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Author Topic: Christian Matters  (Read 6826 times)
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #40 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:07AM »


Like I said before, read it and draw your own conclusions. Most of what is in this book is supported by other scholars. He has simply taken a boatload of academia and made it more accessible for the casual reader with an interest in the subject. Much of the book deals the the history of the Roman occupation and of the various Jewish factions that were present at the time. It turns out that the Romans were not very nice people to anyone who dared challenge their rule. Thousands of people were crucified, not just Jesus. I am not asking anyone here to change their beliefs, only to understand the historical origin of those beliefs.
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Trav1s
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« Reply #41 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:07AM »

As much as Christians claim that God created us in God's image (as understood thru the lens of Genesis 1) there are those who would argue that humanity created God in our image, or at least we make a good attempt at limiting God to our own individual agendas.  God's self-revelation and our interpretation of God's self-revelation are two VERY different things.  Look at the language of the two dominant voices of Christianity in the US or the dominant voices of Islam around the world and my point is made.  That being said, when it comes to God, believers want to be on the "right" side but we neglect the other possibility that we all could have it wrong.   The more I study the Christian faith and Christian theology, I am convinced there is more truth in these observations than Christians (or Muslims) want to believe. 

I also think this Jesus guy was onto something when he invited or called us to "love" each other. 

By the way, this love Jesus calls his followers to embrace is "agape" and the force and consequences of this kind of love is lost in translation to English.  Do I need to teach some Greek words to TTF?
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« Reply #42 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:28AM »

Some of us are familiar with the connotations of agape, but, yes, a refresher might help.

...the two dominant voices of Christianity in the US

Who do you mean?
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« Reply #43 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:32AM »

Some of us are familiar with the connotations of agape, but, yes, a refresher might help.

Who do you mean?

Evangelical/Fundamentalist and the Mainstream Protestants as well as some Roman Catholics.
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« Reply #44 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:34AM »

Like I said before, read it and draw your own conclusions. Most of what is in this book is supported by other scholars. He has simply taken a boatload of academia and made it more accessible for the casual reader with an interest in the subject. Much of the book deals the the history of the Roman occupation and of the various Jewish factions that were present at the time. It turns out that the Romans were not very nice people to anyone who dared challenge their rule. Thousands of people were crucified, not just Jesus. I am not asking anyone here to change their beliefs, only to understand the historical origin of those beliefs.

My point is that is if you read this book, you should also read a book or books by serious NT scholars.  As the review points out, Aslan makes a number of serious historical errors that should have been caught and while he does quote a number of NT scholars, he combs the literature for the most radical point of view on each issue and then combines them in his book.  It's as if someone had sifted all the posts here on TTF and found the most controversial statements made here and then combined them in a book and claimed that the positions were verified by actual trombonists.  Most of us would recognize that the positions were way out of the mainstream. That's what Aslan has done.
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« Reply #45 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:40AM »

Evangelical/Fundamentalist and the Mainstream Protestants as well as some Roman Catholics.

Thanks.

There is a flourishing Antiochian Orthodox community around where I live. Don't know much about their theology, but their liturgical chant is an interesting sound.
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« Reply #46 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:45AM »


By the way, this love Jesus calls his followers to embrace is "agape" and the force and consequences of this kind of love is lost in translation to English.  Do I need to teach some Greek words to TTF?

Agape love is not the pop culture love that was started back in the days of the hippies. Just saying......
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« Reply #47 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:56AM »

Thanks.

There is a flourishing Antiochian Orthodox community around where I live. Don't know much about their theology, but their liturgical chant is an interesting sound.

I love the traditional liturgies of the Orthodox communities as they open up a new "space" for me.  Perhaps that is because of the chant, perhaps it is because the Spirit is at work, or might be both.


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« Reply #48 on: Aug 11, 2015, 08:51AM »

My point is that is if you read this book, you should also read a book or books by serious NT scholars.  As the review points out, Aslan makes a number of serious historical errors that should have been caught and while he does quote a number of NT scholars,

I haven't read the Aslan book - probably, anyway, I might have and forgotten it - but I've seen him on television several times.  I came away not being a fan. 

However Mike's description sounds somewhat similar to writers like Ehrmann or Pagel, neither of which are anywhere near radical. 
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Tim Richardson
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« Reply #49 on: Aug 11, 2015, 02:34PM »

I haven't read the Aslan book - probably, anyway, I might have and forgotten it - but I've seen him on television several times.  I came away not being a fan. 

However Mike's description sounds somewhat similar to writers like Ehrmann or Pagel, neither of which are anywhere near radical. 

So Aslan makes serious errors and you think that he sounds somewhat similar to Ehrmann and Pagel.  I can live with that comparison  Evil

And ironically Ehrmann and Pagal are much more "mainstream" than John. 

Aren't words and labels fun.
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #50 on: Aug 11, 2015, 03:21PM »

So Aslan makes serious errors and you think that he sounds somewhat similar to Ehrmann and Pagel.  I can live with that comparison  Evil


Dang, I swore I would never get involved in a religious debate online, but I can't help myself. Please tell us what "serious errors" he has made in this book.
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« Reply #51 on: Aug 11, 2015, 03:58PM »

Dang, I swore I would never get involved in a religious debate online, but I can't help myself. Please tell us what "serious errors" he has made in this book.

Mike, the reviewer, Craig Evans, has listed several of them-- mostly historical. Check it out for the specifics.

Here is a bio sketch of Craig Evans, the reviewer.

http://www.craigaevans.com/

What Evans has pointed out is that Aslan has essentially resurrected the "Jesus, the Zealot" point of view that S.G.F. Brandon put forth a number of years ago--1967.  Brandon's main thesis has not been followed by anything but a tiny minority of NT scholars.  It's likely that there is some resemblance between Aslan and scholars such as Ehrman and Pagels.  I would argue that Ehrman is not a centrist scholar.  From what I've read of him, he almost always takes the more radical POV whenever he has the option.  His handling of textual criticism overlooks a lot of evidence that does not fit with his POV-- F.F. Bruce's approach is still sounder-- again see his classic little book:

http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Testament-Documents-Reliable/dp/0802822193.

I don't have as much knowledge of Pagels, but I do know that her use of the Gnostic documents to explain nearly everything in early Christianity is problematic in my opinion.
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« Reply #52 on: Aug 11, 2015, 05:08PM »

Dang, I swore I would never get involved in a religious debate online, but I can't help myself. Please tell us what "serious errors" he has made in this book.

Mike,  I wasn't attacking Aslan so much as taking  Tim's quote of what John said and comparing that with what Tim said and jumping to a conclusion that I knew Tim wouldn't have meant.

And I'm glad to have you drop in and hope you stay.  I'm guessing that you are "liberalish" like Tim and would value another representative of that view.  Although I will disagree with a lot of "liberal" approaches, I think it does have some good insights and find it worthwhile to test my ideas against them.  I might even agree with you sometimes.
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MikeBMiller
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« Reply #53 on: Aug 11, 2015, 06:23PM »

I would guess that the truth is that, as the events in question happened over 2,000 years ago and the only written documentation of them are the gospels, which were cobbled together by people who never met Jesus, from oral traditions passed down over 40-100 years, no one can really be an authority on the life of Jesus. So there is bound to be difference of opinion. I do not claim to be an authority on the matter, but have just read a few books on the historical Jesus and the beginnings of the Christian church.
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« Reply #54 on: Aug 11, 2015, 07:55PM »

I would guess that the truth is that, as the events in question happened over 2,000 years ago and the only written documentation of them are the gospels, which were cobbled together by people who never met Jesus, from oral traditions passed down over 40-100 years, no one can really be an authority on the life of Jesus. So there is bound to be difference of opinion. I do not claim to be an authority on the matter, but have just read a few books on the historical Jesus and the beginnings of the Christian church.

But if your supposition that "the only written documentation of them are the gospels, which were cobbled together by people who never met Jesus, from oral traditions passed down over 40-100 years" is incorrect then your conclusion does not have much support.  And as you have only read a few books that were cobbled together by people that had never met Jesus or the people that wrote the gospels I'd recommend that you keep an open mind on the subject.
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« Reply #55 on: Aug 11, 2015, 08:20PM »

So Aslan makes serious errors and you think that he sounds somewhat similar to Ehrmann and Pagel.  I can live with that comparison  Evil

And ironically Ehrmann and Pagal are much more "mainstream" than John. 

Aren't words and labels fun.

That's fair, I guess.  I don't know about Aslan's errors.  I know I didn't like his presentation style on TV.

I do like Ehrman and Pagels.  They may occasionally push the envelope but the bulk of what they say is mainstream and acceptable to all but the most conservative theologians - and of course unknown to the average parishioner. 

Spong (who I think has some very good things to say but I acknowledge is not anywhere near as mainstream) thinks that part of the job of a pastor is to educate his flock (or her flock, we Episcopals are equal opportunity hirers) in some of this history.  I personally don't see the point.  I see the value of the flock in the fellowship rather than the brain trust.  In this I think I may align with Travis. 

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« Reply #56 on: Aug 12, 2015, 03:59PM »

IF you have a couple of hours to kill, this is an interesting video with Dr Ehrman and Christian apologist Mike R. Licona.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi1eWhzxja0

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Trav1s
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« Reply #57 on: Aug 12, 2015, 04:04PM »

IF you have a couple of hours to kill, this is an interesting video with Dr Ehrman and Christian apologist Mike R. Licona.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gi1eWhzxja0

Thank you!  I will check that one out.
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« Reply #58 on: Aug 12, 2015, 04:28PM »

I won't post on this thread because at the request of the OP it's about Christianity, for Christian posters, and I'm not one. I'm posting now just to follow it.

I do want to defend the idea of the 'catch-all' religious topics. While there have been some severely injured dead horses in the previous thread, there have also been some fascinating side topics. The discussion of the relativity of non-religious-based morality was a good one, and punctures some liberal verities, and the explanation about the various natures of Jesus' teachings (variously fulfilling his role as a proponent of Jewish law and in revealing himself as the Christ) are just two of many really good rabbit holes we went down, and they were in response to other, related topics. I can't imagine anyone suddenly starting a thread on any of these.

So the format works pretty well, in this and the religion matters thread (that thread was becoming lively and we now know that it was deleted by accident and not for cause). There are many people enjoying the discussion, and they vary from relatively conservative and orthodox Christians to liberal Christians to non-believers, and the exchange of ideas is profitable, in my view.

There are people who don't enjoy these threads, and the obvious solution is for them not to participate rather than constantly trying to ruin them for everyone else.

Back to lurking...
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« Reply #59 on: Aug 12, 2015, 04:42PM »

I won't post on this thread because at the request of the OP it's about Christianity, for Christian posters, and I'm not one. I'm posting now just to follow it.
 
 ...
I don't think it's meant to be exclusive, but I agree with the sentiment. I didn't think I'd be participating much in here, and that may turn out to be true, but that may just turn out to mean taking a more passive tack regarding whatever's on the table--like if you were in a Sunday school class--like when I go to church with my wife. I'd comment or ask questions I don't in that setting, because sometimes they're too off track.
 
...
 
So the format works pretty well, in this and the religion matters thread (that thread was becoming lively and we now know that it was deleted by accident and not for cause). There are many people enjoying the discussion, and they vary from relatively conservative and orthodox Christians to liberal Christians to non-believers, and the exchange of ideas is profitable, in my view.
Couldn't agree more.
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