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Author Topic:   The Tension of Faith
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 15 of 1540 (820342)
09-19-2017 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Faith
09-19-2017 3:16 AM


Faith writes:
Later the writer of the article becomes a practicing orthodox Jew who encounters some things in his religion he has trouble accepting (much the same things GDR for instance has trouble accepting in the Old Testament), and he remembers Neil's statement in his new context.
That actually isn't correct Faith. It isn't that I have trouble accepting what is in the Bible, it is a matter of the fact that my starting point is Jesus whereas your starting point is an inerrant Bible.
The OT has God commanding genocide and public stonings whereas Jesus denounces both. I go with Jesus and you go with an inerrant Bible.
I have no trouble believing that someone claimed that God told them to commit those atrocities, but if Jesus is actually the embodied Word or wisdom of God, it is obvious that the individual who made those claims got it wrong or had a personal agenda.
And again, if Yahweh wanted the Canaanites all dead why didn't he do it Himself as in the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah and spare the Israelites the PTSD of slaughtering men, women, children, infants and beasts.
And again, faith isn't about giving intellectual assent to any specific Christian doctrine, but about having the law of love written on one's heart. It is faith in the message that God has given us through Jesus which is that we are to love. Look at the story of the Roman Centurion who Jesus said had more faith than any of the disciples. Jesus in the story of the "Good Samaritan" uses someone that was outside orthodox Judaism to make the point that faith is about loving sacrificially, not faith is a specific doctrine.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Faith, posted 09-19-2017 3:16 AM Faith has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 174 of 1540 (821428)
10-07-2017 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 172 by Faith
10-07-2017 8:54 AM


Faith writes:
Those Christian scientists misread the evidence, trusting the evidence through their own minds I suppose rather than seeking God to explain it.
But Faith, the mind is a gift of God. Why would He give us the minds that we have if we aren't intended to use it in terms of understanding the biggest issue we have to deal with? (Are we the result of intelligence, and if so what is the nature of that intelligence and what does that mean to our lives.)
The Bible is a library of books, inspired but not dictated by God, of the progressive revelation of mankind to our understanding of that big question, with the climax of the narrative being the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Now, as humans we are to use the gift of the mind to understand what that narrative says to us, just as Paul, the first major theologian, did nearly 2000 years ago.
When you take the focus off of Jesus and put it on an inerrant Bible you wind up missing the message that God wants us to get from the Bible.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 8:54 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 11:09 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 182 of 1540 (821441)
10-07-2017 12:18 PM
Reply to: Message 167 by Faith
10-07-2017 6:50 AM


Re: Conversations with Faith on faith.
Faith writes:
This is not exactly true. We are not as God originally created us, nothing in this world is, the world is under the curse of the Fall, the disobedience of our original parents.
Tell me Faith, did God know that the fall was going to happen prior to creating Adam and Eve? If so then the fall was obvious that the fall was part of the creation process. Again, obviously our minds were created to be able to distinguish and choose between good and evil. By your understanding of creation, with God knowing the future, the fall was part of God "originally creating us".
Faith writes:
He has given us one divinely inspired source of knowledge, the Bible, and it is extreme folly to rip it apart with our broken minds.
You are right in saying that He gave us one divinely inspired source of knowledge, but that was in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. Once again, you are making a false idol out of the Bible. That is Biblianity not Christianity.
Faith writes:
Yes God could lead us in science too if we respect Him, pray to Him
- as in people like Francis Collins or John Polkinghorne.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 6:50 AM Faith has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 184 of 1540 (821443)
10-07-2017 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 175 by Faith
10-07-2017 11:09 AM


Faith writes:
But if we pray for help, sincerely trust and respect God, He will guide us, but if we just trust in our ability to think without His help, no, we can't count on getting things right. If we could count on that why is there disagreement on everything?
Of course we won't always get things right. We are all fallible. If we had absolute knowledge it wouldn't be faith.
Faith writes:
Being inspired by God ensures it contains the truth, and the writers of every one of those books was inspired by God. "All scripture is God-breathed..."
The Biblical writers were inspired to write their stories down. That does not mean that God dictated it to them. Your understanding of the Scripture. (as we've gone through many times) has God commanding genocide and public stoning), and yet we see Jesus saying that they got it wrong. (Love your enemy and let he who is without sin cast the first stone etc.)
Faith writes:
The Bible is the way we find out about Jesus, it's how we know anything at all about Him, you cannot know Him without the Bible as our guide. Your accusation that it is "bibliolatry" to use the Bible as our only route to knowledge of God. It's like saying we don't need to go to school, we can know everything without any teaching. The Bible introduces us to Jesus, but after you have that relationship you still have to have the Bible to be sure you are actually having that relationship and not just making it up. Bible believers don't miss anything, but you can get yourself deceived by your way of thinking.
The Bible is a collection of books from hundreds of sources and written within the culture of their time. Yes, the Bible teaches us about Jesus. Yes, the Bible is our written source of God working with mankind up to 2000 years ago. Yes, God speaks to us through those stories. However if we understand those stories the way you do then the message that we get is much more likely to be wrong.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 11:09 AM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 185 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 1:15 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 191 of 1540 (821453)
10-07-2017 6:34 PM
Reply to: Message 185 by Faith
10-07-2017 1:15 PM


Re: Inspiration or dictation?
Faith writes:
No, my understanding has God commanding the execution of judgment according to the Moral Law, about which He is trying to teach us by having it written down, which is what you are resisting...
Let's have a look at the moral law that I'm resisting.
From Deuteronomy 7
quote:
1 When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nationsthe Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you
2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy.
From Numbers 15
quote:
32 While the Israelites were in the wilderness, a man was found gathering wood on the Sabbath day.
33Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron and the whole assembly,
34 and they kept him in custody, because it was not clear what should be done to him.
35 Then the LORD said to Moses, The man must die. The whole assembly must stone him outside the camp.
36 So the assembly took him outside the camp and stoned him to death, as the LORD commanded Moses.
You are able to say that these quotes are to be taken literally as being commanded by God. That is the supposedly the same God that gives this as a command as spoken by Jesus.
From Matthew 5
quote:
43 You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Ok, so you will argue that it was necessary for God to do what the Bible says He commanded in the first two quotes as he wanted the Israelites not to be influenced by their neighbouring tribes. However, we would have the same deity telling His people to love their enemies. In fact He is seeing to their needs Himself, with the sun and rain. He is essentially saying that He loves all mankind, Jew, Christian, pagan or for that matter atheist.
But let’s say that you are right that God is a god of situational ethics. He’ll break His own commands to get the outcome He desires.
Firstly we know that it didn’t work because these tribes still existed far into the future, and the Israelites were still beset with their same problems. If God knows all future events He would know that it wasn’t going to be successful, so why command it in the first place?
Also, the question you haven’t been able to answer is; if Yahweh wanted all these people dead, why wouldn’t He just do it Himself. It seems He was able to do it in Sodom and Gomorrah, yet in these quotes He wants His chosen people, the ones He loves, to go out and in the first case slaughter every living thing, man, woman, child, infant and beast, and the second case He wants the good town folk to get together and cruelly and mercilessly stone their neighbour to death for picking up firewood on the Sabbath. Again, why didn’t He do it Himself.
We know what war does to our soldiers. They go to war zones and come back so badly damaged that they are very often unable to function back at home, and this is even among people who aren’t engaged in combat but are merely witnesses of the slaughter. PSD is a reality. I think that the majority of people in our society would have a great deal of difficulty in dealing with the idea that someone was killed accidentally as a result of their driving.
You are of the belief that God thinks it is alright to send out the people that He loves, the People that are to take His message to the world, to torture and kill a neighbour and infants. God would be in effect torturing His own people, and hardening their hearts by commanding them to commit these heinous acts.
Again, if this was so necessary why didn’t God just do it Himself?
You cannot reasonably compare the first two quotes with the third and say that they all represent the true nature of God. Your belief of how the Bible is to be understood is completely at odds with the belief that Jesus perfectly embodied the true nature of our creator.
The belief in an inerrant Bible is absolutely not compatible with the belief that, as John 1 puts it, in Jesus the Word was made flesh.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 185 by Faith, posted 10-07-2017 1:15 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 194 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 8:23 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 197 of 1540 (821480)
10-08-2017 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 194 by Faith
10-08-2017 8:23 AM


Re: Inspiration or dictation?
Faith writes:
Loving your neighbor does require the punishment of transgressors to keep your neighbor from committing them.
... and so to prevent them from transgressing you kill them, including their infants.
Look at Jesus. He said that the way to defeat the Romans was to love them, turn the other cheek, go the extra mile etc. The point being that to defeat evil you change hearts with the one weapon that can actually do that, and it is as Paul says in Ephesians 6:
quote:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
You cannot reconcile worshiping an inerrant reading of the scriptures with worshiping Jesus as the embodied Word of God. God resurrected Jesus, He didn’t resurrect a book. The Bible is however a gift from God that if understood properly, as Jesus did, will speak to our hearts and minds.
Also again of course you duck the question of why God didn’t just slaughter the enemies of the Israelites Himself.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 194 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 8:23 AM Faith has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 207 of 1540 (821513)
10-08-2017 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 202 by Faith
10-08-2017 3:42 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:
There is a proverb that advises not answering fools.
Is this issue I last raised in post #197 one that you would categorize that way?
GDR writes:
Also again of course, you duck the question of why God didn’t just slaughter the enemies of the Israelites Himself.
You consistently won't deal with that issue.
One other question I have for you. On what grounds is it that you believe in an inerrant understanding of the Scriptures? What causes you to hold so firmly to that belief?

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 202 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 3:42 PM Faith has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 209 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 9:00 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 226 of 1540 (821564)
10-09-2017 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by Faith
10-08-2017 9:00 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Faith writes:
My understanding is that the Israelites represent God's own army against evil,
I don’t disagree with that but what weapon is that army to use. When the whole Biblical narrative is taken into account it is clear that the Israelites were to be an army, but armed not with the sword but with God’s love.
As we learn from Jesus in His Roman controlled world, the enemy wasn’t the Romans, just like it wasn’t the Canaanites for the Israelites. The enemy as you say was, (and still is), evil itself. You can’t kill evil by slaughtering people. That only allows evil to spread even further and particularly into the hearts of those that are perpetrating the slaughter; in this case the Israelites.
It is clear in Jesus’ message that the only way that evil is ultimately defeated is by changing hearts. It is about having hearts that choose to love selfishly changed to hearts that love unselfishly, or if you like hearts that live by the Golden Rule.
Faith writes:
when Jesus returns all those who belong to Him will become part of that army against the demonic hordes that have ruled the world until then
The trouble is you are taking ancient Hebrew apocalyptic writing literally. It would be like taking the expression raining cats and dogs literally. The renewed creation is best marked by the image of the wolf lying downing with the lamb as written about in Isaiah.
I’m afraid that I don’t agree that the demonic hordes are ruling the world. That certainly would make God impotent. The world continues to exist because God’s love still permeates creation. Sure, the victory is far from complete but ultimately when all creation is renewed it will be, but it certainly is not going to be accomplished by making ourselves complicit in the evil.
Faith writes:
He could always do all of it Himself, He doesn't need anyone.
Then why wouldn’t He do it and save the anguish and the hearts of the Israelites instead of commanding them to slaughter their neighbours including men, women children and infants. I realize that there is no satisfactory answer to that question.
Faith writes:
He could also send all of us to Hell but He chose to send a Savior.
But Jesus was far from being just a saviour. He was so much more, but even with that it isn’t just about personal salvation. We are saved because we are called to vocation. We have been given the job of spreading God’s love to the world. I suggest that you read John 14. It is very difficult to explain God’s love and forgiveness as embodied in Jesus if we also claim that he orders genocide and public stoning.
Faith writes:
There is no value to a Bible that is not inerrant. "All scripture is God-breathed" is enough evidence for me.
I am a Christian. It is central to my life. The Bible is of immense importance to me. It has unbelievable value. Yes, God inspired those that wrote the Scriptures to record their stories just as he has inspired people from the beginning to do all sorts of things. That does not mean that they always understood God perfectly. They were fallible human beings like you and I.
Now we have this wonderful narrative we call the Bible. God continued to work through the hearts of the Israelites. We can see the progressive revelation of the nature of God. It starts with the Israelites believing that Yahweh was hopefully more powerful than the other tribe’s gods so that they would be able to conquer their neighbours and rule as the strongest tribe. Gradually when we get to the later prophets such as Isaiah, and it is less about war and more about establishing peace. Then we come to Jesus and the story is fulfilled, saying that not only is it about peace, but that peace isn’t won by the sword but by infecting the world with God’s love but what we do and say. The enemy is no longer other people but evil itself.
Faith writes:
If I had to listen to preachers picking and choosing the way you do I would never be a Christian at all.
But even you pick and choose Faith. We all do. For example here is the first line of the story of the Good Samaritan. Jesus said: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. Jesus doesn’t say that this is a metaphor. He simply says this happened, but both of us understand this to be a metaphor or parable.
I don’t see myself as picking and choosing. I have a coherent method of understanding the Scriptures. It isn’t perfect, and in fact is probably far from it and much remains ambiguous. I start with the absolute faith that the NT writers got it right, (not necessarily all the details), with their accounts of the bodily resurrection of Jesus. That is the issue on which if I was convinced that I got wrong, I would no longer call myself a Christian. I might think it is a good idea to follow Jesus’ teachings but I could just as easily follow the teachings of the original Buddha, or even Mahatma Gandhi, as they taught essential the same moral constructs.
Faith writes:
You accuse me of worshiping the Bible which is totally false, but what you do by picking and choosing is put your own fallen mind in the place of God.
So what I would ask you, that if the first century Jesus followers had it right with their claim that Jesus had come back in a resurrected body after being crucified, wouldn’t that be enough for you as a starting point? This is a Biblical account written by many authors and confirmed by the fact that they were written at a time when hundreds would have been able to refute the stories if they were made up. You give equal credibility to a story written by single authors, in some cases hundreds of years after the event. Does it then really matter if some of the OT writers, either intentionally or not, misrepresented God in what they wrote?
This is why I claim that you are making a false idol of the Bible and making it all about that, which in my view denigrates the message of Jesus. It is my contention that the inerrantist view dishonours what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus on the cross prayed to the Father to forgive them for they know not what they do.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by Faith, posted 10-08-2017 9:00 PM Faith has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 230 by Percy, posted 10-09-2017 2:21 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 229 of 1540 (821567)
10-09-2017 1:40 PM
Reply to: Message 224 by PaulK
10-09-2017 12:45 PM


Re: Conversations with Faith on faith.
PaulK writes:
The question isn't how God chooses but why God would choose some and not others at all.
It is hard for us to get beyond thinking of the whole thing about judgement in terms of a judge in a courtroom. CS Lewis saw it a little differently. Essentially he sees us making our own choice as to whether we want to live in a world where the guiding principle is based solely on unselfish love, or do we want to carry on living in a world that is based on looking out for number one. Here is a quote from his book "The Great Divorce".
quote:
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 224 by PaulK, posted 10-09-2017 12:45 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 231 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2017 2:47 PM GDR has replied
 Message 232 by PaulK, posted 10-09-2017 2:51 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 233 of 1540 (821576)
10-09-2017 3:38 PM
Reply to: Message 230 by Percy
10-09-2017 2:21 PM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Percy writes:
I'm not able to accept the narrative of an ongoing holy battle between good and evil in which good ultimately triumphs, but I definitely buy into what you said earlier about Jesus' message that "evil is ultimately defeated by changing hearts," and also your last comment that evil cannot be defeated by committing evil ourselves.
Well we know that there is a battle going on between good and evil. We experience that in our own lives where we know that choose between things that we know we shouldn’t do and to things that we should do. We know that we make moral choices and that we don’t always make the right ones. We are capable of doing things that hurt others and we are capable of doing things to help others and we battle in our hearts and minds in choosing between the two.
The Christian hope and belief is that ultimately good fully triumphs as it did on the cross. People did the worst they could to Jesus. I don’t think that many realize what a horrific thing it was. We can get the idea that it was a torturous way of killing people but it was more than that. It was a method of execution that totally shamed the individual, essentially dehumanizing them. After being publicly tortured Jesus was nailed to the cross, stark naked with people taunting Him and likely even throwing things at Him. Ultimately He would succumb to this humiliating agonizing death. It was an act of pure human evil.( It was why Paul had to write that he wasn’t ashamed to preach a crucified messiah.)
However God dealt with that by saying that in the end evil doesn’t have the last word. He resurrected Jesus into a new life, that moved freely between God’s heavenly dimension or universe and our earthly one. Good did ultimately triumph in the person of Jesus. The Christian message is that ultimately all creation will be resurrected with the renewal of all things, and heaven and earth become one.
It is easy to rattle that all off and yes it is belief or faith, although I contend that there are many good reasons to believe the Gospels claim of a resurrected Jesus. Frankly however, it is probably easier to accept that, than it would be to accept pretty much all of modern physics without things like particle colliders etc. to provide evidential basis for physics. Philosophy and theology don’t have the benefit of particle colliders.
Percy writes:
I'm failing to make some connection about the last part of this argument. What is it about the inerrantist view that dishonors Jesus' dying on the cross?
Above I described what people did to Jesus on the cross. We also have Jesus’ message of love your neighbour and enemy permeating the NT. It also makes the claim that by doing that we are reflecting God’s nature into the world. Jesus was tortures, humiliated and killed for that message. If we also claim that God wants us to commit genocide and public stoning it even goes even beyond simply dishonouring Jesus on the cross. It essentially says that Jesus got it wrong and that we know better.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 230 by Percy, posted 10-09-2017 2:21 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 243 by Percy, posted 10-10-2017 8:58 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 234 of 1540 (821578)
10-09-2017 3:44 PM
Reply to: Message 231 by Tangle
10-09-2017 2:47 PM


Re: Conversations with Faith on faith.
Tangle writes:
....t's such bollox, there is virtually no-one like this, life is not binary.
I think that the point is that ultimately we all choose to yearn for life that is based on unselfish love no matter how bad we are at it, or we succumb to a life that is about is about looking after our own needs and interests above all else
Edited by GDR, : typo

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 231 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2017 2:47 PM Tangle has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 240 by Tangle, posted 10-09-2017 5:51 PM GDR has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 235 of 1540 (821579)
10-09-2017 3:45 PM
Reply to: Message 232 by PaulK
10-09-2017 2:51 PM


Re: Conversations with Faith on faith.
PaulK writes:
Simply putting forward your view or Lewis' view of how salvation works doesn't really address my points at all.
Sorry, I should have stayed out of your discussion.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 232 by PaulK, posted 10-09-2017 2:51 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 236 by PaulK, posted 10-09-2017 3:48 PM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 237 of 1540 (821582)
10-09-2017 4:13 PM
Reply to: Message 236 by PaulK
10-09-2017 3:48 PM


Re: Conversations with Faith on faith.
PaulK writes:
And you seem to miss the fact that my question is aimed at the compatibility of Calvinism with the Biblical claim that God wishes to save everyone (indeed with those verses of scripture which seem to contradict the Calvinistic idea of Limited Atonement in general). Remember that in Calvin's view of salvation it is all down to God, our attitude doesn't matter one way or another (at most God arranges for us to have the "right" attitude to get the outcome he wants)
Without going through the whole discussion, (this thread is a tad long ) let me simply say that I don't feel qualified to go at all deeply into it. I don't find that His theory of predestination to be consistent with Scripture, and particularly the NT. I contend that when the Bible talks about being chosen it is about human vocation, not necessarily salvation. When we accept Christ and His message of love and forgiveness into our hearts we are then chosen to infect the world with that love and message, by word and deed.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 236 by PaulK, posted 10-09-2017 3:48 PM PaulK has not replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 261 of 1540 (821693)
10-10-2017 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 243 by Percy
10-10-2017 8:58 AM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Percy writes:
To me good and evil are highly subjective, and they're conceptual with no tangible reality as "things" that could do battle.
I agree that in many issues there is considerable subjectivity involved. I see it this way. Evil is when we do things that motivated completely out of self image at the expense of others. Good is when do exercise self sacrifice for the good of someone else.
Within that are many grey areas but in general that's how I see it.
Percy writes:
I can accept Jesus' message, but not the narrative that goes with it, and now I find myself more on Tangle's path. To embrace a particular interpretation of any particular Biblical narrative is a conceit that you've chosen the correct version of God while others have not.
Isn't that like pretty much anything else that people disagree on? I think that other religions have much to tell us and at least all the major ones have the Golden Rule in them somewhere. Religion is man's attempt at trying to understand the nature of the god or the gods that are involved in our lives, and what that means to our life. That of course based on the assumption that a god or gods exist.
The thing that distinguishes Christianity is the claim that God's nature was perfectly embodied in the man Jesus and that God confirmed this to be the case by resurrecting Him.
I have no doubt that much of what I believe is probably wrong but I'm sure that's true of everyone. As I see it, God's desire for us is focused on the heart and my signature pretty much sums it all up.
Percy writes:
For most people believing a religion is not a choice they make themselves but one that is made for them in childhood and then enforced by their religious, cultural and societal environment. I think you have no choice but to believe your version of Christianity, but I thought what you said earlier about following the teachings of Jesus or Buddha or Gandhi had a lot to recommend it.
I have read a lot of theology and as a result I now believe a number of things that I would have disagreed on in the past.
Percy writes:
They're missing the tools of evidence for a very good reason - they're fictional.
This is in reference to philosophy and theology. We can look at the basic question. Why do I exist? I know that I have conscious thoughts, others have studied evolutionary processes and have learned a certain amount about how we got here and so on, but the philosophical/theological question of why we exist does not have empirical evidence. We pretty much all come to some conclusion. Either we are the result of intelligence, completely mindless processes or we can even conclude that as there is no empirical evidence just come to the conclusion that we just can't know. It is however something that can be studied and discussed.
Percy writes:
The moral spirit of Jesus (or Buddha or Gandhi) doesn't really need a religion.
Sure, but then where does the sense of morality come from in a materialistic world?

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 243 by Percy, posted 10-10-2017 8:58 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 262 by granpa, posted 10-10-2017 9:02 PM GDR has not replied
 Message 263 by jar, posted 10-11-2017 6:59 AM GDR has not replied
 Message 264 by Percy, posted 10-11-2017 8:06 AM GDR has replied

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 6206
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


(1)
Message 287 of 1540 (821808)
10-12-2017 9:48 PM
Reply to: Message 264 by Percy
10-11-2017 8:06 AM


Re: One More Thing For The Record
Percy writes:
Many religious people believe they are on a path to improved belief. You think what you believe now an improvement over what you believed before. But to any non-religious person or person of another religion or even a person of your religion who looks at things differently from you, you've only exchanged one set of false beliefs for another. The more recent beliefs might be more detailed and complex and nuanced, but they're false nonetheless.
The trouble is Percy you are confusing theology with basic forms of theism and Christianity. Essentially theism from a Christian perspective is that God is always loving, and wants us to replicate that in this world. Christianity is based on the historic claim that God resurrected Jesus.
After that it is working with reason, tradition and scripture to sort out our theological beliefs. We can see that is the Bible with the disagreements that Paul and Peter had for example. These theological differences do not negate the basic message of the Christianity of the last paragraph.
So yes, as I study I find that I do essentially change my theological views, but so what. I used to believe that God was able to see the future like He does the past, but after studying people like John Polkinghorne I have come to the conclusion that God relates to us in time as we experience it. I don't believe that He has any better idea than what I have of what I’ll have for dinner on Apr 11 next year. Changing my theological views does not change my basic or fundamental views that I mentioned earlier.
Percy writes:
Many religious people believe they are on a path to improved belief. You think what you believe now an improvement over what you believed before. But to any non-religious person or person of another religion or even a person of your religion who looks at things differently from you, you've only exchanged one set of false beliefs for another. The more recent beliefs might be more detailed and complex and nuanced, but they're false nonetheless.
How do you know their false? You're just applying your beliefs to mine and finding them different. Maybe one of us is right and maybe both of us are wrong. We can't know in the scientific sense.
Percy writes:
Morality is subjective, and its origin is buried in our evolutionary history. If morality came from religion then wouldn't our jails be filled with atheists instead of Christians?
You mean they aren't.
Percy writes:
I'm not saying the issues and questions you raised aren't important ones, they are, but that is independent of the truth of the narratives of any particular religion.
Well, as Bob Dylan said, "you gotta serve somebody" and I find that Christianity makes sense of the world I live in better than any other philosophy including atheism that I know of. I am not saying that you can't live a good or even godly life following other philosophies. However, as I am firmly convinced of the historic account that God resurrected Jesus I believe that, although I admit that I probably have some theological beliefs that aren't correct, (just ask Faith ), that my life is roughly on the track that God would have me on.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

This message is a reply to:
 Message 264 by Percy, posted 10-11-2017 8:06 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 292 by Tangle, posted 10-13-2017 2:54 AM GDR has not replied
 Message 297 by Percy, posted 10-13-2017 10:09 AM GDR has replied

  
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