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BATTLE TALK ~ Battle Royale VI - PilgrimAgain vs. 1013

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  • jasonwill
    replied
    Battle Royale VI - PilgrimAgain vs. 1013



    ..........................................

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  • DavidCaroYates
    replied
    Originally posted by Pilgrimagain
    INdeed, as infants, it is hardly likely that the did.
    DCY: Exactly. But this points toward a marked inconsistency in the position of those who so strictly insist that it is only the people who have heard, adequately understood, and then have accepted the message of Jesus Christ who will in turn be found acceptable by God (and please note, I'm not asserting by this that you Pilgrim are among those who make such a stipulation; I have no idea whether you are or not). They will often want to allow enough exceptions to this rule--infants, the mentally incompetent, (less often) those who had no chance of ever hearing the gospel, (less often yet) those who have heard the gospel message but where it was presented so inadequately or poorly that it became a message well-worth rejecting--that the stricture becomes virtually meaningless.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    INdeed, as infants, it is hardly likely that the did.

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  • DavidCaroYates
    replied
    Originally posted by Pilgrimagain
    Why is it hard to imagine od judging a whole city. This is the same God who had all the egyptian fist born killed for the sins of the fathers. This is the same God who destroyed Sodom.

    Ultimately I find myself seeing things more from your perspective but I can see very cogent arguments going the other way as well.
    DCY: Oh, I know there are viable arguments for the other side as well. I probably used quite a few of them myself at one time or another. As far as I'm concerned though, it eventually all came down to who I perceived God to be; when it comes right down to it, what is his essential character? Of course the Bible reveals that God is gracious, merciful, patient and full of loving-kindness, etc. etc. But of course the Bible also reveals that God's patience doesn't last forever. At times, God can be frustrated and wrathful, not only angry but downright vindictive. But what is he more of? Based on my own study of Scripture, coupled with how I perceived God to be via the time I spent in prayer, speaking with him, I came to see God as being more loving and gracious than anything else. Which brings me to your initial response quoted above.
    Whereas the scriptural witness has it that God indeed "had all the Egyptian firstborn killed," However, the Bible is completely silent as to what their final desinies were. That they lost their earthly existences is biblically true and tragic. But I don't see there as being any indication as to whehter or not they suffered 'eternal' condemnation.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Why is it hard to imagine od judging a whole city. This is the same God who had all the egyptian fist born killed for the sins of the fathers. This is the same God who destroyed Sodom.

    Ultimately I find myself seeing things more from your perspective but I can see very cogent arguments going the other way as well.

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  • DavidCaroYates
    replied
    Originally posted by Pilgrimagain
    But I think the most you can say is that they were included in the proclamation of the Gospel. Of course the message is for everyone, but even Jesus in his instructions to the 70 noted that some would not hear or respond favorably to the message and that in those cases we should simply shake the dust from our sandles and move on.

    Pilgrim
    Sorry for the delay in responding to you (I had made an earlier attempt, only to be unceremoniously disconnected from the internet).
    You raise a good point Pilgrim. But noteworthy is the fact that your comments concerning this text betrays a very individualistic perspective. This is of course very natural given our time and culture. But notice that the passage itself has Jesus speak in terms of the reactions of whole cities, not of mere individuals. This is also very much in keeping with the socio-cultural context of first-century Palestine (or indeed of virtually all times and cultures until relatively recently). Now given that, do we seriously suppose that "the God of all the earth" will condemn a whole city just because a few certain elders within that community happened not to recognize Jesus as God's one true Messiah? Or remember, if my hermeneutics are correct, and the reference to 'the seventy' really is to be equated with the ancient Jewish belief that all the Gentile nations of the world totalled seventy, then this reference is actually symbolic of whole NATIONS! Is God going to damn a whole ethnic group simply because their leaders aren't followers of Christ?
    No, rather I think the reference to 'the seventy', coupled with talk of rejection, bears yet another scriptural echo we're meant to take into account. To begin with, some of the ancient manuscripts of Luke's Gospel render there as being not seventy but seventy-two disciples commissioned by Jesus here. As can be expected, there has been plenty of discussion as to which is ultimately the more accurate figure. Next, whichever the case may be, as I've alluded in both posts now, just what is the symbolic significance of these numerals, if any?
    A possible solution to both issues may reside in the possibility that Luke is seeing Jesus in light of Moses (specifically as 'the New Moses'; cf. Dale C. Allison's monograph bearing that title), who, you may recall, on one occasion chose seventy elders of Israel (in my opinion with the same 'catholic' significance being intended), who were given a share in God's Spirit, and were thereby equipped to help him lead the people of Israel (Numbers 11.16, 25). On that occasion, not unlike what is seen in Luke 9.49-50, two others who were not part of the original seventy also received the Spirit of God, to the alarm of some. The underlying point here being that Jesus is sending out emmissaries to help in leading the new Exodus (cf. the recent and numerous scholarly studies now being conducted concerning the many links between the depiction(s) of Jesus in the Gospels and the recurring concept of the 'New Exodus' within the prophetic writings of the OT (but can be particularly found in the writings of deutero-Isaiah).
    In the original Exodus the Israelites rebelled, grumbled and didn't want to go the way God was leading, in spite of all the powerful displays of Yahweh's care and character. In Jesus' work, too, many if not most of Jesus' contemporaries failed to recognize the truth of just who Jesus is and what he is ultimately up to, again despite all his healings and the power and shrewdness of his teachings.
    However, just as Yahweh did not ultimately reject Israel--else he would not be just, since he would have failed to have been faithful to his covenant promises to Israel--so also will he not ultimately reject these wayward nations. Note, after all, that we're told that the seventy returned to Jesus rejoicing (cf. v. 17). Just as Jesus prayed for his executioners (and let's remember that in the end we all bear responsibility for Christ's execution), "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing" (Lk 23.34), isn't it perfectly in keeping with Jesus' own character that he would also be interceding for all of us in the exact same way? I think it can be safely said that anybody who rejects Jesus as God's Messiah, or who even otherwise sins, doesn't really know what they're doing, and is thereby graciously forgiven.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    But I think the most you can say is that they were included in the proclamation of the Gospel. Of course the message is for everyone, but even Jesus in his instructions to the 70 noted that some would not hear or respond favorably to the message and that in those cases we should simply shake the dust from our sandles and move on.

    Pilgrim

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  • DavidCaroYates
    replied
    Hey Folks,

    I have no idea whether or not anybody is even still perusing this forum, but I noticed that quite a few posts within it dealt with the ostensible significance of "nations" with reference to this topic. Something that I didn't notice being mentioned (but may have simply missed since, to be honest, I merely skimmed each posted message) was how, in Luke's Gospel, Jesus sends out a total of seventy disciples "two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come." Luke specifically informs his audience that "the Lord appointed" them and "sent them on ahead of him" (10.1). A little later in the text (v. 17, to be exact) we're told that, "The seventy returned with joy," apparently due to their success and accomplishments (it should be noted that in the classical world those "appointed" to such a task were not to return to the one who had commissioned them until their respective tasks had in fact been successfully accomplished).
    Now, many of you may be asking yourselves at around this point, "What the heck does any of this have to do with either the subject at hand or the topic of 'nations'?" I don't blame you if you were, so here I'll draw the connection. First of all, why are we told that Jesus commissioned a total of seventy disciples to go on ahead of him to these "towns and places" in which he was soon to make his presence known? It can only be a deliberate, even if symbolic, reference to the fact that the ancient Israelites believed that all--as in every single one--of the total Gentile nations of the world equalled exactly seventy (cf. e.g., the 'Table of Nations' in Genesis 10). Thus was Jesus (through Luke) symbolically indicating via his seventy apostles (or "sent ones") of his definite intentions toward including all the nations within his redemptive and restorative plans. In other words, it would appear that everyone is included!

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  • 1013
    replied
    "Abraham BELIEVED GOD,and it was counted to him for righteousness"(Ro.4:3).

    Those who BELIEVE GOD,no matter in what form the revelation comes,are justified before God.
    neato. that's so obvious but I've never made this connection before.

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  • Jerry Shugart
    replied
    Scrimshaw,

    I couldnĀ“t agree with you more.Another verse that must be considered is found in the words of Paul at Lystra in regard to the heathen:

    "Who in times past allowed all nations to walk in their own ways.Nevertheless,He left not Himself without WITNESS,in that He did good,and gave us rain from heaven,and fruitful seasons,filling our hearts with food and gladness"(Acts14:16,17).

    It was not His plan to have the nations to walk in their own ways because His original plan was to have all nations see the light of His people,Israel,and in that way come to the knowledge of the truth of God.Israel was supposed to be:

    "You are the light of the world.A city that is set on an hill cannot be hidden...Let your light so shine before men,that they may see your good works,and glorify your Father,Who is in heaven"(Mt.5:14,16).

    At the dedication of the Temple,Solomon said this in regard to the heathen:

    "For they shall hear of Thy great name,and of Thy strong hand,and of Thy outstretched arm...that all people of the earth may know Thy name,to fear Thee,as do Thy people,Israel"(1Ki.8:42,43).

    But because of unbelief the nation of Israel at that time did not fulfill their destiny to become "the light of the world".

    Nevertheless,the Lord would not penalize the heathen for IsraelĀ“s unbelief.Instead,He gave them witness that He is God through the revelation of nature.In that way He revealed Himself to those who did not have the knowledge of Him as did the Jews.

    He "witnessed" Who He was to them by His creation (Ro.1:20) and by the fact that He did good.Those who BELIEVED GOD by these revelations were justified by God just as Abraham was justified by God:

    "Abraham BELIEVED GOD,and it was counted to him for righteousness"(Ro.4:3).

    Those who BELIEVE GOD,no matter in what form the revelation comes,are justified before God.

    In His grace,--Jerry

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Knight
    Indeed!
    I second that!

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  • Scrimshaw
    replied
    Jerry,

    There is ample evidence from scripture that God has revealed himself through creation. consider:

    Psalms 19:1-4 "The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

    Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they display knowledge.

    There is no speech or language
    where their voice is not heard.

    Their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world."


    Verse 2 states that creation itself displays "knowledge". Now, the extent of this knowledge, and whether this knowledge of God can be enough to "save" a diligent seeker of God, is not clearly confirmed or discomfirmed by the Bible. Some argue that Christ's sacrifice provides for the salvation of those who positively respond to the light of Creation and seek God, and that their acceptance of this "knowledge" is an agreement to that covenant, even if they are unable to understand it.

    It is assumed that through Christ, God has provided saving grace for all the handicapped people of the world. For example, many people are born mentally retarded, severely autistic, etc. These people do not have the mental capacity to understand something as complex as the gospel of Christ. If explicit knowledge of Christ is the ONLY ticket into heaven, then all the souls of all the millions of mentally retarded, severely autistic, and all the other mentally handicapped peoples of the world - will be in hell. You'd also have to include all of the millions of very small childen who have died as well, since they never developed the mental capacity to understand or accept the "explicit" gospel of Christ.

    My personal view is that God, in his infinite wisdom, has provided saving grace for all peoples who are disadvantaged, whether that disadvantage is the result of dying as a 2 year old child, or the result of mental birth defects, or whether it be the result of geographical isolation. (being geographically isolated from the gospel). They all are in the same category because none of them have the ability to know/understand the gospel.

    I readily admit that the "inclusive" view cannot be conclusively proven from the Bible. But I think it is the most logically valid deduction, and is certainly more in line with the merciful CHARACTER of God that has been revealed through the life of Christ.
    Last edited by Scrimshaw; January 22nd, 2003, 05:36 PM.

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  • Knight
    replied
    Originally posted by Yxboom
    Don't forget to show your support for our Gladiators
    Indeed!

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  • Jerry Shugart
    replied
    Just a few thought in between this very interesting discussion between Scrimshaw and PilgrimAgain.

    "That they should seek the Lord,if perhaps they might feel after Him,and find Him,though He is not far from every one of us"(Acts17:27).

    PilgrimAgain says:

    "Searching for God is not the same thing as finding God or being found by God.It is the finding (or being found by) of God that saves not the search."

    Please consider what the author of Hebrews has to say about those who "search" for Him:

    "But without faith it is impossible to please Him;for he that cometh to God must believe that He is,and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him"(Heb.11:6).

    He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

    Any thoughts on what way the diligent seeker may receive as a reward?

    And any thought on the following words:

    "...for he that cometh to God must believe that He is..."

    He is what? God?

    Does this mean that the sinner must believe in God.PERIOD?

    If that is true,perhaps it explains the words "so they are without excuse" in the following verse:

    "For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,being understood by the things that are made,even His eternal power and Godhead,so they are without excuse"(Ro.1:20).

    In His grace,--Jerry
    Last edited by Jerry Shugart; January 22nd, 2003, 04:49 PM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Well said that. It gives me something to chew on.

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