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View Poll Results: Who was Jesus?

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  • The Son of God (in the traditionally understood evangelical sense)

    43 37.72%
  • A very good and wise man.

    22 19.30%
  • Definitely more than human... but nothing else can be said with clarity.

    7 6.14%
  • A man tapped into the "ineffable Greatness" of the cosmos/universe.

    3 2.63%
  • A idiosyncratic nut.

    9 7.89%
  • It is unclear whether Jesus actually lived.

    21 18.42%
  • Jesus existed, but it's unsure whether he was human or "more than human"/godly.

    9 7.89%
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Thread: Who Was Jesus?

  1. #31
    Senior Member celesul's Avatar
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    I think Jesus was a random idealistic scholar and good speaker. I don't think he was divine in any way either, but I don't beleive in any sort of deity.

    Quote Originally Posted by RansomedbyFire View Post
    It is also interesting to note that YHWH (the Old Testament Name for God) translates into "Jesus" in Greek (with "Yeshua" tying them together, since I believe "Jesus" is actually an English translated Name).
    YHVH doesn't translate. Actually, a lot of Hebrew words have been mistranslated and really change the meaning of the text (the most famous resulting in horns. )
    "'You scoundrel, you have wronged me,' hissed the philosopher. 'May you live forever!'" - Ambrose Bierce

  2. #32
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't know if I agree with that... I imagine there are many ways to skin a cat here, so to speak. I'm sure my "say absolutely nothing with any degree of certitude" approach is equally maddening to some and proportionally not-maddening to others.
    Yes. Yes it is. To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out if the religion you seem to evince is actually a religion or is merely a reluctance to burn the bridges of a Christian upbringing and commit fully to secular humanism. Obviously you haven't made a full confession of faith here, but what you have said doesn't appear to be a form of Christianity which would have been recognized as such by any segment of the Church I can think of down through history. I'm not sure what your understanding of faith and unbelief are in religion, but I'd be interested to hear it. Maybe I've misunderstood what you've written?

  3. #33
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Yes. Yes it is. To be honest, I'm still trying to figure out if the religion you seem to evince is actually a religion or is merely a reluctance to burn the bridges of a Christian upbringing and commit fully to secular humanism. Obviously you haven't made a full confession of faith here, but what you have said doesn't appear to be a form of Christianity which would have been recognized as such by any segment of the Church I can think of down through history. I'm not sure what your understanding of faith and unbelief are in religion, but I'd be interested to hear it. Maybe I've misunderstood what you've written?
    *shrug* it seems to be accepted by the Quaker organizations I've been involved with, and to a lesser extent the Episcopals. Certainly there are a heaping boatload of people who believe similarly to me in at least the Episcopal church. To say nothing of the Unitarian Universalists! (Their worship style involves a bit too much hippie drumming for my tastes.) But to be frank, I am not all that concerned about my beliefs and my eccentric form of universalist Christianity being recognized by an organization.

    Edited to add: in a way, my beliefs are a response to a Christian upbringing which I did shake for a significant period of time. I grew up surrounded by people who were ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that God wanted me to wear only dresses and skirts and never cut my hair. They were ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN of a lot of crazy bullshit. I've come to be very suspicious of certainty in nearly all its forms, and especially when it comes to matters of faith where, let's face it, there is no way to prove anything.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  4. #34
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celesul View Post
    YHVH doesn't translate. Actually, a lot of Hebrew words have been mistranslated and really change the meaning of the text (the most famous resulting in horns. )
    Yes. Joshua = Yeshua = Jesus, but YHVH does not translate at all. I think in the King James they resolved it by referring to YHVH as "THE LORD" in small caps in the text.

    And satan = adversary and was often used in a generic sense. Satan in the book of Job was more like a trial lawyer, rather than an agent of evil; but then in the NT, suddenly we get demons and devils and "satan" attached to the beast in Revelation among other things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    *shrug* it seems to be accepted by the Quaker organizations I've been involved with, and to a lesser extent the Episcopals. Certainly there are a heaping boatload of people who believe similarly to me in at least the Episcopal church. To say nothing of the Unitarian Universalists! (Their worship style involves a bit too much hippie drumming for my tastes.)
    Poor Ivy. Now you're definitely going to hell.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  5. #35
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    But to be frank, I am not all that concerned about my beliefs and my eccentric form of universalist Christianity being recognized by an organization.
    It's a nice idea, but it's not Christianity is all I'm saying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Edited to add: in a way, my beliefs are a response to a Christian upbringing which I did shake for a significant period of time. I grew up surrounded by people who were ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that God wanted me to wear only dresses and skirts and never cut my hair. They were ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN of a lot of crazy bullshit. I've come to be very suspicious of certainty in nearly all its forms, and especially when it comes to matters of faith where, let's face it, there is no way to prove anything.
    Baby/bathwater/God-builds-a-church-devil-builds-a-chapel/blahblah/etc etc. Sounds to me like you're in danger of shaping your theology around other people's defeats, which is understandable but dangerous. Sure, there's no way to prove faith. But faith still has to have some faith behind it if it's to be faith which is acceptable to the God represented in the bible we have today. What's the difference between faith and unbelief for you? Do you believe in unbelief? I guess I just don't understand your position. We have a lot of pluralists in Australia, but they usually (when pressed) profess the view that all religions are equally valid (so long as they don't instigate violence or proselytism) because they are all equally ridiculous. Thus it's never struck me as being a genuine position of faith. At best, it seems more a position of despair.

  6. #36
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    It's a nice idea, but it's not Christianity is all I'm saying.
    and who appointed you the Christianity police?

    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Baby/bathwater/God-builds-a-church-devil-builds-a-chapel/blahblah/etc etc. Sounds to me like you're in danger of shaping your theology around other people's defeats, which is understandable but dangerous.
    That's what I was doing when I rejected faith altogether because of their craziness. But then I did realize that it was fallacious of me to do that.

    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Sure, there's no way to prove faith. But faith still has to have some faith behind it if it's to be faith which is acceptable to the God represented in the bible we have today. What's the difference between faith and unbelief for you? Do you believe in unbelief? I guess I just don't understand your position. We have a lot of pluralists in Australia, but they usually (when pressed) profess the view that all religions are equally valid (so long as they don't instigate violence or proselytism) because they are all equally ridiculous. Thus it's never struck me as being a genuine position of faith. At best, it seems more a position of despair.
    I guess what I'm doing is creating a partition between belief and knowledge. I don't KNOW any of this shit. I do have some beliefs, albeit fairly general and inclusive ones which I don't really intend to lay out here. And believe me, I'm accustomed to being called a heretic for it.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  7. #37
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    and who appointed you the Christianity police?
    Point taken, but if someone says they are slightly convinced that Jesus was a blueberry popsicle consumed by a family of migrating wildebeest then I am not allowed to state as fact that such a belief is not consistent with Christianity?


    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    And believe me, I'm accustomed to being called a heretic for it.
    Just as long as you are willing to consider the possibility that you may in fact, at this point in time, be a heretic. From what I've read, you certainly would be considered such by the authors of all the books of the bible, as well as Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley and CS Lewis to name a few. Uncertainty is natural, but I don't think it's a place to set up camp. I'm of the opinion that faith in man's ability to get it wrong must at some point cross over into unbelief in God's ability to communicate.

  8. #38
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Just as long as you are willing to consider the possibility that you may in fact, at this point in time, be a heretic. From what I've read, you certainly would be considered such by the authors of all the books of the bible, as well as Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley and CS Lewis to name a few. Uncertainty is natural, but I don't think it's a place to set up camp. I'm of the opinion that faith in man's ability to get it wrong must at some point cross over into unbelief in God's ability to communicate.
    Sure, I'm okay with all of that. If the definition of heretic is someone who holds beliefs contrary to the canonized beliefs of the mainstream church, then I guess I am one. So is Bishop Spong, in the eyes of many. And so is our priest, along with half or greater of the Anglican community in the United States, for backing a gay bishop and blessing gay unions.

    About uncertainty: I really don't see how anyone can be sure of any of this. This doesn't mean they don't believe. I don't think belief requires certainty. It happens on another wavelength entirely from knowledge, IMO, and I think most theological folly comes from mixing the two. I have a very strong hunch, coming from the gutsal area (not the headal area) that there is a divine something, and that Christ was tapped into it, and that through Christ we can tap into it. How is it anything but reasonable to acknowledge that I have no proof for any of this, and so I can't mark it down in the "knowledge" column?
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
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  9. #39
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    From what I've read, you certainly would be considered such by the authors of all the books of the bible, as well as Tertullian, Athanasius, Augustine, Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Wesley and CS Lewis to name a few.
    lol, CS Lewis would be considered a heretic in some ways if evangelicals actually paid attention to what he actually believed, rather than just venerating at the altar of his intellect. And Luther was thrown out of the Catholic church for his beliefs. Augustine fell back into a life of sin in his later age. And so forth.

    Not that it matters. I just find it raises that interesting question of, "Who or what exactly is the authority that determines who is in and who is out?"
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #40
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    About uncertainty: I really don't see how anyone can be sure of any of this. This doesn't mean they don't believe. I don't think belief requires certainty.
    I think you can believe without being certain, but I don't think you can fully believe without being certain. Take Hebrews 11:1 for instance: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

    And the people whose faith Jesus commended were those who acted as though their faith were certainty, not fond, uncertain hope.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    It happens on another wavelength entirely from knowledge, IMO, and I think most theological folly comes from mixing the two.
    Even if "most theological folly" comes from mixing the two, does that mean it is wrong to do so? Is that a logical conclusion? Some would argue that most miracles today come from mixing the two. It would be difficult to argue that the apostles kept the two separate.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    How is it anything but reasonable to acknowledge that I have no proof for any of this, and so I can't mark it down in the "knowledge" column?
    It's perfectly reasonable. It just shouldn't affect your theology or your actions imo. Not that it would matter (from your perspective) in the long run if it affected your actions, universalist that you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    lol, CS Lewis would be considered a heretic in some ways if evangelicals actually paid attention to what he actually believed, rather than just venerating at the altar of his intellect.

    Well, I guess it depends on what we mean by "heretic". I doubt any Christian could honestly claim to be free of some form of heresy if we are defining heresy as any heterodox doctrinal position or, more simply, wrong understanding of God. Personally, when I speak of heresy I'm referring specifically to a doctrinal position which opposes a salvific understanding of the gospel (wow, can of worms there). And I'm aware that Clive believed in some form of purgatory, which many Christians do not. Does a belief in purgatory preclude a salvific understanding of the gospel? I haven't read his teachings on the subject, but I doubt it. And this does not change the fact that, from what I've read, he would consider theistic agnosticism to be non-Christian if not actually anti-Christian.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And Luther was thrown out of the Catholic church for his beliefs.
    He did, by appealing to earlier tradition, notably Augustine. It's no secret that the Catholic church was a hell of a moral mess during Luther's day. I'd be curious to know what earlier tradition Ivy's influential theologians would be appealing to.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Augustine fell back into a life of sin in his later age.
    So? What difference does that make? Looks like an ad hominem argument to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Not that it matters. I just find it raises that interesting question of, "Who or what exactly is the authority that determines who is in and who is out?"
    If you are saying that no one person should be authoritative in defining Christianity (aside from Jesus) then I will agree with you. However, if your conclusion from that is that you can safely ignore all Christian tradition on any subject which you don't agree with then I think you are treading very dangerous ground. All of those men had some whacky ideas imo (for what that's worth). But if all of them were united in opposition to a certain understanding of God, then that wouldn't be something to take lightly. Of course, don't just take my word on it that they would be opposed to this strange pluralistic universalism Ivy seems to be espousing. Read them yourself.

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