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location Pittsburgh, PA
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visits member for 1 year, 5 months
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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) .


1d
revised What is the basis for the LDS belief that religious truth is confirmed by what you feel?
added a crucial citation
1d
revised What is the basis for the LDS belief that religious truth is confirmed by what you feel?
inserted a few necessary words
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comment What is the basis for the LDS belief that religious truth is confirmed by what you feel?
@kutschkem: My answer ends where it does because I was too tired to continue. After re-thinking things a bit, I'll revise my answer, adding a little meat to its bones, so to speak. Don
2d
answered What is the basis for the LDS belief that religious truth is confirmed by what you feel?
2d
comment What is the basis for the LDS belief that religious truth is confirmed by what you feel?
I'm surprised Elder Ballard didn't ask his interlocutor at that conference, "Well, do you believe the Ten Commandments are the word of God? If so, do you need the clay tablets on which the commandments were written by the finger of God to know that the words were from God?" Just a thought. Don
Dec
19
revised Was Esau's Birthright also a physical token?
couple errata
Dec
19
revised Was Esau's Birthright also a physical token?
added another citation
Dec
19
answered Was Esau's Birthright also a physical token?
Dec
18
comment Why is Jesus looking on an oddly standing stone?
I won't call you down. Personally I think of late there's been a bit too much "calling down" going on. If a relative newcomer asks what appears to be a serious question, even about a painting which features the Christ of Christianity, then I say let's not discourage him or her with disparaging comments. Also, I like that the painting doesn't depict an evil spectre lurking in the background. In all likelihood, Satan communicated with Christ via a purely spiritual medium in a meeting of minds, as he does with all of us. The battle against Satan requires spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:12 ff.).
Dec
17
revised What happens to those souls who have not been--nor ever will be--exposed to the teachings of the Bible?
some grammatical changes to make the question clearer
Dec
16
comment Is there any scriptual proof of annihilation?
You appear to have answered your own question. You ask, "Does the Bible support annihilation?" and your answer is: "Annihilation denotes the end of consciousness. According to the Bible, hell is all about eternal punishment. For punishment to qualify as punishment a person needs to be conscious of the punishment, but annihilation implies there is no consciousness. Therefore, the Bible proves just the opposite of annihilation." I think you need to rephrase your question a bit (e.g., "How do annihilationists get around the Bible's description of hell as conscious, eternal punishment?").
Dec
16
answered What is meant by keeping people blind and deaf so as not to get healed?
Dec
14
comment What does childbearing have to do with the salvation of a woman?
Question: Why do you think the two passages you've cited are related? Question: Do you automatically assume that the word "saved" means only made fit for heaven through the new birth? Question: Why not include in your question a verse such as Genesis 3:15, which speaks of the seed of the woman (which is a deliberate contradiction in terms, since "seed" is always linked with the man and not the woman)? Question: Could Christ's birth have anything to do with the woman's being saved? Question: What does a woman's silence have to do with her being saved? Selah.
Dec
14
answered What is the basis for the idea that marriage requires a ceremony?
Dec
13
comment Jesus cried: my God, why did they hear Elijah?
I think there is significance in Jesus' crying "My God, my God" and not "My Father, my Father." Since while he was on the cross Jesus quoted from Psalm 22, you could say he cried "My God" simply because the word "God" was the word David used in the psalm. I suggest, however, it also could have been because God was the God of Jesus' HUMANITY, not his DEITY. "I and my Father are one," Jesus said. We go too far by saying the Father abandoned Jesus on the cross as he bore our sins, but the preternatural & symbolic darkness and earthquake at Calvary bore witness to the awfulness of sin to our God.
Dec
11
comment Why did God create Adam and Eve so that they would sin?
@JimG.: No argument there, Jim! The question is a perplexing one, and consequently my answer is all over the place. Books have been written on the subject. You're lucky I didn't get into the subject of theodicy, which is closely related to the OP's question, or my answer would've been 2-3 times longer. Don
Dec
11
revised Why did God create Adam and Eve so that they would sin?
added a citation
Dec
11
comment Why did God create Adam and Eve so that they would sin?
@user13676: providing the will, so to speak, to keep the love a perfect love, a love in which there is a voluntary submission of Son to Father. Jesus' submission and obedience to the Father's will, became, by extension, an expression of love, not only for the Father but for His fallen creatures--for us! God's "noble experiment," if you can call it that, results in good coming out of evil. What is the greatest good? Why, it's the glory of God. It's that "God may be all in all" (1 Cor 15:28). Time is simply a blip in eternity, albeit an important one. It is a means to an end: God's glory.
Dec
11
comment Why did God create Adam and Eve so that they would sin?
@user13676: That said, and more to the point of your question, God did not create our first parents so that they could sin; he created them so that they could obey if they chose to do so. In obeying God, they demonstrated their love for him, which is really the greatest commandment: to love God supremely, with heart, soul, mind, and strength. In a world in which they found it impossible NOT to obey, true love for God would not be possible. God is our example in this regard. Within the Godhead, love reigns supreme, with the Father loving the Son, the Son loving the Father, and the Spirit
Dec
11
comment Why did God create Adam and Eve so that they would sin?
@user13676: Forgive me for the poor analogy. You're correct, we typically do not consider free will and the violation of the laws of nature to have anything to do with one another. I hope you'd agree with me, however, that the concept of "free will" is a slippery one vis a vis finite human beings. Our wills are free up to a point, and therein is the sticking point. Since we, as finite beings, do not know where our "free will" ends and God's begins, Jesus encourages us to say, "Not my will but yours be done, on earth as it is in heaven."