Do you think that the church needs to be unified once again or are you fine with all the denominations that do exist today?

The question that often goes through my mind about fundamentalists is “Are they worshiping God or worshiping the Bible?”.

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For a guy who said that Islam is basically the same

Would you look at that it seems you actually do accept all of these. Huh weird. Inteligence drops below 50 when contradictions happen i guess

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“I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”

19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”)

21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

This took place before the Holy Spirit was given, but even afterwards, they were quite the human bunch of misfits. What further proof does anyone need to recognize the miraculous formation and foundation of the greatest spiritual movement in the history of the world? That He handpicked the absolute most incapable Keystone Cops who couldn’t do anything right, to reach all of humanity for him, testifies to his amazing grace.

I honestly didn’t understand your response or what you were getting at.

After researching the church fathers and their texts for several years, the eminent New Testament scholar, Bruce Metzger, wrote: “Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone in reconstructing practically the entire New Testament” (1968, p. 86).

If the ancient preachers who lived between A.D. 70-200 quoted extensively from the New Testament, it means that the New Testament had to be complete, already circulating among the Christians, and accepted as Scripture long before they quoted it. It also means that we can compare the New Testament that we read in the twenty-first century to the quotes that such preachers produced in those early years. What we find when we compare the two is that they are virtually identical. Kyle Butt

Inerrancy means that when all the facts are known, the Scriptures in their original autographs and properly interpreted will be shown to be wholly true in everything they affirm, whether that has to do with doctrine or morality or with the social, physical or life sciences. norman geisler

Bruce Metzger (1914-2007) was one of the most highly regarded scholars of Greek, New Testament, and New Testament Textual Criticism. He served on the board of the American Bible Society and United Bible Societies and was a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. He commented… But the amount of evidence for the text of the New Testament , whether derived from manuscripts, early versions, or patristic quotations is so much greater than that available for any ancient classical author that the necessity of resorting to emendation is reduced to the smallest dimensions. [The Text of the New Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, Fourth Edition, Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, pg. 230]

Yes I was at a Bible study last night where it was said “we are called to preach God’s word.” I subtly qualified this and said “yes we are commissioned to preach the gospel and Jesus to all people.” It wasn’t a big deal as the person is a close friend and a large reason I came to Christ in the first place. I have respect for him and his viewpoints but it’s clearly the Bible is literally God’s word to him. I’d guess the terms are synonymous as the Gospel is the point of “God’s word.”

Then another person proceeded to knock the Catholic position on Mary and considered the Rosary an idol while simultaneously venerating the Bible to the point of idolatry. I let it go even though I’m pro-Catholic as the point there is to grow, not to debate.

I think conservative Christians do worship Jesus but I do think they also venerate cellulose from a publisher to a very unhealthy level. I get bibliolatry vibes from conservatives all the time. God saves. He can and does use the Good news in the Bible as a primary means but it is not the book itself that saves anyone. I cannot make intellectually acquiescing to the statements in a 2000 year old text a criteria for salvation.

Vinnie

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“Neither individuals nor councils created the canon; instead they came to recognize and acknowledge the self-authenticating quality of these writings, which imposed themselves as canonical upon the church.” good old cousin Bruce Metzger

Since moderators here are basically more sensitive than a leaf or a plant what i was basically saying was that claiming that the Quran is the same as Christianity while rejecting “Christian violenece” doesnt make sense. The Quran has lots of violence as well if not more

I am an atheist, but I did grow up in the church. I have seen what you are talking about. I can also understand how people get pulled into that mental state because you are studying so hard to figure out what a phrase means or a word choice means. I think it is a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

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  1. Truth about reality is knowable.
  2. Opposites cannot both be true (The Law of Noncontradiction).
  3. It is true the theistic God exists.
  4. If God exists, then miracles are possible.
  5. Miracles performed in connection with a truth claim are acts of God to confirm the truth of God through a messenger of God.
  6. The New Testament is historically reliable.
  7. As witnessed in the New Testament, Jesus claimed to be God.
  8. Jesus’ claim to divinity was proven by miracles, especially the Resurrection.
  9. Therefore, Jesus is God.
  10. Because Jesus is God, whatever Jesus affirmed as true, is true.
  11. Jesus affirmed that the Bible is the Word of God.
  12. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God and whatever is opposed to any biblical truth is false. norm geisler

I find the moderators lenient and fair, though they understandably clamp down with an iron fist on political issues :joy:. After the last few years, this is an immense blessing.

I never said the Quran is the same as Christianity. Just that I think some Muslims may glimpse a clearer picture of God’s nature and character than some fundamentalist Christians. Please recognize the meaning of some.

I would offer no apologetics for Quran violence and flatly dismiss it. I would also dismiss as entirely misogynistic and absurd, the notion that God grants his faithful “72 companions” in the afterlife. I don’t accept misogynistic ideology from anyone as legitimate, even if someone tries to offer it as coming from God. In fact, it’s a clear sign to me it’s not from God. I’m not with hate or objectifying women as property or the rewards of men.

Vinnie

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Good we do agree on somethinfg.

As for the moderators. Fair andlenient ? Far from that. They do whatever they want because they are moderators. You can speak back and protest . If you lucky they will understand their fault or dont give attention to yiyr protest. If not their feelings will get in the way and ban you.

Thing is people here are engaging in conversation with feelings and nothing more. Zero arguments. Just based opinions and "naive comments. And the moderators just sugar coating everyone

“The evidence for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is overwhelming. Nothing in history is more certain than that the disciples believed that, after being crucified, dead, and buried, Christ rose again from the tomb on the third day, and that at intervals thereafter he met and conversed with them.” Bruce Metzger

It becomes obvious to anyone sincerely seeking to discover who Jesus was that He is God and that He rose from the grave. From the grave. Also, just talk to anyone who knows Him.
The key to understanding church unity is perspective. IOW, how much worse would Christians treat each other if they didn’t believe in Christ? The history of mankind is saturated with evil. Muggeridge put it perfectly. Nothing is more true or ignored than man’s cruelty.

Speaking to the question of the seemingly forgotten original post, most vibrant churches these days, you could attend for a year before even finding out what denomination with which it is affiliated. Churches are much more community focused. Personally, I think any unification effort would just take the focus back to institutional fixations, so put me down for “No I don’t. I’m fine with them”.

What is the best choice: everybody does as she/he thinks is right; there is a leader who says what you should (must) believe; correct belief is what the majority votes; or there is a written document including basic information about the will of God?

My choice is the last one which means that I support the Sola scriptura principle. Sola scriptura includes some amount of voting as councils etc try to interpret the meaning of certain texts. The positive side of Sola scriptura is that whoever can compare the results of voting to the original document and obviously incorrect interpretations can be questioned and corrected.

The Bible is a widely accepted fundamental document. RCC tells that it is ‘their’ book. As far as I understand, later doctrins of RCC should not violate the original ones, meaning that the Bible is a fundamental library also for RCC.

The Bible is not God, it does not have an independent value. The value comes from being a generally accepted document that can be used when two opinions about the will of God seems to contradict each other.

If you do not support the Sola scriptura principle, what could be a better choice?

Diversity of thought, implementation and organization is natural and to be expected when it comes to spiritual things. Unity is the tower of Babel and all the horror of the pre-flood world because the only unity sinful human beings are capable of is a unity of evil. Competition keeps us honest and putting our best foot forward.

Yes but not all truth about reality is objective (i.e. the same for everyone).

Things which appear to be opposites definitely can both be true.

And yet most if not all the conceptions of God by people likely do not exist.

Mark 13:22 False Christs and false prophets will arise and show signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect.

Truth is the message not in any so called miracle magic tricks.

Not according to the standards of academic history.

Debatable. Jesus said a lot of things which seems to support both ideas. Jesus never came out and said clearly that He is God. He only said such things such as He and Father are one which could be taken in that way. To be sure, according to the oldest agreements on what it means to be Christian, those who are Christian do take the things He said in this way. Otherwise it is hard to distinguish Christianity from other religions like Islam.

Only according to the same sort of standard that people used to prove that radium as a additive for food and toiletry products was good for your health.

The agreement defining Christianity was that Jesus is/was 100% man and 100% God.

LOL How did He do that since the Bible did not even exist at the time. LOL

Jesus certainly invested authority in scripture, but then He never defined what He meant by scripture.

Which Bible would that be exactly? And what does it mean to say that the Bible is the “Word of God.”

Don’t get me wrong, I say that the Bible is the word of God and I explain what I mean by that. And people take the Bible to mean quite a few things which are most certainly wrong.

Prima scriptura? Relying on the the Holy Spirit and the transforming and Risen Jesus as early charismatic Christians did? Appealing to creedal statements? The Magisterial teachings of the Church? Reason, science, commons sense? All of course in addition to the Bible which itself does not remotely teach sola scripture. It is an a priori and nothing more.As a belief it might not be defendable as the act of defending it is self-refuting.

I admit I might get some aspects of sola scriptura wrong because I don’t subscribe to it or care much about it. I am happy to learn, however. Christians use scripture as the authoritative voice of God but models of inspiration, hermeneutics and how that voice is interpreted vary drastically. I can use sola scripture to come up with views you might deem heretical. How do we resolve this? Without magisterial teachings of the Church (or magisterial creeds) we do not.

Sola scripture was trudging along nicely in some circles until science showed there are countless factually inaccurate statements in the Bible. Then we had to start modifying how we interpreted the Bible using the lenses of modern science and so forth. We might posit scripture is not subservient to science but that is lip service. For thousands of years Christianity had been interpreted and defended differently on some peripheral issues. Calvin believed anyone who thought the earth moved was possessed by the Devil! Now all of a sudden we want to imagine that all this historical interpretation is wrong. On a functional level, many of the historical claims of scripture are subservient to science. So now we change the genre or the meaning or say its accommodated, or engage in mental gymnastics. It would be the other way around if sola scripture were true. We would be harmonizing science and forcing it to fit with the Bible. All our patronizing reinterpretations and modern backpedaling lead me inescapably to this conclusion.

Also, we could have the protestant/catholic sola scripture debate but one thing I think it is important to remember is that the canon itself is a tradition of the Church. It is not taught in the Bible. These books were chosen by the ancient Church. They very humanly argued and deemed, not to the liking of everyone, that these writings over some others were authoritative for Christians. The very act of canonization, in my mind, assumes the Church was given the authority to complete this task. Otherwise it is just another “tradition” a word that some Protestants are so eager to dismiss. We believe the Spirit guided the process but the Spirit can guide many processes, inside and outside the Canon-- including councils and magisterial statements. I don’t know how rigid proponents of sola scripture actually are but I would look at Matthew 2:23: “He shall be called a Nazarene.” This is NOT from the OT but “spoken by the prophets” (Matt. 2:23). An example of “God’s word” being authoritatively handed down outside of what is accepted as written scripture today? Jesus certainly said and did more things than what was written. I can only presume they were just as authoritative as what survives. Jesus and Paul certainly appealed to oral teachings outside the OT. I’m not about dismissing the Bible as a primary authority for Christians, when properly understood (there is the problem), but it is not the sole authority on everything to me. I certainly reject large chunks of it in relation to how it treats women.

Vinnie

Local churches and unification are not opposite concepts. If members of a local church see themselves as part of a global church and treat other local churches as brothers and sisters, that is one form of unification.

I’m used to cooperation between local churches. Speakers visit other churches, we have joint childrens camps, happenings. There are monthly prayer meetings that move from church to another. In some regions, local pastors from different local churches have more or less regular meetings where they discuss and pray. This is one form of unification.

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I think it’s never going to happen. There are a lot of differences now days that are fairly core. Such as once aaved always saved versus being able to lose your salvation or things like praying Jesus into your heart versus baptism being how someone enters into a covenant with God and so on. There are two many theological interpretations that are to far apart to be able to unify them.

What’s better is now can we learn to be righteous towards those we disagree with. I think a big part is just trying to look past it and look at what is the same. Such as myself and BioLogos. Outside of concordism versus accommodation for the Torah I don’t really line up theologically with many here. I try to pull away from most discussion on theology because if that. I have friends of other denominational movements that we get along by avoiding the subjects we disagree on. We won’t ever agree and it would be unhealthy to constantly argue about them. I believe in conditional immortality. 90% of my congregations don’t. They disagree and often strongly. Strongly enough some have left the congregation I attend ofer it. So even within a denomination there are these issues. Even within a congregation there are these issues.

To paraphrase a former pastor, “It is much easier to kill a queen bee than to chop off the head of a yeast culture.”

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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