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Author Topic:   Is the Bible inspired by God?
truthlover
Member (Idle past 2103 days)
Posts: 1548
From: Selmer, TN
Joined: 02-12-2003


Message 31 of 40 (46840)
07-22-2003 6:06 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Buzsaw
07-22-2003 12:01 AM


Israel enjoyed the good life and prosperity so long as they followed and obeyed the precepts of their scriptures.

It's always interesting to me how times change.

I read a debate between a Christian and a Roman polytheist that was written way back in AD 230, when the church couldn't have been more "literalist." It was before there was such a thing as a "Roman" Catholic church.

In the debate the Roman points out that the Christians are known for their poverty. Why should anyone follow a God, says the Roman, who takes such poor care of his followers? Octavius, the Christian, replies that for a traveler a light load is preferable to a large one.

I think Celsus argues the same way in his 2nd century attack on Christianity. I'd have to check that out, but the general view of very early Christians is that they were prone to poverty.

I would also add that you've been mentioning Finland, Buzsaw, but on the list earlier in the thread, Denmark was right behind them. I've not been to Finland, but I did live in Germany for nine years, and Denmark is the Las Vegas of Europe. You go there to get quick weddings and quick divorces, and Copenhagen is where you go for a good time.

I think social programs keep the gap between the rich and poor smaller in Europe. Swedes were taxed at over 50% of their income, last I heard. I don't know what a better standard of living means. You don't live in the country in a falling down home with a car with no wheels out front in Germany, because it's not allowed. On the other hand, the Germans I knew didn't seem to live any better than the Americans I knew. It'd be awful hard, in my opinion, to define that better or worse standard of living.

My experience is that Germans were very anti-fundamentalist overall. The exceptions are rare, and they live every bit as well as Americans. And if Christianity has become a myth to be scoffed at anywhere, it is in France, and I doubt that France's standard of living is any worse than the rest of Europe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Buzsaw, posted 07-22-2003 12:01 AM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Weyland
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 40 (46850)
07-22-2003 7:04 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Buzsaw
07-21-2003 10:40 PM


Well, at this point we really ought to look at India.
Population: over 1 billion
Religious split: Hindu 81.3%, Muslim 18%, Xian 2.3%, Sikh 1.9%
Economic growth after inflation: ~6% pa.

Are you honestly trying to say that this economic growth is all because of the Xian minority and gods blessing on them?

You mentioned that the difference in the figures between the US and Mexican poverty rates was because the latter were predominantly catholic.
How then do you explain the sucess of the French, who enjoy a very acceptable standard of living (and some LOVELY wines) and yet are 83-88% catholic, 5-10% muslim and only 2% Protestant.

we could move onto the Japanese, (84% Buddist and Shinto), Other 16%, Xian 0.7%, and even with their current problems, one of the richest nations on the world.

I put it to you that there is no correlation between economic strength or growth in a country and the size of it's fundamentalist christian population.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Buzsaw, posted 07-21-2003 10:40 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Percy
Member
Posts: 18249
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 33 of 40 (46867)
07-22-2003 9:53 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Buzsaw
07-21-2003 10:14 PM


Hi Buzz,

For some strange reason I thought you would mount stronger arguments if we switched to a topic you would know something about, but I guess not:

Buzz writes:

1. So why did the standard of living in the land of Palestine sky rocket in a few decades under Israel after centuries of wasteland under cultures of non-biblical origin and heritage?

Since you're talking about American Christian fundamentalism's influence on country-level standard of living, how does raising the example of Isael make any sense at all?

2. Finland has been traditionally relatively uncorrupted, having a strong Lutheran base with the Bible regarded as the highest authority for morality and society.

That Scandinavia as a whole and Finland in particular are highly secularized societies is well known and can be confirmed in any number of places, but I cite this source because it also comments on Lutheranism (What makes Nordic countries a unity?):

Scandinavians are among the most secular peoples on the face of the earth. Despite its seemingly all-pervasive presence in various state institutions and the ceremonies guiding the life of the average Scandinavian, Lutheranism has in most parts of Scandinavia retreated to the fringes of culture and has little meaning to the average person.

And Europe as a whole is far more secular than the United States, though not to the degree of the Scandinavian countries. The highest standards of living exist in the most secular countries, in other words, the Scandinavian countries like Finland.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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doctrbill
Member (Idle past 809 days)
Posts: 1174
From: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Joined: 01-08-2001


Message 34 of 40 (46880)
07-22-2003 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by truthlover
07-22-2003 5:21 AM


Hello Truthlover,

quote:
The idea that Paul or anyone else considers every writing inspired of God seems a bit much, and I was shocked you or anyone else would suggest it.
It seemed a bit much to me at first but when I considered his attitude toward civil authority I saw a similarly broad stroke.

“The powers that be are ordained by God.” Romans 13:1. KJV

Hello George!

Or, as the Living Bible puts it:

“There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power.”

Hello Saddam!

Paul goes on to call armed tax collectors, “ministers of God.”

Hello IRS!

There may be additional evidence for this argument but I can’t seem to find it now. Perhaps you know it. As I recall, Paul compares the power of an aggressive man to the power of a written message, which can dispatch an army! Sound familiar? If it reads anything like I remember, it may suggest that he was promoting literacy. Whatever the reality of that may be, Paul seems to have understood, not only the great power of the written word, but it's limitations as well.

“The kingdom of God is not in word but in power” 1 Cor. 4:20

As I compose this it occurs to me that Paul, when he considered the word: "inspired," may not necessarily have thought it to mean absolute, inerrant, or timeless. And if this is true, then it would explain how those churchmen who love to cite 2Tim3:16 can at the same time disagree with Paul regarding what is useful for teaching, reproof, correction, etc. (as they so willingly demonstrate by excluding portions of his bibliography from the canon).

quote:
Well, if anything written is literature, then this is easy, as he told the Thessalonians (2 Thess 2:2) not to be misled by letters that seemed to be from him.
Thank you for that. It points up the need to be sure of the source. But then, can we really be sure he wrote this?

quote:
I assume you'd agree, too, that any literature produced by those persons pushing circumcision would have been rejected by him as well. Correct?
Yep. And to my thinking this would include a lot of the OT.

quote:
(I realize the pastoral epistles are classified as doubtful, as far as Pauline authorship, but so is Hebrews, and you used that.)
Yes, but you realize that for purposes of argument, I am working within the myth.

Thanks for the additional references.

db

------------------
Are you a Sunday School graduate?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by truthlover, posted 07-22-2003 5:21 AM truthlover has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 214 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 35 of 40 (46881)
07-22-2003 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Buzsaw
07-21-2003 11:06 PM


quote:
Jewish scriptures including the Ten Commandments are every bit as important to the Fundie Christian as the NT, though the temple worship and Levitical sacrificial atonement had been replaced by a better testament.

Are you saying that Jews are known for holding Biblicaly literal, fundamentalist Christian views?

Following the ten commandments is hardly the same as taking the entire OT literally, as fundamentalist Christians do.

quote:
Well then tell me this. Were they better off or worse off under Lutheranism?

I don't know, you tell me. you are the one claiming that they are, so you are the one who needs to support that claim.

Also, the last time I checked, most Lutheran denominations are not considered fundamentalist Biblical literalists, either. Lutherans are mainstream protestant.

quote:
Allison: Also, I think you need to provide some serious evidence to back up your bold assertion that the Finns consider the Bible to be "the highest authority for morality and society" in the fundamentalist, Biblical literalist way you are using it.

quote:
I'm the challengee. Your're the challenger. It's your turn to put up.

Um, no. You made the claim that Finland used the Bible as "the highest authority for morality and society", and you made this claim without any accompanying evidence to support it.

You made the claim. Unless you are going to support it, nobody has to believe you.

quote:
Notice I said, "traditionally." They like the good ole US of A are sliding the slippery slope of apostacy also. We, being corrupted by secularism and materialism amid our prosperity are headed for the greater fall.

OK, so they area prosperous country withouthaving a strong fundamentalist component, correct?

Gosh, you want to have it both ways, don't you?

You want to point to the Finland's success as a result of their using the Bible as "the highest authority for morality and society", yet you point to their lack of a fundementalist Christian presence as evidence that they are "heading for a fall."

It couldn't possibly be that you, once again, made some factual claim before doing some research to see if it had any basis in reality, could it?

Now, because you are also largely incapable of correcting your own errors, you pridefully and pointlessly stand in opposition to those of us who took the time to look up the facts which you should have found had you thought, just for a moment, that your own guesses about how things are just might not be accurate!

[This message has been edited by schrafinator, 07-22-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Buzsaw, posted 07-21-2003 11:06 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 18249
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 36 of 40 (46897)
07-22-2003 12:07 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Buzsaw
07-21-2003 11:06 PM


Hi Buzz,

Here's a chart showing church attendance by country. Sorry for the low quality, blame SciAm:

Notice that Finland in particular and Scandnavia in general fall at the low end of the scale. Thus it doesn't matter whether Scandinavian Lutheranism in any way resembles American fundamentalism because this is a largely secular part of the world.

Regarding Israel, you can make any arguments you like for how much Jewish beliefs resemble those of American fundamentalism, but it only locks you in to arguing from a position of no evidence unless you can find a study or survey that classifies things the same way you do.

I'm noticing a disturbing pattern. I thought the earlier problems were due to your unfamiliarity with science, but it seems it doesn't matter what the topic, you're governed only by your own opinions which seem largely undisturbed by anything resembling evidence.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Buzsaw, posted 07-21-2003 11:06 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 37 of 40 (46902)
07-22-2003 1:12 PM


Rather than plow through all the rhetoric about how fundamentally Biblical this and that country are, I'll summarize my statements by the following:

1. By and large, the nations of higher standard are those of a Biblical based ancestory whether it be of the OT or of both the OT and NT. That is not to say all are. There are some exceptions. In many of these nations secularism has prevailed in recent decades, but a measure of morality and some Biblical values are instilled in the culture nevertheless.

2. Take my statements for what they're worth. I simply don't have time to get into documenting every little thing I say as I seem to be expected to do and others are not.

3. If this is going to emerge into another lecture session on how poorly I'm performing, I'm done with this thread.


Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Admin, posted 07-22-2003 1:54 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded
 Message 39 by zephyr, posted 07-22-2003 1:58 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Admin
Director
Posts: 12578
From: EvC Forum
Joined: 06-14-2002
Member Rating: 4.6


Message 38 of 40 (46904)
07-22-2003 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Buzsaw
07-22-2003 1:12 PM


Hi Buzz,

Buzz writes:

2. Take my statements for what they're worth. I simply don't have time to get into documenting every little thing I say as I seem to be expected to do and others are not.

It would indeed be unfair to nitpick someone to death by asking him to support every tiny statement no matter how minor, but you're in the habit of making broad statements on significant matters without offering any objective support. This is a violation of rule 4 of the Forum Guidelines, Assertions should be supported with either explanations and/or evidence for why the assertion is true. Bare assertions are strongly discouraged.

When finally backed into a corner by actual information you're in the habit of issuing a summary of your views without any supporting argument or evidence, as you just did in point 1 of your post, and this is a violation of rule 2, Debate in good faith by addressing rebuttals through the introduction of new information or by providing additional argument. Do not merely keep repeating the same points without elaboration.

Because of the continued guideline violations I'd like to request that you please take your discussion to the Free For All forum until such time as you decide to abide by the guidelines. Thanks!

------------------
--Percy
   EvC Forum Administrator


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Buzsaw, posted 07-22-2003 1:12 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

  
zephyr
Member (Idle past 2594 days)
Posts: 821
From: FOB Taji, Iraq
Joined: 04-22-2003


Message 39 of 40 (46907)
07-22-2003 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Buzsaw
07-22-2003 1:12 PM


quote:
1. By and large, the nations of higher standard are those of a Biblical based ancestory whether it be of the OT or of both the OT and NT. That is not to say all are. There are some exceptions. In many of these nations secularism has prevailed in recent decades, but a measure of morality and some Biblical values are instilled in the culture nevertheless.

Excuse my late entry in this discussion, but I'm at a loss to understand how material gain can be held up as proof that a nation is correctly following the will of a god who says to give everything away to the poor and live only for the eternal reward he offers you. I won't pick on the documentation or research - it's obvious you don't care to match the efforts of those already involved - but it seems your fundamental point is at odds with the sayings of Jesus himself. You get more money, a better house, and clean water if you nominally embrace Christianity as a nation? I don't think so.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by Buzsaw, posted 07-22-2003 1:12 PM Buzsaw has not yet responded

Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3876
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 40 of 40 (46909)
07-22-2003 2:23 PM


Closing topic
The economics related discussion is most worthy, and I am inclined to chip in, in the non-admin mode, but it has caused a terminal off-topic situation.

I suggest that doctrbill start a "Is the Bible inspired by God? II" topic, and someone else start a "Religion and Economics" type topic.

I wanted to get on this a bit faster, but someone else had the phone line tied up.

Closing this topic down.

Adminnemooseus ("I had to kill the topic, to save the topic")

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