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Christian Myths Busted By Apologist


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Leading Christian Myths

James Patrick Holding

 

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This item is nothing new, but rather a contextualization and collation of what has been found in these pages before. There are certain of what can be called myths dispersed in the church today, and it seemed good to collect these in one place for new readers and provide as well links for further study when possible. As of now there are 14, but the number is not set in stone.

 

These myths I believe cause harm to the church as a whole ranging from simple cognitive dissonance in individuals to outright apostasy in those who cannot reconcile the inconsistences.

 

I've also added lately (4/06) an addendum of commentary on a list by a magazine called The Church Report on the 50 Most Influential Christians. I've put this here because many of these myths are being spread (or aided) by many of the people on this list. But first, to the myths.

 

Hell is a place of physical torture. This myth has caused numerous people to question the fairness and justness of God. It is grist for numerous atheist critiques. While I once defended this view myself (albeit not to great depth, since I discovered the error in the process of research), and while I do not necessarily think atheist critiques of the idea are sound, there is certainly no reason to make things harder on ourselves and others.

Hell is actually more of a state than a place, and it is a state of shame, of exclusion from God's honor and presence, not a place of torture. See here. A side point here is the related myth that Christians as a whole want to see people go to hell -- that's done by assuming that a Fred Phelps is the plumb line for believers.

 

God is my buddy, Jesus is my friend. The modern hymn calls Jesus a "friend" and some may appeal to a verse in John where Jesus calls his disciples "friends". But the understanding of the word is decontextualized. People of the time of the Bible did not "get to know" each other as modern persons in the West do. A "friend" meant a person who looked out for your practical interests -- not someone you had beer and watched football with.

Even some preachers today (I am thinking of John MacArthur, but there are others) have lamented the modern view of God as a "buddy" as detracting from God's holiness. The result has been numerous corrupt theologies which see God as one who dispenses wealth like a gumball machine, and whose voice is constantly in one's head, sometimes defeating sound practice and doctrine but sometimes even just giving advice on what house to buy or what have you. This myth is a common one perpetrated by some persons of influence listed below.

 

But really, even a more common view can be misleading. Many evangelists speak of a "personal relationship with Jesus". The phrase is used to mean something not too far from the "God is my buddy" idea, in essence meaning we can talk to Jesus any time, and so on. If I had to correct this, I would say that what is required of us is a patronal relationship with Jesus. The NT explains our relationship with God in terms of a client-patron relationship, one in which God, patron, is remote; and Jesus, as a broker, mediates between ourselves and God. Then we do have the indwelling Holy Spirit as a broker as well; but though the Spirit supplies us with mediation and perhaps power, there is nothing to show that the Spirit is some sort of intimate conversation partner. And finally, since people of the ancient world seldom "got to know each other" personally (as is taken for granted in modern, Western society) there is no way that NT writers could have had an idea like a "personal relationship with Jesus" in mind in the first place -- not as we perceive it. The word "personal" is so broad in meaning that it could include a "patronal" relationship; but that is obviously not what most people have in mind when they use the word. They usually mean something like, God is approachable in the same way one of your sports buddies is. It is not the words that are so much the issue as the particulars of expression.

 

Ironically, the view of God as a remote patron is the one that is most conducive to the view concerned Christians like MacArthur wish to see us return to. Perhaps then we would see a greater respect for God and His holiness, and less obsession with self-fulfillment, ranging from best-selling books having titles like The Purpose-Driven Life to our most popular songs being titled, "I Can Only Imagine" (focus on experience, not on fact).

 

A reader recently noted a point related to this: The myth that "the purpose of coming to Christ is happiness, joy, all the feel good emotions we love (instead of forgiveness and atonement for sin)." This is tied in with such modern conceptions as use of personal testimony as the primary form of witnessing (when in the first century, it was the evidence for the resurrection and the life of Jesus that lay at the heart of evangelism) and the self-focus that makes people live as though God will not hold us accountable for our deeds.

 

The end times are coming! The entire package of "end times" belief and literature has resulted in excessive waste of resources -- pedantically, all the paper that has gone to print end-times novels and books; productively, encouraging a "pie in the sky" approach that engenders irresponsible stewardship. This is perhaps our most damaging myth, internally speaking, though it has also done harm externally by making Christians look foolish and paranoid.

I would add that the present state of understanding has also encouraged excessive credit to Satan as performing all sorts of deeds which detract from human responsibility. In turn this has encouraged Christians to see Satan under every rock and in every passage he is not in (like Is. 14 and Ez. 28).

 

The "end times" in fact took place in the first century, and we await only resurrection and final judgment. Satan is bound and not tempting anyone or hiding their car keys or whatever the myth of the week is....see here. This myth also appears among persons of influence.

 

Faith is blind and has nothing to do with evidence. This myth has enabled Christians to ignore, indeed wave off, education and scholarship. It has made believers look foolish before those who do value knowledge.

Faith in fact means loyalty based on prior performance. See here.

 

Heaven is a place to relax. Like the end times myth, this has encouraged lackadaisical behavior and in some cases has inspired dread among those who think Heaven will be a boring place.

Here I recommend, actually, a popular book by Randy Alcorn titled Heaven. Once past the first portion of dizzying anecdotes, this settles down into a fairly sound exegesis/narrative showing the Heaven is a place where we will have work to do.

 

Certainty is a sin. Modern persons, and postmodernism, have encouraged the myth that everyone's opinion is valid and deserves "respect" and/or wider hearing. This is not only non-Biblical (for those who respect that authority) but also self-contradictory, for it fails to respect the "opinion" that not everyone's opinion is valid. The price of this myth has been to ineffectualize rational argument (and in turn, increase dependence on "blind" faith as above).

Sanitized for your protection. Modern versions of the Bible, and everyday preachers, have often failed to deal with "hard sayings" of the Bible, whether it be language that we would call objectionable (Malachi's "dung in your faces" phrase, etc.) or behavior that we would regard as immoral (the destruction of the Amalekites, etc.) The results of this myth have ranged from cognitive dissonance to apostasy (since Christians confronted with these passages are often shocked by them and have no idea how to defend or explain them) to a false "Victorian" understanding of Biblical morality. Literature of the ancient world, as much as the Bible, was frank and straightforward; see here.

Related to this is a myth that Christians are "anti-sex." As a reader put it, when God told Adam and Eve to "go forth and multiply", we doubt He was talking about doing mathematics problems. The Song of Solomon isn't a case of Sol singing "Achy Breaky Heart". As bad as it gets: the apostate's site "ex-christian.net" has featured "Christian Nude Art" as some sort of "naaaaaah naaaaaaah" precisely because of this myth.

 

The Bible was written yesterday and for me personally. Christians and critics alike are guilty of this one, what is properly called "decontextualization". The text is read as though the writers shared the same values and understandings we do (as one rather odd person allegedly suggested, "The Apostle Paul used the KJV and that's good enough for me.")

This has encouraged, as well, a refusal to do depth study, and to rest rather in "listening to the Spirit" for instruction on exegesis. From this has sprung things not all bad, but in some cases rank heresy. See more here.

 

"Love" means sentimentality. The Biblical word for "love" rendered from agape does not refer to sentiment or good feelings, but rather, to looking out for the greater good. The false view has led to misleading understandings of the role of confrontation, and to the excusing of criminal actions (eg, refusing to enact the death penalty out of "love"!), among other things. See on the true definition here.

OT prophecy fulfillment is a good apologetic. It actually isn't useful in the way it was at first. We need to understand (as do Skeptics) Jewish exegesis of the first century. It is not so much that the OT predicted the NT events as that the NT writers looked at history and sought OT passages that echoed what they had seen. This does not mean that there is not actual predictive prophecy at all (for even then God may have orchestrated the pattern) but rather that we cannot present an apologetic on this basis as we normally have; or else we are forced into a corner of explaining ie, why the NT allegedly uses OT passages "out of context".

Saints are "super-Christians". We are all saints, according to the New Testament. This is not a Catholic thing I refer to; I mean that Protestants have a version of this in which Christian celebrities are idolized. Personality cults are a product of modern individualism. This leads to a secondary point which is a myth from the other side: That Christians are "holier than thou" and/or that they are required to be. While some no doubt do act this way, it's not because they are Christians; there are plenty of people in other religions (and even atheists) who have the same attitude -- such as the guy who throws together a site titled "10001 Bible Contradictions" and uses nothing but Ingersoll as a source. In that case it's more like "smarter than thou" but it all runs down to the same base assumption that "I'm better than you" when there's no evidence for it.

"A" church is a building. The ancient word ekklesia meant the people and the assembly of people, not where they met. The same goes for the precursor, the Jewish synagogue (which required ten men, not ten bricks). This seems to be a minor semantic point, and for some people it is, but it has often taken the focus away from the body where it belongs and put it on things and programs where it doesn't belong. It does tend to encourage a view of people as statistics.

All Christians are... There are several things this sentence ends with that don't work, such as: "anti-Semitists" (which is particularly funny, considering the ethniticity of Jesus, the disciples, Paul...); "Republicans" (I'm an independent myself); "brainwashed/don't think for themselves" (presumably this includes scholars like N. T. Wright), and more that I am sure you can think of. It's just comforting generalization by a mass readership not able to deal with the actual arguments.

The supernatural exists. Uh oh, what am I saying? Don't panic: I'm saying that we've all fallen prey to the post-Enlightenment distinction between the natural and the so-called supernatural. In other words, this is an artifical category, one that has led to such silly ideas as that miracles (acts of God) "violate natural law". God works in and through the natural world and within its "laws" -- while some miracles are beyond human capacity to duplicate, they hardly require any violation of nature's "laws" (other than perhaps, creation ex nihilo, and even that is not certainly a "violation"). Put it this way: Why is it not a "violation" of the law of gravity when I pick up a box? Why IS it such a violation when God picks up that same box? The inconsistency was invented of itself, and unfortunately, we continue to let the debate continue on these terms, and this makes our apologetic for things like the Resurrection more difficult than it needs to be.

The funny thing is that a humanist like Gene Roddenberry could conceive of beings like the Organians without blinking an eye, but also could reject the supernatural as impossible. Huh?

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Leading Christian Myths

James Patrick Holding

 

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Hell is a place of physical torture. This myth has caused numerous people to question the fairness and justness of God. It is grist for numerous atheist critiques. While I once defended this view myself (albeit not to great depth, since I discovered the error in the process of research), and while I do not necessarily think atheist critiques of the idea are sound, there is certainly no reason to make things harder on ourselves and others.

Hell is actually more of a state than a place, and it is a state of shame, of exclusion from God's honor and presence, not a place of torture. See here. A side point here is the related myth that Christians as a whole want to see people go to hell -- that's done by assuming that a Fred Phelps is the plumb line for believers.

 

Heaven is a place to relax. Like the end times myth, this has encouraged lackadaisical behavior and in some cases has inspired dread among those who think Heaven will be a boring place.

Here I recommend, actually, a popular book by Randy Alcorn titled Heaven. Once past the first portion of dizzying anecdotes, this settles down into a fairly sound exegesis/narrative showing the Heaven is a place where we will have work to do.

 

If heaven is a place and hell is a state of being, doesn't that cancel out the existence of an afterlife? If heaven is a place, then that implies that you go somewhere, yet, if you "go" to hell, you're just in a state of mind. Therefore, hell doesn't actually exist, so how can heaven exist? The only possible explanation is that hell is in heaven, but, as you can see....

 

The supernatural exists. Uh oh, what am I saying? Don't panic: I'm saying that we've all fallen prey to the post-Enlightenment distinction between the natural and the so-called supernatural. In other words, this is an artifical category, one that has led to such silly ideas as that miracles (acts of God) "violate natural law". God works in and through the natural world and within its "laws" -- while some miracles are beyond human capacity to duplicate, they hardly require any violation of nature's "laws" (other than perhaps, creation ex nihilo, and even that is not certainly a "violation"). Put it this way: Why is it not a "violation" of the law of gravity when I pick up a box? Why IS it such a violation when God picks up that same box? The inconsistency was invented of itself, and unfortunately, we continue to let the debate continue on these terms, and this makes our apologetic for things like the Resurrection more difficult than it needs to be.

 

The supernatural doesn't exist, so how could that be? The laws of physics would have to exist in heaven, so how could two different things be in the same place, even if in "just a state of being"? How would one differentiate between the two different states, and how could one's perception be changed if the supernatural didn't exist? Also, I wonder how the people in heaven would react to having the people they condemned to hell right there with them the whole time.

 

Also, I still see no way that something like the Resurrection could be within nature's laws. He killed his own argument (not that he hadn't already).

 

The funny thing is that a humanist like Gene Roddenberry could conceive of beings like the Organians without blinking an eye, but also could reject the supernatural as impossible. Huh?

 

It's called fiction. You know, kind of like the Bible.

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This article is a 'slick willy' apologetics. he doesn't take the time to explain scripture but instead makes references to other books that explain the bible myths. It's another case of who really 'knows' the bible scripture. The bible was written to be all true and the exact word of god. No other book should be allowed to explain the bible other than the bible itself. All other books make excuses for the inconsistancies in the bible and they in turn make contradictions depending upon the writer's denominational teachings. The writer seems to have a Gene Roddenberry fixation. Normal people reject the supernatural as fiction, only those who 'believe'in talking snakes believe the bible is true in any fashion and that jezus is god.

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It's called fiction. You know, kind of like the Bible.

 

Fiction the Bible may be. But whether we are nothing after death, or living spiritually in whatever place we may be is an unknown tale of tales.

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It looks like since they haven't made any headway arguing with informed non-believers, some of them feel the need to change tactics and do away with the "difficult" parts of the Bible. Still trying to explain away what the Bible says rather than admitting it is just mythology.

 

- Chris

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It looks like since they haven't made any headway arguing with informed non-believers, some of them feel the need to change tactics and do away with the "difficult" parts of the Bible. Still trying to explain away what the Bible says rather than admitting it is just mythology.

 

- Chris

 

 

Not exactly. That works both ways. Stubborness, whether it be toward Christianity or Non, is still stubborness. For every arguement of doctrine and authenticity, there are answers on both sides. That, I do know.

 

Personnally, I tend to think of the Bible in two ways. A child way, and a test.

 

1. I wouldnt try to explain, in details how a baby is born to my children, until the time is right and they are more mature. Then even, they may have already obtained enough logic to comprehend the process. Learning different parts at different times. As a parent, it would be ridiculous to try to explain that process to a child, in trying to get them to understand it. Their eyes do not see what we see and their minds dont think as an adult does.

 

Maybe, God sees us as little children, not ready and stable enough to comprehend more than we have.

 

2. Test. Sometimes, People see and hear what they want to see and hear. Test of purpose, intent, mindset, thoughts, and devotion.

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Faith is blind and has nothing to do with evidence. This myth has enabled Christians to ignore, indeed wave off, education and scholarship. It has made believers look foolish before those who do value knowledge.

Faith in fact means loyalty based on prior performance. See here.

Actually that is what it has to be if its to be believed. I don't see why someone who makes leaps of faith about flying messiahs is necessarily going to shrug off education. A lot of educated people make the "choice" to believe religiously simply for the sake of having a religious belief. It's like enjoying a good toke now and then. That's not rational either.

 

Certainty is a sin. Modern persons, and postmodernism, have encouraged the myth that everyone's opinion is valid and deserves "respect" and/or wider hearing. This is not only non-Biblical (for those who respect that authority) but also self-contradictory, for it fails to respect the "opinion" that not everyone's opinion is valid. The price of this myth has been to ineffectualize rational argument (and in turn, increase dependence on "blind" faith as above).

Certainty isn't a sin, but it is arrogant. It's not a myth that everyone's opinion has some validity. The argument against it by saying it's self-contradictory is hardly an argument. It's just a trick of logic and language, in a way sort of like the Liar's Paradox, "I am lying now" (is that speaking the truth or a lie itself). The point is valid to say there is no truth, even though it creates a paradox. The point is understood, and it has support.

 

So is the price of the "understanding" (not myth), to ineffectualize rational argument? Does that rational argument take into account perceivers? Does it have empirical evidence supporting it that's independently testable? It all depends. To me it expands possible explanations, rather than confining them to religious dogma.

 

The supernatural exists. Uh oh, what am I saying? Don't panic: I'm saying that we've all fallen prey to the post-Enlightenment distinction between the natural and the so-called supernatural. In other words, this is an artifical category, one that has led to such silly ideas as that miracles (acts of God) "violate natural law". God works in and through the natural world and within its "laws" -- while some miracles are beyond human capacity to duplicate, they hardly require any violation of nature's "laws" (other than perhaps, creation ex nihilo, and even that is not certainly a "violation"). Put it this way: Why is it not a "violation" of the law of gravity when I pick up a box? Why IS it such a violation when God picks up that same box? The inconsistency was invented of itself, and unfortunately, we continue to let the debate continue on these terms, and this makes our apologetic for things like the Resurrection more difficult than it needs to be.

I hardly think the comparison between someone lifting a box, versus God's miracles is a valid one. It's not a violation of natural law that we can overcome gravity with the natural means available to us, but it could hardly be called a miracle if God was a human and used a human body to lift the same box the same as us. If these "miracles" were simply God using nature in natural ways, then it ceases to be a miracle, and fails as a sign of divinity. It's essential advanced technology. In which case we've done - a hell of lot more miracles - than Jesus ever did! Where's his iPod? Where's his automobile, his jet, his combine tractor, his freeway system, his submarine, his space shuttle? Did Jesus walk on the moon? I thought not. Oh, wait... maybe he did....

 

astrojesus.jpg

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Personnally, I tend to think of the Bible in two ways. A child way, and a test.

 

1. I wouldnt try to explain, in details how a baby is born to my children, until the time is right and they are more mature. Then even, they may have already obtained enough logic to comprehend the process. Learning different parts at different times. As a parent, it would be ridiculous to try to explain that process to a child, in trying to get them to understand it. Their eyes do not see what we see and their minds dont think as an adult does.

 

Maybe, God sees us as little children, not ready and stable enough to comprehend more than we have.

Maybe with the rise of scientific knowledge and modern scholarship, God is asking the church to grow up and put behind childish notions of Biblical innerrancy and literalism? Maybe the fundamentalists refusal to look at evidence is an act of rebellion and an offense to God?

 

An interesting thought?

 

2. Test. Sometimes, People see and hear what they want to see and hear. Test of purpose, intent, mindset, thoughts, and devotion.

Again, read the above. Are they willing to step out on faith and see where it takes them, or hang onto dogma and religion? The test would be what's in the heart, and not in the doctrines and traditions.

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Maybe with the rise of scientific knowledge and modern scholarship, God is asking the church to grow up and put behind childish notions of Biblical innerrancy and literalism? Maybe the fundamentalists refusal to look at evidence is an act of rebellion and an offense to God?

 

An interesting thought?

 

Again, read the above. Are they willing to step out on faith and see where it takes them, or hang onto dogma and religion? The test would be what's in the heart, and not in the doctrines and traditions.

 

I agree

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1. I wouldnt try to explain, in details how a baby is born to my children, until the time is right and they are more mature. Then even, they may have already obtained enough logic to comprehend the process. Learning different parts at different times. As a parent, it would be ridiculous to try to explain that process to a child, in trying to get them to understand it. Their eyes do not see what we see and their minds dont think as an adult does.
See this thread here: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=22103
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It looks like since they haven't made any headway arguing with informed non-believers, some of them feel the need to change tactics and do away with the "difficult" parts of the Bible. Still trying to explain away what the Bible says rather than admitting it is just mythology.

 

- Chris

 

 

Not exactly. That works both ways. Stubborness, whether it be toward Christianity or Non, is still stubborness. For every arguement of doctrine and authenticity, there are answers on both sides. That, I do know.

 

Personnally, I tend to think of the Bible in two ways. A child way, and a test.

 

1. I wouldnt try to explain, in details how a baby is born to my children, until the time is right and they are more mature. Then even, they may have already obtained enough logic to comprehend the process. Learning different parts at different times. As a parent, it would be ridiculous to try to explain that process to a child, in trying to get them to understand it. Their eyes do not see what we see and their minds dont think as an adult does.

 

Maybe, God sees us as little children, not ready and stable enough to comprehend more than we have.

 

2. Test. Sometimes, People see and hear what they want to see and hear. Test of purpose, intent, mindset, thoughts, and devotion.

 

And there's the proof of my point.

 

We're children, so God wrote us a book we're too stupid to understand. Or the Bible is just a test, and how we interpret all the genocide, historical errors, scientific errors, and internal conflicts determines how well-meaning and devoted we are.

 

You are talking to a lot of former Christians who have been on their faces begging God for some enlightenment. Some sign or inspiration to show the way. Since that prayer is never answered we have people who interpret God's word the way they are told or whatever way they can make up for themselves, hence the myriad of Christian religions and sects. Or, one finally realizes it's a mythology and not the one and only Word of God.

 

- Chris

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Faith is blind and has nothing to do with evidence. This myth has enabled Christians to ignore, indeed wave off, education and scholarship. It has made believers look foolish before those who do value knowledge.

Faith in fact means loyalty based on prior performance. See here.

 

Ok, then I judge that god is either disloyal or non existent based upon his prior performance...which is to say that there doesn't seem to be any.

 

 

Certainty is a sin. Modern persons, and postmodernism, have encouraged the myth that everyone's opinion is valid and deserves "respect" and/or wider hearing. This is not only non-Biblical (for those who respect that authority) but also self-contradictory, for it fails to respect the "opinion" that not everyone's opinion is valid. The price of this myth has been to ineffectualize rational argument (and in turn, increase dependence on "blind" faith as above).

 

This guy makes the assumption that non believers are all relativists... All opinions are NOT valid or worth hearing, this guys opinion for instance.

 

Sanitized for your protection. Modern versions of the Bible, and everyday preachers, have often failed to deal with "hard sayings" of the Bible, whether it be language that we would call objectionable (Malachi's "dung in your faces" phrase, etc.) or behavior that we would regard as immoral (the destruction of the Amalekites, etc.) The results of this myth have ranged from cognitive dissonance to apostasy (since Christians confronted with these passages are often shocked by them and have no idea how to defend or explain them) to a false "Victorian" understanding of Biblical morality. Literature of the ancient world, as much as the Bible, was frank and straightforward; see here.

Related to this is a myth that Christians are "anti-sex." As a reader put it, when God told Adam and Eve to "go forth and multiply", we doubt He was talking about doing mathematics problems. The Song of Solomon isn't a case of Sol singing "Achy Breaky Heart". As bad as it gets: the apostate's site "ex-christian.net" has featured "Christian Nude Art" as some sort of "naaaaaah naaaaaaah" precisely because of this myth.

 

I think the point of that being posted here is precisely to point out that not all Christians have gone in for the puritanical nonsense that most fundies do. Those views you attack do have a much longer history than Victorian England though. Their roots come from Augustine's writings.

 

"Love" means sentimentality. The Biblical word for "love" rendered from agape does not refer to sentiment or good feelings, but rather, to looking out for the greater good. The false view has led to misleading understandings of the role of confrontation, and to the excusing of criminal actions (eg, refusing to enact the death penalty out of "love"!), among other things. See on the true definition here.

OT prophecy fulfillment is a good apologetic. It actually isn't useful in the way it was at first. We need to understand (as do Skeptics) Jewish exegesis of the first century. It is not so much that the OT predicted the NT events as that the NT writers looked at history and sought OT passages that echoed what they had seen. This does not mean that there is not actual predictive prophecy at all (for even then God may have orchestrated the pattern) but rather that we cannot present an apologetic on this basis as we normally have; or else we are forced into a corner of explaining ie, why the NT allegedly uses OT passages "out of context".

 

Allegedly....HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....

 

 

 

 

All Christians are... There are several things this sentence ends with that don't work, such as: "anti-Semitists" (which is particularly funny, considering the ethniticity of Jesus, the disciples, Paul...); "Republicans" (I'm an independent myself); "brainwashed/don't think for themselves" (presumably this includes scholars like N. T. Wright), and more that I am sure you can think of. It's just comforting generalization by a mass readership not able to deal with the actual arguments.

 

Christians are not the only people who are generalized by others, it happens to Atheists all the time, get over it.

 

 

The supernatural exists. Uh oh, what am I saying? Don't panic: I'm saying that we've all fallen prey to the post-Enlightenment distinction between the natural and the so-called supernatural. In other words, this is an artifical category, one that has led to such silly ideas as that miracles (acts of God) "violate natural law". God works in and through the natural world and within its "laws" -- while some miracles are beyond human capacity to duplicate, they hardly require any violation of nature's "laws" (other than perhaps, creation ex nihilo, and even that is not certainly a "violation"). Put it this way: Why is it not a "violation" of the law of gravity when I pick up a box? Why IS it such a violation when God picks up that same box? The inconsistency was invented of itself, and unfortunately, we continue to let the debate continue on these terms, and this makes our apologetic for things like the Resurrection more difficult than it needs to be.

The funny thing is that a humanist like Gene Roddenberry could conceive of beings like the Organians without blinking an eye, but also could reject the supernatural as impossible. Huh?

 

Ok, if you are placing god back in the world of the natural, then I can once again judge his existence based upon natural evidence. The distinction between natural and supernatural wasn't imposed by naturalists, but theists who didn't like the implications of the naturalistic explanations being offered. They began to claim god was beyond nature because there was so little evidence for him in it.

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It's called fiction. You know, kind of like the Bible.

 

Fiction the Bible may be. But whether we are nothing after death, or living spiritually in whatever place we may be is an unknown tale of tales.

 

This is true, but I cannot know many things with 100% certainty. What I can say is that all evidence points to my intellect and sense of self being tied to my brain.

 

People with brain damage have their ability to function limited, it is therefor not logical to assume that a person whose brain has ceased to function entierly will wake up somewhere else with their thought function completely restored. Of course it is possible, but not very likely. Even if it is true it changes nothing here and now, for it would be absurd to base choices on a very remote chance.

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Maybe with the rise of scientific knowledge and modern scholarship, God is asking the church to grow up and put behind childish notions of Biblical innerrancy and literalism? Maybe the fundamentalists refusal to look at evidence is an act of rebellion and an offense to God?

 

An interesting thought?

 

Again, read the above. Are they willing to step out on faith and see where it takes them, or hang onto dogma and religion? The test would be what's in the heart, and not in the doctrines and traditions.

 

I agree

So from this I conclude you're no literalist. How do you see the place of faith in the modern world?

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Certainty is a sin. Modern persons, and postmodernism, have encouraged the myth that everyone's opinion is valid and deserves "respect" and/or wider hearing. This is not only non-Biblical (for those who respect that authority) but also self-contradictory, for it fails to respect the "opinion" that not everyone's opinion is valid.

 

Everyone's opinion is valid and deserves respect...

 

 

 

 

 

But that don't mean that everyone's opinion is true ;)

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Maybe with the rise of scientific knowledge and modern scholarship, God is asking the church to grow up and put behind childish notions of Biblical innerrancy and literalism? Maybe the fundamentalists refusal to look at evidence is an act of rebellion and an offense to God?

 

An interesting thought?

 

Again, read the above. Are they willing to step out on faith and see where it takes them, or hang onto dogma and religion? The test would be what's in the heart, and not in the doctrines and traditions.

 

I agree

So from this I conclude you're no literalist. How do you see the place of faith in the modern world?

 

 

I see it as a man that got shot on a road, and the wound will let him bleed for days until he dies, yet he cant move and the road is desolate.

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So from this I conclude you're no literalist. How do you see the place of faith in the modern world?

 

I see it as a man that got shot on a road, and the wound will let him bleed for days until he dies, yet he cant move and the road is desolate.

So you think no one has an interest in anything other than the material world? Are you sure it's not that what's being said in that form is not just a dead language, and if it could be said in a language that people speak today it would be heard? So is faith dead, or are it's symbols the wrong ones for the audience?

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So from this I conclude you're no literalist. How do you see the place of faith in the modern world?

 

I see it as a man that got shot on a road, and the wound will let him bleed for days until he dies, yet he cant move and the road is desolate.

So you think no one has an interest in anything other than the material world? Are you sure it's not that what's being said in that form is not just a dead language, and if it could be said in a language that people speak today it would be heard? So is faith dead, or are it's symbols the wrong ones for the audience?

 

Its like 2Pac being the opening act for a Alan Jackson concert.

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I feel bad for the faithful if it's all lead in to an Alan Jackson concert :P

 

I really don't like talking in metaphors.

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I feel bad for the faithful if it's all lead in to an Alan Jackson concert :P

 

I really don't like talking in metaphors.

 

 

:grin: Yeah. I just to sum it up think faith is blind in this world. And if one does see it in someone, they analize it until it becomes reason.

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So you think no one has an interest in anything other than the material world? Are you sure it's not that what's being said in that form is not just a dead language, and if it could be said in a language that people speak today it would be heard? So is faith dead, or are it's symbols the wrong ones for the audience?

 

Its like 2Pac being the opening act for a Alan Jackson concert.

What would you suggest?

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So you think no one has an interest in anything other than the material world? Are you sure it's not that what's being said in that form is not just a dead language, and if it could be said in a language that people speak today it would be heard? So is faith dead, or are it's symbols the wrong ones for the audience?

 

Its like 2Pac being the opening act for a Alan Jackson concert.

What would you suggest?

 

Dunno. Real people with real problems helping real people with real problems. Dunno. Stumped on that I guess.

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So you think no one has an interest in anything other than the material world? Are you sure it's not that what's being said in that form is not just a dead language, and if it could be said in a language that people speak today it would be heard? So is faith dead, or are it's symbols the wrong ones for the audience?

 

Its like 2Pac being the opening act for a Alan Jackson concert.

What would you suggest?

 

Dunno. Real people with real problems helping real people with real problems. Dunno. Stumped on that I guess.

Ahh, yes... acts of a sincere heart speak far more than any theology. It makes liars of priests and theologians. In fact it exists in all sorts of contexts with other symbols of faith which aren't the Christian ones.

 

Do you see Christianity as the only truth?

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  • 1 month later...
Do you see Christianity as the only truth?

 

 

like all xtians, he sees christianity as the only possible truth, thus any evidence that contradicts his exact view of is warped to fit, or destroyed. although im just repeating what we all have observed repeatedly im sure.

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