Saturday, May 23, 2015

Defending Adam

As some of you already know, we have had an on-going discussion with Dan Trabue and his pal, who remains anonymous, regarding the historicity of Adam, the nature of Scripture, the justice of God, etc. I have decided to pull one final post together on this subject before moving on to other issues. Dan insists that Adam is fictional, belonging to the genre of myth. It has been my position that Dan has a hidden motive for why Adam must be myth as opposed to history. In our discussions with Dan he has rejected the reliability of Luke, the binding nature of Scripture, the supernatural source of Scripture, divine judgment, and has defended gay Christianity. The profile of Dan at this point seems clear and it is this profile that I have said motivates and drives Dan’s interpretation of Scripture more than any other factor. The truth is that each of us come to Scripture with the same challenge and it is only with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can place our prejudices aside and allow Scripture to do its work on our heart as opposed to us imposing the sin in our heart on the text.

Before I dive into this final summary regarding a defense of the historic Adam, I should say a few things about the issue of theological or philosophical hermeneutics. No one comes to the Scripture with a philosophically neutral attitude. I have made this point with Dan Trabue repeatedly. A person already has adopted or embraced a view of the nature of Scripture and its contents before opening its pages. It is abundantly evidence that most modern approaches to Scripture are not themselves the result of biblical faith. Rather, they employ methods that are themselves principles of the autonomous man.

To put it very bluntly, the popular approach to the text is to read it on one’s own terms, as a product of human ingenuity. This modern critical approach creates a massive ditch between human reason and biblical faith. Additionally, it places human reason in a position of superiority over faith. Either one’s understanding of the nature of Scripture is informed by Scripture, which is the position of faith, or it is informed by human reason, which is the position of modern critical approaches to the Bible. 

My approach to Scripture is that Scripture has its origin in the mind of God, that it is divine revelation designed specifically to inform us of the God who is our great King, Creator, and Redeemer; that Scripture is clear on the main points of the revelation it expresses, that Scripture is self-attesting, binding, our final authority, and that all truth claims must be subject to the truth revealed therein. In short, Scripture is a divine artifact. Scripture is unique and not comparable to any other literary work that has ever existed in the history of man. That position is a faith position. I arrived at that position, like every other regenerate Christian arrives at it: through faith in Christ. In other words, once faith is removed from our approach to Scripture, and in its place a naturalistic approach from human reason is adopted, one can take just about any view of the text they wish. Moreover, it is impossible to demonstrate that Scripture is supernatural revelation by means of rational argumentation and historical evidence. The conclusion that the Bible is the Word of God from Genesis to Revelation is something that only the work of God in regeneration can produce. And so it does. Now, with that in mind, lets provide a Christian defense of the historic Adam.

Contrary to some schools of thought, Genesis 1-2 does not belong to the genre of ancient Hebrew poetry. The text follows the structure of ancient Hebrew narrative. In the interest of space I will point to the ten sections headed by the toledoth as evidence. We read in Gen. 2:4, “This is the account (toledoth) of the heavens and the earth. The author intends to provide the reader with a true account for how the heavens and the earth came to exist. This same language is used in Gen. 5:1 when we read about Adam’s genealogy, which takes us from Adam to Noah. In the context of that actual genealogy, we read that it was “In the day when God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. It seems that Moses may have been correcting some false ideas about how it all got started from the very beginning. We see the use of this toledoth in repeated in Gen. 6:9; 10:1; 11:10, 27; 25:12, 19; 36:1 and 37:2. All these sections deal with actual persons living in actual places at specific times. Adam and his offspring are listed alongside the rest of the individuals. The conclusion anyone should reach is that the writer portrayed Adam as historical because he included him alongside the rest of these historical figures.

In addition to this evidence, we must also not overlook the first gospel, given in Gen. 3:15. The promise to send a deliverer that would crush the head of Satan was not bound up in myth. It is far more reasonable to conclude that since Jesus Christ was the real seed that really crushed the head of Satan that the promise was historical top to bottom. Since the Christ event took place in time and space, we must conclude that the promise of Christ took place in time and space. If one is going to classify Adam as myth, they must classify the entire book of Genesis as myth.

Additional evidence that Adam was historical is located in 1 Chronicles 1. The author of this text provides a genealogy that begins with Adam and takes us all the way to David, Saul, and the people of Israel. The sheer volume of details spanning several chapters is more than staggering. It seems dishonest to adopt a contradictory opinion in light of the amount of evidence in this section of Scripture alone.

Job asks if he has covered his transgression like Adam? (31:33) Job was obviously familiar not only with Adam but with the details surrounding Adam’s sin. God, in His rebuke of Ephraim and Judah says that these have broken the covenant just like Adam had broken the covenant. (Hos. 6:7) If Adam was myth, so too was the covenant. But we know the covenant is real, historic, existing in time and space. Additionally in the New Testament we reference Luke’s tracing of Christ’s genealogy all the way from Christ back to Adam. (Lu. 3) Paul says that death reigned from Adam until Moses. (Rom. 5:14) The use of the Greek word mechri refers to a continuous extent of time up to a point. In order for Paul to employ this word, we meant conclude that he believed that Adam, like Moses, actually existed in time. Myths do not exist in time. Additionally, Jude describes the prophecy of Enoch, a man who lived in the seventh generation from Adam. Enoch, living seven generations from Adam indicates that Jude believed in a historical Adam.

Jesus Christ Himself gives us the clear indication that he believed in the historical account of Adam and Eve in the garden. Jesus’ view that divorce was not permissible under just any circumstances and that those who ignored those circumstances and remarried were committing adultery is grounded on His understanding of the historical creation account of Adam and Eve. We see this in Matt. 19:1-12. Jesus said that God created male and female from the beginning and that man would leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. Jesus’ reference is clear: Adam and Eve. The ground for biblical marriage is anchored in the historical reality of our first parents, Adam and Eve.

It is here that I believe Dan and his anonymous friend find their philosophy threatened by Scripture and therefore, insist that Genesis is myth. Dan attends a gay church over in Kentucky. These secessionists have left the Christian Church because they do not like the Christian ethic. In particular, they do not like the sexual ethic expressed in traditional Christianity that condemns any and all sex outside of biblical marriage and that includes gay sex in all forms. As a result, Dan is highly motivated to find a loophole around the historical Adam. And so he does. All the evidence above is dismissed and replaced with this: Genesis sort of sounds like other myths in how the sentences are put together, so it must be myth too. That is the extent of the evidence offered up by Dan and his pal anonymous.

Christians have to realize the men are not argued into believing that the Bible is literally the very Word of God, given to us supernaturally through the prophets of God and the apostles of Christ and their very close associates. This belief is not a scientific belief. It is not a belief that is the product of unaided human reason. Men do not examine the claim that the Bible is the Word of God by use of autonomous human reason, scientific investigation, and historic and rational argumentation, only then to embrace it as it truly is. Men can only embrace the divine word, as it is by faith alone. This is not to say that there is no rational defense for Scripture. There most certainly is and I make that defense often. But the rational defense and argument for Scripture rests upon the presuppositions of Christian faith. If we are to argue for Scripture, then our argument must be faithful to Scripture. How clumsy it is to abandon Scripture in our attempt to argue for Scripture. But men do this more often than not. We do not only end with Scripture, but we also begin with Scripture. The only way to defend Scripture while being faithful to Scripture is to begin with Scripture, and to argue from Scripture, and to end with Scripture. Someone will ask what is our evidence for our belief about Scripture as if we must have something external to Scripture in order to get to our starting position on Scripture. This is a mistake. Our evidence for Scripture is Scripture. Our understanding of Scripture, or the nature of Scripture, is informed by Scripture through the work of the Holy Spirit. And this fact, that the Holy Spirit is necessary to understand the nature of Scripture, is highly offensive to the autonomous man. He (men like Dan) insists that our criteria for our view of Scripture not only come from someplace other than Scripture, but also that it find commendations from men like him. To this we say, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12)



39 comments:

  1. In order to control Dan's comments, I have enabled moderation of all comments. I will post Dan's points and respond here. The reason for this is simple: the mud that Dan slings serves to muddy the waters rather quickly and this is a deliberate technique of people from Dan's world. So, in response to this post, Dan comments:

    1. I do not "insist" that Adam is fictional. It is my opinion that the story does not reflect literally factual history. If other people hold different opinions, I allow them the grace and liberty to make up their own minds. Unlike Ed, who insists his opinion is the One True Opinion and any other opinions indicate non-Christianity.

    My Response: So here is a fellow who rejects the historicity of Adam but also claims that he does not insist that Adam is fictional. I suppose Dan is possibly employing a postmodern approach to interpretation. In this approach one can believe whatever they want about Adam and still be perfectly fine. I cannot help but wonder if the apostles allowed people to believe whatever they wanted about Scripture's teachings. I think not. But that is not the point. Dan has offered the weakest of evidence for his rejection of Adam as historical. Because the flow of Genesis is similar to the flow of myth, Dan insists that Genesis must also be myth. Anyone with a shred of logic can see that such reasoning is specious.

    Dan states:
    2. I have no hidden motive. Ed's attempts to read my mind have failed, epically. My motive is to understand the stories aright, as best I can. My motive is to follow God and walk in the steps of Jesus. My motive is to seek Truth. Claims to the contrary are false and based on ignorance of my actual positions.

    My Response:
    Everyone has a presupposition by which they understand and interpret Scripture. Dan's unwillingness to tell us what his reason is for rejecting the historicity of Adam and other unique records of Scripture indicates that he wishes to keep his motive out of view. For instance, Dan says that men clearly do no live 900 years. Well, Dan, if Scripture says they did, then they did. What you must do is tell us why this is impossible given the fact that God created out of nothing according to Christianity, why should it seem so outrageous that men used to live a lot longer. Even the theory of evolution contains much greater tells than this and yet they are accepted almost without question.

    Dan says:
    3. I have specifically NOT rejected the reliability of Luke. NEVER have I said that, NOR do I believe that. This is a falsehood.

    Ed's response:
    Dan rejects Luke's genealogy of Adam. He says he is not sure and neither can anyone be sure of what God thinks about Luke's including it in his writing. There is only one way to take these comments: Dan does not accept Luke's account as accurate. One does NOT include genealogy in myth. Genealogy is reserved for actual lineage, real generations of people who have lived in time and space.

    Dan has still NOT reconciled this with his claims. He is conveniently ignored it along the way. It is not only childish but quite ignorant to say that including Adam in a genealogy does not "have" to mean that Adam was a historical figure. That is an audacious way of looking at the evidence. If one is honestly asking, "Should I take Adam to be historical?" and if one is looking to Scripture alone to answer that question, they can reasonable arrive at only one answer: yes.

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  2. In addition, Dan, your comments will only be posted when you address why a Jewish writer, one who places tremendous significance on genealogy (something very rare for the ANE) would muddy a genealogy by including a non-literal person in a formal record such as this. If you want to comment on why your position remains justified in light of that fact, no comments will be posted. And the comment must be positive not negative. That is it must argue why its reasonable to take Adam as non-literal in light of his inclusion in genealogies. It cannot argue from silence or contend that just because he is included that does not make him real, as if we are in elementary school or some nonsense like that.

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  3. My point professor is that you cannot defend a mythical Adam based on the evidence. And toledoth is good evidence for why Adam should be taken to be as an historical figure. No amount of linguistic gymnastics can save you or Dan.

    I rejected your view that all texts are underdetermined. I said it was an overstatement. I also believe that you are making a mountain out of a ant hill. It is not as if advances in linguistics will overturn the basic doctrines of Christianity or have serious impacts on the Christian message. It will not. Yet, your inference is that it might or at the very least, your tactic is to use such advances to at least get people to doubt the basics. And that is simply a very unfair tactic to employ on people who have real lives to live and who do not have to luxury to chase the rabbits you do.

    You seem to not understand how I am employing toledoth in my argument. It isn't the word professor. It is the context in how the word is used. It is used in formal records of ancient genealogies. This is a rare occurrence in ANE literature, but for some reason (we know why), not the Jew. And the inclusion of Adam in those records witnesses to his historicity. Pretty simple.

    Given your condescending tone, I would have expected a much better argument from you. But your only tactic, which is the standard liberal tactic, is not to provide evidence supporting a position but only to try and cast doubt on an opposing position and the target is usually historic Christianity.

    I am glad we had this discussion. You and your pal Dan have demonstrated that people can find a 101 excuses to believe what you want to believe regardless of the amount of quality of evidence that stands against it.

    Tell you what professor, why don't you send some of your brighter students over here and see what kind of an apologist I am. Perhaps they might transfer out of that class and study Scripture under someone who actually has a little faith in it and in Christ. Maybe they will go over to Dr. Mohler's place and learn something useful for a change.

    As far as teaching, let's just say I am qualified. Are you suggesting that anyone who employs a different interpretive model than you is somehow not qualified or is somehow unable to show objectivity toward students? Perhaps my mistake is placing such a unique reading on your communication. How dare I!

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  4. I have refused to chase your red herrings professor because you have refused to show their relevance to this discussion. The theological implications of a mythical Adam are far-reaching. That along with one's understanding of the nature of Scripture is of tremendous importance. Nicea is one of those peripheral issues I criticized and I think for good reason. Besides, I don't think we are as far apart as you infer in terms of word meanings.

    The problem with your example is that is has little to do with linguistics and much to do with a much broader understanding of the Scripture as a whole, as one unit composed of various writings from multiple cultures over centuries of time. If Scripture can contradict Scripture, then your case scenario may have a place in this conversation. My view of Scripture, indeed, the Christian view of Scripture is that Scripture cannot possibly contradict Scripture.

    Arius did not arrive at his view by way of sound exegetical principles. He began with a philosophical deduction about God, reach a particular conclusion, and then examined the text through that grid. Moreover, he refused to allow that philosophical grid to be informed by texts that clearly created not just tension in his beliefs but outright contradictions. Let's keep the facts straight professor.

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  5. I come back only to offer this review/analysis of a recent book on the topic, which can be found here...

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peterenns/2015/05/7-problems-with-a-recent-evangelical-defense-of-the-historicity-of-genesis-1-11/

    Which is a very helpful consideration, in my estimation. For what it's worth.

    I will also reiterate: When Ed says, "Dan thinks..." or "Dan claims..." it is, 95% of the time, a false claim on Ed's part. In short, Ed does not appear any more capable of reading a contemporary's words and understanding their meaning than he seems capable of reading and understanding the bible.

    Ed, because I am certain of your good intentions and desire to do right, I would recommend that you stop making claims about what my position is, because almost every time you do it, you factually and demonstrably bear false witness and I'm sure that's not your intent. And sometimes you also delve into slander and, now that I'm not allowed to defend myself, gossip. Both of which thou shalt not.

    Word to the wise: Just stop stating as a fact what you don't know as a fact and keep in mind that you don't know as much as you think you do.

    Oh, one last thing: I'm relatively certain I don't know "anonymous..." My pastor does not engage in this sort of behavior and his/her writing does not sound like any of my teacher friends. So, like your guesses about me, your guesses about anonymous and myself are factually mistaken, too.

    In Christ,

    Dan

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    1. Peter Enns has been answered, rebuked, and terminated from his employment for this unfaithful position on Scripture. That is all I need to say.

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    2. Thank you, kindly. I come from a background like Ed's and believed very much like him once upon a time, so, I feel honor-bound to be respectful for my own Old Self's sake, not to mention the many wonderful conservative/traditional teachers and leaders who helped me become what I am today.

      You sound like a great teacher and extremely well-informed. If you're ever teaching in Louisville, KY...

      Dan

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  7. I will ask a question (not that I have any great hopes of you answering it, but just in case...):

    Do you (and the greater "conservative Christian" community) recognize how impotent, petty, fearful and arrogant it seems when you all feel the need to delete, to ban, to fire, to attempt to silence - and to celebrate all of this - those humans who hold different opinions than you do?

    In one of your blog posts, you mention something about serving a puny god... do you recognize that this is how you portray your version of God... as one who can't handle respectful, reasonable questions. Who not only refuses to answer these reasonable questions, but in lieu of actual answers and respectful dialog, you all consistently choose to demonize, to attempt to silence (in the very limited realms you actually control, like blog spaces and some employment) and to run from these questions?

    It is as if you are fearful that your case is not strong enough to withstand polite scrutiny, that you have no rational, solid answers and so you seek solace in demonization and ad hom and in banning, rather than actually making your case.

    My question is: Do you recognize how petty and powerless and fearful this makes you appear and you don't care? Or do you not even recognize how you come across?

    I'm guessing the latter, because when you silence all discussion in your own circles, then all you hear are those who agree with you and so your impotency and fear-appearance comes as a surprise... "Well, no one I know thinks that of us!"

    This is one of the problems of trying to live in isolation and ivory towers, you lose a sense of community in the human world.

    Just wondering.

    Dan

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    1. Dan, God's refusal to tolerate those who dare to question what He has clearly revealed in Scripture does not make Him puny in more than His unwillingness to tolerate pedophiles.

      Second, you don't seem to have a clue who Jesus Christ was and how He and His holy Apostles dealt with men who dared to mishandle and pervert the Word of God. Jesus called them vipers, snakes, whitewashed tombs, and even children of the devil. Paul called them ravenous wolves, heretics whose mouths MUST BE STOPPED.

      If you think the early Church, beginning with her Founder Christ Himself winked at ungodly dogma and immoral behavior you are sorely mistaken.

      Paul put two men out of the Church because they were teaching against basic Christian dogma. He put a couple out of the Church because they engaged in forbidden union (sound familiar). John told us not to even eat with people in such error and to not even great them with "God bless" because if we do, we are participating in their evil deeds.

      God issued a scathing rebuke of the church at Thuatira, not because of their own sin but because they were tolerant of false teachings and immoral behavior.

      I am afraid Dan that you have exchanged a more precise understanding of the Christian faith for one that is modern, naturalistic, idolatrous, heretical, and immoral. You left the Christian community because you were never really of the Christian community. Had you been of us, you would have remained with us. I would encourage you to repent and turn to Christ, willingly submitting your ideas and behavior to His Lordship.

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    1. You should try researching the individual who posted those lies. He had some promise as a reliable defender of the faith but for some reason could not resist cursing at atheists instead of debating them. He does the same for anyone who disagrees with him. J.P. Holding is his name and he is a rather nasty individual.

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  10. I would encourage you to repent and turn to Christ, willingly submitting your ideas and behavior to His Lordship.

    I would point out, lest you say that this is your answer to my question, that it has been submitting my ideas and behaviors to Jesus' Lordship that has brought me to where I stand now.

    I believe that Jesus is the son of God, who came live, taught, was a threat to the religious and governmental powers, they killed him and he rose triumphant from the dead.

    I believe that Jesus taught a way of Grace as opposed to legalism, of forgiveness and love, instead of bitterness and strife, of inclusion not exclusion, of simplicity, peacemaking, and solidarity with the marginalized, poor and stranger. Because of Jesus' teachings, I have modified my thoughts and behaviors to try to match the example provided for in the person of Jesus, the Christ.

    So, it is because I have strived to do this that I hold the positions I hold and act the way I act.

    I can do no other way.

    Would you have me behave or think in a way that I think is contradictory to Jesus' teachings?

    Dan

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    1. Jesus said all the things I said He said Dan, as did Paul, as did John. In fact, Jesus said when you speak the truth, men will slander you falsely. And you and you friend have referenced some internet posts from a nasty man, JP Holding, who has done that very thing about me. All one has to do good his name or just to teckton apologetics and dare to disagree with him. You could have your very own web page filled with lies devoted exclusively to you. Don't bring that nonsense up again or you and your friend will be permanently banned from this sight.

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    1. You cannot you were not warned. And to say to someone, "you wouldn't say that to my face" is not a physical threat in any way. I have NEVER had anyone call me a Nazi or a moron or insult me in any way to my face. It is only the cowards running around on the internet that do that. True, I am not a small guy. True, I do lift weights and take care of myself. True, I am into the martial arts. But lets not read more into my remarks than are actually there.

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    3. When you started quoting slanderous articles from bottom feeders like J.P. Holding, I deleted all your posts and have no interest in allowing you to post anything further on my site. I have no idea which articles you are talking about because I just went through, checked your posts and did a batch delete. I have no interest in continuing a dialogue with you or anyone that would resort to such tactics. Go try disagreeing with Holding and see what happens. The man sent personal email threats to me that resulted in several prominent ministries removing him as a reliable Christian source of information. The web pages are how he retaliated. And you, without doing any research, just passed on the slander as if it had merit. That reflects on your character. We are finished.

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    4. If I had credibility in the eyes of certain people, I would genuinely be worried. Lacking credibility with false converts, false Christians, those who seek to dispense with God's law, corrupt the gospel, deny the authority of Scripture and so forth...I am fine lacking credibility with them. Jesus also lacked credibility among the religious hypocrites of his day. Remember? The loving Jesus who also violently overturned the tables in the temple and drove the vile greedy men out. Remember Him?

      Credibility? You read slander on the internet and give it weight as if it represents absolute facts. You place more confidence in internet nonsense than you do Genesis. Keep your credibility.

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    5. Ed, do you deny that you are the Ed Dingess who wrote the following on the ABC News site?

      " Ed Dingess-->Guest 4 months ago

      Yes...your very existence is absurd, offensive, and grotesque. And if it were not for men like Chris Kyle, you would not be free to display your ignorance so openly. Some other regime would have imprisoned you (Iran/Iraq) or gassed you (Nazis) or just cut your head off. Either way, your existence is useless. You and static are the same: nothing but useless noise. Your a coward and idiot. Your ideology is the product of insanity. Sane people do not spew the non-sense you do. Decent people honor heroes. Only cowards and useless turds like you criticize dead heroes. What good are you? Your life is a walking contradiction. You use the very freedom that men like Kyle fight for to criticize men who die so that you can run your useless mouth. I would just as soon watch someone shut it for you. That would be entertaining."
      Did Jesus speak to people like this? Did Paul think that this is what 'seasoned with salt" means? Was James being a wimp when he wrote "My brother and sisters, this ought not to be so" (3:10b)?

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    6. Actually, yes Jesus and Paul did speak to these kind of people in this sort of way. Paul said he wished that those who troubled the Galatians would mutilate themselves and it is very reasonable to understand Paul to say cut their penis off.

      Jesus calls the King an old fox, which is clearly a term of derision accusing the King of being either of no significance or of being a cunning deceiver or possibly accusing him of being a destroyer.

      That conversation was in defense of Chris Kyle. I served in the Armed Forces and have tremendous respect for this man and all our fallen heroes. Additionally, I have never held myself out as perfect. The reason God would not put me in a position to meet people like that in person is because God knows I would sin if they trashed Kyle that way to my face. So God protects me from that situation.

      If you believe these men attacking Kyle and calling him a murderer and whatever else they called him are worth better treatment, I have to wonder if your any more sane than they are.

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    7. "When you started quoting slanderous articles from bottom feeders like J.P. Holding, I deleted all your posts and have no interest in allowing you to post anything further on my site. I have no idea which articles you are talking about because I just went through, checked your posts and did a batch delete. I have no interest in continuing a dialogue with you or anyone that would resort to such tactics."
      So Ed, now that you have realised (1) that I was actually quoting your own "slanderous article" and (2) which articles I was talking about, will you restore my posts, or at the very least restore the context of Dan's May 27, 2015 4:56 PM post?

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    8. We are talking about two separate matters and this topic if finished. You have proven that your position, whatever it was, is indefensible. And you have shown that you have nothing to counter a historical Adam. Instead, you resort to a non-religious conversation where I am defending Chris Kyle from the worse kind of slander and to JP Holding pages that have no basis in fact. I stand by my remarks in defense of Chris Kyle and we are not discussing this any further BECAUSE it is a colossal waste of my time.

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    9. Who is Chris Kyle anyway? Is he a Christian martyr or something?

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    10. The article you keep referring to was written by Peter Enns over on Patheos. Sure, there is a Wenham quote but the article is written by the disgraced Enns.

      You boys don't seem to understand that it is only reasonable that competing stories about the origin of life and events as cataclysmic as the flood would be retold and that Moses is being instructed to reveal the truth about these events in his writing of the history of man.

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    11. Chris Kyle was a the most effective sniper in the history of the US Armed forces. He was a Navy Seal. After his service, he wanted to help veterans who were struggling to readjust. One of those veterans killed him and his friend. The men who were attacking him disregarded his honorable service, his noble efforts to pour his life into others, and the fact that he left behind a young family. I am a pretty transparent guy and would never pretend that everything I say and do is without sin. One would not have to look at me too long to see my glaring imperfections, or I should say, my sinful proclivities. But I have NO regrets about what I said to those useless thugs and I would say it again. And yes, if someone said those things to my face, there is a good chance I would sin in a very bad way unless God poured out a huge measure of grace for me.

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  12. You cannot SAY you were not warned. Who in their right mind would allow such ad hominem nonsense on their own blog? You decide you don't like my position and discover slander on the web and decide to use it because, well, you have absolutely nothing else left. Nothing.

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  13. Just trying one more time: Ed, do you think you've answered my questions? Or are you just ignoring them?

    You have made a very serious charge... that I am lost and in need of salvation and that I need to repent. I'm asking you a very specific question: For what do I need to repent?

    I AM striving to walk in Jesus' ways, striving by God's grace to accept the Way of Grace. I DO willingly submit my ideas and behaviors to God. What else do I need to do in order to be saved, in your mind?

    This is a pretty serious thing and you seem to just lob it out there and repeatedly ignore questions that rise from the false and unsupported charge. IF you are answering it, then I'm not seeing it. If you fail to communicate in ways that people can't see what you're saying, then how do you expect to make your case?

    This is just strange behavior, don't you see?

    Dan

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    1. At least we agree that it pretty serious. I suppose I need to understand what you believe makes a person unsaved and doomed for eternal judgment? Why kind of a person is NOT saved and what is the basis of your conclusion. I mean, if Scripture is NOT binding, then what dooms men to eternal hell?

      If you were sincere Dan, you would have given up with folly around Adam by now. The fact that you refuse to accept a historical Adam in spite of the evidence tells me that there is no amount of evidence that will change your mind. Neither are you sincere in this question.

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  14. If you were sincere Dan, you would have given up with folly around Adam by now. The fact that you refuse to accept a historical Adam in spite of the evidence tells me that there is no amount of evidence that will change your mind.

    Ed, why? Why is it not conceivable in your mind that people of good will can honestly disagree with your opinion and yet, still take the Bible and following Jesus seriously? Does the fact that you disagree with me on something as fundamental as Jesus' peaceful nature mean that I should presume "your folly" indicates you aren't sincere? Or should I take it to mean that you sincerely disagree with hundreds of years of Christian belief in many traditions, not to mention the first 200-300 years of the Christian church?

    Man, people really do have good will disagreements about multiple topics - we're human and imperfect in our knowledge, why wouldn't we have disagreements? And, why does it need to be something more than that for you?

    Can you possibly, for the sake of demonstrating you are a person of good will and honest character, just answer these questions, one for one, directly and clearly?

    Dan

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    1. Your misunderstanding lies in the fact that you seem to believe that ALL disputes could be "good will" disputes. While it is true that some disputes fit that category, in fact there are many of them among genuine Christians, the things about which we dispute are basic Christian beliefs. One has to ask if a person can adopt beliefs, contrary to their elders AND contrary to Scripture, and still remain a member in good standing in the community of Christ. I believe Scripture teaches that one in fact cannot engage in those sorts of practices. You cannot adopt contradictory beliefs to the Christian message nor can you engage in or endorse lawless behavior. You do both Dan.

      1. You have stated emphatically that Scripture is not binding or authoritative.
      2. You have denied that God would do the things the OT describes Him doing.
      3. You have denied that God would subject a teenager to eternal judgement.
      4. You have denied the unregenerate men are God-haters.
      5. You have denied original sin.
      6. You have fully embraced the concept that homosexual sex is permissible under certain conditions.

      The issue with you Dan is that you did not like the sort of Christianity presented by traditional, historic orthodoxy. So, you rejected your elders teachings, you rejected these basic teachings of Christianity, and you have exchanged them for something YOU decided was better. This behavior went on in the NT and the early Church as well Dan. Scripture calls people like you heretics, having a form or show of godliness, but denying its essence.

      You have paid attention to a deceitful spirit, doctrines of demons. Paul says that if anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, that man is conceited and understands nothing, and has a depraved mind and deprived of the truth.

      You claim the Scriptures has no authority over the life of the Christian. They are not binding you tell us. God is not like the OT describes Him so most of it must simply be myth. Why? Because you don't want such a God to exist. You do not like that God, not even for a minute. But Christians love that God and the delight in His law. When God ordered the death of the pagan nations at the hands at Israel, genuine Christians trembled and said amen. False converts rejected it and accused THAT God of being immoral.

      You think it is a serious thing for me to question your faith. And indeed it is. But I think it pales in comparison to your questioning the fidelity and moral integrity of God's revelation of Himself. No one who rejects the literal revelation of God in the OT has either known God or loves God. In fact, you admit you do NOT love the God that is literally revealed in the OT. The God you love would never execute men, women, and children of pagan nations. He would never engage in genocide. I wonder what you do with Noah. The flood destroyed everyone but Noah's families. It killed women and children, and infants, and feeble old men and women as well.

      Your god Dan is not the God of Scripture. Your Jesus is not the Christ. He is a manufactured Christ, one created in your own image and likeness. There is nothing more serious than that kind of idolatry. Thou shalt have NO OTHER gods! And yet, you do.

      That is why this is not a "good will" disagreement.

      As for your friend anonymous, he is wasting his time. There is nothing he can do to comment on this site again unless he gets back to talking about issues and stops trying to hunt down things on the internet that I may have written that he does not like. Matters that have nothing to do with this discussion.

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    2. Why don't I pick just one thing Dan and you can focus on that instead of going back and forth with you. To promote gay sex, to celebrate homosexual relationships, to endorse gay Christianity is to promote, celebrate, and endorse that which God prohibits, condemns, and forbids. By doing this, you nullify the law of God and reject God's word, something Jesus said those who are God would NOT do.

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  15. To promote gay sex, to celebrate homosexual relationships, to endorse gay Christianity is to promote, celebrate, and endorse that which God prohibits, condemns, and forbids.

    So, you still have not been able to directly answer my question, but if I may infer what I think you're trying to say, you are saying I need to repent of my position on homosexuality. Is that correct?

    But I'm asking you to think this through: I believe MY position on homosexuality is the correct, moral, biblical one. I disagree with your opinion on the matter. Now, you are asking me to REJECT what I believe to be moral and Godly and to embrace that which I believe to be immoral and ungodly.

    So, if I tell you what you need to repent of is your position on homosexuality, will you do it? OR, will you say that you must obey God as you understand God's will rather than humans?

    And what if you are mistaken on that or any other point and you actively chose what YOU BELIEVED to be moral and what turns out to be immoral, will you be condemned to hell because you lack perfect knowledge?

    That is a vital question and the implication of your position, don't you see? It's not that I "know" that your position/opinion is correct and I'm deliberately choosing against it. It's that I'm acting in what I believe to be moral, Godly ways. If I'm wrong, it's a sincere mistake and that IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH HUMANS, we are not perfect knowledge and it's not perfect knowledge that saves us but grace.

    You are arguing against Grace in favor of works, don't you see? Will you please address this hole in your argument?

    What if you are sincerely mistaken on this point, Ed? Are you doomed?

    Thank God for Grace!

    Dan

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    1. We are not going to place the topic of homosexuality on the table for debate. One cannot be gay and Christian, or, to be specific, two men cannot have sexual relationships with one another (or two women) as a way of life AND be Christian. The prohibition against such practices and the positive affirmation of biblical marriage is without ambiguity regardless of whatever foolish arguments we may wish to construct. And yes, this is a rejection of divine law and no one who loves God rejects God's law, at least not according to Scripture.

      Perfect knowledge is not the Christian standard for true knowledge. Cartesian epistemology is incongruent with Christian epistemology. Your standard is for knowledge is rejected in preference for the standard revealed in Scripture.

      There are some things we could be mistaken about. But those things do not rise to the level of giving people who are damned in their sin a false hope with a false gospel right along with a false Messiah. You do realize that the God you criticize for His genocide in the OT is the same Jesus you claim to follow in the New don't you? You accept the parts of Jesus you like and allegorize away the characteristics you don't like.

      There is no argument in your response Dan. It is just a bunch of emotion laden rhetoric. There is no exegesis, not well-respected hermeneutic, no logic, nothing but Dan really, really, wanting God to be NOT like the God of Scripture who condemns the homosexual lifestyle.

      Grace is not to be effaced with lawless licentiousness.

      You have nothing left to offer this conversation. You are nothing more than a modern rebel, unregenerate, God-hating man who wants to revamp the entire Christian tradition and make it into something you find attractive in your fallen, depraved, sinful mind. You seek only those who will tell you only things about God that you like, that you judge to be acceptable. The standard is yours, not Gods. But someday I fear you will come under divine judgment and then, there will be no grace, no mercy, no patience...only judgment, wrath, and divine anger extending retribution to every man that dared to contradict God in all His righteous dealings with man and who rejected His law in preference for their own laws, each one doing what was right in his own sight.

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    2. Any chance of answering my questions directly, Ed?

      For instance:

      What if you are sincerely mistaken on this point, Ed? Are you doomed?

      That is NOT an emotion-laden rhetoric, it is a reasonable question given that you are saying that, "DAN, if YOU are mistaken on this point, you are doomed..." So, It's a rational and reasonable question to ask in reverse... If YOU are mistaken, are you doomed?

      Your only response, interestingly, was an emotion-laden dodge, an attack and a deliberate refusal to answer the questions asked of you.

      ("We are not going to place the topic of homosexuality on the table for debate.")

      If someone disagrees with you, on what basis and whose authority do you dismiss the question without an answer? Don't you see that just undermines your credibility?

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    3. No Dan I am not doomed. It is as impossible as far as impossibility goes that I could be mistaken about how the Scripture views homosexual sex. In other words, if I could be mistaken about that, I could just as well be mistaken about Christianity altogether, that Jesus is NOT the Son of God, that He did NOT raise from the dead, that forgiveness of sins DO NOT come by His atonement, etc., etc.

      Your best scholars have given up trying to claim that Scripture does not condemn homosexual sex outright. Only the ignorant are sticking to that claim. Their view is that where Scripture condemns homosexual sex, it is merely a reflection of the author's opinion but not God's revelation. Such a position is the product of an unconverted, unbelieving heart. The "gay-Christian" debate is over Dan. It never even got started because it is NOT something we in the Christian community are willing to debate just like we are not willing to debate the authority of God speaking in Scripture, just like we are not willing to debate whether Jesus is who He claimed He was, etc., etc.

      Gays will never be accepted "as-is" in Christianity. True Christians who love Christ will always reject a practicing homosexual's claim to faith. The true Church, the Christian Church will ALWAYS reject any attempt to force gay sex on her. She will reject your attempts for membership, marriage, and any hint of celebration around gay marriage. She will classify homosexual sex with pedophilia and bestiality, as an act that is both unnatural and immoral. She will demand nothing short of absolute and entire repentance just like Jesus did with the woman taken in adultery (variant aside). To the homosexual the Church will always say, come in but sin no more, take up your cross and follow Christ.

      You want to turn this into a debate that seems to adopt cartesian epistemology. As I have said, I embrace Christian epistemology as a Christian theologian and philosopher. For the Christian, all knowledge is viewed as revelational in nature.

      My credibility being undermined by a man who defends other men who want to perform vile sexual acts on one another really doesn't bother me too much. If I have credibility in a godless system that adopts godless and self-refuting standards I am fine with that.

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  16. Okay, you picked it, I focused on it and raised the rational and orthodox Christian/biblical problem with your works-based reasoning... now what? Are you giving it some thought and will soon respond? Are you just dodging and ignoring the rational and biblical hole in your argument? Are you even a real person?

    Dan

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    1. I just returned from holiday this evening and will get to your remarks over the next few days...but I am terribly backed up.

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