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Hello Dr. Brown,
A listener with an e-question today asked about millions and billions of years and talked about your discussion with Hugh Ross and collegues from Reasons to Believe.
I sent an e-mail to your Staff titled: Creation discussion.
It contained ideas and contacts to possibly invite onto your show from the other side, young earth scientists and proponents. I would love to have you check it out and maybe get some guests lined up to talk about evidence for a young earth.
Thanks Dr. Brown
Terrific! We’ll look for it. I’ve had Jonathan Sarfati on with me once (and would gladly have him on again), and we had a guest scheduled from Answers to Genesis (Ken Ham was not available) but had to reschedule because of a change on our end.
Personally I would LOVE to see a moderated debate between Hugh Ross and Jonathan Sarfati.
Would Dr. Brown be game to moderate it?
I know you’re a very very very busy man, but it’s an important topic, and since you’ve had both of them on your show, you’re a link between the two.
I think that it would be better to have them play chess. If I remember correctly Sarfati used to play 8 games at once in his head against opponents with boards in front of them. If I am not mistaken he would win them too.
I used to struggle with the idea of
אַף כִּי־אָמַר אֱלֹהִים יְחַיֶּה אֹתִי אִתּוֹ לְעֹלָם?
It was a mixture of, will God accept me into heaven and what if his plan of humanity ends its purpose and he ends us all?
I got set free from the dread of it by these key verses:
a) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
b) And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:17b
Later on book of Ezekiel really helped me to understand how real God’s forgiveness is precisely because of how the righteous man’s obedience counts for nothing when he turns away. I thought to myself, if a man can sacrifice so much for God, live for him 90 years, then turn his back on it all, and God will remember none of his life, then for the exact same reason, he can forgive a sinner’s whole life who turns to Him with all his heart. To put it simply, God only cares about how you are living right now, how you finish the race, when and how you start isn’t the point, it’s all about the finish line.
p.s. like how you can use to make words bold, is there a way of making the font size bigger? The Hebrew font, especially with vowels is very small here…
I forgot to say, apart from the verses, coming to know what kind of God we serve also set me free.
It is completely not in Him to do such a thing, to bring us into his presence only to cancel us, and the thought is actually a desecration of God’s name (character/personally) because God is invested in us being with Him and we mean something to Him, we’re dear to Him and He really loves us, more than our parents do!
One struggle I am having at the moment is as to whether to regards Calvinists as brothers or apostates. I know there is a difference according to Calvinists between POTS and OSAS. I want to follow Jesus to the letter.
BTW, I hold to and Arminian perspective and deny Once Saved Always Saved.
Oh man my typos are terrible.
Jake, Calvinists are brothers in the Lord!
I have enjoyed listening to your debates with Dr. White. Hopefully, you will have the latest debate on your website soon. I’ve spent a significant amount of time studying the differences of Calvinism and Arminianism and a few of the theologies in between. (I have no Bible school training so my studying habits I’m sure have something to be desired.) I have a couple of questions. Is it possible that the use of the hebrew/greek words election or choice have no purpose in determining salvation? This is where my latest studies have left me. My second question stems from the Calvanists’ viewpoint that we were solely created to glorify God. Is there any evidence in the Bible to support this as the main reason we were created by God?
I feel a bit of angst for these people who are so worried about being accepted by God, and who fret over sin, salvation, heaven, hell, age of the universe/earth, life, origin of humans, and so on. All these things are known facts by anyone who cares to study objectively. There was/is no “original sin,” no “Garden of Eden,” no “Adam and Eve,” no virgin birth, no Trinity, no “heaven and hell.” They were all inventions of the human mind. The observable universe is 13.77 billion years old; the earth is 4.55 billion years old. Evolution is the mechanism for “descent with modification”, life’s diversity, and “origin of species” with DNA being the core constituent of life. Human sacrifice (Jesus) doesn’t atone for sins, nor does any sacrifice. Sin as defined in the Bible does no exist. Unfortunately, millions of people, perhaps billions, will spend their entire lives believing in untruths, but the key is, they have to believe in something even if it’s wrong. And, that is the case on this website. It is wishful thinking and avoidance of established facts to lower anxiety about what they believe leads to a meaningless life. Nothing could be further from the truth. Go ahead, have your religion (there are many beneficial things associated with it), have your false beliefs; false gods if you will – you need them to live a purposeful life. Just remember though, that they are false, and just keep them to yourselves or in your circle of fellow believers. Sure, there may be single God or multiple gods. I really don’t know, nor do you. You just think you do. All the best.
I would say it depends on what kind of Calvinist we’re talking about. We can’t really paint them all with a single brush.
I would say if a Calvinist possesses many of these qualities, he’s a heretic:
a) Denies you can lose your salvation
(The Bible makes it clear you can!)
b) Denies we have free will
(The Bible is full of imperatives to choose this day, to repent, to listen, there is no sense in commanding totally depraved people to do anything if they have no free will to do anything about it
c) Denies Ezekiel chapters 3, 18 and 33
A heretic is someone who denies the Bible, as soon as someone says that scripture that is valid is not valid, they’re a heretic. Like those who say we have to throw out the gospels because they were for those under the law and preach hyper-grace.
“It is completely not in Him to do such a thing, to bring us into his presence only to cancel us, and the thought is actually a desecration of God’s name (character/personally) because God is invested in us being with Him and we mean something to Him, we’re dear to Him and He really loves us, more than our parents do!”
I appreciate that, however, do you feel there are warning passages in scripture and if so, what is the purpose of those warning passages?
By the way, Arminians absolutely believe that God chases hard after His own.
If we want to follow Jesus by the letter we will have to do it by the Spirit, and I think we will likely make a lot of mistakes.
Can we really loose our salvation? If salvation is a condition of being whole, sound, and preserved, without any corruption, God is able to do all that. (I Thess 5:23)
Yet, isn’t our salvation Jesus? Though we might loose him (if he should be hid from us) he said he would be with us always. (Job 3:23, Matt 28:20)
With all respect, I could just as easily brand you a heretic based on your criteria and my differences with some of your positions. A heretic denies the fundamentals of the faith so that it disqualifies him from entering God’s eternal kingdom. Differences between Calvinism and Arminianism (or differences between your practices or mine) are differences within the household of faith.
David and Dr. Brown,
Are you using your own definition of Heretic, our culture’s definition or the scriptural definition? You might want to post your definitions and see if you are more in agreement than you think.
Here is the only passage that in scripture that uses the word in question:
Tit 3:10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
Here is the Online Bible concordance literal definition:
141 αιρετικος hairetikos hahee-ret-ee-kos’
from the same as 140
1) fitted or able to take or choose a thing
And here is #140’s literal definition:
140 αιρετιζω hairetizo hahee-ret-id’-zo
from a derivative of 138
AV-choose 1; 1
1) to choose
And here is #138’s literal definition:
138 αιρεομαι haireomai hahee-reh’-om-ahee
probably akin to 142
AV-choose 3; 3
1) to take for oneself, to prefer, choose
I guess you can get the drift from the above. The word was transliterated into English. We have made it mean more than it originally did.
My stance is that a heretic is one that chooses what he will believe of scripture instead of accepting it all and obeying it all.
A Biblical heretic might be saved, but he was not approved of or allowed to have sway in the body of believers after he was admonished twice for picking and choosing what he would accept from scripture. I guess we need to earnestly contend for the faith that was once delivered to the set apart ones.
I appreciate that if one made the letters of Paul his only Bible like Marcion did, then he could very easily brand me a heretic, however those who reject Zionism, who hold that the Church replaced Israel, who believe we can’t lose our salvation, who believe in irresistible grace, and that God randomly chooses some for destruction and some for glory, all these heresies and much more appeal to Paul’s letters to uphold their beliefs.
However, I believe the one law position follows very naturally out of the Bible that the Jerusalem Church had – התנ”ך:
Which is clearly a reference to Isaiah 56:8:
And what does it say before that?
But when Eliyah and Moshe come in the next two decades, I will happily take any correction from them, however I personally know Christians who believe that if Eliyah and Moshe keep and teach others in Israel to keep the Torah, that they’ll be false prophets, because the law was nailed to the cross, which is really tragic, because the Pharisees didn’t realise who Yeshua was, and many Christians will not recognize Eliyah and Moshe either because their theology will be so radically different.
“A heretic denies the fundamentals of the faith so that it disqualifies him from entering God’s eternal kingdom. Differences between Calvinism and Arminianism (or differences between your practices or mine) are differences within the household of faith.”
I appreciate that there is greater and lesser heresy.
Greater being something that will keep you out of the kingdom, and lesser being something almost everyone of us has to some degree…
Bo and David, I’m using the term “heretic” in its historic sense. And David, I appreciate your zeal and your posts, but I’d urge you to back away from your accusations. Again, I could just as easily critique your views, based on Scripture, and call you a heretic based on your own definition — especially with wild statements like, “when Eliyah and Moshe come in the next two decades.” In that regard, Yeshua’s words in Matt 7:1ff. are highly relevant for you.
I realize a calvinist adding a comment with accusations of “heretic” running around might not be the wisest thing, but I wanted to point out one of the lessons that my hermeneutics professor, Dr. Grant Osborne, who is not a calvinist, taught me.
When I was in his hermeneutics class, we had to read the book Is There a Meaning in this Text by Kevin VanHoozer. The whole point of the text is to deal with a movement in hermeneutics and literary criticism known as “deconstruction.” Deconstruction is a movement that basically says that all meaning in any text is based upon whatever a person brings to the text. The book also dealt with reader response criticism which basically says that the reader and his background and culture are what end up producing the meaning of the text. In other words, for both deconstruction and reader response criticism, the meaning of scripture is based upon the reader alone, and has nothing to do with the author. That is why deconstruction has used the phrase “the death of the author.”
The reason I bring this up is that Dr. Osborne always told us that, when we do not seek to work through the issues related to how different theological positions interpret a given text, and just present our interpretation without interacting with the other side, you prove the deconstructionists right. That is, you prove that it is your community and your community alone which determines the meaning of the text without any appeal to the author. Thus, only the reader is responsible for the meaning in language.
When I see accusations of myself as “heretic” with passages cited, and no signs of people even understanding what I believe about how a given passage should be interpreted in the light of normal hermeneutical considerations, I have to ask myself whether such a person is really interested in what God has said, or whether they are more interested in upholding their tradition about what God has said. We are all fallible interpreters, and that is why, whenever I interpret a passage of scripture, it is my obligation to prove my interpretations. Yes, there are some positions that are utterly heretical, because they deny elements that are central to the Biblical narrative and worldview. However, on issues that are not, we must be careful to exercise humility in how we handle the text of scripture, and be willing to prove our interpretations from scripture.
Is that harder? Yes. It takes time and effort to prove our interpretations from scripture, because there are many issues to work through. However, patience is a virtue, especially when we are dealing with truth. Unfortunately, calvinists and arminians have often not had that patience with on another. And that goes for both sides as well. I am currently reading a book I wished had been out when I was a young calvinist called Killing Calvinism-How to Destroy a Perfectly Good Theology From Within. The book talks about how the attitudes and behavior of many young calvinists actually do more damage than good. So, I am not in any way shape or form excusing some of the behavior I have seen from my side. However, we must approach the text with humility, and that means interacting with the other side’s interpretations of the individual passages by going to the text of scripture to prove our interpretations, rather than just assuming them. Does that take work? Yes. However, if we value truth, it should be more than worthwhile! And that was not something that a calvinist taught me; that was something an arminian taught me!
Thanks, Adam! And no one will be allowed to bring “heretic” charges against Calvinists here without being corrected. And this is from an Arminian.
Well, I’m a premillennialist which only really works if Yeshua comes in the next couple of decades, then either the amillennialist or postmillennialist position must be true.
I just said what I said because I was deeply disturbed to see a Christian talking about how he’ll reject Moshe and Eliyah as false prophets if they instruct their disciples to keep the Tora.
If, they actually did that, can you imagine how many Christians would reject them as false prophets?
But I’ll admit that if I’m actually the one who is wrong about the law, and two Jewish men turned up in Israel doing signs and wonders leading people away from the Torah and I called them false prophets, then I’d obviously be in danger for rejecting God’s true prophets, but everything I know about Eliyah points in the opposite direction, and what does it mean that Eliyah will restore all things, is that possible without restoring the Torah?
Again, it’s not about what I think about those people, but you know how because the Pharisees had the wrong eschatology they missed out of Yeshua, and if the Torah is still valid, how many Christians will miss out on Moshe and Eliyah like the Pharisees missed out on Yeshua, because their eschatology was wrong and they expected the wrong things from him/them.
The Pharisees expecting him to be king Messiah, and the Christians expecting Moshe and Eliyah to act like western Christians when it comes to the law.
That is exactly what I am talking about. I know tons of premillenialists, including premillenial dispensationalists, who would disagree with you on that. Your interpretation, most presumably of Revelation 11, as occurring in the next couple of decades is entirely idiosyncratic. The notion that you can pinpoint the exact timeframe in which these witnesses are to appear is something I have not seen any premillenial commentator even attempt to argue.
Again, David, you cannot confuse the meaning of the text with your interpretation of the text. That is dangerous and deadly. You have to prove your interpretations, not just assert them. That requires us, not only to be humble, but self critical as well. I pray that God will give you a spirit of self-criticism to continue to grow in his word, and not to call people heretics just because they disagree with you.
You wrote, “I’m a premillennialist which only really works if Yeshua comes in the next couple of decades, then either the amillennialist or postmillennialist position must be true.” I see absolutely no biblical logic to this statement, sorry to say.
Thank you. While this issue is important, it does not raise disagreements to the level of “heresy.” It just means that we have a lot of work to do in working through the issues involved. In fact, such rhetoric can often shut down honest interaction and discussion on this issue. That is the last thing we need.
It isn’t Revelation 11, but Hosea 6:2
So roughly 2000 years from what? I say from the year the Lord died, rose from the dead and ascended to heaven.
If course I could be wrong, let’s wait and see how it plays it.
You absolutely see no biblical logic to likening the 1000 year rest to the 7th day Sabbath?
It seems to me everyone got it wrong before because they were going by the year of Yeshua’s birth, not the year he ascended into heaven.
You can always tell me I told you so when AD2030-33 comes by. 🙂
dr. brown…i have a question. up until recently i’ve been taking everything i learn about God from what i’ve been shown in the old and new testament for what it says. but for some reason i got curious wondering why does judaism not except Jesus. and i was not ready for that apparently because a lot of what they say makes sense. so i’ve been having to do ALOT of studying and researching. and there’s only a couple of things that have me stumped and i really need some advice. how is it ok that we say give glory to Jesus when God said that only Him we should praise. i know we give all the glory to God. as soon as i try to get my head around it i just get confused. and i have one other question. this really didn’t cross my mind until i watched this but rabbi shmuley had talked to you about hell and how we use scare tactics basically and that we scare people into believing in Jesus. and right now since i’m still in this crisis of doubt it crossed my mind that since i’m doubting i’m going to hell and that if i don’t hurry and fix this doubt and i don’t live long enough to fix it well then i don’t know. i feel like it shouldn’t be this way and i never used to feel this way and it won’t seem to go away. i’m trying to fight the doubt with studying but then i come across things that say we have mistranslated scriptures to our preference. i’ve never felt so hopeless. please help me.
How come my comment showed up at first and then I check it and it shows that it has been taken off. I feel nobody is willing to answer any of my questions. 🙁
When someone tells us something about ourself that is not so, are they not telling us something about themself instead?
If I were to listen to what other people have told me about myself in the past at times, I wouldn’t have done the things I did, I wouldn’t have been the places I was at, nor would I have been the things I was.
If we can be wrong about others, can we be wrong about ourselves?
Thinking now about those whom the Lord will say one day that he never knew them,….as if they were wearing some kind of mask or something. I suppose they just weren’t real.
I think I’ve met a few of that kind of character on the way to heaven.
Zero biblical logic, plus I differ with the dogmatic dating. No offense intended!
Moses and Elijah are not even remotely implied in that text. Worse than that, you have to go from two days to two thousand years and three days to three thousand years. Worse than that, this number combination where you have one number paralleled with the next number is extremely common in the Hebrew Bible:
Micah 5:5 This One will be our peace. When the Assyrian invades our land, When he tramples on our citadels, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight leaders of men.
Psalm 62:11 Once God has spoken; Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God;
Job 40:5 “Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more.”
Hosea 6:2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.
Amos 1:3 “For three transgressions of Damascus and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they threshed Gilead with implements of sharp iron.
Amos 1:6 Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of Gaza and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they deported an entire population To deliver it up to Edom.
Amos 1:9 Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of Tyre and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they delivered up an entire population to Edom And did not remember the covenant of brotherhood.
Amos 1:11 Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of Edom and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, While he stifled his compassion; His anger also tore continually, And he maintained his fury forever.
Amos 1:13 Thus says the LORD, “For three transgressions of the sons of Ammon and for four I will not revoke its punishment, Because they ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead In order to enlarge their borders.
Proverbs 30:15 The leech has two daughters, “Give,” “Give.” There are three things that will not be satisfied, Four that will not say, “Enough”:
Proverbs 30:18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Four which I do not understand:
Proverbs 30:29 There are three things which are stately in their march, Even four which are stately when they walk:
Isaiah 17:6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree, Two or three olives on the topmost bough, Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree, Declares the LORD, the God of Israel.
Job 5:19 “From six troubles He will deliver you, Even in seven evil will not touch you.
Proverbs 6:16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Ecclesiastes 11:2 Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.
Obviously, when you see this pattern of n paralleled with n+1, you simply can’t make anything out of it, because it is such a common idiom.
Aside from reading Moses and Elijah into the text, jumping from days to years, and making significance out of a pattern that is extremely common in the Hebrew Bible, you also have to make the total speculation that this is all to be dated from the time of Christ’s death. Why? How does that have anything whatsoever to do with the text?
The most natural reading of the text is to take it to be referring to the return from exile, with a possible reference to the spiritual life which Christ brought to Israel by his work on the cross. It is really bad hermeneutics to import all of the things you have into the text. Using this methodology, you can make any text say anything you want.
I would absolutely agree with you if I only got this from Hosea 6:2, but I don’t. I get this idea from many other verses and many other Christians and scholars acknowledge God declared the end from the beginning and that the creation week is symbolic for all of human history.
You have to ask yourself, why is the Sabbath millennium 1000 years?
Why is it that Yeshua came roughly 4000 years from creation?
Those numbers have to be completely arbitrary to avoid the interpretation that just as there was the six days of creation followed by that Sabbath, that there will be six thousand years of human history followed by the Sabbath millennium, after which the earth passes away.
there’s a huge problem with you grouping Hosea 6:2 with those other verses. If Hosea 6:2 had been written like this,
‘He will revive us on the second day; He will raise us up on the third day…’
then I would agree with you on that verse, but it says, ‘after two days’. Now, can you tell me what day comes after two days? …
the third day, that’s what, which purposes this is not like those other verses where the numbers do not match, in this verse the number is the same when taking ‘after’ into account.
It’s Semitic parallelism, but it’s not arbitrary, it’s purposeful.
Just like how the scriptures said that Yeshua must rise from the dead on the third day, and how the Jews knew that the Messiah was supposed to come at that set date to inaugurate the Messianic reign, so too, the resurrection of the dead must happen at the set date.
purposes = proves
One more thing, I was thinking about your point, and I had this sense, this feeling, and I think the Holy Spirit made have shown me something, that there was a different between Hosea 6:2 and all the other verses. Then the clarity came, is Hosea 6:2 alone in using the ordinal number ‘third’, while the rest of the verses use cardinal numbers? So I read all your verses in the original Hebrew, and it turns out that that is the case.
So the pattern is a cardinal number paralleled with a cardinal number +1, that is the common idiom for all those passages, while Hosea 6:2 uses the ordinal number ‘third’.
I know The calvinists are brethren, but at The dame time I have grieta reserve about the character of God in their eyes, and since a person is a sum of their nature and attributes The God we serve differs to the Calvinist perspective of Him… That’s what happens regarding Allah. No? Despiste the fact that the Muslims worship The God of Abraham, The personality of God in the Quran is not the same as The God of The Bible. Allah and יהוה are not the same. This brings me to doubt that the Calvinists are worshipping the same God of the Bible. They seem not to know The Lord at all- with all due respect.
I know The calvinists are brethren, but at the same time I have great reserve about the character of God in their eyes, and since a person is a sum of their nature and attributes The God we serve differs to the Calvinist perspective of Him… That’s what happens regarding Allah. No? Despite the fact that the Muslims worship The God of Abraham, the personality of God in the Quran is not the same as God of The Bible. Allah and יהוה are not the same. This brings me to doubt that the in the same manner I ask myself if Calvinists are worshipping the same God of the Bible. They seem not to know The Lord at all- with all due respect.
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