God is Just and Remembers

Motar

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With the commander of the army of the Lord? And who's that?

He is the apolitical One who never campaigns for office, has no political peer, and knows no term limits.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31, NIV)
 

Dexter Sinister

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Ah, you mean god then, your pronoun reference "him" wasn't clear to me. I assumed if you meant god it would have been "Him" so that wasn't my first thought, and I wasn't sure if you meant Trump, Joshua, or the commander of the army of the Lord, or even if you meant Trump was that commander, though that seemed pretty unlikely.

Would you describe yourself as a biblical literalist, a young earth creationist, an old earth creationist, anything like that?
 

Motar

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Would you describe yourself as a biblical literalist, a young earth creationist, an old earth creationist, anything like that?

The multitude of literary genres in the Bible necessitate an inspired and studied approach to discern history from law, biography from parable, and sermon from apocalypse. Some biblical content is meant to be taken literally, while some is symbolic and intended to be understood that way.
 

Dexter Sinister

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Leaving it up to "inspiration" to any extent just leaves it open to any individual interpretation, and given the obvious fact of the many mutually inconsistent Christian sects that exist--it's at least hundreds, possibly thousands, never seen a count--that doesn't seem a useful way to find any answers. If it's true and inspiration is a reliable guide, everybody should come up with the same understanding, and they manifestly do not.

My preferred works of biblical scholarship are from Dr. Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The most interesting thing I find about him is that decades of serious study and analysis eventually led him to abandon his faith, on the comprehensive grounds that the Bible, and religion more generally, fails to answer our most pressing question. It's the same thing that led me to my present position, the problem of theodicy, a $20 word for what's often called the problem of evil, or encapsulated in the question, "Why is there so much suffering?" Religion cannot sensibly answer that question. The book of Job is the only attempt in the Bible to deal with it seriously, and it ends up in the same place all such attempts do, in mysticism without any sensible answer: god's ways are not our ways, it's not given to us to understand them, he's not answerable to us, he's mysterious, and our lot is simply to deal with it as best we can.

That's always seemed to me an obvious double standard. We are told that god is good, give him credit when good things happen, but when bad things happen we are told that god is mysterious and we're not capable of understanding him. But it's precisely that merely human understanding that underlies the claim that he's good; if he's mysterious and beyond our comprehension then we can't possibly know that, he may be pure evil for all we can tell. Things become much more comprehensible if we just abandon the hypothesis that god is real.
 

Cliffy

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I like Allan Watts. He was a bishop in the Anglican church. In the 40s he studied comparative philosophies between east and west. He left the church and became a Zen philosopher. Zen is not a religion, it is a way of life that honours the sanctity of all life. "Be here now" is the basic premise. The past is a bad memory and the future is just a dream. The only place to focus our attention is in the present moment.
 

Motar

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Leaving it up to "inspiration" to any extent just leaves it open to any individual interpretation.

The witnessed conversion of former Jewish religious leader Saul as recorded by Luke in Acts 9:1-22:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+9:1-22&version=KJV

Concerning inspiration, Saul who was thereafter known as Paul wrote:

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16, KJV)

Scholarship is secondary to the inspiration afforded by the Author through the agency of His Spirit.

I am acquainted with Bart Ehrman from a recent apologetics class.

https://www.risenjesus.com/mike-licona-vs-bart-ehrman-2018
 

Dexter Sinister

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The witnessed conversion of former Jewish religious leader Saul ...
I don't see how Saul's epileptic fit and subsequent epiphany is relevant to anything I wrote. You have any thoughts of your own on the issues I've raised, or is citing scripture all you're going to do here?
 

Dexter Sinister

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I am acquainted with Bart Ehrman from a recent apologetics class.

https://www.risenjesus.com/mike-licona-vs-bart-ehrman-2018
That was interesting, I'd not seen that one before. Dr. Ehrman won that debate, no contest, the internal and external inconsistencies in the Gospels are clear and unequivocal. Didn't even have to watch it all to see that, just the crucial opening arguments and the closing arguments, but when I have more time I'll watch it all. And I'll be very surprised if watching it all changes my perception of it. Like Dr. Ehrman, I'm interested in what the evidence shows to be true, not what I'd like to be true, and where there isn't any evidence, you can't make truth claims. I'd rather say "I don't know" than believe something that isn't true.
 
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Motar

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I like Allan Watts. He was a bishop in the Anglican church. In the 40s he studied comparative philosophies between east and west. He left the church and became a Zen philosopher. Zen is not a religion, it is a way of life that honours the sanctity of all life. "Be here now" is the basic premise. The past is a bad memory and the future is just a dream. The only place to focus our attention is in the present moment.

I can support the sanctity of all life, Cliffy.
 

Cliffy

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The Great Deception
Christianity is based on a false dialogue. The Christ entity is a fabrication based on many other enlightened beings that preceded Jesus of Nazareth. Christ is a title given to enlightened beings. Jesus may or may not have actually existed. If he did, he was just an ordinary man like everyone else. But Constantine and Paul may have fabricated his enlightened state.
In the original Aramaic texts Jesus is reported to have said, “I am a child (son) of god” and “We are all children of god.” This was changed later, during the deification process manufactured by Constantine. The whole “Christ” character was taken, piecemeal, from many previous enlightened beings, also revered as gods, like Mithras, Horus, Buddha and Krishna. (Note the similarity between the sound of Christ and Krishna.)
There [FONT=&quot]were 18 years of Jesus' life in the bible, from the ages of 12 and 30 when he supposedly started his missionary work that are unaccounted for. What happened during those years? According to Hindu and Buddhist accounts, he spent his time studying at the feet of the great Hindu and Buddhist masters. There are also accounts of him spending time with Zoroaster and Egyptian masters. This would account for his teachings being very similar to the teaching of Buddha and why he was given titles the same as their gods, like, Lord of Lords, Prince of Peace and many others.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Also, some of his titles were those assumed by Egyptian pharos and Constantine himself. In fact, early depictions of Jesus were actually those of Constantine.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Various religious factions of the day were fighting amongst themselves and tearing apart the Roman Empire. Constantine needed a unifying religion to save his empire and so he amalgamated many different religious ideologies into one and passed it off as the one true religion sanctioned by Rome. But the truth is, it was a fabrication with very little basis in fact. [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Written by Cliff
[/FONT]
 

Motar

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I am glad to see you posting your own thoughts, Cliffy.

The Bible speaks at length about deception. Jesus warns about eschatological deception 3 times in his Olivet sermon:

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.“ (Matthew 24:4-5)

“and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.“ (Matthew 24:11)

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.“ (Matthew 24:24)
 

Cliffy

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I am glad to see you posting your own thoughts, Cliffy.

The Bible speaks at length about deception. Jesus warns about eschatological deception 3 times in his Olivet sermon:

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.“ (Matthew 24:4-5)

“and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.“ (Matthew 24:11)

“For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.“ (Matthew 24:24)
He was warning about TV evangelists and Trump.
 

Motar

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Paul warns further against deceived human and deceptive elemental philosophy:

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” (Colossians 2:8-10)
 

Motar

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That was interesting, I'd not seen that one before. Dr. Ehrman won that debate, no contest, the internal and external inconsistencies in the Gospels are clear and unequivocal. Didn't even have to watch it all to see that, just the crucial opening arguments and the closing arguments, but when I have more time I'll watch it all. And I'll be very surprised if watching it all changes my perception of it. Like Dr. Ehrman, I'm interested in what the evidence shows to be true, not what I'd like to be true, and where there isn't any evidence, you can't make truth claims. I'd rather say "I don't know" than believe something that isn't true.

If you were in a situation where you could choose between “winning” an argument or winning a friend, which would you choose and why, Dex?
 

Dexter Sinister

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If you were in a situation where you could choose between “winning” an argument or winning a friend, which would you choose and why, Dex?
Can't imagine such a situation ever arising, anyone I had such a fundamental disagreement with is unlikely to become a friend in the first place, and I do have friends with whom I have some pretty basic differences. There's an Anglican minister, for instance, we've shared many spirited discussions over the years about our differing views but the friendship was never in any danger, he enjoys a sharp and challenging exchange as much as I do. One of the most stimulating conversations I've ever had involved him, a Lutheran pastor, a rabbi (and talk about fundamental differences...) and another friend of mine (and the Anglican minister's) who describes himself as a Jewish atheist. I'd also argue that friends aren't something you win, they're something you earn, but semantic nit-picking aside, I'd choose my friend every time. Arguments are transient, friends are for life, and good ones aren't easy to find.
 
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Motar

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I'd choose my friend every time. Arguments are transient, friends are for life, and good ones aren't easy to find.

Good to hear, Dex! ☺️

I believe Mike Licona is making this choice with Bart Ehrman, just as God demonstrates this wise and loving choice with humankind.
 

Dexter Sinister

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I believe Mike Licona is making this choice with Bart Ehrman...
Yes, it looked that way to me too, they both are, agreeing to disagree without judging each other negatively. Though I do find Dr. Ehrman's evidence-based arguments much more convincing.