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Thread: For Sincere Inquisitors ONLY: MAD Explained

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    Silver Member SaulToPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by assuranceagent View Post
    This is just one among several examples (and one on which I may be waaaayyyy off base) of the potential problems that a position such as this would or could resolve.
    Absolutely, when we understand that the "kingdom saints" were not "saved" until the 2nd coming, the fact that they had to endure to obtain those promises is pretty easy to see. Since we in the Body ARE saved now, even if our faith fails, he remains faithful. He cannot deny himself (his own Body).
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    They can't compete with a real writer and grammar scholar
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    You're too literal to get it.
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    The New Covenant preceded the Old Covenant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by assuranceagent View Post
    Has the gospel of uncircumcision essentially always been in effect (as evidenced in the salvation of those like Rahab, who were gentiles) but only now, in this dispensation, has it come to the fore? Or was it something altogether new that began with Paul's commission?
    Abraham was an exception. For him to believe God's promise required no action. The gospel of uncircumcision was hidden in the scripture, the scripture foresaw that God could justify the heathen through faith (like Abraham), but it doesn't mean that they were UNTIL Paul revealed it.

    Rahab blessed some Jews, and she was blessed in return according to Gen 12:1-3 (KJV).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interplanner View Post
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    Good questions, fellers! I'm enjoying this thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by Interplanner View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interplanner View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Town Heretic View Post
    Is MAD necessarily an Open Theist only understanding? It seems to me that it nearly must be and the question probably has you holding your sides and desperately refraining from spitting all over your keyboard/monitor. Keep in mind my theological training is only surpassed by my humility...

    Glad you finally decided to do this.

    Also keep in mind that I have a tiger ally if this turns ugly.
    Another guy who doesn't post here anymore (I miss him) said just the opposite, that MAD needs to be settled. He presented an interesting take on it. Certain parts do support that view.

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    a-atheist chickenman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by assuranceagent View Post
    Next question: Regarding the gospel of uncircumcision and that of the Kingdom -- Is it possible to adhere to both? To be saved by the gospel of uncircumcision but to look forward to the earthly rewards of the gospel of the Kingdom as well? For the Jew only? Or not at all?
    It appears to me that those two things are mutually exclusive, AA.

    The gospel of the kingdom said: "Repent for the kingdom is at hand." Good news for an Israelite who awaited the national promise. In the promised kingdom, they would be under a new covenant where (like the Body of Christ) there would be eternal righteousness, sins would be blotted out forever, etc. But they would receive those promises AFTER they inherited their earthly promises.

    The promises to the Body are spiritual promises that we receive immediately upon belief. We are baptized into the body, where we receive immediate forgiveness of sins, are immediately reckoned as righteous, etc. And we are seated in the heavenlies with Christ (who is our life).

    So a member of the body (who got there by believing the gospel of Christ) is immediately saved and awaits a heavenly abode. A member of the circumcision was to faithfully endure to the very end, after which he would receive salvation, permanent forgiveness of sins (he could be forgiven before then, but not permanently), eternal righteousness, etc. He awaited an earthly abode (descriptions make it seem just like I imagine Eden was).

    Based on that, I don't see how an "uncircumcision believer" (member of the Body) could receive the promises to the "circumsion believer".

    I have more thoughts on that, but it would only confuse the issue now, so I'll leave it at that.

    And one more: I'm still trying to get my head around the salvation by faith thing, since I want to separate that from the gospel of the Kingdom. Has the gospel of uncircumcision essentially always been in effect (as evidenced in the salvation of those like Rahab, who were gentiles) but only now, in this dispensation, has it come to the fore? Or was it something altogether new that began with Paul's commission?
    Faith would and will always be fundamental to one's relationship with God. Without faith, one could be a good Israelite but not in good standing with God. And when God says to do something, then to have faith in God means to do that. So faith would have to manifest itself in whatever way God said. It couldn't be said of Noah that he had faith in God if he didn't build an ark. So the Israelite who wished to be in good standing with the nation (really important, since the promises were national) and with God would have to keep God's laws. Deut. 7:9; Prov. 7:2

    Rahab would be an example of an uncircumcised ( ) Gentile blessing God's chosen people. She had heard of God's power, believed in Him, and aided the spies. Under the circumstances, hers was a great faith. So according the the Abrahamic promise of Gen. 12, Rahab was blessed by God. Nothing to do with the gospel of the uncircumcision, which was a ministry exclusively given to Paul.

    Quote Originally Posted by assuranceagent View Post
    I can tell you the biggest aspect of the MAD perspective that seems attractive to me, and the reason I've begun to focus more heavily on it:

    Understanding Paul's commission as distinct from those who wrote before and after him has the necessary effect of offering almost instant apology for seemingly contradictory passages of scripture, particularly pertaining to the whole faith vs. works dialogue (hence my focus on that issue).

    I bear what I believe to be more than reasonable explanations for many of those seeming contradictions, but many of them pose particularly hairy problems that I've always felt caused a stretch in justifying. For instance, Hebrews 6:4-6 has always struck me as a particularly difficult passage for the OSAS club (of which I am a member in good standing) and one for which I've never really heard what I feel to be an airtight apology. You could argue that he who fell, never possessed salvation to begin with, but the language used in the passage is strong, to say the least. I've never felt the argument was stood strong on it's own.

    If I understand it correctly, MAD resolves this issue by positing that Hebrews is not written to the body, but to the Israelites, and is therefore pertaining to the gospel of the Kingdom.

    This is just one among several examples (and one on which I may be waaaayyyy off base) of the potential problems that a position such as this would or could resolve.

    I'd be interested to have one of our resident experts weigh in on those thoughts as well...

    There's debate within the MidActs camp about Hebrews. Personally, I don't see how there could possibly be any debate. Everything about it fits cohesively within the context of the circumcision gospel of the kingdom. I'll be happy to give details if you like. But to answer your question, if Hebrews 6 is taken in a very straightforward manner, it's pretty clear that one can fall from the faith and it then be impossible for him to be restored. That same audience (of those who had fled for refuge - 6:18...sounds a lot like Acts 8:1) was told:
    • to be diligent to enter God's rest (the promised land, cf. 3:18 where "rest" = "promised land"), lest anyone fall according to the same example (as Israel in the wilderness) of disobedience. (Heb. 4:11)
    • to show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end (Heb. 6:11)
    • that willful sin after receiving the knowledge of truth would negate the sacrifice and result in "judgment, fiery indignation" (Heb. 10:26-27)
    • they have need of endurance, so that after they had done the will of God, they would receive the promise (Heb. 10:36)
    • not to refuse Him who speaks...for "if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven." (Heb. 12:25)
    • etc.
    Hebrews 6 is an easy read, if understood in the right context. Recognizing that Hebrews was written specifically for Israel preparing for her coming kingdom makes the book a pretty straightforward (for the most part) read.

    Did I address what you were asking?

    Thanks, bud.

    Randy
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

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    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    Could it be argued that the gospels (matthew thru John) can be placed in the OT?


    I think the text actually demands that Matt-John be recognized as old covenant writings. It's fair, I suppose, that they are in the so-called "New Testament", since the "Old Testament" was already signed, sealed, and delivered before they were written. AND, they are written to chronicle the life of the One upon Whose death the new testament/covenant would be based.

    I should have just said, "Yes".

    Quote Originally Posted by kmoney View Post
    Another guy who doesn't post here anymore (I miss him) said just the opposite, that MAD needs to be settled. He presented an interesting take on it. Certain parts do support that view.
    Hilston?
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaulToPaul View Post
    Good questions, fellers! I'm enjoying this thread.
    Me too.

    I hope the dissenters can force themselves to stay away. I can hear the gnashing of teeth outside the walls. I assume that's godrulz being restrained.
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

    __.._

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    Quote Originally Posted by chickenman View Post
    Hilston?
    No. However, Hilston would have shared the same views. I believe the poster I have in mind was heavily influenced by Hilston.

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    Quote Originally Posted by assuranceagent View Post
    Oh! One more question while I'm here:

    What is the significance of the crucifixion, ff. to the gospel of the Kingdom? Or is it significant? Was it always a part of God's plan (from the OV perspective -- so I guess this one will be a Randy question...)? or was it only the result of Israel's rejection and therefore only a part of the gospel of uncircumcision?
    It was definitely always part of the plan. Is. 53...Dan. 9. His crucifixion would be the basis of the promised new covenant. God promised the nation that they would have eternal righteousness, once they inherited the kingdom. The crucifixion was hidden in the scriptures, but it was there nonetheless. And Matt. 26 et al reveal that that foretold crucifixion would be the basis for the foretold new covenant. Without the crucifixion, there could be no fulfillment of the promise of the new covenant and the promise of the kingdom.
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

    __.._

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    TH,

    Per your message, here's an example...

    A former pastor of mine believes that we in the Body of Christ have been forgiven all trespasses (Col. 2:13). He also believes that the exact same doctrine is taught in all 27 books of the NT. So what do you think he does with this?

    "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matt. 6:14-15
    He says that "forgiveness" here has nothing to do with forgiveness of sins as one would normally think of it. He says that Jesus is referring to our relationship with God. If we don't forgive one another, then we will have a strained relationship with God that can't be fully restored until we forgive our brother. But we are and do remain forgiven by God; nothing can undo that.

    Pretty bizarre contortion of God's Word, if you ask me.

    From the MidActs perspective, we simply recognize that Jesus, in the gospel accounts, is on earth ministering to Israel under the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, forgiveness is conditional. We are just fine with Jesus' words exactly as written and as my 10-year old daughter would understand them. And we're okay with Paul saying something different, since it was a RISEN Jesus, after Israel was cut off, who gave Paul this different message.

    Was that a good example?

    Randy
    Funny how threads morph.


    For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." ~ Paul


    "You should never wave to someone you don't know. What if he doesn't have a hand? Then he'll just think you're being cocky!" ~Mitch Hedberg

    __.._

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaulToPaul View Post
    Dear bybee, I don't want to rabbit trail the thread, we can talk about this in a PM. But, you and I are not children of Abraham. There was another mystery revealed after Acts 28 that concerns us
    Hey brother Paul. You must be a new breed of Mid Acts then, because thats a Acts 28 teaching. I see ya back there I am waiting for ya to catch up so come on.

    Zeke.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SaulToPaul View Post
    AA, a quick stab at this one:

    The death, burial, and resurrection was always a part of the plan. If you look at the feast days that God gave to Israel in Leviticus, they outline the "prophetic program".
    Yeah, I pretty much had that one nailed down per your point of view since so much is shared between us in that regard. I was mostly looking to see if being of the OV persuasion, would differ with you on that point...

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    Quote Originally Posted by chickenman View Post
    "Why does it matter?" Failure to recognize the God-determined divisions in scripture, specifically that between the Body of Christ and Israel, is THE cause of doctrinal division today.
    I'm not sure I can agree with you 100% on this one man... The church has divided on all sorts of doctrinal issues, some very important. While I haven't seen a study to support it, my theory is that most churches today divide over things far less significant.

    Well, since I find myself here, I have a question. Maybe two.

    First, with the focus on the Pauline writings, how does MAD treat the other New Testament writings? Do you quote from them? Is there any fear of treating them as inferior to the Pauline writings?

    Okay, that was three questions... But I have another.

    Before I came to TOL, I had never heard of MAD. I came from a straight-up Dallas Theological Seminary doctrine, I guess Acts 2? (wait, that doesn't count as a question, does it? Shoot, does that one? I give up...) church, pretty typical of what you find in Southern California. I have since moved, physically as well as doctrinally, to a (gasp - STP already know this and has decided to forgive me - I think) Reformed church.

    I realize that with the exception of the New Testament church, organized and taught by the apostles who sat under Jesus' teaching, all of the various views, doctrines, denominations had their origin in the teachings of men who studied Scripture and came to various and differing conclusions about it. Do you know the history of how the MAD view came about? (And no fair just saying that it's what the Bible teaches - even in the earliest days of the church there were people who followed this or that theologian)

    Meaning no disrespect whatever, one of the things that has concerned me about MAD is that there seems to be almost a disdain of all of the writings of the early Christians (Scripture excluded) and the councils that were held to discuss serious heresies that were in danger of infiltrating the church, and even the creeds that came out of those councils which merely stated in the affirmative some very important doctrines. I know this isn't exclusive to MAD, but it is one thing that concerns me. I guess that was a statement, not a question... So how about - What say you?

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    CM. You said the crucifixion was hidden in the scriptures. If you mean the fact that it would be the basis of the new covenant, then i agree. But, Luke 24:25,26 shows that Jesus told them they were foolish for not believing the prophets concerning his crucifixion.

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    Does Whatever A Light-House Can Lighthouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drbrumley View Post
    Could it be argued that the gospels (matthew thru John) can be placed in the OT?
    Yes.


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