[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)

Friday, November 05, 2010

How can a person positively identify another?

by Antonio da Rosa

For the purpose of referencing someone in a conversation or communication, what exactly must one do in order to positively identify someone?

Usually a first name will do among friends who through the context of their conversation mutually recognize the name and thus the person so named. Here positive ID occurs.

Often, though, persons communicating know more than one individual who shares a first name that has been referenced in conversation. Therefore it is encumbant upon the communicator referencing the third party individual to use a last name. At this point concencus can be achieved in a group and positive identification of an individual occurs.

To go further, at times a last name is not known, and thus attributes and/or characteristics of the intended referenced individual must be shared so that a delineation can occur, allowing positive identification to be made through shared awareness of how these traits delimit reference to a certain individual.

But what about expressed misconceptions in the context of communication, even great ones? Will egregious misconceptions necessarily preclude the ability to positively identify and reference an individual?

What if I were trying to convey a reference and positive identification of an individual in a conversation with a friend or group of people and I said something like this:

In order for you to get legislation enacted for your particular purpose, you must form a team of lobbyists to entreat the tax-fighting, card-carrying NRA member, pro-life California Governor-elect, Jerry Brown


Have I for the purpose of the communication identified the individual with whom I am encouraging lobbyist activity for the benefit of my hearers?

If you would say, "No," my question to you would be, "Why not?"

As a conclusion to this brief discussion, I will provide the two ways that positive identification for the purpose of reference in commmunication can occur:

1. A single unique reference is made about the individual
2. A conglomerant of references, attributes, and characterstics, that form a unique delimiting picture is given about the individual

When speaking to another about Jesus Christ, any one of a multitude of individual unique delimiting informations about Him can be given that will positively identify Him, and thus precise reference can be made, or a host of information, that when taken as a whole will create a unique picture, and accordingly, positively ID Him.

If a person is introduced to Jesus Christ through passages of the New Testament and are confronted with His unique claim to guarantee everlasting life to anyone who entrusts their eternal destiny to Him, and then so does, what are the arguments against this person having eternal life, even in the presence of egregious misconceptions about the Person and Work of Christ?

8 Comments:

  • Hi Antonio!

    Excellent post.

    You're obviously right. Maybe this issue comes up because of confusion in other areas, especially the terms by which regeneration is bestowed. The issue of identity is distorted because of other issues where there is so much wobble.

    If John's Gospel were accepted as authoritative on its subject matter, just like every other NT book is, there wouldn't be so many obstacles thrown up.

    That said, much of my family are fine with Jesus as a vague spiritual figure, but not as the real Jesus who offers eternal life freely to people.

    By Blogger J Sawyer, at Friday, November 05, 2010 5:04:00 PM  

  • Hi Antonio,

    How can I identify the right Jesus? As you're saying I think, I would have to bring it back to the testimony of Jesus in scripture. People can debate what they've interpreted about Jesus and be wrong all the time; but when I talk with others about our perceptions to we always go back "there," that Jesus, that testimony. In that way, all scripture is therefore game. However at times, perhaps very little reference need be made at all, if we are in harmony both with one another's interpretation and the testimony. A person who is in complete harmony with the testimony of Jesus and His offer of eternal life, may still not yet be saved.

    Thanks for the chance to think..

    By Blogger Sanctification, at Sunday, November 07, 2010 2:44:00 PM  

  • Also, you said,

    1. A single unique reference is made about the individual
    2. A conglomerant of references, attributes, and characterstics, that form a unique delimiting picture is given about the individual


    This is what scripture does. In passing while talking about some other matter the writers of the New Testament will only say, "Christ" like #1 above. Context and scripture have the right to define what person He is. But that doesn't mean all scripture is necessary to be known or believed in order to be justified. "Salvation is in Christ and comes by grace through faith." Every word in that phrase means very significant things about how salvation happens.

    Thanks... :D

    By Blogger Sanctification, at Sunday, November 07, 2010 2:57:00 PM  

  • Wow, Jodie, so long since you've been around. Thanks for stopping by!

    I think you are right. The whole idea of having a proper Christology before one can have eternal life is a slippery slope.

    Which is the correct Jesus? is it the Pentecostal Jesus, the Prebyterian Jesus, the Methodist Jesus, the Baptist Jesus, the Episcopalian Jesus, the Reformed Jesus?

    Who doesn't come to Jesus with varied and sundry misconceptions about Him? Certainly the apostles did not acknowlege Him as God when they believed on Him for eternal life!

    If Jesus is presented from the Gospel of John, positively identifying Him through unique references contained in it, and His words are emphasized that eternal life is the present and irrevocable possession of the one who believes in Him, and He is thus believed in, why could anyone consider such a one unsaved, even in the face of misconceptions great or small?

    It was the right thing (faith) in the right Person (Jesus) for the purpose of the right result (eternal life).

    Hey Michele, thanks for dropping by. Your comments are good!

    You wrote:
    ----------
    "Salvation is in Christ and comes by grace through faith." Every word in that phrase means very significant things about how salvation happens.
    ----------
    Certainly such a proclamation as what you put into quotes could be stated in much simpler terms for greater understanding, to lets say, a child.

    The saving message is divinely clear, simple, and uncomplicated.

    Unfortunately it is man who has clouded the subject.

    Antonio

    By Blogger Antonio, at Sunday, November 07, 2010 9:05:00 PM  

  • "Certainly the apostles did not acknowledge Him as God when they believed on Him for eternal life!"

    Simple point that needs to be absorbed more widely!
    Nice to comment on a da Rosa Post again, Antonio!

    Hope you're planning another India trip :)

    By Blogger J Sawyer, at Friday, November 12, 2010 8:39:00 PM  

  • Very interesting post, Antonio~!!!

    Could the key to this be "whoever BELIEVES IN HIM has everlasting life".
    If a person BELIEVES that claim, then he's been persuaded of that truth. He's believing THOSE WORDS about JESUS printed on the pages of scripture. All his other misconceptions about Him don't change that fact.

    I understand that Muslim extremist terrorists are blowing up themselves and others because they are CONVINCED that they will go to heaven. But their belief is NOT in Jesus. They ARE convinced of a WRONG Savior. But they don't claim that he is Jesus whose name is written on the pages of scripture.

    When a person reads in the Bible that JESUS offers everlasting life to the one who BELIEVES IN HIM, and he believes in Him, he is believing in the right Jesus even if he has wrong misconceptions about Him. In my thinking it's impossible to believe in some OTHER person if you're believing the claims of the Jesus written in the Bible. There is no other Jesus in the Bible who claims that.

    Anyone who simply is convinced (persuaded) that Jesus gives everlasting life (that can never be lost) as recorded in scripture, IS SAVED.
    :-)

    Thanks for giving me a place to type out my thoughts. I appreciate other people's thoughts here, too. Makes me think.
    :-)

    Antonio, I thought you said it all very well. Thank you again for that helpful post.

    Enjoy HIM today,
    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Tuesday, November 16, 2010 6:25:00 AM  

  • Question for Antonio...

    In our Discipleship class yesterday we were discussing Mormonism and "another Jesus."

    I just read your excellent article...
    "Offenders For a Word" dated May 30, 2006.
    EXCELLENT~!!!

    Could you expound on 2 Cor. 11:4 for me? I looked it up in the new Grace Commentary and that was helpful, but I still could use some additional help in understanding that verse.

    Also, under comments from your May 30, 2006 article, Matthew gave an interesting comment. He said...

    "Antonio, your logic is perfect.
    I would point out that 2 Cor 11:4 talks about 'another Jesus' before the Gospels were written.
    Paul is not talking about people who are believing in the Jesus of the four Gospels."
    *

    Antonio, thanks for any additional help you can give me on this verse.

    So glad you're back. Missed you much~!!!

    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Wednesday, November 24, 2010 5:55:00 AM  

  • Question for Antonio...

    In our Discipleship class yesterday we were discussing Mormonism and "another Jesus."

    I just read your excellent article...
    "Offenders For a Word" dated May 30, 2006.
    EXCELLENT~!!!

    Could you expound on 2 Cor. 11:4 for me? I looked it up in the new Grace Commentary and that was helpful, but I still could use some additional help in understanding that verse.

    Also, under comments from your May 30, 2006 article, Matthew gave an interesting comment. He said...

    "Antonio, your logic is perfect.
    I would point out that 2 Cor 11:4 talks about 'another Jesus' before the Gospels were written.
    Paul is not talking about people who are believing in the Jesus of the four Gospels."
    *

    Antonio, thanks for any additional help you can give me on this verse.

    So glad you're back. Missed you much~!!!

    Diane
    :-)

    By Blogger Diane, at Wednesday, November 24, 2010 6:00:00 AM  

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