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Author Topic:   Belief Statement - jar
lfen
Member (Idle past 2121 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 211 of 300 (327536)
06-29-2006 4:42 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by GDR
06-27-2006 1:46 PM


Re: Valid christian teaching?
I would imagine that if I had come to the conclusion that the Christian message was false I would find Lewis boring as well. As it is however I find him to be fascinating.

I grew up attending the Episcopal Church. I remember reading Lewis's book The Great Divorce. I was intellectually fascinated with his ideas about what hell was like.

A bit later reading Lewis's rationalization about all the virgin births of deities recorded throughout the Near East religions as good dreams God sent prior to the birth of Jesus struck me as intellectual dishonesty on his part. He had the education and knew what was going on but chose the emotionality of faith over the honesty of what he knew. Sometime thereafter realizing I didn't believe in the virgin birth or a lot of stuff in the Nicene creed I dropped Christianity.

In a way what I saw as Lewis's intellectual capitulation to the pointless miracles of the Bible when he clearly knew better was an inspiration to just leave the whole thing behind.

For me Christian apology always has this forced strained grasping at rationalizations. Spirituality requires beliefs in miracles that though acceptable to pre scientific peoples are simply not neccesary at this point and the gyrations to maintain this aspect of the faith is a bit painful for me to watch. I think Lewis had much better things to do with his intellect than try to come up with rationalizations for Christianity.

So I don't know for me if it's boredom or painful impatience with him that makes reading his works unappealing.

It was my interest in Thoreau and Emerson that led to my reading in Eastern religions. They made a lot more sense to me and I still prefer that approach over any of the Near Eastern religions.

I don't even know how Christians decide who is a Christian. Only members of their church, denominaion, etc.? At one point I thought it was you had to be baptized. But I'm getting the impression here that some Christians have more exclusive definitions. Doesn't surprise me. In the third grade a playmate of mine who was Catholic told me I was going to hell. Apparently that was what was taught to him. And I read interviews with Mel Gibson where he says his wife who is Church of England might go to hell because she is not Catholic. But then some Christians here seem to be saying Catholics aren't really Christians.

Just writing about this silliness fills me with renewed relief that I'm no longer a Christian. I don't have to worry about all that stuff.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by GDR, posted 06-27-2006 1:46 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 213 by GDR, posted 06-29-2006 7:32 PM lfen has responded
 Message 234 by iano, posted 06-30-2006 10:46 AM lfen has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 212 of 300 (327573)
06-29-2006 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 209 by Faith
06-29-2006 2:22 PM


Re: Valid christian teaching?
Faith writes:

I read a lot, maybe even all, of C.S. Lewis when I was in the process of becoming a Christian, and seeing quotes from him now surprises me. Even then I could identify a tinge of liberalness in his writings but now that I'm a solid Calvinist Protestant he sounds extremely liberal. I can't see any other meaning to the sacrifice of the crucifixion than to pay for our sins. It's what the entire Bible is about really.

I guess I'm not really concerned whether someone is liberal or not, as I'm only concerned with truth. (I know that holds true for you as well.) The thing is though I don't think it is ever as simple as branding someone liberal or even Calvinist. I'm sure there are other Calvinist's who you would find areas of disagreement with.

Could you give me the Biblical references that you would use to make your point that the crucifixion is about payment for sins.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 209 by Faith, posted 06-29-2006 2:22 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 214 by Faith, posted 06-29-2006 7:44 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 213 of 300 (327579)
06-29-2006 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 211 by lfen
06-29-2006 4:42 PM


Re: Valid christian teaching?
ifen writes:

He had the education and knew what was going on but chose the emotionality of faith over the honesty of what he knew.

That statement is more than a little bit presumptuous. Who are you to say that Lewis was dishonest in his faith. Just because you have come to a different conclusion than Lewis does not mean that his faith is a dishonest one. By coincidence I'm in the middle of Lewis' book called "Miracles". If you want to understand his rationale for his thinking on the subject you might want to give it a read.

ifen writes:

For me Christian apology always has this forced strained grasping at rationalizations. Spirituality requires beliefs in miracles that though acceptable to pre scientific peoples are simply not neccesary at this point and the gyrations to maintain this aspect of the faith is a bit painful for me to watch. I think Lewis had much better things to do with his intellect than try to come up with rationalizations for Christianity.

I've read this statement about miracles not being necessary before on this forum. I just find that very odd for a couple of reasons. Firstly there are no end of things that exist or occur that aren't necessary. You and I both exist but neither you or I are necessary. Secondly, if one believes that we are a product of an intelligence at all, even as deists, we then have to believe that miracles are possible as creation itself would take a miracle.

I also don't understand why living in the scientific era has anything to do with whether miracles happened, still happen or not. Science is the study of the physical, miracles would be a product of the metaphysical.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 211 by lfen, posted 06-29-2006 4:42 PM lfen has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 215 by lfen, posted 06-29-2006 8:54 PM GDR has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 25322
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 214 of 300 (327580)
06-29-2006 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 212 by GDR
06-29-2006 7:20 PM


Blood offering to pay for our sins
Could you give me the Biblical references that you would use to make your point that the crucifixion is about payment for sins.

quote:
Isaiah 53:5 But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation* through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

1Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Ephesians 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Colossians 1:14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, [even] the forgiveness of sins:

1John 2:2 And he is the propitiation* for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.

1John 4:10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son [to be] the propitiation* for our sins.

Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Hebrews 13:11 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood

__________________________________________________________________
*The American Heritage® Dictionary
propitiation
NOUN: 1. The act of propitiating. 2. Something that propitiates, especially a conciliatory offering to a god.
__________________________________________________________________

{Edit to add a few more scripture references:

Hbr 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hbr 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

1Pe 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:


Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : added bolding

Edited by Faith, : Improved bolding plus last three scripture verses


This message is a reply to:
 Message 212 by GDR, posted 06-29-2006 7:20 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 216 by GDR, posted 06-29-2006 9:32 PM Faith has responded

    
lfen
Member (Idle past 2121 days)
Posts: 2189
From: Oregon
Joined: 06-24-2004


Message 215 of 300 (327603)
06-29-2006 8:54 PM
Reply to: Message 213 by GDR
06-29-2006 7:32 PM


Re: Valid christian teaching?
That statement is more than a little bit presumptuous. Who are you to say that Lewis was dishonest in his faith. Just because you have come to a different conclusion than Lewis does not mean that his faith is a dishonest one

I could have softened that statement and been accurate also if I said that was how it struck me on reading it decades ago, though honestly I've not come across a reason to change it, though that could happen. I do find much of Christian, and other religious apologetics disingenuous, though I suppose it's often from good even the best of motives, I still feel Lewis knew better but gave into to his desire to believe.

I suppose after that point he really did believe and I took that information and put it with the others and came to what seems to me something that should be obvious to everyone except for the weight of tradition and that is the virgin birth is a pagan concept foreign to Judaism and that the historic claim was that Jesus was born of a young woman. That is presuming a lot but that is my belief.

I also don't understand why living in the scientific era has anything to do with whether miracles happened, still happen or not. Science is the study of the physical, miracles would be a product of the metaphysical.

The point I was making is the science disproves or discredits or demonstrates the scientific impossibility of miracles such as a 6000 year old universe, the Flood, or virgin birth.

I think the universe is one long miracle and the most intimate miracle of all is that I and you are conscious of being.

I don't know why Brian is bored with Lewis. I've a ton of reading to do this summer. I just checked and my library does have a copy of Miracles by Lewis but it's currently out. I may take a look through it though I doubt I'll read it cover to cover, though occasionally I surprise myself at what I end up reading.

I am aware that I have this assumption probably from high school and college that it's understandable that some one who doesn't know better for example the fundamentalist who show up here knowing nothing about science except what they read on AIG and little of history to believe literally in the Bible, but I do just have this impatience with someone like Lewis who is well educated and even knew better but then backed off from his knowing. I expected more of him. That is presumptious on my part. I'll neither defend myself nor apologize for it though. It's just something I do.

lfen


This message is a reply to:
 Message 213 by GDR, posted 06-29-2006 7:32 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 217 by GDR, posted 06-29-2006 9:47 PM lfen has not yet responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 216 of 300 (327614)
06-29-2006 9:32 PM
Reply to: Message 214 by Faith
06-29-2006 7:44 PM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
Thanks Faith

I actually asked for the quotes as I wanted to be made clear to me what your interpretation was based on.

I just want to repeat a small part of Lewis' quote from my previous post.

CS Lewis writes:

What I came to see later on was that neither this nor any other is Christianity. The central Christian belief is that Christ's death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter. A good many different theories have been held as to how it works; what all Christians are agreed on is that it does work.

I agree that one could take your quotes and interpret them the way that you have. However, it also seems to me that they can be interpreted in a way that is consistent with Lewis.

Lewis says that Christ's death has put us right with God. The only thing that I can think of that needed to be put right was sin in our lives. That however is not the same thing as saying that Christ's death was payment for our sins.

To be honest it is an area of may faith that I have never been able to sort out in my mind. I have just come to the knowledge that it is part of the redemptive nature of Christ and that it is part of the mystery which won't be made clear in this life time. Christianity is a faith isn't it? :)


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 214 by Faith, posted 06-29-2006 7:44 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 218 by Faith, posted 06-29-2006 9:49 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 217 of 300 (327618)
06-29-2006 9:47 PM
Reply to: Message 215 by lfen
06-29-2006 8:54 PM


Re: Valid christian teaching?
ifen writes:

I am aware that I have this assumption probably from high school and college that it's understandable that some one who doesn't know better for example the fundamentalist who show up here knowing nothing about science except what they read on AIG and little of history to believe literally in the Bible, but I do just have this impatience with someone like Lewis who is well educated and even knew better but then backed off from his knowing. I expected more of him. That is presumptious on my part. I'll neither defend myself nor apologize for it though. It's just something I do.

Nice post ifen. It's nice to read someone who basically seems to have an open mind and a sense of humility.

Having read a lot of Lewis I know that he was very interested in the details of science. Although I obviously am not in the same league as Lewis in either issues of faith or science I find no real areas of disagreement between my faith and science. As a matter of fact, the more I read about science the more it affirms my faith. I am frankly blown away but what I see is the incredible invention that this universe is that allows my consciousness to perceive it the way it does.

I might point out as well that there are many professional scientists that are Christian and they don't seem to have a problem reconciling their faith to science either. (I would doubt that many of them are literalists either.)

ifen writes:

The point I was making is the science disproves or discredits or demonstrates the scientific impossibility of miracles such as a 6000 year old universe, the Flood, or virgin birth.

Lewis was not a YEC. Frankly I don't know what he thought of the flood, but I think he would feel as I do that the lesson of faith in the story is what is important and not the idea of whether it is literally true or not. As far as a virgin birth is concerned it doesn't seem to me that it would be all that difficult for the creator of the universe to create life in a virgin.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 215 by lfen, posted 06-29-2006 8:54 PM lfen has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 25322
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 218 of 300 (327620)
06-29-2006 9:49 PM
Reply to: Message 216 by GDR
06-29-2006 9:32 PM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
Lewis says that Christ's death has put us right with God. The only thing that I can think of that needed to be put right was sin in our lives. That however is not the same thing as saying that Christ's death was payment for our sins.

Well, considering that His death is compared to the sacrifices throughout the Old Testament, which is the background for the Letter to the Hebrews, a comparison in which the efficacy of the blood of beasts is compared with the blood of Christ; and considering such terminology as "propitiation" and "sacrifice" and "Lamb of God" and so on, I would think that "putting us right with God" pretty clearly could only happen through a sacrifice in which sins are BORNE by the sacrifice iteself. Sure implies "payment" to me, the sacrifice in the place of the sinner.

Funny I hadn't realized how mealymouthed Lewis can be. Must have something to do with the liberal (it means Bible-compromising basically) trends in the Anglican/Episcopal church.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 216 by GDR, posted 06-29-2006 9:32 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 219 by GDR, posted 06-30-2006 12:50 AM Faith has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 219 of 300 (327655)
06-30-2006 12:50 AM
Reply to: Message 218 by Faith
06-29-2006 9:49 PM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
The Blood of Christ is compared to the blood of the lamb from the OT. The blood of the lamb was a mark at passover that protected the Jews.

The Blood of Christ and His death on the cross is what made it possible for us to be passed over and forgiven of our sins.

Faith writes:

Funny I hadn't realized how mealymouthed Lewis can be. Must have something to do with the liberal (it means Bible-compromising basically) trends in the Anglican/Episcopal church.

Well. Lewis was only an English tutor at Oxford. Actually he is anything but mealymouthed. It just happens that he doesn't agree with some of your positions.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 218 by Faith, posted 06-29-2006 9:49 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 220 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 1:19 AM GDR has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 25322
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 220 of 300 (327659)
06-30-2006 1:19 AM
Reply to: Message 219 by GDR
06-30-2006 12:50 AM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
The Blood of Christ is compared to the blood of the lamb from the OT. The blood of the lamb was a mark at passover that protected the Jews. The Blood of Christ and His death on the cross is what made it possible for us to be passed over and forgiven of our sins.

This is correct, but the lamb had to die and its blood is what saves. This is what a sacrifice is, you know. The door frame on which the blood was smeared is considered a type of the altar too, which God instructed the Israelites to construct later. And this is only one of the types of Christ. All the sacrifices of all the animals in the sacrificial system given by God to Israel, as the Letter to the Hebrews says, are fulfilled in Christ.

Faith writes:
Funny I hadn't realized how mealymouthed Lewis can be. Must have something to do with the liberal (it means Bible-compromising basically) trends in the Anglican/Episcopal church.

Well. Lewis was only an English tutor at Oxford. Actually he is anything but mealymouthed. It just happens that he doesn't agree with some of your positions.

Well, what else could the blood be that has to be shed to save us if not a payment, a sacrifice in our place? I can't think of how we are saved by his death otherwise. To avoid noticing that seems to take a euphemistic fastidiousness to my mind.

{Edit: He offers himself, his own blood, in the Holy of Holies as High Priest, as the high priest of the Israelites offered the blood of animals for the sins of the people. I quoted this. The parallels are awfully evident I would think.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : edit noted


This message is a reply to:
 Message 219 by GDR, posted 06-30-2006 12:50 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 221 by ringo, posted 06-30-2006 1:40 AM Faith has responded
 Message 222 by GDR, posted 06-30-2006 1:41 AM Faith has responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13203
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 221 of 300 (327663)
06-30-2006 1:40 AM
Reply to: Message 220 by Faith
06-30-2006 1:19 AM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
Faith writes:

... what else could the blood be that has to be shed to save us if not a payment, a sacrifice in our place?

It's a symbol, refering back to the blood of the Old Testament lambs. The lambs' blood signified who was protected and who was not - it had no saving power in itself.

It's simply ludicrous to suggest that God had to shed His own blood to pay Himself to forgive us.

I can't think of how we are saved by his death otherwise.

Nobody is saved by Jesus' death. We benefit from His life, but we are saved by God's grace.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 1:19 AM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 223 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 2:00 AM ringo has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4240
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005


Message 222 of 300 (327664)
06-30-2006 1:41 AM
Reply to: Message 220 by Faith
06-30-2006 1:19 AM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
CS Lewis writes:

The central Christian belief is that Christ's death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter. What all Christians are agreed on is that it does work.

Actually I don't think we're that far apart so maybe we can agree with the quoted statement and agree to disagree on the theory although I'll be the first to admit that you're view is more clearly defined.


Everybody is entitled to my opinion. :)
This message is a reply to:
 Message 220 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 1:19 AM Faith has responded

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 Message 224 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 2:11 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 25322
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 223 of 300 (327666)
06-30-2006 2:00 AM
Reply to: Message 221 by ringo
06-30-2006 1:40 AM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
... what else could the blood be that has to be shed to save us if not a payment, a sacrifice in our place?

It's a symbol, refering back to the blood of the Old Testament lambs. The lambs' blood signified who was protected and who was not - it had no saving power in itself.

Christ's death is not the symbol, the lamb's blood was the symbol, otherwise known as a type, the symbol or type of Christ's very real sacrifice of his own blood in our place, just as the OT animal sacrifices of all kinds were foreshadowings of His death in our place. God being God, He created symbols of His great plan of salvation centuries before its fulfillment in Christ, painted prophecies in the very history He created with His chosen people, besides the direct prophecies to His prophets.

It's simply ludicrous to suggest that God had to shed His own blood to pay Himself to forgive us.

Jesus is God AND Man. God has no blood to shed. Jesus died as perfect Man in our place, the unblemished or spotless lamb the law of sacrifice of the spotless lamb foreshadowed.

I can't think of how we are saved by his death otherwise.

Nobody is saved by Jesus' death. We benefit from His life, but we are saved by God's grace.

Not according to the scripture verses I quoted in Message 214. Says there that he died for us, to pay for our sins. Says so in so many words.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 221 by ringo, posted 06-30-2006 1:40 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 225 by ringo, posted 06-30-2006 2:56 AM Faith has responded

    
Faith
Member
Posts: 25322
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 224 of 300 (327668)
06-30-2006 2:11 AM
Reply to: Message 222 by GDR
06-30-2006 1:41 AM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
The central Christian belief is that Christ's death has somehow put us right with God and given us a fresh start. Theories as to how it did this are another matter. What all Christians are agreed on is that it does work.

Actually I don't think we're that far apart so maybe we can agree with the quoted statement and agree to disagree on the theory although I'll be the first to admit that you're view is more clearly defined.

OK, but what other theories can there possibly be, if it is agreed that Jesus had to die to put us right with God?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 222 by GDR, posted 06-30-2006 1:41 AM GDR has not yet responded

    
ringo
Member
Posts: 13203
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 225 of 300 (327670)
06-30-2006 2:56 AM
Reply to: Message 223 by Faith
06-30-2006 2:00 AM


Re: Scriptures on the crucifixion as sacrifice for sin
Faith writes:

Christ's death is not the symbol, the lamb's blood was the symbol....

I didn't say Christ's death was a symbol - I said His blood was a symbol. That's the only significance it has - a sign of God's protection. Blood has no "saving" power.

... the OT animal sacrifices of all kinds were foreshadowings of His death in our place.

The Old Testament animal sacrifices were a food source for the priests.

Jesus died as perfect Man in our place....

Jesus died because He was a man. All men die, regardless of His death.

Says there that he died for us, to pay for our sins. Says so in so many words.

He died because He lived - His sacrifice was His life, not His death. The "remission" of our sins was a fait accompli, which He came to tell us, and He could only tell us effectively in the form of a man.

It's simply ludicrous to suggest that God's Son had to shed His blood to pay His Father to forgive us.


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Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 223 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 2:00 AM Faith has responded

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 Message 226 by Faith, posted 06-30-2006 3:21 AM ringo has responded

  
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