Our server costs ~$56 per month to run. Please consider donating or becoming a Patron to help keep the site running. Help us gain new members by following us on Twitter and liking our page on Facebook!
Current time: January 26, 2021, 6:43 pm

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
#51
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
Our next question comes from Chimp3:

Why does God appear to know only what the writers of the Bible know?

(The answer, response, and conclusion phases will proceed organically from here, without me announcing each phase. Just stick to the one post per day rule. The next question will be posted Monday night, so if you want to post final statements concerning the question, do it by Monday.)
Reply
#52
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
(May 17, 2018 at 12:30 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: Our next question comes from Chimp3:

Why does God appear to know only what the writers of the Bible know?

(The answer, response, and conclusion phases will proceed organically from here, without me announcing each phase. Just stick to the one post per day rule. The next question will be posted Monday night, so if you want to post final statements, do it on Monday.)
That question is pretty broad and topics in the Bible are wide ranging. Respones could go into many different directions without actually addressing the intent behind the question. In order to give a more precise answer it would be helpful to know, is there a specific topic of interest to the question?
"Inside every Liberal there's a Totalitarian screaming to get out"

[Image: freddy_03.jpg]

Quote: JohnDG...
Quote:It was an awful mistake to characterize based upon religion. I should not judge any theist that way, I must remember what I said in order to change.
Reply
#53
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
@A Theist

I think I may be able to clarify. One would expect the one true communication of the one true God to have scientific facts coming from the lips of God.

For instance, God might have revealed that the stars in the sky are in fact other suns. Genesis has God creating all the stars and other celestial bodies in one day and spending the rest of the time creating Earth. It seems very much like the accounts in the Bible are limited by what people knew 4,000-6,000 years ago. God could have dropped some hints about the water cycle or the periodic table of elements-- but he didn't. Jesus could have said that epilepsy is a neurological condition that has nothing to do with demons, but he didn't. etc, etc.

In the question submission thread, Drich answered the question by claiming that the Book of Revelation presents "an ancient understanding of modern war." Neo rejected this idea, favoring a more allegorical interpretation of the Apocalypse.

Does that clarify things enough for you to produce an answer, A Theist?

EDIT: Asking for clarification obviously doesn't count as your post for today, so feel free to post again, AT.
Reply
#54
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
(May 18, 2018 at 9:44 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: @A Theist

I think I may be able to clarify. One would expect the one true communication of the one true God to have scientific facts coming from the lips of God.

For instance, God may have reveled that the stars in the sky are in fact other suns. Genesis has God creating all the stars and other celestial bodies in one day and spending the rest of the time creating Earth. It seems very much like the accounts in the Bible are limited by what people knew 4,000-6,000 years ago. God could have dropped some hints about the water cycle or the periodic table of elements-- but he didn't. Jesus could have said that epilepsy is a neurological condition that has nothing to do with demons, but he didn't. etc, etc.

In the question submission thread, Drich answered the question by claiming that the Book of Revelation presents "an ancient understanding of modern war." Neo rejected this idea, favoring a more allegorical interpretation of the Apocalypse.

Does that clarify things enough for you to produce an answer, A Theist?

Thank you Vulcan. 

Actually your response only supports my concerns that the question without a specific topic in mind would only veer off into many different directions. In your own response, you said, 

Quote:For instance, God may have reveled that the stars in the sky are in fact other suns. Genesis has God creating all the stars and other celestial bodies in one day and spending the rest of the time creating Earth. It seems very much like the accounts in the Bible are limited by what people knew 4,000-6,000 years ago. God could have dropped some hints about the water cycle or the periodic table of elements-- but he didn't. Jesus could have said that epilepsy is a neurological condition that has nothing to do with demons, but he didn't. etc, etc.
....a topic that you and some others would probably like to see addressed, I presume(?)

Also in your response you pointed out how Drich and Neo would like to take the discussion. A totally different topic...
Quote:In the question submission thread, Drich answered the question by claiming that the Book of Revelation presents "an ancient understanding of modern war." Neo rejected this idea, favoring a more allegorical interpretation of the Apocalypse.


I went back to the questions submitted thread to chimp's original question. As I already knew, the topics varied and didn't even seem like they were actually addressing the question. Post #27, chimp's original question. Post #28 was Drich's response asking chimp for a specific to the question, and then he introduced the subject of Revelation. #29, Neo responded that a debate challenge with Drich over Revelations, 'Allegories vs Observations', may make for interesting fodder. #31, chimp responded to Drich and introduced a discussion on the Biblical moral basis for murder,....and more posts followed with more topics raised, all from one broad question. This is why I would like to see the question narrowed down to something more specific so that it doesn't stray off in different directions. In fact, why not discuss the topic you introduced in your response above? That would be specific to the question.
"Inside every Liberal there's a Totalitarian screaming to get out"

[Image: freddy_03.jpg]

Quote: JohnDG...
Quote:It was an awful mistake to characterize based upon religion. I should not judge any theist that way, I must remember what I said in order to change.
Reply
#55
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
Feel free to address any/all of the narrower topics I put out in my clarification, A Theist, if you think that is something you can sink your teeth into. I imagine that some good debating may transpire between you, Neo, and Drich as a result.

I want to leave the original question intact though, in case anyone feels like they can produce a satisfying answer to it.

So feel free to answer it in the broad sense or in a narrow sense. It's up to you.
Reply
#56
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
(May 18, 2018 at 11:22 am)vulcanlogician Wrote: Feel free to address any/all of the narrower topics I put out in my clarification, A Theist, if you think that is something you can sink your teeth into. I imagine that some good debating may transpire between you, Neo, and Drich as a result.

I want to leave the original question intact though, in case anyone feels like they can produce a satisfying answer to it.

So feel free to answer it in the broad sense or in a narrow sense. It's up to you.

Thank you, Vulcan.
"Inside every Liberal there's a Totalitarian screaming to get out"

[Image: freddy_03.jpg]

Quote: JohnDG...
Quote:It was an awful mistake to characterize based upon religion. I should not judge any theist that way, I must remember what I said in order to change.
Reply
#57
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
This is a question that sets my hermeneutic apart from the more conservative/traditional positions of modern Evangelicals and other groups similarly inclined to see the Bible as a literal document to be accepted primarily on a superficial level.

Their position, as I understand it, is that unless everything contained in the biblical canon is completely true in every respect then we cannot trust it. In other words, if we cannot rely on Scripture to accurately convey natural truths how can we rely on the historicity of Gospel accounts or even the spiritual truths conveyed by Jesus or Paul when they makes reference to Old Testament stories. Such stories include Jonah being swallowed by and emerging from a big fish after 3 days and Adam & Eve as the original parents bringing on the Fall from Grace by their personal actions?

That’s a good question but one I consider beyond the scope of the question. At the same time, it is interesting to note how literalists either 1) strain credulity by trying to resolve apparent internal contradiction in text, 20 rationalize scientifically inaccurate details, 3) embrace patently absurd notions, such as God talking to a snake, or 4) walk back from their literalist position by acknowledging different genres presented by the 66 books of the canon and the need to carefully discern when a passage should be taken figuratively.

But the question hinges on the nature and purpose of the biblical texts. Since both literalist and non-literalist Christians accept its authority, we must look first to Holy Scripture to see what it says.

“Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not steadfast with God. That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: - Psalm 78:1-7 (my emphasis)

To me the Psalmist’s position is unequivocal. Not only does he simply assert that the ancient narratives are couched in parable, allusion and allegory, the psalm continues to give specific examples and tells us which stories those are. They include the plagues of Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, and manna falling from Heaven. It is clear the God’s purpose for these “dark sayings of old” is not to simply convey momentous historical events; but rather, to produce spiritual changes in those who hear them, i.e. to put our hope in God, to see the work of His Providence in all things, and to guide us into following Him.

This is confirmed by Paul in the New Testament:

“…we speak of the mysterious and hidden wisdom of God, which He destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it. For if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. Rather, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.,’ But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of man except his own spirit within him? So too, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. And this is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. – 1 Cor 2: 7-13 (my emphasis)

The message of Paul is also unequivocal. Natural facts and historical details from a superficial reading of the texts have little value compared to the “deep things of God” and the truths “revealed to us by the Spirit.” Look how many times he uses the word “Spirit” In other words, it doesn’t matter if the writers thought the sky was an azure dome or rabbits chew the cud, or they thought the value of pi was 3. That kind of knowledge does not save. The Bible is a spiritual guidebook, not science textbook. The depth and richness of its uniquely spiritual wisdom is what sets it apart from all the books based on "the spirit of the world" and testifies to its divinity.

This is also the way to approach the most baffling of all texts, Revelation.

“I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance that are in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and my testimony about Jesus. On the Lord’s day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, saying, “Write in a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea.” – Revelation 1:9-11

I would ask all my brothers and sisters in Christ to search out every instance of someone being “in the Spirit” What other purpose is there for being “in the Spirit” than to discern movements and shifts in the spiritual dimensions of our personal lives and social history?
"Anyone who believes the laws of physics are mere social conventions is invited to try transgressing those conventions from the windows of my apartment. I live on the twenty-first floor." - Alan Sokal
Reply
#58
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
God's concern isn't with matters of science or math lol. He's concerned with matters of spirituality and our eternal souls. Math/science are completely different and unrelated topics from the topic of spiritiality. His goal wasn't to teach us about things of the natural world (we can figure those out on our own), but to teach us about the supernatural world and what is relevant to it.

The story of Genesis is thousands of years old. It had to be written in a way that any person from any time period or walk of life could understand the underlying, relevent message.

The message is that there is a God, all creation goes back to Him, and that we as human beings have the knowledge of and the choice to do good or to do evil... and that the human condition is flawed (meaning none of us are perfect, we are all bound to behave immorally at some point if given the chance).

^That is the underlying message that is relevant to what God was trying to relay to us. It wouldn't have made any sense to go into evolution and biology, especially thousands of years ago when no one would have understood, and the important message would have been lost.

(Edited for better accuracy)
"Of course, everyone will claim they respect someone who tries to speak the truth, but in reality, this is a rare quality. Most respect those who speak truths they agree with, and their respect for the speaking only extends as far as their realm of personal agreement. It is less common, almost to the point of becoming a saintly virtue, that someone truly respects and loves the truth seeker, even when their conclusions differ wildly." 

-walsh
Reply
#59
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
My response will echo the two above me, the Bible is and has always been a spiritual book intended for the spiritual understanding of God. If people want to look for science, history, geography or anything else explaining the workings of this physical world they are going to be disappointed. If they believe they can figure out what the talking serpent looks like, how an ax head floated on water, how Jesus walked on water, a donkey talked, a mysterious hand wrote on a wall, four people survived a burning furnace or any of the other supernatural things recorded in the Bible they will be disappointed. These things were not understood then but revealed to man through the Holy Spirit and if you will notice they did not ask God to explain these things they accepted them as truth. We are speaking about many writers of the scriptures and not one of them asked why, these writers came from different times and ages, you would think one would have asked God why, so why didn't they. They knew where the information was coming and trusted it to be the truth of God.
 What good would it have done for God to explain to them about gravity, none, that kind of information was useless to them, they understood if a person jumps from a roof they are going to hit the ground below them. What good would it have done for God to explain the speed of light to them, they would not have understood and it would have no value to them. Like us they understood that when a fire was started the light was instantaneous, I know when I flip on a light switch I never consider the speed of light nor do I in my everyday life and why should I. Though I know about it it serves no real purpose for my life style and it certainly would not have served a purpose in their lives. During their time what good would it have done for God to explain to them about atmospheric pressure, none. Even without knowing this they compensated for it with balance beam scales for weighing things accurately. God didn't teach man about math, we soon enough began to correlate that distant and angles could help us build things and man had no problem with understanding what level meant to keep buildings up and plumb is just another level. it was God's intent for man to discover much of these things for himself, it is why we were given the brain we have.
 Now is there an instance in scripture where god revealed something to a writer in the Bible that man did not know nor did man know until the telescope was invented. Yes he did. God told Abraham that his descendants would be as innumerable as the stars. We all know that only 6000 to 7000 stars can be seen in the night sky with only the human eye observing. We also know that the ancient people knew much about the night sky and would have know the number of visible stars. The visible stars are numerable so Abraham must have known God was speaking of the unseen stars as He was speaking of Abraham's unseen descendants, why do I say this, because the wise Abraham did not question God about the stars being numerable as He did not question God about having a child at his great age, faith is what Abraham had and it was credited to him as righteousness. So now we come full circle about this question, even when God told the writer about the innumerable stars it wasn't questioned but accepted in a spiritual way. The book is a spiritual message of God's work to redeem mankind and how to live in the best relationship we can with Him.

GC
God loves those who believe and those who do not and the same goes for me, you have no choice in this matter. That puts the matter of total free will to rest.
Reply
#60
RE: Our role(s) as Christians on Atheist Forums
I won't try and add to what's already been pointed out by the others. I'm going to try as best I can to answer Vulcan's clarification response, (post #53), of chimp's question.

If we're going back to people who lived 4 to 6 thousand years ago, (as Vulcan stated), then we're talking about people who were just entering the Copper Age and who only had an understanding of the world around them for their time and region. They knew nothing of far away continents and of the people who lived there. They couldn't fathom that technology would eventually evolve from the Copper Age to the Space Age. Their technology, and their knowledge and understanding of a much larger world was still evolving and developing. God gave all the gift of free will. Along with that came curiosity and the desire to explore and to discover new things, to find out for themselves. Technology and discovery has always been evolving and developing gradually over time. So, did God only know what the writers of the Bible knew, or was God communicating to the writers of the Bible in terms that they understood for their time?....as well, weren't the Biblical prophets only describing their visions of future events in terms that they understood for their day?

Also,  Vulcan responded that 'God could have dropped some hints about the water cycle and the periodic table of elements, but He didn't'.....But God did actually reveal a few interesting things that modern science seems to support....

The Genesis account of the creation of Earth is strikingly similar to some scientific theories on its formation...

Genesis 1: 1-2, In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

And the earth was without form, and void; 

Compare that verse to the scientific theories on its formation...that the solar system began as a cloud of dust and gas, "without form and void"

https://www.space.com/19175-how-was-earth-formed.html

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/200...-Void.aspx

The Biblical account for the creation of man in Genesis 2:7, 

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground

We are literally the dust of the ground, composed of the same material as the Earth

Earth's composition
http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/ask/5...h-made-of-

The composition of the human body
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compositio...human_body

I find this to be a pretty amazing accounting from the writer who authored the Book Of Genesis 3,400 years ago. 


So to sum up. To the question, "Why does God appear to know only what the writers of the Bible knew?" It wasn't that God only knew what the writers of the Bible knew. It was simply that God communicated with them in terms that they understood for their time. Albeit, the simple message of reconciliation of humankind to God and what He expects transcends generational barriers.

Edited: for better clarity.
"Inside every Liberal there's a Totalitarian screaming to get out"

[Image: freddy_03.jpg]

Quote: JohnDG...
Quote:It was an awful mistake to characterize based upon religion. I should not judge any theist that way, I must remember what I said in order to change.
Reply





Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)