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    Does Jesus quote an apocryphal book in Matthew 23?

    I have color-coded the relevant passages here for comparison. If He isn't literally quoting 2 Esdras, it certainly looks like He is alluding to it and assumes His audience would be familiar with it. 2 Esdras 1:30-33 "I gathered you together, as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings...
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    Is the Spirit of Christ the 2nd person of the trinity, or the 3rd?

    I maintain that it is appropriate for us to think of the term "Spirit of Christ" not as another name for the Holy Spirit, but as the 2nd person of the trinity. Here are two passages of Scripture that mention the Spirit of Christ: "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the...
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    Prayer and fasting testimonies?

    I'm interested in hearing testimonies from anyone who has experienced breakthrough specifically after fasting. What did you fast for, and what was the outcome? What did you fast, and for how long?
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    Can a sheep be taken captive by Satan?

    The purpose of this post is to challenge the definition of "sheep" that Calvinists put forth. 1. Jesus says of the sheep in John 10, "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers" (v. 5), and "All who ever came before Me are...
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    The one verse that ought to settle this debate - 1 Timothy 2:3-4

    "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." I've heard Calvinists try to explain away this verse by insisting that the "all men" in v. 4 is really the "we" in v. 2. This doesn't hold water since...
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    God destroys people after saving them.

    "But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe." - Jude 1:5 How does this verse apply to our doctrine of soteriology? I have a theory: God can save people and then cast them...
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    Calvinism examined in light of near death experiences.

    First of all, if you are adamantly set against the possibility of people going to heaven or hell and coming back to report it, then this thread isn't for you. There are a number of stories of "hellish" NDEs that are known not just among Christian literature, but in secular research. One that I...
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    Demons are not fallen angels, but disembodied people.

    The Biblical case for the idea that demons, aka evil spirits, cannot be fallen angels but are far more likely to be disembodied people, is a simple matter of deduction. We know that what the Bible calls a "spirit" is non-corporeal, i.e. it does not have a form that can be touched physically by...
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    Luther's antilegomena

    Has anyone else ever wondered what Protestant theology would look like today if Luther had committed himself to a 27 book New Testament like his successors do? After all, he formulated his doctrine of justification by faith based on an assumption that Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation were...
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    "Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?"

    Matthew 22:11-14 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment. So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him...
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    Paul to Timothy: "Their salvation depends on your perseverance."

    1 Timothy 4:16 "Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you." How can salvation be an arbitrary work of God if the salvation of Timothy's audience depended on Timothy's perseverance in ministry? Also, why...
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    Can a person have the Holy Spirit and not know it?

    I personally don't think this is possible, since (being holy) the Holy Spirit would overwhelm our senses when He enters us.
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    Why is it hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God?

    Seriously...why is this true? And what if those of us living in the USA in the 21st century are, for biblical purposes, all wealthy people? Statistics are hard to come by, but I recall reading in recent years that if you make $50,000 here in the US, you are in the top 1% globally. Does it...
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    Will the non-elect be judged for refusing God's open offer of salvation?

    Under the Calvinistic scheme, on what basis would God be able to judge someone for rejecting Christ? If a non-elect individual stands before Him at the judgment and is judged for his many sins, how can this rejection of forgiveness in Christ be among them? The reprobate individual who rejects...
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    A thought experiment.

    Let's say that what we call consciousness is nothing more than matter in motion. Now, if we were to some day clone an individual all the way to the atomic level, wouldn't it follow that the same "soul" would experience consciousness in both bodies at the same time? Why or why not?
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    The unforgiving servant: elect or non-elect?

    What say you? Matthew 18:21-35. Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a...
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    Sheep following after wolves - Jesus v Paul.

    John 10:1-8 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own...
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    Nero redivivus?

    Is anyone else convinced that the most natural reading of Revelation suggests that Nero will come back to life and rule the world before Christ comes back? If so, then the idea that there will be a statue of him in Jerusalem that can speak and bewitch the world isn't so far fetched either. I...
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    Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated?

    I have long believed that no one ever comes to understand Romans 9 through a Calvinistic paradigm unless they are first taught to look for Calvinism in the text. Verses 12-13 are a great example. In Luke 14:26, Jesus says "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and...
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    If your eschatology is off, your soteriology is almost guaranteed to be off too.

    Although it's common to try and neatly separate the doctrines of soteriology and eschatology, this can't be faithfully done biblically. The reason is this: Certain eschatological views, if true, would affect how we form our soteriology. I'll use my own beliefs as an example. I believe in a...