Author Topic: Is God Now a "Ze"?  (Read 15461 times)

Harry Edmon

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #210 on: May 09, 2018, 10:08:58 AM »
There is only one true God.   The Jews have rejected Him, and thus therir "god" is something other than the one true God who lead them out of Egypt.   John 8:12-59.

Going by the proof-text being used, it's not the implication their "god" is something other than the one true God - it's the Devil.
You're effectively saying the Jews are Devil worshipers. 

That may be a theological truth for some, but I don't think the text works for this particular discussion.
I think it is clear from the Scriptures that everyone who does not have faith in the one true God basically has the devil as their "god" whether they know it or not.

It is clear that Jesus claims that they should know Him from the Old Testament, John 6:39-47, 8:56.   By rejecting Jesus as God they reject the God they claim to worship.  Therefore they worship a false god.
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Dan Fienen

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #211 on: May 09, 2018, 10:13:00 AM »

There is only one true God.   The Jews have rejected Him, and thus therir "god" is something other than the one true God who lead them out of Egypt.   John 8:12-59.

Going by the proof-text being used, it's not the implication their "god" is something other than the one true God - it's the Devil.
You're effectively saying the Jews are Devil worshipers. 

That may be a theological truth for some, but I don't think the text works for this particular discussion.
We are not Marcionites, we hold that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same God.  I would also say that the plan of salvation that God started and promised in the Old Testament was carried out in the New.  So, do Jews today worship the same God as do Christians?  The answer to that question is not simple.  In the New Testament we read of how God fulfilled the promises that He made throughout the Old Testament in His Son Jesus, begotten of the Father and born of Mary, and the implications of that.  Many Jews rejected Jesus as the fulfillment of promise.  Thus the split between Judaism and Christianity.  In rejecting the One whom the Father sent, did the Jews reject their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had promised a Savior and now had sent Him?  Do they then now worship a God of their own imagining whom they constructed in the image of their Old Testament God but more to their liking?


We occasionally in fiction run into situations where one person becomes fixated on another person and create their own fantasy about that person where they are connected in certain ways and the person feels and behaves in certain ways.  The fantasy person is named the same as the real person, looks like the real person, but in actuality is a very different person.  So, are they same person?  Or is the deluded person actually fixated on a person who does not exist and is incorrectly identified with the real person.


So people may construct their own idea of God that does not actually correspond to the God who revealed Himself in Scripture.  It may be discussed at what point our conception of God varies so far from reality that we are no longer worshiping and putting our faith in the true God but a false God of our own imagining.  But it certainly does not follow that since there is only one God, any conception of deity must refer to and be worship of the true God.
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #212 on: May 09, 2018, 10:49:04 AM »
There is only one true God.   The Jews have rejected Him, and thus therir "god" is something other than the one true God who lead them out of Egypt.   John 8:12-59.

Going by the proof-text being used, it's not the implication their "god" is something other than the one true God - it's the Devil.
You're effectively saying the Jews are Devil worshipers. 

That may be a theological truth for some, but I don't think the text works for this particular discussion.
I think it is clear from the Scriptures that everyone who does not have faith in the one true God basically has the devil as their "god" whether they know it or not.

It is clear that Jesus claims that they should know Him from the Old Testament, John 6:39-47, 8:56.   By rejecting Jesus as God they reject the God they claim to worship.  Therefore they worship a false god.

Your two statements don't line up.  Or rather, they are incomplete. 
Your reading of scripture asserts Jews as Devil worshipers, not simply a false god.  Again, this may be considered a theological truth for some.   



We are not Marcionites, we hold that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same God. 
Agreed. 

I would also say that the plan of salvation that God started and promised in the Old Testament was carried out in the New.  So, do Jews today worship the same God as do Christians?  The answer to that question is not simple.  In the New Testament we read of how God fulfilled the promises that He made throughout the Old Testament in His Son Jesus, begotten of the Father and born of Mary, and the implications of that.  Many Jews rejected Jesus as the fulfillment of promise.  Thus the split between Judaism and Christianity. 
Agreed

In rejecting the One whom the Father sent, did the Jews reject their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had promised a Savior and now had sent Him?
In a sense, yes.  A sense, but not how it's being articulated, which I think is the problem.

Do they then now worship a God of their own imagining whom they constructed in the image of their Old Testament God but more to their liking?
I think a clearer, fuller expression is that in their rejection of Jesus, God has rejected them.  I think it articulates the circumstance better and more consistent with Scripture and the contexts being used. 

We occasionally in fiction run into situations where one person becomes fixated on another person and create their own fantasy about that person where they are connected in certain ways and the person feels and behaves in certain ways.  The fantasy person is named the same as the real person, looks like the real person, but in actuality is a very different person.  So, are they same person?  Or is the deluded person actually fixated on a person who does not exist and is incorrectly identified with the real person.
I don't think so.  They're still talking about Yahweh.  Jews today are still talking about Yahweh.  The line for some appears to be the trinitarian aspect.  I don't think that's a compelling argument.  Again, you're not Marcionites. 

So people may construct their own idea of God that does not actually correspond to the God who revealed Himself in Scripture.  It may be discussed at what point our conception of God varies so far from reality that we are no longer worshiping and putting our faith in the true God but a false God of our own imagining.  But it certainly does not follow that since there is only one God, any conception of deity must refer to and be worship of the true God.
 
I think it's a rhetorical point, really.  And that particular rhetoric, particularly in the context of this discussion / Jesus and the Sanhedrin, aren't helpful. 

I think Paul's speech about the unknown God is more helpful.   
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #213 on: May 09, 2018, 11:32:11 AM »
There is only one true God.   The Jews have rejected Him, and thus therir "god" is something other than the one true God who lead them out of Egypt.   John 8:12-59.

Going by the proof-text being used, it's not the implication their "god" is something other than the one true God - it's the Devil.
You're effectively saying the Jews are Devil worshipers. 

That may be a theological truth for some, but I don't think the text works for this particular discussion.
I think it is clear from the Scriptures that everyone who does not have faith in the one true God basically has the devil as their "god" whether they know it or not.

It is clear that Jesus claims that they should know Him from the Old Testament, John 6:39-47, 8:56.   By rejecting Jesus as God they reject the God they claim to worship.  Therefore they worship a false god.

Your two statements don't line up.  Or rather, they are incomplete. 
Your reading of scripture asserts Jews as Devil worshipers, not simply a false god.  Again, this may be considered a theological truth for some.   



We are not Marcionites, we hold that the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament are the same God. 
Agreed. 

I would also say that the plan of salvation that God started and promised in the Old Testament was carried out in the New.  So, do Jews today worship the same God as do Christians?  The answer to that question is not simple.  In the New Testament we read of how God fulfilled the promises that He made throughout the Old Testament in His Son Jesus, begotten of the Father and born of Mary, and the implications of that.  Many Jews rejected Jesus as the fulfillment of promise.  Thus the split between Judaism and Christianity. 
Agreed

In rejecting the One whom the Father sent, did the Jews reject their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who had promised a Savior and now had sent Him?
In a sense, yes.  A sense, but not how it's being articulated, which I think is the problem.

Do they then now worship a God of their own imagining whom they constructed in the image of their Old Testament God but more to their liking?
I think a clearer, fuller expression is that in their rejection of Jesus, God has rejected them.  I think it articulates the circumstance better and more consistent with Scripture and the contexts being used. 

We occasionally in fiction run into situations where one person becomes fixated on another person and create their own fantasy about that person where they are connected in certain ways and the person feels and behaves in certain ways.  The fantasy person is named the same as the real person, looks like the real person, but in actuality is a very different person.  So, are they same person?  Or is the deluded person actually fixated on a person who does not exist and is incorrectly identified with the real person.
I don't think so.  They're still talking about Yahweh.  Jews today are still talking about Yahweh.  The line for some appears to be the trinitarian aspect.  I don't think that's a compelling argument.  Again, you're not Marcionites. 

So people may construct their own idea of God that does not actually correspond to the God who revealed Himself in Scripture.  It may be discussed at what point our conception of God varies so far from reality that we are no longer worshiping and putting our faith in the true God but a false God of our own imagining.  But it certainly does not follow that since there is only one God, any conception of deity must refer to and be worship of the true God.
 
I think it's a rhetorical point, really.  And that particular rhetoric, particularly in the context of this discussion / Jesus and the Sanhedrin, aren't helpful. 

I think Paul's speech about the unknown God is more helpful.   

Romans 10:2 seems to say (at least to me) that their (Israel) knowledge of God is not an enlightened one.  Or if one takes the Greek word epignosis in a plain sense Israel does not recognize God through their understanding.

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #214 on: May 09, 2018, 12:05:31 PM »
Someone,

Yes, they are still talking about Yahweh.  But it is not the same God.  Just as Aaron fashioned the golden calf and told the Israelites that it was the God (Yahweh) who had brought them out of Egypt.  But it was not, as God makes very clear.  Just using the same name for a false god (or God) does not mean it IS the same.  Even if done in sincerity and with good intentions.  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Trinity.  The God of modern-day Jews is not.  Even if they think they are worshipping the same God as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they are not.  They are worshipping a satanically inspired facsimile.  Satanically inspired because that "God" cannot save; only the Trinity can.  Satan is perfectly fine with people worshipping such a facsimile (even if they call it "Yahweh" or "God") because it will still get those lost souls to him.

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #215 on: May 09, 2018, 12:14:09 PM »
Someone,

Yes, they are still talking about Yahweh.  But it is not the same God.  Just as Aaron fashioned the golden calf and told the Israelites that it was the God (Yahweh) who had brought them out of Egypt.  But it was not, as God makes very clear.  Just using the same name for a false god (or God) does not mean it IS the same.  Even if done in sincerity and with good intentions.  The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the Trinity.  The God of modern-day Jews is not.  Even if they think they are worshipping the same God as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, they are not.  They are worshipping a satanically inspired facsimile.  Satanically inspired because that "God" cannot save; only the Trinity can.  Satan is perfectly fine with people worshipping such a facsimile (even if they call it "Yahweh" or "God") because it will still get those lost souls to him.

There's a difference between a facsimile and incomplete information.  Again, the word problem seems to be with "same".  Their position has not changed. 
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Richard Johnson

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #216 on: May 09, 2018, 12:46:16 PM »
"In July 1966, the [American Lutheran] made note of Christian Beliefs and Anti-Semitism by Charles Glock and Rodney Stark. The two sociologists found that there was a direct correlation between a church’s orthodoxy and the prevalence of anti-Semitism among its members. In comparing various denominations, the study ranked the Missouri Synod as particularly anti-Semitic. The American Lutheran editor wasn’t entirely convinced, suggesting there were methodological problems in the survey. Nevertheless, he insisted that the report was worthy of careful study, and 'Lutherans particularly must face up to it squarely.' At the very least, the study 'ought to shatter any remaining complacency about the existence of anti-Semitism among us.'" --Changing World, Changeless Christ, p. 236
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #217 on: May 09, 2018, 12:59:24 PM »
Does anyone wonder about a Jew, entirely pious and faithful, who was born the same year Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem but he was living in a remote part of the Roman Empire, a farmer out of touch with FOX or CNN news reports and lived there for the next thirty three years and died of a heart attack.  He never did get the Trinity instruction from our Lord or from the Apostles and other faithful followers and for the sake of the illustration let us say he never heard a word about our Lord and the Christian faith.  Damned to hell, was he for Satanic belief, is that what you are saying?  Then what about his son and daughter who continued living there in remote Roman lands....  Was Mary a Trinitarian before the angel Gabriel had a surprise visit and announcement?
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #218 on: May 09, 2018, 01:03:54 PM »
Saying that Jews (and Muslims) and Christians worship the same God is both true and false.

It is true in that the God of natural revelation is God. I had a conversation with a Muslim at the jail awhile back. We started talking about how we connect with God. His way, of course, was through the five pillars of Islam; I talked about Jesus and his work. Now, this conversation would only make sense if we were talking about roughly the same God. Now, from what I'm reading here, I should have started off by telling him, "You realize that you Muslims worship an idol, right?" I'm sure that would have gone over well. I think the same would be true in Jewish evangelism. I don't think I'm trying to get them to go to a "different God." Rather, I'm trying to get them to see that the only way to God is through Jesus.

At the same time, this statement is false, since they deny that Jesus is the Messiah. Since they reject Jesus, they really don't worship God.

I think the problem most of us have with "Jews, Muslims, and Christians all worship the same God" is that it gives the picture that we are all trying to get to the same goal and there are many equally good paths. I think that's the wrong metaphor. I prefer that of a maze. We are all trying to get to the same goal, but only one path will get you where you want to go. Everything else is a false path and a (literal) dead end.

One final thought. Pieper, in his first volume, pp. 9ff., points out that there are two religions in the world: that of the Law and that of the Gospel (p. 10). On p. 12, he says that the "nature and character of Christian worship difference radically from that of the worship practiced in all other religions. Christians worship God as the God who has bestowed grace upon them... To non-Christians the worship and service of God is the performance of a 'religious duty' dictated by the fear of God's wrath."

The implication to me is that Christians and non-Christians worship the same God, but one under the religion of the Gospel and the other under the religion of the Law. (And he makes it clear in a footnote on page 9 that he is including Judaism and Islam under the religion of the Law.)

All I'm trying to say is: let's be careful in our wording here! It can get quite messy otherwise.
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #219 on: May 09, 2018, 01:08:17 PM »
Saying that Jews (and Muslims) and Christians worship the same God is both true and false.

It is true in that the God of natural revelation is God. I had a conversation with a Muslim at the jail awhile back. We started talking about how we connect with God. His way, of course, was through the five pillars of Islam; I talked about Jesus and his work. Now, this conversation would only make sense if we were talking about roughly the same God. Now, from what I'm reading here, I should have started off by telling him, "You realize that you Muslims worship an idol, right?" I'm sure that would have gone over well. I think the same would be true in Jewish evangelism. I don't think I'm trying to get them to go to a "different God." Rather, I'm trying to get them to see that the only way to God is through Jesus.

At the same time, this statement is false, since they deny that Jesus is the Messiah. Since they reject Jesus, they really don't worship God.

I think the problem most of us have with "Jews, Muslims, and Christians all worship the same God" is that it gives the picture that we are all trying to get to the same goal and there are many equally good paths. I think that's the wrong metaphor. I prefer that of a maze. We are all trying to get to the same goal, but only one path will get you where you want to go. Everything else is a false path and a (literal) dead end.

One final thought. Pieper, in his first volume, pp. 9ff., points out that there are two religions in the world: that of the Law and that of the Gospel (p. 10). On p. 12, he says that the "nature and character of Christian worship difference radically from that of the worship practiced in all other religions. Christians worship God as the God who has bestowed grace upon them... To non-Christians the worship and service of God is the performance of a 'religious duty' dictated by the fear of God's wrath."

The implication to me is that Christians and non-Christians worship the same God, but one under the religion of the Gospel and the other under the religion of the Law. (And he makes it clear in a footnote on page 9 that he is including Judaism and Islam under the religion of the Law.)

All I'm trying to say is: let's be careful in our wording here! It can get quite messy otherwise.

How could that possibly get messy? 

You have given a fine explanation, though, Jim. 

As to Richard's comment about the Missouri Synod and anti-Semitism, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that the 50 year old report was accurate.

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #220 on: May 09, 2018, 01:15:44 PM »
Just as Aaron fashioned the golden calf and told the Israelites that it was the God (Yahweh) who had brought them out of Egypt.  But it was not, as God makes very clear.  Just using the same name for a false god (or God) does not mean it IS the same. 

"אֵ֤לֶּה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר הֶֽעֱל֖וּךָ מֵאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם" (Ex. 32:4 & 8 )

"Yahweh" is not used.

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #221 on: May 09, 2018, 01:17:31 PM »
Does anyone wonder about a Jew, entirely pious and faithful, who was born the same year Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem but he was living in a remote part of the Roman Empire, a farmer out of touch with FOX or CNN news reports and lived there for the next thirty three years and died of a heart attack.  He never did get the Trinity instruction from our Lord or from the Apostles and other faithful followers and for the sake of the illustration let us say he never heard a word about our Lord and the Christian faith.  Damned to hell, was he for Satanic belief, is that what you are saying?  Then what about his son and daughter who continued living there in remote Roman lands....  Was Mary a Trinitarian before the angel Gabriel had a surprise visit and announcement?

Was Mary a Trinitarian? Absolutely. So were Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Isaiah, and any of the great saints of the Hebrew Scriptures. If they weren't then Jesus could have have quoted them approvingly. These are, after all, the Scripture that proclaim the Angel of the Lord who speaks with God's authority and the Servant who is taught by the Lord and yet speaks as the Lord.

Now, let's go to your hypothetical Jewish man. Here is the question: Was he like Simeon, worshiping the Lord under the Gospel or was he like the Pharisees worshipping under the Law? If I understand Pieper correctly, that's really the question to be asking.
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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #222 on: May 09, 2018, 01:35:04 PM »
Saying that Jews (and Muslims) and Christians worship the same God is both true and false.

It is true in that the God of natural revelation is God. I had a conversation with a Muslim at the jail awhile back. We started talking about how we connect with God. His way, of course, was through the five pillars of Islam; I talked about Jesus and his work. Now, this conversation would only make sense if we were talking about roughly the same God. Now, from what I'm reading here, I should have started off by telling him, "You realize that you Muslims worship an idol, right?" I'm sure that would have gone over well. I think the same would be true in Jewish evangelism. I don't think I'm trying to get them to go to a "different God." Rather, I'm trying to get them to see that the only way to God is through Jesus.

At the same time, this statement is false, since they deny that Jesus is the Messiah. Since they reject Jesus, they really don't worship God.

I think the problem most of us have with "Jews, Muslims, and Christians all worship the same God" is that it gives the picture that we are all trying to get to the same goal and there are many equally good paths. I think that's the wrong metaphor. I prefer that of a maze. We are all trying to get to the same goal, but only one path will get you where you want to go. Everything else is a false path and a (literal) dead end.

One final thought. Pieper, in his first volume, pp. 9ff., points out that there are two religions in the world: that of the Law and that of the Gospel (p. 10). On p. 12, he says that the "nature and character of Christian worship difference radically from that of the worship practiced in all other religions. Christians worship God as the God who has bestowed grace upon them... To non-Christians the worship and service of God is the performance of a 'religious duty' dictated by the fear of God's wrath."

The implication to me is that Christians and non-Christians worship the same God, but one under the religion of the Gospel and the other under the religion of the Law. (And he makes it clear in a footnote on page 9 that he is including Judaism and Islam under the religion of the Law.)

All I'm trying to say is: let's be careful in our wording here! It can get quite messy otherwise.

The quote from Pieper is helpful, imo.

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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #223 on: May 09, 2018, 01:41:59 PM »
With all due respect, I would submit the following about the most recent turn in this thread:

We are not Marcionites, as noted above. YHWH and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit name the same God. YHWH raised Israel’s Jesus from the dead. It is the nature of God that his promises are irrevocable. All of history between the Resurrection and the Eschaton exists because God opened up salvation to the Gentiles. My baptism into Christ grafted me into the root of God’s promises to Israel. It did not have to be so but God chose it to be so for the sake of the reconciliation of the world which will raise me to life from the dead. The Eschaton is not yet here so the “fullness of the Gentiles” has not yet come in and it is too early for anyone, especially anyone who has been included solely out God’s grace, to pronounce untimely judgments.

In Romans 11 Paul addresses τοῖς ἔθνεσιν 

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
‘Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
   he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’
‘And this is my covenant with them,
   when I take away their sins.’
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of the patriarchs; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.


It seems to me that gratitude and the Bull Durham cliché “I’m just happy to be here and hope I can help the ball club” may be more apt than trying to make pronouncements well above my pay grade.

n.b. I have not included a discussion of Islam because I do not know what I think yet.



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Re: Is God Now a "Ze"?
« Reply #224 on: May 09, 2018, 01:50:17 PM »
With all due respect, I would submit the following about the most recent turn in this thread:

We are not Marcionites, as noted above. YHWH and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit name the same God. YHWH raised Israel’s Jesus from the dead. It is the nature of God that his promises are irrevocable. All of history between the Resurrection and the Eschaton exists because God opened up salvation to the Gentiles. My baptism into Christ grafted me into the root of God’s promises to Israel. It did not have to be so but God chose it to be so for the sake of the reconciliation of the world which will raise me to life from the dead. The Eschaton is not yet here so the “fullness of the Gentiles” has not yet come in and it is too early for anyone, especially anyone who has been included solely out God’s grace, to pronounce untimely judgments.

In Romans 11 Paul addresses τοῖς ἔθνεσιν 

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is written,
‘Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
   he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.’
‘And this is my covenant with them,
   when I take away their sins.’
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved, for the sake of the patriarchs; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.


It seems to me that gratitude and the Bull Durham cliché “I’m just happy to be here and hope I can help the ball club” may be more apt than trying to make pronouncements well above my pay grade.

n.b. I have not included a discussion of Islam because I do not know what I think yet.

Yes, of course.  This too as well.