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Author Topic:   Assumptions about faith
jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 16 of 54 (428689)
10-17-2007 9:54 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by bluegenes
10-17-2007 7:20 AM


Re: Sounds a bit like the same thing
You'll get a shock when you die, and Krishna is sitting on his throne in front of you, telling you that you've got to come back here for another round as an untouchable.

That is certainly possible.

But more likely is that if there is a GOD, then all the Gods we have created like Jesus or the Christian God or the Jewish God or Allah or Krishna or Ganesh are all wrong.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 15 by bluegenes, posted 10-17-2007 7:20 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-17-2007 11:43 AM jar has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 17 of 54 (428713)
10-17-2007 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by jar
10-17-2007 9:54 AM


Re: Sounds a bit like the same thing
But more likely is that if there is a GOD, then all the Gods we have created like Jesus or the Christian God or the Jewish God or Allah or Krishna or Ganesh are all wrong.

Its lines like these that make people question your Christianity.

You say you truly are a Christian, but that we created Jesus and thut that creation is most likely wrong in its description.

It just seems like you're contradicting yourself.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by jar, posted 10-17-2007 9:54 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by jar, posted 10-17-2007 11:54 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 19 by Phat, posted 10-17-2007 11:54 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 31 by Nuggin, posted 10-18-2007 11:54 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 18 of 54 (428714)
10-17-2007 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by New Cat's Eye
10-17-2007 11:43 AM


Re: Sounds a bit like the same thing
Its lines like these that make people question your Christianity.

You say you truly are a Christian, but that we created Jesus and thut that creation is most likely wrong in its description.

It just seems like you're contradicting yourself.

We create Maps.

We need to remember that we are simply manipulating symbols, Maps, and that our maps are NOT the reality, the Territory. Our Maps, for example Christianity, will be accurate in some places, close in others and down right wrong in some.

It doesn't matter what we believe, the reality will turn out to be what it is.

We have a Map we call Jesus. It is based on almost no evidence and a few, often contradictory descriptions written by folk, some of whom never even met the person. At best we may have some form of "Veronica's Veil", a somewhat smudged imprint of a real live person, but it can never be more than simply a caricature, a cartoon impression of a very complex person.


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-17-2007 11:43 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 12246
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.3


Message 19 of 54 (428715)
10-17-2007 11:54 AM
Reply to: Message 17 by New Cat's Eye
10-17-2007 11:43 AM


Re: Sounds a bit like the same thing
I have had issues with the idea that the God who is and our human idea of God are two different things.

I mean...lets assume for a moment that my view was right and that any True Christian would know God and have an impartation from God. Lets further assume that most Christians are true Christians. IF this were so, why has there not been any evidence that the church has done more good than bad down through history?

We hear cases of individual achievements, but never much of a collective one.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by New Cat's Eye, posted 10-17-2007 11:43 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
bdfoster
Member (Idle past 2985 days)
Posts: 60
From: Riverside, CA
Joined: 05-09-2007


Message 20 of 54 (428738)
10-17-2007 1:54 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Stile
10-16-2007 9:40 AM


Re: Sounds a bit like the same thing
Sorry I haven't responded to this thread yet. I was pretty busy yesterday.

First of all, I am not bragging about my faith in any way; my faith is not better than anyone else's. I think the quality and strength of our faith come from God. And mine would be pretty weak on my own. But I am defending it from the assumtion it doesn't exist because of evolutionary beliefs, and I am challenging those who make that assumption to look at their own faith. Is it in God or in the book that reveals God to us, or the church, or traditions, etc. At the risk of sounding like a cliche, some of my best freinds are YECs! Many of these folks are very intelligent and I respect their opinions very much. That is contrary to a popular assumption held by many Christian-bashers.

In your summary of my position you said:

Stile writes:


bdfoster
-holds the doctrine of grace on faith

Is this correct? You're saying your faith is better because:
1. What you hold "on faith" is specified as a "doctrine".
2. There is less scientific discovery that can disprove it.

I think you misunderstood my position. Doctrines are what I do NOT have faith in. Doctrines are teachings. They are "human wisdom" (a charactarization used with fondness by many a YEC refering to science). The trinity is a doctrine based on some very solid scriptural evidence. I have no faith in it. It could conceivably be re-evaluated and abandoned or revised. 6-day creation is a doctrine that I obviously have no faith in! Salvation by grace through faith is also a doctrine but it's hard to get to a much more fundamental doctrine than that. Especially since Paul said we are saved, "by grace through faith". You can whittle away all sorts of Christian doctrines as non-essential but you really can't take away that one. It would be hard to come up with a theology that could be considered Christian without salvation by grace through faith.

As for the second point, and being falsafiable, perhaps I should be more clear. Christianity is falsafiable, belief in God, as JAR said, is not. Not in this lifetime, but of course that's what we're talking about. But neither is Atheism falsafiable for that matter; they are both metaphysical assumptions made without any possibility of either verification or falsification.

Yes, I do think it is unlikely it will be discovered that Jesus did not rise from the dead. That's one reason I am a Christian. I just finished reading the book, "The Resurrection of the Son of God" by N. T. Wright. He makes a very solid historical case for the resurrection. But the discovery is not impossible. Last year there was a lot of press about the "James Osuary" and a tomb that might contain the bones of Jesus. The findings were doubtful to put it kindly. But it is conceivable that the most basic Christian beliefs could be proved wrong.


Brent
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Stile, posted 10-16-2007 9:40 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by macaroniandcheese, posted 10-17-2007 2:10 PM bdfoster has not yet responded
 Message 22 by ringo, posted 10-17-2007 2:10 PM bdfoster has responded
 Message 27 by Stile, posted 10-18-2007 9:21 AM bdfoster has responded
 Message 54 by Phat, posted 12-23-2007 9:52 AM bdfoster has not yet responded

  
macaroniandcheese 
Suspended Member (Idle past 2034 days)
Posts: 4258
Joined: 05-24-2004


Message 21 of 54 (428741)
10-17-2007 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by bdfoster
10-17-2007 1:54 PM


Re: Sounds a bit like the same thing
"James Osuary"

oh dear god, that thing. i watched the james cameron documentary on it. FULL of holes. he didn't demonstrate anything, and he just prodded at ideas without ever showing even his assumptions to be true. what a joke.

But it is conceivable that the most basic Christian beliefs could be proved wrong.

it is entirely possible that jesus never rose. it does not concern me. the importance of his teachings is to love god and devote your life to mercy and compassion and making others' lives better. unfortunately, now it's all twisted so the important thing is not to fuck unless it makes babies and to go to church and tithe regularly and buy all your paster's books and tapes and have one of his paintings in your house and make sure you scream at and abuse anyone who is less perfect than you.

no, no. resurection is what's most important. *laughs*


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by bdfoster, posted 10-17-2007 1:54 PM bdfoster has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16350
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 22 of 54 (428742)
10-17-2007 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by bdfoster
10-17-2007 1:54 PM


bdfoster writes:

It would be hard to come up with a theology that could be considered Christian without salvation by grace through faith.

Circular reasoning? Of course a theology won't be "considered Christian" if it disagrees with my theology. :D

(I think salvation by grace through faith is a doctrine just like the trinity. A scriptural case can be made for both, but I have no faith in either.)


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”
-- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by bdfoster, posted 10-17-2007 1:54 PM bdfoster has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by bdfoster, posted 10-17-2007 2:41 PM ringo has responded

  
bdfoster
Member (Idle past 2985 days)
Posts: 60
From: Riverside, CA
Joined: 05-09-2007


Message 23 of 54 (428745)
10-17-2007 2:41 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by ringo
10-17-2007 2:10 PM


Ringo writes:

I think salvation by grace through faith is a doctrine just like the trinity.

True, no question. But it is a doctrine explicitly layed out by Paul, as is resurrection. Any form of Christianity that didn't include these would have to would be at odds with the foundational documents of Christianity (Paul's letters). Of course there is an incredible variety of beliefs that people have argued to be consistant with Christianity, and incredible feats of spin-doctoring are possible.


Brent
This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by ringo, posted 10-17-2007 2:10 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 24 by ringo, posted 10-17-2007 2:59 PM bdfoster has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16350
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 24 of 54 (428754)
10-17-2007 2:59 PM
Reply to: Message 23 by bdfoster
10-17-2007 2:41 PM


bdfoster writes:

Any form of Christianity that didn't include these would have to would be at odds with the foundational documents of Christianity (Paul's letters).

Paul himself was the ultimate spin doctor. To say that his letters are "foundational" is a highly questionable assumption, I would say.

When he said, "By grace are ye saved "through" faith," did he mean that faith is a prerequisite for grace? That's what many people seem to think - if you don't "believe" in X, Y and Z, you're No True Christian.

Or did he mean that we have to rely on faith that there is grace, because we have no evidence of grace?


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”
-- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by bdfoster, posted 10-17-2007 2:41 PM bdfoster has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by bdfoster, posted 10-18-2007 1:12 AM ringo has responded
 Message 30 by itrownot, posted 10-18-2007 11:29 AM ringo has responded

  
bdfoster
Member (Idle past 2985 days)
Posts: 60
From: Riverside, CA
Joined: 05-09-2007


Message 25 of 54 (428891)
10-18-2007 1:12 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by ringo
10-17-2007 2:59 PM


Paul spins it
Ringo writes:

Paul himself was the ultimate spin doctor. To say that his letters are "foundational" is a highly questionable assumption, I would say.

Paul certainly had a way with words. But I don't see how his writings could be considered anything less than foundational for modern protestant Christianity.

Ringo writes:

When he said, "By grace are ye saved "through" faith," did he mean that faith is a prerequisite for grace?

No I don't think that's what he meant. The full quotation is "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast." I think he means to contrast something we can work for and the totally free, unearned gift of God. Tons of ink has been used trying to explore what Paul meant by that. Which is the gift of God, grace or faith? Or both? Is having faith a "work"? Is it something we do to earn salvation? No, I think he makes it clear here and elsewhere there is nothing that can earn salvation. God doesn't "owe" us anything because we have faith in him. Bet he (Jesus) does promise to save those who believe. Paul also offers the quote, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." I think Paul's position is that God can apply grace wherever he wants. God is the perfect judge, knowing our hearts. Paul indicates that even the gentiles demonstrate that they have the requirements of the law written on their hearts. I think it's consistant with Paul's theology that God can use the blood of Christ to cover the sins of some Austrailian aboriginee who's never heard of him. Or old testament Jews who had never heard of Jesus. Or how about a modern God fearing Jew who, through no fault of theirs, was brought up to believe that Jesus was a false Messiah? What if God loves that person and wants to save them. Who are we to say, "But God, you can't save him, he didn't say the sinners prayer". By the same token there may be those who are very proud of their faith, thinking they have done all the right things. God will have mercy on whom God have mercy.


Brent
This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by ringo, posted 10-17-2007 2:59 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by ringo, posted 10-18-2007 1:59 AM bdfoster has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 16350
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 26 of 54 (428896)
10-18-2007 1:59 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by bdfoster
10-18-2007 1:12 AM


Re: Paul spins it
bdfoster writes:

God will have mercy on whom God have mercy.

Which is why the whole covering-the-sins-with-Jesus'-blood thing is irrelevant. Come right down to it, the whole Jesus thing is irrelevant. :)

The messenger is not the message.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place”
-- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by bdfoster, posted 10-18-2007 1:12 AM bdfoster has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by bdfoster, posted 10-20-2007 1:17 AM ringo has responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3418
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 27 of 54 (428959)
10-18-2007 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by bdfoster
10-17-2007 1:54 PM


Still sounds like the same thing
bdfoster writes:

I think you misunderstood my position.

Yes, that's why I asked :)

And, actually, I'm still not clear on it. The way I read your reply to me was "No, Stile, that's not what I'm saying, this is what I'm saying..." but then you went on to repeat exactly what it was I thought you were saying in the first place. I am confused.

Perhaps my latching onto the word "doctrine" was a poor choice. I'll try again without mentioning it.

Especially since Paul said we are saved, "by grace through faith". You can whittle away all sorts of Christian doctrines as non-essential but you really can't take away that one.

This is my point. You say "you really can't take away that one". Well, a YEC would say "you really can't take away Biblical Inerrency". What's the difference? To me, it's just two people deciding that two different things are "really important". Why should I care that you think grace through faith is really important, and not care that a YEC thinks biblical inerrency is really important? I really don't see a difference. Both statements have absolutely no bearing on how I live my life here and now. Isn't that what's important? How we all learn to live together here and now?

It would be hard to come up with a theology that could be considered Christian without salvation by grace through faith.

And a YEC would say "someone who doesn't believe in biblical inerrency can hardly be considered a Christian". Why is your statement any different? It looks like exactly the same thing to me. It looks like exactly the same "we believe in this, we are True Christians" useless theology that has no bearing on how to live a helpful, fulfilling, good life. What's really important? Being part of a group? Or being part of helping society to improve upon itself?

But it is conceivable that the most basic Christian beliefs could be proved wrong.

This is the statement that actually sets you apart. This understanding that it's possible for physical things to have happened differently than we hoped. And the following implication that it really doesn't make a difference. But my question is... do you follow through with that implication?

What would happen if it was actually discovered that Jesus did not rise from the dead? Or perhaps didn't even exist at all?

If you'd remain a Christian, then the talk about the "important fundamental doctrine" isn't needed, it's extraneous.

If you'd lose your faith, then your faith in Christianity seems on par with a YEC's faith, to me. That is, based on superfluous hopes of a certain physical world that may or may not exist rather than being based on how to live one's life in the most benevolent way possible.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by bdfoster, posted 10-17-2007 1:54 PM bdfoster has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by jar, posted 10-18-2007 9:48 AM Stile has responded
 Message 50 by bdfoster, posted 10-19-2007 7:14 PM Stile has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 30935
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 28 of 54 (428967)
10-18-2007 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Stile
10-18-2007 9:21 AM


Two points.
If you'd lose your faith, then your faith in Christianity seems on par with a YEC's faith, to me.

Let's stop for just a second if you will.

Look at two positions, A & B.

In both, there is a strongly held belief, a Faith, in some particular item or assertion.

In each case evidence is presented that refutes the item of Faith.

In the first of the two, when the new evidence is brought forward person A says "Yep, point taken. I will abandon that item of Faith."

In the second, when the new evidence is brought forward person B says "Nope, not convinced. If what you say is true then I would have to abandon my belief and I will not do that."

Are those two reactions equivalent?

The second issue has to do with definitions.

Christianity is based on a documented set of beliefs, with a minimal core set being contained in the Nicene Creed.

One possibly falsifiable part of the Nicene Creed is the claim that Jesus rose from the Dead. If it was somehow possible to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead, then that would certainly falsify a strongly held belief and one of the defining items of Christianity.

The question then is "How would Christians address that issue?"

They could

  • deny the evidence.
  • revise the definition.
  • abandon the belief.

Are there other options?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Stile, posted 10-18-2007 9:21 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Stile, posted 10-18-2007 10:18 AM jar has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3418
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 5.0


Message 29 of 54 (428983)
10-18-2007 10:18 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by jar
10-18-2007 9:48 AM


Re: Two points.
I'm not sure what you're getting at. I don't disagree with anything you wrote in your reply. I'll have a go at clarifying what I was trying to say, though.

TrueChristian writes:

In the first of the two, when the new evidence is brought forward person A says "Yep, point taken. I will abandon that item of Faith."

In the second, when the new evidence is brought forward person B says "Nope, not convinced. If what you say is true then I would have to abandon my belief and I will not do that."

Are those two reactions equivalent?

No, they're not equivalent at all. One position abandons their faith, and the other clings to it. But I didn't really mean to talk about either of those positions in my message. There are two other options, the two I was thinking of (and probably wasn't clear on) in my message are:

1. Abandoning your faith because some physical data is overturned by science (similar to your A).

2. Keeping your faith and accepting that physical data doesn't have much meaning to the faith. As in, it doesn't matter if there actually was a flood, or that the world wasn't created in 6 days, or if the Bible's inerrent.

--when I say "your faith", I'm talking about an individual's main faith in Christianity in general as the correct path in life. One that will help lead to living in harmony with our neighbours. Not the particular faith in the particular belief that has been discovered to be incorrect.

Those are the two stances I was contrasting.

One possibly falsifiable part of the Nicene Creed is the claim that Jesus rose from the Dead. If it was somehow possible to prove that Jesus did not rise from the dead, then that would certainly falsify a strongly held belief and one of the defining items of Christianity.

The question then is "How would Christians address that issue?"

They could

  • deny the evidence.
  • revise the definition.
  • abandon the belief.

Are there other options?

I'm not sure. The point I was trying to make was that keeping their faith and continuing to attempt to live a good life (isn't that what Christianity is mainly about?) would show a stronger faith than abandoning their faith in the religion because a certain belief was understood to be incorrect. Regardless of how "core" some people regard any certain physical belief, even if that person is Jesus himself.

I guess it all depends on what you think the important aspect of Christianity is. Is it to follow what Jesus says no matter what he says? Or is it to follow what Jesus says because it helps to teach people to live in harmony? I'm of the thought that the second option is a deeper-understanding than the former.

-------------
PS. I find your new name a bit confusing, doesn't this forum already have a True Christian persona? Or perhaps he doesn't post much anymore.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by jar, posted 10-18-2007 9:48 AM jar has not yet responded

    
itrownot
Member (Idle past 4104 days)
Posts: 71
Joined: 10-15-2007


Message 30 of 54 (429003)
10-18-2007 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by ringo
10-17-2007 2:59 PM


good morning, ringo. In case you haven't noticed, I posted an apology to you this morning for unleashing my trirade a few hours ago on gen's thread, so I won't repeat that here. I just was reading your musing re Eph 2:8 and would like to suggest that you simply parse the sentence carefully for its true meaning. you may come to appreciate as i did that it means this: it is only by the grace of God that we are able to receive our salvation as a result of our faith in Jesus. (This special arrangement whereby we may be saved is God's extraordinary gift to us...the new testament in his (Jesus's) blood--we didn't merit such kind treatment, but there it is anyway. It's that simple. It's not a doctrine per se, it's the Gospel according to Paul, if you will.)

Edited by itrownot, : Edited for clarity and a typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by ringo, posted 10-17-2007 2:59 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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