Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dimensions of Truth

The Bible has several levels of revelation and requires several levels of acquiring that revelation. There is the straightforward reading of the text that anyone can read as reading any other history or literature book. One can interpret things in context of the whole and in the context of the culture in which it was written. Furthermore, one can study it in its original language of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. The principals therein can be helpful to a person even when only learning about them in this manner.


However, no matter how far one studies in this manner there will be a vital missing element to understanding the fullness of Scripture. The Bible says that there are things that are spiritually discerned and the man without the Spirit cannot discern them. It is like it is muddled to that person and makes little sense. There is a deeper revelation that is not contradictory to the surface exploration of the text that can only come from having the Spirit of God. For His Spirit witnesses with our spirit and reveals truth that is locked away and only revealed through that relationship with Jesus.


Why is this? It is because if it were even possible for us to know the truth fully without God’s aid it would not be good for us to have such knowledge apart from His life flowing through us. The Scriptures are to point us to Him and when we are connected to Him the Scriptures take on a whole new dynamic previously not available to the man without the Spirit. Even without the Spirit the Scriptures are sufficient to point to the truth of needing Christ, but once that truth is taken hold of and that relationship begins, deeper revelation begins to be made available. This deeper revelation is more than ethereal; it is more than intellectual for a third dimension opens up of experience. Once one experiences the truth through the person of Truth, Jesus, the truth of Scripture can be experienced in a whole new reality. The mystery begins to be unveiled and the seeker steps into more and more truth the more they seek it out for it is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of Kings to search it out. We are those Queens and Kings destined to search out the truth and find and reveal the glory of God.


The path of truth doesn’t stop with finding God; it starts afresh with finding God. It’s like opening the wardrobe to another world complete with beautiful and fascinating things to explore. In the fantastical movie InkHeart, a few people have the special ability to read a book and bring what they read to life so that they are not just reading words on a page and imagining the story for the story is coming alive as they read. When a person reads the Scriptures without the presence of God breathing the life into them, it is like watching a 3D movie without the glasses. One can still see and hear the movie, but something is missing, something is cloaked until one watches through the 3D lenses. We need to see with Jesus so that we can experience greater depths of truth.


Jesus told the religious leaders in his day that they search the Scriptures, because they think in them is life, but the real life was Him whom the Scriptures are about, and not the Scriptures themselves. They only point to Him and reveal Him further once He is connected with the reader. Even the Scriptures can be used to bring bondage and harm to people, if they are used without the life giving true revelation that comes from relationship with Jesus. When we use them solely with human reasoning apart from Jesus we enter dangerous grounds of harming people and stealing their life and only giving them empty religion and life-less doctrines. This is why a person, Jesus, is eternal life and not a belief in proper doctrines. Life is tangible and requires tangible experience to gain it, and does not rest upon intangible doctrines of the mind, for God looks not on the mind, but on the heart. The aim is our heart to be intertwined with His so that all the life that is He is also apart of us for He is where our hope rest secure.

275 comments:

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CyberKitten said...

karla said: We need to see with Jesus so that we can experience greater depths of truth.

Your glasses analogy is a good one - except I see them more as rose tinted blinkers which not only add the illusion of God into everything you see but actually *prevent* you from seeing the real truth of things.

Naturally you would see my vision in those very terms - except that I see the illusion of no God and am prevented from seeing to the/your truth of things!

Yet again we have an expression of two differing world views. Yet again the lines have been drawn...... [grin]

cl said...

"It is because if it were even possible for us to know the truth fully without God’s aid it would not be good for us to have such knowledge apart from His life flowing through us."

As the animals and nature will attest, for the most part, human beings are poisonous weeds which need to be pulled. Think how badly we've erred with limited knowledge: pollution, war, crime, poverty, etc. Our propensities towards self-seeking mean "the full truth" or the full spectrum of knowledge would be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.

CyberKitten said...

We are indeed a very dangerous species - both to ourselves and to those around us. The problem is - we're getting more dangerous as time goes on and we don't appear to be getting that much smarter.

Rather inevitably such a process is unlikely to end well.

Karla said...

Cyber "We are indeed a very dangerous species - both to ourselves and to those around us. The problem is - we're getting more dangerous as time goes on and we don't appear to be getting that much smarter."

Doesn't this reality seem contradictory to evolution? Shouldn't we be harmonious with our environment and be steadily growing more mature and responsible as a people? How did atrocities, irresponsibility, dishonesty, etc. get into the evolutionary process of man?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Doesn't this reality seem contradictory to evolution?

Erm, no. Why should it?

karla said: Shouldn't we be harmonious with our environment and be steadily growing more mature and responsible as a people?

Whatever makes you think that? I see very little evidence for the idea that we are becoming more mature as a species. The 20th Century was by far the bloodiest in our history. I fully expect that the 21st will be at least as bloody (if not more so). Afterall it hasn't been that long - in evolutionary terms since we came down from the trees. We're basically apes with over-developed brains. Our culture and particularly our technology have progressed at lightening speed compared to our bilogical evolution - which we will shortly be able to control to a great degree (we can but hope). By the time we are biologically 'mature' (whatever that means) enough to handle our technology responsibly we will probably have made ourselves extinct in one way or another.

karla said: How did atrocities, irresponsibility, dishonesty, etc. get into the evolutionary process of man?

Easily. Evolution is all about passing on your genes. If my actions - whatever they are - aid that then my genes will increase in the population. If lying, cheating and killing gives me an advantage in that regard how is it somehow anti-evolutionary?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"When we use them solely with human reasoning apart from Jesus we enter dangerous grounds of harming people and stealing their life and only giving them empty religion and life-less doctrines."

Lifeless doctrines, which were also decided upon by people who thought the holy Spirit was guiding them.

This is my favorite game. I played it for many years. It's the circular merry-go-round of what "right" theology is.

Karla said...

Mike said "Lifeless doctrines, which were also decided upon by people who thought the holy Spirit was guiding them. This is my favorite game. I played it for many years. It's the circular merry-go-round of what "right" theology is."

Actually, I'm not talking about what "right" theology is, but connecting to Christ. People's theology will always be in flux to some degree because we will always on this earth know only in part. So if the emphasis is on knowing the right things intellectually or doing the right things externally, both miss the point because while Scripture teaches truths that can be grasped with the mind and has principals of guiding external actions, all is lifeless if Christ is absent.

So even if one stumbles on the "right" theology it matters not if it becomes an end in itself and thus lifeless.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: all is lifeless if Christ is absent.

So all other religions - with the singular exception of Christianity are 'lifeless'?

I'm fairly certain that many millions of people would strongly disagree with you!

Karla said...

Cyber,

It sounds like your worldview provides no hope for humanity. If I looked at life through your lenses I could see that your position is quite logical.

Cyber said "If my actions - whatever they are - aid that then my genes will increase in the population. If lying, cheating and killing gives me an advantage in that regard how is it somehow anti-evolutionary?"


individuals, communities, cultures, and nations that live with that kind of view about life do not do very well. I just finished reading a book that my review of will post shortly written by a man from India about the devastating results of a culture, his own, that practices dishonesty and killing for their own self interest.

Karla said...

Cyber "So all other religions - with the singular exception of Christianity are 'lifeless'?"

Truth is weaved throughout all cultures and religions, but that truth without the source -- the person of Truth is hopeless to all, and yes it does not give life.

Would it not make sense that if people were experiencing a false reality that it would not be as life giving to them as a true reality? Unless the true reality is as you paint it and then I guess what's the harm of false hope or religions if our future is so bleak.

Karla said...

To put it another way, true facts are not life giving, they point to the source of life, but they do not give the life.

It's like a person in a desert with a map to water -- the map will not quench their thirst, will it?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: It sounds like your worldview provides no hope for humanity.

Hope of what?

karla said: If I looked at life through your lenses I could see that your position is quite logical.

[laughs] You mean my atheistic nihilism? Actually all that you need is a passing knowledge of history.....

karla said: individuals, communities, cultures, and nations that live with that kind of view about life do not do very well.

*Exactly*. Communities and cultures keep such things down to an acceptable limit because if they became the norm then society would be impossible and everyone would suffer - which is why we have all been socialised *not* to constantly lie, cheat and kill whenever the fancy takes us - because its not in anyone's best interests.

Karla said...

Cyber "*Exactly*. Communities and cultures keep such things down to an acceptable limit because if they became the norm then society would be impossible and everyone would suffer - which is why we have all been socialised *not* to constantly lie, cheat and kill whenever the fancy takes us - because its not in anyone's best interests."

Why do you think this is only a given in the West? According to the book I just read it is not the way of India and Asian communities built on Hinduism.

Karla said...

Cyber "Hope of what?"

Finding a harmonious future. We seem to know that our survival would be better than not surviving and that humanity is on a course that would destroy itself. But why not question why this seems to be antithetical to life and justice and goodness? If there is no hope for mankind to survive in harmony one day then why does it seem wrong for us not to be able to survive?

cl said...

CK,

You said, "Rather inevitably such a process is unlikely to end well."

That's exactly what the Bible says, too - and that's why it offers a way out.

Karla,

"Doesn't this reality seem contradictory to evolution? "

I don't think it does. I don't think reality is that one-sided. Yes, we're dangerous and dumb and many of us seem to be getting dumber, but on the other hand we're also learning from our mistakes in certain aspects. Recycling would be a perfect example of being "harmonious with our environment and steadily growing more mature and responsible as a people." Of course, had we stayed reliant on God it's likely we wouldn't have run into these problems in the first place.

Mike,

"It's the circular merry-go-round of what "right" theology is."

That merry-go-round rotates to Satan's delight. The thing that would effectively end it overnight would be Christians realizing that the entire premise is that we DON'T know what "right theology" is; "People's theology will always be in flux to some degree because we will always on this earth know only in part," as Karla said. Therein lies one of the many dangers of dogma.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: That's exactly what the Bible says, too - and that's why it offers a way out.

Yeah... Right... [rotflmao]

cl said: Of course, had we stayed reliant on God it's likely we wouldn't have run into these problems in the first place.

Too funny for words [wipes away tears]. I mean, life was *so* much better BEFORE science.... [laughs]

Ali P said...

"Of course, had we stayed reliant on God it's likely we wouldn't have run into these problems in the first place."

Of course, but we wouldn't be able to have this conversation either.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Finding a harmonious future.

You mean a utopia or just one where we stopped killing each other?

karla said: humanity is on a course that would destroy itself.

One possible course. It's entirely possible that we might collectively wake up and see how short-sighted we're being ATM. Rather unlikely I know......

karla said: If there is no hope for mankind to survive in harmony one day then why does it seem wrong for us not to be able to survive?

Huh? I've read that several times & can't make out the point you're trying to make.

I suppose that some kind of utopia is possible in theory at least. But it will demand quite radical changes in our outlook on things. It just might be possible to build a utopian country - for a while at least - but a utopian world? That's difficult even to conceive never mind work towards.

cl said...

CK

You said, "I mean, life was *so* much better BEFORE science...."

How did you hear something different than what I said? I wasn't talking about science.

Ali P,

You said, "Of course, but we wouldn't be able to have this conversation either."

How did you hear something different than what I said? I was talking about whether or not we'd have the internet under God's guidance.

Both of you seem to believe that technology is mutually exclusive with theism. It's illogical to assume we wouldn't have online communication - or modern science - or perhaps something far better in terms of efficiency and adverse impact on the environment.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: How did you hear something different than what I said? I wasn't talking about science.

OK. I'll bite. What did you mean by: Of course, had we stayed reliant on God it's likely we wouldn't have run into these problems in the first place.

When exactly did we stop being "reliant on God"?

Ali P said...

"Both of you seem to believe that technology is mutually exclusive with theism. It's illogical to assume we wouldn't have online communication - or modern science - or perhaps something far better in terms of efficiency and adverse impact on the environment."

Religion has never obstructed Science? You are kidding right?

Karla said...

“You mean a utopia or just one where we stopped killing each other?”

I guess I do mean a utopia, but not one created on the foundation of human strength, but on the foundations of co-laboring with God to see it come to pass, a new Eden.

Cyber “One possible course. It's entirely possible that we might collectively wake up and see how short-sighted we're being ATM. Rather unlikely I know......”

You sounded more pessimistic before, like it was rather inevitable that we would implode on ourselves and end life on this planet.

karla said: If there is no hope for mankind to survive in harmony one day then why does it seem wrong for us not to be able to survive?

Cyber: Huh? I've read that several times & can't make out the point you're trying to make.

Sorry. I guess I’m assuming that you agree that it wouldn’t be good for humanity to go extinct—that somehow, if that were to happen, we would have unwisely or unjustly lived. If we lived unwisely or unjustly—we would have to know that there was a just or wise way which we could have lived. But how could that be if we are simply following the course of evolution and if that course leads to extinction then there could be no remorse for our race. It would simply just be and what will be will be.

Cyber “I suppose that some kind of utopia is possible in theory at least. But it will demand quite radical changes in our outlook on things. It just might be possible to build a utopian country - for a while at least - but a utopian world? That's difficult even to conceive never mind work towards.”

I think such a world is possible and that it will one day be. However, let’s examine this further. Let’s just take a city – what would make a city a utopia. What values and conditions would need to underpin it?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"I think such a world is possible and that it will one day be."

That's one I've never heard from a Christian before, unless you are referring to Christ's thousand year reign after his return.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I guess I do mean a utopia, but not one created on the foundation of human strength, but on the foundations of co-laboring with God to see it come to pass, a new Eden.

I see an immediate problem. As not everyone on the planet is or is ever likely to be Christian then the idea of everyone working towards a new 'Eden' is just not going to happen.

karla said: You sounded more pessimistic before, like it was rather inevitable that we would implode on ourselves and end life on this planet.

I think that its likely - indeed highly likely - that we'll end up making ourselves extinct. It's really just a matter of when. If we manage to get a fair number of people off planet though I imagine we'll survive much longer.

karla said: Sorry. I guess I’m assuming that you agree that it wouldn’t be good for humanity to go extinct—that somehow, if that were to happen, we would have unwisely or unjustly lived.

I think that it would be unfortunate for us to go extinct. The rest of the animal kingdom would either not notice or celebrate if it could. Personally I rather like human society and would miss it if it went.

karla said: But how could that be if we are simply following the course of evolution and if that course leads to extinction then there could be no remorse for our race. It

We are on the cusp of being able to direct our own evolution rather than being driven along by it (actually as self-aware cultural beings we have the capacity to move beyond blind evolutionary forces and have been for some time.)

Eventually we will go extinct. It's just a matter of when - and how. We may last millions of years (though I seriously doubt that) or only a few more thousand or - worse case scenario - a few more hundred. It depends on many factors many of which are completely out of our control.

karla said: Let’s just take a city – what would make a city a utopia. What values and conditions would need to underpin it?

Well, for one thing I'm guessing that our Utopia's would differ somewhat - but here's a quick off the top of my head stab at things:

Equality - a complete lack of discrimination on unimportant grounds - like age, sex, orientation or skin colour.

Peace - crime and violence free.

A system where as few things as possible are illegal.

A society that is open minded and accepting of diversity.

A society where there is no requirement to work.

A highly educated population which holds knowledge and education as virtues.

Good schools, universities and libraries - all of which are free.

A society that ranks civic virtue highly, where people are fully involved in political activity and who think first and foremost about their city and society rather than simply what they can get out of things.

Not an exhaustive list - but its a start!

Karla said...

Mike, you've heard of the "new heaven and new earth" right? I, and many other Christians, believe that the new earth is this one renewed to a place where sin no longer corrupts.

Cyber, I see your post. I'll respond when I can. Busy day today.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Revelation 21:1 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea."

Of course that occurs once Christ has returned, It's not something we work together with God and achieve.

Karla said...

Mike, I see that as something the Church is going to be a vessel to bring about and not something Christ does without working through us.

Remember in Genesis we are given the job of having dominion over all creation, to care over it and cultivate it. Sin muddled that and subjected our labor to futility and sweat of our brow, but redemption brings back our original mandate without the affects of corruption and sin.

The Gospel isn't just for the individual, it's for the healing of nations. What the good news can do in one person's life or in the life of a family or church community it can do on a city, state, nation, world scale. The problem has been that we have thought of it in such individualistic terms that we have failed to apply it to the world at large and have kept the truth in the walls of the church. This is changing rapidly as I read many an author and listen to many a notable Christian speaker and hear the change stirring. This change isn't anything like "the religious right" this is a humble movement of Christians who want to help the world regardless of who is "saved" or not. We want to help show the benefits of honesty, integrity, truthfulness, justice, peace, etc. in a way that isn't overbearing or putting rules on anyone, but is by leading by example and teaching those who want to learn. The book review I just posted is about some of this. There is a shift going on and it will soon be apparent.

Karla said...

Cyber “I see an immediate problem. As not everyone on the planet is or is ever likely to be Christian then the idea of everyone working towards a new 'Eden' is just not going to happen.”

True, but I think many more will be as the Church begins to be a greater beacon of light and hope in the world in the coming years. One day everyone will know the truth plainly and everyone will know Jesus is Lord. God is being patient with us so that much time is given to everyone for them to have ample time to come to that knowledge in the way that is best for them.


Cyber “We are on the cusp of being able to direct our own evolution rather than being driven along by it (actually as self-aware cultural beings we have the capacity to move beyond blind evolutionary forces and have been for some time.)”

Interesting. . .

Cyber “Eventually we will go extinct. It's just a matter of when - and how. We may last millions of years (though I seriously doubt that) or only a few more thousand or - worse case scenario - a few more hundred. It depends on many factors many of which are completely out of our control.”

I know we won’t go extinct. There is great hope for humanity.

Karla said...

Cyber “Well, for one thing I'm guessing that our Utopia's would differ somewhat - but here's a quick off the top of my head stab at things:”

Maybe.

Cyber “Equality - a complete lack of discrimination on unimportant grounds - like age, sex, orientation or skin colour.”

I agree that every person is equally valuable in God’s sight and ought to be so in man’s sight.

”Peace - crime and violence free.”

Agreed.

”A system where as few things as possible are illegal.”

Agreed. In the world I see coming there will be no need for any external rules or governance.

”A society that is open minded and accepting of diversity.”
I see a society that is creative and free to explore truth to its fullest.

”A society where there is no requirement to work.”

I think we would “work” at what we love – what is unique to us. The painter painting all day. The philosopher philosophizing. The writer writing. The poet, articulating his poetry. I see everyone doing what they were born for and each thing fitting perfectly into a well rounded society.

”A highly educated population which holds knowledge and education as virtues.”

I would see us loving truth and knowing it more and more in deeper and deeper levels and being thrilled with new discovery and new application of the grandest of knowledge.

”Good schools, universities and libraries - all of which are free.”

I think the schools would be different than what we are use to, but accessible to all.

”A society that ranks civic virtue highly, where people are fully involved in political activity and who think first and foremost about their city and society rather than simply what they can get out of things.”

I’m not sure politics would be a problem or even a function of a utopia.

”Not an exhaustive list - but its a start!”

Good start!

cl said...

CK,

"OK. I'll bite. What did you mean by: Of course, had we stayed reliant on God it's likely we wouldn't have run into these problems in the first place."

Divine foresight, and I'm sure you'll scoff at that based on the current state of the humanity and the world, but recall the premises we both argue from: I don't believe the current reality is the "good" world God created.

Ali P,

"Religion has never obstructed Science? You are kidding right?"

Ali, where did you get that idea? That's not what I said at all. You're hearing something totally different that what's intended, and I don't know why. I was clear in what I said: science and theism are not mutually exclusive. That's it.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: Divine foresight, and I'm sure you'll scoff at that based on the current state of the humanity and the world...

I might indeed scoff if I understood what you meant. You need to remember that I have had zero religious teaching so when you say 'divine foresight' I might understand the individual words but have no idea what underlying concepts, history or metaphor you're referencing. Therefore it's pretty much meaningless.

cl said: but recall the premises we both argue from: I don't believe the current reality is the "good" world God created.

..and I don't believe that God created the world at all.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: One day everyone will know the truth plainly and everyone will know Jesus is Lord.

If you think that 'one day' (when exactly?) everyone will be a Christian I *really* think that you're mistaken!

karla said: I know we won’t go extinct. There is great hope for humanity.

Unfortunately neither of us will be around to say I told you so.

karla said: I agree that every person is equally valuable in God’s sight and ought to be so in man’s sight.

So we shouldn't discriminate against other people at all? So you're OK with gay marriage for example?

karla said: In the world I see coming there will be no need for any external rules or governance.

So, no problems with recreational drug use.... or polygamy.....

karla said: I’m not sure politics would be a problem or even a function of a utopia.

So how would the city function? How would decisions be made? If there are disagreements between individuals or groups how would this be handled? People are political by nature. It is one of our defining characteristics.

Oh, and though it seems on the surface of things that we're actually agreeing with each other - I think that we're actually talking past each other. I have a feeling that you wouldn't like my idea of utopia very much!

cl said...

CK,

'Divine foresight' meaning that God's intelligence would have been guiding our science and technology - or whatever those things would be if God were guiding them. As it is, He's left the kids with the keys to the toolshed and we're not doing the best job. We wouldn't have had to learn about things like pollution and environmental depletion the hard way if we were still reliant on God. That's all I meant.

I know you don't believe in God, but if God exists as described, that God's foresight would prevent such problems makes sense, right?

CyberKitten said...

cl said: 'Divine foresight' meaning that God's intelligence would have been guiding our science and technology - or whatever those things would be if God were guiding them.

So... He *was* guiding them but isn't any longer... or he never guided them once they became science & technology. Was He only guiding pre-scientific/pre-technological stuff?

cl said: As it is, He's left the kids with the keys to the toolshed and we're not doing the best job.

Isn't that just irresponsible? Does He love us *that* much that He's willing to see us destroy ourselves?

cl said: We wouldn't have had to learn about things like pollution and environmental depletion the hard way if we were still reliant on God.

So... things like that didn't happen 'before' we stopped being reliant on God. Or was it simply that we didn't have the power or numbers of people to effect things that much or that baddly until fairly recently.

Are you hinting that God has abandoned us? When did that happen? What was the cause? Was it because we started investigating things and accepted answers that were independent of God?

cl said: I know you don't believe in God...

I'm one of those lucky people who have never believed in God so I haven't had to go through the pain of withdrawal after losing my faith - because I've never had any.

cl said: but if God exists as described, that God's foresight would prevent such problems makes sense, right?

To be honest I still have no clear idea of what you're talking about. Probably because many of the things you take for granted are completely alien to me....

If God had been steering human civilisations since Day One I would expect that things would be a lot better than they are - but as I see zero evidence for such steering, guidence or foresight it does not wholly surprise me that things are as they are.

Karla said...

Cyber “If you think that 'one day' (when exactly?) everyone will be a Christian I *really* think that you're mistaken!”

Everyone won’t be a part of God’s Kingdom in the end though many will, but all will know He is the real deal. Intellectual knowledge will not be enough; it never has been about that.


Cyber ”Unfortunately neither of us will be around to say I told you so.”

I will see the day one way or another where such a world is brought about.

karla said: I agree that every person is equally valuable in God’s sight and ought to be so in man’s sight.

Cyber “So we shouldn't discriminate against other people at all? So you're OK with gay marriage for example?”

Discrimination won’t exist in the world I am talking about.

karla said: In the world I see coming there will be no need for any external rules or governance.

Cyber “ So, no problems with recreational drug use.... or polygamy.....”

People will be living from a place of righteousness – only good things will be surviving in this world I am describing. There will be no need for laws.

karla said: I’m not sure politics would be a problem or even a function of a utopia.

Cyber “So how would the city function? How would decisions be made? If there are disagreements between individuals or groups how would this be handled? People are political by nature. It is one of our defining characteristics.”

There won’t be disagreements. We would all be considering others more important than ourselves. We would all be living a life of love and not hate or discord. We would be living as if sin never entered the world.

Cyber “Oh, and though it seems on the surface of things that we're actually agreeing with each other - I think that we're actually talking past each other. I have a feeling that you wouldn't like my idea of utopia very much!”

Maybe. But I think you wouldn’t have a problem with mine, if you could accept the possibility of such a place existing. Who could refuse a place that is perfectly good, that is full of love, peace, and joy?

cl said...

CK,

"If God had been steering human civilisations since Day One I would expect that things would be a lot better than they are - but as I see zero evidence for such steering, guidence or foresight it does not wholly surprise me that things are as they are."

That's my argument in a nutshell.

Karla said...

You have to look at the productivity of those who have submitted themselves to God's steering their path to see His hand in world affairs. One would need to contrast communities and people who build their lives on His reality versus those who live based on another reality.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: That's my argument in a nutshell.

So you don't see the hand of God in human affairs? I guess we can agree on something at least!

So, did he just set the whole thing in motion and go do something more interesting or did he get peeved with us and abandon the project? Are we basically on our own here operating without a net?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Everyone won’t be a part of God’s Kingdom in the end though many will, but all will know He is the real deal.

You're expecting that all religions will converge then? History doesn't really show that does it. Schism is more the flavour of things rather than reconciliation I think.

karla said: I will see the day one way or another where such a world is brought about.

Not if I'm right [grin]

karla said: Discrimination won’t exist in the world I am talking about.

So gay marriage and openly gay relationships would be part of your utopian dream? A simple yes or no answer would suffice.

karla said: People will be living from a place of righteousness – only good things will be surviving in this world I am describing. There will be no need for laws.

So, because everyone would think the same way there would be no 'bad' things going on. Of course that's *your* definition of bad things.... Isn't that just another way of saying your uptopia and any kind of individuality are basically incompatible?

karla said: There won’t be disagreements.

Then your uptopia will not contain human beings - or at least not human beings as we know them. Everyone agreeing all of the time? That would just be freaky and probably only attainable with the death of any kind of personality.

karla said: But I think you wouldn’t have a problem with mine, if you could accept the possibility of such a place existing.

From what you've hinted at so far I think I'd have a *huge* problem with your vision of a perfect society.

karla said: Who could refuse a place that is perfectly good, that is full of love, peace, and joy?

I really try to keep my trips into a fantasy world limited to books and computer games. The way I interpret your vision of a perfect place seems nothing like a utopia I'd like to visit never mind live in.

karla said: You have to look at the productivity of those who have submitted themselves to God's steering their path to see His hand in world affairs.

Erm... Productivity?

cl said...

"So you don't see the hand of God in human affairs? I guess we can agree on something at least!"

Come on CK, I've shown plenty of places where we agree. I'm sure you'll see more as we go along, too. ;)

I'd clarify that my position is more like, "I don't see the hand of God in human affairs in general." I do see the hand of God in isolated cases, all over the place. But as far as the general direction and so-called "progression" of humanity, not as much so.

"So, did he just set the whole thing in motion and go do something more interesting or did he get peeved with us and abandon the project? Are we basically on our own here operating without a net?"

Karla's got a bunch of posts that address these questions pretty fairly, IMO. I'll come back and see if she's pointed to any. If not, I'll give it a whirl myself.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: Come on CK, I've shown plenty of places where we agree. I'm sure you'll see more as we go along, too. ;)

Oh, I'm sure we do/will - but from scanning your blog I suggest that we do not agree on many fundamental issues.

cl said: But as far as the general direction and so-called "progression" of humanity, not as much so.

So no Providence? No overarching Plan? Was there one in the past or did He just start things off 4 billion years ago & sit back and watch the results - maybe with a few local tweeks along the way? Sounds like He's a Gamer [grin]

Karla said...

CL & Cyber:

I would have to disagree with CL in that I think God's hand is evident in all of history and while this may sound rather cheesey I see history as His Story.

I think He is working largely through those who are willing to work with Him, but He also often works something that was intended for evil into something good. There are all kinds of ways that He is working.

However, I agree with I think what the essence of CL's point in that much of the world is doing their own thing and much of the folly and evil we see is a result of humanity being given the freedom to do as they please.

Cyber asked "So, did he just set the whole thing in motion and go do something more interesting or did he get peeved with us and abandon the project? Are we basically on our own here operating without a net?"


Yes I have addressed this before. He has not abandoned us. He has been patient with us not wanting any to perish. Love is always patient, and He demonstrates His patience by allowing our freedom to try our own way as a person, family, city, state, nation, world and one day He will come and bring about all that He has promised to humanity -- but His patience allows the most people to benefit from that coming age.

That is just a brief answer, I have talked much about God's relationship to man in my prior post.

CL do you have anything to ad?

Karla said...

Cyber “You're expecting that all religions will converge then? History doesn't really show that does it. Schism is more the flavour of things rather than reconciliation I think.”

I see a future new world free of religion – no rule or ritual barriers between us and God. We will know Him without anything separating us – no rules of man – no laws – no religion. Just pure unadulterated relationship with Jesus.

Schism is the flavor of things that are man led. I agree. I’m talking about a world that is God led. God is in the reconciliation business.

karla said: Discrimination won’t exist in the world I am talking about.

Cyber “So gay marriage and openly gay relationships would be part of your utopian dream? A simple yes or no answer would suffice.”

It wouldn’t be about my dream, but about what God’s Word says His Kingdom looks like. I usually want to avoid this topic because the Church has at times given a bad impression on it and God’s love for people isn’t often conveyed when this topic is addressed as it should be. But I will be forthright with you, that I do not believe homosexuality will be in the coming Kingdom. But if I am right, and such a Kingdom is coming, this Kingdom will fulfill everyone’s heart and all their true desires as they will be in communion with the King, their Creator and will know experientially perfect love. Many of the experiences of love we have on earth are only a shadow of the glory of love of the Father and I think most would desire to abandon a shadow of love for the real deal. Also, it wouldn’t be a matter of abandoning; it would just be a natural progression of experiencing the love of the Father. That’s why it’s not important for a person to give up stuff to come to Christ; Christ will show them the truth and heal them where they need healing. He didn’t come to judge the world, but to give the world life. That life is priceless for only His life could pay the inestimable price of our value to bring us eternal life. Sorry that wasn’t only a simple yes or no answer, but it is a topic that needs more than that.

Response is too big for one comment, second comment will follow.

Karla said...

Cyber “So, because everyone would think the same way there would be no 'bad' things going on. Of course that's *your* definition of bad things.... Isn't that just another way of saying your uptopia and any kind of individuality are basically incompatible?”

I don’t know that we would all think the same. I think their would be a massive amount of creativity and diversity – but despite all the uniqueness we would all fit harmoniously like a body does. Think about how much unique parts make up one person and yet when all the parts are in place we can walk and talk and think and see as a singular person. The Body of Christ is like this, where we have many unique and diverse parts—but each work together to create a whole. So individuality is not trumped by unity—but enhanced. The foot wouldn’t work to well not connected to the body, now would it?

karla said: There won’t be disagreements.

Cyber said “Then your uptopia will not contain human beings - or at least not human beings as we know them. Everyone agreeing all of the time? That would just be freaky and probably only attainable with the death of any kind of personality.”

No, everyone would have their own beautiful personalities. We would just live from love and we would work together because love reigns supreme in our hearts. It will be rather effortless, but not because someone is controlling our puppet strings, but because we are each fully who we were designed to be free of all entanglements of sin. You see the world as place where corruption and discord will always exist – like it belongs to humanity, but in reality humanity belongs free of such things and one day such things will become a thing of the past and we will have our being in righteousness. And we will thrive in that environment. Just think if humanity was not hindered by lying, thievery, corruption, backbiting, gossip, murder, wars, abuse, discrimination, injustice of any kind. This is the world that existed in the beginning and will exist again. All those things are like a cancer to this world and have subverted and distorted the real.

CyberKitten said...

karla - I'll see if I can respond to your posts later.

In the meantime I've posted a book review yesterday which you might find interesting. There are a few more coming up too. I'll let you know when I've posted them.

cl said...

"from scanning your blog I suggest that we do not agree on many fundamental issues."

Such as? Although there's bound to be exceptions, my guess is the only things we disagree on will be things related to (a)theism. Other than that, from reading your comments here at least, we seem to value much of the same.

"So no Providence? No overarching Plan? Was there one in the past or did He just start things off 4 billion years ago & sit back and watch the results - maybe with a few local tweeks along the way? Sounds like He's a Gamer [grin]"

Yes Providence. Yes overarching Plan. No, I don't believe God "just started things of 4 billion years ago to sit back and watch the results."

CyberKitten said...

cl - OK, now I'm officially confused. Earlier on you said:

I'd clarify that my position is more like, "I don't see the hand of God in human affairs in general."

but now you're saying:

Yes Providence. Yes overarching Plan.

You are *really* going to explain that to me!

cl said: Although there's bound to be exceptions, my guess is the only things we disagree on will be things related to (a)theism.

That's pretty fundamental don't you think? Also I can't remember the last time I found myself nodding in agreement to anything you've said on your blog. I read your bloggers statement recently to find out exactly what you believed in and still managed to come away only a little less confused. You seemingly believe in things that I find truely incredible. We seem to agree on the methodology of rational enquiry (at least I think we do) but seem to have arrived at radically different conclusions about existence. Obviously we've had different life experiences which might explain things but I still find many of your beliefs - actually theist beliefs in general - rather bizarre to be honest.

cl said: Other than that, from reading your comments here at least, we seem to value much of the same.

For a more rounded picture of me you might find visiting my blog more illuminating if you don't do so already. Obviously here I tend to concentrate on religion and related issues whilst at my place it hardly gets a mention.

Karla said...

Cyber, I'll check it out. Take your time, it's a three day weekend for me -- Columbus Day on Monday--so I might not be on much.

cl said...

CK,

Let's trace this back from the relative beginning:

"If God had been steering human civilisations since Day One I would expect that things would be a lot better than they are - but as I see zero evidence for such steering, guidence or foresight it does not wholly surprise me that things are as they are." - CK

"That's my argument in a nutshell." -cl

"So you don't see the hand of God in human affairs?" -CK

"I'd clarify that my position is more like, "I don't see the hand of God in human affairs in general." I do see the hand of God in isolated cases, all over the place. But as far as the general direction and so-called "progression" of humanity, not as much so." -cl

"So no Providence? No overarching Plan?" -CK

"Yes Providence. Yes overarching Plan." -cl

"..now I'm officially confused. Earlier on you said, "I don't see the hand of God in human affairs in general," but now you're saying, "Yes Providence. Yes overarching Plan." -CK

I don't see the hand of God in human affairs in general. This doesn't mean there is no Providence or no overarching Plan, just that the bulk of humanity's turned a deaf ear to it. Unless of course you're envisioning something totally different than I am with those terms, there's no mutual exclusion.

"You seemingly believe in things that I find truely incredible." -CK

So? No offense, but I find it incredible that you seem to think time + inorganic matter = consciousness.

Also, CK, I'm going to bet many of the places where we do disagree or talk past each other are due to you hearing something different than what I said or intended - for example you laughing at me and coming back with, "I mean, life was *so* much better BEFORE science...." when I'd never even used or alluded to science in my original comment. All I can do is try to be more clear, I suppose.

Still though, if there's something on my blog you find incredible or hard to understand, you can always ask, and I can always try to explain.

"For a more rounded picture of me you might find visiting my blog more illuminating if you don't do so already." - CK

Well, about 6 months ago, I did just that, but I walked away with the perception that it was just a place for you to make jokes and poke fun at whatever you find credible at the moment, and so I didn't return. What I mean is, there weren't many arguments that I might deduce your actual positions on things. I will give it another try, though, and I'm open to suggestions for good reads. I've recently added a "Recommended Posts" link on my navigation bar - it has about 30 posts that I think best summarize my outlook.

cl said...

Karla,

"I would have to disagree with CL in that I think God's hand is evident in all of history and while this may sound rather cheesey I see history as His Story."

What I meant was that when I look at the world, I do not see the world as following along God's guidance. I do believe that God also works outside of the willing, and didn't mean to imply otherwise. I just meant to say that I don't see God's hand guiding human affairs - in the sense of compliance with God's will.

"CL do you have anything to ad?"

I think if God had completely abandoned humanity the world would be far darker than it is. I shudder to think of what might be held back.

CyberKitten said...

cl said: This doesn't mean there is no Providence or no overarching Plan, just that the bulk of humanity's turned a deaf ear to it.

The *bulk* of humanity? I thought that the *vast* majority of people believed in God (in various ways). Are you saying that most of these people have, in fact, turned their back on God? That they're only pretending to believe?

cl said: No offense, but I find it incredible that you seem to think time + inorganic matter = consciousness.

Each to their own I guess [grin]. Some people see spirits in the world, other people don't.

cl said: I walked away with the perception that it was just a place for you to make jokes and poke fun at whatever you find credible at the moment, and so I didn't return.

OK. It seems that I'm not serious enough for you. The world is kind of funny though... [laughs] You should have stuck around. I do find something serious to say ocassionally.

cl said: I will give it another try, though, and I'm open to suggestions for good reads.

Search for "Thinking About" - that'll bring up some of my thoughts on various subjects.

Karla said...

CL "What I meant was that when I look at the world, I do not see the world as following along God's guidance. I do believe that God also works outside of the willing, and didn't mean to imply otherwise. I just meant to say that I don't see God's hand guiding human affairs - in the sense of compliance with God's will."

Karla "CL do you have anything to ad?"

CL "I think if God had completely abandoned humanity the world would be far darker than it is. I shudder to think of what might be held back."

We are on the same page then with that clarification.

Karla said...

Cyber to CL "The *bulk* of humanity? I thought that the *vast* majority of people believed in God (in various ways). Are you saying that most of these people have, in fact, turned their back on God? That they're only pretending to believe?"

I'm going to jump in here and respond to this. People believing there is a God and people connecting to God and living congruent to His righteousness are two different things. Just believing isn't what it's all about. We can have direct access to knowing God through Jesus, but just believing He exist or trying to follow moral rules isn't what it's about. I think that is the number one thing I have been trying to communicate lately.

boomSLANG said...

"However, no matter how far one studies in this manner there will be a vital missing element to understanding the fullness of Scripture. The Bible says that there are things that are spiritually discerned and the man without the Spirit cannot discern them."

Wow. What a thoroughly perplexing predicament to be in. One cannot discern the "fullness of Scripture" until/unless they have "the Spirit", but yet, one cannot have "the Spirit" until/unless they can discern "the fullness of Scripture". 'Goodness gracious!...'wouldn't want to be that person.

Karla said...

BoomSlang, you can have the Spirit without ever having read the Scriptures at all. They point to Him, yes. But so does the life of a person with the Spirit. Someone can encounter God without any biblical knowledge whatsoever and then learn more about Him after they have already come to Him. That's just it Truth can be experienced before it is intellectually comprehended.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: That's just it Truth can be experienced before it is intellectually comprehended.

Sure, but of course you already know...well, I would hope that you already know, that millions of human beings believe they have "experienced" the "Truth", and not all are Christians. This is the age-old Theist dilemma.

Karla said...

Boomslang "Sure, but of course you already know...well, I would hope that you already know, that millions of human beings believe they have "experienced" the "Truth", and not all are Christians. This is the age-old Theist dilemma."

I think we can logically agree that opposing truth claims cannot be equally true at the same time. So either there is one over arching truth and the other claims are distortions of that truth or there is no truth and the latter isn't all that defensible.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I think we can logically agree that opposing truth claims cannot be equally true at the same time.

But they *can* all be equally wrong.

karla said: So either there is one over arching truth and the other claims are distortions of that truth or there is no truth and the latter isn't all that defensible.

Again it depends on what you mean by truth.

But I suggest that just because many people *believe* in the supernatural does *not* mean that the supernatural actually exists. Not everything we believe to be true is even a shadow of the truth. We are simply mistaken.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: "I think we can logically agree that opposing truth claims cannot be equally true at the same time."

However, as was pointed out to you already, they *can* be equally untrue at the same time.

Continues...."So either there is one over arching truth and the other claims are distortions of that truth or there is no truth and the latter isn't all that defensible."

Just because in situation where none of the total of supernatural explanations reveal "Truth", that does not mean that there is no "Truth" at all.

Karla said...

I didn't say make a supernatural qualification. I said opposing truth claims can't be equally true.

Karla said...

Cyber "But I suggest that just because many people *believe* in the supernatural does *not* mean that the supernatural actually exists. Not everything we believe to be true is even a shadow of the truth. We are simply mistaken."

I agree something can be true and no one on the planet believe it to be so. Believing doesn't make it true no matter how many people are believing it.

However, how would it be possible to imagine something that hasn't something real like it somewhere?

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I agree something can be true and no one on the planet believe it to be so. Believing doesn't make it true no matter how many people are believing it.

Also something could be false and yet most people believe it to be true (or variations thereof).

karla said: However, how would it be possible to imagine something that hasn't something real like it somewhere?

Easily. I understand its called 'fiction'. Humans have a pretty good imagination. We can create things out of nothing in our heads... and do, often.....

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I didn't say make a supernatural qualification.

I didn't say you said it. I'm merely pointing out that in a situation where all of the supernatural claims are equally untrue, that doesn't mean that there is no "Truth" at all.

Karla: I said opposing truth claims can't be equally true.

Yes, I know what you said, and hopefully you know my response by now. In case you don't, here it is again: "But they can be equally untrue."

Perhaps I can make my point better in the form of a very simple, multiple choice question:

Do you/will you concede that people who hold to "Truths" that oppose yours, believe just as fervently; just as faithfully; just as confidently as you do?

a) Yes.

b) No.

Karla said...

Cyber "Easily. I understand its called 'fiction'. Humans have a pretty good imagination. We can create things out of nothing in our heads... and do, often....."

Isn't fiction based on reality? If, not give me an example of something that has absolutely no base in anything real.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Isn't fiction based on reality? If, not give me an example of something that has absolutely no base in anything real.

Vampires.
Time Travel
Fairies
Unicorns
Dragons
Myriad other 'made-up' creatures

Karla said...

BoomSlang,

Not sure how we are talking past each other.

Boom “I didn't say you said it.”

No I didn’t qualify my statement.

Boom “I'm merely pointing out that in a situation where all of the supernatural claims are equally untrue, that doesn't mean that there is no "Truth" at all.”

Okay. I can accept that. That would be the truth claim of naturalism or some form thereof.


Karla: I said opposing truth claims can't be equally true.

Boom “Yes, I know what you said, and hopefully you know my response by now. In case you don't, here it is again: "But they can be equally untrue."

No, ALL truth claims can’t be equally untrue. Unless you mean it is possible that no one has ever posited a claim that adequately reflects truth about the world. Then I guess all claims could be equally untrue, but I would imagine that they would have degrees of being closer or further away from the truth and thus would not be equally untrue. I am talking about truth claims in the sense of a worldview not just one or two random assertions.

Boom “Perhaps I can make my point better in the form of a very simple, multiple choice question: “

Okay.

Boom’s question “Do you/will you concede that people who hold to "Truths" that oppose yours, believe just as fervently; just as faithfully; just as confidently as you do?”

My answer: a) Yes.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Then I guess all claims could be equally untrue, but I would imagine that they would have degrees of being closer or further away from the truth and thus would not be equally untrue.

But that's based on your truth claim (which has not been substantiated) that the is a Truth that we can approach or move away from. I do not believe that such a thing exists and think that your truth claim is without foundation. However, it is entirely conceivable that *all* truth claims about God are incorrect simply because no such being exists.

Karla said...

Cyber:

Vampires

Aren’t vampires in the form of people except they have animal fangs and drink blood? So we have humanoid form that is based on real humans, and we have fangs that are found on animals and those are put together to form a vampire. So this fictional being is made from borrowing from reality and distorting it to weave the characterization of these beings.


Time Travel

Aren’t scientist still working on this? Time is a real thing. And Travel is a real thing. Putting the two together is pulling from reality even if the actual combination is something we can’t attain.


Fairies

I have a theory on those, you won’t agree with, but I think Fairies are based on angelic beings. But even if you don’t accept that—aren’t they little people with wings? Still borrowing from something real and making it fantastical?


Unicorns

Um a horse with a horn? That’s borrowing from reality. Horses don’t have horns, but horses exist and horns exist put the two together and you have the makings of a fantastical being.

Dragons

Could be based on Dinosaurs; Dinosaurs existed and fire exists.

Myriad other 'made-up' creatures

Not familiar with Myriads, but you get the idea.

CyberKitten said...

I'm afraid that answers like that karla make me wonder why I bother debating *anything* with you.

Of course on that level of debate isn't God simply an externalisation of a generalised father figure made super-powerful?

In other words we simply invented Him from something that already exists.....

Karla said...

Cyber "But that's based on your truth claim (which has not been substantiated) that the is a Truth that we can approach or move away from. I do not believe that such a thing exists and think that your truth claim is without foundation. However, it is entirely conceivable that *all* truth claims about God are incorrect simply because no such being exists."

Cyber the truth that one could be getting closer or further away from could be naturalism (I don't think that naturalism is that truth, but my statement includes that possibility). The statement was rather generic. You and Boomslang keep qualifying the statement to only pertain to supernatural worldviews.

CyberKitten said...

karla - Science doesn't work towards Truth it works towards greater knowledge & greater understanding. Once we find something out further enqiry doesn't stop at that point. In Science *all* truth (with a small t) is provisional. Its just our best knowledge until something better comes along.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: No, ALL truth claims can’t be equally untrue.

Remember the context: The hypothetical here is ALL supernatural truth claims. Supernaturalism is either true, or it isn't. For sake of argument, if all Supernaturalist Theology is false because Supernaturalism, itself, is false... then yes, ALL Theology that is rooted in Supernaturalism can be equally false, the same way that all children stories rooted in fiction can be equally false.

My previous question:

"Do you/will you concede that people who hold to 'Truths' that oppose yours, believe just as fervently; just as faithfully; just as confidently as you do?"

Your answer, "yes".

Then for the record, we've established that fervent belief, confident belief, and faithfulness do NOT make one's belief a "Truth". And assuming that you believe that people who hold to "Truth" other than Christianity are wrong, this thrusts you into the set of people who could be wrong.

Karla, you could be wrong; you could be deceived, just like you believe other Theists are deceived. Just admit it.

boomSLANG said...

For the record, Karla, it is Theists(such as yourself) who continually insist that they possess "Truth"(upper case "T", which implies Absolute, Universal, Ultimate knowledge).

Therefore, since it is your adopted philosophy and those like it that make this claim, as opposed to Naturalism, which sometimes claims truth, but never "Truth", then this is how I find it reasonable to qualify "Supernaturalism" when you speak of opposing truth-claims.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Cyber: "Of course on that level of debate isn't God simply an externalization of a generalized father figure made super-powerful?"

That is precisely where I knew this argument was headed as soon as Karla said "give me an example of something that has absolutely no base in anything real."

All Cyber's examples were variations on things that exist, exactly the way God can be perceived.

Karla said...

"Of course on that level of debate isn't God simply an externalisation of a generalised father figure made super-powerful?

In other words we simply invented Him from something that already exists....."

That's a good argument. The gods of the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Mayans, etc. often were men or women with some super power. But the God of the Bible is described as Spirit and isn't described with the faults of humans, but infinitely good and wise and powerful. He wasn't personified into flesh until the first century so there is a difference between the characterization of the God of the Bible and the finite gods of ancient polytheism.

It seems rather incredible to dream of such a Spirit if we are merely natural beings with no Spirits. Where would the idea of a Master Spirit come from if there was no real spirits in the natural world? Where would the idea of a spiritual world come from if there wasn't something non-spiritual to base it off of? I'm just thinking out loud here, I haven't used this argument at this length before.

Karla said...

Mike "All Cyber's examples were variations on things that exist, exactly the way God can be perceived."

My point was that nothing is dreamed of that hasn't something like it somewhere. There are always variations of the real no matter how fictional you get. Even the infamous Flying Spaghetti Monster as strange as such a thing would be borrows from the reality of Spaghetti, Flight, and Monster. Not sure I've seen a pictorial representation of it yet. But still even to border on the ridiculous we borrow from something real and modify it with other things that are based in reality to create something fictitious or fantastical.

I would venture to say that there is something real behind all religion and mythologies and fantasies that are beyond what is natural. I think that is why we dream of the stories that transcend the natural.

We don't see supernatural as something super-powered -- we see it as something otherworldly -- something coming from a non-physical world. Where such ideas be sparked if naturalism is the true reality?

Karla said...

BoomSlang "Therefore, since it is your adopted philosophy and those like it that make this claim, as opposed to Naturalism, which sometimes claims truth, but never "Truth", then this is how I find it reasonable to qualify "Supernaturalism" when you speak of opposing truth-claims."


As long as you are the one making the qualification. I see naturalism doesn't include Truth, but a series of ever changing knowledge theories if I am restating what Cyber explained correctly. But when I made the first statement about opposing truth claims cannot equally be true, I was referring to all truth claims including atheism, naturalism, belief in Flying Spaghetti Monsters, polytheism, pantheism, theism, Christianity ect.

The idea seems to be prevalent in our culture that it isn't right to make any assertions of truth that excludes other assertions, but that happens all the time no matter if someone is speaking from a supernatural or a naturalistic worldview. Whether it is happening from within a worldview or between them it is always going to happen, no one can get away from that.

Karla said...

Boomslang "Remember the context: The hypothetical here is ALL supernatural truth claims. Supernaturalism is either true, or it isn't. For sake of argument, if all Supernaturalist Theology is false because Supernaturalism, itself, is false... then yes, ALL Theology that is rooted in Supernaturalism can be equally false, the same way that all children stories rooted in fiction can be equally false."

In that context yes.

Boomslang "Then for the record, we've established that fervent belief, confident belief, and faithfulness do NOT make one's belief a "Truth"."

Any of my blog readers can tell you I emphatically say that all the time.

Boom "And assuming that you believe that people who hold to "Truth" other than Christianity are wrong, this thrusts you into the set of people who could be wrong."

I don't believe that they are all completely wrong. I think their are distortions of something real, and sometimes other religions in some aspects hit the nail on the head in regard to truth. Not all of it is false.




Boom "Karla, you could be wrong; you could be deceived, just like you believe other Theists are deceived. Just admit it."


I could be. I would be as amazed as if I was deceived that my husband exists, if that were the case.

Karla said...

BoomSlang,

BTW, I haven't taken a moment to welcome you over. As I tell everyone you are always welcome to ask any question you want and challenge anything you want. I won't be offended, I just ask everyone to stay respectful of everyone else in the room.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

The Flying Spaghetti Monster in all his noodly glory:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_DZH2cmCoois/RaFIcPow_xI/AAAAAAAAAUw/Tp3VNc5TMN8/s400/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster.jpg

boomSLANG said...

Karla: But the God of the Bible is described as Spirit and isn't described with the faults of humans..

Um, excuse me? "You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God"....?[emphasis added]

Isn't jealousy a petty, human emotion?... which, ironically, is considered a "sin".

Karla: We don't see supernatural as something super-powered -- we see it as something otherworldly -- something coming from a non-physical world. Where [would] such ideas be sparked if naturalism is the true reality?

Simple--from the imaginations of those who want there to be something more than "naturalism".

Me, previously: "Then for the record, we've established that fervent belief, confident belief, and faithfulness do NOT make one's belief a 'Truth'."

You respond: Any of my blog readers can tell you I emphatically say that all the time.

Really? Perhaps you should do it more often then, because from reading your blog and mission statement, etc., I get the opposite impression..i.e.that you *know* that you are "right".

I don't believe that they are all completely wrong. I think their are distortions of something real, and sometimes other religions in some aspects hit the nail on the head in regard to truth. Not all of it is false

So, not all of it is false, but enough of it that they don't possess the "Truth", like you do. Is that a fair assessment?

I could be[wrong]. I would be as amazed as if I was deceived that my husband exists, if that were the case.

I guess it's pretty impressive that you believe in biblegod as strongly as you believe in your own husband. But the reality is, if someone doubts that your husband exists, you can prove it. If your husband talks to you, you can record it. If your husband creates something, you can film it. If you fall out of love with your husband, he won't incinerate you(well, hopefully not!)

Thanks for the welcome. I'll be up-front, in that, once it reaches the usual 'stalemate', I'll probably bail. 'Too frustrating, especially having been on both sides.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

boomSLANG, previously: "Then for the record, we've established that fervent belief, confident belief, and faithfulness do NOT make one's belief a 'Truth'."

Karla responds: "Any of my blog readers can tell you I emphatically say that all the time."

boomSLANG responds: "Really? Perhaps you should do it more often then, because from reading your blog and mission statement, etc., I get the opposite impression..i.e.that you *know* that you are 'right'."

My two cents: Karla is more open than many of the traditional Christians I talk to on the web, however, there are certain things she is more firm on than others. She firmly believes in the Christian, Bible based God, and most of her arguments are influenced by that belief. She truly has a desire to learn and see other points of view, but not necessarily with the purpose of adopting them. She firmly believes in her reasons for believing in God so she often talks as if they are just a given. Yep, it's frustrating at times, but many of us keep coming back. Maybe it's because she doesn't call us evil just for being atheists. :-)

Karla said...

Mike, thank you. I appreciate your comment.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

You're welcome. :-)

Karla said...

Karla : Any of my blog readers can tell you I emphatically say that all the time.

BoomSlang: Really? Perhaps you should do it more often then, because from reading your blog and mission statement, etc., I get the opposite impression..i.e.that you *know* that you are "right".

I tend to want to follow what I believe is true so if I didn't think it was true I wouldn't be telling others about it. But, my believing it doesn't make it true. That's different from having knowledge that it is true. My husband isn't real because I believe he is, but I believe he is because he is real.

So, not all of it is false, but enough of it that they don't possess the "Truth", like you do. Is that a fair assessment?

I could be[wrong]. I would be as amazed as if I was deceived that my husband exists, if that were the case.

BoomSlang "I guess it's pretty impressive that you believe in biblegod as strongly as you believe in your own husband."

I didn't say that to be impressive, but to explain just how confident I am about this. Again, my confidence doesn't make it true.


BoomSlang "But the reality is, if someone doubts that your husband exists, you can prove it. If your husband talks to you, you can record it. If your husband creates something, you can film it."

Someone could still disbelieve just as people disbelieve we landed on the moon or that the holocaust happened. People can ignore evidence if they want to.


BoomSlang "If you fall out of love with your husband, he won't incinerate you(well, hopefully not!)"

I won't "fall out of love" love is more than emotive -- it's a choice and it's one we choose until death do us part (and not by an incinerator, lol).


BoomSlang "Thanks for the welcome. I'll be up-front, in that, once it reaches the usual 'stalemate', I'll probably bail. 'Too frustrating, especially having been on both sides."

Your welcome. I know it gets frustrating to have these conversations and I don't take for granted anyone who sticks with me or even joins the conversation for a little while. I promise to back away if anything gets overly emotional and quarreling rather than a calm discussion. I am not here to irritate anyone or push their buttons or anything like that. I really want to foster a safe space for communication between worldviews with the goal of understanding each other better.

Karla said...

Mike "The Flying Spaghetti Monster in all his noodly glory:"

Wow, noodles and meatballs with eyes. I didn't expect the meatballs. I thought their might be some spaghetti sauce.

Karla said...

BoomSlang "Simple--from the imaginations of those who want there to be something more than "naturalism"."

Can we imagine something that hasn't something real like it?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"I won't "fall out of love" love is more than emotive -- it's a choice and it's one we choose until death do us part (and not by an incinerator, lol)."

I hope you are right. I know others who have made similar statements and are divorced now. Just like I know people who were devout Christians who aren't now.

I will never say never. ;-)

Karla said...

I know divorce happens all the time. Believe me I know, I see it in my line of work every day; paralegal. But it isn't an option for us, we chose for it not to be. People have been telling us since we got married that it won't last, the love will wear off. We have been married over 5 years and we love each other more than we did when we got married.

I guess that's another thing I can't prove-- but it is something you can stick around and see lived out.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Robyn and I are the same way. I used to tell her when we were doing the long distance thing, that I didn't want to be with "someone" I wanted to be with her. Now if we could just get financially situated and set a wedding date! ;-)

boomSLANG said...

"You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God"[emphasis added]

Previously, Karla: "But the God of the Bible is described as Spirit and isn't described with the faults of humans.."

Monolith Mike: "Karla is more open than many of the traditional Christians I talk to on the web, however, there are certain things she is more firm on than others."

Hi again,

I suppose it depends on what you mean by "open". In my view, "open" wouldn't be limiting one's research to only resources that support one's view. On at least two instances I've seen "I'll get back to you" when an answer cannot be provided. I cannot be certain, but I would wager that Karla limits her research to apologetic resources, *only*. In my view, she takes a doctrinal or ideological stance that the Bible is "Truth" and that there *ARE* answers to every contradiction or inconsistancy that any skeptic could raise. In other words, I guess I'm just not as convinced as you are that she is "open" to being wrong.

She firmly believes in the Christian, Bible based God, and most of her arguments are influenced by that belief.

Don't most Christian apologists?

She truly has a desire to learn and see other points of view, but not necessarily with the purpose of adopting them.

Perhaps, but it makes me wonder why she often repeats some of the more common misconceptions of "Atheism" if she truly has a desire to learn about the Atheist POV.

She firmly believes in her reasons for believing in God so she often talks as if they are just a given.

You and I have our reasons for not believing, but yet, neither one of us go around saying "God does NOT exist!!" The intellectually honest Atheist is an *Agnostic* Atheist; the intellectually honest Theist is an *Agnostic* Theist.(We're all Agnostics by default)

Yep, it's frustrating at times, but many of us keep coming back. Maybe it's because she doesn't call us evil just for being atheists. :-)

Yes, "evil"...like we can help it ; )

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"The intellectually honest Atheist is an *Agnostic* Atheist; the intellectually honest Theist is an *Agnostic* Theist."

I agree with that.

CyberKitten said...

Me.....? I'm just a plain Atheist.

Make of that what you will...

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CyberKitten, I took what boomSLANG said to mean that no atheist could possibly be certain of God's non-existence, thus making them an agnostic. I call myself an atheist leaning agnostic.

boomSLANG said...

Me.....? I'm just a plain Atheist.

That's what I label myself, too.."Atheist".

The "Agnostic" part is implicit...whether I like it, or not.

(unfortunately)I cannot prove, with absolute certainty, that an undefinable, invisible, conscious being does not exist somewhere in the universe. The Christian biblegod?....that is another ball of wax.

CyberKitten said...

I don't think that you need to be *certain* of God's non-existence nor do you need to *prove*, either to yourself or to others His non-existence.

I simply do not believe because I have no reason to believe. I know of no evidence that even *points* to the existence of God nor am I aware of any reasonable argument that would make me even pause in my disbelief.

I have enough reason to have made up my mind on the issue - at least provisionally. I do not believe in the existence of God and am, therefore, an atheist. Agnosticism, at least as I understand it, does not enter into the equation.

boomSLANG said...

I do not believe in the existence of God and am, therefore, an atheist. Agnosticism, at least as I understand it, does not enter into the equation

Last attempt, and I'm prepared to let it go...

Agnosticism (generally) deals with knowledge, *not* belief/nonbelief. While you and I as Atheists might not be actively "Agnostic", we are passively Agnostic, in that, neither of us can *know* with certainty whether or not a "God" exists, regardless of whether or not we *believe* a "God" exists.

CyberKitten said...

AFAIK Agnosticism is the belief that knowledge of the existence of God (or otherwise) is impossible and therefore the only rational response is to suspend belief because a decision either way cannot be made.

I, however, believe that a decision *can* be made. Not because I am certain that God does not exist but because of the complete lack of evidence to support the conclusion that God exists. In the total absence of evidence I think that the only rational conclusion is disbelief rather than a suspension of belief.

boomSLANG said...

AFAIK Agnosticism is the belief that knowledge of the existence of God (or otherwise) is impossible and therefore the only rational response is to suspend belief because a decision either way cannot be made.

Interesting. That's a defintion, but yet, it includes how one *should* respond to it. Huh.

And anyway, how does one "suspend belief"? Sure, I can refrain from making an outward proclamation one way or the other, but how do I "suspend belief" to myself? Lol! Impossible. I either believe a "God" exists, or I don't. Just because I do not/cannot know one way or the other, it shouldn't stop me from stating whether I believe it, or not. Belief/Knowledge...two entirely different things.

Nice chattin'

Karla said...

Interesting conversation regarding atheism and agnosticism.

Though I disagree that all honest theists have to be somewhat agnostic, because while a negative cannot be proven, one need not be omniscient to encounter the reality of a positive and therefore have knowledge of God's existence. If He does exists, it would logically follow that it would be possible to know that.

Karla said...

BoomSlang, "I cannot be certain, but I would wager that Karla limits her research to apologetic resources, *only*."

I have been reading atheists blogs for about two years now. So no, I don't limit what I read to apologetics resources or Christian sources.

I did recently tell Mike I would get back to him about verses on prayer being more than petitioning God for things, but I haven't had a chance yet. You've been keeping me busy with responding to comments, but I hadn't forgotten.

As far as being open. My openness is a desire to understand other worldviews from the horses mouth so to speak. I don't want to learn what some Christian apologist tells me what atheists believe that he/she has met or read about. I want to know more than what atheists believe intellectually. I want to know who you guys are and why. I don't want to read a synopsis of atheism or naturalism, or Buddhism or Hinduism. I want to know more than that. I want to understand people and care about what they care about and learn who they are and see past statistics and theories to the people.

So my openness is not in leaving Christ, but an interest to cross over worldview and cultural boundaries and fostering understanding between worldviews and cultures without requiring assent to each others beliefs.

In the process I do challenge some beliefs and do want my beliefs challenged as I learn how our beliefs compare and contrast and where we agree and disagree on life. I do hope people will see the light of Christ through my life in the process, but that's not the reason I do what I do. If I knew for certain none of you would ever experience the Lord, I would still try to befriend you guys and do what I am doing.

Anyways, that's me and why I'm here. If you want to keep talking, great, if not that's cool too.

For the record, I don't think ill of any of you.

boomSLANG said...

Though I disagree that all honest theists have to be somewhat agnostic, because while a negative cannot be proven, one need not be omniscient to encounter the reality of a positive and therefore have knowledge of God's existence.

Knowing something, and believing you know something, aren't necessarily the same. If a child says, "Mommy, I know my stuffed Poo-bear is real, he talks to me!", we can logically deduce that the child only *believes* it; they do not/cannot *know* such a thing. There is currently no evidence that stuffed animals have vocal cords, let alone, can talk. This is how we can logically conclude that the child doesn't possess such knowledge, despite their insistance that they can.

If "God" is noncorporeal; immaterial; metaphysical(i.e..beyond physical), then immediately, there can be no measurable/testible evidence to confirm such a thing. If knowledge of a "God" cannot be developed through reason, logic, and testible *evidence*, then it is an issue of "faith". If a Theist believes on "faith", they easily fall into Agnostic Theism.

My main contention in all of this is that Theism and Agnosticism are not mutually exclusive concepts, nor are Agnosticism and Atheism.

boomSLANG said...

I have been reading atheists blogs for about two years now. So no, I don't limit what I read to apologetics resources or Christian sources.

To clarify, I did not mean reading in general---I meant, when you are at a loss to supply an apologetic to an Atheist's question/argument. When this happens, I'm simply surmizing that you take a position of, there *must* be a defense of this, I just don't know what it is, yet....as opposed to... hey, he/she could be right, maybe the bible isn't the Word of God after all.

Again, I'm only speculating, but I have faith that I'm right.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: For the record, I don't think ill of any of you.

Thank you, but I gathered that much based on limited discussions, regardless of if we agree on theology, or not. I am convinced that you are a compassionate individual---one who puts people's character(and their actions based on that character), above what thoughts they may have in their head about the Universe, including its origins, and whether or not they believe it is being overseen by a higher power.

I think more Christians(and certain "Gods", too) should follow your example of what it means to be compassionate.

Best,

Karla said...

BoomSlang, "If knowledge of a "God" cannot be developed through reason, logic, and testible *evidence*, then it is an issue of "faith". If a Theist believes on "faith", they easily fall into Agnostic Theism."

I thought agnostics were those who chose not to make a determination either way regarding the existence of God, not just those who maintain the idea that they couldn't know. If it is those who can't know, and you think no one can know then you would see all people as agnostics regardless of what they claim to be, is that right?

Karla said...

BoomSlang "To clarify, I did not mean reading in general---I meant, when you are at a loss to supply an apologetic to an Atheist's question/argument. When this happens, I'm simply surmizing that you take a position of, there *must* be a defense of this, I just don't know what it is, yet....as opposed to... hey, he/she could be right, maybe the bible isn't the Word of God after all."

There are several reasons why I say "I'll get back with you"

1) I'm typically writing on here when I don't have work to do at work, if I'm in the middle of responding and work is given to me I have to stop and come back later. Hence, the I'll get back to you . . .

2) I haven't an endless bank of knowledge on all these points of discussion and some I haven't thought about before, so instead of blindly jumping in, I try to give myself sometime to think, research, and get back to the person on the conclusions I come to.

I haven't encountered an argument as of yet that made me doubt what I have known to be true for many years regarding God. I have encountered arguments of my own that weren't worth keeping. I have encountered areas many times where I misunderstood the atheist position and was giving responses that did not adequately address it. I have realized some of the answers often given by apologist are lacking and that atheist deserve better answers than typically given.

You are right, that if I don't have the answer right now, that it doesn't mean I doubt God's existence, because I didn't come to knowledge of His existence through intellectual argumentation, I'm not going to leave that knowledge by such methods. I discovered apologetics after I had been a Christian many years and found it fascinating, I didn't enter it looking for answers, I entered it because I'm nerdy and I like intellectual things.

In more recent years I have encountered God on a new level of experience previously foreign to me and the things I have experienced and seen are ever present with me. Most importantly, He is present with me, and that I am certain of. And I will always be honest about that.

Karla said...

BoomSlang,

"I think more Christians(and certain "Gods", too) should follow your example of what it means to be compassionate."

Thank you. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me. I can tell you though I'm not an anomaly amongst Christians, I'm continually around Christians that are far more compassionate than I and while there are those few that are what Christians call "religious" or "legalistic" and don't come across very compassionate, there are many who live lives of compassion and love and who model Christ love for all people.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I thought agnostics were those who chose not to make a determination either way regarding the existence of God....

Suppose this is true. Just because said people make a choice to not make a determination does not necessarily mean that they don't believe or disbelieve in the existence of "God"/gods.

I can be Agnostic when it comes to the existence of invisible pixies, too. However, I can still believe(or disbelieve) that such things exist. On another note, if someone proposes the concept of invisible, *purple* pixies, not only can I disbelieve in them, I can be certain that no such things exist because the attributes, "invisible", and "purple", are contradictory, as is a being who is omniscient and who has unlimited free will.

If it is those who can't know, and you think no one can know then you would see all people as agnostics regardless of what they claim to be, is that right?

Yes, provided we are talking about a supernatural, or meta-physical(e.g..beyond physical), entity. And even if one posits that a supernatural being can choose to keep its supernatural attributes hidden, and instead, chooses to only reveal itself in natural ways, the supernaturalist(Theist) cannot *know* that said being isn't simply a natural being.

If a supernatural being exists, we cannot know it. Believing we can know it doesn't make it so; it doesn't overcome the philosophical contradiction.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: 2) I haven't an endless bank of knowledge on all these points of discussion and some I haven't thought about before, so instead of blindly jumping in, I try to give myself sometime to think, research, and get back to the person on the conclusions I come to.[bold added]

Research where? Apologetic websites, the bible, your husband(who's a believer), your church, your preacher, etc?

This is my point. You believe, a priori, that the bible is inerrant, so you "research" only that information which seeks to confirm what you already believe. Again, I don't know that this is an accurate assessment, but I believe that it is.

...I didn't come to knowledge of [God's] existence through intellectual argumentation, I'm not going to leave that knowledge by such methods.

a) You haven't proven that you have "knowledge" of "God's existence", and b) when you say that you entered apologetics because you like "intellectual things", then I have to wonder why you would believe that apologetics would be convincing to anyone but the already-convinced, since you also said..."I didn't come to knowledge of [God's] existence through intellectual argumentation..."?

It seems contradictory.

Karla said...

BoomSlang "Yes, provided we are talking about a supernatural, or meta-physical(e.g..beyond physical), entity. And even if one posits that a supernatural being can choose to keep its supernatural attributes hidden, and instead, chooses to only reveal itself in natural ways, the supernaturalist(Theist) cannot *know* that said being isn't simply a natural being."

How would God reveal Himself in a supernatural way? What would that look like in your thinking?

It seems when something happens some people see as Supernatural anyone could just as firmly declare it unexplained natural phenomena. Say a leg grows out. Someone could say well I don't know how that regeneration happened, science must not have caught up with the possibilities yet. Say someone says they saw an angel, someone could say they were hallucinating or delusional. Say a group of people are worshiping God and a cloud forms in the room with a loud sound at the same time. Some would say God manifested in a physical way, and others would find a natural explanation.

If God reveals Himself into our physical world, is there any way someone couldn't say it was just a natural phenomena since we can't see the supernatural before it becomes manifest in the natural?

Karla said...

BoomSlang "Research where? Apologetic websites, the bible, your husband(who's a believer), your church, your preacher, etc?"

If I am talking to an atheist I will read more from other atheists on the topic to gain a broader idea of what the position is on the topic by atheist. Then I will think on it a lot. I usually don't use Bible references when I'm talking to atheists, what's the point in that. I enjoy presuppositional apologetics rather than classical though I've studied both. Occasionally I'll consult a book on the topic to see what's said there, but usually I just read what atheist are saying and think on it and respond from there.

My husband is the senior pastor of our church. I bounce some ideas off of him, sometimes, but not always.



BoomSlang "This is my point. You believe, a priori, that the bible is inerrant, so you "research" only that information which seeks to confirm what you already believe. Again, I don't know that this is an accurate assessment, but I believe that it is."


I do believe based on experience with the Lord that the Bible is truly His Word and the contents are true. Don't a lot of atheists what to see evidence experientialy of the validity of God rather than just being given intellectual arguments?

BoomSlang "then I have to wonder why you would believe that apologetics would be convincing to anyone but the already-convinced, since you also said..."I didn't come to knowledge of [God's] existence through intellectual argumentation..."?"

Sometimes I do wonder how helpful apologetics is to skeptics, but I do know there are many ministries out there that have evidence of it being helpful. I don't desire to argue anyone into belief, I would be doing a disservice if I could even do something like that.

On-line words are all that's available to me really. You guys can't watch my life, or hang out with me and my friends, or feel the presence of God when I ask the Holy Spirit to come.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I usually don't use Bible references when I'm talking to atheists, what's the point in that.

None at all where I'm concerned [grin]

I've been on some theist blogs were they answer a question by saying Galatians 6:12 or some such - as if I have a Bible handy to check it (if I don't already know it off by heart..) It's actually one of the reasons I stick around here - that you *don't* use biblical references - or at least not very often!

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

CyberKitten, you can have one of mine, I have many.

There's always biblegateway.com too.

This one might be more up your alley: http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

boomSLANG said...

How would God reveal Himself in a supernatural way?

If "supernatural" is defined as operating *outside* the natural Universe, then the answer is that "God" can't reveal himself/herself/itself in a "supernatural way".

If God reveals Himself into our physical world, is there any way someone couldn't say it was just a natural phenomena since we can't see the supernatural before it becomes manifest in the natural?

What do you mean, "If"?....you already believe that "God" has revealed "Himself" into our "physical world". And since you have a specific "God" is mind, one who is claimed to do specific things like cure the ill, unless it does these things on a bigger scale - say, cure an entire children's hospital instantaniously - then yes, there will always be those who say it's just natural phenomena(or coincidence, etc)

boomSLANG said...

I usually don't use Bible references when I'm talking to atheists, what's the point in that.

None.

In any event, I meant refer to the bible for answers, not necessarily citing biblical passages in your responses.

I do believe based on experience with the Lord that the Bible is truly His Word and the contents are true.

What do you say to the millions of bible-believing Christians who also experience "the Lord", but aren't committed to biblical inerrancy? In other words, the bible having a few errors doesn't harm their "faith" in "God".

Don't a lot of atheists what to see evidence experientialy of the validity of God rather than just being given intellectual arguments?

Which "intellectual arguments"?

Karla said...

BoomSlang "If "supernatural" is defined as operating *outside* the natural Universe, then the answer is that "God" can't reveal himself/herself/itself in a "supernatural way"."


I believe that the physical universe is inside the metaphysical world. But regardless, that's just it, how could a metaphysical being, if one exists show us that He does without us saying it was natural?

I say, "if," for your sake, asking you to consider a hypothetical situation.

Cyber, Mike, CL, feel free to chime in on that question. I don't have an answer to it.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

When I was a Christian I believed that nothing God did was supernatural, perhaps super rare, but not supernatural.

If naturalism is correct there is no such thing as the supernatural, even supposed miracles would have a natural explanation if they occurred.

Of course we have many things today that would appear miraculous to those hundreds or thousands of years ago. Airplanes, cell phones, computers, internet, automobiles, etc.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “None.”

Right, that’s why I avoid doing so. If atheists don’t believe God exists, what point is there in trying to affirm to atheists that a non-existent God inspired the Bible. I usually try to stay in the philosophical realm of discussion rather than discuss things that I would need to validate by Scripture. Things we could talk about even if there was no Bible. Though, admittedly sometimes the conversation goes into a direction where I am speaking from a Biblical standpoint – such as discussing matters of heaven or salvation. But I still refrain from quoting verses.


BoomSlang “In any event, I meant refer to the bible for answers, not necessarily citing biblical passages in your responses.”

I don’t usually do that for these discussions unless someone brings up a verse they want to talk about. When you said on Mike’s blog that one of the ten commandments was “thou shalt not murder” I was pretty confident it said “kill” but I looked it up in a few translations just to be sure before I responded.

I do believe based on experience with the Lord that the Bible is truly His Word and the contents are true.

BoomSlang “What do you say to the millions of bible-believing Christians who also experience "the Lord", but aren't committed to biblical inerrancy?”

I’m not too concerned about that, someone can know the Lord and never have even had access to a Bible. I believe the Spirit of God leads us into all truth, so I would just encourage them in their knowing Him and He’ll take care of the rest.

BoomSlang “In other words, the bible having a few errors doesn't harm their "faith" in "God".”

I don’t think that it would so much, no. I guess it could be possible. I’ve met people who started to think there were errors and then began to think maybe it was all in error. But if someone really knows the Lord, and they go down that path, I think they will find their way back again.

Don't a lot of atheists what to see evidence experientialy of the validity of God rather than just being given intellectual arguments?

BoomSlang “Which "intellectual arguments"?”

Oh, any of them really whether it be Cosmological Argument or evidences for the Resurrection, or anything really. I think it would be much more desirable in most cases to feel God for oneself, have an angelic visitation, have someone tell them something from God that they couldn’t know otherwise, or watch as their broken leg mends or their cancerous tumor shrivels up and drops off.

Karla said...

Mike "When I was a Christian I believed that nothing God did was supernatural, perhaps super rare, but not supernatural."

Really, wouldn't God's existence be supernatural? I thought you went looking for supernatural experiences?


Mike "If naturalism is correct there is no such thing as the supernatural, even supposed miracles would have a natural explanation if they occurred."

Yeah that's what naturalism would mean if it were true.


Mike "Of course we have many things today that would appear miraculous to those hundreds or thousands of years ago. Airplanes, cell phones, computers, internet, automobiles, etc."

Pretty sure instantaneous healing without application of medical procedures would be a miracle no matter what century. There's a difference between what can be done with technology and a miracle.

Karla said...

Whew, I think I'm caught up. Signing off for a while.

CyberKitten said...

mike said: CyberKitten, you can have one of mine, I have many.

Thanks, but no thanks. I've got no space on any of my bookshelves as it is and I'm saving space for books I'm actually going to read [grin]

I did have a Gideon NT that we were given in school (age 11 I think) but I never opened it - apart to sign my name in it - and gave it to Oxfam recently to make way for something else.

CyberKitten said...

mike said: Of course we have many things today that would appear miraculous to those hundreds or thousands of years ago. Airplanes, cell phones, computers, internet, automobiles, etc.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinuishable from magic.... or acts of God.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Mike "When I was a Christian I believed that nothing God did was supernatural, perhaps super rare, but not supernatural."

Karla "Really, wouldn't God's existence be supernatural? I thought you went looking for supernatural experiences?"

Nothing that exists is supernatural. I believed that then and now. God's interaction with his creation wouldn't be supernatural. I went looking for a natural conversation with God, a real give and take, not necessarily audibly, but some sort of direct communication. If he exists as presented in the Bible he is certainly capable of this as he has done so before within it's pages.

Mike "Of course we have many things today that would appear miraculous to those hundreds or thousands of years ago. Airplanes, cell phones, computers, internet, automobiles, etc."

Karla: "Pretty sure instantaneous healing without application of medical procedures would be a miracle no matter what century. There's a difference between what can be done with technology and a miracle."

However there is no difference between what is technological and what is perceived as a miracle.

Is a lizard regrowing it's tail a miracle? Nope, but I'm sure it was seen as supernatural at some point.

Now a human growing an arm back, that would be something we would have no explanation for.

CyberKitten said...

mike said: Now a human growing an arm back, that would be something we would have no explanation for.

X-Men

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Pretty sure instantaneous healing without application of medical procedures would be a miracle no matter what century. There's a difference between what can be done with technology and a miracle.

Did you know that some ailments/diseases can heal themselves, and don't need "medical procedures"??

Me, previously: “In any event, I meant refer to the bible for answers, not necessarily citing biblical passages in your responses.”

You respond: I don’t usually do that for these discussions unless someone brings up a verse they want to talk about. When you said on Mike’s blog that one of the ten commandments was “thou shalt not murder” I was pretty confident it said “kill” but I looked it up in a few translations just to be sure before I responded.

Did you notice that some interpret that Commandment as "kill" when you looked it up? I'm pretty sure the Roman Catholics do.

I do believe based on experience with the Lord that the Bible is truly His Word and the contents are true.

I already know what you believe. What do you suppose repeating it over and over will accomplish? When you do so, it then creates a situation where I feel the need to repeat myself, too. For instance, what you "believe" is "Truth", and what *is* "Truth", are not necessarily the same.

I’m not too concerned about that, someone can know the Lord and never have even had access to a Bible.

No, because they have no frame of reference to measure against. The bible depicts a specific "God" with specific attributes. For all you know, they could be experiencing some other invisible, conscious being. Millions claim to experience deities other than the Christian deity. Remember?

I believe the Spirit of [Yahweh] leads us into all truth, so I would just encourage them in their knowing Him and He’ll take care of the rest.

Again, you assume that if someone experiences what they believe to be "God", that it *must* be "Yahweh"(& Co). Many people's experiences, which you cannot disprove nor discredit, point to other deities.

I’ve met people who started to think there were errors and then began to think maybe it was all in error. But if someone really knows the Lord, and they go down that path, I think they will find their way back again.

We're not really getting anywhere(as I pointed out in the other thread). Anyway, you ignored or cirumvented my point.

I'll try again. MILLIONS of Christians are just as fervent in their belief as Karla, but they are not committed to biblical inerrancy. In other words, they apply "faith" where there may be doubt, as "faith" was intended. Don't you think your life as a Christian would be easier if you weren't committed to biblical inerrancy? Doesn't it become exhausting having to come up with all those complex, sometimes bloated rationalizations, when you could say, "Hey....that's probably a mistake on man's part, but I still have faith in God"..?

I think it would be much more desirable in most cases to feel God for oneself, have an angelic visitation, have someone tell them something from God that they couldn’t know otherwise, or watch as their broken leg mends or their cancerous tumor shrivels up and drops off.

Isn't it odd with today's technology, that NONE of these medical "miracles" are documented, seeing as how practically every cell phone has a camera on it, and practically all people have cell phones? A mangled leg heals all on its own, but no one has a camera or video recorder. Really? 'Don't buy it.

Karla said...

Mike “Nothing that exists is supernatural. I believed that then and now. God's interaction with his creation wouldn't be supernatural.”

I guess I see “supernatural” as something natural with a metaphysical cause. Even an arm growing out instantly grows out naturally even if it had a supernatural cause. Is that what you mean?

Mike “ I went looking for a natural conversation with God, a real give and take, not necessarily audibly, but some sort of direct communication. If he exists as presented in the Bible he is certainly capable of this as he has done so before within it's pages.”

Agreed. I know I’m always recommending books, but if I can recommend another, check out You May All Prophesy by Steve Thompson. Sometimes we just need to learn His language to find out He’s been speaking all along.



Mike “Now a human growing an arm back that would be something we would have no explanation for.”

Really? I know you know I’ve seen that happen—at least an inch and a half after 30 years of it being shorter than the other one.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Did you notice that some interpret that Commandment as "kill" when you looked it up? I'm pretty sure the Roman Catholics do.”

No, I was not aware of that and didn’t notice that.


Boom Slang “For instance, what you "believe" is "Truth", and what *is* "Truth", are not necessarily the same.”

Believing something doesn’t make it true. Agreed. I aim to believe something because it is true, not because my believing it makes it true.


BoomSlang “No, because they have no frame of reference to measure against. The bible depicts a specific "God" with specific attributes. For all you know, they could be experiencing some other invisible, conscious being. Millions claim to experience deities other than the Christian deity. Remember?”

True and there are other supernatural beings such as demons and principalities. But someone could still know Jesus without ever reading a Bible. Most Christians in the underground church in China do not have Bibles.


BoomSlang “Again, you assume that if someone experiences what they believe to be "God", that it *must* be "Yahweh"(& Co). Many people's experiences, which you cannot disprove nor discredit, point to other deities.”

If someone is experience the only true God they are experiencing Yahweh. The western world doesn’t understand much about the spirits and powers of the spiritual world like they do in the east or in Africa.

BoomSlang “I'll try again. MILLIONS of Christians are just as fervent in their belief as Karla, but they are not committed to biblical inerrancy. In other words, they apply "faith" where there may be doubt, as "faith" was intended.”

Okay.

BoomSlang “ Don't you think your life as a Christian would be easier if you weren't committed to biblical inerrancy?”

No.

BoomSlang “Doesn't it become exhausting having to come up with all those complex, sometimes bloated rationalizations, when you could say, "Hey....that's probably a mistake on man's part, but I still have faith in God"..?”

Nope, it all is pretty rational to me.


BoomSlang “Isn't it odd with today's technology, that NONE of these medical "miracles" are documented, seeing as how practically every cell phone has a camera on it, and practically all people have cell phones? A mangled leg heals all on its own, but no one has a camera or video recorder. Really? 'Don't buy it.”

I’ve been miraculously healed and I’ve prayed for others who have and I’ve seen others who have and I have read many many testimonies of those who have, camera or no. You don’t have to buy it. I’m just telling you what I know.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

No, I mean a severed arm growing back.

boomSLANG said...

Monolith Mike: “Now a human growing an arm back that would be something we would have no explanation for.”

Karla responds: Really? I know you know I’ve seen that happen—at least an inch and a half after 30 years of it being shorter than the other one.

'Sounds like something off Benny Hinn. In any event, if I wanted to fake such results, I could simply thrust one shoulder forward slightly, and give the appearance of one arm being "lengthened", and voila!

Karla: Believing something doesn’t make it true. Agreed. I aim to believe something because it is true, not because my believing it makes it true.

Okay, so then let me make an adjustment: Just because one "aims" to believe "Truth" doesn't mean they hit the "target".

True and there are other supernatural beings such as demons and principalities.

If there is, you can't experience them physically. You'd have to be "supernatural" to experience a "supernatural" being.

But someone could still know Jesus without ever reading a Bible. Most Christians in the underground church in China do not have Bibles.

But they've been *told" about "Jesus" before hand by Christian missionaries.

If I tell you to go find me a whatchamijig, you'd have to *first* know what a whatchamajig is before you can know you've found one. Just because you might find some object that is unidentifiable, that doesn't mean you *know* it is the object to which I refer.

If someone is experience the only true God they are experiencing Yahweh.

You're kidding, right? Please tell me that this isn't an argument. If it is, you are putting forth a fallacious argument. Similar to this one:

1) If it's raining then the streets are wet.
2) The streets are wet.
3) Therefore, it's raining.

The western world doesn’t understand much about the spirits and powers of the spiritual world like they do in the east or in Africa.

Cite source, please.

Previously, I asked:

“Doesn't it become exhausting having to come up with all those complex, sometimes bloated rationalizations, when you could say, 'Hey....that's probably a mistake on man's part, but I still have faith in God'..?”

Karla responds: Nope, it all is pretty rational to me.

Really?..snakes, donkeys, and vegetation that speak the human language(Hebrew) is "rational" to you? A man surviving in the digestive tract of a fish for three days is "rational" to you? Healing disease with bird's blood is "rational" to you? Plants growing without sunlight is "rational" to you? That a man can build and populate a whole city in only two generations is "rational" to you? That dry bones can come alive is "rational" to you? Really?

I’ve been miraculously healed and I’ve prayed for others who have and I’ve seen others who have and I have read many many testimonies of those who have, camera or no. You don’t have to buy it.

What do you call it when one "prays" for healing, but is not healed? What is the "catch-phrase" for that? More importantly, why do you believe that you more special/deserving than, say, a child who "prays" to be healed of their leukemia, but dies? 'Seems really arrogant on your part, to be quite frank.

I’m just telling you what I know.

No you're not; you're telling me what you *believe* you know. 'Big difference.

Karla said...

Boom "'Sounds like something off Benny Hinn. In any event, if I wanted to fake such results, I could simply thrust one shoulder forward slightly, and give the appearance of one arm being "lengthened", and voila!"

My mother in law wasn't faking. I saw it grow out a little over an inch. I saw how it was shorter before and longer after and I've seen her show people how they are now even many times. She was so ecstatic that day. It was the real deal.

Karla said...

Boom “Okay, so then let me make an adjustment: Just because one "aims" to believe "Truth" doesn't mean they hit the "target".”

I know. I would assume we are both aiming for truth and yet we both logically can’t be right as our ideas of truth are opposing.

True and there are other supernatural beings such as demons and principalities.

Boom “If there is, you can't experience them physically. You'd have to be "supernatural" to experience a "supernatural" being.”

Hmm. But what if we are? We are both physical and spiritual. So we could experience the supernatural supernaturally as well as physically when it is manifested in the natural.

Boom “But they've been *told" about "Jesus" before hand by Christian missionaries.”

Maybe, but the Muslims I talked about didn’t, unless all the reports of this happening are incorrect. I know a guy who personally interviewed many of the Muslims making these reports.

Boom” If I tell you to go find me a whatchamijig, you'd have to *first* know what a whatchamajig is before you can know you've found one. Just because you might find some object that is unidentifiable, that doesn't mean you *know* it is the object to which I refer.”

We know when we have encountered the living God. The idea of God is not absent from any culture.

Karla “If someone is experience the only true God they are experiencing Yahweh.”

Boom “You're kidding, right? Please tell me that this isn't an argument. If it is, you are putting forth a fallacious argument.”

No. There is only one true God so if someone really encountered God, they really encountered God. That’s pretty profound.

Boom “Similar to this one:

1) If it's raining then the streets are wet.
2) The streets are wet.
3) Therefore, it's raining.”

A little different than that – there are other reason’s the streets can be wet. My argument was like this:

There is only one true God

If you encounter the one true God.

You’ve encountered the one true God.

Karla “The western world doesn’t understand much about the spirits and powers of the spiritual world like they do in the east or in Africa.

Boom “Cite source, please.”

I’ve listened to many a missionary describe how present the idea of the spiritual world is in about any non-western country. The idea of atheism as “no supernatural/spiritual world exists” is only a western philosophy.

Previously, I asked:


BoomSlang “Really?..snakes, donkeys, and vegetation that speak the human language(Hebrew) is "rational" to you? A man surviving in the digestive tract of a fish for three days is "rational" to you? Healing disease with bird's blood is "rational" to you? Plants growing without sunlight is "rational" to you? That a man can build and populate a whole city in only two generations is "rational" to you? That dry bones can come alive is "rational" to you? Really?”

To paraphrase A.W. Tozer If Genesis 1:1 is true, the rest is easy.


Boom “What do you call it when one "prays" for healing, but is not healed? What is the "catch-phrase" for that?”

That happens. I don’t have an answer for why people aren’t always healed. I just know people are healed sometimes, and that I have experienced miraculous healing and I have seen it when I have prayed for people.


Boom “ More importantly, why do you believe that you more special/deserving than, say, a child who "prays" to be healed of their leukemia, but dies? 'Seems really arrogant on your part, to be quite frank.”

I don’t know why some people aren’t healed. I’ll pray for anyone and everyone. I am learning to walk in the supernatural and healing happens with the reality of heaven touches the person and I am learning how to live that out and I have seen some success in seeing healings happen.


”No you're not; you're telling me what you *believe* you know. 'Big difference.”
I don’t see it that way.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: We are both physical and spiritual.

No, we're not.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: The idea of atheism as “no supernatural/spiritual world exists” is only a western philosophy.

Modern atheism certainly emerged in Europe..... Your point being? Many things first emerged in European thought - including Democracy and Capitalism. Are you implying that because they are parts of Western philosophy that they are in some way 'suspect'?

boomSLANG said...

My mother in law wasn't faking. I saw it grow out a little over an inch. I saw how it was shorter before and longer after and I've seen her show people how they are now even many times. She was so ecstatic that day. It was the real deal.

Somewhere there is Mother in law who has a completely severed arm who is also a Christian. When/if you can find me one that grows back an entire arm, then come find me.

Disclaimer: Provided it's documented.

Maybe, but the Muslims I talked about didn’t, unless all the reports of this happening are incorrect. I know a guy who personally interviewed many of the Muslims making these reports.

Argumentum ad populum

Argument from large numbers. Just because "many" attest to something doesn't mean it is true.

No. There is only one true God so if someone really encountered God, they really encountered God. That’s pretty profound.

No, actually, it's not profound at all because "God" is unproven. Is it meaningful if I say, "there is only one true Santa Claus, so if someone really encountered Santa Claus, they really encountered Santa Claus!"

(To review, you've gone on record to say that fervent belief, confident belief, and faithful belief do not make one right)

A little different than that – there are other reason’s the streets can be wet.

And there are other "Gods" to have belief in. The evidence for this is that there are people other than Christians who believe in "God".

I’ve listened to many a missionary describe how present the idea of the spiritual world is in about any non-western country. The idea of atheism as “no supernatural/spiritual world exists” is only a western philosophy.

This is the reason I asked for a "source". Perhaps I should have said *objective* source. And for your information, many European Countries have large populations of Atheists. So, no....you are wrong(again).

To paraphrase A.W. Tozer If Genesis 1:1 is true, the rest is easy.

Prove to me that "Genesis 1:1" is true, and we'll go from there.

Me, previously: ”No you're not; you're telling me what you *believe* you know. 'Big difference.”

I don’t see it that way.

Yes, I'm fully aware of the way you "see" it. You claim absolute certainty(well, sometimes), yet, you cannot offer any objective confirmation that the way you "see it" is actually true.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Regarding non-western atheists: An Amazon tribe converts the missionary

Granted, the Amazon is in the west, but we're not talking geography when we talk about western ideas.

CyberKitten said...

boomSLANG said: Prove to me that "Genesis 1:1" is true, and we'll go from there.

[rotflmao]

boomSLANG said...

[rotflmao]

If you liked that one, there's a few choice one-liners over yonder on the "Righteousness" thread. Of course, I have a lot of material to work with, so I can't take all the credit.

Karla said...

Cyber "Modern atheism certainly emerged in Europe..... Your point being? Many things first emerged in European thought - including Democracy and Capitalism. Are you implying that because they are parts of Western philosophy that they are in some way 'suspect'?"

No, I'm not implying that at all.

My point is that there is a whole world out there beyond Western philosophy that claims to experience the spiritual world on a regular basis. Shouldn't this be considered when formulating opinions about the existence of a supernatural/spiritual world?

I wonder if an atheist spent a year in an African village if they would still have no evidence of a spiritual world. . .

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Somewhere there is Mother in law who has a completely severed arm who is also a Christian. When/if you can find me one that grows back an entire arm, then come find me.

Disclaimer: Provided it's documented.”

You don’t have to be a Christian to experience a healing. Christians pray for non-Christians too for healing. There is a new reality tv show being pitched to, I think, a cable network where this guy Todd White and his buddies go to the streets, bars, beaches, malls, walmarts, hospitals, etc. and pray for people and see them healed on the spot. I’ve seen the pilot episode. It’s the real deal. I’m actually going to be attending a conference with the guy very soon. He is going to take teams out into my city and do this hear and I will be there to see and do this too.



BoomSlang ”Argument from large numbers. Just because "many" attest to something doesn't mean it is true.”

Wasn’t about the numbers, only that it’s happening.

No. There is only one true God so if someone really encountered God, they really encountered God. That’s pretty profound.

BoomSlang “No, actually, it's not profound at all because "God" is unproven. Is it meaningful if I say, "there is only one true Santa Claus, so if someone really encountered Santa Claus, they really encountered Santa Claus!"

I was still just saying if the God of the Bible is really real then He is the only God that can be encountered. There are powers that can be encountered, but there is only one such God. So there would be no confusion as to which God. That’s all I was saying. Of course, that is unproven, but I was speaking from the frame of reference of it being true.

Boom “(To review, you've gone on record to say that fervent belief, confident belief, and faithful belief do not make one right)”

Correct. I say that all the time.

A little different than that – there are other reason’s the streets can be wet.

BoomSlang “And there are other "Gods" to have belief in. The evidence for this is that there are people other than Christians who believe in "God".”

There are not other Gods to have belief in. There are other powers at work in this world, but no other Gods. Yes people other than Christians believe in God, that doesn’t discount that the God that exist is the God of the Bible. I have recently been reading up on ancient mythology and it would seem that even amongst cultures that believed in a pantheon of gods they still usually held that there as a Master God over all these gods. I don’t think all those gods existed, but what is interesting as the prevailing idea in all cultures that a Grand God of all exist. Wouldn’t you think all cultures would have some idea of this if it were true if there is diversity in particularities?

Boom “This is the reason I asked for a "source". Perhaps I should have said *objective* source. And for your information, many European Countries have large populations of Atheists. So, no....you are wrong(again).”

Yes as does Canada and some places in Africa where there is a strong British presence. I wasn’t talking about geography.


Boom “Prove to me that "Genesis 1:1" is true, and we'll go from there.”

Science is getting closer to what Genesis 1:1 says all the time.

Boom “Yes, I'm fully aware of the way you "see" it. You claim absolute certainty(well, sometimes), yet, you cannot offer any objective confirmation that the way you "see it" is actually true.”

That’s a big statement considering we’ve only been talking for a few days.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: My point is that there is a whole world out there beyond Western philosophy that claims to experience the spiritual world on a regular basis.

...and there where millennia of history full of spiritual claims before most reasonable people stopped believing in all that sort of thing. The fact that most people around the world claim to have so-called spiritual experiences is interesting in an antropological sense but is otherwise pretty much irrelevant.

karla said: Shouldn't this be considered when formulating opinions about the existence of a supernatural/spiritual world?

No. Why should it?

karla said: I wonder if an atheist spent a year in an African village if they would still have no evidence of a spiritual world. . .

I guess that would depend on their level of skepticism to begin with.

karla said: There are not other Gods to have belief in.

So *you* believe.

karla said: I have recently been reading up on ancient mythology and it would seem that even amongst cultures that believed in a pantheon of gods they still usually held that there as a Master God over all these gods. I don’t think all those gods existed, but what is interesting as the prevailing idea in all cultures that a Grand God of all exist.

Funnily enough all human cultures do have things in common - like fathers. It's no surprise that the idea of fatherhood is projected out onto the universe in the form of a father deity. Also many people believe that in any group that their will inevitably be a leader of some kind. Hence you have a 'top God'.

karla said: Science is getting closer to what Genesis 1:1 says all the time.

I do believe that's the funniest thing you've *ever* said.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I wonder if an atheist spent a year in an African village if they would still have no evidence of a spiritual world. . .

What on earth are you talking about? If I wanted a glimpse of an over-flux of people who believe there's a "spirtual world", I wouldn't have to leave my home town, nevermind go to "Africa". The problem is that just because people believe in such a thing, doesn't mean it's true. I thought we'd been over this point, oh, at least a few dozen times, now.

You don’t have to be a Christian to experience a healing.

Yes, I know...I've experienced many healings, both by illnesses that run their course naturally, and by visiting the doctor. Now, if you mean, distant "healing" by Yahweh, MD., then I wonder why His patients use doctors or medicine at all, if these "healings" are as prominent and successful as you suggest they are.(point: rhetorical)

There is a new reality tv show being pitched to, I think, a cable network where this guy Todd White and his buddies go to the streets, bars, beaches, malls, walmarts, hospitals, etc. and pray for people and see them healed on the spot.

Really? This is fantastic news and it should confirm "praying" is effective once and for all, because, as everybody knows, "reality tv shows" are 100% real; they never use editing or scripts.[/massive sarcasm]

Wasn’t about the numbers, only that it’s happening.

Sightings of crop circles, green men, and large-footed community gorillas are "happening", too.

I was still just saying if the God of the Bible is really real then He is the only God that can be encountered.

Even if we grant you your "God of the Bible is really real" hypothetical, it does *not* follow that if someone "ecountered" it, that no other gods are real. Non-sequitur. Besides, how can biblegod be "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords" if there are no other "Kings" or "Lords"? How can biblegod be "jealous", if there's no other gods to be jealous over?

BTW, isn't "jealousy" one of those petty, human emotions that you were insisting that "Jesus" was incapable of harboring?

There are not other Gods to have belief in.

Oh, please. Okay, here's just one example: "Allah". Other people "have belief" in "Allah". You cannot argue that.

There are other powers at work in this world, but no other Gods.

Fallacy of bare assertion.

And think about this:

Many "Christians" most certainly ascribe "power" to "Yahweh",so who's to say that one of those "other powers" doesn't answer to "Allah"? You cannot prove it isn't so, Karla. Hence, the conundrum with believing in invisible, conscious beings.

Science is getting closer to what Genesis 1:1 says all the time.

Quite the opposite, in fact. Religiously revealed "Truths"(not just Christianity) are receding into the dustbin of history the more advanced science becomes. For instance, science has told us that the earth is NOT geocentric. Science has told us that a "firmament" doesn't hold up the sky, or separate "water from water". Science has told us that bird's blood doesn't heal "leprosy". Science has told us that trees require sunlight, and therefore could not have been "created" before the sun. Science has told that the moon doesn't give off its own light...and the list goes on.

Previously, I said: “Yes, I'm fully aware of the way you 'see' it. You claim absolute certainty(well, sometimes), yet, you cannot offer any objective confirmation that the way you 'see it' is actually true.”

You respond: That’s a big statement considering we’ve only been talking for a few days.

You can call it big, medium, or small. It's true, nonetheless. You have not demonstrated in any objective way that what you assert to be "Truth" is actually true.

So far you offered two types of "confirmation":

- Personal testimony(anecdotal)

- Revelation(i.e..your "Holy Book")

Both can just as well make a Muslim or Mormon "right".

Karla said...

I see your responses, but I've got a lot going on and will get back to you as soon as I can.

Karla said...

karla said: My point is that there is a whole world out there beyond Western philosophy that claims to experience the spiritual world on a regular basis.

Cyber “...and there where millennia of history full of spiritual claims before most reasonable people stopped believing in all that sort of thing. The fact that most people around the world claim to have so-called spiritual experiences is interesting in an antropological sense but is otherwise pretty much irrelevant.”

I’m not sure the ancients were as ignorant as history now paints them. For instance, it is not known to be a myth that in Columbus’ day people thought the world was flat—the almanacs of that error do not confirm that myth and in fact show that they were aware the earth was spherical.

Cyber “No. Why should it?”

Because if it is such a widely reported phenomena then it should be investigated as to it’s source rather than ruling the supernatural world out as impossible.

karla said: I wonder if an atheist spent a year in an African village if they would still have no evidence of a spiritual world. . .

Cyber “I guess that would depend on their level of skepticism to begin with.”

Not really. I think even the most skeptical person, after spending time in a culture with witch doctors and other spiritualist would come to understand the reality of the spiritual world. I wonder how many atheists have spent time in non-western societies?

Cyber “Funnily enough all human cultures do have things in common - like fathers. It's no surprise that the idea of fatherhood is projected out onto the universe in the form of a father deity. Also many people believe that in any group that their will inevitably be a leader of some kind. Hence you have a 'top God'.”

Maybe, but maybe not.

karla said: Science is getting closer to what Genesis 1:1 says all the time.

I do believe that's the funniest thing you've *ever* said.

Time will tell.

Karla said...

Karla: I wonder if an atheist spent a year in an African village if they would still have no evidence of a spiritual world. . .

BoomSlang “What on earth are you talking about? If I wanted a glimpse of an over-flux of people who believe there's a "spirtual world", I wouldn't have to leave my home town, nevermind go to "Africa". The problem is that just because people believe in such a thing, doesn't mean it's true. I thought we'd been over this point, oh, at least a few dozen times, now.”

Yes, I’m not talking about being around people who believe it, but experiencing it for yourself. Yes in the west most do believe there is a spiritual world, but most don’t talk about actually experiencing that supernatural world in a tangible way. In some circles in Christianity in America, you will hear of this, but you will hear of it and see it a lot more in places like Africa, India, China, etc.

BoomSlang “Yes, I know...I've experienced many healings, both by illnesses that run their course naturally, and by visiting the doctor. Now, if you mean, distant "healing" by Yahweh, MD., then I wonder why His patients use doctors or medicine at all, if these "healings" are as prominent and successful as you suggest they are.(point: rhetorical)”

I wasn’t speaking of being healed by medicine or it naturally running its course. I’m talking about seeing the lame walk, the blind see, the deaf hear. I’m talking about seeing tumors shrivel up and drop off.

There is a new reality tv show being pitched to, I think, a cable network where this guy Todd White and his buddies go to the streets, bars, beaches, malls, walmarts, hospitals, etc. and pray for people and see them healed on the spot.

BoomSlang “Really? This is fantastic news and it should confirm "praying" is effective once and for all, because, as everybody knows, "reality tv shows" are 100% real; they never use editing or scripts.[/massive sarcasm]”

Yes of course many reality shows aren’t all that real. These guys are the real deal though. But I can’t expect you to take my word for it. I’m going to meet one of the main guys of the team in a couple weeks. I know people who I trust, who know him. Regardless, it doesn’t take a “special” Christian or anything to see these kind of healings. Any Christian can learn to walk in that kind of supernatural authority and see healings like these.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Even if we grant you your "God of the Bible is really real" hypothetical, it does *not* follow that if someone "ecountered" it, that no other gods are real. Non-sequitur. Besides, how can biblegod be "King of Kings" and "Lord of Lords" if there are no other "Kings" or "Lords"? How can biblegod be "jealous", if there's no other gods to be jealous over?”

I feel like we are going in circles here. If someone encountered God they encountered God. Someone could encounter some lesser power, such as a demon or principality, but they would not have encountered God.

Also, there were many Kings in the ancient world, and God was saying He was King over all kings. Many Kings thought themselves divine and demanded worship. God was telling the people He is the King of all kings, the Lord of all lords. There are many human kings and lords. There are also dark spiritual powers that set themselves up to be worshiped. God is God over all these. Also, the Bible talks about how man can set up gods which we worship that have no power at all. And God is jealous of our time, because like a good Father, He wants us to have the fullness of life, and other “gods” no matter their power or lack of power give us that life. He wants what is best for His children.


BoomSlang “BTW, isn't "jealousy" one of those petty, human emotions that you were insisting that "Jesus" was incapable of harboring?”

Humans usually aren’t jealous for someone else’s goodwill. We are jealous for our own selfish reasons. God’s jealousy isn’t like a human attribute, it is pure and unadulterated and good for us.


BoomSlang “Oh, please. Okay, here's just one example: "Allah". Other people "have belief" in "Allah". You cannot argue that.”

True people do, that doesn’t mean he is real. Remember belief doesn’t make something true.


Boom Slang “And think about this:

Many "Christians" most certainly ascribe "power" to "Yahweh",so who's to say that one of those "other powers" doesn't answer to "Allah"? You cannot prove it isn't so, Karla. Hence, the conundrum with believing in invisible, conscious beings.”

Logically there cannot be two infinite all powerful Gods or one would not be all powerful. If the God of the Bible exist and has the attributes of a perfect Being then another cannot exist equal to him. Remember that truth is exclusive of non-truth. And two opposing truth claims cannot equally be true. So if the God of the Bible is real, then Islam is not also true.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I’m not sure the ancients were as ignorant as history now paints them.

Actually the ancients were pretty smart - especially considering that they didn't know anything like the things we take for granted. Despite many limitations they got a lot of things correct - including the idea that the Earth was a ball and not flat. They even got the size almost right too.

karla said: Because if it is such a widely reported phenomena then it should be investigated as to it’s source rather than ruling the supernatural world out as impossible.

But it *has* been investigated - by anthropologists - for over a hundred years. Funnily enough they didn't substantiate the stories and put it down to culture rather than 'real' supernatural beings.

karla said: I think even the most skeptical person, after spending time in a culture with witch doctors and other spiritualist would come to understand the reality of the spiritual world.

No, they wouldn't. They'd have a greater appreciation of another culture but I'm guessing they'd be just as skeptical about their mysticism as about claims made right here. Are you honestly saying that the claims of African witch doctors are verifiably true? You must live in a very strange world if you think that things *really* go bump in the night.

karla said: So if the God of the Bible is real, then Islam is not also true.

...and if the God of the Koran is true then Christianity is not also true. It's a game that can be worked from both sides, though you, as a Christian, only see it from your side.

Of course the other, in my mind more reasonable argument, is that you're *both* wrong.

Karla said...

Cyber "...and if the God of the Koran is true then Christianity is not also true. It's a game that can be worked from both sides, though you, as a Christian, only see it from your side."

Yes, the inverse would be a correct statement. I do realize that. The point was that they cannot equally be true.

And yes, I do think there are real powers that witch doctors are tapping into.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: Yes, the inverse would be a correct statement. I do realize that. The point was that they cannot equally be true.

But they can both be equally wrong/untrue.... That's where we fundamentally disagree.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

A third option would be that there is something behind it all and religions are man's attempt at understanding this something. That would explain why not even people within a specific religion can agree on what it all means. That would also explain miraculous claims within all of them.

"The idea that the truth of God can be bound in any human system, by any human creed, by any human book is almost beyond imagination for me." -- John Shelby Spong

CyberKitten said...

Indeed, Mike. Didn't the 2ns Matrix film hint at something like that? Maybe all religions are a response to coding errors in the Matrix?

Karla said...

Cyber, yes they could logically both be false. I just don't think so.


Mike, that is true. Though I don't see the Bible in and of itself a limiting text, but I can see how people turn it into it. I often quote the verse about Jesus saying "you search the Scriptures as if in them you find life." When the real life was not in them, but in what they point to. I think we do have to be careful not to limit God, because as soon as we do He will push through the bounds of our limitations.

I agree religions of the world are trying to express the something that is real, but they can't equally be expressing it correctly where they contradict. But it does give cause that there is something to that calls for expression.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: But it does give cause that there is something to that calls for expression.

To me it represents mans struggle to understand his existence.

But that doesn't mean there is some foundation on which all of the speculations - which is what religions really are - actually exists independent of those speculations. Common themes are there because they are all created by human beings who have a great deal in common. I'd actually be more surprised if there where a great deal more differences between the worlds religions than similarities.

Karla said...

There are some major fundamental differences between world religions, but there is a common theme of explaining who we are, why we are here, what our purpose is, and where we are going, etc. The answers to these questions are different, but the questions seem to be intrinsic to our desire and are not satisfied by anything inside a purely naturalistic world. This is why we look beyond to something greater than the physical world for answers.

boomSLANG said...

Yes in the west most do believe there is a spiritual world, but most don’t talk about actually experiencing that supernatural world in a tangible way.

I'd be surprised if we haven't been over this a dozen times.

By definition, to "experience" the "supernatural" presents a philosophical contradiction, since we are presumably natural, limited beings in a natural universe. If the "supernatural" or meta-physical(i.e..beyond physical) is "tangible"(Karla's word), then it becomes a part of a set of all that is in natural Uni-verse, and thus, natural.

In my view, and as evidenced here, the Theist/supernaturalist has to fudge the definitions and compartmentalize his or her beliefs, as in, "My supernatural experiences with my God are legit', but the other guy's supernatural experiences with their god are either counterfeit, or some other demon, not God!"

Again, the hight of arrogance, and the dilemma with harboring unfalsifiable/unconfirmable beliefs on "faith".

boomSLANG said...

There are some major fundamental differences between world religions, but there is a common theme of explaining who we are, why we are here, what our purpose is, and where we are going, etc.

Arrg. Non-sequitur.

Just because there is a common theme, specifically, one where homosapiens tend to seek answers to the same types of questions concerning origins, purpose, etc., that does *not* mean that the answers are rooted in supernaturalism.

The answers to these questions are different..

So? Ultimately, these "answers" are all unprovable, because "GOD DID IT!!!" answers nothing in the way of an explanation.

Karla, do you know *how* Yahweh "created" the "Heavens"? Do you know *how* Yahweh made two human prototypes out of "dust"? Were you there when the Universe was "created"? If you are honest, the answer is "no", "no", and "no".

The only *honest* answer is "I don't know".

boomSLANG said...

I think we do have to be careful not to limit God, because as soon as we do He will push through the bounds of our limitations.

You've got to be kidding me. You, the Christian, "limit God" to the pages of a two-thousand year-old book, for cryin' out loud. Moreover, if we are to believe "the Bible" was inspired by "God" via men, then "God" has limited itself, in which case, it is *still* limited.

Logically there cannot be two infinite all powerful Gods or one would not be all powerful.

Since when does "all powerful" imply the most powerful? Conceptually speaking, why can't there be two or more beings who have no limits on their free will? Can you prove it isn't possible, not using the bible?

I feel like we are going in circles here. If someone encountered God they encountered God.

I wonder if you are aware that each time you reword your premise, you change its meaning. Well? This is why each of my rebuttals changes, accordingly, hence, "going in circles".

For instance, this time I'll offer that just because someone *believes* they "encounter God" doesn't make it so. Now, if the subject doing the encountering can prove they've encountered a "God", then that is a different ball of wax, and thus, your statement might have some meaning.

Humans usually aren’t jealous for someone else’s goodwill. We are jealous for our own selfish reasons. God’s jealousy isn’t like a human attribute, it is pure and unadulterated and good for us.

i.e..."jealousy" means something different when it applies to "God". How convenient.

boomSLANG said...

I'll likely regret this, but here 'goes...

Cyber,

It sounds like your worldview provides no hope for humanity.


Excuse me, but where is the "hope" in spending massive portions of the only life that you know for 100% certain that you have, trying to get into an unproven, post-mortem "life"? How does each individual who yearns for such a reality provide "hope for humanity"?

Moreover, where is the virtue in doing for humanity, simply because you are commanded to do so, or if an "example" had to be set before you, first??

Karla said...

BoomSlang “By definition, to "experience" the "supernatural" presents a philosophical contradiction, since we are presumably natural, limited beings in a natural universe. If the "supernatural" or meta-physical(i.e..beyond physical) is "tangible"(Karla's word), then it becomes a part of a set of all that is in natural Uni-verse, and thus, natural.”

Yes I am talking about experiencing tangible manifestations of the supernatural world. However, we are not merely physical beings, we are also very much spiritual beings.


BoomSlang “In my view, and as evidenced here, the Theist/supernaturalist has to fudge the definitions and compartmentalize his or her beliefs, as in, "My supernatural experiences with my God are legit', but the other guy's supernatural experiences with their god are either counterfeit, or some other demon, not God!"”

I think people are experiencing supernatural things all the time and they are real, but some are from a good source, and others are not. Sure there are also frauds out there, and people who are simply mistaken. But I believe there are a large amount of real encounters with the supernatural world.

Karla said...

Boom “You've got to be kidding me. You, the Christian, "limit God" to the pages of a two-thousand year-old book, for cryin' out loud. Moreover, if we are to believe "the Bible" was inspired by "God" via men, then "God" has limited itself, in which case, it is *still* limited.”

I don’t see how it limits Him. It describes Him, but does not define Him.

Karla: Logically there cannot be two infinite all powerful Gods or one would not be all powerful.

Boom “Since when does "all powerful" imply the most powerful? Conceptually speaking, why can't there be two or more beings who have no limits on their free will? Can you prove it isn't possible, not using the bible?”


He is necessarily all powerful, as He is the greatest possible Being. So there cannot be two Beings with the attribute of all powerful. How can two have all power? If I have all the money in the world, someone else can’t also have all the money in the world. If someone else has a limited amount of the world’s money, I would then not have all the money in the world. Someone could have counterfeit money, and I still have all the money in the world.

Karla said...

Boom “Excuse me, but where is the "hope" in spending massive portions of the only life that you know for 100% certain that you have, trying to get into an unproven, post-mortem "life"? How does each individual who yearns for such a reality provide "hope for humanity"?”

I’m not doing that at all. I already have access to heaven now in this life and that will continue for eternity. Eternal life is Christ and Christ has His life in me and mine is ensconced in Him. Our desiring that reality enables us to bring that reality here to the present day. The Christian life is about bringing the reality of heaven to touch and restore this reality.


Boom “Moreover, where is the virtue in doing for humanity, simply because you are commanded to do so, or if an "example" had to be set before you, first??”

I love, not because I am commanded to, but because I tangible have His love flowing through me. If I serve because I am supposed to, I am living according to this fallen reality, not His heavenly reality. We can learn to live according to the righteousness of God that comes from inside us once we have Christ inside us. Christ showed us in His life on earth what was possible, but I don’t live by What Would Jesus Do, but What is Jesus Doing in the hear in now in this present day through me.

CyberKitten said...

karla said: However, we are not merely physical beings, we are also very much spiritual beings.

No we're not - it's just that some people believe that we are.

Anyway - What exactly do you mean by 'spiritual beings'?

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Yes I am talking about experiencing tangible manifestations of the supernatural world.

Tangible: adj

1 Discernible by the touch; palpable: a tangible roughness of the skin.
2 Possible to touch.
3 Possible to be treated as fact; real or concrete: tangible evidence.

(ref: American Heritage)

So, if the experiences are *tangible*, then they are NATURAL; NOT "supernatural", by definition.(just as I said, previously)

Moreover, if there was "concrete evidence"(see definition)for people's supposed "supernatural experiences", there would be documentation of this in peer-reviewed, scientific literature around the globe. But interestingly, there is no such documentation. This is by no accident or oversight. Honestly, why do you think the Benny Hinns and the Sylvia Brownes of the world don't ever receive notarity or acclamations from the scientific community? Well?

However, we are not merely physical beings, we are also very much spiritual beings.

If by "spiritual" you mean a mind/body duality, there is zero objective evidence to support this. There is no scientific confirmation, whatsoever, that our "personalities" can survive death. None; zero. In fact, the availible evidence points to our personalities actually being *dependent* on a healthy, physical brain. If a diseased brain cannot recognize friends and family members, why should we believe a fully DEAD brain will do so? Why would a "spirit", which is immaterial/non-physical, be adversely affected by a organic disease? Again, a contradiction in terms.

I think people are experiencing supernatural things all the time..

Yes, people "think" all sorts of things, Karla. People *think* Aliens are creating designs in our crops. People *think* they've seen Elvis. People *think* the angel Moroni buried some gold tablets in the tri-state area. People *think* dead Aliens are haunting our planet.

and they are real

Prove it.

but some are from a good source, and others are not.

Prove it.

Sure there are also frauds out there, and people who are simply mistaken.

People who are mistaken? PEOPLE? Aren't you a person, just like everyone else, Karla?? If so, please explain how you are above human error, which you would have to be in order to claim that there's no way that you, too, could be "mistaken".

But I believe there are a large amount of real encounters with the supernatural world

::sigh::

A "supernatural world" is unproven. They best you've got is *fallible*, prone-to-error human beings running around insisting that it's true.

Karla said...

Cyber “No we're not - it's just that some people believe that we are.”

I disagree.

Cyber “Anyway - What exactly do you mean by 'spiritual beings'?”

We have a spirit. We are not just physical. There is more to us than what is seen, measured, quantified, etc.

boomSLANG said...

Me, previously: “You've got to be kidding me. You, the Christian, 'limit God' to the pages of a two-thousand year-old book, for cryin' out loud. Moreover, if we are to believe 'the Bible' was inspired by 'God' via men, then 'God' has limited itself, in which case, it is *still* limited.”

I don’t see how it limits Him. It describes Him, but does not define Him.

This is simply unreal. I can't believe my eyes.

So, the bible doesn't define the Christian biblegod? Then how in the (expletive) do you know that the "spirit" you believe(but cannot prove) that you are encountering is the Christian "God"? Isn't it precisely because your bible tells you that its biblegod behaves in *specific* ways, expresses itself in *specific* ways, harbors *specific* attributes, acts according to *specific* morals? These are all rhetorically asked, BTW, because you cannot deny it is so. Yes, the bible most certainly defines its biblegod.

And while on the subject, it defines it in ways that blatantly contradict...i.e.."all-loving" but creates "evil"; knows the future but is "all-powerful", just to name a few.

If someone else has a limited amount of the world’s money, I would then not have all the money in the world.

Thank you. Then by the same reasoning, if a demon has a limited amount of "power" in the Universe, for instance, enough power to deceive all those wrong-minded, nonchristian Theists, then "God" can't have ALL of the power in the Universe.

So now it's settled: Biblegod isn't "All-powerful", according to your very own definition/guidlines.

I already have access to heaven now in this life and that will continue for eternity.

There cannot be "sin" or "evil" in "Heaven", therefore, you cannot have "access" to the point of experiencing "Heaven" here on earth, since earth is supposedly riddled with "sin" and "evil" and suffering, and all that jazz. Once more, you have blatantly contradicted yourself.

The Christian life is about bringing the reality of heaven to touch and restore this reality.

That is impossible, for the reasons I just delineated above.

I love, not because I am commanded to, but because I tangible have His love flowing through me.

I have love flowing through me too, Karla. Love is an innate emotion availible to *every* human being; it is not exclusive to "Christians". I "love" and care for my friends and family every bit as much as you do, and guess what?..I don't do it because I believe in a "heavenly reality" or any type of a reward.

We can learn to live according to the righteousness of God that comes from inside us once we have Christ inside us.

Loving other human beings and living "according to the righteousness of God" are NOT mutually inclusive.

Christ showed us in His life on earth what was possible..

No, that's stretching the truth. "Christ" might have shown the people of his time things, but you have not seen a literal person who answers to the name "Christ" do anything. You are relying on "faith", your bible, and what you believe to be spiritual encounters with this supposed character's ghost, to make this claim. All three of which don't amount to any sort of objective evidence.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “So, if the experiences are *tangible*, then they are NATURAL; NOT "supernatural", by definition.(just as I said, previously)”

Yes, manifestations of the supernatural would be natural, yet have a supernatural/metaphysical cause.

BoomSlang “Moreover, if there was "concrete evidence"(see definition)for people's supposed "supernatural experiences", there would be documentation of this in peer-reviewed, scientific literature around the globe. But interestingly, there is no such documentation. This is by no accident or oversight. Honestly, why do you think the Benny Hinns and the Sylvia Brownes of the world don't ever receive notarity or acclamations from the scientific community? Well?”

Science is the study of the physical world, it is not competent to explore the metaphysical, at least at present.


BoomSlang “If by "spiritual" you mean a mind/body duality, there is zero objective evidence to support this. There is no scientific confirmation, whatsoever, that our "personalities" can survive death. None; zero. In fact, the availible evidence points to our personalities actually being *dependent* on a healthy, physical brain. If a diseased brain cannot recognize friends and family members, why should we believe a fully DEAD brain will do so? Why would a "spirit", which is immaterial/non-physical, be adversely affected by a organic disease? Again, a contradiction in terms.”

I mean we have a spirit that does indeed live beyond death. There is in fact much documentation of after death experiences from those who were indeed brain dead and were resuscitated and told of out of body experiences as well as after life experiences. There is much ongoing research regarding this.

Boom “Yes, people "think" all sorts of things, Karla. People *think* Aliens are creating designs in our crops. People *think* they've seen Elvis. People *think* the angel Moroni buried some gold tablets in the tri-state area. People *think* dead Aliens are haunting our planet.”

Why are you so aggravated by my worldview? You come across more antagonistic than someone really seeking to learn why I believe as I do.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

"We are spirits in the material world."

Sorry, it just made me think of the song by The Police. ;-)

boomSLANG said...

Cyberkitten: What exactly do you mean by 'spiritual beings'?

Karla: We have a spirit. We are not just physical. There is more to us than what is seen, measured, quantified, etc.

I thought this would be obvious to all, but when asked what something *is*, we usually don't answer by saying so-and-so has one. That is a non-answer.

What *IS* a "spirit"? Telling me I have one is useless.

Karla said...

BoomSlang, previously: “You've got to be kidding me. You, the Christian, 'limit God' to the pages of a two-thousand year-old book, for cryin' out loud. Moreover, if we are to believe 'the Bible' was inspired by 'God' via men, then 'God' has limited itself, in which case, it is *still* limited.”

Karla: I don’t see how it limits Him. It describes Him, but does not define Him.

Boom Slang “This is simply unreal. I can't believe my eyes.

So, the bible doesn't define the Christian biblegod? Then how in the (expletive) do you know that the "spirit" you believe(but cannot prove) that you are encountering is the Christian "God"? Isn't it precisely because your bible tells you that its biblegod behaves in *specific* ways, expresses itself in *specific* ways, harbors *specific* attributes, acts according to *specific* morals? These are all rhetorically asked, BTW, because you cannot deny it is so. Yes, the bible most certainly defines its biblegod.”


Definition connotes limits. Description is not limiting. The Bible does indeed describe God as a specific entity, but does not define Him with limitations. His only limit isn’t really a limit at all, He is always Himself, and He is always good, but limitations come from evil, not from good. Evil and lies inhibit, truth and goodness bring ultimate freedom.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “Thank you. Then by the same reasoning, if a demon has a limited amount of "power" in the Universe, for instance, enough power to deceive all those wrong-minded, nonchristian Theists, then "God" can't have ALL of the power in the Universe.”

A demon, or the collective host of demons, has counterfeit power—something that can be manifested, but not something that is akin to the power of God. They can deceive, but they are not in anyway more powerful than God.

BoomSlang “There cannot be "sin" or "evil" in "Heaven", therefore, you cannot have "access" to the point of experiencing "Heaven" here on earth, since earth is supposedly riddled with "sin" and "evil" and suffering, and all that jazz. Once more, you have blatantly contradicted yourself.”

Earth does have sin and evil and suffering, but when heaven touches earth it redeems that fallen reality. For instance, a person suffering with a broken leg encounters a touch of heaven and his leg is healed. We, who are in Christ, can learn to manifest the true reality of heaven to the fallen realty of earth and bring His Kingdom to the earth.

BoomSlang “I have love flowing through me too, Karla. Love is an innate emotion availible to *every* human being; it is not exclusive to "Christians". I "love" and care for my friends and family every bit as much as you do, and guess what?..I don't do it because I believe in a "heavenly reality" or any type of a reward.”

Love is more than an emotion. And yes, non-believers can love, but when you tap into the love that is more than an emotion you are tapping into God’s love whether you believer you are or not.

BoomSlang “No, that's stretching the truth. "Christ" might have shown the people of his time things, but you have not seen a literal person who answers to the name "Christ" do anything. You are relying on "faith", your bible, and what you believe to be spiritual encounters with this supposed character's ghost, to make this claim. All three of which don't amount to any sort of objective evidence.”

Christ is still alive and I do have a relationship with Him and I do literally receive direction from Him in a myriad of ways. I think I had listed some previously over on Mike’s blog.

boomSLANG said...

Yes, manifestations of the supernatural would be natural, yet have a supernatural/metaphysical cause.

In other words, you cannot prove such a claim.

Science is the study of the physical world, it is not competent to explore the metaphysical, at least at present.

In other words, there is no proof of the "metaphysical"

I mean we have a spirit that does indeed live beyond death.

Yes, I know what you "mean", ad nauseam. The problem is that you cannot give any demonstrable evidence to support your claim, and thus far, you haven't even been able to tell us what a "spirit" is. It's something that lives on, yada, yada, and we all have have one.

What is the "THING" that is a "spirit"?

boomSLANG said...

Definition connotes limits. Description is not limiting. The Bible does indeed describe God as a specific entity, but does not define Him with limitations. His only limit isn’t really a limit at all, He is always Himself, and He is always good, but limitations come from evil, not from good. Evil and lies inhibit, truth and goodness bring ultimate freedom.

Can biblegod NOT forgive without a blood sacrifice?

If "no"---limited.

Can biblegod NOT think of more than one alterative to "hell"?

If "no"---limited.

Can biblegod know with absolute certainty that it will give mercy next year on May 20th, but change it's mind between now and then?

If "no"---limited.

His only limit isn’t really a limit at all..

Huh?..whAT? Contradiction!

and He is always good

Is dashing children against rocks "good", Karla? What about throwing rocks at disorderly teenagers?... "good"?

Karla said...

BoomSlang "What is the "THING" that is a "spirit"?"


Non-physical part of our being, non-flesh, breath of life.

Karla said...

Mike "Sorry, it just made me think of the song by The Police. ;-)"

Sorry, I'm not familiar with that reference.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: A demon, or the collective host of demons, has counterfeit power—something that can be manifested, but not something that is akin to the power of God. They can deceive, but they are not in anyway more powerful than God.

NOTICE--I DID NOT say anything about a demon being "more powerful". Please cease with the disigenuous attempts to circumvent my point.

I said, if a "demon"(which I most certainly do not believe in; but use it for sake of argument) has enough power to deceive millions of human beings, then this "power" - whether you label it "counterfeit", or not - has potency, and thus, "God" cannot have ALL of the power, based on your previous "money" analogy.

And anyway, even if I grant your premise, why, if "God" is ALL powerful, does he let "demons" who have counterfeit power, no less, run amuck deceiving people, when this will land most of humanity in "HELL"????? Is he by chance LIMITING his power for the sake of our "free will"?

And by the way, the "free will" argument fails, so I'd come up with something better if I were you.

Earth does have sin and evil and suffering, but when heaven touches earth it redeems that fallen reality. For instance, a person suffering with a broken leg encounters a touch of heaven and his leg is healed

So, by your own admission, "evil" and "heaven" can coexist. So, in "Heaven" there can be "evil". I'm glad that's cleared up.

We, who are in Christ, can learn to manifest the true reality of heaven to the fallen realty of earth and bring His Kingdom to the earth.

Many Atheist doctors heal broken legs. Many Muslim doctors heal broken legs. Many Buddhist doctors heal broken legs. In other words, you have no evidence that a healed broken leg is because a Christian has brought any "Kingdom" to earth.

boomSLANG said...

I asked: "What is the 'THING' that is a 'spirit'?"

Karla "answers": Non-physical part of our being, non-flesh, breath of life.

"non-physical" tells me what a "spirit" is NOT; "non-flesh" tells me a "spirit" is NOT.

"breath of life" sounds like an Altoids commercial. In any event, it tells me nothing, whatsoever, about what a "spirit" *IS*.

"Breath"....you mean, air that someone exhaled?

boomSLANG said...

Correction. Should have been...

"Can biblegod NOT think of more than one alternative to 'Heaven'?"

BTW, this one I'm really curious about.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

The Police - Spirits in the material world

One of the simplest, but one of my favorite bass lines ever during the verses. :-)

CyberKitten said...

karla said: We have a spirit. We are not just physical. There is more to us than what is seen, measured, quantified, etc.

I don't agree. That's basically what we have here - disagreement on what we believe to be true. You state things - like "we are spiritual beings" - as if you are stating facts. You are in fact simply stating your beliefs which I do not share.

As far as I am aware there are no grounds for believing that we are anything more than fairly smart animals. We are both conscious and aware that we are conscious. Nothing more. Nothing you have said on this blog has changed my opinion on that point. You make the fundamental error of offering up beliefs as if they represented evidence. They do not.

I know that you have stated more than once that you are not in the business of attempting to convert anyone but what you have offered up so far - since I've been visiting - honestly wouldn't convince a child, never mind a skeptical atheist.

boomSLANG said...

One of the simplest, but one of my favorite bass lines ever during the verses

Cool bass line, but not all that simple, considering the dexterity required to play the line while singing lead vox at the same time.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Well, simple in that their weren't a lot of notes involved. Sting is still one of my favorite bass players.

boomSLANG said...

Yeah, I like him and Chris Squire(Yes)

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Yeah, Squire is great too.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “NOTICE--I DID NOT say anything about a demon being "more powerful". Please cease with the disigenuous attempts to circumvent my point.

I said, if a "demon"(which I most certainly do not believe in; but use it for sake of argument) has enough power to deceive millions of human beings, then this "power" - whether you label it "counterfeit", or not - has potency, and thus, "God" cannot have ALL of the power, based on your previous "money" analogy.”

If it is counterfeit, then God could (and I believe does) have all the authentic power. Notice I talked about that in my money analogy.

Boom Slang “And anyway, even if I grant your premise, why, if "God" is ALL powerful, does he let "demons" who have counterfeit power, no less, run amuck deceiving people, when this will land most of humanity in "HELL"????? Is he by chance LIMITING his power for the sake of our "free will"? “

He can limit Himself if it is good to do so. That doesn’t mean, He has limitations, but that He can choose not to use all the power available to Him.


Karla :Earth does have sin and evil and suffering, but when heaven touches earth it redeems that fallen reality. For instance, a person suffering with a broken leg encounters a touch of heaven and his leg is healed

BoomSlang “So, by your own admission, "evil" and "heaven" can coexist. So, in "Heaven" there can be "evil". I'm glad that's cleared up. “

Not sure what you were reading, I didn’t say that. I said Earth does have sin, evil, and suffering. And I said when heaven touches earth it redeems that fallen reality. Meaning when the perfect world of heaven touches the fallen world of earth then earth transforms in that area to look like heaven. So if I release the Kingdom of Heaven to a situation or person or problem that reality becomes affected with the goodness of heaven and it changes to reflect heaven.

We, who are in Christ, can learn to manifest the true reality of heaven to the fallen realty of earth and bring His Kingdom to the earth.

BoomSlang “Many Atheist doctors heal broken legs. Many Muslim doctors heal broken legs. Many Buddhist doctors heal broken legs. In other words, you have no evidence that a healed broken leg is because a Christian has brought any "Kingdom" to earth.”

Surely you know I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about miraculous healing.

Karla said...

I asked: "What is the 'THING' that is a 'spirit'?"

Karla "answers": Non-physical part of our being, non-flesh, breath of life.

Boom “"non-physical" tells me what a "spirit" is NOT; "non-flesh" tells me a "spirit" is NOT.”

Boom “"breath of life" sounds like an Altoids commercial. In any event, it tells me nothing, whatsoever, about what a "spirit" *IS*.”

Boom “"Breath"....you mean, air that someone exhaled?”


The word for spirit in the New Testament Greek is “pneuma” which literally means “breath” Our spirit is the breath of God giving us life. That life needs to be resurrected in us because we live separated from God when we are reunited with God that life is resurrected and we are filled with eternal life—because Jesus is eternal life.

The above statement proves nothing. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I’m just telling you what is congruent with the biblical worldview.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “"Can biblegod NOT think of more than one alternative to 'Heaven'?"”

”BTW, this one I'm really curious about.”

I’m going to ask a question in response to your question first. Do you think a perfect good God, hypothetically speaking, has no right to punish evil?

Karla said...

Cyber “I don't agree. That's basically what we have here - disagreement on what we believe to be true. You state things - like "we are spiritual beings" - as if you are stating facts. You are in fact simply stating your beliefs which I do not share.”

I know. I am stating what is congruent with Christianity. If we are going to discuss whether Christianity is true or not, then we would first have to establish what it is we are talking about. The topic of man being only a natural being came up in response to man not being able to experience a metaphysical world even if one existed. I countered that in Christianity we don’t believe that man is only a physical being, but also a spiritual being. So, while our inability to have a supernatural experience may seem logical in the framework of naturalism, I don’t hold that same framework.

I keep encountering a lack of knowledge of what Christians believe about the world and I feel I cannot address the arguments of atheists when they are arguments that do not take into account the actual beliefs of Christians. So I spend much time trying to state what I actually believe before being able to get to a point of defending my position or contrasting it with other positions.

Cyber “As far as I am aware there are no grounds for believing that we are anything more than fairly smart animals. We are both conscious and aware that we are conscious. Nothing more.”

As you and Boom and others like to point out, you stating that doesn’t make it so, either. Has science disproven that we are spiritual beings as well as physical?

Cyber “ Nothing you have said on this blog has changed my opinion on that point. You make the fundamental error of offering up beliefs as if they represented evidence. They do not.”

I explained that above. I’m still trying to provide a framework. If I remember correctly you have said you have no experience with Christianity or the Bible. So I would need to provide a framework of what I believe before we could get deeper. I have also given arguments for the validity of what I believe throughout this blog, but have found that there is still misconceptions about what I am defending.

Cyber “I know that you have stated more than once that you are not in the business of attempting to convert anyone but what you have offered up so far - since I've been visiting - honestly wouldn't convince a child, never mind a skeptical atheist.”

Thanks for the encouragement. (-:

CyberKitten said...

karla said: I countered that in Christianity we don’t believe that man is only a physical being, but also a spiritual being.

Yes, such a statement is one of belief not of fact. Where is the hard evidence that we are 'spiritual' beings? Without any evidence to support it I think you'll find it difficult (at least) to get us to take the idea seriously.

karla said: Has science disproven that we are spiritual beings as well as physical?

That's not how it works. As far as I am aware there is no scientific (or other hard) evidence to support the idea of spiritual beings. All we do have are hearsay, anecdote and feeling - which don't really cut it as evidence in my world.

karla said: If I remember correctly you have said you have no experience with Christianity or the Bible.

My 'experience' is only of the most general sort. Although my parents are/where Catholic - and I am technically a Catholic as I have been baptised - my siblings and I were not brought up in that faith (for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life) and my parents deliberately sent me/us to Church of England schools which really didn't preach much.

I have a general idea of Biblical stories but no detailed knowledge. I fully expect this to remain so.

karla said: Thanks for the encouragement. (-:

Just letting you know that you have one heck of a mountain to climb - and that you might be approaching the whole issue incorrectly.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: If it is counterfeit, then God could (and I believe does) have all the authentic power. Notice I talked about that in my money analogy.

Tell me, what good does harboring all of the "authentic power" do, if it cannot thwart or entirely elminate the imposture? Obviously, these big, bad, evil "spirits" harbor some type of potency(power) in order to accomplish their supposed MO.

["God"] can limit Himself if it is good to do so. That doesn’t mean, He has limitations, but that He can choose not to use all the power available to Him

Okay, fine, so "He" has the power to stop these "counterfeit spirits", yet, chooses not to.

So, in my view, the morality of "God" then comes into question, just like the morality of the armed guard who chooses to stand by with arms folded as bank robbers hold up a bank and put people's lives at risk.

Me, previously: “So, by your own admission, 'evil' and 'heaven' can coexist. So, in 'Heaven' there can be 'evil'. I'm glad that's cleared up.“

Karla: Not sure what you were reading, I didn’t say that. I said Earth does have sin, evil, and suffering. And I said when heaven touches earth it redeems that fallen reality.

And I'm saying, if "Heaven" can "touch" a "fallen reality", then it can coexist with that reality, and thus, that reality can coexist with, and "touch", this place called "Heaven".

To reaffirm this, wasn't it a perfect, "unfallen reality" in Heaven at its inception? Yes, I believe so. Yet, somehow, angels were able to rebel.

How is that possible if a "fallen reality" cannot coexist with "Heaven"?

The word for spirit in the New Testament Greek is “pneuma” which literally means “breath”

Okay, what does "breath" mean if it means something other that what we commonly think of it to mean? You see, you might have translated it from "Greek", yet, you are now speaking some other (pseudo)-language that still needs to be deciphered..i.e.."Our spirit is the breath of God giving us life. That life needs to be resurrected in us because we live separated from God when we are reunited with God that life is resurrected and we are filled with eternal life—because Jesus is eternal life."

What you just said is godspeak that still doesn't delineate in any objective terms what a "spirit" is. Because "Jesus is eternal life" doesn't say a thing about what the *thing* you call a "spirit" actually is. If I ask, "So, is 'breath' air that Jesus exhaled?", I will likely be accused of being "antagonistic" or facetious, yet, the answers you give set yourself up for such responses. Have you ever looked at it that way?

The above statement proves nothing. I wasn’t trying to prove anything. I’m just telling you what is congruent with the biblical worldview.

Can you supply the verbatim passages that mirror your description above? As far as I know, that bible doesn't explain in any concise, unambiguous terms what a "spirit" is, either.

I’m going to ask a question in response to your question first. Do you think a perfect good God, hypothetically speaking, has no right to punish evil?

No, I don't think a "perfect good God" has no right to punish "evil". Although, I also believe a "perfect good God" would come up with a punishment that matches the crime. Being "punished" infinitely for a finite crime is not "perfect"; it is not "Just"; it is not "good".

And BTW, dashing children against rocks is never an appropriate punishment, and any being who condones it should be denounced, yes, even "God".

Karla said...

Okay, this is probably the last time I’ll get to respond until Friday.

BoomSlang “Tell me, what good does harboring all of the "authentic power" do, if it cannot thwart or entirely elminate the imposture? Obviously, these big, bad, evil "spirits" harbor some type of potency(power) in order to accomplish their supposed MO.”

One day He will eliminate all evil, He promises to do that. However, His patience in doing that is for our good. Where do you think humanity would stand if all evil all sin was expunged from this world?

BoomSlang “Okay, fine, so "He" has the power to stop these "counterfeit spirits", yet, chooses not to.”

For a time, yes.

BoomSlang “So, in my view, the morality of "God" then comes into question, just like the morality of the armed guard who chooses to stand by with arms folded as bank robbers hold up a bank and put people's lives at risk.”

By what other standard would you judge God? If He exists as the Perfectly Good Being who is Just, and Merciful. . . What standard could you use to denounce that?

Me, previously: “So, by your own admission, 'evil' and 'heaven' can coexist. So, in 'Heaven' there can be 'evil'. I'm glad that's cleared up.“

Karla: Not sure what you were reading, I didn’t say that. I said Earth does have sin, evil, and suffering. And I said when heaven touches earth it redeems that fallen reality.

BoomSlang “And I'm saying, if "Heaven" can "touch" a "fallen reality", then it can coexist with that reality, and thus, that reality can coexist with, and "touch", this place called "Heaven".”

Heaven is not infected with Sin when it touches earth. For instance, (what I believe) is that I have been made righteous by God because His righteousness is in me. I have been given authority from Him to release the reality of heaven in situations, and lives that I come in contact with. My doing that doesn’t harm heaven, it changes earth.

BoomSlang “To reaffirm this, wasn't it a perfect, "unfallen reality" in Heaven at its inception? Yes, I believe so. Yet, somehow, angels were able to rebel.”

Yes, they had freedom to walk away from it. As soon as they abused their freedom evil came into their ranks and those angels that followed the angel Lucifer into evil left heaven with Him for they could not remain there. Mankind also had the same freedom and they too abused it. You know the rest of the story, I presume.


BoomSlang “How is that possible if a "fallen reality" cannot coexist with "Heaven"?”

Evil cannot be present in Heaven. Thus the evil angels, now demons, were cast out. Man cannot enter heaven with evil in us that is why Jesus removes the evil in us so we can enter (now and continuing when we die).

Karla said...

BoomSlang, I will continue the "spirit" conversation later. But I just wanted to say I didn't find anything in your post antagonistic.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: One day ["God"] will eliminate all evil, He promises to do that. However, His patience in doing that is for our good.

Patience? Aren't we the ones patiently waiting for "God" to do what he, his "Word", and Christians insist that he will do? It's been 2000 years, Karla, and nothing. Meanwhile, more and more people suffer, and many are born only to die. Most of humanity will be hell-bound by default.

Meanwhile, how is "God" taking no actions, while human suffering is rampant(supposedly because of "evil"), for "our good"? "God" can stop "evil", but won't. This is "good"... why?

Where do you think humanity would stand if all evil all sin was expunged from this world?

You're asking a naturalistic question based on a supernatural premise. We have evidence that "humanity" exists. We have evidence that suffering exists. So, if suffering were alleviated or eliminated, there'd be a better quality of life for humanity.

By what other standard would you judge God?

What standard? Avoiding the unnecessary harm of human beings.

If He exists as the Perfectly Good Being who is Just, and Merciful. . . What standard could you use to denounce that?

I'm going to tell you the same thing I always tell you when/if you define/describe "God" as "Perfectly Good" and "Just", etc. This is essentially the "Sovereign God" arugument. It fails, and here's why:

If you are implying that "God" is "Perfectly Good", as in, intrinsically "Good", then literally, anything that "God" commanded - whether humanity agrees it's good, or not - would be seen as "Good".

Karla, we, as intelligent, sane adults, know that if "God" commanded us to throw rocks at prostitutes or rebellious teenagers, that this is NOT "good". In other words, there is a "standard" that exists independently of how "God" rules, or what "God" thinks. There is no way around this.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Heaven is not infected with Sin when it touches earth.

You've misconstrued my argument. I haven't said any such thing, nor even implied it.

For instance, (what I believe) is that I have been made righteous by God because His righteousness is in me.

So, you have acheived perfection, then? You are incapable of "sin", are you? Do you realize how many preachers/ministers/"Holy" men make this very same claim, but get caught doing all sorts of things that would make even the Devil blush? Could it be that you are just an innately good person by nature, and that there is no omnibenevolent being residing in you, or them?

I have been given authority from Him to release the reality of heaven in situations, and lives that I come in contact with. My doing that doesn’t harm heaven, it changes earth.

Again, you misconstrued my argument. I've said nothing about "Heaven" being "harmed".

Please try to follow: You insist that "Heaven" can be brought to earth, so then, logically, "good" and "evil" can coexist in the same realm on the same plane. If this is true--if "Heaven" and the "fallen reality" can coexist here, then the two can coexist, there, as in, in Heaven. As I mentioned previously, "evil" was present when "Lucifer" and his supposed angels rebeled, which you try to refute, here......

Yes, they had freedom to walk away from it. As soon as they abused their freedom evil came into their ranks and those angels that followed the angel Lucifer into evil left heaven with Him for they could not remain there. Mankind also had the same freedom and they too abused it. You know the rest of the story, I presume.

Firstly, if having the "freedom" to reject or walk away from "God" is necessary, then how does one "abuse" that freedom?

Secondly, there seems to be some equivocation. For one to "walk away from it[God]", one has decided wrongly at that point. For an "angel" to make an unrighteous decision in "Heaven" shows that, yes, "evil" can exist in "Heaven".

Evil cannot be present in Heaven. Thus the evil angels, now demons, were cast out.

They had to have been "evil" *before* they were "cast out", otherwise, there'd be no reason to cast them out. Therefore, yes, "evil" can be present in "Heaven".

Karla said...

BoomSlang “You've misconstrued my argument. I haven't said any such thing, nor even implied it.”

Okay. What were you saying?

For instance, (what I believe) is that I have been made righteous by God because His righteousness is in me.

BoomSlang “So, you have acheived perfection, then? You are incapable of "sin", are you?”

No. Not what I was saying. Righteousness doesn’t come from not sinning; it comes from being connected with God. It’s something God is and something I become when I am linked up with Him as I was designed to be. Sin should lessen as the one made righteous learns to live from that righteousness. That’s a process of walking out the truth.

BoomSlang “Do you realize how many preachers/ministers/"Holy" men make this very same claim, but get caught doing all sorts of things that would make even the Devil blush?”

I wasn’t making the claim you thought I was.


BoomSlang “Could it be that you are just an innately good person by nature, and that there is no omnibenevolent being residing in you, or them?”

Explain how goodness could be something innate to me, without the existence of a good God.

BoomSlang “Again, you misconstrued my argument. I've said nothing about "Heaven" being "harmed".”

I must of misunderstood your argument.

BoomSlang “Please try to follow: You insist that "Heaven" can be brought to earth, so then, logically, "good" and "evil" can coexist in the same realm on the same plane. If this is true--if "Heaven" and the "fallen reality" can coexist here, then the two can coexist, there, as in, in Heaven. As I mentioned previously, "evil" was present when "Lucifer" and his supposed angels rebeled, which you try to refute, here......”

They can co-exist in that sense. But heaven will always be fully good. Heaven is more than a place; it’s a superior reality, both tangible and intangible. It’s a Kingdom we carry with us as well as a place one can go to.

Yes, they had freedom to walk away from it. As soon as they abused their freedom evil came into their ranks and those angels that followed the angel Lucifer into evil left heaven with Him for they could not remain there. Mankind also had the same freedom and they too abused it. You know the rest of the story, I presume.

BoomSlang “Firstly, if having the "freedom" to reject or walk away from "God" is necessary, then how does one "abuse" that freedom?”

By doing the wrong thing with that freedom. If a child is given the freedom to take the car to a party and the youth, knowing it isn’t good, gets drunk at the party and drives drunk. He has abused the freedom given to him. The freedom wasn’t given so that he would do the wrong thing; it was so that he could choose to do the right thing. But the only way anyone can choose to do right, is if wrong is available as a potential. Once the wrong ceases to be available, the right isn’t a choice any longer.

BoomSlang “Secondly, there seems to be some equivocation. For one to "walk away from it[God]", one has decided wrongly at that point. For an "angel" to make an unrighteous decision in "Heaven" shows that, yes, "evil" can exist in "Heaven".”

It shows there was a potential for the wrong thing. Evil is the absence of God’s goodness. So once that wrong thing was chosen, evil was created by the finite creature, not by God. So that creature or person steps out of the goodness of God, by choice, and into an alternate fallen reality. So then this fallen reality is created and something needs to happen to put things to rights again.

BoomSlang “They had to have been "evil" *before* they were "cast out", otherwise, there'd be no reason to cast them out. Therefore, yes, "evil" can be present in "Heaven".”

I explain that above.

Karla said...

BoomSlang “If really complex things require a "cause", then surely "God" requires one. If "God" is self-existing, then who's to say that the building blocks of a Universe haven't always existed?”

Everything that has a beginning requires a Beginner. God didn’t Begin, He is eternal, self-existent, independent. If He needed to be Caused, then the Being that caused Him would be God.

BoomSlang “Bottom line: No one was there at the supposed "first cause", therefore, the only *honest* answer is "I don't know".”

We don’t have to have been there. Logic can show us the truth of it.


BoomSlang “It's hard to not take it personally when a stranger tells me that the love I have for my family, friends, signifigant other, etc., is incomplete/impure.”

That is not what I was trying to say. I am sorry it came across that way. Please ask me to clarify when it sounds like I am saying something like that to you.


BoomSlang “Simple: Because it claims to have a monopoly on "Truth". All those who believe in Christianity are "right", and therefore deserving of a life of eternal bliss, and all those who don't believe are deserving of a life of eternal torment. That about covers it, in a nutshell.”

Well the question would be, is it right that Christ is the personification of Truth or not? If He is, our claims aren’t arrogant, but true and helpful to humanity. If He is not, then we are wrong and maybe arrogant, but depending on the person, inadvertently so. I think arrogance is an attitude more than simply making a truth claim. I think some atheists can be arrogant, as well as some Christians. I don’t think that has to do with the claims, but with the attitude of the person.

Karla said...

karla said: I countered that in Christianity we don’t believe that man is only a physical being, but also a spiritual being.

Cyber “Yes, such a statement is one of belief not of fact. Where is the hard evidence that we are 'spiritual' beings? Without any evidence to support it I think you'll find it difficult (at least) to get us to take the idea seriously.”

Belief and fact can be the same thing. If I believe I get off work at Noon and I do indeed get off at Noon that is a fact that I believe. The statement above could be a fact, I believe it to be so, or I wouldn’t believe it at all. Now, I agree it is not evidenced to you. I’m going to work up a post on “spirit” as soon as I get time for both you and BoomSlang. I am slammed this week with stuff to do so it won’t be until next week or so.

karla said: Has science disproven that we are spiritual beings as well as physical?

Cyber “That's not how it works. As far as I am aware there is no scientific (or other hard) evidence to support the idea of spiritual beings. All we do have are hearsay, anecdote and feeling - which don't really cut it as evidence in my world.”

If science hasn’t disproven it, then a you as a scientific person wouldn’t rule it out yet would you?

Cyber “My 'experience' is only of the most general sort. Although my parents are/where Catholic - and I am technically a Catholic as I have been baptised - my siblings and I were not brought up in that faith (for which I will be grateful for the rest of my life) and my parents deliberately sent me/us to Church of England schools which really didn't preach much.

I have a general idea of Biblical stories but no detailed knowledge. I fully expect this to remain so.”

Okay. Thank you for sharing that.

Cyber “Just letting you know that you have one heck of a mountain to climb - and that you might be approaching the whole issue incorrectly.”

Well, I like a challenge.

Karla said...

Karla: One day ["God"] will eliminate all evil, He promises to do that. However, His patience in doing that is for our good.

BoomSlang “Patience? Aren't we the ones patiently waiting for "God" to do what he, his "Word", and Christians insist that he will do? It's been 2000 years, Karla, and nothing. Meanwhile, more and more people suffer, and many are born only to die. Most of humanity will be hell-bound by default.”

He is patiently waiting for the right time for us. If he is the only way to eternal life, and you don’t know Him right now, would you want Him to come now? Or would you want Him to be patient? He would know when the best time is.

BoomSlang “Meanwhile, how is "God" taking no actions, while human suffering is rampant(supposedly because of "evil"), for "our good"? "God" can stop "evil", but won't. This is "good"... why?”

There is much humanity can do working with Him in the world today. These problems exist because we live separated from Him, not because we live with Him. I think much transformation will come to this earth before all things are made new and all evil is purged.

Where do you think humanity would stand if all evil all sin was expunged from this world?

BoomSlang “You're asking a naturalistic question based on a supernatural premise. We have evidence that "humanity" exists. We have evidence that suffering exists. So, if suffering were alleviated or eliminated, there'd be a better quality of life for humanity.”

Not sure what you are saying there. Do you believe evil exist?

By what other standard would you judge God?

BoomSlang “What standard? Avoiding the unnecessary harm of human beings.”

That’s a principal not a standard. By what measuring stick? Where do we find a perfect being, other than God by which God can be judged?


BoomSlang “I'm going to tell you the same thing I always tell you when/if you define/describe "God" as "Perfectly Good" and "Just", etc. This is essentially the "Sovereign God" arugument. It fails, and here's why:

If you are implying that "God" is "Perfectly Good", as in, intrinsically "Good", then literally, anything that "God" commanded - whether humanity agrees it's good, or not - would be seen as "Good".”
Why should goodness depend upon democratic agreement? Humanity is always changing its mind about its values and standards. How can we set the standard for God? This simply isn’t logical.


BoomSlang “Karla, we, as intelligent, sane adults, know that if "God" commanded us to throw rocks at prostitutes or rebellious teenagers, that this is NOT "good". In other words, there is a "standard" that exists independently of how "God" rules, or what "God" thinks. There is no way around this.”

So you don’t believe in any physical punishment for evil?

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Okay. What were you saying?

I'm saying that you are offering a "defense" of an argument that I didn't even put forth(which you do frequently, BTW).

Me, previously: “So, you have acheived perfection, then? You are incapable of "sin", are you?”

Karla: No. Not what I was saying. Righteousness doesn’t come from not sinning; it comes from being connected with God. It’s something God is and something I become when I am linked up with Him as I was designed to be.

You've made a distinction without a drop of difference as far as I'm concerned. Are you, or are you not, able to "sin" when/if you are "linked up" with God's supposed "Righteousness"? If not, then that is no different than saying that you are incapable of "sin". If you *are* able to "sin" when you are "linked up" with God's supposed "Righteousness", then where does the "Righteousness" part actually come in, and how do we know "God" can't "sin" just as well?

Me, previously: “Do you realize how many preachers/ministers/'Holy' men make this very same claim, but get caught doing all sorts of things that would make even the Devil blush?”

Karla: I wasn’t making the claim you thought I was.

Yes, you most certainly were making the same claim; you've just worded it differently. I'm saying that preachers and ministers, etc., claim to be "linked up with God's Righteousness" just like you claim it, but they "sin" no less than anyone else, and many times, more so.

Explain how goodness could be something innate to me, without the existence of a good God.

Please notice that when/if I say that you are innately "good" that this isn't meant to suggest "perfection". I'm saying that while we are evolved biologically, and socially, to know what "good" is and that it ensures our survival, that humans are still, by nature, fallible beings. It is you, per your chosen religious philosophy, who buys into this "black or white" mentality...i.e..all "good" or all "evil". It is you, the Christian, who suggests that a one-time decision to choose "wrong", or "right", makes one inherently one way, or the other. It is this mentality that violates our "freedom" to choose..i.e..our free will. You promote "freedom" to choose, but the system of ethics you endorse makes "freedom" obsolete.

["Heaven" and a "fallen reality"] can co-exist in that sense. But heaven will always be fully good. Heaven is more than a place; it’s a superior reality, both tangible and intangible. It’s a Kingdom we carry with us as well as a place one can go to.

You can give "Heaven" all sorts of wonderful descriptions. But I must remind you that you've gone on record to say that the two concepts are not mutually exclusive: "can coexist" ~ Karla.

To reinforce this, you offered this:

"Thus the evil angels, now demons, were cast out." ~ Karla

That the "angels" became "demons" at a later time is irrelevant. The angels rebelled(became "evil") while present in "Heaven", and as a consequence of that, were "cast out", for if they didn't, there would be no reason to cast them out in the first place. This is just basic, deductive reasoning. When you make statements like, "But heaven will always be fully good", you contradict yourself, and rather blatantly.

Previously, me: “Firstly, if having the 'freedom' to reject or walk away from "God" is necessary, then how does one 'abuse' that freedom?”

Karla: By doing the wrong thing with that freedom.

i.e..by making the wrong choice, right? Isn't that what you are suggesting?...that making the wrong choice is "abusing" the "freedom"? If so, you are wrong. The only way to ensure that the "right" choice be made, would be to REMOVE the "freedom", altogether. 'See the problem? You can't on the one hand say "freedom" to choose is necessary, but then on the other hand say that said "freedom" was abused when/if the "wrong" choice is made. That is self-defeating.

boomSLANG said...

Karla: If a child is given the freedom to take the car to a party and the youth, knowing it isn’t good, gets drunk at the party and drives drunk. He has abused the freedom given to him.

The child has abused the privilege, *not* his or her "free will".

The freedom wasn’t given so that he would do the wrong thing; it was so that he could choose to do the right thing.

Again, the "child" wasn't "free" to take the car; he or she was given the keys as a privilege. When you say, "choose to do the right thing", that is a different issue, as you cannot choose *AT ALL* if you don't have the "freedom" of choice.

But the only way anyone can choose to do right, is if wrong is available as a potential. Once the wrong ceases to be available, the right isn’t a choice any longer.

Right, thus, underscoring my point. One can't say "choice" is necessary, and then out of the other side of one's mouth complain that the "freedom", itself, was "abused". Karla, complaining about the undesired choice is different than complaining about the freedom to choose.

Evil is the absence of God’s goodness. So once that wrong thing was chosen, evil was created by the finite creature, not by God. So that creature or person steps out of the goodness of God, by choice, and into an alternate fallen reality. So then this fallen reality is created and something needs to happen to put things to rights again.

And guess what? Not one word of that apologetic refutes the notion that "Heaven" and a "fallen reality"(aka "evil") can coexist. Good grief, we've had your full admission on this point, so it shouldn't be an issue, that is, unless you misspoke and want to retract your previous statements/analogies.

Everything that has a beginning requires a Beginner. God didn’t Begin, He is eternal, self-existent, independent. If He needed to be Caused, then the Being that caused Him would be God.

You cannot prove that nature hasn't always existed in one form or another. Moreover, ask yourself this: Was there a time when time didn't exist? No, of course not, that would present a philosophical contradiction, and thus, the idea that a "God" can do things like contemplate the building of a Universe is also contradictory, since to contemplate, plan, etc., are temporal activities.

We don’t have to have been there. Logic can show us the truth of it.

"Creation" is an inductive argument that cannot be proven. That is the point I'm trying to make. Again, the only *honest* answer is "I don't know".

That is not what I was trying to say. I am sorry it came across that way. Please ask me to clarify when it sounds like I am saying something like that to you.

How about you try to think about how your apologetics come across before you type them? If you tell someone that their "love" is not pure, how would you expect them to take it?

Well the question would be, is it right that Christ is the personification of Truth or not?

No, the first question would be is it *true* that "Christ", yada, yada, yada. If it's objectively confirmed as so, *then* the next question can concern whether is it "right"

If He is, our claims aren’t arrogant, but true and helpful to humanity. If He is not, then we are wrong and maybe arrogant, but depending on the person, inadvertently so.

But for possibly the billionth time, there is no objective confirmation that the Truth-claims of Christianity are actually true. The best we have is Christianity's proponents insisting that it is(i.e..their *opinion*), just like the proponents of any religion insist that their respective religions are "True".

boomSLANG said...

Karla: I think arrogance is an attitude more than simply making a truth claim. I think some atheists can be arrogant, as well as some Christians. I don’t think that has to do with the claims, but with the attitude of the person.

All human beings at some time or another give off an attitude. The difference is, Atheists don't have any mandates to refer to that proport to make them more knowledgable than what they actually are. Theists, on the other hand, do. I can discuss recipes or golfing tips with a Theist all the day long, and likely, never bump heads with them. But the minute the Theist uses "God" as a "Spiritual license" to talk down to me, yes, I may cop an an attitude, and *I* believe, rightfully so.

At the end of the day, the Theist doesn't know anymore about the great questions in life than I; they only *believe* they do.

He is patiently waiting for the right time for us. If he is the only way to eternal life, and you don’t know Him right now, would you want Him to come now? Or would you want Him to be patient? He would know when the best time is.

Evidentally, it is sometimes "best" to NEVER "come", since millions of people DIE not "knowing" this supposed being, a being who supposedly wants to have a "relationship" with every single person. Therefore, why should we not conclude that "Hell" is "best" for some people?

There is much humanity can do working with Him in the world today. These problems exist because we live separated from Him, not because we live with Him. I think much transformation will come to this earth before all things are made new and all evil is purged.

Meanwhile, most of humanity suffers horrific unending agony in "Hell" because, why? Because "God is being patient with us". Utterly preposturous.

BTW, what good is it when/if "all evil is purged", if some angels can come along and simply choose to be "evil"? It happened once; it can happen again.

Not sure what you are saying there. Do you believe evil exist?

No, of course I don't believe that "evil", in a religious context, exists. If you're asking this question, then you show me that you haven't been paying attention.

I don't believe *ANY* tenet of the Christian philosophy is "Truth". I find said belief-system to be too abhorent to be worthy of my belief. However, I argue under the *pretense* that it is "true" to illustrate to people like you that it is not worthy of your belief, either, and should be denounced.

Me, previously: “What standard? Avoiding the unnecessary harm of human beings.”

That’s a principal not a standard.

Karla, you. do. not. listen. I have never, ever said that there's an *Objective*, *Universal* standard for "right" and "wrong". I've only used the word "standard" as a current guideline. When will this sink in? If I don't believe in said Ultimate "standard", then it's pointless to ask me things like, "By what other standard would you judge God?"

By what measuring stick? Where do we find a perfect being, other than God by which God can be judged?

Begging the question(FALLACY)

Karla, I'll attempt this once more.

YOU are the one arguing that "God's Word" is *intrinsically* "good"(look it up if you don't know what it means)

This means that no matter how "God" rules or commands, it *MUST* be seen as "good", *even* if it is something that we, as humanity, see as harmful or unethical..i.e. NOT "good". For instance, if biblegod decided to reinstate the "dash children against rocks" or "stone rebellious teens" policies, you would have to see these things as "good" if you are a proponent of a "Sovereign God".

boomSLANG said...

Karla: Why should goodness depend upon democratic agreement? Humanity is always changing its mind about its values and standards. How can we set the standard for God? This simply isn’t logical.

This is simply unreal.

Karla? Why-oh-why are you asking me this question?????? I'm saying...WE DON'T NEED "GOD" for "morality". So why are you asking me to "set the standard for God"????

Karla, if you lived isolated on an island, you could do as you dang-well pleased. It isn't until you live a group that you must consider the feelings of others, and yes, the way that is usually measured is democratic agreement.

Say, if you lost your "faith" and decided that you wanted to kill the person who took your parking place, you are free to go against the democratic agreement that this is "wrong"!!!! You will likely end up in prison for life, but hey, that's your choice! 'See how it works?

So you don’t believe in any physical punishment for evil?

I don't believe in "evil", especially, that we are inherently "evil". Yes, I believe we behave unethically at times, and yes, there should be consequences. But the punishment/fine should be proportionate to the crime.

BTW, can you name an offense that a child can commit where his or her punishment should be one of being dashed against rocks? Would you take part in such a thing?

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