Is it possible to believe in God, and be a darwinist at the same time?

Discussion in 'Religion' started by Jan Ardena, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    Communication:

    Its a two way street. Give and take. Inbox and Sent Items.

    Equality.
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I believe that is a pertinent observations, but we need also analyze what that means. Are Truth and Science gifts of God? If so then why does science disprove a lot of the "truth" contained in scripture?

    Again, we are on the right path by asking that question. However, the statement should read, "If one takes Genesis as a literal story of creation, THAT would be contradictory to what science now knows. And we know that Darwinist views are fundamentally correct and disprove Genesis.

    Always, we run into the fact that Genesis is not a correct account, if taken literally. If not taken literally and subject to various interpretations Genesis has almost no value as Truth, other than it acknowledges that the Universe was created, and that is where God's gift of "discernible truth" falls woefully short, the writers had no clue what they were talking about.

    This is why I wish, someone would come along and rewrite Genesis or throw it away. It is not necessary when following a lifestyle based on the moral teachings of a philosopher, which have nothing to do with science and the way things happen in the Universe.
     
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  5. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Write4U,

    What if we look at it another way, after all, we are only basing the genesis account on the Christian worldview, and how they interpret genesis.

    Firstly let's look at these opening lines from John 1;

    We can understand the The Word was with God all along because The Word was also God, and it was the word that became flesh (physical, biological manifestations). We can understand also that that all things tha were made, were made by God including man.

    However we choose to define life, we can understand that that ''life'' was in God (non different to The Word). We can also understand from this section that the ''life'' was the ''light'' of men. Call light spirit soul, consciousness, life-force, animation, etc....

    We can understand also that darkness is in opposition to light, so this ''life'' is able to comprehend, period, whereas the ''darkness'' can't.

    So in summary, we have two natures, light/dark, life/death, conscious/not conscious, and knowlede/devoid of knowledge. So in my opinion, ''Truth and Science (knowledge) aren't a ''gift from God, they are constitutionally attributed to one of our two natures (one being the same as God, the other being the same as completely devoid of God.


    There is only one account of genesis that is forged into the minds of virtually every person in the world who has some comprehension of it, and that is the Christian account. Why is that?

    This first verse say's what God did. Right at the very start of creation, He created the heavens and the earth (maybe the order is significant), then it stops. Period.

    The next (separate) verse starts with ''Now''. That could mean one of two things. That its refering to a time after the creation of these regions, or just starting a sentence like (''Now you listen to me''). I personally would opt for the former, because the latter doesn't really mean anything IMO.

    It goes on to say that ''the earth was formless and empty...''. If God had already made the earth, then what is meant by ''formless''? Could it mean the earth wasn't formed? That would contradict verse 1, so no I don't think that could be it's meaning. Could it mean the earth was without forms? That would make more sense because it goes on to say it was empty. But keep in mind the earth was already created (and the heavens also)

    Next it says..

    Now in science we can understand that darkness means without light (sun, photons...), so that wouldn't make sense because if the earth was formed then that must include light.

    If we consult John 1 we can understand what is meant by ''light'', and what is meant by darkness. ''Darkness'' means devoid of the ''life'' that was within God, and of the same nature as God, not devoid of sun light.

    That being said, could it be possible that the earth, at the point in time that the Bible refers to ''Now'' (meaning some time on) was not the creation of the earth as explained in the first verse. That the earth was already created, but had fallen into a state of despair and had become a desolate planet?

    If that was the case, then maybe genesis isn't wrong after all. Just a thought.

    jan.
     
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  7. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    @ Write4u...yes, I agree. Time to 're-examine' Genesis. Guess what? I'm going to attend a Bible study in the fall, I've decided. It is going to be all about navigating through Genesis, and figuring out if it has a 'real' place in the life of a believer anymore. It's going to be 'hosted' by religious and non-religious people, alike. Should be quite interesting.
    I'll have to report my 'findings.'

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    @ Jan, the OT is the foundation for the three Abrahamic faiths. It absolutely was compiled with that 'spin,' in mind.

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  8. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    wegs,

    [/QUOTE]

    Why have you decided to attend Bible study, for the reaon you cited, it you know for a fact that it was a ''spin'' concocted to be the foundation of the Abrahamic faiths?
    I don't see how you can learn anything from it?

    jan.
     
  9. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Jan;

    I'm interested to see/hear the insights of others @ the study...same reason we are all chatting amongst ourselves here.

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  10. Robittybob1 Banned Banned

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    Well you'll at least get a sense of the opposition to a change to the story. Sometimes the presenters are not prepared for too many difficult questions.
    It will be interesting to see what the outcome is.
     
  11. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    "It has been unfortunate that one device which our narrative uses to express the coherence and purposiveness of the creator's work, namely, the distribution of the various creative acts to six days, has been seized on and interpreted over-literalistically… The six day schema is but one of several means employed in this chapter to stress the system and order that has been built into creation. Other devices include the use of repeating formulae, the tendency to group words and phrases into tens and sevens, literary techniques such as chiasm and inclusio, the arrangement of creative acts into matching groups, and so on. If these hints were not sufficient to indicate the schematization of the six-day creation story, the very content of the narrative points in the same direction." - Gordon Wenham (Old Testament scholar, theologian)

    "Insofar as the study of the original languages of the Bible was severed from authoritative ecclesiastical preaching as its matrix, it fueled literalism... Biblical literalism taken for a source of scientific information is making the rounds even nowadays among creationists who would merit Julian Huxley's description of 'bibliolaters.' They merely bring discredit to the Bible as they pile grist upon grist on the mills of latter-day Huxleys, such as Hoyle, Sagan, Gould, and others. The fallacies of creationism go deeper than fallacious reasonings about scientific data. Where creationism is fundamentally at fault is its resting its case on a theological faultline: the biblicism constructed by the [Protestant] Reformers." - Stanley L. Jaki (Benedictine priest, theologian, Distinguished Professor of Physics)

    "As the Sacred Writer had not the intention of representing with scientific accuracy the intrinsic constitution of things, and the sequence of the works of creation but of communicating knowledge in a popular way suitable to the idiom and to the pre-scientific development of his time, the account is not to be regarded or measured as if it were couched in language which is strictly scientific... The Biblical account of the duration and order of Creation is merely a literary clothing of the religious truth that the whole world was called into existence by the creative word of God. The Sacred Writer utilized for this purpose the pre-scientific picture of the world existing at the time." - Ludwig Ott (theologian, medievalist)

    "Cosmogony and cosmology have always aroused great interest among peoples and religions. The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise, but in order to state the correct relationships of man with God and with the universe. Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer. The Sacred Book likewise wishes to tell men that the world was not created as the seat of the gods, as was taught by other cosmogonies and cosmologies, but was rather created for the service of man and the glory of God. Any other teaching about the origin and make-up of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how heaven was made but how one goes to heaven." - Pope John Paul II

    "We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God’s good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator." - The Clergy Letter Project

    "Christians need to understand the first chapter of Genesis for what it is: an 'accurate' rendering of the physical universe by ancient standards that God used as the vehicle to deliver timeless theological truth to His people. We shouldn’t try to make Genesis into something that it’s not by dragging it through 3,500 years of scientific progress. When reading Genesis, Christians today need to transport themselves back to Mt. Sinai and leave our modern minds in the 21st century. If you only remember one thing from this chapter make it this: Genesis is not giving us creation science. It is giving us something much more profound and practical than that. Genesis is giving us a Biblical Theology of Creation." - Gordon J. Glover, "Beyond the Firmament: Understanding Science and the Theology of Creation"

    "I think that the theory of biological evolution is simply irrelevant to the truth of Christian theism. Genesis 1 admits all manner of different interpretations and one is by no means committed to six-day creationism. Howard Van Till who is a professor at Calvin Collage writes 'Is the concept of special creation required of all persons who trust in the creator-God of scripture? Most Christians in my acquaintance who are engaged with either scientific of biblical scholarship have concluded that the special creationist's picture of the world's formation is not a necessary component of Christian belief'. Nor is this a retreat caused by modern science. St Augustine in the AD 300's in his commentary on genesis pointed out that the days don't need to be taken literally nor need the creation be a few thousand years ago. Indeed he suggested that God made the world with special potencies that would gradually unfold over time and develop. This interpretation came 1500 years before Darwin, so it not a forced retreat in the face of modern science." - William Lane Craig (Theologian, philosopher, Christian apologist).

    "[These books] state that God first created matter and invested it with energy for development. Matter, therefore, adopted the form of vapour which assumed the shape of water in due time. The next stage of development was mineral life. Different kinds of stones developed in course of time. Their highest form being mirjan (coral). It is a stone which has in it branches like those of a tree. After mineral life evolves vegetation. The evolution of vegetation culminates with a tree which bears the qualities of an animal. This is the date-palm. It has male and female genders. It does not wither if all its branches are chopped but it dies when the head is cut off. The date-palm is therefore considered the highest among the trees and resembles the lowest among animals. Then is born the lowest of animals. It evolves into an ape. This is not the statement of Darwin. This is what Ibn Maskawayh states and this is precisely what is written in the Epistles of Ikhwan al-Safa. The Muslim thinkers state that ape then evolved into a lower kind of a barbarian man. He then became a superior human being. Man becomes a saint, a prophet. He evolves into a higher stage and becomes an angel. The one higher to angels is indeed none but God. Everything begins from Him and everything returns to Him." - Muhammad Hamidullah (Muhaddith, Faqih, scholar of Islamic law), commenting on evolutionary ideas contained within the "The Epistles of Ikhwan al-Safa", written in the 10th century AD.

    "[T]he growth and development of all beings is gradual; this is the universal divine organization and the natural system. The seed does not at once become a tree; the embryo does not at once become a man; the mineral does not suddenly become a stone. No, they grow and develop gradually and attain the limit of perfection...
    ...t is evident and confirmed that the development and growth of man on this earth, until he reached his present perfection, resembled the growth and development of the embryo in the womb of the mother: by degrees it passed from condition to condition, from form to form, from one shape to another."
    - `Abdu’l-Bahá', founder of the Bahá'í Faith

    "Creationists who take a literalist approach have laid the charge that Christians who interpret Genesis symbolically or allegorically are assigning science an authority over that of Scripture. Advocates of the framework view respond by noting that Scripture affirms God's general revelation in nature (Ps 19, Rom 1:19-20), and therefore in our search for the truth about the origins of the universe we must be sensitive to both the "book of words" (Scripture) and the "book of works" (nature). Since God is the author of both "books", we should expect that they do not conflict with each other when properly interpreted" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framework_interpretation_(Genesis)

    “We recognize science as a legitimate interpretation of God’s natural world. We affirm the validity of the claims of science in describing the natural world and in determining what is scientific. We preclude science from making authoritative claims about theological issues and theology from making authoritative claims about scientific issues. We find that science’s descriptions of cosmological, geological, and biological evolution are not in conflict with theology.” - The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church

    “When the stage of the full development of the mental faculties of man was reached, God sent His revelation to the most perfect man of that generation, namely, Hadhrat Adam (as). In short, the Quran teaches that man's physical creation and development are the result of a process of evolution and in the same way his intellectual development is also the result of a process of evolution. Hadhrat Adam (as) was not the first human being, but was the first human being whose intellect was capable of accepting and bearing the responsibility of revelation.” - Belal Khalid, "Original Sin"

    "Rather, Judaism in that case would call upon its adherents to give even greater reverence than ever before to the one, sole God Who, in His boundless creative wisdom and eternal omnipotence, needed to bring into existence no more than one single, amorphous nucleus and one single law of "adaptation and heredity" in order to bring forth, from what seemed chaos but was in fact a very definite order, the infinite variety of species we know today, each with its unique characteristics that sets it apart from all other creatures." - Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch

    "Judaism, as a religion, and certainly Conservative Judaism, sees creation as a purposeful process directed by God, however each individual defines the Divine. This is clearly in consonance with the theory of Intelligent Design." - Rabbi Michael Schwab

    "Islam also has its own school of Evolutionary creationism/Theistic evolutionism, which holds that mainstream scientific analysis of the origin of the universe is supported by the Qur'an. Many Muslims believe in evolutionary creationism, especially among Sunni and Shia Muslims and the Liberal movements within Islam. Among scholars of Islam İbrahim Hakkı of Erzurum who lived in Erzurum then Ottoman Empire now Republic of Turkey in 18th century is famous of stating 'between plants and animals there is sponge, and, between animals and humans there is monkey'." - Khalid Anees, of the Islamic Society of Britain

    "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's, method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way... Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts... the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness." - Theodosius Dobzhansky (geneticist, evolutionary biologist, communicant of the Eastern Orthodox Church)



    http://biologos.org/ - Run by a community of evangelical Christians, it is said to be the best online resource for exploring the compatibility between evolution and theism.
     
  12. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Hey now, that's ^^ awesome...thanks Rav.
    Especially that last excerpt...I SO identify with that!
    Grazie for posting it.

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  13. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Rav,

    Are you of the opinion that ''The majority Christian view'' is right, and I'm wrong?

    The Biblical claim is that we are all different aspectrs of the same entity.

    I don't know that they are theists and neither do you. We know that their religion dictates how they view scriptures.

    Don't get you.

    I don't need authority to agree or disagree. You only need it because you think you need it.

    More insults without examples. I have come to realise that this is a tactic by weak-minded.

    Same as above.

    You said that Jesus inhabited a human body, thereby making him human. After all that is what we do and we regard ourselves as human? You see you're trying to cover yourself by making ambiguous statements that separates your personal intent, but the words you use let you down.

    I've told you, I'm not interested in the Christian ideology simply because their explanation are limited to a particular aspect of the Christian ideology. Are you aware that there are other Christian explanations which contradict Bill Craigs?
    I'm not obsessed with Christianity, and it doesn't effect on me as it obviously does on you. You are effectively still a Christian because your whole perception of life is through the eyes of Christianity, which is why you cannot look at life any other way. This is still in effect even though you claim to be atheist/agnostic or whatever label you give yourself.

    It seems to you as though I'm ''strawmaning'' but all I'm doing is taking you at your word, and taking the scripture at it's word.
    For example, a human being is a human being because of the bodily make up and the mind. A human being is not something that looks like a human being (like a doll or a picture). So when you say Jesus inhabited a human body thereby having the experiences that a human being has, you're saying that he IS a human being. The scripture at no point say's that Jesus IS God, or that Jesus was a human. Period.

    You quoted this verse.. ''God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." - 1 Timothy 3:16''
    as a reponse to... Where does it say he obtained ''a physical body''? And where does it say that God inhabited a physical body?

    I don't need Bill Craig's help because it's stated in (not only) the Bible that Jesus wasn't a physical human being, he looked human, but that's as far as it went. Everything else was designed to look a certain way for the comprehension of those who had the ears and the eyes to see and hear, beyond the physical plain.

    They use the word death because the conditioned soul thinks that when the body shows no sign of life, then the person they knew or see, is also dead. So it has to be played out in their language. But then Jesus obviously wasn't dead, so the conditioned soul now realises that death is only applicable to the body. Once they understand that they use death in the way the it is meant.


    Erm, I was responding to two different interpretations of the same event with the same outcome. Knowledge isn't about the working out, or the approach to gaining it. It just IS. My mind didn't change, because the conclusion was the same.

    No it wasn't rhetorical, and it is a very important question seeing you are accusing me of seeing myself as a ''true'' theist, and others who don't think like me are ''false'' theists. And now you've tried to brush over it by stating that ''you can't tell for sure what is going on in another persons head.''. The thing is I have never implied that I can read peoples minds, only that I don't see how one can be a theist and believe in darwins ideas of evolution. They contradict each other, and the only way to reconcile them is adopt a different definition of God that suits your worldview. The scriptures ( the only definitive source of information about God, and the source of all concepts of God) makes definate, no nonsense claims that God is the original creator of biological structures, and He creates them via His Will. They also explain how He created them, and you will find no reference to the darwinian idea.

    I've already explained to you what a theist is. Can somebody fake something that is real? Use your brain and work this out for yourself.


    I have an opinion on it. What's wrong with that?
    Is Spidergoat wrong for thinking there is no such as God, because that go against Bill Craig's p.h.d'd works? Or is he allowed to have an opinion that goes against them?

    2 and 4 are in play.
    1 isn't necessary as the existence of God is not needed to answer the OP.
    5 evolution (change over time) is true, but not necessarily the ''theory of evolution'' as believed by (neo) darwinists.
    6 darwinian evolution contradicts belief in God, unless you concoct a personal version of God that suits your worldview, so the question is the same as the OP.


    You're arguing that it is possible to be a theist and a darwinist, but you have no grounds other than to change the scripture to fit, or play the God is whatever the individual decides card. Either way it is a weak position because it doesn't take scriptures into account. At best your argument is based on mainstream Christian ideology, which only sees theism from their point of view. So yes, your position is very weak which is why you rely on insults.

    I read the scriptures. There's nothing in them that say other scriptures (so called) are wrong. So I can use the vedic literature as an aid to interpret other scriptures because as far as I know, they are from the same source. The problem is people like yourself who are brainwashed into this warlike mentality of I am right and you are wrong (one can easily see the Roman influence), you're either wit us, or agin us, might is right. It's not my problem.


    I'm not discrediting Bill Craig, I'm discrediting you because I'm talking to you. You seem to be of the opinion that your views are representative of the Christian world,. and align yourself to Bill Craig. But you're not in his league by any stretch of the imagination.

    You do what you do because you do not comprehend the meaning of what the Bible say's outside of what the words mean from a modern contextual perspective, but feel the need to give the impression that it is so easy to understand that you have surpassed it, and are aloof to it.

    That's how you see it because you're obviously not a theist. You don't see the difference between theism and religion.

    Hmmm, the Loaded Question fallacy. Only in this instance it is a Loaded Statement fallacy.

    You're a weak little guy Rav.

    jan.
     
  14. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    You do realize of course that this is all part of my evil plan to ultimately lead theists away from God and towards a purely naturalistic view of the world, right? At least that's what some people would have you believe.

    The truth is twofold: 1) I don't presume to possess anything even remotely close to that degree of influence (nor do I think it is even possible to) and 2) I have a great deal of respect for anyone who doesn't close themselves off to the wonders of the natural world (or "God's creation", as you are free to call it).
     
  15. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    I'm of the opinion that you are incorrect when you say that the majority Christian view is wrong, and you are right, because it's all ultimately subjective, as we have seen.

    As has been established, there is no "definitive" biblical claim. There is just yours, and that of the majority of the Christian world.

    And they say that the scriptures dictate their theology. And again it's merely your opinion verses the majority of the Muslim/Christian world.

    Don't really care on this point anymore.

    You said: "Who are they to tell me or anyone that those scriptures aren't scriptures? What authority do they have?"

    I said (essentially): "What authority do you have".

    This entire discussion is one big example. According to you, flesh doesn't really mean flesh, crucifixion doesn't really mean crucifixion, death (even when established in a biblical context) doesn't really mean death etc etc. In other words, you are saying that we shouldn't interpret these words literally. You are also saying that we shouldn't interpret verses such as:

    "But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom."

    literally either; that when we read them we shouldn't assume that this is an example of God calling the Son God, and actually meaning it.

    Yet you previously insisted on the sort of literal reading of scripture that would lead such obvious conclusions. And you also totally ignored the above verse twice.

    As such, you are full of shit. A hyprocrite. A cheat. A disgrace to honest discourse. And you have been described as such by many people over the years.

    On the contrary. I said God inhabited a human body, but was still God. And I was quite clear about that. And I linked you to resources that are quite clear about that.

    So you're refusing to read articles that demonstrate how Christian's derive their theology from scripture, yet you're arguing that they do it incorrectly?

    This is essentially an admission that you are arguing against a position you do not understand. And you wonder why people hold such a dim view of your intellectual integrity.

    And again, the vast majority of Christian's disagree with you. In fact they are all too willing to show you exactly why they disagree with you. But you've admitted that you can't be bothered listening to them.

    So really, at this point, I'm pretty sure I can be forgiven for saying that I no longer give a fuck what you think about what they think, nor do I give a fuck what you think. You just want to be ignorant.

    Again, the majority of Christian's disagree with you. Clearly, you don't understand why. I suggested reading Craig so you could find out why. By refusing to read Craig, you are effectively saying you don't want to find out why.

    Further evidence that you are willfully ignorant.

    No, you were clearly theorizing about what actually happened. One minute you said that Jesus was on the cross watching them do things to his body, and the next minute you were favouring the view where he wasn't actually put on the cross at all.

    The reason I'm pointing this out is because inconsistencies like this shouldn't emerge if there is only one correct way to interpret what scripture is actually teaching about the nature of the events depicted by it.

    Not that I need this example to demonstrate that scripture can be interpreted in different ways, and that there is no demonstrably correct way to go about it.

    Don't you realize that the whole point of this exchange was to demonstrate that the majority of Christians believe that a literal interpretation of the New Testament leads to Christian theology? You were unable to follow along only because you clearly don't define "literal" in a manner that is consistent with the way that they do (or is even consistent in isolation, apparently).

    Do you not see what has been exposed here? Your claim that the Catholics are not being properly theistic because they see the creation story along with references to it as somewhat allegorical falls flat on it's arse because according to the majority of the Christian/Muslim world you are guilty of taking the same liberties with your interpretation of scripture by virtue of not arriving at what they consider to be the only correct theological conclusion.

    So this whole discussion boils down to what Jan merely "thinks" vs what the majority of the Christian/Muslim world merely "thinks". That's what is on display here. And it leaves you no legitimate room to declare that the Catholics are wrong. I mean you can continue to declare it, but no-one is under any obligation to take you seriously. And by the looks of things, no-one is.

    Answer the question: Do you accept that a Christian who embraces the sort of reading of the Bible that leads to standard Christian theology is indeed a real theist as long as their faith in God is properly genuine?

    Sure, you're allowed to have an opinion. You're even allowed to declare that it is objectively correct if you like. But if you're going to do that sort of thing in the company of other people you should be prepared for a debate. And that's all that's going on here.

    2 has not been established. Or did I miss the part where you provided proof that scripture was in actual fact divinely inspired? Put up, or shut up.

    Viewed against the majority Christian stance, this is hypocrisy. This horse just ain't making it outta the gate.

    Weighed against the majority Christian stance, you are not taking scriptures into account (not correctly, anyway).

    And you only see theism from your point of view! And really, a person who can't get this obvious fact through their head, and in fact seems to do everything to prevent it, deserves to have a few insults hurled their way in my book.

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    This whole thing started because you declared that theists didn't really believe in God if they accepted evolution. Clearly there are theists who disagree (and in fact even go so far as the declare the opposite, as I have shown). Your insistence that they are wrong constitutes an I'm right you are wrong mentality!

    You really actually are indeed blind to your own hypocrisy aren't you?

    I have presented standard Christian theology in this discussion, as the vast majority of Christians derive it from scripture. And I have provided links to articles by Craig that back up every single thing I've said on the topic. In fact my contributions here have been based on those articles, and that was by design.

    So yes, by trying to discredit the Christian theology I have presented here, you are indeed trying to discredit Craig, and pretty much the entire Christian scholarship, by extension. And what's more, this is a matter of record. All you need to do is peruse the additional material I have provided for proof.

    In fact here's a challenge for you: go and find something by Craig (in context) that contradicts any of the following:

    1) Jesus is God
    2) Jesus was crucified
    3) Jesus died (a physical death, of course) for the sins of humanity so we could have a relationship with God
    4) Jesus was resurrected

    Go on, I dare you.

    Again, all these types of comments are vacuous by virtue of reference to the millions of Christians who disagree.

    I've told you before I'm not the least bit bothered by your assessment. I've already completed the task I set for myself. I'm just dotting I's and crossing T's now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  16. Rav Valued Senior Member

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    Just a few tidbits, as an addendum:

    "Crucial to an understanding of the Christian doctrine of Christ is that the incarnate Christ had two natures, one human and one divine. When Christ died he did so, not in his divine nature but in his human nature, i.e., his soul was separated from his human body. He gave his human life as a sacrifice for sin to redeem us from sins." - http://www.reasonablefaith.org/muslim-objections-to-jesus-deity



    "The orthodox doctrine promulgated at the Council of Chalcedon (451) is that Christ is one person with two complete natures, human and divine. So rather than say that Christ is “fully God and fully man,” which sounds like a contradiction, we should rather say with the Council that Christ is truly God and truly man (vere Deus, vere homo).

    You are right that worship is to be directed to God alone and that worship is properly directed toward Jesus Christ in the New Testament. It follows that Christ is God. Moreover, you are correct in saying that we worship the person of Christ, that is, the person Christ is.

    Where you err is in thinking that “that person is not solely God but also man.” That is a mistake. Christ is the second person of the Trinity, who pre-existed his incarnation. He is God, pure and simple. He is a divine person, not a divine-human person. For that reason medieval theologians were always careful never to refer to Jesus as a human person. He is a divine person who has assumed a human nature in addition to the divine nature that he already had. In virtue of having a complete human nature as well as a divine nature Christ is both God and man, human and divine. But he is not a human person. He is a divine person who possesses a human nature as well as a divine nature."
    - http://www.reasonablefaith.org/was-christ-a-divine-human-person



    "I find that Muslims frequently fail to understand that on the Christian view Christ has two natures: his divine nature which he has possessed from all eternity and his human nature which he assumed at the moment of Mary’s conceiving Jesus in her womb...

    ...The Christian view is that Christ died in his human nature, that is to say, Christ’s human nature died. He obviously did not die in his divine nature. The person who was from all eternity the second person of the Trinity didn’t cease to exist between the crucifixion and resurrection. God is, after all, a necessary being and so cannot cease to exist.

    In fact, neither did Christ’s human soul or body cease to exist. What is human death, after all? It is the separation of the soul from the body. It is not the annihilation of the soul. Persons who die are in an intermediate, unembodied state until the day of the resurrection, when their souls will be re-united with their renewed bodies."
    - http://www.reasonablefaith.org/divine-impassibility-and-the-crucifixion



    "I recently spoke at a major Canadian university on the existence of God. After my talk, one slightly irate co-ed wrote on her comment card, “I was with you until you got to the stuff about Jesus. God is not the Christian God!”

    This attitude is pervasive in Western culture today. Most people are happy to agree that God exists; but in our pluralistic society it has become politically incorrect to claim that God has revealed Himself decisively in Jesus.

    And yet this is exactly what the New Testament clearly teaches. Take the letters of the apostle Paul, for example. He invites his Gentile converts to recall their pre-Christian days: "Remember that at that time you were separated from Christ, aliens to the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world" (Eph 2.12). It is the burden of the opening chapters of his letter to the Romans to show that this desolate condition is the general situation of mankind. Paul explains that God’s power and deity are made known through the created order around us, so that men are without excuse (1.20), and that God has written His moral law upon all men's hearts, so that they are morally responsible before Him (2.15). Although God offers eternal life to all who will respond in an appropriate way to God's general revelation in nature and conscience (2.7), the sad fact is that rather than worship and serve their Creator, people ignore God and flout His moral law (1.21-32). The conclusion: All men are under the power of sin (3.9-12). Worse, Paul goes on to explain that no one can redeem himself by means of righteous living (3.19-20). Fortunately, however, God has provided a means of escape: Jesus Christ has died for the sins of mankind, thereby satisfying the demands of God's justice and enabling reconciliation with God (3.21-6). By means of his atoning death salvation is made available as a gift to be received by faith.

    The logic of the New Testament is clear: The universality of sin and uniqueness of Christ's atoning death entail that there is no salvation apart from Christ. As the apostles proclaimed, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4.12)."
    - http://www.reasonablefaith.org/how-can-christ-be-the-only-way-to-god



    "In writing to the church at Corinth, the Apostle Paul declared that without Jesus’ resurrection their faith is worthless [1 Corinthians 15:12-19]. The resurrection of Christ is central to Christianity and it is thus often attacked by skeptics and others antagonistic to the faith." - http://www.reasonablefaith.org/jesus-resurrection
     
  17. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,968
    Rav,

    First bolded section confirms that they have not yet seen God (although Jesus is standing before them)
    Second bolded section confirms that they will become exactly like Jesus (son of God).

    Not my words.

    He also described himself as ''the light of the world''. It seems that all the qualities that Jesus has can be achieved by certain types of humans, but God always
    remains aloof (by his testimony)

    How do you explain this, weasel? The dead burying their dead?
    Not my words, but basic common sense (not religious dogma) can come to real conclusions.

    This show that Jesus didn't send himself, he was sent BY.............. THE ONE WHO SENT HIM. TA DA!

    And to add to this obvious statement, Jesus' position as ''Son of God'' is not exclusive to Jesus.

    This statement is from God, and He is talking about His servant saying He will put His Spirit on him....

    Bottom line is that Jesus is NOT God. God say's so, and Jesus say's so.
    The Christian's beg to differ, putting their spin to justitify their religion, which is why bringing ''religion'' into this discussion limits it.
    Christian are experts in their own religion, not the Bible.
    However if the Christian want's to believe that Jesus is God, then so be it. But they will not be able to offer a reason without contradicting the scriptures, claiming that it their faith reveals it to them through the holy spirit (or words to that effect). As there is no way to argue with them, without joining them, it's pointless bringing their religion into the discussion.

    This line explains beautifully (IMO) the truth about one's position. If you do not align your standard with Jesus, then your standard contradicts Jesus.

    Jesus believed that God created the heavens and the earth, and He, through His Word, created man. Not that man evolved. It's really obvious.
    In fact, there is nothing about darwinian evolution in the Bible.

    jan.
     
  18. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,968
    [Rav,

    That's about right.
    But it's not your plan.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    jan.
     
  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    19,984
    Andhow did god communicate all that sophisticated philosophy to simple people who still thought stars were pinholes in the sky where god's light was shining through? Do you believe the modern prophets today who claim to be the messengers of god? Has the ability to perceive God's message changed from early man to modern man? If so why the religious strife? "Beware the false prophet" does not exclude Jesus from that group of prophets.

    I am not saying that Jesus did not have important messages, I deny the claim that he is the son of God, of which no proof has ever been presented. Read the accounts of "loafs and fishes" and find the way rumors become truths, if enough people believe it. But that does not make it truth and in truth lies freedom, not in worship and service (obeisance)to some god or pseudo god. Organized Religion is not to make people think about the wonders of the universe and become enlightened, but rather being satisfied with the status quo, because it is comfortable,
    regardless of science which disproves "divine intervention".
     
  20. Jan Ardena OM!!! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    13,968
    Write4U,

    Nothing that is ''true'' is ''sophisticated, it just is. I'm hungry, I eat, my hunger goes away. That my food may be simple and basic as opposed to complex and sophisticated does not alter the fact of satisfaction.


    That is a personal question, but for me, one cannot just up and ''believe'' something, without it relating to something that you know or have experienced. Jesus used familiar scenario's to explain the situation and people were able to relate. So my aim when listening or reading prophetic material is not to ''believe'' but to look for something that i can identify with.

    Yes, I believe the ability has changed.
    Religion is controlled by the ruling powers. If the religious leaders are in the mode goodness, then religion flourishes, if they are in the mode of passion and ignorance, it deteriorates.

    You will never get proof, because it is something you have to realize.

    What's so hard about that if you are in with the software designer. IOW, God is the the Supreme Master. Nature is His servant.
    The destructive thing about the Christian religion is that it blocks everything except their explanation out of the minds of most.


    You will never know if that was the truth. The thing is, can you think of anything (within or without science) that could possibly allow that to happen?

    Organised religion is spiritually destructive I agree.

    Science cannot disprove anything of the sort, and if you believe that, then you are making the mistake of using science the way one use religion.

    Did you see my earlier response to you?

    jan.
     
  21. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    9,253
    Not to go off the beaten path, but I've never "fully" understood..."let the dead bury the dead" passage. I've had it explained to me that "dead" is meant by Jesus to mean..."dead due to sin, not living in the light." So, those who are "dead," (not living in the light) can go bury "the dead," (those also not living in the light)

    Is that right?
     
  22. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,462
    I like this and think it worth repeating(or at-least copy and paste)

    "I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's, method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way... Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts... the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness."

    Language, which on a good day is but a shadow of a thought was created by (wo)man. The BOOK is written in a language of man, then rewritten and rewritten and translated ino other shadows.
    Is there some truth in the book? I think yes.
    Is that truth hidden under vast verbeage or parable and opinion? I think yes.

    Is science an exceptionally valuable tool for understanding "GOD's creations"? I think yes.

    Is there a conflict between science and religion? (I am uncertain)
    Is there a conflict between science and GOD? I think not.

    Bible study: When in the army, a group of us decided to study the bible, read it and discuss it. We got the then chaplain on board and met several times. Unfortunately, our chaplain was transfered, and replaced by a baptist thug(preacher).
    This thug thought to lecture us, rather than discuss our feelings and beliefs. And the overbearing jackass kept using the third person singular masculine pronoun for "GOD". I may not be all that bright, but even I know that "GOD" ain't no pronoun.
    One thing led to another, and the thug evicted me from "his church".

    So our little group met in the special services facility and played scrabble instead.
     
  23. Rav Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,422
    See: http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Matt.5.8 & http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Matt.5.9

    See: http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Matt.5.14
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Isa.60.1
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Isa.60.2
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Isa.60.3

    See: http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Matt.8.18-Matt.8.22 & http://www.ucg.org/bible-faq/what-does-matthew-822-mean-let-dead-bury-their-own-dead

    Your notion of the sort of "basic common sense" that leads to "real conclusions" is clearly in opposition to that which Christians are using.

    Christians will simply tell you that both things are true; that God essentially sent Himself to play the role of the one who was sent. Craig talks about this multi-aspect nature of God at length in the many articles he has written on the divinity of Jesus (some of which I have linked you to). And if God is indeed omnipotent there's really nothing to prevent any of this from being true.

    Further, Christians will also simply point you back to all the verses that they insist clearly demonstrate that Jesus is God and explain that one of the key elements involved in the correct interpretation of scripture is bringing verses to bear on each other. For example, here is a commentary by a theologian (from the "Reformation Study Bible" by R.C. Sproul) on the scriptural matter in question:

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/John.1.1
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/John.1.3
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/John.1.4
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/John.1.14

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Col.2.9-Col.2.10

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Heb.1.3

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Heb.1.8-Heb.1.9

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Phil.2.6
    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Phil.2.7

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/Acts.3.14

    http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/reformation-study-bible/John.8.58

    On the contrary, Christian theologians typically have to possess of a high degree of expertise when it comes to Biblical scripture. I mean just take a look at R.C. Sproul above. Here's a man who has himself been teaching from the Bible for nearly 50 years, and the foundation of his Reformation Study Bible is a compilation of thousands of study notes from over 50 distinguished biblical scholars. And Biblical scholars are, by definition, experts when it comes to Biblical scripture. Further, you just need to take a look at William Lane Craig's resume to see just how deeply he has been buried in Biblical studies over the years. And guess what? These experts affirm the scriptural basis of Christian theology.

    That there are people out there, like you, who insist otherwise, is irrelevant. I mean don't you get this yet? The more you try to argue that Christians are reading scripture incorrectly the more damage you do to the credibility of the notion that "correctly" is even a meaningful word in this context. I mean if all those theologians, scholars, priests, ministers and apologists, many of whom have devoted a significant portion of their lives to Biblical studies, can't get right, who the fuck can? You? Please...

    This is nothing more than an empty and ultimately useless pronouncement. You say scripture says one thing, they say scripture says another. You say contradiction, they say affirmation.

    There's simply no way for you to demonstrate anything more substantial than this.

    I have presented examples of Christians deriving Christian theology from scripture. And again, it doesn't matter if you disagree with the manner in which they interpret it because the fact that there is disagreement is largely the point here.

    But aside from that, don't try to pretend for a second that you're not bringing your own epistemology into this. Of course you are. You are approaching the Bible with the preconceived notion that it's teachings (not least of which feature its characterizations of God) should not conflict with any other scripture, and that shapes your reading of it. Christians on the other hand (not all, but that doesn't invalidate the point) will make a scriptural case that is in opposition to that approach. And if adopting one stance constitutes bringing religion into the discussion, so does the other, and thus you are once again disqualified from your own discussion by reference to your own rules.

    I'm sorry, but no. You don't get to insist any such thing. Not only are there countless theists who disagree with you about how scripture should be interpreted; about what is and isn't "obvious" (I've quoted a bunch of notable ones above) you've already made a complete mockery out of your own requirement to interpret it literally. You can argue that your actual interpretative methodology is superior if you like but it achieves precisely nothing here. You are so far away from making an objective case that it's laughable.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013

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