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Would a materialistic miracle be a proof that God does not exist?

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4teatwo

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wine into water
« on: December 20, 2012, 02:43:11 am »
Sorry had put this in the wrong category of discussions under discussion of craig debates whilst it should actually be here.

Having read WLC's article on the problem of miracles http://www.reasonablefaith.org/the-problem-of-miracles-a-historical-and-philosophical-perspectiven I feel that I find myself in the position described for Paulus
"Once a person has grasped the spiritual truth of Jesus' person and teaching, miracles become superfluous anyway." in fact it actually testifies to me a lack of belief if it needs a miracle for somone to belief in God or Jesus

Let me point this out in the miracle of Jesus turning wine into water and I delilberately phrase it this way as we run a successful campaign for wateraid under this title.
To me the miracle at Canaan is not that Jesus was a magician - that's for Darren Brown. In fact the miracle itself would put his teaching into question if he would have to lie about the fact that somone could not afford to buy enough wine. Whould Jesus see that as an embarrasment? Would he say you better keep prettending instead of facing reality? The miracle would be a complete "no miracle" if he would have held up the pretence, let alone he would have argued that the most expensive wine was the only thing of value as the thing that counts is the value added by human manipulation, not what God has provided in the first place. In fact how could he ask us to take up our cross if Jesus would fix reality for us. Jesus will fix it has a bitter taste when it comes to wish fullfillment. However to make us finding our fulfillment in following Jesus is an entirely diffrent concept.
The miracle is clear, it shows what can happen when you put your trust in God. Mary trusted God as she knew that Jesus would know what to do as Jesus was in God as God was in Jesus.  Jesus knew he had not yet been given the authority to speak so he trusted that God would reveal his wisdom to the master of the ceremony who was the figure of authority for the celebrations.
The only thing Jesus did was to apply the brutal logic of God, he served the master of ceremony the living water. In that context it is important to understand the role of the ritual cleansing vessels in jewish tradition. The were stone jars as the porosity of ceramic and clay vessels of the day would have provided risks for potential biofilms. They could only be filled with living water, e.g. water from clean wells as the Jews hygiene rules were very strict and they were aware of the risk of stagnant of surface waters so the water had to be completely unspoilt. Apart from it being a significant problem of contaminating those containers with wine it would have sent a message that is akin to materialism thus in strong contradiction to Jesus teachings.

Looking forward to your comments 8)

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4teatwo

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2012, 07:32:34 am »
looks like people do not like the idea or are not keen to comment on it.

Actually if you read the passage of the miracle of Canaan in Greek you will notice the use of the word gegenēmenon based on the word ginomai "to come into being".  thus in its past tense form would mean "the water that had to become wine" and not that "had become wine". which would mean that it was not when the master of ceremony tasted it. As he was unaware of Jesus involvment anyhow, let alone probably as well of his position, the reply of the master of ceremony can only be judged as a divine revelation in what to say when faced with living water instead of wine. Thus the message of the Gospel passage would be that, when faced with reality through Jesus we will be able to perceive divine revelation and sort out problems, not that what Jesus is about he will sort out our problems out for us.

Wish all a happy Christmas
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 10:18:48 am by 4teatwo »

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4teatwo

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 03:46:42 pm »
considering that people still debate miracles I wondered why I had no takers on my topic at the time.  If it takes a miracle for someone to believe in God one should ask the question why. Does it mean that to them God manifests himself in an act that shows he can bend his own rules he set out to uphold the universe? An omnipotent God is not a God that can make a square triangle but one that can make all triangles be triangular. A perfect rule set out by a perfect being has to be so perfect that the being itself would want to follow it anyhow and what use would a God be that cannot even follow his own rules? There are plenty of beings that lack self control but that is a human, not divine propperty, let alone it would make God appear irrational - and only atheists would want that to argue that it would make God irrational and who believes in an irrational God? :-)

If you want a being that can do what people find miraculous than watch Darren Brown as you would find it miraculous how he can give you a religious experience. Even better he then explains the miracle he just shown you in this experience not to be a miracle but an illusion.
The reason that I am sceptical to the idea of miracles is that I detest of people who demand their existence as a proof for Gods existence. It is a major problem of atheism. An example is the expectation of God to regrow the limbs of amputees www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDHJ4ztnldQ when they pray for it which to me is irrational.
If one understand how God performs miraculous healings then I would expect those in need not to pray for God to give them another leg, but to give them wings instead but that is to me perfectly rational and you can see how that works in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKxywtZUsbs

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HIJ

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 03:55:24 pm »
How does this have only 2 comments if it has over 17000 views?!

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4teatwo

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2013, 03:46:33 am »
I wondered the same as I would have expected some people to comment on it but it looks like noone dares to.  When raising such questions on the catholic answer forum I got thrown out and I thought they were the experts on such matters to give me a sensible interpretation. Guess I blew it when questioning the virgin birth as that is still seen as an unforgivable sin in their eyes, but then catholics are not realy known for their rationality. So rational faith seems to be the site to debate rational Christianity


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Pieter

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2013, 04:03:37 am »
This is an excellent idea for a WaterAid campaign and God bless with this :D

My opinion is that you are reading far too much into it.

Why can't Jesus just be kind and save the couple's embarrasment of not having enough wine? Why does this need to be spiritualised?

Also, no one thinks this is a magic trick anyway, but a turning water into REAL good wine and hence is a miracle. Nowhere does the text suggest that He tricked people into thinking it was wine, yet remained water. By the way, magic tricks are very much a modern phenomena anyway.

I personally do not like the over spiritualisation of everything in the Gospels. What is bad about wine and having a good time. Jesus seems to celebrate this big time. Jesus affirms materiality as good! God is Lord over ALL creation, not just spiritual matters!    :D
Pieter van Leeuwen

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4teatwo

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 04:56:04 am »
Thanks Pieter

It has nothing to do with spiritualisation but realisation, or rationality. Jesus would never have needed to trick people anyhow, he showed us reality and served water not to pretend it was wine. He turned the valuesystem of those attending that wedding upside down - after all he was a radical

The future perfect of the wording from the master of ceremony to my understanding is:
"the water that had been born to become wine"
so it was as well water when it was in his hands. It is the same if you take the sacrament, it is the water that has been born to become the blood of Christ to you. I can bet that no clinical analyser would be able to find red blood cells in it and neither should they. It is about conciousness, not materialism. The value in the water - or wine is not in it's material presentation but in the vaue you attribute to it.  To a rational person the value of the water is not in what it is, but in what it has the potential to do such as to generate life. It is the same with understanding Christ. If you only value in Jesus what he has become of him, he is finite and dead. If however we value the life in him that has been born to become Christ, you may have found the real value in Jesus.

In the material world the concept is perhaps most understandable in a financial context, where the potential product has a much higher speculative value than the actual product itself, only that the moral is a questionable one in that context

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Pieter

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 11:48:35 am »
Thanks Pieter

It has nothing to do with spiritualisation but realisation, or rationality. Jesus would never have needed to trick people anyhow, he showed us reality and served water not to pretend it was wine. He turned the valuesystem of those attending that wedding upside down - after all he was a radical

The future perfect of the wording from the master of ceremony to my understanding is:
"the water that had been born to become wine"
so it was as well water when it was in his hands. It is the same if you take the sacrament, it is the water that has been born to become the blood of Christ to you. I can bet that no clinical analyser would be able to find red blood cells in it and neither should they. It is about conciousness, not materialism. The value in the water - or wine is not in it's material presentation but in the vaue you attribute to it.  To a rational person the value of the water is not in what it is, but in what it has the potential to do such as to generate life. It is the same with understanding Christ. If you only value in Jesus what he has become of him, he is finite and dead. If however we value the life in him that has been born to become Christ, you may have found the real value in Jesus.

In the material world the concept is perhaps most understandable in a financial context, where the potential product has a much higher speculative value than the actual product itself, only that the moral is a questionable one in that context

So according to you, the passage should read:

 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

Quote
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been born to become wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

On the one hand, born to become wine is just a long winded way of saying it became wine. If it does mean that it was still water, then how does the rest of the passage work? The master of ceremony talks about choice wines and cheaper ones and the best ones. Sounds just like actual wine to me. And where else is the association between living water and wine? John talks about blood and water or wine representing blood. Where does he talk about living water represented by wine?

Pieter
Pieter van Leeuwen

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4teatwo

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 02:16:44 pm »
Hi Pieter

If you study the rules for the water that was allowed to be used in those vessels you would know that only "living water" could be used to do so, e.g. water from a flowing well. Stagnant water or running water could be contaminated. If you herd sheep you know about cryptosporidium and the likes and they surely did as well, albeit not by name.  As such, as the vessels had to be filled they had to be filled according to the ritual.

If you have a chance ever to come to one of the famous wells of clean water like for example in Walsingham, when you taste that water you know what you drink is neither tap water nor bottled water and you immediately understand that what you just drank is water from a clean well.

What it boils down to in the end is that the logic interpretation of the story of the wedding is to me a far more valuable lesson of what I understand Jesus teachings to be about because it is coherent with his teachings. It also alows me to understand the sacrament in a much better way.





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Snoochies

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 04:26:01 pm »
How does this have only 2 comments if it has over 17000 views?!

Lol, just thought of that as well. I think some people here were hoping to find out the secret of getting free wine.
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." Psalm 46:1-2

* Forum members please note:- Just because I ask you lots of questions, this does not mean I know something better. I am merely asking to seek clarification and arrive at truth the best I can

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Lion IRC

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 08:00:36 pm »
I wondered the same as I would have expected some people to comment on it but it looks like noone dares to.  When raising such questions on the catholic answer forum I got thrown out and I thought they were the experts on such matters to give me a sensible interpretation. Guess I blew it when questioning the virgin birth as that is still seen as an unforgivable sin in their eyes, but then catholics are not realy known for their rationality. So rational faith seems to be the site to debate rational Christianity

December 2012 to September 2013
Great necro post. Maybe the reason so few people took it seriously was your deliberate play on words "wine into water" rather than the actual event. Perhaps people thought you werent serious.

Anyway...you need to re-read the text.
Jesus' wine was not expensive - it was free.
There is no warrant in the text to assert that Jesus knew He had "not yet been given the authority to speak".
There is no warrant in the text to assert that the master of the house "could not afford to buy enough wine." The amount of available wine was a deliberate choice which underestimated the amount consumed and which, by happpy 'coincidence', gave Jesus the providential opportunity to bless the sacred institution of marriage with a miracle.
This user will NEVER be posting at Reasonable Faith Forum again.

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Lion IRC

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 08:07:25 pm »
"...Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High"

This is not materialism.
This user will NEVER be posting at Reasonable Faith Forum again.

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Pieter

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 03:36:55 am »
Hi Pieter

If you study the rules for the water that was allowed to be used in those vessels you would know that only "living water" could be used to do so, e.g. water from a flowing well. Stagnant water or running water could be contaminated. If you herd sheep you know about cryptosporidium and the likes and they surely did as well, albeit not by name.  As such, as the vessels had to be filled they had to be filled according to the ritual.

If you have a chance ever to come to one of the famous wells of clean water like for example in Walsingham, when you taste that water you know what you drink is neither tap water nor bottled water and you immediately understand that what you just drank is water from a clean well.

What it boils down to in the end is that the logic interpretation of the story of the wedding is to me a far more valuable lesson of what I understand Jesus teachings to be about because it is coherent with his teachings. It also alows me to understand the sacrament in a much better way.

Living water in John represents the Holy Spirit
Wine represents Christ's blood.

So taking the changing water into wine as symbolic just doesn't make sense in the text.

John's gospel is highly theological and if there is anything symbolically meaningful in an event that John describes, he points it out. Here John hardly adds any commentary or do we hear a lengthy explanation from Jesus.

I have no problem with seeing a deeper meaning in a recorded event, but when someone uses this to be able to deny the miracle, then I think there is a deeper issue. I.e. disbeliefe in miracles. And I sense that this is really where you are coming from or am I wrong?
Pieter van Leeuwen

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4teatwo

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2013, 03:42:09 am »
How does this have only 2 comments if it has over 17000 views?!

Lol, just thought of that as well. I think some people here were hoping to find out the secret of getting free wine.
best suggestion so far, good thinking but it would be more how to get rid of the wine :-) I was away for a year from the site so I was a bit puzzled to see the number and wondered if the rest of the tread had been deleted somehow
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 03:43:42 am by 4teatwo »

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Pieter

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Re: wine into water
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 04:39:29 am »
How does this have only 2 comments if it has over 17000 views?!

Lol, just thought of that as well. I think some people here were hoping to find out the secret of getting free wine.
best suggestion so far, good thinking but it would be more how to get rid of the wine :-) I was away for a year from the site so I was a bit puzzled to see the number and wondered if the rest of the tread had been deleted somehow

You know what? I only just noticed that your first couple of posts are from 2012. lol.
Pieter van Leeuwen