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  1.    #1441  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    In order to say that God assigned a group to keep his message alive you first have to concede that a god exists and also concede that the story Matthew is saying even happened.
    Other than your god not having a capital "G", I don't see any "concession" necessary as I'm asserting (at least that I believe) that such a God exists (based on the logic and evidence He has provided through both science and the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    At any rate God speaking via the church hardly sounds like the direct communication type proof I would be looking to see for proof that God exists.
    It's not a "positive proof", but science works by first observing what's around you and then making proofs based on our current "knowledge". My argument is that God should not be ruled out as being "illogical" as I've clearly argued a logical hypothesis. We know about "limits" (in Calculus) based on similar logic and these concepts cannot be proven to be "exactly correct", but they are "close enough for 'government work'". I admire your "doubting Thomas" tendencies and I don't fault that a possibly existent God may have created you with such attributes!
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  2. #1442  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    I might argue that the "hardly sounding" part might actually be for your personal/eternal protection. God may simply see you as being incapable of accepting Him so he is shielding you from an understanding that might otherwise prevent you from eventually living eternally in Heaven.
    Your kidding right?
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  3.    #1443  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Your kidding right?
    Joking was not my intent. I was simply stating that you likely are "invincibly ignorant" in believing in the existence of the God revealed in the Bible. I was just "prodding" a bit here to test whether you really are "invincibly ignorant" or just really good at "faking it". I'm convinced of the former (but then, what do I know).
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
  4. #1444  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    His revelation is that He is the one and only "true God". All other "gods" were created by man (mostly out of "ignorance", but sometimes also out of human pride (in man thinking he knows better than "God"). This is what the story of Adam and Eve is all about. I still owe you all an explanation of here (but I won't have time to write it up at least by "tonight")
    Ahhh... I was not aware that was one of the messages of Adam and Eve.
    I knew it was about free will, explanation of our sins, good and evil etc...
    Thanks. Take your time on your response. I do like learning about things that interest me.
    Surprisingly religion does, but bc I like to question things! I was the student in school that liked to question what or how the teacher taught, and tried to find loopholes or alternative ways to come to the same conclusion! (Are you surprised! ) I guess I am "the person" that God is pointing his finger at in your explanation of the Story of Adam and Eve

    (does God have fingers!? )
    Last edited by gsonspre; 03/22/2010 at 04:51 PM.
  5. #1445  
    Quote Originally Posted by sudoer View Post
    Other than your god not having a capital "G", I don't see any "concession" necessary as I'm asserting (at least that I believe) that such a God exists (based on the logic and evidence He has provided through both science and the Bible.

    It's not a "positive proof", but science works by first observing what's around you and then making proofs based on our current "knowledge". My argument is that God should not be ruled out as being "illogical" as I've clearly argued a logical hypothesis. We know about "limits" (in Calculus) based on similar logic and these concepts cannot be proven to be "exactly correct", but they are "close enough for 'government work'". I admire your "doubting Thomas" tendencies and I don't fault that a possibly existent God may have created you with such attributes!
    You can't use science to prove that God exists. That's like using science to prove that Alice did in fact travel to wonderland. The fact that some followers of a Christian God myth wrote a few books full of doctrine (that just happened to contain some historical references) doesn't prove he exisited either. There is no way to prove that Jesus was the son of God anymore then you can prove that I'm not.

    All that said it's impossible to ask a servant of any God to objectionably debate God's existence as they can't contemplate it. It would be like telling a cave man that the world is round or convincing the US populace that public medicine won't kill them.

    We aren't born believe in God and would never even think to unless indoctrinated.
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    #1446  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    We aren't born believe in God and would never even think to unless indoctrinated.
    Actually, that's incorrect, as I've pointed out before. One need only look at China where there has not only been an absence or theistic indoctrination but an active repression of it. Yet those areas have some of the highest adult conversion rates in the world.
  7. #1447  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Actually, that's incorrect, as I've pointed out before. One need only look at China where there has not only been an absence or theistic indoctrination but an active repression of it. Yet those areas have some of the highest adult conversion rates in the world.
    Ya. Like I said, we are not born believing in a God. If all humans are made in the God's image then one would think we would have prior knowledge of that (and look the same).
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    #1448  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Ya. Like I said, we are not born believing in a God. If all humans are made in the God's image then one would think we would have prior knowledge of that (and look the same).
    What makes you think we don't? Seems to me that if a country actively represses theistic religion but can't, there's something very natural about that theistic religion.
  9. #1449  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    What makes you think we don't? Seems to me that if a country actively represses theistic religion but can't, there's something very natural about that theistic religion.
    Government suppression of faith can only go so far especially in a place where life is so hard for most of the population. People hold out hope that things will be better when they are dead (after life with sexy virgins or whatever) as a coping mechanism.
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  10.    #1450  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    You can't use science to prove that God exists.
    Yet I continue to try. BTW: Which group devised the scientific method? If they were not practicing science when they devised this method, exactly what were they doing?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    That's like using science to prove that Alice did in fact travel to wonderland. ...
    Please strengthen your analogy a bit. What evidence do you wish to present that Alice in Wonderland was intended to be anything other than fiction?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    The fact that some followers of a Christian God myth wrote a few books full of doctrine (that just happened to contain some historical references) doesn't prove he exisited either.
    Point of information: Since you claim this as a fact, how did you arrive that some Christians wrote doctrinal books? How can I know which books comprise this set of doctrine (and how do I know whether or not I have a "complete set" or not. (Just food for thought.)

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    There is no way to prove that Jesus was the son of God anymore then you can prove that I'm not.
    If you have a book for me to read, certainly it would be all over TV and in mass media! Perhaps I missed it. Please feel free to post or PM me a copy of proof that can stand up against Biblical revelation, that explains why I exist, and that give me more more of a reason to believe you than not?

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    All that said it's impossible to ask a servant of any God to objectionably debate God's existence as they can't contemplate it.
    I'm able to contemplate the non-existence of God. I'm even willing to say that is possible. We don't have to agree with each other to participate in a debate. Quite frankly, your arguments comparing the Bible to "Alice in Wonderland" simply aren't strong enough for me to change my mind. I'm willing to follow reasoned arguments. Yours simply haven't been "thought out" and researched well enough to convince me of any truth in your position.

    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    We aren't born believe in God and would never even think to unless indoctrinated.
    Prove it!
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!
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    #1451  
    Quote Originally Posted by ryleyinstl View Post
    Government suppression of faith can only go so far especially in a place where life is so hard for most of the population. People hold out hope that things will be better when they are dead (after life with sexy virgins or whatever) as a coping mechanism.
    Where do they get that hope?
  12. #1452  
    I think it is also impossible to be Born knowing of a God. Its impossible to be born knowing almost anything at all!
    At this stage ion life and religion it is Truly impossible to test. I read about China and its anti-religious stance but the fact is that religions has already existed and you can not completely surpress religion in any area of the world. And to be honest If I was surpressed of religion and in question of the meaning of life and someone promised me golden gates and eternal bliss after I die then I would be accepting of it too!
    I just know too much of religion and not enough of God and that is my problem.
    However as far as being born into knowledge it is impossible but Very possible that if there was no religion today then someone would think it up, but with completely different rules im confident of that!
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    #1453  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    I think it is also impossible to be Born knowing of a God. Its impossible to be born knowing almost anything at all!
    Do you agree that certain species are born with certain innate behaviors? Mating, nest/web building, feeding habits, defense habits, etc. These are all unlearned behaviors that all members of a species share.

    At this stage ion life and religion it is Truly impossible to test. I read about China and its anti-religious stance but the fact is that religions has already existed and you can not completely surpress religion in any area of the world.
    But Christianity is springing up in areas of China that have been neither Christian, ever, or religious at all for at least a generation.

    And to be honest If I was surpressed of religion and in question of the meaning of life and someone promised me golden gates and eternal bliss after I die then I would be accepting of it too!
    I just know too much of religion and not enough of God and that is my problem.
    I'm curious why you would call that a problem.
  14. #1454  
    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    Do you agree that certain species are born with certain innate behaviors? Mating, nest/web building, feeding habits, defense habits, etc. These are all unlearned behaviors that all members of a species share.
    Great point! These are innate behaviors but not born into knowing. There are certain chemicals that are created in glands that do not function or develop at the time of birth. These are developed over time, but I get where you are going with that. And I think in time we will find that "faith" is also produced by a chemical reaction in the brain, there has been significant progress found in Neurotheology . I truly find this fascinating! But we can still argue that God put it in us!?
    However some of the most important parts f our brain to conceive God can not develop until 3 yrs of age. (I will try to find the artcile to reference, if of any interest)



    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    But Christianity is springing up in areas of China that have been neither Christian, ever, or religious at all for at least a generation.
    I find that natural progression in the human consciousness to develop Christianity is impossible. Not to find religion or develop new religious beliefs, or faith in a God.
    Christianity is learned, Faith is not.



    Quote Originally Posted by groovy View Post
    I'm curious why you would call that a problem.
    It could be seen as a problem in that I could have faith in God or a god but not the religion surrounding him/them. I guess the problem could sit with my "eternal being". If I can accept God but not the man made religion I could still be sentenced to enternity in Hell.
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    #1455  
    sudoer, you must understand that you cannot make a logical argument in the following manner: "The Bible tells me that this is true, and since the Bible itself is true, then it must be true because it was in the Bible." I purposely made that an awkward sentence, because the logic is awkward. I am becoming more and more convinced that science and religion do not mix. How is it that the Bible is such a perfect expression of God's word when it is open to so many different interpretations? Every Christian sect references the Bible as its source, and yet every sect interprets it differently. Sometimes little differences, sometimes big differences. So if the Bible is God's literal word, why did He make it so confusing? If the Bible was inspired by God but written by man, then surely man himself has corrupted it, or else we wouldn't be in this predicament. I asked much earlier in this thread if anyone could tell me which religion, or even better, which particular sect of any religion, is the right one? Why would God make things so difficult if He truly cared that we worshipped him in a particular way?

    On a related note, I am sure you have heard the expression, "History is written by the victors." Clearly Christianity received a big boost when the Roman Empire adopted it. And since you and I don't live in China, we are discussing Christianity as opposed to Buddhism or something else. So the mere fact that the book has lasted many years and is so popular does nothing to verify its authenticity.
  16. #1456  
    A generation isn't a very long spread. Christianity is popular. Who doesn't free stuff? All your prayers answered, eternal life on golden streets, hell yeah, I want it to, its just simply not true.
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    #1457  
    By the way, the Biblical teachings of the story of Adam and Eve are as follows:

    1. Man has total dominion over all the plants and animals of the earth, so we can do what we want with them.
    2. Man is superior to woman.
    3. Women corrupt men, so you better keep an eye on them.
    4. Don't try to learn anything on your own, God will tell you everything you need to know (Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge --> Knowledge was forbidden).

    The scary thing is, Southern Baptist ministers today use that fourth argument to try to restrict science curricula ("why do you need science, everything you need is in the Bible!")
  18. groovy's Avatar
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    #1458  
    Quote Originally Posted by gsonspre View Post
    Great point! These are innate behaviors but not born into knowing. There are certain chemicals that are created in glands that do not function or develop at the time of birth. These are developed over time, but I get where you are going with that. And I think in time we will find that "faith" is also produced by a chemical reaction in the brain, there has been significant progress found in Neurotheology . I truly find this fascinating! But we can still argue that God put it in us!?
    However some of the most important parts f our brain to conceive God can not develop until 3 yrs of age. (I will try to find the artcile to reference, if of any interest)
    That would be interesting, thanks! To address your point, there's nothing inherent in the thought that "Faith" is just a chemical reaction that would contradict theism in general. Specifically, if God created the physical universe to operate under specific laws then it would stand to reason that metaphysical things like love and faith could also operate under similar laws. That, in my opinion, doesn't negate the idea of God. Does it support the idea that God exists? Not in itself. But it doesn't negate it either.

    I find that natural progression in the human consciousness to develop Christianity is impossible. Not to find religion or develop new religious beliefs, or faith in a God.
    Christianity is learned, Faith is not.
    That's a good point, and one that is echoed in the Bible, believe it or not. Various passages talk about the knowledge of God being evident in the Creation as well as in our hearts. But it also talks about the need to educate people about specific facts; primarily the Resurrection. There is a clear pattern in the writing, actually, of a revealing of the truth of the religion throughout time just as it is revealed throughout a person's life.

    It could be seen as a problem in that I could have faith in God or a god but not the religion surrounding him/them. I guess the problem could sit with my "eternal being". If I can accept God but not the man made religion I could still be sentenced to enternity in Hell.
    A problem? Or an opportunity?? If the religion was man-made then why would God sentence you to hell? It seems God would be more severe towards the makers of the man-made religion if it was spreading untruths.
  19. #1459  
    Err... Im trying to find that reference for you Groovy.
    Once I find that I will cite it and respond to your comments..
    The article if i remember correctly, stated that the parts of the brain that control certain understandings like time, dont develop until that age... But I will look more... Another interesting thing I found looking for that article, is that people can be more religious others by a certain stran in their DNA!!! So Groovy could be right,we can be hardwired to believe in God but the question is now is when does our brain develop enough to understand?
    So I like to think we are both right, you could be born with the needed info to know of God (or faith) but but that info is untapable until a certain age...
  20.    #1460  
    Many people read the creation accounts in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 and we say to ourselves: "How can these accounts possibly be taken literally?" and "Why are there two accounts that have differing (and possibly contradicting) details?". These questions can stop a new reader "dead in their tracks" even
    before they get to the story of man's fall from eternal bliss in chapter 3!

    The short answer is that this writing is "very rich" in theological meaning and that it must be read in ways similar to other "rich works of literature" from history. This is even more so with the Bible because of a variety of writing styles and multiple parallel meanings being said with very carefully chosen words and foreshadowing (especially between the Old and New Testaments). This foreshadowing is called "typology" and this is the primary means by which various stories in the Bible are tied together in order to reveal their deeper meaning.

    What does this mean for us as "new readers". Firstly, it's a call for us to become familiar with the "whole" of the Bible. For each story, we first need to understand what each human author meant to convey to the people each story was written for. This means understanding who each book or letter was written for while also understanding the audience's beliefs, history, and the problems they were facing at the time.

    The initial stories in Genesis were likely originally conveyed by Moses and the two creation accounts (chapters 1 and 2) were handed down through two different "traditions". Each creation account has a different focus but together they share a common meaning. They were both included rather than "throwing one away" or "changing the tradition" of either. In the next two paragraphs, I'll explain the sources for each of these.

    Gen 1:1—2:4 are from the "Priestly" tradition (587-400 B.C.). Gen 2:4—4:26 are from the "Yahwist" tradition (1000-922 B.C), In 930BC, the kingdom of Israel divided into two nations. 10 tribes went to Israel in the north and 2 tribes went to the Judea in the south. The "Elohist" tradition (722 B.C) presents the northern Israel viewpoint while the dominant tradition was the "Yahwist" tradition from the south. Each of these three traditions were stitched together into the form of Genesis as we see it today.

    The Priestly tradition is where you will see things like "genealogies" because priestly lines were determined by inheritance. The Yahwist tradition is where over Babylonian myths were "taken over" and adapted into the Bible. The pagan beliefs had "elements of truth" which seem to have been retained.

    Careful study of the creation accounts show that these stories are built from simple statements which reveal only limited parts of the story at a time, but that the stories build in complexity as each of chapters 1 and 2 proceed. This is different in structure from most "individual stories" that we're used to reading. In essence, these creation accounts are more of "story beginnings" (for the whole Bible) rather than isolated stories not meant to be read in conjunction with other text. Additionally, the "series of days" is not guaranteed to presented in a "sequential order" . Each of the first 5 days mentioned are "a day" (in Hebrew) yet the 6th and 7th days are each referred to as "the day" (in Hebrew). The 7th day is special and set apart from each of the other days.

    The 6th day is when man was created (in both creation accounts). Man attests to God that "finally", woman is the one he is to be joined with. Since man rejected the animals for companionship before being presented with the woman, this foretells of a "rift" (or a "sort of jealousy") between "the beasts" and man. (This setup is reinforced with the serpent tricking Eve, it continues at key points throughout the Bible where evil is represented by "beasts".) The "Yahwist" source (in chapter 2) tells of man's intended purpose (which is "less than paradise"), followed by man's placement in paradise with "unexpected privileges" (beyond the purpose for man in the prior narrative). The garden is already established and man had to do nothing but to maintain and guard the garden, and to trust in God's providence rather than "his own". This is hinted at when God mentions that the "tree of life" is in the "center" of the garden (meaning that God's way of life needs to be in the "center" of what man does.

    Of course we know that man failed to keep "God" at the "center" and instead man chose to trust his "own intellect" rather than totally trusting God's provisions. While Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent for the sin, after condemning each subordinate character for their actions, God circles back to Adam and explains that his was the "original sin" (again, that's not maintaining/guarding the garden (and Eve), and doing what he wanted - eating the forbidden fruit himself, rather than trusting himself to God's will. As a consequence of this sin, man is placed outside of paradise with exactly the purpose outlined before God placed him in paradise.

    The theological significance of paradise is not lost. In essence, "day 7" will once again be a resting time (eternally once again in paradise) at the end of man's time on Earth. That's covered by the "conclusion" of the Bible's whole story in the book of Revelation. After the creation stories, Genesis continues with the stories of Adam and Eve's descendants - beginning with Able (who is killed by Cain), and (at the close of chapter 4) Seth.

    Chapter 5 (in the Priestly tradition) now switches back to the genealogy from Seth through Moses and his sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth (in that order). The first born inherits the priesthood, and this is where the "Shemite" (Semite) line comes from.

    Chapter 6 begins (Gen 6:1-8) with the Yahwist tradition and describes the reason that flood will have to come. Both traditions are mixed from here to the end of chapter 9. Chapter 10 (Priestly tradition) catches us up on the genealogy of how Noah descendants spread and repopulate the Earth after the flood.

    Chapter 11 begins with the story of "The Tower of Babel" (in Yahwist tradition) and this further underscores man's tendency to "do things on their own, without need for God" (which is a repetition of the same problem of original sin). This theologically "cements" (literally in verse 3) the problem that man has inherited due to original sin. Now the Priestly tradition specifically identifies the genealogy from Shem.

    This concludes the "introduction to the Bible" in Genesis chapters 1 - 11. Biblical development will continue next with the story of Abraham and how he put "total trust" in God (to the point of being willing to sacrifice his only son). This is a triumphant story which indicates man is now ready for "increased revelation" and a new covenant where Abram and his descendants are blessed. I've now gone beyond the "reason" for the beginning part of Genesis. I'll "fast forward" to Jesus' time. Man has been unable to live up to the Mosaic law and precepts and God finally sends the Messiah (who is God, the Father's only Son). Jesus represents the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham. It's interesting to note how "God returned Abraham's favor, but even more" by actually sacrificing His only son. Now man is capable of being reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. God still desires for man to inhabit the Earth and to share this Gospel message with all the people. Sometime in the future, God plans to "move forward" to the 7th day. In the meantime, Jesus' sacrifice is perpetually being celebrated in Heaven (and in a veiled way, we participate in this "continually presented" sacrifice (which is the heavenly liturgy described in the book of Revelation). Revelation is a difficult book and most Christians misunderstand much of it's message. (Much of this is because they don't share the Catholic's understanding of the Eucharist and the Mass.) Jesus emphasized the meaning of the Eucharist (as literally - "Jesus in the flesh and blood") in John chapter 6. Most Protestants now consider this as symbolic (metaphorical?), or "spiritual" and they don't realize that "Jesus is really present, here with us in both Earth and Heaven at the same time. Jesus furnishes "Himself" for our spiritual nourishment between now and the end times where those of us partaking in his covenant will see him unveiled in Heaven!

    I hope this was not too "long" or "theologically deep" for your reading interest. I felt that since many "do not really understand" the Bible, that my "layman's explanation" might help readers here to at least "understand the significance" of the Bible's message. (This article has not been reviewed, so I may have made errors. Please feel free to point out my errors rather than letting people be misinformed due to my negligence.) I hope that this post might serve as an example of how the Bible should be read in order to understand it's message. I'm sure my "flyby" here barely scratches the surface of the meaning you can find in the Bible with some study!

    sincerely,
    --
    Bob
    Last edited by sudoer; 03/23/2010 at 08:04 PM.
    I'm both super! ... and a doer!

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