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      Message from the office   07/13/2017

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About Coolhand

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    Biker Chaplain

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  1. That respect is mutual my friend. I have enjoyed your friendship and conversation over the 15 something years that I have known you, and I appreciate the patience and kindness you have had with me over the years. I noticed that many of the writers in the article mentioned Isaiah 53. The New Testament writers have always seemed to interpret that to be talking about Jesus, where the people that the text was written to interpret it otherwise. Luke also interprets Is 53 to be talking about Jesus, but in my opinion focusing only on as being rejected and then killed. There was a time in my Christian walk that I had what I thought was "the answers" to many questions that I now am not so sure about. As you were saying about education and its effect of opening new avenues of thought I totally agree with. It seems the more a person "knows", if they are completely honest, they become aware of how much they do not know. There are sermons that I have preached in a cavalier manner that I look back on and now pray that people will forget most if not all of what I had said. I recently received a "last chance" to renew a subscription to a theological resource, and the carrot dangle was the different modules that they now offer: Baptist theology, Reformed theology, Pentecostal theology, etc. These different flavors of theological thought, in my opinion, are not advancing the honest study of theology but are rather fueling apologetic type debate and enforcing the barriers to the discovery of the truth, and barriers to true brotherly fellowship. Of course to this company it is about making money by providing an alleged service or resource. There are things that are written in the Bible that give me great comfort and there are things written in the Bible, I agree with you about and wonder how a loving God could have "inspired" some of the things written to be written. Or, if God had anything to do with inspiring some of it but is given the credit for it, and you know as when as I do, when someone claims that God told them this or that, the conversation is over. Then it turns into a "bow in submission to God" thing. Which then presents another problem, which is: "Is God telling all these different people different things?" Somehow I doubt it. I would argue that keeping it simple is anything but simple.
  2. Hey Pete. As far as I can see in Luke, his point for recording the death of Jesus was to show that Jesus had been a prophet rejected by the people. Luke has a theme of showing fulfillment of what he read in the Septuagint, to show that Jesus fulfilled the points that he had selected from that text as far Jesus being the anointed prophet and the restoration of prophetic activity among the Jews. From what I understand by reading Luke and what others say about the writing that they credit to Luke, being "filled with the spirit" was a Septuagint phrase that Luke used often, but not in a filled with the spirit as in how John or Paul would use it; like sanctification or salvation. Luke used it more in the sense of a vocational empowering: "so and so was filled with the spirit and then__________." Restored prophetic activity, being filled with the spirit; these seem to be the emphasis of Luke to show fulfillment of earlier prophets to point to Jesus at the anointed and soon to be rejected prophet. Atonement is not really mentioned. I would agree that Luke is missing the clear element of atonement, which is going to cause some people to try to find it indirectly so that they can claim the Luke does hold to that theology, for some reason. In regard to church, I currently do not belong to one, only the christian motorcycle club and this one here (ULC). In regard to school, I could assert or argue anything I want as long as I demonstrate a mastery of the required reading for the course; I only have to meet and be able to explain the course objectives, I don't necessarily have to agree with the conclusions. The lack of atonement in Luke, honestly, I never really noticed it until you brought that up. I guess I had always assumed it was in there. In regard to gospels, John was the one I had used the most, then Mark, then Matthew, then Luke. I like Luke though, because it does have a different point of view. I am looking through this course material and it is unlikely that atonement will even come up, the main sections are: I The hermeneutics of historical narrative; II The Holy Spirit in the Gospel of Luke: Jesus as the Anointed Prophet; III The Holy Spirit in Acts: The Disciples as Spirit Baptized Prophets; IV The Holy Spirit in Acts: The Acts of the community of prophets. The main focus is on the prophetic element. If I come across any atonement discussions or comments in the course material, I will share them with you. By the way, I spent some time watching the Yale University lectures that you posted yesterday. That is some really good material. Thanks for sharing that.
  3. I have re-enrolled in the course THE EXPOSITION OF PNEUMATOLOGY IN LUCAN LITERATURE at Global University https://www.globaluniversity.edu/ . Global is a theological distance education school in the Pentecostal tradition and it has several schools: 1) The discipleship and evangelism school; 2) The coursework for credentialing with the Assemblies of God called Berean School of the Bible ; 3) The undergrad school of theology; and 4) The graduate school of theology. The graduate school of theology has Master of Arts programs in biblical studies, Master of Arts programs in ministerial studies, a Master of Divinity program, and a Doctor of Ministry program. It is an accredited school but obviously not a Harvard or a Princeton. I have decided to resume work in the graduate school of theology on the Master of Arts in ministerial studies: Leadership Concentration program. I have completed all of the core courses except this one, and I have taken two electives: Hebrew 1 and Hebrew 2, which I completed at Reformed Theological Seminary virtual campus and have transferred into this program. I do not plan on doing the thesis track, but rather doing the coursework and doing a capstone paper. I have quit this program twice because I really don't like the distance education model, but only have 5 classes until I graduate so it made sense to tough it out and just finish it. I plan on putting some thoughts here for discussion as I go through. If you know of a good book that deals with Luke's quotations and allusions of the Old Testament please share. This class deals a lot with Luke's usage of Old Testament and intertestamental writings, but the coursework limits the discussion to the differences between Evangelical and Pentecostal scholars/writers. One of the big topics that is dealt with in first unit is the issue of historical precedent from narrative portions quoted by NT writers of the OT, and NT narratives as normative patterns for today's believers/Christians. This always seems to be subjective. My angle currently is to discover how the writer of Luke uses historical precedent and then compare that to the course reading material. More to come.......
  4. ........and the bubble bursting......
  5. Here's a little folly to lighten the mood.....lol.... courtesy of my conservative club brothers who thought I would find this compelling ......ay yi yi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtquNNEO7Fw
  6. I'm getting off to a slow start in regard to my Revelations study. I have been listening to it audio bible style and also the Gospel of John. I'm curious about the author of Revelations. The author claims to be John, and it seems that there could be a couple of people that "john" could refer to. It seems to be a common thought that John is the apostle John. This is why I have taken to reading the Gospel John and Revelation to the similarities. There does seem to be a common theme of good and evil, and the thought that God and Jesus want to take residence with believers. I'm not saying that John the apostle is without a doubt the author, but that he could be. I have been wondering about what is the appropriate hermeneutic approach to use with Revelation, and the bible in general. One might think with the number of classes I have taken in Bible College and seminary that I would have a good answer for that. I bring this up because of the authorship question. If it is the apostle John, then it would seem that the date would be mid-late to late first century. I can’t recall for certain, but I think Revelation was quoted by other writers as early as 125 AD. Regarding the hermeneutic question, it seems the approach used by theologians and scholars is not he hermeneutic that was used by example of the biblical authors. Trained theologians seem to want to study the history, grammar, syntax, etc., try to determine authorial intent, and the original audience. By looking at how the New Testament writers handle the Old Testament, I have made the following conclusions: 1) The linguistics, grammar, and syntax don’t seem to be a thought or even discussed. The New Testament writers seem to refer to ancient translations as comfortably as the Hebrew text. The translation whether it is good or poor doesn’t seem to be an issue. 2) The New Testament writers don’t seem to be concerned with taking the parts of the Old Testament that they are quoting in any kind of context. They seem to make allusions out of narrative, and generally interpret things in a Christological sense even though it wouldn’t appear as if that was the Old Testament writer’s perspective. Almost like the New Testament writers high-jacked the Hebrew Scriptures to serve as illustrations for Christian topics. 3) Timothy says about the Bible ( probably referring to the Old Testament- I’m not sure what he would have had for New Testament scriptures, and what he would have thought would have been New Testament scripture) that it is profitable for correction, teaching, rebuke, and instruction in righteousness. He believed it was inspired or “God breathed”. To me that seems different than conservative viewpoint of infallible or inerrant. I don’t doubt the reliability of the Bible, but I don’t think the reliability of it can be measured without have all of the background, actual authorial intent, and context. Some of the books in the Bible they are not sure who wrote them, or when they were written, or what the point of them being written was. It is hard to use something with that much question surrounding for anything but devotional value, assuming that can be found in it. Those things aside, I will say God speaks to me through the Bible, and he illuminates things to me that may not be in context with what the poetry or prose I and reading is saying; so I do believe in some kind of inspiration even though I know I don’t (can’t) interpret everything I read in there correctly. My original intent was use the 4th Revised Edition Greek text to study the book, and I may get back to that, but I have abandoned that for the moment, mainly because of the numerous distractions that presents to someone like me. At one time I thought the study of Scripture would be best if done in the Hebrew for the Old Testament, and Greek for the New Testament. Then I got turned on to the Pe**ta (pesheeta in case the bad word filter blanks it out) which I was told was supposed to be the complete Aramaic New Testament which was about 100 years earlier than the oldest complete Greek text. That turned out to be a 4th century or later Syriac translation of the Greek. Syriac is like Aramaic but it is not what I thought it was. The Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament texts are not just one text that they found somewhere that clear up any and every doubt that person like me can have. Rather, they are an aggregate translation/version in the original language that has been corrected and clarified by other translations/and versions both more and less recent, using other translations/version that are easier to understand to correct and understand some of the more confusing Hebrew and Greek parts. I am now trying to avoid the endless rabbit trails of following variant readings and the significance of each in favor of using a couple of English translations (NIV, NRSV, ESV) which use the most accurate and reliable manuscripts and versions, and the peer review of 100 scholars, 75 scholars, and 100 scholars respectively. Having spent time recently in the Gospel of John and Revelation I feel I have a more simple approach and thoughts about Christianity, a return to the simplicity of the faith so to speak. I’ve gone through a lot of changes in 2015, stuff became really upside down for a while, and then I wound up discarding most of what I thought was important and worthwhile for the last 10-15 years. Spending time in the book of John has helped reaffirm the power of a simple faith in Jesus Christ, and the power of my own personal testimony, of what God has done in my life. In regard to the Christian faith, I would say that John is probably the most important book and that John 3:16 is the most important verse; just my opinion, but there seems to be such power in them.
  7. One reason is personal interest. Another is the challenge because of the layers of symbolism. Also the familiarity of other biblical books (and possibly non biblical) required to make sense of the content of the book. I've been told Revelation is like a crown jewel of Scripture that presupposes a mastery of all the other biblical work to really understand, however, I have heard and read opinions about what the book is supposed to be saying and have never been that impressed or convinced that anyone really knows. It claims to be an unveiling or a revealing of Jesus Christ and his ultimate victory. That would make sense as a Bible book. The author seems to be a mystery, who or what the beasts and creatures in the book seem to be a mystery, when it was written also seems to be a mystery, and how to interpret the symbols also seems to be a mystery. I personally have wondered why the book was even in the biblical canon. For centuries people have sought to find fulfillment of these symbols, beasts, creatures, and events within their own generation. As long as I can remember people in the churches that I was associated with in the past have used this book in a futuristic sense to prove the end is coming and is right around the corner and you better get ready. I have read though it many times but never put any effort into study of it, and there is some Christian theology in there, but it is not explained, it is rather presumed that the reader gets it, I kinda like that. Much of the theology discussed in the Bible studies and sermons I have heard seems to get stuck on the smaller parts that make up the whole, and seems deductive where as the theology in Revelation is more big picture and more inductive; it doesn't really explain itself but gives the results (Chapters 2-4, the letters to the churches). The best answer to "why" is probably personal interest.
  8. I have taken interest in the Book of Revelation these days. I have never really been interested it that much other than reading through it but not really studying it seriously. I have decide to devote some time and serious study to it. I have not really gotten started yet. I have been brushing up on my biblical Greek and some of the fundamental of the language. I intent on leaning heavily on the Greek and the Greek Old Testament for references to the Old Testament. It appears that the allusions to the Old Testament are sometimes from the Hebrew and sometimes from the Greek. I haven't quite made up my mind in regard to how I feel about the book, other than I think it is interesting. I have been told/taught all my life that it was describing future events, but I'm not sure that I buy into the futuristic interpretation as a legitimate approach. They say there are four ways to approach the book: preterist, allegorical, ideological, and futurist; I kind of lean towards the preterist view currently, but am still undecided. I have bought some exegetical commentaries on Revelation to assist. I have several of the regular type commentaries and though they seem to find some devotional value to the text, I am more interested in a high level of study. I was able to find four exegetical commentaries, so we'll see what they have to say. I would be interested in hearing any opinions that people currently have about Revelation as well as any discoveries made from study of Revelations.
  9. I'm not necessarily trying to "re-invent the wheel" here but there is a definition of a chair, and something else called the internet, with a semi accurate other thing called wikipedia that has a definition of a chair.......just sayin.... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chair
  10. Beside the whole using these to argue for the existence of God thing, I think they make perfect sense. In to color, I don't think that is a good application, being color blind for one, it is an irrelevant point to me, and pretty subjective to anyone else. Im thinking more along the links of a chair...........a chair cannot be a chair and not be a chair at the same time, a chair is either a chair or not a chair, and a chair is infact........a chair.
  11. Hey guys,I wanted to share something that we discussed in a theology class in Bible College and get your opinions, and see if you agree, and what the objections would be. The material is from a book written by Norman Geisler, who is a philosopher/theologian. I'm not so jazzed that his examples are about arguing the existence or non-existence of God, not how I would go about that; I guess you have to bait the hook for the intended audience if you want to sell books. The laws are more what I'm interested in discussing. Thanks
  12. Creationism is based on a poem....stick with the science.
  13. Christians do what all the time in Africa?