Why does God deal with his creation only through the Bible (Judeo/Christian model)?

If this was true, then you would be putting the sin of some people beyond the reach of grace, Roger - making their evil the stronger party in a contest against Christ’s grace. It is true that grace will not be forced on anyone who refuses to accept it, but that is worlds different than declaring them eternally beyond the reach of grace. Tell us what the point of the parable of the prodigal was if the older brother is to be considered permanently beyond the Father’s reach. That parable was practically designed to provoke the jealousy of a self-righteous older brother toward re-examining himself and his own grown-cold love. Why would Jesus share such things with people who have no hope? Why get angry with them at all? Because he wants them to turn from their wicked ways too - and the Lord does not hope for hopeless things. We also see this motif in the rest of scriptures too, such as when the gracious invitation toward the gentiles is put forward as a provocation toward the “original chosen” - the Jews, to cause them also to return. And the gentiles in their own turn are reminded not to become conceited because if the original chosen could fall away, then they too can fall away, and the “original branches” can certainly be grafted back in. God is not above using all these sneaky means to prod us toward repentance. It is a cause of hope for the worst of us, as Paul (the chief of sinners) takes great pleasure to remind any who will listen.

I don’t think it’s Shawn that is mistaking Jesus here, Roger.

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Thanks @Mervin_Bitikofer

@Relates, I think we need to go back to basics. Grace, is by definition, nothing that one deserves and, therefore, no-one can reject. God’s mercy and blessing are what we can rightly ask for and reject, but as @Mervin_Bitikofer said, the prodigal son could not reject God’s Grace, because it is permanent and we cannot escape it.

I believe we have much in common belief perhaps, but I have been driven of late after signing up for Coursera’s Big History course to define exactly what I believe and find out if I am the only one who has reached my conclusions. Hence, my stumbling across BioLogos. However, I have pretty much realized I am a deist and most likely a Christian deist. (More study needed.) I do believe Jesus brought much wisdom into the world and I can argue that he was a deist himself, but not a third person of a trinity. Beyond reason, and that is what deism promotes–reason based primarily on what we observe of the natural world and disbelief that billions of “years” of mindless evolution brought us to the human state we can observe. I believe the essential truths exprssed in Christianity are known naturally and universally and are not dependent on revelation or belief in miracles. I do believe in the evolutionary process, but such being initiated and fine-tuned by a creator “god.” How it will all end up, we do not know and cannot know and do not need to know. If we are good and moral simply because there is a carrot, then it doesn’t amount to all that much anyway.

I find that BioLogos essentially accepts the bible as the inspired word of God (subject to unending interpretations) and believes in the inerrancy of Christianity (in all its various forms), with belief in the divinity and sacrifice of Jesus as the be all end all, no room for disputation. I tend to believe that religion (including Christianity as a religion and not a philosophy) is the root of all the world’s problems. Since that sets me apart from BioLogos, I will go my own way. Most of my questions, if answered at all, were answered with circular reasoning, the premise being that the bible is God’s word and Jesus is the christ.

But to each his own.


Interesting! I’m interested in what cult you said you experienced?

Of course… Biologos is about evangelicals accepting evolution… a group that has been more resistant to this than any other sector of Christianity. The last thing which serves this purpose is throwing out the fundamentals of Christianity along with the bathwater. I quite agree that there are other things that need a little work in all of Christianity let alone the evangelicals, but undo haste is not very helpful. If you attack the very things that people see of value in Christianity, then they have no reason at all to listen anymore.

Third generation, born-in Jehovah’s witnesses. Maternal side of family (my grandparents) were turn of the 20th century converts. Myself–40 years a slave to the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society before finding the strength to leave it. Dogmatism in any way, shape, form or fashion holds little appeal to me.


It certainly seems that way on the forum at times, and you can argue that it is part of what goes on, but that is really not what BioLogos is about. To quote the mission statement:
" BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation."

In reality, it also serves to help those who are in spiritual crisis due to the difficulty they are having in seeing the harmony, and serves to support those in the sciences who suffer isolation and pain both in the workplace, society and in church due to their respective beliefs about God and science.

Yep. You can flesh out what I said as much as you want. But that is ultimately giving exactly the same answer to Joann which I gave. The point is that the forum is NOT about challenging the central beliefs of Christianity but about the harmony between Christianity and science. I am not of course saying that any other topic is forbidden but she was asking about a bias in this forum and that bias was what I was explaining.

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Do you allow for present day prophecy | prophesy?

I never said that there was anyone beyond the reach of grace. However that does not mean as I have said that some people are “insulated” from God and God’s grace because they think that they do not need God or God’s grace.

Remember the parable of the Pharisee and the publican, which I have paraphrased. (Luke 18:9-14) The publican prayed from a distance, “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner!,” and the Pharisee prayed, “Thank you, Lord, that I am not a sinner as other men are, even as this publican.” Which person was justified?

Sadly, the attitude of the Pharisee seems all to common today. On the other hand Lucifer does not pray: Lord, have mercy on me a sinner. Jesus came for people who knew they were sinners and wanted to be saved, not tried to justify their sins as most people do.

Jesus warned the Pharisees not to sin against the Holy Spirit. A sin against the Holy Spirit is to deny God’s Truth so we can justify our won pride. There is great hope for the worst of us when and if we are willing to accept God’s forgiveness as seen in the death of Jesus on the Cross. But if we allow our pride to rule our lives, we will never come to that point and God in God’s wisdom chooses to allow the Arrogant like Lucifer and DJT to do this. .

If the essential truths of Christianity are known naturally and universally independent of the Bible, why is this not true?

Why are Hinduism, Islam, Shinto, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism very different from each other and from Christianity?

Why do Westerners seem to take it fir granted that the rest of world is basically like us? We are not even a majority of the world and if we ignore and degrade our spiritual and intellectual heritage we and the rest of the world will lose them. This does not mean that our civilization is perfect, but we need to fix it rather than neglect it thinking that there is a worldwide consensus about morality.

Jesus was not a Deist, because Jesus knew that God is Love. A deist God does not love. A deist God doe not care. A deist God does not forgive. A deist God is basically only about Himself. I am glad that Jesus is not a deist. I am glad that Jesus cares about you and cares about me. I am glad the Third Person of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Love, Who makes this world livable for everyone. It would be a very sad day if people gave up on love.

Joann, I agree that it appears as if you and I have much in common. That may seem strange, since you were raised in a Jehovah’s Witness environment and I as a Roman Catholic. However, each of us seem to be somewhat of a maverick, rebelling at parts of the dogma handed down to us by elders who, supposedly, were much wiser than we. For instance, an axiom passed down to early Christians from ancient Greek philosophers is that: _“Since God is perfect, whatever He created must have been initially perfect; and, furthermore, since this world is obviously NOT perfect now, it must have fallen”. Then we humans have the chutzpah to define ‘perfect’ in our terms and claim that God defines it that way as well. I think you are expressing your dissatisfaction with this line of reasoning with:

While still holding Scripture (as inspired by God) in high regard, is it not high time to look to the Book of Nature for the How of human origins (evolution from animal forebears), and by inference something of the Why? Science tells us that the earliest form of life on earth that left a fossilized trace was something like the stromatolites (like bacterial mats) that are still found in Shark’s Bay Australia. But the forces of evolution (still poorly understood) were relentlessly pressing toward more complexity, more capability. It was much, much later, at the beginning of the Cambrian, that animals (animated life) appeared, and with it–Predation. Having evolved sensitive nervous systems, prey animals became much more sensitive to pain and suffering, and the fear of impending death. Today’s humans can imagine themselves in the situation of a prey animal, and most often regard this predatory behavior as intrinsically immoral, un-Godlike, and so early hunters made a propitiation to the prey they just killed. As they domesticated animals, they became fond of the newborn in the flock (especially sheep), and they invented sacrificial rituals for killing those innocent animals they needed for food. Of course the dark side of sacrifice reared its ugly head with the Peruvians sacrificing maidens and the Aztecs sacrificing thousands of captives to appease the Sun god.

Quite a few Christians believe that God made some kind of mistake, not keeping all animals as herbivores, making predation unnecessary. At our level of understanding, that sounds quite noble. But we must, perforce, allow that God’s understand is far deeper that ours, and that true creation often (if not always) involves suffering.

Let me know I any of these thoughts resonate with you.
Al Leo

I recently quibbled with someone over their talk about Jesus as the shining example of what we could be, for what bothered me was how narrow that would make our lives and what a failure that had to acknowledge the profound diversity between people. When I said that I could not approve of the way some religions forced people in very narrow ideas of what people should be because of this, it was frankly the Jehovah Witnesses that I particularly had in mind (though from some stories I have heard there are areas of the world where the Catholic church has rivaled that degree of narrowness).

Perhaps the following visual metaphor would help. It is like we are all climbing up inside this deep dark narrow crevasse in the ground and we look upward and see a light above then foolishly cry out, “I see the light, follow me!” The truth is that this is completely useless to everyone else who are in very different locations of this crevasse and their task is to find the next hold or footing in order to move upward. Not only that, but we see this light as this small thing far away in one direction, but if we just get out of the crevasse, we would see the reality is an infinite plane with light shining from all directions because God isn’t small in any way but infinite and encompassing endless possibilities.

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I like your example.

Thank you. Feel free to expound more on that. It’s educational. You are probably not the only one here who has had similar experiences.

By the way, I took a Coursera course on Science and Faith by Denis Lamoureux–very helpful–on evolutionary theory. He’s got a triple doctorate in evolutionary biology (still publishes studies on jaw development–you can find him in PubMed), theology, and dentistry. You may enjoy it, too (it’s free).

Thanks for your interaction.

Yes, and NO. God is not infinite, because God is Good, and not evil. God is Love and not hate. God is definite and not infinite.

The problem is that people have tried to reduce serving God to a set of laws or rules. Jesus came to show us that this is not right. He reduces God’s “Law” to: Love God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, and Love others as Jesus loves you.

In other words Christianity is a relationship, not a religion as we know it. Christianity is not the way to God, it is knowing and having God in our lives.
Jesus is God with us.

If there truly is a God, that God is the God of all. To insist that God is the exclusive province of any one religion is to seek to diminish that God, not extoll It. The good news it that more and more Christians in our Metamodern era are open to finding and being at one with that universal God, One that is as scientifically-based as It is Scriptural-based when we have eyes that see and ears that hear and thumbs off the cognitive scale that blind us from the truth about God…

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True. But there are a few “dissidents” or atheists here. Biologos isn’t oppressive.

The monster called Joseph Stalin did say something true about humanity. “No man, no problem” is one of them. The root of all of the world’s problems is life itself. Any form of life needs something to survive. It’s the origin of unbalance. How to meet the needs? Problems come. all religions as a way of life try to help with solutions. Some are wiser than others. But all religions are flawed for sure. There’s no doubt. And over time, their flaws become more and more obvious. They become a problem because unlike science which and which assumptions are subject to constant criticism, revision and to the call for more or better justification, religions expect people to accept and follow blindly.

Religious reasoning is always motivated and closed (circular). That’s why they rely on belief.

I have been trying hard to understand cultures too.
Functionalism has helped me greatly.

Good luck to you!

Goodness and love are infinite. Evil and hate are nothing.

The problem is that people have tried to reduce what is good to doing things their way alone.

No, the doctrine of the Trinity was not part of what Jesus said. And it was love others as you love yourself. That is important because love of yourself is a prerequisite. You cannot love others if you hate yourself.

No. Christianity is a religion. Eternal life is a relationship with God.

There is no way to God. God has to come to us. And knowing and having God in our lives is no monopoly of Christianity, no matter how some theologians try to enslave and reduce God to something they can use.

Both of you are right if you are saying that Christians do not have a monopoly on God. God loves and cares about everyone, even those who do not love and care about God.

However to say that Christianity is wrong because some theologians try to reduce God to something they can use does not follow. Christianity alone forbids humans from taming God because it is not based on human theology, but upon the Logos, Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Trinity.

Present company excepted, I am tired of people criticizing Christianity based on glittering generalities that really have little basis in reality. That does not mean that Christians do not issues, the solutions do not come from trashing the faith, but perfecting the faith. If you think differently, you need show how this is true.

Judaism is a religion that YHWH is the God of Israel its adherents must follow the Torah. Muslims must believe in Allah and that Muhamad is His Prophet and follow the sharia. Hinduism has many forms as does Buddhism. In the West some practice it as a philosophy, but in the East it is primarily a religion based on prayer and morality. The Chinese religions do not have a place for God, not does Shinto.

Christianity alone is based on a relationship with God. Yes, you are right eternal life is the eternal relationship of the believer and God, based on God’s Love, not the Torah, not Sharia, not the church. That is the reason Love is God, the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, not something that originated in the imagination of Jesus or Paul or Augustine.

Where is your evidence of this purported fact? If Christianity is flawed, what is your diagnosis and prescription? Yes, we do need improvement, but no I don’t see science offering any. We need positive proposals, not meaningless complaining.

Religious reasoning is dualistic and closed. It says that if x is not true, then y must be true. Christian faith reasoning believes that all questions do have an answer and those answers are best rooted in God, the Father/Creator, Savior/Logos, and Holy Spirit/Love. If there are no answers, then this belief is wrong, falsified. If there are answers, but they are NOT rooted in God, (because there is no God) then again this belief is falsified. This is an open belief system, rather tan closed.