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timothy42b
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« Reply #20 on: Aug 10, 2015, 10:27AM »

I find the Christology topics problematic and probably would not contribute.

I've waded through a few texts from the church library, and I have problem with the approach.

We end up analyzing downstream implications of text.  But the starting point is an inspired, perfect text, where the individual word choices can be determinitive.  I don't buy that in Greek or Hebrew, let alone English;  there's just too much time passed, too many copies to work from, too much disagreement. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #21 on: Aug 10, 2015, 11:17AM »

It would be kind of cool to do the same, no?
The same what? Same type of thread as the last? Because it makes sense to do the same thing over and over and expect the results to differ?
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Trav1s
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« Reply #22 on: Aug 10, 2015, 12:05PM »

I am going to approach this and all Christian faith related discussion from an entirely different direction to see if it might offer some insights into the discussion.

I spent the past weekend in a 3 day retreat of large group and small group spiritual direction.  We talked extensively about several spiritual practices that Christians can use to grow deeper in their relationship with God.  Things like The Examen, Silent Meditation, and a few other things (still used in the Roman Catholic tradition) - all practices to empty self and be open to the movement of God.  These practices are definitely things that the participants engaged as part of the time on retreat. 

The presenters were quick to point out that Churches of the Reformation (as lead by Luther in response to his understanding of Works righteousness as he understood or experienced or perceived in the Roman Catholic church) were quick to move towards the faith as belief in Christ as understood thru Scripture to avoid the potential of making faith about individual works.

Taking that point further - When the move turned to belief then the push came to define the "right" beliefs and the "right" nature of scripture.  Today we stand formed by 500 years of identifying self against the other.  Luther said that he believed this and the RC church believed that.  Soon others followed suit and new denomination or even splinters within denominations took place.  (IMO - Luther over-corrected and went too far the other way but that is often debated)

The historian in me says that this desire for the "right" belief (as lead by Luther with the best of intentions) is the very root of the mess in the US political environment.  When personal beliefs and ideology become more important than community and relationship with others any group takes a dangerous wrong turn.  The sad truth is that both sides are guilty of this approach and both sides of the debate will be responsible for the results.  But instead of taking responsibility for self (individual or group), we blame someone else. Scapegoating is so much easier than taking responsibility for self. 

Those same patterns at work in the "hot topic" discussions on the board. 

The other sad truth is that the dynamics and attitudes at work in the religion discussions on this forum are exactly why we have people my age and younger are fed up with the institutional Church.

Mark Twain said it quite well, "Actions speak louder than words... but not nearly as often."


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timothy42b
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« Reply #23 on: Aug 10, 2015, 12:17PM »

Well said, Travis.
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #24 on: Aug 10, 2015, 12:18PM »

How about we start a thread where someone wants to talk about a valid topic like Christianity and then we all fight when it should be a topic?

Oh wait.....
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« Reply #25 on: Aug 10, 2015, 12:34PM »

I am going to approach this and all Christian faith related discussion from an entirely different direction to see if it might offer some insights into the discussion.
 
I spent the past weekend in a 3 day retreat of large group and small group spiritual direction.  We talked extensively about several spiritual practices that Christians can use to grow deeper in their relationship with God.  Things like The Examen, Silent Meditation, and a few other things (still used in the Roman Catholic tradition) - all practices to empty self and be open to the movement of God.  These practices are definitely things that the participants engaged as part of the time on retreat. 
 
The presenters were quick to point out that Churches of the Reformation (as lead by Luther in response to his understanding of Works righteousness as he understood or experienced or perceived in the Roman Catholic church) were quick to move towards the faith as belief in Christ as understood thru Scripture to avoid the potential of making faith about individual works.
 
Taking that point further - When the move turned to belief then the push came to define the "right" beliefs and the "right" nature of scripture.  Today we stand formed by 500 years of identifying self against the other.  Luther said that he believed this and the RC church believed that.  Soon others followed suit and new denomination or even splinters within denominations took place.  (IMO - Luther over-corrected and went too far the other way but that is often debated)
 
The historian in me says that this desire for the "right" belief (as lead by Luther with the best of intentions) is the very root of the mess in the US political environment.  When personal beliefs and ideology become more important than community and relationship with others any group takes a dangerous wrong turn.  The sad truth is that both sides are guilty of this approach and both sides of the debate will be responsible for the results.  But instead of taking responsibility for self (individual or group), we blame someone else. Scapegoating is so much easier than taking responsibility for self. 
 
Those same patterns at work in the "hot topic" discussions on the board. 
 
The other sad truth is that the dynamics and attitudes at work in the religion discussions on this forum are exactly why we have people my age and younger are fed up with the institutional Church.
 
Mark Twain said it quite well, "Actions speak louder than words... but not nearly as often."

That's an excellent way to frame why I think the "right belief" angle (very closely connected with zealotry) is so self-absorbed and presumptuous. It's how a huge number of believers are trained/socialized to think about it though, so it's not necessarily an individual thing but rather the entire cultural system into which they were born (usually). I agree ... huge problem--probably the worst aspect is how extremely and deeply divisive it can be.
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« Reply #26 on: Aug 10, 2015, 12:45PM »

How about we start a thread where someone wants to talk about a valid topic like Christianity and then we all fight when it should be a topic?

Oh wait.....
Yup.

And so we head right back to "Religion Matters 6.0" at full speed. Because if the first 5 version screwed up, maybe the 6th time will somehow turn out better. I believe Einstein had a wonderful comment about activities like that.
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« Reply #27 on: Aug 10, 2015, 01:43PM »

I generally stay out of religious and political discussions online, but I recently read a book which provides some interesting insight into the origins of the Christian faith:

http://www.amazon.com/Zealot-Life-Times-Jesus-Nazareth/dp/0812981480/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

This book is written by a leading scholar on the subject, who also wrote a book on the origins of Islam, which I am currently reading. Essentially, the book points out the differences between mainstream Christian dogma and the actual historical facts as understood by biblical scholars. Chief among these include:

1.  It is almost certain that Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. There is no historical record of the census described in Luke.

2.  Jesus was seen by early followers as an apocalyptic prophet, not as the son of God.

3.  Jesus was likely only one of thousands of Jewish troublemakers crucified by the Romans. It is not likely that Pilate would have spent any time worrying about his case. The author states that the appearance of Jesus before Pilate was almost certainly fabricated by gospel writers.

4.  St. Paul never met Jesus and his view of Jesus as "The Christ" was opposed by Jesus' early followers, including his brother James. Paul was called on the carpet by James at least twice and admonished for his teachings.

5.  The reason that the Paulian  version of Christ survived and became accepted theology was the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and killed most of Jesus' remaining original followers about 70 CE. This was after the Jewish revolt of 66 CE.

6. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but by unnamed sources between 30 and 100 years after the events they describe.

There are too many other points to list here. The book is $9 on Kindle and I highly recommend it. Also, I have read several books by UNC professor Bart Ehrman, which offer additional insights into the early church.


Despite these historical issues, the author expresses great admiration for the man Jesus of Nazareth.









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« Reply #28 on: Aug 10, 2015, 02:12PM »

Early historians recognize that Jesus existed, but noted that He was just a person. What else would you expect?

We have the same people today making the same claims.

Does the fact that early historians didn't claim Who He was make their claims more legitimate? Or, does it add more legitimacy that Jesus really did exist?
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« Reply #29 on: Aug 10, 2015, 02:34PM »

Does he interact with other scholars who disagree with his facts to explain why he's right and they're wrong?
I generally stay out of religious and political discussions online, but I recently read a book which provides some interesting insight into the origins of the Christian faith:

http://www.amazon.com/Zealot-Life-Times-Jesus-Nazareth/dp/0812981480/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

This book is written by a leading scholar on the subject, who also wrote a book on the origins of Islam, which I am currently reading. Essentially, the book points out the differences between mainstream Christian dogma and the actual historical facts as understood by biblical scholars. Chief among these include:

Hi Mike

Does he interact with other scholars who disagree with his facts to explain why he's right and they're wrong?

And I noticed that what he says are actual historical facts, while what he disagrees with is dogma.  Sounds like its a fair treatment. :rolls-eye:
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #30 on: Aug 10, 2015, 02:50PM »

I am just summarizing the book. Read it and draw your own conclusions.
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drizabone
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« Reply #31 on: Aug 10, 2015, 02:52PM »



There was a long running thread called Read Da Book.  It was started by one of the resident outspoken atheists whose premise was that most of the Christians on the forum had never read the Bible themselves.  So we started at Genesis and each of us took one chapter, paraphrased it as reverently or irreverently as he pleased, asked a set of study questions, and then the group discussed.  We made it much of the way through the OT (lots of surprises - you would be amazed at the number of times somebody gets killed in one chapter, then again in the next, and is alive later to father some children.)  Some of the theologic points were interesting and in hindsight I wish I'd copied it.  We had a mix of fundagelic Christians, liberal Christians, atheists, and pagans. 

I'd like to do that.  Do you want to start the thread Tim?

A couple of points.

- I've petitioned our moderator to allow us to have a religion thread with the tou that if someone gets too snarky they get sin-binned.  I don't know of that's feasible or if the mod's would allow that, or if they are interested

- what do you think about the idea of us regulars in this thread agreeing to our own standard of behaviour for religion threads.  I expect that they will allow robust discussion and be something like deal with the topic not the person - or just say what you think is wrong or right and explain why.  Is that possible or am I an naive idealist?  Got any better ideas?

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« Reply #32 on: Aug 10, 2015, 03:06PM »

Okay, so this isn't about that Swedish fellow?

Right.  Got it.  Carry on.
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drizabone
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« Reply #33 on: Aug 10, 2015, 04:34PM »

Okay, so this isn't about that Swedish fellow?

Right.  Got it.  Carry on.

Lindberg or Hans?
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« Reply #34 on: Aug 10, 2015, 05:03PM »

Pretty sure one of those is Danish, but what the hej? It's a regular smörgåsbord.

Seriously, I wasn't sure if it was about religion or titular cleverness until I checked it out.
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« Reply #35 on: Aug 10, 2015, 07:25PM »

I generally stay out of religious and political discussions online, but I recently read a book which provides some interesting insight into the origins of the Christian faith:

http://www.amazon.com/Zealot-Life-Times-Jesus-Nazareth/dp/0812981480/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

This book is written by a leading scholar on the subject, who also wrote a book on the origins of Islam, which I am currently reading. Essentially, the book points out the differences between mainstream Christian dogma and the actual historical facts as understood by biblical scholars. Chief among these include:

1.  It is almost certain that Jesus was born in Nazareth, not Bethlehem. There is no historical record of the census described in Luke.

2.  Jesus was seen by early followers as an apocalyptic prophet, not as the son of God.

3.  Jesus was likely only one of thousands of Jewish troublemakers crucified by the Romans. It is not likely that Pilate would have spent any time worrying about his case. The author states that the appearance of Jesus before Pilate was almost certainly fabricated by gospel writers.

4.  St. Paul never met Jesus and his view of Jesus as "The Christ" was opposed by Jesus' early followers, including his brother James. Paul was called on the carpet by James at least twice and admonished for his teachings.

5.  The reason that the Paulian  version of Christ survived and became accepted theology was the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and killed most of Jesus' remaining original followers about 70 CE. This was after the Jewish revolt of 66 CE.

6. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, but by unnamed sources between 30 and 100 years after the events they describe.

There are too many other points to list here. The book is $9 on Kindle and I highly recommend it. Also, I have read several books by UNC professor Bart Ehrman, which offer additional insights into the early church.

Despite these historical issues, the author expresses great admiration for the man Jesus of Nazareth.





If you read the review linked below, by someone who genuinely is a serious New Testament scholar, you will find out some interesting things about Reza Aslan, who actually is a sociologist who now teachers creative writing, rather than a New Testament scholar.  As the reviewer points out, Aslan's thesis is actually one that was suggested a number of years ago and followed by only a tiny number of practicing New Testament scholars of various theological commitments.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/august-web-only/zealot-reza-aslan-tells-same-old-story-about-jesus.html?start=3
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drizabone
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« Reply #36 on: Aug 10, 2015, 10:25PM »

are we still switched on?
I find the Christology topics problematic and probably would not contribute.

I've waded through a few texts from the church library, and I have problem with the approach.

We end up analyzing downstream implications of text.  But the starting point is an inspired, perfect text, where the individual word choices can be determinitive.  I don't buy that in Greek or Hebrew, let alone English;  there's just too much time passed, too many copies to work from, too much disagreement. 
Hi Tim,

(just seeing if we're still online)
From a conservative point of view we understand the original text to be "perfect" whereas the texts that we have now are the results of copying, which aren't perfect.  But comparing all those copies we can tell what hasn't been copied reliably and what has.  For most of the errors its obvious what the correct text should have been or where there have been additions (only a few instances).  There are apparently some passages where the original text is still disputed but these are not significant in the sense that no critical teaching relies on them.  So ISTM you can feel free to nitpick over the meaning of actual words.  And anyway, isn't the 1611 KJV directly word for word inspired?  Evil

Or are you aware of any disputed passages that would affect any critical  teachings?
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« Reply #37 on: Aug 11, 2015, 04:28AM »

I'd like to do that.  Do you want to start the thread Tim?

A couple of points.

- I've petitioned our moderator to allow us to have a religion thread with the tou that if someone gets too snarky they get sin-binned.  I don't know of that's feasible or if the mod's would allow that, or if they are interested

- what do you think about the idea of us regulars in this thread agreeing to our own standard of behaviour for religion threads.  I expect that they will allow robust discussion and be something like deal with the topic not the person - or just say what you think is wrong or right and explain why.  Is that possible or am I an naive idealist?  Got any better ideas?

Please take in mind, the moderators volunteer their time and effort for this forum, and often get fussed at in return for their efforts.

Also take in mind, in the old thread, every single regular has trolled at multiple points. I have, as has Byron, Tim, PM, Dusty, Ronkny, the list goes on and on. Mostly that meant that the moderators had to step in an issue a thread of locking about once a month. And for every item of questionable behavior, there was always someone for it. Byron's comics for example basically mock religion and did so often on poor points, they added nothing to the conversation, and he was asked repeatedly by a number of people to stop posting them mindlessly as they came out. He never did.

So I have to ask, after seeing more then a decade of this crap devolve into trolling and personal attacks, what would make this thread different, and how would it be different? It already seems to be going right along the path of the previous ones?

As the other question, why is it so difficult to have a thread per topic? In the other threads mentioned, guns, wake up america, and so on, the contributors seem to stagnate. They are almost always the same people with almost always the same points. They often limit the conversations and devolve easier into outbreaks of ad hominems or distractions.
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« Reply #38 on: Aug 11, 2015, 04:37AM »

previous   to the invention of god 
preachers  had a hard time  getting gas for their  lincolns
------
and muslims  were pretty  much  mum
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« Reply #39 on: Aug 11, 2015, 05:22AM »

Hey DJ, nice of you to drop in.

I think God is under the impression that he invented us.  Maybe you could sort it out between you and let us know what you both decide
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