14 May 2012

Jesus Is Consistent With the Old Testament God

Religious 77 Comments

In church today the pastor read a statement from a theologian that astounded me. (BTW I know at least one guy who goes to my church also reads this blog, so it should go without saying that I am criticizing this particular point without malice. I like the sermons, I just sometimes think they say things that aren’t quite right.)

We were discussing the parable of the shepherd finding a lost sheep and the pastor read from a Christian scholar who had said (I’m paraphrasing) something like, ‘To the Jew of Jesus’ day, maybe if a sinner came crawling back to God and begged forgiveness, God would have had mercy. But never in a million years would God have gone out looking for lost sinners to redeem.’ In other words, we are supposed to infer that this was an innovation of Christianity.

But that strikes me as crazy. The single most important theme of the Old Testament (it seems to me) is that God continually forgives His wretched and straying people. He approached Abraham, Moses, and the prophets. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single “important” Old Testament character who wasn’t courted by God; the only one that is arguable is Jacob (who wrestled to obtain a blessing).

The psalms are full of tributes to God’s abundant mercy and forgiveness.

And consider the book of Hosea: God literally orders a guy to marry a prostitute, and to go out and bring her back home after she leaves him to return to prostitution, as a metaphor for God’s relationship with Israel and its swooning over foreign idols.

I think there is sometimes a tendency for Christians to exaggerate the innovations of Jesus. For example–not that my pastors would ever have made such a basic mistake–I myself used to think that when Jesus summed up the Law and Prophets by saying love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself, that Jesus was a brilliant guy who took a bunch of specific rules from the Old Testament and unified them under two brand new principles. Sort of like the Einstein of morality.

The only problem with my neat little theory, is that both of those rules were in the Old Testament (here and here).

Don’t get me wrong, Jesus is “a nice guy” of whom I am not afraid, whereas the God who sent plagues on Pharaoh is scary and you don’t want to get on His bad side. But actually as Christians we believe they are the same PersonGod, and furthermore you can see the fire in Jesus’ ire for the religious hypocrites, not to mention what He does in Revelation. Going the other way, the God of the Old Testament is harsh at times but He’s not really like a spiteful god from Greek mythology, the way atheist critics sometimes claim. He is full of compassion, love, and mercy, and is constantly trying to get the nation of Israel to do what is in their best interest.

77 Responses to “Jesus Is Consistent With the Old Testament God”

  1. Gene Callahan says:

    “But actually as Christians we believe they are the same Person…”

    A subtle point, but three persons, one being.

    • Egoist says:

      Subtle? More like 2+2=5.

      3 = 1

      1 = 3


      • Richie says:

        My girlfriend and I: Two persons, one being. Heavenly.

      • Gene Callahan says:

        Egoist is also utterly dumbfounded when he is told, say, that “I know one person who has three jobs.”

        3 = 1
        1 = 3

        One person holding three jobs is like 2 + 2 = 5!

        • Tim Miller says:

          You told me to leave him alone 😉

          • Egoist says:

            Callahan wants to control you (as do I) but he’s trying to control you through (a weak attempt at) preventing you from realizing your true self. He wants to control a degraded you, as he sees himself as degraded and could not control a pure you.

            He believes you’re a naive idiot, Tim.

            • Tim Miller says:

              You sound like a Sith

              • Egoist says:

                The Sith are just as deluded as the Jedi.

                The Sith enslaved themselves to “the dark side”. Remember Vader? “You don’t know the power of the dark side, I MUST obey my master”?

                I reject all master seeking spirits.

                You say I sound like a Sith? So did Obi-Wan, when he said “Only a Sith deals in absolutes.”

                The Sith were vanquished because they enslaved themselves to a master spirit (the dark side, i.e. Satan). The individual who destroyed them (Anakin) transcended both good and evil. He acted good when it served his interests, and he acted evil when it served his interests.

              • Tim Miller says:


            • Gene Callahan says:

              So, by telling Tim, “Don’t feed the trolls,” I was treating him as a naive idiot?!

              • Egoist says:

                Yes, you were, because you clearly do not want HIM make that decision for himself.

                PS A troll is someone who says things they don’t believe in, for the purpose of flaming and eliciting an emotional response. Since I actually believe in the things I am saying, and don’t care whether you respond disinterestedly or emotionally, I cannot possibly be a troll.

          • Gene Callahan says:

            Yes, Tim, I can preach the “don’t feed the trolls” rule fine, but I have the hardest time practicing it!

        • Egoist says:

          Callahan is even more dumbfounded when he says three people are the same as three actions from the same person.

          • Gene Callahan says:

            But, Callahan said no such thing — he said “one person with three actions from that person.”

            • Egoist says:

              No, you said three persons. You didn’t say one person.

              You can’t even keep track of your own nonsense.

          • Gene Callahan says:

            Oh, wait, Egoist, I get it! I made an ANALOGY, and this is a complicated sort of advanced reasoning you are unfamiliar with. So when I made the point that “three persons in one being is LIKE three jobs in one person,” you, having already failed to distinguish “person” and “being,” now also failed to distinguish an analogy from an equation, so to you, the whole thing became, “Three persons in one person is the same as three jobs in one person.”

            What I said only equated 3 and 1 if for me “a person” equals “a being.” And it doesn’t.

            • Egoist says:

              Keep digging that hole Mr. 1=3.

              You originally said three persons. Three persons is not like one person. 3 is not like 1. 3 is like 3, and 1 is like 1.

              I will use you like a court jester. I know you’re a fool, but you make me laugh so I won’t ignore you or send you off.

              • integral says:

                3 = odd number = 1

                Seems like they’ve got some pretty stark similarity right there, mothertroller.

      • Tim Miller says:

        Egoist (and I would encourage anyone else too), if you’re still interested, here is a short 8min talk about what exactly the unpardonable sin is.


        • Egoist says:

          OK, taking his beliefs, I will say this, using this:


          Jesus was unclean, his spirit is impure, I reject the bible, I blaspheme against the holy spirit.

          There, now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to….Ack! Uggh! Oooohh! Owwww! No wait!…uggghh…that’s impossible! It…arghh!!…it cannot be! Oh my….GOD! I’m suffering!! Suffering! I’m doomed! Why didn’t I listen!


          Christianity reminds me of that schoolyard game where if someone says a particular “taboo” word, you’re supposed to jeer them and say they have cooties.

          So now that I’ve committed the unpardonable sin, again, for like the 100th time, what will you do now that you know it? Will you no longer try in any way to “convert” me? Can you pleeeeease consider me as “He who has blasphemed”? That would be pretty fun. You can say this to me whenever I am laughing, playing sports, reading a nice novel, when I am sending monthly payments to my foster child in Kenya, and when I am picking up friends at the airport. You know, regular “Satanic” stuff.

    • Tim Miller says:

      Glad you pointed that out Gene. A subtle point with most of us, but technically, it can be a BIG deal if you want to get into the nitty gritty with certain groups.

    • Ken B says:

      A subtle point, but only some christians.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Yep I’ll fix that. I actually realized that at the gym today before I saw your comment… (seriously).

      • Tim Miller says:

        We seriously believe you. But, you can’t get away with ANYTHING online.

      • Felipe says:

        Why did you add “(seriously)” to your comment? Because you said that you realized you made a mistake before someone pointed that mistake out or because you thought nobody would believe that you go to a gym….? Probably the latter, right…?
        You are, BTW, my favorite economist, my favorite singer, and my favorite thinker when it comes to understanding the possible tension between the Bible and anarchocapitalism (seriously)!!
        Greetings from a born again Christian and ancap in Brazil!

  2. Tim Miller says:


    I really like how you point out that the God in the Old Testament is the same as the New Testament. As you pointed out, you could argue that God was more forgiving and enduring in the Old Testamen when He dealth with continued sin. I think too many people consider themselves “New Testament Christians” as if they are somehow saved differently than those living in Old Testament time. But salvation has always been by Grace alone through Faith alone by Christ alone. Romans 4:1-5 says,

    What then can we say that Abraham, our physical ancestor, has found? 2 If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to brag about—but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say?

    Abraham believed God,
    and it was credited to him for righteousness.

    4 Now to the one who works, pay is not considered as a gift, but as something owed. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.

  3. Tim Miller says:

    I began thinking about what you wrote on God courting sinners. However, I really think God’s love is shown, not that He enticed or wooed us to Him, but that He intervened in such a way that we actually came to a love and desire for Him that was not originalyl in us. He had to give us a new heart before we could respond. I think John 6:44 Acts 16:19 give us the greatest visual.

    John 6:44
    No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day.

    Now, the interesting thing is the word draw is the greek word ἕλκω [G1670 – Strong’s]. This word actually means to drag, and can be seen translated properly in Acts 16:19, where the same greek word is used.

    Act 16:19
    When her owners saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities.

    In fact, wherever the greek word is used, it always is used to show someone acting force upon an object in order to bring the object to them. The object itself does none of the moving. To me, that really forces me to realized how unworthy, yet, how loved I am by the Father. His mercy alone saved me from eternal destruction.

  4. Ken B says:

    “The psalms are full of tributes to God’s abundant mercy and forgiveness.”

    Let me fix that for you: The psalms are full of assertions of God’s abundant mercy and forgiveness.

    Having corrected that though I must admit to a certain dismay here Bob, because I think this “I think there is sometimes a tendency for Christians to exaggerate the innovations of Jesus” is corrrect and does you credit. [Now I must wash my mouth out with soap, it’s a rule of the atheist guild.]

  5. John G. says:

    Bob, if you are ever ready for a critical, pro-Christian view of the obvious disconnects between the O.T. and N.T., and the obvious inconsistencies in the N.T., read some of these articles:

    The author, a chemistry Ph.D., does a great job synthesizing work by 1800s German theologians.

    Just look at the first few pages of Genesis; two markedly different creation stories. That is prima facie evidence that the O.T. is the tying together of disparate traditions, as laid out in Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis. One of the traditions is peaceable, and in line with the N.T.; the other three traditions are ugly, racist, and separatist.

    So, it is easy to point to some (peaceable) ties between the O.T. and N.T., as long as you cover your eyes when you get to the ugly, racist, separatist parts of the O.T.

    Just like in economics, I quit listening to the high priests (of Keynesianism and Catholicism) and read with my own eyes and think with my own brain in regard to the O.T and N.T. (and the economy).

    • Tim Miller says:

      Bob has actually addressed many of these supposed “contradictions” in previous posts.

    • Tim Miller says:

      I believe I misinterpreted what you were trying to get at. You’re talking about the Marcionites and their version of the bible, not apparent contradictions in our modern day bible. My problem with following the Marcionites’ version is that it’s hard to trust individuals who “rejected the Hebrew Bible and the God of Israel” and “believed that the wrathful Hebrew God was a separate and lower entity than the all-forgiving God of the New Testament”. These ideas go contrary to what Bob is trying to point out in His post about the continuity of God throughout the Old and New Testament.

  6. Yosef says:

    Bob you wrote “whereas the God who sent plagues on Pharaoh is scary and you don’t want to get on His bad side”

    Explain to me how you would not get on His bad side? In the Pharaoh’s case, he had his heart hardened, so he couldn’t not get on his bad side. Besides, the plagues were not on him but on all of Egypt. Tell me how a random Egyptian, with no say in national policy regarding enslavement, can avoid getting on His bad side and not lose his first born son?

    • knoxharrington says:

      Not to mention that there is no evidence for either Israelite enslavement in Egypt or for the Exodus. By evidence I mean anything external to the Bible itself which stands for the assertions contained in the Bible.

      Even the fake stories are full of morally dubious positions – as you point out Yosef.

      • Ken B says:

        Bob & The Believers — the local hymn singing group here, you can hear them harmonizing biblical texts each week — have a stock answer. God gave man the most advanced story he could understand at the time. This means for example at the time the psalms were written people couldn’t understand that dashing babies’ brains out was a bad thing, but later, they could and god revised. This is because god is loving and compassionate, but not apperently a good explainer.

      • Tim Miller says:

        It’s my opinion that the new Pharoah, in order to hide shame of the past, wiped out all evidence of his predecessor and the events surrounding the humiliating period for Egypt. But, that’s just an opinion. I of course can’t back it up.

      • Daniel Hewitt says:

        Like Paul Krugman of modern times, the Egyptians of ancient times did not record their defeats.

      • knoxharrington says:

        The beauty of imagination is that we can all think of excuses or explanations for why things did or did not occur. Unfortunately, what we “imagine” is not a fact. Tim is of the opinion that the Pharaohs wiped out the records in embarrassment. Daniel is of the opinion that it was Egyptian state policy to only record successes. Is the probability greater that either of those two conclusions – not supported by any reference to evidence – is accurate or that the events depicted failed to occur? Keep in mind we are talking about famine, pestilence, genocide, the Nile turning to blood, etc. – none of these events were recorded by the Egyptians because they were embarrassed or it was their policy to do so. The division of the Red Sea suffered the same fate. Really? Seriously? If this kind of post hoc theorizing reared its head in any other context the fair minded readers of this blog would wet their pants in laughter (excepting Gene whose Depends render him immune).

        • Tim Miller says:

          Keep in mind, according to our beliefs, all Egyptians who saw the red sea part also drowned in it. And there have been times when the Egyptians saught to erase history.

          Nefertiti her husband’s radical Amarna Period were wiped from records. Akhenaten would be erased from pharaoh lists by his fundamentalist successors; his beloved city razed and religion laid in tatters. khenaten would be known as the ‘heretic-king’; his radical beliefs and residence all-but wiped out after his death.

          • knoxharrington says:

            Apparently the Egyptians could have used some help. Every citation you made as the Egyptians seeking to “erase history” failed. If they were successful we obviously wouldn’t know of any of the examples you cite. Somebody, somewhere made a record of these events – it is only in the case of the Mosaic Exodus story that the Egyptians were successful in utterly destroying the records and memory of everyone who witnessed the events. God is a real trickster – I guess this might also explain dinosaur bones – they were put there by God to test our faith.

            • Ken B says:

              Actually they would have been put there by the devil. Don’t laugh. There are several religions from the easterm mediteranian that had features, like virgin births etc, aniticpating christianity. Almost to make it look like christinaity was full of recycled legends! How did the church explain this? These false religions were created by the devil long before Jesus was born to confuse believers. This was, and I think remains, the official position of the church of Rome.

              • Gene Callahan says:

                “These false religions were created by the devil long before Jesus was born to confuse believers. This was, and I think remains, the official position of the church of Rome.”

                Well, then Ken, you are as gullible as the most fundamentalist Christian. The actual position taken by all of the Church Fathers of whom I am aware is that “Of course the most important event in mankind’s history was anticipated by many people at many times. Of course the greatest and most spiritually sensitive of the pagans had an inkling of many Christian ideas in advance.”

                Why do atheists who have no clue what religions actually contain insist on spouting off about them endlessly?!

              • Egoist says:

                “Of course the most important event in mankind’s history was anticipated by many people at many times. Of course the greatest and most spiritually sensitive of the pagans had an inkling of many Christian ideas in advance.”

                “Anticipation” and “inkling” of “Christian ideas in advance”, is just a reverse interpretation of Christians plagiarizing previous mystics.

                It would be like saying Thomas Childers “anticipated” and had an “inkling” of what Stephen Ambrose later wrote.

              • Ken B says:

                Gene: Does Justin Martyr count?
                In his apologies Justin discusses earlier religions like the worsip of Dionysus in just the way I said.

                Example from the first apology of Justim Martyr:

                “The devils “having heard it proclaimed through the prophets that the Christ was to come, … they put forward many to be called the sons of Jupiter, under the impression that they would be able to produce in men the idea that the things which were said in regard to Christ were more marvelous tales, like the things which were said by the poets. …
                … But as we have said above, wicked devils perpetrated these things.”

                Tertullian too, but of course most christians now disagree with him so call him a heretic. But the church of Rome does not call Justin a heretic, they call him a saint and martyr.

        • knoxharrington says:

          Tim, with all due respect, the assertion that “all Egyptians who saw the red sea part also drowned in it” is gratuitous. The Bible itself does not make that assertion. Exodus 14:28-29 says the host that followed them into the Red Sea were all destroyed. If you want to believe that the 600 chariots and their riders were the only Egyptians that followed and that there were no supporting forces for those chariots I can’t stop you from reading the passage that way. It does defy credulity and is Church Lady “convenient” that your reading would be the correct one.

          The historian must deal with the probable and not the possible. It is possible that the events occurred as depicted, however, it is highly improbable. If you operate from the position that the Bible is true and you seek to proof-text everything you are engaging in rank apologetics. If you are engaging in historical research to determine the veracity of events without presupposition the conclusion that the events did not happen as depicted is probably correct. I don’t doubt that believers want the events to be true – that can be a powerful motivator for accepting or denying facts – but that faith should not be used as a mask for reason, method or fact.

          • Tim Miller says:

            I agree, at this point in time, there’s no way to defend my opinions. My opinions are also not explicitly taught in Scripture. Therefore I am not dogmatic about them. I concede there may have been supporting troops. I cannot definitively tell you why the history was not kept. However, I do believe myself to be a presuppositionalist, not a classical apologist. I start from the point of believing the Word of God is true and i work my way from there. While I believe history will neve disprove what is placed forth in the bible, I also do not NEED history or anyone else to convince me the bible is true. I accept it on faith. I know that earns me a lot of criticism, but that in no way bothers me.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Knoxharrington wrote:

          Unfortunately, what we “imagine” is not a fact.

          Your lack of imagination is not a strike against our theory. (Note this is considered a magnificent argument when wielded by evolutionary biologists.)

          • Ken B says:

            This is a jest, right? There is a difference between saying, ‘one cannot imagine that X thus X is not so’, and ‘we imagine X thus X is so’.

          • knoxharrington says:

            I can imagine that the Christian faith was designed by aliens and given to Bronze Age Palestine as a test. I can imagine that to be true but it probably isn’t. As I said, I can imagine lots of things that would help your theory but the probabilities don’t lie with the Christian theory – at nearly every turn. Is it more probable that the “take up your cross and follow me” exhortation from the the gospels is an actual saying of Jesus or an anachronism inserted by the author? Facially it must be an anachronism because if Jesus were actually telling this to people the look of bewilderment on their face would be nearly as bad as that found on any disciple at the telling of any parable.

            The whole thing defies credulity.

            • Gene Callahan says:

              “Facially it must be an anachronism because if Jesus were actually telling this to people the look of bewilderment on their face…”

              He was already in trouble with the authorities. He was explicitly predicting he would be executed. Crucifixion was a common form of execution. Why in the world would a reference to a cross in this case baffle them?!

              • knoxharrington says:

                Because of the “take up your cross” part. That is a clear insertion of Jesus’ carrying his cross to his death. Note: No one else, in any other crucifixion story with which I’m aware, was ordered to carry his cross to his death site. Neither of the thieves said to be hung by Jesus, not Barabbas, not Peter, etc. It is an insertion made by the authors after the fact as an allegory to believers. There is no way to make that saying mean anything understandable to the listener in the context in which is was said to be made.

          • knoxharrington says:

            “Your lack of imagination is not a strike against our theory.”


            I couldn’t help but think of this.

          • Tim Miller says:

            Here’s where many Christians come from:

            According to the first chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, man has ample proof in all of creation of God’s existence and attributes but chooses to suppress it. Van Til [a presuppositional apologist] likewise claimed that there are valid arguments to prove that the God of the Bible exists but that the unbeliever would not necessarily be persuaded by them because of his suppression of the truth, and therefore the apologist, he said, must present the truth regardless of whether anyone is actually persuaded by it.
            *Taken from a wiki article on apologetics

            We do not present our faith as an attempt to convince you. We present our faith because God commands us to and we seek to love and glorify Him by doing so. If you are convinced, it’s not because of any knowledge or wisdom from me, but rather, because God has chosen to work on your heart and draw you to Himself.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Yosef wrote: “Explain to me how you would not get on His bad side?”

      Accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

      But, to answer your question more directly, I defer to next week. I am actually in Exodus right now in my nightly reading, so I was already going to talk about this stuff.

      • Yosef says:

        Bob, I look forward to next week. Like most of your readers I really do enjoy your Sunday posts.

        As for your first point, I can’t tell if that was serious. I mean, yes, that’s how you could say I would not get on His bad side today, but that is of no help to my Egyptian friend. There was no Jesus to accept at that time, or any time before Christ was born. Or even right after he was born. If I was alive when Jesus was 2 years old, how could I avoid God’s bad side?

        • Egoist says:

          “There was no Jesus to accept at that time, or any time before Christ was born. Or even right after he was born. If I was alive when Jesus was 2 years old, how could I avoid God’s bad side?”

          Then there are those who have never read, either through choice or through unavoidable circumstance, anything from the bible. These poor souls are the sacrificial fodder whose eternal suffering serves as an outlet for gratifying some of the more “Earthly” pleasure seeking Christians.

          Christianity provides a way to contemplate the suffering of egoists (i.e. non-Christians), without having to spoil oneself in its “dirty” Earthly form. We see good Christian soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq screaming with ecstasy as dirty Muslims are dismembered and slaughtered. That is Christianity’s Earthly nature. The lollipop and cotton candy version is reserved for attracting impressionable children in Sunday school.

        • Tim Miller says:

          How would you define being on God’s good/bad side? Ephesians 2:3 says,

          We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.”

          And the bible also shows us that, while we look back on teh saving work of Christ, those in the Old Testament looked forward to a coming Christ.

          Micah 5:1 (NIV) Marshal your troops, O city of troops, for a siege is laid against us. They will strike Israel’s ruler on the cheek with a rod. 2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”

          Isaiah 7:14 (NIV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

          Genesis 3:15 (NIV) And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

          Isaiah 35:5-6 (NIV) Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 6 Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.

          Isaiah 53:9-12 (NIV) He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied ; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

      • Ken B says:

        The question was not, how to stop god punishing you forever. It was how to avoid god getting ticked and killing all the children within earshot. Which certainly didn’t work out so well for, to pick one example from millions, the Huguenots.

        • Gene Callahan says:

          Christianity is not a way of avoiding earthly suffering.


          • Ken B says:

            Correct Gene. But it’s Bob who implied it was. Yosef asked a stright forward question about theodicy and suffering in this world. How does one avoid getting on god’s bad side like pharoah, and suffering plagues on innocent children. That’s about life not after-life. And Bob’s answer was become a christian.

            • Tim Miller says:

              Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (2 Tim. 3:12)

              • Ken B says:

                So you agree Bob’s answer was … inapposite.

              • Tim Miller says:

                Well I don’t think suffering and being on God’s “bad side” are necessarily correlated. For instance, Job in the Old Testament was on God’s “best side” (if you want to use such silly notions) yet he was allowed to suffer greatly. Suffering is meant to build up the Christiand and God’s Kingdom. It is also used as a form of punishment to correct Christians. And thirdly, it can be used as a form of punishment on non-christians as well. But Christians, we are always on His “good side” in the sense that when He looks on us, he doesn’t judge us, but rather, He sees His son’s work and life for us. Others, He sees them exactly as they are. Without Christ.

    • Drigan says:

      Something worth pointing out, some parts of the Bible say “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart,” others say “Pharaoh hardened his heart.”

      Are these contradictory? Not necessarily: when you go to the supermarket and buy a loaf of bread, who made the bread you buy? The wheat farmer did. So did the oven maker. So did the miller, the baker, and the millmaker. A reasonable person would say that each person was responsible for that bread being made, just as a reasonable person would say that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart at the same time that Pharaoh hardened his heart.

      • Tim Miller says:

        It’s my opinion that, God hardening Pharaoh’s hear is as simple as saying, God gave Pharaoh over to his own desires. Essentially, God restrains all of us from being as evil as we could be. After all, even Hitler refrained from killing his own mother. But in the case of Pharaoh, God took back his protective hand and continually allowed Pharaoh to go deeper into his sin.

  7. Tom E. Snyder says:

    “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting LIFE.” John 3:16 I love THAT God!

    • Tim Miller says:

      “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have everlasting LIFE.” John 3:16 I love THAT God!

      That God is the same as this God:
      “God struck down the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the Lord. He struck down 70 men out of 50,000 men. The people mourned because the Lord struck them with a great slaughter.” 1 Samuel 6:19

      You can’t love your own image of God. That’s not God. That’s a false idol. I love God the Father exactly as He is shown to be throughout the all of Scripture.

  8. integral says:

    I thought jesus’ big innovation was “I am God, and so can you!” (Or is that just good old Alan Watts stealth-hinduing me?)

  9. Martin says:

    To those who are saying that the Christian (Trinitarian) God is one person with 3 jobs, they should take a look at Luke 22:42:

    “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

    One being dwelling separately in heaven and on earth at the same moment and with clearly distinct wills. This is not one being with multiple jobs. If you want to claim, “mystery” and suggest that no mere mortal could possibly understand this, then fine. But let’s not pretend that this 3 part “monotheistic” god makes any amount of sense.

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