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Unkoolman
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Date Posted:24/11/2006 8:46 AMCopy HTML

Tongues - an Unsound Evidence of Salvation

as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of divination... Paul, very much annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, 'I order you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.'" (Acts 16:16-18)

Acts 16 is a deep Scipture - deceptively simple, but one of those scriptures we come across from time to time that is bursting with meaning beneath the surface. Paul was much annoyed with this girl who had a 'spirit of divination'. Let's look at those words. In Greek, she had apneu'ma py'thoa, or literally, "a spirit of python".

The NRSVHarper-Collins Study Biblenotes of Acts 16:"Spirit of divination, lit. 'a spirit of the Python,' which was associated with the Delphic oracle."The Python was a mythical beast which guarded the Oracle of Delphi, near Corinth. At the Oracle of Delphi, travellers would congregate to hear a prophecy of the future for themselves or their country. According to some historians, the Pythoness (priestess) would cry out in unintelligible sounds which were interpreted by another person to form ambiguous verses. To have a spirit of the Python would be to be like the Pythoness - it would be someone who was filled with the demonic spirit of the oracle... someone who would prophecyby crying out in unintelligible sounds!

And as such, there is scriptural evidence in Acts 16 for false tongues. That is not to say that all tongues are wrong. While Paul excorcised this slave girl in Acts from the spirit of the Python, he himself spoke in tongues, and was glad of the experience (1.Cor.14:18). What does it tell us? It tells us clearly that there can be false tongues in the world! As Paul also wrote:"The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thess 2: 9-10).

What have we learned from the experience of the slave girl? When someone 'speaks in tongues' we cannot be sure that they have salvation, becuase tongues is not a solely Christian phenomenon. According to Professor Maja-Lisa Swartz of the Helsinki University, after her research of the Tanzanian tribes people, "speaking in tongues is nothing specific for the Christian religion. It appears in all religions and is no guarantee for what type of spirit it is that the speaker is speaking for".

For example, John MacArthur writes, in Charismatic Chaos, "Ecstatic speech is a part of many pagan religions in Africa, East Africa. Tonga people of Africa, when a demon is exorcised, sing in Zulu even though they say they don't know the Zulu language. Ecstatic speech is found today among Muslims, Eskimos, Tibetan monks. It is involved in parapsychological occult groups. Did you know that the Mormons, even Joseph Smith himself advocates speaking in tongues? It could be demonic."An Encyclopia of Occultismsays, "Speaking and writing in foreign tongues, or in unintelligible outpourings mistaken for such, is a very old form of psychic phenomenon.

"Tongues are, therefore, an unsound evidence of salvation. They can be demonic! Do you say that someone is 'saved' when they speak in tongues? It is a poor test, if even pagans speak in tongues. Are the Tonga people saved when they speak in tongues? Are the Voodoo people, or the Buhhdist monks saved when they speak in tongues?

Tongues is clearly not God's evidence of salvation. And yet, someone can know whether they are saved or not. In 1John 5:13, it is written:I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so thatyou may knowthat you have eternal life.How do you know you have eternal life? John doesn't mention tongues. If tongues were the sign that someone was saved, he would have metioned it there. But instead he says about those who know they have eternal life "you who believe in the name of the Son of God"! Recall the comments about testing the Spirits, "test the spirits to see whether they are from God: for many false prophets have gone out into the world ... every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God" (1John 4:1-3).

So how do you know you have the right Spirit and eternal life? The answer turns on whether you can "confess Jesus". It is here that the Tonga people, Voodoos, and Buhhdist priests fail.

Perhaps you speak in tongues, and have always thought it was clear evidence of your salvation. Yet, you see now that tongues cannot prove anything.
Unkoolmail

"As man is, so is his God; And thus is God, oft strangely odd" - Goethe

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:24/11/2006 8:50 AMCopy HTML

A Tongues Misconception - Exposed!

There is a common misconception that tongues began at Pentecost, and were 'something new'. In fact, there are references to the tongues experience in earlier Jewish literature.

Philo, a Jewish writer contemporary with Jesus, noted a tradition concerning Sinai:

"it was the Father of the universe who delivered these ten maxims, or oracles, or laws and enactments, as they truly are, to the whole assembled nation of men and women altogether ... he at that time wrought a most conspicuous and evidently holy miracle, commanding an invisible sound to be created in the air ... which fashioned the air and stretched it our and changed it into a kind of flaming fire, and so sounded forth so loud and articulate voice like a breath passing through a trumpet ... the power of God, breathing forth vigorously, aroused and excited a new kind of miraculous voice, and diffusing its sound in every direction, made the end more conspicuous at a distance than the beginning, implanting in the soul of each individual another hearing ... the flame being endowed with articulate speech in a language familiar to the hearers." (De Decalogo. IX-XI)

So there was a fascinating tradition of tongues before the Pentecost experience (see also the Testament of Job). Philo's tradition of events at Sinai may even provide an explanation of what the events at Pentecost meant in Jewish thought of the time. Jewish tradition is that Pentecost falls on the same day as the giving of the Mosaic Law at Sinai. Just as Moses mediated the first covenant at Sinai, the Lord Jesus mediated the better covenant at Jerusalem (Hebrews 12:18-24).

Note the similarities of Moses' experience with the Acts 2 experience. There was a new covenant, people of all nations present, a mighty sound, a tongue of fire, and a voice touching each listener personally. It seems that the Lord wrought the same miracle in Jerusalem as was said to have occurred previously at Sinai. There were tongues in the first covenant, and the Pentecostal tongues showed that the Lord had cut a New Covenant.

Because of the tradition Philo explains, many maintain that the Acts 2 tongues were not necessarily meant as a normative sign every time someone received the Spirit. The tongues were a sign of God's new covenant cut with humankind, with comparisons to the Sinai covenant tradition. Tongues are, in fact, a very poor indication of whether someone is saved or not, as is discussed in the next article.

?1997, All rights reserved. Feel free to copy and distribute any information on this page as you like, but do not alter or sell it without my permission. Unless otherwise indicated, the Scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, Copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.

Unkoolmail

"As man is, so is his God; And thus is God, oft strangely odd" - Goethe

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:24/11/2006 8:57 AMCopy HTML

Salvation Through History

(Extract from Revival Observer, September '97)

Many Revival Centre people are surprised to learn that virtually no one else teaches that 'you must speak in tongues to be saved'. Another major problem is that the teaching has no historical precedent. No one taught it before Lloyd Longfield, and the United Pentecostal Church (compare Jude 3).

What did the early Christians teach about salvation? Go through these quotes, and see what was taught throughout the ages:

A.D. 55 - PAUL AT EPHESUS: "you are saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you - unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day" (1Corinthains 15:1-4)

A.D. 56 - PAUL AT CORINTH: "if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9)

A.D. 98 - JOHN AT EPHESUS: "God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God." (1John 4:15)

A.D. 98 - JOHN AT EPHESUS: "Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1John 5:5)

A.D. 100 - CLEMENT OF ROME: "we, too, being called by his will in Christ Jesus, are not justified by ourselves, nor by our own wisdom, or understanding, or godliness, or works which we have wrought in holiness of heart; but by that faith through which, from the beginning, Almighty God has justified all men; to whom be glory for ever and ever" (First Epistle to the Corinthians, XXXII, 15)

* Note - Clement doesn't even mention tongues in any of his letters

A.D. c.120 - POLYCARP OF SMYRNA: "'we shall also reign together with Him, 'provided only we believe.'" (Epistle to the Philippians, V, 10-11)

* Polycarp doesn't even mention tongues in any of his letters

EARLY 2ND C. - IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH: "For, since you are subject to your overseer as to Jesus Christ, you appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in his death, you may escape from death." (Epistle to the Trallians, II, 1)

* Ignatius doesn't even mention tongues in any of his epistles

BEFORE 165AD - JUSTIN MARTYR OF SAMARIA: "He was crucified, that the rest of the prophecy might be fulfilled. For this 'washing his robe in the blood of the grape' was predictive of the passion he was to endure, cleansing by his blood those who believe on him." (First Apology, XXXII, 2) "And it is written, that on the day of the Passover you seized him, and that also during the Passover you crucified him. And as the blood of the Passover saved those who were in Egypt, so also the blood of Christ will deliver from death those who have believed. Would God, then, have been deceived if this sign had not been above the doors? I do not say that; but I affirm that he announced beforehand the future salvation for the human race through the blood of Christ." (Second Apology, CXI)

* Justin Martyr doesn't even mention tongues in any of his letters

LATE 2ND C. - IRENAEUS OF SMYRNA: "'And daily,' it is said, 'in the temple, and from house to house, they ceased not to teach and preach Christ Jesus,' the Son of God. For this was the knowledge of salvation, which renders those who acknowledge his Son's advent perfect towards God." (Against Heresies III, XII:12ff)

* Irenaeus does make one mention of tongues in his day. He briefly mentions Christians who by "the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God" (Against Heresies V,VI)

You will have noted how early Christians were associating salvation with Jesus, not tongues.

Discussion of the gifts, especially of tongues, by the earliest writers is quite sparse. John MacArthur even writes in Charismatic Chaos, "In the Post Apostolic age there is no mention of tongues". Because of this lack of comment, some writers like John MacArthur (and B. Warfield in the past) have suggested that all miraculous gifts ceased in the first century.

I believe they go too far. In Charismatic Gifts in the Early Church, Ronald Kydd concludes:

"Throughout the first and second centuries, the gifts remained ... we have drawn from virtually every kind of person in the Church. We have heard from bishops and heretics, philospohers and poets, storytellers and theologians. Generally speaking, and of course there must have been exceptions at specific times and places, the Church prior to A.D. 200 was charismatic".

However, even a Pentecostal must agree - there is no post biblical discussion of tongues until Irenaeus, a gap of about a century from 1 Corinthians, and 600 pages of Christian writing afterwards.

What is evident is that the early church COULD NOT have been PRE-OCCUPIED with tongues. The Anchor Bible Dictionary explains, "there is no hint of the practice of glossolalia [tongues] in any [post-Biblical] Christian writing before the middle of the 2d century. Even for the earliest period of Christianity, therefore, glossolalia appears to be at best a sporadic and ambiguous occurence ... therefore [it is] inadequately supported by the data [that] tongues was a normal and expected accompaniment of the Spirit (and therefore, by implication, an essential component of authentic Christianity)"(Vol.6, p.598).

So I believe that tongues probably had a place in the early Church (as Kydd says), but they obviously could not have been of 'first importance', or the pre-occupation. That position was given to Christ alone (1Cor.15:1-4). Remember that in the earliest Church writings, we have only one mention of tongues in 600 pages. How different to a standard Revival Centre 'salvation' talk or pamphlet - tongues, tongues, tongues, tongues!

Unkoolmail

"As man is, so is his God; And thus is God, oft strangely odd" - Goethe

"Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds." - Bob Marley
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:25/03/2007 6:44 AMCopy HTML

As you say Philo is a contempoary of Jesus (c20BCE - c50CE). He also is reported to have been a Hellenizing, Alexandrian, Jewish philosopher. So, he would have had an opportunity and motive to be well informed of the early Christian church.  The skeptic in me says, "How do we know the quoted material from De Decalogo wasn't an invention to 'keep up with' or incorporate the Christian revelation, even though it does put 'Pentecost' into a more complete context?"

Is there information that would put the origin of De Decalogo pre-28-30CE (ie before Jesus' execution)? Can you provide some info on the more ancient traditions(?) or writings(?) that Philo could have drawn on. (I skimmed through text of the Testament of Job and saw nothing more than a reference to an experience similar to the burning bush, or one of Ezekial visions. Maybe I missed something.)

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:25/03/2007 9:53 AMCopy HTML

Hey again, RFOTE.

I'll jump in, if I may (gotta hurry though, I've a plane to catch soon). Philo Judaeus wrote "On the Ten Commandments" five years before the Christian Pentecost (see my articles on Acts 2 at 'PC').

Again, 'it happens' Not too many Revivalist-type people are aware of the extra-biblical material that helps to explicate a range of biblical 'doctrines'. Alas, "...for want of knowledge..."


Blessings,

Ian

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:30/03/2007 12:20 PMCopy HTML

PENTECOSTALS
One summer night Louie and Mel set to over the issue of speaking in tongues, Louie arguing that this manifestation of the Spirit was to be sought earnestly, Mel holding that it was a miraculous gift given to the early church but not given by God today. I forget the Scripture verses each of them brought forward to defend his position, but I remember the pale faces, the throat-clearing, the anguished looks, as those two voices went back and forth, straining at the bit, giving no ground - the poisoned courtesy ("I think my brother is overlooking Paul's very clear message to the Corinthians?," "Perhaps my brother needs to take a closer look, a prayerful look, at this verse in Hebrews?") as the sun went down, neighbor children were called indoors, the neighbors turned out their lights, eleven o'clock came - they wouldn't stop!

"Perhaps," Grandpa offered, "it would be meet for us to pray for the Spirit to lead us," hoping to adjourn, but both Louie and Mel felt that the Spirit had led, that the Spirit had written the truth in big black letters - if only some people could see it.

The thought of Uncle Louie speaking in tongues was fascinating to me. Uncle Louie worked at the bank, he spoke to me mostly about thrift and hard work. What tongue would he speak? Spanish? French? Or would it sound like gibberish? Louie said that speaking in tongues was the true sign, that those who believed heard and to those who didn't it was only gabble - what if he stood up and said, "Feemalator, jasperator, hoo ha ha, Wamalamagamanama, zis boom bah!" and everyone else said, "Amen! That's right, brother! Praise God!" and I was the only one who said, "Huh?"
- Garrison Keillor, "Protestant," Lake Woebegon Days


For the last 20 years, between 7 and 9 percent of Americans have spoken in tongues - but almost the same percentage said the practice is evidence of demonic possession.
- Bernard Katz, "Quoteline and Commentaries," The American Rationalist, July/Aug. 1998


Michael Trofimov pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder of his father. Trofimov, who had recently joined a religious group, was found was his hands around his father's neck "speaking in tongues and screaming for God." His uncle said, "He was a good young man and then he started going to these [religious] meetings."
- Chuck Shepherd, John J. Kohut & Roland Sweet, More News of the Weird (1990)


True story: A young Pentecostal girl dared her girlfriend in church to shout out some nonsense syllables just to see if someone would stand up and "interpret the tongue." So the girl shouted, "coca-cola, coca-cola, coca-cola" and a church member promptly stood up and "interpreted the tongue" as a message from God.

Years later, I read that when the Coca-Cola company tried selling their brew in China, they discovered that the Chinese symbols that were pronounced, "Coca-Cola," meant literally, "Bite the wax tadpole." So maybe you can get a "message" out of "coca-cola, coca-cola, coca-cola," albeit a stuttering and meaningless one.
- Skip Church


As a former tongue-speaking Christian it wasn't the repetitive nature of many of the syllables I spoke that raised doubts. It was the fact that people in our group would sometimes "speak in tongues" a long time yet the "interpretation" could be quite brief. Or they would "speak in tongues" briefly and the "interpretation" came out long-winded. Folks who loved the King James Bible "interpreted tongues" in King James English, while those who loved other translations of the Bible delivered less Elizabethan-sounding "interpretations." And the messages received via this miraculous discourse were as trifling as the simplest cares and woes found in the Psalms with which everyone in the congregation was familiar - as if God didn't have anything more relevant or specific to say to us. Yet it seemed to me that if God was going to give people miraculous linguistic abilities, He'd have found far better uses to put them to.
- Skip Church


CONVERSATION ON THE "EX-TIAN" LISTSERV:
Rob Berry: I've heard that a trained listener can tell the difference between a New Yorker and a Southerner speaking in tongues, so the "tongues" spoken by an individual reflect the normal language of that individual. And a Japanese person speaking in tongues is not going to have any "L"s in their babbling.

David O. Miller: Actually this is true only for those Japanese who have never studied English. Those who have, consistantry have "L"s whele the "R"s berong and "R"s whele the "L"s berong. And that could totally change the meaning of the babbling couldn't it? Obviously, "uga-bali-raka-fulu" and "uga-bari-laka-furu" are two entirely different things, right?


I used to speak in tongues, but now it only comes in handy when I'm performing cunnilingus.
- Skip Church


Loresa Goodly filed a lawsuit in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana, in November for injuries she incurred just after she had received the Holy Spirit at a tent revival meeting and passed out on the floor. Moments later, another woman received the Holy Spirit and fell on top of Goodly before ushers could catch her, breaking three of Goodly's ribs.
- Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, Nov. 18, 1995


After different occurrences of televangelist Benny Hinn's famous antic "slaying in the Spirit," during which crowds of people fall over, one young girl's leg was badly injured and an elderly woman died from complications following a broken hip. Her family sued for $15 million; Hinn settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

Hinn has been fooled more than once during his crusades by hired actors who pretended to be handicapped, then pretended to be healed - despite Hinn's past promises not to televise healings until they had been medically confirmed.

Other people who really were sick had been pronounced healed and were televised as such. Reporters discovered, in case after case, that no one followed up on them and that none of them had really been healed. This included a half-dozen AIDS patients, several deaf or blind children, a quadriplegic teen and a woman with cancer, who quit her chemotherapy and died two months later. Reporters could not find a single verifiable healing, although in one chilling interview, a woman with multiple sclerosis serenely announced that she had discontinued her medication because she believed, thanks to Hinn, that her healing would arrive at any moment.

Hinn has also claimed -- each time on record -- that :

He conducted services in a hospital overseas and healed so many people the place nearly shut down (a reporter checked up on this and the hospital categorically denied it).

Someone videotaped him raising a man from the dead in Guyana (this was also refuted and ultimately retracted by a ministry spokesman).
- Information drawn from "The Many Faces of Benny Hinn" (a video and book of the same title that summarizes a host of investigative reports on Benny Hinn), produced by The Door Magazine. "Even the most credulous, faithful followers of Benny Hinn would be hard-pressed to explain why so many national TV newsmagazines and local stations, from Chicago to Orlando to Dallas to Sydney, Australia, keep uncovering the same damning facts year after year."
- Gregg Hartman (www.christianhumor.about.com) See also Matthew Barry, "Adventures in Faith Healing," Freethought Today, March, 1998
http://www.ffrf.org/


Police in Vinton, Louisiana were surprised when a driver wearing only a towel got out of a car, then got back in and sped off. They were dumbfounded when the car hit a tree and disgorged 20 people wearing nothing at all. There were fifteen adults in the interior of the 1990 Pontiac Grand Am and five children in the trunk. The driver of the car, Sammy Rodriguez and his brother, Danny, both said they were Pentecostal preachers. They made statements that the devil was after them. And their hometown, Floydada, Texas, was going to be destroyed if they stayed there. They fled Floydada in five cars, but wound up abandoning four of them, along with the family's clothes, pocketbooks, wallets and other belongings because "the devil" had "gotten into those things."
- Associated Press, "Cops Chase Car With 20 Naked Passengers," Aug. 20, 1993


An unemployed maid and mother of seven burned a winning $60,000 lottery ticket because her minister at an Assembly of God church in Fortaleza, Brazil, said her plane would "sink in sin in hell" if she went to claim the prize money. "Destroy the ticket - the devil's work - to save yourself from hellfire," Preacher Wagner said, as the congregation chanted, "Burn, burn, burn." So Maria Banoiza Nascimento returned to her one-room shack (where she lived with her unemployed husband and her four seriously ill children), and burned the ticket. Then, for good measure, she burned her identification card and her children's birth certificates as well.
- Associated Press, 1995


He seemed to be one of those people, so many of whom gravitate to Pentecostal sects who move around the West and the South and the Border States and continue to receive information only through the most tenuous chains of rumor, hearsay, haphazard trickledown. To an astonishing extent they keep themselves unviolated by common knowledge, by the ability to make routine assumptions.
- Joan Didion, The White Album


A devotee on her knees in some abysmal and mysterious cathedral while solemn music echoes, and clouds of incense come down the wind, and priests in luxurious, operatic costumes busy themselves with stately ceremonials in a dead and not too respectable language - this is unquestionably beautiful, particularly if the devotee herself is attractive. But the same devotee aroused to hysterical protestations of faith by the shrieks and contortions of a Pentecostal preacher, her knees trembling with the fear of God, her hands clenched as if to do combat with Beelzebub, her lips discharging hosannas and hallelujahs - this is merely obscene.
- H. L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:09/06/2009 11:48 AMCopy HTML

I think that the Reival Churches have many many things wrong, But their doctrine about tongues is not one of them.

That's my opinion.

Blessings
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:09/06/2009 11:58 AMCopy HTML

Demitrius

When you say that the revival doctrine about tongues is correct - do you mean that 'you MUST speak in tongues to be saved' and that "speaking in tongues IS the evidence of salvation"?  Or do you mean that it is 'ok' to speak in tongues? Could you expound on your statement a little further please?

Urchin
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths.
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:09/06/2009 10:29 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Demetrius.

So you believe the Revivalists to be correct in their "tongues" doctrine? How so?

Blessings,

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:10/06/2009 5:00 AMCopy HTML

Greetings Sea Urchin; In answer to your question….”When you say that the revival doctrine about tongues is correct - do you mean that 'you MUST speak in tongues to be saved' and that "speaking in tongues IS the evidence of salvation"?  Or do you mean that it is 'ok' to speak in tongues? Could you expound on your statement a little further please?”

 

I personally believe that “you MUST speak in tongues to be saved”. When I say this I must qualify this assertion by saying that tongues is simple the outward manifestation of the inner experience of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is the same as being born of the Spirit and receiving the Spirit.

 

Greetings Brolga; In answer to your statement “It would be interesting to know just how you came to this decision.” I will give you my reasoning over the coming weeks if you like, however much of the argument appears to have been already covered in the various threads on this forum.

 

I think the best starting point would be to read the work entitled; Revivalist dogma and the book of Acts An exegetical and theological evaluation by Ian Thomason.

 

I would like to add that having read through this particular document there are some important consideration that require a well considered response.

 

These considerations are as follows:

 

a)      Most of those reading this document have little or no understanding of the rules that govern responsible handling of the primary documents, in this case the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. As such, when Ian draws a conclusion from his analysis the reader immediately assumes that the conclusion is a direct result of (in deed the only plausible response to) the proper evaluation of the text. This may or may not be the case.

 

Example: Over the centuries many Jewish scholars have cited their obvious superiority in understanding the Hebrew Old Testament compared to us Gentiles, to substantiate their claim that Jesus was NOT the Messiah. We as Christians would reject this assertion outright.

 

Their strategy is threefold:

1)      Draw their conclusion based on the premise that Jesus was NOT the Messiah

2)      Use their Superior grasp of Hebrew to substantiate said claim

3)      Rely on the intended audience’s inferior understanding of Hebrew to facilitate concurrence to the claim Jesus was NOT the Messiah.

 

Similarly the Greek Orthodox Church scholars have cited their obvious superiority in understanding the Greek New Testament compared to non Greeks to substantiate their claim that The Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox interpretation is floored.

 

b)      The ability (or rather lack thereof) of an unlearned audience to distinguish between; sound assumptions; and unsound assumptions based on the Greek scholarship alone.

 

Simply put; it is possible for Ian’s assumptions to be inaccurate, but his scholarship accurate. Scholarly superiority alone cannot substantiate a claim.  I have forwarded a copy of this work to a colleague of mine in the US for evaluation of the accuracy of Ian’s assumptions based on the Greek and Hebrew for a balanced unbiased viewpoint.

I have requested that in examining Ian’s work he look for the following:

1)      IF - Ian has drawn his conclusion based on the premise that the Revivalists Doctrine is Wrong with respect to tongues

2)      IF - Ian has use his Superior grasp of Greek to substantiate said claim

3)      IF - Ian has relied on the intended audience’s inferior understanding of Greek to facilitate concurrence to the claim.

 

I will reserve judgment until I have received a response to these and other questions I have sent.

 

May the truth have her perfect Will.

 

Blessings Demetrius

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:10/06/2009 5:18 AMCopy HTML

Hello, Demetrius.

I'd suggest that you do exactly as you have recommended to others, given that such is precisely what I've been recommending to all and sundry from the very beginning.

My scholarship is sound. My conclusions are also sound. However, your position on the subject simply cannot be supported or sustained by the Greek text, and is thoroughly tendentious. Clearly you're unaware of the numerous factual and logical errors that you've made in your latest response, and I'd be more happy to point them out to you; but for the time being I'd like to see you explain how it can be that my grammatical analyses of the relevant Greek passages can be both "right" and "wrong" at the same time.

Finally, I'd be very interested in learning just what it is that qualifies your overseas friend to be able to comment on my Greek exegeses. 

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:10/06/2009 11:14 AMCopy HTML

Hi Demetrius,

FWIW I reckon that simply reading the English translations is enough to put paid to the idea that RCI/RF have got it "right" (ie in accordance with the bible) regarding tongues and salvation. For me it took some effort though to read what the bible actually says after 30 odd years of habitually treating the bible with less sense and respect than I treated any other book. Eventually, though, the 3 C's finally broke through - [c]ontext, [c]ontext and [c]ontext.

Might I suggest you take up Ian's offer to point out your factual and logical errors? Post #10 really does make you look like you know of some useful concepts for evaluating proposals but don't truly understand them, certainly not well enough to be able to apply them.

I'd also suggest that it's somewhat ironic that you question whether "
Ian has relied on the intended audience’s inferior understanding of Greek to facilitate concurrence to the claim". Since the intended audience included Revivalist pastors and the others who are quite forthcoming with claims of understanding "what the Greek says", doesn't that question seem a wee bit silly?

Here's hoping you're open enough to comprehend what the Spirit is *really* saying through scripture about salvation.

The evidence for Mann-made global warming is unequivocal.
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:10/06/2009 12:38 PMCopy HTML

Hi Ian: Just responding to your post. I will cite your essay in RED font and your posts in BLUE font for the sake of clarity.

 

You said… My scholarship is sound. My conclusions are also sound. However, your position on the subject simply cannot be supported or sustained by the Greek text, and is thoroughly tendentious.”  

 

Perhaps; though it could also be said that you were being a little tendentious when you said on page 7 of your essay…”The result is such that there remain no grounds provided within the text itself, for the widespread belief that the entire “one hundred and twenty” were in the habit of meeting in the “upper room”. Such may have been so, unlikely though it is, but there is no emphatic statement that such was so”

 

Such a statement in a court of law would be met with a prompt “Objection!” Calling for Speculation! This kind of spin on this text can be seen to put undue sway in the mind of the reader so as to persuade them (with information that is not in evidence) that 120 could not possibly be the number of whom received the holy Spirit in Acts 2:4 when that may have been the case. (I don’t want to pre-empt the analysis of your work by going too far into it now).

 

With respect to your statementMy scholarship is sound. My conclusions are also sound.

I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of your scholarship, I’m sure it’s fine. Its just that you appear in your writing to have a real chip on your shoulder with this Revival group, (not a criticism just an observation upon reading your many posts) even the most sincere, ardent academic can be swayed in their judgment when emotion plays too much a role.

 

You also said “Clearly you're unaware of the numerous factual and logical errors that you've made in your latest response, and I'd be more happy to point them out to you; but for the time being I'd like to see you explain how it can be that my grammatical analyses of the relevant Greek passages can be both "right" and "wrong" at the same time.

 

No Ian; you misunderstand. I am simply saying that while you may be grammatically correct, the conclusions you draw may just as well be floored. That’s all! That is why I gave the example of the Jewish scholars who grammatically are outstanding, however their conclusions are (as you would say) “tendentious”

 

Again I don’t want to pre-empt the assessment by breaking down your essay prematurely however one example stands out of you selectively referencing material to form a presupposition. This is evident when on pages 9-10 of your essay where you cite Philo Judaeus.

 

You stated…Philo Judaeus, a devout Jewish Elder living at Alexandria in North Africa, recounted the Jewish tradition that surrounded the giving of the Law in his treatise, De Decalogo (“On the Ten Commandments”). Written sometime around 25 AD, in it he had this to say:

 

This, then, might be sufficient discussion on these subjects; but it is necessary now to connect these previous things with that I am about to say, namely, that it was the Father of the universe who delivered these ten maxims, or oracles, or laws and enactments ... to the whole assembled nation of men and women all together. Did he do so, by uttering himself with some kind of voice? Of course not! Do not let such a thought to even enter your mind; for God is not like a man, he has no need of a mouth, and a tongue, and a windpipe, but it seems to me he did, at that time, perform a striking and evidently holy miracle, by commanding an invisible sound to be formed in the air, one more marvelous than all the musical instruments that ever existed ... but it was a rational voice both clear and distinct, which fashioned the air and stretched it out and changed it into a sort of flaming fire, and what sounded forth was so articulate a voice as breath when passing through a trumpet, that even those who were at a great distance appeared to hear it equally as well as those who were much nearer it ... but the power of God, breathing forth vigorously, aroused and caused a completely new kind of miraculous voice, and spreading its sound in every direction, made the end of it even more striking than the beginning

Whilst the above account is not contained within the biblical record, and as such is not binding upon the believer as is Scripture, it is noteworthy that we are immediately confronted with several striking parallels in the pre-Christian Jewish tradition to what we find recorded canonically in the second chapter of Acts!

 

I realize that Jewish tradition is highly regarded and probably none more than De Decalogo, but some 15 centuries had passed and the Jews had been all but destroyed several times.

Again such a statement in a court of law would be met with a prompt “Objection!” hearsay!

 

Even if we were to accept that the account is entirely accurate. You have selected this portion of the De Decalogo to draw a conclusion that is highly speculative.

 

To play “Devil’s Advocate” (for lack of a better word) I could draw a similar conclusion to say that 120 did indeed constitute those upon whom the Spirit filled in Acts 2:4.

 

Consider the following:

 

In 2nd Chronicles chapters 5 through chapter 7 we read of the Dedication of the Temple. In the New Testament the Bible says we are the Temple….1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

 

Seeing that the events of Acts 2 are similarly the New Testament equivalent of the Dedication of the New Testament Temple. We read further through the story and we see some striking parallels.

 

Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Compare: 2Ch 5:13 were as one, to make one sound

 

Note: 2Chronicles 5:12…”with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.”

 

Acts 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

Compare: 2Ch 5:13  then the house was filled with a cloud”

 

Acts 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

Compare: 2Ch 7:1  the fire came down from heaven

 

Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Compare: 2Ch 7:6  and the priests sounded trumpets before them

 

Again Note: 2Chronicles 5:12…”with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.”

 

In summary you seem to spend a lot of time to prove that only the twelve were filled in verse 4 of Acts and though you present a reasonable argument it falls well short of conclusively proving the matter.

 

Further in the light of the length to which God went to ensure that; NOT 50, NOT 12, NOT 70 but 120 Priests sounded Silver Trumpets as well as a large amount of theological disagreement over  “who-was-talking-about-whom-and-when” in Acts 1 and 2. I choose to ere on the side of safety. We both know that Paul refers; (though negatively) to unknown tongues being like a Trumpet giving an uncertain sound. In Corinthians 14 (Not to read too much into that) but we must try to be balanced in our criticism of these Revivalists. Obviously they seem to have some very serious administrative issues in some regions of the country. But this dysfunction does not automatically equal error with respect to this aspect of their doctrine.

 

Having said all that I will continue to study your essay (hopefully it will improve at the back end.

 

Blessings

 

Demetrius

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:10/06/2009 10:32 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Talmid.

Might I suggest you take up Ian's offer to point out your factual and logical errors? Post #10 really does make you look like you know of some useful concepts for evaluating proposals but don't truly understand them, certainly not well enough to be able to apply them.

Indeed! To begin with, Demetrius obviously doesn't understand that the Greek Orthodox Church is the Eastern Orthodox Church, and not an altogether different communion! And the differences between Orthodox and non-Orthodox practices turn on liturgical points of difference, not grammatical differences derived from the Greek text! Similarly, his nonsense about "Jewish scholars" using a supposedly superior understanding of Hebrew to refute Christian claims with respect to the Messiah are similarly daft. Jewish disavowal of Jesus as the Christ is based on theological grounds, and not linguistic/textual ones!

In short, Demetrius has tipped his hand: he hasn't the first idea about the subject matter under discussion.

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:10/06/2009 11:27 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Demetrius.

You said… “My scholarship is sound. My conclusions are also sound. However, your position on the subject simply cannot be supported or sustained by the Greek text, and is thoroughly tendentious.” 

I did indeed!

Perhaps; though it could also be said that you were being a little tendentious when you said on page 7 of your essay…”The result is such that there remain no grounds provided within the text itself, for the widespread belief that the entire “one hundred and twenty” were in the habit of meeting in the “upper room”. Such may have been so, unlikely though it is, but there is no emphatic statement that such was so”

Hardly. What I pointed out was that the text itself was completely silent on the matter: it simply doesn't state that the 120 were in the habit of meeting in the upper room. Consequently, I admitted to the possibility (at best, an argument from silence), but then set about explaining why it would be very unlikely. Had I been tendentious, as you've claimed, then I would have simply dismissed the possibility altogether without any amplifying commentary.

Such a statement in a court of law would be met with a prompt “Objection!” Calling for Speculation! This kind of spin on this text can be seen to put undue sway in the mind of the reader so as to persuade them (with information that is not in evidence) that 120 could not possibly be the number of whom received the holy Spirit in Acts 2:4 when that may have been the case. (I don’t want to pre-empt the analysis of your work by going too far into it now).

What absolute rubbish; I've placed no "spin" on the text at all, to the contrary, I've enunciated what's actually there. You should go back and re-read what you've written, and think about how you came to such a daft conclusion (reflect on the fact that the subject under discussion was the possibility of the 120 staying in the upper room, and not the supposed possibility of the 120 manifesting the miracle of known languages. You have made a completely unjustified and unwarranted leap from the one to the other, and then without so much as a blink in between). To be brutally honest, I also wonder whether you know less about the practice of Court Law then you clearly do about theology and Greek exegesis!

I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of your scholarship, I’m sure it’s fine. Its just that you appear in your writing to have a real chip on your shoulder with this Revival group, (not a criticism just an observation upon reading your many posts) even the most sincere, ardent academic can be swayed in their judgment when emotion plays too much a role.

Really? You claim to have no reason to doubt the accuracy of my scholarship, which is true enough, as there are no reasons for doing so; yet in spite of this candid admission you've seen fit to call it into question!? How intriguing. But to hone in on the main point: could you please explain for me how my paper could possibly be construed as being "emotional", given that it's a standard academic essay; one that's based solely on a close evaluation of the evidence, with appended explanations of the significance of the evidence? Emotional, indeed! Furthermore, why is it that you would seek to distance yourself from  "...this Revival group"? Are you now claiming not to being a Revivalist, yourself? How is that?

As for the "chip" on my shoulder, well, I suppose I'm altogether lacking in the capacity to appreciate heresy touted as if it were "gospel truth", and Scripture twisting as if it were biblical interpretation. Whilst you might have an appetite for such things, I simply can't, in all honesty, claim the same.

You also said “Clearly you're unaware of the numerous factual and logical errors that you've made in your latest response, and I'd be more happy to point them out to you; but for the time being I'd like to see you explain how it can be that my grammatical analyses of the relevant Greek passages can be both "right" and "wrong" at the same time.

No Ian; you misunderstand. I am simply saying that while you may be grammatically correct, the conclusions you draw may just as well be floored. That’s all! That is why I gave the example of the Jewish scholars who grammatically are outstanding, however their conclusions are (as you would say) “tendentious”.

I seriously doubt that I misunderstood you. First, if I'm "grammatically" correct, then I'm correct. The Bible doesn't consist of "codes" hidden under the words of the text, such that only the "special" people can understand them. God recorded his word to humans in human languages. Second, the word that you were after was "flawed". "Floored" is what I'm doing to your argument right now. Third, I'd suggest that you look up the meaning of the word "tendentious" in a dictionary, as I don't think you've grasped its significance given the way that you've attempted to use it (twice now). Finally, as for your supposed parallel with the "Jewish scholars", perhaps you should read my response to Talmid, to see how I addressed that particular piece of nonsense.

Again I don’t want to pre-empt the assessment by breaking down your essay prematurely however one example stands out of you selectively referencing material to form a presupposition. This is evident when on pages 9-10 of your essay where you cite Philo Judaeus.

You stated…Philo Judaeus, a devout Jewish Elder living at Alexandria in North Africa, recounted the Jewish tradition that surrounded the giving of the Law in his treatise, De Decalogo (“On the Ten Commandments”). Written sometime around 25 AD, in it he had this to say:  This, then, might be sufficient discussion on these subjects; but it is necessary now to connect these previous things with that I am about to say, namely, that it was the Father of the universe who delivered these ten maxims, or oracles, or laws and enactments ... to the whole assembled nation of men and women all together. Did he do so, by uttering himself with some kind of voice? Of course not! Do not let such a thought to even enter your mind; for God is not like a man, he has no need of a mouth, and a tongue, and a windpipe, but it seems to me he did, at that time, perform a striking and evidently holy miracle, by commanding an invisible sound to be formed in the air, one more marvelous than all the musical instruments that ever existed ... but it was a rational voice both clear and distinct, which fashioned the air and stretched it out and changed it into a sort of flaming fire, and what sounded forth was so articulate a voice as breath when passing through a trumpet, that even those who were at a great distance appeared to hear it equally as well as those who were much nearer it ... but the power of God, breathing forth vigorously, aroused and caused a completely new kind of miraculous voice, and spreading its sound in every direction, made the end of it even more striking than the beginning...Whilst the above account is not contained within the biblical record, and as such is not binding upon the believer as is Scripture, it is noteworthy that we are immediately confronted with several striking parallels in the pre-Christian Jewish tradition to what we find recorded canonically in the second chapter of Acts!

I realize that Jewish tradition is highly regarded and probably none more than De Decalogo, but some 15 centuries had passed and the Jews had been all but destroyed several times. Again such a statement in a court of law would be met with a prompt “Objection!” hearsay! Even if we were to accept that the account is entirely accurate. You have selected this portion of the De Decalogo to draw a conclusion that is highly speculative.

*Sigh*. You've yet again completely missed the point. But why did you infer that Philo's De Decalogo stands among the most "highly regarded" pieces of Jewish tradition? Your assessment is based on what, exactly?

To play “Devil’s Advocate” (for lack of a better word) I could draw a similar conclusion to say that 120 did indeed constitute those upon whom the Spirit filled in Acts 2:4. Consider the following: In 2nd Chronicles chapters 5 through chapter 7 we read of the Dedication of the Temple. In the New Testament the Bible says we are the Temple….1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? Seeing that the events of Acts 2 are similarly the New Testament equivalent of the Dedication of the New Testament Temple. We read further through the story and we see some striking parallels. Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Compare: 2Ch 5:13 “were as one, to make one sound”. Note: 2Chronicles 5:12…”with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.” Acts 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Compare: 2Ch 5:13  “then the house was filled with a cloud” Acts 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Compare: 2Ch 7:1  “the fire came down from heaven”. Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Compare: 2Ch 7:6  “and the priests sounded trumpets before them”. Again Note: 2Chronicles 5:12…”with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.”

To begin with, I'm well aware of the information that you've presented. But you've failed, again, to note the particulars. First, in 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul used a plural form that has been translated "you". He is pointing out a corporate fact, rather than an individual one. The "Revivalist" experience, as distinct from the "Pentecostal" event, is individual rather than corporate. In other words, the significance is reversed. Second, did you happen to notice that Luke nowhere, and at no point, mentions, quotes from or alludes to the account from 2 Chronicles in his Acts? Clearly he knew of it. Yet he specifically mentioned events that accorded exactly with Jewish tradition regarding what took place at the first Pentecost, and which we find conveniently recorded in Philo. Why is that, do you think? Third, the role played by the priests of 2 Chronicles fame is different in form, function and purpose to what occurred at Pentecost, and certainly with respect to the role played by the 120-odd Christian believers. In the Chronicler's account the priests were active participants. In the Acts account, all involved on that day were passive recipients. In other words, where's the "match"? What's the link other than the number "120"? Fourth, Pentecost was the feast that represented the confirmation of the Covenant through the giving of the Law (both at Sinai under Moses, and in AD 30 under Jesus). How does this feature "match", or "link" with the dedication of the Temple in Chronicles?

In summary you seem to spend a lot of time to prove that only the twelve were filled in verse 4 of Acts and though you present a reasonable argument it falls well short of conclusively proving the matter.

"Falls well short", huh? Apparently not to those who teach Greek at the highest levels! I'm happy to wait until you introduce your "expert" before I trot out the Greek scholars of international repute whom I consulted when preparing my paper. But the primary point of the matter is this: I carefully and methodically built my case with respect to who it was that manifested the miraculous sign of known languages at Pentecost, and then strictly from what the passage states in the Greek. You, however, have altogether avoided engaging with this fact at each and every turn. The best that you can do is a particularly weak attempt at invoking some sort of "mystical" link between the Christian Pentecost, and the dedication of Solomon's Temple!

Further in the light of the length to which God went to ensure that; NOT 50, NOT 12, NOT 70 but 120 Priests sounded Silver Trumpets as well as a large amount of theological disagreement over  “who-was-talking-about-whom-and-when” in Acts 1 and 2. I choose to ere on the side of safety. We both know that Paul refers; (though negatively) to unknown tongues being like a Trumpet giving an uncertain sound. In Corinthians 14 (Not to read too much into that) but we must try to be balanced in our criticism of these Revivalists. Obviously they seem to have some very serious administrative issues in some regions of the country. But this dysfunction does not automatically equal error with respect to this aspect of their doctrine.

And here we see you doing more of the same! The significance of there being 120 Christians at Pentecost had to do with the requirements under Jewish law for the establishment of a new community. Such required the appointment of a local Sanhedrin--which needed to number at least 12 members--whilst there was a requirement for a minimum of 120 "ordinary" members inclusive of women in the community itself. The 120 priests at the dedication of the Temple; however, had to do with the numerical requirement for the respective courses of officiating Levites under Jewish law. In other words, we are not discussing the same thing!

Demetrius, let me be plain. You are very clearly lacking in the necessary pieces of knowledge relating to Jewish customs and traditions that informs this entire subject. Whilst you've attempted to present yourself as being somewhat learned and dispassionate in this area, the veneer itself is wafer thin. You are neither informed nor objective. Given what you've written to date, you're clearly ignorant of the crucial facts, and you're very clearly a Revivalist to boot.

Having said all that I will continue to study your essay (hopefully it will improve at the back end.)

I'm sure it does.

Blessings,

Ian

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:11/06/2009 6:18 AMCopy HTML

Good Afternoon Ian.


Perhaps; though it could also be said that you were being a little tendentious when you said on page 7 of your essay…”The result is such that there remain no grounds provided within the text itself, for the widespread belief that the entire “one hundred and twenty” were in the habit of meeting in the “upper room”. Such may have been so, unlikely though it is, but there is no emphatic statement that such was so”



Hardly. What I pointed out was that the text itself was completely silent on the matter: it simply doesn't state that the 120 were in the habit of meeting in the upper room. Consequently, I admitted to the possibility (at best, an argument from silence), but then set about explaining why it would be very unlikely. Had I been tendentious, as you've claimed, then I would have simply dismissed the possibility
altogether without any amplifying commentary.

 

This is what I am getting at Ian. If in your own words “the text itself was completely silent on the matter” why include this if not to sway the reader in favour of your point of view.

Such a statement in a court of law would be met with a prompt “Objection!” Calling for Speculation! This kind of spin on this text can be seen to put undue sway in the mind of the reader so as to persuade them (with information that is not in evidence) that 120 could not possibly be the number of whom received the holy Spirit in Acts 2:4 when that may have been the case. (I don’t want to pre-empt the analysis of your work by going too far into it now).

What absolute rubbish; I've placed no "spin" on the text at all, to the contrary, I've enunciated what's actually there. You should go back and re-read what you've written, and think about how you came to such a daft conclusion (reflect on the fact that the subject under discussion was the possibility of the 120 staying in the upper room, and not the supposed possibility of the 120 manifesting the miracle of known languages. You have made a completely unjustified and unwarranted leap from the one to the other, and then without so much as a blink in between). To be brutally honest, I also wonder whether you know less about the practice of Court Law then you clearly do about theology and Greek exegesis!

 

I do not really understand why you are making unnecessary comments of the kind I have put in Bold above. It is as if you simply cannot cope with anybody not totally agreeing with you. To resort to mud slinging is not a good look.

 

BTW: Of course there is spin…Please! (Sigh)


I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of your scholarship, I’m sure it’s fine. Its just that you appear in your writing to have a real chip on your shoulder with this Revival group, (not a criticism just an observation upon reading your many posts) even the most sincere, ardent academic can be swayed in their judgment when emotion plays too much a role.

Really? You claim to have no reason to doubt the accuracy of my scholarship, which is true enough, as there are no reasons for doing so; yet in spite of this candid admission you've seen fit to call it into question!? How intriguing. But to hone in on the main point: could you please explain for me how my paper could possibly be construed as being "emotional", given that it's a standard academic essay; one that's based solely on a close evaluation of the evidence, with appended explanations of the significance of the evidence? Emotional, indeed! Furthermore, why is it that you would seek to distance yourself from  "...this Revival group"? Are you now claiming not to being a Revivalist, yourself? How is that?

 

No I am not “call it into question” your scholarship. I simply saying that your dislike for Revivalist MAY BE skewing your conclusions. Now before you respond with more mud slinging, Note I said MAY BE.

Further I notice that at every chance you reinforce your superiority (as highlighted above)

As for the "chip" on my shoulder, well, I suppose I'm altogether lacking in the capacity to appreciate heresy touted as if it were "gospel truth", and Scripture twisting as if it were biblical interpretation.
(1)  Whilst you might have an appetite for such things, (2) I simply can't, in all honesty, claim the same.

 

Again (as highlighted above) you claim the higher ground (1) followed by some more good old fashioned mud slinging (2) above.



You also said “Clearly you're unaware of the numerous factual and logical errors that you've made in your latest response, and I'd be more happy to point them out to you; but for the time being I'd like to see you explain how it can be that my grammatical analyses of the relevant Greek passages can be both "right" and "wrong" at the same time.

No Ian; you misunderstand. I am simply saying that while you may be grammatically correct, the conclusions you draw may just as well be floored. That’s all! That is why I gave the example of the Jewish scholars who grammatically are outstanding, however their conclusions are (as you would say) “tendentious”.



I seriously doubt that I misunderstood you. First, if I'm "grammatically" correct, then I'm correct.
(1) The Bible doesn't consist of "codes" hidden under the words of the text, such that only the "special" people can understand them. God recorded his word to humans in human languages. Second, the word that you were after was "flawed". "Floored" is what I'm doing to your argument right now. (1)  Third, I'd suggest that you look up the meaning of the word "tendentious" in a dictionary, as I don't think you've grasped its significance given the way that you've attempted to use it (twice now). Finally, as for your supposed parallel with the "Jewish scholars", perhaps you should read my response to Talmid, to see how I addressed that particular piece of nonsense. (2)



Again (as highlighted above) you claim the higher ground (1) followed by some more good old fashioned mud slinging (2) above.


Again I don’t want to pre-empt the assessment by breaking down your essay prematurely however one example stands out of you selectively referencing material to form a presupposition. This is evident when on pages 9-10 of your essay where you cite Philo Judaeus.

You stated…Philo Judaeus, a devout Jewish Elder living at Alexandria in North Africa, recounted the Jewish tradition that surrounded the giving of the Law in his treatise, De Decalogo (“On the Ten Commandments”). Written sometime around 25 AD, in it he had this to say:  This, then, might be sufficient discussion on these subjects; but it is necessary now to connect these previous things with that I am about to say, namely, that it was the Father of the universe who delivered these ten maxims, or oracles, or laws and enactments ... to the whole assembled nation of men and women all together. Did he do so, by uttering himself with some kind of voice? Of course not! Do not let such a thought to even enter your mind; for God is not like a man, he has no need of a mouth, and a tongue, and a windpipe, but it seems to me he did, at that time, perform a striking and evidently holy miracle, by commanding an invisible sound to be formed in the air, one more marvelous than all the musical instruments that ever existed ... but it was a rational voice both clear and distinct, which fashioned the air and stretched it out and changed it into a sort of flaming fire, and what sounded forth was so articulate a voice as breath when passing through a trumpet, that even those who were at a great distance appeared to hear it equally as well as those who were much nearer it ... but the power of God, breathing forth vigorously, aroused and caused a completely new kind of miraculous voice, and spreading its sound in every direction, made the end of it even more striking than the beginning...Whilst the above account is not contained within the biblical record, and as such is not binding upon the believer as is Scripture, it is noteworthy that we are immediately confronted with several striking parallels in the pre-Christian Jewish tradition to what we find recorded canonically in the second chapter of Acts!



I realize that Jewish tradition is highly regarded and probably none more than De Decalogo, but some 15 centuries had passed and the Jews had been all but destroyed several times. Again such a statement in a court of law would be met with a prompt “Objection!” hearsay! Even if we were to accept that the account is entirely accurate. You have selected this portion of the De Decalogo to draw a conclusion that is highly speculative.


*Sigh*. You've yet again completely missed the point. But why did you infer that Philo's De Decalogo stands among the most "highly regarded" pieces of Jewish tradition? Your assessment is based on what, exactly?

 

Your only comment on what I said was “You've yet again completely missed the point.”

OK!

To play “Devil’s Advocate” (for lack of a better word) I could draw a similar conclusion to say that 120 did indeed constitute those upon whom the Spirit filled in Acts 2:4. Consider the following: In 2nd Chronicles chapters 5 through chapter 7 we read of the Dedication of the Temple. In the New Testament the Bible says we are the Temple….1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? Seeing that the events of Acts 2 are similarly the New Testament equivalent of the Dedication of the New Testament Temple. We read further through the story and we see some striking parallels. Acts 2:1  And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Compare: 2Ch 5:13 “were as one, to make one sound”. Note: 2Chronicles 5:12…”with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.” Acts 2:2  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. Compare: 2Ch 5:13  “then the house was filled with a cloud” Acts 2:3  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Compare: 2Ch 7:1  “the fire came down from heaven”. Acts 2:4  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Compare: 2Ch 7:6  “and the priests sounded trumpets before them”. Again Note: 2Chronicles 5:12…”with them a hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets.”



To begin with, I'm well aware of the information that you've presented. But you've failed, again, to note the particulars. First, in 1 Corinthians 3:16 Paul used a plural form that has been translated "you". He is pointing out a corporate fact, rather than an individual one. The "Revivalist" experience, as distinct from the "Pentecostal" event, is individual rather than corporate. In other words, the significance is reversed. Second, did you happen to notice that Luke nowhere, and at no point, mentions, quotes from or alludes to the account from 2 Chronicles in his Acts? Clearly he knew of it. Yet he specifically mentioned events that accorded exactly with Jewish tradition regarding what took place at the first Pentecost, and which we find conveniently recorded in Philo. Why is that, do you think? Third, the role played by the priests of 2 Chronicles fame is different in form, function and purpose to what occurred at Pentecost, and certainly with respect to the role played by the 120-odd Christian believers. In the Chronicler's account the priests were active participants. In the Acts account, all involved on that day were passive recipients. In other words, where's the "match"? What's the link other than the number "120"? Fourth, Pentecost was the feast that represented the confirmation of the Covenant through the giving of the Law (both at Sinai under Moses, and in AD 30 under Jesus). How does this feature "match", or "link" with the dedication of the Temple in Chronicles?



Perhaps then I should have quoted 1Corinthians 6:19 What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

 

Further, Luke doesn’t mention the dedication of the Temple; well that sure proves a lot???

 

In the dedication they were “active participants” and at Pentecost “passive recipients” again that sure proves a lot???

 

In summary you seem to spend a lot of time to prove that only the twelve were filled in verse 4 of Acts and though you present a reasonable argument it falls well short of conclusively proving the matter.



"Falls well short", huh? Apparently not to those who teach Greek at the highest levels! I'm happy to wait until you introduce your "expert" before I trot out the Greek scholars of international repute whom I consulted when preparing my paper.
(1) But the primary point of the matter is this: I carefully and methodically built my case with respect to who it was that manifested the miraculous sign of known languages at Pentecost, and then strictly from what the passage states in the Greek. You, however, have altogether avoided engaging with this fact at each and every turn. The best that you can do is a particularly weak attempt at invoking some sort of "mystical" link between the Christian Pentecost, and the dedication of Solomon's Temple! (2)

 

Again (as highlighted above) you claim the higher ground (1) followed by some more good old fashioned mud slinging (2) above. I find if funny how you ridicule my drawing attention to the dedication and Pentecost by the comment “The best that you can do is a particularly weak attempt at invoking some sort of "mystical" link between the Christian Pentecost, and the dedication of Solomon's Temple!” When I did so only to question why you would do the same with Philo Judaeus and his in his treatise, De Decalogo. Well at least mine was from the Bible LOL.



Further in the light of the length to which God went to ensure that; NOT 50, NOT 12, NOT 70 but 120 Priests sounded Silver Trumpets as well as a large amount of theological disagreement over  “who-was-talking-about-whom-and-when” in Acts 1 and 2. I choose to ere on the side of safety. We both know that Paul refers; (though negatively) to unknown tongues being like a Trumpet giving an uncertain sound. In Corinthians 14 (Not to read too much into that) but we must try to be balanced in our criticism of these Revivalists. Obviously they seem to have some very serious administrative issues in some regions of the country. But this dysfunction does not automatically equal error with respect to this aspect of their doctrine.

And here we see you doing more of the same! The significance of there being 120 Christians at Pentecost had to do with the requirements under Jewish law for the establishment of a new community. Such required the appointment of a local Sanhedrin--which needed to number at least 12 members--whilst there was a requirement for a minimum of 120 "ordinary" members inclusive of women in the community itself. The 120 priests at the dedication of the Temple; however, had to do with the numerical requirement for the respective courses of officiating Levites under Jewish law. In other words, we are not discussing the same thing!

 

You see this is the thing; you say “the significance of there being 120 Christians at Pentecost had to do with the requirements under Jewish law for the establishment of a new community.” And this is true but what you do is draw the conclusion that because this is true. Any other conclusions cannot be drawn from the significance of there being 120. That is irrational and myopic.

Then if anyone dares to disagree with you, you reach for the verbal mud…WHY??

 

Are you incapable of simple, respectful dialogue? This is an important thing for you to consider Ian.


Demetrius, let me be plain. You are very clearly lacking in the necessary pieces of knowledge relating to Jewish customs and traditions that informs this entire subject.
(2) Whilst you've attempted to present yourself as being somewhat learned and dispassionate in this area, the veneer itself is wafer thin. You are neither informed nor objective. Given what you've written to date, you're clearly ignorant of the crucial facts (2), and you're very clearly a Revivalist to boot.

 

Surprise surprise! Rather than discuss the subject matter in a respectful way. More of the same verbiage.  Is it really so important to you to appear soooo superior to everyone else who dares to read the Bible in a different way to you?

 

If the only people you can speak to normally are those who either agree with you fully or pay you some kind of homage then perhaps you are not so far removed from these Revivalists that you so condemn.



Having said all that I will continue to study your essay (hopefully it will improve at the back end.)

I'm sure it does.

 

We’ll see!

 

Note:

(1)   Indicates where you claim superiority – essentially bowing your own trumpet

(2)   Indicates where you disparage my comments – belittling my opinions

 

PS: When I say “tendentious” I mean having or showing a definite tendency, bias, or purpose against Revivalists

Blessings,

Demetrius

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:11/06/2009 6:45 AMCopy HTML

Demetrius,

To begin with, you've not proven your case. Far from it, what you've demonstrated to date is a thoroughly inadequate grasp of the crucial facts and points: historical, cultural, theological and linguistic. And, contrary to your previous assertions, my pointing out such inadequacies and blatant errors on your part isn't simply "mud-slinging". What it is, however, is the identifying of the manifest weaknesses in your arguments, and a treating of them with the contempt that they warrant. Both you and I know that you haven't the skills or the knowledge necessary to be making the assertions that you have, never mind doing something so "shocking" as backing them up with hard evidence.

So instead of stating that I'm simply seeking the "high-ground" (which I actually possess in this discussion, by the way), and labeling me a "name-caller"/"mud-slinger", why don't you reverse-track and actually attempt to engage with and address the various points of deficiency in your presentations to date, and which I've helpfully highlighted for your benefit in my responses to date?

Try demonstrating to that you do, in fact, have a clue. Until you do so, the average reader here will no doubt recognise your rhetoric for what it is: hollow rhetoric. And from my own perspective, if you wish for me to treat you with respect, then demonstrate that you're actually deserving of the same. Until then to me you're simply another Revivalist heretic, one intent on "blowing his own trumpet", but then without either the benefit of musical skill or a musical "ear". You should be happy that I didn't follow the apostle Paul's lead, and condemn you to hell
smiley9

So I'll close this surrejoinder with a challenge: "put up or shut up". In other words, if you think I'm wrong in what I've stated in my Acts paper, then stop "shadow-boxing" around the periphery; step up and attempt to PROVE me wrong.

Good luck.

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:11/06/2009 9:24 AMCopy HTML

Just to re-cap.

In post #6: I said “I think that the Revival Churches have many many things wrong, but their doctrine about tongues is not one of them.
That's my opinion.

I was politely asked by Sea Urchin and Brolga to explain my belief that the tongues doctrine of the Revivalists was correct (in my opinion)

I decided to read the work of Ian Thomasson entitled Revivalist dogma and the book of Acts An exegetical and theological evaluation. As I am not a Greek or Hebrew Scholar I sent this document to a couple of friends for evaluation and said as much in Post # 10.

In Post # 10 I did express some concerns I had with respect to the apparent disparity of having someone who has a Masters degree in Theology expressing opinions that I was not qualified to challenge. Because I do not know the guy, this troubled me.

The reason is that he could easily say what he likes and no one could correct him. Are we to simply believe everything he says because he says so? Again I expressed this in post # 10 by citing the Jewish scholars.

The thing is that Ian makes many statements the HE says are correct (maybe they are) but I am not qualified to verify whether he is truthful or not. I am left just thinking of the words of Jesus “Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Mat 7:16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Mat 7:17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Mat 7:18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Mat 7:19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Mat 7:20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Ian has from Post # 11 repeatedly and aggressively attacked my queries, statements and assertions as uneducated, stupid and altogether erroneous, baseless assumption. While at the same time assuring us that he is never wrong. In a nutshell he has ostensibly YELLED ME DOWN for daring not to agree.

I do not know Ian’s history with these Revivalists but it must have been a terrible one. The latent hostility he feels is palpable.

Ian, I really do feel for you my friend. (I will pray for you)

For now I will content myself to simply concede that you are far Toooo smart for me. I am a lowly, humble mortal. How dare I even have the thought that YOU may be mistaken.

I will return when I have feedback from abroad.

God Bless

Demetrius

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:11/06/2009 10:56 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Demetrius.

Please, allow me to attempt a "re-cap" of my own.

You showed up here in your latest alias, stating that one must be able to speak in "tongues" in order to demonstrate that one is "saved" (in other words, you attempted to promote the standard Revivalist heresy). Statements of this sort, of course, pique my interest. You were so bold as to suggest that my Acts paper was (a) potentially flawed in it's conclusions, in spite of the fact that, by your admission, (b) my scholarship was likely sound! In other words, you were completely unable to refute or contradict a single point that I proved in my essay, but you wanted to sow a little doubt it it anyway. Building on a chain of thoroughly ignorant comments, you then sought to introduce a few particularly stupid statements as if they somehow supported your novel and naive conclusions/contentions (e.g. such as your Greek Orthodox and Jewish angles). And to cap matters off, you finally resorted to "spiritualising" from 2 Chronicles in an effort to refute my conclusions regarding the Jewish tradition recounted by Philo Judaeus. Put simply, at no point did you ever actually engage with the central thesis of my paper, which is that the grammar and syntax of the Greek texts of Acts chapters 1, 2, 8 and 10 completely refutes the Revivalist position on the significance of "unknown tongues"!

Now you've gone all "sooky" because I refuse to treat you with the respect that you believe you, your "scholarship" and your "theology", somehow deserves! To me, friend, you are naught but a heretic. My approach to such is flexible enough to cater for well-meaning but ignorant Revivalists in the hopes of educating them and guiding them towards orthodoxy. However, I reserve scorn for those die-hard heretics who stubbornly refuse to consider that they might be wrong, and so who refuse point-blank to submit to the teaching and the authority of Scripture over experience. Guess which group I believe you fall into? 

You should understand by now that I intentionally wrote the Acts paper in such a way that my chain-of-evidence and conclusions could be verified by anyone who had interest enough to do so; something that I've encouraged from the outset. And as Talmid has pointed out to you as well, a close and careful reading of the respective chapters from Acts in English translation also supports my central thesis. So by all means do appeal to your unnamed overseas "experts", and please quote for us freely of their opinions. However, do list their names and qualifications as well, for I shall be verifying your sources as any competent scholar would. Once you've done so, I shall, of course respond  

In closing, I've challenged you to "put up or shut up". The choice between the two options, as always, remains yours.

Ian

email: didaktikon@gmail.com
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:11/06/2009 11:59 PMCopy HTML

Hi Demetrius

I must say I find your posts a tad disingenuous. Here's a sample of my reasoning.

1) When you stated your opinion, "blind Freddy" would have known you would get the responses you got.

2) You question the validity of Ian's work, without acknowledging that the vast majority of bible students and scholars who claim the title of Christian also say that the Revivalist take on tongues is wrong.

3) You question Ian's bias when the key issue is whether his conclusions are valid. To that end the only issues of relevance are (a) whether the evidence presented leads to the conclusions presented (b) whether all the relevant evidence is presented

4) You question your ability to evaluate a paper which you chose to interact with (and which was framed for those who wanted to - or claimed to be able to - interact with the material at the level presented). Yet, there are other papers which deal with the question at a level which the "average" reader *can* evaluate.

5) You say that Ian's only comment re your De Decalogo rejoinder was that you missed the point, yet he also specifically asked the basis for your claim that the document was highly regarded.

6) You question the veracity of the De Decalogo tradition, yet the issue is that the tradition existed and what it would have "said" to the Jews present at the Christian pentecost. (I've progressed a little since my post above as RFOTE.)

7) You accuse Ian of mischeviously taking the high ground yet say to him eg "Having said all that I will continue to study your essay (hopefully it will improve at the back end.)".

8) You accuse Ian of mischeviously slinging mud yet you say to him eg "For now I will content myself to simply concede that you are far Toooo smart for me. I am a lowly, humble mortal. How dare I even have the thought that YOU may be mistaken.". 

9) You accuse Ian of being ignorant and myopic (another instance of your own "mud slinging") in his response to your thoughts that the 2 Chronicles events were relevant to Acts 2 yet choose to not ask Ian  (another instance of you taking the high ground) about the point he makes regarding the contrast between active participants and passive recipients when you miss it. FWIW missing the point is a sample of your own ignorance.

All that said, I still hope you (and other readers) will be open to what the Spirit is saying through the scriptures.

The evidence for Mann-made global warming is unequivocal.
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:14/06/2009 2:49 AMCopy HTML

 The revivalist understanding of tongues is purely an invention or an invented device designed to trap and ensnare the scriptually naive. And in such a way that it is a controlling device and being such, it bears no resemblance to the Gospel of Christ at all..
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:17/06/2009 11:36 AMCopy HTML

Hi Talmid

A good recommendation to Luke to read "How to Read the Bible....".

I finished it recently and then followed up with Fee & Stuarts "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" which is twice as thick (but then again, so am I, ha ha). 

I quote Fee & Stuart in the preface of the latter book (about the first book) "It was written to help people become better readers of scripture by taking into account the various kinds of literature that make up the Christian Bible. Through an understanding of how the various types 'work', how they differ from one another, and how the raise different kinds of hermeneutical questions, we hoped that one might learn to read the Bible in a more informed way."

And about their second book "The aim is still the same: to help people become better readers of scripture. Assuming the principles of the first book, here we try to help you read - and understand - each of the biblical books on its own but especially to help you see how each one fits with the others to form the great narrative of Scripture".

These books are not written in a 'dry' scholarly way but are extremely interesting and informative and a good companion to scripture.  Even revivalists should be able to manage them and learn from them - although they are strictly forbidden to read anything except their KJV, even books about 'how to read the Bible'!

Let's hope and pray that some do!

Urch
Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths.
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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:15/07/2009 11:31 PMCopy HTML

Good morning, Lukie.

Well, I'm finding it a wee bit difficult to believe much of what you say, the truth be told. What, with your multiplied aliases, your repeated untruths and such (e.g. you formerly stated that you weren't a Revivalist, you later admitted that you were; your claims about studying Greek at Uni, etc), I feel that your credibility is just a little suspect.

By the way, why did you leave the RF? (an honest answer is preferred)

Anyhow, I did appreciate the comment about "getting on top of me" in a discussion! Pray tell, when have you ever done so? Anyone can review your previous efforts here (that is, if they can remember who you presented yourself as being, at the time). Finally, I reckon you forgot to mention your very latest forum (so here's the URL for anyone interested)  http://thehereticianthomasson.aimoo.com/

This fixation of yours is just a little weird, dontcha think?


Ian

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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:15/07/2009 11:59 PMCopy HTML

Reply to Didaktikon (15/07/2009 17:31:31)

Good morning, Lukie.

Well, I'm finding it a wee bit difficult to believe much of what you say, the truth be told. What, with your multiplied aliases, your repeated untruths and such (e.g. you formerly stated that you weren't a Revivalist, you later admitted that you were; your claims about studying Greek at Uni, etc), I feel that your credibility is just a little suspect.

By the way, why did you leave the RF? (an honest answer is preferred)

Anyhow, I did appreciate the comment about "getting on top of me" in a discussion! Pray tell, when have you ever done so? Anyone can review your previous efforts here (that is, if they can remember who you presented yourself as being, at the time). Finally, I reckon you forgot to mention your very latest forum (so here's the URL for anyone interested)  http://thehereticianthomasson.aimoo.com/

This fixation of yours is just a little weird, dontcha think?


Ian



I will answer your questions in point form so as to make it really simple. I will even type really slowly for your bennifit.

1) Multiple Aliases: This would not be necessary if I did not get banned every second post.

2) Former Revivalist: I have left the Revivalist Churches a couple of times, therefore at the time I was ex-Revivalist. (As I am Today!!!)

3) Greek Studies: I studies Greek at the University of New England. To help me I was Tudored by a Koine Greek Teacher/Baptist Minister. 1992/3

4) Why I left: That's my business and not helpful to anyone here. I will say this it was not over doctrine! 

5) Getting on top of you: What I said was "Anyone who begins to really get on top of Ian and co will be banned before being allowed to fully make their arguments thus creating an imbalance in the theatre of the debate".

6) The heretic Ian Thomasson Forum: That forum is not yet ready, give me a month or so and your arguments will be shown to be as baseless as they are. So we'll put that in the "Coming Soon" Basket.


Anyhow This will probably be deleted any way! BTW many of my previous post have been deleted already from this forum. Whats that about Uncoolman????

If Ian is going to steer people to refer to previous debates then this is again imbalanced due to tampering on the part of Uncoolman.

I think the honest onlookers can see through this deception.

Blessings

Luke 735


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Re:TONGUES through history

Date Posted:16/07/2009 12:10 AMCopy HTML

Lukie, boy.

I will answer your questions in point form so as to make it really simple. I will even type really slowly for your bennifit.

Cool. And I'll read your reply with a dictionary at my elbow (also for my benefit).

1) Multiple Aliases: This would not be necessary if I did not get banned every second post.

It also wouldn't be necessary if you were honest!

2) Former Revivalist: I have left the Revivalist Churches a couple of times, therefore at the time I was ex-Revivalist. (As I am Today!!!)

Well, at least you're consistent in being inconsistent!

3) Greek Studies: I studies Greek at the University of New England. To help me I was Tudored by a Koine Greek Teacher/Baptist Minister. 1992/3

Bollocks.

4) Why I left: That's my business and not helpful to anyone here. I will say this it was not over doctrine!

Actually, it's everyone's business! You want to set yourself up as a spiritual authority, then you need to be completely transparent and accountable with respect to your "in again, out again" approach to Revivalism.

5) Getting on top of you: What I said was "Anyone who begins to really get on top of Ian and co will be banned before being allowed to fully make their arguments thus creating an imbalance in the theatre of the debate".

If one can't make and establish a point in less than 30 posts of 6,000 words each, then it's highly unlikely that there is a point!

6) The heretic Ian Thomasson Forum: That forum is not yet ready, give me a month or so and your arguments will be shown to be as baseless as they are. So we'll put that in the "Coming Soon" Basket.

Wow! I can hardly wait!

Anyhow This will probably be deleted any way! BTW many of my previous post have been deleted already from this forum. Whats that about Uncoolman????

Probably it relates to: (1) a lack of honesty on your part. (2) Probity with respect to moderation on Unkoolman's part. (3) Your general and specific approach to matters. (4) And a lack of band-with to accommodate your over-lengthy diatribes, etc. But you can't really rail against Unkoolman given the way you "run" your multiplied forae, can you?

I think the honest onlookers can see through this deception.

I'm certain that they can.

Ian


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