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Messages - Brian Stoffregen

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1
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: Today at 04:10:37 PM »

Most everyone who posts that our federal support of the military is socialism. It is spending money for the common good (or the good of society - where "social" comes from), rather than investing money to make bigger profits.

That's why privates get paid the same as generals.  The making, moving, and trading wealth is owned or controlled by the workers. Equal distribution and all that.   Yay, Socialism!


Who said that socialism is paying everybody the same? Socialism: the making, moving, and trading wealth is owned or controlled by society. Marxism was about the workers rebelling against unjust owners and taking control of businesses.


Things such as a society (in this case a small town) deciding to pave its roads and taxing all citizens in town to pay for it is a form of socialism. The same with community fire departments, water bureaus, police departments, etc.

2
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 04:59:36 PM »
Assuming you discount any account of fraud or miscounting as hogwash, I guess you could say in a mere tautological sense that all such hogwash is hogwash. That such ballots are in dispute is not hogwash, though, it is the simple fact; someone is disputing them. As to whether their claims have merit, I'm not sure how you personally would know either way. But you seem awfully opposed to settling the dispute through normal legal channels.

Some suspicious things at least call for some plausible explanation. For example, the ballots drops in Pennsylvania that went well over 99% for Biden and provided several times the margin of victory. How does that happen? What demographic of people voted 99.6% for Biden? Early voters? African-Americans? When 570,000 votes come in for Biden with just over 3,000 for Trump in the same drops, the prima facie explanation is fraud unless someone explains how such numbers can possibly make sense. There is no demographic of voter, not even taking into account several layers of intersectionality, that voted in such numbers in such a lopsided way. There may be some explanation, but I've yet to hear it, and it is insulting to be told that any questioning of such ballot drops is conspiracy theory hogwash. I'm sure if they did a recount and suddenly they found a cache of ballots that hadn't been counted before, and those ballots went 85,000 to 500 in favor in Trump, giving him the state, you'd think, "Wait a minute. How can that be? I'd like to look into that."

Or maybe your source of information is faulty. Sites I looked at said that 99% of the votes in Philadelphia had been counted; not that 99% were for Biden. Can you post where you got your statistics?

Please respond to what Peter said, not what you think he said.  He never stated that 99% of votes in Philadelphia were for Biden.  He said that certain "ballot drops" in Pennsylvania were well over 99% for Biden.  A "ballot drop" is a batch of ballots, in this case in the state of Pennsylvania, not all of the ballots for the city of Pennsylvania.


I know what he said. I looked for evidence of it online. I didn't find it. I reported what I did find. I asked for his sources. I still have seen them. It wouldn't be the first time that someone, not likely Peter here, misread some statistic, and reported as fact the misreading (I've been guilty of that,) and the misreading gets spread as the facts.

3
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 04:57:13 PM »
Do you believe that Elvis is dead?
Yes. So what? The same people who told us on election night that they could now say that the Democrats would pick up between 5-15 seats in the House have now gradually had to admit that in reality the Democrats lost 12-13 seats in the House. What they were so absolutely confident about turned out to be almost the opposite of the truth. There is no point in putting stock in news accounts until they are verified. So why not wait until everything settles down before making a declaration? If it turns out that illegally cast ballots get disqualified, it will likely also turn out that several states will flip. We will find out. There is no reason to have a dogmatic opinion in advance of the fact.


When will you consider things "settled down"? When one lawsuit (or 30) are thrown out, the President and his team just file another one. I recall being told by opponents, "Just saying the same thing over and over and over again doesn't make it true."

The endless "Russia, Russia, Russia" investigations, lawsuits, and talking heads prove your point.


The investigation proved that Russia interfered. What some were saying did prove to be true. What wasn't prove was collusion with the Russian by Trump's people.

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Alternatively, on the COVID front, even CNN now touts newly disclosed leaks of tons of information proving that China hid the origins and spread of the virus, disproving your point.


Just because something is said over and over again doesn't mean it's false either; but when it's prove false, like election fraud, and one still keeps repeating, "Fraud, fraud, fraud," what would you call that?

4
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 12:41:28 PM »
Peter:
Currently enough ballots are disputed in enough states to have swayed the election.

Me:
I say hogwash, and I would ask you to name them and count them, but that would be being obsessed with certain things. No one anywhere, any place, in any situation, has found any evidence of fraud or of miscounting that would change the result. That is an objective fact.
(But then, so is an earth of multi-billion years birth and a humanity shaped by evolution.)
Assuming you discount any account of fraud or miscounting as hogwash, I guess you could say in a mere tautological sense that all such hogwash is hogwash. That such ballots are in dispute is not hogwash, though, it is the simple fact; someone is disputing them. As to whether their claims have merit, I'm not sure how you personally would know either way. But you seem awfully opposed to settling the dispute through normal legal channels.

Some suspicious things at least call for some plausible explanation. For example, the ballots drops in Pennsylvania that went well over 99% for Biden and provided several times the margin of victory. How does that happen? What demographic of people voted 99.6% for Biden? Early voters? African-Americans? When 570,000 votes come in for Biden with just over 3,000 for Trump in the same drops, the prima facie explanation is fraud unless someone explains how such numbers can possibly make sense. There is no demographic of voter, not even taking into account several layers of intersectionality, that voted in such numbers in such a lopsided way. There may be some explanation, but I've yet to hear it, and it is insulting to be told that any questioning of such ballot drops is conspiracy theory hogwash. I'm sure if they did a recount and suddenly they found a cache of ballots that hadn't been counted before, and those ballots went 85,000 to 500 in favor in Trump, giving him the state, you'd think, "Wait a minute. How can that be? I'd like to look into that."


Or maybe your source of information is faulty. Sites I looked at said that 99% of the votes in Philadelphia had been counted; not that 99% were for Biden. Can you post where you got your statistics?

5
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 12:34:51 PM »
Do you believe that Elvis is dead?
Yes. So what? The same people who told us on election night that they could now say that the Democrats would pick up between 5-15 seats in the House have now gradually had to admit that in reality the Democrats lost 12-13 seats in the House. What they were so absolutely confident about turned out to be almost the opposite of the truth. There is no point in putting stock in news accounts until they are verified. So why not wait until everything settles down before making a declaration? If it turns out that illegally cast ballots get disqualified, it will likely also turn out that several states will flip. We will find out. There is no reason to have a dogmatic opinion in advance of the fact.


When will you consider things "settled down"? When one lawsuit (or 30) are thrown out, the President and his team just file another one. I recall being told by opponents, "Just saying the same thing over and over and over again doesn't make it true."

6
Your Turn / Re: December Forum Letter
« on: Yesterday at 12:26:31 PM »
I don't think anyone doubts that racism exists in our country. The question is whether race provides a suitable interpretive lens through which to view our country.


The answer is, "Yes, it is a suitable interpretive lens through which to view our country." It is not the only suitable lens. We cannot separate the ways we treated the Native Peoples, nor the African slaves, nor the Japanese Americans, and even German-Americans during from who we were and are as a country.


Without that lens, we can fall victim to George Santayana's quote from 1905: ""Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

7
Your Turn / Re: Humanism vs. Christianity?
« on: Yesterday at 12:23:06 PM »
Some of it I think depends on how you define "destroying faith."  I attended Augsburg, and Luther Seminary.  In both places my faith was stretched, pulled, challenged and molded in ways that were not always comfortable but were ultimately beneficial.  I have classmates who would define that as destroyed because their understandings and interpretations were challenged in ways they couldn't handle.


An analogy I've heard is that seminary seeks to polish the faith, which means sanding off the rough edges which may not always be pleasant.


Another I've used is that they knocked down all the (false) pillars my faith was resting on until there was nothing left except trusting Jesus. In a sense they attacked the old faith so that it might die so that a new and better faith was raised up. It's like Paul's movement from faith to faith. For him, it was a strong conviction about the Jewish faith that was destroyed in order to achieve a strong conviction about Jesus the saving Messiah. For me it was a movement from trusting my goodness, including many religious works, to trusting in God's grace alone through Jesus Christ alone.


An observation I made back in seminary is that those who couldn't separate the saving faith, a gift from God which even infants can have; from theological studies (and discussions and disagreements,) an academic exercise that gets quite detailed at the seminary level, had difficulties in seminary. While we can do nothing to improve on or increasing the faith God has given us; we spend our lives improving and better understanding the ways we talk about God and God's relationship with us. ("God-talk" is essentially the meaning of "theology.")

8
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: Yesterday at 12:15:27 PM »
Let’s watch the statistics about attitudes towards vaccinations carefully. I’m not sure what we think we know now is accurate.
And I think we need to know what the attitudes about vaccination are towards this particular situation, before we understand what is likely to happen. Furthermore, if our marketing geniuses can get us to buy some of the crap that we buy by the tens of thousands, spending millions of dollars, surely they can encourage us to take a free shot which is likely to save our lives and the lives of our neighbors.
As for the attitudes towards something that the man in the White House is promoting, I don’t think that matters. I’m not listening  to him about the vaccine. He would hardly  be my final authority on the vaccine.
I will listen to the scientists, the epidemiologists, and people whom I know are knowledgeable about the field and people whom I can can respect.
If they tell  me the vaccination is safe enough to take (which does not mean it is 190% safe, because nothing is) I will lineup for the shots.
I wouldn’t take advice on buying socks from anyone who spouts the lies that the sad man in the White House has been saying these past three weeks.
And BTW, if he says he needs some credit for the vaccine, I might go so far as to figuratively pat him on his little hand, smile insincerely  and say “yes, Donnie, you did it. Good boy. Now pick up your toys and leave.”
Your snide remarks notwithstanding, your personal attitude towards the vaccines or Trump matter very little. What matters more is what the opinion trend setters have been saying about a vaccine developed by theTrump administration. That you personally are more reasonable doesn’t change much. I certainly wouldn't try to get you to actually give Trump credit for anything good without condescension or snark because I would hate to cause you a heart attack from the stress of checking on your words.


Trump helped the drug companies by providing government money -- sort of the opposite of a "free market" system and more like the dreaded socialism.

So Biden/Obama's helping the arms companies by providing government money to manufacture more and more of the drones used to wage war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and many other places as part of dreaded socialism?  Who knew?


Most everyone who posts that our federal support of the military is socialism. It is spending money for the common good (or the good of society - where "social" comes from), rather than investing money to make bigger profits.

9
Your Turn / Re: Walter Maier Statement on Justification
« on: Yesterday at 12:13:13 PM »
I must admit - the significance of Jesus's resurrection in our justification has always eluded me. I've been told that it is "proof" that our sins are paid for and that the world is justified. Where is that in the Bible, laid out clearly?


Let me try this out: I'm thinking that Christ's death is what paid for our sins. He was a sacrifice, both like those in the Old Testament that brought forgiveness and reconciliation with God; and unlike those because he was the flawless Divine making a human sacrifice; not flawless animal.


The resurrection attests that God the Father shows us that what the Son did was right; and that Death does not defeat him. Rather, he has defeated Death - the punishment for our sins.


10
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: Yesterday at 01:55:01 AM »
You don’t think his “great lie” tactics of the past three weeks are damaging to our democracy. His actual efforts to get Republican leaders in the states to nullify the voting if it is against him?
I actually think your side is engaged in the great lie tactic by insisting the election is over and reacting with venom to anyone who simply wants to let it play out. Currently enough ballots are disputed in enough states to have swayed the election. More potential harm is done to people’s faith in elections by shushing anyone with questions than is done by carefully investigating with full transparency.


From what I've heard, only you and President Trump seems to think that there are enough disputed ballots to have swayed the election. The people actually responsible for counting ballots and assuring the public of a fair election state that this was the most secure election ever. There is no dispute about the outcome.

11
Your Turn / Re: Coronavirus news
« on: November 30, 2020, 06:41:14 PM »
Let’s watch the statistics about attitudes towards vaccinations carefully. I’m not sure what we think we know now is accurate.
And I think we need to know what the attitudes about vaccination are towards this particular situation, before we understand what is likely to happen. Furthermore, if our marketing geniuses can get us to buy some of the crap that we buy by the tens of thousands, spending millions of dollars, surely they can encourage us to take a free shot which is likely to save our lives and the lives of our neighbors.
As for the attitudes towards something that the man in the White House is promoting, I don’t think that matters. I’m not listening  to him about the vaccine. He would hardly  be my final authority on the vaccine.
I will listen to the scientists, the epidemiologists, and people whom I know are knowledgeable about the field and people whom I can can respect.
If they tell  me the vaccination is safe enough to take (which does not mean it is 190% safe, because nothing is) I will lineup for the shots.
I wouldn’t take advice on buying socks from anyone who spouts the lies that the sad man in the White House has been saying these past three weeks.
And BTW, if he says he needs some credit for the vaccine, I might go so far as to figuratively pat him on his little hand, smile insincerely  and say “yes, Donnie, you did it. Good boy. Now pick up your toys and leave.”
Your snide remarks notwithstanding, your personal attitude towards the vaccines or Trump matter very little. What matters more is what the opinion trend setters have been saying about a vaccine developed by theTrump administration. That you personally are more reasonable doesn’t change much. I certainly wouldn't try to get you to actually give Trump credit for anything good without condescension or snark because I would hate to cause you a heart attack from the stress of checking on your words.


Trump helped the drug companies by providing government money -- sort of the opposite of a "free market" system and more like the dreaded socialism.

12
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 30, 2020, 05:00:57 PM »
If adults always did what was best for them, we wouldn't need most laws. They wouldn't use illegal drugs. They wouldn't get drunk...

I used to have friends who felt that way.   ;)

You simply don't realize how intellectually dishonest you are when you quote one's post but make changes first, rendering it not a quote. Bottom line, you're lying.

I realize that what I quoted was a typo, and I was having some fun. Hence the wink. That's no reason for you to lie about it, Brian.   ::)

Since I changed the text in the original quote, I felt I should also do it in the quoted text.

No, if you're going to quote someone you don't change the content of what you're quoting. That renders it a lie. Furthermore, it changes the meaning of what you're quoting.

But you know all that.  You do it a lot but usually not by blatantly changing a quote.  >:(


I did not change anything that anyone else quoted. I changed my own statement. The meaning of my statement needed to be changed. Basically, copyright laws say that anything I create belongs to me. If I want to change something I posted, I can do that. If I decide that someone else cannot copy what I've posted, that's within my rights. (Unless I've registered my post with the copyright office, I'm not able to sue for damages should someone copy my work without permission.)

13
Your Turn / Re: Walter Maier Statement on Justification
« on: November 30, 2020, 04:55:35 PM »
I would interpret statement #2 to refer to the resurrection, by which Jesus was shown to have been right in what he said and did. The grammar could be understood to say that the Spirit showed (the world) that Jesus was right. It could also be understood to say that God showed (the world) that Jesus was right and that brought peace to his spirit. Remember his cry of abandonment from the cross.

Maybe, but not only a possible interpretive reference to the resurrection.  After all, Jesus was justified before time as God, was justified in His Baptism, with the voice of God the Father (this is my Son with whom I am well pleased) and the visible presence of the Holy Spirit showing the world that Jesus was both justified and "was right".



δικαιόω in the sense of to show to be right, does not necessarily imply that one was wrong before. Jesus was always right in what he said, did, and in his relationship with the Father. The resurrection as a δικαιόω event showed the people who thought that they were right in crucifying this blasphemer were wrong; and it affirmed that Jesus had been right. When we ask, "Justify yourself," it usually implies that they have to show that what they said or did was right (perhaps contrary to what we, the questioner thought about it).

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The "Remember His cry of abandonment from the cross" is critically important, yet to choose to see it as the schwerpunkt of the story, when the center of gravity is that Jesus atoned for/vindicated us of sin,  may be adding to misunderstanding of your central grammatical thesis.


I think that it is part of the schwerpunkt of the story, especially when Luke quotes another Psalm, using the same Greek word, in Acts 2:27: "For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption" and 2:31: "[David] foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to hades, nor did his flesh see corruption."


The abandonment felt on the cross, was not an abandonment to Death and destruction. Another definition of δικαιόω is to be freed from the charges leveled against one. The crowd believed Jesus deserved death. By not being abandoned to Hades, he showed himself to be freed from those charges and the punishment against him. The one the crowds called, "Guilty," God, through the resurrection, showed him to be "Not Guilty."

14
Your Turn / Re: Walter Maier Statement on Justification
« on: November 30, 2020, 02:18:17 AM »
1 Timothy 3:16 has a series of aorist passive verbs which are usually followed by the preposition ἐν with the dative case, which, for now, I will always translate with "in".


1. he was made known in flesh
2. [he] was justified in spirit
3. [he] was seen by angels (no preposition)
4. [he] was proclaimed in nations
5. [he] was believed in world
6. [he] was taken up in glory


One of the issues is that the actor in these sentences changes. The passive verbs indicate that he was acted upon. "He" is the object of the passive verbs, not the subject. One key to understanding is to try and turn passive verbs into active verbs.


1. God the Father made him known in the flesh.
2. we'll omit this one for now.
3. Angels saw him.
4. Disciples proclaimed him among the nations.
5. The people in the world believed him.
6. God the Father raised him in glory.


Three issues with phrase #2.
1. Who is the active subject of δικαιόω? We've seen both God and humans be subjects in other phrases.
2. Which of the four definitions of δικαιόω (from BDAG) best fits in this context and how should it be translated?
    a. to take up a legal cause, show justice, do justice, take up a cause
    b. to render a favorable verdict, vindicate
    c. to cause someone to be released from personal or institutional claims that are no longer to be considered
        pertinent or valid, make free/pure
    d. to demonstrate to be morally right, prove to be right
3. Does πνεῦμα refer to the Holy Spirit or to Jesus' spirit? That is, his inner life, his disposition, his state of heart and mind.


I would interpret statement #2 to refer to the resurrection, by which Jesus was shown to have been right in what he said and did. The grammar could be understood to say that the Spirit showed (the world) that Jesus was right. It could also be understood to say that God showed (the world) that Jesus was right and that brought peace to his spirit. Remember his cry of abandonment from the cross.


Another approach is to consider δικαιόω to refer to freeing Jesus from the bonds of Death/Hades/Sheol.


I don't believe that 1 Timothy is using δικαιόω with the same meaning that Paul uses it in Romans. Trying to make it fit into Paul's scheme creates problems.

15
Your Turn / Re: Recent Surpreme Court Decision Concerning Churches
« on: November 29, 2020, 01:47:05 PM »
If adults always did what was best for them, we wouldn't need most laws. They wouldn't use illegal drugs. They wouldn't get drunk...

I used to have friends who felt that way.   ;)

You simply don't realize how intellectually dishonest you are when you quote one's post but make changes first, rendering it not a quote. Bottom line, you're lying.

I realize that what I quoted was a typo, and I was having some fun. Hence the wink. That's no reason for you to lie about it, Brian.   ::)


Since I changed the text in the original quote, I felt I should also do it in the quoted text.

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