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Showing posts from October, 2006

Heterodox Aftershocks 7: Aion / Aionios

I've noted before that the weak spot in the Christian Universalists armor is the fact that the entire matter is contingent on a translation matter.There are plenty of strong arguments that appeal to logic, emotion, philosophy, and the nature of God.But those arguments can all be undone with the definition of two words.(Assuming you take the Bible to be authoritative.)That the Bible speaks of punishment for sin there can be no doubt.No one who takes the Bible and its message seriously can deny that God judges actions and attitudes and that those who fall short and are not justified are in for some horrific experience.Both in this life and the next.That I do not dispute.The contention lies in the rendering of two related Greek words: aion and aionios.I've compiled the following quotes from a paper about these words below.As I've noted, I'm not a Greek speaker.I'm not a linguist.I can't even speak any language except English.The force of my own arguments on this i…

Heterodox Aftershocks 6: Meeting with my pastor

Our church has some very admirable goals for its membership.The council came up with a comprehensive plan for getting the body to grow in real ways.So we've got a spreadsheet that has all these classes, groups, lectures, etc. that we should be checking off as we go.They deal with the personal, church, and world levels.Well, one of these programs is called the 3-fold group.And it's just the idea of finding two other people to form a little group that meets once a week for prayer, accountability, etc.I tried to get into a group a couple months ago, and none of us had the interest to get past the planning stage, and I forgot about it.Then the other week I got an email from the church office asking if I was involved in a 3-fold, and if not, could they do anything to help.So I wrote back that I was in a failed attempt, but now that I think about it, I had probably not, since I'm getting into all this unorthodox theology and I want to be respectful of my church's doctrine.I …

Heterodox Aftershocks 5: Verses Vs. Verses

Mat 20:28& Mar 10:45 "even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for MANY."
VS.
Luk 3:6And ALL flesh shall see the salvation of God.Tit 2:11For the grace of God hath appeared, bringing salvation to ALL men,1Jo 2:2and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.Fight!!!Here is an interesting issue.You can have one set of scriptures lined up against another set.Each group gives a certain impression or states a certain fact.What does a good Christian do in this case?These are the options I can think of…Ignore the set that you disagree with.Interpret away the set you disagree with.Remain undecided about the issue.Try to come up with a middle ground.Accept both to be true and live with a paradox.Well, as I stated in part one of this whole ordeal, I’m not a fan of number one.It happens all the time, probably to the best of us.But I think it is a bad practice and…

Witnessing Tips

I remember in High School the times when my group of highly enthusiastic evangelical friends and I would cruise over to the local arcade and 'witness' to people.I remember the fumbling of introductions, the dry mouth, and nervous hand shakes.The pressure of trying our best to save as many heathen as we could.Before the outings we would pray that God would make openings for us.Then we would launch into the awkward situation of trying to convince a stranger that we were right about God and they were wrong; over the blaring music and sound effects of Bad Dudes killing ninjas on the mean streets.Looking back I don't know how much good or harm we did.I guess only God knows.The only convert I can notch my belt with was a freshman kid I was friends with my senior year.I invited him to a big revival concert.He contacted me years later and told me he was going to seminary.I think the fact that I had a relationship with him was key.We had a guest speaker at my church a couple months…

Heterodox Aftershocks 4: Context

As part of a comprehensive analysis of my shift in doctrine I'm trying to consider not just the pure arguments that have gone into the change, but the players involved as well.And I guess I'm the main player in my own play, so I'll examine myself first.I touched on this in one of the CSH (Considering Some Heresies) essays where I imagined what sort of emotional states could prompt this kind of shift in a person.The most obvious one would be a person who had lost a loved one to suicide.Most Christian doctrine considers them damned, so I could see an adoption of Christian Universalism as a coping mechanism in this case.While I don't think it has any bearing on the merits of the argument, it would cause me to be more suspicious of the idea if many adherents came from similar backgrounds and had similar characteristics.So I'm looking at my life, and the particular time I'm at in it.If you read my last post you know that I'm riding pretty high right now.I just c…

The best year of my life

I just celebrated our first anniversary yesterday.After church we went to a family fun center place with go carts (I drove mine so well that a wheel popped off!) and mini golf and such. We did a whole family celebration because our marriage really was the beginning of a healing for us.So we really want to emphasize that this is a family thing, not just a Heather and me thing.The boys seem to get that and expressed appropriate feelings about the event.Heather and I are going to be celebrating ourselves later this month at a marriage retreat in Whistler Canada that our church is doing.On Saturday we were at my parent's house where my dad's family was gathered to celebrate the recent marriage of one of my cousins who got married in New York.My parents wrote us all nice letters about how far we have come in the last year.I gave Heather a trophy that said "One year of exceptional motherhood" because she deserves a trophy for how hard she has worked with the kids.All my lo…