3,806 reputation
415
bio website none
location Pittsburgh, PA
age 64
visits member for 1 year, 2 months
seen 4 hours ago

For the last 56 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 40 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 was certified recently as a paralegal. 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) .


2h
awarded  Explainer
9h
comment Why is the miracle of raising the dead often noted as being done privately?
We're not as far apart as you might think, particularly regarding the concept of glory. Whether a Christian is an instrument in God's hands, through prayer, to raise a person from the dead OR simply to give a cup of cold water to a thirsty soul in Jesus' name, God will honor each of these apparently disparate acts only if the overriding motive for performing them is for Jesus/God to be glorified. If after serving people in Jesus' name, the beneficiaries of God's healing and provision think "Now there goes a great man or woman . . .," well, "Houston, we have a problem." Don
17h
comment Why is the miracle of raising the dead often noted as being done privately?
Thanks for the encouragement. To be honest (is there any other way to be in this forum?), I had not read your answer before I crafted mine. I will read it tomorrow, however, and let you know what I think. BTW, I added a couple paragraphs at the end of my answer as a result of having a conversation tonight with a good friend and brother in the Lord. His name is Chuck, and he was just diagnosed with MDS, a precursor to full-blown leukemia. Don
18h
revised Why is the miracle of raising the dead often noted as being done privately?
added a couple final paragraphs; they contain important afterthoughts
1d
answered Why is the miracle of raising the dead often noted as being done privately?
1d
comment According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, where does the Devil come from?
Good insight regarding Satan's desire to hinder God's design and declaration that the world be filled with God worshipers. Comparing the religious leaders of his day (and by extension all humanistic and political saviors) to sheep stealers, Jesus in John 10 cited their true motives, namely, to kill, to steal, and to destroy (v.10). Much like Satan, these false "messiahs" desire to supplant God's plan, which is to give his children an abundant life (v.10), with their own devious devices to further their own kingdom, not God's. To accomplish this, they often resort to violence and coercion.
2d
answered Who are the many nations that Abraham was called by God, 'the father' of?
Sep
23
revised What did God mean by having dominion over animals?
minor fixes
Sep
22
comment Transcendence and Revelation
@theodoulos: Christians don't have all the answers. That's what we have in common with all other faith adherents, regardless of their religion. We Christians need to embrace mystery, and give up attempting to 'splain everything through language. God's truth is in many ways beyond understanding, but we are enabled by His Spirit to understand enough to get to heaven and to live lives that glorify Him in this life and the next. Don
Sep
22
comment Transcendence and Revelation
@theodoulos: Moreover, Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us that God's thoughts and ways are NOT our thoughts and ways. As high as the heavens are above the earth, that's how far apart our thoughts and ways are from God's. God has always been and always will be transcendent. Being created in His image helps us communicate with Him, but on a finite level. Moreover, v.7 in the same chapter Isaiah tells us "Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon."
Sep
21
comment How can we trust the Bible after it has been translated to another language?
@Kevin: Let's not forget that "literalists" is an epithet of sorts used by their critics to shame them for believing the Bible is literally the word of God. Well-schooled "literalists" like me know that a great deal of the Bible has figurative, metaphorical, symbolic (and all words, for that matter, are symbolic), and rhetorical content. "Literal" is obviously a misnomer. To ill-informed literalists the word probably means the Bible is REALLY God's word and that inspiration (a la 2 Timothy 3:15) extends to the meaning (both literal and figurative) of words, sentences, and paragraphs. Don
Sep
19
comment Why did God punish us for the sin of Adam and Eve?
I love it! I get the best-answer check mark, and no up-votes. I must be doing something right. Don
Sep
19
revised Why did God punish us for the sin of Adam and Eve?
added a few bits here and there for better clarity; deleted a few errata
Sep
19
answered What's the Biblical basis for calling God by the name of Jesus in prayers?
Sep
17
comment Why did God punish us for the sin of Adam and Eve?
"Free will"? Perhaps that's overstating things a bit. The only One with free will is God. To the rest of us He gives the ability simply to make choices and decisions. Is that free will? No, but it constitutes, perhaps, God's parameters of human behavior through which He allows us to choose, to decide, and to function as sentient and moral beings. Only God is, after all, Sovereign, and He is accountable to no one but Himself and to who He is as God, which is perfect in all His Being and doing. Don
Sep
17
answered Why did God punish us for the sin of Adam and Eve?
Sep
8
answered Are there any verses in the bible which specifically talk about education?
Sep
4
answered Why does Jesus have to be fully God and fully man? Is it not sufficient to be the son of God and fully man?
Sep
1
comment What does the chaining and locking of Satan in the bottomless pit for the millennial reign accomplish?
will be difficult indeed. Consequently, there will, perhaps, be few believers and MANY unbelievers who STILL(!) refuse to repent of their sins (see Revelation 9:20-21). By the way, I believe (at least I think I do) the Day of the Lord begins when Christ takes his church home to be with him in glory and ends when God ushers in the eternal state in which "the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15).
Sep
1
comment What does the chaining and locking of Satan in the bottomless pit for the millennial reign accomplish?
@Bye: The Second Coming of Christ in the air does not signal the end of the possibility of being saved. What signals the end for each and every one of us, regardless of when we live on this earth, is physical death. People in the Millennium aren't being given a second chance. They'll live and they'll die as did all humankind prior to Christ's millennial reign on earth. If they believe in Christ, they'll be resurrected to eternal life some day, just as anyone was prior to the Millennium. During the Day of the Lord, especially during the Great Tribulation, to become (and stay) a Christian