Saturday, May 26, 2007

Cranmer's Pulpit


It has been an interesting week. Politically, the interregnum has brought paralysis, offering HM Opposition ample opportunity to seize the agenda. Yes... indeed. Religiously, there has been little of interest, save the deportation of a Mohammedan fanatic to Jamaica, and news that Bishop Robinson will not be going to the Lambeth ball. Cranmer won an award - his first - and this is now proudly displayed. That day brought Cranmer his most unique hits in a single day - 473 - in commemmoration of which he has decided to bestow upon his communicants the opportunity to raise their concerns, vent their fury, or exercise their apologetics upon whatever religio-political or politico-religious concerns they do so wish…

…intelligently, and eruditely, of course.

137 Comments:

Anonymous John Hayward, The Difference said...

Might I encourage His Grace and his communicants to support The Difference campaign against oppression in Zimbabwe, a country where even a prayer rally is at risk of being raided by the police?

As the Scriptures exhort, we should "Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: free them from the hand of the wicked." (Ps 82:3-4)

26 May 2007 at 09:46  
Anonymous billy said...

If Blair becomes a Catholic will the death of Dr Kelly weigh heavily on his conscience? Will he be forgiven for the dead and maimed soldiers of the Iraq war?

As a struggling returnee Protestant Christian, should I forgive him anyway, or can I wait until he apologises and appears to be contrite?
I'm having a lot of problems with just forgiving carte blanche. Is it soething that I must do? My vicar thinks so but he is a gentle man; I am not, as yet.

26 May 2007 at 11:19  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Billy said..."Will he be forgiven for the dead and maimed soldiers of the Iraq war?"

Well of course he would be forgiven. All he has to do is make a confession, then get a few more Iraqis killed, then go back to church and make another confession and be forgiven again. It's a never ending cycle.

26 May 2007 at 11:29  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

I would like to say hello to everyone. I have posted before as anonymous however as that upset a few people I will simply call myself דָנִיֵּאל.

Billy, I do not see what there is for you to forgive. The Iraqi war which has unfortunately led to the death of soldiers is not something that was put into action by man but rather by God himself. In the book of Daniel and chapter 4 we read of Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Here Daniel tells him that Yahweh rules in the kingdom of men and gives power to whom he will (Dan 4:25). You may think of the war as evil but it was a work of God and we read in Isaiah 45:7 that Yahweh makes peace and creates evil putting an end to ridiculous beliefs in a supernatural Satan being the root cause in world trouble.

Jelly bean, I would like to thank you for pointing out a very real fact that many have over-looked. Forgiveness we read comes from God and not man (Dan 9:9). This idea that priests can forgive us or pray for forgiveness on our behalf is absurd.

Billy it is not for you to forgive everyone that you think is making a mistake. I would say that it is your responsibility to forgive those who directly wrong you but ultimately forgiveness comes from Yahweh.

26 May 2007 at 13:15  
Anonymous Colin said...

נִיֵּאל

"The Iraqi war which has unfortunately led to the death of soldiers is not something that was put into action by man but rather by God himself."

I am starting to wonder whether God has put into action a punishment for His Grace to humble him with regard to the intelligence of his communicants.

26 May 2007 at 15:06  
Anonymous Colin said...

נִיֵּאל

Sorry. But "it is not something that was put into action by" me "but rather by God himself."

26 May 2007 at 15:10  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

I think this discussion exemplifies the need to understand the extent to which man can express and act upon freewill, and the extent to which his actions are predetermined. Here's the irony though. Will is determined by knowledge, and freedom consists in the acceptance or rejection by reason of one or the other alternatives presented to it. This acceptance or rejection is caused by divine will, and therefore man's freedom is determined.

26 May 2007 at 17:02  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Thank you for your interesting contribution. I had some problems to understand the logic behind your words.

What you are practically saying is that free will and determination is the same.

Somewhat optimistically, you call it an irony. The irony is that you just have proved that it is logically impossible. One or both of your premises must be wrong. Probably, you can guess which premise is incorrect in my view. Here the challenge for you: I am curious to know how you would solve the logical contradiction not using a "deus ex machina" but only reasoning.

26 May 2007 at 17:49  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Allow me to clarify myself. (Although I think this will confuse you even more). Firstly, no man has absolute knowledge, right? Therefore, if will is determined and limited by knowlege, our ability and freedom to accept or reject is determined by knowledge also since if we don't have knowledge of something, we cannot will to act upon it or against it. When I said that the acceptance and rejection is caused by divine will, I meant that ultimately God has given us the freedom to accept or reject, and since he has limited our knowledge, he has therefore limited our ability to express our level of acceptance or rejection. So what I was trying to say is that yes we have freedom, but even our freedom has limitations because it is restricted by our inability to possess absolute knowledge. I'm not saying freewill and determination are the same, I'm saying that man does not possess them in their absolute forms. And yes, you obviously will not view this as logically possible, but that's because our knowledge is limited to the level of logic, as we cannot comprehend beyond that. Logic and reason isn't absolute knowledge. God possesses absolute knowledge and we may therefore find it difficult to comprehend his ability to grant us freedom and determine our fate at the same time.

26 May 2007 at 19:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

If Blair becomes a Catholic will the death of Dr Kelly weigh heavily on his conscience?

I fail to see any connection between denomination and repentance. Jesus was a Jew and asked that this basic element of Jewish practice be adhered to.

The simple fact is that Blair is a psychopath and such personae do not comprehend introspection and sorrow, but if it pleases you, no doubt it can be feigned.

I do not understand why it so hard for people to comprehend that many persons in positions of authority have attained the position through duping the gullible and the trusting. Psychopathic and narcissistic behaviour is a highly successful trait and accounts for the career successes of many individuals.

If they leave footprints on the backs of those they have walked upon, that is not something they will shed tears over; it is in their nature to explout ruthlessly every situation for personal gain - it is the sociopath and his/her modus operandi

26 May 2007 at 19:46  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin

What you are practically saying is that free will and determination is the same.

"Determinism" is the word you are looking for.

Miss Jelly Bean is however flawed and your point is valid.

The moral choice is not to make the right choice when presented with total knowledge of facts and second-order consequences.......it is to make the moral choice on the basis of the facts available.

In fact there are studies which show that increasing the amount of information around a decision does not improve decision-making, but rather floods the decision-maker with data leading to poorer or slower decisions.


The human mind works on cognition but also on instinct, and so often reflex decisions are correct; but it depends on the individual not being morally impaired to begin with.

That is why most religious paradigms speak of a pious or god-fearing individual as am indication of mindset that such rules and thoughts have been internalised previously.

The issue I make with respect to men like Blair is that self-actualisation is so powerful an urge that they make God agree with their decision, rather than draw upon introspection and sense of being a temporary appearance in an eternal universe

26 May 2007 at 19:54  
Anonymous Colin said...

Thanks Miss Jelly Bean and Voyager for your comments. I shall read it more carefully later.

Meanwhile, I thought that the latest news from Sarkozy might be of interest to the readers of this blog: France to Pay Immigrants to Return Home "New [French] immigration minister, Brice Hortefeux, confirmed on Wednesday that the government is planning to offer incentives to more immigrants to return home voluntarily. "We must increase this measure to help voluntary return. I am very clearly committed to doing that," Hortefeux said in an interview with RFI radio. Under the scheme, Paris will provide each family with a nest egg of €6,000 ($8,000) for when they go back to their country of origin."

26 May 2007 at 21:19  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

I would like to thank you for all your comments on the subject of freedom and determination which I believe was brought on by my last comment about God's will ruling world kingdoms. There’s been some interesting points made and many of them are very valid.

Looking at this from a scriptural perspective, (I am assuming we are all religious) free will is something very real. It is just as you would think of it. Jelly bean's comments on acceptance and rejection hit on this well. Acceptance of something such as belief in Yahweh is entirely up to the individual.
Going back to the beginning, Adam and Eve were not programmed to worship but were given the will to choose. We read that freely worshiping Yahweh and reflecting his nature gives him joy. However when they accepted sin they had the ability to recognise good and evil and make moral decisions. Morality is not something that religion inspires but was first introduced when man sinned.
Touching further on belief and acceptance it should be said that not everyone is given the same chance of salvation as many churches claim. This statement is in direct contradiction to the Bible.
In 2 Thessalonians 2 Paul tells us that men are chosen for salvation. Verse 13 of this chapter makes reference to the book of life which contains the names of those chosen for salvation and was written when time first began. 'God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the spirit and belief of the truth'. This book will be read from at the first judgment (Rev 20:12).

Another interesting point I would like to make is that there are two stages to being chosen. First a person is called of God. This is followed by acceptance which is followed by a life of devotion. The reward is the kingdom of God on earth. Matthew 21:14 tells us that many are called but few chosen. This is where freewill comes into play. Those who have fallen short are those that have failed to accept.

Going back to 2 Thessalonians 2 and this time verse 11, we read of a strong delusion set up by God to deceive the unrighteous. With out going into too much detail this lie is the doctrine of the whore of Babylon which correct interpretation of the book of Revelation tells is the Catholic Church. This doctrine revolves around the belief in the trinity.

So in conclusion scripture tells us that free will is given to the called and not to all men. In relation to world government and world kingdoms; these are determined by God as a part of his plan set out since time began. It’s a matter of what will happen, will happen. All is Gods will.

26 May 2007 at 22:08  
Anonymous Colin said...

"I do not understand why it so hard for people to comprehend that many persons in positions of authority have attained the position through duping the gullible and the trusting."

Voyager is absolutely correct. For those who do not understand the mindset of psychopaths here the essential reading based on a large amount of scientific research: Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us and Snakes in Suits. "Psychopaths are described as incapable of empathy, guilt, or loyalty to anyone but themselves"

26 May 2007 at 22:20  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Thank you. Yes, you are right. The correct term is determinism.

Miss Jelly Bean,

Thanks again. I beg your pardon for finding your explanation unsatisfactory because a solution for every logical contradiction can be claimed by invoking a god. Therefore, I asked you to not use a "deus ex machina" (a term used for plays in theaters) but only human reasoning. I was so impressed by your intellectual ability to discover the logical contradiction that I wanted to see if you also could find a logical solution.

Voyager has provided a valid argument: "The human mind works on cognition but also on instinct". In neurobiological terminology, the decision is made by the activity and connections of neurons in the human brain. There are considerable individual differences dependent in part on genes (what voyager called instincts) and in part on experience and learning. Anxiety leads to inhibition of behaviour.

Two systems, the Behavioral Approach System & The Behavioral Inhibition System, are responsible for decisions concerning moral behaviour. The decision is made by the brain on the basis of anticipation: reward or danger, i.e. activate or inhibit instinctual behaviour. The male hormone testosterone reduces anxiety. Men are less anxious. Psychopaths are high on effective testosterone and unable to anticipate danger or punishment as tests have revealed. Hence, they are rather low on morality whereas women are on average higher in anxiety and in morality.

In conclusion, you are right in the sense that there is determinism (by brain function) and that there is free will (to choose between reward and punishment) but only to the extent that an individual is able to anticipate punishment and to experience anxiety. You might ask about the role of religion. First, you could claim that God has made the human brain. Second, religion threatens with punishments (hell etc) for sins which naturally causes anxiety and inhibition of instinctual behaviour.

26 May 2007 at 23:07  
Anonymous Colin said...

דָנִיֵּאל

"we read of a strong delusion set up by God to deceive the unrighteous." "With out going into too much detail...the whore of Babylon which correct interpretation of the book of Revelation tells is the Catholic Church...All is Gods will"


"we read of a strong delusion set up by God to deceive the unrighteous." "With out going into too much detail...the correct interpretation ... tells is" דָנִיֵּאל"All is Gods will". Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit..."

26 May 2007 at 23:25  
Anonymous Observer said...

דָנִיֵּאל

Are you a follower of TULIP ?

27 May 2007 at 08:01  
Anonymous Observer said...

Daniel...that is your moniker I take it ? Are you a believer in TULIP ?

27 May 2007 at 08:03  
Anonymous Henry said...

"woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel..."

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/u2charist.to.hit.england.for.the.first.time/9316.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire/content/articles/2007/02/20/u2charist_feature.shtml

27 May 2007 at 09:19  
Anonymous Henry said...

Apologies, I'm still learning how to hyperlink. Click the ones below.

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/u2charist.to.hit.england.for.the.first.time/9316.htm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/lincolnshire/content/articles/2007/02/20/u2charist_feature.shtml

27 May 2007 at 09:23  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

I’ve never heard of TULIP. I googled it and all I found were flowers and a mental health group. I hope that this is not what you're referring to.
Essentially what I said before was all true simply because it is taken from scripture. I am surprised that scripture is not quoted more often since many of the matters discussed on this site link in so well with it.
For those that are interested I am a Christadelphian. We are Bible believing people. I would be happy to answer any questions on ourselves or scripture should you wish to ask.

27 May 2007 at 12:58  
Anonymous Observer said...

Daniel, you've answered the question that you don't know TULIP....but here you are so you can broaden your knowledge

TULIP

27 May 2007 at 13:08  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

The idea that God preserves faith in us is wrong. Many have been called but few have been chosen (Matthew 22:14). This chapter is a parable given by Christ and alludes to the judgment. The conclusion is that whilst many may be called to an understanding of the truth their admittance to the kingdom relies on their ability to remain faithful in all things. The parable of the ten virgins is another example of this. Whilst the faith of some was burning bright others were not ready and were left behind.
Essentially the names of those who are to be admitted are recorded in the book of life and have been so since time began. Yahweh has therefore foreseen who shall be there and who shall not. What need does God have to maintain faith if he has already seen that a person shall maintain it for himself. This idea goes against the principle of worship, that is bowing down willingly.
All can believe and have faith but not all can retain it.

27 May 2007 at 13:32  
Anonymous Colin said...

"The Christadelphians are a religious group who base our beliefs wholly on the Bible, regarding it as fully inspired by God, and hence believe it is error free."

I am confused.

According to the claim of Christadelphians, the Bible is an error free message of God. According to Mohammed, the Koran is the literal word of God. However, there are major differences between the messages of God as dictated to Mohammed and as revealed in the Bible. Either God is contradicting himself or he changed his mind or there are two different Gods. The latter is impossible for a monotheistic religion.

דָנִיֵּאל and Miss Jelly Bean,

Please help my confused mind by solving the riddle. Are the Christian and the Islamic God identical or two different entities? In the case of the latter, who really is the true God and how are we able to know which claim is correct? Is there an accepted method to prove the correctness of any of the contradicting claims?

27 May 2007 at 14:52  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Are the Christian and the Islamic God identical

No.

27 May 2007 at 15:10  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Emphatically not.

27 May 2007 at 15:19  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Muslims, Jews and Christians worship the same God as Abraham. The promises made by Yahweh to Abraham were carried on by his son. The Jews and Christadelphians believe that this son was Isaac who begat the Jewish race. The Muslims however believe the promises were carried on by Abrahams first son Ishmael, who begat the Arabs.
It must be noted that although Ishmael was Abrahams first son he was not the son Yahweh promised to Abraham. Sarah, Abraham's wife could not produce children. He was made to wait for Isaac as a test of faith. Sarah who didn’t believe it was possible told Abraham to take her maid and she gave birth to Ishmael. It was not until later that Sarah and Abraham had Isaac.
Many Christian churches ignore the Old Testament believing it to be irrelevant. However this is the foundation to the new! The promises made to Abraham can be shared by all. Yahweh promised the land of Israel to Abraham and his seed. By being baptised a person can be included in the promises and share in the hope of Israel. If you want proof of these promises you only have to look at Ezekiel 37. This chapter is a prophecy of the return of the Jews to Israel and confirms that the promises were continued through Isaac. Looking at verse 21-22 we see that the children of Israel will be gathered from every part of the world and be one nation in Israel. Israel was destroyed by the Romans and it's People scattered all over the world. Thousands of years after this Prophecy was made they came together again in 1948. this is confirmation of Gods promises made to Abraham and Isaac.
Whilst the Koran is the work of one man who only claims that his words are those of God the bible was written by many over thousands of years. Despite this all books fit together perfectly and make no contradictions and the prophecies contained with it are so accurate that no atheist can explain how it is done.
The book of Daniel gives us the exact order of four world empires; Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. Later on it explains how each will rise and fall. Just one example from Daniel 8, the kingdom of Greece it explains will come quickly and destroy the kingdom of Media and Persia. These kingdoms are represented by two horns one for Media and one for Persia. A male Goat however, with one horn that is Alexander will destroy them. Later on this horn will break off and four will grow in its place. This is the death of Alexander and the split of the Greek empire into four parts under his four generals.
Prophecies like this are picked up in other books like revelation which details the split of Rome and its eventual fall at the hands of the barbarians and Muslims, the rise of the holy roman empire and Europe, the conquest of the Muslims, the French revolution and Napoleon, the control of the EU by the Catholic Church, the invasion of Israel by the Russians and Arabs and their fall at the hands of Christ.

My point is that the bible delivers such accuracy despite being a book written over thousands of years. The Koran was written during the life time of one man, by one man and has taken parts of the bible to further its power to convince. Other than that it is simply the word of one man.
I am not an expert on Islam and I’m sorry for any mistakes that I may have made but the bible message is clearly the inspired word of God and can prove this again and again accurately.

27 May 2007 at 16:51  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Muslims, Jews and Christians worship the same God as Abraham.

That is an assertion without foundation. If that is an article of faith for your sect so be it, but it is not Christian Doctrine

27 May 2007 at 17:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Despite this all books fit together perfectly and make no contradictions and the prophecies contained with it are so accurate that no atheist can explain how it is done.

You are obviously reciting mantras of a cult since what you say is anathema to a Christian, and, I suspect to most Jews

27 May 2007 at 17:42  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Do you believe Lot to be a prophet ?

Do you believe Jesus Christ to have died on the Cross and to have risen on the third day ?

Do you believe the Bible to be inerrant and the Word of God ?

27 May 2007 at 17:44  
Anonymous Colin said...

"Are the Christian and the Islamic God identical"

Two respected experts on Christian religion, Voyager and His Grace, answered with No and Emphatically not, respectively.

Since Christian religion is based on monotheism, these answers logically imply that there can only be one true God. This leads us to the next question: Who is the true God and how do we know that the other claim is incorrect? How do we know that our claim isn't wrong?

נִיֵּאל tried to answer the question by some sort of majority vote (i.e. Bible has been written by many but the Koran only by one man) and by its accurate prophecies (Napoleon, the EU etc.). I think we can all agree that these two arguments are not convincing considering that the first argument also applies to the sacred texts of Hinduism. To my knowledge, neither the EU nor Napoleon is mentionned literally in the Bible suggesting that the claimed accuracy of the prophecies is based on post-hoc interpretations. The same is true for astrological prophecies.

Aren't there more convincing arguments?

27 May 2007 at 17:51  
Anonymous Tanfield said...

Your Grace,
Firstly very many congratulations on your recent award - thoroughly deserved.
On a separate subject entirely from that which has previously occupied this thread have you and your communicants noticed the "Music and Musicians" column in the latest edition of "Private Eye". This draws attention to the fact that Westminster Cathedral is to hold next month a concert of work composed by John Tavener based on the Koran and setting the 99 names of Allah to music. This is to be intoned over an hour and a half with choir, full orchestra and Tibetan gongs.
In its usual way Private Eye wonders how such an event can be justified in a Christian Cathedral and whether this is an attempt to appease Muslims following the remarks of the present Pope last year. It goes on to state that the work has been commissioned by HRH The Prince of Wales as "Defender of Faith" as opposed to "Defender of the Faith".
I had intended to raise this as a separate thread but perhaps this is a better place to join Private Eye in raising eyebrows at this forthcoming event. I do not know much about Islam but given the Muslim objections to any pictorial representation of Mohammed will Muslims object to such an event in a Christian place of worship quite apart from the reaction of other Christians?

27 May 2007 at 18:17  
Anonymous Observer said...

Tavener

The piece has been commissioned by HRH Prince Of Wales. ‘Inspiration for the piece came to me as a vision,’ says Tavener, ‘I contemplated the meaning of each of the 99 names, as well as the sacred sound of the Arabic, and the music appeared to me spontaneously’. The composer has worked closely with the Arabist Michael Macdonald to ensure correct pronunciation and stress.

27 May 2007 at 18:41  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

"Are the Christian and the Islamic God identical"

Most certainly not. Firstly, Christians believe in the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Muslims on the other hand believe in the concept of 'Toheed'; the oneness and uniqueness of God.

In Islam, we have the following Surah of the Quran which identifies with God's character.

Say: He is Allah, The One and Only
Allah, The Independent
He begets not, and nor was He begotten
And there is none comparable to Him.

So God is he, who is the one and only, he has no children, nor was he born from anyone (he has no beginning or end), and there is no one or nothing like him in any respect.

Due to this belief of the Muslims, the Muslim God is not the same as the Christian God because Christians don't believe in one unique God (they have three different forms of God), the Christian God (the Father) begot Sons (Jesus being one of them), and as for the last condition (there is no one or nothing like him), Jesus was a human and there are many humans like him.

In regards to your second question "Who is the true God and how do we know that the other claim is incorrect?"

Every religion has their own idea of what or who God is, and since the God I believe in is incomprehendable, you cannot prove or disprove his existance with logic and reason.

27 May 2007 at 20:36  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

Sorry, I meant incomprehensible. Seem to get my spelling mixed up a lot don't I. Silly me.

27 May 2007 at 20:39  
Anonymous Colin said...

From observer's link:

"Sir John Tavener is one of Britain's most popular and respected composers of religious or "sacred" music-"

From Wikipedia: "In 1977 Tavener joined the Russian Orthodox Church. Orthodox theology and Orthodox liturgical traditions became a major influence on his work. He was particularly drawn to its mysticism,...Later Tavener left Orthodox Christianity to explore a number of other different religious traditions, including Hinduism and Islam, and later became a follower of the mystic philosopher Frithjof Schuon describing him as the one "in whose mystical presence I live."

Who the heck is Frithjof Schuon?

From an interview with him: "Our starting point is the acknowledgment of the fact that there are diverse religions which exclude each other. This could mean that one religion is right and that all the others are false; it could mean also that all are false. In reality, it means that all are right, not in their dogmatic exclusivism, but in their unanimous inner signification, which coincides with pure metaphysics, or in other terms, with the philosophia perennis.Q. : How can we know that this metaphysical meaning is the truth? F.S.: The metaphysical perspective is based on intellectual intuition, which by its very nature is infallible because it is a vision by the pure intellect"

More proof of the infallibility of his pure intellect: "Man, like the Universe, is a fabric of determination and indetermination; the latter stemming from the Infinite and the former from the Absolute." My infallible intellectual intuition tells me a different story but who I am to doubt the master's wisdom.

And to make Miss Jelly Bean happy, here a quote from his book Understanding Islam: "People often ask me: "Why do you like Islam?" and my regular answer is: “Because the Muslims take God seriously; they are aware that God the One is near us here and now, and yet cannot be described, either by intellectual or by supra-intellectual means but can be experienced by the pure and loving heart."

27 May 2007 at 21:00  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Christians believe in the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit)

Wrong again. Some Christians believe in a Triunine God but Unitarians do not. You generalise too much Miss Jelly Bean and show a very coarse understanding of the sophisticiation of Christian Soteriology


I am afraid you are very much led astray by what your chaps have been telling you and your tendency to simplistic notions of the God of the Jews and Christians.

The Muslim God is a Moon God represented by a half-crescent

The notion of the Holy Trinity is not three separate identities as you portray but three facets of the same......it behoves you at Pentecost to understand The Holy Spirit and the whole basis of the public holiday tomorrow

27 May 2007 at 21:20  
Anonymous Colin said...

Miss Jelly Bean,

Thank you for your explanations which undoubtedly are intellectually superior to what I have heard so far from the Christian experts on this thread.

However, His Grace might still be busy polishing his award so that no time is left to care about teaching such a stupid fellow as myself how to know whether the Christian or the Islamic God is the only true God possible in a monotheistic religion. On the other hand, he might still be working on clarifying his thoughts to make sure that the students dowloading this thread for their theses don't get anything wrong.

27 May 2007 at 21:20  
Anonymous Voyager said...

He begets not, and nor was He begotten

Partum non factum

27 May 2007 at 21:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

to know whether the Christian or the Islamic God is the only true God possible in a monotheistic religion.

Colin would do well to read up on Epistemology and discern the great difference between Knowledge and Belief.........God is Omniscient, you never will be.......Belief is the basis of Faith

Proof is only possible in small things, unavailable in universal matters, and such "proof" is only probability

27 May 2007 at 21:25  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

I question crossed my mind. Your following point has been proven correct by a large amount of scientific research and I entirely agree with you as you know.

"I do not understand why it so hard for people to comprehend that many persons in positions of authority have attained the position through duping the gullible and the trusting."

I do not understand why it so hard for people to comprehend that religion is unlikely to be an exception. Do you disagree?

27 May 2007 at 21:34  
Anonymous Colin said...

Sorry for the typo: "A question" instead of "I".

27 May 2007 at 21:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I do not understand why it so hard for people to comprehend that religion is unlikely to be an exception. Do you disagree?

I still don't see how Moses or Jacob were duped by God into making him All-Powerful.....and so many people like yourself have so much doubt that it can only be Faith that keeps those of us who do, believing

27 May 2007 at 22:15  
Anonymous נִיֵּאל said...

Some interesting points have been made I see. Firstly I would like to repeat that I am not an expert on Islam and therefore may have made a mistake. Essentially however the two Gods of Islam and Christianity both have roots of recognition in the same place. Muslims claim that the promises made to Abraham were passed onto them and also revere prophets such as mosses. My point is that over time the form of worship has changed so greatly you could describe them as being two different Gods.
I may be wrong, although I would like to make it clear that I do not believe in the trinity. This is a doctrine of error and has no concrete scriptural evidence to support it. This has lead to churches slipping verses into the bible in an attempt to give their claims ground.

Voyager, I’m not sure what you’re saying. Yes Christians do worship the same God as Abraham did. This is the bedrock of Christian faith since the Promises made to Abraham detail the Kingdom of God on earth. Though Abraham all nations of the earth can be blessed. This is a reference of Jesus being the seed of Abraham.
Answering your other questions, I don’t believe that lot was a prophet. He was never in direct contact with God and therefore could not be described as prophet. Yes i do believe that Jesus died on the cross and was raised after three days and yes the bible is Gods word.

Colin, firstly 'his grace' is dead and cannot therefore claim to be an expert on any matter other than how not to be alive and secondly you have ignored an undeniable prophecy that I mentioned that is the return of Israel. I understand that you have not studied any of the prophecies of Daniel or revelation in detail because if you had you would not so easily have ignored the mention of the EU. I regret that I do not have the time to explain this as it is a topic I have studied in great depth.
I agree that bickering over whose God is the right God is silly although I did not try to win support via a majority vote. I let the Bible speak for itself.

27 May 2007 at 22:30  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

"I still don't see how Moses or Jacob were duped by God."

I didn't say that. You wrote: "Psychopathic and narcissistic behaviour is a highly successful trait and accounts for the career successes of many individuals."

Why are the successful careers as founders or promoters of a religion an exception from your insight? Do you really believe that the individuals with the personality traits described by you would avoid this field of activity? Marx certainly didn't. How much do we really know about other personalities from the distant past?

To avoid misunderstandings, I don't want to make people feel uncomfortable by voicing some doubts. I merely wanted to provide some controversial thoughts in order to stimulate discussion. And I shall shut up now. A Happy Pentecost to everybody!

27 May 2007 at 22:54  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace might still be busy polishing his award so that no time is left to care about teaching such a stupid fellow as myself

It is not His Grace's job to teach stupid fellows.

If Allah and YHWH are one and the same, then the Torah, the writings of the prophets, the gospels, and the letters of Paul must be at one with the Qur'an. The Bible is 'God-breathed', the Qur'an is a verbatim recitation from Allah. One does need to be an expert in hermeneutics to see that YHWH is immanent, relational, involved in the affairs of humankind; he is love and longsuffering, drawing people towards Himself. Allah is transcendent, aloof, uninvolved in human history; he demands submission, and failure to submit results ultimately in death.

If YHWH and Allah are one and the same, then YHWH ceased being the Father who loves his children in AD610. If the Qur'an is the final revelation of God, it is inconsistent with the previous revelations. This renders God capricious, or schizophrenic, or both.

27 May 2007 at 23:02  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

No Yahweh and Allah are not one and the same. What I have been trying to get across and I find it hard to believe how it has been so difficult for you to understand is that Muslims have claimed Yahweh as their God, renamed him and worship him incorrectly. I hope this is easier to understand now.

27 May 2007 at 23:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Essentially however the two Gods of Islam and Christianity both have roots of recognition in the same place

Not so. Al-Lah and Al-Lat predate The Koran as Arab deities and the Ka'aba housed many deities and even The Koran accepted multiple deities in those verses later excised from the text and known as "the Satanic Verses".

The simple fact is that The Hejaz was on a trade route from Asia and the caravans coming from India and Persia brought all sorts of ideas in fragmentary form, and there was a Jewish population in the region - Diaspora - who had their religion which did not proselyte and bring in outsiders, so Arabs created their own identity as a religious group by using cut-and-paste.

Daniel forgot to note that Muslims consider Lot a prophet, and Jesus a prophet inferior to their chap.....and that he did not die and was not resurrected......

When I read comments like Despite this all books fit together perfectly and make no contradictions and the prophecies contained with it are so accurate that no atheist can explain how it is done.

I wonder if the author is working for government trying to push the usual propaganda because it is patently untrue and reflects ignorance or duplicity. The contradictions are clear and the exculpation from Muslims is that The Bible is wrong, ie errant which rather conflicts with teachings of Christadelphians, so you must be a very confused member

28 May 2007 at 07:08  
Anonymous Voyager said...

"I still don't see how Moses or Jacob were duped by God."

I didn't say that. You wrote: "Psychopathic and narcissistic behaviour is a highly successful trait and accounts for the career successes of many individuals."


Colin, I do not evade your point but mine is simply that I do not believe Judaism or Christianity had a "founder" per se in the way that Islam, Buddhism, Scientology, Zoroastrianism had human founders.

Even Christianity as a separate religion was a product of Jewish rejectionism predicated on a) circumcision and b) ejection from the synagogues. Without that separation it is unclear how what we know as Christianity would have developed within the Olive Tree notion of Judaism, ie Christianity being a branch where non-Jews were welcomed through adherence to the Noachide Laws.

It is because neither Judaism nor Christianity as such have "a founder" that it is so philosophically vibrant, and why there are schisms periodically even with the Roman Church losing one wing in 1154AD and another c. 1519 AD to fly on fuselage alone going forward.

What is overlooked is that Jesus Christ was a Gallilean Jew living under Roman Occupation and his followers went to India and North Africa and emerged as the Official State Religion of the Roman Empire.

The point I was making about individual businessmen or politicians was different, it was that they play by societal rules and win by going with the grain of what people expect and desire.......there is no indication that Jesus did this, or Moses, or any of the seminal biblical figures like Elijah.

They set themselves against the behaviour of those around them, and called for a higher standard, and to rise above the temporal. Jesus sought no temporal power which is why the Sanhedrin feared him, the journey into Jerusalem at Pesach was such a threat to them, and they had to convince Rome that the cheering crowds were a security threat to Roman temporal power.

The Resurrection was the threat to the Sanhedrin and the renting of the curtain in The Temple which concealed the Kodesh Hakodashim which Jews regarded as the place where the presence of God dwells - was divine rebuke to the legitimacy of the Sanhedrin which had become a co-opted secular body collaborating with the Romans and obsessed with social standing rather than religious devotions as the Sadduccees built their financial and aristocratic status on Roman power.


That is why I find it hard to reduce Judaism and Christianity to the vanities of one man, it is simply not a good fit with the facts

28 May 2007 at 07:39  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Voyager thank you for you comments. As I said I’m no expert on Islam and clearly got mixed up somewhere.
I'm not sure whether you yourself got mixed up. When I said no books contradicted each other I was referring to the bible not the Koran. I am not a Muslim and hold no Muslim beliefs. The idea of the bible being Gods inspired word and thus not contradicting itself is a fundamental Christadelphian belief. My point is that the bible despite being written over thousands of years agrees with its self in every part. surely you cannot disagree with that. If there was just one error no one would know what to believe and what not to believe!

28 May 2007 at 11:24  
Anonymous Colin said...

"It is not His Grace's job to teach stupid fellows."

Lol. His Grace is certainly an exception to the rule that the need to use insulting language is inverse proportional to one's intelligence.

28 May 2007 at 11:48  
Anonymous Voyager said...

When I said no books contradicted each other I was referring to the bible not the Koran.

What you meant and what you wrote left room for interpretion and ambiguity. Not a good idea.

28 May 2007 at 11:50  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Well next time I'll be sure to spell it out nice and easy just for you! I apologise in advance to anyone who may find this slow and incredibly repetitive form of explanation frustrating.

28 May 2007 at 12:35  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Well next time I'll be sure to spell it out nice and easy just for you!

Thank you. I shall think more highly of you if you do. But The Koran is "a Book" and as such came within the scope of your comment implying Bible and Koran were at one. Hardly an accurate assertion

28 May 2007 at 13:12  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Your 7:39 AM comment is a clear, precise and convincing argument. To my recollection, your best comment on Cranmer's blog. Undoubtedly, you must be correct with regard to Jesus. I am somewhat less sure concerning Moses, however, since his claim to have received commandments from God was essential for his struggle to become the leader of the Israelites.

By chance, I recently found a website "Truth Be Known" by Acharya S. She "argues the concept of Jesus Christ as myth, and states that the Christ story is a fabrication based on earlier pagan mythology.. to unify the Roman State." I am rather sceptical because her book is not published by a renowned publisher. Maybe you have more knowledge about the author. I would appreciate if you could led us all know your criticism of her thesis.

28 May 2007 at 14:00  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

For your convenience, here some excerpts from Acharya S' website:

”Every year, at Christmas, this fable [of Immaculate Conception] is dinned into the ears of the Christian world... But, nowadays, both clergy and laity must know that the same distinction has been claimed for many persons, mythical and real; that the oldest religions are based upon exactly such an origin; that the deified founders of Oriental faiths were begotten by a god and conceived by a virgin ... These instances are Krishna, Mithra, and Buddha.... The Magi belong to the story of Mithra, a deity of the ancient Persians, originally a personification of the sun. He was said to have been born of a virgin in a cave, on the twenty-fifth of December, an allegorical representation of the emergence of the sun from the darkness of the winter solstice. At the period of the composition of the Gospels the cult of Mithra was familiar to the Western nations, and had long been established in Rome.

The Roman catacombs contained a picture of the Virgin seated holding the infant Mithra on her lap, and before them three men in Persian dress are kneeling and offering gifts. The Massacre of the Innocents is taken from the story of Krishna, the favorite deity of India, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, and also a personification of the sun....

The introduction of the shepherds by Luke is also a reminiscence of Krishna. Immediately after Devaki, the sacred mother, had given birth to Krishna, her husband, Vasudeva, carried away the infant to a friendly shepherd named Nanda, whose wife, Yacoda, had just been delivered of a daughter, and the children were exchanged. Nanda and his wife were at that time in a village near Madura, whither they had gone to pay their taxes...

we have the formation of the fictitious character of Jesus Christ as the chief divinities of the ancient Egyptian, Indian, Greek, and Roman nations; the Logos of the early Greek philosophers, and the Ideal of contemporary scholars.... If such a man as the New Testament represents Jesus to have been had really lived and labored at the stated times and places there would have been some trace of his existence among the records of his contemporaries. An insignificant brawler could not have aroused the animosity of the Jewish Sanhedrin to the extent of demanding his crucifixion, and the illegal condemnation and execution of a celebrated teacher could not have taken place without protest from honorable citizens and without notice or comment in the history of the time. Yet in the whole range of Jewish and Pagan literature of that period there is not a word, not an allusion which applies to the person of Jesus or to the events which are said to have happened on his account....

28 May 2007 at 14:04  
Anonymous Colin said...

נִיֵּאל

You claimed that the Bible is error free. What about the "Bible contradictions" published by Acharya S. ?

"There are some 150,000 errors, contradictions and/or variations between ancient copies of the New Testament alone, estimated by a number of biblical scholars, including Griesbach. The following are some of these countless contradictions..

ON SEEING GOD

"... I have seen God face to face ..." -- Genesis 32:30
"No man hath seen God at any time..."-- John 1:18

ON THE POWER OF GOD

"... with God all things are possible." -- Matthew 19:26
"...The LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." -- Judges 1:19 "


More can be found here.

28 May 2007 at 14:11  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I have no knowledge of this person or the book.....I do find the comments about Christmas a bit odd. 25th December is a Roman innovation, Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on 6th January; and Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protetor banned Christmas under The Commonwealth as it was not biblical.

I really have no ability to discuss these views which i suspect are aimed at a US audience - the writing for such a market is so often journalistic rather than analytical

28 May 2007 at 15:28  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

"25th December is a Roman innovation, Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on 6th January; and Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protetor banned Christmas under The Commonwealth as it was not biblical."

Good point.

I continued to read more articles on her website and found that she calls herself a gnostic and that she believes in mysticism. That makes me rather sceptical.

28 May 2007 at 15:42  
Anonymous נִיֵּאל said...

Voyager, I do not know whether you are a Christian or not although my impression after you posted the list of so called contradictions is that you are most certainly not. To believe that God contradicts himself is to doubt his power and his promises. None of those listed could be described as contradictions. Rather there is an explanation for all of them. You just have to study and not take them on face value which is what the author has done.

Picking on Gen 32:30, no man has seen Yahweh face to face. This is where Jacob meets and wrestles with an angle. You see verse 30 in the Hebrew is plural: "faces to faces" and God is Elohim. How can the plural apply to one man wrestling with one angle? Because both angle and man were representative. The angle represented the Elohim as a whole; those angles Jacob had seen ascending and descending the stairway linking heaven and earth in his vision at bethel. In those angles Jacob saw the multitudinous faces of El" or power, whilst in Jacob the angle saw the nation that would develop from him.
In the future national Israel will see the multitudinous Christ as faces of power, whilst the redeemed (the "one man" of Dan 10) will look upon a plurality of faces in the restored nation of Israel over which it shall rule.
Where Jacob said that his life was preserved this was because to look at the face of an angle was fraught with danger (Exod 24:11, 33:20, Jud 6:22, 13:22). But Jacob had done so unharmed. The word preserved signifies saved and is used in Isaiah 49:6 in conjunction with the work of redemption for Israel, to be effected by Christ in the age to come. Hence the narrative before us is to be interpreted typically as well as topically. Jacob was enacting what will take place in the future. The faces of the Elohim will be openly manifested in the earth at the time of the judgement. Chief among them will be Jesus Christ, and joyful will those be who can look at him face to face and know their lives are preserved.
So you see this was not Yahweh Jacob was wrestling with but with a representative of God, an angle.

Looking at the passage in Judges 1, there is a very simple explanation. It is not a matter of Yahweh could not drive out the carrots of iron, but instead because he did not wish to. Yahweh had commanded the children of Israel to completely destroy the Canaanitites because he knew that if they did not they would become like them. They did just that. They obeyed God to point of defeating them but allowed them to stay in the land as slaves.
Earlier on in the chapter (verses 6-7) we see how the Israelites captured king Adoni-bezek and kept him as a sign of victory. After this they went out and fought the Canaanites again. Whilst God allowed them victory in the land, because of their disobedience he allowed the Canaanites to regain power and many of the cities Joshua had taken were lost as a punishment.
I'm surprised that you think that the God that made the Earth and raised Jesus would have difficulty in destroying a few chariots.

I would also like to point out that on the list the subject of the Sabbath day and circumcision should be easy to understand for any Christian with half a brain. The Sabbath and circumcision were commanded under the law of Mosses. However Christ fulfilled the law and replaced it with his own laws. Romans 14:5 is simply saying that if a Christian wishes to keep the Sabbath so be it, its not hurting anyone but if you do not wish to that’s fine.
If you do not understand this simple fact then how can you claim to know anything of Christianity? These are fundamental for true belief. I regret I do not have time to explain all of these so called contradictions.

28 May 2007 at 16:39  
Blogger Cranmer said...

At this point His Grace would like to recommend an excellent book:

Saving Jesus from those who are right, by Carter Heyward.

Her christological and sociological observations are inspirational.

28 May 2007 at 16:53  
Anonymous Colin said...

Thank you, Your Grace, for the recommendation.

According to her publisher, The Rev. Dr. I. Carter Heyward is "a pioneering feminist theologian who has taught for twenty-five years at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is the Howard Chandler Robbins Professor of Theology. Since The Redemption of God (1981) this leader lesbian Christian voice has addressed issues of power, sexuality, and social and gender justice in relation to salvation."

A leader lesbian Christian voice recommended by His Grace as inspirational? Hhm.

Colin, don't be prejudiced! Go to Amazon's website for more information. From the book description: "Rather than focus on the endlessly variable pictures of Jesus in contemporary biblical scholarship, and in radical opposition to the Jesus of the "Christian Right," Heyward presents "Jesus as our brother"

Excellent!

"Wonderfully clear-sighted, this brief, faithful, and intelligent Christology offers reconstructions of incarnation, atonement, evil, suffering, and fear. It also sheds light on the significance of Jesus for ecological, racial, economic, and gender justice."

??

Let's see what the readers of the book are saying:

Jeremy Garber wrote "I really wanted to like the book but .. her Christianity relates not to church or the story of Jesus, even in an allegorical sense, but to the wispy New Age mysticism that reduces religion to nonsensical abstract terms."

Rhonda George commented: "Christianity is so rethought here that there's nothing left. Scripture's too patriarchal. The Eucharist is too traditional. The Book of Common Prayer is too Eurocentric. What is left is a series of vaguely leftist bumper stickers."

Rev. Steven J. Kelly is even more critical: "his book does not represent the views of the faithful in the Episcopal Church, of which Ms. Heyward is a member of the clergy. Rather than a biblically revealed doctrine of Jesus Christ, it is an exercise in Panentheism and imaginative pseudo-theology."

Strange. I can't imagine that His Grace would recommend a pseudo-theological lefist book. Did right-wing Christians write these unfavourable comments?

Before I spend my money on the book, has anybody else already read the book and can recommend it?

28 May 2007 at 17:57  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Colin,

Before you waste your hard-earned pennies, His Grace exhorts you to consider that his post was being ironic. Reading the thread preceding it, he thought the title somewhat apt.

In future, His Grace shall attempt to be less subtle...

28 May 2007 at 19:40  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

In other words Collin, either Cranmer did not know that the book was written by a lesbian and is quickly correcting his mistake, or he cannot find a way to suitably tell me I’m wrong; because he knows he cant, and so resorts to mockery, and this is who you address your questions to and expect answers from.

28 May 2007 at 19:58  
Anonymous Colin said...

Your Grace,

What a relief! I was already worried about your health.

Irony is sometimes difficult to spot on blogs - as I have discovered myself by reactions to some of my ironic comments - probably due the lack of visibility of the facial expression.

It was an excellent joke by Your Grace. Congratulations!

28 May 2007 at 19:58  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr דָנִיֵּאל

Whilst you are more than welcome to His Grace's blog of intelligent and erudite religio-political discourse, there is a degree of wonder at the vehemence of your alienating aggression.

The Christadelphians are wrong on so many counts, but, to paraphrase you, His Grace regrets that he does not have time to explain them all.

Being a newcomer, His Grace would also like to inform you that he is under no compulsion at all to answer anyone's questions. He writes as he pleases, when he pleases.

28 May 2007 at 20:12  
Blogger Cranmer said...

PS

וְדָנִיֵּאל דְּנָה הַצְלַח בְּמַלְכוּת דָּרְיָוֶשׁ וּבְמַלְכוּת כֹּורֶשׁ [כ= פָּרְסָיָא] [ק= פָּרְסָאָה]׃ ף

28 May 2007 at 20:26  
Anonymous Colin said...

"this is who you address your questions to and expect answers from"

Mr. דָנִיֵּאל,

I often address my questions to His Grace for two reasons. First, as a matter of courtesy, to the owner of the blog. Second, because I expect him know best as professor of theology.

However, I am happy about answers and explanations from anyone. And thank you for providing some of these on several occasions. Mostly, I find your arguments clear and understandable although not always convincing.

For example, your main statement was somehow that humans don't have a free will because "all is God's will". This leads to several logical problems. If all is God's will, he is responsible for everything and humans are responsible for nothing. What sense does it make to sacrifice his son for the salvation of humans from their sins if it was he himself who made them sinners in the first place?

28 May 2007 at 20:47  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Voyager, I do not know whether you are a Christian or not although my impression after you posted the list of so called contradictions is that you are most certainly not.

Now Daniel before you insult me any further and invite a response, make sure you are commenting on something I have written

28 May 2007 at 20:49  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I think Colin His Grace was merely showing you there are other weirdoes apart from the one you found online.

Gnostics are having a revival because it suits the Anti-Christians thrashing around in the Episcopalian Church in the USA to have a Non-Christian Theology to compete with Scientology.

You will find it is all the range for the "denomination-shoppers" common in the USA who do a bit of Catholicism before going Baptist then Lutheran and flitting over to Orthodox before trying Buddhism.

28 May 2007 at 21:01  
Anonymous Colin said...

"His Grace was merely showing you there are other weirdoes apart from the one you found online."

Yes, and well done by His Grace, I have to admit. It is good to know that we are gently guided by a wise man.

28 May 2007 at 21:31  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Firstly my apologies voyager, I made a mistake in naming you. My previous but one post should have applied to Colin.
Colin, sorry if I did not make it clearer. It really is a difficult topic because it bends the mind. Basically God knows exactly who will and who will not enter the kingdom. Those who will not have the freedom to do whatever they want.

Those who have been called to an understanding of the bible but will not enter the kingdom can be given trials of faith but the problem is God knows that they will fail.

Those who will enter the kingdom live freely, God simply knows that they will succeed.

The main problem as i have since thought on it, is that Gods mind and mans mind are on two different levels and we cannot comprehend how God thinks. My best explanation is that rather than uses the words free will, I would just say God knows what will happen. On the matter of sin entering the world God knew that Adam and eve would fail in their test. But he did not make them fail.

On the matter of my aggression, I apologise if I have offended anyone. However I have been offended myself. There is a tendency I feel for old time members to ignore or mock my ideas and whilst I only expected this I still find it hard to accept. This leads me to an attacking position where I feel I must defend what I have said by getting straight to the point and throwing caution to the wind.
Perhaps I may suggest that instead of laughing at other people’s ideas we each present or argument and discuss them together. I base my own arguments on scripture. Perhaps we could all do this to the benefit of us all.
If anyone has any reason to doubt what i have said then provide scriptural evidence of how i could be wrong.

28 May 2007 at 22:27  
Anonymous Colin said...

דָנִיֵּאל,

"I have been offended myself. There is a tendency I feel for old time members to ignore or mock my ideas"

My guess is that it has more to do with the funny way to write your name than with your ideas.

"provide scriptural evidence of how i could be wrong"

Apparently, logic is not permitted and results always in a reply similar to "we cannot comprehend how God thinks". But then a human explains us all about God's words, i.e. about God's thinking.

28 May 2007 at 22:54  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

His words I would say have been written I way we can understand.
Oh and Cranmer what is that sentence you posted supposed to say. Did you use a translator because it does not make much sense? I can see my name and the name of a girl, Dana is it? The second line has something to do with the bible but it just looks rough.

28 May 2007 at 23:04  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr דָנִיֵּאל

His Grace thanks you for your enquiry, and even more for the humble manner in which you have phrased it, but regrets that he also does not have time to explain.

28 May 2007 at 23:12  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

its only a sentance.

28 May 2007 at 23:23  
Anonymous AndyW said...

Mr דָנִיֵּאל

His Grace would not post anything that doesn't make sense.

Read Daniel 6:28.

29 May 2007 at 08:47  
Anonymous bob said...

With out going into too much detail this lie is the doctrine of the whore of Babylon which correct interpretation of the book of Revelation tells is the Catholic Church.

I take it, in this context, the words correct and subjective are interchangeable.

29 May 2007 at 10:04  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

25 December and 6 January are not essentially different: the same date expressed in different calendars.

29 May 2007 at 13:20  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Daniel 6:28; "So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian."

..........and your point is?

29 May 2007 at 13:30  
Anonymous AndyW said...

דָנִיֵּאל,

Sorry, Daniel 6:27

29 May 2007 at 14:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

25 December and 6 January are not essentially different: the same date expressed in different calendars.

That point is valid, but the date itself is irrelevant. There is no evidence to suggest nominally that 6th January is not the date rather than an arbitrary 25th December - your point is with respect to the Gregorian and Julian Calendars - mine is with respect to having no evidence for any particular date

29 May 2007 at 14:28  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Well bob there can only be one correct translation. If you have an alternative i would love to hear it.

29 May 2007 at 18:04  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

דָנִיֵּאל

The correct interpretation (translation if you will) of Revelation 17 and 18 as requested. Dave Hunt is the protagonist in this case, excuse me if you disagree with his objections but I presume from your previous position you are of the same opinion. Enjoy.

http://www.catholic.com/library/Hunting_the_Whore_of_Babylon.asp
http://www.catholic.com/library/Whore_of_Babylon.asp

29 May 2007 at 19:23  
Anonymous Colin said...

Wow, we are approaching 100 comments. Your Grace, I shall try my best to help you in this regard.

דָנִיֵּאל

"Oh and Cranmer what is that sentence you posted supposed to say. Did you use a translator because it does not make much sense? I can see my name and the name of a girl, Dana is it?"

Apparently, his girl friend.

29 May 2007 at 21:26  
Anonymous Colin said...

Maybe this helps to stimulate the discussion for hitting the 100 mark:

In honour of the publication of Richard Dawkins book "The God delusion" in German, this week's issue of the magazine "Der Spiegel" carries the title God is guilty of everthing - The crusade of the new atheists and three subtopics:

(1) A new generation of scientists want to free the world from faith

(2) The French philosopher Michel Onfray about faith, lies and violence

(3) How German atheists want to influence society

According to the article "The Crusade of the Godless", "Dawkins enjoys to have an answer for everthing. When the professor is asked if he really and truly is an atheist, despite Anglican education, he usually replies: You are also an atheist with regard to Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Wotan, the Golden Calf, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I simply put another God on this list.""

Hhm, these Oxford professors. I am shocked. I hope that His Grace doesn't teach at Oxford.

And it get's even worse. Several paragraphs are dedicated to Peter Hitchens and his latest book God is not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. In the book, Hitchens contends that religion is "violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children." The book was published on May 1, 2007, and within a week had reached #2 on the Amazon.com bestsellers list. (behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows), and reached #1 on the New York Times Bestsellers list in its 3rd week.

Next, Victor J Stenger's God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist.

Editorial Reviews:

"Richard Dawkins, Author of the New York Times best-seller The God Delusion

"Darwin chased God out of his old haunts in biology, and he scurried for safety down the rabbit hole of physics. The laws and constants of the universe, we were told, are too good to be true: a set-up, carefully tuned to allow the eventual evolution of life. It needed a good physicist to show us the fallacy, and Victor Stenger lucidly does so. The faithful won't change their minds, of course (that is what faith means) but Victor Stenger drives a pack of energetic ferrets down the last major bolt hole and God is running out of refuges in which to hide. I learned an enormous amount from this splendid book."

Sam Harris, author of the New York Times bestsellers, The End of Faith and Letter to a Christian Nation

"Marshalling converging arguments from physics, astronomy, biology, and philosophy, Stenger has delivered a masterful blow in defense of reason. God: The Failed Hypothesis is a potent, readable, and well-timed assault upon religious delusion. It should be widely read."


Such an amount of godlessness is really suprising, isn't it.

Furthermore, I learned from the article that the atheists even their own websites such as infidels.org or religionisbullshit.net. On the blog of the former, I found good news: " Clark Adams, RIP, I received the unfortunate news this morning that Clark Adams has died, and that he took his own life."

Finally, I learned that atheists changed the label and are now calling themselves "The Bright". Googling for the latter, brought me to the-brights.net, a boring website, no competition for His Grace's website sparkling of erudition and intelligence.

29 May 2007 at 22:31  
Anonymous bob said...

דָנִיֵּאל
The Recusant has already provided a source for interpreting the relevant chapters of Revelation. It seems pointless for me to repeat his good work.

Colin, I'm not trying to stifle your debate, but I offer this thought which occured to me after I read your posting. I've found that reading Richard Dawkins will not change your world view in any significant way. Those who agreed with him before reading will agree with him afterwards. Those who disagreed beforehand, will disagree with him afterwards. I think people who don't have a firm opinion either way really don't care enough to read either Dawkins or his antithesis. I've never read Dawkins but I imagine if I ever did it would have as much effect upon me as reading The Confession of St Augustine would on Dawkins, that is to say zero effect. I've heard Dawkins being interviewd a number of times, and although he is doubtlessly an intellect worthy of the prestigious university which employs him, he always came across, to me at least, as a fundamentalist athiest with whom there can be no space for happy or even begrudging co-existence. To him a person of religious faith is intellectually inferior, and so rational debate is impossible as he has an immediate disdain and disregard for the person who wishes to challenge his position.

29 May 2007 at 23:44  
Anonymous Colin said...

Bob,

You are right. But I am wondering whether there is a need for countering this new atheist crusade. Afer all, Christianity is now attacked from two sides, from Islam and from atheists. Both are the darlings of the media. Most atheists seem to be lefists but several are conservatives such as Peter Hitchens. Will Christianity survive these unrelenting attacks on two fronts?

29 May 2007 at 23:57  
Anonymous bob said...

Christianity has survived much worse. I think if Christianity could survive Nero using it's members as human torches then it has already proved itself to be quite resilient. As for countering these contempory objectors I think the strongest and most convincing argument a Christian believer can make is simply to live their faith vibrantly and coherently in their lives. This method has already shown itself to be effective - the British politician and athiest Roy Hattersley who wrote in the Guardian newspaper commenting upon the work of charities in the wake of the disaster in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina -
The Salvation Army has been given a special status as provider-in-chief of American disaster relief. But its work is being augmented by all sorts of other groups. Almost all of them have a religious origin and character.

Notable by their absence are teams from rationalist societies, free thinkers' clubs and atheists' associations - the sort of people who not only scoff at religion's intellectual absurdity but also regard it as a positive force for evil.


It reminds me of Francis of Assisi's maxim - Always preach the gospel. If necessary use words.

30 May 2007 at 00:18  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Revelation chapter 17 – Identifying the Harlot System of Rome

A brave attempt recusant however the author seems to have given a very basic interpretation that only touches on the chapter and makes little reference to other parts of scripture.
For a proper understanding of the harlot one must first consider the book of Daniel where this woman is first mentioned. However here in Daniel 7:8 she is being referred to as a little horn. The reason for this is because at this time the church did not exist and the church is often described as a chaste virgin with one of the best examples being the parable of the ten virgins each representing a church.
So to Daniel 7:8 this little horn springs up in the midst of ten larger horns and displaces three of them. It is said to have eyes and a mouth speaking great or pompous things.
Now the ten horns link the fourth beast; from which they grow (the Roman Empire), to the ten toes of the image Nebuchadnezzar, reprehensive of the divided kingdom of Rome under the barbarians. The little horn grew to be dominant over the other ten over long periods of time and is unique in that it is fitted with eyes and a mouth. The eyes represent the office of the Holy See. The Catholic Church would have reports sent back to headquarters in Rome and used these to spread its influence throughout the earth. The mouth represents the decrees that issued forth from out of Rome. These decrees were not inline with the teachings of Jesus and went against Yahweh, hence the descriptions of blasphemy.

If we now flick forward to Daniel 11 we can link the previous passage to the verse 36-39. Here we see Catholic Church being referred to again speaking blasphemies once more and here we get a better description of their vile system. They magnify themselves seeking power in both spiritually and politically. We are told they shall not regard the God of their fathers (have left the path of truth) and shall have no desire for women (priests are not permitted to have women, they take vows). It goes on the show the source of the Catholic churches power; the forces of men and their love for gold and silver which they decorate their churches with.

I will now take you forward to revelation 12, the first mention of the woman. Remember I told you the church is often described as a chaste virgin. Well here she is only she’s not a virgin. Now Catholics will tell you that the child is Jesus however this cannot be because Rev 1:1 tells us this book contains things that will come to pass and not things that have already happened. Therefore this woman represents the early church. Her child is the seed of error. The heavens referred to here are political heavens and not literal. The sun she is clothed with is the government she has authority over. The moon represents state religion which at this time (early reign of Constantine) was paganism. However Christianity replaced it and thus she stands over it. The stars represent her attaching herself to state authority. This entire she did. Constantine was a pagan but the pagans did not support him as they had already pledged their support to his rival for power. So he offered Christians a place in the empire in return for their support. The believed because it was a chance to avoid a repetition of the days of Nero.
The dragon is symbolic of Rome and their opposition to Christians. The seven heads are the seven hills on which Rome was built and the ten horns symbolic of the split of Rome into Europe. Rome was split into ten pieces by the barbarians.
We see that Rome wished to devour the Church after she had given birth. The child is symbolic of the seed of error. It is the little horn of Daniel; the popes and leaders of the Catholic Church. As soon as Constantine had power the Catholic Church was established and they sought to purge anyone who did not agree with them with the power of Rome. This they did and we read else-where that they became drunk with the blood of the saints. But in verse 6 we see the woman fled. True Christians realising their mistake fled to North Africa and were there from 312-1572 AD.
The rest of the chapter goes on to describe how the Catholics secured power with Constantine. The war in heaven is just symbolic of wars in politics that lead to paganism being crushed.

Now in chapter 17 the beast on which the woman sits can be linked to the beast of the sea of Rev 13. It is scarlet in colour because of its association to sin. This beast represents the EU although that is a different subject. The fact the woman is riding on the beast shows her power over it and we can expect Catholic influence over the EU to increase greatly as time goes on.
The woman is decked in gold which priest array themselves in and she holds a cup that she offers to kings of the earth so they may become drunk and commit fornication with her.
She is the mother of all harlots. Strange that the Catholic Church claims to be the mother church. She is drunk with the blood of the saints. This of course points towards the inquisitions during which she murdered millions of innocents just because they disagreed with her.

Verse 8 we see that the beast has yet to display itself in full power at the time of the image. The bottomless pit referred to is the mass of humanity. People would wonder at the beast. All those except the righteous. These people will not trust in the silly politics of man but fully in God. They shall have nothing to do with governments.
The seven heads are the seven mountains on which Rome sits and the seven kings are seven forms of government Rome was ruled under. 5 had passed away at the time of the vision that John had. The one that is, is imperial rule in the time of John. The one that will come was gothic rule that continued only for a short while.
What follows after this is the beast being wounded unto death by the Goths and a period of thirty years when the divided Roman Empire (modern Europe) will give their support to the Catholics and rally them selves against Christ at his return thinking him to be the anti-christ.
Under the command of the pope the EU will be off one mind and will be commanded to make war with the lamb (Christ) who will return to free Israel from the invasion of Gog (Russia). But Christ will defeat them as we see in verse 14. After this the peoples of the earth shall hate the Catholic Church and will destroy her according to the will of God.
I'm sorry if this is a bit hard to follow. I was up until 12.30am doing it so it may seem a little rushed. There’s a lot more detail I could have thrown in but I have to be in work soon so I’m off to bed!

30 May 2007 at 00:35  
Anonymous bob said...

דָנִיֵּאל
Scott Hahn offers, to my mind, a more convincing interpretation that Jerusalem and not Rome is the harlot. I'm sure you'll want to refute his interpretation so you'll find it here http://members.aol.com/johnprh/whore2.html

You engage in hyperbole by referring to the millions killed by the Inquisition, which is historically inaccurate. It's also worth pointing out that most deaths were incurred at the hands of the Spanish Inquisition, which was an agency as much of the Spanish monarchy as it was of the Catholic Church in Spain.

I assume that you believe the Pope to be the Antichrist as well?

30 May 2007 at 01:26  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Yes i do. You say that Jerrusalem is the whore. Then in your opinion Chist will return to the whoreand set up his kingdom there.....right!

The Catholic Church was has always been opposed to Israel since it was first created even though Ezekiel 37 clearly states that they would return.
The Catholic Church acctually showed firm opposition both to this and the will of Yahweh by giving a media interview and stating "we cannot be in support of it". So it is of little surprise to me that you should think of the city of Yahweh as being the whore.

30 May 2007 at 07:57  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Hhm, these Oxford professors. I am shocked. I hope that His Grace doesn't teach at Oxford.

Oxford Professors are fine when not funded by Microsoft......

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Simonyi


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alister_McGrath

but Dawkins doesn't do teaching - he's a polemicist and Oxford sold him his own Chair - Charles Simonyi Chair in the Public Understanding of Science - and now he's going into his own production company


The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science.

30 May 2007 at 08:06  
Anonymous bob said...

Hosea 4:15 refers to Israel, the Lord's nation, as a whore, so I am utterly unsurprised that Jerusalem would also be referred to as a whore.

As for your views on Catholicism, nothing I say will change you mind, and nothing you say will change mine, so I don't see there being any point in discussing it.

30 May 2007 at 08:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Bob we would be better off without some of our transtatlantic imports.......did you know the Scott Hahn history ?

Hahn started out as a Presbyterian minister and theologian with ten years of ministry experience in congregations of the Presbyterian Church in America, and Professor of Theology at Chesapeake Theological Seminary.

As a young theologian, Scott Hahn was convinced that the Catholic Church was evil, and boasted of having converted some Catholics into embracing a purer Christianity. His conversion began when he and his wife became convinced that contraception was contrary to God's law. He continued to study various issues relating to salvation, faith, and good works, as well as the Protestant doctrine of sola scriptura.

According to his book Rome Sweet Home, a key factor behind his conversion is his research on what he saw as the key to the bible: the covenant. This is a sacred kinship bond that brought people into a family relationship. God established a series of covenants and the new covenant established by Jesus Christ is an establishment of a world-wide family. He believes that Jesus and the apostles used family based language to describe his work of salvation: God is Father, Christ is Son and the firstborn among brethren, heaven as a marriage feast, the Church is the spouse of God, Christians as children of God.

This new family, according to Hahn, is headed by Christ, and the Pope is his "prime minister" to whom he has given the keys of the kingdom, a process that he believes is also present in the Old Testament. Hahn tries to show that the Catholic Church is the family described by the bible and that the Protestant doctrines of sola fide and sola scriptura are not biblical because, in his view, the Bible stresses charity and works equally with faith for gaining salvation and points to the Church as the "pillar and the bulwark of the truth" (1 Tim 3:15).

Scott Hahn entered the Roman Catholic Church on Easter 1986


or that the site you quote describes his viewpoint as a minority view ?

I do sometimes wonder about the mental state of some of these American 'travellers through denominations' and I am highly sceptical of his assertions on the site you quote

30 May 2007 at 09:03  
Anonymous bob said...

I know Hahn history and I do know the website I found is a minority view. However my contention is that the passage of scripture in question is open to more than one interpretation. I would have preferred to have found something by Raymond E Brown or Francis Moloney, but I didn't have the time or the resources to be able to do so.

I have to say though that I find the Jerusalem theory more believable than the Catholic Church/EU conspiracy theory, but I am biased in this regard.

30 May 2007 at 10:56  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Again you are wrong and quite clearly so. Catholics take most of scripture on face value and do not bother to study. If you had you would have noticed that in Hosea 4:15 Israel was a separate kingdom to Judah. Jerusalem was in Judah not Israel at this time. The two countries were split from being one and here Israel is being put under Judah because of their idol worship.
You are of course quite right. This augment could go on for some time and I welcome it to. With every verse you throw at me I gain more knowledge for future arguments!

30 May 2007 at 13:28  
Anonymous bob said...

I never said Jerusalem was in Judah. I said Israel, which was the Lord's nation (or at least part of it), was referred to as a whore. It, then, would come as no surprise to me if Jerusalem were then referred to as a whore.

Frankly I think you're interpreting scripture to suit your own prejudices, but as I'm a Catholic and damned to burn in the fires of hell, what does it matter what I think.

30 May 2007 at 14:40  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

There is the old joke about the Protestant new to heaven asking St Peter what was behind the big wall and the reply came “It’s all the Catholics they think they’re the only ones up here”. Well I think I have just seen a bigger wall, ether that or move over Bob Old Nick wants a word.

30 May 2007 at 14:58  
Anonymous bob said...

I shall save you a nice warm seat Recusant. There'll be rather a lot of us down there (apparently) so finding a seat might be hard, but I shall endeavour to do my best! Eternal damnation is, as Rowan Atkinson once said, a sod of a long time, so we might as well be comfortable...

Then again we might actually be judged by The Lord and not by fundamentalist Protestants, so we might be in with a chance!!!

30 May 2007 at 15:08  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace is most amused by these jovial and fraternal utterances, and is delighted that this Pulpit (No.III) has elicited 100 comments.

Blessings upon all who have contributed to this thread - upon the Roman Catholics, upon the Christadelphians, oh, and upon the Christians!

30 May 2007 at 15:18  
Anonymous Voyager said...

but as I'm a Catholic and damned to burn in the fires of hell,

Is that a new Catechism or have you been lighting too many candles in your local church ?

30 May 2007 at 16:27  
Anonymous bob said...

Well if דָנִיֵּאל is to be believed and the Catholic Church is the whore of Babylon, and following on from that the Pope is the antichrist, then I assumed being a Catholic on judgement day wasn't going to go well at all.

Then again I may just be suffering the effects of too much incense!

30 May 2007 at 16:43  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Hosea 4:15 doesn’t support your argument at all. Israel (not Judah and Jerusalem) is being called a whore and if you want to be exact it singles out the tribe of Ephraim which corrupted the rest of Israel. Jerusalem has nothing to do with this.
Perhaps you could also explain where the seven mountains on which Jerusalem should be sitting (according to revelation) have gone.
PS i dont believe in hell!

Oh and voyager you had me chuckling for a while, nice one!

30 May 2007 at 17:27  
Anonymous bob said...

If you don't believe in hell then it pretty much proves that you're picking and choosing which parts of the Bible suit you and which don't, so it seems pointless to have any discussion with you as I probably wouldn't know which paranoid fantasy you'd be passing off next as authentic biblical interpretation.

30 May 2007 at 17:40  
Anonymous Colin said...

Yesterday, I left the blog late in the evening. Returning now, I find that everybody has been very industrious to hit the 100 mark.

Congratulations, Your Grace, apparently another record. Is there a section for this kind of records in Guiness book?

However, I am very much shocked about this endless talk about prostitution (the whore of this or of that). Gentlemen, what is our young lady on this blog, Miss Jelly Bean, supposed to think about us?

Bob and Voyager,

Thank you both for your interesting comments. Maybe I should use Apple in the future.

BTW, I find that Bob writing is clear and with style. I wish he would contribute more often to and not only when the Catholic Church is attacked.

30 May 2007 at 19:51  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Firstly Catholics are the last people who can talk about authentic biblical interpretation as the Vatican claims that only they can interpret scripture.
Secondly as i have easily thrown all of your claims back in your face it just goes to show how little you know. Your only quotation turned out to referrer to something completely different.

Catholics are the last people who can talk of abiding by the words of Yahweh after centuries of murder and corruption. And now they simply hide their mistakes under the carpet; covering up child abuse and clearly contradicting scripture by showing no concern for its true meaning. I have been told by some Catholics that the church is the kingdom of God on earth. Where then do the prophecies of scripture fit into that? Throw anything you want at me and I can give you an answer but for the questions I have for you there is very little you could say without leaving the bible far behind.
Today it is the custom to slap the term cult on anyone who does not agree with the "standard Christian doctrines". But we are told by scripture that many will believe such doctrines.
It gives me no pleasure saying this in this way, but when you ignorantly insult me after I have taken the time to share my knowledge with you in a humble way you try my patience.

30 May 2007 at 20:03  
Anonymous Colin said...

Sorry, I meant:

I find that Bob is writing clearly and with style. I wish he would contribute more often to this blog and not only when the Catholic Church is attacked.

דָנִיֵּאל

Since the Bible is full of allegories and metaphors, everything and the contrary can be claimed by the use of selection and interpretation. I am most curious to know if you are a professional preacher in your church or if you have a different job and are doing this in your spare time.

30 May 2007 at 20:04  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

I’m glad you asked colin and i apologise if what i have said has offended you. Please know that im sorry for having to stand up for myself like this.
The christadelphians do not have leaders. The brothers (men baptised into Christ) have the responsibility of preaching and presenting talks about scripture. All baptised men share this role.

30 May 2007 at 20:12  
Anonymous bob said...

דָנִיֵּאל
God bless you. I'm not going to argue with you. There is no point. So I shall pray for you instead.

Colin,
thank you for your kind words. Unfortunately I am not expert in anything really, and comment mainly on Catholic issues as I am passionate about my faith. I am passionate about politics too, but I doubt Irish politics would be of anything more than a passing interest to the readers here as we're only a small country.

30 May 2007 at 20:20  
Anonymous Colin said...

דָנִיֵּאל

"I’m glad you asked colin and i apologise if what i have said has offended you."

You didn't offend me but I am worried that you might hurt the feelings of some nice people on this blog. Anyway, you did a good job in defending your views. Congratulations! However, Bob certainly is correct that nobody is able to change anybody's mind. Nevertheless, it is good to learn about different views and interpretations. How did you become member of your church? Where you already introduced by your parents or did you "convert" later as adult? How can people become member of your church? Since every man is permitted to preach, how does the church assure that different members don't interpret the Bible in different ways?

30 May 2007 at 21:14  
Anonymous Colin said...

דָנִיֵּאל

On the second following thread you wrote: "I say this as a Jew .."

Didn't explain to us that you are a member of a Christian church? Please help, I am somewhat confused with regard to your religious affiliation.

30 May 2007 at 21:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Colin, Christadelphians are not really a Church as such - more a congregation or ecclesia ....and originate from an English physician c. 1834 whose father was a Baptist.

There is a tendency to spend a lot of time in The Book of Revelation which is a bit of a bran-tub of possibilities depending upon your direction of travel.

Poor Bob is conveying the image of a jousting tournament where he gets sent out on his charger each time The Catholic Church is mentioned......sometimes he has to return without finding any real adversary.....

There is a tendency to see every Catholic as a representative of Vatican politics which is a bit like seeing every Jew as Hasidic.....poor Miss Jelly Bean is convinced there is a Uniform Christian Religion but most Christians have yet to locate it.

Colin might find reading plays by the Swiss playwright Friedrich Duerrenmatt interesting and educational - try Der Tunnel

30 May 2007 at 21:48  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Thank you Colin and I agree that trying to convince each other is hopeless. We are all very set in our ways it would seem.
I am a Jew but a Christian Jew. Some of my family escaped from Poland before the holocaust.
I have been a Christadelphian all my life but came to the decision to be baptised on my own. Baptism is needed for salvation (mark 16:16). However a proper understanding must be obtained before baptism can take place. Once a person feels ready, he/she is interviewed so as to make sure they are aware of the truth and the fundamentals. This doesn’t mean you have to be an expert. Its just to make sure your not holding any foreign doctrines and also understand Gods plan with the earth and the purpose of baptism as a means of salvation. I myself was baptised about two years ago at aged 18.
Talks are given by the brethren.

30 May 2007 at 21:49  
Anonymous bob said...

Voyager - apologies for charging in where angels fear to tread.

30 May 2007 at 21:56  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

To correct you voyager the book of revelation is seen by many Christadelphian as a very foreboding book. I myself am a keen student of bible prophecy and thus have a knowledge of this book.
And I would like to think of myself as a worthy opponent to anyone who has commented here. I see I am surrounded by Catholics and those of like mind but I’m still standing.
Oh and did you mention the Hasidic Jews for any particular reason or were you just taunting me?

30 May 2007 at 22:03  
Blogger Cranmer said...

I see I am surrounded by Catholics and those of like mind

Mr דָנִיֵּאל,

On His Grace's blog one is not 'surrounded by Catholics', but by a veritable selection of religions, denominations, agnostics, and the occasional professing atheist, not to mention the odd weirdo ('odd' being an adjective as well as a numeric indication). If you were acquainted with Church history, you would hardly deem His Grace to be Roman Catholic or of like mind.

You are very welcome to discuss your theological concerns here, and His Grace congratulates you on 'holding your own'. Mr Colin is quite right that your occasional brashness might offend a few 'nice' people on this blog, but His Grace is not overly concerned about that. He is more concerned with how your religious adherence informs your politics, and for that to become evident, it is necessary to move beyond the indulgence (sorry, Mr Bob, no pun intended) of Cranmer's Pulpit and set your mind to real politics...or do Christadelphians not acknowledge or participate in earthly government, and therefore do not vote?

30 May 2007 at 22:21  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

I am well aware of how Cranmer died....Cranmer. You are quite right. Christadelphians do not actively involve themselves in politics. As the scriptures tell us God rules in the kingdoms of men and gives power to whom he will. We could very easily go against his will. The psalmist tells us in psalm 146:3-4 not to trust in men of this world. Christadelphians believe rather than be citizens of this country or that country we should instead be citizens of Gods kingdom.
I do however take a great interest in politics in relation to Bible prophecy and would like to thank you for an excellent blog that I find most useful.

30 May 2007 at 22:40  
Anonymous Colin said...

Voyager,

Thank you for providing some valuable background information. I know Duerrenmatt. We had to study some of his works at school.

דָנִיֵּאל

Thank you for your kind explanations. I understand that you are Jewish by ancestry and Christian by conversion because some of your family members moved to Israel and hence are probably affiliated with the Jewish religion. I am glad that your parents and some of your family members were able to escape from the holocaust. At the age of twenty years, you are probably still an university student. May I ask what you are studying? Sorry for asking so many questions but I find you more and more interesting because of your sincerity and honesty. Please accept my apologies if I have ever offended you by some of my remarks.

No the majority are not catholics on this blog. Bob and the Recusant are fierce defenders of the Catholic Church, very nice people.
Miss Jelly Bean, a beautiful, hijab wearing, intelligent, 18 years old student from Kashmir, is a fierce believer in the Sufi variety of Islam. She hopes for a world-wide Califate and the introduction of the Sharia law in the UK. The rest of us are protestants.

I see that His Grace has just honoured you with the lengthiest welcome he has ever written for a newcomer to this blog. I guess this is due to the fact that you are of Jewish ancestry and His Grace is a fierce defender of Jewish interests. This is one of the reasons why I like his blog.

30 May 2007 at 22:45  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

דָנִיֵּאל you are right to throw our sins in our face, we have a long history of sin in the Catholic Church, we are good at it and guess what, we will continue to sin. We have many martyrs in our ranks and more join every day somewhere in the world and we have made martyrs out of others, fortunately we don’t tent to do that anymore. We are aware of our faults both of commission and omission and make public confession at every mass at the same time asking for forgiveness. We take comfort that we are in the company of the apostils, all who were sinners along with crucified thieves, Saint Peter who denied Christ, Saint Paul who persecuted His church and we rejoice that the same forgiveness is promised to us.

I know I am in good company when I say my own stumbling block is “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We are The Easter People, believe we have eternal souls and look for the resurrection of the dead along with every other Trinitarian, Nicene Creed affirming, Christian Theist, although I’m not sure Messrs Crammer, Voyager and Colin (whom I think is still undecided but shows great promise) would be overjoyed being associated with us bells and smells types. Mr Voyager is sure to correct me if I am wrong – see I don’t even claim infallibility.

Debate on this site is more about education, enlightenment and the occasional chain yanking, not purely scoring points off of a co blogger, which based on your posts, seems to be your raison d'etre. I think you’ll fit in just fine.

30 May 2007 at 22:58  
Anonymous דָנִיֵּאל said...

Hello again Colin. You have never offended me and I feel it should be me apologising to you and everyone. I can be aggressive at times.
I’m not studying right now. I’m a working man you might say! I’m saving up to go back to Israel next year. My family there are also Christadelphians you know. There are not many out there, about 30 perhaps and they need help. I would like to give them some.

30 May 2007 at 23:03  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I am a Jew but a Christian Jew. Then you are a useful addition to our congregation as a Jew and a Christian - have you ever read Girl Leets God by Lauren F Winner ? You should.

As for The Book of Revelation - I think it inpires a tendency towards millennialism of the type propagated by David Koresh. Different groups hold differing views on this Book and it seems to cater for the cyclical need in human life for apocalyptic visions of the future......even Al Gore has mined it for his End of World Climate Change religion

I recall a Christadelphian decades ago using it to convince me of imminent nuclear war between the USSR and Israel - tend to be wary of apocalyptic visions of Hieronymous Bosch proportions since they seek to play on our emotional instincts and override intellectual faculties

31 May 2007 at 07:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Oh and did you mention the Hasidic Jews for any particular reason or were you just taunting me?

I return to this issue as an afterthought because it just occurred to me I had not addressed it.....actually no, Daniel, I confess I had not given you much thought actually.

This Blog is really more like a Senior Common Room than an American-style Blog and you can generally hang up your coat when you enter and don't need to worry about broken glass in the coffee cup.

The only person who has really had to suffer any taunting from me is Colin, and that had less to do with the arguments than the way he framed them. You are simply too sensitive to slights and too uncertain to know when you give offence.

If you re-read the sentence to which you refer you will see I was pointing out a tendency to group all religions as monochrome and see no facets - just as all Jews are not Hasidic not all Christians are Catholics, nor are all Catholics perfectly aligned with Rome.....and no doubt Miss Jelly Bean will power-up her laptop and tell us not all Muslims are the same, for instance there are Alawites who celebrate Christmas...but then she will confess she does not accept them as Muslims.

So don't jump to conclusions or imagine you are in the cente of a boxing ring, you aren't. Many of us suspect Colin is really a Pre-Vatican II Catholic who just plays Devil's Advocate and sings Latin Mass......but I am not sure The Recusant or Bob would see him as one of their own......

Anyway, you have something to say...just remember others do too....and you should have some interesting things to say about how Jews learn Scripture as history to contrast with how superficially many Americans and Europeans know The Old Testament.....

31 May 2007 at 08:06  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

Hey everyone Jelly's back! Woh! 123 comments! I'm most impressed. Well I'll let you Christians +1 Athiest continue with your interesting discussions. Keep up the good work!

31 May 2007 at 19:00  
Anonymous Miss Jelly Bean said...

p.s It's really nice to see how all of you have bonded so well. Imagine if we actually knew each other in reality but are not aware of it. e.g. Colin might be Voyager's girlfriend (yet they don't know), or Cranmer might be Bob's younger sister. Who knows!

31 May 2007 at 19:15  
Anonymous Observer said...

YEs She Is

31 May 2007 at 19:20  
Anonymous bob said...

My younger sister doesn't have a beard.

31 May 2007 at 20:51  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

It's a fake beard. You must look deeper, beyond the hairy face.

Now do you recognise?

31 May 2007 at 22:09  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Jelly Bean has obviously never seen a woman without a mask......and is confusing herself with bearded men

31 May 2007 at 22:19  
Anonymous bob said...

It's pretty hard not to notice a big grey beard and she definitely hasn't got one of those... But I will check again just in case!

31 May 2007 at 22:51  
Anonymous Colin said...

"The only person who has really had to suffer any taunting from me is Colin"

I didn't suffer at all. It has always been a pleasure for me. If the discussion is getting too lame for my taste, I simply a little bit of spice.

"Colin might be Voyager's girlfriend" Impossible, Voyagers spends too much of his time reading all these books. There is not time left for a girl friend.

Colin is Jelly Bean's cousin who has the duty to observer her correct behaviour in the blogosphere. You have been away from His Grace's blog without permission. Such unfaithfullness is dishonoring our family and should have consequences. However, I shall not report it to your father if you promise that it will not happen again.

1 June 2007 at 00:10  
Anonymous Colin said...

Colin,

How horrible, so many typos. And such a lame joke. Get some sleep, you bore!

1 June 2007 at 00:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And such a lame joke.

Quoi ? what joke ?

1 June 2007 at 06:27  
Anonymous Miss Jelly bean said...

I'm sorry Colin. I'll try not to let it happen again, but I can't make any promises.

1 June 2007 at 09:49  
Anonymous Colin said...

Since everybody has fallen in love with His Grace, we should at least try to please him by adding some more comments. But most communicants seem to again have fallen asleep. What can we do to stimulate discussion? Another topic might help.


Miss Jelly Bean and Mr. דָנִיֵּאל,

The mind boggling thought just occurred to me that in the not too distant future your and דָנִיֵּאל's son might kill each other because of religious differences; his son for defending Israel because of Yahweh's alleged prophecies and your son because someone in Saudia Arabia claimed that he received orders from Allah. What a marvellous progress religion has brought to humankind. Once, we were killing each other for food, now ideas are sufficient to provoke massacres.

Especially, the Israel-Palestinian killings are madness considering the fact that Jews and Palestinians are genetically one large family as genetic research has revealed. It’s like brothers and sisters killing each other after a long separation and a reunion in their former home because a foreigner in Saudia Arabia demanded it. Normally, genetically related people prefer and support each other. But religion made them hate each other. Understandably, Richard Dawkins and other atheists concluded that religion is a force of evil. Their view is supported by the fact that it is very unlikely that the holocaust of the Jews would ever have happened without the 2,000 years old claims of Christians that the Jews have murdered Christ. Add to this the massacres of Hindus by fervent Islamic believers and the killings of West Indians by Christians and it is hard to deny that Richard Dawkins has a point, doesn’t he.

1 June 2007 at 23:00  
Anonymous Colin said...

So that everyone will be attacking me instead of innocent little girls, here another comment about the virtues of religions.

BTW, Mr. Cranmer your reaction to Miss Jelly Bean's comment was justified but unusual harsh considering that you did not intervene when Mission Impossible proposed to nuke Mekka and you never oppose any anti-Islamic attack, do you. Could it be that you are as prejudiced as Miss Jelly Bean and we all?


Miss Jelly Bean and Mr. דָנִיֵּאל,

The mind boggling thought just occurred to me that in the not too distant future your and דָנִיֵּאל's son might kill each other because of religious differences; his son for defending Israel because of Yahweh's alleged prophecies and your son because someone in Saudia Arabia claimed that he received orders from Allah. What a marvellous progress religion has brought to humankind. Once, we were killing each other for food, now ideas are sufficient to provoke massacres.

Especially, the Israel-Palestinian killings are madness considering the fact that Jews and Palestinians are genetically one large family as genetic research has revealed. It’s like brothers and sisters killing each other after a long separation and a reunion in their former home because a foreigner in Saudia Arabia demanded it. Normally, genetically related people prefer and support each other. But religion made them hate each other. Understandably, Richard Dawkins and other atheists concluded that religion is a force of evil. Their view is supported by the fact that it is very unlikely that the holocaust of the Jews would ever have happened without the 2,000 years old claims of Christians that the Jews have murdered Christ. Add to this the massacres of Hindus by fervent Islamic believers and the killings of West Indians by Christians and it is hard to deny that Richard Dawkins has a point, doesn’t he.

2 June 2007 at 01:14  
Anonymous Colin said...

Oops, wrong thread.

2 June 2007 at 01:16  

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