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Author Topic:   Who Made God?
Faith 
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Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


(1)
Message 29 of 868 (688991)
01-27-2013 3:59 AM


A Sketch of the Biblical View of God and gods
After a skip and hop through this thread I have a few thoughts on the various subjects.

Phat's inspiration for the thread was a book by Ravi Zacharias and Norman Geisler, both well respected Christian teachers, but I don't see where any of it was spelled out so all I can say is I'm sure it's a good solid Christian presentation.

Somebody brought up all the various gods, Zeus, Thor, etc., might as well add Horus, Isis, Molech, Tammuz, Krishna and all the hundreds of Hindu deities and all the rest from all the nations. According to the people who worship them, these are not human inventions, they are real living entities. According to the Bible they are demons, fallen angels who followed Satan when he fell from grace. Because of the Fall Satan became "the prince of this world" and his demonic hordes became the "gods" that have seduced human beings ever since. The various witch doctors or shamans of the varous religions acquire "supernatural" powers by getting themselves possessed by these entities. It's all because Adam and Eve disobeyed the true God and became captive to the evil powers.

God however did promise to save Adam and His posterity and gave that promise all the way back in Eden, to send the Messiah, the Seed of the Woman that would crush the head of Satan, and He repeated this promise to His various prophets thereafter. The original Patriarchs from Seth to Noah all believed in the promised Messiah. So did Job who spoke of expecting some day to see his Redeemer in the flesh, so did Abraham, Moses and all the judges and prophets of Israel and some of the kings expect Him etc. etc. etc. The OT is full of the promises of God to send His Messiah to save His people from their sins.

None of this is made up, it's all real.

GDR seems to think that all human beings hear from God and he gave the illustration of being moved to help a homeless person. From the point of view of Biblical theology that is wrong. That's just conscience, which all human beings have to one extent or another, a remnant of our having been created in the image of God, but not a direct hearing from God.

The human spirit that was in intimate contact with God before the Fall in Eden was lost, that was the main consequence of the Fall, so fallen humanity is no longer are able to communicate with God through our spirit. For that to be possible we must be born again as Jesus put it, and that comes through believing who Jesus is as the Bible presents Him and recognizing that He is the Messiah who died to pay for our sins so that our spirit and our communication with God COULD be restored that was lost through original sin in Eden. Those who repent and believe and are born again DO hear from God -- in many ways, not audibly however -- audible voices are from demons as are many other "supernatural" phenomena.

People have always had experiences of the "gods" and know by experience that they are real. But the way Christians who believe in the Bible know the reality of God is by believing what the Bible says, believing the witnesses who testify to their experiences of the work of the true God in this world. It's not a blind faith, and it's not an experience, you are believing in testimony. And most Christians will tell you that once they truly believe then they also do experience God in various ways, speaking in a personal way through His word being the most common I suppose.


He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

Replies to this message:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 31 of 868 (689025)
01-27-2013 3:04 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Tangle
01-27-2013 5:22 AM


Re: A Sketch of the Biblical View of God and gods
God gave us no provision for demonstrating that He's real. He gave us many witnesses to His reality that we either believe or we don't. When we believe, as Christians will generally attest, then we know He's real. Interesting how that works.

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 50 of 868 (689313)
01-29-2013 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Tangle
01-29-2013 12:35 PM


Re: Evidence
There's a thousand things I could think of that I would accept as proof but the very simplest would be a single, non-controversial miracle.

Why do you personally have to witness this miracle? God gave us evidence galore in the Bible of all kinds of miracles to prove exactly what you say it would take a miracle to prove, but you won't believe what the Bible says. Matthew, Mark, John and Peter who wrote parts of the New Testament all personally claimed to have witnessed Jesus' miracles of healing, healing lifelong blindness, causing people who couldn't walk to walk, even restoring people to life, changing water into wine, but you won't believe them. The Books of Moses attest to the miracles God did in Egypt and the pillars of fire and cloud that led the people, the manna from heaven that fed them, and so on and so forth, but you won't believe Moses either, probably won't even believe there WAS a Moses. So, you've been GIVEN evidence, the very kind you say you want, all you have to do is believe the people who reported it, but you won't.

Neither will GDR, not all of it, only parts here and there that he's decided he'd better believe.

You say Christians nowadays are forced to compromise because of science and sadly that's true, there are a lot of Christians who do, but there are also a lot of Christians who don't, that you never hear from. I'm one who doesn't compromise, I take every word of the Bible as true, trumping anything that contradicts it, because I have come to the conclusion that it was inspired by God Himself.

You shrug it off as a myth and me as an idiot, but you COULD choose instead to think maybe so many people who believe it have good reason to.

You won't.

Point is you've been given evidence. You've refused it. It's on your head.

Afterthought: Funny you think you'd believe a miracle if you personally witnessed it. Somehow THAT would trump all the evidence you think you have from science against such things? Why would your own personal witnessing have such power over science but all the testimony of all the people in the Bible to such miracles doesn't? And you probably can't even see why this is bizarre.

Thomas wouldn't believe either, all the testimony of the other disciples who told him they'd seen Jesus risen from the dead.

Jhn 20:24-29 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: [then] came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace [be] unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust [it] into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.

Jhn 20:30-31 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Isn't the message clear? You've been given fair and trustworthy witnesses, it is nothing but stubborn insistence that you be given something personal that keeps you from the very evidence you say you want.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 63 of 868 (689453)
01-30-2013 8:17 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Stile
01-30-2013 11:50 AM


Re: Evidence
You deny that the Biblical witnesses are fair and trustworthy, but those who believe the Bible judge them to be so, millions of us back 2000 years. So you've eliminated that evidence from usefulness to you. Witness evidence IS evidence, but if you distrust the witnesses that's the end of that.

The Bible has shown itself to sometimes not be fair and sometimes not be trustworthy. These miracles are, of course, extraordinary events. It's not fair to just "believe the people who reported it" because it's quite possible that some of those people are mistaken or even misleading.

But this isn't just a FEW witnesses of a questionable kind. God is quite aware that extraordinary events need extraordinary evidence, and has provided it far beyond the requirement. The Bible is made up of 66 separate testimonies by over forty separate writers, over something like 1500 years, most of them historical in nature, that all testify to Him and to the miracles that attest to Him and to thousands of other facts that all work together to support the whole.

But once you start denying this part or that part eventually you'll make it all useless to you. That's what most people here have done. The rule is simple: Believe. That's exactly what you all refuse to do.

There are so many more people that do not believe in it and also have good reason. There doesn't seem to be any difference from believing or not believing.

Some believers are happy, some are sad. Some unbelievers are happy, some are sad. No significant advantage to either side.
Some believers are rich, some are poor. Some unbelievers are rich, some are poor. No significant advantage to either side.
Some believers are respected, some are despicable. Some unbelievers are respected, some are despicable. No significant advantage to either side.

I don't think you're an idiot. I just think you can't describe an actual difference between believers and unbelievers.

That's sad if so. I know I changed enormously when I became a believer but I also know I have a long way to go to be conformed to Christ. But the things you mention, being happy or sad, rich or poor, aren't differences I'd expect to see. If they are true believers, however, there should be a real joy beneath the surface sadness

This makes me think that there is no difference between believers and unbelievers. This may indicate that God exists and doesn't care to (or can't) make a difference. Or it may be because God doesn't exist.
But you saying that we should believe because others do isn't fair. There's lots of things others do that we shouldn't do.

True but this came up in answer to the challenge whether there is evidence for God or not, and my claim is that the great number of witnesses is strong evidence, especially the witnesses in the Bible but also those who believe in it -- and I'd even say that it ought to be special evidence that so many believe in it still these days considering all the ridicule we have to put up with.

The Bible IS evidence, but of course you can discount it. There's been an awful lot of effort to undermine the Bible's credibility which is going to trip up a lot of people, of course, and this generation may sadly not exhibit the qualities we should, either -- that I'd probably agree with, we may be a generation weak in faith, but if you go back to earlier generations of Bible believers, those who died willingly in the millions under torture for their faith, that I'd have to count as solid evidence too, millions more witnesses. (No, I don't think blowing yourself up for Allah compares).

You saying we should believe because some miracles are described in the Bible isn't fair. There's lots of miracles described in non-Bible books and places.

Oh no there are not. Nothing that qualifies as a real miracle such as the Bible reports on. Absolutely not. Supernatural events of various sorts, yes, the kind that demons can demonstrate, but not real miracles on the order that only God could do.

None of them seem to be true either, just like the ones from the Bible.

There are plenty of frauds and hoaxes, though there are also real "supernatural" events done by demons, but you have no basis for believing the Bible's reports are false. Actually I started on my own path to belief in the Bible by first believing in the supernatural as reported by Hindu gurus. They called what they were describing "God" so I believed that at first, then read my way through book after book until I believed the Biblical revelation is the truth.

Point is you've been given evidence. You've refused it. It's on your head.

This is not a threat, it's a simple fact. Saying this as if it is some sort of threat has the effect of making you seem unfair and untrustworthy.

Why? The evidence has been given, far more than enough evidence, and salvation requires simply that you "Believe," That's the Biblical message, that's what Jesus said, that's the whole gospel in a nutshell. There IS a threat implied, although it's really more of a warning -- there is a real danger in not believing. We're talking the true God here, who has given everything a doubting human being could need to persuade us, and all He asks is that we believe Him. God REQUIRES us to believe, and He HAS given sufficient evidence for it, SO it IS on our own heads if we deny it. But a true seeker who is really looking for Him and needs time, no, He isn't going to abandon that sort of person, He's patient and kind. The threat and the warning are for those who have aggressively refused to believe. Plenty of those around here.

I think you are confusing things. Nobody is asking to simply witness a miracle by seeing it once. People are asking to be able to witness a miracle by verifying it. The verifying would likely be through some sort of scientific methodology. Not understanding this is, again, not fair.

But this is impossible. There is no way to scientifically verify a miracle. Miracles are one-time events. The only kind of verification you can have, besides your own experience of a miracle, is witness testimony, and there's so much of that in the Bible itself to require more is for YOU to be unfair. God has His reasons for not giving more in-your-face kinds of proofs, He's given enough to sort the sheep from the goats.

I never understand when someone tries to convince an unbeliever with the story of Thomas. Thomas did not believe and God came and convinced him personally. Regardless of the threatening (unfair, untrustworthy) moral of the story, bringing up Thomas only serves to add more fuel to an unbeliever feeling justified in asking to be personally convinced by God and not you because that's what God did in the story.

The story is there to illustrate the mentality of needing personal proof, and the uselessness of it, since what Thomas came to believe that way is something he could just as well have believed through the witness of the other disciples. What he learned that way is identical to what he would have learned by simply believing the testimony. It's a powerful illustration of the importance of the requirement to believe, to have faith. God gave tons of evidence to give us a reason to have faith, but we are to live by our faith, not by the evidence.

The story is supposed to be a help to those who require personal proof, so you could know that Jesus did graciously provide it to one person in the same position. But He also said that those who didn't need such proof are "blessed." Again, you learn exactly the same thing either way, either by physically seeing Him in person after you know He died, or believing those who tell you they saw Him raised from the dead. That's supposed to be the point of the story.

TL/DR - I've never met a fair and trustworthy God-witness who has convincing evidence for believing in God. If you know of one, feel free to point them out. Without such a thing, it certainly seems to me like we've gotten it backwards. God didn't make people, people made God.

Now it sounds like you've made up your mind about all this. Until now it wasn't that clear.

What do you think of John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim's Progress? Did he have convincing proof when he refused the deal given him to be set free from prison if he gave up preaching, even though by staying in prison he committed his family to God? He trusted God to take care of them since he couldn't. A believer knows that by honoring God with such trust Bunyan protected his family better than he would have if he'd given in to the authorities.

What sort of evidence do you think you want anyway? Would you believe any of the martyrs described in Foxes Book of Martyrs or just dismiss them as deluded?

Sometimes small miracles still do happen. Would you consider this evidence? A Russian woman was about to be clubbed over the head by a KGB officer assigned to break up Christian meetings in the USSR, and prayed that God would forgive the young man who was about to club her. At that moment the man's arm was miraculously prevented from bringing the club down on her head and although he hated her for praying for him and wanted even more furiously to kill her he fled in fear because of being prevented from hitting her. This is reported in a book called The Persecutor about that young Russian's life. He became a believer starting with that incident although it took a while. He defected to Canada in the early 70s, where the KGB eventually caught up with him and murdered him. Would you believe that testimony or not? The book is probably still available.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Stile, posted 01-30-2013 11:50 AM Stile has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 64 by Theodoric, posted 01-30-2013 8:48 PM Faith has replied
 Message 71 by PaulK, posted 01-31-2013 2:06 AM Faith has replied
 Message 84 by Stile, posted 01-31-2013 1:43 PM Faith has replied
 Message 114 by Phat, posted 12-17-2017 11:09 AM Faith has replied

  
Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 65 of 868 (689462)
01-30-2013 8:57 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by Theodoric
01-30-2013 8:48 PM


Re: Evidence
I don't know about the book about "Natasha," I'm talking about a book called "The Persecutor."

OK, you prefer to believe the debunkery, fine, you've made your choice. That's what everybody here does. Give the story of a Christian hero, what you get back here is "evidence" that the person was really a rotten human being. THAT you'll believe.

Stories ARE the evidence we're given. You believe them or you don't. You will apparently always choose the people who discredit the stories, that's what you do. They're just stories too, you know, by people with an axe to grind as well and your method of proof is belief, just as it is for Christians.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 67 of 868 (689464)
01-30-2013 9:26 PM
Reply to: Message 66 by Theodoric
01-30-2013 9:17 PM


Re: Evidence
I remember seeing the debunkery years ago and really I do not want to bother to consider ANYTHING you have to say about it. It takes enormous amounts of time to investigate such stuff, various details, the credibility of this or that person. Forget it, I have other things on my mind. The "research" is just as subject to question as anything else. Again, you believe what you want to believe, it's just a story too, just as anecdotal. Have at it, I could NOT care less.

Wikipedia seems to give the story straight as I read it, however. And there I see that it is the same story under a different title, but who cares. I don't: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergei_Kourdakov

Oh but it does mention that Richard Wurmbrand had something to do with the story, and Wurmbrand has ENORMOUS credibility among Christians. A Rumanian Jewish convert who spent 14 years in prison for his faith. Go on, disparage HIM.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by Theodoric, posted 01-30-2013 9:17 PM Theodoric has replied

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 70 of 868 (689481)
01-31-2013 12:03 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Theodoric
01-30-2013 10:27 PM


Re: Evidence
You have no evidence yourself, that's the point. You just threw up a debunkery site just cause that's the sort of thing you guys always do, you dohn't know if there's anything to it or not, You're happy just as long as it makes a Christian out to be a liar. That's REALLY all you8 care about.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 72 of 868 (689489)
01-31-2013 2:56 AM
Reply to: Message 71 by PaulK
01-31-2013 2:06 AM


Re: Evidence
It's ALL witness testimony, and CERTAINLY the Synoptics are. You've just bought the lies of the unbelieving "scholars" who dedicated their lives to destroying the Bible. How sad for you. Why not try doubting THEM and believing what the true believers believe instead? What makes you have to trust the debunkers?

ALL the Bible is testimony in one way or another. I already said MOST of it is history, but ALL of it is testimony.

I exaggerated nothing. THe Bible was written over a period of 1500 years. It's you who prefer the lies to the truth, those who refuse to believe the miracles and so redate the Bible so that the prophecies aren't prophecies.

Catholicism lies about everything it does, lies, murders, tortures, commits idolatry, molests children. Demons do some things that some people mistake for miracles.

The command to "BELIEVE" is based on the fact that you've been given a ton of evidence. John said he wrote about all the signs "so that you will believe." That's the point of all of it. The evidence is given so that you will have a basis for believing. God gave all that evidence and God said "Believe."

The Bible was never "found to fail" except by people who wanted it to fail and therefore used the kind of sophistic reasoning you are using to make it seem so. As so many here do.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 78 of 868 (689514)
01-31-2013 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by ramoss
01-31-2013 8:41 AM


Re: Evidence
It's a lie that the gospels were written that late but you prefer the lie to the truth that has been believed by millions for millennia. The message of the Bible is simple: Believe. The evidence has been given and on the basis of that you are to "believe." But if you tear the evidence to shreds and believe the lie instead, you aren't going to be happy when you finally find out the truth.

He who surrenders the first page of his Bible surrenders all. --John William Burgon, Inspiration and Interpretation, Sermon II.

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 79 of 868 (689515)
01-31-2013 12:10 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by PaulK
01-31-2013 3:29 AM


Re: Evidence
God doesn't support trusting the "experts," He said simply "Believe" -- Believe HIM, believe His word -- and He HAS given sufficient evidence for that. But you'd rather believe self-appointed experts apparently. Too bad.

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 80 of 868 (689516)
01-31-2013 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 77 by ringo
01-31-2013 12:01 PM


Re: Evidence
Sad. Well, God has to open your eyes to the truth. I guess all I can do is pray for that.

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 82 of 868 (689519)
01-31-2013 1:00 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Taq
01-31-2013 12:37 PM


Re: Should God be slanged or kept to oneself?
Theists are making the positive claim, and have yet to support that claim with positive evidence.

This is a lie. Bible believers have tons of evidence, though "theists" may not.

As for the rest, you guys just make up crap to explain away why believers believe. It has NOTHING to do with WANTING to believe and it has NOTHING to do with "comfort." As Dietrich Bonhoeffer put it, "Come to Christ and die." That's not comfort. What happened when I became a believer? I became the target of ridicule and slander such as I encounter at EvC. I get regularly called a moron, my arguments get called stupid, I'm made the butt of jokes. Comfort, ha! Half of you here would be afraid to even try to believe realizing the sort of crap that's going to be thrown at you as a result. Just trembling in your little evolution-built skins.

I didn't believe because I "needed a purpose," I believed because I found the evidence convincing, I believed because I believed it to be TRUE.

Of course I don't know what motivates GDR, too much pride to go with the despised "fundamentalists" perhapsk, so he picks the nice stuff that's going to get him compliments.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Taq, posted 01-31-2013 12:37 PM Taq has replied

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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 91 of 868 (689543)
01-31-2013 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 83 by PaulK
01-31-2013 1:10 PM


Re: Evidence
The evidence is what the Bible itself says, just as written, just as understood by Bible believers down the centuries. It takes effort to undo that evidence and make something else out of it. You actually believe the "experts" who SUBJECTIVELY decide how to date the Bible. You deserve what you'll get for that.

This message is a reply to:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 92 of 868 (689545)
01-31-2013 11:21 PM
Reply to: Message 84 by Stile
01-31-2013 1:43 PM


Re: Play Fair
Just one comment: Other religions are NOT like the Bible. The Biblie is mostly historical narrative about real people who know the living God, the other religions are mostly teachings given by certain teachers. The miracle stories in the Bible all add up to demonstrating the gift of the Messiah. Miracle stories in other religions have no organized purpose.

I don't know if I'll come back to try to answer your post beyond this.


This message is a reply to:
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Faith 
Suspended Member (Idle past 677 days)
Posts: 35298
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001


Message 93 of 868 (689547)
01-31-2013 11:22 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by Taq
01-31-2013 3:30 PM


Re: Should God be slanged or kept to oneself?
The evidence I'm talking about is the evidence given in the Bible. There's tons of it.

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 Message 86 by Taq, posted 01-31-2013 3:30 PM Taq has taken no action

  
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