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Official Christian Thread!

post #1 of 444
Thread Starter 
This is the Christian thread, for discussion about Christianity...

First, definitions =>

Christianity (from the Greek word Xριστός, Khristos, "Christ", literally "anointed one") is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. Christianity comprises three major branches: Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy (which parted ways with Catholicism in 1054 A.D.) and Protestantism (which came into existence during the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century). Protestantism is further divided into smaller groups called denominations. Christians believe Jesus is the son of God, God having become man and the savior of humanity. Christians, therefore, commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.
(courtesy of Wikipedia)



Next, our Creed =>

We Christians believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we have more than 2.2 billion followers worldwide, and Christianity represents about a quarter to a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. Our dogma advances belief in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the essential doctrine of Christianity. The main grouping of Christianity involves various and separate groups all under a central belief; these include Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant beliefs. All believers in Christianity follow a Bible that advances our faith...

More to come...
post #2 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

This is the Christian thread, for discussion about Christianity...


We Christians believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, we have more than 2.2 billion followers worldwide, and Christianity represents about a quarter to a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. Our dogma advances belief in the Holy Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Trinity is the essential doctrine of Christianity. The main grouping of Christianity involves various and separate groups all under a central belief; these include Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant beliefs. All believers in Christianity follow a Bible that advances our faith...

More to come...


Discussion... ok.

WHY do you believe that?... what leads you to believe these things?

I'm honestly trying not to attack here... but I'd really like to know WHY people believe these things.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #3 of 444
Glad you decided to start this Camp David! Thanks!

I'd like to share something I love in the Bible - in fact in all literature I am familiar with so far: the genius that is the Gospel of St John.

This Gospel is very different from the Synoptics and many secular academics believe to to be an eyewitness account. Perhaps for this reason the Gospel seems to have a unique power.

One thing that always struck me about John is that in addition to his record of Christ's life he is actually very likely to be the first ever 'novelist'.

I don't mean this in the sense that he was writing creatively or writing fiction - rather that he uses stylistic approaches which are strangely modern and were unknown in writing before that time.....certainly none of the other Gospels are structured in this way. He is truly an unsung innovator and a genius on this level alone.

As an example of what I mean look at John 13:30. Judas has just been identified as the betrayer. John deals with this like this:

Quote:
As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.

And it was night.

Two things here - the second sentence is very short and starts with 'and' - it is almost poetry and it consciously echoes and underlines the first. This had not been done before - traditionally the information that it was night-time would have been just information in the general story which would have taken the form:

"Jesus did this and then he did that and then this happened." This is the form of narrative from the OT and the Greeks - John is making a massive departure here.

Secondly - and this is also new afaik - he is equating the night with Judas' soul or deeds.

This is a sort of simile that leads scholars to suppose that John may be an eyewitness because the idea of metaphor here is more or less unknown in this form (there is much "your lips are like fruit" etc but this is different) and the assumption is that John learned this from Jesus himself as textual analysis can be read to suggest that he was a master of this practice in his parables though obviously, he did not write anything like John as far as we know.

John's Gospel really is a beautiful book and many-layered.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #4 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

This Gospel is very different from the Synoptics and many secular academics believe to to be an eyewitness account. Perhaps for this reason the Gospel seems to have a unique power.

I'd love to see a reference to that. Most academics see John as obviously the latest gospel, furthest from the time of jesus, let alone an eyewitness account. I don't think anyone but a literalist who believes John the apostle wrote it would say it could possibly be an eyewitness account.

And actualy im surprised that you like John, segovius, because that's the most "theologically correct" of the gospels, and the favorite of literalists and contemporary conservative Christians. It's clear that it was written after some of the Christian theology had developed, unlike the earlier ones which tend to have some uncomfortable points in them.

I'm a Mark person myself - widely regarded as the closest to the time of Jesus (though still decades later), very simple and without most of the theological BS of John. And the ending is great, with its creepy and abrupt original ending and then the crazy added ending with the stuff about speaking in tongues.
post #5 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

I'd love to see a reference to that. Most academics see John as obviously the latest gospel, furthest from the time of jesus, let alone an eyewitness account. I don't think anyone but a literalist who believes John the apostle wrote it would say it could possibly be an eyewitness account.

And actualy im surprised that you like John, segovius, because that's the most "theologically correct" of the gospels, and the favorite of literalists and contemporary conservative Christians. It's clear that it was written after some of the Christian theology had developed, unlike the earlier ones which tend to have some uncomfortable points in them.

I'm a Mark person myself - widely regarded as the closest to the time of Jesus (though still decades later), very simple and without most of the theological BS of John. And the ending is great, with its creepy and abrupt original ending and then the crazy added ending with the stuff about speaking in tongues.

I am thinking mainly of Robin Lane Fox in "The Unauthorized Version" who argues that John is the disciple Jesus loved. I can try and find a reference on Google somewhere....years since I read it but pretty convincing.

Mark is odd...yes, I'd forgotten that. I think he's Nick Cave's favourite...I have a lecture by him on it "Flesh made Word" (I think) is quite cool. I think there is some more Mark though after that abrupt end isn't there?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #6 of 444
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

WHY do you believe that?... what leads you to believe these things?.

What leads me and others to believe "that" is simply this => I have a close association with God; I have spoken with Him and He has interceded with intensions and aid on my behalf. Others have spoken with Him and prayed for His assistance and He has responded. Believing in HIm is not hard but something that we find necessary; essential even. In fact, since we speak with Him, and He responds to our prayers, we find more than anything else that He is our friend.
post #7 of 444
Bring him by one day... I'd like to speak to him too... probably a lot of questions he could clear up for me.
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #8 of 444
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

Bring him by one day... I'd like to speak to him too... probably a lot of questions he could clear up for me.

He receives long distance calls; all you have to do is ask Him. Matter of fact, I think others have said something like "ask and you will receive" or something very similar.
post #9 of 444
So...every child who has ever been raped and tortured just wasn't asking hard enough? I guess you have to ask really really hard to get the attention of an all-knowing invisible being. :/

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #10 of 444
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

So...every child who has ever been raped and tortured just wasn't asking hard enough? I guess you have to ask really really hard to get the attention of an all-knowing invisible being. :/

God did not put evil in the world; man did. Acknowledge man's failings. Using such failings to blaspheme God does a disservice to His magnificence. Evil exists. That is true. So does goodness; And God.
post #11 of 444
In your worldview, who created man? How could god who is all powerful and created everything NOT create evil? How can the final responsibility not go to god?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #12 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

In your worldview, who created man? How could god who is all powerful and created everything NOT create evil? How can the final responsibility not go to god?

It's a good question but remember this thread is for POSITIVE things about people's beliefs.

The idea with these new religion threads is that we try to 'break the pattern' of the previous way we've approached these things and maybe these kind of questions perpetuate the pattern a bit...

It's up to you guys if you want to go with that but for me - though I could give you several theological and philosophical rationales for this 'evil' issue (actually it's not hard to imagine numerous scenarios - you don't need to be a theologian) and you obviously know the traditional Christian response - I'm not going to engage in such a discussion here because it's seems to me to be veering slightly from the spirit of the thread.

If another thread was to somehow arise about this issue though I'm sure we could do the usual dance!

What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #13 of 444
It's silly to try to put the positives in a vacuum and separate it from the rest of the religion. There are some seriously disturbing things at the very foundation of Western religion and I'm trying to get a clear answer. I'm not sitting in here demanding evidence in this thread (though they can't provide any). I'm saying "even if what you believe is true, wow, there's some heinous shit that needs answering".

If god created everything, how is he not responsible for the creation of evil? How is man somehow evil's creator?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #14 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

It's silly to try to put the positives in a vacuum and separate it from the rest of the religion.

I agree.

That's why it's best in another thread though seeing as this one is for positives (and also the main aim of these is to move away from division and confrontation) - it's not that the question is invalid, it's just off-topic.

That's the same in any thread if something goes OT isn't?

Quote:
There are some seriously disturbing things at the very foundation of Western religion and I'm trying to get a clear answer.

I would dispute there are seriously disturbing things at the FOUNDATION. I can't think of anything seriously disturbing that was ever outlined by Jesus can you?

But it's got to be worth a thread of it's own - particularly if you feel this strongly. I can even start it if you like.

How would you like it? Problem of evil in Christianity specifically? Islam? Or all religions?
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #15 of 444
The OP explained some beliefs. I'm trying to understand the internal consistency of them. He opened the door when he responded and said man created evil.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #16 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

The OP explained some beliefs. I'm trying to understand the internal consistency of them. He opened the door when he responded and said man created evil.

Ok...I'll butt out then!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #17 of 444
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

In your worldview, who created man?

The Book of Genesis is useful here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

How could god who is all powerful and created everything NOT create evil?

Mankind that God created was also given the gift of free will, to choose evil or reject it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

How can the final responsibility not go to god?

The creator of man cannot be held responsible for the evil that man chose.
post #18 of 444
As mentioned before, one of the purposes of these 'Official' threads is to look for the good in people's beliefs - I know, I sound like a parrot but bear with me (!) - and it seems to me that is in a way a question of perspective.

For example, it was implied above that religion was in some way a contributor to bad things happening. Well, maybe it is. It depends how you look at it. You could look at it like that or else you could look at it as a remedy for the bad things that are in human nature anyway. In a way it doesn't matter which view is right - maybe neither are, maybe both are at different times and circumstances. I don't think it's important. What's important is the PEOPLE involved. We could argue with each other all day over that and get pissed off with each other - or we could even all agree and spend days slagging off believers and people's faith.

But really, in all honesty, if we did that - what would it achieve?

Would the 'bad things' go away? Even if the criticisms were true? I think it's good to look at what we're really trying to do and say and achieve when we post something.

To me, the point of addressing any 'evil' that may or may not exist in any given religion is not to 'win' but to make things better....otherwise why point it out? Just to take a moral high ground? I used to feel like this but I'm not interested any more.

Look at it this way - if a representative of a belief that for one reason or another you oppose does something wrong - say he beats someone up - and you see it...what do you do?

Start shouting about how bad he is or get busy helping the victim?

But things are never that black and white in the real world are they? That's why we need dialogue imo.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #19 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

The creator of man cannot be held responsible for the evil that man chose.

You see, this is where your logic falls apart. God is all powerful. He created man. Being all powerful, he COULD have created man, free will and all, in every way the same as man is now, but with the singular exception that they would CHOOSE not to do evil. That they would have the wisdom, the compassion and the mental health to use their free will to do good.

So in not making this singular exception, God allowed evil to exist. So yes, God created evil.

Now, in terms of Christianity, I love all of the teachings of Jesus. I think there's not one teaching of Jesus that I disagree with, including his teaching that the Old Testament is not to be taken literally and that one must only follow the spirit of what right and wrong are, without relying on what has been written to explain it to them.

Now, that being said, I also think that some of the things written in the Bible about Jesus, and almost all of the things written in the OT were allegorical and not meant to be taken literally.
post #20 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Now, that being said, I also think that some of the things written in the Bible about Jesus, and almost all of the things written in the OT were allegorical and not meant to be taken literally.

In one sense it doesn't matter - I'm not sure it's useful to get bogged down in (unless as an academic exercise) but 'spiritually' as it were, one can look at Jesus' parables and learn something, maybe become better in some way, maybe find a way of living.

It's not necessary to argue whether the Good Samaritan actually existed - in a way it is missing the point and no-one does it.

I feel the same about the figure of Jesus - though I believe he existed it is not actually necessary. In a way the whole faith of Christianity is a parable or can be looked on as one.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #21 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

In one sense it doesn't matter - I'm not sure it's useful to get bogged down in (unless as an academic exercise) but 'spiritually' as it were, one can look at Jesus' parables and learn something, maybe become better in some way, maybe find a way of living.

Agree here, and this is the best thing about Christianity. People are born with vastly different moral sense. Christianity does help to normalize these differences. This is especially important for people who are not very morally intelligent to begin with. It does give them some rules when they can't really figure out the rules for themselves.

Quote:
It's not necessary to argue whether the Good Samaritan actually existed - in a way it is missing the point and no-one does it.

If you're saying that no one argues whether the Good Samaritan actually existed, I would have to disagree with you. Plenty of well-meaning Christians argue with all their power to do so that every story and every detail in the Bible is 100% true and fact, to be taken literally. Fellowship himself believes that the Earth is less than 7000 years old because that's what the Bible tells him, and the Bible is FACT, not allegory.

Quote:
I feel the same about the figure of Jesus - though I believe he existed it is not actually necessary. In a way the whole faith of Christianity is a parable or can be looked on as one.

Wholeheartedly agree.
post #22 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Agree here, and this is the best thing about Christianity. People are born with vastly different moral sense. Christianity does help to normalize these differences. This is especially important for people who are not very morally intelligent to begin with. It does give them some rules when they can't really figure out the rules for themselves.

Exactly - in a sense it is a form of humanism or even socialism (though in a non-political sense so I probably shouldn't say that!!).

I often think of religion as a sort of DIY kit - I know religious literalists sometimes accuse others of cherry-picking in terms of religious perspectives but in a way, that's all religion is (I don't mean the original teaching of a founder to the disciples but we don't have that - just the result) - bits chosen as 'sacred' by authorized (or not) people.

The BIble was assembled for example - no-one in Jesus' circle or even Paul chose its composition, indicated what it should be or even stated there should be such a thing. It is a DIY effort by the authorities.

I think that's fine and legitimate - but I also think it should be an ongoing process and we as individuals can do the same: take what we need at various times.

Scripture is kind of like the iChing or something similar imo - if you take it as a whole it may (depending on who you are I guess) seem contradictory but a certain part of it at a certain time can answer your questions.

Quote:
If you're saying that no one argues whether the Good Samaritan actually existed, I would have to disagree with you. Plenty of well-meaning Christians argue with all their power to do so that every story in the Bible is 100% true and fact, to be taken literally. Fellowship himself believes that the Earth is less than 7000 years old because that's what the Bible tells him, and the Bible is FACT, not allegory.

True....I'm trying to be positive though so I was avoiding focussing on them! Hahah!
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
post #23 of 444
That question ("why does God let bad things happen to good people?") has been around since the beginning.

Because God loves us, he gave us free agency (or free will). What point would there be to this life if we had no freedom to choose our path, or if there could be no good or evil to choose between?

The Book of Mormon helps to clarify this (FYI we also accept and study the Holy Bible as scripture. The Book of Mormon is not meant to supplant the Bible, rather to support it as another testament of Jesus Christ - but I digress. That's another topic ).

2 Nephi, Chapter 2 - I won't quote it all here, but I think it describes well the need for good and evil to both exist. At the heart of the chapter is verse 11:

Quote:
11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

But I encourage you to read the entire chapter. It really is quite good.

Another passage in the Book of Mormon comes to mind. Alma 14:8-11.

Quote:
8 And they brought their wives and children together, and whosoever believed or had been taught to believe in the word of God they caused that they should be cast into the fire; and they also brought forth their records which contained the holy scriptures, and cast them into the fire also, that they might be burned and destroyed by fire.
9 And it came to pass that they took Alma and Amulek, and carried them forth to the place of martyrdom, that they might witness the destruction of those who were consumed by fire.
10 And when Amulek saw the pains of the women and children who were consuming in the fire, he also was pained; and he said unto Alma: How can we witness this awful scene? Therefore let us stretch forth our hands, and exercise the power of God which is in us, and save them from the flames.
11 But Alma said unto him: The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand; for behold the Lord receiveth them up unto himself, in glory; and he doth suffer that they may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them, according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #24 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Because God loves us, he gave us free agency (or free will). What point would there be to this life if we had no freedom to choose our path, or if there could be no good or evil to choose between?

But as I said, He could easily have given us every ounce of that free will, together with the wisdom, the compassion and the mental health so that we may consistently choose to do good when we should know which choice is the good one. It is not a blessing to be given the choice between doing good and doing evil. It is a blessing, and still free will, to be given the choice between two paths when there is some ambiguity there.
post #25 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

But as I said, He could easily have given us every ounce of that free will, together with the wisdom, the compassion and the mental health so that we may consistently choose to do good when we should know which choice is the good one. It is not a blessing to be given the choice between doing good and doing evil. It is a blessing, and still free will, to be given the choice between two paths when there is some ambiguity there.

The whole point is for us to learn for ourselves the difference between good and bad - and choose good.

And deep down we all have that innate moral code, a "conscience" which helps us discern good and evil. In my faith we refer to it as the Light of Christ.

Now I understand there are all sorts of influences, upbringing, culture, etc. etc. But there is a universal law that the vast majority of humanity seems to adhere to.

C. S. Lewis discusses this at length in his book "Mere Christianity".

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #26 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp David View Post

The Book of Genesis is useful here.



Mankind that God created was also given the gift of free will, to choose evil or reject it.



The creator of man cannot be held responsible for the evil that man chose.

Please reconcile free will with an omnipotent god.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #27 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Please reconcile free will with an omnipotent god.

Why?

If it can't be reconciled from the intellectual position you occupy that's fine. Perhaps someone else CAN reconcile it from where THEY are.

But where you are and where they are is two different places. Why would one of you want to move the other from where they are?

Just put out there what you have and maybe in time they will move of their own free will.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
Reply
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #28 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

I am thinking mainly of Robin Lane Fox in "The Unauthorized Version" who argues that John is the disciple Jesus loved. I can try and find a reference on Google somewhere....years since I read it but pretty convincing.

Ok, but no one but literalists believes that the people who were said to write the gospels actually wrote them, so who Jesus' beloved disciple was doesn't necessarily answer the question of who wrote it. And again, mainstream scholarship is that John is the latest - that doesn't mean it's right, but Im quite certain that's the consensus.

Quote:
Mark is odd...yes, I'd forgotten that. I think he's Nick Cave's favourite...I have a lecture by him on it "Flesh made Word" (I think) is quite cool. I think there is some more Mark though after that abrupt end isn't there?

It depends on which version you look at. There's about a paragraph or two that was added a hundred years later - it doesn't appear in the oldest versions of Mark. The best theory is that it ended too abruptly, with the women finding the empty grave and running away, so later scribes added the other stuff to round out the story. Most bibles sitting in churches today either footnote the longer ending or include it but put it in parentheses, so this is not some obscure scholarly issue, it's something that is widely accepted.

What's funny is that the longer ending includes some of the craziest evangelical nonsense in Christianity. It includes the command to go out and evangelize, but it's also the only place in the bible that says believers will be able to speak in tongues, lay on hands to heal, perform exorcisms, hold snakes, and drink poison. I always wonder if the evangelicals who do this kind of thing know that none of that is actually in the Bible.

An interesting thing about John is that it's the only book that refers to the divinity of Jesus. I think it's a fascinating theory that the earliest Christians may not have seen Jesus as God, but instead as a prophet more like the Islamic view, and only later did divinity become an issue and all the problems of coming up with the trinity. It's probably not that simple though.

I just like the Jesus of the other gospels better. Jesus gives long flowery speeches in John, but in all the others he gives mysterious one-liners and trippy parables. He's more of a cool hippy Jesus in the first 3, and more of a God in John.
post #29 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by segovius View Post

Why?

If it can't be reconciled from the intellectual position you occupy that's fine. Perhaps someone else CAN reconcile it from where THEY are.

But where you are and where they are is two different places. Why would one of you want to move the other from where they are?

Just put out there what you have and maybe in time they will move of their own free will.

Insane people can reconcile all sorts of things that don't go together. That doesn't mean it's correct.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #30 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Insane people can reconcile all sorts of things that don't go together. That doesn't mean it's correct.

But surely we shouldn't set ourselves up as some sort of judge over other's chosen positions? WHy not let them get on with it?

Even leaving religion out of it surely it's a basic free-speech issue - what business is it of anyone else's?

That's the kind of thinking I'm hoping we can move on.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #31 of 444
I just want to know how they justify the two. I want to understand the reasoning. You're telling me don't even bother trying to understand. You're telling me not to even ask why they believe what they believe and how their own beliefs are internally consistent.

And if it turns out there isn't any reasoning going on, well, that's exposed as well.

It's silly to turn this into a free speech issue. It doesn't apply at all in this situation, but regardless you're trying to curtail my own speech in the process.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
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post #32 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

I just want to know how they justify the two. I want to understand the reasoning. You're telling me don't even bother trying to understand. You're telling me not to even ask why they believe what they believe and how their own beliefs are internally consistent.

Is that true though? Really? I think you know the reasoning very, very well and have definite ideas about it.

Quote:
And if it turns out there isn't any reasoning going on, well, that's exposed as well.

I only asked why you feel the need to expose. Everyone knows their pov and everyone knows yours.

Why take it further?

Quote:
It's silly to turn this into a free speech issue. It doesn't apply at all in this situation, but regardless you're trying to curtail my own speech in the process.

Not at all - I've repeatedly said that this is a thread for finding common ground and harmony. You seem to want to be more confrontational than that and that's ok...no probs. No-one is going to do anything, you have the right. I just suggested it would be good if you could respect the premise of this particular thread. But if you don't want to or feel you can't that's ok too.

And no-one is stopping any free speech - as I said you could start a thread where it's more appropriate or you could carry on here.

Carrying on here makes it harder maybe to fulfill the aim of the thread and the spirit of it but it's ok too.
What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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What is Faith? When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer. What is Sin? When a thing disturbs the peace of your heart, give it up - Prophet Muhammad
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post #33 of 444
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Please reconcile free will with an omnipotent god.

There is no reconciliation necessary; our all powerful deity, our God, saw fit to endow his creation, man, with free will - the ability to choose. While God is able to do whatever he chooses, he was benevolent in giving his most magnificent creation, man, the ability to freely choose his path. For our part, we men reward our God for the gift of free will with worship of God.
post #34 of 444
Is your god omnipotent? Does he know everything? If so, he knows the choices man will make. That's part of the "everything".

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #35 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

Please reconcile free will with an omnipotent god.

It's easy if you don't presume that God experiences time as you do.

You experience time as a linear event, one dimensionally from beginning to end.

However time or as it is increasingly referred to as spacetime, isn't confined that way.

Here is the easiest way to think about it.

Take a piece of paper and draw an arrow on it. The paper is a plane. (two dimensions) You can see it as such. You appear omnipotent with regard to the arrow. You see the beginning, middle and end of it. Now imagine you are back to your human role and can only experience the arrow as a series of connected dots starting at the beginning of the arrow and moving to the end of the arrow. Your experience is limited to the single row of dots on the arrow. Time to you is linear and will have a beginning, middle and end.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #36 of 444
But on the seventh day, god rested. That sure seems to be a linear experience of time. Your point of view is not internally consistent with what is presented in your bible.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #37 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by BR View Post

But on the seventh day, god rested. That sure seems to be a linear experience of time. Your point of view is not internally consistent with what is presented in your bible.

Do you speak however you want or do you speak so that the person to whom you are speaking will understand? If you occasionally go over their head, you try to draw it back and do your best to make them understand, but sometimes there limits become limits to understanding.

The stories of the Bible convey information in a linear fashion because that is how we experience time. There are references to time that are not linear and they create the sort of paradoxical understanding we are discussing here.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #38 of 444
I misunderstood the intent of the thread.

I thought those of us who don't understand why people "are Christians" could maybe pose some questions, and perhaps get some answers to help us understand them. I get the part about being nice about it. It's not a thread for name calling and confrontation.

But it seems the intent was more for you Christians to get together in a thread and sing songs around the campfire. More power to ya!
From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #39 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumptman View Post

Do you speak however you want or do you speak so that the person to whom you are speaking will understand? If you occasionally go over their head, you try to draw it back and do your best to make them understand, but sometimes there limits become limits to understanding.

The stories of the Bible convey information in a linear fashion because that is how we experience time. There are references to time that are not linear and they create the sort of paradoxical understanding we are discussing here.

So, you are saying that biblical creation didn't happen linearly? Is that correct?

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
post #40 of 444
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

I misunderstood the intent of the thread.

I thought those of us who don't understand why people "are Christians" could maybe pose some questions, and perhaps get some answers to help us understand them. I get the part about being nice about it. It's not a thread for name calling and confrontation.

But it seems the intent was more for you Christians to get together in a thread and sing songs around the campfire. More power to ya!

Seriously. Problem is fire danger is high and now Los Angeles is Burning. What was once a lonely campfire is now a roaring wildfire decimating the landscape. But those in this thread would rather thing of the good things about that wildfire...certainly does look pretty from afar...let's just not think about all the lives it destroys in its wake.

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply

 

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” 
-Sagan
Reply
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