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Re: [biblicalapologetics] Rob Bowman

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  • Patrick Navas
    Rob, Here is a brief response to your comments: Do you mean that the memory of Babylon s destruction will last only a very long time, in which case it is not
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 18, 2007
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      Rob,
       
      Here is a brief response to your comments:

      "Do you mean that the memory of Babylon's destruction will last only
      a very long time, in which case it is not truly permanent, or will
      God and the righteous remember FOREVER the destruction of Babylon?"
      You replied:<< Good question Rob. I don't know for sure. >>
      Then, Revelation 19:3 is not a clear example of "to the ages of the
      ages" meaning something other than forever and ever...
       
      Yes it is. Literal Smoke will not literally ascend "forever and ever (absolutely without end)." The only options I see are (1) the expression "to the ages of ages" does mean "absolutely forever" but is used figuratively/hyperbolically in this case, not literally, or (2) "to the ages of ages" does not mean "absolutel forever," but long indefinite periods of time or something to that effect.
       
      So even if the expression does mean "forever and ever" it can and is used figuratively (hyperbolically?) in certain instances.

      You wrote:<< But it is not the expression "to the ages of the ages" that
      connotes the permanency and lasting memory of Babylon's destruction;
      it is the smoke that is said to ascend "to the ages of the ages"
      that connotes this. >>You cited Revelation 19:3 to document an example
      of a text in which "to the ages of the ages" meant for an indefinitely long
      period of time. Yet, when you actually explained the significance of
      that text, you said nothing about an indefinitely long period of
      time, but instead wrote of the "permanency" of the effect. Of
      course, the image as a whole is what expresses whatever symbolic
      meaning is intended. I simply am pointing out that the text does not
      use the expression "to the ages of the ages" in the sense of an
      indefinitely long period of time.
       
      First, you haven't proved that it cannot convey the sense of "indefinitely long periods of time" or that it means, strictly or technically, "absolutely forever." Secondly, I have no problem with it meaning "absolutely forever without end," because it can still be used figuratively as Beale himself points out. That is, the expression "the smoke ascends forever and ever" is likely an idiomatic/poetic/metaphoric/ way of getting the idea across that the city (or whatever is represented by the city) will be violently/dramatically, permanently and irrevocably destroyed by God. (Please take note of a similar expression used in reference to the historical city of Edom in Isaiah 34:10)

      You wrote:

      Since I have already stated that the smoke and the city are not
      literal, obviously I agree that literal smoke will not be rising
      from a literal city for eternity. But neither will literal smoke
      rise from a literal city for one literal minute!
       
      That is fine. Then this gives us further reason to think that "neither literal torment will last for all of eternity from persons (devil, beast and false prophet) literally burning in a literal lake of fire." (Rev. 20:10). And that is exactly the point, or, at least, one aspect of the point I have argued.

      You wrote:<< And the simple point that I'm making is that since the reference
      to "forever rising smoke" is clearly not literal, this gives more
      evidence that the reference to "torment" lasting "forever and ever"
      in Rev. 20:10 is not literal either, or, "to the ages of ages" does
      not really mean "absolutely forever." >>Sorry, it doesn't. From the
      fact that the smoke is not literal you cannot infer that forever doesn't
      mean forever.
       
      I never inferred that "forever" does not mean "forever." I argue that "to the ages of ages" does not necessarily mean "absolutely forever without end." I also argued that, even if it does, then it can still be used figuratively, a point that Beale (a traditionalist/evangelical) himself seems to make.
       
       Remember what I asked you to provide: a text that
       clearly uses the expression "to the ages of the ages" to mean for
      an indefinitely long period of time and not forever and ever. What is
      it that goes on for an indefinitely long period of time, in Revelation
      19:3? You can't say; you don't know. That's because there isn't anything
      in that text that goes on for an indefinitely long period of time.
       
      The smoke from Babylon goes up "to the ages of the ages." But "Babylon" and the smoke that rises from her are clearly symbolic of some (unidentified) reality. There will clearly not be literal smoke ascending "absolutely forever without end." What is presented are images, visions, pictures and symbols that represent something real. With respect to the expression "ages of ages" I agree with Beale:

      “Strictly speaking, even the expression ‘they will be tormented forever and ever” is figurative; eis tous aiõnas ton aiõnon literally can be rendered ‘unto the ages of the ages’; at the least, the phrase figuratively connotes a very long time. The context here and in the whole Apocalypse must determine whether this is a limited time or an unending period…”
    • Patrick Navas
      This is from my friend Dave of scripturaltruths.com: Patrick, Overall I felt the presentation was very good, but I do have a few comments. I thought your point
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 18, 2007
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        This is from my friend Dave of scripturaltruths.com:
         
        Patrick,
         
        Overall I felt the presentation was very good, but I do have a few comments.
         
        I thought your point on “forever and ever” was very good.  The expression does not truly mean eternity, but it is used to denote such, but in context, it is used for eternity within a figurative reference.
         
        One thing I would note is that there seem to be two views on the hypostatic union, depending upon who you ask.  One seems to be the one that you address, where Jesus is the God-man, but where his natures are split, with some texts addressed to one nature, and other to the other.  A good number of Trinitarians also understand that they are blended together and cannot be separated.  So every text refers to the complete God-man and not only one nature or the other.  This is very difficult, IMO, when it comes to texts that refer to Jesus’ death and such, but something I felt worth mentioning.
         
        In Hebrews 1 when God speaks of begetting Jesus, I have always understood that text to refer to his resurrection.  That, IMO, seems to best fit the context, and so I don’t think that it impacts the “eternal generation of the son” teaching.  Perhaps some Trinitarians view it differently.
         
        One thing I noted was in the following paragraph.  Just the word “no” and it should be “not”:
         
        So the real truth of the matter is that, scripturally, for Christians “there is one God,” and this one God is “the Father” (no the ‘Trinity’) and (kai), in addition to this “one God,” there is “one Lord, Jesus Christ”—but Jesus Christ was made to be the “one Lord” by that same “one God, the Father,” “the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
         
        Additionally, I do not see a problem with understanding 1 Corinthians 8:6 as a modification of the Shema, but I would not understand it in the same way as Bowman puts forth.  You properly observe that it makes little sense to say that we have “one Jehovah/Yahweh Jesus Christ.”  However, if the Shema was considered modified so as to place Christ next to God as our exalted Lord, such would be appropriate. I am working on something where I plan to discuss this in a bit more detail.
         
        Anyway, as I said, overall it was a good presentation.
         
        -Dave
         
      • Patrick Navas
        Rob, I don t know if you are intending to respond to my discussion (Heb 1:8; 1 Cor. 6:6) on any level, but I would at least appreciate if you attempted to
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 18, 2007
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          Rob,
           
          I don't know if you are intending to respond to my discussion (Heb 1:8; 1 Cor. 6:6) on any level, but I would at least appreciate if you attempted to address my questions (without ignoring or glossing over any of the relevant points I have brought up):
           
          How do you get around Harris’ true statement made in reference to the king of Israel, about him not being ‘God’ in the absolute sense, since Yahweh is the king’s God? And how does this fact not equally apply to Jesus if the very same text (with all the same, key elements) applies to him?
           
          If calling Jesus “Lord” in the New Testament means that he is “YHWH (in the classical, trinitarian sense),” how could the Father be described as “the God of our Lord (YHWH) Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:17)?
           
          If by calling Jesus the “one Lord” in 1 Corinthians 8:6 the apostle meant that Jesus is “God Almighty,” how could the apostles have believed and stated, at the same time, that Jesus was “made Lord” by God and that God had “given” Jesus the authority intrinsic to his Lordship (Acts 2:36; Matthew 28:19)?
        • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
          Patrick, You wrote:
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 18, 2007
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            Patrick,

            You wrote:

            << That is, the expression "the smoke ascends forever and ever" is
            likely an idiomatic/poetic/metaphoric/ way of getting the idea
            across that the city (or whatever is represented by the city) will
            be violently/dramatically, permanently and irrevocably destroyed by
            God. >>

            If so, then "to the ages of the ages" means forever and ever without
            end, because whatever is represented by the city is "permanently and
            irrevocably destroyed," never, ever, ever to return to existence,
            forever and ever, without end. That is the simple point I have been
            trying to get you to see. Most conditionalists and annihilationists
            agree that "to the ages of the ages" means "forever and ever,"
            without end; they simply argue that what lasts forever is the
            annihilation of the wicked. It makes absolutely no sense to argue
            that "to the ages of the ages" means for an indefinitely long yet
            finite period of time. Such an argument really does not even fit the
            conditionalist or annihilationist belief.

            You wrote:

            << Then this gives us further reason to think that "neither literal
            torment will last for all of eternity from persons (devil, beast and
            false prophet) literally burning in a literal lake of fire." (Rev.
            20:10). And that is exactly the point, or, at least, one aspect of
            the point I have argued. >>

            You're making a point of no impact on the orthodox doctrine of
            eternal punishment, which does not require us to believe that people
            will be literally burning in a literal lake of fire. If that's what
            you're criticizing, have at it. Meanwhile, the orthodox doctrine
            remains unperturbed.

            In Christ's service,
            Rob Bowman
          • Robert M. Bowman, Jr.
            Patrick, You wrote:
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 18, 2007
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              Patrick,

              You wrote:

              << I don't know if you are intending to respond to my discussion
              (Heb 1:8; 1 Cor. 6:6) on any level, but I would at least appreciate
              if you attempted to address my questions (without ignoring or
              glossing over any of the relevant points I have brought up): >>

              That parenthetical remark reveals a problem with our discussions,
              Patrick. I have answered many of your questions, some of them
              repeatedly, and you claim that I didn't answer them or that my
              answers "glossed over" something you wrote.

              You wrote:

              << How do you get around Harris' true statement made in reference to
              the king of Israel, about him not being `God' in the absolute sense,
              since Yahweh is the king's God? And how does this fact not equally
              apply to Jesus if the very same text (with all the same, key
              elements) applies to him? >>

              I have already answered this. Jesus is not just another king of
              Israel. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. What the Psalm
              says about the Israelite king applies to him only in a typological
              way; it applies fully and definitively to the antitype, Jesus Christ.

              You didn't like this answer the first time, so I doubt you'll
              acknowledge that I answered you this time, either.

              You wrote:

              << If calling Jesus "Lord" in the New Testament means that he
              is "YHWH (in the classical, trinitarian sense)," how could the
              Father be described as "the God of our Lord (YHWH) Jesus Christ"
              (Ephesians 1:17)? >>

              Because the Lord (YHWH) Jesus Christ became incarnate, and as such,
              the person of the Lord Jesus Christ relates to the Father as a human
              being to his God.

              Again, I've already explained this.

              You wrote:

              << If by calling Jesus the "one Lord" in 1 Corinthians 8:6 the
              apostle meant that Jesus is "God Almighty," how could the apostles
              have believed and stated, at the same time, that Jesus was "made
              Lord" by God and that God had "given" Jesus the authority intrinsic
              to his Lordship (Acts 2:36; Matthew 28:19)? >>

              Because by humbling himself in becoming a human being, Jesus
              depended on the Father to exalt him.

              Now, I will ask YOU a question that I have asked you repeatedly, on
              the other subject of our exchanges, and which I don't think you have
              yet even tried to answer. This comes from post 1561:

              "I asked you before: Is it your view that the devil, the beast, and
              the false prophet will be tormented, but only for an indefinitely
              long time?"

              In Christ's service,
              Rob Bowman
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