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Jbarrax

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Jbarrax last won the day on September 7 2010

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About Jbarrax

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    We're still here?? Oh poop. Stupid Mayans!
  • Birthday 09/10/1961

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    Religion, politics, basketball, cars, art, comic books, science fiction, and fusion jazz,

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  1. That's a distinct possibility Ham.
  2. Um....Thanks, I think. :-) And thanks for sharing your insights. I envy you the opportunity to make biblical studies a serious undertaking. If I understand you correctly, it sounds like the shift from "Systmatic theology" to a multi-dimensional approach is what's been going on in my head for the past few years. I've come to believe that there are various disparate and contradictory views and beliefs espoused in the Scripture (particularly with regards to salvation) but don't feel that invalidates the Truth of the canon or the reality of the Christian experience. So, as you have time and energy, I'll welcome hearing more about what you learn about John, Luke and company and the events chronicled in Acts chapters one and two. God bless!
  3. Waysider, I didn't communicate that clearly. I'm not advocating using "Scripture Buildup" to make John agree with the book of Acts and the other gospels. On the contrary, I'm wondering if John's presentation of the ascension of Christ, the giving of holy spirit and the commissioning of the Apostles is just a completely different, and perhaps irreconcilable, narrative.
  4. Hi Greasespot folks. Long time no....see? I was going to post an Easter quote to my facebook status and flipped to the gospel of John to pull something succinct about the resurrection. As I read through chapters 20 and 21, it occurred to me that John's story of the events after the resurrection doesn't flow with those of Matthew, Mark and Luke. The first thing that bugged me was a verse that's always caused me to pause, but never to pause long enough to give it deeper consideration. 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and [to] my God, and your God. According to Luke and Acts, the Ascension happened much later. So this verse has always puzzled me. I didn't take much more time with it this morning... But When I read 20:22 (And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:) my brain went int two different directions. My waybrain reflex immediately called up VP's statements in PFAL about how this should be read as instruction given prior to the day of Pentecost. But then I thought, according to verse 17, Jesus may have already ascended, so why couldn't this be his anointing of the Apostles? If you read through the rest of the gospel of John, you see Jesus commissioning the Apostles and Peter specifically to carry on his ministry. (Simon Peter, lovest thou me...Feed my Sheep.) So Since we all know that the gospel of John is not in harmony with Matthew, Mark, and Luke on a great number of topics, which is why the other three are known as "the synoptic gospels", why must we work so hard to make John 20:22 fit with the timeline of Acts chapter one? Isn't is possible that John presents and entirely different story of what happened after the resurrection?
  5. It's certainly a fine theatrical production. One of Jimmy Stewart's best performances. Like you said, there's no right or wrong. I just found it intriguing thinking about all the biblical parallels. Cheers!
  6. Howdy greasespots. Long time no post. My wifey is involved in a local theatre production of It's a Wonderful Life. As part of their preparation for the show, the cast members were encouraged to see the movie. Deb and I went a couple of weeks ago and I was stricken by something I'd never seen before in the film. It appears to be an allegory for Christ. I know, not a big surprise seeing that it's one of the few movies that features an angel. Anyway, it seems to me that George Bailey is an messianic figure; an allegory for Christ. Here are the comparisons I see in the film. • Let's start with the obvious. Although the events of the film transpire over decades, the crux of the story happens on Christmas eve, as the world celebrates the birth of the Redeemer • The angels present at Jesus' birth are represented in the tale by Clarence Oddbody, George's guardian angel. • Clarence apparently works under Joseph, whom we are lead to believe is the same Joseph to whom Jesus was born. • George's wife's name is Mary. So we have Mary and Joseph as major supporting characters in a story that comes to a head on Christmas eve. Pretty transparent. • Violet, the town vamp is spared a life of illicit activities by George's influence, just as Mary Magdalene was delivered from seven devils by Jesus. (Mark 16:9) • Like Jesus, George Bailey is the center of the community. Without him, the world around him is corrupt and dark. The influence of his life brings light, honor and dignity to the people of the community. • Like Jesus Christ, George Bailey spends his entire life putting his will aside in order to help others. His repeated acts of self sacrifice are the central element of his character arc. • George Bailey is drawn by events beyond his control into doing his father's work. He takes over Bailey Building and Loan despite the fact that he'd rather do something else. This is analogous to Jesus' statements in the gospel of John about doing his father's work, and the scene in Luke in the garden of Gethsemane in which Jesus sets his will aside to fulfill the will of the father. (Mtt 26:39, Luke 22:42) • George also shows that he's inherited his father's compassion for the downtrodden people of Bedford Falls. He has his father's nature just as Jesus has and shows the nature of His Father in Heaven. ( Psalm 103:4, Mtt 11:39) • And finally, the scene in which Potter almost succeeds in buying George off by offering him a plumb job at his company is analogous to Jesus' temptation in the wilderness during which the Devil offered him the kingdoms of the world if he would fall down and worship him. (Matt 4:8) Now there is an obvious problem with this comparison. The movie's overt message is that EVERYONE is important and that each life is indispensable to every other life. However, allegory and parables can have multiple meanings and the true message may be hidden under the superficial story. So it is with the George Bailey character. IMHO. The final element that I think supports the idea that this is actually a parable about Christ is the fact that, as I related these thoughts to Deb on the way home from the movie, she told me that the original story upon which the film was based came from a dream. Dreams, as we all know, can be a means of revelation. So it is entirely possible that the dream that became the story that became this beloved holiday classic originally came from heaven as yet another way to tell the story of the sacrifice, love, compassion and centrality of Jesus Christ. I was certain someone else must have seen and written about this, so I googled the movie and found lots of articles about allegorical references to the banking crises of the Depression and other financial issues, but nothing biblical. I even searched Beliefnet and came up with bupkis. So I thought I'd post the idea here and see if anyone knows more about the history of the story. And of course, what other Biblical references you might see in the story and characters. What do youns guys n gals think?
  7. Verrrry interesting. I've been toying with this concept too for a couple of years now. Can't quite make up my mind about it because there are scriptures on both sides of the issue. I even attended a UU Church for a while and sought help from their ministers in putting it together from the Scriptures. That didn't work very well since most UU folks don't know the Bible very well (wonderful people though). The main reason I see for adopting a Universalist view is my inability to accept the traditional belief that the Bible presents the hope of Christ's return as an event in a vague future. To my eyes there are too many verses that plainly indicate an Apostolic mindset anticipating a speedy return. If that mindset actually came from things Jesus taught and said, one has to ask why God would allow that. The most plausible answer imho is that all that messianic wrathspeak was a feint, to fool the Devil into slaying the Lamb of God so that the whole world could be legally wrested from his grasp. Off topic I know, but I felt obliged to chime in with a qualified "amen". :-)
  8. I guess I see it as a matter of cause and effect. The effect we're chatting about is the sudden deaths of all of Job's sons and servants. The cause is that Satan moved God to 'destroy them without cause'. Why did He do that? To prove that Job didn't fear God just because he had a cushy life. I never meant to imply that their deaths were unjust or that God is unjust. I'm only pointing out something in the Old Testament that flies in the face of VP and Bullinger's idiom of permission. The idiom doesn't hold water because its underlying assumptions are not necessarily well grounded in Biblical truths. Although it's terrible when people die, especially as a direct result of events beyond their control, it doesn't automatically mean God is not Holy and Just and Good. It just means maybe there are more important issues at play. I think we're looking at opposite ends of the proverbial elephant, not necessarily disagreeing, just talking about the same issue, saying almost exactly the same thing, but from different perspectives. It's all about perspectives. But, as I said when I started this tangential conversation, it's a somewhat radical notion so I'm not prepared to argue the point.
  9. But...if you don't have certainty, how do you have "real direction"? I'm not following you there Ham.
  10. I stand corrected. How about if we substitute the words "perfect and upright"? The fact that Job was perfect and upright in the sight of God is the whole point of the story. Satan accused Job of only loving and serving God because of his abundant life. God said Job was a unique man, perfect and upright, a man who feared God and eschewed evil. Apparently this was something noteworthy and important to God because he broached the subject with Beezlebub. Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? So the fact that Job was perfect and upright was a matter of Job's integrity, not a matter of circumstance. To prove that point, God allowed (or caused, depending on your point of view) Satan to horribly afflict Job and slaughter his children and servants. So what was more important? Proving that one man feared God just because he was a good man, or keeping all those people from suffering pain and death?
  11. Speaking of nuts, here's my nutty view of the book of Job. Job, as you know, is presented as exhibit A by the Idiom of Permission advocates because it shows bad things happening to a good man, other people attributing those events to God, but pulls back the divine curtain to reveal that it's really Satan doing all the evil. But, as Nate has pointed out, the book of Job also says that God allowed Satan to do what he did. At one point, it says God admits that Satan moved him to destroy Job without cause. Job 2:3 ...and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. That language is still a little murky ethically speaking, but it indicates that God did the destroying. But here's my nutty angle. It wasn't just JOB who got hurt. A lot of other people whom we could call today innocent bystanders got destroyed. And they didn't get restored at the end of the story. Job 1:14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 1:15 And the Sabeans fell [upon them], and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 1:16 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 1:17 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 1:18 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 1:19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job was afflicted with boils but was healed. He was impoverished but his wealth was restored. Yet all of Job's sons and who knows how many servants died violently. And why? To prove that Job was righteous. To me, the basic lesson of the book of Job is that nothing is more important than righteousness. Not health, not happiness, not wealth, not life itself. This is not really a radical idea. Jesus said the same thing in different terms. If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out. So again, it's all a matter of perspective. From the modern Western perspective, these are acts of an insane ruler, a despot. From an eastern perspective (said the American) these are the acts of a righteous God who values nothing more than a heart of humility and love and integrity.
  12. IMHO, No, that is not possible. What is possible is that God's perspective and ours are not in agreement. Since He created us and everything else, if either party needs and attitude adjustment, it's us not Him.
  13. I'm not familiar enough with mainstream Christian thought to offer any insight on the original question about whether other people believe this. But I'd like to toss my two cents' worth in and say that this is one of those Waybrain concepts I don't think holds up to careful scrutiny. I understand the thinking behind it, which you have all presented well. But, as Twinky said, I think this is something that grows from the Western mindset that God is incapable of doing anything we would consider evil. We have defined the terms of goodness and therefore decided that God is incapable of violating those terms. As VP opined in PFAL, if God killed people there would be darkness in him and since the Bible says God is light and him is no darkness at all...well you know the pitch. Here's the problem with that. The "idiom of permission" doesn't explain all the events in the Old Testament that our culture finds objectionable. It only addresses events were catastrophe came about by indirect action, i.e. a plaque, flood, or war. It doesn't explain passages like Numbers 31:12 - 18. 31:12 And they brought the captives, and the prey, and the spoil, unto 31:12 Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and unto the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the camp at the plains of Moab, which [are] by Jordan [near] Jericho. 31:13 And Moses, and Eleazar the priest, and all the princes of the congregation, went forth to meet them without the camp. 31:14 And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host, [with] the captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, which came from the battle. 31:15 And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? 31:16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD. 31:17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. 31:18 But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. 31:19 And do ye abide without the camp seven days: whosoever hath killed any person, and whosoever hath touched any slain, purify [both] yourselves and your captives on the third day, and on the seventh day. Moses, the friend of God ordered the summary execution of a bunch of captured women and children. "Now therefore kill every male among the little ones". These days, we would call those "little boys". He did let them keep the virgin girls, presumably to be raised as servants of some kind; today, we'd call that slavery. Since this was a direct order from the prophet, it's impossible to interpret this as something God allowed the Devil to do. So the "idiom of permission" doesn't apply, unless we assume that Moses suddenly got possessed (demonized in Derek Prince terminology) and gave a commandment from the Devil. That's possible (albeit highly unlikely), but the very next passage says God gave Moses revelation pertaining to the soldiers. The entire communication was about the dividing of the spoils. Not one word about the slain children. So we must assume that Moses' order to kill the boys and enslave the virgin girls was either directly from God or at least okay with God. Side note: I find this passage especially interesting in light of the "pro-life" movement's assertion that aborting a fetus is murder and God hates it. If that's true, why would he order a bunch of living, breathing children to be killed as the spoils of war? Anyway, passages like this indicate to me that our western standards of ethics cannot be applied to The Most High. It is folly for us to assume we know what God can and cannot do, will and will not do, should or should not do. This is the same kind of arrogance that lead Chris Geer, CES, and his followers to declare that God has no foreknowledge. They reasoned that, if God had known that Adam and Eve would sin, causing eons of human suffering, then He would be evil. But God can't do evil so He must not have known what would happen. I am among the legions of ex-TWI folk who find that notion preposterous. But if we accept the humanistic premise of the idiom of permission, we might well end up with a similarly ridiculous conclusion.
  14. Good insights and info Steve. I might quibble about the degree of division in the early Church based on the attempts to murder Paul by the "Christians of Jewish background" in Jerusalem. You and I agree that the Gentiles were added to the Church as equals, but a sizeable number of the Israelitish believers didn't accept that truth. But in the end, different people see things from different perspectives.
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