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Messages - lapwing

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Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What does the Biblical Inspiration mean?
« on: February 17, 2013, 10:04:14 AM »
Hi Satarack,
I wonder if this is really semantics. I would say that all Scripture is inspired by God but its hermeneutical relevance varies e.g. Paul's request for his cloak in 2 Tim 4:13 is only applicable at the time of writing but Paul's injunction to "accept one another" (for instance) in Rom 15:7 has a much wider application to all for all time.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What does the Biblical Inspiration mean?
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:57:15 AM »
Hi Peace preacher,
I see you are up to your old tricks again as I predicted (it wasn't difficult).
Now we have this "something closer to this" exchange where you have ignored the verse Will quoted. I'll remind you of it from Will's #10

But something closer to this, from 2 Peter 1:21:
"For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."

This exchange you started fulfils my prophecy:

"The only reason you've started this thread is to take pot shots at Christianity and Christians as in other threads. "

Have you read the link I provided in #1? If not, why not, if you really want to understand this.

"you people"
What a revealing phrase that is. A verbal finger pointing. Like Rupert Murdoch attacking Robert Jay at Leveson: at 1:30 into the clip

Btw are you saying that every book of the Bible should have been prefaced with a statement by the human author that it is inspired by God. Would that satisfy you?

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Pope resignation. A coup d'état against God?
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:05:21 AM »
because at that date he'll immediately enter a monastery ... He'll be cooped up in a monastery and the cardinals will have no contact with the outside world.
Given the cardinals will have no contact with the outside world (body searched for mobile phones?) how does Pope Benedict being "cooped up" in a monastery have any relevance. Will Benedict be cut off from the outside world? Isn't he going to Castel Gandolfo first?

These are just questions for clarification. I think his decision shows maturity and common sense unlike the previous Pope.

Mt 23:1-11 NIV:
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2“The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. 5“Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteriesa wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ 8“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ.b 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Surely this injunction should be seen in the context of not using religious titles or position to lord it over people (St. Francis' message?) "So you must obey them and do everything they tell you." Ironic for Catholics? I don't take it as a literal you must not say the word "father" to anyone.

1 Cor 4:15 NIV:
Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
"fathers" here is the same word used in Mt 23 (pateras) but "became your father" is a different word: egennesa or ἐγέννησα lit. give birth to as with Onesimus in Philemon v10. The context here is not lording it over but helping younger Christians to grow up in the faith.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Concerns from John 4:2
« on: February 17, 2013, 05:08:39 AM »
Hi Fred,
Thanks for the nudge. I assume you're notsaying that Docetism and Gnosticism are disjoint

The Apocalypse of Peter is significant in several respects. It contains important source material for a gnostic Christology that understands Jesus as a docetic redeemer.
The Nag Hammadi Library in English By James McConkey Robinson, Richard Smith, Coptic Gnostic Library Project

and from Wikipedia on Gnosticism:
Central Gnostic beliefs that differ from Biblical teachings include: ... Jesus as a spirit that “seemed” to be human, leading to a rejection of the incarnation (Docetism)

Maybe the correct view to take is that 1 John refers to docetic (describing their false beliefs) false teachers who were the forerunners of the more visibly organised Gnostics who had their own texts (laying aside earlier Greek Gnosticism.)

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Test your knowledge of the Old Testament
« on: February 17, 2013, 03:50:23 AM »
Hi idunno,
I think the sequence of events is:

1. Nebuchadrezzar defeats the Egyptian ruler, Necho, at Carchemish and Hamath on the Euphrates. Nebuchadrezzar then marches against Syria and Palestine but at this time learns of his father's death. he rides back to Babylon to claim the throne. Could this be your reason?

2. In 601 BC the Babylonians were defeated by the Egyptians: Jehoiakim, king of Judah, transfers his allegiance (against Jeremiah's advice) to the Egyptians.

3. In 597 BC Nebuchadnezzar attacks Jerusalem and captures Jehoiakim's son, Jehoiachim. He carries off the temple vessels.

4. The Babylon appointed king, Zedekiah, later rebels and a second siege of Jerusalem results in its destruction in 587 BC with a further capture of Judaeans in 582 BC.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What are you reading?
« on: February 16, 2013, 04:45:12 PM »
For light relief (!?) I've just finished Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Coincidentally, this was during a trip to Winchester to see the cathedral where Jane Austen is buried.

One could say she wrote the same novel 6 times: only changing the names of the characters and places (except Bath which is ubiquitous). However, there's more to her novels than that. I don't think she's "better" than e.g. Charlotte Bronte but there's a lot of subtle humour.

I'm also reading How we got the Bible by Neil Lightfoot. This is a very good introduction to the field of ancient mss, textual criticism, translations and the canon. It is introductory but there are notes to each chapter with references for further reading. This is a book that some people on this forum would benefit from reading, especially those who exaggerate the degree and importance of textual variants. I like the review questions at the end of each chapter.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Concerns from John 4:2
« on: February 16, 2013, 04:33:25 PM »
Hi testinganidea,

If so, how do we know which set of eyewitnesses, those citing a non-flesh Jesus  or those citing a flesh Jesus to believe?

So if this claim of a non-physical Jesus started as early as the Gospels then why accept the eyewitnesses that claim Jesus was a physical over the eyewitnesses that claimed Jesus was just a spirit?

I don't see the word "eyewitnesses" in this passage. So I'm not convinced your interpretation of this passage is correct. The "in the flesh" in v3 is only in a small number of mss. It is in Sinaiticus but is not Alexandrinus or Vaticanus I believe. This is why many versions don't include it. So "in the flesh" is not the point rather it is confessing Jesus (cf Rom 10:10). There is also nothing in this passage about Jesus being just a spirit. The use of spirit in this passage is used only for believers and non believers.

The test he provides is based on Jesus was flesh (true Christian) Jesus was just spirit (false Christian). This implies some were making the false (Jesus was never a flesh and blood person) claim.
The verse may relate to Gnostics but I don't believe that Gnosticism was based on the actual eyewitnessing of Jesus life and resurrection. Rather it was a theologically inspired heresy whose motivation was an abhorrence of Christ's physical and thought-to-be-shameful death on the cross.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Homosexuality
« on: February 15, 2013, 05:30:37 PM »
Hi Gerald,

Yes, you've cited the sin lists that mention homosexuality in support of your view that homosexuality is sinful.

Yes, and I don't think it's unreasonable to say that homosexuality is sinful given it is included in lists of sins that also include lying, adultery, perjury, kidnap, murder of parents, thieving and swindling. This is immediate context.

I have cited other verses that list other things (I have focused on misogyny) as sinful, yet you reject those verses, arguing that they only apply in restricted circumstances, or are not 'as valid' as the lists you pick.

These are your words not mine. I haven't rejected these verses nor talked about "restricted circumstances" or being less valid. (NB: "as valid" is your phrase not mine - I haven't used it). I have disagreed with your incorrect interpretation of these verses.

Your argument is flawed. (NB: This is your argument not mine)

1. Find a so called "commandment" which is not being obeyed by some Christians.
2. Use this to argue that the Bible is not authoritative.
3. Argue that a sin like homosexuality is ok now (even though the order of nature has not changed since NT times)

You are being arbitrary by choosing homosexuality as a candidate sin that is supposedly ok now. There's no distinction between homosexuality and the other sins listed. If you use this argument to say that homosexuality is ok, then why not "lying, adultery, perjury, kidnap, murder of parents, thieving and swindling" (my words quoted). It's just your opinion that homosexuality is ok and these other sins are not: it has no biblical basis.

You have even said outright something along the lines of
You don't see the contradiction here do you. You keep on referring to things you allege I have said but you don't quote what I've said. So how do I know to what you are referring.

your position that Paul's sin lists are important but other parts of Paul's writings are not. 
This is not my position. Where have I said this? Remember I reject your incorrect interpretations.

My point is that this is exactly what you are doing - picking some parts of the Bible as 'authoritative' and others as 'no longer relevant'
I reject this. The whole Bible is authoritative. What isn't authoritative is your incorrect interpretation.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: New Testament Canon
« on: February 15, 2013, 04:48:51 PM »
Hi guys,
I'm following this fascinating discussion with interest. I'd like you to clarify some of the concepts though.

1. The 30,000 denominations. Is this the possible Catholic Church view that allowing people to come to their own understanding of Scripture and church affairs leads to too many denominations, and so at least apparent disunity and confusion?

Related to that Brian: ("protestants" as individual believers should be capitalised)
That's three times longer than the Protestants have been in existence, and yet we seem to have more in common with them (like the sacraments and liturgy) than Protestants do with each other. 
How do you measure the difference, or similarity, between denominations in an objective way? For instance, how much weight would you place on the basis of salvation by grace alone vs grace and works vs works alone?

2. In the Vatican Catechism, "Church" (on its own), is used for the visible organisation that is governed from the Vatican, and the spiritual equivalent. So does the Catholic Church think that this spiritual "Church" includes any non Catholic beleivers? Does the Catholic Church believe that any non Catholic believers will go to heaven?

This isn't exclusively the Catholic Church's interpretation, as there are Protestant scholars that believe that Jesus said the words in Matthew 16.
Not all Protestant scholars believe that Mt 16 means an apostolic succession leading from Peter to the Pope.
I would think that very few, or none, believe this.

3. Reification fallacy. I've looked this up: "treating an abstract concept as if it were concrete" (in my words).
How does that relate to this discussion?

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Homosexuality
« on: February 14, 2013, 06:20:26 PM »
Hi Gerald,

your last two posts indicate that you haven't understood my points
I see you'll still using unsubstantiated ad hominem in place of reasoning.

God gives multiple wives
and you're still miscomprehending and misinterpreting the Bible. depthcharge has explained this one for you.

I have also pointed out that your choice of Paul's sin lists as 'the' definitive lists is arbitrary.
You're saying things that make no sense. The heading of this topic is homosexuality and I've cited the sin lists that include the word homosexuality. That is exactly the opposite of arbitrary.

Simply ignoring my points
Another unsubstantiated ad hominem.

choose to ignore some Biblical commandments
I choose not to interpret the Bible wrongly in the way you do. You are doing this to prove the point you want to prove rather than treating the Bible as authoritative i.e. you are trying to mould the Bible into a form that you prefer i.e. that says what you want it to say.

you are rejecting the authority of the Bible - or, more accurately, using a selective reading of it to back up your personal morality.
These words apply to you not me, except that I would replace "morality" with "prejudice".

"old and new testaments" should be capitalised as "Old and New Testaments". "Biblical" should be "biblical".

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: New Testament Canon
« on: February 14, 2013, 05:50:21 PM »
Hi all,

I just had a general thought that big questions get asked here. There's nothing wrong with that of course. We should recognise that better more qualified people have not reached final answers to these questions. So rather than rushing to provide some kind of answer we should ask questions about the question first. That's a word to myself rather than the contributors on this thread. I think this has been happening in this fascinating thread.

I'm quoting Fred here but the question is general to the topic:
Why were these specific books selected?

I wonder if Fred meant how rather than why since the how question fits in more with the thread, but why is a very interesting question. So why do religious adherents want a book that they regard as authoritative or inspired (or some other apposite adjective) in some way. We can push this back to questions like: Does God speak directly to people? Does God speak through people? How and why do people believe that God does speak to people and through some people? Given the above, why do people want a specific (time-)bounded record of what it is believed God has said to us? Why and how do people believe that there is a time limit to God's authoritative and inspired word to us.

I think the how question depends on the discussion of the above questions to some extent.
One could rephrase the question as how was the authority and inspiration of God recognised in the books that became canonical. I'm not sure if Fred is asking about criteria such as authorship, agreement with other scriptures, the role of the testimony local fellowships, the note of authority that people had recognised in Jesus and the other prophets. I suspect that Fred knows all this and more already.

Another way of answering the question is to consider books that are generally thought of as non canonical. I'm not thinking only of near misses (as some consider) such as the Apocrypha and the Gnostic Gospels. I'm also thinking of more obvious non cases such as Homer's Iliad and Odyssey for the Old Testament or Josephus' Histories for the New Testament. How and/or why are such books (and others of your choice) not canonical? The answer to these obvious cases may be obvious but one can then ask why are they obvious.

I've tried to be neutral in this post to avoid any Protestant bias accusations. However I am a Protestant and I believe that it is a better way than the Catholic way.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Gnostic Gospels
« on: February 14, 2013, 06:22:10 AM »
Pagels is pro Gnosticism.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Gnostic Gospels
« on: February 13, 2013, 09:02:46 PM »
Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels" is a good place to start. It has many refs in the notes at the back. goes further.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Biblical Inerrantists and Numbers 31
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:34:50 PM »
Does labelling someone's views as "twisted rationalizations" accord with seeking the truth?

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: On Relative Motion and Frames of Reference
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:32:11 PM »
Hi Geneticist,
barycentre - it's such a long time since I've used that word that I'd forgotten what it meant. As you say this is the centre of rotation for the planets of the solar system.

Joel is right that you can choose any frame as your reference frame. So you *can* consider the earth to be stationary. It's just that since the earth and all the planets rotate about the sun it's more natural to consider the sun (the barycentre) as the centre of rotation for the solar system. So the earth, as one of the planets, rotates about that.

Now if you take a theological view, the fact that life is teeming on earth cf the rest of the solar system, it is understandable that God views the earth as more important, since life is here on the earth.

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