I don't yet think some Christians understand the difference between affirming a claim and denying one, especially extraordinary ones. Let me take the example of who killed Jon Bene Ramsay, that decade or two long ago tragic murder. There are several scenarios and suspects. But to act with certainty that you know who did it is different, much different, than someone who says I just don't know, or someone who denies your claim. Either position seems much more defensible than to know with certainty who did it. Let's say that there are five suspects (I don't know if there are). If I deny that one of them is the killer then I may have an 80% chance of being right in my denial, you see. I say "may" because it depends on the evidence. But when we talk about an extraordinary claim coming from an ancient set of documents this problem is magnified a hundred fold, for there is no evidence of such things as a talking serpent, an axe head that floated, or a talking ass. The probability that these things did not happen is on my side.
It is extraordinary how christian people for example wouldn't believe in things like unicorns, fairies, or leprachuans.ReplyDelete
They would find these laughable the same as most grown adults. They also dismiss other religious claims to the miraculous but insist on their own.
One question that should be asked of any christian is- "why are all the other ancient myths and legends from all other nations just fables?
But the Israelite myths are accurate"?
According to them, the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Arabians, Persians,...etc...all have their mythology, but the myths of ancient Israel and Judea constitute as history.
"I just don't know"ReplyDelete
you don't always have to have scientific type proof to know something and yet, it can still be rational. also, you sometimes can know something without having the ability to prove it to other people.
"there is no evidence"
exactly. there can be no scientific proof of miraculous events. they are a suspension of the laws of nature. yet, some people continue to expect "proof" of these kinds of things.
"The probability that these things did not happen is on my side."
this is absolutely false. if the God of the Bible exists and intervened in the natural order of things, the probability of the biblical events is most likely 100%. the problem is some people assume naturalism is all there is without the ability to substantiate that claim.
Everything you said about God in your post could switched right back to you.
For example, if the God of the bible doesn't exist then the probability of his intervining in the natural is most likely 0.
The problem is that many people assume there is more then just the natural that exists when they have no ability to substantiate that assumption!
"unicorns, fairies, or leprachuans."ReplyDelete
not only do we not see the evidence for these things, we don't even observe the EFFECT of evidence from these things. at the most conservative, we see the effect of the events christians claim to be true. many people make strong cases that we can even substantiate the events themselves, not just the effects.
"They also dismiss other religious"
you make is sound like there aren't scores of volumes written on the rational reasons why they do so or constant scholarly public debates on the subject.
"the myths of ancient Israel and Judea constitute as history."
history and archaeology continue to corroborate their claims.
"The problem is that many people assume there is more then just the natural that exists when they have no ability to substantiate that assumption!"ReplyDelete
actually, there are plenty of reasons to think so primarily because naturalism fails badly to explain a things that we intuitively know are true.
You said history and archeology continue to corroborate their claims?
I've never heard of either of these feilds corroborating the authenticity of miracles! Maybe people and places but never miracles or events that defy nature!
Their is also scores of volumes written in opposition of the bibles claims!
How do you no that any effects of christianity have anything to do with a real divine being, rather then natural reasons?
And yes, man does not have the ability to explain everything, we might not even be scratching the surface yet, but claiming a 3 to 4 thousand year old religious concept to the question, doesn't get us any closer as far as i see things!
Especially when the bible could be the work of man's imagination itself.
You said, "you sometimes can know something without having the ability to prove it to other people."
Are you saying that manipulating someone into believing what you are offering constitutes the core truth of the offer?
I worked in consumer advertising for 8 years. If you theory is what I stated, my experience in that field would suggest your argument has flaws.
I agree that people can know something without being able to prove it.
For example, i could go fishing and catch a 30 lbs bass that 3 eyes. Yet no one might see it and i might not be able to take a picture...etc..so i know i did this, yet cannot prove it!
But the problem is that when people go around claiming extraordinary things that are beyond belief and say they "know" its true when they have no evidence to back it up, then no person is obligated to believe such a claim!
They may believe, but there is no obligation to believe!
If i presented some very good evidence of my crazy fish, then there might be some amount of obligation, but i could not expect people to believe me because i say so!
That is why i dont believe that an all powerful creator made Himself known to all the generations since Jesus time through a book!
I think the onmiscient creator would be a little brighter then to expect his people to believe in things contrary to His own creation based on hearsay!
Why hasn't Jesus returned to all generations and do signs and wonders?
or why doesn't God make the claims of His bible real to all generations rather then just at those given times?
I'll enter part of what I said in a previous post and add some more.
Every claim has a different set of proof burden. Example, the burden of proof for criminal and civil courts are generally two different sets of burden. I believe most capital murder cases require a burden called "beyond reasonable doubt", whereas most civil cases require "preponderance of evidence"
Your assertion has been examined by extraordinary and great legal minds. Once such gentleman was originally an agnostic like you. Professor Simon Greenleaf former Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University. In his book, An examination Of The Testimony Of The Four Evangelists, he applied the standards of legal evidences and proof to the resurrection account and to the testimonies of the Gospels to see if they were viable and admissible and credible as sufficient evidence and a truth. All I know is that upon examination of the evidences within the biblical record, including the testimony of the writers themselves, his conclusion was that the bible is without reproof. Like many even he became a Christian fairly examining the evidences. His findings have not been refuted and his methods set the standards and are in accord with legal evidences and witness testimony. The last part of the first article I reference states this:
"The question is not upon the strict propriety of the arrangement, but upon the veracity of the witnesses and the credibility of their narratives. With the relative merits of modern harmonists, and with points of controversy among theologians the writer has no concern. His business is that of a lawyer examining the testimony of witnesses by the rules of his profession, in order to ascertain whether, if they had thus testified on oath, in a court of justice, they would be entitled to credit and whether their narratives, as we now have them, would be received as ancient documents, coming from the proper custody. If so, then it is believed that every honest and impartial man will act consistently with that result, by receiving their testimony in all the extent of its import."
As I've previously stated John, I believe that you CONFUSE and BLUR the issues claiming the same standard of proof for historical evidences and you would for other events etc...In other words, when it comes to the bible you make a special pleading to "extraordinary" evidences like many of your predecessors, when that burden is not fair or balanced. In fact that's not the way ANY historical research is done...In other words we have some roman emperor saying some great thing (whatever that is) and all of a sudden we change the standard??? This is disingenuous and further takes credibility away from your premise.
For you, your probabilities are shaped by your worldview and your preconditioned expectation. NOT by full investigation of the fact.
As I have always held, you like most atheists, EXCLUDE from the stack of evidence certain criteria that you do not wish to consider from the beginning. Then you cross the burden of proof to create some bogus standard...like the NUT that says he won't believe anything about Jesus without VIDEO evidence...while he believes things about Alexander The Great based on historical records...totally foolish and inconsistent...(Now this has been argued on THIS site by one of your readers)
The miraculous claims of the biblical record DOES NOT out of hand make the record incredulous. You think so, I don't!
Greenleaf's interpretation only works if you hold to an idiosyncratic interpretation of the ancient document rule.
That rule is open to interpretaiton, "By admitting an ancient document into evidence, it is presumed only that the document is what it purports to be, but there are no presumptions about the truth of the document's contents. A jury can still decide that the author of the document was lying or mistaken when the author wrote it."
I'm not convinced.
I think Chuck is right, Even though the new testament is claimed to be based on eye witness accounts and follows a certain legal format according to Greenleaf, there are some major flaws i think that are being ignored.
1, The eye witness accounts contradict or are inconsistent in many area's and topics, this does not fit with a divinely inspired word of God.
And it would not hold up in a court room.
2,There are things mentioned in the new testament where there was no eye witness to testify for it, such as jesus praying alone in the garden while the disciples slept.
3, There are things mentioned in some of the gospels which should have been reported elswhere other then just the bible, such as the saints coming to life and going into Jerusalem and being seen by many.
There is still to many flaws to Greenleafs logic.
Thanks and I'll provide an overly simplistic answer to your statements because I don't want to be a convo hog. You said:
1, The eye witness accounts contradict or are inconsistent in many area's and topics, this does not fit with a divinely inspired word of God. And it would not hold up in a court room.
I think quite the opposit is true. If all reports were exactly the same then they would be contrived. So this speaks in favor of their authenticity. Divine inspiration does not mean divine dictation. Dictation would be what the Muslim and Mormon describes, not a Christian.
2,There are things mentioned in the new testament where there was no eye witness to testify for it, such as jesus praying alone in the garden while the disciples slept.
OK, you go to get your car's oil change. You tell me this when we meet a block from the place. If someone asks me did you get your oil changed, do I say I don't know? I would probably say, that he told me he was aon his way to get his oil changed. In other words you're credible unless I know you as a liar or you give me reason to doubt you. We have no reason to doubt the natrratives and what instances that you can point to such as "no witnesses to Jesus being in the Garden for prayer" neither adds nor takes away any value from the actual events. First, I would conclude that there are witnesses and secondly, I have no reason to doubt credulity in such a small and even incidental detail.
You said3, There are things mentioned in some of the gospels which should have been reported elswhere other then just the bible, such as the saints coming to life and going into Jerusalem and being seen by many.
Referencing Matthew's account of "the graves were opened" (Mt. 27:52) is an argument that has many "possibilities" of interpretation and each one could be weighed on their own. One thing to note, that if Jesus body was in a glorified condition, and their body was like Jesus, then they would have had similar attributes of being able to be seen by some and not seen by others...There is a lot to speculate but that's one of those arguments that could be a good one to defend.
In all Greenleaf's propositions are much more comprehensive than a cursory reading gives it credit. the considerations you guys raise were raised within the work itself. Anyway, good food for thought.
You said that if the reports were the same then they would be contrived.
This could not be said to be true in some cases-example, Try reading the gospels from the empty tomb sunday morning on to the end!
Each gospel gives a different story of the events and how they took place.
Dan Barker actually made this point as his Easter challenge.
If there is but one truth, then only one gospel is right and the others wrong, or all are wrong!
They cant all say something different and all be true.......
This is not evidence of truth!
Also, I never said their were no witnesses to jesus in the garden, I said jesus prayed alone while the disciples slept, and his entire pray is apparently recorded....who was there to record it?
Or how would jesus tell his disciples exactly what he prayed when he was arrested shortely after?
"I think quite the opposit is true. If all reports were exactly the same then they would be contrived. So this speaks in favor of their authenticity. Divine inspiration does not mean divine dictation. Dictation would be what the Muslim and Mormon describes, not a Christian."
Was the objective of Greenleaf's analysis to determine divine inspiration or the veracity of the eyewitness testimony? It seems you are altering the goal of his analysis to fit an alternate veridical assumption. It seems a lack of corresponding agreement regarding extraordinary events (e.g. Jesus' miracles) would indicate confused eyewitnesses.
from Levin and Cramer’s Problems and Materials on Trial Advocacy:
“Eyewitness testimony is, at best, evidence of what the witness believes to have occurred. It may or may not tell what actually happened. The familiar problems of perception, of gauging time, speed, height, weight, of accurate identification of persons accused of crime all contribute to making honest testimony something less than completely credible.”
Which brings into consideration the ancient document rule. Do you have another legal authority of Greenleaf's stature who did the same analysis and came to the same conclusion relative to their interpretation of this rule? You said you did. Can you provide some of those non-Evangelical sources.
#2. You didn't answer the question based on context. Nobody was there with him who was conscious according to the omniscient narrative voice. Did Jesus tell someone before hand that he was going to say exactly what he said and sweat blood? It seems your oil change example takes a mundane experience we all have first-person relationship to and tries to equate that with a once-in-lifetime event that no one in history ever experienced. I call bunk.
"In all Greenleaf's propositions are much more comprehensive than a cursory reading gives it credit. the considerations you guys raise were raised within the work itself. Anyway, good food for thought."
Again, what sources independently corroborated Greenleaf's assertion? I know law doesn't work like science but you are appealing to probability so the notion of control and independence are necessary for you to secure before you can appeal to the authority of one legal scholar writing in a country with a state mandated christian faith in the 1860's. Kind of dubios Harv. I know McDowell love him but, Josh ain't that trust-worthy (seeing as he himself has created interpolations of his own testimony in descending additions of his famous treatise).
Example- Who did they find at the tomb?
MATT- Angel sitting on rock told them jesus rose...
MARK- Young man in white sitting in tomb, told them jesus rose.
LUKE- Two men in tomb dressed in white told them jesus rose.
JOHN- No angels or men at tomb until later on when Mary was by herself two men in white appeared, then right after jesus appeared.
All these testamonies would have to come from the same people who were there....is this your idea of evidence to truth?
You said:"If there is but one truth, then only one gospel is right and the others wrong, or all are wrong!"
There's nothing further from the truth. Each gospel is to be read in light of what each reveals. it's like one stating that the disciples were in Jerusalem and another that omits it does not come close to a contradiction or discrepancy. the resurrection and empty tomb narratives are the same... In each we see an empty tomb, visited previously by women and disciples...So far as the meal (passover) is concerned all you need do is study on Sabbath days and how they were treated and what happened so there is NO contradiction in either narrative regarding this when you know the treatment of the tradition.
I've studied and heard Barker and he's a windbag...lot of talk saying nothing. I'm not impressed.
You said:"They cant all say something different and all be true.......This is not evidence of truth!"
I hope you better understand this now that your statement isn't true. There are a lot of truth statements that appear contradictory. It's called reporting of facts relative to one's perspective. Unfortunately too many biblical critics expect all accounts within the bible to come from one perspective (God's only) and that HAS NEVER happened within the text as God always uses the perspectives of human agency to transfer his truth.
I believe you're a victim of radical fundamentalism, the same type that relegated Ehrman to a joke of a critic. there is not one argument that he renders that is not thoroughly refuted and renders many.
So what your saying is the bible is just the word of man, and therefore it is liable to error and therefore this topic is pointless to talk about?ReplyDelete
Nothing in it should be considered true because humans are fallible beings.
That is the reason christains claim its the word of God!
Either that, or if you think they are all true, then could you please write one narritive from all four gospel accounts and include every detail about the tomb event and eventually send that to my e-mail?
I'll believe you if you can do that!
Sorry that was for Harvey, and Harvey, i just mean the tomb account not the entire gospel!ReplyDelete
Since you give specifics let me specifically deal with them. You said:
Example- Who did they find at the tomb?
MATT- Angel sitting on rock told them jesus rose...
MARK- Young man in white sitting in tomb, told them jesus rose.
LUKE- Two men in tomb dressed in white told them jesus rose.
Take the first three what do you see? Certainly no contradictions. Does either of them say only ONE man or NO man etc? No. What you have are certain facts being told like in any story that peopele see and experience. The mention of one man over a second only deals wit the fact that one man is the man of focus not exclusion...Listen I deal with the police and evidence and this is how it's done. this is what they expect...one person to see a jacket of unknown color, one person to see it being a red jacket
and a hat, yet another to see someone with the person...there's no contradiction there's only a layer of a narrative and perspective of wehat happened that is TOTALLY consistent...
then you render: JOHN- No angels or men at tomb until later on when Mary was by herself two men in white appeared, then right after jesus appeared.
Now John 20 starts with Mary at the tomb, finds it empty (consistent with all narratives) then she leaves and get the disciples and after they leave she sees Jesus. Here no mention of an angel saying anythign just a direct encounter with Jesus...
Why? Could be a lot of reasons, but one should note the different treatment of Mary throughout John's Gospel. This is consistent with his narrative. Mary speaks directly with her son after his resurrection and as an inside disciple I don't see a problem with this possibility for obvious reasons.
Once again, what you think is a problem isn't. The message of salvation or any fact of empty tomb or resurrection even approached in this passage. Like I said there's no threat to anything and no contradiction.
You conclude:"All these testamonies would have to come from the same people who were there....is this your idea of evidence to truth?"
Yep! Happens everyday and any good investigator expects all reports to be from each individuals unique perspective reporting certain facts that are pertinent and relative to certain individuals...You should be most skeptical about exact same reports from different persons.
After peter and the others leave, Mary looks in the tomb to find two angels, then she turns around to find jesus.
You are wrong, read it
The angels in John also talk to Mary.
I thought your point was to show how Greenleaf's use of the historical document rule admits gospel eyewitness testimony as trustworthy? Can you provide the equivalent atheist judicial evaluators who agreed with Greenleaf's conclusion, independent of Greenleaf? I didn't this was another hermaneutics lesson in your gospel interpretation.
You didn't like it when I called you names yet, you continue to show any noble character.
You said:Was the objective of Greenleaf's analysis to determine divine inspiration or the veracity of the eyewitness testimony?
His analysis was not to prove any inspiration or dine capability of the Gospels. He analyzed the narrative based on what they present from the perspectives that they present. no pints for inspiration and in order to do this you can't begin with the deauthentication of the account. you begin with the assumption that the testimony and persons are real until proven differently.
You said:It seems you are altering the goal of his analysis to fit an alternate veridical assumption.
I don't think so and I don't see where I've done so since no appeal was made to a supernatural being, inspiration etc...
You said:It seems a lack of corresponding agreement regarding extraordinary events (e.g. Jesus' miracles) would indicate confused eyewitnesses."
Needs none of that. The investigation is not of the facts, it's of the testimony regarding the facts.
You said:“Eyewitness testimony is, at best, evidence of what the witness believes to have occurred. It may or may not tell what actually happened."
That's the defense lawyer's theme song so far...
You said:"The familiar problems of perception, of gauging time, speed, height, weight, of accurate identification of persons accused of crime all contribute to making honest testimony something less than completely credible.”
The problem is here you have multiple witnesses and obvious resultant actions of individuals risking their life (not aggressively but passively) when all that could have been done was to leave a lie(if it were a lie) resultant actions aren't consistent with an isolated event, mass hysteria, or simple wanting something to be something other than what it was. All witnesses would not report the same thing unless they had seen or experienced the same thing which kills any mass hysteria thesis...in addition the details are unique enough to signify person experience and interaction.
You asked:"You said you did. Can you provide some of those non-Evangelical sources."
Historical document criterion are laid out in Reinventing Jesus. They take time to talk about that issue (historical criterion)that would be a good place to start to speak to the aspect that you are introducing. Once again Greenleaf's focus wasn't on the origin of the documents, simply on what was said, how and the consistency of the testimony. You can badger the witness on other grounds.
You stated:#2. You didn't answer the question based on context. Nobody was there with him who was conscious according to the omniscient narrative voice."
Did they sleep walk to get there? they must have been awake for some time. If Jesus was there when they went to sleep and there when they awoke, more than likely they could see the effects and more than likely talked about what happened...then there's another aspect called revelation or a revealing of actual events. That's one of those supernatural things that you don't believe in. Then in a much greater context this relates specifically to Genesis 15:12-17 when a covenant was established between God and man...Abraham went to sleep signifying his inability to make a covenant with God...that's a theological concept that is introduced in the narrative.
Shane...so what? that only solidifies the case...I was talking about the order not theevents as it pertainst to what we were discussing. We have angels talking to Mary in all narratives...your only beef is when before or after...what if it were both???ReplyDelete
Look I'm not doing a detailed analysis of anything. you research the sources if you need more than I offer. I only prove that the narratives are valid testimony and are worthy consideration of fact and are internally consistent. In fact the conclusion is that compelling eyewitness testimony is included throughout the narratives...Now this was years before either of us (1783-1853) this was light years ahead of the modern critique which is not very different from the time in which he was living. ie: the is an old story and your critiques are old hat.
Greenleaf is no more dubious than Darwin and whole lot more credible.
I dont think your logic solidifies anything Harvey, your trying say that the more inconsistent and distant the narratives are the more likely they are true......I simply dont buy that kind of logic.ReplyDelete
And why say "so what" about my post, its not my fault you dont know whats in your own bible!
You said you worked with the police and you undertand their methods of finding truth....etc...whatever you learned from them i think your seriously stretching it to prove a point.
Interesting you mention Darwin. Much of what he wrote has been improved upon and sharpened. Has Greenleaf?
This is what is said about Dr. Greenleaf which is obviously and most certainly new to you:
"Are the New Testament documents acceptable as evidence in a modern court of law? This was a question examined by Simon Greenleaf (1783-1853), one of the greatest authorities on common-law evidence in Western history.
Greenleaf authored the three-volume text, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence (1842), which, according to Dr. Wilbur Smith “is still considered the greatest single authority on evidence in the entire literature on legal procedure.” (In Wilbur M. Smith, Therefore Stand: Christian Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1972), p. 423)
The London Law Journal wrote of Greenleaf in 1874, “It is no mean honor to America that her schools of jurisprudence have produced two of the finest writers and best esteemed legal authorities in this century-the great and good man, Judge Story, and his eminent and worthy associate Professor Greenleaf. Upon the existing law of evidence (by Greenleaf) more light has shown from the New World than from all the lawyers who adorn the courts of Europe.” (Irwin H. Linton, A Lawyer Examines the Bible: A Defense of the Christian Faith (San Diego: Creation Life Publishers, 1977), p. 36.)
Further, “Dr. Simon Greenleaf was one of the greatest legal minds we have had in this country. He was the famous Royal Professor of Law at Harvard University, and succeeded Justice Joseph Story as the Dane Professor of Law in the same university. H. W. H. Knott in the Dictionary of American Biography says of him: “To the efforts of Story and Greenleaf is ascribed the rise of the Harvard Law School to its eminent position among the legal schools of the United States.”
Greenleaf wrote The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice, a volume in which he examined the legal value of the apostles’ testimony to the resurrection of Christ. He observed that it was impossible that the apostles “could have persisted in affirming the truths they had narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead, and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.”
Greenleaf concluded that the resurrection of Christ was one of the best supported events in history, according to the laws of legal evidence administered in courts of justice."
Along this line are others who have studied Greenleaf and know legal evidential practices:
Sir Edward Clark, K.C., observes: “As a lawyer, I have made a prolonged study of the evidences for the events of the first Easter day. To me the evidence is conclusive, and over and over again in the High Court I have secured the verdict on evidence not nearly so compelling. Inference follows on evidence, and a truthful witness is always artless and disdains effect. The gospel evidence for the resurrection is of this class, and as a lawyer I accept it unreservedly as a testimony of truthful men to facts they were able to substantiate.”(In John Stott, Basic Christianity (London: InterVarsity Fellowship, 1969), p. 47.)
Irwin H. Linton was a Washington, D.C. lawyer who argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. In "A Lawyer Examines the Bible," he challenges his fellow lawyers “by every acid test known to the law…to examine the case for the Bible just as they would any important matter submitted to their professional attention by a client….” (Irwin H. Linton, A Lawyer Examines the Bible: A Defense of the Christian Faith (San Diego: Creation Life Publishers, 1977), pp. 13, 196.)
He believes that the evidence for Christianity is “overwhelming” and that at least “three independent and converging lines of proof,” each of which “is conclusive in itself,” establish the truth of the Christian faith. (ibid., p. 192.)
Linton observed that “the logical, historical…proofs of…Christianity are so indisputable that I have found them to arrest the surprised attention of just about every man to whom I have presented them….” (ibid., p. 120.) He further argues the Resurrection “is not only so established that the greatest lawyers have declared it to be the best proved fact of all history, but it is so supported that it is difficult to conceive of any method or line of proof that it lacks which would make [it] more certain.”(p. 50.)
None of this addresses the standards of evidences and the threat of death prevalent in 1st Century Judea. So in order for your point or the points of any critic to be valid you'd have to overcome all of that, but remember that they fought a war over this stuff before Jesus was born...
In short the evidence is overwhelming and you'd have to do what an ostrich does in order to avoid it. Sticking your head in the sand as it were doesn't make any of it go away...
Buy it or not...it is what it is.
You still didn't answer the question.
Do you have independent confirmation of Greenleaf's findings by an atheist who corroborated his conclusion. You've attested to Greenleaf's intelligence and cited a christian lawyers support of it but, I am looking for falsifiable peer review.
I am still an atheist.
I believe you believe what you believe and I am still not convinced it is true.
Now, go ahead, call me names.
I've asked for the same standard of test science demands and you have not provided it.
I dont know if you have ever heard of Robert Ingersoll, if not you should google him sometime.
He was a dedicated atheist and was also one of the best lawyers of his time (1800's)
He made many cases against the truthfulness of the bible and is best known for the countless lectures and speeches he made in opposition to christianity.
Thousands of people came to listen to his lectures and he is well known for his accomplishments in debating anyone.
As you see, Greenleaf is nothing special except to those who support his side of the fence.
But their are others who are as well practiced in evaluating truth on the otherside of that fence.
So dont say "thats the way it is"
because of one source.
If you doubt any of his credentials you can easily find them on the bank of wisdom online.
Here is an exhort from the summary of American law.
"It does not necessarily follow that a verdict of finding must be in favor of the party introducing such evidence, where the issue remains in dispute or doubt. Although the testimony of a witness is not directly contradicted by other witnesses, if there are circumstances which controvert it or explain it away, or if the testimony is clouded with uncertianty or improbability, or otherwise appears unworthy of belief, the trier of fact is not bound to accept it.
Where testimony is on its face incredible, contrary to physical facts settled scientific principles, or the laws of common knowledge, it may be disregarded.
What do you think of that my friend?
Speaking of Darwin, would the case for Evolution be found as true given the same legal system and general procedure? How about the status of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory rather than renamed creationism?
Regarding ID, we don't need to create a hypothetical narrative, as ID was found to be non-scientific rehash of creationism by the supreme court in the 2005 Dover trial.
Given you think there is absolutely no evidence for evolution, how could the legal system fail so badly, yet be a good means to justify any claims of Christianity?
I've done as much as I'm going to do with your inquiry. Thanks.
Try looking up- Critique of John Montgomery's Legal Evidences for Christianity- by Richard Packham.
(this critique also mentions Greenleaf)
You said:"It does not necessarily follow that a verdict of finding must be in favor of the party introducing such evidence, where the issue remains in dispute or doubt. Although the testimony of a witness is not directly contradicted by other witnesses, if there are circumstances which controvert it or explain it away, or if the testimony is clouded with uncertianty or improbability, or otherwise appears unworthy of belief, the trier of fact is not bound to accept it.
Where testimony is on its face incredible, contrary to physical facts settled scientific principles, or the laws of common knowledge, it may be disregarded."
First of all, I'm certainly not a lawyer, however I don't think much of Ingersoll as outlined HERE. His arguments seemed to be many of the same standard type of arguments against Christianity, history in general, and full of conspiracy theories language discrepancies etc, which really present no problems and are more novel inventions than fact.
Dr. Greenleaf says this touching on some of what I stated earlier:I know not a more rash or unphilosophical conduct of the understanding, than to reject the substance of a story by reason of some diversity in the circumstances with which it is related. The usual character of human testimony is substantial truth under circumstantial variety. This is what the daily experience of courts of justice teaches. When accounts of a transaction come from the mouths of different witnesses, it is seldom that it is not possible to pick out apparent or real inconsistencies between them. These inconsistencies are studiously displayed by an adverse pleader, but oftentimes with little impression upon the minds of the judges. On the contrary, a close and minute agreement induces the suspicion of confederacy and fraud. When written histories touch upon the same scenes of action; the comparison almost always affords ground for a like reflection. Numerous, and sometimes important, variations present themselves; not seldom, also, absolute and final contradictions; yet neither one nor the other are deemed sufficient to shake the credibility of the main fact. The embassy of the Jews to deprecate the execution of Claudian's order to place his statute, in their temple, Philo places in harvest, Josephus in seed time; both contemporary writers. No reader is led by this inconsistency to doubt whether such an embassy was sent, or whether such an order was given. Our own history supplies examples of the same kind. In the account of the Marquis of Argyle's death, in the reign of Charles the Second, we have a very remarkable contradiction. Lord Clarendon relates that he was condemned to be hanged, which was performed the same day; on the contrary, Burnet, Woodrew, Heath, Echard, concur in stating that he was beheaded; and that he was condemned upon the Saturday, and executed upon the Monday. Was any reader of English history ever skeptic enough to raise from hence a question whether the Marquis of Argyle was executed or not? Yet this ought to be left in uncertainty, according to the principles upon which the Christian history has sometimes been attacked.[Greenleaf ~ Evidences Of Christianity 1851 p.319]
Also the biblical narrative meets acceptable and world renown legal standards for evidence such as Federal Rules Of Evidence and further generally admissible as evidence under 804 or hearsay exceptions.
So in short the testimony of the bible can and has withstood the test of "evidences" in general. You can debate over the details, but one can't simply throw out the document, testimony, or eyewitness accounts like most radical atheists like to do for obvious reasons...There's no basis for that.
That's what I think my friend.
"I've done as much as I'm going to do with your inquiry. Thanks."
That's cool. As long as you realize I see your evidence as preliminary and not conclusive.
All i can say is that there is opposition to these evidences by other legally educated people such as Richard Packham.
To wrap up this topic seeing as how we obviously wont agree..lol..Packham states an interesting fact, he said
"There are no original text of any New Testament documents, but only copies which differ among themselves.
How can one assert anything with certainty about what the text said when it was written?
The fact that they are copies of copies makes them admissable".
Also, he says- "There is no rule of evidence which states that we must accept uncorroborated evidence because it comes from the same source as other evidence which is corroborated"!
(meaning, resurrections, miracles, etc....just because other corroborated evidence may possibly exist from the same source.)
Eitherway, i enjoyed this topic, it caused me to look into things i never considered before!
You said:Speaking of Darwin,
And that's all one has to do is mention your god and you come out of the woodwork to defend him don't ya? I mean MAN, Darwin=Scott...WOW!
You ask"would the case for Evolution be found as true given the same legal system and general procedure? How about the status of Intelligent Design as a scientific theory rather than renamed creationism?
I don't believe any case has dealt with the TRUTH of ID or creationism. Is that something you want a judge deciding? I think the case dealt more with was ID science or was it religion by another name? That was the question and you know I know that so what does that mean Scott?
You affirm my commentary with your next statement:Regarding ID, we don't need to create a hypothetical narrative, as ID was found to be non-scientific rehash of creationism by the supreme court in the 2005 Dover trial.
Then you state:"Given you think there is absolutely no evidence for evolution, how could the legal system fail so badly, yet be a good means to justify any claims of Christianity?"
FIRST, you misrepresent what I believe so far as evolution is concerned and we've been round and round ad-infinitum...I believe in microevolutionary change within species as we all witness, I don't believe in marcorevolutionary change where one species become a completely new one such as the diversionary split between man and ape coming from a common ancestor. there is NO evidence for that and what evidence you point to is only evidence of a fully developed species.
So represent that correctly since you use it at some sort of talking point, but I won't be discussing any of that any further here.
Thanks and it was informative and I see really kinda scraped the surface...maybe I'll have more next time-LOL!!
Harvey wrote: And that's all one has to do is mention your god and you come out of the woodwork to defend him don't ya? I mean MAN, Darwin=Scott…WOW!ReplyDelete
Harvey, as I've mentioned before, Evolution is merely the most convenient subject by which to illustrate what appears to be contradictions in your views. It's a subject on which you've made a number of mater-of-fact claims in earlier posts on your blog, but later make comments that conflict with the consequences of Evolution being false in reality, such as rationality of people to accept it, etc. However, I've also use a mathematics analogy to make the same point.
Furthermore, you've make it very clear, based on questions you've asked, you have very limited knowledge of key legal and scientific discoveries relevant to the theory itself, beyond those you've encountered which appear to support your belief.
Is that something you want a judge deciding?
I asked first.
To rephrase, Is the validity of the resurrection of Jesus is something you want a judge or the legal system to decide? It sure seems that way, given your comments here in this thread. Why not evolution and common decent, as well?
I think the case dealt more with was ID science or was it religion by another name?
Which is what I was referring to when I said ID was found to be non-scientific rehash of creationism by the supreme court in the 2005 Dover trial.
But I also asked if "Evolution be found as true given the same legal system and general procedure?" Given the overwhelming amount of evidence that collaborates the theory of common decent, one could argue it too would be found true in a court of law, should such a trial occur.
However you say you know it's impossible for common decent to be true as it would make God a lier, and "God doesn't lie!" (I can provide exact quotes of this, and many others like it, from your blog, should it be necessary)
So, it seems you would only find legal proceedings "meaningful" if should the findings support your beliefs. Otherwise, you'd likely reject them. Not because of a lack of evidence or argument, but because they contradict claims made in your preferred holy book.
Of course, your "solution" to this problem is is to ignore the elephant in the room, by denying any evidence exists at all.
You wrote: there is NO evidence for that and what evidence you point to is only evidence of a fully developed species.
This is despite discoveries, such as human chromosome no. 2, which consists of the fusion of two great ape chromosomes, which was predicted by the theory of common decent. Your only option is to attempt to explain this away this discovery by suggesting "God must have wanted to make it look like common decent was true, when it was really false." or some other similar ad-hoc excuse.
I haven't read any of the prior comments posted here but wanted to respond to what John wrote,ReplyDelete
"But when we talk about an extraordinary claim coming from an ancient set of documents this problem is magnified a hundred fold, for there is no evidence of such things as a talking serpent, an axe head that floated, or a talking ass. The probability that these things did not happen is on my side."
Agreed! But I do not believe in a God who is a literary creature confined to an "ancient set of documents". That would be an idol.
However, I do believe that ancient peoples did rely more on intuition and the spiritual and were more open to receiving and allowing the spiritual realm to manifest in the world, whether it were of divine nature or otherwise. Spiritual occurrences are rare amongst the cynical.
Do you see what you did here, "Spiritual occurrences are rare amongst the cynical."
You took honest skepticism and twisted it into a moral argument based on your unfalsifiable presupposition.
It is a little insulting to have an honest request for the extraordinary evidence claimed be met with accusations of "closed-mindedness" (e.g. "cynicism")
Hi Chuck -- How are you doing?ReplyDelete
You wrote, "
You took honest skepticism and twisted it into a moral argument based on your unfalsifiable presupposition.
It is a little insulting to have an honest request for the extraordinary evidence claimed be met with accusations of "closed-mindedness" (e.g. "cynicism")"
Interesting that you view this as a "moral argument". I can't take credit for this as an original observation -- it's one that Jesus acknowledged and I just happen to, based on what is self-evident in my own life, concur.
As far as Godly love being extraordinary, I agree - I happen to think there is quite a dwindling degree of it being expressed these days.
As far as my comment being insulting, I don't know if you've ever considered...nah, never mind.....don't have the faith to go there today.
You said as far as Godly love being extraordinary you agree, and think there is a lack of it today.
So are you saying here that you see Godly love as evidence of the extraordinary? and qualifying it as extraordinary as resurrections, floating axe heads, parting of sea's...etc...?
Hello Shane --ReplyDelete
You asked this, "So are you saying here that you see Godly love as evidence of the extraordinary? and qualifying it as extraordinary as resurrections, floating axe heads, parting of sea's...etc...?"
I believe that when Jesus arrived on the scene, it was made clear that God's standard for the miraculous was identified as people moving the mountains from their hearts to love one another and surrendering prideful coping mechanisms when we hurt one another. Flying axes, talking donkeys --- I'm not going to discredit based on some of the things I've witnessed, and if they did occur, I'm sure they served a purpose before God was made manifest. But once the primary Godly goal was established (loving one another), being overly impressed or seeking those kinds of supernatural occurrences could actually serve as a distraction.
take care, Shane,
Hello,.....ok...so you believe that those who move mountains from their hearts will be more capable of seeing miracles or experiencing them first hand?
But they need not look for such extravagent examples like in the old testament?
Well jesus did say according to scripture, that his followers would do greater miracles then He even did!
If this is true why are there not more of these extraordinary miracles happening among the devout christian world?
I know alot of christians would claim that they have seen or experienced miraculous things.
But how can we differentiate between so called miracles or just plain psychological dillusion and euphoria?
When i was a believer, i seen alot of strange things myself, but non of the things i witnessed could be said to be an act of God, as opposed to just being in the persons mind!
And i often wondered why christians do not go into hospitals and lay hands on the sick and heal multitudes of their illnesess and infirmaties,
Especially when many miracles were done in the bible on the faith of another instead of the afflicted person themselves!
Aren't christians supposed to do even more miraculous things then Jesus even did according to scripture?
And if they do not, then doesn't that make Jesus prediction a failed prediction?
Hi again, Shane, You wrote,ReplyDelete
"Aren't christians supposed to do even more miraculous things then Jesus even did according to scripture?
And if they do not, then doesn't that make Jesus prediction a failed prediction?"
Why would God promote seeking OT type of miracles to serve as proof of His existence when He has already expressed the highest and most valuable standard in Christ??
The miracles Christ expressed were based on a foundation of caring compassion -- not out of pride or to "prove" Himself. He Himself said that He could not perform miracles where there was no faith --- His miracles were for the purpose of connecting with people, not performing a magic show to pacify people's insecurities.
I have heard of witnesses of the miraculous and I know they are possible now.
As far as myself being a purveyor of the miraculous, I can honestly confess that I am still too prideful to express that kind of faithful trust and compassion. That in itself is a miracle because I used to be too prideful to accurately identify my lack of faith! But I hope to continue to grow in my capacity for faithful living.
Did "Yesshie" (the knickname Jesus friends use for him) shave his 'stache? You never answered my question from another post.
Also, is Moose Tracks still his favorite ice cream?
I mean, you have such a tight relationship with him, I'd think you could answer these simple questions (although you not knowing about his knickname causes me to doubt your sincerity).
I understand what your saying here in regards to Jesus not performing magic tricks to pacify peoples insecurity.
What i mean is that, according to the bible, Jesus healed people out of mercy and grace and He did not always do it according to the faith of the person being healed, but by the faith of another....such as the centurian and his servant and the samarian womens child....etc
So if believers are supposed to be performing miracles even greater then Jesus did Himself.....then why do we not see believers healing in hospitals or healing sick children or curing people of blindess...etc..by the power of their own faith?
It wouldn't have to be an act of show boating on Gods part, but an act of continuing mercy!
But instead, all we get are tv evangelists who supposedly cure people in their audience and in their own churches!
If these fakes really had the healing faith they claim, then they would be doing just what i said above!
I dont expect you to have these answers, im just making a point.
Hi Chuck and Shane,ReplyDelete
Chuck wrote, "Did "Yesshie" (the knickname Jesus friends use for him) shave his 'stache? You never answered my question from another post.
Also, is Moose Tracks still his favorite ice cream?"
I don't recall seeing another post from you Chuck -= I missed it. But in regard to this, by faith, we have great freedom in this world as long as it is constructive. So, Moose tracks and nicknames are well within the realm of free and creative expression. I can know the essence of God's nature without having to extract every detail --- I am free from the compulsion of "having to know it all" - a very good feeling, indeed. So no, I do not need to know every detail about God but I do believe He said that His friends know what He is up to ---and I know this much ---it's good.
Hi Shane ---you said, "then why do we not see believers healing in hospitals or healing sick children or curing people of blindess...etc..by the power of their own faith?"
One of the things that God set me free from was spiritual blindness -- so, for me, I am able to see more accurately and more graciously. Also, I disagree with you that more sensational healings are not happening nowadays - I don't think my faith is mature enough for being a purveyor of such, but I have hope that perhaps someday it could be. You of course, can discount such and assign credit to coincidence or flukes of nature as I once did, I understand that. Because I had trust issues, for me, I think the greatest miracle was becoming like a little child before a powerful God and grow to learn that God can be trusted with human vulnerability and not be abusive. That is what was the miracle for me.
Anyway, nice talking to you guys - take care!
“I've never heard of either of these feilds corroborating the authenticity of miracles!”ReplyDelete
1. i wasn’t referring to miracles. Furthermore, the statement that they corroborate the Bible is correct.
2. How would you corroborate a miracle anyway?
3. Whatever corroboration of miracles we lack, that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen
"Their is also scores of volumes written in opposition of the bibles claims!"
So the question is why you put faith into one set of scholars as opposed to another
"How do you no that any effects of christianity have anything to do with a real divine being, rather then natural reasons?"
One way has been outlined by n.t. wright who makes the case that the existence of christianity makes no sense apart from the resurrection of Christ (evidential method). Another way is through the establishment of first principles (classical method).
"claiming a 3 to 4 thousand year old religious concept to the question, doesn't get us any closer as far as i see things!"
That depends on whether it’s true or not. the age doesn't mean it's not true.
"Especially when the bible could be the work of man's imagination itself."
Or it could be the revelation of God. How do you know one way or the other?
"people go around claiming extraordinary things that are beyond belief and say they "know" its true when they have no evidence to back it up."ReplyDelete
what would be evidence of a miracle?
"I think the onmiscient creator would be a little brighter then to expect his people to believe in things contrary to His own creation based on hearsay!"
hearsay, in and of itself, doesn’t mean the events are false. what exactly about christianity is contrary to creation?
"Why hasn't Jesus returned to all generations and do signs and wonders?"
What’s the point? Some will believe, some won’t. how many times is Jesus to return?
"The eye witness accounts contradict or are inconsistent in many area's and topics, this does not fit with a divinely inspired word of God."ReplyDelete
You may not have researched this issue but your point is incorrect. These issues have been answered many times over if you care to look into it
"And it would not hold up in a court room."
many people make this mistaken assumption. Judicial and legal precedent aren’t the measure of how to decide the truth of religious issues. they are helpful but, are not comprehensive
"There are things mentioned in the new testament where there was no eye witness to testify for it, such as jesus praying alone in the garden while the disciples slept."
1. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen
2. just because the Bible doesn’t mention an eyewitness doesn’t mean there wasn’t one
"There are things mentioned in some of the gospels which should have been reported elswhere other then just the bible, such as the saints coming to life and going into Jerusalem and being seen by many."
who should have recorded that event?
"Each gospel gives a different story of the events and how they took place."ReplyDelete
The accounts can be complementary. They’re not necessarily contradictory
"independent confirmation by an atheist"ReplyDelete
there is no independent confirmation in these matters. Everyone has a spiritual stake in the issue. besides, you know of atheists who became Christians once they used the very method you are referring to.
"falsifiable peer review."
Aside from there not being such a thing in this type of spiritual matter, peer review is not the ultimate authority in regards to truth.
"There are no original text of any New Testament documents"ReplyDelete
this isn't the problem some people make it out to be. it has been demonstrated that there is fidelity in the transmission of the intent.
"but only copies which differ among themselves."
in some cases they do but that doesn't mean the intent has been lost.
"How can one assert anything with certainty about what the text said when it was written?"
this is precisely what textual critics do. as i said, it has been demonstrated that while there are some differences, we can see that different people in different places were saying basically the same thing. that gets us as close to the autographs as possible without actually having them.
"The fact that they are copies of copies makes them admissable".
The fact that they are copies does not mean they aren’t accurate depictions of the events. Also, there are cases where we have only one copy from an ancient author but the validity of the text is still in question. the nature of copies or the number does nothing to diminish the truth of the text.
"There is no rule of evidence which states that we must accept uncorroborated evidence because it comes from the same source as other evidence which is corroborated"!
this is a preposterous standard. There is nothing that could serve as “proof” of a miracle. A miracle is by definition a suspension of the physical laws that govern the universe. Since that is the case, there is no reason to drive a wedge between the validity of a person’s account of something miraculous and non-miraculous simply on those grounds.
Your answers are disappointing. I thought you had a personal relationship with Jesus. Your answers seem consumed with the conceptual. I've read many of your posts and your story seems to be that you once were an atheist, ran into a psychological blockade which manifested some vague sort of pain, accetped the christian story and feel better about yourself. Your truth seems nothing more than a way for you to not feel bad about yourself. I don't mind that but, you present it as if your self-love is evidence of a universal law that we all are either too stubborn or too immoral to see (e.g. the "cynical" comment). How is you feeling good about yourself due to a culturally accepted superstition the height of moral truth?
All of your answers seem to indicate one thing to me, you want me to accept absolute truth on some very thin evidence. The offensive thing is that you ennoble this type of intellectual superficiality as "faith". This "faith" demands adherence to absolute authority with little to no trust-worthy evidence.
For staters, i dont put faith in any scholars. I have been on both sides of the fence and read and studied both.
I find the skeptical side makes more sense to me and is reasonably more true to me.
I could ask the same question and would probably get the same type of answer to from you.
The effects of christianity could be soley based on mental and emotional aspects rather then supernatural intervention.
Also, The age of the biblical text absolutely does matter!
It comes from a time when people lacked even a quarter of the understanding we have today about the universe and the world around us.
3 to 4 thousand years ago people believed everything was a direct result of a god or spirit!......This involved everything from lightening to a headache, from a disease to farting!!!!!
I dont know if the bible is inspired or not (thats something skeptics can admitt, unlike some christians)
But i do not believe that if there was a divine truth that all humanity needed to know in order to save their souls, it would not come to us in such an obscure way....in the form of a copied book.
I believe it would be common universal knowledge to all people, instead of taking almost 1900 years to reach all the earth!! (Especially when millions have died without ever hearing of Christ)-which by the way was no fault of their own!!!!
Also- I have looked into biblical inconsistencies and contradictions, and most answers i've come across are very unsound and some are even feeble!
Finally- you said my statement was prepostorous...no it is not!
If it is prepostorous, then you might aswell believe in all miracle claims from all faiths, you might aswell believe Joseph Smith and Muhammed the prophet!
Its not prepostorous to discredit testimony that does not corroborate with settled scientific fact and natural law.
Im not saying miracles cant or haven't happened, im saying that no body is obligated to believe in claims that contradict natural law just because a hearsay source tells us we should!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Chuck -- You wrote,ReplyDelete
"Your answers are disappointing"
What were you expecting??
Faith is a process --- initially it is unsettling and unpeaceful much as a shovel digging into hardened ground to plant a small seed -- what happens after that is a gradual growth. Faithful enlightenment contains elements of both the sensational and the slower, more gradual process of maturation.
As far as your interpretation of my story, I acknowledge the potential for each person to bring a little of their own history into interpreting and understanding other peoples' stories. We don't always read//listen to understand with accuracy. Oh well....
Correct me if I'm wrong MMM.ReplyDelete
I see someone who probably had a numinous experience after a personall crisis and attributed this psychological event to the most common social superstition.
This experience has made you feel safe and by pragmatic consequence has confirmed the superstition as true.
You now preach about the secrets of life due to this psychological event and none of this preaching extends beyond the idea that once you felt bad and now you feel good therefore god exists. I find your self-acceptance healthy but consider your claims to absolute truth based on it rather odd.
You dont seem to understand that chuck and i have been where you are now!
Everyone has believed to their own degree....chuck has explained alot of his background on here......i myself was a believer for quite some time.
I deeply believed in God and the Holy Bible!
I used to evangelize out on the street carrying an 8-foot cross on my shoulder and handing out tracts to people.
I had some very interesting experiences doing that.
I didn't do much other then read the bible, go to church, and try to talk to anyone who would listen.
The problem was that eventually i began to realize that trying to apply the bibles concepts to real life just didn't add up.
Trying to live by Jesus teachings and applying them to everyday life i realized something was seriously wrong with it!
When i finally took a step back, and began to research the issues against the christian belief (and do it without fear) i was swayed from everything i had believed!
Anyway, you talk as if we were never believer's and you know something we dont, or experienced something we haven't.
Hi Shane and Chuck,ReplyDelete
Shane you wrote, "Anyway, you talk as if we were never believer's and you know something we dont, or experienced something we haven't."
You also said,
"I didn't do much other then read the bible, go to church, and try to talk to anyone who would listen."
Okay, -- I didn't go to church on a regular basis or study the bible much before I became an atheist -- I was too easily offended and put off by Jesus's words and the OT - the only part of the bible I really liked was Proverbs and the Corinthians verse about love and I accepted the stories of Christmas and Easter as they were handed down to me. And I never really talked about God to anyone either so you're by far the more experienced 'ex believer' than myself.
BTW, Chuck, your perspective of my writings is in keeping with your stance -- I'm sharing my experience and what I've come to know -- you of course, do not have to agree. It's self evident to me that you can embrace what you have come to prefer.
You said, "I'm sharing my experience and what I've come to know -- you of course, do not have to agree. It's self evident to me that you can embrace what you have come to prefer."
I wonder then why you must constantly defend your faith in an apologetic way offering only your personal experience as if it is some sort of universal proof?
Do you really believe we all have liberty to believe or disbelieve and these attitudes have no bearing on our individual worth or morality or, do you believe (as you have argued often) one must accept Jesus Christ or wallow in cruelty and immorality?
If you respect my disbelief as equal to your belief then I am confused by your prior arguments.
How do you reconcile your personal revelation as universal law and, respect my disbelief of your universal law?
Hi Chuck --- you asked me this,ReplyDelete
"How do you reconcile your personal revelation as universal law and, respect my disbelief of your universal law?"
Because the truth doesn't need reconciling --- it is acknowledged. We are allowed differences of worldviews. Jesus acknowledged such as well.
You also wrote, "I wonder then why you must constantly defend your faith in an apologetic way offering only your personal experience as if it is some sort of universal proof?"
I thought all along I was sharing and conversing - I had no idea I was defending. I don't think God needs defending -- afterall, Jesus, on His way to the cross, told people not to weep for Him but rather for themselves. I agree with Him.
You said, "Because the truth doesn't need reconciling --- it is acknowledged."
What is the basis of your truth?
You said "God doesn't need defending"
Do you realize this is just a wet blanket statement that means nothing!
The bible has very many contradictions, inconsisitencies, errors, and acts of moral atrocities recorded in it, and therefore the bible does need defending as far as human logic, reason, and understanding go!
It could be said that God cannot be understood by human logic and reasoning, but human understanding is all we know, and if God has given us a book that does not operate within our understanding.....what good is it to us.....?
Okay Chuck, Shane - what is it about you guys - I'm starting to feel protective of you two!ReplyDelete
Chuck, you quoted me,
"You said, "Because the truth doesn't need reconciling --- it is acknowledged." and then replied,
What is the basis of your truth?"
I don't know - because it's true? Are you saying we should deny the truth????? I don't know about you sometimes Chuck.....but gotta love ya anyway!
Then Shane, "The bible has very many contradictions, inconsisitencies, errors, and acts of moral atrocities recorded in it,"
Don't you wish that inconsistencies, error, and acts of moral atrocities were contained safely within the content of scriptural literary works? But they are not -- vulnerability infects human nature whether it is revealed in more overt behavior such as outright violence or more insidious forms of evil, such as moral conceitedness and contempt.
Jesus confronted those who exploited and corrupted the divine as a justification for mistreating one another. Jesus gave no justification to mistreat anyone - not even enemies.
Ok....you said Jesus did not give justification to mistreat anyone, not even enemies.
Your right mmm....he did not!
Yet....we have in the old testament wars of extermination against the people of Canaan, where the Israelites under the expressed command of God murdered men, women, and children so they could possess their land!!!!!
Now dont you see the will of God in the old testament in direct contradiction with what Jesus taught?
Also, what i meant about a wet blanket statement, was that you said "God does not need defending"
Here you are automatically assuming that God exists when there is no real evidence of this.
Second, you are also assuming the bible an accurate depiction of that God.
Chuck was asking what bases do you have for this truth?
Meaning....how can you assert it is the truth?
How do you know it is true?
You said, "I don't know - because it's true? Are you saying we should deny the truth????? I don't know about you sometimes Chuck.....but gotta love ya anyway!"
I don't want to deny the truth. I'm a big fan of it. I want to know by what criteria you call truth, truth.
For example, I don't believe that Jesus of Nazareth was anything more than a first century apocalyptic prophet. I don't believe any human is divine. So, your insistence on having a personal relationship with a historical figure and then applying the myths about him as actual teachings of his does not meet my measurement of truth.
I'm sure you feel it is true to you but, the only standard for the truth is your self-centered experience.
How do you determine what you believe to be true is actually true? What standards to do you put on it.
An instinctive reaction to your emotions seems to be a thin standard of evidence to claim the absolute and universal moral truth of the universe.
So what specifications do you use?
Hi again Chuck, Shane:ReplyDelete
Let's just take this one step at a time: (this may take awhile since I'm out about these days)
Jesus acknowledged the existence of antagonism towards belief in Him. That is true --- exhibit A, Chuck and Shane.
Do you agree so far?
According to what the scripture says yes i agree, but i seriously think your missing the point of my last messege! And i think we are going to get an irrelevent answer here.
The anonymous writers of the orthodox gospels wrote that, "Jesus acknowledged the existence of antagonism towards belief in Him."
Nobody knows what Jesus acknowledged since those documents were created for the purpose of theology, not history.
I wonder why you take the faith claims of christian scripture but probably ignore those of the Q'ran. There are many similarities between Jesus and Muhammad, http://godresources.org/compare-jesus-muhammad/similarities-jesus-muhammad.shtml
Do you consider the Hadith and Q'ran historical or theological?
Chuck, it doesn't take a religious tradition or scripture to verify the truth that there is antagonism towards the divine.ReplyDelete
Religious texts and practices are not what brought me to belief. It was a spiritual occurrence - an awakening - an unsettling of the status quo.
I'm not saying that God doesn't relate to ppl who practice other religions, but there are influences amongst people that can corrupt the interpretation of the divine nature, whether it is within Christian or other faith practices. Mostly to do with how ppl view the divine in relationship to human vulnerability and guilt.
P.S. Shane, I'm sorry if I've misinterpreted what you were asking of me. I don't want to go any further until I completely understand.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Why are you changing the subject?
You've just moved from Christianity to Deism.
Which is it?
Do you still believe the bible is reliable history or don't you?
I still don't know what your standard of truth is.
It seems that you judge others' attitudes that may be different towards supernaturalism than yours as somehow belligerent, why?
What model do you use in making these decisions?
I still see only someone whose self-centered emotionalism allows her to judge others morality, without reasonable evidence in regards to outcomes.
I think Weyerhaeuser is needed here for the log in your eye as you keep misconstruing what I am saying. I have no other choice but to assume that you are projecting pridefulness again.
At any rate, you wrote, "You've just moved from Christianity to Deism.
Which is it?"
You seem to have a habit of narrowing your perspective down to two choices when you reach an impasse here. But there are not only two choices....
The terms "Deism" "christianity" etc. are manmade terminology in an attempt to understand and describe God, the supernatural, divinity, etc. I think He prefers to just be called a name like us --- I think Jesus is a good name and representative of a nature that comes from a source outside our nature.
As far as the bible, it is a book that needs to be divided between what is divine and what is of human nature. Scripture can be a source of inspiration or used to corrupt the nature of God to promote cruel behavior. Misconstruing and corrupting one another's words is not solely applied to scripture either -- exhibit A -- these conversations here.
You do not believe so you do not have to accept what I say, but there is a spirit from God that testifies to the truth of what it means to be a caring human hearted person. Salvation comes through spiritual awakening and then God is seen as He truly is - powerful in lovingkindness.
At any rate Chuck, I do not believe it is possible to debate God into existence for a nonbeliever - if God could be reduced to a malleable bit of clay for us to manipulate, then that would be an idol and not God at all. I cannot produce this bit of clay for you and that should be good news -- if I were able to do that, I might say something like, "God can't stand you, Chuck and you deserve to be stoned!" but it isn't like that. He isn't manipulated by people so that means that He loves you and isn't intimidated by your disbelief.
The point i was getting at before was the fact that you said-" Jesus did not give justification to mistreat anyone not even enemies"
I agreed with you as far as what the New Testament says.
But i was pointing out that in the Old Testament we have God commanding the Israelites to wage wars of extermination against the land of Canaan.
We have God commanding the butcheries of men,women,children, and babies! so that the Israelites could take their land.
My question was-"when we compare Jesus teachings of mercy,love forgiveness, and non-mistreatment of people including enemies, dont you see the teachings of Jesus contradict the vengeful will of God in the Old Testament?
You said, " if God could be reduced to a malleable bit of clay for us to manipulate, then that would be an idol and not God at all. I cannot produce this bit of clay for you and that should be good news -- if I were able to do that, I might say something like, "God can't stand you, Chuck and you deserve to be stoned!" but it isn't like that. He isn't manipulated by people so that means that He loves you and isn't intimidated by your disbelief."
I never asked for god to be reduced so I would know him.
I want to know on what humble basis you can assert these things as absolute and universal fact.
It's interesting that you call me prideful when I have repeatedly asked you to provide us a reasoned methodology which affords you the certainty you project. Instead, you change the subject, assail my character and construct strawmen.
You initially said your standard was the bible quotes given by Jesus but, when I pointed out the bible does not meet the standards of documentary history you changed the subject. You now create a strawman (god as a clay idol) I never argued.
I don't believe god exists. I want to know the reasoning you use to empower your certainty that you know everything he wants.
Hi chuck --- I did answer your question about the foundation for which I believe - it is a spiritual rebirth/awakening/enlightenment --- there are several terms to describe it. Scripture does contain divine inspiration that verifies this but it also contains elements of human nature projected upon the image of God.ReplyDelete
You also keep making accusations of my being prideful. It's okay --- I take ownership of what has infected me in the past, but I'm getting delivered from that cruel spirit. It causes a lot of misunderstanding and hurtfulnesss.
At any rate, like I said, if I could manipulate God into my own design, I might be tempted to make Him in my own image and have Him saying something like, "Chuck you are condemned" but I know better.
You aren't condemned by God --- it is people infected with cruelty that send that message.
You wrote, "
My question was-"when we compare Jesus teachings of mercy,love forgiveness, and non-mistreatment of people including enemies, dont you see the teachings of Jesus contradict the vengeful will of God in the Old Testament?"
Absolutely! I used to hate the OT and was really offended by it, but then I remembered that they did not yet have the Messiah --- Jesus corrected them without condemning them, saying they did the hard work. I agree! I don't think I could have done better if I were being bullied by aggressive, barbaric people. I couldn't have turned my cheek away when threatened. Without the promises of God's salvation, I may have done no better.
But just know this, in the NT, Jesus does speak of the OT people, Israelites and otherwise, with grace and resurrection. He doesn't condemn them so neither do I.
Take care Shane,
You said your source of truth is, "it is a spiritual rebirth/awakening/enlightenment ---"
Why should I then take what you say to be true to be any more valid than any other person using themselves as the only source of that truth?
I mean, your argument does not sound all that different from a schizophrenics. The plausible consideration for the kind of presumption to knowing you practice would be mental illness.
Why shouldn't I believe you to be mentally ill and therefore reject all you say about the universe, morality and man's mission here?
"Absolutely! I used to hate the OT and was really offended by it, but then I remembered that they did not yet have the Messiah --- Jesus corrected them without condemning them, saying they did the hard work. I agree! I don't think I could have done better if I were being bullied by aggressive, barbaric people. I couldn't have turned my cheek away when threatened. Without the promises of God's salvation, I may have done no better."
Jesus is god isn't he? So, they did have the Messiah in a purer form, right?
Your rationalization is confusing.
Thanks for answering, but i think your missing some vital points here.
First, you said that the old testament Israelites did not yet have the messiah and that Jesus corrected them without condemning them....?
Why would the old testament Israelites need Jesus to correct them when they were apparently being led by Gods expressed commands?
When the Israelites attacked the people of Canaan they were told to do it by God Himself!
Why would Jesus need to correct the commands and will of God Himself???? or why would they be condemned for doing what God told them to?
this is where the contradiction lays!
Second, you said that if you were being bullied by aggressive barbaric people you probably would not be able to turn the other cheek either????
Im not exactly sure who you are refering to here? it was the Israelites who attacked the people of Canaan to take the land from them! not the other way around.
It was the Israelites under the command of God who slaughtered women and children of the Canaanite peoples!
Hi Shane --- thanks for the awareness alert on the Canaanites --- although I'm unfamiliar with the nature of their relationship with the Israelites, I know they did perform child sacrifice. In regards to bullying, I was referring to the Amalekites (sp?).ReplyDelete
At any rate, cruelty infects humanity whether it is moral conceitedness or outright violence, and by faith, we can grow out of that. We are candidates for God's grace -- in His family there are not victims or victimizers - those roles are surrendered. that is the bottom line and purpose of faith and I think, a universal need for all humanity.
You asked, "Jesus is god isn't he? So, they did have the Messiah in a purer form, right?"
Jesus gives sight to the blind --- primarily spiritual sight so one can see God's divine nature. that is what happened to me. The OT people did not yet have the ability to completely discern the nature of God without the Messiah.
Initially, I was unable to discern or "see" God, because I had a lot of human authority images corrupting my understanding of His nature. Although I would never have confessed this prior to spritually being awakened, I had a misconception for God contempt for Him which was brought about by the treatment I had received in my family.
I doubt that I am yet making this clear, but nonetheless, it's good talking to you, Chuck. Take care,
Also, to Shane, You wrote,ReplyDelete
"Why would the old testament Israelites need Jesus to correct them when they were apparently being led by Gods expressed commands?
When the Israelites attacked the people of Canaan they were told to do it by God Himself!
Why would Jesus need to correct the commands and will of God Himself???? or why would they be condemned for doing what God told them to?"
God's salvation is not like what we provide via "fight or flight" inclinations.
God's way of salvation is via grace and resurrection. The OT people are not condemned unless they prefer the practice of condemning others.
In the NT, Jesus addresses the worst of the worst of the OT characters, in a language that relates to where they are in their spiritual deprivation -- harsh and frightening --- not for the purpose of intimidating or punishing them, but in the hopes of relating to them and saving them for a kind and loving relationship with Him. The people He loves, we would no doubt feel intimidated by and justified in hating because they are so depraved.
At any rate, Shane, thanks for sharing your insights with me - I appreciate it.
You said the canaanites performed child sacrifice.
This is true, but i dont think that all the peoples there did that. There were many different peoples who all dwelt in Canaan.
Also, whether some did or not, this was not why the Israelites massacred them, they did it to take possession of the land!
And even if some did sacrifice their children, would that make it right for the Israelites to kill all the children????
It sounds to me that you are a fairly new christian if you do not know the relationship between the Israelites and Canaanites?
Maybe you need to brush up on the old testament...lol
If you have not read Deuteronomy or Joshua i would suggest reading those books to gain an understanding of what im saying here.
Also, you are giving me Jesus philosophy here which i am well aware of, and i see a major contradiction between Jesus teachings about God, and God Himself in the old testament!
I just read your second post to me, and all i can say mmm, is that i dont think your quite grasping what im trying to get across here.
Im not discussing the individual issues that Israel had with God in relation to their spirituality.
Im discussing the contradiction of Gods character in the old testament and how it contradicts what Jesus taught about God in the new testament.
Shane said, "ReplyDelete
Also, you are giving me Jesus philosophy here which i am well aware of, and i see a major contradiction between Jesus teachings about God, and God Himself in the old testament!"
Yes! You are right!! There is a big difference between OT perspective of God and Jesus' demonstration of the divine --- When Jesus died, the curtain in the temple tore in half --- whether actual or metaphorical, it represented a departure from OT perspectives. That is why Jesus was declared a blasphemer, because He offended the OT dogma and vision of the divine nature of God.
At any rate, Shane, I may take you up on your suggestion to read those books in the OT. I agree with you about some Canaanites probably did not do child sacrifice just the same as some of the Israelites were probably pacifists who didn't want to go and wage war to possess their land.
Lol...ok...we getting somewhere.
You said-" That is why they declared Jesus a blasphemer and because He offended the OT dogma and vision of the divine nature of God"!
This is true......but according to the OT, where did they get their dogma and vision of the divine nature of God?
According to the scriptures they got it directly FROM God!
The dogma's and visions of God were not made up by the Israelites, they recieved it from God!
So if Jesus was God in the flesh and He taught things contrary to the OT, then He taught contrary to God, He taught contrary to His own self!
Do you see where im going with this?
I understand you fine.
You had a numinous experience probably due to a Serotonin surge within a pleasant group setting and you attached this biological phenomenon to the most common cultural superstition.
I see it within the same category as a Mormon experiencing "burning in the bosom" or a Scientologist enjoying an effective auditing session.
I don't see it validating the bible myths as anything more than ancient fables with little application to our modern world.
I also don't see it providing much utility outside of the fact that you consider yourself a nice person. I don't see your beliefs solving any problems for anyone nor do I see it adding to useful information that can aid society.
You however probably do feel good and holy.
Hi Shane, You wrote,ReplyDelete
"According to the scriptures they got it directly FROM God!"
According to Jesus, He credited some of what was written by Moses to the influence of the hard heartedness of the people in his surrounding community.
Hi Chuck --
Shees --- the characterizations you apply towards my writings - very unfriendly. Oh well...gotta go -- bye,
You said Jesus credited some of what Moses wrote due to their hard heartedness?
You are right the NT does have Jesus teaching this. That much i can give you.
But this doesn't go for the express commands of God Himself in the old testament.
Example- God tells Moses and Joshua to utterly destroy many cities and to kill everything in them (inluding all people, men, women, and children).
But we have Jesus teaching not to kill, and to love and be kind even to enemies!
Here we have a command of God in contradiction with Jesus command.
This is all im getting at. If you read Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Numbers, you will be quite surprised at some of the things God suppossedly said and did, and will see the difference between that and Jesus teachings.
Why should I take your "truth" as such anymore than someone like Tom Cruise when he sells scientology?
You haven't demonstrated an objective standard for your confidence.
Can't you see the delusional and self-centered state you project with your insistence you have an imaginary friend in Jesus?
Hi Shane -- you are assigning credit to God for things Jesus said came from hardened human hearts. Your view of the divine is formed by words written by ppl who did not yet have the Messiah they were promised.ReplyDelete
I suppose that's why some rejected Jesus - because they couldn't progress from their former understanding of God.
Hi Chuck --- thanks for the conversations here. As I've said before, you do not have to agree with me --- it's pretty simple really. I am expressing and sharing my belief and you are expressing what you know. Two different viewpoints. Thanks again,
"I am expressing and sharing my belief and you are expressing what you know."
That's fine MMM but please remember that your belief has a thin standard of evidence so, when you come on here telling us how we need Jesus, I will remember your inability to offer a standard of truth outside your unique personality.
Hi Chuck --- you said, "That's fine MMM but please remember that your belief has a thin standard of evidence so, when you come on here telling us how we need Jesus, I will remember your inability to offer a standard of truth outside your unique personality."ReplyDelete
I don't minimize my life to a "thin standard of evidence" and it is hurtful when others reduce personal experience to such. I pledge that I won't reduce your experience and viewpoint if that is what you feel I have done. I take it pretty seriously to honor what a person's personal preference is. Bye, Chuck!
You claim to know the secret moral code of the universe based on your personal experience.
I find that dubious.
Explain to me how your personal experience reveals the universal truth we all need be subjet to.
I'm willing to listen to the logic you employ to get to the place where your imaginings somehow dictate the entire meaning of existence.
Please share. Thanks.
Hi Chuck, you said, 'You claim to know the secret moral code of the universe based on your personal experience."ReplyDelete
Can you please show me where I say that? I think I have made it clear that belief is not based on a moral code since that can be corrupted by moral conceitedness (eg the seed of the Pharisees). So, where did I specifically make this claim? Thx.
You make that claim everytime you suggest we need Jesus.
Chuck, where do I suggest you need Jesus?? I share what I have experienced and know about Him but I think I've made it clear that ppl are allowed a preference to reject such (and it is self evident that that is the case).ReplyDelete
What bible are you reading man..................?
You said i am assigning credit to God for things that Jesus said come from human hardened hearts?
Either you are being willfully difficult about this, or you simply dont know or someone is giving you false information.
Are you trying to say that the conquest of Canaan was not commanded by God?
Are trying to say that God did not order the massacres of multitudes of Canaanites?
(1 Sam, 19-20) God said ""Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man, women, and child"
This is just one example, even Robert Ingersoll said- "God sanctioned and commanded all the cruelties and horrors described in the old testament; He waged the most relentless and heartless wars"
Instead of trying to tell me im wrong about well known biblical facts, why not read them for yourself?
Hi Shane -- I am acquainted with the essence of the OT --- that the OT folks' God was nothing like Jesus -- He Himself amended their perspective. If the OT God is the One that you believe in then perhaps you were practicing Judaism instead of Christianity???ReplyDelete
You wrote, "Jesus gives sight to the blind --- primarily spiritual sight so one can see God's divine nature."
What do you mean by this?
Are you implying a qualitative improvement to one's sight if they allow Jesus into their life?
What is the benefit of seeing "God's divine nature"?
How is this assertion not one with moral presuppositions attached to it?
If there is no behavioral advantage for this sight then why pronounce it and endorse it?
You said if i worshipped the God of the OT then perhaps i was practicing Judaism?????
I dont know what kind of christianity you belong to, but as far as the bible goes and as far as most christians believe, the God of the OT and the God of the NT are the same GOD!!!!
And if Jesus was God in the flesh, then He was the same God too!
I didn't know there was christians who believe in two different Gods!
I dont mean to be rude MMM, but im beginning to wonder about you....lol
Hi Chuck, you still have not responded to my other inquiry as to where I have said you need Jesus.ReplyDelete
As far as a benefit of knowing God's nature, personally I am growing in my capacity to be a caring person and am able to discern the difference between gracious mercy and cruelty. I used to give the appearance of goodness but am learning what it means to be authentically good and sometimes that means that God disables my ability to live a life of pretense and presumption - a life of inner perishing.
While in the past, I did not have the ability to make freedom a choice I now have the hope and increased ability to become free of being infected and intimidated by cruelty by accepting God's love and connecting with Him by loving Him in return.
I've come to prefer this Way.
Perhaps you dont believe the OT was divinly inspired by God the same as NT.....that would explain alot!
The fundamentalist christian belief though, is that both testaments are divine and everything written in the OT was from God all the same.......but i find a contradiction between the two testaments regarding the nature of God.
Hi Shane --- You said, "ReplyDelete
The fundamentalist christian belief though, is that both testaments are divine and everything written in the OT was from God all the same.......but i find a contradiction between the two testaments regarding the nature of God."
I understand that Shane and it feels blasphemous to say otherwise, but in fact, Jesus did exactly that. What I find divinely inspired about the OT is that these ppl maintained a sense of hope and trusted in the promise of something good and very valuable- a Messiah - to come out of the fruits of their hard work.
I believe that Jesus saod that He existed, along with the Father before the creation of mankind. In other words, He is telling ppl that the nature He is expressing, has always existed, even before His physical presence as Messiah was manifested on earth.
I hope I made myself understood.At any rate, take care Shane,
Hi Shane -- I just wanted to add one more thing to my last comment,ReplyDelete
Jesus was explaining that His personae always existed, but that He came to save the blind and deaf - in other words, He came to give a visual aid to divine nature so that we would not continually corrupt the supernatural nature of God and remain blind and deaf to what that is.
Yes you have made yourself very clear.
And i completely understand what your saying.
All im getting at is that majority of christians would disagree with you and say that the old testament is as divinely inspired as the new testament...and that everything in the OT is as true as anything in the NT.....this goes for everything attributed to God!
Here is a question- if you dont believe that the OT is also the word of God then who sent the plagues on Egypt if it wasn't God the father?
Who lead the Israelites in a cloud of smoke by day, and a pillar of fire by night if not God the father?
Who sent manna from heaven to the Israelites for 40 years if not God the father?
Who gave Moses all his commands to wipe out every living human being in the land of Canaan if not God the father?
lastly, who gave all the prophecies of the coming messiah if not God the father?
You see, the old testament was the sire of the new.
Jesus himself gave testimony of the OT inspiration and factual truth!
I can understand why you would think the way you do, you obviously see the conflicting nature of God between the two the same as i do.
accept, your belief system is not in harmony with mainstream fundamental christianity!
Shane you wrote, "Jesus himself gave testimony of the OT inspiration and factual truth!"ReplyDelete
I disagree with you totally ---- He did the opposite - the Pharisees understood what He was saying, and that He was challenging their OT viewpoint of God. He did give credit to the OT ppl for doing hard work and He said the law wouldn't be revised but He said the Law was fulfilled -- in other words, we no longer need to look to the OT or strictly literal scriptural works, historical events, etc. as God. That is idolotry, something that I feel very strongly has happened in churches in my region -- When i visit a church, it seems the "god" that is preached is a polite, but impotent and territorial manmade creation -- not a very courageous or relational lover of ppl.
My understanding of your entire case rests on the implication that Jesus has granted you a magical re-birth which has created a clearer understanding of God's divine will for you and, by further implication, this "sight" is the best case scenario all humans could attain.
You did not say the exact words, "We need Jesus" but, your consistent world-view indicates a necessity in Jesus to rid yourself of some sort of "infection" humans suffer from.
I'd like to know the methodology by which you isolate and type this "infection" and what makes your certain that Jesus is the most efficacious treatment of it.
Just because you like to imagine "infections" and "sight" and "Jesus" does not mean any of it is real.
I can see that methodology is valuable to you, and without it you cannot trust another's experience. That is fine.
It is just that I was awakened to the ways that I blindly cooperated with as "acceptable" human relationship that I now know are not loving or kind. I have a different Way to practice now that does bring more inner peace and contentment and rightful challenges. There is a difference between being inspired and being driven by covert fear.
At any rate, I don't "imagine" for a minute that I would gratify your standards for methodology by conversing here nor would I want to ---
You said, "It is just that I was awakened to the ways that I blindly cooperated with as "acceptable" human relationship that I now know are not loving or kind. I have a different Way to practice now that does bring more inner peace and contentment and rightful challenges. There is a difference between being inspired and being driven by covert fear.
At any rate, I don't "imagine" for a minute that I would gratify your standards for methodology by conversing here nor would I want to ---"
What church do you belong to? What theology do you follow?
You claim to be a Christian but based on your biblical exegesis and your spiritual perspective seem more like a Unitarian.
I just think in this day and age where faith has played such an important role in harming society, it is reasonalbe to question why faith-holders have confidence in their faith.
Methodology is not important to me but, people claiming authenticity with an appeal to Jesus motivate me to challenge the authority they are claiming. Its too easy to embrace culturally accepted "holiness" and be exempted from ever explaining self-generating metaphysics.
I've asked why you can be confident your ideas are real and all you can say is, I feel them but, you want to be respected for your ideas.
I dont believe any scripture is inspired myself.
But do you not understand according to the biblical text, that the old testament was Gods first covenant with His people, and that the New testament was His second covanent through Christ?
That is very strange.
And you said Jesus did not verify the truth of the old testament?
Where did the prophecies about Jesus come from?
Matthew 5;17-18 Jesus said "I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, I tell you the truth, not one iota of the law shall pass away until heaven and earth pass away"
This was the law of Moses He was talking about.
Matthew 23;1-3 Jesus said "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but dont follow their example, because they do not practice what they preach"!
Here Jesus was not saying the Pharisees were wrong, He was saying they did not really obey the teachings themselves.
Jesus never taught that the OT was wrong. He taught that the OT was the first covenant that God had with His people until He sent Christ.
Once Christ came and ushered in the new covenant which was through His sacrifice, thats when the old covenant became obsolete!
Man....lol....im not even a believer anymore and i have to explain this....?
Shane I disagree with you. There is instruction in scripture that says that we have to divide the word -- in other words, we have to be able to discern the difference between what is of the divine and what is of human nature in written words.ReplyDelete
I said about the OT that I felt it was inspired in the aspect that the OT folks knew that they were preparing the way for the Messiah. That is divine. One can go and read the OT and divide the actions and words between what is of God and what is of human hearted influence being projected upon the nature of God. The nature of Jesus was always God's personality but humanity could not see it until the time of the Messiah.
You said, "Here Jesus was not saying the Pharisees were wrong, He was saying they did not really obey the teachings themselves."ReplyDelete
That's because they couldn't --- Jesus said that some of what Moses wrote was the result of his surrounding influence of hard hearted ppl and that means it didn't accurately reflect God's will, which is grace and mercy.
At any rate, it seems you are still a fundamentalist,as you continue to defend your past understanding. Why would God demand that we try and harmonize the OT and NT characterizations of Himself when Jesus said that the OT contains elements of humanity projected upon God's personality?
ttyl I'm sure,
You said, ". . . when Jesus said that the OT contains elements of humanity projected upon God's personality?"
Where was this attributed to Jesus?
Do you make it up as you go along or are you actually practicing some new form of systematic theology?
You asked me this, "Where was this attributed to Jesus?"
When Jesus was speaking of divorce, He was describing the nature of God as never divorcing us, even though we get involved in mistreating one another. Jesus said that Moses wrote a law allowing divorce as a result of the influence of the demands of his community. But by saying this, Jesus is indicating that Moses was not solely influenced by the divine, but also by his surrounding comunity/circumstances. I think it is tempting to assign credit to God for justification in attacking or engaging in proprietary pursuits if not for Messiah.....divinity gets misused in that way...
"When Jesus was speaking of divorce, He was describing the nature of God as never divorcing us"
I don't think so. I think he was talking about divorce. Where do you get your interpretation for this and, how does it follow to support your original point?
What theology or church tradition do you follow?
Hi Chuck ---- there is a bigger picture than divorce being spoken of in that passage. Jesus speaks of our eternal relationship in terms of marriage, with Him as the bridegroom.ReplyDelete
Even though I was an atheist and often feeling condemned and perishing within, God loved me -- I just couldn't see or understand Him. He never left me or didn't love me -- I just couldn't love Him in return so I remained involved in less-than-loving habits.
You asked what theology or church tradition I follow --- I am not too impressed or inspired by most religious traditions or practices I've been introduced to and the people that I have met who embrace such can be pretty territorial about their churches. But I have experienced about a year with So. Baptists, about two years with the Catholics and have paid a visit here and there to other churches with various spiritual teachings.
"You asked what theology or church tradition I follow --- I am not too impressed or inspired by most religious traditions or practices I've been introduced to and the people that I have met who embrace such can be pretty territorial about their churches. But I have experienced about a year with So. Baptists, about two years with the Catholics and have paid a visit here and there to other churches with various spiritual teachings."
In short, your making it up as you go.
I would wager if you were born in India then Vishnu would be your boy with Jesus as an avatar.
At least the fundamentalists are trying to apply accumulated information (ableit superstitous information) you, on the other hand, simply are looking to modify emotional distress with subjective imaginings and random bible interpretations.
You do realize that in a world of systematic theology you (as Shane seems to imply) are still an atheist.
Chuck said, "You do realize that in a world of systematic theology you (as Shane seems to imply) are still an atheist."ReplyDelete
As a former religious person, did you perceive God as a systematic theology? I would say that is an idolotrous view of God.
As far as geographical influences go, God isn't prohibited by such boundaries or traditions as we are --- as a former religious person did you really think that God was elitist? The narrow path He invites us towards is the one where we acknowledge that He loves all - even those we do not particularly like - that is a very narrow and difficult way for us to accept especially if religious practices embrace caste systems and divine justification for such. Nonetheless, there are Hindus that thirst for a system without caste segregation.
You also said, "you, on the other hand, simply are looking to modify emotional distress with subjective imaginings and random bible interpretations."
Give it some more thought -- if the OT interpretation of God were purely 100% divine, then there would be no need for anything beyond the OT or Jesus. The voice in the sky simply could have said, "Oh, BTW, I've changed my mind -- I want you guys to love your enemies now". Even now, with Jesus and the Holy spirit, there are misinterpretations of scripture and justifications for mistreatment of one another ---Jesus acknowledged that in scripture as well. But, even though Jesus told His disciples to take a sword with them after He left them, each of them correctly understood not to take up a literal sword.
edit to my last comment which originally read, "if the OT interpretation of God were purely 100% divine, then there would be no need for anything beyond the OT or Jesus."ReplyDelete
To clarify, I should have written, "then there would be no need for anything beyond the OT or a need for Jesus, Messiah".
I trust people who are humble enough to study something and see if their study provides practical application in helping others.
Systematic theology is a means to that end. I disagree with its premise and its conclusions but can respect the honest desire for people to try and work out an epistemology that is rigorously tested for truth via application.
You have yet to share how you come to your conclusions and on what premise (besides your once self-hating atheism) they are based. It seems like you make up what you believe as you go. I find that way of dealing with reality ripe for delusion and, your ideas seem delusional as a result.
I agree with chuck, i dont know where you get your theology from mmm.
Basically it seems you pick and choose what scriptures are inspired and which are not according to your own discernment, when the bible indicates that all scripture is inspired (apparently).
And NO, Jesus was not saying that it was because the Pharisees could not follow the law, otherwise why would Jesus tell His disciples to follow it????
read the scripture Matthew 23;1-3
I can assure you that the OT was supposed to be Gods first covenant with the Israelites, otherwise you must be saying that Moses and the ten commandments are a false belief!
It doesn't matter anyway, i cant even discuss this anymore since i have no idea what the hell your belief system is based on. I have never heard of any of your theologies before!
Hi Shane --- in scripture it says that we must rightly divide the word of God.ReplyDelete
Like I said before, if the nature of the OT perspective of God were 100% divine, then there would be no need for a Messiah. Jesus didn't command that we become scholars to understand what the good news is - He said we need to become like little children. God's nature was and is always to love the enemy and turn away from our involvement with cruel behavior and mistreating one another. It doesn't take a theology degree to receive the gospel of God.
You then wrote, "otherwise you must be saying that Moses and the ten commandments are a false belief!"ReplyDelete
I am saying that the word of God must be divided -- there is evidence of divine nature in OT but also projections of human nature upon the divine. A lot of Christians still approach God as though they must appease and pacify him in order to avoid condemnation.
The good news is NOT, "Obey God or be condemned" - but rather, it is "God can save you from blindly cooperating with punishing and condemning behavior".
All i can say at this point is that your intitled to your belief as are we all.
I just happen to know that the fundamental and majority of christian belief is that all scripture is divine old and new testaments both.
I personally dont believe in either, but when i was a christian myself i was always taught that OT and NT were of God.
I will admit that your theology at least does away with some descrepancies in the character of God.
But it creates other problems aswell. I dont know how you can decide which is inspired and which is not?.....the reason both are accepted as divine truth is exactly that....who has the authority to say "this scripture is divine" and "this one is not"?
Like I said before, where did the prophecies come from that Jesus apparently fulfilled......they came from the OT.
Why would you believe that those same prophits, those same authors would not be right about everything else they have written?
Hi Shane --- why would I be able to know which is of divine nature and what is not? If I could relegate God solely to scripture, I could possibly have agreed to some degree and known God even as a nonbeliever. But I still wouldn't have believed based on scripture alone.ReplyDelete
But even with scripture, a human role model and the Holy Spirit, faith is a process and practice - I had a strong survival instinct to overcome and a need to be set free from an underlying compulsion to appease and pacify an image of an angry and demanding deity.
At any rate, it's getting late, so gotta go for now --- take care, Shane! And you too, Chuck,
So apparently you know something that theologians have been battling over for centuries.
You know which parts of the bible are divine and which are not.
Strange how God has let millions of His believers accept all as divine, but He has revealed to you what so many have earnestly searched for. And its all because you have a relationship with Him?
Its funny, I know many christians who believe very deeply, and used to tell me about their relationship with God/Christ the same as you are, and yet they would disagree with you.
Some of them are pastors and teach that all scripture is divine and teach from the OT.
They claim to have a special relationship with God and also claim to have heard from Him and claim to have healed people through prayer....etc....etc...
You see, although im sure you are sincere in your belief's and understanding........so are others in their own.
You claim to have had some major life altering experience with God and believe He has revealed what you should believe......so have others!
Yet they would disagree with your theology.This kind of stuff is all part of why i DONT believe.
Like I said, i've had many christians tell me things just like you are telling me but they would say your wrong on doctrine, you would say they are wrong, Calvinists would say your both wrong.....etc.
As long as you don't win any adherents to your particular views I won't get too worried about you.
I don't think you are rigorous or honest in your thinking and it seems that you use supernatural fantasy to keep from facing the real world.
It is the kind of attitude which I find childish and repellent and one of the reasons why I think religious belief is harmful.
Supernaturalism infantilizes a person's cognitive skills and keeps them from addressing real world problems in favor of an invisible utopia. This invisible world often only serves to placate the person pretending.
Hi Chuck and Shane,ReplyDelete
Chuck, you said, "As long as you don't win any adherents to your particular views I won't get too worried about you." I'm not looking to gain adherents to anything I've created. I just think God is misinterpreted in the way that He cares about people in a powerfully kind way.
As far as this, "I don't think you are rigorous or honest in your thinking and it seems that you use supernatural fantasy to keep from facing the real world."
I think you must equate honest or rigorous with a narrow meaning -- that one can only learn or search certain avenues in order to be valid. That is fine -- I'm used to others' conditions that they place upon one another to exclude or devalue their own experiences. You are entitled to do that, but you may find that you are missing out on a lot of valuable information that others have to offer.
Then Chuck wrote, "It is the kind of attitude which I find childish and repellent and one of the reasons why I think religious belief is harmful."
So, you think it is harmful to reassure ppl that they are loved by someone more powerful than those who have mistreated them. I suppose it could be because for some, the terms of "love" have been unkind so it does pose a threat.
Hi Shane, you said, "
Yet they would disagree with your theology.This kind of stuff is all part of why i DONT believe."
I agree that there are people with diverse perspectives and even nonbelief. That is one of the reasons why I do believe in God's grace --- it is evidenced in the diversity that He allows. Jesus Himself allows ppl a heartfelt preference and there is grace for various interpretations and misinterpretations and levels of maturity within the realm of faith. I think the primary message associated with Jesus is that God wants us to trust that He wont' abuse us but will save us from mistreatment. If you know God only as a literary creature in scripture, you can discern that He doesn't place the same hopes and expectations upon every person - that is reflected in scripture in the way He approaches and addresses various ppl.
Chuck I also wanted to respond to this, "Supernaturalism infantilizes a person's cognitive skills and keeps them from addressing real world problems in favor of an invisible utopia. This invisible world often only serves to placate the person pretending."ReplyDelete
I do agree that there are supernatural and religious practices that do exactly what you say. That is an astute observation but one that Jesus advised about in scripture (if you are going by scripture alone as proof of God). At any rate, the God I know shares His courage and virtue with those who thirst for it -- it isn't an exclusive or elitist pursuit at all -
I don't think you need to fill people with imaginary worlds to provide self-esteem.
One can be encouraged to see themselves as valuable without having to resort to things that cripple their ability to reason.
Make believe is not helpful and it places capricious qualifiers on a person's worth. No imaginary being is needed for me to ensure those I know they are worth living and being loved.
Why do you need to play make believe to practice sustaining intimacy?
Chuck, you said, "I don't think you need to fill people with imaginary worlds to provide self-esteem"ReplyDelete
I agree with you --- but where we differ is with if God is imaginery. I have learned that love is a practice and a very real everyday expression. It isn't imaginery or an isolated spiritual experience to learn that a hidden subliminal message has driven you to harbor unkind attitudes and approaches towards yourself or others. It isn't imaginery if that information is brought to light and a new way replaces it that brings about heartfelt consideration.
I don't mind talking with you Chuck, but I don't want to enable or promote contempt either. So I doubt I'll comment on this post anymore, unless of course you want me too.
Chuck, you said, "I don't think you need to fill people with imaginary worlds to provide self-esteem"ReplyDelete
I agree with you --- but where we differ is with if God is imaginery. I have learned that love is a practice and a very real everyday expression. It isn't imaginery or an isolated spiritual experience to learn that a hidden subliminal message has driven you to harbor unkind attitudes and approaches towards yourself or others. It isn't imaginery if that information is brought to light and a new way replaces it that brings about heartfelt consideration.
I don't mind talking with you Chuck, but I don't want to enable or promote contempt either. So I doubt I'll comment on this post anymore.
I've asked you honest questions you can't answer and therefore you assume my contempt for your ideas is somehow a disregard for your person. It isn't. You harbor bad ideas that demand self esteem and love be transmitted via an agreement that invisible experiences have worth for anyone but you. It is obnoxiously self centered.
"All of your answers seem to indicate one thing to me, you want me to accept absolute truth on some very thin evidence. The offensive thing is that you ennoble this type of intellectual superficiality as "faith"."
i don't recall asking you to accept anything on faith. i have discussed specific points that can be rationally substantiated.
"I find the skeptical side makes more sense to me and is reasonably more true to me."
plenty of scholars and scientists disagree with you. both sides make reasonable cases so it's not about the data. it's about the conclusions drawn from the data. people who agree with you are working from a non-theistic mindset. non-theism is not an adequate or complete worldview.
"It comes from a time when people lacked even a quarter of the understanding we have today about the universe and the world around us."
totally irrelevant. the question is whether they accurately recorded what they witnessed. scholarship answers with a resounding yes. the Bible has been corroborated in many ways. many people disagree that it is an accurate account of history because of an anti-supernatural bias, not because of anything rational.
"i do not believe that if there was a divine truth that all humanity needed to know in order to save their souls, it would not come to us in such an obscure way"
no, you don't know that at all. you're just guessing based on no empirical substantiation. the Bible is the most widely published, widely distributed book of all time and you're calling it obscure. besides, the Bible isn't the only way people know about things Biblical.
"....in the form of a copied book."
many people don't realize this is actually a strength, not a weakness.
"I believe it would be common universal knowledge to all people,"
what makes you think it isn't?
"(Especially when millions have died without ever hearing of Christ)-which by the way was no fault of their own!!!!"
the Bible addresses this situation. God hasn't overlooked them.
"Also- I have looked into biblical inconsistencies and contradictions, and most answers i've come across are very unsound and some are even feeble!"
perhaps you don't understand them.
"If it is prepostorous, then you might aswell believe in all miracle claims from all faiths, you might aswell believe Joseph Smith and Muhammed the prophet!"
i said that there can't be scientific proof of miracles and that remains true. however, miracles can be tested in other ways. if you've studied cumulative case methodology then you know that both of those belief systems fails several tests for worldview truth.
"Its not prepostorous to discredit testimony that does not corroborate with settled scientific fact and natural law."
if you've studied david hume then you know that scientific fact is a slippery term so i wouldn't pair it with the word settled.
You misunderstand my point. I admit you have rationale you consider evidence. I consider this evidence "thin" and it is a good example of what religious people use when they trumpet their "faith".
You are not a very rigorous thinker. I don't trust you.
Is that a bit clearer?
"I consider this evidence "thin" and it is a good example of what religious people use when they trumpet their "faith"."
i have not invoked faith in my posts and plenty of intelligent people disagree with you that the evidence isn't adequate.
so what would be adequate evidence to you?
"You are not a very rigorous thinker. I don't trust you."
you don't know whether i'm a "rigorous thinker" or not. you don't know enough about me to know whether i'm trustworthy or not and it's very telling that you would continue the ad hominems as a tactic of distraction.