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Steve Lortz

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Steve Lortz last won the day on March 31 2017

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  1. I tried clicking on the link I posted earlier, and a message came up saying there is no such page, So I'm copying the file here: What IS speaking in tongues? © copyright 2017, Stephen L. Lortz, permission to copy for non-commercial use, steve.lortz@gmail.com Speaking in tongues is the free-will[1] thank offering[2] of the first fruit[3] of the Spirit,[4] whereby people give back to God of, and in proportion to, that with which the LORD has blessed them;[5] the gift which is the Spirit that was promised for the last days,[6] the first installment and pledge of the Spirit of resurrection life[7] which we will all receive at the ingathering.[8] Speaking in tongues is a private prayer made to God through the joint cooperation of the believer and the Holy Spirit.[9] The primary purpose of speaking in tongues is to enable each and every Christian to offer perfect praise and thanksgiving to God in their private prayer lives,[10] despite the unregenerate hypocrisy that will continue to mar our hearts until Jesus Christ returns.[11] A secondary purpose of speaking in tongues is to demonstrate that God really did raise Jesus from the dead.[12] A third purpose is to permit the Spirit to make intercession for the saints, since we are not able to picture what we should pray for as we ought.[13] A fourth purpose of speaking in tongues is to build up the confidence of the Christian speaking in tongues that they do indeed have Christ in them, the hope of glory.[14] A fifth purpose of speaking in tongues is to serve as a sign that a person is a member of the New Covenant community[15] Since speaking in tongues is a free-will thank offering, it has to be the result of the mutual agencies of the speaker and the Spirit. The speaker has to will to speak, to voluntarily move their organs of speech to produce sounds. When the speaker does so, the Spirit gives the utterance.[16] For a Christian to be able to speak in tongues in their private prayer life is not a gift in the sense of a present wrapped in a box, that some Christians get and others do not. The “present wrapped in a box” is the Holy Spirit itself, and every Christian gets it.[17] When a Christian speaks in tongues in the assembly, with interpretation for the up-building of the people,[18] it is a gift in the sense of a favor done by the Holy Spirit for all the people there.[19] Not everyone speaks in tongues in the assembly.[20] Every Christian can speak in tongues in their private prayer life.[21] Genuine biblical speaking in tongues is in no way, shape or form ecstatic utterance. It does not spring from, nor does it produce an artificially altered state of consciousness in the speaker, even though on two occasions it altered the state of consciousness of the hearers.[22] Whenever a person speaks in tongues in public, it should be done decently and in order as described in 1 Corinthians 12-14.[23] The only imperative directly associated with speaking in tongues is 1 Corinthians 14:39b, “do not forbid speaking in tongues.” [1] Deuteronomy 16:10 [2] Leviticus 22:29 [3] Exodus 34:22; Numbers 28:26 [4] Romans 8:23 [5] Deuteronomy 16:10 [6] Acts 2:16-21 which quotes Joel 2:28-32a [7] Ephesians 1:14 [8] Exodus 23:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:1 9 John 4:24 [10] 1 Corinthians 14:2a, 14, 16, 17, 18 [11] 1 Corinthians 13:8&9, 15:51&52 [12] Acts 2:32&33 [13] Romans 8:26-28 [14] 1Corinthians 14:4, 22, Jude 20 [15] Philippians 3:3, Acts 10:45, 11:15-17 [16] Acts 2:4, 2 Corinthians 3:17 [17] Acts 2:38 [18] 1 Corinthians 14:13-17 [19] 1 Corinthians 12:4 [20] I Corinthians 12:30b [21] 1 Corinthians 14:5 [22] Acts 2:12, 10:45 [23] 1 Corinthians 14:40
  2. For the last couple of years or so, I've been working on a project I call "What the Bible really says (and really does NOT say) about speaking in tongues." The scholarship is up to the academic standards of the Anderson University School of Theology. This would have been my masters thesis if I had the physical strength, endurance and speed to complete my paper within the constraints of the thesis program, which, unfortunately, I do not have. The project is up to 51 12-point, double-spaced pages, about 16,500 words. I have yet to finish a section demonstrating that speaking in tongues is not a "third work of grace," and a section to analyze John's use of the figure "rivers of living water" to refer to speaking in tongues. Though I will not be completing my masters, I received permission to audit and participate in a doctoral level class on hermeneutics, which was very instructive. We didn't study the Bible at all in that class. One of the foundational texts for the class was "Shakespeare in the Bush: An American anthropologist set out to study the Tiv of West Africa and was taught the true meaning of Hamlet." (which is an anthropology article available on line, and a very fun read!). We practiced the art of hermeneutics on some difficult passages from the poetry of John Milton. What the heck could he have meant by that? We learned that there are at least three places to look for meaning: 1) behind the text - what did this mean to the original writer and their audience? - social/historical criticism, 2) in the text itself - how was it written? - literary, form, redaction criticisms, and 3) in front of the text - what meanings might a current reader take away from this text? Some time ago, I realized I needed to summarize the definition and functions of speaking in tongues to a single page, and I began working to that end. My summarization was not quite complete when I had my DOA experience (sounds like the storyline from a film noire), so the first thing I did when I was able to get back to work was to finish it. Here it is! copy 2 What IS speaking in tongue1.docx This is not intended as an argument against Raf's position. It is simply a look at what the Bible actually says about speaking in tongues, and it was intended to benefit my colleagues at the School of Theology, almost none of whom speak in tongues. They sort of down-play the significance of tongues, thinking it is a gift given to some Christians but not to others, and definitely not to THEM. Love, Steve
  3. Greetings, ImLikeSoConfused! I would have responded to this thread sooner, but I had a heart attack on February 9th which landed me at the hospital DOA. The docs resuscitated me and I've spent the intervening time in physical and occupational therapy, without access to the internet until last Friday. One of the things I've gained from the experience is a partial appreciation of how many people really do love me, including many of my fellow posters here at GSC. There is a difference between preaching and teaching. Preaching draws the auditor's attention to something. Teaching purports to explain the nuts and bolts of how a thing works. Wierwille preached many truths that were straight out of the Bible. Otherwise, no one would have paid any attention to anything he was saying. But in his teaching, Wierwille often directly contradicted the very truth he was preaching at the time. Many people who took to heart the things Wierwille preached got the results that God's Word promises. You yourself know all too well what can happen to the people who take to heart the things Wierwille taught... delusion... being played. One of Wierwille's greatest sins was to attribute the credit for the good things happening in peoples' lives to himself and his classes rather than to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. The flip side of that same coin was to attribute peoples' failures to their lack of believing rather than to the flaws of his teaching. This is the main reason I don't recommend Wierwille's writings to anyone else. It's just too much work... confusing work at that... separating the truth from the error in PFAL, etc. If you think one of your friends or acquaintances could benefit from a truth of God's Word, then simply speak to them the truth that you know. You don't have to explain the whole Bible to them. You couldn't if you wanted to. Nobody can explain the whole Bible, and ANYONE who tells you otherwise is trying to pull a con. No legitimate scholar would make such a claim. Love, Steve
  4. John Schoenheit is not legitimate, but not out of deliberate malice. "Delude" comes from the Latin word that means "to play." Wierwille played us, and trained us to play other people. JS is so focused on how "right" the things he teaches are, that he never even considers that something he's already made up his mind about might be wrong. "Logic dictates" that JS is correct! The doctrine JS teaches is delusional. JS is a naturally kind person. If you disagree with him, he doesn't get mean or angry. He simply refuses to engage with your thinking, and ignores everything you have to say. I speak from personal experience. More later... Love, Steve
  5. Yep, JayDee, that's what the man wrote because that's what the man believes... in his heart... In one way, I'm mad at him, but in another, I'm just very, very sad. He had a lot of potential, but he never took a critical look at Wierwille's hype, and he bought it, hook, line and sinker.... All of his scholarship is FATALLY flawed, because he thinks he knows what God wanted to say better than God himself did. And his arrogance has blinded him to that... :-( Love, Steve
  6. MRAP - We are old farts together, you and I. I hope you are holding up as well as I am. One time, I wrote a haiku for credit in one of my Old Testament classes on the book of Ecclesiastes. It went like this: I am getting old fear God keep his commandments old but not dead yet You wrote, "I have not seen anything in your writing that changes my opinion of the validity of what John Schoeheit has done in the REV." That's a wonderful thing, MRAP! As they used to say "de gustibus non disputandum est," which means something like "it's silly to fight over matters of taste." At one time (and for about 16 years) I had a tremendous amount of respect for Schoenheit's scholarship, second only to the respect I had for W@lter Cu^^^^ings. John and I served together on the writings of CES. I got to comment on the "22 Principles of Biblical Interpretation: How to Eliminate Apparent Bible Contradictions" before it was published. In 1996, I lost all respect for the "scholarship" Wierwille taught us in The Way International. When Wierwille said he took all his commentaries out and burnt them, he was rejecting conversation with anyone who believed differently from the way he did, and he was encouraging us to do the same. After all, if they were wrong about (insert TWI doctrine here) how could they be right about anything else? But genuine scholarship IS conversation! The content of the commentaries is CONVERSATION about what the Bible says. MRAP, you wrote, "You tend to portray Schoenheit as a VPW extension, I have not seen that, else wise, why did he leave TWI?" Schoenheit was fired from TWI by Martindale-era leadership for writing a paper that debunked all the excuses that TWI leadership used for practicing adultery. Schoenheit continued in all ways to "eat the fish and spit out the bones" or Wierwillian hermeneutics. For me, the REV has no scholarly credibility at all, not because of who Schoenheit is, but because of what he does. Schoenheit is willing to consider different possibilities until he publishes something on a particular verse or topic. Once he has published, his opinion is set in stone. He will NOT EVEN CONSIDSER that something he has written might be deficient in any way. Once he has written it, it is "a 'deal breaker,' that is, something we consider non-negotiable in terms of having to agree on it with someone before we can work together with him." Schoenheit cannot work together with anyone who disagrees with anything he has already published. This was a "scholarly" habit Schoenheit picked up from imitating Wierwille. One of the hallmarks of genuine scholarship is peer-review. The idea of peer-review is to submit your work to unbiased eyes who will catch any oversights that you might have made. Wierwille was never humble enough to submit the things he wrote to peer review. TWI's Research Department was set up to either rubber-stamp the things Wierwille wrote, or to find ways to rationalize his errors. That was the environment in which Schoenheit's scholarly neuron-pathways were combed. Schoenheit's work on the REV has never been submitted to peer-review. Schoenheit wrote, "Our goal is to eventually have an 'essentially literal' translation of the Bible that more closely represents biblical truth than any other translation currently on the market, and also one that is written in today’s English. We think we can do that because we believe a person has to understand the meaning of the text correctly to be able to translate it correctly. Furthermore, one’s theology always affects the way that person will translate the text. It is our assertion that there are theological issues that we understand more correctly than most translators, and thus our translation will reflect that theology." Any person who has done any translation of anything at all will recognize that this philosophy of translation is bogus. The translation CANNOT come from the meaning; the meaning HAS to come from the translation of the TEXT. In Principle #6 of the 22 Principles, Schoenheit (conjointly with Lynn and Graeser) wrote, "Logic demands that words and verses must not be wrested out of context and made to mean something foreign to the original meaning of the text." Yet this is exactly what Schoenheit does with his "translations" for the REV. The REV is plagiarism. For instance, in the REV "translation" of Ephesians 3, Schoenheit's words are mixed without distinction into the words of the ASV. You can't tell simply from reading which parts are the work of Schoenheit, and which parts are the work of the ASV translators. The REV would fail, and Schoenheit would be laughed out of the Society of Biblical Literature, for plagiarism. HOWSOEVER, MRAP, it really doesn't make much difference which version you like. The mind of Christ that you have (1 Corinthians 2:16) can teach you whatever he wants you to learn, no matter which version you are using, or whether you have a version of the Bible at all. The mind of Christ used a "Reactor Plant Control Manual" and an "Engineering Department Operating Procedures" to teach me how to change the things that were in my heart trying to kill me. God bless you, Bro! Love, Steve
  7. "Process theology" is what Alfred North Whitehead called it a hundred years ago. Today, it's called "open theism". The fact that Schoenheit doesn't read anything except his own stuff becomes obvious when we look at what others have written about open theism. Their thinking and writing is much less ham-handed than Schoenheit's. As far as I can see from Schoenheit's writing, he doesn't even have a name for the idea he's putting forward. There is plenty of discussion going on about this in the wider world, and Schoenheit doesn't even seem to be aware of it. It's called "open" theism because it supposedly opens up the future and God's knowledge of it. In actuality, it crams God into the box of human experience. The conventional view of time is as a one-dimensional line arcing through a three dimensional space. God knows the future because he sees the whole, one-dimensional line. Open theism sees time in the past as a one-dimensional line arcing through three-dimensional space, but in the future, the line branches of in many possible directions. The distinction between NOW and any other place in time is that NOW is where all possibilities reduce to one. The problem is, objective reality has demonstrated that time is not a one-dimensional line, branching or otherwise. Time is one of the components of a four-dimensional "solid". Time extends in all directions (not just forward and backward) through the "solid", just as do components in the x, y, and z axes. We don't see this at the human scale and at human speeds, but it has to be calculated for (using 4-D vector math) or global positioning satellites wouldn't work. Your Garmin couldn't tell you where to get off if all these obsolete notions of time were true. If God is every WHERE... then he also has to be every WHEN. The question of whether or not we can travel faster than the speed of light is very glamorous, because it makes for some very good science-fiction stories, but it's not the meat and potatoes of relativistic reckoning of time. Love, Steve
  8. Lots of good fun on this thread! I used to take the things John Schoenheit wrote seriously. I respect his scope of knowledge and his desire to go to the Word of God, but after receiving a little bit of training in actual, professional scholarship, I can't help but feel sorry for John, and all the rest of them. Wierwille did not teach us how to read what the Bible says. He taught us his system, which made the Bible say what HE wanted it to say, that it is okay to sin as long as you don't become sin-conscious. Grace enables us to sin as long as we don't pay any attention to the fact that we are sinning. Do you guys know what the word "delude" means? It comes from the Latin deludere, which means "to play off" or "to play away." To say that a person has been deluded means that the person "has been played" because he has believed a lie. Wierwille deluded us ALL for a time. Schoenheit's problem is that he has never recognized how he was played, and he continues to play other people the same way he was played. He's not doing it maliciously, he's doing it arrogantly. Real scholars don't take a position, cherry-pick a few proof verses to support their position, and then ignore all the verses that don't agree with their presumption. Real scholars write exegesis, which is the art of reading a meaning out from within the text instead of reading foreign meanings into it. To write exegesis, one takes a piece of scripture (sometimes called a "pericope" per-ICK-uh- pee) and then applies literary, form, textual, redaction, source and social/historical criticisms to the passage. After that, a scholar may or may not discuss intertextuality, how the pericope affects or is affected by other passages. We had to write four exegesis papers in the course of working on a masters degree (which I wasn't able to complete because of health reasons, but I did successfully write my four exegesis papers). Our papers covered pericopes of about 6 to 8 verses, and had to be 13 pages long, no more and no less. It was a jarring experience to read Schoenheit's FAQ "Does God know every future event in human history?" I wrote a paper like that once, and my professor said he didn't even know how to go about grading it! TLC, you asked, "That sounds to me about as much like a straw man argument as anything I might have every heard. Seriously? God's view is as limited as man's? What knucklehead with even half a functioning brain could ever "invent" or propose such a lunatic "theology"?" Schoenheit wrote in the piece you referenced, "Once upon a time (biblically: 'in the beginning'), when God was all by Himself, He sovereignly chose to relate to mankind as His Word subsequently declares He does, that is, in a 'linear' relationship, experiencing time passing with us. His perspective is definitely far beyond our own ('With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day— 2 Pet. 3:8), that is, He sees the big picture that we as temporal beings cannot, but He makes it clear that He relates to us according to how we see time." What Schoenheit is waltzing around here is his sentence "[God] sovereignly chose to relate to mankind...in a “linear” relationship, experiencing time passing with us." Schoenheit is saying here that God deliberately decided to experience time the same way human beings do. He COULD HAVE decided to experience time the way people outside of STFI think he does, but God decided to limit his perspective to man's, and therefore, does not know what's going to happen before it transpires. Notice how Schoenheit says "a 'linear' relationship, experiencing time passing with us." A person's experience of time is not a one-dimensional line. It is a zero-dimensional, instantaneous NOW. Because God designed us to remember things, time seems to us to be linear, but it is not. God could just as easily, if it had suited his purposes, designed us to experience more than one NOW at a time, but we have to experience time as NOW, or we could not make decisions, that is, we could not exercise agency. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. It's not a matter of predestination or free-will, it's a matter of mutual agency. God has agency, that is, he is free to do, and responsible for what he does. it is from agency that the sense of self springs. God made Adam and Eve both in his image, that is, he gave them both agency, the freedom to do, and responsibility for what is done. Not absolute agency, like God's own, but limited agency. No person is free to dictate the circumstances in which they find themselves, but every person is free to decide how they will respond in those circumstances. That's why it's called responsibility. As we pass through life, we can chose to align our agencies with God's, just like with speaking in tongues. We have to speak, to exercise our agencies, in order for the Holy Spirit to exercise its agency, to give the utterance. It is a matter of MUTUAL agency. Jesus exercised mutual agency with God when he said, "not my will, but yours be done" and voluntarily went onto the cross. God designed us the way he did so that we could exercise mutual agency with him (he/she/it, whatever...) in CREATING creation! The 4-D space-time continuum IS Creation, and we get to he'p make it happen! Schoenheit equates "in the beginning" with "once upon a time." That just ain't so... the Biblical equivalent of "once upon a time" is ''and it came to pass that..." "In the beginning" means "first of all..." It is not a reference to time, it is a reference to priority. The sense of "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" is "The first thing we have to consider is that Elohim created the heaven and the earth." This was in contra-distinction to the "Enuma Elish," which said that the heaven and earth were never created, but Marduk gave them the form they now have. Schoenheit wrote, "[God] chose to relate to mankind as His Word subsequently declares He does, that is, in a 'linear' relationship, experiencing time passing with us." What does Schoenheit mean by "as His Word subsequently declares He does"? Does he mean there is a verse somewhere in the Bible that says God experiences time passing with us? If there is, why doesn't he cite it? If there isn't, then why is Schoenheit implying that there is? To convince people he knows what he's talking about, even though he doesn't actually? It's dishonest scholarship, something Schoenheit learned while he was being played by Wierwille. Schoenheit went on to write, "[God] sees the big picture that we as temporal beings cannot, but He makes it clear that He relates to us according to how we see time." Schoenheit admits that God sees time in a way that we temporal beings cannot, but, in contrast, relates to us according to how we see time. Yes, it's true that God can relate to us the way we see time. He designed us that way. But there is no logical or textual reason to draw the conclusion that God doesn't know the end from the beginning. In fact, the text reads, "...I am God and there is no one like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done..." (Isaiah 46:9b&10) MRAP, I don't know if you're reading this, but if you are, I hope it gives you some insight into Schoenheit's REV! More about the 4-D space-time continuum along a different vector! Love, Steve
  9. Up until Einstein's Theory of Relativity, people thought of time as something that happened in an absolute (free from imperfection) three-dimensional space. Time appears to move forward in a 3-D space. Einstein's theory conceived of space and time as being four dimension's of a relativistic space-time continuum. It's not easy to describe such a thing accurately except with mathematics, but I like to think of it as a loaf of bread whose four ingredients are the x-axis, the y-axis, the z-axis and time. If you move around in the loaf of bread, you move in time as well as in the three axes. Process theology was originally invented in the early 1900s by Alfred North Whitehead. Process theology says that God's point of view in time is as limited as man's, that is, God created objective reality without knowing how anything was going to turn out. When John, John, and Mark were writing "Don't Blame God" they rediscovered process theology. I don't think they plagiarized it. None of them read enough to "honestly" plagiarize something so complex. Also, if they HAD read Whitehead, they wouldn't have expressed their theology in such sophomoric ways. John, John, and Mark said that God couldn't have foreseen the existence of evil, otherwise, God would be responsible for evil and people could blame him for it. However, there were deterministic factors so fine that people couldn't see them, but God could use them to tell that soldiers were going to dice for Jesus's cloak a thousand years before it happened. If that were the case, there would be no room for human beings to make any decisions at all. John, John, and Mark had me, along with several others, proof read the galleys for "Don't Blame God." They didn't take my critique seriously. Since we live in a relativistic space-time continuum, if God is everywhere, then he also has to be everyWHEN. God sees all throughout the loaf. God's point of view is not limited to man's. God could not have created objective reality without knowing that evil would come to exist. John, John and Mark did not end up with a blameless God; they ended up with an IRRESPOSIBLE God. Now-a-days, we think of cause coming before effect in time, since that's the way we see it. But it's not the "flow" of time that is limited, what's limited is our perspective within time. God necessarily limited our point of view of time to a single, instantaneous NOW so that we could make genuine decisions, so that we could have free will within the 4-D loaf. But God designed the loaf so that everything would turn out all right at the end, and everyone who wants to cooperate with him can cooperate, and those who don't want to cooperate don't have to cooperate. God built teleological (from the end) cause into the 4-D loaf. The way God wants things to end exerts causes backward through time as well as forward from the beginning. When I look back on my 67 years, I see how the way God wanted me to be NOW caused certain things to happen BACK THEN (and how I have survived certain death on three different occasions). I will bet Don't Worry Be Happy could say as much. I hope this helps, TLC. Thanks for asking! Love, Steve
  10. Thank you for your friendship, Raf! Three years ago, I was in intensive care for nearly a week because of a potassium overdose. I took some kidney and heart damage. About a year and a half ago, I was in the ICU again with pneumonia. Both the kidney and the heart damage were (what should I call it...?) made worse. I am now in congestive heart failure. My kidneys don't send the proper signals to my bone marrow to generate blood cells. For the past year-and-a -half I have been dying one red blood cell at a time, which has given me some interesting perspective on the physiology of spirit! Fortunately, I go into the infusion center from time to time, and if my hemoglobin falls below a certain point, they give me a shot which works as an artificial signal to make more blood. But I am still anemic, so I've been able to work (thinking and writing) at only about half speed. I used to use Sudoku puzzles to keep track of how efficiently my brain was still working, but I've become too slow for Sudoku to work any more. I'm still auditing classes, though, for physical and occupational therapy. For the past few years I've been writing things required by the syllabuses, but, since I stopped taking classes for credit last summer, I can now write what I want. The last thing I wrote for school was a formal exegesis paper on 1 Corinthians 2:9-3:3, and I translated it from the Greek for myself. Translating Paul is like translating Groucho Marx. They play the same kinds of word games! And doing any real translating makes the scholarly farce of Stiffy's REV very, very manifest. I am currently working on Out from within whom all things, and we all the way into him: Stoic Cosmobiology in 1:Corinthians 8:6 and a Quantum/Godelian Critique of Current Hermeneutics. The first section is titled Absolute and Obsolete. Since the Enlightenment of the 17th century, Western intellectuals (theologians included) have been fixated on using logic to find a single absolute meaning for everything. "Absolute" means "free from imperfection" and should not be confused with vodka, though some people say Absolut is free from imperfection! Hermeneutics is the art of extracting a meaning from a text, and it's not just a Biblical thing. I first had to learn hermeneutics studying reactor plant control manuals! Hermeneutics is usually taught to literature majors. The hermeneutics of historical methodology is based on the idea that nothing "supernatural" in the Bible can be historically true. Such accounts are absolute fiction. These are the ideas at the heart of liberal protestant theology. The ideas of inerrancy and plenary verbal inspiration arose as a reaction against historical methodology, saying that every account of anything supernatural in the Bible, even the mythic elements, are absolutely true. These are the ideas at the heart of fundamentalist/evangelical theology. Both theologies pursue a single absolute truth. Scientists do it too in their quest for a unified field theorem. In 1919, Sir Arthur Eddington confirmed Einstein's theory of relativity, that 3-D space and time are not absolutes, but rather they constitute a relativistic 4-D continuum. Theologically, this wipes out the process theology of Spirit & Truth Fellowship, because if God is everyWHERE, then he is also everyWHEN. And it returns teleological cause to consideration, which means scientific explanations are possible for synchronicity. In 1927, Heisenberg published his Uncertainty Principle which demonstrates that possessing certain kinds of information is mutually restrictive, that is, the more precisely we measure one thing, the less precisely we can measure some other related thing. This is reflected in theology in that, if we define a word too closely, it will lose power to communicate in some other way. I am reminded of many of the definitions Wierwille gave us. The hermeneutics he taught us in Power for Abundant Living worked very well within his system, but they made interpretations other than his own impossible. Stiffy fails to recognize this in their "22 Principles of Biblical Interpretation: How to Eliminate Apparent Bible contradictions" and Schoenheit failed to recognize it in his REV (I think I've somehow changed my font without knowing how I did it. Maybe it's Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle at work?) In 1931, Godel published his Incompleteness Theorems which, roughly stated, say that for any logical system, there will exist statements in the language of the system that the system can neither prove nor disprove. No logical system can resolve all ambiguity. Power for Abundant Living could not, inherently, eliminate all apparent Bible contradictions. The absolute is obsolete. I am using Murphy-O'Conner's commentary on 1 Corinthians 8:6 to demonstrate, specifically, how features of contemporary hermeneutics have been obsolete for nearly one hundred years. So... Raf... I am expanded my critique from Power for Abundant Living and the REV to theology as a WHOLE! That's why I ain't been here for a while, but it is sure good to be back among my friends! Love, Steve
  11. I'm not a fan of any particular kind of constructive theology, T-Bone. Sometimes, when people ask me what faith community I come from, I tell them I'm a Free Range Baptist, I believe in baptism but I don't believe in cages! Technical constructive theology has too many theories of post-modernism, etc., to suit my taste, but I like deriving the meaning of a text from what is written, not from reading alien ideas into what is written. Love, Steve
  12. In 1977 David Hahm had a book published entitled The Origins of Stoic Cosmology. In the book, Hahm describes the Stoic ideas that were most common in Greco-Roman culture from about 300 BCE to 200 CE. Hahm's book is not specifically biblical, but it covers ideas behind the language Paul had to use in order to communicate with his readers, such as the people at Corinth. Stoic cosmology was an extension of the Empedoclean model, that is to say, the cosmos was made up of four elements: earth, water, air and fire arranged in a number of concentric spheres. At the very center was the earthen globe. Surrounding the earth was the watery oceanus, with land sticking up above the waves. The space between the surface of the earth and the orbit of the moon was the realm of the air. From the orbit of the moon to the outermost sphere, the orbit of the fixed stars, was the realm of fire. Beyond the orbit of the fixed stars was nothing but the Void. This was kind of like the elemental planes of Dungeons & Dragons, except they were more like annuli rather than planes, and they were invented by Empedocles rather than by Michael Moorcock for his Elric stories. A human being was an earth elemental, a genius or demon was an air elemental, and a god was a fire elemental. Spirit, or pneuma, was the element air (aer) set in motion by being admixed with the element fire (pur). Spirit permeated the entire cosmos, where it performed four functions: hexis, "habit" or "holding" which gives things their form and persistence, phusis, "nature" which gives things like plants growth life, psuche, "soul" which gives sentience, volition and the power to reproduce to things like animals, and nous, "mind" which gives intelligence or rationality to things like human beings, demons and gods. Spirit operated through "tonic motion," a simultaneous reciprocation, or movement in opposite directions at the same time. Tonic motion was three dimensional, ek or "out from within", and eis or "all the way into". For an individual human being, the seat of spiritual activity was the hegemonikon located in the heart. Spirit flowed through the body with the blood, not by circulation as we know it, but by tonic motion. Sentience was carried from the periphery to the hegemonikon by the inward component (eis) of the flow of spirit, and volition or will was carried to the periphery from the hegemonikon by the outward component (ek) of the flow of spirit. The outward flow of volition was called logos. The Stoics conceived of the entire cosmos as being a single organism on the largest scale, with a hegemonikon and a periphery of its own. The hegemonikon of the cosmos was vastly superior to any of the gods, who were simply fire elementals. In 1 Corinthians 8:6 Paul used the prepositions ek and eis to put "One God, the Father" into the position of the Stoic hegemonikon of the cosmos, making him vastly superior to any of the "many gods and many lords" mentioned in 1 Corinthians 8:5. Whenever we read the words psuche (soul) or nous (mind) in 1 Corinthians, we need to keep these Stoic definitions in mind (no pun intended). At the beginning of 1 Corinthians 12 Paul wrote, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." Notice that "gifts" is in italics. It doesn't appear in the Greek. The sentence can be translated properly as "But about the spirituals, siblings, I do not want you to be ignorant." Some scholars believe that one of the factions at Corinth distinguished themselves from the others by regarding themselves as more "spiritual" than anybody else because they spoke in tongues in public more than the others (indecently and out of order). Paul did not say in 1 Corinthians 12:1 what kind of "spirituals" he was writing about. English translators have promiscuously added the word "gifts" because the word charismata occurs very frequently in chapters 12 through 14, but charismata doesn't mean "gifts given," it means "favors done." In verses 12:1 and 14:1, Paul uses "spirituals" ambiguously. It could mean spiritual "matters" or "charismata" or "people". By 14:37 Paul definitely used "spiritual" to mean a Christian who thinks he is more spiritual than other Christians. Paul didn't define what he meant by "spiritual" in 1 Corinthians 12:1, but he didn't have to. He had already defined that in 1 Corinthians 2:1-3:3. In 1 Corinthians 2:16 Paul wrote "But we [the same "we" as in 1 Corinthians 8:6] have the mind [nous -- the function of intelligence or rationality performed by spirit] of Christ." In 1 Corinthians 3:1-3, Paul demonstrated that a person can be considered to be "spiritual" to the degree that the person walks in accordance with that mind, and not to the degree that they operate "manifestations" with their flesh. In 1 Corinthians 2:14 Paul contrasted those who are spiritual with those who are "soulish." Soulish people are those who walk in accordance with the soulish function of spirit (sentience, volition and the power to reproduce) rather than the mind function of spirit (intelligence or rationality). Most Christians have a hard time accepting that they have the mind of Christ, which comes right along with the gift of the Holy Spirit, because the mind of Christ talks in the first person singular. It says "I" in our streams of consciousness. During the time in which we live, not a spurious "administration of grace," but rather in the overlap between this present evil age and the age to come, we play host to two minds, the unregenerate mind we inherited from Adam and the mind of Christ we received with the Holy Spirit. Theologians argue about the conflict Paul recorded in Romans 7:14-25. They argue about who the two "I"s are. I think one is the mind of Paul and the other is the mind of Christ. In Hebrews 4:12 Prisca wrote that the Word of God is alive and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit. I think in this case Prisca meant that our knowledge of the Word of God... not of the dead ink on the dead page, but rather of the living meaning, the volition of the logos that flows outward from the One God through the Lord Jesus by the agency of the Holy Spirit... enables us to tell the difference between the thoughts that are coming to us from the mind we inherited from Adam (the soul) and the mind of Christ (the Spirit).
  13. Some thoughts regarding Schoenheit's REV: In the 1600s, Descartes proposed an idea as the very basis the scientific method, to begin by finding a fundamental truth (which was assumed), to proceed by the use of logic to come up with hypotheses, further possible truths, and then to find ways to test the possible truths against objective reality. Only when these tests succeeded would the new truth become established. In the early 1800s, German theologians were able to institute a department of theology at the new University of Berlin only by promising that their theology would be "scientific." This led to the "higher criticism" approach to interpreting the Bible. Because the science of the 19th century was deterministic, the fundamental assumption of the liberal protestant theology that followed was that every reference to the "supernatural" in the Bible was fiction. No hypothesis of the new theology was testable against objective reality (the text of the Bible) because the text was a priori NOT TRUE. The fundamental assumption of the conservative reaction to liberalism was that EVERY reference to the "supernatural" in the Bible is literally, historically true. This is called "inerrancy", and is the fundamental "truth" of "fundamentalism", which changed its name to "evangelical Protestantism" in the 1920s. Both liberal and evangelical protestant theologies are based on Descartes' idea that truth can be found by logical manipulation of a fundamental truth (assumption), but theology, as opposed to science, does not accept appeal to objective reality as a criterion for determining which ideas are true and which are not. They both rely on logic alone. Both approaches lead to what is known as "systematic" theologies. A systematic theology is one where the logical system of interpretation takes precedence over the text. Systematic theology says "The few difficult verses must be interpreted in light of the many clear verses." As some of us may well remember, this was one of Wierwille's favorite aphorisms. In contrast to systematic theology stands "constructive" theology, where the text takes precedence over the system. Constructive theology says "The fact that a few verses seem difficult means that your understanding of the "many clear verses" is not complete. Constructive theology tests the value of a proposed interpretation against the objective reality of the text! Schoenheit's REV is not just bad theology, it is TERRIBLE theology. It would and should FAIL in any formal academic setting, or even as a presentation at a Society of Biblical Literature meeting. The SBL is a club for Bible scholars, and it's annual conference is very much like GenCon is to gamers. Wierwille's logical system was based on two fundamental assumptions: 1) plenary verbal inspiration (inerrancy of the original texts, to which we do not have access) and 2) the dispensationalist assumption that on the day of Pentecost the Church was a wholly new thing, completely separate and discontinuous from Israel. Instead of approaching the text itself to see whether or not the things Wierwille had taught were true, Schoenheit doubled down on Wierwille's erroneous "administration of the mystery", transforming it into GOD'S SACRED SECRET! How often have I heard the CES boys say or write "logic dictates that..."? The REV is NOT a new translation. Schoenheit found a version of the Bible that was in the public domain so that he wouldn't have to do the actual work of translation. All Schoenheit did was to add a whole bunch of scholarly sounding but irrelevant notes, and to change the "few difficult verses" to line up with his particular system. Schoenheit did not translate, he CORRUPTED the text he plagiarized. That is dishonest scholarship as dishonest as it comes. I don't think it was malicious, but as every professional scholar knows, plagiarism doesn't have to be malicious in order to be dishonest. If you enjoy reading the REV, that's a wonderful thing, though not on the same level of scholarship as the Scofield Reference Bible. Scofield did not change the wording of the text to line up with his system. At the School of Theology we use the NRSV for the sake of uniformity, but all the versions have their own strengths and weaknesses. Love, Steve
  14. I haven't been on Greasespot in... what has it been... about two years? The other day, I became curious about what TLTF and STFI have been up to. After going to their websites and finding nothing but the expected boilerplate yada yada, I came here to this thread. Needless to say, DWBH never disappoints! Between 2003 and 2008 I taught Humane Letters at a classical academy, and from 2011 until 2016 I was doing post grad work in theological studies. I originally went into the post grad work to get formal accreditation to teach and to pick up Greek as a subject I could teach at a classical academy. So... even though I will not be able to complete my masters due to health problems... I have taught professionally, and I have studied under actual professors! My scholarship has been informally recognized as sound by professional scholars. The CES boys, for all the writing and "classes" they churn out, are nothing but rank amateurs who lack genuine self-awareness. The reason they don't dialogue with others in the field of theology is because, if they did, their own ignorance would be shown for what it is, and they would have nothing... and I mean NOTHING AT ALL... left. The whole idea of a recorded "class" such as PFAL or its legion of knock-offs is bogus. A "class" in which the students can ask no questions is not a real class. During a class the instructor uses the students' questions as feedback to gauge how well she or he is communicating. I have taken several classes for credit that were recorded, and I always had to keep a log of questions to be reviewed by the professor who was overseeing my work, as well as to write a final paper. I have had to take two semesters over again because hospitalizations interrupted my work. I have had the same classes taught by the same professors, and I can say for a surety that no two classes are ever identical. The understanding of an actual teacher grows, and that growth is reflected in how the class is taught. The lack of ability to reflect growth is one of the huge drawbacks to recorded classes. I used to know John Lynn as well as any of his thousands of "closest friends" did. I liked his public persona and relied on his leadership after The Way International went to pieces. After Momentus, he lost whatever shreds of humility he had left. Theologically, he is stuck in a dead end rut. He is not serving Jesus or the Word of God. He is serving his own arrogance. I am sorry to hear of his physical problems, having a few of my own, but it astonishes me that he relies on quack medicine as much as he does on quack theology. I've got some comments on the REV, MRAP, but I'll post those on your doctrinal thread! Love, Steve
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