Good sir, I fear that I did not make myself clear. Which Christianity are your referring to? The Coptic One, the Roman One, one of the many of the First Great Awakening and the Second Great Awakening, the BioLogos One that replaces Adam & Eve with evolutionary creationism, the atheist Christian versions of Ehrman and Price, the quantum mechanics one of Pastor Robyn Meyers? Surely that list goes on and on, yes?
Fwiw, YTS tends to see the purposely enigmatic and sometimes even seemingly contradictory teachings of Jesus including not being judgmental as both the great challenge facing Christians of all flavors and Christianity’s great attraction. But for both Christians and non-Christians who are willing to sacrifice being judgmental in order to, as Jesus taught, have eyes that see and ears that hear and well as hearts that feel. How much more love emerges when we seek to apply the axiom of contingent cognition when seeking to come closer to our common Parent as when we try to use it when seeking to advance science and other aspects of life?
If you intended to refute what I said, then you didn’t realise you actually agreed with me!
You just said it’s a closed belief system.
And this is a belief system that is open to questions but closed on the suppositions that (again see what Joann said)
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
I have an idea, not prescription, that it’s better to
ditch the Christian world view for it won’t stand a chance when science advances,
keep its morals, or even promote them more vigorously, (not done enough.) You don’t see science offering any. It’s true. And that’s why we need Christianity.
focus on the teaching method that helps people experience Christian life and see the truth,
carefully rethink about the relationships between people. (Yesterday I saw a post that tried to “enlighten” people with a “long spoon” story. If people in Heaven are wise enough to feed each other, then why aren’t they wise enough to make spoons shorter instead of being dependent on each other? Can’t they serve themselves better by feeding themselves?
Several months ago I asked in this forum “could Robinson Crusoe be a Christian alone on the island without even seeing any savages?” Nobody has answered.
Sometimes, we need to help each other. But if helping each other becomes dependent on each other, think again.)
Per “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”
If one applies cognitive science very thoughtfully instead of being handicapped by any preferred doctrine, one is able to discover that Judaism teaches how to be able to see God by not trying to see God through received doctrine. Any doctrine, even a generally wonderful one to live and die by.
Consider the very telling Story of Jacob who grasps with, wrestles with and prevails over of the angel approximation of God stranger who ends up being God which gives those who have eyes that see the formula for seeing the real God Face to face.
How? When we see anything through adulterating lenses that filter as well as amplify, we risk seeing a less than complete image of reality. Including the reality of God.
By wrestling with our doctrinal and/or personal approximation of God and then breaking that approximation’s hold on us — while keeping our hold on it, we can if we are true to that formula prevail over that seductive approximation and get to see Something Grand and Universal, The Lord God of All.
Why do I think my interpretation of the Story of Jacob’s Ladder is at least worth some thought? Because otherwise the idea of Jacob prevailing over God All Mighty is both blasphemy and illogical due to the much agreed upon old-time properties of an all-powerful God.
Btw, did not both Newton and Einstein use the same formula when opening their and then our eyes to the God-given math and physics of gravity?.
I am glad that you see that Jesus is “Christianity’s great attraction.” I quite agree. The simplest, most basic definition of Christianity is the faith of those who follow or believe in Jesus Christ, which is mine also. While it is true that there are many flavors of Christianity, as long as they uphold Jesus this is the key.
I am sure you are trying to say something here but the meaning is far from clear.
I understand that science is important, but Jesus and Christianity is about Love and the Kingdom of God. Do you really want to put science ahead of justice and freedom?
Have you polled enough Christians so that you know for a fact that the “majority of Christians” think that Christianity must be accepted on the basis of blind faith? Most people that pose on BioLogos disagree.
The quote you offer is a standard “evangelical” position. Evangelical Christians do not make up the majority of Christians in the USA, much less the world. Maybe you accept the ethnocentric view that only Evangelicals are “real” Christians.
A closed belief system is Darwinian survival of the fittest, which says that an allele survives if it is fit and is fit if it survives. The open belief system of Christianity says that God exists if the universe has rational meaning. Atheists agree because they say that proof that God does not exist is that the universe does not have rational meaning.
As I said I have no reason to accept yours or Joann’s definition of Christianity…
Joann’s worldview is not the Christian, so it is fine to correct it, but don’t say that you are ditching Christianity. There are serious problems with the morality that is being taught by many evangelical churches today which are more concerned about fighting the cultural war against homosexuality, abortion, and welfare (people of color) rather than God’s Kingdom of Love, Peace, and Justice.
The point of the “long spoon story” is that some people would rather starve than share and feed others The fact is that we need each others and those who think of only of helping themselves are a menace to all as we see today.
Of course Robinson Crusoe could be a Christian alone, but he was a fictional character even though the story was based on a actual event. I could not call natives “savages” because it indicates a bias against those of a different cultural background. .
I’m glad to know you. I hope the answers below will be of help.
Why only the Bible? What more does God need for documentation and instructions for man that He created? Why only the Christian faith? The term, “Christian” describes followers of Jesus. But the Christian faith is the fulfillment of Judaism. Thus the term, “Judaeo Christian…” The Jewish faith started with Abraham’s faith in God to the point of leaving a pagan culture to an unknown land and Jewish law was passed to us by Moses. We are all familiar with Israel and the Jewish people that are the main characters in the Bible beside Jesus. Where do we find documentation that we all evolved?
The first book in the Bible contains foundational knowledge of humanity. How did humanity start? Why is there marriage? Why do we die, Etc.? We have guidance for behavior and learn how Israel and the Jewish people originated. We see the adverse consequences of cultures going astray and thus a cross section of fallen humanity under a just and righteous God, and much more.
God expressed the best of Himself during the days of creation and He created everything good. He created man, provided man with all that’s good to eat, gave man dominion over the earth, gave the woman, and gave man free will. Adam and Eve had fellowship with God before the fall. What more could anyone ask for?
But the precious freedom of choice had to be tested. That’s why Adam and Eve were exposed to the enemy that was manifested by the serpent. The subtle serpent was the adversary because there was no other human. Despite having everything to be desired, Adam and Eve fell for the temptation to abuse their freedom and flunked the test and thus brought the fall by which fellowship with God was broken.
God thus instituted the plan of salvation as seen in Genesis 3:15. Otherwise their failure would have sealed the fate of mankind. The plan of salvation is meant for man to regain the fellowship with God that was lost. But the deviant nature from the fall that causes man to be drawn away from God continues to this day. But people daily follow the plan of salvation and turn from the deviant nature to be redeemed and thus enjoy restored fellowship with God to enjoy His magnificent peace.
The fact that we have a way to escape the eternal torment is very good news!
The other bibles, philosophies, and dogma are products of other gods of cultures deviant from the redemptive plan of God.
It is written (documented):
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matthew 24:14).”
It is also written:
"(5.) One Lord, one faith, one baptism, (6.)One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (7.) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ (Ephesians 5:4-7).
Biblical history tells us that the Bible is not an ordinary book contrived by crafty men. Prior to the days of the printing press, Old Testament manuscripts were recopied by Jewish scribes with great care.
Only a few of many manuscripts were carefully chosen to be canonized in the New Testament of the Bible. Despite authors that span cultures and time, the 66 books of the Bible point to Jesus Christ, the central theme. This is only one piece of evidence that points to its divine origin of the Bible. I could add much more.
It behooves purveyors of the Biblical gospel to set exemplary patterns consistent with the character of God.
I too was raised in a christian cult which I left over 45 years ago with the same concerns that you have raised, specifically that religion is the source of all evil. Religions are man’s interpretation of God’s various revelations and many have been twisted into dangerous political tools. What few at BioLogos accept is the fact that Christianity was corrupted by political rulers and the sects that remain today do not demonstrate the wisdom that existed through the 3rd century AD. At this point in history, the enlightened Christians were at one with Judaism, Buddhism, and Platonism. But this wisdom was lost to the power-hungry and those in power today are unwilling to set it free.
@jeddle and @Shawn_Murphy didn’t say how much they had suffered before they decided to leave their cult. But I guess, like me, they had suffered and their sufferings gave them the motivation and courage to rethink about “the way”.
The way, the perfect way, the godly way, the pride of theologians, could cause sufferings that no egoistic and arrogant theologians may really care, though they try to teach everyone wisdom and love.
Each person I know who found “the way” has a very unique story, as is mine, so I think it is of no value to address the challenge @Relates poses.
The diagnosis of the state of Christianity is that is has been fragmented by the powers of this world and is being used for political goals. But Jesus did not come to create a religion in this world. He invites us to become a member of His church, in His Kingdom.
The prescription for Christians is to seek for Truth, and you will find it. To knock on doors and they will be opened for you. Indoctrination is the antithesis of an active searching of the Truth and it should be abhorred. Furthermore, question the motives of those who prescribe actions that are contrary to Jesus’ teaching. Jesus was highly skeptical of the priests, scribes and Pharisees (theologians) and so should you.
The scientific method is applicable to this Christian path with the modification that Einstein, Schrödinger and others made: question everything, but believe in something. In my opinion, Christians do not question enough and scientists do not believe enough.
This is the argument used by the most repressive religions. Everybody has to be the same according to this.
But it simply doesn’t follow that just because Jesus didn’t do it then it must therefore be evil.
How can evil teach good? The suffering evil causes definitely shows people that such things are to be avoided or prevented in some way.
As for good teaching us what is evil, the problem is that good is just too big of a thing. But don’t you think that teaching children what things should be considered evil and thus avoided is an example of a good thing? I mean, you are certainly correct that just because something is good doesn’t mean that it teaches us what is evil.
There is a helpful distinct between a religion and a faith. A religion has a particular set of rulers like the Torah or the Ten Commandments that must be followed for salvation. The faith does not.
Jesus said, “Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength and love others as yourself.” This is not a set of rules. This is a set of guidelines that are open to discussion. That means people do NOT have to be the same and must not be the same because people are not the same and we do not love them the same.
To love people and to be like Jesus means to treat people as individuals as far as possible. That means some people might be, and probably are eternally damned to hell because that is their particular decision.
Maybe what I said could have been clearer. Good does not tell how to do evil and evil does not intend to show people how to do good. The intention to do good or weevil comes from within the person.
As a profound example in the story of the Fall God told the first couple what not to do, so in a sense God gave them the choice and made evil possible. The serpent brought the suggestion that the eating of the fruit was not evil and was just a trick to keep the humans subservient to God. Adam and Eve made the choice that the serpent (the Liar and Evil One) was right.
Now the US and the world have the choice, to try to move forward in the right but difficult way, based on justice, equality, and a healthy earth, or the wrong but easy way, selfishness, discrimination, and pollution.