Monday, December 21, 2009

For Example...

In a recent post I reviewed Newt Gingrich's book about the "energy crisis" and what can be done to free us from dependence on foreign energy sources and do so now. Part of the book dealt with obstructions to our use of our own natural resources. In general, it speaks of the environmental extremists, AKA "wackos", who are making an appearance now in Copenhagen. That's really kinda funny considering they are protesting other wackos.

But wackos aren't the only obstructionists. Of course, there are those who would profit by the status quo. This article suggests who some of these scumbags might be. Some, like Dan, would have us believe that the energy producers of this country are the evil doers who should be of great concern to us. He would not want only industry people deciding how to oversee and guide big oil/coal to do the right thing. I think they're doing OK as it is. Who would watch over them honestly? Those highlighted in the article? How can we properly check out and qualify those who would watch the industry people?

That oil/coal/natural gas/nuclear people are looking to make profits by providing energy is no secret. It's not even wrong. Assuming they can't be trusted to do that in an ethical manner is. The article points out those that aren't quite acting out of concern for America, the environment or anything else like that. Money is driving many of those on the "green" side of these issues. Al Gore is making mounds of money preaching his global warming crap. Scientists and researchers depend on grants given only to those who further the "consensus" opinion. And we know that third world, despot-lead countries are foaming at the mouth at the thought of US dollars spent to "level the playing field" that is the "fight against climate change". All the while, we go broke, and our enemies get richer with funds we could be spending at home. (More "brilliance", I suppose.)

Of course, it is only fair to say that there are truly sincere people amongst the greenies who really believe that the world would be a better place without technology, that we should back off on "consumerism" (as if that is all that drives progress) and go back to the land. I'm sure they'll feel just as strongly as their loved ones die because they couldn't peddle the bicycle fast enough to get them to a hospital. These people are simply deluded. Progress will bring negative aspects along with the positives, which in my opinion, far outweigh the bad and which we can mitigate as we go.

I am far more concerned with the motives of those who interfere with American industry tapping our resources. They assume evil intent on the part of those who bring about so much good, but ignore the alternatives that we all experienced before progress came about. What's worse, among them are the real evil ones who truly have only profits in mind as they work to prohibit that which can free us from dependence on foreign oil.

75 comments:

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Some, like Dan, would have us believe that the energy producers of this country are the evil doers who should be of great concern to us. He would not want only industry people deciding how to oversee and guide big oil/coal to do the right thing. I think they're doing OK as it is. Who would watch over them honestly?

If you don't mind, I'd rather speak for myself. I do NOT, in fact, believe that the energy producers are somehow more evil than anyone else. I just happen to believe that they are human and with that comes the tendency towards sin, towards looking out for one's perceived self interests, even if it hurts someone else.

There's nothing especially evil about coal people or oil people. But they ARE people. Fallen humanity with a bent towards sin.

To suggest that those with the most to gain by pushing rules to favor their industry ought to be the ones deciding what's best in that industry just seems a bit goofy.

I think we need balance. Oil people and coal people know about oil and coal. They don't necessarily know about protecting the environment. We ought, therefore, leave the tending to the environment to the ones who know most about it (and have nothing to gain by keeping it clean other than a clean environment) and leave those who know about producing coal/oil to do their stuff, BUT NOT at the expense of others.

Who would watch over them honestly? Well, we'd start with someone who does not stand to profit along with the coal/oil companies. We begin with someone who knows something about best practices for protecting our environment, water and air.

Their right to pollute/degrade ends at others' noses/yards/water supplies.

This just seems like basic human decency and responsibility.

Glad to correct your misunderstanding.

Marshall Art said...

"I just happen to believe that they are human and with that comes the tendency towards sin, towards looking out for one's perceived self interests, even if it hurts someone else."

Gee. Sounds evil to me when you put it that way. And that's the way you usually put it. Now if you want to tap-dance it to say that such people might be looking out for their own self-interests and sometimes unintentionally cause harm, you might not stand accused.

But unintended consequences in business do not justify the rountine interference and oversight of outsiders. Oil and coal people have done a lot to "clean up their acts" as it is and they have their own people dealing with environmental issues. The difference is that unlike the outside radicals, the people within are rational and already provide the very balance you claim to seek. You make incredibly judgemental assumptions about those who have provided us all with the energy we need to thrive as a society, assumptions I don't think you can support outside of perhaps isolated situations.

We already have an untenable situation due to outsiders dictating what can or can't be done to provide us with energy, and it has lead to higher prices and dependence upon foreign assholes who don't much like us. In many cases, as Newt describes in his book, energy companies go above and beyond what current legislations and regulations dictate and still, the radical environmentalists protest and block their progress.

I think you err in your assumption about the motivations or character of oil/coal people as if they don't care about the environment in which they themselves live and in which their grandchildren will inhabit. I've no doubt that we have plenty of laws already on the books that govern negligence and intentional destruction that keep the "sinful" oil guys from going too far.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

But unintended consequences in business do not justify the rountine interference and oversight of outsiders. Oil and coal people have done a lot to "clean up their acts" as it is and they have their own people dealing with environmental issues. The difference is that unlike the outside radicals, the people within are rational and already provide the very balance you claim to seek.

You are free to trust blindly in the good will of those with a vested interest in oil and coal. I prefer to admit that they, like all of us, are flawed humans and can benefit from oversight rather than trusting that they'll do what's best for everyone.

I do find it interesting that those who lean more towards the calvinist "utterly depraved" view of mankind are the self-same ones who tend to trust industries to do right. It seems to be an illogical and inconsistent stance to hold, but you're welcome to it.

I'll pass, thanks.

Marshall...

The difference is that unlike the outside radicals, the people within are rational and already provide the very balance you claim to seek.

Again, seems too pollyanna and rose-colored for me. You're welcome to trust them blindly. Not me.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

I think you err in your assumption about the motivations or character of oil/coal people as if they don't care about the environment in which they themselves live and in which their grandchildren will inhabit.

You know what they say about assuming, Marshall. I make no assumptions about oil/coal people except the following: They are human, in a fallen human nature, prone to sin like the rest of us and desiring to mine coal/oil as profitably as possible.

I would also assume that they are not monsters intentionally desiring to destroy the land. I would also assume (actually, I tend to know this from experience) that they often do not live next door to where they intend to mine. I would tend to trust the local coal/oil manager who is actually living next to where he shits moreso than the one who exports his shit, so to speak.

Marshall said...

I've no doubt that we have plenty of laws already on the books that govern negligence and intentional destruction that keep the "sinful" oil guys from going too far.

Okay, so then, we DON'T really disagree, it would appear. I expect that we BOTH agree that oil/coal people are fallen human beings just as prone to sin and greed and destruction as the next person, yes?

And you have just stated that we BOTH agree that reasonable laws ought to be in place and that the coal/oil people ought to obey by the laws that protect others.

If so, then there is no disagreement in principle, it would just come down to what laws are reasonable.

For instance, I agree that our laws regarding coal are not so bad. We already have laws that prevent coal companies from blasting off the top of mountains to reach coal and dumping the toxic mess in the valleys below. That is a good law and I am fine with it (as I understand it).

However, during the Bush years, Coal people sought to have exemptions to the law so they COULD dump into the valleys below after having blasted off the tops of mountains. AND, since there were Coal people making the decision in gov't, they granted those exemptions - exceptions to the existing law.

The law itself is fine, it is the exemption to the law where coal people decided that coal people COULD use destructive practices... THAT is exactly why you don't put the fox in charge of the henhouse.

Again, I think this is just reasonable and responsible policy.

Dan Trabue said...

I wonder if you truly mean this...

But unintended consequences in business do not justify the rountine interference and oversight of outsiders.

If someone is drinking and driving, I guarantee you they have NO plans whatsoever to cause a wreck that results in people being harmed and killed. Does that not justify the routine oversight and interference of outsiders?

Drinking or being impaired on the job is usually done without ANY negative consequences intended and yet, we know that pilots and ship captains are required to be sober. Are they being harassed by the routine oversight and interference of outsiders?

Companies that dump their toxic wastes (some coal companies or wastewater companies, for instance) don't generally do so to intentionally cause harm and yet we regulate them. Are they being harassed by the routine oversight and interference of outsiders?

Do you truly think that "anything goes" is okay as long as a company or an individual does not intend to do harm?

I doubt that you do. I would hope not.

Regardless, most people don't care if damage is done intentionally or not, if it is avoidable, we rather expect someone to act in ways that won't cause harm. It's called responsibility and I suspect you agree, again, in theory at least.

Marshall Art said...

"You are free to trust blindly in the good will of those with a vested interest in oil and coal."

NOW who's doing the misrepresenting? I don't trust them blindly. I just don't blindly believe that everyone will automatically be so selfish as to knowingly and willingly cause harm just to make a buck. That's a totally cynical outlook and a very unChristian one at that. I don't even feel so about every politician, feeling that some actually seek to serve and do good. In fact, I don't even have such a cynical outlook on lefty politicians, and feel sure there are some of THOSE who seek to serve and do good as well (I just don't think their ideas are very good).

But from where YOU sit, oil and coal people couldn't care less about harming their own country if they can make a buck doing it. Yeah. Right. However, we're supposed to believe that those you'd have in oversight positions are, who, those saintly and perfect homosexuals from your church? Seriously, what makes you think your overseers are beyond corruption? Is it because they wouldn't make a lot of money, despite the fact that gov't people always get raises? BTW, what is that dollar amount beyond which greed and selfishness become irresistable?

I don't need to trust oil and coal men anymore than I have to trust any other business man. MY point is that we have laws and regulations aplenty that govern how they do their thing in this country. If they do wrong, sue them and hash it out in court. Bring evidence and make your case.

You blindly assume the worst of these people (and successful people in general) and also assume that because they received exemptions from particular regs that it must mean they received some sweetheart deal, like say, $300 billion dollars to vote for health care.

Marshall Art said...

So we don't agree here after all. We DON'T have gov't oversight restricting alcohol use, we have laws. If you're referring to laws as oversight, we have enough of them. But that's not what your original comments suggest at all. Your comments suggest that there be something more, perhaps a gov't man within the energy industry looking over their shoulders going "Uh uh! Can't do that!"


Unintended consequences of drinking are dealt with through the legal process. Unintended consequences of industry are handled in much the same way as no one has the right to cause harm.

And again, these industries have already done a lot to lessen their impact on the environment. Between 1970-2009, coal generation increased by 225%, while emissions of regulated pollutants decreased by 77%. The Powell River Project has had the cooperation of coal industry people throughout their work.

What you would consider "pushing the rules to favor their industry" is likely more a matter of objecting to rules that never took into account the industry and the negative impact those rules are likely to have. More likely is that those who think they're being "better stewards" of the earth are too ignorant of the ramifications of THEIR actions. They don't see beyond their Ferngully notions of the environment to truly work WITH the industry for the betterment of all.

Dan Trabue said...

I think we agree that all of us have a bent towards sin.

I think we agree that we need reasonable laws protecting innocent folk from the actions - even innocent actions - of others.

We'll have to work out the details at some other time.

Merry Christmas.

Bubba said...

"I think we agree that all of us have a bent towards sin."

Funny how this principle is applied inconsistently -- to industrialists but not to environmentalists.

No, we're told that the environment should be protected by "the ones who know most about it (and have nothing to gain by keeping it clean other than a clean environment)."

One is a pollyanna with rose-colored glasses if he thinks an industry is over-regulated, but it's entirely realistic to believe in the existence of regulators who are completely disinterested and altruistic.


In Federalist #51, James Madison recognized man's fallen nature, not only in those who are governed, but in those who govern.

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Far more dangerous than any corporation is the government, since they have a nearly complete monopoly on the legal use of force.

One of the best constraints on the federal government is the idea, enunciated by Madison (father of the Constitution) and the other Founding Fathers, of limiting the government to those EXPRESSED powers which the Constitution explicitly gives it.

Dan Trabue rejects this idea, and in doing so, he will invoke essays that prove the exact opposite of what he claims, and he will rip comments completely out of context.

So much for the possibility that man's fallen nature really is a driving force in everything he believes.

As with everything else -- the teachings of the Bible, the teachings even of Christ Himself, the concern for limited government, the desire for civility -- it is a principle that is conveniently invoked and then conveniently forgotten.

In short, it's not a principle: it's a tactic.

Dan Trabue said...

Merry Christmas to you, too, Brother Bubba. Christ the Lord is born this day.

Bubba said...

He is named Jesus, because He saves people from their sins.

He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

He came to seek and save that which is lost.

He came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.

His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin.

(Mt 1:21, Jn 1:29, Lk 19:10, Mk 10:45, Mt 26:28)

Because you deny that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and because you cannot be forthright about that denial, I cannot and will not accept you as a Christian brother in good standing.

I wish you well, but that wish includes the hope that you would one day have the integrity to be honest about what you believe -- about the fact that, for instance, your beliefs deviate significantly from the clear teachings of the Scripture you claim to love, and even the clear teachings of Christ whom you claim to follow.

Until that day, I will not pretend to join you in Christian fellowship.

Dan Trabue said...

You can, of course, choose to be as curmudgeonly and suspicious as you wish. You remain my brother, nonetheless. At least in my sight. I would guess in God's sight, as well.

Happy and Blessed New Year.

Bubba said...

Dan, the Bible is clear that Christian unity and Christian fellowship are based on the saving death and the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

"The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread." - I Cor 10:16-17

Christ "redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us", and so all who are redeemed are "one in Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:13, 28)

"But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.

"He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
- Rom 3:21-30

Christians are all one fellowship, because we're justified by the same faith, and by the same redeeming death of Jesus Christ.

Though you refuse to be forthright about it, it is obvious that you deny that we are saved by Christ's death: you believe that we are saved by God's grace BUT NOT Christ's death.

I cannot in good conscience embrace as a brother in good standing one who denies the saving death of Jesus Christ, to say nothing of one who is not forthright about his denial.

It is not "curmudgeonly" to draw such a distinct line over such an important doctrine.

And I am not "suspicious" to conclude that you deny the saving work of Christ's death because, EVEN NOW, you don't correct me as if I misunderstand you, by making clear that you do indeed think that Christ's death caused our forgiveness. Instead, casting aside the inescapable implications of Christ's own prayers in Gethsemane, you have written that we would have still been saved from sin if Jesus had died from old age; and time and again, you have written that God forgives us just by forgiving us.

You deny that Christ died for our sins; drawing this conclusion is not the result of suspicion, making this issue a deal-breaker regarding Christian fellowship isn't curmudgeonly, and you're a liar for pretending otherwise.

You cannot be honest about what you believe.

You cannot be honest about WHY you believe what you do.

And you cannot even be honest about the beliefs of those who disagree with you.

You might be honest about the name and city of residence on your driver's license, Dan, but the way you behave in advancing your radical beliefs -- and in passive-agressively coercing legitimate Bible-believing Christians to embrace your disobedience under the happy umbrella of unity in diversity -- is dishonest and despicable.

Dan Trabue said...

Bah, humbug, huh?

I have given up addressing the false charges and misrepresented ideas that Bubba clings to like a drowning man, but for anyone not familiar with our history, Bubba has a hard time understanding my position and, as a result, he likes to follow me around and post false charges frequently.

Forgive him, it's more of a matter of just not understanding than it is intentional misrepresentation, I'm convinced of that.

The truth is, I'm a Christian, saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus and Bubba, God love him, is my brother in Christ.

Again, happy holidays to one and all.

Bubba said...

I misunderstand you, Dan? How so?

Do you actually believe that Jesus' death caused our salvation, the forgiveness of our sins, and our justification?

As far as I know, you have NEVER affirmed that.

On the contrary, every pertinent thing you wrote in this recent thread, here at Marshall's, points to a denial of the idea that Christ's death caused our forgiveness. You treated the Bible's claims on the subject as sheer metaphor, and you speculated that we would have still been saved if Jesus had died of old age.

You were never completely forthright about the subject, but the closest thing to an outright denial was your comment on November 13th:

"Perhaps I would say we are not forgiven by Jesus' death, but his death is all part of the literal demonstration of God's grace by which we are saved."

The substance of this comment is reiterated in a later thread, on December 17th:

"It is my position that we are saved by God's grace AND that grace is made manifest in God's coming to live, teach and die amongst us, with us, for us and raising again."

You believe that we're saved by God's grace.

You believe that Christ's death is a demonstration or manifestation of God's grace.

But, clearly, you do not believe that Christ's death is what saves us.

You don't actually contradict that conclusion here.

"The truth is, I'm a Christian, saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus and Bubba, God love him, is my brother in Christ."

Nowhere do you actually affirm that we are saved, not only by God's grace and through our faith, but also in Christ's death.

Are we saved by God's grace? Are we saved by faith alone, apart from works? Absolutely, but my serious disagreements do not involve these claims, and you're muddying the issue by bringing them up: those doctrines are necessary for Bible-believing Christians, but I do not believe that they are sufficient.

(You might as well say that man affirms the decalogue for agreeing that murder and theft is wrong, even though he believes in "open" marriages. A man who conforms to the Ten Commandments submits to ALL OF THEM, including the prohibition of adultery.)

The Bible is clear, Dan.

Romans 3:24-25 teaches that Christians are justified "by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith."

We are justified by God's grace, yes.

Our justification is effective through our faith, yes.

But the Bible also clearly teaches that we are justified in Christ's death.

You clearly seem to deny this, Dan. And you do not write one word that would actually dispute the conclusion I've drawn.

In lieu of even the smallest shred of evidence, your charge that I misrepresent you is baseless.

You seem to deny the saving work of Christ's death. It may be inconvenient for me to point that out and to ask you what you believe -- over and over, because you obfuscate rather than clarify -- and to point out the Bible's clear teachings on the subject, but it's not an act of misrepresentation.

Bubba said...

On the subject of whether you are my "brother in Christ", and vice versa, I must ask: according to the Bible, what unites Christians?

The answer, from I Corinthians 10 (quoted above), is that Christians all partake in the bread and the wine, in the body and the blood of Jesus Christ.

You seem to deny what Jesus Christ Himself taught regarding this one observance that He Himself instituted for His church, and His death which it represents: that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sins.

You seem reluctant to affirm what the Bible teaches about the ordinance: that in it we proclaim -- not Christ's life or teachings -- but CHRIST'S DEATH until He returns.

You partake of the bread and the cup, but I believe that you do so unworthily, or (at the very least) that the meaning you attach to the ceremony is so radically different from what the Bible clearly teaches that you're not really united with those who accept those teachings.

The Bible teaches that Christ died for our sins.

I believe that, so when I partake of the bread and the cup, I affirm my appropriation of His death for my salvation.

You don't believe that, so when you partake, you affirm something else entirely.

I don't think it's wrong to conclude that we're not united in Christ, because the Christ I worship saved us by His shed blood.

The Christ you worship, didn't.


If I misunderstand or misrepresent you, you're welcome to correct me -- to explain that you really do believe that we're saved by Christ's death.

Nothing short of that explanation would convince me that I'm wrong to draw the conclusions that I do.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

If there's any misrepresentation going on, it's by your denials of having never truly answered Bubba's questions. One can speculate all day regarding what God could have done, but we can only base our faith and preach based on what He actually did do as presented in Scripture. So, could we be saved by God's grace without Christ's atoning sacrifice? Of course. God can do anything He wants. It's a perk of being the Supreme Being. But Scripture tells us that we are saved by Christ's death on the cross, that this death was the ultimate actual sacrifice that actually paid the price for our sins, that He suffered and died in our place so that we don't have to. This is essential doctrine and not something that is neither here nor there. Christ's life was not the purpose of His existence, it was His death.

You seem to have a problem with His death being an actual payment for our sins, that God actually required blood/death as punishment for sin, never mind that the entire OT consisted of such practices to regain and retain God's favor after falling short of perfect adherence to the Law. These were actual blood/death sacrifices which Scripture claims God found pleasing. This is because, as Scripture teaches, the wages of sin is death. We are no longer required to provide unblemished livestock in sacrifice for our sins because Christ was the perfect sacrifice, an actual sacrifice and belief in this is what saves US from God's wrath and eternal separation from God.

This isn't a minor disagreement then, or misrepresentation to say that you haven't squarely, proudly and unashamedly answered the question of whether or not you concur.

I believe that you consciously resist these questions for you see how shakey other aspects of your belief system would fall. If you respond that Christ's death was necessary to save us from sin, that means that God did indeed send Him for that purpose, and that means that God is capable of what you now consider atrocious behvior. For what kind of being could send His own Son (Himself actually) for the expressed purpose of submitting Him to torture and death by crucifixion? Where's the love? If He's capable of such a thing, then perhaps He is capable of sending an Angel of Death to take the firstborn of Egypt, or to annihilate entire towns and everyone in them, including children and babies. If this is true, what else is wrong with Dan's belief system?

Marshall Art said...

As to brotherhood, we may all be God's children, making us all brothers and sisters, but that's a bit different than saying we are all Christian brothers, or brothers in Christ.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

You seem to have a problem with His death being an actual payment for our sins, that God actually required blood/death as punishment for sin, never mind that the entire OT consisted of such practices to regain and retain God's favor after falling short of perfect adherence to the Law.

Clearly, in the OT, there was the practice of sacrifices for sin in order to be "set right" with God.

But just as clearly, Israel (and often, Christians) misunderstood this. The OT and the NT both clarify, "It is mercy that I desire, not sacrifice."

We are saved BY God's grace. It is BY God's grace we are saved.

If we start adding to that, "BUT, God ALSO required a human sacrifice - to get a literal blood offering to pay for sin because God is an angry God that REQUIRES a literal blood sacrifice, in ADDITION to God's grace," then we are no longer saying we are saved by God's grace alone, but grace AND a human sacrifice.

Now certainly, Jesus poured out his life in a sacrificial way, so there is a sense in which one can say Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins, but we ought not mistake that imagery as a literal addition to God's grace.

For God desires mercy, NOT sacrifice. When we start focusing on a LITERAL sacrifice as an addition to God's grace, we are falling into the same mistake as the pharisees.

And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”


- Matt 9: 9-13

Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you.

For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.


~Hosea 6:5-5

When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath."

He answered, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven't you read in the Law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple desecrate the day and yet are innocent?

I tell you that one greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the innocent.


~Matt 12: 3-7

I think it's important that we don't miss the point and rely upon systems of sacrifice rather than grace, for, as the Bible clearly says, "it is by GRACE that we are saved."

Jesus came, showed us how to live, died for our sins, poured out his life sacrificially, rose again... ALL of this as an acting out of God's grace. Let's not reduce God's grace to a mere human sacrifice - a crude and bloody financial transaction - not in this season of remembering the very Grace of God come to this world.

Marshall Art said...

'I desire mercy, not sacrifice,'

It seems you don't understand these words, either. It doesn't mean that sacrifice wasn't required for the atonement of sins, but that the sins should not have been committed in the first place. Some used the practice like some today use contraceptives. But that mercy was required meant that people were to follow a Godly life in practice and not merely live like scumbags who fall back on sacrifices to atone later. It doesn't mean that sacrifices, or rather blood/death wasn't the price demanded for sin. For that still exists today, that the wages of sin is death. To be saved by grace, indeed to even believe rightly that Christ died to save us, does not give us license to sin with reckless abandon. The quote means that we are first to abide God's laws, God's will for our behavior (including showing mercy to others) and not sin and atone through sacrificial offerings. To be more clear, it's like a parent saying to his child, "I don't want apologies, I don't want you to say 'I'm sorry', I want you to obey and be a good child."

It is incredible how stupidly you interpret Scripture! You claim to have studied and meditated and prayed and used your "God given ability to reason" and you consistently come up with the most incredibly goofy understandings! Is this what comes from attending such places as Jeff St? Hurry! Find a real church and learn what Scripture really means!

Dan Trabue said...

What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the LORD; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats. When you come to appear before me, who asked this from your hand? Trample my courts no more; bringing offerings is futile; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation-- I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity. Your new moons and your appointed festivals my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them. When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood. Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. -- Isaiah 1:11-17

For in the day that I brought your ancestors out of the land of Egypt, I did not speak to them or command them concerning burnt offerings and sacrifices. But this command I gave them, "Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk only in the way that I command you, so that it may be well with you." -- Jer. 7:22-23

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. -- Hosea 6:6

I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the offerings of well-being of your fatted animals I will not look upon. Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. -- Amos 5:21-24

Hear what the LORD says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the LORD, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. "O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. "With what shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -- Micah 6:1-4, 6-8

[Jesus said,] "Go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners." -- Matthew 9:13

[Jesus said,] "But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless." -- Matthew 12:7

Dan Trabue said...

In these passages, God/Jesus is pointing out to the people that they have come to rely upon sacrifices as being that thing which sets them right with God. They were all mistaken.

The thing that sets them right with God is mercy, living justly and with love, in short - grace. We are saved BY grace to live lives OF grace.

THIS is the consistent teaching of the Bible on this topic. "Don't get caught up in mere blood sacrifices - thinking they make you right with God," God is saying, "Rather, live lives of grace, love, justice, the same Justice, grace and love that I show you, this is what I expect from you."

Is it your thinking that I'm mistaken on this point? I hope not, it seems fairly obvious to me, I'm not sure what teaching you're getting out of that - are you really getting from these scriptures that God WAS reinforcing the notion of systems of sacrifice for forgiveness of sin? That seems to be fairly obviously the exact opposite of what is being taught in these passages, but you tell me.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Do you have any other verses that support my position on the subject? Your last post seems to back-peddle into agreement. We know that God requires obedience to His Will, as He has since Creation. Since the fall of man, however, there came to be actions required for those who sin. Your continued presentation of verses only strengthens what I'm saying. YOU seem to think that sacrifices were NOT required. Your presentation of those verse do NOT support that. What they support is what God wants most from us, that is, our "prime directive". But what of those who sin? What is required of them? At the time of the OT, it was blood payment through animal sacrifice. For the NT, meaning "us", it means faith in Christ who was the perfect sacrifice paying the price for us.

None of the verses you've presented means that sacrifices were not required by God, but that they were secondary to what He wants most from us. God is not in the habit of mandating that for which He has no care or need. He mandated sacrifices. He instituted the notion that the wages of sin is death.

We are required to accept Christ as our Savior in order to BE saved. He saved us from God's wrath, from the punishment we deserve for our sinful behavior and nature. He saved us by being the perfect sacrifice through his torture and crucifixion. If sacrifice was not mandated for the forgiveness of sins, He would not have been given to us by the Father for that purpose. This IS the teaching of Scripture. We need to believe in Christ, accept Him as Savior, understand that He DID die to be our Savior, that His sacrifice was required in order for us to be saved while we still are to live "Christian" lives. THIS is the teaching of Scripture.

So yes, you ARE mistaken in your beliefs. Dismissing God's mandates for forgiveness of sin by dismissing the manner in which we are saved. NO WHERE by the words "I require mercy" does God end the practice of blood/death payment for sin.

Once again, you misunderstand the problem God was having with the understanding of the Jews of the practice. Just like some Catholics think they can act any way they like as long as they go to confession, or like Protestants think they can act any way they like as long as they accept Christ, God was saying that their actions were empty and meaningless if they were not working to live lives according to His Will. This does not even come close to meaning that animal sacrifices for atonement were not necessary, or for us, that Christ's death was not necessary for the forgiveness of sins.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

Your last post seems to back-peddle into agreement.

No backpedaling.

My original point was, and I quote:

"I think it's important that we don't miss the point and rely upon systems of sacrifice rather than grace, for, as the Bible clearly says, "it is by GRACE that we are saved."

What I repeated was:

THIS is the consistent teaching of the Bible on this topic. "Don't get caught up in mere blood sacrifices - thinking they make you right with God," God is saying, "Rather, live lives of grace, love, justice, the same Justice, grace and love that I show you, this is what I expect from you."

My point remains the same. I guess we agree on this point. Perhaps you just misunderstood my position and my putting it in different words helped?

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

Dismissing God's mandates for forgiveness of sin by dismissing the manner in which we are saved. NO WHERE by the words "I require mercy" does God end the practice of blood/death payment for sin.

If you look in a Bible concordance for "sacrifice" or "sin offering" you will see that sacrifices happened from the early pages of Genesis. They seem to be a response of the people acting on their own. God does not tell Noah to set up an altar. God does not tell Cain/Abel to make a sacrifice, not in the text. Rather, it is something they do on their own, so far as you can tell from the text.

What that suggests to me (and I'm no expert, just a guy reading the Bible) is that this was likely a practice common to people of the time. Happy about something? Offer your god a sacrifice. Worried about something? Offer your god a sacrifice. Sorry about something? Offer your god a sacrifice.

We know from history that the notion of sacrificial offerings is not a unique thing to Israel, but that many peoples did it all around the world. I would suggest it might be something in the early human nature to do. Just a guess.

Anyway, all these people are making sacrifices - some people are making human sacrifices! BABY sacrifices! A practice God clearly detests (and not without reason).

So, IN THE CONTEXT of the Bible and the times, it would appear to me that when the passages DO get around to suggesting that God commanded some sacrifices, it could be taken that God was just meeting the people where they were. They were in a culture that normally sacrificed to gods, so God took that as a way to relate to people.

God has a habit, I think, of meeting people where they are.

So, no, I see no great need to read passages where God commands sacrifices as suggesting that this was the one and only way of achieving forgiveness. In fact, as we see repeatedly in the bible, the people kept missing the point.

The point was, the point IS, Grace. The grace by which we are saved. Not human sacrifices. That was imagery that was often not effective and often had to be corrected in the Bible. I'm not sure why we'd want to cling to imagery that was often mistaken back then when it is even less apt to people today.

Grace is the point. Not sacrifice.

Dan Trabue said...

Does the fact that a practice occurs in the Bible (sacrifice, for instance, or polygamy) and which is NOT condemned in the Bible and even seems tolerated or praised, does that mean that these practices (sacrifice, polygamy) are good in and of themselves?

I think not.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Regarding your 3:15 post, yes, you are back-peddling as you had altered your tone in a previous comment to mirror what I had said about the intention behind "I desire mercy" verse.

As for offerings and sacrifices, it really doesn't matter the origin of the practice. What matters is how God came to mandate how it is to be done and why. God does not abide sin. Nor does He abide lame sacrifices and/or offerings. This was suggested by the Cain and Abel story. Indeed, Cain and Abel may foreshadow "I desire mercy" by the fact that Abel was living a better life than Cain and thus his sacrifice was accepted. Perhaps he was even using better materials for his sacrifice as well.

But one cannot say that God did not tie sacrifices to atonement, that none of them, even using the most perfect animals possible, were perfect enough, and that the only sacrifice that truly washed away our sins was God sacrificing Himself as Jesus Christ. We are saved by this act alone. His death, then, is the grace that saves us for we cannot be saved without Jesus, who was sent to be a sacrifice for us. No other "work" is sufficient but our faith and acceptance of Christ as Savior. If grace falls on the wicked and faithful alike, does this mean the wicked are saved? I think not. Particularly if they have not accepted Christ as Savior.

So, what you call your original point was irrelevant to the discussion of Christ's death on the cross being His purpose, without which we are not saved...a point you will not accept.

As to your last comment, I hardly see the point of it. I do see, however, that you have chosen once again to muddy the question by grouping sacrifice with polygamy. To answer the question makes them equal. They are not in the least. God never required polygamy as He did sacrificing.

Bubba said...

Dan, after the many comments you posted today, I wonder what you could possibly mean by your repeated claim that I misrepresent you.

I believe that you deny that we're saved by Christ's death, and EVERYTHING you have written even in this thread confirms that belief.


I think you make comments that are frankly insensible.

"Now certainly, Jesus poured out his life in a sacrificial way, so there is a sense in which one can say Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins, but we ought not mistake that imagery as a literal addition to God's grace."

In what possible "sense" is the claim true -- that Jesus died for our sins -- if the claim is not literally true? What does it mean to embrace the claim as imagery but nothing more?

How can Christ have died for our sins, but only figuratively? How is His death sacrificial if the sacrifice didn't actually accomplish anything?

I suspect that you don't really believe that the claim is mere imagery: you think it's false, but invoking a figurative interpretation that you NEVER expound lets you have your cake and eat it, too: you can ignore the teaching, never integrating it into your worldview, while avoiding the charge of dismissing inconvenient passages as outright falsehoods.

If I misunderstand what you're doing, you're more than welcome to explain the figurative meaning of the claim that Christ's death caused our forgiveness.


You also make comments that are grossly inaccurate about the state of things.

"We are saved BY God's grace. It is BY God's grace we are saved.

"If we start adding to that... then we are no longer saying we are saved by God's grace alone, but grace AND a human sacrifice.
"

But, Dan, WE'RE NOT THE ONES "ADDING" TO IT. The authors of the Bible made the claim; not us. Jesus Christ Himself claimed that His blood was to be shed for the forgiveness of sin.

If you have a problem with that claim, don't take it to us, because we're not the ones bringing it to Christian theology. Christ is, the One whose teachings you supposedly esteem oh-so-very highly.


And you not only invoke passages of Scripture that you don't seem to understand, you rip them out of context to make them say what you want.

You quote Matthew 9 and Matthew 12, where Jesus teaches that God desires mercy and not sacrifice -- all of which begs the question, how does God justly justify the unmerciful? -- but you ignore Matthew 26:28, where Jesus teaches that His blood was shed for the forgiveness of sin.

You invoke Isaiah 1 -- missing the point entirely, that God was rebuking hypocritical sacrifices, not sacrifices per se: hence the words against "solemn assemblies with iniquity" in 1:13 and the declaration in 1:15, "your hands are full of blood" -- and, doing so, you ignore Isaiah 53, in which we are promised that God's suffering servant will suffer and die for our sins.

"Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted.

"But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
" - Is 53:4-6

To put it mildly, these aren't obscure passages you're ignoring: they're some of the most famous in the entire Bible, and the New Testament explicitly connected Isaiah 53 to Christ, in Acts 8.

Your theory that God was merely "meeting people where they are" when He instituted the Old Testament system of sacrifices is simply not supported by Scripture itself. You have to rip passages out of context and mangle what they teach to reach that conclusion.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, I think you misunderstand some basics of Christian theology.

God doesn't expect humans to atone for their sins: it is God who provides the atonement. He's the One who sent His Son to die in our place, and even in the Old Testament, He sent the sacrifices for Israel's use.

"If anyone of the house of Israel or of the aliens who reside among them eats any blood, I will set my face against that person who eats blood, and will cut that person off from the people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement." - Lev 17:10-11

By affirming that Christ died for our sins, we're certainly not adding a human work to divine grace: what we're doing is explaining the DIVINE WORK that both resulted from that grace AND effected our salvation.

In short, God's grace is the sole source of our justification, and Christ's death is the sole GROUND for our justification, just as our faith (entirely apart from works) is the sole means of our justification.

Recognizing the role of faith doesn't diminish grace, and neither does recognizing the role of Christ's death.

It's like saying, if a son fell overboard and the father saved him from drowning, it's true that he threw the life preserver solely because of his love, but that life preserver is what actually kept the kid from drowning.

God's grace is what sent Christ to the cross, but Christ's death is what justifies us.

I'm not sure you have any real conception of our being justified -- not just being pardoned from the penalty of sin, but being declared altogether righteous -- or any good theory for how God could have justified us justly, without compromising His righteous character by downplaying the seriousness of sin.

You seem to have no concept of God's holy wrath; you're never clear on what is the just penalty of sin, and you never explain what you think happens to that penalty: God "just" forgives us, which makes Him an unjust and capricious deity.

(You also have no apparent explanation for the difficult details of the Passion -- for instance, Christ's anguish in Gethsamene and His cry of dereliction, which ONLY make sense if His death was more than a mere death and was, instead, His bearing the penalty of our sins including the inconceivable separation from the Father.)

Your understanding of salvation is probably quite respectable among the circles of post-modern, secular progressives, but it bears no real relation to what the Bible clearly teaches. You invoke what you can fit into your worldview (with little regard for the passage's context or its clear meaning), but you ignore -- dismissing as atrocity, bigotry, error, or (now) imagery -- literally everything that contradicts what you've already brought to the text.

Is that the reason why, in your recent post on Christ's coming, you mention Isaiah, but not chapter 53? Why you mention Mary's rejoicing at the news of her pregnancy, but not (from Mt 1:21) that the child was to be named Jesus because He would save people from their sins? Why you mention what John the Baptist preached, but not his declaration (in Jn 1:29) that Jesus is the "Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world"?

You present only parts of what the Bible teaches, arguably misinterpreting those passages (or did Jesus actually free any prisoners?), but you don't present a comprehensive picture of the Bible's teachings, much less a plausible one.

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

Dan, all of that is criticism of your position that Christ didn't actually die for our sins, for our forgiveness, or for our justification.

That criticism is extremely important, but I don't want to overlook the larger point.

The larger point is that THAT IS QUITE CLEARLY YOUR POSITION, that Christ didn't die for our sins.

We've concluded that you deny the saving power of Christ's death.

You claim that we misunderstand you -- that I'm especially guilty of misunderstanding you -- but you don't actually present an explanation of some other position.

Instead, you defend the denial of the saving power of Christ's death, as if that's the position you hold, because it obviously *IS* the position that you hold.

Your earlier claim that I routinely misrepresent you has been IMMEDIATELY proven to have been a false claim.

If I was wrong to conclude that you deny the saving power of Christ's death, you wouldn't continue to spend so much time defending *PRECISELY* that very denial.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba, just so you know, I've pretty much quit reading your comments. I'm fairly certain that you've just repeated more off topic ad hominem attacks against me rather than talking about the topic here (which you've successfully sidetracked). I'm relatively certain that you continue to misunderstand my position and therefore misrepresent it. Unless it's on topic, I don't think I'll repeatedly defend myself against these attacks.

Why don't you just let it go? Get a life, relax. Enjoy life a bit and loosen your sphincter just a tad, right? It's the holiday season, surely you have better things to do?

Good luck with that, brother. Peace.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall, as to your comments, since these are all just off topic ad homenim attacks, I'll just return to my off topic conclusion: The Bible's point is that it is GRACE that saves us, not sacrifice. Agree or disagree?

If you prefer to think we are still dependent upon systems of sacrifice for our salvation, then yes, we disagree. If you think we are saved by grace, then we don't really disagree. Fair enough?

Andrew Clarke said...

You make a good point concerning how people would feel if a loved one died because they could not get to hospital fast enough without a powered vehicle. Before the internal combustion engine, pollution and all, was invented there was no way of airlifting a critically injured person to a major hospital fast. There are people living today, millions of them, who owe their lives to the existence of modern technology and the energy use it involves. Illogical is the word that comes to mind for the extreme edge of the green movement.

Bubba said...

Dan, I think the substance of my last few comments speaks for itself. Whether you respond to that substance or even actually read, it still needs to be said.

The idea that I need to "get a life" is laughable: if the subject of whether we are saved by Christ's death is important enough for you to spend hours denying it, it's important enough for me to defend it and to point out the logical implications of your denial.

It's worthwhile to rebut your position, and it's equally worthwile to address the way you defend your position: beyond the mere fact of that denial is the dishonesty you display in discussing the subject.

You clearly do deny the saving power of Christ's death, but you dishonestly accuse me of misrepresenting you when I state what is completely obvious.

Though your denial of our salvation by Christ's death is obvious, you still cannot bring yourself to be forthright about that denial.

And, though you reject much of what the Bible clearly teaches about how we are saved and why Christ died, you dishonestly portray yourself as faithful to the Bible's teachings; though you deviate SIGNIFICANTLY from Christian orthodoxy, you dishonestly portray your beliefs as mainstream, calling Bible-believing Christians "brother" to legitimize your false teachings, daring us to object.

I wish we didn't have to work so dilligently to address the false teachings of a serial liar like you, but we have every right to do so, and I believe we are right to do so.


At any rate, your "conclusion" presents a false dilemma and is based on a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches.

"The Bible's point is that it is GRACE that saves us, not sacrifice. Agree or disagree?

"If you prefer to think we are still dependent upon systems of sacrifice for our salvation, then yes, we disagree. If you think we are saved by grace, then we don't really disagree. Fair enough?
"

1) We're not saved by "systems of sacrifice." We're saved by a single sacrifice -- by God sending Himself to die our death in our place, bearing the penalty of our sins.

Hebrews is especially clear about this.

It is impossible for animal sacrifices to take away sin (10:4), and those sacrifices were only a shadow of what was to come (10:1). And what was to come wasn't a repudiation of all sacrifices, but the once-and-for-all perfect sacrifice of Christ Himself.

- Christ obtained eternal redemption with His own blood (9:12).

- Christ, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without blemish to God, and His blood purifies us from dead works to worship the living God (9:14)

"For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; [i.e., your "systems of sacrifice"] for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." - Heb 9:24-28

[continued]

Bubba said...

[continued]

In Hebrews 10:5-7, the writer attributes to Christ a passage in Psalm 40, the very sort of thing that you would invoke (as you have with Isaiah and Micah) to repudiate precisely that conclusion that is drawn in Scripture.

"Sacrifice and offering you do not desire, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required. Then I said, 'Here I am; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.'" - Ps 40:6-8

Does Hebrews use this passage to prove that Christ didn't actually die for our sins? Absolutely not.

"Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshipers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

"Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, 'Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body you have prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, "See, God, I have come to do your will, O God" (in the scroll of the book it is written of me).'

"When he said above, 'You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings' (these are offered according to the law), then he added, 'See, I have come to do your will.'

"He abolishes the first in order to establish the second.

"And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins.

"But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, 'he sat down at the right hand of God,' and since then has been waiting 'until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.'

"For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds,' he also adds, 'I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.' Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
" - Heb 10:1-18

Indeed, the Bible teaches that God is not satisfied by animal sacrifices, but -- contrary to the hack-job you're trying to do to Scripture -- the Bible is clear that this dissatisfaction DOES NOT mean that Christ did not die for our sins. Instead, the Bible clearly teaches that we really have been sanctified by Christ's sacrifice of Himself on the cross.

[continued]

Bubba said...

2) Moving past the point that we uphold that we are saved, not by a "system of sacrifices" but by a single sacrifice -- the divine initiative of the Father, sending the Son to die in our place -- I believe you present a false dilemma setting that sacrifice over and against God's grace.

"The Bible's point is that it is GRACE that saves us, not sacrifice. Agree or disagree?"

That's a loaded question and a false dilemma.

And it's certainly not a dichotomy that's supported by Scripture.

"For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his [God's] grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. - Rom 3:23-25

The Bible teaches that, yes, we are justified by God's grace as a gift.

But the Bible also teaches that we are justified through Christ's sacrificial death, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood.

If the two were incompatible -- and if one must choose between God's grace and Christ's death -- the Bible is wrong to put them side-by-side like this as (note) SIMULTANEOUS causes of our justification -- God's grace being the source of our justification, and Christ's death being the ground of justification.


Later in the same epistle, the Bible teaches, "God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us."

Again, God's love and Christ's death are tied together, along with our response in faith, but -- NOTICE THIS -- the passage connects our salvation, NOT MERELY to God's grace, but to Christ's death.

"Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.

"And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

"Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
" - Rom 5:1-10

- We stand in grace (5:1).

- And we are justified by faith (5:1).

(Why aren't you suggesting a dilemma between salvation by grace and salvation by faith, hmm?)

- God's love has been poured into our hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit (5:5).

But, at the same time...

- God also proves His love in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us (5:8).

- Christ died for the ungodly (5:6).

- If it weren't already clear enough, we are justified by Christ's blood (5:9).

- And, again, we have been reconciled to God through Christ's death (5:10).


The Bible doesn't teach that God's grace and Christ's death preclude each other as causes of salvation: on the contrary, the Bible is clear both that we are saved by God's grace and that we are saved through Christ's death.

Your question is built on an extra-scriptural -- indeed, an ANTI-scriptural -- assumption, and it's a loaded question that we need not answer.

Marshall Art said...

Andrew,

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you had a great Christmas.

Indeed, we can easily mock the more radical elements of the environmentalist movement. What is harder to do is to know where the line is drawn that separates the radicals from..."moderates"? Weighing the harm of technology against the benefits of the same technology is where the rubber meets the road, and I think that by and large industry does that without environmental overlords dictating anything. Even if they don't initially, and it doesn't indicate negligence or malevolence to not foresee unintended consequences, they do eventually.

Marshall Art said...

One of the nice things about being out of work around the holidays is being able to sleep in, since it's almost impossible to get interviews during this last week of the year. Then, when awaking and checking one's blog, one finds Dan asking a question and Bubba providing a far better answer than I could have supplied. That is, an answer that isn't as clumsy as I would have offered.


Indeed, Dan! "Systems of sacrifice"? There is only one sacrifice that matters to me. And without it, I could not be saved. That is to say that although God is fully capable of providing forgiveness and salvation by His mere whim, He didn't in actuality provide it in any way but through Christ's death. So as Bubba explains so well, particularly through the use of Scripture that presents the case for us both, the grace that saves is only accessed through the sacrifice Christ made.

To reiterate, this whole discussion revolves around the question of Christ's sacrifice and how our salvation is dependent upon it. You say it is only grace that saves. We say that that grace is offered through Christ's sacrifice. No sacrifice, no grace. No ticky, no washy. That might be a bit simplistic, but I don't think so. It seems to be an essential doctrine to me.

And I don't see anything in Bubba's argument that can rightly be considered "ad hominem" as I understand the label. He derives, as I do, his conclusions directly from your own words and if you were to speak of how you procure money from others without their consent, it would not be "ad hom" to conclude you are a thief. So to say you've been evasive or misleading or deceitful is not unreasonable without a direct answer to a simple question: Was it Christ's death on the cross that has saved us, provided our salvation, provided access to God's saving grace?

Truly, with all the verses provided by Bubba that completely support this contention, how can it be so difficult to agree? Are you diminished by being enlightened by Bubba if he has properly articulated a Biblical truth? I would think a true seeker devoted to being in line with God's Will would be thankful, especially when lacking any real alternative explanation. A real brother would not be so resistant to correction when that brother fails so miserably to defend his poor understanding.

Dan Trabue said...

On topic, Andrew said...

You make a good point concerning how people would feel if a loved one died because they could not get to hospital fast enough without a powered vehicle. Before the internal combustion engine, pollution and all, was invented there was no way of airlifting a critically injured person to a major hospital fast.

It might be a good point IF those like me were arguing for the banning of all motor vehicles, emergency vehicles included. However, no one is arguing that.

In all things, moderation, that is what I'm suggesting. Personal responsibility, societal responsibility, living within our means, moderation.

Reasonable stuff, seems to me.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba said...

a lot of stuff that went unread by me. Tired of dodging ad homenim rocks. Toss them stones if it makes you feel better. Maybe someone else will read them and find them interesting.

Bubba said...

Once again, the substance of my comments speaks for itself.

I do not misunderstand Dan in his denial of that central claim of Christianity, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, that we are saved and forgiven and justified by Christ's death.

And my lengthy response to Dan's arguments in the defense of this denial cannot be plausibly described as one long series of ad hominem attacks.

And, once again, the substantive response needs to be made even if Dan refuses to read or reply to it.

That Dan Trabue refuses to respond to the substance doesn't speak highly about his character. That he so thoroughly mischaracterizes the substance is even worse.

If the criticism of his immature and irresponsible behavior itself qualifies as an ad hominem attack, so be it. Just as his fundamentally unbiblical beliefs must be addressed, so too must we rebuke the reprehensible manner in which he advances those beliefs.


(About the moderation he supposedly supports regarding industrialization and technology, Dan rarely goes into enough details for his beliefs to be evaluated as moderate or radical. "Living within our means" is a nice enough sounding goal, but Dan is rarely clear about just what he means by the phrase and what political programs he supports in advancing that ideal. And when he discusses the "great and terrible" costs of the automobile -- as he does frequently -- he counts the supposed millions of deaths the automobile causes, but he NEVER accounts for even a single life saved by, say, an automotive ambulance or the reduction of airborne diseases that comes by all but eliminating horse manure from city streets. He damns the car by looking at gross costs, not net costs. When it comes to Dan's supposedly moderate views, the devil's in the details, which may explain why he so frequently hides those details, at least in terms of the policies he supports. The details of his arguments for supposed moderation reveal a radicalism that borders on Luddism.)

Bubba said...

Marshall, you write that "God is fully capable of providing forgiveness and salvation by His mere whim."

I would agree that forgiveness by fiat is fully within His omnipotence, but not His holy righteousness. He has the power to do it, but His character prevents it: He can do it because He is almighty, but He won't do it because He is just.

Glib, cheap forgiveness by whim would be an offense to true justice.

As John Stott relays in his exposition on Romans, Charles Cranfield argued that, because God is TRULY merciful, He willed to forgive sinners righteously, "that is, without in any way condoning their sin."

God thus directed "against his own very Self in the person of his Son the full weight of that righteous wrath which they deserved."

"He argues that God purposed Jesus Christ to be a propiatory sacrifice in order 'that he might justify sinners righteously, that is, in a way that is altogether worthy of himself as the truly loving and merciful eternal God.' For God to have forgiven their sin lightly would have been 'to have compromised with the lie that moral evil does not matter and so to have violated his own truth and mocked men with an empty, lying reassurance, which, at their most human, they must have recognized as the squalid falsehood which it would have been.'"

One is certainly free to dispute the claim that Christ's death was necessary for our forgiveness, but he breaks from Christian orthodoxy when he does so: he rejects the clear teachings of Scripture, and it's likely that he doesn't grasp the full weight of his own guilty before the holy and almighty Judge.

And I repeat that a person who denies that Jesus bore our sins on the cross, has no good explanation for some very crucial aspects of the accounts of His death -- including His anguish in Gethsemane and His cry of dereliction on the cross.

Jesus was surely no coward, so why did He ask for the cup to pass over? And, just as importantly, why did the Father refuse? If our salvation really could have been secured by Christ's dying of old age, that particular cup should have passed, right?

And Jesus was incapable of speaking anything but the truth, so why else could He have felt such abandonment from the Father, unless Jesus really was abandoned? And why would Jesus have been so abandoned UNLESS He was bearing our sins, upon which a holy God will not look?

These difficult details of the Passion are easily resolved by Christ's actually dying for our sins, and they are not resolved by anything else.

Anonymous said...

Very good posts, Bubba. You and Marshall both have given Dan all that he needs if he were willing to receive. Just as the animal sacrifices were to be without blemish, God gave the Perfect Sacrifice - His Son to die for our sins; without the blood there is not remission of sin. mom2

Dan Trabue said...

I read this much...

That Dan Trabue refuses to respond to the substance doesn't speak highly about his character. That he so thoroughly mischaracterizes the substance is even worse.

That I don't respond to off topic ad homenim attacks speaks poorly of my behavior? If you wish to think so, you may.

I think it merely says I'm finished defending myself against off topic and incorrect baseless attacks.

Bubba said...

Huh. Over the past 36 hours or so, I've written something like 4700 words, and Dan has repeatedly claimed to have stopped reading my comments.

Here:

"Bubba, just so you know, I've pretty much quit reading your comments. I'm fairly certain that you've just repeated more off topic ad hominem attacks against me rather than talking about the topic here (which you've successfully sidetracked). I'm relatively certain that you continue to misunderstand my position and therefore misrepresent it. Unless it's on topic, I don't think I'll repeatedly defend myself against these attacks."

And here:

"Bubba said...

"a lot of stuff that went unread by me. Tired of dodging ad homenim rocks. Toss them stones if it makes you feel better. Maybe someone else will read them and find them interesting.
"

And yet, he just happens to come across one of the few paragraphs in which I criticize his character rather than the substance of his position, a paragraph -- in the middle of a comment, no less -- which I EXPLICITLY address as being a supposed ad hominem attack, in the very next 'graph:

"If the criticism of his immature and irresponsible behavior itself qualifies as an ad hominem attack, so be it. Just as his fundamentally unbiblical beliefs must be addressed, so too must we rebuke the reprehensible manner in which he advances those beliefs."


How likely is it that Dan just glanced upon that one paragraph but didn't skim the rest enough to know that I've responded to his positions with substance, and at length?

It's not likely, but by pointing out my suspicion that Dan's being dishonest -- that he actually is aware of what I've written but is deciding to pretend otherwise EXCEPT when he wants to comment -- I open myself to the accusation of yet another ad hominem attack.


If Dan were to have his way, the manner in which he explains his beliefs (or doesn't), defends his beliefs, and responds to criticism would be COMPLETELY beyond reproach.

(He still wouldn't hesitate to tell us how open he is to correction.)

But this attempt to delegitimize criticism of his dishonorable and unethical behavior is ITSELF an instance of dishonorable and unethical behavior.

Bubba said...

For what it's worth, Dan, what you wrote is ridiculous.

"That I don't respond to off topic ad homenim attacks speaks poorly of my behavior? If you wish to think so, you may."

No, what speaks poorly of your behavior is what I said: the fact that you refuse to respond to the substance of my criticisms. I HAVE offered plenty of substance, you HAVE refused to respond, and that does speak poorly of your character.

And, here, you continue to mischaracterize the substantive criticism as ad hominem attacks. That speaks even worse about your character.

(If you're not reading my comments, how do you know they contain nothing but ad hominems? If you're honest about not reading what I write, you cannot possibly know that you're NOT mischaracterzing that writing.)


"I think it merely says I'm finished defending myself against off topic and incorrect baseless attacks."

Again, the (now) nearly five thousand words that I've written speak for themselves.

My conclusions about what you believe don't appear to be incorrect. After all, you don't explain that you really DO believe Christ actually died for our sins; you defend the denial, because it's what you obviously believe.

My criticism isn't baseless: in defending the claim that Christ died for our sins, I've quoted, referenced, and expounded on passages from Leviticus, Psalms, and Isaiah; from all four gospels and Acts; and from Romans, I Corinthians, Galatians, and Hebrews.

And ultimately my criticism isn't some off-topic digression that I started.

You're the one who first presumed to call us brothers in Christ, when Christians are united by His blood, and when you hold to an obvious and longstanding denial of the saving power of His blood.

When a peddler of false doctrine tries to force Christians to grant him some kind of legitimacy through such passive-aggressive behavior, he invites a rebuke in the strongest possible terms.


You seem to want to rule out-of-bounds any possible criticism, not only of your character, but also of your religious beliefs.

That strongly suggests that you know that neither stands up to any real scrutiny. I suspect that you know your behavior isn't honorable, and that you know your beliefs are a mockery of biblical Christianity.

You just don't want either fact ever to come to light. That's understandable, but since Christians have a duty to stand up to deceitful men and their false doctrine, no one's going to allow you to force upon us the a priori conclusion that your behavior is always beyond reproach and that your beliefs are always firmly within the bounds of Scripture.

Those are things that must be demonstrated and proven, not taken on faith.

Dan Trabue said...

Did you write ANYTHING on topic, Bubba? Let me take a stab at a guess... No?

Bubba said...

Dan, you can gripe about my not making any on-topic comments, or you can claim not to read my comments.

You cannot plausibly do both simultaneously.


For what it's worth, I did originally note that you seemed inconsistent in dismissing as naive trust in industrialists while simultaneously suggesting that there exists wholly disinterested and altruistic environmental activists.

And I noted that your embrace of the doctrine of man's depravity hasn't prevented you from undermining one of the principle checks against an unrestrained federal government -- namely, the principle that Congress is limited to the express powers granted it by the Constitution. You not only reject that idea by a ludicrous appeal to the welfare clause, you completely misread documents and rip quotes out of context to defend your position.

You didn't respond to either point.


Instead, you went into passive-aggressive mode by insisting that, despite your serious deviations from the Bible's clear teachings, we're brothers in Christ.

If it's off-topic to object to that, it's also off-topic for you to have brought up the subject in the first place.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba…

You cannot plausibly do both simultaneously.

It’s called “skimming.” I look at your message and see you say, “Dan thinks Jesus stinks… blah blah blah… Dan hates God… blah blah blah… Dan thinks THIS about Jesus [something I don’t think and isn’t true] blah blah blah…” etc. I see you making these off topic ad homenim attacks by skimming through your words, skipping down a bit further, skimming, skipping, etc.

I find it hard to believe you’re unfamiliar with the concept.

Bubba said…

For what it's worth, I did originally note that you seemed inconsistent in dismissing as naive trust in industrialists while simultaneously suggesting that there exists wholly disinterested and altruistic environmental activists.

Bubba, your first comment here was an unsupported sidetracking attack.

You quoted my on topic comment…

"I think we agree that all of us have a bent towards sin."

Then said…

Funny how this principle is applied inconsistently -- to industrialists but not to environmentalists.

I have never said that environmentalists do not have a bent towards sin. I don’t think it so why would I say it? Environmentalists are, without a doubt, included amongst that group of humans who have a bent towards sin (ie, all of us). So, if we agree on that notion, why bring it up? Why imply that I don’t think that environmentalists don’t sin?

You go on to suggest that…

One is a pollyanna with rose-colored glasses if he thinks an industry is over-regulated, but it's entirely realistic to believe in the existence of regulators who are completely disinterested and altruistic.

I did not say that one is Pollyanna if they think industry is over-regulated. I suggested that one is acting in a naïve manner if one thinks that someone with a self-interest to conduct business in such a way as results in pollution won’t do so.

I did not say that regulators are completely altruistic. I suggested that that oversight by people without a financial stake in the matter is more reasonable than placing those who stand to gain money based on the oversight in charge of their own oversight.

That IS naïve. Do you disagree?

Would you let the mafia lawyer be the judge in a mafia trial? Would you let a “practicing” alcoholic be in charge of driving your children places?

It is an ancient truism that suggests letting the fox guard the henhouse is not wise. Do you agree or disagree? (Note: The response to these questions does not depend upon any attacks or accusations about my character. People get that you don't think much of me. Move on.)

Marshall Art said...

"Why imply that I don’t think that environmentalists don’t sin?"

He didn't. You did. To use your own argument, it's how you sounded when you spoke of industrialists needing overseeing by outsiders because of their "bent towards sin". How else could it sound but that the overseers must somehow have less "bent toward sin" so that they are eligible for the task?

You make horrible assumptions about those in industry, who have provided goods and/or services most people need and/or want, as if you could ever do what they do and do it totally pollution free. Then, to further sully yourself, you compare such entrepreneurs with alcoholics and mafioso. Where the hell do you get off with such crap? You dare assume the worst about the character of corporate heads with your cheap and unjustified generalizations.

We already have the means of dealing with those in the private sector who cause harm. The people you would have oversee these industries are not likely to know them well enough to "oversee" without interfering and likely causing costs to skyrocket. They are unnecessary and generally unworthy by virtue of the fact that instead of profits, they are driven by environmental ideology that doesn't care for the impact that IT has on our way of life.

It wouldn't be a case of the fox watching the henhouse UNTIL you have your environmental watchdogs pretending they're doing good by interfering with the market place. As I've pointed out, people who make money know they don't need to be dishonest. Advances in how energy is produced have already taken place and will continue to do so without green hippies butting in and forcing themselves within the industry like a freakin' fascist a-hole.

Bubba said...

Dan, you astound me.

In the name of defending yourself against ad hominem attacks, and hiding behind the fig leaf of skimming -- all while you rail, hypocritcally, against drawing any conclusions beyond what you explicitly write -- you attribute to me positions and accusations that CANNOT POSSIBLY BE JUSTIFIED.

"It’s called 'skimming.' I look at your message and see you say, 'Dan thinks Jesus stinks… blah blah blah… Dan hates God… blah blah blah… Dan thinks THIS about Jesus [something I don’t think and isn’t true] blah blah blah…' etc. I see you making these off topic ad homenim attacks by skimming through your words, skipping down a bit further, skimming, skipping, etc.

"I find it hard to believe you’re unfamiliar with the concept.
"

This is low, even for you.

This amount of gross slander is vile, even for a persistent liar like you.

"Dan thinks Jesus stinks"?

I've never written that, I've never written anything that resembles that, and I've never written anything that ANY amount of "skimming" would justify attributing that to me.

"Dan hates God"?

Again, I've never written that or anything like that, and no amount of "skimming" justifies attributing that charge to me.

The only thing that could have any traction is, "Dan thinks THIS about Jesus [something I don’t think and isn’t true]."

But even here, my position is that you deny that we are saved, forgiven, and justified by Christ's death. Since it's absolutely clear that this is precisely what you believe -- even though you refuse to be forthright about it -- I don't see what the problem is.


By your so-called "skimming" you accuse me of at least two (and possibly three) ad hominem attacks THAT CANNOT POSSIBLY BE JUSTIFIED, BECAUSE THEY BEAR ABSOLUTELY NO RESEMBLANCE TO WHAT I'VE ACTUALLY WRITTEN.

Since you do this while you simultaneously insist that we stick to what you explicitly write and draw absolutely no conclusions beyond that, you are guilty of gross hypocrisy.

But much more than that, you're guilty of an obscene amount of slander, to the degree that I cannot actually believe that you think you can get away with directly accusing me of such ridiculous bullshit.


You say that, "skimming" what I've written, you see that I accuse you of hating God? And I'm the one guilty of baseless character assassination?

That's insane.

And you apparently have no shame.

Dan Trabue said...

So, no, you can't respond on topic without resorting to ad homenim attacks?

I think you can, just give it a try.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

He didn't. You did. To use your own argument, it's how you sounded when you spoke of industrialists needing overseeing by outsiders because of their "bent towards sin". How else could it sound but that the overseers must somehow have less "bent toward sin" so that they are eligible for the task?

No, I didn't. I said that they, like everyone else, have a bent towards sin, NOT that they were somehow especially evil or anything of the sort.

What I HAVE said consistently is that the traditional wisdom is...

Don't let the fox guard the henhouse.

I'm sure you understand the allegory. Don't let those with something to gain in "the henhouse" be the ones responsible for guarding "the henhouse."

There are no "horrible assumptions about those in industry," just basic traditional wisdom. Do you disagree with this thinking or not?

I am not saying that the coal company operators are monsters. Nothing in what I have said has suggested anything of the sort. I have stated the truism that people tend to act in their own best interests. I fully expect the coal company to act in its own best interests. I further assume that they are not deliberately seeking to destroy the environment or poision people's wells or destroy ecosystems, just that their first and primary interest is obtaining coal relatively safely as cheaply as possible and in as responsible a manner (what THEY consider responsible) as possible.

Do you understand my assumptions now? I am being quite clear and straightforward in what I have just said, my assumptions are NOT that they are monsters intent on destroying the earth, but that they are acting in their own perceived best interests.

Do you think that they are doing otherwise or do we agree thus far?

To answer my earlier question about the fox/henhouse, you stated...

It wouldn't be a case of the fox watching the henhouse UNTIL you have your environmental watchdogs pretending they're doing good by interfering with the market place. As I've pointed out, people who make money know they don't need to be dishonest.

So, it appears that you think that somehow "environmental watchdogs" will act in bad faith to make things difficult for the coal industry for, what? A power trip? Because they have something to gain?

And yet, "people who make money" know they don't need to be dishonest and so it seems to be your position that we CAN trust the fox (ie, those with something to gain) to watch the henhouse (ie, the environment). If that is your position, THAT is what I am calling naive.

Dan Trabue said...

Look at it this way:

There are multiple interests at stake here. We have the coal company's interests. We have the interests of the neighbors who live near the mining. We have the coal company's employees' interests. We have the local environment's interest. We have the interest of people at large and their interests in a clean environment and responsible energy. We have energy need interests.

For instance.

Now, I fully expect the coal company to know about the coal industry and act in its own best interests. But why would you or I assume that the coal company knows what is best for their neighbors and will act in THEIR best interests? Why would you or I assume that the coal company knows what is best for the environment and will act in its best interests?

I am fine with the coal company having an opinion about how best to mine coal in an environmentally responsible way. I am just saying that to leave it up to them to make that decision - even if others have DIFFERENT opinions, is irresponsible and naive.

Dan Trabue said...

One more thought:

The coal company says: Blowing off the top of a mountain, dumping the waste in the streams below, mining the coal and planting grass back on top of the new mesa is the best way to mine coal.

The neighbor and environmentalist says: Blowing off the top of a mountain and dumping the waste in the valley below damages that ecosystem, it poisons the groundwater and damages nearby homes and their value.

Competing interests.

WHY does the coal company get to make the call about what is ultimately best? The answer: They don't. It's not their sole decision. Their actions impact others around them and the law rightfully places limits on that.

Just basic rational law-making and regulating. We don't let an industry make policy decisions simply because they have contributed to politicians' campaigns or because they are producing coal. One person's/company's rights don't trump another's. Not in this great nation of ours. It ain't how it works.

Bubba said...

Three things, Dan.

1) When you slander me by writing that I've accused you of hating God and Christ, I am under no obligation whatsoever not to respond.

2) When you so slander me, I WILL RESPOND.

3) When I so respond by pointing out that you're guilty of slander, I'm not engaging in an ad hominem attack: the claim that you're a slanderer is a simple and obvious fact.


In general, it's quite reasonable to expect a civil conversation of an issue without digressions into discussions about a person's behavior or character.

But that general expectation IS NOT REASONABLE in this case, because your behavior is so atrocious that it cannot and should be ignored.

To begin with, you cannot insist on being a brother in Christ while denying that Christ died for our sins and expect knowledgeable Christians not to object.

You cannot argue for the position that you deny the saving power of Christ's death, all while you simultaneously dispute holding that position, and expect careful readers not to notice and take note.

You cannot falsely accuse me of misrepresenting you and reasonably expect me not to respond to such behavior.

You cannot falsely accuse me of offering no substantive criticism of your unscriptural positions and reasonably expect me not to respond to such behavior.

If you're going to criticize my comments when it's convenient to you, only to claim -- dishonestly and hypocritically -- not to read my comments in order to abdicate any responsibility to address the substance of what I write, you cannot reasonably expect me not to respond to such behavior.

And you cannot slander me by attributing to me such outrageous and obviously false claims as the charge that you hate God and reasonably expect me not to respond to such behavior.


Generally, having the expectation of no personal criticism is reasonable IF one's behavior does not merit such criticism, but that's not the case here.

Your behavior is so despicable that having that expectation is, in these circumstances, completely unreasonable.


Moreover, I believe it's deliberately dishonest, passive aggressive behavior.

While writing what you must know to be outrageous, slanderous lies -- the obscene charge that I've accused you of hating God and Jesus -- you must surely know that it's both reasonable and completely justifiable for me to object, and so you must know how absurd it is to insist that I don't.

To say nothing of the fact that you don't seem to be a spiritually mature Christian by any measure -- if you're a Christian at all -- I don't think you're a decent human being to start with.

A decent man would never have thrown such vile and obviously false slander in the first place, but granting that, a decent man would apologize for that repulsive act.

A decent would never avoid doing the right thing by trying to rule as out of bounds criticism for behavior that absolutely deserves to be criticized.


Dan, you slandered me with the disgusting and obviously false charge that I accused you of hating God and hating Christ.

If you want people to think that you might actually be a Christian, you cannot possibly demand that I not object to that slander.

Bubba said...

Substantively, Dan, the principle of not letting a fox guard the henhouse is sound, but I know from our past discussions that you apply this principle inconsistently.

One of the greatest safeguards against a tyrannical federal government is the idea that Constitution limits that government to those powers expressly granted by the document. Despite otherwise reasonable words about man's depravity, you not only reject that safeguard, you invoke the most ridiculous arguments to reject that safeguard.

Here, you now write, "I suggested that that oversight by people without a financial stake in the matter is more reasonable than placing those who stand to gain money based on the oversight in charge of their own oversight."

But you didn't suggest precisely that.

You wrote -- and I quote (for the second time) -- that those with oversight should "have nothing to gain by keeping it clean other than a clean environment."

Surely what someone can gain through abusing a position of political oversight isn't limited to money, and it's (now) naive of you to suggest otherwise.

The very power that comes with oversight is, for some, gain enough to covet such oversight: power that is ostensibly given to ensure a clean environment can quickly be used for grudges or even simply to work to remake society in one's own image, far beyond the stated purposes of that power.

Dan Trabue said...

It is entirely possible that a person - whether a coal industry person or an environmental concern person - may take a job an oversight job in gov't with ulterior motives and may enjoy the power that comes with the position.

It's why we need checks and balances in gov't. We need people watching the watchers.

My point is and remains that placing someone with connections to the coal industry in charge of overseeing that industry and ensuring that they do their work responsibly - with such a person you are beginning with someone with a known bias/agenda to begin with.

I'm suggesting that we let coal people manage the coal side of things and environmental people manage the environmental side of things and, when there's a conflict - the environmental person says that the coal company is acting in a way that damages the environment or the coal company says that environmental regulations make it hard to operate at a profit - that we have to work out the disagreement responsibly.

My point is and remains that we ought NOT merely say, "Well, the coal company SAYS that its methods are 'good enough' for the environment, therefore, let's give them a green light," but that we ought to weigh their interests against the People's interests and the environment's interests and make policy based on that, not on the coal industry's interests.

Glad to clarify, perhaps now we have a better understanding.

One difference, I suspect, between us is that some folk consider the environment to be a subset of the economy and others consider the economy to be a subset of the environment.

If the economy is our primary motivation and concern, then we can consider what is best for the environment, but what is "best" economically will trump what is best for the environment if it comes down to it.

IF, on the other hand, our primary concern is the environment and people's health, then we can consider what hardships reasonable restrictions might place on the economy, but what is best for the environment and the people will trump what is supposedly best for the economy, because we recognize that without a healthy people and environment, you CAN'T have an on-going healthy economy.

I think that's one way to look at our differences, perhaps.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba began good enough...

Substantively, Dan, the principle of not letting a fox guard the henhouse is sound...

But then digressed...

but I know from our past discussions that you apply this principle inconsistently.

So, my response was to the first, ON topic part of his comment. I will ignore the second ad homenim part (whether or not I have applied the principle inconsistently - which I don't believe I have - is not germane to the discussion).

I'm glad that we agree that the principle is sound. I hope that we could further agree that having checks and balances is a sound concept, too.

Dan Trabue said...

I said earlier...

One difference, I suspect, between us is that some folk consider the environment to be a subset of the economy and others consider the economy to be a subset of the environment.

Of course, a possible third way of looking at it is that the environment and the economy are co-equal interests one must take into consideration when creating policy. Perhaps on a surface level, that might be what most people think they are thinking.

But quite often, it comes down to a matter of "Some think this is the best thing for the economy, but it might be damaging to the environment... Still, we must do it because the without a good economy, we can't manage a healthy environment..." or, in other words, considering the economy the primary concern when differences arise between economic and environmental matters.

I'd be happy, though, if people would at least consider the two as co-equal considerations. What I think is mistaken (fiscally, morally, rationally) is the blanket assumption that the economy must come first (ie, what SOME THINK is best for the economy must come first).

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I insist you make unjustified assumptions regarding the character of energy providers. As I've pointed out earlier, and has Gingrich pointed out in his book, "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less", the industry has been making advances in the way it provides that energy that satisfies most, if not all current regulations. They've even gone beyond in many cases in response to consumer demand, which is all the watch dog one really needs.

As I've also pointed out, watch dogs of the variety YOU favor have already been unreasonable in their expectations and demands on industry, and have shown themselves to be the very despotic and power mad SOBs that are detrimental to all concerned.

You seem well prepared to assume that no one within the industrial world works with a conscience that guides them to make responsible decisions. You also seem prepared to expect that all production be halted if negative consequences arise from their efforts and do so without regard to the consequences of doing that, i.e. lost jobs, lost product/service to the community, damaged economy in the area, where local business depends on the larger industry being operational.

The fact of the matter is that it is often the case that the unforeseen must occur in order to adjust to prevent its further impact. The problem will be brought to the attention of the industry and eventually, through protest, boycott, litigation or just plain neighborliness, corrections will be made to the extent that they can be made.

It's really easy to sit there and suppose that perhaps we can do without a product or service if complete environmental protection cannot be brought about, but likely you would protest the consequence of that as well. As you say, there are mutual concerns to be considered and frankly, I don't think you really think in those terms as much as you think you do.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

I insist you make unjustified assumptions regarding the character of energy providers...

You seem well prepared to assume that no one within the industrial world works with a conscience that guides them to make responsible decisions.


You can "insist" all you want and it may "seem" to you that I'm thinking something but the truth is, I have not said any of this. You draw conclusions based on stuff that I have not said. What I HAVE said is that they are mere flawed humans like anyone else and that they are looking out for their own interests.

So, if you want to guess (incorrectly) at what I might be thinking and argue with those strawmen, knock yerself out. You won't be arguing with me, though, since I have not made those arguments.

If you'd like to address my actual comments, I'd be glad to respond.

Otherwise, you can argue with yourself all you want, if that's what excites you.

Pleasant new year to you.

Dan Trabue said...

Just to be clear, here is your previous argument towards "me..." ("Me," in quotations, because you are arguing against comments and thoughts I have not advanced):

1. I insist you make unjustified assumptions regarding the character of energy providers.

2. As I've also pointed out, watch dogs of the variety YOU favor have already been unreasonable in their expectations and demands on industry

3. You seem well prepared to assume that no one within the industrial world works with a conscience that guides them to make responsible decisions.

4. It's really easy to sit there and suppose that perhaps we can do without a product or service if complete environmental protection cannot be brought about, but likely you would protest the consequence of that as well.

5. As you say, there are mutual concerns to be considered and frankly, I don't think you really think in those terms as much as you think you do.


1. I have not.
2. I have not said what sort of watchdogs I favor
3. I do not seem that way except in your mind. My words have not said this.
4. I have not suggested we do without a product or service.
5. I have, in fact, given a good bit of consideration to at least some of these mutual concerns - in the instance of coal, which we have been using as an example, I have.

So, you can argue these points which I have not made, you can guess at what I'm thinking or what I favor when I have not said specifically, and you can "think" I have not thought through the mutual concerns if that's what pleases you. But, as I said, you'll be arguing with yourself at that point, since you have left my position out of the loop and are arguing against points and conclusions I have not made nor drawn.

If you'd like to have an actual conversation with ME and MY actual positions, though, just let me know.

Whatever works best for you.

Marshall Art said...

The bottom line is that as far as providing energy for our nation so that we no longer are dependent upon other, despotic regimes for our energy needs, we already have the resources and the means to refine them in a manner that meets all current regulations, if not exceed them. What stands in our way are the very people Dan would like to have overseeing the industry. Oil, coal and natural gas are ready resources of which there is an abundance and those industries that deal with those resources are already poised to extract them, likely providing us with the benefits in far less than the ten years the naysayers would have us believe. (Of course, if we started ten years ago...)

ANWAR, for example, is a vast area and less than one percent of it is required for drilling. It is even an area no one would ever think of visiting, much less inhabiting, and as we've seen with the pipeline, likely attract and enhance native animal populations. The oil industry has even developed a way to make one oil rig do the work of multiple rigs of old, reducing the need to obscure the asthetics of the Ted Kennedy's of the world.

Spills are really almost unheard of and even Katrina didn't result in the type of hazards in the Gulf of Mexico some expected. And when spills occur, the industry has developed the means of quick clean up. In fact, if the environmentalists knew what they were talking about, we'd still be cleaning up from the Exxon-Valdez. But that was handled quite quickly. (You might not know it, but they used a microbe found in nature that actual eats oil and leaves no hazardous by-product. The industry developed this discovery, the bastards!)

And some still believe the crap bandied about regarding nuclear energy that has prohibited the construction of new plants that would reduce the need for the very environmentally damaging resources over which Dan is so greatly worried. We are still suffering from the overhyped crappola spewn by environmentalists over the Three Mile Island incident that later was shown to have leaked nothing harmful to the surrounding communities.

The Ed Begley's of the world have inhibited this nation's ability to provide for itself and prosper for the trouble. But here's the happy part of it. You and Ed are more than welcome to continue peddling around no matter what form of energy the rest of us decides is best. Alternatives will be developed one way or the other, but what we need now is what is available and proven reliable. Wackos and profiteers of the sort the link in this post describes are the real problem to overcome.

Dan Trabue said...

So... no, you don't really want to talk with me and about my positions, you just want to make up stuff and argue against that strawman stuff.

Good, I'm a bit busy, anyway. Plus, it's always easier when you're arguing a phantom because they're rarely as clever as you think they are (since you create them), so you have a better chance of scoring points.

Good for you.

Have fun with that.

Marshall Art said...

"You draw conclusions based on stuff that I have not said. What I HAVE said is that they are mere flawed humans like anyone else and that they are looking out for their own interests."

Don't be such a turd. The conclusion I drew is exactly from that statement. "...they are mere flawed humans like anyone else and that they are looking out for their own interests."? And my conclusion is goofy??!! What other conclusion can be drawn when you insist that they need outsiders to look over their shoulders? If they "need" to have environmentalists overseeing their operations, the clear implication is that they are incapable of taking care of their own business!! You don't seem to think that environmental concerns aren't something that they'd take into account once public outcry has so drawn their attention. You don't show much in the way of understanding if you believe that corporations won't take such things into account and have their own people well educated on environmental concerns in order to improve their decisions and planning. You don't seem to think their "interests" include avoiding litigation that would eat into their profits.

So I haven't made up jack shit, pal. Your incessant whining about being misinterpreted is really tiresome and boring. Yet, you are no good at interpretations yourself as we've pointed out in your wacky understanding of Scripture, conservatism, and business. Why not simply explain yourself better, in greater detail? Why not quit the cry-baby crap, man up and just respond with a clearer explanation of your position when you think you've been misunderstood? The trouble seems to be rather consistent, don't you think? We don't claim to be mindreaders but can only draw conclusions based on YOUR OWN WORDS. Reprinting them again only confirms our conclusions, so you can stop doing that.

But here's another conclusion we draw: when you play victim like that, we can only conclude you have found your position to be wrong and can't deal with it, and like most progressives find it easier to demonize your opponent than to change your position.

I'll give you an example of what I mean:

Rather than risk you believing I have unlimited and unreasonable faith in industrialists, I would prefer you understand that I will not assume the negative about them until they have given me reason to do so. Thus, I do not find your suggestion of inserting environmentalists within the industry to nitpick every move they make in the least bit necessary, especially since they already have such people of their own for that purpose, as well as the public in general and current regulations in place to guide them. Therefor, their "bent toward sin" is already well regulated and anything more would be prohibitive and further confound our ability to free ourselves from dependence on foreign energy sources.

You would be hardpressed to find in any of the advancements upon which YOU YOURSELF depend that did not have some negative consequence in its development. Negative consequences are natural by-products of progress and can be mitigated only so far beforehand. Yet, to halt that progress until perfectly harmfree results occur is what is truly naive. I don't see that it can be done with any regularity, and likely only extremely rarely.

Dan Trabue said...

What other conclusion can be drawn when you insist that they need outsiders to look over their shoulders? If they "need" to have environmentalists overseeing their operations, the clear implication is that they are incapable of taking care of their own business!!

The other conclusion is that, while coal company people know about mining coal, they are not in a position to decide for the rest of us what is best for the environment. THAT conclusion is what you should draw.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall said...

Your incessant whining about being misinterpreted is really tiresome and boring.

Whining? You suggest that I think the coal company people are "evil doers" and that I "make unjustified assumptions regarding the character of energy providers." I am merely telling you that, no, I don't do this.

That's not whining, that's correcting a misunderstanding on your part. Understand the difference?

Bubba said...

Dan, if you're so concerned about your position being portrayed accurately...

[to Marshall] "If you'd like to have an actual conversation with ME and MY actual positions, though, just let me know."

"So... no, you don't really want to talk with me and about my positions, you just want to make up stuff and argue against that strawman stuff.
"

...maybe you should so a fraction of that concern for others.

Instead, you wrongly accuse me of mischaracterizing your clear denial that Christ died for our sins, you mischaracterize my substantive objections to your position as nothing but ad hominems, and -- what's surprisingly offensive, even for you -- you've slandered me by putting forward the obviously false charge that I accused you of hating God and Christ.

You've yet to justify that bit of slander -- because you can't: it's completely unjustifiable -- and you haven't retracted, much less apologized for it.

But you go apeshit when we draw FAR MORE PLAUSIBLE conclusions from what you've written, if those conclusions are A) inconvenient and B) not explicit quotes.

You're continuing to be a repulsive little hypocrite.


About the general depravity of man, you write that I digress into an ad hominem attack by pointing out that you inconsistently apply the principle of man's fallen nature.

You write, "whether or not I have applied the principle inconsistently - which I don't believe I have - is not germane to the discussion."

But then you write IMMEDIATELY AFTER THAT, yet another passive-aggressive little comment that makes my criticism entirely on-point.

"I'm glad that we agree that the principle is sound. I hope that we could further agree that having checks and balances is a sound concept, too."

It's not actually clear that you believe that checks and balances are sound, because you object to limiting the federal government to its enumerated powers -- one of the STRONGEST safeguards that the Founding Fathers created to prevent unconstrained government power.

Your m.o. is to insist that people trust that you are so very moderate, so very reasonable, and so very mild in your views; doing that, you subsequently act as if, in every discussion, political conservatives are extremists who must be led to "agree" with your supposedly moderate views.

So whether you're the moderate you protray yourself to be -- or whether, for instance, you're a radical statist who smears the free market as oppressive -- is ENTIRELY germane.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

Instead, you wrongly accuse me of mischaracterizing your clear denial that Christ died for our sins, you mischaracterize my substantive objections to your position as nothing but ad hominems

off topic and already dealt with. Get over it, friend. Move on with your life.

Do you have anything ON topic to say?

Marshall Art said...

I said:

"1. I insist you make unjustified assumptions regarding the character of energy providers."

You said:

"1. I have not."

I say: But you have when you said "I just happen to believe that they are human and with that comes the tendency towards sin, towards looking out for one's perceived self interests, even if it hurts someone else." As I said initially, that statement indeed assumes something about their character, in a most cheaply generalizing manner, that is quite negative indeed. If you don't like "assumes", try "implies". But the connotation is there nonetheless.

I said:

"2. As I've also pointed out, watch dogs of the variety YOU favor have already been unreasonable in their expectations and demands on industry."

You said:

"2. I have not said what sort of watchdogs I favor"

I say: It's not a great leap for anyone familiar with your comments over the years to make a guess. Perhaps I should have asked for specifics. If you wish to try, you can describe them and see if you can separate who would satisfy you from either those already doing the job or those who are of the extremist radical variety that has cemented our current dependence on foreign oil.

I said:

"3. You seem well prepared to assume that no one within the industrial world works with a conscience that guides them to make responsible decisions."

You said:

"3. I do not seem that way except in your mind. My words have not said this."

I say: I'll leave aside the very biased opinion of how one seems to one's self and move on to insist that your words do indeed leave one with that impression. This is due to the fact that until called on it, you only speak of corporate heads' "bent towards sin" and say nothing of those you would have over see them. In addition, despite repeated examples of the industry's own advances, you have yet to acknowledge any of that and only speak of their lapses. In other words, nothing positive about these people, only negative stuff. Nothing negatively assumed about whatever watchdogs you would place over them, just the implication that they aren't as "bent toward sin".

continued...

Marshall Art said...

I said:

"4. It's really easy to sit there and suppose that perhaps we can do without a product or service if complete environmental protection cannot be brought about, but likely you would protest the consequence of that as well."

You said:

"4. I have not suggested we do without a product or service."

I say: You don't need to. How else can we produce products or services without guaranteeing no negative consequences by their production beforehand? How else can we deal with any pollution production might cause without affecting that production. Your expectations call for the type of prophetic abilities to which no liberal ever gave a second thought regarding THEIR proposals. And now, you give no thought to how we could maintain jobs, productivity, or satisfy the demand for the energy that would be impacted by the interference of environmentalists that have no idea of how to provide that energy.

I said:

"5. As you say, there are mutual concerns to be considered and frankly, I don't think you really think in those terms as much as you think you do."

You said:

"5. I have, in fact, given a good bit of consideration to at least some of these mutual concerns - in the instance of coal, which we have been using as an example, I have."

I say: I doubt it. You only speak of damage done but nothing in the way of alternatives, unless you want to bring up windmills or solar energy which hasn't shown itself to be all that it's advertised as.

So all in all, I'm reading your words and interpreting them rather well, and drawing the most likely conclusions they suggest and represent. Don't blame me for what your own words provoke. And yeah, you're whining when you complain about those conclusions. Truth to tell, you do as much yourself with regularity. You've often pointed out to me how my words "make me sound" to others when the words themselves are far more direct and distinct than what is typical of yourself.

Bubba said...

Dan, you write that my criticisms have been "already dealt with." It is manifestly obvious that that is not true: you have not addressed my criticisms substantively and satisfactorily.

You imply that I have written nothing that is on-topic. That too is a transparent lie.

You have been dishonest throughout this conversation, about numerous things, beginning with the pose that you are genuinely concerned with safeguarding against man's inherent sinfulness.

You invoke man's depravity to argue for bureaucratic watchdogs keeping an eye on industry, but clearly you don't hold to man's depravity as a principle: you use it as a rhetorical tactic. That's obvious because, while you don't explicitly deny the depravity of the bureaucrats, you don't draw any conclusions about how they need watching, and you don't imply (as you do with industrialists) that their self-interest and sinfulness will inevitably lead to their abusing their power to harm their fellow man. Instead, you imply that there are environmental activists who are truly disinterested and altruistic, who "have nothing to gain by keeping [the environment] clean other than a clean environment." You don't even seem to consider that they may well have much to gain -- ideologically if not financially; only Marxists limit their analysis to mere material gain -- by abusing their power to impose their will on others.

The fact that you don't really hold to man's depravity as a general principle is also clear from other conversations. A far greater threat than any individual business is a tyrannical government, and among the Founding Fathers' strongest safeguards against tyranny is limiting the federal government to those powers explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. You so thoroughly despise that safeguard -- to hell with the inherent depravity of our Congressmen -- that you invoke the most obviously ridiculous arguments to defend the position that the government's power is practically unlimited.

The other instances of dishonesty, I've listed numerous times.

By calling you out on such obvious lying, I've given you what must be a half-dozen opportunities (in this thread alone!) for you to come clean about who you really are, what you really believe, and why you really believe it.

You've decided to retrench yourself in a life of deception: lies not only about yourself, but about the positions and statements of those with whom you disagree.

(You still have not justified your claim that I've accused you of hating God and hating Christ. You can't, because the claim is complete bullshit.)

In what is almost certainly my last comment before year's end, I would like to make clear my rock-solid faith that you will be brought to face the consequences of that decision.

There are consequences for your deliberate and consistent dishonesty, and because God is just and almighty, you will be brought to face those consequences.

I genuinely hope that that brings you to repentance. I don't like you, and I don't even respect you, but I do hope for the best for you.

But whether that happens is up to you. Your life is in God's hands -- and yours.

Dan Trabue said...

Yes, my life is in God's hands, as is yours and Marshall's. Let go of your anger and leave my life to God, I'd suggest. May we all enter this new year with good will and peace.

We get that you don't think I'm honest and you think that you've "proven" it. I disagree. We've gone round and round hashing and rehashing your "evidence" and it comes down to this: We disagree. You think I am obviously dishonest and wicked (or whatever it is you think of me) and probably not a Christian.

I know for myself that I am, in fact, as honest as I can be when I tell you my positions. I may be flawed and imperfect at conveying my positions and, for that, I apologize and I'd hope you might show me a bit of Grace to this imperfect man.

I know that I am, in fact, a Christian saved by God's grace and relying upon God's grace, striving the best I can to walk in my Savior's steps. As I am sure you are, as well.

Now, what does that have to do with the topic at hand? It remains my position that letting the fox guard the henhouse is a bad thing and we need reasonable laws and regulations to protect our environment. I think most reasonable people can agree on the principle, if not the application.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I don't think Bubba's angry necessarily. Disgusted and/or frustrated perhaps. I understand that completely as I agree with him that you haven't come close to truly answering his questions in an honest and direct manner. For example, the standing question of Christ's death on the cross is one you have yet to answer directly. You add to it, altering the meaning or dance around it with irrelevant comments or ignore it altogether. The answer doesn't need qualification as it is a yes/no question. Your fear in responding boldly suggests a distinct lack of conviction as well as the obvious lack of understanding. If you are truly striving as best you can to walk in your Savior's steps, I don't see how confronting these questions could do anything more than bring you closer to achieving that goal, unless your goal includes pleasing worldly entities in the process. These questions have been far more direct and to the point than most, if not any of yours to us. There's no game or trap or "gotcha" involved, just questions that any hopeful Christian should be willing and eager to answer. "Rehashing" should be totally unnecessary with complete honesty. What you call rehashing is a result of your lack of directness. If you're confused with how to be more direct, try beginning with answering the question with a simple "yes" or "no" and see where it goes from there. OR--add your qualifications afterward if you feel you must. For example, from this statement:

"It remains my position that letting the fox guard the henhouse is a bad thing and we need reasonable laws and regulations to protect our environment."

...a question can be asked such as, Do we need MORE laws and regulations than we currently have to protect our environment?

My answer: Hell no. We have plenty already and they are working as evidenced by improvements made and ongoing. How closely we've met the demands of Kyoto without having signed on to that piece of crap should, by itself, demonstrate the truth of that.

At the same time, you still engage in the very unAmerican practice of taking for granted the guilt of people you don't personally know by insisting we might be "letting the fox guard the henhouse". I doubt it is possible to completely protect against the actions of those who would do harm, so any additional oversight could only be harmful by their very existence.