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.
Oh, and by the way, my friends call me Arch - YOU may call me Mr. Opteryx --
Opteryx: There a lot of ways to understand it. Some interesting, some necessary and some useless trash.
#1: "Seeing things (OPT) right away (ER) together (yx)". That is nice.
"See disaster circumstances when you go to the cross". Less interesting, but true.
"Get out of the cross hair immediately." This one is useless within what can be continued except for causing you to do something different immediately.
You can sit around and see how you understand yourself within these and know that they are provided to you according to where you are at activity.
You seem to have omitted the "Mr."
Archaeopteryx: A hi flying successful business person seeing life together while knowing complete about that sight immediately.
You are correct. Together with cabbage there are more things to understand (pick up and arrange together) until what you know about your interests are complete. You can see a cabbage as your nervous system either doing what it can always do or doing something different. From the word cabbage there are two other words: Cab (relate it to movement) and Age (either a youthful experience or one that is understanding from social security). Movement and ages are interesting to you, but not when infused with liquid hydrogen moving around like busk shot. Where is liquid hydrogen doing that in your body as well as in your environment. It is caused to behave this way when there is something else you need to go over and see that can be added to within an experience that is appreciation.
You can understand cabbage together with what you are writing about ships and kings and together with this understand what some have referred to as the Christhead and others as the female process place of God or the female presence of God.
You are not stupid or lazy and high school as well as many parents who get on a computer and cell phone are doing and saying something in the "cooking up" process place purposeful for moving life relating to them to a shared higher consciousness.
Relating to: "the ego is yours, and you gratify it by seeking attention." This is God causing your circumstances to receive this communication and it is describing God perfectly. This is what God causes again and again uniting life to this as a sharing experience. Some have used the word glory, hallelujah and always celebration to describe the experience of God as this Entity is always known. (Relating to the word "God", descriptions are better that labels as you know. Here is the description: Everyone and everything that has ever been and will ever be caused manifest able to be seen known about complete as well as understood where that is necessary.)
Relating to: "Stop". There is no such thing as an end to consciousnesses or to activity only movement of consciousness to unite with places of activity life that is either over and "down" to doing different locations (quantums having strings, M theories and P branes) with more negative energy or up to whole united positions (united area).
It is not necessary for me to be at a "physical computer" in the way you understand yourself to be in order for this to be seen by you and the life that relate to you existing at various location marks of what is the doing different universe and there is some life that relates to you that is positioned already at unity. This is true about activity and consciousness. You can know about it when you are seeing what is interesting to you conducted to appreciated movement as an awareness within the causation of united interest span over to activity that is either appreciating or necessary in the area of separation for repositioning. You are moved over to activity according to the causation of your existence to understand and translate an eternal communication that is understandable completely to the life that is consciousness. Activity such as the one you are seeing now is not always caused to me to have to participate in with full awareness. I can be gardening or boating and this can be generated when it is able to be used by an area of your separated circumstances. If there is something I will be caused to write that is a new and related understanding I will be doing the activity in what is full awareness. It is interesting to know about and there are two areas of united life that relate this way.
There is nothing else to tell you about now. Find out how to do something interesting.
A wet bird never flies at night --
OMG! I just realized who you remind me of -- Dr Bronner! (Before he died and the kids took the best crazy stuff off his soap!) All One!
Me or the Wholly Whacko?
Hmmm. Well, here's a sampling - I'll let you decide if it matches your prose or Wholey's:
By the way - it's the best soap. And it seems the kids running the joint have returned to full on plastering the good doctor's ramblings on the packaging after all.
Karen L - OK, good news and bad news, and some more bad news, followed some good news, then by more bad news, then by still more bad news.
The good news is, that I went to the link, but it was in Adobe Acrobat format (bad news), and Adobe Acrobat doesn't allow for copying (more bad news), so I took a screen capture of part of the text, but the script was so small, it was unreadable (more bad news), and after I enlarged it in PhotoShop to a readable size, it wouldn't fit on TA's window (still more bad news), but yes, though I know it isn't, it's certainly reminiscent of him/her/it.
However, one of the prime ingredients of the body oil Bronner is hawking is - surprise! - hemp oil, which could explain a lot.
Relating to: "A wet bird never flies at night".
Because they are understanding the conduction of light. The wet is liquid helium and they love it as will you. Understand your interests complete. You are getting parts of something trickling down like bad economics.
Twins almost always come in pairs --
Interesting. You can actually read between the lines of this one to get a message out of it.