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Deadworm

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  1. Well, George. we don't really know each other, but I think even a casual survey of the posted videos will show you that they are the best available online on the subject of great historic revivals. I'll begin to post one such video to get your reaction.
  2. I want to start a new thread related to this topic on why "the Enemy" often wins over devout Christians who seem to be doing everything right. I have in mind a spiritual warfare group at a local evangelical Free Methodist church which contained 2 of the finest Christians I have never met. The pastor was a godly man, who encouraged this group of 12+ prayer warriors, but their prayer vigils were used to drive out all but 2 of the 12 members and also the pastor in what seems to have been a victory for a supernatural display of evil. Only 2 of the 12 (both of whom attend my weekly prayer group) even still attend church! The other area where Satan often seems to achieve victory is the murky distinction between mental illness and demonic possession and oppression. I have seen well meaning Christians try to exorcise Christian schizophrenics, only to fail and make the disorder far worse. In my own efforts to minister to the mentally ill, one guy knew the Bible as well as many ministers, read it regularly, and prayed regularly. But his suffering from voices calling him "Satan" robbed his faith of all comfort and prevented him from believing that God really loved him anyway. I have tried everything to help him restore his faith--in vain. Now he is at the brink of death from congestive heart failure and I despair of how to help his family beyond simply praying for him and for them. Another schizophrenic was shot by local police before I could get him the help (meds, etc.) he needed. I'm hoping that those of you with mental illness and others experienced in dealing with the mentally ill can offer helpful insights on how the situations I'll describe might have been handled differently. Stay tuned for that thread.
  3. Is it permissible to post the title of YouTube videos as opposed to the URL itself, so that readers can look up and watch the videos for themselves? What I have in mind are videos on the greatest historic revivals, which often exceed the site's 20 minute time limit. No sermons or online videos have inspired my faith more than the revival videos I would post for discussion, specifically on the Welsh Revival (1904-06), the Azusa Street Revival (1906-08), and the Hebrides Revival (1949-54). The titles would include documentaries, testimonies, and lectures and would eventually extend to the First and Second Great Awakenings. The focus would be on how each revival was catalyzed and how they were eventually sabotaged as opposed to simply petering out.
  4. Fundamentalists on this site and in general lack the intellectual integrity to investigate evolution as presented by acknowledged secular experts like Dr. Kenneth Miller, who is featured on several YouTube lectures. So my hunch proved to be true that my brief video (4 minutes+ at the end of p. 37 on this thread) cut from a longer masterful lecture on a powerful new piece of evidence for primate evolution would be too threatening to be viewed here. I guess you people need to stay within the myopic sheltered confines of the evangelical Ghetto for all your reading (Creationist, Intelligent Design groupies, etc.). As for me, I feel compelled to swim the troubled waters of honest and open intellectual inquiry, regardless of its impact of my previously sheltered, but passionately devout Evangelical faith. God deserves HONEST seekers and the company of those who love Him enough to endure the doubt and pain of an honest spiritual quest that needs to consider opposing perspectives from their most articulate and well-informed spokesmen!
  5. Fundamentalists generally live in their carefully insulated thought Ghetto, where they are protected from the most articulate expressions of opposing theories like evolution because they retrict their exposure to Funamentalist apologists were are poorly informed about the case for evolution. As a result, (1) Fundamentalists don't even realize that evolutionary theory has nothing to do with the origin of life. (2) They studiously avoid honest and open intellectual inquiry by refusing to read or watch informed defenses of evolution by acknowledged experts like Dr. Kenneth Miller, who has written acclaimed high school and college text books on the subject. I challenge Fundamentalists here to take the blinders off and google lengthy YouTube videos of Miller's acclaimed lectures. btw, Miller is a highly respected evolutionist, despite the fact that he is also a devout Roman Catholic.
  6. First century Jews and Christians agree on one point--that Joseph is not the biological father of Jesus. After Jesus begins his spectacular ministry, He returns to his home town to a hostile reaction. The locals in Nazareth remember Him as "the carpenter, the son of Mary" and are "scandalized" by Him and His later claims (Mark 6:4). In that patriarchal culture men were identified as the son of their named father. So the reference to Jesus as "the son of Mary" seems to imply His illegitimate birth. Indeed, first century rabbis ultimately identify a Roman soldier named Panthera as Jesus' true father! How they came up with that name is an interesting question that I will take up in a future post. For now, my point is that first-century Jews and Christians agree on one point- that Joseph is not the natural father of Jesus. This agreement rules out a common claim of anti-supernatural skeptics--that Jesus was born in the customary way to married human parents. The portrait of Mary in our Gospels depicts a very humble and devout young Jewish woman, a woman who is hardly likely to be sexually promiscuous. For that very reason, the ancient Jewish and Christian consensus that Joseph is not Jesus' true father serves apologetic interests as another reason to accept the Gospel tradition of Jesus' virgin birth. The anti-Gospel's claim that Jesus' mother was a "spinner" is not attested in our Gospels, but may well reflect accurate oral tradition. Archaeologists have found remnants of spinning equipment in a first-century Nazareth home that that has for good reason been identified as the house of Mary and Joseph. Google "archaeology and Jesus' house in Nazareth for detailed information about this case. In the first century poor Jewish women often had to weave their family's clothes, and so, Mary's status as a "spinner" seems quite plausible. The Jewish claim that Jesus studied magic in Egypt is a slander that takes as its starting point the Matthean tradition that Mary and Joseph took the baby Jesus to Egypt to escape Herod's persecution. Of course, Jesus' family only stayed in Egypt until Herod's death om 4 BC and then went to Nazareth, while Jesus was still a small child (2:13-23). So the rabbinic view that Jesus studied magic in Egypt is absurd perversion of Matthew's Christmas story. More commentary on the unintended apologetic value of the Jewish anti-Gospel to follow.
  7. Jesus' Jewish enemies and later Jews in the Diaspora persecuted Jesus and then His followers and converts in an effort to stamp out our faith. To pursue this goal they promoted their own anti-Gospel, a version of Jesus' life that portrayed Him as a magician. This version twisted factual material with misunderstandings, distortions, and outright lies and was apparently effective anti-Christian propaganda in the first and second centuries. In this thread I want to document this anti-Gospel to demonstrate what early Christian apologists were up against, and then I want to show hoe the tables can be turned on this lying portrait to the advantage of effective Christian witness. Here, then, is the hostile ancient Jewish caricature of Jesus' life that was used by Jews to counter early Christian missionary activities: "Jesus was the illegitimate son of a spinner named Mary and Panthera, a Roman soldier (so ancient rabbinic sources and Celsus). In his earlier life he went to Egypt to study magic and even had his arms tattooed with magical spells (Celsus). His so-called healings were not real and the cures didn't last (Quadratus). On the contrary,, his miracles were either magically produced hallucinations or demonically inspired. His disciples were sailors of the worst sort and he traveled around Galilee with them, making his living shamefully as a beggar. He taught Jews to violate the Law of Moses authorized by God and he taught his followers magical rites in which they ate the body and drank the blood of babies! He was crucified for practicing magic and promoting sedition (Celsus, again). The gardener at the tomb where he was buried removed his corpse to prevent Christian sightseers from stepping on his cabbage (a Jewish view reported by Tertullian). His disciples exploited his missing body to claim that he rose from dead and used this lie to justify the continuation of his cult." Morton Smith, a Columbia University professor, collected the evidence for this early Jewish portrait of Jesus in his book, "Jesus the Magician." As an ex-Theology professor, I used this portrait as a pretext to teach an apologetic defense of the Gospel. Professors are not supposed to proselytize the students at universities; so this Jewish portrait was a blessing in disguise because it gave me historical cover to justify my counter-arguments against skepticism about the historicity of Jesus' incarnation, miracles, and resurrection. J will demonstrate how in this thread in the hope that it will give Christian readers new ways to defend the Gospel.
  8. Ah, but a well respected Columbia University professor, Morten Smith, wrote a well -respected book entitled "Jesus the Magician," in which he demonstrates how Jesus and Paul used techniques borrowed from contemporary Greco-Roman magic. Have you read his evidence or are you content with the disingenuous evangelical ploy of creating a weak straw man to avoid the hard work or honest and open inquiry? [Don't worry I ask this question not as a debunker, but as a devout evangelical who deplores the typical evangelical unwillingness to consider the evidence marshalled from intellectuals against the Christian faith.]
  9. Before there were modern praise choruses, there was Southern Gospel quartet music. The best of these was the version of the Statesmen that featured Denver Crumpler as the lead tenor. Denver died at age 44 of diabetic shock misdiagnosed as a heart attack. In the 1950s the Statesmen even had their own TV show. Here is Denver singing "I'll Tell It," the best old Gospel song that you've never heard of: httpOn this s://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=i'll+tell+it+crumpler+youtube&view=detail&mid=462A7682CCA20BAC55FD462A7682CCA20BAC55FD&FORM=VIRE In this thread I'll post some of my favorute old quartet numbers that I recall from my youth.
  10. Many Evangelical Protestant churches see almost no indisputable miracles in response to their prayers that they resort to the desperate expedient of championing an unbiblical cessationism, that relegates truly miraculous gifts of the Spirit and spectacular healings in answer to prayer to the apostolic age. By contrast, many medically verified miracles occur at Marian sites like Lourdes. Dick a very bright executive from my church went to Turkey to ascent the mount to the Virgin Mary's house near Ephesus. He soon recognized that he should not have joined this tour, "The Footsteps of St. Paul" because he had torn ligaments in his knee, made worse by a bad case of arthritis. He was scheduled for surgery by the top orthopedic surgeon in Spokane immediately after his return. A Turkish lady noticed Dick limping in discomfort and recommended that he pour water from a spigot from Mary's spring on his injured knee. Dick complied, but only to be polite. When he returned to the hotel, he groaned in pain and his wife Mary Ann urged him to pour the water on his knee. Dick replied, "Why? It's just water with no healing power!" Mary Ann replied, I know, but what do you have to lose?" So Dick did and soon felt better, but attributed this improvement to a placebo effect. When he returned home, he had the planned surgery and awoke from the operation to see the surgeon standing at the foot of his bed with a concerned expression on his face. The surgeon said, "I don't understand it. We had MRIs and x-rays on your damaged knee, but when I cut you open, there was no sign of torn tendons and even your arthritis was gone!" The surgeon evidently feared a malpractice suit. I'll never forget Dick's testimony in my UMC church. He began, "I no doubt do some things that some of you disapprove of, but." Then he just glowed as he shared his miracle. This miracle can't be attributed to Dick and Mary Ann's faith in the efficacy of Mary's water. Neither of them believed he would be healed by pouring it on his knee. I too did the Footsteps of St. Paul" tour and joined the ascent up the m9unt to Mary's little house. Even our Muslim guide told us that the Marian spring had a reputation for facilitating divine healing! Nowhere else in Greece or in Israel have I experienced such reverence and awe as I entered that little house. The young woman (about 30) behind me collapsed to the ground in awe the moment she entered the house! I later pondered this as I traveled to the holy Christian sites in Israel. Jesus said, "By their fruits you shall know them." The pilgrimages to sacred Marian sites certainly produce awesome fruit.
  11. I checked and was amazed to see that you are still in high school (age 17). You sound like a Philosophy major. As a college undergrad, I was a Philosophy major and a Teaching Fellow in Logic. Then I got my MDiv (Princeton) and my Doctorate in New Testament, Judaism, and Greco-Roman backgrounds (Harvard). I was a Theology Professor for 12 years and then became a United Methodist pastor until my recent retirement. I share all this simply to let you know where my answers are coming from. You strike me as a prime candidate for seminary training. Your burning question would best be discussed under a new thread "The Mind-Body Problem." I suggest you google search under that heading, looking for perspectives from Philosophy, Carl Jung's Collective Unconscious, and neurology. An interesting place to start is to google "Larry Dossey One Mind YouTube and watch one or more of his video interviews, preferably the 51+ minute interview. Then start a post or new thread based on the fruits of this research, and I will of course reply. Let me know what you decide.
  12. "You are to hand this man [sleeping with his father's wife] over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord (1 Corinthians 5:5)."
  13. Why don't you give us a chance to respond to your issues? Are you afraid our answers will be too complicated for you to understand?
  14. Which questions express your burning issues? And what cliched answers have you heard that turn you off? I want to belpful, but can achieve that goal nnless I know more about your spiritual and philosophical journey.
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