LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Friday, November 24, 2006

Check it out...

Be watching the Debate Blog...http://q-and-a-blog.blogspot.com/

58 Comments:

Blogger bluecollar said...

Should be good readin'

November 24, 2006 9:26 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
I read Jodie kind of fast, but I don't understand what she is getting at. Maybe I should slow down.

November 24, 2006 10:56 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Wayne - One interesting thing about Jodie's approach is that, while obviously thoroughly ensconced in Zane Hodges' teachings, and having his every quote at her finger-tips, she seems to think you are wrong to quote your own scources; as if to say 'I can quote my commentaries, but it's wrong for you to quote yours', or, 'my commentaries teach the truth, but yours rely too much on tradition'. By what authority does she decide? Is it just because ZH has said it? What about James White or James Montgomery Boice, or even Charles Ryrie, who, by the way, states in his notes on James 2:18 that the voice of the objector closes before the first appearance of "Show" in verse 18. Even the NKJV closes the quote after the word "works" in that verse.

I wonder how many reformed folk wonder if it is truely Jodie who is doing the interacting with the questions, or is she merely parroting ZH.

Alas, Wayne, I'm just an incurable "Traditionalist". Burn me at the stake.

November 25, 2006 1:09 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Mark,
I am surprised at your comment here. You don't see how intelligent Jodie is? I think she has a point of view and an understanding of this subject matter and is presenting it in her own words.

Why don't you try to have an open mind about it? What if she is right? You should consider what she says ... as I am doing. Don't do the "majority rules" thing ... or the dismissive "Johnny-come-lately" thing.

Remember, James was a conundrum for the early reformers - ML wanted to throw it out. If there is a way of looking at it that has been missed - it certainly is worth considering! I am sure Martin Luther would have been interested in what Jodie has to say about it.

Surely you and your friends aren't above it?

:~) :~) :~)

November 25, 2006 10:01 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, keep in mind that Martin Luther did not like James in his early reforms because it smacked of works righteousness. His early objection to James is not at all related to this debate in any way shape or matter.

Jodie's whole foundation was laid by Zane Hodges. He is alone in history in his handling of James 2:14-26. Too dismissive? I would rather go with majority than with novelty.

See the subtle hint that Zane Hodges has come to save the day where she states how that the early church did not seek baptism for some wrongly held beliefs, beliefs that have come down through the ages and have not had their final refutation and correction until Zane came along. Apparently, in their view, even the reformers and present day reformed have been influenced by that early error of the church. Why even Charles Ryrie couldn't see it straight. Please see his notes on James 2:14-26 in his study Bible. What of Merril F. Unger and his notes on this portion of scripture. These are not lordshippers here, Rose. These are Dispensational Teachers and quite stongly tied to DTS. Why did they "miss" it?

Your appeal to me to not go the way of "Johnny come lately" or "Majority Rule" is the stuff of the beginning of cults. Sorry.

November 25, 2006 12:08 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

I'm going to leave this post open for a few days so that people wishing to comment on the goings-on at Debate Blog can share their thoughts here...

November 25, 2006 12:26 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, I noticed at UOG Blog that you were going to "make" the time to read this debate between Turk and Sawyer. The main reason why I posted that whole Spurgeon sermon on "The Warrant of Faith" was because you asked me what I thought of Brian's use of Spurgeon to refute Thomas Brooks' statements of receiving the Whole of Christ at conversion. Your question of me there is what inspired that whole series, as I saught to break the sermon down into bite-size and readable portions for the blogger on the go.

:) :) :)

November 25, 2006 12:37 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

James is a book written to believers stirring them to bring forth mature fruit. Just like Abraham was called to offer up Isaac later after having believed earlier...so to is the book of James that comes to the believer and tells him his identity and stirs him to good works.

It doesn't take Zane Hodges to see this obvious truth.

Unfortunately many of the reformers disobeyed out right the book of James and not only let their Ana-Baptists brethren starve to death by not clothing them or offering them safe haven...but they also drowned them and put them to death. This certainley is an obvious gaff worse than Zane Hodges' interpretation that leaves open the possiblity that some of these reformers were indeed saved but never moved on to maturity.

November 25, 2006 10:07 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian - I will not argue that Luther thought and said things about the Jews that send chills down my back. Also, his humor concerning the Pope was very raw. His treatment of Zwingly upon hearing of his death was appauling.

So, ummm, you didn't think I knew these things? Ohhhh, that's right, I'm so heavy into Reformer worship that I turn a blind eye to such things. Ahhh.

FYI, New Covenant Theologians won't hesitate to point out the historic mistreatment of the Ana-Baptists. They also won't hesitate to point out that many reformed theologins of the 1600's mistreated the Baptists of that era.

And to further burst your bubble that Calvinism is a monolith, there is at least one Calvinist church in my home town that will not allow me at the communion table because I am Baptist.

But, I digress. What does your comment have to do with the James Debate between Turk and Sawyer?

November 25, 2006 11:16 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Ah ha ha ha! You crack me up brother. Oh my poor bubble! Lol!

I love you brother.

Let me make my point by first asking you if you believe these reformers are saved if you apply the mettle and fire of your interpretation of James to them?

Because if your interpretation and Turks interpretation is correct there is no way either Calvin or Luther could possibly hope to be saved because they are not justified in the sight of you all's judgment if you are to be consistent with your interpretation.

November 26, 2006 3:26 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
It seems to me that James is talking about what true faith looks like as opposed to a claimed false faith. Verse 14 says "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith...."

I think the demon remark in v. 19 is refuting a mental assent faith as being a saving faith. Since Free Gracers call a mental assent faith a saving faith, they have no choice but to spin this into meaning something else. A few months ago Matthew was arguing that a dead faith was still a saving faith and that no one in this 14-26 passage was unsaved.

Since the N.T. has many other passages teaching the same truth as James, I think the F.G. position has many texts they must squeeze through their template to radically change the meaning such as the parable of the four soils and others. I guess I am stating the obvious here, but I don't get it. We are supposed to believe all these bizarre interpretations instead of the clearer orthodox meaning.

W.H.

November 26, 2006 4:27 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian - Care to restate your question "Because if your interpretation and Turks interpretation is correct there is no way either Calvin or Luther could possibly hope to be saved because they are not justified in the sight of you all's judgment if you are to be consistent with your interpretation. "

I don't understand what "you all's judgement" is. Please explain...

November 26, 2006 7:00 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Wayne - You are right. Look at James 2:21-24. Here we see the faith by wich Abraham was justified in Gen. 15:6 (Jms 2:23) was put on display before men in the offering of Isaac Gen. 22:1-19 (Jms 2:21-22). It is obvious in James 2 verses 22-24 that that faith by which he was justified was that one and selfsame faith that was tested in the offering of Isaac. So now the whole world knows what the faith that justifies looks like.

November 26, 2006 7:29 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Let's have another look at what the faith that Justifies looks like from Hebrews 11...Verses 1-3 is the definition of faith. Verses 4-40 is what justifying faith always looks like.

In verses 4,5,7,8,17-19,28-30 we see that Justifying faith is an obedient faith.

Verse 4-Abel's offering was in accordance to obedience. His obedience for the prescibed offerings is still a witness today. His following God's presciption for offerings is a testament to his righteousness.

Verse 5- Enoch pleased God, his walk of faith was seen in his obedience.

Verse 7-Noah moved with godly fear, and prepared an ark. Look where his obedience got him..."(he) became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Verse 8- O looky here, "By faith Abraham obeyed"..."he waited" (verse 10).

Verses 17-19-The test, the showing of that faith by which he was justified in Gen. 15:6 is now seen for its depth and magnatude. Once again obedience was part of the picture - the taking of Isaac to Mount Moriah, and the raising of the knife with the full intent of completing the sacrifice.

Verse 28- Another act of obedience, the keeping of the Passover

Verse 29- the passing through the Red Sea was an act of obedience, all done in faith, from the stretching of the rod to the going forward through the dried sea. See Ex. 14:14-16.

Verse 30- Jericho fell down as the children of Israel did what they were told.

There simply is no other definition or description of faith in the entire Bible other than what we see here.

November 26, 2006 8:08 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

And now I am to lose the computer to my daughter for the rest of the day for her college homework.

Until Monday...Byeeeeeeee

November 26, 2006 8:13 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I'll restate it with a statement and take you and Turk out of this since you guys always take me personally and get defensive:-)

The faith they demonstrated to their Ana-Baptist brethren and among one another was a dead worthless faith.

November 26, 2006 8:26 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

....and a vain foolish one at that.

November 26, 2006 8:27 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Few of the Reformers if any moved on to maturity. That is why so many Mennonites have stumbled and embraced a Lordship and Arminian doctrine of their own that emphasis your enterpretation of James because many of them feel that the reformers were lost. Go read some of their stuff sometime as well as some Ana-Baptist writings from back then.

November 26, 2006 8:30 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Of course you know that Mennonite heritage goes back to the Ana-Baptists. Have fun at work brother bluey!!

November 26, 2006 8:31 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Brian, it is written "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved"

Saving faith, that which justifies, happens the moment one believes on Christ, BEFORE any works issue forth. This division you draw between the faith by which a person is justified and that which carries them the remainder of their days is man-made, and in the last century at that.

When once a person enters into a relationship with God through faith in Christ the fruit of faith - (faithfulness, Galatians 5:22)-is now a reality in their life. In fact God has dealt to each Christian a measure of faith, Romans 12:3. That person's faith is supernaturally sustained by God the Holy Spirit Himself.

The fact that the reformers did not exhibit much Christian maturity is proof to the fact that no one Christian is born fully mature. Maturity happens over time in every Christian life. See Philippians 4:11-13. Paul had to LEARN lessons in the Christian life. The reformers were saved while in a spiritual desert as it were. There were few in that time period whom they could look to. They were blazzing new trails. Hence, they are known as reformers.

Don't forget their later works though. Some of their devotional writings and meditations were deep. Let us also not forget that their lives were always on the line. Their devotion to glorify Christ even when their lives were in danger is a tribute to the work of the Spirit in their lives.

You judge them with your 21st century values. Their's was a violent time, different value systems for the Holy Spirit to have to deal with in the process of conforming them to Christ.

You are of missionary descent. You can testify first hand that the Holy Spirit's work of conforming Christians to Christ takes different paths in different societies. Different obstacles are in the lives of different cultures. The Holy Spirit may not have to deal with a hedonist when a person from one of the poorest nations on Earth comes to faith in Christ. For that person conformity to Christ takes a different path.

Peace

November 26, 2006 9:53 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

We agree in many aspects brother allthough I believe that it was more so the Ana-Baptists that were in the desert and growing at a greater pace and exibiting perhaps more maturity by reason of their lives.

Why?

It was not because their knowledge was greater, but that their suffering was and hence that is what bears the fruit of maturity. Anytime we embrace what Christ embraced the fruit becomes greater. I am sure this in part was why they wondered why men like Zwingli would frequent the prostitute house in the desert he lived in.

Now as for men like Tyndale? Well he was a mature reformer indeed and thank God for his endeavor to make the riches of God's word known to the masses.

November 26, 2006 10:40 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"they wondered why men like Zwingli would frequent the prostitute house in the desert he lived in."

Not nice to slander people here w/o historical proof. I've never read any such thing about Zwingli...

November 27, 2006 7:33 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

"In 1516-17, Zwingli was pastor in the town of Einsiedeln and had a sexual encounter while there. This was not all that uncommon, but it did impact his life because Zwingli will preach against the prohibition that priests barred priests from marriage. He later married secretly and then, sometime later, declared the marriage publicly."
Stanely Nelson

From a link that Phil Johnson's site recomends and you can read more>Here

Perhaps this is too visceral and offensive so I will not say that she was a prostitute. I was just putting together what some Mennonite works and that site from Phils stated. I guess some other reformers in Europe did frequent the brothel as well and this may have also been a stumbling block to the Ana-Baptists. Hence the Mennonite interpretation of James will line up with your interpretation.

Back to Zwingli though...aparently he lined up his wife as a concubine type of arrangement and lived with her before he married her so I apologize if you feel I am slandering. I will try to get more specific in the future. I apologize.

November 27, 2006 8:20 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

But perhaps this opportunity of fornication was part of his blazing a new trail for the reformation.

November 27, 2006 8:23 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

We see the encounter happened in 1517. If we follow his life intense Bible study took place as he saught to feed the flock under his charge. It was in the 1519-21 period that it seems his eyes were opened to the teachings of scripture as opposed to those of the RCC. The change was gradual. Could this be the period of his rebirth? I think so, making it 4-6 years after the encounter, meaning that sin was washed away in the Blood. He then started parting from the RCC. At that point the reformation in Zurich was begun.

In my estimation the Anabaptists had a more scriptural handle on things than Zwingli. Was this because Zwingli did not want to move too fast? Remember, infant baptism was a "birth-certificate" in that day and meant coming into citizenship.

November 28, 2006 8:39 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

I'll give you that point but you still have the testimony of Ana-Baptists who were bewildered at the behaviour of the reformers even witnessing some of the things they did and saying that these reformers think they can do anything they want because they have been justified.

I think Luther correctly understood that our righteousness was positional, but what I find troubling is that the Ana-Baptists were considered the luney bin fringe and all they were doing was trying to obey God out of love for him while reformers like Zwingli tied them up and threw them into the sea drowning them...Murder after he was washed and cleansed.

It seems to me that the Reformers were the lunatic fringe in reality. I don't know why the Ana Baptists get that charge all the time. They weren't out using the unbiblical model of the state to murder in the name of religion.

Yes the Ana-Baptists I believe were more faithful to God. You are convinced that Zwingli was a christian guessing what time that took place. I pray that he was...but brother my whole point has been that he was not obedient to the book of James even after the time you mention.

November 28, 2006 10:20 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Sorry, I don't see where the reformers themselves had something to do with the drownings. Don't cast them in this light w/o evidence.

November 29, 2006 6:21 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Late to the party. Good discussion. Mark, I find my thoughts are always in line with your thoughts. And you're expressing our thoughts so well!

November 29, 2006 9:43 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Hi Gayla!!!!!

November 29, 2006 10:52 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

IMO, Jodie just won big time! (doesn't that sound silly?) ;~)
:~)

November 29, 2006 2:21 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

According to Ana-Baptists, the reformers preaching bred this environment:
"Notwithstanding, through the preaching of their compromising gospel, such a wild and reckless liberty is in evidence in all Germany that you cannot rebuke them for their open unchastity, intemperance, cursing and swearing, lasciviousness and foul words without being compelled to hear that you are a separatist (a sectarian), vagabond, fanatic, heaven-stormer (a person who believes he can be saved by his own good works), Anabaptist and other terms of reproach and insult."

Menno Simmons (Ana-Baptist)

Bluecollar. As to the reformers contribution to the death of the Ana-Baptists...even men in your camp are more honest about this and don't skirt around the truth here.

November 29, 2006 6:23 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose must be reading a different debate than I am. No, no my sister... the debate that I am reading can be found at the link provided on this post, under the heading "Check it out"

Brian, trust me, I don't look good in skirts; but I am good at selling used cars...

November 30, 2006 7:48 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Frank makes a great case here...

"In that, you have made two assumptions or assertions which I cannot agree with. The first is this: James is teaching that in order to respond to trials properly one needs works. That's simply overlooking the second and third full sentences of this book and inserting something foreign to the text.

Here's what James 1:2-4 says:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
James affirms not that it’s the “proper response” to trials to make “works”: James says it is the certain outcome of trial in faith to produce works.

I hang this on three facts:
[1] the tense of “katergazomai” (produces) is present indicative. “present indicative” means “happens for real, not in theory”.
[2] James says that this fact of “produces” is something that the readers of the letter “[are] knowing” (present active participle of “ginosko”).
[3] James says that this “knowing” of “producing” must be counted as joy.

This, btw, is why your outline falls far short: it completely overlooks this thesis which James offers immediately to the reader in favor of an alien or subordinate thesis you are placing on the text. James' exhortation here is not self-help advice: it's a statement of fact.

James is not saying, “you have a chance to be joyful if you produce fruit””: he is saying “count trial as joy because you know it produces steadfastness”. It’s not a suggestion: it’s an encouragement and an exhortation to real joy because of the real benefits of what happens to real faith under trial."

November 30, 2006 8:18 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

whooot abow a' kilt?

November 30, 2006 6:38 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

"whooot abow a' kilt?"

Too drafty. But I like the idea of being able to throw a telephone pole.

Now, how about that used car, interested?

December 01, 2006 7:49 AM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Methinks so as long as you dont throw a telephone pole on me as I drive out of the lot.

P.S- I knew you wore a kilt...you just don't want anyone to know or to see you in your knickers as the skirt blows up as you toss the pole. He he. Now that would be a sight. You'll have to ask Matthew what knickers are as they are not the same thing here in America.

December 01, 2006 4:11 PM

 
Anonymous bobby grow said...

Mark,

There are plenty of reputable NT Greek scholars out there, I know a few personal, from my school days--who endorse the view that Jodie is articulating. In fact Zane isn't an originator of this thought on James--he is just a popularizer (just because some of the guys I reference above haven't published commentaries on James, doesn't mean there isn't a substantial group of scholars who don't hold to your interp. of James).

BTW, Mark, John MacArthur is a dispensationalist and a Lordship guy. In fact most early dispensationalist articulates were Calvinists; Darby, Chafer, Scofield, etc.

December 01, 2006 5:17 PM

 
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Mark,

Quote all you want your own sources but at some point look at the arguments, compare them to the scriptures and prayerfully consider what is being said. You basically have never had any aunthentic Mark-opinion on the diatribe issue that I personally have seen.

Jazzy,

Hope you do slow down and think it through.

Bobby,

I should stress more that Hodges isn't alone on a lot of this, especially on the diatribe.

thanks Brian!

thanks Rose!

December 02, 2006 1:04 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Jodie, I've been watching your commentaries on James for a year now, both on your blog and throughout the comments you leave on comments threads on other blogs. You are unconvincing. You approach James with presupositions, such that I do not hold. You hold to an unBiblical definition of faith. My definition is found in Hebrews 11 and James 2:21-24, which, by the way, is the portion of scripture that proves to me that that faith by which Abraham was justified (Gen. 15:6,Jms. 2:23) was put to the test so all the world could see what justifying faith looks like,Gen. 22:1-19;Jms.2:21-24. The faith that justifies is also a faith that obeys. But then if you had read my 11/26/06, 7:29 and 8:08 comments you would have seen my "Mark comments" on James2.

You hate qualifyer definitions, ("spurious faith") yet you use the qualifyer "here and now" faith. How inconsistant. James only speaks of 2 kinds of faith: Mental assent faith, James 2:14-17; and justifying faith, James 2:18-26.

Let's look through "NU-Text" eyes at James 2:18..."show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by works"...

Question: how can you see faith if there are no works? You can't. But you most definitely can see faith by someone's works.

You hold to Zane presuppositions coming into James. Remember, he must - and so do you - comb out James in order to be able to uphold his false gospel. You see, Jesus told us how He wants us to present His gospel to the world in the great commission (Matt.28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16;Luke 24:46-47). Then Zane comes along and says he has a better idea of how the gospel should be preached; only his idea leaves people unforgiven, for, you see, without repentance there is no forgiveness, Acts 2:38; 3:19; 26:18-20. And spare me the "Despicable Dallas Dispy Dance" with these verses.

Jodie, also, concerning the Diatribe issue, you'll see that the NKJV closes the objecter quote at verse 18 after the word "works", and before the word "show". So now it is Jodie versus the translaters of the NKJV? Pretty heady stuff, young lady. Even Charles Ryrie's comments on this portion of scripture agree with the NKJV as to where the quote of the objector begins and ends. Do you know better than him too?

You hold to the gospel of John being THE evangelical gospel, due to how you look at John 20:31. That verse teaches no such thing. If you want to have a fully formed gospel presentation you must consider all 4 gospels. These are the presuppositions your system is based on; presuppositions that I reject. Without a classic dispy hermeneutic FGT can not exist.

Your novelty is a false gospel. I hope your eyes will one day be opened to that fact.

Your system slaps the Holy Spirit in the face by its deficient view of regeneration. A relationship with God through faith in Christ transforms a life, setting a person free from slavery to sin to slavery to God. Romans 6; Col. 1:13-14; 1 Peter 2:9. They are now new creations, 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15. Faith now works through love, Gal. 5:6.

December 02, 2006 9:49 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Bobby-

Thanks for the visit. You say...
"BTW, Mark, John MacArthur is a dispensationalist and a Lordship guy. In fact most early dispensationalist articulates were Calvinists; Darby, Chafer, Scofield, etc."

I know about where John MacArthur stands here as I have been reading him for years. I love, admire and respect him. I am not anti- dispy when it comes to Progressive Dispyism; just classic.

I also like some of your thoughts on the workings of the Holy Spirit in the Christian's life as I witnessed your approval of Edwards Treatise on Grace at Doug Eaton's blog. I've been watching you for some months now. I've been pondering some of your thoughts, mostly w/o comment.

I will encourage you to look again into Grudem's systematic, especially around pages 166, and 199.His thoughts on the interpersonal relationship of the Trinity is fascinating. Look also at his thoughts in the chapter on the Trinity.

December 02, 2006 10:05 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

To all - my computer is now very dead and I don't have the money to get it fixed. I am now using my daughter's computer and, consequently, do not know how to retrieve emails from my accounts while on her computer. That means I am completely out of email ability, can't send or receive. That also means that my blogging is going to be limited. I will blog when I can. But, I can't email.

December 02, 2006 10:29 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

I have to say this has all been very interesting to read.

Cristina

December 02, 2006 11:00 PM

 
Blogger H K Flynn said...

Mark,

Thanks for a little more info on what you think James is teaching.

My challenge would simply be that James doesn't articulate that idea specifically. Nor the writer of Hebrews.

Mark, I don't see it as arrogant to see the Scripture as teaching a certain thing and stand with it against what one sees as man's opinion, even if held by fine Christians like Unger and Ryrie.

We'd probably agree that the time you were open minded on this particular issue has long past.

I wish you'd wright more on the Spirit.

I'm sorry about your computer, Mark.

God bless.

JS

December 02, 2006 11:02 PM

 
Blogger jazzycat said...

Mark,
Your 9:49 comment was excellent. Hebrews 11 sure describes a faith that results in action.

I hope you can work something out with your computer problem. You may try getting a yahoo e-mail account that can be accessed easily from any computer.

Wayne

December 02, 2006 11:52 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Again, I like Frank's response...

"The answer to Jodie's question is, "I do not 'rule out' the possibility that vv.18-20 are a rhetorical diatribe," and that may surprise her. The real problem, of course, is this: if we call these verses a rhetorical construction meant to pose a "foolish" objection to one's own point, does it cause the entire book of James to be about something other than what its opening thesis statement says it is about?

One of the reasons I have been so ardent, in our two exchanges so far, in finding out if Jodie can provide an outline of James at all -- and why I have provided my own outline for the book for the sake of contrast -- is that there is something important to recognize about any exposition on any text: the exposition has to fit the facts and develops inside the text itself. See: when you were in 6th grade learning how to outline a text (OK: some of you may never have learned how to outline a text), they weren't giving you busy-work. They were giving you a tool by which you could crack any text wide open by understanding how all the ideas fit together.

Jodie has listed every verse in sequence, but let's think about something -- what classifies vv. 1:2-20 as "introduction" in Jodie's outline? That is, in what way can these verses be called "introduction" in the sense she means, which is "some kind of a bonus not related to the rest of the text, like a personal greeting"? See: she's right about v. 1:1 being a greeting, but when v. 2 starts, it hits the ground running. It's not some stylistic dedication or rhetorical form: it's an exhortation to count trial as joy. So why minimize these verses as "introduction"?

The reason to minimize them is simple: it is because they advance a thesis which subverts the rest of Jodie's reading. In spite of her protests, v. 2-20 are a powerful assertion of what faith must do for those who have it. Even the matter of contrasting examples begins in this section -- comparing the double-minded man to the one with "faith with no doubting".

But that said, what happens to the interpretation I have proposed if we accept vv. 2:18-20 as diatribe? Does it mean that the whole book is suddenly a different text which no one has ever read before?

See: I think Jodie doesn't understand the argument against her position very well because she is most concerned with making sure she says what Hodges has said and a lot less concerned with hearing what is being offered in opposition to Hodges' position. Even all the committee translations which will not place the quotes where Jodie has placed them have to confess one thing: when James start by saying, "But someone will say", he is obviously posing the question of a person who objects to his affirmation. No person I know would say otherwise.

In that, if James was posing a diatribe against his own thesis in order to answer that diatribe as if it were a "foolish" objection, we cannot define James' argument by the foolish objection. Why? Because it's a foolish objection. The objection can only be understood if we first understand James' position, and because James is not a fool, he makes his position clear to us by context.

So how does James frame this imaginary objector's comments? By this: “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?” And then immediately after the objector is finished, James makes the answer to his own question clear: “faith apart from works is useless” -- in fact, James says he is going to show that faith without works is useless – the foolish objector needs to be shown that faith without works is useless.

But useless for what? See: that's the rub. James says, in what we call Chapter 1, that trial counts as joy because faith under trial produces steadfastness, and steadfastness must gain its completion. And that completion, as we see a few verses down, is the “crown of life” which God gives. So when James here says that faith without works is dead, he's got that juxtaposed against a faith with works that must gain Life -- “zoe”, the eternal life which God gives His people. “Zoe”, btw, which is what Christ calls Himself when he says He is the Way, the truth, and the LIFE. Not "psuche".

The key to what James is saying is not in the foolish objection one might pose against it: it is in the context of what he has already said. In that context, there is no problem whatsoever in saying that vv. 2:18-20 are diatribe – because that diatribe is against James' idea that faith under trial produces steadfastness, and that steadfastness is a steadfastness to eternal life."

December 03, 2006 5:14 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

In the Parable of the sower, as recorded in Mark 4, we see that what is sowed is the word; yes that same "implanted word" that we are to receive with meekness in James 1:21. As we see in Mark 4:8 the seed that fell on good ground yielded a crop that sprang up, some 30, some 60, some 100.

Question: what is that which is yielded in this crop? I believe it to be the fruit of the Spirit, mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. In short the crop is Christ-likeness in varying degrees from individual Christians. Where Jodie and I disagree is what salvation is all about. From what I have observed Jodie seems to believe that Justification is the be-all and end-all. I believe she only holds to part of the over all big picture provided in the word.

Jesus said "This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for you"... Second Cor. 3:3-18 gives us some insight into this new Covenant...

1)Christians are epistles of Christ to the world.vs3
2)The Spirit of God is the writer, and our hearts are what He writes on. vs.3
3)Paul was a minister of that new covenant, that one by which the Spirit gives life. vs.6
4) the ministry of the Spirit is more glorious than the old covenant. vs. 8.
5) the new covenant is called "the ministry of Righteousness" in verse9.
6)Entrance into that new covenant means a veil is taken away from our eyes in Christ. vs.14-16.
7)Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. vs.17.

And now the clincher:as we look with unveiled faces at the Lord, through His word, we are transformed into the image of Christ by the Holy Spirit... Sanctification, Christlikeness.2 Cor.3:18.

I believe that the Holy Spirit applies the whole of the new covenant to every believer in Christ.Part of what Christ accomplished on the cross was our being set free from slavery to sin in order to be slaves of Christ, no middle ground. See Romans 6:18, also Acts 3:26. We are now in Christ's kingdom,under His rule in our lives, having been put there by God the Father. Col.1:13-14. See also 1 Peter 1:2. We are now temples of the Holy Spirit and evidences of His presence in the Christian life will show. Over time we grow from glory to glory, due to the Spirit's ministry to us through His Word. The seed (the word, attended by the Spirit, for they are always in concert) once planted begins to grow, grow towards its intended end, Christlikeness.Romans 8:29.

If we look at Luke's rendering of the sermon on the mount, 6:40, we see Jesus say that a perfectly trained disciple will be like his teacher. May I suggest that here we see the whole intent of Christ for His people? Look at the great commission, Matt.28:18-20...We are to:"make disciples, baptizing them, teaching them to observe all that Christ has commanded.

Look at Eph. 2:1-22. The progression begins with our having been quickened, having once been dead in tresspases and sins, having walked according to the course of this world, walking according the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience, and were by nature children of wrath.

Then God makes us alive with His Son (regeneration)and enables us to believe. We then become His workmanship (poema, His work of art)as He causes us to walk in good works. He causes Jew and Gentile to be one new man in Christ. We now have access by the Spirit to the Father. We are now a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. I believe this to be the very appex of redemptive history. It is the glorious work of God on once dead sinners comparable to the great scene in Ezekiel 37, the valley of dry bones. God's Spirit brings life where there was none, that life being Christ-likeness, coming to full fruition when we see Him in the air. 1 John 3:2.

December 03, 2006 7:05 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Note to all pt.2.

Now that I am forced to use my daughter's computer, not only don't I have email, but also, for some reason, I can't get into the comment threads of my friends blogs - Gayla, Cristina and Wayne.

What next?!

December 04, 2006 1:17 PM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Oh, Mark, can't get into my comments? This is a serious problem. ;)

Can't e-mail me? Even more problematic.

Santa better leave you a new computer under your tree.

December 05, 2006 11:04 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

now my daughter's computer is down. I am using a library computer. Obviously that means I only have 90 minutes a day access. That means only once a day for 90 minutes. Now, what next?

Very limited access to the blog now. Sorry if I can't answer you. Now you know my problem.

December 06, 2006 9:15 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

now my daughter's computer is down. I am using a library computer. Obviously that means I only have 90 minutes a day access. That means only once a day for 90 minutes. Now, what next?

Very limited access to the blog now. Sorry if I can't answer you. Now you know my problem.

December 06, 2006 9:16 AM

 
Blogger Gayla said...

Sorry we don't live closer, Mark. Roger does computer work for a living. ;)

Got your message about joining the team blog. Can I be a bluecollar team member, not actually wearing a blue collar? :)

Please make sure you answer ME in your 90-minute time frame!!!!!!!!!!!

December 06, 2006 10:04 AM

 
Blogger Rose~ said...

Hi Mark.
I am sorry about your difficulties.
May you have a blessed holiday season in spite of it all ... or BECAUSE of it all?

Your friend.

December 07, 2006 11:42 AM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Gayla, It is 12/7/06 and I have only 86 minutes to go. :)

Gayla, the bluecollar team member...Great! When I get my computer problems solved you, me and Wayne can work things out. you are a great writer, especially with devotional writing.

Hope to get this problem solved soon.

December 07, 2006 12:11 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

Rose, May the Lord bless you and yours! Have a great month. May he/she be born on the 25th!

Your friend,
Mark

December 07, 2006 12:13 PM

 
Blogger bluecollar said...

There are three bloggers that have access to my blog's inner workings. Since my access to the blogosphere is now very limited - meaning I can't come to the library every day to use their computer - I will ask those who can to police my blog to get rid of spam. I noticed that spammers like to hit blogs, especially porno pushers.

Please help if you have time.

December 07, 2006 1:08 PM

 
Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

Mark, for goodness sake, get a Mac!

December 07, 2006 3:09 PM

 
Blogger Bhedr said...

Helloooo...ooh..oh..oh oh...*..Mar...ar...ar...ar...ark.

Ca....a...aa...a.aa...nnnnn you..ew..ew...ew...ew...u. hear me?

yes the old tin can is out of business and time for a new computer. Brother Adam ate the apple...don't do it brother. JMOOR would lead you astray in to varying forms of Jobtrines.

Rose?

December the 25th my friend December the 25th. Oh what a wonderful funderful t...i...double..gu...er...time it will be.

December 07, 2006 4:53 PM

 
Blogger Baptist Girl said...

Mark, Sorry to hear about your problem. I hope you will be up and running soon. Will keep you in prayer. I know you will have lots to share when your up and running again. If not befor Christmas I wish you and your family the best as we all Brothers and Sisters share in the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! The greatest gift of all.

Love in Christ,
Cristina

December 08, 2006 8:11 AM

 

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