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Do Christians believe that the miracles in other major religions are true?
Posted: 19 June 2009 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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Clay just needs to read ‘Jesus Interrupted’ by Bart Ehrman. That will explain everything he needs to know about the bible. He needs to learn to read the bible with historical-critical method instead of the devotional method.

This is what is taught in divinity school.

His Pastor has read it in historical context and understands the bible, even though he may choose not to explain that to his congregation.

Any Pastor, Priest or Minister who has gone to any divinity school outside of ones like Bob Jones University, understands that the bible is a human book, written by humans. This is not any big secret except to radical fringe fundamentalist factions.

Only 8 of the 27 books of the NT are written by the people who’s names are attached to the book.

If this is Gods word, he sure didn’t do very well at assigning authorship..

And by the way for those who have not read this marvelous book…it is largely the opinions and data agreed upon by the vast number of biblical scholars today-this is not a book about Bart Ehrmans personal radical opinions.

It is a consensus about the bible from a historical, factual point of view, concerning who wrote it, how, when and why.

Every christian should man up and read this book. A little courage may be required, but they owe it to themselves to be intellectually honest about their beliefs in a bronze age text.

Historically understanding the bible is not even what made Ehrman turn into an agnostic. He explains at the end of the book what did, and how people can keep their faith even after they understand the bible in it’s historical context.

Don’t be afraid clay, check it out. You’ll be a better man for it.

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Posted: 19 June 2009 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Clay is a typical type of Christian that I have come to know well. Just downplay and dismiss the significance of intellectualism and science and just have faith and believe.

It is, I suppose, much easier to deal with reality by simply ignoring it. Self delusion is a lot of fun. Just make it up as you go. Cherry pick what you want out of some bronze aged text and ignore what you don’t want.

Cool!

And then pass that worldview on to your children.

And we wonder why we have so many dysfunctional people in our modern society?

10,000 religions in the last 10,000 years, all human constructs, but yet…clay has found the one true path.

Amazing.

With all due respect eudemonia, you are a typical type of religious critic that I have come to know well - one who creates strawman arguments to reinforce your flawed assumption that all religious folks are anti-intellectual/anti-science fundies who explain everything by saying “God did it”.

Please provide evidence that I cherry pick from Scripture or deny reality in any way or am “making it up as I go”... 

Clay, all you are saying that you are “convinced” so you “believe” without telling us (or yourself), why you are convinced and believe. You got a real blind spot here.
I think you are twisted because you see virtue in convincing your child that the best way to perceive reality is through fear. We should keep your kind away from children. If we see you lurking around the playground, we going to have to report you.

I’m honestly not sure what you’re looking for here eucy.  There are many ways in which someone becomes convinced of something.  I could speak on religious/spiritual experience, which I generally am not too open about on the forum for good reason, but would be glad to oblige if necessary.  I’ve already gone into depth in other threads about the presupposition that God is necessary to hold consistent positions on morality, logic, reason, epistemology, etc. etc.  We’ve talked about the Bible as a time-tested, enduring witness to Christ and the apostles of the early Church.  I could talk about the continuity between how Scripture interprets culture, nature, etc. and what I see and sense in everyday life.  Those are all factors that contribute to my discernment between miracles of Christian texts, and miracles of others.  Don’t assume either that its not hard for me to believe that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, for example, or even that Jesus was resurrected.  Of course its difficult to believe from a human perspective…it was just as difficult to believe back then as it is now.  The Bible doesn’t talk about believing miraculous things as if they should be easy to believe…that actually seems to give it more credibility in my eyes.  The New Testament writers don’t act like the resurrection is an everyday occurrence. 

Also, you’re not understanding what I was talking about when saying that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.  The fear in that passage of Scripture is not a trembling, terrified, fear.  The point is that wisdom is found for those that submit themself to God’s leadership and rule.  People can trust their own hearts and intuition, or they can accept that their hearts are actually deceitful and unable to guide them rightly.  Have faith in God or faith in yourself, either way, you have faith.  The faith/reason or faith/science distinctions are simply false dichotomies that enable materialists and empiricists to feel better about themselves…like my friend eudemonia. 

Everyone, by the way, is passing their worldview onto their children…whether its pure rationalism, communism, free thinking, Christian fundamentalism, etc. etc.

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Posted: 20 June 2009 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 19 June 2009 09:33 PM

The faith/reason or faith/science distinctions are simply false….

NO! There is a reason that we have different words for faith, reason, and science. These words cannot be used interchangeably. You can apply reasoning to false premises, as you do, and you simply reason falsely. But science is not done on faith at all but on evidence.

clayforHim648 - 19 June 2009 09:33 PM

Everyone, by the way, is passing their worldview onto their children…whether its pure rationalism, communism, free thinking, Christian fundamentalism, etc. etc.

No, that’s not true. Teaching children the difference between fact and fantasy and allowing them to create their own world view, is not the same as forcing fantasies on them as fact. Science especially is not a religion. You can never go wrong teaching a child science and how to practice critical thought. All that crap about fear and submission being the basis of wisdom is just that, crap. You’re just bending the meaning of words again because it’s so difficult to reconcile the weird, angry and jealous god of the bible any god that modern rational thought might suggest
Your world is so 1984…
fear is wisdom
faith is reason
faith in lieu of reason is especially noble
back to step 1

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Posted: 20 June 2009 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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No, that’s not true. Teaching children the difference between fact and fantasy and allowing them to create their own world view, is not the same as forcing fantasies on them as fact. Science especially is not a religion. You can never go wrong teaching a child science and how to practice critical thought. All that crap about fear and submission being the basis of wisdom is just that, crap. You’re just bending the meaning of words again because it’s so difficult to reconcile the weird, angry and jealous god of the bible any god that modern rational thought might suggest
Your world is so 1984…
fear is wisdom
faith is reason
faith in lieu of reason is especially noble
back to step 1

Well, for one eucaryote, we’re not talking about the SAT’s here, we’re talking about raising and teaching children how to live in this world.  If you think that boils down to simple science and critical thought, then I fear for YOUR children.  That may help them pass high school chemistry, but it won’t help them understand how to be humble, or generous, for example.  It doesn’t help them solve moral dilemmas or teach them about accountability or responsibility.  Regardless, there is no such thing as neutrality.  You may disagree, but regardless of your views, you will pass on lots of information to your children that will form the way they think, the way the act, and the way they view the world.  And that, in fact, is proven by science smile

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Posted: 21 June 2009 08:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 20 June 2009 09:02 PM

it won’t help them understand how to be humble, or generous, for example.  It doesn’t help them solve moral dilemmas or teach them about accountability or responsibility.

These are the things that we and our society teach by example, not by indoctrination. These are also the things that religions, including christianity, utter fail at. Religions are ultimately divisive.

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Posted: 22 June 2009 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 20 June 2009 09:02 PM

No, that’s not true. Teaching children the difference between fact and fantasy and allowing them to create their own world view, is not the same as forcing fantasies on them as fact. Science especially is not a religion. You can never go wrong teaching a child science and how to practice critical thought. All that crap about fear and submission being the basis of wisdom is just that, crap. You’re just bending the meaning of words again because it’s so difficult to reconcile the weird, angry and jealous god of the bible any god that modern rational thought might suggest
Your world is so 1984…
fear is wisdom
faith is reason
faith in lieu of reason is especially noble
back to step 1


Well, for one eucaryote, we’re not talking about the SAT’s here, we’re talking about raising and teaching children how to live in this world.


There’s your problem!

No, Clay, you’re clearly not talking about raising and teaching children how to live in this world. Well, I guess arguably you are. You’re teaching them how to deny this world while living in it and maintaining arrogant, intellectually dishonest presumptions about it that it won’t affirm. You’re teaching them intellectual dishonesty and cowardice, but I guess you’re technically right that you’re teaching them to be good, brave intellectually dishonest intellectual cowards who can maintain their depravity in spite of corrective efforts and in spite of the corrections the world naturally provides if you face it responsibly and honestly, like an adult.

Byron

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Posted: 22 June 2009 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 20 June 2009 09:02 PM

Well, for one eucaryote, we’re not talking about the SAT’s here, we’re talking about raising and teaching children how to live in this world.  If you think that boils down to simple science and critical thought, then I fear for YOUR children.  That may help them pass high school chemistry, but it won’t help them understand how to be humble, or generous, for example.  It doesn’t help them solve moral dilemmas or teach them about accountability or responsibility.

I’m sure you recognize there are ways of teaching humility and generosity besides under the threat of eternal punishment.  With eternal punishment as the motivator for virtue then the virtue is not internal, but external, and sincerity is lost.  I hope you understand the difference between doing good for the rewards you hope they bring in this life and not the next.

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Posted: 22 June 2009 11:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 17 June 2009 11:19 PM

I will teach her that our biblical worldview requires seeing all of life through the lens of Scripture.  She will have to decide ultimately whether she believes the extraordinary claims of Scripture and put her faith in Christ or not.  Until then, she will be taught that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and God’s Word provides the only consistent view of reality and the basis for a joyful life.  What she does with that knowledge will be her choice…

“She will have to decide ultimately whether she believes the extraordinary claims of Scripture (which her parents, family and friends will have consistently drilled into her young, impressionable mind for the entirety of her childhood) and put her faith in Christ or not.”

Poor brainwashed kid.

This is how good little Christian boys and girls are made.

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Posted: 23 June 2009 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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These are the things that we and our society teach by example, not by indoctrination. These are also the things that religions, including christianity, utter fail at. Religions are ultimately divisive.

Do you have children?

No, Clay, you’re clearly not talking about raising and teaching children how to live in this world. Well, I guess arguably you are. You’re teaching them how to deny this world while living in it and maintaining arrogant, intellectually dishonest presumptions about it that it won’t affirm. You’re teaching them intellectual dishonesty and cowardice, but I guess you’re technically right that you’re teaching them to be good, brave intellectually dishonest intellectual cowards who can maintain their depravity in spite of corrective efforts and in spite of the corrections the world naturally provides if you face it responsibly and honestly, like an adult.

How am I doing that?

I’m sure you recognize there are ways of teaching humility and generosity besides under the threat of eternal punishment.  With eternal punishment as the motivator for virtue then the virtue is not internal, but external, and sincerity is lost.  I hope you understand the difference between doing good for the rewards you hope they bring in this life and not the next.

Why would you think that humility or generosity is taught under the threat of eternal punishment?  Humility and generosity are joyfully taught in the light of the Gospel of Christ, not eternal punishment.  I think you should read the Scriptures more closely (is that grammatically correct?).  There is both hope and “reward” for doing good in this life and the next, something cherished by true believers and only experienced by them, in fact.
 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
    taking the very nature of a servant
                        - Philippians 2:3-7

“She will have to decide ultimately whether she believes the extraordinary claims of Scripture (which her parents, family and friends will have consistently drilled into her young, impressionable mind for the entirety of her childhood) and put her faith in Christ or not.”

Poor brainwashed kid.
This is how good little Christian boys and girls are made.

Yeah…it would be a shame to have my daughter desire to be like Christ.  That whole business of loving others before yourself, having a servants heart, honoring parents and elders, sacrificing pride and selfishness for humility and integrity, giving to the needy, avoiding needless quarrels, learning to work hard and be diligent in study, cherishing peace and reconciliation is way overrated.  It would be better to let her figure things out for herself and let society teach her these things by example.  I’m sure she can pick these things up as she goes.

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Posted: 23 June 2009 04:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 23 June 2009 07:11 PM

Yeah…it would be a shame to have my daughter desire to be like Christ.  That whole business of loving others before yourself, having a servants heart, honoring parents and elders, sacrificing pride and selfishness for humility and integrity, giving to the needy, avoiding needless quarrels, learning to work hard and be diligent in study, cherishing peace and reconciliation is way overrated.  It would be better to let her figure things out for herself and let society teach her these things by example.  I’m sure she can pick these things up as she goes.

Speaking of humility:  John 14:6 - “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

For God’s sake, Clay, how can you possible think this is a humble statement?  This remark has caused bloodshed, conflict, and bitterness around the world since Day 1.
Avoiding needless quarrels!!!?  Holy Smoke!  Sacrificing pride and selfishness?

Is it possible to be a Christian and not be a bigot?  According to the scriptures, Jesus did not think so.  Your faith has you convinced that you are right and others are wrong.  Your miracles are true and other people’s are not true.  The world’s scientists are wrong and you are right!  This is what you are drumming into the heads of your unfortunate children, calling it humility.  How screwed up can you get? 

Face it man!  Jesus was a self-righteous bigot.  Like Arsineo Hall when his studio audience chanted for him to come on stage at the beginning of his late-night show, the Galilee crowd’s chant and applause apparently went to Jesus head and ruined him.  “Who do you say that I am?”  No wonder he gauled his fellow Jews and the Romans. 

He’s been gauling 2/3 of the world ever since.  Granted, some preachers have useful advice.  Since Biblical times many preachers have fallen under the spell of Old Testament prophecies.  Like Benny Hinn they pull off a few ‘miraculous’ healings and crowd enthusiasm goes to their heads.  They slip irrevocably into megalomania.  To some degree all of their followers suffer from the same disorder, then they pass the sickness on to their children.

[ Edited: 23 June 2009 04:11 PM by unsmoked]
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Posted: 23 June 2009 06:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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Once more, Clay brings his army of strawmen to the conversation for moral support.

Once more, Jefe, you’ve missed the point.  The point is and has always been that the Christian worldview provides the only framework and binding commitment to be consistently Christ-like.  I’m not at all saying that non-Christians cannot/are not humble, or self-sacrificing, or giving.  By God’s grace, even anti-theists can have these virtues and often do…moralism provides satisfaction and happiness for many people.  But it’s not a competition.  The point is that they cannot explain or justify such behavior consistently, without appealing to my worldview. 

For the sake of the argument, however, I would be willing to wager that the aforementioned morals/behaviors ARE solely a “Christian” thing, in the sense that these virtues are held high because of the Judeo-Christian history of Western Civilization, even though much of the West has increasingly failed to give God the glory for His Word (note that this has been a pattern over the past 200 years or so…).  And even those places where the Gospel has not made such a lasting impression, people still have a general knowledge of God and accountability to principles outside of themselves and social convention.

And despite the major failures of the Christian religion, I would still propose that where the Christian message has waned and/or been compromised, these virtues are less and less respected and esteemed by the people…Christian or non-Christian

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Posted: 23 June 2009 11:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 23 June 2009 07:11 PM

Yeah…it would be a shame to have my daughter desire to be like Christ.  That whole business of loving others before yourself, having a servants heart, honoring parents and elders, sacrificing pride and selfishness for humility and integrity, giving to the needy, avoiding needless quarrels, learning to work hard and be diligent in study, cherishing peace and reconciliation is way overrated.  It would be better to let her figure things out for herself and let society teach her these things by example.  I’m sure she can pick these things up as she goes.

Clay, my parents followed in the family tradition of raising their children up to be Christian.  I was told by church staff, my parents and family from an early age that everything the bible says is absolute truth and I should never question god’s word.

As I look back, I feel anger that my parents pushed this belief on me having never actually invested time educating themselves by reading and understanding what the bible really said. 

As an adult, discussing the bible with them, I’ve been able to see that in fact they possess only surface level knowledge about the bible (this is true for most Christians).  They have doubts about scripture, but it is apparent that they’ve never really been interested in an objective search for truth. 

My parents had no right to push their superstitious religious beliefs on me.  They should have allowed me to seek and decide once I was able to think for myself.

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Posted: 24 June 2009 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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My parents had no right to push their superstitious religious beliefs on me.  They should have allowed me to seek and decide once I was able to think for myself.

I understand the frustration you have with people (including your parents) who simply cling to the Christian identity for social or cultural reasons, rather than a real objective truth commitment to it.  But practically speaking you can’t blame them for pushing any kind of belief on you, whether its Christian or otherwise.  Parents have every right to raise and teach their children their own worldview.  I’ve met and know well parents who let their children raise themselves and they sit around now wondering why their grown children are emotional and spiritual disasters.  Again, there is no ‘neutral’ way to raise a child.  Every parent, except those that ignore their children altogether, are going to pass values and behaviors and presuppositions onto their children.  My guess is that your parents did the best with what they knew at the time, can you really blame them for that?  You have obviously grown up and set your own course, shedding your upbringing. All you’re saying is that you wish your parents had a different worldview than the Christian one you grew up with. 

In contrast, I grew up with very open, but somewhat religious parents.  I went to many different churches, as we moved around a lot, and sometimes we just stopped going to church altogether.  I was taught to value school and education and I did very well.  Along the way I evaluated my own beliefs and faith and ended up encountering the real Christ in the pages of Scripture and today I’m a full blown Christian evangelical with a deep commitment to the Reformed faith.  The heavily touted theory that religion is brainwashing and indoctrination does not correspond to the millions of witnesses across the globe to the truth of Christ.  Do I think that Christian parents should educate children to think for themselves, to own their faith and worldview and to contrast it with others?  Absolutely.  Do all parents have the education or resources to do so?  No.  Their are agnostics and non-religious folk that don’t do a great job of teaching their children just the same as religious. I’m glad you value education and critical thinking, but don’t presume like so many others that the atheistic worldview has the market cornered on it.

Of course we could also talk about the nature of parenting.  I wonder, now that you have moved away from the Christian faith, what rights parents DO have concerning their children and if you could, give me your rationale…

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Posted: 24 June 2009 12:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 24 June 2009 01:07 PM

Parents have every right to raise and teach their children their own worldview.

Millions of parents around the world are teaching their children that Muhammad is the only true prophet.  They send their children to study under mullahs who teach them to read the Koran, and only the Koran; to hate infidels; to practice jihad; to offer their lives as martyrs - killing themselves as they kill as many infidels as possible.

This is the scenario that Sam Harris describes in the opening pages of ‘THE END OF FAITH’ - chapter 1 - ‘REASON IN EXILE’.

This is the plot of John Updike’s novel, ‘TERRORIST’.

Don’t you want to take these facts into account and revise your above statement?  Is your reason in exile?  Are you teaching your children that Jesus is the only true prophet?  Are you teaching your children that the Bible, and only the Bible, is the word of God?  Are you teaching your children that a terrible fate awaits those who do not believe what you believe?

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Posted: 24 June 2009 02:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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Don’t you want to take these facts into account and revise your above statement?

I’m aware of those facts and no, I don’t really want to revise my statement.  Muslim parents should have the right to raise their own children as well.  They are not above the consequences if they raise infidel-hating suicide bombers.  If parents don’t have the right or authority to raise their own children, then who does, unsmoked? 

Basically what I’m saying is that law abiding parents should have the right to raise their children and the law should protect that right - do you disagree?

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