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%
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Good News vs. Good Advice
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28-04-2012, 11:18 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 11:26 AM by Vipa.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 10:49 AM)THEOtalk Wrote:  In response to your weighty assertion that "If your god existed, we wouldn't be having this conversation", I'm not sure I follow your logic. Surely you're not saying that just because you don't believe in something is must not exist. There are some who don't believe in capital punishment, yet it exists. There are some who don't believe in the institution of marriage, yet it exists. There are some who don't believe in using violence to proliferate their religious convictions yet there are those who still do it.

As a Christian I would actually say that you're assertion actually proves the existence of "my" God though He is yours as well. That's because His written revelation says that mankind naturally "suppresses the truth about God" although God has made plain to them His existence and eternal power through the created order. People naturally hate God and want nothing to do with him yet mankind can't seem to shake God, no matter how hard secularists try to extinguish Him.

I actually flip this question around to you and say that if you're worldview was correct, we wouldn't be having this conversion! If materialism was all there was, then there wouldn't even be the idea of the immaterial because we would have nothing to contrast it with--all we would or could know was the material!
You are completely correct. Therefore the invisible pink unicorn and the fsm are real, because, seriously, how could we come up with them if they didn't exist.
And the evidence (even real life pictures!!) is all over the internet.
- Therefore the invisible pink unicorn and the fsm exist.

picture of the ipu:
\/
[Image: Find_the_Invisible_Pink_Unicorn.png]
/\
Or: you really shouldn't use (at least not sincerely) the bad argument of someone else to justify your own view...


There is a difference between not believing in capital punishment and not believing in god.
In the first example you know it exists but you don't believe in the cruelty / efficiency or whatever OF it
In the second example (god) you don't know wheter it exists and there's no proof what so ever of its existence and the disbelieve is therefore pointed directly at the very claim itself and not its sideeffects.
I don't understand how you could possibly consider this an argument

So there's nothing more to add than asking for sources like erxomai
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28-04-2012, 11:25 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 11:34 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Re the secular sources :

The paragraph in Josephus is regarded as a forgery, by almost all scholars. Anyone who has ever actually looked at the document, (I have), can see, the handwriting, (and ink), is different, and it's an obvious "insertion".
He does reference James, however.

Pliny the Younger referenced the cult, not the person :

"Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ — none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do — these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ."

Tacitus also referenced the cult, not the person :

"Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians [Chrestians] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular"

Seutonius :

The only way the quote makes sence, is if he were referencing the cult, because when he said it, Jesus was dead, and the cult was already moved out to the provinces.

"As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome".

(Note, he says, THE JEWS) !!!
So much for the secular sources.

Nice try.
Try try again.

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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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28-04-2012, 11:33 AM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 10:53 AM)Erxomai Wrote:  
Quote: (Secular: Josephus, Seutonius, Pliny the Younger, Tacticus; Christian:
Clement of Rome, Ignatious, Ireneaus, Polycarp, John the elder at
Ephesus)
Please provide sources that were contemporary eyewitnesses of Jesus.
Well lets see there's a guy who wrote: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you.." I mean it doesn't get anymore "eyewitnessie" than that...


But wait there's more: "For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,[a] with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place...knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." Wow, sounds like whoever wrote this was encountering opposition to the credibility of his testimony even in his own day which he testifies that he actually walked with Jesus...Hmmmmmm....


Again: "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." Wow again we find the testimony of those who were judicious in interviewing eyewitnesses and gathered all of the testimony and facts of those who were actually with Jesus. Hmmmmm....


Oh here we go again: "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures (the OT), concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord..." Once again, Paul is basing his entire apostleship on the certainty of the person and work of Christ, specifically His physical, actual resurrection from the dead which leads to the last example:


"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain." Here you have Paul reciting the earliest Christian creed that scholars date back to the late 30s or early 40s of the 1st century and then basing the veracity of that creed on the fact that Christ appeared to hundreds of people who the Corinthians could still go interview and confirm the resurrection of Christ!


How do you account for these my friend??? Forgery??? There's absolutely zero evidence of that, there's claims of it (obviously by those who reject the authority of the Bible) but they have no empirical data that directly contradicts the eyewitness accounts of the New Testament writers, only empty speculation and spurious surmises.



(28-04-2012 11:25 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  Re the secular sources :

The paragraph in Josephus is regarded as a forgery, by almost all scholars. Anyone who has ever actually looked at the document, (I have), can see, the handwriting, (and ink), is different, and it's an obvious "insertion".
He does reference James, however.

Pliny the Younger referenced the cult, not the person :

"Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ — none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do — these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ."

Tacitus also referenced the cult, not the person :

"Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians [Chrestians] by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular"

Seutonius :

The only way the quote makes sence, is if he were referencing the cult, because when he said it, Jesus was dead, and the cult was already moved out to the provinces.

"As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he [ Claudius ] expelled them [the Jews] from Rome".

(Note, he says, THE JEWS) !!!
So much for the secular sources.

Nice try.
Try try again.
Bro what do you think
[font='Comic Sans MS']Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of [/font][font='Comic Sans MS']Tiberius[/font][font='Comic Sans MS'] at the hands of one of our procurators, [/font][font='Comic Sans MS']Pontius Pilatus[/font][font='Comic Sans MS'], and a most mischievous superstition,[/font]
is referring too?!?! Even your Wiki doesn't miss this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christ


No serious scholar rejects who Tacitus was referring to (Christ) and what event he was referring to (His crucifixion under Pilate) and want movement he was referring to (the explosion of the Christian Church across the Roman Empire) and some scholars even postulate that the "most mischievous superstition" is referencing the resurrection of Christ and the subsequent explosion of the Church onto the scene in Palestine.
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28-04-2012, 11:51 AM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 07:24 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 11:33 AM)THEOtalk Wrote:  How do you account for these my friend??? Forgery??? There's absolutely zero evidence of that, there's claims of it (obviously by those who reject the authority of the Bible) but they have no empirical data that directly contradicts the eyewitness accounts of the New Testament writers, only empty speculation and spurious surmises. [/font][/size]


Name one of the eyeitnesses, when they were born, where they lived, and when they died. Name ONE EXTERNAL piece of evidence. The is NONE. You actually think you are the first to come here and try this crap ? You have proven over the past two days, that :

a. You actually know nothing about Ancient History, or the Ancient Near East,

b. You know nothing about the history of the deveolpment of you own cult,

(Why would a book, assembled ,and voted into a canon by HUMANS, have "authority" anyway )

c. You know NOTHING about the historical development of your own set of texts.

d. You are a joke.

I, a raving atheist, know far more about your own cult than you do, obviously.

Try signing up for a course in Logic, and maybe you'll learn about what they call "circular reasoning", and why NO INTERNAL reference to the Babble, is a valid argument for the Babble.

Even if he did exist, it's irrelevant. The cult developed and morphed over many years. The events were interpreted, (differently), by almost everyone. You keep attempting to say there is something "definitive" in one of the points along the way of the morphing process. The fact that there was a human morphing process is a clue.

I happen to think he did exist. But that's a million miles from the claims that the followers made about him, which kept changing, and morphing, until the councils started to organize the craziness. Do you even know who was the first to use the term "orthordoxy", and why ?

Are you actually trying to argue that the only thing the lord of 600 sextillion stars can find to use for the proof of his son, is a couple sentences from a dead Roman emperor ? Right.


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Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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28-04-2012, 12:35 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Stop ignoring me please. I understand you are flooded with questions, but mine involves your initial premise... One where you insinuate that there is some sort of convoluted Christianity going on and you know what it really means to be Christian.

Kindly explain your stance so that we may better describe ours.

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28-04-2012, 03:00 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 03:57 PM by THEOtalk.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice

Sure thing (I wasn't ignoring you but just got sidetracked with other discussions). My point is that the two paradigms (Good News vs. Good Advice) are antithetical to each other. One is historic, creedal and confessional; the other is modern, therapeutic, and american. What you called "convoluted" I would describe as the american flavor of Christianity that is predominantly Christ-less and Cross-less. It is entirely focused on having "your best life now," experiential, subjective, therapeutic, with a propensity to focus on moralism, socialism, and legalism. Obviously it is a very man-centered "gospel" where Jesus and the biblical narrative of creation, fall, redemption, and consummation take a back seat to the practical, relevant, feel-good here & now message of most evangelical churches.

The other paradigm that is Good News is based on the apostolic doctrine that is found historically in the Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, Chalcedon Creed, and Athanansian Creed. The first of these creeds (the Apostles Creed) goes back to the second century which was formulated for the sole purpose of the unity of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. What is found in the AC derives from the New Testament, particularly 1 Cor 15:3-4; Phil 2:5-11; and 1 Timothy 3:16 which historians point to as the earliest creeds & confessions of the church. Therefore this paradigm of Christianity is God-centered and is focused on what God has done for us in Christ, namely the Gospel (which means "Good News") that Christ has defeated the power and penalty of sin on behalf of all who will believe and receive Him as Lord, God, Savior, and Christ.

One of the most remarkable sections of Scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 which says,

"In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."


Those verses summarize what true, authentic, orthodox, historic Christianity is about: through Christ God reconciles rebel & undeserving sinners, not counting their trespasses against them, giving them His perfect righteousness, and then turning them into His ambassadors who take this Message of Reconciliation to the ends of the earth.


That is what I mean when I say that Christianity is GOOD NEWS, its the best news anyone could receive. Yet Jesus also made it clear that those who think they are "well" have no need of physician but only those who know that they are "sick" need a physician. The proud scoff at Jesus, while the broken, humbled by the weight and guilt of their sin, throw themselves on the mercy of God offered in the Gospel of Jesus and they are the one's who actually become well.


"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."


I leave you with 2 Cor 5:21 and ask you this question:


IF what I am saying is true, why would you not want to receive the complete forgiveness of sins and the righteousness of God?

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28-04-2012, 03:38 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 03:45 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 03:00 PM)THEOtalk Wrote:  IF what I am saying is true, why would you not want to receive the complete forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of God, and eternal life with the One who made you?

Because what you say does not even warrant logical analysis. It's like asking me to analyze a fairy tale for logical consistency. To what purpose? Mental masturbation? Give me any plausible mechanism of action for this bullshit promise of a postmortem preservation of identity which seems fundamental to your beliefs and I might be more interested in investing more effort towards examining your decorations and facades.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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28-04-2012, 04:02 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 04:44 PM by cufflink.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 03:00 PM)THEOtalk Wrote:  
IF what I am saying is true, why would you not want to receive the complete forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of God, and eternal life with the One who made you?


You need to clarity your thinking, THEO, and improve your audience analysis.

My dictionary defines "sin" as "a willful violation of divine law or some religious principle." As you can surely discern form the name of this forum, most of us here do not subscribe to religious principles, since we do not subscribe to religion. And we do not accept the notion of divine law, since we do not believe there was or is a divine lawgiver. Ergo, sin is not a meaningful concept in our lives. So holding out the promise of divine forgiveness of sin is not particularly effective here.

That's not to say there's no such thing as wrongdoing. Of course there is. To be human is to be imperfect. I've done many wrong things in my life, and will doubtless do more before my time is up. When I recognize something I've done as wrong, I try to learn from my mistake and resolve not to repeat it. (Sometimes I'm successful and sometimes I'm not. But I try.) And if my actions have hurt someone, I try to make amends as best I can. As for forgiveness, even if I believed in a god I would not be comforted by a divine pat on the head and a "That's OK, sonny, I forgive you" from on high. The only forgiveness that means anything to me comes from the person I've wronged.

Regarding "eternal life," I couldn't say it better than GM did right above.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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28-04-2012, 04:59 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 05:07 PM by San Onofre Surfer.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 03:00 PM)THEOtalk Wrote:  One of the most remarkable sections of Scripture is 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 which says,
"In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."


Those verses summarize what true, authentic, orthodox, historic Christianity is about: through Christ God reconciles rebel & undeserving sinners, not counting their trespasses against them, giving them His perfect righteousness, and then turning them into His ambassadors who take this Message of Reconciliation to the ends of the earth.


That is what I mean when I say that Christianity is GOOD NEWS, its the best news anyone could receive. Yet Jesus also made it clear that those who think they are "well" have no need of physician but only those who know that they are "sick" need a physician. The proud scoff at Jesus, while the broken, humbled by the weight and guilt of their sin, throw themselves on the mercy of God offered in the Gospel of Jesus and they are the one's who actually become well.


"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."


I leave you with 2 Cor 5:21 and ask you this question:


IF what I am saying is true, why would you not want to receive the complete forgiveness of sins, the righteousness of God, and eternal life with the One who made you?[/font][/size]

Dear Son of Egor,
Daddy would be proud of you. Your agenda was so obvious from the first question. You'd be good at gospel writing.
You really just don't get it do you ? *Forgiveness of sins*, (the salvation bullshit), was not the original message of your christ. They KNOW when it started, and it wasn't with Jesus. Doesn't the seminary require a history class ? Forgiveness of sins requires, first of all, a mutable god, (which you don't have, and which is Philosophically absurd). You have answered about 0.01 percent of the questions asked of you, (especially Mark Fulton's). Apparently all you can do, is spout bible verses. Stringing together, and re-arranging bible verses apparently is a profession where you come from. There's a job open at Wendy's I hear. You have not established the authority of the bible, and you haven't explained why anyone should accept human writings as having ultimate significance. Why go to an atheist site, if you can't even get to first base with your arguments. The dumb old ladies at church will be happy to have you. If you're talking about christianity, how about talking about what your christ said ? You're only capable of parroting the stuff they crammed down your gullible throat. No one here gives a shit about your bible verses. I guarantee, no one here has changed their mind about anything you said, and all you did, was make yourself look like an idiot. You are one, in a VERY long line of delusionals who shout, "no me", "no me", MY way is the "true, authentic, orthodox, historic Christianity". Obviously, you have no possible way of knowing what that is, as you can't even read a text, and tell what they were talking about, (which you proved in the Hawking comment, and historical citations). You saying something does not make it true. No one is "humbled" here by anything. PROVE IT. Have you taken a survey ? Monkeys fly. In your world, people get to say stuff, and others buy the crap. Not here. You have NO authority to spout or say anything. You are a nothing. A nobody. You are just the theist "du jour". Spout your shit to people who care. If you had demonstrated even one ounce of critical thinking abilitiy, maybe someone would listen. Congratulations. You make 38,001.

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28-04-2012, 05:10 PM (This post was last modified: 28-04-2012 05:21 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 04:59 PM)San Onofre Surfer Wrote:  Dear Son of Egor,
Daddy would be proud of you. Your agenda was so obvious from the first question. You'd be good at gospel writing.
You really just don't get it do you ? *Forgiveness of sins*, (the salvation bullshit), was not the original message of your christ. They KNOW when it started, and it wasn't with Jesus. Doesn't the seminary require a history class ? Forgiveness of sins requires, first of all, a mutable god, (which you don't have, and which is Philosophically absurd). You have answered about 0.01 percent of the questions asked of you, (especially Mark Fulton's). Apparently all you can do, is spout bible verses. Stringing together, and re-arranging bible verses apparently is a profession where you come from. There's a job open at Wendy's I hear. You have not established the authority of the bible, and you haven't explained why anyone should accept human writings as having ultimate significance. Why go to an atheist site, if you can't even get to first base with your arguments. The dumb old ladies at church will be happy to have you. If you're talking about christianity, how about talking about what your christ said ? You're only capable of parroting the stuff they crammed down your gullible throat. No one here gives a shit about your bible verses. I guarantee, no one here has changed their mind about anything you said, and all you did, was make yourself look like an idiot. You are one, in a VERY long line of delusionals who shout, "no me", "no me", MY way is the "true, authentic, orthodox, historic Christianity". Obviously, you have no possible way of knowing what that is, as you can't even read a text, and tell what they were talking about, (which you proved in the Hawking comment, and historical citations). You saying something does not make it true. No one is "humbled" here by anything. PROVE IT. Have you taken a survey ? Monkeys fly. In your world, people get to say stuff, and others buy the crap. Not here. You have NO authority to spout or say anything. You are a nothing. A nobody. You are just the theist "du jour". Spout your shit to people who care. If you had demonstrated even one ounce of critical thinking abilitiy, maybe someone would listen. Congratulations. You make 38,001.

Damn, Surfer. Pretty sure the SeminaryStudent didn't do anything to deserve that tirade.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
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