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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29-04-2012, 01:54 AM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 02:14 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 01:01 AM)gdemoss Wrote:  
(28-04-2012 11:54 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Gary, I think you are patronising atheists by claiming we do not "understand spiritual things."

The truth is we understand them only too well, and our understanding surpasses that of the theist.

Theotalk clearly has almost no understanding of the real history of the development of Christianity. He started off by claiming there was good evidence for the existence of Jesus from secular sources, which is plainly wrong, as demonstrated by Bucky and ANY non evangelical commentary from competent historians. Having been machine gunned at his kneecaps he changed tack and quoted the gospels and Paul as evidence for Jesus, as if the gospel authors or Paul were writing real history! He then claimed that Jesus thought he died for our sins! Any historian worth his salt knows that ridiculous idea was invented by Paul, many years after the Jesus character had died. Theotalk then parroted the tired old Christian claim we all should accept this bizarre scheme to get into heaven. There were face palms in all corners of the globe on reading that and some understandable aggro. That stuff is for the stupid people, for those who need their pockets emptied.

Why can't you theists read some history? Seriously...its not that hard. A whole new world will open to you, and YOU will begin to understand "spiritual things". Start with Hugh Schonfield "Those Incredible Christians" or Douglas Lockhart "Jesus the Heretic" or James Tabor's "The Jesus Dynasty" or Peter Cresswell's "Jesus the Terrorist" or Thijs Voskuilen's "Operation Messiah". There is also an opinionated git called Mark Fulton who has a website and a book to come out soon. Also, to put it all in context, read a general text on the history of the ancient Jews. I guarantee you, you won't be sprouting Paul's evangelical tripe once you get your head around the real history. You'll be too embarrassed.
Mark, believe what you will. It doesn't make it true. You see me as patronizing. Why should I expect you to see me for what I really am? You think you understand spiritual things better than theists do. OK. What can I say? Nothing. You believe you can trust what men have written down and called history. OK. I believe what God moved men to write down and call his word. You think I am stupid. OK. What can I say? The bible told me you would say that. People have been bearing false witness of each other for thousands of years. Much of which has been written down and called history. Each of us must come to a point where we determine what we will or will not believe. Each of us had to determine what criteria must be used to come to that conclusion. You have chosen yours. I have chosen mine. We will each reap the reward of our efforts to come to and understand the knowledge of the truth.

If your the one who is correct and there is no God, then those of us who believe must be suffering from mental deficiencies beyond our control as I can't just turn this off and believe that what I believe has no merit or value just because you say it doesn't. So how is it that you think mentally unstable individuals should be handled?


Gary
Gary, cool your jets. I can't see you or hear you, but maybe you are tired? I don't think you are stupid. I am making a simple suggestion...that you read some books about the history of the times. I am not asking you to believe me ( I'll leave that to priests and pastors). I'm simply suggesting you look at some objective evidence and make your own mind up. There should be nothing scary about that. I suspect you are frightened of the cognitive dissonance you may feel. But cognitive dissonance can only upset you if you let it. Rome wasn't built in a day, I suggest you just slowly acquaint yourself with the historical truth.

I don't think you are mentally unstable, although for all I know you may be. If you are, get some professional help (NOT from your church...that will only make you more unwell). Don't be harsh on yourself...if you are anxious or depressed you're not alone.


(29-04-2012 01:01 AM)gdemoss Wrote:  
(28-04-2012 11:54 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  Gary, I think you are patronising atheists by claiming we do not "understand spiritual things."

The truth is we understand them only too well, and our understanding surpasses that of the theist.

Theotalk clearly has almost no understanding of the real history of the development of Christianity. He started off by claiming there was good evidence for the existence of Jesus from secular sources, which is plainly wrong, as demonstrated by Bucky and ANY non evangelical commentary from competent historians. Having been machine gunned at his kneecaps he changed tack and quoted the gospels and Paul as evidence for Jesus, as if the gospel authors or Paul were writing real history! He then claimed that Jesus thought he died for our sins! Any historian worth his salt knows that ridiculous idea was invented by Paul, many years after the Jesus character had died. Theotalk then parroted the tired old Christian claim we all should accept this bizarre scheme to get into heaven. There were face palms in all corners of the globe on reading that and some understandable aggro. That stuff is for the stupid people, for those who need their pockets emptied.

Why can't you theists read some history? Seriously...its not that hard. A whole new world will open to you, and YOU will begin to understand "spiritual things". Start with Hugh Schonfield "Those Incredible Christians" or Douglas Lockhart "Jesus the Heretic" or James Tabor's "The Jesus Dynasty" or Peter Cresswell's "Jesus the Terrorist" or Thijs Voskuilen's "Operation Messiah". There is also an opinionated git called Mark Fulton who has a website and a book to come out soon. Also, to put it all in context, read a general text on the history of the ancient Jews. I guarantee you, you won't be sprouting Paul's evangelical tripe once you get your head around the real history. You'll be too embarrassed.
Mark, believe what you will. It doesn't make it true. You see me as patronizing. Why should I expect you to see me for what I really am? You think you understand spiritual things better than theists do. OK. What can I say? Nothing. You believe you can trust what men have written down and called history. OK. I believe what God moved men to write down and call his word. You think I am stupid. OK. What can I say? The bible told me you would say that. People have been bearing false witness of each other for thousands of years. Much of which has been written down and called history. Each of us must come to a point where we determine what we will or will not believe. Each of us had to determine what criteria must be used to come to that conclusion. You have chosen yours. I have chosen mine. We will each reap the reward of our efforts to come to and understand the knowledge of the truth.

If your the one who is correct and there is no God, then those of us who believe must be suffering from mental deficiencies beyond our control as I can't just turn this off and believe that what I believe has no merit or value just because you say it doesn't. So how is it that you think mentally unstable individuals should be handled?


Gary
PS don't think of it as a "mental deficiency." Think of yourself as a victim. Churches are bloody good at what they do...they should be as they've had thousands of years to perfect their techniques. They "get at" people when they are most vulnerable i.e. when they are children, or when lonely, sick, depressed, out of luck etc. They fill people's heads with superstitious nonsense designed to wound self esteem, for e.g. "you're a sinner", guilt about sexuality, "Jesus died for you" etc etc, and then they move in with flawed solutions..."Jesus loves you," "Jesus saves" etc etc.

Then they'll empty your pockets.

Don't let them do it Gary. Trust yourself and your own common sense. True self esteem and happiness comes from within.
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29-04-2012, 06:20 AM (This post was last modified: 29-04-2012 06:48 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(28-04-2012 08:48 PM)gdemoss Wrote:  Thus the reason for my post. Did I not express that well enough to come acrossed? You rely upon 100% carnal (and I use carnal because the word is opposed to spiritual) logic to explain everything around you and life itself, therefore if something spiritual truly exists, you cannot determine it to be truth based upon the lack of tangeable evidence to support such a claim. For instance, if a wicked spirit took up residence in your body and a tumor developed as a manifestation of his spiritual presence in your body, you would study the tumor and how it formed and find a logical, but completely carnal explanation of how it came to be and in the end result understand that no God or spiritual entity was necessary to explain it. Spiritual things cannot be accepted by those who focus only on the carnal counter parts that are in our temporal realm. So I empathize and try not to get into lengthy debates that do nothing but frustrate your inability to understand spiritual things.


Since you used the word combo "come acrossed" which is improper English, it raises the question of your education level. it follows the discussion my friend Surfer attempted to raise above, about "authority". The originator of this thread attempted to get us to accept some measure of their "authority" in their first sentence, as they assumed that a "pastor" and "seminary student" somehow posseses a measure of authority, simply because of one's occupational status. Since he failed miserably, and can't respond, because the human set of assembled texts, (called the bible) no longer has any "authority", I'm wondering what is your "authority", since you appear to have no specific knowledge of the history or process of how the bible was developed.

I think you're attempting to create the false dichotomy of "carnal logic" vs "spiritual logic". There is only logic. If the term means anything, it's only one.

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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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29-04-2012, 11:40 AM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Mark: Thanks for the reply. I'll consider what you have said next year if all of my understanding comes to naught. I'll make you my best friend and learn from your reality of history etc.

Bucky: Thank you also for your reply. As I read it, as well as Marks, I do see that in your own way you actually care that I have been affected as thus in your eyes. I will be the first to admit that I am uneducated and ignorant of many things (including proper use of English) and ask that you be patient with me due to my lack. I truly understand your position on carnal versus spiritual. Why would you not think this way? The idea that there is something that you cannot discern through the body you live in is insane to you. In this respect you are no different than modern day Christians. They to mistakenly believe that their bodies are actually a part of them, the person. You spend all of your time focused upon your body and how it interacts with the world around it and remain oblivious to the spirit world that is actually controlling the events of this world. God has put this age into subjection unto the angels who are spirits.

My dilemma is to understand how to explain spiritual things unto one who is carnal in nature. One must be awakened to the fact of the spiritual before they can interact with the spiritual realm in a conscious way. You have absolutely no desire to do such a thing since you are so knowledgeable of our present carnal world it is all foolishness unto you. You have set defenses up against it. You have logically concluded that people like me are 'nuts' and therefore anything that I say is already discarded in your mind as junk.

So here is where I stand today: All things are possible with God. If there is some way to aid you in your understanding and bring you to a knowledge of the truth, he knows it and can bring it to pass. For me to think that I somehow know what needs to happen in your life to bring you to faith is nonsense. Instead I pray that God will take you on as a challenge and prove himself unto you and the rest of those who are here at this forum. It appears that you all would believe that even God couldn't make you believe in him and the spiritual realm. I put it in his hands and declare plainly that nothing is impossible for him and let him begin his work in you.

Have a wonderful day,

Gary
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29-04-2012, 12:47 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 11:40 AM)gdemoss Wrote:  It appears that you all would believe that even God couldn't make you believe in him and the spiritual realm.

Not at all, Gary. If God somehow manifested himself to me and said, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know I really do exist. See?" why wouldn't I believe? Of course I would have to be convinced it wasn't a hallucination or psychotic episode (I don't think I'm prone to those, but you never know) . . . but God being God (omnipotent and omniscient and all that), he'd know how to convince me. As for the spiritual realm, I'd like nothing better than for God to say to me, "And (drumroll, please) here are your Mom and your Dad!" I'd have a lot to say to them that I never said when they were alive, unfortunately. (Yesterday was the anniversary of Mom's death--I've been thinking a lot about her.) But I'm not holding my breath that any of that is going to happen. And in lieu of credible evidence, I must remain a non-believer.

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29-04-2012, 01:05 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 12:47 PM)cufflink Wrote:  
(29-04-2012 11:40 AM)gdemoss Wrote:  It appears that you all would believe that even God couldn't make you believe in him and the spiritual realm.

Not at all, Gary. If God somehow manifested himself to me and said, "Hey, I just wanted to let you know I really do exist. See?" why wouldn't I believe? Of course I would have to be convinced it wasn't a hallucination or psychotic episode (I don't think I'm prone to those, but you never know) . . . but God being God (omnipotent and omniscient and all that), he'd know how to convince me. As for the spiritual realm, I'd like nothing better than for God to say to me, "And (drumroll, please) here are your Mom and your Dad!" I'd have a lot to say to them that I never said when they were alive, unfortunately. (Yesterday was the anniversary of Mom's death--I've been thinking a lot about her.) But I'm not holding my breath that any of that is going to happen. And in lieu of credible evidence, I must remain a non-believer.
The most telling part of your response is where you said that you would have to be convinced that it wasn't of natural means such as hallucination. I believe you to be correct when you say that God knows if there be a way for you be convinced. Nothing is impossible with God. Sorry to hear about your mom. My father, grandmother, grandfather, step father and uncle all passed in the last 3 years. I do think of them from time to time. If God would be so kind to give you the vision you would like! Though you might still think it nothing but your own imagination, I think it would be a wonderful gift from him to you. Though you must remain a non-believer.

Gary
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29-04-2012, 02:40 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
Well, I don't think Gary is anything like Egor. Egor is here to learn more about how he can convert us to his own religion after atheists dominate over christianity. That's what he said.

Gary seems to actually mean well. Plus his manners are a lot better.

What's interesting is that theists, KC included, end up here when their own communities reject their personal views.

Must be that atheists are nicer people... Smile

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29-04-2012, 04:40 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 02:40 PM)Dom Wrote:  Well, I don't think Gary is anything like Egor. Egor is here to learn more about how he can convert us to his own religion after atheists dominate over christianity. That's what he said.
Gary seems to actually mean well. Plus his manners are a lot better.


Agree completely. I was thinking about this, this afternoon, and how seriously I had jumped the gun, on this one, and been rude to him, when he seems to be looking for answers. I was going to send him an apology by PM, but I might just as well do it here in public. Gary, I'm sorry. I was wrong about you, and I was rude, and it was un-called for..we all come from different places, and I forget that. I'll edit a little, if I can, but not if it makes a reply look out of context.

I'll put myself in the TTA naughty chair for about 15 minutes. Blush

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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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29-04-2012, 05:05 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
This is truth, I am not patronizing anyone!

I find that Atheists are easier to talk to about things because they rely solely upon logical conclusions. This fact gives me a platform to work from because we can truly understand each other. My 'logical' conclusions are based upon understanding an existence of a spiritual realm, where yours are based solely upon the material. Therefore, you can, and I find most do, have some sympathy with my conclusions because if Atheism is right, they must come from a mentally warped perception.

Theists who disagree with me, on the other hand, I find to be very hateful in their approach to dealing with what I bring to the table. History shows us just how hateful twisted men who believe in God can be. As has been said here on this forum countless times Religion has been responsible for more chaos, death and calamity than anything else. But I hold to the position that for the most part, those who did such things did them from a twisted view of the truth and not because they understood the truth.

Thanks Bucky and Dom for your nice comments.

Gary
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29-04-2012, 06:31 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 05:05 PM)gdemoss Wrote:  This is truth, I am not patronizing anyone!

I find that Atheists are easier to talk to about things because they rely solely upon logical conclusions. This fact gives me a platform to work from because we can truly understand each other. My 'logical' conclusions are based upon understanding an existence of a spiritual realm, where yours are based solely upon the material. Therefore, you can, and I find most do, have some sympathy with my conclusions because if Atheism is right, they must come from a mentally warped perception.

Theists who disagree with me, on the other hand, I find to be very hateful in their approach to dealing with what I bring to the table. History shows us just how hateful twisted men who believe in God can be. As has been said here on this forum countless times Religion has been responsible for more chaos, death and calamity than anything else. But I hold to the position that for the most part, those who did such things did them from a twisted view of the truth and not because they understood the truth.

Thanks Bucky and Dom for your nice comments.

Gary



Great, and I hope you don't feel I was patronising you, regards, Mark
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29-04-2012, 07:13 PM
RE: Good News vs. Good Advice
(29-04-2012 06:20 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The originator of this thread attempted to get us to accept some measure of their "authority" in their first sentence, as they assumed that a "pastor" and "seminary student" somehow posseses a measure of authority, simply because of one's occupational status. Since he failed miserably, and can't respond, because the human set of assembled texts, (called the bible) no longer has any "authority"...
Bucky Ball: Hey I want to apologize to you and to others if I somehow came across rude and judgmental. Truth is, I was a little taken back by all the responses at once and felt attacked (but hey I created the forum and came on the website so I guess that's to be expected). As for the thread itself, I really was just looking for what unbelievers generally think about Christianity, aside from the fact that you reject it as being fictitious.


As for your arguments and objections, they are strong and weighty though I do believe they can be answered and also, I do believe you are off on some of your assertions about Christianity which I will get to below.


As for the rest of those who have commented, I echo what Gary said about talking with atheists about these things, though I would confess that I let my emotions get the better of me on numerous responses and for that I apologize.


As for some the objections that BuckyBall, Erxomai, and others have raised, here are my responses:
  1. BB you said earlier that[font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif] "cosmology no longer requires a first cause" due to quantum fluctuations: I would response with that this only pushed the origins question one step further back to asking about the provenance of the quantum fluctuations. [/font]
  2. [font=Tahoma, Verdana, Arial, sans-serif]Along those same things about the question of God and Him being subjected to a "first-cause" as well I would ask you if you have studied the [/font]Kalam Cosmological Argument which is best explained by Christian Apologist & Philosopher William Lane Craig (you can check it here: http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/cosmological-argument.htm) but it basically argues that whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence, the universe began to exist, therefore, the universe has a cause of its existence. There's a lot more to it that than obviously, especially how you move from "Cause" to a "Personal Being" but check out Craig's stuff if you're interested.
  3. As far as your post about the early church's disconnect with all of the spurious teachings surrounding the person of Christ, I think you're right about why they originally met with the different ecumenical councils though I would submit that these councils were much more concerned with nailing down orthodoxy in light of the numerous Christological heresies (Arianism, Sabellianism, Nestorianism, Eutychianism, etc) that were rampant at the time. Also, numerous scholarship has been written about the biblical canon itself and how by the end of the 1st century, early 2nd century that canon was already recognized by the Church as apostolic not made by the Church later like at Nicaea. Of course there are counter arguments to this but C.E. Hill makes a compelling case for an early canon in his book Who Chose the Gospels? by simply piecing together the writings of the early church fathers in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. (here's a review of his book if you're interested: http://www.denverseminary.edu/news/who-c...onspiracy)
  4. The Teleological/Ontological Argument: I was referring to the fine-tuning argument that astronomy and physics points to including the anthropic principle of earth's capacity to support life with remarkable precision and order. (once again I defer to Craig: http://withalliamgod.wordpress.com/2010/...-argument)
  5. Regarding the history of the ancient Near East, I would agree that there's a lot that we don't know. After all, history is pieced together with what we do know though of course we "know" that this isn't all we "know" (no pun intended Smile I will concede to you that I haven't read much history outside of biblical sources but also that much that historians rejected as being fictitious in the Bible (ex: the existence of the Hittite people, the existence of the city of Jericho, the existence of King David & Solomon, the existence of Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, even the existence of Pontius Pilate) have all now been verified by archeologists over the last 100yrs which of course is amazing since the Bible testified to these things for centuries. My point is that we will never be able to uncover ALL of the evidences for such and such individual or place because that's not the way history works. Sooner or later we have to take things on face value for what they say and mean unless of course we have compelling evidence against them. I do not think there is any substantial, compelling evidence for the falsity of the Bible many scholars much brighter and intelligent than me (Lewis, Schaeffer, Dembski, Plantiga, Sproul) would have rejected the faith a long time ago.
  6. Along those same lines I have to disagree with your assertions about the biblical text (the way Jesus is portrayed, your interpretation of Philippians 2, and the Gnostic Gospels having the same credibility as the canonical ones). While the 4 gospels are written with particular audiences in mind, they are united in their portrait of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God who came to make atonement for sin by dying, rising, and ascending back to the Father promised to return at the end of the age (i'm just sharing with you the central message of the gospels, nothing more). Also the meaning of Philippians 2 is in the passage itself describing Christ's "emptying Himself" as His humiliation of coming as a servant even to the point of death on a cross with God vindicating Him with His exaltation with the "name that is above every name"--again I'm just sharing with you what it says and means, nothing more Smile Regarding the Gnostics, no biblical scholar whether conservative or liberal, believes they were written before the beginning of the 3rd century (200-250 AD) and they're content definitely reflects a gnostic understanding of a dualistic view of the world (in addition to them contradicting what the synoptic gospels had already established about Christ).
  7. [font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]As for the title of "Son of God" I realize that this was a common title used as was "Christ", "Lord". This however does not mean that the biblical account is falsified just because titles were in circulation. Likewise, there were many "messiahs" prior to and shortly after the coming of Christ but this does nothing to his claims unless they were proven false (Acts 5:34-39).[/font]
  8. [font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]As for my "circular reasoning" by using the biblical text, I'll admit that my a priori is that the Bible is the inspired Word of God which of course you and other reject so it makes little sense to appeal to it. Therefore, I'll let B.B. Warfield explain my position as to how I arrived there: http://books.google.com/books?id=x-UFHyz...ng&f=false[/font]
  9. [font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]Lastly, you never responded to what I said about Tacitus' citation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tacitus_on_Christz) that it seems to be a contemporary source about Christ (Christus) and his death, with his subsequent followers stirring up "trouble" all across the Roman Empire. Keep it mind that Jesus never traveled more than 100 miles from his hometown, lived a pretty obscure life, and therefore, he didn't have "historians & scholars" traveling around with him recording his every move the way we think of biographers today, but he did have 12 men follow him and later write (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) their account of his life. Nevertheless, we have multiple historians referencing Christ and/or his followers within a century of his life. [/font]
[font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]Once again I am sorry for coming across like the "typical" Bible-thumping, naive Christian. I promise you that was not my intent and I actually do read things outside the Bible so I will look into some the sources you recommended. [/font]
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[font=Arial, Verdana, Helvetica]THEOtalk
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Sorry about the computer code stuff, not sure how that ended up on there
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