Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Who is repeating a falsehood?


Okay, just as I did for Bubba, I'm posting a new post just for the benefit of another of my detractors, Craig. He says that I have lied, that I have demonstrated myself as a liar, that there is no other conclusion he can reach.

Of course, as they often do, he did this on a post where the subject was not "Is Dan a Liar," and thus, made an off topic, ad hom attack, rather than dealing with my points on the post.

So, rather than chasing that off topic ad hom false report at that place, I'm giving Craig all the room he needs to make his case and where I can respond to him, hopefully clearing up his clear misunderstanding.

It is, of course, a clear misunderstanding, because while I am always capable of making a mistake, I have never deliberately lied in this here blogosphere. So, Brother Craig, here is your chance: Make your case, show where I have stated a falsehood.

If I DID do so, it was, of course, an accident and you will be doing me a favor and I can apologize and clarify my actual intent.

If not, then you can retract your claim and apologize for your mistake.

The ball is in your court.

62 comments:

Craig said...

Dan,

While I certainly appreciate the effort, the fact that you have chosen to establish this thread by inaccurately summarizing what I actually said doesn't give me much hope for any sort of actual positive dialogue.

However, I will give you an opportunity for you to redeem yourself.

Here are your exact words copy/pasted. If you can provide a link to anyone who actually says what you presume to have been said, I will apologize and this will be done. You have the ability to clearly and decisively end this entire thing in one comment.

This is the first example in the recent thread.

"I don't see it possible that anyone could take it as NOT being "the literal poor," some of your internet pals object to a literal reading of that text."

And my response.

'I don't want to intrude too much, but if the above is in reference to our recent conversation on this issue, it is quite clearly a misrepresentation of my position. Intentional or unintentional, I can't say. But this does not in any way represent my position."

In a later comment, you say these exact words.

" I think, in my opinion, some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

Now, if you can link to a quote where "one of Bubba's comrades" actually, literally says either of the things you have suggested, then the conversation is over. You're right, I'm wrong, you get an apology.

If you choose not to provide said link, the conversation will also be over, as you will not have provided factual evidence to demonstrate your claims.

This should be really simple for you, one link where someone literally says what you claim they say, that's it.

So, now the ball is in your court. Either provide some factual evidence to back up your claim or don't. I really don't care.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall Art, at least, has repeatedly said that when Jesus said "blessed are you who are poor," he was referring to the "poor IN SPIRIT" as Matthew puts it.

He has said this multiple times in multiple conversations. Do you really need me to find that or can you recall that this has, indeed, happened?

Dan

Marshall Art said...

Excuse me. I know this is supposed to be another private party, but I have been misrepresented. I would like to clarify my position regarding "Blessed are the poor". Yet again.

Dan Trabue said...

Please do so, with my great appreciation.

Marshall Art said...

My position is that your insistence that Jesus is speaking specifically and only of the materially poor, that is, no bucks, is mitigated by other passages, specifically Matt 5, that suggest Jesus concern was far more than mere earthly things. I also recently provided at least half a dozen or so commentaries from various theologians that also support my position. In addition, to say Jesus is speaking of the "literal poor" does not preclude the poor in spirit because they, too, are literally poor, but in spirit. So I have never rejected the notion of Jesus speaking of the "literal" poor at all.

I also think that YOUR position, as you've stated it, suggests that one should seek material poverty as a means to receive God's blessing, as if one is somehow morally improved by being a burden on his family or neighbors.

Your position also fails in that while the kingdom might be theirs, they still go hungry and suffer needlessly.

My position is that YOUR position is too focused on the material when weighing the words of One who stated His kingdom is not of this world and whose preaching was instead focused on our eternal souls and not our wallets.

My position also considers that in light of Matt 5, the Luke 6 version might be a "shorthand" repeat of the fuller sermon of Matt, which speaks of the poor in spirit. In any case, my position insists that Luke 6 cannot be held up as if Matt 5 doesn't exist or doesn't relate.

Any questions, feel free.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, are you saying I've misrepresented your position by, somehow, accurately depicting your position?

That is, I said:

they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

DO you think Jesus meant specifically the literally poor? Please answer that directly and clearly, as this is my statement and, based on what you just said, it seems like an incredibly accurate statement.

If so, how have I misrepresented your position?

Craig said...

Dan,
I appreciate the effort, but not only have you chosen not to supply a link ( a link, of course would allow for context) to a quote that would put this to rest, you haven't managed to dig up a quote either in or out of context.

Since you have chosen not to back up your claim with actual verifiable evidence, and you have been told numerous times that your claim is not an accurate representation of our (mine in particular) positions, then if you continue to make this claim the only possible conclusion that can be drawn is that you are willfully and deliberately making claims about what others believe that are not true.

Clearly, to continue to perpetrate a falsehood after being corrected, cannot be considered anything but lying.

All you needed was ONE link, just ONE little tiny link. But you couldn't or wouldn't provide it. This could have been the shortest thread ever and a slam dunk win for you, but you chose otherwise.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, are you all serious?

I'm stating WHAT THE GUY said he believes. He comes on here, says I'm misrepresenting him AND PROCEED TO DESCRIBE HIS POSITION JUST AS I DESCRIBED IT!

I asked you, "Will this clear reference suffice?"

You could say, "I'd rather have a quote," if you want, but since it's CLEARLY what Marshall believes and since he came here and verified it, no, you factually can not call that a lie.

Words have meaning.

IF Marshall can correct me and say how I have misunderstood him, then I can correct myself, but so far he has not done that. And since I think he has made his position clear repeatedly, I didn't think it necessary to spend the time to look it up, but I DID politely offer you the chance to tell me if you'd like me to look it up.

Instead, it appears you are snipping off in a huff, right as Marshall is demonstrating that I did NOT lie.

You said you'd apologize if I demonstrated you were mistaken. You're not going to welch on that promise - in the face of clear evidence - are you? You're not going to continue to perpetuate a blatant falsehood, are you?

I have to say that this exchange is exceedingly strange.

??

Alice, make room...

Dan Trabue said...

As to "choosing otherwise," yes, I DID politely ask you if the general reference/reminder was enough so I didn't have to go traipsing through a bunch of posts randomly trying to find one of the many times that Marshall has affirmed his position, but I'm a busy guy. I wanted to give you the option of saving me some time if you could agree once I reminded you of his claims.

Perhaps you have all day to play at this, but I don't. But don't act like I'm not living up to my word.

I mean, look at his (admittedly vague) words in this post...

My position is that your insistence that Jesus is speaking specifically and only of the materially poor, that is, no bucks, is mitigated by other passages, specifically Matt 5, that suggest Jesus concern was far more than mere earthly things.

Does that not sound like he is saying that "blessed are you who are poor" is NOT speaking specifically of the literal poor?

How about this: Why don't we give Marshall a chance to clarify and take it from there?

Craig said...

Dan,
I asked for a link to see context. If it's not important enough for you to provide context, I can't help that.

As to MA's comment in this thread he is clearly speaking of the literal poor.

Once again, all you need is one link to prove your point. Or you could agree to stop the repeated misrepresentations. The ball is still in your court.

Dan Trabue said...

"All" I need is one link to SOME phrase that Marshall uttered in the thousands of phrases he has uttered over the last decade? So, "all" I need to do is read everything that Marshall has written over the last decade to find his comments on the topic?

If it's all the same to you, I'll wait for Marshall to clarify rather than going on that chase.

I think Marshall will be back shortly to clarify. That would be most helpful.

While I'm waiting for Marshall, I will cite your words...

I wouldn’t think that “the poor” would be limited sorely to those who are materially poor.

~Craig

From here...

http://siftingreality.com/2014/04/04/unfit-mother-arrested-for-leaving-children-locked-in-a-hot-car-progressives-rush-to-her-defense/

So, it sounds like you think this "blessed are you who are poor," might INCLUDE the actual poor, but it's not speaking directly of the actual, literal poor. Please clarify your own words, because that sounds like you're saying that text did not mean specifically the literal poor.

Thanks,

Dan

Craig said...

Dan,

If you actually closely examine the quote you attribute to me you will see that mt statement clearly states that the materially poor or included in "the poor". I simply refuse to apply arbitrary limits on the text. In no way does my comment refer to or imply any sort of metaphor.

At one point I posted a long and detailed explanation of my position, which you never really paid any attention to.

So, ONE link that shows someone saying what you claim they said and you'll get an apology.

On this one< I choose to stand with Jesus when He said in the 5th Chapter of the gospel of Matthew, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.".

It seems quite clear that Jesus did not limit His message to ONLY those who were materially poor, so why would I. If you want to impose limits on the text, fine, but I don't see how you can argue from the text that your arbitrary limits are binding in any way.

One link, just one.

Dan Trabue said...

Well, it appears I just provided you one link.

You said...

If you actually closely examine the quote you attribute to me you will see that mt statement clearly states that the materially poor or included in "the poor". I simply refuse to apply arbitrary limits on the text.

My claim is that there are those of you out there who do not believe that it is speaking SPECIFICALLY of the literal poor. YOU appear to confirm this.

"you will see that my statement clearly states that the materially poor are included in "the poor"" (spelling corrections made for clarity). Thus, to you, this passage "INCLUDES" the poor, BUT it is not speaking SPECIFICALLY OF the poor.

THAT was my point. See again...

some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor

You "include" the poor, but if I'm not mistaken, you do not think the text does not mean SPECIFICALLY the poor.

That's what you seem to be saying, as if to say, "This Luke 6 passage is talking about people, INCLUDING the poor..." but NOT "this Luke 6 passage is NOT speaking SPECIFICALLY ABOUT the poor. Is that what you mean, because it sounds like it.

As to this...

I simply refuse to apply arbitrary limits on the text.

The text says "Blessed are YOU. WHO. ARE. POOR." It is not "arbitrary" to think that "you who are poor" means "you who are, you know, poor, as in lacking in material goods, as in the normal definition of 'poor.'"

Do you see now how that is not arbitrary on my part?

Do you see now how at least it SOUNDS like you are saying just what I said?

ARE you saying just what I said?

Craig said...

"I don't see it possible that anyone could take it as NOT being "the literal poor," some of your internet pals object to a literal reading of that text."

Then we look at your exact words. Quite clearly my comments indicate that I am engaging in a literal reading of the text.

Again, I'll go with Jesus on this who didn't seem to place limits on the poor.

If you have some actual evidence that Jesus meant EXCLUSIVELY the materially poor, I'd be happy to see it. But from what the text says, the ONLY term used to modify "poor" is "spiritually". So, we could reasonably assume that Jesus believes that there were people who were "spiritually poor" as well as those who are materially poor. It seems that if one looks at the totality of Jesus teaching rather that simply proof texting one might get a more fully orbed sense of Jesus teaching, rather than by imposing unwarranted limitations on the text.

"INCLUDES" the poor, BUT it is not speaking SPECIFICALLY OF the poor."

It seems that your objection to my position is that my definition of "the poor" includes ALL of "the poor", which would include "the poor". You do realize how strange that sounds, right?

To be absolutely clear I agree that the term "the poor" specifically includes all of "the poor". I further submit that all of "the poor" are literally poor. I see nothing in the text that would exclude any of "the poor" from the category of "the poor".

If you don't understand, please ask questions, but please stop mis characterizing my positions.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Quite clearly my comments indicate that I am engaging in a literal reading of the text.

Two simple questions could end this, if answered directly and clearly.

Do you think the text "blessed are YOU. WHO. ARE. POOR." is speaking specifically of the literal poor?

A simple yes or no, please.

OR, do you think it means NOT just the literal poor, but some group of people, including some poor, but the text does not mean literally "THE POOR?"

Thank you.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, these two direct questions are open to you, too. A simple direct clarification would be extremely helpful.

Also, Craig, given your charge of me mis-characterizing your position, I'd appreciate a clarification on these questions/points (since you made the unsupported claim that I was making "arbitrary limits" when all I was doing was looking at the direct phrase in question and noting its English meaning):

The text says "Blessed are YOU. WHO. ARE. POOR." It is not "arbitrary" to think that "you who are poor" means "you who are, you know, poor, as in lacking in material goods, as in the normal definition of 'poor.'"

Do you see now how that is not arbitrary on my part?

Do you see now how at least it SOUNDS like you are saying just what I said?

Dan Trabue said...

Looking at what Marshall has posted here on the topic...

My position also considers that in light of Matt 5, the Luke 6 version might be a "shorthand" repeat of the fuller sermon of Matt, which speaks of the poor in spirit.

So, according to Marshall, MAYBE the text in Luke 6 MIGHT BE a reference to "poor in spirit," and not a reference to the literal poor. Is that not a fair repeat of what Marshall has said?

If so, it SOUNDS LIKE Marshall is saying, "I'm not sure that it is speaking of the literal poor in this passage... maybe it is, maybe it isn't. I TEND TO think it is speaking of the 'poor in spirit,' not the literal poor..."

That is what I'm hearing Marshall say. If you could clarify with a direct response to my questions, it would be very helpful to the conversation here.

Craig, I don't get how you think Marshall is saying it IS speaking of the literal poor (where you said, "As to MA's comment in this thread he is clearly speaking of the literal poor."), when at best, it seems fairly clear the most he might be willing to say is that it MIGHT BE speaking of the literal poor.

Some clarifications would be appreciated.

Craig said...

Dan,
I've actually already specifically and directly answered both of your questions. I'm unsure what would be gained by answering them again. If you'd like, I could copy paste my previous answers to save you the time and effort of finding them.

Dan Trabue said...

Because your answer seems somewhat confusing, a simple, straightforward YES or NO would be more understandable.

Here's what you said...

To be absolutely clear I agree that the term "the poor" specifically includes all of "the poor". I further submit that all of "the poor" are literally poor. I see nothing in the text that would exclude any of "the poor" from the category of "the poor".

So, yes or no, does that mean that when Jesus said, "Blessed are you who are poor," he was saying specifically "blessed are you who are actually, financially poor..."?

Yes or no, that would help clarify and then we could be sure we're speaking of the same thing. That's why, for the sake of you being understood, you should answer the question directly. And this one...

...and that it wasn't some figurative language like, "blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT" which may or may not include the specifically, literally poor?

Another question that went unanswered is...

When YOU say...

If you actually closely examine the quote you attribute to me you will see that mt statement clearly states that the materially poor or included in "the poor". I simply refuse to apply arbitrary limits on the text.

Do you see how it SOUNDS like you're NOT limiting the quote to mean JUST the literal poor? It SOUNDS like you're saying it's something beyond what it literally says, do you see how someone could take it that way when you "REFUSE" to place "arbitrary limits" on the text?

Yet another question:

Do you see how it is not at all "arbitrary" to say that the word poor means 'poor' as it is normally used in the English language...?

It sounds like you're pushing back against a literal interpretation, so if you could clarify with a simple direct response, it would help.

Can you affirm, "I think this text is speaking of the literal poor, specifically, not some larger group that may or may not include the poor, but in THIS text and THIS context, Jesus is speaking specifically of the literal poor..."? Can you affirm that point, so as to be clear?

If you can't, can you respond with, "I can not affirm that for this reason..." and provide the reason?

Thank you.

Dan

Dan Trabue said...

While I'm waiting for a straight answer from you two, here are more of Marshall's words about the Luke 6 question...

There were others, but I didn’t look at all of them. But of the above, they each regarded “the poor” of the verse to mean either the poor in spirit, or both the poor in spirit and materially poor...

However, despite God’s concern for the materially poor, and Christ’s teaching that we should care for them ourselves, it is extremely hard to believe that He would focus on those who were marginalized on earth and by doing so marginalize all others.


From Marshall's blog here...

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=9149193&postID=900611083193950357

So, again, Marshall is, in this case, quoting others to make what I believe his position is that "blessed are you who are poor..."

"to mean either the poor in spirit, or BOTH the poor in spirit and materially poor"

So, IF that is what Marshall believes, then is he NOT saying "No, 'blessed are you who are poor' does not mean specifically, directly the literal poor, it means something else - this 'poor in spirit,' or 'the poor in spirit' AND the literal poor, but not specifically, directly the literal poor..."

Marshall, please clarify your answers to my question with a direct yes or no.

NOTE: To that end, I will note that while I was over at Bubba's, I saw this little tidbit...

"When the right answers a question, the answer is as direct as the question...

So I can show Dan how it's done and take the initial questions Bubba put to him and demonstrate how one answers the questions honorably."

Show me how it's done, Marshall, Craig, with a simple direct answer to a simple, direct few questions.

Craig said...

", yes or no, does that mean that when Jesus said, "Blessed are you who are poor," he was saying specifically "blessed are you who are actually, financially poor..."?"

Given the scope of the entire ministry of Jesus I would say that the answer is that Jesus is not limiting the blessings to those who are financially poor.

"
...and that it wasn't some figurative language like, "blessed are the poor IN SPIRIT" which may or may not include the specifically, literally poor?"

So, in your private world "the poor" is literal but "the poor in spirit" is figurative. Can you possibly offer any rational textural reason to decide that one is "literal" and one is "figurative"? I realize it's more convenient for your hunch, but to simply presume figurative language seems strange.

The fact the you choose to assume that the blanket term "the poor" excludes some people is certainly not supported by the text.

"Do you see how it SOUNDS like you're NOT limiting the quote to mean JUST the literal poor? It SOUNDS like you're saying it's something beyond what it literally says, do you see how someone could take it that way when you "REFUSE" to place "arbitrary limits" on the text?"

No, I am specifically assuming that the term "the poor" means all of the poor. I am not placing any limits on the term at all.

"Do you see how it is not at all "arbitrary" to say that the word poor means 'poor' as it is normally used in the English language...?'

I was unaware that Jesus is somehow limited by definitions in the English language. Of course, if you actually look at the English language definition you would see that you are now imposing arbitrary limits on it as well.

"I think this text is speaking of the literal poor, specifically, not some larger group that may or may not include the poor, but in THIS text and THIS context, Jesus is speaking specifically of the literal poor..."?"

Leaving aside the irony of Bubba trying for 100 plus comments to get a simple straightforward answer from you, while you have the gall to demand what you won't give.

With one clarification, I will give you what you won't give Bubba.

Clarification. I see no way to be intellectually honest and to take one small section of Jesus teaching out of the larger context of His earthly ministry, and to declare without textural support that that the text means X and exclusively X no matter what other related texts might say.

Having clarified that, I affirm that when Jesus use the term "the poor" he is talking about people who are literally poor. I have always affirmed this, and don't see how doing so again will help, but once again, i did.

While you're waiting for more straight answers, maybe you could give Bubba some straight answers or some straight answers to the open questions at John's.

Dan Trabue said...

Oh, the irony.

I asked a simple question:

", yes or no, does that mean that when Jesus said, "Blessed are you who are poor," he was saying specifically "blessed are you who are actually, financially poor..."?"

You followed NOT with a Yes or No, but with what seems like a fairly clear answer, nonetheless...

Given the scope of the entire ministry of Jesus I would say that the answer is that Jesus is not limiting the blessings to those who are financially poor.

That sounds like a NO, he is NOT limiting it to the poor. Which would support my claim and satisfy your request.

BUT, then you go on to answer a second time, to "clarify..."

I affirm that when Jesus use the term "the poor" he is talking about people who are literally poor.

While not a straightforward and direct Yes or No, it SEEMS like a "YES, Jesus IS speaking specifically of the literally poor..."

But now I have TWO entirely different answers.

Any chance you could clarify your clarification? Which is it, yes or no?

Do you seriously not see how your answer is (answerS ARE) confusing?

Dan

Dan Trabue said...

To answer (directly, clearly) some of your questions/points...

So, in your private world "the poor" is literal but "the poor in spirit" is figurative. Can you possibly offer any rational textural reason to decide that one is "literal" and one is "figurative"?

I'm differentiating between "the poor," being literally those who are poor materially and "the poor in spirit," which means something else (humble, etc).

In general English usage, when someone is speaking to a crowd about "the poor, the hungry, the oppressed... the rich, the full...," etc, we "get" that the speaker is speaking specifically of those who don't have much in the way of resources or money. THAT poor, the most common usage, the LITERALLY POOR. This, as opposed to somebody speaking of poor in some other terms, as in the poor IN SPIRIT, which immediately and clearly invokes a different idea.

So, it has nothing to do with my "private world" or whatever negative spin you want to try to place on what I was saying, but with just plain English.

Do you understand that point, now?

Craig...

I was unaware that Jesus is somehow limited by definitions in the English language.

Do you try to be a jerk with all people or do you save your snide and stupid remarks for online conversations? I hope the latter, but would suggest you forgo it altogether. I did not say that Jesus is limited by definitions in English. I was making the point that WE, you and I, do, in fact, communicate in English and when one communicates in English, it helps to use the standard English definitions of words, if you want to be understood.

In the context of this passage, "you who are poor, hungry, oppressed... you who are wealth and well-fed..." it clearly seems to be communicating the idea of the specifically POOR as we understand it in the English.

Do you understand that, by communicating in the English, I'm not suggesting any limits on Jesus, I'm just communicating and, thus, your comment was a waste of words and time?

Craig...

Leaving aside the irony of Bubba trying for 100 plus comments to get a simple straightforward answer from you, while you have the gall to demand what you won't give.

You keep using that word, irony. I don't think it means what you think it means. Get serious, Craig. I DID answer him directly and specifically. Because you all have a hard time understand my/our words, sometimes we have to ask for specific clarifications to answer the questions specifically.

In asking Bubba to clarify, "What is a clear teaching TO WHOM?" I WAS answering him in a very specific and crystal clear manner, as the answer to Bubba's question depended on the answer to my clarifying question.

Just to be clear.

~Dan

Craig said...

Any chance you could clarify your clarification? Which is it, yes or no?

NO

Do you seriously not see how your answer is (answerS ARE) confusing?

NO


"I'm differentiating between "the poor," being literally those who are poor materially and "the poor in spirit," which means something else (humble, etc).

So, you have decided to make a differentiation on your own, and to assume that everyone else must accept your unsupported hunch.

"Do you understand that point, now?"

I've always understood your point. The problem is that neither the scriptural text nor the actual English language definition of the word "poor" actually support your hunch. The point was never the problem, your underlying prejudiced premise is the problem.

"I was making the point that WE, you and I, do, in fact, communicate in English..."

Finally, you're right about something. We do communicate in English. Unfortunately Jesus didn't. He most likely spoke Aramaic usually, and the gospels were written in either Aramaic of Koine Greek. I don't know how much you know about translating from other languages to English, but in many cases there are subtle differences that aren't adequately captured by the English word chosen by the translators. So to simply decide that it is appropriate to choose one of the common English definitions of a word and to woodenly apply it to a situation where it may not be the best choice actually makes communication more difficult rather than less.

For example one of the "normal" English definitions of the word "poor" is "lacking a normal or adequate supply of something specified". If one uses this definition (again a "normal" "accepted" "common" English language definition) of the word "poor" it paints an much broader picture that the one you choose, yet it is still a correct one by your standard. The fact that you can't provide any textural evidence for your position isn't my fault.

and when one communicates in English, it helps to use the standard English definitions of words, if you want to be understood. So, in this case, it seems reasonable that you would like to stuff Jesus words into a nice handy preconceived box, where they may or may not actually belong.

"Just to be clear."

Oh, you're clear all right.

Craig said...

"Do you try to be a jerk with all people or do you save your snide and stupid remarks for online conversations?"

Great question. Sometimes humor/sarcasm doesn't translate well.

But, let's be fair, shall we?

"I seek honestly and sincerely to do the Good, the Right and to walk in the steps of Jesus, my Lord and God."


“This is such bullshit, Marshall.”

“…as opposed to your made up shit you just spread about me.”

“pervert scum”

“perverted moral degenerate”


Is this an example of how you try not to be a jerk, or how you try to "...walk in the steps of Jesus"?

Perhaps this is a better example?

"...each time someone suggests that sort of verbal vomit, they are exposing their arrogance and hypocrisy and all-around plain goofiness, not to mention a bit of diabolical divisiveness. Stop it.”

"It is slimy and diabolical and excrement-filled."

"This repeated arrogant and sanctimonious excrement that you spew from your mouth sometimes is not becoming an adult Christian or adult human."

"...is just bullshit of the most rotten and diabolical sort.
“…, but that sort of arrogance will turn the conversation right off. It is not worthy of those called by God."

"...do you prefer your vomitous crud approach?”

If you feel the need to point pout one reasonable question phrased in an admittedly snarky tongue in cheek manner, is so offensive to you, then it seems fair to compare what I said with some of what you have said.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

yes or no?

NO


Hey Abbott...

So, your answer to my question is NO, Jesus is NOT speaking about the literally materially poor?

Or is that NO, you won't clarify?

Assuming your answer is NO, Jesus was NOT speaking specifically about the literally materially poor, then you have answered your own question, you have provided your own answer, validating my point.

So, reminding you of what you promised....

if you can link to a quote where "one of Bubba's comrades" actually, literally says either of the things you have suggested, then the conversation is over. You're right, I'm wrong, you get an apology.

I'm right, you're wrong, apologize away.

Somehow, I am expecting more of an Abbott and Costello response, but we'll see.

Craig said...

The question you actually asked was;

"Any chance you could clarify your clarification? Which is it, yes or no?"

Which is the question I actually answered.

The fact that you have tried to take my simple and direct answer to the actual question you asked and somehow turn it into something entirely different doesn't surprise me.

Oh, and you still haven't actually found anything that supports your "mistaken" position.

Keep throwing maybe something will stick.

Marshall Art said...

"they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor

The poor in spirit are literally poor, Dan. You seem to want to deny this. I have no doubt you intend to mean the materially poor alone, but like Craig, and the half dozen theologians to whom I referred earlier and listed for you in another conversation, the whole of Jesus' preaching does indeed point to the spiritual or at best a dual meaning. Again, I do not argue that Jesus cared about the suffering of those on the lower end of society, but His preaching dealt with the spiritual. The two sermons, in my NIV, have similar rewards as well. In Matthew 5 it's the kingdom of Heaven. In Luke 6,it's the kingdom of God. Do you suppose those are two different kingdoms?

The real problem here is your own comments regarding how you study the Bible, looking at the whole when studying a part, like a verse or passage. You refuse to do it with Luke 6:20. You read it and stop, thinking of nothing that doesn't stroke your wacky positions on wealth. You ignore that passages that say things like "for they shall be filled" make no sense given the fact that Jesus never made a poor person full beyond any single meal (like loaves and fishes and there's nothing that indicates all of the 5000 were materially poor), and that He clearly stated that the poor will always be with us.

This should be added to my initial explanation of my position presented earlier. It already answered your real question far more clearly and directly than any answer you've ever given (essential to whom?). And your real question? In order to get the answer you wanted, it should have been worded in a manner that would result in that answer:

In Luke 6:20, was Jesus speaking of the materially poor (those with little or no money)?

Answer: Probably not. And that's as direct as anyone can get. YOUR answer would not be intellectually honest if it was more than "probably" BECAUSE of all that I have said about the subject which cannot be dismissed in trying to divine the meaning.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, while I await your apology (Marshall just confirmed, "probably not," which was my point and thus, I did not lie and am not being dishonest, as was claimed), I'm still unpacking your responses ("Yes, absolutely..." "No, absolutely." "No, I won't clarify which is the one that I meant...").

Is this all a joke to you? I have to wonder...

Maybe when you apologize for the false claim and admit the simple little mistake, you can also apologize for the belligerence in straight-out refusing to clarify your "Yes/No, Clear?" response. Or confirm, "Yeah, Dan, I was just messing with you, never intending to give a straight answer..."

Dan Trabue said...

Craig, I'm not really sure what to make of your "Yes, I mean No... and No, I'm not going to clarify" response. It's not that difficult to just say "Yes," if that's what you think or, as in Marshall's case, "Probably not..." serves the same purpose.

To that end, there is Marshall confirming that he "probably doesn't" take "blessed are you who are poor" to mean "specifically, literally materially poor..." which was my point and what you said I had no evidence for.

With that evidence now provided, I'll welcome that apology now, and the acknowledgment that you misspoke and made an error in your charge against me. No problem, mistakes happen. This one has now been clarified and we can move on.

For what it's worth, though, I think I'm coming to the place that I think I'm about done with these conversations with you all. I STILL find them fascinating, how you all appear to think I'm doing the very things I think you all are doing, and that (I think) I am clearly NOT doing. It's truly fascinating. And I still appreciate the opportunity to try to figure out how to convey a point to people coming from a different place so that they actually understand my actual position.

But your "Yes, No, and NO, I won't clarify" response tells me that maybe I'm about through with it all, ready to truly to move on to something different.

Looking forward to your clarification.

Craig said...

I'm not sure what you want here. You asked a question, I answered. Sorry, you don;t like the answer, I don't like repeating myself. I guess we're even.

As to an apology, I'm not sure why. You have yet to accurately represent the positions of those who disagree with you. Any, here goes.

I[m sorry I thought it would be worthwhile to comment on this thread. I'm sorry you can't/won't take the time to understand the position you deride. I'm sorry you got all worked up over a little snark, but are oblivious to the vileness spewed from your mouth. I'm sorry i wasted as much time here as I have.

Dan Trabue said...

If nothing else, Craig, I think we have established who is repeating falsehoods, who is being belligerent and who is being evasive, to anyone reading these words, that much will be clear.

I will repeat the perfect summation of the two views here...

I asked a simple question:

", yes or no, does that mean that when Jesus said, "Blessed are you who are poor," he was saying specifically "blessed are you who are actually, financially poor..."?"

You followed NOT with a Yes or No...

THAT IS A FACT, as seen in the following words...

...but you did provide what seems like a fairly clear answer, nonetheless...

Given the scope of the entire ministry of Jesus I would say that the answer is that Jesus is not limiting the blessings to those who are financially poor.

That sounds like a NO, Jesus is NOT limiting it to the poor. Which would support my claim and satisfy your request.

However, then you go on to answer a second time, to "clarify..."

I affirm that when Jesus use the term "the poor" he is talking about people who are literally poor.

While not a straightforward and direct Yes or No, it SEEMS like a "YES, Jesus IS speaking specifically of the literally poor..."

But now I have TWO entirely different answers.

Any rational person can see "Hey, this is an honestly confusing answer. Craig is saying both YES and NO to Dan's question." And, given a genuinely confusing answer, asking a simple "Would you mind clarifying, is that a YES or NO?" is a rational response.

You, instead, opted to say "NO, I will NOT make my position clear."

And so, you bow out of the discussion establishing yourself as the one who is not being forthcoming.

Furthermore, Marshall has now clarified his response and it is, as I noted: He does NOT believe Jesus is saying "Blessed are you who are specifically literally materially poor." Thus, I did NOT misrepresent someone, as you claimed.

You said that you would apologize when I provided the quotes that demonstrate that I did not misrepresent someone. You are now opting to renege on that promise.

I am sorry, for your sake, and for the sake of the stain on your witness, but that's the way you all seem to continue to operate. Obfuscate, make false charges, refuse to either support your charges or to back off them, act with arrogance and little regard to respectful discussion.

For that, I am sorry, as well. I had hoped to find a way to communicate with my fellow Christians in a way that was respectful and helpful and I have not been able to do so. I will gladly accept some blame for that, as I don't believe in the idea that it's always just "the other guy's fault..." At the same time, your whole, "I won't say Yes or No directly, but I AM saying sort of yes. And I am saying sort of No. And NO, I won't clarify what in the world that means..." is, I think to all involved, a sign of some seriously confused communication skills.

One final suggestion is this: You might find someone you trust to just read through your answer that I quoted above, as well as Marshall's answer, and see if they aren't just as confused by your answer and lack of a direct Yes or No. Maybe if you hear it from someone else, it would help.

I am sorry for any failures on my part in our communications. I pray that Christ may lead us all in paths of wisdom and grace.

Peace.

~Dan

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I don't know that you have an apology coming. The original question was based on the term "literal poor". I will say once again, my objection to your position revolves around using the Luke verse as anti-wealth/the-lower-class-are-victims nonsense. My position is that Jesus is indeed speaking of the literally poor. But it wasn't until I forced a clarification that you are referring to the materially poor to whom Jesus gives blessings. You can't change your wording now to alter the challenge. You've again muddied the issue.

Craig said...

"I will repeat the perfect summation of the two views here..."

Impressive, now you're claiming the ability to summarize perfectly, not bad for a fallible imperfect human.

"That sounds like a NO, Jesus is NOT limiting it to the poor...."

Except I've said multiple times that Jesus is speaking of/to "the poor" and that "the poor".

"But now I have TWO entirely different answers."

Except, you don't have two different answers, you have multiple answers stating the same thing in different ways. This is why you're tactic of asking the same question over and over is concerning. I try to give you an answer that you can understand, then you present those as "two different answers", when that context clearly shows them to be at worst two facets of the same answer, which has already been repeated multiple times.

"And so, you bow out of the discussion establishing yourself as the one who is not being forthcoming."

First, heaven forbid that I not dedicate my entire weekend to answering every single one of Dan's repetitive questions instead of spending that time doing things like working, worshiping, and spending time with my family. Because, to do so results in more snide nasty comments from Dan. But as we've seen, I'm the one who has problems with "snide and stupid" comments. Of course, the only way to reach that conclusion is to ignore the multiple quotes of yours.

"He does NOT believe Jesus is saying "Blessed are you who are specifically literally materially poor."

Ah, the moving the goal posts tactic, I knew we would see it at some point. Just to be clear, I'll copy/paste the first of your misrepresentations that occasioned my comment.

"I don't see it possible that anyone could take it as NOT being "the literal poor," some of your internet pals object to a literal reading of that text."

Even a cursory reading of your two positions, reveals the fact that you have changed your position in the hopes of salvaging something of this conversation.

It would seem that me providing you with what you characterize as "two different answers" is a problem, but you changing the terms of your original mis-characterization is just fine by you.

Well played. The faux sincere sanctimony is a bit overboard, but not unexpected.

I'll close with a quote from my first comment

"While I certainly appreciate the effort, the fact that you have chosen to establish this thread by inaccurately summarizing what I actually said doesn't give me much hope for any sort of actual positive dialogue."



Dan Trabue said...

Dan...

"He does NOT believe Jesus is saying "Blessed are you who are specifically literally materially poor."

Craig...

Ah, the moving the goal posts tactic, I knew we would see it at some point. Just to be clear, I'll copy/paste the first of your misrepresentations that occasioned my comment.

Okay, so here we are down to the heart of the misunderstanding. When I use the word, "poor," I have always been speaking of, as Merriam Webster puts it...

Poor, adjective:

: having little money or few possessions

: not having enough money for the basic things that people need to live properly

: having a very small amount of something

: lacking material possessions

...that is, I was speaking of material poverty. I have ALWAYS been speaking of material poverty, as this seems what is obvious in the text. "Blessed are you who are poor (lacking in material wealth), for yours is the KINGDOM OF GOD; blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied... but woe to you who are rich, for you are receiving your comfort in full, woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry..." This seems clearly to be speaking of literal, material hunger and poverty, literal, material wealth and well-fed... the actual poor as poor is normally understood.

NOW, I see that you are not using the same definition of poor that is standard, you're using it to mean "poor in spirit," I guess? Like Marshall? And "rich in spirit?" (As always, how does that make any sense, what IS "rich in spirit..."?)

Are there OTHER definitions of poor found in the dictionary? Yes, we have...

Poor

: inferior in quality or value

: not good in quality or condition

: lacking a normal or adequate supply of something specified —often used in combination

Which of those definitions of poor are you using? Or are you using some other definition?

And since "poor," meaning, "lacking in material wealth" is clearly the predominant usage of the word, "poor," why would you not earlier make it clear that you weren't using the same definition that I was using?

Is it the case that, all this time, you didn't realize I was speaking of materially poor?

Or did you make it clear at some point and I just missed it?

I do see now that you touched on this earlier, where you said...

For example one of the "normal" English definitions of the word "poor" is "lacking a normal or adequate supply of something specified". If one uses this definition (again a "normal" "accepted" "common" English language definition) of the word "poor" it paints an much broader picture that the one you choose, yet it is still a correct one by your standard.

So, okay, please clarify, what is it that Jesus was actually saying, in your estimation? That the "poor" who are blessed are lacking in WHAT specified? Were they oil-poor? Food-poor? "spirit"-poor? And if so, what does "spirit"-poor mean, in your estimation? What are they lacking in spirit?

Please elaborate and clarify exactly how you are guessing Jesus intended for the word to be meant. Thanks.

Beyond all that, these other potential definitions you might assign to "poor, hungry, rich, well-fed" seem to be speaking more metaphorically, not literally. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness who will be "fed," are not getting actual, literal "feeding" of "Food," but more metaphorically, they will be "fed" the very righteousness they hunger for. That seems to me to be imagery, not literal.

Awaiting your clarifications.

Craig said...

"I have ALWAYS been speaking of material poverty,..."

Then why haven't you chose to be clear about that. I've been very consistent in making the differentiation between material poverty and other kinds of poverty. Yet, you have ignored the attempts at distinction and insisted on using the poorly conceived term "literal poverty" as if literal and material are somehow synonyms.

"Or did you make it clear at some point and I just missed it?"

I've more than touched on this several times, this is why I suspect that you don't actually read the entirety of peoples comments, but instead just cherry pick the parts that you feel are easier to deal with or can be used to obfuscate.

Once again, I'll answer this question, which should eliminate the need for answering the rest of your questions.

"...okay, please clarify, what is it that Jesus was actually saying, in your estimation?"

If one looks at the entirety of Jesus life and teachings, it seems quite clear that Jesus was referring to "the poor" in whatever state of poverty they might fine themselves. I know this may shock you, but this is the same answer I've given you literally dozens of times, and you can't seem to comprehend it. Jesus referred to both the materially poor and the spiritually poor at different times, so to whimsically decide that one group of poor is literal and the other is metaphorical is not something that the text supports. Further, if one considers that the text of Luke is considered to be a) second hand, b) mot written by an eyewitness, and c) written later than Matthew, then it stands to reason that the Matthew text (while not questioning the accuracy of either) might contain more details than the Luke text. Again, it seems that the only way to reach your exclusivist reading is to ignore Matthew while giving some sort of primacy to Luke, without providing any actual evidence for why you have done so.

For your edification, I came across an excellent treatment of this subject as I was looking at what other folks had to say about this. I thought about posting a link or copy/pasting the text, but decided that your past practice of ignoring links or belittling the authors of those links without actually reading and interacting with what has been said, would make that a waste of time.

Craig said...

1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Old Testament Background. Part of the understanding of the beatitudes is to see the Old Testament background concerning these descriptions of the Messianic kingdom and the people who enter it. I mentioned Isaiah 61:1-3 before, and so this for one passage could be read. In it the Messiah would be anointed “to preach good tidings to the poor” (recall that in Luke 4 Jesus read that passage in the synagogue and said it was fulfilled in their hearing). That passage helps us a little with our understanding of “the poor.” We tend to think of the “poor” primarily in terms of finances or possessions. That is part of it, but there is a spiritual side to it too. The word Isaiah uses describes the people who had been taken into exile. They were of course poor, having their land and possessions ripped away; but they were also afflicted and oppressed, they were powerless and without hope, and they were desperate. The physical poverty was intensified by the poverty in their spirit.

The Meaning of the Text. The words that describe the poor in the Bible include these aspects, for the poor in Jesus’ day had few possessions, were usually oppressed, had little power and less hope. They had no resources to fall back on; they had to depend on others for survival. Isaiah brought the people of his day good news--they would be delivered from bondage. But Jesus fulfilled that promise of bringing good news by proclaiming the gospel, the “good news” of God. He did not make them rich in earthly possessions and power; but he fulfilled their greatest need.

People who are “poor in spirit” are those who are humble before God. They realize that they have nothing in this life that they can contribute to receiving the kingdom of heaven. They have afflicted their souls, meaning that they have humbled themselves and repented with deep contrition; and they have come to the king as helpless and hopeless sinners. There is no arrogance in them, no self-righteousness, no self-sufficiency. They are free from their own pretensions, and therefore they are free for God. Everyone who wishes to enter the kingdom must be “spiritually poor,” for salvation is a gift from God.

Craig said...

Continued...

And that is the good news for the genuinely poor and oppressed in this world. The poor person is not excluded because of his poverty; and the rich person is not accepted because of his wealth. Both must humble themselves before the Lord in order to be part of the kingdom. It is often easier for the down and out of this world to do that, than for the rich to do it.

The blessing Jesus announces that “theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Now this of course does not mean that all poor people are in the kingdom. One thinks of the self-made poverty of the prodigal son. No, the poverty is not the chief thing, but the qualification of the spirit it. It is the poor in spirit, those who have humbled themselves and become dependent on God--they have the kingdom of heaven. In fact, everyone who is in the kingdom had to become poor in spirit. They all come with a broken heart and a contrite spirit seeking the Savior.

Application. The clear lesson is that if any are going to enter the kingdom of heaven they must become poor in spirit. This is the message of the kingdom; it is the call of repentance. They must humble themselves before God and acknowledge that they bring nothing of their own power, possessions or merit to gain entrance. Those who truly humble themselves and express their need of the Lord, they have the kingdom of heaven. And in this they find heavenly bliss.

So how does one become poor in spirit? The implication from the context preceding this is that one would hear the message of the kingdom and learn what kind of a kingdom it is and how to enter it--through repentance for sin and submission to the will of God. The first step is to confess that by themselves they can do nothing, and then seek the gracious provision that God has made.

A secondary application would be to develop how this attitude is to characterize the attitude of the believers who are in the kingdom. They do not simply humble themselves to get in and then become self-sufficient (although some try to do it); they are to live their lives in total dependence on God to supply their needs. This will open the study to themes such as humility, faith, prayer, and obedience.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

If one looks at the entirety of Jesus life and teachings, it seems quite clear that Jesus was referring to "the poor" in whatever state of poverty they might fine themselves. I know this may shock you, but this is the same answer I've given you literally dozens of times, and you can't seem to comprehend it.

Clearly, I did not "get" that this was your intent. Given that I had made it repeatedly clear that I was speaking specifically of the materially poor, why not offer what definition of poor you were speaking of?

Why not do so now?

They are "literally" (?) "lacking in spirit..." What does that mean?

Can you give the definition of poor you are using and clarify how it makes sense in the context you speak of?

Craig...

so to whimsically decide that one group of poor is literal and the other is metaphorical is not something that the text supports.

So then please clarify, what does it mean to be "literally" "lacking in spirit..."? Because that sounds like figurative language, to me, not literal.

Awaiting your clarifications and definitions.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm not sure if your next two posts are your words or someone else, but this line...

We tend to think of the “poor” primarily in terms of finances or possessions.

...sort of makes my point. We all DO tend to think of "poor" as the literally, materially poor. That is what I have been speaking of all along, as I think I have made clear all along. Are you surprised now that this was my intent?

And given that people tend to think primarily of these primary definitions of poor, why would you not go out of your way to make it clear that you were using some other definition of poor? By, perhaps, offering that literal definition and explaining how it makes sense in a literal sense, rather than figurative?

You posted...

The physical poverty was intensified by the poverty in their spirit.

So, given the definition you offered earlier, what were they literally lacking in their spirit?

You posted...

for the poor in Jesus’ day had few possessions, were usually oppressed, had little power and less hope. They had no resources to fall back on; they had to depend on others for survival.

All of this is what I mean by literally materially poor.

Continuing...

People who are “poor in spirit” are those who are humble before God. They realize that they have nothing in this life that they can contribute to receiving the kingdom of heaven. They have afflicted their souls, meaning that they have humbled themselves and repented with deep contrition

By using it as an adjective with "poor IN SPIRIT," it does move it away from a literal to a more figurative meaning. What would "poor in spirit" literally mean? Lacking what in spirit?

I still don't see how this is literally poor, much less specifically, literally materially poor.

Clarify, please?

Craig said...

Again, I doubt that I'll see any sort of substantive response to the above, yet I post it in the hopes that it will stand for anyone uninvolved in this conversation to see.

A point I find interesting is that blessing that "the poor" will receive is NOT material. It is SPECIFICALLY NOT material. An honest observer might ask, why would Jesus announce that the blessing for the (materially) poor is NOT an alleviation of their material poverty? What is it about material poverty that is such a blessing that Jesus chose not to alleviate it? Not only do we not see Jesus not specifically alleviating material poverty, we hear Him say, "The poor will be with you always.".

In much the same way Jesus refers to "the poor in spirit" He also refers to those who "hunger and thirst for righteousness". Clearly He is not suggesting that the "hunger and thirst" are from lack of material food and water. But somehow "poor in spirit" means exclusively material poverty, while "hunger and thirst" is to be interpreted differently.

Again, if the point is to excise the one verse in Luke from the larger context of both the entirety of the Beatitudes as well as the rest of His earthly ministry while hinging this entire hunch on the English meaning of the term "poor", then you may have a case. Unfortunately, I (and others) are not willing to blindly accept the limitations you choose to impose on the text. If you want to believe that your exclusivist view is what makes sense to you feel free, just don't denigrate those who look at the broader context and are open to the possibility of a more expansive possible reading of the text.

Craig said...

""Poor in spirit" means to be humble. Humility is the realization that all your gifts and blessings come from the grace of God. To have poverty of spirit means to be completely empty and open to the Word of God. When we are an empty cup and devoid of pride, we are humble. Humility brings an openness and an inner peace, allowing one to do the will of God. He who humbles himself is able to accept our frail nature, to repent, and to allow the grace of God to lead us to Conversion.

It is pride, the opposite of humility, that brings misery. For pride brings anger and the seeking of revenge, especially when one is offended."

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

A point I find interesting is that blessing that "the poor" will receive is NOT material. It is SPECIFICALLY NOT material.

I wholeheartedly disagree.

Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Literally. Beginning here and now.

Blessed are you who are hunger for you will be satisfied.

Literally. Beginning here and now WHEN we live up to and into the Kingdom of God.

I strongly disagree with the suggestion that it's not material.

Craig...

"Poor in spirit" means to be humble.

So, "poor" in what sense? What definition are you using for poor? The one you offered is "lacking in something," so, the "poor in spirit" (again, sounds figurative, not literal) are lacking WHAT "in spirit?

~Dan

Craig said...

"Given that I had made it repeatedly clear that I was speaking specifically of the materially poor, why not offer what definition of poor you were speaking of?"

The problem isn't that I haven't done so, it is that you've chosen to ignore where I have.

"Why not do so now?"

I just did, which supports my earlier suspicion that you don't actually read others comments in any detail. In addition, I've chosen to provide you with some food for thought from some other folks as well. I still doubt I'll see any substantive rebuttal, but I felt it worth the effort anyway. Beyond that I refuse to dignify your intentionally misleading construction "lacking in spirit", with any more response that I already have.

"We all DO tend to think of "poor" as the literally, materially poor."

So all it takes to make your point is to paste one out of context sentence fragment. That's quite a low standard.

"I still don't see how this is literally poor, much less specifically, literally materially poor."

I'm sorry that you choose to close your eyes to possibilities beyond your preconceived notions. I'm sorry that my repeated answering of the same questions hasn't helped. I'm sorry that you can't articulate why your exclusivist hunch is the one and only correct hunch, other than to hinge your entire argument on one English language definition of a Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic term, without providing any sort of evidence that demonstrates this.

In closing I will repeat this one more time.

If one looks at the totality of Jesus earthly ministry and recorded teaching, it entirely reasonable to conclude that Jesus spoke about both literal material poverty and literal spiritual poverty.

If you'd care to produce some evidence that specifically and unequivocally disproves that, feel free. If you'd rather not, then I'll respectfully move on.




Dan Trabue said...

Craig, if you wish to be clear and if you're using a non-normative definition of a word, the onus is on your to provide your definition.

As it stands now, I still am waiting. What's the problem with providing a simple definition so I can know in WHAT SENSE you mean "poor..."?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

it entirely reasonable to conclude that Jesus spoke about both literal material poverty and literal spiritual poverty.

In what sense? How is it "literally" spiritually poor? What are they lacking? What are they literally being fed to be satisfied? What are the wealthy literally having in abundance "in spirit?" What are the "full" literally "eating"?

What is your definitions of these words and how does that make sense literally in these contexts?

Jesus says "blessed are you who are oppressed," did he mean "spiritually oppressed," or did he mean, literally, physically oppressed here and now?

Craig said...

This crossed my last comment, so I'll address it.

"I wholeheartedly disagree."

Based on what? How many times did Jesus alleviate the material poverty of anyone?

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

So, the poor just stay poor and blessed because they're all in the Kingdom of God? Is that why Jesus left them poor? Does every materially poor person automatically get into the Kingdom of God? Do they stay in no matter what? If they win powerball do they get kicked out?




"Blessed are you who are hunger for you will be satisfied."

So, this works if you edit the gospel to suit your predilections. You're still left with the problem that Jesus never literally gave the hungry food or the thirsty water to alleviate their temporary physical condition. I actually already addressed this had you read my comments before you unloaded this load of scubala.

"Literally. Beginning here and now WHEN we live up to and into the Kingdom of God."

So, this entire thing is predicated on what we do? that just sounds like salvation by works. As long as we mitigate the material needs of the materially poor and (temporarily) sate the physical hungers of the physically hungry, we're all good. They get blessed and get into God's Kingdom, because they're poor and hungry, and we get in because we give them money and food. That's it, that's all their is.

"I strongly disagree with the suggestion that it's not material."

Great, I've never suggested that it is not material (or at least exclusively so), so I don't see what your problem is.

Dan Trabue said...

While waiting, here's some reading material for you...

http://www.jeff-jackson.com/religion/Q/Q6C.html

Where this author, looking at historical context and the Greek words used, notes...

To get behind the words to Jesus' meaning, let us consider the economic culture of the first century (and for that matter, most centuries since then). The peasants and artisans of the villages were dirt poor. They could barely subsist. They had no political power. They had little or no rights. In short, they were an oppressed class that consituted the bulk of society. In contrast to them, the powerful were rich. The owned most of the land. They were collaborators with the hated Romans. They were the courts, the priests, the government officials, the army commanders. There was no in between, no middle class like in 21st century western civilization. Only this elite had power, and it was they who controlled the temple cult, who sat in the seat of Moses, who held the keys to the Kingdom, and regulated access to God.

It was to this situation that Jesus is speaking...

Jesus was saying something very radical when he said that the Kingdom of God belongs to the poor. The elite thought that they owned the Kingdom, they ruled on God's behalf. The priests controlled the means to salvation, and the peasants were dependant on them. Like John the Baptist, who preached a gospel of forgiveness independant of the temple cult, Jesus proclaimed a Kingdom independant of the ruling elite. Note even the tense used here: the Kingdom "belongs". It is not the Kingdom "will belong". It is a present reality for those who will accept it. And what is this Kingdom like? Consider the following passage from Acts 2:44-47.

2:44 All who believed were together and held everything in common, 2:45 and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. 2:46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts...

Is this not the very fulfillment of these blessings? People living as though God is their king? People fulfilling the requirements of true religion (James 1:27)?

Matthew 5:6 uses hunger (and thirst) metaphorically. Given Luke 6:21a's literal version, someone generated the metaphorical version. Why should not Jesus, the master of parable and aphorism, be that someone?


Good stuff. Check it out.

Craig said...

Dan,

I'm done. The constant demand for answers that I've already given is just too much. I get it it works for you, it just wears people out, so say what you want, believe what you want I just don't care.

So, as I said I would.

I'm sorry. You clearly were 100% perfectly correct an any and all characterizations you have made regarding what everyone else has said about the poor. Your assertion that there is only one possible exclusive meaning of poor has been so overwhelmingly supported with liberal use of quotes from the Biblical text, that I must once again bow to the overwhelming combination of Logic, Reason, and Biblical scholarship that you have once again demonstrated.

There, you have your apology.

Dan Trabue said...

Dan...

"I strongly disagree with the suggestion that it's not material."

Craig responded...

Great, I've never suggested that it is not material (or at least exclusively so), so I don't see what your problem is.

Sorry, I misunderstood. I thought when you said, and I quote...

"A point I find interesting is that blessing that "the poor" will receive is NOT material. It is SPECIFICALLY NOT material."

[emphasis YOURS]

So, perhaps you can understand that I took you to mean that the blessing is not materially when you said, "it is SPECIFICALLY NOT material..."

Clarification?

And I still await your definition of "poor" and an explanation of what the poor were literally lacking (if that is your definition) in spirit.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig asked...

"I wholeheartedly disagree."

Based on what? How many times did Jesus alleviate the material poverty of anyone?

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

So, the poor just stay poor and blessed because they're all in the Kingdom of God? Is that why Jesus left them poor? Does every materially poor person automatically get into the Kingdom of God? Do they stay in no matter what? If they win powerball do they get kicked out?


The answers to these questions (questions I've answered before, but maybe you've missed that) are found in the excerpts I just quoted above.

But to repeat:

Jesus and his disciples lived into this New Kingdom, this Realm of Enough and of shared resources.

Jesus did not tell the rich young man (who asked, "what must I do to be saved?") to JUST sell all he had and give it to the poor. He said, Sell your belongings, give it to the poor, AND COME, FOLLOW ME... Come, join my community where we mutually provide enough to get by on.

We see this continued to be lived out in the early church who sold their belongings and lived communally, sharing their resources. Why did they do this? Because that is the good news of the Kingdom, it is part of this Way of Grace by which we are saved. A critical part, as we see when Annanias and Sapphira tried cheating on this communal life (but let me emphasize, it IS a way of Grace, not works... A/S were not REQUIRED to sell their stuff to be part of the community, it was their lying and cheating to benefit from this grace out of greed that was their downfall...).

So, the poor and the rich and all who wish to be part of this Way of Grace share, they mutually meet needs, each providing what they can to the Realm of God, each accepting and giving in grace which saves, not legalism which kills.

If they win the powerball and they fill so called, they give it up, give it to the poor and to the Community (which were often one in the same) and come, follow Christ IN that community, in that Realm of the Good News of the Kingdom of God.

HOW it plays out falls under grace and individual choice, but the point is, when it plays out in something akin to the manner of the Realm of God as we see in the early church, as Jesus taught, the literally materially poor DO have their needs met; the literally hungry ARE/WERE and HAVE BEEN literally fed literal food. The literally oppressed and marginalized ARE/HAVE BEEN received into a literal, welcoming community.

God's Kingdom come, God's will be done, ON EARTH, as it is in heaven.

Amen and amen.

Feel free to disagree.

Dan Trabue said...

So, to summarize again, in light of this last exchange...

Craig took umbrage at my statement...

" I think, in my opinion, some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

He did so because he did not understand that when I was repeated referring to "the literal poor..." I was speaking (as I think the text is speaking) of the specifically, literally MATERIALLY poor, the literally hungry, the literally oppressed, the literally wealthy and the literally well-fed.

Since his "side" does not think of the passage as being specifically the literally MATERIALLY poor, but the literally poor in ANY sense, he would claim that they DO take it literally, just not literally the materially poor. Therein lies some of the confusion in our discussion.

As it turns out, they do NOT think the text is speaking specifically of the literally MATERIALLY poor, but what they call the "literally spiritually poor." Whatever that means.

And I get that they think the "poor in spirit" means "the humble ones," (and that is not an unreasonable interpretation of Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, I think), but where it breaks down is that, to me, "poor in spirit," and "hungry in spirit" are figurative expressions. The "hungry in spirit" are not "fed" literally "food," but figurative, spiritual "food."

So, even with the lack of understanding on the literally materially poor, I am not sure that their preferred interpretation is still a literal one, but more of a figurative one.

I asked if Craig could provide me with the definition of "poor," "hungry" and "rich" that he is using instead of the common ones, but he has not responded. Earlier, he DID allude to the definition of "poor" as being "lacking in some specific thing, as in 'that nation is oil-poor...' or 'lacking in oil,'" but when I asked him to clarify what the poor are lacking in their spirit, what literal, material thing they are "lacking in their spirit," he did not respond.

I also asked what it means to be "rich in spirit," and how that is taken, if one is taking it literally, not figuratively, but he has not responded to that, either.

So, I am NOT mistaken in my claim AS INTENDED, that they do not take the "blessed are you who are poor/hungry" in the literal sense of specifically materially poor. Craig, I'm guessing, would say, "If you intended to use the normal meaning of the word, 'poor,' you should have made it clear." I think it is obvious in context and literally in many of my words what I meant.

So, I am not mistaken nor did I make a false charge. Thus, Craig's claim that I lied IS false. No doubt, giving him the benefit of the doubt and a bit of grace, he reached his false conclusion based upon the aforementioned misunderstanding of my intent, and to the degree that I did not clarify enough that I was using the normal usage of the word, I apologize for my unintended contribution to any confusion. Still, his charge is false.

Hopefully, he will actually apologize for the false charge and retract it.

Craig said...

I just can't believe how many times you mis represent my position in the last few comments you made. I am now convinced that I made the correct decision to remove myself from this exchange.

Dan Trabue said...

IF I misrepresented you, it was a mistake for which I apologize. But if you don't point to the mistake, I can't acknowledge it, can I?

But IF you point to a problem, I will acknowledge and apologize.

How about you?

I've pointed to your blatant misrepresentation - that I lied/misrepresented people. Factually, I did not. Will you correct your mistake, as I stand willing to do?

Craig said...

I've pointed out your mis representations enough times in this thread that doing so again serves no purpose. Anyone but you reading this thread will find them obvious enough that I see so need to invest further time in this farce.

You have achieved your goal, you got your apology. I see no reason to continue.

You've patiently driven off almost everyone else who has ever commented here, (including your defenders) soon you'll be able to write whatever you want without any comment whatsoever.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

I've pointed out your mis representations enough times in this thread...

You keep saying that. I keep not seeing it. Again, IF it is pointed out to me, specifically, I can correct your misunderstanding (most likely) or admit the mistake and apologize and move on (which I do regularly ANY time someone points out an actual error on my part).

But empty, unsupported claims? They are just so much swamp gas in the wind.

And indeed, people can read and see for themselves.

Craig said...

"I keep not seeing it."

ONE EXAMPLE

" I think, in my opinion, some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

Both myself and MA have repeatedly said in this very thread that we agree that Jesus is speaking of the "literal poor". The fact that you continue to deny what is right in front of you in black and white is your problem, not mine.

The closet you got was to change your original quoted statement to support your contention that "literal" and "materially" mean exactly the same thing and that there are no other possible alternatives to your hunch.

So, if you can demonstrate that "literal" and "materially" are synonyms, you might have had a point. But you can't. So you don't.

The fact that you just keep insisting that your hunch is the one and only possible hunch and that there is no room for any alternative is a little concerning. Do you really have so much emotional investment in this one concept (That the only possible meaning of the word poor is materially poor, and that there is no possible way that Jesus could have meant anything but that), is healthy?

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

Both myself and MA have repeatedly said in this very thread that we agree that Jesus is speaking of the "literal poor". The fact that you continue to deny what is right in front of you in black and white is your problem, not mine.

And I have made it abundantly clear that when I say "literal poor," I'm speaking of the very thing that MOST people are speaking of when they say "literal poor" (even your own source says this, Craig): Those who are literally materially, financially poor.

I've been talking about this all along. It is not unreasonable to refer to the "literally materially financially poor" as "literally poor." Most people understand what that means. I have repeatedly made it clear that this is what I mean.

SO, when I made my claim which you object to...

" I think, in my opinion, some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

and GIVEN that when I say "literal poor," I CLEARLY MEAN "literally, materially, financially poor..." then my claim is true, you all DON'T think Jesus is speaking of the literally poor ("poor" as most people define it, according to your source).

My claim is true and factual - by your own admission. Your claim is false.

Fact and fact.

Now you can live up to your word or you can move on.

Craig said...

"My claim is true and factual - by your own admission. Your claim is false."

I'm sorry, have I missed the demonstrable evidence that "literal' and "materially' are synonyms?

Did I miss the link to the site where research shows that " Most people understand", your hunch?

The fact remains (and this is actual verifiable demonstrable) that both MA and I have agreed that Jesus was talking about the "literal" poor in Luke 6. You can know this by reading the places where we have written this down in this very thread. In fact, I have (and I believe MA as well) agreed that Jesus was referring to the "materially" poor in Luke 6. Again, it's right here in black and white in the thread.

So, keep spinning, I've apologized enough for one thread.

Dan Trabue said...

Dan...

"My claim is true and factual - by your own admission. Your claim is false."

Craig's response...

I'm sorry, have I missed the demonstrable evidence that "literal' and "materially' are synonyms?

Again, MY claim had nothing to do with questions about whether literal and material are synonyms. MY claim was that Jesus is speaking literally of the specifically materially poor. THAT claim - the one I've actually have been making, you all factually disagree with. That is a fact.

Unless you've changed your position, you DO disagree that, in Luke 6, Jesus was speaking of the specifally materially poor?

Your answer to that has been YES, you do disagree. I stated that you all disagree with it.

Thus, MY comment is factual and your claim has now been demonstrated to be false. Factually speaking.

Craig said...

One more time. Below are your exact words.

" I think, in my opinion, some of your comrades hold an implausible position when they think that when Jesus says "poor" he does not mean specifically the literal poor,..."

No where in your quote in the word "material" or any indication that your use of the term "literal" encompasses the term "material" (or any of it's derivatives). Now in hindsight, you can make the claim that you meant "literally, materially", unfortunately, your actual words don't accurately convey what you meant.

"MY claim was that Jesus is speaking literally of the specifically materially poor. THAT claim - the one I've actually have been making, you all factually disagree with. That is a fact."

No one has disagreed with you that Jesus is speaking of the materially poor. You might have known that had you read the multiple places where I said things like "The fact remains (and this is actual verifiable demonstrable) that both MA and I have agreed that Jesus was talking about the "literal" poor in Luke 6. You can know this by reading the places where we have written this down in this very thread. In fact, I have (and I believe MA as well) agreed that Jesus was referring to the "materially" poor in Luke 6. Again, it's right here in black and white in the thread.".

The fact that you continue to ignore what is in black and white right in front of your face and to continue to claim that we have said things that are demonstrably (as I just demonstrated, unlike some I know of) not said is either a case of serious confusion,failure to actually read what others say, or intentionally mis representing others. I just don't know of any other option to explain why you deny that I said something, where I clearly said the opposite of what you claim I said. It's not like it was 50 comments ago, it's in the comment IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING the comment where you make the false claim.

" I stated that you all disagree with it."

So, the fact that "you stated" something somehow overrides the fact that your statement is literally demonstrably false.

Once again, an actual quote of my actual words, before your latest claim.

"The fact remains (and this is actual verifiable demonstrable) that both MA and I have agreed that Jesus was talking about the "LITERAL" poor in Luke 6. You can know this by reading the places where we have written this down in this very thread. In fact, I have (and I believe MA as well) agreed that Jesus was referring to the "MATERIALLY" poor in Luke 6. Again, it's right here in black and white in the thread."

Emphasis added, in case you missed it the first few times.

Dan Trabue said...

Craig...

No one has disagreed with you that Jesus is speaking of the materially poor. You might have known that had you read the multiple places where I said things like "The fact remains (and this is actual verifiable demonstrable) that both MA and I have agreed that Jesus was talking about the "literal" poor in Luke 6. You can know this by reading the places where we have written this down in this very thread. In fact, I have (and I believe MA as well) agreed that Jesus was referring to the "materially" poor in Luke 6. Again, it's right here in black and white in the thread."

??

So, in your opinion, in Luke 6, Jesus is speaking SPECIFICALLY of the literally, materially, financially poor?

That has been my point all along and you all have been quite confusing in your responses. Can you answer THAT question above directly? Because what has been here in black and white has been all over the place (yes, we do, no we don't, I SAID no, we don't, I clarified quite clearly that yes, we do, IF you mean by 'literal poor' those who are not materially poor alone... etc). It has SOUNDED like you're saying, "yes, he meant the 'literal' poor, but by 'literal' poor, we don't mean specifically the materially poor, it INCLUDES the materially poor, but is not specifically them, it is the poor in spirit, which we mean literally..."

The question I have been asking/the point I have been making is this:

So, in your opinion, in Luke 6, Jesus is speaking SPECIFICALLY of the literally, materially, financially poor?

A direct answer to THAT question, the one I've been asking all along, could end this in ONE WORD.