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3nigma

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About 3nigma

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  1. Same here, I want to pick one up with the 2GB ATI 6770m upgrade.
  2. Thus you are calling me, among others, an atheist.No, as I said in my sentence the first time, I was talking to the atheists. You are not an atheist, and everyone knows this. Don't be so easily offended, it wasn't even addressed to you =). This shows a clear lack of understanding of what exactly Paganism is. Not even a non-spiritual atheist would attribute Christianity under the umbrella of the many Paganistic beliefs, unless they were completely ignorant of paganism. This forum is for computers and operating systems. This subforum is devoted to, quote: "The place for politics, sports, philosophy, religion, and all the things that probably matter most." If you don't like it, you have the freedom to choose not to participate in these conversations. Nobody is forcing you to. -3nigma
  3. Yes, and I deconstructed this argument in my post immediately above. Please read it. This is ad hominem. "You are an uneducated tribesman, a no-name, how can you possibly know anything?" This is attacking the man (lit. "ad hom"), not the argument. It's like saying men can't talk about abortion. "How would you, you're a man." Basically, your ideas don't count because of you, characteristically. Stop and think about what you just said. "Even if [the writings of the Old and New Testaments] is divine inspiration [from a genuine, real God], they got it wrong." That is what you just said. You literally just now said that even if it is real, it isn't real. This is what I am talking about. You guys are not even engaging your gray matter, let alone offering substantial arguments. Do you even realize the babble that just came out of your mouth? These are not the words of reason. These are the words of religious fundamentalism. Agnosticism is the enlightened path for the naturalist. Atheism is for practitioners of faith. -3nigma
  4. The reason this is important is because this book claims to be the written words of God. If it is true, then there is literally nothing that is worth more time than writing about- whether you believe in it or not. But even if you don't believe in it, there is nothing more important to investigate, if indeed it is legitimate. I didn't say that the laws claim to be fair or perfect. Your second sentence contradicts itself, you should think through each of those statements attached to one another. Moreover, this is a tangent point about civil law, that is not relevant to the subject at hand. This part is subject to debate. Christians interpret the New Testament differently, and different people have different beliefs on this. As a matter of fact, this has been a debate in the Christian Church for 500 years. Some say that the "Law" of the Old Testament (do good, don't do bad) is written on every person's heart, and every person instinctively knows right and wrong, along with their conscience. These people would argue that as long as people live good lives, and believe in "God," that they have hope. Others say that God is the ultimate sovereign over all creation. (This view corresponds with your 'determinist' proposition against the concept of a true "free" will). This camp argues that God chooses who he will give mercy to, and who he will give justice to. There is no consensus in Christianity on this issue, and there hasn't been for centuries. Christians are simply told to tell people about Jesus, either way. God displays his love, mercy, and grace in the Old Testament abundantly. When Adam sinned, he didn't give Adam the punishment he deserved. Instead, he substitutionally put it on an animal, and then in an act of grace, used the animal's skin to clothe Adam. The entire Old Testament is riddled with God's constant love, mercy and grace. I am simply talking about the bigger picture, metanarrative of the Old and New Testaments combined. As QuietOC points out- Love, mercy, and grace is perhaps more common in the Old Testament, and there is plenty of justice in the New Testament. As a big-picture, the Old Testament was to be a forerunner to the New. On the big picture, the Old displayed the punishment that everyone deserves, to highlight the act of love that he does in Jesus in the New Testament. I have already written extensively on the Biblical record of creation, earlier in this thread. As a brief recap- The record of the creation of the universe is written in complicated Hebrew poetry. There is parallelism, and fascinating sentence structure in the Hebrew. Some sentences do inversion, and others have exactly seven words, for multiple sentences. It can be interpreted in many ways, and it is my opinion that the people who read it as a narrative (i.e., literally) are doing injustice to the Hebrew poetic writing. The author wasn't writing a scientific documentation of creation- he was depicting God's act of creation in a poem. He was writing a song. He was writing a sonnet. etc. You do not read Shakespeare the way that you read the Wall Street Journal, or the journal "Nature." However, as QuietOC pointed out, it still has documentable merit to it. At that time, the stars and solar figures were objects of worship and myth. Also, it records a logical progression of things. We can draw insights from it. But ultimately, it is poetry. Poetry is trying to make a point, but the exact language usage is more metaphorical and picturesque, in the context of poetry. This proves my point- you have no interest in having this conversation, or digging into these issues. And to put the nail in the coffin- the site is laid out very, VERY well. The author strictly copy and pasted the original work, then added his own rebuttals throughout in bold text. This gives the fluidity of the original work, and the point-by-point rebuttal necessary, rather than a holistic-conceptual rebuttal. There is no better way to do a rebuttal. In fact, even your own methodology for "rebutting" my posts here on this very forum follows this identical pattern, which you call "not particularly well laid out" ;-). There is a thing in scholarship called "prooftexting." Prooftexting is treating the Bible like a book of little nuggets and sentences, and randomly picking and mixing and pulling them out. Even Christians do this. However, this is not what the Bible is. The Bible is a collection of many types of literature, but ultimately is a narrative. Narratives have context, and context is important. This forum is an example of people who don't understand textual criticism, who try to practice it. People randomly pull texts out of context, which is a "prooftext," in order to make some kind of "proof." But to anyone that is actually familiar with the text and what it says, this is an absolute joke. But to someone who knows nothing about the text, this same misinformation is perpetuated over and over again. And you think that it makes sense, because you have never studied it, and neither has the person who is feeding you the misinformation. This is referred to as "eisegesis." This refers to the practice of reading one's own interpretation into the text, rather than what the text itself is saying for itself. The latter is referred to as "exegesis." According to the Eden account, Eve even explained to the serpent why it was wrong to eat of the tree. Again, I appreciate your efforts at contributing to the conversation regarding the Bible, but take some notes from erei33. He recognizes that there are some who know what they are talking about, and others who don't. If you have a question about the Bible, you should probably ask someone who knows what it has to say. Re: Japan- You did not address any of my points, and you made many extra, unnecessary ones. This is a tangent that is unrelated to the subject. Many Christians do not see it this way. Or is a "no true scotsman" defense?No, but you could say it is an example of "The New Testament does not teach this." The reason there are so many differences in Christians is eisegesis, and poor exegesis. (Also a point that I have already explained earlier in this thread). As a side note, the philosopher that coined the "No True Scotsman" argument is renown atheist philosopher Antony Flew. The reason this is noteworthy is because in 2004, Flew changed from atheist to agnostic, and then changed from agnostic to deist. He certainly doesn't believe in the God of the Bible, but he said that based on the evidence, he finds it more likely than unlikely that there is a God in the universe. I disagree with neither of these statements. But neither of these provides any rebuttal to the points that I made. This, again, is a tangent that is not relevant to the topic. What you may not realize is that one of his books that he does such a thing is indeed the very book in question, the God Delusion. He explicitly states that he doesn't know much about Biblical scholasticism, because he doesn't "need to," because it's "all wrong anyway." "[One] assumes that there is a serious subject called Theology, which one must study in depth before one can disbelieve in God." So, to use his same metaphor, an ignorant moron could say: "One assumes that there is a serious subject called "science," which one must study in depth before one can disbelieve in gravity." Dawkins is saying, "I can disbelieve in gravity if I want to, because 'science' isn't a serious subject of study." He just uses theology and God as the subjects. Ignorance cannot be summed up more aptly. You, here, demonstrate your scholasticism in the subject. Here, you demonstrate that you have never seriously studied the difference between atheism, agnosticism, and the fundamentals and the capacities of Naturalism as a paradigm. The people that wrote the New Testament were fishermen, former tax collectors, and former Christian-killers. None of them were in any kind of position of any power. No government or any kind of power galvanized Christianity until Constantine, three hundred years after Jesus was off the scene. This, too, displays your lack of knowledge of the subject. Moreover, at this stage, you are simply babbling nonsense- Case in point. Not even non-believing Biblical scholars say this. Alessandro, please take 25 seconds to review carefully this. QuietOC said that the Bible is written by no-names. ParanoidMarvin said that because the Bible is written by no-names, it therefore is wrong. Ad Hom says that an argument is fallacy if it attacks the characteristics of the person (no-names), rather than the claim (Bible). And for goodness sakes, don't use Wikipedia for your source of scholasticism, you are making everyone embarrassed for you. ********************* This entire conversation is based on faith-based atheistic presuppositions, rather than agnostic evaluation of data. Unfortunately, our conversation keeps going off topic and hitting brick walls, based on these same limitations. It is an epistemological issue, and people need to examine their epistemology for even utilizing the data. In light of this, I can't devote any more time to answering questions, point-by-point. erei33 is the only person showing any non-fundamentalist atheism, and everyone can learn a lot from his methodology. Here are the two links for rebuttals to those two points-http://brainisignorant.blogspot.com/2007/0...-to-appear.html http://brainisignorant.blogspot.com/2006/0...d-wants-to.html I don't like the approach that the author takes, and I haven't read all the arguments, but at least it's something to start with. Back to your original question- That person has taken four prooftexted sentences, pulled them out of context, then pasted them together into a new, four-point-context that they never belonged in. As if this isn't problematic enough, furthermore these kinds of things assume (1) that some "abra-kadabra" formula will make Jesus 'happen,' and (2) that we are in a position to coerce God into jumping through our hoops. Jesus is ready and waiting to reveal himself. But one of the ways that he has already revealed himself is through the Old and New Testaments. If we are sincere in our pursuits, we can extremely easily just pick up these historic manuscripts that have been recorded, and find truth. This is a first step, but it doesn't end there. Jesus also said that he would be ready and waiting to accept anyone who puts their trust in him, and believes he is who he says he is. So there is this experiential element, but it comes only after putting trust in him. A first step could be to take a week or weekend, and simply read one of the gospels. I would suggest the gospel called "Matthew." They are not long, and even if you don't believe it, you can at least say that you have actually read a gospel. If you don't have a printed copy, you can read it online here- http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?searc...amp;version=51; Jesus is ready to reveal himself- but we have to commit to giving up pursuing a life of denying him, and trust that Jesus is who he says he is.
  5. You have mistakenly read it wrong. Every single reference to the Bible is from Marshall Brain, the person attacking the Bible. The rebuttals are the bold text that don't use any references. There is literally not a single one. Simple mistake. That's because I keep bringing the conversation back on topic, but you guys keep derailing it ;-). Man's crime was disobedience to God. God offered life in paradise, and life in fellowship with him. Humanity wanted independence from God, and his crime was going against what God had said. Many commentators say that the Knowledge is a person's conscience, which differentiates for them wrong and right. This is a wonderful example. Japan is a dying, decaying society in every respect. Japan is an island, with few natural resources- it's economy is driven by strong work ethic and importing of goods. Japan's work ethic has declined to the point of not being able to sustain the entire country's economy. The generational gap is tremendous, where there are not enough youths in the country to sustain and support the elderly, and the social structure is buckling. Japan's suicide rate is astronomical. Have you ever been to Japan? I have. This is not opinion, this is sociological fact. Religion is an ugly thing, especially blind and violent religion. Christianity is not about religion, it is about reconciliation with God. It is about putting trust in Jesus, and living as he did. Religion is ugly. Jesus doesn't offer a religion. He offers truth. Civilization could not exist if this was the case.Civilization is perfectly capable of being built with humans being self-centered. Current civilization has even adapted to compensate for human self-centeredness. Here is an interesting example. Why does Communism fail? Communism is a fantastic system. It is a utopian system. It is an idealist system. It provides a society of perfect equality for all, where there are no poor of society, and likewise no rich to cause strife. So why does it fail? If you want to use history as your source, Communism always fails because its leaders always abuse the system. They are corrupt, they do not submit to the equality of the system, and take more for themselves than for everyone else. If you use the Bible as your source, it says the same thing- humanity has corrupted itself with pursuing evil, rather than good. The reason that Communism fails is because it is run by human beings. Now look at the reverse example. Why does Capitalism succeed? Capitalism is built on the concept of competition. Capitalism is built on supply and demand, and consumerism. Capitalism is built on greed. And you know what? Capitalism works. Nobody thinks capitalism is a perfect system, not for a moment. But it is certainly the best we are utilizing with the current state of affairs. Capitalism works because it dovetails perfectly with humanity's self-centeredness. If he's just a guy, then it's no problem- he made a mistake. He mistakenly wrote that Paul wrote Hebrews. There's no need to defend a mistake. As you have pointed out, it's a mistake that even Christians have made. So therefore it's even understable that he made the mistake. It's not a big deal. The only reason it is a noteworthy is because it shows how very little scholarship went into the point. I assure you, a man of Dawkins' intelligence and repute would never allow himself to make that same mistake, were he to have known about it before publishing it. He has been laughed at up and down for this representation of his scholarship on this. It's a simple mistake, but don't blindly draw up random psuedo-scholarship to pretend that it's a legitimate suggestion. I assure you in the most lighthearted way, it is simply a joke to assert this point. However, this is very illustrative of a very important epistemological point. This entire conversation boils down to your presuppositions. Your presupposition is that God is not real. Therefore, you must interpret everything to fit into this presupposition. Your presuppositions will not allow you to critically evaluate any evidence presented to prove that the New Testament Jesus is real. Any true scholarship that is shown contrary to your presupposition is written off or explained away, in order to fit consistently within your presupposition. If I were to show you film footage of Jesus coming down from heaven, you would call it special effects. If I were to tell you that five hundred people saw it, and testified to it, you would call it mass hysteria. If you were shown Old Testament manuscripts dating from many centuries B.C., that predicted many details about Jesus of Nazareth, and then that they were all true of Jesus many centuries later, you would say that they were dated incorrectly, or forged, etc. Everything is interpretted in line with your presuppositions. I cannot prove to you, or present any evidence that will say anything, because of your presuppositions. You have limited yourself to what data can be utilized. Your presupposition that God does not exist prevents you from interpreting the evidence that proves Jesus' authenticity from the evidence. Most thoughtful scientists/naturalists, or intellectuals that utilize the scientific method, will call themselves agnostic, rather than atheist. This is because the scientific method is literally incapable of proving or disproving God. However, some people will take a leap of faith, to step from agnostic to atheist, based on what is presented to them. As an atheist, you have taken a step of faith that there is no God. These are your presuppositions that you must make the data coherent with. Would you call yourself an agnostic, thereby not limiting yourself? Or are you already committed enough to atheism that you don't think you can get around it's presuppositional limitations? You are correct that condition plays a huge factor in shaping a person's life and identity. However, you cannot eliminate human responsibility for their actions. Everyone is responsible for their decisions. You are correct: A person cannot be held responsible for their conditions- and God does not hold people responsible for their conditions. But a person can be held responsible for their decisions, regardless of how affected it is by condition- and it is this that God holds people responsible for. Even any atheist would agree with this- it's what underlies the the rehabilitative criminal justice system. But even this example makes it more complicated than necessary. It's pure, simple, unadulterated common sense- every person of every society of every time period understands that people are held responsible for their actions. This is why Jesus said that everyone that understands his truth needs to go out into all the world to tell everyone about him. He said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." God's moral standards are unchanging and ultimate. He is perfectly holy, so his standard is perfect holiness. God's morals do, indeed, transcend all morals of every culture everywhere. This touches back onto the concept of "Progressive Revelation." The Old Testament was not meant to stand on its own, it strictly serves the purpose to pave the way for Jesus. Jesus brings the full revelation of God's love and mercy and grace. But what is the love and mercy and grace for? The Old Testament was the display of God's standards of holiness. He literally expected people to live a 100%, perfect, holy life. It is impossible. It is literally, completely impossible. God knew this, but it was put in place to be an illustration of the perfect life that Jesus would live. God also introduced the Old Testament sacrificial system. The sacrificial system was instituted so that death would still be paid as the punishment for sin, but it was substitutionally born by an animal on the behalf of the people. This sacrificial system is also an incomplete precursor to God's ultimate plan, which he reveals fully in Jesus. Jesus fulfills God's unreachable moral standards- he lived the perfect life according to God's standards and holiness. Jesus did not deserve the punishment for evil. However, Jesus also fulfills the sacrificial system- Jesus is the one and only ultimate and final sacrifice. His sacrifice is the perfect and true one, and he substitutionally stood in our place to bear the punishment for evil. God did this in order to display his [ilove and mercy and grace[/i] on us, which was his ultimate point from the very beginning. It is not a plan B, and it is not a second thought. The Old Testament is a display of life without the love and mercy and grace of God. The Old Testament is a display of us getting what we deserve. However, the Old Testament is not meant to stand on it's own, or be taken as a simple piece of the puzzle- it comes attached to the New Testament, Jesus, and the full and complete revelation of God. The New Testament is showing that the only way that a person can be saved is through the love and mercy and grace of God. Nobody can live up to his standards, we only can be saved through putting trust in Jesus. God is not different in the Old Testament and New, he simply displays his justice in the Old, and love and mercy and grace in the New. Both are true attributes of God. God is just, because every single human being deserves death for pursuing evil, and pushing away from God. Going back to my previous post, this is the "paycheck" that we have rightly earned for ourselves. However, Jesus has taken our place substitutionally to bear that punishment for evil on himself, in order that we can have the opportunity for life. But Jesus said that the only way to apply this to our lives is by putting our trust in him. Jesus said that he offers the truth, and that he is the one and only way to life- all other roads lead to death. But we have to permanently turn from our lives of chasing after self-centeredness and sin, and believe that he is who he says he is.
  6. Each of these have been thoroughly, systematically, and exhaustively rebutted. You can find everything here: http://brainisignorant.blogspot.com/2008/0...l-amputees.html http://brainisignorant.blogspot.com/ It's very funny that you went through all the effort of finding those miscellaneous pages that actually do purport that Paul wrote Hebrews, and copy and pasted all the little quotes from each. With a simple Google search of "Hebrews," the first pages that all pop up say the exact opposite. Each of those pages that you found are the equivalent of, "Of course it's true, I read it on the internet!" One of the pages you linked even at the end said that it was NOT likely Paul, which I found particularly funny. If we must go into off-topic details, I'll simply spell it out. Every letter that Paul ever wrote, he began by saying it was from him. Every letter without exception. This is not true of other authors, such as John, but of Paul this is without exception. Hebrews is not written by Paul. Also, the Greek vocabulary employed in Paul's letters versus Hebrews is different, whereas the vocabulary in all of Paul's letters is consistent. Hebrews is not written by Paul. Also, Paul often cites passages of the Old Testament in his writings. The letter to the Hebrews often cites passages from the Old Testament, but in a totally different manner. Paul's citations of the Old Testament are consistent in all of his writings, but Hebrews is not. Hebrews was not written by Paul. Here's the bottom line. The fact that you are even defending Dawkins' statement that "Hebrews" was written by Paul is a perfect example of what you earlier described as "religious." Here is your quote: Religion overlays common sense and human instincts with a pretend story to explain it all, and then tries to wrestle those senses away. You have gone against all scholarship, and common sense, to defend your religion of Dawkinsism. You have found obscure sources to "corroborate" your point of view, which are honestly laughable. You are trying to wrestle the facts away, when you literally don't even know them! Just relax and breathe a little, your feathers are getting ruffled too much. None of this is real anyway, right? You only read and quoted half of my point =). I said that this is not what historical or biblical Christianity does, this is a modern fault of North American Christianity. This is not true of the church in other nations, and this was not true of the North American church a generation or two ago. Again- you are correct. Modern, North American Christianity has become a religion of B.S. However, this empty shell posing as Christianity has nothing to do with true, historic, New Testament Christianity. In that respect, you are incorrect. Normal Christianity (non-American-21st-century-Christianity) has nothing to do with what you are describing. You are describing the people that Christians can't stand, because they water-down everything, as you point out. It is referred to as "Christless Christianity." Again, this is another example of simply misunderstanding the Bible, Christianity, and what they teach. The Bible, and Christianity, do not teach what is called the "Oral Dictation Theory," which is what you describe. God did not sit down next to the biblical authors and whisper word-for-word what to write. The Bible, and Christianity, teach what is called the "Verbal Plenary Theory," which is that the authors wrote the text, which has all the culture and flavor of each of their individual backgrounds, but that God had his guiding hand on the authors, that everything would tell the same story. God doesn't tell different people different things. People write down different things, all guided by the hand of God, and they all line up perfectly, each from a different and unique perspective. In the Bible he "supposedly" initiates a flood and wipes out the entire population of earth... I don't know where the 'pure good' of this occurs. That's just one spot where I'm very confused on the whole good/evil thing. God does things in the Bible that are pretty much the epitome of evil.I can understand the confusion. Again, this is simply a misunderstanding of what the Bible teaches. The Bible does not teach that people are inherently good, and that they just need to awaken their potential and do what is right. The Bible teaches that humanity has corrupted itself with sin, and that people are constantly doing and choosing the wrong thing over and against choosing the right things. People don't want to do what is right and good, they want to do what is wrong and bad. Every single human being is guilty of doing bad things in their life. In the deepest secret corner of our hearts, we are not genuinely good people. On the contrary, our hearts are full of all kinds of bad things- lust, envy, hatred, malice, etc. We just keep all this stuff tucked away and put on a happy face. A dead tree doesn't produce healthy fruit. A corrupted human heart does not produce a righteous lifestyle. God is a just and righteous God. He is perfect and pure good, called "holiness." Because of this, he cannot be in the presence of evil. When you work at a job, you get a paycheck. Your paycheck is not considered a gift from your employer, it is what you have rightfully earned, according to your labor. As far as God is concerned, the paycheck for living an evil life of rejecting him is death. This isn't his arbitrary decision on a whim, it is what we have rightfully earned, according to our lives of rejecting him and pursuing evil. What is most important is that God's love has redirected his justice. Instead of giving us our paycheck that we have earned, he is reaching out to us in grace. He has sent his son Jesus to substitutionally accept what we deserve, in order that he may deal with us in pure mercy and love. Charles Spurgeon put it well when he said, O sinner, the fact that you are alive proves that God is not dealing with you according to strict justice, but in patient forbearance; every moment you live is another instance of omnipotent long-suffering. It is the sacrifice of Christ which arrests the axe of justice, which else must execute you. Jesus has done all the work. Jesus has paid the price. But Jesus said that the only way is to trust in him. Jesus said that you have to give up running from and fighting God, and put your trust in him as the only hope of salvation from sin and death. He said if you do this, you will join him in eternal life. The decision is ours to make. God has done this in a supernatural act of love and grace to us. But we have to either reject it, or accept it.
  7. Whether anyone worships him or not, every human being is in the same boat. Every single person has done wrong, and every single person needs God to pull us out of the sinking ship. I am extremely sypmathetic with this view point, but one cannot deny human responsibility for wrongdoing. Our culture is obsessed with blameshifting, and always putting the blame on someone else. "Oh, I only did it because I was raised that way, so really it's my parents' fault, not mine." People trip on the sidewalk and sue the owner of the home, because they can't take responsibility for watching where they are going, and it happened to be on someone else's property. People are responsible for their actions, even though their environment plays a huge influence on them. In the Bible, there is a principle known as "Progressive Revelation." This refers to the fact that God doesn't all at once say, BAM, here's the story. He unfolds it over time, with progressive steps that build atop one another. It is likened to a seed that begins in the first book of the Bible, then sprouts a stem in the second book, then buds in a few more books, etc. The blossom of the flower, in this analogy, is Jesus of Nazareth. He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, and progressively reveals and shines more light on the Old. It is important to note that it is not "cancelling out" the old, or "overwriting" the old, but "fulfilling" the old, and bringing it to completion. How can a person know mercy, if they don't know justice? How can a person understand grace, if they don't understand condemnation? God, as revealed in the Old Testament, is a partial revelation of God. Before God can display his mercy and grace and love in Jesus, he has to show humanity what mercy and grace and love are FOR- to redeem and save us from the death that comes from sin. The Old Testament is half the picture. Many people look at the Old Testament and stop there. That is half the story. The whole point of the Old Testament was to pave the road for Jesus. Jesus is the whole point of the whole book, and Jesus ushers in the FULL revelation of God as a loving and forgiving and merciful God. God's wrath is not one of his attributes. God's wrath is the natural outworking of his holiness. God is holy, and therefore cannot make accommodation for evil. His wrath is simply the getting rid of evil, but it is not an inherent attribute of God. On the flip side, God's love is one of his inherent attributes. This is why he chose to reconcile the world to himself, through Jesus. Jesus lived the perfect life that nobody could, without any sin. He didn't deserve death. But Jesus decided to take on the punishment for sin on himself substitutionally in our place, so that we would not have to. Jesus removes our sin from us, and imparts to us his life of perfection, so that we are "birthed anew," with a clean slate. But Jesus said that the only way for this transaction to take place is by putting our trust in him. We have to believe that he is the son of God, and that he took on the penalty that we deserved, so that we wouldn't have to. But the decision is in our hands- we reject him, or we accept him.
  8. You're feathers are getting ruffled a bit, Allessandro. You are correct, the original post began with his Sermon on the Mount. However, as has been demonstrated by this thread, the teachings of Jesus cannot be taken a la carte like an all-you-can-eat-buffet. His Sermon on the Mount was one part of his greater teaching, which is what is being discussed. We are not straying radically off topic, like many other of these threads. We have not derailed into tangents, even though many people have tried to. We have taken a step backward and seen the bigger picture of the puzzle that it all fits into, of Jesus and his message. Jesus' message is about sin, about salvation, and eternal life. Jesus' taught that he was God, and the only son of the only God. His Sermon on the Mount is about how to live and walk out life with Jesus as the King over life, and entering into the "ruleship" or Kingdom of God. He wants to reconcile man from his self-centered life to God, and to have an eternal relationship in eternal life with us. If Jesus were a mild teacher to pick-and-mix from, he wouldn't have the historical end that he had. Jesus was so bold he was crucified. The same is true today. He says to give up the life of darkness and pursuit of ungodliness, and to believe that he is who he says he is, and be in relationship and fellowship with him forever. The rest lies on us- we either crucify him as a liar, or accept him for what he says he is. But every person has to decide where they stand.
  9. You are correct. The modern American church is guilty of what is called the "seeker-sensitive" movement, and the only part read on Sunday is "topical preaching," such as topics of God's love and happy thoughts. This is an attempt to be "sensitive" to "seekers," who might stroll in on a Sunday morning, so they don't want to preach the tough parts. However, this is a modern development that is not consistent with historical Christianity. Historical Christianity utilizes what is referred to as "expository preaching," where a preacher systematically goes through the entire book, cover to cover. You are correct in your assessment of modern, faulty Christianity. Just bear in mind that this is not what historic or proper Christianity is about, nor is it what ever Christian believes in. This site was a lot of fun putting my exegetical skills to work. With even minimal exegesis, these passages are not contradictory. The author of the site himself even says that these are not contradictory, they are merely "inconsistent." However, with looking at every one for more than 2 seconds, it is extremely evident the differences. The Bible is not one book, it is 66 "books" by over 40 authors, in multiple languages. "Inconsistencies" are actually corroborative of the factuality of the Bible. In a court of law, if there are 6 witnesses to a crime, each will give testimony. If all of them said the same story word for word, it would be fishy, to say the least. But if they all reveal different facts from different perspectives, even some that appear to be "inconsistent," they always are reconcilable, because the source is always the same. The fact that there are differences in accounts is actual an argument used to corroborate the Bible, not disprove it. The tiniest bit of exegesis, again, eliminates every single one. The problem is, again, going to the wrong, uneducated source on the subject. See my comments on Dawkins as an example of this, below. This is exactly correct. Which is why it's so scary that Dawkins has become religious in his anti-religiousness- it has overlayed his common sense and human instincts with a pretend story to explain it all. "Life will all be great as long as all religion is wiped out." "The world will finally be free if religion is wiped out." etc. Such as who? Michael Ruse, Professor of Philosophy- "The God Delusion makes me embarrassed to be an atheist" Lawrence Krauss, physicist - "[Dawkins] should have continued to play to his strengths" H. Allen Orr, biologist, professor etc. Dawkins is a biologist. He is bad at physics. He is horrid at philosophy. He is terrible at New Testament criticism. He said that the book of "Hebrews" was written by Paul of Tarsus. That is basic elementary New Testament 101: Paul didn't write Hebrews. Everyone knows that, and nobody would try and say that Paul wrote it for even a moment. Find yourself some really good sources for New Testament criticism, like people that know the New Testament. I said "his life and teachings," not his moral teachings. The topic of this thread is Jesus' life and teachings. Jesus taught that he was God. He taught that the one and only way to a relationship with the one and only God is through him. Let's just say, hypothetically for a moment, that one God is real, one and only. Whether you believe it or not, let's just hypothetically for a moment assume this is the case. If there is a God, and there is only one true God, why would anyone be saved by worshiping a different, fake God? This isn't "horrible," it's common sense. If what Jesus is saying is true, then this is common sense, it's not horrible whatsoever. However, you are free to disagree with Jesus, but you can't say that his situation he proposes is "horrible." It's just simple. If you are married to a specific woman, you don't get credit for just expressing love to any woman. It has to be the woman you're married to. Otherwise, the opposite happens- you get in trouble for loving a woman that is NOT the woman that you're married to. It's not a perfect analogy, because in this instance nobody is "married to" or "committed to" God, but it serves to make the simple point. You don't get credit for just believing and worshiping some fake God, if indeed God is real. The opposite happens. You only get credit for worshiping the real God. Jesus' teaching is that God is loving and forgiving. But if God were only loving and forgiving, then heaven would also be full of murderers, rapists, and criminals, who have no remorse or regret. What Jesus presents is a very consistent message. God is loving and forgiving, but he is also just and righteous. No matter where you go on the world, regardless of society, culture, time period, or anything else- every society has a concept of justice, and punishment for wrongdoings. God punishes evil. God punishes sin. It's as simple and fundamental as that. You may call it vengeful, but for God (and most ordinary people) it's simple justice. For God, the punishment for evil is separation from him. He is pure good, and cannot be in the presence of evil. The most important part of this is that it DOES NOT END HERE. This is not the end of the description. The most important part is that God is a loving and forgiving God. His love and forgiveness is so great that he extended that to humanity even in the midst of their going against him, in order that he can bring people into relationship with him. Rather than give people justice, Jesus took it on himself instead. Jesus did that for you, so that you would not have to bear the punishment for sin. God is perfectly just, but his love has curved his justice on Jesus instead, substitutionally in our place. Not only does Jesus take off all of our bad baggage, but he gives us all of his good baggage- he makes us in right-standing with God. He gives us a clean slate, and credits his perfect-sinless-life to us. Here is a YouTube video that I found, that illustrates this very well in 3 minutes. It is very cheesy, but it uses cheesy humor to make a point. Jesus did all the work. The only thing left is to throw away life's bad baggage, and believe that Jesus is telling the truth.
  10. That's your decision to make. But bear in mind that there are men and women in every field of academia and science, that acknowledge that Jesus' claims are veritable ones. Just make sure you dig deep and hard for who Jesus is and what he said, because as this forum has shown, there is an unlimited amount of fake misinformation spewed out there. If Jesus' claims are legitimate, it is not an issue to take haphazardly or lackadaisically. Set aside the time to find out, it could prove to be the most crucial thing to devote any time to. Jesus made bold claims. Everything he said is either nonsense or the truth, but he seriously cannot be taken on the fence. Another thing Jesus said is "Anyone that is not for me is against me," so there is no middle-ground as far as he is concerned. You have to either reject him altogether, or accept him altogether.
  11. All those "Gods" are the same.Here is an interesting story. Paul of Tarsus converted from Judaism to Christianity. He was traveling in Greece, and came to Athens. He came to the marketplace and was discussing Jesus with some of the local Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. Jesus was new at that time (rather than "old" compared to the modern ear), so they were interested in hearing what Paul was talking about. Paul went to the Acropolis, and saw many altars to many 'gods.' So he met with the people there. Luke of Antioch recorded the events, and Paul said this- "Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’" These people were so religious with so many 'gods,' that they even made an altar for an "unknown god" that they maybe missed, and still wanted to honor. Paul goes on, to say: "This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need... he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone, or an image formed by the art or imagination of man. “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” Paul here is referring to Jesus. The account ends with the following: When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” That ended Paul’s discussion with them, but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them. This is who Jesus said he was. Some denied him, others followed him. But these are the only options left to us. Here is what Jesus himself said: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged, for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it, for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants." Jesus left no room for being on the fence. He left no room for merely saying he is a good teacher, or a good person. He said that he is the one and only way to have a relationship with the one and only God. He is either a counterfeit, or he is serious. Jesus said to give up the darkness, and welcome the light. He said that he is the "Light of the World." He made these bold claims, but it is left up to us to accept or reject it.
  12. Jesus was referring to the God as displayed in the Old Testament, who claims to be the one and only true God of the universe. I'm not saying you have to believe it's true, but I am saying without question that this is the God that Jesus was referring to. But the topic of this discussion is Jesus, and his message. If Jesus is real, and if this is his message, then this is what we are left with. Jesus cannot be accepted as merely a "good teacher." He is either worthless to be cast aside, or he is who he says he is, and what he says is true. But it is you that has to make the decision. Jesus leaves it up to us to put our trust in him and who he says he is, and what he did as a substitution for our place. This is his message. We can accept or deny it.
  13. Jesus said he is God, the only Son of God. So how good is Jesus, then? C.S. Lewis put it this way: "I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.” That is the one thing we must not say. A man who said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ” Jesus is either: (A.) Lying, therefore worthless (B.) Insane, therefore worthless (C.) Telling the truth So which is it? (We have already discussed the fourth option, that we don't have an "accurate record of Jesus," but this has been refuted conclusively, as displayed during this thread). Jesus had a very strong message. It was so strong that he was killed for it. He said that there is a God. He said that this God is a righteous and just God, and a loving God. He said that every human is in a state of alienation from God, because people reject him and live their lives going against God's ways, and pursue evil in their deepest innermost parts of their heart. For God, the punishment for evil is death. God, because he is righteous and just, demands a punishment for the evil that people perpetuate. However, God is also a God of love Jesus said that he is the son of this God. Because of Jesus' divinity, he lived the 100% perfect life, that no one else would be able to do. Because he lived a perfect life, he did not need to bear the punishment for evil, which is death. God loves the world very much. He doesn't want it to die in evil, and he wants to bring people back into relationship with him. However, because God is fully just and righteous, evil must be paid for- he cannot allow it to just go free. Jesus said that he will be the punishment. He will die an excruciating death, in order that anyone who would put their trust in him and live in his ways, would not have to bear that punishment. God provided Jesus as a substitution in our place, to satisfy the justice, and yet extend his great love for us. After being buried, Jesus' displayed his divinity by being resurrected from death. He also displayed how his life and death paid the ultimate sacrifice by defeating evil and death altogether, and that he would not die. Jesus said that if you believe in what he said, and put your trust in him and that he is who he says he is, you would be adopted into God's family, embraced by God who wants to be with you. THIS is Jesus' message. His Sermon on the Mount is his teachings on how to live according to his ways in the Kingdom of God (or "rule" of God in your life). Jesus said to give up your old life. Give up your life of pursuing self-centered things and going against God's ways. He said believe in him. He said that he is the only way to bridging the gap to restoring relationship with God. If you put your trust in him, and believe that he is who he says he is, you will live with him in relationship forever. This is his message. We can accept it or deny it.
  14. Again you use my vocabulary. I am happy we are getting somewhere. The problem with your "beliefs," Alessandro, is that you are quoting the gnostic gospels as if they are legitimate, alternative sources of credible information. That's like using a tabloid newspaper against an authentic piece of journalism. Even gnostic scholars date the gnostic gospels to second century at best. If you even read them as literature, whether you believe in the canonical gospels or not, they are radically different. New Testament Jesus spoke of sin and redemption from sin. Gnostic Jesus spoke of enlightenment and spiritual awakening. The other problem is that you have a misunderstanding of Christianity and what it teaches, and a misunderstanding of Jesus and what he taught. More on this below. You can't force anyone to believe anything. There are so many factions because the Bible was removed from the "authority" of the Catholic church, and every Christian is allowed to read and interpret it for themselves. Some are more apt at Greek and Hebrew and cultural studies than others, and are better at exegeting the texts than someone who just reads it in a translation, without compensating for exegetical considerations such as contemporary culture of the text. People have different fringe beliefs, but everyone agrees on one thing: Jesus of Nazareth. (1) Jews use strictly the Old Testament (first half) of the Bible, they do not use the Bible.(2) Christians use the Bible. (3) Muslims use the Bible, and then add a totally separate book of Mohammad on top. It is the book of Mohammad that is inconsistent with the consistency of the Bible. Once again, it appears that your misunderstanding of the subject is the only thing that is hindering here. When the facts are revealed for what they are, it very clearly and easily dispells any confusion. This is my point made once again. I don't even have to use hypothetical arguments or situations, you are literally feeding all of this straight to me to illustrate to you. SubZero spreads some misinformation (as I have displayed immediately above), and you all jump to say "Huzzah!," without any analysis or critical evaluation of the information. Misinformation is spread like rampant, when you simply need to study the subject. Dawkins is not a manuscript scholar. Dawkins is not a theologian. Dawkins knows a very mediocre amount about the subject matter, and there are thousands of people that know infinitely more than he does. As a matter of fact, his book is so fallicious that it has sparked an entire wave of rebuttals. Actually, this is the chief argument AGAINST his book- that he has gone off the deep end. He has abandoned sound reason, and has become what is now being called a "fundamentalist atheist." His first chapter of his book sets this tone, proclaiming "very religious anti-religionism". It is extremely correct to say that his work is downright irrational, as has been pointed out over and over again. Let me make a more pointed remark- even many ATHEISTS have discarded this book and distanced themselves from Dawkins, due to his fundamentalist-like rantings. -3nigma
  15. This is the whole purpose of the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church had twisted the Bible as an authority tool over people. The "Protestants" (literally, "Protestors") went against this, and threw authority out the window in the quest for truth. To the Catholic's credit, they afterwards had a counter-Reformation within their church to fix many internal problems. So, to answer your point- Protestant Christianity is the open mind that recognizes the truth (Jesus) as the authority, rather than the authority (Catholic Church) being the truth. This completely ignores the entire post that you just read and quoted. There is unlimited and insurmountable evidence for the accuracy of the Bible. The question is whether or not you subscribe to the spiritual truths contained therein. On the contrary to your comment, it is extremely evident that the skeptic is the one with the closed mind. If indeed you did read my entire post, it demands an incredibly narrow mind to ignore everything I wrote. My one-year-old daughter is the center of her universe. When she is older, she will learn that there is more to the world than her, and that there are other people to consider as well. When she is an adult, she may learn that the world is a whole lot bigger than her little bubble. Today, most skeptics are convinced that the gray matter between their ears is the absolute pinnacle of "truth." God gave us a brain. When he created humanity, he created the race "in his image, in the image of God." He gave us a brain that we would use it. The New Testament has been held against strong criticism for centuries, and always holds up to scrutiny. Christians have no reason to worry over scrutinizing or evaluating the Bible- it will always come out on top. And if there is ever any question, such as in the instance I quoted above with Galileo, the text simply needs to be reevaluated and interpreted in light of it. Granted- many fundamentalists do not understand these concepts, and draw a line between "faith" and "reason." However, this is a false dichotomy, and all correct faith is reasonable. More on this, below. Here, you give an example of the false dichotomy between "reason" (open mind) and "faith." This is incorrect. Even atheists, who utilize reason, have faith. Every true, reasonable atheist will acknowledge that where reason ends, they take a step of faith to then therefore say that God does not exist. Every headlining atheist (Flew, Dawkins, Harris, etc) will be very happy to say this, because they understand reason and science in their proper context. Even now, you are proposing a closed-minded view that reason is the tool for seeking truth, and that faith has no part to play in anything. All educated atheists would disagree with you. However, this is veering off-topic. We are discussing reason and faith, rather than the teachings of Jesus. Let's not make the thread messy by going off topic, but if you like, start a new thread on the "Incompatibility of Reason and Faith," and see where it goes. Again, you are rattling off little "soundbytes" and buzzwords that have no substantiation. The gospels were not "misinterpreted," and are even incapable of being misinterpreted. The gospels are narratives, they are not writings of law or teachings. The teachings of Paul later in the New Testament are subject to GREAT misinterpretation, but Jesus himself and the gospels offer no misinterpretation. Have you even ever read a single gospel, whether canonical or gnostic? It appears that you know very little from the sources themselves, and are relying on all the misinformation that I described previously. Your data is wrong again. The very first book of the New Testament is a gospel, written by Jesus' disciple Matthew, a first-hand follower and eyewitness to the life and teachings of Jesus. As a matter of fact, Matthew records most substantially the teachings of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, which is the subject of this thread. The gospel "Mark" was transcribed by John Mark, the traveling companion of Peter, who was a disciple of Jesus. The gospel "Luke" was written by the doctor and historian Luke of Antioch. He introduces his account of Jesus by saying: "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past , to write an orderly account for you..that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught." Luke records detailed historical data such as names of local rulers, a census that was taken, local high priests, governors of Roman provinces, actual years of time, etc. John's authorship was questioned in the early twentieth century. However, in ~1948 a dig that discovered more ancient New Testament manuscripts dated "John" much earlier than thought, and have cast overwhelming doubt on a late date of authorship of John's gospel. There are hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of New Testament scholars, and to say that John's authorship is "far from being universally accepted" is a gross exaggeration. Some German schools purport this, but it is not mainstream whatsoever. You should research more widely than, "I read it on Wikipedia!" Misinformation. Think a little more critically, and stop perpetuating ignorance. Be independent- search for the truth for yourself, don't be fed misinformation that is what you want to hear. Actually read the gospels and the gnostic gospels, and decide for yourself. Again, wrong information. Paul of Tarsus was actually named Saul of Tarsus, and was a tremendous persecutor and killer of Christians. Jesus came to Saul after his resurrection, and radically converted him. Saul from thereafter was called "Paul." To question whether Paul knew Jesus or not is actually a question of the authenticity of the gospels, whether Jesus was resurrected or not. There are entire books written on this, and a short snippet you can see in my second post, following the one that you quoted. (You may not have seen the second one, as you didn't quote it). Again, misinformation. The gnostic gospels were either (A.) composed much later and went nowhere (as history as shown), or (B.) were written early and rejected immediately, as history has shown (they are not in the New Testament). There are extremely early accounts of writers and church fathers using the "4 gospels and the writings", referring to the canonical gospels and writings of Paul in the New Testament. Regardless of how you date the gnostic gospels, early or late composition, the answer is the same. They are the fake "tabloid" versions that I referred to in my second post, that were not considered worthy for posterity, by people or history. It's funny- I used the word "preposterous" in my post, and now it has been used twice since then. We are getting somewhere =). You are correct that it is preposterous. Paul himself wrote that the truth about Jesus is "foolishness" to people, because they can't understand it. He wrote, "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." Everyone, even atheists, are happy to say Jesus was a real person that lived on the earth. The faith part comes in where reason ends, to have faith that what he said was true. He said that he was God, that he was the Son of God, and that it is only through having trust in him that anyone can have fellowship with God. That is not what History tells us.Misinformation. Read my second post, and see my above comments to SubZero. Reason and faith are not incompatible, and even atheists are happy to exercise faith that God does not exist- but they will all be happy to say that it is a reasonable act of faith. Atheism exercises the same faith that Christianity does, only to the opposite conclusion. Both rely on the same reasoned data. Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: "How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?" -Proverb of Solomon -3nigma
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