Interesting, can Jesus still be God if he isn't born of a virgin? I think in order to be God, he must have been begotten by God. A man born of two humans would only be human.
Man, on the other hand is inherently unholy in his imperfection (or in Original Sin, if you will concede me that, which I don't expect you too! ).
Accepting the Trinity, especially the part that a physical being is God (and thus completely Holy), is extremely difficult because it defies all logic. (thus the need for a 'leap of faith')
Yes, the physical body of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, since Jesus is the Holy Spirit. I am sorry for asking this a post late, what dualism do I run into?
Jesus is the Son of God, but at the same time he is God. (notice the present tense)
Jesus is higher than man in that he is Truth (and thus possesses the Truth in him). Man is lower in that he does not have the truth in him. Thus, man must learn the Truth from the higher source.
Jesus is our link to God in that he gives us something to have Faith in.
As humans, we cannot possess the Truth in the sense that Jesus does. Our Faith in Jesus is as close as we can come. So maybe I should have said: "Through our Faith in Jesus. He is our link, the intermediary."
However, I don't think me saying that God is Truth and that if God is omniscient that he must possess the Truth is contradictory or inconsistent. (but it may be?)
It is going to be increasingly difficult for me to defend myself, because we are getting into areas that I can only defend by saying "I just have faith that it is true". There is much I have learned that I cannot put into writing. And, frankly, some of what I have faith in rests on knowledge that I gained some time ago, and only have fragments of left. But I will continue trying.
You must have a very difficult God.
I think the term begotten or beget means a direct decedent of, thus Jesus is directly descended from God, he cam 'from the loins' if you will. For example, my Grandfather did not beget me, my father did.
Within the realm of known physics, matter can be neither created nor destroyed. However, If God created matter, why can he not 'destroy' it, or change it. If God can perform miracles that defy physics, why would he not be able to defy physics with his own body?
What is wrong with the dualism? Or is it what you stated that my above reply was to?
You are correct, faith does require understanding. I did not say Jesus is faith, he gives us someone to have faith in.
As you said, Jesus is the Word of God. God the father is beyond our comprehension. God the Son is one of us, his duality links mankind and God.
Understand is a strong word. Do we fully understand anything? Can we fully understand anything?
Beget can mean either 'to father' or 'to cause to exist'. Either way, my question remains: what was not begotten by God?
I'm not sure why God would construct the universe in such a way that he has to override it's laws for his purposes. Further, do we have any reason to think that God suspends these laws of physics for such purposes?
Keeping the example of Buddha, he also seems to be the Word of God, even if he is apart from the Judeo-Christian tradition.
By starting out his gospel stating, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God," John is introducing Jesus with a word or a term that both his Jewish and Gentile readers would have been familiar with. The Greek word translated "Word" in this passage is Logos, and it was common in both Greek philosophy and Jewish thought of that day. For example, in the Old Testament the "word" of God is often personified as an instrument for the execution of God's will (Psalm 33:6; 107:20; 119:89; 147:15-18). So, for his Jewish readers, by introducing Jesus as the "Word," John is in a sense pointing them back to the Old Testament where the Logos or "Word" of God is associated with the personification of God's revelation. And in Greek philosophy, the term Logos was used to describe the intermediate agency by which God created material things and communicated with them. In the Greek worldview, the Logos was thought of as a bridge between the transcendent God and the material universe. Therefore, for his Greek readers the use of the term Logos would have likely brought forth the idea of a mediating principle between God and the world.
There is something I completely missed, when the Bible talks of Jesus being God's begotten Son, it says his only begotten son, Thus, disguising Jesus from all others. Either way, I think it is fruitless to quable over terms like this, because they may be mistranslated. So, I tried to go to the original Greek.
I found a site that exclaims the term 'begotten' that we use is derived from the Greek word 'Monogenes', which, depending on its root, can mean either 'only begotten' or 'Unique'. Whether or not this is right I cannot say. However, I think it does shed light on the fact that when we speak of Jesus being God's son, he is God's son in a unique way.
From what I understand of the 'laws' of physics, God would have had to violate them to create the universe in the first place. All that we know of physics breaks down between the big bang and the Planck Second after the big bang. There is much Old and New Testament that are violations of the laws of physics as we know them.
It is faith is Jesus that gives us the understanding of God. Being human and having limited knowledge, when we go beyond the limits of our empirical knowledge, understanding requires faith.
For example, the Big Bang and Darwinian Evolution require faith that the science beyond them is making the correct inferences.
Likewise, any means of seeking happiness requires faith that it is accurate, Buddhism, Taoism, Scientology, and so on.
God is the same way, and faith in Jesus the Messiah is the beginning to understanding God.
As to Buddha, he may have Christian philosophies, but he is missing one crucial aspect: He is not God, like Jesus is God.
Key word being 'seems'. Christian have an answer to how people can be 'God like' even if they are not Christian. See, God created man in his image, part of this creation is rationality, and part of rationality is being able to distinguish good and bad, right and wrong. Being created in God's image gave man something God has, this is how man, without the aid of God (Jesus) is able to form religions and be 'holy' seeming.
However, I will defend the few things I have said in my last post, then I think we should pick something to argue, and focus on that. We need to find common ground. (I use the term 'argue' in a friendly, Platonic way! J)
Either way, you ask: Why would God create a universe in which he has to disrupt its function. He would not be disrupting its function by doing anything to it, since its function is dependent upon His Will.
I will retract my agreement and say that faith requires some knowledge of what one has faith in. Once we have this knowledge, we can make the leap to faith, and begin understanding God for what He is, our creator and savior. If we have faith in what we have no knowledge of, it is arbitrary.
Why must we go beyond our empirical knowledge? For you and me personally, we have to go beyond our empirical knowledge to believe that Jesus lived at all, or for that matter that Julius Caesar lived. Our empirical knowledge is extremely limited.
More on understanding, I don't think it is possible to understand something as simple as 'how does an apple fall to Earth', because we don't understand how gravity works. We know that gravity works, but we don't understand it. We know that an apple falls, but I don't think we understand it.
Seriously, no faith required in these theories? There is no possible way to test that these theories are true, only speculation based on empirical data.
I see where you're going with this, I have studied both on a very basic level, but I do not understand either. There is a point when a person must say, "I see, this is the way to make me happy", and I think this comes before they understand the philosophy for what it is, and this is where faith in it begins. In order for these philosophies to 'make a person happy' they must understand them, in order to see them as philosophies that can make them happy, they must have faith in them.
In answer to the rest of your post, If Jesus is God, then my statements hold true; If Jesus is not God, yours hold true.
I think a fundamental problem I have with your side of the discussion, is what you think God is. You are welcome to continue responding to what I said in this post, but the majority of it was defending myself, so unless you feel the need to continue trying to destroy my arguments when we are holding different assumptions (which makes are discussion difficult, if not impossible to resolve), I think we should start over. However, if you want to defend yourself one more time, I understand.
You retract your previous statement and instead say that "faith requires some knowledge of what one has faith in". What is "some knowledge"? You say that when we have "some knowledge" we can make a leap of faith. A leap of faith to what?
You say when we have "some understanding" we can make a "leap of faith" to being to understand "God for what He is".
What is this leap of faith?
Sure, some understanding leaps to more understanding, but unless your "leap of faith" is faith with understanding, I don't see how you've solved the problem.
How can someone have faith before understanding? You suggest such a thing here. The Buddha even said believe nothing until you have confirmed it for yourself. He extended that remark to his own teachings, too.
d.t. - Ah, empirical data, so no faith without understanding is required.
I suppose I can't stop defending myself. So I will just be selective.
Not leap of faith, leap to faith. Kierkegaard explains a leap as a direct change from one quality to another, a person never posses both qualities at the same time. Take Adam, he made a leap into sin, from the state of not possessing sin to the state of possessing sin. It is the same with faith, a person moves from the state of not having faith to the state of having it. Thus the leap to faith.
Since we cannot matter of fact verify that God exists, we are required to have faith that he exists (and that he is the way he is for that matter). There has to be a point where a person says: "In spite of the paradoxes, in spite of the fact that I cannot logical or empirical prove that God exists, I have faith that he does," this is when the leap occurs. (P.S. I did not steal this from Wikipedia)
When I talk of Jesus, I see understanding Jesus as understanding that He was born of the Virgin Mary, is fully divine, and died on the Cross to save mankind from their eternal damnation, rose again after 3 days, and ascended into Heaven to come again and finish His work
It goes like this: One explores what's in the Bible, they gain some knowledge, see it for what it is, make change from not believing to believing (the leap), then understand God.
Perhaps I was wrong to say that when the leap occurs, one 'begins' to understand God, Understanding comes with faith, faith and understanding are packaged together. Why? Because in order to Understand the Jesus I speak of (The common conceptions of the Christian Jesus Christ) A person must have faith that his acts and purpose are what the Bible explains they are, there is no way to explain these acts and his purpose otherwise.
I thought I did explain myself. The process goes as so: I seek something to make me happy. I find Buddhism. I learn about Buddhism - a little, not everything. I have faith that Buddhism can make me happy. Because I have faith, I begin to live and understand why and how Buddhism makes me happy. This living, and then finally understanding makes me happy.
I did not only say empirical data. Empirical data is only one portion of the equation, speculation is the other. It is the speculation that drives the need for faith.
I don't think you agreed that Jesus is God in the sense that I conceive him. (I think our posts highlight the different conceptions of Jesus that we have, and thus the different conceptions of God)
This is why I would like to understand (J) what you think God is.
Here, I think, is where we might encounter significant disagreement. I think I can, as a matter of fact, verify the existence of God. I cannot prove his existence to you or anyone else, but I can prove this to myself. This evidence is empirical - it's experience of God.
Interesting. Did John Nash empirically prove to himself that aliens existed, even though it is a matter of fact that they didn't? Are all abohritions empirical proof that something exists? Just because we think we experience something, is that proof of its existence?
I see understanding something and understanding why I believe something as being different. Understanding why one believes that Jesus is who the Bible says he is has nothing to do with who he actually is. It is impossible to coherently understand something that is illogical, this is why faith is needed. It is impossible to understand how Jesus did the things he did in the Bible without having faith that he did those things. There is no coherent explanation of God coming to Earth, dying to save man's sins, rising again, then ascending into Heaven.
I find it extremely important for a person to know why they believe what they believe, but I don't think that is more important than what they believe. Especially when it comes to something that they cannot logically prove or understand why they believe it. I don't see how someone's faith can be lacking because they don't understand why they have faith in something, because the whole reason they have faith in that something is because they don't understand it. If a person fully understands something, there is no need for faith.
It depends on what you consider the whole understanding of God. Because to me, I don't think ANY temporal being can 'wholly' understand an eternal God, our temporality negates the possibility to understand the eternal.
How is what I described arbitrary. For something to be arbitrary it has to not be influenced by anything. In what I described, my faith is influenced by my knowledge.
I think Jesus says: "Believe in me and you shall have everlasting life". Faith in Jesus Christ is how you inherit the Kingdom of God. With faith comes the Kingdom. Yes, it is not a whole understanding, but it is enough to inherit the Kingdom.
You keep using the word 'arbitrary', when in fact nothing I described is arbitrary. No, you should not arbitrarily accept anything. Did I say anything of the sorts?
Perhaps you would be so kind to point out my mistake to me. You are in the best position to educate me.
I think know why you said that I was just explaining myself, but I thought everything I have written thus far can be used as a defense for what I wrote about Buddhism. You tell me to explain what I say instead of just saying it, but that is what you do throughout most of our posts.
Theories have to be taken on faith, they are theories. The Big Bang does is not an explanation of the beginning of the Universe, it is a possible explanation of the Universe. In composing the Big Bang, we use the empirical data we collect about the Universe today and deduce that there must have been a beginning. However, there is no mathematics, no laws of physics, and frankly nothing that we know of science that can explain the Big Bang.