I’d like to burn some very typical straw men. Hopefully, in the debate over Christianity, these unnecessary issues can be avoided.

Creation  - Neither Genesis nor any of the scriptures demands that the earth and universe is only 6- to 10- thousand years old. The Hebrew word for “day” (yom) could mean long periods of time. The words  “there was morning and there was evening, the first day” could be translated “there was beginning and ending, the first (yom)”.

(BTW, the narrative moves to the surface of the earth in Genesis 1:2. While stars were certainly already in existence, their light was not visible on the surface of the earth until the opaque early atmosphere cleared).

Adam and Eve – While scripture does indicate they were specially created, there are gaps in the biblical genealogies that could place Adam and Eve back 60- to 90-thousand years. This would also predict increasing discovery of a common DNA originating between east Africa and the Mesopotamia.

(BTW, the word for “rib” means “side”. The story of Eve’s creation could mean God created her from Adam for symbolic purposes. I speculate a biopsy, of sorts, from the side, with a few million variations to the DNA producing a female. )

Talking Snakes - A boa constrictor with vocal cords is not in view here. That image comes largely from medieval art. The “serpent” in the garden was intelligent and used for evil. One can only speculate what sort of being it was (perhaps one no longer extant).

The Flood – The fact that a great flood is found in various cultures indicates that it happened. Two questions emerge:  which account is most accurate and whether the flood was global or local.

I’m of the opinion that the flood was regional rather than global for several reasons. First, while the flood was universal in effect, it was only regional in extent due to human’s not having moved much beyond the Mesopotamia at the time. A global flood was unnecessary.

Secondly, language like “under all the heavens”, “all the earth”, etc. are most likely from the perspective of the observer, i.e. a flood from horizon to horizon. “Mountains” could be translated “hills” with rain and water “covering” (or running over) them rather than submerging them.

Thirdly, this would mean there were not polar bears and penguins, etc. on the ark, but only animals indigenous to the region and of special relation to man.

Fourthly, a global flood would have torn the ark to pieces, no matter how well built. And it certainly would not have landed anywhere near its original location.

Fifthly, the scripture itself said a “large wind” was used in the evaporation process. Such a wind would have virtually no effect in a global flood.

Finally, if the flood were only regional why not just have Noah, his family, and whatever animals needed, hike out of the area and be safe? Why a big specifically-built ark? I think because God often operates via symbols teaching important truths or significance, i.e. salvation in Christ or deliverance through troubled waters (trials).

Use of Metaphor – The scriptures use metaphor and other literary devices. One need only utilize common exegetical analysis and context to determine what any author meant as literal or metaphorical (and on a case-by-case basis).

Inerrancy – If there are consequential or factual errors in the Bible  that does not mean Christianity is false. However, I find it remarkable how well the Bible holds up to scrutiny and that there are plausible answers to discrepancies. Personally, I hold to the Chicago Statement on Inerrancy.  

Hell – is not a place of torture (external) but of torment (internal). There are many descriptions of hell in the scriptures. The “fire” is most likely not the chemical combustion we’re familiar with. It, combined with all the other descriptions, reduces to separation from God and the judgment of God.

This does not make hell more tolerable (that’s not possible). But it does dispel hillbilly theology that has poor souls swatting flames for eternity! Christ depicted conversation taking place “in the flames”. No person could have a conversation while on fire! On our familiar planet, one is in mindless torture if burning.

It is, however, a profound tragedy to be eternally separated from God. It is a “spiritual chaos” one enters when the intact “self” survives the physical body.  There are indications that some kind of body could exist in hell.

Heaven – is a remarkably physical place. It is not ethereal or immaterial. It is a combination of a “new heaven and new earth”. We will live on earth in physical bodies that are “spiritual” which nonetheless have access to one another and continued exploration of the universe without many of the limits of current bodies affected by entropy, etc. Christ’s resurrected body could be touched and he ate food, etc. This describes the redeemed, resurrected body.

This is not to be confused with an intermediary state which is not physical. At death, one goes either into the very presence of God to await the resurrection of the body, or in a state of chaos to await final judgment.

“God will not allow anything to happen in your life that you can’t handle” – False! Scripturally, there are plenty of things that happen that one cannot handle! Devastating things! The accurate teaching is that nothing will happen that God’s grace will not get one through.

“You must become like children”  - Christ said to “humble yourself like a little child”. It does not mean to be naïve, ignorant, gullible, or irrational.

Pascal’s Wager This is not an argument for God nor necessarily addressed to atheists. Pascal used a popular gambling motif to shake the French laity out of spiritual complacency and to at least move them in the direction of God.

Further, the Wager, as it is commonly used, is not allowed by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15. He said if Christ was not risen, then the jig is up! Christianity is false! He did not say believe it anyway “just in case” or because it provides a positive way of life.

I hope these internal considerations provide food for thought.

Tags: Pascal's, Wager, adam, and, creation, eve, flood, heaven, hell, inerrancy, More…the

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To the image of Simon Peter Paying Paul to tell you what to say and do in order to understand yourself into separated compartments.

The above line of communication is schizophrenia and you can go over as a consciousness now and understand it as an experience that is not supported to occur at unity.

What you understand to your nervous system you should never type or say because it is incomplete. If you are understanding aware communication in your nervous system you are exiting in multiplicity and it is not appreciated to be the "last man standing" when all of those other images of you are repositioned out of doing different quantum locations placed to where and what they will always do.

Communicate about what you understand and understand what is interesting to you or you will find yourself in an area of this universe again and again that is quite different from what it is that I Am participating with.

Hatred is pathology. There is nothing else to tell you about.

Nah, I think he read Finnegan's Wake one too many times.

The thing that I wonder is if Kevin is married, and if so does he speak to his wife with the same fluffy verbiage with her on a normal day-to-day basis?

I can imagine some hilarious valentine's dinner date conversations. Some Barry White playing in the background... 

I tried this with my wife, she is much more down to earth than I am.

I am married but I've never used the words "fluffy verbiage" with her!

Creation  - Neither Genesis nor any of the scriptures demands that the earth and universe is only 6- to 10- thousand years old. The Hebrew word for “day” (yom) could mean long periods of time. The words  “there was morning and there was evening, the first day” could be translated “there was beginning and ending, the first (yom)”.

Could? Why only could? Sounds like a guess to me. You might want to pass this piece of information along to every single Creationist as they tend to disagree with you. 

 

Talking Snakes - A boa constrictor with vocal cords is not in view here. That image comes largely from medieval art. The “serpent” in the garden was intelligent and used for evil. One can only speculate what sort of being it was (perhaps one no longer extant).

One could only speculate? Yes "speculate" the very foundation of faith. Its all just one speculation after another isn't it?

Use of Metaphor – The scriptures use metaphor and other literary devices. One need only utilize common exegetical analysis and context to determine what any author meant as literal or metaphorical (and on a case-by-case basis).

In my experience from debating with Christians its always totally subjective or should is say "speculation" to which parts are metaphorical or subjective

Inerrancy – If there are consequential or factual errors in the Bible  that does not mean Christianity is false. However, I find it remarkable how well the Bible holds up to scrutiny and that there are plausible answers to discrepancies....

A factual error? What on earth is a factual error? Its either a fact or an error. It can't be both. The bible has not held up to any scrutiny, Christianity is declining. 

Hell – is not a place of torture (external) but of torment (internal). There are many descriptions of hell in the scriptures.

Thats idol speculation, no surprise there. To torment someone in this context would be torture. You might as well call murder justice.

Where did you come up with all this? Did you write your own bible? Are you an apologist?

 

Who, Lorne? 

Dear Kevin,

The main thing that I like to point out to any theist, is that you don't really believe in a god, you've made yourself and your own feelings part of what you think "god" is.

If your religion is "christianity à la carte" and you pick and choose from your religious book you are in effect creating your own religion and your own god. No matter how well you argue why something should be interpreted in a certain manner, you can only argue this if you believe to know the mind of god, of course knowing the mind of god only makes sense if you in fact are god.

Anyways, if god exists and your interpretation of scripture is the right one, can we at least agree that god needs to improve his marketing plan? Currently there are as many interpretations as there are Christians.....

Rob,

The existence of God is not determined via psychology.

And there are not as many interpretations as there are Christians. Christians are generally united on the Essentials but often disagree on peripherals.

@Kevin

Did you just say that the existence of a god is not determined by psychology, yet there are as many interpretations (meaning gods, really) as there are Christians? Is this like saying opinions are not individual even though every individual has an opinion?

I said there are not as many interpretations (by Christians) as there are Christians (when it comes to the Essentials). His allegation is false.

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