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bio website johansens.us
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visits member for 2 years, 6 months
seen Apr 10 at 13:43

May
14
answered What did the serpent look like?
May
14
comment What did the serpent look like?
Well, if you take the Bible metaphorically, then it's meaningless to ask any questions of the "what really happenned?" sort. The only answer will be, "Nothing happenned at all. At most we can look for the symbols in the metaphor."
May
11
awarded  Nice Answer
May
11
comment Can a non-Christian sell his soul?
@Marc I assume nothing except that people mean what they say. I didn't say that the only possible reason for rejecting Christianity is that one doesn't want to give up things that Christianity calls sin. I said "many people" and "plenty of people". Surely you do not deny that that is among the reasons. I've often heard people explicitly say, "I could never be a part of a religion that condemns me for X". For X fill in "drinking", "living with my girlfriend", "being a homosexual", or many other things.
May
10
answered A paradox that arises from Christian duty as “ambassador”
May
10
answered Can a non-Christian sell his soul?
May
10
comment What of all those who just don't know
@Eric Exactly, I'll have to upvote your answer over there. :-) Suppose you and I are both convicted of breaking a (human) law for which the penalty is a large fine. Assume the law is reasonable and just and we both really are guilty. But you have a rich friend who pays your fine for you. Does the fact that someone helped you but no one helped me mean that I am being cheated? I am no worse off than I would have been if your friend didn't exist or didn't help you. Your friend has no obligation to help me or anyone else.
May
10
comment Why does the Messiah have to be God?
I'm not aware of anything in the Bible that says "the disciples concluded that Jesus was the Messiah, and therefore that he must be God". And, believing that a person was God would be a very peculiar thing for anyone in any time to think. That's why the story continues to interest people 2000 years later. If, as many people believe, Jesus was simply a good man who said that people should be nice to each other, no one would remember him today any more than we remember the millions of other nice people who have lived throughout history.
May
10
comment Why does the Messiah have to be God?
The word "messiah" of itself does not mean "God". The word "president" of itself does not mean "US citizen". Nevertheless to be U.S. president, one must be a U.S. citizen. Likewise, there are many things that a person had to be and do to be "the Messiah". It is not unreasonable to say that one of these requirements was that the person be God, whether or not people at the time understood this.
May
10
comment Are there any conditions which make oneself completely unredeemable in the eyes of God?
@Mason Can you give an example or two of other interpretations that you have heard that take the text seriously? I see room for debate about details, how broad or narrow. But beyond that?
May
9
answered What is the Biblical basis for 'term eldership'?
May
9
answered Are there any conditions which make oneself completely unredeemable in the eyes of God?
May
9
comment Are there any conditions which make oneself completely unredeemable in the eyes of God?
The Bible doesn't spell out exactly what constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, but the context gives us the general idea. Jesus had performed a miracle, and then certain people said that he did this, not by the power of the Holy Spirit, but by the power of Satan. Jesus then makes the above statement. The next verse is, "Because they said, 'He has an unclean spirit'". So the gist of the idea appears to be that the unforgivable sin is attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan, or perhaps a little more generally, denying the work of the Holy Spirit. Details are highly debateable.
May
9
comment Is it valid to use grape juice at Communion?
@Nathan But that's my point. The only thing actually commanded is to drink from a cup and eat bread. No mention of what has to be in the cup, or the form of the bread. What I was trying to say was that the fact that I don't see how you could make a case that we must use wine because the cup Jesus drank from presumably contained wine. By the same reasoning, you could say we must have 13 people in the room because that's how many were in the room when Jesus instituted the ceremony.
May
9
answered Who was first, men or angels?
May
8
answered Is it valid to use grape juice at Communion?
May
8
answered Why does the Messiah have to be God?
May
8
comment Why does the Messiah have to be God?
The fact that the Jews generally did not believe that the Messiah had to be God does not prove that the Messiah did not have to be God. There are lots of things that many, even most, people have believed at one time or another that have proven to be false.
May
8
comment Why does the Messiah have to be God?
Let's just say that this is not a theory widely held by either Christians or Jews. There are many people in the Old Testament who are referred to as "annointed" -- Aaron and his sons (Ex 40:15), Saul (1 Sam 10:1), David (1 Sam 16:6), the prophets (Ps 105:15), all of Jerusalem (Ezek 16:9), etc. There is a difference between being "anointed" and being "The Anointed". It's like the difference between saying "Bob is our representative", which could be any sort of representative for any purpose, and saying "Bob is our Representative", as in, a specific government office.
May
3
comment Does the Bible support the concept of male spiritual headship?
@JonEricson Well, the fact that Rahab led her family to salvation doesn't necessarily make her the "spiritual head". The idea of spiritual headship relates to being first in authority, not first to take action. If I convince my brother that we should both join the army, and I achieve the rank of lieutenant while he becomes a general, the fact that it was I who encouraged him to join does not mean that I outrank him.