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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    That appears to be the Calvinist reading of passages like that, but the point is not God giving someone the ability to believe (which is then presumed to be "withheld" from those who don't believe), but that they are "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think" as if their salvation was of their own will and not grace. (Eph. 2:8 also)
    I'm not sure what Calvinist means. The passage came from King James.

    In response to your original post, we wash and renew our minds with the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    We know that through evidence and reason, exemplified in Charles Darwin's, "Origin of Species", and confirmed in Watson and Crick's, "The Double Helix", and the sequencing of the genome.

    Yes, we arrived here by non random natural selection over vast unimaginable eons of time. And at no point was there a homo sapiens Adam and Eve, so no Original Sin and no need for Redemption.
    That does not disprove sin. There are other views of Genesis that are not as literal with the apparent timeline, that do not throw it all away.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd Girl View Post
    I'm not sure what Calvinist means. The passage came from King James.

    In response to your original post, we wash and renew our minds with the Word of God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
    Calvinists are those who assume these passages mean that God selects those who will believe, and deliberately "passes over" the rest.

    I need to understand what else could be your point. I mention the difficulty of faith (for me), so are you suggesting God has just "passed me over" or something? Or, "don't worry about such questions; if God has elected you, you'll have no problem with these things"?

    Even people who claim to have such a solid faith that God "gave" to them (or they got "just from reading" and being renewed by the Word of God, are fallible, and don't know as much as they think they do (evidenced by some of their interpretations of scripture, and the "traditions" they follow, apart from scripture even, and that they don't even agree with each other on a lot things; and God isn't going to "give" different people different "faiths", or something that turns out to be wrong, or not scriptural).
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  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    That does not disprove sin. There are other views of Genesis that are not as literal with the apparent timeline, that do not throw it all away.
    Well, if Genesis is merely a metaphor for the human condition, then Original Sin is also a metaphor, along with the Cross, Resurrection and Redemption.

    And then we need to ask, are they good metaphors?

    Is blood sacrifice for sin a good metaphor?

    Is it a good metaphor that the Father tortured his Son to death in order to forgive us Original Sin?

    Are these the metaphors we want to teach our children?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    I need to understand what else could be your point. I mention the difficulty of faith (for me), so are you suggesting God has just "passed me over" or something? Or, "don't worry about such questions; if God has elected you, you'll have no problem with these things"?

    Even people who claim to have such a solid faith that God "gave" to them (or they got "just from reading" and being renewed by the Word of God, are fallible, and don't know as much as they think they do (evidenced by some of their interpretations of scripture, and the "traditions" they follow, apart from scripture even, and that they don't even agree with each other on a lot things; and God isn't going to "give" different people different "faiths", or something that turns out to be wrong, or not scriptural).
    No, I'm not suggesting God has passed you over. Not at all. In fact, I think the opposite is true, and you may be experiencing a supernatural phenomenon. I think God is right where you are and has a lot compassion for you because he made you a very logical man, which requires much greater effort on your part in letting go of *you* to hear from Him. From what I've seen, you already have a solid understanding of the gospel.

    Admittedly, I don't completely understand the technical details about the collective shadow that you mentioned, so I may be reaffirming high level things you already know. I just wanted to share what is on my heart after reading your post and throw out some ideas, based on scripture that might help you.

    In summary:

    Do you receive that God has given you a measure of faith?
    (I don't know how this measure of faith manifests in each person. I would guess it varies from person to person. It may start out as a curiousity or an inkling that there's something out there greater, which would lead to a spiritual journey to greater faith.

    Do you receive that by reading the Word of God, which is alive & powerful, that your faith will grow (Romans 10:17)?
    (I understand that you've already answered this question, but I'm including it again because I think it's significant and maybe you haven't fully experienced the power of the Holy Spirit working in you. Ask God to reveal the true meaning of Romans 10:17 to you and he will.)

    EDIT: Knock and the door will open. Seek and you will find. That is a powerful truth that I can attest to. When I faithfully seek, God faithfully answers. It may not happen as quickly as I would like, as God's timing is not our timing, and sometimes he's grooming us for something more, but he does answer!

  5. #15
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    From what I've seen, some of the confusion Christians have is that they have not embraced the truth of the totality of the Bible.

    If people would come to understand that the Bible is a spiritual phenomenon and literally the living, breathing Word of God, they might look at it differently. There are several scriptures that support this.

    And to prove how powerful God's words are: God actually created the world with the spoken word; meaning, he spoke it into existence.

    So maybe another way to look at faith is simply believing what God says is true and that he is not a man that he should lie.

    I know I'm rambling to the choir here. This is an interesting topic to brainstorm.

  6. #16
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    i'm going to try to post more later as you've brought up some interesting things here. i just wondered if you've read on job: God-talk and the suffering of the innocent by gustavo gutierrez who is a liberation theologist. it's a brief commentary on the book of job and while i haven't finished it i found what i've read to be a great help in understanding how christ identifies with us in the role of suffering. i've only read a few books on trying to understand why God allows so much suffering in the world but this one is by far the best.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Well, if Genesis is merely a metaphor for the human condition, then Original Sin is also a metaphor, along with the Cross, Resurrection and Redemption.

    And then we need to ask, are they good metaphors?

    Is blood sacrifice for sin a good metaphor?

    Is it a good metaphor that the Father tortured his Son to death in order to forgive us Original Sin?

    Are these the metaphors we want to teach our children?
    hey victor. the bible has been read in various ways over time and among differing traditions and places. there are many more ways than just literal or metaphorical and those seem to be extremes and personally not ones that are great. reading the bible literally renders it nonsensical and reading it metaphorically removes its power for transformation. e.g. if we read the verse where it says "jesus is the gate" literally that means jesus is a slab of wood. haha. if we think jesus didn't physically rise from the dead then it's all a big scam really. one thing to remember is that the various books of the bible need to be read according to their genre: some are wisdom literature (proverbs, song of solomon), some apocalyptic (revelation, ezekiel), etc. when we try to interpret each book, or even various passages within the same book, using only one interpretive method for everything it doesn't work at all. we have to respect the various biblical genres and use the appropriate interpretive method for each genre of the book or passage of the biblical literature. there is plenty of info out there instructing us how to do this too so we are not flying blind or have to make it up. of course, there will still be differing interpretations because we are only human but at least we won't come up with some of the nonsense interpretations we see in the modern era.

    another thing is imposing modern interpretive methods on an ancient book also render it contradictory and inaccurate. for example, in biblical times they didn't tell their stories from a chronological perspective so sometimes things are out of order and to our modern ears this seems inaccurate, but it isn't by their standards. we have to interpret this ancient book using ancient--rather than modern--interpretive methods. i've read there is something similar in how they accounted for numbers too. it's just not done in the same way as in our modern western world. for an interesting read how the interpretive approaches have changed over time and place go here. really, that whole site is excellent.

  8. #18
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    More thoughts on this:

    Man does not like pain, and tries to avoid it at any cost.

    He devises a system of Law, where we can presumably control how much pain or pleasure he receives, based on an assumption that “pain” is the result of being “bad”, and thus pleasure, convenience, or other favor (connected with an overdriven "survival" instinct) is earned by “good” works.
    This in theory places "fate" all under our control. We can determine how much we "deserve", and if we get what we think we deserve, we are justified in having more than others, and thus get all the more "honor" (it proves were "worked hard" to "earn it", and are thus "better" than others) at the same time! If we don't get it, we can appeal to the Law, and cast blame on scapegoats we belive are responsible. Even if it doesn't work in getting us what we want, we still get some satisfaction in placing ourselves on the moral "higher ground".

    This was likely the “knowledge of 'good and evil'” that plunged man into an existence of sensing “pain” in everything in nature.
    Hence, this is how I would understand "the Law being at the request of man", and not God.
    God may have uttered "the soul that sins shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4, 20), and "do this and live" (Lev. 18:5, Ezekiel 18:5-9, 20:11, 13, Luke 10:28), but this was because man had taken that fruit that put him under this knowledge of sin and its need to be compensated by righteousness in the first place, and to show that this was a bondage that rendered him incapable of doing it.

    We can see this everywhere, from the Job story, to the Pharisees' belief that calamities others suffered were judgment for sin (Luke 13), to the modern political rhetoric that says that the poor are just lazy, and the rich deserved it all (an no matter how much they gain, the state of the economy can't ever be partly their fault; it's just the liberal "do gooders" violating the LAW by taking all the money from the "hard workers" and giving it to the "undeserving". I can even see it in my struggles for "fairness" in life, and compensation for past pains.

    Also, continuing to try to understand tha anima concept, and what exactly it is that I'm supposed to "come to terms with" and "accept" regarding this complex, so that it doesn't keep getting projected onto the opposite gender, as someone explained to me.

    On one hand, it's something within us we desire, but see in the opposite gender:
    http://aisling-ireland.suite101.com/...hetype-a207606
    A man seeking the soul mate that will "complete" him is not actually seeking an authentic woman. Instead, he is looking for an imaginary woman in every sense of the word-an image, a projection, a mirror of his own inner self manifested in the outer, waking world.

    This, we see as containing "life-giving energy".
    So I wondered what was the negative part of this we repress.

    Michael Anthony Corey Male Fraud: Understanding Sexual Harassment, Date Rape, and Other Forms of Male Hostility Towards Women
    http://books.google.com/books?id=EUB...0anima&f=false
    discusses the anima regarding "male machismo", and this gave me a clue. One of the things I as a male associate with femininity (and the antithesis of my ideal of masculinity) is both "submission" and "nurturing". Those I definitely try to avoid. (though I do sense a desire to nurture, but the problem is, the world is "not safe" to make onesself so vulnerable like that. So the "knowledge and mastery" desire of iNtuition and Thinking is what is the most safe for survival.
    Yet the frustration of this need is making life very difficult.

    This would go along with what the whole "partaking of the Cross" concept has been leading to.

    http://www.lessons4living.com/moving..._wholeness.htm
    Ultimately, midlife is taking you to a new and deeper level of meaning. What meaning will work for you? What is a truly workable meaning for life? Spiritual and psychological traditions all agree. It is to become a generative person. In the simplest language it mean to fully, "Love you neighbor as yourself." It is to follow the "Golden Rule." It is to Be of service to others. Midlife is taking you to your true Self and challenging you to the creative journey of making "That Which is Greater" manifest the world.

    So now, the task is finding out how to go about this, and also learning to cope with a universe I can't "master".
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildflower View Post
    hey victor. the bible has been read in various ways over time and among differing traditions and places. there are many more ways than just literal or metaphorical and those seem to be extremes and personally not ones that are great. reading the bible literally renders it nonsensical and reading it metaphorically removes its power for transformation. e.g. if we read the verse where it says "jesus is the gate" literally that means jesus is a slab of wood. haha. if we think jesus didn't physically rise from the dead then it's all a big scam really. one thing to remember is that the various books of the bible need to be read according to their genre: some are wisdom literature (proverbs, song of solomon), some apocalyptic (revelation, ezekiel), etc. when we try to interpret each book, or even various passages within the same book, using only one interpretive method for everything it doesn't work at all. we have to respect the various biblical genres and use the appropriate interpretive method for each genre of the book or passage of the biblical literature. there is plenty of info out there instructing us how to do this too so we are not flying blind or have to make it up. of course, there will still be differing interpretations because we are only human but at least we won't come up with some of the nonsense interpretations we see in the modern era.

    another thing is imposing modern interpretive methods on an ancient book also render it contradictory and inaccurate. for example, in biblical times they didn't tell their stories from a chronological perspective so sometimes things are out of order and to our modern ears this seems inaccurate, but it isn't by their standards. we have to interpret this ancient book using ancient--rather than modern--interpretive methods. i've read there is something similar in how they accounted for numbers too. it's just not done in the same way as in our modern western world. for an interesting read how the interpretive approaches have changed over time and place go here. really, that whole site is excellent.
    In short, the Bible teaches theology.

  10. #20
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    Jesus did not condemn institutional slavery, and so cast our collective shadow.

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