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The Extents of Faith

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  • The Extents of Faith

    Disclaimer 1: I have been meaning to ask some questions on these boards for a while now, but have had a great deal of trouble working up my nerve because I've had some poor experiences trying to work with local pastors and such. Hopefully this will prove a better place for me. I'd normally build up some history of posts before going into stuff like this (and I was somewhat active in the roleplaying game area of the previous incarnation of these boards once upon a time), but I feel like I need to strike now before I lose my nerve again. Please don't look down on my request because of this.

    Disclaimer 2: I've got Asperger's Syndrome so I have a lot to say that is worth saying, but I have great difficulty making myself clear. This problem is never going to go away entirely, and I can only make progress towards being more clear in the future if people are very gentle and patient with me now. This also means that asking clarifying questions on both sides, rather than assuming the "obvious" interpretation of what is being said is going to be pretty important. Please, let us help each-other to remember this. I've been trying to do this most of my life and I STILL forget.

    Disclaimer 3: I asked in the shoutbox what area to put this question in, but they weren't 100% sure.

    In an attempt to deal with a possible confusion, I'm going to state the question by first stating a related question that I DON'T know the answer to to my satisfaction, but which I also DON'T have a high priority on getting an answer to unless it is necessary for my primary question of the moment. "Why does God make Faith so necessary instead of, say, having angels standing on every street corner proclaiming his existence and will or something similarly intense?"

    (From the shoutbox: <LostSheep>)
    I don't know the complete answer to your first question, but one reason seems to be that by God requiring faith, He is requiring trust in His character and who He is, based on His works in history and in our lives.

    So, here is the best I can do for an explanation of the question I AM asking:

    Crude Summary(I'm bad at summaries/topic sentences): “With basic Faith sufficient for Salvation, and perhaps a bit more to accept some additional closed-ended concepts (so not, for example, the validity of any given mortal authority in determining eternal truth or interpreting the Bible), but including the Bible itself, how much of God’s will is going to HAVE to always remain a matter of Faith until the second coming, and how much can be verified by examining our world scientifically and combining it with our ‘small faith pool’?”

    I guess I should further clarify that the issue I'm wrestling with has to do with the fact that a lot of people seem to claim that even seeming-advanced and/or fine distinctions can't be proven from more basic principles when it comes to God's will. And I'd like to know how they came to such a conclusion... or more precisely I would like the discipleship of someone who doesn't make such a conclusion, but I'd settle for a clearly-reasoned defense of such a position.

    To put this another way, faith that this or that aspect of eternal Biblical Morality is precisely X, Y, or Z (or rather "X rather than X+0.0001 or X-0.0001 or X+0.0001-0.0001i") because that is how most people think the Holy Spirit is leading them is fine with me... to begin with. Fast forward a century or two in something like a modern era and if the Christian community has not come up with potential challenges and refinements and put some real and well-documented effort into proving or dis-proving them, then I think it calls into question if those precepts are actually true. The alternative is that they are just as close as the Holy Spirit is going to get us, because expecting divine revelation of refinements we darn well should have been able to think of to raise as challenges and figure out the applicability because we were studying the world around us, asking why God wants this or that, and actively searching out the Holy Spirit's guidance and being open to both direct guidance, and (must more likely) guidance of our own slightly more mundane researches seems to me to merely be laziness of leadership. Of course, God is faithful to give us what we need, but if the leadership is not doing their job right, the Christian on the street may be left in a much more difficult situation. To use an extreme example you have the situation of the Pharisees who "tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them." Now I hardly think that very many Christian leaders are truly guilty of not helping others at all to lift the loads that they honestly feel God asks us to bear, but a much deeper idea of the why's and such can aid in both mental fortitude and (my favorite methodology) creative problem solving.

    Now, obviously, there is thought and research going on, but when I go to someone and ask for an answer to if a "creative solution" I've come up with is, in fact, acceptable, I expect the response to be either air-tight reasoning from our shared assumptions or "huh, you are right, we don't understand this as well as we should, someone should really fix that some time.".

    [Sidenote]Yes, there is a specific issue that this has come up regarding in my life. No, this is not the time for me to bring it up, due to the "tender open wounds" that still exist from my previous attempts at getting meaningful answers. Nor does it happen to fall under the areas of discussion that may be openly posted on any part of T-Web unless there was a major revision of the rules that I am not aware of. In any case, I'm trying to take a step back and practice what I preach by reviewing my basic assumptions.[/Sidenote]

    All of which could maybe be answered if there is an honest feeling of "Well, this is why that can never ever ever work, so of course we save ourselves the trouble and don't try." Naturally such an argument might not be able to be stated very precisely, for the very reasons of what it is trying to prove... or maybe, in God's Mercy, it could.

    So, what questions can people come up with to clarify what I am trying to find out? I'd very much advise and prefer starting there rather than anyone trying to answer right off the bat.
    Last edited by Draco Dei; 08-25-2014, 09:00 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Draco Dei View Post
    . . . "Why does God make Faith so necessary instead of, say, having angels standing on every street corner proclaiming his existence and will or something similarly intense?"
    Faith as I use the term in general means to "believe or trust in a truth." For that matter as I use the term, it is essential to having knowledge. One cannot know what one does not believe.

    My biblical bases:
    ". . . So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. . . . " -- Romans 1:17. And
    ". . . thy word is truth." -- John 17:17.

    Now to the argument given for Romans 10:17, ". . . But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. . . ." --v.18. Paul cites Psalm 19, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the sky sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. [There is] no speech nor language, [where] their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. . . ." vs. 1-4. Appealing to creation itself, which God spoke into existence (Genesis 1:. . . ).

    Knowledge, its truth is the basis of faith, and it is by faith that knowledge becomes one's own.

    [It should be noted, mere belief, or faith will never make what is not true to become true.]

    So, here is the best I can do for an explanation of the question I AM asking:

    Crude Summary(I'm bad at summaries/topic sentences): “With basic Faith sufficient for Salvation, and perhaps a bit more to accept some additional closed-ended concepts (so not, for example, the validity of any given mortal authority in determining eternal truth or interpreting the Bible), but including the Bible itself, how much of God’s will is going to HAVE to always remain a matter of Faith until the second coming, and how much can be verified by examining our world scientifically and combining it with our ‘small faith pool’?”
    Science requires faith in it or else it too is not believed.

    There are three things which are not the same, nor in conflict. Faith, reason and hope. Faith is believing in a truth. Reason has to be believed in order to use it to deduce other truths form known truths. And hope is what is not yet obtained. Often faith is confused with hope. There are things which Christians believe which have not yet been obtained such as immortality, which is also called the "hope of eternal life." And for the Christian eternal life is a current possession (1 John 1:12, 13) as opposed to immortality which is yet future (Romans 8:23, 24).

    " In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; . . ." -- Titus 1:2.




    I guess I should further clarify that the issue I'm wrestling with has to do with the fact that a lot of people seem to claim that even seeming-advanced and/or fine distinctions can't be proven from more basic principles when it comes to God's will. And I'd like to know how they came to such a conclusion... or more precisely I would like the discipleship of someone who doesn't make such a conclusion, but I'd settle for a clearly-reasoned defense of such a position.
    Well, one can find out from God by one's self. Note this claim Jesus made, ". . . If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, . . ." -- John 7:17. Re-read the gospel of John, ". . . these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. " And one cannot be willing to do anything which one either does not know or does not correctly understand.

    To put this another way, faith that this or that aspect of eternal Biblical Morality is precisely X, Y, or Z (or rather "X rather than X+0.0001 or X-0.0001 or X+0.0001-0.0001i") because that is how most people think the Holy Spirit is leading them is fine with me... to begin with. Fast forward a century or two in something like a modern era and if the Christian community has not come up with potential challenges and refinements and put some real and well-documented effort into proving or dis-proving them, then I think it calls into question if those precepts are actually true. The alternative is that they are just as close as the Holy Spirit is going to get us, because expecting divine revelation of refinements we darn well should have been able to think of to raise as challenges and figure out the applicability because we were studying the world around us, asking why God wants this or that, and actively searching out the Holy Spirit's guidance and being open to both direct guidance, and (must more likely) guidance of our own slightly more mundane researches seems to me to merely be laziness of leadership. Of course, God is faithful to give us what we need, but if the leadership is not doing their job right, the Christian on the street may be left in a much more difficult situation. To use an extreme example you have the situation of the Pharisees who "tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them." Now I hardly think that very many Christian leaders are truly guilty of not helping others at all to lift the loads that they honestly feel God asks us to bear, but a much deeper idea of the why's and such can aid in both mental fortitude and (my favorite methodology) creative problem solving.
    Well, can you state this in the form of one sentence question?
    Now, obviously, there is thought and research going on, but when I go to someone and ask for an answer to if a "creative solution" I've come up with is, in fact, acceptable, I expect the response to be either air-tight reasoning from our shared assumptions or "huh, you are right, we don't understand this as well as we should, someone should really fix that some time.".
    Well, what do you understand it to mean, that Jesus is the Christ? What is it said that He did for us, and what is the claimed evidence that He did this? (1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.)


    All of which could maybe be answered if there is an honest feeling of "Well, this is why that can never ever ever work, so of course we save ourselves the trouble and don't try." Naturally such an argument might not be able to be stated very precisely, for the very reasons of what it is trying to prove... or maybe, in God's Mercy, it could.
    How many good deeds can one do to satisfy the death of one's own soul? (Ezekiel 18:4.) God did for us what we cannot do for ourselves (Romans 5:8; Romans 6:23).
    So, what questions can people come up with to clarify what I am trying to find out? I'd very much advise and prefer starting there rather than anyone trying to answer right off the bat.
    Please let me know if what I have given here is of any help?
    . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

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

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Quick question, and asked in a very gentle tone.....

      Where are you on the basics? For example, is there any doubt in your mind that Jesus was who He said He was, and did, indeed, rise from the dead?

      Let's start with that.
      "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

      Comment


      • #4
        Ugh... well already this is going much worse than I had hoped. Still that is par for the course for my life, and I'll try to work for progress rather than giving up in a huff.

        I don't have that much time tonight so I'm going to have to be incredibly brief and pick and choose which areas to respond to.

        Science requires faith in it or else it too is not believed.
        This seems a very reasonable statement to me.

        I'll even go so far as to say that I agree with it. I may be forced to revise this statement depending on how you carry forward.

        But what, if I might ask, would you say that faith in science requires accepting as unproven basics before all the rest becomes provable? For one thing that you might not tend to think of, I'd say that a certain amount of faith in one's fellow scientists is required as one can't reasonably repeat EVERY experiment so when two or three reputable people say they have reproduced a given result (preferably using similar but distinct experimental set-ups?) you have to accept that they do, in fact, have some sort of point.

        Well, can you state this in the form of one sentence question?
        Not without great mental anguish, and probably not even then. It is a personal weakness of mine. Basically, only with the greatest of reluctance should anyone ask me to simplify or sum anything up. I've probably already given it my best try by the time you ask that, and if fills me with despair to think that such efforts are for nothing.

        HOWEVER, for a shorter statement of the same thing, I will refer you to another thing I said in my initial post.
        ...oh, wait, I think this is actually technically a single sentence, even if a rather long and convoluted one. We may have lucked out...
        Crude Summary(I'm bad at summaries/topic sentences): “With basic Faith sufficient for Salvation, and perhaps a bit more to accept some additional closed-ended concepts (so not, for example, the validity of any given mortal authority in determining eternal truth or interpreting the Bible), but including the Bible itself, how much of God’s will is going to HAVE to always remain a matter of Faith until the second coming, and how much can be verified by examining our world scientifically and combining it with our ‘small faith pool’?”
        (emphasis added) <EDIT>And, as an example of how bad I am at summaries, note that it would be very easy to miss that I consider the entirety of the Bible's text to be part of "small" when it comes to morality. Small is relative. Mercury is a pretty small planet, but it is definitely larger than a blue whale, which in turn is something most people would consider "big"</EDIT>

        Quick question, and asked in a very gentle tone.....

        Where are you on the basics? For example, is there any doubt in your mind that Jesus was who He said He was, and did, indeed, rise from the dead?

        Let's start with that.
        I'd really rather not have to make such a detour, since I'm already fairly sure it won't result in anything productive right now. I'd give my Statement of Faith, maybe you'd get confused about some of the details and I'd have to explain matters. Maybe you wouldn't. If so, then maybe the explanations would work. Maybe they wouldn't. In the end, you would each either agree that I am, in fact, actually a believing Christian(true), or you would probably think I'm an utter nut-case or something(not true). Okay, so "nutcase" is a bit strong of a term, but let's just say that I doubt such a misclassification would have me in any major philosophical group.

        That being said, I think I have said Statement of Faith from the last time someone asked me that (it was by e-mail and not associated with T-web at all), somewhere and will gladly copy paste it when I have the time to hunt it up, PROVIDED everyone agrees to not get too distracted by it. It might, in fact, be a DANDY place to start, but only AFTER I'm confident that those trying to help me understand the question I'm actually asking.
        Last edited by Draco Dei; 08-26-2014, 03:37 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'm having some trouble working out the direction here, so I've addressed what seem to be the basic issues. So - if I'm not understanding properly so far, maybe more questions would help clarify.

          "Why does God make Faith so necessary instead of, say, having angels standing on every street corner proclaiming his existence and will or something similarly intense?"
          It would seem that for reasons unknown, God does not interact directly with the world, but through ambassadors. Where suitably qualified ambassadors are unavailable, God does not act. (in the ordinary course, that is.)

          how much of God’s will is going to HAVE to always remain a matter of Faith until the second coming, and how much can be verified by examining our world scientifically and combining it with our ‘small faith pool’?”
          In the presence of suitably qualified ambassadors, it would seem that precious little - the faith for a future resurrection from death and (in time of distress) his working all things together for the good of those who believe is about all that is left to belief. Everything else should be pretty much a matter of real and present witness.

          [It should be noted, mere belief, or faith will never make what is not true to become true.]
          This is so, belief and faithfulness in Koine Greek are the same word in ordinary circumstances. It is difficult to determine which is meant by individual passages.
          sigpic1 Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Draco Dei View Post
            I'd really rather not have to make such a detour
            Hmmm.... I thought it was a rather important diagnostic question. However, not trying to antagonize, I shall withdraw!
            "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

            Comment


            • #7
              I'm going to take another "nibble" out of this large meal of explanation that is necessary.

              Originally posted by 37818 View Post
              Faith as I use the term in general means to "believe or trust in a truth." For that matter as I use the term, it is essential to having knowledge. One cannot know what one does not believe.
              Ok, so maybe I'm using the word "Faith" differently than it is meant Biblically. This, very surprisingly doesn't change much at this point in the discussion.

              There is believing something because it was proven based on other things one believes, and there is believing something because you simply accept it(what I have prior to now been calling "Faith"). Actually, there is probably a whole spectrum in between the two, but that doesn't change the fact that every chain of reasoning has to come back to things that one can't actually prove from a purely logical POV. My central question concerns how large the set of such "unproven basics" MUST be for Christian Morality in all of its complexity (so NOT just the basics) and IF it must be larger than some relatively* simple set of foundational theological principles, PLUS the ability to observe the physical world scientifically.

              *Accepting the Bible as the inerrant word of God still qualifies as "simple", although we will get to some caveats dealing with the tone of the Bible LATER. Basically comes down to, yes, it is spot on, but it is spot on in casual language (which is a very good thing since it is meant to be understood by even simpletons).

              I'm going to stop here for the moment, to take things slowly, and because of I have some other work I should be doing for The Kingdom of God right now.

              Originally posted by tabibito View Post
              I'm having some trouble working out the direction here, so I've addressed what seem to be the basic issues. So - if I'm not understanding properly so far, maybe more questions would help clarify.
              Well, I've offered some clarifications above and below in this same post. How are those helping you?

              On thing to remember is that the "Why aren't there angels standing on every street-corner?" question IS NOT my question. Let me repeat that: I DON'T CARE about the lack of what most people would consider Forceful, In Your Face evidence for the existence and basic nature of God... except if it is useful to explore to answer my central question. As such, I would appreciate it if people would drop it until we get a clear understanding of that central question of mine across.

              Sorry, I don't have the time to try to restate it yet again right now (although I did do so above, to an extent).

              ...I really should try to come up with a Board-Safe example of the sort of thing I'm talking about to give people something concrete to latch onto, but the only examples that come to mind right now are either dumb or would get me banned for sexual content... we may need to settle for "dumb" in the end, but I'd like to try to avoid it.
              Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
              Hmmm.... I thought it was a rather important diagnostic question. However, not trying to antagonize, I shall withdraw!
              Withdrawing the question(until later) is fine, however I'd prefer you to stick around in the conversation.

              It was an EXCELLENT question actually. In fact, that sort of thing is part of the "small set of things taken on faith". You simply had no way of knowing that certain circumstances rendered the TIMING all wrong. Said circumstances include, but are not limited to, that I have a much-preferred way of answering that question* in any sort of detail and it is... not the simplest Statement of Faith** that you will ever see. It says a lot about ME in the particular tone it takes. I could leave all that out and give a simpler Statement of Faith, but I'd find the re-write onerous, and it wouldn't tell you nearly as much about some aspects of my personality that are relevant to the overall discussion.

              *"Where are you on the basics? For example, is there any doubt in your mind that Jesus was who He said He was, and did, indeed, rise from the dead?"
              **I do hope I am using that term in sufficiently precise way.

              But for right now, it seems that people are mostly to entirely missing out on understanding the question I'm trying to hard to make clear. It is only when I am sure that that question is clearly understood that I would be really comfortable moving forward into "So what do you actually believe that someone could use as a starting point for trying to prove moral fine points with you?"... which is one way of looking at the question you asked me. Until then, I'd like to keep trying to laser-focus on communicating the actual question I'm trying to ask. Perhaps this laser focus will not prove possible, but I'd like to at least give it a try.
              Last edited by Draco Dei; 08-26-2014, 04:17 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would be glad to try to help, but I do not seem to be able to even understand what is going on.
                Micah 6:8 He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think it's valuable to first get at what you're trying to understand.

                  1) Is your question related to epistemology, how do we know what we know (really about anything) but particularly in this case about God and what He wants? ---(This also relates to how we know anything at all. Cats self-groom is a particular fact about felines that I happen to know based on what is reported in books/the internet/other secondary resources, what other people say, and my own observations of my cat making sure he's looking his best. Of course, to understand this I have to have some concept of hygiene, what is a cat?, why spit from a cat's mouth applied to their fur would qualify as such, what motions I see with my eyes would correspond to such an activity, success versus failure, and whether its present in all cats and whether this latter matter is important, and so on).

                  2)Is your question about the degrees to which we are counted as saved based on propositional statements that we internalize (and act on) and how we can go about rationally getting these statements. ---(keep in mind these "propositional statements" are also necessary for other relationships. While my relationships with lets say a friend are based largely on activities that we undertake together and conversation, if I were to report it to others (or think about it to myself) I would first have to convey their name, what they are like, and such. So you could in a roundabout way say my friendship is based on knowing certain propositional statements about them since if my friend's name is Bob and he works in a factory making airplanes but I think "her" name is Alice and she is a female race horse that usually comes in third place...yeah, something went wrong there. So knowledge about other people does matter in relationships. It's about correctly matching what we think (and how we act) with what really exists).

                  3)Does it relate to how we come to know God--do we observe the world and make a logical conclusion, do we research history and philosophy and other such subjects and come to a conclusion, do we take a blind leap in the dark and hope we hit something. Is it some combination there of and if it is what is the exact mix? --(this one is related to option one, but its more about the specific method than the philosophy behind it).

                  4)Or is it something else that I haven't touched on?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I actually really like swiss cheese. I honestly have absolutely no idea why I don't eat more of it. I think one possibility might be that I rarely come across the genuine article, and I simply will not settle for a processed version.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I may not be responding at all over the next 4 days to 2 weeks (then again I might). This issue is important enough I want to do it right, but without getting bogged into immobility down by fear of making more errors rather than less. Therefore, since I am attending DragonCon which officially starts today, and afterward will have some time sensitive follow-up to do, I may have to postpone this discussion, which is more important in the final analysis, but also less time sensitive.

                      Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
                      I would be glad to try to help, but I do not seem to be able to even understand what is going on.
                      Not an uncommon situation...

                      We'll all work on it.
                      Originally posted by Paula View Post
                      I think it's valuable to first get at what you're trying to understand.

                      1) Is your question related to epistemology, how do we know what we know (really about anything) but particularly in this case about God and what He wants? ---(This also relates to how we know anything at all. Cats self-groom is a particular fact about felines that I happen to know based on what is reported in books/the internet/other secondary resources, what other people say, and my own observations of my cat making sure he's looking his best. Of course, to understand this I have to have some concept of hygiene, what is a cat?, why spit from a cat's mouth applied to their fur would qualify as such, what motions I see with my eyes would correspond to such an activity, success versus failure, and whether its present in all cats and whether this latter matter is important, and so on).

                      2)Is your question about the degrees to which we are counted as saved based on propositional statements that we internalize (and act on) and how we can go about rationally getting these statements. ---(keep in mind these "propositional statements" are also necessary for other relationships. While my relationships with lets say a friend are based largely on activities that we undertake together and conversation, if I were to report it to others (or think about it to myself) I would first have to convey their name, what they are like, and such. So you could in a roundabout way say my friendship is based on knowing certain propositional statements about them since if my friend's name is Bob and he works in a factory making airplanes but I think "her" name is Alice and she is a female race horse that usually comes in third place...yeah, something went wrong there. So knowledge about other people does matter in relationships. It's about correctly matching what we think (and how we act) with what really exists).

                      3)Does it relate to how we come to know God--do we observe the world and make a logical conclusion, do we research history and philosophy and other such subjects and come to a conclusion, do we take a blind leap in the dark and hope we hit something. Is it some combination there of and if it is what is the exact mix? --(this one is related to option one, but its more about the specific method than the philosophy behind it).

                      4)Or is it something else that I haven't touched on?
                      Number 3 seems closest, at least at first glance, but replace "how we come to know" with "how MUST we come to know, and WHY". In other words, trying to cover more bases rather than less. This, in turn, may push things more in the direction of number 1. I'm also not ruling out number 2.

                      I have one more thing to say, but first I need to clarify something:
                      I believe in absolute morality, there is sin, there is righteousness, there are, PERHAPS, things that aren't inherently either. There are actions that can be sin for one person while not for another, but those stem from differences in personality and circumstances, NOT from any flexibility or fuzziness in the inherent nature of morality.

                      So what I wanted to say was to once again emphasize that we aren't talking about "the basics" here. We are talking about advanced fine points, and that sometimes involves REJECTING statements that are considered to be fundamental to someone who knows only "the basics". Any middle-schooler can tell you that 1+1=2. It takes a more advanced understanding to realize that 1+1 sometimes is 0. Again, this isn't a matter of moral relativism (which I reject), but rather nuances, oddball corner cases, and so on.
                      Last edited by Draco Dei; 08-29-2014, 11:17 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Draco Dei View Post
                        I'm going to take another "nibble" out of this large meal of explanation that is necessary.


                        Ok, so maybe I'm using the word "Faith" differently than it is meant Biblically. This, very surprisingly doesn't change much at this point in the discussion.

                        There is believing something because it was proven based on other things one believes, and there is believing something because you simply accept it(what I have prior to now been calling "Faith"). Actually, there is probably a whole spectrum in between the two, but that doesn't change the fact that every chain of reasoning has to come back to things that one can't actually prove from a purely logical POV. My central question concerns how large the set of such "unproven basics" MUST be for Christian Morality in all of its complexity (so NOT just the basics) and IF it must be larger than some relatively* simple set of foundational theological principles, PLUS the ability to observe the physical world scientifically.

                        *Accepting the Bible as the inerrant word of God still qualifies as "simple", although we will get to some caveats dealing with the tone of the Bible LATER. Basically comes down to, yes, it is spot on, but it is spot on in casual language (which is a very good thing since it is meant to be understood by even simpletons).

                        I'm going to stop here for the moment, to take things slowly, and because of I have some other work I should be doing for The Kingdom of God right now.
                        Well then it seems to come down to how we know what we know.

                        1) First is personal experience and personal observations and experiment.

                        2) Second, has to do with the witness of others. Expert witnesses. It is here where one personally does not have the evidence for faith. Some one else has that first hand evidence. This can be understood to include the testimony of the writers of those documents we call holy scripture. In science, history and news reports this is a very common condition of beliefs without first hand evidence for most of us.

                        3) Thirdly is deductive reasoning. Where from prior believed truth we draw conclusions or new or more understandings of what is true. From which we draw truth from a purely logical POV.
                        . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

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

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

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                        • #13
                          My sincere appologies for the long absence.

                          There as RL stuff.

                          Then I utterly could not remember my password, and the reset didn't seem to work at all. I thought the e-mail was just delayed due to needing human intervention as another anti-spam measure, but nothing ever arrived.

                          And now I'm in the middle of packing things up to move into storage preparatory to going from splitting my living arrangements between two places to only living in one place.

                          So I can't really do much with this at the moment, I will do a little now though.

                          All I can say is that almost every time someone has made a statement in this thread it has not been very helpful, nor was the attempt at gathering information about myself (for reasons I've already explained).

                          What I think would help is if we focused only on trying to improve the communication of the question. I believe that only when that is crystal clear can we move forward towards an answer without it feeling like the mistakes of the past years in which I've tried to get some help with the practical moral issue (which is NOT contained within the question and which it would be HIGHLY unproductive to try to tackle at this time) are being repeated. This caused me GREAT GREAT pain in the past.

                          tl;dr Ask questions about the question. Don't try to answer it yet.
                          Last edited by Draco Dei; 09-25-2014, 03:00 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Is knowledge so important?

                            Knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God....

                            Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres...

                            When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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                            • #15
                              Are you looking to negate general principles that seem to ignore how science has moved on in terms of describing what constitutes sin with regard to genetic disposition or chemical imbalances in the brain?
                              Last edited by footwasher; 10-03-2014, 11:07 PM.

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