Monday, April 19, 2010

A book recommendation




Dialogue between Ken Temple and our Muslim friend, thegrandverbalizer19 (hereafter GV19), is continuing at a fairly steady pace in the combox of the Bible prophecy: is the rise Muhammad and/or Islam foretold? thread. My participation in the ongoing discussion has been a somewhat limited one—without going into any depth on my reason(s) for this, I shall merely point out that I believe I approach most of the issues that Ken and GV19 are discussing from differing presuppositions. All this has brought back to mind the book from the above downloaded image: Muslims and Christians Face to Face, by Kate Zebiri (LINK to publisher and LINK to book details and price comparisions).

I read this book a number of years ago and was impressed with Dr. Zebiri’s balance, candor, and expertise. IMO, this book is a must read for anyone engaged in and/or interested in dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

If Ken, GV19, or anyone else in the near future obtains this book, I would like to begin a new thread to discuss it.


Grace and peace,

David

37 comments:

Ken said...

Since I don't have this book,(I may be able to get it later; but I would not have time to read it between now and July 1)

Therefore, why don't you at least tell us your starting Presuppositions that you approach the subject; that is different from both mine and the Grandverbalizer19's?

I would think you would approach the subject that Christianity is true, Jesus really was the Son of God who became flesh and died on the cross and rose from the dead; and that since revelation stopped with the apostles, and the canon is closed (at least we agree on that, right?); then this necessarily means that Islam is wrong and the Qur'an is not revelation from God and Muhammad was merely a man who thought he got a vision from the angel Gabriel.

If you believe that Christianity and the Bible is true (whatever you decide on your particular church/ecclesiastical affiliation), then Islam necessarily cannot by nature and/or logic be true.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto you all.

Well Ken it does not necessarily mean that the Qur'an cannot be the word of God and so forth.

I do not speak for David but if he has had contact with Bahai' and perennialist than it is safe to assume that the understanding is that the creator can reveal eternal truths in different forms (religions) to people.

Or that the religions are basically saying the same things but arguing semantics.

For example if you looked at allot of his post (which are quite good) you will see that seems to be the trend.

1) the Qur'an did not get the Trinity wrong or even really condemn it per say.

2) the Qur'an doesn't necessarily reject Jesus being the son of God (just an understanding about how that relationship is)

3) Jesus died on the cross (but not at the hands of the Jews the Romans did it)

4) Passages in the Qur'an that suggest that Jesus has died (past tense).

Basically this in terms of strategy it's quite ingenius but it has it's flaws too.

Getting Christians to accept Muhammed (saw) by seeing him as possibly being the comforter fortold.


However, one has to admit that Christian evangelical hostility towards Islam is probably at a fever pitch.

There are just some things that are out there that are still very polemical in nature.

1) Allah is the moon-God.

2) prophet Muhammed (saw) had seizures and was an epilepsy.

3) The 'orignal' Qur'an was written in Aramaic.

I mean allot of really hokey and dishonest stuff Ken.

I'll give you an example of how Christians will condemn David and other's who may use this approach but do it themselves.

The latest initiative from Zwellmer Institute sees the Christians telling Muslims hey did you know that the Qur'an says to accept our Bible! That's right folks the Qur'an says accept the New Testament and the Old Testament they are the word of God.

But than Christians don't bother to explain if this is the case why would it deny Jesus is begotten, or deity, or that he died on the cross since this is what your faith believes or teaches.

The approach used by some of the people David is quoting from says basically, 'wait maybe the Qur'an doesn't say these things'.

Where as your approach Ken is banking on the hope that Muslims will say "Chee golly your right sir it does say accept the New and Old Testaments' and automatic conversion on the spot!"

I wonder how many Muslims actually did become Christians from such tactics.

But why it doesn't work with people like me Ken is that from my view the Bible is flawed in major ways. So if the Qur'an indeed pointed me to the Bible that would mean it too is flawed. Thus for me personally I would most likely lean towards Atheism in this regards.

I'm not saying this is true of everyone. It would just be true of me personally.

Irene said...

I am waiting for the publication of David Waltz and David King...Face to Face.

Heheh.

Sorry, but you know even the saints sometimes have a mischievous streak. Anyway, I hope so. Well, I do. Couldn't resist. Didn't resist?

With good cheer...and no desire to detract from the serious conversation either,

R

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for responding; you posted:

>>Since I don't have this book,(I may be able to get it later; but I would not have time to read it between now and July 1)>>

Me: Sounds like you are working on a project…if you do obtain the book in the future let me know, I would love to discuss it with you.

>>Therefore, why don't you at least tell us your starting Presuppositions that you approach the subject; that is different from both mine and the Grandverbalizer19's?>>

Me: Now that I am no longer RC, I am much more ‘open’ to issues concerning God’s Word inscriptured; as such, I am willing to explore the possibility that both the Bible and the Qur’an are inspired (though with all due respect to GrandVerb, I do BEGIN from the position that the Bible is the Word of God).

>> If you believe that Christianity and the Bible is true (whatever you decide on your particular church/ecclesiastical affiliation), then Islam necessarily cannot by nature and/or logic be true.>>

Me: Now this is where it all gets ‘interesting’: which form of Christianity and which form of Islam? Almost everyone is cognizant of the myriads of Christian denomination/sects, but I do not think as many are aware of the divisions within Islam. The following Hadith touches on this issue:

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The Jews were split up into seventy-one or seventy-two sects; and the Christians were split up into seventy one or seventy-two sects; and my community will be split up into seventy-three sects.”

Hadith 4579 Narrated by Abu-Dawood


“Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: There will befall my Ummah exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra'il, so much so that if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah one who will do that, and if the people of Isra'il were fragmented into seventy-two sects my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: Allah's Messenger, which is that? Whereupon he said: It is one to which I and my companions belong.”

Hadith 171 Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi

[The above was accessed from the Alim CD-Rom.]


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi GrandVerb,

Thanks much for taking the time to comment; you wrote:

>> But why it doesn't work with people like me Ken is that from my view the Bible is flawed in major ways. So if the Qur'an indeed pointed me to the Bible that would mean it too is flawed. Thus for me personally I would most likely lean towards Atheism in this regards.>>

Me: I could never be an Atheist; for me creation demands a Creator. On a more personal level, I can attest to the work of God’s Spirit in my life…

As for the position that “the Bible is flawed in major ways”, though I do not believe that the Biblical text(s) (especially the OT) is as well ‘preserved’ as the Qur’an, I do believe that it is very reliable; I have also noted that for all the rancor over the numerous textual variants, take any version you want, give it to the leading scholars of each of the various Christian sects, and whichever version you give them, it will not change their respective theological position(s). This speaks volumes to me and strongly suggests that it is NOT the textual variants which have caused the divisions within Christianity.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David,
You think the Qur'an might be inspired?

How?

That doesn't make sense.

You don't think revelation stopped with the apostles? What about Jude 3 and Hebrews 1:1-3; etc. ?

To both GV19 and David (although David probably knows all this) -
I think the Prostestant position is better than the Roman Catholic claims of being the true church and "deciding" the canon, etc. - all of these articles are a very good study of this issue.

I know David W. will disagree, but I link to it for the GV19's benefit to study. Jason Engwer is impressive to me, both in his content and his spirit and demeanor.

http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2010/04/historical-roots-of-reformation-and.html

Ken said...

David,
Do you also think that Bahaism might have inspired texts?

Your belief, or "open-ness to post NT revelation in other religions" is really baffling and strange.

If you think the Qur'an is inspired, it would have to stop there, (because it also claims to be the last, Muhammad as the seal of the prophets.)

This, if you think it is inspired, would then mean an acceptance of all of it - Men being permitted to have up to 4 wives (Surah 4:3), men being allowed to beat their wives(Surah 4:34), slavery and concubines taken of war booty (Surah 4:36, and other verses and lots of details in the Hadith, shocking stuff); cutting off hands and feet for those who make war against Islam (Surah 5:33) and Jihad - aggressive physical war to spread Islam - Surah 9:5; 9:14; 9:29; 8:39, etc.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

Thanks much for responding; you posted:

>>David,

You think the Qur'an might be inspired?

How?

That doesn't make sense.>>

Me: I have jettisoned the position of an infallible magisterium, which had definitively stated that corporate revelation had ceased with the apostles of Jesus. Now that I am no longer in that former paradigm, I must in good conscience remain open to the possibility that all revelation did not cease with Jesus’ apostles.

>>You don't think revelation stopped with the apostles? What about Jude 3 and Hebrews 1:1-3; etc. ?>>

Me: Both those passages can be understood in a ‘dispensational’ sense (not to be confused with Darby’s ‘dispensational theology’).

>>To both GV19 and David (although David probably knows all this) -
I think the Prostestant position is better than the Roman Catholic claims of being the true church and "deciding" the canon, etc. - all of these articles are a very good study of this issue.>>

Me: I think the RCC is one of many Christian denominations; I also think canonical issues transcend denominational paradigms.

>>I know David W. will disagree, but I link to it for the GV19's benefit to study. Jason Engwer is impressive to me, both in his content and his spirit and demeanor.>>

Me: Jason is very charitable (as are you), and some of his “content” is quite good; however, I also believe that some of his reflections are heavily influenced by certain negative presuppositions—as with so many apologists (all ?), one must be wary of bias.


Grace and peace,

David

David Waltz said...

Ken,

You also wrote:

>>David,

Do you also think that Bahaism might have inspired texts?>>

Me: Yes, I am open to that possibility.

>>Your belief, or "open-ness to post NT revelation in other religions" is really baffling and strange.>>

Me: No more “baffling and strange” than those Jews who accepted further revelation beyond the respective OT canons of the various sects of Judaism in Jesus’ day who were convinced that the canon was ‘closed’.

>>If you think the Qur'an is inspired, it would have to stop there, (because it also claims to be the last, Muhammad as the seal of the prophets.)>>

Me: In the near future, I will type up a new thread (the Lord willing), that will address certain presuppositions concerning the title of “the seal of the prophets”.

>>This, if you think it is inspired, would then mean an acceptance of all of it - Men being permitted to have up to 4 wives (Surah 4:3), men being allowed to beat their wives(Surah 4:34), slavery and concubines taken of war booty (Surah 4:36, and other verses and lots of details in the Hadith, shocking stuff); cutting off hands and feet for those who make war against Islam (Surah 5:33) and Jihad - aggressive physical war to spread Islam - Surah 9:5; 9:14; 9:29; 8:39, etc.>>

"If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.” (Deuteronomy 25:11, 12 – NASB)

“Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I also gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!” (2 Samuel 12:7, 8 – NASB)

"Behold, these caused the sons of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, so the plague was among the congregation of the LORD. "Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man intimately. (Numbers 31:16, 17 – NASB)

"When the LORD your God shall bring you into the land where you are entering to possess it, and shall clear away many nations before you, the Hittites and the Girgashites and the Amorites and the Canaanites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and stronger than you, and when the LORD your God shall deliver them before you, and you shall defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall make no covenant with them and show no favor to them.” (Deuteronomy 7:1, 2)

"But of the cities of these peoples which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive” (Deuteronomy 20:16 – NKJV)

Samuel also said to Saul, "The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD. "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'I will punish Amalek for what he did to Israel, how he ambushed him on the way when he came up from Egypt. 'Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.' " (1 Samuel 15:1-3 – NKJV)

Ken said...

David,
Obviously all of those verses are from the OT and most are contexts of the whole "Holy Wars of Israel" vs. the pagan/unbelievers/Canaanites/Amalakite issues.

They are answerable in their context, but more than that, we have the NT which has fulfilled the OT and there is no more civil law for Israel as a theocratic state nor the ceremonial and temple/sacrificial laws.

You have no such verse from the NT that answers my question.

We have the New Covenant that shows that there is no more "Political-Theocratic State" where Israel and religion was one unity from God.

Jesus took the kingdom of God away from Israel - Matthew 21:43

The Kingdom of God is spreading among believers in Messiah among all the nations - Acts 1:6-8; Matthew 28:18-20; Revelation 5:9, 7:9 (every people, nation, tribe, and tongue) John 20:21; Mark 16:15, Luke 24:25-27; 24:32; 24:44-49

Islam actually has reached back and skipped the grace and love of the NT and "re-fried" the harshness of the OT law and military/political unity with religion for the Arabs and other Muslims.

I am a little surprised that you just threw out OT texts like that with no attention to context and the fact that the OT was first and is "old" and has faded away (except for the moral laws, 10 commandments and principles of justice derived from God's law) and been fulfilled in the new covenant. Hebrews chapters 8-11.

"The law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." John 1:17

Islam is a socio-political-military-religious system that covers all of life, like the OT law.

Those laws are no longer - Mark 7:19 - all foods are clean

Acts 10-11

Colossians 2:16-17

Galatians 4:1-11

Galatians 4:25-26

Hebrews 9:9-10

Hebrews 11:10 13, 16, 40; 12:22-25; 13:14

John 4:21-24

Ken said...

David Waltz - Both those passages can be understood in a ‘dispensational’ sense.

(Responding to Jude 3 and Hebrews 1:1-3)

Wow. You are now entertaining a completely non-Christian paradigm shift.

Ken: Do you also think that Bahaism might have inspired texts?>>

David Waltz: Me: Yes, I am open to that possibility.

Wow. As I wrote, this is a completely non-Christian paradigm shift.

It seems you actually are considering Bahai-ism, and from what I understand, takes that "dispensational" approach, that each era in history needs a new revelation that "updates" and fulfills the previous revelation, so Islam fulfilled Christianity (which is ridiculous, since it skipped the grace and love of the cross and resurrection and the meaning of the gospel and went back to the OT and just "re-fried" the basic socio-political-military-law for the Arabs and then spread through aggressive Jihad -

and then in the 1800s the Bab and Bahai'allah believe they are the new dispensation for further revelation.

Wow. I never thought you were that radical in your paradigm shift.

Is that not the implication of what you are saying?

Ken said...

"If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.” (Deuteronomy 25:11, 12 – NASB)

Are you paralleling this verse with open permission for husbands to beat their wives in Qur'an, Surah 4:34 ?

The other verses are mostly about the destruction of the Canaanites and Amalakites out of the land of Israel -

But remember - God gave the Canaanites/Amorites (8-12-16? different tribes) 400 + years to repent - Genesis 15:13-16

And God saved a remnant of the Canaanites by grace - Rahab and her family - Joshua chapter 2

And many other non-Jews in the OT - Ruth, a Moabites, Jethro, the Midianite ( Exodus 18:1-12); Zipporah, Moses wife, the Canaanite sailors in Jonah 1 - "the offered a sacrifice to Yahweh"; the Ninevites (Assyrians) - Jonah 3-4; Caleb, the son of Jephunah the Kenizite (see Joshua chapter 14; Numbers 14; 32:11-32; Genesis 15:19); Naaman the Syrian ( 2 Kings 5, esp. v. 15); the Queen of Sheba ( I Kings 10; Nebuchadnezzar's repentance - Daniel 4:34-37; Darius the Medes' praise of the God of Israel - Daniel 6:20-28.

Also the general call of Israel to shine the light of the true God to all nations - Genesis 12:3, 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; 49:10; Ex. 19:5-6; Psalm 67; 96; 47; Psalm 2:8; Isaiah 49:6; 45:22.

So, even though there were harsh punishments and commands to drive out the Canaanite tribes and destroy the Amalakites, there was always opportunities for repentance to the true God; and God always saved a remnant in all nations; and so He proves He was never a "tribal Deity" as many people claim, by the appeals to the harsh war context texts without the historical background of those texts.

Ken said...

You have no such verse from the NT that answers my question.

Should have been:

You have not such verse from the NT that parallels any of what I mentioned in the Qur'an, nor any NT verse that would refute what I am trying to say - that the NT fulfilled the OT ceremony/wars/punishments/Israel civil law; therefore, your quoting those OT texts is mute, since they are no long binding on the NT communities, the church in all nations.

John 18:36

Matthew 26:52

Matthew 5:20-48

Ephesians 6:12

Matthew 21:1-13 (Mark 11:17 for all nations)

Matthew 21:33-46

Ken said...

therefore, your quoting those OT texts is mute,

Should have been

therefore, your quoting those OT texts is moot,

Ken said...

David,
Openness to the Qur'an and Islam as a subsequent revelation after Jesus and the NT; and openness to Bahai'ism after that

implies a repudiation of all basic orthodox understanding of Jesus and the cross/resurrection/redemption and the new covenant.

(It implies a rejection of all that bare minimum of what Protestants, RCC, and EO agree on about Christ, the Trinity, the cross, resurrection.)

That is the implication of this; is it not?

It is much more than just rejecting the infallibility of the Pope and Magisterium (including counsels) of the RCC; it is a massive implication of actually rejecting the New Covenant and Christ's redemption as the eternal sacrifice and only hope for salvation for all future time; until Christ returns.

Your response?

I am frankly flabbergasted at the implications of this, the more I think about it.

David Waltz said...

Ken:>> David Waltz - Both those passages can be understood in a ‘dispensational’ sense.

(Responding to Jude 3 and Hebrews 1:1-3)

Wow. You are now entertaining a completely non-Christian paradigm shift.>>

Me: I sincerely think you are missing my point Ken; my response to you concerned your insistence that the canon was closed. The Jews of Jesus day thought the same thing and pointed to verses in the OT to support that view. They were wrong in their interpretation of those verses. Now, once again, without an authoritative magisterium, issues concerning the canon are not crystal clear (IMO). Revelation/inspiration (or what ever term you wish to use) is thought by many Pentecostals to still be functioning within the Christian paradigm, with some even go so far as to maintain that there are legitimate apostles and prophets on Earth right now (which is consistent with the whole Pentecostal worldview), and the implications of such views significantly complicates the canon issue.

I know you want me to be dogmatic on this issue, but at this stage of my spiritual sojourn here on Earth, I cannot do so in good conscience.

Sincerely hope you can remain patient with me; and if led by the Holy Spirit, will keep me in your prayers. And as always, I appreciate your taking the time to reflection and comment on my musings.


God bless,

David

Ken said...

Ok, I am waiting for more.

Pentecostal/charismatic stuff - well that is much different than Qur'an and Bahai'ism. --

They (Pentecostals and Charismataics) are so desperate for miracles and don't understand the "already/not yet" perspective that they tend to go overboard in the zeal without thinking clearly.

But the good ones, after they settle down and think, realize that the canon is closed and they have to modify what they mean by apostles and prophesy and 'revelation".

That is a still massive difference than thinking the Qur'an and then Bahai'ism are further stages in God revealing Himself to man.

But, ok, I will be patient; but I am surprised still.

And yes, I will stop and pray for you now and seek to pray for you more regularly.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Wow! What a conversation going on here! First let me address the issue of the no further revelation after the apostles. The idea that there is no further revelation after the apostles is completely false. Many people are under the impression that after the twelve apostles no more revelation was given by God, and thus the canon is closed. While I agree that the canon of scripture is closed, please remember that both James and Jude were NOT APOSTLES, but were Jesus' brothers who did receive revelations and wrote their respective epistles. Another person after the Twelve was Paul. He wrote numerous epistles and received numerous revelations(2 Corinthians 12:7). Then there are the four daughters of Phillip the deacon, of whom we have no written account of the revelations given to them, but it is recorded that they were prophets (Acts 21:8-9).

Here is the thing, the Bible says that in the last days God will pour out His spirit on all flesh, and men and women will prophesy, and old men shall dream dreams, and young men will have visions (Joel 2:28). It states very clearly in scripture that "where there is no vision the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Prophecy and visions are essential to the proper functioning of the church, and without it, the church would lack the guidance it needs to overcome the challenges of our spiritual walk here on earth. In Revelation 12:17, the saints (true believers) are described as people who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Jesus, according to Revelation 19:10, is prophecy.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Now the idea that all holy books are inspired, I would not go so far. Just because a work claims to be inspired does not mean it is inspired. We test the inspiration of any text by applying the litmus test of prophecy. If a scriptural text is of God, then the words written will come to pass. If it is not of God, then the words will fail.

When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him (Deuteronomy 18:22).

This is just plain commonsense. Would you risk your eternal salvation on testimony of untrustworthy words? Yet many people do this just because they want to believe that a certain text is inspired. I tell you, there a lot of good books out there, and some even claim to be the inspired word of God, but one should always apply the litmus test of prophecy to see whether such things are true or false.

I believe the Bible is the word of God because I have yet to see anything in there that is false or untrustworthy. Even some of the quotes the Quran clearly confirm the veracity of the Bible. I see a lot of similarities between what is quoted from the Quran on this blog (I have never read the Quran myself) and what is in the Bible. This to me further confirms the solid foundation on which the Bible rests.

Now as a author myself, I think my book and writings are inspired by God, but I will NEVER claim that anything I have written is scripture. I feel that what I write is essentially MY understanding and MY viewpoints concerning certain truths that God has revealed to me. I also stand to be corrected if I have misinterpreted any of God's words.

Peace.

Ken said...

Actually, James, the brother of Jesus is called an apostle
Galatians 1:19
I Corinthians 15:7

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ken wrote:

"Actually, James, the brother of Jesus is called an apostle
Galatians 1:19
I Corinthians 15:7"
_________________________________

My point exactly. James was not numbered among the Twelve, and yet he was called an apostle. Paul also was called an apostle, yet he was not numbered among the Twelve. Paul was not even present at Pentecost! So, those who claim that God's revelation ceased with the Twelve, are preaching a false doctrine, because other prophets came after them. When people say that revelation ended with the apostles, they usually mean the twelve apostles plus Paul. They don't usually include James or Jude.

Neither James nor Jude were of the 12 disciples. When Judas was condemned, Matthias replaced Judas - not James or Jude. James and Jude became prominent leaders within the Christian community but their calling was outside that of the Twelve, not to mention Paul, and the four daughters of Philip.

Peace.

Ken said...

Apostles are more than the "Twelve" - I think you mis-understood me. I always included Paul as an apostle of Jesus Christ. I Cor. 9:1ff

Orthodox Christianity never said revelation ceased with "the Twelve" disciples; but with all the apostles, including Paul, James, and others, even Barnabas is called an apostle in Acts 14:4, 14:14 - and it is possible he could have been the writer of Hebrews, as the author was familiar with Paul's thought and knew Timothy and Barnabas was a Levite - Acts 4:36 and "the son of Encouragement" - the author's note at the end, "this brief word of exhortation" may be his own clue as to who he is. Tertullian believed it was Barnabas and that is who I lean to as author of Hebrews.

No, usually it means also the 11 + Matthias + Paul and his missionary band (Luke, Timothy, Barnabas, Silas, others), James and Jude. (because they were apostles also, or wrote under apostolic authority -like in that Mark writing for Peter.

Peace to you also.

David Waltz said...

Hi Hillary,

Thanks much for taking the time to comment; you wrote:

>>Now the idea that all holy books are inspired, I would not go so far. Just because a work claims to be inspired does not mean it is inspired. We test the inspiration of any text by applying the litmus test of prophecy. If a scriptural text is of God, then the words written will come to pass. If it is not of God, then the words will fail.>>

Me: Agreed; I would also add the following words of Jesus to “the litmus test”:

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-18 – KJV)

Now, a question: do you believe that the NT teaches there will definitely NO further revelation/Scripture after the apostolic period (which many say ended 100 AD)?


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David wrote asking Hillary("Daughter of Wisdom") -

Now, a question: do you believe that the NT teaches there will definitely NO further revelation/Scripture after the apostolic period (which many say ended 100 AD)?

I will answer for me and every other Orthodox believer in Christ that I know of; Evangelical Protestants, even non -Reformed, and - even RC and EO -

Yes; the NT teaches this in Jude 3, John chapters 14-17; Hebrews 1:1-3; Galatians 1:8-9; Rev. 22:18 (by principle and application); and 2 Timothy 3:16-17. There is no more revelation or inspired Scriptures - Jesus Christ is the final revelation, testified and written down for His people in the 27 NT books.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

David asked:
"Now, a question: do you believe that the NT teaches there will definitely NO further revelation/Scripture after the apostolic period (which many say ended 100 AD)?"
-----------------------------------


David, I do not believe that the NT teaches that there will be no further revelations from God after the canon of scripture closes or after the apostolic period.

Ephesians 4:11-13, emphasis mine:

11And he gave some, apostles; and some, PROPHETS; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.


Have we all come into the unity of the faith yet? I think not! Especially on this thread :-).

The two final witness of the endtimes, just before Jesus returns, will be prophets.

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth (Revelation 11:3).

Paul counsels us to prefer the gift of prophecy over the other spiritual gifts.

Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1).

There are so many more texts all over the Bible that show that the gift of prophecy is essential for the edification of the church. Without prophecy, the church would be left groping in the dark when faced with controversial and unclear issues. We need to be careful that we do not despise the gifts of the Spirit, and prophecy is most important. Why should God stop revealing Himself to mankind? Are we so much more holy now, that we do not need any counsel or instructions from God when facing day to day spiritual challenges? The reason I believe there is so much confusion in the body of Christ is that we disdain the gift of prophecy. Everybody is now their own prophet and interprets scripture according to their own personal biases instead of submitting to God for His Truth and His divine Revelation. JMHO.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ken, I have read the scriptures you provided and none of them say anything about divine revelation being closed after the apostolic period. The closest one to that is Revalation 22:18-19.

18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


This scripture is however referring to the prophecies contained in the book of Revelation. The injunction forbids anyone from tampering with these prophecies by adding to them or omitting any part of them, thus changing the meaning of the prophecies contained in the book of revelation.

In principle, this can be said of ANY prophecy. When we are unfaithful and tamper with God's word, and try to change it by adding or subtracting words, we are committing a grave sin. Getting a new revelation of God which sheds light on new or old problems that may not be so clear in scripture, is NOT tampering. If that were the case, then Jesus and Paul were guilty of tampering, because they preached from divine revelation, and shed new light on old scriptures and made them clearer and more understandable.

Peace.

Ken said...

Thanks Hillary -

The issue is whether there would further Scriptures (God-breathed writings) - because David W. has/is entertaining the idea that Scriptures after the apostolic era when the 27 books of the NT were written (AD 45-70 or AD 45-96); he is open to the possibility that the Qur'an is inspired and also the Bahai' writings.

Now, that is much different than believing that Charismatic gifts of prophesy still continue, as in the verses you gave ( Ephesians 4:11; I Cor. 12-14); and far different than the futurist/pre-mill/pre-trib view of the book of Revelation.

As I wrote earlier, all the good Pentecostals and Charismatics admit that the modern gift of prophesy does not rise to the quality or level of Scripture; otherwise one would need to write down these "prophesies".

So, there are two types of "revelation" - (if one follows that view) 1. Revelation that is "once for all" (Jude 3) - truth delivered once for all, and no need for more. And then there is "revelation" - guidance, warnings, applications, words of wisdom, insight, rebuke of sin, preaching, etc. that is considered prophesy, but is not Scripture and should not be written down and added to the books of the NT.

I agree with you that the Revelation verses are about that particular book, that is why I put in parentheses ( by principle and application).

I think Jude 3 is the clearest and the principle from John chapters 14 and 16 that when the Spirit comes, He would lead the apostles into all the truth. These are clearly teaching that there is no more Revelation at the Scripture quality level for our salvation/sanctification/teaching in the church. "the faith was once for all time delivered to the saints.

Anyway, I hope you see the difference between Revelation (Truth, the faith, all the doctrines and truths that God has revealed to us for our salvation and sanctification) in Scripture and "revelation" in modern gifts of prophesy that some Christians practice. But that practice opens up lots of subjectivism and dangers.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ken, you are making an artificial distinction between prophecy and scripture. ALL scripture was revealed through prophecy.

"ALL scripture is given by INSPIRATION of God" (1 Timothy 3:16).

"Knowing this first that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:20-21).


The word of God is the word of God, whether by scripture or divine revelation. Now I agree with you that our divine revelations should not be added to the books of the New Testament, because that can open up a whole can of worms with people trying to add false prophesies to the Bible. However, I do endorse the view that those divine revelations should be written down, so that the body of Christ can study them to see whether they be true or not. That is the main purpose of my blog. I write as God reveals to me, and let others judge my work. As a matter of fact, my latest post today is a prophecy I made which has come true, and there are several more like that on my site.

P.S the style of 'prophesying' done by Pentecostals is not what I am talking about. The Pentecostal 'prophesying' is mainly admonitions and speaking truth into a person's life. I am talking more about spiritual instruction and adding clarity to obscure scriptures, and enlightenment in the things of God.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ken wrote:

"I think Jude 3 is the clearest and the principle from John chapters 14 and 16 that when the Spirit comes, He would lead the apostles into all the truth. These are clearly teaching that there is no more Revelation at the Scripture quality level for our salvation/sanctification/teaching in the church. "the faith was once for all time delivered to the saints. "
-----------------------------------

The Holy Spirit came to lead all Christians into all truth - not just the 12 disciples present when Jesus made this statement to them. If that were the case, then Judas would not have been condemned, and Paul would have stood no chance in receiving the Holy Spirit.

Jude 3 addresses "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude was talking about faith here - not prophecy. We must agree that faith is not a stagnant virtue but has the capacity to grow. Our faith grows when we practice it by being obedient to the will of God, which can only be known through scripture and divinee revelation.

Peace.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

As for David thinking that possible the Quran or Bahai teachings may be inspired. At least let him examine those teachings for truth and veracity. Look, most of us in Christianity grew up believing in the Bible - no questions asked. People of different religions believe in their own holy books - no questions asked. Sometimes the only way to find Truth is to "test the spirits" to see whether they are of God, or not.

I caution however, that this is not a feat for the weak-minded. People who are weak in the faith, will be lead astray by ever wind of doctrine, so gird up your mind with Truth first, and draw on the help of our divine Teacher - the Holy Spirit.

Peace.

Ken said...

Daughter of wisdom wrote:

Jude 3 addresses "faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Jude was talking about faith here - not prophecy.

Jude is not talking about "faith" as in personal faith that grows as in trust and spiritual growth, etc. - that is why the article in Greek is so important in this verse - it is "the faith" - which is close to "the truth" - all the doctrines and content of the "the faith" of Christianity. It is not about personal subjective ("My" faith or "your faith" in Christ)

It is similar to Galatians 1:23
"He who persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy." It is a similar concept to "all the truth" in John 16:13

We only can be lead by the Holy Spirit today in guidance, power over sin, insight into the text, application, wisdom, encouragement, peace, comfort, etc. because we have the text that the apostles were promised to be lead into all the truth in John 14, 15, and 16. Yes, we have that promise, but only in application by meditation and study on the once for all delivered to the saints, "the faith", "the truth", that is in the Scriptures.

At least let him examine those teachings for truth and veracity.

Anyway, David W. has already studied the Qur'an and the Hadith and the Shiite stuff and the Bahai'i texts even more than me and he still remains open to it all. So, it is not like he has come upon something fresh; he has been open, it seems to the Bahai' stuff for a long time. Search this site and you will see in comboxes from 2007 and 2008 ( ? exactly) discussions between me and David (look at all the articles under Islam at his side bar) [I don't want to take the time to look it all up]; but I am pretty sure you will find enough there that shows he has already read the Bahai and Shiite stuff many years ago. David is of course free to comment and correct me; if I have gone too far in my assessment. That is what it seems to me. There is also lots of discussion at this web-site as to, it honestly seems to me, David's "friendliness" to the Mormon ability to interpret the Early Church Fathers a certain way, and "theosis" [man becoming god, Mormon, or the EO concept] ideas expressed in the Early Church Fathers.

David can certainly correct me on how I am expressing this; this is an honest assessment of what it seems like to me.

The text of Scripture tells me that they (Qur'an and Bahai' writings) cannot be true. Whatever is in them that is true, they got from the previous Scriptures (The OT and the NT).

If that were the case, then Judas would not have been condemned,

Also, Judas Iscariot had already left the scene ( John 13:21-30); so the promises in John 14-17 did not apply to him.

Paul was an apostle, ( I Cor. 9:1 ff; I Cor. 15:1-10; Acts chapters 9, 22, 26; Galatians chapters 1-2; and Peter affirms all his books, 2 Peter 3:16; so the promises of John 14-17 apply to Paul also. No one else can make that claim today, after the NT was finished.

Peace.

Ken said...

Here is one of the places David mentions his good friend converting to Bahai'ism and that is what led him to deep study of both it and Islam. We emailed later, since I can speak and read Farsi, and sent me some copies of some Bahai'i text - but it is very difficult to read; with full comprehension. Iranians are very metaphorical and poetic and their history of inventing new religions (Mitra-ism, Zoroastrianism, Manicheism, Mazdakism, Iranian take on Shiite Islam, Bahai'ism, etc.) is extensive. The Iranian tendency is to take something and change it and innovate it.

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/03/quran-muhammad-and-polemical.html

KT:>>How did you come to have so many books on Islam and what is your story in how you converted to the Roman Catholic Church?>>

Me: A very good Christian friend of mine converted to the Bahai Faith in the late 90’s; this event prompted my in depth study into Islam.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ken wrote:

"Also, Judas Iscariot had already left the scene ( John 13:21-30); so the promises in John 14-17 did not apply to him."
-----------------------------------

Tell me something Ken, since you are being so technical. Did the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost, only fall on the eleven disciples that Jesus was addressing in John 14-17? Did not the Holy Spirit fall on ALL of the followers of Jesus on that day, who were gathered together? At least 120 people - probably more.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Ken wrote:

"Paul was an apostle, ( I Cor. 9:1 ff; I Cor. 15:1-10; Acts chapters 9, 22, 26; Galatians chapters 1-2; and Peter affirms all his books, 2 Peter 3:16; so the promises of John 14-17 apply to Paul also. No one else can make that claim today, after the NT was finished."
---------------------------------

I see you are very accepting of the fact that Paul was an apostle - after the fact. Hindsight is 20/20 you know. Do you know that in Paul's day many did not accept him as an apostle? That Paul had a difficult time convincing people that he was a credible witness to divine revelation? It is easy to talk now of accepting Paul, but if you were around during Paul's day, you would probably use the same arguments you are using now against prophecy, to discredit Paul.

Sorry to sound so harsh but I want to see where your line of reasoning is going.

Peace.

Ken said...

Did not the Holy Spirit fall on ALL of the followers of Jesus on that day, who were gathered together? At least 120 people - probably more.

Yes, they were all baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:1-4. But they did not all write inspired Scripture.

As for Paul, yes at first they were suspicious of Paul; but eventually he was affirmed as an apostle of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1-2 talks about this. Thank God. 2 Corinthians 11-12 also. I do accept the Scriptures as God-breathed and trustworthy.

Robert said...

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nilesh mahapatra said...

Thanks Hillary -

The issue is whether there would further Scriptures (God-breathed writings) - because David W. has/is entertaining the idea that Scriptures after the apostolic era when the 27 books of the NT were written (AD 45-70 or AD 45-96); he is open to the possibility that the Qur'an is inspired and also the Bahai' writings.
Quran