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  • Dr. Brown Takes Your Calls and Answers Your Questions

    May 2, 2014 | 86 Comments

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    Does it matter if Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday? Did I lend my name to the controversial Jews for Jesus video “That Jew Died for You”? According to Galatian 1, how and when did Paul receive his revelation of Jesus and the gospel? Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.

     

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    Comments

    86 Responses to “Dr. Brown Takes Your Calls and Answers Your Questions”

    1. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

      Many times when witnessing we forget one of the most powerful evidences of all. And the one thing that God gave to us to prove to us that He was who He is, God. Prophecy.

      Jesus said in John 13:

      18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

      19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

      He said again in John 14:

      28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

      29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

      30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

      And in the Old Testament:

      Isaiah 42:

      9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

      Isaiah 46:9-10

      9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,

      10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

      Isaiah 48:3,5

      3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

      5 I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.

      That is the undeniable proof that God himself gave to us to prove who He is. Creation evidences are awesome too, but sometimes I think showing prophecy is more powerful, especially in getting the person to think and open up a bit.

    2. Greg Allen
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

      Dr. Brown’s ineffective use of apologetics, on today’s show, made me feel better about myself!

      Armed with a fresh bible school diploma, my NIV bible and a copy of “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” I went off to secular university sure I was going to use apologetics to lead a lot of people to the Lord.

      It never happened and I felt guilty about that.

      Don’t get me wrong: I’ve led a number of people to the Lord; just not through apologetics.

      And who has? Nobody I know. I’m sure some people have been argued into the Kingdom of God but none of my friends.

    3. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

      Dr. Brown did tell one caller that the reason he addressed the issues the way he did was because this fellow had already been given the Gospel and the evidence for God previously. And since that didn’t convince the fellow, Dr. Brown addressed his questions rather than taking the conversation another direction.

    4. Dr Al Garza
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:12 pm

      Shalom Dr.Brown, it was an honor to have spoken to you and to share the views of Genesis 18 and 19. I hope you take a hard look at them and let me know what you think.

      I do have to say that I heard a caller who asked your opinion about Genesis 6 and the sons of God. I have to say I strongly disagree with your thoughts of them being Angels from heaven. I was reading a book called The Concealed Light by Dr.Tsvi Sadan, an Israeli Hebrew scholar and he points out concerning the title Son of God on page 20 the following,

      “In his famous treaty, The Kuzari, Rabbi Yehuda Halevi qualifies the term: “We call Adam Son of God and all who are like him were called sons of God…and they all had perfect bodies and virtues and longevity, wisdom and ability to act well” (Kuzari Article 1, 95)

      In other words, a son of God is a righteous person who is doing the will of God, Genesis 7:1.

      If you consider chapters of 4-6 you see first the genealogies of Cain and of Seth. One is wicked and the other is righteous. The Torah does confirm that the Jews should not marry foreign unbelievers and this is also confirmed in the NT by Paul. It was forbidden and Genesis 6 shows why. The whole context is about MAN and the wickedness of MAN on the land. God was grieved over MAN and so was going to wipe MAN from the face of the land. He is FLESH and is going astray. Nothing in the entire context points to created Angels or sons of God being messengers from heaven. I hope you look carefully to this passages and the context of the chapters I listed. Thanks again for today and shalom, God bless Dr.Brown.

      Dr.Al Garza

    5. Bo
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

      Al Garza,

      Why does the passage relate that the offspring of the son’s of god and daughters of men were giants? The context requires a different meaning and the ancient Hebrews (see Enoch) thought that they were fallen angels. So did the early church leaders. And Enoch was given credence by James, Peter, and especially Jude.

      Shalom

    6. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:52 pm

      Sorry for chiming in Dr. Garza,

      I believe without exception, unless I missed a reference somewhere, that every mention of ‘Sons of God’ or ‘Son of God’ in the Old Testament refers to angels.

      ben ‘elohiym

      Genesis 6:2
      That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

      Genesis 6:4
      There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

      (I note that is says ‘daughters of men’ and Seth was a man as well as Cain.)

      Job 1:6
      Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.

      (this verse clearly without a doubt labels angels as sons of God.)

      Job 2:1
      Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the Lord.

      Job 38:7
      When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

      (this was at creation before man was made.)

      Daniel 3:25
      He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

      (Notice that the three devout Hebrews, godly men, are labeled ‘men’. The fourth, I believe to be Yeshua, but for sure is of the spirit realm/angelic, is called a ‘son of God’.)

      If there are other references I didn’t catch I will re-evaluate but I believe the Genesis 6 passage is speaking of fallen-angelic beings and is the only way the passage makes sense.

      Peace and Grace,
      -Benjamin

    7. Bo
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

      Bejamin,

      Thanks!

    8. Bo
      May 2nd, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

      Shabbat Shalom everyone!

    9. Greg Allen
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 2:44 am

      Benjamin,

      >>Dr. Brown did tell one caller that the reason he addressed the issues the way he did was because this fellow had already been given the Gospel and the evidence for God previously.

      It was the book “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist.”

      I haven’t read the book, myself, but as Dr. Brown was using it — it seems like typical apologetics.

      And the guy was not convinced.

      And, my point was: I don’t know hardly anyone who accepts Jesus because of apologetics.

      At the end of the conversation, Dr. Brown encouraged the him to pray about it. I think prayer is far more likely to work than apologetics.

    10. Greg Allen
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 2:51 am

      Al,

      It’s interesting, to me personally, that you bring up the “Son of God” issue.

      Just this week I was in a bible study where the teacher said that “Son of God” and “Son of Man” mean the opposite of what they seem to mean.

      I have to say … I was doing mental skid marks! If that teacher is correct, I have been reading hundreds of verses wrong!

      It doesn’t change the divinity of Jesus, of course, because he is called both. But, still!

    11. Greg Allen
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 2:54 am

      Oh, I should add:

      The teacher said more-or-less what you said,

      >> In other words, a son of God is a righteous person who is doing the will of God,

    12. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 10:06 am

      Sons of God is used many times in the New Testament in reference to believers. The context is always to demonstrate salvation. The Old Testament never uses the term in such a way. There is never any mention of salvation or righteousness in the passages that use the terms “ben ‘elohiym”(Hebrew – sons of God) nor “bar ‘elahh”(Aramaic – son of God).

    13. Greg Allen
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      Dr. Brown,

      It’s a small point – regarding James the agnostic/atheist.

      You said that DNA was the “design equivalent of software” and James disagreed.

      I think James has a more up-to-date understanding of DNA.

      In the ten years since human DNA was mapped, scientists have pretty-much stopped calling it a “blueprint” because there simply is not enough data in the DNA to design the whole human body.

      Yes, there is A LOT of information in human DNA but most of it is just empty repetition. It as if, in your library simile, half the books were blank!

      To be clear — I’m not arguing against your general perspective. I see God’s hand in creation, as you do.

      I’m just suggesting that you update your DNA argument for God.

    14. Greg Allen
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 10:30 am

      Benjamin,

      But what about my bible study teacher who claims that the term “son(s) of man” is the true claim for divinity?

      And, as you say, “son of God” is really about extra-good humanity.

      (if I understood her correctly.)

      And, by the way, this is not just some home bible study teacher. She a PHD in New Testament, I believe.

      Have I really been reading hundreds of verses exactly backwards all these years?

      But, if all you/Al/my teacher are claiming is that “Son of God” and “Son of Man” can have varying, contextual meanings. I have long understood that.

    15. Ray
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 10:53 am

      I don’t know why there were giants in the earth in those days, but I know that Goliath of Gath was like a giant to David.

      I take the sons of God in Genesis 6 to be those God fearing men who walked by (see also Romans 8:14) the spirit of wisdom through the fear of the Lord.

    16. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 11:12 am

      Well here are some examples of son of man that do not refer to divinity.

      Job 25:6
      How much less man, that is a worm? and the son of man, which is a worm?

      Job 35:8
      Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art; and thy righteousness may profit the son of man.

      Psalm 8:4
      What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

      Psalm 146:3
      Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.

      Isaiah 51:12
      I, even I, am he that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass;

      Jeremiah 49:33
      And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.

      Specific Titles of non-divine men, Ezekiel and Daniel.

      Ezekiel 2:1
      And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

      Daniel 8:17
      So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

      “And, as you say, “son of God” is really about extra-good humanity.”

      - I never said this. ‘son of God’ in the New Testament used of believers does not equate to extra-good humanity. It’s those believers that realize they are extra-bad you could say. It just means they/we have been adopted by God by faith in His Son.

      I would really need to have been in the Bible study, but from what you have said, I believe she is mistaken.

    17. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 11:20 am

      Ray, If the sons of God were righteous men, how comes no daughters of God married sons of men? Small point but as Bo said, you still have to figure out why they produced irregular offspring.

    18. Dr. Michael L Brown
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 11:45 am

      Dr. Al,

      Glad we could talk on the air, and thanks for your post here. Again, I’m not able to interact here at length, but I’d hardly take observations from the Kuzari as any kind of authoritative biblical interpretation, and the biblical evidence (as cited by others here), the ancient Jewish evidence (Enoch, etc.), and the evidence of the NT points to the interpretation I shared on the air re: Gen 6. Again, it’s quite peripheral to me, but I’m surprised that you’re surprised that I advocate this as the most coherent biblical interpretation of “the sons of God.”

    19. Greg Allen
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 11:54 am

      Benjamin,

      Thanks for the verses. I do remember most of them.

      I have to wonder if I understood this teacher correctly. But, I gotta say, I did press the issue with her.

      I’ve been reading and studying the bible for decades and it can make me a little dizzy to be told I’ve been reading huge parts of it exactly backwards!

      As for the visitation of the elohim in the Old Testament — the blurring of angels with a monotheistic God used to make me pretty uncomfortable.

      I worry about it less now. For starters, a lot of our modern concept of angels, demons, even Satan himself, often comes more from Milton, Dante or even “The Exorcist” than it does from the bible.

      For example, most modern Christians make a clear distinction between the personhood of God and angels. The bible seems less clear on that.

    20. Ray
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 1:04 pm

      Benjamin, where in the Bible does it say that no daughters of God married sons of men?

    21. Ray
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

      Referring to those who were led by the spirit of wisdom prior to the flood as “sons of God”, seems rather incoherent to some Bible scholars.

    22. Van
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 1:22 pm

      “seems rather incoherent to some Bible scholars.”

      > To an atheist, no one is more incoherent than a supposed Bible scholar. Only in religion can someone who cannot prove that any of the bogies they believe in actually exist be considered some kind of “expert.” Theology is the study of nothing making Bible scholars experts on nothing.

    23. Ray
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 2:47 pm

      Let’s consider the non-existence of God as a bogie.

      Van, Let’s see what you can do with that if you are as “expert” as you perceive some others to be.

      Can you prove that the bogie in question above, really does indeed exist?

      If I consider that God indeed does not exist, then the question immediately comes to mind, “Why then, is there so much good in the world?”

    24. Debbie fraser
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 3:25 pm

      Hello all.. I was that caller that questioned Dr Brown about the Sons of God. Sorry Dr Brown I disagree with your answer.

      Keep in Mind when Lucifer was kicked out of Heaven, 1/3 of the angels followed him. Those angels are called fallen angels. Fallen Angels no longer serve the Lord. So they can not be referred to as Sons of God. Sons of God are Holy. Fallen Angels are evil, rebellious and demonic. They are not labeled as Sons of God. In Job 2. Sons of God mentioned there are actually Holy Angels who serve God Almighty. Satan came to the throne of God and the members of the Heavenly court(Sons of God) were also present. Job 2 has nothing to do with fallen angels.

      There were NO extraterrestrial relations 1Corinthians 15:39-40 proves it…
      “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”
      Spirits do not have flesh and blood. They can not produce offspring. They are not human.

      As for the BOOK OF ENOCH. That book is not Biblical and is unscriptural.

      Mark 12:25 Jesus tells us that angels do not marry. That is Scriptural Proof that Angels and Mankind Cannot Marry.

      God Bless you and it was a blessing to chat you.

    25. Debbie fraser
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 3:45 pm

      Genesis 6:7
      “So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”

      “Angels” are NOT mentioned. Why? Because there were No Angels involved in Genesis 6.

    26. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 6:28 pm

      Good post Greg. I wish I had been in the class.

      Ray, you asked, “where in the Bible does it say that no daughters of God married sons of men?”. The verse is Genesis 6, verse 2:

      2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.

      No mention of daughters of God, nor sons of Men. And this would lend more evidence to the sons of God being angelic since angels are male (no female angels).

      Debbie, thanks for the post. Since angels are male, they are not given in marriage since their is no opposite sex for them to marry. Plus in the spirit realm there is no reproduction mentioned in Scripture. But when angels who chose evil and take on humanity invade our reality, they now have flesh and “they took them wives of all which they chose.” Does that sound like the actions of godly, righteous men? Sounds like they took them by force. And if you say that fallen angels cannot be referred to as sons of God, how can unrighteous, unholy men be referred to as sons of God? Just using your line of thought to show both sides.

      Regarding angels not being mentioned in Genesis 6:7, these angels took on flesh (Jude 1:6, And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.) it would seem they could also discard that flesh, and are reserved in chains for that evil act, awaiting judgement.

    27. Ray
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

      Benjamin you seem to be a barbarian to me and me to you. I do not see the Bible say that no daughters of God married sons of men. I do not see Gen 6:2 as proving such a thing. Rather, I see it (the idea that daughters of God married sons of men) as a suggestion that the Bible does not specifically mention in Genesis 6. I only see that sons of God married daughters of men in Gen 6:2.

      Some have talked about the fear of God being the favor of God, and it’s true that God gives many of his gifts to his children and servants.

      When one walks for a long time in the favor of God, isn’t it that the fear of God can sometimes be so easily lost?

      I believe that’s one of the great teachings from the book of Job.

    28. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 6:51 pm

      Sorry I should have quoted Jude 1:7 along with verse 6.

      Jude 1:6-7

      6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

      7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      In verse seven, ‘even as’ means ‘just as’, and then it goes on to describe the same behavior of angels and Sodom and Gomorrha. They both gave themselves over to fornication (angels and men since ‘even as’ was used), and going after strange flesh (flesh not normal to them). This is what Dr. Brown was referencing up above.

      Thought I should add this since I forgot to include verse 7 above.

    29. Ray
      May 3rd, 2014 @ 7:44 pm

      I trust that both the angels and inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha, left the place God wanted them to be and went on their own way somewhere else, whether it was this or that.

    30. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 12:25 am

      Ray,

      Jude
      6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
      7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      The angels which “kept not their first estate” were “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah…giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh.” The strange flesh that the fallen angels went after were human women. They were not allowed to them just as the men of Sodom and Gomorrah lusted after angels which were not allowed to them. It is “strange flesh” when either and angel or a human goes after the other. Granted, the men of Sodom and Gomorrah also gave themselves to fornication, whether it was homosexual or heterosexual too. They may have been attempting only the homosexual form of fornication at first, but by continuing after they were miraculously blinded by angels, they were also guilty of lusting after strange flesh…Angels…just like the fallen angels lusted after the daughters of men.

    31. Debbie fraser
      May 4th, 2014 @ 5:48 am

      Benjamin- Unrighteous, unholy men are not referred to as Sons of God. Fallen angels are not referred to as Sons of God either.

      I will explain the Book of Jude…

      Jude 1:5-7
      5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe. 6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; 7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

      The context of these verses shows us that there are consequences for those who do not obey the Lord. Destruction will come upon you.

      -vs 5 The Lord destroyed the Egyptians in the Red Sea and Saved the Hebrews
      -vs. 6 The angels rebelled against the Lord when they left Heaven to follow Satan.
      -vs. 7 Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because they were sexual immorality(Homosexuality).

    32. Debbie fraser
      May 4th, 2014 @ 6:14 am

      Note- The men of Sodom were already guilty of practicing homosexuality before the angels showed up to pronounce judgment on their behavior. The Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexual lifestyle.

    33. Van
      May 4th, 2014 @ 8:14 am

      “Note- The men of Sodom were already guilty of practicing homosexuality before the angels showed up to pronounce judgment on their behavior. The Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexual lifestyle.”

      > And did nothing at all when Adolf Hitler killed 11 million innocent people. God does nothing as 30,000 children starve to death every night. But God will throw rocks at gay people and then we expect Christians not to behave the same way as their God. Why?

    34. Van
      May 4th, 2014 @ 8:17 am

      No one ever answered this: How did the holocaust fit in with God’s plan?

    35. Benjamin Warkentin
      May 4th, 2014 @ 8:30 am

      Good morning Debbie and everyone,

      What I meant when I spoke about unrighteous men was to show that these “sons of God” in Genesis 6 were clearly unrighteous since “they took them wives of all which they chose.” Would God fearing men rebel against God is this fashion? (seeing God is angered by this action) So if they were men, then they had ‘fallen from righteousness’ by this point and are no longer righteous, which by your first post above would disqualify them from being titled ‘sons of God’.

      On the other hand if these unrighteous men can be called sons of God, then so can fallen angels.

      But all of the above I used the line of thought you were using to think about the issues and then point out the difficulties I found. I think there are three ways in which ‘sons of God’ can be used.

      1. Son of God – Jesus the Messiah (The unique true Son of God).

      2. sons of God – Angels/Adam & Eve (They do not have parents so each one is a direct creation of God). I am not likening Adam and Eve to angles except by the sole fact that they are both direct creations.

      3. sons of God – People of true faith. Mankind which gets redeemed and adopted into the family of God.

      Turning to Jude, you explained Jude 1:5-7:

      “-vs 5 The Lord destroyed the Egyptians in the Red Sea and Saved the Hebrews”

      – Verse 5 does not deal with the Egyptians. The ones destroyed were the unbelieving Hebrews, the ones which believed not that they could take the land when the 10 spies with negative reports returned from scouting the land.

      Numbers 14:11

      11 And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

      Numbers 14:23

      23 Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it:

      Numbers 14:28-29

      28 Say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you:

      29 Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward which have murmured against me.

      “-vs. 6 The angels rebelled against the Lord when they left Heaven to follow Satan.”

      That is true, but only takes into consideration part of the passage. The ‘even as/just as’ in verse 7 makes them one unit. Verse 7 also uses ‘in like manner/likewise’ which also ties verse 7 into verse 6. In 7, Sodom and Gomorrha and the surrounding cities “likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire” (the ESV footnote mentions that ‘unnatural desire’ in the Greek means ‘other flesh’.) but likewise to what? the angels back in verse 6 who also went after strange flesh, in Genesis 6.

      -vs. 7 Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because they were sexual immorality(Homosexuality).

      – Bo made some great points in post 30 above regarding the homosexuality of Sodom and Gomorrha.

    36. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 8:37 am

      Debbie:

      >>Note- The men of Sodom were already guilty of practicing homosexuality before the angels showed up to pronounce judgment on their behavior. The Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexual lifestyle.

      Where does the bible say this? Or are you projecting your homophobia on the bible by isolating only one sin in Sodom?

      And there seems to have been a lot of sin going on Sodom! Yet only one sin gets mentioned.

      One of the most horrifying, it strikes me, is Lot offering up his daughters for rape to a mob pounding on his door, demanding “strange flesh.”

      It’s one of the ugliest parts of scripture yet this often gets totally ignored by Evangelicals and only the homosexuality is focused-on.

      I think this fixation on only homosexuality has everything to do with conservative homophobia and very little with the mind of God about our gay brothers and sisters.

      (And, by the way, one can support monogamous gay marriage and still condemn homosexual mob rape!)

    37. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 8:51 am

      Van,

      >>No one ever answered this: How did the holocaust fit in with God’s plan?

      I can only answer for myself (and, I am sure, others here will disagree) but my position would be fairly mainstream Christian.

      Evil is not God’s plan. But God has given humans the freedom to chose right or wrong. The Nazis chose to be very very wrong. And evil like the Holocaust happens.

      Obviously lots of people blame God for not stopping humans from being evil. It’s guilt by inaction This is actually a deal-breaker for them, in regards to faith in God.

      Fair enough. That argument has merit.

      But their argument has a moral flaw as well.

      If God had chosen to allow only good, and no bad, there would be no morality at all.

      In a very real way — we wouldn’t be humans at all. We’d be puppets.

      And, ironically, God would not allow you to raise the very question you are asking right now!

    38. Ray
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:06 am

      Van, what have you done to save millions of people? Did you plead with the nations to come to their aid?

      Do you believe it’s your duty to judge God?

      Are you more righteous than him?

    39. Ray
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:09 am

      Bo, Do you think it’s possible that Jude is speaking in a general sense about the fall of the angels and the consequences of their actions, rather than any specific sexual sins?

    40. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:15 am

      Van,

      I think I asked you this once before:

      What in atheism makes the Holocaust wrong?

      I’ll add this question:

      In your way of seeing the world, isn’t the Holocaust just natural section?

      And, by the way, this is not a rhetorical question. I really do want to know where atheism provides any moral rights or wrong.

      I’ve asked several atheist why they are moral and the most common answer is: “we just are” which strikes me as a faith-based answer.

    41. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:34 am

      Ray,

      >>Do you think it’s possible that Jude is speaking in a general sense about the fall of the angels and the consequences of their actions, rather than any specific sexual sins?

      The term “strange flesh” is fairly generic but Rienecker/Rogers say it insinuates unnaturalness.

      It’s highly debated how “unnatural” the rural ancients thought homo-sex was. Some scholars believe it was quite widely tolerated as long as it didn’t disrupt the clan (and especially the duty to procreate.)

      But, can one even debate the point that homosexuality was not the unnatural thing going on in Sodom!

      I think this isolating of homosexuality as the only sin of Sodom doesn’t come from the bible but comes from homophobia.

    42. Ray
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:35 am

      And did some of the rain evolve into giving the earth it’s dew, or was it the sun and earth that evolved into giving us day and night?

    43. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:39 am

      Oops!

      But, can one even debate the point that homosexuality was not the _only_ unnatural thing going on in Sodom?

      - – - –

      For example, it bothers me that so many Evangelicals proclaim that Sodomites were judged for their sexual orientation and then they blow right by the rape part!

      As if Sodom has done only hetersexual rape, it would exist today. Of course not. Its the gang rape — not the sexual orientation — that is a sin.

    44. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:41 am

      >> And did some of the rain evolve into giving the earth it’s dew, or was it the sun and earth that evolved into giving us day and night?

      Or does the time-line of creation in Genesis 1 make no scientific sense because it is religious story-telling and never meant to be science?

    45. Ray
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:49 am

      Or is it that God can bring light from so vast a region as space, and do it in time for whatever he’s doing, not being limited to light years, even as Jesus was not limited to the natural order of wine making at a wedding?

    46. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:54 am

      Van,

      >> But God will throw rocks at gay people and then we expect Christians not to behave the same way as their God. Why?

      When did God do this?

      Jesus put an end to a capital punishment verdict this way.

      (and I believe, an end to all capital punishment, any which way.)

      Are you gay, by chance?

      I am still trying to figure you out! Nearly every person I’ve known, who argues like you do with Christians, has been deeply hurt by Christians.

      Normal atheists try steer clear of the fundamentalist Christians just to avoid the headache.

      But you come here, ginned up for a headache! I have a hard time understanding your motivation.

      If you are gay, I can understand you wanting to pound on the the homophobes here.

      And, if you have been victimized by Christians — I apologize to you as a Christian. Lots of us have repented of this and more are, every day.

      I honestly mean that. I really am sorry if you have been victimized by my fellow Christians. But are you sure that coming here, and getting yelled at even more, is the best path to healing?

    47. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:56 am

      >> Or is it that God can bring light from so vast a region as space, and do it in time for whatever he’s doing, not being limited to light years,

      Or did the writer (and readers) of Genesis have absolutely no idea of the vastness of space? Or light years? And it is a fools errand to try and reconcile modern science with religious story telling from the Bronze Age?

    48. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:12 am

      Ray,

      Even though I am a liberal Christian, my biggest problem with the conservative creationists is that they don’t take their bible literally!

      In the Genesis account, the stars are not “light years” away.

      They are hung, like lamps, on the ceiling of the vault which holds back the sea above us.

      Genesis doesn’t tell us exactly how far away that was but we do know that the residents of Babel thought they could build a tower that high.

      If anyone is reading Genesis while envisioning our modern understanding of space — they aren’t real biblical literalists — only selective ones.

    49. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:22 am

      Ray,

      As for the wine — that’s another case where reading the bible with a scientific mindset can make one miss the point of the story.

      I don’t think the point of that story is that Jesus miraculously overrides the “natural order” of fermentation.

      It is well documented that in pre-scientific times, when a “new thing” showed-up, it was seen a miracle from God. The ancients weren’t thinking about yeast digesting the carbon in sugar and pooping out alcohol and carbon dioxide.

      It was more like — if you put grape juice in skin and pray… look! God gives you wine! What a blessing!

      And Jesus could do that too!

    50. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

      Ray,

      As for the wine — that’s another case where reading the bible with a scientific mindset can make one miss the point of the story.

      I don’t think the point of that story is that Jesus miraculously overrides the “natural order” of fermentation.

      It is well documented that in pre-scientific times, when a “new thing” showed-up, it was seen a miracle from God. The ancients weren’t thinking about yeast digesting the carbon in sugar and excreting alcohol and carbon dioxide.

      It was more like — if you put grape juice in skin and pray… look! God gives you wine! What a blessing!

      And Jesus could do that too!

    51. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:26 am

      Well, time for me to go to church.

      I will probably come back. I’m especially interested to see if Van answers either of the direct questions I asked him.

      I honestly answered his question. Will he answer mine?

    52. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:32 am

      Greg,

      Ge 15:5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

      Ge 22:17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

      Ge 32:12 And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.

      The stars of the heavens are compared indirectly to the sand of the sea in Genesis. The naked eye can only see a few thousand stars on a clear night. Was YHWH promising to only make Abraham’s descendants a few thousand or numberless to Him? (Hint: He says numberless.) Bronze age or not, the scripture is inspired by the One that made the heavens and the earth. He knows how He did it and told us. He knows that both the sand and the stars are numberless to us. You are trying to force a literal passage into a nice little kindergarten story instead of simply believing it the way it stands. Science and secular history is your authority instead of the inspired word of YHWH.

    53. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:36 am
    54. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 10:39 am

      Van,

      You wrote:
      “No one ever answered this: How did the holocaust fit in with God’s plan?”

      Someone did here: http://www.lineoffireradio.com/2014/04/28/lessons-for-all-of-us-on-holocaust-remembrance-day/#comment-777050

      Here is what it said:

      Van,

      There is passage after passage prophesying that Israel will be punished for their sin and rebellion against YHWH and that they will be scattered into all the nations of the earth and be persecuted and that in the last days they will be regathered to the land of Israel…rapidly…miraculously. Now they are back in the land miraculously. A nation and people that was completely obliterated has been resurrected. The Holocaust was instrumental in the birth pains of Israel being born.

      All that said, there are also prophesies about what will happen to those that abuse Israel. These we have seen come to pass over and over. Germany was taught a great lesson, as was Babylon, and Rome, and Assyria, and Egypt and we and the rest of the nations of the world would do well to learn from history and prophesy.

      When are you going to stop dodging and man up and answer the charge that you lied and misrepresented Schweitzer? In case you and others have almost forgotten, here is a gentle reminder of the challenge:

      Why should anyone listen to you when you have been proven wrong and won’t admit it? Why should we listen to a troll?

      “troll
      One who posts a deliberately provocative message…with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.”- http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll

      When are you going to answer the charge that you took Scweitzer out of context? Did you do it intentionally or were you duped by someone and then just regurgitate the lie? At least admit that you were wrong, even if you won’t tell us your motive. Don’t dodge or ignore this if you are an honest man. To refresh you memory, here is the challenge:

      Below is one of many examples of Van’s deception technique. He has been asked repeatedly to either admit that he has posted false testimony or to produce verification of his assertion. After being called on the carpet, he conveniently ignores all rebuttals and continues to regurgitate deception mixed with a huge amount of rhetoric, vitriol and insult. He is not to be taken seriously as scholar or a commentator. He is a troll, and nothing more.

      Van wrote:
      “’There is nothing more negative than the result of the critical study of the life of Jesus. The Jesus of Nazareth who came forward publicly as the Messiah, who preached the Kingdom of God, who founded the Kingdom of Heaven upon earth, and died to give his work its final consecration, never had any existence.’ – Albert Scweitzer (1875-1965)

      You just accused Albert Schweitzer of being classless, unqualified, and simple minded. Par for the course for people who have no respect for intelligence and education.

      Many scholars have tried to find evidence from outside the Bible that Jesus really existed. They came up with nothing, absolutely nothing as Dr. Schweitzer said.

      You people have bought into all the lies of religion and then you repeat these lies without any hint of a conscience. Calling me a liar when all I do is speak the truth just shows how backward your evil religion really is.”

      Sheila responded:
      “Well, it’s a classic move by you to rip a quotation out of context. Who is it you’re listening to? It makes no sense for you to drop what you think is a bombshell when all you’ve done now is make yourself look more foolish because you never considered that Google just might have Schweitzer’s book on line.

      Anyone who cares to can read further down the chapter and see that Schweitzer was referring to the historic Jesus as He was portrayed by the modern theological historians of his own time. His thought was that “That” Jesus never existed… His point was that we end up molding Him according to our modern way of thinking categorically. We essentially risk minimizing the astonishing profundity of His teachings.

      This link begins with the quote you gave us and then explains exactly what Schweitzer was getting at. The man made the cross he wanted on his own grave, for Pete’s sake.
      http://books.google.com/books?id=uzRXxvPsylkC&pg=PA478#v=onepage&q&f=false

      To date, Van still ignores the proof of his irrelevancy. He continues to persecute in the only way he as power to do. That power, in this instance, being the grace of Dr. Brown. Be sure to thank YHWH that Van is not in any governmental position where his bigotry and prejudice can do more harm.

      2 Timothy 3
      12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
      13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
      14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
      15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
      16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
      17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    55. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 11:13 am

      Van wrote in response to Debbie:
      ““Note- The men of Sodom were already guilty of practicing homosexuality before the angels showed up to pronounce judgment on their behavior. The Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of their homosexual lifestyle.”-[Debbie]

      > And did nothing at all when Adolf Hitler killed 11 million innocent people. God does nothing as 30,000 children starve to death every night. But God will throw rocks at gay people and then we expect Christians not to behave the same way as their God. Why?”-Van

      Well let me see, YHWH allows more than enough food to be produced to feed those children and He gave us intelligence enough that we have invented all kinds of technology in transportation and food preservation and vitamins and such…but the wicked human rulers over those starving children that lavish themselves and hoard the food or destroy it and the choices of their parents and grand parents and their pagan cultures have prevented the food from getting there. And the vast majority of relief comes from Bible believing people and organizations.

      If I remember correctly, YHWH sent all of Europe plus the US and Russia to take Hitler out and punish Germany. So just like Sodom and Gomorrah, after the crimes had gotten beyond sanity, YHWH sent judgement. Maybe He would have acted without using humanity if we would have failed to finally come to the rescue. Maybe we are the ones at fault, and not Him, for taking so long to enact justice. And eternity will give perfect justice to all.

      Whenever Van points a finger at YHWH he has three fingers pointing back at himself. The foolish sentiments that he purports to be reason and logic are hollow and self serving and of no real use except to bolster Van’s ego.

    56. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 11:36 am

      >>The stars of the heavens are compared indirectly to the sand of the sea in Genesis. The naked eye can only see a few thousand stars on a clear night. Was YHWH promising to only make Abraham’s descendants a few thousand or numberless to Him? (Hint: He says numberless.)

      Hint: the bible is FULL of hyperbole.

      This is oviously hyperbole.

      Clue: a few million Jews is far short of seventy septillion suns and goodness know main grains of sand!

    57. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 11:59 am

      Greg,

      The hyperbole is equal. As countless as the grains of sand and the stars. The Creator knows how many that is and compared the two. Looking into the sky with the naked eye does not produce anything like an equivalence. And we are not speaking of only the Jews but all the nations that come from Abraham’s loins.

      Ge 35:11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins;

      And history ain’t done with yet! I wonder how many, all told, will be resurrected in the end. If it is even in the tens of millions that would be pretty countless to Abraham. Just like the stars and the sand.

      So hyperbole does not change anything. It is a lot more people than the number of stars that can be seen with the naked eye.

    58. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

      Greg,

      You will like this:
      http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2012/09/17/161096233/which-is-greater-the-number-of-sand-grains-on-earth-or-stars-in-the-sky

      And it will become obvious that the grains of sand and the number of stars are good comparisons to each other…and if Abraham could count either one, he might eventually have that many descendants. And if he has eternity to count and there is any procreation going on during that time, it could become literally true. I’m not saying that it will be literal or that there will be procreation going on in eternity, but he had more than a few thousand offspring in just a couple of hundred years…way more than the stars that he could see. But the stars that YHWH, and probably Abraham, knew about are very instructive that we should not underestimate the inspired word of YHWH when it comes to actual history and material facts about the universe.

    59. Ray
      May 4th, 2014 @ 1:12 pm

      Concerning God’s promise to Abraham about the number of the stars and the sand of the sea, Do you suppose it’s part of God’s plan to have more children born of resurrected people in a new earth?

    60. Ray
      May 4th, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

      Since in the resurrection they don’t marry, I guess that answers my above question. So it seems that when the end of this world comes, the number of God’s children will have been determined by then.

    61. Brian R.
      May 4th, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

      Wow… didn’t realize that all of this discussion was going on.

      Regarding the sins of Sodom that brought their destruction:

      Ezekiel 16:49-50
      Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.

    62. Brian R.
      May 4th, 2014 @ 4:12 pm

      Regarding the Holocaust:

      The only reason that the holocaust occured came as judgment to the Jews for not remaining faithful to their calling – to be a light to the nations. Broken covenant brings the curses as the resulting part of the conditions.

      “Hear this word that the LORD has spoken against you, O children of Israel… You only have I known of all the families of he earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:1-2)

    63. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 4:25 pm

      Bo,

      I answered your previous question. (you won’t like my answer!) and asked a different question.

      By the way — I wasn’t trying to avoid you. I know it causes some of you a lot of frustration that I don’t address all your objections.

      I can honestly say that I never purposely avoid debate. I’m here because I like debating these things (even though I get a little weary of the abortion and gay issues.)

      But, the format of this blog is problematic. With a page for every day and sometimes dozens of posts per day, it gets too much for me to follow.

      Out of fairness to you guys, I’ve decided that I will try to go back at least a few days to check if someone has responded to me. But even that can feel like a flood of responses.

    64. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 4:33 pm

      Brian R,

      >> The only reason that the holocaust occured came as judgment to the Jews for not remaining faithful to their calling – to be a light to the nations. Broken covenant brings the curses as the resulting part of the conditions.

      I strongly disagree that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves: that they (supposedly!) deserved being slaughtered because they rejected the Messiah.

      Ironically, it is this same perverse theology that gave a Christian justification for the mistreatment of the Jews for the centuries leading up to that horrific crime against humanity.

      No. The Jews did not suffer for their own sins. The Jews suffered for the sins of the Nazis and their sympathizers.

    65. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

      Bo,

      Thanks for the link to the sand vs. the stars.

      It is stunning that there are more stars than sand! I’ve walked the beaches of Pacific and the sand Dunes of Arabia — and that is just a small portion of the sand!

      But this is only tangential to my point.

      Bo was trying to make a scientific point about space by using the bible.

      I’ve told him a million times — you can’t take the bible literally that way! ;-)

      What you said is surely the point of this passage — it has nothing to do with space. “Stars in the sky” is just a way to talk about a really big number — too big to count.

      The actual numbers — Hebrews and stars are never and will never be even close to each other in an mathematical sense. But hyperbole is not about real numbers.

      And it certainly is not about science!

      When you use the bible to determine science, you get bad science… and bad bible!

      This doesn’t mean the bible is wrong. It just means that it is not science.

    66. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 4:50 pm

      Oops…

      _Ray_ was trying to make a scientific point about space and light years by using the bible.

    67. Brian R.
      May 4th, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

      Greg,

      I catagorically disagree with you based upon Scripture. I quoted Amos 3 because Scripture declares that Israel has been punished because they have rebelled against G-d, on the grounds of their choseness.

      Israel went into captivity as a nation becauase they rebelled against the call of G-d. It is quite hard to argue this if you are going to use the Bible as your precident.

      Deuteronomy 28 gives us promises of protection and provision to Israel on the condition if they would obey His voice and follow his commandments. Additionally, from the same chapter, we see the curses that would come upon Isral if they rebelled against His holy word. Hence, according to G-d’s Word, Israel would not suffer judgment if they remained faithful to their covenant promises.

      I’ll leave the same quote once again to validate this truth.

      “You only have I known of all the families of he earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2)

    68. Greg Allen
      May 4th, 2014 @ 6:22 pm

      Brian

      >> I catagorically disagree with you based upon Scripture.

      _Your interpretation_ of scripture.

      And, an interpretation that I doubt many serious scholars share.

      I am no expert on Amos but I did take a college class on the minor prophets and my professor never mentioned the Holocaust when we were going over Amos. So, I you may be in a minority, even among Evangelicals to think that Amos was talking about the Holocaust.

      Or do you just think that Amos applies to anything an everything bad that happens to the Jews?

      - – - – - -

      What about my point that your theology was a self-fulfilling prophecy for the Holocaust?

      As in: “The Jews deserve the wrath of God for rejecting the Christ. See! The Holocaust proves it!” (Ignoring the fact that the very people with this theology were the ones who perpetrated the Holocaust! It’s cruelly circular. )

      If, instead of the man-made, sinful Holocaust, it was a natural disaster — you might have a better time arguing it was God.

      But it was sin. The German’s sin. Not the Jews’ sin.

      - – - – - —

      Not to put too fine a point on it:

      Besides rejecting the Christ — what else did the Jews do wrong to deserve the sadistic death of millions? Nothing I can think of. If you ask me, the Jews are usually a pretty good influence on the societies they live within. This would include Europe before WWII.

    69. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

      Greg,

      Here is what you are missing. The number of stars that can be seen with the naked eye is only a few thousand (about as many as the number of golf balls that will fit in a 5 gallon bucket or two). The number of grains of sand on the smallest of beaches that can be seen with the naked eye is billions and billions. If a bronze age writer was only as knowledgeable as you say, he would not compare the two in the same hyperbole because there is a drastic difference to the naked eye. He could use one to say that you’ll become a big tribe and the other to say that a you’ll become a great multitude beyond numbering. Now if YHWH really did inspire the words of the Bible, then we would expect that there would be at least some instances that would reflect things well beyond bronze age knowledge and even ours.

      YHWH used both figures of speech to say that Abraham would become a great multitude because He knows that there were countless stars as well as countless grains of sand. (Estimates range from twice as many stars to 10 times as many…very comparable, I would say, compared to the visual comparison.) If He had only used these idioms separately we could mark it up as only hyperbole, but He used them together also to indicate the same thing. You and I, in our scientific world might use both figures of speech to mean the same thing because we know that there are countless stars and countless grains of sand. We would not say, “I will make your descendants as numerous as the golf balls that fill a 5 gallon bucket. (approximately 2300)” to mean the same thing as if we said, “I will make your descendants as numerous as the grains of rice that would fill a 5 gallon bucket. (approximately 1,000,000)” There is a drastic difference. And that difference is nothing compared to the difference between the visible stars and the visible sand.

      You just do not believe that YHWH’s word is completely true and that it contains numerous examples that our scientific investigation is just recently discovering to be true. You trust science more than YHWH’s word. You trust 20th century western culture more too. If you won’t see, I cannot make you see. Just like the abortion and homosexual debates…you do not want it to be the way the Bible says it is. No amount of scripture will change your mind because you have decided against scripture and with current culture. I will now go see if you answered me concerning Messiah being a living human from conception.

    70. Bo
      May 4th, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

      Greg,

      Since you said that you would not check back on our conversation about when are we human, I am coping my post there to here for your convenience.

      Greg,

      I will explain then quote from Luke to show proof of my statements. Please read both carefully.

      Mary left immediately after the message from the angel.

      Luke 1
      38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
      39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

      John the baptist recognized Messiah in Mary’s womb. Messiah was only a few days gestational age. The Holy Ghost filled Elisabeth and confirmed that Messiah was in fact alive and human at this very early stage.

      40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
      41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
      42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

      It has only been a few days since conception. The Holy Ghost communicates to and through Elisabeth that Mary is already a mother and that the child is her master.

      43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

      This all happened before Mary told her about it for it was the first sound of Mary’s voice that started the whole Holy Ghost experience. Blessings were pronounced on the brand new mother and the brand new baby human…not on a cluster of cells that might one day be a baby human.

      44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
      45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

    71. Brian R.
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:25 pm

      Greg,

      The problem with your argumentation is – you have presented none. You speak of my intrepretation, however the citation is accurate.

      G-d has always used nations and instruments to judge Israel throughout their history. You are failing to acknowledge a fundamental truth, and that is the Holocaust could not have happened to Israel if they remained faithful to their covenant calling. The Holocaust was judgment upon the Jews, by the arm of Hitler. There is “absolutely” no way around this truth.

      The calling of G-d that brings blessing also cuts with a two-edged sword that calls for a greater accountability.

      You can reject this truth based upon your philosophical reasonings; however, I’d be more intrested to hear your objection from Scriptural evidence.

    72. Brian R.
      May 4th, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

      Greg,

      BTW… You question my intrepretation in light of scholarship, of which I would more than welcome. In point of fact, I’d bet my bible that you would be the one in the minority on this. Present your case, my friend.

    73. Greg Allen
      May 5th, 2014 @ 7:52 am

      Bo,

      I think we are coming closer together in what you will have “descendants like the star” means.

      It means: more than you can count.

      But here is where we part:

      It is NOT science. It is not even factual, as literal math, whether you use either visual stars or actual stars.

      BUT IT IS TRUE: Abraham had more descendants than he could count.

      This is my ultimate point: If you use the bible for a way it is not intended — you are misusing the bible.

      And the bible was not intended to be a science text book.

      I believe in the bible — so much — that I respect it enough to use it as intended by God — to help me live a righteous life.

      Not science.

    74. Greg Allen
      May 5th, 2014 @ 7:57 am

      Bo:

      >> No amount of scripture will change your mind

      This is just an absolutely wrong statement.

      (and risking the sin of judgmentalism)

      I have changed my mind a lot of times based on scripture.

      But this is true: If the bible is silent on a subject, you can cut-and-paste all the verses you want — the bible remains silent on a subject.

      The bible is silent on the issue of whether life begins at conception or not.

      I would counter-argue with you — it disrespect the bible to force it to say what YOU want it to say based on, let’s say, the current “Culture Wars.” I respect the bible more than that.

    75. Greg Allen
      May 5th, 2014 @ 8:11 am

      Brian,

      _You_ claim that Amos foretold the Holocaust as a judgment of God — the burden of proof is on you.

      Amos has a historical context and it isn’t WWII. If you claim it is, you need some scriptural indications. Especially considering the moral ramifications of your belief (that the Jews deserved the Holocaust.) The one verse you used, certainly did not make your point.

      As for my general position on why people suffer my scriptural basis the whole Book of Job.

      We have a whole book in the bible which addresses this very issue: we can’t know why good people suffer.

      When you blame the Jews for the Holocaust, you are like the friends of Job… WHO WERE WRONG.

      - – - – - -

      Can we at least agree on this?: it is a sin to perpetrate a Holocaust.

      This was the Germans’ sin. The Jews did not do that.

      No where in your post did you ever blame the Germans! It was all on the Jews. This is just seriously messed-up moral reasoning.

    76. Greg Allen
      May 5th, 2014 @ 8:16 am

      Brian,

      >> There is “absolutely” no way around this truth.

      Your belief that God used Hitler to punish the Jews is not “absolute truth” by any definition of that word.

      It it wild speculation on your part – solidly in the tradition of European anti-Semetism.

      It is this kind of “_I_ know exactly the mind of God. You are categorically wrong if you disagree with me.” thinking that leads the church, again and again, down wrong paths.

    77. Greg Allen
      May 5th, 2014 @ 8:42 am

      Brian,

      As I was eating breakfast, it occurred to me that you have a huge historical problem with your belief that the Jews brought the Holocuast on themselves through their disbelief.

      What about the other people who died in the Holocaust. While it was mostly Jews, Gypsies, communists, gays, Polish Christians (lots!), even Evangelicals also marched into the showers. Men, women, the elderly… little children.

      Was this also punished for being “out of covenant” with God?

      And what about the prisoner of war camps which were a horror, also? There was MANY a good, bible-believing church in America who lost a born-again, fellow Christian as a POW.

      Can you find a bible verse in Amos or Deuteronomy which puts the blame on them?

      Your position is HUGELY PROBLEMATIC HISTORICALLY and, frankly, cruel. You blame the victims.

      No. I’ll go with the Book of Job to help understand horrors like the Holocaust. (That, and compassion.)

    78. Bo
      May 5th, 2014 @ 9:01 am

      Greg,

      You did not answer post 70. I would like a point by point answer as the passage does speak to how early life begins. But if you are going to continue to evade and claim that the passage has no merit in knowing when life begins, just answer 5 questions:

      1. How close to conception was Mary when she was prophesied over by Elisabeth who called her a mother and the child in her womb master?
      (38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
      39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;)

      2. What percent of abortions happen after this point in the pregnancy today?

      3. Do you think that the Bible says that Elisabeth knew by revelation from the Holy Spirit that Mary was pregnant with Y’shua.?
      (40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
      41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:
      42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
      43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?)

      4. Was it by the Holy Spirit that he was filled with while in the womb that John the Baptist knew?

      5. Should Mary have the right to get an abortion at this very early stage?

    79. Anthea
      May 5th, 2014 @ 11:55 am

      Greg began at post no 2 by making fun of the use of apologetics. No one claims that someone is saved directly as a result of having a conversation about evidence, etc. I’ve never heard Zacharias, Geisler et al suggest this. What they do say is that apologetics explains why my faith is an informed one. It’s quite a surprise to many people that there are good arguments FOR the gospel.

      Christians can make a few observations, and let God do the rest. Greg may see this as useless because he has not seen immediate results. But we are obliged to be prepared to present an answer/defence/spologia/testimony. That’s a matter of obedience to God (I Pet 3:15) and faith in His power to water the seed.

      As a new Christian, one might do anything in a naive or less adroit way, but that does not negate the worth of the activity. I can see that my apologetics at 20 was cringeworthy. A lot of what I did back then was clumsy.

      I value what Dr Brown does on his show to celebrate and model the full range of spiritual disciplines.

    80. Anthea
      May 5th, 2014 @ 12:15 pm
    81. Ray
      May 5th, 2014 @ 1:10 pm

      There’s so much to think about when we think about the judgment of God and sin.

      There’s a verse in Proverbs that says that Blessed is the man that feareth God always. He shall not be visited with evil.

      I’m not sure where it is but am quite sure that promise is in there.

      So, is there any man that has always feared God?

      The only one I can think of is Jesus. Was he ever visited with evil? Yes, but not for anything he deserved on account of any wrong he ever did, for he did no wrong, ever.

      So do we ever suffer for the sins of others? Will God allow this for our perfection? Will God allow injustices to come to us as a test? Is God interested in us becoming more like Jesus?

      If the holocaust was judgment against Israel, then we should know that God wasn’t done with them yet.

      Is he done with us yet?

    82. Brian R.
      May 5th, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

      Greg,

      You are missing the major point to this which is a Scriptural concept that does not change. G-d has a covenant with Israel, and this covenant has both blessings and curses that are inherent within it. There are undeniable pronounced blessings of provision and protection from YHVH for remaining faithful, and there are curses that come with disobedience. Do you understand this fundamental concept or not, because if not there is no need to continue beyond this basic truth?

      Notwithstanding, you have difficulty in understanding that the words of G-d stand sure, in that His statement in Amos remains having been written along with the rest of Scripture, to include what was declared in Deuteronomy. Again, take a look at Israel’s captivity to Babylon, why did this happen? It was because of their unfaithfulness, thus they were judged for 70 years on the grounds of this very truth. Additionally, G-d used the arm of the Assyrians to judge Israel for their sins. What of the destruction of the second temple through the instrument of the Romans, and in 135 ce., the massive slaughter of the Jews, from which they ceased to be a nation, wherein over one million Jews were killed? Did this come from G-d’s promised blessings upon their lives? Jesus desired to gather them under his wings, but they were not willing, thus they were judged as a nation.

      So we come to the Holocaust, could this have happened if they remained true to their covenant calling, or was this somehow different from all the other judgments against the chosen people? Your misconstrued problem for yourself arises in that you have focused on the instrument and have ignored the state of the people of Israel. It is a historical fact that the majority of the Jews were more secular then they were faithful to their calling, just as it is today. Your anti-Semitic claim against me has also been levied against the NT writers as well, so I am familiar with your claims, as they are nothing new.

      “You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities” (Amos 3:2).

    83. Ray
      May 5th, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

      Hasn’t the old covenant God had with Israel passed away because of Jesus Christ, his sacrifice on the cross, his resurrection, ascension, and the giving of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost, or are some men still under the old covenant because they have decided to still be under that?

    84. Bo
      May 5th, 2014 @ 8:17 pm

      Ray,

      The old covenant cannot pass away until heaven and earth pass away.

      Matthew 5
      17 ¶ Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
      18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
      19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

      Ro 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

      Ga 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

    85. Dr Al Garza
      June 18th, 2014 @ 10:45 pm

      Shalom, as I stated before in my comment above I made Jewish and Hebrew references to my position. I will not repeat my comments but I feel you, Benjamin Warkentin and Bo, have not refuted my sources.

      Also in the DSS you will find the term “Sons of God” in reference to Israel in Deut.32:8. The RSV correctly translates this passage.

      I already explained the context from Genesis chapters 4 and 5 leading up to 6.

      Also the term “Angels or Angel” is a bad translation and should be read “messenger or messengers” in the New Testament. That term can be used of both men, God and the created beings in heaven.

      Thanks and shalom.

    86. Ray
      June 19th, 2014 @ 7:45 am

      Dr Al Garza,

      I believe you are right about the “sons of God” being men, those who called upon the name of the Lord, and walked by the spirit of wisdom which God gave to God fearing men. (Gen 6)

      This seems to me to be the explanation which makes the most sense.

      I believe there is a certain “sound”, that we need to learn to listen for, the sound of the prophetic voice in scripture.

      To call men sons of God says a lot. It can speak the will of God quietly, yet in volumes of speech.

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