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  1. #11  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    Ginger:

    Do you see archeology/linguistics and spiritual truths as being mutually exclusive endeavors?

    I read the bible first in church, then later in life, as English-Lit major, I studied the individual books in their historical context, looking at authorship, imagery, symbolism, etc. It was during that time that I began to see the bible not as a single book but as a collection of writings including gospel, histories, poetry and prose.

    I can say, for me, that insight only deepened my feelings about the profound truths revealed in scripture.

    Question: Today, what is the Fundamentalist take or feeling toward the Catholic Church? -- I ask because I have encountered some pretty negative beliefs in the past. (Jack Chick's anti-Catholic tracts, pagan influence etc.)

    I don't know much about archeology, except what I read in National Geographic and watch on The Naked Archeologist. I know who Flavius Jospehus was, but I haven't read his writings. NG had a great article about Herod and the numerous building projects he was responsible for in his lifetime, a few issues back.

    I took a religion class in college called The Christian Tradition. It was taught by a liberal, retired PBUSA minister who had his PHD. Before I took that class, I made a lot of basic assumptions about the Bible, in particular the gospels. I assumed that the gospels were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in their lifetimes-most christians do. According to the type of scholars you read in a religion class in a secular state university, they were written much later, but that most of Paul's epistles were written by Paul. I wish I had saved my term paper from the class, and the textbook-it was so long ago, I unfortunately can't even remember the title or author.

    Dr. Bischoff did take particular pleasure in starting arguments between catholics and baptists. There are definite theological differences, but young people in college are far more argumentative about such things than neighbors who have some religious differences. I had a coworker who is a fundamentalist who once made the mistake of implying to a devout catholic that catholics weren't real christians. That was a fun event for me to witness, and Dr. Bischoff would have loved it, although it was far more civil than he would have preferred.

    I don't take personally the fundamentalist criticism of "picking and choosing" scripture, because I plainly admit to doing so. I don't consider the law of Moses, for example, to contain as many spiritual truths and principles as the Psalms. I consider The Sermon On The Mountain to be some of the best spiritual teaching I've ever read, and the only thing that when I practice the principles of forgiveness of others as expressed by Jesus in Matthew 5-7, I have peace of mind and do not feel guilty about treating others poorly. I take seriously the part about loving your enemies and praying for those who mistreat you, and I love the wording in the KJV-"He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust".


    My question for fundamentalists is: Do you really consider the letters of Paul to be the "Word of God"? If so, why?

    I'm not asking this sarcastically, I'm genuinely curious, because I don't think Paul thought his letters were the Word of God. He readily admits to his human condition in the epistles.
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  2. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    My question for fundamentalists is: Do you really consider the letters of Paul to be the "Word of God"? If so, why?

    I'm not asking this sarcastically, I'm genuinely curious, because I don't think Paul thought his letters were the Word of God. He readily admits to his human condition in the epistles.
    I'm absolutely a fundamentalist in the technical sense but my church is a liturgical church within the Continuing Anglican tradition. This means that we have way too many smells and bells to look like the Landmark Baptists. But until a genuine self-described fundamentalist shows up, I'll fill in.

    The entire bible is the Word of God. It's all one dynamic revelation. While Christians aren't bound by all the 613 laws of Moses, they are edified by studying those laws. Likewise, while not every word in the NT is equivalent in importance to the words of Christ, it's all part of the same foundational narrative. The Pauline letters are an important part of history of the developing Church. Paul's more personal writing is a profound story of redemption and salvation. Since those two concepts are the actual point of Christianity, that story too is part of the revelation.

    That churches vary on female instruction, covering, and other matters touched upon by Paul is interesting but not important. The message of salvation is important.

    Now a Landmark Baptist can come along and correct my errors and tell me to wipe that lipstick off. :p
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  3. #13  
    Power CUer FlaGator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    My question for fundamentalists is: Do you really consider the letters of Paul to be the "Word of God"? If so, why?

    I'm not asking this sarcastically, I'm genuinely curious, because I don't think Paul thought his letters were the Word of God. He readily admits to his human condition in the epistles.
    It is the Word of God just like the Torah is the Word of God and all the books of the Old Testament are the Word of God. Paul whether realizing it or not wrote the words God intended him to right. I sure that Paul never considered that his letters would become part of Christian canon and doctrine but that is what makes them as special as they are. He was writing in general to explain Christianity or to deal with groups (churches) diverting from the true Gospel as Christ and the Holy Spirit gave it to him. In doing so God used him to flesh out the teachings of Christ into something practical for those who did not have Jesus in the flesh to explain things. How to recognize apostasy and heresy and how to deal with those who had turned from the true faith were other important aspects of what God wanted to get across. Some of Paul's doctrine has an element of the social conduct that was present at the time of his writing, but he had to write in such a way that those living in his time could understand things. For example, woman covering their heads in church was practical and symbolic in that it made all women equal in the eyes of the members of a church.

    This is my opinion based on my studying scripture and view and opinions historic theologians.

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis
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  4. #14  
    Power CUer noonwitch's Avatar
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    Thanks SR and Ginger. Most of the fundamentalists I meet (like the aforementioned coworker who accused catholics of not being christians) give me an oversimplified answer that is the equivilant of responding with "just because". Or, they think I'm trying to start something and get all defensive.
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  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlaGator View Post
    Actually many liberals do acknowledge god, their version of him. They acknowledge Christ Jesus too, their version of him. Just look at what is going on in the Episcopal Church. Liberal leadership has taken over and they have redefined God and Christ recreating them in their image. They toss out Scripture that doesn't agree with their philosophy (and that is what Episcopalianism is becoming, a secular philosophy based on appealing to secular interests) and pervert much of what remains to co-exist with their world view. They have created a weak and impotent god that actually appeals to no one and then wonder why people, parishes and dioceses are leaving for more fundamental Biblical pastures.
    Although I grew up in the Episcopal Church, I have not stepped inside one since my father's funeral in 1997. So, I can't give an opinion about whether what you're saying is true or not-- "toss out" or "pervert" scripture, I think they are overly harsh criticisms to be giving from outside the building--unless your opinion is based on sitting in on mass for few weeks in a row.

    Regarding, "their version of him": I would say that any person's concept of God is a deeply personal and complicated thing. To suppose to know and fully understand another person's spiritual beliefs is somewhat arrogant. That would mean seeing into their head and their heart. To say their practices differ from your's is one thing, but to actually imply their concept of God is wrong simply because it is not in line with your's, this is something I've always had a problem with.
    Last edited by hazlnut; 04-16-2009 at 02:30 PM.
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  6. #16  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noonwitch View Post
    Thanks SR and Ginger. Most of the fundamentalists I meet (like the aforementioned coworker who accused catholics of not being christians) give me an oversimplified answer that is the equivilant of responding with "just because". Or, they think I'm trying to start something and get all defensive.
    Your average Joe has no idea what their faith believes let alone how to articulate those beliefs to others.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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  7. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    Regarding, "their version of him": I would say that any person's concept of God is a deeply personal and complicated thing. To suppose to know and fully understand another person's spiritual beliefs is somewhat arrogant. That would mean seeing into their head and their heart. To say their practices differ from your's is one thing, but to actually imply their concept of God is wrong simply because it is not in line with your's, this is something I've always had a problem with.
    This cuts exactly to the heart of the matter in the OP. Traditional Christians allow that only God can know the heart of man but that man's own false pride and fallen nature make his personal conclusions suspect at best and flat out wrong at worst. One of the purposes of a faith community is to correct false conclusions and educate the membership in accepted theology and doctrine. Implying or even stating that someone's personal conclusions about matters of theology or doctrine are wrong is perfectly okay although it can rude or unwanted. Speculating about an individual's salvation status is not okay.

    Traditional Christians may differ on practices and authorities as well as on canonical sources but they are actually in close agreement on most aspects of theology and major points of doctrine.

    Progressive Christians do not make absolute statements about theology or doctrine. Because they hold to no hard doctrine, no personal conclusions about God or the faith can be identified as wrong. Or right. Everybody's opinion is equally valid.
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    This cuts exactly to the heart of the matter in the OP. Traditional Christians allow that only God can know the heart of man but that man's own false pride and fallen nature make his personal conclusions suspect at best and flat out wrong at worst. One of the purposes of a faith community is to correct false conclusions and educate the membership in accepted theology and doctrine. Implying or even stating that someone's personal conclusions about matters of theology or doctrine are wrong is perfectly okay although it can rude or unwanted. Speculating about an individual's salvation status is not okay.
    Fair enough--that makes sense. Discussing, debating matters of theology/doctrine--okay.

    Re: Speculating about an individual's salvation--I've seen some of that--not a lot openly, to be fair.

    I'll never forget this one woman I know returning from an organized tour to the Holy Land-Israel, Masada, Jerusalem, etc. She commented on how wonderful the trip was and how beautiful the people were--but the last thing she said was: "To bad they're not going to be saved."
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  9. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazlnut View Post
    I'll never forget this one woman I know returning from an organized tour to the Holy Land-Israel, Masada, Jerusalem, etc. She commented on how wonderful the trip was and how beautiful the people were--but the last thing she said was: "To bad they're not going to be saved."
    :eek:
    "Today, [the American voter] chooses his rulers as he buys bootleg whiskey, never knowing precisely what he is getting, only certain that it is not what it pretends to be." - H.L. Mencken
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  10. #20  
    CU's Tallest Midget! PoliCon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    This cuts exactly to the heart of the matter in the OP. Traditional Christians allow that only God can know the heart of man but that man's own false pride and fallen nature make his personal conclusions suspect at best and flat out wrong at worst. One of the purposes of a faith community is to correct false conclusions and educate the membership in accepted theology and doctrine. Implying or even stating that someone's personal conclusions about matters of theology or doctrine are wrong is perfectly okay although it can rude or unwanted. Speculating about an individual's salvation status is not okay.Traditional Christians may differ on practices and authorities as well as on canonical sources but they are actually in close agreement on most aspects of theology and major points of doctrine.

    Progressive Christians do not make absolute statements about theology or doctrine. Because they hold to no hard doctrine, no personal conclusions about God or the faith can be identified as wrong. Or right. Everybody's opinion is equally valid.
    Ginger - when you speak of theology and doctrine - how do you define those terms?

    Also - I would maintain that there is a difference between a progressive Christian and a liberal one. Sadly the current FALSE political definition of liberal has been applied to the term when used in conjunction with theology and religion. The connection is tenuous at best - and on most levels nonexistent.
    Stand up for what is right, even if you have to stand alone.
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