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12 years ago @ Big Journalism - Russia Today (RT) Offe... · 3 replies · +8 points

This relates to a prediction I wrote about on the Bigs last year:

"[...]My prediction was that a redefinition would be attempted by stand alone contributors on the left, but that the major push for a New American Dream would only happen once the demoralization of the western world had reached a critical stage. I certainly hope that stage hasn't happened [...]"

This prediction related to an unpublished paper I wrote in early 2008 regarding the leftist deconstruction of the American Dream, and how for Marxism to be accepted in this nation the left would first have to destroy our understanding of the Dream.

I discussed their reasoning for it here:

This article by Russia Today is likely just a small nibble in the left's effort along these lines.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 1 reply · +1 points

The decision to compile the church's holy books into what we refer to as the Bible happened in the late 4th century as the Latin Vulgate Bible was commissioned by the Pope. While the early post-Apostolic christian church took to accepting this as the official canon (after various councils decided on the official canon), it was still viewed as a collection of authoritative books and not a single book. Even though this was accepted as the official canon, arguments continued questioning whether some books were divinely inspired. Martin Luther tried to remove certain books from what was considered canon, but was unsuccessful in arguing this to his followers as 1000 years of Vulgate legacy had cemented their acceptance. The idea of the Bible as a single book that is self-referential stems more from the protestant doctrine of Sola Scriptura than anything else. To overthrow the catholic control of Christendom by what protestants viewed as human corruption, protestants created the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Scripture and its various interpretations became the only authority, excluding church authority and what Catholics call apostolic tradition. The inerrant and complete nature of God was then imagined upon the various translations of the scriptures, as they were viewed to contain his authority, and the Bible began to be viewed as a complete and whole collection. In the absence of prophetic authority this wasn't a surprising evolution. Had prophetic/Apostolic authority continued Christians of the time would have continued using the scriptures as a personal reference guide, but accepted new scripture as it was revealed.

Whether new public revelation has occurred since the death of the Apostles is something that is hotly contested by various faiths, and the idea of an open canon has been generally frowned upon by faiths that are dependent on the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. I personally don't think the canon will be closed until the second coming but I won't begrudge someone believing in a closed canon.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 65 replies · +2 points

wow, you've begun to self-parody. If god calls speaks through a prophet, that isn't adding to his word. By your logic then every prophet after Proverbs was written has to be ignored and rebuked. I know that's not what you're trying to say, but you've pretzeled your logic to say things contrary to even things you believe.

I get that you don't believe Mormon doctrine, but this isn't about that. This discussion was about scriptural evidence of a closed canon. It took thousands of years to get what we call the Bible, with several references in the various books warning against adding to God's words. Yet you still don't seem to understand that God gives his words to prophets, they write them down as scripture, and that's how something becomes canon. It isn't like the book we call the Bible magically appeared on a rock (well, not all of it :D). God never once told a prophet that he had spoken everything he meant to speak to mankind, nor that we had absolutely everything we needed. None of John's words were scripture at the time Proverbs was written, are we to ignore those because according to you God had said his word was finished in old testament times?

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 74 replies · +2 points

Allow me to quote myself then:

"Look, I'm not going to convince you that the canon is open, but the lunacy of misinterpreting scripture to attack Mormons has got to stop. If you looked at scriptural history you'd know immediately that I'm right, as several good friends of mine (Evangelical Pastors) have conceded. Know that if you continue claiming scriptural evidence of a closed canon, you'll be bearing false witness. "

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 76 replies · +2 points

so "God said no word shall be added to the Bible" is biblical? That is a massive misunderstanding. You interpreted the scripture to represent something it clearly doesn't represent, and any honest biblical scholar agrees with this point. To say that God has closed the canon can be personal, but nowhere is it scriptural. To say it is scriptural after all this is a lie that suits your argument style. If you are relying on extra-biblical revelation for your decision that God has closed the canon, then you are claiming to be a prophet and are adding to the canon yourself. You give the impression that your God is the Bible, not a being that is spoken of in the Bible.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 0 replies · +4 points

Thanks for pointing that out. I was listening to the trailer for a new game (Assassin's Creed Revelations), and must have mistakenly put that in. My most recent reading of the Revelation wasn't in the King James version, but the Reina Valera (Spanish), where Revelation has a different name entirely. Looks like I was pretty blatant in my multiple misspellings too :(. It doesn't take much to refute the closed canon argument though, so I wasn't paying super close attention.

It looks like I was thumbed down several times after my initial post garnered a few. Not surprised though, I've known people to cry when I shared this bit of history with them. I'm not trying to be offensive when stating facts, but in general people use a flawed understanding of scripture to attack others and I feel the need to correct them. The Christian community in general has relied on the illusion of a closed canon for such a long time that it is now an emotional pillar for them. Pride prevents someone from being teachable, and to assume that they've no more to learn, or no more to be taught, is fear of being proven wrong. I for one rejoice when I find out I'm incorrect on something, as it opens new avenues for growth. And if I don't understand something fully, I'm happy to realize that my teacher hasn't left me alone.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 78 replies · +2 points

I'm not arguing this from the point of view of Mormonism, but rather from that of scriptural history. To say we have all we need is something that is extra-biblical.

"God said no word shall be added to the Bible"

Your statement there is untrue, demonstrably if your only reference material for everything that is God's word is the Bible.

The books of the Bible reference books that are missing from it. To assume that it contains everything God will ever say to us, or everything we need, is an act of faith, but faith in what? Faith in the Bible as a complete book, or faith in God, because God never said it was finished. Christ spoke for days to his Apostles after his resurrection, but every word he spoke that is recorded in the scriptures can be read in a few hours, if that. To say we have everything we need would mean that there would be no reason for political style arguments among Christian groups about the nature of God. After the murders of the Apostles that's exactly what happened.

Just because Paul taught that there would be false teaching, doesn't mean that all teaching would be false. That assumption is born out of confusion about the Gospel and general fear.

Look, I'm not going to convince you that the canon is open, but the lunacy of misinterpreting scripture to attack Mormons has got to stop. If you looked at scriptural history you'd know immediately that I'm right, as several good friends of mine (Evangelical Pastors) have conceded. Know that if you continue claiming scriptural evidence of a closed canon, you'll be bearing false witness.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 80 replies · +4 points

But that's a personal feeling about things, which isn't backed up by scripture. God never said he had closed the canon. Nor did he ever say that the Bible contained everything he'd ever communicated to mankind. To willfully misinterpret scripture to justify closing the canon is the very essence of what John warned against. To limit what God can and can't say is hubris. John had a revelation, and that revelation is closed to additions or subtractions. But he didn't reveal the entire canon of scripture, nor was he referencing the Bible when he wrote that revelation.

There is no scripture that claims that the Bible can't be added to, because the Bible didn't exist when those books were written. The misunderstanding of the scripture in Revelation comes from a massive misunderstanding of the nature of the Bible.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 82 replies · +3 points

This misunderstanding is discussed in some of the comments above. Revelation was written as a single book, and later combined into what we call the Bible. Even the word Bible is interpreted as "the books". If you interpret that scripture to reference the Bible, you'd have to throw out the Gospel of John as well as that, according to most biblical historians, was written after Revelation. The same can be said for all books after Deuteronomy.

If you ask an honest biblical historian what evidence they have in the bible for the closing of the scriptural canon, they'll tell you there is none. The desire for a closed scriptural canon comes from the ease of dealing with such divergent beliefs among Christian sects. After all, if further scripture emerged or new prophets showed up, wouldn't some sects have to accept that their beliefs were in error? Such fear of further revelation generates the emotional need for a closed canon.

12 years ago @ Big Hollywood - 'Napoleon Dynamite' St... · 2 replies · +5 points

ron, the idea of a closed canon comes from a misunderstanding of the creation of the bible, and a misreading of a particular verse in Revelations. Revelations, while discussing the end times, wasn't the last book of the Bible to be written. The verse you're referencing deals with the revelations contained in the book of Revelations itself.

Some Christians like to assume a closed canon because it means that their various interpretations of scripture won't be subjected to scrutiny by further scripture, and makes ignoring false prophets easier by assuming that there will be no more.