Distribution of Fear in Christianity

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avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:25 pm
Pangloss wrote:
This is debatable, but probably true to an extent...still, it is not a history book, and people shouldn't read it as such.




In my experience, Christians pick and choose which events from the new testament they take literally...it seems that each individual Christian has his/her own interpretation on this. I personally think that it is a mistake to take anything in the bible literally, but you can believe what you want.

as to the first yes and no. The bible records historical events, and like any document from long ago can tell us alot about the time in which it was written- thus it has value as a historic document. But no it is not exactly a history book I will agree.
As to the second name me an event in the new testament that is not taken litreally? I wasn't awear of any such interpretations, at least in the mainstream. Sure you aren't thinking of the new testament?
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:26 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;35056 wrote:
though the Bible has value as a historic document.


Of course it has value as a historic document, it is one of the most influential and popular books ever written...still, it is not a history book, and people shouldn't read it as such.


Quote:
And the events of the new testament are taken litreally.


In my experience, Christians pick and choose which events from the new testament they take literally...it seems that each individual Christian has his/her own interpretation on this. But, that is my experience, and I know some groups take the entire thing literally, while others let their church/minister/priest give them the interpretation...or they come up with it on their own.

I personally think that it is a mistake to take anything in the bible literally...


Sorry, somehow two posts got made before I finished the post!
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:31 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;35059 wrote:
The bible records historical events, and like any document from long ago can tell us alot about the time in which it was written- thus it has value as a historic document.


Yes, I edited that response when I realized you meant "value as a historic document", rather than being like a book of historic facts.

Quote:
As to the second name me an event in the new testament that is not taken litreally? I wasn't awear of any such interpretations, at least in the mainstream. Sure you aren't thinking of the new testament?


Note I said "in my experience"; this is from personally talking with people who consider themselves to be Christian; most people I have personally talked to say that they don't actually believe in things like a virgin birth or Jesus turning water into wine...though of course they might be taught that. I can't go into the minds of every Christian and find out if this holds for most of them; probably it doesn't. And while this thread basically seems like people sharing their own experiences with Christians, I am following the leader here with my own take on it.

avatar6v7;35061 wrote:
foolish one:rolleyes:


Well, excuse me sir. :sarcastic:

I hit submit instead of preview, and then realized that I misinterpreted what you had said...somehow 3 posts came out of it.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:49 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Yes, I edited that response when I realized you meant "value as a historic document", rather than being like a book of historic facts.



Note I said "in my experience"; this is from personally talking with people who consider themselves to be Christian; most people I have personally talked to say that they don't actually believe in things like a virgin birth or Jesus turning water into wine...though of course they might be taught that.



Well, excuse me sir. :sarcastic:

I hit submit instead of preview, and then realized that I misinterpreted what you had said...somehow 3 posts came out of it.

firstly, fair enough
as to your experiance, well, I don't consider these people to be christians- to be a christians is to believe in the ressurection, that is simply fact. If you believe in that miracle then there is no logical reason to disbelieve others.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:53 pm
@Pangloss,
avatar6v7 wrote:
though the Bible has value as a historic document. And the events of the new testament are taken litreally.


The Bible is an historic document in the same way Homer's work is an historic document. They are mythologies which draw, at least in part, from events which probably did occur. But historical accuracy is not the point of the texts, and very little historic accuracy remains. The idea is not to have a modern historic document, but a mythological history to unite some community.

Some readers do take the New Testament literally, but this is not universal among Christians.

avatar6v7 wrote:

As to the second name me an event in the new testament that is not taken litreally? I wasn't awear of any such interpretations, at least in the mainstream. Sure you aren't thinking of the new testament?


All events. Nothing in the New Testament should be read literally. Literal, fundamental interpretation is a modern development, and even being modern, does not represent the mainstream in Christianity around the world. Most Christians still believe that at least some parts of the New Testament should be taken figuratively. Some, like myself, think the whole of the text should be read figuratively just like any other scripture.

avatar6v7 wrote:

as to your experiance, well, I don't consider these people to be christians- to be a christians is to believe in the ressurection, that is simply fact. If you believe in that miracle then there is no logical reason to disbelieve others.


No, that is not a fact.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 04:59 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;35072 wrote:
firstly, fair enough
as to your experiance, well, I don't consider these people to be christians- to be a christians is to believe in the ressurection, that is simply fact.


So now you determine what it means to be Christian? That's nice...:cool: There are other threads where we can debate what it means to be Christian, or how most Christians interpret the bible. The premise of this thread seems to be that Christians are somehow more prone to mass fear than non-Christians...still haven't seen evidence for this.

Quote:

and finnally you are still a fool!:bigsmile:


Thanks for the personal attack, now this "discussion" is over...
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:05 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
The Bible is an historic document in the same way Homer's work is an historic document. They are mythologies which draw, at least in part, from events which probably did occur. But historical accuracy is not the point of the texts, and very little historic accuracy remains. The idea is not to have a modern historic document, but a mythological history to unite some community.

Some readers do take the New Testament literally, but this is not universal among Christians.



All events. Nothing in the New Testament should be read literally. Literal, fundamental interpretation is a modern development, and even being modern, does not represent the mainstream in Christianity around the world. Most Christians still believe that at least some parts of the New Testament should be taken figuratively. Some, like myself, think the whole of the text should be read figuratively just like any other scripture.


No, that is not a fact.

firstly I didn't claim otherwise, though it has more than Homer.
as to litrealism you have misunderstood me. I agree that the fundamentalist approach is modern, alien and genreally awful. I mean that the actual events, specifically the miracles are meant as literal. The words, language, commandments and speechs are of course open completly to interpretation for a number of reasons. There may be some miracles that are recorded that are not purely as recorded, but miracles such as the virgin birth, ressurection and the acension are fundamental to being a christian. To disbelieve them is to cease being christian. That is not to say you cannot but that to do so falls outside of any accepted defenition of what it is to be christian. To disbelieve in the central events of christs life is an acceptable viewpoint, though I would disagree with it, but to do so and claim to be christian is not acceptable.

Pangloss wrote:
So now you determine what it means to be Christian? That's nice...:cool: There are other threads where we can debate what it means to be Christian, or how most Christians interpret the bible. The premise of this thread seems to be that Christians are somehow more prone to mass fear than non-Christians...still haven't seen evidence for this.



Thanks for the personal attack, now this "discussion" is over...

I was joking and it reffered to the accidental triple post not the argument. calm down.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:16 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
firstly I didn't claim otherwise, though it has more than Homer.


I'm not sure how you could prove that the Bible has more historical information than Homer.

avatar6v7 wrote:
as to litrealism you have misunderstood me. I agree that the fundamentalist approach is modern, alien and genreally awful. I mean that the actual events, specifically the miracles are meant as literal.


Yeah, I got you, and I disagree. The notion that these events are literal is central to the fundamentalist approach.

avatar6v7 wrote:
The words, language, commandments and speechs are of course open completly to interpretation for a number of reasons. There may be some miracles that are recorded that are not purely as recorded, but miracles such as the virgin birth, ressurection and the acension are fundamental to being a christian.


Even a literal reading requires interpretation. My argument is that literal interpretation of the text misses the point.

And I disagree that literal belief in the miracles are fundamental to Christian belief. What significance is there in the claim that Jesus was literally born to a Virgin? None, but when read figuratively, the narrative suggests that Jesus was born to a morally upright woman, and was therefore raised well.

Further, neither of those three beliefs you mention are fundamental to being a Christian. "Virgin birth" is actually a mistranslation - yet the Christians who read the original Greek were no less Christian because they did not believe in the Virgin birth. Further, there were Christians prior to the witting of the New Testament, prior to the mythology of Jesus rising from the dead.

A Christian is simply someone who follows teachings attributed to Jesus. Not all Christians turn to the New Testament for the teachings of Jesus.

avatar6v7 wrote:
To disbelieve them is to cease being christian. That is not to say you cannot but that to do so falls outside of any accepted defenition of what it is to be christian. To disbelieve in the central events of christs life is an acceptable viewpoint, though I would disagree with it, but to do so and claim to be christian is not acceptable.


Why not? Being outside the Christian mainstream does not eliminate you as a Christian. Again, A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ. Looking back at the plethora of Christian sects which have existed through history, following teaching attributed to Christ (and not necessarily the same teachings) is the only common denominator, the only thing that makes someone a Christian.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:33 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;35078 wrote:
There may be some miracles that are recorded that are not purely as recorded, but miracles such as the virgin birth, ressurection and the acension are fundamental to being a christian. To disbelieve them is to cease being christian.


This is just incorrect. Being a Christian does not necessitate believing in any certain event depicted in the Bible. A Christian follows Christ's teachings.

The word Christian comes from the latin christianus, which can be literally translated as "follower of Christ".
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:38 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I'm not sure how you could prove that the Bible has more historical information than Homer.
---------------------------------------
well I mean that the accounts of christs life, are just that, even if you view it as skewed, whereas the oddysey is an intentional fiction.


Yeah, I got you, and I disagree. The notion that these events are literal is central to the fundamentalist approach.
-------------------------------------------------
I would not agree but that is somewhat unresolvable


Even a literal reading requires interpretation. My argument is that literal interpretation of the text misses the point.
---------------------------------------------
again I can't help it if you think my interpretation of the bible is literal, I can only say it is not

And I disagree that literal belief in the miracles are fundamental to Christian belief. What significance is there in the claim that Jesus was literally born to a Virgin? None, but when read figuratively, the narrative suggests that Jesus was born to a morally upright woman, and was therefore raised well.
----------------------------------------------------------
The significance, whether or not you agree with it, is still vast. The immaculate conception is vital to the doctrine of the trinity. If Christ is the son of God, then he cannot have been conceived by a human. Also mary cannot have been morally upright by their standards if the child was conceived out of wedlock.


Further, neither of those three beliefs you mention are fundamental to being a Christian. "Virgin birth" is actually a mistranslation - yet the Christians who read the original Greek were no less Christian because they did not believe in the Virgin birth. Further, there were Christians prior to the witting of the New Testament, prior to the mythology of Jesus rising from the dead.
------------------------------------------------------
The New testament was not 'written' it was gathered. There are a number of gospels, some written quite late on, others written very close to the time of christ. The ressurection is confirmed in all of them, including the letters of Paul within twenty years of christs acension. There were no christians reading the original greek and disbelieving in the ressurection. The concept of the ressurection is fundamental because without it there is no salvation. The concepts of the forgivness of sins and christs dieing for us and his ressurectiona as the defeat of death are, as any preist will tell you, the central beliefs of christianity.

A Christian is simply someone who follows teachings attributed to Jesus. Not all Christians turn to the New Testament for the teachings of Jesus.
---------------------------------------------------
where the hell else would you turn? there are a few books not added to the new testament that you might turn to, but they do not dispute the most fundamental points.



Why not? Being outside the Christian mainstream does not eliminate you as a Christian. Again, A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of Christ. Looking back at the plethora of Christian sects which have existed through history, following teaching attributed to Christ (and not necessarily the same teachings) is the only common denominator, the only thing that makes someone a Christian.
------------------------------------------------------------
I am awear that there have been a numbe of heresys over the years. Your naive interpetation of them will not change their nature. There are differing views within a certain range of acceptability and then there is heresy. Do not confuse the two.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:39 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
This is just incorrect. Being a Christian does not necessitate believing in any certain event depicted in the Bible. A Christian follows Christ's teachings.

The word Christian comes from the latin christianus, which can be literally translated as "follower of Christ".

these events are christs most important teachigns. It is these examples that hes wishs us to follow.
 
Pangloss
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 05:45 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7;35088 wrote:
these events are christs most important teachigns. It is these examples that hes wishs us to follow.


Christ teaches with parables. The message and the meaning/significance behind the "events" are the teachings. Whether or not they actually took place is irrelevant. You don't need to believe the miracles actually took place in order to believe in the message of the parables.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 06:05 pm
@Pangloss,
Pangloss wrote:
Christ teaches with parables. The message and the meaning/significance behind the "events" are the teachings. Whether or not they actually took place is irrelevant. You don't need to believe the miracles actually took place in order to believe in the message of the parables.

if you look only to the parables you reduce the bible to a simple guide of morality, as opposed to a narrative, a philosophy and an account.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 06:42 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:

well I mean that the accounts of christs life, are just that, even if you view it as skewed, whereas the oddysey is an intentional fiction.


There is no evidence to suggest that the Odyssey is any more an intentional fiction that that Gospels. The Gospels are the narrative of a life, but they do not suggest that the narrative is historically accurate. From an historical perspective, there is no history in the Gospels - nothing outside of scripture even corroborates that Jesus lived.

avatar6v7 wrote:
I would not agree but that is somewhat unresolvable


It's only impossible to resolve if we refuse to look at the evidence. Literal interpretation is central to the fundamentalist approach according to leading fundamentalist preachers. Meanwhile, non-fundamentalists preachers do not demand literal interpretations of the book, instead they suggest we take the passages figuratively - you could check out some of the leading Episcopal scholars for some examples.

avatar6v7 wrote:
again I can't help it if you think my interpretation of the bible is literal, I can only say it is not


I didn't say anything about your interpretation of the Bible. I don't even know what your interpretation is.

avatar6v7 wrote:
The significance, whether or not you agree with it, is still vast. The immaculate conception is vital to the doctrine of the trinity. If Christ is the son of God, then he cannot have been conceived by a human. Also mary cannot have been morally upright by their standards if the child was conceived out of wedlock.


Actually, the Trinity does not require immaculate conception. Case in point, the Gospel of Thomas. Therein we find the concept of the Trinity and not a single mention of immaculate conception.

Further, Jesus may indeed by the son of God and be conceived by a human. Recall the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gives us the Lord's Prayer - he teaches us to pray "Our Father" which suggests that God is the father of us all, that we are all the children of God, the daughters and sons of God.

As for Mary - by who's standards? Traditional Jewish standards of the time? Yes, in that regard you are correct. But Jesus was a reformer who challenged the standards of his Jewish community. Thus, Mary could have been morally upright and conceive a child out of wedlock.

avatar6v7 wrote:
The New testament was not 'written' it was gathered. There are a number of gospels, some written quite late on, others written very close to the time of christ. The ressurection is confirmed in all of them, including the letters of Paul within twenty years of christs acension. There were no christians reading the original greek and disbelieving in the ressurection. The concept of the ressurection is fundamental because without it there is no salvation. The concepts of the forgivness of sins and christs dieing for us and his ressurectiona as the defeat of death are, as any preist will tell you, the central beliefs of christianity.


Of course the New Testament was written - other wise it would not exist. The Gospels and commentary were all written, though, as you say at different times by different people.

The resurrection is not confirmed in all Gospels, it just happens to be confirmed in the Gospels included in the New Testament. The Gospel of Thomas, for example, makes no mention of the resurrection.
It is possible for a Christian to deny that Jesus literally rose from the dead. It is even possible for a Christian to deny the historical existence of Jesus.

I mentioned the original Greek with respect to the Virgin Birth, which is a mistranslation of the original Greek. The original was closer to "young girl", not "virgin".

avatar6v7 wrote:
where the hell else would you turn? there are a few books not added to the new testament that you might turn to, but they do not dispute the most fundamental points.


You turn to the apocrypha. There are many, many apocryphal books. Most have been attacked as heretical, heretical because they contradict or do not contain fundamental points of minastream Christian theology.

avatar6v7 wrote:
I am awear that there have been a numbe of heresys over the years. Your naive interpetation of them will not change their nature. There are differing views within a certain range of acceptability and then there is heresy. Do not confuse the two.


You assume that heresy is not acceptable. Isn't that a bit naive? Considering the fact that the label heresy is usually pulled out for political ends, shouldn't we be careful before we categorically reject heresy?

More importantly, so what if the view is heretical? Is a heretic any less a Christian? I don't see how. A heretic simply has beliefs which diverge from certain mainstream or politically prominent perspectives. Being in the minority or being oppressed does not somehow exclude someone from being a Christian.

avatar6v7 wrote:
these events are christs most important teachigns. It is these examples that hes wishs us to follow.


How can you know what Jesus wanted us to follow when Jesus had absolutely no hand in writing any scripture? The claim you make is simply impossible. You cannot even demonstrate that Jesus existed, much less can you expect to show with any precision what Jesus found most important.

Jesus, supposedly, taught with parables. He did not write a Gospel.

avatar6v7 wrote:
if you look only to the parables you reduce the bible to a simple guide of morality, as opposed to a narrative, a philosophy and an account.


The parables are far from simple - the reason why Jesus' parables are so popular is that they have great depth to them. Simple? Hardly. Further, contained within those parables is philosophy. Morality is, after all, a question of philosophy, thus if Jesus taught morality he taught philosophy.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 07:17 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
There is no evidence to suggest that the Odyssey is any more an intentional fiction that that Gospels. The Gospels are the narrative of a life, but they do not suggest that the narrative is historically accurate. From an historical perspective, there is no history in the Gospels - nothing outside of scripture even corroborates that Jesus lived.
------------------------------------------------------------
which is an essentially meingless statement. Where else would accounts of his existance exist? The romans had no interest in documenting his life, nor the jews, so who else would do so? and who would inspire the creation of a new faith but an individual such as christ?


It's only impossible to resolve if we refuse to look at the evidence. Literal interpretation is central to the fundamentalist approach according to leading fundamentalist preachers. Meanwhile, non-fundamentalists preachers do not demand literal interpretations of the book, instead they suggest we take the passages figuratively - you could check out some of the leading Episcopal scholars for some examples.

I didn't say anything about your interpretation of the Bible. I don't even know what your interpretation is.
--------------------------------------------------
again, I simply regard the miracles as literally true, a highly mainstream not neccersarily fundamentalist view. Fundamentalists agree with it but this does not make it fundamentalist.

Actually, the Trinity does not require immaculate conception. Case in point, the Gospel of Thomas. Therein we find the concept of the Trinity and not a single mention of immaculate conception.
----------------------------------------------------------
Which was later judged to be of less value than the other gospels. most of the other gospels do uphold it so it is logical to imagine that the majority view is the more accurate one

Further, Jesus may indeed by the son of God and be conceived by a human. Recall the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus gives us the Lord's Prayer - he teaches us to pray "Our Father" which suggests that God is the father of us all, that we are all the children of God, the daughters and sons of God.
----------------------------------------------------------------
however the concept of relations is central to the trinity. Gods relation to Jesus is one of father and son. Humans cannot hold an equal posistion to christ in relation to the father or it would not be a trinity at all.

As for Mary - by who's standards? Traditional Jewish standards of the time? Yes, in that regard you are correct. But Jesus was a reformer who challenged the standards of his Jewish community. Thus, Mary could have been morally upright and conceive a child out of wedlock.
-------------------------------------------------
They challenged many of the views of the jewish community, but not that one.


Of course the New Testament was written - other wise it would not exist. The Gospels and commentary were all written, though, as you say at different times by different people.
-------------------------------
I meant that the New Testament wasn't written like one book. It is a collection of books. But you realise this of course, just a misunderstanding.

The resurrection is not confirmed in all Gospels, it just happens to be confirmed in the Gospels included in the New Testament. The Gospel of Thomas, for example, makes no mention of the resurrection.

---------------------------------------------------
Thomas again being the minority exception. and you yourself attack the scriptures on the basis of the time lapse- the gospel of thomas was written, at the earliest time even suggested, in 60AD, and possibly as late as 140AD. Even at best thats 40 years after paul, who confirms the ressurection.

It is possible for a Christian to deny that Jesus literally rose from the dead. It is even possible for a Christian to deny the historical existence of Jesus.
--------------------------------------------------
It is possible for a politician to turn up to a press conferance naked screaming 'anarchy rules!' but this does not make him a politician for very long.

I mentioned the original Greek with respect to the Virgin Birth, which is a mistranslation of the original Greek. The original was closer to "young girl", not "virgin".
----------------------------------------------
you are wrong about this in a number of ways. Firstly it is not in greek but in hebrew that the possibility arises. Some have postulated that as virgin and young girl have been used interchanbly in Ugaritic, a cousin to hebrew, that this might be the same in hebrew, and thus that the word virgin infact means simply young girl. Even regardless of the tenous nature of these claims there is another objection. The reason for this interchanability may be that the state of being a young girl is seen as defined by virginity- one is not one without the other, thus it is not truly a double meaning at all.



You turn to the apocrypha. There are many, many apocryphal books. Most have been attacked as heretical, heretical because they contradict or do not contain fundamental points of minastream Christian theology.
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Because they do not equate to a logical, synthesis whole. They do not form a faith. Additionally one cannot have large scale organised religion if your defenition of your faith is allowed to be changed at will by any crackpot who turns up with a new edition of the bible.



You assume that heresy is not acceptable. Isn't that a bit naive? Considering the fact that the label heresy is usually pulled out for political ends, shouldn't we be careful before we categorically reject heresy?

More importantly, so what if the view is heretical? Is a heretic any less a Christian? I don't see how. A heretic simply has beliefs which diverge from certain mainstream or politically prominent perspectives. Being in the minority or being oppressed does not somehow exclude someone from being a Christian.
------------------------------------------------
Hardly political ends in the time at which the assertions that you refer to were being posited - denial of christs divinity, his ressurection, the virgin birth etc.... was mainly a problem in the early church. The heretodox views were challenged because if the had been allowed to flourish they would have destroyed the very basis for christianity- it would have been a splintered and far more unpleasent faith. Also the nature of the overcoming of hersys in the early church was not the inquistion or somthing, but rather organised councils where agreements on matters of faith and christianity were established. For instance in the councils of carthage and nicea the creed was established, arianism debunked and an inumerbale number of points agreed upon. This is not some kind of liberal rainbow where all views can harmlessly swim around, but the very basis and foundation for a new faith, a defenition of the entire universe and our understanding of it. There was not room for wildly diverging views.


How can you know what Jesus wanted us to follow when Jesus had absolutely no hand in writing any scripture? The claim you make is simply impossible. You cannot even demonstrate that Jesus existed, much less can you expect to show with any precision what Jesus found most important.
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Because the scriptures record his words and the accounts of his diciples. Perhaps they are distorted but they are still recordings. Also the very fact the scriptures exist demonstrate Christs existance. Why else would they be written?


Jesus, supposedly, taught with parables. He did not write a Gospel.

The parables are far from simple - the reason why Jesus' parables are so popular is that they have great depth to them. Simple? Hardly. Further, contained within those parables is philosophy. Morality is, after all, a question of philosophy, thus if Jesus taught morality he taught philosophy.
--------------------------------------------------------
I never denied the parables were important, but to claim they are the only thing of significance in the new testament is ridiculous.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 23 Nov, 2008 08:02 pm
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
which is an essentially meingless statement. Where else would accounts of his existance exist? The romans had no interest in documenting his life, nor the jews, so who else would do so? and who would inspire the creation of a new faith but an individual such as christ?


We have accounts of individuals similar to Jesus, so why not Jesus? The lack of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus is not meaningless - for the historian it's terribly important.

The Christian faith could very well have begun as a cult centered around a mythological character, Jesus, who's supposed exploits grew and changed as more and more writers invented narratives about his life.

avatar6v7 wrote:
again, I simply regard the miracles as literally true, a highly mainstream not neccersarily fundamentalist view. Fundamentalists agree with it but this does not make it fundamentalist.


To read the Bible, any part of the Bible, as literally true is to take a fundamentalist view. You may not be a fundamentalist in the style of Jerry Falwell, but by reading the Bible as literally true makes you a fundamentalist.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Which was later judged to be of less value than the other gospels. most of the other gospels do uphold it so it is logical to imagine that the majority view is the more accurate one


Hold on a second - it is not at all logical to accept the majority view simply because said view in the majority.
Argumentum ad populum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Gospel of Thomas was not rejected from canon because it was thought to be of less value, it was rejected for political reasons.

avatar6v7 wrote:
however the concept of relations is central to the trinity. Gods relation to Jesus is one of father and son. Humans cannot hold an equal posistion to christ in relation to the father or it would not be a trinity at all.


Let's be careful - there is more than one view of the Trinity. In the Greek Orthodox tradition (where the Trinity was first developed into a theological dogma), the concept of the Trinity is just a meditation on the infinite nature of God. This is a bit different than the Catholic dogma of the Trinity.

And humans most certainly can be thought to be equal to Christ with respect to God. Again, the Lord's Prayer confirms that we are all the children of God. In this way, we might take the Trinity to suggest that God is in all of us - a notion which is not alien to Christianity.

avatar6v7 wrote:
They challenged many of the views of the jewish community, but not that one.


What brings you to that conclusion? If Mary was a young, unmarried woman as the Hebrew states, for her to be pregnant is a challenge to that very tradition.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Thomas again being the minority exception. and you yourself attack the scriptures on the basis of the time lapse- the gospel of thomas was written, at the earliest time even suggested, in 60AD, and possibly as late as 140AD. Even at best thats 40 years after paul, who confirms the ressurection.


Actually, the early date is 50AD, which would mean that Thomas was written either just before Paul began to write or that Thomas was written at the same time that Paul began to write. The author of Thomas and Paul were contemporaries.

Either way, the issue of time is irrelevant - my point is that Christians can very well reject the notion of a literal resurrection (which is true because Christians do not have to read the Bible literally) and that Christians might even reject resurrection altogether depending on which texts they utilize as scripture. Because Christians can use Thomas as scripture, Christians can be Christian without the story of Jesus' resurrection.

avatar6v7 wrote:
It is possible for a politician to turn up to a press conferance naked screaming 'anarchy rules!' but this does not make him a politician for very long.


What's your point? If this was supposed to be an analogy, it's a false analogy. Having beliefs outside of the mainstream does not make someone a non-Christian.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Firstly it is not in greek but in hebrew that the possibility arises.


The Hebrew was mistranslated, so virgin was incorrectly used in the Greek.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Some have postulated that as virgin and young girl have been used interchanbly in Ugaritic, a cousin to hebrew, that this might be the same in hebrew, and thus that the word virgin infact means simply young girl. Even regardless of the tenous nature of these claims there is another objection. The reason for this interchanability may be that the state of being a young girl is seen as defined by virginity- one is not one without the other, thus it is not truly a double meaning at all.


The Hebrew word, almah, means young maiden and implies that she is unmarried, hence the assumption of virginity. But, as we all know, to be unmarried is not necessarily to be a virgin.

avatar6v7 wrote:

Because they do not equate to a logical, synthesis whole. They do not form a faith. Additionally one cannot have large scale organised religion if your defenition of your faith is allowed to be changed at will by any crackpot who turns up with a new edition of the bible.


Except they do form a faith - apocrypha has been used throughout history by Christians. The suggestion that apocrypha is not logical is a sham. Further, certain apocryphal texts have from time to time been used with other apocryphal texts. Even better, apocrypha has, and is, used by mainstream Christian denominations.

Religion need not be "large scale" nor even organized to be religion. Christianity is not monolithic, there are many different ways to be a Christian, many of which are mutually exclusive.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Hardly political ends in the time at which the assertions that you refer to were being posited - denial of christs divinity, his ressurection, the virgin birth etc.... was mainly a problem in the early church.


And the early Chruch was a highly politicized arm of the crumbling Roman Empires. These religious disagreements were theology to the scholars, but interests of political authority to the Bishops and Imperial officials.

avatar6v7 wrote:
The heretodox views were challenged because if the had been allowed to flourish they would have destroyed the very basis for christianity- it would have been a splintered and far more unpleasent faith.


This was the sort of argument used by the mainstream Bishops of the time - but just because political power brokers, the Bishops, said nasty things about heterodox views is in no way evidence that what they said was true. Athanasius and his peers were powerful politicians.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Also the nature of the overcoming of hersys in the early church was not the inquistion or somthing, but rather organised councils where agreements on matters of faith and christianity were established.


Sort of. After the meetings, some Bishops returned home and instutited campaigns of terror against heretics. Heretics were killed, driven from their homes, ect. The agreements, where enforced, were enforced with brutality against the heretics.

avatar6v7 wrote:
For instance in the councils of carthage and nicea the creed was established, arianism debunked and an inumerbale number of points agreed upon. This is not some kind of liberal rainbow where all views can harmlessly swim around, but the very basis and foundation for a new faith, a defenition of the entire universe and our understanding of it. There was not room for wildly diverging views.


There was no room for a variety of beliefs because Constantine wanted a united Christian Church to function as the main administrative body for his vast and tumultuous empire.

After the Nicean Creed was established, many of the Bishops who voted in favor of the Creed promptly returned to their congregations and resumed teaching a brand of Christianity that contradicted the Nicean Creed.

avatar6v7 wrote:
Because the scriptures record his words and the accounts of his diciples. Perhaps they are distorted but they are still recordings. Also the very fact the scriptures exist demonstrate Christs existance. Why else would they be written?


And yet, even if Jesus did exist, not a single author (historic author) of those Gospels ever knew Jesus.

The existence of Scripture does not demonstrate that Jesus existed historically. Does the mention of Enkidu in Gilgamesh demostrate that Enkidu existed? Not at all. Not in the least. Even the historical existence of Gilgamesh is not demonstrated by the mythology - historians only began to accept the historical existence of Gilgamesh after they found evidence of his rein.

avatar6v7 wrote:
I never denied the parables were important, but to claim they are the only thing of significance in the new testament is ridiculous.


And here I agree with you. However, you have to admit that even if we only looked at the parables, we would not be reducing Jesus' teaching to something simple and unphilosophical.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 06:04 am
@Justin,
Justin wrote:
My question is, are we fear mongering? These posts up here are from people that believe they know God and what Christianity is and these are people that surround me.


I think a good many are. But I believe it goes even deeper...

... with respect to the election results: How typical is it, for those who's candidate has lost, for those supporters to raise their voices to preach doom and gloom? Well, from what I've seen, this happens nearly every election (for every losing party and with every outcome).

To hear proclamations that now the Apocalypse is upon us, that evil has come and a dark cloud of moral degradation shall now encircle us surprises me not at all. I heard the other day that assassination threats, come to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service, has reached an all-time high. Again, not surprising given the history of the opposition.

Fundamentalists; of any sort, are the most volitile sort of people to rile up. Example: I live in Missouri (one of the states "on the edge" during the election), the number of calls from Republican agencies was completely over the edge. The spam mail I received, hinting (many times not so subtly) that "The end is near if Obama wins!" was also overwhelming; the sheer quantity of this kind of material was disturbing.

Fear mongering; yea probably, but more of a testimonial human nature in the face of losing - akin to that "Don't tell me I didn't tell ya so when the End comes!"-mindset. Watch the email, the flyers and fundementalist television shows: The first crisis encountered there'll be more of this doom preached.

People love to use the "told-ya so" tactics. An unfortunate nature of the beast.

Thanks
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 06:40 am
@Khethil,
Khethil wrote:
I think a good many are. But I believe it goes even deeper...

... with respect to the election results: How typical is it, for those who's candidate has lost, for those supporters to raise their voices to preach doom and gloom? Well, from what I've seen, this happens nearly every election (for every losing party and with every outcome).

To hear proclamations that now the Apocalypse is upon us, that evil has come and a dark cloud of moral degradation shall now encircle us surprises me not at all. I heard the other day that assassination threats, come to the attention of the U.S. Secret Service, has reached an all-time high. Again, not surprising given the history of the opposition.

Fundamentalists; of any sort, are the most volitile sort of people to rile up. Example: I live in Missouri (one of the states "on the edge" during the election), the number of calls from Republican agencies was completely over the edge. The spam mail I received, hinting (many times not so subtly) that "The end is near if Obama wins!" was also overwhelming; the sheer quantity of this kind of material was disturbing.

Fear mongering; yea probably, but more of a testimonial human nature in the face of losing - akin to that "Don't tell me I didn't tell ya so when the End comes!"-mindset. Watch the email, the flyers and fundementalist television shows: The first crisis encountered there'll be more of this doom preached.

People love to use the "told-ya so" tactics. An unfortunate nature of the beast.

Thanks

intrestingly, Obama actually got 5% more of the evangelical vote than was won in the last election. Obama has been very vocal and open about his faith, and not afraid to talk about the issues that matter to christians. He may hold views that conflict with the evangelical one, but there has been a shift away from the assumption that the republican party is the party of god.
 
avatar6v7
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 06:42 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
We have accounts of individuals similar to Jesus, so why not Jesus? The lack of historical evidence for the existence of Jesus is not meaningless - for the historian it's terribly important.

The Christian faith could very well have begun as a cult centered around a mythological character, Jesus, who's supposed exploits grew and changed as more and more writers invented narratives about his life.



To read the Bible, any part of the Bible, as literally true is to take a fundamentalist view. You may not be a fundamentalist in the style of Jerry Falwell, but by reading the Bible as literally true makes you a fundamentalist.



Hold on a second - it is not at all logical to accept the majority view simply because said view in the majority.
Argumentum ad populum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Gospel of Thomas was not rejected from canon because it was thought to be of less value, it was rejected for political reasons.



Let's be careful - there is more than one view of the Trinity. In the Greek Orthodox tradition (where the Trinity was first developed into a theological dogma), the concept of the Trinity is just a meditation on the infinite nature of God. This is a bit different than the Catholic dogma of the Trinity.

And humans most certainly can be thought to be equal to Christ with respect to God. Again, the Lord's Prayer confirms that we are all the children of God. In this way, we might take the Trinity to suggest that God is in all of us - a notion which is not alien to Christianity.



What brings you to that conclusion? If Mary was a young, unmarried woman as the Hebrew states, for her to be pregnant is a challenge to that very tradition.



Actually, the early date is 50AD, which would mean that Thomas was written either just before Paul began to write or that Thomas was written at the same time that Paul began to write. The author of Thomas and Paul were contemporaries.

Either way, the issue of time is irrelevant - my point is that Christians can very well reject the notion of a literal resurrection (which is true because Christians do not have to read the Bible literally) and that Christians might even reject resurrection altogether depending on which texts they utilize as scripture. Because Christians can use Thomas as scripture, Christians can be Christian without the story of Jesus' resurrection.



What's your point? If this was supposed to be an analogy, it's a false analogy. Having beliefs outside of the mainstream does not make someone a non-Christian.



The Hebrew was mistranslated, so virgin was incorrectly used in the Greek.



The Hebrew word, almah, means young maiden and implies that she is unmarried, hence the assumption of virginity. But, as we all know, to be unmarried is not necessarily to be a virgin.



Except they do form a faith - apocrypha has been used throughout history by Christians. The suggestion that apocrypha is not logical is a sham. Further, certain apocryphal texts have from time to time been used with other apocryphal texts. Even better, apocrypha has, and is, used by mainstream Christian denominations.

Religion need not be "large scale" nor even organized to be religion. Christianity is not monolithic, there are many different ways to be a Christian, many of which are mutually exclusive.



And the early Chruch was a highly politicized arm of the crumbling Roman Empires. These religious disagreements were theology to the scholars, but interests of political authority to the Bishops and Imperial officials.



This was the sort of argument used by the mainstream Bishops of the time - but just because political power brokers, the Bishops, said nasty things about heterodox views is in no way evidence that what they said was true. Athanasius and his peers were powerful politicians.



Sort of. After the meetings, some Bishops returned home and instutited campaigns of terror against heretics. Heretics were killed, driven from their homes, ect. The agreements, where enforced, were enforced with brutality against the heretics.



There was no room for a variety of beliefs because Constantine wanted a united Christian Church to function as the main administrative body for his vast and tumultuous empire.

After the Nicean Creed was established, many of the Bishops who voted in favor of the Creed promptly returned to their congregations and resumed teaching a brand of Christianity that contradicted the Nicean Creed.



And yet, even if Jesus did exist, not a single author (historic author) of those Gospels ever knew Jesus.

The existence of Scripture does not demonstrate that Jesus existed historically. Does the mention of Enkidu in Gilgamesh demostrate that Enkidu existed? Not at all. Not in the least. Even the historical existence of Gilgamesh is not demonstrated by the mythology - historians only began to accept the historical existence of Gilgamesh after they found evidence of his rein.



And here I agree with you. However, you have to admit that even if we only looked at the parables, we would not be reducing Jesus' teaching to something simple and unphilosophical.

perhaps I need to make somthing clear. I do not have any objection to people having differing views of the bible. However what troubles me is that they feel they have the right to call themselves christians, co-opting the meaning of the word and the faith in general to their own ends.
 
Icon
 
Reply Mon 24 Nov, 2008 09:34 am
@avatar6v7,
avatar6v7 wrote:
perhaps I need to make somthing clear. I do not have any objection to people having differing views of the bible. However what troubles me is that they feel they have the right to call themselves christians, co-opting the meaning of the word and the faith in general to their own ends.

WOW! I hate to say it but this is the sort of blind ignorance that has created the modern view of Christianity.

"Because someone sees it different, they have no right to call themselves the same thing that I do" is effectively saying "If you don't see it my way, you're wrong". Let's face it, you have absolutely NO evidence that you are correct other than a book with questionable origins which has been modified for centuries to meet political ends and satisfy a lust for power and control. How can you, as an intelligent, reasonable human being, tell me that you are right and any one who differs is wrong?

That is pure ignorance. This is the problem with Christianity as a whole. There is no room for question. If you question it, you are out of the club. Being out of the club means going to hell. So Christianity is effectively, follow as a blind sheep or burn in eternal damnation for trying to use your brain. If this is the case then God, who has granted me the power of reason and the lust for knowledge, has condemned me to eternal pain and suffering because I refuse to accept ignorance and stupidity. I will question everything until the day that I die as it is in my nature to do so. ANYTHING that is above question is inherently wrong.
 
 

 
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