Originally posted by arollingstone
I don't know which of my statements you are referring to here.
You initially said "it" when asking why I defended "it", and it wasn't clear what you were referring to. If that isn't it, please clarify.
Nice analogy with the cosmic chess game, you get points for that.
Tanx. :-D It works for me.
Are you saying that Jesus was a human incarnation of God? Don't want to make any assumptions. Islam does not recognise Jesus as either the son
of God or God himself, do you think that they are any less valid in their worship of God than Christians? Surely there is only one truth within this
Yes, per Phil. 2:5-11 Jesus set aside his divine privileges and took on humanity. And while Muslims may be entirely sincere in their worship, I
believe they're worshiping the wrong one. A good passage to illustrate how Christians are to view other beliefs is Paul's speech to the Greek
philosophers on Mars Hill. He observed their many idols and one in particular caught his attention: "To the Unknown God". He used that, not as an
affirmation of their beliefs, but as a "hook" or springboard to present the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told them that in the past God "overlooked
such ignorance, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent" (and "repent" in the Greek simply means to change one's mind, not confess sins)
and accept Jesus because he was "raised from the dead". The Greeks laughed at that part, which proves they didn't accept all kinds of resurrection
myths. But the point is that Paul did not accept the other faiths as having some truth in them or worshiping the same God, and it is the risen Jesus
that sets this "unknown God" apart from all the others.
I really doubt that... I'm quite certain that if most people saw him walk on water or create a dinosaur they would believe it was him - however, all
these supposed miracles occurred a long time ago. I've never seen a miracle in person, I've only read about them.
In my experience, almost without exception, atheists say they would only believe if God did some trick in front of them. Of course, the question then
arises, "How would you tell this from a hallucination?" But the thing about miracles is that they are by definition violations of natural law, and
the pattern in scripture seems to be that they are only used when words fail or to put a divine stamp of approval on some epochal change, such as when
the "church" was begun. So I don't put great emphasis on them as a pillar of my faith.
Yes evolution is a theory, but it seems to be an extremely reliable one - the most rational. What is your take on the origins of
As you know, science cannot study origins because they are one-off events that happened before we were around to watch. Every evo will refuse to say
that the ToE has anything to do with this question, though it's very difficult to get two evo's to agree on what the ToE actually is these days.
[/sarcasm] So regardless of how I answer it, science has nothing to say about it except to presume, for no scientific reason, that "the present is
the key to the past".
On that point I hold that all theories of origins are unscientific. I reject most of them because they only move the line in the sand as to when the
origination took place, instead of answering the question. Panspermia, aliens, the uni as a giant perpetual motion machine, etc. are all "just so"
stories and thus not superior to the belief that what exists came from an intelligent and powerful First Cause outside of the physical universe. But,
to quote a line from The Incredibles, "yet here we are". Based upon the observation that "no effect is greater than its cause", and observing
entropy and the vast design evidence I see everywhere, I have come to the conclusion that the First Cause is an intelligent being.
As a theory of "change in allele frequency over time" instead of one on origins, I still reject ToE because it is unfalsifiable, as I already
stated. I can't find the quote right now, but on one of the evo sites someone said that no matter what science ever discovers, the ToE will remain
(or words to that effect). That is a clear statement of unfalsifiability, and of an almost religious faith in ToE as the grand "theory of
everything". Every known and observed fact (the def. of "real" science) can be interpreted as a support of ToE or a support of YEC (young earth
creationism), so science itself does not prove ToE nor disprove YEC.
It is not a choice if one cannot believe in God
You can choose between belief or not. If you had no choice then God would force you one way or the other.
and it is arrogant to assume that they should simply because you do.
I agree, but who says this?
As aforementioned, I happen to believe in some form of God but I know plenty of people who cannot (they don't 'choose' not to) and should
not be condemned on that basis. As you've written, that is for Him to judge and no one else but I personally feel he would understand.
How do you know they lack the ability to choose whether or not to believe in God? Experiment? Analysis? Any kind of proof other than their word? But
at least we agree that God will sort it out. However, my charge as a Christian is to do everything possible to spread the gospel, regardless of what
people do with it.
One does not need several years of study to question something.
Oh, how I wish you'd repeat this every time someone beats me over the head with their scientifical degrees or superior enlightenment and maturity. On
the other hand, if I claimed to know something about the lifecycle of the gnat I'd better be able to back it up, and so I think it's only reasonable
to ask those who claim to know something about Jesus to back it up. All I'm asking is for the same standard applied to all. And I'm not saying you
can't ask questions, but that you can't make baseless assertions.
I assume that if God made everything, he is infinitely intelligent. With intelligence comes understanding and thereafter, compassion and love.
On this basis, I assume he would not create us towards egotistical ends. You may view the notion in any manner you'd like but it certainly isn't
arrogant as I have not negatively judged the creator, I'm viewing him favourably. Just sayin'.
God did not create us toward egotistical ends, but as sentient beings "in his image". What we do with that is our business. And if God prevented us
from making poor decisions then he might as well have made robots.
Would you care to elaborate on this statement? a) some might write a book that condemns the writer. b) if he did not write the book, someone
else is condemning him.
Do you know of any examples of (a)? Elitists and hoaxers typically make up rules for other people and exempt themselves, yet the Bible is filled with
condemnation of all kinds of typical human sins, such that there is no one who could possibly claim an exemption. And if the Bible were written by
rivals who condemned each other there would be no consistency at all, no central moral theme throughout. And consider that the Bible took over 1500
years to complete and about 40 different writers from various places and times. Some may then claim that there was later editing to pull it all
together, but such claims have to pass standards of textual criticism. And that's beyond the scope of this site.
I've read a lot of the Qur'an but have little interest in reading the entire Bible..
Which is why it might not be a good idea for you to make claims about Jesus. I've read the Qur'an too. And the Book of Mormon.
If something seems rational to me, I am more willing to accept it. Similarly, if a personal experience indicates it seems valid I will accept
it - I have a big problem accepting information that I have no way of proving to myself. Even through lying or insanity, one can spread good. I
didn't say that liars and lunatics are objectively good, but they're not objectively 'bad'.
That's fine, I do that too. And my point about "good" people was made in the context of revered teachers of great influence.
What sins did he pay for? I still fail to see how it is relevant or applicable to my own life, or anyone else's for that matter. How can
someone pay for the sins of others? It is up to them to redeem themselves. If Jesus was not either the son of God or God himself, then he didn't
really have much authority to pay for the sins of others. In Islam he didn't even die on the cross in the first place and wasn't resurrected- how
would you respond to these assertions?
He paid for the general separation of God and mankind, such that if anyone repents of their sin they can be forgiven just for asking. So in the end,
it's the sins you choose to turn away from and renounce, but only if you are God's child through faith in Jesus. That's how it applies to you. And
please, see the links I've given for more detail on what else Jesus accomplished on the cross.
As for how I respond to your assertions, I already have. No one but Jesus rose from the dead, and the Bible (OT specifically) is what he quoted from
when telling people things God said. So any religion that differs from what the Bible teaches is a false religion. Jesus could reconcile God and
mankind because he was both divine and human; no one else qualifies.
And this is all about who goes to heaven, not "settling accounts" once that destination is chosen. There will be two judgments: one for believers
and another for unbelievers (I will give references if demanded), so one's destination is known before this even happens. Instead, believers'
actions in this life will be tested and whatever doesn't measure up is a lost reward. Conversely, though it isn't stated as clearly, I believe the
unrighteous dead will also get more or less suffering (some really good people might not "suffer" at all beyond being separated from God) depending
on how they lived. But given all the Bible says about that eternal separation, I'd strongly advise against gambling that it won't be all that bad.