Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
.The Jesus movement
.Is it just a ‘story’?
.Act’s proven to be historically accurate
.Industrial revolution leads to field of archeology
.We found stuff
.field of documentary evidence arose-
.That proved it too
.Sir Ramsey changed his mind
.Church in world history
.Descartes- Copernicus- etc.
.Jesus ascends
.Wait for the promise of the Father
.Judas replaced
.Power is on the way
.early 20th century- Spirit comes to Azusa
.Then at Duquesne University
.Catholics get it too
.Charismatic movement
PAST TEACHING [below are my past links/teaching I did that relate to today’s video- ACTS 1]  [Mentioned Aristotle and Plato on today’s video- Here’s my past teaching on them]
ACTS study
Introduction; Yesterday I took my kids to the mall after church, I usually get lost in the book store. Even though I bought an entire shelf of books a few months back, I still can’t help from buying more books! So I picked up a few more and found a comfortable bench and started reading the History of Christianity. At the house I am almost thru with another ‘history of Christianity’ that covers the story of the church from Pentecost to the present day. I own a few complete volumes and have checked out many from the libraries over the years. I read from both the Protestant and Catholic [Orthodox] perspectives. I also read from the ‘out of the institutional church’ perspective. These are the histories of various groups of believers who never became Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant. I consider all these groups Christian and appreciate the tremendous wealth of knowledge that these communities provide.
Now, as we go thru Acts, I want to stay as close as possible to both the doctrine and practices of the early church as seen in scripture. We are not the first [or last!] study that has attempted to do this. That is attempted to ‘get back to the original design’ as much as possible. Historically you have whole categories of believers who fit into this mindset. They are referred to as ‘Restorationist’ as opposed to Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox. The Church of Christ, The Disciples of Christ, the Anabaptists and others fall into this class. I believe you find true believers in all of these groups.
As you read the history of Christianity as told by the other perspectives, you will find it interesting as to the way the institutional church describes these ‘out of church’ groups. Some are called heretics [Waldensians] others are simply seen as fringe groups. The strong institutional church has branded those who would reject her authority as schismatics and heretics on the grounds of their refusal to submit to the hierarchy of the institutional church.
As we go thru Acts, I want us to read carefully and see the story as told by Luke. We will not find ‘another more true group’ in the sense that I want to start some new denomination. I also don’t want to simply find proof texts to justify doctrine. Many well meaning believers can find the verses they like the most and use them to combat the other points of view. We will see verses emphasizing the importance of water baptism, or various truths on the outworkings of the Spirit. We will see prophets functioning and read texts that clearly teach Gods sovereignty [as many as were ordained unto eternal life believed]. Instead of getting lost on these side trails, I want us to read with an open mind and allow our beliefs to be shaped by ‘the story’.
I will spend time defending my own view of Local church. Not because I believe ‘my view’ is the only thing worth arguing about, but because I believe we see the intent of God for his people to be a living community of believers in this book. Right off the bat we will see giving taught in a radical way. The early church at Jerusalem will ‘continue in the Apostles doctrine and breaking of bread and prayers’. They then sell their goods and distribute to all who had need. Where in the world did they get this idea from? The Apostles doctrine obviously taught the plain teachings from Jesus on sharing what you have with others. So instead of seeing an early tithe concept, you see an early ‘give to those in need idea’ straight from the teachings of Jesus. We will see this early Jerusalem group meet daily, as opposed to seeing ‘Sunday worship’ as some sort of New Testament Sabbath. Of course this group will meet at the Temple [actually an out door courtyard called Solomon’s Porch] and from ‘house to house’. But the simple realty of Christ’s Spirit being poured out on them as a community of people will be the basic understanding of what ‘church’ is.
You will find citizens of many surrounding areas going back to the their home towns after Pentecost. These believers shared the gospel with those in their regions and this is how the early church would spread. Some commentaries will show you how when Paul will eventually show up in Rome there already was an established church there. They obviously heard the gospel from these early Roman Jews who were at Jerusalem during Pentecost. So we will see ‘church planting’ from the paradigm of simple believers going to areas with the message of Christ. Those who would believe in these locations would be described as ‘the church at Corinth’ or ‘the church at Ephesus’ and so on. So we see ‘local church’ as communities of believers living in different localities.
We will see the development of leadership along the lines of ‘appoint elders in every city’. Not a top heavy idea of  ‘Bishop’ in the later sense of Catholic belief, but a simple ordaining [recognizing!] of those in the various cities who were stable enough in the basic truths of the gospel, that in Paul’s absence these elders were to be trusted as spiritual guides. Now, many of our brothers can trace the historic office of Bishop as a fairly early development in church history. Polycarp and others were considered direct disciples of the Apostles who would be seen as Bishops and even write of the importance of Bishops for the church ‘Where there is no Bishop there is no church’.
This will cause many well meaning believers to eventually become Catholic/Orthodox as they read the church fathers and see the very early development of Catholic Christianity. In many of the church fathers writings you will also see an early belief in the Eucharist as being the actual Body and Blood of Jesus.
To the consternation of many Protestants you even find Luther condemning fellow Protestants for not taking literally the words of Jesus ‘this IS my Body’. Now, I will not defend transubstantiation, but try to follow the trend lines in Acts as to the lack of this doctrine being a part of the early church. We will find Paul’s letter to the Corinthians addressing the Lords Supper, but for the most part we do not see a strong belief in the transmitting of divine grace to the soul thru the eating of Christ’s literal Body and Blood as they ‘broke bread’. We do see the sharing of the common meal and the ‘Eucharist’ as one meal called the ‘love feast’. Only later on in church history is there a division made between the full fellowship meal and the Eucharist.
So to be frank about it, I will challenge both our Catholic and Orthodox brothers on some very fundamental beliefs. Well I hope this brief introduction sets the proper tone for the rest of this study, God bless you guys and I hope you get something out of it.  John.

(738)  ACTS 1- Luke, the writer of this book, feels the need to document the ongoing work of Jesus and his revolution. He already wrote a gospel and believes this to be the beginning of the story. In essence, the reality of Jesus and his resurrection are just the start, we have much more to do and become on this journey. Most writers jump to chapter 2. We have churches and music groups called ‘Acts chapter 2’. Why does Luke seem to wait till chapter 2 before getting to ‘the good stuff’? Chapter one records the 40 days of Jesus showing himself alive after his death. Luke feels this singular truth to be important enough to simply stand alone [I do realize the early letters did not have chapter and verse divisions like today]. The real physical fact of Jesus bodily resurrection is without a doubt the foundational truth of the gospel. The outpouring of the Spirit and the whole future of the church depends on the reality of the resurrected Christ. Paul will write the Corinthians and tell them if the resurrection were not true then they are the most miserable of all people. Luke tells us Jesus gave instructions for the Apostles to wait at Jerusalem for the Spirit. They will be witnesses of him to all the surrounding nations after the Spirit empowers them. We also see Peter emerge as the key spokesman for the group. He quotes freely from the Psalms and reads their own history into the book. He sees the prophetic verse from David on ‘let another take his office’ as referring to Judas betrayal and death. They cast lots and choose Matthias as the one to replace Judas. Peter shows the importance of Judas replacement to come from one that was with them thru out the earthly time of Jesus. Someone who saw and witnessed Jesus after the resurrection. Scholars have confused this with the ‘ascension gift Apostles’. Some scholars have taken the truth of the early Apostles having the criteria of being actual witnesses of Jesus, and have said ‘therefore, you have no Apostles today’. Paul will teach in Ephesians that after Jesus ascension on high he gave gifts unto men ‘some Apostles, others Prophets, etc.’ The New Testament clearly speaks of Apostles as an ongoing gift in the church. Barnabas will later be called an Apostles [Acts 14:14] as well as many other references in the original Greek using the same Greek word for Apostle. But here we find Peter seeing the need to replace Judas. Other scholars think Peter might have jumped the gun. They see Paul’s apostleship as the possible person the Lord picked out as the replacement. You do find Paul referring time and again to his Apostolic authority as one ‘born out of due time’ who saw Jesus on the Damascus road. If Paul was simply an ascension gift Apostle, why would he refer time and again to his authority based on being a witness who also saw Jesus? It’s possible that Paul was in this group of ‘Apostles of the Lamb’ who had extra authority based upon their testimony of being eyewitnesses. So in chapter one we see that Jesus appeared for 40 days giving instructions to the early leadership and told them to wait at Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We see the incarnational purpose of God, Jesus was and continues to be the express image of God to man. He was not some ‘phantom’ like the Docetists will claim, but a very real physical resurrected Lord. Luke begins the early history of the church with this reality being important enough to stand on its own.
(1357) I WILL UNCOVER THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN HIDDEN SINCE THE WORLDS FIRST DAY- [Jesus]. Yesterday I read an article in the paper that talked about an amazing dinosaur find in China; they found around 15 thousand fossils in a cave area. The amazing thing was the fact that so many dinosaurs would have been in one place right when they died. I immediately saw this as proof that would back up the creationist cataclysmic view of a worldwide flood destroying all life on the planet. As I read thru the article they explained how much of ‘fossil science’ has been done thru finds in the U.S., but over the last few years China [and the eastern world in general] have undergone their own industrial revolution and this has led to the unearthing of new ground for the purpose of construction and these new projects are unearthing these fossils. Much like what took place in the 19th century when many archaeologists were discovering ‘hidden things’ that seemed to be buried ‘since the foundation of the world’. In the 19th century it was popular for the intellectuals in theology to embrace the ‘historical/critical’ method of bible learning. Many began to reject the early dating of the New Testament [early- a.d. 50-70] and began accepting a theory that said much of the New Testament was written in the 2nd century. These ideas were promoted by men like Rudolph Bultman and were made popular at the German university which he taught at [in Marburg]. So it became ‘intellectually fashionable’ to accept this new way of critiquing scripture. One problem- as the industrial revolution took off in the west archeology rose as a new science and we now had the ability to historically search for clues. A famous historian by the name of Sir Ramsey went on this exhibition to see whether or not the bible was accurate when it spoke about ‘so called’ first century things. Our bibles do have lots of names of political characters and certain historical events that can be measured for accuracy. Ramsey found to his dismay that all the evidence leaned towards the ‘less enlightened’ view of an early dating of the New Testament. This was a tough pill to swallow by the intellectuals who had already formed their opinions on the subject, but in due time most trustworthy scholars would come to accept [for the most part] the earlier dating. So now back to the dinosaurs, as the article went on they admitted that it’s possible that a Tsunami might have caused the dinosaurs to gather in one place before their deaths- A FLOOD! It’s funny because some in the modern scientific community have argued, very convincingly, that the Geologic table and the extinction of the dinosaurs can be attributed to a world wide flood. Others have vehemently opposed this idea [most evolutionists]. And now the new evidence seems to be backing up a flood theory, they simply don’t want to admit it. Like the intellectuals of Sir Ramsey’s day, the smart thing to do is to go where the evidence leads. The facts don’t lie; these are ‘facts’ that are being now uncovered, things hidden ‘since the world’s first day’.
And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. ...  2nd Thes. 2:10-13  History of everything in 1 hour [part 1]
.Did my ‘prophecy’ come true? Watch and see
.They said a rocket hit the plane
.What did Patience say?
.Update on detention center
.Bishop Mulvey
.I was right about Devon Anderson- planned parenthood- the judge said she broke the law
.Where did the animals come from?
.Is the story true?
.They were looking for the ‘LOGOS’
.Scientific/Industrial revolution
.Sir Ramsey and documentary evidence
.Luke/Acts as historical evidence
.Phenomenological language
.Aquinas- Anselm and Augustine
.Richard Dawkins alien creator
.Einstein and the big bang
.C.S. Lewis
.Everything is proof of God
(766)  Let me interrupt our Judges study a little. Right now [2008] there is another renewal/revival movement taking place in Florida [Lakeland]. The brother who was used as the ‘fire starter’ is Todd Bentley. I have tried to catch the services on T.V. and appreciate the presence of the Lord. Of course you can go on line and read terrible stuff about the revival. Once again some are 100 % against it, others are a little too exaggerated in their language in defense of it. What I mean is it’s easy to see a move of God and believe ‘this is the final move that will out do all other moves in the history of the church’ the ‘latter glory’ if you will. Let’s do a little history on moves of God. The present Pentecostal movement started at the beginning of the last century [for the most part]. You had a brother by the name of Charles Parham in Topeka, Kansas who had this little bible school. One day they experienced an unusual event. Gods Spirit fell on the students and they all ‘began to speak in other languages’. Now, to those who reject the modern gift of tongues as ‘gibberish’, I want you to see something. The ‘tongues’ [languages] of this experience were actually real foreign languages that the speakers never learned. They were very much like the ‘tongues’ at Pentecost! Parham took this as a modern day Pentecost and began sending these students to foreign countries, believing that they would be able to evangelize the world without having to teach the students/missionaries the foreign language of their field. Well this experiment flopped! Even the accurate Pentecostal historians will tell you this. But we are still left with the supernatural account of the kids having spoken in languages that they never learned. Parham was a strange type of fellow. He believed in the ‘seed of the serpent’ doctrine and a few other weird things. He was also very racist! He allowed a black student by the name of William Seymour to sit out in the hall and hear his teaching. He could not ‘intermingle’ with the white students in class. Seymour was a humble uneducated man who had a heart for God. Seymour would eventually find his ‘harvest field’ in Los Angeles. He began preaching at different churches and would experience strange manifestations equal to the things that Parham experienced. The churches did not appreciate this unlearned, one eyed black preacher introducing these strange ‘manifestations’ into their congregations and eventually Seymour rented a building on Azusa street. In 1906 this Azusa street mission would become ground zero for the outpouring of the modern day Pentecostal movement. Seymour was a very humble man by all accounts. He was known for sticking his head inside a box on the pulpit so the people wouldn’t see him instead of the Lord. The L.A. papers would run front page stories on ‘the strange tongues of Babel’ and stuff like that. Though Seymour was young and inexperienced at ‘running a revival’ he tried to the best of his ability to follow the Lord. He would contact Parham and ask him to come and check out the move. Parham came and totally denounced the wild meetings as spiritists run amok! Even though Parham had himself experienced the gift of tongues at his bible school, he saw the unrestrained nature of Azusa and condemned it. Seymour would never invite him back. The little mission building at Azusa would become the place of pilgrimage for 20th century Pentecostalism. Some were adamantly opposed to the outpouring, others 100 % supporters. After 100 years of seeing what the outcome would be, the historical significance is hard to refute. Some still see the worldwide spread of Pentecostalism as error. Others see it as a fulfillment of the scriptures that in the last days God would pour out his Spirit on all flesh. I see Pentecostals as part of the Body of Christ and in no way reject them as heretics. This doesn’t mean I agree with them in every doctrine! [As you can see when you read this site]. I feel we need to keep things in perspective when we feel God is moving in a new way. Is it possible that ‘this move’[any move that you happen to be in at the time] will have worldwide historic results? Sure. But because the Body of Christ is so wide and diverse in our day, it is harder for a single move to have the same type of impact as the original Pentecost. Should we judge the initial outpouring at Parham’s school as demonic? I don’t think so. The fact that they mistakenly took the gift as being missionary in nature does not disqualify the gift. In Act’s chapter 2 the gift of being able to speak in a language never learned did allow the immediate hearers to hear the gospel in their distinct languages. But the actual ‘missionaries’ [the hearers who went back to their towns] spread the message in their own known language. So in all types of moves you can find real fault, as well as real truth [most of the time]. We as the people of God should ‘test the spirits, because every spirit is not of God’ [1st John] while at the same time keeping an open mind like the head leader of religion in the book of Act’s, Gamaliel. He said ‘let’s leave the disciples alone for now, if this work is of God you will not be able to stop it. If it’s not of God it will fall by itself’. I personally believe in most of the renewal and revival movements of our day. I try not to get over excited by some of the language that tends to see these moves as ‘the last and greatest move of all time’. But I also avoid the constant attacks by the apologists who seem to never find a move they can agree with. [see entry # 844]

The Iliad and Odyssey [Homer]
 I want to cover some of the classics of Western Literature- when I do the philosophy and science stuff- the purpose is to show how God- and ‘religion’ are an inescapable thread that we see all thru out history- and in fact- the rise of what we call ‘intellectualism’ did indeed come from the Judaic/Christian tradition [for instance- the modern day university system did come from the Church].

Ok- lets start with what most believe to be the greatest work from antiquity- outside of the bible.

These are 2 poems by Homer- the Iliad and Odyssey.

These poems were written in the 8th century BCE- and cover the Trojan war- which most believe was a real war- that took place in the 12th-13th century BCE.

In Homers works we read about this epic battle.

The war starts with- once again- a ‘woman’ issue.

Prince Paris of Troy steals Helen of Greece- from her husband King Menelaus [king of Sparta].

The Greeks- led by Achilles- lay siege to Troy.

In Homers telling of the event- the Greeks are actually defending the honor of marriage- and are carrying out a just retribution against an unjust act.
Sort of the same themes we read in scripture- when the sons of Jacob defended the honor of their sister Dinah- when she was treated unjustly by the pagan nation that took her- forcefully- to be the wife of a kings son.

The brothers meted out justice- by tricking these pagans to get circumcised- then- while recovering ‘from surgery’- the sons went in and wiped out the city- to their fathers dismay!

In the story- Achilles is a warrior- who displays extreme violence- and also the human traits of a man who acts out of selfish motives.

At one point in the war- he removes himself from battle- because he feels his honor was betrayed.

The only thing that brings him back is the killing of his close friend Patroclus- by Hector.
Achilles leads the Greeks to victory- and reflects the struggle between living a long life- or dying young- yet dying for a just cause.
One of the more famous quotes form Homer’s Poems- attributed to Achilles- is ‘I carry 2 sorts of destiny to the day of my death. Either, if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans, my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting; but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers, the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life- left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.’

There has been some debate over the historicity of the war itself.

Some scholars believe it was Myth [I’ll get to this in a moment].
That is- they believe the war itself was not true- but a sort of Oral Tradition- that encompasses the reality of the human condition- and that Homers Poems are simply mythological ways to reveal the true condition of man.

Yet- much like the debate that took place in the 19th century German universities- over the ‘Myth’ of the bible- later on- the rise of what we now call Archaeology [because of the Industrial revolution- a new field arose- men started digging up the ground- for the primary purpose of extracting materials from the earth- and at this time we also discovered ‘lost worlds’- that is we could actually trace cities and lands that were once deemed fake].

So- as with Homers Troy- and bible lands- these archaeologists did indeed find Cities that matched the stories.

In 1870 the German Archaeologist Schliemann discovered remains that seemed to find the city of Troy- the area is known today as modern day Turkey.

This same thing happened with the bible- we did indeed find historical evidence that seemed to back up the historicity of the stories we find in the bible.

As a matter of fact- a famous doubter of the bible embarked on a search- to prove the bible was ‘myth’ yet- after researching carefully the historical names and places we read about in the book of Acts- he came to believe that the book of Acts- written by both an historian and doctor [Luke] was the most historically accurate writing that came from the first century [Acts has lots of names of political figures- court proceedings- stuff like that- and when doing research like this- it is quite easy to debunk the historical reality of a fake work- but- when these names and places were researched- from actual historical records dating back to the first century- it was amazing how the pieces fit].

The Trojan War is found in many works of Greek literature- and art.

But the most comprehensive account comes from Homer’s 2 poems.

Now- in Homer’s poems there are obvious references to Mythology- Goddesses- Golden apples- the Greek gods intervening in the affairs of men.

So yeah- we see that there are obvious mythological aspects to the work.
Yet- the ancient Geeks did indeed believe the war itself was a real war that took place at around the 12th century BCE.

Some believe that Homer never actually wrote the poems- but that he told the stories- like Oral Tradition- and they were later written down by others.

Sort of like the classic- Paradise Lost- by John Milton. Milton was blind- and told the story to his daughters [oral tradition] and the actual work was penned by those who heard it.

Jesus himself used this method- he never wrote a book- or letter in the New Testament- yet the gospels were compiled by his men after his death.

We read about this when Luke [who I mentioned above] gives the reason for his documenting stuff in the book of Acts [read Acts chapter one].

Luke also wrote his gospel a few years after the death and resurrection of Christ.

So- some believe the same thing happened with Homer- those who heard him tell the story multiple times- simply put it together later on.

Most scholars believe that Homer did indeed write the poems- and that the famous Trojan War was a real historical event.

Last year- when in North Bergen- my atheist friend Daniel said he watched a PBS show- and he said ‘even a priest said the bible was Myth’.

I explained to Daniel that when the more liberal scholars use this term [like in the writings of Bultman] that they do not mean ‘fake’- like Greek Mythology.

But they mean that some of the stories in the gospels might be a compilation of the many Oral teachings of Jesus- and they were put together as one story [some think the Sermon on the Mount was actually multiple teachings Jesus did- and they were compiled into one event].

Now- when I explained this to Daniel- he said ‘see- even you believe it was Myth’.

I told Daniel that no- I do not hold to this theory [not 100%] but that I was simply telling him that even those who use the term Myth- when talking about Theology- they do not mean Myth- as in fake.

So- I find it interesting that both the New testament- and Homers poems- got the same scrutiny.

In these poems we do indeed see the condition of man- which Homer depicts as one of constant war- not peace.

The letter of James in the New Testament says- James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
James 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it

On today’s video- I attempted the impossible- to tell the story of ‘everything’ in 1 hour.
Ok I bit off more than I could chew.
It took 2 hours [the next video ‘history of the world- part 2’ will finish it].
But- to sum up today’s video.
Is the biblical account of creation accurate?
We read that God made everything- by speaking.
Is this even possible- or some silly fable?
Over the history of time we read the story of the Jewish people- their trials and failures.
That’s the majority of the history of the Old Testament.
They believed the story in Genesis- while others questioned whether or not all things actually had a beginning point.
In time- we see the rise of the Greek philosophers- during what we call the intertestamental period [the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew].
These thinkers were looking for the answer to these questions- and the Greek word they used to describe this answer- was LOGOS- which is the Geek word- for WORD.
Then we had the appearing of Christ in the 1st century- and the apostle John calls him the LOGOS.
That’s the same word that the Greeks were looking for- John says ‘we have found him’.
Remember- this is Jesus Christ- the living Word.
Ok- over time we had the great movements of history- the Renaissance- the Reformation- the Enlightenment- the scientific revolution- the industrial revolution.
Most scientists believed that all creation was eternal- so- for them- the answer to ‘everything’ was- it was always there.
In the 20th century we had the great breakthroughs of Einstein- and we call one of them the Big Bang theory- meaning- all things did not always exist.
They had a beginning point- which we call the point of singularity.
Ahh- now we are back to ‘where did it all come from- if at the start- there was nothing’.
Yes- ‘In the beginning God spoke’.
 So- at the end of the story- of everything- we find the answer at the beginning.
In the beginning God spoke-Yes- the early followers of Jesus called him by this name- THE WORD.
 And science and logic show us that all events need a cause [even the 'event’ of creation].
So- this history of the world- recorded in the scripture- was true all along!
(1332) Been doing some reading on church history/philosophy, it’s interesting to see the role that theology/Christianity played in the universities. Theology is referred to as ‘the queen of the sciences’ and philosophy was her ‘handmaid’. They saw the root of all learning as originating with the study ‘of God’. Many modern universities have dropped the term ‘theology’ and call it ‘the study of religion’. The study of religion is really the study of how man relates to God, his view of God; this would fit under anthropology/sociology, not under theology. Modern learning has lost the importance of the study of God and the role it plays in all the other sciences. The classic work of Homer [8th century BC] called the Iliad, has Achilles debating whether or not he should ‘stay and
I made these videos in Texas. Then didn’t have time to write the usual teaching. So I stuck them together and did the best I could.
ON VIDEO’S- note- I mentioned on the video the philosopher who ‘doubted everything’. I wasn’t sure if I got it right. I said ‘maybe Blaise Pascal’- but it was Renee Descartes.
.Kill Muslims?
.Bruce Jenner- 2nd thoughts?
.Little people
.He eats with sinners
.Islam and Christianity
.Abrahams kids
.Ishmael too!
God and Allah
.Chaz Bono
.End times war?
.In defense of cops
.Hung jury
.Columbus- Aztecs- Conquistadores

PAST POSTS [verses below]
. REMINDER- This is a commentary I wrote years ago- the videos are new.
1-      Did God choose us to believe- or did we choose him?
2-      When Paul says ‘he makes our bodies alive’ is he only speaking about resurrection?
3-      Does God use difficulty- or is it to be rebuked?
4-      Was Paul a ‘hyper- Calvinist’?
(839)ROMAN 8:1-4 ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh [sinful nature] but after the Spirit [new nature]’. Now, having proved the reality of sin and guilt [chapter 7] Paul teaches that those who ‘are in Christ’ are free from condemnation. Why? Because they ‘walk according to the Spirit’ the ‘righteousness of the law is being fulfilled in them’. Having no condemnation isn’t simply a ‘legal function’ of declared righteousness, and Paul didn’t teach it that way! Paul is saying ‘all those who have believed in Jesus and have been legally justified [earlier arguments in chapters 3-4] are now walking [actually acting out] this new nature. Therefore [because you no longer walk according to the flesh] there is no condemnation’! This argument helps bridge the gap between Catholic and Protestant theology, part of the reason for the ongoing schism is over this understanding. After the Reformation the Catholic Church had a Counter Reformation council, the council of Trent. They dealt with a lot of the abuses of the Catholic Church, things that many Catholic leaders were complaining about before the Reformation. They did deal with some issues and reformed somewhat. To the dismay of the more ‘reform minded’ Catholics [with Protestant leanings] they still came down strong on most pre reform doctrines. This made it next to impossible for the schism to be healed. But one area of disagreement was over ‘legal’ versus ‘actual/experiential’ justification. The Catholic position was ‘God can’t declare/say a person is justified until they actually are’ [experientially]. The Protestant side [Luther] said ‘God does justify [legal declaration] a person by faith alone’. Like I taught before, both of these are true. The Catholic view of ‘justification’ is looking ahead towards a future reality [The same way James speaks of justification in a future sense- He uses the example from Genesis 22, when Abraham does a righteous act] while the Protestant view is focusing on the initial legal act of justification [Genesis 15]. Here Paul agrees with both views, he says ‘those who walk after the Spirit [actually living the changed life] have no condemnation’.
(1242) Read a few chapters from Brian McLaren’s ‘everything must change’ thought I’d comment. I like Brian’s writing style, I agree with him on believers needing to be challenged to see things differently, but I disagree on some of his ‘everything’s’. He challenges the idea of objective thinking as defined as foundationalism. He explains well the questioning of modern intellectuals after the world wars and Holocaust of the 20th century. He shows how certain thinkers began looking for answers to the problem of society’s failure as seen in these events. He also shows how some blamed the events on ‘foundationalism’ which is a way of ‘seeing things’ [epistemology] as defined by Rene Descartes. These thinkers diagnosed the problem as society’s acceptance of absolutes, they felt that this led to an ‘overconfidence’ in right and wrong and this in turn allowed for these atrocities to happen. Many modern thinkers would disagree with this conclusion. I find it interesting that Brian makes some statements about Evolution that seem to say he accepts the theory, but yet he fails to see the role that Social Darwinism played as a precursor to the Holocaust. You could make the opposite argument that it was the rejection of absolutes, and the rise of liberal theology from the universities in Germany that led to these events. Many scholars began questioning Gods truth and laid a foundation that said ‘we really can’t trust Gods truth’ [or even know it]. To be honest these debates are a little philosophical and I didn’t think Brian would go down this road, but he does so I will deal with it. Many ‘post moderns’ believe that one of the things that must change is the ‘old’ [what is termed modern] way of thinking. These new thinkers assert that truth itself, as an absolute thing that people can know for sure, is out of mans reach. They question the modern way of thinking that teaches there are certain absolutes [preconceived ways of thinking that everyone accepts]. These new thinkers say this ‘foundationalism’ is the problem. Did the enlightenment invent this mode of objectivism? No. Thinkers from Aristotle to Aquinas to Descartes all approached thinking this way. It was defined more clearly during the enlightenment period. But this is a philosophical debate that goes on in these various camps. You have had very smart people disagree on these things. The great theologian Karl Barth would say you are not truly educated until you can ‘affirm both sides of an argument, accept contradictory definitions of the same thing’ many believe this would lead to lunacy! The two greatest theoretical physicists of the last century also disagreed on this. Neils Bohr would say that you can have two contradictory truths about a subject, and they could both be true, Einstein disagreed. So these things have been around for a while, many of the eastern religions teach the same [Zen]. So I would disagree with Brian on this, but do agree with him on the need for believers to expand their concerns from simple ‘going to heaven when I die’ concerns, to social justice concerns in the nations. He does give some good examples along these lines.
In the last Philosophy post I hit on the 10th-14th century development of modern thought- today I want to jump into the 16th-18th centuries. Like I said in a previous post- after the Renaissance and the Reformation and the great scientific revolution- you had the world in somewhat of a tailspin.

 What I mean is for hundreds of years people trusted in the old institutions [like the Catholic Church] to tell them what was true or false- then with the development of all these modern movements people began questioning stuff.

Was it good to question things? Sure. But some challenged the very foundations of thought and knowing [called Epistemology] and went a bit too far.

Some thinkers went  back to the thought of Plato [400 years BC] and said that the mind is the main source of all knowledge- these were the 17th century Rationalists.

Rationalism- as a philosophy- was an outgrowth of all the great strides that man was making in all these other areas of life. The Scientific Revolution totally challenged the age old beliefs of many in the church.

Math became a sort of new ‘god’. How so? As science invented the Microscope and Telescope- man was able for the first time to peer deeply into the heavens- and to see deeply into the microscopic world.

As the great minds [Copernicus] showed us that the Universe was different than what we thought [Heliocentric versus Geocentric] man was able to do mathematical calculations and to say that a specific planet or star [or Comet] would show up at an exact date- or spot- and Walla- it would happen [you could look thru the Telescope and sure enough the math was right- the object that was calculated to be there- was.]

These calculations were mathematical formulas- so math began to be seen as the new religion in many ways.

There are even some thinkers in the modern day that still say the only ‘real truth’ that exists is mathematical formulas. Yeah- one guy wrote an entire book on the subject- the problem? Well- his book was not written in math- but words.

Yes- even the extreme deniers of Objective truth do make mistakes.

Now- what’s wrong with rationalism? Of course being rational is okay- but the philosophy itself denied real Objective truth. Truth that corresponds to some other ‘outside’ reality.

This form of thinking [rejecting outside reality] is called Relativism/Subjectivism. While there is some truth to all the various fields of thought- yet extreme Relativism denies ‘reality’ as most of us understand the term.  There was a strong resistance to the 17th century rationalists- we call this Philosophy Empiricism.

The main thinker in this field was John Locke. Locke lived most of his life in the 17th century- but his thought laid the foundation for the 18th century Empiricist.

This philosophy says that the mind does indeed play a major role in the knowledge of things- but this knowledge does not originate in the mind [Plato] but in the ‘thing’ itself [Aristotle- remember when we covered these men? Plato was an idealist- Ideas were more real than matter. Aristotle was a Realist- closer to the thought of Locke].

Locke developed a theory called the Correspondence theory- that truth that the Mind discovers corresponds to real things that actually exist apart from the mind.

Locke was a practicing doctor- and most of the other thinkers of the day had room to speculate about reality in a way that Locke could not.

He lived in a real world with real patients who had real symptoms- in a nutshell Locke had to diagnose his patients based on his findings- he could not deny that there was a real problem- he had to have his ‘feet on the ground’ [based in reality] while engaging with his head up high.

Okay- I think we’ll end with this. Maybe you can go back and read some of my previous posts on this subject- just to become a little more familiar with it.

As Christians- we are not ‘required’ to know Philosophy- or current events- or science- but it helps us engage the culture when we do educate ourselves in these areas.

Go slow in learning [not too slow!] and try and see how the Christian Worldview agrees with- or rejects certain aspects of these different felids of thought.

Most Christians would reject Rationalism as a Philosophy- because it denies real objective truth- it says truth is relative- whatever the mind can conceive- or think- can be defined as truth [Unicorns?]

Biblical truth is based on real historic events- 1st Corinthians chapter 15 says that if we deny the physical  resurrection of Christ- a real event- then our faith is in vain.

Christians base their faith on a real historic event- not simply on a belief system.


Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,
Acts 1:2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Acts 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Acts 1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
Acts 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Acts 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
Acts 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
Acts 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
Acts 1:19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
Acts 1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.
Acts 1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Acts 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
Acts 1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Acts 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
Acts 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Acts 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
Let his days be few; and let another take hisoffice.
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

Note- Please do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on- Thanks- John.#

No comments:

Post a Comment