Friday, September 3, 2010

Another post has vanished

During the last couple of weeks, a good number of my posts to comboxes in threads by John Bugay at the Beggars All blog have disappeared after showing up for a couple of minutes. The same has happened here at AF on at least two occasions. I have reported the problem to Blogger, but have not gotten a response.

This morning, I posted my continued response to John Bugay’s thread, Best-0f-Breed New Testament Scholarhip; it showed up, but unfortunately, the last I checked (about 15 minutes ago), it too has vanished. The following is a copy of my morning post:


Hi John,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>> Well, David, I hope everything comes out all right at your trip to the dentist!>>

Me: Went much smoother that I anticipated; in fact, wasn’t too bad at all (though I still hate going !!! [grin]). As soon as I got home I jumped on my bike and went on a 2 hour ride so I would not be tempted to eat something before I should—it wiped me out, ended up taking a short afternoon nap, and ultimately did not log on to the internet until this morning. Anyway, on to more important things—continuing my reflections on your opening post—you penned:

>> Just as an aside, I recall reading that you are from Northern California? Quickly, who are the mayors of San Francisco going back 100 years? (Hegesippus wrote in 166, and so it would have been approximately 100 years-worth of names he’d have had to come up with.) Who are the mayors of your current home town going back 100 years? What were their names – be sure to get them in the correct order – and affix dates to them. If you can’t do it, what would you do? Ask old folks for some of the names they remember. There’s no guarantee that would be a successful effort though. And if you were arguing against heretics, as Hegesippus was, and going back 20 or 30 years, there weren’t actually any “mayors” but maybe just councils or itinerant sheriffs, well, you might be tempted to incorporate those names in the drawing up of those lists. But it doesn’t make for an accurate list.>>

Me: Not NC, Washington State (Long Beach):

http://www.blogger.com/profile/17966083488813749052

http://funbeach.com/


For the record, according to Hegesippus (as related by Eusebius), he wrote his “Memoirs” during the episcopate of Eleutherus which dates after 166 AD (died circa 189 AD). As for the approximately 100 years of remembrance, “oral tradition” back in the first century did not have to compete with TV, radio, Twitter, Facebook, the internet, et al. I have little doubt that Eleutherus could accurately recall his predecessors. Now, with that said, I still know the names of all the presidents of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society (i.e. JWs) which spans a period of over 100 years; I also know all the names of the presidents the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e. Mormons), 150 plus years; and I use to remember when I was in the OPC all of the presidents of Princeton seminary up to the departure of Machen, 124 years.

>> It may be possible for you to question Lampe’s analysis of the Hegesippus/Irenaeus lists, but I cannot imagine you can challenge his analysis of episcopoi/presbuteroi -- he relies incredibly heavily on primary sources such as Clement and Hermas and others, and you certainly can’t (easily) challenge his entire fractionation-and-house structure. The “presbyterial style” of government also has deep roots within the New Testament.>>

Me: See my
September 3, 2010 10:13 AM reply to Ken:

http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/08/john-bugays-latest-response.html


Anyway, I am going to start working on a post that examines Lampe’s “From Paul to Valentinus” right after I submit this particular post; don’t know how long I will spend on it before I put it up, but hopefully, by the end of the day.

Sincerely hope that you and yours have a great Labor Day weekend!


Grace and peace,

David



Back to work on my upcoming thread on Peter Lampe’s, From Paul to Valentinus.


Grace and peace,

David

51 comments:

John Bugay said...

I have no idea why comments are vanishing.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord....

You guys might want to try using firefox browser instead of explorer or google chrome, the other thing is remember blogger is a 'free' service so it's going to have some hick ups. I would suggest if it keeps up try comment moderation so that way you can see what is coming I think there is a problem with the daemon filters.

Hope this helps guys and keep up the good conversation, Lord knows this world needs it!

Ken said...

The Grandverbalizer19 may be right on this point - have you tried using Firefox ? that is also what I use and none of my posts have disappeared.

David Waltz wrote:
"Me: See my September 3, 2010 10:13 AM reply to Ken:"

David's reply is in the comment box at this article:
http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/08/john-bugays-latest-response.html

Ken says: And see the ongoing answers I am giving to "Blogahon" who is continuing to defend the same basic RCC claim that David W. is making - that Hegessipus (around 166 AD, but comes to us through Eusebius (326 AD) (almost 2 centuries later than 96 AD, when Clement was written and all the NT books were already written) and Irenaeus (died, 202 AD) (100 years later), that these lists of bishops, one written over a century and another almost two centuries later; overthrow the God-breathed scriptures in Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5-7; Acts 14:23; I Peter 5:1-5; and 2 Peter 1:12-21 (If there was any such thing as a papal doctrine, the alleged first Pope would have mentioned his being it, and passing down that "living voice" to the next generation. Instead, Peter exhorts them to keep reminding themselves in the truth in the Scriptures, the more certain word of prophesy.

It is possible that some of the early named "bishops"(since elder and bishop are the same office, but different words to describe different aspects of their ministry) were elders in a group of elders, but because by the 3rd Century, they were going with the practice of mono-episcopais (one man bishop over a church or more than one church in a city or area), that the records shows the promiment pastor-teacher who did most of the teaching and preaching, etc. and the other names were forgotten, because they were not as "memorable" to the available evidence and were humble and quiet men who served as fellow-presbyters, but were not mentioned anymore, because the mono-episcopate system had become "tradition".

I'll go with the "God-breathed" Scriptures.

Ken said...

"almost 2 centuries later than AD 96"

should have been written,

"more than 2 centuries later"

Math is not my strong point. (smile)

Ken said...

David wrote:
"Now, with that said, I still know the names of all the presidents of the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society (i.e. JWs) which spans a period of over 100 years; I also know all the names of the presidents the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e. Mormons), 150 plus years; and I use to remember when I was in the OPC all of the presidents of Princeton seminary up to the departure of Machen, 124 years."


That's pretty impressive.

Ken said...

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/08/exhortation-to-david-waltz.html

David,
What is your response to this?

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Taking a brief break to check my blog. Had a super busy Laborday weekend; getting almost all my outdoor projects completed--have 5 buildings on my property, one as large as 4400 sq. ft., and 5 large wood decks--only the smallest building needs to be finished (a small took shed), and 3 of the decks then I am done for the year!!!

Will try to get to your older posts tomorrow, but it may be Thursday, unless it rains.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David,
I responded to your comment over at Beggar's All on my article on the Council of Nicaea.

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/council-of-nicaea-in-325-ad-excellent.html

David,
Many of the links you refer to; I have already discussed this lots with you both in some of the articles and in the com boxes.


1. What is the difference in

"belief in the Deity of Christ"

and

"Belief in the FULL Deity of Christ" ?

2. You have never really defined what you mean by "subordinationism" - there are lots of different levels of subordinationism.

3. Do you think Ignatius wrote clear enough on the Deity of Christ ?

He calls "Jesus Christ God" and "the Son God" very clearly.

Ephesians 1
Ephesians 18
Ephesians 19
Romans 1
Romans 3
Smyrneans 1
Polycarp 3
Ephesians 7

And Origen and Ireneaus (2 of the main examples you use) still believed in the Trinity, even though the way they explain the relationship between the Father and the Son is different than the later creeds; they are still examples of pre-Nicaean belief in the Deity of Christ and the Trinity, and therefore, even their "subordiantionism" (there are different levels and understanding of that) does not give comfort to Muslims or Jehovah's witnesses or skeptics on the point that Dr. White is making. It still doesn't follow that the Trinity was something new and "a new god, new teaching, new deity"; as Ignatius shows us very clearly.

4. Don't you think it is a good question posed by Dr. White?

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

I had hoped to be done with my outdoor projects by today, but alas, I was way too optimistic. Need head across the river for more supplies, but wanted to respond to your last comment before doing so; you posted:

>>David,
I responded to your comment over at Beggar's All on my article on the Council of Nicaea.

http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.com/2010/09/council-of-nicaea-in-325-ad-excellent.html

David,
Many of the links you refer to; I have already discussed this lots with you both in some of the articles and in the com boxes.>>

Me: Yes we have, but I doubt that few others are aware of our discussions. I cite many patristic scholars in series on subordinationism (http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/search/label/Subordinationism), many of whom are conservative and/or moderates, who differ with James White’s take on the pre-Nicene Church Fathers. I have spent nearly 30 years now studying the CFs, and must in good conscience side with growing consensus of patristic scholars—i.e. the pre-Nicene CFs (and many after Nicea) were subordinationists.


>>1. What is the difference in

"belief in the Deity of Christ"

and

"Belief in the FULL Deity of Christ" ?>>

Me: The former reserves the status/title of “the one God” to the Father alone, acknowledging that He alone is the ultimate source of everything else—including His Word and Spirit. “The one God”, does not owe His existence to anyone and/or thing.

>>2. You have never really defined what you mean by "subordinationism" - there are lots of different levels of subordinationism.>>

Me: Agreed, but what I just wrote above clarifies THE real, ultimate, distinguishing factor.

>>3. Do you think Ignatius wrote clear enough on the Deity of Christ ?

He calls "Jesus Christ God" and "the Son God" very clearly.>>

Me: But he never refers to our Lord as “the one God”.

>>And Origen and Ireneaus (2 of the main examples you use) still believed in the Trinity, even though the way they explain the relationship between the Father and the Son is different than the later creeds; they are still examples of pre-Nicaean belief in the Deity of Christ and the Trinity, and therefore, even their "subordiantionism" (there are different levels and understanding of that) does not give comfort to Muslims or Jehovah's witnesses or skeptics on the point that Dr. White is making. It still doesn't follow that the Trinity was something new and "a new god, new teaching, new deity"; as Ignatius shows us very clearly.>>

Me: My series on subordinationism refers to many more CFs than just Origen and Ireneaus. I know for a fact that JWs can agree with the type of subordinationism exhibited in most of the early (CFs), thought the vast majority of Muslims (but certainly not all) would take issue with the pre-Nicence CFs.

>>4. Don't you think it is a good question posed by Dr. White?>>

Me: Forgive me, but could you state the “good question” that you have in mind?


Off to Astoria, will try to check back in later today, the Lord willing.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

Me: The former reserves the status/title of “the one God” to the Father alone, acknowledging that He alone is the ultimate source of everything else—including His Word and Spirit. “The one God”, does not owe His existence to anyone and/or thing.

So, you think Ignatius and others believed in “two gods” ??

How can God be without His Word and His Spirit? Do you believe the word is eternal?
Do you believe God’s Spirit is eternal? (eternal = into the past and into the future)

It appears that you don’t think that the ECF's were monotheists. Very confusing here. This is a case of terminology rather than the concept behind the terminology.

Ken said...

>>2. You have never really defined what you mean by "subordinationism" - there are lots of different levels of subordinationism.>>

Me: Agreed, but what I just wrote above clarifies THE real, ultimate, distinguishing factor.

Thank you for admitting that there are different levels of subordinationism.

I think it confused it even more, because it implies there are “Two gods” and that is wrong, and contradictory to Mark 12:29 and Deut. 6:4 and I Corinthians 8:6, etc.


>>3. Do you think Ignatius wrote clear enough on the Deity of Christ ?

He calls "Jesus Christ God" and "the Son God" very clearly.>>

Me: But he never refers to our Lord as “the one God”.

He doesn’t have to; that is enough for Dr. White to be correct. Your statement also implies that the EFCs believed in more than one god; and this is polytheism and violates the first commandment.

>>And Origen and Ireneaus (2 of the main examples you use) still believed in the Trinity, even though the way they explain the relationship between the Father and the Son is different than the later creeds; they are still examples of pre-Nicaean belief in the Deity of Christ and the Trinity, and therefore, even their "subordiantionism" (there are different levels and understanding of that) does not give comfort to Muslims or Jehovah's witnesses or skeptics on the point that Dr. White is making. It still doesn't follow that the Trinity was something new and "a new god, new teaching, new deity"; as Ignatius shows us very clearly.>>

Me: My series on subordinationism refers to many more CFs than just Origen and Ireneaus. I know for a fact that JWs can agree with the type of subordinationism exhibited in most of the early (CFs),

You think Ignatius, Melito of Sardis, Origen, Irenaeus, Tertullian, etc. believed in two gods and that Jesus (as logos before the incarnation) was not eternal?

Ken said...

thought the vast majority of Muslims (but certainly not all) would take issue with the pre-Nicence CFs.

>>4. Don't you think it is a good question posed by Dr. White?>>

Me: Forgive me, but could you state the “good question” that you have in mind?

So, you did not really read my article on the Council of Nicaea, but just the first sentence, huh? Here it is again -

“Why does anyone think that the men who gathered at the council of Nicaea in 325 AD, almost every single one of them, who had just gone through the most severe period of persecution by the Roman Empire ever brought against the Christian church; - remember that persecution extended to 313 AD - so only 12 years earlier than Nicaea (325), the Roman Empire was engaged in the worst level of persecution of Christians, from 260-313 AD – was the worst period; there was not any other period of Empire –wide persecution as bad as that period; - so many of the men that gathered at Nicaea carried the scars on their bodies from the sufferings that they had undergone, because they refused to deny their testimony of Jesus Christ. Why would anyone think that those kinds of men who had gone through so much, would roll over and accept some kind of new teaching and new god and new deity on the authority of the very state that had been persecuting them for so long? How does that make one wit of sense? I have never understood that. That is why that argument has never carried any historical weight to any serious minded person.” Dr. James White

David Waltz said...

Hello again Ken,

In response to my last post you asked the following:

>> So, you think Ignatius and others believed in “two gods” ??>>

Me: Yes, I know that they did because they said so. Though they only believed in ONE SUPREME GOD, Who is the source of all else that exists, they believed in other divine beings who are subordinate, and owe their existence to the ONE SUPREME GOD.

Perhaps you have forgotten our previous discussions on this; the following are but a few of the examples I have given to you in the past:

First, Justin, “Our teacher is Jesus Christ...and we reasonably worship Him, having learned that He is the Son of the true God himself, and holding Him in the second place, and the prophetic Spirit in the third...”[5] The Son is, “...the first-born of the unbegotten God...”[6] And, “...next to God, we worship and love the Word, who is from the unbegotten and ineffable God...”[7] Justin then says to Trypho the Jew, “I shall attempt to persuade you...that there is said to be, another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things...”[8] The Son, “...was begotten of the Father by an act of will...”[9] And, “...this Offspring, which was truly brought forth from the Father, was with the Father before all the creatures(i.e. creation)...”[10]

Tatian, a disciple of Justin, in his Address to the Greeks, wrote that God, “was alone”; that the Logos “was in Him” and “by His simple will the Logos springs forth” and becomes “the first-begotten work of the Father”; and that “the Logos, begotten in the beginning, begat in turn our world”.[11] Theophilus, wrote that, “...at first God was alone and the Word was in Him…The Word then, being God, and being naturally produced from God, whenever the Father of the universe wills...”[12] Athenagoras, “...we acknowledge one God, uncreated, eternal, invisible, impassible, imcomprehensible...by whom the universe has been created through His Logos...Nor let anyone think it ridiculous that God should have a Son...the Son of God is the Logos of the Father...the Son, I will state briefly, that He is the first product of the Father...”[13]

Leaving the second century Fathers, and moving on to the third, we will examine what Origen had to say on our subject. From his work De Principiis we read, “That there is one God, who created and arranged all things...This just and good God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...Jesus Christ Himself, who came (into the world), was born of the Father before all creatures...”[14] In Against Celsus we read, “We therefore charge the Jews with not acknowledging Him (Jesus) to be God, to whom testimony was borne in many passages by the prophets, to the effect that He was a mighty power, and a God next to the God[15] and Father of all things.”[16] Origen in his Commentary On John wrote, “He (John) uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God...God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God himself); and so the the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father, ‘That they may know Thee the only true God;’ but all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without the article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of exalted rank than the other gods beside Him...The true God, then is ‘The God’, and those who are formed after Him are gods, images as it were of Him the prototype.”[17]

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

The following quote is from Origen’s Dialogue With Heraclides and His Fellow Bishops On The Father, The Son and, and the Soul:

Origen said: “Since the beginning of a debate is the time to declare what the topic the debate is, I will speak. The whole Church is here listening. It is not fitting for doctrinal differences to exist from church to church, for you are not a Church of falsehood. I call upon you, Father Heraclides: God is the almighty, the uncreated One, who is above all things. Do you agree to this?” Heraclides said: “I agree; for this is what I too believe.” Origen said: “Jesus Christ, though he was in the form of God (Phil. 2.6), while still being distinct from God in whose form He was, was God before He came into the body: yes or no?” Heraclides said: “He was God before.” Origen said: “Was He God distinct from this God in whose form He was?” Heraclides said: “Obviously distinct from the other and , while being in the form of the other, distinct from the Creator of all.” Origen said: “ It not true, then, that there was a God, the Son of God, and only begotten of God, the first born of all creation (Col. 1:15), and that we do not hesitate to speak in one sense fo two Gods, and in another sense of one God?” Heraclides said: “What you say is evident. But we too say that God is the almighty, god without beginning, without end, who encompasses all and is encompassed by nothing, and this Word is the Son of the living God, God and man, through whom all things were made, God according to the Spirit, and man from being born of Mary.” Origen said: “You don’t seem to have answered my question. Explain what you mean, for perhaps I didn’t follow you. The Father is god?” Heraclides said: “Of course.” Origen said: “The Son is distinct from the Father?” Heraclides said: “Of course, for how could He be son if He were also father?” Origen said: And while being distinct from the Father, the Son is Himself also God?” Heraclides said: “He Himself isalso God.” Origen said: “And the two Gods become a unity?” Heraclides said: “Yes.” Origen said: “We profess two Gods?” Heraclides said: “Yes, [but] the power is one.”[18]

Notes -

[5] Justin Martyr, The First Apology, ch. 13, in Roberts & Donaldson, ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 1(Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1979 edition) p. 167.

[6] Ibid., ch. 53, p. 180.

[7] Justin, The Second Apology, ch.13, ANF1 -p. 193.

[8] Justin, Dialogue With Trypho, ch. 56, ANF1 -p. 223.

[9] Ibid., ch. 61, p. 227.

[10] Ibid., ch. 62, p. 228.

[11] Tatian, Address of Tatian to the Greeks, ch. 5, in Roberts & Donaldson, ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1979 edition) p. 67.

[12] Theophilus, Theophilus to Autolycus, ch. 22, ibid. p. 103.

[13] Athenagoras, A Plea for the Christians, ch. 10, ibid., p. 133.

[14] Origen, De Principiis, preface, chapter 4, in Roberts & Donaldson, ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 4 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1979 edition) p. 240.

[15] This is but one instance where Origen contrasts Jesus Christ as “a God” (theos) with the Father who is “the God” (ho theos).

[16] Origen, Against Celsus, book 2.9, ibid. p. 433.

[17] Origen, Commentary On John, book 2.2, in Roberts & Donaldson, ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 10 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1979 edition) p. 323.

[18] Origen, Dialogue With Heraclides, chapters 1-2, Ancient Christian Writers volume 54 (New York, NY: Paulist Press, 1992) pp. 57-59.

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

Next, we shall look at Tertullian whose writings are late second century through the first two decades of the third. From one his polemical works, Against Praxeas, we read that “before all things God was alone”, and the Word “proceeds forth from God”. The Word which is also called Wisdom was “created or formed” by God and is His “first-begotten”[20]. From Against Praxeas we also read:

I should not hesitate, indeed, to call the tree the son or offspring of the root, and the river of the fountain, and the ray of the sun; because every original source is a parent, and everything which issues from the origin is an offspring...I confess that I call God and His word–the Father and His Son–two...there must be two; and where there is a third, there must be three. Now the Spirit indeed is third from God and the Son; just as the fruit of the tree is third from the root, or as the stream out of the river is third from the fountain, or as the apex of the ray is third from the sun...Now, observe, my assertion is that the Father is one, and the Son one, and the Spirit one, and that They are distinct from Each other...Thus the Father is distinct from the Son, being greater than the Son...we...do indeed definitively declare that Two beings are God, the Father and the Son, and, with the addition of the Holy Spirit, even Three...[21]

Tertullian, like Origen, can speak of two, and three in one sense, and in another sense, of just One God. Eusebius, too, strongly asserts this same theme. We read the following in his Proof of the Gospel:

Remember how Moses calls the Being, Who appeared to the patriarchs, and often delivered to them the oracles afterwards written down in Scripture sometimes God and Lord, and sometimes the Angel of the Lord. He clearly implies that this was not the Omnipotent God, but a secondary Being...This same being who appeared to Abraham is called Lord and God. He teaches the saint mysteriously of His Father’s rule, and speaks some things, as it were, of another God...surely there are Two...we have, by thirty prophetic quotations in all, learned that our Lord and Saviour the Word of God is God, a second God after the Most High...[22]


Notes -

[20] Tertullian, Against Praxeas, chapters 5, 7, in Roberts & Donaldson, ed., The Ante-Nicene Fathers volume 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing Co. 1979 edition) pp. 600, 601.

[21] Ibid., chapters 8, 9, 13, pp. 602, 603, 604, 608.

[22] Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, books 1.5, 5.25, 30 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1981 reprint) pp. 26, 27, 267, 271.

[NOTE: The above selections and notes are from a paper I wrote quite some time ago, and later posted on June 6, 2008 in the following thread: http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2008/06/trinity-and-development-of-doctrine.html]


cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

Ken continued with:

>> It appears that you don’t think that the ECF's were monotheists. Very confusing here. This is a case of terminology rather than the concept behind the terminology.>>

Me: They, like the Bible clearly taught that the Father was "the one God", but that the term God could be applied to other beings who were not was "the one God". Irenaeus, wrote:

== Irenaeus - Adv. Her. 4.Pref.4 - 4.1.1 ...there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption. Since, therefore, this is sure and steadfast, that no other God or Lord was announced by the Spirit, except Him who, as God, rules over all, together with His Word, and those who receive the Spirit of adoption. (ANF 1.463).==

So, in addition to "the one God", the Father, the Son and " those who possess the adoption" (i.e the deified saints) are also called God; however, they are not "the one God".

>>I think it confused it even more, because it implies there are “Two gods” and that is wrong, and contradictory to Mark 12:29 and Deut. 6:4 and I Corinthians 8:6, etc>>

Me: And "the one God" of Mark 12:29; John 17:3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Eph. 4:6...is ???

>>So, you did not really read my article on the Council of Nicaea, but just the first sentence, huh? Here it is again ->>

Me: No, I "really" did read your entire post; what you posted after, "Here it is again", contains more than one question, and a number of assertions that are not questions at all. Perhaps you are referring to the following:

>>Why would anyone think that those kinds of men who had gone through so much, would roll over and accept some kind of new teaching and new god and new deity on the authority of the very state that had been persecuting them for so long?>>

Me: The bishops who believed in what became known as the homoousian doctrine, were a tiny minority at the council of Nicea. That the phrase homoousios caused quite a stir, not only at the council, but for decades after the council, is a well known fact. Further, the very history/nature of the councils is a bit troubling; see my thread: "Voting About God" - http://articulifidei.blogspot.com/2010/06/voting-about-god.html.


Grace and peace,

David

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God!

As salamu 'alikum wr wb. Sheikh David! Mash'Allah Eid Mubarak!!!

I hope your projects are going well... may Allah continue to keep you and bless you with immense barakah and it has really been a pleasure reading your material and learning from you! I hope that this constructive discussion continues to benefit many more!

Time for me to go jalan raya (walking-celbration) visiting family and friends and eating... David and Ken if you ever make your way to Malaysia you both have a place to stay and good food! Allah-willing.

Ken said...

You did not show that Ignatius believed in 2 gods. You did not even mention anything from Ignatius.

Well, all I can say is thank God for the clearer Scriptures, both clearer than you and Origen, Justin, Irenaeus (on some issues), and Tatian.

I remember those quotes from Justin, they just seemed to be goofy and weird, and that is where I can confidently say that I am glad the Scriptures are clearer and God-breathed to rebuke these fallible men when they get this goofy and sound like they were smoking some weed.

Those quotes are just a mass of confusion and unclear mess.

There are not two gods; period.

Origen was heretical in several areas and officially condemned as a heretic by the church in history ( when ?)

"Eventually, the heterodox teachings of Origen, and especially some more extreme views of those who claimed to be his followers, were declared anathema by a local council in Constantinople 545, and then an ecumenical council (Fifth Ecumenical Council) pronounced "15 anathemas" against Origen in 553."

Origen also probably castrated himself.

Seems that both Origen and Tatian thought sex was "dirty".

Tatian was also a heretic later - a Gnostic sect called the Encratites - they denied marriage and followed the doctrines of demons that Paul talked about in 2 Timothy 4

"Following the death of Justin in 165, the life of Tatian is to some extent obscure. Irenaeus remarks (Haer., I., xxvlii. 1, Ante-Nicene Fathers, i. 353) that after the death of Justin, he was expelled from the church for his Encratitic (ascetic) views (Eusebius claims he founded the Encratitic sect), as well as for being a follower of the gnostic leader Valentinius."

So, overall, these quotes don't count much.

David Waltz said...

Hi GV19,

So good to see you back here at AF; and thank you much for the kind and gracious words that you extended towards this simple beachbum--they will not be forgotten.

Sincerely hope that the month of Ramadan has been a spiritual blessing to you; if I remember correctly, it ends today. I suspect for many Muslims, that they are happy that Ramadan has ended, but I also suspect that more than a few would like the rigors to extend longer...

Anyway, will be soooo happy when my outdoor projects are totally finished and I can return to my 'beachbum' status—i.e spending more time on the internet and working out!


May God bless you and yours,

David

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks much for responding; you wrote:

>> You did not show that Ignatius believed in 2 gods. You did not even mention anything from Ignatius.>>

Me: True but remember your context: "Justin and others" (i.e other pre-Nicene CFs). I gave you the explicit, clear examples which make James White's claims suspect (at best). As for Ignatius, I am more than willing to engage in a discussion of his writings on theology proper, and Christology when time allows—I have read Ignatius' authentic epistles cover-to-cover in English in at least 5 English translations, and in Greek once using Lake's text in the Loeb edition—Ignatius was a subordinationist, not a post-Nicene trinitarian.

>>Well, all I can say is thank God for the clearer Scriptures, both clearer than you and Origen, Justin, Irenaeus (on some issues), and Tatian.>>

Me: Hmmm...seems that you are acknowledging that James White was not being totally accurate; that my brother in Christ is an improvement (IMO). As for the Scriptures vs. me and " Origen, Justin, Irenaeus (on some issues), and Tatian" (you forgot Eusebius who is explicit), I have affirmed nothing that is not in the Scriptures—I have consistently stated that the Bible affirms that "the one God" is the Father, and that our Lord, Jesus Christ, is never termed "the one God".

>>I remember those quotes from Justin, they just seemed to be goofy and weird, and that is where I can confidently say that I am glad the Scriptures are clearer and God-breathed to rebuke these fallible men when they get this goofy and sound like they were smoking some weed.>>

Me: Interesting Ken, very interesting; Justin's defense was against a Jew (a strict monotheist), that you find fault with his defense of Christianity (via numerous quotes from the Bible), is a bit troubling to me.

>>Those quotes are just a mass of confusion and unclear mess.

There are not two gods; period.>>

Me: That there are not two Supreme Gods, Gods who do not owe their existence to no other; YES!!! That is the message of the Bible and the early CFs!!!

>>Origen was heretical in several areas and officially condemned as a heretic by the church in history ( when ?)

"Eventually, the heterodox teachings of Origen, and especially some more extreme views of those who claimed to be his followers, were declared anathema by a local council in Constantinople 545, and then an ecumenical council (Fifth Ecumenical Council) pronounced "15 anathemas" against Origen in 553.">>

Me: Ken, you do not believe that the 5th EC was authoritative; bad form for invoking a council you do not accept...further, "the 15 anathemas" have been showing to be not a part of the 5th EC, but rather, interpolations.

>>Origen also probably castrated himself.

Seems that both Origen and Tatian thought sex was "dirty".>>

Me: Well, so what??? So did Augustine, and most "orthodox" Christians up to the mid-20th century.

Anyway, hope you don't take any of this personal, just trying to be accurate; still love you as a brother in Christ!


Take care and God bless,

David

Ken said...

True, I don't consider the 5th Ecumenical Council as authoritative or infallible, but that does not mean that some things it said were not right; but in the areas that Origen was judged as a heretic, they were right. Everything must be tested by Scripture. He believed in the pre-existence of souls, universal salvation, even of the devil, etc. He was goofy and weird.

For Justin to defend Christ as "a second god" is just too weird. As I said before, he may mean that "Christ is called God" also, along with the Father, and there is only one God; but they had not yet figured out the distinction between nature and person.

All of your examples, it seems to me, hinges on how to explain the biblical texts where Jesus is by nature God vs. the personhood of the Father and the Son (and the Spirit); the guys were still struggling to put into words the truth of the difference between nature and person, and came out with some goofy ways of expressing their struggle. The Scriptures are clear that Jesus is God, eternally past, and yet distinct from the Father and has a relationship with the Father. (John 1, Phil. 2, Col. 1, Heb. 1, Rev. 1 & 22, John 5,8,10, and many other passages. Romans 9:5 and I John 5:18 are others.

I am glad for Athanasius, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, and Gregory Naziansus, and later Augustine, Hillary, etc. who helped exegete the passages properly and brought out what was already there in the verses above and much more.

Again, subordinationism does not mean they didn't beleive in the Trinity or some kind of different god or deity, but they just didn't know how to put into words yet the "nature (ousia, substance) vs. person (persona, hypostasis) language" yet, those distinctions are Biblical, when all the texts are gathered together and communicate:
a. there is only One God - Monotheism
b. the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God
c. Yet, each of the three persons have spiritual relationships with each other - they talk to each other and love each other, the Son prays to the Father; the Father sends the Son, the Spirit prays and wills and is grieved, and is lied to by people, etc.

Dr. White quoted a lot from those passages in Ignatius that he wrote, "Jesus is God", so that is good enough without demanding that he has to say, "But Jesus is not the ONE Supreme God" - you are demanding too much from 7 letters written on the way to being martyred.

We have the Scriptures and they are clear; and the Nicean and contributions of Athanasius, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil, Gregory Naziansus, Hillary, Ambrose, Augustine, etc. brought out the true meaning of the texts (and others) that already existed.

Ken said...

Seems that both Origen and Tatian thought sex was "dirty".>>

Me: Well, so what??? So did Augustine, and most "orthodox" Christians up to the mid-20th century.

That's bad. That is also the roots of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary doctrine, and all the Marian dogmas and practices that came after that. Goofy. Clement of Alexandria was also especially strange. The Scriptures are better again; more clear; and so Sola Scriptura judges the ECF on where they are right and where they are wrong.

Ken said...

If "homo-ousian" was minority in the voting, then how did orthodoxy win at the Council in 325 AD? I am confused now.

I thought that all but 2 bishops voted for Jesus as God eternally logos against Arius.

I realize that later the Arians won politically and Athanasius fought them for 60 some odd years until orthodoxy won.

It seems to me your JW background is still affecting the way you view the Bible and church history and you really don't accept the doctrine of the Trinity as truth, it seems. Every passage put forward has some "problem" with it, as you put it, and so you never settle on much of anything, and now are open to Bahai'ism, which means that you would have to accept that God has been speaking through other revelations given in between Christianity and Bahai'ism (namely Islam) and in different areas of the world (Confusianism, Taoism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, maybe even Hinduism ?).

You don't seem to be satisfied with Christ alone as your satisfaction(John 4, 7) and wisdom and justification and sanctification and redemption, (I Cor. 1:30) and the living water that has quenched the thirst within you. (John 4, 7)

You are a hard man to understand, that is, why you would want to take the position that you do with doubting and questioning the Deity of Christ and the Trinity to the extent that you do. True faith accepts the Trinity once the doctrine is explained, and is seen, when studied all the relevant verses; and the three-ness of God is seen in Matthew 28:19 and 2 Cor. 13:14, even though it doesn't use the words "Homo-sousian" or "person" or "nature" (ousia).

A form of "ousia" is used in Matthew 28:18 - "All authority . . . " authority is "ex-ousia" = "out from nature" or "out of substance" or "by nature" - Jesus has all authority by nature, by His own substance. By rising from the dead and ascending to heaven and sitting at the right hand of the Father, He proved that He was God from the beginning (John 1:1-5; 17:5) and went back to His place of authority and power and sovereignty that He had before.

Ken said...

GV19 -
Thanks for the open invitation; although I don't know if it is sincere, since I don't even know your name, and would not be able to find you; and you called me a liar several times and a hypocrite, and took Philippians 1:18 out of context, etc. Obviously Paul is not saying Philippians 1:18 is good to have evil motives, but he is rejoicing that Christ is proclaimed, even if his opponents are doing it out of selfish ambition and jealousy. He is having a good attitude over what God allows even while he is in prison.

You are "nice" here, but unjust and malicious at your site; sometimes. That’s ok, you are free to do those sins, and can act that way if you want to. I will honor your banning of me and not post there anymore.

I wish we had had opportunity from the beginning to eat some shish kebab together and drink some coffee; but that was not in Allah’s sovereignty and providence.

Your picture is still out there on some old posts at other sites, so I don’t know if some of your articles are true, that you claimed to be white (“Jesus is white like me”) in one post, and in another one you claimed to have American Indian ancestry. You could have been using that picture as just a picture and not really “you”, I suppose, as David W. uses his library as his “avatar”. The picture in some of your older posts in other comboxes at other sites on Islam and Apologetics looks African. Which is it? White, American-Indian, or African?

Ken said...

GV19 -
When you asked me if the Qur'an ever said that Allah was "Makr" مکر
= deceptive, cunning, tricky, etc. to believers, and did the Qur'an ever use it against sincere and believers with a good heart, you are admitting that the Qur'an does use it for unbelievers - Qur'an 3:54; 8:30; 10:30; and I also showed you that in the context of 8:30, later Allah did deceive the believers in a dream in 8:43-44.

It does not matter at all the other nuanced meanings of “makr” – the context of these passages shows that Allah is deceiving unbelievers, and even believers in 8:43-44 and also other places – more below.

If Allah deceived the Jews into thinking that they had crucified and killed Jesus, ( Surah 4:157; 3:54), then He also deceived the Romans into driving the nails into His hands and feet; and whipping and beating and all the other details in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and Allah also deceived all the Christians for over 600 years into believing that Jesus was crucified. That means Allah also deceived the disciples (the companions of Jesus, the حواریون
yet, the Qur'an says that the disciples of Jesus were sincere, helpers of Allah, believers, and full of integrity - Surah 61:14, and that they became the uppermost. The true Christians, who believed Jesus died on the cross, rose from the dead, is eternally the Son of God, the logos, and the Deity of Christ and Trinity all are true - they are ones who won the Roman Empire by love and good deeds and sacrifice and dying and did not give up the faith when the Romans tortured them and killed them for over 300 years.

I pray for you, that God will touch you with His love, the true God who humbled Himself by becoming a man (Phil. 2:5-8; John 1:1-5; 1:14) and voluntarily died (John 10:18) for His enemies (Romans 5:6-11) which even you admitted that “someone who dies for their enemies has greater love”. That is what Islam does not have, it does not have a God who is humble, became a man voluntarily, allowed Himself to be crucified and killed, and rose from the dead and was victorious through humility and truth and love, not power and might and Jihad and Qatal and war.

thegrandverbalizer19 said...

With the name of God, Peace be unto those who follow the guidance from their Lord.

You are most welcome @ David.

As far as you Ken, your stabbing in the dark again buddy. Some times you remind me of the kamakaze pilot who flew 57 missions!

Yes my invitation to you is sincere.

David Waltz said...

Hello Ken,

Still have a couple of decks to finish, and some trim painting, but the weather is not cooperating today, so I have the time to respond to the following:

>>To David Waltz -
In response to his being open to Bahai'ism and stating that he is "testing the spirits", and "checking the fruits", etc. to see if it is true, etc.

"open to the possibility that "Bahai'ism is true" here;

"testing the spirits" and "checking the fruits" (posted by John at 3:58pm)

David -
How can you "test the spirits" (as if it might be true) of something that is non-Christian from the get-go, (and by nature says that Islam was a further development of Christianity - which is impossible and contradictory) since you just said you believed in the Deity of Christ - doesn't make sense at all!>>

Me: The "Islam" from which the Bahai Faith emerged was not that of the Sunnis, or even that of the current Twelver Shias, but rather, has its roots in a small group of Shias who were expecting the imminent return of the Qaim. Just as very few Jews during the advent of Jesus Christ in the 1st century were expecting the Messiah, and accepted Him, so too with the advent of the Qaim in the 19th century—i.e. very few Muslims were expecting the return of the Qaim, and few accepted Him.

>>If you have the Spirit of Christ, you can immediately tell that Bahai'ism is a non-Christian religion and a false system and evil (1 Cor. 2:10-16) and it's desire for unity/peace and its message of universalism/Unitarianism is similar to the ungodly desire for unity at the expense of truth at the Tower of Babel - Genesis 11.>>

Me: I can tell that you know next to nothing about the what the Bahai Faith actually teaches, especially its theology proper.

>>If you know Christ as the only way, the only mediator, Savior, and Lord, (and that necessitates the doctrine of the Trinity and the revelation of Christ and His work in the NT being the "final word" = Hebrews 1:1-3; also Jude 3); why would you want to be "open" to anything else?>>

Me: Because our Lord tells us that He is going to return, and that when he does, he will come as "a thief in the night", and with a "new name", that His disciples are to be "watchful"—I for one do not want to make the same mistake the vast majority of Jews have made concerning Jesus Christ.

>>Someone who knows Christ truly does not seek anything else. Jesus Christ is the treasure and the goal and the truth and the joy! How can you be hungry or thirsty for something else?>>

Me: Once again, it sure seems that you do not understand the Bahai Faith, for they believe that Baha'u'llah is the return of Christ.

>>There is nothing to add to Christ.>>

Me: When Christ returns, will He give mankind further revelation, or simply repeat what He said and did in His first advent?

>>And also Bahai'ism not only "adds", but has to completely re-interpret everything of the Bible and sound Christian doctrine.>>

Me: That simply is not true.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David,
Why does it take you so long to answer the Bahaism questions?
Finally! At least something.

David wrote:
Me: I can tell that you know next to nothing about the what the Bahai Faith actually teaches, especially its theology proper.

That is probably true; I have never felt the need to study it deeply; as I have only met a few Iranian Bahai’s and they are in some ways harder to talk to than Muslims – they say “everything is unity and one God and we all believe the same thing, etc. but no Jesus as God in the flesh and they reject repentence and faith in Christ alone as Savior and Lord and eternal Son of God; and they usually leave and don’t show any more interest.

Did the Bahai faith develop into the modern western form of Bahaism ? (Kind of a new age unity)

Ken said...

David Waltz wrote:
Me: Because our Lord tells us that He is going to return, and that when he does, he will come as "a thief in the night", and with a "new name"

Where is that? Revelation 19:13 says He is “the word of God” and Rev. 19:16 says “Lord of Lords” and “king of kings”. Plus, when He returns, He will wage just war and there will be a judgment – Rev. 20:10-15. Doesn’t make sense. Did original Baha’ollah use all the NT revelation? Or is that a modern version of Bahaism for westerners?

, that His disciples are to be "watchful"—I for one do not want to make the same mistake the vast majority of Jews have made concerning Jesus Christ.

>>Someone who knows Christ truly does not seek anything else. Jesus Christ is the treasure and the goal and the truth and the joy! How can you be hungry or thirsty for something else?>>

Me: Once again, it sure seems that you do not understand the Bahai Faith, for they believe that Baha'u'llah is the return of Christ.

Ridiculous and silly that you actually think it is possible that Baha’ullah is the return of Christ – like Star Trek V – the Final Frontier – “I am the face of many – Christ, Buddah, Bahai’ullah, etc.

How could he be, when that means you have to completely re-interpret everything in the NT, not just the eschatology texts, but all the other truths also. Massive goofiness and illogic and confusion on your part.


>>There is nothing to add to Christ.>>

Me: When Christ returns, will He give mankind further revelation, or simply repeat what He said and did in His first advent?

He will wage just war against all who have not repented and trusted Him and there will be a judgment day, duh. Revelation 19-22. Since there has not been an end to everything, as 2 Peter 3 says, and there has not been a resurrection of the flesh/dead people; and since there has not been a judgment, then automatically, Bahaism is simply not true and Bahai'ullah cannot be the second coming of Christ.

>>And also Bahai'ism not only "adds", but has to completely re-interpret everything of the Bible and sound Christian doctrine.>>

Me: That simply is not true.

That’s all you can say about that? Just deny it? No argumentation? Why don’t you explain how Bahaism works in a simple post. What are the original documents of theirs? In English. I could not read that Bahai book/writing you sent me; I could only pick out words – too difficult in structure and different in vocabulary – like an English speaking American trying to read Beowulf or Chaucer or Milton or the original KJV 1611.

Ken said...

Where is that?

"where is that?" means where is it about a "new name"? - not the "thief in the night" texts; I know those.


Revelation 19:13 says He is “the word of God” and Rev. 19:16 says “Lord of Lords” and “king of kings”. Plus, when He returns, He will wage just war and there will be a judgment – Rev. 20:10-15. Doesn’t make sense. Did original Bahai’ollah use all the NT revelation? Or is that a modern version of Bahaism for westerners?

Ken said...

I started reviewing what Bahai'ism is by looking at Wikipedia. (to start with)

About the holy book of Bahai'ism, they say:

The text of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas consists of several hundred verses, which have been grouped in 189 numbered paragraphs in the English translation. The style combines elements of both poetry (shi'r) and rhymed prose (saj') and the text contains instances of literary devices like alliteration, assonance, repetition, onomatopoeia, juxtaposition and antithesis, metaphors, alternation of person and personification. Many of these can be only imperfectly reproduced in English.[6]


Now I know why I could not understand it very well. This means significant mystery as to what it really is. Many Iranians have been affected by this kind of thinking, "all is one", etc. and even the average Iranian Muslim is more like this deep down in his soul. Many, possibly a majority of Iranians do not respect Islam anymore.

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas was written in 1873. Around 1900 an English translation was made by Anton Haddad, which circulated among the early American Bahá'í community. In 1961 Christian missionary Earl E. Elder made a literal translation. In 1973, on the occasion of the centanary of the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Universal House of Justice published a Synopsis and Codification[7] of the text, which was supplemented by 21 passages of the Aqdas that had already been translated by Shoghi Effendi. Only in 1992 a complete official Bahá'í translation was published, which includes several supplements like Questions and Answers and notes.[8][9] This translation is used for translations into other languages.[10]

This religion seems to have gone through development.

Ken said...

the Qaim

قایم
"the hidden one" ?

or

قیام

Do you mean "Qiam" (Resurrection) - or judgment day ?

or
something else?

the hidden one is a Shiite concept, mostly the Twelver Concept of the Mehdi -


David wrote
"Me: The "Islam" from which the Bahai Faith emerged was not that of the Sunnis, or even that of the current Twelver Shias, but rather, has its roots in a small group of Shias who were expecting the imminent return of the Qaim. Just as very few Jews during the advent of Jesus Christ in the 1st century were expecting the Messiah, and accepted Him, so too with the advent of the Qaim in the 19th century—i.e. very few Muslims were expecting the return of the Qaim, and few accepted Him."

Interesting. If it was not Twelver Shiite Islam, was it Sevener (Ishmailis; followers of the Agha Khan) or Five-er?(Zaidis)

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

Thanks for responding; you wrote:

>>David,
Why does it take you so long to answer the Bahaism questions?>>

Me: 3 reasons: first, time constraints (needed to get a ton of outdoor projects completed before the rains hit—which, btw, started yesterday afternoon and have not let up); second, your Bahai questions were a side issue in threads they were brought forward; and third, I am not an apologist for the Bahai Faith.

>>I have never felt the need to study it deeply; as I have only met a few Iranian Bahai’s and they are in some ways harder to talk to than Muslims – they say “everything is unity and one God and we all believe the same thing, etc. but no Jesus as God in the flesh and they reject repentence and faith in Christ alone as Savior and Lord and eternal Son of God; and they usually leave and don’t show any more interest.>>

Me: If you really want to learn about the Bahai Faith, go to its official writings, and recognized scholars. Personally, I have found a good number of 'cradle' Persian Bahais to be woefully ignorant of their faith.

>>Did the Bahai faith develop into the modern western form of Bahaism ? (Kind of a new age unity)>>

Me: No.

>>David Waltz wrote:
Me: Because our Lord tells us that He is going to return, and that when he does, he will come as "a thief in the night", and with a "new name"

Where is that?>>

Me: Revelation 2:17; 3:12.

>>Revelation 19:13 says He is “the word of God” and Rev. 19:16 says “Lord of Lords” and “king of kings”. Plus, when He returns, He will wage just war and there will be a judgment – Rev. 20:10-15. Doesn’t make sense.>>

Me: The vast majority of the Jews of Jesus day expected that the Messiah "wage...war" and re-establish the earthly kingdom/monarchy—they were wrong—75% of the OT prophecies quoted by Jesus and His apostles were not fulfilled literally. A good number of Christian commentators interpret the "sword" which comes out of the mouth of "The Word of God" in a non-literal sense.

>>Ridiculous and silly that you actually think it is possible that Baha’ullah is the return of Christ – like Star Trek V – the Final Frontier – “I am the face of many – Christ, Buddah, Bahai’ullah, etc.>>

Me: Such statements are yet another reason why I tend to take "so long to answer the Bahaism questions". To be brutally blunt here Ken, you would have fit right in with a good number of the Jews of Jesus day who questioned His teaching the John the Baptist was the return of Elijah.

>> How could he be, when that means you have to completely re-interpret everything in the NT, not just the eschatology texts, but all the other truths also. Massive goofiness and illogic and confusion on your part.>>

Me: The Jews to this very day say the exact same thing about the OT to justify their continued rejection that Jesus was/is their promised Messiah.

BOOK SUGGESTION: Why the Jews Rejected Jesus

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

>>He will wage just war against all who have not repented and trusted Him and there will be a judgment day, duh. Revelation 19-22. Since there has not been an end to everything, as 2 Peter 3 says, and there has not been a resurrection of the flesh/dead people; and since there has not been a judgment, then automatically, Bahaism is simply not true and Bahai'ullah cannot be the second coming of Christ.>>

Me: When the promised Messiah came in the first century, did He not "wage...war"; did He not judge Israel; did He not "raise the dead"? The NT hermeneutic concerning such important passages as Ps. 2 and 110, Joel 2, Amos 9:11 etc. establish important principles for prophetic interpretation.

>> That’s all you can say about that? Just deny it? No argumentation? Why don’t you explain how Bahaism works in a simple post. What are the original documents of theirs? In English. I could not read that Bahai book/writing you sent me; I could only pick out words – too difficult in structure and different in vocabulary – like an English speaking American trying to read Beowulf or Chaucer or Milton or the original KJV 1611.>>

Me: The Bahai exegesis of a good number of prophetic passages in the Bible is not literal; but as I said earlier, the exegesis of Jesus and His apostles for at least 75% of the OT prophetic passages cited in the NT was not literal. Once again, Jews to this day believe that the NT writers have reinterpreted much of the OT.

As for the English translations of the official Bahai writings, see the following links:

Baha'i Reference Library

Ocean


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

>>Did the Bahai faith develop into the modern western form of Bahaism ? (Kind of a new age unity)>>

Me: No.

David, thanks for some more specific answers -

I would like to see what they originally thought, and thanks for the link - I am having fun reading it in Farsi (modern) - not the other thing you sent me that I could not understand, too much mysticism / poetry / allegory / irony in it/unclear photo-copy quality of script. This web-site is much better and actually readable for me.

Do they actually site the NT and passages about Christ? Did they actually say at that time that Muhammad was a true prophet for his time and his people, the Arabs? Did they actually say that Buddha and Confucius and Zoroaster were prophets for their people in different places and different times? (I don't have time to research that issue right now, I would appreciate original source documentation and pointing to it at the web-site.

Did they and/or do they think Joseph Smith was a prophet for his people in western USA in 1800s?

Anyway, it will take me some time to study this stuff deeper; but I don't need it, since Christ is all and the living water, and Bahai'ullah was not the second coming of Christ, and there was no resurrection of all the graves and there was no judgment day - Revelation 20, 21, 22; 2 Cor. 5:10; Romans 14:10, Matthew 24:36-chapter 25, I Corinthians 15:23-25; 50-58 - and I feel sorry for you that you have been deceived by this false religion.

David Waltz said...

Hello again Ken,

You asked the following questons:

>> Do they actually site the NT and passages about Christ? Did they actually say at that time that Muhammad was a true prophet for his time and his people, the Arabs? Did they actually say that Buddha and Confucius and Zoroaster were prophets for their people in different places and different times? (I don't have time to research that issue right now, I would appreciate original source documentation and pointing to it at the web-site.>>

Me: Yes to all of the above. If you only had time to read one book on the Bahai Faith, I would recommend Baha'u'llah's, The Kitab-I-Iqan (http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/). In this books he interprets numerous passages from the Bible and the Qur'an, and provided some very interesting Shia hadiths.

This book speaks about the two stations (i.e. natures - the divine and human) of the "Manifestations" of God:

==Furthermore, it is evident to thee that the Bearers of the trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Bearers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the Celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they therefore are regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness. These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attribute, thou hast not erred from the truth. Even as He hath revealed: "No distinction do We make between any of His Messengers!"[1] For they one and all summon the people of the earth to acknowledge the Unity of God, and herald unto them the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the robe of Prophethood, and honoured with the mantle of glory. Thus hath Muhammad, the Point of the Qur'án, revealed: "I am all the Prophets." Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar statements have been made by Ali. Sayings such as this, which indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from the Channels of God's immortal utterance, and the Treasuries of the gems of divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the scriptures. These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the day-springs of His Revelation. This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith: "Our Cause is but one."[2] Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the Imams of the Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of certitude, have said: "Muhammad is our first, Muhammad our last, Muhammad our all."
[1 Qur'án 2:285.]
[2 Qur'án 54:50.]

[Pages 152, 153 in the American edition - bold emphasis mine.]==

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

==We have already in the foregoing pages assigned two stations unto each of the Luminaries arising from the Daysprings of eternal holiness. One of these stations, the station of essential unity, We have already explained. "No distinction do We make between any of them."[1] The other is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined Revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfills a definite Mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. Even as He saith: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit."[2]
[1 Qur'án 2:136.]
[2 Qur'án 2:253.]

It is because of this difference in their station and mission that the words and utterances flowing from these Well-springs of divine knowledge appear to diverge and differ. Otherwise, in the eyes of them that are initiated into the mysteries of divine wisdom, all their utterances are in reality but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the people have failed to appreciate those stations to which We have referred, they therefore feel perplexed and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced by Manifestations that are essentially one and the same.

one and the same.

It hath ever been evident that all these divergences of utterance are attributable to differences of station. Thus, viewed from the standpoint of their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes of Godhead, Divinity, Supreme Singleness, and Inmost Essence, have been and are applicable to those Essences of being, inasmuch as they all abide on the throne of divine Revelation, and are established upon the seat of divine Concealment. Through their appearance the Revelation of God 178 is made manifest, and by their countenance the Beauty of God is revealed. Thus it is that the accents of God Himself have been heard uttered by these Manifestations of the divine Being.

Viewed in the light of their second station—the station of distinction, differentiation, temporal limitations, characteristics and standards,—they manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution and complete self-effacement. Even as He saith: "I am the servant of God.[1] I am but a man like you."[2]
[1 Qur'án 19:31].
[2 Qur'án 18:110.]

[Pages 176-178]==

cont'd

David Waltz said...

cont'd

Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: "I am God!" He verily speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His name and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: "Those shafts were God's, not Thine!"[1] And also He saith: "In truth, they who plighted fealty unto thee, really plighted that fealty unto God."[2] And were any of them to voice the utterance: "I am the Messenger of God," He also speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: "Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God."[3] Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim: "I am the Seal of the Prophets," they verily utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the "Beginning" and the "End," the "First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden" -- all of which pertain to Him Who is the innermost Spirit of Spirits and eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say: "We are the servants of God," this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of being were deeply immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of divine mysteries, they claimed their utterance to be the Voice of divinity, the Call of God Himself.
[1 Qur'án 8:17.]
[2 Qur'án 48:10.]
[3 Qur'án 33:40 ]

[Pages 178-180 - bold emphasis mine.]==

Anyway, you can read the entire book online, or download it as a pdf.

cont'd

David Waltz said...

>> Did they and/or do they think Joseph Smith was a prophet for his people in western USA in 1800s?>>

Me: No.

>>Anyway, it will take me some time to study this stuff deeper; but I don't need it, since Christ is all and the living water, and Bahai'ullah was not the second coming of Christ, and there was no resurrection of all the graves and there was no judgment day - Revelation 20, 21, 22; 2 Cor. 5:10; Romans 14:10, Matthew 24:36-chapter 25, I Corinthians 15:23-25; 50-58 - and I feel sorry for you that you have been deceived by this false religion.>>

Me: Ken, I am studying the Bahai Faith; "testing the spirits".


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

David,
What do you think of Walter Martin's chapter on Bahai-ism in The Kingdom of the Cults? (updated and edited by Grechen Passintino) (chapter 10, pp. 321-331, General Editor, Hank Hannegraaf) - they have a newer edition edited by Ravi Zacharias, that I don't own.

What do you think of William Miller's books on Bahai-ism?
(William M. Miller was a Presbyterian Missionary to Iran for 40 years, 1920-1960)

Bahaism is very "Iranian" - most Iranians I know think this way about religion, even if they are Shiite. Seems like the Iranian Psyche underneath the veneer of Islam.

David Waltz said...

Good morning Ken,

Thanks much for responding: you posted:

>>David,
What do you think of Walter Martin's chapter on Bahai-ism in The Kingdom of the Cults? (updated and edited by Grechen Passintino) (chapter 10, pp. 321-331, General Editor, Hank Hannegraaf) - they have a newer edition edited by Ravi Zacharias, that I don't own.>>

Me: Too many generalizations for my taste; further, it demonstrates a shallow understanding of Bahai theology; it fails to interact with Bahai scholars; and lastly, it makes factual errors. For a online review, go to the following link:

http://bahai-library.com/reviews/kingdom.stauffer.html

As for editions of the Kingdom of the Cults, I happen to own four, and cited the 1985, 1997, and 2003 editions in my the eternal generation of the son THREAD.

>> What do you think of William Miller's books on Bahai-ism?
(William M. Miller was a Presbyterian Missionary to Iran for 40 years, 1920-1960)>>

Me: Much better than Walter Martin's essay; however, it too has some grave 'problems'—note the following review:

http://bahai-library.com/articles/bs.4.miller.html

Though not nearly as comprehensive, the following brief review in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland is worth noting:

http://bahai-library.com/reviews/jras.miller.html

I first read Miller's The Bahai Faith: Its History and Teachings back in 1994 (not only highlighting a good portion of the book, but also made 6 pages of 8 1/2 x 11 notes). This was within the first year of my Bahai studies, and I was for sure 'wet-behind-the-ears'. Armed with my six pages of notes, I began an in depth study, with my Bahai library growing to over 300 books. Anyway, to make a long story short: still lot's more to learn...


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

I still don't see how if Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Messiah, the fulfillment of the OT (Luke 24:25-27; 44-49);

and

the second coming has not happened as in Matthew 25 and Revelation 19-22 and 1 Cor. 15 and 2 Peter 3 and Acts 1:11 and Titus 2:11-15, Heb. 9:28, etc.

how you could be thirsty for anything more, because He is the satisfaction and the living water and the true vine and the truth and the beauty.

Iranian mysticism that comes out in their Sufi'ism - Sufi-gari صوفی گری and Darvish and Shiite Babism and Bahai'ism and 12er and 7er, etc. has its roots in eastern Dualism (Zoroastrianism and Manichean religions - also Iranian creations) and Gnosticism ( عرفان erfan - secret knowledge/mysticism/gnosticism) and the fact that Iranians were never deeply converted to real Arab Islam - they still have a lot of hatred towards Omar and Uthman for their Jihads against the Persians.

Bahai'ism is the ultimate rejection of Islam and the "coming out of hiding" of being afraid of the Islamic Shariat of death to apostates and Jihad, etc.

The Iranian soul is pluralistic and symbolic and idealistic like the Bahai unity and political strivings of something like the United Nations; much closer to the spirit of Cyrus, who allowed the Jews to go back to their land, and Darius the Great and Ardeshir (Arta-xerxes) who were kind to the Jews in Persia.

Ken said...

David,
OK, moving the discussion about Bahai'ism to this thread;

but don't you see the point? That I made about Lampe vs. Williams in your post on them 2 above?

It doesn't make sense to be open to something else in the future of all this church history that you talking about here ( Lampe's view of Rome vs. Williams view of the Roman church in his book, the Bishop's Lists) Niether one is true if Bahai'ism or any other kind of future religion is true; because they will necessarily have to re-interpret all of the point you are making and in their view, neither one will be true.

That is what is so confusing about your approach; since you have 300 books on Bahai'ism and and "still open", it seems you just are "always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth".

2 Timothy 3:7

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

You posted:

>> I still don't see how if Christ is the eternal Son of God, the Messiah, the fulfillment of the OT (Luke 24:25-27; 44-49);

and

the second coming has not happened as in Matthew 25 and Revelation 19-22 and 1 Cor. 15 and 2 Peter 3 and Acts 1:11 and Titus 2:11-15, Heb. 9:28, etc.>>

Me: Christ, the eternal Logos of God, fulfilled many OT prophecies concerning the promised Messiah, but certainly not all. One clear example should suffice for now; when our Lord cited Is. 61:1, 2 while teaching the synagogue, he stopped short of reading the entire passage—obviously the portion left out was not fulfilled during His first advent.

As for the His second coming, how do you know infallibly that He has not come again as the Bahais teach? Have you carefully examined the in depth arguments that are in print; have you given half the effort to understand those arguments as you have for the arguments given to Jews concerning the first advent?

As one who has jettisoned the historic Christian faith that stood virtually unchallenged until the 16th century, I would think you would be 'open' to the possibility that your eschatological position may be in error.

>> how you could be thirsty for anything more, because He is the satisfaction and the living water and the true vine and the truth and the beauty.>>

Me: Your lack of understanding of the Bahai position on Christ is showing here Ken—Baha'u'llah for the Bahais is the return of Christ.

Me: What in Bahai theology is dualistic and/or Manichean?

>> Bahai'ism is the ultimate rejection of Islam and the "coming out of hiding" of being afraid of the Islamic Shariat of death to apostates and Jihad, etc.>>

Me: Was Christianity "the ultimate rejection" of true 'Judaism' (i.e. the OT Church), or rather, the fulfillment and expansion of the older dispensation?

>> but don't you see the point? That I made about Lampe vs. Williams in your post on them 2 above?

It doesn't make sense to be open to something else in the future of all this church history that you talking about here ( Lampe's view of Rome vs. Williams view of the Roman church in his book, the Bishop's Lists) Niether one is true if Bahai'ism or any other kind of future religion is true; because they will necessarily have to re-interpret all of the point you are making and in their view, neither one will be true.>>

Me: I don't see your point at all Ken (forgive me). If a Jew begins to examine the claims of Christianity, don't you think that he/she is going to carefully explore all of the various options that exist within Judaism too?

>> That is what is so confusing about your approach; since you have 300 books on Bahai'ism and and "still open", it seems you just are "always learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth".>>

Me: As I have related in the past on more than one occasion, I have a set of core beliefs that have remained unchanged since my youth. That I have not dogmatically become entrenched in one particular theological system, that I am willing to seriously explore the various theological systems with passion, speaks to not only my truth seeking spirit, but also to the fact that there exists considerable fragmentation within the Christian worldview, but also within the various descendents of the Abrahamic Faith.

Ken, how is your zealous (dare I say fanatical) devotion to the Reformed Baptist system of theology, and unwillingness to seriously explore other options, any different than the mindset of the Jews of Jesus day who thought their respective theology/theologies were correct, and that Jesus did not meet their expectations of the promised Messiah?


Grace and peace,

David

agellius said...

I too have had comments disappear without explanation from Beggars All.

Ken said...

As one who has jettisoned the historic Christian faith

No, the Scriptures are earlier history than all the added man-made traditions that Rome (The RCC) has slowly added.

The early church (catholic (universal), but not Roman Catholic in the earliest centuries) started adding other things to the Scriptures, like mono-episcopasy, penance, baptismal regeneration, infant baptism, then later things like purgatory, indulgences, NT priestly ex opere operato powers of forgiveness, unbiblical Marian practices, icons, statues, praying to her, and dogmas of 1215, 1546-1563, 1854; 1870; 1950 - also wrong traditions of 1302 (Unam Sanctum) it is Rome who left their first love, as Ephesus did.


that stood virtually unchallenged until the 16th century, I would think you would be 'open' to the possibility that your eschatological position may be in error.

Nobody who believes in Christ, no true Christian would be open to another religion,

(and not even consistent Roman Catholics)

like Bahai'ism because it by nature means they re-interpret the cross and atonement and resurrection and would have to change the meaning and significance of it, that it was the "consummation of the ages" (Hebrews chapters 7-10) and only way of salvation. (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:18; Romans 10:13-15)

Ken said...

What do Bahai's teach about the atonement of Christ in history?

Did they deny it, as the Muslims did?

You are right in that I have not studied Bahai'ism as deeply as you; since you have amassed 300 books over the last 20-30 years ( ?) on the subject, it just shows that Christ has not really captured your heart completely with His love and truth and that one could keep going on forever until his/her death, "always learning, but never coming to the knowledge of the truth." (no offense; this is just the consistent application of the orthodox faith. I don't need to be open to a false religion that came centuries after Christ and re-interprets Christ and His atonement.

I will look at the things you pointed to as I have time; but they are a false religion; but I want to understand it better to be able to refute it; if I have time to study. I seriously doubt I will get to go as deep as you have in studying 300 books about it over a decade, and yet still don't know what to decide on. May the Lord have mercy on you and give you a convinced heart about Christ and the orthodox Christian faith.

Besides, many Jews in the first century did understand the true meaning of the OT (Luke 24:25-32; 44-49, etc.) Most of all of the first Christians were Jewish.

The Isaiah 61 passage is an example of the second coming and judgment day - Rev. 19-22; 2 Peter 3:8-15, etc.

Did you ever discuss this type of thing (openess to Bahai'ism, doubts about the Deity of Christ and Trinity, subordinationism) with any of the elders or pastors at the Presbyterian church (es) you were a part of for a while?

Part of pastoral ministry is guarding against and refuting false doctrine and being with people; not just reading books. The church, a biblical one, is important. (Presbyterian or Baptist preferably, but not excluding completely other Biblical Protestants.)

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

In your last post you wrote:

>>What do Bahai's teach about the atonement of Christ in history?

Did they deny it, as the Muslims did?>>

Me: No, their view of the atonement is close to that of Abelard (with some elements of the 'Christus Victor' theory).

BTW, the Qur'an does not deny the atonement, though most (but not all) Muslims do.

I did not start studying the Bahai Faith until late 1993, which was almost two years after I had left the OPC. I did have conversations with one of the former elders who had left the OPC for the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod though.


Grace and peace,

David

Ken said...

About the Qur’an denying the atonement of Christ, yes it does – 4:157 – It denies His death, and it denies all significance to His death in any kind of atonement meaning ( کفاره)

"kafareh" (atonement, substitutionary sacrifice, satisfaction of the wrath of God)

I realize we already discussed this before, and you seemed to take a symbolic view, that because their spirits live on in paradise, they are not really dead. (But they did die physically.) This is the way you are taking 2:154 and reading that meaning back into the meaning of 4:157. I don’t think it holds any water; nor Todd Lawson’s argument either - Of what I read on your post on it and our discussions. It seems to be a modern, symbolic reading of 4:157 that has no basis at all in Islamic history of the Tafsirs (Islamic commentaries).

The Qur'an does deny the death and the atonement of Christ in 4:157; ( if they were only saying that the Jews didn’t kill Him, but the Romans did, the rest of the verse and the repetition, and “for sure they did not kill Him” just does not make sense, by what it leaves out. They would have added, “but the Romans did kill Him”, but that would not make sense in 3:54, for there is says that “the Jews deceived/schemed and yet Allah deceived/schemed, and Allah is the best of the deceivers.”

But it seems to contradict that in that it seems to affirm that Jesus died in 3:55 and 19:33. (and 5:117)

It is a blatant contradiction.

Ken said...

Why specifically did you leave the OPC?

Did you go to RCC then, or something else in between?

(Darby's dispensation Bible church type of church?)

David Waltz said...

Hi Ken,

You wrote:

>>The Qur'an does deny the death and the atonement of Christ in 4:157; ( if they were only saying that the Jews didn’t kill Him, but the Romans did, the rest of the verse and the repetition, and “for sure they did not kill Him” just does not make sense, by what it leaves out. They would have added, “but the Romans did kill Him”, but that would not make sense in 3:54, for there is says that “the Jews deceived/schemed and yet Allah deceived/schemed, and Allah is the best of the deceivers.”

But it seems to contradict that in that it seems to affirm that Jesus died in 3:55 and 19:33. (and 5:117)

It is a blatant contradiction.>>

Me: As you know, I have provided examples of Muslims who believe that Surah 4:157 does not deny the physical death of Jesus; I concur with them, hence there is no contradiction.

As for my reasons for leaving the OPC, they were many; I will provide the top 3: first, the un-Christian treatment of OPC members who were theonomists; second, the continued schism/s among conservative Presbyterians who embrace the same standards; and third, certain actions of the local elders that I will not get into on the internet.


Grace and peace,

David