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Showing posts from October, 2017

Christianity Religion or Relationship?

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Over at the secular outpost Blogger Bradly Bowen has announced a 10 year plan to investigate the truth of Christianity. Why do I feel that this is more like a 10 year siege? In any case he had already done one piece on "what is Christianity?" , but this part 2[1] Bowen argues that those who say "Christianity is not a religion but is a relationship with Jesus," are "stupid," (he uses the word). Why does he want Christianity to be a "religion" instead of a relationship? You can't disprove a relationship. He does a bait and switch  replacing religion with system, reading system as philosophical system, then it's disprovable.

I do not think there is a conflict between religion and relationship. Before I get into that let's briefly examine Bowen's case. His argument works in three basic steps: (1) He quotes Paul, "..."the mystery of our religion is great..." .(1 Timothy 3:15-16) [2]The Greek word rendered here as "r…

Is Blasphemy Transferable?

Whew! I finished up with a fundraising goal, so next week I can get back to some original writing. In the meantime, here's a 2011 post that raised a unique question I bet will be new to some of you.

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Some years ago, in my earliest employment with Florida's prison system, I was presented with a unique moral question. An inmate addressed me with profane language, and I proceeded to write a disciplinary report, which of necessity had to include an exact quotation of the inmate's words. That day I was told by a prison officer that when reporting the inmate's words, I was required to type them "as is" -- including the, er, naughty bits, as Monty Python might say. No asterisks. No equivocations. Exact words.

This segues into today's question: If writing that report required me to write words that I ordinarily considered offensive to write or say -- was I guilty of the same moral offense as the inmate? And for today's posting: Is blasphemy transfer…

Peter Kirby Straw man best Case for Jesus: Papias

 Museum at Hierapolis where Papias lived


Kirby:
Jesus, even if the testimony might be false.(2) (c) PapiasThe words of Papias have been quoted many times in the investigation of Christian origins. They seem to offer a rare ray of light regarding the Gospels from the early second century. The first to quote him is Irenaeus, who makes the following remark:  These things Papias, the hearer of John, who was a companion of Polycarp, a man of ancient time, testifies in writing in the fourth of his books, for there are five books composed by him. (Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies 5.33.4) This does not actually say that Papias knew any of the disciples of Jesus. The John mentioned here may not be the same John who was a disciple of Jesus and could have been the one called “the presbyter.” After quoting from Papias, this is exactly how Eusebius interprets him:
And Papias, of whom we are now speaking, confesses that he received the words of the apostles from those that followed them, but say…

Renting Jesus

I haven't heard a lot about the emergent church or Brian McLaren lately, Maybe the novelty has worn off. But this 2011 post is still as relevant as ever, being that we have plenty of people who still think Jesus is a theological buffet table.

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"I don't own Jesus!"

So says Carl Medearis in a blog entry for (CNN), and certainly he's right. He doesn't own Jesus. Jesus owns us. But of course that's not quite what he means either. What he means, as becomes clear further on, is, "No one owns the truth about Jesus." And in that respect, Medearis does not indeed own Jesus, but he does rent Jesus.

When someone says something like, "no one owns the truth about Jesus”, it's time to raise the Law of Non-Contradiction again. Because when you say, "no one owns the truth about Jesus," you're making a truth claim about Jesus, and one that is exclusive of all others about Jesus. Which means (gasp) you're claiming to own the tr…

Evolution of The God Concept part 2

,,,,The assumption that humans are projecting their own attributes is no more supported by the facts than the idea of progressive revelation. It could just be that our conceptions of God have to grow as our understanding of reality grows. How could Stone Age people start out understanding God in terms of quantum theory or transcendence in relation to the space/time continuum? As our understanding has grown our conceptions of God have become more grandiose, they have kept pace with our understanding of the nature of the universe. How could it be otherwise? We can’t understand what we have never experienced or that to which we have never been exposed. New psychological research has indicated that children don’t have to understand God’s attributes by first understanding human attributes, but become able to distinguish between different kinds of agents at an early age (six).[1]We might still limit our understanding to our own experience of mind, yet as thinkers we are capable of conceptua…