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Author Topic:   The C.C.O.I. (Christian Cult Of Ignorance) and Willful Ignorance
AdminPhat
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From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-03-2004


Message 1 of 670 (402682)
05-29-2007 12:33 PM


This topic is primarily intended for Jar and myself to engage in a discussion concerning some of the issues brought up by him and I before here at EvC.

The C.C.O.I. is an abbreviation for a phrase coined by Jar: The Christian Cult(ure)Of Ignorance.

I wanted to discuss Protestant Dogma, church tradition, and various beliefs within Christianity in general.

I want this topic to focus on what it means to be ignorant within the contexts of belief, whether there is dishonesty involved in Fundamentalist Protestantism, and whether or not logic should trump blind faith when it comes to believing 7 incredible things before Breakfast!

Lets try and limit our discussion to what the Bible says, Protestant dogmas started by John Milton and other traditional charismatic catch phrases and buzz words. Philosophy can be freely added, within the context of monotheism.

Faith/Belief?

Also my first questions for Jar:

  • What is the definition of willful ignorance within the context of
    belief?
  • Who defines which people or church belief statements should be grouped in the category of ignorance?

  • Why do you believe that your belief paradigm offers a more honest portrayal of Christian Belief?

    Edited by AdminQuetzal, : Added GD warning

    Edited by AdminPhat, : changed title

    Edited by AdminPhat, : No reason given.


    Replies to this message:
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  • jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 2 of 670 (402703)
    05-29-2007 2:18 PM
    Reply to: Message 1 by AdminPhat
    05-29-2007 12:33 PM


    A couple prelimary points.
    I wanted to discuss Protestant Dogma, church tradition, and various beliefs within Christianity in general.

    First off, what is "Protestant Dogma?"

    Is it the writings of Bishop Spong? He, after all, is a protestant minister.

    I want this topic to focus on what it means to be ignorant within the contexts of belief, whether there is dishonesty involved in Fundamentalist Protestantism, and whether or not logic should trump blind faith when it comes to believing 7 incredible things before Breakfast!

    What in the world does "to be ignorant within the contexts of belief" mean? It seems like just a nonsense statement.

    Reason should always trump blind faith. In fact, blind faith should just be thrown away.

    What is the definition of willful ignorance within the context of
    belief?

    I have no idea what you mean by "within the context of belief" but willful ignorance can best be shown by looking at some of the statements you have posted in the past.

    For example, if you look at the statement of core values form Westminster Seminary, the second item is:

    Scripture, as the "very Word of God written," is absolutely authoritative and without error.

    This statement presumes an attitude of "Willful Ignorance."

    Who defines which people or church belief statements should be grouped in the category of ignorance?

    The statements themselves.

    Why do you believe that your belief paradigm offers a more honest portrayal of Christian Belief?

    I have never made that assertion. What I have said is that people should test what I say against reality and reason. They should them make up their own minds.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by AdminPhat, posted 05-29-2007 12:33 PM AdminPhat has not yet responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 3 by Phat, posted 05-31-2007 9:30 AM jar has responded
     Message 169 by Phat, posted 10-16-2010 7:28 AM jar has responded
     Message 328 by Phat, posted 06-15-2014 10:38 AM jar has responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 3 of 670 (402993)
    05-31-2007 9:30 AM
    Reply to: Message 2 by jar
    05-29-2007 2:18 PM


    Re: A couple prelimary points.
    Jar writes:

    First off, what is "Protestant Dogma?"

    Is it the writings of Bishop Spong? He, after all, is a protestant minister.

    There are differing philosophies within Christianity itself. For example, lets take the topic of Sex and the Liberal Christian you will see the thought processes of the differing left/right ideologies within mainline Protestantism.

    This is an interesting article by Timothy Simpson.

    Simpson writes:

    Two basic intellectual traditions that undergird liberal Christian belief and that inform every aspect of thinking and not just about sex are the tradition of the Enlightenment, with its emphasis on reason and a scientific understanding of the world, and the tradition of scripture and theological confessions, with its emphasis on faith. Unlike their secular counterparts in American life who ignore the traditions of the faith while prizing Enlightenment rationality, and unlike their conservative Christian brethren who subordinate the rationalism of modernity to their beliefs, liberal Christians strive to hold the two strands together and are thus often conflicted about issues where the modern world and the faith don’t see eye to eye.

    Personally, I am a self professed moderate in this regard, as I am too chicken to commit to either extreme.

    So far....

  • What is the difference between unexamined belief and willful ignorance?
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by jar, posted 05-29-2007 2:18 PM jar has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 4 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 11:13 AM Phat has responded

      
  • jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 4 of 670 (403001)
    05-31-2007 11:13 AM
    Reply to: Message 3 by Phat
    05-31-2007 9:30 AM


    Re: A couple prelimary points.
    That's fine but you did not answer any of the questions.

    You said in the OP that you wanted to discuss Protestant Dogma.

    What is Protestant Dogma?


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 3 by Phat, posted 05-31-2007 9:30 AM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 5 by Phat, posted 05-31-2007 2:26 PM jar has responded
     Message 12 by Phat, posted 06-14-2007 7:53 PM jar has responded
     Message 289 by Phat, posted 01-12-2014 10:52 PM jar has responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 5 of 670 (403029)
    05-31-2007 2:26 PM
    Reply to: Message 4 by jar
    05-31-2007 11:13 AM


    Re: A couple prelimary points.
    To try to pick pieces parts out of the Bible as you have done is, IMHO, as wrong as the Biblical Christians quotemining the same book for their purposes. Instead, what is needed is to teach the stories in toto, tell the whole tale including the basis and purpose of the creation of the tales.

    The Bible is an anthology of anthologies, written, edited, redacted and revised by many people over many centuries, moving from oral tradition to written tradition to revised tradition to compiled tradition. It is a complex work of many people.

    The answer, IMHO is not to condemn the tales or to create the "Evil Bible" but rather even more education so that people can see the stories within the broader context.

    Jar writes:

    What is Protestant Dogma?

    Perhaps the term does not exist. I was assuming that Protestant dogma varies from church to church.
    Clusty writes:


  • n. - dogma, tenet -- (a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof)

  • n. - dogma -- (a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative; "he believed all the Marxist dogma")
    The Clusty Encyclopedia also says that Dogma is belief held by a religion to be authoritative.
  • We disagree on certain issues....
    for instance, I believe in God with a high degree of confidance
    but you point out that though I may believe that God exists, I cannot know that God exists.

    I was always raised to believe that God is knowable.

    I will agree that to claim to know something is a dangerous place to be when religious fundamentalism is involved.

    So what do you believe about the Trinity and the idea of a Holy Spirit?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 4 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 11:13 AM jar has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 6 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 2:40 PM Phat has responded

      
    jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 6 of 670 (403032)
    05-31-2007 2:40 PM
    Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
    05-31-2007 2:26 PM


    Re: A couple prelimary points.
    I was assuming that Protestant dogma varies from church to church.

    Then it is not "Protestant Dogma" but rather the dogma of some individual church or sect.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 5 by Phat, posted 05-31-2007 2:26 PM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 7 by Phat, posted 05-31-2007 3:02 PM jar has responded
     Message 10 by Phat, posted 06-13-2007 5:14 AM jar has responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 7 of 670 (403034)
    05-31-2007 3:02 PM
    Reply to: Message 6 by jar
    05-31-2007 2:40 PM


    Lets reframe our discussion
    ok

    I agree with you so far.

    I also agree that the opening post was poorly written.

    Why don't you re frame our discussion?

    In your reply to me, ask me some questions and redirect our focus as we discuss various issues.


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 2:40 PM jar has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 8 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 11:29 PM Phat has responded

      
    jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 8 of 670 (403143)
    05-31-2007 11:29 PM
    Reply to: Message 7 by Phat
    05-31-2007 3:02 PM


    Re: Lets reframe our discussion
    What in the world does "to be ignorant within the contexts of belief" mean?


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by Phat, posted 05-31-2007 3:02 PM Phat has responded

    Replies to this message:
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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 9 of 670 (403476)
    06-03-2007 10:02 AM
    Reply to: Message 8 by jar
    05-31-2007 11:29 PM


    Re: Lets reframe our discussion
    Jar writes:

    What in the world does "to be ignorant within the contexts of belief" mean?

    I think that what I was trying to say is that some Christians hold on to dogmas and heresy that they have been taught...thus they are ignorant but only willfully so because they refuse to allow science to be their guiding light.

    You will note the cut and paste response that I had for you in the Is It Science thread on Creationist persistence.

    Just for everyone's information, I am not a Biblical Creationist, but I do believe that God initially created everything, and foreknew the character of each human.

    Edited by Phat, : smilie


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 8 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 11:29 PM jar has not yet responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 10 of 670 (405479)
    06-13-2007 5:14 AM
    Reply to: Message 6 by jar
    05-31-2007 2:40 PM


    Pelagianism
    I was talking with a Theology student today and was telling him of some of my debates at EvC. When I brought your beliefs up, he pointed me towards Pelagianism.

    Without knowing too much of it, I read the Wiki article and it seemed to fit much of your beliefs to a tee. Any comments?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 2:40 PM jar has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 11 by jar, posted 06-13-2007 11:02 AM Phat has responded

      
    jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    (1)
    Message 11 of 670 (405517)
    06-13-2007 11:02 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by Phat
    06-13-2007 5:14 AM


    Re: Pelagianism
    I was talking with a Theology student today and was telling him of some of my debates at EvC. When I brought your beliefs up, he pointed me towards Pelagianism.

    Why?

    Without knowing too much of it, I read the Wiki article and it seemed to fit much of your beliefs to a tee.

    In what way? If you know so little about Pelagian how can you know whether or not it fits me to a tee?

    Any comments?

    Yes.

    Did you really even read the Wiki article that you linked to or as usual did you just skim over it?

    Did you read the line that says:

    quote:
    Pelagianism was opposed by Augustine of Hippo, who taught that a person's salvation ultimately comes through the grace of God but that a person must also perform freely chosen good works.

    Have you ever heard me say that salvation is a done deal, freely given, but that we are expected to try to do what is right?

    I'm sorry but your post is just another example of willful ignorance of the Christian Cult of Ignorance.

    You were talking with a freaking theology student and brought my beliefs up. The student immediately suggest Pelagian who was considered a heretic.

    "Alleluia," Phat's inner demon sang, "I alway new he was a heretic."

    Well sorry Phat. Actually my beliefs are closer to those of Augustine than to Pelagius even though they were both wrong on many points.

    Let me try to outline some of the major areas of agreement and disagreement between my position and and either of those.

    I believe there is no "Original Sin".

    First, there is nothing in the tales beginning in Genesis 2 that suggests that until perhaps the story of Cain and Abel. Second, there never was an Adam and Eve. Third, the believe in some GOE Original Sin makes God evil and would today get God sued for creating an "Attractive Nuisance."

    I believe part of the story of the GOE is that we are charged to try to do what is right. We will be judged based on how well we do.

    Pelagius and others like him (many of the monastic orders actually seem to follow Pelagius even though they condemn Pelagianism with their lips) were "perfectionists", believing that it was mans job to "perfect" his life.

    I disagree.

    I believe I have said here at EvC many times that we are expected to try to do what is right, to honestly examine our behavior and admit when we have done wrong, try to make amends for those wrong actions and try not to do them again.

    Nothing in there about Perfection.

    I will be happy to continue discussing areas of agreement and disagreement with Pelagianism but first I suggest you actually find out what it is you are talking about.

    One last comment.

    As I said above, your post is classic Christian Cult of Ignorance. It is the retreat to labels and shows willful ignorance of my beliefs. I can say that because you have in the past repeated the key points I list above back to me, so I know that you knew them. Yet you were ready to willfully ignore what you knew to grab onto a label that you believed you could apply to me instead of actually thinking the issue through.

    I can say that because you posted "I read the Wiki article and it seemed to fit much of your beliefs to a tee" when that simply is not the case. In addition you did not list which of my beliefs you thought "fit it to a tee" or why you believed there was some one to one correspondence.

    I honestly doubt you even read the article but rather just skimmed over it quotemining a couple pieces parts out of the very first line.

    I may well be wrong, but this discussion will help determine that.

    Just as an aside.

    Way back in the mid fifties in high school part of Sacred Studies was reading the works of Pelagius. One thing to remember is that most of what we have from him comes down to us through those who opposed his writings or reconstructions from Augustine's "On Nature and Grace" which was written as a response to Pelagius.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by Phat, posted 06-13-2007 5:14 AM Phat has responded

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     Message 294 by Phat, posted 01-17-2014 12:12 PM jar has responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 12 of 670 (405762)
    06-14-2007 7:53 PM
    Reply to: Message 4 by jar
    05-31-2007 11:13 AM


    Wassup, Dawg(ma)?
    Jar writes:

    Actually my beliefs are closer to those of Augustine than to Pelagius even though they were both wrong on many points.

    Do you believe that it is not sac religious to question every great mind that formed the dogma of organized religion? If so, I suppose I agree, but PaulK even goes so far as to state that Jesus was wrong! To me, that borders on audaciousness.

    Of course, I understand that it makes sense to say that nobody really knows anything more about God than they (humanity) ever did. Traditionally and of course dogmatically, humans have established beliefs, creeds, and statements of faith down throughout the ages.

    You have asserted quite properly that it is always good to question anything that has been proposed or taught from humans to humans.

    Some of what you say baffles me a bit, but I suppose it is due to two reasons.

  • I do tend to skim material and am not a serious student of either Theology or Philosophy. I am just a Bobblehead with an inquiring mind! ;)

  • I forget that you do not fear questioning the dogma of traditional religion.

    Jar writes:

    I believe there is no "Original Sin".

    the belief in some GOE Original Sin makes God evil and would today get God sued for creating an "Attractive Nuisance."

    But how could we humans have the audacity to label God as anything other than God? Can't we presuppose that He (or She) is not only the uncaused first cause but is by very nature not evil? In an "attractive nuisance" litigation, whom would we get to be the judge? Is not the default position that God is the final judge and arbitrator in all matters?

    Jar writes:

    As I said above, your post is classic Christian Cult of Ignorance. It is the retreat to labels and shows willful ignorance of my beliefs. I can say that because you have in the past repeated the key points I list above back to me, so I know that you knew them. Yet you were ready to willfully ignore what you knew to grab onto a label that you believed you could apply to me instead of actually thinking the issue through.

    Yes, you are right in that I usually approach a debate with the sole intention of winning, even though I have no idea why it matters. The primary purpose of a debate is to hopefully frame an issue and allow others who read it to hopefully be so inspired as to think further on the matters at hand.

    Anyway....enough jabberwocky! :)

    I received some free literature from Steve Brown who is probably categorized as a bona fide member of the greater Bobblehead community! ;)

    He is no slouch theologically, but I will admit that his website does offer many things for sale and so could see where his motives are questionable. (willfully ignorant, though? I still dont quite understand why people would intentionally be willfully ignorant!) Brown comes across as quite folksy.

    Anyway, Brown brings up the following points in one of his latest articles:

    What are your rights as a believer?

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HUMAN (Matthew 9:36 & Psalm 103:14)

    In some Christian circles it almost goes without saying that real Christians don't sin (or, if they do, they can't let anyone know). The fact is high, unrealistic expectations can kill you. They are dangerous to your health. God works in a process, and if you have the expectation of being at the end of the process before you have gone through the process, you are going to suffer great disappointment. God isn't finished with you yet.

    Perfection is not attainable in this world. If you think it is, you are going to end up a neurotic Christian. Instant goodness, instant power and instant perfection...It simply doesn't work that way. While you ought to feel properly guilty when you don't measure up to God's standard, you ought to be properly relieved to know that you didn't surprise God when you didn't measure up to his standard, and that he has made provision for you at the foot of the cross.

    He goes on to list more "rights" that Christians have:

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE RIGHT (Galatians 4:16)

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE WRONG (Acts 10:13-15)

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO FAIL (John Mark's experience--Acts 13:13, 15:37-39 & 2 Timothy 4:11)

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE OFFENSIVE (Galatians 2:13-14)

    YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO THINK, ACT & BELIEVE AS GOD LEADS YOU (2 Corinthians 3:17)

    All of this is found in this article.

    My question to you is if you believe that Brown is teaching willful ignorance, how is he doing it?

    Another question: If we are the judges of what is and is not enlightenment (the opposite of willful ignorance) how is it that we were given this charge rather than the Bible?

    Edited by Phat, : clarification

    Edited by Phat, : revision of post


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 4 by jar, posted 05-31-2007 11:13 AM jar has responded

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  • jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 13 of 670 (407572)
    06-26-2007 9:13 PM
    Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
    06-14-2007 7:53 PM


    Re: Wassup, Dawg(ma)?
    My question to you is if you believe that Brown is teaching willful ignorance, how is he doing it?

    Another question: If we are the judges of what is and is not enlightenment (the opposite of willful ignorance) how is it that we were given this charge rather than the Bible?

    Huh?

    Is he just quotemining? Does he explain the reasoning behind his assertions?

    Were we not given the capability to think?


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 12 by Phat, posted 06-14-2007 7:53 PM Phat has responded

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     Message 14 by Phat, posted 07-02-2007 12:04 PM jar has responded

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 9888
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.4


    Message 14 of 670 (408407)
    07-02-2007 12:04 PM
    Reply to: Message 13 by jar
    06-26-2007 9:13 PM


    The Responsibility to Question
    Jar writes:

    Were we not given the capability to think?

    Yes, indeed.

    While many of the fundamentalist Christians at EvC have long since regarded you as an insufferable heretic, I took a little time to actually read some of the stuff that you say and contrast it with the beliefs of the established churches.

    This website provided a neat synopsis of what the Episcopals believe, and I found some of the points similar to what you have been explaining to us here at EvC. To wit:

    3. "God is closer to us than we are to ourselves" --St. Julian of Norwich. God is also “wholly other”, beyond our knowing. We live in this paradox.
    This contrasts with what I was taught at that Charismatic Church that I once attended. They maintained that "getting saved" meant that no longer would God be a mere concept but that Jesus came into my heart and was thus known. I suppose that they would defend the concept of a knowable God by quoting Paul:

    NIV writes:

    Acts 17:22-31

    22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

    24 "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27 God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

    29 "Therefore since we are God's offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone-an image made by man's design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead."

    I am not making a point by providing this quote(mine), but I am saying that this is probably one scripture that the charismatic evangelicals would use in defending the idea that God is knowable.

    I actually like some of what this website says that the Episcopals believe, however. More.....

    18.Reason is a gift. We should accept it even in religious matters. We affirm the importance of an ongoing conversation between the voices of faith and those of science, art, culture, economics and public life.
    You have often pointed out the statement made by The Clergy Letter Project and I think that they have a point when they say that Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey scientific information but to transform hearts.

    You always tell me to read the Bible in context and not to simply quote mine from it. The Rev. Canon Ronald Osborne, who wrote that link, said this:

    16.The Scriptures speak God's truth with special power and are God's Word. Simplistic and literalistic interpretations may miss the point of what God says to us.

    In closing, I wanted to ask you a question that you often ask me. This is a question for any spiritual truth seeker to ask themselves.

    When attempting to convey a truth or a parable from the bible, tradition, or any other source and proclaim it as wisdom from God, we need to ask ourselves: How Do You Know It Is God?

    My question to you is: In your quest for testing your beliefs and affirming some things and rejecting others, how do you determine what is and is not of God?

    Where would someone start?

    The charismatics would simplistically affirm that Scripture interprets Scripture but to me this is a non-answer.

    What do you think? :confused:


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 13 by jar, posted 06-26-2007 9:13 PM jar has responded

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    jar
    Member
    Posts: 29433
    From: Texas!!
    Joined: 04-20-2004
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 15 of 670 (408408)
    07-02-2007 12:12 PM
    Reply to: Message 14 by Phat
    07-02-2007 12:04 PM


    Re: The Responsibility to Question
    My question to you is: In your quest for testing your beliefs and affirming some things and rejecting others, how do you determine what is and is not of God?

    You test against reason, logic and reality.


    Aslan is not a Tame Lion
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 14 by Phat, posted 07-02-2007 12:04 PM Phat has responded

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