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Dr. Michael BrownKermit ZarleyWe want to welcome anyone who might be logging on to our blog and website after listening to Servetus the Evangelical on “The Line of Fire.” We want to welcome you to engage with us and check out our resources. Please check out Christian Monotheism a site with hundreds of resources – video, audio & articles – on this subject.

Sean Finnegan’s Truth Matters Radio Show interview with Kermit Zarley can be found here.

14 Responses to “Welcome Dr. Michael Brown Listeners”

  1. on 13 Jan 2010 at 1:47 pmSean

    very disappointing show to listen to

    Dr. Brown was quite patronizing and did not allow Kermit fair time

  2. on 13 Jan 2010 at 2:08 pmRon S.

    Yeah Sean, that was my take from what I parts I heard (I was at work and was only able to hear a couple of segments of the show).

    Brown annoyingly big-timed Kermit by saying that while Kermit was an expert at golf, HE was the expert in languages and studying Scripture (in other words – I know it better than you).

  3. on 13 Jan 2010 at 2:24 pmTim

    It never ceases to amaze me how so-called “language experts” act as if language (especially ancient languages that no one speaks anymore) is completely unambiguous, especially to the “learned eye”. Nothing can be further from the truth, but to acknowledge that is to release the “learned elites” grasp on us uneducated masses. We can’t have that …

  4. on 13 Jan 2010 at 4:03 pmJaco

    Couldn’t listen to it.

    Sean, will you put the link for download on your chritianmonotheism site?

    I sure hope so.

  5. on 14 Jan 2010 at 7:52 pmDoubting Thomas

    Victor
    I didn’t listen to the debate that everyone else here is talking about but I did listen to Sean Finnigan’s Truth Matters show with Servetus as his guest. It was a great show and I learned a lot mainly because they were discussing books in the bible that I normally don’t study. It was very informative thank-you for posting it.

    I always find it very interesting to hear about how people receive revelations from God. Servetus’ statement that we should all be humble like children and pray that God reveal to us any mistaken beliefs that we might have I thought was full of wisdom and truth.

    From now on I’m going to include this in my prayers as well.

  6. on 15 Jan 2010 at 3:12 amDr. Michael L. Brown

    Hey folks,

    I just spotted your website. Thanks for welcoming my listeners here. And by all means, call in to the radio show and air your differences, especially on Fridays when I often take all kinds of questions.

    Unfortunately, I won’t have time to interact here, but you’re also quite welcome to continue to post on the LOF blog, as I believe some of you have. Let’s have a fruitful discussion!

    A couple of quick comments:

    Ron S. — my comments to Kermit about knowing the relevant languages were in response to him saying that with regard to the translation of Isaiah 9:6, he had to defer to experts since he didn’t know much Hebrew or Greek. My point was that this was an area of expertise of mine and so I could respond more accurately to the question at hand.

    Tim — as any student of ancient or modern languages know, there are some ambiguities and plenty of non-ambiguities. And when we’re talking about detailed points of grammar and exegesis, it’s fair to say that some points are ambiguous and some are not. From your point of view, however, it seems like you’re saying that we can’t be sure about much, since biblical Hebrew and Greek aren’t spoken anymore — and by all means, we can’t let the “learned elites” tell us what to believe. So, should we not pursue careful, prayerful study? I’m not being sarcastic here; I simply fail to see your point.

    If I don’t respond to your responses, please don’t take that personally. I would love to be able to but sometimes don’t have the time.

  7. on 15 Jan 2010 at 9:01 amSean

    Dr. Brown and whoever else may be interested,

    What about the qualified experts and translators who wrote the notes for the NET Bible on Isaiah 9.6? Click here to read what they said. Apparently, the Davidic king can be called God because he represents God. Besides, it’s not like you take him being called “eternal father” literally do you? If so, that would result in the heresy of modalism, right? So then, is it not cheating to take “mighty God” as woodenly literal and “eternal father” as metaphoric?

  8. on 15 Jan 2010 at 9:42 amDr. Michael L. Brown

    Sean,

    I address this at length in vol. 2 of my series Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus. Thanks for raising this important point.

  9. on 15 Jan 2010 at 10:19 amTim

    Dr. Brown,

    I meant no disrespect. My only point is that when it comes to language, there can be ambiguity. Living as a disciple (which is all that it is really about, right), it should not come down to a battle of scholars. We can trot out our list of language experts that cast doubt on your interpretation. So let’s just take this verse as ambiguous and not use it as a proof text.

    I am a practicing ontologist, and I could easily, from my expertise, say to you that “complex unity” is nonsensical (unity, by definition, is not complex) and we should not use nonsense to make a point.

    My point is that we should prayerfully study the scriptures, refer to scholars as secondary resources, and focus on living as a disciple of Jesus.

    -Regards-

  10. on 15 Jan 2010 at 10:32 amXavier

    Sean,

    Is there really any difference between the statements: “Jesus is YHWH”; “Jesus is the Father”?

    I thought the “name” of God the Father is YHWH, God the Son Jesus and God the Spirit…Spirit?

  11. on 15 Jan 2010 at 12:56 pmDr. Michael L. Brown

    Tim,

    I totally concur with your last point. Agreed! Is it OK, however, to use one’s own scholarship when it is relevant as part of the mix? And if one studies a subject (or verse) for decades and carefully analyzes the arguments of other scholars, it is wrong to come to a conclusion? That’s often how advances are made in many different fields. Just because you think it’s ambiguous doesn’t mean that I can’t come to a firm conclusion. At the least we can say, “This verses points in a certain direction. Let’s consider it along with the testimony of hundreds of other scriptures.”

    One last comment (to all) in the event that I’m not able to get back into this discussion here: Please understand that Kermit first contacted me about his book and suggested that we debate, and that his book (and Servetus website) was meant to be a concerted assault on the deity of Jesus. I begged to differ with his conclusions quite strongly but I did so in a gracious way, and I presented good evidence to refute his views.

    May Jesus be exalted through each of our lives to the glory of God the Father.

  12. on 15 Jan 2010 at 2:51 pmTim

    Dr. Brown,

    Of course, using one’s scholarship is relevant, but you came across as saying that anyone that disagrees with you on the meaning of “mighty God” is wrong – do you really mean this? The translators of the NET version that Sean mentioned are all wrong? I don’t argue your conclusion, just the implication that there are no serious disagreements with your conclusion. At least be honest with your listeners.

    Martin Luther studied Catholic doctrine for decades, yet eventually found some serious problems with it. Are you saying that your decades of study is beyond revision? This attitude is strange to me, and people that accept it are even stranger …

    Making up phony concepts such as “complex unity” is not “evidence”, it is grasping at straws to make the scripture fit into one’s theological grid. There are tens of thousands of personal pronouns referring to God in the Bible (i.e., God is a single / one person … that is what a personal pronoun refers to); I have yet to hear a trinitarian explanation of this that does not rely on concepts like “complex unity” or “compound unity.”

    Let me add as an aside that I, too, come to the Scriptures with a certain grid, but I hope that I try to fight that as much as possible. I find that most Christians, especially the ones with theological letters behind their names, believe with all sincerity that they don’t have a grid!

  13. on 16 Jan 2010 at 8:48 amRobert W.

    I want to make a quick comment here on the debate. It struck me as particularly ungracious of Dr. Brown to brow beat Zarley with his tremendous amount of expertise on the biblical languages. At one point he made some obnoxious remark which essentially amounted to saying that Zarley should stick to golf and leave the biblical expertise to him. So naturally then, any time Zarley made a comment on the Hebrew or the Greek, Brown would interrupt him immediately and all but ridicule his inferior knowledge.

    I found all of this particularly ironic given one of the verses they discussed. Zarley pointed out that there was ambiguity as to whether the title ‘God’ in Titus 2.13 was being applied to Jesus. Sure enough Brown cut him off and said “… nah, nah, nah. Not to those who read the Greek.” Now I found this somewhat odd considering that a massive amount of people who know way more Greek than Dr. Brown say the opposite. Even the scholars who believe that ‘God’ is referring to Jesus will typically admit that it is not the only possibility grammatically. I tried to point this out to him but he blocked my comment. Here’s what I wrote:

    “Really Dr. Brown? Do the Trinitarian translators of the ASV, CEV, GNT, NAB, NASB, NRSV & RSV know Greek? What about the Yale Anchor Bible Commentary, or the Oxford Bible Commentary, or the New International Greek Testament Commentary, or the New International Commentary on the New Testament? What about Alfrod, Dibelius-Conzelmann, Dunn, Holtz, Huther, Jeremias, Kelly, Schlatter, N. J. D. White etc.? I suppose, like Zarley, none of them know the Greek of Titus 2.13 either…”

  14. on 18 Jan 2010 at 5:37 amJaco

    Robert,

    This is typical cowardice one would expect from people trying to promulgate their own version of biblical theology. I found that among Muslims especially, but Dr Brown, the former Jew, is a fine imitator of that very tendency.

    Titus 2:13 is one of those Scriptures used by old-school Trinitarians to prove their point (much like 1 Joh. 5:7, 8, lol). And to those who are not that familiar with Greek, don’t be intimidated by this. Any first-year Greek student will notice the ambiguity. Do not allow their intimidations to turn you into Don Quixote. See the “monster” for what it is: a harmless windmill…

    Jaco

  

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