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.
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?
A truthful find: "It could be that we are not talking with a 'person' at all".
You can look for what you can continue to see. There is nothing technology can do that is being done here. There is no way to "unpack" unity provisions of understanding and that is the rub for those that are dependent upon human beings and computers to tell them something about their interests.
What some love to name as God is not human and God is not a computer. So, "What is God?" is a question that your circumstances are able to come to Abraham around which is you always knowing position mark united with other life understanding aware to continuous circumlocutio.
There is an upper kinship to what a computer provides that relates to the causation of interest that you can know about completely directly to you. A computer can not do it within what is loose liquid hydrogen and there is an always universal process place where hydrogen not only behaves, but is a supreme well. The causation of interest applies at every level and layer and it is the action that steers all movement and communication.
There is nothing you are missing and nothing that is wrong with you and you have everything you need to understand completely right now and some of what can not be had to support that to occur. That is what requires "unpacking". You can move now with what you can look at and experience with infatuation and keep going that way and I will see you as Always.
See now that seems to make sense, thankyou. I'll read it again after I finish my weeding.
Relating to: "See now that seems to make sense, thankyou. I'll read it again...after I finish my weeding.
Weeding moves up to the the experience of a wedding when a wedding is about a lot of life knowing how they exist together doing what is added to. If you are going around at activity that is literally weeding then we are already using ourselves together in a way that always happens provided to peace. Life that is interesting is never understanding from the fluid in the weeds able to be seen in the ground. Interesting life is never able to be infiltrated and impacted by the interruption that is caused by ground wires restlessly laying down life that can not continue what they are understanding in division.
Take yourself to the airport in what ever way an airport relates to your existence experience and see what God is doing with movement and communication where it is different than what always happens. It is a useful trip and good trips are never about a poor substance. There is an area (dimension is okay to say) that is whole substance and you can move within it forever.
Peace to all of your circumstances (life focused on you) that are now, but will not always be understanding about you and God back and forth from the elevator shaft.
James is a good name while Cox is interested with continuous communication, but confused wrapped bound with copper and human being correspondence.Nothing is random.
Hallelujah is life free of cables.
If you are not allowed to go to what relates to the airport than right now go somewhere interesting. It will be added to.
That is all at this location mark.
You are MichAel as Always:
Healing is not interesting and to follow life that spits at you is redundant...meaning you have done that before. You can do it a different way this time. We know each other in a way that your current consciousness is escaped from.
There is no such thing as an ending.
MichEal: Meaning to speak into an area (MICH) saying something that everyone (AL) can understand (E or LIGHT). That is what God provides and you can do it united with the area of life that is understanding complete aware continuously. It is not able to be had within your experience of hatred, however, and that is known by you now and then.
It is GOOD to use yourself with and as light when communicating and you can use yourself that way united with God seeing you as interesting otherwise you are healing following behind an asshole tethered by threads of toilet paper.
This is information that can be used by you. You can use it or eventually explode at whatever location of your existence it is that is able to be understandable to you and anyone who is aware of you misunderstanding you and the continuous nature of your aware consciousness life.
Hate is confusion and you can understand what is interesting to you completely. Under those conditions you are supported to say what is added to seamlessly. You are an existence that is able to be seen at unity so you will come together around it in some existence place where it can be done.
So well it is.
James - I fear the "missing subroutine" lies between his ears, and I doubt you can write any form of code that can be uploaded to that relative vaccum.
Arch Area playing with Video Games:
There is no such thing as empty. What looks empty to you is full of shit. Shit is something you can know about completely. It is life that is finding out about something sucking in pressure that will explode like a parvovirous if you are not given a necessary rupture.
If you are dis-infatuated with the idea of continued ruptures to move shit out of your area, then you can go over to what you experience as interesting that you can imagine yourself being able to continue to see.
Shit happens and flight is not freight. You can fly when you are no longer afraid of your shit. Understand why you have been given it relating to what always happens.
Take yourself to the movie theater and see something about hamburgers eating vacuums. Vacuums do not exist in what is truth.
"Bloody television sets got me again did they."
Yep and it is able to be had by you perpetually if you can tolerate what is happening now since you are still reading this not going over to see what is interesting to you that you can be provided complete knowing about at a feeling state that is celebratory.
That is it project 555.
Troll, troll, troll, TROLL!
Hey Simon. Where have you been lately? I haven't seen you around much.