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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jce View Post
    Of course they are not subject to verification. That is the point Jesus was making with those to whom He spoke those words. He very simply and eloquently put the world on notice that there are things in existence that are beyond the comprehension of men. And if beyond their reach, they are not verifiable. Does it suddenly make them untrue because they are too hard for us? Of course not, otherwise we would discard Quantum Theory. There are things taking place around us that mathematics cannot fully explain.

    So the point being, if one chooses to eliminate all that cannot be verified whether by mathematics or any other formula, then faith becomes meaningless. Now how about that for irony... God pre-determined that faith would play the major factor in coming to know Him. The virgin birth, His miraculous works, His resurrection from the grave, all are beyond scientific verification.

    Here's the challenge... God's plan puts His people at a distinct disadvantage due to this faith factor. We don't have access to proofs and verifications which are so readily available to the opposition, and so many things which can't be confirmed with physical evidence are found in the Bible.

    God simply states to hold fast to our faith in Him and His Word for it has potential for great reward... Eternal Life!!! The Bible presents this one glorious hope for man to live forever in the Beauty and Glory of the World to come. Why would anyone want take aim at this inspiring hope and turn it into a target?

    As Cheow so often states... May God have Mercy on us all.

    Your friend,

    John
    Your answer "brings us by a commodius vicus of reciruculation" (to quote James Joyce) to the fundamental characteristic of all dogmatic religions. They all speak of "heavenly things" for which there is no verification. Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, and Christianity in all its forms ~ Catholic, Protestant, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christadelphian, Mormonism, Greek Orthodox, Independent Baptist, you name it ~ are all characterized by dogmas which must be accepted "by faith." How anyone is supposed to discern the true from the false in this religious menagerie remains an unanswered question.

    And this reveals an apparent inconsistency in Christian apologetics. When first confronted with a request for verification, Christians will present a number of arguments such as Twospirits' recent presentation of Bob Dutko's argument for the evidence of the resurrection. But when the arguments are shown to be inadequate, Christians retreat to the position that the claims in the Bible are not subject to verification.

    The answer to your question "Does it suddenly make them untrue because they are too hard for us?" is no, such things are not necessarily untrue. But they often are, and since there is no way for us to know, the question is moot.

    Your comparison of religious dogmas to Quantum Mechanics makes no sense to me at all. Quantum Mechanics can be and has been verified by many experiment. The Bible is nothing like science.

    Your bias towards the Christian faith becomes clear when you say "if one chooses to eliminate all that cannot be verified whether by mathematics or any other formula, then faith becomes meaningless." Obviously, you are talking only about your particular brand of faith. Are you concerned that the Muslim's faith might become "meaningless" if we demand evidence for their beliefs? A Mormon's faith? Why is Christianity the only religion that doesn't need it's claims verified?
    • Skepticism is the antiseptic of the mind.
    • Remember why we debate. We have nothing to lose but the errors we hold. Who but a stubborn fool would hold to errors once they have been exposed?

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  2. #32
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    Hello Richard and all

    The problem we have is that there are many religions. Those which are centered on God and those that are not. We should only have one religion if God is ONE as He claims and there is none else beside Him, but alas, we have many variations of God's intended way of conduct and worship which we call religion.

    I can see Richard's point about Muslims or whoever, that they must ask the same questions as Christians must ask themselves. There is no point to Christians arguing with Muslims about moral or social teaching or aspects of their faith. The argument that always will remain concerns the God at the center of their faith. In the case of Evolution, there is no God, so what is the point of arguing with anyone who does not believe in God? I can help a person come to understand what I believe, but there is no point arguing about prophecy in the Bible or any such thing with anyone who does not share the same fundamental belief in God. Does God exist or not? The answer must be yes or no? If the answer is "yes", what do we know about this God? Where does that knowledge of God come from? If we have no source other than a work of human fiction, then we have no basis at all for believing in God. Either, the ancient scriptures were inspired by God (as self-declared), or they are fiction. It might seem a very narrow focus I have to consider only the Bible (God's word) and will use this as the basis for all my arguments, but this is because I have narrowed the field of competing religions down to what I accept is the one True religion.

    I appreciate that Richard can ask fundamental searching questions of us all. Many of those questions I find irrelevant having narrowed the field down to the belief in the ONE GOD. Richard knows what is recorded in the Bible and challenges Bible believers (as he has done with me), but conversing with me, as one who has built his house on the rock, is not going to have the house blown own by any wind Richard can now blow against it. Alas, Richard has deconstructed his own house that was built on the same rock. From what I see of Richard's understanding about some doctrines, I can see why Richard was right to demolish it. Unfortunately,Richard is not rebuilding his house on the firm foundations that remain in place to be built on.


    Holding on to my belief in God is not to be held down by dogma (as Richard calls it), but I have a freedom to hold on to a certain way of life at the center of which are the promises of God to all those who are obedient to Him and who do His will. That will, if complied with, is to the ultimate benefit of mankind. So at the center of my life can only be a belief in the ONE God. It does not make any difference that there are many religions, as God is ONE, so there can only be one understanding that God intends us to have. That is what I have to concentrate on. It might sound dogmatic, but as Richard likes to say; "The Bible states clearly..." It does not surprise Richard that I am fixed on what I believe, because (like Richard) I can read and understand what the Bible clearly states. There is an obvious difference in the clarity that we each see, but that does not change the Truth that is to be understood. There is no point discussing issues in the Bible, when the foundations to those issues have not been agreed. To me; God IS. All I can tell form Richard is; God MIGHT BE. Hence we have no common foundation on which to build.

    What was the common foundation on which the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews wrote? The whole of the history of Israel up to the time of Jesus was centered on the ONE GOD. The writer's faith and hopes were based on the promises to Abraham (the father and patriarch of the Nation of Israel). Those promises are the main thread that runs through the whole of scripture, and the coming of Jesus has not changed those promises of God, which are still in force. Abraham has not received his inheritance that God promised him, and therefore, the promises to him remains to be fulfilled. Because of what God had done for His chosen people;like their deliverance of from Egypt, God set them the task of keeping memorial feasts annually. They were commanded to teach their children of the things that God had done for Israel.
    Deut 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons' sons;
    It was this tradition and the fact that God had instructed the Nation of Israel to remain separate from the other nations that the Jews (to this present day) have retained their identity. God has not cast off Israel and that is evident because of the nation that was reformed in 1948. The Jews have remained witnesses to God by their existence to this day; not individually, but as a nation, even though modern Israel are blind to that fact and will be until God removes the spiritual veil from their eyes. What other nation has survived persecution and dispersion? Where are all the governments of the past? They have all vanished and we only have historical records.

    In the history of the nation of Israel up to the time of Jesus, we can get in context the opening words to chapter 11 of Hebrews (also known as the 'faith chapter');
    (Hebrews 11:1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
    Just as the Jews hoped for the restoration of their kingdom in the time of Jesus, hence the disciples question to Jesus when on the Mount of Olives, it was the same hope that the Apostle Paul speaks of when he says;(Acts 20:28) "for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain..." The hope of Israel will be realized when Abraham finally receives his inheritance. Abraham's inheritance is more than the value of the land promised to him, it is the same promise God has made to all those like Abraham, who have proved faithful. Their inheritance is eternal life in God's Kingdom on earth. That inheritance has been made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Whilst the resurrection is my "hope of things to come", the evidence of things unseen is the evidence based on the scriptures that have been handed down through the generations of the Nation of Israel and to us from the time the New Testament documents were written. The Jews are spiritually blind to Jesus, but they have continued to pass on the eye witness accounts that are recorded in the ancient scriptures, which they have never disputed took place.

    It was the eye witness experience of the disciples of Jesus that so transformed them. Their writings and testimony have been recorded along with the words of Jesus and have been handed down through the generations to us. Richard is making us question these words; what they mean and when they apply, as well as questioning the authenticity of the original scriptures. How can you question eye witness accounts that have been handed down through many generations? For a long time, the Exodus story was considered a fable because there was no record of it found in Egyptian records. It has been discovered now that the Egyptians attempted (and were quite successful) to erase parts of their history in which they had not been successful and was an embarrassment to them. Historians and archaeologist have found out what the Egyptians did and have a better picture of events that took place and can now date more precisely when the Exodus took place. The evidence is there; supported by the history of places and times mentioned in the Bible.

    Anyone who does not want to accept this evidence, cannot be made to, but why should the words of doubters change the mind of those who accept the evidence for the Exodus? The Egyptians tried to cover it up and erase parts of their history. Where is the evidence from the Egyptians refuting the Exodus proclaimed took place? The onus is on the dissenters to prove their case and not on the part of those who accept the eye witness account. Moses was one eye witness and we have the writings of Moses that form part of the ancient scriptures that were copied (as correctly as possible) and handed down from one generation to another. These are facts, which if one does not want to accept, then no amount of evidence will satisfy. To the doubters of Jesus's day he said; (John 5:46)"For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me". It was not that they did not believe in the writings of Moses about the Exodus, but they had not made the connection in the writings of Moses concerning a coming of a prophet, who would be Jesus. Jesus never questions the scripture of his day which was their equivalent to our Bible today and which their scriptures forms the Old Testament in the Bible. The survival of the word of God is a miracle when one considers the various attempts throughout history to destroy it. God has performed another miracle by preserving His word. We have the same evidence today about things unseen as the writer declares in Hebrews 11:1

    Peace to all,

    David
    Last edited by David M; 06-08-2012 at 09:34 AM.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Amiel McGough View Post
    Hi John,

    Yes, the science explaining the precise mechanisms and reasons for aging is still in its infancy. This isn't surprising since we've only known about DNA for a little over 50 years. But aging is only one aspect of the question. We have a lot of solid scientific answers for the primary question of why organisms die. Disease, famine, predation, accident, etc. It is this that contradicts the Biblical account that all death is due to God's curse. That's why I asked about Adam squishing an ant.

    I think it is important to clarify the meaning of the word "theory" in science. It does not mean "unsupported hypothesis." In science, the word "theory" denotes an integrated body of knowledge supported by evidence that explains and predicts FACTS. For example, the "Theory of Gravity" explains the FACT of gravity and makes predictions that enable us to send a rocket to the moon. If the theory did not correspond to observable reality, it would be abandoned.

    This is why it is wrong to suggest that there is some sort of equivalence between faith in the Bible and "faith" in scientific theories. Scientific theories are based on facts that can be tested. If they fail the test, they are rejected. Your faith in the Bible is not like that at all. There is no fact that would cause you to reject it. And worse, there is no way to verify most of the things you believe it says. Your beliefs are based on your own fallible interpretation of words written thousands of years ago in languages that you don't understand and you have no way to objectively verify that your interpretation is correct. Case in point, Christians have strongly differed on the meaning of death and whether it existed before Adam sinned. There are four primary views:

    1) There was no death of any kind (including plants).
    2) There was no death of animals (including humans)
    3) There was no death of humans (though plants and animals died)
    4) The "death" that came from the curse was "spiritual" death, not physical.

    Each of these four interpretations have Christian advocates who passionately believe they have the true interpretation. There is no way to objectively verify which is correct because there are no experiments that could settle the issue. There is nothing but speculation and wrangling over words. This is why the Bible remains an obscure book that people can argue about "till kingdom come." The argument has continued for 2000 years because there is no test to discern between the true and the false. It is utterly fallacious to compare it in any way with the scientific method and scientific theories.


    Thank you for your kind words. It is a joy to be exploring these issues with you.

    All the very best to you and yours,

    Richard
    Science is invented by fallible men just as you claim that the Bible was written by fallible men. There were many errors created by scientists and they are not always right. Talking about Theory, it's simply means a hypothesis that have not been absolutely proven. To believe in such unproven theories as facts is the same as blind faith. Some examples that scientists are not always right are:
    - The Theory of Phlogiston was believe to be true for 300 years because influential scientists of that time said so.
    - The Piltdown Man believe to be true for 50 years
    - The Flat Earth Theory believe to be true for thousand of years.

    Doesn't that also shows that scientists also follow their own dogmas? Some even fake them to try and prove their theories...so pathetic. For some top ten scientific theories that were wrong are shown here:

    http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-f...o-be-wrong.php

    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/11...ific-theories/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obsolet...seded_theories

    May God shows us the Truth.
    Last edited by CWH; 06-08-2012 at 10:14 PM.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by CWH View Post
    Yes, Science is invented by fallible men just as you claim that the Bible was written by fallible men. There were many errors created by scientists and they are not always right. Talking about Theory, it's simply means a hypothesis that have not been absolutely proven. Some examples that scientists are not always right are:
    - The Theory of Phlogiston was believe to be true for 300 years because influential scientists of that time said so.
    - The Piltdown Man believe to be true for 50 years
    - The Flat Earth Theory believe to be true for thousand of years.

    Doesn't that also shows that scientists also follow their own dogmas? Some even fake them to try and prove their theories...so pathetic. For some top ten scientific theories that were wrong are shown here:

    http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-f...o-be-wrong.php

    http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/11...ific-theories/


    May God shows us the Truth.
    Of course scientific experiments are carried out by fallible men, no one is saying any differently. If an hypothesis fails then it is discarded and the scientist tries again until his experiment holds up to the test. We would have no scientific advancement if scientific theories didn't work, as they say "the proof is in the pudding" that is why we have computers and rocket ships, because science has discovered mathematical equations and formulas that work.

    Rose
    Never trust anything you are afraid to question ~

    To know oneself is to know the universe...


    Live Fully...Love Extravagantly...For the sake of Goodness

    Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt.10:16

    Come let us reason together...Isa.1:18
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose View Post
    Of course scientific experiments are carried out by fallible men, no one is saying any differently. If an hypothesis fails then it is discarded and the scientist tries again until his experiment holds up to the test. We would have no scientific advancement if scientific theories didn't work, as they say "the proof is in the pudding" that is why we have computers and rocket ships, because science has discovered mathematical equations and formulas that work.

    Rose
    The materials (aluminium, iron etc.) that men used in his creations are made from God....computers, rockets, ships. The intelligent brain is created from God. Everything that man made is from God even scientific laws and mathematical formulas. Science is Creationology i.e. the study of God's Creation. When Man became like God able to create plants, animals, suns, planets, humanoids etc. The intelligent humanoids that man created will describe it as Human Creationology. The Bible covers almost every aspect of science if you are willing to look into it.

    God Blessed Creationology.
    Ask and You shall receive,
    Seek and You shall find,
    Knock and the door will be open unto You.

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