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  1. #11
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Looks like we're on the same page Jennifer (see above), by very different routes... though the catalysts that shunted us onto them were the same
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  2. #12
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    Okay, I'm believe I'm tracking what you're saying.

    Interesting that you should mention my wording "Bible-believing," Substitute. That was added after the fact for clarity's sake and it does, simultaneously, complicate the matter. It also reinforces my initial question of the sort of cognitive disonance which must be dealt with.

    There is that exhortation that the Bible must be accepted as the word of God. Can a Christian, truly be one then, if they cannot take on all the contradictions in good faith? If they reinterpret them, even in preference of altruistic motives, are they not also violating them?

    (Interestingly enough, I only know this man through another forum and from several years of observation have thought that he is oppressively conservative. Maybe I should also add the fact that he is dying and could possibly be doing a quick job of "getting it right" without much prior background.)

    I've never thought about this with the depth that struck me recently and see a paradox far beyond the ones that led me on my own spiritual quest.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  3. #13
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    There is that exhortation that the Bible must be accepted as the word of God. Can a Christian, truly be one then, if they cannot take on all the contradictions in good faith? If they reinterpret them, even in preference of altruistic motives, are they not also violating them?
    Again, it depends on what you consider "the Word of God" to be.

    If someone believes that the 66 Protestant books were hand-selected by God or steered to purposefully be in the canon, and that there are no more and no less, and the same with every verse, yada yada yada, then yes, they need to accept all the inconsistencies therein and try to find some way to embrace the paradox and make their lives conform to everything they see there in the most overt ways.

    If someone has a more organic view of scripture and doesn't see it as self-contained but merely as a collection of various people's experiences with God and life journeys, that have to be filtered through those people's cultures and environments and situations, and that while the concepts might be pretty consistent, the specifics are not exclusive nor exhaustive, then they can also claim to be "Bible-believing" but it will look a LOT different from the first.

    (Interestingly enough, I only know this man through another forum and from several years of observation have thought that he is oppressively conservative. Maybe I should also add the fact that he is dying and could possibly be doing a quick job of "getting it right" without much prior background.)
    I'm sorry.

    You're right, though, it is hard to tell what happens when mortality is experienced. Some people have sudden insight into their lives they did not have before. Others might just want to drop judgment and focus on inclusion, before death. And so on. it's hard to tell.
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  4. #14
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    Jesus is the Word of God. The Bible is, at most, the words of God. At least, a collection of superstitious myths and legends sprinkled with Jewish propaganda. On balance, a diverse bunch of writings by various people with varying motives, containing some divinely inspired wisdom that has to be dug out of all the extraneous crap

    And I believe the same of all religious texts.

    edit - by 'that exhortation' do you mean when Paul says "all scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for.... etc etc"? Cos I take that to mean only that some guy was INSPIRED by God to write, but what he did with that inspiration's as fallible as the guy that did it, though taking the rough with the smooth, it's still useful, at the very least as a chronicle of man's search for God and the occasional moments when we've reached out and touched him, and lived to tell the tale, so to speak, recorded there. I don't take it to mean "it's all literally dictated by God who controlled the pens of the prophets so that his entire plan for humankind was infallibly passed down [but let's just gloss over the zillion scribal errors en route]" Even so, it's still Paul's opinion to me. Perhaps divinely inspired, perhaps not... *shrug* but still ultimately, the words are Paul's, not necessarily God's.

    I think my dot on the forum behaviour graph is shifting...
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Jesus is the Word of God.
    Literally. His claim is to be the Spoken Word of God, active and vital, just like the word of creation spoken at the beginning of time.

    John called him the logos, correct?

    I always found the difference between written and spoken word fascinating. Written words exist outside time and are detached from their vital force -- the events they're describing. The spoken word fades into silence after being spoken, but while it exists, it's alive and present. (Maybe that would be a discussion worth considering elsewhere?)

    I see people as words spoken into the silence, while the written word is less powerful -- it just tries to keep alive and in memory what was already spoken, so although it provides good reference, it cannot replace the active, vital word. We are each words spoken against silence, flames dancing in the dark.

    So I guess that sort of reveals my impression of the written versus living word... sigh.
    "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

  6. #16
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    I think I wrote in another thread in this forum something about how the written word came to be hugely overblown in significance and accorded a place of reverence by primitive mankind... probably quicker to rewrite a summary of it than try and find it again to quote... lol

    Basically imagine you're living in a society that's largely illiterate. The only people who can read and write are priests and very important people who are seen as either descending from the gods or somehow connected to them either by being elected/chosen by them or something else. A guy gives you a piece of rock with some weird squiggles on it and says 'take that to my brother in Jerusalem'. You travel 500 miles to his brother who manages to somehow unlock the secrets of these squiggles and know exactly what his brother is thinking, what his brother wants and what he needs to do.

    Wow! It's like magic! You might even start to think that the meanings are actually in the symbols themselves. That those symbols have some inherent, living quality that transmits their meaning magically into your master's mind. It's probably because of him being so important and holy and amazingly clever, right? How could anything written possibly be wrong?

    etc...

    Hence such phrases evolve as "it is written", being an explanation in and of itself, sufficient to validate the authority and correctitude of something.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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  7. #17
    Senior Member Anja's Avatar
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    In-ter-est-ing.

    But now, your comment about shifting on the graph has me perusing your thread on forum behavior and. . .

    Too. Much. Input.

    Later.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

  8. #18
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Most people who allow "inclusiveness", do so by somehow diminishing or downplaying the Bible's teaching on exclusivity (or "the scandal of particularity"), or by denying the Bible's inerrancy or truthfulness altogether.
    But I've found another view, that not only maintains the Bible's truthfulness, but in the process also explains a lot we see in the world, in light of the Bible's claims, that leads most to reject it altogether.

    It starts from eschatology. Most mainstream Christians holding the exclusive view, hold to some form of futurism. God's work is not finished; he still has to return and end death, and then all sin and judgment will be abolished. In the meantime, we are all "running the race" as Paul says, and thus have to excercise "faith" in Christ alone, and improved behavior (as they were, duties) in order to go from "lost" to "saved".

    However, whatever this coming "fulfillment" they were "running" to, was said to be something in their lifetimes, NOT thousands of years later. Christ had even said "some of you standing here shall not taste death until the Son of Man comes".

    The eschatology known as Preterism holds that this was the the destruction of the Temple, in AD70, when some of those people were in fact still living. That ended the system of Law that condemned man and required a "response" from him to be saved in the first place. Hence, the Kingdom, of salvation, spreads to all unconditionally, just like the mustard seed growing into a big plant.

    The problem arose, because many Christians did not recognize this in AD70, and continued to look for a return of Christ, which they then called "delayed".
    The Church is at the same time becoming corrupted with pagan doctrines, philosophies and practices from the Greek world around them. (antisemitism, ritualism, flesh is bad, only "spirit" is good, etc). They begin organizing the visible church into a powerful institution to the point that Constantine recognized them as the state religion, ending persecution, and yet making them powerful enough to become persecutors. And hence, the whole dark ages of the church. When not using the sword, fear of Hell was also good to keep people in line and maintain the power. Eventually cracks begin to form, and people rebel against the corruption, and form an increasing number of schisms or denominations. All of them denouncing each other, and yet nearly all claiming to represent "the truth". Almost all agreed on the necessity of "duty faith" to be saved, despite all of the people they see in the world and church that has turned them against faith.

    Hence, the Christianity we all grew up with, and many of whom rejected. Even most preterists today, while still holding the AD70 concept, hold on to hell for all unbelievers. So the branch of preterism that teaches grace has spread to all unconditionally, is known generically as "Pantelism". Here is a site that articulates on this (and links to other articles).

    Comprehensive Grace - Tim King

    I like the way he speaks of "the covenantal framework of biblical eschatology" that sets pantelism apart from regular universalism, which is just unbiblically pluralistic. So hence, "salvation is found in no other"?"No one comes to the Father but by [Christ]" is still true. Salvation is in or because of Christ, not other gods, and not worship of other gods being accepted as "other paths" to the true God, and all that stuff. However, salvation being by Christ alone does not necessarily require any "response" on those saved. The widespread belief that it did was based on pairing "Salvation in no other"/"No one comes to the Father but by me" with verses like the familiar Acts 16:31 "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved", and several statements by Jesus in the Gospels, especially John. But that was all spoken to those in that age, and the age ended about 40 years later. It does not necessarily carry over to everyone after that, especially when that age of spiritual death was said to end soon.
    Last edited by Eric B; 09-04-2008 at 01:32 PM.
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  9. #19
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anja View Post
    Interesting that you should mention my wording "Bible-believing," Substitute. That was added after the fact for clarity's sake and it does, simultaneously, complicate the matter. It also reinforces my initial question of the sort of cognitive disonance which must be dealt with.

    There is that exhortation that the Bible must be accepted as the word of God. Can a Christian, truly be one then, if they cannot take on all the contradictions in good faith? If they reinterpret them, even in preference of altruistic motives, are they not also violating them?
    Two persons can treat the Bible as the authority and still come to considerably different conclusions. There are a lot of different varieties of "Bible believing". Additionally, what may seem like a contradiction to one person, may not seem that way to another.

    At the same time I see your point though. There is a danger in ingnoring or explaining away enough passages that the initial message either loses its meaning or gets watered down. My personal goal is to make all of the passages make sense in their context and make sense when taken as a whole. I think that is possible for the most part, but two different people doing this are going to come to two different conclusions about a lot of things.
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  10. #20
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    Liquid, Jesus' message was pretty darn clear if you ask me... I worry that giving too much significance to the Bible very often leads to people spending far too much time trying to decode what it's on about and reconciling the inconsistencies, at the expense of actually living the Gospel ... when you think that people like St Francis, who wasn't educated and didn't study theology or even read the Bible that much, became completely at one with God, I just can't imagine why someone would prefer to take such a circuitous route, one which so often leads people right up the garden path :/
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