Archive for the ‘religion’ Category

Inspired, infallible, inerrant?
Not a search for heresy but for truth.

The bible was written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is inerrant in the way the original author intended. It is infallible in that it’s truths are eternal and lead to salvation.

The bible is NOT a history book (although it has historical narrative), it is not a self help book (although it is a great help and comfort in this life), it is not a science book (although it does not contradict science)

Inspired can mean lead by God thru dreams or by direct revelation or through oral tradition or wisdom writings or compiled poetry, etc. The bible has to be interpreted in the context and genre of the authors experiences, circumstances, tradition, writing style, method of revelation, and purpose. It is written so that the people of that era could understand it. It spoke to the observations of the hearer.

Inspired does NOT mean a word for word literal complete dictation of God speaking to the author (like the claims of the Quran). Paul speaks of mysteries not revealed and we see types of Jesus in the Old Testament. It is obvious that the original authors did not have this revelation.

The Bible is true in everything it teaches. The question is, what does it teach? Sometimes scripture may be telling us the truth about someone or something rather than what actually happened.

Was genesis 1 a literal history or a literary narrative. Was the flood regional or worldwide. Did job’s calamities all fall on the same day? Did Caesar count and tax the ENTIRE world or only the areas in and around Palestine?

Someone’s interpretation of scripture does not tell you they are correct. It only tells you how they interpret it (this does not mean there is no correct interpretation). Scripture is not subjective in that it can mean whatever you want it to mean, but it is not totally objective in that it only has meaning to the people and circumstances originally written to.

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Can the church serve

Posted: September 25, 2013 in religion

Is it possible for the church (little c, you know, the one you go to with a pastor, choir director, youth pastor, secretaries, etc) to minister to the hurting? The church is an institution, and as an institution can do a lot of good for groups of people. But the church (little c) does not have a soul. It is a group of people who have come together for a common purpose. Hurting people don’t have a common problem, they have a very real and personal problem that may be common to a lot of other hurting people, but that does not make it any less personal. Only individuals can serve individuals in a meaningful way (with true brotherly love and compassion).

What the church can do is foster a culture of loving individuals loving on other people who are hurting. That is the real Church, the bride of Christ.

Prayer

Posted: September 22, 2013 in religion
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How does prayer work (if it works at all)?
When we pray does the HG say to JC “this is a good idea, WAY better than ours,take it to Big G and see if He likes it Better than what He was going to do anyway”.

Or does God thru His foreknowledge and omniscience already know our prayers and has already answered them thru His providential plan, using them to strengthen and affirm our faith.

Hell

Posted: September 14, 2013 in religion
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What if?
What if hell is where god extends His mercy based on performance not grace. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. What we consider common grace extended according to our deeds. you get what you deserve. You really can work yourself into heaven, you just haven’t tried hard enough. How long would that take?

Angels and demons

Posted: June 16, 2013 in religion

Why did angels rebel, why is there no redemption for them? Angels were created as immortal perfect beings in the presence of God. They were not only in a perfect presence but in a perfect place. But as with man they had free will. God wants his creatures to worship him freely, not under compulsion or duress. Having rejected the rule of God under these circumstances how could there ever be hope for redemption. If given a choice they would probably rather be IN heaven but under there own authority not Gods. There is no sin in heaven so that is not the problem, there is no unbelief about Gods existence or power or goodness. There is only rebellion. They would rather live in hell without God than in heaven and submit.

So how did angels turn into demons. How did they go from so good to so bad. It could be the opposite of sanctification, whereas we in a lifetime are to become more like Jesus (God), they as immortal being become less godlike for thousands if not millions of years.

What about us? We are mortal imperfect beings without God, born in rebellion. We are born in sin in a fallen world. This is as close to hell as the redeemed will ever get and as close to heaven as the lost will ever get, but I think it is a lot more like hell than heaven. If we chose to submit to Gods authority and go to heaven how could we ever rebel and come back here. We have been to hell, without hope and without God. But we have free will also and we can chose our way over His ways. Unlike in heaven where there is no sin, in this world everything is tainted with sin, so sin is still not the problem. It still comes down to submission and trust in Him.

By the way this is totally my opinion extra biblical and probably wrong.

Belief

Posted: June 11, 2013 in religion, world view

Not to long ago I read a paper by c s Lewis “The obstinacy in belief.” An ongoing discussion with Kirk about universalism, penal substitution, etc, etc, etc brings it to mind. The gist of it is that if we believe something on what we think is good evidence or reason we hold on to it strongly despite what might seem better evidence to the contrary. The stronger the evidence for our beliefs (whether true or not) the harder to overcome them. I.e. if,our belief,is a 6 then it may take a 9 or 10 to get us to consider changing whereas if our belief is a 2 it may only take a 2.1 to change our mind.

This really comes into play with different religions or world views. An atheist who thinks he is appealing to reason may continue to hold his position no matter what, or a theist may let his presuppositions blind him to almost anything.

IF our belief is based on an experience without reason it is probably only held as strongly as the experience is reinforced. For instance a teenager is caught up in his youth group with all his friends but it is experience without reason, then off to college and a new stronger experience and atheist or agnostic authority and reasons. His old belief is a 2 and his new belief is a 2.1, his next belief is probably a 2.11 or whatever his next girlfriend believes (as good a reason as he had in youth group except the sex is better now, hence the .11 improvement)

If we really believe, we should be open to the evidence wherever it leads. If we believe in a God who has revealed himself we should not be afraid. natural revelation and special revelation should not be in conflict and if they seem that way we need to reconcile the difference.

the question is how strongly and why do you believe what you believe.

Wrath of God

Posted: May 23, 2013 in religion

I was reading a blogpost on the atonement and weather God poured out his wrath on Jesus or did humanity pour out our hate on him. This got me thinking what is “The Wrath of God”.

Does God get pissed because we do something stupid and realllly sinful and ZAP. Does He say to JC and HG “what were they thinking”, or is something else going on?

Maybe the universe He created and sustains left to its on devises is a cold cruel place “red in tooth and claw” that would devolve to a chaotic hell. Maybe God in his common grace, mercy, and loving kindness orders and directs in such a way that we as a race have a chance to survive and flourish.

Is it possible that Gods “wrath” is when He withdraws His mercy and common grace and that is what He did to Jesus at the cross. The Father can not hate the Son, he can not be cruel or malicious or he would not be God.

Is this what awaits those who trust in themselves. Will they have to go it alone without mercy. And in that kind of world (hell) will they have to carry their own cross.