Jump to content
GreaseSpot Cafe

Thus Saith Paul

Recommended Posts

maybe I just don't know the right people..


One of the things I've noticed about human nature is the tendency to overlook the bad in someone that is liked, respected, or admired and overlook the good in someone that is detested.

One of the things I have noticed about human nature, is the tendency to accept one's own particular sin in one whom one is ordaining, or setting in authority over others..

actually, the debaucherous lecher encouraged it, didn't he? "Loosen up in the sexual categories" or something like that, to *minister* to gawd's people..?

and if you find the LSD. Send it to: The Squirrel. New Knoxville, Ohio. I'm sure they will know where to send it..


Even an envelope of ....ty blotter would be ok..


Edited by Ham
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the best works I've seen on the Book of Acts - - - - - > > > http://my.en.com/~anders/intro.html

The entire book is free for the reading, and printing out on your own. Follow the links to read it in it's entirety.

Mr. (or Mrs?) Miller,

Thanks for the link. I've wanted to write to Mr. Anderson for some time. He's a guy that has an interesting, introspective style in that book. It's an interesting "take" on Paul and James.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another question about Paul...

In Galatians 1:15 (NIV) he writes that God, "set me apart from birth and called me by his grace."


I thought his conversion came about in Acts 9:1 when he was on the road to Damascus to persecute more of God's disciples "who belonged to the Way" (no pun intended, that's verbatim from verse 2 in the NIV).

If Paul was destined from birth to be an apostle of Jesus Christ then why did God allow him to stand by and approve the stoning of Stephen, one of God's disciples, "guarding the clothes of those who were killing him." (Acts 22:20)?

How did Paul arrive at the conclusion that he was chosen from birth? I can't find anywhere in scripture where the Lord ever told him that.

(One could argue that his conversion was a "new birth", but the trouble with that argument is that the term "from birth" here means "from my mother's womb".)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Way was very big on teaching "predestination".

You will find a good deal about it in Ephesians, which is in (surprise, surprise)-----the epistles.

Okay, so I went back to Ephesians and in chapter 1 Paul says that God "blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." (verse 3, NIV). He "chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ."(4-5). And then "11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will..."

I'm confused about the use of the lower case male personal pronouns above. Is Paul saying that Jesus (not God) predestined all of them to be adopted as his disciples "before the creation of the world"? Did Jesus prophesy somewhere about Paul's birth?

The general concept of "predestination" is very troubling to me, and highly questionable. Does predestination mean that something is planned or that something will definitely happen? If we are creatures of free will, and if God does not control our thoughts and actions, then any of us, intentionally or not, are theoretically capable of messing His plans. Of what significance is it to say that something is predestined if any fool can "unpredestine" it? :confused:

I think that as far the New Testament goes, the birth of Jesus was obviously predestined -- and foretold. Who else? Well, Luke said that the birth of John the Baptist was foretold (Luke 1:13), but so far I don't remember anybody but Paul claiming that Paul's birth was foretold. Either Paul's birth was predestined and nobody "foretold" anybody, or Paul is making an unsubstantiated claim.

Maybe somebody can clear this up for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HERE is an interesting discussion we had a while back.

Thanks, waysider. That was a very interesting discussion. My mind started to go in all directions, but a few ideas are taking shape...call these my working hypotheses:

1. I don't think God has foreknowledge of all events. To say He does negates the concept of free will. Didn't God get angry at Israel on various occasions for disobeying His will? So I'm thinking...if I knew with 100% certainty that something was going to happen, why wouldn't I spare myself the hassle of getting angry about it when it actually does? God couldn't have known that Israel would disobey Him or He could have spared Himself the trouble of having to punish them.

2. Anyone can say that anything was pre-destined. And it's difficult to refute such claims, isn't it?

3. So far, I see no evidence in scripture that Paul was "predestined" to be called as an apostle of Jesus, apart from his own assertion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This calls whole venues of divinity into question..


There are a few opinions I've read here and there...

Part of "God" had to die, giving birth to creation.. some think that the Almighty sacrificed (sound familiar?) part of Himself for the "greater Good".. that could be..

but God can't die. Where did his "parts" go?

He had everything.. at the beginning..

but it is rather "boring". I mean.. the 20 millionth year, with perfect weather..


I think the Almighty chose to reserve 50 percent of Divinity..

and maybe that's what is "free will"..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I can think of once when God stepped into time. . . . but, . . . God is eternal and not limited to same concept of time we are constrained by. . . .

Where do the scriptures say we have freewill? I thought they said our nature was as the children of wrath and our choices dictated by whatever THAT heart felt. . . . is that true free will?

Bet freewill turns out to be somewhat paradoxical . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think we are saying the same thing in a slightly different dialect..

Would not surprise me in the least.. . .:)

I will say that I don't think God ever gets bored. Although it may sound funny to us. . . He takes great pleasure in His perfection. . . . over flowing joy in Himself. . . I believe so anyway.

My thought is we were created out of this joy and pleasure . . . to share in it. . . .and we are complete in it.

Thus saith Geisha . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In secular terms we are all conditioned by our environment AND we decided for ourselves what to do about it. Bad choices lead to bad consequences and good choices to good, if life were always fair, which it is not.

Paul's words seem to include BOTH personal responsibility AND acknowledging that we are simply putty in God's hands.

Secular or scriptural I find both perspectives to be valuable considerations.

In a coversation of "nature vs. nurture" I find my answer to be of necessity, "BOTH" and after the first time I figured out that "both" works for me I thought to myself, "duh."

But most theological wrangling on how the specifics of these two perspectives work out in real life seems to me to lead to not much conversation that actually does much real good for anybody.

The self assessed "predestined" inheriters of righteousness often become elitist.

The ones who believe EVERYTHING in life is the result of personal choice can become pitiless bastards.

A consideration of both, for me at least, seems to lead to a balanced perspective.

Edited by JeffSjo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't we? Everyday we make choices. And we have the freedom to sin or not sin as we please.

I believe that when you start breaking it down. . . . our freewill is limited to our nature. Sure, we can choose to sin, but can we really choose to be righteous? We can try to be righteous on our own, but, we even have a term for that in our vernacular . . . . it is called being self-righteous. :) Bit of a pejorative . . . right? For a good reason to. . . . we all sin, it is our nature. No one is truly righteous on their own.

Self-willed might be a more apt description than free-will. The power to choose the lesser of two evils isn't really free-will is it? And opting to choose neither is still a self-willed choice.

According scripture. . . . we are still accountable for our choices. We are told to choose between two things. Salvation. life, repentance and a new nature in Christ, His nature . . . . freely offered . . . . or sin and death. . . . a given.

Jesus said. . . . "You refuse to come to me to have life" . . . . . . that is a self-willed choice. . . . . because when we refuse, for whatever reason, we are opting to hang onto our own nature. Whether we decide it is not so bad. . . . or we can't believe Him. . . . or Paul is a conman. . . . . whatever the reason . . . . we are choosing to remain with the nature we have. . . . . . and according to scripture and a good look around. . . . we are all sinners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe that when you start breaking it down. . . . our freewill is limited to our nature.

Interesting point. I'll have to think about that.

Incidentally (and off-topic) I'm listening to a segment of a CFFM class called "Being About Our Father's Business" where they say that God designed us in such a way that "we would search for a reason for the creation and find Him." I don't think I agree with that. Many people choose not to wonder about things.

Edited by soul searcher
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...