I’ve begun reading more about Stanley Hauerwas in my attempts to find theologians who are influential and brilliant, yet challenge the status quo with their own lives and thinking. One thing I really appreciate about Hauerwas that he focuses on theology that is useful for communities of faith – he is writing practical theology whether he’d say that about himself or not. What he has to say about the formation of theology pertains, I think, to blogging and using wikis within the church.
In “The Hauerwas Reader” William Cavanaugh writes that we may be waiting a really long time for a seminal work by Hauerwas where he spells out his entire Christian theology. The reason is because Hauerwas believes that this kind of thinking presumes to know something the church itself doesn’t know. For Hauerwas, Theology and ethics take place within the local context of a given faith community and is always on the move. Because this is one of his main focuses (the church as its own polis) he typically spends his time writing short essays about specific ethical and pastoral issues, including medical ethics, interpretation of scripture, war, abortion, homosexuality, and the church in the political world.
What can be learned from Hauerwas at this point is that theology is not static, in fact, much of the harm and struggle our churches deal with today comes when we aggressively (and unnecessarily) cling old theologies that no longer work and don’t speak to our conditions today. Theology is just a science about God, as our world, language and culture change we learn new/different ways to talk about and understand God – fresh ways to express our faithfulness come with each new morning.
This is why I think its great to have people in their local faith communities writing theology as one who is participating in their local church. Wikis present an equally wonderful opportunity for people to participate together in writing from their particular situations, with their communities, and about issues that their groups face. I hope to see a rise in church blogs and wikis where the entire community is encouraged to participate together in the life of thinking about issues that face us as people of faith.
technorati tags:theological blogging, local ethics, stanley hauerwas
59 responses to “Why Theology Should Be Written On Blogs and Wikis”
What, as a Born Again believer am I supposed to learn from your post?
I am going to be blunt, as I know no other way – Theology is man made intellectual bunk!! In a word – vanity!
Theology goes hand in hand with religion, something The Lord Jesus Christ will wipe from the face of the earth when He returns to rule.
Sir – I am sorry you see it this way and unfortunately what you’ve stated there is a theological statement. Your claim is an interpretation you’ve arrived at via studying God and the Bible – i.e. doing theology. And on top of this you’ve applied your theology to another interpretive point about what you believe Jesus will do when he returns – in other words you’ve just done more theology.
Also – I might point out that your theological position about not being theological, is not only not possible (you’ve proved this yourself), it doesn’t help us make sense of anything.
Advocating some kind of anti-thinking faith leads the church into blindness, deafness and a backwards-world so far removed from the rest of the people on the earth that we can have no witness at all.
At least he called you
sir”. But I did not like the tone implied.
I appreciated the thoughtful way in which you expressed your comments. One of the questions I have is in regards to this statement of yours:
I think perhaps that the word “theology” is the wrong term to use here to describe the way churches become paralyzed by adherence to “old” ideas. Also, I do not think that theology is “static” as much as our expression of it needs to be constantly evolving and updating in order to successfully engage the world around us. That is the true goal of the theologian as I see it: finding new ways to express timeless truth.
Anyways, these are just some random thoughts.
Bianchi, hey its good to see you back on here it looked like you’ve been gone for awhile. Anyways I understand and agree where you are going. I am okay using the word “theology” as I have because I am breaking down the difference between a belief or as you say “timeless truth,” and dissecting or interpreting that belief.
In other words, let’s take the belief that YHWH loves us – this is a belief that goes all the way back to Genesis. That YHWH loves us is a “timeless truth” but how we speak about it, understand it, apply it, and do how we form our communities because of it all stem from our “theology.” I know you know what theology is, but the way I am speaking about is to say its a way of processing and contextualizing this belief or truth – do you agree with this definition? I think you and I agree on this point, but I just want to clarify my position.
Secondly – when I say “old theologies” this is what I really mean. For example, (I realize this could get me in trouble but just take it for what it’s worth) Anselm’s substitutionary atonement theory, it’s based on understanding God in a feudal system because Anslem lived during a feudal time. While I don’t think there is anything wrong with someone believing in the substitutionary theory, I do think it doesn’t quite help us who live in the 21st Century get at understanding the “Christ Event.” The substitutionary theory is a dated theology, I think the church is better off updating its language and way of understanding Christ’s work on the Cross. So this is an example of an “old theology” – there are other’s as well, but you get my point.
I am not sorry, I am glad that one day all Bible intellectuals will be given something useful to do. Once they have repented.
The Truth is not theology. Theology is is man made and therefore vain and meaningless. You call it theology because it’s your way of saying you don’t understand God and therefore spend hours in studying but you will never understand.
True believers KNOW God through a personal relationship with Him and do not need theology. The Truth is Spiritually discerned not academically deduced. Theologians look at the Bible as a text book and that is how they make The Word of God useless.
The Pharisees and Scribes were Scriptual intellectuals of their day. Assorted ‘i’
dotters ‘t’ crossers and gnat strainers but never coming to a knowledge of The Truth. Roman Catholicism and Protestantism is full of them.
I asked you a simple question in my first post which you could not even answer – why? I will tell you why, because it was simple and ‘simple’ is not a word that registers with theologians. 2 Cor 11:3 The simplicity that is in Christ – a scripture theologians ignore because it too simple for them.
It’s difficult to not find this offensive.
Personally I think I can handle it, I wouldn’t call myself much of a theologian but for some of the great warriors of Christ out there, (past and present) to right them off as making “the Word of God useless” shows an embarrassing naivety. How can you read some of the work of the likes of Lewis, Willard, Spurgeon, Wesley, Calvin; to name but a few, and then right them off in such a way.
I for one have been profoundly impacted by the insights of such greats. So I guess their work was not totally fruitless.
Sorry, rant over.
The point of my post.
I agree that our theology needs to be developing. Not to change the timeless truths but, as has been said, to find the applications in our own situations.
One other trap I believe that it is easy to fall into, especially if you are in a leadership role, is to rely on borrowed theology.
As I’ve said, I am a patron of some of the greats (in my opinion) and this has been of real benefit to me in my relationship with Christ as well as my ministry but a great deal of damage can be done if we rely on conclusions of others, however correct they may be, but do not dive in and work through the process ourselves.
Borrowing theology can make us look all theological but ultimately can cause us serious problems.
I’d be interested in your thoughts.
@yes2truth – The Apostle Paul, and for that matter every Gospel writer, was a theologian. Paul specifically studied and therefore was trained and learned how to write and think under one of the greatest rabbis of his day, Gamaliel.
In other words – he studied with and himself became a trained theologian – and God used his training in thinking and writing to birth the New Testament. Isn’t it odd that God who could use any person choose to have Paul, a theologian, to write such a large part of the New Testament? If theology is so horrible, why didn’t he have a donkey write the letters? That certainly would have helped your point much better. In fact even God can use and work through theologians – that’s how big God is.
@Rob – I am interested in hearing an example or two about “borrowing theology.” I think on the one hand we always borrow something of the theology before, and anyone who has a completely original idea or theology about God is thoroughly questioned, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Secondly I benefit from borrowing the theology of Quakers, Mennonites, and people such as Stanely Hauerwas and those you’ve named – I try to absorb their teaching, learn and grow from it and reform a thinking about God accordingly.
Does this fit into what you are saying?
Wess, et al.:
Wess – I think you are on to something with your ideas about theology on blogs and wikis. I have made similar claims about the theological interpretation of scripture. I use the broader language of web 2.0 to make points about how I think faith communities ought to read their sacred texts. The notions lying behind both your and my ideas seem to be communal, conversational and chronological. That is theology is the ongoing dialogue of a community of faith that began well before us and will continue well beyond us.
I recognize that the argument you are making in the post is probably the outworking of some ideas you’ve been kicking around. Keep kicking! If you were to explore some of the theological and philosophical notions involved, you would have the beginnings of a nice first academic paper as you begin the PhD program!
yes2truth – I too am going to be blunt, as I too know no other way – You are doing theology (word/ideas about God) and it is overly naive!! You seemed put off that your “simple” question was not answered and you claim theologians could not understand it because it was simple. The question was indeed simple, and yet I understood it even though I liken myself as a theologian of sorts. The problem is that it is a question whose answer seems obvious. You ask what you are to learn from Wess’s post. Read the post; it does not purport to have a lesson to teach. It rather suggests a way of doing theology; a way you may not agree with and certainly would not subscribe to, but it is not making a claim about something you should learn. Wess is not obliged to teach you something with everyone of his posts. He is practicing the sort of theological dialogue he suggests–conversational and communal. If you learn anything, it will be up to you. Don’t put the onus on Wess.
I will not even attempt to engage your annihilistic views about theology and religion. If I did, I fear we might actually have a conversation (vitriolic though it may become!), and a conversation about religion, God and such, might begin to look like theology.
Wess and Bianchi – Might I suggest that “how we speak about it, understand it, apply it, and how we form our communities” does not “stem from our ‘theology’”; it IS our theology? Theology is not “timeless truth” – on that yes2truth is partially right. Theology is understanding, speaking about, forming, etc. I think I hear you saying this. I just needed it to be “simply” put. I am a weird theologian that way. 😉
Rob – I hear what you are saying, but I am convinced that there is no theology but borrowed theology. Whether we derive/borrow our theologies from sacred texts, learned forebearers, or active communities, they come from somewhere. I think it is more what we do with that borrowed theology. Do we take it at face value or do we test it, probe it, and do an all-around Berean examination of it? I suggest the latter and then I suggest we throw our two cents into the ongoing conversation. That’s theology!
Sorry for not being completely clear. I think we are on the same page, or at least in the same chapter 🙂
I’m not sure that there are no new ideas (the certainly are very few) but I do agree that our theology is pretty much all borrowed.
This is itself is not bad. In fact I would say it is very positive, many churches have lost their way because they are so consumed by what God might be saying now that they forget what He has already said. I would imagine He gets pretty sick of repeating himself every other generation 🙂
The danger that comes with this is that we accept conclusions without understanding why. This in a sense is attempting to gain the fruit without the labors. When I used the term borrowed theology I guess I really meant borrowed conclusions. The nature of theology is that, to a lesser or greater extent, it is organic. This means that it will be challenged and our thoughts may change. Indeed we should be open to this. If we do not know why we thought that way in the first place we can end up with a very messed up collection of thoughts.
Am I making any sense?
Reading this I find myself wanting a more concrete definition of “theology.” The post seems to connect theology with systematics, while subsequent comments seem to equate it with any interpretation or theorizing about biblical texts. The Roman Catholic definition of theology is someone’s personal thinking about God and therefore others aren’t obliged to believe in it, as opposed to dogma and doctrine which are binding on larger communities. (That seems to be vaguely the definition that yes2truth is using, though obviously s/he’s not Roman Catholic.) Maybe it would be helpful to define the term, before debating how to do it.
I left a comment here last night that may have been vaporized, but looking at the thread again in the light of day I see that part of it has already been addressed, so maybe that’s for the best.
However, I do want to reiterate something from the earlier comment, namely the Roman Catholic distinction between “theology” as someone’s personal thinking about God, and “dogma” and “doctrine” as beliefs that are binding upon larger communities of people. (There’s a fuller explanation of that here.) I think that all kinds of trouble arise from lumping them together, and pusing people into extremes of either brooking no disagreement or treating everything as relative. The distinction already seems to have been made in distinguishing theology from “timeless truth,” but I’m wondering how, in a congregationalist polity like most of us seem to be in, we know one from the other. In other words, are communal discussions like this supposed to extrapolate from timeless truth, or to arrive at them? Or both?
By the way, in regard to substitutionary atonement, I read a book last year that argued that it is actually quite relevant to today, but only in a small-town environment with a culture of personal reciprocity (I blogged it here.) I think if people seem to be clinging to something outdated it might actually be saying that some things aren’t as outdated as they appear.
Camassia, I am sorry about your other comment it was caught in the spam filter for some reason. I’ve freed it and hopefully now it will appear.
I do agree that there is to be some distinctions made between dogma and doctrine – but as a Quaker the word Dogma worries me a bit. There are beliefs that are non-negotiable no doubt but I think there are few of them. And even when we come to a non-negotiable belief such as “Jesus saves us through his life and work on the cross” we realize that this is a pointless statement without the narratives of the Scripture (theology and doctrine) how the church has understood this, the doctrines that have been extrapolated over time and the multiple revisions to how this has been interpreted in each and every culture.
So what I am saying is that there are these “timeless truths” as Kevin said, but how we see them, talk about them, and understand them continue to change. Its true even in my own life – let alone the life of the church. The way I understand the work of Christ now, compared to when I was 14 has changed – the fact that Jesus does save hasn’t changed.
Finally what you said about the theology of a community,
Is right on! I think its both – and I do believe in one way or another this was the point of Chris’ comment as well.
This is similar to Quaker testimonies – things that the community believe to be true now from the way they have witnessed the Spirit working in their midst.
To Rob Borley,
It’s not a matter of ‘handling it’ just understanding it.
If you find it offensive then there must be something wrong with your understanding, for Jesus Christ was often offensive to certain groups of people. All I have done is told you The Truth and here are the Scriptures to support what I said: Mark 7:13 & 2 Tim 3:7 The first scripture deals with the vanity of religion and the keeping of men’s traditions – Sunday Sabbath keeping, Christmas, Easter etc.etc. Thereby making the Word of God to none effect – useless.
Then in 2 Tim 3:7 we have the theologians other problem – ever learning but never able to come to a knowledge of The Truth.
The other thing you must understand is that religion is religion is religion and the Devil has dressed it up in all manner of ‘clothes’ including the Christian religion – the worst and most evil kind of religion there is. Ironically it is they who wear the fanciest clothes of the lot.
Back to your post: All the men you have mentioned are just men of religion, as far as I am concerned, and they mean nothing to me. Theology doesn’t need ‘devoloping’ it needs repenting of -or dumping in the garbge bin.
1 John 2:27 tells you plainly about all you need: “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
The indwelling of The Holy Spirit is all any man needs to understand God’s Word. If you haven’t got that Spirit then you will be better off putting the Holy Bible back on the shelf and leaving it there, for you will never understand it.
Ah yes ‘leadership roles’ Did you know that the first century church didn’t have leaders. It was egalitarian in make up. There were elders (older or mature members) and pastors (overseers). The Church is people – those called by The Father to His Son who when Born Again are Given The Holy Spirit. This indwelling makes us friends and brothers of Jesus Christ and sons of God. We are now Royal Priests – who ever heard of a Royal Priest being led or told what to do by a man or worse a woman, as is the flavour of the month these days. The system of heirarchies or lording over or ruling of the brethren – The Nicolaitanes Revelation 3, is something The Lord hates.
To C Wess Daniels,
No Apostle was ever a theologian. Paul as Saul learnt The Law and how to be a ‘good’ Pharisee from Gamamiel; something that Paul repented of at the point of his calling and after his experience on the road to Damascus.
Paul was taught by Jesus Christ and no one else and God could have used a donkey to write the epistles if He had so wished. Didn’t a donkey talk somewhere in Scripture? Now there’s a theological topic for you.
God can only use repentant theologians i.e. those who acknowledge it is The Holy Spirit who teaches and not the intellect of men.
The intellect is like riches and in some societies has actually replaced money as the currency of those societies. The intellect puffs men up with pride in a far more subtle way than ‘in yer face’ affluence.
I am not saying that anyone here on this blog has that problem, only they can answer that.
I’m not really sure where to begin. And to be honest I’m not sure how constructive it will be. Are you suggesting that because somebody thinks about their faith then they are not in relationship with Jesus? I find this disturbing.
Also, your comments on leadership again show a lack of understanding. While titles may have been different (and often unnecessary) there was certainly leadership within the early church. Apart from anything else leadership, as Christ demonstrated, is about serving. Yes, some leaders have messed things up and not acted in the way their office may have required but I suggest that as the Bible makes it quite clear that leaders will be judged more harshly than others we leave that for God to sort out.
As a recognized leader in my local Christian community (albeit without a title) I apologies if you have been hurt by Christian leadership in the past. Please let me say again, leaders are in place in the church the serve!
Wess, I know that Quakers aren’t big on the idea of dogma, but IMO everybody has dogmas whether they call them that or not. I don’t know if you were there for the service last year when Jim B. delivered his Antichrist sermon. Basically he said that there isn’t just one Antichrist, it’s a term for anyone who represents himself as preaching Christ but is actually preaching falsehood. I don’t think Jim named any names, but in the sharing period afterward Kent (natch) starting going off about how President Bush was an Antichrist.
Now, the issue for me here isn’t whether Antichrists exist, because they must, or whether Bush is one of them, which I will put aside for the moment. What I’m wondering is where we get the authority to determine such a thing. For Catholics it’s fairly simple: you know something is dogma because it was decided at the Council of Whatsit, so anyone who goes against it is anathema. In this case, it seemed to be coming from the fact that this was Kent’s opinion and nobody in the room argued with him. But is everybody in the room agreeing really how we define dogma, or “timeless truth”?
So I guess what I’m asking is how the sort of local church discussion you’re talking about works in with the views of other churches, and of other Christians of the past 2,000 years. It’s true enough to say that theology changes and adapts, but then when you do want to take a firm stand on something, like a war for instance, you need a bit more dogmatic oomph than you get from, “All 130 people at my church think this is true.” I imagine Bush could say the same thing.
This is a bit rambly, but do you see what I’m getting at here?
Camassia, yes I see what you’re saying and agree with you. I am not opposed to a limited amout of dogma’s and agree that the only way to arrive at a dogma is through the history of the church/and or tradition.
It really is a both/and IMO. What matter’s primarily is that the 130 people of my local church are faithful to the Holy Spirit of God, and that we minister to our world accordingly – this is putting theoogy in praxis but we don’t start over with theology every time we move to a different church or plant a new one.
In this sense we are always borrowing from church history, even “YES” is borrowing from his anti-intellectual church history which has been a theological response for quite a while.
So when I suggest that we “write theology on blogs and wikis” I simply mean we work it out – we make sense of all that church history and theology that has gone before us.
Imagine if we had more people blogging about Jim’s sermon, the antichrist and Kent’s comment – we as a community of followers of Christ could work out from our local position a theology about this, instead of assuming that everyone does agree because no one spoke up, we could engage a real-time theology of Bush and the Anti-Christ.
And what an interesting blog post that would make!
I enthralled by the comments that are going forth from all of this. It appears interesting that so many different views can cause such a debate. I’m under the impression that theology is pretty non-negotaiable and is just that the “science of God.” I think we too often take verses and scriptures out of context just to say fit them into our daily routine. That’s a charismatic dogma that I would rather not participate in.
To Rob Borley,
What do you mean: “thinking about ‘your’ faith”?
Is this all part of ‘your theology’ for I find it confusing to say the least?
To Rob Borley,
On leadership: Shepherds protect their flocks from ravening wolves, they don’t teach their sheep how to eat grass!!
The problem here is that the ravening wolves are now in the pulpits teaching their non-gospel of salvation by works, or the bad news as I call it.
Born Again true believers do not need leaders. Jesus Christ is their leader and no one else.
To all of you,
Quakers are just another demon-ination or division – something The Lord Jesus Christ commanded there not to be. “Let there be no divisions among you”
Another command “Be ye likeminded” and do not debate.
I am glad you are enthralled, will that lead to repentance.
I concordanced ‘dogma’ and I could not find it so perhaps you could explain its usefulness.
[…] A couple days back I wrote a short entry on the fact that theology is always on the move, and must be adjusted to the times in order that it makes sense of larger more agreed upon truths within our local contexts. Because of this I think it would be helpful to “write theology on blogs and wikis” so that we can invite everyday people to the conversation about God. […]
I have read your initial posts with a great deal of curiosoty and amusement. However, those initial feelings have quickly turned into sadness and disbelief at your continual refusal to engage anyone on this site in any meaningful way. It appears to me that you believe that God did not create your mind, or at least that God did not create it to be used in a substantive way. This is dissapointing. For someone who has a high view of scripture, you seem to have no reservations about adding to it and misquoting it under the weight of your own interpretations. Apparently you think that God has made you and your opinions infallible and has also given you the role of judge and jury to determine the salvation of others.
My suggestion to you, whether you take it or not is irrelevant to me, is to listen first, speak less, and ask God to open your heart and mind to the truth that he wants to teach you. Apparently you have created another paradigm for “unity” other than acceptance of Christ as savior.
Perhaps you would care to prove me wrong from Scripture rather than make meaningless intellectual remarks.
It would seem, not surprisingly, that you do not even understand the basics.
Jesus Christ instructed his disciples (men not even Born Again) to go out and preach the Word, if received then stay with those who received it, if not then kick the dust off their shoes and move on.
Jesus Christ said “And woe to those who do not receive it”
Now Kevin are you going to receive it, or just mock me with your smug, intellectual, non-descript comments.
It is amazing to me that you expect me to obey your words as if they are the very words of Christ. Just because you can quote (though I might add that they are often out of context and supplemented with your own words) scripture does not mean that you are preaching the Gospel message. Anyone can quote scripture, even Satan quoted scripture to Christ in order to try and lead Him astray. Therefore, whether I accept your words is irrelevant to my spiritual life and my relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now, I would like to continue having a meaningful dialogue with you, but you make that impossible when you demand conformity to your every word and blindly assume that because I may disagree with you that I need to repent. I find your lack of humility in regards to other believers and their conversations very distant from the Gospel message.
Everyone of us (even smug intellectuals–as you labeled me) has more to learn than we can ever possible know, or claim to know at the present time. That is why we as believers share with one another in hopes of encouraging each other and promoting more dependence on God’s intervention in our lives.
I know that it can be a long and precarious fall from the “soap box”, but it issomething we all must experience at some point. If truth be told, God is the one who pushes us off of it, if we are open enough to let Him.
Interesting conversation here, not least because I’m struck by how much Y2T sounds a lot like George Fox in his arguments.
I remember in college being entirely uninterested in taking a systematic theology class, for much the same reasons Y2T argues. Only I was doing a lot of reading then. I read Scripture and other great Christian leaders. It was a bit of a surprise to me when I got to seminary and started taking theology classes I had a surprisingly good grasp on the conversation. In rejecting the topic of theology I still was studying God, and Christ, and the Holy Spirit, and the Church… which surprisingly was all the theologians were talking about.
The problem here isn’t the topics, from what I can tell. It’s that everyone is using the same word, “theology”, but understands what this word means and represents entirely differently.
This makes the arguments go past each other. One side is using the term theology to mean “conversation about who God is” the other side is using theology to mean “the constructs developed by men to contain God”.
Paul put aside many of those artificial constructs, broke down the fence around the Law, and moved in the freedom of the Spirit after he was knocked off the horse, but he still kept talking about God, tapping into his new experiences and his understanding of God’s revelation through history.
Our theology cannot mandate who God is, that’s when it falls into error. However, it is our very theology which encourages us to go to Scripture and trust what it says. God speaks through Scripture. That is a theological statement. Jesus is God, and also man. That’s a theological statement.
Was Jesus just a guy who said nice things? That’s all we’re left with if we throw out theology.
Yet, at the same time theology has said many silly things, and accumulated theologies have pushed people away from God and separated us from the intimacy he calls us towards. Many people consider such things to be the totality of theology, seeing theology as being the exact same topic as philosophy.
Now, there might be an argument for throwing out the philosophical constructs thrown into the Christian faith, but if we throw out theology, in its comprehensive form that includes history, Scripture, thought, experience, reason, and inspiration, then we’re left agnostic.
I’m thinking Y2T does not want us to be agnostic, but instead wants us to re-emphasize those elements of revelation which should constitute our theology above all other things.
Only he doesn’t see this revelation as theology, even if it is, because he rejects so much of what has gone wrong and wants to embrace the work of the Holy Spirit who as the third person of the Trinity was given to all Christians at Pentecost to lead us into the fullness of truth found in Christ and the revelation of God which will continue throughout eternity.
I am not expecting you to obey me, I want you to obey Jesus Christ and repent of all your intellectual riches. Once you have obeyed to repentance, obedience is no longer required of Born Again true believers. For it is not necessary nor is it Biblical
You haven’t said a word as yet, but you do not need to, for your approach and attitude towards The Truth gives you away. I know what you are going to say before you even say it.
“Now, I would like to continue having a meaningful dialogue with you, but you make that impossible.”
You see, I don’t want ‘meaningful dialogue’ with someone who is not likeminded with me. If you’re not in agreement with Jesus Christ, then how can there be ‘meaningful dialogue’? That is what makes it impossible. I am telling you The Truth and The Truth is amusing you. Not a good start.
“I find your lack of humility in regards to other believers and their conversations very distant from the Gospel message.”
This is because you believe in a non-gospel, not The True Gospel. Your gospel is bad news, not The Good News so therefore it offends you to be told that you are believing a lie.
“Everyone of us (even smug intellectualsas you labeled me) has more to learn than we can ever possible know, or claim to know at the present time.”
Then you should show it in your attitude, but you don’t.
“That is why we as believers share with one another in hopes of encouraging each other and promoting more dependence on Gods intervention in our lives.”
If truly Born Again you would know God has already ‘intervened’ in your life by the indwelling of The Holy Spirit. He cannot become more involved than that. If you are searching for intervention then you cannot be Born Again. It’s a total contradiction in terms.
“I know that it can be a long and precarious fall from the soap box???, but it issomething we all must experience at some point.”
The only point at which I step down from the soap box as you call it, is when I know for sure that what I am saying is being rejected. I’ll only be pushed off it if The Lord desires it, not because any man desires it. If I speak The Truth He will not desire it – period.
“If truth be told, God is the one who pushes us off of it, if we are open enough to let Him.”
Being a stranger to the Truth it is not possible for you to make the statement “if the truth be told” which you then confirm by saying God pushes people of their soap boxes when they are speaking for Him – a nonsense.
Finally, I do not have to be “open enough to Him” (your meaningless religious jargon) for He already lives with me and in me through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
It’s time to repent and learn The Truth or are going to continue in Spiritual death, mummified in your theology and religion?
Interesting you should mention George Fox; I found a webpage recently that promotes his stuff and corrected this individual for using him.
I also asked him why he was using Fox when, if Born Again, he should have been speaking for The Lord himself not using a man who taught yet more error and is dead in his grave? Needless-to-say after three or four e-mails I eventually received no further replies.
You see, Patrick, modern day Pharisees are silenced as easily as they were in the first century by The Lord Jesus Christ.
Your post is long and not necessarily addressed to me, but I will pick up on a few points if I may.
First I will reinforce what I have already said: The Truth is not theology, The Truth is Jesus Christ. Theology is of Greece and is of men and is of the intellect – head knowledge not heart knowledge or Spiritual knowledge.
“Was Jesus just a guy who said nice things? Thats all were left with if we throw out theology”
Jesus Christ never said ‘nice’ things. He said simple things, tough and hard things and good rejoiceful things but never ‘nice’ things. If you assume He said anything else then you adding things that were never there.
Which brings me to the theologians favourite. Please show me how, without theology, you support the trinity doctrine? I will not have to tell you that the word ‘trinity’ does not appear in Holy Scripture, so from this evidence alone we know it is a man made invention.
Please don’t quote 1 John 5:7 because as a theologian you will know it was added by papist counterfeiters in the (vulgar) Vulgate translation.
Yes, let me get square with you – do you have any friends at all – because even the people who try to level with you, you attack. Stop and look what you’ve done, you are one person who stummbled into a community of readers and commentors and have from the outset displayed no hope, love, joy or patience…you haven’t displayed any of the “fruits of the Spirit” from the very first words that came out of your mouth.
And since you seem to think you’re the only one with the Holy Spirit and you have him to the fullest amount, leading to perfection, I would expect at least a little charity and love.
Those are the only qualities Paul tells us the Spirit employs – what do you have to say for yourself?
You don’t seem to be aware of the passage, even though you apparently have all understanding, so I will repeat it for you.
“Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will no inherit the kingdom of God.”
Yes – from the very first post you wrote you have display, enmity, anger, quarrling, factions, and carousing – for being someone who is “born again” why have you exhibited so many fleshly characteristics in attacking, ridiculing and being mean spirited to my friends?
Now lets read about what the Fruit of the Spirit is.
“By contrast, the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, reace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.”
You’ve shown none of these characteristics, let alone all of them here on my blog – this is a shame since you think you’re the only one among us who is born again.
I won’t cite the verses, the Holy Spirit can tell you where they are.
Secondly, I didn’t understand what you meant by “head knowledge” and “heart knowledge” I did a concordance search and didn’t find it anywhere. So what you were saying didn’t make a whole lot of sense under your own understanding.
I didn’t find this passage though that seems to work against you very position,
“Proverbs 15:14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.”
Finally – we know that you reject the teaching of the Trinity and that you’ve left the World Wide Church of God when it became more “maintstream.”
Let’s not go changing the subject to other matters until we hear you explain the rest of these questions that have been brought up to you.
To C Wess Daniels,
‘Nice’ try, but you won’t lay guilt on me.
Did Jesus Christ have any friends?
Did John the Baptist have any friends?
Did any of the Prophets have any friends?
Did King David have any friends?
Jesus Christ said “They hated me so they will hate you”
Paul had only a handful of people he could rely on and even some of them betrayed him. We have to take up our crosses and that has a cost, and ‘making friends’ can be one of them.
Mr Daniels, this is all very straight forward Christian understanding, if you are solely on a mission to make friends then there will be a cost and it will be at a cost to The Truth. It’s either ear tickling or The Truth – you have to make that decision and I can’t make it for you.
It’s the same with liberals in the church – Laodicea (Revelation 3) God is going to spew them out of His mouth unless they repent of their worldly behaviour and get with it. They are making a mockery of Jesus Christ and they insult Him on a daily basis.
Heart knowledge is the fact that The Law is now written on our hearts if we are Born Again. Only the indwelling of Holy Spirit can achieve this. If The Law is not written on our hearts it can then only be written in one place – our heads.
This is what makes a Bible intellectual a Bible intellectual and men of religion with all their rituals and fancy clothes and funny hats – men of religion.
This is why I call them modern day Pharisees for The Law was written in their heads too and they had all their rituals as well. All meaningless and all vanity.
The bottom line here is whether or not you are accepting The Truth, if not then say so and I will move on, for that is my mission. We are commanded not to debate and I knew your friends wanted to do that and that is not an option as it is endless and leads nowhere.
I have loved the people here on this blog by telling them the Truth. Jesus Christ was loving the Pharisees when He told them they were nests of vipers. All I have said is that theology is bunk and that seems to have upset some people. I said at the beginning I was going to be blunt and I make no apologies for that as that is me.
Proverbs are Old Covenant and must be read with great caution unless used properly to point to Christ. If Born Again we are given a discerning heart through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit. This is the only way we can have one.
“Lets not go changing the subject to other matters until we hear you explain the rest of these questions that have been brought up to you.”
What questions are these, I have only seen accusations?
I didn’t bring up the subject of the trinity, Patrick did.
will my understanding of theology bring about repentence yes2truth. Appears to be a redicoulous one sided thought. Is that your mission in this community? To bring about repetence?
All your theology will do is take you round in endless circles; as Scripture says “forever learning but never coming to a knowledge of The Truth”
As I said to Kevin, the intellect is like riches and like the the wealthy young man need to be given away or repented of. Now this is not a blanket command for all ‘Christians’ because not all ‘Christians’ have this problem. Worldly Hollywood luvvy duvvy yuk is biggest problem in the Church, along with reforming do-gooding liberals both political and religious and new age contaminations. All these things are a hangover from the disolute debauched 60’s and early 70’s when the end of the end times began and the Church became contaminated by them.
The wealthy young man of the gospels had a problem with his love of his wealth. This Scripture is mostly mistaught by ravening wolves applying it blanket fashion in a way that Jesus Christ was against all Christians being wealthy – a nonsense and a wickedness. We all have different weaknesses and the love of cleverness is one of them, as is the love of wealth. The Greeks of the first century were the lovers of cleverness in their day. All this amounts to is a reliance on self and not a reliance on Jesus Christ and The Father God to to enable us. All our confidence must be in them not in ourselves.
Scripture says that there is a “simplicity that is in Christ” Why? Easy, so that poorly educated people can understand it through the Holy Spirit. Nearly everthing that theologians write is intellectual clap trap. This is why The Lord said I will call the low and base things of this world to confound the haughty and the mighty. For the last shall be first and the first shall be last.
I do not know how much you rely on theology, but if you have anything in common with Mr Daniels opening post on “The Hauerwas Reader” I would have to come to the conclusion – quite a lot. So just give it up and ask God to show you The Truth in his Word.
Here is what The Lord says. 1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”
The Lord has spoken not me.
Since you have the Truth, can you tell us what it is? Don’t just say Jesus has the truth, I’m curious what your Good News consists of and how you would preach it.
Also, since this is clearly a place not willing to listen, why have you not shaken the dust off your feet yet, as Jesus commanded?
Do you court conflict?
Also, Jesus said no one can say Jesus is Lord apart from the Holy Spirit.
All those who comment here say in word, deed, and all ways that Jesus is Lord.
Now, are you willing to say these people do not have the Holy Spirit? Are you willing to say to the foot the hand is not needed? Are you willing to say Wess is not inspired by the Spirit even though his whole life testifies to Christ, even if you disagree with how he phrases things?
I’m asking you this because I want you to lay out your cards. Blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the sin that is not forgiven. Saying the Spirit is not working when the Holy Spirit is working is blaspheming the Spirit.
Either the Holy Spirit is or is not working in Wess. I am certain the Holy Spirit is, and I respect his words because of it, as a brother in Christ.
In conversations like this you are not just arguing about a person, you are tempting the Holy Spirit, so I hope you are confident enough to realize this, and are willing to face the judgment if you are wrong.
I don’t need to defend Wess. Like Fox, the truth comes out in the power and work of the Holy Spirit, who is evident in peace, joy, and love. The Spirit defends Wess, and if he is wrong it is the Spirit who will convict him.
I believe in Jesus, born of a virgin, died on a cross, risen after three days, giver of the Spirit who came upon the church at Pentecost, who will come to judge the living and the dead.
Is this your good news? Or do you believe in something else?
I’m curious. I don’t hear or see any of the fruit of the Spirit in your words, and I’m curious what Gospel you teach.
I dont know whether this post and thread have run their course, but I figured Id risk it and jump in nevertheless. Camassia, whose Weblog I like and read from time to time, juxtaposes the idea of semi-static dogma and doctrine, which is set by the big boys at the top, against the more dynamic theology. She then asks whether communal discussions,??? if they happen to uncover a timeless truth, have the sticking power in communicating it to address big problems like war. I suppose by communal discussions??? Camassia is referring to the informal musings of laity. I certainly dont know whether Christians are better off being managed from the top down or bottom up. Whatever its merits, however, top-down leadership certainly hasnt kept Christians from reveling in worldly vices such as war, so maybe history has mooted Camassias concerns. Who knows? Life at the bottom might be just as fraught with danger, as this communal discussion itself illustrates.
If you are in disagreement with The Truth, then yes, it is time to dust off my my shoes and move on, but I always give people a chance to repent and/or the benefit of the doubt.
Quite honestly in true Bible intellectual tradition, I don’t know what any of you believe, for you are the first person here to actually say it out loud.
I don’t say Jesus Christ has The Truth, I say that He is The Truth.
Here are my blogs on Grace and 1 John 1, have a read and then tell me if you agree or not.
If not, then our dialogue is over.
yes2truth and the rest of you,
Now I am at a loss. I had been ready to scold the rest of you for being so obtuse and precisely as yes2truth was describing you that you could not even for a moment back up and compare yourselves to the picture he was more or less accurately painting. But the scriptures that are needed to thoroughly pin you to the wall with the essence of his arguments are numerous, the putting of it all out so that it is plain as daylight for everyone and the refutation of each one’s manifold nonsensical rebuttals is a significant and time-consuming proposition. I’ll have to think for a while longer about whether I’m ready for such a monumental challenge at this point in my cowardly life. That certainly isn’t my first instinct.
Granted, yes2truth is a bit bellicose in confronting you all with your great interest in talking about talking about and many of the more notorious ones you have talked about who have so notably written about talking about talking about so that others might talk about them, but the clear difference between empty rhetoric with hardly a scripture to back it up and the plainness and simplicity of the Gospel that yes2truth is witnessing to is so obvious here; who could fail to see the foolishness of the wise who are too clever to know how stupid they appear to others? (That’s a rhetorical question, you don’t have to answer it, even if you’re clever enough to know the answer.) So there certainly is a case—many cases—to make.
I had all but concluded that the multiplication of words on this blog was just as it seemed, evidence of the lack of any real understanding of God’s Word, with the possible exception of one persistant crank. Then Wess showed that he did remember a few scriptures after all (even if he couldn’t remember where he once read them, was too lazy to look them up, or was just being obstinate), and then yes2truth goes ballistic with denying that the scriptures ARE the scriptures, and completely undermines all the Biblical evidence he has thus far presented. Now I don’t know what to think. Or what to say. You all give the worldy more than enough reason to turn away with See? I-told-you-sos.
One is too thick to know that it doesn’t amount to a hill of dung that he’s offended by plain truth, or even that “God chose to save them through the foolishness of preaching” who were not clever (read: worldly) enough to become trapped by ‘reasonable’ intellectual overcomplications of something that really is, as yes2truth said, very simple. The soapbox comment is plain evidence that inspires us to shake our heads at the world-drenched ignorance of scriptures implied by such bloviation (but it does sound seductively like a no-brainer put-down to the doomed, so you’ll have no trouble making friends with ‘The Accuser’ and his followers with that soapbox putdown) and put our hands over our eyes to keep from being overcome by the ‘thud’ heard echoing from the impact of such darkness against the ears. Paul was routinely beaten and dragged out of town for getting up on soapboxes. Now you know whose side you’re on. Feel better? You are disturbed? I agree. The question isn’t “Is he up on a soapbox?” but “What is he saying up there?” Wess? Could you give us some insight on being up on a soapbox, since you’re the local expert. I don’t put this out there as an absolute, mind you. Just sayin’.
Another tosses “out of context” dismissals that are so cliche, and so obscure, that it affects me nearly the same way. Sometimes in my travels I hear that phrase and it is followed by a clear explanation of why some specific dubious teaching is supported by reference to an inapplicable scripture taken out of context, and when I hear the connection between the context and the inappropriately quoted scripture, a light goes on and my response is “Behold the brilliance of the light! Amen!” Then, I not only know that the quote was out of context, but I also know just why and what the scripture actually means! Mostly, though, someone lamely says out of context??? to cover the fact that one disagrees but has no clue either, and there is no explanation of the significance and relevance of the remark forthcoming. In which case, it’s a non-sequitur at best, or a feeble excuse for an offhand pretention if we move further afield. Absent a clear explanation to the contrary, a passage of scripture is never out of context or “out of season.” In particular, yes2truth’s comments are certainly not “out of context” in this thread.
Still another, one more likely than most to question the moral swampiness of some of the things put out here, shouts back as though he had a personal stake in a conversation he just joined. Did I miss something?
And yet, … and yet, … there are some clearheaded ideas on this blog, and (if they’re not just phony posturings for political gain with views that are relatively cost-free in the present climate, assuming one also buys into a sufficient load of leftist drivel to balance the load) a vital message that the Christian church desperately needs to hear. It bothers me to think that this important message will get buried under so much of the muck and quackery that gets slung around here like hash at a roadside diner. It’s easy to be against whatever is repugnant to you. What are you for? Suppose what you are against with a passion is trivial, and what you propose isn’t worth crossing the street for?
I am reminded of the book of Job in which Job’s friends keep hammering him with “But Job, it’s obvious that you screwed up. Just admit it and move on.” When all of their advice is completely off target and irrelevant to the issue God is drawing attention to. Job says, No, you don’t know what you are talking about.??? They say, “But we’re the majority. We have to be right.” And Job says, “No, but even that is a stupid thing to say.” What a chore, you people! Who, but a man more patient than I could ever bring himself to start liking to have conversations with such people? Although, I sigh, it may be that there are some of God’s people here. What then if I leave them in disgust to their own colossal ignorance and pretend I didn’t hear all of this nonsense? So another character in Job’s story comes to mind. “Speak, if you have a legitimate objection, or else shut up and listen to what I have to teach you, for I am not completely ignorant, in case that never occurred to you. Neither are you the beginning and end of wisdom yourself. So shut up for a while, because I desire to justify you.” The sad truth is, each of you has a bit of it, but none of you has it all, and what’s worse, no one is really all that interested in the parts he or she has not already accepted. So, before you all start screaming at me and telling me what I already know, let me tell you in advance that if you reply that I don’t know everything and I should be more humble, and I should this, and I should that, … then be advised before you open your mouth that no such verbiage will impress upon me the least bit of necessity. Okay? Or not. It’s nothing to me. Learn something. Or don’t. Its … well, forget it, then, if you like.
Yes2truth, how could you be so stupid? Almost everything you said—in the context of your definition of ‘theology’—is absolutely true, and the scriptures you cited do certainly support the clear and connected points that you are making (despite the bellicosity that could only work if we already knew that you were a paragon of virtue and self-sacrifice, which we can’t because we don’t know you from Adam). We would, however, be well advised not to dismiss you as merely a pest, because we could be in danger of shoving the Lord Himself out the door, since what you said is true enough for the most part. Only the hypocrites are so defensive that their only reaction to criticism is denial and anger (and afterward, murder).
How then could you go and cut yourself off at the knees and stab yourself through your own heart by disclaiming part of John’s epistle as inauthentic on the basis of the words of ‘theologians’ (according to your own definition of this word) or in any case whichever phony ‘experts’ that led you to believe such a lie? Duh. Hello. Earth to yes2truth, come in. Can you read me? You’re on your way out past Uranus now. If you’re going to throw out a verse from one of John’s epistles—not something from elsewhere, mind you, but one of John’s epistles—you may as well throw out the rest of the Bible! Youve just opened to question every passage in every book for every sneaky creep that comes along and claims some verse of other was added by charlatains (more devious than he is, if youre stupid enough to believe that) sometime after the second reverberation of the third misanthropic convocation. You really had me going there for a while. I’ve got replies already written to caution the others not to be offhand dismissive of your point, because by and large, you are speaking the truth. But then you go and blow it, and I have to throw all that away and start over, as the horrible REAL truth begins to sink in. You don’t have a clue either. Only a dimwit would believe the lie that John did not write those words. Read his gospel again. Especially the conversations at the Last Supper.
And to think that you threw it all away, after railing against theologians for such an extended rant, on the basis of what you heard from some know-nothing ‘theologian!’??? You realize, of course, that after first telling us all that the Holy Spirit has led you into an understanding of Truth with a solid Biblical foundation, you then rush headlong—with an astonishingly convincing argument—to call yourself a liar. Ever head of the Cretan’s Paradox? How about the word ‘oxymoron’? That was truly the most spectacular example of wrong-headed stupidity I have seen in a long time.
And it is a direct consequence of your eagerness to teach others being so far out ahead of your willingness to also love them or to listen to anything. You’re not trying to save anyone. You’re doing the same thing the rest are. You’re trying to validate your own understanding so that you can bask in the glow of your own rightness. Although, I grant you, the inclination may originate from being grieved at hearing so much nonsense and seeing so much falsehood. I don’t want to ignore or minimize that very real kind of suffering those who reverence the truth are routinely forced to endure from those who merely want to ‘discuss’ it. But why then add to it?
The word ‘Trinity’ may not appear in the Bible, but the Three that agree in One is consistent with more scriptures in the Old and New Testaments than I care to cite right now. Not only that, but this reality is a plain observation that any Spiritual person can oneself perceive, for we are made in the image and likeness of God and each of us, too, is a Three that Agree in One. Or did you not know that when you look at your own hand, one sees and one is seen and these two, together with the act of seeing , itself, are one person? For the scripture tells us that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”
So there is the Word, and the Word with God, and the Same is God, these three, as God that has been from the beginning. Three that are One. 1. The Word as God 2. The Word with God. 3. The Word with God is the Same as the Word as God. That is, it is simultaneously true that Word-with-God, which necessarily means two, is the Same as Word-is-God, which necessarily means one. And a distinct Sameness of Word-with-God and Word-is-God necessarily means three. That is, there are Three that is One. We can distinguish the three: Word-with-God, Word-is-God, and Sameness-of-the-other-Two, and all three of these is One God.
God said to Moses: say that I am that I am sent you.??? This is who God is. The same thing is evident here. God the grammatical subject, “I,”; God the grammatical complement “that I am,”; and God the grammatical verb of identity, or sameness, “Am,”; and all three are One God, one and the same God, just as I, John, and my hand, which I see is with me, and the act, the experience of seeing my hand are three distinguishable aspects that are one and the same person: I, me, myself: John. Check your concordance in that passage from John for “Word, God, and Same.??? (Same, being interpreted, meaning equals, meaning is, i.e., am) Youll find all three: The Father is the grammatical subject, the Speaker, I; the Son, the grammatical complement, the Spoken-Word, the Message, That-I-Am; and the Holy Spirit, the Speaking-verb, an action: Love-Communicating being the Identitfication-Unifying of the Two, the Speaking, the Doing, the Being, Am, that ever [speaks not] of Himself: but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak … He shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore said I that He shall take of mine…??? takes what is Gods and gives it to us, unifying our minds with the understanding which is within our minds which IS our minds, if it be that the Father lives in us and we have His likeness. For Christ is the Image of God, and those to whom He reveals the Father, they know the Likeness of God. As it is written, we are made in the image AND likeness of God.??? This is all spectacularly consistent. The Father has things. All of these things, Jesus says are mine. The topics “for one to have things,” and “for things to be mine” clearly refer to the genative, that is, the possessive case, which is a property of NOUNS. Moreover, the Father has,??? thus Father is in the nominative case here, the grammatical subject. The Father has things. The Son, in this passage, is clearly placed in the role of the grammatical object, or the accusative case. The (Fathers) things are mine. So we see two names, two nouns, one of which is in the nominative case (Father) and one of which is in the accusative case (Son). The Spirit will speak, hear, receive, show, and take. All of these are words having the properties of VERBS. Get it? The sentence, the complete thought, has existed from the beginning. God is LANGUAGE. WE ARE LANGUAGE. Language is not something separate from ourselves that we possess or use. Language is WHAT WE ARE. Gods New Testament name, the one He revealed to John, is I Love You,??? or in other words, I Love That I Love??? or, I Love The One I Love.??? This is a complete thought that is the Father, the Holy Spirit, the Son.
For we are in Him who is Language. And we see not except that the Father sees the Son through us. Even the physicists can tell you that three are required for a communication: the transmitter, the receiver, and the signal. And what could language be without communication? Do you not yet know that this is WHAT YOU ARE? Is not the Word of God a sharp two-edged sword even to the distinguishing of body, soul, and spirit? Then we can discern the distinct three which constitute an individual person, yet every person is ONE. (Yes, there is revelation that is not borrowed theology. You would all do well to listen. )
30If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.
My little children, let us not love in words only …
5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
15What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 16Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? 17For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified. 18I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: 19Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.
2This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?
Every one of you is wrong. And each one of you, arguing with someone else, is right about something. Don’t think if I didn’t single out your nonsense for reply that I didn’t notice it. But my strength and my patience are finite. Besides, there are many more who have read what you wrote than have posted here.
Now, if you say that you have the Holy Spirit, then you love that you love. So show it. All of you. Me, too.
Wess, this is your blog. I hope you’re a man of prayer. I don’t think I’d bet money on it, even if I did read the word around here somewhere. But I rather think you’re going to need it, judging from the kinds of conversations you’re starting.
In the name of Christ Jesus, Our Lord,
Blessings and peace to those who love Him,
such lofty observations from my little words. You know something that Jesus has that you don’t have? He has the power and ability to judge a man’s heart. You do not. I do not. Think about it before you judge anyone. And on a side note. You’re a prophet? I don’t know many who would go around telling people that. Interesting.
Your post is large, to say the least and I thank you for being truthful in some of the things you’ve said.
If you don’t mind I am going to stick with your trinity errors, which as always rely on the teaching of men, not Jesus Christ and the very Holy Spirit which you state is a personage of a closed dead trinity.
1)Trinity gods have their origins in paganism and in many cases are represented by dead wood and stone idols.
2)Someone here (I think it was Kirsten) refered to ‘the science of God’ and she is correct, there is a ‘science’ to God for want of a better word. A better word would be Maths for Maths is a pure science and a language without ambiguity, and therefore must be of God for only pure things emanate from God. Now number 3 is God’s number for finality. If God does things in three’s then that is the end, hence the three woe’s in Revelation as an example. Now if God is a trinity this must mean that that’s it, there is nothing more for that is the end of the matter – finished. Now this is not True about the nature of the Godhead, for there is no end to God’s Kingdom and He is in the process of growing a family, and as one of the elect I am a member of that family as a son of God and a brother of Jesus Christ. The Godhead is a duality and that fact is easily proven from Scripture, whereas the trinity is manufactured by intellectuals.
3)If The Holy Spirit is a personage of of a triune Godhead why does Paul on every occaision greet the Churches in the names of The Father and of The Son but not The Holy Spirit? If The Holy Spirit was a personage he would definitely have included ‘him’ in his greetings, but he doesn’t. Is this an accident – a mistake? No!! The Holy Spirit is God’s power – a power source that holds everything in God’s realms together, including all matter – to be scientific.
4)As a theologian you disappoint me for any man, woman or even a child could be taught that 1 John 5:7 is a spurious verse added by papist illegitamtes in their Devil’s Vulgate translation. You charged your friend with being lazy when with a little effort on your part you could check in any original Greek writings and know that 1 John 5:7 is not there. Before the papists got their vile hands on Holy Scripture this verse did not exist.
Now John, I have come full circle in Truth, not theology. Are you going to believe men or God’s Holy Word?
As a final point for now, if I am stupid then Jesus Christ is stupid, for I boast in Him and in Him alone so I hope you fully understand what you have said here. Here is another basic simple Truth for you to understand – we should either speak for Him in authority or we should not speak at all, for in the end it will be better for the unsaved than those who have spoken without His authority.
Coming to obvious conclusions is not judging. Judging is when you come to a conclusion without knowing anything at all about a person, but that is not the case here on this blog.
I have said less in what you could call ‘being judgemental’ than John has, but I notice you have said nothing to ‘correct’ him. Now why would that be I wonder?
Furthermore, I have had a lot of experience in engaging theologians and all manner of men of religion, and in that experience have discovered that they all say pretty much the same things. They just dress it in different clothes and come at me in subtle and not so subtle ways – all very predictable really.
PS to Kirsten,
I do not profess to being a prophet, but Holy Scripture contains much prophecy, especially Daniel, Matthew 24 and Revelation.
I also do not believe in hell fire and torment – yet more papist lies. I do however agree with much Christian Universalist teaching but I am not a Christian Universalist. They have made the mistake of turning their branch of The Truth into a one dimensional religion. Sad but true.
Jesus Christ and The Father God are love mercy and forgiveness and will have (desires) all men to be saved 1 Tim 2:4.
There are many things that I would like to comment on in your most recent posts, but for now I will merely comment on this quote:
“As a theologian you disappoint me for any man, woman or even a child could be taught that 1 John 5:7 is a spurious verse added by papist illegitamtes in their Devils Vulgate translation. You charged your friend with being lazy when with a little effort on your part you could check in any original Greek writings and know that 1 John 5:7 is not there. Before the papists got their vile hands on Holy Scripture this verse did not exist”
Despite your claim that “everyone” should know this, your facts are greatly distorted. First of all, the accepted Greek text of this section in 1 John does contain verse 7 and 8. It reads:
“There are three witnesses: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three of them are at one.” (1 John 1:5-7)
This translation is from the Greek text. You objections are to the inclusion in the Latin Vulgate which translates verse 8 as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I must remind you however that the Latin Vulgate is just another translation of the Greek and is not the accepted translation of this text. If you want to attack the Vulgate fine, but if you seriously investigated the Greek you would know that there is in fact a verse 7 and 8.
Now as to your assertions that this cannot be used as a proof text for the doctrine of The Trinity, I agree. This verse is not referring to the trinity, but rather incorporating the idea of Jewish jurisprudence, which required the the agreement of at least two witnesses in order produce reliable evidence. As Smalley states in his commentary on 1 John, “When John affirms that the three witnesses to Christ’s person are “at one”, he is implying that the Spirit, water, and blood converge at the same point, and work toward the same result: that of establishing the truth that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God.”
I hope this explanation of this passage helps to clear up some of your confusion over the Greek text and the Vulgate. One cannot let their venomous anti-Catholic bias to cloud themselves from quality exegesis of Scripture.
Welcome back, I was wondering if you were going to join our conversation or not.
First I wanted to thank you for this part of your comment,
I appreciate the notion, and I recognize that you may consider me a “leftist” but I’d like to point out that I don’t consider myself one. For whatever that is worth to you. Everything I say and do comes directly from my being a follower of Jesus – its all rooted there. Now that of course is where the disagreement is, but at any rate, I appreciate that you have suggested there is something worthwhile here and also needed to say I really don’t want to wear the “liberal” badge if I don’t have to.
Secondly, I wanted to answer your statement and question because I agree with it,
You are correct in suggesting that we – err – the church easily sets up things to be against. This is an error for both liberals and conservatives – it’s a vacuum created in part by American Politics and the media. If we define ourselves by what we are against we will get no where, and we are at the mercy of our critics.
The thing I am for more than anything else is the Church, and helping the church be like Jesus. I, like you, want to see the church be a real and radical witness to this world.
Finally – to say something about the last part of your comment,
Yeah, that would be a really stupid bet to make. Since jesus commands us to pray to our father in secret no bookie would pay out for something that can’t be proven.
In other words – thanks for the “encouragement” to continue in prayer, and its too bad you suggested a judgement against my spiritual life after a fairly charitable comment.
@Yes — Nobody here is convinced by what you refer to as “truth” and so in response to a recent comment,
The community here – bearing the Holy Spirit – have perceieved that much of what you say is NOT the truth. It’s your truth only – and so for that we are saying “No2truth” will you now move on?
I was wondering if A) you could tell me where this is in the Bible when you said,
Could you also then give me a count of how many times Jesus himself debated I think you will find your position waning.
I wanted to point out the falsity of the rest of this comment –
You were the one who commented first, and started off in a “debating spirit.”
Finally – I found it really odd in your list of people who didn’t have friends – the only one who is the closest to not having friends was John the Baptist and even he had disciples – who I think it would be fair to assume were his friends. The even funnier thing about it was that you said David didn’t have any friends, despite the fact that his friendship with Jonathan is in fact the most famous story of friendship in the bible.
your remarks are biased and one-sided and judgmental. If you want to “save the world” you might want to stop beating people down. And second of all you might want to realize that you yourself can’t save the world. Only Jesus can. I didn’t find that in a theology book either.
c. wess daniels,
i couldn’t say all of what you said any better.
The only thing I can say to you all is thank you for confirming that I had you right, right from the beginning. Vindication is always reassuring at the worst of times.
All Bible intellectuals to a man or woman, which ever. It is time for you to repent if you know what’s good for you.
You’re right there is a waning, nay an indictment on this blog, it is people like John who ally themselves with The Whore of Babylon – he’s in ‘good’ company. John, for your information I have two Greek texts neither of which contain 1 John 5:7 even a blasphemous NIV interlinear – what a surprise? (one of your colleagues must have slipped up!)
Mr Daniels, like John, for a supposed theologian you are a poor example when The Lord through Paul clearly states that we should not debate – 2 Cor 12:20.
I will therefore not debate with you, but reinforce the fact that I have told you The Truth and you have rejected it. For with the intellect comes much pride and vanity.
Debating is never ending just like theology. The Truth on the other hand is simple and is told and then received or rejected. You people are rejecting it so it is time for me to dust off my shoes which I am doing at this very moment in time.
You have had your witness and when you stand before God you will be without excuse.
I was the one, not John, that questioned your Greek texts, so don’t blame John. Also, did you read what I had to say? You were attacking the validity of scripture with a baseless claim and yet you merely respond with a personal attack.
Also, for someone who “hates” theologians, you certainly borrow from a number of theological traditions. Don’t tell me that you have identified the Catholic Church as the “whore of Babylon” simply through your scripture reading. The first audience of Revelation certainly would have come to a different conclusion than you. You must have read it somewhere outside of scripture, now be honest about it.
Furthermore, what version of Scripture are you using that does not contain 1 John 5:7-8? Could you please tell me and quote exactly what it says in your Bible?
yes2truth, I don’t understand why you continually respond to valid questions by using personal attacks. I don’t want you to leave this discussion page, but I do want to be able to share with you without constantly encountering superfluous personal attacks.
I pray that one day you will lay all of this rage at Christ’s feet.
I pray that prayer for all of us.
You are in my prayers, Wess, as is everyone here, and I count myself blessed that you were astute enough to pick up on the purposeful irony in my parting comment.
God bless you and keep you, (and bring your head out of the fog so that you can see the part of you that contains your heart).
You are proving yourself to be more and more seriously misguided with every word. The anti-Catholic vitriol does indeed blind you to “they sit in the seat of Moses so you must do all that they tell you …”
However they came to be there, whether of God or of man, even if only for self-preservation and to avoid looking like fools, they are required by their own survival instincts to adhere to an outward appearance of correctness, and thus most of what they say is true. (Ring any bells?) But we should not imitate them, nor be quick to take offense, quick to home in on what’s missing instead of looking at what is there.
Just because someone is insulted does not mean s/he’s a bona fide saint. And if one who said you were taking scriptures “out of context” was referring to your threat to dust off your shoes, then that was, in fact, an unexplained bullseye—though I’m in no position to say what the intent of the remark was. Jesus gave that authority to specific people. I am by now quite certain that you are not one of those people. The Holy Spirit is very clear on no less than at least this much, here. I read the posts on the links you provided, so it isn’t as though I was unwilling to hear you out.
Even a simple and illiterate person can become fixated on an intellectual understanding of a scripture that makes plain sense to everyone, even those of limited skill, but if that understanding, rather than the One about whom it speaks becomes one’s God, then the simpleton is no better off than the brilliant man even if it’s the case that half of what he says is absolutely true. Either person is capable of thinking too highly of his own understanding, and not highly enough of that ability in others. If the devil can quote the Scripture, he can also quote an accepted interpretation of it. The mere fact that words are true does not mean they come from the Holy Spirit. When someone is using one scripture to contradict another, something is wrong.
Most apparent contradictions dissolve away under close examination. That is not possible unless one is willing to admit that one has sin and makes mistakes (Wess by now knows that I make my share of them, though I have not very long known of this place.), and is also willing to be patient and open, and to look for evidence. Having now said all that, I’m quite sure about this much: your dust is just ordinary dust.
Please keep in mind that if I thought there was the smallest, remotest chance that your dust would be so much as an embarrassment at the Judgement, after having said all this I would be very cautious about wanting it around without you. But as it is, in this case, Say whatever you will, I know I’m not just whistling. Do what seems good to you. I can’t argue with that. But I will be frank with you. You would be much more well advised to be concerned about my dust than I need be about yours.
Unlike you, I know exactly what I am saying. I know Who gave this to me, and I know why He did that. But it’s much too premature at this point in time for me to be flippantly getting so close to such a profoundly serious line in the sand.
Suppose someone woke you up in the middle of the night by banging on your door and shouting scriptures at you. If they said nothing else, you could not argue that you heard anything false. Would you then be worried about your soul if they threatened to leave? I mean, really!!? Have you never seen a derelict stumbling around stone drunk and reeking of cheap booze while shouting scripture at the top of his lungs? (Personally, I know many that have.) Are you worried they might dust of their shoes when you back away from the sight of it? Or are you worried that they may suddenly lunge at you maniacally with a dubious-looking umbrella? Come on! Get real here! If I were you I would say some prayers. Some very private, contemplative, self-examining prayers. Pull out a mirror and look at yourself. The instant replay of your performance here will not look good for you when it is seen by the whole church at the Last Judgement, however right you may think yourself to be at the moment.
We were told to preach the Gospel of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Not just a once for all time repentance, but also that. (I won’t be back to your link again. In this case, doing something once was enough for a lasting dose.) For the righteous man falls sevety times seven times a day, but whenever he catches himself doing the evil again, he should be quick to repent again. Not under fear of losing his salvation, but because he loves Him who gave His life to give us this simple truth: There is no penance for things we can never repay. Just one thing is needed to be forgiven for any wrong we may have done, or may do again. It’s very simple. Just decide to stop doing it. Yes, we’ll fail again. And then we need to be humble enough to stop doing it again. We don’t need to fear the loss of eternity over what we may do in the future. But eternity is a long time to live with regret. It is a blessing beyond words that we have such a simple answer to the fear every human soul has that today’s regret could potentially be eternal! We don’t have to come up with a sufficiently impressive pennance to convince a jury marking scorcards. All we have to do is … Stop. Doing. It. And as the thief on the cross gave us example, that is always possible, up until the very time of death.
Yes, we have an assurance that we will certainly be admitted to heaven, when the time is right. But it’s safe to say that the residents currently there are not going to want us among them soiling the golden streets with ‘sticky, disgusting things’ until they see something in our behavior worthy of their company. Paul (the whole Bible) cautions us not to compare ourselve to each other. That’s the wrong yardstick to use. It leads to pride. Compare your progress to those already in heaven. If you’re not there yet, then there is something you’re still refusing to learn.
Just in response to Lisa’s comment above, I don’t think the relevant difference between dogma/doctrine and theology is top-down vs. bottom-up, it’s beliefs that are shared by the community, and are therefore necessary to belong to the community, vs. personal beliefs. It is easier to define these things with a top-down structure, but you don’t need a hierarchy to be dogmatic and exlusive. Just ask the Amish, or the old-style Congregationalists.
[…] Because I often write about the benefits of blogging and the great tool I see blogs to be I thought I’d look at it from the other side and investigate some of the disadvantages they come with. There have a been a number of ongoing comments here and its led me to think further about blogging as “theological discourse.” Taking my cue from Hauerwas I wrote that blogging has the advantage of fitting into a local context within a community of believers. I said, “For Hauerwas, Theology and ethics take place within the local context of a given faith community and is always on the move. Because this is one of his main focuses (the church as its own polis) he typically spends his time writing short essays about specific ethical and pastoral issues, including medical ethics, interpretation of scripture, war, abortion, homosexuality, and the church in the political world.” […]
Wow! I just caught up with this thread. Interesting, to say the least. You know, there was a time when I would have jumped headlong into a hornets’ nest like this … but not anymore! Hornets exhaust me. They sap my good energy. After all of that, they’ll sting you anyway. Hornets’ nests suck. LOL.
Yes2Truth … take a vacation. Enjoy life a bit. Quit studying God! It’ll make you a theologian!
Now that I stirred the nest up … I’m off to enjoy the sunshine!
Keep up the good work Wess.
[…] C. Wess Daniels has written a pair of posts discussing the pros and cons of theological discourse on blogs. I commend them both to you, especially the “cons.” If you’ve been following the explosion of posts surrounding PeaceBang’s reflections on being a UU Christian and using the “G” word, you’ll know why I’m commending that one, especially. […]
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