Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The most fundamentally honest approach that I can imagine

Has anyone here read D.A. Carson and Douglas Moo's "Introduction to the New Testament"? New Testament scholarship has been, over the last 200 years, one of the most hotly contested areas that one can imagine. And yet, it is hard to imagine that there is a New Testament scholar whose work that Carson and Moo have not interacted with.

Who among us would accept the work of F.C. Baur, or Rudolph Bultmann in its totality? And yet, who would not say that their work had a major effect on the study (and our knowledge) of the New Testament?

There are four letters written by Paul that absolutely no one (who is a serious New Testament scholar) would contest. The most unfriendly kinds of critical scholars that we can imagine hold that, of Paul's letters, at a very minimum, Romans, Galatians, and 1 and 2 Corinthians are absolutely, unquestionably written by Paul. To one degree or another, others argue that some or all the rest are pseudepigraphical; usually they argue that they were written by someone in Paul's circle of disciples, in his name.

Yet a scholar like Thomas Schreiner (and with him, Carson and Moo) can not only say that they hold all 13 Pauline epistles as authentic (and the works of 1 and 2 Peter to be authentic as well, for example), they are able to say precisely what the theories are of the scholars who disagree with them, and in the process of stating these other theories as clearly as they can, they also argue strenuously for their own (conservative) positions.

This is the most intellectually honest approach that I can imagine, and it's one that I try to emulate. And as a result of their work, and contra someone like Mark Noll, it's possible to say that conservative, evangelical biblical scholarship is more well-respected in critical circles than it has ever been.

* * *

David Waltz stopped by last night to accuse me of intellectual inconsistency. It's funny, he's always so cheerful with me, who would have guessed that he harbored such doubts?

He said: I still cannot help but suspect that his anti-Roman Catholic bias has some negative ramifications on his research and beliefs.

David, you have got this precisely backwards.

I do not hide the fact that I dislike the Roman Catholic Church. I came out of that organization and religion after a long personal struggle, one that has occupied most of my life.

Briefly, I grew up as "a good Catholic boy" from the ethnic neighborhoods of Pittsburgh; I heard the Gospel® as a young man, and saw it lived out in the lives of some friends -- one good friend from my closest circle was a Baptist, (and yes, we argued religion), and others were from more Charismatic circles. I admired them for their adherence to their faith. I moved around back then (late 70's, early 80's) -- and I moved from Charismatic Catholic circles to Protestant Charismatics, and several years later I landed in a Reformed Baptist church with a pastor who has become a lifelong friend.

Some time later, other friends were starting up a fellowship for "completed Jews," Jewish believers who wished to express that Jesus was their messiah. Don't you know, that fellowship had some serious difficulties determining who was in charge -- who would set the theological theme for that body: the pastor, who had studied at a very fine southern seminary (and whom they brought in just because of that fact), or the church council, among them major donors, in whose homes the fellowship began, and whose large donations helped to secure the mortgage on the building that they purchased.

It was about that time that I went back to the Roman Catholic church, on the ground that "such disputes had been fought and settled in the early church."

I don't mind to say that I was naive at that time. At that time I was devoted enough to have thought I wanted to study to become a priest. Over a several-year period of time, I considered both the diocesan and the religious priesthood -- and at one point I had applied for and was accepted into a local seminary program. Some time later, I married. My wife and I have six children. I attended Opus Dei "Evenings of Recollection" for about two years.

In my lifetime, I have earned the right to have a "bias" against the Roman Catholic Church. My "beliefs" have been shaped by a willingness to give the Roman church far, far more benefit of the doubt than it ever deserved. My "beliefs," far from being shaped by a bias, were forged in the process of having wholly abandoned myself and my life and my family's life into the bosom of "Mother Church," the much vaunted authority of which, the further in I got, seemed to be further and further contrived.

I won't go into details about the Seminarian friend (St. Mary's, Baltimore) who was a daily communicant at the same time I was, whose masses I attended after he was ordained, who put the homosexual moves on me. Nor will I go into details about the parish priest who married my wife and me, who baptized our children, who playfully licked my three-year-old son's face (pretending to be a puppy). I won't go into the details of how he was one of the "pedophile priests" who was at first moved, and only later de-frocked. There are some horrific details that go along with his name, and I could give you his name and you could Google him and find the news stories about him. (And in fact I have sent his name and some links to my friends and fellow bloggers here for corroboration).

* * *

But such issues genuinely are peripheral to the issue at hand. As James Swan often says, if you're going to tell a story, tell the story of Christ -- the Gospels of Jesus, and Paul's Gospel, and Peter's Gospel, and the truthfulness and the trustworthiness and the authority of Scripture.

As for my "research," I read everything that's available that I can get my hands on. I'm a 50-year-old man with a wife and a family -- and some of the folks here know some of the difficulties that my family has been through in recent years. I don't have access to a seminary library, and with it, the research journals that might put a finer and more current touch on some of what I've been reading. I am not a scholar, though I would like to be one. Still, that does not mean I am not taking the most fundamentally honest approach that I can take.

But there is nothing I'm writing, that I am aware of, that is being intellectually dishonest with the materials. If anything, what I am finding is that there is a flood-tide of scholarship that is coming to "anti-Catholic" conclusions -- including the work of such Catholic writers as Raymond Brown, Eamon Duffy, Robert Eno, Francis Sullivan, Klaus Schatz, and others.

One might go so far as to suggest that David Waltz does not understand what it is that he is reading -- the particular conclusions that make a scholar liberal or conservative, or how they arrive at those conclusions. What might be agreed with or disagreed with, and on what basis.

The name Raymond Brown comes up among some of the more traditionalist and devoted Catholic folks, as if Brown was somehow a traitor. But I have (briefly) studied Greek under an individual who knew Brown personally. Raymond Brown was, in my opinion, one of the best friends that some of these conservative Catholics could have. They don't know it, but Brown's method was (a) to study the critical sources and know them the best that he could, while (b) not moving beyond what positions that "the Magisterium" had staked out. In doing this, he was one individual (among others) who prevented Roman Catholicism in its traditional form from sliding completely into the hole that the ultramontanist, ultra-anti-modernist popes dug with their defiant cries of "I AM Tradition" and their anti-modernist oaths. Without scholars like Raymond Brown, the Roman hierarchy would have died the death of a complete laughingstock, drunk on its own imagined sense of authority.

And I'll give you an example of it. Near the end of the Brown/Meier work "Antioch and Rome", Brown was worried that his conclusions would be dismissed because he was too Roman Catholic.
"On both sides many scholars oversimplify the historical situation, agreeing only that for better or worse I Clement had remarkable success in shaping future church thought.

The discussion is not facilitated by the fact that the underlying motif is often a conflicting view of church organization today. The battle offer the unimpassioned pages of I Clement is often a surrogate for a battle between the impassioned descendants of the Reformers and of Trent; and since I am a Roman Catholic, I rather doubt I shall be judged objective about the issue. (pg 177, emphasis in original).


David Waltz said: For instance, John eagerly endorses the critical German scholar Lampe concerning the status of the Roman church/s during the 1st and 2nd centuries, and then thoroughly recommends Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger's The Heresy of Orthodoxy which is at odds with some important conclusions of Lampe.

David, I would like for you to show me where you think I might disagree with Lampe, or where you think Kostenberger and Kruger might disagree with him. Perhaps you're willing to tell me just how the work of these individuals is at odds and then we can discuss the specifics of it, and only then you can genuinely begin to charge me with intellectual dishonesty. Or not.

But I'll do you one better. Kostenberger and Kruger approvingly can cite Baukham's "Jesus and the Eyewitnesses," even though Kostenberger also wrote a substantial (and substantially critical) article taking issue with Baukham's conclusion that someone other than the Apostle John wrote the Gospel of John.

Such a disagreement neither negates the validity of the rest of Baukham's highly significant work, nor does it make Kostenberger somehow "intellectually dishonest" for both (a) citing Baukham while (b) disagreeing with some of his conclusions. Kostenberger has shown that he is well prepared to talk about where he agrees and where he disagrees with Baukham, and he is well prepared to say exactly why. It is the very same method used by Carson, Moo, and Schreiner that I've alluded to in the opening section of this post.

* * *

David Waltz: the fact that John, James White, and many other epologists are willing to solicit liberal, critical scholarship ONLY when it furthers their aggenda/s, whilst denying the same method to their opponents, is an all too common practice—that you do not discern commonality and/or inconsistency here is a bit troubling...

I've mentioned just recently that there is a confluence in the work of some of these scholars, and I'll give you one more such example, a blatant one at that:

http://reformation500.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/a-positive-view-of-christian-foundations/
Harvey Cox, who no conservative Christian would consider an ally, recently summarized the work of the Jesus Seminar: while setting out to disprove much about history, in the process they proved he was a first century Palestinian Jew who claimed to be God and who was crucified under Pontius Pilate; his disciples fanned out to the world with the story that he was raised from the dead. Cox said:

“Despite widespread discrepancies among the researchers, some things were not contested. All agreed that Jesus really had existed, and that he was a first-century Palestinian Jew living under the heel of a Roman occupation that – like many such occupations before and since – had split its captive people into feuding sects and warring factions. They also agreed that he was a rabbi who taught the imminent coming of the kingdom of God, and gained a following as a teacher and a healer in Galilee, especially among the landless and destitute, but that he aroused the ire of the nervous ruling religious circles and the tense Roman authorities. When he and some of his followers arrived in Jerusalem for the Passover holidays he caused a stir in the Temple, was arrested, interrogated, and executed by crucifixion, a form of death by torture reserved by the Romans for those suspected of subverting their imperial rule. But after his death, his followers insisted that he had appeared to them alive, and they continued to spread his message even in the face of harsh persecution.” (Harvey Cox, “When Jesus Came to Harvard,” ©2004, pgs 18-19).

Even “critical scholarship” is confirming the facts of the life and death of Jesus Christ. We have come a long way since the days when the someone like Bertrand Russell could say that Jesus didn’t even exist.
So yes, I've not failed to cite this aspect of Cox, a thoroughly liberal thinker -- but I am not the one straying into the liberal camp here. Rather, it is Cox who has been forced, by the facts and evidence, to admit such things that the vast majority of his liberal fellows can only cringe at.

This is a Harvey Cox conclusion that we can agree with. But we also know precisely where we would disagree with him. Such is the nature of the confluence of conservative and critical scholarship. And guess what? No one is being intellectually dishonest here.

87 comments:

Rhology said...

Actually, it's the very eikon of intellectual dishonesty for RCs to claim they have no disunity unlike Protestants and then whine when we cite liberal RCs, thus splitting their fellowship in two.

It would seem that many of these RC epologists think in RC terms so far as to project them onto us, thus forgetting that we are Sola Scripturists. Why else would airheads like Jae keep copypasting over and over again quotes from Calvin (aka the 2nd Coming of Christ) and Luther saying they disapprove of condom usage or some such thing? "Disunity! Your whole position is wrong!" Ummm, what?

John Bugay said...

Well, you know the argument: There's more than one Protestant denomination, therefore, Rome is infallible.

Perfect sense is perfect sense.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I would like to extend thanks to Mr. Waltz. Without his remarks (shallow that they may be), we would not have the benefit of John Bugay's post today.

-----

On a side note, somewhat related, it seems to me that RC's love to quote and cite former Protestants who have swum the Tiber, folks like John Henry Newman, Richard J. Neuhaus, Scott Hahn, Francis Beckwith, the Called to Communion blogging team, et al,

but they then become asymetrically upset and disjointed when a former RC (like John Bugay) exposes and writes about the theological flaws of the RCC.

This is unfair and unreasonable.

Wassup with that?

Constantine said...

Hey TUAD,

You're right. Here's the story of a convert FROM Rome that has them the most disgruntled.

http://heidelblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/roman-catholic-scholar-converts-to-evangelical-faith-2/#more-3629

Peace.

Dozie said...

"You're right. Here's the story of a convert FROM Rome that has them the most disgruntled."

Wow; 16th century, 25 year old, a student (of law), news "re-posted from c. 2007". When is the victory party?!!! You must be very hungry for such news. It only proves that Catholic scholars do not convert to Protestantism.

Andrew said...

Thank you John. This post was most enlightening.

Pilgrimsarbour said...

That was a wonderful post, John. Thank you for letting us into your private life a bit to get a glimpse of your spiritual journey. Having been raised Catholic I have a special interest in such things; not because I can chalk up another "victory" mark for "our side," but because I am interested in the thought processes and circumstances which lead people along their respective paths to the conclusions which they have finally drawn and are drawing.

Carrie said...

Has Waltz returned to Rome?

I haven't been keeping up.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

I would acknowledge that Rome has had some "high-profile" Protestants convert to Catholicism.

Simultaneously, I wonder if some Catholics think the Pew Forum's 2009 report has merit to it. Excerpts:

Catholicism has suffered the greatest net loss in the process of religious change. Many people who leave the Catholic Church do so for religious reasons; two-thirds of former Catholics who have become unaffiliated say they left the Catholic faith because they stopped believing in its teachings, as do half of former Catholics who are now Protestant. Fewer than three-in-ten former Catholics, however, say the clergy sexual abuse scandal factored into their decision to leave Catholicism.

For instance, the most common reason for leaving Catholicism cited by former Catholics who have become Protestant is that their spiritual needs were not being met (71%).

For example, nearly two-thirds of former Catholics who have become unaffiliated say they left the Catholic Church because they stopped believing in its teachings. This sentiment is also expressed by half of former Catholics who have become Protestant as well as half of former Protestants who have become unaffiliated.

One-in-ten American adults is a former Catholic. Former Catholics are about evenly divided between those who have become unaffiliated and those who have become Protestant, with a smaller number leaving Catholicism for other faiths. In response to the yes-or-no questions about why they left the Catholic Church, nearly six-in-ten former Catholics who are now unaffiliated say they left Catholicism due to dissatisfaction with Catholic teachings on abortion and homosexuality, about half cite concerns about Catholic teachings on birth control and roughly four-in-ten name unhappiness with Catholicism's treatment of women.

The reasons for leaving Catholicism given by former Catholics who have converted to evangelical Protestantism differ in some important ways from those offered by former Catholics who have joined mainline Protestant churches.4

Most former Catholics who are now evangelical Protestants, for example, say they left Catholicism in part because they stopped believing in Catholic teachings (62%) and specifically because they were unhappy with Catholic teachings about the Bible (55%). These sentiments are expressed by far fewer converts to mainline Protestantism (20% stopped believing in Catholic teachings and 16% specifically were unhappy with Catholic teachings about the Bible), who instead are much more likely to say they left Catholicism because they married a non-Catholic (44%) or because they were dissatisfied with the priests at their parish (39%)."

Read it all: Here.

David Waltz said...

Hello John,

You wrote:

>>David Waltz stopped by last night to accuse me of intellectual dishonesty. It's funny, he's always so cheerful with me, who would have guessed that he harbored such doubts?>>

Me: Not an accurate representation of what I said: I stated that I believe that you (and many other epologists) are inconsistent, NOT dishonest.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again John,

Don't have much time right now, so I am going to try to post the following that I typed up last night and attempted to post twice in the other thread, only to see it disappear twice:

==Hello Matthew,

Thanks for responding to my musings; you posted:

>>David Waltz writes:

For instance, John eagerly endorses the critical German scholar Lampe concerning the status of the Roman church/s during the 1st and 2nd centuries, and then thoroughly recommends Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger's The Heresy of Orthodoxy which is at odds with some important conclusions of Lampe.

How does it follow that this is inconsistent? Since you yourself have given the qualification of "some," it doesn't seem reasonable to suggest that John can't recommend both Lampe and Kostenberger/Kruger. Unless they were completely contradictory (in both methods and conclusions), it seems perfectly reasonable to draw on and recommend those aspects of these works he finds helpful and accurate.>>

Me: Perhaps you do not understand the key issues between critical scholarship and conservative scholarship (maybe you do, but choose to sweep these issues under the carpet for now). Lampe's critical methodology permeates his scholarly work--the inconsistency of John lies in his willingness to accept Lampe's critical methodology in a very narrow venue—i.e. wherein he undermines certain Roman Catholic claims—but then rejects Lampe's critical methodology when it works against his worldview.

>>Do not wish to digress here,

Then I have to ask why you brought up this charge of inconsistency at all. Are you hoping that it will stand uncontested if you couch it in noncommittal language?>>

Me: No.

>>Charges of intellectual inconsistency are serious. It would be best to either make them with an intent to discuss them or not to make them at all.>>

Me: I am willing to do so.

>>but it does remind me a bit of James White’s charge/s leveled against Muslim apologists who quote “liberal”, critical Christian scholars in their debates, whilst James allows himself to use “liberal” and critical Islamic scholars.

That comparison assumes White's methods are inconsistent.>>

Me: Not an assumption (IMO).

>>However, it's appropriate (even obligatory) to argue that the conclusions of liberal scholars (quoted by Muslims against traditional Christianity) are faulty while, at the same time, demonstrating the merits of liberal scholarship with respect to critiques of Islam.>>

Me: This is the 'problem' Matthew: you, and so many others, are willing to use a double-edged sword (i.e. liberal, critical scholarship) against your opponents whilst crying 'foul' when they attempt to do the same!!!

>>Since White deals with liberal scholarship on a regular basis, I don't see how this approach is inconsistent on any level.>>

Me: Sigh...

>>And you are comparing the use of liberal and conservative scholarship across two different religious traditions. Not only do you require a symmetrical relationship where none should exist, but your comparison of John Bugay's methods with White's is disanalogous.>>

Me: I disagree Matthew; the fact that John, James White, and many other epologists are willing to solicit liberal, critical scholarship ONLY when it furthers their aggenda/s, whilst denying the same method to their opponents, is an all too common practice—that you do not discern commonality and/or inconsistency here is a bit troubling...


Grace and peace,

David==

Will try to check by in later today, but it will probably be tomorrow before I can do so.

Take care and God bless,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again John,

I attempted to post the following comment that I typed up twice last night, and twice this morning in the combox of the other thread, but for some reason, after showing up, it then has disappeared all four times; will try one more time in the other thread, and now in this thread:

==Hello Matthew,

Thanks for responding to my musings; you posted:

>>David Waltz writes:

For instance, John eagerly endorses the critical German scholar Lampe concerning the status of the Roman church/s during the 1st and 2nd centuries, and then thoroughly recommends Andreas Kostenberger and Michael Kruger's The Heresy of Orthodoxy which is at odds with some important conclusions of Lampe.

How does it follow that this is inconsistent? Since you yourself have given the qualification of "some," it doesn't seem reasonable to suggest that John can't recommend both Lampe and Kostenberger/Kruger. Unless they were completely contradictory (in both methods and conclusions), it seems perfectly reasonable to draw on and recommend those aspects of these works he finds helpful and accurate.>>

Me: Perhaps you do not understand the key issues between critical scholarship and conservative scholarship (maybe you do, but choose to sweep these issues under the carpet for now). Lampe's critical methodology permeates his scholarly work--the inconsistency of John lies in his willingness to accept Lampe's critical methodology in a very narrow venue—i.e. wherein he undermines certain Roman Catholic claims—but then rejects Lampe's critical methodology when it works against his worldview.

>>Do not wish to digress here,

Then I have to ask why you brought up this charge of inconsistency at all. Are you hoping that it will stand uncontested if you couch it in noncommittal language?>>

Me: No.

>>Charges of intellectual inconsistency are serious. It would be best to either make them with an intent to discuss them or not to make them at all.>>

Me: I am willing to do so.

>>but it does remind me a bit of James White’s charge/s leveled against Muslim apologists who quote “liberal”, critical Christian scholars in their debates, whilst James allows himself to use “liberal” and critical Islamic scholars.

That comparison assumes White's methods are inconsistent.>>

Me: Not an assumption (IMO).

>>However, it's appropriate (even obligatory) to argue that the conclusions of liberal scholars (quoted by Muslims against traditional Christianity) are faulty while, at the same time, demonstrating the merits of liberal scholarship with respect to critiques of Islam.>>

Me: This is the 'problem' Matthew: you, and so many others, are willing to use a double-edged sword (i.e. liberal, critical scholarship) against your opponents whilst crying 'foul' when they attempt to do the same!!!

>>Since White deals with liberal scholarship on a regular basis, I don't see how this approach is inconsistent on any level.>>

Me: Sigh...

>>And you are comparing the use of liberal and conservative scholarship across two different religious traditions. Not only do you require a symmetrical relationship where none should exist, but your comparison of John Bugay's methods with White's is disanalogous.>>

Me: I disagree Matthew; the fact that John, James White, and many other epologists are willing to solicit liberal, critical scholarship ONLY when it furthers their aggenda/s, whilst denying the same method to their opponents, is an all too common practice—that you do not discern commonality and/or inconsistency here is a bit troubling...


Grace and peace,

David==

I have run out of time for now, but will check back in tomorrow (the Lord willing) to add a few more comments.


Take care and God bless,

David

Turretinfan said...

"It only proves that Catholic scholars do not convert to Protestantism."

LOL

John Bugay said...

David Waltz: Me: Not an accurate representation of what I said: I stated that I believe that you (and many other epologists) are inconsistent, NOT dishonest.

David -- I have adjusted the main posting to reflect the inconsistent/dishonest portion of your comment here. Still, your suggestion that somehow allowing an "anti-Catholic bias" to affect my "research and beliefs" is, well, backwards, and I don't think I would have responded any differently.

I have gotten your attempts to post whatever it was that you posted last night; I responded to these in part with this post; I'm not sure why they are disappearing. We've had that sort of thing happen another time as well.

I don't have time right now to work on that, but I'll get to it when I am able.

natamllc said...

Dozie, that's a doozie!

When is the victory party?

Dozie, maybe you forgot the Word of the Lord?

So, sit back, fill up your belly with these Words and then you shall know when is the victory party?

Isa 40:21 Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
Isa 40:22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
Isa 40:23 who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Isa 40:24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
Isa 40:25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
Isa 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing.
Isa 40:27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?
Isa 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
Isa 40:29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Isa 40:30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;
Isa 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

Just got back from a 3 hour Bible study and have a few minutes before I start working on dinner; you posted:

>>David -- I have adjusted the main posting to reflect the inconsistent/dishonest portion of your comment here. Still, your suggestion that somehow allowing an "anti-Catholic bias" to affect my "research and beliefs" is, well, backwards, and I don't think I would have responded any differently.>>

Me: Greatly appreciated; thank you.

>>I have gotten your attempts to post whatever it was that you posted last night; I responded to these in part with this post; I'm not sure why they are disappearing. We've had that sort of thing happen another time as well.

I don't have time right now to work on that, but I'll get to it when I am able.>>

Me: I tried twice last night and twice this morning in the previous thread; and then twice more in this thread—the post appears for a couple of minutes and then disappears—very weird/mysterious. (I ended up copying both threads while the post was there; let me know if/when I should try to repost; if it is too much of a hassle, I guess I could create a thread at AF and post it there.)

Tomorrow, the Lord willing, I plan to reread both threads and all the comments that have been made and then will probably add a few more of my thoughts (BTW, I own the Carson, Moo, Morris An Introduction To the New Testament though it has been quite a number of years since I read it).


Grace and peace,

David

beowulf2k8 said...

If anyone wants to see what real fundamental honesty looks like, read this: Galatians 3:16, Is SEED really singular in the story of Abraham? NO!!!!

Jae said...

Rhology said, "Why else would AIRHEADS like Jae keep copypasting over and over again quotes from Calvin and Luther saying they disapprove of condom usage or some such thing?"

Thanks for the compliment, christian Rhology!

This is the problem when one can't even REFUTE their own kind much less their own "fathers" well, just resort to insults! Ummmm.

Another problem with your epistemological paradigm of liberal catholics, sedevacantists, etc is that it's just like that...in direct schism from the catholic church, teachings and separated themselves from the See of Peter. Anybody could claim to be a catholic or a follower of tradition but do they really? Please look at the Encyclopedia Britannica or dictionary for the accurate definition and criteria of being catholic (word "catholic".)

The problem is you don't seem to comprehend the big difference say in protestantism where the liberal protestants grouped themselves together and founded their own churches because that is what they honestly think the Bible is teaching (since Sola Scriptura's princinple is that the interpretation is no higher than anybody else's). The same could be said of Jehovah's, Seventh Day, Unitarians etc. In Catholicism the disunity is because of disobedience to a proclaimed doctrine. Good examples again like the doctrine of Jesus Christ's Incarnation - both human and Divine, the doctrine of a Truine God, the doctrine against artificial contraception, gay-marriage etc.

Now, if you insist again that 83%of catholics or even priests who disagree with these teaching and thus somehow make the teachings false, null and void is absolutely nonsense! So sorry to disappoint you but the teaching is still TRUE AND BINDING TO ALL REGARDLESS. Prots can't make a binding teaching to all prots. Do you see the point? So who's really the intellectually dishonest here?

John Bugay said...

Jae: The "see of Peter" is a myth. If you want to bring up that concept, you have to argue for it first.

Otherwise, based on the evidence that most of us around here are aware of, it's just a myth.

John Bugay said...

Andrew, Pilgrim, I'm happy to share this sort of thing. I've got more in the hopper if you want to talk about it.

Ken said...

Hi Carrie -
David Waltz has not returned to Rome - but he is open to Bahai'ism -
see our discussion here at his website- especially in the comboxes.

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/07/seal-of-prophets-is-there.html

"Me: Yes, I remain open to the possibility that the Bahai Faith is true. . . . "

That also implies that orthodox Islam was a stage in development of revelation, as the Bahai's believe. (Shiite, but not Ahmadiye, but it is unclear to me how he sorts out the disunity between 12'er Imam Shiitism and Sevener Shiite (Ishmailis) and the Sunnis. The Bahai faith seems to be an extension (in their view) of twelver Shiite Islam. (as far as I can tell)

It seems (David W. - feel free to comment and correct any misconception and misunderstanding I may have) -
that when he jettisoned the infallible church and infallible councils and Papal dogmas, he doesn't think Scripture alone is enough to hold onto the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, and the closing of Revelation with the apostles and the canon (Jude 3).

He seems to believe that the Deity of Christ and the Trinity are developed in history, rather than Scriptural truths that are made more explicit in historical theology.

He seems to question the Deity of Christ here, especially in the comboxes. (although he has not had time to answer my latest questions.)

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/08/god-use-of-term-in-bible-and-pre.html

David Waltz believes that all the Early Church Fathers before Athanasius were subordinationists (that Christ was not fully God from all eternity, not homo-ousias or eternal into the past.)

John Bugay said...

Hey Ken, thanks for that update. I don't keep up with his blog, so I only tend to know what he writes about here.

Ken said...

John-
Interacting with David Waltz helps me learn about church history and historical theology, even though we disagree.

John - Your latest articles on the RCC and Canon and church history along with Matthew's are great! - I wish I had time to digest them all and do my other work and job and ministry!

You all - and James (Luther details are amazing) and Rhology - post so many (sometimes several in one day) and on the same issues that I think about (canon, history, RCC) that I find myself saying, "What can I add to that?"

And trying to keep up with the meaty material at Triablogue and Pyromaniacs and aomin.org and Ligonier and Desiring God and Justin Taylor is overwhelming, but all very good material.

natamllc said...

Eph 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Eph 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.


I would say the citation above is wanting at times with some in here.

It is not reasonable to me that we should offend others, whether or not they be saint/sinner by the miracle of being born again by the Hand of God, being simultaneously both or of those outside the Body of Christ!

And who am I that I should exhort the above; seeing I too was redeemed by the same bloody sufferings, death and the arisen Eternal Life of another?"!"

Such is the metal that tempers mine and such are the Words to ears that hear and heed the Word of Life!

I can only repeat what I have been encouraged first to do by exhortation when I read what the two heavenly creatures said to the earthly creatures, here:

Luk 24:1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared.
Luk 24:2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb,
Luk 24:3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
Luk 24:4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel.
Luk 24:5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them,
"Why do you seek the living among the dead?
Luk 24:6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee,
Luk 24:7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise."
Luk 24:8 And they remembered his words,
Luk 24:9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

Rhology said...

I would say the citation above is wanting at times with some in here.

Speaking of which, natamllc, are you ever going to answer my email?

Carrie said...

Hi Carrie -
David Waltz has not returned to Rome - but he is open to Bahai'ism -


Thanks Ken, I had no idea.

Sometimes it helps to understand where people are coming from, although it's difficult to keep up with some.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Before I respond further to John, I would like to comment on the following that you posted:

>>It seems (David W. - feel free to comment and correct any misconception and misunderstanding I may have) -
that when he jettisoned the infallible church and infallible councils and Papal dogmas, he doesn't think Scripture alone is enough to hold onto the Trinity and the Deity of Christ, and the closing of Revelation with the apostles and the canon (Jude 3).>>

Me: More precisely, I believe that the Biblical data may be interpreted in more than one sense. The Biblical scholar, Raymond Brown, put it this way:

“Three different figures, Father, Son, and Spirit, are brought into conjunction in the NT. Some NT formulas join the three; other references unite the Father and the Son; and still other references relate the Spirit to the Father and/or Son. Nevertheless, in no NT passage, not even in Matt. 28:19, is there precision about three divine Persons, co-equal but distinct, and one divine Nature—the core of the dogma of the Trintiy. Greek philosophy, sharpened by continuing theological disputes in the church from the 2nd to the 5th centuries, contributed to the classical formulation of the dogma. On the one hand one may say, the, that the precise Trinitarian dogma is not detectable in the literal sense of the NT, i.e., was not observably understood by first-century authors and audiences. On the other hand, reflection on NT texts played a crucial role in leading the church to the dogma to the dogma of three divine Persons and one divine Nature, a dogma that employed new terminology and embodied new insights as a response to new questions. There is no need to posit new revelation to account for the truth ultimately phrased in the trinitarian dogma, since that truth was already revealed when God sent Jesus Christ and when the risen Christ communicated his Spirit. Yet the development was not simply a matter of logic. In faith, one can claim that the Spirit guided the church as it moved from the NT triadic passages to perceiving and proclaiming the trinitarian dogma. Christians should not be embarrassed to affirm that they depend upon the Spirit’s guidance in such an essential dogma, for that guidance is really an application of Christ’s promise to be with his community and to send the Paraclete to guide them along the way of all truth…If ‘tradition’ implies that first-century Christianity already understood three coequal but distinct divine Persons and one divine Nature but had not developed the precise terminology, I would dissent. Neither the terminology nor the basic ideas had reached clarity in the first century; problems and disputes were required before the clarity camePrecisely because the ‘trinitarian’ line of development was not the only line of thought detectable in the NT, one must posit the guidance of the Spirit and intuition of faith as the church came to its decision.” (Raymond E. Brown, Biblical Exegesis & Church Doctrine, 1985, pp. 31-33 – bold emphasis mine.)

>>He seems to believe that the Deity of Christ and the Trinity are developed in history, rather than Scriptural truths that are made more explicit in historical theology.>>

Me: That the doctrine of the Trinity is a theological development is acknowledged by pretty much every competent NT and/or patristic scholar I have read who has written on the subject since the mid-20th century.

cont’d

David Waltz said...

cont’d

>>He seems to question the Deity of Christ here, especially in the comboxes. (although he has not had time to answer my latest questions.)>>

Me: I do not “question the Deity of Christ”, but rather the exegesis of many of the so-called ‘proof-texts’ invoked to “prove” His divinity.

>>David Waltz believes that all the Early Church Fathers before Athanasius were subordinationists (that Christ was not fully God from all eternity, not homo-ousias or eternal into the past.)>>

Me: You are correct concerning the first half of your comment (and a good number of highly respected patristic scholars share this same view), but the portion in parentheses is not accurate.

Hope to get to your comments made over at AF later today, the Lord willing.


Grace and peace,

David

Rhology said...

Um, unthinking heathen -> atheist -> Christian is not very many changes. 1.5 or so.

John Bugay said...

@ David Waltz: I do find it interesting that no anti-Roman Catholic poster has attempted to dissect and analyze your spiritual journey as they have, and continue to do so, with mine.

Part of the motivation behind this post was a desire to respond to some of the Roman Catholics who have doubted that I could ever have been a devoted Catholic, given where I am now.

James Swan, David King, and others have been quite critical of my spiritual journey—you and Rhology are ‘allowed’ a number of worldview and/or ecclesiastical changes in your respective journeys without the worry of derogatory comments being cast your way, but I, who have made fewer changes than either you or Rho, must constantly defend my spiritual journey—I cannot help but think that if I too was a thorough going anti-Roman Catholic, such denigration would cease.

As Rhology mentioned, in both his case and mine, the journey was not very circuitous. But that's not really the point.

I don't know that any of the individuals you named above are "thorough going anti-Roman Catholic." I would think rather it's the case that we are, each one of us, more interested in truthfulness, and it seems evident to us that the Roman Church is less interested in being honest with the Scriptures and with history, than it is just simply to reiterate its own sense of its own authority. I thought it was just something that we saw in internet apologists; but recently, reading Ratzinger, it seems to me that this inherent lack of honesty starts right at the top. (As I've mentioned in several places.)

And it seems as if you yourself have noticed this -- your unwillingness to remain as a Roman Catholic after once appearing to be a committed one.

I did not know that acceptance with a particular group was something that was on your radar screen. We are all on "spiritual journeys" -- I can't speak for the others, but I sense that with James, Rho, DTK, and some of the others, there is a deep love of the Gospel, as it was articulated at the time of the Reformation. Combined with this sense that Roman Catholicism is not an ally in the spread of the Gospel -- but rather, it hinders it in many ways.

And we all do find unity in that. (Among other things).

John Bugay said...

DW: [Quoting JB]: Moving on, you posted: But there is nothing I'm writing, that I am aware of, that is being intellectually dishonest with the materials.

DW: Once again, I have not said, nor believe, that you are being “intellectually dishonest”. I do believe (as I hope to demonstrate later) that you are at times inconsistent, and that you have misunderstood some the material you have read (e.g. Metzger/HERE – which is certainly not the same thing as intellectual dishonesty).


I don't doubt that I'm at times inconsistent, and made dumb mistakes -- sometimes I have three or four fairly significant conversations going on at a time, which require me to check references (and rather quickly at times). But I don't think that the occasional mistakes I make in any way detract from the overall message that I'm trying to put out there. One of the things about writing publicly, is that you tend to get to know right away when you've made a mistake, and you get to fix it right away.

I don't see Lampe and Kostenberger/Kruger in any tension. They approached things from a different perspective. Kostenberger/Kruger wrote about a New Testament era that was only beginning to see the rise of various heretical groups (which had not had the time to get any traction in the first century, but which found an opportunity to thrive in second century Rome.

Lampe barely touched the New Testament, and when he did, he used it for its historical value, and not to establish orthodoxy in the first century. He was interested in "the facts on the ground." He was interested in granular details of tangible things, and not necessarily with beliefs.

But I don't get the sense that he would have found first-century orthodoxy objectionable at all. He, too, seemed to think that the heretical groups had a lot of sway in second-century Rome. So in that very important sense, both of these works corroborate each other.

And that seems right in line with some of the things that I'm going to end up saying about 1 Clement, for example -- that he, too, made key mistakes, (or was influenced more by "the circumcision group" and the Roman military than by New Testament writings) -- that is, if "he" was even a real person, and not just the "delivery service," as Roger Collins seems to think.


DW: And importantly, I would like to carry on this dialogue without getting ‘personal’; will attempt to be as objective as possible, and if at anytime I have somehow misrepresented your position and or thoughts, please correct me.

I won't get personal. I try not to get insulting at all, but sometimes, the positions espoused by ardent Roman Catholics are just laughable, and I do laugh. And if I'm wrong, just tell me. I can own up to that.


DW: I would much rather like to continue our dialogue face-to-face—I have found internet discussions to be deficient on many levels—but, even though I do not ‘know’ you personally, I sense, like Ken, that you prefer charitable, construction dialogue over polemical/rhetorical ones, hence my willingness to carry on our discussion.

I do have one question for you, and that would be, where do you stand now? Are you "standing" somewhere, or are you exploring? I'm willing to answer any of your questions as I'm able.

But I'm not really interested in "having a dialog" for its own sake. Jason Stellman tried to do that with the Catholics, and I think the result of that was a complete disaster. (He practically introduced all the "Called to Communion" guys to each other, and gave them an opportunity to "meet and greet" right on his blog, while he played Hamlet, quite publicly at times.)

I have an agenda, and that agenda is no secret; I have certain topics I want to explore, and I do want to explore them. And of course, there's never enough time.

David Waltz said...

Hello again John,

Back for a few more thoughts and reflections on your opening post; you wrote:

>>But there is nothing I'm writing, that I am aware of, that is being intellectually dishonest with the materials. If anything, what I am finding is that there is a flood-tide of scholarship that is coming to "anti-Catholic" conclusions -- including the work of such Catholic writers as Raymond Brown, Eamon Duffy, Robert Eno, Francis Sullivan, Klaus Schatz, and others.>>

Me: I use the term “anti-Catholic” (fyi, James and others prefer that we use the term “anti-Roman Catholic”) to denote those who do not believe that the Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination. Apart from Duffy (whom I have not read), the gentlemen you list above are Roman Catholic, and certainly believe that the denomination is a Christian one. My position on the RCC is similar to that of Dr. Charles Hodge and Tim Enloe.

>>One might go so far as to suggest that David Waltz does not understand what it is that he is reading -- the particular conclusions that make a scholar liberal or conservative, or how they arrive at those conclusions. What might be agreed with or disagreed with, and on what basis.>>

Me: I make no claim to infallibility, so I am certainly open to the possibility that I do, “not understand what it is that he is reading”; could you provide some specific examples?

>> David, I would like for you to show me where you think I might disagree with Lampe, or where you think Kostenberger and Kruger might disagree with him. Perhaps you're willing to tell me just how the work of these individuals is at odds and then we can discuss the specifics of it, and only then you can genuinely begin to charge me with intellectual dishonesty. Or not.>>

Me: First, once again, I have not charged you with “intellectual dishonesty”. Second, I would like to present some of Lampe’s positions which I suspect you (as well as K&K) would not agree with—which, as you probably know, come via the same methods that Lampe uses to arrive at his historical assessments (e.g. form criticism, redaction criticism, et al.). I shall begin with the following from Lampe’s pen:

“The Pastoral letters presuppose Aquila and Prisca still to be in Ephesus (2 Tim 4:19) while Paul is already in Rome. This is one of the historical inconsistencies found in the Pastorals.

For example, when Paul moved from Ephesus to Macedonia, by no means did Timothy remain behind in Ephesus, as 1 Tim 1:3 supposes: Acts 19:22; 20:1-4; 2 Cor 1:1; Rim 16:21…

How did the author come to the mistake regarding Aquila and Prisca?>> (Peter Lampe, From Paul to Valentinus, 2003, pp. 158, 159.)

Now, do you believe that “the deutero-Pauline author” (Lampe’s words/take, not mine) of 1 Timothy made a “mistake regarding Aquila and Prisca”? DO YOU DISAGREE WITH LAMPE?


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Rho,

You said:

>>Um, unthinking heathen -> atheist -> Christian is not very many changes. 1.5 or so.>>

Me: If I apply your understanding of “change” I have made NONE—I am, and always have been, a Christian.


Grace and peace,

David

natamllc said...

David,

I will be digressing at the end of this post to Alan's comment about answering an email. Alan should look forward to that?

You wrote, however, a couple of things above in the last post to John, a couple of things I would comment on.

You wrote: I would think rather it's the case that we are, each one of us, more interested in truthfulness, and it seems evident to us that the Roman Church is less interested in being honest with the Scriptures and with history, than it is just simply to reiterate its own sense of its own authority.

Mindful of some of the personal information John has conveyed by this thread, I would start by acknowledging my own experience with a pedophile. I was molested when I was 8 years old. It has taken me a long time to accept Christ's love for us both and to see my own total depravity in the matter, all the while setting aside the civil disorder of the event and the consequences I personally have suffered because of my own cause and corruption inherent in all 8 year old boys lured into such evils!

Having said that, my response to your comment portion highlighted above simply is this. The RCC, it seems, is finding ways to "survive" the emotional drains that weaken them because of the various priest pedophile cases in modern times that have come full circle and quite public, internationally, now, that is drawing away from their dogmas and edicts and celebrations on or about the Righteousness of Christ, to wit, they claim to represent in this world devils full.

I am speculating that the current Pope is thinking along these lines: "If only these matters could be handled more privately and without such costly consequences than in the fashion they have been and most probably will be, in the future, handled in the civilian courts....". It seems his plate of infallible ideas could be better served to his flock of errant sheep of their fold but for those offenses?

That's all I would comment about that.

Now, this too, you commented: "I did not know that acceptance with a particular group was something that was on your radar screen. We are all on "spiritual journeys" -- I can't speak for the others, but I sense that with James, Rho, DTK, and some of the others, there is a deep love of the Gospel, as it was articulated at the time of the Reformation."

It seems to me this is ironic in light of the early post that seems to imply your leaning towards the Ba'hai faith?

Could you clarify that?

And, you see something strange with the idea of an exclusivity of the Church in modern times, the Church that has come out of the days of Jesus' resurrection to His place of Glory He came from first?

David Waltz said...

Attention John!!!

My post that you quoted from in your last to combox posts has vanished; perhaps I should create a new thread over at AF and republish the missing posts and relevant context before we continue our discussion…

What do you think?


Grace and peace,

David

Turretinfan said...

"My position on the RCC is similar to that of Dr. Charles Hodge and Tim Enloe."

Similar to the overlap of those two, I suppose. I don't recall Enloe saying the strongly negative things that Hodge has to say about the RCC.

John Bugay said...

David -- your post regarding Priscilla and Aquila is here. I'll respond to it when I get a chance.

John

Rhology said...

David Waltz said:
If I apply your understanding of “change” I have made NONE—I am, and always have been, a Christian.

1) No, you haven't always been. You were born an enemy of God.
2) You were once a Jehovah's Witness. Um, that's not Christian.
3) You were once a Roman Catholic. Not Christian either.
4) I have no idea whether you hold to the biblical Gospel, but my educated guess is that you do not.

So no, I'm sorry; your statement is false.

Peace,
Rhology

David Waltz said...

John,

One more post (hope it remains) before I wait to see if you can correct the disappearing posts problem; you wrote:

>>As Rhology mentioned, in both his case and mine, the journey was not very circuitous. But that's not really the point.>>

Me: My journey is definitely not circuitous—for the record, I have never returned back to any of my previous ecclesiastical affiliations.

>>I did not know that acceptance with a particular group was something that was on your radar screen.>>

Me: It is not, my observations in this particular matter concerns double-standards and inconsistency.


Grace and peace,

David

natamllc said...

Alan,

first, I find it ironic that now we read: Speaking of which, natamllc, are you ever going to answer my email?

I don't suppose you want to continue what was left undone at the earlier thread, in here?

As for the email. Yes, I did receive it. And, hmmmmm, I did not find any responsiveness to it on my part. I accepted what you wrote and have moved on. I could be wrong?

I deleted it from my inbox, so if you feel I am wrong in not responding, go ahead and resend it or post it in here and let others judge if I erred in that I found nothing to respond to?

I suppose your comment, cited above is because I, again, found it unwarranted and unseemly for a Christian to use such words like whine in general or airheads specifically toward JAE.

I would have not quoted the Scriptures above had he kept silent. And seeing he did make comments quoting you and then adding these words, I was moved to state a general rule and not be so specific this time as I was very specific in the other thread towards your remarks then:

JAE responded to your comments: Thanks for the compliment, christian Rhology!

I find those words, remarkable, to say it nicely.

I respond to your comment question to me above for various Scriptural reasons.

I will cite two here and leave off with that:

1Ti 3:7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

and

Jas 3:1 Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
Jas 3:2 For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.
Jas 3:3 If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.
Jas 3:4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.
Jas 3:5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.
Jas 3:7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind,
Jas 3:8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.
Jas 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
Jas 3:11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?

John Bugay said...

Hi Natamllc: I would definitely prefer if you had this discussion with Alan privately.

Ken said...

David-
Thanks for clarifying some of points I raised. Yes, I do prefer charitable discussion with the purpose to glorify God, evangelism, apologetics, and I pray for you. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit and so is love, and I believe in that in witnessing to Muslims, Roman Catholics and discussions with someone like yourself who has read a lot and has an interesting background of Jehovah's Witness and RC and various Protestant churches.

You do believe in the Deity of Christ and that the Bible teaches the Deity of Christ - good! I was beginning to wonder.

But you don't see John 1:1 (? right?) or Philippians 2 or Hebrews 1:6-8 as proof texts for the Deity of Christ.

So, what passages in the Bible do you see as clear in teaching the Deity of Christ. You also questioned Romans 9:5. That does away with some pretty powerful passages, but there are many others, so please tell us which ones are clear for the Deity of Christ.

The explicit wording of the doctrine of the Trinity was fleshed out (developed) in history, but the teaching and meaning of it is all there in the Bible.

David Waltz wrote:
Me: I do not “question the Deity of Christ”, but rather the exegesis of many of the so-called ‘proof-texts’ invoked to “prove” His divinity.

(quoting Ken) >>David Waltz believes that all the Early Church Fathers before Athanasius were subordinationists (that Christ was not fully God from all eternity, not homo-ousias or eternal into the past.)>>

DW: Me: You are correct concerning the first half of your comment (and a good number of highly respected patristic scholars share this same view), but the portion in parentheses is not accurate.


So, what is the definition of subordinationism, since I got that wrong, in your opinion? I also asked you that at your website.

James Swan said...

My post that you quoted from in your last to combox posts has vanished;
perhaps I should create a new thread over at AF and republish the missing
posts and relevant context before we continue our discussion.


I haven't deleted any of your posts, and the only other person able to
delete would be John.

We had a problem with Mr. Hoffer's comments vanishing a few days back. I
assure both of you, I have not deleted them.

I'm not sure what's going on with blogger. I suggest simply re-posting your
comment.

Rhology said...

natamllc,

I accepted what you wrote and have moved on...if you feel I am wrong in not responding, go ahead and resend it or post it in here and let others judge if I erred in that I found nothing to respond to?

No, no need for that. It's a bit of common courtesy to at least reply with "Understood, no hard feelings" or something like that, but I (apparently wrongly) had the feeling that you did not accept what I had to say. Glad to hear I was wrong, though.

Grace and peace to you.

Rhology said...

airheads specifically toward JAE.

You apparently have not interacted with him to the extent that I have. Truth sometimes hurts.

David Waltz said...

Rho,

You said:

>>1) No, you haven't always been. You were born an enemy of God.>>

Me: Don’t be coy Rho, you had to of known that my reference to “always” presupposes that I was dealing with an age of comprehension which excludes infancy.

>>2) You were once a Jehovah's Witness. Um, that's not Christian.>>

Me: An opinion. If JWs are not Christian, what are they? Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim…


>>3) You were once a Roman Catholic. Not Christian either.>>

Me: I will side with Dr. Charles Hodge against you on this.

>>4) I have no idea whether you hold to the biblical Gospel, but my educated guess is that you do not.>>

Me: I believe what the Bible teaches.

>>So no, I'm sorry; your statement is false.>>

Me: An opinion; here is mine: your above post is full of falsehoods.


Grace and peace,

David

John Bugay said...

One more post (hope it remains) before I wait to see if you can correct the disappearing posts problem; you wrote:

I'm not aware that any of your posts here have disappeared. Lately I've been getting a Google error when I post (it happened at your site, too, I believe); it causes me to think that my comment has not posted. But then I close the window and reopen it, and everything seems to be there.

Me: My journey is definitely not circuitous—for the record, I have never returned back to any of my previous ecclesiastical affiliations.

Not saying that, but you don't seem to have arrived anywhere at this point. And your challenges to early Christology can possibly be seen to be, well, not quite in keeping with that early New Testament orthodoxy that we've been talking about.

Me: It is not, my observations in this particular matter concerns double-standards and inconsistency.

As I said, you don't seem to have "arrived" anywhere, and you may also be aware that "neutrality" is not seen as a virtue in apologetic circles. I wouldn't say there is a double standard at all. You haven't really proved yet that you're on "our side".

David Waltz said...

Hi James,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>>I haven't deleted any of your posts, and the only other person able to
delete would be John.

We had a problem with Mr. Hoffer's comments vanishing a few days back. I
assure both of you, I have not deleted them.>>

Me: Did not think that you did, John earlier mentioned the same problem, and said he would try to fix it when he had the time.

>>I'm not sure what's going on with blogger. I suggest simply re-posting your
comment.>>

Me: I have reposted vanished posts 8 times now, only to see them vanish again within minutes—very frustrating, and it certainly makes it difficult (next to impossible) to carry on a dialogue…


Grace and peace,

David

James Swan said...

Me: I have reposted vanished posts 8 times now, only to see them vanish again within minutes—very frustrating, and it certainly makes it difficult (next to impossible) to carry on a dialogue…

That's really odd. Do you get anything showing they post? Are they added to the entry, and then vanish? Or does blogger say it posted, but it hasn't?

I get notifications for every posted comment. I did not get 8 copies of your post. Now when the Catholic Champion posted the same comment 25 times, I did get those, unfortunately.

David Waltz said...

John,

My post which you quote HERE is no longer there—it has disappeared.

Rhology said...

David,

I'm worried about you. For real worried. I pray you'll read the Bible with understanding, and that right soon.

David Waltz said...

James,

I made copies of the first post that continues to disappear when I try to repost it while it was still there on your blog—I can email a copy of it to you if you would like—it shows the exact times of two of my attempts to repost.

As for the post that disappeared today, I have not tried to repost it yet.


Grace and peace,

David

natamllc said...

Yes, John, I thought as much and was quite surprised to see his comment.

James Swan said...

I made copies of the first post that continues to disappear when I try to repost it

Well, Blogger doesn't like Waltz or Hoffer... what can I say?

Seriously, the problem is probably with Blogger. I went ahead though on my end and changed some things to make sure someone isn't able to sneak in here and mess around.

David Waltz said...

Hello TF,

Longtime no chat; you wrote:

>>Similar to the overlap of those two, I suppose. I don't recall Enloe saying the strongly negative things that Hodge has to say about the RCC.>>

Me: Interesting…Tim has written a good number of lengthy posts that are “strongly negative” towards the RCC—but, like Hodge, he does not deny the RCC Christian status. I wonder if Rho questions Dr. Hodge’s and Tim’s status before God…


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

I also could not find the David Waltz post that John was quoting from.

David, I hope you saved it and can re-post it.

natamllc said...

David,

did you see my question about the Ba'hai faith and any beliefs you might have with regard to that religious order or faith?

David Waltz said...

Hello John,

You said:

>> Not saying that, but you don't seem to have arrived anywhere at this point.>>

Me: Depends on what you mean by “anywhere”. Fact is, despite Rho’s protestations, I have always had/held (since I can remember) a core set of beliefs that have never changed, and will challenge anyone who suggests that this core set of beliefs is un-Christian.

>>And your challenges to early Christology can possibly be seen to be, well, not quite in keeping with that early New Testament orthodoxy that we've been talking about.>>

Me: Ok, I am admittedly confused by the above, when and/or where have I challenged “early Christology” (“early Christology” means to me pre-Nicene Christology).


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

You wrote:

>>I also could not find the David Waltz post that John was quoting from.

David, I hope you saved it and can re-post it.>>

Me: I did, and shall try to post it again in a few seconds.


Grace and peace,

David

P.S. I have run out of internet time; will try to respond to your comments over at AF tomorrow. BTW, Rory mentioned to me that he would like to hear from you.

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

So much to cover in your opening post; will try to focus on one aspect at a time. First, your brief bio; I sincerely appreciated your candor, and do not in the least doubt your sincerity. However, with that said, I do find it interesting that no anti-Roman Catholic poster has attempted to dissect and analyze your spiritual journey as they have, and continue to do so, with mine. James Swan, David King, and others have been quite critical of my spiritual journey—you and Rhology are ‘allowed’ a number of worldview and/or ecclesiastical changes in your respective journeys without the worry of derogatory comments being cast your way, but I, who have made fewer changes than either you or Rho, must constantly defend my spiritual journey—I cannot help but think that if I too was a thorough going anti-Roman Catholic, such denigration would cease.

Moving on, you posted:

>> But there is nothing I'm writing, that I am aware of, that is being intellectually dishonest with the materials.>>

Me: Once again, I have not said, nor believe, that you are being “intellectually dishonest”. I do believe (as I hope to demonstrate later) that you are at times inconsistent, and that you have misunderstood some the material you have read (e.g. Metzger/HERE – which is certainly not the same thing as intellectual dishonesty).

And importantly, I would like to carry on this dialogue without getting ‘personal’; will attempt to be as objective as possible, and if at anytime I have somehow misrepresented your position and or thoughts, please correct me.

I would much rather like to continue our dialogue face-to-face—I have found internet discussions to be deficient on many levels—but, even though I do not ‘know’ you personally, I sense, like Ken, that you prefer charitable, construction dialogue over polemical/rhetorical ones, hence my willingness to carry on our discussion.

Need to get some lunch; more later, the Lord willing.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Ken, James and John,

Concerning the case of my disappearing posts, I reposted todays missing post just momements ago--it 'took', and I was able to copy it--but alas, it has disappeared yet again...

James, before I sign off the internet, I am going to email you the file that has the disappearing posts--in each of the 3 cases that I copied, it is the last post in the combox.


Grace and peace,

David

natamllc said...

David,

I have asked twice. Will you answer my inquiry about your position on the Ba'hai faith?

I went to the link Ken provided above.

From your answers over there I am led to believe you are indeed "open" to what the Ba'hai believe?

Is that correct?

Here is something I will post and ask if you adhere to these words?

Bahá’u’lláh claimed to be nothing less than a new and independent Messenger from God. His life, work, and influence parallel that of Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad. Bahá’ís view Bahá’u’lláh as the most recent in this succession of divine Messengers.

The essential message of Bahá’u’lláh is that of unity. He taught that there is only one God, that there is only one human race, and that all the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity. In this day, Bahá’u’lláh said, humanity has collectively come of age. As foretold in all of the world’s scriptures, the time has arrived for the uniting of all peoples into a peaceful and integrated global society. “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens,” He wrote.

Turretinfan said...

"Interesting…Tim has written a good number of lengthy posts that are “strongly negative” towards the RCC"

Perhaps you're aware of something in Enloe's writings that I'm not aware of.

"but, like Hodge, he does not deny the RCC Christian status."

"Christian" in a very hollow sense for Hodge - I'm not sure about Enloe.

"I wonder if Rho questions Dr. Hodge’s and Tim’s status before God…"

I doubt Rho spends much time worrying about it. Nor does anyone's salvation depend on how broadly they are willing to apply the label (even to apostate and anti-christian churches, a la Hodge).

-TurretinFan

Ken said...

David Waltz, quoting Raymond Brown:

"Nevertheless, in no NT passage, not even in Matt. 28:19, is there precision about three divine Persons, co-equal but distinct, and one divine Nature—the core of the dogma of the Trintiy."

If R. Brown means that all the points about the doctrine of the Trinity are not all in one single verse, then that is true. And that the exact words, "homo-ousian", and "three persons", and Trinity, are not used, that is true.

However, the concepts of co-eternal are in other verses (John 1:1 and 17:5 and others); and same substance ( John 1:1; 10:30; 14:6-9, Heb. 1:3, 6-8; Phil. 2:6-8), and the concepts/doctrines/ideas of personal relationship with each other are in the language of verses such as - ie, "the Father loves the Son", "the Son loves the Father", "the Father sends the Son", "the Spirit prays"; the "the Father sends the Spirit", "the Spirit blows where He will", "do not grieve the Holy Spirit", "you (Ananias and Sapphira) have lied to God" and "you have lied to the Holy Spirit", etc. - then Raymond is not right in that the concepts of "co-equal" and co-eternal, and three personal relationships are all gathered from the totality of all the verses relating to the doctrine of the Trinity.

John Bugay said...

Regarding the Trinity, Reymond, in his Systematic Theology, provides extensive detail about the Scriptural basis for the doctrine of the Trinity.

Ken said...

natamllc wrote:

The essential message of Bahá’u’lláh is that of unity. He taught that there is only one God, that there is only one human race, and that all the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity.

Yes, that is what Bahai'ism teaches, and that is why I said that they see Islam as a middle stage in development between Christianity and Bahai'ism. I have told David this, and that this puts him outside of Christianity, but he has yet to clarify on that. That they see Zoroaster and Buddha as part of that development is strange indeed; for along the progression, Judaism, Christianity and Islam would deny that those were part of monotheistic revelation, and Christianity denies that Islam is subsequent revelation from God.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

To everyone but David Waltz,

Suppose David Waltz is so stupid that he refuses to become a conservative, Bible-Believing
Reform Protestant. Ever.

And he decides to choose only between

(A) Eastern Orthodoxy

or

(B) Bahai.

Which do you think is the better choice between the two?

I'd say Eastern Orthodoxy.

Turretinfan said...

I'd rather see him in a professing Christian organization (EO), but my concern for Waltz is that he trust in Christ alone for salvation - something it is possible *not* to do in either of those organizations, and possible not to do even in a true church of Christ.

Turretinfan said...

Oh, and while I may hold various negative views about Mr. Waltz, I don't think "stupid" is a good description, nor do I think that it is "stupidity" that keeps people from hearing the voice of the Shepherd.

John Bugay said...

Truth: TF is right, I don't think "stupid" is the right word.

natamllc said...

I suppose in light of the recent revelations dawning on some, in here, it would be fair to say or assert these verses from Our Bible regarding ones such as it appears Mr. Waltz at this time seems to be?

Here:


Act 26:13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me.
Act 26:14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, 'Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.'
Act 26:15 And I said, 'Who are you, Lord?' And the Lord said, 'I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.
Act 26:16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you,
Act 26:17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles--to whom I am sending you
Act 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'
Act 26:19 "Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
Act 26:20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.


And by them, one should be able to see why these Words apply to those being blinded?

Here:

Joh 12:37 Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him,
Joh 12:38 so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: "Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
Joh 12:39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
Joh 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them."
Joh 12:41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;
Joh 12:43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.


While it certainly is revolting to some that some loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God, we certainly can understand Paul's Words, then, here, too?

Here:

2Co 4:1 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.
2Co 4:2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
2Co 4:3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
2Co 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2Co 4:5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake.
2Co 4:6 For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.


It is indeed with a broken heart I post these things, then!

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Sometimes I conflate stupidity with being unwise.

Sorry David Waltz. It should really be "so unwise". Not "so stupid."

Carrie said...

It appears Blogger has some commenting bugs.

David, did the missing posts have hyperlinks in them? That could be a problem. You may also want to try re-posting without signing in if something disappears.

David Waltz said...

Hello natamllc,

Just now finished reading your "4:23 PM, AUGUST 25, 2010" post; I want to say first of all that my heart sincerely goes out to you—the crime/sin of pedophilia is so heinous—I cannot begin to fathom what you have personally gone through. As for me, I struggle trying to comprehend the 'why' God allows such atrocities to occur, even when the Fall is factored into the mix; but, that our Lord has extended His tender mercies to you is comforting—praise the Lord!

Second, for the record, the two quotes that you provided in your post are not mine, but John's.


God bless,

David

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

TurretinFan: "I'd rather see him in a professing Christian organization (EO),..."

Glad you agree with me.

And I agree with the rest of your thoughts in that comment as well.

-----------

Hear ye, hear ye, all members of the Eastern Orthodox Church...

TurretinFan stipulates that the EOC is a professing Christian Organization.

EOC is clearly better than Bahai or the Jehovah's Witnesses or the Mormons.

So be proud of the EOC ranking.

------

For myself, and fwiw, I'd rank the RCC above the Bahai, the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Mormons too.

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks much for responding; you wrote:

==You do believe in the Deity of Christ and that the Bible teaches the Deity of Christ - good! I was beginning to wonder.

But you don't see John 1:1 (? right?) or Philippians 2 or Hebrews 1:6-8 as proof texts for the Deity of Christ.

So, what passages in the Bible do you see as clear in teaching the Deity of Christ. You also questioned Romans 9:5.==

Me: Those texts do not "prove" the deity of Christ; but with that said, they certainly are not against it. I affirm the deity of Christ because of the certain passages that tell us what He has done; specifically, that He was God's active agent in the creation of everything that exists in time and space—this I believe compels one to place our Lord in the category of Creator, not creation.

==So, what is the definition of subordinationism, since I got that wrong, in your opinion? I also asked you that at your website.==

Me: I will go into greater detail over at AF later, but for now, subordinationism to me (and I believe the ECFs) is that there are certain aspects pertaining to the person of the Father that cannot be said about the Son. I suppose one might limit such aspects to merely functional terms, but upon much reflection, I think I understand why the ECFs did not entirely rule out the ontological aspect.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hello again natallmc,

You posted:

==David,

I have asked twice. Will you answer my inquiry about your position on the Ba'hai faith?

I went to the link Ken provided above.

From your answers over there I am led to believe you are indeed "open" to what the Ba'hai believe?

Is that correct?==

Me: See my response to you on this in the combox of John's new thread.

==Here is something I will post and ask if you adhere to these words?

Bahá’u’lláh claimed to be nothing less than a new and independent Messenger from God. His life, work, and influence parallel that of Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad. Bahá’ís view Bahá’u’lláh as the most recent in this succession of divine Messengers.

The essential message of Bahá’u’lláh is that of unity. He taught that there is only one God, that there is only one human race, and that all the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity. In this day, Bahá’u’lláh said, humanity has collectively come of age. As foretold in all of the world’s scriptures, the time has arrived for the uniting of all peoples into a peaceful and integrated global society. “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens,” He wrote.==

Me: Since at this time I am studying the Bahai Faith, "testing the spirits", and examining the "fruit" (or lack thereof) I do not embrace the above with the exception of the following: "there is only one God", and "there is only one human race".


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi John,

You wrote:

==Regarding the Trinity, Reymond, in his Systematic Theology, provides extensive detail about the Scriptural basis for the doctrine of the Trinity.==

Me: Have you read Robert Letham's critical review of Reymond's sys theo in the Fall 2000 - 62.2 Westminster Theological Journal (pp. 314-319)? Letham has some pretty harsh things to say about Reymond's reflections on the Trinity. What is particularly troubling to me is that Reymond denies the eternal generation of the Son.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Arrrgh...my second post to natamllc has disappeared...this is very frustrating--need to contemplate whether or not I should continue to post in this thread.


David

John Bugay said...

I haven't read Letham. And I was referring specifically here to Reymond's Scriptural treatment.

And he only "denies eternal generation" in that he holds the Son to be autotheos as God, in the tradition of Calvin, Warfield, etc. And the only reason he holds this position is because he says it's more authentically scriptural.

Rhology said...

Here's David Waltz's last eaten comment.

=================================

Hello again natallmc,

You posted:

==David,


I have asked twice. Will you answer my inquiry about your position on the Ba'hai faith?

I went to the link Ken provided above.

From your answers over there I am led to believe you are indeed "open" to what the Ba'hai believe?

Is that correct?==

Me: See my response to you on this in the combox of John's new thread.

==Here is something I will post and ask if you adhere to these words?


Bahá’u’lláh claimed to be nothing less than a new and independent Messenger from God. His life, work, and influence parallel that of Abraham, Krishna, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Christ, and Muhammad. Bahá’ís view Bahá’u’lláh as the most recent in this succession of divine Messengers.

The essential message of Bahá’u’lláh is that of unity. He taught that there is only one God, that there is only one human race, and that all the world’s religions represent stages in the revelation of God’s will and purpose for humanity. In this day, Bahá’u’lláh said, humanity has collectively come of age. As foretold in all of the world’s scriptures, the time has arrived for the uniting of all peoples into a peaceful and integrated global society. “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens,” He wrote.==

Me: Since at this time I am studying the Bahai Faith, "testing the spirits", and examining the "fruit" (or lack thereof) I do not embrace the above with the exception of the following: "there is only one God", and "there is only one human race".



Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

John wrote:
But I'm not really interested in "having a dialog" for its own sake. Jason Stellman tried to do that with the Catholics, and I think the result of that was a complete disaster. (He practically introduced all the "Called to Communion" guys to each other, and gave them an opportunity to "meet and greet" right on his blog, while he played Hamlet, quite publicly at times.)

Wow! Jason S. did that? Are you saying they had no "Called to Communion" Blog at all before they met each other at Jason's blog?

I never read "Hamlet" - MacBeth and Romeo and Juliet, yes, but not Hamlet - what does "play Hamlet" mean?

John Bugay said...

Wow! Jason S. did that? Are you saying they had no "Called to Communion" Blog at all before they met each other at Jason's blog?

Ken, I'm pretty sure that's the case. I can direct you to some early posts on his blog if you'd like to see how that all started.

I never read "Hamlet" - MacBeth and Romeo and Juliet, yes, but not Hamlet - what does "play Hamlet" mean?

He was, at one point, very surprised at the somewhat attractive nature of the idea of the age, the authority, etc. He said he was sort of blind-sided by it. By "playing Hamlet," I simply meant "being indecisive" as in, trying to create a "neutral" environment on his blog so he could evaluate it personally. We had quite a tussle over it. My point was that his very public hand-wringing had allowed the gospel to be trampled in public, while, yes, all these Called to Communion guys got to meet and greet, present their side of the case, etc.

Ken said...

David Waltz -
how can you "test the spirits" (as if it might be true) of something that is non-Christian from the get-go, (and by nature says that Islam was a further development of Christianity - which is impossible and contradictory) since you just said you believed in the Deity of Christ - doesn't make sense at all!

If you have the Spirit of Christ, you can immediately tell that Bahai'ism is a non-Christian religion and a false system and evil (1 Cor. 2:10-16) and it's desire for unity/peace and its message of universalism/Unitarianism is similar to the ungodly desire for unity at the expense of truth at the Tower of Babel - Genesis 11.

If you know Christ as the only way, the only mediator, Savior, and Lord, (and that necessitates the doctrine of the Trinity and the revelation of Christ and His work in the NT being the "final word" = Hebrews 1:1-3; also Jude 3); why would you want to be "open" to anything else?

Someone who knows Christ truly does not seek anything else. He is the treasure and the goal and the truth and the joy!

There is nothing to add to Christ.

And also Bahai'ism not only "adds", but has to completely re-interpret everything of the Bible and sound Christian doctrine.

Christ is enough; He is the satisfaction - John 7:37-39

John 4:14
If you have truly drunk the water that Christ gives; you would not thirst for something else - Sola Christus

"whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst"

Have you ever considered that you could be falling into the trap described by 2 Timothy 3:7 - "always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth?"

Ken said...

Thanks John for that background on "Called to Communion" and Jason S. - I had no idea.

Sobering indeed on the issue of "neutrality".

May the Lord bless you and increase your tribe!

John Bugay said...

Ken, you should know that we've hashed that all out and brought it to a resolution. But not without some "iron sharpening iron," I guess you could say.

natamllc said...

David

you noted: Second, for the record, the two quotes that you provided in your post are not mine, but John's.

Yes, I agree. With regard to the first quote of "John's" I was putting some personal information over with regard to myself and associating my own experience in responding to John's thread. In hindsight it does not read well. I can see your point.

I can clarify it if this acknowledgement doesn't?

As for the second quote, again, you are right that I was quoting John, primarily underscoring his point about you, to wit, again, in hindsight, it was poorly conveying what my intent was. You had raised somewhere, can't find it now, but in a comment that some are being critical of your own "spiritual journey". John was commenting about his and mine and all of us are on some spiritual journey. The question is, which one are you on? Is it the same one I am on, or John or Pastor King or James Swan, or Rhology or Tuad and so on?

This one I would re-post to make my point clear.

I wrote: "I did not know that acceptance with a particular group was something that was on your radar screen. We are all on "spiritual journeys"

Indeed those were John's words and he was responding to yours about your own spiritual journey. I was pointing out that observation of John's was ironic and when following its entirety, the quote, I was saying it's ironic for him to point that out seeing there is some confusion as to where you stand with regard to Christian Faith or the Ba'hai faith or being a Jehovah's Witness affiliate, if you were? I recall John asking you pointedly about "just where do you stand"? That was my point in using John's comment. Just where do you stand? You did respond to the most recent thread citing clearly your core beliefs have not "changed" like some of ours have. I responded to that in that thread's combox. That thread dealt with the Aquila and Priscilla matter.

Again, in hindsight, that whole post was poorly written and I should have done more critical wordsmything before posting it to be more clear and perspicacious. That post wasn't very succinct, was it? :)


I apologize for any confusion I produced by my vague posts!