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« Taking Jesus Seriously | Main | Truth Doesn't Guarantee Rationality »

May 14, 2007

Comments

"Christianity was formed out of a different mold than Islam. Christianity from the beginning separated the realms of religion and government."

Anyone heard of Constantine? The Reformation was important, not because of its theological issues, but because of its political implications.

D'Souza misses the distinction between a reformation in the sense that we use the term to describe what happened to Christianity in Europe during the15th to 17th centuries and what is happening with Islam which is more akin to the return to the reactionary impulses that follow a camp revival.

There have been fundamentalist revivals in Christianity, Islam and Hinduism of late. The world moves too fast for some folks and the desire to stop things and get off is too tempting.

"Anyone heard of Constantine?"

I didn't realize he was there at the beginning of Christianity.

"The Reformation was important, not because of its theological issues, but because of its political implications."

How did you come to this conclusion?

I believe he called the Council of Nicaea in 325 and the Nicene Creed seems rather important. Are you asserting that the Christianity of today was fully formed by 33 AD? I believe that it is reasonable to consider that part of Church history early and formative

The political aspects of the Reformation seem more important to me because I am not a Christian but I live in a world formed by Christianity and I am glad that the power of the Roman Church was challenged and defeated. Had the Armada been successful, I think our world would be much worse off.

Also the Enlightenment and secularism were results, in part, of the carnage of the religious wars in the 17th century.

The temptation of religious folk to use the power of the state to impose their theology on all is universal. Jesus' reply was that of a political and religious genius. Unfortunately that wise admonition is more often honored in the breech as several of this thread's neighbors clearly demonstrate.

That Islam's founder succumbed to the temptations of power is unfortunate but to attempt to draw great distinctions from his failings is a stretch.

The problems of the Islamic world are those that beset any society in which traditionalism and social conservatism hold sway. We will learn this the hard way should the Christianists among us seize power.

I agree Alan.

I wouldn't go so far as to blame "social conservatism" for the problems besetting Islam.

But I see what you mean.

I think "social conservatism" is the effect of "traditionalism" where your "tradition" is centered on a book that defines "believers" and "non-believers".

Really the "extremists" are just the Islamic version of "conservatism". They are just following the book to the letter.

I agree that the Enlightenment and Secularism are reactions (and positive progress) from the high point of the middle ages when Catholicism was EXACTLY like Islam is today.

However Luther declared "every man is a pope unto himself" and said we could relate DIRECTLY with God ourselves and didn't need a priest to "mediate" between God and "the masses".

He declared "sola scriptura".

I'm afraid the Koran is the smoking gun. The extremists have already retreated to the text.

Just read a chapter in the Koran called "the spoils".

Some Muslims have attempted to distance themselves from the Koran and read the Hadith instead.

What could we do to help these Christians and Muslims to forget their books? Either convince them their history is wrong or irrelevant. Then the rest of us may have a chance to live in peace.

Tom:

>I agree that the Enlightenment and
>Secularism are reactions (and
>positive progress) from the high
>point of the middle ages when
>Catholicism was EXACTLY like Islam
>is today.

Not that I am a Catholic but at no point has Islam ever been "EXACTLY" like like the RCC. To state something like this is to exhibit ignorance of history and these two religions.

>What could we do to help these
>Christians and Muslims to forget
>their books?

I don't know about the Muslims, but show us that at least one of the two premises Christianity is based upon, that a Creator exists and the Bible is true, are false and you'll be set.

You must be a noobie to this site to ask a question like this.

"What could we do to help these Christians and Muslims to forget their books? Either convince them their history is wrong or irrelevant. Then the rest of us may have a chance to live in peace."

You can't make people forget something. You have to replace habits, cultures and religions with different (and better) habits, cultures and religion. This is why your nihilistic secularism fails every time because you can't rip out Chritianity (or even Islam) and replace it with empty promises of the Enlightenment.

You don't have to convince people that their history is wrong...History will do that for you. The same goes for the histories that are irrelevant...they will vanish over time. The truth has a way of sticking while false religions like nihilism, post-modernism, secularism etc. crumble under their own lack of substance.

While we know there has never been peace under those who try to get rid of Christianity, we do find workable, peaceful models of peace under some ancient Islamic societies and most Christian societies. You certainly have more peace, progress, science, education, medicine, philosophy and freedom coming from modern America than any other society at any other time in the world.

Welcome to the west. "You" could "contribute" to our "greatness", but I "suppose" it's "easier" to "complain".

If Christians forgot the Bible I expect that the vast majority of them would be much poorer citizens.

It seems to me that there are significant differences in the fundamental beliefs of Christianity and Islam and those differences are reflected in behavior.

I actually believe that the Reformation was important politically because of its theology.

I see the hand of God in history.

I also believe that it is incorrect to say, as Alan did, that "that the power of the Roman Church was challenged and defeated".

I think it is clear that the RCC continues to have great spiritual power and authority because people subscribe to it's theology. This often can translate to political power.

Tom said: "Either convince them their history is wrong or irrelevant. Then the rest of us may have a chance to live in peace."

I believe that the history of Christianity can be as easily established as reliable as any history outside of one's own personal life experiences. I think that it is inaccurate to call what we know about Christianity wrong (without addressing specifics) and if it is not obvious that beliefs are not irrelevant I am not sure what to say except that if you think peace will flow from this you are very mistaken (in my view) about the character of Man!

"Are you asserting that the Christianity of today was fully formed by 33 AD?"

Of course not Alan, Christianity "from the beginning" (as you quoted from Melinda)occured thousands of years earlier than that! My Bible has an Old and New Testament. The first promise of a redeemer occurs in the third chapter of Genesis. There are hundreds of other references to a coming Messiah throughout the OT.

Melinda's quote is "from the beginning" not "at the completion" of Christianity.

Maybe you missed that, but it's hard to imagine how since you quoted her.

"I believe he called the Council of Nicaea in 325 and the Nicene Creed seems rather important."

Yes it was, but you asked if anyone had ever heard of Constantine to somehow refute Melinda's statement. You haven't made that case.

"I believe that it is reasonable to consider that part of Church history early and formative"

How did you come to this conclusion?

"The political aspects of the Reformation seem more important to me because I am not a Christian but I live in a world formed by Christianity and I am glad that the power of the Roman Church was challenged and defeated. Had the Armada been successful, I think our world would be much worse off."

How did you come to this conclusion?

By the way, this statement is far different from your original post. I'll list it just below:

"The Reformation was important, not because of its theological issues, but because of its political implications."

Sounds like you are speaking for everyone here.

"Also the Enlightenment and secularism were results, in part, of the carnage of the religious wars in the 17th century."

How did you come to this conclusion?

"The temptation of religious folk to use the power of the state to impose their theology on all is universal."

How did you come to this conclusion?

"That Islam's founder succumbed to the temptations of power is unfortunate but to attempt to draw great distinctions from his failings is a stretch."

How did you come to this conclusion.


Everyone,

I am reading too many plain assertions here. Too much certainty is being expressed about an issue that is, to me, speculative and vague at best.

Why should a reformation be as any of you is claiming?

Who is calling for the reformation?

How might this reformation be achieved?

What details regarding religion and/or politics can be expected?

How are these details part of the best educated guesses?

Does anyone have a devoted, nominally, or formerly Muslim friend who can tell us?

What would a reformation mean for the Islamic community and individual?

Interesting interview with Francis Fukuyama:

http://www.digitalnpq.org/archive/2007_spring/14_fukuyama.html

Hi John, I assume that there is a certain basic knowledge of history out there but perhaps not.

I mentioned Constantine because quoting Jesus speaking before the appearance of a formal Church bearing His name, as proof of a difference between Islam and Christianity, when history clearly shows the intimate involvement of the state in the formation and evolution of Christianity seems a bit special. I could also have mentioned Justinian; I guess I just did.

If you consider the first few hundred years of Christian history as anything but formative then we will simply disagree.

"'Also the Enlightenment and secularism were results, in part, of the carnage of the religious wars in the 17th century.'

How did you come to this conclusion?"

I'm being selective as books have been written on each of the points you selected. This, however, is important We still live in the world created by the Peace of Westphalia (Cuius regio, eius religio seems to be the goal of some of you all).

The English Revolution of 1640 killed a lot of folks and Charles lost his head. The one in 1688 was bloodless so there appears to have been a learning curve. Article VI of our Constitution stems from the lessons learned from European experience. The Founders were aware of history. Hamiton in Federalist 1 "For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution." Check out Locke's "A Letter Concerning Toleration" and the Second Treatise".

"'The temptation of religious folk to use the power of the state to impose their theology on all is universal.'

How did you come to this conclusion?"

Read the position on abortion on this blog.

"'That Islam's founder succumbed to the temptations of power is unfortunate but to attempt to draw great distinctions from his failings is a stretch.'

How did you come to this conclusion."

Every major religion has succumbed to this temptation. Asserting that Islam is special in this regard ignores historical experience.

As Fukuyama points out the line is between traditionalist, socially conservative societies, not the religion of those within them. America succeeds because of our liberal social values. D'Souza and the Christianists would destroy those values.

"Hi John, I assume that there is a certain basic knowledge of history out there but perhaps not."

I'm not sure how you liberals got the reputation of being arrogant. Perhaps you don't even realize it. But that's how you come off. And I don't just mean in this particular instance.

"I mentioned Constantine because quoting Jesus speaking before the appearance of a formal Church bearing His name, as proof of a difference between Islam and Christianity, when history clearly shows the intimate involvement of the state in the formation and evolution of Christianity seems a bit special. I could also have mentioned Justinian; I guess I just did."

I was under the impression that people were being called Christians (in derision) hundreds of years before Constantine. They were also meeting and converting many to Christ before the Bible was in a complete form. The ones who were fortunate enough would read the Old Testament prophecies and then read the fullfillment of those verses in one of the Gospels. This was all done despite a hostile government that wasn't afraid to persecute, torture, and murder Christians. To ignore the ultimate sacrifice of these first century martyrs is not only factually wrong but morally wrong as well.

"If you consider the first few hundred years of Christian history as anything but formative then we will simply disagree."

Again this is just factually wrong. Alan, you don't get to make the decision as to what is formative in Christianity as a non-Christian. The founders of Christianity made that decision a long time ago by not throwing out the Old Testament when the Bible was compiled. And by the way, it was thousands of years not hundreds.

"Read the position on abortion on this blog."

Read the position of any liberal blog on these subjects: global warming, abortion, hate crimes, afirmative action, reparations, etc. If they are only trying to persuade others of their postion and not trying to force others who disagree with them to comply with legislation, I guess you have a point there.

"Every major religion has succumbed to this temptation. Asserting that Islam is special in this regard ignores historical experience."

You make a dogmatic statement with no evidence. I ask for evidence. You make another dogmatic statement with no evidence.

"America succeeds because of our liberal social values. D'Souza and the Christianists would destroy those values."

More of same.

Chris,

Well you caught me on that one. You are right. It was not "exactly" like the RCC.

What I meant was that in the middle ages there was no separation of Church and State.

Also, they thought it was their job to "universalize" others into their belief system or kill them.

Also, becoming a "cleric" was an avenue to gaining power over others.

As far as a "creator" goes….I believe the intelligent design arguments…something created all of this.

But it was not Yahweh.

I don't have to believe that genocidal thug is "the creator". Nor do I have to believe "Chance" did it.

I'm content in my inability to know. Posessing the name of the creator does not affect my life in any way. It does not throw me into meaninglessness and despair. I get my identity, purpose, and meaning from the people around me.

As far as the proving the Bible isn't true…that's easy.

Doug,

That is true. The philosophical term is "practices". You have to replace their "practices".

Your "beliefs" are found in your practices. Beliefs are just linguistic representations of your practices.

But here is where beliefs and practices come apart.

In christianity you can believe something and practice something else because all you have to do is confess a historical "fact".

Gods are in your practices or they are nothing.

That is why "born-again" christianity is closer to "the truth".

But you don't need to understand the god to be historical to be a spirit in you.

In fact, who people have "Jesus in their heart" live a life of singular purpose and devotion.

If they don't do that, then it doesn't matter what they "believe".

In fact, we define "Jesus" by this "way of life". Jesus is a way of life. It is a way of acting. (not thinking)

But if you believe the "transposition thesis" then society has already started replacing religious practices.

Instead of confessing to a priest people go to the shrink. Instead of going to church they go to sporting events or gatherings.

Instead of thinking it necessary to know the mysteries of the universe we are content living happily in the meantime without the confrontational entanglements of religions.

I don't know if you have noticed, or pay attention to such things, but Christianity is already failing in most "secularized" (separation of church and state) nations. It is in America and Western Europe, among educated peoples, where it is in decline.

Christians are starting to feel the pinch. They have circled the wagons and formed their political groups (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Fewer and fewer people are attracted to the seminary or the religious lifestyle.

The "truth" that you say "has a way of sticking" has been in decline ever since it was set free in the marketplace of ideas.

And I would argue that secularism is the natural outcome of advanced christian societies and it is american secularism (which still recognizes the sacred in our families, in our spouses and children, in "serving something higher", in the timeless moments we share…is "what really matters") that will win the day.

America is more than a country. It is an idea. And that idea is essentially peace. Peace among all peoples, among all religions. And that will win the day.

In the meantime the religions of the book can fight it out and maybe even realize they've been duped into thinking "God" or "Allah" or "Jehova" is more important.

Religions die hard. But it is happening. Meanwhile in America we "tolerate" you.

I bet if we were at a (fill in you favorite sports team here) game, and we were both fans, we would be having a good time right now instead of arguing. (although this is fun for some of us).

The point is instead of being sarcastic jerks we would be friends.

Imagine we are at the same concert or both of us picnicing on the same beach. That is heaven on earth my friend. These are the new practices that will save us.

Or we could just keep arguing...

I'll debate you on the reliability of the Bible anytime-anywhere. We'll see if you think its so trustworthy. When you see that it isn't, then we can ask the question why we ever thought to turn to objectivity, or inductive methods, in the first place. When you see that it isn't, then you can ask why it works so well anyway. The answer is found in the born again experience, the true revelation of god in your life.

Tom, I noticed you dodged my questions about you being a Gnostic or a Freemason. It's a total tell when a guy spends 20 pages trying to separate orthodox believers then only claims a spirit resurrection. And you have no idea who you're debating when it comes to the historicity of the Bible...I'll take a Pepsi taste test against your Gospel of Thomas and secret seven planes of the third eye any day of the week.

Tom said:
"In christianity you can believe something and practice something else because all you have to do is confess a historical "fact"."

You're not offering any new information here. Christians, Mormons, atheists and gnostics fan believe on thing and practice another.

Tom said:
"In fact, we define "Jesus" by this "way of life". Jesus is a way of life. It is a way of acting. (not thinking)"

You cannot act without thinking. You can't separate the supernatural elements of life from the natural ones. We are Earthbound, my friend. As C.S. Lewis said, "God loves matter, He made it." Your brain has a causal relationship with your soul. WE WILL BE BODILY RESURRECTED. If nature is not redeemed and corrected along with supernature then God will have allowed an eternal defeat in the physical realm. This is rejected by pagan myths like Gnostics and it's why 1 John jumps all over their unathoritative, conveniently secret teachings.

Tom said:
"I don't know if you have noticed, or pay attention to such things, but Christianity is already failing in most "secularized" (separation of church and state) nations. It is in America and Western Europe, among educated peoples, where it is in decline."

Who cares?! Hitler's regime was among the most educated of peoples on the earth. Intelligence and education does not often tie to morality. Nor does ignorance necessarily denote immorality. It depends on what we are educated about and what we are ignorant of.

Tom said:
"Christians are starting to feel the pinch. They have circled the wagons and formed their political groups (not that there is anything wrong with that)."

The Freemasons are feeling the pinch too. Apparently secret mystic knowledge and changing vocabulary definitions doesn't attract a lot of followers. But Christ didn't count the number of people following Him to see if he had the right message. Neither should you.

Tom said:
"Fewer and fewer people are attracted to the seminary or the religious lifestyle."

That's because the religious lifestyle means wearing really ugly shirts.

Tom said:
"America is more than a country. It is an idea. And that idea is essentially peace. Peace among all peoples, among all religions. And that will win the day."

WHAT?! When was our idea ever peace? Go Google our founding documents and find the goal of peace. It's not to be found. Those who have peace as a goal will never reach it. Peace is a reward for going to war with evil. THAT'S what is in the DNA of the American ideal.

Tom said:
"I bet if we were at a (fill in you favorite sports team here) game, and we were both fans, we would be having a good time right now instead of arguing. (although this is fun for some of us)."

Not true, Tom. While I'll have a taco with a Satanist, a Pentacostal, a Mormon, a Catholic, a Jew or even a Scientologist I can't have a good time with modern Gnostics...it's because you guys are nuts. I don't know what you look like but I already KNOW you've used drugs in your past and you have the thousand-mile-stare. EVERY Gnostic I know talks like you, scrambling language and staring off into space. You'd be about as much fun at a football game as a guy in a coma...at least the guy in the coma doesn't dismiss the world's most reliable historians to embrace a handfull of essoteric revisionists.

"Imagine we are at the same concert or both of us picnicing on the same beach. That is heaven on earth my friend. These are the new practices that will save us."

Yeah, I hear you. I imagine us worshipping the same Christ who ressurrected bodily and that is heaven on earth. And yes, the Earth will be transformed into a perfect creation again, we won't be projected into a new astral plane.

"I'll debate you on the reliability of the Bible anytime-anywhere. We'll see if you think its so trustworthy. When you see that it isn't, then we can ask the question why we ever thought to turn to objectivity, or inductive methods, in the first place. When you see that it isn't, then you can ask why it works so well anyway. The answer is found in the born again experience, the true revelation of god in your life."

I'm a Christian, but I have no "experience" of supernature. I am solely holding God to a contract he made in the scriptures. I don't have to feeeeeeeeeeeel Him to know He is there. The true revelation of God in my life...is HIs revelation. The Bible. Do throw down the gauntlet on attacking the Bible but you CAN'T use fringe-essotheric out-of-the-mainstream Gnostic occultists. Agree to those terms and you not only lose the debate, but you lose your entire world view.

Wow, that was interesting.

I've never thought of myself as a "modern gnostic" but I see what you mean.

Tell me, do you feeeeel god at all?

Do you talk to him? What do you say?

Have you been born again? If so, what did it feeeeel like?

What do you think being born again is?

Doug said..."you can't act without thinking".

That is a complicated subject.

Kant certainly thought you can't act without thinking. Thinking were the "judgements" that made representation possible.

But Merleau-Ponty and Hubert Dreyfus argue persuasively for a mode of being that is not reflective based on Heidegger. Hegel distinguishes this mode thinking or reflection as "observational consciousness".

I doubt you could make sense of their writing....it takes alot of contemplation Mr ADD.

You have to admit that there are moments in your life when you are not in an "observational consciousness"...when you are acting...even acting masterfully, or exquisitely without entering a reflective mode.

In order to argue against the Historicist or Literalist interpretation of Christianity I will have to talk about the Gnostics and we are going to have to face the possiblity of a gnostic Paul.

I will attempt to present a case that your literal interpreation of the dying-resurrecting god-man in the life of Jesus is a continuation of a long-held myth, and that your religion is a misunderstanding and perversion of it...but still works pretty well...as long as you don't ground it in history and rational reflection.

I will try to show how it really happens in real life.

I will try to show that the Gnostics had it closer. I would do away with all god-talk. Who needs it.

I will try to show that the born-again christians have it closer than the historicist christians.

All I have to do is create "reasonable doubt" that challenges your "reasonable faith.

I've never done drugs and I'm pretty fun at football games.

I just understand christianity better than you.

Do you think there is an experience where you "invite Jesus into your heart"?

Or is it accepting a historical proposition into your brain?

Do you see a difference?

Actually Doug it is not that surprising that you are just "holding God to a contract".

You don't act like a christian at all.

What if I told you my brother died from an overdose? Do you still want to accuse me of using drugs?

Do you still want to go on your sarcastic rants...you pervert.

Hey Tom and Doug,

You two may need a referee for this one.

I have one rule for the two of you and that is to critique ideas and not people.

Substance abuse is bad and having family members overdose and being required to ID their body is not fun (especially on your birthday), so let's stop flinging substance abuse accusations. And let's also stop the accusation of learning disabilities and make full use of what mental faculties we have.

Please answer the following questions for me.

What is the origin of religion?

What is the proper role of feeling and experience in religion and/or in life in general?

Calling it right done the middle, not caring to debate anyone for this blog see my previous posting full of questions. Answer those other questions too, if you should be so kind. I'm busy trying to understand Islam in theory and practice (theologically and culturally).

Ding.

"Actually Doug it is not that surprising that you are just "holding God to a contract".
You don't act like a christian at all."

I don't understand what you're saying because you didn't define which "Christian" definition you were talking about. HAHAHA!

"What if I told you my brother died from an overdose?"

I'd say you were off topic.

"Do you still want to accuse me of using drugs?"

It wasn't an accusation, it was an observation. I was a drug counselor and have a lot of experience among chemical dependency folk. You fit the bio. I mean, I nailed the Gnostic thing. How about answering the Freemason question?

"Do you still want to go on your sarcastic rants...you pervert."

I wasn't being sarcastic.

"I just understand christianity better than you."

Thank "God". Now you can finally explain to me why Thomas put his hand in Christ's wound post-ressurrection. Remember, you have to offer a more historical account than the New Testament. Please produce mainstream, scholarly, experts that go with the Gnostic accounts or that side with The God Who Wasn't There people. I'll be glad to give you the names of the handful of atheistic writers who claim Paul's 'sun god' is historical and we can both marvel at your low threshhold for Biblical scholarship.

"Do you think there is an experience where you "invite Jesus into your heart"?"

Well, there is such a thing as saying those words, yes. Invite which Jesus? Why aren't you suddenly obsessed with parsing out the fifty different Christs you insist on defining before debates? Probably because now you're seeing it's an obnoxious distraction tactic that has nothing to do with the debate at hand.

"Or is it accepting a historical proposition into your brain?"

I don't see the dichotomy in those statements. Why wouldn't a historical proposition go into my brain? The brain is one of the windows to the soul (I'm a Thomistic Substance Dualist).

"Do you see a difference?"
No. We learn about what happened in the heart because the text describes what happens. I don't actually hear angels rejoice in heaven when someone is "saved". God is not obligated to make me feel anything. My opinion (or feeeelings) on matters of objective moral truths doesn't effect the truth itself.


Off topic aren't we?

Tom said: "I'm content in my inability to know"

For someone who can't know, he sure can string together lots of words about stuff he is unable to know. I don't have the time to read the long posts so I skip them or just skim.

Think of it as a buffet...

Doug said..."Thank "God". Now you can finally explain to me why Thomas put his hand in Christ's wound post-ressurrection."

You believe that story?

Tell me Doug, as a dualist who believes is substances with properties...let's take a hammer as an example...the metal end is one substance with certain properties and the handle is made of another substance with certain properties...

where does it get its "meaning" as a "hammer"?

Doug said..."God is not obligated to make me feel anything."

So much for the Moral Lawgiver argument.

I thought God was obligated to make you feeeel guilty. Or is he obligated to make you "think" you are guilty?

Maybe we should take our debate on the historicity of the bible elsewhere...this blog is supposed to be about Islamic reformation...the "taking Jesus seriously" blog may be better suited...but maybe there is a third possibility.

"Doug said..."Thank "God". Now you can finally explain to me why Thomas put his hand in Christ's wound post-ressurrection."
You believe that story?"

As much as I believe in the "stories" that describe everything else I believe.

"Tell me Doug, as a dualist who believes is substances with properties...let's take a hammer as an example...the metal end is one substance with certain properties and the handle is made of another substance with certain properties...
where does it get its "meaning" as a "hammer"?"

A = A.
The hammer has the function, abilities, properties and relationship to me, others and the known world as a hammer.

If you mean ultimate meaning, all ultimate meaning came from the God of the Bible, for no other God or account properly accounts for creation the way our book does.

"Doug said..."God is not obligated to make me feel anything."

So much for the Moral Lawgiver argument."

Well, so much for any argument when debating reality with you. I fail to see how my previous statement undermines the Moral Lawgiver argument. Something tells me I don't want to hear the cotton candy about to fall out of your mouth to explain what you mean that will only muddy the waters more.

"I thought God was obligated to make you feeeel guilty. Or is he obligated to make you "think" you are guilty?"

God is obligated to do neither.

"Maybe we should take our debate on the historicity of the bible elsewhere...this blog is supposed to be about Islamic reformation...the "taking Jesus seriously" blog may be better suited...but maybe there is a third possibility."

It really doesn't matter to me, Tom. I haven't read one single coherent post come from any of your debates so far though you've asserted the Bible is jacked about 15 times in my short time here.

How about you make your air-tight case against the Bible as soon as you have one conclusive point to make? Until then I'll take your silence as verifying you're the clown we know you to be (by "we" I mean "me and you"). You really only need ONE proof, Tom. Can you manage it in less than fifty more posts counting 100 pages long? I doubt it.

...eeehhnnn...wrong...try again

as a dualist the meaning comes from "the mind"...remember mind and matter...the mind gives meaning to the matter...

You actally gave the Heidegger answer...where the meaning comes from the world...a world with hammers vs. another world where they don't use hammers. Furthermore you have to "use" the hammer to "understand" it. And a hammer needs nails and wood and hammerer and cultural practices, etc, thus the wholism. Acquinas doesn't have the notion of "world". But I digress...that's a little philosophy lesson for you.

OK, the Great Commission doesn't exist in older manuscripts...you know..."Go ye therefore...in the name of the Father, Son, Spirit...blah, blah, blah"

I would say that is pretty trinitarian...and viola...it shows up later...after the Catholic (Neoplatonists) get their mits on it.

This stuff coming out of my mouth...How sweet it is.

I normally don't revel in taking someone's world view away...but you're special "Doug"...I'm looking forward to brow beating you with a good history lesson.

What does a worm-drawer consider "mainstream" anyway?

"Doug"

I will try to keep it short and simple for the "I hate math" artists among us.

As the source of your morality, whenever you do feel a compulsion to do the moral thing...that just IS "God" MAKING you feel that.

Those last two were from me.

T-O-M

Tom,

>As far as the proving the Bible
>isn't true…that's easy.

Well? Get on with it!

You really must be new here to be so sure of yourself. Why don't you call in Greg during one of the shows and demonstrate to us that the Bible is false?

Easy, eh?

As to why Christianity is worth pondering; if both the two premises that Christianity is based on are true, namely that a creator exists and the Bible is true, then in a nutshell, all emotion aside, everyone goes to to Hell for eternity but the Bible states that there is a lifeline, and this lifeline is Jesus.

If the evidence available showed that the two premises are true don't tell me you wouldn't grab the lifeline, namely repenting of your sin and accepting Christ as saviour?

"as a dualist the meaning comes from "the mind"...remember mind and matter...the mind gives meaning to the matter..."

BZZZT! The meaning doesn't come from the mind, it can come from THE MIND which is outside of my mind. That's how a hammer can exist and have meaning though mind does know of it in China. The tree does make a sound in the forest when it drops.

The mind doesn't create meaning, it percieves it. The mind detects corresponding relationships of true states. Go read more books...the right ones this time.

"OK, the Great Commission doesn't exist in older manuscripts..."

Well, your Kierkegardian Gnosticism doesn't exist in older manuscripts either so your "older is more correct" argues against your position more than mine.

The Great Commission does exist in the manuscripts, just not in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. But The Great Commission is buttressed by other areas of the New Testament.

And your implication was that it was smuggled into the Bible. You need to produce a version where it is not smuggled in then another where it is smuggled in. How do you know heretics didn't smuggle it out? See, skeptics always cast discrepencies in favor of their world view. You're no different than the Neoplatonists you accuse of editing history. Welcome to the lukewarm end of the baby pool...and we know why it's warm over here.

"I would say that is pretty trinitarian...and viola...it shows up later...after the Catholic (Neoplatonists) get their mits on it."

The Catholics added nothing, they only restored what was corrupted and lost from the past. We have NO record of early texts that read one way and later texts that read another due to preferential doctrine held by the transcribers. I know this is the going line among Jesus Seminar-zombies but it's not help by the most renouned textual critics. Why you choose to accept the flimsy data of flimsy scholars says more about you than the data.

Look, it shouldn't be that hard given you've claimed refutation of the historicity of the Bible is so easy, the examples so common and flagrant, matched with your confident dismissal of the holy texts this should be easy for you. Where's the beef?

So far it looks like you cling to goo-goo mysticism and personal experience which pretty much buys you jack-doodlie-squat in my circle. I have no doubt that you feeeeeeeel it. Lots of people feeeeeel all kinds of things. My Buddhist neighbor said she chanted and a bloody tumor flew out of her side...I can't really debate what people feel. Nor can I mitigate my own feelings to divine Biblical truth or proper canon. Neither can you.

"I normally don't revel in taking someone's world view away...but you're special "Doug"...I'm looking forward to brow beating you with a good history lesson."

I'm looking forward to that too...when exactly is that going to start?

"What does a worm-drawer consider "mainstream" anyway?"

Rigorously researched, commonly accepted by the most reputable of scholars, well-known due to hard work and rigor not fashion or shock value. (ie no Jesus Seminar)

"Doug" said..."BZZZT! The meaning doesn't come from the mind, it can come from THE MIND which is outside of my mind."

Now you're talkin. That is Thomistic anyway.

"God" or THE MIND as you say is what gives everything its meaning.

"Doug"

You've piqued my interest.

I bought all your stuff off amazon.

So the next royalty check you get there will be a couple bucks in there from me.

Del Taco on me!

If I could draw strippers like that I would never leave the house.

BTW, I'm no fan of the Jesus Seminar and their colored beads.

Maybe we should break up the attack on the bible into several fronts...

Here's a GREAT website...

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/asbook11.html

If you didn't know about the "sourcebooks" you can thank me later....

"Doug"...here's your assignment...goto the "WEB-The Synoptic Problem(Website)" on the Christian Origins Sourcebook and give me your best mainstream candidate for the construction of the NT gospels.

Any of you "prophecies" of Daniel believers out there...here's a great site...

http://www.geocities.com/b_d_muller/danrv.html


And from the OT...this poses a good question of what do you do when you have two ancient documents with completely opposite accounts...

You can find this on the sourcebook too at...

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/701sennach.html

...ready on two...break...


...guess nobody wanted to take the Pepsi challenge…

I guess it is the wrong blog anyway…

Getting back to Islam…

The Islamic version of "atheist"…is the "humanist".

People that detect Christianity to be false (and fail to understand it)…usually jump on the Atheist bandwagon.

They throw up their hands and say "There is no God".

I think the better thing to say is "Yahweh is not it!" and then try to figure out what about Christianity has made it so successful (besides a bunch of smartypantses that think they can "prove" their spirituality objective by appealing to historical documents).

But I digress…the point is the intellectually defunct atheists go too far, and they only exist in Christian cultures as a reaction.

In Islam, the reaction to finding out Muhammed was full of crap, is not to become Atheist and start expounding creation theories based on randomness and philosophical naturalism to account for our origins.

The anti-Islam reaction is "humanist".

They do not necessarily argue against the divine, but to focus on our own problems as if the whole human race could fix them in spite of Islam and its non-human ways.

The first thing "Humanists" usually do is leave a Sharia country. Denying Muhammed is literally treason and just like any soldier is punishable by death…and here's the kicker…it is the role of the family (usually the father or brothers) to execute the traitor. You can take this person to a sharia court, but Muhammed instituted a much more efficient practice.

So it doesn't look like Islam will reform from the inside anytime soon. Muslims have to come to western countries to criticize Islam.

Their biggest hurdle is separation between church and state. So secular muslim states are crucial to its reform.

Go Iraqis!

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