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Author Topic:   Christianity and the End Times
Phat
Member
Posts: 11579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 556 of 1581 (836967)
07-25-2018 8:49 AM
Reply to: Message 555 by jar
07-25-2018 8:30 AM


Re: Some sources
In my opinion, your method quenches belief. You frame the entire belief within the context of human creation. Why not allow your imagination the opportunity for creative license? In my opinion, a God Who frowned upon that would be unworthy of worship anyway.

Add by Edit: Yes, I see the irony in my own statement!

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 555 by jar, posted 07-25-2018 8:30 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 557 by jar, posted 07-25-2018 9:16 AM Phat has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 557 of 1581 (836972)
07-25-2018 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 556 by Phat
07-25-2018 8:49 AM


Re: Some sources
But the only available source for information on the Judaic and Christian God is the stories in the Bible and Qur'an.

What do they say?

AbE:

When you look at the descriptions of God in the Bible stories you do see that the authors did let their imagination run wild.

Edited by jar, : see AbE:


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 556 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 8:49 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 558 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 9:33 AM jar has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 558 of 1581 (836974)
07-25-2018 9:33 AM
Reply to: Message 557 by jar
07-25-2018 9:16 AM


Imagining Communion and Communication
All I am trying to say to you is to also allow yourself to imagine a God Who at least acknowledges your existance and Who can at least listen to your prayers rather than simply some character in a book who tells you to go feed the hungry and never communicates with you (even within your imagination)

Which leads me to ask: Why is it so hard for you to grasp the concept of talking to God and/or listening for peace? You yourself have put Him in a box limiting Him.(and limiting yourself)

If creating a God character was so easy for the authors of the books, and if we can agree that many of the gods currently marketed don't fit the belief that we seek or want, why not imagine One whom you can pray to, meditate upon, and listen for inner peace and confirmation? You have told me that I seek a God whom I want. Others have commented on the anthropomorphizing commonly employed by many humans. Personally, I believe that GOD exists apart from our ability to imagine or make Him up. Is it so bad to seek communion through prayer and meditation?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 557 by jar, posted 07-25-2018 9:16 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 559 by jar, posted 07-25-2018 10:57 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30934
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 559 of 1581 (836981)
07-25-2018 10:57 AM
Reply to: Message 558 by Phat
07-25-2018 9:33 AM


Re: Imagining Communion and Communication
Phat writes:

Is it so bad to seek communion through prayer and meditation?

Do you know what "communion" even means?

We can be in communion with others humans.

But how can we be in communion with anything spiritual?


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 558 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 9:33 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3281
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(2)
Message 560 of 1581 (836984)
07-25-2018 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 543 by Faith
07-24-2018 1:29 PM


Re: Some sources
Faith writes:

The problem with rejecting God's sovereignty in salvation is that you make human will stronger than God.

I see your point.

If a human could freely choose, without any pre-determination from God... then that would be making a decision God can't control.
And therefore, God would not be the most powerful thing... this decision-making human could make decisions God didn't want.

So, God being the most powerful thing... has pre-determined all decisions and all actions. Because He created it all.

Is that the gist of it?

Now here's the mind-bender:

What's more powerful?

Scenario 1
A powerful God creates all humans, creating their minds, their choices, their decisions. Some He has pre-destined to return to Him. Others He has pre-destined to move away from Him.
-This would be the gist of what I described above - God is the most powerful being, creator of all and know-er of all.

Scenario 2
A powerful God creates all humans, creating their minds - but not knowing their choices or decisions. Some make their own choice to return to Him. Others make their own choice to move away from Him.
-This would be against the gist of what I described above - God is still the "most powerful" being... but not all powerful. He is the creator of all, but not the know-er of all as He doesn't know what decisions the humans will make.

The question isn't which God is more powerful, though.
The question is: Which scenario has a more powerful meaning?

Is it more meaningful that God created humans and the ones He pre-destined to return to Him actually did return to Him (of course)?

Or is it more meaningful that God created humans and the ones who decided on their own - using their own judgement and their own intelligence - decided that God was amazing and returned to Him due to their own personal decision?

That is, is it a more powerful meaning if robots do what they're programmed to do? Or if a being judges for itself that it wants to do what you think it should do?

I think the answer is fairly obvious.

Results:

Scenario 1
-Holds the most powerful God - an all powerful God, and all know-ing God
-Does not hold the most powerful meaning

Scenario 2
-Does not hold the most powerful God - God is creator of all, but God does not know-all
-Holds the most powerful meaning

Can't seem to have one without the other.
Which do you think is "better?"

Edited by Stile, : typos


This message is a reply to:
 Message 543 by Faith, posted 07-24-2018 1:29 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 561 by NoNukes, posted 07-25-2018 11:59 AM Stile has responded
 Message 564 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 12:11 PM Stile has responded
 Message 573 by Faith, posted 07-25-2018 4:06 PM Stile has acknowledged this reply

    
NoNukes
Inactive Member


(2)
Message 561 of 1581 (836985)
07-25-2018 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 560 by Stile
07-25-2018 11:53 AM


Re: Some sources
Or is it more meaningful that God created humans and the ones who decided on their own - using their own judgement and their own intelligence - decided that God was amazing and returned to Him due to their own personal decision?

I agree with this line of reasoning, but I'd add a slight twist. Having the power to pre-determine everything does not mean that it would be best to use such power. Reasoned restraint is not weakness.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

We got a thousand points of light for the homeless man. We've got a kinder, gentler, machine gun hand. Neil Young, Rockin' in the Free World.

Worrying about the "browning of America" is not racism. -- Faith

I hate you all, you hate me -- Faith

No it is based on math I studied in sixth grade, just plain old addition, substraction and multiplication. -- ICANT


This message is a reply to:
 Message 560 by Stile, posted 07-25-2018 11:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 562 by Stile, posted 07-25-2018 12:06 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply
 Message 566 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 12:28 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3281
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 562 of 1581 (836986)
07-25-2018 12:06 PM
Reply to: Message 561 by NoNukes
07-25-2018 11:59 AM


Re: Some sources
NoNukes writes:

Having the power to pre-determine everything does not mean that it would be best to use such power. Reasoned restraint is not weakness.

Agreed.

It is quite possible to have a God in Scenario 2 that is also as-powerful or possibly even more-powerful than the God described in Scenario 1.

Such a God would make Scenario 2 the easy choice for any "most powerful" God...

I was only attempting to keep it as Faith-reasonable as I could guess at and still describe the point I wanted to make


This message is a reply to:
 Message 561 by NoNukes, posted 07-25-2018 11:59 AM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 15740
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 563 of 1581 (836987)
07-25-2018 12:09 PM
Reply to: Message 554 by Phat
07-25-2018 8:28 AM


Re: Some sources
Phat writes:

But the reality is that only by our thinking/imagining can we even be able to approach the GOD Who is.


Do you realize what you're saying? God is a product of our imaginations.

Phat writes:

Do you have any better suggestions for believers...apart from your rant against superstition and appeal to logic?


That's like asking if we have an alternative to food. No. There is none.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 554 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 8:28 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 565 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 12:21 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 564 of 1581 (836988)
07-25-2018 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 560 by Stile
07-25-2018 11:53 AM


Consider Open Theism
Stile writes:

Now here's the mind-bender:

What's more powerful?

Scenario 1
A powerful God creates all humans, creating their minds, their choices, their decisions. Some He has pre-destined to return to Him. Others He has pre-destined to move away from Him.
-This would be the gist of what I described above - God is the most powerful being, creator of all and know-er of all.

Scenario 2
A powerful God creates all humans, creating their minds - but not knowing their choices or decisions. Some make their own choice to return to Him. Others make their own choice to move away from Him.
-This would be against the gist of what I described above - God is still the "most powerful" being... but not all powerful. He is the creator of all, but not the know-er of all as He doesn't know what decisions the humans will make.

Scenario 2 sounds like Open Theism. Check out the link and tell me what you think.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 560 by Stile, posted 07-25-2018 11:53 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 569 by Stile, posted 07-25-2018 12:35 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 565 of 1581 (836990)
07-25-2018 12:21 PM
Reply to: Message 563 by ringo
07-25-2018 12:09 PM


Re: Some sources
ringo writes:

Do you realize what you're saying? God is a product of our imaginations.

Not exactly. I believe that God exists even if I didn't. I believe that God allows...even expects me to use my imagination, however. If we limit our understanding of God to what others have said or written, we are not being entirely honest with ourselves regarding our belief.

What I would say is that our understanding of God is a synthesis of our conscience and our imagination.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 563 by ringo, posted 07-25-2018 12:09 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 567 by ringo, posted 07-25-2018 12:31 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11579
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 566 of 1581 (836991)
07-25-2018 12:28 PM
Reply to: Message 561 by NoNukes
07-25-2018 11:59 AM


Open Theism Allows For A Better Communion
NN writes:

Having the power to pre-determine everything does not mean that it would be best to use such power. Reasoned restraint is not weakness.

The Open Theism argument is compelling to me...especially in light of other current discussion with jar regarding imagining a "Living" and active God versus a stagnant and dated character in a book.
Open Theists believe that God seeks to be in a reciprocal relationship with mankind. Because of this, God does not exercise "meticulous control" of the universe, but leaves it "open" for mankind to make significant choices (freewill) that impact their relationships with Him and others. They argue that this is both what the Scripture says about God, and is the experience of Christians. People pray expecting that God will answer their prayers not that the outcome was predetermined and therefore meaningless to pray. Therefore Open Theists argue that Christians in practice treat God as if He will respond to them and act themselves as if their moral choices are real and have real impact.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith
You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

This message is a reply to:
 Message 561 by NoNukes, posted 07-25-2018 11:59 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 584 by NoNukes, posted 07-25-2018 5:32 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15740
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 567 of 1581 (836992)
07-25-2018 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 565 by Phat
07-25-2018 12:21 PM


Re: Some sources
Phat writes:

If we limit our understanding of God to what others have said or written, we are not being entirely honest with ourselves regarding our belief.


On the contray, if we trust our own imaginations, we're not being honest. We humans are social for a reason - our individual capabilities are limited and our individual minds are notoriously unreliable. The only thing worse than trusting your own imagination is trusting some nut like Jim Jones or Oral Roberts. You're better off trusting the people who disagree with you.

Phat writes:

What I would say is that our understanding of God is a synthesis of our conscience and our imagination.


That might explain why you have no understanding of God.

And our geese will blot out the sun.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 565 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 12:21 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14547
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 568 of 1581 (836994)
07-25-2018 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 551 by Faith
07-24-2018 10:27 PM


Re: Some sources
quote:

God's will probably not the right way to say it since it does imply He's in favor of what He will,s but I don't mean it that way.

But that is bizarre. The whole point is that God decides everything. Why would God “will” something he didn’t want ?

That’s the problem with extreme ideas of the Sovereignty of God. If God’s choices decide everything then things have to be exactly the way God wants them - or there’s something wrong with God.

That’s why the idea that God chooses to allow humans a degree of freedom is less problematic - and dismissing it on the fallacious grounds that it makes God “weak” is a dubious move.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 551 by Faith, posted 07-24-2018 10:27 PM Faith has not yet responded

    
Stile
Member
Posts: 3281
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 2.3


(1)
Message 569 of 1581 (836995)
07-25-2018 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 564 by Phat
07-25-2018 12:11 PM


Re: Consider Open Theism
Phat writes:

Scenario 2 sounds like Open Theism. Check out the link and tell me what you think.

Pretty close, yeah.

I didn't intend my "mind-bending" comment to imply I'm coming up with a novel idea.
I intended it to identify something to Faith - that "being in total control" has the unfortunate side-effect of removing most (all?) meaning/purpose.

But, I feel like rambling anyway.

Here's a paragraph from your link, and my comments if you're interested:

quote:
Open Theists argue that people are created to be in meaningful relationships with God and others and as moral beings must have the ability to make real, responsible choices in their lives. Open Theists argue that this cannot be accomplished as long as God exercises exhaustive control of the universe or predetermines the future because this would remove humanity's free will. The counter point to this is that critics of Open Theism say that if God is not exercising meticulous control of the universe, or does not exhaustively know the future, then this would imply that He is not in control and we are not able to completely trust in God's sovereignty. Furthermore, the question remains, will God actually be able to triumph over evil? Open Theists answer these critiques by noting that while God does not exercise meticulous control, he is "ultimately" in control.

Open Theism writes:

Open Theists argue that people are created to be in meaningful relationships with God and others...

Fair enough for them.
Personally, I don't know why I was created. I am also only slightly interested in the answer.
I'm more concerned with what I decide to do after I was created.
Although I do agree that "to be in meaningful relationships with others" is something I find highly desirable as well.

...and as moral beings must have the ability to make real, responsible choices in their lives.

I agree that one cannot be a "moral being" unless one has the ability to make real, responsible choices.

Open Theists argue that this cannot be accomplished as long as God exercises exhaustive control of the universe or predetermines the future because this would remove humanity's free will.

I would agree with this statement about predetermination vs. "real" free will.

The counter point to this is that critics of Open Theism say that if God is not exercising meticulous control of the universe, or does not exhaustively know the future, then this would imply that He is not in control and we are not able to completely trust in God's sovereignty.

I don't care about God's sovereignty (I think? What, exactly, does this mean?). So I'm not exactly moved by this counter-point and I agree with the position taken by the Open Theists on this point.

Furthermore, the question remains, will God actually be able to triumph over evil?

Is this the crux of "God's sovereignty?"
Regardless - God's triumph over evil is irrelevant to me. I don't care.

I would still try to be good, and want to be good even if God (and the universe, and everything/everyone in it) was absolutely destined to "be evil."

I try to be good because I think it's the right thing to do, not because I think it's going to be the "winning side."
The point is to do what you think is right... not to try to win some game.

Open Theists answer these critiques by noting that while God does not exercise meticulous control, he is "ultimately" in control.

This sounds like it requires further explanation.
Taken at face-value, it seems to have a high possibility of being self-contradictory.
But, as I said above, I don't care about God's sovereignty or if God will win (or not) over evil. So maybe I just don't have any interest in figuring out the details of this statement.

Not sure if this is what you're looking for or not, but... have fun!

Edited by Stile, : Adding remainder of message


This message is a reply to:
 Message 564 by Phat, posted 07-25-2018 12:11 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 570 by Faith, posted 07-25-2018 1:31 PM Stile has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 30162
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 570 of 1581 (837002)
07-25-2018 1:31 PM
Reply to: Message 569 by Stile
07-25-2018 12:35 PM


Re: Consider Open Theism
Talking about God as "exercising" control makes him too much like us. God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, which means He can't NOT be in control of everything, and everything He does is precisely calibrated as the perfect response to everything that happens. By His very nature He has power over all things down to the comma at the end of this phrase and all the atoms involved in its existence, has foreknowledge of everything without exception, and is everywhere at all times, including surrounding you completely. The Bible presents God in human terms to make Him more understandable, but those terms are a concession to our inability to grasp such a Being as He really is.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 569 by Stile, posted 07-25-2018 12:35 PM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 571 by jar, posted 07-25-2018 3:27 PM Faith has not yet responded
 Message 586 by Stile, posted 07-26-2018 8:55 AM Faith has responded

    
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