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  1. #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Does it strike you as interesting that most of us are "converted" to the religion of our parents and neighbors?

    I am reminded of The Peaceable Kingdom by Jan de Hartog. The epic points out the the religious, not to say "conversion," experience of the Founders of the Society of Friends became the religious tyranny of their grandchildren.
    It doesn't surprise me that children take on the values of their parents. Biblical "conversion," though, is not passed down in such manner. It is not the mere embracing of a system of practices (religion), but the realization of the plight of sinful man and the acceptance of the sole solution made available through Jesus.

    As TxDot mentioned earlier, the dilemma is that not one of us can confirm or deny on behalf of another. This is what I was addressing in my earlier reference to grace. When we think that our efforts merit "salvation" we also effectively condemn others who do not make efforts in the same manner we do.

    As to whether parties have taken that to the extremes of killing each other over such interpretations is the question at hand.
  2. #82  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Perhaps. However, "Christian" is your word, not mine. Perhaps you project Christian on "so many who assert that the bible is the literal word of God." Perhaps you projected the King James Bible on my "bible." (I was discouraged from reading the King James Bible in favor of the Douay-Rheims on the basis that, even in the unlikely case that it did not contain heresy, it lacked the authority of the "One True Church.")

    Trust me when I tell you that Muslims believe no less fervently the Khoran to be "the bible" and the literal revealed Word of God. They are nonetheless divided over whether it justifies the killing of infidels and heretics and the right to define them. They are divided over who has the authority to issue a fatwah.
    Use of the "the Bible" without qualifiers (as in "the bible of C++ programming") usually points to the "Genesis-Revelation" text. I'm familiar with muslims who believe that the Q'aran is the literal word of God. But I'm not familiar with any who call it "the Bible." In fact, many with whom I'm familiar see the Q'aran and the Bible as complimentary texts.
  3. #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    My point was that the "same source" does not seem to lead to "similar...conclusions," that even those who consent to the absolute authority of a source may so differ over its interpretation that they are prepared to fight over the difference.
    I think you'll find that the extent to which people will go to defend their interpretation is disporportionately greater than the extent to which their interpretations differ from those they oppose.
  4. #84  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    I think you'll find that the extent to which people will go to defend their interpretation is disporportionately greater than the extent to which their interpretations differ from those they oppose.
    Indeed.
  5. #85  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    It doesn't surprise me that children take on the values of their parents. Biblical "conversion," though, is not passed down in such manner.......
    It is only a book. However, the tyranny went beyond the children being Quakers. The Society had become so dogmatic and the children so indoctrinated they could not enjoy the same adult religious experience that the Founders had shared.
  6. #86  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Perhaps. However, "Christian" is your word, not mine. Perhaps you project Christian on "so many who assert that the bible is the literal word of God."
    You're right, I did. However, I'll just note, as I'm sure you'll agree, that the issue is not limited to nor even especially predominant among religious people.
  7. #87  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Use of the "the Bible" without qualifiers (as in "the bible of C++ programming") usually points to the "Genesis-Revelation" text. .......
    I think that there is a valid distinction between the "Bible," referring to sacred scriptures, and the "bible" meaning any authoritative text, book, or collection of books. I recognize that in modern lexicography Bible now precedes bible: I think that is unfortunate. I was taught that one always prefers the most general meaning of a word before special meanings. Bible as special meaning has made bible in the general case useless. It is unfortunate that those who "believe in The Bible," do not understand its history. They think of it as a monolith rather than a collection. They do not understand the, often arbitrary, influence of men on what bibles were included in, and excluded from, the Canon.
  8. #88  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    It is only a book. However, the tyranny went beyond the children being Quakers. The Society had become so dogmatic and the children so indoctrinated they could not enjoy the same adult religious experience that the Founders had shared.
    At risk of going way far off, I have observed this phenomena in many instances. The general pattern:

    * Generation 1 knows God and knows God's power
    * Generation 2 knows about God, but knows not God's power
    * Generation 3 knows neither God nor God's power

    All believe they are adhering to God's will.

    While many take on the practices of their parents, often the premise for those practices is unclear to them. So, they take confidence that their shared practice is a shared faith. As the next generation comes, they tend to question, and subsequently abaondon, the practices, in as much as they appear without premise.

    When the premise is understood, one's practices can change yet remain faithful. But when the premise is not understood, a change in practice is viewed as heresy.
  9. #89  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    I think that there is a valid distinction between the "Bible," referring to sacred scriptures, and the "bible" meaning any authoritative text, book, or collection of books. I recognize that in modern lexicography Bible now precedes bible: I think that is unfortunate. I was taught that one always prefers the most general meaning of a word before special meanings. Bible as special meaning has made bible in the general case useless.
    Point taken.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    It is unfortunate that those who "believe in The Bible," do not understand its history. They think of it as a monolith rather than a collection.
    Indeed. On both counts
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    They do not understand the, often arbitrary, influence of men on what bibles were included in, and excluded from, the Canon.
    Arbitrary?
  10. #90  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    ........Arbitrary?
    I will confes that they probably thought they had a justification. I admit that it has been a long time since I read the history (in this case, much of it written by the losers) but I came away from it with the impression that many of the justifications were little more than rationales. "Divinely inspired" or not, the choices were made by men with the frailties of most of us.

    I confess that I am not much of a fan of anthologies. In the rare case that I like one, it is usually because of the strong influence of the editor(s). One of the reasons that one is dependent upon the authority of the editors of the Bible is that we are unable to read the stories in the original or appreciate the cultural context in which they were told.

    It should not surprise anyone that we cannot agree on the literal meaning, much less on the intent.
    Last edited by whmurray; 08/23/2006 at 12:39 PM.
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    #91  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    The answer seems to me to be so obvious that the request for examples strikes me as disingenous. One need only ask the refugees.

    The most current examples are Iraq (Suniis and Shia killing each other's women and children) and Lebanon (where Muslims, Christians, and Jews are killing one another, all in the name of the One True God). The Christian Germans slaughtered the Jews. Then there are the Serbs and the Croats, "Christians" both; three wars in one century. In the first one, the Catholic Germans sided with the Croats and Orthodox Russians with the Serbs. The result was the Great War.

    As recently as a decade ago, Irish Protestants and Catholics were killing each other. English Protestants and Catholics have a history as do French and German Protestants and Catholics. Catholics in Spain killed "heretics" and Jews indiscriminately. Catholics were driven out of Canada. Here the (at the time, predominately Protestant) government killed Mormons by the hundreds.

    While all of the wars in history have been to some degree or another economic, and while some have been over language or class, the rationale for the killing has been "God is on our side."

    One may argue that the divisions are not related to dogma but that the sides are chosen along religious lines seems indisputable.
    I was looking for examples of groups who regard the Bible, not the Quoran, as the literal word of God so some of your examples don't apply.

    Your other examples however are valid. Those examples are very similar I believe to what we are seeing in the Islamic Facist movement today. The religion is very closely tied to the government and those in control use their followers religous fervor to control them and get them to do what they want done. I believe in most if not all of these cases the leaders were/are simply furthering their own wishes and desires NOT those of God.
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    #92  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    By your definition there would not be enough to be a problem. I count as Christian those who self-identify as Christians and certainly all of those who take up arms against their neighbors in His name.

    (One might read the sermons, not to say TV broadcasts, of those great Christian moral leaders, Ian Fleming, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson.)
    I count as Christians those who act Christ-like (understanding that we are all subject to failure). Even this is difficult because as I've stated earlier in this thread we only see an individuals behavior not their heart and at any given moment all of us can act most un-Christian like.

    I'm not defending the three moral leaders you list but they are men and do make mistakes. However I don't recall them calling on their followers to kill people that don't believe like they do.
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  13. TxDot's Avatar
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    #93  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Does it strike you as interesting that most of us are "converted" to the religion of our parents and neighbors?
    It's not really surprising given human nature. However, only God knows if the child was really converted.
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  14. #94  
    Quote Originally Posted by TxDot View Post
    .........I'm not defending the three moral leaders you list but they are men and do make mistakes. However I don't recall them calling on their followers to kill people that don't believe like they do.
    All three have done so; all three have been publicly censured for doing so.
  15. #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by TxDot View Post
    I count as Christians those who act Christ-like (understanding that we are all subject to failure)...
    Well, perhaps now you will give me some examples.
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    #96  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    All three have done so; all three have been publicly censured for doing so.
    See what I miss out by not listening to them.

    Do you think the "call to kill" that they made is on the same level as the examples mentioned previously?
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  17. TxDot's Avatar
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    #97  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    Well, perhaps now you will give me some examples.
    Most of the examples I can give would not be recognized by those outside of my circle of friends. I don't say that to try and put you off but you have to be pretty close to someone to have much of an opinion about where they stand spiritually. That said, here are a few names you might recognize; C.S. Lewis, Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham, David H. Stearn, and Josh McDowell. These are just a few names and I'm certain that you would find skeletons in each of their closets because they are after all, just men and they would be the first to admit it.
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  18. #98  
    Quote Originally Posted by hoovs View Post
    You're right, I did. However, I'll just note, as I'm sure you'll agree, that the issue is not limited to nor even especially predominant among religious people.
    Perhaps religious people are more likely to fit my observation than others; they are clearly the easiest examples.

    However, my point was in response to the observation that those whose ideas are formed from a common source are likely to reach similar conclusions. I do not believe that to be true even for those people who claim to submit to the authority of source.

    I suspect that this is the nature of metaphor. We do not read the same story the same way. Indeed, for every reader there may be a unique experience of the story. As they say on XM, "The pictures are in your mind."
  19. #99  
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post
    I will confes that they probably thought they had a justification. I admit that it has been a long time since I read the history (in this case, much of it written by the losers) but I came away from it with the impression that many of the justifications were little more than rationales. "Divinely inspired" or not, the choices were made by men with the frailties of most of us.
    Agreed. What causes us to embrace it as the infallible Word of God is not an assumption of infallibility of the committee, nor the infallibility of translators (though the translations are faithful to the mauscript). We see the Bible as the Word of God because that the logical conclusion when you follow the M.A.P.S.

    *We have the Manuscripts and can confirm the accuracy of the translation
    *We have the findings of Archaeology providing confirmation of the contents of the manuscripts
    *We see confirmation of Prophecies recorded within the contents of those manuscripts, especially those regarding the "Messiah"
    *We assess the Statistical probaility of the Messianic prophecies being realized in the life of a single individual

    Note: Most those who embrace the Bible as the Word of God do not suggest that it is exhaustive of all God's communications to Man, but rather is conclusive.
    Quote Originally Posted by whmurray View Post

    I confess that I am not much of a fan of anthologies. In the rare case that I like one, it is usually because of the strong influence of the editor(s). One of the reasons that one is dependent upon the authority of the editors of the Bible is that we are unable to read the stories in the original or appreciate the cultural context in which they were told.

    It should not surprise anyone that we cannot agree on the literal meaning, much less on the intent.
    I refer to canonizing committee as compilers, building on the work of translators. "Editors" suggests, to me, aspects of activity not involved in the process.
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