Faith (Religion)

by Balance_Maintained @, U.S.A., Thursday, September 27, 2018, 05:34 (651 days ago) @ David Turell

David: I deeply respect Tony's fundamentalist view of the New Testament. I understand how he feels and how important it is to him. God has also become very important to me. However with my background I do not accept the Trinitarian theology. I also recognize the God of the OT does not come across as loving as the God of the NT. Karen Armstrong, a former nun, recognized that the most mature approach to God in her book, The History of God , 1993, is in the Quran which looks at the works of God to understand Him. Leaving the Catholic Church, she is reputed to attend Jewish or Muslim services. By 'History' she discusses how human beings have come to view Him over the centuries. The Catholic theology frankly came to frighten her. I can understand that. So I sit here as between Tony and dhw.

Tony: The OT God does not come across as unloving to me. However, his ways are not our ways, and if you are trying to judge his actions from a limited human perspective, I could see how he could be mischaracterized that way. Also, I am not a fundamentalist. I am not take a literal 6-day creation story, sinners burn in hell, good folks go to heaven, etc., etc., etc. christian.

David: I didn't say the OT God was unloving, but I think as a sterner form of God He does come across not as loving as in the NT which is what I wrote. I know He loves us. I apologize: perhaps my use of 'fundamentalist' was too forceful a characterization of you, but you follow the NT interpretation of the theology very strictly. With my background I find God taking care of us in an afterlife with no heaven or hell as a possibility. As for the six days, I know you know also the Greeks misinterpreted 'yom' which means 'any length of time' to start that mistake going forward.

When the actions of Jehovah(YHWH) are examined in the context of the OT, and overall, really, there are a few things that must be taken into consideration.

As to my beliefs, literal fundamentalism has little place in them, not based on any perceived inaccuracy of the provided information, but based in fact on the accuracy of that information once the revisionism that took place, particularly between the 1st & 3rd centuries, is removed. No Dante's inferno, no incorporation of pantheistic/nature based religions as a means for social inclusion(Christmas/Easter/Etc), no exceptions to biblical cannon (such as the infallibility of the pope), once saved always saved, the immortal soul, etc..

I also do not claim apologetics, not because of how it started, but because of how it ended up. A reasoned approach to talking to others about why I have faith is precisely how I believe I should act. Yet, most apologetics, and in fact most of Christianity, teach that Jesus was not only the messiah, but God in earthly form, preaching some version of the trinity. I disagree with that based on the scriptural evidence. Christ never claimed to be God, never claimed to be equal with God, nor did he claim any authority except that which he was granted by God.

I also do not arbitrarily exclude other theological text. Rather, I hold them all to the same degree of scrutiny, and in most of them, I find verifiable evidence of objective, rational truth. In many, I see correlating messages and historical accuracy. However, one, and only one, continuously proves itself accurate time, and time, and time again, no matter how loud its detractors scream, and that is the bible. It has proven itself historically accurate as proven by archaeology, medically and scientifically accurate to the degree that it discusses medicine and science, often centuries in advance of the discoveries it speaks of, and prophetically accurate in verifiable ways. I've said before that all parts of it that can be tested can be verified, and most of them have been already.

Those that have not yet been proven, either have not been tested yet, or have not been tested using the assumption that the information presented was correct. For example, models of the possibility of a global flood ignore concepts such as the lack of rain prior to the flood. They start from the assumption that the bible is wrong, and then attempt to use their own theories to prove that it is wrong without testing the assertions as they are in order to determine their validity.

What is the purpose of living? How about, 'to reduce needless suffering. It seems to me to be a worthy purpose.

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