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Messages - lapwing

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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.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: New Testament Canon
« on: February 13, 2013, 06:16:23 PM »
Hi Brian,
Thanks for your two posts: I learnt something.

This is a common misunderstanding.  There are 23 churches that make up the Catholic Church and are in full communion with each other.  The term "Roman Catholic" can cause confusion here, because it is sometimes used to refer to all the Churches in union with Rome, sometime it is used by people to mean the Latin Church, and sometime it's used pejoratively by protestants.
This is what I learnt so thanks. However, it leads to a problem. The ordinary word, catholic, means universal or all inclusive. So calling the set of 23 churches the Catholic Church amounts to a claim that there aren't any other (valid) churches. You never answered my question whether you believe that any Christians, outside the Catholic Church, will enter heaven. Given this I repeat the question.
"pejoratively by protestants" This betrays a certain degree of antagonism and unfriendly feeling against protestants i.e. people. There's a difference between saying "your doctrine is wrong" and "your behaviour is wrong". Your closing comment belongs to the latter.

which we call Tradition
The Catholic Catechism does not restrict "Tradition" to the Apostles of the New Testament.
Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching
I assume this means Popes down the ages.

Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."
  Again there is a claim of superiority and exclusiveness that has no basis in Scripture or God's nature.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek" Gal 3:28 (many versions). Paul was trying to get across that labels such as this do not define who is a Christian, rather it is faith (i.e. trust) in Christ. Are you trusting Christ for your salvation or are you trusting your Church? I recommend the former.

Obviously, what that act of building is meant to be a temporary project with the result being permanent.
There's a building phase and an occupation phase in any building project. You're right that Jesus built His Church on the rock that was Peter. This is recorded in the early chapters of Acts. To say that the Popes are also being built on goes against the meaning of the word build and the fact that Jesus was talking to Peter with no indication of any succession.

I'm glad you quoted your Protestant Bible commentator
This comes across as adversarial. Apparently he's not as biased as the typical "protestant" commentator would be according to your way of thinking. If you were to quote a catholic commentator I would evaluate what (s)he said, not label her/him up front as biased.

I could say that, given what happened to Shebna, this might not be a model to pursue too far. Benedict might not have been able to enjoy such a quiet departure depending on God's judgment of him. Shebna was violently rejected by God for trying to obtain a grave among the kings of Israel, so this was not a normal succession as per Popes in the Catholic Church. The only other use of the Hebrew for "steward" in Is 22:15 is of the Shunammite girl who kept the aged David warm at night (1 Ki 1:2-4). I don't see any idea of natural succession there either.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: New Testament Canon
« on: February 13, 2013, 05:04:32 PM »
Hi Fred,
Thankyou for your input. All quotes are from the Catholic Catechism unless otherwise stated.

It says, "the Church," which it regards as the Universal Church.
In normal usage Church=universal Church; church=inidividual fellowship or building; <Denomination name> Church is the name of a particular denomination.

This is not the case in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
"The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the community of faith, hope, and charity, as a visible organization through which he communicates truth and grace to all men."The Church is at the same time:
- a "society structured with hierarchical organs and the mystical body of Christ;
- the visible society and the spiritual community;
- the earthly Church and the Church endowed with heavenly riches."

I read this as saying that the visible Catholic Church and the "spiritual community" are considered to be two sides of the same coin. So although the spiritual Church of the Catechism is spiritual in the same way as the Universal Church as other denominations understand it, it does not correspond exactly. I see no evidence here that the spiritual Church of the Catechism includes non Catholics. In the Catechism Church can mean the visible Catholic Church.

The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Saviour, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it.... This Church, constituted and organized as a society  in the present world, subsists in  the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him

That definition clearly states that there is only one Church of Christ which does not include any Protestants.

The point is that tradition was an essential component in determining the Canon.
I responded to this point earlier in #13:

There's a big difference between the early church forming the canon of the NT using the consensus in the church and the intrinsic nature of the books for the use of Christians down the ages AND

no one, relying on his own skill, shall,--in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, --wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy mother Church,--whose it is to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures,--hath held and doth hold,"
Trent, Session 4, "Decree Concerning the Edition, and the Use, of the Sacred Books.

It is clear from the Bible that individual believers should not be denied the right to form their own views from the Bible e.g. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. Rom 14:5b NIV. People like William Tyndale gave their lives for this - are you saying they were wrong.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Homosexuality
« on: February 13, 2013, 04:05:37 PM »
Ex 21:10ff is case law. Each stipulation begins with "if". These are not commandments like the 10 commandments.

2 Sam 12:8 is about inheritance not marriage. depthcharge's point about this being description not presription applies. His question

does God ever actually command men to have multiple wives, or praise then specifically for having multiple wives?  I think the answer is obviously "no," but if you can find verses where God praises them for having multiple wives, or commanding them to take multiple wives, I could be persuaded.
still stands. You haven't done this yet. Do you understand the difference between prescription and description? Your last post indicates that you don't.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Homosexuality
« on: February 13, 2013, 03:48:35 PM »
Amen brother depthcharge623: you said it so much better than I could.

"As is wearing clothes of mixed fabrics, or women teaching. Yet somehow you don't take those rules as binding... " and I've already explained why with proper exegesis and hermeneutics.

Remember homosexuality is associated in the same list as "murderer, thief, swindler, someone who hits their parents, liar or perjurer". So to argue that homosexuality is ok is to argue that these are ok as well. Or to reject the authority of the Bible.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: What does the Biblical Inspiration mean?
« on: February 13, 2013, 04:19:59 AM »
Hi Waytruthlight,

The biblical canon, progressive revelation, denominationalism, apparent biblical contradictions, OT "massacres", literalism, penal substitutionary theory, functional Marcionism. Forgive me if I don't respond fully to all these issues.  ::)

How many of these denominations reject the inspiration and authority of parts of the Bible to the same extent you do?

Issues about the biblical canon and Luther's views are well worn paths. You can start a thread or contribute to one of the existing threads. The same applies to penal substitutionary theory which was the subject of an extensive thread recently.

To read scripture prayerfully and with the Love of God in one's heart as much as one can be still and present to the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit - that increases the ability to discern God's real words in the bible
I agree that prayer and the Holy Spirit are vital in listening to God through reading the Bible. Btw "Bible" should always be capitalised and why have you capitalised "Love" and "Presence" here?

Jeremiah 7:22-23
It would be helpful if you supplied the version you used when quoting the Bible. This is using hyperbolic language. The OT Israelites knew full well that sacrifices had been commanded at Sinai but in Jeremiah's time they had not fulfilled other aspects of the Law of Moses. This parallel passage from Amos is helpful:

“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:21-24 NIV

God tells Jeremiah that the laws of Moses are not His laws
This is a short sighted way of interpreting this passage in Jeremiah, especially in the light of the Bible as a whole.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Mt 5:18 NIV
It is important to note that the Law of Moses was a covenant between God and the OT Israelites. So it does not apply to the Church in the same way - that covenant is the New Covenant. God did speak to Jeremiah about the coming New Covenant in Jer ch 31.

"we discard much of the difficult passages of the OT in practical everyday life,"
The command of God to make war on the Canaanites was limited to that particular time and place and so has no bearing on everyday practical life today.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Homosexuality
« on: February 13, 2013, 02:28:25 AM »
And I will fight to prevent you from imposing your bigotry on to the rest of the innocent population.
Sadly you don't realise that name calling has zero irenic content. Btw how many Christian theocracies are there? theocracy=a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god The Vatican - any others?

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: New Testament Canon
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:39:43 PM »
Hi Brian,

Thankyou for your thoughtful response.
From the Vatican Catechism:

In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church the apostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teaching authority."Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in the inspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."
This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it is distinct from Sacred Scripture
, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "the Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes." "The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness to the life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in the practice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."
The Father's self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remains present and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with the Spouse of his beloved Son. and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospel rings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, and makes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."
Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."
"and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."
As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."

The points where I disagree are:
1. Defining the Church to be exclusively the Roman Catholic Church and identifying that with the spouse of Christ. I regard the Church (the bride of Christ) to be the body of all believers. Do Catholics think that they will be the only believers in heaven as this is the corollary of this doctrine?

2. Regarding the early church bishops as in apostolic succession. Afaik there is no scriptural justification for this.

3. Sharing authority between sacred scripture and tradition (i.e. the teaching authority of the alleged apostolic succession in the RCC) rather than giving primacy to sacred scripture.
So rather than prima ecclesia maybe the phrase I should use is aequa ecclesia.

Choose Your Own Topic / Re: Homosexuality
« on: February 12, 2013, 08:09:07 PM »
The biblical view is that marriage is between a man and a woman.

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’a 7‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,b 8and the two will become one flesh.’c So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
Mk 10:6-8 NIV

So arguments about children or loving relationships etc. are largely irrelevant. Marriage is a contractual relationship between a man and a woman.

Homosexuality i.e. the sex act between two men is described as a sin in the Bible.

Choose Your Own Topic / Islam is a broad mosque
« on: February 12, 2013, 05:11:13 PM »
In the past there has been fighting between Judah and Israel, Protestants and Catholics etc. However, Judaism and Christianity are peaceful compared to Islam in these days.

Like Christianity and Judaism, there are differing views and groups within Islam: Sunni, Shia, Sufi, Wahhabi etc. (not necessarily mutually exclusive)

There have been some interesting programmes on UK BBC radio 4 lately on Islam. There's no need to buy a licence to listen to the radio in the UK so I assume these programmes will be generally available outside the UK. If not please comment.

1. Development of Macca: a year to listen
It may surprise you to know that the world's tallest hotel is in Makkah. The Clock Tower which is part of the same complex is the world's largest clock tower. None of this would be all that important were it not for the fact that these building are metres away from the Grand Mosque which, for Muslims, is the world's holiest place. In order to create the space for this expansion, large residential districts have been demolished and the residents evicted; many examples of traditional urban architecture have been destroyed. What is behind this programme? Is it cultural vandalism? Or rampant capitalism? Or does it reflect a legitimate theological concern on the part of the Saudi authorities to prevent idolatry? Joining Ernie Rea to discuss the potential destruction of some of Islam's Holy Sites are Yaqub Zaki, Visiting Professor at the Aga Khan Foundation at Harvard University; Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Religious Studies at the University of Glasgow; and Irfan Al Alawi, Executive Director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation.

2. Islam without God a week to listen
Is it possible to have religion without God? Thirty years ago, Don Cupitt's Sea of Faith set out "Christian non-realism" - ethics without God - angering the Church and intriguing millions. Philosopher Alain de Botton has recently done the same. But is this just a concept for cynical post-Christians, or could it work for Muslims too?
Reports from the heartland of the Muslim-majority world suggest the ongoing political upheaval has led to a so-called "generation of atheists" - dissatisfied with political Islam and finding few willing to engage with their ideas of modernity.
Abdul-Rehman Malik, a faithful Muslim, isn't convinced: religion for today's Muslim is a complex set of overlapping values wrapped up in belief, culture and politics. |So he goes in search of Muslims at a crossroads of faith.
He meets campaigner Humera Khan who, despite her frustration with male-centred interpretations and out-of-touch religious institutions, thinks the best resistance comes from her faith. He also talks to critic Sara Wajid, a lover of Islamic art and literature, on her rejection of grand narratives and how she came to terms with her father's funeral - at a mosque. Malik walks London's East End with Alom Shaha, one of a new generation of ex-Muslims who have no desire to insult faith, but wish to give those who want to leave a way out. And the programme visits Cairo with Moez Masoud, an influential young preacher - comfortable with the Qur'an and Kant - who is unafraid to confront the doubts of his generation.
What Malik witnesses is a profound tension between belief and rejection - and the grey areas in between. It is a tension that will shape Islam and its place in the modern world.

3. Mali a year to listen
The history of Islam in Mali is a long one. The faith, brought by traders, was adopted slowly over the centuries until the French colonisers arrived, after which its spread was accelerated. The recent conflict in Mali has been portrayed as a struggle between a home-grown "tolerant" Islam and an aggressive Wahabi influence from outside. How accurate is this picture? Ernie Rea is joined by journalist Celeste Hicks, academic Marie Rodet and the South African Sheik and academic Michael Mumisa

NB: The intention of this thread is to glean comments on these programmes on Islam: not comments about violence in religion.

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