André Reis and Daniel 8

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André Reis, an old “friend” of this blog, has two very interesting posts on Daniel 8 over at Adventist Today and Spectrum.

It seems he is disagreeing with the classic Adventist interpretation of Daniel 8, which links the two horns of Daniel 7 and 8 as the same entity, papal Rome. His position on Daniel 8 is much like mine, and much like that of ex-Adventist Dale Ratzlaff over at Life Assurance Ministries. His view disagrees with mine in that I, like Adventists, see the little horns of Daniel 7 and 8 as the same entity, but unlike Adventists, I link them both to Antiochus Epiphanes.

Ellen White icon

Ellen White icon

It’s always very interesting when an Adventist starts to question his/her church’s traditions. It generally means they have started thinking for themselves, and are willing to look at actual evidence instead of simply regurgitating what they’ve been taught. That ability to honestly assess facts previously forbidden exposes them to further re-evaluation of their other beliefs.

Reis shows further evidence of this in another post on Spectrum, where he points out that it is ironic that Adventists judge Ellen White and a more recent Adventist “prophetess”, Daisy Escalante, by different standards:

As an Adventist, I always find it disconcerting to be confronted with binary, “yes/no” answers to these claims to the prophetic gift. “Could this be a fulfilment of the eschatological ‘dreamers’ predicted in Joel 2:28?” I wonder. For a church whose belief system is firmly moored in the manifestation of the eschatological “spirit of prophecy,” such ambivalent manifestations present a problem. For one, this belief makes Adventism especially vulnerable to itinerant “visionaries.” The irony for us is to outright reject any new, non-canonical prophet while simultaneously holding belief in a modern-day prophetess. [Internet Archive link here]

And even more in his criticism on Spectrum of the 1844 fiasco:

Tell it Like It Is
Very early on, attentive Adventists started noticing that the limits of biblical hermeneutics were being tested by the movement. And with no other passage of Scripture were these boundaries challenged as in the book of Hebrews. Contrary to assertions that Jesus only entered into the holy of holies in 1844, A. F. Ballenger pointed out correctly that Hebrews 6:19-20 places Jesus “within the veil,” i.e., inside the holy of holies at the time of his ascension. He showed as early as 1905 that nowhere in Scripture does the expression “within the veil” refer to any place other than the Most Holy Place.

When Adventists come to such realisations, the Holy Spirit has started to work.

Angry ant

Angry ant

In 2007, André Reis commented on this blog and was quite an angry person. He made blind and false accusations on this blog and on his own blog that he set up specially to argue with me (although he subsequently deleted all my comments so only his point of view was visible). His blog is still online here: Stephen Korsman’s Catholicism Reviewed (previously “Stephen Korsman Reviewed“)

Many of his comments, in 2007, were typical Adventist propaganda and arguments used by those who have never done any research into Catholic teaching (apart, that is, from learning about Catholic teaching from other anti-Catholics who misrepresent it).

If his ability to assess facts and differentiate them from anti-Catholic rhetoric has changed in the last decade, he may rethink some of these points. Either way, I invite you, the reader, to look at these and think.  Reis’ comments are in red.

As far as Matriology, you and I know that Mary has a very distinct place in this intercession and in many Catholic publications, she is equal with Christ if not ABOVE him.
– Reis, and the reader, should try to understand context instead of blindly accusing us of worshipping Mary.

If Peter was assigned the position of leader of the Church why did Jesus declare emphatically: “. . . do not call anyone on earth ‘father’, for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher’, for you have one Teacher, the Christ” (Matthew 23:9, 10)?
– If Reis had known anything about Catholicism at the time he wrote that, he’d have known our reasoning and could have addressed it further from that understanding if he still disagreed. See Call no man father.

If Peter was the head of the Church, the “rock” of its foundation, why didn’t Paul confirm this in 1 Corinthians 10:4, as he assured that Christ is the rock?
If Peter was the Rock, why didn’t Jesus commission Peter to build his church, instead of saying I WILL BUILD my church?

– Reis should have known that the Bible sometimes uses the same symbol for different people, and sometimes uses different symbols for the same thing. Leaven – sin and holiness. Rock – Abraham, Peter, Jesus. Jesus as builder, Peter as foundation … Jesus as corner stone, apostles as foundation … Jesus as foundation, Paul as builder. See Simon the stone, Peter the rock

If Peter was a solid Rock, why did Jesus severely rebuke him shortly after? Matthew 16:22-23
– Because Peter was wrong. Reis should have known that we openly acknowledge that.

Donkey, Boston Public Library

Donkey, Boston Public Library

The following quotations by Catholic authors confirm that the Catholic Church takes full responsibility for changing the Law of God:
– Reis goes on to regurgitate the usual bogus and non-authoritative newspaper quotes that indicate that, in 2007, he has no idea what the Catholic Church really taught, or that he could only argue against straw men.

Furthermore, please substantiate that claim by showing that Jesus told his disciples that Sunday was now to be observed as the day of rest.
– Typical Adventist trolling question, setting irrational goal posts when the Bible has plenty to say about Christian sabbath observance being unnecessary.

One of the Catholics’ most beloved word is MYSTERY. The late Pope John (sic) in his DIES DOMINI “Apostolic” Letter quotes many misteries (sic) … Obviously he meant to make the Catholic Church the only possessor of the meaning of these mysteries and thus, make people slaves of the belief that the Pope has the KEYS to these mysteries. How absurd! How blasphemous!
– How daft! I would hope that, with his education over the last decade, Reis has come to understand the biblical concept of “mystery” used many times by St Paul, and has stopped judging the Catholic Church and the Bible by different standards, assuming a bad “mystery” when the Catholic Church uses the term, but a good one when the Bible does the same.

That’s enough for now. My intention is not to provide a full refutation of Reis’ blog, but rather a lesson demonstrating that thinking can change someone – maybe him, definitely you – and that one needs to actually understand the other side, instead of just blindly misjudging.

Finally, let us pray to the Holy Spirit for Reis to continue to honestly re-evaluate his belief system.

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