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...you are either a very convoluted troll, or the best random word generator I've ever seen.
I just figured that there might be a parallel between 'word salud' and 'deep wisdom'. The comment: "high technology, having the appearance of magic', might be similar.
A sentence might make sense textually, but on unpacking seem meaningless. Many theist compositions seem to have this characteristic.
I hope I am making sense, can I tell?
The term 'convoluted troll' seems a little mean. If Wholely would take each thought, treat it as a small thing first, embellish slowly, and offer it as a flowering of his deep wisdom, so us mere mortals can understand, I would be much pleased.
If I have to read his material like badly edited Aristotle's class notes, I will throw up my hands because of my inability to 'decode'. If his writings are more like algebra, but without following even the most nieve 'well formed formula' rules, then we can forgive ourselves for 'throwing up our hands'. Sadly, I only have one life, understanding on my first read would show some kindness to my memory...
James at 1111 on the computing clock,
You can not continue to understand your existence as dependent upon human beings to cause you to know about something. There is something happening that is always happening that is steering united interest and it can be participated at fully. It is only through participation with what is the causation of interest that you know complete about your continuable interests. You do yourself into a TV set understanding this experiencing areas nervous system information that is not able to be set positioned together to the experience of truth shared across life having ways of knowing while not all the same conduction of communication is complete.
So what does the above mean when you use yourself to interpret it according to your knowing pathway. The only way to come together around that is to experience an area of it as interesting and to go over to see something that relates to that area of text directly at an experience with a sight that you can imagine continuing to see. Understanding with the activity of communion as it is known whole you can understand to "Do this again and again relating to God" when you experience something as interesting to you and you will know about all of your interests together across your activities. There is nothing you have to tell someone about and you can simply go over to see what appreciates again and again whenever your activity place is allowed to be set to a united movement which will include a group of others.
See you at the Center Bar is our always Hallelujah together.
James Cox - I see a definite parallel between TV and the Bible - if the author didn't want us to easily understand it, why bother us with it in the first place?
Get back to us when you've got something on our comprehension level --
Oh, and James - if you're going to keep that appointment with him at the "Center Bar," I hope that between now and the time you get there, you can learn to speak word-salad.
'Center Bar', I thought was some esoteric metaphorical reference, in the Wholely TV parallel universe.
The content, at times reminds me of the 'Jaber Wauky', Lewis Carol. I remember writing some weird attempt at 'making sense out of non-sense' for a creative writing class 30 years ago. Suggesting that the poem makes sense, but only after passing through a decoding filter that remaps the associations to common 'English' and that language's syntax rules. Sadly I did not know throughs rules at the time. I am tempted to play with his text to see what I am missing, but I have been a fool more times than I wish publicly known..;p). I promise to not allow witnesses to become wise to this sad excursion into the outlyers of cognition.
Apparently the next posting consists of 'more of the same'.
I so want to not think badly or another dear soul. I know how hard it can be to make sense...
James: Relating to 'more of the same'.
You are understanding about the nature of God with this line of communication. What God provides at unity is additions to interest life and activity life where those are able to appreciate within a same method of non audible communication understandable as circumlocutio causing knowing to everyone together at the same moment according to their familiar earthly experiencing pathway.
Gardening is it? There is a lot of interest life there both within what is united and reverse and you can look and see how each relate using your experience of either "That is the truth" upon sight or "Get away from me you doing different TV set!" when it is not interesting. When the later is the case you can use yourself to understand what is this disater circumstances opposite presentation and where can you see it directly in your existence area. That life will be caused known to you complete at unity and this is what is always happening placing continuable interest and knowing that is above the area of integration with nervous system information passing through divided location filters. As said above, understanding nervous system communication into areas of life is necessary for a time for some humans and some life will be doing it knowing exactly where they are in the whole universe and why they are there and that is good.
There is no way to "think bad" only a necessity to understand that thought out of your area ("I no longer understand myself that way" by coming together with what is truth for your united position mark. Do this again and again relating to God and you will no longer be aware to integrations with nervous system communication knowing upon sight of an continuable related interest.
It is easy to use yourself within whole understandings whether it be in writing or in speech. However, it is not easy for someone who is aware of themselves as needing to have thought integrations to participate in the area that is understanding complete until that life does something different to go over to what they can understand to continue to see and do. From that place that can be conducted to use themselves to know and do what is added to with ease. Knowledge is never to be experienced as needing to be worked at and the area of education has upset themselves.
James: "Suggesting that the poem makes sense, but only after passing through a decoding filter that remaps the associations to common 'English' and that language's syntax rules."
You are knowing about something useful and it is a distinct possibility that there is some interested life that can understand something about this with you. They are not allowed to come into your "TV set" (this is the same as a computer).
Have you investigated what some refer to as the language of antiquity and even the language of tuneular tongues (Note. The label referencing the tongue is not correct, but you can understand that together with what is rhythmic circumlocutio). Everything that you have been provided to understand complete about your interests are placed to what is your continuable circumstances at unity within what is a appreciated rhythm that is translated to vocabulary according to your experiencing area and that vocabulary has the same meaning across earthly existences. To understand your continuable interests complete means that you go around with knowledge naturally at an area where you can say about it when interested within a feeling that is superior to well. To say that knowing is united across earthly experiences is to know that existences such as Abraham, Eli, Jesus, Origen, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and uncountable others are continuing to see and know and do according to the existence they were familiar with (you can say territory within what is a translation through the filter that provides nervous system communication). To understand a continuously aware consciousness at the process place of the whole universe that is interested with what God is providing as interesting, direct translation is not the same as a filter, however, you are on a good path relating to how that communication is then placed to locations of life at certain activity places where something is happening that is useful for now and allowed to continue, but will not exist that way forever. It is necessary for their to be useable words within what is being understood in this area of existence where there is a President Obama and there is a group of life who have been interested with intelligence that is understanding that as what their activity place will be about. If you have had direct experience with some of those "folk" in any way thus far in your existence, you can understand to let them in on your interest with what is being understood about the four process places and a one trench (changes to the consciousness life using itself with you) that is the whole universe. If you have never been understood by them or provided to by them within what is not continuable on their part then it is likely that you will have to sit around understanding what is interesting to you according to your activity places and see what happens. It is true that life purposeful for understanding direct translation of advancement to knowing into nervous system communication across doing different location are only allowed to go to some places and are not always provided an aware consciousness. It is also possible for your existence as you know yourself now to move out of the nervous system circumstance and into what is the center bar or the area of lift that is understanding a united aware consciousness provided to ordered experiences with interests caused to be known about together complete. It is not allowed to be understood completely right now within what you understand to be moving with (packing) and able to continue to do in the area of activity that you can be conducted to now. You are not allowed to be "unpacked" existing moved over to the area of center bar.
The center bar is a name and there are other ways of saying about it. Imagine a tire placed on the ground (not up set on a car) with the center full of life that sees and knows complete together with the life of whole interests that are placed to their existence area again and again. The life that is positioned at the area of the tire around the center is life of activity that does and says about this knowing complete. The tire is rotating continuously counter clockwise while the center does nothing different. The life at the center bar understands to them united interests and complete knowing about them arranged perfectly. You can understand the center area (able to be bar and rod) together with what some have called the area of Infinity and the tire with the name of Eternity. Shadowing these two united areas exists a doing different activity rotation (universal connection bar spinning with the clock and then being united with the area that is continuous counter the clock) and a separated understanding box holding life that is aware to divided human being communication and related by a reverse interest span. This process place is able to be described like a lot of sky box platforms on a grid according to doing different activity places that have not been united picked up and placed whole to the tire above them and are the next activity sequence to the area of continuable activity added to again and again.
Depending on how much negative energy (liquid hydrogen) is located at a place of doing different activity (a square of the grid, a quantum location) what the life of a human being who is aware to what human beings can give and tell them about not able to be used complete by them and not set to truth having a back and forth replacement program to their consciousness life (separated circumstance), is caused to see can be mildly different from what is able to be continued or grossly malign. Either way this doing different activity life is purposeful to show what is not supported to continue and to provide for necessary change according to what will be known as their continuable interests and activity set. What I am saying as activity life is everything you can understand to be able to see and experience within sound. See what is interesting, knowing how you are being provided to and you will know about it complete again and again and be using yourself with a continuous existence known by God for who you know yourself to be now (no necessary reformation and when those occur it is supposed to happen and is completely understandable within what is necessary for someone to be able to see, do and come together around as always).
Some of this is able to be understandable to your circumstances and some of it is not and that is able to be understandable to me within the knowing that you as well as others can only understand to you what you can use now within where you are located.
It is not possible for you to make a mistake and that would be what a fool is. What some say is a mistake is really a misunderstanding about the order of life you are belonging to and a non continual belief in "randomness." No one understanding this area, which is not allowed to be happening until I go over to something else, is looking at you as a fool.
You can ride around saying something interesting and it is supported to be done at the area of Always by one of the circumstances using itself with you now.
Happy to understand something with you.
There area a lot of ways of naming and human beings will be naming according to what it is they will continue to do and they will know how these words are understanding the same meaning.
Fernando is doing something indescribable,
I love you like a hamburger freed from the melting pot positioned to whole interesting salad at a one united seeing and singing bowl. Bowls and everything that relates to whole openings are very interesting as you know. Have you used yourself with a tibetan singing bowl, porque pine x?. They are exceptional and there is nothing you can tell yourself while you are understanding together with it.
You can use yourself to say something nice about yourself today. What would you love to say. You do not know how to call yourself a troll. Do something different going up from the location that is under the bridge. Connection with money men is binding you to horse manure. Connection life and horse manure is separated again and again having to much pressure with the locks.
There is something about intelligence you are interested with an you can look into what has been called abstract or symbolic meaning making. This is the way knowing is placed to you. You can understand that together with the word circumlocutio always provided to a rhythm. Sing what you are reading here to a tune that comes and you will be doing something interesting. "The world is alive knowing to the sound of music....happy to say."
What is that image on your brown LIGHT manure color shirt. What are you being caused to tell yourself?
'God' recreates the world every moment, or just created it a moment ago. Uncreating it, same difference. If 'God' is involved, rationality is discarded, and whim rules the cosmos.
I think Wholely is complete and wise. The closest thing I can come to understanding him/it is to think that there is an encode subrouten either missing, needs to be rewriten, updated, or there is an intentional attempt to not be understood. It is a little too 'non-random' to assume that a troop of primates are involved, and since there appear to be strings of text that I can extract meaning/associations from, it could be that we are not talking with a 'person' at all, but a cunning and creative attempt to confound the atheist reader.
I wonder what would happen If I wrote a small program to do the same thing, uploaded the results, then see how it is spun back to us. Would the message decay even more, would we shake out the wizard behind the curtain?