19 votes

West Point cadet quits, cites 'criminal' behavior of officers promoting fundamentalist Christianity

http://www.opednews.com/populum/linkframe.php?linkid=159634

Note the update - he got an honorable discharge. I'd say he earned it.



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I do know what Calvin teaches

Ezekiel 33:11

11 Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?

Parable of the Sower demonstrates that you can lose faith. This is not an imaginary faith like Calvinists like to believe, but a real faith lost. Jesus himself said so (imagine that Lutherans using scripture alone)

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+13%3A1-2...

The problem with Calvinism is that it takes one piece of scripture and places that verse or verses above the rest of scripture rather than putting them all on an even playing field. No, Romans with Esau being a vessel of wrath is placed above all scripture and ripped out of context.

Double Predestination does not jive with Scripture. Only Single Sided Predestination works even if it does not make logical sense.

More proof in the vid.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtWmOhO1xY0

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

At least you admit your view is illogical

I disagree about the meaning of the parable of the sower. and if we are to consider all of scripture, I don't see how this is genuine salvation lost:

1John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us"

Your view basically says that Jesus tries and fails to save people, and that people can be plucked from Jesus hand by the will of man:

Joh 17:1-2 "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him."

John 10:28 "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

In my view, double predestination does 'jive with scripture', but I believe that logical consistency is important. Interesting that you don't think logical consistency is important and yet you don't think double predestination 'jives with scripture'? very telling.

It's not a matter of placing one verse above another, but letting the text speak for itself coherently.. if Jesus says he is the door, Calvinists don't think he has hinges, if he says he is the light, Calvinists don't believe he is an incandescent bulb. A consistent Lutheran might have to think of Jesus as those kinds of objects rather than picking and choosing where to fall into the error of letterism. With Calvinists, it is not a matter of redefining 'is', but looking at context, using hermeneutics in a logically consistent way where established truths matter (law of identity), and where apparent contradictions are attempted to be resolved through the principle of charity rather than clinging to illogical first impression misinterpretations: http://philosophy.lander.edu/oriental/charity.html

But with Luthers view of communion, a consistent Lutheran might have to admit he kind of redefines 'is' as they would say that Zwingli did, since Luther didn't think of it in the roman catholic way of transubstantiation, but rather he thought Jesus was "in and through" the bread, but not the bread itself. What is "in and through" supposed to mean in contrast to the roman catholic view of the body existing as the accidental of bread?

I like Luther, he's funny, though crude at times, too bad he still had a bit of roman Catholicism coloring his interpretation of things. And whats with the ink on the wall? Is it common for Lutherans to throw ink at the devil on the wall at night? ;)

Your history is way off

Luther's view is the view of the Church Fathers. Transubstatiation did not come about until after Thomas Aquinas tried to shoe horn in Aristotle into the Lord's Supper. Old Catholics have Luther's same view on the Lord's Supper showing that there is an ancient line of thought. We merely don't try to identify the mystery. How dare us Lutherans try to not uncover what God has not revealed, merely placing faith in what He has revealed.

Yes, Grace is resistible. It always has been. Lutherans use hermeneutics as well. Ours is called Dogmatic Exegesis. By demonstrating a magisterial view of Scripture, you guys are no different that Catholics in the long run.

Scriptures above logic. God is not bound by petty human logic.

The Augsburg Confessions and Apology go at great pains to show that we are in constant agreement with the Church Fathers. You guys don't even bother and invent history to satisfy your anti-Catholic feelings.

I would also site 1 John in the Greek, Christ is continually coming. God made flesh. Flesh is an important thing to John. How does God come continually in the Flesh? One wonders, and oh those who deny the Flesh are anti-Christs. Those who deny that Christ has come and is continually coming. So, to John, those who deny communion are anti-Christs. Look it up yourself.

The Reformed Tradition has literally been bled dry of the Gospel.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

..

"Luther's view is the view of the Church Fathers."

That sort of begs the question, everyone thinks their view is the view of the church fathers. Where do the church fathers say the presence is "in and through" and what is "in and through" supposed to mean? It seems counter intuitive to create a phrase like that and then say it's meaning is a mystery that nobody should delve into. It's sort of like saying "Your view is wrong, but mine is right, only I can't tell you what my view really is, I can only throw out meaningless phrases which people ought not try to define with any clarity."

"How does God come continually in the Flesh? "

What verse are you talking about? I'm looking at 1st john 4 and seeing 'come' in the tense of '2nd perfect active participle' which is not the imperfect tense. that word can appear in the imperfect tense, but which occurrence are you talking about because I'm not seeing it in that tense. http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?b=1Jo&c=4&v=3&t=KJV...
Besides that, Why should anyone believe that 1st john 4:2-3 is talking about communion as opposed to the incarnation which is what the gnostics were corrupting back then?

"Scriptures above logic. God is not bound by petty human logic. "

again, you don't seem to grasp the basic level at which logic functions. Logic like goodness and truth are reflections of God's character and God doesn't change. With your kind of thinking you might as well say that God is above goodness and fall into euthyphro's dillema, or that he is above truth and fall into a postmodern trap. If the bible seems like it is not good, or false, or illogical, then you are probably looking at it wrong, because God is not the author of confusion. It's sort of a cop out to say logic is unnecessary; There is a difference between something being illogical and something being uncomprehensible. I could understand that God might have some uncomprehensible truth, but to say that he has illogical truth is a contradiction in terms, like a square circle, it's meaningless gibberish. The question about God making a rock so big that he can't lift it is an invalid question which presumes something like a square circle from the start, but you seem to want to answer it anyways without seeing the consequences. If you are correct, then you can make up any fanciful illogical irrational interpretation and say that it's true because scripture is above logic, and there would be no way to reason with you.. To say that your view is above logic is unreasonable by definition. Do you have icons of an incandescent bulb? if it says Jesus is the door then I guess I couldn't reason with you that he doesn't have hinges.

"The Reformed Tradition has literally been bled dry of the Gospel."

What is the gospel to you? eating of physical human flesh and blood continually?

John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.

Right we eat it continually

Christ has come, Christ continue to comes, Christ will come again.

That is the theme of Advent. It used to be a somber time of meditation equal to Lent. Now, it is a commercialized corporate time filled with nothing of the material leaving out what God has promised and what He continues to give us.

I would also point to John 6

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

There is a difference between Christ's flesh and human flesh unless you are calling Jesus a mere human.

But we have the main: This IS my body. This IS my Blood. Which, like Luther, I will hammer and hammer because you have no scriptural basis to reject it. I like how much you have cited scripture in your magisterial essay to me.

Corinthians 11:

23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment.

And when I come I will give further directions.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

This is not a magisterial essay, it's informal communication.

"Christ has come, Christ continue to comes, Christ will come again."

ok... now about answering the question which might establish that... which verse were you talking about where the tense you speak of exists? And why should that supposed verse be viewed exegetically in reference to communion rather than incarnation?

"There is a difference between Christ's flesh and human flesh unless you are calling Jesus a mere human."

I wouldn't call him a 'mere' human, but you run the risk of saying he is not fully human if you say his flesh is not fully or not really human flesh.

"But we have the main: This IS my body. This IS my Blood. Which, like Luther, I will hammer and hammer because you have no scriptural basis to reject it. I like how much you have cited scripture in your magisterial essay to me."

You miss the point, I don't reject the phrase, I just think you misunderstand it by applying the error of letterism to it.

"I would also point to John 6"

Right, but the reason I pointed out verse 63 is because it is in the section often quoted in reference to communion , note that it follows your quotation, and then re-frames the words that were spoken so they could be better understood. You should also consider what precedes your quotation:

John 6:35 "Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst." Notice that when Jesus calls himself the bread of life, Instead of eating and drinking here, the verbs are 'coming' and 'believing', and those verbs are coupled with the concepts of satisfying hunger and satisfying thirst. It seems clear, that if you come to him you are eating so that you will not hunger, and believing is tantamount to drinking if it quenches thirst. There's some kind of food imagery applied to coming and believing shown here. Then he continues with the imagery and afterwards says that those words he spoke are spirit and that the flesh doesn't profit. To isolate the imagery of eating his flesh from the preceding and following context is bad hermeneutics. Now go back even further:

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
John 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
John 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
John 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
John 6:33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
John 6:34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Notice that in 29, Jesus says that the work of God is to believe, and this whole picture of food is introduced to explain to questioners how Jesus is the sign they seek, the proof that they ought to believe in. So the whole point of food imagery in John 6 has to do with believing in Jesus.

Now consider the following:

Corinthians 1
23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.
33 So then, my brothers and sisters, when you gather to eat, you should all eat together. 34 Anyone who is hungry should eat something at home, so that when you meet together it may not result in judgment. And when I come I will give further directions.

It seems that if I was as Lutheran as you I could leave my explanation on corinthians 11 at that, merely quoting a passage saying that my point is proven, and to disagree with me would be to disagree with scripture, and maybe I would just carve the verses into your wall or something and say that my scripture quote is more authoritative than your logic.

But What I'd like to point out is the phrase "do this in remembrance of me." and "whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes." The Bible is explicit that the communion is to be viewed as a memorial, do this "in remembrance", in remembrance of what? in remembrance of the death of Jesus as it goes on to say. And it says it's done for the purpose of proclamation. If John 6 already equates coming with eating and believing with drinking, in order to help people see they need to believe in Jesus, it would make sense that the communion would be a memorial of what Jesus did, as a proclamation of what he did, to promote his glory and belief in him.

Also consider the discerning of the body in verse 29. Elsewhere, the body of Christ refers to the church:

Colossians 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."

But then in 1 corinthians 11:31, when talking about the judgement from not discerning the body, it says "if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment." Ourselves being the church, the body of Christ. You you would say to discern the human flesh in the communion, but it seems here rather to say to discern the body of christ, the church, ourselves. And Look at the context of corinthians as well.. just before it mentions communion it says this:
1Co 11:18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.
1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.
1Co 11:20 When ye come together therefore into one place, this is not to eat the Lord's supper.

It points out problems with the church, and if you go back further, you can see a lot of this letter to the church at corinth had to do with being discerning in the church, explicitly with regard to eating with people in chapter 5:

1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
1Co 5:12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
1Co 5:13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

So it seems that the lutheran letterism emphasizing eating human flesh misses the point of the over arching context and teaching of scripture about belief in Jesus and discerning the body, the church.

Slightly notable but irrelevant fact: I read through 1st Corinthians when I was in Corinth.

Cool

But at this point we must part ways theologically. I point to Luther's 'This is my Body' over and over and over again. This is not a 'Roman Catholic' view, but the view of the vast majority of Christians throughout the entire age of the Church. Heck, there is even a 1st century catechism teaching the Lord's Supper. If everyone got the Lord's Supper wrong from the get go, I do not see much hope do you?

This is ignoring the Greek in 1 John, ignoring John 6, Ignoring the Passion narratives, this is ignoring 1st Corinthians, this is ignoring Jude, this is ignoring Revelation where there is an anti-Lord's Supper for those who are unbelievers, and clearly presents the marriage feast of the Lamb. Ignoring all of that, This IS my body becomes This 'sort of is', 'kind of is', 'in a way is', 'feast up in Heaven is', an so on. Give me one scriptural passage where you 'feast up in heaven'? I bet you cannot. God is real, He comes to you on the Sacrament of the Alter, he will come again.

Calvinists believe in limited atonement. I believe in unlimited atonement for 'God so loved the World'. God came to erase the sins of unbelievers as well. This does not mean everyone gets into Heaven, but their debts are already paid. This was a fact that Calvin disagreed with.

These along with other realities is why Lutheranism's 'letterism' makes it so different than the other Protestants. We are a separate branch because we are truly 'Sola Scriptura'.

I also hear that Lutherans read the Bibles too much from other Protestants as well. I guess that 'letterism' is what you mean by that and I take that proudly.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

um

"I point to Luther's 'This is my Body' over and over and over again. This is not a 'Roman Catholic' view, but the view of the vast majority of Christians throughout the entire age of the Church. Heck, there is even a 1st century catechism teaching the Lord's Supper. "

Again, this begs the question, every christian group thinks that their version is what the early Christians used. To say Luther's view does this is no different than Catholics who say their view was always in practice though not formalized. It's probably an anachronism in either case.

"This is ignoring the Greek in 1 John,"

Ignoring? you've never answered to tell what verse you were talking about though I've asked twice!

"ignoring John 6... this is ignoring 1st Corinthians"

I was quoting John 6 and 1st Corinthians and going through it to show how you are wrong. In fact, I was the one who brought up John 6.

"this is ignoring Jude"

hey, I've got that book memorized, I'm not ignoring it, but I'm not seeing the connection you make.

"Ignoring the Passion narratives, this is ignoring Revelation where there is an anti-Lord's Supper for those who are unbelievers, and clearly presents the marriage feast of the Lamb. Ignoring all of that,"

I don't see your point in those.

"This IS my body becomes This 'sort of is', 'kind of is', 'in a way is', 'feast up in Heaven is', an so on. Give me one scriptural passage where you 'feast up in heaven'? I bet you cannot. God is real, He comes to you on the Sacrament of the Alter, he will come again."

I already went through the text to show my point. you sound like a jehovah witness asking to show where the word trinity is in the Bible.

"Calvinists believe in limited atonement. I believe in unlimited atonement for 'God so loved the World'. God came to erase the sins of unbelievers as well. This does not mean everyone gets into Heaven, but their debts are already paid. This was a fact that Calvin disagreed with."

Then you believe Jesus tried and failed to save some. I don't think God is a failure, I could quote john 10:28 again, but I'll let you look it up. If their debts are paid then what are they punished for?

"These along with other realities is why Lutheranism's 'letterism' makes it so different than the other Protestants. We are a separate branch because we are truly 'Sola Scriptura'. I also hear that Lutherans read the Bibles too much from other Protestants as well. I guess that 'letterism' is what you mean by that and I take that proudly."

Here's a definition for you:

Letterism:

"While often ignoring context, historical and cultural setting, and even grammatical structure, letterism takes each word as an isolated truth. A problem with this method is that it fails to take into account the different literary genre, or types, in the Bible. The Hebrew poetry of the Psalms is not to be interpreted in the same way as is the logical discourse of Romans. Letterism tends to lead to legalism because of its inability to distinguish between literary types. All passages tend to become equally binding on current believers."
http://www.theopedia.com/Interpretation_of_the_Bible#note-9

if you take a class on hermeneutics you will learn more about the error of letterism.
I think you are misunderstanding sola scriptura also.

BTW, I know we disagree on a lot of doctrine and history, but I'd like to mention that I have no animosity towards you personally and think we'd probably get along if we knew each other. I like a lot of what I've seen you say elsewhere. I can see Luther's stubbornness in you which is entertaining in a way.

Lutherans condemn legalism

You are the one who ignores historical context as the very early Church was accused of cannibalism. I mean really that is laughable. Calvin was the chief advocate of legalism.

The church has always taught that the body and blood of Christ are truly received in and under the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper. The bread and the wine do not loose their natural substance but remain bread and wine. In the Sacrament Christ gives us His true body and true blood not just in a spiritual sense, as if the bread and wine are only a sign or figure of Christ’s body that has ascended to heaven. But as Christ says, His body and blood are received orally in the eating and the drinking. Even unworthy persons, hypocrites, or unbelievers receive Christ’s body and blood, not just those who believe His words. For this reason, those who despise or reject Christ’s words receive the Sacrament to their hurt and damnation. In this sacramental meal believers receive the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation, as the words “given and shed for you for the remission of sins” promise. Whoever believes it has what these words declare and bring: His merits, righteousness, and forgiveness. Instructive is Small Catechism VI 5–8, and Large Catechism V 28–32, 33–36, 69–72.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

but they don't seem to condemn letterism.

"You are the one who ignores historical context as the very early Church was accused of cannibalism. I mean really that is laughable. Calvin was the chief advocate of legalism."

Those anti-christians who accused christians of cannibalism would probably accuse calvin and zwingli of the same thing if they lived during the reformation. Look at anti-christians today who accuse christians of all sorts of nonsense. I'm not ignoring historical context, I just don't acknowledge your anachronistic view of history. But you seem to ignore the context of John 6 and 1st Corinthians.

"The church has always taught that the body and blood of Christ are truly received in and under the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper."

Again, how about showing some references to early church fathers who use the phrase 'in and through' that Luther does instead of begging the question. Catholicism teaches that the bread itself is the flesh of Jesus under the full appearance or 'accidental' (if you want the technical term) of bread, which would explain sciences inability to see a change in the bread. But Luther says it is 'in and through' but not the bread itself.. what does in and through mean in contrast to the catholic view, and is it subject to scientific inquiry? and why focus on 'is' when you are not really saying that the bread 'is' the body, but rather that it is 'in and through' it? I don't believe in the Catholic view, I just want to know how you contrast your view from theirs without begging the question on history. I've shown that the bible explicitly teaches that the communion is a memorial, but your view doesn't even agree with the phrase you use to support it.

John Chrysostom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTUUfaLtKss

John Chrysostom

“‘All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation’ (2Co 5:18). Nothing is of ourselves, for remission of sins and adoption and unspeakable glory are given to us by Him. Paul no longer exhorts the Corinthians from the things to come only (2Co 5:1-10), but even from those things now present. Consider that we shall be raised again, and go on to imperishability, and have an eternal house. But since present things have more force to persuade than things to come with those who do not believe in these as they ought, he shows how great are the things they have already received. What was received by them? They are all dead (he said, ‘all died’ and ‘He died for all,’ and so He loved all alike) hardened, and grown old in their vices.

“But behold God gives a new soul (for it was cleansed), and a new body, a new worship, promises new, and testament, life, table, dress, and all things new absolutely. For instead of the Jerusalem below we have received that mother city which is above (Gal 4:26). Instead of a material temple we have seen a spiritual temple (2Co 5:1). Instead of tables of stone, fleshly ones (2Co 3:3); instead of circumcision, baptism (Col 2:11-12); instead of the manna, the Lord’s body; instead of water from a rock, blood from His side (Jn 19:34); instead of Moses’ or Aaron’s rod, the Cross; instead of the promised land, the kingdom of heaven; instead of a thousand priests, one High Priest; instead of an unreasoning lamb, a spiritual Lamb. With these and such things in his thought he said, ‘all things are new’ (2Co 5:17). But ‘all’ these ‘things are from God,’ by Christ, and His free gift.”

John Chrysostom, Homilies on 2 Corinthians, 11.4

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

try again

"instead of the manna, the Lord’s body; instead of water from a rock, blood from His side"

Sounds like a reference to John 6's mention of manna where eating and drinking are equated with coming and believing.

There's nothing in the quotation distinctive of Luthers view over any other view of the Communion.

edit: I just watched the video, thanks for posting it.. very telling especially when they talk about their view of irresistible grace...

What troubles me is not that Lutherans think aspects of the gospel can be incomprehensible, but that they openly think some of them are contradictory and illogical. There is a difference between the appearance of contradiction and contradiction itself, and they embrace the real deal contradiction rather than being open to the possibility that there is a solution they don't understand. I think it undermines the character of God and biblical inerrancy.

Yup

That Sermon is a classic 'Theology of the Cross' sermon. I would hear that any day in my Church.

Watch all the other videos I posted. We Lutherans are just rubes who just do not understand all that Enlightenment reason.

We are truly Sola Scriptura, not Solo Scriptura as many Calvanists are or Sola Scriptura insofar as reason is concerned. It is really telling indeed. Good thing the Catholic Church values reason just as much as you do. You should be best friends. Scripture is subservient to reason, depraved human reason.

Though if you want to be honest with yourself, you should deny the Trinity as it is a logical paradox, but that is if you really want to be honest.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

I might watch some later..

I still think you misrepresent Calvinism, and I see a difference between reasoning in general and logic, a difference I think you don't perceive. Logic is the most basic form of truth. Either a premise is true or false, there is no middle ground. If a premise is true, then it is true, if it is false, then it is not true. That is logic. It's so basic, and fundamental that it is necessarily true. You shouldn't concede contradiction where it might be that you just don't comprehend the solution.

The trinity is not a logical paradox, There is a difference between the concepts of God and Person, so the fact that one God is revealed in 3 Persons is not a paradox. if it was one God and three Gods, then that would be a paradox. I don't claim to fully understand it, but I can see that it is not self refuting. If any being is consistent, it would have to be God. you've heard the phrase: inconsistency is the sign of a failed argument?

If you say that the trinity is a paradox, you are making a very specific claim about it, that it is unreasonable, inconsistent, illogical.. Why make such a bold claim about something so mysterious if you don't have scriptural support to say that it is a logical paradox rather than just a mystery?

3 Persons One Substance

If you press any Trinitarian Model to its logical extreme, you get a heresy such as Modalism. That is why traditional Christians are loath to use Trinitarian models for the simple fact it creates a moral hazard.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

right, but..

Right, but calling it a paradox is a model of it's own. It's not remaining neutral on the mystery of God. Calling it a paradox is saying there is no mystery, it's saying that it is undeniably illogical, unreasonable, self refuting, and inconsistent. That sounds like a hazard to me. Wouldn't you feel safer just calling it incomprehensible instead of a logical paradox? Besides, The Trinity being 3 persons and 1 substance doesn't even fall into the category of paradox, they are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Okay

Answer me this question: Did God the Father die on the cross? But God died on the Cross, but was it only the Son? How? We don't know. See the exclusiveness? Neither confusing the Persons, nor dividing the Substance. Exclusive, but not exclusive? *brain explodes* If you can figure out how that works, you are the first and only theologian in all of history to do so. The Athanasian Creed's author acknowledges it does not make sense, but must be believed. Even he did not know.

Logical paradoxes exist even in nature. I am an electrical engineer by education and communication systems run off of a logical paradox. What do scientists do when dealing with a logical paradox? They just ignore it if it is convenient for their model. Black holes, quantum physics, all have logical paradoxes. Just because it is a paradox, does not make it negated. It is how our systematics deal with it in our theology.

Calvin just smashes them, ignores verses, or subordinates others to fit his view.

Lutherans acknowledge all scripture as being inspired thus we allow those verses that are paradoxical to stand on their own, shaping our theology.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

um

"Answer me this question: Did God the Father die on the cross? But God died on the Cross, but was it only the Son? How? We don't know. See the exclusiveness?"

No, God the son died on the cross, and rose himself from the dead. You say God died on the cross, and I would say that that is true only to the extent that you are speaking of God the son. I would say that Mary was the mother of God in the sense of Jesus(God the Son), but I would not say she was the mother of the trinity or of God the Father or of God the Holy Spirit. I think that one member of the trinity can be referred to as God without referring to the other members. If the bible makes distinction between God's substance and persons, then we can acknowledge those distinctions even without completely knowing how they work. The fact that one doesn't know how something works doesn't mean there is a logical paradox or mutually exclusive concepts in play.

Hey

You are the one who claims to know how God works by subordinating scripture while elevating other parts of scripture. Now you are using the Lutheran answer to the question. I said that it is impossible to know the God behind the Cross. Lutherans apply this consistently in our doctrine. Calvin said that the finite could not contain the infinite, yet it did in the Incarnation. We then apply that to Communion vs say Calvin who thought that Christ was bound up on Heaven and we had to ascend to feast on him in faith.

Americans for the longest time thought they were the only true Christians (the Puritan redeemer nation), however, their practices do not jive with the vast majority of Christianity ever practiced. You know, that cloud of witnesses. I reject Calvin's semi-Nestorianism. Of course another illogical topic is the hypostatic union of Christ. These things you trust in faith alone unaided by reason. I just apply this thinking to the rest of scripture.

May the LORD bless you and keep you
May the LORD make His face shed light upon you and be gracious unto you
May the LORD lift up His face unto you and give you peace
Follow me on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/Burning_Sirius

"You are the one who claims

"You are the one who claims to know how God works..."

I didn't say that I fully know how the trinity works, I said I don't see mutually exclusive concepts in the trinity. I have no reason to believe an attribution of a logical paradox is justified. You are saying God operates with inconsistency, so in a way it seems you are claiming to know how God works more than me. I say I find no inconsistency, but you affirm it's there, because you think you know enough about God to attribute it to him. a paradox is not the idea that you don't know something works, a paradox is when inconsistency is demonstrably 'known' to be inconsistency, when there is no doubt about the illogical nature of something. You seem to have no Doubts about God's being in this subject, you assert it is illogical. If God is not the author of confusion, how can you say that his very being is confusion, illogical, inconsistent, a paradox? Could it be at least possible to you that maybe your interpretation method is the thing that is lacking logical congruity rather than God's being?

Denise B's picture

Hi b,

I have been following your conversation and find it very intriguing because I have weighed certain aspects of both of your arguments to some extent for quite some time and am still trying to settle the matter. I think the problem is that we are trying to use human logic to understand God's logic, and as I stated earlier, His ways are not our ways, so to think that everything He does necessarily must be logical to us is a mistake. There is sooo much in scripture that is "illogical" to human thinking, i.e.: is the Gospel itself even logical to human thinking? Is it logical at all to human beings that the great High King would come down from His throne and give His life for the GUILTY leper condemned to death? Like Paul said, it is very rare indeed that someone would give his life to save an innocent man, but what about one who would give his life to save a guilty man? There is nothing logical about that...in fact I would go so far as to say it is incomprehensible...But I believe it to be true...

Just because something appears to be a contradiction to us, by no means does it invalidate anything because we don't have the whole picture. The Bible does not contain all truth, although all of it is true, and to come to logical conclusions about all things pertaining to God, we would need all possible information pertaining to Him as well, which at this point, we certainly do not have.

Like I have said repeatedly, I still have much to learn, but have read the entire Bible and am leaning at this point to Lutheran thinking. All of the Bible is true and must be taken into account in understanding God; however, at this point, we are incapable of comprehending the fullness of God and His ways and there are certain aspects where we have no choice but to concede that it is a "mystery" and we may never fully understand it or make "logical" sense of it in this life. I believe God when He says that He does not desire that any should perish, and I also believe that, as the Bible indicates, many shall perish. Why do we have to conclude that either God is a failure and isn't capable of saving everyone, or that there is a difference between His desire and will? I think the best option is to take Him at His Word on all occassions and accept that certain aspects we may not fully comprehend, and may even dare seem inconsistent to us, but have faith that our confusion is always due to our own lack of knowledge and never due to His lack of perfection.

When you boil faith down, isn't it really the idea of believing the incomprehensible or the unexplainable or sometimes even the illogical? If it is necesssary that we boil it down to only that which makes sense to us, it is no longer faith in God that we lean on, but faith in our own understanding of Him.

That's not logic.

"Just because something appears to be a contradiction to us, by no means does it invalidate anything because we don't have the whole picture. "

I think you are misusing the term logic and thinking of a more general concept in its place. perhaps you mean comprehensible understanding and call it logic. Logic is much closer to math than understanding. There can be a logical proof for something that is so complicated that no one would be able to figure out the truth or falsity of its conclusion in their lifetime. The term 'invalidate' is a very specific technical term in logic, dealing with argument forms. By arguments, I don't mean peoples rants, I mean logical arguments like modus ponens, modus tollens, etc. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modus_tollens But the term 'invalid' is often misapplied by extension and almost never means in regular conversation what it does in logic. Both valid and invalid arguments could have a true or false conclusion in logic. People tend to mix up the terms 'valid' and 'true' as well as 'valid' and 'sound'.

"Is it logical at all to human beings that the great High King would come down from His throne and give His life for the GUILTY leper condemned to death? "

That isn't really a question of logic, it's more a question of appropriateness or foreseeability of a single premis. You offer a mere premise, not an actual argument or logic. If you offered an argument like the following:

Premises:
A: God came down from his throne and gave his life for the guilty leper condemned to death
B: God is a High King
C: Sensible High kings do not come down from their thrones and give their lives for guilty lepers condemned to death

Conclusion: therefore God is not a sensible high king

That would be logic, a logical argument with a false premise and a conclusion which is not true. so it would be a valid, but unsound argument.

It is not invalid in the logical sense, but it isn't sound because the conclusion is not true due to the false premise. Logic has very specific technical meanings for certain words which is not how most people use those words in daily conversation. A premise can not be 'invalid', it can only be true or false. If we don't know enough about a subject, we might have a hard time putting the correct truth value on a premise, and that is no weakness in logic, but rather a weakness in ones use of logic.

"When you boil faith down, isn't it really the idea of believing the incomprehensible or the unexplainable or sometimes even the illogical?"

Faith is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".. NOT the evidence of things inconsistent and not logical... Faith is a trust, and trust is earned. It's not exclusively related to the unknowable. You can have faith in something obvious like the sun rising on a morning that the Lord does not return. You can trust in something illogical, but I don't think God asks us to do that. God is truth, and logic is truth. An argument can be illogical and still have a true conclusion, but it's premises would not all be true or its logical form would not be truly valid.. and in God there is only truth. The bible says God does not lie. so I wouldn't assume God wants to offer us a lie or false or illogical information.

Logic doesn't deal with the material world, it only deals with truth values. If God wants to change the material world at times, that would only change how we might apply truth values to premises, but it would not change logic.

I think logic classes should be given at early prepubescent ages, most people don't know what logic really is, but in my view, it's more important than arithmetic.

Denise B's picture

Is the concept

of the trinity logical in your view? If so why? In strictly mathematical terms, can 1 + 1 + 1 = 1? Logically, can something be fully one thing, while being fully another thing completely different at the same time? I do not doubt that the trinity exists exactly as the bible details it does...I just want to know what the logical proof for something like that might look like...

I forgot to answer this part.. sorry..

"can something be fully one thing, while being fully another thing completely different at the same time?"

A blue square can be fully blue and fully square at the same time, while blue and square are completely different concepts.

The only time logic is in question is if the concepts are mutually exclusive.. like with a square circle. Since Jesus is an example of someone who is fully God and fully man, there is no mutual exclusivity with the concepts.. They are different categories, like blue and square, or person and substance.

Denise B's picture

I understand

what you are saying, but I do not know that I fully agree that the concepts of God and man are not mutually exclusive. I would say that we are as different in substance from God than dark is to light or gold is to tin. I misstated my question by not addressing the issue of substance, as opposed to merely characteristics. Blue and square are merely characteristics of the same object and do not address the substance or essence of the thing. A better framed question would be "can something be fully gold and fully tin at the same time, logically?" My point being all along that the use of logic does not satisfactorily explain the concept of the trinity with our limited knowledge of the matter. In fact, to our human minds, it is not logical (therefore often referred to as one of the "mysteries of faith"); however, that in no way means that God is illogical, to me it means that we don't have the information to break it down in a logical manner at this point.

I do not disagree with you that the God of the Bible is a consistent and logical being, my only point of contention is in the assertion that everything He does must make logical sense to humans for Him to be so. Thanks for taking the time to respond! I appreciate you sharing your views... :)

hmm.

"I would say that we are as different in substance from God than dark is to light or gold is to tin. I misstated my question by not addressing the issue of substance, as opposed to merely characteristics. Blue and square are merely characteristics of the same object and do not address the substance or essence of the thing. A better framed question would be "can something be fully gold and fully tin at the same time, logically?""My point being all along that the use of logic does not satisfactorily explain the concept of the trinity with our limited knowledge of the matter. In fact, to our human minds, it is not logical"

How did you come to the conclusion that the relationship between tin & gold is comparable to the substance of man & God? This is where I would be hesitant to make the assumptions required to assert the paradox. What do we know about the substance of either man or God to be able to say if they are mutually exclusive?

First, I'd point out that the bible speaks of God in terms of "spirit" rather than physical material:

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Gen_1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

John 3:5-6 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Can you really say that the distinction between man, and God(spirit) is comparable to the arrangement of atoms in 2 kinds of physical metals? Normally, if there appears to be a contradiction, and a way to harmonize them appears, the contradiction is disproven. And the mere existence of Jesus as both God and man seems to be a harmonization of the alleged contradiction. But since there is only one clear example of this(this example of Jesus as part of the trinity) which is the subject of the question, it's hard to address it from either side without begging the question. If you 'merely assume' that the substance of man and God are mutually exclusive, you beg the question of whether or not there is a contradiction, but if you 'merely assume' that they are compatible you'd also beg the question. But those appear to be the only two options when nobody knows the details of the things in question. But at least in assuming that there is no contradiction, one would be following the principle of charity. But I don't think those are the only two options, and I don't limit my view to a 'mere assumption' that the substances are in someway logically compatible. The reason I reject the concept of contradiction here is because of the relationship between truth and logic, and what the Bible says about God's relationship to truth.

"I do not disagree with you that the God of the Bible is a consistent and logical being, my only point of contention is in the assertion that everything He does must make logical sense to humans for Him to be so. Thanks for taking the time to respond! I appreciate you sharing your views... :)"

We're pretty close to agreement. But I see a big difference between something being logical and something making sense to us. If we are unable to make sense of something, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is illogical. Logic is not man's understanding, logic is a system of truth values, truth values which may or may not be recognizable to us. It could be that we just don't understand the premises enough to consider the argument accurately(which is what I think you were getting at). In that situation, I think that saying there is a contradiction is not justified. At best you should say you just don't understand it enough to say whether or not it's logical.

Not knowing how a computer works does not make a computer illogical. Computers are based on logic. When you start getting into subjects like 'fuzzy logic' (which might show engineers the appearance of paradoxes) that's not what I'm talking about.. that has more to do with the physical world than the truth values I'm speaking of.

well...

People see 3 and 1 and don't pay attention to the fact that persons and substance are different concepts.

1 person + 1 person + 1 person = 3 persons (not 3 Gods)

the 3 persons are 1 substance, 1 God. But godhood and personhood are not the same kind of thing. God's substance is mysterious, and we can't really say that it is the sum of its parts as you try to do in your question. Someone could say 1a+1a+1a=1b a=5 b=15 to answer your math question, but that wouldn't accurately represent the trinity. It only shows that three of one type of thing can be equivalent to one of another type of thing. And if it's possible here, it might also be possible with the trinity even though it is a somewhat different concept. If you have something large and chop it into small parts, the small parts do not retain the characteristic of largeness, so the largeness is the sum of it's small parts, but the persons of the trinity are all fully deity, so it is not the sum of its parts.
You can't picture it as 1 God + 1 God + 1 God either because there are not three separate Gods to be added. it is mysterious because we don't know a lot about it, But there is no concept of mutual exclusivity which would demonstrate a contradiction.

Not that this is related, but just for fun, in boolean algebra, 1+1+1=1
Because the + does not signify addition, but rather a digital OR, and the number system is binary.

ahh

I'd recommend a book called "Theology of the Reformers" by Timothy George, it's on amazon and might be at your local library and focuses on the similarities and differences between luther, calvin, zwingli, and menno simmons(founder of the mennonites).

All those colorful personalities

are such a blast. In my town we have a coffee house/pub named after Bucer, the party animal of the Reformation. The place is quality all the way and the ambiance matches. John Knox, what a man! Philip Melancthon, Luther's lamb who balanced out Luther's roaring peasantness all rough around the edges with his oddball table talk. Sadly, it's sort of politically correct to bash Calvin but he was a sweetheart and The Institutes are one of the wonders of the world. And the Lord God made them all, and we owe them all so much.

Denise B's picture

Hi CarrotTop,

would love to visit your coffee house, sounds like a great place! I couldn't agree more, the Lord God did give us them all and we were certainly blessed that He did! Brave men indeed! :)