Science VS, Faith


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #21

What if God included everything God wanted us to know in the Bible? I think that it would be a very thick Book including all the mysteries of science, theology, philosophy, medicine, and history. Because it would be a very big book it would take many scribes and much paper to make copies, which would mean that there would be very few copies and they would be extremely valuable.

That would mean that a few rich and powerful people would control the knowledge of the world, and common people like us could not afford a copy the Bible. Worse, people would have no reason to find the answers that they need for their lives because de facto God had already given them to the powerful who would monopolize them.


#22

I’m reminded of two texts, Deuteronomy 29:29

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

And John 20:31-31

Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

So what is written has one main purpose, that we may follow, that we may believe, that we may have life. As has been said elsewhere, the Bible is a message of Salvation. To be a textbook of Science is not its aim.


(Shawn T Murphy) #23

Yes, most definitely all that Jesus wanted to teach is not in the Bible.

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. (John 16:13-14)

the Bible is starting place for us to search for those things that the apostles could not bear and God his from children, waiting for them to grow up.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #24

The issue is even deeper than this. The Torah, Law, was seen as a Handbook for living by the Jews, but Jesus came along and told us that the Torah is outmoded. There is no Handbook (Bible) that tells us what to do in every situation. We have to trust in Jesus the Messiah and love one another. It is much easier to follow the Handbook, even if it is the wrong way.


#25

And Mormons and JW’s would wholeheartedly agree.


#26

I wouldn’t disagree with that at all, Roger. My point is that it is sufficient to tell what we need to know in regard to salvation. On the flip side, it is sufficient as a rule and norm against which any “new light” or secret knowledge should be tested.


(Shawn T Murphy) #27

Jesus did not come to form hundreds of Christian religions, but to teach of His Kingdom in Heaven that awaits us all. He wanted to build his church on the unbreakable faith of Peter, not an any earthly materialistic building. For me, all of the inspired works help to form a better picture Jesus and His mission than just the Bible alone, edited by men.


#28

No he didn’t come to form hundreds of Christian religions, but that’s what we have isn’t it. And why? Because as those proclaiming new light and secret knowledge came along, like Arius and company, there had to be a means of testing such new teaching and determining what is actually inspired. Thus the credal confessions, the canon and, speaking as a Lutheran, the Book of Concord and the like. The result however also means there is and will be schism as such people split off from the church.

So when a Mormon comes along claiming a new revelation of Jesus Christ, you embrace it? He says it likewise gives him a better picture of Jesus and his mission. Is it not inspired? What about his inner witness that tells him it is? And by what rule and norm do you make such determination if not by scripture alone?


(Shawn T Murphy) #29

By looking at many inspired texts you will see that the Heisenberg principal applies, as when Jesus says “they cannot bear it.” The other guide is 1 John 4 to help determine which spirit is inspiring the work. In the case of the Mormons, neither test is passed. In addition, Jesus would never help build a powerful, earthly organization like the one that condemned Him.


#30

Ah the “uncertainty” principle of biblical interpretation. That totally makes sense. As soon as one thinks they know where you’re going theologically, you’ve disappeared and reappeared in another place! Like nailing jello to a wall.


(Shawn T Murphy) #31

No you missed the point. The spirit of truth can only speak to the level of enlightenment of the observer. Like a kindergarten teacher, they cannot teach over the heads of listeners. So when reading inspirited texts, you have be cognizant of the level of enlightenment of the audience. When you have compared many different inspirited texts, this pattern will appear.


#32

No doubt. Happens to me when presented with smorgasbord theology slathered in “enlightened” rationalistic garbledygook. I simply don’t accept those extra-canonical texts as inspired.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #33

Shawn, I think you missed the point. The Bible is a collection of inspired texts written over at le4ast one thousand years. It has been shown to be dependable because it lead to the coming of Jesus Christ. The earliest Christians sought a pattern in the Bible, Old and New Covenants, which would help them understand Who God is and how God works. They came up with the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the product of much intense discussion by many learned people in many lands over hundreds of years.

Now you do not like the Trinity even though it seems to fit your program. Did you read St. Augustine’s masterwork, On the Trinity (De Trinitate), on which the Western understanding of the Trinity is based before you rejected it?

You are free to believe what you choose to believe, but you should make that choice based on facts and not bias.


(Shawn T Murphy) #34

Dear Roger,
The inspired texts we were discussing came after the Bible was completed, with the most recent ones being in the 1980’s which I have listed before. These new inspired texts have come to correct the damage done to Christianity by the Roman Empire.

I have read Augustine, but I find the best logical basis in Origen, who came down against the trinity and allows all of God’s children to return to Heaven. Origen reflects the love that you seem to also hold. The love for all of humanly, including our enemies.


#35

Thank you for contributing with your questions. I am new here too.

Yes, salvation is a personal, spiritual encounter with God through Jesus, and anyone can come to Christ regardless of scientific understanding. But there are many who have come to faith once the barrier of incredulity was removed through scientific observation and reasoning, so this is an important reason for “bearing witness” in science. To me, evolutionary creationism is an endeavor to understand the actual mechanisms of how God created our natural world with the evidence we have around us. This should not be an affront to faith. It may very well affirm the deeper truths about us and God revealed in the Bible.

The Bible is truth that God has given us to understand Him and us, but of course it does not contain every detail we need to know. The greatest truths are most effectively revealed through stories that are scant in unnecessary details. But he has also given us the ability to reason, think, explore the truth as we live our lives. Loving God with all our minds compels us to grow in these things. I think engaging in this forum should also be an exercise of growth, not just a static exchange of arguments. Darwinian evolution is actually a good model for how this should happen.

We can’t explain everything in the Bible, scientifically or not, and all the whys and hows of God’s miracles may never be understood, so nothing should happen to our faith, except maybe an increase, especially when it happens among us.

I think truth sets us free in the deepest way possible, and humility and honesty is the way to this truth. There are those who begin with the presumption that God cannot exist, and this kind of blind adherence to dogma makes faith impossible.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #36

If any damage done by the Trinity to Christianity was not done by the Romans, The Romans were doers, not thinkers. They might have4 caused some damage because they influenced how the Church was organized in the West.

Your attitude toward the church seems to be ambiguous. You criticize it for being too weak, because it is divided, and also because it is too large and bureaucratic. If the Church is united then it would be big and powerful. Now it seems weak and divided, but I believe the true Church is united and strong in the Holy Spirit. Without the Trinity you do not have the Holy Spirit.

Many people have read some of Augustine, but few have read On the Trinity, w3hich is unfortunate. You cannot say that you understands the Trinity until you have read that book.

You also cannot say that Origen was against the Trinity. He died before it became doctrine. He was not an Arian so he did not oppose as Arius did. Origen was steeped ion Greek philosophy and he wrote the first systematic theology, which was more on Greek philosophy that the Biblical theology. You also seem to be more focused on the philosopher’s God than the God of Jesus. He had a good excuse in that he was a pioneer who could not be expected to get every thing right.

You should know that Augustine taught that the Third Person of the Trinity is Love. God is not Love without the Trinity. There is no way that any sacred text can justify the saying that God is not Love.


(Shawn T Murphy) #37

Dear Roger,
Yes the Roman’s were doers. Constantine forced the clerics to adopt the trinity and Justinian forced the clerics to create eternal damnation. They destroyed the Works of Arius and Origen which are counter to the trinity. These are the teachings the modern prophets are restoring, explaining reason for the Fall and the restoration of the fallen.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #38

Dear Shawn,

The relationship between Origen and Arius was not a close as you seem to think.
“However, Origen believed the relation of the Son to the Father had no beginning, and that the Son was “eternally generated”.[[18]]”
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arius#cite_note-18)

“Arius objected to Origen’s doctrine, complaining about it in his letter to the Nicomedian Eusebius, who had also studied under Lucian. Nevertheless, despite disagreeing with Origen on this point, Arius found solace in his writings, which used expressions that favored Arius’s contention that the Logos was of a different substance than the Father, and owed his existence to his Father’s will. However, because Origen’s theological speculations were often proffered to stimulate further inquiry rather than to put an end to any given dispute, both Arius and his opponents were able to invoke the authority of this revered (at the time) theologian during their debate.[[1]”
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arius#cite_note-arian-catholic-19)

Other points: Arianism did not go away because of Nicaea. The Arian Church was strong for a long time and exists today. The banning of works cannot kill God’s Truth, which won out through the power of the Holy Spirit, not by philosophical theory… Again one cannot have the Holy Spirit without the Trinity.

The teachings of modern “prophets” must be through the Holy Spirit to be true, so they cannot be against the Holy Spirit Who is the Third Person of the Trinity. The cause of the fall of Arius was his failure to accept the fact that Jesus Christ is LORD, that is God. God is his Judge, not me or you, and God can restore him, as God decides.


(Shawn T Murphy) #39

Dear Roger,
I had not said that Origen and Arius were close. Just that the emperor Justinian put an end to both of their followers. But not an end to their teachings. This truth was not destroyed.


(David Heddle) #40

Hi,

I would be interested in your take of the Hebrews 11 faith “Hall of Fame”. Not one of those Old Testament saints mentioned for their outstanding faith had to reply on a blind faith, for they all spoke to God and/or witnessed miracles. Gideon, acclaimed for his great faith in Hebrews 11, actually demanded (and was given, without sense of anger or frustration from God) physical proof. If blind faith is the ultimate Christian virtue, then surely Gideon does not belong in the Faith Hall of Fame.

One time blind faith is somewhat identified as virtuous is Hebrews 1, where, I believe, (I could be wrong, I often am) it is referring to the truly blind faith of all Old Testament saints: the belief that the Messiah would come as promised. (I believe Jesus was also praising the Old testament saints in his interaction with Thomas. Regardless, he does not curse Thomas for his lack of blind faith.)

Today our faith is not blind, at least not in the same sense. Our faith is that the history of Christ’s work, as described in the bible, is accurate. An imperfect comparison is having a belief that someday we would form a nation, and George Washington would be our first president, vice believing that two and a half centuries ago there actually was such a man.

There is only one matter left to our truly blind faith, the matter that we believe Christ will return as promised.