Poll: What do you think Christianity is primarily about?
This poll is closed.
Good News: Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins and raised for our justification 62.50% 5 62.50%
Good Advice: practical & moral guidance in order to live a good life here & now 37.50% 3 37.50%
Total 8 votes 100%
* You voted for this item. [Show Results]

Good News vs. Good Advice
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
27-04-2012, 11:50 AM (This post was last modified: 27-04-2012 12:15 PM by THEOtalk.)
Bug Good News vs. Good Advice
As a theist (Christian pastor and seminary student), I pose the question of whether or not there is a common misperception about what Christianity actually is. My reasoning behind posing the question is due to Notre Dame Sociologist Christian Smith's recent case study of American teenagers' religion and finding that the over-whelming majority of them ascribed to what Smith coined "Moralistic Therapeutic Deism" which basically carries the following tenets: (See Michael Horton's Christless Christianity: The Alternative Gospel of the American Church)
  1. God created the world.
  2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and most world religions.
  3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
  4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one's life except when needed to resolve a problem.
  5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
Based off Smith's findings, I therefore pose the question to you secularists out there:


What do you think Christianity primarily is, good news or good advice?
  • Good Advice = how to life your best life now, how to maintain healthy finances, relationships, etc.
  • Good News = the message of reconciliation of the historical events of Jesus Christ and Him crucified for our sins and raised for our justification as testified in the pages of the Bible
The reason I ask is because the former is definitely a product of our American culture while the latter is what historic, confessional Christianity is actually about. One leaves you focusing on your self and your problems and the other leaves you focused on God and what He has done to save fallen & depraved mankind.


I look forward to the feedback!
--THEOtalk




Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:05 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I'm not sure I understand the question. Are you asking how I view the position of most Christians? Whether they offer advisive or authoratative ponits? I'm confused.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
No I am asking what view you hold of Christianity. I cited the example of American teenagers as what most who are attending churches believe. But I am curious what secularists think Christianity is and isn't.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:10 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I feel the same as GT. I think the actual question is kind of vague. Could you clarify a little?

So many cats, so few good recipes.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:15 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I think he's asking whether or not you think that Christianity is actual salvation through Christ or generally good advice on how to live your life.

Which is, honestly, silly.

You could have just asked, "Are you a Christian?"

[]Yes
[]No

That's essentially what you're asking.

[Image: RHcn6pd.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:15 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Being that I have a Roman-Catholic background, I will say I heard the latter most. Heavy on the repentance and Jesus died for us stuff. Obviously, some advice thrown in such as how to maintain a healthy marriage.

Having said all of that... I would like to ask how you come to the conclusion that Christianity is "actually about" anything? Last I checked, Christians were at odds with each other in terms of agreement on the subject at hand.

“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To the earth, chemically. To the rest of the universe atomically.”

-Neil deGrasse Tyson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:19 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(27-04-2012 12:15 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I think he's asking whether or not you think that Christianity is actual salvation through Christ or generally good advice on how to live your life.

Which is, honestly, silly.

You could have just asked, "Are you a Christian?"

[]Yes
[]No

That's essentially what you're asking.
No actually that's not what I am asking. I am asking what is your understanding of Christianity: do you view in terms of morality or theology? Do you think it's centered around rules, regulations, laws and adherence to those stipulations or do you think its centered around what God has done in history in the person of Jesus Christ?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:19 PM (This post was last modified: 27-04-2012 12:20 PM by germanyt.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Ah. I think todays Chrisitanity is viewed as a moral guide for living your life. Lots of non religious Christians think that if you life a good and honest life then you will go to heaven even if you don't follow the bible word for word. IMO this is just one step in the decline and ultimate end of Christianity.
(27-04-2012 12:19 PM)THEOtalk Wrote:  
(27-04-2012 12:15 PM)kingschosen Wrote:  I think he's asking whether or not you think that Christianity is actual salvation through Christ or generally good advice on how to live your life.

Which is, honestly, silly.

You could have just asked, "Are you a Christian?"

[]Yes
[]No

That's essentially what you're asking.
No actually that's not what I am asking. I am asking what is your understanding of Christianity: do you view in terms of morality or theology? Do you think it's centered around rules, regulations, laws and adherence to those stipulations or do you think its centered around what God has done in history in the person of Jesus Christ?
So is it a rule book or story book? Intersting. I'm not quite sure.

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect.”

-Mark Twain
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
27-04-2012, 12:23 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I know what you're suggesting should be the answer of "what Christianity is" (the protestant flavor), which is how I voted- "Good news". I understand the theology and what it means. I was a Christian long enough and involved in the church frequently and fervently enough to get it. I prayed hard, studied hard, and worshiped hard.

But that's not relevant to whether or not God exists, nor is it relevant to what happens after a person accepts the "good news" and becomes born again. After the initial manipulation is the messy part. The part that screws up peoples' lives and leads to a lifetime of guilt issues. Because it's never left at- "Great, now you're saved- have fun and enjoy your life!" After you're saved you begin the unending process of trying, and failing, to become more Christ-like. Trying to become perfect moral beings. Trying to "hear" God in the multitude of your own thoughts, and becoming convinced that one of the thoughts you have floating around in your brain is a message from God. Trying to extract some relevant message from the cryptic passages in the Bible- and expound on what the words "really" mean... your exposition proving that the Bible is the living, breathing, Word of God, and not a dusty semi-relevant tome.

Yup, those of us who have been there "get it". Maybe those who were lucky enough to not spend a significant amount of their lifetime in protestant Christianity never had to consider "good news vs good advice" (which isn't always advice that's all that good). They're lucky in my opinion.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kineo's post
27-04-2012, 12:27 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
I don't think your poll has enough options. As they basically are "do you believe that Jesus is your savior", and "do you think Christianity is a good thing".

For the poll to be fair and reflect our opinion of Christianity you at least need the opposite of both of the current options.

Behold the power of the force!
[Image: fgYtjtY.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: