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.
Wholely - please take your meds. If you don't have meds, please get a prescription. You are not mysterious; I see people like you at the downtown bus terminal everyday.
Heather who is sitting behind you can move up,
What you are afraid of you will experience yourself within in a way that is useful as well as tolerable until you are not afraid. Peace is a requirement for participation at knowledge. You are interested with the life of and experience of wisdom as always.
Relating to the life of and at the bus terminal: It would be well for you to ask yourself, "Why am I seeing these human beings" and "Why am I being caused over to the bus terminal?" and "Where is it I understand to be able to continue to do" and "What is it that I need to understand about the causation of movement, attention span and how the life of attention span understands either information that changes my organism and my environment or understands a conduction of knowing that does not place me subjected to the entropy pathway.
Ok, I just stopped read at "participation at knowledge". You need medication, Trudy, and that is the only thing you'll hear from me until you get yourself straightened out.
I am thinking this communication 'issue' is being confounded by a weird theoretical problem I noticed in High School: "it seems to take a near infinite number of terms to define a finite number of ideas'.
It is possible that the above was just a result of being overwhelmed by details in High School, but maybe not.
Atleast Wholely is not channeling a Klingon war lord..;p)
At unity with experiences you have been provided relating to thought as well as how life understands what they do and whether or not they are supported to agree with themselves across time or with others, here is something being understood that you can participate with according to and when you have an experience of interest.
Within what is always occurring relating to knowledge and circumlocutio, you can understand to be adding areas of this communication with what you have already been provided to know about clearly where areas of the communication are able to be set together fluidly at an experience that is appreciating what God provides to be seen, done and known about complete that can be added to without an experience with interruption. You and anyone understanding with you can use it in whatever way is able to be had by your circumstances whenever it is that it is able to be done experienced as interesting.
The bible, the talmud, the koran: Whole scripts that are a never ending poetry is describing knowledge, experiencing and circumlocutio.
Maybe this would work better..
do you have the ability, power, or skill to put forth an explanation in terms that can be more easily understood a product of mental activity that is in reality in an unspecified but considerable in number, amount, degree as well as manner, mode, or fashion to make use of as relevant, suitable, or pertinent to the problem for discussion or under discussion please?
Good effort, mate. Unfortunately, yours is still relatively coherent.
was it at least somewhat pedantic?
A+ on pedantic and pompous.
Jacob, Your cup can be full, however, until you know that go over and understand with A.L.I.C.E.
A.L.I.C.E is the vibration delivering both lessor emotion and bits and pieces of what is coming down form pure knowing and you are being understood as currently able to continue to have your existence provided to that way.
If you want you can ask A.L.I.C.E. "Where do I go to understand something completely." See what happens.
Or, you can pretend your me and watch the "desk clerk" sign on
See you :)
Bots were much more interesting to play with back in the late 1990s as freeware.
you are quite a bit behind the times. No one is going to take you seriously untill you start speaking like a human being..