Is Christianity redeemable?

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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby Chapabel » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:02 am

sayak wrote:
And you are the spokeperson of mainstream christianity? I would like to know your provenance now. Which Christian group do you belong to, and what theological education have you had? Many christian (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, European Protestants, Mainline Protestants in USA) schools do not believe in a word for word literal six day creation account, and a majority view theistic evolution to be compatible with Christianity.
http://www.pewforum.org/2009/02/04/religious-groups-views-on-evolution/

My provenance is Atlanta Georgia. (Not sure why this is important to you). I belong to a Bible believing Southern Baptist church. I obtained my religious education from Andersonville Theological Seminary. While I do not consider myself the spokesman for mainstream Christianity, I do belong to the largest non-Catholic Christian denomination in America. My views align with Biblical doctrine while Mitch’s views do not.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby tirtlegrrl » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:48 am

chapabel wrote: I cannot accept that a self-taught person has uncovered special meanings in the Hebrew language that have gone unnoticed by true Hebrew scholars for centuries.


Really? What if he's receiving special guidance from God. How is it that you believe that trained Hebrew scholars are more likely to be right than one self-taught individual? (Seeing as how you disagree with the majority of philosophers, who are non-theists; biologists, who accept evolutionary theory; archeologists, who don't hold to a literal Canaanite conquest; etc. Or is your view limited to Hebrew scholarship?)
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby sayak » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:04 am

Chapabel wrote:
sayak wrote:I usually do not engage in exegesis as I am not a christian. However, Chapabel's position on the creation story in the Bible is so egregiously wrong that I have to post a basic Genesis 1 exegesis.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsZddI-Tr4I
The level of ignorance in some sections of US Christianity is unbelievable.

Here's a translation of genesis from ancient Hebrew without the filters of modern English
http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/bookstore/e-books/mtg.pdf


What is truly unbelievable is that you post this without doing even the smallest amount of research. This "translation" you have provided is by a man by the name of Jeff A. Benner. A little research uncovers that Mr. Benner is a self-taught linguist. He has no formal training in the Hebrew language. Not even a single semester of Hebrew. By his own admission from his website he states the following:
I am also frequently asked for my "credentials" to teach Hebrew. Well, I guess I don't have any unless you count the thousands of hours I have spent in research and study. I have attempted to use as many resources as I could from the fields of history, linguistics, archeology, anthropology and theology in order to uncover the original Hebrew alphabet, language, thought and culture.


His “education" came from searches online. From the same website he states:
I first went "online" in 1999 and I immediately began searching the net for information on "Ancient Hebrew" and was surprised to find that there was none. Yes, there were plenty of websites on Hebrew, from a modern perspective, but not the Ancient Hebrew script or thought.


Without any recognized education, Mr. Benner fashioned his own Hebrew dictionary:
To assist me with my Hebrew education I began creating my own dictionary.


Now I have no doubt Mr. Benner is sincere in his attempts, but I cannot accept that a self-taught person has uncovered special meanings in the Hebrew language that have gone unnoticed by true Hebrew scholars for centuries. Would you be comfortable allowing a “surgeon” to remove you tonsils who obtained his medical training by watching Youtube videos?

Here is Mr. Benner’s website from which I obtained his quotes:
http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/1_about.html


My main link was on the OT Genesis 1 exegesis (the video) by John Walton and not the mechanical translation which is interesting but not necessarily adds much. Any good scholarly bible will have the literal translation as footnotes, this one merely puts the literal translation at the top.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby sayak » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:24 am

Chapabel wrote:
sayak wrote:
And you are the spokeperson of mainstream christianity? I would like to know your provenance now. Which Christian group do you belong to, and what theological education have you had? Many christian (Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, European Protestants, Mainline Protestants in USA) schools do not believe in a word for word literal six day creation account, and a majority view theistic evolution to be compatible with Christianity.
http://www.pewforum.org/2009/02/04/religious-groups-views-on-evolution/

My provenance is Atlanta Georgia. (Not sure why this is important to you). I belong to a Bible believing Southern Baptist church. I obtained my religious education from Andersonville Theological Seminary. While I do not consider myself the spokesman for mainstream Christianity, I do belong to the largest non-Catholic Christian denomination in America. My views align with Biblical doctrine while Mitch’s views do not.

I was asking for your church provenance. Good, Southern Baptist. Thought as much. You should clarify that your views are from a certain branch of Christianity and does not speak for other branches. And yes, the Southern Baptist Version of Christianity is not redeemable. Sorry.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby sayak » Mon Feb 09, 2015 12:03 pm

mitchellmckain wrote:
sayak wrote:
What gives the "mind of god" structure? (takes the words I use here as metaphors only.)


Christian theology typically denies that God has any structure, though I cannot say that I really understand what they mean by that, any more than I can be entirely sure of what you mean by the words in your question. But the following is my best shot at making sense of your question in a way that I think might be helpful to you.

I guess I would say that whatever God has of "structure" or specificity must come from the choices which He has made.

That might make Him seem similar to us. And He is similar to us in some respect but otherwise He is completely different -- like a mirror image. He is not a product of the life process, as we are, organizing Himself from nothing based on a set of rules supplied. His acquisition of "structure", as you call it, is a process of self-limitation instead.

God has a mind, a will, and a sense of self and autonomy. In a sense he must have a character or personality. Otherwise it is difficult to see how can he be a person. Are there patterns in his thoughts, his wills, his choices. Then what governs those patterns? What governs the sequence of his wills and thoughts, why those wills and not others. What causes him to make the decisions and not others?
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby Chapabel » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:39 pm

tirtlegrrl wrote:
chapabel wrote: I cannot accept that a self-taught person has uncovered special meanings in the Hebrew language that have gone unnoticed by true Hebrew scholars for centuries.


Really? What if he's receiving special guidance from God. How is it that you believe that trained Hebrew scholars are more likely to be right than one self-taught individual? (Seeing as how you disagree with the majority of philosophers, who are non-theists; biologists, who accept evolutionary theory; archeologists, who don't hold to a literal Canaanite conquest; etc. Or is your view limited to Hebrew scholarship?)

If he was receiving special revelation from God regarding the true meaning of the scriptures, that would mean God has allowed mankind to believe a lie for centuries. The God of the Bible, the one that I worship, would not allow that to happen because He wants to have a close intimate relationship with us.

Would you prefer a trained surgeon or one who was self-taught? Would you be more willing to fly on an airplane with a qualified pilot of one who felt qualified because he has a flight simulator on his X-Box? When dealing with scholarly issues, such as studying the Hebrew language, I have more confidence in someone who has actually received some type of formal education rather than some guy receiving his education via Google.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby Chapabel » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:40 pm

sayak wrote:
I was asking for your church provenance. Good, Southern Baptist. Thought as much. You should clarify that your views are from a certain branch of Christianity and does not speak for other branches. And yes, the Southern Baptist Version of Christianity is not redeemable. Sorry.

Ok, please explain what you mean by stating "the Southern Baptist Version of Christianity is not redeemable" and give evidence to support your claim.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby Particles » Mon Feb 09, 2015 1:59 pm

Chapabel wrote:
tirtlegrrl wrote:
chapabel wrote: I cannot accept that a self-taught person has uncovered special meanings in the Hebrew language that have gone unnoticed by true Hebrew scholars for centuries.


Really? What if he's receiving special guidance from God. How is it that you believe that trained Hebrew scholars are more likely to be right than one self-taught individual? (Seeing as how you disagree with the majority of philosophers, who are non-theists; biologists, who accept evolutionary theory; archeologists, who don't hold to a literal Canaanite conquest; etc. Or is your view limited to Hebrew scholarship?)

If he was receiving special revelation from God regarding the true meaning of the scriptures, that would mean God has allowed mankind to believe a lie for centuries. The God of the Bible, the one that I worship, would not allow that to happen because He wants to have a close intimate relationship with us.

Would you prefer a trained surgeon or one who was self-taught? Would you be more willing to fly on an airplane with a qualified pilot of one who felt qualified because he has a flight simulator on his X-Box? When dealing with scholarly issues, such as studying the Hebrew language, I have more confidence in someone who has actually received some type of formal education rather than some guy receiving his education via Google.


You dodged the part about how you're inconsistent then in not accepting the qualified experts in biology and archeology.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby Chapabel » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:04 pm

Particles wrote:You dodged the part about how you're inconsistent then in not accepting the qualified experts in biology and archeology.

I didn't dodge it because I do consider qualified experts in biology and archaeology. However, I doubt you would accept the same experts that I do. The experts I accept approach such matters from a Biblical world view as opposed to a nonbeliever's secular view.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby tirtlegrrl » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:29 pm

Chapabel wrote:
tirtlegrrl wrote:
chapabel wrote: I cannot accept that a self-taught person has uncovered special meanings in the Hebrew language that have gone unnoticed by true Hebrew scholars for centuries.


Really? What if he's receiving special guidance from God. How is it that you believe that trained Hebrew scholars are more likely to be right than one self-taught individual? (Seeing as how you disagree with the majority of philosophers, who are non-theists; biologists, who accept evolutionary theory; archeologists, who don't hold to a literal Canaanite conquest; etc. Or is your view limited to Hebrew scholarship?)

If he was receiving special revelation from God regarding the true meaning of the scriptures, that would mean God has allowed mankind to believe a lie for centuries. The God of the Bible, the one that I worship, would not allow that to happen because He wants to have a close intimate relationship with us.
But of course people can and do believe lies. The world's religions are all mutually contradictory at some level--false belief has got to be absolutely rampant. But it doesn't even have to be LIES they're believing. People are also just plain wrong about things, and they make mistakes to their own detriment all the time. And there are plenty of folks who live and die without ever having encountered the Hebrew Bible. So it doesn't seem to me that God if he exists is particularly interested in guaranteeing correct information via access to scripture.


Would you prefer a trained surgeon or one who was self-taught? Would you be more willing to fly on an airplane with a qualified pilot of one who felt qualified because he has a flight simulator on his X-Box? When dealing with scholarly issues, such as studying the Hebrew language, I have more confidence in someone who has actually received some type of formal education rather than some guy receiving his education via Google.
Of course I have more confidence (generally) in the educated. My question is why do you, because you also believe that God can give right information to people directly via revelation. Why do you privilege education over piety, when your deity is praised as one who confounds the wisdom of the wise, and hardens people's hearts so he can punish them?
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby Particles » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:34 pm

Chapabel wrote:
Particles wrote:You dodged the part about how you're inconsistent then in not accepting the qualified experts in biology and archeology.

I didn't dodge it because I do consider qualified experts in biology and archaeology. However, I doubt you would accept the same experts that I do. The experts I accept approach such matters from a Biblical world view as opposed to a nonbeliever's secular view.


But biological and archeological facts don't depend on the Bible or any other worldview. When a fossil is dated to 200,000 years ago, the radiometric data doesn't change because of what the Bible says. So, what you're doing is just discounting anything that disagrees with your Bible beliefs. But, I am sure you are not consistent in that attitude. The same science that dates a fossil can be the basis for medical treatments, but I doubt you will tell the doctor not to use such a treatment because the Bible says it's false.

I do agree with relying on qualified experts, but in the end, you don't have any standing to demand anyone use qualified experts.
Last edited by Particles on Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby mitchellmckain » Mon Feb 09, 2015 2:36 pm

sayak wrote:God has a mind, a will, and a sense of self and autonomy.

A mind? A singularity of mind?
If we can call it a single mind then it is an infinite mind and therefore probably hard to distinguish from an infinity of minds -- like an infinite number of parallel processors providing unlimited capacity for attention and computation.

Let me remind you that it is the belief of Christianity that God is not sub-personal, nor simply personal but trans-personal. We are acquainted with God in three distinct persons that have always existed. But we have no reason to think God is limited to three.

So no, not a singular mind nor a singular sense of self.

sayak wrote:, a will

But yes God has a unifying will on some issues, at least, and this is where He has made a decision. THUS, I said that whatever "structure" or specificity that God has is a product of his own choice which because of His nature is a process of self-limitation.

sayak wrote:In a sense he must have a character or personality. Otherwise it is difficult to see how can he be a person.

Not a singularity of character or personality or person. There is unity only with regards to the choices He has made.

sayak wrote: Are there patterns in his thoughts,

Infinite patterns, infinite thoughts.

sayak wrote: his wills, his choices. Then what governs those patterns? What causes him to make the decisions and not others?

I definitely believe that logic governs the patterns of his infinite thought processes, as well as His will and choices. Though I think it is quite possible that it is not logic quite according to our understanding which may be limited by our own limitations of experience of reality. I also do not think that logic is determinative (either ours or His better version) but that there are limitless options involved. God is quite capable of following all of these possibilities both in thought and in action.

sayak wrote: why those wills and not others.

Like I said, whatever there is of specificity to God, like the unity of will we see in Him, is a result of His choices, He can see the consequences of different choices and compare the results to choose which is preferable. For example, I believe that God chooses love, life and freedom over power and control. I think comparing the consequences of these choices, He can see that the results of the former are far more interesting than the results of the latter. Of course, I cannot know any of this stuff for sure, but it is what I see when I put myself in His position (as much as I am able to do that).
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby sayak » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:37 pm

I am interested in knowing why a personal (in some sense) creator than an impersonal structure need to be the ground of existence. Of course my own intuitions drive me to a "ground structure" than a "ground being" view of existence. I base it on my observations that a "person" seem to be a confluence of a lot of mental, psychological and causal structure overlaid over a basic biological framework of instincts and therefore does not appear a fundamental base for reality. I think we could have a thread on this later as that is the divergence point between me and you. My conversation with theistic friends and looking at some of more advanced debates seem to lead to me to believe that once all the absurdities of theistic literalism and atheistic jingoism is laid aside, that's where the fork really lies.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby mitchellmckain » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:29 am

sayak wrote:I am interested in knowing why a personal (in some sense) creator than an impersonal structure need to be the ground of existence. Of course my own intuitions drive me to a "ground structure" than a "ground being" view of existence. I base it on my observations that a "person" seem to be a confluence of a lot of mental, psychological and causal structure overlaid over a basic biological framework of instincts and therefore does not appear a fundamental base for reality. I think we could have a thread on this later as that is the divergence point between me and you. My conversation with theistic friends and looking at some of more advanced debates seem to lead to me to believe that once all the absurdities of theistic literalism and atheistic jingoism is laid aside, that's where the fork really lies.

Need in what sense?

If in the sense of what can be objectively established, then I don't believe in any such need.

If in the sense of why a personal creator would be needed for the universe to exist, then I am not sure the question even makes sense.

If in the pragmatic sense of what is best to believe for the good of mankind, then I would say that the need is for a diversity of thought on the matter. Certainly many like me find the non-theist view of origin to be too sterile for living our lives to the fullest. But we can acknowledge that this is not universal experience.

In general I would say that we can only look back and judge which agrees best with our experience of reality. I have explained the reasons for my conclusion.
Last edited by mitchellmckain on Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Christianity redeemable?

Postby sayak » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:45 am

Chapabel wrote:
sayak wrote:
I was asking for your church provenance. Good, Southern Baptist. Thought as much. You should clarify that your views are from a certain branch of Christianity and does not speak for other branches. And yes, the Southern Baptist Version of Christianity is not redeemable. Sorry.

Ok, please explain what you mean by stating "the Southern Baptist Version of Christianity is not redeemable" and give evidence to support your claim.


Southern Baptist Convention has been historically associated with regressive social politics (defense of slavery and opposing civil rights movements) and continue to vehemently oppose marriage equality, reproductive rights, do not believe that women have equality with man in marriage, do not allow women as church leaders and accept young earth creationism, thereby rejecting cosmology, geology and most of biological sciences and a lot of physics. Given these facts, it is my sincere opinion that the Southern Baptist convention is force of harm to the future of humanity on earth.
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