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Everything posted by thormas

  1. Apologizes Ranger as I misread your comment on the above.
  2. Remembered he was God? If he was not fully man, there is no salvation. But exactly right, "that we might become the sons of God" goes to sharing the life of God...........and the continued incarnating of the divine in the human (although we are not and do not become God). In the transfiguration where did the other two guys come from? The certainly look 'glorified' but where did they come from, especially given the Jewish understanding of 'after death' at the time of Jesus.
  3. Now it's lol on me: I meant wholly not holy. However, I think both are appropriate (and it is the same topic). I can't remember the author but it was once said. "I was born a man, now I must learn to be human." To learn and become human is possible only when one loves, when one embodies (and is the likeness of) God/Love or to put the initiative on God, when God/Love 'resides' in man. This is (the continuing process of) incarnation: even without sin, the Lover would have 'become One' with the Beloved. Incarnation was not a rescue operation it was the purpose of creation: God always intended to incarnate and thereby empower man to become Human and have Abundant Life.
  4. You can't know this or perhaps you can but it is the opposite of what you believe. Again the Prodigal rejects his father's will but when he turns back, after he reaches his lowest point, the Father not only accepts him but rejoices to the point of throwing a party. God is against the sin but as the Prodigal indicates, he is not against the sinner and neither should the good son be against or judge the sinner. Interesting thing about judgment is that it presents a moment of crisis, on one side is chaos on the other is opportunity. Judgment is for man, it is for the sinner - the opportunity to change must always be there. Plus God cannot be All in all if 'eternal judgment' means hell or the eternal loss of God You should read David Bentley Hart's 'All Shall be Saved' as he gives some startling information from the scriptures which basically show that we have had it wrong about 'hell.'
  5. Look forward to discussions with a 'thoughtful, logical Christian.'
  6. Ranger, You seem to equate an atheist with a sinner but where is it in the NT that the two are shown or said to be the same? Don't give me an interpretation, show me the exact text. One of my favorite lines is (paraphrasing) "it is not the one who says 'Lord, Lord' it is the one who does the will of God." So it seems that the emphasis is on the doing of the will of God - which is to love. If the atheist loves not only 'those that love her' but many others, from the neighbor to the stranger, such love shows the compassionate concern and care that Jesus showed. The atheist is doing what the Father wills and it matters not if she calls "Lord, Lord." Who enters the Kingdom of God, the atheist who loves or the Christian who does not really do such a good job of loving, such as a Hitler or a Trump? LOL!!!!
  7. Ranger, Then there is the insight of Athanasius: 'God became man and so that man could become God' - or a preferable translation is 'so that we might become deified.' We are to become the sons and daughters of God. I'll leave how literally we should take this to you, but if one shares the life of another (say a boy to a Father figure) and makes important to him what is important to that Father figure (by the way this is the definition of obedience) then the boy shares in and participates in the life of the Father. And as he grows, the Father sees himself in the son and seeing that boy is 'like' seeing the Father. This is what we are born for and I suggest it is not adoption, it is the fulfillment of our 'nature' given to us in creation, that is realized (in God). Gotta run again - more on the honey-do list.
  8. Ranger, Maybe I missed it but Jesus preaches the Kingdom to be established in this world - that was the Jewish expectation and he was a Jew of that time. Where does he plainly distinguish between Kingdoms? Don't give me your interpretation give me the words of Jesus. Note: I'm breaking this down into smaller segments to make it easier to read and respond as the long responses are amazingly long. Also, waiting on your site info again. You can't transfer from here per the rules of engagement but at least 75% of what I write is offline and is substantially different from what I put as a final response so I can post on both sites, as others also post on more than one site, without being in violation of the site terms.
  9. Ranger, this is one of those statements that has to be explained - not to me but to an audience or congregation. How does God make someone understand and if they don't understood but only God can do it, it seems logical to assume that God has failed. Or, if only God gives understanding and if someone doesn't, they cannot be responsible so they must be righteous because they would be innocent and not responsible for not understanding. Now I know you disagree but this must be explained in a way that makes sense to a person of any age, of all ages in today's world.
  10. Actually, we do - simply not by ourselves but in relationship with God and in the human response to God (i.e. faith). God has no need to intervene, he is already here.present, however I do agree that the Word in and through the words of man, does or can bring enlightenment. It is not simply believing, if you mean giving assent to truth as information, it is the responding that 'makes' is a child of God. Salvation or human fulfillment is the work of God - in relationship wit man but such salvation or wholeness is not only in and through Christ for this limits God.
  11. Too harsh. If you come across a kid who can't hear, are they slothful or do they just need someone to recognize that they are different and take the time to learn sign language and 'translate' the spoken gospels to one they can see the gospel? The fault is not always in the receiver, this is not always easy stuff: time, care and patience are required. Enough for now, we exhaust me :+}
  12. Jesus used parable, we are not really parable people in the 21st C. If you don't translate it, don't explain it in ways that new generations, new people can really understand it - it goes nowhere, it falls and does not grow. Sure he does. That is the risk and beauty of creation. God, in my view is not merely a supernatural being, residing in his external world and occasionally intervening, miraculously, in the natural world. We have our being in God or God is and has always been with us in the ordinary, everyday moments of life, of our world. I suggest that God is always incarnational, he always works in and through us in order to enable, empower us to become his child, his Likeness. Look at Jesus, he was the Word in the flesh. How much easier to hear than when it is spoken by one such as us. But it always is. His Word is always spoken through our words; his Spirit/Love is always given in our love. If God spoke to us directly, out of the blue, many of us world drop dead :+} However if we have done something wrong, and in a discussion with another, we come to realize our error, how we have hurt another and if we change - then the old is dead and a new person has emerged. We have become different, we have become more Like God. Do you think the words that we heard, the words that revealed the error of our ways, the words that enabled us to heal, the words that gave us life were only human words? The Word that is Life, speaks in and through us, to give enlightenment and life to us. The Spirit that is Love, give us love's encouragement and empowers us to respond to the word and be more like Christ. We are the co-creators: the one who was willing to help us, to speak to us, the one who loved and encouraged us is co-operating with God. God always has the initiative but it was this person who co-created with God so that the other could hear, respond and be on the Way. Was Hitler a co-creator? Why not? There was no willingness to be open to the Word and the Spirit, no willingness to co--operate with God or in older terms, there was no openness to be the instrument of God. Ranger, read Baum - you might enjoy it.
  13. Think about it: man is under condemnation. Really? What I'm saying is people don't buy this today, they don't buy that we are separated from God, they don't buy that we are condemned. They don't even understand what you're talking about or when you do talk about it, they ignore you (not you but speaking in general terms). That a good God condemns us for what? All are condemned - so much for a good God. Another one of those Church Fathers that you're not so fond of spoke of being born in the image of God (i.e. intelligent beings) but having to become the likeness of God (moral beings, like Christ). Back in the 2nd or 3rd C CE, he recognized that we were born young as a human race and it took time for us to, let's call it, evolve. Ranger, you must realize that it is the very notion of a God who condemns that is a major problem for many and a stumbling block to belief in God. is not that we have to change it, it is that we have to be able to explain this myth and what it says about the relationship between God and man. Bottom line, if some in your audience don't buy that we are condemned, then there is no need to be justified. Why then is Jesus important? What is he about? Does he make a difference? Unless you have a captive audience who 'buys' that we are condemned or you put it on God for not enlightening them - you have some work, some explaining to do. Here's a question for you: if there were no sin, would God in Jesus still have been incarnated? Would God still 'enter into' human life? How are we 'simply separated from God?' For me, it is not that we are incapable of righteousness on our own and in need of God, it is that we cannot even be human without God. Ranger, I take issue with this. You are quoting gosepls which are all post-pentecost and therefore when they did understand that Jesus did die, was raised and they expected and waited for his return. As readers, we are in on the secret, we know this and we are 'looking back' into the time of Jesus. As for the Trinity, you are talking about the gospel of Joh, perhaps the most theological gospel and 60-70 years after the events. So I agree that the kernel of the idea of Trinity is present. Ranger, there is only one Kingdom, where does Jesus talk or allude to a Millennial or Eternal Kingdom? This is more your interpretation than coming from Jesus. Jesus fully expected the Kingdom to be established in the lifetime of some of his followers. He did not speak of other Kingdoms. Again this is reading in, not reading what is written. It is convenient but not in the gospels.
  14. Without action and ownership, it is just words (rhetorical).
  15. Welcome dkm. Given your intro and area of interest in discussion with those of 'similar interests' let me suggest the Progressive Christianity thread. I like Spong but I can see where one would see 'his' God as somewhat remote; Spong has changed over time. I know of Rohr but have not read him much at all but have read other theologians and philosophers. thormas
  16. I will let character be revealed (rhetorical).
  17. Thanks. Where are the terms & conditions? Can't find them and would like to refresh my memory. Thanks
  18. Sorry about that Ranger............. However we can continue our dialogue as long as it is not transferred. T
  19. Sorry about that Joseph as I didn't think it would be an issue given that others give their own site posts on here (ex. Rom) and thought it was fine without names or site ID. Not sure about material here on other sites though. However would you please post Ranger's site either here or in a private message to me as I am curious and would like to explore it as I have explored Rom's. Thanks,
  20. Joseph, I actually did not ask that question the one time I was going a bit faster than instructed: I was in the wrong. And in that situation, the other speeder is long gone and the cop is limited by what she can actually see. But thank god for technology: we have had cameras at traffic lights that record all the cars running the light and weeks later a little ticket is delivered in the mail: 'surprise we know what you did, here's what you owe!' You have the advantage of technology and seeing who was uncompassionate and did what you have said is unacceptable - but no other 'tickets' for the same offense. However - let's live it to the other 'speeders' and let character reveal itself. I wait with bated breath.
  21. Is there a homosexual culture or is it part of the wider culture in today's world? And acceptance of homosexuality relations and marriage will only grow in the future. Bart Ehrman, on his blog of the same name, has done some outstanding posts on homosexuality and the bible. Read them and let's discuss. I don't remember an instance of Jesus speaking against the homosexual - unless of course one bends the scripture to their will. But can you really picture Jesus shunning a gay or lesbian person? Does love, agape, compassionate concern for the other become something different when it resides in the heart of a gay person? But what other many cultures are you talking about? Seriously Ranger, justification is a declaration of righteousness - to a 4 year old? Come on, even a 16 year old or a 40 year old would struggle with that concept and we don't talk like that in today's world - thus the need for translation. Translation is not a dirty word: if you go to South America and want the fullest experience of the life and the people,if you want to know the people as they truly are, then you better know the language or have a translator in tow. My point is even though we are justified by belief in Christ - how does that work, what does it look like? Hitler was a Christian. Trump is a Christian so he's justified, declared righteous? Are you saying that the words and actions of either man, mirror those of Jesus? Is his way the likeness of God? Is this what justification looks like? Jesus of all people was righteous yet look at his words, look at his works: he knew that righteousness must be lived by the fulfillment of the 2 great commandments. So too men and women in Christ. What I'm saying is that I taught high school kids for 12 years (literally thousands upon thousands of kids) and I know that words like justification or righteousness don't compute in today's language for them. Plus there are the questions like I just asked. If you or a teacher can't answered them, you just lost them. Which bible language are you talking about? If it's English, that's not it - that's a translation, god or bad, that is a translation and it is not the language of the Bible and certainly not the language of Jesus of Nazareth. Is it Greek, which Greek? If it is 'biblical Greek' you must know that there are experts in tat language and even they realize the controversy over some words. And then there is the Aramaic that is contained in the Biblical language. I don't mean to be offensive but I am a bit suspicious of anyone who speaks of biblical language and does not know the original language or rely on experts to help them understand what is actually said and what it means - in context. If you are righteousness and cleansed of sin today, what if you sin tomorrow? Once made righteous, what does one do with their day? Love is active, love goes out from itself and is poured unto the other. If it is not, it is hoarded and is not love. The righteous one must, as did Jesus, love, must act, must do the work of love - must be embody God/Love in the world and live the Good News. Otherwise it is just talk and if it can't be explained, if it can't be 'battle tested' - it won't be heard and it will fall on deaf ears because of the teacher/preacher. The bottom line on justification/righteousness is that she who is righteous, does the will of the Father and lives in the way of Jesus. It is done and if it is not, then where is one's right - ness If it can't be explained, it is not yet owned or understood by the speaker/teacher/preacher. That is what teaching is about but you must realize how often it is a complete failure. I have never, ever worked harder than when I was a theology teacher: to know something is one thing, to know it well enough to truly give it to another is a whole different thing. A friend of mine taught in the very next classroom, nicest guy, same education in theology from the same school but he just couldn't relate to the kids and couldn't translate from the bible, couldn't make it resonate in their lives, couldn't make it come alive and therefore couldn't enable them to understand and make it theirs. Justification is no more difficult that incarnation, salvation, resurrection, transubstantiation, atonement or even forgiveness (wherever they are found). All are just words and one needs to make sense of them or when the world comes knocking and brings its questions, you will have no answers and fold - look at the crisis in the Churches today. Ranger, look what you have just done: explain one 'foreign' word with another 'foreign' word. Who uses words like righteousness in today's world? And you use biblical short stories? Again I see kids nodding off to sleep. Really, who cares about David and Bathsheba? And when you get to Christ you'll be hit with more questions. Lay his life does? Why did he have to die, why did God do that if he loved Jesus? What doe you mean Jesus was God and he died, how can God die? Three persons? What? What do you mean die for someone else sins? Didn't ancient civilizations also have human sacrifices? Like that? Why not? But don't we think such human sacrifices are horrible? How does Jesus dying save anybody else, how does that work? Our Justice system? Do you know how many people avoid jury duty, don't know what SCOTUS is or how lawyers work? "We always cater to the maturity level of those we speak to, right?" No truer words were spoken and that catering also involves catering to or taking into account their worldview, culture and everyday experiences. If the Word does not find them where they are, it won't find them anyplace else. Ranger, you have just substituted yourself for theChurch Fathers. They viewed Scripture or the Sacred texts as you are doing now. And some of these guys were brilliant and died for their Christ. Seems they are due a bit of respect. Much of who is erroneous? I would suggest that all are baed in the Bible, including Catholics and Protestants. Ranger, just out of curiosity what biblical experts/scholars do you refer to for help with the scriptures? Surely you don't go it alone. Not much difference from the 1st to the 21st C? How about something basic like a 3 tiered universe? Or sickness attributed to demons? Or how does Jesus rise up at the Ascension when there is no up? Or descend to hell - where exactly is hell in the bowels of the earth? I differ with you on revelation: God revealed nothing, no information: he revealed Himself. Revelation is not information that one says "Yes, I believe" to; revelation is the self-revealing, i.e. the self-giving of God to us - and faith is the response, our giving of self to God. God does not give information or doctrine or beliefs, he give something much more precious and essential to salvation and Human Fulfillment: he gives himSelf as Word and Spirit, ever-present. As Augustine (I believe it was him) said: 'Jesus came to where God already was.' The word has always been with and for man, Jesus was that Word shouted from on high. There is no progression of revelation in God's self giving; He does not give himself in pieces or only partially, He Is always present to us and for us. The progression is in our understanding and growing insight of the God in our midst. Again, Jesus does not bring God, rather he shouts, "Behold God is upon you, God is Here, Now and Always was/is! Repent and have faith - give yourself to God. I have come so that you may have (Abundant) Life." No Trinity is not just knowledge as if it is only information about God; Trinity speaks of the human experience of God. We have a different view of person than the 4th C and the 1st C. How can a person, be three? If all you can rely on is 'believe' it is the scripture, I suggest you have a problem. Again the questions, it's not really there, Jesus never even says he is God or the son of God, how is a spirit a person, the only person we know has a body: no body, no person. And how can God die? I think there is a way to enable the Trinity to be understood and for even teenagers to sit there nodding with an 'of course, that makes (some) sense' smile - and then you have something that won't die when they leave you or when they confront the questions of the world. Read Gregory Baum's Man Becoming or let's discuss it at some point. Time is getting short and I can get back to the rest on another day but let me address this one: Yes I embrace with some of those pesky Chruch Fathers, universal salvation. But how could it be otherwise? If God is Love, then the Love that is God never turns from his child, especially the Prodigal. The Prodigal's Father would have waited forever for his son, who was lost, to turn and he lovingly schools the good son, the one who has been with him all this time, 'you have always been with me but your brother was lost............rejoice............simply jump up and down for he is back, he is a new man, he is Alive, throw a party, don't sulk." So too the God who is love does not give up on man and woman, especially his prodigals. He will wait for all time, for time after time for the lost ones to turn, realize and cry, "oh God, Father, Abba, Daddy - I was wrong, wrong about it all. I did so much harm, I was so hateful..........and I suspect that God puts a finger to the prodigal's lips and said 'Shhh, you are home, long have I waited but you are home my little one. You were saved the minute, the second you began to turn back.' And all who are the good sons and daughters should rejoice and be glad because she who was dead is alive, he who was lost is found. Party........like it's Heaven.......because it is: God is All in all! Again, I enjoyed your company although we disagree on some but perhaps not as much as ti seems. I have not had a chance to double check my responses so excuse any spelling and grammar errors.
  22. Joseph, I don't understand. Specifically I don't understand the targeting of me or your reluctance to confront others directly (as you have done to me) about their words which you have explicitly said were unacceptable. I am not interested in discussion only answers. You zeroed in on me - why? Simple question. If we were all in the wrong, why name me, why come after me by name but not them? You apologized as did I, why not the other two (or more)? However, let's not demand apologies, let's simply see if they own what they said, recognize that they violated the ethic of the forum and are sorry. Either way we know their character.
  23. So let's repeat that "calling others posts nonsense is not acceptable" and so too are insults and put-downs. That is all fine (and appreciated) Joseph, but if the nonsense rant is unacceptable as are the insults and put-downs, why was I the only one publicly singled out? Even now others are not. Fair is fair. I accept your apology and thank you for it and I too apologize, not for humor which should always be okay (but humor too if it caused hurt), but for assuming and saying that Rom was banned. I also apologize to you and others for the 'heat' which these discussions sometimes, too many times, produced unnecessarily. Now, Rom has been warned (above), so I await his apology (for 'nonsense' and put-downs). I also await Paul's apology for insults and put-downs especially since he is an administrator and a moderator (since you used the plural) of behavior in the new year. Such public apologies from all (and any others where it is necessary for the future health of the site) will testify to everybody's recognition that we need a re-start and an acknowledgement of past slights. Thank You.
  24. Got it so you have no answers to the specifics and repeat your belief so as has been said "that is fine. It works for you." So your "indeed" refers to the confirmation that love has been empirically defined? .
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