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Messages - lapwing

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I assumed I was talking to a Protestant who ate, drank and went skiing with scripture
This leads to "knowledge puffs up". Better to be obedient than a know-all (Jn 7:17)

As for the rest of your post what you say makes no change to the fact that the Bible does not say that Jesus took part in the festival or even if this has much relevance.

If Jesus was in the Temple on the Feast of The Dedication of the Temple, He was taking part, it's inescapable.
Only inescapable because you want it to be so. The Bible is silent on the matter and you are making an assumption.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Biblical Inerrancy
« on: December 26, 2013, 08:02:53 AM »
I've never found out what is meant by "grave consequences" here. You would think they would have had an idea at the time of what this actually means.
I'm sure they did. I can think of one consequence that is very relevant today.

How wrong does one have to be before the Jesus believed in is no longer the one that brings salvation.  I don't' know the answer, but scripture tells us that many people who call themselves Christians may be in the "Begone, I never knew you" group.

Hi KeithS,

Thanks for the response. Yes, although it says belief in inerrancy does not necessarily affect salvation this may have been their intent. I just wondered if there was any background commentary to the Chicago Statement.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 25, 2013, 06:26:13 PM »
Hello Gordy,

I see you're still not bothering to address me as a person. It comes across as cold and unfriendly.

You wrote that the Church Fathers and leaders of the church in the first few centuries " wanted to protect their position and livelihood ".
Note that this relates to your statements along the lines of:

The Catholic Church is the divinely established, infallibly guided church founded by Christ on Peter. Not the thousands of traditions of men founded on mens conflicted private interpretations of scripture 1500 years later.

and you have quoted the Church Fathers and other leading clerics of the day to seek to establish the connection between the Apostle Peter and the succession of popes and to use Mt 16:18 to back up your case. So it is only this aspect of what the church fathers said or did that I'm discussing in response to the assertions you have made. I'm not commenting on their general piety. King David did some pretty unscrupulous things to get to the top as did Solomon yet they were also commended by God (though Solomon descended into a degree of depravity later in life).

Actually, Bishop Cyprian of Carthage is a good example. He was involved in the Novatian dispute which was caused by widespread persecution. Cyprian fled Carthage during the Decian persecution to avoid persecution if he refused to sacrifice to the emperor but severely censured those who had buckled and sacrificed from a safe distance. Cyprian softened his stance on return but the more hard-line presbyter in Rome, Novatian, elected a rival bp of Carthage called Maximus. Novatian had also opposed Cyprian's ally, Cornelius as bp of Rome. Cornelius had alleged Novatian was possessed by Satan! The Novatianists had set up a kind of parallel church including baptising people and the question of the validity of these baptisms arose. A later bp of Rome, Stephen, took a more conciliatory line about Novatian baptism and a row broke out between Stephen and Cyprian: Stephen called Cyprian Antichrist. In order to clinch his case Stephen made the first recorded appeal to Mt 16:18 as a claim to Rome's supremacy (not the first appeal to that verse generally) to settle the matter.

So this is why I say that this was a matter of self interest. Rome sought supremacy over its rivals like Carthage, Antioch and Alexandria so that it could get its way. So there was every reason to manufacture or at least not examine critically the tradition that Peter had been martyred at Rome: it suited Rome's bid for power and supremacy.

The "Swiss guards" are a symbol of the extravagant expense incurred to support the RCC machine in the Vatican but there are many Christian leaders and places that exist without this kind of protection. Wouldn't the Swiss guards be better employed protecting Christian churches in Egypt, Syria, Iraq etc where we know there is an actual constant danger of violence.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The origins of Yahweh: a Canaanite war deity?
« on: December 25, 2013, 01:28:45 PM »
Hi ericbwonder,

I'll work with what you've given me but I hope you won't mind me saying that Psalm 29 and the el-epithets of Genesis is only a small part of the Hebrew Bible.

Psalm 29
There is nothing in the Psalm that contravenes the idea of a God who created and maintains the universe (it relates to Ps 19). If you take the model from Elijah at Carmel that Baal does not actually exist and what Baal was supposed to command (lightning from heaven and later rain for crops) was trivial for Yahweh. So even given that this Psalm may have been adapted from a Canaanite original - uncertainly based on the use of northern place names in v6 - it can still be read as a polemic against Baal: Carmel in words.

So if we postulate that Baal etc. do not exist that would mean that the Canaanite view of Baal came only from  the Canaanites, and so is bound to reflect their concerns. This doesn't preclude a Yahweh that exists since He also would be concerned with what concerns an agrarian community i.e. very similar concerns.

History Psalm like 105, 106, 136 explicitly states that it was Yahweh who led the people of Israel from Egypt through the wilderness to Canaan and it was only later that they "yoked themselves to Baal". It's clear in 136 that Yahweh=Elohim=Adonai are different names used for God. The Bible, of course, refers to "gods" since "gods" were worshipped by the other nations.


With whom, then, will you compare God? To what image will you liken him?
As for an idol, a metalworker casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold and fashions silver chains for it.
A person too poor to present such an offering selects wood that will not rot; they look for a skilled worker to set up an idol that will not topple.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 25, 2013, 04:33:30 AM »

By "RCC hierarchy" I meant the RCC of modern times: there weren't any "Swiss guards" in Cyprian's day so I was obviously not talking specifically about the church fathers apart from when I used the phrase "church fathers". How do the elaborate uniforms of the Swiss guards further the gospel? I've put in a paragraph to clarify this.

No response from you on the "key of David".

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The origins of Yahweh: a Canaanite war deity?
« on: December 24, 2013, 05:15:59 PM »

I agree with JohnBee if you're going to make a case you need to back it up with Scriptural references. So far all we have is Ps 29.

I believe textual critics as well as translators are involved in Bible translation. They use ancient mss in the original languages.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Kierkegaard and the Incarnation
« on: December 24, 2013, 05:06:28 PM »
Hi idunno,

I've been trying to arrange a Youtube debate between Aquinas and Kierkegaard but without success: sadly they can't make it in the terrestrial sphere.

I think I'll leave the Hegel question for now. The same Coursera lecturer was asked about running a Coursera Hegel course though there is plenty of online info on him.

Thanks for your interest and happy Christmas to you and your family.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Biblical Inerrancy
« on: December 24, 2013, 02:37:59 PM »
I've never found out what is meant by "grave consequences" here. You would think they would have had an idea at the time of what this actually means.

Choose Your Own Topic / Kierkegaard and the Incarnation
« on: December 24, 2013, 02:31:37 PM »
Let's remember that according to Christianity, the baby in the manger is now the cosmic Christ: through whom the universe was created and by whom it is maintained.

I found this brilliant quote on Kierkegaard's views. Right on and put so much more clearly than I could do it:

In one of Kierkegaard's more famous works, The Philosophical Fragments, it is suggested that the doctrine of the Incarnation is indeed the ultimate paradox: How can it make sense that God became man? But Kierkegaard wrote this work under the pseudonym of Johannes Climacus. Johannes Climacus does not claim to be a Christian, but he is at odds with the philosophy of Hegel, who sees faith as a stepping-stone to the ultimacy of reason. Climacus is intent on demonstrating that, if Hegel is right, then Christianity is completely wrong. But, if Hegel is wrong, then it is possible to understand that doctrines such as the Incarnation reveal the logical superiority of Christian faith.

Climacus begins by asking if the truth can be learned. He therefore questions what kind of teacher would be capable of bringing the truth to human beings who do not know the truth. Since all people are created by God, it must have been God who made it possible for human beings to know the truth. But since people don't know the truth, then only a divine being could teach human beings the truth. And what is it that prevents people from knowing the truth? It is sin. And since the teacher must bring people out of this sinful condition in order for them to understand truth, this teacher should also be seen as a savior, a deliverer. But, to be a savior for humans, this divine being must also become human as well, which is illogical to those who have not received the truth. All this is to suggest, however, that the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation is perfectly consistent for the person of faith.

Yet, since Climacus is writing in response to the philosophy of Hegel, he points out that God becoming a man is absurd, a paradox beyond human comprehension. For this reason many readers assume that Kierkegaard himself thought that the Incarnation was absurd, when in fact he was emphasizing that mere human reason was insufficient to be a Christian. For Kierkegaard, biblical faith takes us beyond what human reason can possibly conceive.

Of course, not everyone will agree with Kierkegaard but I believe this quote describes his view accurately.


I assumed I was talking to a Protestant who ate, drank and went skiing with scripture
This leads to "knowledge puffs up". Better to be obedient than a know-all (Jn 7:17)

As for the rest of your post what you say makes no change to the fact that the Bible does not say that Jesus took part in the festival or even if this has much relevance.

Hi bskeptic,

I agree my point about the Greek poet doesn't "answer" the point about Enoch in Jude though I think it does bear on the issue i.e. what the NT writers felt they could or could not quote. I'll try to find time to give a fuller reply at a later time.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 24, 2013, 01:59:35 PM »

It's normal practice if you are quoting different people within a post or series of posts to label the quotes with the person's name - at least the first post in a sequence. You're responding to people not just words. I hope you won't go down the sad route of trying to find an example where I haven't done this - this is an absolute not relative point. Do you have the courage to respond positively to what I've just said I wonder? Note I have addressed this post to you only - so all the quotes are yours unless otherwise stated.

Church Fathers
This continual reference to the church fathers or leaders of the church in the first few centuries doesn't establish anything except that they wanted to protect their position and livelihood. They don't have apostolic authority or at least you haven't established that they do.

What a stark comparison there is between the pomp and wealth of the RCC and the NT church. Rather than losing their lives for Christ's sake the RCC hierarchy love their lives at the expense of those who donate. The message that you cannot serve God and money has been turned on its head: serving God means serving money for the RCC. Of course, there are other denominations that are guilty of this but it's hard to see how Swiss guards further the gospel.

Apostolic Tradition handed down to us
You still haven't established that this happened or how it happened. All you have are biased assertions long after Peter's death.

Church is called Catholic because it honestly holds the whole truth,
Any church=denomination can call itself "catholic" or "universal" or "orthodox" - this doesn't make it so.

The Catholic Church pre dates the Bible ... it created the Bible.
The first part is being economical with the truth. The second part is a falsehood. Bible=set of books and the books of the Bible were written before there was a recognisable Roman Church with wider authority than Rome. The "creating" was done by God who inspired the biblical authors. You have given a clear example of how the RCC wants to replace God with itself - in fact it seems to me from what you write that the RCC secretly wants to do away with God. You may not be typical of all catholics in this I hope.


I wondered when you would get round to this. Of course, there's no mention of him in the NT so what you say is wishful thinking and make believe - "creating" the Bible in your own image if you like when it doesn't say what you want. His predecessor, Shebna, wasn't a good example was he? He was thrown out to die by God for building an expensive pretentious tomb monument for himself - ah there is a parallel! Fortunate for the pope that this is the age of grace even if he doesn't fully believe in grace. There's nothing to indicate any sequence of stewards after Eliakim so this is just RCC make-believe.

However, the phrase "key of David" is significant. It is taken up in the NT not in Mt 16 but explicitly in Rev 3:7

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open

As you can see this passage refers specifically to the passage in Isaiah 22. The one who is "holy and true" is not Peter but the Lord Jesus Christ. You have given another example where the RCC seeks to replace God with itself. Now do you understand why the Reformation was needed: the RCC had (in its own mind) replaced Jesus with the pope as head of the church.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The origins of Yahweh: a Canaanite war deity?
« on: December 23, 2013, 06:01:52 PM »
Quote from: ericbwonder
Scholarship has moved far beyond this kind of evangelical holdout assumption. My statement is true in the relevant sense.
You said it was not disputed without any provisos. Your statement was therefore false.

Yes, they all use the MT, not a critically reconstructed ecclectic text. That's a tradition. It has nothing to do with whether or not the MT is original. Seriously? Are you this naive?
So you do think you're better than the translators of those versions. Why don't you produce your own and try to sell it.

Even the Yhwh-alone literature of the HB supports the theory that Israelite religion grew out of Canaanite religion.
Evidence? NB: A few isolated obscure verses is not going to make a solid case.

God's existence has nothing to do with this matter
God's existence has nothing to do with whether the Bible is inspired! Hmm!

The rest will have to wait as I'm on GMT

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: The origins of Yahweh: a Canaanite war deity?
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:36:05 PM »
Quote from: ericbwonder
In it's final form, no this isn't disputed.
According to J S Wright who was principle of Tyndale Hall and canon of Bristol Cathedral:
"If we allow for a few later footnotes added by copyists up to the time of the Monarchy ... there is nothing that need be dated after the time of Moses" in Genesis.
You may prefer to ignore this opinion, but doing so does not remove the falsity of your statement above.

The function of the Israelite pantheon is also Canaanite in character. The king of the gods with a host of subordinate deities: the sons of El, messenger deities, etc, referred to in the same categories and language in both traditions. Combine this with the material evidence for the Israelites developing with the land and culture of Canaan ....
Previous discussions on this topic have been restricted to a very few passages of scripture whose interpretation is again disputed. As has been said already, the Israelites did not remove the Canaanites completely in the conquest and there was some adoption of Canaanite religion. Some scholars have misunderstood this even though it is plainly taught in the Old Testament. There is a simple rule that you use the clear parts of scripture to help interpret that which is more obscure, not vice versa.

The Israelite Temple matches only Canaanite and Syrian temples between the period of the 15th-9th centuries bce. Its iconography and imagery is paralleled--every single individual feature of it--in contemporary Syro-Canaanite symbolism. Not to mention according to the biblical text, it was designed by a Phoenician architect. And you think all this is just a coincidence?
Please provide references.

Ok, it's not in the Masoretic text. So what? That's not how textual criticism proceeds.
NIV, NASB, KJV, Holman, God's Word Translation, Jubilee 2000, KJ2000, ASV, Douay, Darby, ERV, Websters, Youngs, World English Bible all use the MT text. Still they're not as expert in textual criticism as you are, are they?

Elijah wasn't showing other gods only existed in people's minds, just that before Yhwh, they were impotent.
At noon Elijah began to taunt them. "Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened."
You don't get the sarcasm do you!

Well, that's not a historical or exegetical argument.
Of course if you assume that God doesn't exist then it's not too surprising you end up concluding that God does not exist, is it.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Interpretation of the Bible .....
« on: December 23, 2013, 01:49:17 PM »
You still haven't established that the RCC=the church specified in the NT. Hence statements like "A Roman Catholic knows that the RCC is the pillar and foundation of the Truth" is not validated for this reason.

Look again at the unity between me and the Church Fathers and early Christians
The early Christians practised baptism by immersion of adults on profession of faith. The word they used for baptism was the same word used for the Jewish purification of converts - that was immersion. I've provided you previously with examples of serious disputes within the Church at the time of the Church Fathers

Why am I in doctrinal unity with 1.2 billion Catholics
No the Catholic doctrines are the same, everywhere I go is unity.
So you know what they all actually think and believe do you? Wow!
All you know is that they are in an authoritarian church that brooks no dissension and wants to prevent its members to "judge for themselves" despite the NT encouragement to do just that (judge for themselves) I have already cited.

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