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« Ehrman at It Again | Main | The Third Advent Candle »

December 13, 2012


Obviously not all forms of Christendom is a hustle game,

….but definitely the Prosperity gospel (and other offshoots) is a hustle game—just watch TBN and the lifestyle they live! They give Bernie Maddoff a run for his thievery of the gullible masses!

Alan Shoeman, you say 1:30 min in “[God] doesn’t need money, he’s got all the resources in the universe”—then since you claim to work for this god, then why do you (or the company you work for) ask mere humans for donations from the listening audience??? Shouldn’t your god just provide it, like boom there it is—like the coin in the fish mouth to pay taxes

Note Alan Shoeman: if I worked fulltime for my rich all-powerful dad (WILLING TO DIE FOR HIM) but yet had to beg/ask strangers for money (donations) so I could live and feed my family, wouldn’t that be odd, something amiss???

Fame, god has “angelic choir singing to him for eternity”—Alan can you prove that or is that just a theory, unfounded speculation, blind faith???

I know plenty of people who became Christians out of fear, fear of the fake place called hell—in fact William Lane Craig often admits one of the reasons he became a Christian was from fear from hell (not the devil but fear of hell)

Brett Strong

Christian god=FICTION

....thus the only thing to fear (i.e. be on guard) is man's evil ways not fathom gods, fathom devils, and fathom hells

also: You quote Revelation; a guy talking about visions; a book (with nothing close to an original) that has cosmic monsters in it (like a beast with 7 heads)—and you call that undeniable truth????? Hmmmm

anyways, Alan Shoeman have a great day and a merry Christmas—you and your wonderful family…and may your BELIEF in Jesus serve you well all the days of your life…

Merry Christmas to the great Amy Hall too!!!!!

Brett, STR asks for donations because they need the money to run the organization. And so far, God has been providing it through the donations of his people. Creating the money ex-nihilo is unnecessary (not to mention the fact that it would lead to inflation).

I think Alan missed the point that Bill made. That the hustle isn't from god at all. Underneath it all, Bill thinks that the whole religion thing is a hustle from man, not god. He only pretends to argue within the context of the perspective of the religious and slips in and out of that perspective whenever it serves his anti-religious agenda. Alan deals with Bill's argument as if he was sticking to the one context, but Bill doesn't. The reason for this is that Bill doesn't take the subject seriously from the git-go. But then, he is a comedian and is not likely to take anything serious. What he doesn't realize is that there is more to life than comedy. As long as he doesn't believe that and shows that he doesn't through his public statements, there is no reason to take Bill seriously. In a sad way, he has become a kind of bad joke, much like the ones he makes on his show.

I think you're right Louis. On every point. Except on the point about Maher being a comedian. I think the most you can really say is that Maher claims to be a comedian.

With that said, it's still worthwhile for Alan to answer Maher's charge as if it were serious, precisely to show that it isn't.

Brett, you said …

"thus the only thing to fear (i.e. be on guard) is man's evil ways"

… which leads me to ask a question in response. What do you mean by the term "evil" here?

“Love is the Ultimate Ethic” vs. “God is Love” vs. “The Ultimate Ethic is to Glorify God”.

If we engage in purely linear semantics it may appear that there can be a disconnect here as one of these ethics may on some front seem to offend the other. A one dimensional straight line cannot fathom that Triune God Who can hold Multiple Perfect Lines in perpetual tension among multiple vectors. “There is only one best” is a theology which gets things half right, and half wrong. Only in this God Who is not just purely I, but is also You, and who is not purely I and You, but is also I-You, which is that Singular We of Love’s embrace, do we find resolutions to seeming contradictions, and only as we dive into Him and find within Him love’s uncreated Eternally Sacrificed Self which was and is and always will be do we find coherency within all our questions of epistemology’s knowing in one’s self and knowing in relation and knowing by relation, of ontology’s singular yet pleural capacities, of Will’s Pleural Wills, of Multiple Perfects within Perfection’s Pleural, of Distinct and Perfect Realities wherein that Triune Topography reveals the One God Who alone can write such a Story as this as He endlessly creates and delights along Multiple Perfect Fronts.

The Un-Christian need not turn his head in disdain at the Christian’s leveling the seemingly ultimate act of tyranny: the Ultimate Ethic is God’s Glorification. The Un-Christian views such through the lens of Pride, which is our Fall, and cries ‘Foul!”. The Un-Christian may wish to smuggle in his own indefensible assertion: the Ultimate Ethic is Love. As it turns out, both Ethics are one and the same, and, outside of the Triune God Who is Love, there is no ground, anywhere, which is not crippled by the Subtext buried within it rendering it incapable of supporting the weight of the Context above our heads.

The Un-Christian has a purely Linear view of all things and that is where the Christian can help him.

The Highest Ethic: “Glorify God” vs. “Love”. Words tell the Story and Word made Flesh tells us it is both and ties the two together. Within a linear topography, a linear dimension, one must compete against the other, or, “there’s only one best possible!” fills the air. Perfection is viewed as Linear rather than as Triune’s Pleural. As we move into God’s Triune Topography something happens, a merging of sorts: once you have one, you necessarily have the other, and in either direction as such is simply a palindrome. In Love we find that the Self just does glorify Other. Before Man is even on the scene we find that the Self Who necessarily loves necessarily dies. The Father honors the Son, and the Son the Father, and the Spirit the Son, and the Son the Spirit, and on and on, as Each Distinct Self in Love’s Trinity of I and You and Singular-We testifies, honors, and glorifies not Self, but Other. That ‘just is’ what Love does.

Now, when Man is brought into existence, it is Love Who brings him into existence, and what Love loves, Love glorifies. When we say that God loves Man, we mean that phrase specifically, however, we also realize that in that loving of man God also, ultimately, pours Himself out for Man (because of that love) and by that pouring out He pulls Man up into Himself, or, He fills Man up with Himself, and thereby glorifies Man forever: God ultimately makes of Man the New Creation, a Son of God, once Man is thus glorified. God glorifies Man. Self glorifies Other. That’s just what love “does”. And now in reverse: Man, in that glorification, finds his Final Felicity within Community and not within the Isolated-I (for Love’s embrace is the ultimate Good) and in loving return and quite full of Joy he beholds God and in beholding Him is made like Him, and Knows Him even as he himself is Known by Him, and therein Man will forever Glorify God, and God will be thus forever Glorified by Man. Self glorifies Other. That’s just what Love “does”.

But, a little more in the next post.....

A little more for the Un-Christian who cannot see with his linear thinking the Triune's fashion of To Love and To Glorify:

When God tells us He means for us to glorify Him, it is necessarily Man’s Best which such entails ipso facto. There is no such thing as a Self who does not die in some fashion and the Dying God within Himself just does so worlds without end. There are different sorts of death. There are deaths out of the self and into the other (Joy’s embrace), and, there are deaths out of the other and into the self (Isolation’s hellish Alone). Though God Himself within Himself forever abdicates Self unto Other and dies love’s death He also here in our Now dies that other sort of death for He knows forever within Himself that which evil just is, which is that Pure Self, and there in Him even death itself, evil itself, is swallowed up whole. He is the A to Z who knows no sin yet becomes sin, for Love just does pour itself out, into, unto the Other. That’s just what love “does”.

When we say Love is the Ultimate Ethic, we mean all that Love means, which is quite a lot. If we want a Love which does not find Self pouring out Self unto/into and for Other, but only finds Self living for Self, then we will never be Joyful in heaven’s offer of our own glorification, for in God Self necessarily glorifies Other. “Thine and not Mine!” fills the air: His Cross is Actual and not mere gesture: He ‘so’ loves us. Eden and Gethsemane are one in the same: the First Adam dives into Self and the Last Adam dives into Other. There is a place where sheer delight in Self, sheer delight in I, I, and only I is the aroma which fills the air, but that place is not heaven; such a place will either be called “The Earth as we now have it” or it will be called “Satan’s Isolated-I within the Pure-Self” and such is the Alone which is void of any capacity for I-You. The path to Joy necessarily brings the Self to Gethsemane. When we say God is Love we find that this invokes that the Ultimate Ethic is Love, and when we say this we invoke that necessary Self/Other pattern which the Triune “just is”.

In no other pattern other than this odd Triune God do we find a ground sturdy enough to support the massive weight of such a statement asserted against the whole entire universe as the statement that in all of reality, in all possible worlds, in all multi-verses there is but One Perpetual Incline toward One Eternal Language and the Immutable Semantics therein comprise this: Love.

“To Glorify”? For one who has loved a child, or a spouse, or a friend, or anybody at all, this will be easier to see, for in that community of I, and You, and I-You it is in Delight and it is by Joy wherein the Self lives in Self-Forgetfulness as it moves and lives to lift up the Beloved. In the God Who is love we find that Self Who is Eternally Sacrificed and cries “I am He who was and is and always will be”. One way or the other, that Eternally Sacrificed Self is Man’s Destination wherein Insufficiency will be known and All-Sufficiency will be beheld and in simple Delight each will embrace one another and, in lifting the other up, glorify the other, as love “just does this”. We will therein glorify Him and He will therein glorify Man to his final state. We will *actually* be *glorified* by God finally as we are made into the Image of that Eternally Sacrificed Self, and, we being thus glorified, will in loving return then Eternally Sacrifice our Self unto Him, into Him, upon Him-ward, as He has done us-ward, and He will thus be glorified by us, and we by Him, and Him by us, and we by Him, and Him by us, and back and forth forever, for such just is the Dance which we find forever proceeding within Love’s Community of the Triune I-You-We.

We find here the nature of “Glorify” as viewed through the lens of, not Satan’s Fall, not our Fall, which is Pride and Self-Serving, but through the lens of both a Triune Topography and of Love, for He comes as our Suffering Servant, and we so also to Him, as love just does Glorify Other and not Self.

There will be no Self in Heaven who can say, “God has not first Glorified me” for every Self there will be necessarily a Glorified Self whom that Suffering Servant has in His Suffering Glorified, as Love just does Glorify Other and not Self. We will say in Heaven, “Thou hast glorified me, and I now thee!” And back and forth, and back and forth, and so forever.
In this Dance He first Glorifies us, and we then Glorify Him, and He us, and we Him, and so forever, and that Uncreated Pattern of Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self simply proceeds unendingly, for Love necessarily begets yet more love, and so on without ceasing, and thus such cannot be otherwise. We think this sort of Death of Self is a Created thing, but it is not. It is Uncreated and Eternal for by such Love Glorifies the Beloved.

Why does Love Create? Love simply Begets Love within Himself and thus outward forever, and as Water has never “gotten wet” but simply “is wet” so too Love just is this Begetting of yet more Love, and create is never in Him a first as water has never gotten wet. It has always been for Love’s Triune has always been, and it will always be for God, Who is love, will always be. It cannot be otherwise for such just is the Uncreated Eternal. The-Other just is Glorified by The-Self from before forever and unto forever within the Triune. God just is love. Self just does Glorify Other. That’s just what love does.

If one holds that Love is the Ultimate Ethic, there is only Christ, that Eternally Sacrificed Self in Whom and through Whom and by Whom all the necessary prerequisites of such a statement which must precede Man and all the necessary prerequisites of such a statement which must eternally accompany Man are fully satisfied and eternally sustained.

If we do not view reality, all of it, through our two eyes called Logic and Love which are fitted with the lenses of Logic’s “God is Triune” (and all which that invokes necessarily from Pre-Eden to the New Creation) and Love’s “God is Love” (and all which that invokes necessarily from Pre-Eden to the New Creation) we end in a sort of dazed and perplexed fog wherein by our blindness we see nothing but the Self for we cannot see that Necessary lack of Self-Sufficiency which any Created Self must ultimately face nor can we see the Triune’s Multiple Perfect Fronts wherein choices are held in perfect tension among Multiple Perfect Vectors nor can we see Love’s necessary and eternal Sacrifice.

Louis Kuhelj,
You make a good point and I agree that Maher’s more likely claim is that religion is a man-made thing that hustles people into going to church. But that would only be a legitimate claim on the assumption that Christianity is false and man made it all up. Then the response would be to show that God is real and Christianity is true. If it’s true, it’s not a hustle. It’s real and the behavior of Christians (to go to church, learn about God, etc.) is justified.


I agree with you that Bill does not have a legitimate point. He is taking a very serious matter and making light of it(that kind of treatment probably leads to his many mistakes). That is his necessary first step. We both know that only God working in his life can bring him to that it through people around him or his life circumstances or whatever god chooses to use. Maybe someday Bill will get to that point. We can pray he will.


I never said he was a good comedian. :)
He is, however, a good self promoter at least among those who like to be told what they want to hear and what they want to hear is the ultra-liberal nonsense.

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