Interpreting Luke's Genealogical Account

(Jay Johnson) #61

Saving from ourselves, most of the time. (At least, in my experience of selfhood …)

(Albert Leo) #62

quote=“cfkellerSVS, post:15, topic:36744, full:true”]
One telling objection to all these genealogies is that they are too short
Cave paintings of beautifully depicted animals date back nearly 30,000 years which would require about. 10,000 generations. Now either Adam came tens of thousands of years after these people or biblical genealogies were not to be taken literally
Excellent point, Charles. A genealogy of Jesus just does not make sense. My world view relies on the evidence that humankind’s origin should be dated some 50K yrs. ago by the Great Leap Forward–the sudden appearance of cave art and burials with grave goods–an epic change in behavior which was _Epi-_genetic. This ‘programming’ change could have occurred within a single Homo sapiens brain–i.e. a true Adam–and spread to other Homo sapiens as language was invented and improved. Most likely it was within a single clan rather than a single person, but in any event, any attempt to link Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam is wrongheaded and foolish in light of current knowledge. (One should not blame Mathew and Luke for trying, because they had to “sell to the Gentiles” a belief that it was the Son of God who was crucified–not just another criminal.)
Al Leo[ /quote]


Huh? Here is Matthew 1:21-21 with bold added:

But after he [Joseph] had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

(Albert Leo) #64

@freddymagnanimo we remain brutes. As intelligence increases so does our ability to override our base instincts.

[quote=“GJDS, post:36, topic:36744”

(GDS) A couple of points: (1) many of us do live in hope, faith and seek to grow into the attributes of Christ - your comment regarding evolution and Christianity would, as a fact, appear to contradict this. (2) human intelligence does not arise (or is a consequence) of Darwinian evolution as articulated by its proponents, and if this is so, you are adding something out of convenience to the theory, not as a prediction from it.

I agree that we have progresse(d), in spite of our brutal history. I also note that no selective force has prevented us to decimate our environment, which again contradicts the edicts of evolutionary theory.
The two highlighted portions of the above quotes are the bedrock of my world view. Like Alfred Wallace, the ‘co-discoverer’ of evolution, I am sure that Natural Selection can NOT account for human intelligence or human conscience. Our species, Homo sapiens, had a brain that was an EXaptation–potentially capable of performing tasks far more complex than those necessary for survival. Some, as yet unknown epigenetic change ‘programmed’ one or more of these brains to operate as Mind–a Mind that could lift brute instinct into true humanity and extend society much further outward than mere kinship. This led to the evidence for the Great Leap Forward some 50K years ago.

This gift of Mind had a dark side. The selfish gene that promoted brutish instinct, was now superseded by any power-drunk Mind that could gain control of an entire society. On the whole, God’s gift to humanity of Mind resulted in notable progress and capability, but it was not held in check properly by conscience. The fairytale of Pinnochio is instructive here: The puppet that Gepetto carved was well crafted, but it was not until he was given a conscience–and listened to it-- that he became truly a boy. In real life, it is Jesus who asks us to ‘take up his Cross’, who leads the way for us to rise above our Darwinian-evolved nature and fulfill the plans God has for us. In doing that he becomes our Savior.
Al Leo


Ditto as well

Interesting outlook

I think very similar to that.

Can anyone explain ToE acronym?

I somewhat cringe (depending on context) when I hear people speak of salvation, or being saved. As most time, I think it is just a word that we adopted and use without thought because it has been equated with justification or reconciliation to God or other words. Though I think some people actually use it to mean, “saved form hell”. I think this is the worst use of it. God is not a fire blanket, we don’t just Him or have faith in what Jesus did, to save us from hell, nor is that what Jesus came for. This is why I am not a fan of Pascal’s wager. You don’t just hope to be right because of hell (or what we think of it as). You come to want to know God, because of who He is, and that He loved us first, and are thankful He even wants anything to do with us on a personal level, in this life, and in the life to come.

Jesus came to give us life and more abundantly. The only way to attain this abundant life is to know the Father through, Jesus. Jesus is saving us from ourselves, but more importantly , from a life apart from God, our Creator (our sins)! He created us for Him, and if we acknowledge that, and the fact that we need Jesus to reconcile us back to Him, we can come back to know Him

.[quote=“freddymagnanimo, post:59, topic:36744”]
At least God has never made me aware of this situation, and I doubt cavemen of 100,000 years ago knew about it either.
Romans 1:18-20 says different. Of course you have to believe in the Bible for that to be known to you, and I am not a fan of circular logic (not to know God, but to know that verse). But just as Paul said, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-His eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

Just looking at the amazing works of the Creator, having that lead you logically that it all must have been engineered/designed, and there is a designer out there. Wanting to know that Designer. I firmly believe that anyone who seeks the God, Creator of everything will find Him, and God will reveal Himself to that person seeking. As other verses say “seek and ye shall find”.

Every scientific study you find out how much more amazing and complex God is, that is God, introducing Himself to you, wanting you to seek Him back.

I don’t think I think of hell as many do. We know that fire was used to purify things. You put gold in fire, it purifies it, or refines it.
Heb 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

Fire won’t burn gold, just refine it.

So eternal fire may be a literal fire, though pain is a temporary thing, it is our brains letting us know something potentially detrimental to our health is occurring and needs to be addressed. If we were to have eternal bodies, this is no longer an issue. I am not so sure the purpose of this fire is to torment, rather than to attempt to purify. Which it takes an eternity (see never) of fire to purify us from sins or the one time miraculous act of Jesus. The tormenting, which there will be much of, is from humans living in a world void of their Creator, and His love.

So God isn’t punishing us in hell from an “us” standpoint. It is a punishment (a truth/fact) the fact that He made/designed us and know what we need best, which is knowing Him. So hell is eternal separation from Him. Not using fact as in a provable scientific fact, but as in a what the Bible says an ultimate truth/fact is.

Gen 2:17 eat from it, you will certainly die.
Rom 6:23 Wages of is is death.

Adam didn’t die we are not dead, so it doesn’t mean bodily death. It means separation from God.

This is why salvation is life. John 3:16 Gift of God is life. Living water.
Life = with God
Death = without God

He made us as created being, not God. So we are going to sin, He made us to sin. But, He also made us to know (have life in) Him. We can’t know (live in) Him until we know what sin is, and when we sin, we are separated from Him (death). If you chose to want to know Him, He sent His Son to die for us to know (live in)Him. If you chose to not know Him, which you have free will to do, even it is to your detriment as the One who created you knows, you can remain no knowing (dead) Him.

Like a fish, is free to jump out of the water, but they will die. Or that same fish is free to stay in the water, where it was designed to live, and live. Freedom is living our design, not our desires.

Some even believe that though hell is an eternal punishment, we are not eternally in pain. Conditionalism. Meaning eternal life is conditional, if we believe in God, we gain eternal life, if we reject God, we go to hell, to live a life apart from God, until we die, and cease to exist. We are eternally separated from God for eternity, and therefore still punished for eternity. I am not sure I 100% subscribe to that interpretation, but some have it.

So don’t think of it as created being that are doomed to go to hell. Think of it as, He created being that He wanted to freely love Him, and those that do, can, for eternity, and those that don’t, won’t, eternally separated (whether dead or alive).

But seeing all of the tragedies out there and a what a life void of God will be like, that is where the weeping and gnashing of teeth comes from. It will be sad, you will feel like a cornered rat gnashing your teeth at the world around you in fear.

But He has to create us as flawed beings, all creations is not God and flawed. Even the angels apparently had free will and were flawed. I am learning more and more about God, but I think one of the things that make God God, is always existed (not created), and perfect.

(Albert Leo) #66

Lots of Food for Thought here, Mervin. What if the statement: "earning our way into Heaven" is largely misleading? I am not convinced that any Christian theologian knows what Heaven is like. I do not believe it can be located anywhere in space/time. A number of times–e,g, my first climb up Half Dome–I experienced what the author of the hymn “How Great Thou Art” must have felt–a taste of Heaven. So maybe the Heaven we envision is one that God intends eventually to exist on earth. Christ said his kingdom was not OF this earth, but perhaps it could still be ON this earth sometime in the far, far future. In getting control of many infectious plagues, smallpox, polio, etc, humanity has moved the pointer slightly away from Hell and pointed more towards Heaven. Somehow the folks who have made this progress possible must partake in the enjoyment we derive from it. Maybe that is their reward ‘in Heaven’. The part of our present happiness–that which is the direct result of their efforts in the past, is now experienced by their spirits that survive their bodies and are joined with God in some way outside of time and space.
Al Leo

(Christy Hemphill) #67

Theory of Evolution


Duh, thanks. I look stupid…

I assume when most say this, they mean earn your way to God. Which can’t be done (Biblically speaking) as none come to the Father, but through the Son, and the fact hat you can would be misleading.

(Phil) #69

No problem, you’re still learning…

(Mervin Bitikofer) #70

“into Heaven” was just a quick colloquial expression I used in passing there, without trying to pack in any details. Biblically speaking, it probably is misleading to think that our disembodied souls will float away to some location tucked away in our cosmos. The bible speaks more of the city of God descending to earth (a new heaven and new earth) than it does us going away to some heaven.

No … when I spoke of earning our way in … I’m talking about earning our way into the ‘kingdom of God’ – the same one about which Jesus told the Pharisees and Scribes they were lagging behind the tax collectors and prostitutes getting in. It is already here, now, in our hearts. (Luke 17:21)

(GJDS) #71

Theory of Evolution

(GJDS) #72

I am not questioning your beliefs, and from some of your comments, I get the impression you are not basing your view on human nature on a notion of variation and selection (at least that is what I think you say at times) as a scientific conclusion.

(GJDS) #73

I prefer not to go down this road with you.

(George Brooks) #74

Yes, I know, @GJDS.

And so yet another discussion with you, on this very same point about natural processes being used by God, goes up … poof… like the smoke in the Vatican’s chimney.

(Freddy Magnanimous) #75

First, let’s not assume that I’m a “determined skeptic” or that I “want to reject” God. I started looking into Christianity because I wanted to follow God, but what I found in Christian theology and the Bible was not God, but a manmade book and a manmade religion. I engage in these conversations because I’ve thought about these topics a lot and I’m interested in seeing how others have come to a different conclusion. So thanks for engaging. A few points…

  • No I don’t believe God needs to make an appointment with us to try to get our approval for the job. Of course not. That was not the point at all (in fact I’m inclined towards deism, because I don’t see an intervening God in the world). My point was that your statements seemed to assume this kind of God. Claiming that non-Christians are choosing not to love God assumes that everybody knows Christianity is true, as if God has had a sit-down with each one of his humans to make the truth known. If this were the case, then I would agree with your assessment that non-Christians are choosing to rebel against God.

  • You don’t believe “we can earn our way to Heaven with our own good works.” You seem to assume some kind of original sin - something inherently defective about us that slates us for damnation. We’re not capable of being worthy. If this is the case, I still don’t see how you’re avoiding the charge that God made us imperfect/rebellious/whatever and then condemns us for being as he made us. What I sense is that you have dropped the traditional belief in the Fall and original sin, but are retaining their implications. Your theology is still operating as if we are stained with some sort of fallenness.

  • For me, not knowing what the age of accountability is because it’s above my pay grade, is not the point. Why the need-for-a-savior memo was only delivered relatively recently in one location can of course be dismissed as a mystery, but this misses my point too. For me, these difficulties cut right to the ability to believe them in the first place. These are absolutely radical claims that strain credibility. After 198,000 years of Homo sapiens history, we find out that at some point in history God decided every one of them deserves eternal conscious torment for being sinners. This looks very suspiciously like the result of human theologizing.
    Or this one: There exists a precise moment in a child’s life, before which, if she dies she will enter eternal bliss. But if she dies one second after this moment, she will be damned, unless of course she has made the proper faith commitments in time. It’s not that I need to know the precise age, it’s that there’s even a need to construct such a concept. The entire concept is absurd. I can’t prove it wrong, but hopefully you can see how one might find these ideas unlikely to be true.

(Freddy Magnanimous) #76

Thanks Still Learning. I’m definitely with you on feeling awe and wonder at the universe, but this doesn’t get me to Christianity. How do you feel about the fact that most people express these feelings through the faith that they were brought up in, which is not necessarily Christianity? Do you think people of other religions are not seeking honestly, or do you think maybe people can find God in religions other than Christianity?

(Mercy Full) #77

Aren’t there genealogies scattered throughout the new and old testaments that make it possible to trace Jesus’ ancestry back through David without even using Luke’s genealogy? Also, in a culture where society/lineage was so important (i.e. census, tribes, etc), I would think that keeping those records accurate would be paramount.

(George Brooks) #78


Yes, absolutely.

But sometimes affairs of state and nature do not cooperate.

If there was a recorded history of Jesus’s ancestry … why then are there two different genealogies being published?

One of them is wrong. Or maybe even both of them.

(Mercy Full) #79

I always thought that one of them was Mary’s ancestry and one of them was Joseph (Jesus’ “human” dad’s) ancestry.

(George Brooks) #80


That’s a common explanation… but if one of those genealogies is for Mary, wouldn’t we see her name somewhere?

More importantly, there are whole sections of generations missing, while in every other respect identical.