New Testament Church Proliferation Digest


Spreading the Gospel via House Churches



NT Church Proliferation Digest Friday, June 28 2002 Volume 02 : Number 112
Re: [NTCP] made in his sexual image. Not.
Re: [NTCP] Baptism
Re: [NTCP] made in his sexual image ???
Re: [NTCP] Baptism
Re: [NTCP] made in his sexual image ???


Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 02:49:32 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] made in his sexual image. Not.

David Anderson wrote:

Dear David,

Please forgive me! I seem to have taken you further than you were
prepared to go, and that is just the problem isn't it? We're still so
hung up on the plumbing that we just can't seem to make the transition
to ".. Christ and The Church."

Yours, in Him,

Jay


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Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 08:11:34 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Baptism

TheologusCrucis * cs <mailto:TheologusCrucis * cs> wrote:

> As baptism has introduced the reality of the death of self and union
> with Christ, I have noticed that while I do not agree with the
> majority of Anabaptist doctrine or think that the Jehovah Witnesses
> are orthodox, I believe they have discovered something in their
> emphasis on new life and new loyalties. Baptism changes everything
> existentially for the believer in both belief and practice. New
> family, new community, a new state or country, and a new political,
> yes political ruler. (what's a more political term than "king?") You
> bet we've "watered down" (heh, heh, heh,) what the Scriptures and the
> NT church both taught and experienced in baptism.

Dear TC,

This paragraph really nails it!

Yours in a new creation,

Jay


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Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 10:32:57 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] made in his sexual image ???

Jay F. wrote:

> If I were you I wouldn't settle for adoption,
> because there is more and better ...

Adoption is one metaphor to describe what God has done for us. Birth
is another. Both are valid because they're both attested in Scripture.

> ... and the indications are that the Church
> is not doing any better in it than the world.
> It's time to get a clue.

Jay, you overstate your case here, and by doing so unwhittingly commit
a slander against the Bride of Christ. If we were doing no better at all
than the world, then we would not be the Church of whom it is written that
the gates of Hell would not prevail against us.

>> Are my cats and dogs also made in his
>> image, too? :-) They certainly are if God's
>> image is about sexuality.
>>
> A resounding yes. I might add that they seem
> to do better with the expression of it than humans
> are doing.

BALDERDASH!!! Did I just say that? Yes and I will say it again.
BALDERDASH!!! I'm sorry Jay, but when I read you writing heresy, and it's
after midnight and I'm tired, I have no reserve of tolerance left. Back up
and regroup, then try that answer again. Only this time, please be
biblical. Okay? :-)

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002 11:59:38 +0200
From: "Deborah" <deborah.millier * juccampus>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] Baptism

Dear NTCP list members,
Thus far we've seen the UNANIMOUS witness of the Ante-Nicene church
that Jn. 3:5 ...

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God
unless he is born of water and the Spirit.' "

... refers to baptism. Not absolutely convincing in itself since we
consider the Bible, and not tradition, to be divinely inspired and
authoritative. But something to consider.
Now let's examine some grammatical matters on the same Scripture. I
consider Jn. 3:5 to be a linch-pin verse since it is spoken by Christ in
absolute terms ("no one ... unless"). We will, of course, examine others.
I used to argue vehemently for the standard Evangelical interpretation
of Jn. 3:5; I thought it was an iron-clad case. Any sop with half a brain
could see the obvious comparison: "born of water" = "born of flesh" (Jn.
3:6) and "born of Spirit" = "born Spirit". Good synonymous parallelism.
Very Jewish. It lines up great ... in an English translation. But it is
*syntactically untenable* (read that: doesn't match the Greek grammar!)
according to the language of John's Gospel. This is common knowledge among
ALL the critical commentators in two well-stocked Christian libraries I
perused. And I was not selective. Since I'm no great expert in biblical
Greek, let me cite a few guys and gals who are. I have noted the following
scholars' denominational ties when known and also their individual
conclusions concerning Jn. 3:5's relation to baptism in order to demonstrate
that the grammatical evidence stands on its own despite differing
interpretations of implications... in contrast to the standard Evangelical
explanation of the verse, which doesn't have a syntactical leg to stand on:

GRAMMATICAL EVIDENCE FOR JN. 3:5

1. George R. Beasley-Murray [Baptist]: "A popular interpretation has it
that water represents human birth, whether semen or waters in the womb, in
contrast to birth from the Spirit; this, however, overlooks that the whole
expression 'of water and Spirit' defines the manner in which one is born
from above. Suggestions like these do not do justice to the text and have
not commended themselves to scholarly opinion" (WORD BIBLICAL COMMENTARY--
JOHN. Word Books: Waco, 1987, p. 48).

2. George Eldon Ladd [Baptist]: (Note: he does not believe it refers to
baptism) "Water and Spirit are linked together with a single preposition and
both seem to refer to the life from above. Water is coordinate, not
contrasted with the Spirit" (A THEOLOGY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. Wm. B.
Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1974, p. 177).

3. Henry Alford [Evangelical, I think Presbyterian]: All the better and
deeper expositors have recognized the co-existence of the two, "water" and
the "Spirit". So for the most part the ancients" (ALFORD"S GREEK TESTAMENT.
Baker Book House: Grand Rapids, p. 714).

4. R.V.G. Tasker [Anglican]: "But in light of the reference to the
practice by Jesus of water baptism in verse 22, it is difficult to avoid
construing the words 'of water and of the Spirit' conjunctively, and
regarding them as a description of Christian baptism, in which cleansing and
endowment are both essential elements" (THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. JOHN.
Inter-Varsity Press: Downers Grove, 1960, p. 71).

5. R.C.H. Lenski [Lutheran]: "The exegesis which separates "of water and
Spirit," as though Jesus said , "of water and of Spirit" is not based on
linguistic grounds; for the one preposition has as its one object the
concept "water and Spirit," which describes Baptism, its earthly element and
its divine agency. The absence of the Greek articles with the two nouns
makes their unity more apparent" (THE INTERPRETATION OF ST. JOHN'S GOSPEL.
Augsburg Publishing House: Minneapolis, 1943, p. 237-- emphasis mine).

6. H.A.W. Meyer [Evangelical, don't know his denomination]: "both
together-- the former [water] as causa medians, the latter [Spirit] as causa
efficiens-- constitute the objective and causative element, out of which the
birth from above is produced, and therefore baptism is the "washing of
regeneration" (Tit. 3:5; comp. Tertullian c Marcion, 1.28) (CRITICAL AND
EXEGETICAL HANDBOOK TO THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. Hendrickson Publishers:
Peabody, MA, repr. 1984, p. 123).

7. Raymond E. Brown [Roman Catholic]: "of water and Spirit. The two
nouns are anarthrous and are governed by one preposition" (THE ANCHOR
BIBLE-- THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN. Doubleday and Co.: Garden City, NY.,
1966, p. 131).

8. Leon Morris [Evangelical, don't know denomination]: (Note: he does
not believe it primarily refers to baptism though it may secondarily) "This
is rendered all the more likely in that neither noun has the article and one
preposition governs both" (THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN. Wm. B. Eerdmans:
Grand Rapids, 1995, p. 192).

9. Linda Belleville [Evangelical, don't know denomination]: (Note: she
does not believe it refers to baptism) "The major difficulty is that no
parallels exist in either ancient or contemporary writings to support the
contention that equates "water" birth with physical birth. Also, if Jesus
had wanted to express the idea of physical birth, it is reasonable to assume
that he would have used either "born of the flesh" (vs. 6) or "born of
bloods" (1:13). This interpretation also contradicts the syntax of "of
water and Spirit" as a conceptual unity and disrupts the parallelism of vv.
3, 5, 6b, and 7" ("Born of Water and Spirit," TRINITY JOURNAL 1 NS, 1980,
131-32).

To sum up, what they *all* are saying is that Jn. 3:5 does *not* mean:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of (water) + born of (the
Spirit), he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (NKJV).

But rather:

"Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of (water + the Spirit),
he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (NKJV).

Water and Spirit are regarded in this passage as a conceptual unity; both
are facets of one single prerequisite for entrance into God's kingdom. In
other words, Jn. 3:5 is simply a restatement and elaboration of Jn. 3:3 and
the need to be born again.

Michael
Jerusalem


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Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 18:48:40 -0400
From: jferris <jferris154 * mac>
Subject: Re: [NTCP] made in his sexual image ???

Deborah wrote:

>Jay F. wrote:
>
>>If I were you I wouldn't settle for adoption,
>>because there is more and better ...
>>
>
> Adoption is one metaphor to describe what God has done for us. Birth
>is another. Both are valid because they're both attested in Scripture.
>
Dear Michael,

If the list is willing, I think that this is a legitimate subject for
discussion. I also believe that it is a very important one. I do not
believe that they refer to the same thing, because that is not what the
old creation teaches me, and if I do not learn from that, then I am
without excuse.

Adoption is a legal matter, a new birth is a matter of impregnation.

>>... and the indications are that the Church
>>is not doing any better in it than the world.
>>It's time to get a clue.
>>
The full paragraph was: "Over time, if it is working right, we, even we
males, begin to understand what intimacy is really all about. Meanwhile
we are in one Hell of a war, and the indications are that the Church is
not doing any better in it than the world. It's time to get a clue."

>>Jay, you overstate your case here,
>>
I don't think so. Jesus prayed that we would be one in time for the
world to know. There is a war against that oneness, and there is a war
against understanding going on in the world. The Church is not doing
very well in this war. Or perhaps it's only what is calling itself the
Church.

>>and by doing so unwhittingly commit a slander against the Bride of Christ.
>>
If admitting the truth about the Church, myself included, is slander,
then I plead guilty.

>>If we were doing no better at all than the world, then we would not be the Church of whom it is written that the gates of Hell would not prevail against us.
>>
I also have read the end of the book, and it is clear, that, in the end,
we win. Meanwhile, it is not looking very good, and not likely to get
much better in the immediate future, as I understand that the beast is
given power to make war against the saints and overcome them. Revelation
13:7

>>>Are my cats and dogs also made in his
>>>image, too? :-) They certainly are if God's
>>>image is about sexuality.
>>>
>>A resounding yes. I might add that they seem
>>to do better with the expression of it than humans
>>are doing.
>>
>
> BALDERDASH!!! Did I just say that? Yes and I will say it again.
>BALDERDASH!!! I'm sorry Jay,
>
That's all right, I like a little passion now and then.

>but when I read you writing heresy,
>
You and David seem to have forgotten that I am only referring to the
image, the parable, not the reality.
If we are going to understand the parables, then we have to deal with
them. Please, for God's sake, don't get so hung up on the plumbing that
you can't understand what God is saying. Are we so fallen in Adam that
we cannot talk about parables, and images without foaming at the mouth?
God Help us!

Yours in Christ,

Jay


End of New Testament Church Planting Digest V2 #112 < Previous Digest Next Digest >



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