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Posts 14
Saint | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 10:53 AM
Charles, You and Jules have got it right. The bible is very logical and easy to understand, if we let it abide in our hearts and minds (Hebrews 8:10-12). It is us humans that have complicated its understanding.
Posts 14
Saint | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 11:01 AM

Charles,

I too share this logical thinking approach because it satisfies the command to prove all things (1 Thess 5:19-21) in light of all scripture. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 11:39 AM

Charles Nason:
Scripture never attempts to prove the existence of God (that started with Anselm)

I agree with much of what you say. However, the primary early creeds begin with a statement of belief in God and God's characteristics, followed by the incarnation and death-resurrection, followed by Scripture, church etc. It is this logical progression that I was speaking of - not the methods of evangelization and apologetics.

But one item in your post puzzles me:

Charles Nason:
Call people to believe what God said about Christ.

I would quibble on two points (1) Christ is God (2) we are to believe in Christ.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 129
John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 11:58 AM

 

MJ. Smith:
But sorry, I see our current view of science to be highly Western - external, measureable, repeatable etc. Eastern "science" makes room for the  internal, unmeasurable, predictable i.e. psychological, religious, mystical ...

Well my background is in mathematics and is only heavily augmented with symbolic logic and metaphysics (something I regarded as important with respect to algorithmic theory in computer science. On the practical side it ended up making me a better problem solver than a designer, something I was most often tasked with before I was X'ed from society). So my "Westerness" is nothing more than an insistence that one disregards one's external influences for just one second and recognize that pi is pi wherever you go and nothing in Horatio's philosophy will ever change that. The same is true for all metaphysical laws, including the axioms of logic. You can say whatever you like but you're stuck with them, here, there and everywhere.

You know, I had a very difficult time trying to figure out how I was going to properly word this sentence (form my last post):

     "If you happen to be thinking about studying these things and you happen upon a school with math and philosophy departments that are strongly influenced by cultural woolgathering then I recommend you look to enroll someplace else."

Philosophy is such a broad discipline that it's really foolish to try and pigeonhole it like that. I mean really, how do you hold a course on Tibetan philosophy that isn't colored by religion or culture? It's absurd. I think of Philosophy as a whole as the "art of inquiry". Science and philosophy are very strongly linked because all scientific exploration begins at that point and the initial steps can always be classified as "woolgathering" of some sort. The problem with the pigeonhole is that philosophy is also the beginning for many types of inquiry that have nothing to do with science. In the end, though, I couldn't figure out a better way of saying what I was trying to say so I just left it to the reader to glean my meaning.

MJ. Smith:
But regardless of why you read Russell I am delighted to find another logic junkie on the forums.

Well, I've read bits and pieces of other works, mostly out of curiosity. You know, cruising through the library, you encounter a publication by Russell so you pick it up and read parts of it to see what he has to say. Kind of like an exploration for your next favorite fictional author. To be honest I thought his obsession with religion really affected his reason. In fact I thought that was so self evident that it was a wonder that nobody else ever picked up on it. Or admitted it. That's the thing about philosophers (or, perhaps just philosophy students). They seem to have an aversion to the practical. The main reason why ordinary university students secretly want all of the philosophy students banned from their coffee areas and locked in a cellar room somewhere. "Who cares if it's impossible to prove that the sun rises and sets every day, you insufferable twit!!!!" (Sorry. I'm sure you always used to leave your tweed cardigan and pipe at home when you left for school).

Anyway, practical is good and should never be disregarded. Sometimes it is absolutely essential if you want your thinking to be clear and other times necessary to understand the argument being presented to you. I've never been able to understand why it is that someone has to be an offended Christian to see the obvious flaws in Nietzsche's  thinking (I know what you're going to say. That cafeteria passion play also features a thoroughly anti-Nietzsche type arguing loudly with the Nietzsche proponent but I still think they both miss the point). Practical removes Nietzsche from our view altogether and allows us to focus our sight on far more beneficial activities. 

Yours in Christ

John

Posts 129
John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 12:39 PM

 

Charles Nason:
Logic is grounded in the character of God.

How do you know that? Logic is a created thing. God precedes logic. I can't say that what you say is false because nothing has been revealed to me, either in scripture or in natural evidence to say it is false. However, neither can you say it's true for the same reason. We have no evidence in God's revelation or otherwise that says it would not be possible for God to create a universe with completely different logical paradigms.

Charles Nason:
A equals not A is impossible because God does not lie.  It never will because God does not change.

Careful. You're tip-toeing on that line that divides theism from pantheism (the nature of God is encapsulated by the nature of the universe). I don't want to see you trip, fall and land on the wrong side.

The nature of the universe may be encapsulated by the nature of God but you have no evidence to support that view or the notion that this view even makes any sense from God's perspective. There does exist the possibility that "A equals not A" can be a true statement and not be a lie in some frame of reference, albeit not one that lies within the constraints of our physical reality. In fact scripture hints at that very possibility when the risen Christ walks along side his disciples and is not recognized until he decides to make his presence known. It's just a hint, mind you. We can come up with lots of different conjecture about why that may occur. However I defy anyone to come up with any reasonable explanation as to how the risen Christ can be physical but not constrained by physical barriers (like walls) or be present one second and gone the next. The underlying implication from what we know about the risen Lord is that his reality includes our own  but exceeds it as well. 

Charles Nason:
Belief is a requisite.  Absolute provability is not.

Yes, I agree. Faith is imperative. I don't know why that is so but it certainly is.

Yours in Christ

John

Posts 12
Charlie Nason | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 12:47 PM

MJ. Smith,

Yes, the creeds started with belief in God but not an apology of God.  The creeds stated what they believed about God and those beliefs were based in Scripture.  This is the same with the Christ and his death and resurrection.  They were not trying to prove these things to an unbelieving mind on the basis of natural revelation, natural theology, or logic.  They were simply stating them as clearly as they could based on their understanding from Scripture.  Did they use logical method and argument?  Yes, based on Biblical president and the design of man not to remain within the bounds of some extra-biblical logical system.

Like the Biblical writers our prepositions are powerful.  Our two statements are not so dis-similar.

Charles Nason:
Call people to believe what God said about Christ.

You said, "I would quibble on two points (1) Christ is God (2) we are to believe in Christ."

Yes, Christ is God.  Christ is the second person of the trinity embodied as the man Jesus.  As such, the Son became man all the while maintaining all of who he is as God.  This is what it is to believe IN Christ.  We believe who he is based on what God said about his person.  However, God said things about the Christ before the Son came as the Christ.  Jesus accomplished these things showing that he was the Christ.  God placed meaning on the things Christ accomplished otherwise just another Jew dyed on a cross 2000 years ago.  The meaning for Christ's death is based on what God (Father, Son, and Spirit) said through Scripture about the Christ before he came and after he ascended.  Therefore, we believe what God said about the Christ in Scripture (his perfect life giving us righteousness, his death bearing our penalty, and these two acts bringing those who believe into fellowship).

We believe what God said about the Christ and we call others to do the same.  I do not disagree with the order of the process (God, Christ's person and work, Scripture and so forth).  I am only trying to be clear of the focus of this process.  We do not call people to believe in the existence of God.  We call people to believe him.  Believe what he said in Scripture.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 1:27 PM

Charles Nason:
We believe who he is based on what God said about his person.  However, God said things about the Christ before the Son came as the Christ.

Although it is not your intent, your use of the word "God" to refer to God-the-Father makes it sound as if the REAL God is God the Father and Jesus Christ is God as an afterthought. The God who created the world was triune ... see the Prologue to the Gospel of John for the role of the Son/Word. 

Charles Nason:
God placed meaning on the things Christ accomplished otherwise just another Jew dyed on a cross 2000 years ago

Again I don't believe it is your intent, this sounds suspiciously like man-became-God rather than God-became-man (the incarnation).

I think that the root of the difference in wording/focus derives from a fundamental difference of seeing "The Word" primarily as Jesus vs. as Scripture. While I have found this discussion very informative, I suspect it's time to let the forum get back to its real focus - Logos [sigh]

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 129
John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 1:52 PM

 

Jules lamond:

Now this sensitivity is in-line with scripture. You hit the nail on the head instead of dancing around it. See my previous post.

Hi Jules.

I think you should get in the habit of quoting the bits of other people's posts that you're responding to. Of course this is for my benefit (and others I suppose) but I'm interested in what you're point of view is and I can't tell from this post what you are talking about. Even the one where you mention Charles by name is confusing because Charles wrote more than one post and I can't tell what you're agreeing to when you just say, "Charles, I agree".

Anyway, just a suggestion, not a demand.

Yours in Christ

John

Posts 129
John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 2:39 PM

 

MJ. Smith:
Again I don't believe it is your intent, this sounds suspiciously like man-became-God rather than God-became-man (the incarnation).

Now this I like. This is precisely the view I hear professed from modernist pulpits. I like to think of it as "new-age gnosticism". That is, gnosticism with a twist. We're given an opposite view of the nature of Christ. Wholly man but only inspired and, perhaps "ascended" (if you've ever watched that utterly ridiculous tv show, "Stargate SG1").

MJ. Smith:
I think that the root of the difference in wording/focus derives from a fundamental difference of seeing "The Word" primarily as Jesus vs. as Scripture. While I have found this discussion very informative, I suspect it's time to let the forum get back to its real focus - Logos [sigh]

Oh come on, this is interesting. Here we are talking about the problems of reason within the scope of theological thought and you and Charles inadvertently stumble upon the greatest paradox in Christian theology, the doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine has been responsible for more arguments and given birth to more heresies than any other and here you've provided us with a vivid illustration of how these difficulties arise.

The simultaneous impossibility and indisputability of the Trinity doctrine puts us in a bind. In my opinion Charles is endeavoring to make a perfectly valid point but your objection and the nature of the Trinity is blocking him from expressing this point without saying something that sounds heretical. Our only recourse is to agree on terms and try to express/accept the thought in the simplest way we can. This dilema illistrates our point about proving things about God exactly. You can't reconcile the doctrine with the physical universe and, if you try (as obviously many have) you wind up contradicting God's word and producing an heretical view.

Yours in Christ

John

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 5:10 PM

John McComb:
The simultaneous impossibility and indisputability of the Trinity doctrine puts us in a bind. In my opinion Charles is endeavoring to make a perfectly valid point but your objection and the nature of the Trinity is blocking him from expressing this point without saying something that sounds heretical. Our only recourse is to agree on terms and try to express/accept the thought in the simplest way we can. This dilema illistrates our point about proving things about God exactly. You can't reconcile the doctrine with the physical universe and, if you try (as obviously many have) you wind up contradicting God's word and producing an heretical view.

I agree wholeheartedly. The image that I like is that we can see truth through a window - reason can narrow the window frame i.e. can eliminate more that is untrue. But I also have to admit to a strong affinity with Orthodox apophatic theology. I also admit to a strong affinity to discussions that force me to use language carefully and be aware of (or have exposed) my pre-assumptions.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 129
John McComb | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 14 2009 5:53 PM

 

MJ. Smith:
I agree wholeheartedly. The image that I like is that we can see truth through a window - reason can narrow the window frame i.e. can eliminate more that is untrue.

I like the images you come up with a lot. Sooner or later I'm going to wind up stealing them and using them as illistrations for my own arguments.

Yours in Christ

John

Posts 50
Joe Gschwandtner | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2009 1:36 PM

JimVanSchoonhoven:
I have a real problem with the whole idea of habitual sin compared to sin that just happens once in a while.

 

Jim,

 

The distinction I'm making is with habit in the sense that I do it repeatedly, and do not let the Holy Spirit heal me from it vs. doing wrong in a particular way once, and then listening to Him pointing that out to you, and letting Him change you. I believe God is able to make us increasingly more like He wants us to be by the power of His spirit. If we have a new nature as 1 John 3 says, then we cannot keep committing the same sins.

 

Joe

Posts 50
Joe Gschwandtner | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2009 1:39 PM

Robert Pavich:

can you elaborate when you say "hamartia vs harartion"?

 

Robert,

 

Check out the Greek underlying the English word "sin" in 1 John 1. Just like phileo vs agape, it's not the same in Greek. If you look in Logos at the Greek word that we translate "sin," you'll notice that there are times that hamartia is used, and times that hamartion is used. I take one to be the equivalent of habitual sin, and the other that of an uncharacteristic, singular act of sin. It's been a while since I worked through that, though, so I don't recall right now which is which.

 

Joe

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2009 1:47 PM

Joe,

 

You said


"IF we have a new nature then we cannot keep on commiting the same sins"

So you've never lied more than once? Never had more than one "bad thought" run through your head?

I think that it's clear that Christians sin.

Who among us has given 100% of our affections to God 100% of the time every day?

Of course the answer is nobody.

just my 02 cents.

 

 

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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Jack Caviness | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Aug 18 2009 3:03 PM

JoeGschwandtner:

Robert Pavich:

can you elaborate when you say "hamartia vs harartion"?

Robert,

Check out the Greek underlying the English word "sin" in 1 John 1. Just like phileo vs agape, it's not the same in Greek. If you look in Logos at the Greek word that we translate "sin," you'll notice that there are times that hamartia is used, and times that hamartion is used. I take one to be the equivalent of habitual sin, and the other that of an uncharacteristic, singular act of sin. It's been a while since I worked through that, though, so I don't recall right now which is which.

Joe

What??? One is a noun; the other is a participle. I fail to see the distinction you are making. I believe that habitual sin is in view in 1 John 3:6. However, it is also possible that John is combatting two different forms of Gnosticism in these two passages (sinless perfection and the belief that sin does not touch the spirit). From this thread, others obviously have different views. That is alright, but I fail to understand your point.

Jack

Posts 4843
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 6 2014 2:46 AM

Interesting old thread from a few months before I started on the forum. The old thread Kent dredged up brought me here. I'm just commenting so that I won't lose track of it.

Posts 18857
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 6 2014 2:59 AM

David Paul:
I'm just commenting so that I won't lose track of it.

If there's an old thread you want to keep track of, you can always go to the first post in the thread and choose More > "Add this post as a favorite." That way, you aren't reviving an old thread for the sole reason of keeping track of it.

Posts 4843
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 6 2014 3:10 AM

Rosie Perera:

David Paul:
I'm just commenting so that I won't lose track of it.

If there's an old thread you want to keep track of, you can always go to the first post in the thread and choose More > "Add this post as a favorite." That way, you aren't reviving an old thread for the sole reason of keeping track of it.

Okay, I clicked that option (but should I click "add post" or "add forum"?), but what does that do for me? I don't see any way of locating the things I tag.

I think that's why I've never used this option in the past.

Posts 149
David A. Peterson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, May 6 2014 3:36 AM

Hi David,

I know that if I click on add to favorites, it shows up under my "Shared Favorites" list, right under my name on my profile page.  I am now seeing if the tag shows up as well,

DAP

edit. Tag doesn't show up, may be an great idea for a suggestion, to allow us to view tags on our favorites list, as it does not look like there is any way to organize the list...

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