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NormATive
04-06-2014, 08:51 PM
I think that this question has been and continues to be misunderstood by many people, including myself for many years.

Years ago, I would have told you that being Born Again meant asking Jesus into your heart: a spiritual acceptance of Jesus as Messiah and Savior through his sacrifice on the Cross. Accepting such would invite The Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This, of course, must be preceded by repentance for past and present sinfulness, which I understood was innate - born into us because of Adam's "fall" from grace. Sometimes this is referred to as Original Sin.

Accepting the "free gift" would entitle you to a crown of jewels, and a room in Heaven, where the streets were paved in gold, and you would join a chorus of angels singing praises to the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) forever and ever, Amen.

Not accepting this "free gift" would guarantee that you would spend eternity in Hell. At the time (I was raised Baptist), I believed that Hell was a physical place somewhere beneath the Earth's surface where lakes of fire (As a teenager, I imagined it as Magma) would burn the unrepentant for ever and ever.

Is this what you, dear Christian, think?

On the other hand, there are many people - Christians included - who understand the "Born Again" question of Nicodemus as more of an intellectual query rather than a magical formula. In other words, what Jesus was really saying was that you need to accept a turn about in your heart of hearts, and act in a way that embodies the intent of The Law. The Sermon on the Mount has Jesus turning familiar commandments made by Moses into a more modern interpretation.

For example:


"You have heard that it was said, 'AN EYE FOR AN EYE, AND A TOOTH FOR A TOOTH.' "But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.…

And so on.

In other words, what is the purpose of the more apocalyptic version of Christianity? Why is that preferable to the more "down to earth" version of simply following Jesus' lead in how we live, think and relate to others? Do not both ways lead to a closer walk with G-d?

Also, why is there the need to be threatened with eternal punishment? If Jesus was intended to be a sacrifice for sins:
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all., why didn't it take for everyone?

NORM

Jedidiah
04-06-2014, 10:01 PM
On the other hand, there are many people - Christians included - who understand the "Born Again" question of Nicodemus as more of an intellectual query rather than a magical formula. In other words, what Jesus was really saying was that you need to accept a turn about in your heart of hearts, and act in a way that embodies the intent of The Law.

The concept of being born again is neither a magic formula nor an intellectual concept. It is a matter of trusting in Jesus alone. Asking Jesus into your heart is an analogy, a way to understand the need to trust Him. When we trust Him for our salvation we are actually changed. A part of this change is "simply following Jesus' lead in how we live, think and relate to others." However God's plan never appears to have been to simply get people to be nicer and live more comfortable lives. What is God's ultimate plan? I can not answer that, but it involves expressing His nature, that is perfection, among other things.

What is this "apocalyptic version of Christianity" of which you speak? Can you explain a little better what you mean here?


Also, why is there the need to be threatened with eternal punishment? If Jesus was intended to be a sacrifice for sins: , why didn't it take for everyone?

For one thing hell is less a threat of eternal punishment than a warning that if you don't want God you will get exactly what you ask for - no God. As to why it didn't take for everyone, not everyone is willing to trust in Christ; which trust involves submission to Him.

The Remonstrant
04-06-2014, 10:30 PM
Also, why is there the need to be threatened with eternal punishment? If Jesus was intended to be a sacrifice for sins: , why didn't it take for everyone?

The term "eternal punishment" (kolasis aiōnios) occurs once in the entirety of Scripture: Matthew 25:46. First, keep in mind that the passage in which this terminology occurs (vv.31-46) is dealing with the judgement of the nations at Jesus' return. It is Jesus' exhortation to his disciples specifically and not to all persons in general. In other words, Jesus is not using this as a warning to frighten the crowds. Second, "eternal punishment" does not necessarily mean unending torment as it is so often assumed. In actuality, this concept is absent from Matthew's Gospel. Instead, we learn that the fate of the wicked is likened to the burning up of chaff, trees, and weeds (3:10-12; 7:19; 13:30,40-42) and plants being uprooted (15:13). So the imagery of fire—including the "eternal fire" of 25:41—denotes the final annihilation of God's enemies, not their ongoing torment. More directly, Jesus warns his disciples that being denied before the Father (10:33) and the permanent loss of life are ultimately what's at stake (10:28; 10:39; 16:24-26).

firstfloor
04-07-2014, 02:51 AM
I think that this question has been and continues to be misunderstood by many people, including myself for many years.
Norm, I am not Christian, dear or otherwise, so I hope you don’t mind me making a suggestion.

“Born again” means spiritual renewal. The idea of spiritual renewal is not unique to Christianity. The search for it starts with dissatisfaction and involves some sort of ritualized self reflection and goal setting so that you feel more effective in your life. I think that many religions tend to confuse, contaminate and clutter the essence of the idea by associating it with particular heroes, holy books, gods, afterlife, rewards and punishments.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 03:01 AM
I would say that it's a metaphor for dying and coming into new life.

Doug Shaver
04-07-2014, 03:05 AM
For one thing hell is less a threat of eternal punishment than a warning that if you don't want God you will get exactly what you ask for - no God.
As apologists typically do, you conflate desire with belief. Whether or not I want God is irrelevant. I cannot believe he exists just because you say he does.


As to why it didn't take for everyone, not everyone is willing to trust in Christ; which trust involves submission to Him.
Christ is not the one I am failing to trust. I am failing to trust the people who tell me about Christ. It is you to whom I am not submitting.

Tassman
04-07-2014, 03:42 AM
For one thing hell is less a threat of eternal punishment than a warning that if you don't want God you will get exactly what you ask for - no God. As to why it didn't take for everyone,

But it remains "a threat of eternal punishment" nevertheless. Surely any ideology that achieves its end by the threat of severe punishment, no matter what form the punishment takes, is morally bankrupt.


not everyone is willing to trust in Christ; which trust involves submission to Him.

No. Initially it requires belief in him and the dogma surrounding him. Many, me included, consider evidence for the existence of the God/Man Jesus and his wondrous deeds, to be woefully insufficient to warrant belief.

firstfloor
04-07-2014, 05:16 AM
I would say that it's a metaphor for dying and coming into new life.
Is that a metaphor of a metaphor or are you being literal about surviving death? One very strange aspect of Christian salvation (same thing) is that first you seek renewal, then once you feel that you have it, or maybe you just think you have it because you have been dunked in water, you then have to direct your attention to constantly thanking He who has bestowed this apparent transformation (or not) on you. You are not allowed to take credit for your own spiritual renewal. Jesus literally steals that from you. Do you not think that that is a loss of focus brought about by failing to realise that the “other world” is a metaphor for the ideal way of living in this world: the “Kingdom of God”?

Cow Poke
04-07-2014, 06:31 AM
or maybe you just think you have it because you have been dunked in water,

Baptism happens BECAUSE we have been reborn, not so that we can.


you then have to direct your attention to constantly thanking He who has bestowed this apparent transformation (or not) on you.

Says who?


You are not allowed to take credit for your own spiritual renewal.

Why would I want to? If I were lost at sea, and rescued by the US Coast Guard, should I try to take credit for my own rescue? :huh:


Jesus literally steals that from you.

Perhaps you should study the meaning of the word "literally". :glare: But how does He "steal" anything? Did the Coast Guard "literally steal" my right to boast of my own rescue? :lolo:


Do you not think that that is a loss of focus brought about by failing to realise that the “other world” is a metaphor for the ideal way of living in this world: the “Kingdom of God”?

Why can't it be both?

Catholicity
04-07-2014, 06:54 AM
You'll probably get a few different answers. But I believe its best described as the Full heartfelt recognition of Christ as Lord and a baptism (believers or infant) and of course a life long obedience to God. For one to be a Christian one should Love God and desire to serve Him Only.

firstfloor
04-07-2014, 07:16 AM
You'll probably get a few different answers. But I believe its best described as the Full heartfelt recognition of Christ as Lord and a baptism (believers or infant) and of course a life long obedience to God. For one to be a Christian one should Love God and desire to serve Him Only.
If you think about practical matters, I would say that service to God can be described entirely in secular language and be just as meaningful and spiritually renewing. Would you agree?

firstfloor
04-07-2014, 07:43 AM
Why would I want to? If I were lost at sea, and rescued by the US Coast Guard, should I try to take credit for my own rescue? :huh:
Perhaps you should study the meaning of the word "literally". :glare: But how does He "steal" anything? Did the Coast Guard "literally steal" my right to boast of my own rescue? :lolo:
I think it is psychologically damaging to discredit your own successes, gifts and abilities. If you do not understand yourself you find that God punishes you because you are wicked but not because God is a sadist. And, do people go off the rails from time to time – of course they do. So wickedness is a semi-permanent state depending on how much guilt you carry about with you. And that is a choice that YOU make about God’s character. You CHOOSE to be guilty, downtrodden, wicked and unworthy by the relationship you have with God.

Catholicity
04-07-2014, 07:58 AM
If you think about practical matters, I would say that service to God can be described entirely in secular language and be just as meaningful and spiritually renewing. Would you agree?


Given that I recognize a person may live a fully moral and meaningful life without a belief in God; how would you propose describing devotion to God in secular terms; especially if said person decides that they want to believe in God and lead a religious life.

shunyadragon
04-07-2014, 09:27 AM
Norm, I am not Christian, dear or otherwise, so I hope you don’t mind me making a suggestion.

“Born again” means spiritual renewal. The idea of spiritual renewal is not unique to Christianity. The search for it starts with dissatisfaction and involves some sort of ritualized self reflection and goal setting so that you feel more effective in your life. I think that many religions tend to confuse, contaminate and clutter the essence of the idea by associating it with particular heroes, holy books, gods, afterlife, rewards and punishments.

I like this view. "Born again" has many meaning as there are different beliefs. The Buddhist awakening may be considered being "born again." I am more then a little cautious of significance of most very human claims of becoming "born again" or "enlightened" from the many different varied conflicting perspectives that humans make this claim. There is a very fallible human tendency to claim they have found the absolute ultimate reality, and in reality it is simply an egocentric claim of finding 'something.'

My experience of being "born again," resulted in the awareness that because of my fallible human nature, I did not likely no anything in any sort of an absolute sense, and no one else did either. 'I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.'

Cow Poke
04-07-2014, 09:29 AM
I think it is psychologically damaging to discredit your own successes, gifts and abilities.

That's just goofy.


If you do not understand yourself you find that God punishes you because you are wicked but not because God is a sadist.

More goofiness. :smile:


And, do people go off the rails from time to time – of course they do. So wickedness is a semi-permanent state depending on how much guilt you carry about with you. And that is a choice that YOU make about God’s character. You CHOOSE to be guilty, downtrodden, wicked and unworthy by the relationship you have with God.

No, I don't. Just because you have a twisted view of God doesn't mean I do.

NormATive
04-07-2014, 09:32 AM
... It is a matter of trusting in Jesus alone.

"IN" what?


... When we trust Him for our salvation we are actually changed.

Through what physical mechanism (since it is not supernatural)?


A part of this change is "simply following Jesus' lead in how we live, think and relate to others." However God's plan never appears to have been to simply get people to be nicer and live more comfortable lives. What is God's ultimate plan? I can not answer that, but it involves expressing His nature, that is perfection, among other things.

Why is this not enough? This is my point.


.What is this "apocalyptic version of Christianity" of which you speak?

I am surprised that you are unfamiliar with the Biblical accounts of Heaven, the Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon, the Second Coming of Christ, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, etc, etc... Perhaps you are Greek Orthodox, and think that the book of Revelation should not have made the Canon? But, what about II Thessalonians.


.For one thing hell is less a threat of eternal punishment than a warning that if you don't want God you will get exactly what you ask for - no God. As to why it didn't take for everyone, not everyone is willing to trust in Christ; which trust involves submission to Him.

So, do you discount the scriptures that speak of torments like flesh eating worms, the eternal burning of flesh and, etc....weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth? Are these segments of scripture parts that you personally ignore?

If salvation is a free gift, why is it contingent on "trusting in Christ." What does it mean to submit to Jesus? Submit to what, exactly? Since he was a practicing Jew, I would surmise that means obeying The Law.

NORM

RBerman
04-07-2014, 09:39 AM
But it remains "a threat of eternal punishment" nevertheless. Surely any ideology that achieves its end by the threat of severe punishment, no matter what form the punishment takes, is morally bankrupt.
By your yardstick, perhaps. Our age is scandalized by such a thought, but other ages have been appalled by the thought that a sovereign would forgive rebels. We are all adrift in the zeitgeist, and respond accordingly.

Paprika
04-07-2014, 09:45 AM
So, do you discount the scriptures that speak of torments like flesh eating worms, the eternal burning of flesh
We get that from the Jewish Scriptures, don't we? Isaiah, to be specific.

RBerman
04-07-2014, 10:32 AM
"IN" what?

The small words are the complicated ones, aren't they? When we talk about "having faith in Jesus," we're talking about trusting Jesus in all things. Trusting that he was God, that he died to free us from the power and penalty and presence of sin. And since we trust Jesus, we also want to live according to his teachings and example.


I am surprised that you are unfamiliar with the Biblical accounts of Heaven, the Antichrist, the Whore of Babylon, the Second Coming of Christ, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, etc, etc... Perhaps you are Greek Orthodox, and think that the book of Revelation should not have made the Canon? But, what about II Thessalonians.
It is not obvious how you are tying those topics to the topic of faith in Christ.


If salvation is a free gift, why is it contingent on "trusting in Christ."
It is free in the sense that we do not earn it through our own behavior. As you say, it is contingent on trusting that Christ's behavior, including his propitiatory death, earned salvation for us.

NormATive
04-07-2014, 10:53 AM
The small words are the complicated ones, aren't they? When we talk about "having faith in Jesus," we're talking about trusting Jesus in all things. Trusting that he was God, that he died to free us from the power and penalty and presence of sin. And since we trust Jesus, we also want to live according to his teachings and example.

So, all of this is required before one can receive this "free" gift? Hmm. Seems pretty conditional to me.



It is not obvious how you are tying those topics to the topic of faith in Christ.

You are right. I should not assume you accept the entire Bible as the Word of God. If you believe that Jesus is the way to salvation, well; salvation from what? Answer: the coming wrath of God. That is how those apocalyptic verses relate to "faith in Christ." Of course, if you don't think those verses really belong in the Bible, then it is a moot point.



It is free in the sense that we do not earn it through our own behavior. As you say, it is contingent on trusting that Christ's behavior, including his propitiatory death, earned salvation for us.

And, yet there are the conditions you have just spoken of:

1. Belief that Jesus is God
2. Belief that his crucifixion "fixed" the Fall
3. Live according to his teaching (i.e.; adherence to The Law of Moses)

I'm having trouble seeing your plan of salvation as a free gift. Why not just say that here are the several things you Must do to earn salvation? That way, no one is confused.

NORM

RBerman
04-07-2014, 11:26 AM
So, all of this is required before one can receive this "free" gift? Hmm. Seems pretty conditional to me.
Yes, it is absolutely conditional. As I said, it's a "free gift" in the sense of not being the result of working to earn God's favor by, say, keeping the Law. Romans 4-5 deal with this distinction.


You are right. I should not assume you accept the entire Bible as the Word of God. If you believe that Jesus is the way to salvation, well; salvation from what? Answer: the coming wrath of God. That is how those apocalyptic verses relate to "faith in Christ." Of course, if you don't think those verses really belong in the Bible, then it is a moot point.
I do accept the entire Bible. I just don't know what point you're trying to make in raising the issue of Revelation, whose main contribution to theology deals with a vision of the blessed Eternal State. The issue of "salvation from what?," while reiterated at the end of Revelation is already discussed extensively in the gospels. Because the problem of sin is multi-faceted, so is our salvation. We are saved from the penalty our sins deserve. We are also saved from the power of sin in our lives, so that we become able to keep God's commands. We are also eventually saved from the cosmic effects of sin, as God remakes the universe in which we will live.


And, yet there are the conditions you have just spoken of:

1. Belief that Jesus is God
2. Belief that his crucifixion "fixed" the Fall
3. Live according to his teaching (i.e.; adherence to The Law of Moses)

I'm having trouble seeing your plan of salvation as a free gift. Why not just say that here are the several things you Must do to earn salvation? That way, no one is confused.

I don't mind saying items 1 and 2 as long as you understand what I mean. We use "free gift" terminology because the Bible itself does (Romans 5:15-17), in the context of faith in Christ still being a condition to be met in order to be saved. The trouble is that many people who think of "earning salvation" are thinking of meriting God's approval by being good people who are nice to others. That's a dead end, from a Christian perspective, because we could never be perfect enough to impress a perfect God with our behavior. On this count, we don't need a teacher as much as we need a perfect substitute, which is why God himself came as Jesus to solve the problem our sin presented.

I would not include item 3 (Live according to his teaching) as something we must do to earn salvation. But it is a characteristic of those who satisfy 1 and 2. It would not make sense to trust Jesus for eternity but disregard him in this life. In that sense, item 3 in your list is evidentiary with respect to salvation rather than efficacious.

firstfloor
04-07-2014, 12:14 PM
Given that I recognize a person may live a fully moral and meaningful life without a belief in God; how would you propose describing devotion to God in secular terms; especially if said person decides that they want to believe in God and lead a religious life.
I wouldn’t. I am making a distinction between worship and service. In the religious context they are linked. The obvious problem with God’s involvement in the practicalities of living is that He is credited for positive results but usually not blamed for negative ones. If the life saver doesn’t show up when needed, blame the agency, if he does, thank God. Or so they say, but I’m not sure how many actually believe it nowadays.

Jedidiah
04-07-2014, 12:44 PM
That's just goofy.

More goofiness. :smile:

No, I don't. Just because you have a twisted view of God doesn't mean I do.

Remember who you are relating to here, CP.

Cow Poke
04-07-2014, 12:48 PM
Remember who you are relating to here, CP.

Excellent point, Jed.

NormATive
04-07-2014, 07:26 PM
We get that from the Jewish Scriptures, don't we? Isaiah, to be specific.

Sort of. The Christian Testament actually misquotes Isaiah. In the Christian Testament (Mark 9), the body of the person cast into hell does not die along with the worm. This is actually another clue that the Christian Testament is a rework of common Jewish themes, even if done clumsily.


In Isaiah, the people are dead, but the WORM lives on. Weird, actually:


כד וְיָצְאוּ וְרָאוּ--בְּפִגְרֵי הָאֲנָשִׁים, הַפֹּשְׁעִים בִּי: כִּי תוֹלַעְתָּם לֹא תָמוּת, וְאִשָּׁם לֹא תִכְבֶּה, וְהָיוּ דֵרָאוֹן, לְכָל-בָּשָׂר. {ש} "And they will go out and look on the dead bodies (some English versions use the word "carcasses") of those who rebelled against me; the worms that eat them will not die, the fire that burns them will not be quenched, and they will be loathsome to all mankind."

NORM

Cow Poke
04-07-2014, 07:29 PM
Sort of. The Christian Testament actually misquotes Isaiah. In the Christian Testament (Mark 9), the body of the person cast into hell does not die along with the worm. This is actually another clue that the Christian Testament is a rework of common Jewish themes, even if done clumsily.


In Isaiah, the people are dead, but the WORM lives on. Weird, actually:



NORM
:huh:
In Mark, the worm doesn't die...
*And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: [44]*Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. [45]*And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: [46]*Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. [47]*And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: [48]*Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

NormATive
04-07-2014, 07:33 PM
[SIZE=3][FONT=Palatino Linotype]... "eternal punishment" does not necessarily mean unending torment as it is so often assumed.

What to do with these Christian Testament scriptures, then?


Revelation 21:8
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
Matthew 25:46
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
Matthew 13:50
and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 13:42
They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:41
"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.


NORM

NormATive
04-07-2014, 07:35 PM
:huh:
In Mark, the worm doesn't die...
*And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: [44]*Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. [45]*And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: [46]*Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. [47]*And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: [48]*Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.

No kidding. I said the difference is that in Mark, the PEOPLE are still alive. In Isaiah, the people are DEAD - CORPSES.

NORM

Cow Poke
04-07-2014, 07:45 PM
No kidding. I said the difference is that in Mark, the PEOPLE are still alive. In Isaiah, the people are DEAD - CORPSES.

NORM

Ah, ok. And, thanks for the drama. :wink:

NormATive
04-07-2014, 08:17 PM
Ah, ok. And, thanks for the drama. :wink:

It may seem like a small point, but I find it very interesting that the composers of the Christian Testament could not even interpret their own ancient texts. To be fair, they were working from a Greek translation of the Hebrew, so...

But, this is a side issue. The real story is the fact that the Christian Testament teaches that failure to buy into the whole "plan" will result in eternal torment (radioactive worms or not, it isn't a very pleasant thought).

NORM

Paprika
04-07-2014, 10:54 PM
Sort of. The Christian Testament actually misquotes Isaiah. In the Christian Testament (Mark 9), the body of the person cast into hell does not die along with the worm. This is actually another clue that the Christian Testament is a rework of common Jewish themes, even if done clumsily.
When in Mark 9 are the people cast into hell depicted as alive?

Paprika
04-07-2014, 10:59 PM
It may seem like a small point, but I find it very interesting that the composers of the Christian Testament could not even interpret their own ancient texts. To be fair, they were working from a Greek translation of the Hebrew, so...
Strange. You seem to be okay with the fact that later Jews (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1331-Yom-Kippur-quot-not-conditioned-on-anything-quot&p=36585&viewfull=1#post36585) come to new understandings of the OT as in the Talmud, but when the NT authors do similarly it's a failure in their intepretational abilities.

firstfloor
04-08-2014, 01:07 AM
No, I don't. Just because you have a twisted view of God doesn't mean I do.
Talking about twisted views; this is from Devotions.com,
http://www.devotions.com/2006/09/feelings-of-unworthiness-do-not-come-from-god.html

“The strange irony of becoming a Christian is we realize how unworthy we really are of the salvation we enjoy. Our pass to heaven comes through, and only through, the redemptive work of Jesus. What a relief to know that there’s nothing we can do, or ever do, to measure up to the favour that we have received. However, the devil uses that realization to convince us that we are also not worthy enough to serve God in the ways he calls us to serve him. It’s a lie that haunts a lot of Christians, including me.”

This sort of confusion is what happens when religion teaches guilt. Once you accept your guilt, you are under control.

RBerman
04-08-2014, 06:27 AM
No kidding. I said the difference is that in Mark, the PEOPLE are still alive. In Isaiah, the people are DEAD - CORPSES.

The focus in Mark 9 is not on whether the people are alive or dead. Presumably within the internal logic of Jesus' figure of speech, living people cast into the fire and being eaten by worms have become dead. This is where Remonstrant is going with his annihilationist posts, although as you say, the language in Revelation encourages us to interpret "death" and "destruction" in ways compatible with a continuing experience of torment, which is also probably what Jesus intends in Mark 9.

I take it I answered your questions in post #21, since you moved on without responding?

Cow Poke
04-08-2014, 07:45 AM
Talking about twisted views; this is from Devotions.com,
http://www.devotions.com/2006/09/feelings-of-unworthiness-do-not-come-from-god.html

“The strange irony of becoming a Christian is we realize how unworthy we really are of the salvation we enjoy. Our pass to heaven comes through, and only through, the redemptive work of Jesus. What a relief to know that there’s nothing we can do, or ever do, to measure up to the favour that we have received. However, the devil uses that realization to convince us that we are also not worthy enough to serve God in the ways he calls us to serve him. It’s a lie that haunts a lot of Christians, including me.”

This sort of confusion is what happens when religion teaches guilt. Once you accept your guilt, you are under control.

I cleaned out my car this morning and found 37 cents!

firstfloor
04-08-2014, 10:00 AM
I cleaned out my car this morning and found 37 cents!
Not quite enough for a hamburger then. Pity.
Damn, I’m going to have to eat something now.

Cow Poke
04-08-2014, 10:01 AM
Not quite enough for a hamburger then. Pity.
Damn, I’m going to have to eat something now.

I made some Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. :yummy:

NormATive
04-08-2014, 11:02 AM
When in Mark 9 are the people cast into hell depicted as alive?

So, is it your contention that the Christian Testament does NOT teach that the unrepentant are sent to hell alive? How does a corpse weep and wail and gnash it's teeth?

NORM

NormATive
04-08-2014, 11:12 AM
I would not include item 3 (Live according to his teaching) as something we must do to earn salvation. But it is a characteristic of those who satisfy 1 and 2. It would not make sense to trust Jesus for eternity but disregard him in this life. In that sense, item 3 in your list is evidentiary with respect to salvation rather than efficacious.

I do not see how you can excise #3 from your formula. Quite a bit of what the Christian Testament documents about the person of Jesus is how we ought to live - which appears to me a deeper understanding of The Law - following not merely the letter, but the intent. This is exactly what Hillel was teaching. He taught that it is not enough to memorize a bunch of laws, but to internalize them, and understand them for what G-d intended.

The dietary laws are a good example. By adhering to a Kosher diet, I've all but eliminated the dangers of food poisoning. Meat and dairy are kept separate from everything else - thus; no contamination!

The laws on how to share property, forgive debts, pay recompense for those you've wronged, etc... are also good illustrations of what I think Jesus was all about. I think Christians miss the boat by simply excusing themselves from adherence to The Law.

NORM

Paprika
04-08-2014, 11:13 AM
So, is it your contention that the Christian Testament does NOT teach that the unrepentant are sent to hell alive? How does a corpse weep and wail and gnash it's teeth?
That is not my claim. My point is that Mark 9 doesn't say if the unrepentant are dead or alive in hell.

NormATive
04-08-2014, 01:26 PM
I would say that it's a metaphor for dying and coming into new life.
How so? Please elaborate.

NORM

RBerman
04-08-2014, 02:31 PM
I do not see how you can excise #3 from your formula. Quite a bit of what the Christian Testament documents about the person of Jesus is how we ought to live - which appears to me a deeper understanding of The Law - following not merely the letter, but the intent. This is exactly what Hillel was teaching. He taught that it is not enough to memorize a bunch of laws, but to internalize them, and understand them for what G-d intended. The dietary laws are a good example. By adhering to a Kosher diet, I've all but eliminated the dangers of food poisoning. Meat and dairy are kept separate from everything else - thus; no contamination! The laws on how to share property, forgive debts, pay recompense for those you've wronged, etc... are also good illustrations of what I think Jesus was all about. I think Christians miss the boat by simply excusing themselves from adherence to The Law.

1) I wasn't speaking of Christians being excused from adherence to the Law, in the sense that they don't need to think about the Law. I was speaking of Christians not seeing adherence to the Law as a means of earning God's approval. Christians would indeed miss the boat if they thought that the forgiveness of their sins makes it irrelevant how they live their lives.

2) Jesus' teaching on the Law does include the importance of intent. His endorsement of the ceremonial aspects of the law was less, shall we say, fervent:


And [Jesus] called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” (Mark 7:14-23)

This ambivalence toward the ceremonial laws such as diet and holidays carries over into Paul's epistles as well, which is why Christians hold that those aspects of the law, which separated Jews from Gentiles, have ended now that Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ. However the overriding moral principles of, say, the Decalogue, remain in force, for they reflect God's eternal character and the way He has created man to function best.

So yes, Christians must keep the Laws which did not serve to separate out Jews from the rest of the world. But the keeping of those Laws is not something that earns us God's good favor, which is why I did not include it in the list of things by which we obtain the "free gift."

OingoBoingo
04-08-2014, 03:23 PM
This ambivalence toward the ceremonial laws such as diet and holidays carries over into Paul's epistles as well, which is why Christians hold that those aspects of the law, which separated Jews from Gentiles, have ended now that Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ. However the overriding moral principles of, say, the Decalogue, remain in force, for they reflect God's eternal character and the way He has created man to function best.

I don't think I've ever heard it put quite that way before. I like it.

Paprika
04-08-2014, 09:33 PM
I don't think I've ever heard it put quite that way before. I like it.
"For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility."

The Remonstrant
04-09-2014, 01:04 AM
What to do with these Christian Testament scriptures, then?

Matthew 13:24-30,36-43. It find it interesting that you cited only Matt.13:42 in your post above (#27). The verse must be read in its broader context. I have written a paper addressing this text: "Purging the Kingdom: Jesus' Interpretation of the Parable of the Wheat & Tares in Matthew 13".1 A major part of the hurdle to get over is how the phrase "weeping and gnashing of teeth" is often misconstrued as ongoing torment in "hell". In actuality, such a notion is demonstrably false.

Matthew 25:46. Verses 31-46 is primarily a sober word exhortation to Jesus' students to faithful discipleship. Whereas the faithful will inherit the Kingdom of Heaven/God (v.34), the unfaithful will be cast off (v.41). In v.46 aiōnios ("eternal"/age-lasting) punishment and life are contrasted. Some are welcomed into the Kingdom, others are irrevocably excluded. What is the precise nature of the punishment? Does it entail perpetual torment? While this notion is usually taken for granted by advocates of the conventional view of final punishment, this assumption is unfounded. If you are interested, I have written "An Overview of Final Punishment in Matthew's Gospel".2

Revelation 21:8. First, it should be noted that the imagery of burning sulfur hails back to Genesis 19 of the Hebrew Scriptures and God's judgement against Sodom and Gomorrah (vv.23-29). Without a doubt, the destruction of these cities was complete (vv.27-29, Luke 17:28,29; 2 Peter 2:6). (The closest parallel we have to Revelation's "lake of fire" is "the river" or "stream of fire" in Daniel 7:10.) Second, "the second death" clarifies the meaning of the nature or function "the lake of fire" serves in the Apocalypse. Like the fate of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, after the final judgement the unrighteous will be no more.3 Third, the first usage of "the second death" in Revelation is instructive. Jesus admonishes the church in Smyrna:


"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.'" (2:10,11 ESV)
The two deaths in view parallel each other, the key difference being that the second death is final. Jesus promises his faithful disciples that they will ultimately be rewarded with life even if their present lives are ended in persecution as his saints. After having died and being raised never to die again, Jesus has "the keys of Death and Hades"/the Grave. It is in his power to grant life and to take it away.


Notes

1 http://theremonstrant.blogspot.com/2014/02/purging-kingdom-jesus-interpretation-of.html

2 http://www.afterlife.co.nz/2014/theology/overview-final-punishment-matthews-gospel/

3 The cosmological implications of final annihilation are beautiful. The new heavens and the new earth will forever be untainted by sin, rebellion, sickness, pain, sadness, death and disease. There will be no room in God's renewed creation for the existence of evil or any of its ill effects. These are the first things that will have passed away (cf. Revelation 21:4).

The Remonstrant
04-09-2014, 01:20 AM
When in Mark 9 are the people cast into hell depicted as alive?

Good question. They aren't.

Some are operating under the misconception that Jesus somehow "expanded upon" or altered the meaning of Isaiah 66:24. This assumption is false. Furthermore, it should be evident that Jesus employs much hyperbole throughout Mark 9:42-47. E.g.:


"But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me—it would be better for him if a heavy millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. And if your hand causes your downfall, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and go to [Gehenna]—the unquenchable fire, . . ." (Mark 9:42,43 HCSB).

The Remonstrant
04-09-2014, 01:42 AM
The focus in Mark 9 is not on whether the people are alive or dead. Presumably within the internal logic of Jesus' figure of speech, living people cast into the fire and being eaten by worms have become dead. This is where Remonstrant is going with his annihilationist posts, although as you say, the language in Revelation encourages us to interpret "death" and "destruction" in ways compatible with a continuing experience of torment, which is also probably what Jesus intends in Mark 9.

I take it I answered your questions in post #21, since you moved on without responding?
This may be a pattern. (NormATive quoted a snippet of mine from message #3 in #27 and proceeded to question me on Matthew 25:41 and 46 as if I hadn't gone into any detail on these texts previously.)

As for Mark 9, in my estimation the passage is so thoroughly riddled with hyperbolic language that I find it difficult to understand why any should use it as a proof-text for unending torment. It would be much more promising for your view if Jesus had quoted Judith instead of Isaiah. This would pose a tremendous—dare I say insurmountable—problem to Protestant/evangelical advocates of annihilationism.

Regarding my annihilationist position, I personally do not wield Mark 9:43-47 as a proof-text for the annihilation of the unrighteous in my discussions of final punishment, though I can indeed appreciate Jesus' reference of Isaiah 66:24 (and will duly note it whenever it comes up, of course). The main thrust of the text is for disciples of Jesus to press into the Kingdom of God by all means necessary. The occasion for the discussion is Jesus' warning to his disciples not to set any stumbling blocks in the way of the vulnerable and humblest of his followers (cf. Matthew 18:1-14). It is a stern warning for disciples of Jesus to be watchful of their conduct something after the manner of Romans 14.

OingoBoingo
04-09-2014, 05:07 AM
"For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility."

Thank you Paprika.

RBerman
04-09-2014, 06:20 AM
As for Mark 9, in my estimation the passage is so thoroughly riddled with hyperbolic language that I find it difficult to understand why any should use it as a proof-text for unending torment. It would be much more promising for your view if Jesus had quoted Judith instead of Isaiah. This would pose a tremendous—dare I say insurmountable—problem to Protestant/evangelical advocates of annihilationism.

Regarding my annihilationist position, I personally do not wield Mark 9:43-47 as a proof-text for the annihilation of the unrighteous in my discussions of final punishment, though I can indeed appreciate Jesus' reference of Isaiah 66:24 (and will duly note it whenever it comes up, of course). The main thrust of the text is for disciples of Jesus to press into the Kingdom of God by all means necessary. The occasion for the discussion is Jesus' warning to his disciples not to set any stumbling blocks in the way of the vulnerable and humblest of his followers (cf. Matthew 18:1-14). It is a stern warning for disciples of Jesus to be watchful of their conduct something after the manner of Romans 14.

I would just as soon not have this thread about the core gospel issue of "what must I do to be saved?" become another casualty of digression into debating the merits of annihilationism compared to orthodox doctrines of Hell, so I'll simply say that by and large, Christians have not seen the hyperbolic language about cutting off of hands, etc., to be an obstacle to interpreting the end of Mark 9 as teaching ongoing torment.

seanD
04-09-2014, 10:31 AM
I think that this question has been and continues to be misunderstood by many people, including myself for many years.

Years ago, I would have told you that being Born Again meant asking Jesus into your heart: a spiritual acceptance of Jesus as Messiah and Savior through his sacrifice on the Cross. Accepting such would invite The Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This, of course, must be preceded by repentance for past and present sinfulness, which I understood was innate - born into us because of Adam's "fall" from grace. Sometimes this is referred to as Original Sin.

Accepting the "free gift" would entitle you to a crown of jewels, and a room in Heaven, where the streets were paved in gold, and you would join a chorus of angels singing praises to the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) forever and ever, Amen.

Not accepting this "free gift" would guarantee that you would spend eternity in Hell. At the time (I was raised Baptist), I believed that Hell was a physical place somewhere beneath the Earth's surface where lakes of fire (As a teenager, I imagined it as Magma) would burn the unrepentant for ever and ever.

Is this what you, dear Christian, think?

On the other hand, there are many people - Christians included - who understand the "Born Again" question of Nicodemus as more of an intellectual query rather than a magical formula. In other words, what Jesus was really saying was that you need to accept a turn about in your heart of hearts, and act in a way that embodies the intent of The Law. The Sermon on the Mount has Jesus turning familiar commandments made by Moses into a more modern interpretation.

For example:



And so on.

In other words, what is the purpose of the more apocalyptic version of Christianity? Why is that preferable to the more "down to earth" version of simply following Jesus' lead in how we live, think and relate to others? Do not both ways lead to a closer walk with G-d?

Also, why is there the need to be threatened with eternal punishment? If Jesus was intended to be a sacrifice for sins: , why didn't it take for everyone?

NORM

The problem with the notion that I bolded is that the "more down to earth version" of what a Christian should follow is a pure fantasy. Sure, there are teachings by Jesus that even a staunch atheist could get behind, but there are teachings that you and atheists would find deplorable and completely impractical in our modern world. Heck, even Christians like me have a hard time wrapping our heads around a lot of Jesus' teachings in regards to actually applying it to our modern world, as opposed to just lip service, just because of how warped our materialistic worldviews are. So, I would imagine you would want us to follow a cookie cutter version of what Jesus taught, and only then would it be acceptable to rest of the world. One of the many necessities of being born again is the supernatural assistance in helping us remove ourselves from that materialistic worldview. We cannot do this on our own even if we wanted to.

whag
04-09-2014, 04:43 PM
The problem with the notion that I bolded is that the "more down to earth version" of what a Christian should follow is a pure fantasy. Sure, there are teachings by Jesus that even a staunch atheist could get behind, but there are teachings that you and atheists would find deplorable and completely impractical in our modern world. Heck, even Christians like me have a hard time wrapping our heads around a lot of Jesus' teachings in regards to actually applying it to our modern world, as opposed to just lip service, just because of how warped our materialistic worldviews are.

Many atheists would be able to comprehend the challenging teachings and their modern application.


So, I would imagine you would want us to follow a cookie cutter version of what Jesus taught, and only then would it be acceptable to rest of the world. One of the many necessities of being born again is the supernatural assistance in helping us remove ourselves from that materialistic worldview. We cannot do this on our own even if we wanted to.

Which challenging teachings are you being assisted with, and how do you apply them in a modern world?

whag
04-09-2014, 05:36 PM
I think that this question has been and continues to be misunderstood by many people, including myself for many years.

Years ago, I would have told you that being Born Again meant asking Jesus into your heart: a spiritual acceptance of Jesus as Messiah and Savior through his sacrifice on the Cross. Accepting such would invite The Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This, of course, must be preceded by repentance for past and present sinfulness, which I understood was innate - born into us because of Adam's "fall" from grace. Sometimes this is referred to as Original Sin.

Accepting the "free gift" would entitle you to a crown of jewels, and a room in Heaven, where the streets were paved in gold, and you would join a chorus of angels singing praises to the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) forever and ever, Amen.

Not accepting this "free gift" would guarantee that you would spend eternity in Hell. At the time (I was raised Baptist), I believed that Hell was a physical place somewhere beneath the Earth's surface where lakes of fire (As a teenager, I imagined it as Magma) would burn the unrepentant for ever and ever.

Is this what you, dear Christian, think?

On the other hand, there are many people - Christians included - who understand the "Born Again" question of Nicodemus as more of an intellectual query rather than a magical formula. In other words, what Jesus was really saying was that you need to accept a turn about in your heart of hearts, and act in a way that embodies the intent of The Law. The Sermon on the Mount has Jesus turning familiar commandments made by Moses into a more modern interpretation.

For example:



And so on.

In other words, what is the purpose of the more apocalyptic version of Christianity? Why is that preferable to the more "down to earth" version of simply following Jesus' lead in how we live, think and relate to others? Do not both ways lead to a closer walk with G-d?

Also, why is there the need to be threatened with eternal punishment? If Jesus was intended to be a sacrifice for sins: , why didn't it take for everyone?

NORM

I agree with you that the way Christianity is presented in some very conservative churches, there's too much burden in belief. Knowing the cultural context of the gospels puts a lot of the harder teachings, such as turning the other cheek, to rest simply because they are difficult to apply in the modern age. A more down to earth approach to being a christian, where the applicability of Jesus teachings is relatively easy to understand and practice, is warranted. Burdensome approaches with unrealistic expectations are best discarded, mainly because they provoke apostasy.

NormATive
04-09-2014, 07:09 PM
1) I was speaking of Christians not seeing adherence to the Law as a means of earning God's approval. Christians would indeed miss the boat if they thought that the forgiveness of their sins makes it irrelevant how they live their lives.

Yet, the reliance on a "plan" of salvation seems like just that - earning God's approval. Just as strict adherence to the dietary and ritual laws were to the Jew up until after the Shoah.

I agree with you that Christians miss the boat when they reduce Christianity to "the plan of salvation" to the neglect of everything Jesus stood for. We Jews learned what was most important, but it took a horrible experience to evolve to that point.



This ambivalence toward the ceremonial laws such as diet and holidays carries over into Paul's epistles as well, which is why Christians hold that those aspects of the law, which separated Jews from Gentiles, have ended now that Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ. However the overriding moral principles of, say, the Decalogue, remain in force, for they reflect God's eternal character and the way He has created man to function best.

If modern Christianity were less obsessed with the supernatural aspect of the "blood sacrifice" and aligning oneself with right wing causes, I think there would be less turmoil in the world.


So yes, Christians must keep the Laws which did not serve to separate out Jews from the rest of the world. But the keeping of those Laws is not something that earns us God's good favor, which is why I did not include it in the list of things by which we obtain the "free gift."

I get the notion, at times, that Christians believe that Jews and others who follow a religion that emphasizes doing the right thing, are doing so to please G-d, or "earn their salvation." In the case of Judaism, this is most definitely not the case. The Yom Kippur festival tells us that G-d WILL forgive, regardless our behavior.

NORM

RBerman
04-09-2014, 07:25 PM
Yet, the reliance on a "plan" of salvation seems like just that - earning God's approval. Just as strict adherence to the dietary and ritual laws were to the Jew up until after the Shoah.

We do need God's approval, one way or the other. Even if you think God forgives everyone, that's still true. The question is whether God has told us the terms of his own approval. According to the New Testament, the terms are the faith in Christ I described earlier.


I agree with you that Christians miss the boat when they reduce Christianity to "the plan of salvation" to the neglect of everything Jesus stood for. We Jews learned what was most important, but it took a horrible experience to evolve to that point.

I wish that were true. What is most important is accepting what God has said about Christ, not only as an example for men but also as a substitute before God.


If modern Christianity were less obsessed with the supernatural aspect of the "blood sacrifice" and aligning oneself with right wing causes, I think there would be less turmoil in the world.
Certainly if everyone agreed, there would be less turmoil. There would be less turmoil if everyone was less obsessed with left wing causes too, yes? God has promised a perfect future world, ruled by Jesus Christ, in which not only the man-caused turmoil, but all natural suffering, has ended.


I get the notion, at times, that Christians believe that Jews and others who follow a religion that emphasizes doing the right thing, are doing so to please G-d, or "earn their salvation." In the case of Judaism, this is most definitely not the case. The Yom Kippur festival tells us that G-d WILL forgive, regardless our behavior.
We went around this before in the other thread and found that your version of Judaism gets its ideas on this matter not from what God himself has said in the Bible, but from what various men subsequently said in the Talmud. It is not clear that universalism is an improvement on legalism. As with the mis-shapen version of Christianity I disowned upthread, the man who believes he's already been forgiven everything might be a terrible monster who has lost all incentive for moral behavior. Better to believe that your actions have eternal consequences.

whag
04-09-2014, 08:49 PM
It is not clear that universalism is an improvement on legalism.
As with the mis-shapen version of Christianity I disowned upthread, the man who believes he's already been forgiven everything might be a terrible monster who has lost all incentive for moral behavior.

That's a grotesque version of universalism. Universalism surely takes into account mental illness of that sort.

Universalism should be contextually understood. It's more the belief that specific belief isn't required to be saved. It doesn't say that pederasts will dine with Jesus.

You can be a Mormon or Muslim or atheist and not go to a place of everlasting punishment. That would more properly describe the belief.






Better to believe that your actions have eternal consequences.

Not necessarily. David knew that his actions had eternal consequences. Billions know this (as in, they profess to believe it).

Believing your actions don't have eternal consequences and concurrently loving your neighbor--that's impressive. There's bleakness behind the belief that eternal consequences are appropriate behavior motivators, religiously speaking. It just opens a can of worms about motivation. For instance, I'd rather think you don't cheat because it's not your style, not because someone will punish you for it later.

Doug Shaver
04-09-2014, 11:01 PM
Universalism should be contextually understood. It's more the belief that specific belief isn't required to be saved.
That is one way to explain universalism. I prefer to think of universalism as the belief that God wanted to save the entire world, had a plan for doing it, and the plan actually worked.

The Remonstrant
04-09-2014, 11:24 PM
As for Mark 9, in my estimation the passage is so thoroughly riddled with hyperbolic language that I find it difficult to understand why any should use it as a proof-text for unending torment. It would be much more promising for your view if Jesus had quoted Judith instead of Isaiah. This would pose a tremendous—dare I say insurmountable—problem to Protestant/evangelical advocates of annihilationism.

Regarding my annihilationist position, I personally do not wield Mark 9:43-47 as a proof-text for the annihilation of the unrighteous in my discussions of final punishment, though I can indeed appreciate Jesus' reference of Isaiah 66:24 (and will duly note it whenever it comes up, of course). The main thrust of the text is for disciples of Jesus to press into the Kingdom of God by all means necessary. The occasion for the discussion is Jesus' warning to his disciples not to set any stumbling blocks in the way of the vulnerable and humblest of his followers (cf. Matthew 18:1-14). It is a stern warning for disciples of Jesus to be watchful of their conduct something after the manner of Romans 14.


I would just as soon not have this thread about the core gospel issue of "what must I do to be saved?" become another casualty of digression into debating the merits of annihilationism compared to orthodox doctrines of Hell, so I'll simply say that by and large, Christians have not seen the hyperbolic language about cutting off of hands, etc., to be an obstacle to interpreting the end of Mark 9 as teaching ongoing torment.

Of course they wouldn't. The majority operated under the presupposition of the immortality of the soul (e.g., Athenagoras, Tertullian, Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin). If all persons are immortal, the only two options remaining for the Christian to consider are endless conscious torment (ECT) and eventual universal reconciliation (universalism). Final annihilation is thereby ruled out at the outset.

I will grant that Mark 9:43-47 and a small batch of texts in the New Testament may appear to teach unending torment when viewed through the lens of the soul's immortality, but I would question the very assumption driving the exegesis. No exegetical obstacle is insurmountable once we grant the notion that immortality is granted to all persons alike. However, it will do traditionalists no good to cite texts like Matthew 25:46 in order to substantiate the doctrine. The verse may be interpreted in accord with annihilationism or ECT. Naturally, when universal human immortality is assumed as an indubitable fact, one will be glad to find a convenient proof-text for everlasting torment via backward reasoning.

In any event, the point remains: If Jesus had quoted Judith instead of Isaiah (66:24) in Mark 9, traditionalists would have a tremendous proof-text for ECT. It just so happens he didn't reference Judith (and neither did any of the NT writers).


Woe to the nations that rise up against my people! The Lord Almighty will take vengeance on them in the day of judgment; fire and worms he will give to their flesh; they shall weep in pain for ever. (Judith 16:17 RSV)
I will simply leave it there (especially seeing as NormATive is doing a good job ignoring my responses addressing his concerns).

RBerman
04-10-2014, 06:33 AM
That's a grotesque version of universalism. Universalism surely takes into account mental illness of that sort. Universalism should be contextually understood. It's more the belief that specific belief isn't required to be saved. It doesn't say that pederasts will dine with Jesus. You can be a Mormon or Muslim or atheist and not go to a place of everlasting punishment. That would more properly describe the belief.
Where does the pederast end up, if not dining with Jesus, in your version of universalism? It sounds more like you are an inclusivist (some enjoy God's favor without faith) than a universalist (everyone, without exception, ultimately enjoys God's favor). And indeed, the Reformed Christian tradition has always had room for a limited inclusivism with regard to the mentally defective. See this example from the Westminster Confession (1646):


Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. (WCF 10:3)


Not necessarily. David knew that his actions had eternal consequences. Billions know this (as in, they profess to believe it). Believing your actions don't have eternal consequences and concurrently loving your neighbor--that's impressive. There's bleakness behind the belief that eternal consequences are appropriate behavior motivators, religiously speaking. It just opens a can of worms about motivation. For instance, I'd rather think you don't cheat because it's not your style, not because someone will punish you for it later.
It doesn't have to be either/or. It can be both/and. History shows that people can be highly motivated by the thought of eternal rewards-- so much so that sometimes their motivations have been manipulated by unscrupulous authorities. The New Testament regularly encourages believers to think in terms of eternal consequences.

whag
04-10-2014, 08:29 AM
Where does the pederast end up, if not dining with Jesus, in your version of universalism? It sounds more like you are an inclusivist (some enjoy God's favor without faith) than a universalist (everyone, without exception, ultimately enjoys God's favor). And indeed, the Reformed Christian tradition has always had room for a limited inclusivism with regard to the mentally defective. See this example from the Westminster Confession (1646):


Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. (WCF 10:3)

I'm not a theist, so I don't believe in universalism. I suspect the universalist believes pederasts get taught some lesson then become citizens of heaven. There's probably some supernatural effort made in that regard.

On saved elect infants, how nice. What about the unelect ones?



It doesn't have to be either/or. It can be both/and. History shows that people can be highly motivated by the thought of eternal rewards-- so much so that sometimes their motivations have been manipulated by unscrupulous authorities. The New Testament regularly encourages believers to think in terms of eternal consequences.

You should do works solely from your love to do them. You should avoid short changing a customer solely because that's part of your character, not because you think that act will have eternal consequences.

37818
04-10-2014, 12:18 PM
Norm,

". . . as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." -- John 1:12, 13. It is what God does for those who trust in Him believing in His Son who died on our behalf and rose from the dead. " . . . and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." -- Romans 10:9.

Jesus stated, this, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, . . . ." That by trusting in Him according to God's will, you will know.

John states it as being as simple as believing in God's Christ, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . ." -- 1 John 5:1. Remember it is God who does the new birth. Not our act of believing.

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, . . . " -- James 1:18.

". . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . " -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

Question?




"

RBerman
04-10-2014, 12:22 PM
On saved elect infants, how nice. What about the unelect ones?
Unknown whether there are any. If there are, the same happens to them as to all others not elect.


You should do works solely from your love to do them. You should avoid short changing a customer solely because that's part of your character, not because you think that act will have eternal consequences.

You are welcome to your opinion on the matter. For myself, I see no harm and some good from a system which encourages the desired behavior. Many people who speed in their cars will drive slowly in the presence of a policeman.

whag
04-10-2014, 12:41 PM
Unknown whether there are any. If there are, the same happens to them as to all others not elect.

You're unsure if there are any non-elect human beings?




You are welcome to your opinion on the matter. For myself, I see no harm and some good from a system which encourages the desired behavior. Many people who speed in their cars will drive slowly in the presence of a policeman.

It amounts to a negligible reduction in malfeasance, I would say. I also reiterate it's not the ideal motivation since it legitimizes a form of selfishness that derives from the extreme consequences.

37818
04-10-2014, 01:53 PM
On saved elect infants, how nice. What about the unelect ones?God is omniscient in these matters of election. Since it is God who elects.

"But Jesus called them , and said, Allow little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, [U]Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." -- Luke 18:16, 17. That is why we who are of age, must be born over (John 3:3), else we have no hope. Note the requirement!

whag
04-10-2014, 02:49 PM
God is omniscient in these matters of election. Since it is God who elects.

"But Jesus called them , and said, Allow little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, [U]Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." -- Luke 18:16, 17. That is why we who are of age, must be born over (John 3:3), else we have no hope. Note the requirement!

That's an obfuscation. The way you and RBerman have presented it renders "elect" meaningless.

RBerman
04-10-2014, 06:27 PM
You're unsure if there are any non-elect human beings?
You were asking about infants. I'm unsure whether there are any elect or non-elect infants. The Bible doesn't address the topic, which is why the Westminster Assembly did not either.


It amounts to a negligible reduction in malfeasance, I would say. I also reiterate it's not the ideal motivation since it legitimizes a form of selfishness that derives from the extreme consequences.

Certainly punishment is not the ideal motivation, but then we don't live in an ideal world. Perfect love casts out all fear. Not all self-interest is selfishness in the evil sense.

whag
04-10-2014, 07:35 PM
You were asking about infants. I'm unsure whether there are any elect or non-elect infants. The Bible doesn't address the topic, which is why the Westminster Assembly did not either.

They directly addressed the existence of elect kids:


Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. (WCF 10:3)

"Elect" has no meaning here. Did the assembly simply mean "dying infants"?

JimL
04-10-2014, 07:39 PM
I think that this question has been and continues to be misunderstood by many people, including myself for many years.

Years ago, I would have told you that being Born Again meant asking Jesus into your heart: a spiritual acceptance of Jesus as Messiah and Savior through his sacrifice on the Cross. Accepting such would invite The Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This, of course, must be preceded by repentance for past and present sinfulness, which I understood was innate - born into us because of Adam's "fall" from grace. Sometimes this is referred to as Original Sin.

Accepting the "free gift" would entitle you to a crown of jewels, and a room in Heaven, where the streets were paved in gold, and you would join a chorus of angels singing praises to the Godhead (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) forever and ever, Amen.

Not accepting this "free gift" would guarantee that you would spend eternity in Hell. At the time (I was raised Baptist), I believed that Hell was a physical place somewhere beneath the Earth's surface where lakes of fire (As a teenager, I imagined it as Magma) would burn the unrepentant for ever and ever.

Is this what you, dear Christian, think?

On the other hand, there are many people - Christians included - who understand the "Born Again" question of Nicodemus as more of an intellectual query rather than a magical formula. In other words, what Jesus was really saying was that you need to accept a turn about in your heart of hearts, and act in a way that embodies the intent of The Law. The Sermon on the Mount has Jesus turning familiar commandments made by Moses into a more modern interpretation.

For example:



And so on.

In other words, what is the purpose of the more apocalyptic version of Christianity? Why is that preferable to the more "down to earth" version of simply following Jesus' lead in how we live, think and relate to others? Do not both ways lead to a closer walk with G-d?

Also, why is there the need to be threatened with eternal punishment? If Jesus was intended to be a sacrifice for sins: , why didn't it take for everyone?

NORM
To be born again of the spirit, from my perspective, is a psychological metaphor. In other words it means to change your mind. Of course from the Christian perspective it simply means to believe as the Christians believe rather than what you have been taught to believe and in doing so you are promised a reward. We should all be born again in that we question the ideas, many of which are hurtful, that were impressed upon us in our naivete, and that includes Christians.

RBerman
04-10-2014, 08:52 PM
They directly addressed the existence of elect kids:

They were careful to specify the method by which elect infants are saved without saying how many there are. I agree that the wording seems to tilt toward there being at least some elect children, without saying whether all are elect.

whag
04-11-2014, 06:12 AM
They were careful to specify the method by which elect infants are saved without saying how many there are.

That's a backpeddle. Now you're saying they acknowledged elect kids but didn't say the exact number of them.

It's still confusing.


I agree that the wording seems to tilt toward there being at least some elect children, without saying whether all are elect.

So the question now is what would happen to an unelect/unappointed baby. What's the Calvinist position on that?

NormATive
04-11-2014, 05:58 PM
We do need God's approval, one way or the other. Even if you think God forgives everyone, that's still true. The question is whether God has told us the terms of his own approval. According to the New Testament, the terms are the faith in Christ I described earlier.

I don't think anyone needs approval from their deity. I think that we create this notion in our minds because we've inherited thousands of years of collective guilt from our shamans and religious aristocracy. We are only accountable to each other. I think that is the direction religion / philosophy ought to trend.




What is most important is accepting what God has said about Christ, not only as an example for men but also as a substitute before God.

I don't think we should rely on only what is written in some book to inform human society. There is experience and listening to other cultures / people. I think we fail to grow and evolve if we are narrowly focused on just one perspective.



Certainly if everyone agreed, there would be less turmoil. There would be less turmoil if everyone was less obsessed with left wing causes too, yes? God has promised a perfect future world, ruled by Jesus Christ, in which not only the man-caused turmoil, but all natural suffering, has ended.

I seriously doubt the answer is some form of theocracy, either from the right or the left.



We went around this before in the other thread and found that your version of Judaism gets its ideas on this matter not from what God himself has said in the Bible, but from what various men subsequently said in the Talmud.

Well, in the Reformed community, there is little emphasis on the origin of wisdom, and (hint) the words of the Tanakh also come from various men.


It is not clear that universalism is an improvement on legalism. As with the mis-shapen version of Christianity I disowned upthread, the man who believes he's already been forgiven everything might be a terrible monster who has lost all incentive for moral behavior. Better to believe that your actions have eternal consequences.

If it takes threats from a deity to inspire you to do the right thing, then I fear you most of all!!

NORM

whag
04-12-2014, 10:53 AM
If it takes threats from a deity to inspire you to do the right thing, then I fear you most of all!!

NORM

I'd actually wager RBerman's an exemplary citizen. I'm more saddened by his bleak view than I am fearful. Religion told him that God sends unelect babies to hell. =\


This must cause unneccessary conflict in his thought processes. How could it not?

NormATive
04-12-2014, 01:12 PM
Religion told him that God sends unelect babies to hell.

I don't think he truly believes that. I don't think anyone - in their heart of hearts - believes that for one minute.

NORM

whag
04-12-2014, 01:43 PM
I don't think he truly believes that. I don't think anyone - in their heart of hearts - believes that for one minute.

NORM

That reformed authorities go about fathoming eternally forsaken babies boggles my mind.
If there are elect babies then there are unelect ones. what's the point of the adjective if not to specify one's destiny?

I'm sad and slightly creeped out by this view, but I do not fear RBerman.

RBerman
04-12-2014, 03:25 PM
That's a backpeddle. Now you're saying they acknowledged elect kids but didn't say the exact number of them. It's still confusing.

The matter cannot help but be uncertain when it's not addressed by the Bible. We can extrapolate and guess but should hold our views lightly in that circumstance, which I think is what they were trying to with their wording.


So the question now is what would happen to an unelect/unappointed baby. What's the Calvinist position on that?
The fate of all unelect persons is the same. They are punished for their sins in Hell.


That reformed authorities go about fathoming eternally forsaken babies boggles my mind. If there are elect babies then there are unelect ones. what's the point of the adjective if not to specify one's destiny?

We each believe according to the authorities we trust. If you have biblical grounds to present that I should believe differently than I do, I'm happy to hear them. I have no personal stake that requires anything in particular of unelect people just for my own sake.


I'm sad and slightly creeped out by this view, but I do not fear RBerman.
Well, good!

RBerman
04-12-2014, 03:35 PM
I don't think anyone needs approval from their deity. I think that we create this notion in our minds because we've inherited thousands of years of collective guilt from our shamans and religious aristocracy. We are only accountable to each other. I think that is the direction religion / philosophy ought to trend.

Your belief on this matter is exactly the sort of thinking found in men throughout the Bible, to their detriment. There's nothing new under the sun. The very first sin was imagining that God's instructions can be disregarded with impunity.


I don't think we should rely on only what is written in some book to inform human society. There is experience and listening to other cultures / people. I think we fail to grow and evolve if we are narrowly focused on just one perspective.
If I thought the Bible was just "some book" I would probably agree with you.


I seriously doubt the answer is some form of theocracy, either from the right or the left.

The problem of civil government among fallible men is not going to be solved until Jesus comes back to claim his throne. Telling him that he is a meanie is not going to go very far then.


Well, in the Reformed community, there is little emphasis on the origin of wisdom, and (hint) the words of the Tanakh also come from various men.

The words of God in the Tanakh did come through men, but God's Word is inerrant and authoritative, whereas commentaries on it, like the Talmud, are only valuable to the extent that they comport with it.


If it takes threats from a deity to inspire you to do the right thing, then I fear you most of all!!

Then you must walk the streets quite frightened; most people for most of history have at root a belief similar to mine.

I don't think he truly believes that. I don't think anyone - in their heart of hearts - believes that for one minute.
This sounds like projection of your own belief.

NormATive
04-13-2014, 06:14 PM
Your belief on this matter is exactly the sort of thinking found in men throughout the Bible, to their detriment. There's nothing new under the sun. The very first sin was imagining that God's instructions can be disregarded with impunity.

I have no "belief" on anything. If you notice, I always use the word "think." Belief is too restrictive for our limited capacity for understanding. I see new things under the sun every day. I can only evaluate things from my perspective, so if it is new to me, it is new under the sun.

As far as this being to my detriment - well, I live a far more fulfilled life than when I was restricted by my religious superstition.



If I thought the Bible was just "some book" I would probably agree with you.

What makes you think the Bible is divine?




The problem of civil government among fallible men is not going to be solved until Jesus comes back to claim his throne. Telling him that he is a meanie is not going to go very far then.

I think the good old USA is a pretty rockin' place, and it is a "civil government." I've lived in countries that are theocracies - it isn't a pretty sight.




The words of God in the Tanakh did come through men, but God's Word is inerrant and authoritative, whereas commentaries on it, like the Talmud, are only valuable to the extent that they comport with it.

That's your opinion. If you choose to worship a book, more power to you! You remind me of the Hasidim who think that the Tanakh (but only in its original ancient Paleo-Hebrew text) was HAND WRITTEN by G-d himself! The most amazing thing about this is that barely anyone knows how to read it!!!!

It would be just as valid for me to say that the words of the Talmud are "inspired." Some consider Shammai and Hillel "near to the heart of G-d." So...




...you must walk the streets quite frightened; most people for most of history have at root a belief similar to mine.

On the contrary - I haven't encountered anyone who truly believes that their god will punish them for doing something wrong (except in the aforementioned theocracies). Most people think that they are good people, and so - if they believe in a god - are deserving of Heaven (or whatever). I intentionally ask people, just so you know. So, I am not assuming this.

NORM

RBerman
04-14-2014, 07:39 AM
As far as this being to my detriment - well, I live a far more fulfilled life than when I was restricted by my religious superstition.
I have no doubt that it seems that way to you from your current horizon.


What makes you think the Bible is divine?
The doctrine of Scripture takes a while to discuss in detail, but in brief, various books of the Bible treat other specific books as "Scripture" and/or the "Word of God." The Old Testament canon enjoyed broad consensus by Jesus' day, and with a few exceptions, the New Testament canon also enjoyed relatively rapid consolidation as to which books did and did not belong in it. If you want to know more about that, I can point you to some resources.


I think the good old USA is a pretty rockin' place, and it is a "civil government." I've lived in countries that are theocracies - it isn't a pretty sight.
I agree that modern theocracies are not the solution. As I said, there won't be a great solution until Jesus comes back.


That's your opinion. If you choose to worship a book, more power to you! You remind me of the Hasidim who think that the Tanakh (but only in its original ancient Paleo-Hebrew text) was HAND WRITTEN by G-d himself! The most amazing thing about this is that barely anyone knows how to read it!!!!
I can see why one person who takes the Bible seriously will remind you of another person who does as well. The Bible does speak of a couple of places where God wrote "with his own hand," but the Christian doctrine of the Bible's inspiration is more nuanced than that.


For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:16-21)


It would be just as valid for me to say that the words of the Talmud are "inspired." Some consider Shammai and Hillel "near to the heart of G-d." So...
To say that the words are "inspired by God" (Greek theopneustos) is, literally, to say that they were "breathed out by God." That is, the words should be treated as coming from the mouth of God; they are inerrant, infallible, and authoritative-- they must be followed, not judged or challenged. Are you willing to give the Talmud that sort of power in your life? If so, then yes, you do treat the Talmud as "inspired." If not, then not.


On the contrary - I haven't encountered anyone who truly believes that their god will punish them for doing something wrong (except in the aforementioned theocracies). Most people think that they are good people, and so - if they believe in a god - are deserving of Heaven (or whatever). I intentionally ask people, just so you know. So, I am not assuming this.
That depends on how you frame the question. Here (http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-08-01-hell-damnation_N.htm) is an article discussing poll results that 59% of Americans believe in Hell, presumably meaning a Hell that is not empty of people who are being punished for their sins. If you ask people, "Has anyone been bad enough that they deserve punishment in Hell?" most people will assent. If you ask those same people if they think that they have been bad enough to go to Hell, the results will be substantially less affirmative. We operate on a double standard; we want justice for others, but mercy for ourselves. This is partly because both of those are good impulses. There is such a thing as justice, i.e. punishment for sin. We know it, deep down. But we also long for mercy. God answered that desire by coming himself, incarnating as Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for sin upon himself. What an incredible act of love! If someone offers to rescue you, and you refuse, whose fault is that?

whag
04-14-2014, 01:42 PM
The matter cannot help but be uncertain when it's not addressed by the Bible. We can extrapolate and guess but should hold our views lightly in that circumstance, which I think is what they were trying to with their wording.


First you said they don't take a position on elect infants. Clearly they do.


What's the value of holding the belief that "elect" infants are saved ? It would seem to be a meaningless tautology, since election guarantees salvation.




The fate of all unelect persons is the same. They are punished for their sins in Hell.

That's precisely why I brought up unelect infants. If there are elect infants, then there are unelect ones. If they are unelect, what sins are they punished for?




We each believe according to the authorities we trust. If you have biblical grounds to present that I should believe differently than I do, I'm happy to hear them. I have no personal stake that requires anything in particular of unelect people just for my own sake.

I don't think you have a personal stake in this, but you did introduce a problem with the reformed position. First, you incorrectly claimed they don't say whether elect and unelect infants exist. After I pointed out they do take a position, you said they don't specify the number of elect. Who said anything about the number?

Elect infants implies there are unelect babies. You see why this is curious?

RBerman
04-14-2014, 03:46 PM
First you said they don't take a position on elect infants. Clearly they do. What's the value of holding the belief that "elect" infants are saved ? It would seem to be a meaningless tautology, since election guarantees salvation.
The fact that you're reading it as a tautology is a clue that you're reading it wrong; they wouldn't have bothered to say "red is red." An expanded version of the brief sentence would mean some thing like, "If infants can be elect, then they can be saved, like all other elect people." If I say, "unicorns are horselike creatures with a single horn," I'm describing what unicorns would be like, if they existed. You might have to read my other works to know if I think they exist, though. And if you read the other works of the men who crafted the Westminster Confession, you'll find a diversity of views. Some may have believed that all infants who die are elect and thus saved. Some believed that only the children of Christians, dying in infancy, were elect. Or any of a number of other possible variations on similar themes.


That's precisely why I brought up unelect infants. If there are elect infants, then there are unelect ones. If they are unelect, what sins are they punished for?
The sin of rebelling against God in their hearts.


Elect infants implies there are unelect babies.
Possibly, but not necessarily. The chosen wording was intended to leave either option open, though it leans toward affirming the premise by implication.

NormATive
04-14-2014, 07:14 PM
Whag: ...If there are elect infants, then there are unelect ones. If they are unelect, what sins are they punished for?


The sin of rebelling against God in their hearts.

That's just creepy.

Are you familiar with Mr. Pennywise?

NORM

NormATive
04-14-2014, 07:32 PM
The doctrine of Scripture takes a while to discuss in detail, but in brief, various books of the Bible treat other specific books as "Scripture" and/or the "Word of God." The Old Testament canon enjoyed broad consensus by Jesus' day, and with a few exceptions, the New Testament canon also enjoyed relatively rapid consolidation as to which books did and did not belong in it.

Old men picking books. This says "inspired" to you?



I agree that modern theocracies are not the solution. As I said, there won't be a great solution until Jesus comes back.

In the meantime, I think our civil society is pretty cool.



the words [of the Bible] should be treated as coming from the mouth of God; they are inerrant, infallible, and authoritative-- they must be followed, not judged or challenged. Are you willing to give the Talmud that sort of power in your life? If so, then yes, you do treat the Talmud as "inspired." If not, then not.

As I said, books are written by men and women and from their own perspective. I don't believe in "divine writing" (you can dance around this term all you like, but when you say things like "they are inerrant, infallible, and authoritative - they must be followed, not judged or challenged," I find that very frightening. On the old T-Web there was a lengthy thread that went deeply into this subject. Those who described the Bible in the terms you just used had no problem killing innocent babies should their scripture instruct them so.



59% of Americans believe in Hell, presumably meaning a Hell that is not empty of people who are being punished for their sins. If you ask people, "Has anyone been bad enough that they deserve punishment in Hell?" most people will assent. If you ask those same people if they think that they have been bad enough to go to Hell, the results will be substantially less affirmative. We operate on a double standard; we want justice for others, but mercy for ourselves. This is partly because both of those are good impulses. There is such a thing as justice, i.e. punishment for sin. We know it, deep down. But we also long for mercy. God answered that desire by coming himself, incarnating as Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for sin upon himself. What an incredible act of love! If someone offers to rescue you, and you refuse, whose fault is that?

I did not create a survey or a poll. I sat down individually, alone with each person and questioned them on their beliefs. When you hammer down to what they REALLY believe in their hearts, not too many people will admit that they think their deity will punish them for their sins.

When asked if there were any certain types of people who they believe could be sent to eternal punishment by a deity, nearly all at first said "murderers." When asked if that would include those who murdered for their government, the issue became a little cloudier.

So, what it tells me is that most people are very relativistic in their religious views. They are quick to back-peddle on dogma when the situation is not so clear cut. So, when I hear all these theories and doctrines being staunchly defended by religious proponents, I have to chuckle to myself a bit.

You guys are more like me than you would like to think!

NORM

whag
04-15-2014, 07:51 AM
The fact that you're reading it as a tautology is a clue that you're reading it wrong; they wouldn't have bothered to say "red is red." An expanded version of the brief sentence would mean some thing like, "If infants can be elect, then they can be saved, like all other elect people." If I say, "unicorns are horselike creatures with a single horn," I'm describing what unicorns would be like, if they existed. You might have to read my other works to know if I think they exist, though. And if you read the other works of the men who crafted the Westminster Confession, you'll find a diversity of views. Some may have believed that all infants who die are elect and thus saved. Some believed that only the children of Christians, dying in infancy, were elect. Or any of a number of other possible variations on similar themes.

What would election sans salvation look like?



The sin of rebelling against God in their hearts.

I'm still not understanding how a baby rebels against God in her heart.



Possibly, but not necessarily. The chosen wording was intended to leave either option open, though it leans toward affirming the premise by implication.

To reiterate, what would election entail if not salvation?

RBerman
04-15-2014, 08:42 AM
That's just creepy.

Are you familiar with Mr. Pennywise?

I am not. Are you familiar with ad hominem? "Creepy" is not an argument; it generally just marks an idea that is unsettling by virtue of being unfamiliar.

whag
04-15-2014, 09:06 AM
I am not. Are you familiar with ad hominem? "Creepy" is not an argument; it generally just marks an idea that is unsettling by virtue of being unfamiliar.

Creepy isn't the best adjective to describe the punishment of babies for rebellion in their hearts. What adjective would you choose to describe it?

RBerman
04-15-2014, 11:21 AM
Creepy isn't the best adjective to describe the punishment of babies for rebellion in their hearts. What adjective would you choose to describe it?

I've never felt the need to apply an adjective to it. How about "biblical"?

whag
04-15-2014, 11:48 AM
I've never felt the need to apply an adjective to it. How about "biblical"?

The bible says babies will be punished for rebelling against God in their hearts?

RBerman
04-16-2014, 05:43 PM
The bible says babies will be punished for rebelling against God in their hearts?

Not directly. The Bible says that people rebel against God, and it treats babies as people.

whag
04-17-2014, 05:15 AM
Not directly. The Bible says that people rebel against God, and it treats babies as people.

I thought that's where you were going with this. Babies deserve eternal punishment because they, like all adults, rage against God in their hearts.

RBerman
04-17-2014, 06:04 AM
I thought that's where you were going with this. Babies deserve eternal punishment because they, like all adults, rage against God in their hearts.

You were correct. You sound skeptical. On what biblical grounds?

whag
04-17-2014, 07:46 AM
You were correct. You sound skeptical. On what biblical grounds?

I have no biblical grounds for my skepticism of the belief that God torments unelect babies. Have that discussion with Arminians, not skeptics.

I once saw Dee Dee said something to the effect of "we don't know if all babies go to heaven," but it was in a forum where I couldn't respond. I was hoping someone would later clarify if this was something Christians believed on biblical grounds. Thank you for clearing it up.

RBerman
04-17-2014, 08:25 AM
I have no biblical grounds for my skepticism of the belief that God torments unelect babies. Have that discussion with Arminians, not skeptics. I once saw Dee Dee said something to the effect of "we don't know if all babies go to heaven," but it was in a forum where I couldn't respond. I was hoping someone would later clarify if this was something Christians believed on biblical grounds. Thank you for clearing it up.

You are welcome!

NormATive
04-17-2014, 07:36 PM
"Creepy" is not an argument; it generally just marks an idea that is unsettling by virtue of being unfamiliar.

No, it's creepy to believe that babies go to hell for rebelling against G-d in their hearts.

NORM

RBerman
04-17-2014, 09:21 PM
"Creepy" is not an argument; it generally just marks an idea that is unsettling by virtue of being unfamiliar.
No, it's creepy to believe that babies go to hell for rebelling against G-d in their hearts.
Despite your "No," You're not contradicting what I said. You're just demonstrating how my comment applies to you. You find my belief unfamiliar and unsettling, but do you have any biblical reason for disputing it, or are you just going to appeal to the Talmud as an authority which renders the Bible moot?

NormATive
04-18-2014, 09:37 PM
Despite your "No," You're not contradicting what I said. You're just demonstrating how my comment applies to you. You find my belief unfamiliar and unsettling, but do you have any biblical reason for disputing it, or are you just going to appeal to the Talmud as an authority which renders the Bible moot?

I don't take direction from ancient books, including the Talmud. I can glean wisdom from them sometimes, but not always, and certainly not every single word.

Morality is community based - the community you are in at the present determines what is socially acceptable, not some book written thousands of years ago when human life was not valued.

If we only got our moral compass from the Bible, women would have to remain subservient to men, homosexuality and mental illness would be the result of sinfulness, slavery would be acceptable and babies would go to hell.

NORM

Darth Xena
04-18-2014, 09:48 PM
Morality is community based - the community you are in at the present determines what is socially acceptable, not some book written thousands of years ago when human life was not valued.




If we only got our moral compass from the Bible, women would have to remain subservient to men, homosexuality and mental illness would be the result of sinfulness, slavery would be acceptable and babies would go to hell.


Am I the only one seeing the cognitive dissonance between these two statements?

whag
04-18-2014, 09:56 PM
Am I the only one seeing the cognitive dissonance between these two statements?

Probably, yes.

You should be examining your own contradictory beliefs. There's plenty of friction in the belief that babies get punished with fire.

Paprika
04-18-2014, 09:59 PM
Am I the only one seeing the cognitive dissonance between these two statements?
Nope. NormAtive wants to have his cake and eat it - that is, pick and choose the bits and understandings of the Tanakh that he likes.

Darth Xena
04-18-2014, 10:00 PM
Umm let me see if I could care any less about your fixation ....

----strains-----

Nope. I can't.

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:01 PM
Am I the only one seeing the cognitive dissonance between these two statements?

I don't understand what you mean, DeeDee. Unless you are using a different definition of "dissonance." The point is that community standards and morals evolve with human understanding. Living "by the book" is static and unwielding.

NORM

Darth Xena
04-18-2014, 10:02 PM
Nope. NormAtive wants to have his cake and eat it - that is, pick and choose the bits and understandings of the Tanakh that he likes.

What I found interesting is his claim that society determines morality and then gave examples of what he thinks are objectively wrong... First LOL and what things were in his view..... What society said was right!

Paprika
04-18-2014, 10:03 PM
What I found interesting is his claim that society determines morality and then gave examples of what he thinks are objectively wrong... First LOL and what things were in his view..... What society said was right!
That's what they all do :haha:

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:03 PM
Nope. NormAtive wants to have his cake and eat it - that is, pick and choose the bits and understandings of the Tanakh that he likes.

Exactly. What is the problem with that? I like the action scenes in Moby Dick, but could care less about Ishmael's whining.

NORM

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:05 PM
I wish Christians WOULD pick and choose. Then you wouldn't have to teach that babies should go to hell.

NORM

Paprika
04-18-2014, 10:06 PM
Exactly. What is the problem with that? I like the action scenes in Moby Dick, but could care less about Ishmael's whining.
You say that living by the book is "static and unwielding [sic]". My retort would be that your approach just suffices to confirm what you approve of; anything new will be accepted only if you approve of it. It's rather arbitrary.

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:07 PM
What I found interesting is his claim that society determines morality and then gave examples of what he thinks are objectively wrong... First LOL and what things were in his view..... What society said was right!

Again, I don't see what the problem is. We all have the capability to determine right and wrong. We shouldn't need a book to figure it out.

NORM

Darth Xena
04-18-2014, 10:11 PM
Keep digging....

You won't have to think back too far for a society that said things were right that were objectively evil. You can't say that.

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:12 PM
You say that living by the book is "static and unwielding [sic]". My retort would be that your approach just suffices to confirm what you approve of; anything new will be accepted only if you approve of it. It's rather arbitrary.

First, it's "i" before "e" or when sounded like "a" as in neighbor and weigh.

You're pretty sharp their, sailor. You comprehend very well. I can make up my own mind about what is right and wrong. It's what makes us all adults.

NORM

whag
04-18-2014, 10:14 PM
Keep digging....

You won't have to think back too far for a society that said things were right that were objectively evil. You can't say that.

Like killing babies in war?

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:15 PM
Keep digging....

You won't have to think back too far for a society that said things were right that were objectively evil. You can't say that.

Precisely. You are making my argument for me. Because we use reason and intellect to figure things out as we go along, we can change our behavior for the better.

NORM

Paprika
04-18-2014, 10:15 PM
First, it's "i" before "e" or when sounded like "a" as in neighbor and weigh.

I do believe it's "unwieldy" and not "unwielding" :ahem:

Your pretty sharp their, sailor. You comprehend very well. I can make up my own mind about what is right and wrong. It's what makes us all adults.

Right. So if a society decides that slavery is okay, on what basis do you judge it wrong? Why on earth should your opinion matter ?

Paprika
04-18-2014, 10:17 PM
Precisely. You are making my argument for me. Because we use reason and intellect to figure things out as we go along, we can change our behavior for the better.
Of course, human nature is such that we're going to have a evolution towards a moral utopia. :lmbo:

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:18 PM
Of course, human nature is such that we're going to have a evolution towards a moral utopia. :lmbo:

Why should we not try?

NORM

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:21 PM
Shalom: Olam Ha-Ba

NORM

Paprika
04-18-2014, 10:22 PM
Why should we not try?
The atrocities committed by so many "enlightened" societies, many explicitly attempting a form of utopia, should give us pause.

NormATive
04-18-2014, 10:36 PM
The atrocities committed by so many "enlightened" societies, many explicitly attempting a form of utopia, should give us pause.

But, the point is that we learned from those mistakes AND CHANGED rather than wait for our deity to tell us it was wrong.

NORM

Paprika
04-18-2014, 10:40 PM
But, the point is that we learned from those mistakes AND CHANGED
Who is this "we" you're speaking of? Collective humankind? :rofl:

JimL
04-18-2014, 10:48 PM
I do believe it's "unwieldy" and not "unwielding" :ahem:

Right. So if a society decides that slavery is okay, on what basis do you judge it wrong? Why on earth should your opinion matter ?
Opinion doesn't matter, unless its based upon sound reasoning. Would you like to be a slave? No? Then it is wrong for you. So if it is wrong for you then it can't also be right. Societies that decide it is right then are of the wrong opinion.

whag
04-19-2014, 07:11 AM
Who is this "we" you're speaking of? Collective humankind? :rofl:

A great example of collective humankind improving is in the area of reproduction. As women gain control of their reproduction, quality of life improves.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies

The data shows no correlation between religion and reproduction. IOW, no matter what religion a family is, if the mother has access to birth control, she'll use it. The big problem is the poorer regions where conservative Christians have enough of an influence to demonize birth control.

So yeah collective humankind is actually doing okay with respect to lifting the floor of poverty. It should "give you pause" that theists, not atheists, are against that.

NormATive
04-19-2014, 06:31 PM
Who is this "we" you're speaking of? Collective humankind? :rofl:

Why do you hate humanity so much? Is this what your god has taught you?

NORM

Paprika
04-19-2014, 07:42 PM
Why do you hate humanity so much?
:rofl:

NormATive
04-19-2014, 08:23 PM
Paprika, if all you can add is sarcasm, incorrect grammatical analyses and smiley faces, rather than seriously addressing the issues, I would ask that you no longer post on this thread.

You aren't adding anything constructive to the conversation, and force everyone to just scroll past your posts or place you on ignore.

Thanks,

NORM

Doug Shaver
04-19-2014, 09:06 PM
First, it's "i" before "e" [except after "c"] or when sounded like "a" as in neighbor and weigh.

Not always. Ancient heifers know that neither efficient financiers nor surfeited scientific foreigners seize nor forfeit their weird counterfeit heights leisurely.

Tassman
04-19-2014, 10:09 PM
The atrocities committed by so many "enlightened" societies, many explicitly attempting a form of utopia, should give us pause.

Pause yes, despair no!

Steven Pinker in his ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined’ makes the point that: “Today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence"... He shows that "despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history". Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world. From the product description!

Paprika
04-19-2014, 11:33 PM
Pause yes, despair no!

Agreed. I don't deny that people can or do learn from the past what I am rather suspicious of is the idea of inevitable progress toward a (moral) utopia.

RBerman
04-20-2014, 04:40 AM
Pause yes, despair no!

Steven Pinker in his ‘The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined’ makes the point that: “Today we may be living in the most peaceful moment in our species' existence"... He shows that "despite the ceaseless news about war, crime, and terrorism, violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history". Exploding myths about humankind's inherent violence and the curse of modernity this ambitious book continues Pinker's exploration of the essence of human nature, mixing psychology and history to provide a remarkable picture of an increasingly enlightened world. From the product description!

Glass half empty, glass half full. Tell it to the victims of Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, etc.

whag
04-20-2014, 07:44 AM
Agreed. I don't deny that people can or do learn from the past what I am rather suspicious of is the idea of inevitable progress toward a (moral) utopia.

Utopia is the Christian idea. Eden was to be the utopia, but the Bible describes that the first couple couldn't even manage it. How then were thousands of resulting generations to do it? Even the second generation was already committing fratricide and vigilanteism. Is that a myth?


Education and reproductive control (responsible family planning) won't achieve moral utopia, but simply increase happiness and quality of life. Belief in utopia is as naive today as it was in Eden (if you believe Eden was literal).

Paprika
04-20-2014, 08:11 AM
Utopia is the Christian idea. Eden was to be the utopia, but the Bible describes that the first couple couldn't even manage it. How then were thousands of resulting generations to do it? Even the second generation was already committing fratricide and vigilanteism. Is that a myth?


Education and reproductive control (responsible family planning) won't achieve moral utopia, but simply increase happiness and quality of life. Belief in utopia is as naive today as it was in Eden (if you believe Eden was literal).
Belief in utopia isn't naive. What's naive is the belief that man can by man's own effort accomplish utopia on earth which many Marxists and members of other groups believed last century. That turned out pretty well.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 08:37 AM
It is an truth, inconvenient for many, that the Marxists - a great majority atheiests - looked at history, thought they knew what was wrong, and they knew what to do; they knew how to "progress" towards a utopia, to make it happen on earth. The results were as expected.

JimL
04-20-2014, 09:19 AM
Belief in utopia isn't naive. What's naive is the belief that man can by man's own effort accomplish utopia on earth which many Marxists and members of other groups believed last century. That turned out pretty well.
Utopia isn't the point, man by his very nature will suffer to a certain extent, but man can by his own efforts make a better world for himself to live in. For examples of this just look at the differences within different existing cultures.

whag
04-20-2014, 09:24 AM
Belief in utopia isn't naive.

Yes, it is naive. Eden was supposed to be that utopia. The first couple couldn't even hack it, according to your myth. The second generation was already murdering. Do you believe this was a myth?


What's naive is the belief that man can by man's own effort accomplish utopia on earth which many Marxists and members of other groups believed last century. That turned out pretty well.

Utopia isn't possible given our biology. We are Imperfect primates, like all animals. What IS possible is increasing education (all despots are against that) and lowering poverty (despots love ghettos) through responsible family planning, something mainly conservative Abrahamic theists are against. You keep ignoring that for a reason.

whag
04-20-2014, 09:27 AM
Utopia isn't the point, man by his very nature will suffer to a certain extent, but man can by his own efforts make a better world for himself to live in. For examples of this just look at the differences within different existing cultures.

That's exactly right. Pap is a binary thinker, so she thinks the only acceptable non theistic society would be have to be Utopia, which is a strawman.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 09:29 AM
Yes, it is naive. Eden was supposed to be that utopia. The first couple couldn't even hack it, according to your myth. The second generation was already murdering. Do you believe this was a myth?
Of course it's a myth in the technical sense. But I know what you're asking, and yes, I do believe it's true.


Utopia isn't possible given our biology. We are Imperfect primates, like all animals. What IS possible is increasing education (all despots are against that) and lowering poverty (despots love ghettos) through responsible family planning, something mainly conservative Abrahamic theists are against. You keep ignoring that for a reason.
I would be interested to see actual data demonstrating that. Taking 'conservative' in a theological sense, I am a conservative Abrahamic theist and those in my country generally aren't against responsible family planning, so I really don't get where you're coming from.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 09:30 AM
That's exactly right. Pap is a binary thinker, so she thinks the only acceptable non theistic society would be have to be Utopia, which is a strawman.
:lolo:
I've never said that.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 09:30 AM
Utopia isn't the point, man by his very nature will suffer to a certain extent, but man can by his own efforts make a better world for himself to live in. For examples of this just look at the differences within different existing cultures.
As I said to Tassman: "Agreed. I don't deny that people can or do learn from the past; what I am rather suspicious of is the idea of inevitable progress toward a (moral) utopia".

whag
04-20-2014, 09:46 AM
Of course it's a myth in the technical sense. But I know what you're asking, and yes, I do believe it's true.

True in the sense Adam and Eve were the first people?



I would be interested to see actual data demonstrating that. Taking 'conservative' in a theological sense, I am a conservative Abrahamic theist and those in my country generally aren't against responsible family planning, so I really don't get where you're coming from.

I already did, but you didn't acknowledge it.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies

So you acknowledge the vast data that education and family planning lift the floor of poverty? Who opposes birth control other than the dogmatic? Certain atheists don't.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 09:52 AM
True in the sense Adam and Eve were the first people?
I take it as true that there was a first couple.



I already did, but you didn't acknowledge it.
Right, I'm not interested in arguments by weblinks.


Who opposes birth control other than the dogmatic? Certain atheists don't.
Right, certain atheists don't. Which theists do? And what's the proportion of theists that do?

whag
04-20-2014, 10:07 AM
I take it as true that there was a first couple.

Do you take it as true they were the first people?



Right, I'm not interested in arguments by weblinks.

You should be interested in data that shows family planning lowers poverty. Perhaps you already know that?



Right, certain atheists don't. Which theists do? And what's the proportion of theists that do?

Enough of a proportion of Christians are against it to slow the spread of reproductive freedom in parts of the world most in need of it. Ever heard of Mother Theresa?

Paprika
04-20-2014, 10:09 AM
Do you take it as true they were the first people?
Yes.


You should be interested in data that shows family planning lowers poverty. Perhaps you already know that?
Yes.


Ever heard of Mother Theresa?
Yes.

whag
04-20-2014, 10:23 AM
Yes.

Who did Cain marry?


Yes.

So we know the solution for greater happiness, yet only a large group of theists--not atheists--oppose it. Climate change measures are similarly opposed by religionists, not atheists. That should "give you pause."



Yes.

Then surely you're aware she exacerbated poverty being against family planning options.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 10:30 AM
Who did Cain marry?
Likely a sister.


So we know the solution for greater happiness, yet only a large group of theists--not atheists--oppose it. Climate change measures are similarly opposed by religionists, not atheists. That should "give you pause."
Now would be a perfect time for you to produce statistics to demonstrate this.



Then surely you're aware she exacerbated poverty being against family planning options.
Do tell.

whag
04-20-2014, 10:44 AM
Likely a sister.

Likely? What other option would there be besides incest?


Now would be a perfect time for you to produce statistics to demonstrate this.

You're not interested in stats. When I present them, you call it argument by web link.



Do tell.

Figure it out. You just acknowledged family planning decreases poverty. Mother Theresa opposed family planning on religious grounds. Name some atheists who oppose family planning.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 10:55 AM
Likely? What other option would there be besides incest?

Indeed.


You're not interested in stats. When I present them, you call it argument by web link.
A hyperlink is not statistics :ahem:



Figure it out. You just acknowledged family planning decreases poverty. Mother Theresa opposed family planning on religious grounds.
She opposed certain forms of family planning, if I recall correctly. Not all forms.


Name some atheists who oppose family planning.
What on earth for?

whag
04-20-2014, 11:08 AM
Indeed.

Well there's a nice view. I bet that goes over well when you evangelize.



A hyperlink is not statistics :ahem:

So I don't waste my time, would statistics showing that climate change denialists are mostly religious and not atheist make a difference?



She opposed certain forms of family planning, if I recall correctly. Not all forms.

She opposed artificial means, the only forms that work. Married couples, especially in third world countries, have lots of sex, so the rhythm method isn't effective.



What on earth for?

Because you can't. Whereas showing religious groups who *do* oppose artificial family planning is a doddle. =)

Paprika
04-20-2014, 11:13 AM
Well there's a nice view. I bet that goes over well when you evangelize.

Swimmingly.



So I don't waste my time, would statistics showing that climate change denialists are mostly religious and not atheist make a difference?
If you don't want to show statistics of theists who oppose family planning, why should I take you seriously?


She opposed artificial means, the only forms that work. Married couples, especially in third world countries, have lots of sex, so the rhythm method isn't effective.

Well, it's their choice to have lots of sex, isn't it?


Because you can't. Whereas showing religious groups who *do* oppose artificial family planning is a doddle. =)
Right.

JimL
04-20-2014, 01:34 PM
As I said to Tassman: "Agreed. I don't deny that people can or do learn from the past; what I am rather suspicious of is the idea of inevitable progress toward a (moral) utopia".
So you agree that man can create a better world for himself but not a perfect world. And? Sorry I have not been following this thread, but whats your point?

37818
04-20-2014, 07:54 PM
That's an obfuscation. The way you and RBerman have presented it renders "elect" meaningless.In your view. The election is God's. Only those who profess to be of the faith can make sure of their election. (see 2 Peter 1:4-11.) (see also 2 Corinthians 13:5; [Romans 8:9; 1 John 5:9-13.])

The phenomena being the perishing cannot understand truth of the gospel correctly (see 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

NormATive
04-20-2014, 07:54 PM
Interesting discussion, but it kind of strays from the subject of this thread; what is the formula for salvation?

Either way you slice it, there appears to be some formula or set of beliefs (John 3:16, etc) one must possess in order to earn salvation. This is confusing, because I remember quite clearly that some evangelicals claim that salvation is a free gift - salvation isn't earned.

On another thread in Unorthodox Theology, a debate (I assume; still) raged on about universal salvation. The Christian Apologetics were asserting that Jesus' sacrifice was not for everyone - in other words, while it is available for everyone, not all deserve it, or can achieve it (lack of believing the right thing).

So, which is it? Is there something one must do to be saved, or is it a free gift (so that none should boast)?

NORM

NormATive
04-20-2014, 07:56 PM
In your view. The election is God's. Only those who profess to be of the faith can make sure of their election. (see 2 Peter 1:4-11.) (see also 2 Corinthians 13:5; [Romans 8:9; 1 John 5:9-13.])

The phenomena being the perishing cannot understand truth of the gospel correctly (see 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

Now we are back on track. Here, 37818 is asserting that salvation is earned.

NORM

37818
04-20-2014, 08:06 PM
In your view. The election is God's. Only those who profess to be of the faith can make sure of their election. (see 2 Peter 1:4-11.) (see also 2 Corinthians 13:5; [Romans 8:9; 1 John 5:9-13.])

The phenomena being the perishing cannot understand truth of the gospel correctly (see 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).

Now we are back on track. Here, 37818 is asserting that salvation is earned.

NORMThat is what you understand from my post? There is no such claim being made. "The election is God's." Can a person know if they are elect or not? If a person thinks they must earn salvation, their election is in doubt.

At this point, how do you think one is born again?


Norm,

". . . as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." -- John 1:12, 13. It is what God does for those who trust in Him believing in His Son who died on our behalf and rose from the dead. " . . . and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." -- Romans 10:9.

Jesus stated, this, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, . . . ." That by trusting in Him according to God's will, you will know.

John states it as being as simple as believing in God's Christ, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . ." -- 1 John 5:1. Remember it is God who does the new birth. Not our act of believing.

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, . . . " -- James 1:18.

". . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . " -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

37818
04-20-2014, 08:17 PM
Interesting discussion, but it kind of strays from the subject of this thread; what is the formula for salvation?

Either way you slice it, there appears to be some formula or set of beliefs (John 3:16, etc) one must possess in order to earn salvation. This is confusing, because I remember quite clearly that some evangelicals claim that salvation is a free gift - salvation isn't earned.

On another thread in Unorthodox Theology, a debate (I assume; still) raged on about universal salvation. The Christian Apologetics were asserting that Jesus' sacrifice was not for everyone - in other words, while it is available for everyone, not all deserve it, or can achieve it (lack of believing the right thing).

So, which is it? Is there something one must do to be saved, or is it a free gift (so that none should boast)?

NORM

". . . he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world." -- 1 John 2:2.

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: the gift of God: . . ." -- [I]Ephesians 2:8.

"For the wages of sin death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ [I]our Lord." -- Romans 6:23.

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . ." -- 1 John 5:1.

"If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, . . . " -- John 7:17.

[Jesus,] "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am [he], ye shall die in your sins. " -- John 8:24.

NormATive
04-20-2014, 08:19 PM
". . . as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." -- John 1:12, 13. It is what God does for those who trust in Him believing in His Son who died on our behalf and rose from the dead. " . . . and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." -- Romans 10:9.

Jesus stated, this, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, . . . ." That by trusting in Him according to God's will, you will know.

John states it as being as simple as believing in God's Christ, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . ." -- 1 John 5:1. Remember it is God who does the new birth. Not our act of believing.

"Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, . . . " -- James 1:18.

". . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . " -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

Sounds like a quid pro quo to me. I.e.: believe; or else. You are merely parsing words.

NORM

37818
04-20-2014, 08:30 PM
Sounds like a quid pro quo to me. I.e.: believe; or else. You are merely parsing words.

NORM

Well if a doctor diagnosis melanoma cancer, . . . One either believes the treatment or else.

You see, either the "good news" is true or not. If not, believing it does not make it true.

". . . if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." -- 2 Corinthians 4:3, 4.

Now what blows my mind, is if the gospel claims are false, how come those who say it is false, can't even get its "false" claims correct?!

Paprika
04-20-2014, 08:49 PM
So you agree that man can create a better world for himself but not a perfect world. And? Sorry I have not been following this thread, but whats your point?
I was trading rhetoric with NormAtive: there's no real point.

Paprika
04-20-2014, 08:58 PM
You aren't adding anything constructive to the conversation, and force everyone to just scroll past your posts or place you on ignore.

Other people interact fine with me. Perhaps the problem lies with you.

Doug Shaver
04-20-2014, 09:16 PM
Well if a doctor diagnosis melanoma cancer, . . . One either believes the treatment or else.

Treatments are not believed. They are administered. Whether they are effective or not depends on the physician's skill, not on anything the patient either believes or disbelieves.

NormATive
04-20-2014, 09:30 PM
You see, either the "good news" is true or not. If not, believing it does not make it true.

And, yet if one does NOT believe, they do NOT have salvation? It doesn't matter the particular order of the formula; it is a formula, nonetheless. One must earn salvation by believing.

NORM

RBerman
04-21-2014, 05:20 AM
Interesting discussion, but it kind of strays from the subject of this thread; what is the formula for salvation?

Either way you slice it, there appears to be some formula or set of beliefs (John 3:16, etc) one must possess in order to earn salvation. This is confusing, because I remember quite clearly that some evangelicals claim that salvation is a free gift - salvation isn't earned.

We already covered that many pages ago, Norm. Salvation is a "free gift" only in the sense that we do not earn it by keeping various laws perfectly. You are correct that there are still conditions that must be met by those who have salvation, namely the condition of faith. You appeared to understand that claim before, even though you rejected it. Have you now forgotten it altogether?

whag
04-21-2014, 06:15 AM
We already covered that many pages ago, Norm. Salvation is a "free gift" only in the sense that we do not earn it by keeping various laws perfectly. You are correct that there are still conditions that must be met by those who have salvation, namely the condition of faith. You appeared to understand that claim before, even though you rejected it. Have you now forgotten it altogether?

How is a baby expected to have faith?

NormATive
04-21-2014, 05:02 PM
We already covered that many pages ago, Norm. Salvation is a "free gift" only in the sense that we do not earn it by keeping various laws perfectly. You are correct that there are still conditions that must be met by those who have salvation, namely the condition of faith. You appeared to understand that claim before, even though you rejected it. Have you now forgotten it altogether?

So, salvation ISN'T a free gift. Agreed. Now we can stop this silly nonsense about this new covenant.

NORM

Darth Xena
04-21-2014, 05:40 PM
Since faith itself is given as God wills it indeed is.

NormATive
04-21-2014, 07:22 PM
Since faith itself is given as God wills it indeed is.

I don't understand this statement. Could it be missing punctuation,perhaps? Maybe this is what you are saying: Since faith itself is given as God wills it; it indeed is [a free gift] ?

If so, how does that make it a free gift? It isn't a gift at all if the game is rigged.

NORM

Darth Xena
04-21-2014, 09:19 PM
God's choice is His prerogative.

37818
04-22-2014, 09:01 AM
And, yet if one does NOT believe, they do NOT have salvation? It doesn't matter the particular order of the formula; it is a formula, nonetheless. One must earn salvation by believing.

NORMAnyone who thinks they can earn salvation "by believing" are lost.

Make sense out of this:

" But to him that worketh not, but believeth . . ." -- Romans 4:5.

And:

"And if by grace, then no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work." -- [I]Romans 11:6.

37818
04-22-2014, 12:04 PM
Treatments are not believed. They are administered. Whether they are effective or not depends on the physician's skill, not on anything the patient either believes or disbelieves.

If one doesn't believe the physician, will that one get the treatment? Likely not. There are things that are true regardless whether it is believed. And belief does not make what is not true to be true. Yet, no one knowingly accepts anything they knowingly do not believe. Information to become something that one accepts requires belief that the information is true.

37818
04-22-2014, 12:09 PM
. . .
. . . It isn't a gift at all if the game is rigged.

NORMGifts must be willingly received. How else can it be a gift? Can you accept a gift if you reject it (not believe it)? Or that it is not really there?

NormATive
04-22-2014, 04:25 PM
Gifts must be willingly received. How else can it be a gift? Can you accept a gift if you reject it (not believe it)? Or that it is not really there?

No they don't. It's still a gift even if not received. It requires nothing of the recipient - certainly, one doesn't PUNISH someone for not receiving a gift.

Besides, we are talking about a supernatural time-warping gift - one that shouldn't REQUIRE acceptance in order to "make it stick." If this gift is conditional (upon them acknowledging it, etc.), then it is not really given in the spirit in which a gift is given.

Your "salvation" is not a gift. It seems more like a requirement.

NORM

Doug Shaver
04-22-2014, 11:50 PM
If one doesn't believe the physician, will that one get the treatment?
It can happen.


Likely not.
The likelihood with which a treatment may be administered is unrelated to any question about its efficacy. If we want to know whether a treatment is efficacious, then all we should care about is the outcome in those cases where it actually is administered.


Yet, no one knowingly accepts anything they knowingly do not believe.
That depends on what you mean by "accepts." I will not voluntarily pay for any treatment that I think is worthless, especially if don't think I have the disease that it is supposed to cure. However, if I am credibly assured that the treatment is actually without any cost of any kind, and if I think it is possible that I have the disease, then I might tell the provider to go ahead and administer it to me.

37818
04-23-2014, 09:06 AM
No they don't. It's still a gift even if not received. It requires nothing of the recipient - certainly, one doesn't PUNISH someone for not receiving a gift. Yes. a gift does not stop being a gift by not being received. And that one is punished by reason of not receiving a gift is a false premise on your part. Now, all sinners are to be punished for sin. That punishment is earned. (Ezekiel 18:4). The gift is someone else receiving that payment. If that gift of someone else receiving the payment on the other's behalf and if the recipient refuses that. then the original recipient is entitled to what was earned.

whag
04-23-2014, 03:13 PM
God's choice is His prerogative.

Even if it means sending unelect babies to hell. RBerman already explained to us divine choice and prerogative.

NormATive
04-23-2014, 04:16 PM
Yes. a gift does not stop being a gift by not being received. And that one is punished by reason of not receiving a gift is a false premise on your part. Now, all sinners are to be punished for sin. That punishment is earned. (Ezekiel 18:4). The gift is someone else receiving that payment. If that gift of someone else receiving the payment on the other's behalf and if the recipient refuses that. then the original recipient is entitled to what was earned.

There are a lot of "earned" things in that statement. Sounds like a works-based faith to me.

Also, since the premise of being punished for rejecting the gift is incorrect on my part - are you arguing for universalism?

NORM

RBerman
04-24-2014, 05:04 AM
How is a baby expected to have faith?

Babies respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents. Do you have some special knowledge about the spiritual faculties of babies? What is the origin of this knowledge?

RBerman
04-24-2014, 05:06 AM
So, salvation ISN'T a free gift. Agreed. Now we can stop this silly nonsense about this new covenant.

Three times now I have explained the context in which salvation is described as a "free gift," and in contrast to what. If you are going to respond as if your questions have not been addressed, there does not seem to be much point in further interaction.

whag
04-24-2014, 07:55 AM
Babies respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents. Do you have some special knowledge about the spiritual faculties of babies? What is the origin of this knowledge?

Chimps also respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents, and it doesn't make them spiritual.

It sounds like you're the one claiming special knowledge, since few people would argue that babies deserve punishment at all, especially not ECT or fire or whatever.

RBerman
04-24-2014, 08:00 AM
Chimps also respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents, and it doesn't make them spiritual. It sounds like you're the one claiming special knowledge, since few people would argue that babies deserve punishment at all, especially not ECT or fire or whatever.

I do claim that the Bible gives us such knowledge. If you are prepared to accept the Bible as an authority to be obeyed and trusted, I would be happy to elaborate.

whag
04-24-2014, 08:36 AM
I do claim that the Bible gives us such knowledge. If you are prepared to accept the Bible as an authority to be obeyed and trusted, I would be happy to elaborate.

You can do that later, but please first address my reply about smell and trust. You said that the smell/trust relationship indicated spiritual faculties. That explanation was meant to explain that babies have the faculties to hate God. Please explain.

whag
04-24-2014, 09:39 AM
No they don't. It's still a gift even if not received. It requires nothing of the recipient - certainly, one doesn't PUNISH someone for not receiving a gift.

Besides, we are talking about a supernatural time-warping gift - one that shouldn't REQUIRE acceptance in order to "make it stick." If this gift is conditional (upon them acknowledging it, etc.), then it is not really given in the spirit in which a gift is given.

Your "salvation" is not a gift. It seems more like a requirement.

NORM

Excellent point about "gift". The problem with anthropomorphizing it is that it doesn't translate too well, since human givers would hardly be justified in punishing someone who rejected their gift. These are why such comparisons fail.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 09:52 AM
You can do that later, but please first address my reply about smell and trust. You said that the smell/trust relationship indicated spiritual faculties. That explanation was meant to explain that babies have the faculties to hate God. Please explain.

I think RBerman is saying that faith is just...trust. No spiritual faculties are required?

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 10:04 AM
Excellent point about "gift". The problem with anthropomorphizing it is that it doesn't translate too well, since human givers would hardly be justified in punishing someone who rejected their gift. These are why such comparisons fail.

Probably depends on the context. You're probably imagining something like a Christmas present. In your scenario, you've invited someone to your house, and as they step in, they offer you a gift. You refuse the gift, and then, in indignance, your guest puts an axe through your head for being ungrateful.

That doesn't appear to be the scenario the other posters are imagining at all though. The other posters imagine a scenario closer to something like this: You live in a monarchy. You've been caught red-handed in an act of treason. The penalty for treason within this monarchy is capital punishment. As you walk slowly to the gallows an ambassador of the monarch steps in front of you and informs you that the monarch has offered you the gift of a pardon, if only you'll swear loyalty to him. You ignore the ambassador and his mention of the monarch's gift, and continue to the gallows to receive your due punishment.

whag
04-24-2014, 11:18 AM
I think RBerman is saying that faith is just...trust. No spiritual faculties are required?

The post in question describes the smell/trust relationship as a spiritual faculty. Consider the context of my discussion with RBerman. He posits that all babies rage against god in their hearts, meaning that unelect babies get what they deserve for hating god. I argue that takes more than smell receptors and trust. Chimps and puppies have smell receptors and trust.

whag
04-24-2014, 11:29 AM
Probably depends on the context. You're probably imagining something like a Christmas present. In your scenario, you've invited someone to your house, and as they step in, they offer you a gift. You refuse the gift, and then, in indignance, your guest puts an axe through your head for being ungrateful.

That doesn't appear to be the scenario the other posters are imagining at all though. The other posters imagine a scenario closer to something like this: You live in a monarchy. You've been caught red-handed in an act of treason. The penalty for treason within this monarchy is capital punishment. As you walk slowly to the gallows an ambassador of the monarch steps in front of you and informs you that the monarch has offered you the gift of a pardon, if only you'll swear loyalty to him. You ignore the ambassador and his mention of the monarch's gift, and continue to the gallows to receive your due punishment.

That context has problems if you apply it to the real world. Being a Muslim, Mormon, or atheist doesn't constitute anything like a crime. The former are beliefs that derive from upbringing and/or enculturation; the latter is simply skepticism of religion.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 11:37 AM
The post in question describes the smell/trust relationship as a spiritual faculty. Consider the context of my discussion with RBerman. He posits that all babies rage against god in their hearts,

Was it just babies that were in mind? Looking back through the thread, it looks like he said the Bible posits that all people rebel against God (which would include babies).


meaning that unelect babies get what they deserve for hating god.

Are those RBerman's exact words?


I argue that takes more than smell receptors and trust. Chimps and puppies have smell receptors and trust.

RBerman wasn't arguing that a combination of smell receptors and trust = spiritual faculties. He said, "Babies respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents." Sound and smell result in trust/faith of parents. I imagine RBerman would have no problem affirming that yes, chimps and puppies also have some form of faith based on the sound and smell of their parents.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 11:41 AM
That context has problems if you apply it to the real world. Being a Muslim, Mormon, or atheist doesn't constitute anything like a crime. The former are beliefs that derive from upbringing and/or enculturation; the latter is simply skepticism of religion.

That's your opinion based on your worldview. I'm sure Christians have a differing opinion based on there's.

But anyways, it sounds like you now get the other poster's gift metaphor. You're welcome.

37818
04-24-2014, 12:22 PM
There are a lot of "earned" things in that statement. Sounds like a works-based faith to me.

Also, since the premise of being punished for rejecting the gift is incorrect on my part - are you arguing for universalism?

NORMWhat we all have earned is death do to sin. And not everyone is going to be saved. So it is not universalism. Some simply do not choose to believe. Others think by believing they can merit a gift, in which case would no longer be a gift. So again, it is not universalism, even though God's grace has appeared for all. There is a correct concept, which you seem to misconstrue.

whag
04-24-2014, 12:25 PM
Was it just babies that were in mind? Looking back through the thread, it looks like he said the Bible posits that all people rebel against God (which would include babies).

Yes, he said that includes babies. Obviously, that's the problematic part. Babies having the capacity to trust doesn't translate to having a specific hatred of God that necessitates their being punished, even for a second. Try slapping a baby and see if they comprehend it.




Are those RBerman's exact words?

Yes, he said babies commit rebellion in their hearts. I assume he meant the punishment would be deserved. If not, it would be undeserved.




RBerman wasn't arguing that a combination of smell receptors and trust = spiritual faculties. He said, "Babies respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents." Sound and smell result in trust/faith of parents.

Context. His next sentence referred to spiritual faculties of babies and was predicated on the smell/trust capacity of babies. What does one have to do with the other?



I imagine RBerman would have no problem affirming that yes, chimps and puppies also have some form of faith based on the sound and smell of their parents.

In that case, chimps and dogs have the same capacity to believe as human babies, making them equally deserving of judgment.

whag
04-24-2014, 12:33 PM
That's your opinion based on your worldview. I'm sure Christians have a differing opinion based on there's.

But anyways, it sounds like you now get the other poster's gift metaphor. You're welcome.

Actually, most Christians would be uncomfortable saying that being Muslim is a crime, which is what makes discussions like these helpful.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 12:52 PM
Yes, he said that includes babies. Obviously, that's the problematic part.

It doesn't seem to be problematic to him.


Babies having the capacity to trust doesn't translate to having a specific hatred of God that necessitates their being punished, even for a second. Try slapping a baby and see if they comprehend it.

I don't see how RBerman is making that sort of connection. Can you cite him specifically where he states that babies having the capacity to trust translates to them having a specific hatred of God?


Yes, he said babies commit rebellion in their hearts. I assume he meant the punishment would be deserved. If not, it would be undeserved.

No, you said that. He only agreed with you, in that he believes ALL PEOPLE rebel against God.


Context. His next sentence referred to spiritual faculties of babies and was predicated on the smell/trust capacity of babies. What does one have to do with the other?

His next sentence was a question to you.



In that case, chimps and dogs have the same capacity to believe as human babies, making them equally deserving of judgment.

How so? I don't see the connection. In RBerman's Bible-based worldview, every human is deserving of judgment. I don't believe the Bible says anything about the judgment of animals.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 12:54 PM
Actually, most Christians would be uncomfortable saying that being Muslim is a crime, which is what makes discussions like these helpful.

Most Christians I know are comfortable with saying that everyone has committed a crime. RBerman seems comfortable saying so in a number of posts here.

whag
04-24-2014, 02:19 PM
It doesn't seem to be problematic to him.

I know that eternally punished babies isn't a problem for him.




I don't see how RBerman is making that sort of connection. Can you cite him specifically where he states that babies having the capacity to trust translates to them having a specific hatred of God?

Equating smell/trust to theistic faith is a whole other issue he needs to clarify. The issue seems to be his belief that unelect babies are punished eternally. Saying ALL unelect people get punished doesn't erase the problem of tykes being punished with fire forever. Fetuses know bupkis.




No, you said that. He only agreed with you, in that he believes ALL PEOPLE rebel against God.


Yes, and one of those rebelling groups is babies he said. Clarification on how *babies* can rebel is needed. Babies hate naps and pureed vegetables. They also have no idea what sleep and spinach are.



His next sentence was a question to you.

Non sequitur. Questions don't magically divorce themselves from context.





How so? I don't see the connection. In RBerman's Bible-based worldview, every human is deserving of judgment. I don't believe the Bible says anything about the judgment of animals.

Because he said we know a baby can have theistic faith on the basis of their smell/trust capacity. In the next sentence mentioned the spiritual faculties of babies. At this point, you should just let him clarify, because you're getting it twisted. I never said the bible says anything about judging animals. I'm saying that, if smell/trust indicates capacity for theistic faith, then dogs and chimps have the capacity for faith, too. Better to offer something more distinguishing of faith in babies than simple smell/trust, since the entire mammal kingdom uses that sense. Theistic faith seems to be a much more complex matter, hence my questions to him.

whag
04-24-2014, 02:20 PM
Most Christians I know are comfortable with saying that everyone has committed a crime. RBerman seems comfortable saying so in a number of posts here.

Most Christians I know would be uncomfortable with saying babies commit crimes.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 02:44 PM
At this point, you should just let him clarify, because you're getting it twisted.

Eh, noooo I'm not getting it twisted. LOL. What I'm doing is getting you to admit that you're doing the twisting. I mean, it goes without saying of course. You do it in just about every thread you post in. But its always interesting to see what sort of cacamame excuse you're going to come up with next for why you've misrepresented the object of your derision.

As you request though, I'll bow out and let RBerman clarify. I know it bugs you when the the microscope is turned on you.

OingoBoingo
04-24-2014, 02:45 PM
Most Christians I know would be uncomfortable with saying babies commit crimes.

But you agree about the Muslim thing though, right? Gotta love that ever-moving goal post. LOL.

whag
04-24-2014, 03:25 PM
Eh, noooo I'm not getting it twisted. LOL. What I'm doing is getting you to admit that you're doing the twisting. I mean, it goes without saying of course. You do it in just about every thread you post in. But its always interesting to see what sort of cacamame excuse you're going to come up with next for why you've misrepresented the object of your derision.

Asking how babies can hate God isn't derisive. Anyone who's met a baby would ask it, even Christians (the Arminian ones). Women who've lost babies would be particularly interested in how their child could be eternally lost.


As you request though, I'll bow out and let RBerman clarify. I know it bugs you when the the microscope is turned on you.

Bugged hardly. You're keeping the topic alive while RBerman figures out how to explain how babies have the capacity to reject complicated theology. =)

whag
04-24-2014, 03:30 PM
But you agree about the Muslim thing though, right? Gotta love that ever-moving goal post. LOL.

Um, no. Many Christians would be uncomfortable to say being a non-Christian is a crime.

NormATive
04-25-2014, 04:09 PM
Three times now I have explained the context in which salvation is described as a "free gift," and in contrast to what. If you are going to respond as if your questions have not been addressed, there does not seem to be much point in further interaction.

And three times you've confirmed what you are unwilling to admit.

NORM

NormATive
04-25-2014, 04:15 PM
... if only you'll swear loyalty to him.

Still sounds conditional to me, therefore; not a "free gift." What's the big deal? Every other religion on the planet has conditions and provisos.

NORM

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 05:49 PM
Still sounds conditional to me, therefore; not a "free gift." What's the big deal? Every other religion on the planet has conditions and provisos.

NORM

I think RBerman already confirmed that there were conditions. You seem hung up on the word "free". I guess it depends on how you define "free" then. Christians probably mean something like, "without merit", and open to all peoples, and not just Jews.

In your version of "free", I imagine a scenario where a stranger tells you he's willing to give you a lottery ticket "FOR FREE", but there are conditions to receiving the prize money from this winning ticket. It involves you getting in your car and driving to your local gas station (or wherever) to redeem it. I can see you grumpily folding your arms and saying something like "I appreciate your gift, but it is NOT free. Hurrumph!"

I imagine most people wouldn't have that same reaction, but who knows.

whag
04-25-2014, 06:41 PM
I think RBerman already confirmed that there were conditions. You seem hung up on the word "free". I guess it depends on how you define "free" then. Christians probably mean something like, "without merit", and open to all peoples, and not just Jews.

In your version of "free", I imagine a scenario where a stranger tells you he's willing to give you a lottery ticket "FOR FREE", but there are conditions to receiving the prize money from this winning ticket. It involves you getting in your car and driving to your local gas station (or wherever) to redeem it. I can see you grumpily folding your arms and saying something like "I appreciate your gift, but it is NOT free. Hurrumph!"

I imagine most people wouldn't have that same reaction, but who knows.

I imagine he sees redundancy in religious rhetoric as trying too hard. "Gift" is enough.

Just spitballing here, but he also might also consider the condition too human to be believed, since love isn't usually something people view as "compulsory." I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, nor would I know how to actualize it.

I think that's why these lotto and king analogies fail.

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 07:00 PM
Just spitballing here, but he also might also consider the condition too human to be believed, since love isn't usually something people view as "compulsory." I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, nor would I know how to actualize it.

So are you saying that you believe that love is something more than physiological. Maybe something that transcends the human condition? My anthro-biology prof would disagree with this, but I'd like to hear your take.

NormATive
04-25-2014, 08:12 PM
I think RBerman already confirmed that there were conditions. You seem hung up on the word "free". I guess it depends on how you define "free" then. Christians probably mean something like, "without merit", and open to all peoples, and not just Jews.

In your version of "free", I imagine a scenario where a stranger tells you he's willing to give you a lottery ticket "FOR FREE", but there are conditions to receiving the prize money from this winning ticket. It involves you getting in your car and driving to your local gas station (or wherever) to redeem it. I can see you grumpily folding your arms and saying something like "I appreciate your gift, but it is NOT free. Hurrumph!"

I imagine most people wouldn't have that same reaction, but who knows.

Actually, the thing you folks continually gloss over is that Christians make a rather big stink about the fact that in THEIR religion, salvation is a "free gift," unlike every other religion that has conditions and is "works" based. That's what makes it unique.

However, as this thread has shown, you are just like everyone else - you must earn the favor of your god. In your case, it is a certain "belief system and acceptance of this as actual fact" in order to be saved. Thus; a works-based religion. By works, we mean that something must be DONE in order to be saved. This is true of every religion, so Christianity is not unique in this sense.

BTW, it's not me who is "hung up" on the whole free gift thing. Christians are the ones who make it such. They use this notion as a way of making their faith superior to all others. And, it simply isn't true.

NORM

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 08:55 PM
Actually, the thing you folks

What do you mean by "you folks" (cue Tropic Thunder)


continually gloss over is that Christians make a rather big stink about the fact that in THEIR religion, salvation is a "free gift," unlike every other religion that has conditions and is "works" based. That's what makes it unique.

Depends on whether or not you think a state of mind is a work. I think most probably don't. Depends on who you ask, I guess, though.


However, as this thread has shown, you are just like everyone else - you must earn the favor of your god. In your case, it is a certain "belief system and acceptance of this as actual fact" in order to be saved. Thus; a works-based religion. By works, we mean that something must be DONE in order to be saved. This is true of every religion, so Christianity is not unique in this sense.

Again, you're attempting to tell me what my worldview is. I find this highly demeaning. I've not stated my worldview in this thread, I have no idea how you can compare me to "everyone else" in this thread. I believe in accuracy and fairness. That is all. If someone were to misrepresent the ancient or medieval Jewish philosophy or worldview in this thread, I'd correct them as well. I'd prefer you not presume my worldview, thank you very much.


BTW, it's not me who is "hung up" on the whole free gift thing. Christians are the ones who make it such. They use this notion as a way of making their faith superior to all others. And, it simply isn't true.

If you say so.

NormATive
04-25-2014, 09:34 PM
Again, you're attempting to tell me what my worldview is.

Sorry, I didn't realize you weren't a believer.

NORM

NormATive
04-25-2014, 09:37 PM
Depends on whether or not you think a state of mind is a work.

Is this describing a "state of mind?"


"that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a
person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he
confesses, resulting in salvation." - Romans 10:9

Unless this doesn't represent your "worldview."

NORM

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 10:03 PM
Sorry, I didn't realize you weren't a believer.

NORM

Huh? We already went over this in post #69 (http://www.theologyweb.com/campus/showthread.php?1626-Papyrus-found-Jesus-married&p=43574&viewfull=1#post43574) in the "Papyrus found Jesus married" thread on 4/15. You already forgot?

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 10:05 PM
Is this describing a "state of mind?"



Unless this doesn't represent your "worldview."

NORM

:shrug: Sounds like a state of mind to me. Let's hear from RBerman or some other Christian on the subject.

whag
04-25-2014, 10:06 PM
So are you saying that you believe that love is something more than physiological. Maybe something that transcends the human condition? My anthro-biology prof would disagree with this, but I'd like to hear your take.

You'll have to explain how you extrapolated that from what I said. I'm not following you.

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 10:08 PM
You'll have to explain how you extrapolated that from what I said. I'm not following you.

Uh. Okay. You wrote: "Since love isn't usually something people view as "compulsory." I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, nor would I know how to actualize it."

Are you saying you believe that love is something more than physiological. Maybe something that transcends the human condition?

Not sure how to simplify that into something...simpler.

whag
04-25-2014, 11:27 PM
Uh. Okay. You wrote: "Since love isn't usually something people view as "compulsory." I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, nor would I know how to actualize it."

Are you saying you believe that love is something more than physiological. Maybe something that transcends the human condition?

Not sure how to simplify that into something...simpler.

You could start by telling me how you went from non-compulsory love to immaterial love that transcends the human condition. You write English well, so please explain. I didn't ask you to make it simpler.

OingoBoingo
04-25-2014, 11:50 PM
You could start by telling me how you went from non-compulsory love to immaterial love that transcends the human condition. You write English well, so please explain. I didn't ask you to make it simpler.

Why don't you start with defining what you think love is.

whag
04-26-2014, 12:06 AM
Why don't you start with defining what you think love is.

Because that's not what you asked. You asked me if I believe in love that "transcends the human condition" after I said love isn't obligatory. Transcending the human condition can mean many things. Describe this.

OingoBoingo
04-26-2014, 12:39 AM
Because that's not what you asked. You asked me if I believe in love that "transcends the human condition" after I said love isn't obligatory. Transcending the human condition can mean many things. Describe this.

So, you believe that love is obligatory after all? In post #197 you made it sound like there is no obligation to love. If there is no obligation to love, one wonders where this concept of "love" springs from. If not biology, then where? Something transcendent?

whag
04-26-2014, 08:43 AM
So, you believe that love is obligatory after all?

Where do you get that from?


In post #197 you made it sound like there is no obligation to love.

Are you reading what you write?



If there is no obligation to love, one wonders where this concept of "love" springs from.

This discussion stemmed from your analogy comparing the gift of salvation to a monarch's pardon in exchange for fealty. Fealty was the analogue to love. When NORM said that was a condition, you acknowledged the redundancy of the term. Good on you.


You then chided NORM saying that he'd refuse to inherit the generous lotto winner's gift because of the condition. Bad move. A more accurate comparison involves more than a short drive but the giver's demand to be adored. I submit that is a huge condition, whether love originates from the ether or not. Would that be an example of ethereal love?

You have two options here. You can continue to cobble together crap analogies to deride, or you can elucidate on love that transcends the human-condition. That's too coarse grained a phrase for me to know what you're talking about.

RBerman
04-26-2014, 08:48 AM
You can do that later, but please first address my reply about smell and trust. You said that the smell/trust relationship indicated spiritual faculties. That explanation was meant to explain that babies have the faculties to hate God. Please explain.

I did not say that the smell/trust relationship indicated spiritual faculties, nor did I intend to do so; that would be silly. Let me elaborate and hopefully clarify.

Some people object to the idea of infants having faith, because they (some people, not infants) conceive of faith primarily in terms of propositions, truth-claims which must first be comprehended in order to be either believed or disbelieved. Believing that "Jesus died on the cross for my sins" or the like. Obviously a lot of basic knowledge underlies the constituent terms of such a proposition, and those without that knowledge (with or without the cognitive faculties to even learn that knowledge) cannot meaningfully interact with the proposition either positively or negatively. They can just say, "Huh?"

However, when we speak of "trust in God" or "trust in Christ," we're talking about a disposition. It might be thought of as parallel to the disposition that lower animals can have toward each other, or that human babies can have toward their caregivers, based on sensations of sound or smell or touch, rather than based on assent to truth-claims. But I wasn't trying to say our disposition toward God is the same as that animal disposition, or governed by the same faculties. We don't smell God, obviously. (Well, I don't, anyway.) It's a spiritual faculty inherent in man as God's image-bearer.


RBerman wasn't arguing that a combination of smell receptors and trust = spiritual faculties. He said, "Babies respond with trust to the sound and smell of their parents." Sound and smell result in trust/faith of parents. I imagine RBerman would have no problem affirming that yes, chimps and puppies also have some form of faith based on the sound and smell of their parents.

Correct.

RBerman
04-26-2014, 08:56 AM
That context has problems if you apply it to the real world. Being a Muslim, Mormon, or atheist doesn't constitute anything like a crime. The former are beliefs that derive from upbringing and/or enculturation; the latter is simply skepticism of religion.

Crime is defined by the law, which in turn is defined by the lawgiver. If the Lawgiver says that something is a crime, our opinions on the matter don't matter any more than the opinions of that rancher dude in the West who, unhappy that his cattle are no longer allowed to graze on federal land, has decided that the federal government has no business owning land in the states anyway, so he's doing to defy the law. Not that I want to derail this thread into a debate on federal vs state vs individual powers. Indeed, he's thinking like an American: we make the law here through our consensus. But what if some laws are more like the law of gravity, on which we do not get to vote?

RBerman
04-26-2014, 09:02 AM
I think RBerman already confirmed that there were conditions. You seem hung up on the word "free". I guess it depends on how you define "free" then. Christians probably mean something like, "without merit", and open to all peoples, and not just Jews.

In your version of "free", I imagine a scenario where a stranger tells you he's willing to give you a lottery ticket "FOR FREE", but there are conditions to receiving the prize money from this winning ticket. It involves you getting in your car and driving to your local gas station (or wherever) to redeem it. I can see you grumpily folding your arms and saying something like "I appreciate your gift, but it is NOT free. Hurrumph!"

Correct again, Danny Elfman fan!


I imagine he sees redundancy in religious rhetoric as trying too hard. "Gift" is enough.

As I mentioned earlier, "free gift" is simply a phrase from the Bible, appearing several times in Romans 5:15ff. I agree there's a rhetorical redundancy at play there, and I'd be happy to talk about salvation as simply a "gift," as Paul himself does in Ephesians 2:8ff.


Just spitballing here, but he also might also consider the condition too human to be believed, since love isn't usually something people view as "compulsory." I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, nor would I know how to actualize it. I think that's why these lotto and king analogies fail.
All analogies fail if stretched too far, those included.

RBerman
04-26-2014, 09:09 AM
And three times you've confirmed what you are unwilling to admit.

On the contrary, I am happy to admit it, but not without contextualizing my answer by using the term as the Bible does.


Actually, the thing you folks continually gloss over is that Christians make a rather big stink about the fact that in THEIR religion, salvation is a "free gift," unlike every other religion that has conditions and is "works" based. That's what makes it unique.

However, as this thread has shown, you are just like everyone else - you must earn the favor of your god. In your case, it is a certain "belief system and acceptance of this as actual fact" in order to be saved. Thus; a works-based religion. By works, we mean that something must be DONE in order to be saved. This is true of every religion, so Christianity is not unique in this sense.

Your definition of "something must be done" is substantially broader than the one against which the Bible is reacting in the "free gift" passage. It's not helpful to discuss Romans 5 (the passage which uses the term "free gift") without reference to the preceding four chapters, which set the stage by discussing the ways that men try to earn God's favor through keeping the Torah either explicitly (i.e., if they are Jewish) or implicitly (i.e., if they are Gentiles). Paul's contrast is not between totally unconditional salvation and conditional salvation, as your posts continue to claim. Rather, Paul's contrast is between salvation through perfect Torah-keeping, and salvation through trust in Jesus as a sacrifice which propitiates God's wrath over our universal failure to keep Torah perfectly. In that latter context, and in comparison to the considerable ceremonial demands of the Torah, salvation is a "free gift" through faith-- not unconditional, since faith is indeed a condition, as you have noted so frequently.

I also happen to be among those Christians who believe that faith itself is an unconditional gift from God to some men, according to his good pleasure. But that belief is not necessary in order to coherently affirm that salvation is a "free gift" as that term is used in Romans 5, with the proper context of Romans 1-4 as background.

OingoBoingo
04-26-2014, 09:15 AM
Where do you get that from?

You seemed to be wavering. In post #197 you said that there is no obligation to love. When I asked you in post #198 if, by "no obligation", you thought that love was more than physiological, maybe something transcendent, you replied by telling me in post #209 that transcendence can have all sort of meanings. To me this hints at cognitive dissonance. You're an atheist, and I'm assuming a materialist. You want to be careful not to say that love is more than physiology, but you also want to hold on to your original claim (maybe to save face?).


Are you reading what you write?

Yep. I can slow down if you're having a hard time keeping up though.


This discussion stemmed from your analogy comparing the gift of salvation to a monarch's pardon in exchange for fealty. Fealty was the analogue to love. When NORM said that was a condition, you acknowledged the redundancy of the term. Good on you.


You then chided NORM saying that he'd refuse to inherit the generous lotto winner's gift because of the condition. Bad move.


Nope. It wasn't a bad move. I had moved on from my original point in my first analogy to a new point in the second analogy. The new point was that people are probably okay with calling something free even when conditions are applied. That was all.


A more accurate comparison involves more than a short drive but the giver's demand to be adored. I submit that is a huge condition, whether love originates from the ether or not. Would that be an example of ethereal love?

I don't know what ethereal love is. Is that something like the non-obligatory love you mentioned in post #197?


You have two options here. You can continue to cobble together crap analogies to deride, or you can elucidate on love that transcends the human-condition. That's too coarse grained a phrase for me to know what you're talking about.

All I'm trying to do is figure out what you mean by non-obligatory love. My profs at university would tell us that love is nothing but a biological urge (maybe the release of chemicals in the brain) brought about by the evolutionary process. You may think your love for your mother is non-obligatory, but the science says otherwise. That's why I asked you if you believed that love was transcendent. I had assumed that you knew what the word "transcendent" meant. I guess I assumed wrong.

whag
04-26-2014, 09:15 AM
I did not say that the smell/trust relationship indicated spiritual faculties, nor did I intend to do so; that would be silly. Let me elaborate and hopefully clarify.

Some people object to the idea of infants having faith, because they (some people, not infants) conceive of faith primarily in terms of propositions, truth-claims which must first be comprehended in order to be either believed or disbelieved. Believing that "Jesus died on the cross for my sins" or the like. Obviously a lot of basic knowledge underlies the constituent terms of such a proposition, and those without that knowledge (with or without the cognitive faculties to even learn that knowledge) cannot meaningfully interact with the proposition either positively or negatively. They can just say, "Huh?"

I couldn't have phrased it better myself. The concept of punishing unelect babies makes no sense because babies don't have "a lot of basic knowledge" that "underlies the constituent terms of the proposition." They "cannot meaningfully interact with the proposition positively or negatively." Now try explaining how babies rebel against God in their hearts without a basic underlying knowledge and meaningful interaction.


However, when we speak of "trust in God" or "trust in Christ," we're talking about a disposition. It might be thought of as parallel to the disposition that lower animals can have toward each other, or that human babies can have toward their caregivers, based on sensations of sound or smell or touch, rather than based on assent to truth-claims.

If I'm understanding you correctly, babies are born with the predisposition to trust God. Please explain how that turns to rebellion without a lot of underlying knowledge and the cognitive faculties required to have meaningful interaction.



But I wasn't trying to say our disposition toward God is the same as that animal disposition, or governed by the same faculties. We don't smell God, obviously. (Well, I don't, anyway.) It's a spiritual faculty inherent in man as God's image-bearer.



Correct.

It was a good analogy. I'm just having a hard time understanding how the predisposition gives way to rebellion sans knowledge and the ability to meaningfully interact.

RBerman
04-26-2014, 09:19 AM
Is this describing a "state of mind?"


"That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation." - Romans 10:9

Yes, "believe in your heart" certainly is referring to a "state of mind" in modern parlance-- an internal disposition. Romans 10 occurs quite late in Paul's discussion of salvation, of course. By that point he's already covered how saying or doing specific things cannot save you (Romans 2-3) because we are saved by faith (Romans 4), a state of mind. However, Paul is also quick to point out in Romans 6 that if one truly has a state of mind which causes him to trust in Jesus, one will also act like it. That would include a willingness to publicly admit association with Jesus, hence the instruction to "confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,'" which was a challenge to the Roman salute of, "Caesar is Lord."

OingoBoingo
04-26-2014, 09:23 AM
Correct again, Danny Elfman fan!

;)

RBerman
04-26-2014, 09:31 AM
I couldn't have phrased it better myself. The concept of punishing unelect babies makes no sense because babies don't have "a lot of basic knowledge" that "underlies the constituent terms of the proposition." They "cannot meaningfully interact with the proposition positively or negatively." Now try explaining how babies rebel against God in their hearts without a basic underlying knowledge and meaningful interaction.
That was the point of my second paragraph. I'm not sure how far I can go with "how" except to say that it's a universal human faculty independent from cognition.


If I'm understanding you correctly, babies are born with the predisposition to trust God. Please explain how that turns to rebellion without a lot of underlying knowledge and the cognitive faculties required to have meaningful interaction.
More precisely, babies (even before being born) possess a spiritual dimension which may be inclined to either trust or mistrust God. As a spiritual interaction, it's not dependent on the physical sensorium or on cognitive faculties. That also makes it a world not amenable to analysis by our usual tools-- like the challenge of explaining color to a man born blind, only worse.

whag
04-26-2014, 02:26 PM
You seemed to be wavering. In post #197 you said that there is no obligation to love.


Right. In all cases of love in my life, none is driven by obligation. Like I said, I wouldn't know how to enact love driven by obligation. "Go love that person" is probably actualized differently in your life and experience than mine. Or perhaps they match exactly, but you still have to define it.

Some say that Jesus commanded obligatory love of one's neighbors. There's a start but it needs exemplification. Is that the love that transcends the human condition?


When I asked you in post #198 if, by "no obligation", you thought that love was more than physiological, maybe something transcendent, you replied by telling me in post #209 that transcendence can have all sort of meanings.

You disagree with that? I fail to see how you can keep missing that transcendence of the human condition can have different meanings. How hard would it be to define what you meant?


To me this hints at cognitive dissonance. You're an atheist, and I'm assuming a materialist. You want to be careful not to say that love is more than physiology, but you also want to hold on to your original claim to save face.*

I want to be careful to express myself, surely, but not to hide any cognitive dissonance. My love for my mom, sister, or wife, or isn't driven by obligation. That would be bleak to think I'm loved by someone out of obligation rather than for reasons.


Are you reading what you write?



Yep. I can slow down if you're having a hard time keeping up though.


Please do! If you're serious, thanks for the offer.





Nope. It wasn't a bad move. I had moved on from my original point in my first analogy to a new point in the second analogy. The new point was that people are probably okay with calling something free even when conditions are applied. That was all.

People are probably okay with leaving the "free" out of "bday present," as well. One needn't gild a lily.


don't know what ethereal love is. Is that something like the non-obligatory love you mentioned in post #197?

I meant non-material love that transcends the human condition that you mentioned. Etheric would be a more accurate word, but that's still a form of the physical. Is "supernatural" a better word? I don't want to put words in your mouth.




All I'm trying to do is figure out what you mean by non-obligatory love.

I gave you an example. I love my mom for reasons. I rescind love, or my love naturally dissipates, for reasons. That love can come back, sometimes, such as in the case of my wife who I recently reconciled with. Is that what you mean by transcendent?



My profs at university would tell us that love is nothing but a biological urge (maybe the release of chemicals in the brain) brought about by the evolutionary process. You may think your love for your mother is non-obligatory, but the science says otherwise.

Interesting. Science says maternal love is transcendent? I hadn't heard science's definition of transcendence.




That's why I asked you if you believed that love was transcendent. I had assumed that you knew what the word "transcendent" meant. I guess I assumed wrong.


You peg me as an atheist, then asked me if I believe in a fuzzy notion of non-material love? I'm not following you.

Better to define what you mean by love that "transcends the human condition."

OingoBoingo
04-26-2014, 04:15 PM
You disagree with that? I fail to see how you can keep missing that transcendence of the human condition can have different meanings. How hard would it be to define what you meant?

I thought I made my meaning clear when I preceded the question about transcendence with the one about physiology, but I guess I was moving too fast for you.


Please do! If you're serious, thanks for the offer.

Oh, okay. The word "transcendent" means something like "beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience."


I meant non-material love that transcends the human condition that you mentioned. Etheric would be a more accurate word, but that's still a form of the physical. Is "supernatural" a better word? I don't want to put words in your mouth.

Oh! I don't know. That's why I asked you. Do you feel like the non-obligatory love you have for your mom is supernatural? If you go back to my post #198 you'll see that I'm asking you what you think, as to not put words in your mouth. I can see what might have gone wrong though. My first sentence is phrased like a question, but I accidentally forgot to use a question mark, or a semi-colon. Is that what tripped you up?


I gave you an example. I love my mom for reasons. I rescind love, or my love naturally dissipates, for reasons. That love can come back, sometimes, such as in the case of my wife who I recently reconciled with. Is that what you mean by transcendent?

See above for how I'm using the word transcendent.


Interesting. Science says maternal love is transcendent? I hadn't heard science's definition of transcendence.

Oops. It looks like you lost track again. You believe that love is non-obligatory. That's why I asked you if you thought that love was more than physiological, if you thought it was transcendent (something that is beyond merely physical human experience). My biology profs don't think love is transcendent. Instead, they feel it is rooted in the physiological. When a child loves its mother, this love is actually the result of an evolutionary process that ensures the survival of the child. Its in a child's very nature to love their mother. By stating that your love for your mother is non-obligatory in post #197 you make it sound as though your love is something that bypasses or is outside of your biology. Biologists say that a child is driven to love its mother. You seem to disagree.


You peg me as an atheist, then asked me if I believe in a fuzzy notion of non-material love? I'm not following you.

Well exactly! That's why I thought it was so weird when you said that love is non-obligatory. I thought to myself "surely that's not what he wants to say". So that's why I asked you if you thought that love was non-physiological/transcendent.


Better to define what you mean by love that "transcends the human condition."

See above for the definition I'm using. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your alternative definitions?

whag
04-26-2014, 06:24 PM
I thought I made my meaning clear when I preceded the question about transcendence with the one about physiology, but I guess I was moving too fast for you.

Yes, you were. Transparent gloating, very dignified.


Oh, okay. The word "transcendent" means something like "beyond or above the range of normal or merely physical human experience."

"Something like" or the actual lifted definition? =) (You know it so well you had to Google it, eh?)

You're still not being clear, having not defined the human condition.

A dad can treat his daughter badly, and the daughter feels no obligation to remain in a love state. She has the choice to express love back to him via forgiveness, but that isn't compulsory by any stretch of the imagination. If she forgave him and actively restored that love (like I did after my wife had some extramarital flings), I don't see how that's love beyond the human condition, which is the way you originally phrased it.



Oh! I don't know. That's why I asked you. Do you feel like the non-obligatory love you have for your mom is supernatural? If you go back to my post #198 you'll see that I'm asking you what you think, as to not put words in your mouth. I can see what might have gone wrong though. My first sentence is phrased like a question, but I accidentally forgot to use a question mark, or a semi-colon. Is that what tripped you up?

No. Your thinking that non-compulsory love implies the supernatural tripped me up. Perhaps you should address a married couple or paternal example.




Oops. It looks like you lost track again. You believe that love is non-obligatory. That's why I asked you if you thought that love was more than physiological, if you thought it was transcendent (something that is beyond merely physical human experience). My biology profs don't think love is transcendent.
Instead, they feel it is rooted in the physiological. When a child loves its mother, this love is actually the result of an evolutionary process that ensures the survival of the child.

Of course it's rooted in the physiological. Not just in humans but also other mammals, the neural effects of deprivation can be seen. The brain literally grows faster and makes healthy connections when a child isn't deprived or abused. Jeffery Dahmer was deprived of parental time, his parents later admitted, and his brain was literally malformed as a result.


Its in a child's very nature to love their mother. By stating that your love for your mother is non-obligatory in post #197 you make it sound as though your love is something that bypasses or is outside of your biology.

Ah, there's the misunderstanding. You think--or your professors think--that maternal bonding is love?


Biologists say that a child is driven to love its mother. You seem to disagree.

No, they say that mammalian maternal bonding is a precursor to love, not love. Surely they don't conclude that adopted children have a compulsory, obligatory love for their birth parents, or that either is obliged to love either.


See above for the definition I'm using. Just out of curiosity, what are some of your alternative definitions?

I was more tripped up by the entire phrase and what you meant by "human condition," which is broadly defined. Is transcending human experience the same as transcending the human condition? Just don't pass it off as something you're too slick to Google ;).

OingoBoingo
04-26-2014, 08:44 PM
Yes, you were. Transparent gloating, very dignified.

Asking you if you think love is something other than physiological is transparent gloating? That's a new one.


"Something like" or the actual lifted definition? =) (You know it so well you had to Google it, eh?)

So...I'm confused. You didn't want a dictionary definition of the word "transcendent"? You wanted me to just, like, make up a definition? Strange....
I can tell you that what I mean by transcendent is just what the dictionary says it is. I'm not using it in any special way.


You're still not being clear, having not defined the human condition.

Human condition is defined as: The characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, and mortality. Wikipedia tells us that it is a subject of the following fields of study: philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology, anthropology, demographics, evolutionary biology, cultural studies, and sociobiology. Since I mentioned physiology in post #198, I assumed you got through context that I was referring to the human condition as it relates to the physical (evolutionary biology/evolutionary psychology and the like). I guess I overestimated.


A dad can treat his daughter badly, and the daughter feels no obligation to remain in a love state. She has the choice to express love back to him via forgiveness, but that isn't compulsory by any stretch of the imagination. If she forgave him and actively restored that love (like I did after my wife had some extramarital flings), I don't see how that's love beyond the human condition, which is the way you originally phrased it.

So, going back to your original example about your love for your mother. You don't think there's anything within your biology that (for lack of better word) urges you to love her? Love is just a switch you're able to flip on and off.


No. Your thinking that non-compulsory love implies the supernatural tripped me up.

You dropped the word "supernatural". I'm just trying to figure out what you believe non-obligatory love is. Earlier when I asked you to define "love" you refused.


Of course it's rooted in the physiological. Not just in humans but also other mammals, the neural effects of deprivation can be seen. The brain literally grows faster and makes healthy connections when a child isn't deprived or abused. Jeffery Dahmer was deprived of parental time, his parents later admitted, and his brain was literally malformed as a result.

Oh, good. So we're finally on the same page. So when you wrote, I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, you don't think your biology has something to say about that?


Ah, there's the misunderstanding. You think--or your professors think--that maternal bonding is love?

Sure. I don't think they'd have a problem saying that.


No, they say that mammalian maternal bonding is a precursor to love, not love. Surely they don't conclude that adopted children have a compulsory, obligatory love for their birth parents, or that either is obliged to love either.

You're hairsplitting. When referring to love biologists are talking about the result of a physiological process. See below:

Maternal and romantic love share a common and crucial evolutionary purpose, that of maintaining and promoting the species. They also share a functional purpose, in that both require that individuals stay together for a period of their lives. Both are thus calculated by nature to ensure the formation of firm bonds between individuals, by making of them rewarding experiences. It is not surprising to find that both sentiments share common brain areas. - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014579307004875

Although we assume that love is a unique human emotion, several neurobiological processes involved in the experience and expression of love are shared with other mammals. The phylogenetic origins of these processes reflect their antecedent adaptive function. In mammals, these processes have evolved into an integrated neurobehavioral system, which promotes proximity, reproduction, and physical safety. Central to the neural mediation of these processes is the autonomic nervous system. The focus of this paper is to describe how the autonomic nervous system is involved in the processes associated with feelings of love and behaviors linked to reproduction. - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306453098000572

And from the abstract of another paper:
Love is a complex neurobiological phenomenon, relying on trust, belief, pleasure and reward activities within the brain, i.e., limbic processes. These processes critically involve oxytocin, vasopressin, dopamine, and serotonergic signaling. Moreover, endorphin and endogenous morphinergic mechanisms, coupled to nitric oxide autoregulatory pathways, play a role. Naturally rewarding or pleasurable activities are necessary for survival and appetitive motivation, usually governing beneficial biological behaviors like eating, sex, and reproduction. Yet, a broad basis of common signaling and beneficial neurobiological features exists with connection to the love concept, thereby combining physiological aspects related to maternal, romantic or sexual love and attachment with other healthy activities or neurobiological states. Medical practice can make use of this concept, i.e., mind/body or integrative medicine. Thus, love, pleasure, and lust have a stress-reducing and health-promoting potential, since they carry the ability to heal or facilitate beneficial motivation and behavior. In addition, love and pleasure ensure the survival of individuals and their species. After all, love is a joyful and useful activity that encompasses wellness and feelings of well-being. - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15990719


I was more tripped up by the entire phrase and what you meant by "human condition," which is broadly defined. Is transcending human experience the same as transcending the human condition?

If the context is something physiological, then sure.


Just don't pass it off as something you're too slick to Google ;).

Not sure I get your hangup about using a common definition. Guess when you've got nothing else to lob, nitpicking one's use of Google after you've asked them to define terminology is all you've got. :shrug:

whag
04-27-2014, 11:18 AM
So...I'm confused. You didn't want a dictionary definition of the word "transcendent"?

No. I have the interwebs, too. Your phrase needed explication.


You wanted me to just, like, make up a definition? Strange....
I can tell you that what I mean by transcendent is just what the dictionary says it is. I'm not using it in any special way.

"transcends the human condition"




Human condition is defined as: The characteristics, key events, and situations which compose the essentials of human existence, such as birth, growth, emotionality, aspiration, conflict, and mortality. Wikipedia tells us that it is a subject of the following fields of study: philosophy, theology, sociology, psychology, anthropology, demographics, evolutionary biology, cultural studies, and sociobiology. Since I mentioned physiology in post #198, I assumed you got through context that I was referring to the human condition as it relates to the physical (evolutionary biology/evolutionary psychology and the like). I guess I overestimated.

In that case, you meant physical, which is a condition we share with all species. Thanks to Google, you realized HC means much more than "experience."


So, going back to your original example about your love for your mother. You don't think there's anything within your biology that (for lack of better word) urges you to love her? Love is just a switch you're able to flip on and off.

No. Those bonds don't guarantee that trajectory. They're the precursor to love.




You dropped the word "supernatural". I'm just trying to figure out what you believe non-obligatory love is. Earlier when I asked you to define "love" you refused.

Earlier I asked you to define "love that transcends the human condition." You refused.

Love is very broadly defined. I gave you personal examples of my mom and wife, a hypothetical example of paternal love, and even a possible example of obligatory love from the Bible. You refused to give me your take on those. The bible example seemed pertinent, since it seems to be an example of "love that transcends the human condition" and is, for all intents and purposes, obligatory (since it obliges one to love). It that a different kind of obligatory? It helps if you explain what you mean.




Oh, good. So we're finally on the same page. So when you wrote, I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, you don't think your biology has something to say about that?

Not unless chimps love their moms. No, my love for her is based on reasons. I'm not obligated/compelled to love my mom, dad, sister, wife, or you.




Sure. I don't think they'd have a problem saying that.



You're hairsplitting. When referring to love biologists are talking about the result of a physiological process. See below:

Try quoting the part that says maternal bonding obliges children to love mom. If you're calling mammalian maternal bonding "love," this is hardly the case of hairsplitting.









Not sure I get your hangup about using a common definition. Guess when you've got nothing else to lob, nitpicking one's use of Google after you've asked them to define terminology is all you've got. :shrug:

No, I just thought it was funny you said it means "something like...." then gave the lifted definition. It doesn't help when you brag about knowing the word and forget you said "transcends the human condition."

Okay, so at this point I've given you two personal examples. I expect you to do me the courtesy of opening yourself up, too. Chill on the war talk and elucidate me on how you express obligatory love to anybody. Who knows? We might both learn something.

OingoBoingo
04-27-2014, 12:43 PM
You know, if I were dealing with anyone else on this forum (okay, maybe not shunyadragon), i'd be fascinated how much of a song and dance you're putting on to avoid the simple question I put to you in post #198 and #208, but since this is your typical modus operandi on this forum, I just find it kinda pathetic. At any rate, I think your non-answering has pretty much told me what I was expecting.

whag
04-27-2014, 01:10 PM
You know, if I were dealing with anyone else on this forum (okay, maybe not shunyadragon), i'd be fascinated how much of a song and dance you're putting on to avoid the simple question I put to you in post #198 and #208, but since this is your typical modus operandi on this forum, I just find it kinda pathetic. At any rate, I think your non-answering has pretty much told me what I was expecting.

I wasn't expecting you to feign exasperation so soon. This might be a record for you.

OingoBoingo
04-27-2014, 01:23 PM
I wasn't expecting you to feign exasperation so soon. This might be a record for you.

Riiight, feigning it. :ahem: As if exasperating me wasn't your goal when you found yourself stumped. Again whag, you might be fooling yourself, but you're certainly not fooling anyone else. Hate to break it to you, but you're not nearly as clever as you think you are.

whag
04-27-2014, 02:39 PM
That was the point of my second paragraph. I'm not sure how far I can go with "how" except to say that it's a universal human faculty independent from cognition.

OK. Let's move from the "how" to the "what."



More precisely, babies (even before being born) possess a spiritual dimension which may be inclined to either trust or mistrust God. As a spiritual interaction, it's not dependent on the physical sensorium or on cognitive faculties.

First, you said babies didn't need awareness of the passion play (because it isn't reasonable to expect babies to know the mechanics of the atonement). Then, when I replied the same would hold true for them deciding their inclination to hate or love God (both require reasoning), you say it's divorced from cognition. The inclination to hate or love divorced from consciousness or cognition sounds like a coin flip. It pretends to describe the "what," but says nothing, essentially.


That also makes it a world not amenable to analysis by our usual tools-- like the challenge of explaining color to a man born blind, only worse.

We can handle it. =). We relatively recently discovered we are primates, and some of us took it well.

If the human spirit chooses good or evil in the womb, we probably have the capacity to understand how this is done, at least in a comprehensibly analogous way. Are you sticking with the mom smell metaphor, or can you provide another?

NormATive
04-27-2014, 07:18 PM
Obligatory love? Really? Wow - that's cold! I'm just as confused as you are, Whag. I've never even heard of obligatory love, and I was RAISED as a Christian!

Now, perhaps what OB is trying to say is unconditional love...? That's the kind of love I've heard in the Christian religion, and that makes sense. Unconditional love is not exclusive to Christianity, though. So, perhaps transcendent, obligatory love is something new.

NORM

whag
04-27-2014, 07:39 PM
Obligatory love? Really? Wow - that's cold! I'm just as confused as you are, Whag. I've never even heard of obligatory love, and I was RAISED as a Christian!

Now, perhaps what OB is trying to say is unconditional love...? That's the kind of love I've heard in the Christian religion, and that makes sense. Unconditional love is not exclusive to Christianity, though. So, perhaps transcendent, obligatory love is something new.

NORM

Also, remember this circles back to the compulsory love demand outlined in the redundant "free gift" apologetic.

NormATive
04-27-2014, 07:42 PM
Also, remember this circles back to the compulsory love demand outlined in the redundant "free gift" apologetic.

Are Christians really that unaware of how creepy that sounds to most people?

NORM

OingoBoingo
04-27-2014, 07:59 PM
Obligatory love? Really? Wow - that's cold! I'm just as confused as you are, Whag. I've never even heard of obligatory love, and I was RAISED as a Christian!

Now, perhaps what OB is trying to say is unconditional love...? That's the kind of love I've heard in the Christian religion, and that makes sense. Unconditional love is not exclusive to Christianity, though. So, perhaps transcendent, obligatory love is something new.

NORM

Huh? How did you get that out of anything you read? I never proposed that love actually was obligatory, nor have the questions I've asked been based on any sort of Christian perspective (I don't know how many times I have to tell you that).

When whag told me in post #197 that he felt no obligation to love his mother, I found that curious, because he's told us before that he's an atheist. Most atheists I know are materialists, and it didn't seem to me that his comment aligned with a materialist position on the concept of love. From a materialist's perspective love is nothing more than an evolutionarily advantageous neurobiological phenomenon. From the materialist's perspective, loving one's mother is in our nature. That's why I asked him in post #198 if he thought love was perhaps...non-physiological, transcendent even. It'd be a curious position for an atheist to hold, but who knows. He wouldn't answer that question. So then I made the question simpler in post #208 and asked him to just define what he thought love was. He wouldn't answer that either. When he realized that the questions sort of pushed him into a corner, he did his typical song and dance routine. :shrug:

whag
04-27-2014, 09:05 PM
Huh? How did you get that out of anything you read? I never proposed that love actually was obligatory, nor have the questions I've asked been based on any sort of Christian perspective (I don't know how many times I have to tell you that).

He gets obligatory from that post you mentioned:


I love my mom. I feel no obligation to love her, nor would I know how to actualize it.

So the context circles back to compulsory love of the "free gift," the topic of #197.


When whag told me in post #197 that he felt no obligation to love his mother, I found that curious, because he's told us before that he's an atheist. Most atheists I know are materialists, and it didn't seem to me that his comment aligned with a materialist position on the concept of love.

And then I told you there was no conflict. Maternal bonding isn't love in the way you are thinking.


From a materialist's perspective love is nothing more than an evolutionarily advantageous neurobiological phenomenon. From the materialist's perspective, loving one's mother is in our nature.

That doesn't oblige me to love my mom. It doesn't make your love for your mother obligatory. Please explain.


That's why I asked him in post #198 if he thought love was perhaps...non-physiological, transcendent even. It'd be a curious position for an atheist to hold, but who knows. He wouldn't answer that question.

No, you specifically asked a non sequiter (how does my voluntary love equate to supernatural love?). It contained the wrong use of "human condition" and was confusing. You refused to clarify what you meant, instead prattling on about your biology professors. I was stuck imagining a "compulsory love that transcends the human condition." What?

You needed to slow down like you promised. That requires actual writing and opening yourself up with examples of obligatory love. Remember, this goes back to compulsory love of the free gift.


So then I made the question simpler in post #208 and asked him to just define what he thought love was.

Before clarifying your question or giving any examples of obligatory love to help me understand, you asked another question that you later admitted was an attempt to expose a pickle between materialism and theism.


He wouldn't answer that either. When he realized that the questions sort of pushed him into a corner, he did his typical song and dance routine.

Yes, I didn't let you sidetrack with a new open-ended question that could have spanned pages and was admittedly meant to trap. You're not as clever as you think you are.

37818
04-28-2014, 02:00 PM
In the end of this discussion, what good is it, if it does not lead to begin born from God? Do you even know what it means to believe Jesus is the Christ? The bottom line is unless God gives one this new birth, then one is toast. (Revelation 21:8.) And all this discussion is for not.

whag
04-28-2014, 02:13 PM
In the end of this discussion, what good is it, if it does not lead to begin born from God? Do you even know what it means to believe Jesus is the Christ? The bottom line is unless God gives one this new birth, then one is toast. (Revelation 21:8.) And all this discussion is for not.

*naught

NormATive
04-28-2014, 05:41 PM
In the end of this discussion, what good is it, if it does not lead to begin born from God?

It could quite possibly free you from bondage to a rigid belief structure.


Do you even know what it means to believe Jesus is the Christ?

For over 30 years; yes.


The bottom line is unless God gives one this new birth, then one is toast. (Revelation 21:8.) And all this discussion is for not.

Personally, I like French Toast. Sometimes even Texas Toast!

NORM

whag
04-28-2014, 07:32 PM
If Christianity is true, I'm convinced that discussion and reasoning lead to the metaphor of new birth. 37818, please explain yourself.

robrecht
05-15-2014, 07:53 PM
Where does the pederast end up, if not dining with Jesus, in your version of universalism? It sounds more like you are an inclusivist (some enjoy God's favor without faith) than a universalist (everyone, without exception, ultimately enjoys God's favor). And indeed, the Reformed Christian tradition has always had room for a limited inclusivism with regard to the mentally defective. See this example from the Westminster Confession (1646):


Elect infants, dying in infancy, are regenerated, and saved by Christ, through the Spirit, who works when, and where, and how He pleases: so also are all other elect persons who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the Word. (WCF 10:3)
Is that the limit of God's ability to save those without explicit faith in the Reformed tradition? Would Billy Graham, a Southern Baptist, be considered a heretic?


Billy Graham: Guilty of Inclusivism

Billy Graham is, perhaps, the epitome of the evangelical identity.

Or, so we thought…

Like C.S. Lewis, Graham believes that those who do not hear of Christ may, indeed, be saved without explicitly confessing him as Lord.

In a 1997 interview with Robert Schuller, Graham said,

Billy Graham“I think that everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are members of the body of Christ. . . . [God] is calling people out of the world for his name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven.” (This statement starts at 1:18 in this video)

http://andygill.org/heretics-banned-evangelicalism/

RBerman
05-15-2014, 09:13 PM
Is that the limit of God's ability to save those without explicit faith in the Reformed tradition? Would Billy Graham, a Southern Baptist, be considered a heretic?


Billy Graham: Guilty of Inclusivism

Billy Graham is, perhaps, the epitome of the evangelical identity.

Or, so we thought…

Like C.S. Lewis, Graham believes that those who do not hear of Christ may, indeed, be saved without explicitly confessing him as Lord.

In a 1997 interview with Robert Schuller, Graham said,

Billy Graham“I think that everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are members of the body of Christ. . . . [God] is calling people out of the world for his name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ because they have been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don’t have, and they turn to the only light they have, and I think that they are saved and they are going to be with us in heaven.” (This statement starts at 1:18 in this video)

http://andygill.org/heretics-banned-evangelicalism/

That was going around Facebook this week. I cannot count myself as a Billy Graham fan, for this sort of reason. The very phase, "everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not..." strikes me as self-contradictory; I do not even know what it means to know something that I am never conscious of. Certainly God is calling people out of the Muslim world or the Buddhist world. The operative word there is out; that is, they are no longer of those worlds once they belong to Christ, even if they stay physically in those worlds. An inner sense of "needing something that you don't have" sounds like preparation evangelium rather than the sort of faith in Christ of which the Bible speaks.

robrecht
05-15-2014, 09:16 PM
That was going around Facebook this week. I cannot count myself as a Billy Graham fan, for this sort of reason. The very phase, "everybody that loves or knows Christ, whether they are conscious of it or not..." strikes me as self-contradictory; I do not even know what it means to know something that I am never conscious of. Certainly God is calling people out of the Muslim world or the Buddhist world. The operative word there is out; that is, they are no longer of those worlds once they belong to Christ, even if they stay physically in those worlds. An inner sense of "needing something that you don't have" sounds like preparation evangelium rather than the sort of faith in Christ of which the Bible speaks.
So would your answer be 'yes' to my two questions?