Saturday, August 31, 2013

UFOs and Christianity

Last updated/edited 9/30/13

There are various phenomena commonly related to the concept of extra-terrestrials (hereafter "ETs"). The three most common are 1. the UFO phenomenon; 2. the alien abduction phenomenon; and 3. the crop circles phenomenon. Each of these subjects should be considered and discussed separately before they are discussed collectively. That's because it's logically possible for one or two of these phenomena to be genuine while the other or others are not. Also, because there's no necessary link between any of the 3 phenomena. Each could have completely unrelated causes.

Here's a link to Wikipedia's article:
Paranormal and occult hypotheses about UFOs

Christians disagree on how exactly to explain these three types of phenomena. The following will be recommendations and links to some resources from Evangelical Christians who agree that some of the specific cases of the three types of phenomena are probably demonic in origin.

It's clear that the majority of UFO sightings can be explained by natural and ordinary means or are clear hoaxes. It is the small minority, called Residual UFOs, which cry out for some explanation. These are the UFO sightings made by credible witnesses which cannot be explained by normal atmospheric events or activities. Similarly, it's likely that many claims of alien abduction are merely psychological. But some cases may suggest something real is happening to these people. Though, what that real thing is is what must be sought after and discovered. Finally, the phenomena of crop circles most plausibly seem to be the result of the activity of intelligent agents who have designed the circles. There's no question that some of the circles were and are man made. However, there are some cases that are implausibly made by human activity.

My conclusion, based on my limited research and on my Christian worldview, is that many of those cases that seem to be genuine from all three types of phenomena are probably of demonic origin. Whether they be UFOs, alien abductions, or crop circles. Having said that, I'm also convinced that there's nothing in Christianity that would preclude the possibility of the existence of alien civilizations, or of their visiting Earth. Given Christian theology, God would most likely have to have originally created all of His sentient creatures good (including ETs) from the start. If any sentient civilization has any evil in it, then it would be a result of either  Adam's Fall, or the Fall of that other sentient species. If I'm right about the Bible not precluding the possibility of alien civilizations, then it's logically possible that both Christianity is true and that ETs are visiting earth, abducting humans, and creating crop circles. I said God most likely had to have originally created all His sentient creatures good because I'm assuming the necessity of special creation for all sentient species on the level of human beings (or higher). However, I'm not persuaded that God may not have used evolution to produce human beings. In which case, God may not have originally created human beings "good" in the sense commonly understood by Christians. If that's true, then it's not a far stretch to think that extra-terrestrial species may also have gradually evolved by God's evolutionary guidance. But admittedly, this is all speculative. Besides, I lean toward the special creation of humans even if not of other terrestrial/earthly animals. If that's true, then other sentient species in the universe were also probably specially created as well. I say "probably" only because I assuming that if God would create one sentient species by special creation, He would create all sentient species by special creation. However, that doesn't strictly follow logically.

Alien abduction testimonies are usually described as very unpleasant experiences. Some are described as very "cold" and clinical, while others seem to be done with malevolent intent. Also some seem to be performed by different species of ETs. From a Christian perspective, some or all of these species (if they exist) are probably Fallen. From my limited research, I've concluded that most, if not all of these are cases of demonic harassment and attack. See the links below.

When it comes to UFOs (unidentified flying objects), the phenomenon is unquestionably real. Steven Greer's movies and VIDEOS clearly document (mostly) credible witnesses of UFO sightings. Most of the testimonies are from military backgrounds. The important question now is "What are UFOs?" and "What causes UFOs?" They often seem to be controlled by rational agents. Their behavior is often best explained by a mind at work. That's because they often seem to respond to human observation and activity. They may often seem to be capricious, or playful or tantalizing. They often try to attract attention to themselves, but then when pursued, they will fly away or vanish. On the one hand it appears they want to be noticed, but on the other hand they don't want to reveal too much information about themselves or get into real contact or communication. Such behavior is consistent with demonic behavior (cf. occultic phenomena). As Steve Hays said in one of his BLOGS, "...After all, diabolical evil might well be ambiguous. Favor a degree of concealment. Now you see me–now you don’t!" By the way, Steven Greer's worldview could be summarized as New Age. I recommend his documentaries for their collection of (mostly) credible (or seemingly so) testimonies. But I disagree with his agenda and his interpretation of the UFO phenomena. Here's a link to their 2001 National Press Club Event video.

 When it comes to seemingly genuine crop circles, they too seem to exhibit characteristics that are best explained by rational agents. Yet, similar to UFO sightings, they usually don't offer any kind of propositional information. Though, there are alleged exceptions. The agents don't seem to really want to communicate, or for their real cause to be determined. Also, there does seem to be some association between UFOs and some crop circles since it's not uncommon for people to claim to have seen a UFO above the area of a crop circle the night before the crop circle appeared.

 All three descriptions of these phenomena are consistent with demonic deception.

Before I list some recommended Christian resources regarding the various phenomena I want to say a few things.

1. There is no consensus among Christians as to whether aliens actually exist or not. Some believe there are no aliens. Some that there are. Some that they are the Nephilim or the descendants of the Nephilim (possibly human Nephilim hybrids). Some believe these entities are performing genetic experiments. For myself, I'm content to believe that there are no extra-terrestrials who are visiting Earth from distant places in this universe or from some other universe in the World Ensemble (i.e. the multiverse). Even though their existence poses no real problem for Christianity (as I said above). Since, Christianity already believes that non-human rational and sentient beings do exist besides humans and God. Namely, angels and demons. Therefore, there's nothing that makes it impossible for aliens/extra-terrestrials to exist. 

AlienResistance.org has webpages for what it DOES Believe, and what it DOES NOT Believe.
In general, I agree with both webpages. See especially what it Does Not Believe. I recommend reading what they Do Not Believe because there are some organizations that do believe some of the strange beliefs rejected there. I will reproduce some of the denials at the bottom of this blog.

2. I disagree with Christians who say that it's theoretically impossible for aliens to travel to earth. Since those who claim its impossibility don't take into serious consideration the possibility of advanced technology which could bypass and exceed what we perceive to be possible in our current scientific knowledge of physics, space, time, and intra or inter universal travel. I also disagree that these entities are necessarily non-physical because they are often described as defying the "laws of physics." What they mean is the laws of physics as we currently understand them. They may be physical but hyper-dimensional. Though, it must also be said that their non-physicality and even possible spirituality (or supernatural nature) shouldn't be ruled out either.

3. It's logically possible that some UFOs, alien abductions, and crop circles are really of aliens AND that some are demonic deceptions. Often times people have an all or nothing mentality when it comes to the causes of similar phenomena. When in fact, (1.) multiple causes can produce similar looking effects. Just as (2.) a single cause can produce multiple effects. Also, (3.) multiple causes can combine to produce a singular effect. It goes without saying that (4.) multiple causes can produce multiple effects. For an example of  (1.), acute bronchitis, asthma, and lung cancer are all different from each other even though they can produce similar symptoms.

4. While I list some useful resources below, I don't necessarily agree with everything every resource says or teaches. That's true of any website, book, video, audio or Christian ministry. Discernment is necessary when being exposed to anything.

5. In Christian discussions about UFOs and ETs the subject of the "sons of God" and the Nephilim in Genesis 6:1-4 inevitably comes up. There are various issues involved in the interpretation of the passage. Are the Nephilim the sons of the "sons of God" or are they merely contemporaries? Assuming they are their descendants, who were "the sons of God"? There have been four main interpretations among Christians concerning the "sons of God." Here they are:

1. The "sons of God" refer to the godly line of Seth who intermingled with the godless line of Cain.

2. The “sons of God” merely refers to great men of old, men of renown.

3. The "sons of God" refer to angels (presumably fallen angels, i.e. demons) who cohabited with human women.

4. The "sons of God" were men who were demonically possessed by fallen angels and somehow when they cohabited with human women their offspring were genetically different (thus explaining their gigantic size).
Some people (some of whom [rightly or wrongly] consider themselves "Christians") associate aliens and alien abductions as a continuation of one or both of the last two possible interpretations. Those who do make such associations sometimes claim that alien and/or demonic hybrids are being created, exist and live among human beings unrecognized. I don't rule it out completely, but such views seem to create theological problems that a Christian would want to avoid. For example, are such hybrids eligible for salvation? Most Christians who do associate UFOs and/or alien abductions with Gen. 6 also appeal to Jesus' statement that "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." (Matt. 24:37; Luke 17:26). They usually combine their futurist eschatological view that the return of Christ is near with the current UFO and/or alien abduction phenomena and come to the conclusion that Jesus was predicting the return of the "sons of God" and of the birth of modern day Nephilim. However, when you look at the context of Jesus' statement, He says that in those days they were marrying and being given in marriage (the very next verse in each passage). If there is a connection with Genesis 6, it would seem that Jesus is here making an inspired commentary on Genesis 6 saying that the marriages between the "sons of God" and "the daughters of men" were between human beings. Not between humans and non-human entities. If the "sons of God" were evil demons or those demonically possessed, then in all likelihood they wouldn't go to the trouble of (or bother with) getting married. As Steve says HERE, if the Gen. 6 account is a parallel to Pagan mythologies where the gods impregnate human women, then they would have most likely just raped them and then quickly dumped them. They wouldn't marry them. Just as in modern and past cases of people encountering incubi and succubi. Having said all that, I don't rule out #3 since the view that the "sons of God" were supernatural entities has a long history in both Jewish and Christian tradition. 

[see Old Testament scholar Michael Heiser's website The Divine Council and his many videos on YouTube on the subject and other subjects [e.g. HERE, and HERE]]

Here are some recommendations and links to some of the resources that have led me to my own conclusions regarding UFOs and Extra-Terrestrials:


Videos

The Residual UFO Hypothesis with Hugh Ross part 1 of 12
http://youtu.be/D8vGzOProVY

Return of the Nephilim by Chuck Missler 
http://youtu.be/-0Itl5ChyCs (or Here)

The Question of Other Worlds in Science, Theology and Mythology by Hugh Ross
http://youtu.be/FTXHf2gDSiw

Probability for Life's Existence Elsewhere in the Universe by Hugh Ross
http://youtu.be/FTXHf2gDSiw

UFOs: A Christian Perspective
Part One http://youtu.be/E79XtYLajY0Part Two http://youtu.be/oPXjsDy39WE 

Ancient Aliens Debunked - (full movie) HD
http://youtu.be/j9w-i5oZqaQ

  

Online Texts/Websites

 
 Many people who have claimed to have had reoccurring alien abductions have been able to virtually or completely stop them by appealing to the authority of the name of Jesus. Whereas prior to invoking the name of Jesus they were completely "at the mercy" (or in this case "at the menace") of the abduction phenomena. See This Link HERE for testimonies of people set free from alien abductions. That link is to a page on the AlienResistance.org website. Those who occasionally still have the experience are now able to immediately end them by resisting them in the name of Jesus. This would strongly suggest that the "aliens" were actually demons in disguise (at least in these cases). There's also the logical possibility that some claimed encounters with "aliens" are demonic and some are genuinely of ETs (i.e. extra-terrestrials).

UFO Religions website by Michael S. Heiser

Sitchin Is Wrong  website by Michael S. Heiser

Evidence and Testimonies of Demonic and Angelic Encounters
misclane.blogspot.com/2013/04/evidence-and-testimonies-of-demonic-and.html


Recommended books


Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFOs and Extraterrestrials
by Hugh Ross, Kenneth R. Samples and Mark Clark

BOOK REVIEW: Lights in the Sky & Little Green Men: A Rational Christian Look at UFOs and Extraterrestrials, by Hugh Ross, Kenneth Samples, and Mark Clark (NavPress, 192 pp. plus notes) by Michael S. Heiser

Encounters with UFO'S by John Weldon

UFO's: What on earth is happening? by John Weldon and Zola Levitt
(This may be the previous title of Encounters with UFO'S by John Weldon)

The Facade by Michael S. Heiser

Alien Obsession: What Lies Behind Abductions, Sightings and the Attraction to the Paranormal 
by Ron Rhodes

Come Sail Away : UFO Phenomenon & The Bible by Guy Malone



The following is a reproduction of some of the denials at AlienResistance.org HERE


I too Do NOT (currently) Believe:

- That fallen angel/ human hybridization is taking place today or will take place, aka “a return of the nephilim”.

- That fallen angels, in their physical bodies, look like “greys,” “reptilians,” “insectoids,” or other “species” of “aliens”.

- That fallen angels or nephilim are living among us, looking like regular humans.

- That nephilim live inside secret underground military bases, or caverns.

- That an army of nephilim are secretly being amassed somewhere, to someday be sprung on the unwitting population.

- That political leaders or celebrities are in fact fallen angels or nephilim.

- That the second heaven or third heaven is a “parallel universe” or “parallel dimension”  that exists all around us on earth.

- That fallen angels or nephilim live in the “parallel dimension of the second heaven”, or third heaven, or fly around in UFOs..

- That fallen angels or nephilim live on other planets, or are from other planets.

- That some reported alien species are Holy angels, who travel in UFOs.

- That there is access to a hollow earth via Antarctica, or any other secret location or military base.

- That humans, nephilim, fallen angels, UFOs, Nazis, or descendents of pre-flood people, live in or travel to and from a hollow earth.

- That any humans (save those on the Ark) or nephilim survived the flood of Noah’s time, whether by taking refuge in a hollow earth, the second heaven, outer space, or anywhere else.

- That the tower of Babel was an inter-dimensional portal, or had any technological purpose.

- That human giants who lived after the flood, including human beings with gigantism today, are nephilim.

- That Ezekiel’s wheel was a UFO.

- That a UFO parted the Red Sea, led the Israelites through the desert, or destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, etc.

- That UFOs were responsible for the ascensions of Enoch, Elijah or Jesus to heaven.

- That “chariots” or “clouds of heaven” in the Bible were UFOs or technology used by angels or fallen angels.

- That angels or fallen angels travel around in flying saucers, in the present time or in biblical times.

- That angels or fallen angels, with or without UFOs or technology, are able to travel through time.

- That time travel is possible, or can be found in the Bible, whether done by fallen angels, angels, or humans, even prophets.

- That fallen angels are able to teleport people, open wormholes, or have technology to do such, or ever will.

- That fallen angels need to use and rely on technology, in any way, whatsoever.

- That the books of Enoch, Jasher, Jubilees, or any book not in the Bible, are inspired by God, or can be used like the Bible, as part of “Bible-based” Christian research, teachings, or speculation.

- That the book of Enoch is older than the Bible, or was carried on the Ark of Noah.

- That the antichrist will be Hitler, Nero, or any other dead human from history, resurrected back to life, or cloned.

- That “alien implants” are technology that change you to have “nephilim DNA”.

- That those under the bondage of demonic oppression or possession, even of extreme degrees, are a different species with “nephilim DNA”, sometimes called “Homo Satanas”.

- That those with “nephilim DNA” or of a “nephilim bloodline” have in-born occultic superpowers, like remote viewing or psychic abilities.

- That your family, church family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, even Christians, could potentially be demon-possessed “sleeper agents”, or “Satanic supersoldiers”, possibly with “nephilim DNA”, who might at any time experience a dark supernatural wave or “black awakening” and start trying to kill you, and everyone around them.

- Than Satan procreated with Eve fathering Cain, i.e. the Serpent’s Seed Heresy, or any variant thereof.

- That there are people in existence who look human, but are not eligible for salvation in Jesus Christ, for any reason whatsoever (including but not limited to being of an “alien, fallen angel, nephilim” etc. bloodline – or having any degree of DNA from such).

- That there is any sort of demonic oppression/possession or fallen angelic attack, or bondage that Jesus Christ cannot set a person free from.

Related Links:

Evidence and Arguments Against Materialism and Naturalism
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2014/01/evidence-and-arguments-against.html

Sleep Paralysis, Old Hag Syndrome and Alien Abductions
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2014/03/sleep-paralysis-old-hag-syndrome.html

Near Death Experiences and Christianity
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2014/01/near-death-experiences-and-christianity.html

Alleged Visions, Dreams and Visitations of Jesus to Muslims
http://misclane.blogspot.com/2013/04/alleged-visions-dreams-and-visitations.html









Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Proper Pronunciation of the Sacred Name


There are various "Sacred Namer" groups out there who believe that it's important and necessary to properly pronounce the tetragrammaton, which is the proper name of God in the Old Testament that's made up of four Hebrew consonants. I agree with the majority of professing Christians that it is NOT important or necessary to know this. The various Sacred Namers out there can't seem to agree on what the proper vowel points are or the proper pronunciation. That's because it's a fact that the proper vowel pointing and pronunciation has not be preserved in a way that all scholars can agree on it. In fact, most reputable scholars positively believe it's been completely lost to history and that the best we can do is make an educated guess. The fact that the historical evidence and arguments are not clear suggests to me that the reason might be because God didn't want it preserved in an indisputable way, and so He providentially guided history so that it wasn't. That way, no one could rationally conclude that it was necessary for salvation. Something which some (but not all) Sacred Namers irrationally believe. Even those who don't think one's salvation depends on it often have a superstitious attitude toward what they believe to be the correct pronunciation.

Admittedly, I haven't studied the issue very much since I don't think it's important. Here are just some of the various ways Sacred Namers have said the Divine name should be pronounced.

Yahweh, Yah, Yahveh, Yaveh, Yaweh, Jehova, Jehovah, Jahova, Jahovah, Yahova, Yahovah, Jahowa, Jahowah, Yahavah, Jahavah, Yahowe, Yahoweh, Jahaveh, Jahaweh, Jah, Yahaveh, Yahaweh, Jahuweh, Yahuweh, Iahueh, Jahuwah, Yahuwah, Yah, Jah, Yahu, Jahu, Yahvah, Jahvah, Jahve, Jahveh, Yahve, Yahwe
Here are two Wikipedia articles that deal with this subject. They are both intriguing and informative.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetragrammaton



Approaching the name of God as Sacred Namers do is a form of Gnosticism. And like many forms of Gnosticism, it fosters an elitist mentality. If salvation were dependent on the exact pronunciation of God's name, then that consigns the overwhelming majority of Scripture loving people outside the realm of salvation since even the scholars are not in agreement on the issue. Many Sacred Namer groups also believe in the New Testament (to some degree or another). Yet, strangely their position requires them to believe that people during Jesus' time and before Jesus' time had access to the proper pronunciation of the Divine Name (and therefore of salvation) to a greater degree before the establishment of the New Covenant than after the New Covenant Age and since the coming of the Messiah. Assuming that the first believers in Jesus knew the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (something which some may even dispute), many scholars believe it was clearly lost to history soon afterwards. Though, some believe it was lost even prior to Christ's time. It's also clear that the overwhelming majority of professing Christians during the New Covenant Age didn't believe that its correct pronunciation was crucial to salvation. So, Sacred Namers would have us believe that God sent His Son to earth to save sinners (cf. 1 Tim. 1:15), but failed to indisputably secure the proper pronunciation of His name for posterity's sake. Such a view of God's providence makes such a "God" unworthy to be worshipped.

Even though it doesn't really matter, from the little that I have studied about the subject, I suspect that the proper pronunciation is closer to "Jehovah" or "JehoVAH" or "YehoVAH" or "Yehovah" or "YehoWAH" because of the following works.

Nehemia Gordon a Karaite Jew has written on the subject and his arguments seem to make a lot of sense. Here's a link to two of his works.

The Pronunciation of the Name by Nehemia Gordon

The Ban on the Divine Name by Nehemia Gordon

Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence: The Hebrew Power of the Priestly Blessing Unleashed by Nehemia Gordon is his newest book available for purchase at Amazon.com. It touches on the proper pronunciation of the tetragrammaton.

Here's a video of Gordon being interviewed about his book.
Part ONE,     Part TWO

Another Interview video HERE

REALLY GREAT INTERVIEWS OF NEHEMIA GORDON
↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

The Divine Name YEHOVAH and New Discoveries by Nehemia Gordon (1 of 2) (Kingdom Road Radio: https://youtu.be/29WR8K7RVwg
[[At about a minute and a half after 33 minutes and 34 seconds Nehemia states that he has 16 rabbis in writing saying it's "Yehovah"]

The Divine Name YEHOVAH and New Discoveries by Nehemia Gordon (2 of 2) (Kingdom Road Radio: https://youtu.be/pVHTj1NWnTo


Nehemia addresses Vav vs. Wav Dispute here:Yahweh vs. YHVH: The Name of God - Q&A with Michael Rood & Nehemia Gordon
 https://youtu.be/SsLhk39qEqw
or here https://youtu.be/eoL_TIwkqP8?t=25m45s


Nehemia Gordon: How to Pronounce YHWH in Hebrew The Awakening Report
https://youtu.be/iLMPZrFom3Q

Why would I Ever Stop with Nehemia Gordon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRXMZcuCkkY



Prior to encountering Gordon's articles I came across Carl D. Franklin's works on the subject. From what I can tell, Franklin was (or is) a member of a splinter group of Armstrongism. Or from a "Church of God" sect that's very similar. As a current Evangelical and former Armstrongite, I now consider Armstrongism as heterodox at least, or cultic and heretical at most. Nevertheless, Franklin's three part book "Debunking the Myths of Sacred Namers" first opened my eyes to the possibility that the Divine Name is actually more closely pronounced "Jehovah." Many of the alleged facts Franklin presents are thought provoking. Other alleged facts are suspect. A few of his arguments in the 2nd and 3rd parts of his book seemed weak, but the overall argument of the three parts seemed to be compelling (assuming that his key facts are true regardless of other peripheral errors). However, there were a few things that disturbed me about Franklin's argumentation. He seemed to see a little too much conspiracy happening in the history of the name. Also, he sometimes makes near anti-semitic comments (depending on how you interpret his meaning).  Nevertheless, I recommend his book and other materials on the subject in light of Gordon's actual accredited scholarship.
I emailed Gordon and asked him about Carl D. Franklin's contention in part one of his book that some groups of Jews in the past pronounced Hebrew with a "J" sound. He told me it wasn't true. Not being a scholar, I don't know who is right. I also asked him about how some Karaite Jews pronounce it "Yehowah" rather than his understanding of "Yehovah". Gordon didn't address it.


Debunking the Myths of Sacred Namers by Carl D. Franklin
Part ONE,     Part TWO,     Part THREE     [ Parts 1 & much of 2 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED]

In Defense of Jehovah by Carl D. Franklin

I later contacted Carl D. Franklin and he emailed me four issues of his sect's Theological Research Report (issues 23, 24, 25, & 26 according to the publication). Most of the issues, like much of his main book Debunking the Myths of Sacred Namers, unfortunately has an overly conspiratorial spin on the history of the sacred name. Nevertheless, the last half of the 4th issue has some interesting alleged facts which, if true, conclusively demonstrates why the original pronunciation of the divine name follows the earlier (not modern) Sephardic pronunciation of Hebrew which had the "J" sound, rather than the "Y" sound for the letter jod/yod as it is found among Ashkenazi Jews. The following links are to all four issues. I recommend reading the 2nd half of the fourth issue.

Issue 23
Issue 24
Issue 25
Issue 26         [2nd half of Issue 26 RECOMMENDED]





How to pronounce the Father's name by Peter and Linda Miller-Russo

Here's a link to a video by another Karaite Jew who argues that the correct Pronunciation is "Yehowah"

The Name of Elohim (God): Yehowah or Yehovah? by Melech ben Ya'aqov



Here's a link to Calvinist scholar Francis Nigel Lee's book:

JeHoVaH, YaHWeH, and the Lord Jesus by Dr. Nigel Lee

I haven't read the entire book yet, but from what I can tell, while he's not dogmatic on what the correct pronunciation is, he does seem to say that it could have been "Jehovah". That's unlike many conventional scholars who outright reject that possibility. Dr. F.N. Lee's expertise is in other fields, so I wouldn't be surprised if he made some mistakes in the book. But it's clear from a perusal of the book that he tried to be accurate and at least semi-exhaustive.


Here are other links to articles defending a pronunciation closer to "Jehovah" by people whose scholarship is questionable.

Jehovah by Scott Jones

Here's a YouTube video of a guy who has studied the issue and uses "Yehovah" even though he admits no one can be sure which is the proper pronunciation. He gives some examples of other pronunciations and then gives his reason for using "Yehovah" http://youtu.be/OWSDkMcsfh8



Here are some links to some general articles that argue against Sacred Namers. I'll be adding more as I come across sufficiently acceptable articles.

The Sacred Name Movement by Let Us Reason Ministries Part 1 of 4
Part ONE,     Part TWO,     Part THREE,     Part FOUR

Directory of Sacred Name Groups by Let Us Reason Ministries


UPDATE:

see also Gérard Gertoux's book The Name of God Y.eH.oW.aH Which is Pronounced as it is Written I Eh oU Ah: Its Story 

There's the complete version and Gertoux's 2015 simplified edition. Both are available on Amazon.com.

One reviewer of Gertoux's book makes excellent good points which I agree with:

Linguists recognise that in the evolution of a language, the vowels change more noticably than the consonents. For example, The short vowels of British Recieved Pronunciation are manifested as dipthongs or even tripthongs in many accents of the Southern United States. In 1940s Britain, the present [æ] phoneme was pronounced more like [e], and this is a time difference of only 60 years!!!

Anglo-Saxon words of 900 years ago, are recognised by etymologists as antecendents of Modern English primarily by their consonents, because vowels, semi-vowels, and glides change even from generation to generation. The Anglo-Saxon language of 900 years ago is a "foreign language" in that it has changed beyond recognition due to linguistic factors such as ablaut, semi-vocalisation, palatisation.

The fact that the name YHWH is made up entirely of slippery semi-vowels, and possibly aspirants, renders it very difficult for linguists to extrapolate an original form.

palatal [j] --- semi-vowel [y] --- vowel[i]

labiodental[v] --- biablial[β] --- semi-vowel[w] --- vowel[u]

(This demonstrates semi-vocalisation, palatisation and the forming of approximants)

Ablaut is shown in the gradual vowel changes of the Proto-Indo-European *[pod] to the Latin *[ped] to the authors own language French: 'pied' [pye] ('d' not reflected in modern pronunciation)

To be objective though, the change from PIE *[pod] to the Anglo-Saxon [fo:t] to our present pronunciation of 'foot' [fut] is less striking with regard to consonent preservation, but we still notice a general trend of vowel "slipperyness".

Ablaut (or apophony) is also demonstrated by the the pluralisation of 'man' to 'men' or that of 'goose' to 'geese'. This is common in Amharic, ANOTHER SEMITIC LANGUAGE.

ASSUMING that the Hebrew language underwent linguistic changes similar to Amharic, in the 1070 years between the first and last books of the Old Testanment (compared to the 900 years between Beowulf and the present literature), it is quite possible that many pronunciations of The Name came in and went out of use, especially in view of the Jewish prohibition of pronouncing the name.

Due to the ablaut of the unwritten and "un-pin-downable" vowels in Hebrew, the name Y.eH.oW.aH (Jehovah/Yehowah), could easily have been Y.aH.oW.eH (Yahweh/Yahoweh) or even hypothetical Y.iH.uW.H (Jihuβh) or iY.H.uW.H (Ihuh).

I appreciate the depth of research and reasoning that Gertoux has undertaken but i still believe from a linguistic point of view that is impossible to determine the original pronunciation of The Name and therefore any dogmatic attempts to support ANY of the varients are futile, even with the support of personal names such as Yehoshuah/Yahushuah/Yeshua.




Revelation of the divine name by Steve Hays
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2016/10/revelation-of-divine-name.html


Friday, August 9, 2013

Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Reformed Theology by Paul Manata



Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Reformed Theology:
A Contemporary Introduction by Paul Manata 

 http://analytictheologye4c5.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/free-will-and-moral-responsibility-intro11.pdf
OR here:
https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/12171971/free-will-moral-responsibility-and-reformed-theology-analytic-/41



 Here's a link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's article on Free Will. It gives an overview of what philosophers are currently saying about the topic.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/freewill/


See also this Facebook Discussion between Manata and Jerry Walls

VAN GOGH AND CALVINISM
http://triablogue.blogspot.com/2014/01/van-gogh-and-calvinism.html  




Calvinism & the Origin of Sin audio lecture
by James Anderson
(from the 2014 GPTS Spring Conference)



Calvinism and Determinism by James Anderson  
http://www.proginosko.com/2014/07/calvinism-and-determinism/




Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

The following are links to the audio or text of the classic book Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. To say this is a classic is an understatement. Here's a link to Wikipedia's article on the book:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mere_Christianity

Notes:
1. C.S. Lewis uses the enigmatic abbreviation "H.C.F." Some interpret it to mean "Holy Catholic Faith" while others "Highest Common Factor." Lewis uses "H.C.F." in the third chapter of The Abolition of Man: "What is now common to all men is a mere abstract universal, an H.C.F...." From both contexts, it seems Lewis would most likely mean "Highest Common Factor."


(HIGH QUALITY AUDIO)

or

Audiobook on YouTube
(version 2)

or

(version 3)

or




The only surviving audio of C.S. Lewis' original radio broadcasts on which the book Mere Christianity was based. HERE



Text of the book Mere Christianity

HERE

or


or 



Wikipedia's Article on the book Mere Christianity


Why 'Mere Christianity' Should Have Bombed:

A C.S. Lewis Factsheet
Why Evangelicals need to be discerning while reading C.S. Lewis

Here's a link to C.S. Lewis' sermon "The Weight of Glory"
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this sermon for anyone. Including non-Christians.