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Questions about Christianity and Maybe Other Things if the Topic Moves in Another Direction

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posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 03:15 AM

Originally posted by GaboVarfang

Ok, first I am ignorant and that bothers me, so pretending that I have never been exposed to the ideas of christianity, where would be a good starting point--which book or letter--in scripture would give a good foundation of the faith of this religion?

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a good place to start and is available freely online. If you have trouble believing the Catholic Church is true, you may read apologetics and learn what the early church believed. The bible didn't fall from the sky and Christian history did not start with the reformation.

Second is in my ignorance, like many (at least modern American christians), have very little understanding of why their are so many denominations, so what makes them different theologically? What is their fundimental disagreement that made them decide to form a different group, and what are some good books to read about this?

Everyone has a different interpretation of the bible and each church believes they are led by the Holy Spirit. By attributing their own fallacious understanding to God, they justify schisms.

Thirdly, what are some of the important terms that I should understand, when reading about different things within this subject, so as not to be confused when reading? For example reading people like Thomas Aquinus(sp?), Vladimir Lossky(sp?), Calvin, Luther, etc.

It's best if you pick up books on theology. There are many words that mean one thing in english and another in theology.

Fourth, if I belive in a god as a personal matter and subscribe to the idea of Jesus as the messiah, and that his death was the sacrifice to end the nessesity of the yearly sacrifice at the temple, and that his resurection occured after three days, during the feast of unleavened bread, professing as my Lord, then am I Christian at least in the basic since? However, because of my complete ignorance of the faith have many qustions concerning the religion as a whole, am I also agnostic? Does that make me an agnostic christian?

Basically you are a Christian if you believe that Jesus rose from the dead and died as atonement for your sins. How we respond to initial grace is what saves or condemns us. Try looking up the parable of the seeds and sower.

Fifth, what is a good resource for seperating the folklore, by which I mean the "sunday school" myths that every one knows growing up in a semi-christian secular culture like America, because they seem to lead to missrepresentation of the religion, and not just in christianity but in other faiths? the study of folklore as part of oral or symbolic tradition within a religion is an interesting study in and of itself, but that is not what I am looking for at this time.

Read official documents and teaching.

I have more questions, and I appologize if the way I have worded things is a little confusing, but like most things now days, we get hit with so much information about everything, I often wonder if people have even learned how to manage it yet. lol

The main reason I am asking all of this is because I have to honestly ask myself, how can I consider myself a christian, or really claim to follow any religion for that matter, if I do not learn about it and understand it at first at a basic level, but also study it. It just seems a bit hypocryitical, and it seems likely to lead to misunderstandings and zelous following of erroroneous beliefs and practices based on hearsay, which in turn would only hurt the faith. I mean if you think about it I guess the ultimate ememy of any religion is not those who argue against it or oppose it for what ever reason, but is actually those very people who claim to be its followers.

Anyway any help or direction would be much appreciated, I feel that the best way to combat ignorance is first to accept that you, no matter how much you learn, are ignorant, and then to pursue knowledge and wisdom until the day you die, and be wiling to listen to the ideas and discussions of others in civility. Essentially if you are wrong admit you are wrong, if it is something unknowable, being willing to admit that it can not be known. There is no need to stifle curiosity because of petty argument spurred out of emotional reaction. Anyway I don't even think I communicated what I meant in this paragraph. lol ^.^ Also, I would like to apologize for my poor grammar and spelling, blame it on years of spell check, but I am practicing to improve it.

I am glad you are taking the time to learn. Most people don't really care to, and this indifference is worse than hating God. I hope you find what you are looking for and become zealous for Christ.

posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 03:38 AM
Good grief, any of your questions could be a thread, and one of them could be tens of thousands of threads. I'll take two.

where would be a good starting point--which book or letter--in scripture would give a good foundation of the faith of this religion?

I would recommend Acts. If you want the backstory, then Luke, by the same author. If you want more detail on the main character of Acts, Paul, then Galatians, which has some autobiographical material, and 1 Corinthians if you have time.

At that point you will be awesome.

Your second question is a college course, not a web posting. Your third is a handout in that course. Your fourth:

am I Christian at least in the basic since?

Yes, but by "Christian" most people mean someone who professes at least one creed chosen from among the Apostles' Creed and the two versions of the Nicene Creed.

All those creeds profess a belief in God in the Father. So, an agnostic Christian would presumably be a "non-creedal Christian." That is actually is a searchable term on googlebing, and you may find some church or other group that has resources for you that can help with your other questions.

(It is not entirely clear to me how you could be an agnostic and believe that any temple sacrifice was ever "necessary," but then it doesn't have to be clear to me, does it?)

As to the fifth, not only is that a college course, you can find two free online ones at Yale University's website,

Good luck with your search.

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 11:24 AM
Thank all of you for your answers and giving me some places to start digging deeper than the surface. At some point when I was young, something shifted and watching the people in the particular religion that I professed to follow made me begin to doubt myself. Plus, I have always been a curious natured person, who just wants to learn as much as I can. Although, I know that life is far to short to learn all of the things I want to learn, but I do not think that means I should give up.

I am sorry for not posting sooner on my thread. I have been swamped with school work. I am off to look into what you guys have given me, again thank you.

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