On the Road to Weapons of Mass Destruction

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AuthorTopic: On the Road to Weapons of Mass Destruction
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #50
What I like to ask a Christian now is why do they believe their Bible is and needs to be inerrant? There is certainly no passage in the whole book stating that God intends to give a written textbook/lawbook/truth book to humankind, and that it would remain supernaturally untainted, and, in fact, inhuman in its inerrancy, perfect insight, perfect truth, perfect history, perfect instruction, etc. etc.

With the amount of magical maintenance required for this to be, why didn't God just drop the finished product out of the heavens on glowing, indestructible papyrus in the first place?

But seriously, can anyone actually point to what requires there to be a Bible, for a Bible to be accurate, created by automatic writing/speaking through human beings as the possessed mouth of God? Point me to the Scriptures that tell us God was going to give humankind a textbook of truth and history to live by. Show me, show me.

If it ain't in the Bible itself, why and how have you chosen to make this colossal and exceedingly unlikely assumption? Based on whose word and opinion? Would your universe and God collapse it if were not so?

These are serious questions I'd love to see engaged sincerely, as they are sincerely asked.

-S-

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #51
Reserving my spot. Packing is [insert negative connotation description of your choice here].

Alec: You do realize that once the modern infallability movement began, there was a huge effort made to dig up and translate from the oldest copies of the scriptures available, right? We stopped making copies of copies over a century ago. And oddly enough, it didn't change much.

Syn: Working on it.

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 6785
Profile #52
One example of how fallible the Bible is was the Dead Sea Scrolls. When comparing those versions with modern texts, they found that a copying error resulted in the deletion of several verses when the scribe jumped to the same word further down in the text he was copying. He had stopped at that word to copy a group of lines and when he looked up to continue he went to the wrong place.

Assuming that no mistakes or changes were ever made by man is the chief reason not to believe in infallibility.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #53
The 'infallability movement' isn't exactly modern, as far as I can tell. A flurry of councils sprang up in the fourth century (and a few sporadic ones before) debating which books belonged to the canon (I could have sworn that determining which books were canon was on the agenda for the First Council of Nicea, but Wikipedia doesn't agree. We can strike Wikipedia from the list of infallable resources :P ). You don't have to believe the legend of seventy-two scholars producing identical versions of the Septuagint in seventy-two days to realize that preserving the old manuscripts was a priority back then too.

And I have some texts for you, Synergy (sorry, Lenar :) ), though they may not be much help. You do realize that you're asking for Scriptural backing that the Scriptures are authoratative. :P

In no particular order, 2 Peter 1:21 (All I have at hand is a NIV. Deal with it.)
quote:
For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Of course, this could refer just to spoken prophecy, with written prophecy being off the hook.

2 Timothy 3:14-17
quote:
But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Psalm 102:18
quote:
Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.
Though, again, this could refer just to this specific psalm.

1 Thessalonians 2:13
quote:
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you have heard from us, you actually accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
1 John 5:9
quote:
We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.
Although you could argue that since the context deals with the Spirit, the testimony John is talking about refers only to personal revelation (I think that's stretching it, though).

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
quote:
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
Deuteronomy 4:2
quote:
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
You could take it that God only commands us not to change the ceremonial law, but again, I think it's a stretch.

Revelation 22:18-19
quote:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in this holy city, which are described in this book.
Again, this could just refer to Revelation, and I'd agree with you this time.

Proverbs 30:5-6
quote:
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
1 Corinthians 4:6
quote:
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written."
Though it may be just that: a saying.

Romans 15:4
quote:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Mark 7:7-9
quote:
(Jesus quoting from Isaiah 29:13) "'... They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!"
Isaiah 8:19-20
quote:
When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
That's it for now. I'd say the Scriptural support of Scripture's necessity is pretty strong.

Hopefully, Lenar sees this post before he starts looking things up. :) And now a passage from Uncle John's Ahh-Inspiring Bathroom Reader:

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How mortals take the gods to task! Yet their afflictions come from us.
- Homer

I'm not normally a religious man, but if you're up there, save me, Superman!
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Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #54
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

A flurry of councils sprang up in the fourth century (and a few sporadic ones before) debating which books belonged to the canon (I could have sworn that determining which books were canon was on the agenda for the First Council of Nicea, but Wikipedia doesn't agree. We can strike Wikipedia from the list of infallable resources :P ).
The best scholar I've heard talking about this (Anthony Long at Cal) said that the canon wasn't established until the Renaissance. I can't speak from my own knowledge, but as I understood it, while the early councils were concerned with stamping out heresy (and therefore eliminating Gnostic gospels), there were some fringe books that they didn't specifically condemn or include, and those books weren't ruled upon until fairly recently.

quote:
You don't have to believe the legend of seventy-two scholars producing identical versions of the Septuagint in seventy-two days to realize that preserving the old manuscripts was a priority back then too.
Ach, textual transmission in the classical period. This is one of my interests, and it's a heck of a topic. The Bible is a little beyond my field of study, but what I've read suggests that while the Greek New Testament's textual status is not bad, all things considered, the exceedingly large number of manuscripts with incredible numbers of minor variations makes even assessing the situation daunting.

Islam presents an interesting, different take on this issue.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Law Bringer
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Since there have been several manuscripts found that had the original text removed so they could be reused for another text, saving manuscripts was probably based upon what the current group thought was important.

Some old versions survived because the groups thought it was important. Take a look at the number of copies of the same text found in the Dead Sea Scroll caves. The biblical texts were the ones that they thought applied to their situation, and then there were mostly one pertaining to the sect.
Posts: 4643 | Registered: Friday, February 10 2006 08:00
Shaper
Member # 6292
Profile #56
For context, let me mention that I grew up in a Protestant Christian family and spent a good chunk of my life believing many of the usual unquestioned basic doctrinal assumptions including the infallibility of the Bible. I retain a strong spirituality, believe in a God behind all existence, and have no problem seeing any degree of wisdom, truth, or inspiration being present in what we have recorded as Scriptures. I realized there is no reason they have to represent anything in particular to us. There is no authority who can say what these 66 (a very interesting number, if you follow the symbolic usage of numbers in Semitic/Hebrew cultures) eventually collected books each represent, let alone in entirety.

Ecclesiastes is a poetic book attributed to Solomon, yet written from the point of view of a man who believes in no God, but only in the vanity and pleasures of life under the sun. He says it is better to be a living dog than a dead man in the grave. Is this Divine Truth as part of the Textbook from Heaven? Where does Solomon’s stance fit into the odd notion that the ancient writings collected by the Hebrews somehow must all represent Divine Wisdom of some other category than the wisdom of fallible men who have insight and wisdom along with their own blind spots like any other human being before or since? Martin Luther started the Reformation, which one could argue was a reconciliation of some problems with the Catholic Church, yet he was virtually a rabid anti-Semite and communicated ugly sentiments in that regard. God didn’t magically perfect and correct his gross error which goes against the nature of the love of God and the equality in Christ Paul had teached on 1500 years earlier.

So, let’s look at some of these Scriptures used to bolster the inerrancy perspective, and thank you for assembling them, Dinti:

quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

quote:
For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
Of course, this could refer just to spoken prophecy, with written prophecy being off the hook.
Yes, let’s just go with what is given and stated in no uncertain terms. All this says is that persons at times have inspired moments of insight/revelation/vision in which they speak the truth of God. Again, I have no problem with this idea. What if the main import of such moments is to speak to a more immediate or imminent time, place, culture, and context, and was never meant to be used as instruction or even truth, per se, for times, places, and cultures distantly removed? If there is a God interacting in an intimate way with humankind, and it is a God of love and purposefulness, then I would see that God speaking to many people in many times and places and cultures in the context of their understanding and culture. God would look and sound very different depending on where and when you are in the world. To the native Americans, He might be seen as the Spirit Who Moves In All Things, and so on.

There is a Scripture that says God “rains on the just and unjust.” Rain is a good thing in the culture of the ancients, and water is a Biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit flowing out as blessing. God freely pours out His wisdom and blessing in some way upon all the earth, regardless of how worthy some may judge any to be? It is also recorded therein that God is no respecter of persons. The Hebrews may have been chosen for a special interaction and purpose given by God. But by no means do I see this requires such a God is not also speaking to the ancient Chinese, Indians, or Africans in some way as well. God seems plenty big enough to me to be relevant to or from more than one time and place.

As I see it, if God speaks to and through humans, he does it more than just through a tiny population in Mesopotamia in ancient times. In fact, that God should be speaking to and through people just as much today. Why would He ever stop? There’s so much going on to be addressed and upon which humankind could use guidance.

quote:
2 Timothy 3:14-17 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
The “Scripture” of that era was only the Old Testament of the Law, in which there was no salvation, nor any more obligation to be under the burden of, as Paul elaborated in Hebrews and Romans in particular. The Law and prophets may have been God-breathed to the Hebrews, when it was most important for them to receive them, but this still does not state that they will be retained in perfection, or that they are to speak to every time and place. Paul talking to Timothy here says that the law was useful to teach the ways of righteousness under the passing era of the Old Testament. But Paul taught salvation was by grace and believing in it, not by knowing or following the old law. So, this much-quoted Scripture falls far short of implying anything about the entire New Testament, and the future relevance of the supplanted Law of the Old Testament, at the very least.

Paul also had this to say about the Scripture, the Law which was then all that was existant: 2 Col 3:5 “but our sufficiency is of God, 6 who also made us sufficient to be ministrants of a new covenant, not of letter, but of spirit; for the letter doth kill, and the spirit doth make alive. 7 and if the ministration of the death, in letters, engraved in stones, came in glory...” The law was something that administered death. It condemned people with no power to save them. It may have been instrumental for a time and place to prepare people for a lesson and demonstration and expansion to follow on its heels. It, in itself, was not Truth with a capital T. It was something to be supplanted entirely by a new order. God replaces his own Truth and nullifies it?

Or does God deal with humankind according to time and place and His purpose in it, and ever “doing a new thing in the earth” as Scripture also states? The Scripture Paul refers to here to Timothy is not even a covenant anyone is to be under any longer. So what truth does it speak to anyone now literally and directly? Are we still to make someone ritually unclean and banished from society for a week if he touches a dead body? Are we still to stone someone who has sexual relations outside of marriage?” That was truth and law, God-breathed? How can it ever be nullified or replaced? If it can be replaced, doesn’t that bring into great question the ultimate time and place relevance for any other God-breathed word given to a people?

Paul may have talked a lot about the Hebrew culture of the Law to the Jewish Christians struggling with a new dispensation, but he wasn't talking that way to the Greeks when he used their statue dedicated to the Unknown God to launch his teaching to them. What if so much of even the New Testament represents little more than the many words written to instruct, encourage, and maintain early Christians emerging largely from an old system of ritual law? Who says it was significantly meant to direct anyone beyond that time of transition? The 12 apostles were preaching exclusively to converted Jews.

quote:
Psalm 102:18
quote:
Let this be written for a future generation, that a people not yet created may praise the LORD.
Though, again, this could refer just to this specific psalm.
It says in the American Standard Version, “18 This shall be written for the generation to come,” and in order that they may praise the Lord, presumably when the promised liberation of the prophecy preceding comes to pass and the people affected rejoice in God’s faithfulness. I can’t now 3000 years later know with any certainty to what that was referring, when it was fulfilled, or who was supposed to be brought to praise God by it. I assume the people who did know, knew, and that was sufficient.

Again, this has nothing to speak upon God creating a divine textbook over a couple millennia to contain all His important truth for all times, places, and peoples. I don't see this kind of God requiring an 18th century American Navajo native to relate to Hebrew prophecies in order to know God or the truth of the Spirit Who Moves In All Things. I could again see it, if God-breathed indeed, as a promise to Israelites which was fulfilled in the distant past, but has very little bearing or impression upon your average Australian Aborigine today. They are not going to be impressed or fall down in worship and recognition at the ancient promise of eventual liberty to Hebrew captives. They are going to require something a little more imminent and relevant. What kind of God demands someone to trust in some strange, ancient text from an unknown culture in order to be known by another? Does that not strike us in our heart of hearts as perverse, and as a very "respecter of persons" (namely the Hebrews) by its very nature? Is that the God anyone loving really wants to believe in? Because there is no reason one has to by what is in the writings we call Bible itself.

quote:
1 Thessalonians 2:13
quote:
And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you have heard from us, you actually accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.
1 John 5:9
quote:
We accept man's testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.
Although you could argue that since the context deals with the Spirit, the testimony John is talking about refers only to personal revelation (I think that's stretching it, though).
Again here, it states God speaks His Word to and through humankind, such as Paul, at times and places, but nothing about it being written down to be bound into a 66 volume book to be contained and maintained perfectly for all future generations and for all nations and to base a long-running religious practice around. God may well have spoken very pertinent words to the people in the church in Thessalonica in the first century, which I would assume was very helpful and instrumental for them. This does not automatically imply anything for anyone other than the Thessalonicans of that day.

John with Peter and the others of the 12 apostles, preached a different gospel from Paul—grace combined with works versus Paul’s pure grace and universal reconciliation gospel. John goes on to say (YLT): 10 “He who is believing in the Son of God, hath the testimony in himself.” This appears to speak of experiential testimony that is a living, spiritual kind of thing known within a person, rather than a word written upon a page which is somehow supposed to convince the skeptic of its own truth. The testimony was what this Jesus guy did and demonstrated and the spiritual life made alive in people after this pattern, rather than anything subsequently written down about it. Who in the future is to believe words on the page alone? They are no testimony in themselves. They only point to a possible experiential reality others are freely invited into. It takes something more than a doctrine, an idea, a promise, a record to know the Divine, I’d say.

quote:
1 Corinthians 15:3-4
quote:
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
Deuteronomy 4:2
quote:
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.
You could take it that God only commands us not to change the ceremonial law, but again, I think it's a stretch.
As I was relating above, did not God change His own laws under a new dispensation? He may have commanded the Hebrews of 2000 B.C. to not change the law he was giving them. I doubt God would have held the ancient Chinese in 2000 B.C. to the same requirements, nor does He hold anyone to those stipulations today. Did God break His own Law by taking away from it Himself? If God can change His ultimate eternal truth for all time and people on a personal whim, is there any absolute Truth of God? Is God to be trusted? I’m playing devil’s advocate here.

quote:
Revelation 22:18-19
quote:
I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in this holy city, which are described in this book.
Again, this could just refer to Revelation, and I'd agree with you this time.
I’d very much suggest it would be quite a stretch to assume it speaks to anything more than the message of that vision John is said to have experienced and written down. Again, there was no modern Bible at the time of the vision or those words...just letters sent to churches by Paul and whatever may have been committed to word in the names of some of the 12 apostles. At what point do men choose to deify letters written by a man personally to a specific church and claim it is God instructing all humankind in new religious laws for all time and place? And again, this God already did away with a former system of laws and rules He gave. To what is anyone else to be held accountable?

Is not the very picture painted here that this God sends timely and culturally relevant people to times and places to deliver a personally relevant word? Why would God do that in the past, but no more? It is a huge, rather counter-demonstrated assumption, and if you ask me, a very sad one to subsequently make. Paul came teaching a new freely-available intimate way to connect with the Divine, and the believers themselves in time put that God back outside them and far far away, in time and space...and in relevance.

quote:
Proverbs 30:5-6
quote:
Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
1 Corinthians 4:6
quote:
Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, "Do not go beyond what is written."
Though it may be just that: a saying.
I have no idea the specific context in which Paul was referring to things written in this letter to the Corinthians. Can anyone know for sure? I assume the Corinthians to whom Paul was writing knew what he meant...perhaps a previous letter or writing he had already sent to them. There is nothing remotely clear to suggest anything on a bigger scale about a future Bible or that the writings politically gathered into it by the Council of Nicea centuries later were going to represent everything true God wanted preserved for all humankind millennia later in cultures far removed. I would hesitate to make any assumptions at all about what Paul is talking about here. I’m reading a letter sent 2000 years ago by one man to a body of believers in ancient Corinth. Hard to know the backdrop unless you were there. I do think it is safe to say Paul was instructing them not to stray beyond some instruction he (or perhaps another) had already written to them. And that writing may be forever lost.

Solomon in the Proverb was saying that every word of God is flawless. The word of God is described elsewhere as every word that proceeds out of His mouth. There is no statement of intent or even implication about words committed to a page for millennia later. The Logos word associated with God is a living, active, creative word...a word in motion, seen in the figurative words that in the Hebrew tradition spoke all the universe into being from the mouth of God. The message here seems to be highly mystical, stating that when God speaks, stuff happens perfectly according to what God says and wills.

Solomon said God is a protector to those who trust in His word. There is a security and safety in knowing God keeps His word and that it comes to pass. Again, this implies nothing about a book playng any necessary role. It talks of a quality of anything God speaks, not its method of delivery or to whom it is to be ultimately relevant.

quote:
Romans 15:4
quote:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Mark 7:7-9
quote:
(Jesus quoting from Isaiah 29:13) "'... They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.' You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!"
Isaiah 8:19-20
quote:
When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
That's it for now. I'd say the Scriptural support of Scripture's necessity is pretty strong.
This appears to say that something of the writings of the past teach and encourage a hope. I don’t want to reread all of the letter to the Romans to put it even more in context, but I know Paul is talking about the liberty from the Law now, and a move to a spiritual inner law from the outer one the Hebrews had known. It’s greatly vague, as far as using it as a claim to a Bible of 66 books perfectly preserved through time to teach all peoples forevermore the truth of God is concerned. It states that at least to the Romans to whom Paul is speaking, that an element of the law offered a hope to someone (and yet he also made it clear that this Law itself was the ministration of death.)

Jesus scolded the religious Pharisees of his day for not keeping the law they were given, true, a law which he also broke himself and transcended to a spiritual application. No one ever claimed that the Chinese or Africans or Incans were held to the Hebrew Law to know or be loved or saved of God.

Isaiah was writing to those who were under the Law—the Hebrews. They were the only given it, and the only accountable to it: this system of Law which Jesus and Paul made clear was no longer in effect as before, and which had never been made available to the “mongrel Gentile” nations before their time. On a curiously related note, there is no hell in the Old Testament, only the Hebrew Sheol, which is the dark, unknowingness realm of the grave. At least, in Old Testament times, there was no hell to send anyone to for not keeping the Hebrew law.

Assuming that God breathes His words of truth to humankind, I still see nothing in Scripture that points to what we now call Bible being anything specifically at all. It is an extra-Biblical creation by men, even in the mere writing of it. We know little of any specific times or circumstances under which any of the books and letters was written. If the four gospels, which do not agree with each other on sundry points, were written as Bible scholars best guess...many years after the actual events occurred, who says God magically possessed the minds of whoever transcribed shared stories down to paper so they were perfect? God said nothing about creating a perfectly preserved written account of any of His dealings with the Hebrews or the world. That is our assumption...seemingly our desperate need for something concrete and material to cling to and call the word of God when even the writing itself depicts the word of God only as the outbreathed, active, creative force that accomplishes His will.

Lots of writing, my apologies. I’m wholly sympathetic to the notion of a God Who can be, was, and is speaking to and through humanity, and that the Judaic and Christian traditions have been a part of that disseminating. And I also see that if this is so, God does not jerk us around like puppets forcing us to perfectly understand, know, follow, carry out, preserve ancient words. I see a God Who has seen it to be instrumental for us to for a time to foolishly make idols out of dead letters upon the page which killeth, and ultimately justify inquisitions, crusades, and hating your neighbor because he is gay or had an abortion. And when God breathes further into the world, we will gain further wisdom and truth by which to overcome our formerly mistaken and hurtful ways.

I’m still saying that there is nothing remotely explicit enough to claim that God ever intended or required a perfect, preserved text to communicate with us or to continue to do so. If God is as involved with humanity as Christianity likes to believe, then I have every reason to believe such a God would speak and interact richly and appropriately with many people in their context today. God’s big and bright enough to be relevant and timely in His purposefulness, if He is the sort of God seen in Christian tradition at all, one of inner communing with humankind based on love for us and through us to one another.

And again...if the Bible were stricken from the equation as anyone’s absolute source of anything of God, would it make any difference in our ability to know or connect with such a God? Do you think God has or has been employing any other means to interact with humanity...perhaps in many peoples grasping different parts of the great elephant to many peoples throughout time as they seek after the spiritual themselves? Does God reject the South Pacific Islander who in his quiet, uncomplicated corner of the world prays to the universe for truth and knowing of the Divine? Does God rain freely on all? Does He respect persons? Does He give stones when one cries out for bread? Why is God only Hebrew, white, or even Christian?

Why’s it gotta be such a small, ancient, cramped phenomenon that might as well be dead to our experience today? Was Nietzsche’s (actually typically misunderstood) assertion that “God is dead” true? If God’s word is a flowing, living, creative force, but requires a written Bible to operate or be that word, then the moment God stopped speaking to create a Bible, God stopped doing...his word stopped. God really is dead.

What might it mean if the deification and worship of the Bible were surrendered, but God could still be known and embraced? Too much a mind-blower? Too scary? Too much for one to spiritually apprehend and ascertain such a God for oneself? My experience of Christianity is that it has become a cult of book worship far more than a body of people experientially knowing and demonstrating God. Is the edifice merely another whited sepulchre which Jesus described the Hebrew law having become? Oh, but we aren't Jews. We are Christians. We are above that and could not make the same kind of mistake they did in time...right?

I hope I play a respectful gadfly here.

-S-

EDIT: minor typos

[ Saturday, March 03, 2007 00:13: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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Posts: 2009 | Registered: Monday, September 12 2005 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #57
quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

Basically, a planet like Earth needs a planet like Jupiter around, and it'll have life. That's not true of most solar systems, so we can rule out a lot of places while scouring the universe for other instances of life.

I'd put this idea in the category of 'interesting speculations'. It has quite a few weak links of reasoning. I wouldn't bet too much on it even being true that iron meteorites somehow precipitated by Jupiter played a big role on Earth. And we know nothing about meteorites in other solar systems.

It muddies the water of discussions like this, not to distinguish between long shot speculations like this Jupiter/meteorite idea, and basic empirical conclusions like evolution.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
...b10010b...
Member # 869
Profile Homepage #58
quote:
Originally written by Synergy:

and hating your neighbor because he is gay or had an abortion.
If your gay neighbour had an abortion, he likely has bigger things to worry about than whether you hate him or not. :P

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
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I hate my neighbors because they're gay at 4:00 in the morning. Partying is all well and good, but there comes a time when you need to be joyous more quietly.

—Alorael, who supposes it would be okay if they had abortions at 4:00 in the morning as long as there weren't too much screaming involved.
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Raven v. Writing Desk
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I think Inherit the Wind put it best: "Hail the apostle whose letters to the Corinthians were lost in the mail."

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
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Agent
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[ Sunday, March 25, 2007 12:08: Message edited by: Excalibur ]

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WWJD?
Posts: 1384 | Registered: Tuesday, February 6 2007 08:00
...b10010b...
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Profile Homepage #62
quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

The satellite image is pretty convincing, unfotunately the website is being redone. So until then, I can't show you Project Von Bora.
A "rectangular object" isn't going to be enough to convince me of much of everything. Some people think the Face on Mars is pretty convincing evidence that there was an advanced alien civilisation on Mars; I regard such people as crackpots, and I should hope you do too.

quote:
Hey Dintiradan you forgot the best scripture for this debate.

John 1:1-2
quote:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Whatever this passage is referring to, it is quite clearly not referring to the Bible. Whether or not the Bible is the small-w word of God, the Bible is clearly not actually God. To equate the two is idolatrous.

[ Saturday, March 03, 2007 15:07: Message edited by: Cryptozoology ]

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The Empire Always Loses: This Time For Sure!
Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Law Bringer
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Lawrence O. Richards is apparently an ordained evangelical Christian with no background whatsoever in science. Actually, that would explain why he'd propose that problems with C14 dating undermine something other than anthropology, archaeology, and very recent (relatively speaking) biology.

But anyway, since Richards has no background in this at all, what does he cite to back up his claims?

—Alorael, who has no problem with evolution seeming improbable and creationism therefore seeming palatable. Seeming isn't accurate, though.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Shaper
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quote:
Originally written by Cryptozoology:

quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:

John 1:1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God. He was with God in the beginning.”

Whatever this passage is referring to, it is quite clearly not referring to the Bible. Whether or not the Bible is the small-w word of God, the Bible is clearly not actually God. To equate the two is idolatrous.
Wryly enough, I see much of Christianity as having done exactly that. The book has effectively become the god of more than one religion. Many turn to it for guidance, truth, direction, for the final word. They have lived and died by their interpretations of it. They refer to it far more often than to their own experience or knowing of God or insights given by God. The book really has become a godlike monolith in Christian orientation.The Bible is to be followed as God. Does this not equate the book with God?

The implication to me in observing is, “We don’t really believe or trust in the very promises in our own book that God has come down to dwell in us and guide us from within. We need to turn back to ancient texts written by and for people who have been dead for millennia. Our God is not much relevant or involved with our time and day, but He did fantastic things for a tiny part of history in a tiny part of the world once.” And at some point they decided God stopped breathing into man, into the world and God was done. Funny thing is that God never said so in any of those writings.

I’ve been hearing for many years about Noah’s ark on Ararat in ever-unsubstantiated stories and claims: mountaineers finding it and chipping pieces of wood off it, aerial photography showing it, or the like. I saw in someone’s office once a framed small piece of hard, blackened wood with a caption that claimed it was a piece of Noah’s ark. I can Google Earth my own house here and see if there is a car in my driveway. If a gigantic gopher-wood boat were preserved in ice on Ararat, satellites would have noted it some time ago. It ain’t there. It’s not there, because literally the story is absurd, if not impossible. Try keeping and feeding a few hundred thousand pairs of insects in one boat, for starters.

Why does anyone need to believe this story is a literal history, in order to believe God exists and is involved with humankind or has spoken to humankind? Why wouldn’t God speak to humanity in the culturally relevant form of ancient legends (Gilgamesh?) which were par for the course back in the day and how people were able to wrestle with the Divine in their day? Why would God treat the Hebrews inappropriately for their maturity and culture in His doings with them?

I still want to hear some answers to the question, WHY does the Bible have to be literal, pure, accurate, supernaturally preserved truth? What would it mean about God or us if it were not?

-S-

[ Saturday, March 03, 2007 19:36: Message edited by: Synergy ]

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A4 Item Locations A4 Singleton G4 Items List G4 Forging List The Insidious Infiltrator
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? Man, ? Amazing
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Are we talking about the Bible because the monkeys are going to wield it as a weapon of mass destruction?

Or because they already have?

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quote:
Originally written by Kelandon:

Well, I'm at least pretty sure that Salmon is losing.


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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Crusade
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By Committee
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ergh...

[ Saturday, March 03, 2007 20:17: Message edited by: Drew ]
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E Equals MC What!!!!
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Hi, I'm weighing in in hopefully a more thoughtful, honestly inquisitive way than some of the more combatively argumentative discussions on the subject I've been involved in here in the past.

Like Synergy, raised as a conservative Christian (which I still consider myself, though perhaps some other more dogmatic conservative Christians may disagree) I for a long time did kinda wonder where the idea of Biblical inerrancy came from. It's so widespread, and so absolutely accepted, and no one even claims that the idea was passed down from God at some point. I've come to regard it as something akin to the Catholic belief in the Assumption of Mary. It's something that there is no record of, but is simply assumed because it would have to be true for their ideas of God and theology to be correct.

Indeed, there are many Christian paradigms that seem to have no genesis with God or even the Bible. I've even at points thought of writing a treatise entitled "The God of the Bible That Christians Don't Believe In". One point in particular that intrigues me a lot is the fact that the God of the Bible is clearly willing to make moral compromises, while most mainline Christians insist the reverse vehemently.

So I've come to regard the Bible in a somewhat similar way to Synergy. A collection of very interesting documents regarding the history of my religion with a lot of relevance when considered intelligently. It certainly may give me insight into the best way to live my life, but it's not a rulebook for my life. And while it contains words from God, it is not the Word of God, per se.

Which makes the evolution debate rather interesting to me. I've always been a strong Creationist. And I think it's sadly true that in some cases, people adopt the Creationist stance more because they aren't comfortable with reassessing their theological views if the Bible isn't 100% accurate more than because they're convinced by the science. I think it definitely tends to make non-Creationists dismissive of the concept, since they can see a lot of people believe in it simply because they want to believe in it, they assume that's the reason for everyone. Not that this doesn't go both ways - I think that there are definitely some people who resist Intelligent Design and Creationism more out of not wanting to have their worldview turned upside down than out of genuine, rational, dispassionate conviction. And I've been guilty of using such people as an excuse to not give Evolution a fair go, as I'm sure many others have.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
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See, I have no specific problem with creationism. I think having a specific problem with Christianity is narrow-minded and discriminatory.

I dismiss it on the same grounds you dismiss Thor and Zeus: there's absolutely nothing in my day-to-day life to suggest that either your god or the ancient Vikings' or Greeks' exists, or ever has.

Recoursing to the Bible would only be useful to me if there were things in life that could not be explained without it. That's the only reason evolution exists: how else do you explain biology being as weird as it is?

You reject, or ignore, parts of the Bible in the same way. I very much doubt that you've ever had to concern yourself with the parts of the Law concerning whether or not it is kosher to eat a bat or sow a field with two types of seed. You have no need for them; why bother with them?

Now consider the entire Bible in that light. It posits a way things are that they aren't, it posits a morality that is fine and good but has been largely supplanted with later theology and philosophy (even for you; you by no account take the entirety of the Bible as a literal perscription for day-to-day life, as it was not written about you and needs retooling to apply to you). Why get stuck on it?
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E Equals MC What!!!!
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quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

See, I have no specific problem with creationism. I think having a specific problem with Christianity is narrow-minded and discriminatory.

I dismiss it on the same grounds you dismiss Thor and Zeus: there's absolutely nothing in my day-to-day life to suggest that either your god or the ancient Vikings' or Greeks' exists, or ever has.

Recoursing to the Bible would only be useful to me if there were things in life that could not be explained without it. That's the only reason evolution exists: how else do you explain biology being as weird as it is?

You reject, or ignore, parts of the Bible in the same way. I very much doubt that you've ever had to concern yourself with the parts of the Law concerning whether or not it is kosher to eat a bat or sow a field with two types of seed. You have no need for them; why bother with them?

Now consider the entire Bible in that light. It posits a way things are that they aren't, it posits a morality that is fine and good but has been largely supplanted with later theology and philosophy (even for you; you by no account take the entirety of the Bible as a literal perscription for day-to-day life, as it was not written about you and needs retooling to apply to you). Why get stuck on it?

Is this intended for me?

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
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Sure. You're reasonable enough, after all.
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Raven v. Writing Desk
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quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

Why get stuck on it?
Because everybody gets stuck on something.

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Slarty vs. DeskDesk vs. SlartyTimeline of ErmarianG4 Strategy Central
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Off With Their Heads
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For the record, that bit of John has much more to do with Stoic philosophy than with Biblical infallibility. In Greek it makes a bunch more sense and doesn't sound like a bunch of garbage, especially when you consider that logos (the "word" word, which doesn't mean word at all) was a powerfully charged philosophical word at the time.

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Arancaytar: Every time you ask people to compare TM and Kel, you endanger the poor, fluffy kittens.
Smoo: Get ready to face the walls!
Ephesos: In conclusion, yarr.

Kelandon's Pink and Pretty Page!!: the authorized location for all things by me
The Archive of all released BoE scenarios ever
Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
E Equals MC What!!!!
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quote:
Originally written by Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

Sure. You're reasonable enough, after all.
I just have trouble seeing what you're getting at or how it's intended. I don't "get stuck" on the Bible, I thought I just made that point. I do think it's a very worthwhile book to develop a thorough understanding of, though. I just don't think the way it's regarded by Christians today is the way it was intended either by its writers or by God.

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SupaNik: Aran, you're not big enough to threaten Ash. Dammit, even JV had to think twice.
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