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2/18/12 9:36 AM
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Workman
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prof - 
Workman - 
The Word of God does indeed declare that there is only ONE prescribed way in which God saves sinners; and it is so clearly through BELIEF.



Which is exactly the move you can expect when someone is trying to sell you something they don't have. It's a great trick. Emphasize the importance of "belief" rather than plain old evidence. If you can push that one, you can get the flock to first "believe"...without the burden of good evidence.

Exactly the technique that flourishes among con men ("who will always try to gain your trust and belief to negate the burden of showing he doesn't have what he's asking you to buy), and of course it's used by countless wacky cult leaders throughout the ages (in which belief in the leader's divinity is the main requirement).

But, you can point this out to people ad nauseum, and they'll still fall for it.

Prof.




Prof,

I know you will not like this, but it is illogical to have this theological discussion with someone such as yourself who disbelieves the Bible.

Whereas, JitsuGuy and others here affirm a belief in Biblical authority, so I am happy to engage them. But more importantly, it makes far more sense to engage them, as most of us here believe that the Scriptures are the final word on all matters.
2/18/12 10:45 AM
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Ali
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Workman - Prof,

I know you will not like this, but it is illogical to have this theological discussion with someone such as yourself who disbelieves the Bible.

Whereas, JitsuGuy and others here affirm a belief in Biblical authority, so I am happy to engage them. But more importantly, it makes far more sense to engage them, as most of us here believe that the Scriptures are the final word on all matters.

Didn't you start this thread out all certain that JitsuGuy didn't believe?

Anyway, I don't believe it's illogical to argue with someone who doesn't believe. Therefore I must agree.
2/18/12 10:47 AM
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BJJWRESTLER
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JitsuGuy,along the lines of you're thinking,then Jesus died in vain. If all are saved,as you say,believers and nonbelievers,then it was pointless that he died for us.That is where you are heading down a dangerous road,my friend. As I was reading the posts you wrote,I kept on seeing you say how it was unfair,if you lived in a different country or culture. Makes me wonder how you came about that line of thinking,seems like their is something deeper there,maybe even personal to you,why you think the way you do.
2/18/12 11:28 AM
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Ali
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Workman - 
Ali - It seems to me there's a twist on Pascal's Wager here. Like, you should believe, just in case the universalists are wrong...

(Mind you, I think Pascal's (orignal) Wager was un-helpful enough!)


Pascal's wager was predicated on the basis that, the existence of God could not be proven, so, just in case; it is better to believe in His existence.

This is in stark contrast to what I have provided, as I have offered proof....


I in no way suggested that your argument in particular is like Pascal's wager or that what you provide is like what Pascal provided.
2/18/12 11:38 AM
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prof
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No problem Workman. It was just a comment thrown from the peanut gallery.

Prof.
2/18/12 11:49 AM
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Ridgeback
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Workman,

I think you mean that your interpretation of the Bible is the final word.  After all, the Bible itself never makes a sola scriptura claim, there are several passages that clearly point out that it comes down to interpretation of the words and there can be different interpretations, and the people who wrote and put the Bible together in a canon didn't use the Bible to get to it.  Your position is incoherent, unbiblical, and simply a premise to give your own particular interpretation an authority on par with the direct utterance of God.  


2/18/12 11:50 AM
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Ridgeback
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prof - 
No problem Workman. It was just a comment thrown from the peanut gallery.

Prof.

 Prof,

What do you believe in enough that you are willing to see your children suffer for it?
2/18/12 3:32 PM
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prof
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Ridgeback,

Well, it depends, because there is a whole spectrum to consider in the word "suffering." For instance, I believe it's best for my son to get an education (for his future, and to be an informed citizen etc). He certainly may feel he is suffering sometimes doing lots of homework. Sometimes it's no-pain, no-gain. But that's not big-time suffering of course.

A bad case scenario: War. If there were very good reasons for a war (defending against aggressors or whatever) then I could accept that my children, when of age, would go to war risking injury and death to help in the war.

However, no good parent wants to see his children suffer, especially not needlessly. As I've pointed out so many times in these conversations, the reasons we have to deal with these compromises, sometimes choosing the "best" of really bad situations which will mean suffering, is due to our human limitations.

After all, imagine there is an impending war. It turns out someone has a "solution" for ending the conflict in which no one ends up killing one another. If such were a possibility, what kind of decent, sane parent would say "No...let's choose the option in which we send our children to fight, suffer and die..."?

I can't think of a reason. Can you?

Hence, if your question was meant to invoke from me some analogous impulse or principle to the ones Christians allow God, it won't do. An All Powerful God doesn't need to deal with the type of trade-offs we mere humans have to deal with.
I couldn't stop a war, so like any parent I may be left with the terrible choice of my children participating in a war, as it would be the only way to save ourselves.

God is All Powerful and wouldn't suffer such restrictions: if He didn't want a war to result in horrible numbers of people in suffering and death...He wouldn't need it to happen.

Prof.

2/18/12 5:07 PM
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JitsuGuy
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BJJWRESTLER - JitsuGuy,along the lines of you're thinking,then Jesus died in vain. If all are saved,as you say,believers and nonbelievers,then it was pointless that he died for us.That is where you are heading down a dangerous road,my friend. As I was reading the posts you wrote,I kept on seeing you say how it was unfair,if you lived in a different country or culture. Makes me wonder how you came about that line of thinking,seems like their is something deeper there,maybe even personal to you,why you think the way you do.



Uhh, no. His death was for everyone. Where did convey the idea that his death was unnecessary? At the very least, you're reading into what I've said.

So, you consider belief-based salvation an equal opportunity for all. I see. Instead of explaining to us how it is fair, you just slander my perspective (backed up by very real-world scenarios I might add). You don't do your cause any good.

Just sayin.
2/18/12 5:14 PM
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JitsuGuy
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And still, the belief-based salvation believers have yet to address 1st Timothy 4:10 and many other verses that comment on Jesus being the savior of the world...

It's like some are running from the same book they claim to embrace.

I'm waiting... I can't wait to hear how Ephesians 1:10 really isn't talking about "everything" or "all things." I can't wait to hear that 1st Timothy 4:10 is only talking about believers because it says "especially believers." I can't wait to hear how the apostles were only speaking of believers then they said Jesus is the savior of the world in John 4:42 and 1st John 4:14 I can't wait to hear out Ephesians 2:8,9 says it's not of ourselves but it really is of ourselves is must make the right choice. It falls completely on our shoulders.

So, come on. Tell me how "all" doesn't really mean "all" and tell me how "savior of the world" really means "savior of believers."

Looking forward to it.
2/18/12 5:45 PM
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Ridgeback
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JitsuGuy - And still, the belief-based salvation believers have yet to address 1st Timothy 4:10 and many other verses that comment on Jesus being the savior of the world...

It's like some are running from the same book they claim to embrace.

I'm waiting... I can't wait to hear how Ephesians 1:10 really isn't talking about "everything" or "all things." I can't wait to hear that 1st Timothy 4:10 is only talking about believers because it says "especially believers." I can't wait to hear how the apostles were only speaking of believers then they said Jesus is the savior of the world in John 4:42 and 1st John 4:14 I can't wait to hear out Ephesians 2:8,9 says it's not of ourselves but it really is of ourselves is must make the right choice. It falls completely on our shoulders.

So, come on. Tell me how "all" doesn't really mean "all" and tell me how "savior of the world" really means "savior of believers."

Looking forward to it.

 My first response dealt with all of that but it seems like you glossed over it.  Since you didn't respond I just left it at that.  
2/18/12 5:48 PM
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Ridgeback
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prof - 
Ridgeback,

Well, it depends, because there is a whole spectrum to consider in the word "suffering." For instance, I believe it's best for my son to get an education (for his future, and to be an informed citizen etc). He certainly may feel he is suffering sometimes doing lots of homework. Sometimes it's no-pain, no-gain. But that's not big-time suffering of course.

A bad case scenario: War. If there were very good reasons for a war (defending against aggressors or whatever) then I could accept that my children, when of age, would go to war risking injury and death to help in the war.

However, no good parent wants to see his children suffer, especially not needlessly. As I've pointed out so many times in these conversations, the reasons we have to deal with these compromises, sometimes choosing the "best" of really bad situations which will mean suffering, is due to our human limitations.

After all, imagine there is an impending war. It turns out someone has a "solution" for ending the conflict in which no one ends up killing one another. If such were a possibility, what kind of decent, sane parent would say "No...let's choose the option in which we send our children to fight, suffer and die..."?

I can't think of a reason. Can you?

Hence, if your question was meant to invoke from me some analogous impulse or principle to the ones Christians allow God, it won't do. An All Powerful God doesn't need to deal with the type of trade-offs we mere humans have to deal with.
I couldn't stop a war, so like any parent I may be left with the terrible choice of my children participating in a war, as it would be the only way to save ourselves.

God is All Powerful and wouldn't suffer such restrictions: if He didn't want a war to result in horrible numbers of people in suffering and death...He wouldn't need it to happen.

Prof.


 By suffer I meant being treated like crap by a majority, being persecuted, being imprisoned, being pushed to the margins, being tortured, or being killed.  I am asking what you believe in enough that you would be willing to let your children suffer those things rather than give them up.  While war might be a good example of this, you didn't actually point out what you thought would make it worth sending your kids to war for.

And no I wasn't trying to make any comparison to God.  I was actually pointing out a possible flaw with occupying the peanut gallery because you aren't putting your own pearls out for the swine to trample.
2/18/12 6:22 PM
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JitsuGuy
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Ridgeback - 
JitsuGuy - And still, the belief-based salvation believers have yet to address 1st Timothy 4:10 and many other verses that comment on Jesus being the savior of the world...

It's like some are running from the same book they claim to embrace.

I'm waiting... I can't wait to hear how Ephesians 1:10 really isn't talking about "everything" or "all things." I can't wait to hear that 1st Timothy 4:10 is only talking about believers because it says "especially believers." I can't wait to hear how the apostles were only speaking of believers then they said Jesus is the savior of the world in John 4:42 and 1st John 4:14 I can't wait to hear out Ephesians 2:8,9 says it's not of ourselves but it really is of ourselves is must make the right choice. It falls completely on our shoulders.

So, come on. Tell me how "all" doesn't really mean "all" and tell me how "savior of the world" really means "savior of believers."

Looking forward to it.

 My first response dealt with all of that but it seems like you glossed over it.  Since you didn't respond I just left it at that.  


If you're talking about "the last judgment" I don't agree with any of that nor believe it discounts the verses I've mentioned regarding Jesus being savior of the world.

I guess I just didn't want to get into it. Also, when it comes to eschatology, I'm more of a preterist than anything else.
2/18/12 6:50 PM
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prof
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Ridgeback -  While war might be a good example of this, you didn't actually point out what you thought would make it worth sending your kids to war for.



e.g. Hitler.

As for your other comments, I'm not sure what you are getting at.

I criticized Gord for saying

"God created a world in which both his wrath and his mercy would be displayed. Indeed, his mercy shines against the backdrop of his wrath,

There is really no way to sugar coat the answer. God does everything to glorify himself. Even the destruction of the wicked."

And accepting that as a moral vision and a moral God. As if God being wrathful was some good trait, or even necessary for mercy or compassion. And the idea that God is "glorified" by destroying the wicked. (There are Christians that truly think ALL things glorify God...ravaging diseases on humanity included...) This is ancient, barbarous mentality, codified into the ancient concept of that God.

How are your questions pertinent?

Prof.

(BTW, If my children fought a Hitler I could appreciate their bravery and sacrifice, though truly desiring it wasn't necessary to destroy wicked people. Unfortunately, an All Powerful God gets no points for bravery....)


2/18/12 9:38 PM
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Ridgeback
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JitsuGuy - 
Ridgeback - 
JitsuGuy - And still, the belief-based salvation believers have yet to address 1st Timothy 4:10 and many other verses that comment on Jesus being the savior of the world...

It's like some are running from the same book they claim to embrace.

I'm waiting... I can't wait to hear how Ephesians 1:10 really isn't talking about "everything" or "all things." I can't wait to hear that 1st Timothy 4:10 is only talking about believers because it says "especially believers." I can't wait to hear how the apostles were only speaking of believers then they said Jesus is the savior of the world in John 4:42 and 1st John 4:14 I can't wait to hear out Ephesians 2:8,9 says it's not of ourselves but it really is of ourselves is must make the right choice. It falls completely on our shoulders.

So, come on. Tell me how "all" doesn't really mean "all" and tell me how "savior of the world" really means "savior of believers."

Looking forward to it.

 My first response dealt with all of that but it seems like you glossed over it.  Since you didn't respond I just left it at that.  


If you're talking about "the last judgment" I don't agree with any of that nor believe it discounts the verses I've mentioned regarding Jesus being savior of the world.

I guess I just didn't want to get into it. Also, when it comes to eschatology, I'm more of a preterist than anything else.

With all due respect, it seems like you started this whole thread to get into it, especially with your "nobody has answered me" challenge.  Jesus was the one who told the parable of the Last Judgment.  I am not sure how that can be dismissed, but maybe I am misunderstanding.  And yes I gathered that you were preterist.  Certainly I think a lot of what is considered to be "future" by many biblical literalists is better understood from a preterist persective, but if this is the new heavens and new earth I didn't notice the difference.

And no reason to get into it.  I was trying to explain at least one tradition where both the free choices made by people and Jesus as the savior not only of all people, but the entire cosmos, are not contradictory.  I agree that there are some inconsistencies that you have found, which is why I eventually found all Protestant answers unsatisfactory.
 
2/18/12 9:40 PM
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Ridgeback
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prof - 
Ridgeback -  While war might be a good example of this, you didn't actually point out what you thought would make it worth sending your kids to war for.



e.g. Hitler.

As for your other comments, I'm not sure what you are getting at.

I criticized Gord for saying

"God created a world in which both his wrath and his mercy would be displayed. Indeed, his mercy shines against the backdrop of his wrath,

There is really no way to sugar coat the answer. God does everything to glorify himself. Even the destruction of the wicked."

And accepting that as a moral vision and a moral God. As if God being wrathful was some good trait, or even necessary for mercy or compassion. And the idea that God is "glorified" by destroying the wicked. (There are Christians that truly think ALL things glorify God...ravaging diseases on humanity included...) This is ancient, barbarous mentality, codified into the ancient concept of that God.

How are your questions pertinent?

Prof.

(BTW, If my children fought a Hitler I could appreciate their bravery and sacrifice, though truly desiring it wasn't necessary to destroy wicked people. Unfortunately, an All Powerful God gets no points for bravery....)



Nevermind.  You are referring to the conversation above more than I intended.  

And yes I find the Calvinist view of God despicable as do you, but we have long since covered that ground.
 
2/18/12 10:23 PM
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JitsuGuy
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Ridgeback - 
JitsuGuy - 
Ridgeback - 
JitsuGuy - And still, the belief-based salvation believers have yet to address 1st Timothy 4:10 and many other verses that comment on Jesus being the savior of the world...

It's like some are running from the same book they claim to embrace.

I'm waiting... I can't wait to hear how Ephesians 1:10 really isn't talking about "everything" or "all things." I can't wait to hear that 1st Timothy 4:10 is only talking about believers because it says "especially believers." I can't wait to hear how the apostles were only speaking of believers then they said Jesus is the savior of the world in John 4:42 and 1st John 4:14 I can't wait to hear out Ephesians 2:8,9 says it's not of ourselves but it really is of ourselves is must make the right choice. It falls completely on our shoulders.

So, come on. Tell me how "all" doesn't really mean "all" and tell me how "savior of the world" really means "savior of believers."

Looking forward to it.

 My first response dealt with all of that but it seems like you glossed over it.  Since you didn't respond I just left it at that.  


If you're talking about "the last judgment" I don't agree with any of that nor believe it discounts the verses I've mentioned regarding Jesus being savior of the world.

I guess I just didn't want to get into it. Also, when it comes to eschatology, I'm more of a preterist than anything else.

With all due respect, it seems like you started this whole thread to get into it, especially with your "nobody has answered me" challenge.  Jesus was the one who told the parable of the Last Judgment.  I am not sure how that can be dismissed, but maybe I am misunderstanding.  And yes I gathered that you were preterist.  Certainly I think a lot of what is considered to be "future" by many biblical literalists is better understood from a preterist persective, but if this is the new heavens and new earth I didn't notice the difference.

And no reason to get into it.  I was trying to explain at least one tradition where both the free choices made by people and Jesus as the savior not only of all people, but the entire cosmos, are not contradictory.  I agree that there are some inconsistencies that you have found, which is why I eventually found all Protestant answers unsatisfactory.
 


I started the thread because there are fundamental problems presented with the belief-based model. A lot. Some are avoiding my thoughts on the matter claiming I'm using mental gymnastics or whatever...

Another fundamental flaw is that we do not have true free-will. Let's not even consider the verses I've mentioned regarding the issue. Let's just consider the fall of man for a moment. The fact that we are not perfect. That fact that we are expected to fail. But when it comes to salvation, we're expected to ace the test. In our imperfect state.

I like to ask Christians if they want to continue sinning. Many say, "no." So I then ask them, then why do you continue to sin? They answer correctly, because they are not perfect. You see, the our imperfection invades our every moment on this planet. Even our thoughts are influenced by our sin nature. And yet, somehow, we believe we have free-will... A will that is free and not affected by any outside or inside influences.

The idea that we have true free will is faulty. As easy illustrated by the fact that we still sin. Free will? It's a pipe dream.
2/18/12 10:27 PM
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JitsuGuy
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As for Matthew 25, this is Martin Zender's take on the matter. I'm not sure where I stand on the issue, but thought you might appreciate another take.

Yes, Matthew 25:31-46 does ring a bell. It should, seeing as how I've studied the passage for fifteen years. This is a judgment of nations, not individuals, a fact plainly stated in verse 42. Thus, this is not the general judgment of mankind, as you suppose. This judging takes place at the inauguration of the thousand-year kingdom. The majority of mankind are not even alive at this judging, for scripture says that, "the rest of the dead" (the unbelieving dead of all time) "do not live until the thousand years should be finished" (Rev. 20:5).

If this is the separation of all people into either heaven or hell, tell me: What is the criteria for judging? Is it faith in Jesus? Is it belief in the gospel? Reliance on the cross? No. The only criteria is: How did the nation being judged treat the favored nation Israel? Did they feed Israel when it was hungry? Give it a drink when it was thirsty? This judgment, which takes place in the Kidron Valley (the Valley of Jehoshaphat) upon Christ's return, does nothing more than separate nations that helped Israel (sheep nations) from those that ignored her (goat nations), and determines their placement during the millennium.

The "everlasting punishment" of the King James Version is actually "chastening eonian" in the Greek. ("Eternal" is a mistranslation of the Greek aion, meaning "eon," which always has to do with time.) The "life eternal" is correctly translated "life eonian." This passage has nothing to do with where people will spend eternity. The eon in question is the thousand-year kingdom, and the "people" are nations. Those nations that helped Israel will enjoy abundant life during that eon, probably near Jerusalem. Those nations that didn't will be placed in the outer reaches of the kingdom and will certainly suffer more than the sheep nations. This is the "fire eonian" of verse 41. Since Christ is said to rule these nations with a rod of iron (Revelation 2:27), it is evident that these nations are neither consumed nor writhing in literal flame. Thus, the flame of this context is a figure of speech for suffering.
2/18/12 10:42 PM
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Ali
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Ridgeback - ....I eventually found all Protestant answers unsatisfactory.
 


I knew those True Color emotional anti-Christian biases would show up! [pulls out self-created badge].

Yes, I'm joking, but saying as much is more courtesy than you seem to want!

On a less joking note, I absolutely agree that a tradition, the saner the better, is necessary to read scripture. And I agree that a patristic tradition is the sanest guide a christian can have to the general reading, at the very least.
2/18/12 11:31 PM
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Ridgeback
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 Jitsuguy,

It might be more helpful if we start with a definition of "salvation" which is not something Christians of various traditions even necessarily agree on.  So what would you say salvation is, setting aside the question of belief or free will for the moment.
2/19/12 12:56 AM
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Workman
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Ali - 
Workman - 
Ali - It seems to me there's a twist on Pascal's Wager here. Like, you should believe, just in case the universalists are wrong...

(Mind you, I think Pascal's (orignal) Wager was un-helpful enough!)


Pascal's wager was predicated on the basis that, the existence of God could not be proven, so, just in case; it is better to believe in His existence.

This is in stark contrast to what I have provided, as I have offered proof....


I in no way suggested that your argument in particular is like Pascal's wager or that what you provide is like what Pascal provided.


Ali, I apologize for my incorrect assumptions.
2/19/12 1:06 AM
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Workman
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Ridgeback - Workman,

I think you mean that your interpretation of the Bible is the final word.  After all, the Bible itself never makes a sola scriptura claim, there are several passages that clearly point out that it comes down to interpretation of the words and there can be different interpretations, and the people who wrote and put the Bible together in a canon didn't use the Bible to get to it.  Your position is incoherent, unbiblical, and simply a premise to give your own particular interpretation an authority on par with the direct utterance of God.  

<br type="_moz" />


Ridgeback, God's word does not allow any room for such private interpretation.

Rather than attempting to discredit me with innuendo; you'd make better use of your post to me by picking about my position through the use of scriptures.

On another note; let me tell you what is incoherent.

If I were to ask you if you believed the whole Bible to be the Inspired word of God; how would you respond?

Would you find yourself in a most uncomfortable position if you answered no, but couldn't explain what parts are inspired and what parts aren't?

And if you answered yes; would this mean that the traditions of the Orthodox Church would then be rendered null and void?
2/19/12 1:25 AM
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Ridgeback
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 Workman,

If the Bible wasn't subject to private interpretation then St. Peter wouldn't have had to warn against it in reference to the epistles of St. Paul, which were eventually added to the NT canon.  Of course the scriptures are subject to a wide variety of private interpretations or sola scriptura would have led to a single Protestant church in full a agreement on doctrine and practice rather than the 20,000 some different versions of Protestantism that exist today, all claiming to have the right interpretation of scripture.

Before I answer any of your questions let us start with a bigger question.  If your interpretations of scripture were at odds with the interpretations of scripture of the men who put the Bible together into a canon would that render your interpretations null and void?

If scriptures are the "final word" on all matters then how was the Bible put together into a canon?  You have to have a canon before this can even be possible and that means the books in the canon itself were not the final word.  


2/19/12 9:40 AM
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Workman
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Ridgeback -  Workman,

If the Bible wasn't subject to private interpretation then St. Peter wouldn't have had to warn against it in reference to the epistles of St. Paul, which were eventually added to the NT canon.  Of course the scriptures are subject to a wide variety of private interpretations or sola scriptura would have led to a single Protestant church in full a agreement on doctrine and practice rather than the 20,000 some different versions of Protestantism that exist today, all claiming to have the right interpretation of scripture.

Before I answer any of your questions let us start with a bigger question.  If your interpretations of scripture were at odds with the interpretations of scripture of the men who put the Bible together into a canon would that render your interpretations null and void?

If scriptures are the "final word" on all matters then how was the Bible put together into a canon?  You have to have a canon before this can even be possible and that means the books in the canon itself were not the final word.  

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Ridgeback, I've clearly laid out what my beliefs are as it pertains to the Bible, in that I believe the whole word of God to be inspired.

At this point, I think it would be prudent for you to come clean with your position. Kindly state your position.

Cut to the chase and simply admit that your position is that some of the Bible is inspired, while some traditions outside of the Bible are inspired as long as it is traditions which emanate from within the Orthodox Church is inspired.
2/19/12 12:43 PM
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BJJWRESTLER
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JitsuGuy,I did not say that you said Jesus death was unnecessary,I was saying with the way you believe,that his sacrifice would be irrelevant. If all are saved,believers and unbelievers,as you believe,what is the point of Jesus's sacrifice?

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