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Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” - Genesis 2:18
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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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almostgreta

A Muslim on the Gospel

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Sue D.
Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

Sin screws up the world and the person. Agreed

 

How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

 

Well, according to Christian belief, this is a matter of justice. The charges are as follows:

  1. Somehow we must pay reparations for sin.
  2. Somehow we have to reconcile the aggrieved parties ( the sinner must be reconciled with God)
  3. Somehow we have to satisfy God’s need to excuse sin

Solution: Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death. So, how does this solve the problem of sin ….

 

1. Redemption undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his sin—freedom is secured through the ransom which is Christ’s (God in human form) death/sacrifice.

2. Reconciliation undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his relationship to God, and contemplates the sinner as at enmity with God and Christ as the peace maker and

3. Propitiation undertakes the problem of an offended God and His necessity to be just when he justifies the sinner—Christ as an Offering, a Sacrifice, a Lamb slain who meets every demand of God’s holiness against the offender.

 

Not only this, for this is to take away the negative consequences of sin ... but God does much, much more than forgive sin. He imputes the righteousness of God himself to those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. We (believers) are now His adopted children, loved and cherish by God, Brothers of Christ, with citizenship in Heaven while being ambassadors on earth... we are a gift from the Father to the Son, promised new bodies, and on and on ...

 

That’s the Christian perspective as I understand it.

 

So, how does an individual take advantage of this sacrifice?

Christians are divided ... I will generalize and say 3 opinions

 

1) God selects those He will save (the elect) and to each individual so selected the Spirit of God regenerates that person. This process the gives the individual Faith (belief Christ is God and died and is alive), Repentance and Justification. (Aside: this is the opinion I agree with)

2) The individual believes 'Christ is God and died and is alive' by deciding from his own mental resources that it it true where this belief is called FAITH. At this point God's Spirit enters the person and he is justified.

3) Similar to '2', but the person also has to do various things (works) to secure salvation (Roman Catholics, some protestants)

 

That's the gist of it from my perspective.

Well -- # 3 is negated by Ephesians 2:8-9 -- which says Not of works because then a person would have something to boast about that he had done to complete his salvation. Jesus Christ did all that was necessary on the cross.

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Sue D.
Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

Sin screws up the world and the person. Agreed

 

How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

 

Well, according to Christian belief, this is a matter of justice. The charges are as follows:

  1. Somehow we must pay reparations for sin.
  2. Somehow we have to reconcile the aggrieved parties ( the sinner must be reconciled with God)
  3. Somehow we have to satisfy God’s need to excuse sin

Solution: Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death. So, how does this solve the problem of sin ….

 

1. Redemption undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his sin—freedom is secured through the ransom which is Christ’s (God in human form) death/sacrifice.

2. Reconciliation undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his relationship to God, and contemplates the sinner as at enmity with God and Christ as the peace maker and

3. Propitiation undertakes the problem of an offended God and His necessity to be just when he justifies the sinner—Christ as an Offering, a Sacrifice, a Lamb slain who meets every demand of God’s holiness against the offender.

 

Not only this, for this is to take away the negative consequences of sin ... but God does much, much more than forgive sin. He imputes the righteousness of God himself to those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. We (believers) are now His adopted children, loved and cherish by God, Brothers of Christ, with citizenship in Heaven while being ambassadors on earth... we are a gift from the Father to the Son, promised new bodies, and on and on ...

 

That’s the Christian perspective as I understand it.

 

So, how does an individual take advantage of this sacrifice?

Christians are divided ... I will generalize and say 3 opinions

 

1) God selects those He will save (the elect) and to each individual so selected the Spirit of God regenerates that person. This process the gives the individual Faith (belief Christ is God and died and is alive), Repentance and Justification. (Aside: this is the opinion I agree with)

2) The individual believes 'Christ is God and died and is alive' by deciding from his own mental resources that it it true where this belief is called FAITH. At this point God's Spirit enters the person and he is justified.

3) Similar to '2', but the person also has to do various things (works) to secure salvation (Roman Catholics, some protestants)

 

That's the gist of it from my perspective.

Very well stated.

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Meir-Simchah
Well, the messiah has to be a patrilineal descendent of King David. No father from that line = no messiah.

Joseph, the husband of Mary, was a descendant of King David and the rightful heir to the throne. He couldn't actually occupy the throne because of a curse God had placed on one of lhis ancestors, Jechoniah. The only way Jesus could inherit the kingship was to be born of a virgin who was legally the wife of Joseph. See my post here: https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/general-faith/60718-king-joseph

> You are trying to make Christianity sound like a very unlikely belief.

Well, it does strike me that way. That's why I'm trying to understand how things fit together for you.

I think @Fastfredy0's comment above addresses this well:

> "I believe Christianity is based on faith and not always logical. ... Thus, if God says in the New Testament says 1 + 1 = 3 Christians believe it and could never explain it to an unbeliever and often can't explain some aspects to ourselves. That being said, often what God says in the New Testament is 1 + 1 = 2."

 

That replies on a particular idea of what faith is. Mathematics too in a sense rests on faith. Why these axioms? Because we believe them. Why them? Well, that's a longer discussion... The difference between mathematics and Christianity seems to be what this faith is really about. In math, it's about first principles. In Christianity -- tell me if this is wrong -- it seems to mean that anything *could* follow from anything. If God were to have told Abraham, 1+1 = 3, Abraham would have said, Now, You hold on there just a minute... Will the Judge of the World destroy the integrity of the world for any purpose?

 

> And it Also seems at times that you are more interested in promoting Judaism Rather than accepting the truths about Christianity. So -- what Is your real objective.

I'm not interested in promoting Judaism at all. If if feels that way to you, it might be because you're trying to convert me, and I'm telling you how I'll stick with my tradition. I'm also not interested in "accepting the truths" -- you wrote "about" but I think you mean *of* -- "Christianity." I want to find out how Christianity works. And I want to see what we share and where we differ.

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Meir-Simchah
Fine. But he wasn't Jesus' father. Jesus wasn't a descendant of David. No father from that line = no messiah.

 

(Who cares about the curse? There are other heirs.)

 

Since, you probably don't believe in the virgin birth, how do you make that argument?

 

I don't believe in the virgin birth, but let me use it against you. Its kind of like saying I don't believe in Santa because the tooth fairy told me

Re curse: see above Theophilus' comment

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Meir-Simchah
Fine. But he wasn't Jesus' father. Jesus wasn't a descendant of David. No father from that line = no messiah.

He wasn't the biological father of Jesus but he was legally his father. Mary was also a descendant of David so Jesus was a biological as well as a legal descendant. Did you read the post I linked to?

 

What curse are you referring to?

The curse on Jechoniah, who was an ancestor of Jacob. https://www.christforums.org/forum/christian-community/general-faith/60718-king-joseph

In that other thread, you write: "Because Mary was the wife of Joseph her son was legally considered to also be Joseph’s son. This meant that the kingship was legally passed on to him." - That's just incorrect. If a son is born to a woman by someone other than her husband, he is a mamzer (loosely translated, 'bastard'), which is a legal status that it really sucks to have.

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Meir-Simchah
Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

Sin screws up the world and the person. Agreed

 

How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

 

Well, according to Christian belief, this is a matter of justice. The charges are as follows:

  1. Somehow we must pay reparations for sin.
  2. Somehow we have to reconcile the aggrieved parties ( the sinner must be reconciled with God)
  3. Somehow we have to satisfy God’s need to excuse sin

Solution: Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death. So, how does this solve the problem of sin ….

 

1. Redemption undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his sin—freedom is secured through the ransom which is Christ’s (God in human form) death/sacrifice.

2. Reconciliation undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his relationship to God, and contemplates the sinner as at enmity with God and Christ as the peace maker and

3. Propitiation undertakes the problem of an offended God and His necessity to be just when he justifies the sinner—Christ as an Offering, a Sacrifice, a Lamb slain who meets every demand of God’s holiness against the offender.

 

Not only this, for this is to take away the negative consequences of sin ... but God does much, much more than forgive sin. He imputes the righteousness of God himself to those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. We (believers) are now His adopted children, loved and cherish by God, Brothers of Christ, with citizenship in Heaven while being ambassadors on earth... we are a gift from the Father to the Son, promised new bodies, and on and on ...

 

That’s the Christian perspective as I understand it.

 

So, how does an individual take advantage of this sacrifice?

Christians are divided ... I will generalize and say 3 opinions

 

1) God selects those He will save (the elect) and to each individual so selected the Spirit of God regenerates that person. This process the gives the individual Faith (belief Christ is God and died and is alive), Repentance and Justification. (Aside: this is the opinion I agree with)

2) The individual believes 'Christ is God and died and is alive' by deciding from his own mental resources that it it true where this belief is called FAITH. At this point God's Spirit enters the person and he is justified.

3) Similar to '2', but the person also has to do various things (works) to secure salvation (Roman Catholics, some protestants)

 

That's the gist of it from my perspective.

This is wonderful! Thank you for laying this out!

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Meir-Simchah
Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

Sin screws up the world and the person. Agreed

 

How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

 

Well, according to Christian belief, this is a matter of justice. The charges are as follows:

  1. Somehow we must pay reparations for sin.
  2. Somehow we have to reconcile the aggrieved parties ( the sinner must be reconciled with God)
  3. Somehow we have to satisfy God’s need to excuse sin

Solution: Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death. So, how does this solve the problem of sin ….

 

1. Redemption undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his sin—freedom is secured through the ransom which is Christ’s (God in human form) death/sacrifice.

2. Reconciliation undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his relationship to God, and contemplates the sinner as at enmity with God and Christ as the peace maker and

3. Propitiation undertakes the problem of an offended God and His necessity to be just when he justifies the sinner—Christ as an Offering, a Sacrifice, a Lamb slain who meets every demand of God’s holiness against the offender.

 

Not only this, for this is to take away the negative consequences of sin ... but God does much, much more than forgive sin. He imputes the righteousness of God himself to those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. We (believers) are now His adopted children, loved and cherish by God, Brothers of Christ, with citizenship in Heaven while being ambassadors on earth... we are a gift from the Father to the Son, promised new bodies, and on and on ...

 

That’s the Christian perspective as I understand it.

 

So, how does an individual take advantage of this sacrifice?

Christians are divided ... I will generalize and say 3 opinions

 

1) God selects those He will save (the elect) and to each individual so selected the Spirit of God regenerates that person. This process the gives the individual Faith (belief Christ is God and died and is alive), Repentance and Justification. (Aside: this is the opinion I agree with)

2) The individual believes 'Christ is God and died and is alive' by deciding from his own mental resources that it it true where this belief is called FAITH. At this point God's Spirit enters the person and he is justified.

3) Similar to '2', but the person also has to do various things (works) to secure salvation (Roman Catholics, some protestants)

 

That's the gist of it from my perspective.

Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death.

 

This is really the crux (pun intended) of the matter.

 

"Man sucks and has no solution that he can implment from his own resources." - Why?

 

But suppose that's the case, why is the solution "God in human form"? How's that help anyone? From my perspective, you can say almost anything here, since God taking on human form doesn't make any sense at all. I mean, it violates everything, so the ramifications could be anything.

 

It seems like there are a lot of things that all come together in Jesus, and I don't see the necessary relations between them. He is:

1 - the perfect sacrifice

2 - God

3 - human, and

4 - Christ (= messiah = mashuach = annointed = king/high priest)

 

...not to mention...

5 - of infinite value, and

6 - resurrected.

 

Why do all those things have to be wrapped up in one? As far as salvation is concerned, don't you just need 1?

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Fastfredy0
This is really the crux (pun intended) of the matter.

LOL, but the cross (Christ's death) is the focus of Christianity

 

since God taking on human form doesn't make any sense at all.

I understand this is a 'stumbling block' you cannot cross over. Aside: Some Christians think you can use reason to understand/believe it. Others, like me (and William) believe the Spirit of God convinces us. The Bible says the means of salvation is created to be a 'stumbling block to the Jews' and to confound the Gentiles who use logic (Paraphrase 1 Cor. 1:23)

 

1 - the perfect sacrifice - (He is the only thing of sufficient value to ransom sinners ... goats and sheep were a temporary representation of things to come

 

2 - God - God is the only thing in the universe with intrinsic worth, anything else is just His creation.

 

3 - human, and (must be human, for something had to die and God is eternal and therefore can't die, but Jesus had two nature (God-man) and the human nature could die)

 

4 - Christ (= messiah = mashuach = annointed = king/high priest) -these are just titles... as a priest He intercedes for Christians, He will be King

 

5 - of infinite value, and -needed to satisfy God's need for justice and holiness in regards overlooking sin

 

6 - resurrected. - By resurrection Christ became what in Himself He had not been before—the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings (Christians) and this the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament

 

Why do all those things have to be wrapped up in one? As far as salvation is concerned, don't you just need 1

Ah, well, God makes the rules.

I can simplify (get rid of the reasoning behind salvation - Salvation, simply put is The belief that Christ is God and He died and is alive where belief is to know the fact I just stated, agree to the fact and trust in the fact (live as if the fact is true). 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

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Sue D.
This is really the crux (pun intended) of the matter.

LOL, but the cross (Christ's death) is the focus of Christianity

 

since God taking on human form doesn't make any sense at all.

I understand this is a 'stumbling block' you cannot cross over. Aside: Some Christians think you can use reason to understand/believe it. Others, like me (and William) believe the Spirit of God convinces us. The Bible says the means of salvation is created to be a 'stumbling block to the Jews' and to confound the Gentiles who use logic (Paraphrase 1 Cor. 1:23)

 

1 - the perfect sacrifice - (He is the only thing of sufficient value to ransom sinners ... goats and sheep were a temporary representation of things to come

 

2 - God - God is the only thing in the universe with intrinsic worth, anything else is just His creation.

 

3 - human, and (must be human, for something had to die and God is eternal and therefore can't die, but Jesus had two nature (God-man) and the human nature could die)

 

4 - Christ (= messiah = mashuach = annointed = king/high priest) -these are just titles... as a priest He intercedes for Christians, He will be King

 

5 - of infinite value, and -needed to satisfy God's need for justice and holiness in regards overlooking sin

 

6 - resurrected. - By resurrection Christ became what in Himself He had not been before—the federal Head of a wholly new order of beings (Christians) and this the primary divine objective as this is set forth in the New Testament

 

Why do all those things have to be wrapped up in one? As far as salvation is concerned, don't you just need 1

Ah, well, God makes the rules.

I can simplify (get rid of the reasoning behind salvation - Salvation, simply put is The belief that Christ is God and He died and is alive where belief is to know the fact I just stated, agree to the fact and trust in the fact (live as if the fact is true). 1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Very well stated.

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Faber
Sin screws up the world and the person. How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

Sin screws up the world and the person. Agreed

 

How does accepting salvation or Jesus address sin?

 

Well, according to Christian belief, this is a matter of justice. The charges are as follows:

  1. Somehow we must pay reparations for sin.
  2. Somehow we have to reconcile the aggrieved parties ( the sinner must be reconciled with God)
  3. Somehow we have to satisfy God’s need to excuse sin

Solution: Well, mans 'sucks' and has no solution the he can implement from his resources. He needs help; he needs Christ. Christ, who is God who has taken on human form, comes to earth and fulfills the requirements of the law. God tells Christ (who is God in human form) that He requires a sacrifice, as spotless lamb so to speak, to be offered up. Christ is the spotless lamb and being God, He is of infinite worth. One drop of His blood is therefore of infinite value to God for it is God himself. Christ (God) dies voluntarily and God the Father raises Him from the death. So, how does this solve the problem of sin ….

 

1. Redemption undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his sin—freedom is secured through the ransom which is Christ’s (God in human form) death/sacrifice.

2. Reconciliation undertakes the solution of the problem of the sinner and his relationship to God, and contemplates the sinner as at enmity with God and Christ as the peace maker and

3. Propitiation undertakes the problem of an offended God and His necessity to be just when he justifies the sinner—Christ as an Offering, a Sacrifice, a Lamb slain who meets every demand of God’s holiness against the offender.

 

Not only this, for this is to take away the negative consequences of sin ... but God does much, much more than forgive sin. He imputes the righteousness of God himself to those who believe in the death and resurrection of Christ. We (believers) are now His adopted children, loved and cherish by God, Brothers of Christ, with citizenship in Heaven while being ambassadors on earth... we are a gift from the Father to the Son, promised new bodies, and on and on ...

 

That’s the Christian perspective as I understand it.

 

So, how does an individual take advantage of this sacrifice?

Christians are divided ... I will generalize and say 3 opinions

 

1) God selects those He will save (the elect) and to each individual so selected the Spirit of God regenerates that person. This process the gives the individual Faith (belief Christ is God and died and is alive), Repentance and Justification. (Aside: this is the opinion I agree with)

2) The individual believes 'Christ is God and died and is alive' by deciding from his own mental resources that it it true where this belief is called FAITH. At this point God's Spirit enters the person and he is justified.

3) Similar to '2', but the person also has to do various things (works) to secure salvation (Roman Catholics, some protestants)

 

That's the gist of it from my perspective.

How does God taking on human form "violate everything"?

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Meir-Simchah

Above I wrote that God taking on human form "violates everything", and @Faber asked how that's the case.

 

First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

 

But hold on, back up. Why is God taking on human form so impossible? Well, this was discussed pretty thoroughly by medieval philosophers. It's a violation of oneness. Physical bodies change (and admit "accidents"), and are limited in ways that Being itself is not. So while a physical being might be singular, it cannot be one in the deep sense.

 

So then there are different options for how you can deal with this. You can become a non-trinitarian. You can claim like Tertullian, that it doesn't make any sense, and that's the point. You can throw out oneness, or at least that concept of oneness. Etc. I'm sure Christian theologians have tried dozens of different ideas, and I'm just thinking off the cuff here.

 

I believe that the oneness principle is crucial. And it's ultimately about more than how we describe God. It's about the unity of being. What does it mean for Primal Being to exist in a limited, perishable form? Doesn't make any sense. And with that everything breaks down, including our capacity to reason (again, as Tertullian points out).

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Meir-Simchah
Above I wrote that God taking on human form "violates everything", and @Faber asked how that's the case.

 

First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

 

But hold on, back up. Why is God taking on human form so impossible? Well, this was discussed pretty thoroughly by medieval philosophers. It's a violation of oneness. Physical bodies change (and admit "accidents"), and are limited in ways that Being itself is not. So while a physical being might be singular, it cannot be one in the deep sense.

 

So then there are different options for how you can deal with this. You can become a non-trinitarian. You can claim like Tertullian, that it doesn't make any sense, and that's the point. You can throw out oneness, or at least that concept of oneness. Etc. I'm sure Christian theologians have tried dozens of different ideas, and I'm just thinking off the cuff here.

 

I believe that the oneness principle is crucial. And it's ultimately about more than how we describe God. It's about the unity of being. What does it mean for Primal Being to exist in a limited, perishable form? Doesn't make any sense. And with that everything breaks down, including our capacity to reason (again, as Tertullian points out).

Incidentally, I recently talk with my friend Tzvi about this on our podcast "Holy Madness - The Show". Actually I asked him why he doesn't believe in Jesus. And this, ultimately, was his answer, though he frames it in terms of "this world," "the next world," and salvation. The conversation is here https://holymadness.podbean.com/e/episode-9-betting-against-pascal/

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Faber
Above I wrote that God taking on human form "violates everything", and @Faber asked how that's the case.

 

First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

 

But hold on, back up. Why is God taking on human form so impossible? Well, this was discussed pretty thoroughly by medieval philosophers. It's a violation of oneness. Physical bodies change (and admit "accidents"), and are limited in ways that Being itself is not. So while a physical being might be singular, it cannot be one in the deep sense.

 

So then there are different options for how you can deal with this. You can become a non-trinitarian. You can claim like Tertullian, that it doesn't make any sense, and that's the point. You can throw out oneness, or at least that concept of oneness. Etc. I'm sure Christian theologians have tried dozens of different ideas, and I'm just thinking off the cuff here.

 

I believe that the oneness principle is crucial. And it's ultimately about more than how we describe God. It's about the unity of being. What does it mean for Primal Being to exist in a limited, perishable form? Doesn't make any sense. And with that everything breaks down, including our capacity to reason (again, as Tertullian points out).

Hello Meir-Simchah,

 

Though we may not be able to fully understand how it is possible the Bible declares that it is true.

 

1 Kings 8:39 teaches that God alone fully knows the hearts of all which is the same thing as saying He is omniscient. And yet we see that this same knowledge applied to the Lord Jesus in Isaiah 11:3-4.

 

Furthermore, we see the Son of Man (the Lord Jesus) is the proper recipient of pelach in Daniel 7:14 and yet God alone is due this worship.

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Meir-Simchah
Above I wrote that God taking on human form "violates everything", and @Faber asked how that's the case.

 

First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

 

But hold on, back up. Why is God taking on human form so impossible? Well, this was discussed pretty thoroughly by medieval philosophers. It's a violation of oneness. Physical bodies change (and admit "accidents"), and are limited in ways that Being itself is not. So while a physical being might be singular, it cannot be one in the deep sense.

 

So then there are different options for how you can deal with this. You can become a non-trinitarian. You can claim like Tertullian, that it doesn't make any sense, and that's the point. You can throw out oneness, or at least that concept of oneness. Etc. I'm sure Christian theologians have tried dozens of different ideas, and I'm just thinking off the cuff here.

 

I believe that the oneness principle is crucial. And it's ultimately about more than how we describe God. It's about the unity of being. What does it mean for Primal Being to exist in a limited, perishable form? Doesn't make any sense. And with that everything breaks down, including our capacity to reason (again, as Tertullian points out).

I hear. If the Bible seemed to tell you that the earth was flat or in the middle of the solar system or that dinosaur bones were planted in the earth by aliens as a deception, would you believe it? Perhaps. Or perhaps when our interpretations are incredible, i.e., not credible, incompatible with reason, then we need to reconsider how we're reading.

 

We're bumping up the supposed antimony between faith and reason. That's a Tertullian dichotomy. (For a critique of it, check out Yoram Hazony in Philosophy of Hebrew Scriptures. I'd imagine Dru Johnson also has very good insights.) I don't buy into the dichotomy. To flip the Tertullian saying on its head, I live in Jerusalem, and I claim that Jerusalem without Athens isn't Jerusalem.

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Guest theophilus
First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

The Bible declares that God took on human form. If that violates Tertullian's theology, then Tertullian is wrong. Humans are finite and capable of error; any conclusions we reach that contradict what God has told us must be in error.

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Sue D.
First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

The Bible declares that God took on human form. If that violates Tertullian's theology, then Tertullian is wrong. Humans are finite and capable of error; any conclusions we reach that contradict what God has told us must be in error.

Very well stated.

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Sue D.
Above I wrote that God taking on human form "violates everything", and @Faber asked how that's the case.

 

First, I don't think my sense of this violating everything is a product of my non-Christian perspective. This is the bedrock of Tertullian's theology: it is impossible, therefore it is certain. ... Say what? ... What kind of assumptions do you have to make about the character of existence in order to get to that idea?

 

But hold on, back up. Why is God taking on human form so impossible? Well, this was discussed pretty thoroughly by medieval philosophers. It's a violation of oneness. Physical bodies change (and admit "accidents"), and are limited in ways that Being itself is not. So while a physical being might be singular, it cannot be one in the deep sense.

 

So then there are different options for how you can deal with this. You can become a non-trinitarian. You can claim like Tertullian, that it doesn't make any sense, and that's the point. You can throw out oneness, or at least that concept of oneness. Etc. I'm sure Christian theologians have tried dozens of different ideas, and I'm just thinking off the cuff here.

 

I believe that the oneness principle is crucial. And it's ultimately about more than how we describe God. It's about the unity of being. What does it mean for Primal Being to exist in a limited, perishable form? Doesn't make any sense. And with that everything breaks down, including our capacity to reason (again, as Tertullian points out).

Is God's Word the authority or isn't it? Scripture does not say the earth is flat. Scriptures CAN be lifted from their context to say anything a person Wants it to say. That dinosaur bones were planted here by aliens? People have come up with all kinds of theories about how this world / people / animals came to be. Anything is acceptable Except listening to God's Word. Genesis 1-2 or so tells us exactly how and when everything came to be. But -- are people content With God's Authority? No. People -- prompted by satan -- need to find a way to get around God's plan -- come up with their Own theories.

 

You're claiming that Jerusalem without Athens isn't Jerusalem -- well, considering that Athens is in Greece and Jerusalem is in Israel..........?!

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Meir-Simchah

Humans are finite and capable of error.

 

Yes - that is exactly the point. And we're capable of error -- in fact, terribly liable to error -- in how we understand what we read.

 

any conclusions we reach that contradict what God has told us must be in error.

 

I agree. And... how do you know exactly what God told you?

 

I'm suggesting that one element which must figure into our always tentative conclusions must be reason, and that once you say that we admit this one contradiction into our system, then any contradiction can be proven and everything breaks down.

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Sue D.

Humans are finite and capable of error.

 

Yes - that is exactly the point. And we're capable of error -- in fact, terribly liable to error -- in how we understand what we read.

 

any conclusions we reach that contradict what God has told us must be in error.

 

I agree. And... how do you know exactly what God told you?

 

I'm suggesting that one element which must figure into our always tentative conclusions must be reason, and that once you say that we admit this one contradiction into our system, then any contradiction can be proven and everything breaks down.

A born-again person has the Holy Spirit directing us in God's Word.

 

What contradiction are you referring to? You've brought up several supposed contradictions and they've been proven to Not be.

 

We can very reasonably take God's Word as authoritative.

 

Looking up at former posts -- Jesus Christ being here on earth as God in the flesh -- might seem unreasonable -- but that's the meaning of the word "Immanuel" = God with us.

 

As for understanding what we read. God has given us His Word -- inspired. We have it translated from the original Greek / Hebrew and some Aramaic to languages that we can read present day. It's not reading Shakespear or other similar literature. It's God's Word -- He's Infinite -- we're 'finite'. That makes the difference. We can trust God's Word to be correct -- John 14:6 "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life -- no one comes to the Father but by Me." Jesus Christ is speaking. The Son of God. Part of the Trinity.

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Guest theophilus
I agree. And... how do you know exactly what God told you?

 

We read the Bible and believe what it says.

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Meir-Simchah
I agree. And... how do you know exactly what God told you?

 

We read the Bible and believe what it says.

So when you read the translation of the word ברא, which is probably, 'created'. How do you know what that means?

 

Or maybe this is better... When you read (Exodus 22:35)

וְכִֽי־יִגֹּ֧ף שֽׁוֹר־אִ֛ישׁ אֶת־שׁ֥וֹר רֵעֵ֖הוּ וָמֵ֑ת וּמָ֨כְר֜וּ אֶת־הַשּׁ֤וֹר הַחַי֙ וְחָצ֣וּ אֶת־כַּסְפּ֔וֹ וְגַ֥ם אֶת־הַמֵּ֖ת יֶֽחֱצֽוּן׃

When a man’s ox injures his neighbor’s ox and it dies, they shall sell the live ox and divide its price; they shall also divide the dead animal.

 

... how do you make sense of that? Suppose the injuring animal is worth a tenth of the price of the dead animal, then the owner of the injuring animal makes money off the incident, and the person whose ox was killed is hardly compensated. What do you do with that?

 

Or take those oft-cited verses about a man not lying with a man as with a woman (Lev 18:22, 20:13). What's that mean exactly -- exactly what is proscribed? Do those verses just repeat the same idea, or do they have distinct meanings? And since we're on that topic, the word תועבה, commonly translated 'abomination' (whatever that means), what does that mean? And what's it add to the basic prohibition?

Edited by Meir-Simchah
Clarified question with sharper language

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Sue D.
I agree. And... how do you know exactly what God told you?

 

We read the Bible and believe what it says.

If I may interject some thoughts -- create means -- out of nothing. People can't 'create' anything by ourselves. We needed a Creator. Same with this world -- can't create itself -- as Genesis 1:1 states "in the beginning GOD created the heavens and the earth". John 1:1-3 states the same thing - without Him - there's nothing here that hasn't been created by Him.

 

Your next question is based on Old Testament laws and emphasizing the importance of oxen back then. The person's lively-hood. Just like back in the days -- a man's horse was his transportation other than walking.

 

The next topic deals with homosexuality -- verses heterosexuality. God has created us as male and female -- His plan started out with Adam and Eve -- giving them ability to produce children together. The next generation. Two men laying with each other only produce lots of sperm -- can't produce a baby with out the woman's egg. Same thing with two women 'laying with each other'. They can't produce a baby by themselves. They need sperm. The 'laying together' means having sexual intimacy together. Saying that two of the same sex 'laying' together is an abomination -- dictionary says that That means that God hates that action. It's putrid in His eyes. And people who love God should Not be doing things - on purpose - habitually - that God's Word says He hates and is putrid to Him.

 

God's Word Also says that only married people are to express their feelings in a sexually intimate way. That means that single people are Not to. And since marriage / God's creation / is between Only one man and one woman -- no other combo is to be acting that way together.

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Ben Asher
On 2/27/2018 at 7:00 PM, Meir-Simchah said:

So when you read the translation of the word ברא, which is probably, 'created'. How do you know what that means?

Depending on the context בָּרָא may mean to 'become fat' see 1 Samuel 2:28 were it appears as הַבְרִיאֲכֶם as a hifil infinitive. Then in the piel form  בֵּרֵאתָ (Joshua 17:15) and וּבֵ֣רֵאת֔וֹ (Joshua 17:18) it seems to mean something like 'to cut down'. The vast majority of it's occurrences in the Hebrew Bible translators usually take the plain form of  בָּרָא to mean 'create' (as in ex nihilo)  probably because God / YHWH appears to always be the subject or the implied subject of בָּרָא (for example Ezekiel 28:13/15). Another common LEMMA in Classical Hebrew with the meaning of 'make/ doing' is עשׂה yet both humans and God can be the subject of עשׂה and this may be one the factors that have lead exegetes and translator to understand the verb בָּרָא as an action that only God can do. 

 

In short:

How do we know what a 'word' in question means? By reading the 'word' in it's immediate textual/cultural/historical/linguistic context very carefully, by reading 'word' in it's greater context with in the book we find, by reading the 'word' with it's canonical context, and checking dictionaries/lexicon. Now, think about some of the different ways we picked up new vocabulary as kids while in the process of acquiring our mother tongue. 

.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................

חַפְּשׂוּ בַּתּוֹרָה הֵיטֵב וְאַל תִּסְתַּמְּכוּ עַל דְּבָרַי 

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