims, must recognize with joy the religious values that we have in common, and give thanks to God for them. Both of us believe in one God, the only God, who is all justice and all mercy; we believe in the importance of prayer, of fasting, of almsgiving, of repentance and of pardon; we believe that God will be a merciful judge to us all at the end of time, and we hope that after the resurrection He will be satisfied with us and we know that we will be satisfied with him.'


...One particular area of theological study is joint study of the Bible and the Qur’an...

When you explore this kind of rapport that may arise between those whose beliefs are incompatible in several ways, you can see that indeed beliefs may be different but spiritual bonds among those who practice their faiths diligently can indeed continue to grow. There is indeed a very profound goal, one that can be reached by those willing to apply themselves rigorously to a spiritual discipline. This is the encounter on the level of spiritual experience. Muslims and Christians, worshiping the one God, have many spiritual gifts which they can share compatibly with one another to enhance each other's faith in God. It is for you to explore those spiritual bonds. You can do so following an approach through dialogue and study."

Carrie said...

How do you think we should evangelize Muslims?

The same way as everyone else. Preach the gospel.

Don't you realize that if we do joint exegesis, that we can point them to Christ?

Where does the document ever say that is the intent?

But even if that were the stated intent (which I do not believe it is - see context in my first quote), it is a bad way to evangelize. The Qur'an is a false book written by a false prophet - you don't do a "joint exegesis" and mix light with darkness. What exactly is there to exegete from the sacred book of a false religion? And how will exegeting a false book cause "broadening our own views and growing in our respect for the ways that God continues to work among all of us"? Is the Qur'an considered divine revelation by Catholics?

The whole document reeks of relativism. If the intent of the dialogue were truly evangelism, then not only is it a terrible way to proceed, but it is deceptive in the method.

The following paragraph seems to summarize the true goal of these dialogues:

"There is indeed a very profound goal, one that can be reached by those willing to apply themselves rigorously to a spiritual discipline. This is the encounter on the level of spiritual experience. Muslims and Christians, worshiping the one God, have many spiritual gifts which they can share compatibly with one another to enhance each other's faith in God. It is for you to explore those spiritual bonds. You can do so following an approach through dialogue and study."

Pilgrimsarbour said...

I'm not going to dance around this issue any longer. Here I make my stand. I don't understand why this cooperative idea is being given any credibility at all. It's Light and darkness. As there is only one true God whose Son died for His people, I feel neither compelled to honour a false prophet nor exegete a false "sacred" book. There is nothing to be gained from this exercise in futility. Is that clear enough?

TheDen said...

Talking about how sinful we are is not presenting the Gospel. Presenting the Gospel is talking about a God who loves us so much that He died for us. He would rather have been nailed to a tree and die than to be separated from us. After that, He resurrected so that we have the opportunity to share in His eternal life. That’s the Gospel and it’s something that’s sorely lacking from this blog.

“Really? Is that what the text of Acts actually says?”

Yes, it really does say that. “The God that you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.”

“At some point you have to confront the unregenerate with their sin and with the necessity of repentance and faith in Christ alone.”

Really? That’s not what Christ did. That’s also not what He says. He says very specifically, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Mark 28:19) That’s evangelization. Nowhere does it talk about confronting the unregenerate with their sin. It does say that we must repent. But, in Acts 2:38, Peter specifically says, “Repent and be baptized” and it doesn’t say “faith in Christ alone.” Actually, I don’t think it says that anywhere in Scripture.
What I’m explaining is not apologetics. Apologetics is not worth my time. Half of what is written on this blog is not worth my time. I’m talking about real faith in a living God. I’m talking about living a life worthy of living. I’m talking about completely following Christ to the point that you are willing to offer up your life so that others may live. I’m talking about proclaiming from the mountain tops that Jesus Christ is God. He was born of a virgin, died on a cross, and rose again. And He did it all for you…so that you may be forgiven of your sins and live forever. All you have to do is to pick up your cross and follow Him. And that’s not only worth arguing about, that’s truly worth dying for. That’s faith in Christ and that’s what I want to discuss and share with the entire world.
“Where, pray tell, do we ever find an evangelistic presentation in the Bible that says ‘God loves you’ or ‘Jesus died for you.’”
The entire New Testament points us to that truth. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life. He loves the world and we have to love Him back. We love Him by keeping His commandments (per John 14:21). Moreover, God’s desire is for all men to be saved. He wants all of us to come to the fullness of Truth (per 1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus died for you. He died because He loves you. All He wants from you is to love Him back. We love Him by being obedient to Him. By trusting in Him for everything and being submissive to Him so that He can cleanse us and sanctify us so that we are without spot or blemish (per Ephesians 5:24-26). If you’re missing this point, you’re misunderstanding large portions of Scripture.

“What truths are those?” (regarding Islam)

It’s explained in the letter that Carrie quotes from. Specifically, Christians and Muslims share the understanding that it is God who forgives us of our sins. We have a common understanding of peace and justice. We need to work on that to give them a better understanding of how God forgives us of our sins. Moreover, we have the common belief in one God albeit their view of God is distorted. He is still one.
We need them to understand what peace and justice are and how they are accomplished through Jesus Christ. It can only be done through prayer and through interfaith dialogue.

“It's Light and darkness…”
There’s no such thing as “light and darkness.” Light overcomes darkness. Light shines in the darkness. Darkness cannot overcome light (John 1:5). In interfaith dialogue, Christianity is the Truth and Truth will reveal itself and cannot be compared to Islam. It will so outshine Islam so that Islam will be exposed as only partial truth. For those with open hearts and minds, they will compare the two and will be drawn to the light. It’s the only way to convert Muslims. It’s the only way to convert non-Christians.
We are called in 2 Corinthians 5 to “persuade others” (2 Corinthians 5:11) because He died for all men (v. 15) and we must deliver His message as “ambassadors of Christ as if God were appealing through us.” (v.20) This is what I’m talking about when I say that we need to “reveal Christ in all that you do.”
Further in 2 Corinthians 6, Paul makes reference to “Light and Darkness.” He does not mean that we don’t dialogue with non believers. How can we be “ambassadors of Christ” if we don’t shine His light in the darkness? What He means is that we cannot be “yoked with unbelievers.” This means that you can’t be called Christian and be Muslim. It’s impossible. You’re either one or the other. Christ has no room for other gods or other beliefs.
Dialoguing with Muslims is not “light and darkness.” It’s being an “Ambassador of Christ.”

BJ Buracker said...

Carrie,

But even if that were the stated intent (which I do not believe it is - see context in my first quote), it is a bad way to evangelize. The Qur'an is a false book written by a false prophet - you don't do a "joint exegesis" and mix light with darkness. What exactly is there to exegete from the sacred book of a false religion? And how will exegeting a false book cause "broadening our own views and growing in our respect for the ways that God continues to work among all of us"?

Amen and amen! I appreciate Theden's desire to build bridges and share the Gospel. However, when the Truth treats falsehood as an equal, then there are foundational problems from the beginning. Van Til was correct in saying that the method of our apologetic must also glorify God. We do not try to gain converts by any means necessary.

Theden,

You brought up Acts 17. I don't know if you have read anything by Phil Johnson, but his posts on Acts 17 over at PyroManiacs, are exceptional. Check them out here. They are long, but well worth the read.

Carrie said...

That’s the Gospel and it’s something that’s sorely lacking from this blog.

Actually, it is your gospel which is lacking from this blog, and for that I am glad.

Talking about how sinful we are is not presenting the Gospel.

A person needs to be aware of their disease before they will take the cure. This is Repentenance 101.

Yes, it really does say that. “The God that you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.”

Wrong. I second BJ's recommendation on the recent posts on Pyros.

Really? That’s not what Christ did. That’s also not what He says... Nowhere does it talk about confronting the unregenerate with their sin."

I suggest you read John 4 and Jesus' interaction with the woman at the well.

And He did it all for you…so that you may be forgiven of your sins and live forever.

So you agree that sins need to be forgiven, but you don't think someone needs to be made aware of that fact to accept the remedy.

All you have to do is to pick up your cross and follow Him.

We don't believe in works-based righteousness here.

It can only be done through prayer and through interfaith dialogue.

You won't find that method anywhere in the NT.

We need to work on that to give them a better understanding of how God forgives us of our sins.

Here is your main problem. This misunderstanding that the Holy Spirit is somehow working through a false religion to slowly woo people and all they need is a fuller revelation. What a mess.

If they truly understood that they needed forgiveness of their sins (true repentance) then they would know that there is only way - Christ.

There’s no such thing as “light and darkness.”

Really?

John 3:19
And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

Ephesians 5:11
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.

What He means is that we cannot be “yoked with unbelievers.” This means that you can’t be called Christian and be Muslim.

No, it means you shouldn't, as Calvin says, "have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness". By dialoguing in such a way as to indicate that the beliefs of Muslims is in any way a revelation or work of God is to pretend there is already some light in their darkness. "Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them."

I like what BJ said: "when the Truth treats falsehood as an equal, then there are foundational problems from the beginning. Van Til was correct in saying that the method of our apologetic must also glorify God. We do not try to gain converts by any means necessary."

I would add that the problem is not just the method, but the misunderstanding of God's revelation and the true meaning of the gospel in the first place. In some ways it is silly for me to engage this topic, for even if Catholics were just presenting their own faith to Muslims, it would still be the wrong truth. The fact that you cannot see the issues here just demonstrates your incorrect understanding of the gospel in the first place. I don't mean that as a slight, but it is true, and I pray that you would come to understand the real truth in all its glory.

Carrie said...

I don't understand why this cooperative idea is being given any credibility at all.

Because it is based off of bad theology.

If the fruit is bad, why do you accept it?

TheDen said...

Carrie,

Repentance 101 is that we all fall short of the Glory of God and that we still sin even after we come to Him and STILL need His forgiveness. If we are to get into Heaven it will be solely on His mercy. Without His mercy, none of us are worthy of entering heaven.

“Wrong. I second BJ's recommendation on the recent posts on Pyros.”

I don’t think Phil got that right. If you read Acts 17 in v. 32, when they hear about the resurrection of the dead, the people scoff at him and Paul leaves (with minor success.) He learns that in preaching, it’s not the resurrection that will bring people to God but rather the message of the cross. He goes from preaching about Christ resurrected to “Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:23). When reading Paul’s writing his emphasis is not on the resurrection but rather the crucifixion and the power of the Cross. Once we understand that, then the power of the Resurrected Christ makes more sense. We are saved through the Cross. It’s in His cross that He takes our sinful skin and removes it from us and nails it to the Cross (per Colossians 2:11-14).

“I suggest you read John 4 and Jesus' interaction with the woman at the well.”

I read John 4. I don’t think you quite understand it. We are called to preach the message of the Gospel. Once people begin to understand, then they repent. Once they understand, we ask them to acknowledge their sins and be forgiven.

In John 4, the first words out of Christ’s mouth are not about her sin. It’s “Give me a drink” (v. 7). Christ thirsts for this woman. He thirsts for her and wants to give her water that will bring her eternal life. Once she believes and asks for the water, THEN He asks her to repent of her sins.

John is making a point here. Like the woman at the well with whom He thirsts and wants her to give Him a drink, when reading John 19:28, “I thirst” we realize that Christ dying on the cross thirsts for the entire world and after that in John 19:34, He provides the drink from His side that will wash us and make us clean of our sins per the New Testament. The water from His side is what Christ is talking about with the woman at the well. We must drink of His Precious Blood to gain eternal life (per John 6:55-57).

“We don't believe in works-based righteousness here.”

That’s not works based righteousness. That is a commandment from God. He says that we have to do it and He doesn’t give us any options. It is very evident in the ENTIRE New Testament that we are called to follow His commandments. His commandment is to pick up our cross and follow Him. I think ALL Protestants would agree that you HAVE TO follow Christ in order to be saved. That’s Christianity 101.

“It can only be done through prayer and through interfaith dialogue…You won't find that method anywhere in the NT.”

Matthew 5:43 tells us very specifically that we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. AGAIN…a commandment from God. We don’t have a choice on this. The interfaith dialogue is a fact as we are “ambassadors of Christ.” We need to shine the light in the darkness. All your Bible quotes about light and darkness only reinforce what I’m saying and tells me that you’re not understanding it you’re only quoting it.

On this point, I agree with Calvin. We should not “have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.” We are children of the light. To have fellowship with darkness is to fall into sin. We cannot do that. We must go and expose our light to the darkness so that they become light as well. That’s what evangelization is. WE CANNOT EVANGELIZE WITHOUT GOING INTO THE WORLD.

The only way to gain converts is by preaching the Gospel. By revealing to them the Truth and to hope in God’s grace. Van Til is only partially correct. EVERYTHING WE DO MUST GLORIFY GOD and the only way to gain converts is through the grace of God. We can’t do it alone.

“I pray that you would come to understand the real truth in all its glory.”

Carrie, I understand Christianity better than you can possibly imagine. I’ve studied Calvinism and I know Catholicism. I’m telling you that Calvinism is incomplete. It’s a partial Truth and that the fullness of Truth lies within the Catholic Church.
I spent the first 27 years of my life fighting the Catholic Church. Trying to find weaknesses in their Theology and came to the conclusion that there is nothing as complete or as beautiful as Catholicism. You may have been raised Catholic but if you were like me (I had 12 years of Catholic education) you were improperly catechized and that’s a problem with the American Church.

Peter Sean Bradley said...

Saint and Sinner wrote:

It would make us Protestants VERY happy if he compared the ahadith (i.e. plural of hadith) to RC tradition since even Islamic scholars admit that the ahadith contain mythical additions from later periods.

I certainly understand that your ideological commitments preclude anything other than "point scoring" but the point was that he was probably not referring to Catholic "tradition" since it is not found a "body of writings." He was probably only referring to the Muslim capital-"T" Tradition, which are found in a body of writing.

There is a precedent for the Vatican using ecumenical dialogue to undermine the theology of other faiths. After all, don't most irredentist Protestants think that the Vatican tricked the Lutheran world community into repudiating "justification by faith" in the "Joint Declaration"?

I don't think that, but that's what I've read on some Protestant blogs.

Let's see if the Catholics can perform the same "Jedi mind trick" on the Muslims.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

Dialoguing with Muslims is not “light and darkness.” It’s being an “Ambassador of Christ.”

My objection is not to "dialoguing" with unbelievers. We are called to that. My objection is to "exegeting" with unbelievers, that is, treating their "scriptures" with honour and respect as if they had anything at all to do with salvation and truth. They do not.

This idea of "cooperative exegeting" is the natural extrapolation of the "seeker sensitivity" disease which infests the Church today and has put it on the downgrade, as Spurgeon has said.

Let me say again, that my words will not be further misconstrued, I am all for dialogue with unbelievers because (1) it is commanded by Christ and (2) we as believers have a love for the lost. We must, however, do things within the biblical framework and not look outside the Bible to business models to carry out the Great Commission mandate.

Further, if we do not make people aware of their enmity with God because they are dead in their trespasses and sins, we have no basis from which to offer the good news. One must understand the bad news before he can receive the good news.

GeneMBridges said...

Talking about how sinful we are is not presenting the Gospel.

Really, but I thought you were quoting from Acts 17. Here's what Paul said in Acts 17:

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent,because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."

Now, if you'd like to argue that Paul was not saying that these people needed to repent of sin, then by all means make the argument.

Presenting the Gospel is talking about a God who loves us so much that He died for us. He would rather have been nailed to a tree and die than to be separated from us. After that, He resurrected so that we have the opportunity to share in His eternal life. That’s the Gospel and it’s something that’s sorely lacking from this blog.

Reallly? Where in Scripture do we find any Gospel appeal that says that the warrant to believe is found in the atonement, in God loving "us," etc. You won't find it.

You'll find statements that Christ died for the ungodly and for His people - but not "everybody." There is certainly no record in Scripture of anybody being told anything like, "Believe in Christ because Christ died for you," or "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life."

Really? That’s not what Christ did. That’s also not what He says. He says very specifically, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” (Mark 28:19) That’s evangelization.

And where, pray tell does that exclude confronting people with their sins. Jesus confronted people with their sin frequently.

Nowhere does it talk about confronting the unregenerate with their sin. It does say that we must repent.

From what are we to repent?

But, in Acts 2:38, Peter specifically says, “Repent and be baptized”

I see you are illiterate of the Bible. Read the rest of his sermon and what the people said. Why were they cut to the heart? Because they realized that they had crucified the Messiah - which is precisely what Peter told them. Tell us, would that be confronting them with their sin or not?

Peter invokes images of OT justice, covenantal vengeance for apostasy due the people on the Day of the Lord, and the murder of the Lord, an event just weeks beforehand, was fresh in their minds. He blends these OT texts and images together in his sermon which culminates in what amounts to an indictment of their apostasy: Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified."

In other words, this same Jesus that you, as a people, have put to death, is your Lord, Master, and King. You should have welcomed Him. God has vindicated Him and given Him the right of rulership, and what is the first act of an OT king throughout the OT? He does away with his enemies. This is the reason that the people cry out, "What shall we do?"

Peter says "Repent and be baptized?" Why, because baptism signified publicly that they repented of this act and all agreement with it. It also would certainly mean they would be persecuted by their authorities for this testimony. As I pointed out above, then, Peter is not teaching that baptism is a necessary instrumental cause of the forgiveness of sins and justification, rather, baptism was their public profession of faith itself. It was not a mystical sacrament that instrumentally caused their regeneration. Rather their participation in the rite is contingent on their calling.

and it doesn’t say “faith in Christ alone.” Really? I guess you've not read Romans. Paul is rather clear here on the imputation of the righteousness of Christ; that His merits ground our justification, and no others.

Actually, I don’t think it says that anywhere in Scripture.

The Bible doesn't use the word "Trinity" yet I assume you affirm it.

Apologetics is not worth my time.

Then bye, bye.


“Really? Is that what the text of Acts actually says?”

Yes, it really does say that. “The God that you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.”


24"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands;

25nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things;

26and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation,

27that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;

28for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His children.'

29"Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man.

Paul was using their mythology against them.

Here is your original claim:

Even Paul used Greek Mythology to point people to God.

So, what Greek god or god match/es the description Paul gave here? How did Paul use this mythology, as a point of "common understanding?" If that's what you think, you either don't know Greek mythology or you have a perverse idea of who God is. Take your pick.

The entire New Testament points us to that truth

No, it points to Christ dying for the ungodly. It points to Christ dying for His people.

God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.

How does this show that Christ died for "everyone?" It says God gave Christ so that all the ones believing might not perish, and it points to cosmic redemption as a consequence - not Christ taking on the sins of all mankind. The text of John 3 never says that. You're just like the Baptist Fundy who screams :"Whosoever will" to get past this text. It doesn't work.

He loves the world and we have to love Him back. "World" and "everybody without exception" are not convertible.

We love Him by keeping His commandments (per John 14:21). That's referring to us, His people loving him.

Moreover, God’s desire is for all men to be saved. He wants all of us to come to the fullness of Truth (per 1 Timothy 2:4).

1. That carries the force of a command, not an offer.
2. Such statements are not incompatible with a doctrine of atonement unless you believe a priori that the atonement is a warrant to believe.

If you’re missing this point, you’re misunderstanding large portions of Scripture.

Yes, you are misunderstanding large poritions of Scripture.

I asked if you could provide a single text that said that a person should believe because Jesus died for him in particular. For all the farrago of words, you have yet to produce that text. Nice try.

Specifically, Christians and Muslims share the understanding that it is God who forgives us of our sins.

In Islam, God is insrutable, so inscrutable that it's not entirely certain he forgives sins at all.

We have a common understanding of peace and justice.

Are you a Jihadist?

Moreover, we have the common belief in one God albeit their view of God is distorted

If it is "distorted" then it's not the same God. In fact, it isn't the same god as Our God at all. Their god is a idol from their own vain imagings.

Paul confronted the people in Athens and Ephesus, to take just two examples, with the reality of their idolatry. But here's your gospel: That's not really idolatry, it's just a "distortion" of the same God we worship.

GeneMBridges said...

In John 4, the first words out of Christ’s mouth are not about her sin.

Nobody has argued that the first words out of our mouths are to be about a person's sin.

t’s “Give me a drink” (v. 7). Christ thirsts for this woman. He thirsts for her and wants to give her water that will bring her eternal life. Once she believes and asks for the water, THEN He asks her to repent of her sins.

How does this show that the Gospel does not include confronting people with their sin and need to repent?

Since Rome has not infallibly pronounced upon this text, this is just your private interpretation.

It sounds really spiritual, but it doesn't at all reflect the truth.

In John 4, Jesus asks the woman for water because (a) He's thirsty, being a man, and (b) to start a discussion with her about eternal life.

John is making a point here. Like the woman at the well with whom He thirsts and wants her to give Him a drink, when reading John 19:28, “I thirst” we realize that Christ dying on the cross thirsts for the entire world and after that in John 19:34, He provides the drink from His side that will wash us and make us clean of our sins per the New Testament. The water from His side is what Christ is talking about with the woman at the well. We must drink of His Precious Blood to gain eternal life (per John 6:55-57).

1. Jesus says "I thirst" in John 19 in fulfillment of prophecy.
2. The water coming out of His side is given as proof He really died.
Where are you getting that Christ here "thirsts for the world and provides drink from His side?"
3. The water in John 4 is "living" water. It's a play on words, it is running, babbling water, like water from a brook or stream, not water from a well. He is using this in contrast to water that is still, and "dead." It's a metaphor. There is no connection to John 19.
4. You mean John 6 where He says that we must be effectually drawn in order to do this?

He learns that in preaching, it’s not the resurrection that will bring people to God but rather the message of the cross.He goes from preaching about Christ resurrected to “Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:23).

What text says this? This is coming from your own vanity. I suppose you are making a deduction from 1 Cor. 2:23 that since Luke's narrative moves from Athens (Acts 17) to Corinth (18), this is the case.

1. You're using Paul to interpret Luke. That's an exegetical fallacy on its own.

2. Where is the supporting argument?

The same Corinthian letter includes a discussion of the Resurrection. Your attempt to divide the message won't work.

That’s not works based righteousness. That is a commandment from God. He says that we have to do it and He doesn’t give us any options.

1. Why does a person follow His commandments?

2. To say that we must follow His commandments to be saved will lead you directly to salvation by faith and works - precisely what the NT forbids.

3. The Pauline formula is justified by faith, saved by grace.


Carrie, I understand Christianity better than you can possibly imagine. I'm sure Simon Magus felt the same way after a time...

TheDen said...

Gene,

I fail to see the need to respond to your questions. I’ve presented my view and you have presented yours. I will trust in God that He will lead you in your life and ask you to please remember me in your prayers.

Peace,
Dennis

TheDen said...

Pilgrimsarbour,

I actually do agree with you. I don't really see the need in exegeting the Koran.

However, if someone wants to use it to try to bring people closer to Christ then that's their prerogative. With God, anything is possible.

My main point is that what this person is doing by doing joint exegesis between Muslims and Catholics is his way of evangelizing.

I also don't necessarily agree with standing on a soap box on a street corner. But that's just me as I've never been comfortable talking in crowds.

If an Evangelical Preacher chooses to do this, I have no problem with it as well.

Carrie said...

Once people begin to understand, then they repent. Once they understand, we ask them to acknowledge their sins and be forgiven.

What exactly are they repenting of prior to acknowledging their sins?

I'm lazy today so I will let Matthew Henry answer (John 4):

"The next subject of discourse with this woman in concerning her husband, John 4:16-18. It was not to let fall the discourse of the water of life that Christ started this, as many who will bring in any impertinence in conversation that they may drop a serious subject; but it was with a gracious design that Christ mentioned it. What he had said concerning his grace and eternal life he found had made little impression upon her, because she had not been convinced of sin: therefore, waiving the discourse about the living water, he sets himself to awaken her conscience, to open the wound of guilt, and then she would more easily apprehend the remedy by grace. And this is the method of dealing with souls; they must first be made weary and heavy-laden under the burden of sin, and then brought to Christ for rest; first pricked to the heart, and then healed. This is the course of spiritual physic; and if we proceed not in this order we begin at the wrong end."

I'm not sure why you would think she had repented prior to the "husband" conversation, nor what exactly she was repenting of prior to confess her sins (as you said). Her answer to the offer of living water showed that she clearly misunderstood his message (some commentators think she was mocking Christ with her answer). Jesus had to prick her heart with the weight of her sin before any true repentance could occur.

"The water from His side is what Christ is talking about with the woman at the well. We must drink of His Precious Blood to gain eternal life (per John 6:55-57)."

That is the first time I have heard that one.

Carrie, I understand Christianity better than you can possibly imagine.

I wasn't trying to imply you were ignorant. But Catholicism is not true Christianity and your adherence to it shows in your scriptural arguments.

My main point is that what this person is doing by doing joint exegesis between Muslims and Catholics is his way of evangelizing.

That is still your assumption, there is no context to show that. And as I said, it is still a terrible method.

Dialoguing with Muslims is not “light and darkness.” It’s being an “Ambassador of Christ.”

An ambassador does not have carte blanche to do anything he sees fit to bring about his mission. He acts in accordance for the person/organization that he represents. Pretending that the Qur'an has any more spiritual value than the paper it is written on is spitting in the God's face.

I'm not going to answer everything else, first, I could never do a better job than Gene, and second, I think we're done.

Rhology said...

If we're supposed to drink from the water from His side to have eternal life, why doesn't the RCC serve water at the Eucharist?
Or wine mixed with water?

Dozie said...

If we're supposed to drink from the water from His side to have eternal life, why doesn't the RCC serve water at the Eucharist? Or wine mixed with water?


We Do. The Catholic Church obviously has thought way ahead of you in this and in many matters concerning Christian worship. The next time you have the chance see the Mass, if you watch carefully at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Alter, you will see two Mass Servers bring the priest two bottles; one contains wine and other contains water. The wine is then mixed with the wine before consecration. This is done precisely because water also flowed from the side of Christ.

TheDen said...

Carrie,

“What exactly are they repenting of prior to acknowledging their sins?”

What I’m saying is that first a person has to thirst for Christ. A person has to want Christ. “Sir, give me this water, so that I ay not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” I’ll give you that she’s not grasping what He’s saying but as soon as she asks Him for this water, He asks her to acknowledge her sins.

One huge point though in John 4. He does not ask her to repent. Please cite for me the verse where He asks her to do this.

Regarding the water flowing from the Side of Christ. That’s not my Exegesis. That’s from the Early Church Fathers.

And yes, the priest uses wine mixed with water in the Mass.

Carrie said...

One huge point though in John 4. He does not ask her to repent. Please cite for me the verse where He asks her to do this.

You said Jesus asked her to repent, I didn't. You said earlier "Once she believes and asks for the water, THEN He asks her to repent of her sins".

But Jesus did require repentance, and he pointed out her sinful lifestyle to make her aware of her sin which is the first step toward repentance.

What I’m saying is that first a person has to thirst for Christ. A person has to want Christ.

Why do you think that a person who is unaware of their sinfulness before God would "want Christ"?

Carrie said...

Regarding the water flowing from the Side of Christ. That’s not my Exegesis. That’s from the Early Church Fathers.

Do you remember who? I'm just curious.

TheDen said...

Carrie,

"You said Jesus asked her to repent, I didn't. You said earlier "Once she believes and asks for the water, THEN He asks her to repent of her sins".

You're right. I misread what you first wrote. My apologies.

"Why do you think that a person who is unaware of their sinfulness before God would "want Christ"?"

Well, Zacchaeus in Luke 19 was a tax collector who had heard about Jesus climbed a tree. When Jesus sees him, He says, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." (v. 5). Zacchaeus who seeks Jesus finds Him as a sinner and does not repent until after Jesus asks to stay at his house.

"Do you remember who? I'm just curious."

John Chrysostom:

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/220124.htm

"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a communion of the Blood of Christ? Very persuasively spoke he, and awfully. For what he says is this: This which is in the cup is that which flowed from His side, and of that do we partake. "