5,146 reputation
515
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location Pittsburgh, PA
age 64
visits member for 1 year, 9 months
seen 13 hours ago

For the last 57 years, I have been a practicing Christian (liberally conservative and evangelical). Should any posting I make to any Stack Exchange website pique your curiosity as to the what and why of my beliefs, feel free to communicate with me at drlarter@yahoo.com. I do not claim to have all the answers--let alone all the questions(!), but I would consider it a privilege to discuss Christianity with you in a rational and civilized fashion.

My wife (a native Egyptian and Christian) and I have been married over 41 years. We have two grown children who have flown the coop, making us empty nesters.

I have a Master's degree in Speech Communications and three years of doctoral studies in Rhetorical Theory at the University of Pittsburgh. After a brief stint as a teacher of public speaking, I embarked on a couple of different and totally divergent pursuits by owning and operating two small businesses.

Tired of being in business for myself, I went back to school at Duquesne University's Paralegal Institute in Pittsburgh, where I received a General Practice Certificate last December (2013). I am currently looking for employment in that field, and would like to round out the last stage of my work life in some area of jurisprudence.

A rhetorical perspective is almost as natural to me as breathing. Overt and covert attempts at persuasion, whether written or spoken, are my legitimate targets for analysis, evaluation, and criticism. Of particular interest to the EL&U web site contributors would be, with some adaptations and modifications, the traditional canons of speech: style (elocutio), invention (inventio), organization (dispositio), memorability (memoria), and delivery (pronuntiatio or actio) .


Apr
15
comment Was there anyone specific who ever argued that God was dead?
@mastermissions.com: Thaaaaanks! Don
Apr
13
answered Was there anyone specific who ever argued that God was dead?
Apr
12
revised Is 1 John 5:7-8 (the Comma Johanneum) a Latin corruption?
added some information for the benefit of readers
Apr
3
comment A Catholic uncertain of the trinity
I can't help but add that when Jesus told the paralytic "Your sins are forgiven" and the scribes and Pharisees in attendance said "Who is this man who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?", they were spot-on correct. NO ONE can forgive sins but God alone. And just to demonstrate he, like God, had the authority--not to mention the right--to forgive sins, Jesus also healed the man! I hope the scribes and Pharisees felt salty! (See Matthew 9, Mark 2, and Luke 5.) Don
Apr
3
comment What does the word “for” mean in the phrase “Christ died for our sins”?
On the one hand, yours is a good question. Sometimes we benefit by thinking about the meaning of little words--like FOR, for instance. On the other hand, sometimes over-thinking things can muddy the waters unnecessarily. This may be a case of the latter. The word FOR in 1 Corinthians 15:3 means "on account of" or "because of" or "to cover" (i.e., to cover our sin debt, as when a benefactor steps in to pay someone's debt and says "Well, that should cover it"). We all have a sin debt. When Jesus interposed his blood between our sins and holy God, he was saying, "Well, that ought to cover it"!
Apr
2
comment How are justification and sanctification related to salvation?
@AdithiaKusno: Feel free to do it yourself in an edit. You have my permission! Don
Mar
31
answered Does God love everyone equally?
Mar
28
revised Reasons many Christians not reading the Bible both OT and NT?
a few touch-ups here and there
Mar
28
revised How are justification and sanctification related to salvation?
added a new quotation; fixed a couple errata
Mar
28
revised Reasons many Christians not reading the Bible both OT and NT?
added a few words
Mar
28
answered Reasons many Christians not reading the Bible both OT and NT?
Mar
28
comment How are justification and sanctification related to salvation?
@AdithiaKusno: Feel free to re-insert your "consequently/simultaneously" terminology. I won't be offended! As for sanctification being "accidental," I'd have to think about that. Now if you substituted the word "proactive" or "deliberate" for "accidental," I might agree with you. I could even agree with "value-added bonus," since ANY reward beyond salvation is "gravy" (or "icing on the cake"), not to mention undeserved. "So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty'" (Luke 17:10 ESV).
Mar
28
answered How are justification and sanctification related to salvation?
Mar
27
revised How are justification and sanctification related to salvation?
made the questions a bit clearer
Mar
27
comment Were other sins possible in the paradise?
Of course! They DID, however, and God didn't have a back-up plan; rather, he had a "plan A" which he conceived before time but implemented IN time and in the FULLNESS of time (see Galatians 4:4). He did all this according to the purpose of his will, and one day sin will no longer exist in God's kingdom because Satan WILL be out of the picture forever. After all, "To this end was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8).
Mar
27
comment Were other sins possible in the paradise?
as an excuse for not believing in God. "How could a loving God afflict a child with incurable cancer?" they ask. Good question. We Christians dare not treat such questions cavalierly and simply quote Romans 8:28, for example, and leave it at that. That said, would our first parents be unable to sin were Satan completely out of the picture? My answer: Of course not! It's a moot point, however, because Satan has been a part of the picture for ages, and he was "successful" in tempting Eve. The rest is history. If God has his "druthers," would he have preferred our first parents not sin?
Mar
27
comment Were other sins possible in the paradise?
@user13676: Good question. You've opened up a whole can of worms, but that's OK. One of the things which makes your question unanswerable, in a sense, is what you might call the "mystery of iniquity" (see 2 Thessalonians 2:7). There IS something mysterious about sin. Well meaning people have been trying for millennia to come up with a biblical and satisfying answer to the problem of sin. (The technical term for such an answer is theodicy.) Not-so-well-meaning people use the problem of sin and its obvious repercussions throughout the world (death, disease, natural disasters, and so on)
Mar
26
comment A Warning from Jesus
If you'd like to read my answer to your question, feel free to let me know, and I'll email it to you. My email address in drlarter@yahoo.com. Don
Mar
18
revised At what moment did Eve begin to sin?
minor rewording
Mar
18
revised At what moment did Eve begin to sin?
corrected a clerical error