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Author Topic: Danger: History and Science in the Bible  (Read 62795 times)
Will Jones
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« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2006, 10:27:48 am »

Mark C.,

Mark C. wrote, "It seems that this topic of Neo thought is the only reason that you find to post here, and as such, has become an all absorbing fascination with you."  On the contrary, I have attempted on many occasions to withdraw from discussion about the notion of Biblical inerrancy because I realized that the subject of inerrancy is a very sensitive subject for many.  However, many posters, such as Al, Arthur, MGov and Verne, kept asking me questions that I took time to respond to.  I did not expect the discussion to go on as long as it has or to go into such detail.  I have no desire to push some kind of "Neo" agenda as you seem to suggest.  As proof of this, I am ONCE AGAIN electing to withdraw from discussion on this forum.  I originally only intended to come on here to say hello and straighten up a few misconceptions, so my final goodbye is long overdo.

Before I go, let me say that I feel I have already answered your first question on this and the "Egyptian Mythology" thread.  What more can I say except then we all must interpret the Bible for ourselves and, as a result, we all have a slightly different (or very different) view of God, the Bible, theology, etc.  I am sorry for not going into greater depth, but, after rereading all the threads I was apart of, I see that I have had to repeat myself over and over again when people would ask questions about material I had already written about.

As for your second question, the question of Biblical inerrancy did not exist as an article of faith for a good portion of Christian history because the Bible did not exist or could not be read freely. Early Christians and the Early Church Fathers put their faith in God and Jesus (the true "Word of God") and all early creeds never mention the need to believe in an inerrant book.  The notion of Biblical inerrancy has been created by modern day Christians and has become a big issue, such a big issue that it has become part of the modern day creed or a necessary article of faith.  I have argued that preaching that one must believe in the Bible to believe in God has no historical veracity and actually keeps people from believing in the gospel.  A Christian  cannot be a light to the world and effectively preach the gospel to the world if the world itself disregards the authority of the Bible in scientific matters. I have already talked about the spiritual authority of the Bible and about preaching the gospel on the "Egyptian Mythology" thread and other threads.  I have given testimony to my reverence of the Bible and my belief in its message of living a higher, fuller life of love and forgiveness. Moreover, as I have stated before, my interest is not in attempting to persuade anyone to follow my beliefs--I hope to inspire others to think beyond the box of their own beliefs through a variety of means such as further study of Christian AND scholarly works.  I have admitted that we, as humans, are not perfect and could be wrong.  We just need to be open, not shut in and blinded by our own view of the truth.  I was once shut in by dogmatism, but luckily I escaped.  I once blinded myself to the evidence that was before my eyes, but luckily I desired to study to know the truth rather than believe what I had been taught was truth.  Because I went through that process and feel free, I simply wanted to share my experience with others here.  If I have offended anyone, as I was once offended when people mentioned contradictions in the Bible, then please forgive me.  I am, after all, only human and felt free to share my views.

I have said what I needed to say.  God bless.  :-)  After one last post to Tom, I will no longer be participating on this forum.
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Will Jones
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« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2006, 10:46:45 am »

Tom,

You wrote,
Quote
Do you use the words, "sunrise" and "sunset"?   Of course you do...while at the same time you know the phenomena are caused by the earth's rotation.  A question, Will.  If you and everyone else use phenomological language, why couldn't biblical authors do so?
   
They can and they do!  :-)  I have already stated that I do not blame the authors of the Bible for writing like this because they were writing according to their present knowledge and cultural understanding.  The Bible is the most influential book in the English language and has, over thousands of years, influenced the writings and speech patterns of Christendom and beyond.  But, if one reads the Bible honestly, I believe that the writers did not "lie" but were incorrect regarding their view of the universe.  There are plenty of instances of errant cosmology that I mention in many places on the "Egyptian Mythology" thread.  So... we will have to agree to disagree in this case.  But I personally believe that another example of a "factoid" you mentioned is "Biblical inerrancy." :-)

I generally do not discuss my beliefs about the Bible with Christians that I meet because, due to the popular but incorrect belief in Biblical inerrancy, I appear to be against the Bible that is directly associated with the Word of God.  "God is able to preserve His Word" is said over and over again.  "The Bible is the Word of God."  Thus, to say you don't believe the Bible is 100% factual in all matters of science and history leads some Christians to erroneously believe that you are against God, are not saved, etc.  I like a different expression that I'll alter slightly:  "It's not what you think you know; it's WHO you claim to know that matters."

You wrote,
Quote
[You seem to believe that you understand the motivation and mental process of those who defend the factuality of the Bible.  Why don't you tell us just how you know this.  I would be most interested to read about it.
As I wrote here and on another thread, I did believe in the complete factuality of the Bible.  I did not want to change my views when I noticed discrepancies, but was forced to after years of in-depth study.  I also wrote at length on another thread about the history behind the 19th Century Princeton scholars and their attempt to protect the Bible through creating this notion of Biblical inerrancy.  I remember feeling very offended when people would say the Bible has contradictions because how could I hold such black-and-white views if I actually had to use my own mind when I read the Bible?  I fought to protect the Bible because I was protecting my cherished belief that I could just read any passage of the Bible and have unfettered access to the truth.  Even now, after once again reflecting on my beliefs, it would be nice to believe in a kind of magic book that was word-for-literal-word the Word of God.  But I don't believe that is true based on what I have come to see.

Even if the Bible was the word-for-word Word of God, humans still have to interpret the Bible, knowing that there are thousands of different Christian bodies that hold different views on theology and what it means to live a good life before God.  This should make us humble and we should realize that, when faced with so many different views and interpretations, we could be wrong.  Thus, it is mentally and spiritually dangerous when one directly associates what they personally believe with THE TRUTH and look down on others.  This is a kind of cultist thinking that the Assembly was famous for.

One poster observed, “Folk will usually find what they are really seeking.”  I never sought to find errors in the Bible, but they kept popping up even when I tried to overlook them.  So I say through personal experience:  *** People may not find the truth if they are not willing to seek because they have wrongly associate their beliefs with THE TRUTH. ***

It has been nice talking with you.  May God bless you all.  Like so many others, I am henceforth withdrawing from discussion on this board.  Goodbye.   Smiley
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 11:12:32 am by Will Jones » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2006, 06:31:31 pm »

Any attempt by anyone, and I do not care what they call themselves, to undermine the accuracy and historicity of the Genesis record, is an attack and an attempt to undermine the Christian faith.
In case I was not clear let me repeat it:
It is an attack and an attempt to undermine Christian faith.
Why such a strong thesis?
The book of Genesis, and in particular the first three chapters is the only source of information available to us, that tell us the following:
How we got here.
Why we are here.
What ails us.
And Why.
Genesis is foundational. All subsequent claims of the Scripture, and particularly those claims that relate to soteriology (salvation), have integrity and find relevance only if the record presented in Genesis is a historical one.
If Adam did not exist, then the New Testament claim that he was our Federal head and plunged the entire race into sin is sheer nonsense.
If all did not die in Adam, then certainly none will be made alive in Christ..

Some of you reading the foregoing exchanges may be thinking that this is nothing more than silly intellectual sparring over matters of little or no real consequence.
That assumption would be gravely in error.
I think we are living in dangerous times because of the systematic and subversive attack on the very foundations of what  we as believers hold true, namely that there is a God, and not only that but that He has also spoken into history.
Everything that the New Testament tells us about redemption, is told to us in the context of  the unquestionable historicity of the events related to us in the first three chapters of Genesis. If those chapters are faulty, the message of salvation is meaningless.
I am therefore at a loss to comprehend how anyone attacking the historicity of the book of Genesis, can at the same time mouth the most pious sounding statements about faith and evangelism. On the one hand the Biblically given basis of the need for redemption is impugned, and on the other, calims are made that those who affirm such a basis obstruct the gospel message!
We are living in dangerous times…
Verne
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 06:38:10 pm by vernecarty » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #78 on: August 24, 2006, 08:39:21 pm »

Part TWO

 When Jesus says the mustard seed is the smallest seed in the world—which it is not—

My doubt about Will had nothing to do with his views on inerrancy.
The above quote quintessentially ilustrates what the problem is in my mind.
No matter how you slice it, this is a very cavalier statement that makes Christ a liar or an ignoramus.
I have difficulty seeing how anyone who knows the Son of God could have such an opinion of Him.
Will if you tell me plainly that you know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and that you believe that He died for your sins I will immediately offer an apology for any dobut I expressed about your spiritual condition.
Verne
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 08:41:13 pm by vernecarty » Logged
Oscar
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« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2006, 08:39:30 pm »

Verne,

You wrote:
Quote
I am therefore at a loss to comprehend how anyone attacking the historicity of the book of Genesis, can at the same time mouth the most pious sounding statements about faith and evangelism. On the one hand the Biblically given basis of the need for redemption is impugned, and on the other, calims are made that those who affirm such a basis obstruct the gospel message!
We are living in dangerous times…
Verne
Verne,

What you have said seems so obvious that one wonders how they can get it so wrong.  However, they do so. They do it by viewing the Bible as a vehicle of religious truth, rather than an accurate historical account.  Mark has correctly identified Will's position as Neo-Evangelical.  Neo-Evangelicals think in terms of a virtually unknowable God who speaks to man through the limited means available to us.  In other words, the Bible "contains" or "carries" the word of God rather than being in itself the word of God.

Viewed this way, purported scientific and historical errors are something like dents on your car.  It is not in perfect condition but it still transports its passengers to the desired destination.

The problem with this whole project is that the whole thing is based upon the decision to believe something without evidence or rational argument.  Notice that in Will's posts he simply states his beliefs as if they were self-evident.  He does not argue for them, he merely repeats them over and over.  This is the result of the Neo-Evangelical focus on subjectivity.  The Bible is meaningful as we experience the self-revelation of God through the text.  So truth is known subjectively not objectively.  This, I believe, is why Will avoided dealing directly with any of the arguments I presented.

Francis Schaeffer explained this many years ago in a small but powerful book entitled, "Escape From Reason".  In it he describes the progress of the idea that their are two realms of truth.  The first is what he calls "lower story truth", the realm we know through objective experience, including all historical and scientific knowledge.  The other realm is what he called the "upper story", where truth is communicated through subjective or mystical experiences, but are not objectively verifiable.  Liberal and Neo-Orthodox theology are grounded in "upper story" experiences.

To me, Will is illustrates the old saying that "a little knowledge is dangerous".  He has read the works of critical scholars, but seems completely unfamiliar with Evangelical scholarship.  So, the critics have convinced him.  Perhaps he wished to be convinced?

He came here after a long absence to renew an old argument.  He restated his animosity toward you along with his statements of faith...voluminously.  (He takes pages to say what a more skillful writer could express in a few paragraphs.) He has answered all questions and objections with more statements of faith.  Now he has declared victory and left.

Sad.   Sad

Blessings,

Thomas Maddux

« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 08:49:20 pm by Tom Maddux » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #80 on: August 24, 2006, 11:07:32 pm »

Verne,



What you have said seems so obvious that one wonders how they can get it so wrong.  However, they do so.
Blessings,

Thomas Maddux


It has been my experience, and I want to be clear in saying that I do not know if this is true in Will's case, that people who cite science and history as reasons for circumscribing Biblical authority are not really that interested in either science or history.
The real issue is authority.
Whether consciously or not, many people who take issue with some teaching in God's Word, find the issue of Biblical realiabilty on matters of science and history to be a favorable departure point for what inevitably becomes a foray into other areas where the Bible can presumably be shown to be in error - the camel's nose under the tent so to speak.
Adducing science and history certainly sounds scholarly and objective and tends to have the effect of putting the gullible on the defensive since in these arenas one is presumably dealing with facts and not fantasy- right?
Have you noticed that when you start to get real specific about the science and/or the history, then you become the problem ( tone, harshness etc.) not the merit or defensibility of the paricular claims being made.
Will is right about one thing.
Let every man be convinced in his on mind before God.
He is not swayed by rhetorical erudition.
People who think they can effectively hold the faith in anything but a clear conscience, ultimately  wake up to the tragic realization that they have departed from it...anyone reading this still possessed of the capacity for being brutally honest with self, knows exactly what I am saying...
Verne
« Last Edit: August 24, 2006, 11:13:22 pm by vernecarty » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #81 on: August 26, 2006, 06:13:37 am »


As for your second question, the question of Biblical inerrancy did not exist as an article of faith for a good portion of Christian history because the Bible did not exist or could not be read freely. Early Christians and the Early Church Fathers put their faith in God and Jesus (the true "Word of God") and all early creeds never mention the need to believe in an inerrant book.  The notion of Biblical inerrancy has been created by modern day Christians and has become a big issue, such a big issue that it has become part of the modern day creed or a necessary article of faith.  I have argued that preaching that one must believe in the Bible to believe in God has no historical veracity and actually keeps people from believing in the gospel.  A Christian  cannot be a light to the world and effectively preach the gospel to the world if the world itself disregards the authority of the Bible in scientific matters. I have already talked about the spiritual authority of the Bible and about preaching the gospel on the "Egyptian Mythology" thread and other threads.  I have given testimony to my reverence of the Bible and my belief in its message of living a higher, fuller life of love and forgiveness. Moreover, as I have stated before, my interest is not in attempting to persuade anyone to follow my beliefs--I hope to inspire others to think beyond the box of their own beliefs through a variety of means such as further study of Christian AND scholarly works.  I have admitted that we, as humans, are not perfect and could be wrong.  We just need to be open, not shut in and blinded by our own view of the truth.  I was once shut in by dogmatism, but luckily I escaped.  I once blinded myself to the evidence that was before my eyes, but luckily I desired to study to know the truth rather than believe what I had been taught was truth.  Because I went through that process and feel free, I simply wanted to share my experience with others here.  If I have offended anyone, as I was once offended when people mentioned contradictions in the Bible, then please forgive me.  I am, after all, only human and felt free to share my views.

I have said what I needed to say.  God bless.  :-) 

 I hope that Will might read my response to the above.

  Will,
  I appreciate the spirit in which you have responded to me above.  I am not offended, nor do I think that many here would be.  I didn't mean to suggest that I somehow knew your motives for posting here or was trying to attack you personally.

   You should feel free to share your views, but in so doing in a public forum you may get an argument or two in answer.  When the view you share is not a popular one then it can get very difficult to answer everyone the way you would like to, and this is why I was reluctant to enter the fray until I did.

 1.) Open minds:  This is actually a very relevant discussion to have for former Assembly members.  This phrase means different things to different former members.  So, we need to ask the questions:  Open to what?  Open to doubts re. the authority of the bible in my life?  All other questions re. authority are just theoretical and won't have much bearing in our lives.

  This question re. authority is also a very difficult one for many former members.  Many are tired of always feeling guilty all the time, and by rejecting the moral authority of the bible they seek relief from all the "have-to's"!  They may recognize they were terrible hypocrites while in the group and by just rejecting any kind of moral authority in their lives they can enjoy the freedom of their new Modern view of the bible, or just embrace the religion of Atheism. ( I'm not saying that you Will share this condition.)

  In this I agree with Verne's view that if we are opening our minds to doubt re. the fact that the bible reveals the true nature of God's holiness and our accountability to Him re. our own moral disposition we are in danger of falling into darkness.

  Some former members have been unable to separate their bad experience with false religious authority from the true one found in the bible and consequently have rejected the whole thing. Cry 

The question of the "open mind" should be pointed toward how do we help others make the above transition, not just the ability to doubt and question the bible's reliability.  I would hope that you, Will, might return with some answers that might build the faith of those so damaged.  It's easy to place doubt but much more difficult to build faith.

  There is not enough space here to answer the very untrue notion that it has only been recently in the history of church that the bible has been accepted as inerrant.  The use of this word may be recent, but the concept has been part of orthodoxy clear back to the early church.

  I wish you the best Will and hope that you will consider my thoughts above as you continue your studies.

                                                                            God Bless,  Mark C. 
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vernecarty
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« Reply #82 on: August 26, 2006, 09:05:54 am »

I hope that Will might read my response to the above.

   When the view you share is not a popular one then it can get very difficult to answer everyone the way you would like to, and this is why I was reluctant to enter the fray until I did.

 
                                                                            God Bless,  Mark C. 

MarK I realise that you are trying to be gracious to Will but the problem with the view that he is sharing is not simply that it is not popular - it is indefensible.
I responded with great specificity to a numer of points he raised and I think I did so without attacking him personally, but he seemed very reluctant to engage when it comes to specifics.
This is intellectual dishonesty in my view.
I remembered our earler conversation when his oft-repeated premise was that the men who wrote the Scriptures were limited by the knowledge of the day.
I went to great pains to point out how this premise collapses entirely when you consider the Bible's prescription for example in matters of hygeine - directions entirely at odds with the medical practices of the day. We are not even considering prophecy!
This to me is one of more powerful evidences of the Bible's divine orgin as some of the guidelines are still in use today! It was in the middle of my attempt to deal with this particular premise that Will disappeared with never a response to the points I was raising.
His quote that you do not need to believe the Bible to believe in God in quite remarkable, and has me wondering:

 If it is not the God of the Bible, then exactly which God is he talking about?

Now I know that there are many people who have been saved without benefit of the written Scriptures, but for those of us who have received the faith once delivered this is to me truly shocking.

 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.  Luke 24:27

Was this the Lord's attitude toward the Scriptures?
That they were dispensible in matters of salvation?

I am badly in need of some help here folks.

How in God's Holy Name could anyone calling themselves a Christian have such a low view of the Scriptures?
Verne
« Last Edit: August 26, 2006, 09:15:55 am by vernecarty » Logged
Mark C.
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« Reply #83 on: August 27, 2006, 12:06:10 am »

Hi Verne!

  I was trying to be gracious to Will, because I think that he means well and truly believes that his position is an accurate one. 

  Also, I have read some of the scholars that represent his views and I would consider most of these within the family of God (of course, I can't know for sure).  In other words, these scholars are not at all in the same camp with the liberal "theologian" who rejects biblical authority altogether.  Will needs to think through his premise that the bible is not the Word of God, and that only Jesus is the Word of God (and that the bible can actually impede the communication of the Gospel).  These Neo scholars would never say such a thing, because, of course, it is a preposterous position to take.

  In this regard, I think Will's presentation of "Neo" thought differs from the usual views these scholars present, but I think this is not so much "dishonesty" on his part as much as fuzziness in his understanding of the concepts involved.  This is why I encouraged him to "continue his studies" and to try and think through his position.  If he really is sincere and humble (as I believe him to be) then he will take the time necessary to obtain clarity.

  I can have a lot of patience for those with fuzzy thinking because I have a great deal of difficulty with my own.  Much of what passes for thought in my brain is a big jumble of concepts that are heavily biased defenses of my own emotional condition.  As I mentioned to Will, former members of the Assembly bring their own emotional "set-up's," and though I think it not good for us to try and psycho-analyze the motives of why Will has the position he does, it is a good idea for each poster to try and honestly ask themselves whether or not their thinking is defensive in nature.

  I have talked with some former members who now claim to be atheist, agnostic, or liberal in their theology.  These are all reactions, and these reactions are defensive emotional responses.  Never in my talking with these has it ever been a well reasoned discussion based on clear thinking.  I am not saying this because I believe that I am the only one rational in the conversation, but because of the explosive, defensive, and emotional reactions I receive while engaged with them.

  Like I said, I can understand this, because much of what I believe is heavily influenced by my own psychological environment.  The one major difference between an honest seeker of the truth and a dishonest one is that they are willing to admit their own personal predjudices that color their thought processes.   If there is an inability to accept entreaty (which affects more than just atheists, etc. but includes former members who might maintain a belief in the bible's inerrancy) it is the clearest sign that an individual is in a spiritually darkened state (James:3:17).

 The Pharisees were strict guardians of the scriptures and studiously copied these OT manuscripts believing them to be word for word from God.  However, their interpretations became twisted due to the sinful biases that controlled their souls.  Reactions to the rampant Elmer Gantryism's of the past/present has created a strong bias against "American Christian Fundamentalism" among many.

   When I see the hateful and disdainful (I most certainly do not include Will in this kind of response) reactions against orthodox believers in the bible, from so called intellectuals and scholars, I understand that these have little to do with well reasoned thought, and everything to do with an emotional rejection of a Pharisetical religious expression--- their rejection of bible truth is a reaction to a distorted caricature from those claiming to sole possession of the way of truth.

  I think that I can understand why Will has such a desire to escape any identification with the kind of Phariseeism he was involved with in the Assembly, and has sought an intellectual justification to allow him to keep what he views as truly from God and reject what was so full of hypocrisy, manipulation, dishonesty, etc.

  Some of us have been able to understand that the conservative view of the bible by the Assembly was not the problem, but the Pharisee like means of dishonest interpretation and application of the same by them/us.  I don't think we should be too hard on those trying to work through these problems.  It behooves us to use a great deal of patience and understanding in trying to present an opportunity for these to truly open their minds.  All the while knowing, that we have a load full of baggage ourselves and are not beyond falling prey to our own self centered predjudices, (Gal.6:1-- Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.  But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.)

                                                                         God Bless,  Mark C.   
   

 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2006, 12:15:22 am by Mark C. » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #84 on: August 27, 2006, 06:30:52 am »

I do understand what you are saying Mark.
I guess I still have a lot to learn in the area of being gracious.
The depth of my feeling on this has to do with the fact that the instrument that the Spirit of God uses to transform us to the image of Christ is the Word of God. This is fundamental.
I guess I am just dismayed over how someone sound in the faith could fail to see and grasp this essential principle.
To diminish and dismiss the critical role it plays in working out our salvation is to do, in my view, tremendous injury to the message of the gospel.
I spent some time thinking about this and one incident that came to mind was the temptation of Christ in the wilderness.
While it is certainly true that Christ is the Living Word, the Lord's response to the tempter was not a haughty:

Don't you know who I am?

His response was:

It is written...!

God Bless,
Verne
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brian
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« Reply #85 on: August 29, 2006, 01:40:10 am »

it takes about five minutes on google to uncover loads of material on both sides of this age-old debate. the first result i found:

http://www.freethoughtdebater.com/tenbiblecontradictions.htm

so there do appear to be some small, clear factual inconsistencies in the bible. i mean, 22 does not equal 42, and 700 does not equal 7000. yet 63% of americans believe the bible is literally true:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Bible.htm

large piles of big books have been written covering both sides of this debate, and its not going to be resolved on this bb. the best that can be hoped for on a bb is that we all walk away a little better informed by the exchange of opinions, and as will said "agree to disagree". this is especially important when it comes to doctrinal issues, which throughout history have brought out many of the worst sides of human nature. when someone comes on here who does not agree with a particular point of doctrine, it is important to err on the side of graciousness. we have already been hammered on over doctrinal issues more than enough for one lifetime.

the ongoing purpose of this board is not to set everyone's doctrine straight. it is to preserve a record of what happened to the assemblies and why, and to give people a reasonably safe place to talk about it, reconnect etc.

brian
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Mark C.
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« Reply #86 on: August 30, 2006, 06:01:26 am »

Hi Brian!

  I was glad to see your input in this discussion re. "History and Science in the Bible."  It's good to know what you, the Moderator of the BB believes re.  "The Purpose of this BB".  As I understand your last post, this BB is not to have an official kind of stance that is intolerant of various views of the Bible/etc., but allows for the expression of different opinions.

  I also believe that it is better to have as much tolerance as possible for those who wish to engage in sincere discussion, and not engage in personal attack.  Will most certainly made his contribution in a very polite and sincere manner, and I was sorry to see him leave the BB.  In the heat of debate it is easy to shift the argument from the subject to the motives of the one taking a position by characterizing that individual as being evil, etc.

  However, "the purpose of the BB", that you envision may not be the purpose that I, or another individual who posts here might have.  Tolerance, under some folks understanding of the word, can take on a kind of political correctness that sees having a strong belief in a certain biblical view as being "intolerant."  Because I have a "doctrinal" view, and strongly argue for that view, it does not necessarily follow that I am an intolerant individual.  Also, if I point out someone's argument has flaws, this does not mean I lack graciousness.

  Some may post, as an example, that "GG is a great teacher from God who is the victim of vicious lies and that all that disagree with his heavenly vision will roast in hell."  I would strongly disagree with such a poster, and let them know that I believe that GG's teaching is very wrong and is destructive to the human soul!  Would I be lacking in grace if did so?  I think most, even those that don't care about doctrinal issues, would think my response appropriate--- because it argues directly against the poster's premise, and that premise is particularly offensive to many here (we don't need a bible to know that GG is evil).

  I do believe that this hypothetical poster is seriously deceived, and has a potentially damaging message that must be opposed.  Now, there may be those who think that all opinions are equally truthful, good, or as valid as the next guy's--- and this is their definition of tolerance.  My view of tolerance:  I want to allow all sincere opinion but innaccurate, reprehensible, and deceptive statements need to be countered by good passionate debate.

  There are issues, like the one above, that I will go to battle over, and others that (as my disagreement with Will) I do not see as being that crucial.  Others may see Will's views as potentially very harmful and needing to be strongly opposed.  It would be a bland world indeed if we all just tolerated everyone's view of life and never had strong passionate beliefs one way or another.  The trick on a BB is to make that strongly felt argument without getting involved in personally attacking the individual we disagree with.

  My purpose on this BB is to try help former members of the Assembly recover (or in some cases find for the first time) a strong healthy faith in Christ.  To me, there can be no better use of my time.  Someone else's purpose may be an altogether different one, and I can tolerate this, but being tolerant is not the highest goal for myself---- sometimes tolerance can sit quietly and watch terrible evil without taking action. Also, dogma (doctrine) can provide the environment for the nurture of that evil (ie, Nazism, etc.).  There is bad thought that leads to evil and good thought that can lead to good morality.

  There was a time when I was a good tolerant member of the Assembly, and I am ashamed to say, that I sat back and allowed evil acting and teaching to go on without a protest! Cry  My motto: Never Again!!

                                                                                 God Bless,  Mark C.   
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vernecarty
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« Reply #87 on: August 30, 2006, 09:05:10 am »

it takes about five minutes on google to uncover loads of material on both sides of this age-old debate. the first result i found:

http://www.freethoughtdebater.com/tenbiblecontradictions.htm

so there do appear to be some small, clear factual inconsistencies in the bible. i mean, 22 does not equal 42, and 700 does not equal 7000. yet 63% of americans believe the bible is literally true:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2005/Bible.htm

large piles of big books have been written covering both sides of this debate, and its not going to be resolved on this bb. the best that can be hoped for on a bb is that we all walk away a little better informed by the exchange of opinions, and as will said "agree to disagree". this is especially important when it comes to doctrinal issues, which throughout history have brought out many of the worst sides of human nature. when someone comes on here who does not agree with a particular point of doctrine, it is important to err on the side of graciousness. we have already been hammered on over doctrinal issues more than enough for one lifetime.

There is a sense in which the Bible is a literary work.
It is also far more than that.
I think the kind of people that get into the most trouble with the Bible are those who:
1. Maintain that the Bible cannot be taken literally.
2. Those who insist that is can only be taken literally.

I am curious as to how you would define a "factual inconsistency".
Consider this example:
When you read the book of Matthew and the number of generations from Abraham to David are listed, any six-year old would immediately tell you that the number listed cannot possibly be accurate. Even a cursory exmination of the intervening genealogies will instantly expose this "factual inconsistency."
One can conclude that the author of Matthew cannot count, or one can conclude that for reasons not immediately obvious, some geneaological lines have been omitted.
In my humble opinion, people who have learned to consider the second possibility in such instances and ask the question: "Why?", have learned something about the Bible that no amount of scholarly education or argumentation could ever inculcate.

Quote
the ongoing purpose of this board is not to set everyone's doctrine straight. it is to preserve a record of what happened to the assemblies and why, and to give people a reasonably safe place to talk about it, reconnect etc.

brian

Frankly I really enjoyed the exchanges with Will.
I know I can get a bit enthusiastic in my responses sometimes but one should be able to debate these kinds of topics witihout things getting personal.
The bottom line in my view is that if you are going to start a thread like the one he did, you have to be prepared to really engage the topic with intellectual integrity and not merely regurgitate the arguments of others.
There are some incredibly intriguing "factual inconsistencies" in the Bible that I was hoping we would eventually get to and they are ones you uncover by really reading the Bible, not what others say about it.
I believe there are answers to these questions, even though I may not presently have them...    Smiley 

Verne

p.s I took a quick look at the contradictions site and was smiling at the verses presented as evidencing inconsistencies or factual error and I think they missed the best stuff!  Smiley
But seriously, one example adduced the case in Matthew 4 of the devil taking Christ up into an "exceeding high mountain" and showing  him all the kingdoms of the world envisions a flat earth.
True only if one assumes the vista and view mentioned was a physical one...
The parallel passage in Luke 4 tell us that the devil did this  in a moment of time...nuff said...
« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 05:06:55 pm by vernecarty » Logged
outdeep
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« Reply #88 on: August 31, 2006, 10:21:49 pm »

OK, Bible Students, did Paul go to Jerusalem immediately after his conversion or not?



Galatians 1:

13For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.

18Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19I saw none of the other apostles—only James, the Lord's brother. 20I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie. 21Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy." 24And they praised God because of me.


vs.

Acts 9:

17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

    Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus. 20At once he began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God. 21All those who heard him were astonished and asked, "Isn't he the man who raised havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn't he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?" 22Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.

 23After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him, 24but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

 26When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus
« Last Edit: August 31, 2006, 10:24:23 pm by Dave Sable » Logged
vernecarty
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« Reply #89 on: September 01, 2006, 02:08:42 am »

And another:
Did Paul's companions hear the voice on the Damascus road or not?

And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.  Acts 9:7

and

 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.   Acts 22:7


Sure looks like a "factual inconsistency", does it not?   Smiley

Verne
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