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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I am using 'holy' to devaluate the word.


    Be assured that Mr. Ratzinger seeks the teachings of the scripture also in the scripture. Your debate with him is supposed to be about the different understandings of that scripture and its teachings.


    We can narrow it down to the word of the holy book.


    My premise is not that the catholic church equals truth, but that a lifelong devotion to the church equals a sincere quest for religious truth, that is the true understanding of god's word.
    Hmm. I would reckon that the fact that he views texts outside of the word of the holy book as "religious truth" would give him a skewed conception of the teachings of the scriptures. It's like, he reads scripture through Catholic lenses. Really it can apply to anyone....we read any text from a certain perspective, depending on where we grew up, the environment we grew up in, our personality type! For example, the Pope, raised Catholic, and also reads scripture from the perspective that God speaks to and through man beyond the scriptures. I contend we each ought to read scripture objectively, and set aside all of our preconceived ideas and upbringing, take off the "lenses." I'm not sure that's even possible. I understand what you're saying about your premise, I would just argue that he is seeking religious truth in the wrong place. He ought to simply look to the word of the holy book. I apologize if I'm missing your point.

  2. #52
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    Hmm. I would reckon that the fact that he views texts outside of the word of the holy book as "religious truth" would give him a skewed conception of the teachings of the scriptures.
    I do not believe that he does that. The Bible is always the ultimate touchstone.

    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    It's like, he reads scripture through Catholic lenses. Really it can apply to anyone....we read any text from a certain perspective, depending on where we grew up, the environment we grew up in, our personality type! [...] I contend we each ought to read scripture objectively, and set aside all of our preconceived ideas and upbringing, take off the "lenses." I'm not sure that's even possible
    Yet you say that the teachings of the scripture can be understood by anyone sincerely seeking truth. How can that be when everyone is wearing lenses? Also, if you read the scripture objectively, you have to read it literally: Do you believe that the world was created in six days and is merely a few thousand years old?

  3. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I do not believe that he does that. The Bible is always the ultimate touchstone.


    Yet you say that the teachings of the scripture can be understood by anyone sincerely seeking truth. How can that be when everyone is wearing lenses? Also, if you read the scripture objectively, you have to read it literally: Do you believe that the world was created in six days and is merely a few thousand years old?
    I do believe Gid created the earth in six days. As to age, I don't know. Science was always my weakest subject.

    I do say anyone can understand. The Apostle Paul wrote the Ephesians just that. I'm saying take off the lenses. I've revealed my own lack of faith by questioning the possibility of it. I certainly want to believe it as the bible teaches it.

    I'm not sure I agree with your statement that reading objectively always means literally. I would say it depends on the book. For example, the Psalms are poetry. Are we to read poetry literally? Are the wicked speaking lies from the womb as Psalm 58:3 says? Or The book of Acts, which is history of the early church. I would say that should be read literally. Or Revelation, considering it's historical context and the audience, we can know how it ought to be read and it certainly doesn't suggest it should be read literally. Also, The epistles are letters to certain Christians. Do we read them the same way we read the Psalms? I believe the bible is its best interpreter when we consider context, audience, style, etc.

    I would also disagree with your first statement about the Pope's view of the bible. I would say church tradition preempts scripture for him. Peter was married, baptism was immersion and only for people who believed in Jesus, meat was not forbidden, and congregations were autonomous with a plurality of bishops who were married with children are just a few examples from scripture which are contrary to Catholic Church tradition.

  4. #54
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    This thread should be moved to Philosophy and Spirituality. Or thrown into a real Bonfire.

  5. #55
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I'll vote for the later... isn't throwing things in fires a grand old religious tradition?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  6. #56
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Engineer View Post
    Going back to the OP, I definitely would agree. I'm an NT, and I believe in God. Though I might understand why most psycho-puddlejumpers would think that I might not... generally more concrete things are appealing to me.
    Substitute "objective" for "concrete", and this is my view as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Oh! I didn't even think of that. There might very well be some religions where the concept is less abstract.

    I really did just assume we were talking about the Christian god, since that's the one usually spoken of. I feel kind of narrow-minded, now.
    I run into this assumption unfortunately often. There are many other views of deity, as you know. I would further maintain that most views, or spiritual paths, offer both sensory and abstract means of connecting with the divine. One obvious way is to connect through the creation, by appreciating and caring for the many very concrete elements in the world God created. And even the Pagans to whom this might be second nature can pursue abstract meditation and intellectual study.

    As for the Catholic Church, it is a political and bureaucratic organization as much as a spiritual one. A "lifelong devotion to the church" in the manner of someone like Ratzinger just as likely equals a sincere quest for power and status, rather than anything fundamentally spiritual. Whether SouthernLawyer or the Pope would win a debate on Bible interpretation seems dependent mainly on who would judge the outcome. To me, it is all semantics -- mental gymnastics. The Bible does not stand up to objective scrutiny, and the subjective scrutiny better suited to its content is, well, subjective. If SL and the Pope find different truths in it, that may well be a strength, not a weakness.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Substitute "objective" for "concrete", and this is my view as well.


    I run into this assumption unfortunately often. There are many other views of deity, as you know. I would further maintain that most views, or spiritual paths, offer both sensory and abstract means of connecting with the divine. One obvious way is to connect through the creation, by appreciating and caring for the many very concrete elements in the world God created. And even the Pagans to whom this might be second nature can pursue abstract meditation and intellectual study.

    As for the Catholic Church, it is a political and bureaucratic organization as much as a spiritual one. A "lifelong devotion to the church" in the manner of someone like Ratzinger just as likely equals a sincere quest for power and status, rather than anything fundamentally spiritual. Whether SouthernLawyer or the Pope would win a debate on Bible interpretation seems dependent mainly on who would judge the outcome. To me, it is all semantics -- mental gymnastics. The Bible does not stand up to objective scrutiny, and the subjective scrutiny better suited to its content is, well, subjective. If SL and the Pope find different truths in it, that may well be a strength, not a weakness.
    I went to a debate once in Klein, Texas between a Catholic priest and a minister for the church of Christ. I was 18 and knew very little about the Catholic Church and it was a great learning experience. Both men were very bright and conducted themselves in a very humble manner. I, of course, felt like the minister "won." However, much like the dialogue here, there was just too much difference in what the two men considered the "authority" on certain matters. The priest contended that God inspires certain men in the Church who say what the scripture means, like the Supreme Court and the Constitution here in the United States. The minister of course rejected that.

    It's funny that it is Ash Wednesday. I have kind of a funny story. I live in an area where the Catholic Church is not the dominant religion and has very little influence. Anyway, at the Courthouse to day there was an attorney who had ash on his forehead. Later that day I was in the Court Clerk's office and the ladies in there were talking about this guy's "tattoo." This one gal said, "it was a cross, but it was a very badly done cross." I explained to them that it was Ash Wednesday and the guy is probably Catholic and went to Mass this morning. Then, just earlier this evening, I was over at another lawyer's house and he was telling me about "this lawyer who had this big tattoo of a cross on his forehead that looked terrible. I couldn't believe it." I reminded him of what day it was. His wife got onto him because they're Methodist and they actually practice that, too.

    Honestly, I'm fascinated by the Catholic Church. It was on here a while back, there was a topic about which type fit which religion. ESFJ was Catholic. And I have to say, if I didn't think it mattered what church you went to, I would be Catholic. Or Greek Orthodox. I love the traditions, pomp and circumstance and what not, the special days, the saints, the accessories, I love it.

    God bless y'all.

  8. #58
    the Dark Prophet of Kualu
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  9. #59
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    I do believe Gid created the earth in six days. As to age, I don't know. Science was always my weakest subject.
    Have you ever seen 'Inherit the Wind' (1960)?

    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    I do say anyone can understand. The Apostle Paul wrote the Ephesians just that. I'm saying take off the lenses. I've revealed my own lack of faith by questioning the possibility of it. I certainly want to believe it as the bible teaches it.
    Reason trumps faith. To me, that is a good thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    I'm not sure I agree with your statement that reading objectively always means literally. I would say it depends on the book. For example, the Psalms are poetry. Are we to read poetry literally? Are the wicked speaking lies from the womb as Psalm 58:3 says? Or The book of Acts, which is history of the early church. I would say that should be read literally. Or Revelation, considering it's historical context and the audience, we can know how it ought to be read and it certainly doesn't suggest it should be read literally. Also, The epistles are letters to certain Christians. Do we read them the same way we read the Psalms? I believe the bible is its best interpreter when we consider context, audience, style, etc.
    Unless you read it literally (and even then still), you interpret it, that is you view it through subjective lenses. How can you be sure that the genesis is not a metaphor, perhaps not even for the beginning of the world?

    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    I would also disagree with your first statement about the Pope's view of the bible. I would say church tradition preempts scripture for him.
    That it utter nonsense.

    Quote Originally Posted by southern_lawyer View Post
    Peter was married, baptism was immersion and only for people who believed in Jesus, meat was not forbidden, and congregations were autonomous with a plurality of bishops who were married with children are just a few examples from scripture which are contrary to Catholic Church tradition.
    I bet that Ratzinger would not state otherwise, nor would any other high-ranking cleric. They have traditions, but they still read their Bible carefully.

  10. #60

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    Have you ever seen 'Inherit the Wind' (1960)?

    Yes, sir. Gotta love Clarence Darrow. However, I see a lot more holes in the Theory of Evolution than what is labeled, "intelligent design." But again, I'm the last person that should debate anything science related. I went to a tiny rural high school where the biology teacher was a football coach and we played spades every day while he watched Jackass videos on the computer. Evolution wasn't mentioned. I majored in Social Studies Education in college and only had to take one science. I took Geology because it was called "Rocks for Jocks" so I thought it was a crip course, which it probably was for most. I failed every test, but got a C I think because the Professor liked me because I would go to his office and talk about MLB. He was from New York and loved the Yankees. And, I went on the optional class field trip that only like 5% of the class went on.


    Reason trumps faith. To me, that is a good thing.

    We may have a different understanding of what faith is. I believe faith comes from reason. Faith is the evidence of the unseen.


    Unless you read it literally (and even then still), you interpret it, that is you view it through subjective lenses.

    The bible is its own best interpreter. Again, its objective if read in the light of its context, literary style, audience, etc. It just depends on the book.

    How can you be sure that the genesis is not a metaphor, perhaps not even for the beginning of the world?

    The context just doesn't lend it. It's very detailed as to real people, that existed, like Adam, Noah, and Abraham. Jesus and the New Testament writers spoke of them as their ancestors. Moses appeared on the mount of transfiguration. He's not in Genesis, I realize, but he led the Jewish people, the descendants of Abraham. Peter in his epistles wrote of Noah and God's destruction of the earth by water, and that the earth will again be destroyed, except by being burned up and all of the elements therein. If we don't accept the miracle of the creation, why would we accept the miracle of the resurrection?


    That it utter nonsense.

    He would stand by the church tradition that the Pope can't be married, yet Peter (said to be the first Pope) was married. He would stand by the church tradition of sprinkling babies as baptism, yet baptism is immersion and only for those who believe in Jesus. He would stand by the church tradition of commanding to abstain from meat on Fridays, yet the Holy Spirit expresses every creature of God is good and to be received with thanksgiving. He would stand by the church tradition of praying to Mary and countless other people, yet Christ is the only mediator between God and man according to scripture. He would stand by the tradition of bishops being unmarried yet scripture commands they be married with children. I don't think it's all nonsense.

    I bet that Ratzinger would not state otherwise, nor would any other high-ranking cleric. They have traditions, but they still read their Bible carefully.

    I won't say they don't read their bible carefully as I don't know them personally, they just don't do what it says when it comes to religious practice and instead place their man-made traditions above what scripture demands.

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