0 thoughts on Discussion

  1. In response to IrishAnglican’s comment here

    I understand your issue with ‘debate’, however, Nicene was filled with such contention and debate, so debate, western or eastern, is a part of history of the Church.

    Beyond that though, there is a difference between Church as and the the body that follows after Councils and Creeds. Throughout Scripture, we are told to use it as a tool, but nothing points us to the doctrines formulated by man. Only scripture is given divine status with the proper use being what it is. Can you show me doctrinal proof for the acceptance of Creeds and Councils?

    Is this the book (just so we are clear)? If it is, then I will finally purchase it, read it and comment on it.

  2. Here is some of the book online. I will not comment on the book, however, until I can read it in it’s entirety

  3. Irishanglican, it bothers me a great deal to hear “Again, the Holy Scripture, and NT, did not just fall out of heaven, but it has a human and apostolic transmission.” Does this not take out the God-factor in the true transmission of the Scriptures. I do not feel that human thought went into creation of the Scriptures, although thoughts of humans did. Thus, every word is given by God, but given under man’s understanding. Perhaps we are just merely discussing semantics.

    “In the early Church they only knew it in its nascent form, but they knew it in its spiritual reality as well. But not yet in its full doctrinal procession.” But there was no doctrinal procession. Tradition did not change and was not given divine ability to do so, especially to have it done by human thoughts. But you and I know enough of each other to understand our different starting points, I believe.

    I would like to ask you a question, however, that perhaps you or others who might care to join in would answer.

    When you say “mystery”, what is your meaning, so that we may have a starting point there.

    Kelly’s book is in, Fr. Robert. Give me a weak or so to start it (currently reading another one) and I will very much like to discuss it with you.

  4. Polycarp,

    I will be out of town for a week or so. Enjoy your books on the church history of the Trinity, etc. My point is the human element in the giving of Holy Scripture, like that of God in the human element of salvation, etc. God indeed sits on the top line, but we are involved. We can chat later.

    God speed,
    Fr. Robert

  5. What do you know about Luther and Calvin.

    I heard they were Anti-Semitic.

    Is this true?

  6. From what I remember, Luther started the Reformation with a belief that once his movement succeeded the Jews would convert as people to Christianity, but when they didn’t, he went pretty far with his hatred of the Jewish people, even writing a book entitled ‘On the Jews and their Lies’.

    From what I gather, Calvin was a bit more tolerant.

  7. Luther is more and oppurtunist than reformist. He wasn’t opposed to doctrinal issues, just a few heretical ideas newly initiated by the Romish church.
    Calvin, on the other hand, was a leader/diplomat; with a fervor for the erronous doctrine. Micheal Servetus, a young doctor/lawyer wrote him his view of ‘onesness’ and Calvin railed and had him tried and condemned to burn. Servetus escaped for many years, then showed up where Calvin was and then was burned at the stake. My source is from a blog on Old Landmark Celebrating Apostolic History.
    http://oldlandmark.wordpress.com

  8. lanis,

    Sorry, but I am not going to let ya pass this time. Luther was the very first Reformer, and would have died at Rome’s hands had it not been for the “elector of Saxony”. He sat hidden in the Wartburg castle under the pseudonym “Knight George” for over a year. And there he began and completed the Greek NT into German, after which with the co-operation of Melanchthon it was published. Not perfect at all, Luther was however fearless before Rome! Your statements on Luther are simply wrong!

    As to Calvin, he was of the second generation of Reformers. And Sevetus was the one in deep doctrinal error, with both Romman Catholics and the Reformed, as to the doctrine of both Christ and the Trinity of God. And Calvin did not want to burn him at the stake, but have his head cut off. Yes, Calvin was a man (as Luther) of his time. There was nothing worse than a heretic in their time, who could (in their minds) contaminate the minds and souls of both the youth and just culture. So worthy of death! In principle, it is not a bad idea, but we must allow for some freedom and personal aspect. Thus should we allow sexual sin in the name of personal freedom today? And how about our youth? One can see the reason for the hardline, etc.

    Please if you are going to speak historically about the Church and its most historic people? Do better study and work. I think Polycarp would agree here?

    Fr. Robert

  9. Robert, you so often contradict yourself, it is hard to keep with you in decent conversation. So, which was it fearless to Rome? or fearful and hiding? Indeed! I still stand on historical facts, he was strong to embrace the erronous trinity doctrine and denounce new practices of the Romish church. You may want to get a real history to find the truth.

    As for as Calvin, he was as wrong as you are on doctrine, and it is printed history he pushed for Servetus’s demise.
    Servetus was not in error, but only to those that will ‘kill’ to silence true believers..I took your point. You would love to see it happen as you saw it in Ireland. Well, Sir, you may within a matter of time as you and I well know.

    Now, for an unadulterated truth and no slam intended. I passed you by many years ago when I chose to believe the Word of God as infallable and I recieved the baptism of the Holy Ghost, baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, and spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave the utterance. Utterance, Robert, means it was God that spoke thru me, “HE”, had accepted my repentance and I was now in the ‘kingdom’ “HE” so fondly cherishes. I will readily admit, I am fortunate to know the truth and you can also if you wish, but if not; you, Sir, are in the ‘other’ group prophesied in Is. 28:15..go read it again and try to lay down your ‘church authority’, creeds, councils, just long enough to hear God speak. He called it a ‘refuge of lies’ and a ‘falsehood’. Jesus Christ didn’t die again and leave you guys in charge, you wont ever be in charge of God’s church, you deny his sovereignty to self rule.

    I have nothing more to say on the subject, Robert, so take this at face value.

  10. lanis,

    It seems you were the one who said last time you were done writing on “this” blog? But that is fine, I will let ya call me a few names…ad hom as I said you would perhaps do.

    As to Luther, dear one you need to do “your” homework historically. If Luther would not have had help from the German prince and friends, he quite certainly would have perished in the flames! And the fact that Luther had been an Augustinian monk and also professor of theology therein, he always held to the sovereignty of God’s activity. For Luther God is the only necessary being. And the will of God is ultimate criterion. And the divine will is grounded in God’s own being. For Luther, God works everything! Always the efficacy of the divine will. Yes indeed the theology of Martin Luther stands upon the divinity of God and the Godhead! But also reason is God’s instrument of the world order. He called “reason..as beautiful and wonderful.” But reason alone does not know God, there must be faith, and faith in God. And we know his grand history and theology here! And I challenge you dear one to find the real historical and biblical Luther!

    As to Calvin, it is common knowledge that he wanted the death of Servetus, as to the reasons I mentioned. It was the rule of that day, that true and certain heretics should be put to death. You are lucky that “you” are not in Geneva, in Calvin’s time! lol But again, Calvin voted to cut off his head (quick death). But he was out-voted! Again, if you knew and read some Calvin history, this would be common knowledge. Also, Servetus did not hold to the deity of Christ, and the eternity of the Son (again I guess you did not know this?) and is classed with the Arians. And also with the Unitarians. I could quote sources, but I know you won’t read them. So to defend Servetus puts you in his same positions, at least theologically.

    And by the way, I did my D. Phil. (that is a doctorate of Philosophy) on Luther’s ontology of the cross. A book!

    Finally, I was wondering when you would pull out your so-called ace card…’I have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and speak in tongues.’ Guess what? I have too, I have been part of the Anglican charismatic renew for years! And the “sacrament” of Baptism is the sign of an inward grace, but not the cause or reality itself (see, 1 Peter 3:21 “figure” – type). The mode of baptism, has been an argument for centuries. A good case could be made for “pouring”, and “sprinkling”, etc. But with the covenant, the issue of children and infants is allowed…”household” and “children” (Acts 2:39). The “Jesus name alone” for the baptism formula, is but a new one, but is explained with the proper understanding of the Greek Prepositions in the Book of Acts.

    I never claimed to be “in charge”, but I know God in Christ has called me to shepherd. ‘Mine the mighty ordination of the pierced hands!’ (hymnal) I read the so-called Pastoral Letters (1 & 2’d Tim. Titus) often! (Over and over!) And you can take that “at face value!”

    Sincerely IN Christ,
    Fr. Robert

  11. Perhaps one of the best aspects to show that water baptism itself does not save is in Acts 10:43-48. “The Holy Spirit fell upon all the ones (Gentiles) hearing the Word.” (Acts 10:44, lit. tran.) The Spirit of God Himself comes upon those who hearts were being cleansed by “the Word”! It is the Word of God itself who makes the Christian, even before the baptism of water (the sign).”That also upon the Gentiles the gift of the Holy Spirit has been poured out.” (verse 45)

    Fr. Robert

  12. I never said I wouldn’t visit Polycarp, Robert. I decline on certain subjects with an unbeliever. It was on his ‘doctrine’ thread I said I no longer had anymore comment on the rhetoric of ‘church authority’, creeds, councils…you say you are Angelican, but ascribe to Catholicism verbum.
    My ace card is not ‘mine’, you can have it as well. I sincerely prod you to consider it in its total concept, not with your broken doctrine. Using ‘partial’ scripture to make a point is pointless; it takes the ‘whole’ of Jesus’s teaching to find the complete ‘born again concept’. You failed to give it as your salvation plan. His Word is final and true.
    I am somewhat confused in the fact we never disagreed on Luther, Calvin. You took it upon yourself to find something so you could show your prowess of your history and doctrine. Again, your doctrine falls in the ‘refuge of lies’ and ‘falsehood’ in which you will not address. I totally understand, one can’t deny the infallable truth of scripture pointing to the people and system in which they hide from truth and its hard to acknowledge ones wrong.
    Robert, no one was ever added to the ‘church’ in the scriptures unless they adhered to the plan of Jesus Christ implemented on the day of ‘Pentecost’. It boggles me you call it new when it is in every bible on earth for the last 2000 years or so. I quote you: ” The “Jesus name alone” for the baptism formula, is but a new one”. Robert, get real and we’ll discuss scripture, not rhetoric of a falsehood.

  13. lanis,

    First, you again show your lack of both history and theology. I made some points about Luther because you actually made some historical mistakes. (Also Calvin, but I left that alone, for the most part.) And if I love Luther (as I do) how can I be a Catholic “verbum”? As in fact I also have indicated that I do NOT believe in baptismal regeneration! So you again have missed it my dear. I don’t say this in meanness at all, as you have put “me” outside the fold. Very sad for you, this you will regret before the throne (some eternal day, if you don’t change). My inside statement as a shepherd.

    I would put you and your church very near a cult! Again, this is not personal at all, but both biblical and theological! Just that simple. The Jesus only people can but trace their history to the early 20th century. Again your blatant and even offensive rejection of the Blessed Trinity of God is itself all too real! No retoric here either!

    I will discuss scripture, but it is hard with a narrow minded person. And one that considers herself “saved” by what I would call a mere formula. That is just the way I see it, truely! Salvation is by faith, not formula. And this is in both Old and New Testaments. (Note, Heb.11)

    We all have blind spots, but there is no “rhetoric of a falsehood” on my part. I fear however that you have fallen into at least deep doctrinal error. In both the character and nature of God triune, and His “gift” of salvation in Christ Jesus. For God’s salvation is not a plan, but a “Person”! Our faith must be in this strong, but very sweet Person: the Lord Jesus Christ, the person of Incarnate Love: the Son of the Father’s love! (Col.1:12-13)

    Fr. Robert

  14. Polycarp, Robert really goes out of his way to keep the dialog flowing, even to the point of being non-sensical.
    You and I ascribe to a ‘new’ 20th century doctrine of being baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. Imagine him trying to convince someone it came about in the last 100 years or so.
    Do you notice how one has to live in denial of biblical facts in order to believe the trinity doctrine?

    Being a farm boy of poorer times, I remember we put ‘blinders’ on the mule in order to plow straight rows. We had to keep the mule from seeing green pasture, his mate, and water! If and when he saw any of those, he would balk and no longer plow. After the plowing was finished, we would take the blinders off and he would enjoy his world around him, so peaceful and docile, standing by his mate with head down, eyes closed and enjoying the moment together with his beloved. Bro. Joel, I’m glad I don’t have to wear blinders in order to enjoy life. I was reminded above of a time Paul made a statement that you and I can make today and it fit the situation: Acts 24:14 “But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.”
    Wasn’t this about 2000 thousands years ago? Wasn’t Paul baptised with the Holy Ghost and said he spoke in tongues more than ye all? Didn’t he require for people to be re-baptised in the name of Jesus Christ and water immersion in order to be saved? [Acts 19] Did all that happen in the last 100 years?

  15. Lanis, one of the things that I thoroughly enjoy is Church history. In many instances, it increases the faith. I have seen several instances where historians have stated that baptism in the name of Jesus Christ was the method of baptism in the first century and into the second century, so no, baptism in the name of Jesus Christ is nothing new, especially since it was recognized at the baptism formula of the Apostles who used only it throughout the book of Acts.

    I believe even Cyprian makes mention on baptism in the name of Christ for modalists, so we know that it existed at least into the 4th century.

  16. My point was, show me a line of lasting history from the first century to the present of baptism in Jesus name alone? It is not there! Lanis, you even admit it is a ‘New’ 20th century oneness doctrine!

    Polycarp, you know that the argument can be made from the Greek Prepositions that the name of Jesus was not in reality the so-called formula. We are not going to prove to each other any change of position here. And I would contest your supposition as to baptism being the formula of the Apostles in the Book of Acts. I’m sure you have been over this ground with other Trinitarian’s. You know I believe the history is on the Trinitarian Church side! Again, I look forward to your argument as to the historical Modalist in lasting continued proportion. (Though I know it is not there!)

    Finally as to Acts 19, here we have disciples of John (Jews) being baptized as those that were looking and waiting for the Messiah. And St. Paul confirms that Jesus was that man. Thus they are baptized into that fullfillment. There is nothing like this situation today!

    Fr. Robert

  17. Irishanglican, I know the Trinitarian argument from the Greek, however, several scholars (Greek and Church History) often admit that the those arguments are overinflated and erroneous given the circumstances of the the culture and speech.

    Then there are the historical arguments from historians that indeed, at least for the first century, the baptismal formula was no Trinitarian. Even a Catholic resource or two admit that the trinitarian formula found in Matthew is an interpolation based on the grounds that nothing but the name of Jesus Christ was used in the early Church.

    BTW, I have started reading Kelly’s book, but more on that later.

  18. QUOTE: “My point was, show me a line of lasting history from the first century to the present of baptism in Jesus name alone? It is not there! Lanis, you even admit it is a ‘New’ 20th century oneness doctrine!”

    Robert, you err in conceptualizing I admitted any such thing. My statement was satirical of your denying Acts 2 salvation formula. If you don’t like formula, then insert a different word, it is still the only salvation plan in existence known to God. He ‘knows’ no other, any other is hypocrisy and therefore not recognized.

    Polycarp, yes the Modalist were the last recorded in history, but, it was then all true believers went underground with their belief. It may surprise Robert, but my families were Baptist on one side and Methodist on the other. They lived the same doctrine in the 1800’s we have today, they maintained a strict standard of holiness, [my reason for being so staunch with it], and had all night prayer meetings lost in the Spirit! I have pictures of these people today. I am extremely grateful for my heritage.

    I have studied church history for many years, and too, I love it for it proves how man can fight against God. History bears out Jesus’ statement in Matthew 20 concerning Laborers, ‘many be called , but few chosen.’

    It wont do any good to quote scripture, but yes, I can show
    a line of history of baptism in Jesus Christ and that it is still the only way. Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH.”
    Robert, it is God that makes the covenant, it is his ‘precepts’ that rule; and if he said to the uttermost part of the earth, then that means it still exist! [I, again, know you can't accept the Word of God, for it proves your errors, but nevertheless, its true.]

    Polycarp, it is true, we have baptism thru the book of Acts. You and I know why. It didn’t take centuries to establish the church, and its doctrine, it was done and they moved on until now. We maintain the true doctrine of ‘being born again’. Paul said it best in Heb. 6 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection…” I can assure anyone, the truth is as much established today as then, for God has continually manifested himself to his church.

    No situation like Acts 19 today? Contrar, my friend; you, as well as all trinitarians are wrongly baptised. Polycarp can do the honors of re-baptising you if you like?

  19. Polycarp,

    Yes, I know that there are other scholars with some different ideas here, but overall the arguments against the Trinitarian have more problems! Like the “PERSON” of the Holy Spirit! Even if we give the formula of baptism in Acts to being in the name of Jesus, it is not stated in any Church Epistle or Letter. But the persons of the Triune God are! I can in fact see some kind of transition in the Book of Acts, from OT ground unto a full NT covenant theology. But again, there is nothing about the Jesus name alone baptism in the NT Letters, nor the modalistic doctrine itself. But there is much about the nature of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Of course it needed to develop, but the truth and genesis is there.

    As to the liberal Roman Catholic so-called scholars and their whole basis of interpolations, this is just what the Jesus seminar people do. And we both know what a mess that is.

    Look forward to Kelly’s book, etc.

    Fr. Robert

  20. lanis,

    I will leave you to your “heritage”! If you are not going to think with some logic and theology, not to mention sound history..we cannot dialogue! And your scripture exegesis is very flawed!

    Fr. Robert

  21. Polycarp, did you read of Edward Irving of the Church of Scotland. He converted in the 1830’s and received the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues and began to teach it as essential.
    He was tried, and, moved to London and founded the Catholic
    Apostolic Church. He is known in history as the father of the Pentecostal movement. He wrote of the falling away from the indwelling Father in and about the 3rd century. The truth was suppressed, but never died out. It seems the fundamental key to finding the truth were men that actually read and heeded to the word of God. Each that recanted tritheism were searchers of scripture. Go figure!

  22. I have heard of him and I believe that the CAC is still around in some various form. I know that we have to read between the lines a good many times when we read history, as it was written by those contrary to our doctrine, but some do make it through.

    Have you read Isaac Watts’ Address to the Deity?

  23. No, I am only familiar with his attributing hymnals and that he was English. The truth is [Robert will try and suppress as wrong!] that true reformation really kicked in gear in Scotland and England. But, it was preached and practiced from Pentecost on. Even in the early 1400’s, Vincet Ferrer was preaching the manifestion of the Spirit in the Mediteranian area. Much later Margaret McDonald of Scotland had a vision of the church reviving out of the ‘church’. This was in the beginning of the 1800’s. Robert needs to recant, he implies it started in the 1900’s. He knows better as he is well schooled on it.

  24. I believe many people simply believe that modern modalism started in 1916, but in reality even the old methodist campmeetings had certain attributes that people insist on calling pentecostal. The more one studies, the more it is seen that a ‘oneness theology’ can be trace back to the Apostles, though for some time, it was broken and battered by the historical victor.

    I believe full where that Ignatius was following in the footsteps of the Apostles when he would say ‘God, Jesus Christ’. That is a modalistic statement.

  25. I recant! My ‘age’ induced dementia robs me sometimes. Yes, Watts’ writings are well known as ‘I’ have even quoted some of it in teaching. He again, bears out; any that questioned ‘church authority’ would do so from reading the Scriptures. It is the strong indicator of how far off base theology had gotten. As early as the 17th century, early pietist spoke of a ‘spiritual experience’ when having a conversion of idealogy. The whole concept of history tells of how God has led the entire time those who honestly searched him out. Holiness standards are attributed to the Wesleyian movement breaking from Methodism.
    I wish I could remember all my history teachings..its been awhile.

    I do remember one of Tertullians writings, he commented in behalf of Christains defense; what is so wrong with these people meeting once a week, early in the morning and praising Jesus Christ; their God. That phraise wont leave me ever!

  26. Now, if we can just find the citation… I find it very probable that Tertullian would have disagreed with Clement of Alexandria and Origen for their philosophical approaches to scripture. And of course, we can find in Tertullian a very rigid approach to Christianity.

    And frankly, I like his ‘discussion’ style.

  27. Polycarp,

    You know I like Tertullian also. But as I said before, the second century was a rough period in the progression of the Church. Though he did believe strongly in the Catholic nature of the Church, here he disposes of all heresy in principle: the one true Church, visible in history through the episcopal succession (here he follows Irenaeus) alone possesses the authentic tradition from Christ and the apostles, and alone has authority to interpret Scripture. He even said it (the Catholic Church) need not argue. Yet he himself frequently argued against Gnostic dualism and spiritualism. And again, against Praxeas he tried to expose the unscriptual and unhistorical implications of modalism and to formulate a positive doctrine of the Trinity without falling into the oppostite error of subordinationism.

    Here is perhaps the Father of the early but very real Trinitarian doctrine of God! *I don’t see how you can use Tertullian in a modalist manner at all? His work to Praxeas on the Trinity is overwhelming!

    Fr. Robert

  28. No, I am not intending to use Tertullian in a modalist manner, I promise. I’ll leave his old bones alone…for now. It does cross me though that a good portion of the Trinitarian argument is built on the grounds of Tertullian and Hippolytus, both who where in schism from the Church, with Hippolytus going so far as to establish his own congregation with him as the head.

    I believe that the Apostolic succession must be recognized, but was Tertullian in it? Hippolytus? Wasn’t Zephyrinus more in line with the Apostlic succession and did he utter the thought that they was one God, Jesus Christ (again, Ignatius, also in direct line with the Apostles, used God, Jesus Christ).

    Tertullian, a Carthaginian and a Montantist, radically changed the doctrine of the church. Even the Catholics recognize that Zephyrinus held the historic and traditional form of the Faith.

  29. Polycarp,

    Yes both Terullian and Hippolytus were early and second century/third century Trinitarian’s.

    It was Hippolytus who accused Zephyrinus and his successor, Calixtus I of favoring the Christological heresies of the Monarchians, but also of subverting discipline by receiving back into the Church those guilty of gross offenses. The result was a schism, and for some ten years Hippolytus stood as bishop at the head of a separate church. Even before this however, Hippolytus took an active part with Rome in attacking the doctrines of Sabellius. But again he was the first perhaps rival Pope to Rome. But later under the persecution of the Emp. Maximin (235-8), however, he and Pontianus were exciled together to Sardinia, and it seems he was reconciled to Rome under Pope Fabian (236-50). Not much is really known about his death and being a martyr.

    Hippolytus expresses his own trinitarian theology in a form of Logos doctrine because and to answer the attack by Callistus of ditheism. Here he has two states of the Word, the one immanent and eternal, the other external and temporal as the Father’s voice. Containing in Himself all the Father’s ideas, the Word is able to actualize them as the Father’s creative agent.

    Also his writings are voluminous.

    As to Zephyrinus, so-called pope of Rome. He is thought to have had a long pontificate. But little is really known of him. Of course with the modern Roman doctrine they have to claim him, but Hippolytus charged him with laxity in enforcing discipline and failure to assert his authority in pressing the heresies (esp. Sabellianism) then prevalent in and around the Roman Church. But his feast day as a saint was dropped in 1969 in the modern Roman Church.

    I will admit this, if you can find support for your positions, it would be in this time period. But still with both Hippolytus and Tertullian, we see again the reality and some development of the Trinitarian truth. Not to forget also this is the Western Church. The East had the likes of course of Origen, etc. We know that Origen went to Rome and heard Hippolytus preach. In Origen the Son is eternally generated from the Father and manifests all His attributes. The Holy Spirit is also eternal. The threefold nature of the Godhead is also affirmed with Origen.

    Fr. Robert

  30. PS Poly,

    If you have access to the many volume: The Apostolic Fathers? Read the vol’s. of the second and third centuries. I did not mention Clement of Alexandria, as he is more of a moralist than a thinker, etc. But we can clearly see a triune God in him (see Kelly’s book).

    Fr.R.

  31. Mormon…It seems that Pratt and the early Mormons must have ran into some oneness folks. I have done some research on their apologetics and their book is filled with contradictions when it comes to God, Father, Son, and Jesus Christ.

  32. I skimmed through it, but the first thing that I run into is the ‘modes’ theology. As I stated previously, I only accept Modalism as a name applied by others. I do not see the Spirit of God as a mode or a person.

  33. Poly,

    Please share (if you want?) what your view of the Holy Spirit would be. I am interested, in a kind of statement you would make for your doctrine also of the Godhead, etc. I don’t think I have seen The Church of Jesus Christ’s doctrine of God in theological statement.

    Fr.R.

  34. I see the holy Spirit as simply the Spirit of God. If you would like I can send you a further developed statement than I can post on here.

  35. Poly,

    And yet the Holy Spirit of God is not a “Person”? Do you have or believe in a person in the Godhead besides Christ? And sure send me your “developed” statement. lol Ya knew I had to say that, but it was meant as a bit of a funny of course.

    A good book on the Holy Spirit in Greek word studies is: Word Studies On The Holy Spirit, by E.W. Bullinger. Perhaps you have heard of EW Bullinger? He was an English Anglican rector and Greek scholar (1837-1913) He is a superb Greek word scholar, and sometimes very independent in his thinking. You I think would appreciate him?

    Fr.R.

  36. You, independence? I have heard of Bulinger, indeed. I will send my wonderful derived statement and I know that you will suddenly change your course! (We have humor as well, you know)

    The only use of ‘person’ in the Greek is applied to God.

    “Of the wise among us, some consider the Holy Ghost an influence , others a creature, others God himself, and again others know not which way to decide, from reverence, as they say, for the Holy Scripture, which declares nothing exact in the case. For this reason they waver between worshipping and not worshipping the Holy Ghost, and strike a middle course, which is in fact, however, a bad one.” (Gregory of Nazianzus, as late as 380)

    Sounds to me, Fr. Robert, that even the Trinitarians found it difficult to find a place for the holy Spirit.

  37. Poly,

    Bullinger admits that the scripture alone does not give the word person to God “directly” but is implied surely (character, the feelings, the will, mind, etc.), but the scripture does give the term “pneuma Gk.” (NT) to all three: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit.

    God the Father..John 4:23-24.
    God the Son..1 Cor.15:45 (See also, 2 Cor.3:6;17-18)
    God the Holy Spirit..Acts 15:28,
    It seemed good to the holy pneuma and to us.” As Bullinger notes when we are speaking of the charcter and person of the Holy Spitit, the use of the definite article is most important (in the Greek) context in the verse must be our guide too: Acts 5:3, we read “why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the pneuma the holy?” i.e. the Holy Spirit. The Person of God, and the Godhead!

    We also need to note (as the Church did later in creed) that the Father is the regal, or first person in the Godhead. Since He is God the Father, and also the pneuma of God (John 4:23-24). And to both the Son and the Spirit, i.e. the Spirit, or the Holy Spirit with both the article, etc. the title “Pneuma” is given.

    Yes most certainly the doctrine of God is seen in both the Old and NT’s. “..yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed (given) over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal HIM!” (Matt.11:26-27) The Greek Text is rough, but even more direct to this grand truth! (I use the UBS Greek NT)

    And as Augustine said, ‘the Spirit is the bond of love between the Father and the Son.’

    Fr.R.

  38. PS My point to the doctrine of God, in both Testaments, is that Monotheism and Christology combine in the doctrine of the Incarnation, and always from the Son of God, who: “HE is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation, etc.” (Col.1:15) See also, 1 Cor.8:6, “Yet for US there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.” Here are the two great persons of both creation and incarnation. Also, they combine, first God the Father, then the Lordship of Christ the redeemer, then to the communion and fellowhip of the Holy Spirit – 2 Cor.13:14 (or verse 13 in some Greek Texts).
    Love from the Father, (Jude 1 “beloved of the Father”). Note again, the Father is the regal/first of the Godhead, and first person of love, but we know that love is the nature of the Redeemer, Christ (John 15:9)..and also love is the nature of the Spirit (Col.1:8). God is a Trinity of Love!

    Thus Monotheism and Christology always combine through Incarnation, to the Trinity of God! (Gen. 3:15 – Rev.22:17)

    Fr.R.

  39. Did the Trinity God create all things in Genesis? or was it just God the “Father” until prophecy promised another two?

  40. If they are co-equal, can the Son send the Father? Can the Spirit send the Father or the Son? Was the Son generated to serve as a sacrifice for a creation that was not created yet? Does that not point to a Calvinistic theology, and of the worse kind, where God ordained the Fall.

  41. Is.44:6 “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of Host; [which one made this statement? both? it's worded as they both spoke the statement!]
    “I ..the first, and I am the last; and beside me .. ..no God.” It SEEMS to say one is God and the other isn’t, but both are Lord. How can that be?

    Polycarp, wasn’t it Gnostics that first started to try and interpret scripture with ‘man knowledge’ and got condemned because of their dividing God into segments?

  42. Gnostics did it, and according to Kelly’s book, Origen and Clement of Alexandria claimed to be gnostic Christians

  43. Poly,

    First, the Trinity is always and forever a divine mystery! And those that don’t ackowledge the great mystery of God are simply ignorant of God’s nature and character, (1 Cor.4:2). Note, in the Greek it is “mysteries” (plural) of God. So I cannot solve the mystery of the Trinity of God. But, I do believe the Church has been given enough wisdom and revelation of God triune to at least fence and defend the basic manifestation of this most profound revelation. Thus the Church Councils. At least the Councils that define the doctrine of God, both Incarnation and Triunity of God.

    As to your question Poly, I don’t have the answer. It is still a question. Part and parcel of the nature and mystery of God! I have my opinion, but nothing more. In the Old Testament, and Isaiah the doctrine of the Trinity is only shadowed, and certainly not fully reveiled. Though Isa.44:6 seems to point strongly to Christ our Kinsman-Redeemer, and the name Isaiah= the salvation of Jehovah!

    As the Church has stated: the regal and first place of the Fatherhood of God, comes from the Father being the cause or origin of the Godhead, from whom the Son is begotten eternally and also from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds (alone) eternally. That the Son sends the Spirit of God, is not from eternity, but from His place at the Right Hand of God! (See, St. John 7:39) Christ Jesus must be glorified and at the-right-hand-of God, to send the Holy Spirit. (St. John chap. 14-16)

    Finally, as to a Calvinistic theology, or better an Augustinian one. Yes indeed, I do follow some form of this. This is one of the problems of both the East and the western form of Arminianism. (And this keeps me in the west and still a Catholic but Reformed Anglican) The sovereignty of God must always be held top line, but of course in tension with man’s or human responsibility. Also that God allowed the fall and thus evil, is simply one of the most profound mysteries! See, Theodicy. And I myself would follow more of a Infra or sub-or postlapsarianism view of the fall.

    I would speak more about the Atonement of Christ later.

    Got to run…

    Fr.R.

  44. Most certainly in the form of a question, if God created all things in Genesis; then it seems we have ‘a Lord King and ‘a Lord of host/redeemer’, to add more scripture lets use Is.44:24. “Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb..[again the same statement] I am the Lord that madeth all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself..” Even further to 45:22 “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I [am] God, and [there is] none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth [in] righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear..” I feel strongly we are having the same transistion in ‘works’ as in Ex. 6:2,3. Same ‘One God’ just different name for the work to be done. I see this pattern throughout Old and New Testaments.

  45. Poly,

    But we must define Gnosticism closely. As Kelly says: “To speak of Gnosticism as a movement is misleading, for the term suggests a concrete organization or church.” And as Kelly goes on to say there was no one or single Gnostic Church. See also pages 22-23 in Kelly’s book: “there seems to have been a Jewish Gnosticism antedating the Christian” (p.23), etc. The point is whatever we make of Origen or Clement, their so-called gnostic ideas are not in reality pure “Gnostic”. Not like a Valentinus, etc.

    Fr.R.

  46. Fr. Robert, I agree with Kelly’s thought and it was no way a jab to him, but to Origen and Clement (and indeed the Alexandrine School). It seems to me that they had a distinction between those in the simplicity of Christ and those with so higher knowledge (some gnosis), which seems to be a result from mixing with the Gnostics.

  47. But when we turn to the NT, and St. John and the revelation of the Logos. Here we see the Logos/Word in His absolute, eternal Being! In John 1:1, we can see the Logos face to face with and toward God. Both in active communion with and as God. Here we have the Logos nature of God, God in Essence. But the source of creation and also in the divine council. The Word or Logos is the agent. Thus the personal, eternal, absolute and immanent relations of the Persons of the Godhead furnish the basis for revelation. Because the Word was personally distinct from God and yet always essentially God, He alone could make Him known. This is the force and character of the Incarnation! (See, St. John 1:14)

    “IN the beginning was The Word and The Word was with God and God was the Word.” (St. John 1:1)

    Yes here is the very depth of the Logos of God, again face to face..as the Greek suggests. Person to Person! Here is the inter place of the Father and the Son, and as Augustine says the bond and person of love is the Holy Spirit of God.

    In reality, the Trinity of God is the most mystic place the Christain can seek to approach! Holy ground! And in the end this can only be spiritually understood. As our Lord said in Matt.28:19, baptising them in the “name” not names, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” One God and divine essence (ousia), in three distinct, divine persons (hypostases),but without overlap or modality among them!

    Fr.R.

  48. Poly,

    My last overlapped, I will get back to yours..

  49. Poly,
    EW Bullinger was more of a biblicist than so many so-called evangelicals today. But he too has feet of clay, but very worth the read. I have several of his best works…The Figures of Speech Used in the Bible. Also his: Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek NT. And yes, I have a copy of his Companion Bible (KJV). He is just a man of God and scholar.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.W._Bullinger

    Fr.R.

  50. Fr. Robert, I have no idea why your comments are going to my spam folder, but as soon as I see them, I de-spam them and post them.

    I will have add to my RSS feeder. Thanks for the link. BTW, I posted a review of Kelly’s first chapter.

  51. Polycarp,

    I will read your Kelly blog and get back later. Just very busy with pastoral needs at the moment.

    Hope all is well.

    Fr. R.

  52. Poly,

    Forgive me but I am tied into pastoral issues. It is sad the depth of human problems today! Rom. 7 is always a reality.

    Kelly’s chapter VII, Man And His Redemption..1. The Sub-Apostolic Age is very good here.

    I will try later to give more blog time.

    Fr. Robert

    PS Watch out for the blogger: thenonconformer! He is sadly just a nut! I quoted William James: “A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” And he went off into a long diatribe (at least his version). I see he blog’s with you.

  53. Fr. Robert, I pray that the pastoral issues are resolved with a measure of grace.

    I asked the nonconformer to shorten his comments. I hope that he does.

    Pithiness is a virtue – J. L. Watts

  54. I am not a historian and I don’t find it at all interesting and will not participate in that rhetoric. However, I must ask, where is the logic of deciding that in the thirteenth, or fourteenth, or fifteenth century, the truth was established and only then can we find the truth? Does that make sense to anyone else? So then we can’t say that the truth woke up only a hundred years ago and because of that it is not the truth? If I have to go back and read about Calvin and Cooledge to find out where God’s truth is then I can wrap it up and go home.

    So, Robert; Polycarp; and Lanis I make a suggestion for you to do. Each of you go into the throneroom of Jesus (His name must be Jesus or you ain’t in the right building) and you stay there till He gives you His TRUTH and then you can come out knowing the real facts. However, you cannot tell the others that Jesus gave you the truth. Require Jesus and only Jesus, to tell the others what His truth is. And stop all this vain disputations. That stuff is hard to read and I am not sure what has really been established.

    God’s Spirit can and must be the authority of truth and also the prolific distribution of that truth. Has anything good come from Ireland?

  55. Ernie, no one asked you to read these comments, although you are more than welcome to. This is a page for discussion and indeed disputations, but not everyone has to join in. If we hold the truth to ourselves, then how is the gospel message spread? Do you speak of some secret gnosis? Would you have us to keep secret this Truth? Did not Paul say that the lost would hear if a preacher who was sent preached? Didn’t Christ command that we search the Scriptures with Paul echoing to rightly divide the Word of God?

    I am sure Fr. Robert will correct you, but the Trinity was hardly established in the 13-15th centuries, but instead in the 4th and 5th centuries after Christ.

    And yes, nearly everything that has come from Ireland has been good, my family included.

    And Ernie, feel free to become a regular here.

  56. My point being, have you really won some lost soul with this in-depth rhetoric? If that is indeed what you are doing, then I say more power to you, but be fair… It has come down to a case of one-up-over the other.

    So after all, it is not necessary to look for the truth in the throneroom of Jesus? I must say that my position is that if my truth does not come from the Lord by His Spirit then I am not going to find it by reading this thread and neither will that lost soul you are trying to win.

    No thanks on the regular. I did not understand any of this mess. I’m out!

  57. Ernie,

    It has been said: ‘History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other.’ But truly without history we would know very little. And in our search for truth and understanding, we simply must use the historical method. So if you get nothing else from this blog, the search for truth means history!

    Fr. Robert

  58. I have. I am interesting in exploring more of it. I have an English translation somewhere… I finished a review on the 3rd chapter.

  59. I know that we have not discussed eschatology much, but in the end, Fr. Robert, who do you see descending in the clouds? God the Father or Jesus Christ? In heaven, on the great white throne, how many are sitting on that throne? Although our study of the Trinity should not begin in New Testament prophecy, we should have it in consideration.

    I have not read that yet, but I will.

  60. Well of course Christ is the only “image” of the invisible God, (Col.1:15). Thus in both the second coming and in the judgement Christ will stand or be on the Throne of God alone (1 Cor.15:23-28). But that certainly does not diminish the Triune reality of God at all. And The Throne of God is also something special! But hardly understood now.

    Fr. R.

  61. Poly,

    This is looking at this from our limited perspective now, in the glory.. we really do not know the depth of who and what we will be? See 1 John 3:2

    Fr. R.

  62. Ernie,

    If your out there mate? See we are not trying to outdo each other, we are seeking truth and spiritual reality, and hopefully that desire will be contagious, and others too might seek to follow God’s own, can I say passion for truth and finally glory!

    Fr. R.

  63. Fr. Robert, I hope that Ernie is still reading along with us, as I believe we are showing good fruit in our discussion.

    This is a major block to modalists. If you see only Christ, then how can their be three persons?

  64. Polycarp,

    Well the doctrine of the Trinity of God is not a spatial thing. The only person of the Godhead to become incarnate was the Eternal Son. This is both a Johannine (St.John 1:18) and Pauline (Col.1:15) truth and reality. However, God does give some form to this once in His biblical history and revelation – at both the bapstism of Jesus (Luke 3:21-22); and at also the Transfiguration of Jesus, (Luke 9:34-35 / 2 Pet.1:16-18). At the Transfiguation, the cloud is the symbol of the Holy Spirit. But this like the baptism happens only once (historically), and is thus recorded in Holy Scripture.

    Fr. Robert

  65. Poly,

    It needs to be said however, that the doctrine of the Trinity is really seen in the special sense of St. John’s Gospel, chapters 14-16 (even 17 also in the nature of the “bosom” of the reality of the the Father and the Son). And also from the Letters of St. Paul, but even St. Peter’s 1st Epistle (1 Pet.1:2). Also in the Book of Hebrews we see this most real distinction of “persons” (Heb.1:2-3;5-6;8-9/ chap.9:14). Indeed here is the real spiritual depth of the Triune nature of God! And from these texts the Trinity of God was revealed in later theological development. But this development comes only for our sake, as I said, the Trinity of God in its essence has neither “assimilated nor unfolded.” (to quote S. Bulgakov) As God is totally transcendent in His eternal essence as even triune and yet one! Here is our divine mystery forever!

    Fr. Robert

  66. Poly,

    To answer your first question, yes most certainly the mystery of the Trinity of God brings more questions! For here we are dealing with the character and nature of God ‘the totally other’, to use Barth’s term. Note, the doctrine of the Trinity is something that both the Jews and the Muslims cannot understand, or stumble over. Since they both are overt in their Monotheism. But in the Christian truth, Monotheism and Christology come together in first the doctrine and reality of the Incarnation, and then in the Triune nature and character of God, one but three: triunity.

    As to Occam’s Razor, since Ockham was nominalist, which he shared with Boethius he denied the reality of universals, from which we get the approach of Platonism. Also the Aristotelian belief was that universals exist in things (in re) but not independently of them. Thus conceptualism, or the view that they are are refections of the propensity of the mind to group things together (post rem, or abstracted from things).

    Now with Ockham and his reductionist and nominalistic philosophy, we lose realism and without the universals goes the epistemology postulating cognitions of intelligible species, etc. Sorry for the bit of long statement, but with Ockham we see the movement toward and a forerunner of subsequent British empiricism. Also with Ockham everything that exists outside the mind is singular. But, he also allowed the mind a power of abstractive cognition, so his position may be nearer to a form of conceptualism.

    So Ockhams razor, is itself already a reductionist and nominalistic principle. But in itself, it would certainly not deny the Trinity, but would perhaps seek to simplify the language. We should also remember that Ockham was an English theologian and philosopher, but still a Roman Catholic and Franciscan, (c.1285-1349).

    Fr. R.

  67. PS…The doctrine of the Trinity is never, nor will it be, completely understood! The Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople simply fence the doctrine, and thus do not allow for certains errors. But their statements do not complete the Trinity doctrine, or give every or all the answers, or details.

    Question for you? What do you say to the statement that Modalism or Monarchianism was centered in Asia Minor and Rome in the second- and third-century. But did not touch many other areas of Christian community. As the Eastern Orthodox would employ. Thus it was never the central or forming center of the doctrine of God at all?

    Fr.R.

  68. “In Pantheism God is all. But the whole point of creation surely is that He was not content to be all. He intends to be “all IN ALL”.

    One must be careful not to put this in a way which would blur the distinction between the creation of a man and the Incarnation of God. Could one, as a mere model, put it thus? In creation God makes – invents- a person and “utters” -injects–him into the realm of Nature. In the Incarnation, God the Son takes the body and human soul of Jesus, and, through that, the whole environment of Nature, all the creaturely predicament, into His own being. So that “He came down from Heaven” can almost be transposed into “Heaven drew earth up into it,” and locality, limitation, sleep, sweat, footsore weariness, frustration, pain, doubt and death, are, from all worlds, known by God from within. The pure light walks the earth; the darkness, received into the heart of Deity, is there swallowed up. Where, except in uncreated light, can the darkness be drowned?” – C.S. Lewis

    “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Rom.12:21) This is an incarnational reality since Christ! The Church as the Mystical Body of Christ still lives “incarnationally”!

    Fr.R.

  69. Polycarp,

    I dug out a good book that you might like to read, and I think is still in print by my old friend Richard Bauckham: God Crucified, Monotheism And Christology In The New Testamant. I know it has been helpful for me also. He draws on the patristic development of dogma, but admits that it was not till Martin Luther that the best theology of the truth of God Crucified, though he admits that the formation of God Crucified was indeed a patristic formulation, “but the Fathers largely resisted its implications for the doctrine of God.” But as he says the Gospel of St. John, and the depth of the Pauline Philppians 2:5-11, etc. with the thoughts of our modern Karl Barth (pro. Bart by the way) have paved the way for better modern Reformed teaching.

    I think personally that the Eastern Church has always had this, but we in the West have lost some of both the Exalted Christ with the crucified Christ, i.e. The divine identity who God truly is to be seen in Jesus humiliation, suffering and death, as well as in His heavenly glory. Thus the best Christology is best understood as a theology of divine identity, but in the constant inter-face of the Father and the Son! And the Holy Spirit was always the bond of this love and action. Thus the Gospel of St. John the top-stone Gospel, or to quote the early Fathers: the spiritual Gospel!

    Fr. Robert

  70. From what I understand Bauckham is coming out with an expanded edition and I have it on my Amazon wishlist and am waiting for the the expanded edition before I get it. And how do you know all of these people?! It be nice, personally, for me to have set down or to sit down with these authors and pick their brains.

  71. Poly,

    Most of these men are Brits, and like JND Kelly and Bauckham, many are Anglican. I have met some at both clergy and scholar conderences.. fraternal brotherhood, etc. I have sat (past) under some big names (I don’t want to drop names so much though) My favorite man, and I could call him friend, was F.F. Bruce (RIP), we both were University of Manchester men! But I have been blessed in this. I am older too than many. But young at heart! lol

    I have met a few of your big guns RC Sproul and John MacArthur, and yes Mike Horton. Just pop evangelicals some. I did like RC.

    Fr. Robert

  72. My ‘big guns’? Trust me, I would rather claim Marcellus of Ancyra than those ‘big guns’! I have read several of F.F. Bruce’s works and have more than my fair chair in pdf form left to read. It would be nice if I could retire sometime soon (before the age of 31) so that I could get more reading and work done.

  73. Poly,

    31? geez if I could go back to 41, it would be hell to pay! lol (Both my son’s were born in my 40’s! My wife is a young 45 and simply beautiful inside and out!) Sorry, but I am still full of it! I am just real Irish! I had some real pagan days too (in my younger years)..thus I chose my screen name “Bohemian”. As you can see I still have some rough edges. I am still amazed that God called me! Yes grace is amazing!

    Yes I have preached in some well known churches in the US. I have noted that there is both a renewal in the Reformed theology, and the American E. Orthodox Church. If you agree, why do you think this is? Also Wesley has not seemed to fair so well with American evangelicals (the last 30 years anyway). Funny with all of the Wesleyan history? What is your take?

    Fr.R.

  74. I believe that the Charismatics, non-denominationals, and ‘loose’ protestants leave people with little more than two hours on Sunday morning, and by the time they get to their car, most likely by catching a shuttle bus, they are no longer connected with anyone, or anything that was said that morning. People need something to stick with, and to stick with them. You know that I don’t agree with Reformed Doctrine, etc, but in truth, they have strong doctrine and established tradition that connects those sitting in the pews not only with each other, but with those around the world and, at least in their mind, throughout history.

    I think the growth of the EOC in the U.S. is a relation to a desire for something more solid in their lives and the prevalent anti-catholic bias still in the U.S., so they choose the anti-catholic catholic. I also think that the EOC does not have the scandals that the RCC has and is generally a cleaner and in appearance older form of the Faith. To some, they are the Protestant of Protestants.

    In the end, people are searching for something old, faithful, steady, and thick.

  75. Poly (by the way I have continued to use your blog name, is that what you desire, for here?)

    Busy day, thanks to reply to my questions.

    By the way, I read Americans too, you might like a Scripture commentator, Ben Witherington III, he is not reformed. I have some of his. Check out his Romans.

    Got to run mate.

    Fr.R.

  76. Fr. Robert, my friends call me Joel, here or in real life. I hope that you will do the same. I have heard of Ben, and subscribe to his blog. Perhaps and persuade my wife to get his book for me sometime near the last week of December!

    Tomorrow, I will be posting a few selective writings from the early Church. Hope you enjoy.

  77. Joel, (Yahweh is God) awesome name!

    I would like your critical thoughts about the Orthodox Study Bible. (When you can, know your busy with blog) And also what you think of their Inro to the Orthodox Church notes, in the front (about 8 pages..front and back). As you know I value much of their doctrine on certain aspects, but I am also very critical of them too. We must be self critical, like the prophets were of the living life and action of the OT church, or people of God. Thus the real “reforming” nature of the NT Church also. But like you, I value the Wisdom books, and desire to see the Church today take up the voice of the Wisdom of Jesus (there) and in His Gospel Wisdom statements! Like the Orthodox also, this wisdom is the life and pluse…and Person, Christ of the Holy Writ! (Col.2:2-3) As the Orthodox Bible study note reads: ‘Jesus Christ ends the alienation between God and creation, bringing creation as (or “like”, my note) a sacrament into living union with God.’

    Fr. Robert

  78. You know, that sounds like a really topic for a post. I will do that by Wednesday. I will tell you this, I use it during Sunday services, as a sort of fact finding measure. I have enjoyed what little of the Intro notes that I have read, and will cover Deification on my post. In short, I believe that the OSB helps to open people up to the EOC and to the doctrines and beliefs.

    And of course, the Deuterocanon is included. Unlike the New English Translation of the Septuagint, it does not include the Psalms of Solomon (although I do not know of any group that held it as canonical, although there must have been someone). What is pleasant as well is that they include commentary on those books as well. Speaking of these books, it seems that the early Church writers used Wisdom as an adjective for the Word, essentially Christ. Doesn’t this point to the inclusion of at least (Solomon’s) Wisdom in the canon list of the Church?

    Anyway, I will post on Wednesday some observations. Have you heard of the Eastern Orthodox Bible?

  79. Joel,

    As I said, I have a new copy (leather) of the Orthodox Study Bible, Thomas Nelson. It is really American.

    Indeed, I feel that this Wisdom book (Solomon) should be included, as even the other Sirach perhaps? It is simply closer to the wisdom quotes and ideas by our Lord Jesus in the Gospels (Luke 11:49, etc.). And of course St. Paul picks up this great truth Col.2:3-4 / 1 Cor.1:24.

    What does your position on the Deuterocanon place you in your Church, any problems?

    Fr. Robert

  80. Joel,

    You did catch me not focused, I had no idea that you were that broad as to see and use the Eastern Orthodox Bible (NT). It has yet to get full Orthodox approval (its that new!) Good for you! I am learning that you are very acute my friend!

    Fr. Robert

  81. Joel,

    Since you beieve in the unipersonality of God, would you place yourself with Unitarianism, past or modern? M. Servetus is placed in the Unitarian camp. Also would you claim Martin Cellarius (1499-1564), J. Reuchlin (Strasbourg, 1527); J. de Valdes, and B. Ochino? (And the Polish George Blandrata here.) Did you know Faustus Socinus is seen here also?

    I was just wondering how you attach or do not attach to the history of Unitarianism?

    In England there was John Biddle (1615-62) thought to be the English father of Unitarianism.

    These are friendly questions, since I was having a bit of a dialogue with a very mixed bag Unitarian.

    Yours,
    Fr.R.

  82. I have not studied Cellarius, Reuchlin, Vlades and Ochino. Servatus on the other hand, seems to be some what in line, depending on the interpretation, in his works. I admit that I have only second hand knowledge of Servatus, never having read his works. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Servetus#Theology

    As far as modern unitarianism, I find it a dismal religion, void of any truth whatsoever, and most likely leading people to universalism.

    I claim no attachment to Unitarianism, modern or ancient, viewing it as little more than Arianism reborn. I simply cannot see how anyone can deny the deity of Jesus Christ.

  83. Joel,

    Thanks,it is interesting in the Wikipedia article on Servetus that he is placed with the modern Unitarians. See under the article of Modern revelance. Also interesting to note there how many groups claim him…JW’s, Christadelphians, Oneness Pentecostalism, etc.

    And then the noted influence he is said the have had on the said beginnings of the Unitarian movement in Poland and Transyvania. All very interesting!

    I have read some first hand sources on or about Servetus. He was certainly brilliant in many ways. As the first European to describe the aspects of pulmonary circulation. Maybe he could have helped Calvin’s physical constitution, rather than his ire? lol Bad joke I know. But seriously his theology seems to be that of some form of and or blend of Adoptionism and Arainism. See Andrew Dibb’s work: Servetus, Swedenborg and the Nature of God, University Press of America, 2005. See also Servetus’s: Restoration of Christianity. Here is perhaps the first and best real theology of a modern form of Modalism? I put that in question form, and would leave that for your judgement. You know I have mine. As Calvin wrote to Servetus early on: “I neither hate you nor despise you; nor do I wish to persecute you; but I would be as hard as iron when I behold you insulting sound doctrine with so great audacity.” If my own poor defense also has been often feeble even negative, it is not so much personal, as theological. I hope you know this? We all are weak, even when we think we are strong, or right.

    Also there are several modern and humanist articles and books about Servetus.

    Thanks again, you where helpful to ping back on this very mixed Unitarian.

    Fr. Robert

  84. Fr. Robert, you know…I do have a real job..Kidding of course, I do appreciate all of the read resources that you give me. My wife might not…but I do. Thanks again.

  85. Joel,
    Sometimes my wife will even bye me a book..lol (Sometimes) This last article on Tertullian has some good points, and note some good references and sources. T.D. Barnes work, Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study (Oxford, 1971) I have seen in the past, very good work. (sem. lib) Also Gerald Brays works are very good in my opinion. (See Bio pages)

    Fr.R.

    PS Just read when ya can, plz tell your good wife I am too much like you! lol When it comes to books and now sometimes the computer. You have me beat on this box however, anyday and everyday.

  86. Fr. Robert, thanks so much for this link. I have not had time to develop to actually understanding the ‘New Perspective’, but this seems like a great (and easy) place to start. Thanks again.

  87. Joel,
    I would also agree with certain ideas in the New Perspective on Paul. Mostly the need for historical study and textual insight. We don’t throw over the older theology, we just refine and adjust our constant search and experience in truth. But sometimes we must jetison old ideas. This is always hard on our tradition, or pet ideas.

    Fr. Robert

  88. When will the world realize that there is only one God, one Religion and one Humanity?

  89. Quetzalquetzal,

    The world did that at least once in the Creed:

    ‘One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.’

    From this comes the Mystical Body of Christ. The mystery of the Church, its “invisible dimension,” is larger than the structure and organization of the Church, which are at the service of the mystery. Thus The Mystical Body of Christ – The Christian, the Cross is a spirituality of redemptive suffering…2 Cor.4:7-12. This is the only “life” in the world, “thru” death!

    Fr. Robert

  90. Calvary and the Cross is much more than a one time historic reality, yes Christ died “once” for sin, but this One-time salvation-history is the only life for the world: the Death, Resurrection and Ascended Life of Christ Jesus!

    “Jesus said..”I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through ME. (St. John 14:6)

    ‘All the way to heaven is heaven; for He said: I am the Way!’ – St. Catherine of Siena

    As St. Paul writes: “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to THE resurrection from the dead.” (Phil.3:10-11)

    Note, we can only find “fellowship” (paticipation-sharing,Gk.) in His sufferings and death, in the “power” of His resurrection! Our partnership is to the Risen, Ascended Christ, and here we have His “conformity” in death, with HIM! We do not earn this, but share in His victory and life! Always in and thru grace!

    Fr. Robert

  91. You know that I have! I try to collect as much about Wisdom as I possibly can, finding it difficult at best. It really is a forgotten treasure.

  92. Fr. Robert, the last two are a particular interest to me, for various reasons. Yes, I agree that the Gospel has social implications and concerns, but to what extent are we to take over the government to impose those? I am not sure if you are aware, but early last century, several people here in the States promoted the Social Gospel, which was a form of Christian socialism bent on running people for public office.

  93. Yes Joel, not only the American Church, but the whole of the British Isles has seen the mess of a social gospel! Sad, the whole social aspect of the Gospel is real, but again must or is governed by the true spiritual and theological reality in Christ.

    Perhaps, the US version was worse than the British? This would be a good historical debate. But certainly the Anglican Church has seen hers also!

    Fr.R.

  94. Again Joel, thanks for your keen spiritual desire here!

    Fr. Robert

  95. In my previous career, as I have shared with you, I was able to meet different denominations. One the things that I found was the more that a particular denomination or minister focused on the Social responsibility produced by the Gospel the further away he or she, of the denomination, moved from the doctrine and Tradition of that denomination. Look at the Episcopal Church here in the United States. They have eaten themselves alive by attending only to the the social concerns and look what happened.

    The same with the United Church of Christ. In southern Indiana, near Evansville and in some of the German areas, they are divided between the liberals and conservatives. Those who see the ministry as solely devoted to social causes often times reject any type of doctrine are often times found very liberal. Those that are doctrinally conservative reject social concerns.

    The same with the United Methodists.

    I believe in the social aspects of the Gospel, indeed; however, the life that we live has to be lived within the confounds of Doctrine and of the Bounds of the Church otherwise the Church becomes a social club with charitable causes.

  96. Yes this is sadly true. But there are those, both Americans and Brit’s that are standing the mark, but they get little press in our hedonist culture. Only at the Bema-seat will we see the faithfulness of Christ’s servants. Both lay and so-called clergy. Somehow God has been using me for ministerial retreats. Yes with a postmodern society,any that seek to stand on the Gospel are either not heard, or when they try, they are attacked. Such as it has always been really for God’s people! Even more so now.

    United Church of Christ, are they historically reformed? I met Donald Bloesch once, I thought he was in this Church? But I could be wrong.

    Fr. Robert

  97. St. Meinrad is both, indeed. It is a very beautiful campus. The seminary is all that is left of the educational option though, but it feeds a lot of the Catholic congregations in the area.

  98. Joel,

    When I was a very young Benedictine I got to hear the great English Roman Catholic philosopher, Father F.C. (Frederick) Copleston, S.J. (Jesuit) speak. I will never forget that he said he was a philosopher because he was a Christian, and not a Christian because he was a philosopher.

    Fr.R.

    PS I still have Copleston’s book: Aquinas. And his, History of Philosophy (Blackfriars).

  99. I’m posting this as a general comment under ‘discussion’, not to any particular post.

    I was briefly browsing your blog and will have to come back again. Commendably, you have posted the doctrines of your church with some discussion of where they differ from those of other Christian denominations (i.e. If I understand correctly, you differ on the doctrine of the Trinity, or at least the Catholic understanding of it and the use of the Trinitarian formula in Baptism). Your blog is well thought-out, and I like your subtitle, Faith Seeking Reason- Fides Quaerens Intellectum.

    Anyway, I am hoping to become a Roman Catholic priest with the Basilian Fathers (Congregation of St. Basil), as I’ve written on my ‘about me’ page of my blog. I hope you will visit my blog, and possibly we can have dialogue about what we agree on or differ on. Thanks and God Bless,

    Warren

  100. Poly, to stay with the ‘trinity’ issue, here is a Muslim Cleric that has converted to Christianity in ’88 and had to defect from Egypt because of it. He explains the trinity in these three videos, I sure wish my hearing was so that I could understand the interpretor, but when two are talking at the same time, I miss so much. What do you think of this?
    Can I gouge at Robert, [please let me], Robert, you need to watch these videos, I doubt you have ever heard the ‘trinity’ explained is such a unique way. Love you guys in the Lord..Lanis

  101. Bro. Joel, these three are addressing the question “Is Jesus God?” I feel strongly, to listen to these will give insight to the three on trinity. He explains in detail his true beliefs and is not having to despell a mythical doctrine.

  102. lanis,

    Thanks, I surely enjoyed these. This is a nice Eastern Orthodox statement of the Trinity of God! Note, the “person” of Christ as both God & Man, will always be the center of the Trinity of God. As “HE is the image of the invisible God (even before the Incarnation and after) the firstborn of all creation.” (Col.1:15) He as “the firstborn” is not a modalism, but THE Last Adam in the economy of salvation. But both are in the One “ontological-economical” Triune Being of God!

    PS…The little analogies of God, as three and one, were nice, but they do breakdown sometimes. But their can have they place and point.

    Thanks again,
    Fr. Robert

  103. Fr. Robert, glad to see you back. I was wondering what type of Monk he might be (I posted on it) with his cross, garb, and mentioning Moses the Black.

    I believe that their is a general disconnect with the Trinity of the Old World and what passes as Trinity here in the new.

  104. Joel,

    I am not sure, but I think he is an Arabic Orthodox Christian? But whatever he is, or what type of Orthodox? But most all Orthodox priests wear black and have some kind of Cross. He is certainly profound, and expresses great wisdom and Christian truth!

    The East is very good on the Trinity of God, and the Incarnation!

    Note, he also knows the Koran, which is written in Arabic. Though he is not a Moslem (perhaps he was at one time?).

    Fr. Robert

  105. I believe that he was a Muslim at one time, and is really intent on helping to convert Muslims to Christianity.

  106. You can imagine how much he puts up to be seen in his culture, not only a Christian now, but in the garb of the Orthodox priest. And he gives witness to Muslims. God Bless him! Our time here is as the scipture says: “Laodicean”!

    Fr.R.

  107. Bro. Joel, I ck’ed the links and they are different. One set is on the trinity, and the other is polar opposite, he is explaining Jesus is God ! Go figure, but he does.

    Robert, come now my friend, did you listen to him real closely? He does not use ‘persons’, but, says God revealed himself in existence/creation, man/sacrifice, and life/Spirit. [not verbatum] He makes it a point to say the only trinity is the One God witnessing of himself in dispensations. He, that I could hear, never referred to ‘persons’. Now, do us a favor and yourself a favor, listen closely again and lay down your traditions for just once. He clearly explains differently the essence of God as One. Also, Joel, Robert, the second set of videos are on the Oneness of God or Jesus is God as they have them titled.

    http://www.islameyat.com/english/audio/father_zakaria_botros/questions_about_faith.htm

    This link is to his videos translated to English.

  108. lanis,

    You are suffering from a language difference, many Eastern Orthodox prefer the Greek word hypostases, which is “persons” in English. Trust me the Orthodox all…are Trinitarian, and not Modalist!

    And as I have stated (as he does) Jesus is Incarnate God, He is both eternally God & Man, dual natures, but not dual in person: one God-Man! And the very center of the Trinitarian revelation! This is both the Orthodox and Catholic teaching.

    Fr. Robert

  109. lanis,

    I have listened again to these video links. It is good stuff for us who believe in the Trintarian doctrine of God, and the Incarnation of Christ: The God-Man: The one and only eternal Son of God, dual in nature, not dual in Person, Christ Jesus is perfect God and perfect man…eternally, “the image of the invisible God” (Col.1:15).

    I think, as I said, we must see the language difference here, but even more..there is a real culture difference also. It is not wrong at all, but certainly not western. Many of his examples are really bound within his eastern culture and tradition. And his knowledge of the Muslim world and their scripture (Koran). This is also in the culture of the Arabic. But his doctrine is very Trinitarian, and very Christological (Christ is God & Man) in the Orthodox tradition!

    Fr. Robert

  110. Robert said ‘but not dual in person: one God-Man’. Robert, aren’t you in essence saying here that you drop the use of ‘persons’ and embrace the unity of God in flesh? The very same as us ‘modalist’? I’m sincere, it is as you omit the ‘three persons’ in one, which, to us, is a fabrication of Gnosticism. But, as Botros explains, and as you implied here, God exist [without beginning or ending]. In creating the heavens and earth, was His first witness to mankind,: existence, then He came and witnessed as man/intellect/given word, then, life/Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit.
    One God, two witnesses total Spirit, one total man, One God.

    You then made a direct distinction between the Eastern culture and [your] tradition. How is that? Are there many facets of Trinity? I marvel even at there being several interpretations of it.

  111. Bro. Lanis, I will not answer Fr. Robert’s question for him, but I will say that since I have begun my discussion with first Mr. Davis and then with Fr. Robert, I have come to the conclusion that the Americanized Trinity is sometimes far removed from the classical, at least Eastern, vision of the Trinity.

  112. lanis,Joel

    First, I am Irish born, and live now in England, so my view of the Trinity while it may not be that pristine, it is certainly historically sought in both the East & West.

    No lanis the One Person of Christ has two “natures” human and divine! But HE is also the eternal Son of God always in the eternal generation of the Father! (St. John 1:14;18) We must remember that the Trinitarian doctrine is again, as I have said from the Athanasian Creed: One God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the PERSONS, nor dividing the Substance.” Again lanis you should check out the Greek word: hypostases. And again, Christ is the “center” of the Triune God, “the Image of the invisible God”! I believe He is the central person seen in Gen.18:1-2, before Abraham. Both seen and the speaker (Word). But again there are “three.” This is a sort of prolepsis of the NT revelation of the Trinity, St.Lk.3:22. Of course the depth and theology of the Trinity of God is very profound, though simple as the Text in St. Luke.

    Fr. Robert

  113. Also, please lanis the Trinity of God has nothing to do with Gnosticism. Check out Gnosticism on-line!

    And there is not so much different interpertations of the Trinity of God, as there is historic and cultural differences. But no real theological differences. Check out Augustine, and then an perhaps St.John of Damascus, on the Trinity.

    Fr.R.

  114. I agree on the dual nature as Jesus walked in flesh. Man/carnal nature, and God/Spirit nature by birth. It is the same with Christians, dual nature of spirit [carnal & Holy Spirit]. Thus, the war within us. Although we have different explanations of God, I think we both agree He is One God of all time-without time.

  115. lanis,

    That Christ Jesus had two natures as God Incarnate, we both agree. And in this a real human spirit. And that HE is Lord & Savior!

    That Christ had as God Incarnate, a warfare “just” like ours, would not be biblical. He was as God manifest or become flesh, always still fully God. As Phil.2:5-12 shows His life and ministry while on earth was one of humility, and full humanity (kenosis), but always still God fully Incarnate. Thus “His” sufferings as God Incarnated, were as in the perfection of His humanity..”Although being A-Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
    And having been made perfect (in obedient suffering as Man), He became the source of eternal salvation to all the ones obeying Him.” (Heb.5:8-9, lit Greek tran.) See also, Heb.2:9-10.

    The point to all this is that Christ was never tempted in a sinful nature as we have. For HE did not,and could not have a sinful nature, even as God Incarnate; but yes fully Human and Man! (“Behold the MAN! St. John 19:5) And when we see His temptation or better, “testing” in the wilderness, He was never tempted to sin, but His temptation was not to do the Father’s will…”if thou be the Son of God.”

    In theology, we call this the Impeccability of Christ!

    Also, as to the oneness of God, we would agree that God is One! But in this oneness there is unity. As we say God is Love, (1 John 4:16). But this “love” is a Triune-Trinitarian nature: the Father eternally loving the Son, and the Son eternally loving the Father, and the bond or “person” of this love is the Holy Spirit! This is an Augustinian (St. Augustine) theological insight, but very true and profound to my mind!

    Fr. Robert

  116. PS…A great verse for the Impeccability of Christ – “For we do not have a High Priest not being able to sympathize with the weaknesses of us, but having been tempted in every way (in humanity, not sin temptation) in “similar fashion” yet without sin (or sin-apart).” (Heb.4:15)

    Fr.R.

  117. I still cannot accept using ‘persons’ as describing God/Holy Ghost/Spirit. In the twentythree books with ‘person’, not one time does it refer to God. As to ‘persons’, it is in twentynine books and not one time refers to God. It, then is apparent, if the bible doesn’t sanction the use, then it is a man theology, which, is Gnosticism. Man using his intellect to decide what is truth and omitting Gods printed word is a clear form of Gnosticism. It means: “a system of belief combining ideas derived from the Greek philosophy, Oriental mysticism, and, ultimately, Christianity, and stressing salvation through gnosis”. If one stresses God, or salvation, in any other way than in scripture, it is gnosis and that is pure and simply ‘anti-christ’.

    In checking closer into Botros, he is not directly Eastern Orthodox. I have a dear neighbors that is from Greece,I will confer with them and see what they say.

    Another point you made, Jesus’ temtation, ‘in humanity, not sin…had Jesus gave in to his temptation, it would have been sin..”for he that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin”. Any form of disobedience is sin, but we totally agree He could not sin as who He was.

    Now, I don’t say all this in a spirit of argument, just discussing my beliefs along with yours.

  118. Bro. Lanis, ‘person’ comes from the Latin persona, I belief and is the English word for the Greek hypostasis. It is used this way only one time in the KJV, but you have to allow that the KJV was translated by Trinitarians.

    Hypostasis is used several times, especially Hebrews. I am on my way to the picnic, but here is a link:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypostasis_(religion)

  119. First, Poly-Joel..thanks for the Hypostasis wikipedia. I was going to send this to lanis, but was not sure he would read it? Like most everything historical and even theological it has it’s usage differently. One must decide from etymologies, etc. But perhaps mostly how one views God’s revelation.

    Again first lanis, the nature of the word Gnosticism, is not in your use historically or theologically. That was my main point! If we press it your way, then anyone who uses their brains could be called gnostic. For in no way do I believe salvation is based alone on “gnosis”. This is a poor caricature and distortion of knowledge!

    And as to Fr. Botros yes he is an Orthodox priest! I think he is Arabic? Orthodoxy has many ethnic groups and peoples. Mostly Eastern, but now they have even different English “autocephalous” ecclesial bodies. In fact many members of the Eastern Orthodox Church do not usually refer to themselves as “Eastern” but prefering their own nation of origin (Russian, Greek, Byzantine, etc.). They have synods of independent bishops who preserve the inner beliefs, and Traditions. But all within lineage and belief of the Apostolic succession.

    There are several things in fundamantamenalist Christianity that are not in the so-called Bible. Like Church Buildings, Revivalist methods, Church growth methods, etc.

    Finally, indeed we must discuss what and sometimes even how we believe. This is healthy in any real Christian sense. As we are called to “grow in grace and in the KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Pet.3:18) This is also part of “the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the MYSTERY of God, and of the Father, and of Christ..” (Col.2:2). There are two “hypostases” or “beings” here also: God, the Father, and Christ! The Greek shows that Christ will always be God’s mystery, and the measure of God’s wisdom and knowledge! (verse 3) Also for us Trinitarians this is an eternal two-way in the Third Person of the Holy Spirit! Having also every attribute of “Being” (and personia)!

    *Note again, that with the Incarnation, Christ will always be MAN…Christ Jesus, the glorified Man – God-Man! And we as redeemed will be like Him in eternity! (1 John 3:2)

    Also since it can be showin that the Sonship of Christ is eternal (Heb. 1:1-3; 8), we can affirm that He who is eternally the Son of God is also eternally the Image of God! In this sense even the Incarnation is eternal!

    Fr. Robert

  120. quote: “Also since it can be showin that the Sonship of Christ is eternal (Heb. 1:1-3; 8), we can affirm that He who is eternally the Son of God is also eternally the Image of God! In this sense even the Incarnation is eternal” end quote.

    Now we may be getting on the same page! God exist: meaning no beginning, ending, eternal. Thats a given for the both of us. The latter part of your statement says {Son] Jesus Christ is eternal and image. This scripture puts Jesus in perspective; John 17:4,5 “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished [finalized] the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with [thine own self] with the glory, [which I had with thee before the world was]“. We agree together Jesus Christ was/is eternal and didn’t first appear two thousand years ago. That in its self makes them one/inseparable. Robert, you and I are dual in body/spirit, but we are one.

  121. lanis,

    For me since the Father is the origin or cause of the Godhead, He is the regal there. The Persons differ only in origin, in that the Father is ungenerated, the Son is generated or eternally sent by the Father, and the Holy Spirit “proceeeds” eternally from the Father alone. (St. John 15:26)

    With this when I read St. John 17 I see the Son as equal with the Father, but also with Him in an eternity past or present. That the Father gave the Son His work, is again the Father’s regal nature in the Godhead. But the Son is the Father’s eternal desire and love! And the Son delights to honor and love the Father! And as I wrote,”this is an eternal two-way in the Third Person of the Holy Spirit!” He being the “Person” of Love between them. I am a Trinitarian, just that simple!

    Also their oneness is too a unity, or divine essence (ousia).

    As to the our dual nature,body/spirit. We are also triune: “spirit and soul and body” (1 Thess.5:23). This is our oneness and triune nature.

    And as I wrote, in Gen.18:1-6 here we have a preincarnate “Theophany” of the Son of God. Here He is also the eternal image of God. God the Son is always the eternal Image of God!

    Fr. Robert

  122. lanis, thanks to dialogue a bit more. I know we are very different on the doctrinal nature of God. As Joel knows I believe the full doctrine of the Trinity of God is a historical development to “our” understanding, but of course not to God’s.

    Fr. Robert

  123. [Quote Robert] “For me since the Father is the origin or cause of the Godhead, He is the regal there. The Persons differ only in origin, in that the Father is ungenerated, the Son is generated or eternally sent by the Father, and the Holy Spirit “proceeeds” eternally from the Father alone. (St. John 15:26)[end quote]

    Perhaps, it you read Acts 20:25-28[KJV], you can see the Oneness/existence of God. To understand ‘all the counsel of God’ the way Paul states this leaves no doubt there has always been One God in three different manifestations. Was it God’s blood, or the Holy Ghost? Paul wasn’t daft/scared for his life when writing this, he was led of God, who inspired it all. Not three separate/different ‘persons’. I know, hypostasis. It literally means ‘that which stands beneath’. I can’t buy that as it implies two is under the first. What happened to co-equal? To use it is to me, clearly another form of Gnosticism, man using his brain to figure out who God is. An admiral trait, but going about it all wrong. He reveals Himself to us thru His Spirit. I would much rather allow God to lead/teach me His wisdom, than to follow after mans determinations.

  124. lanis,

    I can appreciate your zeal for your understanding of God’s Word. But theology is not just “Man’s” work, nor is it another form of gnosticism. As I told you, you simply cannot apply that word because we use our brains. In fact I don’t see a verse of scripture telling us to check our brains at the door of the Church or the Word of God. But as St. Paul wrote: “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workmen..etc.” (2 Tim.2:15) Also St. Paul asked for “the books (scrolls), especially the parchments.” (2 Tim.4:13) be brought to him. These were no doubt the OT, and also the so-called, Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books. And who knows perhaps other Greek and Hellenistic writings? (See, Titus 1:12, etc.)

    I will write later about the reality of the Father being the regal or head (cause) of the Godhead. He is indeed the First Person! But got to run right now. Thanks. (I will read Acts 20:25-28 too promise!)

    Fr. Robert

  125. lanis,

    First, the Text of Acts 20:28, this states only that the HE God, or the Godhead has literally “acquired” the Church with or through His own blood. This can be both God and the Godhead, as all three were involved in both the incarnation, and the redemption. In this sense it is the blood of God!

    We Trinitarians believe wholeheartedly in the one unity of God!
    See and read please the whole Athanasian Creed! It is too long to quote the whole here. “We worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.”

    ‘This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.’ The Creed dates between 381 and 428.

    The so-called “subordinationism” in the doctrine of the Trinity need not pressed into heresy. If we see the place of the Father as the regal, or cause of the Godhead and First Person. The Father is made of none: neither created nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone not made nor created but begotten eternally. The Holy Spirit is of the Father (and thru the Son in time or economy), neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding eternally from the Father alone.

    Indeed our “understanding” of the Trinity of God is developmental, but it is still always in the “mystery” of God! And only faith not reason finally beholds! (Eph.3:14-21)

    “For through Him (Christ) we both (Jew & Gentile) have our access in (by) One Spirit to the Father.” (Eph.2:18)

    This is not a modalism of three mere manifestations, but indeed Three Divine Beings who are a Triunity of One God!

    Fr. Robert

    PS Late rounds in the hospital. I am do free chaplain rounds and work, etc.

  126. Fr. Robert, I am still doing some work on this subject…

    Imagine a capital E. Lay it on down. Is this an image of the Trinity for you?

  127. Joel,

    Interesting? But as a rule I do not like overt logic, science, or even geometric ideas for the Trinity. I mean they can have some sense and use, but uiltimately they break down.

    Have you ever read Blaise Pascal? Try his: The Pensees, he is very Catholic Augustinian on the doctrine of God. And in this he distrusts reason, but also knows we must use it. But he knows too that sin and a fallen world has corrupted our minds also.

    Fr. Robert

    PS Busy pastorally…

  128. Joel,

    It was, now its my afternoon (had some better sleep too).I really love chaplain work…it’s hardly work just being there for those that ask. People are always more open toward the things of God when their hurting.

    Fr.R.

  129. Fr. Robert,

    We haven’t yet seen noon! I can imagine that it takes its toll on you. It is not a toll that I wish to have.

    Is your parish large?

  130. Joel,

    Our parish runs about three to four hundred at given Sunday. We are in a good place at present. I am filling the shoes of a great man! I try hard to give messages that are always in the Texts/texual, but always historical and theological. But there must also be life application. Again the pastor-teacher must be a “workman”!

    Somehow I enjoy the challenge of doing chaplain work. Not the sorrow and suffering, always very real! But just seeking the human sense. I have come to see that the ministry of people “is” really incarnational! Christ is somehow always at hand. I am just His understudy. But WE do have the answer in our GOD!

    Fr.R.

  131. PS I should say I am trying to fill his shoes.. No one can replace another, etc. We have our own place.

  132. Also Joel, did I ever share this book with you? Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study, by Timothy David Barnes. It is the best book I have found on Tertullian! Though new, it is a bit expensive.

    Fr.R.

  133. 184>> Fr. Robert, there is a great deal that I would disagree with here, beyond the throw around words about heretics, etc…. First, I would disagree with the constant lumping of Modalist into with Adoptionism.

    I am not a fan of the historic description of Patripassianism, as we have no words but the opposition that they actually believed that the Father came to earth. I believe that I have written enough so that others may see that we simply do not believe that the Father came to Earth.

    Otherwise, it is really the same information.

    185>>I haven’t read that book, but I am adding it to my Christmas list… I have several books that I wouldn’t mind getting that are in that price range…namely the book on Marcellus. If you click on the Amazon button, you can actually see my wish list.

    186>> I have not seen that book, but will have to look at it. One of the issues that we must first decide before discussion (I mean this corporately) is the place of Tradition and doctrinal development. Reading Dr. Kelly’s book, I understand that the Trinity was developed, in steps, and not by leaps and bounds as some would say. I will check that book out a bit, though.

  134. Joel Mate,

    I agree that much of it is too polemic. Us Brits tend to better balance our scholarship. Though when I look at the sources, I see Patripassianism included with Monarchianism, Sabellianism, etc. And though the Father did not come to earth, He is always Immutable as God, but HE as both God and Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world! And this is part of that reality of both the regal nature of the Father, and His eternal relationship with the Son, eternally begotten(St.John 1:14;18 ; 3:16-17).

    I might buy his book to better understand the issue.

    Indeed the place of Tradition and doctrinal development must settled first!

    I am very glad that you feel Kelly’s book has helped you understand the slow bur sure development of the doctrine of the Trinity of God. As I said, most Christians don’t really have a clue to the real doctrine of the Trinity! They just give some orthodox lip service to it.

    Fr. Robert

  135. Though I know you don’t accept the doctrine of development. This is where again John Henry Newman’s idea of doctrinal development is so important! He has just be seen as important in the last maybe 20 years? At least his doctrinal development ideas. He has always been seen as a profound Christian!

    Fr.R.

  136. Joel, That’s him. He had been an Anglican priest for years before going to Rome. And he was very early in his life an English evangelical.

    Fr.R.

  137. Joel,

    As you may note in the article on Newman, there has sadly been questions about his sexuality today, because of his great and close friendship with another priest. And his desire to be buried close together. Today on the surface this brings some questions. But when put in the light of his known life and history, and the friendship that men can have (as Jonathan & David). This should be laid to rest!

    The Victorian time and society were so much different than our own. It was still indeed sinful, like every age of man, but also much more idealistic, as discreet and circumspect.

    Fr. Robert

  138. Fr. Robert, I heard of the controversy concerning Newman a little while ago, but refrained from posting on it because they were casting the relationship in the highly depraved light of our modern society.

    One the things that is lacking in our society, American at least, is the ability for me to be friends, real friends, without it being described as ‘gay’, etc… Men are no longer allowed to show emotion or compassion and remain strong and, well, straight.

  139. Joel,

    I understand this myself, my friendships with some of my Royal Marine mates is very close. We went to the edge of hell (and those lost) will never be forgotten, simple as that! But we are all men!

    I have had someone close who has fallen prey here too, he is in the process of becoming a woman? Yeah this is just a bit of a mystery, and hard to take. But, I still maintain that the doctrine of sin, and the fallen nature of our world..or as scripture says, “age” is shallow today. As you wrote our enemy is very real and subtle!

    Fr. Robert

  140. Joel.

    I came across this book in my personal library: The Athanasian Creed, by JND Kelly, 1964, NY, Harper & Row. It is OP now, but ya never know? You might find a copy somewhere, if you are interested?

    Fr. Robert

  141. Joel,
    Just read the clips about the book on The Oneness Pentecostal. I found the apologetic very tight in both logic and Scripture. Just who is God really in eternity, if we just have a monad? Have you looked at this book yet?

    Fr. Robert

  142. Fr. Robert, that looks like a great book. I will add that to my list. I have a few lectures give at St. Vlad. from the Eastern perspective. I downloaded them, but if I can find the original link, I will send that to you. If not, maybe I can get them to you another way.

  143. Fr. Robert, I have the Recovery Version and enjoy Witness Lee’s notes. You do know that many Protestant groups mere consider him Modalist?

    We do not have a doctrinal statement, as one would call it so, but if you look on the doctrine page, that is the closest thing that we have.

    Although it is not a bad idea…

  144. Fr. Robert, I was reading more of Early Christian Doctrines.

    Two questions:

    1.) Would you agree to the statement that the Father is Silence, the Word is the voice, and the Spirit is the sound of the voice?

    2.) Dr. Kelly seems to make the point that Augustine added the finishing touches on the Trinity (I just purchased Confessions). Why, if for 400 years it took councils did it suddenly fall to one man?

  145. Joel,

    Here are some questions you might find of interest?
    http://christiandefense.org/10%20QUESTIONS.htm

    Of course I like Triune statements…many. Life, Light, Love – St. John, etc. I have been reading the Epistles (Letters) of St. Ignatius of late, and there are many in his letters also..within the whole of the text, etc.

    And of course the East would say that the Trinity doctrine was also found among them, and their writers, Fathers , etc. We must also remember that Origen was eastern, like Clement of Alexandria. As Athanasius, etc.

    Please try and read Augustine’s Confessions, every Christian would benefit here in my opinion. Augustine certainly makes mistakes, he too has feet of clay. But overall he is a great Christian thinker-theolog! I have learned more with him in many places. He is also closer to Tertullian, who after further and renewed study is our first western Father for sure! Again, there is no perfection with any of the Fathers, but we certainly are standing on their shoulders!

    Fr. Robert

  146. Fr. Robert, I intend to read Confessions soon. As a matter of fact, I am going to take a week off of work soon enough to catch up on reading.

    I noticed that a 4th century father had said something similiar, but I would agree with

    The Father is Silence, the Word is the voice, and the Spirit is the sound of the voice?

  147. PS..Yes, I am aware of the Modalist statements toward Witness Lee, he does tend toward certain separate ideas within the outworking of God Triune. His Trinitarian doctrine is not as neat and ordered as others, but perhaps his biblicism here is more to the realist elements in the NT texts, at least his use and understanding of St. Paul? We must have some humility here, as well as mystery. Lee seeks this balance to me.

    Fr.R.

  148. “The Father is Silence, the Word is the Voice, and the Spirit is the sound of the voice.” This sounds profound to me! I have found “silence” to be one of the most rich times in my all too hectic life. I do have a real mystical vein somehow, but it always Christological I feel. This is not profound, but just my personal experience. And there can be no “silence” without the Word! And no Word without the “sound” of the voice of the Spirit!

    Fr.R.

  149. Joel,

    Would that Trinitarian doctrine produced more practical but always Christological desire in the elect or chosen of God! As St. Paul said, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Phil.1:21) We like the life part, but not the dying! But the two are connected!

    Fr.R.

  150. As both a Royal Marine, and hospital chaplain..I have seen people die. The Christian really does die in the better place, of ‘faith, hope and love’! Another trine reality!

    Fr.R.

  151. The Father said something like the Father is silence eloquent, the Son the voice, and the Spirit the Voice of the voice, but you see that I changed it a bit. It has been my fruit for meditation over the past few days.

  152. All true trinitarian lines move into the circle of love! Thanks for the spiritual thought: The Father is the eloquent silence, the Son the voice, and the Spirit the eloquent silent voice! And who said, Christanity could not match and really go beyond eastern Zen! lol (As martial arts guy, I get this Zen bull all the time!)

    Fr.R.

  153. Fr. Robert, the quote, as found in Dr. Kelly’s book, is from a lost work of Victorinus, the Adversus Arium. The quote goes,

    The Father is silence eloquent, Christ is His voice, and the Paraclete is the voice of the voice.

    Again, I would prefer it, as my understanding and own words,

    The Father is Silence, the Word is the voice, and the Spirit is the sound of the voice

    What immediately comes to mind is the image of the voice walking in the Garden of Eden, and the sound of the might rushing wind at Pentecost, both sent from the Father, and both seen as the LORD.

  154. Joel,

    As Kelly says, “Victorinus draws his inspiration from Plotinus.” Later also Augustine also will use Plotinus. I am not sure about Adv. Ar? I will check my library. But I like the statement: “The Son is the ‘form’ by which the Godhead determines or limits Itself, thereby coming into relation with the finite and making Itself knowable. He is, as it were, the eternal object of the Father’s will, or again the object of His knowledge, the image by which He knows Himself.” (Adv. Ar. 1,31) This is a tremendous statemant about the nature of the Son! (page 270)

    Fr. Robert

  155. Joel,

    Marius (or Fabius) Caius, Afer Victorinus (4th cen).

    Rhetor and theologian, a native of Africa, and taught in Rome. His was a philosophical theology of great power. His surviving Christian writings consist of what are collectively known as his works on the Trinity, to an Arian Candidus (De Generatione Verbi Divini), and four other books of the same (Adversus Arium) also written to Candidus, to which he appended a short treatise De Homoousio recipiendo and three hymns on the Trinity; and commentary’s on Eph., Gal., and Phil.

    Fr.R.

  156. Joel,

    I have read my share of Plotinus (205-270). He was the founder and incomparably the greateat philosopher of the Neoplatonist school.

    The importance of Plotinus in the history of European thought is very great. For more than two centuries before his time a revived Platonism, much influenced by Aristotelianism and by the Stoics, had been developing. But it was Poltinus, a man also of deep contemplative nature and one of the worlds greatest mystical writers, who made the this new Platonism into one of the world’s great religious philosohies. In the west of course Augustine, but in the east also with St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nyssa. And later of course Dionysius Areopagiticus.

    No other philosophy has had its influence like Platonism and Neo-Platonism on Christianity!

    Fr.R.

  157. Fr. Robert,

    Should Christianity have ever been tempered with the philosophy of Plato? Or Heraclitus?

    I seem to remember a Trinitarian who accused Modalists of using Plato and Heraclitus.

  158. Joel,

    As Tertullian knew the Christian Church must make it its servant, rather than the other way round. I don’t see how we can get around the fact that there is Platonic thought in the Letter to the Hebrews! Perhaps the best discipline here is the mind of Tertullian?

    Modalism has bigger problems than Plato or Heraclitus in my opinion, i.e. logic and or the lack, with a God who is unipersonal an indivisible monad. Also early modalism taught that it was the Father who was the single behind the modes. Todays modalism says Jesus is the single name or person behind the modes. Again, who is God in eternity?

    Fr. Robert

  159. Joel,

    Nice, this is the Victorinus we want. There was a St. Victorinus also (died, 304). He was Bishop of Pettau (Poetovio) in Pannonia. He was perhaps martyred under Diocletian. They think this Victorinus was perhaps the earliest known exegete of the Latin Church, but nearly all his works are lost.

    But nice work to find Marius Victorinus works!

    Fr. Robert

  160. Amazon has the book (1) for sale, used. I might have to sign up for the Questia to read the rest of the work.

  161. Joel,
    Remember he is a western Christian. And his writings are some of the most early to survive personally on the doctrine of the Trinity.

    Fr.R.

  162. Joel,

    But again, the best and most early Trinitarian work is Tertullian’s: Adversus Praxean (Against Praxeas).

    Also as to Tertullian, here is a quote from Barnes book: “Historical interpretations of the rise of Montanism inevitably differ, according to the prejudices and preoccupations of the exegete. But the theological issue is clear. The Orthodox dubbed the Montanists ‘Cataphygians’ or ‘the Phrygian Heresy’. Yet they had to confess that they were orthodox in all matters of Christian doctrine. Only in the fourth century could polemical writers accuse the Montanists of purely theological error, and then the accusation patently relied upon a perverse and anachronistic interpretation of an utterance of Montanus himself.”

    Fr.R.

  163. Fr. Robert, history may be kinder towards Tertullian than his contemporaries, but that does not remove the fact that those on the ground, so to speak, in the 3rd century thought Montanism a heresy. It was not until after Tertullian that the Spirit received much notice and theological conversation.

  164. Joel,

    Agreed there! I am myself not an advocate for Montanism in principle. But Tertullian could not stand a lax moral Church. But the Reformational idea that the Church is a mixed community, of the elect and non-elect (but known only to God) appears to be a better biblical and theological position.

    Personally, I feel Pneumatology…derived from the Greek words pneuma (spirit) and logos (discourse) is better understood from a combination of both classical philosophy – the nature of the soul or the self, with the best of our Trinitarian doctrine of God and man. But the reality of Christian regeneration must be central! For no man or person escapes Original Sin! (See, St. John 16:7-15)

    Fr.R.

  165. Fr. Robert, I am looking forward to posting some on Tertullian. I would have to agree more with him than with the Reformational idea of the Church.

    I continued our discussion with a post.

    I am not sure of doctrinal statements, for the most part, but I do believe that meditative statements help to align the Church under the correct rule of faith.

  166. Joel,

    The point to the idea is that the Church is a mixture between the wheat and tares, but only the Lord can and will sort them out, but only at the end. As a pastor myself, I can only say that “the Lord knows them that are HIS.” (Num.16:5 / 2 Tim.2:19)

    Also the balance between doctrine and the meditative or contemplative is very real to me. But as most often they intertwine. But we must have them both! Truth suffers when we stray or loose this balance. This has been one of the blessings of the Anglican via media..middle way: both Catholic & Reformed!

    Fr. Robert

  167. Fr. Robert,

    I understand the wheat and tares, however, after reading a bit of Tertullian, as you see, I have to agree more with him than the allowance too often made in today’s congregations.

  168. Joel,

    I am not looking at today’s congregations, but human beings and nature, even religious ones..are sometimes the worst tares. And also no law, religious or otherwise can regulate the flesh…Col.2:20-23!

    This is my point.

    Fr. Robert

    PS Early, time for more coffee! lol

  169. Hi again Polycarp and thank you for directing me to your discussion page…

    I just wanted to follow up on the discussion of the regathering of Israel… Perhaps Acts chapter 2 can be seen as a physical regathering of the seed or remnant… As well as the gathering of spiritual the Israel of God,The New Testament/Covenant church…

    In this way,God’s promises to OT believing Israel, that are now given to the church,come together at once,so to speak…

    I found something else interesting too…I checked for references to Acts 2:17 and found these in the center column of my KJV Key word study bible… Please take a look at them.I believe that they are more than just coincidences…

    For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty,and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed,and my blessing upon thine OFFSPRING: Isaiah 44:3 emphasis added.

    He that believeth on me,as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38

    And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: Ezekiel 11:19

    And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Ezekiel 36:27

    And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Zechariah 12:10

    And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy. Act 21:9

    And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams,your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. Joel 2:28,29

    P,if i was STILL pre-mill or dispensational, altogether,i would not have been able to see that these prophecies are not necessarily still future,but may have already been fulfilled… Not all at the same day of Penetcost,but over time.As God see’s time,one day and a thousand years…It is just something to think about.

    Remember,P,the reaction of the Devout Jews at hearing Peter’s sermon at Pentecost.They were Pricked in their hearts,or in mourning for him.Why,because they saw Christ Jesus or looked upon him [figuratively]… They saw their Messiah,the Son of God,whom that wicked or ontoward generation had put to death… Zechariah 12:10.

    I looking forward to reading more of your blog posts…

  170. Hi P

    I wanted to say this to you before we spoke again…Which i am so looking forward to.

    This is not my own work or study…Or anything that i would/could have thought about a month and a half ago…But is based on the Olivet discourse.”The Son of man Coming in the clouds”.

    David Lowman has a blog on wordpress… http://low5point.wordpress.com.

    He teaches Eschatology…You can also hear his teachings/presentations on sermonaudio…He also taught Escahatology at Village Seven Presbyterian church in an adult Sunday school class.I have also listened to these presentations/lessons on sermonaudio…

    I started reading his blog very early in January and had written a comment on the topic of his January 21 post on the “Son of man coming in the clouds”

    P,this is when i learned for the first time that this was not speaking of the Lord’s second coming…But that this speaks of his going UP in the cloud[s] Acts 1:9… As you know this took place after his resurrection and so,this is when the Lord Jesus received his Kingdom spoken of in Daniel 7:13.

    Hence the reason that Caiphas tore his garments and accused the Lord of blasphemy in Matt 26:63-65…

    So i had mentioned to David about kinda feeling sorry for Caiphas later on,coming to the realization that he had had their [Israel's] Messiah,the Son of God,put to death… And that while reading his lesson/post i had thought about Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost…I showed him the passages that i was talking about…

    That is when David mentioned Israel,the Devout Jews and the Olive tree spoken of in Romans… And how that God has the one tree… And Gentiles [wild branches] were grafted into that one and the same tree… He said that the broken off branches were the reprobates.

    However,his comment had also to do with the claims of Dispensationalists against Covenant theology [the church replacing Israel].Which you know yourself Covenant theology does not teach this,but teaches that there is no dichotomy between believing Israel and the church because it is the one and the same body…

    So P,when i read your blog post about Jerusalem and of Pat Robertson seeing Armeggeddon… And made the comment about God having already fulfilled his promise to the Fathers,concerning Israel possesing the land fully…Twice,when they went in with Joshua and Kaleb and also under King Solomon’s rule…

    Then when i saw other comments about the restoration of the “land” back to National Israel and of her regathering there,before the Lord’s second coming…

    This is why i wrote the comment about the day of Pentecost possibly being the fulfillment of the regathering of believing Israel [the remnant] as well as the gathering of spiritual Israel or the Israel of God…Better known as the New Covenant/Testament church…

    P,if correct,this would be absolute proof that there could never have been or ever be a dichotomy between believing OT Israel or New Testament believing Israel…Devout Jews along with grafted in,believing Gentiles,us,would be divided against ourselves…

    And so as David says “the gates of hell do prevail”?

    P,i am not saying that David Lowman would be in 100% agreement or in agreement at all with what i wrote, but that i only came to this possible truth because of what the scriptures teach and of what i have learned from David’s teachings,which are scripturally based…

    So for a far better treatment of this and so much more,see David’s blog and even speak with him…He is sincere,good natured and so he is never argumentative.He doesn’t try to convince anyone that what he believes should be taken as absolute truth… He simply presents his ideas from the scriptures in the form of a lesson/teaching and encourages the reader to study these things for themselves…

    Ok P,Hope to talk to you soon…

  171. Y, I am still studying this. I like what you have written here and it is something that people need to examine. Would you mind if I made a post out of our discussion?

  172. Hi P, i do not mind at all…

    I only asked that it is made clear to the readers that this is not my own work or studies…But is based on what i have learned from the scriptures, according to what David Lowman teaches on his blog.

    http://Low5point.wordpress.com

    Talk to you soon,P

  173. Hi P

    I was checking out your home/doctrine page and wanted to that ask you some questions…

    I would like to know your thoughts on the regeneration or quickening by God the Holy Spirit?

    Ehpesians 2:1 indicates that God quickened/made us alive while we were yet dead in trespasses and sins…

    Romans 5:8 tells us that God showed his love towards us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us…

    1. P. Do you believe that men and women who are yet dead in trespasses and sins must be made alive or born again before they can believe the preaching of the Gospel of salvation?

    Since God is A Spirit.

    2. How would we who were dead in sins know to seek forgiveness of Him who is A Spirit?

    Did we already know what we should say or pray? Or were we given the words by the Holy Spirit who regenerated and convinced us of sin first?

    ” No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:44

    3. How would we have been drawn by the Father? Since we could not have heard the call of His Grace unless we were regenerated first.

    The scriptures teach that we are saved by God’s Grace and through His gift of faith…

    4. How would the dead [unregenerated] receive the gift of faith and go on to live holy lives unless we were born of God first?

    The Lord Jesus says that we must be born again in order to enter the Kingdom of God… The Apostle Paul says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.

    P, how is it that we the children of God and joint heirs with his Son Christ Jesus, believe that we have been spiritually [resurrected] passed from death unto Everlasting life?

    How is it that we believe that we were and are now translated spiritually, into the present Kingdom of God’s Son? How is it that we believe these things according to the scriptures were are spiritually discerned? Colossians 1:12-14.

    P.I ask these things because we all do not and have not,even at the first,spoken with other tongues?

    So how is it that we have the evidence as well as you that we are forgiven, saved and are awaiting the redemption of our mortal bodies at his coming?

    P. those who speak with other tongues [known languages] that they have not learned will not go before those of us who do not… But we who are indwelled and sealed with the same Holy Spirit of promise which is the gaurantee or down payment of God’s gift of everlasting life,will enter God’s Earthy Kingdom together with His Son.

    P, i hope that we will continue to talk about these things and more…

    BTW: congradulations [i hope Mrs.P gets all the sleep she needs]

  174. Hi P

    So then the call of God’s grace is his drawing us to his Son and His preparation of our hearts to hear the Gospel of salvation: and that this should not be confused with the regeneration of the Holy Spirit that takes place AFTER we believe: Ok then: Ephesians 1:12-14 speaks to this truth…

    That WE should be to the praise of his glory, who FIRST trusted in Christ.
    In whom YE also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory…

    P. I do not know what the Arminians were thinking of: but we know that salvation is NOT of works of any kind: but is by grace alone and through the gift of faith in Christ Jesus…

    I also understand [now] that Charles Spurgeon’s brand of Calvinisim did not teach that that SOME were chosen to/for salvation: but that ALL were chosen [elected] in God’s Son even before the foundation of the world: to receive His gift of Everlasting life.

    P.I want to know what you mean though: On your doctrine[s] page…

    Are you saying that being baptized with/by the Spirit and receiving the initial gift of other tongues [known languages] is the evidence that one is born again and has received God’s gift of everlasting life? Or do i misunderstand you?

    Since the Apostle Paul said that both tongues and phophecy would cease after that which is perfect comes: meaning the completion of the New Testament scriptures…

    Then how say some that speaking with other tongues is the evidence of the New Birth or being born again? And that this is what the Lord Jesus meant in John 3:3-7… What say you about this?

    Polycarp is a good name: i hope it is a boy too…

  175. P
    Just wanted to say Good morning : before i go to sleep…

  176. Hi P

    Tuesday morning before i went to sleep i read John 14… I listened to the words of the disciples Thomas and then to Phillip and the Lord responding to them… This morning before writing you i read Proverbs 8:20-31.

    P. Have you always known/understood this? How could he have love [s] us like this? Why would he? I have so much work to do P. He is worthy of so much more then i could ever give him…

    Talk to you later: Thank you so very very much…

  177. Indeed, YtLoG, the wisdom motif is used by several different writers on the Old Testament (Job, Solomon) and in the so-called Apocrypha (Wisdom, and Sirach) to represent an attribute of God. In fact, Christ conferred upon Himself the position of Wisdom. (Matthew 11.19; Luke 7.35) and Paul called Christ the wisdom of God and the power of God. (1st Cor. 1.24)

    I started off ‘Oneness/Modalist’ not understanding the full implications of that label – it is an old label, and unbiblical. (The only word that I can find that is biblical is economy.) As I read more into the bible, the original language, and did some studies into Church history, and the early Fathers, I found myself understanding more of my doctrine. While I changed the name, I didn’t really change the core doctrine, that God is a unipersonal (one Person) deity high above us, but making Himself know in His Son, Jesus Christ, and even today by His holy Spirit. Christ said that He came to reveal His name, and know that Peter said that their is no other name under heaven given by which mean must be saved, Jesus Christ.

    Hope you sleep well.

  178. Hi P

    I understand now!

    God’s Word was made Flesh! The Apostles handled the Word of life! He is the image of the invisible God! Show us the the Father! The Wisdom of God! My delights was with the sons of men! God was never without his Wisdom or His Power! Christ the wisdom of God! The Lord possessed me from the beginning of his way,before his works of old! I was brought Forth! Hear Oh’ Israel the Lord is ONE God.There is no God besides me! I came to do the will of the Father! The Word was God’s Word! All things were made by His Word! You have seen me you have seen the Father… The Only Begotten Son of God!The Spirit proceeds from the Father. He breathed on them and said receive the Spirit!

    P. You are correct absolutely: The Apostles knew nothing of Trinitarianism! words or concepts:The concept is not biblical!!! Yes the Son is God and the Spirit is God: But God [the Father] is Only God! He said so to Israel! You will have no gods before me! There is no God besides Me!

    [ Your words] Can a man be separated from his image his word, his reason? No you still see the man!

    Three gods is idolatry! P. You have to figure out away to tell the Jews! and the Muslims! I know that Christ is a stumbling stone for the Jews yes: But what more is Trinitarianism? It is a stumbling stone to Muslins too! They cannot hear past it P.They will not hear Christ! He has been distorted and made a god!

    P. there is no way we can let them go on thinking these things!!! They have to have a chance! Remember what that person said ” Hagee is right not to try to evangelize us.It is wrong to try to convert Jews to Idolatry” Remember P.

    How many can be saved before he comes how many!!! Someone has to teach them they way you did with me…

    You had no agenda of your own: this is why i could hear you.You understood what you were teaching from the scriptures..The others do not understand what they are teaching! They mean no malice or harm: they only want to defend His Deity…Nevertheless they may be in BIG trouble if the continue teaching this thing! The Jews and Muslims cant hear the others.Their ears are closed to them their eyes wont/cant see this Second divine Jesus! He doesn’t exist.The Spirit the breath of God is not a person either!

    I have to repent of twisting his word denying His truth allowing myself to be deceived like this!

    This is to high for me i cannot comprehend our God’s love for us! My mind wont allow it right now! That God would do this to save us, Sinners! Send His Son! So that we can live through him!

    They the Jews and the Muslims have to know the truth…You can teach/help them.. Someone has to try!

    If we are truly in the days of the Seventh seal or trumpet,then we haven’t time to waste!They haven’t time!

    Sorry P. i really haven’t lost my mind! Truth makes me very emotional…

  179. P. that was one of my favorite psalms when i was saved! Yes Jesus is this King of Glory! Jehovah…The Lord of Glory he is all that and so much more!

    So what are we going to do to bring Jews and Muslims to Him? Maybe you can make Gospel tracts or write a booklet [free of Trinitarianism]…I want to help with the cost: we have to try P. The Great commission… right?

    I have to finish making dinner before i go to work… So tell me what you think and we can talk to you tommorow.

  180. Hi P

    Sorry a got so carried away yesterday: You’ve have opened my eyes to what Trinitarianism is.

    When i wrote you yesterday,i was remembering that person who wrote in on your post “Was Penetecost the regathering of Israel”He or she was talking about John Hagee being right for not trying to evangelize them [Jews] and convert them to idolatry…

    So my thinking was that Trinitarianism must be idolatry to them… That is what i meant when i said that” this” Jesus does not exist.I was talking about what you told me about Arius’ second God and the Trinity…

    I thought if they could know the truth about God: then Christ Jesus would be less of a stumbling block: i know it is written that Christ is a stumbling stone,a rock of offense to the Jews: but Christians who are Trinitarians and classic premill dispensational are also an offense even a hinderance …

    P.this is why i get so angry with this anti-christ persecuting them garbage! There is no future anti-christ in Daniel 9:27: This passage speaks of Christ…

    Who but the Lord Jesus could confirm the Covenant with many? Wether three and a half days or three and a half years: he did both.

    He died on the preparation day of the passover [mid week] not Friday but Wednesday: as he promised,three days and three nights in the heart of the earth:

    Three full Sabbath days:the Passover lambs were prepared that day [the high sabbath approaching] and the passover meal was eaten the same evening that he died:

    It was also the feast of unleaven bread that evening: and finally he spent Friday the Sabbath of rest in the heart of the earth too: and rose again on the day of first fruits: He did just what he had said to the Pharisees he would do.Three days and three nights.The sign of Jonah.

    His ministry lasted three and a half years [ half the seven years]…The [war] the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple lasted for three and a half years:

    He caused the animal sacrifices to cease being acceptable to God in the middle of the week:Two passover lambs were killed according to the law and at the same time of day.The final lamb at 3:00 pm inside the gates of the Temple:The perfect ONE without spot or blemish suffered and died outside of the gates of the Temple at 3:00 pm…

    If this can be proven with absolute surety: then this is what the Jews need to hear…Not about some long dead anti-christ who persecuted the church.The Apostle John never spoke of some yet future anti-christ…The Prophet Daniel never spoke of some yet future rebuilt Temple. He spoke of the temple that would be standing when Simeon eyes saw the Lord’s salvation and held him in his arms.

    P. if i become/have become tiresome to you please tell me: Ok.

  181. Hi P

    I am glad to that i haven’t worn you out yet ;-)

    The first time that i heard that Daniel 9:27 spoke of Christ was not in any church that i had attended.I have only gone to Baptist churches [very dispy and premill/pretrib].The first was a regular Baptist church and then i went and stayed with Independent fundamental Baptists.

    It was a free Presbyterian Minister on sermonaudio that preached on this. I think it was either Rev.John Greer or Stephen Hamilton.Any way my still being very dispensational at that time: i was not sure of it.

    Nevertheless P i do believe it now and based on the context of Daniel 9 along with Jeremiah 31:21-34 Matthew 26:28 and many many passages from the
    book of Hebrews.This has to be Christ Jesus that Daniel is speaking of in verse 27. Not some past antichrist[s] that did not believe/denied who Jesus was and where he came from: and so persecuted his church.

    Not to mention the very destruction of Jerusalem and of that temple took place in Ad70 [Luke 21:20].As you know this was the same temple that was rebuilt after the Jews where brought back from the captivity in Babylon: and it was the same temple that was standing when Lord spoke “There shall not be left here one stone upon another,that shall not be thrown down”. And so it was as He said: and it still remains that way today…

    P. i think that i am getting [to] attached to you: Like a sister to a brother i mean. Please never hesitate to say: give me a break Already :-)

    Your sister in Christ Jesus…

  182. P i agree with you in all that you have said here. I have a KJV bible with the Apocrypha with it.I will read Macabees this weekend.

    Btw: Please double check that i have the right temple in mind: It may be Herods temple that Daniel spoke of in 9:27 and not the one built under Cyrus’ rule.I am not sure how many times the temple was destroyed and rebulit: It would make sense though, if this is the same temple that Daniel spoke of in 9:25 and the same temple that Simeon held the Lords Christ in.

    P if this is the one and the same temple that was destroyed in Ad70 then Nero was the anti-christ?

    Talk to you tomorrow P

  183. You don’t seem to have covered this story of Brisbane priest
    Father Peter Kennedy.

    There’ll be no parish, says ‘betrayed’ priest
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/bi-feel-betrayed-father-kennedyb/2009/02/19/1234632971325.html

    Father Peter Kennedy in defiant mass at St Mary’s
    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,27574,25090091-3102,00.html

    What would Jesus do?
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25082591-5012694,00.html

    Rebel priest agrees to mediation
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/news/queensland/rebel-priest-agrees-to-mediation/2009/02/26/1235237820978.html

  184. From looking at your blog you have some stories of distortion of the Gospel. Kennedy has said that the virgin birth ‘is a nonsense’ and according to the Archbishop some members of Kennedy’s flock deny some basic Christian beliefs. So i thought the story might be of interest to you. If not, that’s ok.

  185. Hi P.

    Remember what we talked about Sunday evening? About being ready according to His standard alone.Not holding on to anything eschatologically with an iron grip.That it doesn’t matter the way or when we go: so long as we go to be with him forever…Remember what you told me about the preacher who says certain things not as doctrine but as a warning?

    I have three questions: Please only answer them they way that i ask: this way i am NOT asking you to tell me something that you cannot answer.

    1. P These passages have been running thru my mind all the night long and they have been for years… What do they mean?

    So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.

    What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

    And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

    2.Is it possible that a tare can believe that it is wheat? Or does a tare only pretend to be wheat?

    3. P is it possible for a person to somehow unknowingly will a change in themselves and mistake it for being born again/regenerated: but be unsaved?

  186. BTW P…

    There are so many churches in CT and in the city that i live in with the name the church of Christ they are mostly Penetecostal i think: but how can i know that they are like yours? and are not “Oneness” or classical Modalsist? But are like you and how you believe…

  187. Thanks for your help with finding a church.I was going to go and be with the Free Presbyterians before you and i spoke about Trinitarianism…Although i must say that their stance on water baptism is quite unique…Yet I am so happy that we spoke first P.It seems that all Presbyterians have and hold to the doctrines of Arius and the comprimise of Rome! As you can see below.

    http://www.freepres.org/fpcarticles.asp?fpcarticles

    The Absolute Authority and Divine Verbal Inspiration of the Old and New Testaments as the Word of God.
    2. There is but one living and true God, and in the Godhead, there are three Persons, equal in power and glory, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
    3. The Eternal Sonship, Virgin Birth, and Deity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    4. The personality of God the Holy Spirit, and the absolute necessity of His work in Regeneration and Sanctification, and His Infilling of the Indwelt Believer for power to live and witness for Christ.
    5. The Substitutionary Death of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Resurrection as the only way of Salvation through Faith.
    6. God has appointed besides the Word and Prayer the Sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
    6a. Baptism — The Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, under Christ the Great King and Head of the Church, Realizing that bitter controversy raging around the mode and proper subjects of the ordinance of Christian baptism has divided the Body of Christ when that Body should have been united in Christian love and Holy Ghost power to stem the onslaughts and hell-inspired assaults of modernism, hereby affirms that each member of the Free Presbyterian Church shall have liberty to decide for himself which course to adopt on these controverted issues, each member giving due honor in love to the views held by differing brethren, but none espousing the error of baptismal regeneration.
    6b. The Lord’s Supper — The Lord’s Supper has been appointed by our Lord for Remembrance of Him in His work as Saviour. Its purpose to the child of God is for strengthening, and putting a visible difference between the redeemed and the unregenerate. This Sacrament will be observed once each month in every Free Presbyterian Congregation, or more frequently as each local congregation shall decide.
    7. The visible and personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    8. These Articles, together with the Larger Catechism, , the Shorter Catechism, and The Westminster Confession of Faith, form the Subordinate Standards of the Free Presbyterian Church.

    P. regular or reformed Presbyterians have and hold to this same man-made/church developed doctrine…Though they have one more thing that i now hate! They sound like 5 point Calvinists !!! See section 2-3 and 3-6 below…

    http://www.reformed.org/documents/wcf_with_proofs/

    III. In the unity of the Godhead there be three Persons of one substance, power, and eternity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.[38] The Father is of none, neither begotten nor proceeding; the Son is eternally begotten of the Father; [39] the Holy Ghost eternally proceeding from the Father and the Son. [40]

    VI. As God has appointed the elect unto glory, so has He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto.[12] Wherefore, they who are elected, being fallen in Adam, are redeemed by Christ,[13] are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified,[14] and kept by His power, through faith, unto salvation.[15] Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.[16]

    BTW: 1 Macabees is boring,am not getting much sense out of it..But i love Daniel and Susanna… I read some of your archives too…You really put those Arnold Murry folks in their place…Yet all the while,you did so with love for Christ: attempting to show them the error of their ways.

    P you are so special…Mrs P and your children are blessed. And no doubt you feel the same with having them… [ little P to come :-) will be blessed and be a great blessing to you all] Enjoy your family and church… Talk to you
    tommorrow…

    Ps. i realized i had not answered the question the way that you asked it… On the post: Debating Prophecy: Daniel 9:27- Is Christ the Prince? So i posted my thoughts again: but based on the question that you asked. [i have to learn to stick to the subject] Which was John Wesleys Comment…

  188. Hi P

    I hope you and your family had a great weekend…

    I do want to know what you think concerning Maccabees and the possible fulfillment of Daniels Prophecy being in their day…And what you think about the fufillment of the prophecy itself.

    Also i read the prayer of Manasseh for the first time yesterday too.Most beautiful prayer outside of the Lord Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethesame that i had ever read.

    When you asked on Thursday if i had [ever] read Maccabees…I knew that you wanted me to read it without allowing my end times view to cloud what i read. Perhaps this is why i found it boring? [kidding] Seriously though,i did try to do that:it was very hard P,i have to admit.

    So when i saw your reply Sunday about the first two chapters of Maccabees lining up well with Daniel 9: i read chapters 1 and 2 of the book again.This time i tried to read Maccabees only in the context of what Jesus said in the three Gospels about the abomination of desolation…

    However,all three Gospels seem to suggest that the “abomination of desolation” was yet a future event:But would fulfilled in that generation that Christ spoke too.Not a future generation who would see these things take place…So i looked again at the three Gospels with that in mind:and in the way that i thought you might,the way that the study bibles teach.Grammatically, historically and with trying to understand the mindset of the Authors:or what they intended to convey and to whom…

    P,out of the three Gospels Luke’s seems to be directed towards a different geographical or ethnic group of believers or both.Who might travel to Judea or Jerusalem at certain times of the year.These believers would probably understand his manner of speech better…

    While Matthew seems to be speaking to Jewish Christians living in Judea or living not far away from the temple in Jerusalem.These Jewish Christians would understand that Gentile armies standing in the holy land/place coming to destroy their city and their temple would in itself be “the abomination of desolation” especially to unbelieving Jews of that generation…

    John Mark’s Gospel is more difficult because he uses the same words as Matthew does ” the abomination of desolation”…Maybe he is speaking to those who are Jews and Gentiles and their geographical location and so their culture would have been different.

    Concidering that Israel of the first Covenant were given certain feast and holydays:all of which pointed towards or were shadows of the coming of Christ…

    So i am not sure what the civil/religious celebration Hanukkah [feast of the dedication] and what it symbolizes concerning the cleansing and rededication of the temple:and what Antiochus Epiphanes did have to do with the Prophetic words of Daniel and Jesus.Both speaking of the coming destruction of Jerusalem and the temple…

    Note P. i do understand what Hanukkah means to the Jewish people:like what Christmas the civil/religious/pagan celebration means to non Jews… However,Hanukkah like Christmas has nothing to do with Christ.

    Since it is more reasonable to believe that Christ was not born on Dec 25.He would have likely been born on one of the Holydays like Yom Kippur [day of Atonement] or a feast day like Tabernacles or Trumpets.

    These are the feast and Holy days that God gave to Israel of the first Covenant.So John Mark may be just speaking to a certain class of believing Jews and Gentiles who lived outside of Judea…No proof of any of this P:I’m just sayin that they might be speaking to different groups of believers…

    Still it was hard to get past Lukes account,his warning to flee to the mountains:when they [believers] saw armies incamping/standing in the Holy place:which i believe is Jerusalem the holy land/place itself:and not the Holiest of Holies within the temple.And certainly not the setting up an image of some kind or an unclean animal being sacrificed on the alters of that temple…

    Remember P it was their house [unbelievers] now:and not the Lords house anymore.Besides that same temple was still standing when Christ Jesus spoke these words to his disciples.”There shall not be left one stone upon another,that shall not be thrown down”.

    Also P the fact that neither Luke or John Mark were Apostles:or even disciples of Christ [i think or perhaps they were of the 70?].Means that only Matthew was there at the time that Jesus spoke these words.

    So Mark and Luke’s accounts would have been by second hand information [the spreading of the prophetic words of Christ]…Though both accounts were written correctly:Since Mark and Luke were both guided and lead by the Holy Spirit to write God’s word infallable word…

    Finally P.Though we do know whom it was that had a hand in deciding which books made it into to cannon of 66 books…Still i am not comfortable with having to go outside of these 66 books [like Maccabees] to see wether or not “the abomination of desolation” spoken of by Daniel took place before Christ came.

    talk to soon P.

  189. P

    i wanted to ask a quick qusetion before i leave for work: I wanted to send a very long comment to you on the things that we have been discussing since i started reading your blog and exchanging comments…

    However,the content may not be suitable for your blog.Or your discussion page…So is there away i can send it to you tomorrow morning,you copy it then delete the comment immediatley?

    I will talk to you later P

  190. Just a comment on FEEDJIT which you have on the front page of your website. I’m in Sydney, New South Wales, but the FEEDJIT website claims i’m over 700km away in Kingston, Queensland (a suburb of Brisbane), and when I use IE8 FEEDJIT claims I have IE7. If you are paying for FEEDJIT you may want to question it’s accuracy.

    If this isn’t the correct spot to comment on the technical aspects of your blog i apologise.

  191. P. I know its not morning like i said: but are you there at the ready? Let me know and i will send it…

  192. P i was thinking right about what you were saying: Of course you can have my e-mail adress… It is Yeshuamyking@comcast.net

    I really do send messages or check it often: computor skills are about as good as my spelling/grammer…

  193. P this may be wishful thinking,but do they not sound like modalists to you?

    Messiah is like Joseph, Moses, and King David. He is the Davar HaShem (Word of the LORD), the Beit El (House of God), the King, Redeemer, and Savior of Israel (and we have no other King, Savior, or Redeemer than HaShem). He is the fullness of the godhead dwelling in bodily form. To say “Christ is fully God,” though ideologically correct (since I understand what you mean by it), it is an overly simplistic, and dogmatic – a statement that HaShem in his divine wisdom never sought to spell out of us in such precise terms (whereas I know many human beings who would love to add that one in for Him). Such a simplistic position derails our focus of him being the agent of HaShem that carries out His will, diminishes the very nature of his being the “seed” of the woman of Gen 3:15, and brings us dangerously close to idolatry – a position for which Judaism at large is right to condemn once that line is crossed.

  194. P sorry to post again.I know it is the weekend and tomorrow you will have a busy day.So when you get the chance to respond.Would you tell me if they knew what you believe concerning the Trinity? I find the statement below very intriguing…

    There is no punctuation in the Greek manuscripts. “God and Savior” can just as easily be “God, and Savior.” Perhaps you would have a case if the Greek word for word translation read “Our God Jesus Christ” but there is a Greek participle kai, meaning “and,” between “God” and “Savior Jesus Christ,” which could indicate separation (and this seems to be the case contextually and historically to Judaism as well). Judaism recognizes the appearance of God, and the appearance of the salvation of God separately. This is also true according to John. But it is not my intent to hijack your post here into a discussion on how the scriptures instructs us how to approach the divinity of Messiah.

  195. P i do not know what they meant by that either,Joseph,Moses and King David…

    However,you know how to defend the deity of Christ without crossing the line into Trinitarianism or Arius’ second God: because you understand…

    Though i am now convinced though your teaching from the scriptures and “the man and his image” that Trinitarianism is a man/church-made doctrine.Yet I still know that Jesus is God in the flesh…

    but would i be able to launch a successful verbal defense of his deity,say against a Trinitarian who holds to Eternal generation [The Son begotten in eternity] ie Westministers confession of faith and the Roman Catholics dogma or compromise?

    What about Jehovah’s witness,who claim that Jesus was created by God?A Trinitarian can take one of them on with both hands tied behind his/her back.

    The Trinitarian has an arsenal of scriptural proof texts against them.They would start with John 1:1-3.However,trinitarians are wrong too,and do not understand [the Word,Logos] right?

    Defending against Incarnational Sonship,was never a problem for a Trinitarian either.Though i now know that the truth is Modalism.

    I think that anyone would be afraid of crossing the line and sounding like either a Trinitarian,JWs or one who holds to Incarnational Sonship or Eternal generation. Knowing full well that what all four believe is wrong.

    You do not have this problem P.You can explain by the scriptures caring not for lines to cross…

    Remember back in our long discussion,you used the very same passages that i used for a defense of Trintarianism to prove Modalism.

    Perhaps this is the problem for a Messianic/Jewish Christian? They are Jews who believe in Jesus and know that he is God in the flesh,and that he is the Son of God.Yet they must maintain their Monotheisim…This is why i asked if they know what you believe.

    Take care P

  196. P.S

    How many times has someone who does not know you and have never read your writings or had a conversation with you:has confused you with the “Oneness Pentecostals” or classic Modalist?

    That i have spent a lot of time talking with you and reading your writings,No one could tell me that you are Oneness or a classic Modalist.

    It’s like you said:not taking someone elses word:but talking to and reading the persons writings for yourself…

  197. Hi Polycarp

    When you first stated that what I had written on the Dr Kwan discussion was “page long rants”, I took a deep breath and… checked the ‘Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English’ for the definition of rant –

    ”’speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way”’
    http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/rant?view=uk

    As I was writing (speaking) passionately, I have no issue with you saying it was a rant.

    All the best

    PS. I am ignoring the original Dutch definition: ‘talk nonsense, rave’!

  198. Read an interesting story in The Australian today about how ‘US president Ronald Reagan tried to convert Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to Christianity in an effort to end the Cold War’.
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25156883-26040,00.html

    While Gorbachev did not become a Christian, maybe Reagan’s efforts to convert him had some impact and played a part in Gorbachev’s moves to bring down the Iron Curtin.

    Should say that FEEDJIT is now accurately showing me as being in Sydney.

  199. Hi P

    You do know the way that Trinitarians interpret Genesis 19:24, as being the pre-incarnate Son of God,with the two angels in Sodom…

    What is the correct way to think of and interpret this passage.

    Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; Geneis 19;24

    I will read your answer in the morning,when i get home from work.

    Talk to you tomorrow P.

  200. Hello,

    I have provide a decent amount of refutation for your heretical doctrine of God. You have yet to provide a single text in your defense. I invited you to my site, and you basically said nothing. I have 2000+ years of the historic Christian faith backing my doctrine, not to mention the totality of the cannon. What do you have, other than fringe beliefs and out of context scripture prooftexts? I will be waiting for a cohesive argument from you on my site in reference to the exegetical proof that I have made clear.
    Regards.

  201. I am a Baptist. Ever heard of our founder? You say that you will not participate on my site, but you already have twice. The coining of a term certainly doesn’t signify the origin of the concept. Anyone with a cursory reading of the bible can see that there is ample evidence for the docrine of the Trinity. What, shall we assume that the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the account of the elect is a concept that Luther came up with simply because of his word “justification”? Please, your more intelligent than that, I hope. I suggest you lay aside your presumptions and repent of your heresy. And maybe, to keep your integrity intact, visit my site and engage in meaningful dialoge so that you might learn something other than oneness semantics.

  202. By the way, Hebrews 1:3 speaks of the personified attribute of wisdom (Wisdom of Solomon 7:25-28), but clearly the remainder of Hebrews speak of a divine Person. Nice try, is that what you have been basing your doctrine on? Was that the ace in the hole?

  203. Thanks for dancing around what I have stated. When your prepared, bring it. Perhaps you and I might become of “one” mind after a point by point exegetical study. Greek and Hebrew won’t cover up what is clear. By the way, I didn’t attack you, but what you said.

  204. Something i’ve been thinking about the past couple of days…

    Brian Houston at Hillsong preaches that you need to put God first with your finances. That any money you make is God’s, so you need to give your tithe to God first before you do anything else with your money. And if you put God first he will look after you. You need to “live life from the mountain top”.

    One of the lead singers at Hillsong was expecting a baby early last year. In February 2008 she unexpectedly went into labor three months early and tragically the baby boy died after 10 hours. She and her husband have had crises of faith but still have faith in God and love Jesus and are moving on with their lives.

    What I have never heard Houston explain is why sometimes when you put God first as Houston preaches bad things still happen. The singer and her husband would have put God first with their finances, yet the baby they loved so much died. Hillsong receives a lot of money each week through the giving, yet there is always a large pile of prayer requests.

    So i’m thinking, has Houston got it wrong?

  205. Hi P

    When i was a trinitarian,which you know was not so very long ago: we were taught and i guess it would be fair to say,continued to teach ourselves,that God was speaking to the co-eternal and co-equal Son and Holy Spirit in Genesis 1:26.

    I know that this is wrong now.So based on your opinion that the church fathers Irenaeus and Theophilus are correct,eventhough you seem to have a [minor] disagreement with Theophilus on [God's audience]

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/studies-in-the-economy-the-two-hands-of-god/

    Would it be correct to say that God was speaking to that which was eternally with him,his Word and His Wisdom or his own “two hands” so to speak…

    And that this would still be in keeping with the teaching of the Apostle John [scripture] that it was God’s Word that was with him in the beginning [is eternal] and not his Son.And that it was his Word that was made flesh [incarnated at a point in time and sent away from Himself John 1:1 John 1:14 and 1 John 1:1,2

    As you know,i have been careful over Genesis 1:26 the whole weekend long [we did enjoy the great weather tho, sorry that you had snow and cold rain]…

    To the point: You know from my many comments all over your site this weekend, that i want to be clear on this… So would/could you clarify and affirm or further explain,that this is indeed your position concerning the “Let Us” of Genesis 1:26?

    Ps. would you again [here] give a brief explanation why God should/cannot be seen as a both a triune God or Trinity[ three divine persons] and still be considered One God… Please feel free to correct anything that i have said in error…

    Thank you P

  206. One of the questions to ask yourself is this – do you permit doctrinal development or use of the philosopher’s language when describing God?

    I believe that the audience in Gen. 1.26, as the other passages are the council of the holy ones, or angels. I believe that God had from Eternity His Wisdom and Word, but the Word is not mere speech, and Wisdom not mere reason, nor or they some divine Persons in a Unipersonal Godhead. It is not wrong to say that God spoke through His Logos and used His Wisdom/Power to create humanity. But, it is bordering on Trinitarianism to state that God spoke to His Wisdom and Word as if they stood apart from Him. If they were apart from Him, then with what could God speak or with what could God create?

    Trinitarians assume that the Son is the Creator, but yet God is consistently thought of as the Creator. If the Father – remember, for several centuries, the Father was not parental in nature, but Creator – was the Creator, then what was the Son?

    God’s Word his is creative work. John 1.3 says that through the Word all things were created. We know this to be consistent because in the beginning, God said, and there was. It was His wisdom that, from Eternity as well, which framed the whole Order that is Creation.

    The Trinitarian formula is this: Three Persons in One Essence. Let’s skip the notion that no where in the Scriptures is God assigned an Essence (Ousia) neither is the Word/Son or Wisdom/Spirit assigned Personhood (substance). Let us begin with the One Essence which is divided into Three Persons. What is that one Essence? Is it the Father? No, because the Father is now a Person of that Essence. Is it the Son? No, because the Son must have been created by the Father. Is it the Spirit? No, because the Spirit proceeds from the Son.

    What is the Essence? Is it God? But the Father is God. So what is the Essence?

    Instead, we recognize exactly what Irenaeus said –

    For these were two hands, because there were two peoples scattered to the ends of the earth; but there was one head in the middle, as there is but one God, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.

    There is the one true God who with His two hands creates and works in a world.

    Remember, the Word was not distinct from the Father until the Incarnation. Hebrews 1.1-3 says that it was not until the Last Days (which means the Church) that God spoke to us through the Son. So, unless the Son was hidden from all – which the Trinitarians oppose – then the Son did not exist until the Incarnation.

    Throughout the early Church, God was seen as One, indivisible, and yet, the Trinity stands a division, or distinction within the so-called Godhead. Can God be separated into Parts? Can this part of God stand alone from that part of God? If they are co-equal, then how why would the Father send the Son but the Son not send the Father? If each Person had a different office, then that further ends the argument of co-equality.

    Are they co-eternal? Not really, but they are all Eternal and from Eternity, because God has always had Logos and Sophia.

  207. Thanks P…That answers all questions…

    Talk to U later.

  208. Reply 2009 March 16 Polycarp wrote
    David, first, I can tell that unlike others who have take up the charge you are uneducated when it comes to church history. The canon might not have been fully formed for some time after the Apostles, but the books existed from that time. I prefer not to use the term ‘bible’ in formal conversation, because it was always called Scriptures.

    The Trinity was not defined anywhere until long after the Apostles. Most Catholic scholars will tell you this, and point to the addition of Matthew 28.19 as a latter interpolation to the text. The original baptismal formula, even again, according to Catholic scholars, was Acts 2.38, in the name of Jesus Christ. Using your logic as applied to Matthew 28.19, then the first understanding of the Godhead was a monad. As a matter of fact, the monad existed until Eusebius of Caesarea and Marcellus.

    I believe that the Orthodox Communions would disagree with you concerning the ‘Catholic’ root of all churches, and further, so would I concerning mine. Rome did not gain power until after Nicaea. As a matter of fact, it was to the Bishop of Alexandria – by the way, who was first called Pope – that it was given to date Easter. Peter was not declared ‘Pope’, as that title did not existed until the 3rd century, and used, again, in Alexandria. Cyprian, who I think you should read, fought hard against what he saw as Rome’s ascendancy against the Tradition of the Church.

    The Apostle Paul said that Scripture was given for doctrine, nothing else. The Magesterium was created by Rome long after Paul.
    >David replies: Have you ever read the letters of St. Paul to Timothy and Titus? Because the magisterium is defined as the pope and all the bishops in communion with him, we know that the Magisterium included Paul and Peter, all the apostles, because bishops are successors to the apostles. So there was already a magisterium at the time of St. Paul’s writing.>
    The Council in Jerusalem had James as the head, as he was the first Bishop of that city. It was not the inclusion of the Gentiles that concerned the Council, but to what part they had to obey the Law. You should Tertullian on this.

    I would suggest that before you argue your own history, you know it. Please continue this discussion on my discussion page.

  209. Hi Polycarp

    Your ClustrMaps page is currently showing an ad for singlemuslim.com ‘the worlds leading muslim introduction agency’.

    I’m guessing you don’t have any control over what ads Google puts on that page. Or there is more to you than these pages reveal…

    My capture of the TCOJC ClustrMaps page:
    http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/0e00b53724.jpg

  210. Hi P

    No rush ok…

    I downloaded the Jewish Orhodox bible… You can down load it for free from this site.http://www.afii.org/OJB.pdf (I also ordered a copy from Amazon.com too)

    P now i am absolutely sure about Daniel 9:27! However,i wanted to know if you knew what type of concordance or dictionary i should use with it?

    It is not as easy to read as i thought it would be. I have a Websters Hebrew/English dictionary,but doing a cursory search of it, i find that it will not be of much help.

    Do you have any ideas as to what i might use?

  211. I watched Kenneth Copeland again. Here are the ‘highlights’. We must Prosper. God doesn’t like Poverty. We are Children not Servants. And God wants us to fly First Class not Coach.

    I’m flabbergasted!

  212. I have a question about posting in WordPress, so totally off topic. Is it ok to ask? If not ok.

  213. From: http://thechurchofjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/06/30/false-prophets-and-what-moses-would-have-done/

    “Billy Graham, Todd Bentley, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Patricia King, Paula White, Joyce Meyer … their message is still the same – anything but God”.

    Putting Billy Graham in the same class as the others seems a bit rough. Surely Billy Graham’s message has always been about God.

    Peter Popoff is the worst supposed evangelist I have seen. His TV show is on a couple of times a week early morning in Sydney. He flogs holy water from around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. It is plainly a scam. A very good story on a scam letter sent from Popoff –
    http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/popoffback.html

  214. Thought this might amuse you. Brian Houston’s audience with Oral Roberts today. From Brian’s Twitter: “WHAT AN HONOUR! I have just spent time with Oral Roberts in his home. 91 years old and still full of faith!”

    http://twitpic.com/3qqpx

  215. Good morning!
    I was scrolling through alphainventions and saw that you tagged my blog, “Kingdom Treasures,” in your top left-hand column.

    Wow, I am honored.

    Thanks so much for the mention. I enjoy your blog as well and especially appreciate that you are digging to resolve the greatest mysteries. :-)

    God bless!
    Heidi Rafferty
    Harrodsburg, KY

  216. One positive aspect of the new look TCOJC is the absence of Google ads. Which means no more Muslim Singles dating advertisements. Amen!

  217. Do you maintian a somewhat sympathetic attitude toward Trinitarians? You even advocate a reformed bookstore! Do you believe that there is some kind of reconcilliation possible between oneness theology and protestantism? I ask this sincerely, not as an insult.  Are you of the belief that this is an area of liberty, and or personal choice?

  218. If that is the case, do you believe that someone who unashamedley affirms the Trinity is saved (given that they have repented and placed their trust in Jesus Christ alone)? I know that salvation is of the Lord, however the distinctives are clear, and a judgement can be made.

    I thank you for your candor. Also, I would like to invite you to participate in the challenge offered on my site if applicable to you. (I am still unclear whether you affirm the doctrine of Original Sin as taught in Protestant/reformed theology.)

    One thing seems clear to me. If I may give you a complement. Out of all of the oneness believers I have interacted with, you seem to be the most grounded in the word, even at times leaning toward reformed thought. Certianly we have vast theological differences, but I do appreciate your earnest attempt at biblical fidelity.

  219. JL,

    I have been considering the reformed position on progressive revelation. You have made it clear that you believe that doctrine does not develop. Perhaps you might provide me with some insight into why you believe this. The reason I ask is that I think that there is somewhat of a disconnect in the Protestant understanding of doctrinal developement and the understanding of the Roman Catholics. Protestantism tends to view doctrine as the logical understanding of the word in precept and principal, and this by means of God’s systematic revelation that reached fulfillment in the Son of God and the close of the cannon. The Catholics seem to believe in some sort of process that leads to novel doctrines and dogmas. Perhaps, by saying I affirm the development of doctrine I meant progressive revelation.

    BTW, please understand that I am by no means affirming any of your theology, but instead only asking your opinion because of your stated position.

    Thanks

  220. JL,

    I have noticed some “Prtotestants” going “home” to Rome. But in my opinion, they never left; they were always under the law. In the reformed community we are seeing tremendous growth and an incredible focus on scriptural integrity and scholarship. One need only look at the ministries of Matt Chandler, or perhaps any of the “new Calvanists” that have attained noteriety latley. We have a solid leadership in the likes of Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Piper, and Dr. Sproul.

    I have also seen “Protestants” go to Utah and Brooklyn, but again, I do not believe for a second they were ever regenerate (1John 2:19). I would encourage you to research the Protestant doctrine of Justification. This doctrine, inconjunction with the doctrine of the Trinity, sets Christianity apart from ever other world religion and cult.

    I reject any writings as authoritive other than the 66. Whether the authors were Apostles or not. I believe the early church did have a Trinitarian understanding of the Godhead, however, not all of it (the church that is). Men are corrupt, and because of sin men were decieved. There is a difference between the visable and invisable church, indeed. Your insistence and reliance on the patristics seems to undermine the sufficiency of scripture. Scripture must interpret itself, it does not need the writings of the fathers.

    So far as myself; I am fiercly Trinitarian, haven’t wavered a moment. You asked in what Trinity I believe. Here is a definition:

    Within the one being that is God, there exists three co-equal and co-eternal persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

    Thanks for responding.

  221. You misunderstand, F.W. – I do not consider other writings beyond that which is delivered ‘authoritative,’ yet, the early Church Fathers do shed light on the Scriptures because some of them – Ignatius, Papia, and Polycarp – sat at the feet of the Apostles. No where, until the 4th century (and admittedly, the 3rd century with Clement of Alexandria and Origen of the same city) do we see the mention of different hypostaseis of the Father and the Son. With the 3rd Century Alexandrians, and the 4th century Arians, a strong subordinatist string was attached – and they were roundly criticized for using non-biblical language. The only One in Scripture which is assigned a substance (Person, Hypostasis) is the Father. You mention the great men of the modern Reformed movement, and you mention progressive revelation – and none of these can be found in Scripture. You choose men of today; I choose men closest to the Apostles.

    Further, while you insist you rely upon the ’66’, which is admirable, you still use words like ‘Trinity,’ ‘Person,’ ‘Co-equal,’ and ‘Co-eternal.’ If you only rely upon the writings of Scripture, when you must abandon these words, because after all, they were invented by Patristic sources.

    Tertullian’s Trinity, which, believe it or not, was considered Modalist by Semi-Arians was One Substance ( Hypostasis) with Three Faces (Personae/Prosopon). For him, the Father was the Sun, and the Son the Sunbeam. As a matter of fact, his word which he created – consubstantiation – was rejected by the Semi-Arians, and indeed, must of the East, because it was viewed as too Modalist, too Sabellian.

    This is why I reject progressive revelation – because it is contradictory in of itself, and one end of the revelation necessarily removes beginning. It was not until Damasus of Rome and his re-imagining of Tertullian, that Tertullian was declared a 4th century Trinitarian (he died in the early 3rd century) – after having been trashed for most of that century. Using consistency in language and understanding, Tertullian would have been a believer in the Economic Deity (a word he used, and wholly Scriptural) today, and dismissed as a heretic by those such as yourself.

    I sent other links, especially one which I believe shows that Paul was against adding the doctrine of the Apostles. Did you read that one?

  222. Joel and Victoria Osteen were in the congregation tonight at Hillsong, as they are in Sydney for the Hillsong Conference this week. Craig Groeschel preached.
    What was interesting for me, was that the Osteens had 4 bodyguards. 3 really big guys and 1 guy not so big. I could see Secret Service style ear plugs on least two of them. Why do they need bodyguards? Did they think they would be mobbed!
    I called my friend tonight to ask her if she had heard of Osteen, and she had not, as i suspected. Osteen’s TV program is not on free-to-air in Australia, and only airs on cable on Australian Christian Channel, a channel which rates 0.01%. Osteen is not that well known here outside of the Pentecostal churches. Yet he felt the need to have 4 bodyguards …

  223. Polycarp is the nut, that is why he thinks othrs are nut

  224. >>PS Watch out for the blogger: thenonconformer! He is sadly just a nut! I quoted William James: “A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.” And he went off into a long diatribe (at least his version). I see he blog’s with you.

    speaks to us all of  more what you are like firstly, an abuser, you need to get some humility and love.

  225. >>>>A “biblical fundamentalist” I am not, nor am I a landmark baptist. No, unlike you I am a Christian, reformed in fact.

    Is God sitting around with a giant score card awaiting a chance to zap believers if they dont get all the answers right ?  Like one sect **maybe urs** knows truth –but sorry– every body elses been disqualified on technicalities.  Impossible –My bibles words read: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved……. Belief on Him –faith  –agape love for them that cross our paths is the way a heart passes inspection.  So on what authority do u state hes not a Christian..like u ? 

  226. Well said Ernie!!….it seems like there is only room for 3 people on this site. I cannot believe all the so called knowlege these people appear to have on history etc but have not done their homework with the ‘Baptism of the Holy Spirit’. I was  a Charisimatic/Pentecostal/Deceived ‘christian’ for 38 years and then my eyes were opened… as I began to study the Word and cry out to God for His truth instead of following men and their experiences.

  227. Hello Joel,

    Yes I am still alive and well (sort of).

    I still maintain that there can be no “economy” of God without also His own ontology: being & substance, which is eternally One and Triune!  This is really very simple, and also has the biblical support…just one verse for now: “For thru Him (Christ) we both (Jew & Gentile) have access in one Spirit to the Father.” (Eph.2:18)

    Yours,
    Fr. Robert

  228. Polycarp,has the New Testament ever been translated from the Hebrew/Aramaic to English?

  229. Y, Papias, the first/second bishop said that Matthew originally wrote his gospel in Aramaic, and that it was translated into Greek. We have no evidence of that in the historical record.

    The Syriac Peshitta dates to the 2nd century (for the OT) and the 4th/5th century for the NT. Syriac is ‘middle Aramiac’. This has been translated into English by Lamsa and Murdock, among others. There is a book on Aramiac Primacy issues by an author named Black I believe.

  230. Y, not a problem. I am not sure of any blogs that actually have a page like this – I though I might be one of the first. As you can see, it has been used a bit.

    I am at a Church dedication, but I wanted to respond. I believe that you are indeed on to something – I think you deserve a better answer than anything I can give easily. Let me study it and get back to you tomorrow. I am not pre-mill or dispensational, seeing us in the days of the 7th seal, so I believe that some prophecies concerning Israel/Church has been fulfilled.

  231. YtLoG,
    I think that no matter what classical school you are fall into (Calvinism or Arminianism) there must be a grace that comes before Grace. In other words, we cannot come to Christ on our own merit, but by the grace that calls us. We have to have our hearts made alive to hear the call, or else, salvation would be of works. We are dead (separated from God) in our sins, but God in Grace calls to us through the darkness of the Sin, and does enliven us, so to speak, enough to respond to His call.

    For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:13-14 RSVA)

    I do not believe in regeneration before faith. Look what Paul said. There is a preacher who preaches the word of God, then someone hears, and then they believe, and then they are saved. But we have to first have our ears opened, and that comes by Grace.

    I believe that there is a misunderstanding between the grace that goes before and Faith. God calls us and gives us the ears for hearing. If we respond, we become regenerated and find ourselves given the gift of faith.

    Y, you lost me somewhere after question 4.

    Thank you, she is indeed getting sleep – and I am hoping pressing for Polycarp as a name if it is a boy.

  232. YtLoG,
    I can understand the emotion, and please, by all means, share.

    Lift up your heads, O you gates!
    And be lifted up, you everlasting doors!
    And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory?
    The LORD strong and mighty,
    The LORD mighty in battle.
    (Psalms 24:7-8 NKJV)

    But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
    (1 Corinthians 2:7-8 NKJV)

    My brethren, do not hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with partiality.
    (James 2:1 NKJV)

    This King of Glory, the Lord God of Israel, YHWH, Jehovah, is Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

  233. YtLoG,

    I am still trying to see where I need to go. The blog has been a large help and have see a great return on the time spent. Once I am finished with Unus Deus, I intend to self-publish, and make it available for all.

  234. YtLoG,

    You know, John Wesley, the founder of Methodism (which is different than the Methodists of today), believed the same way you do about Daniel 9.27. For a long time, I took the eschatology of those around me, and am now only starting to explore it fully for myself.

    You are not tiresome by any means – you are the reason that this blog exists. To communicate, to edify, to build for the Kingdom of God.

  235. YtLoG,

    Trust me, this is why I am here. When I read Wesley’s comments a few years ago, I hated to say it then, but it made sense to me. If it pausible that the events described in Daniel was fulfilled before Christ (Have you ever read the first few chapters of 1st Maccabees?) Your return to this subject has made me question it again, and the validity of painting that with the pre-mill brush.

    Too many times, I find, we color the bible instead of letting the bible color us. I will prepare a post on this, from Wesley’s point of view, and see what response I get. To me, prophecy should be second to doctrine, and as long as we are ready when Christ comes (in whatever fashion that may be) we have no need of a constant preaching of prophecy. In the New Testament, the vast majority of the writings were not prophetic in nature, but repentance (the Gospels), foundational (Acts), and doctrinal (Romans through Jude.) We should occupy ourselves with those things, and if we do, we can withstand whatever is thrown at us.

    Hope all is well, YtLoG, and as always, feel free to ask away.

  236. It might take me a while to get all three of them.
    2.) I can answer with this:

    Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV)

    And,

    These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit. (Jude 1:19 NKJV)

    First, we know that there are times that we may be walking, believing that we are in the faith, but find ourselves disqualified because we let things slip away (Hebrews 2.1-3). If we neglect the things of God, we end up as tares. However, there are those people who are tares and attach themselves to the Church because they like some part of it, but never give into God. If you are wheat, and you start to drift away, I believe that God will remind you of those things. Remember, He chastises those that He loves.

    3.) Augustine believe that man is incapable of good works of himself. If he does good works, it is not because of God, but because of selfish motivation. Not sure I take that line of thought, but I will say that there are those that convince themselves that they are living right, and may do so for a little while, but if they are unregenerated, then they will corrupt themselves before every one. I believe that people can convince themselves of anything that they want to, but like Paul said, we have to examine ourselves. So, to this question, I would answer yes, it is possible for people to convince themselves of salvation (Think of the cults and religions of the world. Think of ourselves before God when we thought ourselves perfect.)

    Question 1 will take some time.

  237. I am still working on question 1, YtLoG. I will look for one that I can recommend. I don’t want to recommend one without first talking with the pastor.

  238. YtLoG,

    Sorry that the weekends usually take me away from the blog, at least the comment section. I have found that 1st Macc. chapter 1-2 lines up rather will with Daniel’s prophecy. I appreciate your kind words, and I will return tomorrow. Hope you and your family are well, and enjoying the day that the Lord has made.

  239. YtLoG,

    You are more well versed here than I. You have given me a lot to think about! Thanks! I’ll get back to you here.

  240. What throws me, and what I cannot get around is their statement: Messiah is like Joseph, Moses, and King David. Can anyone of say that Moses was the Word of God, God in the flesh?

    I do not know if they know what I believe, but they have hinted that they suspect we are close, ideologically. I keep referring to Christ in the Gospel of John, who referred to Himself as the ‘I AM.’ I will see if I can contact them and see what they say.

  241. YtLoG,

    You are such an encouragement.

    I started off knowing only that oneness was the way, but in conversing with Trinitarians (several different ones, with several different understandings) I discovered more about my doctrine. Tertullian – I will post on him a bit later – and others were defending the classic modalist position that the Son is the Father, so that the prayers that the Son said on earth were either examples or the flesh praying to the spirit. We have to understand what that means. For some, that means that the Father died, yet we know by Scripture that it was the Son that died. Plus, a strict oneness position would have us deny John 1.1, that in the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God. John didn’t say the Son or Father, but the Word and God.

    I do not believe that doctrine can be or should be developed past the understanding of the Apostles – do we really have that right? Justin (100-160) actually referred to ‘Another God’ which later Eusebius of Caesarea (remember him? He wrote the second history of the Church. Imagine that, a man who believed in three gods writing the history of the Church?!)

    To answer an earlier question, people confuse me all the time with ‘oneness pentecostal.’ Ugh! I would prefer the term used by so many in the early Church, Economist. God always works in a plan, in an economy. The Son is God according to the Economy of God.

  242. YtLoG,

    http://theklines.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/rublev_trinity.jpg Shows what the Orthodox call ‘The Hospitality of Abraham’, or the Trinity. Is this how you would correctly picture God? I believe that in the OT, the theophanies, the representations of God were either angels of other means of God revealing Himself. In Hebrews 1.3, the writer clearly says that in was not until the Last Days (Peter said that he was in the Last Days, Acts 2) that God choose to speak to us through His Son.

    There is a contradiction then in their understanding of that passage and Hebrews 1.3. This is where it is supremely important to remember the Preincarnation Word that was in God and the Incarnate Son which tabernacled among humanity. God spoke the Son and then spoke through the Son. We have to remember that several times Angels in the OT spoke as the LORD.

    Throughout the passage, the writer refers to the two men as angels. Yet, the LORD is seen as but one of the ‘men’. Not every one of the ‘men’ was given the divine name, only the LORD. This goes into the Incarnation itself. If the Incarnation was not important, but a mere work in the scheme of things, then what does the life of Christ really mean? However, as others believed, the Incarnation was central, the central event, in all of human history. It is the moment that God walked among men in the flesh. I believe that this moment with Abraham was a manifestation of the Name of God to Abraham, but not God Himself in human form. The Angel of the Lord was God’s supreme messenger, and carried with him the Name of God, as we know from other OT texts.

    BTW, this passage is the proof text of Justin’s ‘Another God’.

  243. F.W., I believe that I have established my doctrine pretty well. All you have is Tradition – and it is certainly not 2000 years worth. Remember, it was until 200 or so that Tertullian came up with the word, Trinity, and it was not until 381 that the final understand of it was declared. I will not participate on your site, as it is a heretical site. You may continue your discussion here, if you wish, but I would suggest that you come a bit better armed than ‘I have 2000+ years’ because, well, it has not even been 2000 years since the death of Christ.

  244. F.W. – John did not establish nothing. Are you telling me otherwise? Can you prove it? Honestly, Landmark Baptists are a funny lot.

    They did more than coin the term, F.W., they developed the doctrine. It is a historical fact that with each successive generation, the Church moved closer to the fully developed doctrine of the Trinity. For 300 years, God was seen as a singular person, from Hebrews 1.3 through Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, but it was not until the Arian controversy that heated up and erupted in the 4th century that the final formula was settled. Everyone but the most blind recognize this fact.

    Justification is derived from ‘justified’ which is found in English bibles. I do not like the word because it removed the actual meaning of the word. Trinity, co-eternal, co-exist, three person, cannot be found in the bible. Hebrews 1.3 assigned substance (hypostasis, Gr, substancae, Lt) to God, but not to Christ. Now, if the Apostles had meant that Christ was a Person (substance) then why did they only assign to Him the word ‘emanation’?

    I would hope F.W., that you can leave the silly comments to yourself, study some doctrinal history, your bible, pray some more, and abandon this thought that you have, first that John established anything, and that the Trinity is somehow in the bible, when even the founding fathers of that doctrine said other wise.

    Remember, if you are really a biblical fundamentalist, then use only those words found in the bible.

  245. A “biblical fundamentalist” I am not, nor am I a landmark baptist. No, unlike you I am a Christian, reformed in fact. There are many theological terms that have been developed over the years that correctly signify biblical truths. For example, calvanism is a biblical doctrine, but you probably won’t find the term in scripture.

    The apostles went through semantical gymnastics to maintain the distinction of John 1:1-2, even at times Paul broke proper greek to do so.

    One need not prove a doctrine until it is questioned, and that is exactly what happend in 325. Have you ever had to prove your relationship to your mother or father? Why spend time creating an apologetic for an argument that does not exist? The early church was busy protecting the diety of Christ, the distinction of the Triune God had not yet begun to be an issue.

    According to your denile of the Hypostatic union, Christ was an automaton programmed for obedience. Please, what text will you twist next? Read the greater context of that verse, preferably verses 8-13. The author maintains the distinction in no uncertain terms… Read my blog and get the truth. . .

  246. F.W.,

    No, Hebrews 1.1-3 speaks about the Son, who is the Wisdom of God. Instead of answering anything, which is evident that you have no real answer, just to say that you don’t like mine, why don’t you try to answer the charge.

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/towards-a-biblically-based-theological-label/

    No where else in Scripture is substance (Person, Hypostasis) applied to God, yet those of the 4th century, particularly Arians, thought that their were three Gods with three hypostaseis. Do you really believe in three Gods? Or three hypostaseis (person?)

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/04/25/trinitarianism-vs-modalism-pt-8-apaugasma-distintion-and-semantics/

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/unus-deus-verus-doctrina-pt-4/

    I would suggest, F.W., that you stop attacking the person, namely me, and actually apply yourself to the topic at hand.

  247. F.W.,

    You said nothing but to deny what Hebrews 1.3 plainly said. You might want to continue to read what I have previously written – it will help you to understand my biblical basis and perhaps help you to see Jesus Christ.

    Further, you might to answer the John the Baptist thing.

    Are you KJVO as well? Do you believe in doctrinal development?

  248. NT,

    God does indeed bless obedience, but I think that people need to get away from the idea of material blessings as the only way that God blesses.

    that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
    (Matthew 5:45 NKJV)

    We learn to accept that sometimes, even the life of a saint is difficult to live – how else could we come forth as gold when we are tried? Think of Job, who sacrificed not only for himself, but for his children. Was he blessed? Sure, in the end he received more than he ever had, but what was his true blessing?

  249. David,

    The Magisterium was not defined by Paul. The Presbytery wasn’t either. It was for the local congregation. Cyprian actually was among the first to write of the communion of bishops representing the communion of Apostles, in defense against the power of the Roman Bishop, which again was not finalized until sometime after Nicaea.

  250. NT, I realize that they are teaching false doctrine, but the saddest thing is, is that they will never know the true prosperity of being a child of God.

  251. I’ve noticed that when some people post on this blog they have a photo/image, like your photo, on the post. How is the image inserted into the post? I’ve tried to work it out but can’t. I’m guessing it’s possible if you post using XHTML, but if it is, I haven’t been able to use that either.

  252. It’s a WordPress thing. Sign for you an account, not a blog, and you can add your own image.

  253. Thanks, Heidi. AI has been good to be, namely because it brings me in contact with better bloggers than I. I too have enjoyed your blog and look forward to more.

  254. How is it hard to understand that you don't have to be baptized in water to be saved? The Bible is so clear. "Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." And nowhere in Scripture does it say you have to be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven. Baptism is just an outward sign and an inward reality, passing from death to life. Why didn't Jesus say that you have to be baptized to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Apostles for that matter?

  255. David, Christ says in John that we must be born of the water and the spirit. Paul said in Romans that we die in baptism, and that if we do not, we will not have the life that is in him. Peter said in his first epistle that water also saves us. Further, Peter’s first message included baptism. Christ left the Apostles with the commission to go and baptize.

  256. Wait a minute – I had advertising on my other blog? I didn\\'t see it – but you are right, never the less – glad that\\'s gone.

  257. There is always room for reconciliation, due to ignorance on the part of the believer – but all things must be judged by the bible. I have a sympathetic attitude towards people who believe that Christ is God. You will find me wholeheartedly unsympathetic to those that claim that Christ is just a man, or even an angel or a lesser deity.

    I believe that we stay simply within the bounds of Scripture, we find more common ground than that which divides.

    Does this answer your questions?

  258. F.W., I am no person’s judge, so I would rather no answer your first question. Does God send us to hell for using the wrong words in worship of Him? As I said, I can find a great deal of common ground with those that whole defend the deity of Christ, but nothing with those that deny it. I think of Paul at Mar’s Hill. Did he outright condemn them, or did he find common ground from which to speak the Truth?

    Thank you for the kind words, F.W. I find that certain aspects of Reformed Theology quote succinct with Scripture. I do believe in Original Sin, tempered with freedom to respond to God’s call. Further, I see more clearly now the sovereignty of God in things, finding corporate predestination wholly compatible with Scripture. And, even, from time to time, I will use Calvin as support.

    We have to but look at the world around us to see that humanity is by nature depraved, and only by the Grace of God are we called, and only by His Grace may we answer.

  259. F.W.,

    Have you noticed that a lot of those of the Reformed label are indeed switching to Rome? I think it’s the logical conclusion that if you permit doctrinal development in the lest bit, you must permit it in the whole.

    I have included three posts which may help you understand me. First and foremost, I am unsure of any outside the Apostles who understood Christ so well as they. If their writings were insufficient, then is not Scripture? Is not the faith once and for all delivered to the Saints incomplete, to be decided only by looking at history and affirmed by Councils?

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/2008/10/does-the-apostle-paul-permit-doctrinal-progression/

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/2009/04/irenaeus-on-apostolic-succession-and-doctrinal-development/

    http://thechurchofjesuschrist.us/2009/02/irenaeus-and-doctrinal-development-the-catholics-debate/

    I am more than happy to continue to discuss this with you, F.W., but let me ask you a question, removing the historically added words, and remaining solely in Scripture, would you still have your Trinity? And to what Trinity would you affirm?

  260. Considering you used ‘church of christ thenonconformer polycarp’ to arrive at my site, I doubt that you are hardly an unbiased person.

  261. Actually, IrishAnglican is a decent sort of fellow, and has not spammed this site, unlike the NonConformer.

  262. JB, the author you reference is a Reformed believer, and thus all others seem to fall away, at least for him.

  263. JL, if I might answer this charge. . .

    “Is God sitting around with a giant score card awaiting a chance to zap believers if they dont get all the answers right ? Like one sect **maybe urs** knows truth –but sorry– every body elses been disqualified on technicalities. Impossible –My bibles words read: For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved……. Belief on Him –faith –agape love for them that cross our paths is the way a heart passes inspection. So on what authority do u state hes not a Christian..like u ? ”

    Your argument is a strawman. You see, JL is a non-Trinitarian. He has contended that he is not a modalist, however much of his doctrine is highly modalistic. Perhaps you were unaware of that.

    There are two types of Christian doctrine; essential and secondary. A DENIAL of an essential Christian doctrine, such as the Trinity, would render someone outside of biblical Christianity. With secondary doctrines there is room for different views, so long as these various views do not contradict an essential doctrine; an example of a secondary doctrine would be the mode of baptism (not regenerational). JL may have faith, but his faith is not in the Triune God of the bible. His faith is in an idol, and therefore not saving faith. And this conclusion, although not final, is procured from JL’s own statements. In other words, the Jesus JL has faith in, is not the eternal Son as described in the text of scripture. The identity of God is not a technicality as you say. You qouted Acts in saying “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I find this rather ironic, since this doctrine of faith alone is a doctrine not shared by the one you are attempting to protect; as JL affirms baptismal regeneration which is in essence a work needed for salvation.

    So on what authority? On the authority of the faith once for all delivered to the Saints and on the commission to proclaim and protect the truth to all who will listen as delivered by the Son of God and His apostles.

  264. First, Michael, while you assume that the Trinity is an essential Christianity, doctrine, it is not. What is essential is the declaration of the godhood of Christ. I accept no added doctrine, no added doctrinal terms, and thus, I accept only Scripture. Because of this, I have yet to see the declaration in Scripture (1) the Trinity or (2) the necessity of added revelation. Scripture interprets Scripture.

    I allowed your comment simply because it shows the arrooancy of your personality. You set up and lower doctrines based on your own personal interest – not Scripture. When the Jews asked Peter what it took to be saved, he answered them not with great theological precepts, but simply, to repent, be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and to be filled with the holy Spirit of God. The same is done in all of Acts. Yet, you added more to that, Michael. Is that really ‘faith alone.’ You add to Scripture, or how do you say, ‘progressive revelation?’ Sorry, but I will stick with what’s in Holy Scripture. I will stand only upon what the Apostles let us, not what was defined through councils and creeds centuries, and in your case (Calvin and Edwards), a millennia removed.

    Sorry, Michael, but I hold to the historic Christianity, not a view espoused merely 500 years ago. You may try to disparage that, if you want, but you do so to your own detriment.

    While JB and I may disagree on things – not sure we do or not – we have found a common ground in the charge against an adversary, and affront to all Christians – whether they meet your muster or not – and personally, you should be willing to help on that front than the silliness that you perpetuate.

  265. Yvonne, your statements here are unqualified. You look at one page and see a majority of comments are by a few people – which is itself a wrong assumption – and you judge based on that? As you must see, most of the previous discussions were well over a year ago.

    Further, we were not discussing that baptism, only the nature of the Godhead, and perhaps a little bit of the formula of baptism.

    I am unsure as to what you want to discuss, but feel free.

  266. Fr. Robert, I am glad to see you return to this site, and to hear that you are are alive and well (even sort of)