Talk Wisdom: 2015 in blogging.

Crunchy numbers

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

There were 40 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6 MB. That’s about 3 pictures per month.

The busiest day of the year was January 23rd with 107 views. The most popular post that day was Wycliffe Bible “Translators” Turn Insane!.

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Posting Patterns

In 2015, there were 158 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 256 posts.

Longest Streak

20 April – 25 April

Best Day

with 29 posts total

Attractions in 2015

These are the posts that got the most views in 2015. You can see all of the year’s most-viewed posts in your site stats.

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2015. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

How did they find you?

The top referring sites in 2015 were:

Where did they come from?

That’s 122 countries in all!
Most visitors came from The United States. Mexico & Canada were not far behind.

Who were they?

Your most commented on post in 2015 was PROPHECY IN THE HEADLINES: Iran Deal Setting Stage For Christ’s Return (MUST READ!)

These were your 5 most active commenters:

See you in 2016!

Thanks for flying with WordPress.com in 2015. We look forward to serving you again in 2016! Happy New Year!

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10 Responses to “Talk Wisdom: 2015 in blogging.”

  1. GMpilot Says:

    Well, at least you used actual numbers.
    12,000 hits over the past year is a solid 230 visits a week, every week! Nice. But why did you compare your figure with the Sydney Opera House? Because it’s so far away? Probably because if you’d used Madison Square Garden (capacity 18,200), your visitors would have filled only 2/3 of the place. That’s still a respectable figure, but doesn’t sound as impressive as equal to “4 sold out performances”.
    What’s your status on Technorati now…or do you care any more?

    I don’t know how I made the top two correspondents here, but I’m satisfied that I’m doing my job. As your designated “favorite nemesis”, I have an obligation to be where you are much of the time. There should be a great deal more for you to pontificate about next year, and I look forward to it.
    Meanwhile, enjoy the remaining holiday with family and friends. We both agree on that, right?

    Hau’oli makahiki hou

    Like

    • christinewjc Says:

      The annual “year in blogging” is computer generated by WordPress.com. They are the ones that wrote the comparison.

      In reality, it’s not very impressive. However, that is not my goal. This blog exists for the purposes written at the top of my front page, and people who do searches on certain topics often end up here to read what is written.

      The “year in blogging” meme included some bells and whistles, background graphics and additional information. I chose not to publicize all of it, so I just copied and pasted some of it.

      When I switched my blog over to WordPress, I didn’t register at Technorati. Yes, I do not care about that site anymore. A lot of the aggregate sites contain liberal/leftist/progressive bias (as does Facebook). I think it is futile to register with them. Some people still come over here from Facebook because they bookmarked the link.

      About the two correspondents question. Perhaps it has to do with following and then un-following this blog? When you get nasty and I need to reprimand you, perhaps you go off in a huff for a few weeks but then return?

      It is amusing to me that you claim I am involved with “pontificating” at this blog. Perhaps you are referring to the following definition at dictionary.com?

      Pontificate:
      3.

      to speak in a pompous or dogmatic manner:
      Did he pontificate about the responsibilities of a good citizen?

      It’s interesting to note the word origin and history:

      Word Origin and History for pon-tif-i-cate

      v.

      1818, “to act as a pontiff,” from Medieval Latin pontificatus, past participle of pontificare “to be a pontifex,” from Latin pontifex (see pontiff ). Meaning “to assume pompous and dignified airs, issue dogmatic decrees” is from 1825. Meaning “to say (something) in a pontifical way” is from 1922. Related: Pontificated ; pontificating.

      Sharing what God’s Word says and the gospel of Jesus Christ may appear to some people as “assum[ing] pompous and dignified airs, issu[ing] dogmatic decrees.”

      But the Bible tells us something different.

      Pro 30:5

      Every word of God is pure;
      He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

      Luke 4:4

      But Jesus answered him, saying, [fn] “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” [fn]

      Luk 11:28

      But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

      Rom 10:17

      So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

      2Co 2:17

      For we are not, as so many, [fn] peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

      2Co 4:2

      But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

      1Th 2:13

      For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

      Heb 4:12

      For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

      1Pe 1:22

      Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit [fn] in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,

      1Pe 1:23

      having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, [fn]

      Rev 1:1

      The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants—things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John,

      Rev 1:2

      who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw.

      Rev 1:3

      Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

      Rev 20:4

      And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a [fn] thousand years.

      Rev 20:5

      But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

      Rev 20:6

      Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.

      I will follow the Word of God – any and every time – over the opinions of someone like you who chooses to reject God’s Word!

      Happy New Year.

      Like

  2. GMpilot Says:

    CJW: When I switched my blog over to WordPress, I didn’t register at Technorati. Yes, I do not care about that site anymore. A lot of the aggregate sites contain liberal/leftist/progressive bias (as does Facebook). I think it is futile to register with them. Some people still come over here from Facebook because they bookmarked the link.
    Since we all know how you feel about Facebook, may I assume you’re not interested in what visitors from there might have to say?

    About the two correspondents question. Perhaps it has to do with following and then un-following this blog? When you get nasty and I need to reprimand you, perhaps you go off in a huff for a few weeks but then return?
    First: I’ve never ‘unfollowed’ this blog. Remember, you invited me here. You practically dared me to come. I came, I’m still here. A good many of your other correspondents have come and gone, but you’ve still got me. If you don’t like what I’ve had to say, so be it. I’m not here to be your cheerleader.
    Second: you know very well that I’m reactive, not preemptive. I can’t post here except in response to your own posts. If you ‘go off in a huff for a few weeks’ (last October, for example) there’s nothing for me to do but wait. You’ve abandoned threads many times, but you’d never abandon your soapbox. I’ve got time.
    Also, like you, I have a whole other life away from the keyboard.

    It is amusing to me that you claim I am involved with “pontificating” at this blog. Perhaps you are referring to the following definition at dictionary.com?
    You’re no more amused than I was when you claimed I was “bloviating”. You flung the word around on several occasions, as if you’d just discovered it. I assume you know what it means, but in case you don’t:

    verb (used without object), bloviated, bloviating.
    1. to speak pompously.

    Origin of bloviate

    1850-55, Americanism; pseudo-Latin alteration of blow, to boast; popularized by Warren G. Harding

    Related forms
    bloviation, noun
    Dictionary.com Unabridged
    Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.

    Examples from the Web for bloviate
    Contemporary Examples
    Be prepared: It will be tough Watching Gingrich strut his stuff
    Stay tuned to hear him bloviate On narrow win in his home state.

    Word Origin and History for bloviate
    v.
    1857, American English, a Midwestern word for “to talk aimlessly and boastingly; to indulge in ‘high falutin’,” according to Farmer (1890), who seems to have been the only British lexicographer to notice it. He says it was based on blow (v.) on the model of deviate, etc.

    It seems to have been felt as outdated slang already by late 19c. (“It was a leasure for him to hear the Doctor talk, or, as it was inelegantly expressed in the phrase of the period, ‘bloviate’ ….” [“Overland Monthly,” San Francisco, 1872, describing a scene from 1860]), but it enjoyed a revival early 1920s during the presidency of Warren G. Harding, who wrote a notoriously ornate and incomprehensible prose (e.e. cummings eulogized him as “The only man, woman or child who wrote a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical errors”) at which time the word took on its connection with political speech; it faded again thereafter, but, with its derivative, bloviation, it enjoyed a revival in the 2000 U.S. election season that continued through the era of blogging.

    Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

    Sharing what God’s Word says and the gospel of Jesus Christ may appear to some people as “assum[ing] pompous and dignified airs, issu[ing] dogmatic decrees.”

    But the Bible tells us something different.

    As the Pontiff made his pronouncements in the name of Christ, so do you. Granted, evangelicals don’t always assume pompous and dignified airs, but they claim the same authority. Their pronouncements are on behalf of the King of the Universe: an entity that no one has seen, that no one can describe, and that no one can demonstrate actually exists.

    I will follow the Word of God – any and every time – over the opinions of someone like you who chooses to reject God’s Word!
    Of course you will. And because your faith is so invincible, you won’t mind me being here—unless somehow my opinion is a danger to your faith. Correct?

    –Welcome to the Next Round–

    Like

    • christinewjc Says:

      My feelings about Facebook do not necessarily mean that I don’t care what people on there have to say. I only had about 75 “friends” and only a few of them were interested in my blog. The main reason I don’t like Facebook is because of the VERY obvious liberal bias there, and the fact that one of the so-called “important” people in the FB loop made a very disparaging comment aimed at all users. He (or she?) said something like, “the people on FB are F-ing idiots.” I think this came out in an interview where it was revealed that FB allowed itself to be a tool of the Ozero BADministration.

      About “following” a blog. If you look at the stats again, only Steve at Cry and Howl utilizes the “Follow” button on the Talk Wisdom site. Perhaps commenters who don’t own blogs can’t follow in that manner – I don’t really know.

      Thanks for the lesson on the term “bloviating.” You certainly utilized that word through your excessive description! LOL!

      About your assumption where you stated:

      “Their pronouncements are on behalf of the King of the Universe: an entity that no one has seen, that no one can describe, and that no one can demonstrate actually exists.”

      Jesus told his disciples that “he who has seen Me, has seen the Father.”

      Jhn 14:9

      Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

      We know from history that Jesus did exist, worked miracles, died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. People alive at the time SAW this. Just because we weren’t there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

      Jesus also told doubting Thomas:

      Jhn 20:29

      Jesus said to him, “Thomas, [fn] because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

      That’s a good lesson for you; being the skeptic that you choose to be.

      I will take that blessing from Jesus! Scripture says:

      Heb 11:1

      Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

      Heb 11:2

      For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.

      Heb 11:3

      By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

      I love that portion of Scripture!

      In my “Little Miracles” post of Dec. 22nd, I shared a link to my “journey to Christ” post and also the post entitled “Remembering Dad.” In both of those links, I shared what was revealed to me by God… which were answered prayers and little miracles in my life…and how such instances sealed my faith in Jesus Christ.

      In the past, I have often shared that believing comes first, seeing may come second in regards to seeing God’s presence in our lives. Every person’s testimony is individual and different! Every person’s little (or big) miracles seen in their lives are also individual and different! That is because we have a loving God who saves each and every one of us individually. Those who preach a “collective” mantra are usually leftists who do not adhere to God’s Word. They should be avoided.

      Hmmm…”invincible.” Interesting word choice for describing my faith.

      invincible

      adjective

      1.

      incapable of being conquered, defeated, or subdued.

      I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is invincible! I know that the Bible is true, prophecy proves that fact and Christ’s promises are certain. I’m just a human who relies on God’s written Word, the Bible, and God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ. He is the invincible One!

      Like

      • GMpilot Says:

        ”We know from history that Jesus did exist, worked miracles, died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. People alive at the time SAW this. Just because we weren’t there doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.”
        I wasn’t talking about Jesus. I was talking about this God person. Jesus claimed that he was sent by this god (or that he was the son of this god—the message is unclear). While I do believe him to have been a real person, there isn’t much evidence of his existence. No one SAW him come out of the tomb, and in fact the only people who actually SAW him were those who had traveled with him, or met him before. His enemies<never saw his resurrected form–was he still in stealth mode?
        But the existence of Jesus does not demonstrate that there was a god who sent him. That's like using Robin to prove the existence of Batman.

        ”Jesus also told doubting Thomas: […]
        That’s a good lesson for you; being the skeptic that you choose to be.”

        “Skeptic” comes from the Greek, meaning “to examine”. Thomas examined the wounds, didn’t he? Then he was convinced. If he wanted evidence to accept, I see no reason not to ask for the same thing. If this is supposed to be a case of “just shut up and believe”, then you’re going to be disappointed.

        ”Every person’s testimony is individual and different!”
        Not every person has a testimony. You seem to think that they’re not worth hearing, because of that.

        ”Those who preach a “collective” mantra are usually leftists who do not adhere to God’s Word. They should be avoided.”
        Hmmm…who might they be? Rick Warren? Saul of Tarsus? Inquiring minds want to know.

        ”I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is invincible! I know that the Bible is true, prophecy proves that fact and Christ’s promises are certain. I’m just a human who relies on God’s written Word, the Bible, and God’s Living Word – Jesus Christ. He is the invincible One!”
        Now who’s doing the bloviating? I yield to your superior skill at it.

        Like

  3. christinewjc Says:

    I see that the “three Persons in one God” concept escapes you. Perhaps reading The Trinity All Around You will help.

    Yes. Thomas examined the wound markings of Jesus (who was in his resurrected body) in order to be convinced. However, Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.” That is done by faith, not by sight.

    I don’t think that people come to saving grace through Christ by “just shut[ting] up and believ[ing]. The parable of the sower shares the various reactions of individuals who hear the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ. Some seed falls on the rocks – never planted. Some seed falls by the wayside and doesn’t take hold in the ground. But thankfully, some see settles into fertile ground where it takes hold, blossoms and grows. Not all who hear the Gospel will respond to it through faith. There are those who are “the called” and those who are not.

    Rom 8:28

    And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

    There is no better way to explain this than by the use of Scripture.

    2 Timothy says it well!

    2Ti 1:7

    For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

    2Ti 1:8

    Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God,

    2Ti 1:9

    who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

    2Ti 1:10

    but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,

    2Ti 1:11

    to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. [fn]

    2Ti 1:12

    For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

    2Ti 1:13

    Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

    GM wrote:

    ”Every person’s testimony is individual and different!”
    Not every person has a testimony. You seem to think that they’re not worth hearing, because of that.

    Not so! I understand why there are people who may not accept the offer of forgiveness through Christ right away. I was one of them! So, I do have a heart for the searching, the skeptic, the rebellious, the unsaved and even the haters of the Gospel of Christ.

    To those who are perishing, the Gospel it is foolishness. To those who are being saved, it is the gift of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Being on the other side of former doubts and non-acceptance, I can see and understand why people hesitate. But I also understand that my sharing of the Gospel and God’s Word isn’t going to convince anyone. It is God who ultimately does the saving! My job is to share…and then leave it up to the Lord of the Universe to ultimately quicken the hearts of individuals toward confession and repentance of their sins; then, receiving Christ for redemption and salvation, with the result of receiving the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to lead the individual towards truth.

    Like

    • GMpilot Says:

      CJW: I see that the “three persons in one God” concept escapes you. Perhaps reading The Trinity All Around You will help.
      I see you have forgotten that we discussed that a long time ago. I thought the reasoning was flawed then, and there has been no evidence to convince me otherwise since then.

      Yes. Thomas examined the wound markings of Jesus (who was in his resurrected body) in order to be convinced. However, Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.” That is done by faith, not by sight.
      When Thomas had the facts, he didn’t need the faith. He could say with confidence “I was there; I saw and felt his wounds myself; he held my hands and talked to me.” It’s okay to tell that story because Thomas doubted and then believed; but ever since then, to doubt has somehow become an express ticket to the Christian hell.

      I don’t think that people come to saving grace through Christ by “just shut[ting] up and believ[ing].
      That may be, but people often stay there by that method.

      The parable of the sower shares the various reactions of individuals who hear the Word of God and the Gospel of Christ. Some seed falls on the rocks – never planted. Some seed falls by the wayside and doesn’t take hold in the ground. But thankfully, some see settles into fertile ground where it takes hold, blossoms and grows.
      Sometimes the seed falls into such lush soil that it runs amok, overrunning other plants in its way and preventing other plants from growing. And sometimes the seed may be sterile to begin with, and never grows at all. No one ever seems to mention those in the scriptures, though.

      Not all who hear the Gospel will respond to it through faith. There are those who are “the called” and those who are not.
      Who does this ‘calling’? How does one determine that it’s a real ‘voice’ and not just an echo of one’s own desires?

      2Ti 1:7
      For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

      And yet, that spirit of fear was encouraged, again and again, long before Tim wrote those words. In many places, that spirit is still encouraged.

      To those who are perishing, the Gospel it is foolishness. To those who are being saved, it is the gift of God through Christ Jesus our Lord.
      You know of course that every other religion on the planet says basically the same thing about you, right? They can’t all be right, but they can all be wrong, so I’ll just sit back and continue to laugh at them all. It’s always comical to watch people argue over whose version of ignorance, myth, magic and superstition is the ‘right’ version. It’s even funnier to realize that the Jews—whose god you stole—are now, in your words, “perishing”. Christians have a well-established record of helping them perish, in accordance with those words!

      Being on the other side of former doubts and non-acceptance, I can see and understand why people hesitate.
      As I understand your history, you left the god of Catholicism, but you never left the idea of gods. You flirted with a few alternatives like many young people do, and as an adult you returned to gods by way of Protestantism, which is less gaudy but just as authoritarian. Your only ‘doubt’ was which god to follow. Have I been wrong about that?

      But I also understand that my sharing of the Gospel and God’s Word isn’t going to convince anyone. It is God who ultimately does the saving! My job is to share…and then leave it up to the Lord of the Universe to ultimately quicken the hearts of individuals…
      Sounds nice. However, Paul’s potter-and-clay analogy illustrates that we humans have absolutely no choice in the matter…and that whatever we do, he may or may not choose to ‘quicken’ us.
      Maybe that’s why it’s called a “blessed hope”.

      Like

      • christinewjc Says:

        And you seem to have forgotten that there may be a bigger audience than yourself who will read that account for the first time.

        GM wrote:

        When Thomas had the facts, he didn’t need the faith. He could say with confidence “I was there; I saw and felt his wounds myself; he held my hands and talked to me.” It’s okay to tell that story because Thomas doubted and then believed; but ever since then, to doubt has somehow become an express ticket to the Christian hell.

        You left out the part where Jesus said, “blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.” There are many “proofs” written in Scripture that helps omit doubt. Those who read and decide to dismiss them, do so at their own peril. Faith cannot be forced onto anyone. It must be utilized in order to receive the blessings that come to a person through the Gospel of Christ and promises of God.

        The cure? Have faith and do not doubt!

        David Brown’s commentary describes “the called”:

        to “save them and call them with an holy calling” ( 2Ti 1:9 ).”

        [30.] Moreover–“And,” or “Now”; explanatory of Rom 8:29 –In “predestinating us to be conformed to the image of His Son” in final glory, He settled all the successive steps of it. Thus
        whom he did predestinate, them he also called–The word “called” (as HODGE and others truly observe) is never in the Epistles of the New Testament applied to those who have only the outward invitation of the Gospel (as in Mat 20:16 22:14 ). It always means “internally, effectually, savingly called.” It denotes the first great step in personal salvation and answers to “conversion.” Only the word conversion expresses the change of character which then takes place, whereas this “calling” expresses the divine authorship of the change, and the sovereign power by which we are summoned, Matthew-like, Zaccheus-like, out of our old, wretched, perishing condition, into a new, safe, blessed life.
        and whom he called–thus.
        them he also justified–brought into the definite state of reconciliation already so fully described.
        and whom he justified, them he also glorified–brought to final glory ( Rom 8:17, 18 ). Noble climax, and so rhythmically expressed! And all this is viewed as past; because, starting from the past decree of “predestination to be conformed to the image of God’s Son” of which the other steps are but the successive unfoldings–all is beheld as one entire, eternally completed salvation.

        If you look up the term “fear” in Strong’s concordance, the meaning in both Psalm 111:10 and Proverbs 9:10 means “reverence.” That is the only way the read of the Scripture in those verses make sense.

        reverence

        noun

        1.

        a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration.

        verb (used with object), reverenced, reverencing.

        6.

        to regard or treat with reverence; venerate:
        One should reverence God and His laws.

        Don’t be so silly! We didn’t “steal” the God of the Jews. We embraced Him and as Gentiles, recognized Jesus as the true Jewish Messiah.

        Catholicism was introduced to me by my mother. My father was Protestant, but didn’t follow the faith consistently. If you read my post “Remembering Dad,” you will learn what happened before his death.

        Roman Catholicism has a lot of man-made rules, rituals, and several un-biblical beliefs [e.g. Mary is the ever virgin (not true – she had other children after the virgin birth of Christ); there is a place called “purgatory” where after death a soul stands between the “choice” of heave or hell (not true).] In my travels, I have met (including a priest!) Catholics who take Jesus’ admonition that one must be born again to heart and follow the true gospel of Christ. Some stay in the church because their spouses want to stay there. Since salvation is individual, I don’t doubt that such people are truly born again. They can be used to help convert Catholics towards the true born-again experience and thus be saved.

        GM, do you ever read the meanings of the words you cite? In Strong’s concordance, the Greek meaning of “harden” includes “render stubborn.” So you see, it is the “hearer” that has hardened his/her heart against God.

        You can read about the term “quicken” here:

        Blue Letter Bible: Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

        Strong’s Number: g4806 Greek: suzoopoieo | sunzoopoieo

        Quicken:

        “to quicken together with, make alive with” (sun, “with” and No. 1), is used in Eph 2:5; Col 2:13, of the spiritual life with Christ, imparted to believers at their conversion.

        Like

  4. christinewjc Says:

    For visitors reading here, see The Eyes of Faith blog – “FAITH: A Growing Seed.”

    Like

  5. GMpilot Says:

    CJW: …And you seem to have forgotten that there may be a bigger audience than yourself who will read that account for the first time.
    I know the audience is out there, and also know that if they wish to find out on their own, they will.

    There are many “proofs” written in Scripture that helps omit doubt. Those who read and decide to dismiss them, do so at their own peril. Faith cannot be forced onto anyone.
    I dismiss them because I’ve read them. Many, many others have not read them and still dismiss them. Most of those people have faith in other gods, while I have faith in none. The ‘peril’ resulting from disbelief comes only from vengeful believers, not from any gods. Believers do such deeds to ‘omit doubt’—among themselves and others.
    It’s a good thing you put “proofs” in quotes, because they’re only alleged proofs, not actual ones.

    David Brown says:
    …The word “called” (as HODGE and others truly observe) is never in the Epistles of the New Testament applied to those who have only the outward invitation of the Gospel (as in Mat 20:16 22:14 ). It always means “internally, effectually, savingly called.”

    That’s a response, but not an answer, and I was not referring to the kind of “calling” the former Saul received on his way to Damascus. Especially since by its very nature, no one hears the call except the individual so addressed. The texts make clear that it is not an invitation to a party, but more like a summoning to a court. Once again: Who does this ‘calling’, and how does one determine that it’s a real ‘voice’ and not just an echo of one’s own desires?

    Don’t be so silly! We didn’t “steal” the God of the Jews. We embraced Him and as Gentiles, recognized Jesus as the true Jewish Messiah.
    Of course you did. You acknowledge the same god and the same origins and many of the same heroes, but with Jesus the split begins. Jews say their god is not to be seen, while Christians see (or don’t see) their god nailed to a plank. Jews observe Passover, while (some) Christians have events such as Ascension Day (all observe Easter, though). Jews say there is one god and only one, but Christians claim that god is a tripartite, which is neither this nor that nor the other, but all of them at once. Jews say the messiah has not yet come, while Christians say he has come and gone, but will be back. In recent decades some Christian groups, in an attempt at ecumenism, use many of the original Hebrew names and titles in their services. However, some churches claim that Jews are not “complete” unless/until they have added Yeshua to their Yahweh.
    In short, Christianity is a newer, ‘improved’ Judaism, just as Shi’a Islam purports to be a newer, improved version of that faith. And in both cases, the splinter group claims to be the One True Faith and frequently persecutes members of the older, original one.

    Some stay in the [Catholic] church because their spouses want to stay there. Since salvation is individual, I don’t doubt that such people are truly born again. They can be used to help convert Catholics towards the true born-again experience and thus be saved.
    You’ve illustrated my point above. I rest my case.

    GM, do you ever read the meanings of the words you cite? In Strong’s concordance, the Greek meaning of “harden” includes “render stubborn.” So you see, it is the “hearer” that has hardened his/her heart against God.
    Except when the god himself does the hardening, and then kills you for doing exactly what he made you do. We had a long discussion about that too, Sothenes and I, years ago. You witnessed it.

    GM, do you ever read the meanings of the words you cite? […] You can read about the term “quicken” here:
    I used quicken in the very same manner you did, not as the name of a tax program! The god may or may not choose to make us “alive [with] him”; that was all I said.
    If you can’t parse your own interpretation, you shouldn’t try to explain it to someone else.

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