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megimoo
10-29-2008, 09:46 AM
America in Prophecy:Why is America not specifically mentioned in the Bible?

What will happen to America according to Bible prophecy? Will it remain a world power or recede from world dominance? Will it be destroyed or continue to prosper? Your belief about this subject will affect the way you live and plan your life.

If you think that America will be destroyed, then you are likely to horde your wealth and pull your money out of the stock market, perhaps even head to the mountains for protection.

If, on the other hand, you believe God will continue to bless America, then you will plan accordingly. This subject is important, especially for Americans.

It is no secret that America was instrumental in—first, defeating Hitler and thus freeing the Jews; second, giving Israel their homeland; third, protecting and aiding Israel; and forth, in opening its own doors to the Jews to make a living. There are as many Jews living in America than are living in Israel. No nation on the earth has near the population of Jews that America has.

America has fulfilled its prophetic role in caring for Israel, and it has cost America its reputation in the world and it has made her the target of terrorists. Satan inspires the hatred that people feel toward America, because he hates America for being a friend of Israel and for allowing the gospel to spread throughout the world. As long as America continues its friendship toward the Christians and Jews, God will bless America! snip
http://www.tbm.org/america_in_prophecy_article.htm
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noonwitch
10-29-2008, 10:46 AM
Why would a prophecy written 1400-1500 years prior to the discovery of the New World address a nation not even conceived of by the people of the time? I'm not limiting the scope of God here, just of His scribes and the limits to their knowledge of geography.


The symbolism in Revelation refers to the Roman Empire. One could make a case that the USA is a modern version of that empire, in that we use a lot of their symbols.

megimoo
10-29-2008, 11:25 AM
Why would a prophecy written 1400-1500 years prior to the discovery of the New World address a nation not even conceived of by the people of the time? I'm not limiting the scope of God here, just of His scribes and the limits to their knowledge of geography.


The symbolism in Revelation refers to the Roman Empire. One could make a case that the USA is a modern version of that empire, in that we use a lot of their symbols.

" I'm not limiting the scope of God here, just of His scribes and the limits to their knowledge of geography."

You neeed to broden your horizons and biblical knowledge.The writers of Book Of Daniel uses animal symbolism to denote countries,people .

And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. Revelation 12: 14. Some feel that the symbol for the eagle is Americas bald eagle .
The Woman clother in the sun is Israel .
"A great sign was seen in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. And being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth."

The book revolves around the figure of Daniel, an Israelite who becomes an adviser to Nebuchadnezzar, the ruler of Babylon from 605 BC - 562 BC....About 2700 years ago.

enslaved1
10-29-2008, 11:53 AM
Disclaimer: I've seen several books, pamphlets ect that say they describe the US's place in various prophecies, but I've never really delved into them. My opinion is is based on my own Bible study and general Biblical knowledge. That being said, I don't really think that the US has any big role in the end times prophecies. By all accounts, Biblical and worldly, mankind began in the Middle Eastern area of the world, and based on my interpretation of Revelations and Daniel, will end there as well.

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 11:58 AM
Why would a prophecy written 1400-1500 years prior to the discovery of the New World address a nation not even conceived of by the people of the time? I'm not limiting the scope of God here, just of His scribes and the limits to their knowledge of geography.


The symbolism in Revelation refers to the Roman Empire. One could make a case that the USA is a modern version of that empire, in that we use a lot of their symbols.

No one really knows what the symbolism in Revelations refers to. I has been used to point a finger at every one from Nero and Rome to the Pope and the Catholic Church. As for the knowledge of the scribes and prophets, they could have any knowledge that God chose to give them. I tend to believe that often the prophets spoke without really knowing the full meaning of their words. I don't think that Isaiah completely understood his prophecy of Christ in Isaiah 52 and 53 but then again who am I to say what God chose to reveal to Isaiah.

jediab
10-29-2008, 12:01 PM
Disclaimer: I've seen several books, pamphlets ect that say they describe the US's place in various prophecies, but I've never really delved into them. My opinion is is based on my own Bible study and general Biblical knowledge. That being said, I don't really think that the US has any big role in the end times prophecies. By all accounts, Biblical and worldly, mankind began in the Middle Eastern area of the world, and based on my interpretation of Revelations and Daniel, will end there as well.

I think this too. From what my studies in the subject show is America will be consumed within the One World Order, a one central world governing body. As the regions get split up, North America, Asia etc. some place in America might get the designation of the capital of the region. But that small part is not written about that much since it is rather insignificant.

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 12:04 PM
Disclaimer: I've seen several books, pamphlets ect that say they describe the US's place in various prophecies, but I've never really delved into them. My opinion is is based on my own Bible study and general Biblical knowledge. That being said, I don't really think that the US has any big role in the end times prophecies. By all accounts, Biblical and worldly, mankind began in the Middle Eastern area of the world, and based on my interpretation of Revelations and Daniel, will end there as well.

As a believer tend not to dwell on end times prophecy. I believe that God wants us to stay away from that type of speculation. It is a waste of time. I try to live like it's happening tomorrow and thus stay on the positive side of things should it actually be happening tomorrow. I don't try to determine before hand what Christ stated was only known by the Father. Christ implied that the elect would know when it was happening in order to recognize the Beast when he or she come and truthfully that is good enough for me.

enslaved1
10-29-2008, 12:11 PM
As a believer tend not to dwell on end times prophecy. I believe that God wants us to stay away from that type of speculation. It is a waste of time. I try to live like it's happening tomorrow and thus stay on the positive side of things should it actually be happening tomorrow. I don't try to determine before hand what Christ stated was only known by the Father. Christ implied that the elect would know when it was happening in order to recognize the Beast when he or she come and truthfully that is good enough for me.

Yeah, it is real easy to go overboard on the subject. To me, the most important, relevant part of Revelations is the end, where all creation has been destroyed by the final battle, and all that is left is New Jerusalem (Heaven) and the lake of fire (Hell). No other options. That puts things in real clear perspective.

megimoo
10-29-2008, 12:19 PM
As a believer tend not to dwell on end times prophecy. I believe that God wants us to stay away from that type of speculation. It is a waste of time. I try to live like it's happening tomorrow and thus stay on the positive side of things should it actually be happening tomorrow. I don't try to determine before hand what Christ stated was only known by the Father. Christ implied that the elect would know when it was happening in order to recognize the Beast when he or she come and truthfully that is good enough for me.Have you any knowledge of the biblical origin of the rapture in scripture ?I haven't been able to isolate the exact tract and scribe for it ?

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 12:22 PM
Yeah, it is real easy to go overboard on the subject. To me, the most important, relevant part of Revelations is the end, where all creation has been destroyed by the final battle, and all that is left is New Jerusalem (Heaven) and the lake of fire (Hell). No other options. That puts things in real clear perspective.

It's funny but before I became a Christian I was very interested in end times prophecy. After I received God's grace it became one of those subjects that just doesn't hold my attention any more.My interests now involve learning about the character of God, determining His will as it pertains to me and how best to live it out.

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 12:26 PM
Have you any knowledge of the biblical origin of the rapture in scripture ?I haven't been able to isolate the exact tract and scribe for it ?

I don't believe in the rapture. I have found no Scriptural proof of it. If, however, you are truly interested in determining how people find evidence of a rapture in Scripture then read a book on Dispensationism and get a copy of the Scoffield Study Bible.

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 12:28 PM
Have you any knowledge of the biblical origin of the rapture in scripture ?I haven't been able to isolate the exact tract and scribe for it ?

Oh, the starting point for rapturists is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

LogansPapa
10-29-2008, 12:34 PM
America’s not mentioned in the Bible for the same reason the Space Shuttle isn’t. :cool:

Goldwater
10-29-2008, 12:40 PM
Is this some weird hint that the whole world except for America will be destroyed?

megimoo
10-29-2008, 01:02 PM
Is this some weird hint that the whole world except for America will be destroyed?No just an interest of mine .Have you ever read of ‘The Great Snatch’, Cyrus Ingerson Scofield, John Nelson Darby or Revelation 3:10 ?

wilbur
10-29-2008, 01:02 PM
First off, I like how this article confirms what I have talked about... views on biblical prophecy color the decisions one makes in life... it rearranges priorities. Which is what makes imminent rapture believing politicians worrisome.


As a believer tend not to dwell on end times prophecy. I believe that God wants us to stay away from that type of speculation.It is a waste of time.

This deserves applause.

Even granting the (assuredly false) premise that some prophecies may be true.... they are too vague to be of any use for us as guides for future events... seeing as how they can be just as easily applied to any number of historical human events, and future ones.

jediab
10-29-2008, 01:03 PM
I believe in the Rapture. Mainly because I cant see any way Satan could do the things that he needs to do prophesied for The End Times to run its course, with the current crop of Christians to oppose him. Those Christians would have to be removed first. The Rapture would do that for him.

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 01:10 PM
First off, I like how this article confirms what I have talked about... views on biblical prophecy color the decisions one makes in life... it rearranges priorities. Which is what makes imminent rapture believing politicians worrisome.



This deserves applause.

Even granting the (assuredly false) premise that some prophecies may be true.... they are too vague to be of any use for us as guides for future events... seeing as how they can be just as easily applied to any number of historical human events, and future ones.

I don't believe that they are false, I just feel that the symbolism is beyond our understanding. I'm sure that no one before the birth of Christ could have read Isaiah 53 and 53 then interpret those chapters to be anything near what really happened. The pharisee's at the time knew of these texts and did not recognize Christ for who He is. Same thing for the end time prophecy and that is why I feel it is a waste of time to use them to determine what is going to happen and when. Things will unfold in a way that no one today will expect.

megimoo
10-29-2008, 01:11 PM
I don't believe in the rapture. I have found no Scriptural proof of it. If, however, you are truly interested in determining how people find evidence of a rapture in Scripture then read a book on Dispensationism and get a copy of the Scoffield Study Bible.I don't believe in the rapture teachings either !Scoffield interpetation of scriptures seems to hinge on A passage of Scripture that is considered crucial for a defense of the pretribulation rapture position is Revelation 3:10.

The first person to teach the pretribulation rapture doctrine was a young woman named Margaret Macdonald. Margaret was not a theologian or Bible expositor but was a prophetess in the Irvingite sect (the Catholic Apostolic Church).

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 01:12 PM
I believe in the Rapture. Mainly because I cant see any way Satan could do the things that he needs to do prophesied for The End Times to run its course, with the current crop of Christians to oppose him. Those Christians would have to be removed first. The Rapture would do that for him.

Christ teaches that the believers alive at that time will be persecuted along with everone else who does not bow to the Beast. Most of the world will not even be aware that he is the Beast until it is too late.

megimoo
10-29-2008, 01:14 PM
First off, I like how this article confirms what I have talked about... views on biblical prophecy color the decisions one makes in life... it rearranges priorities. Which is what makes imminent rapture believing politicians worrisome.



This deserves applause.

Even granting the (assuredly false) premise that some prophecies may be true.... they are too vague to be of any use for us as guides for future events... seeing as how they can be just as easily applied to any number of historical human events, and future ones.Would you care to estimate just how many biblical prophecy's have already come to pass ?

M21
10-29-2008, 01:15 PM
Oh, the starting point for rapturists is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
I believe that the most commonly used scriptures to support a pre-tribulation rapture make an argument from silence and that is weak support.

I don't find enough scriptural support for a pre-tribulation rapture to build doctrine on and unfortunately some in the Church today read "left behind" fiction books and believe they contain biblical truth.

There is about as much biblical truth in a Left Behind Series book as there is in a "Purpose Driven Life". ;)

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 01:15 PM
I don't believe in the rapture teachings either !Scoffield interpetation of scriptures seems to hinge on A passage of Scripture that is considered crucial for a defense of the pretribulation rapture position is Revelation 3:10.

The first person to teach the pretribulation rapture doctrine was a young woman named Margaret Macdonald. Margaret was not a theologian or Bible expositor but was a prophetess in the Irvingite sect (the Catholic Apostolic Church).

I am aware of her story. She had a vision that Christ was returning not once but twice. First to gather the elect and then to destroy the beast. However, her vision does not conform to Scripture and must be considered a false vision created by the Father of Lies to mislead the unwary.

M21
10-29-2008, 01:16 PM
Biblical prophecy of America may possibly be found in Isaiah Chapter 5.

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 01:19 PM
I believe that the most commonly used scriptures to support a pre-tribulation rapture make an argument from silence and that is weak support.

I don't find enough scriptural support for a pre-tribulation rapture to build doctrine on and unfortunately some in the Church today read "left behind" fiction books and believe they contain biblical truth.

There is about as much biblical truth in a Left Behind Series book as there is in a "Purpose Driven Life". ;)


I'm not a fan of Rick Warrens' "A Purpose Driven Life". He uses what is called proof-texting to validate his teachings. He picks and chooses from multiple translations of the Bible and uses the particular translation that most justifies his position. Proper discernment is everything.

jediab
10-29-2008, 01:22 PM
Christ teaches that the believers alive at that time will be persecuted along with everone else who does not bow to the Beast. Most of the world will not even be aware that he is the Beast until it is too late.

Correct. But the believers that he speaks of could be the ones that come to Christ after The Rapture. And also correct. The world wont know he is the beast until it is too late. But too late for what? To late to save your spiritial self? Or too late to annouce to the unbiased world of who he is before you would be silenced as a freakin nut job?

LogansPapa
10-29-2008, 01:24 PM
I like this guy. He's never been wrong about anything predicted in the Bible.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:4l5xDmGUCn75uM:http://stuffchristianslike.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/vanimpe_200w.jpg

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 01:33 PM
Correct. But the believers that he speaks of could be the ones that come to Christ after The Rapture. And also correct. The world wont know he is the beast until it is too late. But too late for what? To late to save your spiritial self? Or too late to annouce to the unbiased world of who he is before you would be silenced as a freakin nut job?


“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the roof of his houses go down to take anything out of the house. Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak. How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!t Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again. If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time.

I read this as the Elect will still be around during the tribulation and the tribulation will be stopped for their sake. If they were not there to endure the end times then God would have no reason to stop it. This is just my interpretation. I could be wrong.

jediab
10-29-2008, 01:42 PM
I read this as the Elect will still be around during the tribulation and the tribulation will be stopped for their sake. If they were not there to endure the end times then God would have no reason to stop it. This is just my interpretation. I could be wrong.

And I could be wrong too. But my friend, does it really matter which one of us is right? To me what is really important is we both know the truth about God. ;)

FlaGator
10-29-2008, 01:44 PM
And I could be wrong too. But my friend, does it really matter which one of us is right? To me what is really important is we both know the truth about God. ;)

You are right about that :D

megimoo
10-29-2008, 01:50 PM
You are right about that :DLooks like Wilber gave up !

noonwitch
10-29-2008, 03:19 PM
I like this guy. He's never been wrong about anything predicted in the Bible.

http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:4l5xDmGUCn75uM:http://stuffchristianslike.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/vanimpe_200w.jpg


I've never met Rev. Jack, but he's from my area. I did once know his wife's hairdresser, who once told me that her drapes and carpet don't match.
It's hard to watch him. He comes across as mentally disturbed. He cites a scripture for every news story he discusses, and tries to fit it into prophecy. I haven't caught his show at all during the election, but now that the serious biblical scholar Victoria Jackson has declared that Obama could be the anti-christ, well, I just have to believe her!

LogansPapa
10-29-2008, 03:57 PM
I haven't caught his show at all during the election, but now that the serious biblical scholar Victoria Jackson has declared that Obama could be the anti-christ, well, I just have to believe her!

http://scotteriology.files.wordpress.com/2008/06/antichrist-obama.jpg

wilbur
10-30-2008, 06:33 AM
Would you care to estimate just how many biblical prophecy's have already come to pass ?

Absolutely none that are strong enough to be evidence of a divine source.

There isnt a religion out there that doesnt push this same prophecy shtick, and none are credible.

Here's a long list of prophetic mistakes though..
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/proph/long.html

Sonnabend
10-30-2008, 07:11 AM
There isnt a religion out there that doesnt push this same prophecy shtick, and none are credible.

Wrong again.

megimoo
10-30-2008, 07:35 AM
Absolutely none that are strong enough to be evidence of a divine source.

There isnt a religion out there that doesnt push this same prophecy shtick, and none are credible.

Here's a long list of prophetic mistakes though..
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/proph/long.htmlYou are a wonder .Not wishing you any bad fortune but your last death bed statement/prayer should be interesting,will you deny him even then ?

FlaGator
10-30-2008, 08:41 AM
Absolutely none that are strong enough to be evidence of a divine source.

There isnt a religion out there that doesnt push this same prophecy shtick, and none are credible.

Here's a long list of prophetic mistakes though..
http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/proph/long.html

From your position there is no evidence that would be strong enough to convince you so the point is moot. If you’re up to it, however, read Isaiah 52 and 53 and then compare that with any of the Gospels. Isaiah was written around 600 BC and does a pretty good job of describing the life of Jesus. Before you state that the Gospels were written to conform to Isaiah, you will need proof of that which we both know you don't have. You are working on a gut assumption based upon your view of how the world works that prophecy can not be. Being an atheist you can not accept the existence of the Almighty Lord and thus there is no God to speak to Isaiah. However from the point of view of a believer there is a God who has the ability to do what ever he chooses.

I would ask you to prove to me Holy prophecy is impossible but how can we offer each other any convincing evidence? I find your world view to be in error and you do not accept mine. Any proof I offer you will not be proof in your mind and I view any proof you volunteer as tainted by forces you don't recognize as real.

wilbur
10-30-2008, 11:18 AM
* wilbur cracks his knuckles for another long winded post..... ;)


From your position there is no evidence that would be strong enough to convince you so the point is moot. If you’re up to it, however, read Isaiah 52 and 53 and then compare that with any of the Gospels. Isaiah was written around 600 BC and does a pretty good job of describing the life of Jesus. Before you state that the Gospels were written to conform to Isaiah, you will need proof of that which we both know you don't have.


The burden of proof is on those making extraordinary claims.... to assume that the Gospels were written to conform to the well-known, deeply ingrained and believed prophecies of the authors' time, one simply has to believe human beings acted and behaved as they seem to have behaved throughout history... and as they act today... right now.

Take this thread for example.... a discussion, in part, centered on how modern events could be the fulfilments of prophecy. I'm sure all of us have encountered the crazies who jump with glee and proclaim with absolute certainty that every single noteworthy modern event was foretold in revelations... as harbingers of the second coming and all that. People eat it up. The world is a confusing place, and it can't be overstated that the desire to tie it up in a nice neat, certain and sure package as explained by some alleged transcendent prophecy tempts even the best of us. It is probably fair to say the people of ancient times, with less tools for skeptical inquiry, were much more susceptible to such superstitions.

How can one not believe that the most probable explanation for the gospels is that the authors did what human beings tend to do... and tried to make sense out of their world by the best means they could... by filtering confusing and tumultuous contemporary events through the prism of ones culturally ingrained religious beliefs and prophecies... and in the course of things probably embellished, misunderstood, and did some selective remembering and interpreting? And on top of it, the only evidence of this fulfilled prophecy lives only in the books in question... and nowhere else!



You are working on a gut assumption based upon your view of how the world works that prophecy can not be.


Sort of, but not exactly. I am not saying prophecy or prescience can't ever exist or is impossible... That I do not know. I am saying that the prophecies we have seen so far, there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about them that could stand up to reasonable scrutiny (the same we would apply to any extraordinary claim) and lead one to believe they are divine or divinely inspired or provide evidence for the truth of any religious text.



Being an atheist you can not accept the existence of the Almighty Lord and thus there is no God to speak to Isaiah. However from the point of view of a believer there is a God who has the ability to do what ever he chooses.

I would ask you to prove to me Holy prophecy is impossible but how can we offer each other any convincing evidence? I find your world view to be in error and you do not accept mine. Any proof I offer you will not be proof in your mind and I view any proof you volunteer as tainted by forces you don't recognize as real.

Well, ultimately you rest your claims on this idea that you have been granted special knowledge (ie grace) and that actually understanding the things that you do is out of reach to any of us who haven't received it, so I don't know how to get past that. I am simply resting my claims on reason, and the same skepticism with which we would normally approach most problems in this world... which is possessed by and accessible to all.. who choose to use it.

Heck, if you really want to find some more arguments against the fulfilment of these prophecies.... look no further than to our good friends in Israel;P

LogansPapa
10-30-2008, 11:25 AM
People eat it up. The world is a confusing place, and it can't be overstated that the desire to tie it up in a nice neat, certain and sure package as explained by some alleged transcendent prophecy tempts even the best of us.

Being my brother’s keeper is the strongest drug ever concocted by mankind. ;)

noonwitch
10-30-2008, 11:31 AM
Well, ultimately you rest your claims on this idea that you have been granted special knowledge (ie grace) and that actually understanding what you do is out of reach to any of us who haven't received it, so I don't know how to get past that. I am simply resting my claims on reason, and the same skepticism with which we would normally approach most problems in this world... which is possessed by and accessible to all.. who choose to use it.[/QUOTE]



This is why I love being a liberal christian, and not having the need to take everything in the Bible at face value. As far as moral teaching goes, I stick to the Sermon on the Mountain, because I do think that much of it is meant as direct instructions for peaceful living in a world where no one agrees on anything.

I'm looking forward to John Shelby Spong speaking at my church on 11-9-his book is called "Jesus For The Non-Religious", and deals with separating the religion Jesus taught people to practice from the religion about Jesus divinity.

But despite all that, I still like to hear what conservative and evangelical christians have to say. I like attending interdenominational Bible studies, because other peoples' insight is always valuable.

LogansPapa
10-30-2008, 11:51 AM
This is why I love being a liberal christian, and not having the need to take everything in the Bible at face value.

Many Evangelicals I’ve encountered say that is just another path of sin and delusional, because, after all - it is their specific duty to endlessly judge those of less credentials than them, both outside and inside the Christian fold.

Can't see Jesus in there anywhere, but that's what they tell me.:cool:

FlaGator
10-30-2008, 12:24 PM
* wilbur cracks his knuckles for another long winded post..... ;)



The burden of proof is on those making extraordinary claims.... to assume that the Gospels were written to conform to the well-known, deeply ingrained and believed prophecies of the authors' time, one simply has to believe human beings acted and behaved as they seem to have behaved throughout history... and as they act today... right now.

But I find your claims to be extraordinary. So the earnst is on you to for the burden of proof.



Take this thread for example.... a discussion, in part, centered on how modern events could be the fulfilments of prophecy. I'm sure all of us have encountered the crazies who jump with glee and proclaim with absolute certainty that every single noteworthy modern event was foretold in revelations... as harbingers of the second coming and all that. People eat it up. The world is a confusing place, and it can't be overstated that the desire to tie it up in a nice neat, certain and sure package as explained by some alleged transcendent prophecy tempts even the best of us. It is probably fair to say the people of ancient times, with less tools for skeptical inquiry, were much more susceptible to such superstitions.

How can one not believe that the most probable explanation for the gospels is that the authors did what human beings tend to do... and tried to make sense out of their world by the best means they could... by filtering confusing and tumultuous contemporary events through the prism of ones culturally ingrained religious beliefs and prophecies... and in the course of things probably embellished, misunderstood, and did some selective remembering and interpreting? And on top of it, the only evidence of this fulfilled prophecy lives only in the books in question... and nowhere else!

Ok. lets say that people 2000 years ago acted like people do now. How many people now would willing go to a horrible death for the sake of something that they knew to be a lie? All the Apostles except John were martyred. Would you be willing to be put to death by flaying or crucifixation for what you knew to be a lie and to avoid death all you had to do was to admit the lie.




Sort of, but not exactly. I am not saying prophecy or prescience can't ever exist or is impossible... That I do not know. I am saying that the prophecies we have seen so far, there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about them that could stand up to reasonable scrutiny (the same we would apply to any extraordinary claim) and lead one to believe they are divine or divinely inspired or provide evidence for the truth of any religious text.



Well, ultimately you rest your claims on this idea that you have been granted special knowledge (ie grace) and that actually understanding the things that you do is out of reach to any of us who haven't received it, so I don't know how to get past that. I am simply resting my claims on reason, and the same skepticism with which we would normally approach most problems in this world... which is possessed by and accessible to all.. who choose to use it.

Heck, if you really want to find some more arguments against the fulfilment of these prophecies.... look no further than to our good friends in Israel;P

My friend, you have more faith than I ever will. To look at the available evidence and to come to the conclusion that there is no God takes a leap of faith beyond my imagining.

FlaGator
10-30-2008, 12:28 PM
This is why I love being a liberal christian, and not having the need to take everything in the Bible at face value. As far as moral teaching goes, I stick to the Sermon on the Mountain, because I do think that much of it is meant as direct instructions for peaceful living in a world where no one agrees on anything.

I'm looking forward to John Shelby Spong speaking at my church on 11-9-his book is called "Jesus For The Non-Religious", and deals with separating the religion Jesus taught people to practice from the religion about Jesus divinity.

But despite all that, I still like to hear what conservative and evangelical christians have to say. I like attending interdenominational Bible studies, because other peoples' insight is always valuable.

Spong is believed by many to be a heretic. Spong didn't even believe that Jesus was the son of God and questioned if Christ actually existed. He spoke about the need for the Church to become more inclusive and to over look the sin of homosexuality or the Church would soon die out. As it stands now, the Churches that are adopting that position are the ones dying out. The Churches that seem to be growing are the ones that have maintained a commitment to Sola Scriptura.

M21
10-30-2008, 12:30 PM
Being my brother’s keeper is the strongest drug ever concocted by mankind. ;)

It's Obama's mantra.

LogansPapa
10-30-2008, 12:44 PM
It's Obama's mantra.

True Dat.;)

noonwitch
10-30-2008, 01:12 PM
Spong is believed by many to be a heretic. Spong didn't even believe that Jesus was the son of God and questioned if Christ actually existed. He spoke about the need for the Church to become more inclusive and to over look the sin of homosexuality or the Church would soon die out. As it stands now, the Churches that are adopting that position are the ones dying out. The Churches that seem to be growing are the ones that have maintained a commitment to Sola Scriptura.



I am a heretic by evangelical standards, and I fully admit to it. I'm a member of a Unity church, we have our own way of looking at things. We are inclusive, and we don't consider homosexuality to be a sin. We believe that Jesus was the son of God, and that all people are sons and daughters of God. We don't believe in the existence of the devil or hell.

I do accept that there is a trend in mainline protestant denominations of memberships falling off and all, but my church is one of the largest in the denomination and we have about 2000 members.

I was involved in an evangelical group in high school-Young Life. As an adult looking back, I consider it to have been a valuable experience. The YL people taught me to have enthusiasm for reading the Bible, to love my fellow human beings, and they got me through a rough part of my life, after a friend committed suicide-if I hadn't been involved in Young Life, I might have chose some really bad paths to pursue in my grief. I went to camp in Colorado, to one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life to date (Mt. Princeton/Buena Vista). I got to experience things, like rappelling down a mountain, that I would never have experienced in other contexts. I had to fight my liberal mom tooth and nail to participate in YL, and it's one of the few times I pitted my parents against each other for my own benefit. So, I have nothing personal against evangelicals and even have some friends who go to AOG churches or megachurches.

I just can't believe in a God that would punish people for being gay. It goes against the Jesus who reached out to everyone, especially those who were considered outcasts by the society at large-lepers, women accused of adultry, Samaritans, tax collectors and others.

I have a coworker who is a narcissistic, slutty, pentecostal stalker. If God gives His grace to her, than He also gives it to the nice gay guy who has been in a committed relationship for most of his adult life and does a pretty good job living his life by the Golden Rule. She's not going to stop being a narcissistic slut any sooner than he's going to become straight, since I know your response is going to be to the effect that she has asked for forgiveness.

wilbur
10-30-2008, 01:19 PM
But I find your claims to be extraordinary. So the earnst is on you to for the burden of proof.

The difference is we have clear examples and demonstrations of people doing the exact same thing today.... its commonplace.... most definitely not an extraordinary explanation that defies reality.



Ok. lets say that people 2000 years ago acted like people do now. How many people now would willing go to a horrible death for the sake of something that they knew to be a lie? All the Apostles except John were martyred. Would you be willing to be put to death by flaying or crucifixation for what you knew to be a lie and to avoid death all you had to do was to admit the lie.


Who says they didnt believe it? Spend some time talking to some militant fundies, and your bound to run across people labelling Obama, the Clintons and even Oprah (or any other of a number of public figures) as anti-christs as foretold in revelations. They honestly believe this stuff. Even very educated and otherwise smart people arent immune.

There are people alive today that claim to be Christ in his second coming.. and sometimes they are even charismatic enough to get followers.



My friend, you have more faith than I ever will. To look at the available evidence and to come to the conclusion that there is no God takes a leap of faith beyond my imagining.

If one applies the same skepticism to Christianity that a Christian applies to all other religions, the whole thing falls apart.

If certain Islamic extremists end up brining to fruition some of the prophecies of Islam by actively working for it, will you believe in Islam?

Gingersnap
10-30-2008, 01:42 PM
This thread was actually pretty interesting before it was sidetracked into a faith versus non-faith direction. I don't suppose anyone wants to get back to the endlessly fascinating pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib discussion or the role of the United States in various end times scenarios, do they? :D

FlaGator
10-30-2008, 01:53 PM
The difference is we have clear examples and demonstrations of people doing the exact same thing today.... its commonplace.... most definitely not an extraordinary explanation that defies reality.



Who says they didnt believe it? Spend some time talking to some militant fundies, and your bound to run across people labelling Obama, the Clintons and even Oprah (or any other of a number of public figures) as anti-christs as foretold in revelations. They honestly believe this stuff. Even very educated and otherwise smart people arent immune.

There are people alive today that claim to be Christ in his second coming.. and sometimes they are even charismatic enough to get followers.



If one applies the same skepticism to Christianity that a Christian applies to all other religions, the whole thing falls apart.

If certain Islamic extremists end up brining to fruition some of the prophecies of Islam by actively working for it, will you believe in Islam?

As for the Apostles, several of them saw Jesus crucified and buried and then saw him again among them. Paul reports of Christ appearing to 500 people after his resurrection where they delusional? This is what they confessed to and died for. It wasn't simply a matter of believing some story they were told. They died claiming to be witnesses to the event.

I applied skepticism to my faith and it has held up just fine. I constantly review my beliefs and I have found nothing that contradicts them. Any question that I research is answered to my satisfaction. There are a few mysteries and paradoxes whose answer is known only to God but they do not affect my faith. It would be arrogant of me to assume that I am capable of understanding all the God understands.

Do you ever apply skepticism to your view that their is no God? Your view is just a belief as long as you can not bring enough evidence to bare to make it fact. It is subject to skeptical analysis as is a Creator. We both have our beliefs but the main difference is that your faith has much greater consequences should it turn out to be a false faith.

FlaGator
10-30-2008, 02:23 PM
<snip>

I just can't believe in a God that would punish people for being gay. It goes against the Jesus who reached out to everyone, especially those who were considered outcasts by the society at large-lepers, women accused of adultry, Samaritans, tax collectors and others.

I have a coworker who is a narcissistic, slutty, pentecostal stalker. If God gives His grace to her, than He also gives it to the nice gay guy who has been in a committed relationship for most of his adult life and does a pretty good job living his life by the Golden Rule. She's not going to stop being a narcissistic slut any sooner than he's going to become straight, since I know your response is going to be to the effect that she has asked for forgiveness.

But Christ also told all of those people you mentioned to go and sin no more. If they did not repent, then those outcasts remained outcasts of the Kingdom of Heaven as well. Jesus made that pretty clear.

Keep in mind that I'm a Calvinist and I follow what is called Reformed Theology, but you mentioned grace and two different types of people. Under by theology grace is given with out merit of forethought from God. It's one of those mysteries we humans can't work out. It is not an arbitrary choice but from our perspective there seems to be no reason why He picks one over the other. All we know is that it is not based on merit or any criteria that we understand (I have a theory but I know of no scripture that specifically supports it).

As for the woman being narcissistic, the Lord will change her... eventually because we are all to conform to the image of Christ. Christ was not narcissistic so that will have to change. I have a issue with arrogance but I pray to the Lord to help me change and little by little he does. I'm still arrogant but I'm not nearly as bad as I use to be. This is because the Holy Spirit is sanctifying me.

One other thing, just because someone believes that they are saved doesn't make it so. I've read enough of your posts to feel that even though you attend a Church that I don't agree with I believe that you are saved and are part of the real Church. The real (invisible) Church crosses all denominations and beliefs systems and makes of the Body of Christ. Just my opinion, take it for what it is worth.

FlaGator
10-30-2008, 02:25 PM
This thread was actually pretty interesting before it was sidetracked into a faith versus non-faith direction. I don't suppose anyone wants to get back to the endlessly fascinating pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib discussion or the role of the United States in various end times scenarios, do they? :D

I'm pretty certain that the whore of Babylon comes from the U.S. I'm pretty certain that she lives right down the street from me.

Sonnabend
10-30-2008, 02:42 PM
I'm pretty certain that the whore of Babylon comes from the U.S. I'm pretty certain that she lives right down the street from me.

I am sure Cold Warrior has her address.

megimoo
10-30-2008, 03:18 PM
I am sure Cold Warrior has her address.And shoe size !

Gingersnap
10-30-2008, 04:02 PM
I'm pretty certain that the whore of Babylon comes from the U.S. I'm pretty certain that she lives right down the street from me.

Well, I'm the Neighbor of the Beast (#667). I know that. :D

wilbur
10-30-2008, 04:06 PM
As for the Apostles, several of them saw Jesus crucified and buried and then saw him again among them. Paul reports of Christ appearing to 500 people after his resurrection where they delusional? This is what they confessed to and died for. It wasn't simply a matter of believing some story they were told. They died claiming to be witnesses to the event.


People blow themselves (and others) up every single day for beleifs you and I would matter of factly declare false... with little or no evidence, except powerful indoctrination. Why is it such a hard thing to believe this when Christianity is the subject?

The more plausible scenario to you is that, this one tale.... out of thousands of religious tales that you will readily declare as false... that this tale alone is the only one that is not false? My theory only requires that the apostles believed falsehoods, just as strongly as millions and billions of people alive today believe falsehoods.



I applied skepticism to my faith and it has held up just fine. I constantly review my beliefs and I have found nothing that contradicts them. Any question that I research is answered to my satisfaction. There are a few mysteries and paradoxes whose answer is known only to God but they do not affect my faith. It would be arrogant of me to assume that I am capable of understanding all the God understands.

Do you ever apply skepticism to your view that their is no God? Your view is just a belief as long as you can not bring enough evidence to bare to make it fact. It is subject to skeptical analysis as is a Creator. We both have our beliefs but the main difference is that your faith has much greater consequences should it turn out to be a false faith.

I used to read apolegetics all the time... until it became clearer and clearer over time that there really isnt any solid argument for the existence of god.. at all. You can make a somewhat coherent cosmological argument for the existennce of some undefined creater force... but its still largely assumptive and based on filling in the gaps in our knowledge with that foce and calling it god. It is downright impossible to make a strong argument for the existence of a god as any religion understands him. At least no one has so far.

MrsSmith
10-30-2008, 06:16 PM
You know, the strongest argument for God's existence is His presence in your life. This is available to anyone who asks Him to come and be present. For those who choose not to ask, He'll wait until you do. Once you have, any doubt you may have once had is suddenly completely and thoroughly ridiculous.

Until you do, any doubt you have is constantly boosted by the evil some also doubt...even as you listen and agree with it's whispers.

Flat out, it's greatly to the advantage of every person to come under the protection of God long before you must stand before Him. As the Gospels make clear, Jesus was a great defense lawyer for other people...and I'm terribly grateful to have Him as my defense lawyer after I die. :)

megimoo
10-30-2008, 06:34 PM
People blow themselves (and others) up every single day for beleifs you and I would matter of factly declare false... with little or no evidence, except powerful indoctrination. Why is it such a hard thing to believe this when Christianity is the subject?

The more plausible scenario to you is that, this one tale.... out of thousands of religious tales that you will readily declare as false... that this tale alone is the only one that is not false? My theory only requires that the apostles believed falsehoods, just as strongly as millions and billions of people alive today believe falsehoods.



I used to read apolegetics all the time... until it became clearer and clearer over time that there really isnt any solid argument for the existence of god.. at all. You can make a somewhat coherent cosmological argument for the existennce of some undefined creater force... but its still largely assumptive and based on filling in the gaps in our knowledge with that foce and calling it god. It is downright impossible to make a strong argument for the existence of a god as any religion understands him. At least no one has so far.
How about the people who were with him all through his adult life ,saw him die on the cross and saw him alive after the third day.The same people who went to their death's rather than deny him .Were they insane in your opinion ?

Gingersnap
10-30-2008, 06:58 PM
How about the people who were with him all through his adult life ,saw him die on the cross and saw him alive after the third day.The same people who went to their death's rather than deny him .Were they insane in your opinion ?

You're wasting your time, Moo. Let's get back to why "Left Behind" sucked so much and yet was ominously compelling for about 3 books. :D

M21
10-30-2008, 09:45 PM
You're wasting your time, Moo. Let's get back to why "Left Behind" sucked so much and yet was ominously compelling for about 3 books. :D

Say you didn't.....please say you didn't..:eek:

I think we know that men are raptured first because we read in Revelation 8:1 "When the Lamb ripped off the seventh seal, Heaven fell quiet — complete silence for about half an hour." :D

noonwitch
10-31-2008, 08:15 AM
But Christ also told all of those people you mentioned to go and sin no more. If they did not repent, then those outcasts remained outcasts of the Kingdom of Heaven as well. Jesus made that pretty clear.

Keep in mind that I'm a Calvinist and I follow what is called Reformed Theology, but you mentioned grace and two different types of people. Under by theology grace is given with out merit of forethought from God. It's one of those mysteries we humans can't work out. It is not an arbitrary choice but from our perspective there seems to be no reason why He picks one over the other. All we know is that it is not based on merit or any criteria that we understand (I have a theory but I know of no scripture that specifically supports it).

As for the woman being narcissistic, the Lord will change her... eventually because we are all to conform to the image of Christ. Christ was not narcissistic so that will have to change. I have a issue with arrogance but I pray to the Lord to help me change and little by little he does. I'm still arrogant but I'm not nearly as bad as I use to be. This is because the Holy Spirit is sanctifying me.

One other thing, just because someone believes that they are saved doesn't make it so. I've read enough of your posts to feel that even though you attend a Church that I don't agree with I believe that you are saved and are part of the real Church. The real (invisible) Church crosses all denominations and beliefs systems and makes of the Body of Christ. Just my opinion, take it for what it is worth.







RCA or CRC? I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, after all, I do know a bit about Reformed and Calvinist theology. My mom really hated the CRC-I think they still don't ordain women (she hates the catholic church, too). I don't-most of the Young Life staff people I met were affiliated with one or the other. I've been to at least one service at each, not counting weddings and funerals, and I attended the RCA church in Kalamazoo, across from Western Michigan University, more than a few times, and stayed in the home of one of the members during an IVCF retreat.
As far as Jesus' teachings go, I can't think of a single instance in which he condemns homosexuality. The only times I know of where it's condemned is in the Pentateuch and in the writings of Paul. As far as the first goes, well, it also tells us to stone urban rape victims who don't scream for help. Most christians don't keep kosher, as also commanded in the Mosaic code, and until the last century or so, most christian men didn't get circumcized. We think that the muslim world is savage for enacting similar punishments in Islamic nations, especially the killing of rape victims.
So, as I try to live by the code Jesus laid out in the Sermon on the Mountain, I am of the mind to live at peace with people, whether they are unapologetically gay or fundamentalist christians, and let God figure out the rest.

enslaved1
10-31-2008, 08:49 AM
You're wasting your time, Moo. Let's get back to why "Left Behind" sucked so much and yet was ominously compelling for about 3 books. :D

I'll help. I liked Left Behind, and personally think that their book Revelation Unveiled, the theological explanation Lehay and the other guy wrote before the novel, presents a viable argument for a pre-trib rapture. However, they really milked the series, turning it into a commercial venture (too many books in the series itself, prequels, teen and preteen versions, a video game, comics, movies) that severely watered down the intended message. I got through the first three and never got back to finish them.

FlaGator
10-31-2008, 11:38 AM
People blow themselves (and others) up every single day for beleifs you and I would matter of factly declare false... with little or no evidence, except powerful indoctrination. Why is it such a hard thing to believe this when Christianity is the subject?

You’re comparing apples to oranges. People blow themselves up for their beliefs, that is true, but the Apostles where martyred preaching what they saw and professed to be fact. The taught others that they were eye witnesses to the resurrection and ascension and weren’t just sharing a set of beliefs. If they didn't see what they claim to have witnessed then why would they have willingly died horrible deaths for something they knew to be a lie? Would you?


The more plausible scenario to you is that, this one tale.... out of thousands of religious tales that you will readily declare as false... that this tale alone is the only one that is not false? My theory only requires that the apostles believed falsehoods, just as strongly as millions and billions of people alive today believe falsehoods.

Again, they claimed to be witnesses, not just people who heard the tale and spread it. Since they were the original evangelists either they saw what they claimed to see or they allowed themselves to me executed rather than fess up to a lie. This you still haven't explained. Your "plausible" scenario doesn't address the claims. Also you know as well as I do that a thousand lies does not make the a single truth a lie. Just because there have been a thousand falsehoods told and believed, does not negate the truth when it is spoken.


any religion[/b] understands him. At least no one has so far.

We have three options when considering the divinity of Christ. First is that he was a fictitious person created by the Apostles in order to create a rallying point for their new beliefs? This means that the Apostles allowed themselves to be knowingly martyred for a lie. Secondly he was real and he claimed to be the Son of God and was in fact insane. The means that he did not rise from the dead after crucifixion, ascend to Heaven and again His disciples made up the whole thing and martyred themselves for what they knew to be a lie. The final choice is that he was real, he claimed to be the Son of God and he was in reality the Son of God. If you apply Occam's Razor to this, knowing human nature, what do you conclude?

FlaGator
10-31-2008, 11:58 AM
RCA or CRC? I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI, after all, I do know a bit about Reformed and Calvinist theology. My mom really hated the CRC-I think they still don't ordain women (she hates the catholic church, too). I don't-most of the Young Life staff people I met were affiliated with one or the other. I've been to at least one service at each, not counting weddings and funerals, and I attended the RCA church in Kalamazoo, across from Western Michigan University, more than a few times, and stayed in the home of one of the members during an IVCF retreat.
As far as Jesus' teachings go, I can't think of a single instance in which he condemns homosexuality. The only times I know of where it's condemned is in the Pentateuch and in the writings of Paul. As far as the first goes, well, it also tells us to stone urban rape victims who don't scream for help. Most christians don't keep kosher, as also commanded in the Mosaic code, and until the last century or so, most christian men didn't get circumcized. We think that the muslim world is savage for enacting similar punishments in Islamic nations, especially the killing of rape victims.
So, as I try to live by the code Jesus laid out in the Sermon on the Mountain, I am of the mind to live at peace with people, whether they are unapologetically gay or fundamentalist christians, and let God figure out the rest.

Jesus condemned sexual immorality. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament defined homosexuality as a form of sexual immorality. Jesus was aware of that homosexuality was considered immoral based on Biblical teachings, so I have to have to ask why when He had the chance, he didn't take the opportunity to clarify this? The conclusion that I come to is that He didn't feel He needed to. Jesus also specifically defined marriage as being between a man and a woman and that the only moral sexual activity was with in the context of marriage.

Here is the text of a post I made on another message board on this subject


OK, let's see what Jesus said about marriage.




4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."Matthew 19:4-6

OK. He seems pretty specific that marriage is between a man and a woman. Now let's take a look at that homosexual thing.




16"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. 17"Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? 18But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' 19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.' "Matthew 15:16-20

Seems that sexual immorality makes a person unclean and Jesus condemn it. Now lets look and see what sexual immorality is defined to be.



22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.

23 " 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.


Leviticus 18:22-23 (Interesting that these acts follow each other in the Bible. Seems homosexuality is on par with beastiality).

As the DUer pointed out, Paul does have an idea as to what sexual immorality is


26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Romans 1:26-27


OK GoddessOfGuinness, The Old and New Testaments define homosexuality as sexual immorality and Jesus specfically condemns sexual immorality. Any more Biblical questions?

Also I'm not really CRC or RCA. I adhere to the definition of reformed theology as described by J. I. Packer and R. C. Sproul. I'm also a big fan of the teaching ofPuritan theologists such as John Owens and Jonathan Edwards. I also enjoy reading the works of Spurgeon.

M21
10-31-2008, 12:36 PM
Also I'm not really CRC or RCA. I adhere to the definition of reformed theology as described by J. I. Packer and R. C. Sproul. I'm also a big fan of the teaching ofPuritan theologists such as John Owens and Jonathan Edwards. I also enjoy reading the works of Spurgeon.

One of my favorite readings of Spurgeon is his "Defense of Calvinism" (http://www.spurgeon.org/calvinis.htm)

At this site Pastor Mark Dever, on the 300th anniversary of the birth of Jonathan Edwards, preaches "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." (http://resources.christianity.com/details/hbc/20031005/2AABCDA4-CA56-44E9-B221-D7584DC9F0A3.aspx)I think you'll enjoy it.

I am also a student of Reformed Theology. Got the T-Shirt (http://reformedtshirts.blogspot.com/2007/06/rated-r-for-reformed-t-shirts.html)and everything :D

megimoo
10-31-2008, 01:09 PM
You're wasting your time, Moo. Let's get back to why "Left Behind" sucked so much and yet was ominously compelling for about 3 books. :DOk Ginger,you win !Left behind appealed to the protestants who believe in the rapture and were confused as to how it would actually work.Scriptural clues are few and scattered.
..........................
Biblical Rapture Part 1
........................
Rapture", when used in eschatological terms, is an English word used in place of the Latin word raptus, taken from the Vulgate of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In Koine Greek, this word is harpazo, which means "caught up" or "taken away".
.....................................
Amillenialists (such as Roman Catholics, and others),
Postmillenialists (such as Presbyterians, and others), and historic Premillenialists (such as Calvinistic Baptists, and others) hold that the return of Christ will be a single, public event. All passages regarding the return of Christ, such as Matthew 24:29-31, 1Thessalonians 4:15-17, Revelation 1:7, etc, describe the return of Jesus in the clouds amidst trumpets, angelic activity, heavenly signs, a resurrection, and a gathering of saints. Although some (such as some Amillenialists) take this event to be figurative, rather than literal, these three groups maintain that passages regarding the return of Christ describe a single event, and that the "word of the Lord" cited by Paul in 1Thessalonians 4:15-17 is the Olivet Discourse which Matthew separately describes in Matthew 24:29-31.
.................................................
End times beliefs among Protestants:
Various Protestant denominations and para-church organizations promote one of six main systems of prophecy concerning the "end times"
..................................
Historical Premillennialism:
This belief was held by a large percentage of Christians "during the first three centuries of the Christian era, and is found in the works of Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodius, Commodianus, and Lactanitus." 2 The Antichrist first appears on earth and the seven year Tribulation begins. Next comes the Rapture. Christ and his Church return to earth to rule for a Millennium. The forces of evil will be conquered. The faithful will live during this thousand years of peace in Jerusalem, while occupying spiritual bodies. After this period, all people are judged. The faithful will spend eternity on a new earth, (not in heaven). After Christianity became the official religion of Rome in the fourth century CE, this was declared a heresy and suppressed.
..........................
John Nelson Darby, (18 November 1800 - 29 April 1882)
He therefore chose ordination as an Anglican clergyman in Ireland, "lest he should sell his talents to defeat justice." In 1825, Darby was ordained deacon of the established Church of Ireland and the following year as priest.
.....................................
The rise in belief in the "Pre-Tribulation" rapture is sometimes attributed to a 15-year old Scottish-Irish girl named Margaret McDonald (a follower of Edward Irving), who in 1830 had a vision that was later[10] published in 1861.
...................................
John Nelson Darby was an Anglo-Irish evangelist, and an influential figure among the original Plymouth Brethren. He is considered to be the father of modern Dispensationalism.

Dispensational Premillennialism: (a.k.a. Dispensationalism) Premillennialism, declared a heresy in ancient times, was reintroduced circa 1830.

Most people credit John N. Darby with its resurrection. He was a minister of the Church of Ireland, a denomination in the Anglican communion, and the founder of the Plymouth Brethren. However, author Dave MacPherson claims that British pastor Edward Irving was the actual person responsible, and that a conspiracy was organized to give Darby the credit. 14 Premillenialism received general acceptance by most Fundamentalists and other Evangelical Christians after the publishing of the Scofield Reference Bible in 1909.
..............................
"Oh, the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing but a Living Christ in glory, and being careful for nothing but His interests down here."

One of Darby's best-known hymns begins:

And is it so, I shall be like Thy Son, Is this the grace which He for me has won?
Father of glory! Thought beyond all thought, In glory to His own blest likeness brought!

A poem found in Darby's bible after his death:
Low at Thy feet, Lord Jesus, This is the place for me;
Here I have learned deep lessons: Truth that has set me free. Free from myself, Lord Jesus, Free from the ways of men; Chains of thought that have bound me Never can bind again.
None but Thyself, Lord Jesus, Conquered this wayward will, But for Thy love constraining, I had been wayward still.

.........................
Dispensationalism:A Return to Biblical Theology
or Pseudo Christian Cult
http://www.geocities.com/pvrosman/Dispensationalism_08_The_Origins.html

We should be very clear that Dispensationalism finds no place in the entire history of the church before 1830. No one has yet found any credible evidence that anybody believed or taught such a thing. This alone should cause alarm bells to ring in our spiritual ears. When we learn the true origin of the error, we can see even more reason to steer clear.

Key Distinctives of Dispensationalism

Before we proceed, we need to clarify exactly what this teaching is in connection with other eschatological theories. Dispensationalism is a variant of Historic Premillennialism, that is the teaching that Christ will return after the Great Tribulation and establish a 1000 year reign on the earth (millennium) before the final battle with Satan (Armageddon), which issues in final judgment and a new earth. Postmillennialism teaches that Christ returns after a golden age of 1000 years where the church rules the earth in righteousness; Amillennialism believes that there is no Biblical teaching about a literal millennium and that the only passage which mentions is (Rev 20) is symbolically speaking of the age of grace in which we now live.

Dispensationalism is very different and has become the predominant belief in America and versions of it are growing rapidly in Britain. One problem is that it has very many variations, so to simplify our approach we will keep to essential distinctives. These are:

• Two comings of Christ. One an appearing for the saints in the air, the other a return with the saints. A period of 7 years separates these comings. In this time of tribulation, the Gospel is preached by a remnant of believing Jews and Christians not spiritual enough to be raptured.

• A secret rapture of some saints before the period of tribulation when the antichrist will arise. This is the key distinctive called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, (henceforth: pretribulation). This is imminent and could happen at any time.

• A dichotomy between the church and Israel. Jews are God’s true covenant people who will inherit the literal covenant promises, the church is God’s stop-gap operation which benefits from Jewish promises. This distinction is seen as the most important Dispensational tenet by Dispensationalists Charles Ryrie and John Walvoord.

• A rigid literal approach to interpretation, especially of prophetic books. This divides the Bible into that which refers to the Kingdom (Israel) and that which speaks of the Church.

• History is divided into specific dispensations where God deals with men in a certain way. Each of these time periods ends in failure and judgment.

The most important aspects in evaluating the origin are: the pretribulation rapture and the dichotomy of Israel/Church.
...........................
The Origins:Pre 19th century

Some isolated superficial ‘dispensational’ statements have appeared throughout history. Some 18th century writers began to systematise some of these ideas e.g: Pierre Poiret and Isaac Watts. No one, however, taught a pretribulation rapture. Everyone believed that the church would go through the Great Tribulation. Claims, of some, to find it in the early church fathers are false. There is some Premillennialism there, but none of the key distinctives of Dispensationalism: there is no separation of the church and Israel and no idea of Christians escaping the tribulation or antichrist by a rapture.

The earliest form of a ‘secret’ rapture was the idea of a partial rapture which separated some saints from others after the tribulation. This really was about prioritisation at the second coming, spiritual believers being given priority over less worthy ones. No one saw a place for Jews until the very end and there was no form of Church/Israel dichotomy.

19th century prophetic conferences

During the 18th century there was very little teaching on the Lord’s return. As a result, a reaction began in the 1820’s and 30’s. Prophetic periodicals and conferences abounded. Most important were the Albury conferences established by Henry Drummond in 1826-30, but the Powerscourt Conferences, instituted by Lady Powerscourt, were also significant. Anglican S.R Maitland began to teach a future rise of Antichrist and a 3½ year great tribulation in 1826. His follower, James Todd, also wrote extensively on the subject. William Burgh converted to this ‘futurist’ view of Revelation and wrote systematically upon it in 1835.

wilbur
10-31-2008, 03:47 PM
You’re comparing apples to oranges. People blow themselves up for their beliefs, that is true, but the Apostles where martyred preaching what they saw and professed to be fact. The taught others that they were eye witnesses to the resurrection and ascension and weren’t just sharing a set of beliefs. If they didn't see what they claim to have witnessed then why would they have willingly died horrible deaths for something they knew to be a lie? Would you?


I wouldnt no... plenty of other people seem to do it, without reservation. Whether its martyrs blowing themselves up, or more passively allowing themselves to be executed, we simply are not talking about anything outside the possible or even plausible parameters of human behavior here. There's nothing remarkable or extraordinary about it (except the absurdities for which these people die)..... it happens every day.



Again, they claimed to be witnesses, not just people who heard the tale and spread it. Since they were the original evangelists either they saw what they claimed to see or they allowed themselves to me executed rather than fess up to a lie. This you still haven't explained. Your "plausible" scenario doesn't address the claims. Also you know as well as I do that a thousand lies does not make the a single truth a lie. Just because there have been a thousand falsehoods told and believed, does not negate the truth when it is spoken.

We have three options when considering the divinity of Christ. First is that he was a fictitious person created by the Apostles in order to create a rallying point for their new beliefs? This means that the Apostles allowed themselves to be knowingly martyred for a lie. Secondly he was real and he claimed to be the Son of God and was in fact insane. The means that he did not rise from the dead after crucifixion, ascend to Heaven and again His disciples made up the whole thing and martyred themselves for what they knew to be a lie. The final choice is that he was real, he claimed to be the Son of God and he was in reality the Son of God. If you apply Occam's Razor to this, knowing human nature, what do you conclude?

As I alluded to above, we're still well within the realm of plausible human behavior... so yes, your first two presented choices, when examined with Occam's Razor, are nearly infinitely more plausible than the last... it seems to be part of human nature to die for one's beliefs, whether they have any proximity to reality or not, for better or for worse.

Either way though, this is a false dilemma. We don't have the apostles first had claims at all... we have gospels written after the fact by people claiming to be witnesses to their witness... and no other evidence to corroborate their story outside the gospels. And the claims within them simply defy reality, so in the absence of extraordinary evidence, one should dismiss them.. just like we do with any other book claiming to be of divine origin.

Sorry Ginger... that will be it from me;P

FlaGator
10-31-2008, 04:23 PM
I wouldnt no... plenty of other people seem to do it, without reservation. Whether its martyrs blowing themselves up, or more passively allowing themselves to be executed, we simply are not talking about anything outside the possible or even plausible parameters of human behavior here. There's nothing remarkable or extraordinary about it (except the absurdities for which these people die)..... it happens every day.



As I alluded to above, we're still well within the realm of plausible human behavior... so yes, your first two presented choices, when examined with Occam's Razor, are nearly infinitely more plausible than the last... it seems to be part of human nature to die for one's beliefs, whether they have any proximity to reality or not, for better or for worse.

Either way though, this is a false dilemma. We don't have the apostles first had claims at all... we have gospels written after the fact by people claiming to be witnesses to their witness... and no other evidence to corroborate their story outside the gospels. And the claims within them simply defy reality, so in the absence of extraordinary evidence, one should dismiss them.. just like we do with any other book claiming to be of divine origin.

Sorry Ginger... that will be it from me;P

The first two examples don't say that they died for their beliefs. They both state that they died for lies they tried to get others to believe.

So your saying that people as a rule are willing to die for the lies they tell. Interesting. Can you site an example?

wilbur
10-31-2008, 04:43 PM
The first two examples don't say that they died for their beliefs. They both state that they died for lies they tried to get others to believe.

So your saying that people as a rule are willing to die for the lies they tell. Interesting. Can you site an example?

Well I'm sure we could... In trying to think of a quick example, I am reminded of Nigerian 419 scam victims... where people being conned eventually learn of the scams, yet refuse to admit they have been conned themselves. They know its a lie in their heart, but are too heavily invested to actually stop sending the money in hopes of a big payoff. But still, you are artificially constraining the options by saying that they knowingly lied. They could have believed it. Or they could be fictitious, or any part of their second-hand accounts could be fictitious, inaccurate or wildly exaggerated... the possibilities are rather limitless. We arent talking about books that were written by the people as events unfolded... who even knows if they had a real choice to avoid death? We don't.

It all leads us back to this circular argument that the Bible verifies it's own truth, by its own authority. They couldnt have 'died for a lie' because the bible tells us its true. The Bible is true because if it weren't, they wouldn't have 'died for a lie'.

MrsSmith
10-31-2008, 08:43 PM
The flaw in the circular reasoning theory is considering the Bible as one evidence. The Bible is a compilation of many different evidences. For example, Matthew is proved by Mark, proved by Luke, proved by John. Four different testimonies of the happenings surrounding Christ's earthly ministry. A man can be sentenced to death on much less than this in today's courts.

FlaGator
10-31-2008, 08:58 PM
Well I'm sure we could... In trying to think of a quick example, I am reminded of Nigerian 419 scam victims... where people being conned eventually learn of the scams, yet refuse to admit they have been conned themselves. They know its a lie in their heart, but are too heavily invested to actually stop sending the money in hopes of a big payoff. But still, you are artificially constraining the options by saying that they knowingly lied. They could have believed it. Or they could be fictitious, or any part of their second-hand accounts could be fictitious, inaccurate or wildly exaggerated... the possibilities are rather limitless. We arent talking about books that were written by the people as events unfolded... who even knows if they had a real choice to avoid death? We don't.

It all leads us back to this circular argument that the Bible verifies it's own truth, by its own authority. They couldnt have 'died for a lie' because the bible tells us its true. The Bible is true because if it weren't, they wouldn't have 'died for a lie'.

I don't think that I am artificially constaining things. They claimed to have witness the risen Jesus after death upon the cross.

1 Peter 5:1

To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed

2 Peter 1:16-21

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.


They claimed to have witnessed this. There are only two choices, either they did witness the events they claimed to experience or they lied about it. If they lied about all that they saw namely the transfiguration (as stated above), the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascention then they allowed themselves to be martyred for what they knew to be a lie.

As for the Bible verifying itself, many modern scholars are finding clear evidence that the earliest written gospel accounts (Mark in particular) and some of Paul's epistles are within 30 to 40 years of Christ's death and resurrection. Paul mentioned events and names that would have been know and the time and there is no evidence that anyone disputed the claims at the time. Paul claimed at 500 people witness the resurrected Christ and yet their is no record of anyone questioning his account. There is little dispute among scholars that Paul and Peter and the other Apostles where in fact martyred for their beliefs. Your claim of a circular argument is false when history shows that Paul and Peter were executed for their beliefs and the only place their beliefs are recorded is the Bible.

I believe that this is a case of no matter what proof I bring to bare on the issue, you will find fault with it yet you bring nothing to the argument but the speculation of the anti religious and atheist. If you don't want to believe something you can always find fault with the evidence. I'm reminded of the fake moon landing crowd that will dispute evidence no matter what the source is. There is not enough evidence to shake their opinion no matter how much evidence displayed.

Since you don't buy in to the accuracy of the Gospels and the epistles what proof do you have that they are not valid? What evidence can you provide that they were made up accounts by fictious people about events that never happened and that the Apostles were not martyred for their beliefs. You must have some proof of this since that is your position.

wilbur
11-01-2008, 01:47 PM
I don't think that I am artificially constaining things. They claimed to have witness the risen Jesus after death upon the cross.
1 Peter 5:1
2 Peter 1:16-21

They claimed to have witnessed this. There are only two choices, either they did witness the events they claimed to experience or they lied about it. If they lied about all that they saw namely the transfiguration (as stated above), the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascention then they allowed themselves to be martyred for what they knew to be a lie.


Well, this whole discussion got started over a challenge to the authority and truth of the Bible (prophecies etc)... It's not a good argument to offer Bible passages as proof of its own truth..... Why should these passages be any more trustworthy?

There is really no other source of evidence that meets any historians standards that would allow us to, with even a minute amount of certainty, say any of this (the resurrection, martyrdom of the apostles) actually occurred.

There's nothing that actually tells us how they died, why they died, what any of the circumstances around their deaths were, at all... except for mostly hearsay passed along as oral tradition.



As for the Bible verifying itself, many modern scholars are finding clear evidence that the earliest written gospel accounts (Mark in particular) and some of Paul's epistles are within 30 to 40 years of Christ's death and resurrection. Paul mentioned events and names that would have been know and the time and there is no evidence that anyone disputed the claims at the time.

The Jews?



Paul claimed at 500 people witness the resurrected Christ and yet their is no record of anyone questioning his account. There is little dispute among scholars that Paul and Peter and the other Apostles where in fact martyred for their beliefs. Your claim of a circular argument is false when history shows that Paul and Peter were executed for their beliefs and the only place their beliefs are recorded is the Bible.

There's no record of those 500 people actually confirming the account either. I just swam the across the pacific ocean... 500 people watched me! You haven't heard anyone dispute it... do you believe it? Anyways, if I recall, it was said that the majority of those supposed 500 people didn't actually believe what they had supposedly witnessed.

The scholarly consensus is that there is little evidence for the resurrection, or even what the circumstances surrounding Peter and Paul's deaths were.



I believe that this is a case of no matter what proof I bring to bare on the issue, you will find fault with it yet you bring nothing to the argument but the speculation of the anti religious and atheist. If you don't want to believe something you can always find fault with the evidence. I'm reminded of the fake moon landing crowd that will dispute evidence no matter what the source is. There is not enough evidence to shake their opinion no matter how much evidence displayed.

Since you don't buy in to the accuracy of the Gospels and the epistles what proof do you have that they are not valid? What evidence can you provide that they were made up accounts by fictious people about events that never happened and that the Apostles were not martyred for their beliefs. You must have some proof of this since that is your position.

There has been no proof.. You seem to want the default position, absent any proof, to be the unchallenged acceptance that all the extraordinary claims in the Bible are true.. and that mundane explanations are impossible. That's shifting the burden of proof. My position is that, absent any proof, there is simply no good reason to believe any of it... not necessarily that most of it must be certainly false (although its certainly is the most common-sense assumption). I'm sorry, but saying that a human simply would not do something that doesn't seem to make sense is not a strong argument for the truth of the Bible.

Even if one accepts all the other premises implicit in your 3 choices dilemma, your point is moot if you cant demonstrate that they could have avoided execution by denying their beliefs. Even still, again, dying for something that isnt true is simply not far fetched at all, I don't see how anyone can honestly claim that it is... And that a flesh-ified deity to coming down to earth to be executed.. because the only way he could let us into heaven (even though he's all powerful) is by resurrecting from the dead... is the less far fetched explanation?

People have died for any number of stupid reasons. Mohammad led people to war... his soldiers died for lies. What about a POW or a soldier? Is it not likely that many have died while lying to their captors... it could be said they died for a lie.... a lie to protect friends, family, or their brothers in arms? Or even to protect cause they believe in? Occams Razor still points to the mundane, even if they knowingly died for lies.

megimoo
11-01-2008, 02:05 PM
Well, this whole discussion got started over a challenge to the authority and truth of the Bible (prophecies etc)... It's not a good argument to offer Bible passages as proof of its own truth..... Why should these passages be any more trustworthy?

There is really no other source of evidence that meets any historians standards that would allow us to, with any minute amount certainty, say any of this (the resurrection, martyrdom of the apostles) actually occurred.

There's nothing that actually tells us how they died, why they died, what any of the circumstances around their deaths were, at all... except hearsay passed along as oral tradition.



The Jews?



There's no record of those 500 people actually confirming the account either. I just swam the across the pacific ocean... 500 people watched me! You haven't heard anyone dispute it... do you believe it? Anyways, if I recall, it was said that the majority of those supposed 500 people didn't actually believe what they had supposedly witnessed.

The scholarly consensus is that there is little evidence for the resurrection, or even what the circumstances surrounding Peter and Paul's deaths were.



There has been no proof.. You seem to want the default position, absent any proof, to be the unchallenged acceptance that all the extraordinary claims in the Bible are true.. and that mundane explanations are impossible. That's shifting the burden of proof. My position is that, absent any proof, there is simply no good reason to believe any of it... not necessarily that most of it must be certainly false (although its certainly is the most common-sense assumption). I'm sorry, but saying that a human would do something that doesn't seem to make sense is not a strong argument.

Even if one accepts all the other premises implicit in your 3 choices dilemma, your point is moot if you cant demonstrate that they could have avoided execution by denying their beliefs. Even still, again, dying for something that isnt true is simply not far fetched at all, I don't see how anyone can honestly claim that it is... And that a flesh-ified deity to coming down to earth to be executed.. so that he could let us into heaven (even though he's all powerful) after resurrecting from the dead is the less far fetched explanation?

People have died for any number of stupid reasons. Mohammad led people to war... his soldiers died for lies. What about a POW or a soldier? Is it not likely that many have died while lying to their captors... it could be said they died for a lie.... a lie to protect friends, family, or their brothers in arms? Or even to protect cause they believe in? Occams Razor still points to the mundane, even if they knowingly died for lies.
How do you feel about other people recorded in history ?Are the history books all fulled with crap also ?Do you believe that the apostles of Christ would knowingly die to foster a lie ?If they all lied in their testimony's to perpetuate an untruth they were all mad men or deluded.Occam's Razor simply states never carry an logical argument beyond an obvious truth,the first law of parsimony (lex parsimoniae)!

wilbur
11-01-2008, 02:22 PM
How do you feel about other people recorded in history ?Are the history books all fulled with crap also ?

Historical events are judged by the amount of evidence in their favor..... and preferably are supported by multiple independent lines of evidence.



Do you believe that the apostles of Christ would knowingly die to foster a lie ?If they all lied in their testimony's to perpetuate an untruth they were all mad men or deluded.


Why couldnt they have been deluded or mad men or both?



Occam's Razor simply states never carry an logical argument beyond an obvious truth,the first law of parsimony (lex parsimoniae)!

The only assumption my skepticism really relies on here is that 'people do dumb/dishonest/crazy things'. Yours extends universes beyond this simple self-evident reality.

MrsSmith
11-01-2008, 07:09 PM
wilbur seriously needs to read a few Christian scholars. :rolleyes: Every "scholars agree" statement is completely inaccurate without the anti-Christian label in front of the "scholars." Those that actually understand the book have no "agreements" about the resurrection having no proof. Just as wilbur seems unable to grasp the simple fact that "The Bible" is a compilation of many books. Maybe someone needs to break them down into separate books so willy can see for himself that "The Bible" is not ONE source. :rolleyes:

FlaGator
11-01-2008, 08:54 PM
Well, this whole discussion got started over a challenge to the authority and truth of the Bible (prophecies etc)... It's not a good argument to offer Bible passages as proof of its own truth..... Why should these passages be any more trustworthy?

Why should we not trust them? I've notice that when debating elements of faith the whole you can't use the Bible as a reference tactic comes up. We're debating biblical things so that makes it a valid source for either of us to use. That like debating quantum mechanics but saying you can use books on quantum mechanics to prove your point. Show your proof that history invalidates the Gospels and the epistles and we'll exclude them.


There is really no other source of evidence that meets any historians standards that would allow us to, with even a minute amount of certainty, say any of this (the resurrection, martyrdom of the apostles) actually occurred.

There's nothing that actually tells us how they died, why they died, what any of the circumstances around their deaths were, at all... except for mostly hearsay passed along as oral tradition.

Many historians find that Gospels to agree with the history going on at the time. So the text does meet some historical standards of some historians. There are some Roman records around the time of Nero that verify the execution of Paul. I''ll see if I can recall them and post links. There is some evidence of the execution of Peter but it is not conclusive.




There's no record of those 500 people actually confirming the account either. I just swam the across the pacific ocean... 500 people watched me! You haven't heard anyone dispute it... do you believe it? Anyways, if I recall, it was said that the majority of those supposed 500 people didn't actually believe what they had supposedly witnessed.

If I heard it I could ask people that knew you and attempt to verify the details and see if they thought the claim was real. With as many people at the time looking to discredit the new sect called the Way I'm sure some people attempted to ascertain the truth. People today aren't that different from yesterday. Look how people try to discredit Scientology. There were people alive at the time who would have been aware of the store and who could have disputed Paul's writings had the felt so inclined. The epistles of Paul and at least the Gospel of Mark were around and referencing things that were within the memory of people living at the time. There are no known records disputing their story.



The scholarly consensus is that there is little evidence for the resurrection, or even what the circumstances surrounding Peter and Paul's deaths were.

None of the scholars that you accept as valid. There are actually many scholars who believe the crucifixion and the resurrection are real events. They use some of the same logic that I use to validate the premise but since you can't accept my logic you won't accept theirs. The facts of Peter's martyrdom are vague but Paul was beheaded under the order of Nero at the start of the persecutions of Christians by Rome. You can explore this on your own if you feel so inclined.





There has been no proof.. You seem to want the default position, absent any proof, to be the unchallenged acceptance that all the extraordinary claims in the Bible are true.. and that mundane explanations are impossible. That's shifting the burden of proof. My position is that, absent any proof, there is simply no good reason to believe any of it... not necessarily that most of it must be certainly false (although its certainly is the most common-sense assumption). I'm sorry, but saying that a human simply would not do something that doesn't seem to make sense is not a strong argument for the truth of the Bible.


All I am asking is that you offer evicence for your position. I offer evidence, or what I consider evidence. You simply state that scholars say this and scholars believe that and expect me to accept it. I'm asking you for conclusive proof of you position. If you can not provide proof then you, like me have a belief and faith in that belief.

In fact you have less evidence of the non existence of God than I do of the existence of God. The atheist view point has no supporting evidence other than the belief that there can't be a God. I've read Hitchens and Dawkins and Nietzsche and they base all their conclusions on the basis they they believe that a Creator isn't necessary to explain the universe and mankinds place in it. To use your own words here


My position is that, absent any proof, there is simply no good reason to believe any of it

You have no proof that there isn't a God yet you find reason to believe he doesn't exist. Your position contradicts itself.



Even if one accepts all the other premises implicit in your 3 choices dilemma, your point is moot if you cant demonstrate that they could have avoided execution by denying their beliefs. Even still, again, dying for something that isnt true is simply not far fetched at all, I don't see how anyone can honestly claim that it is... And that a flesh-ified deity to coming down to earth to be executed.. because the only way he could let us into heaven (even though he's all powerful) is by resurrecting from the dead... is the less far fetched explanation?

People have died for any number of stupid reasons. Mohammad led people to war... his soldiers died for lies. What about a POW or a soldier? Is it not likely that many have died while lying to their captors... it could be said they died for a lie.... a lie to protect friends, family, or their brothers in arms? Or even to protect cause they believe in? Occams Razor still points to the mundane, even if they knowingly died for lies.

I will now demonstrate that they could have avoided execution by denying their beliefs.


About This Article In G.P. Baker's Constantine the Great and the Christian Revolution, Christians suffered under Galerius. The author makes the point that a few Christians who had the character to make a stand against the oppression, did suffer torture while others were average people who thought life had other matters which required attention. Most people went back to their lives after being allowed release on the condition of recanting their faith. The few who chose not to bend found their life's purpose to stand against religious oppresion.

More here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Christian_martyrs)

Now that I feel that my point is not moot, please provide for me an example of someone willing dying for lies that he or she told when freedom was the option for admitting to the truth? If you can not find an example of someone dying rather than telling the truth then when must assume that the truly mundane of the choices is that Christ was in fact God.

FlaGator
11-01-2008, 08:59 PM
Historical events are judged by the amount of evidence in their favor..... and preferably are supported by multiple independent lines of evidence.


That statment if false. Do you feel that history taught in schools would be the same if the Nazis had won WWII or Russia would have succeed in World domination? I'm not talking about recent history, referencing pre-twentieth century history. There is a well known saying that the Victors write the history. If the Nazi's had won do you feel that we would read in our history books about Einstein's Theory of Relativity?

megimoo
11-01-2008, 09:21 PM
wilbur seriously needs to read a few Christian scholars. :rolleyes: Every "scholars agree" statement is completely inaccurate without the anti-Christian label in front of the "scholars." Those that actually understand the book have no "agreements" about the resurrection having no proof. Just as wilbur seems unable to grasp the simple fact that "The Bible" is a compilation of many books. Maybe someone needs to break them down into separate books so willy can see for himself that "The Bible" is not ONE source. :rolleyes:
I disagree.Wilbur is an example of man so frozen into his stubbornness and hatred against all things of GOD than nothing and nobody will ever change him.

He will resist and resent any evidence,testimony,fact before his eyes to hold his opinion.It becomes a sort of a game with him.He will deny any witness or any evidence before his very eyes.

If the savior him self appeared before and showed him his wounds and had him put his hands into his side Wilbur still wouldn't believe.If he is serious I have pity for him and will pray for his soul now and at the end of his empty life !

FlaGator
11-01-2008, 09:49 PM
I disagree.Wilbur is an example of man so frozen into his stubbornness and hatred against all things of GOD than nothing and nobody will ever change him.

He will resist and resent any evidence,testimony,fact before his eyes to hold his opinion.It becomes a sort of a game with him.He will deny any witness or any evidence before his very eyes.

If the savior him self appeared before and showed him his wounds and had him put his hands into his side Wilbur still wouldn't believe.If he is serious I have pity for him and will pray for his soul now and at the end of his empty life !

I don't see him that way. In fact I enjoy debating him. He does a fine job of presenting his side of things. He doesn't cuss or make a lot of mean spirited remarks and, at least with me, he tends to stick to the topic. I find Wilbur a decent fellow to discuss this stuff with. I accept that he doesn't see things my way but he also understands that I don't see it his way either. If I still drank I wouldn't mind sitting around drinking a beer and talking about life with him. He is as God intends him to be.

megimoo
11-01-2008, 09:58 PM
I don't see him that way. In fact I enjoy debating him. He does a fine job of presenting his side of things. He doesn't cuss or make a lot of mean spirited remarks and, at least with me, he tends to stick to the topic. I find Wilbur a decent fellow to discuss this stuff with. I accept that he doesn't see things my way but he also understands that I don't see it his way either. If I still drank I wouldn't mind sitting around drinking a beer and talking about life with him. He is as God intends him to be.
Do you mean Destined to die and be alone for all eternity !You have much more faith,tolerance and patience than I .

Goldwater
11-01-2008, 10:26 PM
Good meaningful discussion, the forum has been missing this, lets not disturb, but spectate! :D

FlaGator
11-02-2008, 02:19 PM
Do you mean Destined to die and be alone for all eternity !You have much more faith,tolerance and patience than I .

Destined? Are you privy to the mind and plans of God to know what a person is destined for? I know that I'm not. A lot of people probably thought the same thing about me 3 years ago but in my case God had other plans.

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 03:51 PM
I disagree.Wilbur is an example of man so frozen into his stubbornness and hatred against all things of GOD than nothing and nobody will ever change him.

He will resist and resent any evidence,testimony,fact before his eyes to hold his opinion.It becomes a sort of a game with him.He will deny any witness or any evidence before his very eyes.

If the savior him self appeared before and showed him his wounds and had him put his hands into his side Wilbur still wouldn't believe.If he is serious I have pity for him and will pray for his soul now and at the end of his empty life !

There were those who saw the miracles of Jesus and were unable to deny either them, or his resurrection...yet refused to believe, so far as we know. Yet we are told that it's God's will that all should come to know him and be saved. Someone who argues at least has a chance, far more that someone who completely shuts out all mention of Christ. I agree that we should pray for his soul. That is, after all, the nicest thing we can do for anyone. :)

megimoo
11-02-2008, 06:40 PM
There were those who saw the miracles of Jesus and were unable to deny either them, or his resurrection...yet refused to believe, so far as we know. Yet we are told that it's God's will that all should come to know him and be saved. Someone who argues at least has a chance, far more that someone who completely shuts out all mention of Christ. I agree that we should pray for his soul. That is, after all, the nicest thing we can do for anyone. :)The ones who amazed me were the Pharisees at Lazarus tomb who plotted against the Christ even after they saw that Lazarus was rising from the dead !

cowbell
11-02-2008, 06:52 PM
Are you serious? Jesus was white and spoke English too, right?

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 06:52 PM
The ones who amazed me were the Pharisees at Lazarus tomb who plotted against the Christ even after they saw that Lazarus was rising from the dead !

A perfect example of:

ra·tion·al·ize: 1. to ascribe (one's acts, opinions, etc.) to causes that superficially seem reasonable and valid but that actually are unrelated to the true, possibly unconscious and often less creditable or agreeable causes.

People rationalize all kinds of things to make what they want OK. Those who chose to disbelieve Jesus rationalized away the evidence...something still common among many. Being rational may seem smart, but it only works if you have all the evidence, and consider it correctly. :)

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 06:55 PM
Are you serious? Jesus was white and spoke English too, right?

Old, old, old... We had this little discussion years ago. :rolleyes: Jesus was Jewish. He did not speak English...however, it's slightly possible that one of the disciples did on Pentecost, we do not have a complete record of all the languages they spoke that day.

megimoo
11-02-2008, 07:18 PM
A perfect example of:


People rationalize all kinds of things to make what they want OK. Those who chose to disbelieve Jesus rationalized away the evidence...something still common among many. Being rational may seem smart, but it only works if you have all the evidence, and consider it correctly. :)
It would be difficult to rationionize a fellow member of the San Hedron who had died and who's tomb they are standing before and who had been in the tomb for several days suddenly being raised from the dead before your very eyes by the this rabbi Jesus .

LogansPapa
11-02-2008, 07:20 PM
If the authors of the Bible had no concept of a Democracy - voting - free will - an entity not a kingdom, how could they even begin to know there would be a United States? Next people will be saying they knew of the concept of toilet paper back in that very crusty time.:p

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 07:25 PM
If the authors of the Bible had no concept of a Democracy - voting - free will - an entity not a kingdom, how could they even begin to know there would be a United States? Next people will be saying they knew of the concept of toilet paper back in that very crusty time.:p

The same way they knew all the other prophecies that came true.

LogansPapa
11-02-2008, 07:29 PM
The same way they knew all the other prophecies that came true.

If they did they wouldn't have waited 1,700 years to throw off the yoke of dictatorship.:cool:

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 07:36 PM
If they did they wouldn't have waited 1,700 years to throw off the yoke of dictatorship.:cool:

That's like saying we wouldn't have waited 2000 years for the rapture. :rolleyes:

FlaGator
11-02-2008, 07:51 PM
It would be difficult to rationionize a fellow member of the San Hedron who had died and who's tomb they are standing before and who had been in the tomb for several days suddenly being raised from the dead before your very eyes by the this rabbi Jesus .

I believe that you will find answers here
Matthew 13:14-17


In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.

For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’

But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you seel but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

Troll
11-02-2008, 07:54 PM
The way I see it, there are only six possible explanations. In no particular order:

1. America is not mentioned in the Bible because the Bible is not the inerrant word of God.

2. America is mentioned in Bible-related writings, but when they were deciding what books to include in the Bible, the book(s) that mention(s) America was/were left out.

3. America is mentioned in the Bible, but symbolically, not explicitly.

4. America is not mentioned in the Bible because America will not exist at the biblical 'end times'.

5. America is not mentioned in the Bible because God didn't think it was important enough to include.

6. America is mentioned in the Bible, but because of one or more mistranslations, you see it mentioned as something else entirely.

I'm pretty sure it's one of those; I say take your pick and let there be peace.

FlaGator
11-02-2008, 07:56 PM
If they did they wouldn't have waited 1,700 years to throw off the yoke of dictatorship.:cool:

Mary gave birth to the Savior of all nations 2000 years after the promise was given to Abramham

Genesis 18:18

Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation,e and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.

The Lord also fulfilled his promise to Abramham to give to his decentants the land of Canann 500 years after making the promise. This tells me that God works with in a different frame of reference than we do but He does keep His word.

cowbell
11-02-2008, 07:59 PM
...or #7: the authors of the Bible discussed what they knew and saw.

LogansPapa
11-02-2008, 08:00 PM
This tells me that God works with in a different frame of reference than we do but He does keep His word.

;)That hits it, my friend. Outstanding.:)

Troll
11-02-2008, 08:03 PM
...or #7: the authors of the Bible discussed what they knew and saw.

I'd file that under the Bible not being completely inerrant, but I bow to your logic just the same. :D

FlaGator
11-02-2008, 08:05 PM
...or #7: the authors of the Bible discussed what they knew and saw.

And apparently what the Lord decided was that this thread needed was more cowbell.... :D

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 11:37 PM
The way I see it, there are only six possible explanations. In no particular order:

1. America is not mentioned in the Bible because the Bible is not the inerrant word of God.

2. America is mentioned in Bible-related writings, but when they were deciding what books to include in the Bible, the book(s) that mention(s) America was/were left out.

3. America is mentioned in the Bible, but symbolically, not explicitly.

4. America is not mentioned in the Bible because America will not exist at the biblical 'end times'.

5. America is not mentioned in the Bible because God didn't think it was important enough to include.

6. America is mentioned in the Bible, but because of one or more mistranslations, you see it mentioned as something else entirely.

I'm pretty sure it's one of those; I say take your pick and let there be peace.

I believe you'd have to do a thorough study of Daniel to know if we're there, or not. I haven't done that, but understand that the statue was a symbol for time passing, and the time of Daniel was the head of the statue. Perhaps America is symbolized in the trunk, or something... :confused: However, there is no doubt that God knew we'd be here...He does, after all, live outside the concept of time, so all times are present to Him. Obviously, what He told them to write in prophesy will eventually come about, and what He didn't have them write...doesn't matter.

wilbur
11-04-2008, 03:37 PM
Why should we not trust them? I've notice that when debating elements of faith the whole you can't use the Bible as a reference tactic comes up. We're debating biblical things so that makes it a valid source for either of us to use. That like debating quantum mechanics but saying you can use books on quantum mechanics to prove your point. Show your proof that history invalidates the Gospels and the epistles and we'll exclude them.


If the accuracy or credibility of a specific quantum mechanics book were under debate, you wouldn't use it as a source to verify that its correct. You would need other sources of external evidence to help corroborate its claims. Verifying claims in the Bible is the same way. MrsSmith's point doesn't apply (that the gospels are many sources etc) in most situations because its not like the gospels are really even contemporary and with one another.. some are derivatives of others. If you had four independent gospel writers, writing their story at roughly the same time, each with little or no knowledge of one another, she might have a point.



Many historians find that Gospels to agree with the history going on at the time. So the text does meet some historical standards of some historians. There are some Roman records around the time of Nero that verify the execution of Paul. I''ll see if I can recall them and post links. There is some evidence of the execution of Peter but it is not conclusive.


Sure the gospels have some real history in them, but there are also historical inaccuracies. You won't find any credible historian say that there is a general amount of integrity in the texts that allows one to assume that events it portrays actually did happen, or happened the way it claims despite external evidence. Theologians and religious scholars have operated with that mistaken assumption for ages and interpreted evidence in light of it... and are notoriously untrustworthy. Finally, in modern times, scholarly work on the Bible has shifted a great deal and is more open to questioning... but still not where it needs to be. Asking many religious scholars about their own holy books is like asking a PETA employee about animal rights... or a Muslim Cleric in Iran about the accuracy of the Quran.

Claims in the Bible must be examined on a case by case basis.



If I heard it I could ask people that knew you and attempt to verify the details and see if they thought the claim was real. With as many people at the time looking to discredit the new sect called the Way I'm sure some people attempted to ascertain the truth. People today aren't that different from yesterday. Look how people try to discredit Scientology. There were people alive at the time who would have been aware of the store and who could have disputed Paul's writings had the felt so inclined. The epistles of Paul and at least the Gospel of Mark were around and referencing things that were within the memory of people living at the time. There are no known records disputing their story.


But what if I just made up the 500 people, and you couldnt find any of them to ask? Does my story become true automatically?

Yes, there are a lot of people who try to discredit Scientology, but in spite of that, look at how successful Scientology is. If you get on their bad side in a lot of cities here, you will literally be run out of town or worse. Horrible untruths can easily take root in our collective consciousness... and thrive despite them being obviously false (ex. creationism!).



None of the scholars that you accept as valid. There are actually many scholars who believe the crucifixion and the resurrection are real events. They use some of the same logic that I use to validate the premise but since you can't accept my logic you won't accept theirs. The facts of Peter's martyrdom are vague but Paul was beheaded under the order of Nero at the start of the persecutions of Christians by Rome. You can explore this on your own if you feel so inclined.


Then what is the evidence for the resurrection?



All I am asking is that you offer evicence for your position. I offer evidence, or what I consider evidence. You simply state that scholars say this and scholars believe that and expect me to accept it. I'm asking you for conclusive proof of you position. If you can not provide proof then you, like me have a belief and faith in that belief.

In fact you have less evidence of the non existence of God than I do of the existence of God. The atheist view point has no supporting evidence other than the belief that there can't be a God. I've read Hitchens and Dawkins and Nietzsche and they base all their conclusions on the basis they they believe that a Creator isn't necessary to explain the universe and mankinds place in it. To use your own words here

You have no proof that there isn't a God yet you find reason to believe he doesn't exist. Your position contradicts itself.


I think god is improbable, nor does the idea even give any satisfactory explanation for the existence of the universe. All problems that the god-explanation is supposed to answer just simply fall to god himself...

Your falling into a trap here that almost every author addresses... you cannot prove a negative.. Lets look at your quote:

"You have no proof that there isn't a God yet you find reason to believe he doesn't exist. Your position contradicts itself."

Now lets see what happens when we change it a little bit:
"You have no proof that there isn't a Flying Spaghetti Monster yet you find reason to believe he doesn't exist. Your position contradicts itself."

Change "Flying Spaghetti Monster" with Russel's teapot or the pink unicorn or anything else imaginary.. find me proof of their non-existence or else they must exist. Doesn't make much sense does it? Just FYI, there is a real challenge out there... one million dollars up for grabs to anyone who can empirically prove that Jesus is NOT the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

What you can disprove are the specific claims about this god character... specific claims that religions tend to make. I think its fairly demonstrable that the god of Christianity simply cannot exist....just like dehydrated water simply cannot exist. Perhaps that can-o-worms should be in another thread. Overall, my position is simply that if a being such as god (or gods) existed, there should be evidence for it. The absence of evidence doesn't mean it isn't true, but simply means we have no good reason to believe that it is. God is a hypothesis, not an axiom.



I will now demonstrate that they could have avoided execution by denying their beliefs.

More here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Christian_martyrs)

Now that I feel that my point is not moot, please provide for me an example of someone willing dying for lies that he or she told when freedom was the option for admitting to the truth? If you can not find an example of someone dying rather than telling the truth then when must assume that the truly mundane of the choices is that Christ was in fact God.

Many soldiers who went to Iraq felt they were risking their lives for a lie....

None of the events surrounding the resurrection, nor the resurrection itself, can be corroborated by any external source. Again, there isn't any pattern of reliability in the Bible when it comes to self consistency (especially with the differing accounts of the resurrection!) or with history. We do not really know who wrote the gospels, or even if they accurately recorded the thoughts and beliefs of the apostles. On top of this, this argument piles on the absurdity that people would only act in a sensible way. It simply doesn't make sense on any level.

Molon Labe
11-04-2008, 03:52 PM
Sure the gospels have some real history in them, but there are also historical inaccuracies. You won't find any credible historian say that there is a general amount of integrity in the texts that allows one to assume that events it portrays actually did happen, or happened the way it claims despite external evidence.

But all histories of antiquity have inaccuracies. It was the style of the era. That is the best picture of the times that you'll get.

FlaGator
11-04-2008, 04:22 PM
Quote:
I will now demonstrate that they could have avoided execution by denying their beliefs.

More here

Now that I feel that my point is not moot, please provide for me an example of someone willing dying for lies that he or she told when freedom was the option for admitting to the truth? If you can not find an example of someone dying rather than telling the truth then when must assume that the truly mundane of the choices is that Christ was in fact God.

Many soldiers who went to Iraq felt they were risking their lives for a lie....

OK lets try this again. Your Iraqi soldier example is completely irrelevent. Those soldiers who are in Iraq for what you consider a lie are not the ones who made up the lie and then died for it. Why is that so hard for you to grasp? You keep tossing me these 'what if' scenerios that have nothing to do with the point I am making. I am saying that you expect me to accept that the Apostles concocted some story about seeing Christ rise from the dead, for purposes known only to themselves and then allowed themselves to be horribly executed when disavowing the lie could have saved them. How does that in any way relate to a soldier going over to Iraq and getting killed because he was doing the job he signed up for whether he believed the reasons behind the war or not?

Do you think for one second that if one of those soldiers who believed that the war was based on lies and could have claimed this in order to go home wouldn't have done so in a heart beat?

For the record, I am still waiting on you to provide me with an example of someone who knowing created a fiction and then happily went to his premature grave when letting the turth be know could have saved him. If you can not cite such and example then I want to hear your explanation as to why the third choice, that Christ was and is God is not the simplest choice.

I will recite the question again for anyone who may not know what we are discussing


We have three options when considering the divinity of Christ. First is that he was a fictitious person created by the Apostles in order to create a rallying point for their new beliefs? This means that the Apostles allowed themselves to be knowingly martyred for a lie. Secondly he was real and he claimed to be the Son of God and was in fact insane. The means that he did not rise from the dead after crucifixion, ascend to Heaven and again His disciples made up the whole thing and martyred themselves for what they knew to be a lie. The final choice is that he was real, he claimed to be the Son of God and he was in reality the Son of God. If you apply Occam's Razor to this, knowing human nature, what do you conclude?

Now when you cite an example to prove that 1 and 2 are the simpliest explanations your example will need to conclude that the person who died made up a lie all on his own and died for it knowing that it was a lie and could have saved himself just be coming clean concerning the lie. This person can not have sacrificed himself as a result of a lie or falsehood that some told him and he believed (this is what the muslim example you used early boils down to). You stated that the first to options were the most likely choices so examples should not be hard to come of with if these are really the simpliest explanations for things.

wilbur
11-04-2008, 09:14 PM
OK lets try this again. Your Iraqi soldier example is completely irrelevent. Those soldiers who are in Iraq for what you consider a lie are not the ones who made up the lie and then died for it. Why is that so hard for you to grasp? You keep tossing me these 'what if' scenerios that have nothing to do with the point I am making.


Who cares if they made it up themselves or not... all one requires to 'die for a lie' is a reason to think that the lie is the right thing, or serves a cause greater than one's own life.. or perhaps even their legacy or reputation. I can't tell if you are being intentionally disingenuous here, to posit that this sort of thing is so far out of bounds of human behavior, that the only reasonable alternate explanation is that a supernatural but humanitized god came down, from where ever he lives, in order for us to torture him to death.



I am saying that you expect me to accept that the Apostles concocted some story about seeing Christ rise from the dead, for purposes known only to themselves and then allowed themselves to be horribly executed when disavowing the lie could have saved them.


We do not have their word for it Fla.... the apostles haven't claimed anything. Someone anonymous authors who claimed to have known the apostles wrote things down.... not the apostles. Plus no historical evidence of the resurrection (or Jesus for that matter) and barely any for any of the apostles themselves... so we can't claim to know what they thought or what they saw.



How does that in any way relate to a soldier going over to Iraq and getting killed because he was doing the job he signed up for whether he believed the reasons behind the war or not?

Do you think for one second that if one of those soldiers who believed that the war was based on lies and could have claimed this in order to go home wouldn't have done so in a heart beat?


That is choosing to possibly die for a lie... to serve a cause you think is greater than the harm of the lie, ultimately. Soldiers could face punishment if they didnt flee, but surely it would be less severe that possibly losing ones life...



For the record, I am still waiting on you to provide me with an example of someone who knowing created a fiction and then happily went to his premature grave when letting the turth be know could have saved him. If you can not cite such and example then I want to hear your explanation as to why the third choice, that Christ was and is God is not the simplest choice.

Now when you cite an example to prove that 1 and 2 are the simpliest explanations your example will need to conclude that the person who died made up a lie all on his own and died for it knowing that it was a lie and could have saved himself just be coming clean concerning the lie.

This person can not have sacrificed himself as a result of a lie or falsehood that some told him and he believed (this is what the muslim example you used early boils down to). You stated that the first to options were the most likely choices so examples should not be hard to come of with if these are really the simpliest explanations for things.

Show me examples of man-gods coming down through-out history and dying a torturous death. People dying for any number of crazy reasons will always be more probable than that, no matter which way you slice it.

MrsSmith
11-04-2008, 09:47 PM
If the accuracy or credibility of a specific quantum mechanics book were under debate, you wouldn't use it as a source to verify that its correct. You would need other sources of external evidence to help corroborate its claims. Verifying claims in the Bible is the same way. MrsSmith's point doesn't apply (that the gospels are many sources etc) in most situations because its not like the gospels are really even contemporary and with one another.. some are derivatives of others. If you had four independent gospel writers, writing their story at roughly the same time, each with little or no knowledge of one another, she might have a point.


Apply that theory to a court case. If you have 4 different witnesses to an event, all testifying at roughly the same time, each with knowledge of the other...then you have no case? :rolleyes: OK, so you're not a lawyer. If I publish 20 different quantum physics textbooks all in one compilation, then they no longer verifiy each other, right?

In the case of the Bible, you have books written over hundreds of years that still tell the same story. There are no other examples of this. The Bible is absolutely unique.

And it does have corroborating sources and evidences. Josh McDowell wrote one book of over 700 pages full of evidence supporting the Bible from other ancient sources and archeology. If you're going to make broad statements, it helps to get an education in the given subject first. (A real education...not browsing a half-dozen leftist sites.)


Sure the gospels have some real history in them, but there are also historical inaccuracies. You won't find any credible historian say that there is a general amount of integrity in the texts that allows one to assume that events it portrays actually did happen, or happened the way it claims despite external evidence. Theologians and religious scholars have operated with that mistaken assumption for ages and interpreted evidence in light of it... and are notoriously untrustworthy. Finally, in modern times, scholarly work on the Bible has shifted a great deal and is more open to questioning... but still not where it needs to be. Asking many religious scholars about their own holy books is like asking a PETA employee about animal rights... or a Muslim Cleric in Iran about the accuracy of the Quran.

Yeah, no one would ever want to ask an expert in a subject about that subject...much better to collect the opinions of those that "know" it isn't true. :rolleyes:


Then what is the evidence for the resurrection?

Well, you might point at the millions of Christians alive today. Unless you really want to make believe that all the massive influence of Christianity on Western civilzation came about because something did NOT happen. :D




I think god is improbable, nor does the idea even give any satisfactory explanation for the existence of the universe. All problems that the god-explanation is supposed to answer just simply fall to god himself...

God does not cease to exist due to your thoughts the way you would cease if He didn't believe in you.

For evidence of His existance, look at your hand. No God, no wilbur.

MrsSmith
11-04-2008, 10:04 PM
Who cares if they made it up themselves or not... all one requires to 'die for a lie' is a reason to think that the lie is the right thing, or serves a cause greater than one's own life.. or perhaps even their legacy or reputation. I can't tell if you are being intentionally disingenuous here, to posit that this sort of thing is so far out of bounds of human behavior, that the only reasonable alternate explanation is that a supernatural but humanitized god came down, from where ever he lives, in order for us to torture him to death.



We do not have their word for it Fla.... the apostles haven't claimed anything. Someone anonymous authors who claimed to have known the apostles wrote things down.... not the apostles.

This is not true. John the Apostle, for one, wrote several books. :rolleyes:


Plus no historical evidence of the resurrection (or Jesus for that matter) and barely any for any of the apostles themselves... so we can't claim to know what they thought or what they saw.

Josh McDowell, over 700 pages, physical evidence... :rolleyes:




That is choosing to possibly die for a lie... to serve a cause you think is greater than the harm of the lie, ultimately. Soldiers could face punishment if they didnt flee, but surely it would be less severe that possibly losing ones life...



Show me examples of man-gods coming down through-out history and dying a torturous death. People dying for any number of crazy reasons will always be more probable than that, no matter which way you slice it.


The apostles, before Christ's death, believed that the Messiah would be an undefeatable war leader. They fought with each other about which would have higher places in his kingdom. They watched him heal and believed that he would lead their armies and throw off the yoke of Rome.

Then they watched him die. They were totally demoralized. They saw their undefeatable leader die, and knew that they would be next. It was over...and they did not do an "Obama-supporter-thing," some went back to work and some sat in the upper room, mournful and afraid.

Then He rose from the dead, and proved Himself to all of them. Still, none of them did anything...until Pentecost. At which time, the Holy Spirit came to them, and they miraculously became preachers. They went from simple fishermen or tax collectors to preachers that would start a world-wide religon, they traveled in all directions, they led no armies, they conquered no nations...but the event that "didn't happen" inspired them to march forth and preach to all the world...and write books.

Now, if Christianity had died out, as have most of the various religions of that time, you might have a point. As it is, you don't.

wilbur
11-04-2008, 10:18 PM
Apply that theory to a court case. If you have 4 different witnesses to an event, all testifying at roughly the same time, each with knowledge of the other...then you have no case? :rolleyes: OK, so you're not a lawyer. If I publish 20 different quantum physics textbooks all in one compilation, then they no longer verifiy each other, right?


One gospel gets written... then decades later another gets written that is a clear derivative work is not proof of the claim. Pretend a text was written about the beliefs of Scientology by Elron Hubbard... then later someone else expounds upon his ideas and writes a similar text decades later. According to your version of proof, we would have to accept the truth of Scientology, Islam, Buddhism and every single movie that has ever been re-made.



In the case of the Bible, you have books written over hundreds of years that still tell the same story. There are no other examples of this. The Bible is absolutely unique.


So because several different author's retold the same or similar stories at later dates that means its unique? And because its unique it must be true? That is nonsensical.

And really... try reading the resurrection accounts... not the same story at all, they are completely different.



And it does have corroborating sources and evidences. Josh McDowell wrote one book of over 700 pages full of evidence supporting the Bible from other ancient sources and archeology. If you're going to make broad statements, it helps to get an education in the given subject first. (A real education...not browsing a half-dozen leftist sites.)


I specifically mentioned the resurrection and Jesus's life. As I mentioned in another post.. the Bible is consistently inaccurate enough that any historical claims should be examined on a case by case basis. Atheism and skeptical philosophy has nothing to do with leftist sites though it is a popular misconception.



Yeah, no one would ever want to ask an expert in a subject about that subject...much better to collect the opinions of those that "know" it isn't true.


Much better to read skeptical views. I find most christian scholars have very lenient standards of proof for their own beliefs, and overly strict standards for others... just look at your evidence above for the uniqueness of the Bible... I rest my case. A true skeptic doesnt have this flaw, or has it in small amounts.



Well, you might point at the millions of Christians alive today. Unless you really want to make believe that all the massive influence of Christianity on Western civilzation came about because something did NOT happen. :D


Well, you might point at the millions of Muslims alive today. Unless you really want to make believe that all the massive influence of Islam on Mid-Eastern civilzation came about because something did NOT happen. :D

Well, you might point at the millions of Buddhists alive today. Unless you really want to make believe that all the massive influence of Buddhism on Eastern civilzation came about because something did NOT happen. :D



God does not cease to exist due to your thoughts the way you would cease if He didn't believe in you.


And he doesnt magically poof into existence because you desire him to be there.... at least unless the universe is a lot weirder than we thought.



For evidence of His existance, look at your hand. No God, no wilbur.

Nonsense.

MrsSmith
11-04-2008, 10:34 PM
One gospel gets written... then decades later another gets written that is a clear derivative work is not proof of the claim. Pretend a text was written about the beliefs of Scientology by Elron Hubbard... then later someone else expounds upon his ideas and writes a similar text decades later. According to your version of proof, we would have to accept the truth of Scientology, Islam, Buddhism and every single movie that has ever been re-made.



So because several different author's retold the same or similar stories at later dates that means its unique? And because its unique it must be true? That is nonsensical.

And really... try reading the resurrection accounts... not the same story at all, they are completely different.


Have you ever been to a trial and heard several witnesses describing the same incident? They will not tell the same story, but, just as with the gospels, if enough points are the same, the entire incident may come clear to those that were not witnesses. Just as the many, many, many points that match from gospel to gospel make the entire picture clear. There are no inconsistencies of enough weight to cause any doubt.



I specifically mentioned the resurrection and Jesus's life. As I mentioned in another post.. the Bible is consistently inaccurate enough that any historical claims should be examined on a case by case basis. Atheism and skeptical philosophy has nothing to do with leftist sites though it is a popular misconception.

Except, of course, for the minor fact that the Bible is not in any way "consistently inaccurate." I don't know where you've gotten your "knowledge," but it's consistently inaccurate.




Much better to read skeptical views. I find most christian scholars have very lenient standards of proof for their own beliefs, and overly strict standards for others... just look at your evidence above for the uniqueness of the Bible... I rest my case. A true skeptic doesnt have this flaw, or has it in small amounts.


This is an interesting outlook on knowledge. So, if I want to learn about evolution, I should read the skeptics, like Answers in Genesis? And if I want to learn about running a business, I should read material by people who aren't able to do so? Maybe I want to learn about veterinarians...so I'll go read a book on robotics. It does, however, explain why you have such difficulty with learning about some subjects.



Well, you might point at the millions of Muslims alive today. Unless you really want to make believe that all the massive influence of Islam on Mid-Eastern civilzation came about because something did NOT happen. :D

Well, you might point at the millions of Buddhists alive today. Unless you really want to make believe that all the massive influence of Buddhism on Eastern civilzation came about because something did NOT happen. :D


Ah, but I am NOT making the point that neither Mohammed nor Buddha ever existed. You, however, are trying to make the point that Jesus didn't. :D



And he doesnt magically poof into existence because you desire him to be there.... at least unless the universe is a lot weirder than we thought.



Nonsense.

All of Creation testifies of the existance of God...even you.:p

FlaGator
11-04-2008, 10:56 PM
Who cares if they made it up themselves or not... all one requires to 'die for a lie' is a reason to think that the lie is the right thing, or serves a cause greater than one's own life.. or perhaps even their legacy or reputation. I can't tell if you are being intentionally disingenuous here, to posit that this sort of thing is so far out of bounds of human behavior, that the only reasonable alternate explanation is that a supernatural but humanitized god came down, from where ever he lives, in order for us to torture him to death.

What I am doing is presenting you with a situation that begs for an answer. I pointed out that there are only three possibilites that could determine why Christ is viewed as divine. Two of those possibilities not only do not fall with in the norms of human behavior, there are no examples in human history of someone doing what your view demands of them. The third option is something that I know you can't stomach but in this scenerio it is the most reasonable conclusion that could be drawn. What I have done here is to show you that your position is illogical by giving you a situation where the logical choice was one that you could not make. In this instance I have given you the opportunity to behave rationally and you selected the irrational because it was easier for you to make that leap.



We do not have their word for it Fla.... the apostles haven't claimed anything. Someone anonymous authors who claimed to have known the apostles wrote things down.... not the apostles. Plus no historical evidence of the resurrection (or Jesus for that matter) and barely any for any of the apostles themselves... so we can't claim to know what they thought or what they saw.

Here again you state something that you have no proof to back up your position. We know that two of the Gospels weren't written by Apostles, Mark and Luke. Mark is the oldest of the Gospels with examples of his gospel being dated to around 35 years after the Resurrection of Christ. Luke was a traveling companion of Paul and is also believed to be the author of the book of Acts. At any rate these writings have early examples dating back to 35 to 50 years aftet the Resurrection and their are thousands of scraps, pages and whole manuscripts of these and other New Testament writings available to scholars that have been dated from 35 to 200 years after the Resurrection. In contrast there are only a 10 manuscripts of Caesar's Gallic Wars that was originally written in the first century. Of these 10 manuscripts the one that was copied closest to the original is 1000 years after the original. Of the 5 oldest manuscriptes of Aristotle's writtings from 400 BC, the closest to his originals was written 1400 years after he died yet no one doubts the authenticity of those few examples. Why would you except their authenticity but doubt the authenticity of the New Testament when there is much more evidence that they are exactly what they say they are. Could it be the fact that they deal with religious experience which you do not accept? Do you once again choose the irrational over the rational.




That is choosing to possibly die for a lie... to serve a cause you think is greater than the harm of the lie, ultimately. Soldiers could face punishment if they didnt flee, but surely it would be less severe that possibly losing ones life...
Again you are mentioning soldiers in war and they are completely irrelevant to the conversation. A soldier may lose his life for some elses lie but not one of his own creation. Since you could produce no examples then I guess we can conclude based on the evidence at hand that there are no examples. If there are no examples then the behavior you suggest that Occam's Razor dictates is pointless irrational behavior.




Show me examples of man-gods coming down through-out history and dying a torturous death. People dying for any number of crazy reasons will always be more probable than that, no matter which way you slice it.

I'll show you one. Jesus Christ. Now you can dispute that but then I'll point out that people don't die for what they know is a lie and will have come full circle.

This last statement tells me that when push comes to shove you will disregard a logical conclusion and accept the irrational if it perserves your view. You have no proof that there is no God. You accept this as fact based on a feeling and a belief but you will cling to that even when it doing so proves to be irrational. The fact that you do not see God or that He does not interact in you life in such away that you can become aware of him is no evidence that he doesn't exist. Before William Hershel accidentally discovered the inferred part of the spectrum no one saw it or felt it interact with them but that didn't make it any less real.

wilbur
11-04-2008, 10:56 PM
Have you ever been to a trial and heard several witnesses describing the same incident? They will not tell the same story, but, just as with the gospels, if enough points are the same, the entire incident may come clear to those that were not witnesses. Just as the many, many, many points that match from gospel to gospel make the entire picture clear. There are no inconsistencies of enough weight to cause any doubt.


So then under your standard of proof, we just need several books, written many years apart, by authors with full knowledge of the previous stories, telling similar stories... and that is a sufficient truth test? Interesting. Some witnesses are reliable, some arent.



Except, of course, for the minor fact that the Bible is not in any way "consistently inaccurate." I don't know where you've gotten your "knowledge," but it's consistently inaccurate.


Deliberate obtuseness, I hope? Its NOT accurate enough to give blanket reliability to un-evidenced claims with in it.



This is an interesting outlook on knowledge. So, if I want to learn about evolution, I should read the skeptics, like Answers in Genesis? And if I want to learn about running a business, I should read material by people who aren't able to do so? Maybe I want to learn about veterinarians...so I'll go read a book on robotics. It does, however, explain why you have such difficulty with learning about some subjects.


More deliberate obtuseness. Scientists are skeptics, unless they're doing it wrong. AiG isnt a group of skeptics, they are apologists, and extremely bad ones at that. If you want to run a business, you should read plenty of material from people who are skeptical of the type of business model, market or whatever you want to use, yes.



Ah, but I am NOT making the point that neither Mohammed nor Buddha ever existed. You, however, are trying to make the point that Jesus didn't. :D


I am saying we do not know if he existed... And I am saying your point provides no support at all for his existence, or the claims you make about him.


All of Creation testifies of the existance of God...even you.:p

All of creation testifies that God as you know him not only does not exist, but is impossible... a being comprised of mutually exclusive characteristics.... and despite the convoluted protestations of theologians and apologists, you cannot get around the problem of evil, suffering, and many others and still have a god as you claim him to be.

FlaGator
11-04-2008, 11:15 PM
All of creation testifies that God as you know him not only does not exist, but is impossible... a being comprised of mutually exclusive characteristics.... and despite the convoluted protestations of theologians and apologists, you cannot get around the problem of evil, suffering, and many others and still have a god as you claim him to be.

Can you prove this? Show me how all of creation testifies that God as I know him not only does not exist but is impossible. I'm more than willing to discuss all of this. As a matter of fact I look forward to it.

wilbur
11-05-2008, 06:07 PM
We're going around in circles, so I'll keep it brief.


What I am doing is presenting you with a situation that begs for an answer. I pointed out that there are only three possibilites that could determine why Christ is viewed as divine. Two of those possibilities not only do not fall with in the norms of human behavior, there are no examples in human history of someone doing what your view demands of them.


Perhaps... it isnt exactly an easy task to forthrightly search the internet for such examples. What we can show is that people do live and die often for absurd reasons. Perhaps dying for a lie does fall outside the 'norms'... but I would argue not outside a reasonable range that would compel us to believe it impossible... definitely not outside any range that would offer an outrageous supernatural explanation as a viable alternative.

This is the key point here: your alternate explanation is something that completely flies in the face of the laws of nature as we have know them and understand them (resurrection). Can we say that someone dying for a lie would break those incontrovertible (as far as we know) laws of nature in an equally fundamental and equally severe way (or moreso)? I think not... and its absurd to say so. Therefore, dying for a lie is more plausible.

On the other hand, I think all of us can agree, it is possible for human beings to start religions, cults and belief systems that are fundamentally untrue. It seems to be a common occurrence throughout history. We would agree that every religion (in your case, save one) is entirely false... it's simply something that people do, and all sorts of strange delusional behavior comes about in accordance with those beliefs... especially relating to death... including desires of martyrdom, suicide pacts, etc. I still call shenanigans on this presupposition that someone simply would not die for a nonsensical reason while under the spell of a religious belief. In fact, most religions form under some kind of persecution, and everyone of them has eye witnesses to its birth... many of them are persecuted. I think we can all say its possible for religious myths to evolve, be embellished, fudged, or even outright falsified to the point where they deviate significantly from the events as they took place in the real world... if indeed they even did take place. With the less than complete information accessible to us regarding these past events, my speculations of possible scenarios are just as likely as your own.... even more so if they operate within the bounds of naturalism and do not rely upon universal law breaking miracles.



The third option is something that I know you can't stomach but in this scenerio it is the most reasonable conclusion that could be drawn. What I have done here is to show you that your position is illogical by giving you a situation where the logical choice was one that you could not make. In this instance I have given you the opportunity to behave rationally and you selected the irrational because it was easier for you to make that leap.


The point you are missing is that,yes... I fully acknowledge my 'what if' scenarios are just that.... but your position relies on just as much, if not more speculation. However miraculous you would consider it for someone to 'die for a lie', your alternative explanation is infinitely more miraculous. I simply cannot see how one can say that it is not, with a straight face.

An interesting story, is the story of Jim Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones). Here, his followers witnessed a central prophecy go totally unfulfilled (the event did NOT take place), and it only increased the drive, ambition and tenacity of his followers... so much so that they died with their leader (they drank the 'kool-aid'... literally... and gave us that saying in the process). We see similar patterns in other cults and religions.... prophecies and expectations are not fulfilled, yet the followers only take as a sign to step up their game and increase their ministry.

Sonnabend
11-05-2008, 06:25 PM
An interesting story, is the story of Jim Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones). Here, his followers witnessed a central prophecy go totally unfulfilled (the event did NOT take place), and it only increased the drive, ambition and tenacity of his followers.

Tim Reiterman
Raven.
Go read it. You have no idea of what Jones was. For the record, wilbur, first and foremost Jim Jones was a socialist.

wilbur
11-05-2008, 06:29 PM
Tim Reiterman
Raven.
Go read it. You have no idea of what Jones was. For the record, wilbur, first and foremost Jim Jones was a socialist.

How bout reading the thread before interjecting, kay?

Sonnabend
11-05-2008, 06:36 PM
How bout reading the thread before interjecting, kay?

How about studying the subject before opening your big yap about Jones?

MrsSmith
11-05-2008, 07:35 PM
So then under your standard of proof, we just need several books, written many years apart, by authors with full knowledge of the previous stories, telling similar stories... and that is a sufficient truth test? Interesting. Some witnesses are reliable, some arent.
OK, I think I see the problem here. You've never read the Bible. I don't know which "skeptic" you picked this up from, but I'd doubt he's ever read it, either. :D



Deliberate obtuseness, I hope? Its NOT accurate enough to give blanket reliability to un-evidenced claims with in it.


It would be accurate enough to be used as sworn statements in a court of law. There are no inaccuracies that affect the basic occurances. None.


More deliberate obtuseness. Scientists are skeptics, unless they're doing it wrong. AiG isnt a group of skeptics, they are apologists, and extremely bad ones at that. If you want to run a business, you should read plenty of material from people who are skeptical of the type of business model, market or whatever you want to use, yes. If I want to learn a subject, I go to someone who knows it. You choose to "learn" from those that don't know the subject. It's a free country...you can mis-learn whatever you want.




I am saying we do not know if he existed... And I am saying your point provides no support at all for his existence, or the claims you make about him.


So, now you want to say that Mohammed and Buddha didn't live either? If historical evidence provides no support for existence, then there's an awful lot we don't know.



All of creation testifies that God as you know him not only does not exist, but is impossible... a being comprised of mutually exclusive characteristics.... and despite the convoluted protestations of theologians and apologists, you cannot get around the problem of evil, suffering, and many others and still have a god as you claim him to be.
There is no "problem" of suffering or evil. We have the free will to do good or evil, otherwise we would be puppets. All evil and suffering are taken care of by God at the proper time. If you don't like that, I suppose you could ask Him to remove your free will so you will never be threatened by evil or suffering. The human race, as a whole, prefers freedom and risk to slavery and safety...but you are free to make your own choice. He's always listening. :)

FlaGator
11-06-2008, 08:30 AM
We're going around in circles, so I'll keep it brief.



Perhaps... it isnt exactly an easy task to forthrightly search the internet for such examples. What we can show is that people do live and die often for absurd reasons. Perhaps dying for a lie does fall outside the 'norms'... but I would argue not outside a reasonable range that would compel us to believe it impossible... definitely not outside any range that would offer an outrageous supernatural explanation as a viable alternative.

People have died for absurd reasons. This I am not disputing. What I am saying is that there are no know examples of a person refusing to recant a lie of his or her own creation in order to save his or her life. You might be able to find a few examples of the insane doing that but the insane would actually believe their own lie so it wouldn’t be a lie to them. If you would argue that dying for a self created lie does not fall outside a reasonable range then you should be able to cite examples. If there are no examples to be had we must now consider the possibility that not only does this fall outside a reasonable range of normality that ones survival instinct prevents this from occurring. In which case choices 1 and 2 are close as close to an impossibility as one can reasonably get




This is the key point here: your alternate explanation is something that completely flies in the face of the laws of nature as we have know them and understand them (resurrection). Can we say that someone dying for a lie would break those incontrovertible (as far as we know) laws of nature in an equally fundamental and equally severe way (or moreso)? I think not... and its absurd to say so. Therefore, dying for a lie is more plausible.

What law of nature as been broken? I know of no law of nature that states the Creator of all things, including the laws of nature is prevented for assuming human form, die and be resurrected due to the very laws of nature that He created. Putting my attempt at humor aside, what laws have been violated? What law of nature dictates that some can’t undie? Perhaps you mean the law of common sense? There is no such law that is why it is called common sense and not common law. Common sense dictates that something we can see or feel or touch can’t be real yet there are a multitude of things in existence that fall outside the boundaries of common sense. The whole of quantum theory falls outside the realm of common sense.



On the other hand, I think all of us can agree, it is possible for human beings to start religions, cults and belief systems that are fundamentally untrue. It seems to be a common occurrence throughout history. We would agree that every religion (in your case, save one) is entirely false... it's simply something that people do, and all sorts of strange delusional behavior comes about in accordance with those beliefs... especially relating to death... including desires of martyrdom, suicide pacts, etc. I still call shenanigans on this presupposition that someone simply would not die for a nonsensical reason while under the spell of a religious belief. In fact, most religions form under some kind of persecution, and everyone of them has eye witnesses to its birth... many of them are persecuted. I think we can all say its possible for religious myths to evolve, be embellished, fudged, or even outright falsified to the point where they deviate significantly from the events as they took place in the real world... if indeed they even did take place. With the less than complete information accessible to us regarding these past events, my speculations of possible scenarios are just as likely as your own.... even more so if they operate within the bounds of naturalism and do not rely upon universal law breaking miracles.

All things, no matter how good intentioned can be perverted including the truth presented to us by Christ Jesus. Some are corrupt from the start and are self serving to a single or small group of individuals. In some the corruption is unintentional based on a basic misunderstanding of Scripture. However, your references to falsifying of basic Christian doctrine put the burden upon you to prove that the beliefs were in fact falsified. One can state whatever opinion one has but when that opinion is used to make accusations then the opinion must be validated or disregarded. Under what form of duress or persecution was the Jewish religion formed? Christianity of an off shoot of Judaism and I am unaware of any duress that Abraham was under when God made his promises. As for calling shenanigans that someone wouldn’t die for some nonsensical reason you can do that if you choose, but you are taking the easy way out and evading the fact that you can’t produce a positive example of you choice. You sound like the big foot enthusiasts claiming that they know that there is a big foot even though they can’t produce evidence of it.




The point you are missing is that,yes... I fully acknowledge my 'what if' scenarios are just that.... but your position relies on just as much, if not more speculation. However miraculous you would consider it for someone to 'die for a lie', your alternative explanation is infinitely more miraculous. I simply cannot see how one can say that it is not, with a straight face.

An interesting story, is the story of Jim Jones (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones). Here, his followers witnessed a central prophecy go totally unfulfilled (the event did NOT take place), and it only increased the drive, ambition and tenacity of his followers... so much so that they died with their leader (they drank the 'kool-aid'... literally... and gave us that saying in the process). We see similar patterns in other cults and religions.... prophecies and expectations are not fulfilled, yet the followers only take as a sign to step up their game and increase their ministry.


The Jim Jones scenario is another poor example. The prophecy did not take place, but his followers where claiming that it did before drinking the Kool-aid. Some died because Jones convinced them that the government was going to kill them. Others died because someone was told to kill them if they didn’t drink up. Jim Jones killed had those people killed in order to conceal is lie from them and he choose death for himself because he knew the lie was exposed. His pride and shame killed him.

wilbur
11-06-2008, 05:28 PM
What law of nature as been broken? I know of no law of nature that states the Creator of all things, including the laws of nature is prevented for assuming human form, die and be resurrected due to the very laws of nature that He created. Putting my attempt at humor aside, what laws have been violated? What law of nature dictates that some can’t undie? Perhaps you mean the law of common sense? There is no such law that is why it is called common sense and not common law. Common sense dictates that something we can see or feel or touch can’t be real yet there are a multitude of things in existence that fall outside the boundaries of common sense. The whole of quantum theory falls outside the realm of common sense.


So you would argue there is a completely naturalistic explanation for the alleged resurrection? This would, of course, preclude the need to explain the resurrection with a divine miracle. Great! God fills one less gap. ;)



All things, no matter how good intentioned can be perverted including the truth presented to us by Christ Jesus. Some are corrupt from the start and are self serving to a single or small group of individuals. In some the corruption is unintentional based on a basic misunderstanding of Scripture. However, your references to falsifying of basic Christian doctrine put the burden upon you to prove that the beliefs were in fact falsified.


What a twisted god we must have to fashion such a universe.... so that the tools of reason and intellect are completely incapable of deciphering the truths he wants us to know and, in fact, only ensure that his message (delivered by way of incoherent, unbelievable divine revelation) is corrupted with time (or possibly from the start), thereby condemning the vast majority of us to eternal suffering... simply as a result of how he fashioned our brains. What a twisted god indeed. But really.... Christian doctrine doesn't get to be true by default if it cannot be proven false... in many ways it is unfalsifiable. Disprove the flying spaghetti monster doctrine. Can't? Must be true.



One can state whatever opinion one has but when that opinion is used to make accusations then the opinion must be validated or disregarded. Under what form of duress or persecution was the Jewish religion formed? Christianity of an off shoot of Judaism and I am unaware of any duress that Abraham was under when God made his promises. As for calling shenanigans that someone wouldn’t die for some nonsensical reason you can do that if you choose, but you are taking the easy way out and evading the fact that you can’t produce a positive example of you choice. You sound like the big foot enthusiasts claiming that they know that there is a big foot even though they can’t produce evidence of it.

The Jim Jones scenario is another poor example. The prophecy did not take place, but his followers where claiming that it did before drinking the Kool-aid.

And yet they believed it, even though no prophecy was fulfilled.... this could not be the case for the apostles and the resurrection why? You speculate when you say they had to know it was a lie, just as I speculate when I say they might have believed a falsehood.

MrsSmith
11-06-2008, 08:06 PM
Why do people martyr themselves? For example, those Muslims who have done so. Why did they die willingly? Because they believe that is the only way to be sure of a place in their heaven. Otherwise, they are judged after death, and if their bad acts outweigh their good acts, they don't go to heaven.

FlaGator has already explored the reasons Jim Jones and his followers would die for their beliefs...some were brainwashed, some were threatened. Jones was insane. Now, if ONLY Jones had died, what would his followers have done? Some may have chosen to die at the same time, others probably would have left and overcome their brainwashing. How many would have spent the rest of their lives preaching Jones message...especially if Jones had been tortured to death by the authorities instead of dying at his own hand? Probably none.

Yet the disciples, who already have a promised place in Heaven and no need to earn it, who watched their miracle-working leader tortured to death...traveled all over civilization, daring a torturous death for no reward on earth or in Heaven. They would gain no wealth, no fame, nothing...and they knew it. But, according to wilbur's "tools of reason and intellect," they did all this on the strength of a lie. And none of them admitted to the lie to save their own lives...even knowing that they would not gain any reward above what was given them on Pentecost.

Wil, if you don't understand God's truths, the fault lies in your powers of reason and intellect...made obvious by your juvenile spinning of the very clear explanations FlaGator makes.

wilbur
11-06-2008, 09:08 PM
Yet the disciples, who already have a promised place in Heaven and no need to earn it, who watched their miracle-working leader tortured to death...traveled all over civilization, daring a torturous death for no reward on earth or in Heaven. They would gain no wealth, no fame, nothing...and they knew it.

They certainly gained fame... and a hero's legacy, by dying a martyr's death. Martyrdom was as exalted back then as it is in Islam today.



But, according to wilbur's "tools of reason and intellect," they did all this on the strength of a lie. And none of them admitted to the lie to save their own lives...even knowing that they would not gain any reward above what was given them on Pentecost.

Wil, if you don't understand God's truths, the fault lies in your powers of reason and intellect...made obvious by your juvenile spinning of the very clear explanations FlaGator makes.

The point continues to whoosh right over your head. I'll admit it can be confusing since there are so many implicit, yet baseless and speculative assumptions built into this 'die for a lie' proposition.

You and Fla (and the originator of this argument, Strobel) rely on the most gratuitous and speculative, interpretations of historical events in such a way as to automatically provide an unwarranted bias towards Christianity (bias that implicitly and for no justifiable reason, favors the very propositions you are trying to evidence) for this argument to work.

Prove to me the only way the apostles could believe a resurrection took place is that a resurrection actually took place. Prove to me that a superstitious person today could only believe that a magical spell is real, if they witness a real honest to god magical spell.

Jim Jones IS relevant because here we have an example of failed prophecy that did not shake many of his followers faith... and they died for thier belief.

FlaGator
11-06-2008, 09:45 PM
So you would argue there is a completely naturalistic explanation for the alleged resurrection? This would, of course, preclude the need to explain the resurrection with a divine miracle. Great! God fills one less gap. ;)

What I asked was what law of nature has been broken by the Resurrrection? I would like to know what law or laws are broken. The fact that no natural laws were broken does not negate that a miracle took place. As at Jericho, no physical laws were broken but the walls still fell.




What a twisted god we must have to fashion such a universe.... so that the tools of reason and intellect are completely incapable of deciphering the truths he wants us to know and, in fact, only ensure that his message (delivered by way of incoherent, unbelievable divine revelation) is corrupted with time (or possibly from the start), thereby condemning the vast majority of us to eternal suffering... simply as a result of how he fashioned our brains. What a twisted god indeed. But really.... Christian doctrine doesn't get to be true by default if it cannot be proven false... in many ways it is unfalsifiable. Disprove the flying spaghetti monster doctrine. Can't? Must be true.

He has given you to the tools of reason and intellect to decipher the Truth. You just refuse to use them or when you do use them as with the early three possible choices for the existence of Christianity, you refuse to accept the conclusion that you come up with and instead buy in to the absurd because don't like where the tools for reason and rationality were taking you. God revealed himself in to ways, general and special revelation. Since you reject the general revelation then special revelation make is beyond your ability to grasp. I'm not saying that to be arrogant, but if you rejected algebra and refused to learn it then calculus would make no sense to you. Also, you made the statement that Christian doctrine doesn't get to be true by default if it can't be proven false but isn't that exactly what you are doing with atheism? Are you not saying that there is no God because I can't prove to your satisfaction that He does exist? Why do you get to take that course of action but deny it to the opposition?



And yet they believed it, even though no prophecy was fulfilled.... this could not be the case for the apostles and the resurrection why? You speculate when you say they had to know it was a lie, just as I speculate when I say they might have believed a falsehood.

Time after time you display an example that is irrelevant. No, Jones' people did not believe. Most of them would have preferred to live but they were told that the government was sending soldiers to kill them and it would be best to take their own life. Pick up a book on the subject and read it. The believed a lie that was not of ther own making.

As for the Apostles, you speculate that they believed a lie. Keep in mind that they did not say that they were told Jesus was resurrected after death, they said that they saw it. Did they believe a lie that was told to them or a lie that they saw? Your position is that they believed a lie and then lied about seeing Jesus resurrected and then his ascension? When Peter testified before the Sanhedrin and said he saw Christ resurrected was he lying or telling the truth? He either lied about that and was later martyred because of it when he could have owned up to it a lived or he really saw it and died for the truth. Your position makes no sense. You really don't understand the situation do you?

FlaGator
11-06-2008, 09:48 PM
You and Fla (and the originator of this argument, Strobel) rely on the most gratuitous and speculative, interpretations of historical events in such a way as to automatically provide an unwarranted bias towards Christianity (bias that implicitly and for no justifiable reason, favors the very propositions you are trying to evidence) for this argument to work.

Actually the argument predates Stobel. I think Augustine originated it but it may even predate him.

FlaGator
11-06-2008, 09:59 PM
They certainly gained fame... and a hero's legacy, by dying a martyr's death. Martyrdom was as exalted back then as it is in Islam today.
Would you care to prove that statement?




The point continues to whoosh right over your head. I'll admit it can be confusing since there are so many implicit, yet baseless and speculative assumptions built into this 'die for a lie' proposition.

You and Fla (and the originator of this argument, Strobel) rely on the most gratuitous and speculative, interpretations of historical events in such a way as to automatically provide an unwarranted bias towards Christianity (bias that implicitly and for no justifiable reason, favors the very propositions you are trying to evidence) for this argument to work.
And for some reason you are unable to dispute this speculative interpretion of events. Interesting. You should be cause able to prove this position wrong if it was so speculative. Tell me who does a event move from speculative to reasonable? Could it be when the speculation can't be refuted?



Prove to me the only way the apostles could believe a resurrection took place is that a resurrection actually took place. Prove to me that a superstitious person today could only believe that a magical spell is real, if they witness a real honest to god magical spell.

I did that and you played word games and never offered a reasonable refutiation of the events. The apostles where told about the resurrection. They claimed to have seen it. Either they did see it or they didn't. If they didn't see it then the martyred themselves for no reason. The died because they didn't want to tell the truth. The only other explanation is that they died because the would not recant want they knew to be true. All you were asked to do to refute this argument is to provide an example of someone making up a story and then allowed themselves to be executed rather than tell the true and walk away with a tarnished ego. You have all of history to work with. You should be able to do this if there was a case where this happened.



Jim Jones IS relevant because here we have an example of failed prophecy that did not shake many of his followers faith... and they died for thier belief.

Jim Jones is irrelevant because he convinced his followers that if they didn't take their own lives the government was going to kill them. The failed prophecy had nothing what so ever to do with their suicide/murder.

wilbur
11-06-2008, 10:33 PM
What I asked was what law of nature has been broken by the Resurrrection? I would like to know what law or laws are broken. The fact that no natural laws were broken does not negate that a miracle took place. As at Jericho, no physical laws were broken but the walls still fell.


Laws of nature are simply facts of nature. Human beings cannot come back from the dead, except in a few special cases when assisted by modern technology. It is a fact/law of nature, just like gravity is a law/fact of nature.

I'm struggling with still more ways in which to word this so you see the absurdity that is so obvious to me in this argument.... you are literally trying to argue that a few people dying for a reasons you find hard to accept is a bigger, more miraculous event than the resurrection of a very extremely dead person. Do you really believe that? By suggesting the former is less probable than the latter, you are, in no uncertain terms, elevating stature of such an act above that of the resurrection of your very own God.



He has given you to the tools of reason and intellect to decipher the Truth. You just refuse to use them or when you do use them as with the early three possible choices for the existence of Christianity, you refuse to accept the conclusion that you come up with and instead buy in to the absurd because don't like where the tools for reason and rationality were taking you.


You refuse to accept that the conclusion of your reasoning does not necessarily lead where you say it has to lead unless it is granted special favorable treatment. I think I'm raising valid objections here.... unless I'm already predisposed to trust the scripture's accounts of miraculous events, scripture's accounts really aren't convincing. The argument tries to convert me from a skeptic, simply by telling me not to be skeptical.



God revealed himself in to ways, general and special revelation. Since you reject the general revelation then special revelation make is beyond your ability to grasp. I'm not saying that to be arrogant, but if you rejected algebra and refused to learn it then calculus would make no sense to you. Also, you made the statement that Christian doctrine doesn't get to be true by default if it can't be proven false but isn't that exactly what you are doing with atheism? Are you not saying that there is no God because I can't prove to your satisfaction that He does exist? Why do you get to take that course of action but deny it to the opposition?


Atheism itself is not a claim about the universe.... so to say atheism can be 'true' doesn't really make sense. There is nothing to prove. It simply a description of the lack of a very specific claim about the universe. I'm sure you do not believe in Thor... we have that in common.. what evidence could you present that proves Thor's non-existence? A non-astrologer is someone who doesn't have a belief in astrology. Does it really make sense to say non-astrology is true?

I'm not going to say atheism actually provides explanations for anything at all... it answers no questions, nor does it teach us about the world... and that is OK. That is the job of things like philosophy and science.



Time after time you display an example that is irrelevant. No, Jones' people did not believe. Most of them would have preferred to live but they were told that the government was sending soldiers to kill them and it would be best to take their own life. Pick up a book on the subject and read it. The believed a lie that was not of ther own making.


In a previous post you conceded that some probably did believe. If you don't like Jim Jones, look at any other number of cults who've met similar ends, and with no imminent threats of government retaliation... Heaven's Gate for one.



As for the Apostles, you speculate that they believed a lie. Keep in mind that they did not say that they were told Jesus was resurrected after death, they said that they saw it. Did they believe a lie that was told to them or a lie that they saw? Your position is that they believed a lie and then lied about seeing Jesus resurrected and then his ascension? When Peter testified before the Sanhedrin and said he saw Christ resurrected was he lying or telling the truth? He either lied about that and was later martyred because of it when he could have owned up to it a lived or he really saw it and died for the truth. Your position makes no sense. You really don't understand the situation do you?

I'm dismayed you don't seem to understand what I am saying.

18dd2
11-07-2008, 05:54 PM
Have you any knowledge of the biblical origin of the rapture in scripture ?I haven't been able to isolate the exact tract and scribe for it ?

You won't find it either. It is contrived around 1832



http://www.preteristarchive.com/dEmEnTiA/2006_macpherson_rapture-stupid.html

MrsSmith
11-07-2008, 07:59 PM
You won't find it either. It is contrived around 1832



http://www.preteristarchive.com/dEmEnTiA/2006_macpherson_rapture-stupid.html

:rolleyes:


>>>

It is not hard to find out when English words were first introduced into the language. One needs only to check The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and it will cite examples of the history of the usage of the word. The oldest word in the "rapture" family is "rapt." OED cites examples of rapt occurring in 1400 in English literature. The earliest instances of "rapture" in secular English literature are cited as 1605, 1607, and 1608. OED provides seven nuances of the word Rapture. The fourth entry is the biblical one defined as "The act of conveying a person from one place to another esp. to heaven; the fact of being so conveyed."
>>>

an article with some good information for those who have only read the untruths spread by skeptics (http://www.raptureready.com/featured/ice/Rapture-myths.html)

FlaGator
11-07-2008, 08:18 PM
Laws of nature are simply facts of nature. Human beings cannot come back from the dead, except in a few special cases when assisted by modern technology. It is a fact/law of nature, just like gravity is a law/fact of nature.

OK, if there are a few special cases assisted by modern technology then it is not a law of nature as opposed to gravity since there are no situations in which gravity is defied. Also there have been a few spontaneous cases where revival of an indivdual was made after being under water for several hours. There are quite a few cases of people who were pronounced dead and revived on their own.



I'm struggling with still more ways in which to word this so you see the absurdity that is so obvious to me in this argument.... you are literally trying to argue that a few people dying for a reasons you find hard to accept is a bigger, more miraculous event than the resurrection of a very extremely dead person. Do you really believe that? By suggesting the former is less probable than the latter, you are, in no uncertain terms, elevating stature of such an act above that of the resurrection of your very own God.

It is not a reason that is hard for me to accept. It is a reason that does not exist. Provide me an example of it happen and I will accept it. This is really simple. Prove to me it has happened before and you win the argument. This is what I find absurd, that you take the position that this happens but yet you can not prove it happens. Kind of like believing in God isn't. You can't prove this happens but you are sure it does.




You refuse to accept that the conclusion of your reasoning does not necessarily lead where you say it has to lead unless it is granted special favorable treatment. I think I'm raising valid objections here.... unless I'm already predisposed to trust the scripture's accounts of miraculous events, scripture's accounts really aren't convincing. The argument tries to convert me from a skeptic, simply by telling me not to be skeptical.

I'm not trying to convince you not to be skeptical. I'm trying to do two things. One is to show you that there are ways of looking a things that should cause you to question your skeptism. Two is to demonstate that though claim you skeptism is based on logic and rationality your bias leads you to accept the illogical and irrational as a valid conclusion when the evidence at hand changes your predetermined beliefs.




Atheism itself is not a claim about the universe.... so to say atheism can be 'true' doesn't really make sense. There is nothing to prove. It simply a description of the lack of a very specific claim about the universe. I'm sure you do not believe in Thor... we have that in common.. what evidence could you present that proves Thor's non-existence? A non-astrologer is someone who doesn't have a belief in astrology. Does it really make sense to say non-astrology is true?

I'm not going to say atheism actually provides explanations for anything at all... it answers no questions, nor does it teach us about the world... and that is OK. That is the job of things like philosophy and science.



In a previous post you conceded that some probably did believe. If you don't like Jim Jones, look at any other number of cults who've met similar ends, and with no imminent threats of government retaliation... Heaven's Gate for one.

By some coincidence I watch a show on cults on the History Channel today. The declared that recently evidence has be released that show that must of the cult members where force to take the poison. All the children were and the adults either where shot or injected with the poision. At any rate they one who did commit suicide did not die because of some failed prophecy, they died because Jones convinced them that the government was coming to kill them because of their assassination of Sen Leo Ryan.

As for the other cults, let look at Heaven's Gate. They commited suicide over a lie that they beleived, not a lie that they made up themselves. You are once again comparing apples with oranges.



I'm dismayed you don't seem to understand what I am saying.[/QUOTE]

MrsSmith
11-07-2008, 10:49 PM
the god you and I understand as a universal, non-gendered, asexual, love-drunk energy coursing through all things at all times everywhere without the slightest wisp of prejudice or geographical preference

wilbur's god?? (http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/showthread.php?t=7564)

FlaGator
11-07-2008, 11:17 PM
wilbur's god?? (http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/showthread.php?t=7564)

I guess that god will even let republicans into heaven... I bet that they haven't considered that implication.

wilbur
11-09-2008, 07:29 PM
OK, if there are a few special cases assisted by modern technology then it is not a law of nature as opposed to gravity since there are no situations in which gravity is defied. Also there have been a few spontaneous cases where revival of an indivdual was made after being under water for several hours. There are quite a few cases of people who were pronounced dead and revived on their own.


Reviving a dead person with some defribulators or some other similar means isnt defying laws of nature anymore than flying an airplane is defying the laws of nature. However, if you want to reduce the resurrection to a naturalistic event that doesnt defy the laws of nature, than that really doesnt leave us with any reason at all to think it was miraculous in any way... if indeed it occured. So there's still nothing convincing down that path...



It is not a reason that is hard for me to accept. It is a reason that does not exist. Provide me an example of it happen and I will accept it. This is really simple. Prove to me it has happened before and you win the argument. This is what I find absurd, that you take the position that this happens but yet you can not prove it happens. Kind of like believing in God isn't. You can't prove this happens but you are sure it does.


One can just as easily say that a divine resurrection has never happened, and that the implausibility of such an event proves that the apostles died for a lie... I think this is what I've been trying to say in a nutshell.

The only way this argument works in the favor of Christinaity is with heavy doses of special pleading.



I'm not trying to convince you not to be skeptical. I'm trying to do two things. One is to show you that there are ways of looking a things that should cause you to question your skeptism. Two is to demonstate that though claim you skeptism is based on logic and rationality your bias leads you to accept the illogical and irrational as a valid conclusion when the evidence at hand changes your predetermined beliefs.


I think your predisposition to believe in miracles that affirm your religious belief clouds your objectivity.



By some coincidence I watch a show on cults on the History Channel today. The declared that recently evidence has be released that show that must of the cult members where force to take the poison. All the children were and the adults either where shot or injected with the poision. At any rate they one who did commit suicide did not die because of some failed prophecy, they died because Jones convinced them that the government was coming to kill them because of their assassination of Sen Leo Ryan.

As for the other cults, let look at Heavesn's Gate. They commited suicide over a lie that they beleived, not a lie that they made up themselves. You are once again comparing apples with oranges.


Well one of the many weak spots in the 'die for a lie' argument is why
I bring up these cults... there are clear examples in many fringe cults, heavens gate included, where very clear prophecies were made, failed to comes to pass... and it didnt shake the faith of their devout. So you cant really say with certainty that the apostlles didnt believe the lie, even if they didnt witness a resurrection.

That and one can witness something and be mistaken about what they witnessed.

There is even a decent amount of scholarly opinion that the resurrection as told by Paul (I think) was in the form of a vision, not a physical event. By the time the later gospels were written the stories had been embellished.

All this being said, I think its quite clear there arent really any teeth to the die for a lie argument.... I could really only see it being effective for maybe some non-christian theists.... but not to anyone who looks skeptically at supernatural, miraculous events.

wilbur
11-09-2008, 07:31 PM
wilbur's god?? (http://www.conservativeunderground.com/forum505/showthread.php?t=7564)

Sounds just as plausile as any other ;)

MrsSmith
11-09-2008, 08:47 PM
One thing that defies the law of nature is the idea that life could start from non-living things. Yet here we all are...without God, according to some. I wonder which "laws" of nature have changed? (Not, of course, that it logically follows that God can change the laws He wrote at any time. Oh, no, of course not.)

wilbur
11-09-2008, 10:30 PM
One thing that defies the law of nature is the idea that life could start from non-living things. Yet here we all are...without God, according to some. I wonder which "laws" of nature have changed? (Not, of course, that it logically follows that God can change the laws He wrote at any time. Oh, no, of course not.)

Plenty of organic matter, such as amino acids and nucleotides do spontaneoulsy form from non-living matter.... seeing as how we arent really built out of any kind of special, exotic material, its a damn good bet that life does form and has formed from non-living matter... the building blocks were all there. And it all fits under the laws of chemistry.... no suspension of natural laws required. There's a lot of exciting work going on in the realm of abiogensis.

Now, there is a lot yet to be learned in this area, and by some extreme minute chance, you could be correct (although we have no good reason to suspect you are)... but to claim with certainty that natural laws would have to be broken to form life is simply a lie. What is wrong with unanswered questions?

MrsSmith
11-09-2008, 10:40 PM
Plenty of organic matter, such as amino acids and nucleotides do spontaneoulsy form from non-living matter.... seeing as how we arent really built out of any kind of special, exotic material, its a damn good bet that life does form and has formed from non-living matter... the building blocks were all there. And it all fits under the laws of chemistry.... no suspension of natural laws required. There's a lot of exciting work going on in the realm of abiogensis.

Now, there is a lot yet to be learned in this area, and by some extreme minute chance, you could be correct (although we have no good reason to suspect you are)... but to claim with certainty that natural laws would have to be broken to form life is simply a lie. What is wrong with unanswered questions?

And after much study, millions of dollars spent, all kinds of careful experiments...scientist have proven that it will be very, very difficult to start life from dead stuff...if not outright impossible, even with all the laboratories completely stocked, and all the basic buildling blocks at hand. But there is no God. Really. Truly. And that non-existant God, who did not start life on it's journey, nor make the universe (and where did all of that come from??:eek:), that non-existant God did not raise His Son from death, so the disciples therefore traveled all over preaching for the privilege of being tortured to death the way their non-risen rabbi had been. Because becoming a martyr is something highly honored. Or whatever. OK...

wilbur
11-09-2008, 10:52 PM
And after much study, millions of dollars spent, all kinds of careful experiments...scientist have proven that it will be very, very difficult to start life from dead stuff...if not outright impossible, even with all the laboratories completely stocked, and all the basic buildling blocks at hand.


They do create synthetic designer RNA, capable of evolution and self replication you know... there has also been success in creating chromosomes from non-living chemicals.... by some definition that would be life... and if not, its just on the edge. Creating a living cell from scratch isnt very far away.... we will see it in our lifetimes. Different processes than what we suspect happened naturally, but its life all the same... from non-living substances. Still operating within the bounds of natural law here, sorry.




But there is no God. Really. Truly. And that non-existant God, who did not start life on it's journey, nor make the universe (and where did all of that come from??:eek:), that non-existant God did not raise His Son from death, so the disciples therefore traveled all over preaching for the privilege of being tortured to death the way their non-risen rabbi had been. Because becoming a martyr is something highly honored. Or whatever. OK...

Glad you finally coming around! It doesn't make sense that an omnipotent God would need to do such a thing anyways. Such a God could achieve the greatest possible good without resorting to torture.

MrsSmith
11-09-2008, 11:10 PM
I just got done washing dishes and had to come back. I love the workings of the "rational" mind. It is rational and within the laws of nature for dead things to come to life. It is irrational and outside the laws of nature for dead things to come back to life. Thank you for that wonderful laugh. I needed that. :D God bless you, man. :D

wilbur
11-09-2008, 11:30 PM
I just got done washing dishes and had to come back. I love the workings of the "rational" mind. It is rational and within the laws of nature for dead things to come to life.

Yes.



It is irrational and outside the laws of nature for dead things to come back to life. Thank you for that wonderful laugh. I needed that. :D God bless you, man. :D

Absolutely.

Sheesh, don't let some intellectual honesty get in the way of a contrived little gotcha... simple self-replicating and evolving organic molecules forming from non-living naturally forming organic molecules is a far cry from the re-animation of a rotting corpse.

So then the resurrection was just a rare but natural anomaly? One of those rare but occurrences where a person is able to resuscitate after being 'clinicly dead? Kinda takes the divinity out of it eh? You think its fully within the laws of nature for a decomposing corpse to get up and start walking again? If that's the case, why is your god necessary to explain it?