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Everything posted by Burl

  1. A close reading of the Christian bible reveals that hell itself is eternal, but nothing about eternal suffering and punishment. That idea comes from Dante and Bosch. Think of the biblical idea of hell as an eternal incinerator where souls not fit for purpose are denied resurrection and eternal life. This is not unlike the the Oriental concept of imperfect souls being destroyed and reincarnated on a wheel of karma until they reach a state of perfection. This general theme has some support in the common biblical metaphor of ‘The refiner’s fire.’
  2. Heiser’s exegesis centers around God being unique, but creating and governing with a divine council. Heiser also shows how the Hebrew word elohim is the class of all supernatural beings. Angels, demons, ghosts etc. are all elohim. God is an elohim, but other elohim are not God. Not an expensive book either.
  3. N.T. Wright’s Paul: A Biography. Academic and lengthy but a new classic. Michael Heiser’s The Unseen Realm. Probably the most thorough Biblical researcher in original languages writes on the Bible’s concept of non-worldly beings and environments. Secondarily, his follow-on books Angels and Demons. Shorter and fascinating with lots of conversation material.
  4. Whatever PaulS decides, thank you Joseph for all you did. No small job.
  5. Sad, but this site has consistently failed to attract and engage new users. We could do 95% of what we do as a group email. I think it would be better to engage in a larger, vibrant community such as TheologyWeb.
  6. Welcome, Wanda. He needs to be around real live Christians, which is not easy to do these days. Food banks and thrift store volunteering are good opportunities here. He can’t obsess over ideas when he is helping others.
  7. Your not wrong. Apologies to non/Americans, but all of the laws, statutes and municipal codes hang on the Constitution. Not super helpful. There is also natural law and the Noachide laws which apply to non-Jews. Pipi has a valid interpretation. Pointing to Jesus’ rule of thumb does not refute Jesus’ extensive and detailed quotation of Scripture or his statement that he would not remove a ‘jot or tittle’ of the written law. Jesus did correct the Pharisee’s interpretation of keeping the Sabbath holy, but the commandment itself was never questioned.
  8. No, this is a tautology. Mere semantics without explication.
  9. “. . . scepticism must be at least as fatal to the truth as credulity”. In other words, how did ‘trust but verify’ degenerate into ‘distrust and vilify’?” https://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2020/08/31/the-difference-between-critical-and-sceptical-thinking/ The author has a prescient observation. Where European Christianity has a long history of mutually respectful conversation and debate, America has this curse of self-educated fundamentalism and American Christians often feel it is more important to ‘debunk’ that Darbyist mindset than to engage in a genuine search for tr
  10. The essence of the Sabbath is to set aside one day to be grateful for all God does for us. It is a day to turn the self off and focus on grace.
  11. Prophets are human. I think humanity is defined by our sensory, animal nature.
  12. I don’t get this idea. What is your definition of ‘human’?
  13. If Jesus intended to preach to non-jews. Seems like a question without a purpose.
  14. Why is this question important? Jesus plays a role in every spiritual tradition I can think of, so the discussion seems moot. What am I missing?
  15. Russia released a Covid vaccine last week.
  16. Traditions often need to be updated, but rarely discarded entirely. Traditions are successful solutions to old problems and if they are chucked out we usually get our old problems back. Better to make gradual adjustments.
  17. Understandings, insights and revelations are all well and good . . .IF . . . one can confirm they are likely to be authentic by means outside of the self. Self-deception is a real and present danger. That “Aha!” moment is more likely than not actually an “Uh-oh!” moment if they do not work and play well with others.
  18. The value of books is that they convey the experiences of people of faith who are no longer with us. Books often inspire divine revelation, but any personal revelation must be discerned in the light of previous revelations by others.
  19. The high level question is to ask is what was the purpose behind the entire Jesus event/narrative.
  20. After Pentecost. Before then justification was not possible.
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