Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A debate challenge on the Olivet Discourse

A reader writes that I am wrong about Mark 13. Here I address (in black) his comments (which are in red).


You write:
I ran across your site while researching for something to do with the written years of the Gospel. I found your site interesting but honestly very sad. It is not my intent to bash you or make you feel in an inferior way since I truly believe that nothing is gained this way. Please do not take my criticism this way cause it surely is not my makeup. With that said I will tell you though that I am a strong thinker, I am an avid reader of the word and a self –educator of learning, and am up for any debate.

I am sorry that you see my site as sad. I wrote it to help others see the joy of discovery that I have found.
To start off I would like to say that by your own admission your journey through life and religion seemed to always want to just fit in so the discomfort of your conscious feelings would be alleviated with any works program designed to take care of this.
Apparently you have me confused with somebody else, because this doesn't even look close to anything I have written. I don't think I ever said anything about wanting to fit in so the discomfort of my conscious feelings would be alleviated with a works program. What I did say is that I have been a follower all my life, but certainly not for the reasons you mention.
Look Merle, Although I would agree that you can make the Bible say anything you want (kind of like your point about getting somebody to substantiate your point of view when needed) Truth has to be grounded in some sort of system that deals with the rules of how and what the basis of that argument is built on for a foundation. The Church today (meaning in our day in age) has done a piss poor job in getting the congregation to think on their own. I agree with you a lot when you talk about to learn how to ask questions and not just agree on “faith” alone. To me this is a cop out (meaning to accept on the basis of faith alone) if you haven’t done all the rest of the homework. But on the flip side of that, truth is truth regardless of mine or your opinion on it, henceforth truth prevails without faith. What we need is the right kind of faith in the right source of substance, but only for our benefit not because if we don’t believe it than it doesn’t exist. Truth is independent from us. We need it for many reasons, it doesn’t need us.
Yes truth is independent of us, and we should ask questions to find the truth. I agree.
Look, I would love to share with you some of your errors in your perception in theology. My forte happens to be eschatology. You in your critique of Marks gospel of the “Olivet Discourse” are way off. For one your assuming that Mark is portraying all of that chapter as Jesus talking about 70 AD’s Great Diaspora. Totally wrong. I really would love to talk more indepthly on this subject and a few more but would rather do it over the phone. You do seem to have a open mind so this is why I will invite you into a controlled debate with me if you would like. I do not propose to have all answers but I do believe that we might do each other good in challenging each others faith.
In my essay, "When Were the Gospels written?" I mention that Mark 13 predicts things that would happen in the disciples' lifetime. I give many references to support my point, and spend considerable time developing my argument. And you call it an assumption? No, it is not an assumption. It is a conclusion I have reached based on the text and the arguments I gave. Do you think my arguments are wrong? Fine. What do you propose as an alternative? What arguments do you have to backup your view? What is wrong with my arguments? So far all you did was tell me I was wrong, but you did nothing to establish an alternative view.

You invite me to a controlled debate, and you suggest we do it by telephone. I have a better idea. Why don't we do it as comments here in this blog? That way we can study the other's views and look up the references before responding. And other people could see what was said and benefit from it also. And others could join in and add additional information and views. Would you welcome such a debate?

And what exactly is a controlled debate over the phone? I never heard of such a thing.
Merle, I do not believe in all sincerity that you were ever a Christian, any more than I believe that wearing a uniform makes a person that particular organization. Churches all through History has been hindering Gods word.

You don't think I was a Christian? Why not? I accepted Christ as my savior, and then set out to live in close fellowship with my savior for years. Why do you think I was not a Christian? Was God's grace not sufficient to save me when I accepted it by faith? If God in his grace did not respond to my faith, how can you be sure God responded to yours?
I am blessed that God taught me at an early age in Christendom what the most vital tool I needed beside the Holy Spirit which was a correct Hermeneutic. I have been a Christian for almost 17 yrs and much of what you’ve said I can identify with. I didn’t say agree, because I don’t , but really I understand.

Okay, you value a correct hermeneutic. Hermeneutics is the branch of philosophy concerned with determining the correct meaning of texts. Here is my hermeneutic. I study the words in context and consider also the context of the times in which the document was written. Do you have a better hermeneutic?
Well any way….Looking to here back from You. I will give you my phone number and set up a time if you would like to join.

Thanks for the invite, but wouldn't a written debate be better than a debate by telephone?

I look forward to hearing from you.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that a debate should be held here so that everyone can benefit. :)