What does it really mean to be “dead in trespasses and sins”?

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Colossians 2:12-20
(12) Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
(13) And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him [Christ], having forgiven you all trespasses
(20) …therefore…ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world…

Ephesians 2:1-6
(1) And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins
(5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Romans 6:3-4 
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

The goal of this essay is to determine what it means to be “dead in trespasses and sins.” I am concerned that the popular spiritual death explanation ascribed to this phrase by many Christian leaders is misleading. From Romans 6:5 emerges a rule which tethers the words death and resurrection to each other in such a way that both words must be taken in the same sense—they are both either literal or figurative. No mixing of a figurative death (e.g. spiritual death) and a literal resurrection is therefore permitted. This point is important because in the passages of Ephesians 2:1-6 and Colossians 2:13-20, both the Romans 6:5 rule and the force of logic compel us to conclude that the Author is using the terms dead and quickened symmetrically.

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The Sabbath In The Law Of Moses – Exodus 16:23-30

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CHAPTER IV: THE SABBATH IN THE LAW OF MOSES – Exodus 16:23-30

Reviewing Chapter IV of Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s The Sabbath:

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein. And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. So the people rested on the seventh day. (Exodus 16:23-30)

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Pastor Lon Solomon says Paul tried to get intellectual with the gospel and was “booed off the stage.” Really?

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The other day I was watching Ken Ham’s Foundation Series DVD entitled: “Revealing the Unknown God” where on the second half of the DVD Ken was talking about how he felt like crying after reading one of the devotions from a devotional booklet that was printed for a particular group of Reformed churches in Michigan. The devotion stated:

Paul came to Corinth speaking the gospel in simple terms. He had just journeyed there from Athens where he had drawn on his education and tried to communicate the gospel in the style of a philosopher. He even quoted from the Greek poets. The result? The great missionary fell flat on his face. I can picture him entering into his diary, “Don’t ever try this again. The cross doesn’t need my verbal decorations.”
Source: [Chic Broersma, https://woh.org/word/devotionals/2010/01/03, Accessed on April 26, 2014]

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Were there drunk people at the wedding when Jesus turned water into wine?

Some co-workers and I were opining on the second chapter of John in a recent bible study that I participated in, when I uttered my contentious observation that the feast governor’s speech in John 2:10 seems to imply that there were intoxicated people at the wedding. Most of the bible study participants disagreed with my observation and instead claimed that there was no such implication given by the verses in question. Now, in a logic course that I took a while back, I remember the instructor saying that If you cannot translate an English sentence into a proposition’s categorical form then you really don’t know what the sentence means. This does make sense if you think about it; after all, a proposition is the simplest unit of thought. When you convert what is being said into propositions, you are clarifying and simplifying the contents of each sentence. Continue reading

Examining the Calvinist’s Fallacy of Equivocation/Amphibology in Romans 5:18

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Romans 5:18)

Romans 5:18 is the conclusion of an argument that begins back in verse 12. In the King James Version of the bible, verses 13-17 are placed in parenthesis presumably to indicate that they form the exposition of verses 12 and 18. So, verse 12 contains four premises that form a syllogism, verses 13 through 17 are the details and development of these premises, and verse 18 is the conclusion of the argument.

In Romans 5:12, Paul reveals four premises/propositions:

  1. By one man sin entered into the world
  2. and death (entered into the world ) by sin
  3. so death passed upon all men,
  4. for that all (men) have sinned

All propositions come in one of four categories: All, None, Some and Some not. Putting the Romans 5:12 propositions into categorical form, one comes up with the following: Continue reading

Irrational attacks against the Bible

Co-Worker:
It is a matter of history that the bible is the invention of a group of men coming together in a room to decide which books would go in and which ones wouldn’t therefore it isn’t the Word of God.

James:
It should be immediately apparent to any student of logic that the argument above amounts to making many mistakes in reasoning. Assuming that the above claim is referring to the famed 397 AD Council of Carthage, it would then also be false for espousing historical inaccuracies as the canon that emerged from that council differs from the canon that I axiomatically subscribe to and which is found in, for instance, the KJV or any other bible based upon the Textus Receptus.  Furthermore, any account suggesting that the scriptural canon was the result of scholars deliberating in some Roman Catholic-driven council is defied by the very words of Scripture itself.  For instance, in 1 Thessalonians 2:13  we are told of Christians who recognized that the Apostle Paul’s words were of divine origin and received it as the Word of God without the help of a council. This scripture is corroborated by Christ’s claim in John 10:27, 5  which suggests that Christians–by virtue of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God–are individually able to discern what is God’s Word and what isn’t. In fact, the bible goes as far as stating that Christians DO NOT NEED a person, a council or any other man made establishment in order to arrive at truth since they are indwelt by the Arbiter of truth, namely, the Holy Spirit of God (1 John 2:27). Finally, there is reason to believe that the skeptic above is equivocating on the word God since in the context of this conversation it became evident that he was largely ignorant of the Biblical God to whom the claim above pertains.

Other Errors in reasoning

  1. Asserting the Consequent:
    (P – The Antecedent) If the proposition that the bible is NOT the word of the biblical God is to be affirmed (Q – The Consequent) the bible’s transmittal and assembling will involve the efforts of men. (Asserting Q) The bible was transmitted and assembled through the efforts of certain men (P) therefore it is impossible for it to be the Word of the Biblical God.
    The form of this logical fallacy is:  if P then Q, Q therefore P (where P and Q are premises).
    The classic example that is used to demonstrate the absurdity of this reasoning is: (P) if it is raining then (Q) the streets are wet; (Q) the streets are wet, (P) therefore it must be raining. The reason that this line of reasoning is fallacious is because there are many other reasons that could equally explain why the streets are wet so the conclusion that it must be raining is not a necessary inference, thus it is an invalid inference. Likewise, the conclusion that the bible cannot be the Word of God because of man’s involvement in its composition introduces an arbitrary and unnecessary restriction on how God chooses to reveals His word to man; therefore, it is an invalid inference and a mistake in reasoning.
  2. Falsifying the Axiom:
    The central Christian axiom of Scripture states that the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments are the Word of God. This axiom, just like any other, is not open to further discussion about it’s truthfulness or falsehood and yet the skeptic above tries to demonstrate that this axiom is false; hence, the error in reasoning. To quote the Christian Philosopher Dr. Gordon H. Clark:“One does not, need not, and cannot prove axioms. Yet they are indispensable; every philosophy and every person must have axioms, or there would be no philosophy and no persons. From this axiom [the 66 Books of the bible alone are the Word of God] , all other Christian doctrines follow.”

    If the skeptic would like to criticize an opponents worldview, the skeptic must be willing to temporarily accept the axioms of the offending worldview in order to perform an internal critique and demonstrate that the axiom’s necessary consequences are not congruent with reality; the skeptic must show that they lead to logically unacceptable conclusions.

  3. Appealing to an Artificial Authority:
    The skeptic above would have us believe that his statement above is a true statement yet he has not demonstrated himself to be a valid arbiter of truth and is therefore incapable of authoring propositions that must be considered truth. It is an error in reasoning for the skeptic to elevate his opinion to the level of truth unless of course it can be demonstrated that his opinion coincides with a previously revealed proposition from the Arbiter of truth or it is the corollary (a necessary inference) of such a proposition. In other words, how does the skeptic know that his conclusion is “true“?

Logic in the Scriptures: Invalid Inferences

1. Will John die or not?

Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following (the one who also leaned on His breast at supper, and said, Lord, who is he who betrays You?) Seeing him, Peter said to Jesus, Lord, and what of this one? Jesus said to him, If I desire that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me. Then this saying went abroad among the brothers, that that disciple should not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him, He shall not die, but, If I desire that he remain until I come, what is that to you? (John 21:20-23)

What is the invalid inference and why is it invalid?

The invalid inference: John is a person who will not die. A similar inference appears in the otherwise excellent Voice of the Martyrs film entitled “Jesus: He Lived Among Us.” The Latter Day Saints Church (Mormons) also teaches that the apostle John will not die (Nephi. 28:6–7; Doctrines & Covenants 7)
Reason: Ignoring the text
This inference is invalid because the sentence from which it is derived is in the interrogative mode and not the declarative mode. Only sentences in the declarative mode can confer a meaning that is propositional. Furthermore, only propositions are true or false, hence, the proposition that John is a person that will not die cannot follow from the interrogative: If I desire that he remain until I come, what is that to you?

2. To whom much is given, much is required. Really?

And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath. But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:42-48)

“If I’m willing to give something up as somebody who’s been extraordinarily blessed, and give up some of the tax breaks that I enjoy, I actually think that’s going to make economic sense,” he said. “But for me as a Christian, it also coincides with Jesus’s teaching that ‘for unto whom much is given, much shall be required.’ – President Barack Obama

What is the invalid inference and why is it invalid?

The invalid inference: People that are extraordinarily blessed are people that should pay more taxes.
Reason: Ignoring the context
This inference is invalid because there is nothing in the context of Luke 12:42-48 that suggests Jesus is referring to wealth or taxes; the context is the judgement at the return of Christ. Specifically, this passage’s purpose is to convey that there are degrees of punishment (for the unbeliever) which are based upon the knowledge of God that each one has received. Therefore, this verse has absolutely NOTHING to do with one’s wealth and everything to do with what that person does with the knowledge of God that their lifetime has afforded them with. For more information see (To whom much is given, much is required. Really)

3. When the Last Day is not the last day

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40)
He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)

“At the last day” – not 7 or 1007 years before the last day as Hunt believes.  Jesus says: “There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words. That very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day.” (John 12:48) Hunt needs to accept the word of Jesus when He says “at the last day.” Jesus says: “The hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear my voice and come out. Those who have done good will rise to live and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:28-29) Hunt inserts 1000 years between Jesus’ call and ignores the word “all”. See 2 Peter 3:10-13 for a description of the last day. The rest of the Bible agrees with Jesus not Hunt. – Mike

What is the invalid inference and why is it invalid?

The invalid inference: The Last day spoken of in scripture is literally a 24 hour day
Reason: Ignoring the greater context
In scripture, or any literature for that matter, the greater context is defined as any information that is not within the proximity of a particular word or sentence but still influences its meaning. In Revelation 20:4-15 there are a series of events that are revealed in a chronological order: first, there is a resurrection of those saints that died during the great tribulation (Rev 20:4), secondly, there is the 1000 year reign of Christ (Rev 20:6-7), third and finally, there is the resurrection of the unbelievers (Rev 20:11-15). The first event in Revelations 20 is what John 6:40 refers to, while, the third event is what John 12:48 refers to. Both of these events occur on the last day, but we are also told that these events are separated by a second event that lasts precisely 1000 years; therefore, the last day that is referred to in both John 6 & John 12 must be a non-literal or figurative day that represents a much longer period of time.

4. Jonah and the whale.

And Jehovah had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.  (Jonah 1:17)
For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale‘s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  (Matthew 12:40)

What is the invalid inference and why is it invalid?

The invalid inference: A whale is the fish that God prepared to swallow up Jonah.
Reason: Hasty Generalization
Which fish is great enough to have swallowed Jonah whole and allow him to dwell inside it for three whole days? Of all the big fishes out there in the ocean, it is easy to see how someone could generalize that the whale is among the the biggest (if not the biggest) of the fish family but is this sufficient warrant to conclude that the great fish spoken of in Jonah 1:17 must have been a whale? Some bibles, children’s books, etc. have hastily generalized that the great fish was in fact a whale but this conclusion is not a necessary one since there could have been (and still are) many other “great fish” in the ocean. Also, the other passage in scripture that refers to this event, Matthew 12:40, uses the term whale to describe the fish that swallowed Jonah but the Greek word kētos from which the word whale is interpreted mainly means huge fish and does not necessarily have to mean whale so it seems like some of the interpreters out there (including my beloved KJV interpreters) are also guilty of making a hasty generalization.

5. Three days and Three nights

For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  (Matthew 12:40)

What is the invalid inference and why is it invalid?

The invalid inference: The amount of time Jesus will spend in the heart of the earth are three literal days and three literal nights.
Reason: Equivocation
Equivocation is an error in reasoning where two distinct definitions of the same word or phrase are confused for one another. Of course, most words and many phrases have more than one meaning, but context determines which meaning is in scope. If the phrase “three days and three nights” is taken literally to mean seventy-two hours then there would be a contradiction with the many places in scripture that state that He would rise (or that He rose) on “the third day” (Matthew 16:21; Matthew 20:19; John 2:19; 1 Corinthians 15:4; etc.). The scriptures in Matthew 28:1 and elsewhere indicate that Jesus was crucified on Friday (before the Sabbath) and rose on Sunday, so the first of the three days was already coming to an end when the countdown to the resurrection began.  In the Jewish parlance, the phrase “day and night” is an idiom that can refer to any portion of a day or night. In fact, it is used this way at least 3 other times in scripture (See 1 Samuel 30:12-13; Ester 4:16; Ester 5:1; Judges 14:17-18, Matthew 27:63-64 etc.). So, since we know that Christ also said that He would rise from the dead on the third day (Luke 9:22), we understand His utterance in Matthew 12:40 as an idiomatic one, not a literal one.