Delay, Second Coming, and Parousia

On “Parousia” and/or “The Delay of The Parousia

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We must avoid reasoning in a vacuum with respect to “The Delay of The Parousia”.  Broadly speaking the Trio of Scripture, Logic, and Sound Metaphysics forces our hand: It is always, ceaselessly, the marriage of God’s…

(a) Immanence
with God’s
(b) Yet To Fully Actualize
with God’s
(c) “Even Now I stand at the door…”

The How/Why of that? Because Logic. Because Metaphysics. Because Scripture. That Trio. Part of Adulting is reading “whole” “books” or “whole” “metanarratives”. All of that is taken up a bit more in sections 4 and 5 etc. but a few more basic items to start the unpacking:

[A] “Parousia” and/or “…the time is short…”
[B]…those with wives should live as if they have none…” and/or items in I Corinthians 7.

Those two are often mistakenly equated. Why is that specific “If/Then” amid that duo of “A/B” in fact a mistake? Well, of course the obvious comes to mind (….we cannot jettison “husbands love your wives as Christ loved the Church” and so on…) but there is far more than that. See the following:

“Those who have wives should live as if they do not (Conflict of Interest)” from the series “Meant to Be” (…genetic fallacies need not be foisted, but instead remain on premises, ideas, syllogisms, conclusions, and so on…) at the following video

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Observation: John 21: 22-23, Christ and His disciples clearly allowed for Not-Dying over a very *abnormal* amount of time, so much so that Not morphed to Never. The mindset there is undeniable. This follows seamlessly with the same mindset already present throughout the OT where there is the constant of the imminent promise of the coming of The Kingdom. So much so that Hebrews 11 finds the amalgamation of dying while yet *expecting*. From A to Z Scripture’s tone is one of “Behold, I Come!” The inability or unwillingness to read and embrace entire meta-narratives leads to the obvious problems in the analysis of too many of our Non-Theist friends.

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To avoid reasoning in a vacuum with respect to “Parousia” there is the following:

“Bible Contradiction? When did Jesus say that he would return?” at

Again to avoid reasoning in a vacuum with respect to “Parousia“, there are these four links to W.L. Craig:

  1. Was Jesus a failed eschatological prophet:
  2. Was Jesus wrong:
  3. A little more here from “Doctrine of the Last Things (Part 4)”
  4. A little more here from “Doctrine of the Last Things (Part 7)”

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Was Jesus Wrong About the Time of His Return?” at is a good essay on the question. Some specific comments from that thread:


Those eight comments are copied in full near the end of this post, under the bold/heading of “Eight Items Regarding The Trio of Scripture, Logic, and Sound Metaphysics which forces our hand: It is always, ceaselessly, I stand at the door…” closer to the end (scroll down if prefer, etc, etc,).

And also along with which together read as follows:

After reading your methods, and Scripture, and Dr. Craig’s systematic method and conclusions, it becomes painfully obvious that your conclusions fail to incorporate nearly as many Scriptures as Dr. Craig’s (Etc.) Your thesis suffers just too many times on just too many nuances with just too many repetitions to do the work of toppling the soundness and coherence of Christ ever Imminent, Christ yet to return, Christ offered for every tongue, and in every tongue, and to the World.

As I noted, I’ve read yours, Craig’s, and Scripture, and I find far more congruence in the Scripture/Craig combo than in the Scripture/JBC combo.

When I take the OT alone, that is the case “for the most part”. When I take the NT alone, that is the case “for the most part”. But when I take the entirety of Scripture with both the OT and NT, well the seams just fade out far more into what begins to approximate a more intellectually satisfying cohesive whole there in milieu of the former combo over and above the milieu of the latter combo. That said, your contribution to my perspective has buttressed me with a new and more thorough awareness of the various lines of tension here, which has been and will continue to be valuable.

And also which (again) has the four links to Craig and reads as follows:

The marriage of the ever-present “ontic-posture”, as it were, of the Imminence of Christ, of God, on the one hand, with the ever-present “ontic-posture”, as it were, of Christ yet-to-actualize, of God yet-to-actualize, on the other hand, is seen throughout the OT, and, just the same, is also seen throughout the NT. Of course the landscape amid God/Man just cannot be anything other than “that landscape” given the ontology of “God” and the ontology of “Man in Privation” and the ontology of “Final Redemption” as all three of those are ceaselessly in-play (because Logic). On the “End of the Ages” then there comes the question of the timing of such finality. On that point Dr. William Craig and others touch on that question and their methodology is intellectually satisfying and also makes more sense of more of Scripture than other more ad hoc attempts. We simply follow Reason & Logic while rejecting Presuppositionalism ((after all we can’t see pre-being nor non-being)) and, so, to slightly paraphrase/borrow from Snowden: We can say that the Metaphysical/Exegetical landscape which brings into harmony the greatest number of verses and ascertained facts while disposing of the greatest number of difficulties with the least amount of strain is the Metaphysical/Exegetical landscape with the highest plausibility.

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The following is from j.hillclimber:

Begin quote/excerpts:

Google: N.T. Wright delay of the parousia: “The problem of the delay of the parousia is a modern myth. The problem is caused by liberal Christianity’s no longer believing in the resurrection, which means that the weight of God’s activity is pushed forward in time. There’s not much evidence that the early church was anxious about this. First-century Christianity didn’t see itself so much as living in the last days, waiting for the parousia, as living in the first days of God’s new world. We are still awaiting the final outworking of what God accomplished in Jesus, but there are all kinds of signs to show that, though the situation is often bleak, we are in fact on the right road.”

No, N.T. Wright does not claim to understand things better than Paul. He claims to understand what Paul meant, and Wright’s claim in that regard is more credible than that of most other living people. Whatever you may think of Wright, the point is that you need someone well-versed in the cultures of first century Palestine, someone who is not going to naively read the texts according to a 21st century hermeneutic.

To get a sense of the difficulties in interpreting “the end times”, consider the variety of possible translations of Mark 1:15, which I am taking from :

“The time has been fulfilled.”
“The time is fulfilled.”
“The time is now!”
“Time is coming to an end.”


In light of such difficulties, I am amazed at how confident you are that you know precisely how 1 John 2:18 would have been interpreted by the audience he was addressing.

The way the [Church] has read it is (to my understanding) to say that we are indeed living in “the end times”, in the sense that we are living after the climactic battle of creation. The “last hour” may go on for billions more years, but we need to respond decisively “now” to the outcome of that climactic battle. I respect people who want to make informed arguments to the contrary, but it is not at all obvious to me that this is out of step with what the Biblical authors were trying to get across.

Well, I don’t see how that CCC teaching is a heresy according to Irenaeus, so I guess there is nothing you can do 🙂 .. other than perhaps:

1. Ask me how I reconcile these ideas in my mind, or (more profitably, I suspect),

2. Examine the extensive history of interpretation associated with these ideas. It’s not like those who subsequently articulated Church doctrine were unaware of what Paul, or Irenaeus wrote, and it’s not like they could just slip their own de novo ideas past others who weren’t aware of those writings. They had to make arguments – they had to think through and provide reasons, and argue about, the ways in which new articulations could be set in relation with Church tradition. In the fancy way of saying it, they had to work within a “hermeneutic of continuity”.

What is at stake in Irenaeus’s writing is not whether someone uses the word “heaven”, nor even whether someone phrases things in terms of “souls going to heaven”. The issue is in how we conceive of heaven, what we think that language refers to. What seems clear to me is that Ireneaus is objecting to a vision of “heaven” that “does not admit the salvation of the flesh”.

Umm … the Christians I know do believe in physical resurrection, not in ethereal floating around on clouds with harps ??? We agree with Irenaeus, and with Paul. Christian Eschatology 101 affirms the vision of Revelation 21:1-2, as encapsulated in the Lord’s Prayer, “… on earth as it is in heaven”. The catechism defines heaven as “life in Christ”, and Christ is understood to be physically present both on earth (as things are) and in heaven (as things should be). There is already a bridge (Christ) between the way things are and the way things should be, and the final glory will come when everything passes freely back and forth across that bridge. It’s just a slow infusion rate, is all. If you think you are attacking Christianity as most people I know understand it, you are not.

I also have no clue why your riddle is even a riddle. Your background assumptions seem to be very different from my own, to the point where I really don’t even know where to begin.

For the curious, The New Oxford Annotated Bible (which aspires — successfully, it seems to me — to provide commentary consistent with “mainline” scholarly consensus), comes out fairly strongly against Petrine authorship:

“The tradition that this letter is the work of the apostle Peter was questioned in early times, and internal indications are almost decisive against it. It is dependent upon the Letter of Jude (compare 2.1-8 with Jude 4-16), and the author refers to all the letters of Paul (3.15) in a way that presupposes not only that they had been collected into a corpus, but that they were regarded as equal to “the other scriptures” — conditions which did not exist in the lifetime of Peter. Most scholars therefore regard the letter as the work of one who was deeply indebted to Peter and who published it under his master’s name early in the second century. In this connection the following considerations should be borne in mind. (1) In antiquity pseudonymous authorship was a widely accepted literary convention. Therefore the use of an apostle’s name in reasserting his teaching was not regarded as dishonest but merely a way of reminding the church of what it had received from God through that apostle. (2) The authority of the New Testament books is dependent, not upon their human authorship, but upon their intrinsic significance, which the church, under the guidance of the Spirit, has recognized as the authentic voice of apostolic teaching. For this reason therefore, what is traditionally known as the Second Letter of Peter was included in the canon of Scripture (on the canon, see p. 1170).”

End quote/excerpts.

From that same discussion both and interact with the following:

Neil Godfrey summarizes Wright’s view pretty well ((…from …))

The Bishop of Durham has broached the idea before but Hurtado’s criticism his directed towards the relatively recent (2013) Paul and the Faithfulness of God. Wright contends that Paul’s teaching that God’s Spirit dwelt in the Church as his Temple could only mean one thing among Jews of Second Temple days: God had returned to dwell on earth with his people. God’s Temple was once again filled with the Glory of God. God, YHWH, had returned to his people in Jesus who was vindicated after the resurrection and that same YHWH now shed his glory on earth in the lives of the saints. Christ is the first to be resurrected and the rest of his brethren will be raised at his final appearance from heaven (the parousia). The (extended) day of that resurrection is now, but God’s promise to return to his people and dwell among them was fulfilled when he came in Jesus and continues now that he lives in his earthly temple, the church. This final event is merely seen as the completion of the renewal that has begun with Christ’s resurrection. Thus there is no “second” coming: God has fulfilled his promise to come to live with his people now.

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Eight Items Regarding The Trio of Scripture, Logic, and Sound Metaphysics which forces our hand: It is always, ceaselessly, I stand at the door…




The presuppositions would be (I’m sure you well know) –

Firstly – that the sort of person speaking into those ears in the Gospels thusly speaks into all ears – all the time given what is taking place – and by that we mean given that the sort of person speaking is that of God in Christ reconciling the*world* to Himself. And let us add that *God* here is to fully represent that sense of David Harts, “…infinite wellspring of being, consciousness, and bliss that is the source, order, and end of all reality…”.

Secondly, the sort of person speaking into those ears is speaking only into those ears and no others for time and locality are his limits and by that we mean that such would be the sort of person which this or that Critic may presuppose Christ to be.

The language of the Prophets just is the language of Christ and much of what is shared between the two has yet to happen – or even be thought of by His Body the Church. Daniel, Christ, and others leave much yet remaining as God is yet – still – unceasingly – approaching His Body and the World – and the individual. And that language is itself then akin to the language of the book of Revelations which just is the language – again – of God approaching Man – even still – as that peculiar instantiation streams well outside of locality. That Christ has come does not remove Isaiah’s daily seeding of yet new horizons every time we read them. Well, so too with all of Scripture.

That is why “I’ll be back” – full stop – is just out of place and would even be totally inappropriate for the first presupposition, though quite fitting for the second. That is why we expect, on the God-presupposition, what we find: all Christians, both as a Collective and as the Individual, reading these words hear or read *God’s* voice speaking to *them*. That fits with what we expect given that the first presupposition is our starting point. However, given that the second presupposition is one’s starting point one would expect future generations to look at it the way we today look at speeches about the coming of the British. Out of date.

Circularity now arises in both the Critic and the Christian here on Christ’s words given such presuppositions.

So now what?

So, well, now we must allow all of Scripture to weigh in, to speak towards Christ’s language, to apply the whole-show, to assimilate the full meta-narrative and integrate all lines, and so on. Some things may be able to stand on their own – some may not stand but by that afore mentioned integration. The Christian is in the unique and comfortable position of merely fitting this or that seam of this or that verse into the wedding-dress / meta-narrative (as it were) to remain seamless (as it were), whereas, the Critic must dismantle the whole meta-narrative, the whole wedding-dress, should he wish to dismantle the Christian’s one-verse or two-verse seam.

Paul – near the end of his life – tells his friend that he prepares to be poured out – like Christ – having fought a good fight. He too knew Christ is coming soon. As he often prayed for and wrote of even as he spoke of his own ensuing execution.

But then, so what. That’s nothing.

God has been approaching far longer than that. Adam too there in Eden hears those same words there in that fateful protoevangelium spoken by the One True God Who references that fateful “Us” there in His own Being’s singularity. And Adam? Well, like the writers of the NT, he very well may have stated, “….some count it the Lord tarries….” And yet the pronouncement was – is – ever present.

The second presupposition counts slowness one way, the first counts it another way. But Scripture helps us here on a faulty sense of timing relative to such a sure and pressing promise: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all men should come to repentance.”




If you are going to label all imminent-sounding language per presupposition #2, rather than per presupposition #1, then so be it. That’s your choice. It simply does not fit into the Christian’s presupposition, as explained already.

Matthew 16 happened next in chapter 17. We know that because in Matthew it flows right into it, and also, in the second epistles of Peter, Peter recounts how they were with Him on the Mount of that transfiguration and saw the Son of Man “coming in His power”. His Glory, His Transfiguration, His Being amid the I-AM, is all – as already discussed – ever-present. “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. He received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.”

Those standing there in Mathew 16 then saw the Lord Christ coming in His Power in Matthew 17 – according to Peter’s epistle. That approach of course does not need the sort of massaging some other approaches need to get it to “fit” with the “rest of scripture”.

This is odd: “Well, cognitive bias can be funny that way”. If you are going to call a presupposition a bias – that is fine. So the Critic and the Christian start on even ground.

As to an answer about the Lord Christ coming in His Power – Peter already gave the Christian the very substrate he expects to find – assuming that is – that presupposition #1 is valid. And, on top of that, my last post stands even more coherent for all those same reasons we find in Peter’s view of it, with all those other vectors of immanence still nicely intact.

I agree with you on the problem of the meta-narrative – of Scripture’s A – Z, as it were, for the Critic. Dealing with all of scripture as a whole – rather than with one-verse sort of sound-bites – is the sort of *work* the average Critic presupposes to be unnecessary. Like “the coming of the Lord Christ in His Power” over in Peter. That’s just to many pages away – and besides – Christ coming in His Power in Matthew 16 just can’t be what Peter said it was in Matthew 17 – the mere fact that such lines gel quite seamlessly with so much else we find in Scripture’s meta-narrative just cannot be relevant. -Cause presupposition #2.

Well, Presupposition #1 fits much better with what we find.

You seem to want presupposition #2 to work here:

“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

That is pretty straight forward – those of us (he is a Christian speaking to Christians about Christians) who are alive when the Lord comes……. According to presupposition #1, it fits just right. The word “we” there seems to bother you, or is the core of your wanting to undo the whole meta-narrative – like Peter and Christ already haven come in His Power (Etc.) according to Peter (Etc.) But it shouldn’t bother you – just look at the rest of scripture and you’ll see why. If I were to write a letter of comfort to those mourning the death of our own Christian brothers and sisters I would use the very same language. And such a tone would be perfectly accurate with the rest of scripture. The same with “We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed….” – again a Christian, again speaking to Christians about Christians, and again about Christ’s coming. You want it to be like a letter about the coming of the British – applicable in one time and location per presupposition #2. But a Christian writing to Christians would not phrase such a letter in such a way. The Critic needs to answer why that is the case. Scripture repeatedly speaks with that very sort of language – from cover to cover. That’s that pesky meta-narrative the average Critic does not want to look at.

You noted this: “The *only* exception to this is 2 Peter, which you reference here as being helpful.” Yes, but so is the *other* 2 Peter there about the Coming of the Lord in His Power already having occurred – there in Matthew 17. Peter had Christ labeled exactly as Christians today still do, with Christ already haven come in His Power and with Christ being slow to yet come in His Power. And that is what we see in the rest of Scripture too on the language of the Son of Man Coming in His Power. Re-read presupposition # 1 and all its nuances in the last comment and you’ll see why that works out so seamlessly. The Christian finds just that same landscape (as the Old, Original, Church Father, Peter finds) to be expected – predicted – because of Who is speaking, what He is speaking about, how He is speaking, who He is speaking to, and what all of that consistently looks like in Scripture’s cover-to-cover meta-narrative. Peter’s duo-toned Coming/Coming echoes Christ’s duo-toned Coming/Coming. As does so very, very much of scripture. We expect that. All of it. The Critic’s basic presupposition though with all of that – not so much.

A big difference between us seems to be that I don’t see the Critic’s employment of a presupposition as evidence of cognitive dissonance, of pathology, but simply as a categorical working framework congruent with what are likely to be many of his other metaphysical presuppositions. Whereas, you see the Christian’s employment of that same category of framework as evidence of pathology. That’s unfortunate. That you take that tone and track, I mean, on these sort of academic and ontological questions. If one is that opposed to another making “ontic-presuppositions” even as, all the while, one himself goes about making “ontic-presuppositions” also, well, there is another thread here on Scientism one may find helpful.

Logic forces our hand: It is always, ceaselessly, I stand at the door…



From Tom Gilson:

JBC, the burden of proof lies with you, if you want to claim that Jesus was wrong about the time of his return.

If you don’t want to claim that, then my post, its claims, and the burden of proof really all ought to be irrelevant in your eyes. I mean, why would you care?

Suppose you didn’t care about claiming that Jesus was wrong. Suppose you also succeeded in showing I can’t bear the burden of proof; that I can’t substantiate my claim. What would you have accomplished? You would have shown that I was wrong. Congratulations for that. Meanwhile you’d still be in the state of not caring whether Jesus was right or wrong.

I can live with that outcome. My post was written for people who believe Jesus was wrong.

So what is your position, anyway?



It’s the same theme over and over. Logic forces our hand: It is always, ceaselessly, I stand at the door…

14 …..which go forth unto the kings of the whole world, to gather them together unto the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walked naked, and they see his shame.) 16 And they gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew Har-magedon…..

Here we see again the Imminence of God – right now, today, always – married to – amalgamated with – prophetic vectors which find the entire world’s citizenship at some locus of history entering into, participating in, experiencing, all the affairs of an Age’s consummation in what appears to be one brief time – less than one life time. Perhaps such all-tongues, such all-nations, as here and in OT lines and …. well…. elsewhere, are as Christ states here and in the Gospels. But then such converging with such a world wide all-inclusive citizenship of perception of Christ in some very real sense would mandate that the name of Christ be preached in all places, and that all such places have some semblance of a working knowledge thereof. Now, such educational achievements to such far reaching distances all taking place – and then – all being followed up by all such places and distances – now aware – all then coming together in a more global arena – and then – all finding themselves again re-converging in some sort tension – well as noted travel was quite slow in the first century…. and the globe was anything but, well, global, and so presupposition #1 seems quite more robust here.

But all of this is a fairly minor example as such is but one part of what is Scripture’s repeating theme of this marriage of God’s ever present Imminence with God’s having yet to come.

“Eat, drink, and be merry – for the End is far away” – just is nonsense on Scripture’s unmistakable thematic genre of God and Mankind.

It is always, ceaselessly, I stand at the door……



This marriage of the concrete and ceaseless “Imminence of God” with God’s concrete and ceaseless “Yet-To-Actualize” begins in Eden.

From the get-go. God ever at the door – with us – always. God ever pressing upon us the soon to come – always.

It’s seen there in Abraham.
And in Issac.
And Jacob.
It’s there in Israel.
It’s there in all the Prophets.
It’s there in the Gospels.
It’s there in the entire NT.
It’s there in Revelations.
From A to Z. Until a wedding of sorts.

It just is the topography of God amid Man, of Man amid God. Metaphysically and logically speaking, that topography seems unavoidable. In fact, given the ontology of “God” and of “Man in Privation”, nothing else seems to add up. As it happens, there is only one Genre on planet Earth where we find all these vectors casually, comfortably converging.

“Eat, drink, and be merry – for the End is far away” – just is nonsense on Scripture’s unmistakable thematic genre of God and Mankind.

It is always, ceaselessly, “I stand at the door……..”



We almost missed this comedy:

“Paul clearly connects the parousia to the Roman civilization, stating that the return will come while people are saying “pax et securitas” (peace and safety), a Roman slogan found on coins.”

“Cleary connects…”

Hmm….. so Christ’s reference to coins means that it really is the case – it is the actual state of affairs – that Rome, and not God, actually has ontological control of the metaphysical vectors sustaining the city of Rome – that such actually does belong to Caesar. But what about the book of Romans and such final ownership linked to God yet still?

That’s that silly “no verse is connected to all other verses” presupposition of the Critic once again.


Reason in a vacuum.

Like Peter telling us later in life that he saw the Son of Man in His Power. That too has no connection to any other verses. -Cause presupposition #2…..

Just like, “Eat, drink, and be merry for God is far away” ought to be the thematic tone of Scripture “if” it was inspired by God, “if” presupposition #1 housed accuracy, and, so, therefore, because the thematic tone from A to Z is God ever amid Man – ceaseless Imminence – then clearly such a “constant” is proof of error. Surely God would tell Israel to party it up -cause the Messiah is far off all those centuries, and surely God would tell the Church to party it up all those centuries -cause God is far away, -cause that is what God “should” do. But He didn’t. So therefore presupposition #1 is irrational, unreasoned, and incoherent.

That’s even funnier.

Nothing connected to anything else. All verses – like the coin thing – just stand in isolation and “clearly indicate….”

Reason in a vacuum.



See the links at the end of this paragraph and recall that they are to layer in and atop Peter’s claim to already have seen the Son of Man in His Power, and, also, to layer atop the presupposition of the Critic bizarre claim that scripture’s thematic tone either “is” or “should be” ~ from Eden to Revelations ~ from cover to cover ~ from the Fall to the New Creation ~ the general tone of “Eat, drink and be merry, for God is far away”, and, also, to layer atop the Critic’s bizarre presupposition that all verses stand in isolation from all other verses thus justifying the Critic’s sort of odd presuppositions and bizarre approaches and hence to then claim that, say, Christ’s statement about coins can be used to “…clearly connect…” the actual ontological ownership of Rome to, not God, but to – wait for it – Caesar ~ and so on: Was Jesus a failed eschatological prophet: and Was Jesus wrong:


The Trio of Scripture, Logic, and Sound Metaphysics forces our hand: It is always, ceaselessly, I stand at the door.


I’ve learned a lot from you – much I’ve had to look up and read about. Thanks to you I’m not only more educated on several lines here, but I am also out of what were to be many free hours of relaxing. But, that said, and meant, I have not seen anything compelling which grants you enough sway to declare presupposition #1 to be irrational, incoherent, or unreasoned. That is in part do to your methodology, and in part do to content. If the Christian is to find that there is any global reach in Scripture at all, then you’ve a serious problem with your entire thesis. When we allow all verses to speak to all other verses, there is a global reach throughout all tongues of the earth, and all nations of the earth, and all peoples of the earth, and all tribes of the earth, and all….. such that Christ’s words in Revelations cannot be “divorced” from His words in the Gospels such that the words in Eden cannot be divorced from…. such that……. cannot be divorced from….. and so on.

Such “divorce” is seen in your method with the Roman coin (among other places). Your use of the Roman coin and “clearly connects” was absurd given what that method permits one to say of Christ’s statement about coins and Caesar’s ownership, and then how that all ties into the book of Roman’s tie-in to God’s ownership transcending that. Christ’s words about the coin – on your method of not allowing all verses to speak to all verses – could be used to devise some odd doctrine of Caesar’s ownership in some hard and fast sense. Dr. Craig’s methodology in the links is more systematic and robust for many reasons – one of which is allowing Scripture to define Scripture – all verses speaking to all other verses.

Christ’s words in Revelations cannot be divorced from Christ’s words in the Gospels cannot be divorced from Paul’s words on the Roman Coin cannot be divorced from Peter’s words in his epistles cannot be divorced from Eden’s words about Mankind cannot be divorced from the OT prophets words on the Messiah cannot be divorced from….. Imminence which cannot be divorced from….. That is really the only fundamental difference in our two approaches. The Roman Coin thing was an obvious an absurd case on your end which reveals a confused method should we apply that same method to Christ and Caesar but that same method is consistently able to be extricated in your methodology overall. While that method is perfectly in line with presupposition #2, it is quite unsatisfactory for presupposition #1 for a whole array of sound, coherent intellectual reasons in terms of logic, in terms of ontology, and in terms of Scripture such that there are, without question, soundly reasoned and coherent justifications for refusing your conclusions in favor of other more well-rounded, inclusive, conclusions.

End 8 Comments/Etc.

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In addition to the above 8 comments/excerpts there are the following few items related to the tediously painful reminder that some occasionally need, namely:

Part of Adulting is reading “Whole Books”

From Scott Baker:

“…Key vs. are 3-4 “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

Of course, the passage and relevant material don’t start there. You really can’t make sense of 1 Cor. without reading the whole thing, but this section at least has to start back in chapter 4 or 5. Paul is offering pastoral counsel to the Church at Corinth. Now, completely relevant is what we know about ancient Corinth. It was a port city famous for the quality and abundance of its wine and its prostitutes. It was destroyed by Rome and resettled by veterans from Julius Caesar’s campaigns by the time of Paul. Corinth was a hyper-sexualized city filled with rough folks. In chapter 5, Paul is admonishing them for tolerating flagrant sexual immorality in their community. So we can banish the idea that the problem Paul is addressing is prudishness or reticence.

****Key: But, and this is key, Paul *is* addressing questions the Corinthians sent to him in what he says in ch. 7. He’s not pontificating, he’s answering a specific question. What is the question?

1 Cor. 7:1 “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is well for a man not to touch a woman.'”

The problem Paul is addressing is asceticism, and it’s the women who are being deprived. Paul’s instructions in 3-4 about not withholding conjugal rights is countering the Corinthian idea (totally understandable given their pagan sex-soaked context!) that asceticism is a higher form of holiness, which their men were espousing.

Sex in marriages is ceasing out of a misplaced desire to be more devoted to God. Paul is NOT addressing the natural waxing and waning of sexual desire because of illness, injury, trauma, fatigue, childbearing, or the thousand other things that affect a human sex drive. This helps make much more sense of v. 5, “Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self control.”

And then, the chef’s kiss is v. 6, “This I say by way of concession, not of command.”

Look, men, if you’re out there telling your wife she has to have sex with you or she’s displeasing God, you’re wrong in every way it’s possible to be wrong.

Paul is offering pastoral counsel here, not delivering tablets from Mt. Sinai, and his counsel is about mutuality, care, and looking out for each other’s faith. That’s why ch. 7 goes with ch. 8 about food sacrificed to idols. It’s the same kind of counsel!

That’s what ch. 11 is about too, not subordinating women. That’s what “the body of Christ” is about in ch. 12. And that’s how the letter can arrive at the paean to love in ch. 13. I’m not a marriage counselor, but this just isn’t about “men’s needs.” At all. It’s more about the inherent goodness of creation and our embodiment of God’s temple (6:19). The Spirit is already with us; we need not entice her with asceticism.

Beyond all that, you couldn’t torture out of me a confession that I was so bad at being a husband that I have to threaten my wife with damnation to get her to be with me, and these guys are just volunteering that information all over Beyoncé’s internet. In addition to embarrassing themselves and shaming their wives, they’re badly twisting the message of the Scriptures here. If you’re using 1 Cor. 7:3-4 to say wives MUST sex on demand, get help, and stop taking the Lord’s name in vain…”

End quote from Scott Baker.

And Again:

Part of Adulting is reading “Whole Books”

The same book tells us that if we do not work and provide for our families we ought not eat, yet also mentions detachment As-If-No-Tomorrow, just as the same book claims Marriage and Spouse and Child are all Gifts and that Marriage is a Mirror of Christ and the Chruch, even as it speaks of Remaining Single As-If-No-Tomorrow, and so on. Part of Adulting comes in here, as follows:

Adults don’t read “900 pages of a historical work” or “900 pages of a philosophical work” by reading a few paragraphs and then boldly shouting,

See! I’ve read enough in these five pages! The other 895 pages are not relevant! The Metanarrative / Context / Subtext of this 900 page philosophical work can be summarized as “See Spot Run! It’s nonsense!

From is the following excerpt:

“…Paul addresses the question of whether the promised return of the Lord implies that Christians should abandon ordinary daily life, includ­ing work… Paul’s logic will be easier to understand if we recognize that 1 Cor. 7:29 does not indicate merely that “the time is short” in the sense that Jesus’ second coming is almost here. Paul uses a verb here that describes how an object is pushed together (synestalmenos), so that it becomes shorter or smaller as a whole. “Time has been compressed” might be a better translation, as suggested by the NASB rendering, or “Time has been shortened.”

What Paul apparently means is that since Christ has come, the end of the vast expanse of time has at last become visible. “The future outcome of this world has become crystal clear,” writes scholar David E. Garland.[1] 1 Cor. 7:31 explains that “the present form of this world is passing away.” The “present form” has the sense of “the way things are” in our fallen world of damaged social and economic relationships. Paul wants his readers to understand that Christ’s coming has already effected a change in the very fabric of life. The values and aspirations that are simply taken for granted in the present way of doing things are no longer operative for believers.

The proper response to the compression of time is not to cease work­ing but to work differently. The old attitudes toward everyday life and its affairs must be replaced. This brings us back to the paradoxical state­ments in 1 Corinthians 7:29–31. We should buy, yet be as though we have no possessions. We should deal with the world as though not dealing with the world as we know it. That is, we may make use of the things this world has to offer, but we shouldn’t accept the world’s values and principles when they get in the way of God’s kingdom. The things we buy, we should employ for the good of others instead of holding tightly to them. When we bargain in the market, we should seek the good of the person from whom we buy, not just our own interests. In other words, Paul is calling believ­ers to “a radically new understanding of their relationship to the world…”

End excerpt.

From is the following excerpt:

“…The eschatological time

Paul understands what has happened in Christ inside an apocalyptic framework, which contemporary Christians might no longer share. For Christians today, it is often the case that their relationship with Jesus Christ means salvation (present and/or future) and reconciliation to God. It might also provide a moral orientation to their life. For Paul, what happened with Christ, both his death on the cross and his being raised by God, is first and foremost an apocalyptic event. It inaugurates the end. Paul was convinced that, now that Christ has come and has displayed perfect obedience in his death, the end was very near. For Paul, the end means that this world as human beings knew it was soon going to disappear and be replaced with a new creation, a restored creation. For Paul, the event of Christ means that the Christ believers now live in a new aeon, a new time period.

In this new aeon, they are the first representatives of this new, restored, saved creation and thus have a responsibility to behave as eschatological Christ believers. They are, to use Pauline language, the first fruits of the new creation, of what will happen when the world is entirely restored and saved (Romans 8:18-25). Because of the Christ believers’ particular position in time, they have a responsibility to behave in a certain manner. In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul is trying to establish this behavior in regard to marriage.

As if not

In the section of 1 Corinthians 7 that is under scrutiny, Paul broadens the discussion, and establishes a model behavior for his addressees. This model behavior is qualified by an attitude of “as if not” (os men): whatever the behavior or the quality concerned, the person should act as if that behavior did not really exist or matter. Paul’s examples of behavior “as if not” are framed by two affirmations about what time it is. In 1 Corinthians 7:29, Paul writes, “the appointed time has grown short,” and in 1 Corinthians 7:31, he says, “For the present form of this world is passing away.” Thus if one correctly understands where one stands in relationship to cosmological time, one should be in a position to correctly understand what Paul asks when he demands that one behaves “as if not.”

I find this section and the examples Paul uses puzzling: he discusses those who are married, those who are crying, those who are rejoicing, those who are involved in commercial transaction, and finally those who benefit from the world. There seems to be no clear logic to Paul’s enumeration, and no clear relationship between the different categories. The categories are also far from exhaustive. Previously, he had added circumcision and slavery to the type of situations that should not be modified. But in the case of circumcision and slavery, Paul seemed to say that there are matters of indifference. One should not bother one way or another. Here, with the “as if not,” Paul seems to introduce another nuance. One can continue engaging in whatever behavior, but one should engage in it “as if not.” What does this mean? And how do you do it?

Before I propose on reflection on that, I should probably insist that you can only engage in “as if not” behavior at the end, in the apocalyptic age. That was Paul’s conviction: he truly believed the end had started, and this belief deeply shaped the way he wants to organize his communities. In particular, they are not meant to last. Thus, we have to be profoundly aware that we are no longer in Paul’s context at all. The end did not come in the first century, and the Christ-believers’ communities developed in Christian churches that definitely became lasting.

Agamben on “as if not”

In his commentary on the first verse of the epistle to the Romans, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben proposes a reflection on the concept of “calling,” of “vocation,” in relationship to this living “as if not” that Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians.1 For Agamben, living “as if not” is characteristic of the messianic time, and related to the concept of vocation, of calling. Agamben defines the “as if not” as a technical term for Paul: it prepares the end of each condition, whatever it might be. This is why Paul can frame the appeal to the “as if not” by a reference to the passing of the present form of this world (1 Corinthians 7:31). In this sense, each condition is relativized.

It also, as Agamben points out, clarifies why Paul mentions “those who buy as though they had no possessions, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it.” This, according to Agamben, defines messianic vocation: it is a potentiality that one can employ, and yet never possess. In the apocalyptic time, each condition (freedom, slavery, marriage, celibacy, circumcision, uncircumcision) can be used, but it can never be owned. It cancels the hold that the world can have on each one of us, not by revolting against it, but by simply cancelling it.This can only truly happen, however, if the Christ believers are aware of what time it is…”

End excerpt.

[8 of 8]

Then the following excerpts from “No Enduring City: The Gospel Both Created & Destroyed Christendom” at

“…the Gospel was never bound to the historical fate of any political or social order, but always claimed to enjoy a transcendence of all times and places…”

“…So perhaps the best moral sense Christians can make of the story of Christendom now, from the special vantage of its aftermath, is to recall that the Gospel was never bound to the historical fate of any political or social order, but always claimed to enjoy a transcendence of all times and places. Perhaps its presence in human history should always be shatteringly angelic: It announces, even over against one’s most cherished expectations of the present or the future, a truth that breaks in upon history, ever and again, always changing or even destroying the former things in order to make all things new. That being so, surely modern Christians should find some joy in being forced to remember that they are citizens of a Kingdom not of this world, that here they have no enduring city, and that they are called to live as strangers and pilgrims on the earth…”


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