[We are] not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Let us say Pt. 2

by Antonio da Rosa

Ya'll seem to be on the same wave-length. Varied misconceptions about "Jesus" necessarily mean that the person with them believes in a different Jesus.

JWs and Mormons cannot possibly be refering to the correct Jesus when they speak of Him, because they have misconceptions about Him, so you argue.

We all would agree that Jesus came from the tribe of Judah and was a descendent of David, was baptized by John, had 12 apostles, etc; the Bible teaches it. Who else in the universe fits this bill? This is enough information to limit understanding to no one else but the historical, unique Jesus Christ.

Let us say that as a teenager, a friend of yours told you that Jesus wasn't Jewish, but that He was Egyptian. He told you that Jesus had lived in Egypt therefore He was Egyptian. You believed your friend, not knowing any better.

Later on, when you were told the gospel (the death and resurrection), the deity of Jesus, and that Jesus guarantees eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it, you believed.

Did you believe in a different "Jesus"? The TRUE Jesus was Jewish and came from the tribe of Judah, but you believe that he was Egyptian. And this belief you imported into your understanding of who "Jesus" is.

Let's say that I believe Jesus has blonde hair, like some depictions of Him show. But in reality Jesus has brown hair (for the sake of argument). By ya'lls argumentation, I am believing in a different Jesus.

Do you see this slippery slope you have put yourselves on? If my Christology does not line up with yours exactly, then I am believing in a different Jesus!

The examples could be heavily multiplied.

Let us say that I have met your mom. When referring to her when speaking to you I showed that I had several misconceptions about her employment or her living conditions, or her personality, or her finances, or her integrity, or her nationality, or her religion, etc.

Am I necessarily referring to a different "mom" because of my misconceptions?

Such an assertion would be absurd.

We all have MANY misconceptions about everything: each other, the Bible, God, Christ, etc.

We refer to people all the time in discussions in whom we have misconceptions and wrong beliefs about. Are you referring to different "people" because you don't have everything about those people worked out in your mind?

How come we MUST say that a JW or a Mormon refers to a different Jesus when they speak of Jesus?

How come we can't understand that they are having misconceptions and wrong beliefs about the correct Jesus instead? There is PLENTY in their Christology that we would agree with!

This is my third post on this subject. Is someone going to come up to bat and give all the necessary information that must be assented to in order to exercise saving faith? Show me in the Bible where this information is soteriologically necessary and lack of belief in them would preclude someone from eternal life.

Contrarily, could someone give me some of the fatal misconceptions about Jesus that would preclude one from eternal life, or from believing in Jesus Christ?

How do you distinguish between a fatal and non-fatal misconception about Jesus? And where does the Bible support your answer?

Antonio

37 Comments:

  • Antonio,

    You're not comparing apples to apples. There are some things we are not told in Scripture (i.e., the color of Jesus' hair). But there are many things we are told. We are told the Jesus is the Son of God. We are told that He died and rose again. We are told that if we believe in Him, we will have eternal life. I think Brian brought up John 3:16 in the last post which clearly shows Christ as being the Son of God and connects that to belief for eternal life.

    Is your Christology so specific as to include what Jesus physically lookes like? Anyway...let's talk about the slippery slope that you are on.

    So what about adding other things to my salvation? What if I believe in Jesus Christ for my salvation...eternal life, but I also believe that I have to crawl on my knees for 150 miles to be acceptable? Would I be saved? Doesn't your logic tend to lead to univeral salvation? Or at least quasi-universal salvation?

    Isn't it possible to be close to the truth, but not have the truth?

    In Christ,
    Ten Cent

    By Anonymous Ten Cent, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 1:49:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    I agree with you on alot of things. I just have one question though:
    If a person says that they have believed in Jesus for everlasting life, then months or years later after reading and being taught that Christ is God and that He was born of a virgin and died and was raised from the dead, they then refused to believe that Jesus is God or came in the flesh or was ressurected, in your opinion would that person be saved?

    By Blogger Kris, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 1:57:00 PM  

  • I've answered your question already. I have said I don't know of any 'list'. Or rather, I don't know what the contents are. Could you now be so kind as to answer mine?

    I have a very simple question, what must I believe in order to be saved. Antonio, you love the hypotheticals, pretend then I am a lost pagan with muslim background. I come to you. I ask you a very simple question, 'what must I do to be saved?' How do you respond?

    By Blogger nathaniel adam king, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:28:00 PM  

  • great blog and post and comments so far.

    this is good question, i was approached by JW's and they told me that i did not beleieve in the true Jesus. i believe in the Jesus who is the son of god and became a man, who did that i might be saved, who is is now resurrected and sists at God's right hand, and who lives in me through his holy spirit. i could talk about his appearance and so on, but if it is not releveant to ave me, then it is not relevant. do not mean to be harsh cos this is a great question, but i think we look for all this ghosts and shadows and questions and we worry ourselves sick with that. but someone else should feel free to jump in

    By Blogger Virgil the Pilgrim, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 2:43:00 PM  

  • I don't have to wonder much anymore as to why Jesus wept:

    'And Jesus *cried* out and said,"Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in Him who sent Me. And whoever sees Me sees HIM who sent me.' John 12:44-45

    Jodie and Antonio would say: "He speaks lies. Jim Bob came forward one night and accepted Jesus as a gift, but he still has a problem with the Virgin Birth and the Trinity." or "What if someone gets saved at the new movie the Davinci Code and they believe in Jesus?"

    Why do you guys have a problem with the seeker sensitive movement again?

    Antonio, why is it you like to have Josh McDowell come to your church?

    you can make a case in your James interpretation and this verse might support it:

    "If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not Judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world." John 12:47

    But it is clearly erroneous to try to bring that application over into this debate to rip away at the substance of faith as you do and Jesus makes this boldly crystal clear in the next sentence:

    "The one who rejects me and does not *receive* my *words* has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day." John 12:48

    The believer will believe what he says is true. Wasn't it you that told us to pay attention to what they say and then you will learn if they are figs and thistles?

    This isn't funny guys and Antonio?
    Remember your coffee and donuts speach? I think it most definately applies here. I beg you to wake up. I honestly think Jesus weeps on this one. I know I do.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 3:24:00 PM  

  • Antonio said:

    "How come we MUST say that a JW or a Mormon refers to a different Jesus when they speak of Jesus?

    How come we can't understand that they are having misconceptions and wrong beliefs about the correct Jesus instead? There is PLENTY in their Christology that we would agree with!"


    This really doesn't require much argument, even for the "baby" Christian, to see through. BUT, I'll give a little!

    First of all, Mormons believe Jesus is the spirit brother of Lucifer (or Satan if you will)--and JW's believe that Jesus is generate, or created, thus subordinate, and not eternal God! This gets right at the "nature" (essence of who Jesus is, and who God is). Antonio's logic is like comparing a cheetah, because it has yellow hair with black spots, with Dennis Rodman, because he (at one point) had yellow hair with black spots. Antonio engages in a novel case of "faulty parallelism" via a horrific category mistake. The Christian Jesus isn't even in the same category, ontologically (by nature), with the Jesus of JW's, LDS'rs (mormons), or Muslims. They all assume Jesus was either less than eternal God (JW's and Muslims), or deny trinitarianism (LdS'rs are polytheists or tritheists if you will). Therefore, the Jesus of the Bible and the Jesus of JW's and LDS don't compare and this is not simply a case of having a misconception of the "same" Jesus (Mt 24 II Cor 11 both articulate the fact that there are "different" Jesus' out there); but a case of "mistaken" identity--thus Antonio's, Matthew's, and Jodie's fallacy!

    Antonio asked:

    "Contrarily, could someone give me some of the fatal misconceptions about Jesus that would preclude one from eternal life, or from believing in Jesus Christ?"

    I just did, above! If you trust in the WRONG JESUS--then you end up with a "salvation" that doesn't have saving power (II Cor. 11:1ff). You end up with a "crossless Jesus", you end up with a mere "man" supposedly providing salvation through a works-righteousness framework (LDS, JW's--how ironic for Antonio to argue the way he is, when he has argued so ardently as he has--against supposed works-righteousness frameworks that are actually within the pale of Christian orthodoxy).

    Antonio's relativistic logic leads, sadly, to universalism. I've met and evangelized with many Muslims, Hindus, Buddahists, LDS, JW, et. al who all believe in Jesus in one way or another--according to Antonio these folks could conceivably be saved, by affirming trust in Jesus for eternal life, and at the same time continue to believe in the 300,000,000 million gods that Hindu belief articulates.

    John 14:6-11 Jesus argues for the exclusivity of following Him alone for eternal life--then Phillip asked Jesus how they should understand the "identity" of Jesus' person, and Jesus explicitly asserts His deity as He identifies His nature as exactly the same as the Father's.

    Jesus narrow's the "way" of salvation by "conditioning" eternal life on recognizing the fact the He indeed is the exact representation of the Father (Heb. 1:3). Antonio obviously does not believe this is a necessary condition to appropriate salvation, sadly :-(!

    As I've already argued, on the last comment thread, the "effect/result" of what Jesus accomplished/gained at the cross (eternal life); is inextricably linked and defined by WHO (content) Jesus is!

    I could continue to argue, but it falls on deaf ears, at least with the initiated (Antonio, Jodie, Matthew)--so I'll stop! Just a quick statement:

    The ultimate insult here, is that Antonio (an by default, Matthew and Jodie) believes that a Mormon or JW can be saved by a different standard (i.e. misconception in understanding)--than the standard Antonio is "saved" by.

    Rose, I would say that if there was ever a time to distinguish yourself, relative to the other contributors on this group blog, now is the time to do it! This is not the same argument, relative to Calvinism, Lordship salvation, that Antonio has argued against in the past. He is now under-cutting a fundamental distinguishing identifying definition of what it means to be an historic Evangelical Christian. He is under-cutting the very nature of God, as his relativistic comments on JW's and LDS illustrates. This is serious stuff, Rose. You seem more sensible than to align yourself with such outrageous "theology".

    In Christ,

    Bobby Grow

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:04:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    The JW's don't believe that Jesus is God. It's in John 1:1 or 2 of their so-called bible the New World translation.

    The Mormons think that Joseph Smith's book of mormon is the inspired word of Christ.

    Both, not our guy Christ.

    Your hypotheticals are daydreamy and empty, in my opinion.

    Drop all of your useless inapplicable hypotheticals and talk scripture and I'm sure you will get some responses in kind.

    Heartily, Todd

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:05:00 PM  

  • Antonio,
    This quote of yours shows you are not now in the reasonable state of mind necessary to discuss this issue:

    "Let's say that I believe Jesus has blonde hair, like some depictions of Him show. But in reality Jesus has brown hair (for the sake of argument). By ya'lls argumentation, I am believing in a different Jesus."

    By whose argumentation? I didn't see anyone arguing such an idiotic point. So you think this is how you'll be persuasive? This is not helping. Maybe you could recognize how troubling your percieved view is to many of your brothers and sisters in Christ and try and make yourself more clear by some other more credible method.

    By Blogger Todd, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:32:00 PM  

  • Brian and Bobby,

    Would you mind describing exactly what the position is that you so strongly disagree with.

    Do you include both the Trinity and the divinity of Jesus to be needed for regeneration?

    Can you tell me where I can go in the Scriptures to learn that the explicit offer of eternal life is meant to be taken as broadly as you are taking it? Ie that everything taught in John is to be read into the offer of eternal life in John?

    I hardly ever ask questions and try to let individuals define themselves but I find your broad condemnation offensive.

    I am taking Christ at His Word. I don't think that is heresy. I have said that the evangelist should preach the divinity of Christ.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:48:00 PM  

  • As I've said before, I am not saying that the Holy Spirit reveals the truth of Christ to those who are actively denying the divinity of Christ or for that matter the Trinity.

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:50:00 PM  

  • Bobby,

    As I just said to Brian, I rarely ask questions but I did ask you one on the last post. Is there some reason I'm missing?

    I've answered many of your querries to the best of my ability.

    You are the one that is ruling out taking John explicitly when he is describing the offer of eternal life. But you somehow know that all things in John teaching who Jesus is need to be read into that offer. Where is there any indication that that is what should be done?

    Jodie

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:58:00 PM  

  • Jodie that's ENOUGH!!! I've asked you many questions, and made many points (Jn 14:6-11/the linkage between the person and the message of Christ) that you have flippantly over-looked. I have established from John that recognizing the deity and trinity of Christ are necessary features of appropriating saving life.

    You have consistently dis-respected my points, i.e. just asking for clarification on a "figure of speech" metynome, isn't dealing with the substance of my point!

    You guys are over the edge . . . for everyone to see! Your irrational committment to an esoteric undertanding of salvation has taken you to the extreme of denying essential Christianity. BTW, you no longer are just arguing with me, or the others here, but all of orthodox Church History, and more importantly the "whole" counsel of scripture. To fragmentize the scriptures as you do is unwarranted . . . for example you haven't dealt with my inclusio argument from Genesis to Revelation (and the criteria of canonicity, and the fact that we have four "Good News'"/Gospels, not just one, etc.)! All of scripture articulates how to appropriate salvation (Jn 5:39) not just John (your approach reminds me of the Marcionite approach)!

    I am publically, now, disassociating myself from the Free-Grace approach (if there is any confusion on that point)!

    I am honestly sorry that it has come to this . . . I didn't realize that Free-Grace articulated such fallacious thinking!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:19:00 PM  

  • Well, I think this was a great post, Antonio.

    I am baffled as to what everbody's problem with the very reasonable arguments put forward by Antonio here.

    Essentially receiving eternal life by faith is the appropriation of what Christ has already accomplished.

    There are no hoops to jump through to receive that finished work. It is sinmply a matter of believing what Jesus Christ has done.

    I cannot help but suspect that those who insist that there is some kind of minimal orthodoxy involved in saving faith, besides the reception of the gift of eternal life, have some conception of saving faith as being a kind of righteousness. I am sure those of you who reject the Free Grace view would deny this, but it does seem to show in some of the responses.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:57:00 AM  

  • "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." John 3:18

    He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3:36

    " 25Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

    26And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

    27She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world."
    John 11

    "But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31

    "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Acts 8:37

    "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." 1st John 4:15

    "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" 1st John 5:5

    "9If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son.

    10He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
    1st John 5

    To trust in any other than the Son of God is to perish.

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:20:00 AM  

  • Antonio, Matthew, and Jodie,

    If a JW came to your door today, and you began talking to them and they said "Last week in the service at the Kingdom Hall I believed in Jesus alone for eternal life", would you consider this person a brother or sister in Christ?

    By Blogger Nate, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 4:49:00 AM  

  • Bobby,

    Just out of curiosity, how, in your thinking, does the content of saving faith being articulated here by Antonio differ from the content of saving faith proposed by Professor Hodges in his first article?

    How Pt 1

    By Blogger Solifidian, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 7:31:00 AM  

  • Nate,

    I would ask this person questions. I am sure that no one in kingdom hall would talk like that.

    Let me pose to you a different scenario.

    If a JW came to my door and we talked, (not anything about the deity of Christ whatsoever!), and by the time he was through, he was convinced that Jesus gave him eternal life by faith in His promise to do so, faith in Christ to save him, I would consider such a one saved.

    I believe that it is a waste of time to argue the deity of Christ with a JW. The knowledge of Christ's divinity will not save the JW, and it is a peripheral issue prior to the JW's salvation.

    The JW refers to the historical Jesus when he speaks of Him. When I show to them in their bible that Jesus guarantees eternal life to the believer in Him for it, that He is the Guarantor of resurrection and eternal life to the mere believer in Him for it, I show to them the crux matter that needs to be resolved for them to recieve the free gift of eternal life.

    Bobby says that I advocate some kind of universalism. He either does not understand my position (most likely) or he is merely being emotional.

    That a JW or Mormon refers to the same historical Jesus as we do (yet with mild to extreme misconceptions and false beliefs ABOUT Him), does not mean that they are regenerate!

    I would suppose after all that Bobby has read concerning my position that he would have been immune from making this heinous error and by so mischaracterize my beliefs.

    The JW and the Mormon, although they refer to the same historical Jesus, do not believe that He guarantees for them eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it.

    They believe that works are indispensible for salvation. They do not believe the saving proposition of Christ.

    Kris,

    Whatever you can throw out out to me AFTER you claim that a person believes the saving proposition of Christ, that He belives he has eternal life by faith in Christ's promise, this person is saved. Whatever hypothetical you can throw my way about a person who has entrusted his or her eternal well-being to Christ will all result in the same answer. The person who has believed that Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it, is saved no matter what circumstances may be fall him or her later.

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 9:43:00 AM  

  • Bobby,

    the first line of your response, ruins your whole argument. With it, you essentially concede to my position.

    You write:

    "First of all, Mormons believe Jesus is"...

    Your argument is that they have misconceptions about Jesus.

    JW's deny the deity of Jesus, no?

    If I denied the presidency of George W. Bush, when I refer to him, would I be referring to a different G.W. Bush?

    How absurd.

    The points of agreeance in historical facts concerning Jesus is plenty enough to limit the idenity of the One that the JWs and the Mormons refer to as Jesus Christ!

    No one else fits that bill!

    The bottom line is easy, sir.

    JWs and Mormons have misconceptions and believe false things about the one historical Jesus.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 9:55:00 AM  

  • Nate, if he truly believed in Jesus Christ for eternal life, then I would indeed consider him a brother in Christ.

    If he continued to deny the Trinity after that doctrine was made clear to him, I could not have fellowship with him, however.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:38:00 PM  

  • Antonio is quite right about it being a waste of time trying to argue the Trinity with a JW or Mormon.

    Just try it!

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 12:43:00 PM  

  • Antonio said>I believe that it is a waste of time to argue the deity of Christ with a JW. The knowledge of Christ's divinity will not save the JW, and it is a peripheral issue prior to the JW's salvation.<

    Good grief. Its come to this. You need to read some books by converted JW's as this was the whole issue they struggled with before surrendering to this truth and being saved. I have also witnessed to them and this is the focul issue.

    It appears from the stream below that Jodie is basing her unbelief in the past against scripture, so I am beginning to see more and more the source and attraction Zane Hodges gives for the on struggling with unbelief. Antonio I am disturbed as well. This is heartbreaking.

    I am making the same break Bobby Made. I cannot rationalize this any longer. Unbelief and doubt is not a virtue and work that earns eternal life. Quit justifying it

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:06:00 PM  

  • "And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him saying, 'If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us."

    "But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus,*LORD* remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."

    The differance between the two theifs? One understood who was hanging on the cross and the other did not. There are two roads just like these theives had two options...which road will you choose? There is no middle road here at the cross.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:17:00 PM  

  • Notice the one who didn't believe in Christ as God prayed for salvation as well.

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:18:00 PM  

  • He had an *if* in his prayer though. I hope there is none in yours

    By Blogger Bhedr, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 1:19:00 PM  

  • Antonio I think you're mistaken concerning the minimal requirements for belief but I can't break fellowship with you over that. I might want to wrestle with you for a year or three and especially over John 20:31 but unless you alter the Gospel message or reject the truth of Christ Sonship you can look forward to my continued aggravation and irritation as well as my love for you and all who have commented here. I have suffered much more from many others and expect no less in the future.

    By Blogger Kc, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 3:23:00 PM  

  • K.C.,

    I saw your response with the verses.

    The term "Son of God" is quite devoid of meaning in and of itself without some form of importation, no?

    Even those who knee-jerkedly assert that it is a claim to deity do so through a process of induction. But where in the Bible does it give it such deductive import?

    I do not deny that such a title displays the divinity of Jesus. Yet I will argue that the knowledge of deity is necessary for eternal life.

    As you have seen from the gospel of John, the term "Christ" is used appositionally with the phrase "Son of God", which equates them both.

    John 11:25-27 uses those terms appositionally, as well as giving those terms the proper import.

    To believe that Jesus is the Christ OR to believe that Jesus is the Son of God is to believe that:

    Jesus is the Guarantor of eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Him for it.

    I agree that one must understand that Jesus is the Christ and/or the Son of God. But of exactly what import those terms mean, I would argue. For John, who is the only author of the only expressly and purposely evangelistic treatise in our canon, they mean that Jesus guarantees eternal life to the believer in Him for it.

    Where in the Scriptures does it clearly show that assent to Jesus' divinity is necessary for eternal life? If you can show me this, then I would retract my position.

    But the fact of the matter is that even the Christ's disciples, after years spent with Him, were confused as to the exact ontological nature of Jesus.

    As far as soteriology is concerned, assent to Christ's deity is not required for regeneration. With your references you merely beg the question.

    I claim that the exact import of the term "Son of God" in Johannine literature is appositional to the term "Christ", which for John means the Guarantor of eternal life/resurrection to the believer in Jesus Christ for it.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 6:49:00 PM  

  • Antonio said of me, quoting me a bit (out of context that is):

    "Bobby,

    the first line of your response, ruins your whole argument. With it, you essentially concede to my position.

    You write:

    "First of all, Mormons believe Jesus is"...

    Your argument is that they have misconceptions about Jesus."



    Here's the rest of what I said:

    "First of all, Mormons believe Jesus is . . . the spirit brother of Lucifer (or Satan if you will)--and JW's believe that Jesus is generate, or created, thus subordinate, and not eternal God! This gets right at the "nature" (essence of who Jesus is, and who God is). Antonio's logic is like comparing a cheetah, because it has yellow hair with black spots, with Dennis Rodman, because he (at one point) had yellow hair with black spots. Antonio engages in a novel case of "faulty parallelism" via a horrific category mistake. The Christian Jesus isn't even in the same category, ontologically (by nature), with the Jesus of JW's, LDS'rs (mormons), or Muslims. They all assume Jesus was either less than eternal God (JW's and Muslims), or deny trinitarianism (LdS'rs are polytheists or tritheists if you will)."

    My point was that the Jesus' presented by the cultists (Morm. JW, et al) is ontonlogically different than the Jesus of the Bible, the Jesus who saves (not some sort of privation of Jesus, but a totally different being given the name, Jesus).

    As usual Antonio takes people out of contex, uses this as a pre-text, and believes he has undercut the opponent's (me) argument! Wrong!


    So long!

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at Thursday, May 11, 2006 8:54:00 PM  

  • Bobby, the Mormons are not talking about a fictional person when they ascribe those heretical charactristics to our Lord.

    They are talking about the historical Jesus. They are talking about the one who was born of a virgin, lived in Judea, did miracles, who died on a cross and was raised from the dead. There is no other person who fits these characteristics other than the real Jesus.

    The Mormons believe in Jesus, they simply have a heretically and offensively warped understanding of His nature.

    Let us suppose you said:

    'The Dyspraxic Fundamentalist is one of the contributors to Unashamed of Grace.'

    You have said a true statement about me.

    Let us suppose you thought I was a woman and Antonio's daughter.

    You have said the same true statment about the Dyspraxic Fundamentalist and you are talking about me. There is no other person that fits your statement that 'The Dyspraxic Fundamentalist is one of the contributors to Unashamed of Grace.'

    You would be talking about me, even if you thought for some reason that I was Antonio's daughter.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, May 12, 2006 12:11:00 AM  

  • Thanks for the response Antonio. We agree that the terms Christ and Son of God are appositional but could it be that the purpose of the book of John is to establish that fact because Jesus is both?

    Matthew, Mark and Luke are all written with this apposition being understood from OT prophesies concerning the Messiah. Their emphasis is then placed on the testimony that Jesus is this one. The book of John does not start with that conclusion but at the very beginning and works toward the same end with the object being to clearly establish Jesus’ identity as Christ, the Son of God. This would then make the name Jesus appositional to both Christ and Son of God. To stress my point consider the construction of John 20:31 and the stated object, to establish belief in who Jesus is and with that in view, have life through His name.

    “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

    If the object were to establish belief in Jesus for eternal life then the verse should read,

    “But these things are written that ye might believe in the name of Jesus for life; and that by having life you might believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God.”

    The knowledge of Jesus as Christ, the Son of God is the rock, or foundation on which He said He would build His Church (Matthew 16:16-18) and every teaching of Christ is founded on this fact and does not stand without it, including and especially the doctrine of eternal life.

    The testimony of the Father was twice explicit, “This is my beloved Son…hear ye Him” If someone rejects God they reject Jesus and His words have no more authority in their mind than do mine or yours. Belief then becomes a simple choice between various options rather than a choice to believe God and this is the crux of the matter. We, like Abraham, are counted righteous because we believe God and God’s testimony is of His Son, Jesus. To reject the Holy Spirit affirmation that Jesus is the Son of God is to call God a liar. To believe Him and His testimony that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God is to be counted righteous.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, May 12, 2006 2:43:00 AM  

  • Kc, John 20:31 does not say that the believing for life is in the sonship of Christ. The life comes through believing in His name, He that is truly the Son of God.

    If one believes on Jesus, one believes on Him who is the Son of God.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, May 12, 2006 5:42:00 AM  

  • I really do love you guys and I don’t see this as anything more than bible study. We’re all working out our own understanding of this wonderful gift and though we may seem unorthodox at times I know we all only seek the truth in these matters. The question of, “who is my neighbor” has been clearly answered but I think we all struggle at times with, “who is my brother”.

    Matthew we are in total agreement even though we may be slightly misunderstanding each other. I really do believe, that it is belief in the name of Jesus that is required of us to receive a new life in Christ. That is what I obviously failed to get across previously. It may be that we take a different view of what name means. Even today our name implies our heritage and identifies us as unique. I think you are probably more familiar with the concept of titles than I am but the name Jesus Christ is actually a title and as Antonio has already articulated this title is apposite to the Son of God.

    Matthew Clarke clearly identifies you as an individual and grants you authority as representative of the Clarke family. I know many Matthews but only one Matthew Clarke who can speak with any authority concerning your family. If I believe that you are not actually a Clarke but only pretending to be one then you no longer have authority to speak on behalf of, or to the desire of, the Clarke family as far as I’m concerned. If I can convince others to believe you are not a Clarke then I have effectively stifled any potential for you to speak on behalf of your own family. It is the same when we reject the heritage of Jesus. His words are not the words of God, if God is not His Father.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, May 12, 2006 7:02:00 AM  

  • Kc, who is Matthew Clarke? Not seen anyone by that name round here.

    I am not sure exactly where you are going with that analogy.

    Kc, do you agree with my view that Mormons do not believe in a different Jesus (despite their heretical and offensive views of His nature)?

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew C

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, May 12, 2006 8:06:00 AM  

  • The point is that historically and scripturally there is more to a name than simply a word used to refer to another person.

    To be honest I'm not familiar with the Mormons belief about Jesus but if they reject Jesus as the Son of God then don't they call God a liar regardless of who they refer to?

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, May 12, 2006 9:39:00 AM  

  • I am sure they have some warped understanding of what 'Son of God' means.

    Is that denying that Jesus is the Son of God?

    God Bless

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Friday, May 12, 2006 10:50:00 AM  

  • I really am uncertain where they are concerned. I will look into it now though.

    By Blogger Kc, at Friday, May 12, 2006 11:31:00 AM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    It's been a long time. Here's a couple of quick thoughts I think you'll agree with.

    When Moses went up on the mountain, the people called on Aaron to make them a golden calf. "This is the LORD our God who brought us out of Egypt, and tomorrow will be a feast to the LORD!" they said (meaning the golden calf).

    They called it by the same name as God. The ascribed to it the works of God. Nevertheless they worshipped "that which by nature is no God."

    No let's look at an example to the contrary. Paul passed through Athens and found an altar to the Unknown God. "This god you worhsip without knowing, Him I preach to you."

    The name was wrong. The works were not addressed. But the nature matched up. He was 'the' unknown God (not one of man, but one and only). They knew that they did not know Him. They knew it was proper to honor Him, yes, and they even knew it was proper to build Him an altar.

    I believe that's how you sort out this mess. The Bible portrays Jesus as the unique Son of God. The JW's and Mormons may refer to Jesus. Yes, the one who riased Lazarus from the dead; the one who preached the Sermon on the mount, etc. The name and works ascribed to him are correct. But what about the nature?

    The JW Jesus is Michael the archangel, a created being who is promoted to be God's Son. The Mormon Jesus is a spirit brither to Lucifer. By their nature they are somthing different, and this is what tells the tale.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at Friday, May 12, 2006 8:36:00 PM  

  • Cleopas, this is not a question of worship but ontology.

    The Israelites were not worshipping God by worshipping the goldne calf, but they certainly believed in God depsite their adoption of corrupt worship.

    I agree that Mormons do not truly worship Jesus.

    The question is do Mormons or other Christological heretics believe in Jesus or a special ontological category of a 'different Jesus'?

    I cannot see that one's belief in
    a thing is determined by one's undertstanding of its nature.

    Every Blessing in Christ

    Matthew

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at Saturday, May 13, 2006 4:24:00 AM  

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