Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
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15-07-2011, 12:19 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(09-07-2011 12:28 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  I hope I'm not overwhelming you Lion. I just want to make sure you have a good understanding. Hope you don't mind our new side conversation in this thread either =p we're a talkative bunch.

Something else you might like. Micheal
Shermer is a well known atheist who runs Skeptic magazine. He got into christianity in his 20s and then changed his mind later on as he got into science. He's much less anti-religion than those such as Hitchens, his main view is that we don't need religion anymore and it is demonstrably false so there is no real reason to put so much effort into it. Here is a nice little debate from a christian radio broadcast discussing the possibility of miracles.miracles.

Thanks for all the information you have given me so far, but I would like to work through all I still have to look at, so I don't need more information before that. I don't have a problem side conversation, so you can keep talking about that.
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15-07-2011, 01:11 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Hey Lion,

First, I won't offer more links or reading material, as it looks like you've got plenty to go through. Second, I have not read this thread in its entirety so forgive me if this has already been said. But the one bit of advice I would give you is to be sure you are checking sources and facts on any thing you read or research - don't just take someone's word for something, even if they are an "expert." And that goes for all sides of the arguments.

My search began a while ago when I wanted to find out what it is that we know about Jesus. As in, what are the indisputable facts about this man who is supposed to be God? What I eventually learned is that "I know x through faith" usually means "I know x because I've been told to know x" or "because I want to know x" which for me is just not good enough.

Congratulations to you on being open to evidence and discussion. Best of luck in your search and be sure to keep us updated and let us know if you have any questions. As you've seen, there's lots of people here willing to offer help.

Our brains deceive us on a regular basis, so we have to find ways to fight back.
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15-07-2011, 06:39 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(15-07-2011 12:17 PM)monkeyshine89 Wrote:  Keep a strong heart, lion! It takes a lot of courage to admit that something you hold dear may have been wrong. I encourage you to keep asking questions and exploring, it's how we learn. It's people like you that help keep my faith in the human race, that even through indoctrination, people still retain the ability to question.

Good luck on your journey.

This is the beauty of the internet. Because we can all communicate so much easier than in times past, religious fundamentalism is losing its grip on people's minds, particularly in the young. Let's hope one day we will all be united by our common humanity and the divisiveness that fundamentalist religious belief engenders will be a thing of the past.
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15-07-2011, 07:18 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Glad to hear you're having little trouble talking with your parents, though I would suggest discussing smaller ideas with your dad from now on, you don't want to hate him for something he says. He gave you a pretty standard answer but if you don't buy it then it's really degrading for the person who says it. Sadly a lot of christians have those opinions, and there are some who discuss things with "god" (evid3nc3 discussed how he heard jesus), it's not that hard for someone to act crazy. The weird thing is that any time christians see someone acting on god's word in an excessive way, they call them crazy and don't defend them at all.

Hmmm the question of what can you talk with your dad about in this realm.... don't discuss misogyny he probably won't have a problem, and since you've suggested he's pretty close-minded he won't care about the physically impaired people or the whole race war thing. It seems you really want to understand him, but just having him explain his views isn't going to help you understand how he got them, especially cause that's a one way discussion. I would go ahead and argue for true fundamentalism if you want to discuss things with him. Ask why he doesn't follow this teaching or that one, or which direction he goes when teachings contradict. Those things will give you answers that should be easier to stomach than "if god wants someone dead they die, it's god's wish".

It sounds like you are getting a bit firmer in your own opinions. The new testament is the big one though, if you can find that you disagree with the book that everyone thinks is ultra moral, then you'll pretty much be done. While reading through apologist literature in an attempt to follow the bad parts of new testament remember to always keep Occam's razor in mind. Is their explanation the simplest answer? And the parts that don't make sense tend to sound bad metaphorically or literally so it should not be hard to find them if you read.

With the new testament you will have a lot more of the "prophecies". Keep in mind that the book was written and rewritten many times over, many parts of stories were added in later. Never take a prophecy in a chapter that is answered in another chapter as proof. If you really want to know the truth the bible cannot be a definite historic document. You need to match it up to alternative sources for the time periods.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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18-07-2011, 12:28 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
While I applaud the efforts of many to take the time to "refute" the bible, (and that is fairly simple to do, that implies that one needs to refute it. Do we try to "refute" the "Iliad" and the "Oddesy" ? No. They are both valid mythology, as is the bible. They MUST be understood in their cultural context, and cannot just be "studdied" by reading themselves, without study ABOUT them. (I do recognize that there are not organized groups trying to shove those two texts down our throats as literally true,..... thus the need for refutation). Rolleyes

I would recommend you start by reading a couple things.
Re the Old Testament :
1. "Good and Evil" by Martin Buber. he is a "Jewish" philosopher who gives a completely different understanding of the "fall"/Genesis myth, and shows you how a pholosophical understanding of that text might just embody a remarkable insight for an ancient nomadic culture. If you really want to understand those ancient texts, you will have to realize there "ain't no free lunch", and it will take a LOT of time and energy. But biblical archeology and cultural anthropology are time consuming, and the simplistic, childish, second grade approach is not productive. It also helps if you find a good objective mentor, (or go to a school with a seerious academic reputation), who can point out the flaws in you reasoning process.
Re the New Testament :
2. Rudolph Bultman's "Jesus Christ and Mythology" does the same job as the above book for the NT. Or just start with Wikipedia article on JC and Mythology, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Chris...ythology).
Email me if you have any questions. Good luck. It's a long raod, but fun. Cool

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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18-07-2011, 01:00 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Bucky, he's just asking for help making up his mind, he did not say that he wanted to spend his life determining the importance of the bible. That can be established without years of research. Don't act like he has to waste his life on this when his own decision can be reached in no time. It might be nice information if he decides to do that, but we're just giving him some info on a different position to help with his decision.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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18-07-2011, 02:35 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Thanks for the Haberman link.
I always thought, and many mainline Christian academics agree, that the "experience of the resurrection" by the diciples was a mythologic interpretation of their communal experience. It was never intended to be taken as literal, or factual, as "factual" was not a part of their worldview. When the story talks about them "seeing" him on the road to Emmaus, it meant they "experienced his presence" as a group. It's poetry, just like saying a dead person "is still with us". It is just as invalid for nonbelievers to take this mythology literally as it is for the fundie to do so, IMHO.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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18-07-2011, 08:30 PM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(18-07-2011 12:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  2. Rudolph Bultman's "Jesus Christ and Mythology" does the same job as the above book for the NT. Or just start with Wikipedia article on JC and Mythology, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Chris...ythology).
Email me if you have any questions. Good luck. It's a long raod, but fun. Cool

Broken link there.

By the time you stop ready this, you'll realze what a waste of time it has been Big Grin
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19-07-2011, 01:53 AM
 
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
(09-07-2011 06:56 AM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  We don’t know who wrote the gospels. The true identities of these authors are not recorded anywhere in church writings.

Each gospel was originally written by anonymous individuals and then heavily edited by numerous unknown others over subsequent years. It became impossible to genuinely accredit one person with the authorship. So all commentary on who might have originally written the gospels involves much guesswork.
Thanks for the detailed reply! It's raised some questions, though I doubt I have the time to pursue them all to a satisfactory end. But if I can start off by asking a question that doesn't concern authorship. Can you tell me why there are four gospels in the bible? I only ask this question to hear your perspective, if any.

(01-07-2011 09:40 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  but do realize that the rapture Jesus talked about was one that people living around him would experience. He was one of those people spreading the end is near messages.
This grabbed my attention, mainly because its based on a Hellenistic (western) perspective on scripture. This form of interpretation is limited in what it can reveal, particularly when it comes to eschatology. The better question would be, "What eschatological viewpoint does the bible present?"
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19-07-2011, 02:34 AM
RE: Growing doubts about my Christian faith and the Bible.
Broken link there.


Sorry.
Try: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Chris..._mythology

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music - Friedrich Nietzsche
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