Truths We Believe about God 3

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching, Spiritual Discernment

A Biblical & Theological Rejection of Wm. Paul Young’s
 book, “Lies We Believe About God” (Third in a series.)

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”
—Emphasis added, Jeremiah 23:16-17

A Review of the Book’s Chapters

The Book’s Foreword, Introduction and Chapters 1-14

We turn now to review each chapter of Lies We Believe About God. The reviews will include a summary of Young’s belief, citation(s) of Scripture which contradict or confirm the author’s beliefs, and my personal comments for purpose of clarification. Based upon what you read, you can decide who is telling the truth. Note: I do not necessarily disagree with all the points Young makes in his arguments about what God would not say, but my agreements are sparse. We begin with the forward written by Wm. Paul Young’s friend, Dr. C. Baxter Kruger.

Foreword
• Kruger: “Who is Jesus, really? What does His existence mean? There are many answers.” (LWBAG, 7)
• The Apostle Peter: (Addressing Jesus from a perspective of many answers) “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Emphasis added, Matthew 16:16)
Comments: Kruger answers the “who is Jesus question” in his Foreword. He explains that speaking the name of Jesus is confessing that there is no separation between the Trinity and humans, only relationship. “Jesus is Himself the relationship;” says Kruger, “He is the union between the Triune God and the human race.” (LWBAG, 11) To Kruger, Jesus’ identity involves being the great unifier of the Tri-Personal God with all humanity which union brings the Jesus-Trinity’s new covenant kingdom to earth. To Kruger the kingdom is totally now and involves no future millennial and messianic reign of Christ on earth (Isaiah 9:6-7; Revelation 20:4, 6; ). Observation: If the kingdom is already present (this is called realized eschatology), then the Jesus-Trinity’s kingdom is a mess!
Kruger states that Young’s teachings stand “in the mainstream of historic Christian confession . . .” (LWBAG, 12) A consultation with one dictionary of theology informs that apokatastasis (another word for universalism or restitution of creation to its original pristine condition; see Acts 3:21, “Jesus Christ . . . Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution [apokatastasis] of all things”) was taught by Clement of Alexandria (c. 150- c. 215), Origen (c. 185-c. 254) who was influenced by Clement and Gnostics and declared a heretic by the early church, Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330-c. 394), John Scotus Erigena (c. 810-c. 877), Friedrich Schleimacher (1768-1834), Karl Rahner (1904-1984) and some others. The Council at Constantinople (AD 543) declared the universal salvation-restoration of humanity, as held by those early church fathers, to be heretical. [23] One scholar informs that, “Jerome, Augustine, and most evangelicals, while insisting on an eschatological restoration by Christ [Acts 3:21], deny the corollary assertion of the ultimate salvation of all men.” [24] Though in Kruger’s opinion Young stands in Christendom’s “mainstream,” his universalism belongs to a heretical minority, not the orthodox majority. Universalism-apokatastasis might be compared to an upstream tributary that flows into Indiana’s Wabash river which connects to the Ohio and then to the Mississippi. As the waters of the Mississippi totally engulf the waters from the Wabash’s tributary, so the teaching of mainstream Christianity overwhelms belief in universal salvation. Further, just because the waters of universalism flow within the “mainstream” does suggest they’re fit to drink!

Introduction
• Young: “‘Words you will never hear God say.’ . . . I keep a record of wrongs.” (LWBAG, 15)
• The Apostle John: “The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” (Revelation 20:12; Compare Daniel 7:10.)
Comments: On this point, Young raises a half truth which he turns into a whole truth, and as such becomes a lie of a different sort, but a lie nonetheless. True. For those who are forgiven, God does not remember sins. Of Israel’s disobedience, Micah predicted that after judging the nation, Yahweh “will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19). For the nation’s disobedience Yahweh stated, “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” (Isaiah 43:25) But, as the Scripture from Revelation 20 tells us, God remembers the sins of rebels and will, as any good prosecutor, “throw the book at them.”

Chapter 1
“God loves us, but doesn’t like us.”
• Young: “In the religious subculture in which I was raised, we all knew that God is love.  . . . But saying ‘God is love’ does not capture our question [Does God like us?]. . . .” (LWBAG, 27)
• Jesus Christ: “The Father himself loveth (Greek, phileo) you [the disciples], because ye have loved (phileo) me, and have believed that I came out from God.” (John 16:27)
• Jesus Christ: “Greater love (agape) hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (philon). Ye are my friends (philon), if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:3-4)
• James the Brother of Jesus: “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend (philos) of God.” (James 2:23)
Comments: This verb and noun for love (phileo/philos) means “to love . . . approve of . . . like . . . treat affectionately . . . kindly . . . [and] befriend.” [25] Yes, God engulfs in the arms of His love those who by faith come to Jesus to be forgiven of their sins and thereby become His sons and daughters. But He also likes us!   
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Truths We Believe about God 2

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching, Spiritual Discernment

A Biblical & Theological Rejection of Wm. Paul Young’s
 book, “Lies We Believe About God” (Second in a series.)

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation [“a matter of one’s own interpretation,” NASB]. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
—The Apostle Peter, 2 Peter 1:20-21

The Book’s Audience

Note the book’s title, Lies we believe about God. Though he may previously have believed “truths” he now labels “lies,” the book’s contents indicate Young no longer believes the lies he claims to expose. The use of the personal pronoun “we” in the title is therefore disingenuous, but designed to get readers to identify with his faith-struggle and reject what he believes are lies about God (Twenty-eight of them!). In other words, he might not be as “one” with all his readers as the use of “we” in the title implies, unless they too believe the lies. The book’s title might have been like, “Lies you believe about God,” or “Lies I used to believe about God.” But that would have sounded too preachy and judgmental in an evangelical culture addicted to feeling good about everything and believing nothing. No author or publisher wants to alienate potential buyers and readers. Better that he, his editor and publisher adopt a strategy of first connecting with a reading audience and then seducing them to reject truths the author calls lies, which the pronoun “we” attempts to do. Even though they might not understand the Christian faith as he does, with the title the author wants to lure readers into a “conversation” he hopes will change what they believe about God.

The Book’s Assertion

Young’s Big Lie: Everyone’s a child of God.
By stating one lie that “not everyone is a child of God” (LWBAG, Chapter 24), the author thereby infers the opposite to be true—that because they’re inside with the Tri-Personal God, “everyone’s a child of God.” In a previous chapter the author confronts a corolary lie, “You need to get saved.” (LWBAG, Chapter 13) Evidently, he views the word “saved” as archaic and inappropriate for his template. Point blank Young states:

Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? That you believe in universal reconciliation?
That is exactly what I am saying!
This is real good news! (LWBAG, 118)

Perverting the Gospel
To him this gospel of universalism is “real good news”! (Contra 1 Corinthians 15:3-4.) Without exception, Young believes all people are children of God, even an atheist friend who he thinks is a child of God not because he believes in God, but because he’s a loyal family man and lives according to virtues like “Love . . . Life . . . Truth” (LWBAG, 204-205). Oh, by the way, it’s okay to have atheist friends. Admittedly, atheists can live moral lives, and that’s good. But like many nominal Christians, not all do. We can only wonder why Young employed a moral atheist as an example of universal reconciliation and not one of the grossly immoral atheists who deceived and murdered millions of people, villains who did not live according to “Love . . . Life . . . Truth.” Yet according to Young’s paradigm, these villains can be considered, even if they weren’t in this life, to have become or are becoming God’s friends (e.g., Marx, Stalin, Freud, Nietzsche, Shelley, etc.). But such negative examples would obviously insult the consciences of readers (they know these individuals were grossly wrong and beyond the pale of decency). But using a bad atheist as an illustration would contradict the point the author strives to make: that a good atheist is a child of God based upon the quality of life he/she lives despite in spite of not believing in God and Christ. What about atheists who in this life exhibited no standards of goodness, are they in heaven? If “everyone’s saved” as Young believes, then the answer must be, “Yes!” But such a scenario is biblically, morally and theologically repugnant, an affront to the righteousness in and by which God rules the universe. As the Psalmist declared, “For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee” (Emphasis added, Psalm 5:4; see 34:16; Habakkuk 1:13, etc.).
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Truths We Believe about God 1

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching, Spiritual Discernment

A Biblical & Theological Rejection of Wm. Paul Young’s
book, “Lies We Believe About God”
(First in a series.)

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
—The Apostle Peter, 2 Peter 2:1, KJV

Introduction
As promoted by the best-selling religious allegory The Shack, a non-Christian worldview is playing around with the mind and soul of evangelicalism even to questioning of salvation’s meaning. With the release of the movie by the same name, The Shack’s verbal images are now being visualized. Contemporaneously and capitalizing upon the publicity generated by the movie, yet another book by Wm. Paul Young has hit the market, Lies We Believe About God. [1] What Young covertly taught by allegory and metaphor in The Shack he now overtly teaches in Lies—teachings among others, regarding God, humanity, love, and salvation. Reportedly, Young admitted that, “The Shack is theology.” And then added, “But it is a theology wrapped in a story.” [2] Now in Lies We Believe About God, the shrouded “story” plays a more minor role as Wm. Paul Young openly states his theology. Young continues to exert a compelling presence among mainstream evangelicals through his interviews, books and release of the movie, The Shack. Leaders Pat Robertson and James Robison have praised the movie. [3] Featuring the book’s author, the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has recently aired a weekly program Restoring The Shack. [4]

Why Be a Christian?
But despite their popularity, Young’s teachings contradict what Scripture teaches about God, humanity, love and salvation (his contention being that all people are reconciled to God, are friends with God; i.e., universalism), and this conflict needs to be addressed. His revisionist thinking about “Christian beliefs” does not derive from seeing the faith through the lens of Holy Scripture, though he might pretend it to be otherwise, but rather through a prism of his life experiences and emotions. His devastating life experiences while growing up in New Guinea as an MK (Missionary Kid) may explain his journey as to why he has come to believe what he believes. But while the negative emotions aroused by his experiences, and similarly those of others, may explain why Young feels the way he does about some of the evangelical culture’s expressions of belief, they do not excuse his departure from biblical Christianity; that is, if biblical Christianity is to remain the true way of understanding and approaching God. The purpose of this writing is not to deal with all the issues Young raises in Lies We Believe About God. While he raises a few legitimate concerns which I might share, most of them are illegitimate. What I find irreconcilable with the authority of Scripture is the template he forces on the Christian faith and how wedded to his life experiences, he tries to fit the Bible and its teachings into the psychological and philosophical way he views the world.

For example, if as he states, all people are universally reconciled to God (Young: Are you suggesting that everyone is saved? . . . That is exactly what I am saying! LWBAG, 118), then why believe Christianity? (John 14:6) Isn’t that Young’s point by using an atheist as an example of being a child of God to disprove the lie, “Not Everyone is a child of God.”? (LWBAG, Chapter 24, 203-208) [5] If early Christians had not believed in the exclusivity of the Gospel, the Christian church’s genius would have been lost and Christianity would have reduced itself to the status of a sect in the first century. If I thought universalism to be true, I would possess no compulsion to believe Christianity or encourage others to place their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. If in the Trinity I along with every other soul on this planet already have an eternal and loving relationship with God, then no matter what I believe or how I behave I am going to be God’s friend and go to heaven anyway, right? It may take time to work out the friendship between God and me, but we’ll get there.
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“Demons, Daughters and DNA”: A Sequel and Response

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Discernment, False Teaching

A Grammatical Analysis of Genesis 6:4 over the Question,
Were the Daughters of Adam Impregnated with Nephilim by the  Sons of God?

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when [or because] the sons of God came in to the daughters of men, and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
Emphasis added, Genesis 6:4, NASB

The Scenario
Before presenting a grammatical study of Genesis 6 verse 4, allow the explanation of some background as to why this study is being presented now. As readers of the Herescope blog may be aware, those espousing a new prophetic paradigm assert that at present, the human gene pool is being corrupted for reason of the invasion of extraterrestrial beings that are cohabitating with human women, resulting in the birthing of a mutant species of creature, part human and part supernatural. Espousers of this scenario argue that what happened in Noah’s day before the Flood is again happening now as, according to Jesus’ prophecy, the end of the world approaches (Genesis 6:4; 6:5-7:24; Matthew 24:3, 37). The birth of a genetically altered species of Nephilim before the Deluge helps explain why God destroyed the world then. So fast forward millennia. It is assumed that the same kind of invasion-mating scenario is happening now as earth ripens for God’s judgment again (2 Peter 3:3-10). After all, Jesus said that the times prefatory to His Second Coming would be “just like the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37). As there were genetically altered creatures (Nephilim) before God’s judgment of the world then, so there will be, given the nearness of the end, such mutants now. These new Nephilim are rapidly spreading, and they owe their origin to the mating of extraterrestrial sons with terrestrial daughters. This is the scenario proponents of the new prophetic paradigm are promoting in their books, lectures and conferences.

A Challenge
Back in June of 2011, I wrote a paper presenting the results of my study regarding the antediluvian Nephilim titled “Demons, Daughters and DNA.” [1] Admittedly, the study was written in part to defend Gaylene Goodroad who had been a member of the church I pastored before retirement, and whose expose of the new prophetic paradigm was being questioned and discredited. At that time, details of the controversy were not on my radar. Only recently did I become aware that a website promoting the new prophetic paradigm challenged the credibility of my study (“Demons, Daughters and DNA”), especially regarding knowledge of the Hebrew language. [2] Specifically, the challenge regarded a quote I employed to buttress my belief that Nephilim already existed on earth at the time “when” the sons of God mated with the daughters of men.

My response is that if the Nephilim existed before or “when” the sons of God took wives from the daughters of Adam, it becomes difficult to see how such unions could account for the-coming-into-being of a race of giants if they already existed. In short, when the sons of God cohabited with the daughters of men, the reading of the text indicated that Nephilim were already “on the earth in those days” (Genesis 6:4).
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The Holy Spirit and Holy Scripture

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Charismania, False Teaching

Did Jesus promise “revelations” would continue?

“I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” Jesus to His Disciple/Apostles, John 16:12-13, KJV, Emphasis added.

The New Apostolic Reformation (i.e., NAR), a charismatic movement within evangelicalism’s “big tent,” believes that just as the Holy Spirit guides Christians into “all truth,” He also reveals new truths—i.e., “things to come.” In their belief, not only does the Spirit bear witness to the Bible He inspired (which He does, 1 Corinthians 2:6-15), but He also anoints contemporary apostle/prophets and apostlette/prophetesses to receive and reveal authoritative new revelations. These latter-day and latter-rain seers argue that Jesus’ promise to His disciples authorizes their reception of new revelations. (See above citation.)

Continuing Revelation
For instance, Sandi Freed tells her followers she believes “in anointed times and seasons.” Then after citing John 16:12, she comments that for “King’s Kids” engaging in spiritual warfare, “This is an amazing passage—it explains why we receive revelation at specific times.” [1] Again, another advocate of latter-day-latter-rain revelations tells readers,

Throughout the world millions recognize this present day as the consummation of the ages and God’s grand finale with latter rain truth. The Scriptures tell us that [John 16:13] the Spirit of Truth is promised as our heritage to guide us into all truth and to show us things to come. [2]

He then explains: “The Lord is standing at the door knocking with a personal invitation for profound fellowship and the unveiling of latter rain revelation.” [3] He tells followers that they must “soar with” the Holy Spirit so that He will give them revelations like the one the Spirit gave him; which revelation was, “Go deep in order to go high!” [4] But using John 16:12 to endorse reception of “new revelations” is not restricted to Charismatic Christians. Cults and other religions have hitchhiked on Jesus’ words to validate their extra-biblical revelations.
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Accommodating the Culture

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for Emergent Church, False Teaching

The author of Sex God endorses same-sex marriages [1]

Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” James 4:4, KJV

As one who has followed Rob Bell’s career for almost a decade, from the time he was the youth pastor at the church I grew up in, Calvary Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and then as the founding pastor of the Mars Hill Bible Church in suburban Grandville of the same city, I wondered when he, as he seemed so bent on being culturally relevant, would finally out what he really thought about same sex marriages.[2] Well, now he has, and not surprisingly, at least to me (I spotted him as a false teacher a decade ago, for false teachers always seem engaged to the culture more than to Christ), he recently endorsed same sex marriages in the friendly confines in of all places, the liberal Grace Cathedral in San Francisco during a forum held Sunday, March 17, 2013.[3] In this endorsement he has taken cue from political leaders (the President comes to mind, as also recently, Hillary Clinton), for they too are ever testing the political winds of fortune to see which direction they’re a’ blowing. When asked about his position on homosexual marriage, Bell stated:

I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs—I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.[4]
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“Babylon Rising” and Canon in Crisis

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching

Apocrypha, Pseudepigrapha, Fresh Revelations, and an “Open” Canon

 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” Paul, 2 Timothy 4:4, Emphasis Added.

Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871-1952), the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, once reportedly said that all heresy is either the Bible plus, or the Bible minus. The work of radical higher criticism, as it has affected, even determined, the liberal view of the Christian faith since the late 1800s, has seen to it that there’s a lot of Bible-minus ideology amongst professing Christians now-a-days, even among so-called evangelicals. Now however, voices are emerging which advocate a Bible-plus view of Holy Scripture. One such voice has stated:

While I do believe that the Holy Bible is Divinely inspired and written by men, I do not necessarily hold to the idea that only the 66 books we now have in our (Protestant) bibles are the sole Divinely inspired books of antiquity. [1] (BR, Chapter 1, 1, Emphasis added) [2]

Why does Rob Skiba,  the author who wrote this statement above, not limit inspiration of ancient books to only to the sixty-six of the Protestant canon? It appears that he and others like Tom Horn, Joseph Lumpkin, and Chuck Missler, need other books of antiquity and mythologies to integrate paranormal activity with the end-times scenario that they are seeking to create, a scenario Skiba calls, “The Genesis Six Experiment.” (BR, Chapter 2, 1-2)
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False Profits and False Prophets

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching

Greed: the opportunity for spiritual deception.

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness [in their greed, NASB] shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” 2 Peter 2:1-3a, KJV

First came WorldCom, and then came Enron. By creating fraudulent reports of illusory earnings, both corporations bilked thousands of naïve investors out of their hard earned life savings. Then came Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, federal lending agencies that doled out billions of dollars in mortgage loans to borrowers who had little chance of repaying them. “Fannie and Freddie” proceeded to sell the bad loans to banks that in turn pawned them off to other banks that yet again, resold the bad loans other banks. Banks were bankrupted, the Dow was halved, people’s retirement funds were pilfered, and the whole nation looked to the federal government to bail the nation out of the financial crisis, a mess which in essence, was the result of human greed. So to refill the coffers of the bankrupt banks, the President and Congress created a federal “stimulus package” of trillions of dollars that further mortgaged America’s future. We’re paying off one credit card by borrowing on another. With such a monetary policy, the American dream may well turn into an American nightmare. It’s craziness to think that anyone, including the federal government, can borrow itself out of debt. But there’s more . . . Greed’s also rampant in our economy’s private sector.
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Demons, Daughters and DNA

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching

The Sons of God, the Daughters of Men, and the Nephilim in Genesis 6.

“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . . There were giants in the earth in those days; and [there were giants] also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Emphasis added, Genesis 6:1-2, 4, KJV

Recently, question has arisen over the understanding of the daughters of men, sons of God and mighty men of old as described in the Genesis record, question that has been occasioned by a recent post on the Herescope blog. [1] Because Herescope doubts the sensational understanding of the biblical text (i.e., Genesis 6:1-5) by Tom and Nita Horn around which they construct their chapter “The Spirit Behind Transhumanism” (Chapter 9) in their book, Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald the Dawn of Techno-Dimensional Warfare, one critic debunks the Herescope article asserting that the Horns’ understanding of the text in question is the only valid one. [2]
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Apostatizing from the Apostle

by Pastor Larry DeBruyn for False Teaching

Oh, and by the Way, from Jesus Too!

In his recent book A New Kind of Christian, emergent church leader Brian McLaren explains that there are two disparate story lines (we might call them story lineups) explaining Jesus.[1] The dominant narrative, the Greco-Roman, arose out of an Aristotelian-Platonic philosophical dualism that has dominated the AD era (That is, after Jesus lived and died), and explains Jesus from what is an ongoing Western perspective. Of the bent of the Greco-Roman philosophical mindset, McLaren explains that it

was habitually dualistic, in the sense that an enlightened or philosophical mind would always see the world divided in two, the profane physical world of matter, stuff, and change on the low side and the sacred metaphysical world of ideals, ideas, spirit, and changelessness on the high side.[2]

This Greco-Roman “story line” has dominated how western civilization and Christendom has understood Jesus for centuries, having molded His narrative according its perspective of reality (i.e., the cosmos and the universe). The recessive narrative, the Hebrew, arose out of the cultural milieu of the BC era (That is, before Jesus’ life), and explains Jesus in what was an emerging story that was Eastern in perspective.


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