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Old 01-11-2015, 09:08 AM   #1
awareness
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Default By The Book

I'm a lover of books. Cuz my imagination doesn't seem to be that creative I get most of my perchance topic derailing wild and "out there" ideas from them. So I'm prolly the last person to talk.

My question in this thread is: Did God intend for man to live by a book?

In the Bible -- hereafter referred to as The Book -- He didn't give one to Adam and Eve, to Noah, or to Abraham. Moreover, the major actors in The Book, like Moses and King David, weren't living by a book.

Plus, in the New Testament of "The Book" the human Jesus didn't leave us a book, written in his own hand. If we were meant to live by a book wouldn't Jesus have written us one?

In fact, if there's such a thing written of in The Book, as, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," The Book would fit the bill.

I know some will be offended by just the suggestion of not living by The Book. Some will considerate it blasphemy in fact ... to suggest otherwise.

They couldn't imagine living like Adam and Eve, and Abraham, without The Book.

What would life be like, what would the world be like, if we didn't live by The Book?
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I'm a lover of books. Cuz my imagination doesn't seem to be that creative I get most of my perchance topic derailing wild and "out there" ideas from them. So I'm prolly the last person to talk.

My question in this thread is: Did God intend for man to live by a book?

In the Bible -- hereafter referred to as The Book -- He didn't give one to Adam and Eve, to Noah, or to Abraham. Moreover, the major actors in The Book, like Moses and King David, weren't living by a book.

Plus, in the New Testament of "The Book" the human Jesus didn't leave us a book, written in his own hand. If we were meant to live by a book wouldn't Jesus have written us one?

In fact, if there's such a thing written of in The Book, as, "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," The Book would fit the bill.

I know some will be offended by just the suggestion of not living by The Book. Some will considerate it blasphemy in fact ... to suggest otherwise.

They couldn't imagine living like Adam and Eve, and Abraham, without The Book.

What would life be like, what would the world be like, if we didn't live by The Book?
Interestingly enough I was writing something along those lines.... Maybe if we take a look at how we ended up with the Bible we can understand why we have this book.

The early Christian church became a text based religion. This is evident with an epistle composed around AD 110 to 140 by Polycarp of Smyrna where he quotes earlier sources. Although he doesn't mention the source he quotes almost word for word 1 Pet. 1:8 and then almost the same words as in Eph. 2:8,9. He then quotes without mentioning the source, 1 Pet. 1:21, Phil. 2:10 and then Acts 10:42. However, he also quotes in this letter writings which did not make it into the NT canon such as 1 Clement.

Roman religions of the day of Christ were practice-based and not text-based basing their worship on offering sacrifices according to set customs and saying set prayers according to customs. They were not text-based. In contrast the Christian religion was text-based primarily because it was a continuation of Judaism which was also text-based. Christians started with a ready made canon of scriptures in the Judaic scriptures. Paul's writings, which were the earliest, quote extensively from the Jewish canon e.g. 1 Cor 15:3-4. Also in 1 Tim. 5:18 you have Jesus’ words equated with Jewish scripture. II Pet 3:15-16 appears to note that Paul's writings were equated with scripture.

The formation of the NT canon took centuries to put together. It wasn't until 367 AD when Athanasius wrote a letter to the church in Alexandria where we see the first mention of all 27 books contained in the NT canon listed as scripture. Before that there were numerous other Gospels, Acts, epistles and apocalypses from the first 3 centuries of Christianity, most of them claiming to be written by apostles. They had to develop criteria to establish books which would be contained in the NT canon:
1. A book had to be ancient (near the time of Jesus)
2. It had to be written by an apostle (or a companion of an apostle)
3. It had to be widely used throughout the entire early Church (not just a local favorite)
4. Most importantly it had to be orthodox (it had to be the "right belief")

The sticking point is #4 “right belief”.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:11 PM   #3
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Perhaps the human race has been mystified by the invention of language. Language has transformed us and involved us in the process of cultural evolution. Before writing, human culture was already mesmerized by the spoken word. With the advent of writing the possibility of enacting enduring forms on the page captured the human imagination and we were hooked. The Bible seems to be an instance of the quest for eternal being through language in the midst of the flux of becoming. The written word makes that possible although not as absolutely or permanently as we like to imagine.

Presently, language is controlling us as much as we are controlling language. We can't imagine what it would be like to live without it. Books are morphing into electronic media and back again and the illusion of permanence is being shaken. What it would be like to live without the Bible, we'll never know and it's impossible to imagine it with any certainty beyond science fiction. Maybe if we suffer dementia and forget everything we ever read we will find out what it is like, but that doesn't seem like a very attractive proposition and would likely present bigger problems then forgetting the Bible.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:48 PM   #4
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Perhaps the human race has been mystified by the invention of language. Language has transformed us and involved us in the process of cultural evolution. Before writing, human culture was already mesmerized by the spoken word. With the advent of writing the possibility of enacting enduring forms on the page captured the human imagination and we were hooked. The Bible seems to be an instance of the quest for eternal being through language in the midst of the flux of becoming. The written word makes that possible although not as absolutely or permanently as we like to imagine.

Presently, language is controlling us as much as we are controlling language. We can't imagine what it would be like to live without it. Books are morphing into electronic media and back again and the illusion of permanence is being shaken. What it would be like to live without the Bible, we'll never know and it's impossible to imagine it with any certainty beyond science fiction. Maybe if we suffer dementia and forget everything we ever read we will find out what it is like, but that doesn't seem like a very attractive proposition and would likely present bigger problems then forgetting the Bible.
Yes! "In the BEGINNING was the WORD." Before the advent of writing we call prehistory, and consider that we were all just primitives back then, fresh out of the trees.

Question: Did God relate with humankind before the invention of writing?

The Book tells of those that God related with before any Bible was written; early Christianity had no New Testament. So God does relate to humankind without Holy Writ. Did God relate with humankind before writing?
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Old 01-11-2015, 10:54 PM   #5
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Yes! "In the BEGINNING was the WORD." Before the advent of writing we call prehistory, and consider that we were all just primitives back then, fresh out of the trees.

Question: Did God relate with humankind before the invention of writing?

The Book tells of those that God related with before any Bible was written; early Christianity had no New Testament. So God does relate to humankind without Holy Writ. Did God relate with humankind before writing?
If you only have read one book, Orality and Literacy by Walter J. Ong which I have shared with many in talks I have given you would understand the difference between oral tradition and written words. Ong states, "More than any other single invention, writing has transformed human consciousness." p.77.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:29 AM   #6
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Seems that making the existence of a book into a NT-era thing is a little revisionist. God is recorded as having Moses write down what was delivered on Mt. Sinai. And since it was God's edict on how to live, then continuing to refer to it rather than their own personal version of what God must have intended would seem to be the way to go. And since they tended to believe in the constancy of God's commands, to the extent that they weren't certain how it applied in particular situations, once they concluded how it should be applied, they wrote it down so that it was at least something to contend with when it came up again.

I could go on. But if you don't like the Bible — the book that purports to reveal God's ways interactions with man — how do you propose that we discover who God is and how he would have us live? Every man for himself? That never works. And so many of those who do not believe in the God of the Bible have written their own books to keep their followers together on their pathway (whatever it may be).

And there is a guy over on the Berean forum who declares that the Jesus who is living and beside you will tell you what you need to know. And this Jesus speaks in contradiction to the Jesus who spoke in the Bible. That might appeal to some, but it makes the speaking of Jesus subject to me.

As someone said somewhere else, "in the beginning, God created man in his image, and man has been returning the favor ever since."
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Old 01-12-2015, 07:38 AM   #7
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how do you propose that we discover who God is and how he would have us live? Every man for himself?
Paul writes in 1 Corinth. 2:10-13 "these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God....And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit...." Paul also writes in II Corinth. 3:6. "...for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life." Unfortunately I have to quote "written words" to establish these facts and these quotes are used by people such as Nee and Lee to undermine any reasonable interpretations of the Bible. Thus, you end up with Lee perceived to be "more spiritual" than others with a deeper spiritual interpretation of the Bible. Once you believe he had a deeper spiritual insight you want to read his Life Studies, his Bible translation etc because of his "spiritual depth". Everyone else is considered shallow in their understanding.

Of course, any "spiritual leader" can quote those verses and interpret the Bible with a deeper "spiritual insight". Take your pick.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:02 AM   #8
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If you only have read one book, Orality and Literacy by Walter J. Ong which I have shared with many in talks I have given you would understand the difference between oral tradition and written words. Ong states, "More than any other single invention, writing has transformed human consciousness." p.77.
Is this the book you speak of:
http://occupytampa.org/files/wcom/on...20literacy.pdf

Here's a quote from it:
"Nevertheless, without writing, human consciousness
cannot achieve its fuller potentials, cannot produce other beautiful
and powerful creations."


"In the BEGINNING was the WORD?" Was that the spoken word or the written word?

The talk of the town is that The Book - Bible - is inspired of God. Maybe writing itself was inspired of God. God forbid that humans evolved from the oral to the written word.

You brought up on another thread that, in the garden story God, Adam, Eve, and the serpent, must have started right out of the box speaking Hebrew (The seems to strike the ear as sounding a little odd or novel). But there is no account of written language in the garden of Eden, Hebrew or otherwise.

The study of the development of the written word is interesting. It's far from an exact science. We have evidence of undeciphered writing systems dating back to the 7th millennium B.C.E. And developed writing systems are evidenced at the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C.E. in Sumer and Egypt.

So if God inspired written language He did it in stages, a little at a time, over thousands of years.

Maybe God was just working up to inspiring the Bible, and human hands were slow to pick up on it.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:39 AM   #9
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Is this the book you speak of:
http://occupytampa.org/files/wcom/on...20literacy.pdf

Here's a quote from it:
"Nevertheless, without writing, human consciousness
cannot achieve its fuller potentials, cannot produce other beautiful
and powerful creations."


"In the BEGINNING was the WORD?" Was that the spoken word or the written word?

The talk of the town is that The Book - Bible - is inspired of God. Maybe writing itself was inspired of God. God forbid that humans evolved from the oral to the written word.

You brought up on another thread that, in the garden story God, Adam, Eve, and the serpent, must have started right out of the box speaking Hebrew (The seems to strike the ear as sounding a little odd or novel). But there is no account of written language in the garden of Eden, Hebrew or otherwise.

The study of the development of the written word is interesting. It's far from an exact science. We have evidence of undeciphered writing systems dating back to the 7th millennium B.C.E. And developed writing systems are evidenced at the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C.E. in Sumer and Egypt.

So if God inspired written language He did it in stages, a little at a time, over thousands of years.

Maybe God was just working up to inspiring the Bible, and human hands were slow to pick up on it.
Yes, that is the book...great job... if you notice on page 80 Ong states that "writing is a technology". I often tell people who complain about technology...."well, would you rather not have any written words?" On page 81 he notes that although contrasted with natural, oral speech, "...writing is completely artificial..." but he goes on to say, "To say that writing is artificial is not to condemn it but to praise it...it is invaluable and ....essential".

When you say the Bible is inspired I have wondered, maybe only the original documents are inspired and since they are lost we only have facsimiles and even they have issues. They were all written in Greek even though Jesus and the disciples all spoke Aramaic with a little Hebrew thrown in. We have numerous translations...are they all inspired? With Codex Sinaiticus we have the earliest complete copy of the NT which may not have even been available to the Apostolic Fathers...Maybe that is the only inspired version.

God never explained how everyone knew Hebrew or whatever language they were speaking in the garden. There is no "God says, there is now Hebrew language for everyone to speak" in Genesis. It wasn't until the Tower of Babel when apparently all the languages were developed according to the Bible. A similar picture is painted in Acts when everyone understood each other in their different tongues.

God's inspiration of the development of the written word is a man-made development. If God was involved he didn't indicate it anywhere in scripture other than the two examples I provided above. But then again, he is God and he can do whatever....you know the drill--all powerful, all knowing, all this and all that. Like many things, however, it is awe-inspiring...the development of the written word.

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Old 01-12-2015, 09:48 AM   #10
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If you only have read one book, Orality and Literacy by Walter J. Ong which I have shared with many in talks I have given you would understand the difference between oral tradition and written words. Ong states, "More than any other single invention, writing has transformed human consciousness." p.77.
...every invention except symbolic language itself which preceded it and that it depends upon, that is.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:19 AM   #11
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...every invention except symbolic language itself which preceded it and that it depends upon, that is.
Are you saying that symbolic language has transformed human consciousness more than the alphabet or written language which in itself is symbolic. I am not sure what you are exactly saying.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:28 AM   #12
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Paul writes in 1 Corinth. 2:10-13 "these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God....And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit...." Paul also writes in II Corinth. 3:6. "...for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life." Unfortunately I have to quote "written words" to establish these facts and these quotes are used by people such as Nee and Lee to undermine any reasonable interpretations of the Bible. Thus, you end up with Lee perceived to be "more spiritual" than others with a deeper spiritual interpretation of the Bible. Once you believe he had a deeper spiritual insight you want to read his Life Studies, his Bible translation etc because of his "spiritual depth". Everyone else is considered shallow in their understanding.
To me, these passages are more about whether you see as true the things of God that have been revealed in the Bible, and in our lives, or you do not see them. As even you have noted, there is an aspect of all of this that still requires faith. If it were completely about logic and provable fact, then no scientist could stand against Christian apologetics.

But there is an aspect of faith involved. Some choose to not believe. Some do not "see it." And even we who do must take some of it by faith. It is not a religion of hard proofs.

So the book, even if accepted as fully correct in what it seeks to speak to us concerning, does not prove everything to us. We still require the illumination of it through the Spirit. Yet that illumination does not stand in contrast to what was written down, but rather creates within us a level of surety that what we cannot take as logically provable fact is still fact.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:20 PM   #13
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Are you saying that symbolic language has transformed human consciousness more than the alphabet or written language which in itself is symbolic. I am not sure what you are exactly saying.
Yes. Mental imagery and the spoken word precede written language. They do this not only pre-historically but developmentally in infancy. So, the transition to the written word, as profound as it is, is secondary.
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Old 01-12-2015, 01:38 PM   #14
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Yes. Mental imagery and the spoken word precede written language. They do this not only pre-historically but developmentally in infancy. So, the transition to the written word, as profound as it is, is secondary.
I realize that oral speech precedes written language but as Ong has pointed out speech was not an invention, page 81, "By contrast with natural, oral speech, writing is completely artificial. There is no way to write 'naturally'. Oral speech is fully natural to human beings in the sense that every human being in every culture who is not psychologically or physiologically impaired learns to talk......Writing or script differs as such from speech in that it does not inevitably well up out of the unconscious."
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Old 01-12-2015, 02:46 PM   #15
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I realize that oral speech precedes written language but as Ong has pointed out speech was not an invention, page 81, "By contrast with natural, oral speech, writing is completely artificial. There is no way to write 'naturally'. Oral speech is fully natural to human beings in the sense that every human being in every culture who is not psychologically or physiologically impaired learns to talk......Writing or script differs as such from speech in that it does not inevitably well up out of the unconscious."
The origin of human speech is a widely debated and controversial topic. Ong's opinion places him somewhere on the nativist side of the spectrum. I don't dispute the factual basis of his argument i.e. that every unimpaired human learns to talk although I confess, I haven't tried to talk to every human on the planet and I wonder how, if they were unimpaired, one would determine that if they didn't talk. Remember the speech and language therapists we used to work with? If the person did not talk, they inevitably concluded that the WERE impaired in speech or language or both. So, Ong's statement "Oral speech is fully natural to human beings in the sense that every human being in every culture who is not psychologically or physiologically impaired learns to talk" seems to involve circular thinking.

Be that as it may, I don't mean to imply that the origin of speech is artificial. It is rather not a matter of settled knowledge exactly HOW it originated since it is at this historical moment not a settled matter of science. And that fact, I think, supports my initial observation that origin of speech and language, in the first place and the written word in the second are somewhat mysterious and mystifying to us. As Awareness has noted the mysterious aspect of the spoken word is illustrated in the creation story of Genesis 1 and the prologue to the Gospel of John. Indeed, the miracle of self consciousness itself may be dependent language as a vehicle for conceptual thought. We are, it seems, under the spell of language. Our participation in human society depends on it as I sure Ong would agree.
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Old 01-12-2015, 04:40 PM   #16
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So the book, even if accepted as fully correct in what it seeks to speak to us concerning, does not prove everything to us. We still require the illumination of it through the Spirit. Yet that illumination does not stand in contrast to what was written down, . . .
Paul in 1 Corinth. 2:10 is speaking of a different kind of word, not the written type. He's saying that the words he gives are of the Spirit. That kind of word doesn't require proof. It's a living word ... what I believe is actually meant by The Word, spoken of many times in the book. When Jesus, for example, tells the devil, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God," he's speaking of the actual living word, not book words.
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Old 01-12-2015, 06:45 PM   #17
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Harold, my man, you've outdone yourself...again!

You quote the verse... "It is WRITTEN, man shall not"...and then you proceed to tell us that Jesus was not referring to "book words"! Dude, Jesus could have said anything he wanted, and by the way, anything he said was the living Word, but he chose to quote from the WRITTEN Word of God, in this case he quoted from Deuteronomy 8:3. Jesus also frequently quoted from the WRITTEN Old Testament (from over 20 different OT books as a matter of fact). He also was a Rabbi, a teacher thoroughly familiar with the WRITTEN Torah (which he referred to as "the Law") and also he taught from the WRITINGS of the Prophets and the Psalms. Of course he spoke much of King David, and everything he said was from the WRITTEN Old Testament record of the life and times of David.

In reference to the New Testament, again, we have every reason to believe that God meant for it all to be written down - from the gospels, which began as an oral record, but for the sake of accurateness and for posterity's sake, was written down, to all the various apostolic letters, which were circulated IN WRITING among the early churches, up to the grand and mysterious Book of Revelation (now who would believe all that stuff unless it got written down?)

Harold, my friend, I suspect that your real problem is not with "the Book" at all, it is with the way ignorant and sinful man has handled this book. We've done our best to totally misrepresent what God has placed before us, in writing, from the very beginning. You mentioned Adam and Eve. Maybe if they had had the things God had been telling them in writing, then maybe they could have done some good ole Bible thumping...right on the head of that lying snake. (you know, that creature whose quote from the WRITTEN word elicited the very quote from Jesus that you gave)

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What would life be like, what would the world be like, if we didn't live by The Book?
Well, I think we have many thousands of years of human history that answer that question quite well. Remember those ignorant, sinful men I mentioned about a little earlier? As bad as it has gotten with the ignorant, sinful men who have at least tried to live by the Book, far worse has resulted from men who are totally unrestrained from the restrictions of God's laws, which after all, are meant to lead us to repentance, belief and forgiveness and ultimately to full salvation. This is the glorious Gospel I'm always chirping about. And thanks be to God that he chose to preserve this Gospel for us in WRITING.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:38 PM   #18
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Harold, my man, you've outdone yourself...again!
Well I try real hard. Just for you. I know how much of a kick you get out of an "I gotcha!" So I give ya low hangin' fruit.

But I'm all kinds of crossed up here; much more faulty than you found. Thanks for going easy on me. I''m doing what you say Jesus is doing, referencing the written word to make a claim for a living non-written spoken word; or, "by every word(not just written) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

So I'll go all in on making a fool of myself. I'll continue to use the written word to prove my point. Thus negating, perchance, my own premise.

What I'm thinking of when speaking of the living spoken word of God comes from the following examples. I'll just quote a few, and I know you can find plenty more cases on your own:

Gen_15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision

1Sa_15:10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

1Ki_6:11 And the word of the LORD came to Solomon, saying,

1Ki_12:22 But the word of God came unto Shemaiah the man of God, saying,


There's plenty more examples, and I know you are familiar with them. In none of these examples is it the written word that's being written/spoken about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim
In reference to the New Testament, again, we have every reason to believe that God meant for it all to be written down - from the gospels, which began as an oral record, but for the sake of accurateness and for posterity's sake, was written down, to all the various apostolic letters, which were circulated IN WRITING among the early churches, up to the grand and mysterious Book of Revelation (now who would believe all that stuff unless it got written down?)
We wouldn't have the written word without the living non-written spoken word.

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Originally Posted by UntoHim
Harold, my friend, I suspect that your real problem is not with "the Book" at all, it is with the way ignorant and sinful man has handled this book.
So true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
You mentioned Adam and Eve. Maybe if they had had the things God had been telling them in writing, then maybe they could have done some good ole Bible thumping...right on the head of that lying snake. (you know, that creature whose quote from the WRITTEN word elicited the very quote from Jesus that you gave).
That's a funny one. And serious Bible thumpin'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
This is the glorious Gospel I'm always chirping about. And thanks be to God that he chose to preserve this Gospel for us in WRITING.
Yes, and it provides much for me to quote from too.

So did God put it in writing so that He doesn't have to speak directly to us anymore?
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Old 01-13-2015, 09:41 AM   #19
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We still require the illumination of it through the Spirit. Yet that illumination does not stand in contrast to what was written down, but rather creates within us a level of surety that what we cannot take as logically provable fact is still fact.
When you say, "Yet that illumination does not stand in contrast to what was written down" it seems to diminish the illumination of the Spirit. As I wrote earlier we have to trust that the Spirit guided the people who put the Bible together:

The formation of the NT canon took centuries to put together. It wasn't until 367 AD when Athanasius wrote a letter to the church in Alexandria where we see the first mention of all 27 books contained in the NT canon listed as scripture. Before that there were numerous other Gospels, Acts, epistles and apocalypses from the first 3 centuries of Christianity, most of them claiming to be written by apostles. They had to develop criteria to establish books which would be contained in the NT canon:

1. A book had to be ancient (near the time of Jesus)
2. It had to be written by an apostle (or a companion of an apostle)
3. It had to be widely used throughout the entire early Church (not just a local favorite)
4. Most importantly it had to be orthodox (it had to be the "right belief")

The biggest issue was #4, it had to be "right belief". At the time the canon was placed together they did not have the knowledge that 6 books claimed to be written by Paul the Apostle now do not appear to have been written by him (i.e. Ephesians, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy and Titus) so those books would not meet the criteria stated above. Some were clearly written after his death. The earliest letters were written at least 2-3 decades after the death of Christ by Paul who only had a revelation of Christ but had never been directly associated with him. There are also passages in the NT which were clearly added by scribes as these letters were being copied. We don't have the original letters and there are thousands (approx 400,000) of errors in the copies of the copies which are available even though 98% of the errors are minor there are significant ones which were used in the past to prove doctrine such as the Trinity (1 John 5:7-8)

What are considered the major doctrines of the NT are not clearly stated by anyone, even Paul. He was primarily writing to churches about problems they were encountering. He never spells out the Doctrine of Christ (100% God 100% man) or the Trinity which were developed/interpreted hundreds of years after the death of Christ. As I stated earlier the books of the NT had to have "right belief" or they would not be included in the canon. So, it was only those books which appeared to support the "right belief" of the proto-orthodox churches which were included and those that did not support "right belief" (and there were many) were excluded even the recent find of the book of Thomas which is an ancient book. In fact, the proto-orthodox churches destroyed books that did not appear to support proto-orthodox beliefs. We only know about many of them from the proto-orthodox Church fathers who mention them in their books on heresies. The books found at Nag Hammadi in 1946 were buried not far from a monastery apparently because if found they would have been destroyed.

Thus the first thing a Christian has to believe is that every book in the Bible has to be taken literally because if it isn't then as was said on this forum, "the camel's nose is poked into the tent" and who knows what might happen afterwards. In other words, if you don't believe that every book/every word of the Bible is literally the Word of God it will undermine your faith. Then there is the issue of the original languages which should be used and the different translations.

Anyway, hopefully you get the picture...the Spirit is to illuminate the scripture as long as it is consistent with "right belief" which was determined by men supposedly guided by the Spirit hundreds of years after the death of Christ. I guess the Spirit guided the men to develop the criteria above to establish the NT as well. If you are studying the book of Colossians, why is it the Word of God? ---because you believe it is whether it is on God's list of books or not. Your belief makes it the Word of God.
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Old 01-13-2015, 12:37 PM   #20
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When you say, "Yet that illumination does not stand in contrast to what was written down" it seems to diminish the illumination of the Spirit. As I wrote earlier we have to trust that the Spirit guided the people who put the Bible together:
I'm leaving out the discussion of the canon of scripture. . . .

Given the tendency of man to get all kinds of stuff out of the Bible, I would assert that the illumination of the Spirit is always needed. Otherwise we might become those who assert that black skin is the result of a curse, or think that joining the KKK is to give yourself as a living sacrifice.

Yeah. A little extreme. But also very real. That verse is part of the KKK initiation according to an "undercover" look into the group some years back.

When I say "not stand in contrast to what is written down" I am not suggesting that learning that what you thought what was written meant cannot be improved, or even significantly changed. Surely there is much room for the illumination of the Spirit.

But much of the illumination of the Spirit is the realization that what is not provable is real. It is what takes us from being people who have heard the stuff to people who believe it. And beyond that, the Spirit is the light that the word provides for our path.

Seems that it is too common that people want to either just take the literal words and presume that they will tell them all they need, or alternately the words become irrelevant and the Spirit becomes the guide. While I agree that the Spirit is our guide now, there is a problem when it comes to figuring out what is the Spirit and what is our own imagination, the imagination of yet another Bible huckster, or indigestion. And that is where the written word comes in. It is the proof that what we think we are illuminated concerning is actually from God. It is not just a rehash, but is consistent with it. And consistent does not mean the same old same old. It means that we don't find God in contradiction to what he has said before.

And that is one of the things that should have shouted to us concerning Lee. When he came to any portion of the scripture and suggested that it couldn't mean what it said, or that it was just an example of not being according to God's economy (or other nonsense), it should have been the cue to get up and leave. Once you destroy the solid touchstone in favor of something that doesn't quite match, you are not talking about the same religion, even if you worship the same God. But you are trying to reach him through ways that were not His ways.

Yes, the interpretive aspects of the Bible do tend to make some wary of what certainty the scripture provides. But when you are not trying to milk the language for incantations or magic formulas, the narrative is not that hard to understand no matter how tersely or loosely you find it written. So I find that somewhere between a fundamentalist view of inerrancy and the kind of potential revelation from the Spirit that can simply override existing scripture is the real state. Neither extreme is supportable. But there must be the scripture and there must be the Spirit. They work together.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:21 AM   #21
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But there must be the scripture and there must be the Spirit. They work together.
How they work together is really the issue. We did the pray-reading thing which is what we believed was drinking and eating Christ as a result of the interaction of the Word and the Spirit. We were in conferences with Lee when he would espouse scripture and we saw what he was sharing as though it was our own believing that the Spirit was working in concert with the Word revealing Christ to us. There were the Life Studies and now the trainings etc. We leave the LC and join another Christian group which teaches us about the Bible etc. Lee quoted scripture to prove his point, the next group puts together scripture to prove their point etc. In the end, it seems to be up to the individual to decide in concert with the Word and the Spirit as to what to believe even though it may be entirely different compared to other Christian groups. So why wouldn't the Spirit lead us all to the same promised land. Let's face it, the cop out is to just go back to the basic fundamentalist doctrines as a security blanket rather than following the Spirit. Going back to basic fundamentalist doctrines seems to be just using one's mind as to the meaning of the scriptures and not the leading of the Spirit.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:22 PM   #22
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Awhile ago while reading a book on the Mormon polygamist cults I came across this story. I summarize:

A dozen or so of men were to marry. They had a group of women (girls) to pick from. But they weren't to do the picking. They were told to go off and pray, and get a word from the Lord, as to what sister they were to marry.

In private they sought the Lord, and got His Word, for the sister each one was to marry.

Problem was, the Lord told each one to marry the prettiest girl in the group ... He told them all, each one, in private, to marry the same girl ... the pretty one.

I bring this up because I'm really interested in this illumination of or by the Spirit thing. What is it? How do we know when we have it? How do we know from who or what it is coming from?

This is important. If understanding the scripture requires illumination of the Spirit we had bettered get it pronto.

Please, somebody, anybody, tell me how this works. I really need to know.
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Old 01-16-2015, 09:21 AM   #23
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Now Mike's got me wondering. I'm wondering if in my past if I've had an experience of being illuminated by the Spirit, while reading the Bible, and didn't realize at the time what was happening.

That's why, one reason, I need to know what is meant by being illuminated by the Spirit.

I think I've had it. But I've had that same "sensation," the one I'm thinking about, while reading non-Bible books or material. I think I have the sensation of illumination of the Spirit when I touch down on truth.

In fact, it may sound crazy, but I think the illuminating light of the Spirit has led me to where I am today: Questioning living by The Book.

But I could be wrong. Cuz I don't really know for sure what it means to be illuminated by the Spirit.

It seems like something Witness Lee would claim, and did claim, in the end. I followed him cuz he had it and I didn't, I thought back then.

So I'm skeptical of this illumination of the Spirit thing. I've see it become a utility, to enhance power over others; like, 'I've got it and you don't. So you'd better follow me, and do what I say, and repeat what I preach.'

You're gonna have to clear this up bro Mike. As to what you mean by illumination of the Spirit.

This is critical to my thread, to us, and to God. If we're gonna live by The Book then we have to get at what it really says. And if to get at what it really says requires an illumination of the Spirit I can't think of anything more important.
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Old 01-16-2015, 10:18 AM   #24
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How they work together is really the issue. We did the pray-reading thing which is what we believed was drinking and eating Christ as a result of the interaction of the Word and the Spirit. We were in conferences with Lee when he would espouse scripture and we saw what he was sharing as though it was our own believing that the Spirit was working in concert with the Word revealing Christ to us. There were the Life Studies and now the trainings etc. We leave the LC and join another Christian group which teaches us about the Bible etc. Lee quoted scripture to prove his point, the next group puts together scripture to prove their point etc. In the end, it seems to be up to the individual to decide in concert with the Word and the Spirit as to what to believe even though it may be entirely different compared to other Christian groups. So why wouldn't the Spirit lead us all to the same promised land. Let's face it, the cop out is to just go back to the basic fundamentalist doctrines as a security blanket rather than following the Spirit. Going back to basic fundamentalist doctrines seems to be just using one's mind as to the meaning of the scriptures and not the leading of the Spirit.
A lot of truth in there. But I have one comment that you may not have seen from me.

Lee used a lot of scripture. But my reading of some of his more significant books (and even at least a few of Nee's) leads me to see his use of scripture as superfluous in too much of the cases. (A sometimes refer to it at "littering.") He would go on a roll of making a lot of comments about the nature of God. He is "x" (verse reference). He is "y" (verse reference). He is "z" (verse reference). Do that a number of times in a short period. Then at the very end make reference to a verse and say it means "g" and then just go on. Too often I read those now and immediately have a "wait a minute" instead of an "amen."

I referred to his use of scripture of superfluous. That may not be the correct word, but I think you may know what I mean. All those verses were not really there to support the fundamental premise of his message. They were there to create the perception of consistently saying correct things. And correct things that get the kind of nearly charismatic people of the LRC going with their "amens." Was this a matter of being devious? I can't say. But when the fiction of so many of his peculiar teachings is seen, and the lead up to it is so filled with verses and statements that are not really relevant to the topic at hand, what should we think about it?

And in other places, like in Nee's opening chapter of Authority and Submission, there is reference to several verses where a certain word is changed into a different one. Was it a reasonable change? Was the declaration that they were essentially synonyms true? Not really. But if you accept Nee (or Lee) as this Master of the Word of God, then you don't think about it.

All of this is to challenge the general proposition that Lee "quoted scripture to prove his point." He actually did not do that as often as we might like to think. (And is hard to admit that we were ignorant of the clues that he was not really doing what it seemed he was doing.) He was filling his messages with scripture to create the appearance of support. In a lot of places he quoted scripture, but he had to redefine the words to arrive at his point. Or suggest that reading it that way was "not according to God's economy" and then providing a different meaning. As originally stated on Dr. Who and then made famous by Adam Savage, "I reject your reality and substitute my own."
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Old 01-16-2015, 12:24 PM   #25
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All of this is to challenge the general proposition that Lee "quoted scripture to prove his point." He actually did not do that as often as we might like to think. (And is hard to admit that we were ignorant of the clues that he was not really doing what it seemed he was doing.) He was filling his messages with scripture to create the appearance of support. In a lot of places he quoted scripture, but he had to redefine the words to arrive at his point. Or suggest that reading it that way was "not according to God's economy" and then providing a different meaning.
Pure and simple, telling it like it was/is, this was Lee's Biblical sophistry.
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Old 01-17-2015, 06:20 PM   #26
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A lot of truth in there. But I have one comment that you may not have seen from me.

Lee used a lot of scripture. But my reading of some of his more significant books (and even at least a few of Nee's) leads me to see his use of scripture as superfluous in too much of the cases. (A sometimes refer to it at "littering.") He would go on a roll of making a lot of comments about the nature of God. He is "x" (verse reference). He is "y" (verse reference). He is "z" (verse reference). Do that a number of times in a short period. Then at the very end make reference to a verse and say it means "g" and then just go on. Too often I read those now and immediately have a "wait a minute" instead of an "amen."

I referred to his use of scripture of superfluous. That may not be the correct word, but I think you may know what I mean. All those verses were not really there to support the fundamental premise of his message. They were there to create the perception of consistently saying correct things. And correct things that get the kind of nearly charismatic people of the LRC going with their "amens." Was this a matter of being devious? I can't say. But when the fiction of so many of his peculiar teachings is seen, and the lead up to it is so filled with verses and statements that are not really relevant to the topic at hand, what should we think about it?

And in other places, like in Nee's opening chapter of Authority and Submission, there is reference to several verses where a certain word is changed into a different one. Was it a reasonable change? Was the declaration that they were essentially synonyms true? Not really. But if you accept Nee (or Lee) as this Master of the Word of God, then you don't think about it.

All of this is to challenge the general proposition that Lee "quoted scripture to prove his point." He actually did not do that as often as we might like to think. (And is hard to admit that we were ignorant of the clues that he was not really doing what it seemed he was doing.) He was filling his messages with scripture to create the appearance of support. In a lot of places he quoted scripture, but he had to redefine the words to arrive at his point. Or suggest that reading it that way was "not according to God's economy" and then providing a different meaning. As originally stated on Dr. Who and then made famous by Adam Savage, "I reject your reality and substitute my own."
When I started reading Joseph Campbell, the comparative religion writer, I realized that WL spoke mainly in metaphors...can you hear him say this in his own voice with his intonation, "...the river ......of the water of life..." What is the river of water of life? WL...Christ ...What is the manna in heaven fed to the Jews as they wondered through the wilderness...? WL---Christ ... What is truth (reality in WL's definition)? WL---Christ. The entire Bible became metaphors for the unveiling of Christ for WL. However, the problem is that Christ is the metaphor. Campbell notes in Thou Are That: Transforming Religious Metaphor "Symbols are chronically misread. Metaphors, the essential structures of religious language are read in terms of their concrete referents or denotations, with the result that one people is pitted against another people, when, in truth, the whole sense of metaphor is to transcend separation and duality." He states earlier in the same book that "...some of the religious people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And there are those who contend that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies." Neither are correct for Campbell but he does have some insight into this discussion.

For WL his metaphors were facts which led to confusing scriptural relationships which you have noted.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:11 AM   #27
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***Sorry for slow response on this one, I wrote most of it a while back but just finished it today***

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Spirit? What Spirit? Christianity today is book inspired, not Spirit inspired.
Interesting observation. For those of us who have investigated and followed church history, especially church history in the 20th century here in America, I think one could easily say that the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement would represent the "Spirit inspired" side of Christianity. This is not to say that nothing of Pentecostalism or of the Charismatics is "scriptural" per se, only to say that folks from these branches of the Church tend to emphasize "the gifts" and "experiential Christianity" more than those from the other side of the ledger.

I suppose one might consider those of "the reformed" churches more on the other side of the ledger, although I don't think there is any doubt that the pentecostal/Charismatic movement has made some serious inroads into much of what could be considered reformed/orthodox/evangelical Christianity. This "intrusion" has been met with varying degrees of resistance - the most stiff resistance coming from people like John MacArthur (see: Strange Fire Conference)

I believe that God is doing his usual work of pruning, disciplining and balancing among his people - he is using the Pentecostals/Charismatics to balance the conservatives and using the conservatives to balance the other side. After leaving the Local Church I got involved in the Vineyard movement for a number of years (including a Vineyard local church that cordially separated from the Movement so that it could pursue an even more Charismatic avenue) The last decade or so has found me gravitating more towards the conservative evangelical/orthodox/reformed branches of Christianity. I see the Lord working from both sides, and I see both sides as a positive balance to each other.


Quote:
We're told Christianity was started by the moving of the Spirit at Pentecost. Those were the good 'ol days, that we look back on - in awe - and admire. But when Christian writings began to circulate there was a shift.
Nearly every major move of God seems to be initiated with some extra measure of supernatural power, whether it be directed towards his people or sometimes against their enemies. All of these moves of God (at least the ones that he saw fit to let us know about) have been recorded in the written Word. In the case of the New Testament times, these were recorded in the Gospels and in the Acts of the apostles. But it seems that God desired to do a comprehensive, long-term transformative work among mankind (Jews and Gentiles), and this was going to take more than a sudden or instant move of his Spirit - it was going to take more than just a "receiving of the Holy Spirit", it was going to take a comprehensive, long-term, gradual, transformative "filling" of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul described it to the Corinthians - "though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day". (2 Cor 4:16) Notice the term "day by day" - this renewing is not that of an instant, miraculous or even necessarily powerful work of the Holy Spirit, rather it is a day by day work that takes our entire life. And of course this all involves our intake of, appreciation and apprehension of the Word of God, and just as washing our physical bodies is a day by day matter, so is the intake, appreciation and apprehension of the Word (cf: "having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word- Ephesians 5:26)

Quote:
The Spirit can't be conjured at will. It's easier to follow a book. So -- to me I must say - hedging UntoHim perchance --- Christianity became a cookie-cutter copy of Judaism, living by the law, The Book, with 27 books added to the Tanakh.
Very good observation again! Yet again you are only looking at one side of the God - Man equation. God has been faithful to give us his Word, but we ignorant, sinful men have done our best to fight against all the light and life that his Word provides. Not only do some not appreciate and treat his Word for the treasure it is, some pervert it, distort it, tamper with it, peddle it, denigrate it, and some even deny it. The Holy Spirit CANNOT, WILL NOT move in, among or with any person or persons who treat God's Word in this manner. The Holy Spirit has never moved in a way contrary to the Word and he never will. Just as Jesus Christ spoke what the Father told him ("What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”John 12:50) so the Holy Spirit will only speak what the Son has told him ("for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak" John 16:13)

Who wouldn't want to go back to the good ole days of Pentecost? The power, the miracles, the healings, the blessings! But once again I would remind us all that according to the Word, God almost always starts off with a powerful, sometimes miraculous, work among his people (cf: the Exodus of the Israelites - the Passover & the parting of the sea) and then he always expects them to move forward in faith, not necessarily depending upon any further powerful or miraculous work, though he will always supply provision and guidance (cf: the Israelites being supplied with manna and guided by the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night). I think we see the same thing happening in the early church. The power, the miracles and blessings of Pentecost eventually became the "we live by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7) and "your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed".

Eventually we will get there! Ultimately, "when Jesus Christ is revealed" the church, the Bride of Christ, and the Holy Spirit will cry out in glorious union "COME LORD JESUS!" By then the MOST powerful and miraculous work of God among mankind will have taken place - Man is actually in union with God's Spirit...so much so that will be speaking for the same thing.

Until then we live by faith. Until then we will have all sorts of testing and trials. But we have not been left alone as orphans, we have the Spirit and the Word, and we need both to supply and guide us.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:32 AM   #28
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***Sorry for slow response on this one, I wrote most of it a while back but just finished it today***
Back atchya ... and thanks for sharing and your well thought out response.

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Originally Posted by Unto
Interesting observation. For those of us who have investigated and followed church history, especially church history in the 20th century here in America, I think one could easily say that the Pentecostal/Charismatic movement would represent the "Spirit inspired" side of Christianity. This is not to say that nothing of Pentecostalism or of the Charismatics is "scriptural" per se, only to say that folks from these branches of the Church tend to emphasize "the gifts" and "experiential Christianity" more than those from the other side of the ledger.

I suppose one might consider those of "the reformed" churches more on the other side of the ledger, although I don't think there is any doubt that the pentecostal/Charismatic movement has made some serious inroads into much of what could be considered reformed/orthodox/evangelical Christianity. This "intrusion" has been met with varying degrees of resistance - the most stiff resistance coming from people like John MacArthur (see: Strange Fire Conference)
Thanks for the tip-off on MacArther. Upon looking into him I found this:
"At the conference, Piper was characterized as open to the gifts but not advocating for them or encouraging others to pursue the gifts themselves. This is a misunderstanding, says Piper. "I advocate obedience to 1 Corinthians 12:31, 'earnestly desire the higher gifts.' And I advocate obedience to 1 Corinthians 14:1, 'earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you might prophesy.' And I advocate obedience to 1 Corinthians 14:39, 'earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.' I want Christians today to obey those texts."
So even the Charismatics seek "obedience" to The Book. Just like the Christian snake handlers use the later added 12 verses to the ending of the gospel we call Mark.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
I believe that God is doing his usual work of pruning, disciplining and balancing among his people - he is using the Pentecostals/Charismatics to balance the conservatives and using the conservatives to balance the other side.
Isn't this similar to something like Witness Lee's process theology, but expanded out into "poor, poor, poor Christianity?" You mean to say that God is working outside the local church?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
After leaving the Local Church I got involved in the Vineyard movement for a number of years . . .
The preacher in Ft. Lauderdale, that I was accused of by the church of corrupting, was attending The Vineyard, after leaving his wife, kids, and his career as a preacher, to get with his high school sweet heart.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
Nearly every major move of God seems to be initiated with some extra measure of supernatural power, whether it be directed towards his people or sometimes against their enemies. All of these moves of God (at least the ones that he saw fit to let us know about) have been recorded in the written Word.
But all the moves of God since the writing of the NT, we have no canonical record of? Am I right to assume God never stopped working after the canon? that we just stopped writing scripture about it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
In the case of the New Testament times, these were recorded in the Gospels and in the Acts of the apostles. But it seems that God desired to do a comprehensive, long-term transformative work among mankind (Jews and Gentiles), and this was going to take more than a sudden or instant move of his Spirit - it was going to take more than just a "receiving of the Holy Spirit", it was going to take a comprehensive, long-term, gradual, transformative "filling" of the Holy Spirit. The Apostle Paul described it to the Corinthians - "though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day". (2 Cor 4:16) Notice the term "day by day" - this renewing is not that of an instant, miraculous or even necessarily powerful work of the Holy Spirit, rather it is a day by day work that takes our entire life. And of course this all involves our intake of, appreciation and apprehension of the Word of God, and just as washing our physical bodies is a day by day matter, so is the intake, appreciation and apprehension of the Word (cf: "having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word- Ephesians 5:26)
Oh, I remember. Witness Lee's mingling. So that's still happening? I like the day by day. Thanks for pointing it out. All scripture is God breathed. One day at a time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
Very good observation again! Yet again you are only looking at one side of the God - Man equation. God has been faithful to give us his Word, but we ignorant, sinful men have done our best to fight against all the light and life that his Word provides. Not only do some not appreciate and treat his Word for the treasure it is, some pervert it, distort it, tamper with it, peddle it, denigrate it, and some even deny it. The Holy Spirit CANNOT, WILL NOT move in, among or with any person or persons who treat God's Word in this manner.
Then I have no hope. I learned a long time ago if it depends on me I'm in trouble. My only hope is divine intervention. But maybe I just need to learn to "treat his Word for the treasure it is." I think I treasure it. I'm in awe of it, captivated by it, and am obviously obsessed with it. I admit, I'm really mystified that such writings could ever come out of the bronze and during the iron age. These men, the writers of The Book back then, sure do seem to have some extra-special intelligence and learning, beyond normal human ability, perchance. So what do YOU mean by treasure the Word?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
The Holy Spirit has never moved in a way contrary to the Word and he never will.
Where do you come by this information, and the certitude to go with it? I can't do it, or know such a thing. You gotta hotline?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unto
Just as Jesus Christ spoke what the Father told him ("What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”John 12:50) so the Holy Spirit will only speak what the Son has told him ("for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak" John 16:13)
Oh bro UntoHim, you're better than this. To make your ending point you should have completed John 16:13: "and he will shew you things to come."

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Originally Posted by Unto
Who wouldn't want to go back to the good ole days of Pentecost?
Me, me! I want to go back!

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Originally Posted by Unto
I would remind us all that according to the Word, God almost always starts off with a powerful, sometimes miraculous, work among his people (cf: the Exodus of the Israelites - the Passover & the parting of the sea) and then he always expects them to move forward in faith, not necessarily depending upon any further powerful or miraculous work, though he will always supply provision and guidance (cf: the Israelites being supplied with manna and guided by the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night). I think we see the same thing happening in the early church. The power, the miracles and blessings of Pentecost eventually became the "we live by faith, not by sight" (2 Cor 5:7) and "your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed".

Eventually we will get there! Ultimately, "when Jesus Christ is revealed" the church, the Bride of Christ, and the Holy Spirit will cry out in glorious union "COME LORD JESUS!" By then the MOST powerful and miraculous work of God among mankind will have taken place - Man is actually in union with God's Spirit...so much so that will be speaking for the same thing.
Spoken like a true apocalypticist. And this won't be one of those "day by day" kind of events. Let me guess. This will happen in "this generation," our generation, like Jesus and Paul thought, about their generation. I get it. We get this feeling that it's "our generation" straight out of the Bible, and from what it has both Jesus and Paul speaking of. This feeling comes right out of The Book.

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Originally Posted by Unto
Until then we live by faith. Until then we will have all sorts of testing and trials. But we have not been left alone as orphans, we have the Spirit and the Word, and we need both to supply and guide us.
But only if we treat his Word for the treasure it is, right?
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:33 PM   #29
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Very good observation again! Yet again you are only looking at one side of the God - Man equation. God has been faithful to give us his Word, but we ignorant, sinful men have done our best to fight against all the light and life that his Word provides. Not only do some not appreciate and treat his Word for the treasure it is, some pervert it, distort it, tamper with it, peddle it, denigrate it, and some even deny it. The Holy Spirit CANNOT, WILL NOT move in, among or with any person or persons who treat God's Word in this manner. The Holy Spirit has never moved in a way contrary to the Word and he never will. Just as Jesus Christ spoke what the Father told him ("What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”John 12:50) so the Holy Spirit will only speak what the Son has told him ("for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak" John 16:13)
What I want to know---Are you a MAN? Or do you have a Divine background? I know your out is that you are in touch with the Holy Spirit (HS) and the HS has informed you that despite the fact you are a MAN …you have divine insight into this book which has been written by MAN, put together by MAN and distributed by MAN (of course under the guidance of the HS). In other words, you have a special place in the interpretation of these writings because of divine revelation. Those who are not under the divine inspiration of the HS are clueless. How is it that the HS has been telling people throughout the ages to do horrific things to other humans but the God of the OT did these things so maybe it is okay? You quote John 12:50 which states, “What I say, I say, as the Father has told me.” Are we looking at Jesus as the OT God of wrath? It is not consistent with what Jesus has said or done so I don’t understand.

You and I are very much the same. Why? Because I think you are hard headed, unilluminated, and absolutely wrong as well as have wacko ideas regarding the Bible. And you think the same of me. However, I think we have both done our best to incorporate the LC experience into our life experience and I appreciate your good intentions of trying to help people who have left the LC. Yes we can say good things about each other…
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:40 PM   #30
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Just to bring a little levity I'd like to bring in a couple of asides related to this thread.

First from awhile ago (1968):

"A Piece of the Action" (Star Trek: The Original Series) - episode #46

This is actually quite cute in relation to living by a book. The Starship Enterprise is exploring space where another Federation Starship disappeared some 100 yrs prior.

When they enter orbit around a nearby earth like planet they get a message for them to come down for information about the missing starship.

Turns out that starship that disappeared had a profound affect on the people on the planet. They left behind a book entitled "Chicago Mobs of the Twenties."

The people on the planet took the book as something divine, or as holy writ from heaven (it did come from heaven as far as they could tell), to guide their lives, customs, and culture. So the planet was controlled by a dozen Chicago style mobs & gangsters, all competing to be The Top Boss, all living by The Book.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVN-qqyEY4s

And currently, a Book, Bible, waving savior, of sorts:

One 2016 Republican presidential hopeful: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Who wants to become president to apparently bring about a national spiritual revival, of the Christian Bible sort. Here he is waving The Book while speaking at the Louisiana State University. A religious event insisted upon by Jindal:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...itual-revival/
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:18 AM   #31
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It seems to me that everyone here is living more or less by the book. Some are living by it more in a literal-factual way some in a more historical-metaphorical way. As I found when I tried to give up music when I was in the LC because it was "soulical" you can take man out of music but you can't take music out of the man. Similarly you can take a man out of the book but you can't take the book out of the man. Bible images have been burned into our souls through indoctrination, prayer-reading, sermons, movies, dreams, memories and reflections. Our conscious rational deliberation on them is all we have any control over. The human subject is not a closed system that is absolutely under our own conscious control. My world is my representation and I assume yours is yours. We participate in a life process that is greater than ourselves which none of us fully understands. The Bible is a way of symbolizing life that connects us with an ancient tradition that itself grew out of archetypal symbols. We the conditioned symbolize the Unconditional. We do not encompass it, it encompasses us. In the words of the old Gospel Song:

He's so high you can't get over Him
So wide you can't get around Him
So low you can't get under him
You must come in at the Door.
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Old 01-26-2015, 06:33 AM   #32
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It seems to me that everyone here is living more or less by the book.
There are a couple of ways to take this first sentence.

"More or less" could be understood to mean a spectrum from heavily influenced by the book to little influenced by the book. And I think as we look at various individuals and groups we find this to some extent. Some are attempting to live according to what they understand from the Bible while others are attempting to live according to parts of the Bible, or alternately trying to live the life they believe they should live while trying to find enough links to things in the Bible to argue that they can claim a connection.

Alternately (and I sort of think this is what you are meaning), "more or less" could be a kind of euphemism for "basically." And this is the term that I would apply to most Christians as groups. Each group believes that it is following the Bible. They are according to the Bible.

The unanswered question is what they think the Bible is telling them. Some think that the Bible is providing a lot of literal, eternal principles, promises, etc. (plus a few sections of metaphorical instruction) for our living.

Yesterday I heard a preacher on the radio from a prominent SBC assembly in Dallas refer to the Bible as not a book of instructions and commands, but a treasure trove. There is an aspect in which that is true. But saying it that way skews how the narrative is understood and dismisses certain parts of it.

Some read the Bible as mostly a lot of stories told to give us implications about God. They believe that there were few, if any miracles, but that the miraculous stories tell us of the heart of God. So they believe in God — and in Christ as savior — but they do not believe that many of the things we accept as eyewitness accounts of miracles are actually that, but rather are all parables to tell us about God.

The thing to watch for is what people believe about Christ based on what they read. A few years ago I read a blog that gave a bit of an introduction to a book by someone who was selling the parables of Jesus as being about the kingdom of the world rather than the kingdom of God. The example given was of the parable of the talents which were described as telling of how the corrupt system of the world economy unjustly “reaps quick exploitative profits off his fellows.” While there was probably much to say about the theology of the guy that wrote the book, I did not read it so I can't say much. But it seems clear that the person writing the comments from it is searching for a different explanation of the Bible so that he can remain faithful to it, but not be faithful to what he grew up learning about and from it (he was the son of a brethren preacher and had become one himself).

So those who claim a connection to Christianity, or claim that their group is Christian, they are "more or less" claiming to live according to the book. The problem is what they mean by that statement.

The Bible is clearly not all literal. Neither is it entirely metaphorical. But there are some that try to make virtually everything literal. And others seeking to make it all metaphorical. Somewhere in there is the truth, and I am not sure that any person or group has it all right. Or know what it means even if they have the break between metaphor and literal correct. Are they too focused on context-less snippets that look like fortune cookies, or looking so broadly that they ignore the specifics found in it? Are they looking for a God that is different from the one revealed, so they rewrite parts based on their predefined answer (in other words, create God in their own image)?

We are probably all guilty of some level of one or more of these errors. But we pray that we are not grossly off-track. Yet we think we see that some truly are off-track. May God grant us the mercy and grace to see more clearly and yet love those who we think are not a clear.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:26 AM   #33
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By "more or less" I meant that the Bible has influenced and continues to influence everyone here to a greater or lesser degree. Of course, it isn't the only influence on the lives or the behavior of anyone here. After all, we all live in an economic, social and political systems which are not biblical and which we must have some understanding of in order to negotiate our lives. There are numerous ways to conceptualize the influence of the Bible on us. The influence may not be entirely conscious and neither is it absolute or total regardless what people claim in the name of their religion.

Words in the most general sense give form to thought and behavior. Spirit considered objectively represents the dynamic element. Without form spirit is chaotic. Without spirit form is dead structure. The Johanine Jesus proposes that the unity of word and spirit have creative and generative power when he states that his words are spirit and they are life.

Whether our understanding is principally literal/factual or metaphorical/historical is a significant variable for the discussion here. But, I would suggest , the Bible is not an all or nothing decision for any of us whether we self-identify as Christians or not. We are all both more than, and not exactly what we think we are. That is why dialogue can be a way to truth as we are revealed to ourselves by interacting with Others.
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Old 01-26-2015, 09:30 AM   #34
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We are probably all guilty of some level of one or more of these errors. But we pray that we are not grossly off-track. Yet we think we see that some truly are off-track. May God grant us the mercy and grace to see more clearly and yet love those who we think are not a clear.
Saturday I met my cousin in town for breakfast, the one that recently discovered his son is gay. He got a virus on his computer and wanted me to fix it.

But that didn't happen. Three others showed up too. We all know each other. The three were, a staunch outspoken gruff Church of Christ (CoC1), a soft spoken Church of Christ (CoC2), and a very intelligent, well informed, scientifically educated, patented inventor, Bible self taught, unaffiliated Christian (Independent). They're all against Independent, the SBC and CoC are against each other. And I'm against them all (all in good fun).

We had a great time, but I walked away feeling like I needed Zoloft, or some such.

The conversation was quickly taken by my cousin (SBC) and CoC1, and their sharp differences. They both like to argue about it. Of course baptism came up. CoC1 & CoC2 believe in baptism "for remission of sin" (Acts 2:38-KJV). While SBC (cousin) believes baptism is symbolic. CoC1 says that's not a real baptism. I brought up the end of Acts 2:38, "and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." Then I brought up "the multitude" that were filled with the Spirit in Acts 4, without being baptized. This threw 'em all.

On and on it went, and time went on into lunchtime. Eventually the topic turn to Israel. They all agreed that the Jews are God's chosen people. I pointed out that if God has a chosen race that makes God a racist. That didn't go over very well with any of them. They all declared that God was not a racist.

The 1967 war was brought up, and how it was obvious that God's hand was clearly with Israel. I quoted Deut 20 "kill everything the breatheth." And then said, "Israel is eventually gonna get all the land God gave them in the Bible, by any means, because, they are living out the mythology of their book.

Mythology was clearly the wrong word to use. That meant that to them I called the Bible mythology. I crossed "their line." I denigrated the Bible - The Book - to the level of myth. A big no-no to them all.

Then I was told that I will be judged by God at the judgment seat because he told Abraham, "I will bless those that bless you, and curse those that curse you,"(Gen. 12) and I was clearly cursing Israel. And the Bible makes it clear that the Jews are God's chosen people.

I looked at them and busted out laughing. I pointed at them all and said, Look. You all are united ... against me ... but finally united (all over defending The Book, the Bible, they are all attempting to follow).

I didn't tell them that I was also laughing because I saw the people on Star Trek, that were living by a Chicago mob book. I really couldn't see much difference. I wondered if I was on a different planet.

I drove home thinking I should be having lots of anxiety, because they all told me I was going to be judge by God. The lake of fire was bantered about.

All this caused by "THE BOOK." Somebody get me some Zoloft.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:54 AM   #35
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By "more or less" I meant that the Bible has influenced and continues to influence everyone here to a greater or lesser degree. Of course, it isn't the only influence on the lives or the behavior of anyone here. After all, we all live in an economic, social and political systems which are not biblical and which we must have some understanding of in order to negotiate our lives. There are numerous ways to conceptualize the influence of the Bible on us. The influence may not be entirely conscious and neither is it absolute or total regardless what people claim in the name of their religion.

Words in the most general sense give form to thought and behavior. Spirit considered objectively represents the dynamic element. Without form spirit is chaotic. Without spirit form is dead structure. The Johanine Jesus proposes that the unity of word and spirit have creative and generative power when he states that his words are spirit and they are life.

Whether our understanding is principally literal/factual or metaphorical/historical is a significant variable for the discussion here. But, I would suggest , the Bible is not an all or nothing decision for any of us whether we self-identify as Christians or not. We are all both more than, and not exactly what we think we are. That is why dialogue can be a way to truth as we are revealed to ourselves by interacting with Others.
Concise and penetrating post bro Zeek, on the Bible and words in general.

The Johannine Jesus wasn't speaking of The Book. When he said "My words" he, the writer of the gospel, uses the word rhēma for words.

It doesn't surprise me that we (the royal we) have holy books. The Jews have theirs, the Christians theirs, the Muslims theirs, the Mormon theirs, so forth and so on.

The truth is the whole world is hooked on the written word. Everything we do involves the written word. When you write, "Words in the most general sense give form to thought and behavior," you speak an understatement by speaking of the spoken word. Now the written word trumps the spoken word. You can take that to the bank, and to court, and every other transaction. The written word is as ubiquitous as the air we breath, almost.

In a sense we're so addicted to the written word we take its involvement in our lives for granted. It's just the way it is.

So we all worship the written word. The written word is worshiped way more than God, or the Bible, because everyone worships the written word.

So there's no wonder that we have "The Book."

"In the beginning was The Word."
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:31 PM   #36
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It doesn't surprise me that we (the royal we) have holy books. The Jews have theirs, the Christians theirs, the Muslims theirs, the Mormon theirs, so forth and so on.
While there can be arguments for oral retellings, if those are done faithfully, they are essentially books. But if we jettison the book(s) we are left with our collective disagreements since there is now no standard other than "me."

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The truth is the whole world is hooked on the written word. Everything we do involves the written word. When you write, "Words in the most general sense give form to thought and behavior," you speak an understatement by speaking of the spoken word. Now the written word trumps the spoken word. You can take that to the bank, and to court, and every other transaction. The written word is as ubiquitous as the air we breath, almost.
Phrasing it as "hooked on the written word" puts a spin on it that might not be warranted. The implication is that we are all caught by something that we really don't want. But in almost everything we do that involves people other than ourselves alone, we rely on some kind of standards. Behavior, methods of description, meaning of words, units of measure, and so on. Without them our communication is a lot of talking past each other. A world of rampant equivocation.

We are not forced through a "hook" to settle on standards, whether in society, or even in our understanding of God. Unless we want to take the position of a strange character who has been frequenting the Berean forum who dismisses the Bible as just stuff that men wrote, we accept the Bible as a standard of measure for our understanding of God. It is too true that this does not make everything "standard" because there are always differences of opinion. But we do need to agree that when we say "God" we are talking about Yahweh and not Zeus. And to do this with some constancy, it needs to be written down so that it is not subject to the error of the telephone game.

I admit that there are many who idolize the Bible in that it is given a place ahead of God. But the errors of some do not make the Bible into an error, or just another need of man, or a hook to push us where we wouldn't otherwise want to be/go.

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In a sense we're so addicted to the written word we take its involvement in our lives for granted. It's just the way it is.
Again, just because an addiction sometimes is seen as just the thoughtless behavior of drinking, taking, acting, etc., according to the particular addiction, it does not make true needs into addictions. That is a misapplication of the term. That would be like saying Christian churches are all cults because they worship Jesus. That would be taking the idea of personality cult to such a place that religion cannot help but be one, and therefore make the meaning of the word "cult" useless. And if you want to say that needing the Bible for reference is proof of an addiction, then the term addiction is useless because it now describes virtually everything. We need air, so we are addicted to it. We need food. We need companionship. And so on. If anything you do because you need it is an addiction, then what is the difference between needing/craving something you don't really need (drugs, alcohol) and needing something that you definitely need (unless staying alive is unimportant to you).

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So we all worship the written word. The written word is worshiped way more than God, or the Bible, because everyone worships the written word.
Again. Just because having the written word is important does not make it worshipped. Having said that, there are clearly some who hold the written word in such high esteem and prominence that it is likely reasonable to say that they worship it. But needing it does not make its need into worship.

And to the extent that you are talking about the written word as something different from the Bible, then I have to assume that you are talking about anything written (such as this post) and therefore have taken the discussion off the reservation. You are just saying stuff. You make a claim, but what makes it true? That you feel it? That you think it?

And as I see it, virtually all of your statements in the post I quoted are simply bare assertions of truth. But based on what? Why should I accept that having a need for the Bible is a hook? Or an addiction?

You've got to do better than that.

This is an example of what happens when thinking no longer has a mooring to something substantial. And we humans cannot assert that our own thinking is substantial without a mooring to something outside of itself.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:40 AM   #37
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The Johannine Jesus wasn't speaking of The Book. When he said "My words" he, the writer of the gospel, uses the word rhēma for words.
...which illustrates the value of the written word without which we would likely have little or no knowledge of Jesus' words.

Quote:
It doesn't surprise me that we (the royal we) have holy books. The Jews have theirs, the Christians theirs, the Muslims theirs, the Mormon theirs, so forth and so on. The truth is the whole world is hooked on the written word. Everything we do involves the written word. When you write, "Words in the most general sense give form to thought and behavior," you speak an understatement by speaking of the spoken word. Now the written word trumps the spoken word. You can take that to the bank, and to court, and every other transaction. The written word is as ubiquitous as the air we breath, almost.
I said "words in the most general sense" thus including both the written and the spoken word. The value of writing to transmitting a religious tradition can hardly be overestimated.

Quote:
In a sense we're so addicted to the written word we take its involvement in our lives for granted. It's just the way it is. So we all worship the written word. The written word is worshiped way more than God, or the Bible, because everyone worships the written word.
That's not an accurate characterization of my view of my relation to the written word or the Bible. I see them as media or vehicles. In general words including written words are vehicles for conveying information. The Christian Bible is a vehicle for the transmission of Judeo-Christian salvation history. I don't think that necessitates Bible worship as I imagine the object of worship as independent of the Bible itself. Don't you?
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:11 PM   #38
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...which illustrates the value of the written word without which we would likely have little or no knowledge of Jesus' words.
Exactly. My Point, exactly.

We've always had the word, or we weren't. Even critters communicate. Before the written word is pre-history. Before the spoken word is pre-any-history. Can we find any trace of it?

But the WRITTEN word? Look what it's become; to all of us, even those that can only sign with an X.

I guess I deserved that whippin' bro OBwan gave me, for my "addicted" and "worship" in pointing out what the written word has become. I guess I did let hyperbole get the best of me. But I thought it was so obvious that I could just slap it out there any ol' way. I guess not. Stupid me.

But my point still stands, and it's obvious to any and all that have eyes open (even the blind have their written language, and can see it too) : We, 'specially in these post-modern times (right here right now on this web thing - thanks UntoHim), are obsessed with the written word. And seems to have become hardwired, as a basic need. Look at the young'uns these days, how they take to technology. They're the most electronically connected generation in human history. How based on the written word is their life? Take it away, take all the electronics away, and we/they go into withdrawals (google it).

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I said "words in the most general sense" thus including both the written and the spoken word. The value of writing to transmitting a religious tradition can hardly be overestimated.
And you are right.

Perhaps instead of "addicted" and "worship" I should have used something like "obeisance" to the written word. It's the obeisance factor that determines the status and value the written word has risen too in our world, for all of us. Even those that have no interest at all in obeisance to the Bible (or any other Holy Writ) are obedient to the written word at large. All have to be obedient to the shopping list, if trouble is to be avoided upon delivery.

But ultimately I'm saved, by the written word, oddly enough .. but not oddly at all. In fact, it's vital to my salvation, after OBW's severe whippin'. Thank God! Hallelujah! For the written word.

Cuz ... one of Pauls' undisputed epistles, Philippians, speaks my salvation:

Php_4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

And if John's apokalupsis on the isle of Patmos is inspired, as most Christians believe, the most critical written word of all time isn't on this earth. It's in written in heaven ... written in THE BOOK OF LIFE.

Rev_3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev_13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev_17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev_20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Rev_20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev_21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev_22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


Ha ...
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:36 AM   #39
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Cuz ... one of Pauls' undisputed epistles, Philippians, speaks my salvation:

Php_4:3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

And if John's apokalupsis on the isle of Patmos is inspired, as most Christians believe, the most critical written word of all time isn't on this earth. It's in written in heaven ... written in THE BOOK OF LIFE.

Rev_3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

Rev_13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Rev_17:8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Rev_20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Rev_20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Rev_21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev_22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.


Ha ...
Recognizing the relative permanence of the written word, Paul and John use the metaphor of a book to represent eternal life."Life is a book" may be what linguists refer to as a conceptual metaphor in which one idea, or conceptual domain is understood in terms of another. The question "What is the meaning of life?" may be related to the idea that life has a meaning outside or beyond itself like a word in the book. One's name is then analogous to to one's life or self. Getting your name written in the book corresponds to living a meaningful life. I think find it intriguing that "the Book" the Bible, points to another book as a symbol of the ultimate meaning of life. It would be interesting to look at other uses of this trope in the Bible and elsewhere.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:16 AM   #40
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Attempting to work backwards, or bottom up:

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It would be interesting to look at other uses of this trope in the Bible and elsewhere.
Neither Paul (earliest NT writings) nor Patmos John (latest NT writings) coined the notion of the book of life in the Bible.

Psalms 56:8 - Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: [are they] not in thy book?

Malachi 3:16 - Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard [it], and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

Daniel 12:1 - And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Psalms 40:7 - Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book [it is] written of me,

Exodus 32:32 - Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin--; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.


So we have much earlier Biblical evidence of the written word being established first as a book in heaven. Can the written word be esteemed any higher? The heavenly book, the written word, is actually at the center of what we consider worship worthy. So my use of the word worship toward the written word may not have been an overstatement.

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I think find it intriguing that "the Book" the Bible, points to another book as a symbol of the ultimate meaning of life.
Yes. It's the written word elevating the written word into a concrete absolute. Look at what the written word has become.

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Getting your name written in the book corresponds to living a meaningful life.
Or in this case a meaningful eternity.

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Originally Posted by Z
Recognizing the relative permanence of the written word, Paul and John use the metaphor of a book to represent eternal life."Life is a book" may be what linguists refer to as a conceptual metaphor in which one idea, or conceptual domain is understood in terms of another.
By elevating the written word, the heavenly book, to the supernatural world the written word seeks our obeisance to it in this natural world; the supernatural written word having bearing on the natural written word, that ends up having constant bearing on human life, as seen in the world today.

Just look, it's plain to see, at how the world, most all of us, are today obedient to the written word.

So as I stated, it's no wonder we have The Book, or Books, of Holy Writ. They are the culmination of our esteem, our worship, our addiction, to the written word.

More development of this notion as the conversation progresses ... God willing, and the creek don't rise.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:20 AM   #41
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By elevating the written word, the heavenly book, to the supernatural world the written word seeks our obeisance to it in this natural world; the supernatural written word having bearing on the natural written word, that ends up having constant bearing on human life, as seen in the world today.
While I will not say that some do not treat the written word in the manner that you state, it seems to me that you are insisting that the metaphor of life as a book has been replaced by man as a literal meaning that life is the book. On the whole, I think that you are putting an overlay on the place and intent of everyone because there is the evidence that it is at least somewhat true for some.

But turning to the book being life is not some clear and obvious outcome — even if it seems that it has happened in the case of some. When the scripture was referred to yesterday in worship and in the sermon, it was not as something that was simply the book, but as the representation of what God is, does, intends, commands, etc. The book is only the messenger. It is not the sender. It has no authority or power in itself. Only the sender has power and authority. You are forcing a kind of equality of the message with the sender in terms of deity. Outside of some extreme positions, that is not the position or even subconscious thought of most.

And saying it is does not make it so. It almost seems to me that your declarations that it is about the book as the center of the thoughts of Christians is reminiscent of some of Lee's "X is simply Y" kind of statements. They have a level of coherence in them until you really think about them. Then you realize that they are nothing more than conjecture without basis. Could be true if the evidence supports it. But a closer look shows that it does not.
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Old 02-02-2015, 10:18 AM   #42
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We're not communicating yet. It's got to be mt fault. So, a bite at a time.

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While I will not say that some do not treat the written word in the manner that you state, it seems to me that you are insisting that the metaphor of life as a book has been replaced by man as a literal meaning that life is the book. On the whole, I think that you are putting an overlay on the place and intent of everyone because there is the evidence that it is at least somewhat true for some.
That our lives are determined by the written word is not just "somewhat true for some." It's true for everyone in the world. Even third world nations where literacy may not be wide spread the people are determined by the written word, by their literate leaders.

That the written word has become so dominate in our world indicates our obeisance to the written word. It's so common in fact that we almost don't notice it anymore. It's tax season. Is that somewhat true for just some?

The written word has taken over everybody's life. And what, it's been around since only circa 3500B.C.E. It's come a long way since then. It now floods the airwaves ... and it constitutes the World Wide Web.

This conversation uses the written word, over long distances.

And we wouldn't have the Bible without the written word; the best selling book ever. Shouldn't we be thankful to God for the written word? God had to be behind the invention of the written word, so that He could write the Bible, inerrantists must believe. So ... following that logic, it's not just the Bible that's inspired, but the written word in and of itself. And we're all affected by it ... even atheists.

How ironic. We're disagreeing with each other about being determined by written words while using written words.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:24 PM   #43
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We're not communicating yet. It's got to be mt fault. So, a bite at a time.

That our lives are determined by the written word is not just "somewhat true for some." It's true for everyone in the world. Even third world nations where literacy may not be wide spread the people are determined by the written word, by their literate leaders.

That the written word has become so dominate in our world indicates our obeisance to the written word. It's so common in fact that we almost don't notice it anymore. It's tax season. Is that somewhat true for just some?

The written word has taken over everybody's life. And what, it's been around since only circa 3500B.C.E. It's come a long way since then. It now floods the airwaves ... and it constitutes the World Wide Web.

This conversation uses the written word, over long distances.

And we wouldn't have the Bible without the written word; the best selling book ever. Shouldn't we be thankful to God for the written word? God had to be behind the invention of the written word, so that He could write the Bible, inerrantists must believe. So ... following that logic, it's not just the Bible that's inspired, but the written word in and of itself. And we're all affected by it ... even atheists.

How ironic. We're disagreeing with each other about being determined by written words while using written words.
Yes, things get distilled into words for communication. And to keep from having disagreements over what was actually said, there is very often the memorializing of the words in writing.

You are essentially asserting that this is some kind of addiction. A need for religion or other truly unnecessary reason. Otherwise there would be no need for writing.

In short, you are insisting that because there is writing, and because it is understood as representing the revelation of God, then it is really about the written word and not about the God it reveals. You continue to create this emphasis on the writing in such a way that what it is about becomes unimportant, and the writing itself is the god. That is a hollow charge with no substance that I can see in anything you have written.

And the fact that you wash this same kind of thinking over all aspects of human interaction, even noting that our discussion is written rather than spoken makes your position even more indefensible,

In society, we can't have several billion versions of what a statement by anyone was. It must be singular if it is one statement. While it is possible that all those billions could recite it in the same words, over time there is likely to be variation. With variation comes dispute. So it is reduced to writing. That does not make what was said any more important than it was before. But it does help ensure that it is what was actually said rather than the outcome of playing "telephone."

When laws are decided, they are not left to oral tradition to pass on. They are written. And generally written within set portions of codified laws so that there is a context and set procedural understanding about what it means and how it is administered. The law itself condemns no one. It only provides the rules by which those charged with determining innocence and guilt will analyze independent facts and make a ruling. The law only sits there without comment.

The hyperbole you are using in your statements like "The truth is the whole world is hooked on the written word. Everything we do involves the written word." You imply that there is something out of place about having reference to written words as if it is an addiction with no real need. You are insisting that there is something wrong with society because we use written words — whether published in the slow an painstaking ways of the past, or the quick and sloppy posts on internet forums.

Or "We, 'specially in these post-modern times (right here right now on this web thing - thanks UntoHim), are obsessed with the written word. And seems to have become hardwired, as a basic need. Look at the young'uns these days, how they take to technology. They're the most electronically connected generation in human history. How based on the written word is their life? Take it away, take all the electronics away, and we/they go into withdrawals (google it)."And just because our kids go into withdrawal if you take their electronics away, it is less about the written word and mostly about their alternative universe — the place where they converse, live, and fantasize about things. The withdrawal is not from the words, but from the device itself. You have incorrectly correlated things.

And to make a long story short (too late!) this is getting too much like serving us sand and insisting that it is water. There is probably something about how some people nearly idolize the Bible. But to suddenly see a societal addiction to the written word in all aspects of life because of it is looking like a false attribution. A sort of A = B, and C = D therefore A = D.

You just can't get there from here.

And the fact that I wrote it down does not make it any more true or false than it might actually be without the writing. And whatever it is, it does not matter if I write it, say it, or just think it. It is what it is and calling writing it down an addiction is just stupid. You are not in the room with me, and so far my telepathic powers do not reach from Dallas to anywhere close to Kentucky. So we have to rely on this combination of words written down and transmitted by electrical impulses. It's called communication and while there could be an addiction in there somewhere for a few people, most of it is just what we do.

And don't take my word for it. There are a lot of good books on almost any subject . . . .
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:30 PM   #44
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I had to comment separately on this one.
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How ironic. We're disagreeing with each other about being determined by written words while using written words.
Not really. It is only ironic if the strange addiction that you claim written words are is really true. And if it is, then you need to come up with an alternative way to do it. So far the only viable alternative is talking and that is much more limited in scope.

And very impractical for us to do in an environment in which others are encouraged to participate. Hyde Park comes to mind, but it is much to distant. As is Kentucky. Even if we call on the phone, it is only the two of us. Even a conference call is limited. Our followers here may be few, but it is not because they can't, but because the don't.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:31 PM   #45
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awareness,

This discussion has probably gone on long enough. Unless you have something for me to really consider, we can leave it at "agree to disagree" if you like.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:43 PM   #46
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awareness,

This discussion has probably gone on long enough. Unless you have something for me to really consider, we can leave it at "agree to disagree" if you like.
I'm just developing my point. I wanted first to point out how dependent we've all become on the written word. We can move on from here.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:10 AM   #47
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I'm just developing my point. I wanted first to point out how dependent we've all become on the written word. We can move on from here.
And I just think that the overlay you have put on it doesn't fit. It is true, but not in a way that is problematic. But putting what I can only see as a spin on it is a little like Karl Marx writing to the common man that business were "exploiting" his labor, creating a false impression that it was an evil thing. Fact is that to use is to exploit. So our labor is exploited no matter who we work for. Work is always used for something, therefore it is always exploited. That is not evil. But there is also a meaning for exploit that indicates an illicit use of something. And that is the meaning that most people think of. So when Karl Marx said that the common man's labor was, by definition, exploited, he knew that he was being understood as saying their labor was improperly used. And because that was the intent, it was a lie.

I am not accusing you of lying. But I do think that you are stuck in a form of equivocation in your own thinking. You are not making distinction between things that are important and useful and those that are not, but are pursued due to something like addiction. There is a difference. The importance of the written word in virtually every aspect of knowledge, instruction, law, communication, etc., is not evidence of some kind of societal addiction or urge for something otherwise useless or unimportant. That it can be argued to look like an addiction does not make it so. And that some will make certain writings into gods or idols does not make all writing the same. You need more than a similarity in some aspect of observation to make this case.

You keep returning to a variant on the addiction overlay. But until you can make that point stick, it will be difficult to move forward to the next step. Oh, you can move on. But understand that it will be without the structural support of this point — at least from my perspective. I guess I could put on my "back in the days of the LCM" glasses and simply take what someone says and then let the next point add onto it.

But, on second thought, I just can't do that. If the start doesn't make sense, then whatever is intended to rely on it shouldn't either.

I have asserted that you have made no viable point from what I can see. Maybe you have for some others. But I offer my comments so that you have the opportunity to rephrase your position so that it is understandable in a manner that I can potentially move forward with. I think you have heard them. If they do not change your thinking, I do not see that yours have changed mine, so I will leave you to it.
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Old 02-04-2015, 11:01 PM   #48
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Yes, things get distilled into words for communication. And to keep from having disagreements over what was actually said, there is very often the memorializing of the words in writing.

In short, you are insisting that because there is writing, and because it is understood as representing the revelation of God, then it is really about the written word and not about the God it reveals. You continue to create this emphasis on the writing in such a way that what it is about becomes unimportant, and the writing itself is the god. That is a hollow charge with no substance that I can see in anything you have written.
We read in Job that God is unknowable. Job 36:26-33. I am sure we have all read biographies of individuals. Are these biographies the real person? Biographies are caricatures of people with a perspective. The Bible provides a caricature of God with a perspective and that is all we have available. We add the Spirit of life with "revelation" but within the context of what is written. What is outside of what is written is often called "heresy". You walk down a dark path once you leave the path of what is written.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:44 AM   #49
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We read in Job that God is unknowable. Job 36:26-33. I am sure we have all read biographies of individuals. Are these biographies the real person? Biographies are caricatures of people with a perspective. The Bible provides a caricature of God with a perspective and that is all we have available. We add the Spirit of life with "revelation" but within the context of what is written. What is outside of what is written is often called "heresy". You walk down a dark path once you leave the path of what is written.
Good questions, although I do not see them as responding to what I have written.

The thing I am trying to get to is that it is not the reading and preserving and worshipping of written words (as it seems that awareness is trying to get to) but the knowledge of the one about whom the writing speaks. It is true that the writing only tells part of the story. No writing could tell it all. Even a book of equal size and from as many different writers could not tell everything about any particular human on earth, no matter how small and insignificant they might appear to be. And the more we have from different writers, the more we see different sides of the one written about.

But while there is much written about God, and by different people over many years, we understand the actual author to be the one who is written about — God. While the precise way and words used may not have been dictated, we understand what is written to have been inspired by God himself, even to the extent that events surrounding those who oppose him are recorded. This is part of the nature of writings concerning divinity. They are not true simply because they are written. They are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says they are.

And this is where faith comes in. If we can only see that there is a similarity to other biographies of other people, some of which may be favorable and some of which may not, then we are viewing it as someone who does not believe. It is about belief and faith. If God really "wrote" it, then it is true. If he did not, it is false. The fact that some make the writing into their God does not change God, but rather makes those persons into followers of the wrong god.

And as for the teachings in the book itself, there is a lot that we can often see as made out of a single sentence while whole paragraphs, chapters, and even books are ignored. So what people conclude about God often differs. As an example, it is a common position in evangelicalism that everyone has a huge charge laid at their feet to disciple the whole world. But what I see is that some were given that as a primary charge while everyone was charged to love God and love others. To live in a manner that bears the image of God on the earth, thereby being a testimony of the general nature of God. But instead of focusing our attention on that, we accept grace for our failures and do not seek to live righteously and with love, but then rush out to preach the gospel. We make claims of being imperfect people who have been saved, but are unable to demonstrate what it means to have a changed life.

The result is a shrinking Christian population in relative terms. I do not declare that this may not be what will happen anyway. But even though everyone will not come to believe in Christ, it should not be that it could be said, like Gandhi did, that the Christian God and message seems good, but the Christians do not.

There is plenty going wrong to cause this to be where we are today. But being addicted to the written word is not the problem. It is being so enamored by tiny phrases called verses while ignoring what they are actually talking about in the context of the rest of the book.

Yes, in terms of the fullness of the biography of God, the Bible probably reveals only what you might call a caricature. But is that caricature something that is different from a simplification of who he really is? Is it just a distilling of the truth to what is needed to be known? Or are you insisting that it might be blowing certain things out of proportion at the expense of others? I suggest the former, not the latter.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:42 AM   #50
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Awareness has raised an interesting hypothesis. The neurophysiology of addiction is pretty well understood. Whether or not reading is addictive could actually be studied scientifically if it hasn't been already. But, even in the absence of controlled studies, we can reflect on our experience of reading and admit how pervasive and taken for granted the experience is in our lives. I can say that despite the hours I spend on it each day, I hadn't really thought about it much until Awareness raised the issue. Apparently I make the shift from thought to speech to writing seamlessly and unconsciously most of the time. Thus, the relation between the spoken and written word seems particularly ripe for exploration. Since Awareness started this thread I have picked up a few books by linguists and found it remarkable that they didn't even address the issue. It appeared as if, like me they just took it for granted. An example is "The Stuff of Thought" by Steven Pinker and another is George Lakoff's "Metaphors We Live By. They don't even bother to say that the difference between spoken and written words is unimportant. Are they as unaware of the transition from speech to writing to speaking most of the time as I am? Are you?
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:36 AM   #51
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Awareness has raised an interesting hypothesis. The neurophysiology of addiction is pretty well understood. Whether or not reading is addictive could actually be studied scientifically if it hasn't been already. But, even in the absence of controlled studies, we can reflect on our experience of reading and admit how pervasive and taken for granted the experience is in our lives. I can say that despite the hours I spend on it each day, I hadn't really thought about it much until Awareness raised the issue. Apparently I make the shift from thought to speech to writing seamlessly and unconsciously most of the time. Thus, the relation between the spoken and written word seems particularly ripe for exploration. Since Awareness started this thread I have picked up a few books by linguists and found it remarkable that they didn't even address the issue. It appeared as if, like me they just took it for granted. An example is "The Stuff of Thought" by Steven Pinker and another is George Lakoff's "Metaphors We Live By. They don't even bother to say that the difference between spoken and written words is unimportant. Are they as unaware of the transition from speech to writing to speaking most of the time as I am? Are you?
Interesting thoughts.

For me, the main difference between spoken and written is that when I speak, I can find myself at a loss for what to say. The time for arriving at something to say comes before the determination of what to say has. And the process of keeping up with multiple inputs while listening intently without formulating your responses (and thereby missing what they are saying) is a problem. We find ourselves interrupting others because the last thing said seems to require a response, but if we wait, we won't even remember the issue or the response. That may speak to the actual importance.

But it may also speak to why it is much easier to become captured by someone's speaking when "hearing" it through written words can reveal the holes in the thinking. When we are listening, even if we have questions or objections, if we are forced to just continue listening and slowly lose sight of the things that bothered us.

And on the other hand, not stopping everything every time there is even a slight question is probably a good thing. Context and continuity are lost by chopping everything into one-liners and printing them on little strips of paper suitable for fortune cookies. So trying to get through some amount uninterrupted is also useful.

But if I am going to consider something for purposes of research, learning, critique, etc., it needs to be in writing so that I can see it all, see the parts, go over it multiple times to make sure that I am reading it right (not that I am always successful). Then begin to develop my thoughts around it before just saying whatever came to mind on the spur of the moment.

Writing does give you time to see what you have written and reconsider whether it is worthy of keeping. When you speak, it is gone. Of course, writing on the internet has begun to approach the unedited state of speaking. Think it, type it in and hit "Enter." You have thought, drafted, edited (maybe) and published in a matter of moments.

And then comes those who declare that it couldn't be written if it weren't true.

While there could be an aspect in some that might stand as an addiction to something like written words, it is not evidence simply because we all use it. And that could play into why certain people actually seem to raise the Bible above God, thereby creating an idol.

But when I read things, even things that I am predisposed to agree with, I generally find a lot of reason to disagree with parts throughout what I read.

As a way of asking, I wonder if awareness would consider the listening to books rather than reading them as the same thing, a worse problem, or a lesser one, if any problem at all. Is it about the fact that the words are according to a predetermined pattern in having been written down in advance, or is it the predilection to consider what we actually read as more important and more reliable than what we only hear or think? Or is it a need to have letters on a page in front of us that does not care what they actually say but just the fact that they are written?

I'm sure that when I am trying to figure out what the tax consequences of transaction X are that just because I need to find a written evidence to draw a conclusion that I have an addiction. Congress takes positions on things through the passing of particular rules in Title 26. The Treasury writes regulations under those rules. They respond to different types of taxpayer inquiries in Revenue Rulings and other releases. Courts rule in decisions that are published. And knowledgeable commentators try to fill in the gaps with reasoning that may not always be certain or even singular in conclusion.

Where is the addiction in using significant parts of the day engaged in digging through these various written documents? It is a necessity of the inquiry, not of human nature or a personal drive that is independent of its true utility.

At some level, the Bible works the same way. At other levels it does not.

And while it may be true that the law is something that cannot generally be overcome, it does not make the written word special. It was only the medium for communicating the decision of Congress.

If reading written words is a general addiction, then there must be a new definition for addiction.
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Old 02-05-2015, 12:19 PM   #52
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If reading written words is a general addiction, then there must be a new definition for addiction.
That isn't true and I don't see how a new definition would make any sense. There is already evidence for computer addiction and information addiction. These behaviors which both involve the written word have been studied because they are related to recent changes in technology and media whereas reading has a longer history and therefore acceptance.

There is some historic evidence that suggests that writing was considered a problem at the time of its advent. It may have upset the existing social order. Perhaps that is why writing was rejected as a means of propagation by some early philosophers like Pythagoras and Socrates from whom, sadly we end up having no first hand writing as a result. Maybe Jesus rejected it for the similar reasons. Who knows. He may have learned what he knew of the Hebrew scriptures from oral tradition.

Anyway, it is well known that people use reading as a form of escape from harsh realities as do addicts. Whether or not the brain's reward pathways are activated as they are in addictions could be studied systematically in readers versus non-readers. In any case, as with information, computers and drugs for that matter, writing has proved to be far to useful to socially constructed ends for society to forsake it regardless of its possibly addictive properties.
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Old 02-05-2015, 05:15 PM   #53
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That isn't true and I don't see how a new definition would make any sense. There is already evidence for computer addiction and information addiction. These behaviors which both involve the written word have been studied because they are related to recent changes in technology and media whereas reading has a longer history and therefore acceptance.

There is some historic evidence that suggests that writing was considered a problem at the time of its advent. It may have upset the existing social order. Perhaps that is why writing was rejected as a means of propagation by some early philosophers like Pythagoras and Socrates from whom, sadly we end up having no first hand writing as a result. Maybe Jesus rejected it for the similar reasons. Who knows. He may have learned what he knew of the Hebrew scriptures from oral tradition.

Anyway, it is well known that people use reading as a form of escape from harsh realities as do addicts. Whether or not the brain's reward pathways are activated as they are in addictions could be studied systematically in readers versus non-readers. In any case, as with information, computers and drugs for that matter, writing has proved to be far to useful to socially constructed ends for society to forsake it regardless of its possibly addictive properties.
I have acknowledged that there are aspects of addiction that could apply to something such as the written word.

But the application is not simply to the fact that it is required and often referred to. But despite the fact that words (and obviously of the type that are written) are a component of addictions like internet addiction, information addiction, and escapism through things like reading, is it the written words that are the object of the addition? Is the written word the "drug" or is it just part of the common scenery when getting your drug?

Is reading to escape about the written words, or the turning of the mind from life to an imaginary life that removes our thinking from the cares of real life.

Are the words the item sought, or are they the trays and plates on which we carry the food from the metaphorical cafeteria line to our table to eat?

So far, while there are cases of people who make far too much out of the fact that things are written, most of the examples read like trying to convert normal life into an addiction because it is in proximity of something that might be an addiction. And it looks more like his premise is that we generically are addicted to the written word because we rely on it so much. On that note, it would be reasonable to assert that we are addicted to concrete because so many roads, sidewalks, and even buildings are constructed with it. Or addicted to flowers because we like to have landscaping around our houses, streets, and buildings. Or addicted to sunlight because it provides so much of our ability to see, and the energy that we use.

Even some of the common addictions are not universally seen through surface observation. Alcohol addiction is not observed through seeing someone drink alcohol. Not even necessarily when they drink a lot of it. I've heard some who claim that if a person has a single drink every day they are an alcoholic. That would be consistent with what it seems that awareness has been saying. But the fact is that there are people addicted to alcohol, food, drugs, sex, helping people, being abused, and various kinds of stimulation, including things like getting the news faster through twitter, or surfing the internet for whatever they can find.

But every one of those things can also be part of normal life with no addiction involved. If his goal was to talk about some who are addicted to the written word in some way, that is one thing. But the premise seemed to be that we generically are addicted to the written word and I think that is more than a stretch.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:07 AM   #54
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I have acknowledged that there are aspects of addiction that could apply to something such as the written word.

But the application is not simply to the fact that it is required and often referred to. But despite the fact that words (and obviously of the type that are written) are a component of addictions like internet addiction, information addiction, and escapism through things like reading, is it the written words that are the object of the addition? Is the written word the "drug" or is it just part of the common scenery when getting your drug?

Is reading to escape about the written words, or the turning of the mind from life to an imaginary life that removes our thinking from the cares of real life.

Are the words the item sought, or are they the trays and plates on which we carry the food from the metaphorical cafeteria line to our table to eat?

So far, while there are cases of people who make far too much out of the fact that things are written, most of the examples read like trying to convert normal life into an addiction because it is in proximity of something that might be an addiction. And it looks more like his premise is that we generically are addicted to the written word because we rely on it so much. On that note, it would be reasonable to assert that we are addicted to concrete because so many roads, sidewalks, and even buildings are constructed with it. Or addicted to flowers because we like to have landscaping around our houses, streets, and buildings. Or addicted to sunlight because it provides so much of our ability to see, and the energy that we use.

Even some of the common addictions are not universally seen through surface observation. Alcohol addiction is not observed through seeing someone drink alcohol. Not even necessarily when they drink a lot of it. I've heard some who claim that if a person has a single drink every day they are an alcoholic. That would be consistent with what it seems that awareness has been saying. But the fact is that there are people addicted to alcohol, food, drugs, sex, helping people, being abused, and various kinds of stimulation, including things like getting the news faster through twitter, or surfing the internet for whatever they can find.

But every one of those things can also be part of normal life with no addiction involved. If his goal was to talk about some who are addicted to the written word in some way, that is one thing. But the premise seemed to be that we generically are addicted to the written word and I think that is more than a stretch.
It seems to me you have gotten off on a tangent. Addiction is more tightly defined then all that. The two properties that characterize all addictive stimuli are that they are positively reinforcing and intrinsically rewarding. They activate the brain's reward pathways, and are therefore perceived as being something positive or desirable. ΔFosB, a gene transcription factor, is now known to be a critical component and common factor in the development of virtually all forms of behavioral and drug addictions. Thus, if it can be shown that ΔFosB increases significantly with reading, then it is addictive. If not, then Awareness's proposition is wrong. I see no reason to complicate the issue further unless someone has another scientific basis for defining addiction. If addiction was no more than a metaphor then A-ware's proposition was a rant without substance and your criticism of it justified.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:04 PM   #55
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Sorry I haven't been active. I'm away from home. I'm in Las Vegas, visiting an old friend from way back in the C. in Detroit days, when, her, Zeek, Dave, Ron Kangas & I were once all together.

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And I just think that the overlay you have put on it doesn't fit. It is true, but not in a way that is problematic. But putting what I can only see as a spin on it is a little like Karl Marx writing to the common man that business were "exploiting" his labor, creating a false impression that it was an evil thing. Fact is that to use is to exploit. So our labor is exploited no matter who we work for. Work is always used for something, therefore it is always exploited. That is not evil. But there is also a meaning for exploit that indicates an illicit use of something. And that is the meaning that most people think of. So when Karl Marx said that the common man's labor was, by definition, exploited, he knew that he was being understood as saying their labor was improperly used. And because that was the intent, it was a lie.

I am not accusing you of lying. But I do think that you are stuck in a form of equivocation in your own thinking. You are not making distinction between things that are important and useful and those that are not, but are pursued due to something like addiction. There is a difference. The importance of the written word in virtually every aspect of knowledge, instruction, law, communication, etc., is not evidence of some kind of societal addiction or urge for something otherwise useless or unimportant. That it can be argued to look like an addiction does not make it so. And that some will make certain writings into gods or idols does not make all writing the same. You need more than a similarity in some aspect of observation to make this case.

You keep returning to a variant on the addiction overlay. But until you can make that point stick, it will be difficult to move forward to the next step. Oh, you can move on. But understand that it will be without the structural support of this point — at least from my perspective. I guess I could put on my "back in the days of the LCM" glasses and simply take what someone says and then let the next point add onto it.

But, on second thought, I just can't do that. If the start doesn't make sense, then whatever is intended to rely on it shouldn't either.

I have asserted that you have made no viable point from what I can see. Maybe you have for some others. But I offer my comments so that you have the opportunity to rephrase your position so that it is understandable in a manner that I can potentially move forward with. I think you have heard them. If they do not change your thinking, I do not see that yours have changed mine, so I will leave you to it.
It's got to be me that's the problem here. I guess I'm failing to make my point clearly.

My use of addiction in terms of written words is an extreme, to drive home how dependent we've become on written words.

Neither did it ever enter my mind to lie. Nor was it or is it my intention to imply that our dependency on written words is a bad thing. Quite the opposite, I think the invention of writing is one of the biggest boons in the history of humankind,

Writing enabled us to build these great civilizations, and enables us to support over 7 billion people on the earth. Our food, water, and waste, even, depends upon written words.

Don't call it an addiction. There's web addiction, cell phone addiction, and professional treatment for them. But I'd hate to test how utterly dependent we've become upon written words. If we could eliminate written words the result would be catastrophic. The world would crash. People would be starving. There'd be riots in the streets.

Let's face it. The GoJ said it all when it said "In the beginning was the Word." John is writing written words, methods that were invented 3500 yrs prior. That sure was the beginning, of being able to write books, and records; of which the gospel of John is part and parcel, and unabashedly dependent upon.

Look at what written words have become. Without them there would be no Bible, no Torah, no Koran, no book of Mormon, etc. It would be chaos and madness. Tell me there aren't people that aren't addicted to these writings. These writings sway the masses like a wave.

Hey, maybe I should just own up. I'm addicted to written words. I love 'em. Got ta have 'em. Yum, yum. And I know a lot of such addicts ...

I spot one now!

Ha ...
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:18 PM   #56
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Good questions, although I do not see them as responding to what I have written.

The thing I am trying to get to is that it is not the reading and preserving and worshipping of written words (as it seems that awareness is trying to get to) but the knowledge of the one about whom the writing speaks. It is true that the writing only tells part of the story. No writing could tell it all. Even a book of equal size and from as many different writers could not tell everything about any particular human on earth, no matter how small and insignificant they might appear to be. And the more we have from different writers, the more we see different sides of the one written about.

But while there is much written about God, and by different people over many years, we understand the actual author to be the one who is written about — God. While the precise way and words used may not have been dictated, we understand what is written to have been inspired by God himself, even to the extent that events surrounding those who oppose him are recorded. This is part of the nature of writings concerning divinity. They are not true simply because they are written. They are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says they are.

And this is where faith comes in. If we can only see that there is a similarity to other biographies of other people, some of which may be favorable and some of which may not, then we are viewing it as someone who does not believe. It is about belief and faith. If God really "wrote" it, then it is true. If he did not, it is false. The fact that some make the writing into their God does not change God, but rather makes those persons into followers of the wrong god.
Once you say "God wrote it"...you are addicted to the Bible...even maybe to the exclusion of the Spirit of Life. You have given the words of the Bible such a spiritual and almighty importance that it is nearly impossible not to get on your knees and put your hands together, your head forward over an open Bible realizing that God who created the world, the universe, life, light, knows everything about you and I, is all powerful, is omnipresent etc...wrote the words in the Bible...almost impossible to comprehend. How can you get up off your knees? These are God's words...if you are not addicted...why not...what is your problem would be the question...and what would be wrong with being addicted?

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There is plenty going wrong to cause this to be where we are today. But being addicted to the written word is not the problem. It is being so enamored by tiny phrases called verses while ignoring what they are actually talking about in the context of the rest of the book.

Yes, in terms of the fullness of the biography of God, the Bible probably reveals only what you might call a caricature. But is that caricature something that is different from a simplification of who he really is? Is it just a distilling of the truth to what is needed to be known? Or are you insisting that it might be blowing certain things out of proportion at the expense of others? I suggest the former, not the latter.
That is the question...is addiction to the Bible the problem or the solution?
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:00 PM   #57
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Once you say "God wrote it"...you are addicted to the Bible...even maybe to the exclusion of the Spirit of Life. You have given the words of the Bible such a spiritual and almighty importance that it is nearly impossible not to get on your knees and put your hands together, your head forward over an open Bible realizing that God who created the world, the universe, life, light, knows everything about you and I, is all powerful, is omnipresent etc...wrote the words in the Bible...almost impossible to comprehend. How can you get up off your knees? These are God's words...if you are not addicted...why not...what is your problem would be the question...and what would be wrong with being addicted?
I understand your premise, but don't yet find it compelling. While I somewhat disagree with how one should act in the presence of the Bible assuming that it actually is written by God, even that is not what I understand to be an addiction response. It still requires the thoughtful and conscious decision to do all the things that you propose. It is not something that is compelled and causes you to move toward it despite some level of desire to resist. Resistance is not entirely futile.

The funny thing (to me) about your description of how we should react is that it sounds more like a reaction to someone appearing in your presence and actually casting thunderbolts and speaking with more power than what any known amplifier could produce. But the Bible does not come in this fashion. It is not a book full of incantations. It is not a book of instruction or of the revelations of the universe. Instead, while written "by God," it tells of his creation, then of his actions to try to preserve the humans that he created. It tells of meeting them where they were at the time. And some of those times were times when enemies appears at your gates and intended to simply burn the city and kill everyone they could, and take many of the rest as slaves. Not savory and "enlightened" times.

The problem I see with your whole description is that there is no indication within it that this is what the response should be. Besides, I understand that the book is the transmission of the words, not the giver of the words, or the power that is behind them. So anything that I might do in that realm is not because of the book or its words, but what is behind them.

And if there really is this God behind them, then paying attention to what he wrote would not be a matter of addiction for those who understand what it is. It is the thoughtful and voluntary actions of the ones who believe.

If addiction is to be used generically because we believe it is the word of God, then we need an alternate definition of addiction. And the will to not equivocate between the two definitions every time we use it.

I know that I am not taking a popular position relative to awareness, zeek, and now you, Dave. But this is how I see it. I have indicated that I am willing to let awareness continue (as if I have anything to do with it). But he is losing me as being able to follow along because his opening premise is not making sense.

And if I am supposed to just shut up and let him continue (which was never directly said by anyone, but could be somewhere in one of the responses), then I might as well go back to to the Church in Dallas and let them tell me what they want and just take it because they think it is right.

But it is also OK to move on without me. But as long as anyone wants to make comments in my direction, I presume that they want to try to convince me. If they succeed, I will say so. But so far I just don't see it. And I think that my reasons are sound.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:03 PM   #58
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Once you say "God wrote it"...you are addicted to the Bible...even maybe to the exclusion of the Spirit of Life. You have given the words of the Bible such a spiritual and almighty importance that it is nearly impossible not to get on your knees and put your hands together, your head forward over an open Bible realizing that God who created the world, the universe, life, light, knows everything about you and I, is all powerful, is omnipresent etc...wrote the words in the Bible...almost impossible to comprehend. How can you get up off your knees? These are God's words...if you are not addicted...why not...what is your problem would be the question...and what would be wrong with being addicted?

That is the question...is addiction to the Bible the problem or the solution?
I don't buy this proposition. Can you support it with scientific evidence? If not, it's false as stated. It's a phenomenon that you don't like. Maybe you can document some objective problems with it and rephrase. That God wrote the Bible is an unfounded proposition too. Answering it with another one just compounds the problem.

By the way I agreed with your previous post and even put Job 36:26 in my signature line. It could be appropriated as a basis for negative theology.
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Old 02-07-2015, 07:54 AM   #59
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. . . and even put Job 36:26 in my signature line. It could be appropriated as a basis for negative theology.
It could also be the start of a sober reflection on the condition of one man (myself) and the beginning of wisdom concerning the God I only know in part. I find the whole of the passage encouraging even though the one statement, out of context, could be taken in a different direction.
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Old 02-07-2015, 09:30 AM   #60
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It could also be the start of a sober reflection on the condition of one man (myself) and the beginning of wisdom concerning the God I only know in part. I find the whole of the passage encouraging even though the one statement, out of context, could be taken in a different direction.
It can mean whatever it means to the subjectivity that one is. To me it seems that you are reading some unhappy inference into my statement. Rather then speculate about whether I am right about your meaning or what your unhappy inference might be, I'll just ask you: what does negative theology mean to you that you differentiate it from "sober reflection", "out of context" and "a different direction" which you contrast with an "encouraging" reading of the text?
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:47 AM   #61
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But while there is much written about God, and by different people over many years, we understand the actual author to be the one who is written about — God. While the precise way and words used may not have been dictated, we understand what is written to have been inspired by God himself, even to the extent that events surrounding those who oppose him are recorded. This is part of the nature of writings concerning divinity. They are not true simply because they are written. They are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says they are.
This is hitting the nail on the head big time, and this has been the overarching understanding of the vast majority of orthodox, evangelical Christian scholars and teachers throughout history, but especially in recent times. And it is this kind of understanding that trumps all the anti-biblical (usually just anti-Judeo/Christian worldview) ramblings of those who are always trying to change the argument, put up straw-men and present us with false dilemmas. (a la Bart Ehrman's drivel...."since some manuscripts disagree on a number of minor readings then all the major claims of the NT are bogus")
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:35 PM   #62
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I don't buy this proposition. Can you support it with scientific evidence? If not, it's false as stated. It's a phenomenon that you don't like. Maybe you can document some objective problems with it and rephrase. That God wrote the Bible is an unfounded proposition too. Answering it with another one just compounds the problem.
I suggest you read "Snapping" just as one source...e.g. pages 196-197. "Equally surprising were our survey findings concerning...fundamental sects. As it turned out, the majority of sects named by our survey respondents were not classic cults with bizarre beliefs and self-proclaimed gods and gurus, but, rather, ....charismatic and fundamentalist Christian sects...Thirty of the forty-eight groups in our survey emerged out of this traditional branch of Christianity. Taken together, they reported the highest average hours per week in ritual and indoctrination. They also rated higher than all cults in rehabilitation time (21 months) and higher than all except Scientology in combined months of long-term effects (113 months).

Addiction as I stated is scientifically proven and why you say it is not is incredulous. What do you base your statement on?
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Old 02-07-2015, 01:43 PM   #63
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I know that I am not taking a popular position relative to... zeek..."
Really? How do you know that?

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But it is also OK to move on without me. But as long as anyone wants to make comments in my direction, I presume that they want to try to convince me.
You're right about one thing, i.e. in so far as it pertains to me, that is your presumption. But, it is no more than a presumption, because it's false. I'm not trying to persuade you of anything.

My interest in dialogue is more modest. I have already stated this before. But at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'll repeat it. My goal is understanding. And I find that through understanding others, I come to understand myself better. Which means, that my own viewpoint changes. Whether the other person's view changes, I cannot control, so I'm not willing to expend any energy on it.

And this issue itself can serve as an example. Because whether you believe what I just claimed or not, I recognize is not under my control. I am indifferent about whether my claims convince you or not. But, if you stay in dialogue with me, and tell me what you think, I will have at least learned something about you and, in turn, something about myself. To me, that's what Internet discussion forums are about. If not that, then nothing.

By the way, UntoHim quoted you as saying :
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Originally Posted by OBW: They are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says they are.
Didn't you mean: They are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says He is?
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:03 PM   #64
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I suggest you read "Snapping" just as one source...e.g. pages 196-197. "Equally surprising were our survey findings concerning...fundamental sects. As it turned out, the majority of sects named by our survey respondents were not classic cults with bizarre beliefs and self-proclaimed gods and gurus, but, rather, ....charismatic and fundamentalist Christian sects...Thirty of the forty-eight groups in our survey emerged out of this traditional branch of Christianity. Taken together, they reported the highest average hours per week in ritual and indoctrination. They also rated higher than all cults in rehabilitation time (21 months) and higher than all except Scientology in combined months of long-term effects (113 months).

Addiction as I stated is scientifically proven and why you say it is not is incredulous. What do you base your statement on?
I base it on the fact that I haven't seen sufficient evidence for it. I've read Snapping. I don't recall them claiming that belief that the Bible was written by God is evidence of addiction like you did. They don't mention addiction in the passage you quote. Presumably the authors know what addiction is, so if they wished to make that claim they would. Do they equate snapping with addiction? I don't recall reading that. I gave a scientific definition of addiction below. It includes neurophysiological criteria. Snapping argues that cult-related snapping is a new kind of functional disorder without a material basis. If true, that would preclude it being an addiction which by definition has a neuropathological basis. However, the authors did hypothesize that snapping is an information processing disorder. There is now some evidence for the existence of information addiction as I mentioned below. So snapping might be related to that. But, I haven't seen controlled studies in a peer reviewed scientific journal on that either. If you know that believing that the Bible is written by God is scientifically demonstrated to be an addiction as you claim, then you shouldn't have any problem producing the evidence that shows that. I look forward to seeing it. Meanwhile, has it dawned on you that if that kind of Bible belief is an addiction, then you used to be my dealer?
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:02 AM   #65
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It can mean whatever it means to the subjectivity that one is. To me it seems that you are reading some unhappy inference into my statement. Rather then speculate about whether I am right about your meaning or what your unhappy inference might be, I'll just ask you: what does negative theology mean to you that you differentiate it from "sober reflection", "out of context" and "a different direction" which you contrast with an "encouraging" reading of the text?
I did not consider that you were meaning anything personally. As I recall, you said something like "some could take this and . . . ." (not exactly how you said it). And surely some could. I did not think you were particularly pushing that thought. The main difference between what you posted and what I posted is that I said what it made me think for myself while you considered where it could go. Neither is preferable, or right or wrong when written in a context like this. They simply are what they are. And both have value when trying to consider what to make of it. Without considering the possible, we cannot have any surety that we have discovered what is right (assuming we can get there).

Some will take that verse and declare that we can't know anything about God and become negative. Some will read it and realize that whatever we think we know is incomplete, yet strive to reduce the knowledge gap. And in isolation that would seem to at least somewhat frame the bounds of possibility. And some will read everything around it and realize how woefully flawed and inadequate we are. And our knowing is just as inadequate. And they have a choice to make whether it causes them to despair concerning knowing and following God, or understand that there is much left to be learned and move forward.
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Old 02-08-2015, 07:22 AM   #66
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Really? How do you know that?
Because I have been asked by more than one person here in the alterative views to just let whoever make their point. I assumed that meant that an alternative view was not presently welcome.

Maybe I was incorrect to put you among those. I did not try to read all the posts in this subgrouping to perfectly define the list. But it was more than once and I'm pretty sure more than one person. And while I can't remember, it seems that you once commented on my questions about something. Maybe it was the thread on the alternate view of the S/spirit.

In any case, it is clear that being popular here requires a level of playing along. I did that for 14 years in the past. I would rather not be popular than just go along. At least my questions are out there to consider. Don't respond to them if they are annoying (not talking specifically to you).

But the comment about not being popular was an observation, not a hand grenade. I'm not here to be popular. I'm not even here to get Unto's kudos. Sometimes they don't exactly represent what I was trying to say. I'm just posting what comes to my mind from what I read on the forum and glean from my experience and from the word. They are not infallible sources in my hands. But they are what is going through my head. If I have a question or a difference of opinion, I am not prone to wait too long to put it out there for consideration.

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You're right about one thing, i.e. in so far as it pertains to me, that is your presumption. But, it is no more than a presumption, because it's false. I'm not trying to persuade you of anything.
Now I'm confused. I thought that this was a premise being postulated and developed by awareness. Have I lost track of the whole thing? His addiction premise is what I was talking about. So I don't think it was about you when I was commenting on carrying on.

I am likewise interested in considering. But I consider aloud. I don't wait for the end to begin to question. Is there a problem with that? Waiting seems a little like reading a book all the way to the end, then trying to remember where the parts were that bothered you a little at the beginning. That is how we let Lee tell us nonsense the had us buying it all by the end of the message series/book.


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Didn't you mean: They are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says He is?
Depends on whether you are talking about the words/accounts in the book, or the one that we declare it to be about.
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Old 02-08-2015, 02:03 PM   #67
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I did not consider that you were meaning anything personally. As I recall, you said something like "some could take this and . . . ." (not exactly how you said it). And surely some could. I did not think you were particularly pushing that thought. The main difference between what you posted and what I posted is that I said what it made me think for myself while you considered where it could go. Neither is preferable, or right or wrong when written in a context like this. They simply are what they are. And both have value when trying to consider what to make of it. Without considering the possible, we cannot have any surety that we have discovered what is right (assuming we can get there).

Some will take that verse and declare that we can't know anything about God and become negative. Some will read it and realize that whatever we think we know is incomplete, yet strive to reduce the knowledge gap. And in isolation that would seem to at least somewhat frame the bounds of possibility. And some will read everything around it and realize how woefully flawed and inadequate we are. And our knowing is just as inadequate. And they have a choice to make whether it causes them to despair concerning knowing and following God, or understand that there is much left to be learned and move forward.
It isn't clear to me from this that you understand what negative theology is. But, it's off topic, so I won't pursue the issue further here.
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Old 02-08-2015, 02:07 PM   #68
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Depends on whether you are talking about the words/accounts in the book, or the one that we declare it to be about.
No. You're the one who made the statement I asked about. It depends on what you were talking about.
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:13 PM   #69
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I'm way behind. But I did read all of today's posts, and a couple from yesterday. I've really enjoyed the discussions. There's way more that deserve responses than I have the time to afford right now.

But I have to repent, for using the word addiction in relationship to either the Bible or written words.

Strictly speaking addiction is something that's biological. I'm not sure what zeek fully means by neurophysiological. Perhaps he means biological. Strictly speaking heroin is addictive while cocaine & marijuana is not. The difference being heroin becomes necessary to the function of the cells in the body, while coke and Mary Jane do not. That's why the whole body hurts when going cold turkey off heroin. Every cell is crying out in pain.

So Mike is right. To use the word addiction in relationship to written words requires a different definition of the word addiction.

I quickly took a look at our new member Awoken, where he claimed to have a pornography addiction. That's certainly not a 'down to the cellular level' kind of addiction. That's an addiction like cocaine and marijuana. It's a psychological dependency. But like coke and Mary Jane, we call it by the word addiction.

So maybe I'm playing foot loose and fancy free with the word addiction in reference to written words. Maybe it's a psychological dependency. Or just a dependency. I'm clearly having trouble putting my finger on it. And I haven't even made my point yet. Whatever that was. I've lost track. Let me see if I can find it again.

Mike and I seem to get wordy, and I like to try to hold that down. I'm not going to worry about that now.

It should be plain to all that's been around these forums for awhile that I grew up indoctrinated with "we live by the book." And certainly what was attractive about the local church was that "they lived by The Book" better than all the other Christians.

I'm thinking, where did that idea come from? Of course, no one lives by The Book. No one can. But the idea of "we live by the book," what started that?

So why not start all the way back at the beginning? The Bible is written words. In human history, when did writing start? And what happened since then? In the time-clock of human history writing would likely appear in the last few minutes. And look what it's become. I don't need to belabor the point.

And look what we did with our new fancy-dancy handy tool: the scratching of symbols to represent spoken words. We've got sacred books of written words, to live by, galore. That little invention, of scratching symbols for spoken words, produced divine instructions, for living a life, both here and hereafter.

I just think that perchance we became a little infatuated with ourselves, and our new toy, and got carried away with it, like little kids when they discover something new.

And what's funny about all this -- and I have to cut this short -- is that what we learn from our sacred writings is that God is beyond words.

So what are we doing? Just taking our best guesses, about God, writing them down, and calling them delivered from heaven? Is God, for example, in our sacred writings, the Bible, a jealous God, because we took our best stab at it, and wrote that God is like us.

So maybe the word addiction doesn't fit. But given what we've done since learning to write words it sure seems something like addiction ... and given some written words are sacred and believed to be from heavenly sources can't we say that written words produce a sense of worship? That's another word that needs to be defined, in this context?

If scriptures are divine then we had better'd be addicted to them. Cuz living by the book is living by God. And shouldn't we be God addicts?
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:11 PM   #70
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No. You're the one who made the statement I asked about. It depends on what you were talking about.
And I was talking about the words. So I did not mean what you said, although it is an alternative understanding that is of only slightly different meaning given that the words are not only by God, but about God. But I was not pointing to the fact that they told of God, but that they were written by God. So it was the words, not what they talked about.
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Old 02-08-2015, 05:24 PM   #71
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I quickly took a look at our new member Awoken, where he claimed to have a pornography addiction. That's certainly not a 'down to the cellular level' kind of addiction. That's an addiction like cocaine and marijuana. It's a psychological dependency. But like coke and Mary Jane, we call it by the word addiction.
Not going to get into all that you said, but even if you take addiction to covering things like marijuana, pornography, and even something like and internet addiction, I agree that they are addictions, although not necessarily of the same class as that of heroin or alcohol (for some).

What I am having trouble with is the further spreading of the term to the point that logical/social necessity is classified as addiction. Such as declaring that mankind has become generically addicted to the written word (which I think you said in at least one place) and not just the kind that might be associated with certain hooks related to the Bible (in specific cases) or other particular writings. There are aspects of addiction that are not unique to addiction. Among them is "need." But there are normal, legitimate needs, like eating, water or other fluid, breathing. They are absolute necessities. But they are not considered within addictions because they are not needed in a way that is beyond true need. They are not pursued for themselves.

Yet there are cases of people who are addicted to food in certain ways. They have to eat even when they almost cannot because they are still full from the last eating. They crave food because they can't find an answer to a problem at work. It does not make eating generally an addiction. But certain aspects of how those people crave eating is truly a kind of addiction.

I was expecting that there would be something driving us toward seeing where some need the Bible in a way that is somewhat unhealthy (even for good Bible-reading Christians). A way that makes the turn to the written word as an obsessive digging for "the answer" to whatever is in front of them at each moment of the day. And I could buy this as a kind of addiction.

But as an exception or anomaly, not a rule.
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Old 02-08-2015, 06:41 PM   #72
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And I was talking about the words. So I did not mean what you said, although it is an alternative understanding that is of only slightly different meaning given that the words are not only by God, but about God. But I was not pointing to the fact that they told of God, but that they were written by God. So it was the words, not what they talked about.
Thanks for the clarification. In any case, the statement in question appears to be incoherent as written. You say that you were talking about "the words": Thus:"They [the words] are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says they [the words] are." But, words are not a "who".
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:59 PM   #73
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Strictly speaking addiction is something that's biological. I'm not sure what zeek fully means by neurophysiological.
Neurophysiology(from Greek νεῦρον, neuron, "nerve"; φύσις, physis, "nature, origin"; and -λογία, -logia) is a branch of physiology and neuroscience that is concerned with the study of the functioning of the nervous system.



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I quickly took a look at our new member Awoken, where he claimed to have a pornography addiction. That's certainly not a 'down to the cellular level' kind of addiction.
How do you know?
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:02 AM   #74
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Thanks for the clarification. In any case, the statement in question appears to be incoherent as written. You say that you were talking about "the words": Thus:"They [the words] are understood as true by those who believe that the deity claimed to be behind them is who the writing says they [the words] are." But, words are not a "who".
And having looked at it again, I see your point. Sometimes it takes a while to see your own errors because you are certain you wrote what you meant to write.

But after the fact, I think that I meant to say what I have since said about it (with emphasis on the "think" — I have slept since then).
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:56 AM   #75
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It seems as though WL took the hard line of the Bible in his dealings with people---not literally but figuratively and he was unjust, revengeful and at times hateful. Some have said that Titus was the same way. However, God does not appear to have any mercy whether it is for innocent women, children or infants and he accepts people as burnt offerings. Below are just a few of the many quotes of scripture which show that it is the same God in the Old and New Testament who is revengeful and hateful.

When I was younger I listened to various stories from the OT. The way they were presented they highly exalted people such as Moses, David and others but now we can see the devastation that these individuals brought on others. Of course, this is nothing compared to the devastation of people described in the book of Revelation. Some describe God as just with both the sword and the fig leaf. I don’t see justice in these stories.

Exodus 32:26-28 “…then Moses stood at the gate of the camp and said, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me!’ And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. He said to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side, each of you! Go back and forth from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbor.’ The sons of Levi did as Moses commanded, and about three thousand of the people fell on that day.” Previously in verses 10-11 God wanted to consume these people with his wrath but Moses talked him out of it.

Deuteronomy 2:31-35 “…the Lord our God gave him (King Sihon) over us and we struck him down, along with his offspring and all of his people. At that time we captured all his towns, and in each town we utterly destroyed men, women and children. We left not a single survivor. Only the livestock we kept as spoil for ourselves, as well as the plunder of the towns we had captured.”

Deuteronomy 3:2-7 “The Lord said to me…Do to him (King Og) as you did to King Sihon of the Amorites…We struck him down until not a single survivor was left…sixty towns…And we utterly destroyed them…in each city utterly destroying men, women, and children. But all the livestock and the plunder of towns we kept as spoil for ourselves.”

Numbers 31:3-18 “…Arm some of your number for the war, so that they may go against Midian, to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian…killed every male…The Israelites took the women of Midian and their little ones captive….All their towns they burned…Moses became angry with the officers of the army….’Have you allowed all the women to live?’….Kill every male among the littles ones and kill every woman who has known a man by sleeping with him…But all the young girls who have not known a man by sleeping with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

Joshua 6:16-21 Joshua said to the people, ‘Shout! For the Lord has given you the city (Jericho). The city and all that is in it shall be devoted to the Lord for destruction…Then they devoted to destruction by the edge of the sword all in the city, both men and women, young and old…”

Deuteronomy 7:1-2 When the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and occupy, and he clears away many nations before you---Hittites, Girga****es,…Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, Hivites, and the Jebusites…you must utterly destroy them. Make no covenant with them and show them no mercy.

II Kings 2:23-24 “…some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him (Elisha), saying ‘Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead!’ When he (Elisha) turned around and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled 42 of the boys…”

Judges 11:29-39 “…Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah…And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord, and said, ‘If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whoever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return victorious….shall be the Lord’s, to be offered up by me as a burnt offering.’…and the Lord gave them (Ammonites) into his hand. He inflicted a massive defeat on them…Then Jephthah came to his house at Mizpah; and there was his daughter coming out to meet him…She was his only child…(Jephthah) did with her according to the vow he had made.”

I Samuel 15:1-3 “Samuel said to Saul, ‘The Lord sent me to anoint you king over his people Israel;…listen to the words of the Lord…Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant…”

1 Samuel 27:8-9 “Now David and his men went up and made raids on the Geshurites, the Girzites and the Amalekites; …David struck the land, leaving neither man nor woman alive…”

Genesis 6:17 “For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.”

Exodus 1-12 The plagues upon Egypt etc Remember that God had hardened Pharoah's heart so Pharoah wouldn't give in and so God could bring all 10 plagues on the Egyptians.

Psalm 137:9 “Happy shall they be who take your little ones and dash them against the rock.”

Matthew 17:3 Based on just a couple of noted scriptures in the OT Moses was used by God to commit mass murder of women and children. However, Moses was highly exalted at the transfiguration. Moses is mentioned 80 times in the NT.

Matthew 24:37 “For as in the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man…”

Matt. 5:29 “It is better to lose one of your members than to have your entire body thrown into hell.”

John 5:45 “Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope…”

As we know the OT bleeds into the NT all the way to Revelation.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:43 AM   #76
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A couple of comments on the litany of acts of God.

First, it is mostly ove-rspeak of the day when it is said that all of anything was killed. Early on they went to utterly destroy (not necessarily the words used) the Canaanites. But decades later there were Canaanites. This is generally observed in all of the cases. Today we would say things like "decimate" to mean what they appear to have meant when they went out to kill "every living person."

Second, we live according to the righteousness and rules of man. We like to think that we have gotten better over time. But the love of God which holds back his wrath upon unrighteousness is not simply overpowering. It is decided upon by God. And he has the prerogative as creator of it all to destroy the parts that he finds standing against his righteousness. When he does or does not is not my call. I do have the right to ask. To question. But no right to condemn. I am ultimately but one of the created beings. Like the plastic army men, or cowboys and Indians that we played with as children. How the battle played out was in our control. Some lived and some died. It was our choice.

But we deny God the same with respect to what he has created.

I'm sure that these are not satisfactory answers for those who want to be rid of the idea of God. And I do not pretend to always think I like the outcomes. But I do recognize God's rights as being absolute and mine as nonexistent. (I know that last one sticks in the craw of us Americans who always demand their rights.)
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:57 AM   #77
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And having looked at it again, I see your point. Sometimes it takes a while to see your own errors because you are certain you wrote what you meant to write.

But after the fact, I think that I meant to say what I have since said about it (with emphasis on the "think" — I have slept since then).
Thanks for clearing that up for me. The idea that God wrote the Bible is too simplistic for me. I was surprised to read that you subscribed to that view. The Bible doesn't claim that for itself. Not even 2 Timothy 3:16 does that. To me that belief results in absurdities that are unwarranted even for the most orthodox Christian. In the first place it undermines the agency and points of view of the human authors. And although simplistic itself, it requires complex mental gymnastics to explain how it could occur that go way beyond anything that the Bible author's say themselves.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:14 AM   #78
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A couple of comments on the litany of acts of God.

First, it is mostly ove-rspeak of the day when it is said that all of anything was killed. Early on they went to utterly destroy (not necessarily the words used) the Canaanites. But decades later there were Canaanites. This is generally observed in all of the cases. Today we would say things like "decimate" to mean what they appear to have meant when they went out to kill "every living person."

Second, we live according to the righteousness and rules of man. We like to think that we have gotten better over time. But the love of God which holds back his wrath upon unrighteousness is not simply overpowering. It is decided upon by God. And he has the prerogative as creator of it all to destroy the parts that he finds standing against his righteousness. When he does or does not is not my call. I do have the right to ask. To question. But no right to condemn. I am ultimately but one of the created beings. Like the plastic army men, or cowboys and Indians that we played with as children. How the battle played out was in our control. Some lived and some died. It was our choice.

But we deny God the same with respect to what he has created.

I'm sure that these are not satisfactory answers for those who want to be rid of the idea of God. And I do not pretend to always think I like the outcomes. But I do recognize God's rights as being absolute and mine as nonexistent. (I know that last one sticks in the craw of us Americans who always demand their rights.)
If God wanted to destroy humans like "plastic army men" being all-mighty he could do that himself without enlisting the aid of humans. Natural "acts of God" like tsunamis accomplish that often enough. More likely, the writers are doing what numerous peoples have done throughout history i.e. claiming that God is on their side and in conflicts against other "tribes' and the maintenance of social order by executing troublemakers.

Your criticism of those who demand their rights suggests to me that you still may retain the mind-set that made it so easy for us to give up ours when we entered the Witness Lee cult where he exercised absolute authority.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:06 PM   #79
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If God wanted to destroy humans like "plastic army men" being all-mighty he could do that himself without enlisting the aid of humans. Natural "acts of God" like tsunamis accomplish that often enough. More likely, the writers are doing what numerous peoples have done throughout history i.e. claiming that God is on their side and in conflicts against other "tribes' and the maintenance of social order by executing troublemakers.

Your criticism of those who demand their rights suggests to me that you still may retain the mind-set that made it so easy for us to give up ours when we entered the Witness Lee cult where he exercised absolute authority.
Yeah, it is easy to say "let God do it himself" because he can. And therein may be some of the "slop" in the account we call the Bible, because those accounts, while a bit of history of sorts, may not be the way God would have written it. It could be that he would have said that his people were being oppressed and, with His help, threw them off. Or something like that.

As for the criticism of those who demand their rights, that is a kind of tightrope. I often say that having good theologians to do the heavy lifting is good. But I expect them to be able to lay it out in a manner that can be understood and squared against the scripture, so no free pass any more.

But I think that we hold to rights more than anyone in the world because it is part of our constitution. And we like to think that it came from God's own hand. But even to the extent that we decided among ourselves (or our founding fathers did), it was not decided that we would have the kind of nearly unlimited rights that seem to be in vogue today. And we constantly spread and expand them. Even now trying to declare that we have rights relative to God.

Not really.

But I will not let anyone simply say things and declare that it is so and carry me away with it. If I can be convinced that it truly is from God, so be it. But that is a tough row to hoe. I understand sin and how it affects everyone. I understand the gift of God.

I also understand the commands that go with it. Not in a "do this and I'll save you" kind of way. But there are commands. I choose to ignore them a lot. But that is just me demanding my rights. In the end, it will be me without any rights unable to defend my prior claims to have any. So what good does it do to suggest that I have any now.

But I am not talking with regard to things like some teacher's nonsense. Lee could never hook me again. Nor could any of the other strange waves that have come along (even along here, like pray that America returns to God so we can receive our promised blessings, or go head over heels trying to cow-tow to Israel).
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Old 02-10-2015, 06:26 PM   #80
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Have we found the truth in the Bible? Let’s imagine that we have a GPS and our GPS is loaded with the Oregon trail back in 1840 by Lewis and Clark. We live in 2015 and decide we want to drive the Oregon trail so we take off using the GPS with the information loaded on it from 1840 (actually GPS’ didn’t even exist until the 1990s). Guess what? We will end up in a river or lake or somewhere we hadn’t expected. That is exactly what is going on with the Bible road map which is 2000 years old when we load the Bible into our GPS.

The world has changed and for that matter so has God at least from our perspective and the surrounding world but we’re trying to read the road map of the Bible which is 2000 years old. The problem is that we often hit a dead end following this 2000 year old Bible on our GPS. We try to make sense of it for our lives today. Sure, on occasion, the map makes sense (it’s not all a dead end) but it’s just like the early church and the church fathers who struggled with the Bible road map. Even Origen believed in a kind of reincarnation and while his First Principles were considered orthodox they were discounted with his later “heretical” writings. The only things we can know for sure are natural laws in this universe e.g. gravity but even some of those concepts are changing e.g is the atom the smallest particle or the neutron or etc. Back in the days of the Bible they used whatever science or technology they had available such as writing or medicine etc. (Isaiah 11:12, 40:12, 44:24, Joshua 10:12-13, Ps. 93:1, 1 Chron. 16:30, Deut. 23:12-13, Leviticus 11:37-38, 13:45-46, 14:1-32, etc.). Many of the Biblical scientific discussions in the Bible are archaic along with many other items listed in the Bible. In any case, we need to update our Biblical road map and many of the roads have changed.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:45 AM   #81
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Many of the Biblical scientific discussions in the Bible are archaic along with many other items listed in the Bible.
Yes, if your focus is the scientific details. But was the science the real discussion? Or an issue on the side? Were any of those discussion much more than a Genesis 1 kind of simplistic reference to things that we have better knowledge and understanding concerning?

But they were written to people who would not understand the more robust science. And by some of the same people. Surely if there are parts that God "spoke" to someone to write, there could be better details. But why do it if its only result would have been confusion among an ancient and relatively ignorant group of people, especially if the science is not the purpose of the writing.

I know this will seem a little too much, but I think that griping about the precision of the science is a sort of red herring, or even a strawman, especially for people who want to find ways to discredit the Bible. And they drag us into it by making us think it is important. But it is a little like reading any particular textbook and pointing at the lack of details concerning particular items when it is written to, say, 6th graders. If it is still correct with respect to what it is teaching even if not complete in every detail, then it has done its job.

Or worse. It is sometimes like pointing at the size of the margins on the page as a means if discrediting the content.
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Old 02-11-2015, 08:44 AM   #82
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Yes, if your focus is the scientific details. But was the science the real discussion? Or an issue on the side? Were any of those discussion much more than a Genesis 1 kind of simplistic reference to things that we have better knowledge and understanding concerning?

But they were written to people who would not understand the more robust science. And by some of the same people. Surely if there are parts that God "spoke" to someone to write, there could be better details. But why do it if its only result would have been confusion among an ancient and relatively ignorant group of people, especially if the science is not the purpose of the writing.

I know this will seem a little too much, but I think that griping about the precision of the science is a sort of red herring, or even a strawman, especially for people who want to find ways to discredit the Bible. And they drag us into it by making us think it is important. But it is a little like reading any particular textbook and pointing at the lack of details concerning particular items when it is written to, say, 6th graders. If it is still correct with respect to what it is teaching even if not complete in every detail, then it has done its job.

Or worse. It is sometimes like pointing at the size of the margins on the page as a means if discrediting the content.
The science illustration I mentioned was merely a small illustration of the changes which have taken place since the Bible was written. It was not meant as a conclusive point of what I was talking about. Frankly it was an easy point to make. I also illustrated earlier in this thread that if we look at the God of the Bible we see basically a maniac killing wildly everyone to include women, children and infants.

There was one scripture I listed where Moses’ asks his commanders, “Why did you not kill all the women?” and then has them kill all the women who weren’t virgins and then gives all the virgins to the troops for their pleasure. When we look at the God of the Bible and the “heroes” of the Bible the Inquisition is tame comparatively. Yet, we herald Moses as a great man of God because he led the Israelis out of Egypt but again, God had hardened the heart of the Pharaoh so that all the 10 plagues would affect the Egyptians before Moses led them out. In the Christian Sunday schools we hail these figures of the OT and NT such as Moses and others who were merciless in their slaughtering of others because they were God’s people and leaders. Whatever happened to “thou shalt not kill” because God or his designated leaders don’t have any problem with killing thousands or millions of people? Turn the other cheek until you are cast into the lake of fire.

Romans 9:17-18 states, “For the scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.’ So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.” God intentionally hardened Pharaoh’s heart and allowed all of the plagues on the Egyptians because God can do whatever God wants to do and you and I really don’t have any say in it. Of course, his purpose is to have his name proclaimed throughout the earth. In Ephesians 1:4-5 it appears to show that God decided who was headed to heaven from the very beginning. God apparently is all knowing and knows how things will turn out---just read Revelation.

I am aware that there are some fragile people on this forum who should not be exposed to the things I have written in my earlier thread about the cruelty of God and his messengers (that’s why we have Alternative views). However, if someone can justify God’s actions in killing women, children and infants I would like to hear it. In any case, as I stated earlier, we need to recalibrate and update our Biblical map.
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Old 02-11-2015, 04:56 PM   #83
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Dave,

I note that some, and you seem to be among them at some points, are trying to find reasons to disprove God, or at least dismiss him. Too often I think that the reason is not that these accounts of rather brutal behavior are attributed by the writers to the command of God (and there is an indeterminate amount of hyperbole in some of the accounts — which are probably still not very good after eliminating such hyperbole, if it can be isolated), but that many of them don't want there to be a God. So every possible reason is used to convince themselves that it just can't be right. That the God we think we follow either can't be like that, or there can't be a God.

Does finding these brutal passages make a just God impossible? Is it impossible that God would not arrive at the point that he determines that certain ones are ripe for judgment? The opportunity for repentance is over? And he decides to allow these still-savage people that he is trying to bring forward to a somewhat recovered state be his sword?

I am not saying that these accounts do not bother me. But I guess I am saying that I am not trying to defend God when I understand him as the only one with the right to truly judge the people of the earth. Under that position, he is not in need of defense no matter how it hurts my natural sensibilities.

And no matter your reasons or conclusions, it does seem that we are approaching the whole thing from a different position. I do think that considering the alternative positions has value. But so far they have not swayed me.
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Old 02-11-2015, 09:59 PM   #84
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Dave,

I note that some, and you seem to be among them at some points, are trying to find reasons to disprove God, or at least dismiss him. Too often I think that the reason is not that these accounts of rather brutal behavior are attributed by the writers to the command of God (and there is an indeterminate amount of hyperbole in some of the accounts — which are probably still not very good after eliminating such hyperbole, if it can be isolated), but that many of them don't want there to be a God. So every possible reason is used to convince themselves that it just can't be right. That the God we think we follow either can't be like that, or there can't be a God.

Does finding these brutal passages make a just God impossible? Is it impossible that God would not arrive at the point that he determines that certain ones are ripe for judgment? The opportunity for repentance is over? And he decides to allow these still-savage people that he is trying to bring forward to a somewhat recovered state be his sword?

I am not saying that these accounts do not bother me. But I guess I am saying that I am not trying to defend God when I understand him as the only one with the right to truly judge the people of the earth. Under that position, he is not in need of defense no matter how it hurts my natural sensibilities.

And no matter your reasons or conclusions, it does seem that we are approaching the whole thing from a different position. I do think that considering the alternative positions has value. But so far they have not swayed me.
Mike
I don’t know whether you were aware of the scriptures depicting the brutality of God or his leaders and prophets such as Moses, David, Joshua etc before I laid out those verses? As I indicated, the NT is no better with its many references to passages in the OT mentioning several of these events and then ending up with the most brutal ending in Revelation of loss of life. One of the reasons we all might be more sensitive to those verses is a result of the world we live in…the media world. In the past, in the world we lived in, we hadn’t heard of such horrible killings on almost a daily basis whether they were in our country or the horrific killings abroad. We weren’t as aware of the abuse of women and children as we are now. Those scriptures that I quoted are like the horrible video games kids/adults play today and are rated R or worse and are condemned by many Christian groups. But yet those are the horrific passages in the Bible referencing God and the leaders in the OT whom Sunday school teachers will quote using less sensitive verses to depict these leaders such as Moses as great Biblical men. Mike, these people directed by God or God's designated leaders were directed to kill babies, children, women etc. and turning over virgins to troops to do as they wish. It sounds like the war crimes they did in Bosnia.

I know you are sincere in what you are concerned about---that I am one of those persons who is trying to undermine God. I hope that is not your only defense of those scriptures because I have no problem with God at all. But those scriptures don’t reflect the God I care about. Those passages in the OT and NT are indefensible. All I am saying is that we need to update our Biblical GPS maps.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:07 AM   #85
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Dave,

I have read all of those accounts. And I have heard alternate theories on them. From it was the writers who waxed with hyperbole, to the men writing the accounts attributing their own lack of righteousness to God, to God is fully within his rights to take whatever action he deems appropriate. I do note that in at least one place in later scripture this latter view is suggested.

I find that trying to provide which is right does not really make it all better — unless you are out to achieve the overthrow of God. If that is the goal then the case can be made that there is an inconsistency in the nature of God, therefore he must not exist. Yet I do not buy that argument.

I am not sticking my head in the sand. Assuming there is God, then whether there was a flood (and the fact that so many of the ancient cultures had their flood myth, therefore its likelihood is significant in some form or fashion) or it stands in as some alternate pouring out of wrath, it indicates judgment of God. I have come to the general conclusion that the condition of man centuries into the BC era was generally rather brutal when it came to war. God took on people living in that era and fashioned them into his people. For the last almost 500 years before Christ, they were no longer very engaged in warfare. They were quickly defeated by the Babylonians, then never independent again. A few minor uprisings.

Then we see the speaking of Christ. For all that had happened to the Jews to get them to a less violent state, and without rampant idolatry, now Jesus came and began to turn up the heat on righteousness. The things from the OT law that they were so poor at were no longer sufficient. It took more.

So rather than just pick Abraham and batter him around every time he didn't measure up, and the same for his wayward offspring, God brought them along bit by bit to where they were at the turn of the age.

I do not need to figure out the worst that man could do 4,000 years ago. And I do not blame God because he happened to record some of it in the early parts of what is now the Bible. They were who they were. And the fact that God worked with those near savages without just destroying them as well is evidence of God's restraint and love as he works with man. So having it recorded still teaches us about God. And a God that is not just some moral monster.
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:43 PM   #86
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But those scriptures don’t reflect the God I care about. Those passages in the OT and NT are indefensible. All I am saying is that we need to update our Biblical GPS maps.
So the God you care about isn't the God of the Bible? Just what god is it that you care about? Did he/she have prophets that spoke for him/her? Was any of his/her speaking or acts recorded for us? Assuming that you believe that at some point something went wrong with the human race, did your god have a plan of redemption and salvation? (I mention this because Jesus Christ clearly and strongly declared that his Father was the biblical God of the Old Testament, I AM, Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob - but this can't be the god you care about because that is the very same God related to the persons and events you have been going on and on about and seem to detest.)

I'm afraid your updated GPS maps are going to be missing a vast swathe of territory - including numerous important places where God has been, is at right now and will be in the future. You see the "G" in GPS stands for "Global" and your GPS isn't global at all. I suggest you use another GPS, and this one stands for "God Positioning Scriptures". The truth will set you fee, and so will the God of the Bible if you take him at his Word.
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Old 02-13-2015, 06:15 AM   #87
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So the God you care about isn't the God of the Bible? Just what god is it that you care about? Did he/she have prophets that spoke for him/her? Was any of his/her speaking or acts recorded for us? Assuming that you believe that at some point something went wrong with the human race, did your god have a plan of redemption and salvation? (I mention this because Jesus Christ clearly and strongly declared that his Father was the biblical God of the Old Testament, I AM, Jehovah, the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob - but this can't be the god you care about because that is the very same God related to the persons and events you have been going on and on about and seem to detest.)

I'm afraid your updated GPS maps are going to be missing a vast swathe of territory - including numerous important places where God has been, is at right now and will be in the future. You see the "G" in GPS stands for "Global" and your GPS isn't global at all. I suggest you use another GPS, and this one stands for "God Positioning Scriptures". The truth will set you fee, and so will the God of the Bible if you take him at his Word.
Love God and Love your neighbor---quoted in Deuteronomy and in the gospels by Jesus are at the heart of the message of the Bible. How does your response have anything to do with what I have been saying regarding God in the OT directing his followers to kill infants, children, women, friends, neighbors, brothers and allowing his followers to sacrifice their children as a burnt offering. This seems to violate his own commandments to his followers of “Thou Shalt Not Kill” and loving your brother as yourself. I understand that God has stated that "My ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts (are higher) than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8,9) However, he is directing humans to commit unspeakable acts which violate his own directions (commandments). You’re suggesting that we just stick our heads in the sand when it comes to this part of the Bible. We should just pay attention to what you think is important.

Of course I detest these acts of humans directed by God and why you don’t is troubling. Why wouldn’t I go on and on about this. It is contrary to God’s own commandments and how a Christian should believe or act. Jesus did declare that his Father was the God of the OT and he also said, "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father." John 14:9 "I and My Father are one." John 10:30. However, none of this explains God directing his followers to commit these acts in the OT. I just don’t see where you have moved off of square one on your GPS…
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:25 PM   #88
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The science illustration I mentioned was merely a small illustration of the changes which have taken place since the Bible was written. It was not meant as a conclusive point of what I was talking about. Frankly it was an easy point to make. I also illustrated earlier in this thread that if we look at the God of the Bible we see basically a maniac killing wildly everyone to include women, children and infants.

There was one scripture I listed where Moses’ asks his commanders, “Why did you not kill all the women?” and then has them kill all the women who weren’t virgins and then gives all the virgins to the troops for their pleasure. When we look at the God of the Bible and the “heroes” of the Bible the Inquisition is tame comparatively. Yet, we herald Moses as a great man of God because he led the Israelis out of Egypt but again, God had hardened the heart of the Pharaoh so that all the 10 plagues would affect the Egyptians before Moses led them out. In the Christian Sunday schools we hail these figures of the OT and NT such as Moses and others who were merciless in their slaughtering of others because they were God’s people and leaders. Whatever happened to “thou shalt not kill” because God or his designated leaders don’t have any problem with killing thousands or millions of people? Turn the other cheek until you are cast into the lake of fire.

Romans 9:17-18 states, “For the scripture says to Pharaoh, ‘I have raised you up for the very purpose of showing my power in you, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.’ So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses.” God intentionally hardened Pharaoh’s heart and allowed all of the plagues on the Egyptians because God can do whatever God wants to do and you and I really don’t have any say in it. Of course, his purpose is to have his name proclaimed throughout the earth. In Ephesians 1:4-5 it appears to show that God decided who was headed to heaven from the very beginning. God apparently is all knowing and knows how things will turn out---just read Revelation.

I am aware that there are some fragile people on this forum who should not be exposed to the things I have written in my earlier thread about the cruelty of God and his messengers (that’s why we have Alternative views). However, if someone can justify God’s actions in killing women, children and infants I would like to hear it. In any case, as I stated earlier, we need to recalibrate and update our Biblical map.
These amoral genocides and atrocities commanded by God is why atheists are now saying that, the best way to turn someone into an atheist is to teach them what's really in the Bible; that even the moral compass of children can see how wrong such a God would be.

No believer, that I've known in all these years, has been able to get around these problems depicted of God in the Bible, and I've heard no convincing arguments that lets this God off the hook.

If it's God's word what are we to do with these OT accounts? ... or the Book of Revelation accounts? Lot's of people, women, children, babies, and fetuses will come to terrible and cruel catastrophic ends, according to that book.

Yet it is: The Book
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:34 PM   #89
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So it seems that we have passed from the proposition that the Bible is addictive to propositions that it is neither scientifically nor morally authoritative. A "shoot the messenger approach" to these propositions, is no substitute for a robust defense of the Bible's unquestionable moral authority. A defense of a God of love, is incompatible with heavy-handed attacks on other people's faith. But, I do agree that God's authorization and justification of genocidal violence is indeed troubling. How can the impression that this is a theologically rationalized land-grab be overcome? These Bible passages justify writing off indigenous people as though they weren't there or had no right to be there. They have been appropriated and continue to be appropriated for exactly this purpose.

Witness Lee explained God's genocidal commandments this way:
Quote:
"Joshua 10 through 12 show Joshua’s destruction of all the rest of the nations in the hill country and the lowland west of the Jordan and on all the shore of the great sea. The strongest people in Canaan were in a strip of land from Lebanon in the north to Egypt in the south and from the Mediterranean Sea to the river Jordan. These people included the Anakim, a race of giants. According to Numbers 13:33, the sons of Anak were from the Nephilim. Genesis 6 reveals that the Nephilim were the issue of the evil union between the daughters of men and fallen angels. Because of the Nephilim, God charged His elect to slaughter everyone in the land. God is kind, loving, and merciful, but He is also severe because He has an enemy on earth." (Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruth, Chapter 15, Section 1)
He also interpreted the passage allegorically as justification for displacing and warring against other Christian groups:
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"In principle, our situation is the same in the Lord’s recovery today. Our standing on the church ground annuls the standing of all the denominations, and this stirs up opposition. We are God’s Israel, and we have our Captain, but the Lord’s recovery is still involved in a struggle. Every day we need to engage in spiritual warfare." (Life-Study of Joshua, Judges & Ruth, Chapter 15, Section 1)
But, the connection between God's genocidal commandments and the Nephilim is tenuous and in any case racist. It is easier to see it as an instance of the human tendency to see other ethnic groups as subhuman. How many wars and genocidal slaughters have been justified by the belief in"God on Our Side"? I'm happy to entertain other explanations if anybody has any. But, if not not, it is hard for me to shake the impression that the reason these discussions are locked away on this forum is that no one here good arguments against them.
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Old 02-13-2015, 05:15 PM   #90
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So the God you care about isn't the God of the Bible? Just what god is it that you care about? Did he/she have prophets that spoke for him/her? Was any of his/her speaking or acts recorded for us?
Thanks Unto, for making my point about being written word junkies.

Aren't you basically saying Dave's God is insignificant because there's no written records on Him?

In other words, God is only significant because we have written accounts of Him.

I equate this with an idolatry of the written word, in that we've elevated the written word right up there with God, in importance.

And certainly this isn't so, simply because God had to exist before the advent of writing.

So now, since the advent of writing, we think God was doing nothing in relationship to humankind, before we learned to write ; that the pre-historic God was impotent.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:47 PM   #91
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Thanks Unto, for making my point about being written word junkies.

Aren't you basically saying Dave's God is insignificant because there's no written records on Him?

In other words, God is only significant because we have written accounts of Him.

I equate this with an idolatry of the written word, in that we've elevated the written word right up there with God, in importance.

And certainly this isn't so, simply because God had to exist before the advent of writing.

So now, since the advent of writing, we think God was doing nothing in relationship to humankind, before we learned to write ; that the pre-historic God was impotent.
No, being precedes writing. Writing is a recent human invention. It has had immense impact on human cultural evolution and the biosphere. But, it's impact is minuscule and localized with respect to the cosmos.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:44 AM   #92
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No, being precedes writing. Writing is a recent human invention. It has had immense impact on human cultural evolution and the biosphere. But, it's impact is minuscule and localized with respect to the cosmos.
I certainly agree with you but both you and awareness are making the point that writing is limiting and to focus on writing we not only limit God but it becomes an end in itself. It becomes impossible to see beyond it. This goes back to my idea about the GPS...some Christians are stuck at the cross roads or the river bank and can't go further because there is not the possibility of an update because they think they have the entire map.

Quote:
But, the connection between God's genocidal commandments and the Nephilim is tenuous and in any case racist. It is easier to see it as an instance of the human tendency to see other ethnic groups as subhuman.
In one of the scriptures I mentioned after slaughtering all the women who had slept with men which Moses commanded them to kill in Numbers 31:32 its states, "The booty remaining from the spoil that the troops had taken totaled six hundred seventy-five thousand sheep, seventy-two thousand oxen, sixty one thousand donkeys, and thirty-two thousand persons in all, women who had not known a man by sleeping with him."

Virgin women were considered spoil and no more than donkeys or sheep or oxen. They turned over 32,000 virgins to the troops because they considered these tribes subhuman and their women even worse--spoils along with the animals.
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Old 02-14-2015, 09:33 AM   #93
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No, being precedes writing. Writing is a recent human invention. It has had immense impact on human cultural evolution and the biosphere. But, it's impact is minuscule and localized with respect to the cosmos.
Now yer talkin'.

I'm surprised. My thread is "By the Book," and no one has asked, "what book." Oh okay, there's lots of holy books in the world. Let's not let that hang us up.

For the sake of example let's narrow it down to two: One, a book written by the hands of men, that we call the Bible, and, two, the book written by the very hand of God, we call nature (including the whole cosmos).

It seems to me that the book written by the hand of God is way too mysterious to figure out. So we go for the simpler book, written by men like us, but who were way more ignorant of the book written by Gods' hand than we are today.

Now the two books are colliding, as we discover evermore about the book written by Gods' hand.

Which book should we go by? The one written by men, or the one written by God? Which one can fall on our heads the hardest?

And I might add: Maybe the God Dave is pointing out in the OT -- the baby killer -- is modeled after nature. ... "who" has no qualms about killing babies. Maybe those stories in the OT are just Jewish personifications of powers they witnessed from and in nature.
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Old 02-14-2015, 10:11 AM   #94
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Which book should we go by? The one written by men, or the one written by God?
No need to choose between the two, they both declare the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
God speaks through his Word, through nature and space, they work in symphony together declaring the glory of the very same God.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:27 PM   #95
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No need to choose between the two, they both declare the glory of God.
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. (Psalm 19:1)
God speaks through his Word, through nature and space, they work in symphony together declaring the glory of the very same God.
I can agree with most of your last statement. Well at least you admit the Bible was written by men and not God. Can we say that men may have been flawed in writing the Bible and in their efforts to declare the glory of God may have changed a few stories, verses etc? I am assuming you are not one of those Christians who believe that the earth is 6000 years old, the dinosaurs and man were on the earth together at the same time, the dinosaurs were too big to get on the ark and were killed off as a result of the flood? Thus, carbon testing is just fiction etc.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:30 PM   #96
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Dave,
So who gets to pick what stories were changed? You? After all this time I'm trying to figure out what you actually believe isn't just a story to begin with. Really, my man, why don't we start with the what you actually believe from the Judeo/Christian canon, it shouldn't be much of a list, if there is anything at all.

Thanks for assuming what kind of Christian I'm not. Of course it wasn't too hard. I don't talk about the scientific age of the earth (the Bible doesn't address this) dinosaurs on the the ark (the Bible doesn't address this) or carbon testing (the Bible doesn't address this) and the main reason why I don't talk about these things is that I care mostly about THE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - and that is the start and end of what kind of Christian I am. It's also the start and end of what I think can help those who have been affected by false religion.

Sorry to disappoint anyone on the Alternative Views forum board, but in my humble opinion, the cure for those deceived by false religion is not to delve into the quagmire of doubt, skepticism, humanism, secular philosophy and atheism. As Harold is well aware, there are TONS of websites and Internet forums that address these kinds of concerns, and in any event, this is never going to be a main topic here on LocalChurchDiscussions.

If anybody is concerned, there has been only ONE PERSON who has requested the password for Alternative Views, and I don't think they have even made one post here. I thought this might be the situation. Too many other places out there in cyberspace to whine and cry about what a bad guy the OT God is! It's old, it's tired and most young people nowadays see right trough that garbage - it's mostly us babyboomers who care to be obsessed with such off-the-wall post modern drivel. It's really not that hard - believe the Bible is the word of the true and living God of the universe (if you believe he exists to begin with) or engage in all the not-for-profit, humanistic/secular philosophical rotating door. Be my guest, you're welcome on the merry-go-round...but be advised, once again, the playground is here and not on the open forum.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:54 AM   #97
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Dave,
So who gets to pick what stories were changed? You? After all this time I'm trying to figure out what you actually believe isn't just a story to begin with. Really, my man, why don't we start with the what you actually believe from the Judeo/Christian canon, it shouldn't be much of a list, if there is anything at all.

Thanks for assuming what kind of Christian I'm not. Of course it wasn't too hard. I don't talk about the scientific age of the earth (the Bible doesn't address this) dinosaurs on the the ark (the Bible doesn't address this) or carbon testing (the Bible doesn't address this) and the main reason why I don't talk about these things is that I care mostly about THE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - and that is the start and end of what kind of Christian I am. It's also the start and end of what I think can help those who have been affected by false religion.

Sorry to disappoint anyone on the Alternative Views forum board, but in my humble opinion, the cure for those deceived by false religion is not to delve into the quagmire of doubt, skepticism, humanism, secular philosophy and atheism. As Harold is well aware, there are TONS of websites and Internet forums that address these kinds of concerns, and in any event, this is never going to be a main topic here on LocalChurchDiscussions.

If anybody is concerned, there has been only ONE PERSON who has requested the password for Alternative Views, and I don't think they have even made one post here. I thought this might be the situation. Too many other places out there in cyberspace to whine and cry about what a bad guy the OT God is! It's old, it's tired and most young people nowadays see right trough that garbage - it's mostly us babyboomers who care to be obsessed with such off-the-wall post modern drivel. It's really not that hard - believe the Bible is the word of the true and living God of the universe (if you believe he exists to begin with) or engage in all the not-for-profit, humanistic/secular philosophical rotating door. Be my guest, you're welcome on the merry-go-round...but be advised, once again, the playground is here and not on the open forum.
First, I don’t care whether one or a hundred people want to be on Alternative Views. For one thing it is not easily found and no one is recruiting people to use it, at least, I’m not.

Second, I doubt if there has been anyone else as open about what I believe on this forum. I have written several posts outlining my position so I am not sure what you are referencing. Just because my position is different than yours doesn’t make my questions any less relevant. The fact you don’t want to answer them is your prerogative. You like to wave your flag of “THE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ” as your answer to any question raised about the Bible which is fine but let’s just be honest about the fact that you don’t want to answer tough questions.

Third, I am sure that there are numerous sites regarding “doubt, skepticism, humanism, secular philosophy and atheism” but one reason we are all on this site is because of our background with the LC. Just because we have arrived at different positions after leaving doesn’t diminish our outlook. You can call my point of view a “false religion” but I am sure that everyone who holds a different opinion than you believes in a false religion so I have a lot of company.

Fourth, you pointed out that the Bible doesn’t address several issues I mentioned. Quite frankly the Bible doesn’t address some of the most fundamental teachings of Evangelicals. They are implied but not clearly spelled out. That would include the Trinity, Jesus as 100% God and 100% man etc. If it was spelled out there wouldn’t have been all of the debate of the early church for hundreds of years. Some of these doctrines are still being debated among fundamental Christians. If everyone agreed on all of these we wouldn’t see such a divided Christian faith.

Fifth, you have it wrong. It’s not baby boomers who are leaving the Evangelical church in the US…it is the millennials. You need to read faithcommunitiestoday.org which has been assessing the overall growth or decline of churches for a couple decades and it isn’t pretty.

If you recall I asked questions which were about the Bible. They weren’t humanistic or atheistic questions so I have no clue what you are talking about. Rather than answer the questions you go on a rant apparently to avoid answering the questions.
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Old 02-16-2015, 04:35 PM   #98
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I doubt if there has been anyone else as open about what I believe on this forum. I have written several posts outlining my position so I am not sure what you are referencing.
All you rant about is what you DON'T believe. What DO you believe Dave? Oh, I know you believe in social justice and that white men wrote the Bible and numerous sociopolitical stances totally unrelated to the main theme of this forum. I'm asking what you believe about the Judeo-Christian canon...you know...THE BIBLE. (aka The book) You seem to acknowledge that it actually exists (how big of you) but you refuse to acknowledge the God of the Bible and who he said he was - The Creator of the universe and everything in it...including man. And if you do acknowledge him, is he eternally sovereign? I won't quote the whole chapter of Romans 9, just some of the applicable highlights - "But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make know the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory".(Rom 9:20-23) The apostle Paul was writing to a mixed crowd of Jews and gentiles, many who had the same kind of atheistic, humanistic/secular philosophical reasoning, and his answer was simple and clear. READ and BELIEVE the Bible, and BELIEVE that the God of the Bible is who he said he was and is sovereign over EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. He holds the power of life and death in his hands. You can "answer back to God" all you want....at least on this forum you can.

It is you who won't answer the hard questions. You make all sorts of altruistic declarations like "the God I care about", and then when I asked you "what god" you totally ignore the question. In fact this is the supreme question we all must answer - is the God of the Bible who he said he was, was Jesus Christ the Son of God (who he said he was), died and rose from the dead as was described in the Gospels, and that we must believe this is true or we remain under the curse and judgement.


Quote:
Just because my position is different than yours doesn't make my questions any less relevant.
As soon as you make your position clear, and ask me something other then purely rhetorical questions, maybe we can have a discussion about how it is different from mine, until then, all I hear from you is the same arguments that are made by all the modern atheists and secular philosophers..."if God is a God of love and justice why do people suffer, why are children slaughtered, why did God command the Jews to kill all the Canaanites", etc, etc. These are all questions and concerns addressed by the Bible itself. I gave you just a small example with the apostle Paul's discourse with the Romans.

Quote:
Just because we have arrived at different positions after leaving doesn’t diminish our outlook. You can call my point view a “false religion” but I am sure that everyone who holds a different opinion than you believes in a false religion so I have a lot of company.
Again, your position seems to be a moving target, and I suspect it's because you want it both ways...you want to acknowledge the God of the Bible (again, very big of you) but you want to pick and chose when you will accept his sovereignty and absolute rights. To use a crude but well known analogy, you are the tail trying to wag the dog. Your "position" seems to be "I'll believe what parts of the Bible I agree with or that makes sense to me, but I will reject any parts that I don't agree with or that don't make sense to me or offends my sense of justice, etc...and then I will argue with someone without obligation to make it clear which one of the two I'm arguing from...and finally I'll muddy the waters further by introducing straw-men, arguments from silence and any other fallacy I can get my hand on".

I never called your position false religion. Heck, I can't figure out enough about your position to call it false anything. Try reading a little bit more carefully - I was referring to the false religion of the Local Church - I use this term all the time.


Quote:
Quite frankly the Bible doesn’t address some of the most fundamental teachings of Evangelicals. They are implied but not clearly spelled out. That would include the Trinity, Jesus as 100% God and 100% man etc. If it was spelled out there wouldn’t have been all of the debate of the early church for hundreds of years. Some of these doctrines are still being debated among fundamental Christians. If everyone agreed on all of these we wouldn’t see such a divided Christian faith.
The doctrine of the Trinity was well established in the writings of the apostle Paul and accepted and taught by the earliest of 2nd generation Christians. The debates of the early church were not about deciding on established doctrine, rather they were mostly polemical in nature against the early major heresies of Gnosticism, Sabellianism, Arianism, modalism and many others. (the various creeds were simply reiterations of established doctrine and a reputation of the various heresies and false teachings) Jesus as 100% God and 100% was established by Jesus himself in the Gospels. He declared himself to be The Son of Man. (and never denied that his earthy parents were Joseph and Mary of Nazareth) He declared himself to be the Son of God (making this clear in many passages, and reiterated by the Scripture writing apostles). Son of Man. Son of God. He declared that he was both Son of Man and Son of God simultaneously as it were, and nothing has ever changed since his time on earth, his death and resurrection and ascension. To be the most accurate and closest to the Bible, Jesus is 100% Son of Man and 100% Son of God. Nuff said!

Quote:
Fifth, you have it wrong. It’s not baby boomers who are leaving the Evangelical church in the US…it is the millennials. You need to read faithcommunitiestoday.org which has been assessing the overall growth or decline of churches for a couple decades and it isn’t pretty.
Do you actually read what I write before you make these off the wall declarations? I said nothing about who was leaving the Evangelical church in the US. What you have replied with is so far off from what I posted I don't even know how to retort. So I won't bother.

Quote:
If you recall I asked questions which were about the Bible. They weren’t humanistic or atheistic questions so I have no clue what you are talking about. Rather than answer the questions you go on a rant apparently to avoid answering the questions.
Point me to some non-rhetorical question about the Bible and I'll be glad to answer them. I love to do that! And no, ranting on and on about God committing genocide, killing babies and Moses letting the Israelite soldiers keep the virgins for themselves doesn't count as a reasonable question about the Bible. I know you can do it, Dave! Take a deep breath, read the ENTIRE ACCOUNT of these events, and how it is explained by the ENTIRE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS (including the explanation given by the apostle Paul) and get back to me. Take your time, LCD has been around for almost 7 years now, were not going anywere, I'll be here.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:10 PM   #99
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Jane you ignorant slut .....

Ha ...

In honor of SNL's 40th .....
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:27 AM   #100
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And no, ranting on and on about God committing genocide, killing babies and Moses letting the Israelite soldiers keep the virgins for themselves doesn't count as a reasonable question about the Bible. I know you can do it, Dave! Take a deep breath, read the ENTIRE ACCOUNT of these events, and how it is explained by the ENTIRE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS (including the explanation given by the apostle Paul) and get back to me. Take your time, LCD has been around for almost 7 years now, were not going anywere, I'll be here.
"were not going anywere." A little humor. I like that.

But let's be adults. There are stories in the Bible we shouldn't read to children, in both the OT and NT. The book of Revelation is enough to give children nightmares (and adults panic attacks).

And this, "I give you a land, but you have to kill everything that takes breath to get it," is causing the world great problems today, as the modern day Israelite's are again living out their ancient Torah mythology, of taking the promised land. This is serious business, with serious life and death consequences and repercussions. This not just Bible studies. This is real life.

And because of The Book look what we've got. We've got people that still believe they are God's chosen race, and because of The Book we've got Christians supporting a racist state that are doing to the Palestinians what we did here in America to the native American Indians.

And it can't be denied that, it's all because of The Book.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:23 AM   #101
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Harold, is there a question anywhere here?
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:44 PM   #102
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While not instructive concerning things recorded in the OT, I note that despite the fighting, mortar fire across the borders, etc., Palestinians and others of various generically Arab descent live in Israel, yet that is virtually non-existent in reverse (other than the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza).
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:33 PM   #103
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Point me to some non-rhetorical question about the Bible and I'll be glad to answer them. I love to do that! And no, ranting on and on about God committing genocide, killing babies and Moses letting the Israelite soldiers keep the virgins for themselves doesn't count as a reasonable question about the Bible. I know you can do it, Dave! Take a deep breath, read the ENTIRE ACCOUNT of these events, and how it is explained by the ENTIRE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS (including the explanation given by the apostle Paul) and get back to me. Take your time, LCD has been around for almost 7 years now, were not going anywhere, I'll be here.
I want to take some of this one back. It's not fair to rant on about somebody's ranting! Dave has not been as unreasonable as I have portrayed in this last paragraph. And it's really unreasonable for me to ask him to go over the entire Old and New Testaments just for him to make a point.

So, let me try to restate my concern in more civil terms.

Dave, could you please, when you get a chance, maybe take a little wider look at the context of some of the events you have spoken of, and see if possible they aren't as "unjustified" (using the term advisedly, knowing you wouldn't agree!) considering that the Creator was attempting to protect and preserve the people he had chosen. Also could you please consider what these other "peoples" had been doing...ignoring the true and living God and worshiping idols and gods of all sorts, and seducing the Children of Israel to join in the idol worship.

Again, my apologies for coming at this a little too strong. After all, if God is who I claim he is to be he certainly doesn't need me to come to his defense in such a way.

Let's discuss!
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:44 PM   #104
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Harold, is there a question anywhere here?
No ... If you expected one sorry to disappoint. I was just trying to point out real and present affects of The Book. Talk about the tail wagging the dog, Israel sure seems to have the world by the tail ... or at least "by The Book Christian" America.

So since you need a question. You are clearly a supporter of "the Bible is the Word of God." That makes me curious. Where do you stand on Israel? Are you on the "kill everything that breatheth" side?
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:35 PM   #105
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Dave,
So who gets to pick what stories were changed? You? After all this time I'm trying to figure out what you actually believe isn't just a story to begin with. Really, my man, why don't we start with the what you actually believe from the Judeo/Christian canon, it shouldn't be much of a list, if there is anything at all.

Thanks for assuming what kind of Christian I'm not. Of course it wasn't too hard. I don't talk about the scientific age of the earth (the Bible doesn't address this) dinosaurs on the the ark (the Bible doesn't address this) or carbon testing (the Bible doesn't address this) and the main reason why I don't talk about these things is that I care mostly about THE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ - and that is the start and end of what kind of Christian I am. It's also the start and end of what I think can help those who have been affected by false religion.
I realize this is not addressed to me, but I can't help but notice that you have taken "THE Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ" out of any real world context where it may or may not mean anything and it can be supported by verifiable or falsifiable factual claims. So I guess you deserve applause for standing your ground. But, you haven't shown that it means anything in the world we live in. Now you can quote a bunch of Bible verses to support your position. But, what are the effects of that position in the world that we share in common? Why should we judge them pro or con apart from the fact that you can show they are correct according to a particular traditional interpretation of the Bible that, for reasons unknown to us, you prefer?

Quote:
Sorry to disappoint anyone on the Alternative Views forum board, but in my humble opinion, the cure for those deceived by false religion is not to delve into the quagmire of doubt, skepticism, humanism, secular philosophy and atheism. As Harold is well aware, there are TONS of websites and Internet forums that address these kinds of concerns, and in any event, this is never going to be a main topic here on LocalChurchDiscussions.
Right. There's the view you subscribe to and everybody else. Sounds like the LC all over again. It seems you haven't traveled very far from WL's fold. Which is fine. It's your choice. But you haven't shown that you can support your position, not only with Bible verses but with whatever you conceive of as the fruit such position bears in the real verifiable world. If nothing else, tell us how great it's working for you. That would be refreshing.

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If anybody is concerned, there has been only ONE PERSON who has requested the password for Alternative Views, and I don't think they have even made one post here.
You have hidden the forum from view. If you think no one is interested then why are you scared to unlock the forum? Your action contradicts your words.

Quote:
I thought this might be the situation. Too many other places out there in cyberspace to whine and cry about what a bad guy the OT God is! It's old, it's tired and most young people nowadays see right trough that garbage - it's mostly us babyboomers who care to be obsessed with such off-the-wall post modern drivel. It's really not that hard - believe the Bible is the word of the true and living God of the universe (if you believe he exists to begin with) or engage in all the not-for-profit, humanistic/secular philosophical rotating door. Be my guest, you're welcome on the merry-go-round...but be advised, once again, the playground is here and not on the open forum.
Why do you avoid addressing the actual issue? In the book of Joshua, God is said to command annihilation of indigenous people by the invading Hebrews. That's genocide. Isn't that a problem for you, really? Do you really not see that Bible assertion in its continuity with the way societies have justified genocide in the name of God through history? You know, like the US did when it sought to wipe out the American Indian. Demonstrate to me that the Nephilim hypothesis is not just like that and the demonizing of the enemy that we have seen and continue to see when the Islamic extremists call us the Great Satan. But if your only defense is that we must accept it because it is in the Bible, then you haven't offered a reasonable argument for supposing that it is exactly the ideological justification that it seems to be. So, you can hardly blame people for seeing it that way. You haven't even told us why you don't or can't see it that way. All you have done is castigate people for stating the obvious. We all saw what that led to in the LC, where, when people actually did get around to observing and stating the obvious, they were ex-communicated. So, instead of just regulating, how about standing and delivering your best rational defense for you position? Or, have you already done that and I missed it?
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:13 PM   #106
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I want to take some of this one back. It's not fair to rant on about somebody's ranting! Dave has not been as unreasonable as I have portrayed in this last paragraph. And it's really unreasonable for me to ask him to go over the entire Old and New Testaments just for him to make a point.

So, let me try to restate my concern in more civil terms.

Dave, could you please, when you get a chance, maybe take a little wider look at the context of some of the events you have spoken of, and see if possible they aren't as "unjustified" (using the term advisedly, knowing you wouldn't agree!) considering that the Creator was attempting to protect and preserve the people he had chosen. Also could you please consider what these other "peoples" had been doing...ignoring the true and living God and worshiping idols and gods of all sorts, and seducing the Children of Israel to join in the idol worship.

Again, my apologies for coming at this a little too strong. After all, if God is who I claim he is to be he certainly doesn't need me to come to his defense in such a way.

Let's discuss!
Apology accepted. In regards to your question I was hoping you could provide some answers. For me, how can anyone justify this? There are seemingly too many occasions where this goes on and on in the OT which I listed a few examples...the killing and murdering of women and children. Now, whenever I see the name "Moses" NT or OT I have a difficult time understanding the way he is portrayed because of his brutality and immorality which was apparently directed by God.

I don't know if you follow the NFL but domestic violence was more tolerant until we saw the video of Ray Rice punching his wife in the elevator and knocking her out on video. It made it real for everyone and there was a new sense of awareness of the severity of the problem. That is what those verses did for me in the OT. I may have read those before but not with the same perspective. They are a game changer. I know it was rough and tumble in those days but when Moses asked his commanders why they didn't kill all the women and then sent them back to kill those women who did not have intimacy with a man and then he turned over the virgins to his troops with all these incidents directed by God...I just don't get it. These are not isolated passages. Also, it is not as though anyone in the NT clarified these events.

Anyway, you have heard my concerns a couple times. I understand your workaround but I just can't go in that direction.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:52 AM   #107
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Assuming that the days in Genesis were not literally days…let’s look at the record in Genesis
Genesis 1:1-26….In the Beginning
Heaven and Earth Created
Earth—a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep…a wind from God swept over the face of the waters…
Day 1
Light
Separated Light from Darkness
Called the light Day and the darkness called night
Evening and Morning
Day 2
Made the Dome
Separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome
Evening and Morning
Day 3
Gathered the waters together in one place
Dry land appears
Dry land was called Earth
Waters gathered together called Seas
Earth puts forth vegetation
· Plants yielding seed
· Fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it
Evening and Morning
Day 4
Separated the day from the night
· Signs and Seasons
· Days and Years
Two great lights
· Greater light to rule the day
· Lesser light to rule the night---and the stars
· Set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth
Evening and Morning
Day 5
Waters bring forth swarms of living creatures
Birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky
Great Sea Monsters
Every Living Creature that moves, of every kind, with winged bird of every kind
Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas and let the birds multiply on the earth
Evening and Morning
Day 6
Living Creatures of every kind
Cattle
Creeping things
Wild animals of the earth of every kind
Humankind
Evening and Morning

How does this match up with what we presumably know scientifically?

Watch this 1 minute video and you decide. Both of these links are to the same video. The first one is Quicktime and it will take a minute or so to download and the second one is a MPEG-4 file which will load right away. This video can be copied to your computer once loaded if you wish to watch it there.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...erebelight.mov
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...erebelight.mp4

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Old 02-18-2015, 09:54 AM   #108
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And because of The Book look what we've got. We've got people that still believe they are God's chosen race, and because of The Book we've got Christians supporting a racist state that are doing to the Palestinians what we did here in America to the native American Indians.
awareness, what have you done to the Indians?

Who is this racist state? It can't be Israel, since they have treated Palestinians better that any other country in the Mideast has treated their citizens. Unless, of course, you take issue with some little country, outnumbered 100 to 1 by their hateful neighbors, defending themselves and mistakenly thinking they have the right to exist.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:05 PM   #109
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Assuming that the days in Genesis were not literally days…let’s look at the record in Genesis
Genesis 1:1-26….In the Beginning
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6

How does this match up with what we presumably know scientifically?
If you aren't one of those 6 literal days, or even 6 days where one day = 1,000 years (lterally) (and you eliminated them in the opening sentence) then it fits pretty good. I can't figure out how to tell all of that to a bunch of farmers and ranchers who are currently living as slaves in a world where a vast majority of the things that we take for granted do not even exist, including the knowledge to make any of them happen.

And I'm OK that it is that way for that very reason. God did not need to provide the hows, just the genius and power behind it.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:12 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
awareness, what have you done to the Indians?

Who is this racist state? It can't be Israel, since they have treated Palestinians better that any other country in the Mideast has treated their citizens. Unless, of course, you take issue with some little country, outnumbered 100 to 1 by their hateful neighbors, defending themselves and mistakenly thinking they have the right to exist.
I agree.

But I have a question. When you said "better that any other country in the Mideast has treated their citizens" did "citizens" refer to the Palestinian people who lived in other places, or to their own citizens (Jordanians in Jordan, etc.)? I figure the latter. But it is true of both. On both sides of the Israeli border.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:42 PM   #111
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If you aren't one of those 6 literal days, or even 6 days where one day = 1,000 years (lterally) (and you eliminated them in the opening sentence) then it fits pretty good. I can't figure out how to tell all of that to a bunch of farmers and ranchers who are currently living as slaves in a world where a vast majority of the things that we take for granted do not even exist, including the knowledge to make any of them happen.

And I'm OK that it is that way for that very reason. God did not need to provide the hows, just the genius and power behind it.
Carl Sagan once wrote, “How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, ‘This is better than we thought! The universe is much bigger than our prophet’s said‐‐‐grander, subtler, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed.” It all started with a speck which contained a compressed universe, then the Big Bang, now we have an ever expanding universe and we are part of it.

Genesis 1 doesn’t fit neatly in the science we know but I don’t think it was necessary and the details were not necessary or as you said, “we don’t need to know the ‘hows’. We can see there was a progression in Genesis 1 which is relatively consistent with the process we know to be true. The problem has always been how the Bible is interpreted. If we defend a literalist Bible therein lays the problem.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:21 PM   #112
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
awareness, what have you done to the Indians?

Who is this racist state? It can't be Israel, since they have treated Palestinians better that any other country in the Mideast has treated their citizens. Unless, of course, you take issue with some little country, outnumbered 100 to 1 by their hateful neighbors, defending themselves and mistakenly thinking they have the right to exist.
The Palestinians are the neighbors Jesus told us to love. So are the Jews. Wow! Jesus didn't say it wouldn't be so darn hard.

And now that you mention it, I haven't ever done anything bad to the American Indians, except having citizenship in the nation that did in the past. Same with blacks and slavery. I've never held a slave, and have never considered blacks two-thirds of a human.

But some of my ancestors did. My dad was an extreme unapologetic racist. But even as a child I could see something wrong with it.

I suppose I shouldn't expect us to ever evolve out of treating some group of people like we did the first nation peoples here in America.

While, by the way, (back to The Book theme) according to Ben Franklin, "holding an ax in one hand, and a Bible in the other."
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:37 PM   #113
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God did not need to provide the hows, just the genius and power behind it.
I have lots to say about what's going on in this thread, but I wanted to stop and acknowledge this little ditty. As a matter of fact, I believe that even if God updated the "hows" for us modern Westerners, it wouldn't make a lick of difference to those who are set on doubting - they would simply update their skepticism and try to shoot holes in the updated revelation/information.

And this is the judgment: that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light..(John 3:19)
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:08 PM   #114
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I have lots to say about what's going on in this thread, but I wanted to stop and acknowledge this little ditty. As a matter of fact, I believe that even if God updated the "hows" for us modern Westerners, it wouldn't make a lick of difference to those who are set on doubting - they would simply update their skepticism and try to shoot holes in the updated revelation/information.

And this is the judgment: that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light..(John 3:19)
Oh ye of little faith...How little you know about some of the skeptics. I'll repeat myself again which I have stated before but it doesn't seem to be getting through. It is a quote from James Luther Adams...most prominent UU theologian of the 20th Century in his book, "on being human religiously".... "The Five Smooth Stones of Liberalism"....just the first stone. "Religious liberalism depends first on the principle that "revelation" is continuous. Meaning has not been finally captured. Nothing is complete, and thus nothing is exempt from criticism....Whatever the destiny of the planet or of the individual life, a sustaining meaning is discernible and commanding in the here and now. Anyone who denies this denies that there is anything worth taking seriously or even worth talking about. Every blade of grass, every work of art, every scientific endeavor, every striving for righteousness bears witness to this meaning....To be sure, the word "God" is so heavily laden with unacceptable connotations that it is for many people scarcely usable without confusion....Indeed, the word "God" may in the present context be replaced by the phrase "that which ultimately concerns humanity" or " that in which we should place our confidence".

"God is the inescapable, commanding reality that sustains and transforms all meaningful existence. It is inescapable, for no one can live without somehow coming to terms with it. It is commanding, for it provides the structure or the process through which existence is maintained and by which any meaningful achievement is realized....We put our faith in a creative reality that is re-creative. Revelation is continuous." That is my little ditty.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:34 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
The Palestinians are the neighbors Jesus told us to love. So are the Jews. Wow! Jesus didn't say it wouldn't be so darn hard.

And now that you mention it, I haven't ever done anything bad to the American Indians, except having citizenship in the nation that did in the past. Same with blacks and slavery. I've never held a slave, and have never considered blacks two-thirds of a human.

But some of my ancestors did. My dad was an extreme unapologetic racist. But even as a child I could see something wrong with it.

I suppose I shouldn't expect us to ever evolve out of treating some group of people like we did the first nation peoples here in America.

While, by the way, (back to The Book theme) according to Ben Franklin, "holding an ax in one hand, and a Bible in the other."
Sorry, but I don't accept any of that "white guilt" which liberals love to dump on all white male Christians. Neither do I accept any of the guilt of my ancestors (who were Germans) for starting those world wars. Neither do I accept any of that "white guilt" for what Darren Wilson did that that thug in Ferguson. I could go on and on ...

And how can Israel be blamed when Hamas and Hezbollah launch RPG's from low rent housing plans in Gaza? Let's put the blame where it belongs -- those terrorist organizations are killing their own people! And they are! Let's talk about how many Palestinians are murdered for not cooperating with these terrorists.

Here's something I saw about those Muslims which liberals just seem to love so much these days ...

Quote:
The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
The underwear Bomber was a Muslim
The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
The Bafi Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims
The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims
The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Musiims
The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims
The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims
The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims

Think of it:

Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem
Christians living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Hindus = No Problem
Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
Muslims living with Christians = Problem
Muslims living with Jews = Problem
Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
Muslims living with Baha'is = Problem
Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
MUSLIMS LIVING WITH MUSLIMS = BIG PROBLEM

********** SO THIS LEADS TO *****************
They’re not happy in Gaza
They're not happy in Egypt
They're not happy in Libya
They're not happy in Morocco
They're not happy in Iran
They're not happy in Iraq
They're not happy in Yemen
They're not happy in Afghanistan
They're not happy in Pakistan
They're not happy in Syria
They're not happy in Lebanon
They're not happy in Nigeria
They're not happy in Kenya
They're not happy in Sudan

******** So, where are they happy? **********
They're happy in Australia
They're happy in England
They're happy in Belgium
They're happy in France
They're happy in Italy
They're happy in Germany
They're happy in Sweden
They're happy in the USA & Canada
They're happy in Norway & India

They're happy in almost every country that is not Islamic! And who do they blame? Not Islam... Not their leadership... Not themselves... THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!! And they want to change the countries they're happy in, to be like the countries they came from where they were unhappy.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:32 PM   #116
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Originally Posted by Dave View Post
Oh ye of little faith...How little you know about some of the skeptics.
You're right, I spend way too much of my time digging out the real thing from the mine containing the unsearchable riches of Christ to become very knowledgeable with the fools gold found in the mine of skepticism and doubt. Oh well, when you have as little chips to invest like me, and when you've already spent a considerable amount of time and energy in the false religion of the Local Church (another mine filled with fool's gold) then things become quite a bit more urgent. Time is of the essence for me, and anyone I care for to let know about the real thing. And that includes you my friend!

Quote:
Meaning has not been finally captured. Nothing is complete, and thus nothing is exempt from criticism....
"I am the way, the truth, and the life". What part of meaning finally captured did this dude not get? "Nothing is complete"? I beg his pardon - "IT IS FINISHED" - This was the completion of the initial step of God's redemption plan for the human race. The sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus Christ was the end of the beginning, and his resurrection was the beginning of the end..and in this sense, it is actually not complete. We still can experience "the power of his resurrection" today as a foretaste of the glory that is to come, and just the pondering and experience of this miracle alone is enough to keep us busy without all the skepticism and doubting.

Quote:
To be sure, the word "God" is so heavily laden with unacceptable connotations that it is for many people scarcely usable without confusion....Indeed, the word "God" may in the present context be replaced by the phrase "that which ultimately concerns humanity" or " that in which we should place our confidence".
"God...replaced". Well that's what usually happens when God is just a "word". In the days of Isaiah there was a cure for this kind of mentality - "I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God" Back to fools gold - you best not be replacing the real thing with "that which ultimately concerns humanity" or "that in which we should place our confidence". It's kind of like "new math", it's neither genuinely new nor genuinely math. We already have the real thing, and there is no other, besides him there is no God.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:02 PM   #117
awareness
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Default Re: By The Book

Quote:
The Shoe Bomber was a Muslim
The Beltway Snipers were Muslims
The Fort Hood Shooter was a Muslim
The underwear Bomber was a Muslim
The U-S.S. Cole Bombers were Muslims
The Madrid Train Bombers were Muslims
The Bafi Nightclub Bombers were Muslims
The London Subway Bombers were Muslims
The Moscow Theatre Attackers were Muslims
The Boston Marathon Bombers were Muslims
The Pan-Am flight #93 Bombers were Muslims
The Air France Entebbe Hijackers were Muslims
The Iranian Embassy Takeover, was by Muslims
The Beirut U.S. Embassy bombers were Muslims
The Libyan U.S. Embassy Attack was by Musiims
The Buenos Aires Suicide Bombers were Muslims
The Israeli Olympic Team Attackers were Muslims
The Kenyan U.S, Embassy Bombers were Muslims
The Saudi, Khobar Towers Bombers were Muslims
The Beirut Marine Barracks bombers were Muslims
The Besian Russian School Attackers were Muslims
The first World Trade Center Bombers were Muslims
The Bombay & Mumbai India Attackers were Muslims
The Achille Lauro Cruise Ship Hijackers were Muslims
The September 11th 2001 Airline Hijackers were Muslims

Think of it:

Buddhists living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Christians = No Problem
Hindus living with Jews = No Problem
Christians living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Sikhs = No Problem
Sikhs living with Hindus = No Problem
Hindus living with Baha'is = No Problem
Baha'is living with Christians = No Problem
Christians living with Jews = No Problem
Jews living with Buddhists = No Problem
Buddhists living with Shintos = No Problem
Shintos living with Atheists = No Problem
Atheists living with Confucians = No Problem
Confusians living with Hindus = No Problem
Muslims living with Hindus = Problem
Muslims living with Buddhists = Problem
Muslims living with Christians = Problem
Muslims living with Jews = Problem
Muslims living with Sikhs = Problem
Muslims living with Baha'is = Problem
Muslims living with Shintos = Problem
Muslims living with Atheists = Problem
MUSLIMS LIVING WITH MUSLIMS = BIG PROBLEM

********** SO THIS LEADS TO *****************
They’re not happy in Gaza
They're not happy in Egypt
They're not happy in Libya
They're not happy in Morocco
They're not happy in Iran
They're not happy in Iraq
They're not happy in Yemen
They're not happy in Afghanistan
They're not happy in Pakistan
They're not happy in Syria
They're not happy in Lebanon
They're not happy in Nigeria
They're not happy in Kenya
They're not happy in Sudan

******** So, where are they happy? **********
They're happy in Australia
They're happy in England
They're happy in Belgium
They're happy in France
They're happy in Italy
They're happy in Germany
They're happy in Sweden
They're happy in the USA & Canada
They're happy in Norway & India

They're happy in almost every country that is not Islamic! And who do they blame? Not Islam... Not their leadership... Not themselves... THEY BLAME THE COUNTRIES THEY ARE HAPPY IN!! And they want to change the countries they're happy in, to be like the countries they came from where they were unhappy.
Only on Alternitives Views. I love the freedom of expression.

But keep it on topic bro Ohio ... and point out that they [Muslims} are people of The Book ... maybe not The Book the book, but people of the book nonetheless.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:58 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
You're right, I spend way too much of my time digging out the real thing from the mine containing the unsearchable riches of Christ to become very knowledgeable with the fools gold found in the mine of skepticism and doubt. Oh well, when you have as little chips to invest like me, and when you've already spent a considerable amount of time and energy in the false religion of the Local Church (another mine filled with fool's gold) then things become quite a bit more urgent. Time is of the essence for me, and anyone I care for to let know about the real thing. And that includes you my friend!
I think the big difference is that I am not trying to persuade you to leave what you have but just to explain my own position. I am glad you believe that you have found everything you want or need and you’re willing to throw all of your chips into the pot and say “call”. You believe you have "the" winning hand. I just don’t believe that everything is black and white as you do e.g. you’re in or you’re out, you will go to heaven or hell, it’s all or nothing, it’s either fool’s gold or it’s the real thing etc. I do appreciate your confidence however. Although when you say the “unsearchable riches of Christ” it reminds me of the LC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim