Liberals vs conservatives

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Robert Davidson

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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Conservative Christian killfiling of certain threatening ideas posted by
some here is understandable if the one time Oriel Professor of the
Interpretation of Holy Scripture (University of Oxford) is correct about
conservative evangelicalism:

"The real and fatal cost of fundamentalist doctrine and ideology, as a
system of life. . . is its personal cost: it can be sustained as a
viable way of life only at the cost of unchurching and rejecting, as
persons, as thinkers or scholars, and as Christians, all those who
question the validity of the conservative option. The presence of the
questioner breaks down the unnatural symbiosis of conflicting elements
which makes up the total ideology of fundamentalists. We can thus
understand why 'liberals' and other non-conservative persons have not
only to be disbelieved, discredited and overcome in argument; they have,
still more, to be eliminated from the scene altogether."

James Barr, Fundamentalism (London: SCM, 1977, pp. 314-15)

Nigel Mitchell

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Tue, 9 Nov 1999 12:43:04 +0800, Robert Davidson wrote
(in message <3827A657...@student.uq.edu.au>):

Thanks for posting this, Robert.

For those who may be interested, James Barr is visiting Australia next year.
He will be giving a lecture at Saint George's Cathedral, Perth, at 7:30 pm on
Wednesday 22 March 2000. I do not know at this stage if he is appearing in
any other states or visiting our NZ cousins.

cheers

N+


Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Tue, 09 Nov 1999 14:43:04 +1000, Robert Davidson
<s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:


>James Barr, Fundamentalism (London: SCM, 1977, pp. 314-15)

We stopped laughing at that a long time ago Robert, now it is just a
big yawn. We know not to expect anything that is sensible from the
SCM.


Graeme Hunt
invi...@ihug.co.nz
http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~invictus


Robert Davidson

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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Graeme Hunt wrote:

> On Tue, 09 Nov 1999 14:43:04 +1000, Robert Davidson
> <s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:
>
> >James Barr, Fundamentalism (London: SCM, 1977, pp. 314-15)
>
> We stopped laughing at that a long time ago Robert, now it is just a
> big yawn. We know not to expect anything that is sensible from the
> SCM.

Seems a pretty darn accurate assessment to me, even if one limits the
scene to this newsgroup alone. I think he's right on the money, as you
would expect from an Oxford professor. SCM has some excellent titles if
you take an impartial view of things. Out of curiosity (and with no
desire to belittle you or anything) have you actually read any of their
books, or have you read descriptions of them in conservative
literature?
I often find this is the case with my conservative Christian friends.
They talk about Derrida, Satre, even Marx and Freud without having read
them first hand at all, but having read about them in evangelical books
by the likes of Francis Shaeffer (of L'Abri fame). They have been
surprised when taking my advice and actually reading the primary
sources.

Robert Davidson

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Tue, 9 Nov 1999 12:46:27 +0800, Nigel Mitchell <n...@echidna.id.au>
wrote:

>Thanks for posting this, Robert.
>
>For those who may be interested, James Barr is visiting Australia next year.
>He will be giving a lecture at Saint George's Cathedral, Perth, at 7:30 pm on
>Wednesday 22 March 2000. I do not know at this stage if he is appearing in
>any other states or visiting our NZ cousins.
>

This rather reminded me of the passage in Philippians 3:2 - "Beware of
dogs, beware of evil workers, berware of the concision ..." The
passage refers to the Judaistic opposition to Paul but the principle
is extended to all forms of apostasy and evil teaching, including
today's liberalism. Judaisers are not quite today's liberals but the
liberals' teaching falls under the category of "evil workers".

There is a definite article used as a demonstrative pronoun here
in this verse calling special attention to a certain kind of dog. The
dog that is in view here is the Judaiser. So we translate this "Beware
of those dogs" - false teachers, apostles of apostasy, evangelists of
evil.

The phrase dogs does not refer to the literal canine species, it
refers to Judaisers. The Bible must be interpreted in the time in
which it was written. In the time of writing this passage regarding
dogs found the dog an animal which only inspired contempt. The reason
is because the dogs in the ancient world travelled in packs, were
often hungry, and were quite vicious. They were also carriers of all
of the animal diseases.The word "dog" was used in the ancient world in
a very derogatory sense. The Jews in the ancient world called the
gentiles dogs. So the fact that the word "dogs" was used as a
derogatory word was very definitely understood.

Basically the dog of the ancient world was a scavenger. By nature he
was unclean, he was the carrier of disease, and the carrier of other
creatures which carried diseases - like fleas. At the same time the
dog of the first century was semi-wild, eating garbage, carrion,
refuse, just about anything. Just as dogs fed on garbage and dead
bodies so the Judaisers fed on the principles and doctrines of evil.
Therefore the apostle Paul calls them the scavengers of theology.
Just as rabid dogs infected others, so the Judaisers infected Paul's
world-wide congregation. They followed him and they constantly tried
to insert legalism where Paul had taught grace. They infected with
reversionism and evil their victims.

The dog cannot be better than his own nature, so the Judaisers and
liberals cannot exceed the content of evil in their souls. While the
Judaisers passed themselves off as religious celebrities Paul in the
power of the Spirit, using spiritual language, they were in reality
dogs, scavengers, travelling in packs, and providing opposition for
the apostle Paul. And while they were a part of the great mantle of
opposition, and he could understand them and meet their opposition,
his congregation could not. Therefore the warning, "Beware of those
dogs." Hence the derogatory analogy to dogs indicates the
personality, the essence of the Judaisers who constantly opposed the
great apostle. They were a part of the honour that God bestowed upon
him.

Dogs are used in analogies to reversionism and apostasy - Matthew 7:6;
Philippians 3:2. Dogs are used to describe unbelievers - 2 Peter
2:22; Revelation 22:15.

"evil workers" is a reference to human good [Isaiah 64:6] which in
the Bible is in opposition to divine good and under the category of
evil. Evil is Satan's policy. "Beware of those evil workers,"
describes tose whose "work" which was offering opposition to Paul's
ministry. Evil workers here are those who do something to set a system
of opposition to the ministry or the teaching of the Word of God.

These people never left Paul, his churches had to be warned that they
would infiltrate the local church and would come in an teach something
that wasn't true. They would come in and take the Old Testament and
mutilate wonderful passages, take them out of their context and bring
them over into evil. This is one of Satan's greatest functions.

Starting with the garden, evil or Satan's policy always seeks to take
grace as it finds it and mutilate it. Evil always finds grace
perfectly healthy, perfectly whole, and seeks to mutilate it.
Mutilation, then, is taking legitimate Bible doctrine or ritual and
distorting it. This is what liberalism does.

Mutilation is the Satanic distortion of doctrine so that it appears to
be teaching his policy of evil. Many functions of evil today are
related to the Word of God but they are distorted from the Word of
God.

Beware of these false itinerate teachers of evil.

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Tue, 09 Nov 1999 16:30:41 +1000, Robert Davidson
<s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:

> Out of curiosity (and with no
>desire to belittle you or anything) have you actually read any of their
>books, or have you read descriptions of them in conservative
>literature?

Yes, but not for a long time. Thankfully I have much better
discernment these days. I understand absolutely where they are coming
from and reject them as false teachers.

I'm sure Nigel has a library of this material or has access to one. I
prefer something that is true myself.

John Fulton

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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In message <384abc12...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz> - invi...@ihug.co.nz
(Graeme Hunt) writes:
:>
:>On Tue, 9 Nov 1999 12:46:27 +0800, Nigel Mitchell <n...@echidna.id.au>

:>wrote:
:>
:>>Thanks for posting this, Robert.
:>>
:>>For those who may be interested, James Barr is visiting Australia next year.
:>>He will be giving a lecture at Saint George's Cathedral, Perth, at 7:30 pm on
:>>Wednesday 22 March 2000. I do not know at this stage if he is appearing in
:>>any other states or visiting our NZ cousins.
Snip ...
:>> "The presence of the

:>> questioner breaks down the unnatural symbiosis of conflicting elements
:>> which makes up the total ideology of fundamentalists. We can thus
:>> understand why 'liberals' and other non-conservative persons have not
:>> only to be disbelieved, discredited and overcome in argument; they have,
:>> still more, to be eliminated from the scene altogether."
:>>
:>> James Barr, Fundamentalism (London: SCM, 1977, pp. 314-15)

:>>
:>
:>This rather reminded me of the passage in Philippians 3:2 - "Beware of


:>dogs, beware of evil workers, berware of the concision ..." The
:>passage refers to the Judaistic opposition to Paul but the principle
:>is extended to all forms of apostasy and evil teaching, including
:>today's liberalism. Judaisers are not quite today's liberals but the
:>liberals' teaching falls under the category of "evil workers".
:>
:>There is a definite article used as a demonstrative pronoun here
:>in this verse calling special attention to a certain kind of dog. The
:>dog that is in view here is the Judaiser. So we translate this "Beware
:>of those dogs" - false teachers, apostles of apostasy, evangelists of
:>evil.

Snip ...

The above is the demonstration of an attempt to put down the questioner in an
irrational manner!

How kind of you to provide such a demonstration of James Bar's proposition - I
could not have done it better myself!

Thank you very much Graeme

Regards to you all

John Fulton


Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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You are very welcome John. I am well aware of the poison and unbelief
of liberal theology and make no apologies for exposing it wherever
possible. .

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:08:03 +1000, Robert Davidson
<s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:

>Graeme Hunt wrote:
>
>> I am well aware of the poison and unbelief
>> of liberal theology and make no apologies for exposing it wherever
>> possible. .
>

>Graeme, why do you call James Barr a false teacher? Have you read his books? What
>in them is false?
>

His stance is obvious enough from your quote of him - very obvious.

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 09:45:39 +1100, Daniel McLean
<anti...@ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>Here, Here!
>
>How easy is it to read secondary sources rubbishing organisations, scholars,
>other religions or prominent people? And how many do this and adopt the
>criticisms of such books without any consideration of those groups or people
>or ideas _

You are jumping to conclusions. I never said I have never read liberal
books. I have read enough of them to know that most of them are trash.

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 9, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/9/99
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On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:28:52 +1000, Robert Davidson
<s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:

>Graeme Hunt wrote:
>
>> Yes, but not for a long time. Thankfully I have much better
>> discernment these days. I understand absolutely where they are coming
>> from and reject them as false teachers.
>

>Surely it is a good practice to know the "enemy" as you describe liberal
>teachers? Should you really just ignore their writings? Would not your
>faith protect you from any falseness?
>
>Robert Davidson

Robert, why should anyone in their right mind study the work of
religious quacks? I use all my spare time studying the truth; I have
not time at all for messing around and wasting time on the enemies of
truth.

But you are correct, my faith does protect me from any falseness;
that's why I steer clear of irrelevant theories peddled by the false
teachers.

Robert Davidson

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Graeme Hunt wrote:

> I am well aware of the poison and unbelief
> of liberal theology and make no apologies for exposing it wherever
> possible. .

Graeme, why do you call James Barr a false teacher? Have you read his books? What
in them is false?

Robert Davidson


Robert Davidson

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Graeme Hunt wrote:

> >Graeme, why do you call James Barr a false teacher? Have you read his books? What
> >in them is false?
> >

> His stance is obvious enough from your quote of him - very obvious.

I take it you haven't read "Fundamentalism" then. Why did you say you laughed at it
years ago and now that it's a big yawn? It's actually a very astute book you would
probably find very interesting. Certainly not hostile to conservative Christians, but
highly compassionate.

Robert Davidson


Robert Davidson

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Daniel McLean

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Here, Here!

How easy is it to read secondary sources rubbishing organisations, scholars,
other religions or prominent people? And how many do this and adopt the
criticisms of such books without any consideration of those groups or people

or ideas _on their own grounds_, that is through a reading of their own
writers and texts. Perhaps it will result in no change to one's opposition
to them, but at least it adds a touch of integrity and "informedness".

Thanks for the Barr quote Robert.

Regards,

Daniel
--
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~mcl4/


Robert Davidson wrote:

> Graeme Hunt wrote:


>
> > On Tue, 09 Nov 1999 14:43:04 +1000, Robert Davidson
> > <s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:
> >
> > >James Barr, Fundamentalism (London: SCM, 1977, pp. 314-15)
> >

> > We stopped laughing at that a long time ago Robert, now it is just a
> > big yawn. We know not to expect anything that is sensible from the
> > SCM.
>
> Seems a pretty darn accurate assessment to me, even if one limits the
> scene to this newsgroup alone. I think he's right on the money, as you
> would expect from an Oxford professor. SCM has some excellent titles if

> you take an impartial view of things. Out of curiosity (and with no


> desire to belittle you or anything) have you actually read any of their
> books, or have you read descriptions of them in conservative
> literature?

Daniel McLean

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Graeme Hunt wrote:

> You are jumping to conclusions. I never said I have never read liberal
> books. I have read enough of them to know that most of them are trash.

Not a stab at you Graeme, but a generalisation (therefore will not hold for all
cases) of many in conservative circles. It is fantastic when anyone has the
patience and breadth of mind to listen to and read the writings of those from
positions in conflict with their own, regardless of which side of which fence
they come from.

What I would say however, is that even if a person does not agree with the common
assertions of a group such as SCM, that it is by no means true that they have
nothing to benefit from interacting with their ideas. Furthermore, it should be
acknowledged that organisations change over time, as does the style and content
of literature they produce. SCM produces a fairly wide variety of material and I
would be very surprised if you would find nothing of interest or benfit to read.

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 11:53:54 +1100, Daniel McLean
<anti...@ozemail.com.au> wrote:

>Graeme Hunt wrote:
>
>> You are jumping to conclusions. I never said I have never read liberal
>> books. I have read enough of them to know that most of them are trash.
>
>Not a stab at you Graeme, but a generalisation (therefore will not hold for all
>cases) of many in conservative circles. It is fantastic when anyone has the
>patience and breadth of mind to listen to and read the writings of those from
>positions in conflict with their own, regardless of which side of which fence
>they come from.

As a matter of curiosity I suppose it is interesting. One of the
problems as I see it is to be able to spend the time reading a lot of
stuff which you personally reject. I have my own priorities and they
more than keep me busy.

>What I would say however, is that even if a person does not agree with the common
>assertions of a group such as SCM, that it is by no means true that they have
>nothing to benefit from interacting with their ideas.

I would much rather spend my time (redeem the time) interacting with
the Bible and what it really says than with a group of rationalists
(many of whom are unbelievers anyway) who tear down the very doctrines
the Bible teaches.

>Furthermore, it should be
>acknowledged that organisations change over time, as does the style and content
>of literature they produce. SCM produces a fairly wide variety of material and I
>would be very surprised if you would find nothing of interest or benfit to read.

From my student days SCM leaned toward the liberal side of the fence
and I have ever since purchased books from other sources. If things
have changed for the better then that is good, but I have my doubts.

Darren R Middleton

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Robert Davidson wrote in message <38289EDF...@student.uq.edu.au>...


G'day Robert,

Apparently Dr Barr came from a relatively conservative background but
departed from it and now hold's fairly unorthodox views, particularly
concerning special revelation. Although Barr may well attempt to be
gracious & understanding in his writings it is obvious he has a major beef
with anyone who subscribes to inerrancy which has always been the orthodox
understanding of divine revelation.

If I recall, Dr Barr clumps (not unlike yourself - perhaps he has
influenced you) evangelicals with fundamentalist purely on the basis of
inerrancy which seems to suggest his real bete noir is the orthodox
understanding of the doctrine of Scripture. Anyway, he is certainly an
excellent Hebrew scholar.

Regards
Darren Middleton


Darren R Middleton

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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>For those who may be interested, James Barr is visiting Australia next
year.
>He will be giving a lecture at Saint George's Cathedral, Perth, at 7:30
pm on
>Wednesday 22 March 2000. I do not know at this stage if he is appearing
in
>any other states or visiting our NZ cousins.


G'day Nigel,

Unfortunately I won't be there, but I was wondering if you would ask Dr
Barr a question for me?
If so, inquire if it is his belief that no world class scholar in any
major university that he is aware of thinks that the writer of Genesis
intended the word "day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day? ;-)

Regards
Darren Middleton

Nigel Mitchell

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 8:46:50 +0800, Darren R Middleton wrote
(in message <3828cb35@nap-ns1>):


> G'day Nigel,
>
> Unfortunately I won't be there, but I was wondering if you would ask Dr
> Barr a question for me?
> If so, inquire if it is his belief that no world class scholar in any
> major university that he is aware of thinks that the writer of Genesis
> intended the word "day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day? ;-)

Hi, Darren.

Did that quote originate with Barr? I thought it came from someone else.

If you are interested in my answer to the question, it would be:

1. There were several authors of Genesis, not just one.
2. I have no doubt that the authors of Genesis 1 did not intend the word
"day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day. I would be very surprised if
any world class scholar in any major University thought differently.
3. I am equally sure that the authors of Genesis did not believe that they
were writing an historical account of what actually happened. They were
writing an Israelite version of the Babylonian Creation myth, and thereby
expressing their faith in the one God who created all that is, and who chose
them to be his people.
4. The idea that the 'days' in Genesis 1 are thousands of years long is an
unfortunate pseudo-literalism which is neither credible nor helpful. The
quotation to which your question alludes, which is mentioned at just about
every Creationist lecture, is a red herring. It is not relevant unless you
think that the author(s) of Genesis believed that he/they was/were writing
about actual historical events. A casual observer need only look at the
alternative Creation myth in Genesis 2 to see that this is not the case.

(we all know you disagree with this, Graeme, but you can't prove anything
different, so we will take youir blatherings about 'liberal rubbish' as read,
if that is OK)

cheers

N+


Graeme Hunt

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:40:33 +0800, Nigel Mitchell <n...@echidna.id.au>
wrote:

>If you are interested in my answer to the question, it would be:


>
>1. There were several authors of Genesis, not just one.

The expected liberal blather of unbelief Nigel. Moses wrote Genesis
along with the rest of the Pentateuch.

>2. I have no doubt that the authors of Genesis 1 did not intend the word
>"day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day.

Hey, what's happened? I believe you are correct!! Put that down as an
astounding first Nigel.

>3. I am equally sure that the authors of Genesis did not believe that they
>were writing an historical account of what actually happened. They were
>writing an Israelite version of the Babylonian Creation myth, and thereby
>expressing their faith in the one God who created all that is, and who chose
>them to be his people.

Uh oh! More liberal blather. Where do you guys get these weird ideas?

>4. The idea that the 'days' in Genesis 1 are thousands of years long is an
>unfortunate pseudo-literalism which is neither credible nor helpful.

Well you may have couched in your usual pious humbug Nigel, but I
happen to agree with you here.

>(we all know you disagree with this, Graeme, but you can't prove anything
>different, so we will take youir blatherings about 'liberal rubbish' as read,
>if that is OK)

Nigel, you know very well I never utter blather. Don't be such a
spiteful young fellow, you still have a lot to learn and there's no
sense in getting in a tantrum every time you are wrong. You are wrong
so often it could be very detrimental to your health.

I really should tell you a bedtime story about Genesis one. It is
about the period most Bible "scholars" miss out altogether - the time
prior to verse 2 when the fallen angels used the earth as a
playground. They used to tie dynasaurs' tails together and then throw
them over the clothesline :-)

Now that isn't a myth Nigel, and it is far more logical than the
liberal blather we hear about so much of the Bible being a myth.

Okay, now listen carefully young fellow and I'll tell you what is not
myth!

Verse 1 - is creation, God created the universe in an instant at an
unknown time in history. No one knows how long ago it was but it gives
plenty of time to contend with all of the dynasaur fossils etc. which
the scientists and liberal preachers trot out to apparently discredit
the Bible account.

Between verse 1 and two a catastrophe occurred which turned planet
earth into chaos. The earth was not originally chaotic. Between verse
1 and verse 2 the earth was packed in ice.

But in verse 2b we read "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of
the waters." This begins the six 24-hour days of RESTORATION, not
creation.

The six-day period recorded in Genesis 1:3-31 is not a description of
original creation, it refers to the preparation of the earth for
habitation by man.

So what we have is:
Creation - verse 1
Chaos - verse 2
Restoration - verse 3 and following.

That is it in a nutshell. The explanation requires a lot of detail and
involves reasons for the chaos. The Hebrew actually gives many clues
which support this view. But there is a very definite theological
reason for the chaos and the restoration.

I know I've provided you with something to arouse your humour but that
isn't unusual with scoffers who regard Genesis as a myth. I'm really
only replying to this to perhaps give lurkers something to spark their
thinking.

Nigel B. Mitchell

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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In <38581cf6...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>, invi...@ihug.co.nz
(Graeme Hunt) wrote:

>I really should tell you a bedtime story about Genesis one. It is
>about the period most Bible "scholars" miss out altogether - the time
>prior to verse 2 when the fallen angels used the earth as a
>playground. They used to tie dynasaurs' tails together and then throw
>them over the clothesline :-)

Whilst you are sharing your little fantasy world, Graeme, perhaps you
can tell us who the Nephilim were, in the days when the sons of God
interbred with the daughters of men. I don't know of _any_ published
authors who consider Genesis 6:1-4 as a description of historical
events, but perhaps back in the 17th century there was a Brethren
Baptist 'Born again believer' (whatever that is), who wrote a book on
the subject???


cheers


N+

Nigel B. Mitchell
n...@echidna.id.au


Graeme Hunt

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Yes Nigel, I could tell you all about the Nephalim, but you wouldn't
be interested.

Yes, I was pretty sure you didn't know what a born-agin believer was.
I'd find out if I were you. At the last judgement all who are not will
be cast into the lake of fire -- Revelation 20:11-15 -- you know, the
one that was prepared for the devil and his angels -- Matthew 25:41.

That's no fantasy Nigel, I'd take it pretty seriously if I were you.

BTW, I don't know any Brethren-Baptist who wrote a book on it,
especially back in the 17th century. I do know of someone who did
write on it prior to that - about 3100 years prior. His name was
Moses.

PS Born-again Christians are the genuine ones, not the pseudo ones.

Nigel B. Mitchell

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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In <385a2e7e...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>, invi...@ihug.co.nz
(Graeme Hunt) wrote:

>Yes Nigel, I could tell you all about the Nephalim, but you wouldn't
>be interested.

I am interested, but as usual you have nothing to say.

>Yes, I was pretty sure you didn't know what a born-agin believer was.

You promised to tell me about three weeks ago, and I am still waiting.

but I know what your promises are like.

Robert Davidson

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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Graeme Hunt wrote:

> Robert, why should anyone in their right mind study the work of
> religious quacks?

If they are respected enough to get professorships at Oxford, I think it's
not going to be a waste of time. My policy is to be always reading
literature with which I profoundly disagree as well as literature for which I
have sympathy (I got this habit from the Australian evangelist John Smith) -
I find it a great challenge to getting into intellectual ruts, and it often
results in my changing my mind in fundamental ways. I believe as soon as we
stop changing, we stop living in some sense.

Robert Davidson


St.Athanasius

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
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In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the One God,
Amen. Peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Dear Nigel, Peace.

Re:


>Whilst you are sharing your little fantasy world, Graeme, perhaps you
>can tell us who the Nephilim were, in the days when the sons of God
>interbred with the daughters of men. I don't know of _any_ published
>authors who consider Genesis 6:1-4 as a description of historical
>events, but perhaps back in the 17th century there was a Brethren
>Baptist 'Born again believer' (whatever that is), who wrote a book on
>the subject???

I found one Dr Schofield! (Published that is)
However, his interpretation is the same as the Orthodox opinion that I
have heard postulated. That is....

Angels do not and cannot have sex. They are sexless creatures and have
no sexual parts, they are neither male nor female and thus the Angels
(Fallen or other) could not and did not have sex with earth bound
human women. Getting that out of the way that leaves us with what I
believe to be an excellent explanation...

The sons of God who took the wives were in fact the sons of Seth, the
righteous line from Adam, with God's blessings thus called the sons of
God, thus Sethites. The brides were the 'daughters of men' who were
from the ungodly line of Cain, thus Cainanites and without God's
blessings. This was the destruction of godly peoples on the earth and
the great flood followed straight after of which we know only one
family of eight persons survived. Due to righteous Noah!

This is all I can add to this matter.

Peace and grace.


"The Word was made flesh in order to offer up this Body for all,
and that we, partaking of His Spirit, might be deified."
Saint Athanasius the Apostolic. 298-373 AD.

Robert Davidson

unread,
Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
Darren R Middleton wrote:

> Apparently Dr Barr came from a relatively conservative background but
> departed from it and now hold's fairly unorthodox views,

That doesn't surprise me, given his interest in fundamentalism.

> particularly concerning special revelation. Although Barr may well attempt
> to be
> gracious & understanding in his writings it is obvious he has a major beef
> with anyone who subscribes to inerrancy which has always been the orthodox
> understanding of divine revelation.

I can understand that beef - as far as I can tell, errancy in the bible is
very clearly demonstrable, and to hold to inerrancy seems untenable. But then
people who can disagree with plain facts such as evolution can hold out
against other certainties as well I suppose. Religious conviction is a
powerful thing!

As far as inerrancy being the standard orthodox position through the ages, I
refer you again to Barr's book for a number of discussions on that point.
Calvin, Luther and many others would not be orthodox by this definition.
Inerrancy seems to be quite a modernist thing.

> If I recall, Dr Barr clumps (not unlike yourself - perhaps he has
> influenced you) evangelicals with fundamentalist purely on the basis of
> inerrancy

I believe I have been influenced by the good doctor, but many others make this
grouping on the basis of inerrancy (perhaps also by Barr's influence)

> which seems to suggest his real bete noir is the orthodox
> understanding of the doctrine of Scripture. Anyway, he is certainly an
> excellent Hebrew scholar.

He is. Again, I'm not so sure inerrancy is the orthodox understanding
(because I'm going along with Barr). And if it was, it is more difficult to
sustain such a belief in a post-scientific age when we really do know a lot
more about how the world operates than people did in previous ages (though I
imagine we have much more superficial mental furniture and know lots less
about perhaps more important things than science).

Robert Davidson


Robert Davidson

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
Darren R Middleton wrote:

> Unfortunately I won't be there, but I was wondering if you would ask Dr
> Barr a question for me?
> If so, inquire if it is his belief that no world class scholar in any
> major university that he is aware of thinks that the writer of Genesis

> intended the word "day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day? ;-)

Does Barr really think "day" (yom) means something else in Genesis? If so,
my respect for him wanes a little. I would be surprised if this were the
case. Or do you mean he has made straw man arguments (saying others have
this interpretation of yom)?

Robert Davidson


Robert Davidson

unread,
Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
Nigel B. Mitchell wrote:

> Whilst you are sharing your little fantasy world, Graeme, perhaps you
> can tell us who the Nephilim were, in the days when the sons of God
> interbred with the daughters of men.

There's a really creepy cult, the Reilians or somesuch, led by a French
egomaniac, and popular with "ferals" around the border of Qld and NSW.
These guys believe the Nephilim were aliens and that Jesus, Gautema,
Akhenaten, Moses etc were descendents of the offspring. Of course the
French guy is one of the offspring as well.

I was in Byron Bay recently and saw an ad for a workshop in which one
learnt how to "change your DNA in three months". There's just something
about the area.

To me, creation science is almost on this level.

Robert Davidson


Robert Davidson

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
Graeme Hunt wrote:

> That's no fantasy Nigel, I'd take it pretty seriously if I were you.

In my view, hell is one of the most malicious and dangerous fantasies
(because of its wide influence) dreamed up by humans. I have yet to meet
anyone who really believes in hell.

Robert Davidson

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 10, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/10/99
to
On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 08:43:48 GMT, n...@echidna.id.au (Nigel B.
Mitchell) wrote:

>In <385a2e7e...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>, invi...@ihug.co.nz
>(Graeme Hunt) wrote:
>
>>Yes Nigel, I could tell you all about the Nephalim, but you wouldn't
>>be interested.
>
>I am interested, but as usual you have nothing to say.
>

You are not very perceptive Nigel. I have plenty to say and could tell
you the details about the Nephalim, the beni-ha-Elohim, in great
deatil, but why should I tell someone who only scoffs at God's
infallible Word? It is the same pirnciple of casting pearls before
swine. Like many other issues that come up, I just can't be bothered,
largely for the very same reason.

>>Yes, I was pretty sure you didn't know what a born-agin believer was.
>
>You promised to tell me about three weeks ago, and I am still waiting.

Nigel, the reason is pretty much as above. Everything I have said
concerning the gospel message and regeneration you have rejected.
That's your choice and your right.

Do you recall a certain individual in one of Jesus' trials just before
He was crucified? All he wanted to see from Jesus was a miracle, not
what Jesus came for. It was just entertainment for that person. If you
do you will also recall that Jesus answered him not a word. Jesus'
message of the gospel was rejected, so what more was there to say?

>but I know what your promises are like.

And we all know what your unbelief is like. As I have said before, I
have never seen you put together anything that suggests to me that you
are a genuine born-again Christian. If that is in fact so then there
is no way you are going to perceive any of the spiritual truths of
God's infallible Word, the Bible tells you this very clearly in the
second chapter of first Corinthians. However, I am sure that even that
will go right over your head.

Julian Visch

unread,
Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
Graeme Hunt wrote:

> PS Born-again Christians are the genuine ones, not the pseudo ones.

No Born again are the extreme loney ones, liberals are the true
Christians.

--
__^__ < Julian Visch >
__^__
( ___ )------------------------------------------------------------( ___
)
| / | | \
|
| / | It is true that if your paperboy throws your paper into the | \
|
| / | bushes for five straight days it can be explained by | \
|
| / | Newton's Law of Gravity. But it takes Murphy's | \
|
| / | law to explain why it is happening to you. | \
|
|___|
|___|
(_____)--------Internet:j.v...@math.canterbury.ac.nz--------------(_____)

Robert Davidson

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
Graeme Hunt wrote:

> If that is in fact so then there
> is no way you are going to perceive any of the spiritual truths of
> God's infallible Word, the Bible tells you this very clearly in the
> second chapter of first Corinthians. However, I am sure that even that
> will go right over your head.

To me it is so clear that this is propaganda - "you wouldn't understand,
because you haven't been initiated yet" sort of idea. Quite gnostic
really. It is used by ideologues frequently - it is a common memetic
phenomenon. Seems to work very effectively.

Most liberal Christians have a very clear understanding of the gospel, and
can put themselves into the mind of an evangelical - after all, most of
them have been at some stage evangelical and have moved on. It makes no
sense to say they don't understand the spiritual truths of the gospel, as
they have already understood them and then found them wanting after further
reflection (I suppose you will argue that they were never truly saved at
all, even though they were indistinguishable from fundamentalists for much
of their lives). Liberals have been where evangelicals are, but
evangelicals haven't always been where liberals are.

Robert Davidson


Nigel Mitchell

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 1:41:27 +0800, Graeme Hunt wrote
(in message <382fae36...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>):

> You are not very perceptive Nigel. I have plenty to say and could tell
> you the details about the Nephalim, the beni-ha-Elohim, in great
> deatil, but why should I tell someone who only scoffs at God's
> infallible Word?

As I have told you in the past, Graeme, I do not scoff at the scriptures. I
read, study, preach and teach from them daily, and rely on them as the
principle source of information for my faith and my hope of eternal
salvation.

I _do_ scoff at your way of interpreting the Bible, because it is without
logical or factual basis, contrary to almost all academic scholarship, and
places harsh and unneccesary burdens on the faithful.

Every time you (and others who have said the same thing to me in the past)
accuse me of "scoffing at God's word", I cannot help but wondering. Do you
know that "God's word" and "Graeme's opinions" are different things? I can
tell the difference, even if you cannot, and although I do certainly reject,
and sometimes scoff at, many of your opinions, I do not, and will not reject
God or his Word. I wonder if you are able to give some indication that you
are aware of the difference.

As to the Nephilim, since you will not provide any information I will happily
fill the gap.

The word "Nephilim" is translated "Giants" in the KJV, although Hebrew
usually uses a different word. These legendary men/beasts are mentioned only
in Genesis 6:1-4 and Numbers 13:33. According to the Interpreters Dictionary
of the Bible (published by Abingdon, a very conservative publishing house,
especially back in 1974), Genesis 6:1-4 is part of a much longer story which
has been trimmed back by various editors of the Scriptures who found it's
mythological nature objectionable. The story has nothing to do with Noah's
flood, although various attempts have been made to make it into some sort of
introduction or justification (perhaps you will favour us with one such
attempt, Graeme), but it seems most likely that Genesis 6:1-4 is a fragment
of an ancient Hebrew myth/legend.

_If_ we are to read Genesis 6:1-4 as an historical account, that would beg
the folowing questions:
Can we infer from Verse 1 that the birth of daughters was the beginning of
the downfall of humanity into sin and degradation?
Who were the "Sons of God", and why did they rape/seduce the daughters of
men? (verse 2)
What does verse 3 have to do with the story, and why doesn't everyone live to
be 120?

These questions may look frivolous and pointless, and I freely admit that
they are, but anyone who wants to try and argue that Genesis 6:1-4 records
historical events should be able to answer them.

cheers

N+


Graeme Hunt

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 7:42:50 +0800, Nigel Mitchell <n...@echidna.id.au>
wrote:

>On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 1:41:27 +0800, Graeme Hunt wrote


>(in message <382fae36...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>):
>
>> You are not very perceptive Nigel. I have plenty to say and could tell
>> you the details about the Nephalim, the beni-ha-Elohim, in great
>> deatil, but why should I tell someone who only scoffs at God's
>> infallible Word?
>
>As I have told you in the past, Graeme, I do not scoff at the scriptures.

But you do, emphatically so. You call great portions of them myths,
you kick the very authority of scripture out from under it, you pick
and choose what you will believe is true scripture and what is not.
You build on a totally sandy foundation which is completely inadequate
for any strong faith. You categorically deny the fundamental doctrines
of the gospel and therefore it seems ludicrous to me that you call
what you say Christian.

>read, study, preach and teach from them daily, and rely on them as the
>principle source of information for my faith and my hope of eternal
>salvation.

"Hope"???? The Greek word elpis means "confidence". Do you have
"confidence" in your salvation? Do you _know_ you are saved? I do, and
it has nothing to do with anything I have done or merited. But
salvation for me is a certainty. Do you have that confidence?

>I _do_ scoff at your way of interpreting the Bible, because it is without
>logical or factual basis, contrary to almost all academic scholarship,

Nigel, you are away with the fairies again. It is not "contrary to
almost all academic scholarship." I was reading Christians scholarship
when you were still having your nappies changed and I know that there
was then and still is a mountain of academic scholarship world-wide
which agrees with my own position. So stop that ludicrous nonsensical
blather.

> and
>places harsh and unneccesary burdens on the faithful.

There again, you do not know what in the world you are talking about.
The Bible, as I understand it, takes burdens off people.

>Every time you (and others who have said the same thing to me in the past)
>accuse me of "scoffing at God's word", I cannot help but wondering. Do you
>know that "God's word" and "Graeme's opinions" are different things?

I know that the Bible and Nigel's "opinions" are 180 degrees
antithetical. You are a scoffer of God's Word Nigel, a lost liberal
trying to pull himself up by his own shoelaces.


>As to the Nephilim, since you will not provide any information I will happily
>fill the gap.
>
>The word "Nephilim" is translated "Giants" in the KJV, although Hebrew
>usually uses a different word.

What word?

>These legendary men/beasts are mentioned only
>in Genesis 6:1-4 and Numbers 13:33.

They were not legendary. You are wrong again.

>According to the Interpreters Dictionary
>of the Bible (published by Abingdon, a very conservative publishing house,
>especially back in 1974), Genesis 6:1-4 is part of a much longer story which
>has been trimmed back by various editors of the Scriptures who found it's
>mythological nature objectionable.

Ha, ha, ha, more laughs Nigel!

>The story has nothing to do with Noah's
>flood,

The account [not story] had everything to do with Noah's flood, in
fact it was the reason for the flood.

>although various attempts have been made to make it into some sort of
>introduction or justification (perhaps you will favour us with one such
>attempt, Graeme), but it seems most likely that Genesis 6:1-4 is a fragment
>of an ancient Hebrew myth/legend.

Seems likely??? Nigel you've been reading too many liberal comics
again.

>These questions may look frivolous and pointless, and I freely admit that
>they are, but anyone who wants to try and argue that Genesis 6:1-4 records
>historical events should be able to answer them.
>

I an easily answer all of your questions, it would be a breeze, but I
ain't going to. I've already told you why.

Now you run along back to your liberal library of unbelief and
skepticism, and I'll enjoy the truth of God's infallible and complete
Word, totally devoid of any "myths", as per the faithless rantings of
theological liberalism.

Julian S Visch

unread,
Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
In article <383a0da0...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>, invi...@ihug.co.nz (Graeme Hunt) writes:

|> But you do, emphatically so. You call great portions of them myths,

As do biblical scholars.

Noahs Ark is a prime example.

Nigel Mitchell

unread,
Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 8:28:57 +0800, Graeme Hunt wrote
(in message <383a0da0...@news.tga.ihug.co.nz>):


>> The word "Nephilim" is translated "Giants" in the KJV, although Hebrew
>> usually uses a different word.
>
> What word?

Raphah
Cf 2 Chronicles 20:4-7

>> These legendary men/beasts are mentioned only
>> in Genesis 6:1-4 and Numbers 13:33.
>
> They were not legendary. You are wrong again.

You say I am wrong, but you have no evidence at all to prove it.
I can cite dozens of published theologicans and biblical scholars to support
my views. You just ignore them all and stick to your own private and
unsupported opinions.


>> According to the Interpreters Dictionary
>> of the Bible (published by Abingdon, a very conservative publishing house,
>> especially back in 1974), Genesis 6:1-4 is part of a much longer story
>> which
>> has been trimmed back by various editors of the Scriptures who found it's
>> mythological nature objectionable.
>
> Ha, ha, ha, more laughs Nigel!

The laugh is on you, Graeme.
Does _anyone_ who has studied the Bible at an academic level in this century
agree with your views?


>> The story has nothing to do with Noah's
>> flood,
>
> The account [not story] had everything to do with Noah's flood, in
> fact it was the reason for the flood.
>
>> although various attempts have been made to make it into some sort of
>> introduction or justification (perhaps you will favour us with one such
>> attempt, Graeme), but it seems most likely that Genesis 6:1-4 is a
>> fragment
>> of an ancient Hebrew myth/legend.
>
> Seems likely??? Nigel you've been reading too many liberal comics
> again.

Yes, I can see how you would think that most published biblical scholarship
is 'comic'. That is the only way you could retain your views.
I suppose you think of Jack Chick's publications as sound and reliable
scholarship. That would be consistent.

>
>> These questions may look frivolous and pointless, and I freely admit that
>> they are, but anyone who wants to try and argue that Genesis 6:1-4 records
>> historical events should be able to answer them.
>>
> I an easily answer all of your questions, it would be a breeze, but I
> ain't going to. I've already told you why.

That's OK, Graeme. I know why.

cheers

N+


Andrew Bromage

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
G'day all.

Saint-Athana...@telstra.easymail.com.au (St.Athanasius) writes:

>The sons of God who took the wives were in fact the sons of Seth, the
>righteous line from Adam, with God's blessings thus called the sons of
>God, thus Sethites.

I looked up Wesley, and that was pretty much his opinion too.

The sons of God - Those who were called by the name of the
Lord, and called upon that name, married the daughters
of men - Those that were profane, and strangers to God.
The posterity of Seth did not keep to themselves as they ought,
but intermingled with the race of Cain: they took them wives
of all that they chose - They chose only by the eye: They
saw that they were fair - Which was all they looked at.

Cheers,
Andrew Bromage

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 13:40:33 +0800, Nigel Mitchell <n...@echidna.id.au>
wrote:

>2. I have no doubt that the authors of Genesis 1 did not intend

Oh Nigel, I know where you get this idea from. You have swallowed the
documentary hypothesis hook, line and sinker. No respectable scholar
believes that nonsense any more. It's a load of garbage. You've been
sucked into it and prefer to take this as truth rather than all the
evidence against it.

I posted on this hypothesis once before. I recall you avoided all the
diffcult and unanswerable questions which literally blew it apart.

I think this speaks for itself about your views of the scriptures and
their supposed "myths".

Darren R Middleton

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to

Nigel Mitchell wrote in message
<01HW.B44F26510...@news.m.iinet.net.au>...

>On Wed, 10 Nov 1999 8:46:50 +0800, Darren R Middleton wrote
>(in message <3828cb35@nap-ns1>):
>
>
>> G'day Nigel,
>>
>> Unfortunately I won't be there, but I was wondering if you would ask Dr
>> Barr a question for me?
>> If so, inquire if it is his belief that no world class scholar in any
>> major university that he is aware of thinks that the writer of Genesis
>> intended the word "day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day? ;-)
>
>Hi, Darren.


G'day Nigel,

>Did that quote originate with Barr? I thought it came from someone else.

From Dr Barr, written in 1984 apparently, ask him.

>If you are interested in my answer to the question, it would be:

I'm familiar with the liberal take of Genesis - as I'm sure you're
familiar with the evangelical take.

Snip

>2. I have no doubt that the authors of Genesis 1 did not intend the word


>"day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day. I would be very
surprised if

>any world class scholar in any major University thought differently.


I'd be interested in what Dr Barr has to say - not to mention a survey of
scholars on the issue of what the intention of the *original author* was
concerning the days of Genesis. Have you got some info that would support
your belief Nigel?


>3. I am equally sure that the authors of Genesis did not believe that
they
>were writing an historical account of what actually happened. They were
>writing an Israelite version of the Babylonian Creation myth, and thereby
>expressing their faith in the one God who created all that is, and who
chose
>them to be his people.

Now with all due respect that's is absolute speculation - have you
actually read the Babylon creation myth? Explain the similarities...
Although the Babylonian creation myth is pulled out as if it was
some sort of lay down misere - it is most unconvincing.

Regards
Darren Middleton

Darren R Middleton

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to

Robert Davidson wrote in message <3829517C...@student.uq.edu.au>...
>Darren R Middleton wrote:


Snip of Dr Barr's beef with inerrancy (orthodoxy)

>But then
>people who can disagree with plain facts such as evolution can hold out
>against other certainties as well I suppose. Religious conviction is a
>powerful thing!


G'day Robert,

The bible is demonstrably reliable - though inerrancy is a matter of
faith, a ministry & testimony of the Holy Spirit.


>As far as inerrancy being the standard orthodox position through the
>ages, I
>refer you again to Barr's book for a number of discussions on that point.
>Calvin, Luther and many others would not be orthodox by this definition.
>Inerrancy seems to be quite a modernist thing.

Going to the original source instead of accepting liberal authors views
concerning orthodoxy:

Now here is Augustine confirming inerrancy in the autographs & sole
authority for Scripture:

"I have learned to defer this respect & honour to the canonical books of
Scripture alone, that I most firmly believe that no one of their authors
has committed any writing in error.
And if in their writings I am perplexed in anything which seems to me
contrary to the truth, I do not doubt that it is nothing else than either
that the manuscript is corrupt, or the translator has not followed what
was said, or that I have myself failed to understand it......"

"And I think you my brother you feel the same way; moreover; I say, I do
not believe that you want your books to be read as if they were those of
the Apostles & Prophets about which writings, free of all error, it is
unlawful to doubt." (Augustine's Epist. 82, to Jerome)

BTW, Pope Leo XIII actually quotes (in paragraph D.3.b, "Providentissimus
Deus") Augustine Epist to Jerome as evidence of the orthodox nature of
inerrancy!

Or how about Calvinin his Christian Institutes, Book 1, Ch 8:4:
"As if the eternal & inviolable truth of God depended upon the decision of
men! For they mock the Holy Spirit when they ask: Who can convince us that
these writing came from God? Who can assure us that Scripture has come
down
whole and intact even to our very day?"
Furthermore Calvin says, "if I were struggling against the most crafty
sort
of despisers of God, who seek to appear shrewd and witty in disparaging
Scripture, I am confident it would not be difficult for me to silence
their
clamorous voices....Unbelieving men... demand rational proof that Moses
and
the prophets spoke divinely. But I reply: the testimony of the Spirit is
more excellent than all reason.... the Word of God will not find
acceptance
in men's hearts before it is sealed by the inward testimony of the
Spirit."

"Therefore, illumined by His power, we believe neither by our own nor by
anyone else's judgement that Scripture is from God; but above human
judgement we affirm with utter certainty (just as if we were gazing upon
the
majesty of God himself) that it has flowed to us from the very mouth of
God
by the ministry of men."


Leo XIII in 1893: Extracts from "Providentissimus Deus"

"...For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical
are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of
the Holy Spirit; and so far is it from being possible that any error can
coexist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially
incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and
necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can
utter that which is not true. This is the ancient and unchanging faith of
the Church, solemnly defined in the Councils of Florence and of Trent, and
finally confirmed and more expressly formulated by the Council of the
Vatican...."

I rest my case.


>> If I recall, Dr Barr clumps (not unlike yourself - perhaps he has
>> influenced you) evangelicals with fundamentalist purely on the basis of
>> inerrancy
>
>I believe I have been influenced by the good doctor, but many others make
this
>grouping on the basis of inerrancy (perhaps also by Barr's influence)

Ropbert, you have castigated (along with others) conservatives for what
you perceive is their lack of scholarship, integrity and commitment to
engaging original sources, yet it is obvious you have taken Dr Barr &
others position on inerrancy without any personal perusal of the evidence.
We all do it, just so long as you realise that means liberals as well.


>> which seems to suggest his real bete noir is the orthodox
>> understanding of the doctrine of Scripture. Anyway, he is certainly an
>> excellent Hebrew scholar.
>
>He is. Again, I'm not so sure inerrancy is the orthodox understanding
>(because I'm going along with Barr). And if it was, it is more

difficult..


Then I hope you'll reconsider you views and revisit this issue through
original sources.

Regards
Darren MIddleton


Darren R Middleton

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to

Robert Davidson wrote in message <382951FA...@student.uq.edu.au>...

>Darren R Middleton wrote:
>
>> Unfortunately I won't be there, but I was wondering if you would ask Dr
>> Barr a question for me?
>> If so, inquire if it is his belief that no world class scholar in any
>> major university that he is aware of thinks that the writer of Genesis
>> intended the word "day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day? ;-)
>
>Does Barr really think "day" (yom) means something else in Genesis? If
so,
>my respect for him wanes a little.

G'day Robert,

I'm saying he thinks the original authors understood "day" (yom) as 24
hour days.

It's not that he believes in a literal creation - just that we must be
honest when we interpret Scripture and say that the writer meant 24 hour
days.

Regards
Darren Middleton

Graeme Hunt

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 07:58:28 +1100, "Darren R Middleton"
<Darren_M...@bigfoot.com> wrote:

>some sort of lay down misere - it is most unconvincing.
>

Liberal speculation is apparently more reliable than the Bible
Darren!

Nigel Mitchell

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 4:58:28 +0800, Darren R Middleton wrote
(in message <3829f4a8@nap-ns1>):


> I'm familiar with the liberal take of Genesis - as I'm sure you're
> familiar with the evangelical take.

You make it sound as though each were equally viable.
Do you think Moses wrote the Pentateuch?
Could you convince a person who did not share your prior assumptions about
the nature of scripture that Moses wrote the Pentateuch?

>
>> 2. I have no doubt that the authors of Genesis 1 did not intend the word
>> "day" to mean anything other than a 24 hour day. I would be very
> surprised if
>> any world class scholar in any major University thought differently.
>
>
> I'd be interested in what Dr Barr has to say - not to mention a survey of
> scholars on the issue of what the intention of the *original author* was
> concerning the days of Genesis. Have you got some info that would support
> your belief Nigel?

This is interesting, Darren. Do you think that the "Yom" means something
other than "24 hour day" in Genesis 1. If you do, then you and I and Dr Barr
agree.

I will make a note to ask him the question.

>> 3. I am equally sure that the authors of Genesis did not believe that
> they
>> were writing an historical account of what actually happened. They were
>> writing an Israelite version of the Babylonian Creation myth, and thereby
>> expressing their faith in the one God who created all that is, and who
> chose
>> them to be his people.
>
> Now with all due respect that's is absolute speculation

It would be absoloute speculation if I were simply saying that on my own
account, but as you know it is mainstream Biblical scholarship and has been
for the past 100 years.

> - have you
> actually read the Babylon creation myth?

Yes. I have it right here.

> Explain the similarities...

As you know, many books have been written on this subject, but briefly, the
sequence of events is the same, viz;

Genesis
God creates all matter, but is independent of it Earth is in darkness and
chaos over the deep (Tehom).

Enuma Elish
The Divine Spirits and cosmic matters coexist and are coeternal. There is a
primeval chaos in which the gods war against the deep (Tiamat).

Genesis
1st day the creation of light

Enuma Elish
Light emanates from the gods

Genesis
2nd day the dome of the sky is created

Enuma Elish
creation of the firmament (dome)

Genesis
3rd day creation of dry land

Enuma Elish
creation of dry land

Genesis
4th day creation of heavenly lights

Enuma Elish
creation of heavenly lights

Genesis
5th day creation of animals

Enuma Elish
-

Genesis
6th day creation of man

Enuma Elish
creation of man

Genesis
God rests and sanctifies the sabbath

Enuma Elish
the gods rest and celebrate with a banquet

I am sure you have looked at all this before, Darren, but for anyone else who
is interested an useful comparison can be found at the following sites
http://www.cumber.edu/acad/rel/hbible/HebrewBible/hbmisc/enumaeli.htm
http://www-relg-studies.scu.edu/netcours/hb/sess4/enuma.htm
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Cyprus/7418/lk11.htm
http://www.hope.edu/bandstra/RTOT/CH1/CH1_TC.HTM

a contrary view is presented at
http://www.creationresearch.org/creation_matters/98/cm9801.html


> Although the Babylonian creation myth is pulled out as if it was

> some sort of lay down misere - it is most unconvincing.

...to you. I will continue to accept and teach it until I see a more
convincing explanation.

cheers

N+


Graeme Hunt

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 10:27:46 +0800, Nigel Mitchell <n...@echidna.id.au>
wrote:

>> - have you


>> actually read the Babylon creation myth?
>
>Yes. I have it right here.
>
>> Explain the similarities...
>
>As you know, many books have been written on this subject, but briefly, the
>sequence of events is the same, viz;
>
>Genesis
>God creates all matter, but is independent of it Earth is in darkness and
>chaos over the deep (Tehom).
>

The Bible also indicates that Satan always has a counterfeit to the
truth. The Babylonians also had a counterfeit trinity. Satanic
countefeits are well documented in the New Testament, always with the
same intent: to blind men to the truth - as, for example, in 2
Corinthians 4:4.

Satan has his counterfeit ministers - 2 Corinthians 11:13-15; a
counterfeit doctrine 2 Timothy 4:1; a counterfeit gospel - 2
Corinthians 11:3,4.

Heathenism always has its counterfeits and they are sponsored by
Satan. False teachers today are sponsired by Satan, they preach his
policies. He sponsors liberalism and its unbelief.

So don't be surprised about the Babylonians counterfeit of something
that is true.

Chris Ho-Stuart

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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Graeme Hunt <invi...@ihug.co.nz> wrote:
[snip]

> Oh Nigel, I know where you get this idea from. You have swallowed the
> documentary hypothesis hook, line and sinker. No respectable scholar
> believes that nonsense any more. It's a load of garbage. You've been
> sucked into it and prefer to take this as truth rather than all the
> evidence against it.
[snip]

It depends on what you mean by the documentary hypothesis.

The details of Wellhausen's original dating scheme are indeed not
well supported. On the other hand, that the Torah was placed
in in present form well after the time of Moses, and was preceded
by four major strands of writing, is solidly in the mainstream
of academic biblical scholarship. One may dismiss this academic
approach, of course, but it exists and remains the majority view
within academia and theological seminaries that do not have a prior
doctrinal commitment to Mosaic authorship.

The mainstream consensus is that the Torah retains evidence of
earlier sources from which it is derived. These early sources
were written during the monarchy from the time of David up to the
exile, and combined into their present form as a single unified
document possibly during or after the exile.

We will need to bear in mind several distinct positions. First,
there is the classic JEPD model. In this model there are four
sources pre-dating the current form of the Torah. J (Yahwehist)
is the oldest, dating perhaps to the time of David or Solomon.
E dates from the later monarchy, possibly the time of Jeroboam,
and quite possibly never existed as a distinct document from J.
The Priestly source (P) reflects concerns of a Priestly class
in the later monarchy, and Deuteronomy (D) is a fourth document,
possibly from the time of Josiah.

This model is often credited to Wellhausen, who was the most
influential of a group of German scholars who first proposed
this division in the nineteenth century, including Vatke, Reuss
and Graf. Wellhausen gave the most detailed exposition of the
model, but his own original contribution was mostly concerned
with dating the early sources; dates which are now generally
considered much too late.

Within this academic mainstream we can roughly distinguish the
clumpers and the splitters. Splitters may try to identify further
divisions even within J, E, P and D, or try to reconstruct one of
the four major strands from the present unified Torah. Clumpers
are more interested in the unified work we have today, and in the
concerns of those who developed it in that unified form (R).

The trend today is away from excessive splitting.

It is now widely considered that E never existed as an independent
document: and we should speak of J followed later by the combined
document JE. On the other hand, it is recognized that there was a
wide body of traditions and sources in use, and that the major JEPD
strands may incorporate material from older shared traditions. A
trend to de-emphasize the splitting of the Torah into sources, and
to focus on the entire edifice is sometimes mistaken as a return to
the notion of a single author: care needs to be taken to distinguish
an emphasis on cohesion and the hypothesis of single authorship:
they do not necessarily go together.

Another area of ongoing dispute is the matter of dating of the
sources. It is not hard to find quotes from respected academics
stating views such as "Wellhausen's documentary hypothesis is
dead", or something of the sort. These statements usually refer
to the details of Wellhausen's formulation, especially his late
dating scheme, which has indeed been superseded.

The existence of J, E, P and D strands representing four distinct
writers at different times continues to be the general view for
authorship of the Torah by the vast majority of academic scholars,
Jewish scholars most definitely included.

It is not hard to find some fairly drastic criticism of the
JEPD model. Names frequently cited in this respect include
Jewish scholars Umberto Cassuto, Isaac Kikawada, Benno Jacob and
others. These are all rather dated; I am hoping for some more
modern references from others as this thread progresses. There
are two important points to bear in mind. First, these scholars
do argue against the documentary hypothesis, but they do not
present Mosaic authorship as the alternative. None of them accept
the simple tradition of Mosaic authorship, which is dead in the
water as far as serious scholarship is concerned. Second, these
scholars have not been persuasive. Time has not vindicated their
efforts, and (as far as authorship of the Torah goes) their views
are now little more than historical curiosities.

Cheers -- Chris Ho-Stuart

Nigel Mitchell

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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On Thu, 11 Nov 1999 10:42:48 +0800, Chris Ho-Stuart wrote
(in message <80daf8$irr$1...@dove.qut.edu.au>):

Hi, Chris,

thanks for an useful and accurate contribution to the debate, as usual.

>...that the Torah was placed


> in in present form well after the time of Moses, and was preceded
> by four major strands of writing, is solidly in the mainstream
> of academic biblical scholarship. One may dismiss this academic
> approach, of course, but it exists and remains the majority view
> within academia and theological seminaries that do not have a prior
> doctrinal commitment to Mosaic authorship.
>
> The mainstream consensus is that the Torah retains evidence of
> earlier sources from which it is derived. These early sources
> were written during the monarchy from the time of David up to the
> exile, and combined into their present form as a single unified
> document possibly during or after the exile.

Spot on.
...

> The trend today is away from excessive splitting.

This is very important.
Even 20 years ago there was an unfortunate trend to chop the Torah up into
tiny bits, and to speak of J1, P2, etc. I have a book on my shelf by Otto
Eissfeldt which goes to extraordinary lengths in this regard. Nowadays it is
recognised widely that the Torah should be read as an unified work, but with
the recognition that there are many different strands represented in the
final product.

> The existence of J, E, P and D strands representing four distinct
> writers at different times continues to be the general view for
> authorship of the Torah by the vast majority of academic scholars,
> Jewish scholars most definitely included.

No objective scholar or observer would disagree with you there.

cheers

N+


Robert Davidson

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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Julian S Visch wrote:

Calling something a myth doesn't mean you are saying it is
unhistorical. The death of princess Di is definitely a myth as well as
history. (By the way, I've been informed that there are a number of
resurrection stories and appearance stories out about Diana, as one
would probably expect. Just like Elvis, Poolan Devi and any number of
recent heroes. And that's in the scientific age - imagine how much more
common they were during the Hellenic period).

Robert Davidson

Robert Davidson

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
Graeme Hunt wrote:

> Now you run along back to your liberal library of unbelief and
> skepticism, and I'll enjoy the truth of God's infallible and complete
> Word, totally devoid of any "myths", as per the faithless rantings of
> theological liberalism.

Graeme, I get the impression that you believe liberals "attack" the bible, and are
motivated by wanting to "prove it wrong" or something. Almost no scholars who you
would think of as liberal are motivated in this way. Rather, they are simply
treating the bible as they would any other book of similar origins, and trying to
get at some empirical knowledge of it. Are you confusing liberals with eighteenth
century deists?

Robert Davidson


Robert Davidson

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
Darren R Middleton wrote:

> I rest my case.

I wouldn't do that too soon. In addition to the Calvin quote you have
produced, there are a number of places where he disagrees with Paul, remarks
on errors in the bible and generally commits proto-source-critical acts.
Luther of course called the NT book of James "a right strawy epistle".


> Ropbert, you have castigated (along with others) conservatives for what
> you perceive is their lack of scholarship, integrity and commitment to
> engaging original sources, yet it is obvious you have taken Dr Barr &
> others position on inerrancy without any personal perusal of the evidence.
> We all do it, just so long as you realise that means liberals as well.

That's not so. I have read many of the original sources (certainly many of
the reformers, Augustine, the ante Nicene fathers and much else). Careful
what you call obvious, cos it just ain't so. Orthodoxy has always been a
rather slippery thing.

> Then I hope you'll reconsider you views and revisit this issue through
> original sources.

I'm reading this stuff all the time. I will be revisiting the issue
repeatedly in my reading I imagine, with the impartiality of not wanting to be
orthodox myself particularly. I'm just fascinated by our cultural heritage.

Robert Davidson

Robert Davidson

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
to
Darren R Middleton wrote:

> Now with all due respect that's is absolute speculation - have you
> actually read the Babylon creation myth? Explain the similarities...


> Although the Babylonian creation myth is pulled out as if it was
> some sort of lay down misere - it is most unconvincing.

What relationship does it have with the Epic of Gilgamesh? Now there's a
story which has heaps in common with the Genesis creation myths.

Robert Davidson


Theo Bekkers

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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Graeme Hunt <invi...@ihug.co.nz> wrote

>
> Heathenism always has its counterfeits and they are sponsored by
> Satan. False teachers today are sponsired by Satan, they preach his
> policies. He sponsors liberalism and its unbelief.
>
> So don't be surprised about the Babylonians counterfeit of something
> that is true.

Once again you make me smile Graeme. I understood the Babylonian story and a
similar story from China predated the bible story. So who is copying who?

Watch out, I may be a disciple of Satan.

Cheers

Theo

Chris Ho-Stuart

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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Theo Bekkers <th...@bekkers.com.au> wrote:

> Graeme Hunt <invi...@ihug.co.nz> wrote
>>
>> Heathenism always has its counterfeits and they are sponsored by
>> Satan. False teachers today are sponsired by Satan, they preach his
>> policies. He sponsors liberalism and its unbelief.
>>
>> So don't be surprised about the Babylonians counterfeit of something
>> that is true.
>
> Once again you make me smile Graeme. I understood the Babylonian story and a
> similar story from China predated the bible story. So who is copying who?

From China?? That *would* be interesting!

Can you explain? I'd be very interested in a story from China which
was sufficiently close to the Balylonian or Hebrew stories to indicate
a common source!

I'm skeptical, but open to evidence -- Chris Ho-Stuart

Nigel B. Mitchell

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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In <3829f64b@nap-ns1>, "Darren R Middleton"
<Darren_M...@bigfoot.com> wrote:

(of Dr Barr)


>It's not that he believes in a literal creation - just that we must be
>honest when we interpret Scripture and say that the writer meant 24 hour
>days.

100% agreement from me on that.

cheers

N+

Nigel B. Mitchell
n...@echidna.id.au


St.Athanasius

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One God,
Amen. Peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ Be with your spirit.

G'day Andrew,
Re: Wesley and your comment:

>I looked up Wesley, and that was pretty much his opinion too.

I found out when I was studying Wesley that much of his commentaries
were simply the Orthodox view re-hashed (apart from particular
doctrines percular to the reformation and Wesleyanism. He was a
student of the Church Fathers and loved the writings of St. Mercurious
of the Church of Alexandria (Coptic Church).

I used to study that other famous commentary by the Anglican divine
written just prior to that, but found out that he virtually copied
most of the commentary from the writings of the Fathers, some of it
verbatim! So I just went to the source he used instead.

I particularly like this quote from John Wesley:

John Wesley:
"I believe that He was made man, joining the human nature with the
divine in one person, being conceived by the singular operation of the
Holy Ghost, and born of the Blesed Virgin Mary, who, as well after as
before she brought Him forth, continued a pure unspotted virgin."
'Letters to a Roman Catholic'

>Cheers,
>Andrew Bromage

Peace and grace.

"The Word was made flesh in order to offer up this Body for all,
and that we, partaking of His Spirit, might be deified."
Saint Athanasius the Apostolic. 298-373 AD.

St.Athanasius

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the One God,
Amen. Peace and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Dear All, some good questions have been asked about the ancient canon:

>_If_ we are to read Genesis 6:1-4 as an historical account, that would beg
>the folowing questions:
>Can we infer from Verse 1 that the birth of daughters was the beginning of
>the downfall of humanity into sin and degradation?

A: No, it was the culmination in that period of the total rejection of
God. The Garden of Eden was the beginning of the downfall of humanity
into sin and degradation.

>Who were the "Sons of God", and why did they rape/seduce the daughters of
>men? (verse 2)

A. The sons of God were of the line of righteous Seth and as such
obeyed God's commandments and offered sacrifices for sin, the
daughters of man (Cain) did not and as such were not sanctified in
God's sight. The sons of God 'married' the daughters of man, however,
I am sure a bit of rape probable went on!

>What does verse 3 have to do with the story, and why doesn't everyone live to
>be 120?

A. Your assumption that 'God would only contend with man 120 years' as
meaning that man would only now live to be a maximum of 120 years old
in not necessarly the correct interpretation. Another slant on the
verse is that God was stating that he would only allow mankind another
120 years of grace before He destroyed the lot of them in the Great
Flood. This is what He in fact did. It took Noah 120 years to build
the Ark and then God's grace with the people of the world was removed.
All the living then perished except eight souls.

>
>These questions may look frivolous and pointless, and I freely admit that
>they are, but anyone who wants to try and argue that Genesis 6:1-4 records
>historical events should be able to answer them.

And they are simply answered. I do not think the questions highlight
any problems with the passage under investigation. On the contrary I
believe that it is our -assumptions- that we bring to the passage in
question that causes the problems, eg: Angels having sex with women
and man limited to 120 years of age. These are protestant assumptions
from way back and are not necessary correct and thus need no modern
re-writing to explain them away. IMHO.

Peace and grace.

>
>cheers
>
>N+

Troy Harris

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Nov 11, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/11/99
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On Tue, 09 Nov 1999 14:43:04 +1000, Robert Davidson
<s03...@student.uq.edu.au> wrote:

>Conservative Christian killfiling of certain threatening ideas posted by
>some here is understandable if the one time Oriel Professor of the
>Interpretation of Holy Scripture (University of Oxford) is correct about
>conservative evangelicalism:
>
>"The real and fatal cost of fundamentalist doctrine and ideology, as a
>system of life. . . is its personal cost: it can be sustained as a
>viable way of life only at the cost of unchurching and rejecting, as
>persons, as thinkers or scholars, and as Christians, all those who
>question the validity of the conservative option. The presence of the
>questioner breaks down the unnatural symbiosis of conflicting elements
>which makes up the total ideology of fundamentalists. We can thus
>understand why 'liberals' and other non-conservative persons have not
>only to be disbelieved, discredited and overcome in argument; they have,
>still more, to be eliminated from the scene altogether."
>
>James Barr, Fundamentalism (London: SCM, 1977, pp. 314-15)


Sounds like a biased fanatic to me.

Funny how you exchange "fundamentalist" with "liberal" and the post
would still seem legit.

I think this sort of thing is just cloaked fascism of another kind.

Two wrongs dont make a right.

Troy H

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Troy Harris

"Hör visheten ropar, och förståndet höjer sin röst"- Ordspråksboken 8:1

"Withdraw from evil, work good, and seek peace" - St John of the Cross

Robert Davidson

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Nov 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/12/99
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Troy Harris wrote:

> Sounds like a biased fanatic to me.

He's accurately describing a situation - I can't see how there's much bias in
what he says.

> Funny how you exchange "fundamentalist" with "liberal" and the post
> would still seem legit.

I disagree. Fundamentalist people are not cast out of churches, described as
the enemy, eliminated from the scene because they question "liberal" theology
(which doesn't exist as a single thing - there are any number of liberal
viewpoints because they are not subject to authoritarian control - except for
the same amount of social control which is inescapable in any discipline).
The Uniting Church is a good example of this - fundamentalist people are
completely welcome to stay, but they often leave because they are
uncomfortable with the presence of liberals. They cast themselves out, not
the other way around.

> I think this sort of thing is just cloaked fascism of another kind.

I grant you that conservatives are often belittled and patronised by liberal
leaders. This should change. However, how does one take seriously people who
say that Job saw dinosaurs? Placing something with no evidence at all above
something with utterly compelling evidence (science).

> Two wrongs dont make a right.

Agreed.

Robert Davidson

Theo Bekkers

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Nov 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/12/99
to

Chris Ho-Stuart <host...@sky.fit.qut.edu.au> wrote in message
news:80dlpt$508$1...@dove.qut.edu.au...

> Theo Bekkers <th...@bekkers.com.au> wrote:
>
> > Once again you make me smile Graeme. I understood the Babylonian story
and a
> > similar story from China predated the bible story. So who is copying
who?
>
> From China?? That *would* be interesting!
>
> Can you explain? I'd be very interested in a story from China which
> was sufficiently close to the Balylonian or Hebrew stories to indicate
> a common source!

Sorry, I meant to say Further East and wrote China. I don't have great
instantaneous recall but remember reading of several stories similar to
creation and the flood to indicate that the Jewish stories were brought from
the East.

Cheers

Theo

Nigel B. Mitchell

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Nov 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/12/99