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View Full Version : REL: "Truth...once you see it, you're stuck!" (open for debate)



FlaGator
11-02-2008, 06:36 PM
I found this very interesting and is in the same vein as several of the threads we've had here lately.


For recent interviews, I'm reading a book by my friend, Tim Keller, The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism, and another book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, Why We're not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be).

(You can hear both interviews at www.stevebrownetc.com.)

Keller writes: "Whether you consider yourself a believer or a skeptic, I invite you to seek the same kind of honesty and to grow in an understanding of the nature of your own doubts. The result will exceed anything you can imagine."

He then proceeds to present a vibrant, thoughtful and clear presentation of orthodox Biblical Christianity, giving real answers to real questions.

In the introduction to the Emergent book, the authors write:

"If you listen to U2, Moby, and Johnny Cash's Hurt (sometimes in church), use sermon illustrations from The Sopranos, drink lattes in the afternoon and Guinness in the evenings, and always use a Mac;...if your idea of quintessential Christian discipleship is Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, or Desmond Tutu; if you don't like George W. Bush or institutions or big business or capitalism or Left Behind Christianity;...if you love the Bible as a beautiful, inspiring collection of works that lead us into the mystery of God but is not inerrant; if you search for truth but aren't sure it can be found; if you've ever been to a church with prayer labyrinths, candles, Play-Doh, chalk-drawings, couches, or beanbags (your youth group doesn't count); if you loathe words like linear, propositional, rational, machine, and hierarchy and use words like ancient-future, jazz, mosaic, matrix, missional, vintage, and dance;...then you might be an emergent Christian."

Then after that rather funny introduction, DeYoung and Kluck spend a lot of time on the eternal truths of the Christian faith and why they can't be compromised.

Both of those books have served to remind me of something important...something one tends to forget if you're as religious as I am, debate as many people as I do, answer as many questions as I do and deal with as much criticism as I do.

What's that?

Truth. That's what.

I've often asked Christians how their lives would be different if they woke up tomorrow morning and found out that all they believed about God, the Bible and their faith was not true. People look at me as if I've lost my mind.

But it's a good question.



Read it all here (http://www.keylife.org/steves-letter/steves-letter-truth-.once-you-see-it-youre-stuck.html)

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 07:09 PM
I found this very interesting and is in the same vein as several of the threads we've had here lately.



Read it all here (http://www.keylife.org/steves-letter/steves-letter-truth-.once-you-see-it-youre-stuck.html)

I did the "wake up tomorrow morning and found out that all they believed about God, the Bible and their faith was not true" years ago. I found out I was wrong in believing that God wasn't really there, the Bible wasn't really true, and that my faith was Christian. I firmly believe there is no backtracking from knowing better.

FlaGator
11-02-2008, 08:03 PM
I did the "wake up tomorrow morning and found out that all they believed about God, the Bible and their faith was not true" years ago. I found out I was wrong in believing that God wasn't really there, the Bible wasn't really true, and that my faith was Christian. I firmly believe there is no backtracking from knowing better.

Under the concept of irresistable grace once saved one can not back track. He may stumble but ultimately he will come back because the regenerate soul now desires to be in the presence of the Almighty God.

Bubba Dawg
11-02-2008, 08:44 PM
Maybe i am a poor correspondent in this thread, but I find it very difficult to accept the truth of any religion because I have no connection whatsoever with, for lack of a better word, the numinous.

I have experienced religion, have prayed the sinner's prayer in an evangelical church, have done the studies, attended the classes and groups and services, and it finally dawned on me one day that there has never been one moment when I felt any connection with Anyone or Anything.

In my life I have spent years off and on seeking faith and today, now, religious faith is completely irrelevant to me. And the absence of such a faith has made no difference to me.

You can't miss what you haven't had.

Faith hasn't worked for me. I am glad for those who have faith. I don't.

FlaGator
11-02-2008, 09:41 PM
Maybe i am a poor correspondent in this thread, but I find it very difficult to accept the truth of any religion because I have no connection whatsoever with, for lack of a better word, the numinous.

I have experienced religion, have prayed the sinner's prayer in an evangelical church, have done the studies, attended the classes and groups and services, and it finally dawned on me one day that there has never been one moment when I felt any connection with Anyone or Anything.

In my life I have spent years off and on seeking faith and today, now, religious faith is completely irrelevant to me. And the absence of such a faith has made no difference to me.

You can't miss what you haven't had.

Faith hasn't worked for me. I am glad for those who have faith. I don't.

I had no faith until 2 1/2 years ago. There is no other way to say this other than God changed me. Why me and why did He wait until I was in my mid 40's I have no idea. I just know that He did and now I have an abundance of faith. He changed me and my life and now I seek to do for Him as He would have me do. I now have a passionate love for Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is something greater than I have ever known. The Lord opened my mind and I started learning about philosophy as well as theology. It was through these studies that I discovered that you don't find God and faith in religion. Religion and worship are outward manafestations of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Religion is man's fallen interpretation of the will of God as it relates to the corporate practice of one's beliefs. Faith transends all of that. Religion is what you do as a group, faith is what you live.

MrsSmith
11-02-2008, 11:32 PM
Maybe i am a poor correspondent in this thread, but I find it very difficult to accept the truth of any religion because I have no connection whatsoever with, for lack of a better word, the numinous.

I have experienced religion, have prayed the sinner's prayer in an evangelical church, have done the studies, attended the classes and groups and services, and it finally dawned on me one day that there has never been one moment when I felt any connection with Anyone or Anything.

In my life I have spent years off and on seeking faith and today, now, religious faith is completely irrelevant to me. And the absence of such a faith has made no difference to me.

You can't miss what you haven't had.

Faith hasn't worked for me. I am glad for those who have faith. I don't.

Properly understood, Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with the risen Lord. Religion is a manmade thing that will always fail you. Christianity is a God-made thing that never fails. God is always faithful. We may not always feel His presence, but He is always there. I can't say what happened when you prayed, but if you gave Him your heart and your life, then He is there, no matter what your emotions tell you. I have to say, also, that I don't see that "faith" has much to do with it. Trust maybe, because you have to trust Him that He is in charge, but "faith" implies something you can't know...and there is no way to not know. The Holy Spirit changes us.

M21
11-03-2008, 03:50 PM
I spent much of my life in the Church and didn't know Jesus Christ from an apple tree. Then one day that all changed not because of anything I did but because He called me. I have no idea why and He continues to equip me more and more everyday for the work he has set before me.

it's unexplainable except to say to describe it as His irresistible Grace. I could no more turn back from the path I'm on than I could stop breathing air.

Bubba Dawg
11-04-2008, 07:49 PM
I had no faith until 2 1/2 years ago. There is no other way to say this other than God changed me. Why me and why did He wait until I was in my mid 40's I have no idea. I just know that He did and now I have an abundance of faith. He changed me and my life and now I seek to do for Him as He would have me do. I now have a passionate love for Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is something greater than I have ever known. The Lord opened my mind and I started learning about philosophy as well as theology. It was through these studies that I discovered that you don't find God and faith in religion. Religion and worship are outward manafestations of the presence of the Holy Spirit. Religion is man's fallen interpretation of the will of God as it relates to the corporate practice of one's beliefs. Faith transends all of that. Religion is what you do as a group, faith is what you live.

Thank you. It isn't that i don't want to have a religious experience or feel some touch of God, I actually do. It's just that I haven't had it yet, at least not in that tangible way that I guess I have expected.

I freely admit that maybe my expectations are at fault here. Perhaps I have been waiting for a Cosmic Smack when what it is is a gentle touch. I actually attend church. I read scripture. I grew up in a very fundamentalist church. I left quite deliberately and with a sense of finality. Then I began attending an Episcopal church and was introduced to the Mystery of the Mass. The lack of a real sense of foundational belief in the ECUSA, theological liberalism and sort of an anything goes spirituality, turned me off there.

At Edisto Island SC last year, I attended an Episcopal Church while on Vacation. Trinity, I think it is called. It is an old church. It is a mixed black and white church, with the descendant's of slaves sitting with the descendants of slave owners and worshiping together. It is a lovely church. The sermon I heard was biblically based and simple yet profound. It was the Gospel.

They are affiliated with a conservative movement within the Episcopal Church USA and the greater Anglican Communion. I admired greatly what I saw there.

I am seeking, which I think and hope is a good thing.

This is an interesting discussion. Thanks for starting it.

Bubba Dawg
11-04-2008, 07:51 PM
Properly understood, Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with the risen Lord. Religion is a manmade thing that will always fail you. Christianity is a God-made thing that never fails. God is always faithful. We may not always feel His presence, but He is always there. I can't say what happened when you prayed, but if you gave Him your heart and your life, then He is there, no matter what your emotions tell you. I have to say, also, that I don't see that "faith" has much to do with it. Trust maybe, because you have to trust Him that He is in charge, but "faith" implies something you can't know...and there is no way to not know. The Holy Spirit changes us.

Thank you. That is true about feeling, I think. I endeavor to move forward in faith regardless of whether I feel a particular thing or not. As you said it is faith that I desire, not religion.

MrsSmith
11-04-2008, 10:22 PM
Thank you. That is true about feeling, I think. I endeavor to move forward in faith regardless of whether I feel a particular thing or not. As you said it is faith that I desire, not religion.

We are warned not to expect a "big experience" all the time...if ever. It can be much easier to see His hand in the past than in the present. When I lost my parents a couple years ago, I spent a lot of time drowning in sorrow. At that time, I didn't feel His hand. In retrospect, however, I remember all the trips I made to and from work with my eyes so filled with tears that I couldn't possibly see the road...but every trip was safe. (After some of the whacko drivers and things I've dodged on that road, there's no doubt He was carrying me.) His presence is less an emotional experience than the realization that His hand is always about you, and He both cries and laughs with you, even when you don't feel it. And maybe that's a good thing. Those that hear Him the most seem to end up prophets...and I don't think I'd want to live like any of them!

I pray that you will find your balance with Him.

Bubba Dawg
11-04-2008, 10:25 PM
We are warned not to expect a "big experience" all the time...if ever. It can be much easier to see His hand in the past than in the present. When I lost my parents a couple years ago, I spent a lot of time drowning in sorrow. At that time, I didn't feel His hand. In retrospect, however, I remember all the trips I made to and from work with my eyes so filled with tears that I couldn't possibly see the road...but every trip was safe. (After some of the whacko drivers and things I've dodged on that road, there's no doubt He was carrying me.) His presence is less an emotional experience than the realization that His hand is always about you, and He both cries and laughs with you, even when you don't feel it. And maybe that's a good thing. Those that hear Him the most seem to end up prophets...and I don't think I'd want to live like any of them!

I pray that you will find your balance with Him.

Thank you very much. :)

wulfpaw
11-05-2008, 04:17 PM
Here's a fact to consider, in revelations there's a passage where Christ is addressing the churches. He speaks of seven different styles, or denominations of church. Some He berates outright, Some He at first praises and then says "But for this" and winds up berating them. There are only two styles of church out of the seven Christ admires outright. Those are the two that teach the bible fully where their congreations fully understand the truth of things. This goes back to 'The truth shall set you free'. Free in this case is freedom from the 5 styles of church that Christ berates. The people know the truth and can't be snared with any false doctrines.

MrsSmith
11-05-2008, 08:00 PM
Here's a fact to consider, in revelations there's a passage where Christ is addressing the churches. He speaks of seven different styles, or denominations of church. Some He berates outright, Some He at first praises and then says "But for this" and winds up berating them. There are only two styles of church out of the seven Christ admires outright. Those are the two that teach the bible fully where their congreations fully understand the truth of things. This goes back to 'The truth shall set you free'. Free in this case is freedom from the 5 styles of church that Christ berates. The people know the truth and can't be snared with any false doctrines.

It is a fact that the congregations that are growing today are the ones that teach the whole Bible, not the "PC" parts only. All the liberal denominations are shrinking...or splitting.

wulfpaw
11-08-2008, 05:38 PM
Exactly. The scriptures are 'God's letter to us'. It would naturally follow that those that made an effort to align themselves as closely as they could with them, teach them, live them, would earn God's favor.