Thursday, January 27, 2011

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Debate: Assurance of Salvation in Islam and Christianity

I appreciate thegrandverbalizer pointing out that this debate has been posted on YouTube. I'm still of the opinion that he really doesn't understand Christian theology however. Two quick points. He wrote the following:

I think that this is the debate that White never wanted to have with fellow Christian Dan Corner and that is on the subject of OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved) or the believers security.

The doctrine "Once Saved Always Saved" is not the same thing as the Reformed doctrine of "Perseverance of the Saints" or "Eternal security". OSAS carries with it a stigma of "cheap" grace. People start thinking that they can live any kind of way and still go to heaven because they are saved. This is not what the Bible teaches. True a born-again and regenerate human being can't be lost. This is something God does. However he does that in changing an individual on such a fundamental level that he or she does not want to live any kind of way anymore but desire to live a life for Jesus. The assurance comes from the Fact that the one who saved us is more than able to keep us. In my opinion, such a debate can be confusing if there isn't a clear distinction being made. It's my understanding that Dan Corner does not want to make that distinction.

That is really in a nut shell what it boils down to.

The Calvinist has a certain degree of security based only on two presuppositions.
1) That their theology is the correct theology.
2) That their works and outward manifestation of a Christ centered life is really the works of a regenerate person and not someone who has been deceived by God with evanscent grace.

Actually that isn't true. If Arminians are correct then I am just as saved as I am if the Calvinists are correct. They agree that we are saved by grace and God holds all accountable for their sins! What they disagree on is the how of we respond to that grace: is it on our own and does God have to enable us apart from our will? In the final analysis which ever is correct - I'm saved. Here is the difference between a regenerate person and one who isn't is that the works will not stop. The faith will not stop. God deceives no one. According to Arminians, the Prevenient grace (I think that this is what thegrandverbalizer meant by "evanscent") given by God and available to all human beings is not until salvation - no. It's just enough grace for a person to be able to decide to be saved or reject Jesus.

Here is a playlist of the debate

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Debate: Assurance of Salvation in Islam and Christianity
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Clay Jones Interview: The Crusades - part 2 - Apologetics 315

Here is part 2 of Brian Auten's interviews with Dr Clay J0nes.

Today's interview is the second of a series of three short podcasts (see part one here) dealing with the general perception of the Crusades, what the Crusades were, motivations behind them, Augustine's concept of "just war," the atrocities of the Crusades, and their overall outcome.

Clay Jones Interview: The Crusades - part 2 - Apologetics 315
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THE APOLOGETIC FRONT: Responding to Dhorpatan's critique of Christian epistemology

Mike Felker has posted a video response to criticism of Christian Epistemology. Thanks, Mike!

THE APOLOGETIC FRONT: Responding to Dhorpatan's critique of Christian epistemology

'Diagram for Delinquents' Doc Focuses on Fredric Wertham, Comics' Most Hated Man - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

I don't think that there has ever been a documentary on Fredric Wertham and his vendetta against the American comic book industry in the 1950s and how it affect the entertainment industry to this day. He always comes up when the history of comic books is discussed but there usually not much info about him given in the documentaries. I think I'm going to want to watch this one.

'Diagram for Delinquents' Doc Focuses on Fredric Wertham, Comics' Most Hated Man - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews

The Dunamis Word: The Nephilim Pt. 1

Superintendent Elder Harvey Burnett has posted an interesting article on the web. Instead of tackling the fantasy of the Nephilim (Genesis 6:1-4) being angel/human hybrids in explaining what they are, he focuses on the passage that points out that the Nephilim are still with us today. He frames his discussion thusly:

Rather than look at biblical chronology examining the nephilim, I thought it best to look at some nephilim (tyrannical giants) that have developed in modern times. These men rejected salvation through Jesus and told the public that salvation was only offered through them, and obedience to their words. Some, who have examined their lives, say that they were mentally ill. I can only say that persons can't exalt themselves, blaspheme God and expect to remain sane.

His series of articles will focus on:
Rev. Major Jealous Divine aka: "Father Divine"
Bishop CM. "Sweet Daddy" Grace
Rev. Jim Jones
Rev. Frederick "Ike" Eikerenkoetter
Elder Burnett is not shy about naming names. I appreciate that in him. Of course these men have gone on to, but there are still such people today working against God's kingdom. I can't wait for the next part.

The Dunamis Word: The Nephilim Pt. 1
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FacePalm of the Day -#52 - Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Does The Christian Heaven Have a Place For Women?

Thegrandverbalizer has posted two posts that deal with how women are regarded in Islam contrasted with how Women are valued in Christianity. This discussion started from a post titled In Islam, the Majority in Hell are Women. Thegrandverbalizer commented on the post. He also posted his interactions with Sam Shaumoun on that very point about women and Hell. Having failed to rebutt Shamoun, thegrandverbalizer attempted to show that the the Bible does not say women go to heaven. I was highly offended. This does not make sense. This is where I will focus my response. My comments are in italics.

I was recently thinking sincerely about this very issue. It seems that Christianity is a bit ambigous over who 'the elect are'. Many people will say that Jesus died for 'all'. However as Calvinist are quick to point out that this is not the case. Jesus only died for a few 'elect' whom they believe God capriciously chosen before the foundations of the world.

No Bible-believing Christian thinks that God does anything capriciously. Let us look at what "capriciously" means "Given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behavior". This doesn't describe the eternal unchangeable character of  God described in the New Testament. Maybe it does describe the Allah of the Qur'an but not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who sent Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins. The elect were chosen by God through nothing they have done of their own or in their own power. Everyone is shaped in iniquity and deserving of hell and on our way there. How can God choosing to save some of us, without rejecting anyone, be an example capriciousness while that election is predestined, eternal, and cannot be undone? Simple: it's not capricious,  

With that said text in the New Testament that tend to generalize salvation or promises of heaven to all can no longer be taken at face value or for granted.

The New Testament promises salvation to all who believes in Christ. No one can come to the son unless they are drawn by the Father (John 6:44).

The very sad thing one quickly realizes about Christian concepts of God as well as Christian concepts of salvation is that they are all very male oriented and male dominated.

Let's see if he can substantiate that.

For example within the Trinity itself God's self-love is only expressed in an eternal relationship of Masculine self-love. God -The Father, whom loves God-The Son. God -the Holy Spirit is a conduit of this love.

God the Father and the God the Holy Spirit are not Masculine. It's a category mistake to mix these things. It's amazing to me the way thegrandverbalizer mixes these things up and then wonders why it doesn't make sense. 

Now it is interesting within the Trinity there is no concept of Feminine self-love expressed any where. There is no Mother and no Daughter in the Trinity.

There isn't any  real concept of  "masuline self-love" in the Trinity either.

Now we can understand that God not necessarily need be masculine, yet how unfortunate that the concept of God dwelling in community of eternal self-love includes only manifestations of the masculine.


But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.(John 16:13)-The Holy Spirit is expressed here in terms of the masculine.

The word translated "he" in this text, transliterated Ekeinos, means "he, she it, etc." This means that thinking of the Holy Spirit in a masculine way misses the meaning of the text. Often times in old English "he" did not now just refer to just men.

What about heaven is there a place for Christian women?

Alongside men. 

Do keep in mind that there are some very negative sentiments towards women in general in the Bible.

This ought to be good.

"I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare....while I was still searching but not finding, I found one upright man among a thousand but not one upright woman among them all" (Ecclesiastes 7:26-28).

Context please. Is the text referring to all women? Notice he didn't give the entire passage.

26 I find more bitter than death
   the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
   and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
   but the sinner she will ensnare.

 27 “Look,” says the Teacher,[a] “this is what I have discovered:
   “Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things—
 28 while I was still searching
   but not finding—
I found one upright man among a thousand,
   but not one upright woman among them all. 

Why think this passage is saying that there are no upright women? Keep in mind that the Bible also tells us of the righteousness of many women by name. It's impossible to honestly make the argument that the Bible teaches that men are more righteous than women.

No wickedness comes anywhere near the wickedness of a woman.....Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" (Ecclesiasticus 25:19,24).

Ecclesiasticus is not even part of the cannon and I can't find any compelling reason to think of Ecclesiasticus as inspired scripture. The ,majority of Christians don't either. I don't even know why thegrandverbalizer would bring it up.

St. Tertullian is reported to have said,

"Do you not know that you are each an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in this age: the guilt must of necessity live too. You are the Devil's gateway: You are the unsealer of the forbidden tree: You are the first deserter of the divine law: You are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God's image, man. On account of your desert even the Son of God had to die." (The Gospel According to Woman, London: Elm Tree Books, 1986, pp. 52-62. See also Nancy van Vuuren, The Subversion of Women as Practiced by Churches, Witch-Hunters, and Other Sexists Philadelphia: Westminster Press pp.28-30)

St. Tertullian was not speaking under the inspiration of God. He doesn't speak of what I believe nor does scripture substantiate his words.

"As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)  we have no record of Jesus calling Mary, Mother.

I've written an article about 1st Corinthians 14:34-35 and about what it means for women's rights using a parallel passage in 1 Timothy 2:11. What does pointing out no quotes of Jesus calling Mary "Mother" prove? Nothing.

John 2:1-5 [1] And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: [2] And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. [3] And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. [4] Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. [5] His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

How beautiful, loving and intimate it would have used the word 'mother' instead of just 'woman'.

So is thegrandverbalizer saying that the same Jesus in the Qur'an said and acted this way in John 2:1-5? If so then is he saying that Jesus behaved in an unloving way to his own mother? I hope not. Because I see nothing in the text or in the Qur'an denigrating Mary.

Gal 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

(Now the above passage is simply talking about status in the mystical union Christians have in Christ).

Not just about our union with Christ it's talking about our equality with one another in God's sight. It's saying that both men and women are heirs to God's promises.

There is still rank in the Earth. Notice the Holy Spirit informs us that women rank below men.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. (1 Corinthians 11:3)

The ranking is in terms of role and not a statement of ontological value. It's not saying that women are less valuable than men. If the verse says that men being the head makes women inferior than it is also saying that God the Son is inferior to God the Father. This interpretation supports Islam not Christianity and does not correspond to what what the text says. This passage is pack with substantive thoughts. Being the "head" is not about being served its about serving those who follow you. Jesus came to us as a servant ministering to our needs and this is the picture given to the relationship between a husband and his wife.

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.(Ephesians 6:5)

The command was not just binding on slaves but also on masters. The context is missing.

 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
 9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.- Ephesians 6:5-9
What do we have here? This passage far from tells people that slaves are less than their masters.  It not only admonishes slaves but their masters also treat each other as equals serving one another as if they are serving God.

We (believers) shall be like Him (Jesus): All Christians transformed into Sons of God.

1Jn:3:2. Beloved, now we are now the sons of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

1Jn:3:3: And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Comments: One thing you will learn very quickly is that this 'we' quickly becomes a reference to men only. Notice it says that 'we' shall be like him. When it says 'everyone' this again is a reference only to men. It says who purifies 'himself' just as he is pure.

There is nothing in the text excludes women. None of the pronouns or adjectives in the passage that refers to believers exclude women. Go to this link and check out the Greek words referring to believers in this passage yourself and see that none of them are exclusively masculine nor needs to be understood that way.

What is the proof that the children of God are not daughters but sons? The New Testament is replete with evidence of it.

Let's see if thegrandverbalizer can deliver proof of this conclusion.

Eph:1:4-5. just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will...

He (God) chose 'us' as adoption as sons...not daughters!

I'm not sure what translation thegrandverbalizer is using but I see the KJV rendering this as 

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

Not only does this verse clearly teaches predestined election, but it is also clearly not excluding women. In old English, mixed gender groups were often referred to collectively using masculine personal pronouns.  This is all this is. No proof that women are not included in salvation here. 

John 1:12- 13. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become the sons of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Again this verse can't be used to prove thegrandverbalizer conclusion because the "sons of God" cannot be restricted to men only. Check out the Greek word for yourself under "sons" at this link.

1 John 3:1. Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God ! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

Looking up "sons of God" here give you the same results as for John 1:12,13. Check out this link.

Rom:8:15: For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father.

Rom:8:14: For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Hosea 1:10 "Yet the Israelites will be like the sand on the seashore, which cannot be measured or counted. In the place where it was said to them, 'You are not my people,' they will be called 'sons of the living God.'

Comments: Now some may muse that 'Israelites' here would be a reference to both men and women. However it is not women who were created to become the sons of God. Women were simply created for the good pleasure of men.

No where does the Bible say women were created for the good pleasure of men. Also Romans 8:13-14 does not restrict believers to only men. Just look up the Greek and see that there is nothing in the language excluding women. As for Hosea 1:10 the Hebrew word translated "sons" is obviously plural and in that form both men and women are included.

The New Testament affirms this when it says,
"neither was man created for woman, but woman for man." (1 Corinthians 11:9)

"A man is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."
(1 Corinthians 11:7)

These passages are not describing the only purpose of women to be serving men. 1st Corinthians 11 is talking about the order of creation - showing how the roles of men and women are symbolic of Jesus and the Church. This isn't a discussion of ontological value in the slightest.


The Bible makes it very clear that Jesus was sent only to save men!


John 1:7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.

Paul says quite clearly about who God wants saved, and who he sent his Son for, in 1 Tim. 2:4-6:

4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.

"For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe." (1 Timothy 4:10)

There is nothing in these verses that exclude women. Look up the word translated "men".

The children of God are never 'daughters of God' they are always 'sons of God'.

Romans 8:14-19

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

Comments: All the men will be able to share in the glory of God and Christ. The glory of God and Christ both of whom are masculine presence. In the passage above 'God's children'and 'sons of God' are used interchangeably. God's children are his sons. They are never his daughters!

No verse in the Bible says that God's Children are never daughters. The Greek and Hebrew languages don't bear this out.

Galatians 3:26 You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus,

Again "sons" does not exclude women. It's not the Bible's fault that we don't have such a pronoun in English that grammatically fits that verse including both genders.

1 John 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

So I guess thegrandverbalizer thinks that Christians believe they have to love their brothers but hate their sisters? I hope not. That would be stupid. Obviously the verse is not excluding women although thegrandverbalizer is trying to twist it into a pretzel to get that conclusion.

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)

No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins(parthenos). They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:3-5)

Not one of the 144,000 is a woman! No women are ever mentioned to be in the kingdom of heaven! In Christianity as explained above women are created for men not for the glory of God.

Remember it says "who did not defile themselves with women" -This also means sex in marriage. Men are created for heaven as they reflect ultimately the glory of God. Women however only reflect the glory of the men as the Bible tells us...

Hold up. The Bible does not say that only 144,000 people are going to heaven. That's Jehovah Witness dogma not Bible teaching.

9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. - Revelation 7:9.

Who says that sex with your wife defiles you in God's eyes? No where in the Bible does it say that. The number of men and women in heaven will be great and a lot more than 144,000.

"A man is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man."
(1 Corinthians 11:7)

There you have it folks! Jesus was sent to save the men. Those men who accept Jesus will be accepted as God's sons. They will become the sons of God.

There wasn't a single Biblical passage thegrandverbalizer used that substantiated that claim. Women are not excluded from Salvation.

Some modern translations of the Bible have tried to say 'children of God' or they even have gender sensitive Bibles now! They do this to cover up the facts and the truth. That Christianity does not have a heaven for women! In Christianity the ideal scenario is virgin men in mystical union with (The Son (masculine), The Father (masculine) and the Holy Spirit (masculine).

No where does the Bible paint such a picture as this "ideal" in thegrandverbalizer's imagination. As for his charge regarding translations hiding male centeredness, the Greek texts from which the translation come don't exclude women. Therefore at times "children of God" is a more accurate translation.

This is unlike heaven as Allah mentioned in the Qur'an. It is for every one. Men and women! Notice the ambiguous nature in the New Testament as to the salvation and status of women in the hereafter and contrast that with the very crystal clear teachings of the Holy Qur'an!

What ambiguity. Lots of smoke and mirrors were introduced to suggest that either the Bible is not clear about women's salvation but just opening up the Bible and reading it show that this is not true.

"Women shall derive benefit from what they aquired. Ask, therefore, God out of His bounty: behold, God has indeed full knowledge of everything." (Holy Qur'an chapter 4 verse 32)

I'm glad that the Qur'an makes such a statement. I agree. However the Bible does not conflict with the Qur'an on that point. I always find it interesting what verses and passages people use when they are trying to prove a point. I would have like to have seen thegrandverbalizer explain how the following passages support his conclusion that the salvation of women is not a part of Christianity.
7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers. - 1 Peter 3:7

Realize that husbands are called to look after their wives and treat them with dignity not because they are weaker or of lesser value but because they are to submit to and obey their husbands. This passage says that women are heirs with men (they go to heaven too) and if a husband fails to treat his wife considerately, God will ignore his prayers! That is indeed high esteem from God for women.

What about this passage:

15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? - 1 Cor 7:15,16

This passage definitely teaches that a man or a woman can be saved. And thegrandverbalizer admitted that Christians believe that if you are saved you go to heaven. He refutes himself.

Additionally if woman can't be saved or have a value then why were there female deacons and teachers in the early church? Why did Jesus spend his time directly ministering to the needs of women (ie John 4)? The more you look at thegrandverbalizer's thesis the more impressively wrong it is.

I did look at thegrandverbalizer's attempt to get around the Islamic text about the majority of the population of hell are women, but I don't think he managed to prove that wrong than he did trying to shift the discussion to the salvation of women in the Bible. How do you get around this?

Mohammed said, "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers are women." - Sahih Al Bukhari: Vol. 1:28, 301

Thegrandverbalizer has not managed to explain why would understand that passage any differently.

Islam and Christianity A Common Word: Does The Christian Heaven Have a Place For Women?
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