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Author Topic:   Tribute Thread For the Recently Raptured Faith
Percy
Member
Posts: 17965
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 1096 of 1152 (844666)
12-03-2018 4:14 PM
Reply to: Message 1085 by GDR
12-02-2018 10:58 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
I'd like to start with what you say at the end:

GDR writes:

There Im caught up with you. If you reply can you please edit things down a bit.

I think you've mentioned the messages being two long a few times now, and I've resisted responding frankly, but I will now. Of course I reply to anything that seems wrong or raises questions, but I also reply to anything dismissive or evasive or that misinterprets, in which case I repeat or restate what I said. This is why our messages are unnecessarily long and accumulating a backlog of issues. For example, from your message (which begins by replying to my Message 1078 - there's a [msg] dBCode, by the way):

Percy writes:

Out of fear of what? Arrest? Peter was present when the guards showed up to make tt the arrest, and they only arrested Jesus, which was what they had been instructed to do. Once the guards were gone what did Peter have to be afraid of? He already knew they had no interest in arresting him, so he couldn't have been afraid of being reported of being an associate of Jesus and being arrested because just minutes before he had been right there beside Jesus when Jesus was arrested and he was not. Though fear makes sense, the gospel stories, which seem nearly identical about this, don't even make clear why Peter denied Jesus. This is a part of the Jesus story you should discard. It probably got included in all three synoptics because it shows Jesus foretelling the future again, and because of the drama that it caused Peter such pain.

Youre right that it wasnt fear of the Roman guards that was the problem. It wasnt like Jesus had a military following that would concern the Romans. However, as the text said they were afraid of the Jewish leaders., who would have considered them guilty of heresy.

I never said Roman guards, just "guards," meaning the armed people sent by the chief priests and elders to arrest Jesus. That I knew the guards (or whatever term you prefer) were sent by the chief priests and elders is clear in the very next paragraph where, in the things I list that Jesus did that day, his appearance before the chief priests and elders is listed first.

Repeating my point, why would Peter fear arrest, since just minutes before he had been right there beside Jesus when Jesus was arrested and he was not. Though fear makes sense, the gospel stories, which seem nearly identical about this, don't even make clear why Peter denied Jesus. This is a part of the Jesus story you should discard. It probably got included in all three synoptics because it shows Jesus foretelling the future again, and because of the drama that it caused Peter such pain.

Returning to the original point, my messages would be shorter if I didn't have to repeat myself so often and if we could resolve some issues. For example, "agree to disagree" seems like a way to avoid addressing a point, so I would likely try again to get an answer.

Percy writes:

Am I really splitting hairs? Or are you conflating events. Was it the crucifixion that sent the apostles into depression and hiding, or the arrest? Make up your mind.

Once the arrest was made Peter would know that it wouldnt go well.

Why do you say this, since I had just finished saying that when Jesus was arrested Peter was right there with him and was not arrested. Why would Peter fear it wouldn't go well? Because it fits well with the rest of the narrative you've invented? Or do you have an actual reason?

Percy writes:

Peter's denial marks the beginning of the story of Jesus's last day on Earth, about which the synoptic accounts differ. Matthew's and Mark's accounts could possibly fit in a single day if Pilate is just sitting around doing nothing on the day of a big feast and is available and willing to hear complaints about an obscure Jewish preacher who, despite supposedly causing all this ruckus and trouble, Pilate has never heard of. But Luke's account cannot possibly be true because there is too much going on for it to happen in so short a period of time. Jesus could not have gone before the priests and elders and then before Pilate and then before Herod Antipas and then before Pilate again and then before a crowd and then to his crucifixion in a single day.

He was arrested at night, everything was close together and none of the so called trials would last long. It could easily have been done in that time frame.

I just explained why it couldn't "easily have been done in that time frame." Declaring that it could so be "done in that time frame" is not really a response.

Percy writes:

But I didn't inquire about any denial of Jesus. I asked about your claims about the apostles reaction to the crucifixion. I said I wasn't aware that the crucifixion caused the apostles to consider Jesus a failed messiah. I *have* read the gospels, and that the crucifixion caused them to consider Jesus a failed messiah doesn't sound familiar. I'd be ever so grateful if you could save me the trouble of reading the end portion of all the gospels and tell me where they say this.

It is because as we can see in Josephus that when the other messianic leaders were put to death their movements ended and their mission failed. Ive called them failed messiahs, but you can use whatever term you want.

This isn't really something I can respond to. It seems like you're giving up on contesting that there's nothing in the gospels that says the apostles considered Jesus a failed messiah, but without saying so. The apostles witnessed Jesus perform a miracle right at his arrest (restoring the severed ear). Even the Roman guard at the crucifixion commented that Jesus was truly the son of God. Everything in the gospels is positive, because they're foreshadowing the miracle that is to come, the resurrection. The apostles did not consider Jesus a failed messiah.

Percy writes:

The question in Acts 1:6 is not asking Jesus to lead an army to expel the Romans. It's about whether Jesus will employ his divine and miraculous powers to restore the kingdom of Israel.

They are still thinking that Jesus as messiah will somehow lead them in the defeat of the Romans, to get rid of them and restore the Kingdom of Israel.

This idea seems out of the blue. Nothing in Acts says anything like this. The apostles merely ask Jesus if he will restore the kingdom of Israel. There's nothing about defeating the Romans or anything military at all, and Jesus's ministry was never about that. Your claim that the apostles somehow thought that Jesus's ministry was about a military campaign to expel the Romans from Israel is made up out of whole cloth.

I have no idea if they were thinking of a military victory or something else,...

This seems inconsistent from one sentence to the next. You just finished saying that the apostles would "lead them in defeat of the Romans," and now you're saying you have no idea if it would be military or not.

...but they were still thinking that the messiah would get rid of the Romans and put them back in power.

Yes, precisely, on this we agree.

Percy writes:

Ah, I see, we're "interpreting" again. John 20:19 says nothing about hiding out. There are only locked doors.

Cmon, it does say that they feared the Jewish authorities behind locked doors.

Yes, that's exactly what it says, and nowhere does it say anything about hiding out. Further, the gospel stories have significant internal inconsistencies. The apostles supposedly fear the Jewish authorities yet a short time later walk freely about Jerusalem. And the doors aren't even necessarily locked. John 20:19 in the NIV has the doors locked for fear of Jewish leaders, while RSV only has them shut for fear of the Jews. Actually, the doors being shut rather than locked would make hiding make a lot more sense - they didn't want passing Jews to look in and see that they were there. Locked doors just make it seem like they were pretty sure the Jewish leaders knew where they were but wanted to prevent their entry. Maybe your impressions of what this passage means come from the RSV or similar translation.

This is John writing well after the resurrection. He isnt saying that somebody said this at the time.

I don't think you're talking about John 20:19 anymore. Though you don't say, my best guess is that you're referring to John 19:32-37, a passage that I mentioned in my message but that you didn't quote. But if I'm guessing correctly then what you say still makes little sense. Why do you say, "He isnt saying that somebody said this at the time"? The passage doesn't appear to have anybody saying anything, and I didn't say that it did. Here's what I said from my Message 1078 that you didn't quote:

Percy in Message 1078 writes:

And about considering Jesus a failed messiah, you haven't provided a shred of support. In fact, John 19:32-37 speaks of prophecy being fulfilled, something bound to encourage the apostles.

You go on to say:

These are Johns words using the Scriptures to make his point.

That's exactly what I said, though in different words: "John 19:32-37 speaks of prophecy being fulfilled."

A crucified messiah is a messiah who was put to death and had failed to do what they believed a messiah was supposed to do.

Where do you see anything in John:32-37 even remotely touching on this claim? Did I guess wrong about what passage you're talking about? If I did then please clarify. But whether I did or not, it would make discussion less confusing if you could be explicit about which passage you're talking about instead of just saying "John" or "Daniel's dream" and so forth. Remember, I'm not even a Christian (I began as a Unitarian, a true one, not one of those Unitarian/Universalist milquetoasts, but have moved on). Though I've read the Bible, I'm not steeped in it and don't have anything close to your familiarity.

Percy writes:

What you call explanations are not really explanations. What you say usually only raises questions or objections, to which you often merely reply, "I've already explained," forcing people to repeat themselves (another thing that makes messages longer). If you truly believe that all religion is man-made, that the Bible is not literally inerrant, and that it's okay to make your own subjective Biblical interpretations, then you've opened up a Pandora's box where every view is equal. If you're free to say that some passage has "this meaning," then someone else is free to say it has "that meaning." If you're free to say that "this much" of the Bible is open to interpretation, then someone else is free to say it's "that much." I think we're all still wondering why you seem blind to the obvious implications of your approach to making interpretations.

I seem to have to answer this about every third post.

I'm guessing there's general agreement (if I'm wrong about this then people should let me know) that while it is apparent that you think you're answering this, you're really not. There are lots of words, but in the end it appears that you alternate between two positions: a) that what you believe is true and supported by evidence (like that everything that happened after Jesus's arrest could have happened in a single day); and b) that it's just belief.

It isnt absolute knowledge. We all have to work it out for ourselves. The Bible is a library of 66 books with hundreds of authors with different agendas, motivations and literary skills. You can I suppose, but it doesnt make sense, read them all with the same understanding. If you want to insist that to believe the resurrection accounts you have to believe that Yahweh commanded genocide and public stoning then so be it.

No one's questioning whether you have to believe it or not. We're questioning your justification for believing "NT good, OT speak with forked tongue."

GDR writes:

As far as the command to love is concerned it is pretty obvious that the more we apply that in our cultures that better off everyone is.

Percy writes:

Hey, agreement again, but where is the connection to God?

If God exists then if we go in the direction He wants us to go then the world should go better. We can see that the world that is driven by love is a better place so I see that as evidence of the fact that that is how He wants us to live our lives.

How do you know that love is the direction God wants you to go. Just because that's more palatable to you? That's fine if that's how you want to go, but that leaves you bereft of any way to persuade people who have grown attached to evidence leading the way toward what is true about the real world. The fact of the matter is that love (which doesn't completely capture what we really mean, but it's concise and will serve for now) will make the world a better place whether that's what God wants or not, or whether God exists or not.

Percy writes:

I know nothing of Anglicanism, but given your cavalier attitudes about which parts of the Bible are true or false, or how various parts should be interpreted, I very much doubt you're a traditional Anglican. For example, both Old and New Testament are considered the primary authority of Anglicanism (I'm just Googling around), while you see the Old Testament as suspect because in your view its authors were subject to coercion and desire for approval. I also didn't see anything about Anglicanism considering religion man-made, or picking and choosing among Bible passages.

The majority of the quotes that we have from Jesus in the Gospels refer directly to or indirectly to the OT. If we want to understand what Jesus is about we need the OT. Im not diminishing the OT...

You sure are "diminishing the OT." This is why the messages are getting increasingly long, because you keep denying what you are most definitely doing. When you say that the OT was just written by scribes who were coerced by their leaders and/or were seeking approval, you are definitely "diminishing the OT." You have to get straight about what your words actually mean before we can have a constructive discussion where actual communication is taking place, because if you're not "diminishing the OT" then your words have no meaning.

...but when we look at the passages that say that Yahweh commanded genocide and public stoning and compare that to Jesus message such as love your enemy, we have to either go with Jesus or a scribe centuries earlier. I choose Jesus. I know some try but you cant have it both ways. They are incompatible.

Yes, you are correct, they are incompatible. And so you feel forced into a choice, and you have chosen to favor the NT and denigrate the OT. If you can't admit the meaning of your own words then what's the point of this?

Percy writes:

I've never heard of N. T. Wright, but I bet his views align with your own as much as Anglicanism does, that if I studied him that I'd see very little resemblance to the things you've said in this thread.

You might be surprised. An easy place to start with Wright is this book.Simply Good News

I'm not buying a book to verify your veracity. I know nothing about N. T. Wright, but assuming you've cited him because he's Anglican and reflects Anglican beliefs perhaps you can just quote where N. T. Wright says religion is man-made, advises picking and choosing among Bible passages, and expresses a preference for the NT over OT with regard to trustworthiness?

Percy writes:

Can you really know that you follow an inerrant Jesus? Your information about Jesus can only come from a single source, the New Testament, and if you don't listen to that then your inerrant Jesus is just someone you made up.

Of course I cant know, It is a faith, but if God resurrected Jesus, (which I believe on the evidence of the Gospels as well as personal experience), then I can take that as a starting point for an inerrant Jesus and go with that. The important part is that we are commanded to love and that is the essence of my faith. The rest is theology which, if we choose to study it, we form our own beliefs. I realize that isnt at all a conclusive argument, but there is no conclusive argument for any position including atheism.

In case you're implying I'm an atheist, I said earlier that I am not.

I'm not looking for conclusive arguments. I'm just looking for any evidence at all for what you believe. So far we've heard zero evidence for the existence of God, Jesus and the truth of the confabulous parts of the Bible, and you've agreed that it's fine to reject parts of the Bible. I don't see how that's a basis for knowing anything. It's just a basis for arriving at what you already feel comfortable with.

Percy writes:

I can't see how this is related to my response to your comment, "Yes, we should read the Scriptures critically." You're not Jesus. You're not eternal and one of the three persons of God. As a follower of Jesus it is not for you to pick and choose scripture to construct your own spiritual world. Are you sure you're a Christian rather than just someone who really knows his Bible and likes parts of it a great deal? (if you're not going to answer 'em I'm just gonna repeat 'em)

I am a Christian in that I believe that Jesus died on the cross, that God resurrected Him and gave Him dominion over the Kingdom of those who believe in His message of love, and have a heartfelt desire to live out that message of love in their lives. I believe that Jesus is the climax of the Israel story which records the progressive revelation of God to the Jews in the OT and that He inspired individuals to record their histories, their ambitions and dreams, their understandings of the divine in the various literary forms that are used. That does not mean that the Bible was dictated by God, and as a result it does contain contradictions that come from human biases, fears and errors. Just as the writers had their faults, we have ours and we wont always understand the Bible perfectly. We are just called to understand with the God given gift of wisdom and with prayer.

If the Bible was not dictated by God or at least written by men inspired by God to write what truly happened, then you really have no evidence for anything you believe, except the trivial stuff like Jerusalem is a real place and so forth. Which is fine, except that when that notion is presented to you then you deny it, insisting that the Bible serves as a reliable basis upon which to build a body of belief. The inerrantists have a much, much stronger position than you.

Actually as far as the eternal part goes we should remember that Jesus had an actual day on which He was born.

Everybody that exists or has existed had an actual day on which they were born. You have no evidence Jesus even existed.

John 1 tells us that it was the Word, (or logos) of God that existed from the beginning, and that Jesus embodied that Word so that we would understand the true nature of God. Yes, Jesus was resurrected into a new physicality that was able to move between Gods heavenly universe and the universe that we perceive, but as resurrection and new life is for all creation we do share our timelessness with Jesus.

To me that reads like a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo full of nonsense and meaning nothing. During this exchange I've sometimes been struck by the notion that to you this may not be so much a discussion as an opportunity for you to preach your beliefs.

Hopefully that answers your question.

No, it doesn't answer the question.

Percy writes:

There you go denigrating the OT again. Is that really Anglicanism? Between you and Faith there is some real strange theology going on here. The OT's God is vengeful and deadly, but Faith says that if God does it then it's good and whoever got it had it coming, while you say the OT is suspect. So you put greater credibility on the NT but insist on picking and choosing, like you reject the Ananias/Sapphira story.

Actually Jesus message of love is there in the OT as well. This is from Leviticus 19.

quote:
15 Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 16 Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbors life. I am the LORD. 17 Do not hate a fellow Israelite in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in their guilt. 18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

So no one in the couple thousand years before Jesus in the OT actually expressed their own message of love? They're all Jesus's message of love? How did you arrive at that?

Granted that this refers to their neighbour as their fellow Israelites but like I said earlier, it is a progressive revelation.

"Progressive revelation?" As in God revealed part of his true nature in the OT and some more in the NT?

However Leviticus later in the same chapter says this which takes what was said earlier a bit further.

quote:
33 When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God.

Same reaction as to your previous Bible quote.

As we get further into the OT we find this verse in Proverbs 25.

quote:
21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.

Jesus with His profound knowledge of the OT made clear that our understanding of neighbour was to include people of all nations.

Same reaction.

Percy writes:

But where is this God? He exists only as a character in the Bible (and in the books of other religions, but I'm sticking to Christianity), but you hold much of it in such low esteem that you cull out those portions you find unpalatable. You don't really believe in any God of the Bible. You believe in a God of your own making, which makes perfect sense since as you said, all religion is man-made. You're brewing your own.

I dont actually cull them out. When the Bible tells us that God commanded the genocide of the Canaanites I reject that He did that at all because it is completely inconsistent with the Word of God embodied by Jesus.

You're objecting on the basis of vocabulary? Really? You didn't "actually cull them out", you just "reject" them, and that's a different thing? You should spend some time thinking about why what you're saying is pressing the "I'm speaking sensibly" button in your head.

However, I dont reject the idea that there was a war, but, I do contend they either believed that God told them to slaughter the Canaanites or they used that as justification. If we look at the results we can see that they were unsuccessful and in over the long term they continued to wind up in slavery to their pagan neighbours. Even though they claim that God told them to go to war we should see them being victorious but it didnt really work out that way. Id say that God can speak to us through that and tell us that we should be very discerning when someone tells us that God told them to do something, especially when we hear someone telling us that we should go to war with our neighbours.

So for you that's a good reason for "diminishing" the OT, but when Jesus doesn't return even after 2000 years despite very clearly saying that he'd be back soon, in other words when the guy you consider inerrant makes a major mistake, that's not a good reason for "diminishing" the NT?

Percy writes:

This is still absurd. No one can make detailed and accurate predictions of events 35 years off. Mark is writing after the destruction of the Temple.

I completely disagree. There were a large group of zealots at that time. There was a revolt put down by the Romans in 6AD led by Judas the Galilean who was executing by the Romans ending that revolt. There was another revolt around 46AD led by Judas of Galilees sons who also were executed thus ending that revolt. Ultimately Jesus is saying that this will wind up with the Romans destroying Jerusalem and the Temple. That is how Romans responded to rebellion. It wouldnt be that hard to predict, but it would be a very unpopular message.

So as I said, there's nothing going on around the time of Jesus's ministry. The most recent rebellion was 25 years in the past. That's more than the time between WWI and WWII. People forget wars fast.

Percy writes:

Concerning the resurrection, "Oh no, he's dead, sadness and weeping" followed by "Wonder of wonders, he's alive, cheering and celebration" is a very old and much used plotline. There's nothing particularly inconceivable about a plot where crucifixion is followed by resurrection.

I understand where you are coming from but if they were going to make something up I contend that this isnt at all what they would come up with. Look at the Gospel story of the Transfiguration. If they were going to make up a story to indicate that Jesus was still alive somehow they would have had Him glowing in a cloud or something along that line. They arent going to come up with Him eating fish on the shore. The whole story is not something a small group made up of lower class Jews would come up with and there is no discernible, IMHO, motivation for them to do it anyway.

How do you know the Jesus stories originated with "lower class Jews?" How do you know that "they would have had Him glowing in a cloud or something?" You're professing knowledge you couldn't possibly have, that no one could possibly have, and without an iota of evidence.

OK. Still trying to catch up here. Ill start responding to your last post to me as well.

I'll note that it is my Message 1081 that you're moving on to.

Percy writes:

Around Jesus's time? What makes you think so? I could unearth no historical evidence of a Jewish revolutionary movement during this period. The gospels were written after the first Jewish/Roman war, and they obviously projected the unrest of that period backward in time to what they thought was the time of Jesus. That they got this so wrong is more evidence that they got much else wrong, too.

OK. I searched about and here is a wiki site. Zealots There is a theory which Im inclined to believe that Judas was a zealot which would explain his betrayal of Jesus. It would make sense in that Jesus was going around saying that they should play nice with the Romans.

It would also make sense, for the same reason, that the character of Judas the apostle was conflated with Judas of Galilee, the possible founder of the Zealot movement. But there's no way to know. And as I said, there's no record of any strong revolutionary movement around the time of Jesus's ministry.

Percy writes:

The apostles were not revolutionaries. Can you find anyplace in the gospels or the epistles where Jesus preached revolution against the Romans? He preached the opposite. For example, his admonition to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's is a clear indication that he cared not what king ruled on earth.

I didnt say that the apostles were revolutionaries. Jesus however was preaching an anti-revolutionary message and would expect that his apostles would take that message to the revolutionaries.

Huh? His message consisted of stuff like "you'll be beaten in the synagogues" and so forth. It was definitely a message targeted to his followers, not to the revolutionaries who were devout Jews and definitely would not be beaten in the synagogues.

Jesus was saying that Caesar is an earthly king but that the real King is the one He called Father.

Of course. Jesus plainly says that. I've said he said that. I only question when you fill in the blanks with stuff you for some reason think must be true but has no evidence or rationale.

Percy writes:

If Jesus is one of the three persons of God, as you believe, then he would not have gotten the time of the first Jewish/Roman war wrong.

I know that a lot if not most Christians believe that God knows the future such as what Ill have for lunch next Thursday. I just dont see that as part that means the future is closed. (Ive heard the arguments why that isnt the case.) I was convinced of this by the writing of John Polkinghorne.

It doesn't matter what is believed about God knowing the future - one of the godhead would not speak falsely, right? He wouldn't speak as if he knew something he actually didn't know.

I read some of Polkinghorne's stuff a long time ago, all I recall now is that it didn't appeal to me.

Percy writes:

So from context it seems by "they" you mean the people Jesus was talking to (as opposed to the people 30-40 years on who would have been Christians). Of course they would care about the Temple. I never said otherwise. What I did say is that the destruction of the Temple would be irrelevant to Christians 30-40 years on who wouldn't care about the Temple.

The first Jewish Christians would still have worshipped in the Temple. I think that it is fairly clear that Jesus meant to reform Judaism and that it wasnt His intent that He would found a different religion. Mind you, Christianity can be thought of as a Jewish sect.

Sure he meant to reform Judaism, if he was real. But his attempted reform was co-opted by Paul, who I believe stole the idea of Jesus from Peter's community. Peter and Paul are why there are two different theologies in the NT. It's possible that both movements grew at the same time, with Peter's community hewing much closer to Judaism and remaining in Jerusalem since the Temple was still important to them. The documents underpinning the gospels came from this community. After the Roman destruction of the Temple and of Jerusalem the movement there was cast adrift and merged with the churches Paul founded and from which the gospels emerged. Just a possibility. There's no way to know now.

Percy writes:

Ephesians 6 and Mark 13 are not connected by "physical destruction of the Temple." Ephesians 6 doesn't even mention the Temple or the destruction of anything.

It is connected indirectly.

You said, "The connection is that Jesus is talking about the physical destruction of the Temple." I said there's no such connection. You now go on to argue that the connection is something different:

Ephesians is again making the argument that it isnt the Romans that are the enemy but that the enemy is evil itself. Ephesians 6 tells us this.

quote:
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

This again is the anti-revolutionary message that Jesus preached. The enemy isnt an enemy of flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of evil.

I agree they're connected in the way you now describe here. But they are not connected by the destruction of the Temple, as you claimed in your previous message and which was the point I was making.

Percy writes:

If Ephesians 6 isn't a set of rules then what is it? Here's the beginning:

quote:
Ephesians 6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2Honor your father and motherwhich is the first commandment with a promise 3so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
etc...etc...etc...

See, rule after rule after rule.

These are rules based on Jesus command to love. They are not rules such as dont eat pork or dont do any work on the Sabbath. They are rules of the heart which is a very different thing. It is giving practical suggestions of how it looks when we love our parents or our children.

Interesting but irrelevant distinction that you didn't see fit to mention until now, as if you're objecting to the characterization of Ephesians being full of rules just for the sake of objecting.

Percy writes:

I didn't say Mark was fabricating anything. Maybe he believed what he wrote ("compiled," as you like to say), maybe he didn't. Who knows?

And Mark absolutely *was* establishing a timeframe. He wanted his audience to know how long ago Jesus had foretold the destruction of the Temple that lay in their recent past. We don't know when Jesus lived or died or if he was even real. Maybe it was 38 years between Mark 13 and 70 CE, maybe it was something else. But if you believe Mark 13 then you have to believe that when Jesus says that "this generation will certainly not pass away before all these things have happened" he means that at least some of the current generation will still be alive to witness the destruction of the Temple. Mark was setting a timeframe for Jesus's ministry, that it was one to three generations ago. He was understandably vague since he didn't really know how long ago Jesus lived.

I can agree with that although I dont get your point in the very last sentence. His readers at the time would know how long ago Jesus lived and Mark certainly would have.

What makes you think Mark's readers would know when Jesus lived? How would anyone back then know anything about Jesus? I thought that was the whole point of evangelizing, to bring the good news that Christ is risen and that people's sins are forgiven. If the whole Jesus story was common knowledge where would be the need for evangelists?

And what makes you think Mark knew when Jesus lived? His information came from other sources that he believed.

GDR writes:

IMHO Jesus predicted the destruction but that it didnt happen as soon as He thought it would.

Percy writes:

You do realize you're saying that one of the three persons of God got something wrong.

As I said earlier I believe that the future is open and as a result the future is unknowable even to God. Im saying that Jesus understood the political climate and predicted how things were going to go. There was a smaller revolt about 15 years after Jesus crucifixion that didnt result in the destruction. It took the 66-70AD war to do that.

So, as I asked earlier, why would a member of the godhead say something he didn't know was true?

Percy writes:

I assume you're referring to Daniel 9. People can, and have, claimed Daniel means anything they need it to mean.

I didnt phrase my point at all well. The point that I wanted to make was that Daniel 9, said this:

quote:
And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

which showed that what Jesus was saying was a physical event concerning the Temple and not about end times.

Now you're picking and choosing Bible passages again. Why don't you quote all the "sevens" stuff, too? Daniel has a lot of inscrutable babble.

Percy writes:

I assume you're referring to Daniel 2. Why would Mark 13 cause the apostles to realize that Jesus is the Son of Man from Daniel's dream? Who even cares that he's the Son of Man? The NT writers just co-opted that term from the OT and declared it meant part of the godhead and was prophecy fulfilled in the NT, but it doesn't mean that. The interpretation is invented, something you're familiar with.

Actually it is Daniel 7 and a first century Jew would have very much understood what He meant. Compare these passages. Mark 13

quote:
26At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory.

and Daniel 7

quote:
13In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

It would have been very clear to His Jewish audience.

But "son of man" doesn't have the same meaning in Mark and Daniel. In Daniel "son of man" seems like something supernatural, maybe an angel, while in Mark and the other gospels "Son of Man" is just a person. If they made a connection it was for the same reason you do, out of wishful thinking that there is a connection, that Daniel was prophesying the coming of Jesus. Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was such a thing as prophecy.

GDR writes:

This then along with the fact that Jesus had been resurrected which established Him as the one who had been given dominion over the Kingdom of those who followed His message of sacrificial love.

Percy writes:

Are you still talking about Mark 13? Because in Mark 13 Jesus's resurrection still lies in the future, so you can't refer to it as a past event.

This isnt about the resurrection.

Say what? You just finished connecting Daniel 7 and Mark 13 through the "son of man" reference, and then you say they're also connected through the resurrection, but in Mark 13 Jesus's resurrection lies still in the future, so you can't connect those passages through the resurrection.

Percy writes:

You're repeating the same problematical statements here that I rebutted above. The 38 years isn't gospel - Mark had no idea how long ago Jesus's ministry was. He thought roughly a generation or two. And of course it's a prophecy. And Mark is a normal person who has, like all of us, imperfect knowledge and so didn't know that some of the Temple complex remained standing. Or maybe he meant only the Temple itself, not the whole complex. But one thing's for sure - he couldn't write about events until after they happened.

We are just going to have to agree to disagree. I really dont have anything to add that I havent already said. Frankly it is a matter of interest but not a matter that affects my theological beliefs.

In other words, you're out of ammo.

Percy writes:

Where does any gospel say the apostles were planning armed revolution?

There was no plan but they obviously believed that somehow Jesus was going to overthrow the Romans. They only method they would know of would be armed rebellion. There are the arguments about sitting on His right and left which would be about when He achieved earthly power for example.

That's ridiculous. They only asked about reestablishing the kingdom of Israel, not how to expel the Romans. And after all the miracles they've witnessed they would easily be able to imagine methods other than armed rebellion.

Percy writes:

I doubt that very much. You're well outside the traditional bounds of liberal Anglicanism.

Actually I dont consider myself a liberal Anglican but I may lean a little in that direction. Have you ever read Borg or Crossan? Those are the Liberal ones.

Looking at my bookshelf I see I've read three books by Crossan, but long enough ago that I don't recall a thing: The Essential Jesus; Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography; Who Killed Jesus. You'll have to remind me what he thinks.

GDR writes:

As I said I believe they were inspired to write their accounts to the best of their ability and knowledge, but again, it wasnt dictated to them by God. I do believe though that God speaks or reached out to us through the Scriptures,...

Percy writes:

And you know this how?

To the best of my ability I am using the three legs of Anglicanism which are Scripture, tradition and reason. I would also add personal life experience but that I know that wont carry any weight with anyone except myself.

So there's nothing you can say that would tell me why you think God inspired the scripture writers "to write their accounts to the best of their ability and knowledge, but again, it wasn't dictated to them by God." If I wanted to argue that position myself, there's no ammunition you could provide me.

Percy writes:

So you're just going to take Luke's word on his say so?

Yes

If Luke's a historian then I'm an evangelical.

Percy writes:

Yes, it fits very well. Jesus is not part of God transcending this world with a message of love. He's merely part of this world where beating servants and slaves is just fine because it was standard practice at the time. It's kinda hard to avoid the fact that Jesus is advocating flogging. Would a loving God really say that if a servant or slave screws up that he should be beaten? You're just rationalizing your unsupported assertions that the OT authors are suspect, the NT authors aren't. The fact of the matter is that that's just something you happen to believe, not something you can show is likely true.

The Jews were always being enslaved, so they would understand the reference. This is a parable or a metaphor. However, I agree that the passage is problematic but it is clear in reading through the NT that Jesus is not in favour of beating servants or slaves, whether it is specifically referred to or not. We can see in Pauls book called Philimon that He is calling for better treatment of slaves and that would come from his understanding of what Jesus taught.

Well sure it's a metaphor, but if we switch to that context then we've got a vengeful God, just like in the OT.

Percy writes:

When it comes to religious beliefs, everyone who believes they have anything specific right is wrong. The only reason we're having this discussion is that you think your religious beliefs are the result of rational analysis when they definitely are not.

Well I guess that is your specific belief and again well just have to agree to disagree.

If your beliefs had a sound basis then you'd be able to arm me with evidence and rationale that I could argue with others with a straight face.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Fix the definitions of "son of man" that were reversed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1085 by GDR, posted 12-02-2018 10:58 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1097 by PaulK, posted 12-03-2018 4:32 PM Percy has responded
 Message 1100 by GDR, posted 12-03-2018 6:48 PM Percy has responded

    
PaulK
Member
Posts: 14545
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 1097 of 1152 (844668)
12-03-2018 4:32 PM
Reply to: Message 1096 by Percy
12-03-2018 4:14 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
While GDR is definitely misrepresenting Daniel (Daniel IS End Times prophecy so how can citing it be nothing to do with the End Times?) youre wrong about the Son of Man.

In fact, in Daniel it is one like a Son of Man - an entity that appears human. Most likely it is intended to be the angel Michael (mentioned 3 times in Daniel, notably Daniel 12:1)


At that time Michael shall stand up,
The great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people;
And there shall be a time of trouble,
Such as never was since there was a nation,
Even to that time.
And at that time your people shall be delivered,
Every one who is found written in the book.

a time of trouble, such as never was may well be the origin of the Tribulation, too.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1096 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 4:14 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1099 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 5:48 PM PaulK has not yet responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6344
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 1098 of 1152 (844670)
12-03-2018 5:04 PM
Reply to: Message 1094 by GDR
12-03-2018 2:34 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
GDR writes:

The problem is, as I have said numerous times, the Bible isn't a book. It is a library of books written by different authors, in different times and in a changing culture in changing circumstances.

Yes, we all know that. It's been repeated by pretty much everyone here for years. It doesn't help you.

So yes, it is very reasonable to understand different books the Bible differently.

Is it? I'd certainly agree if it was fiction, but the Word of God?

As I have also said before, it is Christianity not Bibleianity.

Well that's a good bumper sticker but the bible is all you've got. How you rationalise the difficult stuff away is interesting to watch.

I understand the entire Bible through the lens of Jesus, and what we have recorded of His life and message in the Gospels.

Sure, so you throw away the OT as just something some scribes wrote while the something some other scribes wrote is the Truth.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1094 by GDR, posted 12-03-2018 2:34 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1107 by GDR, posted 12-04-2018 11:50 PM Tangle has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17965
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 1099 of 1152 (844673)
12-03-2018 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1097 by PaulK
12-03-2018 4:32 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
PaulK writes:

While GDR is definitely misrepresenting Daniel (Daniel IS End Times prophecy so how can citing it be nothing to do with the End Times?) youre wrong about the Son of Man.

I was going by my recollection from reading the Wikipedia article on the Son of man from a few days ago, and it looked like I recollected it backwards. It says what you say about its use in Daniel, but that it's use in the gospels is "an emphatic equivalent of the first-person pronoun, I/me/my."

Thanks for the tip, I'll fix my post.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1097 by PaulK, posted 12-03-2018 4:32 PM PaulK has not yet responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4608
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


(1)
Message 1100 of 1152 (844680)
12-03-2018 6:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1096 by Percy
12-03-2018 4:14 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
Percy writes:

Why do you say this, since I had just finished saying that when Jesus was arrested Peter was right there with him and was not arrested. Why would Peter fear it wouldn't go well? Because it fits well with the rest of the narrative you've invented? Or do you have an actual reason?

At the time of the actual arrest Peter obviously still had it in his head that the messiah would lead them against the Romans. His response initially was to get out his sword and start the battle. Once Jesus was hauled away it was clear to him that there would be no battle and that it was over. Jesus resurrection of course changed all that.
Percy writes:

I just explained why it couldn't "easily have been done in that time frame." Declaring that it could so be "done in that time frame" is not really a response.

The arrest happened at night. The priests were anxious to get it done that way as they didnt want the crucifixion done on Passover. When it was day the council of elders including the chief priests that had arrested him held a consultation and took Him to Pilate. (As Mark says this was early in the morning.) This consultation is described in Luke and takes up 4 verses. It would have been very brief.
Luke tells of a brief hearing with Pilate who then says essentially that it is a Jewish issue and tells them to go see Herod who was in Jerusalem. They spent time with Herod who did spend more time with Him and once more sent Him back to Pilate. Up to this point it could be easily done by noon and probably earlier. There is one more hearing with Pilate who finally acquiesced and Jesus was led away to be crucified. The distances in Jerusalem arent great. This could all have easily been done by early afternoon, particularly remembering that the Jewish priests were in a hurry to get this done as they wanted it over with as long as possible before Passover when there would be even more of a crowd in Jerusalem than there was then.
Percy writes:

This idea seems out of the blue. Nothing in Acts says anything like this. The apostles merely ask Jesus if he will restore the kingdom of Israel. There's nothing about defeating the Romans or anything military at all, and Jesus's ministry was never about that. Your claim that the apostles somehow thought that Jesus's ministry was about a military campaign to expel the Romans from Israel is made up out of whole cloth.

Here was Jesus back again and they still thought that now was the time He would restore the Kingdom to Israel. This meant getting the Romans out and having a Jewish theocracy established presumably by military means but they may well have thought that Jesus had something else in mind. However it still would have meant getting rid of the Romans.
Percy writes:

Yes, that's exactly what it says, and nowhere does it say anything about hiding out. Further, the gospel stories have significant internal inconsistencies. The apostles supposedly fear the Jewish authorities yet a short time later walk freely about Jerusalem. And the doors aren't even necessarily locked. John 20:19 in the NIV has the doors locked for fear of Jewish leaders, while RSV only has them shut for fear of the Jews. Actually, the doors being shut rather than locked would make hiding make a lot more sense - they didn't want passing Jews to look in and see that they were there. Locked doors just make it seem like they were pretty sure the Jewish leaders knew where they were but wanted to prevent their entry. Maybe your impressions of what this passage means come from the RSV or similar translation.

Well maybe, but Peter was fearful enough that He denied being a follower of Jesus several times. However as Jesus had no military there wasnt much to fear from the Romans and as Jesus had been put to death they were leaderless so the Jewish authorities wouldnt have been as concerned but still they would want to lay low for a while. The Jewish leaders would not want to see someone else take up leadership and continue the movement. After the resurrection the Jewish leaders would have been more concerned about squashing the stories of the resurrected Jesus than they would have anything else.
Percy writes:

I'm guessing there's general agreement (if I'm wrong about this then people should let me know) that while it is apparent that you think you're answering this, you're really not. There are lots of words, but in the end it appears that you alternate between two positions: a) that what you believe is true and supported by evidence (like that everything that happened after Jesus's arrest could have happened in a single day); and b) that it's just belief.

Ive said several times it is belief. However these accounts are written and we make up our minds one way or another of what we believe and what we reject. I have a hunch that if you read an account of the Viet Nam war in a library in the US it wont read the same as one in Hanoi. People will believe what they are going to believe. Yes, I read the Gospels to tell of the resurrection of Jesus even though some details dont line up. (Actually, if everything did line up perfectly I think it would be good reason to be more suspicious.) I do discount the claims that God ordered genocide and public stoning, not that the events didnt occur but the idea that God commanded it. Do I have absolute knowledge of any of this, absolutely not. It is faith, but I also believe that there is good reason for my faith. It is something that I am prepared to base my life on.
Percy writes:

How do you know that love is the direction God wants you to go. Just because that's more palatable to you? That's fine if that's how you want to go, but that leaves you bereft of any way to persuade people who have grown attached to evidence leading the way toward what is true about the real world. The fact of the matter is that love (which doesn't completely capture what we really mean, but it's concise and will serve for now) will make the world a better place whether that's what God wants or not, or whether God exists or not.

Fine, but then you are left with a believe that love exists from a chance combination of mindless particles and a myriad of mindless processes resulting in love. I cant muster up enough faith to hold a belief like that. I know you believe that God exists so if God is able to create life then I dont see why it is necessary to reject the idea that He resurrected Jesus. It would be easy in comparison I would think.
Percy writes:

Yes, you are correct, they are incompatible. And so you feel forced into a choice, and you have chosen to favor the NT and denigrate the OT. If you can't admit the meaning of your own words then what's the point of this?

As Ive said before Jesus constantly refers to the OT in delivering His message. Ive also said that you can draw a loving God out of the OT. Ive also said that IMHO it is a progressive revelation of God through the narrative that is the Scriptures. Yes I do believe that many OT writers did deliver the wisdom of God to the Jewish people. Again though, I use the teaching of Jesus to sort it out as best I can.
Percy writes:

I'm not looking for conclusive arguments. I'm just looking for any evidence at all for what you believe. So far we've heard zero evidence for the existence of God, Jesus and the truth of the confabulous parts of the Bible, and you've agreed that it's fine to reject parts of the Bible. I don't see how that's a basis for knowing anything. It's just a basis for arriving at what you already feel comfortable with.

Ive given many times what I consider to be evidence. The evidence is the Gospel stories and I have given reasons why I believe that they can be essentially believed. I have read a considerable amount about 1st century Jewish history including Josephus. I have read multiple theologians with a wide variety of views. I have a particular interest in people like John Polkinghorne, John Lennox and Alister McGrath who combine their scientific and mathematical knowledge with their theology. I have had to pick and choose between these various authors as to the conclusions I have come to, and I have had to have done the same thing with the Bible. I have no doubt that I am wrong on any number of things but like you Im simply doing the best that I can to discern what I believe is the truth of all of this.
Yes, Im comfortable with a God of love, but Ive heard people like Dawkins say that they are comfortable with their atheism and really uncomfortable with the notion of there being a fod and doesnt want there to be one. Im sure that you are comfortable with what you believe.
Percy writes:

If the Bible was not dictated by God or at least written by men inspired by God to write what truly happened, then you really have no evidence for anything you believe, except the trivial stuff like Jerusalem is a real place and so forth. Which is fine, except that when that notion is presented to you then you deny it, insisting that the Bible serves as a reliable basis upon which to build a body of belief. The inerrantists have a much, much stronger position than you.

They do if you are looking for absolute answers. If you believe that the Bible is inerrant then you can pick out a verse and that is the end of the argument. If however you accept that the Biblical writers dont always get it right then we have sort out what it is that we believe. Im ok with that. I cant give you absolute answers.
Again I am content to have as unprovable absolutes that God is a god of love and that He resurrected Jesus and go from there. Again, though I reject the idea that there is no basis for what I believe and I have gone over them numerous times on this forum.
Percy writes:

Everybody that exists or has existed had an actual day on which they were born. You have no evidence Jesus even existed.

I have the NT, I have Tacitus and the Babylonian Talmud. You reject all of these as being insufficient but they are evidence.
Percy writes:

To me that reads like a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo full of nonsense and meaning nothing. During this exchange I've sometimes been struck by the notion that to you this may not be so much a discussion as an opportunity for you to preach your beliefs.

..and youre not I suppose. I didnt intend to get dragged into this but I find that when you post one thing on here it leads into something else. I did not intend to get into this discussion and if you believe it is simply about me preaching then lets end it. It often does seem to be something of a norm here to insult peoples views and motivations.
I have to go out, delivering a sewing machine to a Syrian refugee family that our church sponsored and

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1096 by Percy, posted 12-03-2018 4:14 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1102 by Phat, posted 12-04-2018 12:34 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 1103 by Phat, posted 12-04-2018 12:49 PM GDR has not yet responded
 Message 1105 by Percy, posted 12-04-2018 7:31 PM GDR has responded

    
xongsmith
Member
Posts: 1863
From: massachusetts US
Joined: 01-01-2009


Message 1101 of 1152 (844689)
12-04-2018 3:37 AM
Reply to: Message 1093 by xongsmith
12-03-2018 1:32 PM


Re: Moore's "Lamb"
here is a youtube that came up on my list. it is a conjecture that Jesus was actually a Buddhist monk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbZCfWZI6qE

whether true or not, it would appear that Moore did his homework!


- xongsmith, 5.7d

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1093 by xongsmith, posted 12-03-2018 1:32 PM xongsmith has not yet responded

    
Phat
Member
Posts: 11563
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1102 of 1152 (844713)
12-04-2018 12:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1100 by GDR
12-03-2018 6:48 PM


Are We Responsible For Our Own Intelligent Design?
percy writes:

How do you know that love is the direction God wants you to go. Just because that's more palatable to you? That's fine if that's how you want to go, but that leaves you bereft of any way to persuade people who have grown attached to evidence leading the way toward what is true about the real world. The fact of the matter is that love (which doesn't completely capture what we really mean, but it's concise and will serve for now) will make the world a better place whether that's what God wants or not, or whether God exists or not.

Speculating....If the concept of progressive revelation is true, perhaps "believers" have evolved from a chosen people...the Jews...to a distinct group which then includes the converted gentiles...on to our present day where you have Percy and ringo...both of whom believe in the essence of the message without any need, desire, or evidential necessity to acknowledge a Creator and a messenger/Messiah. How crazy would that be if the modern day atheist/secular humanist who embraces the message of love and good works for good sake is in actuality the final prototype before it all wraps up and goes to the next level? (Faiths Rapture Belief)

Keep in mind also that the conspiracy/doomsday theorists expect us to drop a level or two...back to the sticks and stone age...due to wars, etc...to test who really trusts and who doesn't. For some people it is already happening. Syria


GDR writes:

Fine, but then you are left with a belief that love exists from a chance combination of mindless particles and a myriad of mindless processes resulting in love.

Which is essentially a vote in favor of Intelligent Design.

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 1100 by GDR, posted 12-03-2018 6:48 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11563
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1103 of 1152 (844714)
12-04-2018 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1100 by GDR
12-03-2018 6:48 PM


The Spirit Of The Message
Percy writes:

If the Bible was not dictated by God or at least written by men inspired by God to write what truly happened, then you really have no evidence for anything you believe, except the trivial stuff like Jerusalem is a real place and so forth. Which is fine, except that when that notion is presented to you then you deny it, insisting that the Bible serves as a reliable basis upon which to build a body of belief. The inerrantists have a much, much stronger position than you.

our very own jar, champion of logic, reason, and reality, always brought up the two commandments which jesus emphasized:
Love God and love others. To an atheist or evidence-based secular humanist agnostic, the two essentially become one: The duty and passion to love others.

The inerrancy group would draw a line at merging the two and would insist that because the book says so, God exists and Jesus alone can help you understand reality. Which is ironically also essentially merging the two into one.

According to my progressive revelation theory, this is what God always wanted from the beginning: To eliminate the need for His own job. As humans internalize the message, we become as Jesus was. Critics would argue that we are attempting to replace God with ourselves. The counter-argument is that we have embraced and loved God by internalizing the message and eliminating the trappings of organized religion in a modern society.


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 1100 by GDR, posted 12-03-2018 6:48 PM GDR has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 11563
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.2


Message 1104 of 1152 (844715)
12-04-2018 12:53 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by ringo
08-31-2018 6:05 PM


Re: If I'm raptured there will be millions of others raptured too
ringo writes:

If I had a smidgen of an inkling that it was true, I'd sell what I have and give to the poor (Matthew 19:21).

But don't you do that anyway? And what do you think of my progressive revelation theory? I've essentially placed you as more evolved spiritually than are the believers.

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 12 by ringo, posted 08-31-2018 6:05 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1112 by ringo, posted 12-05-2018 2:20 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 17965
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 1105 of 1152 (844743)
12-04-2018 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 1100 by GDR
12-03-2018 6:48 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
GDR writes:

Percy writes:

Why do you say this, since I had just finished saying that when Jesus was arrested Peter was right there with him and was not arrested. Why would Peter fear it wouldn't go well? Because it fits well with the rest of the narrative you've invented? Or do you have an actual reason?

At the time of the actual arrest Peter obviously still had it in his head that the messiah would lead them against the Romans.

Why do you think this? What did Jesus do or say during his ministry to even hint at this? How could Jesus preach a spiritual kingdom while the apostles, despite all evidence to the contrary, thought Jesus preached a material kingdom?

His response initially was to get out his sword and start the battle.

You don't say, so I'll assume you mean the battle to reestablish Israel. Are you actually claiming that the apostles thought that battling the priest's guards was the beginning of the battle with Rome? If you are then that's ludicrous, laughable, ridiculous and nonsense. Where would the apostles get the idea that Jesus planned to do battle with Rome, and why would they attack Jewish guards to begin that battle?

About Peter pulling out a sword, only John, the last and most absurd gospel, says this. By the way, John is also the account that mentions soldiers, captains and officers, which is why I earlier referred to Jesus's arrest as being carried out by guards. Looking at all the accounts, people are free to believe Peter did or didn't pull out a sword in these fictional accounts, but looking at the gospels as a whole, nothing in them hints at armed apostles, at least not until the arrest.

More importantly, the basic story (the various gospel accounts of the arrest are minor variations around a basic story), wherever it came from, is inconsistent with everything that came before. Up to this point in Jesus's ministry there has been no violence by apostles, then at Jesus's arrest the apostles suddenly have swords? That's silly. One apostle is so skillful that he slices off an ear of one of the guards (which Jesus miraculously restores in Luke only, casting further doubt on the story).

The entire Jesus tale related in the gospels is just a collection of vignettes that someone wove together into a narrative.

Once Jesus was hauled away it was clear to him that there would be no battle and that it was over. Jesus resurrection of course changed all that.

Again, the apostles never believed that Jesus intended to lead a war against the Romans. And you've managed to avoid addressing the question about why Peter would fear being arrested after he was already ignored by those doing the arresting.

Percy writes:

I just explained why it couldn't "easily have been done in that time frame." Declaring that it could so be "done in that time frame" is not really a response.

The arrest happened at night. The priests were anxious to get it done that way as they didnt want the crucifixion done on Passover. When it was day the council of elders including the chief priests that had arrested him held a consultation and took Him to Pilate. (As Mark says this was early in the morning.) This consultation is described in Luke and takes up 4 verses. It would have been very brief.

The gospels only say the priests wanted to put Jesus to death, not have him crucified.

Luke tells of a brief hearing with Pilate who then says essentially that it is a Jewish issue and tells them to go see Herod who was in Jerusalem.

All the gospels except John relate a brief hearing before Pilate (who had to attend a festival later that day).
John has Pilate talking to the Jews, then going in to talk to Jesus, then going out to talk to the Jews, then going in to talk to Jesus, then going back out to talk to the Jews. Which gospel is correct, if any? By what means did this sequence of events, witnessed by no followers of Jesus, become known to John decades later?

And on what was to be a busy day why would Pilate be available early in the morning for a hearing of a man he never heard of? Was Pilate at the beck and call of the Jewish priests? Not likely.

They spent time with Herod who did spend more time with Him...

Yes, Herod did spend some time with Jesus, Luke saying that Herod "questioned him at some length." Was Herod Antipas, too, just available at a moment's notice? Nothing on the schedule that day? Just happened to be in Jerusalem with no meetings with the local priests and rabbis planned?

...and once more sent Him back to Pilate. Up to this point it could be easily done by noon and probably earlier.

I'm going to ask you if you want to buy a bridge in a second.

There is one more hearing with Pilate who finally acquiesced and Jesus was led away to be crucified. The distances in Jerusalem arent great.

Yes, the old city is small, but I never cited walking time as an issue.

This could all have easily been done by early afternoon, particularly remembering that the Jewish priests were in a hurry to get this done as they wanted it over with as long as possible before Passover when there would be even more of a crowd in Jerusalem than there was then.

Huh? Why would there be a big crowd for Passover on the day before Passover? There was a festival planned for that day, which is why Jesus appeared before a large crowd.

Percy writes:

This idea seems out of the blue. Nothing in Acts says anything like this. The apostles merely ask Jesus if he will restore the kingdom of Israel. There's nothing about defeating the Romans or anything military at all, and Jesus's ministry was never about that. Your claim that the apostles somehow thought that Jesus's ministry was about a military campaign to expel the Romans from Israel is made up out of whole cloth.

Here was Jesus back again and they still thought that now was the time He would restore the Kingdom to Israel.

Yes, they obviously did. There's no hint that they believed that Jesus planned to achieve this by leading an army to expel the Romans.

This meant getting the Romans out and having a Jewish theocracy established presumably by military means but they may well have thought that Jesus had something else in mind. However it still would have meant getting rid of the Romans.

Where in the gospels or Acts does Jesus say his movement was intended to expel the Romans from Israel? He seems quite happy for the Romans to occupy Israel and for the Jews to pay taxes to Rome.

Percy writes:

Yes, that's exactly what it says, and nowhere does it say anything about hiding out. Further, the gospel stories have significant internal inconsistencies. The apostles supposedly fear the Jewish authorities yet a short time later walk freely about Jerusalem. And the doors aren't even necessarily locked. John 20:19 in the NIV has the doors locked for fear of Jewish leaders, while RSV only has them shut for fear of the Jews. Actually, the doors being shut rather than locked would make hiding make a lot more sense - they didn't want passing Jews to look in and see that they were there. Locked doors just make it seem like they were pretty sure the Jewish leaders knew where they were but wanted to prevent their entry. Maybe your impressions of what this passage means come from the RSV or similar translation.

Well maybe, but Peter was fearful enough that He denied being a follower of Jesus several times.

Sure, that's what the gospels say, which makes no sense, so why do you believe the gospels?

However as Jesus had no military...

A brief aside. Why did you earlier state that the apostles thought the arrest at the Last Supper was the beginning of the battle with Rome if they knew "Jesus had no military"?

...there wasnt much to fear from the Romans and as Jesus had been put to death they were leaderless so the Jewish authorities wouldnt have been as concerned but still they would want to lay low for a while.

Makes sense. But there's still nothing in the gospels saying that, and in short order the apostles were evangelizing freely around Jerusalem.

The Jewish leaders would not want to see someone else take up leadership and continue the movement. After the resurrection the Jewish leaders would have been more concerned about squashing the stories of the resurrected Jesus than they would have anything else.

If they weren't concerned then it goes without mention in the gospels, and I guess we should include Acts. There are many things you're claiming that have no Biblical support.

Percy writes:

I'm guessing there's general agreement (if I'm wrong about this then people should let me know) that while it is apparent that you think you're answering this, you're really not. There are lots of words, but in the end it appears that you alternate between two positions: a) that what you believe is true and supported by evidence (like that everything that happened after Jesus's arrest could have happened in a single day); and b) that it's just belief.

Ive said several times it is belief.

Then if it's just belief, why are you arguing for any particular viewpoint? Why can't anyone choose the Biblical passages they like (or none at all) and develop their own set of beliefs, just as valid as your own, and using the same approach that you've used. Do you think people should only use your approach if they accept that they must arrive at the same conclusions you did?

However these accounts are written and we make up our minds one way or another of what we believe and what we reject. I have a hunch that if you read an account of the Viet Nam war in a library in the US it wont read the same as one in Hanoi.

Books about the Vietnam (one word) war are a poor analog - it happened in recent memory, there is copious hard evidence, and nobody's book, neither in the US or Hanoi, would recount any walking on water or returning from the dead or other miracles because the accounts would not be religious books and so would not be full of confabulous claims.

People will believe what they are going to believe.

In the absence of evidence some people will, as you say, believe what they are going to believe. Other people, in the absence of evidence, will suspend judgment until such time as there is evidence. And many people will consider the source and think, "Well, religions tend to make these kinds of fantastical claims, and none of them should be given much if any credence (except for the claims of my religion)."

Yes, I read the Gospels to tell of the resurrection of Jesus even though some details dont line up. (Actually, if everything did line up perfectly I think it would be good reason to be more suspicious.) I do discount the claims that God ordered genocide and public stoning, not that the events didnt occur but the idea that God commanded it. Do I have absolute knowledge of any of this, absolutely not. It is faith, but I also believe that there is good reason for my faith. It is something that I am prepared to base my life on.

Nothing wrong with faith, but if your beliefs are formed in the way you describe, why do you argue that they're the right ones instead of just encouraging people to use your approach.

Percy writes:

How do you know that love is the direction God wants you to go? Just because that's more palatable to you? That's fine if that's how you want to go, but that leaves you bereft of any way to persuade people who have grown attached to evidence leading the way toward what is true about the real world. The fact of the matter is that love (which doesn't completely capture what we really mean, but it's concise and will serve for now) will make the world a better place whether that's what God wants or not, or whether God exists or not.

Fine, but then you are left with a belief that love exists from a chance combination of mindless particles and a myriad of mindless processes resulting in love.

At least there is hard evidence supporting that view (e.g., this non-technical article: What Is Love? MRI Scan Reveals What Stages Of Romantic Love You're In Via Brain Map).

I cant muster up enough faith to hold a belief like that.

But you don't have to muster any faith. There's evidence, which must be combined with replication and tentativity and so forth.

I know you believe that God exists so if God is able to create life then I dont see why it is necessary to reject the idea that He resurrected Jesus. It would be easy in comparison I would think.

I do believe in God, but not the Christian God nor the God of any religion. I don't know anything about this God, but the belief that springs forth within me unorigined and unevidenced is that he gives purpose to the universe, though I have no idea what that purpose might be or whether it involves us at all. He isn't a God who listens to prayers or creates life (abiogenesis is a natural process anyway) or intervenes to create religions or intervenes on Earth at all.

Percy writes:

Yes, you are correct, they are incompatible. And so you feel forced into a choice, and you have chosen to favor the NT and denigrate the OT. If you can't admit the meaning of your own words then what's the point of this?

As Ive said before Jesus constantly refers to the OT in delivering His message.

More accurately, the people who wrote about Jesus constantly refer and have him refer to the OT in delivering their message.

Ive also said that you can draw a loving God out of the OT.

And you can draw a vengeful God out of the NT.

Ive also said that IMHO it is a progressive revelation of God through the narrative that is the Scriptures.

I looked up "progressive revelation." It's apparently a common Christian belief.

Yes I do believe that many OT writers did deliver the wisdom of God to the Jewish people. Again though, I use the teaching of Jesus to sort it out as best I can.

Yes, you give priority to Jesus and the NT over the OT because the OT writers were coerced by their leaders and were driven by the need for approval. This isn't based upon any evidence - you've just decided to denigrate without evidence the OT because you prefer Jesus's message in the NT.

Percy writes:

I'm not looking for conclusive arguments. I'm just looking for any evidence at all for what you believe. So far we've heard zero evidence for the existence of God, Jesus and the truth of the confabulous parts of the Bible, and you've agreed that it's fine to reject parts of the Bible. I don't see how that's a basis for knowing anything. It's just a basis for arriving at what you already feel comfortable with.

Ive given many times what I consider to be evidence.

And they've been challenged every time.

The evidence is the Gospel stories and I have given reasons why I believe that they can be essentially believed.

But you've been given even more evidence for why the gospel stories (and much in the Bible) can't be trusted.

I have read a considerable amount about 1st century Jewish history including Josephus.

Josephus provides no evidence of Jesus.

I have read multiple theologians with a wide variety of views.

Theologians have no better evidence than you do.

I have a particular interest in people like John Polkinghorne, John Lennox and Alister McGrath who combine their scientific and mathematical knowledge with their theology.

And yet their scientific training did not enable them produce any actual evidence for religious beliefs. And certainly they wouldn't endorse picking and choosing among Bible passages according to personal preference, or denigrating the OT as less reliable than the NT.

I have had to pick and choose between these various authors as to the conclusions I have come to, and I have had to have done the same thing with the Bible. I have no doubt that I am wrong on any number of things but like you Im simply doing the best that I can to discern what I believe is the truth of all of this.

You can't compare yourself to me because you take far more specific positions than I do. Also, I concede I have no evidence for my spiritual beliefs while you think your religious beliefs are supported by evidence.

Yes, Im comfortable with a God of love, but Ive heard people like Dawkins say that they are comfortable with their atheism and really uncomfortable with the notion of there being a god and doesnt want there to be one. Im sure that you are comfortable with what you believe.

I suppose it's generally true that people tend toward beliefs they feel comfortable with (I say "generally true" because there are notable exception, such as LBGT's who remain in the Catholic or evangelical church - why they stay members of a church that tortures them psychologically is beyond me), but some people, like yourself, believe hugely more very specific unsupported and unsupportable things than others of us.

Percy writes:

If the Bible was not dictated by God or at least written by men inspired by God to write what truly happened, then you really have no evidence for anything you believe, except the trivial stuff like Jerusalem is a real place and so forth. Which is fine, except that when that notion is presented to you then you deny it, insisting that the Bible serves as a reliable basis upon which to build a body of belief. The inerrantists have a much, much stronger position than you.

They do if you are looking for absolute answers.

You can claim that you're not looking for absolute answers, but the determination with which you defend your beliefs belies that.

If you believe that the Bible is inerrant then you can pick out a verse and that is the end of the argument. If however you accept that the Biblical writers dont always get it right then we have to sort out what it is that we believe. Im ok with that. I cant give you absolute answers.

Repeating what I've said before, you alternate. You say you just have belief until someone challenges it, then you steadfastly defend the Bible passages you've chosen and the specifics of what you believe, then you switch back again to say it's just belief.

Put a different way, do you think that other people using your approach could legitimately arrive at different beliefs than you, or do you think you've got the right beliefs and that other beliefs are wrong? You seem to think both at the same time.

Again I am content to have as unprovable absolutes that God is a god of love and that He resurrected Jesus and go from there.

"Unprovable abolutes?" Is this how Polkinghorne, Lennox and McGrath inform their theology with science?

Again, though I reject the idea that there is no basis for what I believe and I have gone over them numerous times on this forum.

You keep reminding me how many times you've supported your beliefs or already explained something, so I'll just keep reminding you that you were probably challenged on most of those occasions. Did you prevail every time?

Percy writes:

Everybody that exists or has existed had an actual day on which they were born. You have no evidence Jesus even existed.

I have the NT, I have Tacitus and the Babylonian Talmud. You reject all of these as being insufficient but they are evidence.

The NT is religious writings - how is that evidence? Tacitus's information is merely what any Christian would have told him about Christianity. And you're claiming the Talmud is evidence for Jesus? Really?

Percy writes:

To me that reads like a bunch of religious mumbo jumbo full of nonsense and meaning nothing. During this exchange I've sometimes been struck by the notion that to you this may not be so much a discussion as an opportunity for you to preach your beliefs.

...and youre not I suppose.

I'm seeking the evidence you claim to have that supports your beliefs. My beliefs are far too sparse for preaching them to be possible, and it wouldn't occur to me to do that anyway. My beliefs don't make any sense to me, why would I think they'd make sense to anyone else?

I didnt intend to get dragged into this but I find that when you post one thing on here it leads into something else. I did not intend to get into this discussion and if you believe it is simply about me preaching then lets end it.

Of course it isn't simply about you preaching. But when you do preach at me it *is* jarring. I am not preaching my spiritual beliefs at you, and indeed that would barely be possible since I believe so little.

It often does seem to be something of a norm here to insult peoples views and motivations.

You said, "Jesus was resurrected into a new physicality that was able to move between Gods heavenly universe and the universe that we perceive, but as resurrection and new life is for all creation we do share our timelessness with Jesus." I don't mean to insult you, but to me this is just a bunch of nonsense. Step outside your Christianity a little bit and try to see your statement as a non-Christian might experience it.

I have to go out, delivering a sewing machine to a Syrian refugee family that our church sponsored and...

I assume you were just raptured in mid sentence.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1100 by GDR, posted 12-03-2018 6:48 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1106 by GDR, posted 12-04-2018 11:39 PM Percy has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4608
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 1106 of 1152 (844757)
12-04-2018 11:39 PM
Reply to: Message 1105 by Percy
12-04-2018 7:31 PM


Percy writes:

Why do you think this? What did Jesus do or say during his ministry to even hint at this? How could Jesus preach a spiritual kingdom while the apostles, despite all evidence to the contrary, thought Jesus preached a material kingdom?

Ive wondered that myself. They do seem slow on the uptake. My only suggestion is this. It was firmly planted in their mind that a messiahs job was, as Ive said before, to defeat their enemies and rebuild the Temple. They couldnt seem to get this out of their head.

Possibly when the Gospels were compiled they wanted to be accurate, so they maintained the failure of the disciples to understand , and emphasized Jesus Kingdom message of peaceful revolution. It is clear though that the disciples didnt get it until later, and even in Acts 1 they seemed to think that now that Jesus was resurrected that He was there to either lead them in battle, or possibly do something miraculous to rid them of the Romans. Thats all Ive got.

Percy writes:

You don't say, so I'll assume you mean the battle to reestablish Israel. Are you actually claiming that the apostles thought that battling the priest's guards was the beginning of the battle with Rome? If you are then that's ludicrous, laughable, ridiculous and nonsense. Where would the apostles get the idea that Jesus planned to do battle with Rome, and why would they attack Jewish guards to begin that battle?
About Peter pulling out a sword, only John, the last and most absurd gospel, says this. By the way, John is also the account that mentions soldiers, captains and officers, which is why I earlier referred to Jesus's arrest as being carried out by guards. Looking at all the accounts, people are free to believe Peter did or didn't pull out a sword in these fictional accounts, but looking at the gospels as a whole, nothing in them hints at armed apostles, at least not until the arrest.


They are good points and I wish I had a really good answer. I have covered it to a degree above. Jesus had been performing miracles, (although Id say more accurately that God through Jesus performed the miracles), and so Peter being the loyal soldier immediately leapt to His defence. I suppose that with Peters confidence in Jesus miraculous capabilities, he might have imagined this as a start of the battle thinking that others would join in but that is a stretch.
Percy writes:

More importantly, the basic story (the various gospel accounts of the arrest are minor variations around a basic story), wherever it came from, is inconsistent with everything that came before. Up to this point in Jesus's ministry there has been no violence by apostles, then at Jesus's arrest the apostles suddenly have swords? That's silly. One apostle is so skillful that he slices off an ear of one of the guards (which Jesus miraculously restores in Luke only, casting further doubt on the story).


This is getting tougher and if I had a clever answer Id give it to you. I will say this though. As Ive said the Gospel accounts are compilations of earlier material. The central theme of the whole NT is the resurrection, and what that means theologically and what it means to our lives. With something as unexpected and miraculous as the resurrection it would not be surprising if legends had formed around the person of Jesus. Possibly this is a case of that.
I also think that when we read the epistles they almost exclusively focus is on understanding and building the Jesus movement based on His life and teaching. They dont seem to attach any importance to the details of Jesus life and experience. It is all pretty exegetical.
Percy writes:

The entire Jesus tale related in the gospels is just a collection of vignettes that someone wove together into a narrative.

Yes, from earlier material including eye witnesses.
Percy writes:

Again, the apostles never believed that Jesus intended to lead a war against the Romans. And you've managed to avoid addressing the question about why Peter would fear being arrested after he was already ignored by those doing the arresting.

I think that they did. There was throughout their Scriptures the idea that God would come and lead them in battle, and there were those who believed that it would be through a messiah. It seems to me that it is quite conceivable that even though Jesus wasnt building up an army that somehow they believed that Yahweh was going to make it happen. Even in Acts 1 they asked the question of when was God going to restore the kingdom to Israel. Earlier they wanted to sit on His right and left with Jesus on the throne.
Percy writes:

The gospels only say the priests wanted to put Jesus to death, not have him crucified.

Yes, but they wanted the Romans to do it which meant crucifixion. Also crucifixion would emphasize the point that Jesus was not the messiah.
Percy writes:

All the gospels except John relate a brief hearing before Pilate (who had to attend a festival later that day).
John has Pilate talking to the Jews, then going in to talk to Jesus, then going out to talk to the Jews, then going in to talk to Jesus, then going back out to talk to the Jews. Which gospel is correct, if any? By what means did this sequence of events, witnessed by no followers of Jesus, become known to John decades later?
And on what was to be a busy day why would Pilate be available early in the morning for a hearing of a man he never heard of? Was Pilate at the beck and call of the Jewish priests? Not likely.

I dont know which Gospel is correct. It is one of the contradictions in the accounts. Im not bothered by the contradictions, and actually I contend that it confirms that there was no collusion. Obviously they used much of the same material although my personal opinion is that the book of Mark wasnt one of the sources. The important part for me is that they all agree that Jesus was resurrected. We dont know how privy Jesus followers were to what was going on, and the there were a variety of post resurrection experiences so I would expect variations in the accounts.
Percy writes:

Yes, Herod did spend some time with Jesus, Luke saying that Herod "questioned him at some length." Was Herod Antipas, too, just available at a moment's notice? Nothing on the schedule that day? Just happened to be in Jerusalem with no meetings with the local priests and rabbis planned?

Well the accounts say that Herod had heard about Jesus and was interested. He also would be very keen to squelch any problems prior to the Passover and not on it.
Percy writes:

Huh? Why would there be a big crowd for Passover on the day before Passover? There was a festival planned for that day, which is why Jesus appeared before a large crowd.

Well, I wasnt there but Im sure that amongst the population that lived in Jerusalem they could draw a crowd, but on Passover the next day there would be a much larger crowd. They would not want Jesus crucifixion to be a distraction and possible source of problems on the Passover itself.
Percy writes:

Yes, they obviously did. There's no hint that they believed that Jesus planned to achieve this by leading an army to expel the Romans.

They clearly thought that Jesus would expel the Romans from Israel but youre right there is no indication of how they thought He would achieve this.
Percy writes:

A brief aside. Why did you earlier state that the apostles thought the arrest at the Last Supper was the beginning of the battle with Rome if they knew "Jesus had no military"?

I probably could have phrased that better. They believed Jesus to be the Messiah, the anointed one of God. They had expectations of what a messiah was supposed to do, and part of that again was expelling the Romans. They see Him being arrested and I suppose that they might consider that in leaping to His defence Jesus would perform a miracle and they would all be out of the situation. If Jesus was the messiah it would be pretty much inconceivable to them that He would be arrested.
Percy writes:

Makes sense. But there's still nothing in the gospels saying that, and in short order the apostles were evangelizing freely around Jerusalem.

Actually the Gospels dont really give us much of a time frame but I would imagine that the meeting with Jesus followers in Acts 2 would have been early on but how quickly things spread after that is not indicated.
Percy writes:

If they weren't concerned then it goes without mention in the gospels, and I guess we should include Acts. There are many things you're claiming that have no Biblical support.

I agree, but I have read a reasonable amount about the world that Jesus ministered in, as well as reading writers who have studied that 1st century world. I think that by putting 2 and 2 together in the Gospels we can come up with some fairly well formed conclusions.
Percy writes:

Then if it's just belief, why are you arguing for any particular viewpoint? Why can't anyone choose the Biblical passages they like (or none at all) and develop their own set of beliefs, just as valid as your own, and using the same approach that you've used. Do you think people should only use your approach if they accept that they must arrive at the same conclusions you did?

People will come to their own conclusions. As I continue to read I find myself disagreeing with positions that I held earlier. To be honest, discussions like this force me to rethink my position on various things.
I may argue for a particular viewpoint, not to try to validate my Christian beliefs but the discussion can be interesting. You may have noticed by the way this discussion has gone that Im easily drawn down various rabbit trails and away from the basic topic. For example our discussion on when Mark was written. I have my view point as it is a point of interest, but neither view validates or refutes my Christian beliefs.
GDR writes:

Yes, I read the Gospels to tell of the resurrection of Jesus even though some details dont line up. (Actually, if everything did line up perfectly I think it would be good reason to be more suspicious.) I do discount the claims that God ordered genocide and public stoning, not that the events didnt occur but the idea that God commanded it. Do I have absolute knowledge of any of this, absolutely not. It is faith, but I also believe that there is good reason for my faith. It is something that I am prepared to base my life on.

Percy writes:

Nothing wrong with faith, but if your beliefs are formed in the way you describe, why do you argue that they're the right ones instead of just encouraging people to use your approach.

Youre right of course, although I see it as defending my beliefs more than trying to convince people to move to my position.
As I have said several times my belief is based on believing in a good and loving God and that God resurrected Jesus. That is my starting point but I just happen to enjoy theology, (all based on self study), and so although it can be frustrating it is helpful for me to defend my views. Maybe someone will benefit from it as well, and that I suppose would be a good thing.
Percy writes:

At least there is hard evidence supporting that view (e.g., this non-technical article: What Is Love? MRI Scan Reveals What Stages Of Romantic Love You're In Via Brain Map).

That however isnt what love is. It is loves affect on the brain.
Percy writes:

I do believe in God, but not the Christian God nor the God of any religion. I don't know anything about this God, but the belief that springs forth within me unorigined and unevidenced is that he gives purpose to the universe, though I have no idea what that purpose might be or whether it involves us at all. He isn't a God who listens to prayers or creates life (abiogenesis is a natural process anyway) or intervenes to create religions or intervenes on Earth at all.

Wouldnt that make you a deist? I would ask you though, how reasonable is it to believe that a god would bring about life as we know it in our world and then just ignore it. What evidence is there that abiogenesis is a natural process, and if it is then I would ask; where did that natural process come from.
Percy writes:

And you can draw a vengeful God out of the NT.

Absolutely, you can understand God to be loving or vengeful or both. Id say that inerrantists would go with both, but I would argue that it has to be one or the other. In the NT however, with few exceptions God is pictured as loving, forgiving, merciful and just.
Percy writes:

I looked up "progressive revelation." It's apparently a common Christian belief.

It is and I think that the Bible is fairly clear in that with the differences we can see in the Torah and then up to the latter profits such as Isaiah, Daniel etc. Then of course you have Jesus who draws it all together as a picture of what Israel was supposed to be.
Percy writes:

Yes, you give priority to Jesus and the NT over the OT because the OT writers were coerced by their leaders and were driven by the need for approval. This isn't based upon any evidence - you've just decided to denigrate without evidence the OT because you prefer Jesus's message in the NT.

Yes, I do prefer it, but I also believe it. The question in a way though is do I prefer it just because of me, or do I prefer it because it resonates with that still small voice of God. Id go with the latter and say that I am only capable of grasping Gods message of love because He loved me first.
Percy writes:

I'm not looking for conclusive arguments. I'm just looking for any evidence at all for what you believe. So far we've heard zero evidence for the existence of God, Jesus and the truth of the confabulous parts of the Bible, and you've agreed that it's fine to reject parts of the Bible. I don't see how that's a basis for knowing anything. It's just a basis for arriving at what you already feel comfortable with.

GDR writes:

ve given many times what I consider to be evidence.

Percy writes:

And they've been challenged every time.

But I have given evidence. However, there is nothing to be given that cant be challenged. Just one example is that it is evident that the Gospels were written by people who wrote them to be historical. That is evidence. It isnt conclusive but you just say it isnt evidence and we go around again. There are other examples like that but there is no irrefutable argument to be had.
Percy writes:

Josephus provides no evidence of Jesus.

He talks about Jesus twice although I accept that there is a reasonable possibility that one of the instances was revised later.
Percy writes:

You can't compare yourself to me because you take far more specific positions than I do. Also, I concede I have no evidence for my spiritual beliefs while you think your religious beliefs are supported by evidence.

Presumably your beliefs are supported by experience, knowledge of the world, learning from others etc. I have all of those but I do have the Bible which is evidence that you reject.
Percy writes:

You can claim that you're not looking for absolute answers, but the determination with which you defend your beliefs belies that.

I dont see where I defend my beliefs more than anyone else including yourself. I have also said several times that I have no doubt that some of my beliefs are erroneous. Trouble is, I dont know which ones.
percy writes:

Repeating what I've said before, you alternate. You say you just have belief until someone challenges it, then you steadfastly defend the Bible passages you've chosen and the specifics of what you believe, then you switch back again to say it's just belief.
Put a different way, do you think that other people using your approach could legitimately arrive at different beliefs than you, or do you think you've got the right beliefs and that other beliefs are wrong? You seem to think both at the same time.

Absolutely I believe that others could come to legitimate beliefs that are different than mine. Of course Ill go on thinking that Im right until convinced otherwise. But I also know that even then they could be right and I could be wrong.
Percy writes:

I'm seeking the evidence you claim to have that supports your beliefs. My beliefs are far too sparse for preaching them to be possible, and it wouldn't occur to me to do that anyway. My beliefs don't make any sense to me, why would I think they'd make sense to anyone else?

Well at least my beliefs make sense to me even if to no one else.  I have tried to give you evidence from a scriptural and historical background but you reject it, which is fine because it is faith.
Percy writes:

Of course it isn't simply about you preaching. But when you do preach at me it *is* jarring. I am not preaching my spiritual beliefs at you, and indeed that would barely be possible since I believe so little.

I apologize if Im preaching to you. I dont mean to be. I am just trying to express my views which are very important to me.
Percy writes:

You said, "Jesus was resurrected into a new physicality that was able to move between Gods heavenly universe and the universe that we perceive, but as resurrection and new life is for all creation we do share our timelessness with Jesus." I don't mean to insult you, but to me this is just a bunch of nonsense. Step outside your Christianity a little bit and try to see your statement as a non-Christian might experience it.

I know I get that. Maybe I can of off topic a little on this.
I have a book I read a few years back by Brian Greene called The Hidden Reality. He was out here giving a lecture so I actually have an autographed copy. I had earlier read his book The Fabric of the Cosmos. (I just bought another copy to give to a very bright 13 year old in our church who is really interested in science.) In the inside flap of the cover of The Hidden Reality it says this:
quote:
There was a time when universe meant all there is. Yet in recent years discoveries in physics and cosmology have led a number of scientists to conclude that our universe may be one among many.
Here are some of the chapter headings. Hovering Universes in Nearby Dimensions and Science and the Multiverse and Eternity and Infinity and The Many Worlds of Quantum Measurement and Black Holes and Holograms.
I get Scientific American and a few years back the headline was Hidden Worlds of Dark Matter a Hidden Universe May be interwoven Silently With our Own. In the article the writers theorize about other dimensions or universes and they even speculate that they could be populated although in fairness they do discount the idea.

Try explaining the uncertainty principle to non scientifically minded people. It would be like trying to explain the resurrection to non-Christians.
Step outside your knowledge of science a little bit and try to see your statement as a non-science minded person might experience it.

It seems to be ok for science to talk about a co-existing universe but not for Christianity. I realize that we that we come at it from different perspectives. If Gods heavenly universe is parallel to ours then the idea of Jesus moving between these universes isnt quite so fantastic.

Ultimately the Christian message seems to be that we are an emergent property of a greater reality and that ultimately our two universes become one, in an act of re-creation. I agree that its pretty esoteric but so is a lot of science. Maybe some day science will discover heaven. Maybe we just need an even bigger collider.

AbE

Percy writes:

I assume you were just raptured in mid sentence.

I can't have been. Faith isn't here.

Edited by GDR, : No reason given.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1105 by Percy, posted 12-04-2018 7:31 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1110 by Percy, posted 12-05-2018 1:02 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4608
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 1107 of 1152 (844758)
12-04-2018 11:50 PM
Reply to: Message 1098 by Tangle
12-03-2018 5:04 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
GDR writes:

The problem is, as I have said numerous times, the Bible isn't a book. It is a library of books written by different authors, in different times and in a changing culture in changing circumstances.

Tangle writes:

Yes, we all know that. It's been repeated by pretty much everyone here for years. It doesn't help you.

The point is that we can understand different parts of the Bible differently.

Tangle writes:

Is it? I'd certainly agree if it was fiction, but the Word of God?

In my view Jesus is the Word of God. The Bible is the word of God in that God speaks through it to us. We don't all hear it the same though. Again, it isn't absolute knowledge.

tangle writes:

Sure, so you throw away the OT as just something some scribes wrote while the something some other scribes wrote is the Truth.

As I've said in other posts I don't throw away the OT. It is crucial to understand what Jesus has to say as He was steeped in it and makes constant references to it that would be understood by His Jewish audience. However, as I have said, to understand the OT you need the NT and particularly the Gospels.

He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1098 by Tangle, posted 12-03-2018 5:04 PM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1108 by Tangle, posted 12-05-2018 3:45 AM GDR has responded

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6344
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 1108 of 1152 (844760)
12-05-2018 3:45 AM
Reply to: Message 1107 by GDR
12-04-2018 11:50 PM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
GDR writes:

The point is that we can understand different parts of the Bible differently.

So I'll just repeat what I said, I'd certainly agree if it was fiction, but the Word of God?

The Bible can be understood differently by different people is self-evidently true given the absurdity of beliefs that now exist amongst even Christians. But the question is why? Why would god - who can do anything - obscure his message so badly that anybody can make pretty much anything they like out of it?

Why make it all so damn unconvincing? Why make it look as if it's all a fabrication? Why make it look entirely man made? 'As though it was written by scribes?' Why not give us something that would prove its provenance down the ages? Why do something so bloody useless?

As I've said in other posts I don't throw away the OT. It is crucial to understand what Jesus has to say as He was steeped in it and makes constant references to it that would be understood by His Jewish audience. However, as I have said, to understand the OT you need the NT and particularly the Gospels.

You're dissembling, you've already told us that the OT was merely written by scribes centuries before so that you can mentally put it aside and choose the bits you like - gentle Jesus, meak and mild.


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1107 by GDR, posted 12-04-2018 11:50 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1109 by GDR, posted 12-05-2018 11:08 AM Tangle has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4608
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 1109 of 1152 (844786)
12-05-2018 11:08 AM
Reply to: Message 1108 by Tangle
12-05-2018 3:45 AM


Re: Giving It All Up and Urging Everyone To Do Likewise
Tangle writes:

So I'll just repeat what I said, I'd certainly agree if it was fiction, but the Word of God?
The Bible can be understood differently by different people is self-evidently true given the absurdity of beliefs that now exist amongst even Christians. But the question is why? Why would god - who can do anything - obscure his message so badly that anybody can make pretty much anything they like out of it?
Why make it all so damn unconvincing? Why make it look as if it's all a fabrication? Why make it look entirely man made? 'As though it was written by scribes?' Why not give us something that would prove its provenance down the ages? Why do something so bloody useless?


The Bible was man made. However that does not negate the God speaking into the hearts of those ancient Jews and that they in turn wrote in their words what they understood Yahweh to be and what He desired of them.
CS Lewis wrote this in his book Miracles.
quote:
Just as, on the factual side, a long preparation culminates in Gods becoming incarnate as Man, so, on the documentary side, the truth first appears in mythical form and then by a long process of condensing or focusing finally becomes incarnate as History. This involves the belief that Myth is ... a real though unfocused gleam of divine truth falling on human imagination. The Hebrews, like other peoples, had mythology: but as they were the chosen people so their mythology was the chosen mythology the mythology chosen by God to be the vehicle of the earliest sacred truths, the first step in that process which ends in the New Testament where truth has become completely historical.

The Bible was written not only by scribes. The accounts of battle were, but there is more than that. As I said to Percy it is a progressive revelation of our understanding of deity. Mankinds understanding of God throughout the Bible continued to evolve until as John puts it, the Word became flesh. John does not write that the Word became a book, or that the Word was a collection of books.

You want absolute knowledge. Absolute clarity would essentially remove our free will to choose what it is we base our lives on. We can base our lives on the loving god that we see in Jesus. It can be the vengeful god that we see in places in the OT. It can be personal power and prestige. It can be money. We freely choose what to put our faith in. If there was absolute clarity that freedom would be lost.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1108 by Tangle, posted 12-05-2018 3:45 AM Tangle has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1113 by Tangle, posted 12-06-2018 3:40 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17965
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.1


Message 1110 of 1152 (844796)
12-05-2018 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 1106 by GDR
12-04-2018 11:39 PM


GDR writes:

Percy writes:

Why do you think this? What did Jesus do or say during his ministry to even hint at this? How could Jesus preach a spiritual kingdom while the apostles, despite all evidence to the contrary, thought Jesus preached a material kingdom?

Ive wondered that myself. They do seem slow on the uptake. My only suggestion is this. It was firmly planted in their mind that a messiahs job was, as Ive said before, to defeat their enemies and rebuild the Temple. They couldnt seem to get this out of their head.

Possibly when the Gospels were compiled they wanted to be accurate, so they maintained the failure of the disciples to understand , and emphasized Jesus Kingdom message of peaceful revolution. It is clear though that the disciples didnt get it until later, and even in Acts 1 they seemed to think that now that Jesus was resurrected that He was there to either lead them in battle, or possibly do something miraculous to rid them of the Romans. Thats all Ive got.

I think we understand each other's position now.

Percy writes:

You don't say, so I'll assume you mean the battle to reestablish Israel. Are you actually claiming that the apostles thought that battling the priest's guards was the beginning of the battle with Rome? If you are then that's ludicrous, laughable, ridiculous and nonsense. Where would the apostles get the idea that Jesus planned to do battle with Rome, and why would they attack Jewish guards to begin that battle?

About Peter pulling out a sword, only John, the last and most absurd gospel, says this. By the way, John is also the account that mentions soldiers, captains and officers, which is why I earlier referred to Jesus's arrest as being carried out by guards. Looking at all the accounts, people are free to believe Peter did or didn't pull out a sword in these fictional accounts, but looking at the gospels as a whole, nothing in them hints at armed apostles, at least not until the arrest.

They are good points and I wish I had a really good answer. I have covered it to a degree above. Jesus had been performing miracles, (although Id say more accurately that God through Jesus performed the miracles), and so Peter being the loyal soldier immediately leapt to His defence. I suppose that with Peters confidence in Jesus miraculous capabilities, he might have imagined this as a start of the battle thinking that others would join in but that is a stretch.

I can't argue with this because it includes what seems like an appropriate degree of tentativity.

Percy writes:

More importantly, the basic story (the various gospel accounts of the arrest are minor variations around a basic story), wherever it came from, is inconsistent with everything that came before. Up to this point in Jesus's ministry there has been no violence by apostles, then at Jesus's arrest the apostles suddenly have swords? That's silly. One apostle is so skillful that he slices off an ear of one of the guards (which Jesus miraculously restores in Luke only, casting further doubt on the story).

This is getting tougher and if I had a clever answer Id give it to you. I will say this though. As Ive said the Gospel accounts are compilations of earlier material. The central theme of the whole NT is the resurrection, and what that means theologically and what it means to our lives. With something as unexpected and miraculous as the resurrection it would not be surprising if legends had formed around the person of Jesus. Possibly this is a case of that.

I also think that when we read the epistles they almost exclusively focus is on understanding and building the Jesus movement based on His life and teaching. They dont seem to attach any importance to the details of Jesus life and experience. It is all pretty exegetical.

The interesting thing about mythmaking is that the details increase over time. You should include in your exegesis that the earliest Christian writings, the genuine epistles, have much less detail about Jesus's life than the later ones, the gospels.

Percy writes:

The entire Jesus tale related in the gospels is just a collection of vignettes that someone wove together into a narrative.

Yes, from earlier material including eye witnesses.

If we assume the gospels are true and that eyewitnesses were the source of the information, how did they witness all these events (there must have been many eyewitnesses), and how was that information transmitted faithfully to the gospel writers? What about other source of information? For example, was it really proper to classify the Gospel of Peter as apocrypha, or does it tell us something important about a battle of ideas in the early church, with the idea winning out that it was the Romans carrying out the crucifixion rather the Jews under Herod Antipas's orders. John's mention of Herod Antipas where the other gospels do not is probably a nod toward the Gospel of Peter which must have had its advocates.

Percy writes:

Again, the apostles never believed that Jesus intended to lead a war against the Romans. And you've managed to avoid addressing the question about why Peter would fear being arrested after he was already ignored by those doing the arresting.

I think that they did. There was throughout their Scriptures the idea that God would come and lead them in battle, and there were those who believed that it would be through a messiah.

If they believed in a messiah that would lead them in battle then they would have followed some other messiah, not Jesus. The power of Jesus's message was that he was leading them down a different more spiritual path, one with a greater chance of success than the combat-focused failures of the past.

It seems to me that it is quite conceivable that even though Jesus wasnt building up an army that somehow they believed that Yahweh was going to make it happen. Even in Acts 1 they asked the question of when was God going to restore the kingdom to Israel. Earlier they wanted to sit on His right and left with Jesus on the throne.

Yes, "restore the kingdom to Israel," not "expel the Romans by force."

Percy writes:

The gospels only say the priests wanted to put Jesus to death, not have him crucified.

Yes, but they wanted the Romans to do it which meant crucifixion.

Crucifixion was just one method employed by the Romans to carry out executions. Other methods were beheading, strangling, being cast from a great height, being buried alive, drowning and death by beast. Why would the priests assume that Pilate would choose crucifixion for a Jew preaching Jewish blasphemy who had committed no offense against the Romans? The gospels have the crowd choosing Jesus's method of punishment as they shouted "Crucify him." Would Pilate, the Roman prefect for Judea, really let the crowd dictate this?

Also crucifixion would emphasize the point that Jesus was not the messiah.

That's all part of the drama of another aspect of this very common plotline, that God could overcome even the most demeaning method of execution.

Percy writes:

All the gospels except John relate a brief hearing before Pilate (who had to attend a festival later that day). John has Pilate talking to the Jews, then going in to talk to Jesus, then going out to talk to the Jews, then going in to talk to Jesus, then going back out to talk to the Jews. Which gospel is correct, if any? By what means did this sequence of events, witnessed by no followers of Jesus, become known to John decades later?

And on what was to be a busy day why would Pilate be available early in the morning for a hearing of a man he never heard of? Was Pilate at the beck and call of the Jewish priests? Not likely.

I dont know which Gospel is correct. It is one of the contradictions in the accounts. Im not bothered by the contradictions, and actually I contend that it confirms that there was no collusion.

It also confirms that the gospel writers all felt free to include, omit or make up material as they saw fit.

Obviously they used much of the same material although my personal opinion is that the book of Mark wasnt one of the sources.

Regardless of the specifics of who you think copied from who, the large number of identical passages means there was a common source. If you grab a gospel synopsis and do a little logical connecting the dots you'll see that Mark had to have been a source for both Matthew and Luke, as well as some other document designated Q. Some Biblical scholars get their knickers all tied in a knot arguing about the remaining problems, but cross pollination also occurred between the gospels after they'd been written. What has come down to us as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not their original forms. They existed as independent documents for only a short while (maybe 30-50 years) before the various communities shared their versions with each other, and then there was considerable leakage between them before the final forms we have today emerged.

The simplistic view that "this gospel was written first, and then these other gospels were written next drawing upon the first, and so forth" is popular because it gives the illusion that the evolution of the final versions can be traced backward in time in detail, that we can know the origin of each phrase, even each word, but that's just not true. Unless we discover a lot more very ancient variants of the gospels, we'll just never know.

The important part for me is that they all agree that Jesus was resurrected. We dont know how privy Jesus followers were to what was going on, and there were a variety of post resurrection experiences so I would expect variations in the accounts.

But for you the origin of the accounts is eyewitnesses. If the gospel authors were willing to alter eyewitness accounts then how can they be trusted at all? And if they'd alter eyewitness accounts then what greater freedoms might they have taken on 2nd and 3rd hand accounts?

Percy writes:

Yes, Herod did spend some time with Jesus, Luke saying that Herod "questioned him at some length." Was Herod Antipas, too, just available at a moment's notice? Nothing on the schedule that day? Just happened to be in Jerusalem with no meetings with the local priests and rabbis planned?

Well the accounts say that Herod had heard about Jesus and was interested. He also would be very keen to squelch any problems prior to the Passover and not on it.

Like what problems? The vast majority of Jews were not Jesus fans, since later that day the crowd shouted, "Crucify him." The gospels are telling the Jesus story from the point of view of believers and with the aim of promoting their new religion. They're going to tell the story in a way that makes it seem like Jesus was having a significant impact and was a significant problem for the local priests, but he really was only a minor, minor figure, so minor he completely escaped any contemporary historical mention and may not have existed at all.

Percy writes:

Huh? Why would there be a big crowd for Passover on the day before Passover? There was a festival planned for that day, which is why Jesus appeared before a large crowd.

Well, I wasnt there but Im sure that amongst the population that lived in Jerusalem they could draw a crowd, but on Passover the next day there would be a much larger crowd. They would not want Jesus crucifixion to be a distraction and possible source of problems on the Passover itself.

Interesting. Josephus says Passover drew large crowds into Jerusalem. It must have been observed differently than it is today.

Percy writes:

A brief aside. Why did you earlier state that the apostles thought the arrest at the Last Supper was the beginning of the battle with Rome if they knew "Jesus had no military"?

I probably could have phrased that better. They believed Jesus to be the Messiah, the anointed one of God. They had expectations of what a messiah was supposed to do, and part of that again was expelling the Romans. They see Him being arrested and I suppose that they might consider that in leaping to His defence Jesus would perform a miracle and they would all be out of the situation. If Jesus was the messiah it would be pretty much inconceivable to them that He would be arrested.

The gospels portray Jesus unambiguously teaching peace and sharing and community and just general good will toward men.

Percy writes:

Makes sense. But there's still nothing in the gospels saying that, and in short order the apostles were evangelizing freely around Jerusalem.

Actually the Gospels dont really give us much of a time frame but I would imagine that the meeting with Jesus followers in Acts 2 would have been early on but how quickly things spread after that is not indicated.

Granted that Acts 2 isn't clear about how much time has passed.

Percy writes:

If they weren't concerned then it goes without mention in the gospels, and I guess we should include Acts. There are many things you're claiming that have no Biblical support.

I agree, but I have read a reasonable amount about the world that Jesus ministered in, as well as reading writers who have studied that 1st century world. I think that by putting 2 and 2 together in the Gospels we can come up with some fairly well formed conclusions.

It is also possible that confirmation bias is leading you to put greater weight on the passages and the writers that best confirm what you already believe or most feel comfortable with. Trump's followers are taking him at his word and also putting 2 and 2 together, the same process you claim you're following, but what they're doing is just GIGO. In other words, the conclusions you reach are only as good as the evidence you've allowed to pass through your filters.

Percy writes:

Then if it's just belief, why are you arguing for any particular viewpoint? Why can't anyone choose the Biblical passages they like (or none at all) and develop their own set of beliefs, just as valid as your own, and using the same approach that you've used. Do you think people should only use your approach if they accept that they must arrive at the same conclusions you did?

People will come to their own conclusions. As I continue to read I find myself disagreeing with positions that I held earlier. To be honest, discussions like this force me to rethink my position on various things.

I'm the exact opposite. Discussions like this convince me that forming firm conclusions in the absence of hard evidence is a mistake.

I may argue for a particular viewpoint, not to try to validate my Christian beliefs but the discussion can be interesting. You may have noticed by the way this discussion has gone that Im easily drawn down various rabbit trails...

I think we all are. I can't even remember my original goal from when we began this dialogue.

...and away from the basic topic. For example our discussion on when Mark was written. I have my viewpoint as it is a point of interest, but neither view validates or refutes my Christian beliefs.

This sounds like a belief that comes from within, which, at least to me in the case of unsupported beliefs, is the most legitimate kind of belief. Belief needs no justification, no post-facto evidence search.

GDR writes:

Yes, I read the Gospels to tell of the resurrection of Jesus even though some details dont line up. (Actually, if everything did line up perfectly I think it would be good reason to be more suspicious.) I do discount the claims that God ordered genocide and public stoning, not that the events didnt occur but the idea that God commanded it. Do I have absolute knowledge of any of this, absolutely not. It is faith, but I also believe that there is good reason for my faith. It is something that I am prepared to base my life on.

Percy writes:

Nothing wrong with faith, but if your beliefs are formed in the way you describe, why do you argue that they're the right ones instead of just encouraging people to use your approach?

Youre right of course, although I see it as defending my beliefs more than trying to convince people to move to my position.

Your beliefs don't need defending if they just are. They only need defending when you claim they're anchored in evidence, because people will examine the evidence you cite and try to follow your reasoning from that evidence, which inevitably leads to questions, especially when whether what you cite is really evidence is one of the questions.

As I have said several times my belief is based on believing in a good and loving God and that God resurrected Jesus. That is my starting point...

But it can be your ending point, too. What you just stated seems more than sufficient.

Percy writes:

At least there is hard evidence supporting that view (e.g., this non-technical article: What Is Love? MRI Scan Reveals What Stages Of Romantic Love You're In Via Brain Map).

That however isnt what love is. It is loves effect on the brain.

The article describes research showing that love is a result of brain activity.

Percy writes:

I do believe in God, but not the Christian God nor the God of any religion. I don't know anything about this God, but the belief that springs forth within me unorigined and unevidenced is that he gives purpose to the universe, though I have no idea what that purpose might be or whether it involves us at all. He isn't a God who listens to prayers or creates life (abiogenesis is a natural process anyway) or intervenes to create religions or intervenes on Earth at all.

Wouldnt that make you a deist?

Yes, I'm a deist. Despite that my beliefs originated from within me and not from any outside theological input, they are not original.

I would ask you though, how reasonable is it to believe that a god would bring about life as we know it in our world and then just ignore it.

But I don't believe God created life, so I'm not ignoring it. I believe abiogenesis is a natural process, which you address next:

What evidence is there that abiogenesis is a natural process,...

That abiogenesis is a natural process is just how science approaches the study of our universe. Science considers everything a natural process.

...and if it is then I would ask; where did that natural process come from.

That's a philosophical question, similar to, "Why something instead of nothing?"

Percy writes:

And you can draw a vengeful God out of the NT.

Absolutely, you can understand God to be loving or vengeful or both. Id say that inerrantists would go with both, but I would argue that it has to be one or the other. In the NT however, with few exceptions God is pictured as loving, forgiving, merciful and just.

I'd quibble about the "few exceptions" part, but I agree that the OT God is far less lovable than the NT God.

Percy writes:

Josephus provides no evidence of Jesus.

He talks about Jesus twice although I accept that there is a reasonable possibility that one of the instances was revised later.

If you dig out what Josephus says about Jesus you'll see that one is a brief reference to Christians who follow Christ, and the other is an obvious later insertion by Christian scribes.

Percy writes:

You can't compare yourself to me because you take far more specific positions than I do. Also, I concede I have no evidence for my spiritual beliefs while you think your religious beliefs are supported by evidence.

Presumably your beliefs are supported by experience, knowledge of the world, learning from others etc.

Not as far as I can tell. My beliefs just are.

I have all of those but I do have the Bible which is evidence that you reject.

It wouldn't be accurate to say I reject the evidence of the Bible. It's more that I know what true evidence looks like, and I know that it is common in man's search for purpose in life to build religions that often include confabulous stories, and I know that all the world's religions can't be right and am certain that their widely variant tenets mean that they were not arrived at by evidence, and I know that the innate need to defend one's beliefs means that a post-facto search for evidence will invent it.

I'm in a much stronger position than you. If anyone were to say to me, "Your beliefs can't possibly be true because they are completely unsupported by evidence and you don't even have any scriptures," then I would freely concede all this and go on believing anyway because for me true belief comes from within, not from a book.

Percy writes:

You can claim that you're not looking for absolute answers, but the determination with which you defend your beliefs belies that.

I dont see where I defend my beliefs more than anyone else including yourself.

I'm defending my views of your religious beliefs. I'm not defending my own spiritual beliefs because they're not defensible.

I have also said several times that I have no doubt that some of my beliefs are erroneous. Trouble is, I dont know which ones.

Do your spiritual beliefs really require evidence? Wouldn't it be much more freeing to just believe?

Percy writes:

You said, "Jesus was resurrected into a new physicality that was able to move between Gods heavenly universe and the universe that we perceive, but as resurrection and new life is for all creation we do share our timelessness with Jesus." I don't mean to insult you, but to me this is just a bunch of nonsense. Step outside your Christianity a little bit and try to see your statement as a non-Christian might experience it.

I know I get that. Maybe I can of off topic a little on this.

I have a book I read a few years back by Brian Greene called The Hidden Reality. He was out here giving a lecture so I actually have an autographed copy.

You are very fortunate.

It seems to be ok for science to talk about a co-existing universe but not for Christianity. I realize that we that we come at it from different perspectives. If Gods heavenly universe is parallel to ours then the idea of Jesus moving between these universes isnt quite so fantastic.

If that's something you want to believe then I'm fine with it. If it's something you claim is in the Bible then I'd have to see the evidence and argument for it.

Ultimately the Christian message seems to be that we are an emergent property of a greater reality and that ultimately our two universes become one, in an act of re-creation. I agree that its pretty esoteric but so is a lot of science. Maybe some day science will discover heaven. Maybe we just need an even bigger collider.

This seems pretty far out there as Christianity or Anglicanism. I still don't think your beliefs that religion is man-made and all the rest are Anglican.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar, tiny edits.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1106 by GDR, posted 12-04-2018 11:39 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1115 by GDR, posted 12-06-2018 2:00 PM Percy has responded

    
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