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Kevin Bennett's reputation

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January 26, 2018 Commented Hi Saji, Thank you for taking the time to comment! I see that you're saying the believer is not a son by birth, but by adoption instead. How do you reconcile that with such ideas as these?
But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become sons of God, born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of a husband, but born of God.
- John 1:12-13
Amen, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’
- John 3:5 ... and so many others. Where scripture is explicit, we are obliged to accept what it says. Where it is ambiguous, then we can start wondering. Scripture is absolutely explicit that nobody can be part of the Age to Come without being born into the family of God. But scripture is less clear about "υἱοθεσία" (usually translated "adoption", but it probably should not be) - a word used only by one author in the Bible, and used in a way that if it was intended to mean what you suggest, it would contradict Jesus' own words. So I would suggest that the inspired writer cannot possibly have meant what you are suggesting. If he did it would mean he was saying the opposite of what Jesus said, and that is not what Paul does. So what we must do is attempt to learn what Paul did mean by υἱοθεσία. As I say in the article, I suggest it is a reference to inheritance. More specifically, coming into an inheritance.
December 30, 2017 Commented Hi Craig, Thanks for dropping by and spending the time to make a comment! I understand what you're saying. It's essentially what most Bible commentators are also saying. My point above is just that it's not what the Bible is saying... Romans 5 uses terms like trespass, wrath, and sin to describe the "problem", and words like gift, reconciliation, and justification to describe the "solution". In the whole chapter there was plenty of room to use the word "curse", and Paul uses that word plenty elsewhere. He most specifically did not employ that term in Romans 5. Why not? The reason is that he's not talking about a curse. He is talking about sin and death as a pattern of natural (and/or supernatural) consequences. He is saying that in Christ, through grace, those consequences are mitigated. But he doesn't talk about a curse here because there isn't one. In the article above I talk about the fact that in the Bible a "curse" is a very specific thing. It is not just a casual term used to describe something "bad". To curse someone is to exclude them, cutting them off, usually from some sort of inheritance. So I confidently assert once again, that the Bible does not say Adam and Eve were cursed. I also, in the article above, point out why it literally could not happen, just as Balaam could not curse Israel. I recommend working through that logic to see why the New Testament so carefully avoids labeling it a "curse". This is, of course, good news. It means that God always had a redemption plan for humanity. A general curse would mean there was no such plan.
September 27, 2017 Up vote answer Irresistible Grace and Free Will
September 27, 2017 Answered Irresistible Grace and Free Will
November 20, 2016 Commented I thank you for making a contribution to the conversation. I admit that it is virtually unintelligible, but the parts I can understand I can comment on. It bears mentioning (again) that Constantine merely decriminalised Christianity. He did nothing to Jews, nor Judaism. So that really can't be "the larger point", I'm afraid. I suggest that the larger point is that this document has been deceptively modified to make it appear to be something it is not, and has been falsely ascribed to Constantine. There can be no such thing as a "Christian before Jesus". Christians take their title from "Christ", specifically Jesus, the Christ. Many Christians were of pagan origin, of course, and that's an important feature of Christianity - that God is not the God only of the Jews, but of the whole world. Whether someone was a pagan or a Jew before they were a Christian does not affect their status as a Christian. If we are to take monotheism seriously, then the one God must god of all, not just the god of the Jews. It may be helpful to note that Sunday convocation is a celebration of the Ressurection, an historical event locatable on the calendar as happening on the morning of the day after the weekly Sabbath. It has nothing to do with any sun god, except that it happens to fall on the same weekday, but then, *every* weekday was associated with some Greco-Roman god or other. As for Esau's birthright, it has nothing to do with me. I am not descended from Esau, nor from Abraham as far as I can tell. I simply share Abraham's faith - the faith which God affirmed as righteousness while Abram was yet an uncircumcised pagan from Ur of the Chaldeans. That is my connection to the story of Israel, just as it is for any non-Jewish Christian. It has nothing to do with Esau. Your concern for YHWH's Shem being proclaimed throughout the world is ironic. This is something Christianity has done and Judaism has not. Christianity has spread the Israel story and its associated monotheism across the globe, including the Shema itself. Indeed it was Christian powers which recreated the modern state of Israel, post WWII. I'm not sure who the "Edomite nations" are supposed to be so I can't comment on that. I am unaware of any nation on earth being defined according to its genealogy any more, including Israel, in fact, let alone Esau. So I don't know who is being "warned" here. Thanks again for taking part in the conversation.
October 26, 2016 Commented I have not asked you to argue, so please don't feel compelled to do so. In fact I have not asked for a conversation at all. This is my blog site where I post my thoughts and I have generously hosted your comments also, and even responded to them out of a sense of service to you. Thank you for that rather limited "blessing", which actually appears to be a veiled curse... I do understand that this is the best you can manage, convinced as you are that as a Gentile I am a second-class human. Of course, as a gentile I am exactly like Abraham who did not get what he "deserved", but what was promised and believed. It was those who received the law that perished in the wilderness for unbelief and rebellion... at least, according to Moses... I am not interested in converting to Judaism, and I have no desire to convert you from it. I am only interested in truth. It is folly to discuss "messianic prophecy" in the text if you are not prepared to actually read the text and accept what it says. Whatever you think of messianic prophecy will, like your views expressed so far, be informed by sources outside the text, "hints" of things you bring to the text yourself, and a "Jewish mind", which apparently comprehends language in some alternative way as to change the meaning. I don't want to upset your faith, which seems to be a strong set of convictions. It just obviously contradicts the writings of Moses and of the New Testament writers, so I'm not equipped to engage with it. I will just restrict my comments to what the text says. If you'd like to discuss what the text actually does say, we will have some common ground for a conversation. Otherwise I wish you well in your faith journey wherever it leads.
October 25, 2016 Commented Thanks for taking the time to engage with this subject, Paul. The "Constantinian Creed" was not invented until hundreds of years after Constantine died. He did not "accept it". In fact, under Constantine there were no religious restrictions on non-Christians at all, including Jews. I can only repeat the story as Moses told it: When Abraham was found righteous he was uncircumcised, had never been told to restrict his diet, and had never heard of a "Sabbath". You may think differently, but I'm repeating what Moses wrote. If you can point to a single "hint" that he observed Sabbath I would be surprised, because he had absolutely no reason to. You ask about the sacrifices: Cain, Abel and Noah were all vegetarians. They had not even dreamed of eating the animals they were sacrificing until after the flood in Genesis 9 when God gave them "everything that creeps on the ground" as well as birds, fish, animals, etc. This means that "clean and unclean" has nothing to do with food. It is about designating what is acceptable for sacrifice. The Arabic words "Halal" and "Haram" are equivalent. Please indicate, in the Bible, where God demanded or required that people make sacrifices before the Sinai Covenant. I can't find it. That would help me a lot. Doesn't it make one pause to think that at Sinai, God was referring to himself as "the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob"... none of whom had dietary restrictions, mandatory sacrifices, temple, or Sabbath...? I assure you I have studied Torah. I have a theology degree. I keep pointing out what the Bible actually says, and I am told that I should instead look for "hints" which contradict the plain text!
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