2,297 reputation
116
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location Pittsburgh, PA
age 63
visits member for 10 months
seen 3 mins ago

For the last 56 years, I have been a practicing Christian (liberally conservative and evangelical). Should any posting I make to any Stack Exchange website pique your curiosity as to the what and why of my beliefs, feel free to communicate with me at drlarter@yahoo.com. I do not claim to have all the answers--let alone all the questions(!), but I would consider it a privilege to discuss Christianity with you in a rational and civilized fashion.

My wife (a native Egyptian and Christian) and I have been married over 40 years. We have two grown children who have flown the coop, making us empty nesters.

I have a Master's degree in Speech Communications and three years of doctoral studies in Rhetorical Theory at the University of Pittsburgh. After a brief stint as a teacher of public speaking, I embarked on a couple of different and totally divergent pursuits by owning and operating two small businesses.

Tired of being in business for myself, I went back to school at Duquesne University's Paralegal Institute in Pittsburgh, where I was certified recently as a paralegal. I am currently looking for employment in that field, and would like to round out the last stage of my work life in some area of jurisprudence.

A rhetorical perspective is almost as natural to me as breathing. Overt and covert attempts at persuasion, whether written or spoken, are my legitimate targets for analysis, evaluation, and criticism. Of particular interest to the EL&U web site contributors would be, with some adaptations and modifications, the traditional canons of speech: style (elocutio), invention (inventio), organization (dispositio), memorability (memoria), and delivery (pronuntiatio or actio) .


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comment Why would Jesus ask, “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
@JohnMartin: You're welcome, John. I've since edited my answer a bit by including a few more references. The words "received up" from Luke 9:51 triggered Hebrews 12:2 in my mind. Prior to His death, Jesus took the "long view." Happy Easter, John. Don
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revised Why would Jesus ask, “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
tidied it up a bit
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revised Why would Jesus ask, “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
a few minor fix-ups
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comment Why would Jesus ask, “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
@user2479: You're welcome, I'm sure. Thanks for your words of encouragement. Don
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answered Why would Jesus ask, “the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”
2d
comment What does “meek” mean in Matthew 5:5?
Regarding Jesus' teaching on "turning the cheek" . . .. Jesus mentioned the right cheek first, because when delivered by a person's right hand, a slap to the right cheek would be what we call today "a back-handed slap," which to this day is an insulting slap. If meekness is strength under control, then giving your left cheek to your smiter is a meek way of asserting your superiority and your unwillingness to admit you are deserving of an insulting back-handed slap. IOW, you're saying to your smiter, "So you think I'm deserving of an insulting slap on my left cheek? Then here's my left cheek."
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comment What does “meek” mean in Matthew 5:5?
@JonEricson: I think the best definition of meek I've ever come across is that meekness is "strength under control." In other words, to be meek is not necessarily to be weak, either physically, or mentally, or both! Jesus was tremendously strong, morally and even physically (he was, after all, a builder for many years prior to His going public), yet He said clearly in Matthew 11:29 KJV, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
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comment Does Jesus drink wine?
Nice, evenhanded answer. Kudos. Don
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comment Does Jesus drink wine?
@JimThio: Who said ANYONE got drunk? I don't remember reading that in the text of Scripture. A few observations: 1) Wine in those days was safer to drink that plain ol' un-chlorinated water (before the germ theory of disease was discovered); 2) wine in those days was likely very weak; whereas most wines today contain 13-15 percent alcohol content, wine in Jesus' day contained perhaps a third or a quarter of that amount of alcohol; 3) the wedding reception in Cana was a joyous occasion, and wine in moderation makes the heart glad (Psalm 104:15 NAS). In short, Jesus was definitely NOT a killjoy!
Apr
14
comment Implicit Biblical References in Popular Secular Works
Yeah, I guess it's the phenomenon that is called "the dumbing down of America." By the way, I read "Confederacy of Dunces." Hated it, just hated it. I feel guilty having read it. In my opinion, it was a complete waste of time, but I slogged through it because a former professor of mine said I'd be culturally illiterate if I DIDN'T read it. How wrong he was. Don
Apr
14
comment Implicit Biblical References in Popular Secular Works
OK. Gotcha. You might be interested in reading Allan Bloom's "The Closing of the American Mind." Though not a Christian, Bloom bemoans "how higher education has failed democracy and impoverished the souls of today's students." One reason for this failure and impoverishment is our culture's giving short shrift to the classics of literature, including the Bible. It's a good read. Don
Apr
13
comment Implicit Biblical References in Popular Secular Works
I'm not sure I understand your question. Let's say someone DOES count, for example, the # of allusions to the Bible in the "top ten" you cite (Don Quixote and Huck Finn), to what "top ten" MODERN books would you compare the older books? Doesn't a great deal depend on who the authors are? I would not expect authors who do not have a biblical worldview to allude to Scripture very much, if at all. If you were to take on this project yourself, you would probably be better off choosing 20 books--of similar genres--at random from yesteryear and from modern times (e.g., 1800-1900, and 1900-2000).
Apr
12
comment What is the “great mystery” in Ephesians 5:32?
@WalrustheCat: It's not unusual for me to delete a comment, edit it, and then re-submit it. My question--ahem--still remains: whom did John consider himself to be? What was his role as "friend of the bridegroom"? Why wouldn't he be part of the church universal? Are there two churches, as it were, with OT saints comprising one church, and NT saints comprising another? Inquiring minds want to know. Don
Apr
11
comment What is the “great mystery” in Ephesians 5:32?
@WalrustheCat: Did I say "gotcha"? Our only point of disagreement may center on our divergent interpretations of John 3:29. Whereas my interpretation sees 1) Jesus as the bridegroom; 2) the yet-to-be-created church universal as the bride; and 3) John the Baptizer as the friend of the groom who introduces Him to the world, your interpretation sees John as what? John identified with the bride. IOW, he considered himself a part of the church universal, which the apostle John later called Christ's bride (see Revelation 19, 21, and 22). IYO, whom did J the B (the "friend") consider himself 2b?
Apr
11
revised What does Jesus mean by “father” In Matthew 23:9?
an additional thought and scripture
Apr
10
revised What does Jesus mean by “father” In Matthew 23:9?
added still more goodies to the conclusion
Apr
10
comment What does Jesus mean by “father” In Matthew 23:9?
@user2479: Point taken. I've edited my post accordingly. See my last two paragraphs. Thanks. Don
Apr
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revised What does Jesus mean by “father” In Matthew 23:9?
added a new concluding paragraph
Apr
9
answered What does Jesus mean by “father” In Matthew 23:9?
Apr
9
comment Jewish Captivity
I think you mean, "Did the Jews who believed in Jesus forget about the Babylonian captivity (not to mention the Hebrews' Egyptian servitude) when Jesus told them the truth would set them free"? John was just recording things as he witnessed and heard them, either by himself or via other witnesses to Jesus' public ministry.