Religious Neutrality and Philosophical / Scientific Theories

I meant ‘you’ in a generic sense. The comment wasn’t directed at anyone. I just noticed and felt the need to remark at the irony of how on one hand an infinite number of past events are considered possible, and on the other “forever and ever” isn’t supposed to be in reference to eternity. I didn’t plan on the conversation to come to a head like this, but here it is.

The eternity of “forever and ever” and the impossibility of snapping your fingers an infinite number of times.

So … to the point of the discussion at hand … are you agreeing then that the English phrase “forever and ever” as used in our translations does not necessarily imply what so often gets packed into that in these modern times?

(to the part of your comment you removed) Before we were talking about Revelation we were talking about that. So it is an appropriate comparison.

What difference does it make? You are so thoroughly convinced of what it doesn’t mean, I don’t think any NT scholar could convince you otherwise.

I’m not an NT scholar. So this was my way of giving you a chance to inform me about any NT scholars you may know of who say it does. If you don’t have any names to offer, that’s fine. I might still be wrong about my suspicions, and would be glad to be corrected. I’m only suspicious because I can see other places in the Bible where that same phrase meant something like an eternity (to the perspective of the speakers or audience) but would seem nonetheless not to reliably refer to a literal eternity such as what so many modern people think of. Or it might literally mean that but still be hyperbole. Such as when I say … “this sermon is going on forever!” - I do literally mean an eternity as far as plain word meaning, but am not meaning with my observation to suggest that it is an actually unending sermon.

I really would be curious what such as N.T. Wright would say about this.


In this and much else in the Bible it seems like an obvious mistake to import a modern notion of precision. The language specific to mathematics and science doesn’t belong to that time.


Take at look at how “forever and ever” occurs in Revelation, that is the point I see Osbourne highlighting. It’s easy to say it can’t apply to eternity when it applies to judgement, but it then applies to eternity when it’s applied to the Lord.

N.T. Wright, while not speaking directly to this issue, or maybe he is indirectly, in his book Surprised by Hope, wrote about when a person is so identified with sin, and has so become that which they worshipped, that in the final analysis or judgement (I am paraphrasing from memory) they pass into a state of being beyond all pity. This is how I see Wright combining annihilation and eternal torment.


More often than not, it is the the Spirit of God that convicts a person of their need for a Savior. Not Bible scholars who have spent their lives understanding the language and culture, as important as that is.

On second thought, the Spirit is essential, whether it be with the sermon of a country preacher who stirred the soul of a young Billy Graham or the countless other encounters with the Holy Spirit, that God’s Saints have stumbled upon.

Aaah, though!

  • The problem with Kraybill’s book is it has no time tables, cares nothing for them even.
  • The stuff is done and over with, and we can learn from it, but have no control over it at all.
  • In the end, Jesus wins and doesn’t need our help.
  • The views my fellow church memebers there had of Israel were no longer justifiable, and their voting habits and politics were severely challenged by not being a part of the end times any more.

“Precisely. Doesn’t that make more sense?” I thought to my ignorant self.

  • A dispensational view of eschatology was in the church doctrinal statement, and since Kraybill directly challenged such, I was breaking my own collection development rule.

No way out of that one.

As a librarian, I resemble a crow. I am an information scavenger, because it’s everywhere. In and out of contexts. Sometimes there is something worth digging into and digesting; other times it is a fleeting, shiny object. Often it’s useful but not yet. Stick it in the nest, and pull it out again, if I can remember where I hid it.
I love learning about new things; some of the most interesting ones have come from some of the brilliant patrons I work with at the state library.

I never love having someone tell me that a different view of a topic is so wrong that no one else should be allowed to be aware of or consider it, that no one should have access to a fairly standard understanding of biblical interpretation in a well-written book, so that they can think through the pros and cons, because it disagrees with the doctrinal statement on a matter that is way down the list of doctrinal priorities.

Good thing I had bought the book with my own money. No ethical questions about bringing it home.


Never ever cared for them myself

Careful there. Some go full preterist, and that is another error, and far worse than believing Jesus will return before the end of the evening.

Which is why his threats of being cutoff from the tree of life are no joke.

I never thought that much about that.

I have a near mint first edition of David Chilton’s Days of Vengeance and wouldn’t sell it for $500… maybe for a $1000.

I think I paid about 5 bucks for my first edition of Kraybill. I’d sell it for $20 (+S&H). I know where I can get an alternate copy! : )

No, I don’t think that was it. But he’ll have to speak for himself.

If you hung out with the people I do/did, you would. This stuff is a BIG DEAL for them. And a lot of my relatives. O h, m y.

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