Science vs. Religion
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#2398 Oct 28, 2013
Punisher wrote:
<quoted text>
1. So they claim. Finding this God seems to be something - that over time - is exempt from actually proving. The claim appears to be the only criteria.

I dont recall who said this, or if its a mash-up..."I have found God...and found him lacking." That claim is as legitimate as the opposite. Who is to say the God was not found in this case either?

2. This is the inherent problem with Xtianity - all Religions - this long and constant relying on personal claims as absolute truths! They simply are not, and they most certainly are NOT facts!

3. Which is really the brick wall you are all running headlong into these days...with all the push-back from various sectors. This long over-due revocation that personal beliefs are absolute truths as well as facts. Xtianity in the West due to its long link to the POWER structures was given an absolute free-pass on such real and needed scrutinies, and that time seems to have passed. Its now the time when Xtianity and all Religions are going to be put under a microscope, by individuals and societies in general and taken apart, layer by layer. And the first layers to come off are the ones of being off-limits from personal and more importantly public scrutiny.
You guys are done! You will no longer get a free-pass on making unsupported claims, unsubstantiated claims that you say are absolute truths and therefore factual!
And out of this process the day will finally arrive when the Bible is relegated back to it's original purpose. As a mere spiritual guide book under a very small umbrella of beliefs that are all based on faith and not facts!
1. I have no idea who said that. I would suspect that if someone actually did say it, it would be something along the lines of "I believe I am God because one day when I was praying, I realized I was praying to myself".

2. And the problem with the activist atheist movement is that they do exactly what they accuse people of religion, which is claim something to be 'fact'. The only difference is that they are not claiming any particular religion, at least not an established one to be fact. It's the same problem they run into when they maintain that Christians are intolerant for rejecting other religions. Atheists do the same, and add one more to the list.

3. If you're waiting for that day, it will a very long time because it's not going to happen in the world as we know it today.

For one, being 'right', or having the "right religion" is meaningless, irrelevant. When someone becomes a believer, there is no "See? I was right and you were wrong", "You've finally come around to see it my way", etc. There's no embarrassment (or shouldn't be) by one who becomes a believer because he has to face those who they may have argued with. The only reason anyone believes at all is because of the sheer grace of God. There are no second class citizens in God's Kingdom because they are not Jewish or European. There's no shame because a believer is Arab, or Indian (Asian 'or' Native American), Far Eastern, South East Asian, etc. due to being from a region with a different religious background.

Unless one can grasp that, the atheist will likely end up doing exactly what he accuses Christians and those of other religions do (claim a fact(s), claim intolerance, etc.).
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#2399 Oct 28, 2013
In addition, there's a misconception concerning 'evangelism' which seems to involve the belief that people become Christians because of aggressive Christian evangelism. Yes, there is pro-active evangelism, but it doesn't always work that way. People also 'pursue' Christians/Christianity 'without' direct encounter with someone attempting to evangelize them. Whatever one thinks the reason for this is, if Christians decided to completely shut up, there would still be converts. And probably just as many if not 'more'.

That is something that can certainly not be stopped by 'force' as we know from history (communist China, Soviet Union, Eastern Europe), and not by some sort of universal apathy among Christians.
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#2400 Oct 28, 2013
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>

<quoted text>
“…with MOST SCHOLARS preferring the period 80-90.”– Dennis C. Duling
I should have been more specific. This is what I meant:
Big Al wrote:
<quoted text>

…I don’t see “the possible presence of hostile witnesses in the audience” as being an issue.
<quoted text>
I guess this goes back to the who "bias" issue, but what would make you favor Duling's position that the presence of hostile witnesses is not an issue (which he seems to admit is an opinion) over F.F. Bruce's opinion (someone you've actually quoted yourself) that it is?
JJJ

Sydney, Australia

#2401 Oct 28, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>, or just the simple truth that Jesus died for our sins). ".
And you see nothing wrong with the fact that the biblical god has decreed that a human sacrifice must take place before this god will forgive humans of their so called 'sins'.

So who instigated the practice of human sacrifice (or animal for that matter) in the first place?

As a society, we humans have judged earlier civilisations that practiced human sacrifice as being primitive, ignorant and stupid at best through to evil and barbaric at the other end of scale...

No one would argue this point and that is why it is really important for xstians to consider the answer to the question.......

Just who was it that instigated the practice of human sacrifice into the human psyche, man or god(s)(in this context the biblical god)?

As the practice is most definitely evil most of us would contend that it was man that instigated the practice of blood sacrifice, but if this is so, then one has to wonder why the biblical god, reportedly the very personification of love and justice etc, would adopt such an evil barbaric practice as the process to take place to reconcile so called 'sinful' man....

And if on the other hand we wish to contend that it was the biblical god that instigated the practice of blood (including human) sacrifice.... then how is this god any better than any or all of the other gods that demanded human sacrifice before they would grant their favour?

Surely we must concede that in principle their is no difference between the ransom sacrifice and other human sacrifices offered up by humans to their god.

When we exercise faith in the ransom sacrifice, we are still practicing human sacrifice symbolically and in principle we are just as ignorant and barbaric as our primitive ancestors.

If some enlightened alien race were to study the history of the human race, they would see the ransom sacrifice as nothing more than example of human sacrifice and no different (at least in principle).....

than any other form of human sacrifice.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#2402 Oct 29, 2013
Great post JJJ, and it inspired me to reflect and make some comments.

Sometimes I will use the technique of replacing words in texts with relating words just in order to see if a translation could be inaccurate or misleading.
When we read that “Jesus died for our sins ---“, well, then maybe we could replace “for” with “because of”?

Jesus most certainly had enemies, who wanted him to go away, and these people had followers or “peers”, and a lot of people did not care at all about the injustice that he suffered.
We have these people around today; human nature is the same now as before.

If we see it in this way, then it has a lesson to all of us; we must not be and behave like that, and if we could all learn from it, well, then we could say that his death was not all in vain.

But a God sacrificing his son, no I don’t believe in that; I believe in learning from the event.

And then to the practice of human sacrifice; like I see it, it is more common today than ever before; young people are sent out to fight and die in wars; it is exactly the same thing!
Young people are sacrificed in the name of greed, as results of the drug and sex markets, it is a totally ruthless behaviour from all of us who doesn’t care about what happens.
Skip Pringle

La Verne, CA

#2403 Oct 29, 2013
A. Science in no way affects religion, only reinforces our faith that their is some force of intelligent organization (ie religion) that had something to do with creation and inputs into this world EVERY ACHING MOMENT! Any one who says not should be dismissed as a lunatic as people use and try to evade this itelligent organization every day, yet try to act like it does not exist even while grimacing like a little kid holding there potty session in.

B. I think god would even say that one should question whether there is a god. What you say, all religious organizations say JUST ACCEPT IT. Well, look at it this way, even though all the signs of religious input seem to suggest JUST ACCEPT IT, what if we are all just a video game which some other alien intelligence is playing similar to how we can sit there and look in on and play with a mound of ants. Science is telling us that all kinds things we thought possible or were only in the movies, may be possible after all. Most every one could use some more scientific like reasoning in their lives, instead of giving all their rights away (which means they gave mine and yours away too as it forces people to live by unfair rules) like a dumb bell.

3. Science really is god, because it is a system we all have to live in, and it is controlled by scientifically EXTREMELY LOGICAL physical constraints. Most people act like someone talking in logical form is an idiot, but the reality is that we live in a system that is built upon TOTAL LOGIC and not upon Cindy Laupers hair style which some might say has no logical pattern to it at all, at least I know Phyllis Dillers did!

4. Well, anyway science or no science god cant do anything with a mule which is what the average person usually behaves like.

Since: Jun 10

Location hidden

#2404 Oct 29, 2013
Skip Pringle wrote:
A. Science in no way affects religion, only reinforces our faith that their is some force of intelligent organization (ie religion) that had something to do with creation and inputs into this world EVERY ACHING MOMENT! Any one who says not should be dismissed as a lunatic as people use and try to evade this itelligent organization every day, yet try to act like it does not exist even while grimacing like a little kid holding there potty session in.
B. I think god would even say that one should question whether there is a god. What you say, all religious organizations say JUST ACCEPT IT. Well, look at it this way, even though all the signs of religious input seem to suggest JUST ACCEPT IT, what if we are all just a video game which some other alien intelligence is playing similar to how we can sit there and look in on and play with a mound of ants. Science is telling us that all kinds things we thought possible or were only in the movies, may be possible after all. Most every one could use some more scientific like reasoning in their lives, instead of giving all their rights away (which means they gave mine and yours away too as it forces people to live by unfair rules) like a dumb bell.
3. Science really is god, because it is a system we all have to live in, and it is controlled by scientifically EXTREMELY LOGICAL physical constraints. Most people act like someone talking in logical form is an idiot, but the reality is that we live in a system that is built upon TOTAL LOGIC and not upon Cindy Laupers hair style which some might say has no logical pattern to it at all, at least I know Phyllis Dillers did!
4. Well, anyway science or no science god cant do anything with a mule which is what the average person usually behaves like.
That’s right, we are all mules in some way or another; the logics of a mule are; if you don’t know the exact consequences then stay where you are, don’t move!
I have been up against that attitude more than once!

By the way I like Cyndi’s hair style!

No one could or at least shouldn’t argue that everything follows a logical pattern and that intelligence is a part of it.
But then we have to fully understand the principle of intelligence; what exactly is it?

Our brain is defined as an instrument for intelligent reflections but also for the conclusions related to total nonsense.

Mathematics is logical systems with the most refined methods of intelligent decision-making.
But mathematics can’t solve all the most complex problems for us.
In fact the human mind is so far superior to mathematics and computers in the skill of seeing hidden patterns in complicated systems.
We are sometimes going too far in that respect and with some mental illnesses people will see more pattern and connections than reality can give or explain.

Our brain works like a kind of “democratic” system, input of information (votes) are collected from many locations in our brain and the majority of neurones are winning the “election”.

And to my opinion; the whole universe works by the same principle but in billions and billions of fragments following their own patterns and paths, interacting between them; everything is in motion in their own direction, almost like people walking to and from within a big and busy city.

Everybody has a direction and a system to follow and by observing over time we could find some overall patterns in their movements.

This is the reason why we are not all of us sitting like frozen into a big block of ice.
It is a world of chaos but the crystallized patterns coming from chaos represents and indicates the “intelligence” within.
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#2405 Oct 29, 2013
JJJ wrote:
<quoted text>
And you see nothing wrong with the fact that the biblical god has decreed that a human sacrifice must take place before this god will forgive humans of their so called 'sins'.
So who instigated the practice of human sacrifice (or animal for that matter) in the first place?
As a society, we humans have judged earlier civilisations that practiced human sacrifice as being primitive, ignorant and stupid at best through to evil and barbaric at the other end of scale...
No one would argue this point and that is why it is really important for xstians to consider the answer to the question.......
Just who was it that instigated the practice of human sacrifice into the human psyche, man or god(s)(in this context the biblical god)?
As the practice is most definitely evil most of us would contend that it was man that instigated the practice of blood sacrifice, but if this is so, then one has to wonder why the biblical god, reportedly the very personification of love and justice etc, would adopt such an evil barbaric practice as the process to take place to reconcile so called 'sinful' man....
And if on the other hand we wish to contend that it was the biblical god that instigated the practice of blood (including human) sacrifice.... then how is this god any better than any or all of the other gods that demanded human sacrifice before they would grant their favour?
Surely we must concede that in principle their is no difference between the ransom sacrifice and other human sacrifices offered up by humans to their god.
When we exercise faith in the ransom sacrifice, we are still practicing human sacrifice symbolically and in principle we are just as ignorant and barbaric as our primitive ancestors.
If some enlightened alien race were to study the history of the human race, they would see the ransom sacrifice as nothing more than example of human sacrifice and no different (at least in principle).....
than any other form of human sacrifice.
Hello JJJ!

I'm not completely clear on what exactly is the problem with the idea of a human being sacrificed?

In a way, "human sacrifice" has been a celebrated means of attaining freedom. For instance, here in the States we celebrate the various men who 'sacrificed' their lives in war, particularly the "Revolutionary War" as a means to gain political independence. I guess we could say that like God sending His Son, the various soldiers were purposely sent as well by national leaders, and to varying degrees parents.'Human Sacrifice' when understood to be a necessity is generally perceived as a 'positive'. In a war scenario, soldiers of course may live threw the ordeal, but it's still a 'sacrifice' that can end with other potential misfortunes (psychological damage, physical handicaps).

So is the problem an issue of 'necessity' when referring to "Christ's human sacrifice"?

If God in a hypothetical scenario sent His Son as a sacrifice to prevent the destruction of the planet, and of course billions of human lives, resulting in an unavoidable death for His Son, what would you make of that scenario? Would that sacrifice be 'just'? Or 'admirable/noble'?

My suspicion is that the problem you have is not so much being sacrificed for in itself, but the idea of sacrifice being for "our sins". Or, as you put it, our "so called" sins. In other words, you may not have an issue with someone saving your life, but that you would need to be saved from a rather unflattering suggested status/position..
Job

Santa Clara, CA

#2406 Oct 29, 2013
In a war scenario, soldiers of course may live 'through' the ordeal...
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2407 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. The implication seems to be that if God speaks to a human being(s), that we have to apply human characteristics to said God. My point is that some of our human characteristics were initially placed in us 'by' God, thus the characteristics are not necessarily human in origin.
In addition, we could also say that if God speaks through us through nature (which I think is one way He does), then that is still God communicating with us personally. We can logically assume that God appreciates beauty (a human characteristic).
The idea of “God” personally communicating with human beings implies that “God” has human characteristics. Obviously we human beings did not create ourselves (give ourselves human characteristics); that came about through the process of evolution.

Thomas Paine accepted the idea that “God” speaks through nature and so do I we just don’t add all of the embellishments spoken of in holy books.

"The Creation [nature] speaketh a universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they may be. It is an ever-existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other. It preaches to all nations and to all worlds; and this word of God reveals to man all that is necessary for man to know of God." - Thomas Paine
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2408 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
2. Would you consider the idea that God takes some to Heaven, and sends some to Hell by virtue of works (or how one conducts his/her life) as many Catholics believe laughable?
I think the idea that the creator of the universe sits in judgment of he/she/it’s creations is affixing a rather negative human characteristic to he/she/it.

"...if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself.…The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres of religion and of science lies in this concept of a personal God." - Albert Einstein, Science and Religion (1941)
Job wrote:
3. Not necessarily. When someone orders something on-line, they are making a personal request 'without' interacting personally with the individuals involved with fulfilling that order request. One of the problems throughout the religious world is the human desire to satisfy a god 'without' interacting with the god in a 'relationship' level by performing duties, rituals, practices, etc. Some of that includes 'prayer'. Jesus addressed this problem when He addressed the issue of "vain repetitive praying".
Prayer is an attempted personal communication with “God”. A personal communication with “God” would require a personal relationship with “God”.
Job wrote:
4. How often do you find yourself asking Irish folk to prove to you that there's a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? Do you go to Irish folklore forums?
You can certainly see that I would have no reason to believe the old Irishman but for some reason you can’t see that I would also have no reason to believe you.
Job wrote:
5. I would be far more interested in an un-marketed/non-commercial/not hing-to-gain-testimoy.
Never read anything that may not be exactly in line with what you already believe; you might be in danger of learning something that you didn’t know before.
Job wrote:
6. I don't doubt that you had a sincere belief in God. Did you have any type of 'manifestation' of God?
I thought I did but when I looked at those experiences objectively I realized that they were only subjective experiences with no basis in reality.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2409 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
There's valid historical support for the resurrection. It's only rejected due to skepticism of the supernatural. That, and the Gospel message which is an offense to many human beings. Doubt of a supernatural act of a resurrection, and the implication attached to the resurrection that goes directly against the humanistic worldview is why it's rejected as valid history.
I do not consider the Bible valid historical support for the fantastic claims therein any more than I consider the Bhagavad Gita or the Quran valid historical support for their fantastic claims. You can believe whatever you want to believe but I need independent sources of corroboration and there are none.
Job wrote:
It really wouldn't matter how much written documents spoke of the resurrection, there would still be mass rejection. Man in the general universal sense does not want to accept the reality that man is basically evil. We understand that there 'are' evil people, but every society whether they sacrifice children on an alter, or abort them in a clinic believe that man is basically good. Is not in 'need' of redemption from a creator. And whatever their relative view of evil is would be assigned to those they consider on the fringe of their society. The evidence is there to embrace, consider, or reject. It's that simple.
The idea of the necessity for atonement makes no sense to me.

First of all the idea that “God” would feel a need to punish the future generations of Adam and Eve for offences they committed against “Him” goes against my ordinary sense of morality that says children should not be punished for the crimes of their parents.

Secondly there is the idea that either “blood sacrifice” is necessary to make amends for one simple act of disobedience and that without this blood sacrifice eternal punishment would be required. The punishment does not seem to me to fit the crime.

Then there is the idea that punishment of an innocent individual (God’s own son) instead of the guilty parties would somehow be acceptable retribution. The murder of one’s own son would not be considered acceptable reparation for an offense by any sane person that I know of.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2410 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
I believe that all humans have a particular gift (skill, talent, etc.) that can be used for God's glory, or for man's (or self) glory. Some have gifts that are not superior to others in the eye's of God, but are higher profile. Scientific high intellect is one of them. Someone can practice their gifting and not know it's from God. Elvis Presley, a gifted performer understood that he was gifted by God, but expressed remorse towards the end of his life for not using his talent for God's glory according to a close confidante.
That’s right science has nothing to do with what you believe or don’t believe. Scientific discoveries are based on observation and logic – the scientific method.
Job wrote:
I think there are going to be a number of very intelligent scientists who are going to be in remorse at some point during their soul existence.
And Muslims believe there are going to be a number of very devout Christians and other infidels who are going to be in remorse at some point during their soul existence, and I don’t care what either of you believe.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2411 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
There are a number of different theories involving the creation of the earth. The one that you're referring to, the Nebular Hypothesis has it's angular momentum problem:
“a predictive theory of nebular evolution is still lacking.”- Dr Stuart Ross Taylor
I stand corrected. Although the Nebular Hypothesis is the most widely accepted model explaining the formation and evolution of the Solar System it has not yet achieved the status of a scientific theory (as has evolution) and therefore I was wrong to use it as evidence that the sun was created before the earth.

The age of the Earth is 4.5 billion years is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples.

The Sun can be dated to 4.6 billion using helioseismic (wave propagation) methods that strongly agree with the radiometric dates found for the oldest meteorites.

Also the Bible claims the existence of a solid vault in the sky called a “firmament” which we now know does not exist.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2412 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
This doesn't answer the question on how would a creator 'create' naturally does it? This is just Stephen Hawking speculating that there would be no need for a creator if there are no boundaries in the universe.
It says that the laws of nature may have always existed thereby being the “first cause” in and of themselves.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2413 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. This might be true only if scientists are not allowed to discuss the flaws in evolution. Is there some reason that problems/flaws should not be challenged? Or not challenged in light of it's opposition to Biblical scripture?
Who told you that scientists do not discuss things that the theory of evolution does not at this point in time explain? What do you think peer review is for?

The existence of unexplained phenomena does not refute the theory of evolution any more than the existence of some unexplained motions of the visible planets in Copernicus’ time refuted the theory heliocentrism. Researching unexplained phenomena is what scientists do. Scientists simply do not accept the supernatural explanations for the unexplained phenomena associated with evolution proposed by creationists. And creationists continually bring up things as “flaws” which are well explained by the scientific evidence.
Job wrote:
2. "Molecule to man evolution" is not observable. It's mere speculation based on a naturalist view.
Evolution doesn't deal with “molecules to first life”, abiogenesis does. Evolution deals only with “first life to humans”.

Abiogenesis is a natural process by which life arises from simple organic compounds. There are a number of different scientific “hypotheses” about how life “could” have emerged from simple organic compounds but none have acquired the status of scientific theory as evolution has.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2414 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. The idea of there being a creator is rational, yet the creators only 2 means to create are both irrational?
2. But there is a reason to believe that a creator (rational) created by 'either' natural 'or' supernatural means. We can't just say that it's rational to believe that there's a creator involved in our creation (ala Thomas Paine), but claim that the creator's only 2 means of creating are irrational.
The idea of there being a creator is rational because it is based on real-world evidence (the universe) and logic (the law of cause and effect). Adding the characteristics of natural or supernatural is pure speculation and not rational because neither can be based on real-world evidence and logic at this point in time.
Job wrote:
3. Except for the fact I didn't make any claim that you 'concluded' anything. That's why I stated that "you do seem to favor (quite strongly) one over the other (natural 'over' supernatural)". I fully understand that you're 'speculating', which has it's own problem in itself.
I may speculate but I understand that it is merely my speculation and don’t try to pass it off as a rational conclusion.
Job wrote:
I've been trying to get an answer from you. What you think I seem to not understand is not of any interest to me. What 'exactly' is irrational revolving around the issue of the creator either using natural or supernatural means? Is it irrational to 'speculate' on which 2 avenues were used?(And/)Or is it irrational to favor one over the other?
I’ve answered your question a dozen times but you don’t seem to be able to grasp the answer.

Speculation is by definition not a rational conclusion. You can speculate until hell freezes over but your speculation will not turn into a rational conclusion until it can be based on real-world evidence and logic. Neither the idea of natural or supernatural creation at this point in time can be based on real-world evidence and logic.
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2415 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
1. I understand that. But I have to say again, I 'don't' laugh at the ancient Greeks for believing these given mythological accounts. I wouldn't even say that I don't take them seriously. And even if they were fabricated for political purposes I still wouldn't laugh at them. Chiefly because I think it would entail a very serious matter.
It’s hard for me to take seriously the idea that you don’t understand that other people in history have believed in their gods just as sincerely as you believe in your “God”. You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see that.
Job wrote:
2. That may depend. Can someone accept that Big Al is simply Big Al, nothing more, nothing less?
All of my friends, relatives, and acquaintances can accept Big Al as a man of a certain height, weight, hair color etc. They can affix all sorts of ideas to Big Al because they know me as and can have a rational basis for affixing those ideas. The difference between me and Thomas Paine’s creator is…

“The only idea man can affix to the name of God is that of a first cause, the cause of all things.”-- Thomas Paine
Job wrote:
3. But again, in light of God placing certain characteristics into God's creation, the characteristics do not originate from man.
We know from science that the human characteristics we have today evolved from simpler forms of life in the past by the process of natural selection.
Job wrote:
4. How do you know the 'depth' of the belief patterns of ancient Greeks, Romans, Norse, etc.?
A person would have to be very naïve to think that the ancient Greeks, Romans, Norse, etc. thought of their gods as imaginary figures. You seem to have somehow acquired the absurd idea that anyone that doesn’t believe in the “God” that you believe in can’t possibly believe as sincerely as you.
Job wrote:
5. And it's just an assumption. That is to say, there's no evidence that Paul suffered from epilepsy. There's no evidence other than the idea that someone can have a similar experience during an epileptic fit. This person thinks it could be epilepsy, or he was hit by a lightening bolt (maybe from Zeus?).
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/142791...
The point was, there are different ideas meant to replace the theme of a direct divine experience.
Very true, everything we say about Paul’s conversion is an assumption because all we have is his personal story and as I said before I don’t accept claims of personal subjective experience at face value. My assumption is just as valid as your assumption that everything he wrote was true.
Job wrote:
6. Again, why do you favor this version over guilt...or a lightening bolt?
Paul’s description of the incident seems to coincide with the experiences present day epileptics have described. It’s just my guess at a natural explanation.
Job wrote:
7. The reason for Paul's evangelizing the gentiles was due to a "call from God".
Romans 15:16
New International Version (NIV)
16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Why then was Paul who had been to Jerusalem to meet with Peter and James 3 years after his conversion arguing with Peter at the Council of Jerusalem about gentile converts keeping Jewish law and being circumcised 14 years later? If he was converting gentiles at the time of his first meeting with Peter don’t you think the subject would have come up then?
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2416 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes....and they also...which we could say speaks for their prior traditional view of God....expected the type of Messiah/deliverer that all other Jews were expecting. The difference being that the disciples viewed Jesus as this Messiah that would physically deliver them from Roman rule.
They could 'not' identify with Christ having to die. The disappointment that Christ did not come as a more political deliverer was a disappointment. The idea of Christ's death and resurrection was new, and difficult to grasp. If Christ had not resurrected, there would be no way that they would proclaim a message, leading for some of them death, that they couldn't initially relate to to begin with.
“The term ‘mashiach’ literally means ‘the anointed one,’ and refers to the ancient practice of anointing kings with oil when they took the throne. The mashiach is the one who will be anointed as king in the End of Days.

The word ‘mashiach’ does not mean ‘savior.’ The notion of an innocent, divine or semi-divine being who will sacrifice himself to save us from the consequences of our own sins is a purely Christian concept that has no basis in Jewish thought.’– Judaism 101
Big Al

Hibbing, MN

#2417 Oct 29, 2013
Job wrote:
<quoted text>
I became a Christian twice before becoming a 'believer'. What do you mean by Christian?
I mean that I was taught and believed that Jesus was the son of “God” who saved us all from our sins by his death on the cross.
Job wrote:
I think each individual can answer the question personally as to the 'depth' of their belief is or was. Let's put it this way:
You believed in God, but now you don't. You believe that your next door neighbor exists, but do you think at some point you may believe that your neighbor 'doesn't' exist?
I believed that Jesus was the son of “God” who saved us all from our sins by his death on the cross because I was told that came directly from the word of “God”. When I tried to verify that I found that I couldn’t. If I want to verify if my next door neighbor exists all I have to do is knock on his door and watch him open it to verify that he exists.

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