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lapwing wrote:

Laying the Book of Mormon aside, we can focus on the more relevant question of the historicity of the OT and Genesis in particular. I think most Christians agree that the so called OT historical books (Genesis to Esther) are theological history. Any history book is not an exhaustive account of past events - the historian has to be selective. There is a theological purpose in the OT emphasising Israel's special covenant relationship with God.



My point isn't just one of historicity but also of justification for believing the sorts of things in these books.

I mean, I don't think that you accept that what Josephus saw was actually Lot's wife as a pillar of salt.


lapwing wrote:

Genesis has been the subject of debate for a long time, especially since the Wellhausen J,E,D,P theory was first expounded. This is not the right place to discuss such matters in depth. As I said before Gen ch:1-11 differs from the rest in subject matter. Abraham (not Noah or Adam) is the father of the Jews. The first section serves as an introduction to get to a place where Abram can first appear. One thing to note is that from Abraham onwards, the incidentals ring true e.g. the nomadic pastoralism, importance of wells, caravans going to Egypt. There are miracles but they fit into a believable narrative. The creation, Noah's flood and tower of Babel (Babylon?) do not contain the same level of mundaneity. I'm not convinced by the argument that Jesus spoke of Adam as a real person.


How about the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt? You're effectively splitting the Bible into more and less believable portions. Sure it would be easier to accept those ones since they're not that out of the ordinary but what I'm interested in is the belief in the extraordinary.

Why doesn't Jesus speaking of Adam as a real person influence your thoughts on the early portions of Genesis? He would be in a good position to know what happened then.


lapwing wrote:

So the bottom line is that I don't know whether the Garden of Eden is intended to be interpreted as a real place or not, and I don't think that we have enough evidence from the Bible to decide this point. This does not apply to the gospel story of Jesus.



If you discard Jesus as not being a strong source of evidence, then what would help you decide? Modern scientific findings?
The gospel story of Jesus has those people raised from the dead and walking round the city, earthquakes, and a darkening of the sky. Are we to believe that too?

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lapwing

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Hello blank,

There seem to be two questions here.

1. Are miracles possible? This is determined by whether you believe an almighty God (who can do and actually does miracles) exists or not.

2. Is a particular religious text, describing a miraculous event, to be understood as literal (i.e. the meaning is that the event happened as described) or not.

So for example Acts is literal and Revelation is not literal.

I'm not sure which question you are asking

I believe in an almighty God who raised His Son from the dead. That is a miracle and there is no hierarchy of difficulty for God. God is capable of any miracle apart from logical impossibilities. So I don't agree with the implication of your phrase "more and less believable" as if there is some limit to God's power.

"I don't think that you accept that what Josephus saw was actually Lot's wife as a pillar of salt."

You have made a wrong assumption about what I believe.


splitting the Bible

You seem to be (deliberately?) confusing two things here. The Bible is a library of books of different genres written over a long period by many different authors. So, in that sense it is split already. But it has a remarkable unity of message pointing to its divine inspiration.

Jesus speaking of Adam as a real person

I was wrong earlier: Jesus never referred to Adam in direct speech in the gospel record.

Modern scientific findings

For miraculous events, science is of no use since miracles, by definition, cannot be explained by science. One should use historical, literary etc. anaylsis of the texts.

For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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lapwing wrote:

Hello blank,

There seem to be two questions here.

1. Are miracles possible? This is determined by whether you believe an almighty God (who can do and actually does miracles) exists or not.



What I'm asking is whether one is justified in believing these miracles when they are reported to us.


lapwing wrote:

2. Is a particular religious text, describing a miraculous event, to be understood as literal (i.e. the meaning is that the event happened as described) or not.

So for example Acts is literal and Revelation is not literal.


Yes.


lapwing wrote:

I'm not sure which question you are asking

I'm asking the rectified first question and the second question.


lapwing wrote:

I believe in an almighty God who raised His Son from the dead. That is a miracle and there is no hierarchy of difficulty for God. God is capable of any miracle apart from logical impossibilities. So I don't agree with the implication of your phrase "more and less believable" as if there is some limit to God's power.


Given that one of the criteria for being a God in the sense you mean is not being human. Would the miracle of Jesus being both human and God be a logical impossibility?


lapwing wrote:

"I don't think that you accept that what Josephus saw was actually Lot's wife as a pillar of salt."

You have made a wrong assumption about what I believe.


Oh? I'm sorry about that. So do you believe that what Josephus saw was actually Lot's wife as a pillar of salt?

lapwing wrote:

splitting the Bible

You seem to be (deliberately?) confusing two things here. The Bible is a library of books of different genres written over a long period by many different authors. So, in that sense it is split already. But it has a remarkable unity of message pointing to its divine inspiration.


I know the Bible is considered a library of books. You split Genesis yourself. Or are you considering Genesis to be a group of different books? And when you split Genesis that way, what happens to the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt?


lapwing wrote:

Jesus speaking of Adam as a real person

I was wrong earlier: Jesus never referred to Adam in direct speech in the gospel record.


Okay.


lapwing wrote:

Modern scientific findings

For miraculous events, science is of no use since miracles, by definition, cannot be explained by science. One should use historical, literary etc. anaylsis of the texts.



What sort of historical or literary evidence will justify one's believing that a miracle occurred?

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Eric George

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Wow,

This thread has gone way off topic and on to one heck of a rabbit-trail.

I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are very wise and very beautiful; but I never read in either of them:  "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden." - St Augustine of Hippo.

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lapwing

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Hello blank,

I'll take "justified" to mean reasonable rather than "freed from the guilt of sin" through the blood of Jesus. So is it reasonable to believe that the NT accounts, if truthful, state that Jesus rose from the dead. I believe they do.

e.g. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." Lk 24:36 NIV and there are other verses in the NT that support this view.

So is the NT reliable? That question has been discussed by many people over many years. One cannot prove that the NT is sufficiently reliable to know with certainty that Jesus rose from the dead, neither can it be disproved; so how are we going to add anything to this long debate?

It's interesting to note in the post resurrection accounts that even though (according to the gospels) the followers of Jesus had heard him speak of His resurrection e.g. Lk 9:22 And He (i.e. Jesus) said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.", they were sceptical as well. The women took spices to preserve Jesus' body but found an empty tomb. The disciples did not initially believe what the women reported and Thomas who was not there when Jesus first appeared to the disciples in "the house" did not believe until Jesus appeared again. Now this pattern of skepticism about second hand reports until a first hand encounter with Jesus is still true today. If you go to adult baptisms where people confess their faith, you will rarely hear someone say that they studied the literary and historic credentials of the NT and that alone convinced them to become a Christian. Much more often people will talk about how God drew them to faith.

It would be an interesting exercise for you to contrast such testimonies with those from other religions.

Given that one of the criteria for being a God in the sense you mean is not being human. Would the miracle of Jesus being both human and God be a logical impossibility?

You are making an assumption about God that you cannot know is correct with certainty.

So do you believe that what Josephus saw was actually Lot's wife as a pillar of salt?

I believe that there are several salt formations and Josephus may have known that. Josephus does not go into detail so all one can say is that Josephus may have seen Lot's wife.

splitting Genesis

There are different opinions about this but the "split" in character at the end of Gen ch 11 is evident from the text. I described this previously.

For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Sorry had to be away for a while.

lapwing wrote:

Hello blank,

I'll take "justified" to mean reasonable rather than "freed from the guilt of sin" through the blood of Jesus. So is it reasonable to believe that the NT accounts, if truthful, state that Jesus rose from the dead. I believe they do.

e.g. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." Lk 24:36 NIV and there are other verses in the NT that support this view.

So is the NT reliable? That question has been discussed by many people over many years. One cannot prove that the NT is sufficiently reliable to know with certainty that Jesus rose from the dead, neither can it be disproved; so how are we going to add anything to this long debate?



Yeah I mean reasonable. This of course brings us back to my previous questions on whether the miraculous stories the New Testament should be more reasonable to believe than other stories and texts older and younger than it that also contain miracle stories. The only way to do that I think would lead one to selectively only accept miracles that agree to their previous religious beliefs.

lapwing wrote:

It's interesting to note in the post resurrection accounts that even though (according to the gospels) the followers of Jesus had heard him speak of His resurrection e.g. Lk 9:22 And He (i.e. Jesus) said, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.", they were sceptical as well. The women took spices to preserve Jesus' body but found an empty tomb. The disciples did not initially believe what the women reported and Thomas who was not there when Jesus first appeared to the disciples in "the house" did not believe until Jesus appeared again. Now this pattern of skepticism about second hand reports until a first hand encounter with Jesus is still true today. If you go to adult baptisms where people confess their faith, you will rarely hear someone say that they studied the literary and historic credentials of the NT and that alone convinced them to become a Christian. Much more often people will talk about how God drew them to faith.

It would be an interesting exercise for you to contrast such testimonies with those from other religions.


The problem I see with parts of the story that say that is simply the fact that they were written after the fact by sympathetic people so the writer could have inserted stories and sayings to make it more believable.

People from other religions to have similar testimonies of being "touched" or "convinced" due to personal revelations. Some see this in certain number patterns, others in coincidences, still others in dreams. Still others for money and power.

lapwing wrote:

Given that one of the criteria for being a God in the sense you mean is not being human. Would the miracle of Jesus being both human and God be a logical impossibility?

You are making an assumption about God that you cannot know is correct with certainty.


Which assumption is that?


lapwing wrote:

So do you believe that what Josephus saw was actually Lot's wife as a pillar of salt?

I believe that there are several salt formations and Josephus may have known that. Josephus does not go into detail so all one can say is that Josephus may have seen Lot's wife.


Okay in other words, you believe that Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt. Do you see why I think your stance is inconsistent? Or that you. at the very least, are using some hidden method in deciding what you believe and how you come to acquire these beliefs.


lapwing wrote:

splitting Genesis

There are different opinions about this but the "split" in character at the end of Gen ch 11 is evident from the text. I described this previously.



Yeah and I'm wondering if you also believe that the Israelites lived in Egypt as slaves and had to wander a desert for 40 years. I think this part should be pertinent in the story of the Israelites.

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maranatha33

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If I may...
You may ask if one believes in the flood, Lot's wife (who interestingly enough turned to salt by the Dead Sea...the definition of salty...) The 40 year march, Noah, and other events of history that are in the Book of Genesis.  The three great monotheistic religions all have Genesis in the front.  These events require faith, no doubt.  But not near the amount of faith in not believing them.  It simply comes down to "In the Beginning, God created"... or "In the beginning, nothing exploded..."  Since the latter is simply impossible, then by default the former is true.  If the former is true, then the knowledge of the Creator can only be ascertained by the unanimous writings of the Creator, the Book of Genesis.  It is black or white, not gray... And I, for one, do not have enough "blind" faith to believe what is known to be impossible, nor the knowledge to compromise what the Truth tells us...
M33

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lapwing

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Hello blank,

"more reasonable to believe than other stories and texts older and younger"

The problem with this is that it assumes one can assign a kind of probability of truthfulness or believability to accounts of miracles and come to some kind of comparison. Let's say 21% for the resurrection, 15% for Jesus walking on the water and 10% for the miraculous rescue of Delphi from the Persians (Herodotus book 8). I've just picked those numbers at random to illustrate the ridiculousness of this thinking. I challenged you to seriously consider the baptismal testimonies of believing Christians in my previous post. Did you actually do that? "Number patterns" etc seem to be things you've just made up for your posting. They are not particularly convincing that you have done this. Here's a few: http://www.pcfpoynton.org.uk/downloads/personal-testimonies/baptismal-testimonies-november-2010/index.htm

Which assumption is that?
Your false assumption that God cannot be incarnated as a human.

Do you see why I think your stance is inconsistent?

What is my stance in your opinion?

The Israelites lived in Egypt as slaves and had to wander a desert for 40 years

I assume you are hinting at the current archaeological knowledge of this. I can remember a very old school atlas where the Hittite region in Turkey had a huge question mark in it because there was no archaeological evidence for that civilisation at the time. The Hittites were mentioned in the Bible but that was treated skeptically by the "experts". Well we know differently now. So when atheists attack "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" they should remember the Hittites!

For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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maranatha33 wrote: If I may...
You may ask if one believes in the flood, Lot's wife (who interestingly enough turned to salt by the Dead Sea...the definition of salty...) The 40 year march, Noah, and other events of history that are in the Book of Genesis.  The three great monotheistic religions all have Genesis in the front.


The fact that these three religions have Genesis in their beginnings doesn't make them more accurate. It simply shows the origins of these religions.

maranatha33 wrote:
These events require faith, no doubt.  But not near the amount of faith in not believing them.  It simply comes down to "In the Beginning, God created"... or "In the beginning, nothing exploded..."  Since the latter is simply impossible, then by default the former is true.  If the former is true, then the knowledge of the Creator can only be ascertained by the unanimous writings of the Creator, the Book of Genesis.  It is black or white, not gray... And I, for one, do not have enough "blind" faith to believe what is known to be impossible, nor the knowledge to compromise what the Truth tells us...


Not believing ancient myths doesn't take religious faith. I would say that believing them is what requires religious faith.
It doesn't necessarily come down to God (I take this to be your Christian God) creating or nothing exploding since all we know is that a singularity expanded into the universe. There are other hypothesis that physicists consider.
Then assuming that whatever God it was must be the Christian God is also a problematic conclusion since one sees no reason why that God is better than an indifferent God or one that died in creating the universe.

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lapwing wrote:

Hello blank,

"more reasonable to believe than other stories and texts older and younger"

The problem with this is that it assumes one can assign a kind of probability of truthfulness or believability to accounts of miracles and come to some kind of comparison. Let's say 21% for the resurrection, 15% for Jesus walking on the water and 10% for the miraculous rescue of Delphi from the Persians (Herodotus book 8). I've just picked those numbers at random to illustrate the ridiculousness of this thinking. I challenged you to seriously consider the baptismal testimonies of believing Christians in my previous post. Did you actually do that? "Number patterns" etc seem to be things you've just made up for your posting. They are not particularly convincing that you have done this. Here's a few: http://www.pcfpoynton.org.uk/downloads/personal-testimonies/baptismal-testimonies-november-2010/index.htm


I didn't do that due to how problematic such personal testimonies are. They're open to all sorts of cognitive biases and they're not unique to Christianity so I don't see any point in doing that besides, some who have experienced all that have still been able to reject that religion and switch to another one or none at all.

No they're not things I just made up. You could look up belomancy, numerology etc.


lapwing wrote:

Which assumption is that?
Your false assumption that God cannot be incarnated as a human.


If a God is incarnated as a human, is that human also God?


lapwing wrote:

Do you see why I think your stance is inconsistent?

What is my stance in your opinion?


In my opinion, your stance simply picks and chooses what to accept. You're willing to leave the creation events and the Garden of Eden hazy while believing that someone turned into salt.


lapwing wrote:

The Israelites lived in Egypt as slaves and had to wander a desert for 40 years

I assume you are hinting at the current archaeological knowledge of this. I can remember a very old school atlas where the Hittite region in Turkey had a huge question mark in it because there was no archaeological evidence for that civilisation at the time. The Hittites were mentioned in the Bible but that was treated skeptically by the "experts". Well we know differently now. So when atheists attack "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence" they should remember the Hittites!



Yes I am. Why not be skeptical until the evidence is available? Also, there is a huge difference between the existence of a tribe in a place that could have supported them and the ideas expressed in the Exodus e.g the plagues, the huge population wandering the desert etc.

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lapwing

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"No they're not things I just made up. You could look up belomancy, numerology etc."

You misunderstood what I meant. I didn't mean that beliefs in "number systems" do not exist. Rather I meant that I didn't think you would have found references to "number systems" in the baptismal testimonies of Christian converts. In fact you never bothered to look at these. I was making the point that people rarely convert to Christianity based solely on some kind of probabilistic assessment of the historical truth of the resurrection. Before you make the obvious response this doesn't mean that Christians claim no rational/historical basis to their belief.

"they're not unique to Christianity"

I'm not sure what this means - each testimony is by definition unique to each person. Until you examine these testimonies seriously, without preconceptions, how can you make any comment about them.

"still been able to reject that religion"

Wrong thinking again. You seem to be implying that if someone rejects a religion, that means it can't be true. But what about people who do believe? Why does not then that prove the religion true? I'm not claiming that the number of believers proves Christianity true, but it cannot be discounted as to have no meaning.

is that human also God?

Why do you think this is impossible?

hazy

What a revealing word that is. The (so-called) scientific, reductionist view that must have definite single answers to all questions. "I can't see God in the Hubble telescope so God cannot exist." I exaggerate to make the point. Why can't you handle uncertainty in determining the correct interpretation of parts of the Bible? Have you at least grasped that the Bible consists of many different literary genres?

Why not be skeptical until the evidence is available?

You've missed the point entirely. Ancient documents are evidence. How do you think the site of Troy was discovered? Why did Calvert and Schliemann even bother looking for Troy?


For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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lapwing wrote:

"No they're not things I just made up. You could look up belomancy, numerology etc."

You misunderstood what I meant. I didn't mean that beliefs in "number systems" do not exist. Rather I meant that I didn't think you would have found references to "number systems" in the baptismal testimonies of Christian converts. In fact you never bothered to look at these. I was making the point that people rarely convert to Christianity based solely on some kind of probabilistic assessment of the historical truth of the resurrection. Before you make the obvious response this doesn't mean that Christians claim no rational/historical basis to their belief.



Okay, but I was talking about how people sometimes do come to believe certain things. Someone becoming a Christian because they survive serious accident after receiving medical treatment or they wish to join a group of people who they see with good manners doesn't really tell me their justification for accepting the doctrinal beliefs of Christianity.


lapwing wrote:

"they're not unique to Christianity"

I'm not sure what this means - each testimony is by definition unique to each person. Until you examine these testimonies seriously, without preconceptions, how can you make any comment about them.


What I mean is that selectively reviewing testimonies of Christians doesn't tell me how valid their subsequent beliefs are especially if such feelings and intuitions can easily be seen in other religions.


lapwing wrote:

"still been able to reject that religion"

Wrong thinking again. You seem to be implying that if someone rejects a religion, that means it can't be true. But what about people who do believe? Why does not then that prove the religion true? I'm not claiming that the number of believers proves Christianity true, but it cannot be discounted as to have no meaning.


No what I'm still saying is that such subjective accounts are very unreliable given what we know about human psychology. This is why I'm not willing to rate such accounts highly when considering evidence for a set of beliefs.


lapwing wrote:

is that human also God?

Why do you think this is impossible?


Because of the very concepts of what it means to be a God and what it means to be a man. e.g a man has cells while a God doesn't.


lapwing wrote:

hazy

What a revealing word that is. The (so-called) scientific, reductionist view that must have definite single answers to all questions. "I can't see God in the Hubble telescope so God cannot exist." I exaggerate to make the point. Why can't you handle uncertainty in determining the correct interpretation of parts of the Bible? Have you at least grasped that the Bible consists of many different literary genres?


Oh I can handle uncertainty but I think it is inconsistent for people to claim uncertainty with regards to certain things e.g Garden of Eden but not for Lot's wife or Balaam's donkey. Surely a God that could do one could do them all. What I see is that these uncertainties seem to depend on how much scientific information a person is willing to accept.

On the various genres, sure I know that there are different genres. This is glaring when one compares e.g Ecclesiastes to Chronicles but such a distinction isn't so clear in Genesis.


lapwing wrote:

Why not be skeptical until the evidence is available?

You've missed the point entirely. Ancient documents are evidence. How do you think the site of Troy was discovered? Why did Calvert and Schliemann even bother looking for Troy?




Okay maybe I should say until better evidence is available since the ancient Egyptians also kept records and the huge amount of information against such a large migration. Also an absence of evidence is important which is why I'm advocating at least a skepticism of the story portrayed in the Bible.

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lapwing

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"because they survive serious accident after receiving medical treatment or they wish to join a group of people who they see with good manners"

This still comes across as a distorted view of Christian testimonies born of lack of knowledge. Remember I brought this up to make the point that very few converts profess Christianity solely as a result of the  evidence in the NT.

"such feelings and intuitions can easily be seen in other religions."

You need to provide evidence for this statement and beware quote mining!

I'm not saying you're wrong but without proper evidence it is unsubstantiated assertion.

"such subjective accounts are very unreliable"

I'm not sure what this means either. I don't think you can be saying that such testimonies don't reasonably accurately reflect what the people giving them believe? I wasn't putting them forward as evidence for the NT but rather information of why people convert.

"what it means to be a God and what it means to be a man"

This is still just your own opinion.

uncertainty with regards to certain things

The uncertainty is about how to interpret the Bible. It is a given that people have different interpretations of parts of the Bible.

Surely a God that could do one could do them all

I agree with this, of course. You are not far from the kingdom of God.

For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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lapwing wrote:

"because they survive serious accident after receiving medical treatment or they wish to join a group of people who they see with good manners"

This still comes across as a distorted view of Christian testimonies born of lack of knowledge. Remember I brought this up to make the point that very few converts profess Christianity solely as a result of the  evidence in the NT.


What I'm saying is that their conversion isn't solely as a result of the evidence in the New Testament. Professing Christianity because one was raised in such a household or because one survives an accident isn't based solely on the NT.


lapwing wrote:

"such feelings and intuitions can easily be seen in other religions."

You need to provide evidence for this statement and beware quote mining!

I'm not saying you're wrong but without proper evidence it is unsubstantiated assertion.

 


Just to be clear, are you saying that you don't think such feelings and intuitions aren't seen in other religions?


You could take a look at this.


lapwing wrote:

"such subjective accounts are very unreliable"

I'm not sure what this means either. I don't think you can be saying that such testimonies don't reasonably accurately reflect what the people giving them believe? I wasn't putting them forward as evidence for the NT but rather information of why people convert.

 



And I'm saying that they aren't justified due to their unreliability otherwise, UFO believers among others have equally valid reasons for their beliefs.


lapwing wrote:

"what it means to be a God and what it means to be a man"

This is still just your own opinion.

 


No it is not just my opinion. Or do you think God has cells?


lapwing wrote:

uncertainty with regards to certain things

The uncertainty is about how to interpret the Bible. It is a given that people have different interpretations of parts of the Bible.

 


Yet the uncertainty seems to depend on how much scientific evidence people accept which tends to lead to inconsistencies.


lapwing wrote:

Surely a God that could do one could do them all

I agree with this, of course. You are not far from the kingdom of God.


Been there done that.


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lapwing

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"What I'm saying is that their conversion isn't solely as a result of the evidence in the New Testament"

I agree: it's what I said earlier.

A baptismal testimony is a convert's answer to why they became a Christian. Mysticism may be described as religious practices aimed at achieving a greater sense of divinity. Christianity is a religion so is bound to share certain characteristics with other religions e.g. belief in God. I'm asking you to compare testimonies between different religions. What do the differences tell you?

"equally valid reasons for their beliefs."

Trouble is there are practical reasons why not to believe in UFOs: primarily the vast distances in space and the lack of more widespread detection. Aliens are going to be physical beings like us - to them, if they exist, we are the aliens.

do you think God has cells?

By denying the incarnation of Jesus you are putting a limitation on God that you cannot know is valid.

"Been there done that."

I don't know what this means.


For by one sacrifice Jesus has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified.

"Those who are still afraid of men have no fear of God, and those who have fear of God have ceased to be afraid of men"
"If the world refuses justice, the Christian will pursue mercy"
Dietrich Bonhoeffer