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How can I respond to the following Christian “apologetic”......
Posted: 29 September 2013 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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Lausten - 29 September 2013 06:37 AM
PLaClair - 29 September 2013 03:22 AM
LilySmith - 28 September 2013 01:14 PM

You state that as if it were fact, yet it’s not.  Jesus rose from the dead around 30 AD. . . .

Now that that’s settled, my point was there is a meaning to what is written in the Bible.  It’s the meaning that’s interesting to me.

Good grief, Lausten, do you seriously think that you can have a reasoned or even a rational discussion with this person?

When you put it that way. No. The “now that’s settled” statement did raise a smile. As if simply stating things makes them facts. It’s mere curiosity on my part. Finding out what sources she uses to come to her conclusions. On the translations and changes issue, it comes down to choosing one set over another. I’ve never heard anything convincing that one leads a particular “message”. Certainly never heard anything remotely resembling independent confirmation of such a message.

What was most troubling for me during my studies was, the most convincing scholarship indicates that Jesus expected the world to end and had some idea of only certain people benefiting. The rest would be punished in some way. Call it their choice if you want, they weren’t going to get the rewards. So much for grace. When I realized that, I went back to my liberal minister and said I thought the fundamentalist seem to have the best basis for saying what they do. We liberals have to twist the message to say gays are cool and slavery is wrong. He could only answer that he sees it differently. Couldn’t explain why.

I know: with a person who had a modicum of reasonability, and even a hair-breadth’s opening into her mind, you might get somewhere, but not with her. That mind is hermetically sealed, and her central organizing principle is that whatever she believes is the truth. The only place a mind opens is within. Do what you want but you’re wasting your time, not just in the sense that you’ll never convince her but in the sense that she has nothing to teach you once you recognize what her organizing principle is.

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Posted: 29 September 2013 03:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Lausten - 29 September 2013 06:37 AM

What was most troubling for me during my studies was, the most convincing scholarship indicates that Jesus expected the world to end and had some idea of only certain people benefiting. The rest would be punished in some way. Call it their choice if you want, they weren’t going to get the rewards. So much for grace. When I realized that, I went back to my liberal minister and said I thought the fundamentalist seem to have the best basis for saying what they do. We liberals have to twist the message to say gays are cool and slavery is wrong. He could only answer that he sees it differently. Couldn’t explain why.

I can give you my view on that, even though you’re certainly not going to listen to me.  Jesus’ Jewish apostles expected the Messiah to bring the end of the age and restore Israel.  That’s how they read the OT Prophets.  Jesus told them, however, it wasn’t for them to know the times set by God,  “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Acts 1:7 What the apostles missed was that before God’s restoration of Israel, which included the judgment of the nations, God was going to call out the Gentiles who would come to him and “save” them from the final judgment.  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

For the last 2,000 years the message of Christ has gone to the nations.  We’re still talking about it now.  It was not to change the world, but to call out those people who would put their trust in God.  When that time ends, the judgment will come and the nations judged.  There will be a restoration of all things.  At that time Christ will rule and there will be no more war, no more slavery, no sexual immorality, no lying, murder or stealing.  The nations will live at peace and righteousness will prevail.

The grace of God is found in Christ.  Those who reject Christ, reject God’s grace.

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Posted: 29 September 2013 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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LilySmith - 29 September 2013 03:51 PM

Those who reject Christ, reject God’s grace.

Christian apologists say all kinds of things: things that are outrageous, things that are without factual foundation, things that are self-contradictory. The above statement, however, is obnoxious. People who “reject Christ” just don’t buy the story. To presume to tell other people what their motives are is disrespectful, arrogant and obnoxious.

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Posted: 29 September 2013 04:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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PLaClair - 29 September 2013 04:27 PM
LilySmith - 29 September 2013 03:51 PM

Those who reject Christ, reject God’s grace.

To presume to tell other people what their motives are is disrespectful, arrogant and obnoxious.

It has nothing to do with people’s motives.  It is Christian teaching that the grace of God is Christ.  “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time…”

God’s grace is given to man in Christ Jesus.  There is no other source.  It’s up to each one if he receives God’s grace or not.  If you don’t believe you need God’s grace in Christ, then what’s the problem?

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Posted: 29 September 2013 05:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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LilySmith - 29 September 2013 04:43 PM
PLaClair - 29 September 2013 04:27 PM
LilySmith - 29 September 2013 03:51 PM

Those who reject Christ, reject God’s grace.

To presume to tell other people what their motives are is disrespectful, arrogant and obnoxious.

It has nothing to do with people’s motives.  It is Christian teaching that the grace of God is Christ.  “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time…”

God’s grace is given to man in Christ Jesus.  There is no other source.  It’s up to each one if he receives God’s grace or not.  If you don’t believe you need God’s grace in Christ, then what’s the problem?

And that’s why you can’t have an intelligent or even an honest conversation with someone like this. As soon as you point out a fatal problem in what she says, she’ll go to any lengths to deny that it’s there. Quite often, she just makes stuff up, which of course she’s doing throughout. In this instance, the minute she’s caught with the implications of her own words, she parses them so that “reject” has two different meanings, even though they’re used twice, in parallel, in a single sentence.

You can’t have a meaningful discussion with a person who is fundamentally dishonest, and who will go to any lengths to defend her central organizing principle, which is that she’s right.

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Posted: 29 September 2013 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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LilySmith - 29 September 2013 03:51 PM

even though you’re certainly not going to listen to me. 

Got that right.

I’ve heard many variations on theology. What I’ve never heard is a reasonable explanation of why any particular theology is the right one. And we differ on what a “reasonable explanation” is, so I probably won’t listen to you if you attempt one. I can pretty easily skim your posts and see the Bible quotes and standard phrases and I don’t bother with them.

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Posted: 30 September 2013 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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LilySmith - 29 September 2013 04:43 PM

  There is no other source.  It’s up to each one if he receives God’s grace or not. 

The problem is it isn’t up to each one of us. You can only believe it. I can’t believe it like you can’t believe my father is an alien.

What you are saying doesn’t fit with what you know to be true, and is logically impossible in any case.

Stephen

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Posted: 30 September 2013 02:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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LilySmith - 20 September 2013 12:12 PM

The Judeo-Christian view of the world has a 4,000 year history of scholars who have read, interpreted, commented on and studied the Scripture.  It is not simply a “bunch of superstition” that can easily be refuted.

Au Contraire, but it is! Interesting that you can rarely get 2 people in a room who interpret it the same way. The bible is a ‘personal’ book in that it means what and agrees with what the person reading it wants it to mean. Why do you think there are so many different sects, each thinking all the others are going to hell, and that they are the only ones to have it right? The bible is a book of fairy tales, and like all collections of fairy tales, some are better than the others. I am not impressed by the age, because there are plenty of older tales out there with just as much ‘truth’ as the bible.

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Posted: 30 September 2013 02:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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LilySmith - 28 September 2013 05:19 PM

  No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witnesses as does the New Testament.

It is obvious with this statement that you have not studied much history. There are civilizations existing before the biblical stories were written with tons more evidence AND more historical accuracy.

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Posted: 30 September 2013 02:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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asanta - 30 September 2013 02:21 AM
LilySmith - 28 September 2013 05:19 PM

  No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witnesses as does the New Testament.

It is obvious with this statement that you have not studied much history. There are civilizations existing before the biblical stories were written with tons more evidence AND more historical accuracy.

And as you point out in your previous post, asanta, more consistency. There is no doubt where stories about creation, for example, come from. People made them up. There is no other way to account for their near-total disagreement on matters of content. Hell, the early Jews couldn’t even decide which of two contradictory stories they wanted to put forth - so they used them both!

And people still take this stuff seriously?

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Posted: 30 September 2013 02:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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PLaClair - 30 September 2013 02:51 AM

And as you point out in your previous post, asanta, more consistency. There is no doubt where stories about creation, for example, come from. People made them up. There is no other way to account for their near-total disagreement on matters of content. Hell, the early Jews couldn’t even decide which of two contradictory stories they wanted to put forth - so they used them both!

And people still take this stuff seriously?

Yes, scholars intently study both impossible creation stories in Genesis….and they are only a few chapters apart!

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Posted: 30 September 2013 03:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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I believe one can ask some questions which are not provocative in themselves, yet force the other (fundamentalist) person to seriously think about it.  I have posed this question myself to OT adherents and it never failed to take them aback just a little.

a) At what point do “God’s mysterious ways” (such as a natural disaster, killing thousands of people), become works of the Devil?

b) If God make a Commandment :“thou shalt not kill”, why would He himself break that Law? Or order His children to break that Commandment and kill in His name?

You will probably get an answer that justifies God’s purpose, but it will make a reasonable person think and that’s a beginning in recognizing the moral contradictions in the OT.

[ Edited: 30 September 2013 03:26 AM by Write4U ]
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Art is the creation of that which evokes an emotional response, leading to thoughts of the noblest kind.
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Posted: 30 September 2013 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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asanta - 30 September 2013 02:21 AM
LilySmith - 28 September 2013 05:19 PM

  No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witnesses as does the New Testament.

It is obvious with this statement that you have not studied much history. There are civilizations existing before the biblical stories were written with tons more evidence AND more historical accuracy.

She’s demonstrated her ignorance of history several times, no more so than when she said natural disasters started when Adam and Eve disobeyed god.

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You cannot have a rational conversation with someone who holds irrational beliefs.

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Posted: 30 September 2013 06:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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DarronS - 30 September 2013 06:12 AM
asanta - 30 September 2013 02:21 AM
LilySmith - 28 September 2013 05:19 PM

  No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witnesses as does the New Testament.

It is obvious with this statement that you have not studied much history. There are civilizations existing before the biblical stories were written with tons more evidence AND more historical accuracy.

She’s demonstrated her ignorance of history several times, no more so than when she said natural disasters started when Adam and Eve disobeyed god.

Matt Dillahunty recently used the term “urban legends” in an off hand reference to some of the beliefs of Christians. Specifically it was in reference to a discussion he had with a Christian who made a statement about all of the accurate original manuscripts we have of the entire Bible. What he lamented was that it is a sad way to convince someone of the truth of something. Pastors are taught NOT to teach people what they learn in seminary about the history of the Bible. If these legends that put the Bible at the same status as our best history books were true, I might be convinced Christianity had some value, in fact at one time I was. But I learned how history is really done, and even the value of community and tradition was washed away because I had been so horribly lied to by the people who were creating that community.

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Posted: 30 September 2013 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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asanta - 30 September 2013 02:21 AM
LilySmith - 28 September 2013 05:19 PM

  No other piece of ancient literature has such an abundance of manuscript witnesses as does the New Testament.

It is obvious with this statement that you have not studied much history. There are civilizations existing before the biblical stories were written with tons more evidence AND more historical accuracy.

Well please, let us in on these civilizations with tons more manuscript evidence and historical accuracy!  Who are they and where are the manuscripts?

“Parts of the New Testament have been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work, having over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. The dates of these manuscripts range from c. 125 (the John Rylands manuscript, P52; oldest copy of John fragments) to the introduction of printing in Germany in the 15th century… “In reference to the textual evidence for the New Testament, Bruce M. Metzger wrote,

  ‘In evaluating the significance of these statistics…one should consider, by way of contrast, the number of manuscripts which preserve the text of the ancient classics. Homer’s Iliad…is preserved by 457 papyri, 2 uncial manuscripts, and 188 minuscule manuscripts. Among the tragedians the witnesses to Euripides are the most abundant; his extant works are preserved in 54 papyri and 276 parchment manuscripts, almost all of the later dating from the Byzantine period…the time between the composition of the books of the New Testament and the earliest extant copies is relatively brief. Instead of the lapse of a millennium or more, as is the case of not a few classical authors, several papyrus manuscripts of portions of the New Testament are extant which were copies within a century or so after the composition of the original documents.’”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_manuscript

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