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|OT| Community Christianity [OT] The Word became flesh and dwelt among us

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Sermon: The Weary World Rejoices (12/20/20)


Sermon: What Every True Church Should Be (John 17, 12/20/20)


Worship: Kings Christmas Celebration (12/20/20)


Video: Answering Progressive Christian Memes #2 : Is it a sin to smoke and drink? Do we Worship the Bible? (12/20/20)

Recently, a progressive Christian meme made the rounds that stated 22 beliefs about God, Christians, the nature of heaven and hell, and the exclusivity of Christianity. I asked Mike Winger to join me to help us think through these statements and analyze them through a biblical lens. Here's part 2!


Free Oxford book (get it as fast as you can): Non-Identity Theodicy A Grace-Based Response to the Problem of Evil by Vince R. Vitale (PDF LINK)

On December 17, my upcoming book from Oxford University Press, titled "Non-Identity Theodicy: A Grace-based Response to the Problem of Evil," will be free to read at Oxford Scholarship Online and offered as a free PDF download from OUP.

One of the first substantial conversations I had on the topic of suffering happened nearly twenty years ago, right after I became a Christian. My aunt Regina expressed to me how difficult it was to see her son, Charles, struggle with a profound disability. Putting the question before the questioner, I began spouting some of my abstract, philosophical ideas about why God might allow suffering. After listening very graciously, Aunt Regina turned to me and said, "But Vince, that doesn't speak to me as a mother."

That conversation convinced me that questions as personal as those about suffering require a very personal response. But when I began to dig deeply into the literature on "the problem of evil," that is not generally what I found. And so when I approached the dissertation stage of my doctoral work, I decided to search for a different type of response to the problem of evil.

"Non-Identity Theodicy: A Grace-based Response to the Problem of Evil" represents what I have learned in the two decades since my aunt Regina raised her question, and my hope for the book is that, even while offering a philosophical response, it recognizes and honors the personal nature of the questions suffering raises.

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Video: Once You Were Strangers: Immigration, Pluralism, & Religious Difference | Kaemingk & Hamid
Dr. Hamid, a Muslim and Dr. Kaemingk, a Christian, discuss the nature of inter-religious encounter, and explore the challenges and opportunities that arise, specifically, as Muslims immigrate into Western, liberal democratic societies.

Dementia and the God Who Remembers
Dementia might represent one such instance of privation, where we are pulled under by a disease whose descent ends in death. Caution – even, tenderness – is required before proceeding further. To lament the great suffering caused by dementia, and locate its many losses within a broader account of God’s good creation having been ruined by sin, is by no means to describe persons with dementia as having a less valuable existence than more neurotypical persons.

Audio: Simeon’s Hope
This week, we’re doing something we haven’t done in a long time on the Vital Signs podcast: we’re giving you a stand-alone episode. Since it’s Christmas week, we’ll consider the hope of Advent by taking a closer look at Luke’s account of Simeon.

Why Does It Matter that Jesus Was Born of a Virgin?
The accounts of Jesus’s birth in Matthew (chapter 1) and Luke (chapters 1-2) are clear and unequivocal: Jesus’s birth was not ordinary. He was not an ordinary child, and his conception did not come about in the ordinary way. His mother, Mary, was a virgin, having had no intercourse prior to conception and birth. By the Holy Spirit, Mary’s womb became the cradle of the Son’s incarnation (Matt. 1:20; Luke 1:35).

Video: Mythic Patterns in Mario Games Pt 1: The Arcade Origins
The early Mario Games: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Mario Brothers, present the basic mythological pattern which will later lay get developed in the history of video games. This is the first part of a two part series. In the next part, we will look at Super Mario Brothers and how it brings together the different symbolic meanings into one game.


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Europe’s Highest Court Gives Its Approval to Attempts to Outlaw Jewish and Muslim Life
In upholding bans on kosher and halal animal slaughter, Europe’s Court of Justice affirmed the acceptability of an ugly new expression of an old prejudice
The Pandemic Demands We Honor the Aged
The Associated Press reports that aside from thousands of elderly Americans dying directly due to COVID-19, more have died and will continue dying indirectly due to overworked caretakers and their lack of resources. Such a crisis calls for reflection on our obligations to our elderly family members. They are not burdens to be saddled with but persons whose dignity can be recognized as we reimagine what it means to be vulnerable and dependent.
The name on his thigh: King of Kings and Lord of Lords
"The birth, death and resurrection of Christ were an act of war against everything that opposes God... he is placing his feet on the neck of everything and everyone that opposes him in history."
Video: Prof. John Lennox | The logic of Christmas (12/22/20)
As we approach Christmas, Professor John Lennox explains Christ's birth and life as one of historical truth.


Video: The Key to Reaching the Next Generation in 2021
What does it take to effectively reach and equip young people today? What are the obstacles and opportunities? This video features a conversation I recently had with my co-author J. Warner Wallace about Gen Z.


Video: Christmas in the Dark || Sermon by Glen Scrivener || Luke 2:8-10
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”


Video: Tom Holland: is it Christian to cancel Christmas?
Tom Holland, historian and author of bestselling book Dominion about the impact of Christianity on Western civilisation, sits down with Freddie Sayers for our Christmas special to talk about Christmas, and whether it is still a Christian festival even if it’s been cancelled.

Video: Is Christmas Cancelled?
When we look at the circumstances of Christmas 2020, could it be worse? In this year's Christmas Short Answers message, Gareth Black looks at the circumstances surrounding the first Christmas. Far from ideal, they were the context for the most unshakeable hope.


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John Lennox: Why a scientist can believe in the miracle of Christmas
Cosmologists tell us that more than 13 billion years ago the universe was smaller than a grain of sand – a mind stretching fact, yet one that pales into insignificance besides the realisation that 20 centuries ago the God who created the universe became a tiny seed in the womb of a humble young woman. The Word became flesh, wrote the Gospel writer St John, the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. God, who had made man in his own image, himself became human. The riveting thing is that this is historical fact and not myth or legend.

Were Joseph and Mary ‘poor’?
Joseph and Mary are not distinctive, but represent ordinary humanity, just like most of us. The only one who stoops in condescension is God, and he touches all humanity with his grace. The story is not in the first instance about anything that we should do (as if all gospels narratives were about us) but what God has done for us, and the invitation that we should receive this before anything else. We are not in the role of God; we are in the role of Joseph and Mary.
Video: Once I Was Blind, But Now I See
Dr. White offers some incredible insight into this powerful section of Scripture regarding a man blind from birth. We hope it blesses and encourages you! Tell someone.

Video: It's Christmas (Shut Up About COVID)
Please stop talking about it. We know it's still going on. We know what to do. Please stop. STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP. Please. Thank you.

A Christmas Hymn for Our Troubled Time
Amidst the nativity scenes, the stories of the Christmas star, and the glorious appearing of an angel to the shepherds announcing Christ’s birth, we often forget the next parts of Christ’s story grow dark indeed. Mary and Joseph are forced to flee to Egypt as the murderous king Herod killed the male children of Bethlehem. The birth of Jesus signified the certainty of ultimate victory over sin and death, not the hope of immediate triumph. Indeed, for much of Jesus’s life and ministry sin and death seemed ascendant. One can imagine, at the foot of the cross, his tiny band of remaining followers bowing their own heads and declaring there is no peace, that hate is strong.
 

Cutty Flam

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Just read the last five chapters of the book of Job, I'm going to have to read it all again those were powerful speeches delivered by God to Job. The ending is good too, it's too difficult to understand God's ways but I have observed that He intends to let Himself be known in full and in truth to all His creation? What does everyone think about that? I think it has to be true, because he is willing to put Job's life on the line to teach Satan that he is wrong

God is the most enigmatic being. Someone had to serve as an example I will guess, and Job was that unfortunate one to be used as an example. But even with his sufferings, God revealed Himself to Job, taught him, and set everything straight in the end it seems. He multiplied Job's blessings immensely after his purpose in his suffering was fulfilled. It seems like by the story, that God intended for Job to have an excellent, long life. The toughest part about the story is that Job's children were killed and taken from him, but in the end, God demonstrates his omnipotence to Job through his speech and maybe much else was understood when Job spoke with God. Otherwise, I don't know how Job would have lived all those years afterward; losing your loved ones is too much to bear for 140+ years unless you have spoken with the Lord. I can only imagine that much had worked itself out because of Job's conversation with God, and I am sure that God looked well after every step of the way during those years after his great suffering

I feel like I'm missing a lot of the lessons I should have learned but this is what has been further reinforced for me and some new things I have learned as well:

-God aims to teach
-God cares for all creation and wants to see his children live long, and happily, but that is not to say suffering will not play its role
-Nothing is as powerful or as great as God; the Almighty is omniscient and omnipotent
-Pride must not be a common theme in ones life, it must be avoided. Otherwise, you will be humbled and lowered accordingly by the Lord
-Prayer is listened to and granted by God. One can even protect those from punishment if they are prayed for
-God can be stern and very direct. He expects you to learn from your mistakes. We know this because he is very direct in getting His point across to Job, giving Job a lesson with much to think about and consider
-Life itself can and will be granted and/or permitted to be taken by God Himself if it serves a purpose. So in the end, one's life might be lost but that it not to say that the life or lives lost did not serve a purpose, Even if those lives were lost in a way that seemed without reason, we cannot be so sure

Is most of what I got from those chapters correct?
 

mcz117chief

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Just read the last five chapters of the book of Job, I'm going to have to read it all again those were powerful speeches delivered by God to Job. The ending is good too, it's too difficult to understand God's ways but I have observed that He intends to let Himself be known in full and in truth to all His creation? What does everyone think about that? I think it has to be true, because he is willing to put Job's life on the line to teach Satan that he is wrong

God is the most enigmatic being. Someone had to serve as an example I will guess, and Job was that unfortunate one to be used as an example. But even with his sufferings, God revealed Himself to Job, taught him, and set everything straight in the end it seems. He multiplied Job's blessings immensely after his purpose in his suffering was fulfilled. It seems like by the story, that God intended for Job to have an excellent, long life. The toughest part about the story is that Job's children were killed and taken from him, but in the end, God demonstrates his omnipotence to Job through his speech and maybe much else was understood when Job spoke with God. Otherwise, I don't know how Job would have lived all those years afterward; losing your loved ones is too much to bear for 140+ years unless you have spoken with the Lord. I can only imagine that much had worked itself out because of Job's conversation with God, and I am sure that God looked well after every step of the way during those years after his great suffering

I feel like I'm missing a lot of the lessons I should have learned but this is what has been further reinforced for me and some new things I have learned as well:

-God aims to teach
-God cares for all creation and wants to see his children live long, and happily, but that is not to say suffering will not play its role
-Nothing is as powerful or as great as God; the Almighty is omniscient and omnipotent
-Pride must not be a common theme in ones life, it must be avoided. Otherwise, you will be humbled and lowered accordingly by the Lord
-Prayer is listened to and granted by God. One can even protect those from punishment if they are prayed for
-God can be stern and very direct. He expects you to learn from your mistakes. We know this because he is very direct in getting His point across to Job, giving Job a lesson with much to think about and consider
-Life itself can and will be granted and/or permitted to be taken by God Himself if it serves a purpose. So in the end, one's life might be lost but that it not to say that the life or lives lost did not serve a purpose, Even if those lives were lost in a way that seemed without reason, we cannot be so sure

Is most of what I got from those chapters correct?
First you have to understand that it is not a historical figure but a literary one. The author wanted to make a point about the Lord's plans and how we should not presume or assume too much ourselves from our limited understanding of the universe, not whether or not you can live after having your family annihilated. Furthermore, as God is the ultimate source of all life you can not blame him for taking it, it is entirely within his purview and he has the defacto monopoly on it. Another is the fact that our mortal life is but a prelude to the life with God that comes after. In the grand scheme of things our whole life is just the Parable of Three Servants (or other similar parables).
 

Cutty Flam

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First you have to understand that it is not a historical figure but a literary one. The author wanted to make a point about the Lord's plans and how we should not presume or assume too much ourselves from our limited understanding of the universe, not whether or not you can live after having your family annihilated. Furthermore, as God is the ultimate source of all life you can not blame him for taking it, it is entirely within his purview and he has the defacto monopoly on it. Another is the fact that our mortal life is but a prelude to the life with God that comes after. In the grand scheme of things our whole life is just the Parable of Three Servants (or other similar parables).
Thanks. That is an interesting perspective. Do most biblical scholars think that Job and the contents in the Book of Job were real and took place? I read that Job was mentioned in other books within the bible but that does not guarantee anything
 

mcz117chief

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Thanks. That is an interesting perspective. Do most biblical scholars think that Job and the contents in the Book of Job were real and took place? I read that Job was mentioned in other books within the bible but that does not guarantee anything
Not saying that it is impossible that he existed, but the pace and events in the book lean heavily towards him being a literary character. Of course others reference him because the story and the themes are timeless, much like Jesus often referencing to "the sign of Jonas" in a sense that Jonas was released from the belly of the whale on the 3rd day much like Jesus was from his grave. It is possible that someone had a similar experience to Job and a writer took inspiration from that to write the book of Job, but the story being 100% authentic is unlikely.
 

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Video: Meaning, Morality and What's Missing? || RESET Episode 1 || Including Tom Holland and Douglas Murray
In this episode, Glen Scrivener and Paul Feesey look at the so-called "death of God" and ask the question — if the west walks away from its Christian roots, what's meaning, what's morality and what's missing?

Video: The Key Presupposition of the Enlightenment and of Liberal Theology - Daniel Von Wachter
Liberal Theology assumes that there are no divine interventions. Often this is presented as the result of research, but in fact it is derived from determinism (also called 'the causal nexus'), i.e. the doctrine that every event is necessitated by preceding events.

Christmas: The day as an icon
As secularists and neo-Puritans alike delight in pointing out, there is no strong reason to believe that Jesus was born "in the cold midwinter." Those silly traditional Christians, celebrating a holy day that is nowhere commanded to be celebrated in the Bible, probably has been attached by mere human convention to the historically incorrect time of year, and wasn't even recognized by the early church until, what?, 200 to 300 years after the time of Christ.

Psychopathy and the Origins of Totalitarianism
"The ability to recognize this phenomenon when it occurs and to resist it is, at scale, the life and death of civilizations."

The Best Movies of 2020
What follows are my recommendations for the best of a bizarre year. As always, viewers should use discretion in terms of content. Though I chose only movies that are in some way edifying or redemptive—depicting goodness, truth, or beauty in ways Christian viewers can celebrate—several films on my list are rated R or TV-MA and should be viewed with caution and discernment.
 

Ornlu

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Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow.
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind

For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;

Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin.
The faithless coldness of the times;

Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

There's a lot to reflect on in 2020 from that poem; I bolded the parts that I found particularly relevant.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all. May God bless you and yours in the coming year. :messenger_beermugs:
 

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Video: What Every True Church Should Be - Part 2 - John 17 - Skip Heitzig
The prayer of Jesus in John 17 is His longest and most intimate recorded in Scripture. Here our Lord expresses His wishes for the new community of His followers we call the church. Since the church belongs to Jesus, since it is Jesus who builds the church (see Matthew 16:18), and since it’s Jesus who paid for the church (see Acts 20:28), He gets to decide what it should be like. So what are the characteristics He wants to see in His followers? What are the marks of a true church? We noted two last week and today we unpack two more.

Video: A True Star - Matthew 2:1-12 - Jon Courson

Video: Unsafe Holiday Antics
Starting with lead question (1:04:00). [Atheist James] Lindsay's feeling on religion, you might be familiar with most of it. But, I think you will have a good laugh at 1:11:50. Christianity discussion ends around 1:17:00.

Video: Discovering the Mystery of Christ at Christmas. 2020.
The invitation to the child-likeness of the Gospel contrasted with the childishness and infantilization of our secular culture.

Video: Human Rights, Human Equality and Humanism || RESET Episode 2 || With Yuval Noah Harari & Sam Harris
In this episode, Glen Scrivener and Paul Feesey look at the foundations for humanism and find that they are distinctly Christian.

How COVID exposed New Age Narcissism.
During this global pandemic that has disrupted life as we know it, many people have attempted to find the silver lining in the chaos.
The future of liberalism
Faced with creeping authoritarianism, liberals need to craft a new agenda—learning from their serious mistakes, and shaking shibboleths of both right and left
The Myth of Safety
...the existential realities Jesus acknowledged as he lived his life should give pause to hurrying towards quick and easy comfort. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus wrestled in prayer over God’s will for his life. He did not face his suffering with a stoic, nerveless compliance in the face of God’s control. He begged God to take this cup from him. Jesus—the human Son of God wrestling with the Father in prayer and later crying out from the cross—shows that sometimes the only response to the seeming random suffering of life is to wonder if we have been forsaken, crying out in lament at a world that is not as it should be. Jesus also shows a God willing to be subjected to these chaotic forces of this world. This God is not aloof, but a God who was “willingly stripped…of all defenses to show us how humanity is ‘done.'”
 

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Living on Borrowed Time
Borrowed time is not permanent. God's patience is not permanent. These points are easy to understand in this little story. In fact, they're virtually unmistakable. The tree is a solitary tree. It's a nation, but it's an individual. If you have no fruit, you will be cut down. You're living on borrowed time, judgment is near. And there is nothing about you that earns that borrowed time so it is purely at the merciful discretion of God that you live another day.

What the New York Times Gets Wrong About Jesus
In the name of inclusivity and the need for humility and self-criticism about one’s own myopia, Wehner has demonstrated precisely such myopia vis-à-vis Jews, both of Jesus’ own time period and today. He yanks Jesus out of his historical context and ignores the only Scripture—what the church calls the “Old Testament” and the source of the “radical teachings” of the imago dei and of social justice—Jesus and his disciples followed. That’s not good news, whether for Jesus or for his modern-day followers.

2020: the year for good news – if you know where to look
For many of us, 2020 has been a tough year – not helped by the wider background our own lives are being played out on. But perhaps if we followed the advice of the old hymn, we might get a different perspective: "count your blessings, name them one by one; and it will surprise you what the Lord has done." As we reflect back and go deeper perhaps there is much more to be thankful for than we immediately realise?

Video: Richard Rohr: Wise Sage or False Teacher?
Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest, author of several books, and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His teachings are gaining influence, especially among millennials who grew up in the Evangelical church. He is particularly influential in the progressive Christian movement and is referred to as a spiritual father, hero, and mentor by well-known progressive voices. But what does he really believe? In today's video, I analyze Rohr's teachings regarding the gospel and focus especially on his view of the Bible, which he believes does not give a clear theology of God and is full of contradictions.

Video: Painful Mistakes in EPHESIANS in The Passion Translation (Dr. Darrell Bock)
Open description for time stamps. Welcome to my Passion Project! Where real scholars test the wild claims of Brian Simmons about his new Bible, The Passion Translation, so that YOU can know what’s really going on with this suddenly popular new Bible version.

Video: The Implicit Dualism beneath Common Atheism
From Tom Holland to James Lindsay we've got plenty of atheists making peacemaking noises at Christians. At the same time we've got Christians deconstructing into atheism. What gives? In some ways this is what I've been hunting all along. Increasingly there seems to be something about some deep images lurking behind light modernity's imaginary. Descarte's substance dualism seems to be giving way but not simply to atheistic materialism.

Video: Relationships, Sex, and the Body
In this episode, Glen Scrivener and Paul Feesey look at "the great romance" described in the Scriptures and the good news Christianity has for our relationships.

Video: Disenchanted? A Pastor & a Born-Again Pagan Discuss | Tim Keller & Anthony Kronman (2017)
Is the secular all we have? Is there anything outside of time? Anything eternal? Renowned thinkers Tim Keller and Anthony Kronman share their unique perspectives.

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mcz117chief

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Argentina just legalized abortion, these kind of news always send me to my knees. I always hoped that people would understand that killing unborn children is NOT ok, but sadly, in today's world selfish desire to "live free" is worth more than your own child's life. It all feels so hopeless that so many are of this mindset, I just hope the Lord gives us strength. Nothing in today's world is as devastating as the war between mothers and their children, nothing...
 

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10 Most-Read Intersect Articles of 2020
So far in our 2020 recap, we’ve highlighted your 5 favorite articles and 5 favorite podcast episodes. Today, though, we look at the cold hard facts: Which articles did you read the most? Without further ado, here are the 10 most-read Intersect articles of 2020.

2021 Bible Reading Plans
The beginning of a new year is a time when many Christians evaluate their Scripture reading habits and begin or change a Bible reading plan. For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of effective Bible reading plans for you to choose from. Whether you are looking to complete the Bible in a year or focus on different books and themes, we hope these plans will be of great help to you, your family, and your church.

Audio: TIL 291: The Stewardship of Suffering (feat. Brad Brandt)
How is suffering stewardship? Learning to see thorns as God sees them (2 Cor 12:7-10). Implications for counselors.

Video: Thoughts on the Ravi Zacharias Scandal
Part of my testimony is that when I was drowning in doubt, I asked God to send me a lifeboat. I've stated publicly that one of the earliest and most significant "lifeboats" was the apologetics message of Ravi Zacharias. With allegations of sexual misconduct being brought against him, I'm asking the question, what do you do when Christian leaders fail...when your "lifeboat" springs a leak?

Video: Story, Truth, and Beauty || RESET Episode 6
In this episode, Glen Scrivener and Paul Feesey explore the problems with truth — namely that we are not truth-seekers, but truth-twisters. Thankfully, in the great story of Scripture, truth seeks us.

Video: Preparation for the Antichrist (Selected Scripture) (12/30/20)
"To rapturous global adulation, [the Antichrist] will claim to be the Supreme Being in the universe. At this point, human defiance of God will reach its evil harvest of supreme spiritual anarchy. The original lie of the snake will appear to be the truth –when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil (Genesis 3:5). It will appear to be the ultimate triumph of man over God. When this man claims to be God, he will not be speaking as a theist. These, surely, are the words of an anti-theist. This man will not believe that there is a supernatural God who is Creator of heaven and earth and Lord of history. He will have rejected all that. His faith will be solely in himself, no doubt as the pinnacle of the evolutionary process – the omega point of history, the biological superman. And he will deliberately harness that most powerful of human emotions, religious devotion, to enhance his own position and power. He will be supremely intelligent (the eyes of a man as in Daniel 7:8) and possess unparalleled power far beyond that of Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Alexander, or the caesars, who seemed invincible in their day. This man of consummate evil will reject the supernatural God of heaven. In a tragic irony, the power he will possess to deceive and enthrall the world will come from the dark supernatural realm of the very devil himself – whether the man believes in such a being or not." (Oxford professor John Lennox)

 
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Video: JRR Tolkien, Jesus and Lord of the Rings - Holly Ordway & Michael Jahosky
JRR Tolkien was a devout Catholic and friend of CS Lewis. Justin is joined by Michael Jahosky author of ‘The Good News of the Return of the King: The Gospel in Middle Earth’ and Holly Ordway, author of ‘Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle Earth beyond the Middle Ages’. They discuss the Christian themes in Tolkien’s fantasy writing, his friendship with Lewis, and the way their literature portrays the Christian story.

Video: The Heavens, The Earth, and God || RESET Episode 7 || With Tom Holland and Mike Reeves
In this episode, Glen Scrivener and Paul Feesey bring the RESET episodes to a conclusion by talking about God — namely, the God revealed in Jesus. A God we can finally believe in.

Video: Session 8, Thomas Kelly - Intellectual Humility, Dogmatism, and Disagreement

When America’s religion goes wrong
Mitchell’s accomplishment in American Awakening is to show that American self-loathing arises from a uniquely Christian sensibility of sin and redemptive suffering, transplanted into a perverse secular ideology. Identity politics is a form of secularized Puritanism, as surely as the ritualized hunt for racists at American universities is a farcical reenactment of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, which the Puritan leaders of Massachusetts first supported and later regretted.


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A Matter of Days: Interpreting the First Chapter of Genesis
In this article, I will explore the text of the first chapter of Scripture, Genesis 1, with a view towards determining whether this text commits one to a young earth interpretation of origins, or at least the extent to which the text tends to support such a view, if at all.

C. S. Lewis, Atheism, and Meaning in Life
Perhaps it’s not so very strange to find parallels between C.S. Lewis the [former] atheist and today’s ‘new atheists’. Lewis’s career overlapped with that of highly influential Oxford atheists such as A.J. Ayer, Antony Flew, Gilbert Ryle and P.F. Strawson, as well as that of the Cambridge-educated philosopher Bertrand Russell; figures who taught, supervised or otherwise influenced the likes of Daniel Dennett and A.C. Grayling.

The Godless Gospel: Was Jesus a great moral teacher?, by Julian Baggini
For Baggini, “At the root of Jesus’s moral teaching is the need to cultivate a good will. . . True Christian morality is not a long list of do’s and don’ts. It is a challenge to respond with love to the specific needs of every individual situation”. He is impressed by Jesus’s attention to the poor, to outcasts and to the powerless, by his radical emphasis upon forgiveness, compassion, and humility, and by his determined and costly resistance to evil. These are values and virtues that, Baggini believes, can and should be embraced by secular humanists.

Atheism: The core of modern Western culture in the thought of Augusto del Noce
"The deepest roots of totalitarianism are not the mere absence of ballot boxes, but the curtailing of rationality, the ultimate denial of reason’s scope and depth. If there is no transcendent, immutable truth that our reason has access to, then there is no immutable ethics determined by reason, and political authority is in a position to define for itself the right and the wrong. Ethics and culture become subsumed by politics. Under this regime, anyone who attempts to formulate an argument against the state cannot do on any recognizably rational basis. The attempted criticism will be interpreted along the lines of the class/ race/ gender triumvirate. The state need not even get involved in “exposing” such critics. There is never any shortage of academics who are happy to do it; to reveal the class, race and gender biases of “conservatives” puts them on the cutting edge. This is the deepest root of totalitarianism..., only truth that exists is that defined by the scientistic-technocratic way of thinking that came to the fore once scientific positivism came to prevail." (Dr. Thomas R. Rourke, Professor of political science at Clarion University, 12/14/20)

Video: Jesus Is God Among Us
Watch the newest sermon from Apologia Church given by Pastor Jeff Durbin about the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is God in the flesh. We pray that this message from Jeff Durbin will encourage and equip you


Audio: Francis Schaeffer Lectures
"Few Christians have had as great an impact on their generation as Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer. He communicated the truth of historic Biblical Christianity in a way that combined intellectual integrity, artistic sensitivity and a practical loving care. With a sharpened analytical mind he understood and uncovered the roots of modern thinking and its logical conclusion across a wide range of disciplines. In contrast to other worldviews and religions Christianity can stand truthfully, addressing our need to understand reality with our minds, to cope with it in our lives and to work into it with reasonable hope."
 

Celcius

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A few questions for my fellow Christians on Neogaf:


Given what we know in genesis, do you agree with the information in the above article... that the world is only about 6000 years old and dinosaurs lived during the same time as the early people? And that the great flood distributed fossils all over the world? According to Wikipedia, radiocarbon dating seems to be widely inaccurate and I don’t believe in evolution anyway, so the info in the above article seems valid to me.

Also another question: any thoughts about the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:32-33? Basically these were the giant offspring of human females and demon (fallen angel) males, right? It says they were mighty men of old and of renown... I’m guessing they were well known in their day? And the fact that they are mentioned again after the Flood took place in Numbers... did the two groups continue to mate afterwards? They couldn’t have survived the Flood, correct? Any reason why this doesn’t still happen today which would mean that they would continue to exist?

Also, any thoughts about why Lot’s wife couldn’t look back to see Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? If I’m correct, it’s because she looked back while missing her old lifestyle, not due to trying to see the amazing sight?

Also, do you think the Tower of Babel was taller than all modern buildings of today?
 
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Video: Baptism - Basic Meaning by Dr. James White (2nd in series)
Dr. James White spends time dealing with the foundation of the subject of baptism. What does the word mean in its original language and context? Further, Dr. White demonstrates, through a small sample of church history, some of the important aspects understood about baptism by the primitive church.

Video: Confidence in Genesis | John Lennox | 2012 Solas Conference

Video: John Lennox: "Seven Days That Divide the World"

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showernota

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Also another question: any thoughts about the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:32-33? Basically these were the giant offspring of human females and demon (fallen angel) males, right? It says they were mighty men of old and of renown... I’m guessing they were well known in their day? And the fact that they are mentioned again after the Flood took place in Numbers... did the two groups continue to mate afterwards? They couldn’t have survived the Flood, correct? Any reason why this doesn’t still happen today which would mean that they would continue to exist?

I think the sons of God being fallen angels resolves two of the main criticisms people throw out regarding God, i.e. the Flood and eradication of the Canaanites.

Their introduction on Genesis 6 directly moves into God's decree of destruction, obviously showing they were the cause (not diminishing or excusing the innate sinful nature of man)
Genesis 6:
6 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
3 And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.

Without using resources other than Scripture itself (the discourse is getting a little too out there, in my opinion), it can clearly be seen that there is a supernatural element to the nephilim, beyond them being Cainites. In my personal opinion, the souls of dead nephilim are what Jesus refers to as demons (they're not human, they couldn't go to Sheol), with the fallen angels maintaining their original angelic physicality. The mortal nephilim wouldn't have survived the Flood, but there's no reason the angels wouldn't, which would explain why they were in the earth 'also after that.' Does it still happen? Probably. Is there a reason we don't see nephilim right now? Probably.

The Anakim were well known to Israel. If you want to go off the wall a bit, you could consider the many mythological demigods like Hercules potentially having been/inspired by nephilim.

It all starts in Genesis 3, after satan tempts Eve. God tells him that the seed of the human woman will have enmity with his seed.
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
The seed is Jesus, and this was God's plan for the redemption of the world, which satan then knew. If you could defile humanity somehow and prevent her seed from being human, that would be an interesting way to destroy His plan. The Hebrew for Noah being "perfect" in his generations jives with that.


Also, do you think the Tower of Babel was taller than all modern buildings of today?

I think of the Tower of Babel as being more of a mystical CERN type initiative, rather than those people thinking they could build a literal tower into space. I also think they got pretty close to being successful with it. God's reaction lends credence to that idea, in my opinion.
Genesis 11: 6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
 

mcz117chief

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A few questions for my fellow Christians on Neogaf:


Given what we know in genesis, do you agree with the information in the above article... that the world is only about 6000 years old and dinosaurs lived during the same time as the early people? And that the great flood distributed fossils all over the world? According to Wikipedia, radiocarbon dating seems to be widely inaccurate and I don’t believe in evolution anyway, so the info in the above article seems valid to me.
I honestly trust the current science on this one. Earth is older than 6000 years and dinos lived millions of years ago, there is no reason for it not to be the case. The "days" of creation are metaphorical, thing of them more as "stages". We are not living in the "seventh day" so to speak.
Also another question: any thoughts about the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:32-33? Basically these were the giant offspring of human females and demon (fallen angel) males, right? It says they were mighty men of old and of renown... I’m guessing they were well known in their day? And the fact that they are mentioned again after the Flood took place in Numbers... did the two groups continue to mate afterwards? They couldn’t have survived the Flood, correct? Any reason why this doesn’t still happen today which would mean that they would continue to exist?

Also, any thoughts about why Lot’s wife couldn’t look back to see Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? If I’m correct, it’s because she looked back while missing her old lifestyle, not due to trying to see the amazing sight?

Also, do you think the Tower of Babel was taller than all modern buildings of today?
I wrote my master thesis on this topic. Basically what I consider to be the Nephilim were the ancient Greek, Egyptian, Norse etc. gods and demi-gods, then came Kratos and cleaned up the place in preparation for the coming of the Lord (this was actually the original story for God of War 2 and onward, but it got changed along the way. You can even see the Three Magi in God of War 2 and one of them is Kratos, the other two were supposed to be god-slayers from Egypt and Norway)

Gomorrah question: yes, pretty much, she did not have faith in the Lord and started to "miss" her comforts, so she got blasted.

Babel question: who knows, it could be, you can, theoretically, stack bricks in a pyramid shape basically infinitely. A problem with this though, there would have been debris left to this day easily. View it, again, as more of a metaphor to the hubris of men who wanted to become as God not through grace but through aggression.
 

AJUMP23

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A few questions for my fellow Christians on Neogaf:


Given what we know in genesis, do you agree with the information in the above article... that the world is only about 6000 years old and dinosaurs lived during the same time as the early people? And that the great flood distributed fossils all over the world? According to Wikipedia, radiocarbon dating seems to be widely inaccurate and I don’t believe in evolution anyway, so the info in the above article seems valid to me.

I am a pretty strict creationist. I think you can find evidence of an earth being relatively young, and evidence of an earth being extremely old. If you take the text in Genesis 1:1-2 as it is. It provides for the creation of Earth. Then something that caused the earth to sit "dormant" some people I have read say the earth was under some form of judgement at that time. I would also think it was during this time that Lucifer was cast to the Earth. After that God regenerated the Earth placed man on it, then the Fall of man occurred, placing a curse on the creation.

I like this 24 part series on Genesis: Chuck Missler Genesis Session 01 - YouTube


Also another question: any thoughts about the Nephilim mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:32-33? Basically these were the giant offspring of human females and demon (fallen angel) males, right? It says they were mighty men of old and of renown... I’m guessing they were well known in their day? And the fact that they are mentioned again after the Flood took place in Numbers... did the two groups continue to mate afterwards? They couldn’t have survived the Flood, correct? Any reason why this doesn’t still happen today which would mean that they would continue to exist?

Lots of thoughts about this. We do have evidence of Giants existing. Now is there a cross breed between fallen angels and human females....I do not know, but I tend to lean that way. The word used in Gen 6:4 for the "sons of god" is used only 2 other times in the OT and both other times are translated to mean angels. This is not the only time that these Nephilim existed either. Also if there is a cross breed to they have the same spiritual opportunities. The idea of them being "earth bound" possibly implies that they are not possible of attaining redemption. Goliath and his brothers were more than likely Nephilim, or descendants. There is a verse in 2 Samuel 21:20 that mentions one of these giants have 12 fingers and toes.
Should be noted that Nephilim means earth bound, and that was translated in the Latin to "Gigas" which by the time it reached the King James was translated to Giants from the Latin. But Nephilim in and of itself does not imply that they are giants. It just seems that it is the case.

7 Examples of Proof that Giants Existed | by Chris Thompson | Understanding Reality | Medium
Top Ten Giant Discoveries in North America | Ancient Origins (ancient-origins.net)

Also, any thoughts about why Lot’s wife couldn’t look back to see Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed? If I’m correct, it’s because she looked back while missing her old lifestyle, not due to trying to see the amazing sight?

She was judged for disobedience and for longing for the life she was losing. Her actions were a reflection of her inner thoughts. She longed for the life she was being rescued from.

Also, do you think the Tower of Babel was taller than all modern buildings of today?

No, it was a tall building but it was most likely a ziggurat. In fact I have often read that Nebuchadnezzar used the tower of Babel for his hanging gardens. What the scripture implies is that they built something for worship. For their pride. A tower that was in the heavens....not a skyscraper.
 

AJUMP23

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I would like to add these video series here. The Bible project to me gives good overviews and starting positions for deeper study. Give their series a watch.



On I side note, I cant stand the way they say "Satan" with a soft "A".
 

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Video: Reality Pushes Back at Us || Kristi Mair || RESET
In this interview, Glen speaks to Kristi Mair, a research fellow at Oak Hill Theological College in philosophy, ethics, and apologetics. They talk about the nature of truth in a social media world that seems to have lost touch with reality and distorted the perception of who we are as human beings.

Video: 20 Questions with Pastor Mike (Episode 17)

Video: Why Science, Liberalism, & Secularism are Rooted in Christianity
In this interview, I chat with author Tom Holland about his book "Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World." In it, he argues that our morals and ethics are not universal but are instead the fruits of a very distinctive civilization. Concepts such as secularism, liberalism, science, and homosexuality are deeply rooted in a Christian seedbed.

 
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Video: 20 Questions with Pastor Mike (Episode 17)
  • 0:00 Introduction
  • 1. 1:56 When reading and studying the Bible, when is a good time to refer to a second translation to clarify what I’m reading?
  • 2. 5:22 How do we reach a fellow believer who is not only believing in the lies but siding with them in the MSM when it comes to politics (i.e. Trump) or about any conservative viewpoint?
  • 3. 9:11 How can we look at Psalm 37: 4 without falling into a WOF trap?
  • 4. 15:27 Can a Christian work in the CIA, NSA, etc. when lying and deception is part of the job? You lie to enemies, other times you lie to your family, ex: saying you work for State dept. to maintain cover.
  • 5. 20:47 Over the past year, my wife has gained a lot of weight. She’s been wanting to have more intimacy, but lately I don’t feel any sexual desire or lust toward her. Is sexual deprivation toward a spouse a sin?
  • 6. 27:28 Mike, any comments for Christians? US Congress convened in the name of the Hindu god Brahma, and all the other monotheistic Gods called by other names. Then they said, Amen, Awoman… Idolatry?
  • 7. 30:50 How can my relationship with God grow even more? I have felt so many times that I am “not there yet” or as if the fire I used to have is gone and something is wrong between me and God.
  • 8. 33:51 The Epistle of Jude cites Enoch and the Testament of Moses. How do we know this letter isn't a fabrication of sorts like from Gnostic sects, and was snuck in during the council that established the NT?
  • 9. 36:26 Please recommend reading for marriage counseling. Christian counselors say too submissive = codependent; biblical counselors say if you're submissive enough your spouse will repent (about 1 peter 3:1).
  • 10. 43:39 What happens to all of the people who lived and died before Jesus was born? How will they be judged and saved?
  • 11. 46:00 I am an ex-Catholic still doing a daily Rosary. I understand the theological problems. Can you suggest a replacement daily devotional?
  • 12. 51:46 Does Hebrews 2: 17 "like them in every respect" indicate that Jesus had the same human nature as we do in every way? If so, can we conclude that we, like him, are born with an innocent human nature?
  • 13. 54:32 Christians are using John 16: 13 to qualify a wide variety of claims, believing that the Holy Spirit led them to particular beliefs or practices. To what extent does this apply to a Christian today?
  • 14. 58:47 I watched the conscience video and Romans 14: 23 confuses me. My conscience is so weak at the moment that I doubt just about everything…basic things. Should I obey my anxious inklings every time?
  • 15. 1:02:37 What are your thoughts about going to church during a pandemic?
  • 16. 1:03:50 In Judges 20: 18, why did God appear to deceive Israel and Judah as they sought His help in bringing justice on the tribe of Benjamin? They lost 40,000 people before He actually helped them.

Video: The Ultimate Prophet, Priest, and King

Video: Proof of Christ’s Preeminence

Video: Are Scandinavian countries proof that Godless societies do better?
It’s often been argued that the prosperity and welfare of Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Norway and Sweden are proof that secular societies get on better than religious ones.

Video: What Is Sin?
Here's a video about the idea of sin in the Bible.
 

OSC

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Another is the fact that our mortal life is but a prelude to the life with God that comes after. In the grand scheme of things our whole life is just the Parable of Three Servants (or other similar parables).
I've heard that Christianity originally was about physical resurrection, and there was no soul. That is why Jesus says that those alive then will see his second coming.
Argentina just legalized abortion, these kind of news always send me to my knees. I always hoped that people would understand that killing unborn children is NOT ok, but sadly, in today's world selfish desire to "live free" is worth more than your own child's life. It all feels so hopeless that so many are of this mindset, I just hope the Lord gives us strength. Nothing in today's world is as devastating as the war between mothers and their children, nothing...
What's astounding is how they celebrate it with such intense joy. Not mournfully this is some extreme tragedy that is done out of necessity, but pure joy.
I am a pretty strict creationist. I think you can find evidence of an earth being relatively young, and evidence of an earth being extremely old. If you take the text in Genesis 1:1-2 as it is. It provides for the creation of Earth. Then something that caused the earth to sit "dormant" some people I have read say the earth was under some form of judgement at that time. I would also think it was during this time that Lucifer was cast to the Earth. After that God regenerated the Earth placed man on it, then the Fall of man occurred, placing a curse on the creation.
The problem I see is the genetic evidence.

Humans for example are closely related to bonobos and chimpanzees, and to a lesser degree to gorillas. But even to mice there's genetic similarity. And keep in mind you can have the exact same functions with far far greater genetic differences.

The fact that species show genetic relations and the genetic relations are inline with evolution puts a big asterisk on potential young earth.

It is still possible, but you either have the world being designed to deceive, or a last thursdayism situation
 
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AJUMP23

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I've heard that Christianity originally was about physical resurrection, and there was no soul. That is why Jesus says that those alive then will see his second coming.

With Scripture in the NT about being absent from the body is to be present in its the Lord. Today you will be with me in Paradise. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Would seem to lead to the life of a soul.
Christianity derives out of Antioc followers of the Way being called Christians, meaning little Christ. It was an insult that these people were trying to be Jesus.
There is a physical resurrection in Christianity and a second coming. Those that are dead in Christ will be resurrected at the Rapture or second coming, some debate there.
Ultimately Christianity derives out of the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for those that believe in Him.
 
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OSC

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With Scripture in the NT about being absent from the body is to be present in its the Lord. Today you will be with me in Paradise. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Would seem to lead to the life of a soul.
Christianity derives out of Antioc followers of the Way being called Christians, meaning little Christ. It was an insult that these people were trying to be Jesus.
There is a physical resurrection in Christianity and a second coming. Those that are dead in Christ will be resurrected at the Rapture or second coming, some debate there.
Ultimately Christianity derives out of the forgiveness of sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for those that believe in Him.
I've heard paradise would be here on earth. They'll be there the same day, because for the dead time does not pass till they're resurrected.
 

AJUMP23

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I've heard paradise would be here on earth. They'll be there the same day, because for the dead time does not pass till they're resurrected.
Paradise is where souls were until the death of Christ. In the story of the rich man and Lazereth, lazereth is in Paradise when the rich man looks up from hell and sees him. More than likely this was located in the earths core, or possibly some sort of other dimension.
From what I understand Jesus during his 3 days in the grave took the Old Testament saints from Paradise to heaven.
There are lots of different thoughts on this. I personally think when you die today as a church saint you go immediately to the presence of God in heaven. But that is not the eternal Heaven but a temporary spot until after the millennial reign.
 

OSC

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Paradise is where souls were until the death of Christ. In the story of the rich man and Lazereth, lazereth is in Paradise when the rich man looks up from hell and sees him. More than likely this was located in the earths core, or possibly some sort of other dimension.
From what I understand Jesus during his 3 days in the grave took the Old Testament saints from Paradise to heaven.
There are lots of different thoughts on this. I personally think when you die today as a church saint you go immediately to the presence of God in heaven. But that is not the eternal Heaven but a temporary spot until after the millennial reign.
Googling found this interview with a Christian who doesn't believe in the soul he likely has theology education given he's an ordained minister.


Dr. Mark Harris is a professional physicist, ordained minister, and lecturer in the Religion and Science program of The University of Edinburgh’s Divinity School.
 
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AJUMP23

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Googling found this interview with a Christian who doesn't believe in the soul he likely has theology education given he's an ordained minister.

Interesting article. But I don’t think one guy’s opinion is exhaustive to the whole of Christianity. Ordained ministers get stuff wrong all time. I’m ordained if that means anything to you.
I would add to the idea of a soul in Gen 1 it says that God made man in his image. Answering what that means has many schools of thought. I would like to think that God being triune in nature also made man that way. God being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created man in his image, with a body, mind, and soul/spirit. C. S. Lewis presents this idea in mere Christianity.
 

OSC

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Interesting article. But I don’t think one guy’s opinion is exhaustive to the whole of Christianity. Ordained ministers get stuff wrong all time. I’m ordained if that means anything to you.
I would add to the idea of a soul in Gen 1 it says that God made man in his image. Answering what that means has many schools of thought. I would like to think that God being triune in nature also made man that way. God being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created man in his image, with a body, mind, and soul/spirit. C. S. Lewis presents this idea in mere Christianity.
He's not the only one, I've heard several other Christians claiming the same.

I think in his image means conscious, with a mind and language.

Here's an interview with another guy, an ex-Christian current agnostic, who says that was the belief of earlier Christians too.
In the new book, "Heaven And Hell: A History Of The Afterlife," my guest Bart Ehrman writes about where the ideas of heaven and hell came from. He examines the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, as well as writings from the Greek and Roman era.


Ehrman is a distinguished professor of religious studies at The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and is one of America's most widely read scholars of early Christianity and the New Testament.

 
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showernota

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I've heard paradise would be here on earth. They'll be there the same day, because for the dead time does not pass till they're resurrected.
The final paradise will be the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21-22, we’ll have glorified bodies like Jesus, post resurrection, free from the curse of sin.

Man definitely has a spirit and a soul. The spirit is what God breathed into Adam after forming his body from the earth, and he only lived after receiving the spirit. I don’t like linking articles in place of scripture, but I’m in mobile and it’s hard to format. The best analogy is that our bodies are hardware, and our spirit is the software. We’ve got a virus right now, but after our death and resurrection our spirits and bodies will be the way God intended us to be like Adam and Eve.


I recommend gotquestions for the most orthodox, scripture based answers (Protestant).

Soul sleep, where we’re dead until judgement day, is a view held by LDS and SDAs, but it’s the minority. There is scripture that talks about leaving our bodies to be with God, so it’s unlikely we’re in a stasis or something.
 
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OSC

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The final paradise will be the new heaven and the new earth in Revelation 21-22, we’ll have glorified bodies like Jesus, post resurrection, free from the curse of sin.

Man definitely has a spirit and a soul. The spirit is what God breathed into Adam after forming his body from the earth, and he only lived after receiving the spirit. I don’t like linking articles in place of scripture, but I’m in mobile and it’s hard to format. The best analogy is that our bodies are hardware, and our spirit is the software. We’ve got a virus right now, but after our death and resurrection our spirits and bodies will be the way God intended us to be like Adam and Eve.


I recommend gotquestions for the most orthodox, scripture based answers (Protestant).

Soul sleep, where we’re dead until judgement day, is a view held by LDS and SDAs, but it’s the minority. There is scripture that talks about leaving our bodies to be with God, so it’s unlikely we’re in a stasis or something.
Isn't the belief of ancient Jews, who are based on the old testament, that of no soul?
The Daniel text probably dates to the second century BCE, and at some point during the two centuries that followed, another afterlife idea entered Judaism: the immortality of the soul, the notion that the human soul lives on even after the death of the body.
Unlike most Greeks, ancient Jews traditionally did not believe the soul could exist at all apart from the body. On the contrary, for them, the soul was more like the “breath.” The first human God created, Adam, began as a lump of clay; then God “breathed” life into him (Genesis 2: 7). Adam remained alive until he stopped breathing. Then it was dust to dust, ashes to ashes.


Ancient Jews thought that was true of us all. When we stop breathing, our breath doesn’t go anywhere. It just stops. So too the “soul” doesn’t continue on outside the body, subject to postmortem pleasure or pain. It doesn’t exist any longer.
The Hebrew Bible itself assumes that the dead are simply dead—that their body lies in the grave, and there is no consciousness, ever again. It is true that some poetic authors, for example in the Psalms, use the mysterious term “Sheol” to describe a person’s new location. But in most instances Sheol is simply a synonym for “tomb” or “grave.” It’s not a place where someone actually goes.
Most people today would be surprised to learn that Jesus believed in a bodily eternal life here on earth, instead of eternal bliss for souls, but even more that he did not believe in hell as a place of eternal torment.
In traditional English versions, he does occasionally seem to speak of “Hell” – for example, in his warnings in the Sermon on the Mount: anyone who calls another a fool, or who allows their right eye or hand to sin, will be cast into “hell” (Matthew 5:22, 29-30). But these passages are not actually referring to “hell.” The word Jesus uses is “Gehenna.” The term does not refer to a place of eternal torment but to a notorious valley just outside the walls of Jerusalem, believed by many Jews at the time to be the most unholy, god-forsaken place on earth.
In the ancient world (whether Greek, Roman, or Jewish), the worst punishment a person could experience after death was to be denied a decent burial. Jesus developed this view into a repugnant scenario: corpses of those excluded from the kingdom would be unceremoniously tossed into the most desecrated dumping ground on the planet. Jesus did not say souls would be tortured there. They simply would no longer exist.
Jesus’ stress on the absolute annihilation of sinners appears throughout his teachings. At one point he says there are two gates that people pass through (Matthew 7:13-14). One is narrow and requires a difficult path, but leads to “life.” Few go that way. The other is broad and easy, and therefore commonly taken. But it leads to “destruction.” It is an important word. The wrong path does not lead to torture.
 
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Cutty Flam

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I pray to God that we all make it through these tough times and can protect our friends, families, and loved ones through and past the pandemic. The internal struggle is so profound, I hope and pray that we can all find the unfathomable levels of strength and love within that God has given us in this life, and that we can all walk towards a better life
 

showernota

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Isn't the belief of ancient Jews, who are based on the old testament, that of no soul?








I personally think there's enough distinction of the 'soul' in the OT to assume it is something special, distinct from our physical bodies.

Genesis 35: 18 And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin.
'Departing' being 'yatsa:
  • to go or come out or forth, depart
  • to go forth (to a place)
  • to go forward, proceed to (to or toward something)

Psalm 16:
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
Leviticus 17: 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

There are more verses if you consider the soul and spirit to be synonymous/intertwined.

The biggest refutation to that idea in the OT, IMO, is Saul speaking to Samuel after he died.
1 Samuel 28:
6 And when Saul enquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and enquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.
8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.
9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
10 And Saul sware to her by the Lord, saying, As the Lord liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.
11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.
12 And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul.
13 And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth.
14 And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself.
15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.
That's just the Old Testament, there's a plethora of distinction between bodies and souls in the NT. But I'll throw in just a couple more verses below that are related to the OT, and what Jesus said.

Finally, our Savior Himself (the Jews are confused without the final piece of the puzzle lol) tells us exactly what happened, and how Sheol worked. You could argue this is a parable, but it would be the only parable in which Jesus talks about a specific named person:
Luke 16:
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.
And He told the criminal on the cross:
Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

And He himself gave up his 'spirit' upon his death:
Matthew 27: 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

Peter makes a distinction between His flesh being put to death, and that His spirit went someplace:
1 Peter 3:
18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

And Ephesians tells us He led captives to Heaven:
Ephesians 4: 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
8 Therefore He says:

“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.”

9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

I personally believe that the spirits of those who died before Jesus' act of atonement for us were kept in Sheol, conscious and aware. Without His sacrifice, the animal sacrifices they did only covered their sin and was part of their justification. It wasn't until His gift of atonement that their sin was washed away and they were able to enter the Father's presence in Heaven. Since we are washed clean of sin by His blood, we can enter Heaven upon our death, and be in His presence until the resurrection.

EDIT: I'm going to have to make a post about Judaism at some point. I've been researching their current beliefs, and it is incredible how far they've wandered from the Torah. The Talmud and Zohar/Kabbalah are much more ingrained in their beliefs than I ever expected. According to orthodox Judaism, God was just a creation of a greater entity, He has a feminine aspect, the Shekinah (not found in the Bible). He and Satan are on the same side, and Adam and Eve ate the apple on purpose as a test, and there is no sin. Anything bad that happens is because we have unconscious power (like gods) which is the cause of bad things in the world. And if Trump doesn't fulfill messianic prophecy soon, God will die because there is too much evil in the world at the moment, and He is relying on mankind to save Him.

It's really crazy stuff.
 
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OSC

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I personally think there's enough distinction of the 'soul' in the OT to assume it is something special, distinct from our physical bodies.
I would have to see what those who've read the original Hebrew and Greek comment, as well as other Jewish and Christian texts from that era, and what is known about the beliefs of Jews and Christians in those eras.

There are multiple passages affirming destruction of sinners, and the greek belief in soul is different from the early jewish beliefs, according to those who've studied Jewish history.

Here's two ways those who believe in no soul answer that:

In this verse, basanois simply conveys a sense of testing and proving through punishment. When this understanding is combined with a proper discernment of the symbolism of Hades, we can begin to see the point Yeshua is making. As a whole, the house of Judah would to be cut off and replaced during this current age by those Gentiles who in faith would accept the sacrifice of the Messiah.


If the Pharisees and scribes understood this prophetic parable, it must have astonished and infuriated those who listened as Christ spoke. The implication that the house of Judah and the Gentile nations were to change places, with the Jews becoming alienated from God while the Gentiles were to become the "seed of Abraham," would have been almost impossible for them to believe.
The word rendered "torment" here is a form of the Greek verb odunao, which literally means "grief," "pain," or "suffering." Predominantly, it conveys the sense of mental anguish, not physical pain. Forms of this word are found only four times in the Scriptures, all in the writings of Luke. It appears twice in this parable, in verses 24 and 25. In Luke 2:48, it is used to describe the anxious distress that Mary and Joseph felt after they discovered the 12-year old Jesus missing on the trip home from Jerusalem after the Passover feast. In Acts 20:38, it depicts the sorrow the elders of the Ephesian Church felt at Paul's farewell announcement that they would never see him again.
The parable of Lazarus and the rich man, long used by mainstream ministers to teach the reality of "hell," really has nothing to say about punishment or reward in the afterlife. Christ used this story, which fit the common misconception about life after death in his day, to show the fate that awaited the Jewish nation because of the unbelief and faithlessness which led them to reject him as the Messiah. They still suffer from that fate to this very day. Yet the time is soon coming when God will pour on the Jews the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Christ whom they pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn (Zec. 12:10).
 
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showernota

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I would have to see what those who've read the original Hebrew and Greek comment, as well as other Jewish and Christian texts from that era, and what is known about the beliefs of Jews and Christians in those eras.

There are multiple passages affirming destruction of sinners, and the greek belief in soul is different from the early jewish beliefs, according to those who've studied Jewish history.

Here's two ways those who believe in no soul answer that:




I come from the standpoint of, "Would God put anything in the Bible that was too difficult or confusing to understand without additional text?" So I usually take it at face value, and only delve into commentaries if there's a seemingly complete contradiction or something similar.

I think we're discussing two different but related concepts. 1, does a person have a soul/spirit, and 2, is that soul sent to a place or torment, or does it cease to exist.

In regards to the first link, I strongly disagree with the premise and refutation of the argument:
I was truly pleased with your last letter. For the first time you have identified for me the basis of your exegesis of Luke 16:19-31 namely that one must take it literally.
Having applied this rule to the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 (by which you condemn ‘soul-sleep’ as heresy!), honesty demands that you apply the same rule to at least a score of passages, OT and NT, that bear on the same theme.
The author then responds with many verses, but most are taking specific words extremely literally, while arguing against taking an entire passage literally. I'll argue the first few steps.

Step 2: Acts 2:34 a categorical statement,”David is not ascended into the heavens” must also be taken literally proving that David was still in Hades at Pentecost;
This is very disingenuous and is taken completely out of context, as this passage is Peter's sermon directly following the Holy Spirit falling on the group at Pentecost. Peter is explaining to the crowd outside why they are speaking in tongues, and about prophecy regarding Jesus' resurrection.

Acts 2:
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:
27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
Peter is referencing Psalm 16, which he understands was prophetic:
Peter is telling them "Guess what, I SAW Jesus physically ascend into heaven, not David, he's still buried over there. Jesus is the Messiah, believe in him."


Step 3: 2 Sam.7:12 (with Acts 2:29) must also be taken literally, that David was both asleep and dead when God raised Christ from among the dead to sit on his (present) throne;
Once again, a pretty blatant misrepresentation of Scripture. Here's 2 Samuel 7:12:
Where is this person reading "throne?" I can assure you that is not at all what the Hebrew is saying. Acts 2:29 can be seen above, and that was already covered based on the context.

Step 4: Job 14:10-12 must be literal where Job declares that man (not man’s body, as some teach) “dies …and rises not, nor wakes, nor is raised out of sleep till the heavens be no more”, i.e. Judgment Day, per Rev.20:11;
This is where he starts taking specific words literally, which I think is an unfair argument. Here's the full passage:
Job 14:
10 But man dieth, and wasteth away: yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?
11 As the waters fail from the sea, and the flood decayeth and drieth up:
12 So man lieth down, and riseth not: till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, nor be raised out of their sleep.
The basis of this step is it says man and not dead body or body (there are actually quite a few Hebrew options for that kind of thing). However, he ignores the context immediately following of "wasteth away", which is referring to a body, unless he believes the soul also wastes away after death. I don't like it when people discrediting Job by insinuating it isn't a real story, but I'll admit it's very poetic, which is why I'm personally not confused by sleep being used.


Step 5: Job 14:13-15 must likewise be literal, where Job speaks to God of his state in death, “Oh that Thou would hide me in Sheol;…all the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come (cf.. 1Cor.15:51-52); Thou shalt call and I will answer Thee”;
I'm doing this last one because I'm not sure what the guy is getting at lol. Job is wishing he could just die rather than continue his painful existence. He's wishing that God would send him to Sheol, meaning Job thinks he's going somewhere after death, right? Either way, God comes in and tells Job he has no clue what happens in the afterlife:
Job 38:
1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
2 Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?
17 Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death?

------
In regards to hell:
That second link is missing something pretty important...
Revelation 20:
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

------
I was looking back at your original post, and this made me laugh. "The Daniel text probably dates to the second century BCE, and at some point during the two centuries that followed, another afterlife idea entered Judaism: the immortality of the soul, the notion that the human soul lives on even after the death of the body."
Who could have been around to make Jews think there was an afterlife, sometime around ~0 AD? :messenger_winking:


Fortunately, none of this are soteriological issues. We can all agree and disagree, we'll see what ends up being true. Either way, believe Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected for our sins.

I'm going to be honest, I'm starting to view any extra-biblical information the same as I view information from CNN and the scientific community. I've seen a lot of blatant lies/disinformation and unbiblical doctrine being pushed across the internet since I recommited myself to Christ last year. I encourage everyone to go straight to the source, and weigh everything against what Scripture says, and what makes sense to you. The Holy Spirit will guide you, have faith.
 
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OSC

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Who could have been around to make Jews think there was an afterlife, sometime around ~0 AD?
I'd need to research this deeper. But the greeks were also around with their ideas of the soul. What is being claimed is that the word Sheol does not mean an afterlife in the way it is used in the old testament. That ancient Jews viewed this life as definitive, and later adopted the idea of the resurrection.

Early Christians and Jesus himself are said to have talked about the destruction of the sinful, not their eternal torture, and the greek words used were not referring to bodies but to persons. It is claimed that even Paul even early on believed he would live to see resurrection and only adopted the view of the soul later in his life. I would have to see his writings and study them to see if that is true or not
 
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