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LNC

Authentic Christian Believer
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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    The evidence seems to indicate there is.

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  1. LNC

    Sin

    OK, with that clarification, I would agree with you, however, I would qualify it by saying that the Fall has corrupted our moral strength of character so that we also possess a rebelliousness in our characters. That too is evidenced even in small children. I would also agree with you that we are born with moral natures, however, I would dispute the idea that animals have such moral natures, I believe that we simply ascribe this type of behavior to them. It seems that the study confirms what I was saying and that the author tossed in a throwaway statement at the end as a counterpoint. If this was the case, why not quote the psychologists and their supporting evidence? I'm not saying that there are not psychologists who don't hold this view, but the study you cite doesn't support your view, only the last unsupported line at the end. What do you mean, "they obeyed blindly"? Do you mean that they didn't know what they were supposed to do or why they were supposed to do it or why it was right to follow God's instructions? They did know what they were supposed to do (Gen. 2:15-17), and why they were supposed to do it (Gen. 2:17), and why it was right to follow God's instructions (Gen. 1:26-31) Why could not moral good be equated with obedience? I don't see why that disqualifies them from knowing good, even if that is all they knew. To do what you are told and to not do what you are told not to do is a moral decision. They had both instructions and either one on its own would also qualify as a moral decision. I'm not sure how you say it cannot be. Would you say that our legal system is a system of extortion? When we disobey the law we are subject to punishment, so by your reckoning, we are merely part of a huge extortion racket. I don't think that is true and I doubt you do either. Rules without some consequence for breaking them are empty rules that will be broken. My children, who are my legal possession, know that obeying the rules is right and disobeying is wrong - that has nothing to do with making a moral choice either. LNC
  2. LNC

    Sin

    I don't think that is an accurate or complete definition of sin either. LNC
  3. LNC

    Sin

    Most of our history is based upon eyewitness testimony that occurred before the age of cameras, film, and other forms of technology. Also, the accounts are not claimed to be scientific claims, but supernatural ones, so by definition, they would not fall within our known "scientific laws." But to say that something must adhere to scientific laws is to assume that to fall outside of those laws is "incredible," but then, those are the events being reported and they were credible to the witnesses. Actually, it is not the case that Christians are the only ones sure of absolute truth, it there is no such thing as absolute or objective truth, then our conversation is meaningless as it assumes that we objectively observe the world as it is. That some things are true independent of whether we believe them to be. I believe that the Bible is the central message of Christianity and therefore, there is a unified whole. The problem is that some people misinterpret it or reinterpret it to their own advantage. Such is the case with the "prosperity" movement. It is not Biblical and even contains many heretical beliefs and practices. I reject it as such. The word redeemed is not always associated with a monetary exchange, however, it is associated with a type of exchange. It is just that over the years we have associated it with a monetary exchange. Yet, we also associate it with a person who has been saved from a bad life or experience. A reformed alcoholic is said to have redeemed his or her life. Or someone who has made amends for a bad life or action is said to have redeemed himself. There is no monetary exchange that has occurred. Do you believe that all material things should be considered illusory? Is that not the epitome of selfishness? I agree that we should hold lightly to the things of this world, but I think if is wrong to consider them illusory. I have a wife and two kids who need my love and care, I will not consider them to be illusory even though they are embodied in material flesh. LNC
  4. LNC

    Sin

    How is it? OK, since you answered a question with a question, let me do the same. If it is not a thing, then of what are we speaking? I still don't agree. Actions done with wrong motives may have a good effect on the recipient, but I still wouldn't call them morally good. For example, suppose a person stole medicines necessary to sustain the life of a young child and gave them to an old person with the same disease. Would we call that a moral good? It would be beneficial to the old person, but the action was also detrimental to the young child. Suppose also that the person who stole the medicines was paid a large amount of money for the medicines, would we then call it morally good? No, actions are not of necessity, morally good, it is always dependent on the intent of the person performing them. I don't agree with you that many Christians hold a false view in this area and none of us perform good deeds out of pure motives, but the Bible is clear that if our motives are wrong when performing acts of kindness and charity, it will be like chaff on the threshing floor, ultimately it will be blown away or burned up with fire. The Bible is clear: It is not by works that the Bible tells us we are saved, but by trusting in Jesus and the work he completed on the cross. These ideas predated Christianity, they are a part of the Hebrew Scriptures. I'm not sure what you mean that you don't see them in real life, that is simply to assume that the Bible is not discussing real life. Good and bad behaviors are described in the Bible and there is no grounding for objective morality apart from the existence of God, so to discuss good and bad behavior apart from God's existence is simply to discuss opinions, not fact. If abortion is the killing of an innocent life, would you not agree that it would be good to outlaw such a practice? As for church/state ideas, Christians that I know simply favor the enforcing of the 2nd amendment to the U.S. Constitution as it is written and intended by the author. However, no Christian is trying to force these views on anyone, we are trying to use the legal and legislative process to enact laws. If you consider that forcing ideas on others, then, that would apply to any person who has promoted a law, including those promoting abortion and other social views on others who disagree with these practices. If these people did not do this, we wouldn't be having this discussion either, and neither of us would be on this site. The blade cuts both ways. LNC
  5. LNC

    Sin

    I think I have seen studies like this. Anyone who has had kids would know this without having seen the research . It seems the first words kids learn to use with force and repeat often are "no!" and "mine!" Oh, I don't disagree with this, but this is behavior that these kids prefer in others, not behavior that they prefer for themselves. One need only go to a nursery school to see that kids are territorial with the toys in the place and protective of the ones they are playing with, while other kids seem to have an eye for the toys the other kid has got, no matter how many other toys are available. My wife and I have been teaching a class of 3yo kids at church this summer, and it never fails that what one kid has got, another kid is going to want, even when a lot of other great toys are available. The knowing is an experiential knowing, not a conceptual knowing. The Bible often speaks of sexual intercourse as saying the man "knew his wife" (Gen. 4:17, 25). It doesn't mean that Cain or Adam just met their wives, but they knew them in an experiential way that they didn't prior to that. The same is true in the way that Adam and Eve knew good and evil in this case. They knew that it was evil to disobey God and eat from the tree, otherwise, why feel guilt and hide themselves after doing so when God approached in the garden. LNC
  6. LNC

    Sin

    Sure, historians are suspicious, they apply proven techniques to determine the credibility of a historical document. They don't rely on whether we had pictures or video of the account as that would automatically discount anything prior to the 19th century, and most of it during that time as, although the film camera was invented, it took some time before events were captured on film in those days. Regarding scientific laws, there is much we don't understand about them (see, quantum theory) and we also don't know that scientific law provides, or even could provide a complete understanding to reality. For example, in the area of consciousness, there is much that falls outside of physical reduction, and therefore, scientific law. No, actually logicians and philosophers are pretty convinced as well. It is a logical contradiction to say that there is no absolute truth because the statement itself, if true, becomes self-refuting. I appreciate your honesty regarding your assessment. When Karma is played out in the religions that developed the idea, it seems pretty much as I understand it. For example, India's caste system is a prime example of the system of Karma. People are stuck in their castes based upon their previous lives and the castes may not, for the most part, intermix. This is especially true of the lowest caste of untouchables. It is not a very kind system to that group of people. I understand that different strands of Buddhism have different beliefs and that most Westerners have a flawed understanding of Karma, however, I've done more reading than the average Westerner and believe I have a better understanding than many. This may not be the best forum to debate the subject, but I find it flawed and troublesome as a system for a person's life. You're right in saying that redeem means an exchange, although it is not always monetary in nature. We often speak of a person finding redemption for a life of sin or trouble. They exchange their old manner of life for a new one - they turn over a new leaf, as it were. However, I don't see where Buddhism is not about this very idea. It seems that all the teachings are about changing the person, his desires, his actions, his thoughts, from one thing to another. But we were focusing on Karma and whether it is a redemptive idea, and, I don't think it is. I think it is ridden with guilt and fear, not hope and peace. LNC
  7. LNC

    Sin

    How would you know this if you don't have free will? How do you know it is not just a false belief that evolution has conditioned you to believe? The fact is, without free will, you wouldn't know and wouldn't even have knowledge (justified true belief), because you could never justify any of your beliefs. Your statement about my being a Christian because I live in a Christian society also explains why you're an atheist, because you hang out with atheists. Actually, that is called the genetic fallacy and is false. Besides, you don't know how I became a Christian. What is arrogant is claiming that the root of arrogance is denying that fact. LNC
  8. LNC

    Sin

    Why do you see every discussion a Christian has about any subject as some subversive attempt to prove God's existence. I also talk about sports, philosophy, economics, politics, technology, etc. Maybe I'll start a thread on the Green Bay Packers sometime, just to change the subject and show that I can actually discuss other subjects. Sorry, but Arminianism is not equivalent with free will. Granted, Arminians believe in free will as it pertains to salvation, but free will goes beyond that discussion and decision. That is a faulty understanding of Calvinism. Calvinists don't believe that God has made a person dead in sin, that is the result of the fall and rebellion against God. How has science debunked the creation story? The last I checked, the Big Bang theory is the leading theory on the origin of the universe and it fits quite nicely with the creation account. I don't consider the creation account allegorical and no Christian I know does either. I know of some who claim to be liberal Christians who do, but then, I don't consider their hermeneutics to be very reliable or sound. I believe that there is a place both for God's sovereignty and man's free will. Man can come up with many interpretations of anything (see, the Constitution), but that doesn't mean that there wasn't original intent and that we cannot arrive at what that original intent is. However, you claim that we cannot take anything published as fact, I assume that also includes your post published to the Internet? Just checking. LNC
  9. LNC

    Sin

    Sorry, Brother Josh, I didn't know that your posts were off limits to other responses. However, since you've now responded to me, I will take that as willingness on your part to now receive my reply. The mistake that is often made in these discussions is to confuse foreknowledge with foreordination. God may know what our choice is before we have made it, but that doesn't mean that he or anyone else has ordained that choice. If we would choose different, God would know that as well. Simply to see ahead what we will choose is not to negate free will in any way. The future is only unknown to us because we are bound within time and don't have omniscience to see outside of our time perspective. God is not so limited. God sees the future, but the future is still the future for us as we have not lived it out. God knows all true propositions, so he is not bound in that sense by time. I'm really not sure what your objection is here. God does not make his decisions bound by time and circumstances either. As he is omniscient, he does not have to wait to see what will happen before deciding what to do next. LNC
  10. LNC

    Sin

    BAA: Are the terms Hubble volume and visible universe interchangeable? LNC: Technically, no they are not. The boundary of the Hubble volume is the point at which objects are moving faster than the speed of light as they expand the bounds of the universe, so the observable universe is beyond that boundary. BAA: Sorry, but I'm still confused LNC, so could you please provide a much more detailed, in-depth explanation that covers all of the salients points? Thanks! LNC: Really, you are asking for a lot here. Is it that you don't understand the concept of infinite or that you believe I don't? I think my definition is technically all that is required for the purpose of our conversation unless you have specific details you would like for me to flesh out. BAA: What do you mean by, 'a series of temporal positions'? Isn't a 'position' a characteristic of space, not time? Please explain further. LNC: I wasn't necessarily using the term as a physical position, but rather a marking in a series of events. I believe I explained that in my response as marking past, present, and future. It is the measurement of the sequencing of events and their duration. However, to be accurate and detailed would take much more space and "time" than I have to devote to the answer. As Augustine said, "What then is time? If no one asks me, I know; but, if I wish to explain it to one who asks, I know not." (Confessions). BAA: What do you mean by, 'continual transformation'? From what to what? LNC: A change in some respect from what they were, to what they have become. BAA: What are the recognized means by which events are characterized as falling into the categories of past, present and future? LNC: We form concepts based upon our observation of the world. We see change and we perceive things as they were (past), things as they are (present), and anticipate things as they will become (future). I anticipate a meeting that I have on Thursday and know that I set it up yesterday and had to change it today from tomorrow to Thursday. I am writing about it now and you will read it in the future, when I will remember writing it in the past. BAA: Aren't the terms past, present and future just arbitrary manifestations of human consciousness and not real entities in of themselves? LNC: Are you asking whether time is sequenced? If the past is real? No, I don't see these as arbitrary terms. Do you believe that things that have already occurred are or were real or just arbitrary thoughts in your brain? Or, do you hold to a B-theory that holds that events are tenseless? BAA: Btw, I'm certainly keen on a much, much longer discussion! I mean... why not? What else do you need to be doing? Is there something else important you'd like to be engaged in here? LNC: I think we've got plenty to think about for now. We can expand as we go along (if in fact we are going along BAA: So why is our universe (your definition, as above) unlikely to be infinite (your more detailed, in-depth explanation to follow) due to the constraints of time (your answers to my questions on this, to follow)? Could you please justify why you think this is so? LNC: I believe that the idea of traversing an infinite span of time is logically problematic. If there are an infinite number of days preceding this day, then it assumes that we have spanned an infinite amount of time to arrive at this day, but we have not and could not as time continues from this point. BAA: Why not? You've clearly got the time to answer the points that the Agnosticator, Deva, Margee, Centauri and others have put to you, so availible time can't be an issue for you, can it? LNC: My available time varies by the week. I can never predict what my availability is going to be ahead of time. I’m not sure that understanding the differences between Calvin and Arminius is helpful to understanding the issue of free will as a philosophic issue. They were debating it from a theological application, but both accepted predestination or predetermination of those who would believe as that is not in dispute in the Bible. The real dispute had to do with the effects of original sin on the individual. Arminius held that it had less effect than did Calvin. Also, Arminius believed that the individual played a larger role in his or her salvation than did Calvin, who believed that any such effort by man could count as works. Some later adherents to Arminianism also believed that a person could lose his or her salvation, adding to the belief that man was partially responsible for his salvation. BAA: Thanks for the eloquent reply, but you seem to have overlooked something LNC. On July 15 you said that your view was somewhat different from the standard Calvinist view. Presumably this difference is in regard to man's role? Yes? You see, we still don't know where you stand on the question of how man's role in salvation, vis-a-vis the clearly taught Biblical principals of predestination and election. This leaves us in the position of not knowing why you believe what you believe. Now I'm sure that you don't want this state of affairs to continue, so if you would be so kind as to apply your considerable intellect to the issue of how and why you differ from the standard Calvinist view, I think we'd all apppreciate it. Thanks. LNC: The Bible clearly teaches that man is dead in sin (Eph. 2:1) and that God makes him alive from sin (Eph. 2:4), so apart from God making man alive from sin, he cannot and will not put his trust in God, but remain in rebellion. Once God makes man alive, he clearly sees himself as a sinner in need of salvation and trusts in Jesus. It is trusting in Jesus that saves the person? No, they were saved when they were made alive by God, but they also truly place faith in Jesus from that point. BAA: Btw LNC, I couldn't help but notice that you wrote, 'from being dead to sin'. Is that a typo? Did you mean, 'from being dead thru sin'? When sinners are made alive in Christ they become dead to sin, but not before then. That's right, isn't it? LNC: You are right, it should have read, "dead in sin." Thanks for pointing that out and allowing me to correct it. Hopefully, I kept straight the answers to this set of questions from the last set. LNC
  11. LNC

    Sin

    Right, one is correct (potato) and one is wrong (potaato). According to whom? Rather, I don't accept the argument because the case was not made. It is a self-defeating proposition. If you try to prove we don't have free will, you have simply argued in favor of free will. How can I choose to believe the argument you make unless I am free to do so? How can you know the argument is valid unless you are free to test it? LNC
  12. LNC

    Sin

    There was free choice in the eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There is also choice when we rebel against God, or when we choose what we will order from a restaurant, or what we will wear to work. We have plenty of free choices and free will to make those choices. You chose what to write in your post to me. Actually, if you read the whole statement it will tell you in what way God didn't want man to become like him, but did, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil." (Gen. 3:22) LNC
  13. LNC

    Sin

    Yes, then you should remember from your studies that context is king. That doesn't just pertain to the Bible, it is true of any text we study. OK, all I can say then is, have it your way. BTW, I hope I don't go the way of Benny Hinn or Todd Bentley, I fear that they may be among those who say, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’" To which he will reply, “‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.” At least, that is what I see based upon their "ministries". I hope they both repent before it is too late. LNC
  14. LNC

    Sin

    Basically, what is happening in this passage, much like what is happening in Romans 1, is that when people pursue unrighteousness and deception, God removes any restraint of the force of that choice. In other words, if the people were bent upon believing a lie, God allowed the full force of that deception to come upon the people such that they would be completely consumed by that deception and its consequences. It is often referred to as restraining grace, a grace that God has in the world to prevent the full force of sin to have its effects in this time. However, some are bent upon that course and God allows those people to "have at it" as it were; to pursue that life with full vigor. Maybe that is what happened to Amy Winehouse, she was committed to destroying her life, as her family seemed to indicate, and all restraints were removed to allow her to pursue that course to its completion. It is sad, but some people want what they want when they want it, and in those cases, God allows them to have it. I've seen it in my life with two of my brothers who went that course and had the same end as Amy. LNC
  15. LNC

    Sin

    My question was not "Is it possible to be a Christian and not believe in free will? Sure, it is possible. I have pointed out logical problems with this view, but it is possible. LNC
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