• Raffaele Paglialunga writes: "I don't know what is happening where everyone else is at but from what I have been reading from all sorts of Christian authors, from all different walks of life, I am noticing a growing shift in the Gospel presentation. I love learning by means of reading, as well as listening to different views, especially Christian conferences (T4G, G3, GospelColtion, ShepCon, etc). With that said, I am deeply broken in spirit by what I am seeing take place in the Christian world. I have often wondered where all this new nonsense came from and now I believe I know. This craziness of the Social Gospel comes from the Communist handbook and is eagerly promoted by American Christians who claim to be doing the Lord's work with an unfortunate clouded view of the Gospel itself. What is real troublesome is many very well known and deeply educated men whom I consider brethren are involved in this effort to Christianize the Social Gospel movement. Besides the Social Gospel movement there are many who also are pushing to get revival started in America (as the Third Great Awakening) and yet if we only read the Word of God, we'll discover that first, revivals are for Saints but more importantly, it isn't likely to happen because the world (people) are moving away from having anything to do with God. The World is blind to the Light of this world. It is the reason why the Gospel message must be proclaimed in full with nothing left out. Even when preachers proclaim to their flock the message weekly, they do so with the intent of rebuking, reproving, and edifying. Unless an unbeliever hears the message preached, unless they are pricked in their heart, unless God gives them a heart of stone to receive, they will NEVER believe. People are evil, corrupt, and look for more ways to be evil and do evil. Even the very words of Christ are, "the way is straight and narrow, FEW find it..." The way to hell is of course opposite "wide, and broad MANY enter through its gate". It's about time we stop fooling around with nonsense and get back to Preaching the Word of the Living God. Time is short and tomorrow we are not guaranteed." Denise suggested: "Well, at least I was intro'd to a historical movement (Logos resource, almost): https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/activists/walter-rauschenbusch.html And Logos even has his collection too. https://www.logos.com/product/28531/the-walter-rauschenbusch-collection My guess, the OP may have had something else in mind, but interesting author." James McAdams and Lew Worthington found Raffaele's comments painful and unpleasant. Discuss amongst yourselves...
    1. Can someone cite an argument that someone with influence in the church has put forward where they’ve discussed actions that they think we should take but that you think would be harmful? I think it would help to discuss something “real”
    2. SineNomine, Thanks for pointing that out. I did a ctrl+f to see if I missed but somehow I must have missed it even after that!
    3. James McAdams, I like that idea. I find that when it gets down to disagreement it's better to discuss particulars and specifics rather than the sort theory-building that is common on this issue. That theory-building or narrative construction happens on both the social justice side and the anti-SJ side.
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  • For those interested here is a chat I did on the modern reformed doctrine of Total Depravity
    1. the link is broken :-(
  • When did the church began, and when does it end. I have heard some say the church did not start until Pentecost. Others say the church existed in the Old Testament. I have heard some say the church stops when the church is rapture "before the tribulation". Others the church continues to be added to all the way up to eternity.
    1. I just wrote a paper for my STII class on "when did the church begin." If you are interested in reading it.
    2. Alan, at least I'd like to read it - do you want to upload it to the documents section?
    3. Hi Blair: Very late to this. Different groups have different views, from different sources, here is a short and rough synthesis for your consideration: If by Church is meant Ekklessia, then in the OT there was also such. As far as the "gathering of saints" at Pentecost, that was unique because the Holy Spirit came atop believers so they could worship in Spirit and truth due to the atonement already operant. Jesus came to restore Koinonia of man and God, and that was done through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the One that was lost at transgression. This particularity only could happen in the time after Jesus was glorified and sent the promised Holy Spirit. So yes Pentecost church is different to OT assembly. When will it end? Some groups believe that the parable of the wise and foolish virgins actually mean that there will be two groups in the Church: those that have oil in their lamps (Holy Spirit), and those that do not have enough. The ones hot with the Holy Spirit will be taken to the supper of the marriage of the Lamb, while the ones that are lukewarm / cold without enough Holy Spirit (oil in their lamp), will go through the tribulation, and will be rescued at the end by Jesus and the full of oil group. The low on oil group are the ones referred as having had to clean their garments in the tribulation. So you can say one group stays while the other is with Jesus. Also some think that the story of Joseph of Egypt is a type of what will happen with Israel: before Joseph (type of Jesus) reveals to his brothers, everyone had to leave the hall (his wife was sent to the royal chambers (gentile wife type of the wise full of oil group). Then when Joseph revealed to his brothers, they would weep understanding that they did something seemingly wrong, but Jesus will explain that such happened to preserve lives (gentiles). Hope the above gives you leads to do further research.
  • When did the church first begin to pray to Saints / Blessed Mary?
    1. My experience from countless discussions on the internet and some apologetic RC books is that Catholics whom I regard as brothers and sisters in the Lord (sometimes quite evangelical Catholics) always deny "praying" to the Saints or Mary in the sense they pray to God. I've come to believe them.
    2. Thanks to Ken and Mick for helpful replies! I DO want also to say thanks to you, Blair - and thank God for you -- you are a very gracious young man! *smile*
    3. To respond to this old conversation, from a Catholic perspective, for the benefit of anyone who happens upon it: The difference between latria and dulia is in its essence the difference between adoring God on one hand and such actions as standing up when a judge walks into a courtroom, saluting a head of state, or removing one's hat when a funeral procession goes by, on the other. It's the difference between worship and showing respect. This is a true difference in kind, not merely a difference in degree. As to prayer, NB.Mick was right: prayer to God and prayer to Saints are quite different for Catholics (and Orthodox and those of the Anglicans who do so). It's helpful to understand that the English word "prayer" has not always meant "communication with God" in common use. In Shakespeare's Tempest, the line "I prithee [pray thee] now, lead the way without any more talking" is a request of a man, not an act of worship to a God. If a Catholic asks God for help, the Catholic might pray, "God, strengthen my faith." If a Catholic asks St. Thomas for help, the Catholic might pray, "St. Thomas, pray for me that God may strengthen my faith." In the same way, I, a Catholic, might ask you, dear reader, to pray to God that my faith would be strengthened. Depending on my mood, I might say to you, "I pray thee, dear friend, beseech God on my behalf that my faith may be strengthened." I'm clearly not worshipping you if I do that(!).
  • I came here today from the Logos Forum where apparently discussion of "theology" is discouraged. Just how a Forum which has a thread regarding the "Rapture" can be responded to without addressing some aspect of theology (like eschatology, anyone?) is beyond me. Some there hold the Preterist View, apparently. Others, I presume, may hold the Futurist View. While many great scholars have held the Preterist View, that all of Matthew 24 was fulfilled in AD 70, and that the New Testament was entirely written before AD 70, they have NOT done their homework in Bible study. For example, the letter to the Ephesian church in the book of Revelation clearly depicts changes in the inner quality of that church, and even the organization of that church, changes which could not possibly have occurred since Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians was written. Consider especially that Paul sent Timothy to help at the Church of Ephesus. Well, so much for Preterism (and my character limit!).
    1. You and the ESV Study Bible are technically correct. I have that same information in other sources too. The issue for me centers around Paul's statements elsewhere: (1) Romans 15:8, "Now I say that Jesus Christ was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers." Note, confirm, not modify or change them in any way, agreeable to Malachi 3:6. (2) Romans 11:1, 2, "I say then, Hath God cast away Israel? God forbid... God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew." This is strictly agreeable to Isaiah 41:9, "Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away." (3) Romans 11:29, "For the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable" (ESV). Therefore, God's prophetic plan with regard to Israel to fulfill all the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant and the Davidic Covenant are still in force, and unchanging.
    2. You are correct God is unchanging.. The promise was never to (seeds) but to seed. Thus God has not changed. I do not believe God is done with Israel. I believe a great many will be saved in the future. But there is not a separate plan of salvation for Israel. If they want to take part in the kingdom that is Christ's then they must believe in Christ, and become part of the church like everyone else.
    3. The plan of salvation has been the same in all ages. It is well expressed by Genesis 15:6. Paul writes "and so all Israel will be saved" (Romans 11:26), citing Isaiah 59:19, 20. They will thus all be saved when they see the Messiah, the Deliverer, come out of Zion. It is significant, and very largely misunderstood or ignored, that Paul cites another passage in the near context from Isaiah, namely, Isaiah 60:5, pertaining to the phrase "the fulness of the Gentiles" at the end of Romans 11:25. That has no reference to the number awaiting to be saved from the Gentiles, but to the confiscation of the wealth of the Gentiles during end-time events when many nations gather against Israel and God Himself secures their victory. In this age, to be saved, one must become part of the church by faith in Christ. But at the time of the events of the prophecies Paul is citing, the church age of this dispensation or age will have ended.
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  • Were all prophecies fulfilled by 70 a.d Matthew 24:30 speaks of the coming of the son of man, which parallels Revelation 1:7. One thing that is clearly noted there, is the fact that every eye will see Him. This is not some hidden or simply spiritual event. Daniel 7:14 tells us that this kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. Of course the kingdom of God is a present reality, yet there is a future fulfillment.This future fulfillment is also known as the last day. Every eye did not see Him coming in 70 a.d.
    1. I posted the idea
    2. Thanks, Blair! *smile* The Matthew 24:30 passage is Judgement! It will happen! I've had several hundred funerals in my Pastoral Ministry before I retired, and the Joyful meeting of Jesus in the air was prominent. We are saved because of His Death and our Faith; and the day of freedom and release will come. Praise God! 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.
    3. This passage takes a prominent place in the Lutheran Liturgical Funeral Service that I used for most of my funerals. I just noticed also that one cannot "edit" FaithLife posts, so I will make it a point to try to be very careful in my postings.
  • Peace, Blair! Am just now checking, and I see that I'm still a member of your group! It's getting late now in Eastern Canada. Perhaps I'll check in to say "Hi!" again tomorrow or soonest... *smile*