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 Post subject: Re: Mice
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:07 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
What Buz suggests is praying "Whatever you are, whoever you are, God, if you exist, make yourself known to me."


Well, okay, but I believe the rest of my post still holds true. The people I mentioned still exist.

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 Post subject: Re: Mice
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:13 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
AgentSeethroo wrote:
What Buz suggests is praying "Whatever you are, whoever you are, God, if you exist, make yourself known to me."


Well, okay, but I believe the rest of my post still holds true. The people I mentioned still exist.


I never argued that point.
But that really has little to do with what Buz is suggesting. You're talking about people who became Christians to know God, right? I'm having a hard time linking the two together.


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 Post subject: Re: Mice
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 5:43 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
But that really has little to do with what Buz is suggesting.


How so? Buz is telling me that if I pray for personal revelation, and if I actually want it to happen, then I'll have that personal revelation. (And, by extension, if I don't, then I must not have really wanted it or done it right.) I'll refrain from just repeating myself here and say go back and read my reply to Buz, except mentally omit any missteps I may have made that detract from the point I was trying to make, which I believe is still fairly clear.

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 Post subject: Become a Christian first and sort out the details later?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:25 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
Buz, I've heard this one before and I'm not sure it's legitimate. The premise is "become a Christian and god will make himself known to you, and if he doesn't, then you must not have done it right". Surely that doesn't disprove it, but it doesn't exactly make it appealing.

Your desire to have something legitimate is good! Actually, as someone whose slowly becoming more Reformed/Calvinist in my worldview, I think you've seen a good point that many would miss.

I was originally suggesting that you request "the real Slim Shady to please stand up," with the suggestion that God would indeed rise to the occasion. But my ulterior motive is revealed: if you want God to answer in the first place and if you're really willing to honestly pursue it, that is proof to me that the Holy Spirit's been at work in you and you're basically already on your way.

Seethroo wants to assure you that you don't already have to posess a knowledge of what the truth is in order to try the experement. But we Christians believe that the way we got to that point ourselves was because God wanted us first and worked in our hearts to make us willing to be a part of the family.

If you don't want God, or any god, that's not going to make me pull out my hair. Surely this discussion has helped you understand the Christian worldview, and so hopefully you won't participate in opressing us like most of the reast of the world does (Christians weren't just killed by Romans in lion pits, actually, more were martyred in the last 50 years than in the previous 1,950 yers combined).

But if you do want to know the truth, and are willing to pursue it and participate once you've found it (a pearl of great value!), then most of Christianity would say it's too late: God's already got you in his affectionate bear-hug and you're in better hands than ours.

You're a perceptive and reasoning type, InterruptorJones, and I think you understand what I've been trying to say. As always, I'm happy to answer questions about the concept of a Christian God and the apparent problems with the ideas invovled!

Answered the rest in Private Message.

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 Post subject: Re: Mice
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:29 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
TOTPD

That's a very strange TOtPD. :ehsteve:
I gotta get me a TOtPD sometime!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 6:38 pm 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
Now I change the subject for a second. What are your personal beliefs, Upsilon? I think you have a pretty clear view of what we believe, and we can get back to debating our beliefs whenever, but I just want to know your personal view on the afterlife, God, spirituality, your actions/consequences, etc., etc., etc.

You've argued with us without actually saying exactly what you believe. I know what you DON'T believe, but not what you do, ya know?

I'm just tryin' to see where you're comin' from.


Fair enough.

I am a secular humanist (or at least, I follow a moral code similar to secular humanism). I was raised as a Christian, but I began to question my faith at the age of eleven, which may have been due to the significant atheist influence outside the home. I spent the Christmas holidays of 2002 in a depressing agnostic period, but recovered, and concluded that God probably does exist. Things turned around on February 28th 2003, when I was reading my Bible with very little conviction, and finally decided it was time to submit to the truth: I no longer had faith in Christianity.

I spent a while thinking: if Christianity was wrong, what was right? I read a small book on different major religions and crossed them all off, one by one (except Buddhism, which I considered for quite a while longer, and which I'm still not sure about). I eventually decided that atheism was the way to go.

It took a little while to sink in that I was going to die, and I was unsure about what would happen when I did. I find the idea that I'm just going to stop being conscious very difficult to grasp. I felt that there must be something else (reincarnation?), but now I'm not so sure. Reincarnation has always seemed like the most pleasant afterlife to me, and I would be quite satisfied if the cycle simply continued forever (unlike most [all?] religions which believe in reincarnation, in which one must still strive to escape the cycle).

As for morals: as I said, I have my own moral code, which runs on the simple principle that anything which causes anyone else undeserved harm, inconvenience or loss is wrong, unless the only alternative would cause more; anything else is fine. (Obviously there are exceptions and awkward loopholes, but as a rule of thumb it works pretty well.)

Does that answer your questions? I'm open for comments/questions/scathing criticisms.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2004 8:06 pm 
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Tell me if I'm getting too personal, I'm just curious.

What made you decide that there is no God? How deep and rooted was your faith in him to begin with? Was there some cataclysmic event in your life, or did you just get tired of not feeling God, when you'd been told that he was there?

Upsilon wrote:
I no longer had faith in Christianity.


This confuses me. You've asked lots of questions, and through reading them, it seems to me that you lack the basic knowledge that is the foundation of a Christian life.

Your Christianity, was it yours or simply pressed upon you by your parents?

I'm not trying to sound harsh or critical, I'm just trying to get some perspective.

Upsilon wrote:
February 28th 2003


Woah buddy. That's a precise date! Once again, I ask, if it's not too personal, what happened that day?


I think it's wierd when anyone can remember a date that they're not required to remember due to school, or an anniversary. I know lots of people who say "I remember the very moment I got saved." and stuff like that, but I seriously can't remember the moment, or day.
That doesn't have much to do with anything...so um yeah.

Upsilon wrote:
I spent a while thinking: if Christianity was wrong, what was right?


What's so wrong about it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 11:14 am 
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AgentSeethroo wrote:
What made you decide that there is no God?


The book of Leviticus. The original reason for my loss of faith was the way that the laws laid down by God in that particular book seemed to stink of tribal customs - sacrifices to God, for example, and bizzare rules regarding unleavened bread, etcetera. "Ritual," I thought. I also spotted that God preached to all his chosen people: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, fracture for fracture," which, conveniently, I hadn't been taught about in Sunday school - they favoured Jesus' version, which said exactly the oppsite. (This was the first Biblical contradiction I ever spotted. ;))

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How deep and rooted was your faith in him to begin with?


At the age of ten and younger, I believed in God unquestioningly because my parents said it was true. I knew it to be a fact. I was far too young and naïve to have made my own decision; I was hardly aware that there was anyone who had a different religion until I was about eight.

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Was there some cataclysmic event in your life, or did you just get tired of not feeling God, when you'd been told that he was there?


For a while before my revelation, I'd been thinking that I hadn't been feeling the presence of God - I was about eleven when I began to wonder whether it was really true. This was about the age when I was starting to realise that hardly anyone at school shared my beliefs, and that may have had an effect. I had a couple of false starts, but eventually I decided there was no point pretending, and that I simply didn't believe it any more. It amuses me now to think that my original reasoning was a bit of nitpicking in Leviticus.

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Upsilon wrote:
I no longer had faith in Christianity.


This confuses me. You've asked lots of questions, and through reading them, it seems to me that you lack the basic knowledge that is the foundation of a Christian life.


My question about the atonement was regarding what they had never taught me. I knew Christ had died for my sins. I never knew why he had to die, what relevance it had... and I never thought to query it. In fact, it wasn't until a long time after I had become an atheist that I started thinking about it more in-depth.

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Your Christianity, was it yours or simply pressed upon you by your parents?


A little bit of both, I suppose. As I said, I wasn't old enough to have made a proper decision for myself. But I certainly wasn't lucky enough to have a secular upbringing, so I suppose it was more the latter.

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Upsilon wrote:
February 28th 2003


Woah buddy. That's a precise date!


It is indeed. I probably remember it simply because I keep a journal, so I have the event on record. But in any case, it was a pretty big day for me.

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Once again, I ask, if it's not too personal, what happened that day?


See above.

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Upsilon wrote:
I spent a while thinking: if Christianity was wrong, what was right?


What's so wrong about it?


Well, it's not true. That's all there is to it. :P

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:53 pm 
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Upsilon wrote:
The book of Leviticus. The original reason for my loss of faith was the way that the laws laid down by God in that particular book seemed to stink of tribal customs - sacrifices to God, for example, and bizzare rules regarding unleavened bread, etcetera. "Ritual," I thought. I also spotted that God preached to all his chosen people: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, fracture for fracture," which, conveniently, I hadn't been taught about in Sunday school - they favoured Jesus' version, which said exactly the oppsite. (This was the first Biblical contradiction I ever spotted. ;))


Well, you're gonna have to put things into perspective for time periods. There are things previous generations did that, nowadays, seem dumb or outright dangerous (such as Jarts©). However, unlike Jarts, they might have been necessary for survival. This is why the "eye for an eye" principal was put into play during the Israelites' wanderings in the desert. Israel was God's chosen race, and it needed to be kept pure; no crime would be tolerated, and would be dealt back equally if not more. It's like Ron White says: "Here in Texas, we have the death penalty and we use it. If you kill somebody, we'll kill you back."

But, by Jesus's time, God had a different plan. God does that sometimes, going by different things than we think He normally would, like how you don't see many church services with an "Amen" and hankies a-twirlin' every 5 seconds anymore, but you do see many Christian contemporary- even punk- bands making a name in the mainstream media. So, God decided to skip the punishment issue and go straight to the cause- the love you give your neighbor. You wouldn't steal from somebody you love, right? That's why Jesus said to love your neighbor.

This principle can be applied to the "love your neighbor" cause, as well. Leviticus said to "love your neighbor and hate your enemy" (Lev. 19:18). This needed to be done to keep Israel pure. The idea was that if you start to love the enemy, then you'll start to love the enemies' ways, which, at the time, were much different from their own. However, Christianity wasn't just for the Jews, but for everybody, meaning that your enemy became your neighbor, and you were therefore to love him. Also, Christians needed to be different from the rest of the world's views, which were the love neighbor, hate enemy mindset ("And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" -Matt. 5:47), so that worked out well.

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 Post subject: Contradictions
PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 11:35 pm 
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Since we're talking about contraditions, I'm a playin' nitpicker for a day!

MToolen wrote:
Jarts©

I think you mean ®, or perhaps (TM).

MToolen wrote:
Israel was God's chosen race...

And it still is, no? Or...

MToolen wrote:
...by Jesus's time, God had a different plan. God does that sometimes, ...

Revealed, your opinion is! You're a dispensationalist! That's OK, many people are dispensationalists and don't even know it. That would explain your comment on Israel above. For those of you who aren't Christians, I'm not going to debate dispensationalism with you; it's a nit-picky thing. If you are a Christian, I'd love to tackle dispensationalism. I have a theology forum in which you're welcome to mix it up.

MToolen wrote:
Leviticus said to "love your neighbor and hate your enemy" (Lev. 19:18).

I beg to differ. Leviticus 19:18 says:
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Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD .

The "hate your enemy" was a saying among Jews of the time that Jesus was contradicting. Jesus contradicted popular culture (and still does), but never contradicted Moses.

MToolen wrote:
... so that worked out well.

And I hope loving your enemies works out well for you!

As for others who think Moses' "eye for an eye" and Jesus' "Turn the other cheek" are contradictions, they are not. "Eye for an eye" was the principle the government was expected to follow in punishing crime, while "turn the other cheek" was the principle individuals are to take for themselves. A Christian government will still execute punishment on criminals (Romans 13:3-4), and a merely Jewish law from Moses himself tells individuals to leave vengeance to the higher authority (Deuteronomy 32:35). So, the two "contradictory laws" actually work together: one for the State and one for the Indivudual, and together they give an orderly society.

When you do the research that such a rich text calls for, you'll find that apparent contradictions are actually companions. As any Bob and George fan knows, there are no plot holes! When a young 'un gives the text a cursory reading and is too preoccupied to discuss it with people who've lived their lives studying it, the result is inevtiably confusing! What we need is better avenues of communication between the old fogies and the whipper-snappers. But kids don't like old people, and old people don't like kids. So we're far too easily trapped in confusion.

If anyone EVER needs someone to talk to about this kind of confusion, don't sit there alone in unhappiness. There's always someone there to help. I'm only a voice in the digital maelstrom, and as such a real live person would be better for you in those times. But if you lack such a person, I'll try to be there vicariously. Same offer as I made in the "Strange Occurances" thread, give me a phone call.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 6:56 pm 
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MToolen wrote:
Upsilon wrote:
The book of Leviticus. The original reason for my loss of faith was the way that the laws laid down by God in that particular book seemed to stink of tribal customs - sacrifices to God, for example, and bizzare rules regarding unleavened bread, etcetera. "Ritual," I thought. I also spotted that God preached to all his chosen people: "Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, fracture for fracture," which, conveniently, I hadn't been taught about in Sunday school - they favoured Jesus' version, which said exactly the oppsite. (This was the first Biblical contradiction I ever spotted. ;))


Well, you're gonna have to put things into perspective for time periods. There are things previous generations did that, nowadays, seem dumb or outright dangerous (such as Jarts©). However, unlike Jarts, they might have been necessary for survival. This is why the "eye for an eye" principal was put into play during the Israelites' wanderings in the desert. Israel was God's chosen race, and it needed to be kept pure; no crime would be tolerated, and would be dealt back equally if not more.


I'm not sure if I understood this correctly. I assume that you meant that God needed to keep the Israelites in line, so he had them punish other Israelites when they did wrong? The problem with this seems to me to be that God could just have easily have said "turn the other cheek" to them, and presumably, they would have obeyed (God being an omnipotent force and all). That seems a lot simpler and less of a contradiction.

Quote:
But, by Jesus's time, God had a different plan. God does that sometimes, going by different things than we think He normally would, like how you don't see many church services with an "Amen" and hankies a-twirlin' every 5 seconds anymore, but you do see many Christian contemporary- even punk- bands making a name in the mainstream media.


Firstly: the decline of church services and increase in Christian bands is human behaviour. It does not constitute God changing his mind.

Secondly:

God wrote:
I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6)


Samuel wrote:
He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind. (1 Samuel 15:29)


...I am led to believe that God doesn't change his mind at all.

Quote:
So, God decided to skip the punishment issue and go straight to the cause- the love you give your neighbor. You wouldn't steal from somebody you love, right? That's why Jesus said to love your neighbor.


"Turn the other cheek" is not the same as "love your neighbour". Turning the other cheek constitutes never retaliating when someone sins against you (but, indeed, letting them do it some more).

Quote:
This principle can be applied to the "love your neighbor" cause, as well. Leviticus said to "love your neighbor and hate your enemy" (Lev. 19:18). This needed to be done to keep Israel pure. The idea was that if you start to love the enemy, then you'll start to love the enemies' ways, which, at the time, were much different from their own.


This has always intrigued me as well. What was God thinking when he chose Israel? I can't help but imagine how much better the whole religion thing would have gone if he hadn't chosen a specific race but appeared to everyone - that way, everyone would believe in him, follow his word, there would be no holy wars - and, more importantly, no danger of "starting to love the enemies' ways", which seems like a tenuous connection to simply being nice to others.

Buz wrote:
As for others who think Moses' "eye for an eye" and Jesus' "Turn the other cheek" are contradictions, they are not. "Eye for an eye" was the principle the government was expected to follow in punishing crime, while "turn the other cheek" was the principle individuals are to take for themselves.


That's an interesting stance. I'll have to think about that one.

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 Post subject: You and me both!
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 7:35 pm 
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Upsilon wrote:
God wrote:
I the Lord do not change. (Malachi 3:6)

Samuel wrote:
He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind. (1 Samuel 15:29)

...I am led to believe that God doesn't change his mind at all.

Good jorb, that is actually the orthodox interpreation of the scriptures.

That is why I zinged one against Dispensationalism earlier.

Upsilon wrote:
This has always intrigued me as well. What was God thinking when he chose Israel?

You and me both, pal! There are several scriptures in which God emphasizes that he didn't choose Abraham for any reasons like
population (Deut 7:7), though the context gives vague clues. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 suggests that God's "choice algorithm" is almost intentionally balanced toward the weak, silly, and lowly in order that they may be given what they lack. But am still given pause when I try to justify the choice of Israel.

Upsilon wrote:
I can't help but imagine how much better the whole religion thing would have gone if he hadn't chosen a specific race but appeared to everyone - that way, everyone would believe in him, ....

Isaiah 14:1, and many other scriptures seems to say that Israel obeying God would have led to the Utopia you describe. I can't help but imagine how much better the whole religion thing would have gone if Eve and that snake would have left fruit well enough alone.

To agree with you further, Christ fully intends to appear to everyone! But I don't want to open any more cans of burled holiday cabbage.

Upsilon wrote:
That's an interesting stance. I'll have to think about that one.

This is the best compliment I've received on the entire forum, thanks. I'm pretty sure the above is the general prevailing interpretation in Christendom, though that's not to say there aren't millions who've not done enough reading to even realize there's a problem initially! You're in the minority by having read enough of the Bible to get as involved as you did in your thinking.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 11:52 pm 
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Upsilon - I have an honest question; I'm not trying to be a smarty pants - why would you quote scripture when you've stated you don't believe in the Bible?

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 Post subject: Re: You and me both!
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 8:15 am 
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Buz wrote:
To agree with you further, Christ fully intends to appear to everyone!


Ooh, I can't wait. ;)

StrongCanada wrote:
Upsilon - I have an honest question; I'm not trying to be a smarty pants - why would you quote scripture when you've stated you don't believe in the Bible?


I don't believe it. But Christians do believe it, and if I show them a piece of the scriptures that conflicts with their view, I reason that they're going to have to rethink their viewpoint. It has nothing to do with what I believe.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:28 am 
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Here's a few things:

Upsilon. You mentioned that Leviticus seemed full of tribal customs. Here's a question: who says that tribal customs are necessarily wrong? Oh, sure, for us Christians they may be outdated and unnecessary, but by what standard to you judge them to be wrong? It's like saying that Brits drive on the WRONG side of the road.

Also, as a rabbi once pointed out to me, the law codes in the Pentateuch were meant not only to impose a strict standard of justice, but also to restrict cruelty. If you harmed a person's eye, he could only take your eye, not your eye, your arm, and your tooth. That particular law (which, by the way, is not even original to Scripture but copied from Hamurabi) essentially took the prerogative of personal vengeance away from the individuals and gave it to the court (elders) so that they could mete out justice impartially. Personal vengeance is no longer to be a driving factor, but rather social order. Mercy, as taught in both the Old and New Testaments, takes that one step further by promoting personal forgiveness over vendictiveness. As a matter of fact, if you harmed a person's eye, he did have the right to forgive you or ask for monetary compensation rather than have the court take your eye.

Keep in mind, the Hebrews had just been released from slavery. Cruelty and oppression were all that they knew. To them, the law codes of the Pentateuch were drastically relaxed by comparison, yet strict enough to keep people in line. It strikes me as precisely what they needed at that time in their history. To give you a similar example, in the Air Force, once you graduate from basic training and are assigned a technical training station, you are not immediately given all the rights and privileges of regular enlistment. The restrictions imposed in basic training are removed gradually. Why? Because wisdom has shown that most airmen (not all) will abuse their newfound freedoms and get themselves in trouble, unless some restrictions are maintained.

Someone--I forget who--raised the question as to whether the Jews were still God's chosen people. Yes and no. They are in the sense that God chose them first. But in Christ, there is no longer any Jew/Gentile distinction (or at least not as far as He is concerned). They are now equals.

As far as God's immutability (fancy word for unchanging nature). God doesn't change, but the world does. God's plans have been in place since the beginning (even before), The unfolding of that plan in history does not require God to change in His own nature, but the world in relation to Him will change. The sacrificial customs described in Leviticus have outlived their usefulness--not because God Himself has changed, but because the world has changed on account of the Incarnation.

Oh, one more thing, Upsilon. Are you saying that you are trying to make converts?

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 Post subject: Buz raises his hand...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 04, 2004 3:20 pm 
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Didymus wrote:
Someone--I forget who--raised the question as to whether the Jews were still God's chosen people.

<Buz raises a hand> That's me. Again, it helps me distinguish who believes in a God that keeps his promises from who believes in a changing God.


Didymus wrote:
Yes and no. They are in the sense that God chose them first. But in Christ, there is no longer any Jew/Gentile distinction (or at least not as far as He is concerned). They are now equals.

If we're lucky, it means that Gentiles can be "chosen" too. Actually, a number of Gentiles throughout the OT were chosen in one way or another by God... I think I mentioned Rahab earlier, but that may have been on another forum. I'm engrafted.

Didymus wrote:
...The unfolding of that plan in history does not require God to change in His own nature, but the world in relation to Him will change.

For example, there is no longer just one rule, "do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." As Baylon 5 fans know, the universe changes. The thought of an unchanging universe was one of the basic principles of ancient Greek and Medieval physics and metaphysics. Newton, Copernicus, Galileo, Einstein, and Hawking all made strides in our understanding of the Universe. And it is changing.

Didymus wrote:
Oh, one more thing, Upsilon. Are you saying that you are trying to make converts?

I think he's trying to make thinkers, which has a mild benefit for unbelievers, but a great benefit for believers! It's almost a case of playing "God's advocate," as it were. :20x6:

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:06 pm 
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Didymus wrote:
Upsilon. You mentioned that Leviticus seemed full of tribal customs. Here's a question: who says that tribal customs are necessarily wrong?


Whether you mean "wrong" in the ethical sense or "wrong" as in simply incorrect I'm not sure. Can you clarify?

The point I was trying to make about the tribal customs (random example: Leviticus 12, which tells us about the different sacrifices a woman can make after giving birth) was that they seemed to have no relevance to morals whatsoever, no importance to society; I frankly don't see why the true God would waste his time giving out this kind of details.

Quote:
Oh, sure, for us Christians they may be outdated and unnecessary, but by what standard to you judge them to be wrong? It's like saying that Brits drive on the WRONG side of the road.


No, not really. We drive on the left because that's the side that our ancestors decided on - in that sense, you might say that it's just a tradition, but in this case it has importance: if we all drove on whatever side of the road we liked, the roads would be horribly unsafe. The side we drive on doesn't matter, as long as it's the same side.

Quote:
Also, as a rabbi once pointed out to me, the law codes in the Pentateuch were meant not only to impose a strict standard of justice, but also to restrict cruelty. If you harmed a person's eye, he could only take your eye, not your eye, your arm, and your tooth. That particular law (which, by the way, is not even original to Scripture but copied from Hamurabi) essentially took the prerogative of personal vengeance away from the individuals and gave it to the court (elders) so that they could mete out justice impartially. Personal vengeance is no longer to be a driving factor, but rather social order. Mercy, as taught in both the Old and New Testaments, takes that one step further by promoting personal forgiveness over vendictiveness. As a matter of fact, if you harmed a person's eye, he did have the right to forgive you or ask for monetary compensation rather than have the court take your eye.


Right, I can see your point there. Buz already pointed out the difference between eye-for-eye and turn-other cheek to me.

Quote:
Keep in mind, the Hebrews had just been released from slavery. Cruelty and oppression were all that they knew.


It occurs to me that if the Egyptians had been worshipping the same god as the Hebrews, the Hebrews wouldn't have just escaped from slavery. The issue of the "chosen" people crops up again.

Quote:
But in Christ, there is no longer any Jew/Gentile distinction (or at least not as far as He is concerned).


There isn't? Funny, that. I thought Jews were all going to go to Hell because they don't believe in Jesus.

Quote:
As far as God's immutability (fancy word for unchanging nature). God doesn't change, but the world does. God's plans have been in place since the beginning (even before), The unfolding of that plan in history does not require God to change in His own nature, but the world in relation to Him will change. The sacrificial customs described in Leviticus have outlived their usefulness--not because God Himself has changed, but because the world has changed on account of the Incarnation.


"Outlived their usefulness"? How were they useful in the first place? The net result of making the sacrifices is less animals for the Israelites to eat. And if God did plan to abandon them, it seems that he didn't want the Hebrews to know this:

God wrote:
It shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:14)


Didymus wrote:
Oh, one more thing, Upsilon. Are you saying that you are trying to make converts?


Er, no. I don't know what you're referring to there, but I'm not trying to make a convert any more than you are. I'm just arguing my case.

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Wow, Ups. A lot of stuff. Let me get started.

First, I wasn't saying that the left side was WRONG. I was exaggerating the way many Americans respond to that one particular custom that happens to be different from ours. Maybe that was a poor choice of analogy.

Rituals DO have importance in societies. Almost any time you start finding communities of people living together, rituals develop. I was a humanities major in undergrad, and that was one thing I learned from it. Take for example The Seventh Inning Stretch. To me, it doesn't contribute to social morality at all, but it is a necessary part of the ritual of Baseball. And it does have a benefit that transcends my limited understanding of it.

Now to me it makes sense for a culture that still makes animal sacrifices to make those sacrifices at the birth of a child, to dedicate that child to God, and to make propitiation for the woman in her childbirth. Now why exactly were there certain numbers of days for uncleanness and whatnot, I'm not exactly sure. It had to do with the rather unsanitary nature of the blood flow. I'll leave the rest to social custom.

By the way, I don't know if you know this, but the sacrificed animals were not complete destroyed. Most of the meat went to feed the worshipers who were present (depending on what kind of sacrifice). A select share of it went to feed the priests in the temple/tabernacle or was distributed to the Levites, who had no land of their own. Only about 1% or so of the total sacrificed meat was destroyed (i.e. given to God). What it comes down to is that most sacrifices were much like the modern day potluck dinner.

If there's one thing God has plenty of, it's time. Saying that God is wasting his time on rituals is like saying Bill Gates is wasting his money on a can of soda pop. Besides, I think He recognizes the importance of rituals in society, so He took the time to establish some. Even in the New Testament, he established the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, which, though they appear different from the old rituals, are a continuation of them. (Actually, I believe the Sacraments are much more than that, but some of my Christian friends here might not be ready to hear that yet.)

Ah, the "Chosen" problem. We like to call it, "The Scandal of Particularity." Why is it that God selects the few rather than the many? It's just one of those ways in which he acts in the opposite manner than we humans would if we were given a chance. It's hard for me to accept sometimes, too.

Who said Jews don't believe in Jesus? There's a synagogue here in St. Louis called Chai v'Shalom (Hebrew for Life and Peace), and they are Christian Jews (I believe they prefer the term "Messianic"). There's also Beth Hallel in Atlanta. Jesus himself was a Jew, as were all the apostles. But today, the race issue is no longer relevant. God's Chosen People are now those who are in Christ, not those who are of a particular race.

As far as making converts, Buz already pointed out that you were merely trying to get us to think. I'm all for that.

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Upsilon wrote:
...[sacrifices] seemed to have no relevance to morals whatsoever, no importance to society; I frankly don't see why the true God would waste his time giving out this kind of details.
...
How were they useful in the first place? ... And if God did plan to abandon them, it seems that he didn't want the Hebrews to know this...

Warning: long post. Sorry, it's complicated (though perhaps not important this moment)!

You're going to get several different answers from different people and here's why: good interpretation of scripture uses clear passages as interpreatation tools for vague or confusing ones. So for many who've found God's character good throughtout most of scripture, their take on these kinds of apparent triflings are interpreted in terms of their understanding of the Bible as a whole. While it's not wrong, the answers they give may not be as helpful for a researcher as they would be for a mere searcher.

When it comes to trying to actually figure out what the sacrificial system was for, or why Moses couldn't go into Israel, why the book of Jonah end where it does, or other relatively specific decisions God made when it seems to us like any-old-decision would have done fine, you're actually getting into pretty advanced theology if you want reasonable answers. A cursory reading of scripture with lots of faith in the character of God (as discussed in the previous paragraph) still leaves the question open.

A great number of the specifics can be illuminated, including the sacrificial system in all of its demands, with "type" theology. The term comes from 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, where we see all of Jewish history radically reinterpreted as examples (that is, "types" in olde anglish) of Christ, the believer, the church, or other things that are hard to understand. Basically, they were real-life metaphors. Paul, the author of the letters to Corinth, believed that God had so much power over human history that he shaped it into metaphors the same way that Gene Rodenberry shaped Star Trek to be pro-democracy.

For an easy example, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, and at the last second stopped the ritual and gave Abraham a ram to sacrifice instead. Al-Adha (the Arabic name for the story) is an example of Christian principle of Christ's substitutionary sacrifice in the eyes of God.

So, one great reason (though probably not the only one) for God to have set up sacrifices for intentional sins, unintentional sins, uncleanliness, and ceremonies was to show that it took death and specifically blood to atone for sin. So when John Mark asked Peter why Jesus had to die, there was literally thousands of years of reasoning written into the Jewish culture. Understanding the rituals helps understand spiritual principles by metaphor.

Of course, the downside is that it requires the student to understand the ritual. Most people find it hard to stick to a long course of study with no intermediate reinforcement. Even the books of Numbers and Leviticus break for adventure sometimes. But those adventures in themselves have metaphorical meaning.

No doubt, by now, you've either skipped to the next post, or you're saying "well then you can interpret anything as anything then." And if you're like me, a story that can mean anything actually means nothing. That's why it's a good principle to stay close to the written word and not get too caught up in interpretation upon interpretation upon hearsay upon rumor upon something that might be a Biblical principle. But be honest, typeology it's a compelling reason to have a sacrificial system!

Upsilon wrote:
... you might say that it's just a tradition, but in this case it has importance: if we all drove on whatever side of the road we liked, the roads would be horribly unsafe. The side we drive on doesn't matter, as long as it's the same side.

And the Bible has that kind of stuff too: like how heavy the sanctuary shekel was to weigh. Not that there's (necessarily) anything supernatural about that mass, but that having differing weights was deceptive in trading, and is actually named as a sin for that reason (Deut 25:13, Prov 20:10, Micah 6:11). Your insight is betrayed by your comment! I think you understand more about this stuff than you're letting on.

Upsilon wrote:
Buz already pointed out ...

I'm sorry to have stolen your thunder, Prospero.

Upsilon wrote:
The issue of the "chosen" people crops up again.

After my lengthy discourse above, I'd start to ask, "chosen for what?!" since it seems they were mostly chosen to be "made examples of" with all the negative connotations that go along with that phrasing. It makes me think your reasoning a few posts ago (something to the effect of "Religion would be better if God hadn't chosen a specific race but appeared to everyone so everyone would believe him") is turned on it's ear and I'm glad I wasn't chosen! How many people read Job with the thought, "better him than me," in their heads the whole time? We learn from his "chosenness" without having to take the hit ourselves (necessarily).

Upsilon wrote:
Quote:
there is no any Jew/Gentile distinction

There isn't? Funny, that. I thought Jews were all going to go to Hell because they don't believe in Jesus.

I don't think I believe that. I believe in a remnant. No, really, read that link; it's Romans 11, which pretty much sums up Christian philosophy about mere Judaists. Verses 26-29 are the final word, though the whole chapter explains the apparent contradiction much in the same spirit as I discuss justification of sacrifices above.

Upsilon wrote:
God wrote:
It shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. (Leviticus 23:14)

Yeah, I don't know why modern Jews don't burn cows and sheep... I can only guess it's because there's no temple and when the temple is rebuilt they'll start again. But I don't think they know about that yet.

Upsilon wrote:
Er, no. I don't know what you're referring to there, but I'm not trying to make a convert any more than you are. I'm just arguing my case.

Actually, many a lurker probably thinks he (or we) is (are) trying to make a convert. Fortunately, our theology prevents us from beliving we can actually make a convert. As I know I've said in this thread or another, or perhaps in a spin-off PM, someone who is coming into a relationship with God is initiated by God working in the person's life and the best we Christians can hope for is that we get to watch the wonderful results. And it is pretty wonderful.

As far as arguing your case, I've not seen you be particularly agressive or even bold in pursuing your agenda. I've seen you ask a lot of very difficult questions for us to answer, and then scrutinize our answers to a point that makes us really think and examine our assumptions. For that it's I who am in your debt.

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Didymus wrote:
First, I wasn't saying that the left side was WRONG. I was exaggerating the way many Americans respond to that one particular custom that happens to be different from ours.


Yeah, I know. I was just saying that the analogy was illegit because we drive on a specified side of the road for a reason, whereas there is apparently no reason behind sarifices.

Quote:
Rituals DO have importance in societies. Almost any time you start finding communities of people living together, rituals develop. I was a humanities major in undergrad, and that was one thing I learned from it. Take for example The Seventh Inning Stretch. To me, it doesn't contribute to social morality at all, but it is a necessary part of the ritual of Baseball.


A baseball rule was probably not the best analogy to use when talking to a Brit. I assume it's just a rule of baseball, right? If so, it contributes to the game of baseball by making it enjoyable (if it had no rules, there would be no structure, getting home runs would be easy and the game wouldn't be worth playing); baseball is a game played for fun (and even for money). Although fun is needed in our lives, God wouldn't say "...and if there be three strikes, thou shalt be declared out for one inning." That kind of thing isn't important; people can decide that themselves.

Quote:
Now to me it makes sense for a culture that still makes animal sacrifices to make those sacrifices at the birth of a child, to dedicate that child to God, and to make propitiation for the woman in her childbirth.


Yes, that makes some kind of sense, allowing for animal sacrifices themselves to make sense. As they don't make any sense to me, that point falls through the floor.

Quote:
Now why exactly were there certain numbers of days for uncleanness and whatnot, I'm not exactly sure. It had to do with the rather unsanitary nature of the blood flow. I'll leave the rest to social custom.


If it was truly just a social custom, it wouldn't be God who decided on it.

Quote:
By the way, I don't know if you know this, but the sacrificed animals were not complete destroyed. Most of the meat went to feed the worshipers who were present (depending on what kind of sacrifice). A select share of it went to feed the priests in the temple/tabernacle or was distributed to the Levites, who had no land of their own. Only about 1% or so of the total sacrificed meat was destroyed (i.e. given to God). What it comes down to is that most sacrifices were much like the modern day potluck dinner.


No, I didn't know that.

Quote:
If there's one thing God has plenty of, it's time. Saying that God is wasting his time on rituals is like saying Bill Gates is wasting his money on a can of soda pop.


Okay, that was a bad choice of phrase to use. What I meant by "wasting his time" was that there's no point or purpose to him doing it and he no doubt has better things to do (appearing to the other tribes across the world, for example ;)).

Quote:
Besides, I think He recognizes the importance of rituals in society, so He took the time to establish some.


Why? Do rituals (assuming insignificance to be a property of a "ritual") need divine planning? I don't see why they should; if they are truly insignificant, why does God care what it constitutes?

Quote:
Ah, the "Chosen" problem. We like to call it, "The Scandal of Particularity." Why is it that God selects the few rather than the many? It's just one of those ways in which he acts in the opposite manner than we humans would if we were given a chance. It's hard for me to accept sometimes, too.


See, that's the kind of answer that inevitably brings this kind of discussion to a halt. As I've said before, we reach a stalemate: although I'm not satisfied with the answer, it's still legitimate in theory - God is beyond our comprehension. Now, I simply hold with the idea that believing in a god who transcends the very logic that our universe runs on is irrational, but neither of us will budge.

Quote:
Who said Jews don't believe in Jesus? There's a synagogue here in St. Louis called Chai v'Shalom (Hebrew for Life and Peace), and they are Christian Jews (I believe they prefer the term "Messianic"). There's also Beth Hallel in Atlanta. Jesus himself was a Jew, as were all the apostles. But today, the race issue is no longer relevant. God's Chosen People are now those who are in Christ, not those who are of a particular race.


This makes no sense to me - Judaism has deemed Jesus a false messiah, and religious Jews are still awaiting the arrival of the Messiah; viz., they don't believe in Jesus. I don't see how a Christian Jew is possible.

Quote:
As far as making converts, Buz already pointed out that you were merely trying to get us to think.


Ha ha, well played. ;)

Buz wrote:
So, one great reason (though probably not the only one) for God to have set up sacrifices for intentional sins, unintentional sins, uncleanliness, and ceremonies was to show that it took death and specifically blood to atone for sin.


Blood? So, does blood have some kind of special supernatural propety that allows it to cancel out sins? I don't get this at all.

Quote:
And the Bible has that kind of stuff too: like how heavy the sanctuary shekel was to weigh. Not that there's (necessarily) anything supernatural about that mass, but that having differing weights was deceptive in trading, and is actually named as a sin for that reason (Deut 25:13, Prov 20:10, Micah 6:11).


Granted. I admit that the Books of Law contain useful information like that - but it also contains things that have no relevance or benefit whatsoever, whichever way you look at it (the whole sacrifice meme is my example).

Quote:
After my lengthy discourse above, I'd start to ask, "chosen for what?!"


Well... chosen to see God. Unlike the Aborigines, the Native Americans, the Aztecs, the Amazons, the Greeks, the Romans, the Celts, the Gauls, the Goths, the Inuits or any other tribe or civilisation (all of which had gods of their own, bear in mind), God made himself evident only to the Hebrews. (Well, arguably the Egyptians, with the plagues et al, but it was clear whose side Jehovah was on for that little epsiode.)

Quote:
...since it seems they were mostly chosen to be "made examples of" with all the negative connotations that go along with that phrasing. It makes me think your reasoning a few posts ago (something to the effect of "Religion would be better if God hadn't chosen a specific race but appeared to everyone so everyone would believe him") is turned on it's ear and I'm glad I wasn't chosen! How many people read Job with the thought, "better him than me," in their heads the whole time? We learn from his "chosenness" without having to take the hit ourselves (necessarily).


I don't really understand what you're saying here. Are you referring to the prejudice displayed towards Jews?

Quote:
I don't think I believe that. I believe in a remnant. No, really, read that link; it's Romans 11, which pretty much sums up Christian philosophy about mere Judaists. Verses 26-29 are the final word, though the whole chapter explains the apparent contradiction much in the same spirit as I discuss justification of sacrifices above.


Isn't it rather a contradiction, though? Throughout the New Testament we're told that to get into Heaven we have to believe in Jesus - and here a religion which doesn't give the man a second thought is apparently going there anyway.

Quote:
Yeah, I don't know why modern Jews don't burn cows and sheep... I can only guess it's because there's no temple and when the temple is rebuilt they'll start again.


Um... what temple?

Quote:
As far as arguing your case, I've not seen you be particularly agressive or even bold in pursuing your agenda. I've seen you ask a lot of very difficult questions for us to answer, and then scrutinize our answers to a point that makes us really think and examine our assumptions. For that it's I who am in your debt.


Aw, think nothing of it. ;) I'm really enjoying this discussion - keep it up! :)

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Now, I simply hold with the idea that believing in a god who transcends the very logic that our universe runs on is irrational, but neither of us will budge.

But that's just it. If God exists (which I maintain he does), then it stands to reason that his nature DOES transcend the logic of our universe, precisely because he is the one in charge. The universe can impose no rules on him. To me, trying to make a god who conforms to the logic of our universe is what's irrational, because such a god would not be God.

And here's a problem, too. Our understanding even of the logic of the universe is limited. That's part of the reason that most science fiction stories work: they operate on the general assumption that we will continue to discover new things about our universe and learn to manipulate or control certain forces that are currently beyond our understanding. I bring this up to point out that, with our severely limited understanding of our universe, how can we in any way prove that there is no room in it for God's existence? (not that the universe can in any way contain him).

So here it is: (1) our understanding of our universe is limited, and (2) God's existence transcends that of the universe itself. Therefore, our understanding of God will always be limited. Therefore, to believe in a God who defies our understanding of the universe is not as irrational as some might claim.

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This makes no sense to me - Judaism has deemed Jesus a false messiah, and religious Jews are still awaiting the arrival of the Messiah; viz., they don't believe in Jesus. I don't see how a Christian Jew is possible.

By whose definition of Judaism? Wikipedia is probably not the best source of information about Messianic Judaism. If you want to know more about Messianic Judaism, I'd suggest http://www.jewsforjesus.org/.

Quote:
Isn't it rather a contradiction, though? Throughout the New Testament we're told that to get into Heaven we have to believe in Jesus - and here a religion which doesn't give the man a second thought is apparently going there anyway.

Only if you assume that Jews who do not believe in Jesus will be saved anyway. The Scriptures teach that Jews who reject Jesus are not the true children of Abraham. The true children of Abraham (i.e. true Jews) are those who do believe in Jesus (Romans 4). Romans 11 is pointing to a time when the Hebrew people will finally come around and find salvation in Christ, which I believe has begun with the Messianic Jews.

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Didymus wrote:
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Now, I simply hold with the idea that believing in a god who transcends the very logic that our universe runs on is irrational, but neither of us will budge.

But that's just it. If God exists (which I maintain he does), then it stands to reason that his nature DOES transcend the logic of our universe, precisely because he is the one in charge.


Stands to reason? You're justifying your god's existence by applying the very same logic that he's supposed to be ungoverned by?

Quote:
To me, trying to make a god who conforms to the logic of our universe is what's irrational, because such a god would not be God.


Why not?

Quote:
And here's a problem, too. Our understanding even of the logic of the universe is limited. That's part of the reason that most science fiction stories work: they operate on the general assumption that we will continue to discover new things about our universe and learn to manipulate or control certain forces that are currently beyond our understanding. I bring this up to point out that, with our severely limited understanding of our universe, how can we in any way prove that there is no room in it for God's existence?


We can't; that's why theism is still live and kicking. Of course, neither can it be proven that he does exist.

Quote:
Quote:
This makes no sense to me - Judaism has deemed Jesus a false messiah, and religious Jews are still awaiting the arrival of the Messiah; viz., they don't believe in Jesus. I don't see how a Christian Jew is possible.

By whose definition of Judaism? Wikipedia is probably not the best source of information about Messianic Judaism. If you want to know more about Messianic Judaism, I'd suggest http://www.jewsforjesus.org/.


Well, if they do have faith in Jesus, how are they Jews? Aren't the two mutually exclusive? That's what I've always thought.

Quote:
Quote:
Isn't it rather a contradiction, though? Throughout the New Testament we're told that to get into Heaven we have to believe in Jesus - and here a religion which doesn't give the man a second thought is apparently going there anyway.

Only if you assume that Jews who do not believe in Jesus will be saved anyway. The Scriptures teach that Jews who reject Jesus are not the true children of Abraham. The true children of Abraham (i.e. true Jews) are those who do believe in Jesus (Romans 4). Romans 11 is pointing to a time when the Hebrew people will finally come around and find salvation in Christ, which I believe has begun with the Messianic Jews.


Hang on. By "Jew" do you mean a descendant of the Hebrews, or one who actually follows the religion, Judaism? If it's the former, is that definition legit?

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One of the things I have noticed a lot in these forums is discussion over whether or not God is logical. It seems that the general consensus is that he is logically illogical or something like that. I think God is completely logical. It isn't obvious to us, of course, but it's not because he makes his own rules and we don't know them.

He just has such a greater understanding of everything than us, that because of this big picture he has, his logical actions might seem illogical to us. For example, I have a toddler-aged son, and I'm sure he thinks a lot of my actions are illogical. Better put, when I take an empty bottle from my son, or when I stop him from playing to take a nap or change his diaper, he gets very upset. He doesn't understand why I'm stopping him from playing, or why I'm not letting him suck on a sippy cup that I let him drink from earlier. I understand my actions, and as he grows up and learns, he will eventually understand them as well.

I would venture to say the gap between our understanding and God's is even bigger than the gap between my understanding and my 15-month-old son's understanding. I also believe that some day, we can all have a complete understanding of God's actions, and realize that they were logical and just. That understanding probably won't happen during this life, but just because something doesn't make sense to us now, doesn't mean God is illogical or disprove his existence.

I think this view is also different for arguing that he trancends the logic of our universe. It is just our incomplete understanding of all of the forces and laws in the universe, as well as our incomplete understanding of human nature itself, that makes it appear so.


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Upsilon, you've touched on a key question: who gets to define what a Jew is?

There are many (primarily Orthodox Jews) who wish to define being a Jew strictly in terms of following the religion and customs of Judaism (preferably Orthodox Judaism). Theirs is a strictly religious interpretation of the term Jew, and does seem to exempt Messianics.

Others, however, prefer to define Jew as one who is a blood descendent of Abraham, i.e., a Hebrew. BTW, the Tanak (Old Testament) never even uses the term Jew. The people are called either Hebrews or Israelites. The term Jew did not arise until much later.

The Bible, however, seems to define the term in both these ways, plus a third, that is, as people who follow the faith of Abraham. According to St. Paul's logic, those who adhere to the faith of Abraham are the ones who are truly his children. Paul seems to think that those who rejected Jesus had on some level turned away from the true faith of Abraham and are therefore no longer his children.

Messianic Jews are people who consider themselves Jewish. They tend to observe the laws and customs of Judaism (though not nearly as strictly as Orthodox Jews) and are Hebrews by descent. To them, their faith in Christ is the penultimate fulfillment of the Judaic religion. Therefore, they see it as their responsibility to inform their fellow Jews about Jesus. Now they don't see a distinct contradiction between their own faith and what it means to be Jewish. And given what I know from my own studies of the Tanak, I'd have to agree with them.

This is a difficult issue, mainly because the Orthodox absolutely hate the Messianics and try to discredit them at every turn.

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Didymus: So, essentially, what was going on there was a communication problem? I'd never heard the term "Jew" used in a non-religious context, which was how you were using it. Okay, that makes sense now.

racerx_is_alive wrote:
He just has such a greater understanding of everything than us, that because of this big picture he has, his logical actions might seem illogical to us. For example, I have a toddler-aged son, and I'm sure he thinks a lot of my actions are illogical. Better put, when I take an empty bottle from my son, or when I stop him from playing to take a nap or change his diaper, he gets very upset. He doesn't understand why I'm stopping him from playing, or why I'm not letting him suck on a sippy cup that I let him drink from earlier. I understand my actions, and as he grows up and learns, he will eventually understand them as well.


This is what I most commonly hear from Christians about their outlook on God. It's a good argument (I think it's also brought up in the Bible somewhere, isn't it? That's where I first heard it). I think that there's a difference between things that God "does" ("Why did he let 9/11 happen?" can be explained by the toddler argument) and downright contradictions in God's nature, or in the word of God - if God said in one book of the Bible "I am always X", and said in another book "I am never X", it seems to me that our grip on the logic of the universe, however tenuous, is still advanced enough to see that this must be a contradiction.

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Upsilon wrote:
if God said in one book of the Bible "I am always X", and said in another book "I am never X", it seems to me that our grip on the logic of the universe, however tenuous, is still advanced enough to see that this must be a contradiction.


Can you show me where he says "I am" in one spot and "I ain't" in another?


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 10:03 am 
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Well, my favourite resource for the Biblical contradictions is the Skeptics' Annotated Bible.

So, let's see... things that God is/isn't: omnipotent, the creator of confusion, findable, prone to anger, deceitful, all-loving, alone, the only holy being, Jesus, omniscient, merciful, warlike, regretful, respectful, visible, insomniac, corporeal, temptable, tiring, the only being who can work miracles and mountain-dwelling.

For the full list of BibCons, click here.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 3:35 pm 
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Upsilon wrote:
Well, my favourite resource for the Biblical contradictions is the Skeptics' Annotated Bible.

So, let's see... things that God is/isn't: omnipotent, the creator of confusion, findable, prone to anger, deceitful, all-loving, alone, the only holy being, Jesus, omniscient, merciful, warlike, regretful, respectful, visible, insomniac, corporeal, temptable, tiring, the only being who can work miracles and mountain-dwelling.

For the full list of BibCons, click here.


Okay. I appreciate you going and finding this. Really, I do. But it's ridiculous. Someone takes a pantload of scripture, completely forgets the context of the scripture, and then puts it on a website. I'm not impressed.

I just can't get over how silly those are. I'm sorry, especially the one that says God is the only one who can do miracles...Read that, really read it, and tell me what you think. I wanna see your point of view, and then I'll give you mine.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 11:40 pm 
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I have to agree with Seethroo on this. The few that I looked at could easily be explained by context. For example, that whole "mountain-dwelling" thing is best understood in terms of God's omnipresence. The fact is that no space can contain him, therefore he can dwell just as easily in heaven as on a mountain.

But I have better things to do than refute every argument that some web site puts out. Besides, why should I accept the burden of proof, when they are the ones who are misusing the biblical texts?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 4:31 pm 
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Yes, the most common argument against the SAB is that it takes all the verses it quotes out of context. I can see your point for some of them. That's why I prefer to read the Bible with context. I do believe that some of the contradictions (and absurdities, scientific blunders, sexist extracts, intolerance - everything the SAB annotates) are legitimate, though.

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