I must accept with humility (difficult for one such as me) that the likes of Ringo and Jar are infinitely more productive in the field of evangelism than me. God, as your general stance against their non-sequitur/cheerful conundrum/paradoxical-speak indicates, can use the negative to as good effect as he can the positive.
Honestly Robin, I cannot comment on what Ringo and Jar say. I'm a simple engineer. Straightforward logic I can handle (although I am prepared to accept mystery at the nodal points where it occurs) - but not that kind of stuff. Best I can say is that truth is timeless. It has been and always will be truth. Truth is not in need of 'modernisation' otherwise it wouldn't be truth.
Sure, Jesus' imagery of sheeps and goats and camels and needles was super-fit for the setting of his day. But by no means so as to require modernisation. How would one go about modernising "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. Make it a "Let he who has not sinned be first to put a dum-dum bullet in her brain" if you must - but I think that is dancing around the fringes.
I think such a person existed, and over the years legends grew up about him.
'Legends' wasn't in the question. The question is what you believe rather than what you think. They are different. What is your belief: did he live or is he a myth (no empirical evidence required)? Your belief at this time.
I see no reason not to ( believe that he said is what he said).
Let's call the edge of the razor blade 'agnosticism '. Some balance there. Is it that or do you plump for one side or the other (you're not bi are you?)
He said a lot of things. Obviously, the religious part of his thought I disagree with. He strikes me when I read the Gospels as highly intelligent.
You've read CS's conundrum I'm sure. So which of his options do you plump for? Insane/liar/truth ...or other.
ABE: As regards his moral ideas, this notion of turning the other cheek doesn't set well with me.
Of course not. It is unnatural for us to do so. Naturally we would strike back. But you know that the 'natural man' is precisely what gets "put to death" at the point of salvation. What do you think people thought when he said that:
" Turn the other cheek? I can't do that (be it someone stealing my sheep or someone commenting on my girlfriends figure when I walk through the town on Saturday night - so much for modernisation huh?)"
He asks us to do the impossible. Apply logic: "I cannot do that" is it not?
I can't speak for iano but loving myself comes very easily to me. I've always loved myself, and I always will. But it's not a merit, nor is it something I "learned." It just came naturally. The Biblical writers are right about that.
Self-love is like falling off a log for us all. If you cannot find one instance of Jesus loving himself (hint: "it's like looking for a needle in a stack of needles") how much would you knock off your "he was deluded" score. 10? 20?
Your nihilism just sits there like a fat frog waiting for a fly. It should push you to something.
Well observed sis. I think I remember Robin talking before of experiencing some ache at the sight of infinite seas and skies - his insignificance. But ache doesn't exactly drip from the pages of his posting does it?
Could this be sentimental nihilism..on a par with the sentimental Christianity that Robin detests so much?
Of course that is what you see. The Bible says a) you are blind and so are unable to see God b) you can do nothing about your own blindness. Do you remember this story?
When we were young, my mother used to bring us for walks down by the Dodder river in Dublin. Just as she had done as a kid, she began to teach us to fish for pinkines (tiny little fish). We arrived down with our glass jars and little bag-nets attached to bamboo poles.
"Look, Look!" she would cry excitedly "There they are - millions of them" We'd look and see nothing "Just THERE!! right in front of you yes right there!!" We could still see nothing.
Mam was looking through the surface at the fish below. Us kids were looking at the reflection off the surface and couldn't see a thing but our own faces. Mam wasn't deluded. She pointed at something that was there alright. The problem was we didn't know how to look
There was only one thing which was involved with us making the shift. We believed that our mother wasn't deluded. That she was telling us the truth. She had put faith in her into us and we expressed the faith she had put into us and kept looking because we believed what she said. And through that faith she had given us we came to see.
Its exactly the same thing with Christ. But you think he is deluded - despite that not at all fitting the man. You don't think deluded in fact - you think things that he said and did were impossible. That is disbelief. God will put that faith into you, unless you reject his attempts to do so.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for (to see pinkines), the evidence of things not seen (the pinkines were there and the evidence was our faith in mam)"
There's no rest for the weary around this place, but one must do one's duty.
Might I be so presumptious as to suggest you find a resting place with those who say they find their rest in him. That of all worldviews (bar nihilism), Christianity strikes you as most reasonable - the only problem being you can't see it?
God pulls people to him by eliminating all other possibilities (in my own experience)