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Author Topic:   Is God determined to allow no proof or evidence of his existence? Part II
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 1 of 171 (214675)
06-06-2005 1:07 PM


www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=467&m=286 -->www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=467&m=286">http://www.evcforum.net/cgi-bin/dm.cgi?action=msg&f=6&t=467&m=286

I would like to continue with this thread if possible. There were a few things that I feel were not resolved clearly at the end.

For one, I totally have not understood the nature of purpledawn's questions. I am seeking further clarification on these points if possible.

For two, I think that there were other issues related to the nature of God being determined to allow no proof or evidence of his existence which I would like to discuss with Faith further.


Replies to this message:
 Message 162 by Carico, posted 12-28-2005 6:53 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has not yet responded
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AdminAsgara
Administrator (Idle past 382 days)
Posts: 2073
From: The Universe
Joined: 10-11-2003


Message 2 of 171 (214759)
06-06-2005 4:52 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
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Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 3 of 171 (214982)
06-07-2005 11:14 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminAsgara
06-06-2005 4:52 PM


Thank you.

I'll edit this message later to address some of Faith's and purpledawn's thoughts more clearly.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 06-07-2005 10:38 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AdminAsgara, posted 06-06-2005 4:52 PM AdminAsgara has not yet responded

    
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 4 of 171 (215967)
06-10-2005 4:50 PM


Faith, I'll continue this discussion here if you choose to respond.
Faith writes:

But he could have died and been resurrected and NOBODY KNOW A THING ABOUT IT and the purpose would have been accomplished according to the way you and jar talk about it. Salvation in your view does not depend upon anybody's knowing anything about Christ.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

No, that's not what I've said at all. I've said that many can know the concept of Christ and confess their belief in him by the Holy Spirit moving them to do so. Therefore, if salvation is found in a person, it is because Christ is at work in them and saving them.

WITHOUT THEIR KNOWING HIM. By claiming they can know him without knowing anythign about him you are playing semantic tricks.

First of all, as I've said before, the Scriptures do indicate that all people know the word of God even if they do not acknowledge it (or know that Christ is the source).

You quoted the following passage of Scripture as the proof text of your assertion:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

Romans 10:14-15

However, in quoting this text, you completely omitted what Paul says further on. Paul explains this in detail as follows:

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.

For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

But I ask: Did they not hear?

Of course they did:

"Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."

Again I ask: Did Israel not understand?

First, Moses says,

"I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding."

And Isaiah boldly says,

"I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."[k]

But concerning Israel he says,

"All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people."

Romans 10: 16-21

Let's review what is being said here.

Paul says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

Then Paul asks, "Did they not hear?"

To this Paul then asserts that they did hear the message through the word of Christ.

And how does Paul say that they heard the message through the word of Christ?

Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 as a proof text as follows, "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

In other words, the word of Christ has gone out into all the earth, the words of Christ to the ends of the world -- so there is no excuse for not believing in God just as Paul said before in Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Going back to the entire text of Psalm 19:1-4 (which also follows this exact same reasoning) one can reasonably say that Paul has concluded that:

The heavens declare the word of Christ;
the skies proclaim the word of Christ.

Day after day they pour forth the word of Christ;
night after night they display the word of Christ.

There is no speech or language
where the word of Christ is not heard.

The word of Christ goes out into all the earth,
the word of Christ to the ends of the world.

I've already addressed this passage before and all you said was that I've misunderstood it, or interpretted it improperly, or was perhaps spiritually deluded, or maybe even suffering from demonic possession (as you've alluded before to others who do not agree with you).

Furthermore, the Scriptures do indicate that those that do not know Christ "by name" nonetheless still believe in him by their actions:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)

Romans 2:13-15 (NIV)

You've never actually addressed this passage except to say that these people who are considered righteous will "earn" a less hot place in hell.

~ yay ~

Faith, all that I'm saying is that Christ knows them -- and that this is more important than us knowing Christ.

Faith writes:


Salvation would be given to those who did good works based on his resurrection whether anybody believed or not or knew anything about it.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

And again, you're not understanding what I've said. I'm saying that if salvation is found in them, it is because they do know Christ -- even though they do not know his name.

YES, which is not KNOWING him, just a phony baloney bit of legerdemain.

No. Salvation would be given to anyone that the Spirit revealed would have believed if the message had been properly given to them. Consequently, when we see people expressing remorse for doing something that God calls "sin" -- even though they apparently don't know God -- many are compelled to think that these kinds of people would have been open to the message of salvation if it had been fairly presented to them.

In particular, I beleive that Christ, who is by the Scriptures own admission omnipotent in his glorified state, could examine the hearts and minds of any person to see how they "would have acted" if the situation were different.

I personally do not beleive this to be a vague statement which bears no resemblance to the various Judeo-Christian schools of thought. For example, the Scriptures themselves seem to disply a very similar message as follows in Hebrews 4:12-14:

NIV writes:


For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. As such, it seems to me that God could easily observe the multitude of different possibilities that lay before each individual human being and make it as if were something that actually happened and we could be held accountable for.

Or, as the Scriptures again say in Romans 4:17:

NIV writes:


As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

In this sense, it seems to me that God is capable of determining the faith that one would have had "as though they were" placed in the right cicumstances.

Consequently, when we look around the world, we do see glimpses of the gospel message everywhere -- even in nature whenever animals engage in traits of self-sacrifice in order to continue their own species.

Faith writes:

But whatever YOU mean about it obviously *I* don't mean that.

I know what you mean Faith -- and I don't agree with it. But I've never said that you're wrong though -- I simply pointed out contradictions in your thinking and suggested that "I think" you are wrong in regards to some of your conclusions. This is to say, I've always held that what you're suggesting is one possible meaning of it, one that might actuially be true.

But you seem to be incapable of even thinking that you could even possibly be wrong -- and quite comfortable in comdemning others in the process of asserting your own views.

Faith writes:

My point is that BY YOUR STANDARDS there is no point in ANYBODY's EVER knowing what the Bible says about Christ, no need to preach it, no need even to mention him, no need for it to have been taken notice of by anyone at all that He died and resurrected.

That's not true. And I've already explained why this wasn't true. By my standards Christ is the Savior and our knowledge of him when lovingly moved by the Spirit is a guarantee to salvation.

Others, however, know what the truth is but do not realize where the truth comes from. As they grope about in the darkness, they can easilly get discouraged by their inability to find the source of their truth. They can become led astray by seducing spirits because they have no sure word of the Scriptures to compare the truth of God's record. I've never denied that the Scriptures are the most sure word of God's revelation to man.

Faith writes:

If anyone can be saved simply because it happened without their knowing that it happened then there's no need for ANYONE to know it happened or for the Bible ever to have been written.

Does this sound unfair to you?

I tend to think that when a Christian is authentically called by God, they are called in such a way that their refusal to comply is damnable in the eyes of God.

In other words, we Christians are going to be judged more strictly than those who do not know God.

Consequently, there are passages of Scripture which seem to indicate this exact thing -- that those who know better will be judged more strictly:


Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

James 3:1 (NIV)

Faith writes:

In other words there's no distinction between being a believer in Christ and being a total atheist by your standards.

That's total bs Faith.

A believer in Christ knows who their redeemer is. We know where we are going after our death. We know that God loves us. We are able to share this love to others and pull them from the darkness.

An atheist knows there is material. They don't know, however, where they are going after they're death -- many seem to think that we cease to exist. They know what love is just like us, but they don't know where the love comes from. They are able to share love to others (and maybe even pull them from the darkness) but they can never be truly sure if their actions are anything more than a purely naturalistic process.

This is surely a recipe for falling away from God don't you think?

Faith writes:

Or jar's.

Well...I'll let jar defend himself. He seems to be doing a good job of this on his own in my opinion. That doesn't mean that I think jar is a genius just because he agrees with me -- although I do deeply respect the effort that he's gone to explain his position and can identify with many points he's made. I don't consider myself particularly smart anayway (and I'm certainly not a genius by any stretch), and I'm sure there's many areas where we disagree in some theological circles.

Faith writes:

The Bible however is adamant that the gospel is to be PREACHED.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Yes. And I've never said it wasn't adamant about this.

You are being awfully coy.

Or, maybe you're starting to realize that I've been pointing to an extremely valid alternative to your theological views.

Faith writes:

Is it possible you can't understand what I'm saying here? If it is to be preached, you need to explain WHY it needs to be preached, what's the point, why bother, if as you say nobody needs to know Word One about it in order to be saved through Christ?????

I've never said that either Faith. I've always maintained that God judges in proportion that which is revealed to each individual. I kind of agree with jar when he says that Christians have a higher bar for entry into heaven than others do.

Just as a baby could not be held accountable for their actions until they came to an age where they could understand instructions given to them, people who have never heard the fullness of the word of God as carefully described in the Christian Scriptures could not be fairly held accountable until such a time as the fullness of the revelation were carefully and lovingly explained to them by Christians.

Faith writes:


What's the point of the preaching if people are saved without hearing the gospel?

Because we've been called by God to do so. Because it's the truth.

It's the same point as it's always been, to lead people to repentance in Christ -- because people are not saved without hearing the gospel. While I maintain that the word of Christ can be perceived in many areas of nature and religions outside the Christian Scriptures, we as Christians have the fullness of truth -- so there is no excuse for us to not preach Christ's word.

In other words, just as at the most basic theistic level there is enough evidence in nature to prove God exists, at the most basic Christian level there is enough evidence in Scriptures to prove that Christ is God -- and the Spirit leads us to preach this truth to all who are willing to listen.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

I never said they couldn't be saved without knowing the gospel. I've said that they can know the gospel, however dimly, from other sources outside the Christian faith.

Faith writes:

Obviously Mr Ex, I'm talking about having HEARD IT, UNDERSTANDING what's WRITTEN, knowing the BIBLICAL report of Christ. "Knowing the gospel" in YOUR sense MEANS that NOBODY ON EARTH NEEDS TO KNOW IT AS IT IS WRITTEN. SO YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY GOD BOTHERED TO SAY IT IS TO BE PREACHED, AND WHY ANYBODY BOTHERS TO PREACH IT, AND WHY THE WRITTEN REPORTS ARE OF ANY VALUE WHATEVER, since according to you there is no reason whatever for any of that.

What are you not understanding here?

Just because one can be saved without knowledge of Christ directly from the Christian Scriptures, this doesn't mean that ALL PEOPLE who have not heard the Christian Scriptures are going to heaven.

I'm not talking about universal salvation Faith. I do believe that many people who do not believe in Christ (by your definition) will still sadly be going to hell. My point is that Christ is capable of saving those that do not know he is the savior even though they acknowledge him by their actions.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

As far as preaching is concerned, God calls us to do it because there is a very real danger in other faiths and worldly systems of falling away to the point that they no longer know God anymore -- to the point that their consciences are simply dead to God's call. Those that uphold the gospel are effectively immune to this falling away so long as they are attentive to the Holy Spirit -- but, even then, there are exceptions to the rule if they persistently ignore the Holy Spirit.

Faith writes:

And how does preaching the gospel stop people of other religions from falling away?

By leading them to Christ. How else do you think it does it?

Faith writes:

Are you saying that those of us who DO hear the gospel have an advantage then? Please develop this point if so.

Yes and no.

To quote Spider-Man's uncle, "With great power comes great responsibility." I've already aluded to the fact that the Scriptures say that we Christians will be judged more strictly than others. In this sense, we are to always be one guard and watching out for things.

I think that the true knowledge of God is perhaps the most potentially dangerous and volatile power ever brought forth by him. When placed in the wrong hands, the knowledge of God can result in the most terrible calamities ever imagined.

I know that others will laugh at me, but I do believe that there will be a literal anti-chirst walking the face of the earth some day. In this regard, I think he will probably claim to be a Christian of some sort -- and will highly abuse his God-given authority. Like the adversary, Balaam, and Judas Iscariot, he will probably be one who is very close to God but will rebel against him and do the utmost damage that one can think of in the name of God.

All these above points are exanples of disadvantages.

I'll adress some of the advantages below.

Faith writes:

What good does it do if Jesus "preached the clear message of God" without common errors, as you say, if nobody needs to know that message or believe it in order to be saved?

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Because it is the truth Faith. God wants us to know his son in whom he is pleased. Jesus is the perfect way to the father -- he is true God and true man -- and there is no other way to the Father except by Christ.

But if people can be saved by Christ without ever knowing any of this about Christ there is no reason for anybody to know it at all. There is no special advantage for those who know it. Might as well not bother if we'll be saved or damned with or without knowing it.

First of all, there are plenty of special advantages to being a Christian.

Here's a few that are mentioned in the Scriptures:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

More importantly, we are permanently indwelled by the Holy Spirit as Christians -- so long as we are alive. This is much different from others who are simply buffetted around between the motions of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the adversary, the flesh and the world. While God can certainly work through someone who does not know him, it is no guarantee that salvation is inherrited by this. God could measure their lives at the end of human history and still save them based on their willingness to be moved by the Spirit, but non-believers are not necessarilly atracted to the motions of the Spirit.

I suppose I look at it this way. When certain materials are shocked, they become magnetized and will align themselves to local manetic fields quite easilly. Similarly, when a Christian is baptized they easilly align themselves to the motion of the Holy Spirit.

Now, in the case of a non-beleiver, let's say they were not "born again" in Christ. They've never been "magnetizied" by the Holy Spirit so that they can easilly align themselves to God's will. As such, this doesn't mean that they can't align themselves to the pull of the Holy Spirit. If God uses a powerful enough "magnet", they will still be pulled along by God -- they could even be fortunate enough to "aware" to the magnetic field even though they are not attacted to it. But, having said this, they will tend to resist the more natural attraction that God normally employs.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Besides that, I've always upheld that it was one's belief in Christ that reveals Christ's manifestation of salvation in their lives -- even if they don't know Christ by name.

Faith writes:

Yes you say that but that is not what the Bible says.

In you opinion I will add.

Faith writes:

It's plain nonsensical to claim that someone believes in someone whose name they don't even know. And again, if that's "belief" that saves, what's the point of having a real belief in the Christ we know by name?

Because he is real and he wants to talk to us. He is deeply interested in what we think -- and how we feel.

I also think that God cannot see evil when in heaven, so he became both true God and true Man in order to come down and experience everything we do so that he could save us.


Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -— yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

In other words, Christ came down so that he could sympathize with us and make an appeal for us before the father in heaven. His human nature was able to perceive the "sin" that God "in heaven" was incapable of looking upon -- even though his Godly soul was unable to be overcome by death. Christ was, in effect, tempted in every way, just as we are -— and yet was without sin. In dying, he took on our sins on his "human" body and then "sacrificed" himself by experiencing a torturous death so that his "Godly" soul could then overcome death.

Faith writes:


And if the necessary revelation for salvation is already given in nature, as you've argued elsewhere, there was no need for him to come at all despite your insistence on the value of his life and resurrection.

Because many people do not grasp it Faith. Whether because their senses are dimmed, or because they are simply blind to God's presense, it's too subliminal for some to grasp anymore. So God came in person to make this clear.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Yes. And the value of his life and resurrection is the ultimate source of our salvation. I accept that you don't agree with my point of view. However, I don't understand why you have to distort what I've said so as to make it look like I'm saying that Christ's death and return from the dead is irrelevent to my theology.

Faith writes:

I'm not saying YOU are saying that, I'm saying that is the logical inference from what you are saying. You don't seem to have noticed that the WRITTEN REPORTS about his death and resurrection are irrelevant given what you believe. Given what you believe there is no value whatever to anybody's KNOWING any of the reality of the life and death of Jesus, ever hearing it preached etc, since we will all be saved or damned ANYWAY, saved on the basis of the resurrection whether we know about it or not, damned on the basis of our works not meeting some standard or other we'll never be able to grasp.


Do you understand what I'm saying now?


Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are -— yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

In other words, Christ came down so that he could sympathize with us and make an appeal for us before the father in heaven. His human nature was able to perceive the "sin" that God "in heaven" was incapable of looking upon -- even though his Godly soul was unable to be overcome by death. Christ was, in effect, tempted in every way, just as we are -— and yet was without sin. In dying, he took on our sins on his "human" body and then "sacrificed" himself by experiencing a torturous death so that his "Godly" soul could then overcome death.

The Scriptures further emphasize this as follows:

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.

Ephesians 2:14-16 (NIV)

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Everything I've said points toward Christ's redeeming us on the cross -- and that there is no other way for humanity to gain access to the father except by this.

Faith writes:

But I am focusing on our KNOWING ABOUT THE REDEMPTION OR NOT. Your view implies that NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT so I don't see why the Christian Church has always made such a big deal about preaching it if it doesn't matter if anyone knows about it.

No. You're focussing on the passages that imply (in your interpretation) that anyone who doesn't believe in Christ are sufficiently damned. :(

Faith writes:


No my interpretation of scripture is not wrong. Yours is.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

More sweeping statements eh?

Gee -- this sounds like something coming out of the mouth of a first grade child, "I'm right and you're wrong...nah nah nah!". I'm not going to sit here and go back and forth with you saying, "I'm right and your wrong" 20 times over and over again because it accomplishes nothing.

We're going to have to agree to disagree.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

I've already agreed to disagree with you Faith. It's your insistence that you've somehow "won the debate" which cause the Spirit to flare up in me and prompts me to respond further to your responses.

That aint the Spirit, that's your ego.

You're the one claiming that God only listens to you and Christians that think like you. Who has the issues with their ego Faith?

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

See, I don't claim to have won anything. All's that I've presented is an what I believe to be a very valid alternative to your interpretation -- and to this extent I believe I've succeeded in doing so.

However, your response is usually something like, "I'm right...and everyone else who disagrees with me is wrong." I don't claim to be the absolute source of truth like you do. I've only responded as I felt the Spirit led me to do so. Whether I'm right or wrong -- ultimately -- Christ will be the judge. Not you.

Faith writes:

You say you're right, I say I'm right. I don't see the difference myself. That's life. Of course Christ will judge.

No. I say that you might be right. But that I think you are wrong.

You say that no one but you (and people who agree with you) are right -- period.

Don't try to claim that there is no difference between my views and yours Faith. In regards to how we each claim we are "right", there's a big difference between how we approach our individual faith perspectives.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 06-10-2005 05:08 PM


Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Faith, posted 06-11-2005 1:12 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded
 Message 13 by General Nazort, posted 06-11-2005 6:56 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 5 of 171 (215969)
06-10-2005 4:52 PM


purpledawn, I would like to continue this discussion if you are willing.
purpledawn writes:


Personally, I never got a straight answer from the clergy I encountered.

I'm not really interested in what the clergy or other religions said though. I'm more interested in your own opinion so let me rephrase the question:

How exactly did YOU get to know God then if he didn't reveal himself in some way to YOU?


Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by purpledawn, posted 06-10-2005 5:54 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 6 of 171 (215985)
06-10-2005 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
06-10-2005 4:52 PM


Grew Up in the Church
quote:
How exactly did YOU get to know God then if he didn't reveal himself in some way to YOU?
I grew up in the Church.

I was in the nursey as a babe and graduated up through the classes through adulthood. Went through the classes and baptised at 13. Had all the emotional highs of baptism, revivals, etc.

All I truly know of God is what is in the book and what the churches I've attended have taught me. No true knowledge of God came through any other path.

I looked at nature as a gift from God because that is what I was taught.

I've never been to the Grand Canyon. I've been taught that it exists and how it probably came to be. People who have visited the Grand Canyon have told me about it. Now I accept that it is there until I go there and find that it isn't.

I accepted that the Christian God existed until I looked outside the Bible and he wasn't there.

As I've said before, Christians can't or won't explain how one is supposed to recognize this revelation of knowledge from God.


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-10-2005 4:52 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-11-2005 1:46 AM purpledawn has responded

  
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 7 of 171 (216059)
06-11-2005 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by purpledawn
06-10-2005 5:54 PM


Re: Grew Up in the Church
Are you saying that you don't believe in God anymore?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by purpledawn, posted 06-10-2005 5:54 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by purpledawn, posted 06-11-2005 7:06 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 8 of 171 (216103)
06-11-2005 7:06 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
06-11-2005 1:46 AM


Re: Grew Up in the Church
If the Chrisitan God or other religious entities were truly a knowable being outside of the pages and imaginations that house them, then believers could share the steps to knowing God that all could follow.

Whether there is one supreme being that started this universe machine, I don't know, but, IMO, a known being is not what religion worships.

In answer to your question, No, I do not believe in the concept of God that Christianity presents.

You have yet to show me that God is DETERMINED to allow evidence of his existence. Because quite frankly an all powerful being who is determined to allow evidence would be very evident.

This message has been edited by purpledawn, 06-11-2005 07:13 AM


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-11-2005 1:46 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-11-2005 2:26 PM purpledawn has responded

  
Faith
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 171 (216167)
06-11-2005 1:12 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
06-10-2005 4:50 PM


Re: Faith, I'll continue this discussion here if you choose to respond.
Faith writes:
But he could have died and been resurrected and NOBODY KNOW A THING ABOUT IT and the purpose would have been accomplished according to the way you and jar talk about it. Salvation in your view does not depend upon anybody's knowing anything about Christ.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:
No, that's not what I've said at all. I've said that many can know the concept of Christ and confess their belief in him by the Holy Spirit moving them to do so. Therefore, if salvation is found in a person, it is because Christ is at work in them and saving them.

Are you being wilfully obtuse? Surely you know that I meant CONSCIOUSLY knowing of Christ? Surely you know that I'm saying that "Salvation in your view does not depend upon anybody's [CONSCIOUSLY] knowing anything about Christ?"

And the point still stands. Your view appears to be that nobody needs to CONSCIOUSLY know anything about Christ to be saved. Therefore what point could there possibly be in all of us who do CONSCIOUSLY know of Him, in His message being preached, in all the exhortations to believe in Him?

WITHOUT THEIR KNOWING HIM. By claiming they can know him without knowing anythign about him you are playing semantic tricks.

First of all, as I've said before, the Scriptures do indicate that all people know the word of God even if they do not acknowledge it (or know that Christ is the source).

You quoted the following passage of Scripture as the proof text of your assertion:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
Romans 10:14-15

However, in quoting this text, you completely omitted what Paul says further on. Paul explains this in detail as follows:

But not all the Israelites accepted the good news.
For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?"

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

But I ask: Did they not hear?

Of course they did:

"Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world."

Again I ask: Did Israel not understand?

First, Moses says,

"I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding."

And Isaiah boldly says,

"I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."[k]

But concerning Israel he says,

"All day long I have held out my hands
to a disobedient and obstinate people."

Romans 10: 16-21

Let's review what is being said here.

Paul says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

Then Paul asks, "Did they not hear?"

To this Paul then asserts that they did hear the message through the word of Christ.

And how does Paul say that they heard the message through the word of Christ?

Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 as a proof text as follows, "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

In other words, the word of Christ has gone out into all the earth, the words of Christ to the ends of the world -- so there is no excuse for not believing in God just as Paul said before in Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Going back to the entire text of Psalm 19:1-4 (which also follows this exact same reasoning) one can reasonably say that Paul has concluded that:

The heavens declare the word of Christ;
the skies proclaim the word of Christ.
Day after day they pour forth the word of Christ;
night after night they display the word of Christ.

There is no speech or language
where the word of Christ is not heard.

The word of Christ goes out into all the earth,
the word of Christ to the ends of the world.

I've already addressed this passage before and all you said was that I've misunderstood it, or interpretted it improperly, or was perhaps spiritually deluded, or maybe even suffering from demonic possession (as you've alluded before to others who do not agree with you).

Furthermore, the Scriptures do indicate that those that do not know Christ "by name" nonetheless still believe in him by their actions:

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.)
Romans 2:13-15 (NIV)

You've never actually addressed this passage except to say that these people who are considered righteous will "earn" a less hot place in hell.

~ yay ~

Faith, all that I'm saying is that Christ knows them -- and that this is more important than us knowing Christ.

All the above is irrelevant to the simple point I was making. You are simply continuing to insist that it is possible to be saved without CONSCIOUSLY knowing Christ. My objection to this was that it trivializes the beliefs of those who DO know Christ CONSCIOUSLY, trivializes the preaching of the gospel and the exhortations to believe to be saved.

Faith writes:

Salvation would be given to those who did good works based on his resurrection whether anybody believed or not or knew anything about it.

Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:
And again, you're not understanding what I've said. I'm saying that if salvation is found in them, it is because they do know Christ -- even though they do not know his name.

Honestly I KNOW what you are saying! There has never been any doubt about what you are saying! But you are refusing to acknowledge the obvious distinction between your notion of "knowing" someone without knowing his name and knowing someone by actually knowing his name and the whole gospel message about him. I'm saying that your idea that Christ can be "known" in that unconscious sense trivializes the conscious knowing of the entire Church of Christ back to Abraham.

YES, which is not KNOWING him, just a phony baloney bit of legerdemain.

No. Salvation would be given to anyone that the Spirit revealed would have believed if the message had been properly given to them.

I think this is a whole separate subject at the moment. Whether this is the same as "knowing" him is a question, even if it were to be acknowledged that God could certainly act on this if He chose to, and I'd also add that in this case we wouldn't ever be able to know if he would do such a thing. But that is not the point I was trying to make that I assumed you'd be answering here which I've stated a couple times above and will now restate:

This focus on people's "knowing" Christ without knowing they know him appears to trivilize the conscious knowing of Christ by the whole Church through the centuries. You have not yet said a word about this.

I am going to skip most of your discussion of this same point about how people may supposedly know Christ without knowing they know him and see if you answer my point anywhere:

Faith writes:
My point is that BY YOUR STANDARDS there is no point in ANYBODY's EVER knowing what the Bible says about Christ, no need to preach it, no need even to mention him, no need for it to have been taken notice of by anyone at all that He died and resurrected.

That's not true. And I've already explained why this wasn't true. By my standards Christ is the Savior and our knowledge of him when lovingly moved by the Spirit is a guarantee to salvation.

This is a nonanswer. If people can be saved without having this knowledge there is no point in having it and what you are saying here doesn't provide one.

Others, however, know what the truth is but do not realize where the truth comes from. As they grope about in the darkness, they can easilly get discouraged by their inability to find the source of their truth. They can become led astray by seducing spirits because they have no sure word of the Scriptures to compare the truth of God's record. I've never denied that the Scriptures are the most sure word of God's revelation to man.

This is, it seems to me, a distinction without a distinction as they say.

Then you go on about how those who have heard the gospel have more responsibility and are the more damnable for refusing it and I agree with this.

I also believe that there will be another literal anti-christ who will come to deceive and to persecute Christians and he will present himself as a Christian. Jsut to get that said.

But if people can be saved by Christ without ever knowing any of this about Christ there is no reason for anybody to know it at all. There is no special advantage for those who know it. Might as well not bother if we'll be saved or damned with or without knowing it.

First of all, there are plenty of special advantages to being a Christian.

Here's a few that are mentioned in the Scriptures:

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

More importantly, we are permanently indwelled by the Holy Spirit as Christians -- so long as we are alive. This is much different from others who are simply buffetted around between the motions of the Holy Spirit and the spirit of the adversary, the flesh and the world. While God can certainly work through someone who does not know him, it is no guarantee that salvation is inherrited by this. God could measure their lives at the end of human history and still save them based on their willingness to be moved by the Spirit, but non-believers are not necessarilly atracted to the motions of the Spirit.

I get your point better now, about the advantage to knowing Christ through the gospel, though I doubt that there is anyone alive who would qualify on the idea of knowing him without knowing they know him. I think a conscious sense of the need for sacrifice and a faith in God however vague and a contrition for sin are fundamental, as exemplified by Job and Noah for instance. They would certainly be saved but I don't see this in any existing religions now. The tendency is to be given works to earn one's salvation but where is repentance, contrition, or sacrifice any part of it? In any case, even if it is possible that something like this could occur, there is no way of knowing for sure that it will for anyone living, and I don't understand your concern to emphasize it. Our job is to preach the gospel no matter what, not assure people that there's a way to be saved without it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-10-2005 4:50 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by General Nazort, posted 06-11-2005 6:46 PM Faith has responded
 Message 20 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-16-2005 6:36 PM Faith has responded

  
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 10 of 171 (216185)
06-11-2005 2:26 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by purpledawn
06-11-2005 7:06 AM


Re: Grew Up in the Church
purpledawn writes:

If the Chrisitan God or other religious entities were truly a knowable being outside of the pages and imaginations that house them, then believers could share the steps to knowing God that all could follow.

Many do -- and there are not only many different steps by which one could arrive to this state, there are many different paths to the same destination.

purpledawn writes:

Whether there is one supreme being that started this universe machine, I don't know, but, IMO, a known being is not what religion worships.

If people talk to this being in the same way that we talk to each other, then he is known by them even if you don't believe that they know him. In other words, they believe that God revealed himself to them in some way.

purpledawn writes:

In answer to your question, No, I do not believe in the concept of God that Christianity presents.

Well...you could have told me that before. The way you spoke before made it sound as if you did believe.

For example, here's one of your previous posts on this matter (note how you never once said that you didn't believe):

purpledawn writes:

I'd been a devout Christian all my life.

Ten years ago when I started studying the Bible deeply (through guided Bible studies), my prayer before I read each lesson and the Bible was for God to show me the truth of the Bible and the path he wanted me to take.

Now I understand the reality of the Christian Bible.

I think I even asked you what this "reality" was and you never clarified it to my knowledge. When someone makes statements like, "Now I understand the reality of the Christian Bible..." after saying, "I read each lesson and the Bible was for God to show me the truth of the Bible and the path he wanted me to take..." one does not usually conclude that God told them to not believe in him anymore.

:confused:

If you're looking to jerk me around, then take it elsewhere please. I'm trying to get to the heart of the matter and people being honest with me from the beginning helps to make the conversation go much more easilly.

purpledawn writes:

You have yet to show me that God is DETERMINED to allow evidence of his existence.

That fact that people believe that God has contacted them in some way (or has revealed himself to them in some way) demonstrates in their mind that God was determined to allow evidence of his existence.

Again, if you want to get into a debate about the validity of this evidence, then you're missing the point. Everyone who believes in some kind of divinity also believes that their divinity has revealed themselves to them in some way.

The whole point of my discussion was related to what you had reiterated that crashfrog had mentioned before:

purpledawn writes:

Actually crashfrog is right. If God's existence was scientifically substantiated, it would eliminate the need for faith.

Faith - firm belief in something for which there is no proof

So if God requires belief without proof then he cannot allow tangible proof or evidence of his existence.

You're not getting this are you?

Faith in God (or gods) has nothing to do with scientifically substantiating his existence. Within a Judeo-Christian context, the adversary himself and all the fallen host can scientifically substantiate God's existence -- yet they don't have faith in God at all. Many people know in their heart that God exists -- but they feel that he is cruel and deliberately choose not to place their faith in him. Many of the Israelites saw God and still chose not to place their faith in him -- many rebelled and were found dead in the wilderness (with only Joshua and Caleb making it through that generation).

The claim that "If God's existence was scientifically substantiated, it would eliminate the need for faith" is a major logical fallacy in my opinion. It's akin to a very complex question (also called the "fallacy of interrogation" or a "fallacy of presupposition").

According to the The Atheism Web (Logic & Fallacies http://www.infidels.org/news/atheism/logic.html ) this is the interrogative form of "Begging the Question".

One example is the classic loaded question:

The Atheism Web writes:

"Have you stopped beating your wife?"

The question presupposes a definite answer to another question which has not even been asked. This trick is often used by lawyers in cross-examination, when they ask questions like:

The Atheism Web writes:

"Where did you hide the money you stole?"

Similarly, politicians often ask loaded questions such as:

The Atheism Web writes:

"How long will this EU interference in our affairs be allowed to continue?"

or

The Atheism Web writes:

"Does the Chancellor plan two more years of ruinous privatization?"

Another form of this fallacy is to ask for an explanation of something which is untrue or not yet established.

If you go to the Nizkor Project ( http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-the-question.html ) you will also find more information on the description of "begging the question". In other words, it's called circular reasoning, or reasoning in a circle, a.k.a. petitio principii.

Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. This sort of "reasoning" typically has the following form.

Nizkor Project writes:

Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed (either directly or indirectly).

Claim C (the conclusion) is true.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because simply assuming that the conclusion is true (directly or indirectly) in the premises does not constitute evidence for that conclusion. Obviously, simply assuming a claim is true does not serve as evidence for that claim. This is especially clear in particularly blatant cases: "X is true. The evidence for this claim is that X is true."

Some cases of question begging are fairly blatant, while others can be extremely subtle.

Nizkor Project writes:

Examples of Begging the Question:

Bill: "God must exist."
Jill: "How do you know."
Bill: "Because the Bible says so."
Jill: "Why should I believe the Bible?"
Bill: "Because the Bible was written by God."

"If such actions were not illegal, then they would not be prohibited by the law."

"The belief in God is universal. After all, everyone believes in God."

Interviewer: "Your resume looks impressive but I need another reference."
Bill: "Jill can give me a good reference."
Interviewer: "Good. But how do I know that Jill is trustworthy?"
Bill: "Certainly. I can vouch for her."

Now, going back to the statement, "If God's existence was scientifically substantiated, it would eliminate the need for faith."

No. It wouldn't.

First of all, some are assuming that God hides so as to generate faith in him. However, if God is hiding it could very well have nothing to do with trying to generate faith.

It might have more to do with our inability to see him for whatever reason. It might have even more to do with God not being able to look upon sin -- and if it is true that God can't see us, then it's almost certainly true that we defintely can't see him either. It might even be more true to say that humanity simply cannot grasp the fullness of the eternal -- and that we can only perceive bits and pieces of God's nature.

In all these cases, God not allowing "scientific evidence" of his existence has nothing to with him trying to generate faith. More appropirately, it seems more reasonable that God is trying to pierce our own blindness in order to authenticate his own existence (and generate faith).

But...let's take another look at the statement, "If God's existence was scientifically substantiated, it would eliminate the need for faith."

Second of all, this statement assumes that God cannot be scientifically substantiated in the first place. Consequently, it may very well be possible to do this. In fact, it might have already been done to some extent. If science is allowed to make an inferrence based on the data available, then concluding that God exists is certainly within the realm of possibility for many people (and many hace made this claim). Futhermore, there may come a day when science can actually pierce the veil into the heavenly realms and find God decisively.

I could go on with this, but let's take a look at one last set of statements you made:

Part I:

purpledawn writes:

Faith - firm belief in something for which there is no proof.

First of all, I've already addressed this before. Many feel there is proof -- so the issue of firm belief being applied to something which supposedly cannot be prooven seems to be effectively undermined by the fact that they are claiming to have directly experienced something which they no longer feel they need proof for.

But let's take a look at the next part of your statement.

Part II:

purledawn writes:

So if God requires belief without proof then he cannot allow tangible proof or evidence of his existence.

Do you see how you are begging the question here?

This is a complex statment which assumes so many things before it could be considered valid.

First of all, you assume that God requires belief without proof. But, in saying this, you are also effectively assuming there is no proof for God's existence.

You also assume that God requiring belief without proof automatically means that he cannot allow tangible proof or evidence of his existence.

As an alternative to this point of view, God may actually require belief with or without proof.

Or, as another alternative, he might actually require belief only when one is supplied with proof -- and hold people accountable to believe in proportion to the proof which is revealed to them.

I can continue with this disection of your assumptions if you wish.

purpledawn writes:

Because quite frankly an all powerful being who is determined to allow evidence would be very evident.

And to many people he is very evident.

If you're still waiting for him to light the candle for you, maybe you haven't seen that all you have to do is light the candle yourself.

This message has been edited by Mr. Ex Nihilo, 06-11-2005 03:58 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by purpledawn, posted 06-11-2005 7:06 AM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by purpledawn, posted 06-11-2005 4:46 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    
purpledawn
Member (Idle past 1537 days)
Posts: 4453
From: Indiana
Joined: 04-25-2004


Message 11 of 171 (216216)
06-11-2005 4:46 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
06-11-2005 2:26 PM


Re: Grew Up in the Church
quote:
If you're looking to jerk me around, then take it elsewhere please.
Excuse me, but you started this second thread and you called me out.

I said quite clearly in the other thread that you weren't understanding what I'm saying and you still aren't.

quote:
For example, here's one of your previous posts on this matter (note how you never once said that you didn't believe):
The post you are referring to was in response to Faith's question of: Do you have a clear idea of what sort of proof would convince you personally? My reply gave what I considered to be evidence that would convince me personally of the existence of God. If I believed in the existence of the Christian God today, would I need proof?

quote:
I think I even asked you what this "reality" was and you never clarified it to my knowledge.
I told you to check out threads that I had started and other posts that I have made. I also said in a later post that since I see the reality of the Bible, I am trying to keep my wording within the Christian belief system since the OP assumes the existence of God, which might make my personal position a little confusing. I am limited within this F&B forum, so I apologize if I come across vague or misleading.

Since you do not wish to discuss the evidence itself, there is nothing for us to discuss. Good Day!


"The average man does not know what to do with this life, yet wants another one which lasts forever." --Anatole France
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-11-2005 2:26 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-11-2005 7:27 PM purpledawn has responded

  
General Nazort
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 171 (216245)
06-11-2005 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Faith
06-11-2005 1:12 PM


Re: Faith, I'll continue this discussion here if you choose to respond.
All the above is irrelevant to the simple point I was making. You are simply continuing to insist that it is possible to be saved without CONSCIOUSLY knowing Christ. My objection to this was that it trivializes the beliefs of those who DO know Christ CONSCIOUSLY, trivializes the preaching of the gospel and the exhortations to believe to be saved.

I don't see how being saved without consciously knowing Christ trivializes those who do consciously know him. Those who are "saved" who don't know Christ will quickly come to know him in the afterlife - they will simply not be as far along the path of knowing Christ as those who knew him while they lived on earth.


If you say there no absolutes, I ask you, are you absolutely sure?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Faith, posted 06-11-2005 1:12 PM Faith has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by Faith, posted 06-12-2005 2:01 PM General Nazort has not yet responded

  
General Nazort
Inactive Member


Message 13 of 171 (216246)
06-11-2005 6:56 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by Mr. Ex Nihilo
06-10-2005 4:50 PM


Re: Faith, I'll continue this discussion here if you choose to respond.
Let's review what is being said here.

Paul says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

Then Paul asks, "Did they not hear?"

To this Paul then asserts that they did hear the message through the word of Christ.

And how does Paul say that they heard the message through the word of Christ?

Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 as a proof text as follows, "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

In other words, the word of Christ has gone out into all the earth, the words of Christ to the ends of the world -- so there is no excuse for not believing in God just as Paul said before in Romans 1:20

I am pretty sure that this applies only to Israel, to whom God sent many preachers and prophets to give them the "Word of Christ." I am not sure that the natural revelation of "the heavens declare the glory of God" is the same as the "Word of Christ."


If you say there no absolutes, I ask you, are you absolutely sure?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-10-2005 4:50 PM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Mr. Ex Nihilo, posted 06-11-2005 7:45 PM General Nazort has not yet responded

  
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 14 of 171 (216257)
06-11-2005 7:27 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by purpledawn
06-11-2005 4:46 PM


Re: Grew Up in the Church
purpledawn writes:

I told you to check out threads that I had started and other posts that I have made. I also said in a later post that since I see the reality of the Bible, I am trying to keep my wording within the Christian belief system since the OP assumes the existence of God, which might make my personal position a little confusing.

I know. I was hoping for a direct link since I didn't want to search through over 700 posts to find your thoughts on the matter.

purpledawn writes:

I am limited within this F&B forum, so I apologize if I come across vague or misleading.

No problem purpledawn. And my apologies too if I've offended you in any way trying to respond to your posts. I do tend to aggressively engage other ideas too much sometimes. I guess I really don't understand what you're trying to express.

Note: Just out of curiousity did anyone else here not understand what purpledawn was getting at? I'm not a genius, but I don't think I'm a dummy either. I really did feel that I had addressed many of his points -- but maybe we are talking past each other here after all.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by purpledawn, posted 06-11-2005 4:46 PM purpledawn has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by purpledawn, posted 06-12-2005 7:36 AM Mr. Ex Nihilo has responded

    
Mr. Ex Nihilo
Member (Idle past 4628 days)
Posts: 708
Joined: 04-12-2005


Message 15 of 171 (216262)
06-11-2005 7:45 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by General Nazort
06-11-2005 6:56 PM


Re: Faith, I'll continue this discussion here if you choose to respond.
Mr. Ex Nihilo writes:

Let's review what is being said here.
Paul says, "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

Then Paul asks, "Did they not hear?"

To this Paul then asserts that they did hear the message through the word of Christ.

And how does Paul say that they heard the message through the word of Christ?

Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 as a proof text as follows, "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

In other words, the word of Christ has gone out into all the earth, the words of Christ to the ends of the world -- so there is no excuse for not believing in God just as Paul said before in Romans 1:20.

General Nazort writes:

I am pretty sure that this applies only to Israel, to whom God sent many preachers and prophets to give them the "Word of Christ."

And you might be correct General. I've always been open to this possibility, although I personally don't think it's restricted only to the Israelites based on my reading of the Scriptures.

General Nazort writes:

I am not sure that the natural revelation of "the heavens declare the glory of God" is the same as the "Word of Christ."

I'm willing to concede that possibility too. However, the passage in Romans 1:20 is not restricted only to the Israelites -- it has a universal theme to it.

Likewise, a strict reading of the Romans passage where Paul quotes Psalm 19:4 does seem to have a universal application to it: he's saying that the Israelites have no excuse for not hearing because "the message is heard through the word of Christ" because "their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."

If this is applying only to the Israelites of the 1st Century, then poetic words seem to be stretched to their limits by implying that the Israelites' message has emcompassed the entire world well before the beginning of the 2nd Century. Many parts of the world today have never heard the Gospel as preached strictly through Christian missionary activity, yet Paul seems to be asserting that the word of Christ has already been heard around the world before the end of the 1st Century -- which I find odd.

Again, I admit that I could be reading this wrong. Some might conclude that Paul is talking only about the land of the Israelites as being the "entire world". But I don't think I am wrong about this part -- especially since Paul seems to be well aware of lands well outside the region of Asia Minor.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by General Nazort, posted 06-11-2005 6:56 PM General Nazort has not yet responded

    
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