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Author Topic:   Can the Christian God exist without the Bible?
Phat
Member
Posts: 9589
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 16 of 106 (245446)
09-21-2005 9:20 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by jar
09-21-2005 9:11 AM


Re: No Bible? Know God. Know whatImean?
Jar writes:

People have not stopped writing about GOD. All the things you mention exist today.

Of course we discuss stuff. If the early canons were artificially constructed, are you suggesting that God is incapable of bringing any form of agreement that can be quantified? Or...more likely, humans just plain won't agree?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by jar, posted 09-21-2005 9:11 AM jar has responded

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 Message 18 by jar, posted 09-21-2005 9:29 AM Phat has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9589
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 17 of 106 (245448)
09-21-2005 9:23 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by jar
09-21-2005 8:49 AM


Re: The Bible is a story about folk ...
Jar writes:

It (the canons) is but a subset of Scripture.

So how do we know what scripture is? And..without a Bible around, where is this scripture? Written on the heart of simple folk with a kind word, a helping hand, and no hidden agenda?

This message has been edited by Phatboy, 09-21-2005 07:23 AM


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jar
Member
Posts: 29183
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 18 of 106 (245450)
09-21-2005 9:29 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Phat
09-21-2005 9:20 AM


Judging GOD?
If the early canons were artificially constructed, are you suggesting that God is incapable of bringing any form of agreement that can be quantified?

I'm not suggesting anything, just presenting the evidence. The facts are that there are several different Canons. While there is commonality among them there is also disagreement that at times makes a major difference. For example, the Samaritans, one of the oldest extant Churches, settled on Scripture being what was accepted as scripture during the life of Jesus, the Pentateuch. They place all of the New Testament as extra-Canon.

What is considered Scripture will depend on which sub-set of Christianity you happen to belong to.

Again, that has little to do with the existence or non-existence of GOD.

This message has been edited by jar, 09-21-2005 08:30 AM


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Phat, posted 09-21-2005 9:20 AM Phat has responded

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Phat
Member
Posts: 9589
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 19 of 106 (245487)
09-21-2005 1:23 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by jar
09-21-2005 9:29 AM


Re: Judging GOD?
I would say that the fact that humans cannot agree is because of our darwinian evolved survival properties...we are born competitors!

Some speculate that Original Sin is itself an evolved concept since its initial inception.(mutation?)

I guess that I'm wondering why God allowed us all to feud over the years...some blame Him for not stepping in, but I still think He has given us a way out...if we could handle the humility.


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 Message 20 by Ben!, posted 09-21-2005 1:48 PM Phat has responded

  
Ben!
Member (Idle past 1121 days)
Posts: 1154
From: San Diego, CA
Joined: 10-14-2004


Message 20 of 106 (245493)
09-21-2005 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by Phat
09-21-2005 1:23 PM


Re: Judging GOD?
if we could handle the humility.

This "humility" is really confusing to me. Can you explain it a bit more?

On another thread schraf is accusing Faith of NOT being humble or having humility, because Faith sees humans as inherently special and different from other creatures. Schraf is saying that humans are basically no different; maybe the features are the same, but the overarching mechanisms of how things work and behaviors are the same.

How is your meaning of "humility" the same or different from that meaning?

I couldn't catch the meaning from what you wrote.

Ben


This message is a reply to:
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1426 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 21 of 106 (245505)
09-21-2005 2:57 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Ben!
09-20-2005 6:48 PM


Re: From a human's perspective
quote:
Originally posted by Ben:
When approaching PB's question as a simple question of "absolute" existence, I think jar and brennakimi are right on. Since I believe humans have no access to this type of knowledge of the absolute, however, I think the question, and the answer, are meaningless. Further, looking at PB's OP, he says
The absolute Creator Who is knowable

So I want to ask the question again, but from the angle of what is knowable; i.e. from the angle of the human perspective.

Revised question: Can the Christian God be known, in all meanings of the word (i.e. experience in 'meeting' God, in knowing all about God, in knowing what God expects of you, etc), without the Bible?


well. read through genesis a bit. much of it suggewsts a very physically real god who walks and talks with humans in a very physical and real way. this is a very different interpretation than the rest of the book (and christian thought) which calls god a spirit and treats him as an all-knowing but distant character. if this god is really just kind of a regular but somehow special dude walking around like genesis suggests then sure we can experience him. but the question would then be how do you know when you've had coffee with the god of the universe.


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Faith
Member
Posts: 25878
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 22 of 106 (245511)
09-21-2005 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Ben!
09-20-2005 6:48 PM


Re: From a human's perspective
Revised question: Can the Christian God be known, in all meanings of the word (i.e. experience in 'meeting' God, in knowing all about God, in knowing what God expects of you, etc), without the Bible?

This is a better question than the question whether He can EXIST without the Bible, and may be what PB meant. He is God, so of course He didn't have to give us the Bible -- He could have gone on existing without offering us any specific knowledge of Himself.

And of course the idea of a specifically "Christian" God is misleading too. God is God. The Bible is simply His revelation of Himself to humanity.

As to whether He is knowable without the Bible: Only in the most rudimentary sense because of our fallenness which has cut us off from communication with Him (and also because there is a demonic realm which has power on earth thanks to the Fall, which seeks to counterfeit the things of God and lead people away from true knowledge of Him). God's dealings with His chosen people, and their written account of those dealings and His true nature, were given specifically BECAUSE of this inability to know Him rightly. So no, He can't be known in all meanings of the word without the Bible.

This message has been edited by Faith, 09-21-2005 03:38 PM


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Phat
Member
Posts: 9589
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 23 of 106 (245512)
09-21-2005 3:37 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Ben!
09-21-2005 1:48 PM


Do not think higher of yourselves than ye ought
Ben writes:

This "humility" is really confusing to me. Can you explain it a bit more?

If American "Christians" were truly humble,they would not care if they gave everything away to help the world. The world would see us in a new way, and huge military budgets would be unneeded. Jesus said that His kingdom was 1)not of this world and 2) within us. The average one of us wants to gain material blessings and wealth under the assumption that it is Gods provision and blessing.
humility \hyu-mi-le-te, yu-\ n : the quality or state of being humble

NIV writes:

Matt 11:29-30-- Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Jesus, even though He was a man like us, had access to God in a way that meant He could have become a Messianic King and rule the world. Demons had to flee from such power!
People would have had the wisest king ever. Solomon sinned often. David sinned often. Dubya?...well, lets not go there! The point is that even Jesus taught humility as a key to Gods blessing.

NIV writes:

John 18:36--Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place."


Ben,referring to Schraff about Faith writes:

Faith sees humans as inherently special and different from other creatures.

Many Christians believe that since the Bible says that we were fearfully and wonderfully made, foreknown from the foundations of the world by God Himself, that we are special. However...
NIV writes:

Heb 2:8-9-- But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

My point is that many, if not most of us modern day Christians are quite afraid to take our servant hood to that level. Just as Peter denied His Lord three times, so too do we struggle with even the simple acts of obedience such as giving up T.V. to go see a sick friend (one we do not naturally like)

Edited by Phat, : fixed spelling


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Ben!, posted 09-21-2005 1:48 PM Ben! has responded

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Faith
Member
Posts: 25878
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 24 of 106 (245530)
09-21-2005 4:18 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by Phat
09-21-2005 3:37 PM


Re: Do not think higher of yourselves than ye ought
I agree with you about Christians having a problem living the Christian life even on the level of having the DESIRE to get near to the model of Jesus Christ, let alone the practice of it. We are often little different from the world around us. This is especially a problem in America, really the West in general, where there are so many temptations from worldly entertainments and comforts. Horrible as it is that Christians are persecuted around the world, as a matter of fact that persecution often makes for stronger spiritual lives, real spiritual power that we lazy westerners lack and we might well envy them their persecution in some sense.

I've recently improved my spiritual life a great deal, starting with more time in prayer. Have you read any or much of A.W. Tozer or Watchman Nee? I've been rereading their books lately as I think they have the insight the church needs. Have you heard Ray Comfort preach? One thing he said I heard on the radio a few weeks ago was that he prays for more spiritual power from God. And this is a guy who often leads people to Christ, who gets up in the early morning every day to pray for long periods and has a LOT more spiritual power than most of the rest of us. To get that we have to do more than give up our addictions, we have to be willing to die to ourselves in every area of our Adamic (fallen) life.

I don't think the desire for wealth is about humility though. That's a different sin, and yes we are susceptible to that one too. I also don't think recognizing that we are "fearfully and wonderfully made" shows a lack of humility at all, far from it. Humility is about breaking ourselves of our personal pride. God's works are great and acknowledging them is far from personal pride, but in fact a form of humility. We didn't make our bodies, He did.

Edited to improve clarity of last paragraph, I hope.

This message has been edited by Faith, 09-21-2005 04:35 PM


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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1426 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 25 of 106 (245543)
09-21-2005 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by Faith
09-21-2005 3:37 PM


Re: From a human's perspective
quote:
Originally posted by Faith:

And of course the idea of a specifically "Christian" God is misleading too. God is God. The Bible is simply His revelation of Himself to humanity.

in your mind. in my mind, the bible is a collection of the writings of people who sat and thought about god. perhaps god spoke to them, but the specification exists to define your god as compared to the jewish god (which is NOT the same thing) or any of the other gods. this is a discussion and you must define your terms. if you simply say 'god' people will read it differently.


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 Message 22 by Faith, posted 09-21-2005 3:37 PM Faith has responded

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Faith
Member
Posts: 25878
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 26 of 106 (245547)
09-21-2005 5:10 PM
Reply to: Message 25 by macaroniandcheese
09-21-2005 5:03 PM


Re: From a human's perspective
And of course the idea of a specifically "Christian" God is misleading too. God is God. The Bible is simply His revelation of Himself to humanity.

in your mind. in my mind, the bible is a collection of the writings of people who sat and thought about god.

But you have to make that up to believe that. There is nothing in the Bible itself that suggests that's how it was written. It presents itself as the record of GOD's actions upon mankind. God initiated everything in the Bible, according to the Bible, so you have to disagree with the Bible to say people originated it.

... perhaps god spoke to them, but the specification exists to define your god as compared to the jewish god (which is NOT the same thing) or any of the other gods. this is a discussion and you must define your terms. if you simply say 'god' people will read it differently.

You will have to explain how there could be any confusion from using the term "God" as I don't see any. It is the English term for the one and only Creator of all things. Anybody who believes in such a Being, Christian or not -- or even anybody who has heard of the idea though doesn't believe in such a Being -- should have no problem understanding it. But if you do, please explain your confusion.


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 Message 25 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-21-2005 5:03 PM macaroniandcheese has responded

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Philip
Member (Idle past 2221 days)
Posts: 656
From: Albertville, AL, USA
Joined: 03-10-2002


Message 27 of 106 (245563)
09-21-2005 6:25 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
09-20-2005 3:27 PM


Gospel as "according to the Scriptures"
1Cor15.3... (KJV) states that Christ died *according to scriptures*, was buried and rose again the 3rd day *according to scriptures*.

Thus it seems to me that the "Son" component (at least) of your *Godhead* is (according to the bible) inseparable to the scriptures.

Notwithstanding, it seems to me a lot of cultures have had a *Christian Gospel/God* without the Bible directly.


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jar
Member
Posts: 29183
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 28 of 106 (245564)
09-21-2005 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 27 by Philip
09-21-2005 6:25 PM


Re: Gospel as "according to the Scriptures"
Of course, Scripture as mentioned in Corithians would not refer to the Bible.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
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macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 1426 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 29 of 106 (245622)
09-22-2005 12:04 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by Faith
09-21-2005 5:10 PM


Re: From a human's perspective
quote:
Originally posted by Faith:

But you have to make that up to believe that. There is nothing in the Bible itself that suggests that's how it was written. It presents itself as the record of GOD's actions upon mankind. God initiated everything in the Bible, according to the Bible, so you have to disagree with the Bible to say people originated it.

i don't have to make it up. the bible doesn't present itself as a singular entity. the verses i'm sure you are referring are those that say that god's words are eternal and infallible. they do not use the words 'the holy bible'. the church history itself defines the canon as being determined at a conference. (i can't remember the name but ask anyone on the board or even your pastor.) a conference held at some ancient resort no doubt (much like the conference over the final solution heh.) where a bunch of old roman guys sat around and decided which books to keep in the bible and which to remove. have you ever heard of the apocrypha? did you know that the torah has the books in a different order and some books are either numbered differently or have more text? did you know that some sects of christianity have additional books in their bibles? did you know that these are considered mainstream sects and not cults?

the bible presents itself as a record of the interaction of a people (or two if you separate ancient christians from jews) with their god. nothing more, nothing less. perhaps god inwspired it. but did he sit down and write it himself or dictate it? no way. tell me something. do you think genesis was written by moses? do you think it was written before kings?

Gen 36:31 And these [are] the kings that reigned in the land of Edom, before there reigned any king over the children of Israel.

that says it wasn't. that simple statement says that there had to have been at least one king in israel before genesis was written. most mainstream bible scholars actually place the writting during the captivity. and that would make sense. write down a fanciful and powerful history for a people in exile that tells them that they will overcome.

proverbs and psalms by their very construction tell us that they were multiple separate books: proverbs because of what it is, a collection of sayings considered wise all squished together with even some backed up to others that directly contradict them; and psalms because of the volume titles and the different creditted authors.

also. i can't remember which (i took a class a couple semesters ago about this stuff and i've since had a math class and that takes precedent in my brain) but kings or chronicals or judges has whole chapters precisely copied from one of the others. and judges or kings (ask arachnophilia i'm getting fuzzy) suggests that deuteronomy (copy of the law) is a forgery that was conveniently discovered
right before one of the rulers decided to start 'purifying' the religious institutions.

there's plenty of evidence that it isn't a singular entity. frankly, i think that makes it a better source. but then the rampant racism and hatred and name-calling in the book makes me want to vomit from the political prowess of it (and i'm a polisci master's student). it's really one of the most politically charged books i've EVER read. read genesis then pick up the ny times. you'd never know whidh was which but for the mention of cds (unless you believe that one guy....)

i do not have to disagree with the bible... just with jim bakker. and what's so wrong with disagreeing with the bible? if my kid smarts off at me, i might smack him, but i'm not gonna let GW stone him.

quote:

You will have to explain how there could be any confusion from using the term "God" as I don't see any. It is the English term for the one and only Creator of all things. Anybody who believes in such a Being, Christian or not -- or even anybody who has heard of the idea though doesn't believe in such a Being -- should have no problem understanding it. But if you do, please explain your confusion.

just because you think there is only one god does not mean that there is only one god in the realm of philosophical discussion. since people tend to capitalize the name of the god they prefer, someone else might think you are talking about Allah instead of Elohim. or worse... think you are talking of El instead of El-shaddai. oh wait...

This message has been edited by brennakimi, 09-22-2005 12:06 AM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by Faith, posted 09-21-2005 5:10 PM Faith has responded

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Faith
Member
Posts: 25878
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 30 of 106 (245625)
09-22-2005 12:18 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by macaroniandcheese
09-22-2005 12:04 AM


Re: From a human's perspective
just because you think there is only one god does not mean that there is only one god in the realm of philosophical discussion. since people tend to capitalize the name of the god they prefer, someone else might think you are talking about Allah instead of Elohim. or worse... think you are talking of El instead of El-shaddai. oh wait...

As long as all the terms are considered to refer to the one and only Creator God, then we are all talking about the same God and there is no confusion. God has many names in accordance with His various attributes. The Names of God is an interesting study.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by macaroniandcheese, posted 09-22-2005 12:04 AM macaroniandcheese has responded

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