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Dubious Plot and Cast

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  • Dubious Plot and Cast

    A Christian member PM'd me asking me to clarify a statement I made in another thread. In that thread, I said that I don't accept most religions because of their unbelievable plots and cast of characters--in particular Chriatianity since that was the topic.

    Would that member be willing to participate here and explain why he wants to know? I'm prepared to expound on my statement, but I'm curious as to why it necessitated a follow up? Is he open to changing his mind? Does he just want a lively discussion to hone his apologetic chops?

  • #2
    Originally posted by whag View Post
    A Christian member PM'd me asking me to clarify a statement I made in another thread. In that thread, I said that I don't accept most religions because of their unbelievable plots and cast of characters--in particular Chriatianity since that was the topic.

    Would that member be willing to participate here and explain why he wants to know? I'm prepared to expound on my statement, but I'm curious as to why it necessitated a follow up? Is he open to changing his mind? Does he just want a lively discussion to hone his apologetic chops?
    I actually agree concerning the ancient religions where the plot is unbelievable, mythical, and to some extent created by humans to reflect the world view of the believers at the time. The religions and the associated Messiahs may be valid revelations of God inn the context of the time, and the plots and myths may not be true. I believe the Revelations of God evolved over time in the context of the Spiritual Laws and teachings that lie at the core of the scripture.
    Last edited by shunyadragon; 06-19-2015, 12:32 PM.
    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
      I actually agree concerning the ancient religions where the plot is unbelievable, mythical, and to some extent created by humans to reflect the world view of the believers at the time. The religions and the associated Messiahs may be valid revelations of God inn the context of the time, and the plots and myths may not be true. I believe the Revelations of God evolved over time in the context of the Spiritual Laws and teachings that lie at the core of the scripture.
      Nobody cares.
      "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

      There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Darth Executor View Post
        Nobody cares.
        Who is nobody? I have not met him or her yet!

        My choice of belief is not based on a popularity contest.
        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

        go with the flow the river knows . . .

        Frank

        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by whag View Post
          I said that I don't accept most religions because of their unbelievable plots and cast of characters
          Two possibilities:
          1)You were just expressing your opinion; you had no intention of conducting a debate.
          2) You did want to debate. In that case, the quote above is argument from incredulity.
          The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

          [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

          Comment


          • #6
            I would hope that any honest Christian will concede that the narratives found in the Bible are simply hard to believe. The fact of the matter is that the supernatural, miraculous interventions and/or manifestations recounted in the biblical text are so utterly foreign to our experiences that we are left struggling to believe that they literally happened. It's certainly not a logical impossibility, but taking into consideration the context of the text (my tribal deity vs. your tribal deity) which is from an ancient people with a primitive worldview, well, it's rather difficult to believe that they were just recordin' literal history.

            With that said, I do in fact believe that the one true God revealed himself to the ancient Israelites and more-or-less interacted with them in the manner described in the biblical text. However, I do have my doubts and often say to the Lord: "I do believe; but help me overcome my unbelief"..and he does.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
              I would hope that any honest Christian will concede that the narratives found in the Bible are simply hard to believe. The fact of the matter is that the supernatural, miraculous interventions and/or manifestations recounted in the biblical text are so utterly foreign to our experiences that we are left struggling to believe that they literally happened. It's certainly not a logical impossibility, but taking into consideration the context of the text (my tribal deity vs. your tribal deity) which is from an ancient people with a primitive worldview, well, it's rather difficult to believe that they were just recordin' literal history.

              With that said, I do in fact believe that the one true God revealed himself to the ancient Israelites and more-or-less interacted with them in the manner described in the biblical text. However, I do have my doubts and often say to the Lord: "I do believe; but help me overcome my unbelief"..and he does.
              I've talked to Christians who've told me the same thing, but the doubts they experience don't really reflect the doubts I would have (i.e., the parts of the plot that seem human manufactured). Their doubts are more minor (doubting a Pauline verse, for instance) whereas I don't believe the base premises that one MUST accept if I was a Christian. Satan, for instance. Believing Christianity seems to require the acceptance of an anthropomorphic mutiny whose effects reverberate today.

              Some people seem inclined to believe such things. Many religions have in common the same obligations to accept dubious premises. This crystalized for me when I saw the documentary on Scientology "Going Clear."

              What's a typical doubt that you've experienced, and how does God help your unbelief? Are they more minor or doubts about the larger premises?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by whag View Post
                I've talked to Christians who've told me the same thing, but the doubts they experience don't really reflect the doubts I would have (i.e., the parts of the plot that seem human manufactured). Their doubts are more minor (doubting a Pauline verse, for instance) whereas I don't believe the base premises that one MUST accept if I was a Christian. Satan, for instance. Believing Christianity seems to require the acceptance of an anthropomorphic mutiny whose effects reverberate today.

                Some people seem inclined to believe such things. Many religions have in common the same obligations to accept dubious premises. This crystalized for me when I saw the documentary on Scientology "Going Clear."

                What's a typical doubt that you've experienced, and how does God help your unbelief? Are they more minor or doubts about the larger premises?
                I don't see why you, as a hypothetical Christian, would take such a strong stance against the existence of Satan. Christian's believe in God, angelic beings, resurrections, supernatural/spiritual dimensions, etc. Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, believed in Satan. What insight from modernity renders belief in a supernatural evil being as obsolete?

                Some of my doubts revolve around the disconnect between what I read in the Scriptures about God's supernatural activity and intervention, and what I experience in my daily life. Christian's by-and-large say we live in such close, personal communion with God, yet our lives are often radically characterized by natural, mundane ways of living. Where are the miracle workers? Or rather, where are the miracles? Now, I speak merely of my personal experience and the experiences of those I observe close to me but I do know there are other accounts of the miraculous happening around the globe; yet, the lack of supernatural manifestation in my own life tends to make me doubt the veracity of those accounts. Is it possible that Christian's just don't have the faith they claim to? I think that might be part of the problem (Luke 18:8). However, I think there can come a point when Christian's just choose to "settle" because their faith has taken a beating in light of the harsh realities of life.

                So how do I cope with certain doubts? Well, when I read the New Testament and observe the lives and struggles of the ancient saints, the Scriptures are clear that God does not seemingly regularly involve himself in ways we'd hope and we are called to press on in the face of God's seeming abandonment or even seeming non-existence - we are called to persevere and walk by faith and not sight.
                Last edited by Scrawly; 06-19-2015, 09:00 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I find it interesting that C.S. Lewis, who was very familiar with various mythologies, found the general story arc of Christianity to be consonant with the archetypes he was familiar with. He found the stories compelling, but for their aesthetic qualities and not necessarily literalism.

                  I'm not trying to make a strong point here; I just find it interesting that some people can come up with opposite conclusions here.

                  Having said that... when we talk about "plot and cast", are we talking about, say, God/angels/demons/etc. or just "ordinary" human characters in the Bible?

                  I'm about to leave to work overnight so I won't respond again for awhile.
                  "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by whag View Post
                    Is he open to changing his mind? Does he just want a lively discussion to hone his apologetic chops?
                    Same questions to you. Are you open to changing your mind? Do you just want a lively discussion to hone your argumentative chops?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Doug Shaver View Post
                      Same questions to you. Are you open to changing your mind? Do you just want a lively discussion to hone your argumentative chops?
                      The latter, to be realistic. I'm open to changing my mind and have tried to accept the liberal theology of Pete Enns, but I seem to be disinclined to believe the basic premise. It's not for lack of trying. My wife's a Christian, so I've tried. I just don't connect with fantastic tales that are pitched as true explanations of the world.

                      So, yes, I'm open but don't think people here, given my experience with them, will be any more successful in their presentation than Enns, who is a very smart guy. I think some people are inclined to believe certain religious premises, while others are predisposed to skepticism. We're all so different in many ways, and I accept that. Despite my differences with my wife, we manage a good partnership.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Scrawly View Post
                        I don't see why you, as a hypothetical Christian, would take such a strong stance against the existence of Satan. Christian's believe in God, angelic beings, resurrections, supernatural/spiritual dimensions, etc. Jesus, as recorded in the Bible, believed in Satan. What insight from modernity renders belief in a supernatural evil being as obsolete?

                        Some of my doubts revolve around the disconnect between what I read in the Scriptures about God's supernatural activity and intervention, and what I experience in my daily life. Christian's by-and-large say we live in such close, personal communion with God, yet our lives are often radically characterized by natural, mundane ways of living. Where are the miracle workers? Or rather, where are the miracles? Now, I speak merely of my personal experience and the experiences of those I observe close to me but I do know there are other accounts of the miraculous happening around the globe; yet, the lack of supernatural manifestation in my own life tends to make me doubt the veracity of those accounts. Is it possible that Christian's just don't have the faith they claim to? I think that might be part of the problem (Luke 18:8). However, I think there can come a point when Christian's just choose to "settle" because their faith has taken a beating in light of the harsh realities of life.

                        So how do I cope with certain doubts? Well, when I read the New Testament and observe the lives and struggles of the ancient saints, the Scriptures are clear that God does not seemingly regularly involve himself in ways we'd hope and we are called to press on in the face of God's seeming abandonment or even seeming non-existence - we are called to persevere and walk by faith and not sight.
                        Your in some ways close to how I view the Bible and my doubts while I was still a Christian. The path I choose is not to persevere blindly to cling to an ancient paradigm, but to walk by BOTH faith and sight.

                        I still have faith in a universal God and not ancient myths and legends.
                        Last edited by shunyadragon; 06-20-2015, 07:57 AM.
                        Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                        Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                        But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                        go with the flow the river knows . . .

                        Frank

                        I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Whag,

                          First, a thank you.

                          Second, in particular what do you take as unbelievable in the Christian gospel plot? And please explain why? and how you come to your conclusions.

                          Third, in that regard, what characters in the account do you find to be unbelievable? Why?

                          And again thanks.
                          . . . 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


                          • #14
                            I think that in essence, anyone thinking like Whag does starts with the assumption that there is no such thing as a miracle. Every event in the universe is 100% natural. There is no God; in particular, not one that can create miracles.
                            The greater number of laws . . . , the more thieves . . . there will be. ---- Lao-Tzu

                            [T]he truth I’m after and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance -— Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Truthseeker View Post
                              I think that in essence, anyone thinking like Whag does starts with the assumption that there is no such thing as a miracle. Every event in the universe is 100% natural. There is no God; in particular, not one that can create miracles.
                              Yes, but let's not start there. Let's start with premise and characters. Thinking like yours accepts the premise that God created a being who knew God's power, got jealous, and led a mutiny. Very little is said about this but so much has been extrapolated from it. Cut to Jesus' time. The characters from that mutiny inhabit and antagonize random people. Satan later appears to tempt God, the person who made him, taunting him to save himself and offering him earthly kingdoms.

                              As with so many myths and religions, I don't believe this. I think moral and natural evil are better explained in other ways, not through the anthropomorphic story of Satan having a whack attack.

                              Comment

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