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My brief (and polemical) thought about Christianity...

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  • #76
    You know what might be really helpful to you (and was helpful for me having come out of a cult that was anti-Trinity), you might want to check out William Lane Craig's Defender's class on the Trinity.

    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podc...f-god-trinity/

    He goes into quite a bit of depth about the topic, and makes it easy to follow and understand.

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by Sparko View Post
      Who was it that had that "treaty" analogy for the trinity? I thought that was a very good one.
      That was me.
      "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

      "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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      • #78
        Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
        That was me.
        I called it!!!!

        Originally posted by Sparko View Post
        Who was it that had that "treaty" analogy for the trinity? I thought that was a very good one.
        That would be ME!

        Originally posted by Littlejoe View Post
        Let's suppose that there is a treaty drawn up between the US and Germany. How many treaties are executed? The answer is three: A treaty executed in English, a treaty executed in German, and a treaty executed in French (which of course is the language of the UN). Every one of the these three treaties is fully the treaty, they are not just copies of the treaty. The English Treaty is fully and actually the treaty apart from and separate from the other two. The French version is fully and actually the treaty...again apart from and separate from the others. At the same time, the German Treaty is also fully and separately the actual treaty. Yet, there is no question that the treaties are different as one is in English, one in French and one in German. So, you have one "Thing", the treaty between the US and Germany can be made up of three "Things" (the English, German and French treaty) where each of them is fully the "Thing" (the treaty) but each of the 3 things are distinct from each other.

        There you have it, three things that are one thing.
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by Adrift View Post
          William Lane Craig used to use the analogy of Cerberus, the three-headed hellhound of Greek mythology to help get the idea across of 3 persons in one being which I found helpful, but has since put it to the side,

          Source: https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/reasonable-faith-podcast/is-there-a-good-analogy-for-the-trinity/

          I don't like to use analogies like the triple point of water, or water being steam and ice and liquid, these sorts of things. I just see no reason to think that there should be anything truly analogous to the Trinity. Rather in Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview what I am doing is trying to make sense out of the doctrine of the Trinity that the notion that there are three persons who are not three beings, but are one being. And what I look at is this illustration of Cerberus, which was this three-headed dog guarding the gates of Hades in Greek mythology, and I press this and adapt it and adjust it in certain ways to try to see if we can make sense of the idea of three persons which are nevertheless one being rather than three beings. And in the end I reject the analogy of Cerberus. I say it doesn't go far enough because even if we adjust the Cerberus story so that we now have not three canine minds, which are one dog, but we invest them with self-consciousness so that we actually have three persons which are one dog, which seems now getting very much closer to the idea of the Trinity, still, the difficulty is when Cerberus dies, when his body dies, it would seem that you have three separate persons – three souls or whatever, three minds – that wouldn't be one being. So ultimately Cerberus, though it gets you some direction toward the Trinity, it ultimately falls short. And so what I finally propose is that we need to think of God as a soul, an unembodied mind, endowed with three sets of rational faculties each of which is sufficient for personhood. And that will get you a doctrine of three persons in one being.

          Now in the Florida Veritas Forum I think I spoke too quickly in saying this is an analogy of the Trinity. Certainly there are analogous elements in the Cerberus story, but it's not a complete and finally satisfactory analogy for the Trinity, as I explain in Philosophical Foundations. The good thing about the illustration, though, is it does help to get us thinking about how can you have a tri-personal being? That's the question that unitarians and other skeptics of the Trinity would pose for us trinitarians. What sense can you make of a tri-personal being? And I think the Cerberus story can help us to make some advance in understanding that if we invest these three canine minds with self-consciousness and hence personhood. And then we do see here we seem to have a tri-personal dog, a tri-personal entity.

          The reason I feel uncomfortable with the Cerberus story is not because it isn't helpful in understanding the question of how you can have a tri-personal entity.[2] But rather because people who are unsympathetic to the doctrine of the Trinity, who are just looking for something to criticize or to mock, will find it disrespectful and unhelpful to compare God to a dog. And that is obviously something that makes one very uncomfortable.

          © Copyright Original Source



          I personally like the analogy of Marvel's The Living Tribunal (being a Norrin Radd fan, you obviously know something about that), but ultimately all analogies fail for one reason or another.

          I quit collecting comics around 1987 or so. I don't know that I ever read a story in which the Living Tribunal appeared, but I do recall seeing him(?) in the original version of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. There the being's heads floated above its body. I just took a quick glance at the entry. There are references to other cosmic beings apparently associated with the Tribunal, but distinct from it -- Lord Chaos, Lord Order, and the In-Betweener; I mainly recall the In-Betweener. None of this even mentions Eternity, which for a while seemed to be the Marvel equivalent of "God."
          Geislerminian Antinomian Kenotic Charispneumaticostal Gender Mutualist-Egalitarian.

          Beige Nationalist.

          "Everybody is somebody's heretic."

          Social Justice is usually the opposite of actual justice.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by NorrinRadd View Post
            I quit collecting comics around 1987 or so. I don't know that I ever read a story in which the Living Tribunal appeared, but I do recall seeing him(?) in the original version of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. There the being's heads floated above its body. I just took a quick glance at the entry. There are references to other cosmic beings apparently associated with the Tribunal, but distinct from it -- Lord Chaos, Lord Order, and the In-Betweener; I mainly recall the In-Betweener. None of this even mentions Eternity, which for a while seemed to be the Marvel equivalent of "God."
            Huh. I figured that the Silver Surfer had interacted with the Living Tribunal a few times before that, but maybe not. Maybe he was more a Dr. Strange type character. Lord Chaos and Lord Order, Death, Eternity, The Living Tribunal, and few others are all cosmic beings, so yeah, in that sense they're all associated, and when you see one you usually see the other. I believe that The Living Tribunal is supposed to be more powerful and greater in hierarchy than Eternity, but I'm not sure by how much, or if it's even relevant when it comes to cosmic powers that powerful in the Marvel Universe. The Marvel equivalent of "God" is the One-Above-All; Sometimes represented as the writer or artist at Marvel (I think it was once asserted that Jack Kirby was the One-Above-All). I stopped collecting seriously by the early/mid-90s, so there might be someone greater that I haven't heard of yet.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
              Non sequitur.
              It's not a non sequitur. The doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church is different from the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and those are different from the Protestant branch of Christianity, and the Protestants have different doctrines, etc.

              Being Christianity composed of doctrines different and inconsistent between themselves, Christianity cannot be a true doctrine (except in the trivial sense that FROM A inconsistent set of propositions everything can be deducted).

              All the best,

              Seeker
              Last edited by Seeker; 09-18-2019, 06:17 AM.

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                It's not a non sequitur. The doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Church is different from the doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church, and those are different from the Protestant branch of Christianity, and the Protestants have different doctrines, etc.

                Being Christianity composed of doctrines different and inconsistent between themselves, Christianity cannot be a true doctrine (except in the trivial sense that FROM A inconsistent set of propositions everything can be deducted).

                All the best,

                Seeker
                I've made this point before, but many many years ago I was part of a cult, and one of the cult's main talking points for proving that IT was the truth and that Christianity was a lie was that there were so many Christian denominations with numerous mutually exclusive doctrines. And I believed this. Until I left the cult, and did some seeking myself. And after checking out a few other religions and non-religions I found myself coming back to Christianity and seeing how screwed up all of these multiple denominations with all of their mutually exclusive doctrines were. And to my shock I found that...they all had far more in common than not! That they all shared common roots, and they all shared common doctrinal views at their cores. There is a core to Christianity that all orthodox (little "o") denominations share that makes it possible for someone from one denomination to pray, and fellowship and share insights with other denominations.

                The Christian philosopher William Lane Craig explains Christian beliefs like a spider web. At the core of the spider web you'll find those beliefs that are central to holding the whole thing together. God exists. Jesus was an historical person. Then a bit further out perhaps, Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus died and was raised from the dead. A little further from that the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, and forgiveness of sin. And then perhaps a little further out, views on atonement, and views on baptism. And a little further from that, views on eschatology. Until you come to the edges of the spider web and get to things like "Do we need to tithe 10%?," "Can we play instruments in the church?," "Is it okay for pastors/priests to wear jeans and sneakers?"

                You're going to find consensus agreement on the core beliefs among orthodox Christians. There's a popular maxim in Latin when this subject comes up: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas which variously translates to "in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity," or more loosely translated: "unity in necessary things; freedom in doubtful things; love in all things." As a Protestant who has strong disagreements about all manner of things with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even other Protestants I've learned so much and have grown so much stronger in my faith interacting with people in those other denominations. Some of my favorite Bible scholars and teachers belong to Christian traditions that appear from the outside to be vastly different from my own, but we all share those common core beliefs that make learning from them possible and fruitful.
                Last edited by Adrift; 09-18-2019, 08:58 AM.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                  I've made this point before, but many many years ago I was part of a cult, and one of the cult's main talking points for proving that IT was the truth and that Christianity was a lie was that there were so many Christian denominations with numerous mutually exclusive doctrines. And I believed this. Until I left the cult, and did some seeking myself. And after checking out a few other religions and non-religions I found myself coming back to Christianity and seeing how screwed up all of these multiple denominations with all of their mutually exclusive doctrines were. And to my shock I found that...they all had far more in common than not! That they all shared common roots, and they all shared common doctrinal views at their cores. There is a core to Christianity that all orthodox (little "o") denominations share that makes it possible for someone from one denomination to pray, and fellowship and share insights with other denominations.

                  The Christian philosopher William Lane Craig explains Christian beliefs like a spider web. At the core of the spider web you'll find those beliefs that are central to holding the whole thing together. God exists. Jesus was an historical person. Then a bit further out perhaps, Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus died and was raised from the dead. A little further from that the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, and forgiveness of sin. And then perhaps a little further out, views on atonement, and views on baptism. And a little further from that, views on eschatology. Until you come to the edges of the spider web and get to things like "Do we need to tithe 10%?," "Can we play instruments in the church?," "Is it okay for pastors/priests to wear jeans and sneakers?"

                  You're going to find consensus agreement on the core beliefs among orthodox Christians. There's a popular maxim in Latin when this subject comes up: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas which variously translates to "in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity," or more loosely translated: "unity in necessary things; freedom in doubtful things; love in all things." As a Protestant who has strong disagreements about all manner of things with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even other Protestants I've learned so much and have grown so much stronger in my faith interacting with people in those other denominations. Some of my favorite Bible scholars and teachers belong to Christian traditions that appear from the outside to be vastly different from my own, but we all share those common core beliefs that make learning from them possible and fruitful.
                  Couldn't agree with you more here Adrift! Since I began serving in Kairos Prison Ministry, which allows members from any denomination that holds to the Trinity, the deity of, and the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the Bible is the authoritative and inspired Word of God...pretty much anyone...to serve. And, like you, I have found my faith has grown and matured as I see "The Church" doing what it's supposed to do, love people into the Kingdom of God. I've found we have MUCH more in common than we do differences.
                  "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

                  "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                    I've made this point before, but many many years ago I was part of a cult, and one of the cult's main talking points for proving that IT was the truth and that Christianity was a lie was that there were so many Christian denominations with numerous mutually exclusive doctrines. And I believed this. Until I left the cult, and did some seeking myself. And after checking out a few other religions and non-religions I found myself coming back to Christianity and seeing how screwed up all of these multiple denominations with all of their mutually exclusive doctrines were. And to my shock I found that...they all had far more in common than not! That they all shared common roots, and they all shared common doctrinal views at their cores. There is a core to Christianity that all orthodox (little "o") denominations share that makes it possible for someone from one denomination to pray, and fellowship and share insights with other denominations.

                    The Christian philosopher William Lane Craig explains Christian beliefs like a spider web. At the core of the spider web you'll find those beliefs that are central to holding the whole thing together. God exists. Jesus was an historical person. Then a bit further out perhaps, Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus died and was raised from the dead. A little further from that the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, and forgiveness of sin. And then perhaps a little further out, views on atonement, and views on baptism. And a little further from that, views on eschatology. Until you come to the edges of the spider web and get to things like "Do we need to tithe 10%?," "Can we play instruments in the church?," "Is it okay for pastors/priests to wear jeans and sneakers?"

                    You're going to find consensus agreement on the core beliefs among orthodox Christians. There's a popular maxim in Latin when this subject comes up: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas which variously translates to "in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity," or more loosely translated: "unity in necessary things; freedom in doubtful things; love in all things." As a Protestant who has strong disagreements about all manner of things with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even other Protestants I've learned so much and have grown so much stronger in my faith interacting with people in those other denominations. Some of my favorite Bible scholars and teachers belong to Christian traditions that appear from the outside to be vastly different from my own, but we all share those common core beliefs that make learning from them possible and fruitful.
                    Against this post, disagreements I cannot find.
                    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                      To be fair, it really should be in Apologetics; General Theistics is meant to be for irenic, not polemical discussion.
                      But it's not completely off the mark, since it still says "Apologetics Lite" though, isn't it? I really don't know what is meant by the rest of the description, though.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Seeker View Post
                        But it's not completely off the mark, since it still says "Apologetics Lite" though, isn't it? I really don't know what is meant by the rest of the description, though.
                        The emphasis in this forum is on friendly discussion of diverse faiths; polemical thought is sort of not friendly, yes?
                        Enter the Church and wash away your sins. For here there is a hospital and not a court of law. Do not be ashamed to enter the Church; be ashamed when you sin, but not when you repent. – St. John Chrysostom

                        Veritas vos Liberabit<>< Learn Greek <>< Look here for an Orthodox Church in America<><Ancient Faith Radio
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                        I recommend you do not try too hard and ...research as little as possible. Such weighty things give me a headache. - Shunyadragon, Baha'i apologist

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                        • #87
                          Originally posted by One Bad Pig View Post
                          The emphasis in this forum is on friendly discussion of diverse faiths; polemical thought is sort of not friendly, yes?
                          Ok, fair point. I should have paid more attention.

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Adrift View Post
                            I've made this point before, but many many years ago I was part of a cult, and one of the cult's main talking points for proving that IT was the truth and that Christianity was a lie was that there were so many Christian denominations with numerous mutually exclusive doctrines. And I believed this. Until I left the cult, and did some seeking myself. And after checking out a few other religions and non-religions I found myself coming back to Christianity and seeing how screwed up all of these multiple denominations with all of their mutually exclusive doctrines were. And to my shock I found that...they all had far more in common than not! That they all shared common roots, and they all shared common doctrinal views at their cores. There is a core to Christianity that all orthodox (little "o") denominations share that makes it possible for someone from one denomination to pray, and fellowship and share insights with other denominations.

                            The Christian philosopher William Lane Craig explains Christian beliefs like a spider web. At the core of the spider web you'll find those beliefs that are central to holding the whole thing together. God exists. Jesus was an historical person. Then a bit further out perhaps, Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus died and was raised from the dead. A little further from that the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, and forgiveness of sin. And then perhaps a little further out, views on atonement, and views on baptism. And a little further from that, views on eschatology. Until you come to the edges of the spider web and get to things like "Do we need to tithe 10%?," "Can we play instruments in the church?," "Is it okay for pastors/priests to wear jeans and sneakers?"

                            You're going to find consensus agreement on the core beliefs among orthodox Christians. There's a popular maxim in Latin when this subject comes up: In necessariis unitas, in dubiis libertas, in omnibus caritas which variously translates to "in essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, and in all things charity," or more loosely translated: "unity in necessary things; freedom in doubtful things; love in all things." As a Protestant who has strong disagreements about all manner of things with Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and even other Protestants I've learned so much and have grown so much stronger in my faith interacting with people in those other denominations. Some of my favorite Bible scholars and teachers belong to Christian traditions that appear from the outside to be vastly different from my own, but we all share those common core beliefs that make learning from them possible and fruitful.
                            If I've understood you correctly, you're saying that Spiderman is really Jesus?
                            ...>>> Witty remark or snarky quote of another poster goes here <<<...

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                            • #89
                              Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                              Don't bother taking anything demi-conservative says seriously. He's only here to troll.
                              You mean he is only HERE (my thread) to troll, or he's a troll in the forum in general?

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by KingsGambit View Post
                                JP Holding's short e-book on the Trinity explains it in a way that even I can understand. (Though the obvious question is that if his interpretation is correct, why did the early church fathers have so much trouble understanding it?)
                                1. Because they lacked the advantage of hindsight that succeeding generations possess; and because they had to do the spade-work of deciding what assertions about God were orthodox, & which were not.
                                2. Errors are very often not at all easy to identify - especially when, in a given context, they are parts of a truth. Christ is less than the Father - according to His Humanity. It is not obvious that He is co-equal and consubstantial with the Father - in His Divinity.
                                3. Further difficulties arise from the unsystematic character of the Biblical texts; and from uncertainties as how they should be interpreted.
                                4. Knowledge and understanding of the ideas - and mistakes - of the past, is a valuable help to discerning better answers in the present.
                                5. They did not originally have a sufficient and adequate vocabulary to express what they meant: which is why a word such as *homoousios*, “consubstantial”, was borrowed from usage outside Scripture, to express a truth implicit in Scripture.
                                6. The loss of contact with the Church’s roots in Jewish culture presumably played a part.
                                7. One could also ask why the Apostles did not at once see all the implications of Christ. Much that Christians hold as doctrine is not explicit in the Bible.

                                This is partly why certain Churches place a very high value on Tradition.
                                Last edited by Rushing Jaws; 11-24-2019, 08:37 PM.

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