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Old 12-15-2004, 02:45 PM   #16
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10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way.
11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.

[Q]The world is just a world in which things like that happen, accidents happen, tragedies occur, sicknesses occur. We used to think that when they occurred it was because God was punishing people, but we've learned a great deal about life since we had those ideas. We've discovered for example that germs and viruses cause sickness, that's not God's punishment. And we've discovered that antibiotics and surgery cure sinners as well as saints. [/Q]
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:49 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
There are many who view the God of the Old Testament as being mean spirited to say the least.

I have difficulty myself believing in a God that would wipe out the first born of any nation. I have difficulty in believing in a God that supposedly took sides in wars that killed people.

If Spongs point one and two are valid, that would mean we are looking at a God that did not behave in moral terms yet demands of his people that we behave morally. Thou shalt not kill verses I will kill the first born child of every Egyptian.
Part of the issue with this our modern conceptions of things like sin, righteousness, holiness, justice. We don't grasp that we are all guilty of sinning against an infinitely holy God, so we deserve a punishment. Looking at it from that light, we deserve death. (The wages of sin are death)

The OT looks harsh, yes. Part of the point was to show that we can't live up to the law. Then Jesus came to fulfill the law on our behalf and take the punishment for our sins on our behalf. We're living under grace.
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:56 PM   #18
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So you believe it was a just God that killed the firstborn children?
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Old 12-15-2004, 02:59 PM   #19
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Originally posted by john1800
Part of the issue with this our modern conceptions of things like sin, righteousness, holiness, justice. We don't grasp that we are all guilty of sinning against an infinitely holy God, so we deserve a punishment. Looking at it from that light, we deserve death. (The wages of sin are death)
I do not agree with this at all. I am fully capable of grasping when I sin.

Why should our modern conceptions have to fit the mold of a society that was infinitely different from ours culturally?
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Old 12-15-2004, 03:11 PM   #20
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I'm not quite understanding this thread. What is meant by relativism in Christianity? Pardon my ignorance.
At least in recent history theologically-conservative Christians have generally defined "relativism" as any philosophy or theology that doesn't accept the Bible as the one, true, authoritative, immutable, inerrant "Word of God" along with the notion that the only way to heaven is by acceptance of Jesus Christ as one's "personal Lord and Saviour."

In other words, you cannot tell a theologically conservative Christian that Buddhism, Islam or any other philosophy or religion leads to the same God that they worship. To them, the "all roads lead to the same god" thinking is relativism at its core.... and they consider that type of thinking to be false and the downfall of modern day civilization.

Spong's theses do not meet the litmus test for Truth (i.e., Spong challenges theologically-conservative thinking) and are therefore "relativistic."
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Old 12-15-2004, 03:37 PM   #21
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
So you believe it was a just God that killed the firstborn children?
I guess the argument before God is: do any of us deserve our lives?


We cannot hold God to our own understanding of justice.
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Old 12-15-2004, 04:11 PM   #22
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


I guess the argument before God is: do any of us deserve our lives?


We cannot hold God to our own understanding of justice.
Why not? I am not denying that it happened. I am not denying that there were not a least one group of Jews in Egypt. I am saying that as a Christian I can no longer believe that the Bible stroy that explains these events, is acceptable to me, knowing what I know about the world.

Why create the creation if all I am going to do is destroy it?

Why should I hold the view that the God of the Jews cared for the Egyptians any less?

If Jesus reached out to the Gentiles, why should I believe that the people writing the Jewish history down have it right.

The theism presented is not a theism that many find acceptable.
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:19 PM   #23
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I'm not quite understanding this thread. What is meant by relativism in Christianity? Pardon my ignorance.
Well you see it's really very simple.

General relativity (GR) or general relativity theory (GRT) is the theory of gravitation published by Albert Einstein in 1915. The conceptual core of general relativity, from which its other consequences largely follow, is the Principle of Equivalence, which describes gravitation and acceleration as different perspectives of the same thing, and which was originally stated by Einstein in 1907 as:
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We shall therefore assume the complete physical equivalence of a gravitational field and the corresponding acceleration of the reference frame. This assumption extends the principle of relativity to the case of uniformly accelerated motion of the reference frame.
In other words, he postulated that no experiment can locally distinguish between a uniform gravitational field and a uniform acceleration.

This principle explains the experimental observation that inertial and gravitational mass are equivalent. Moreover, the principle implies that some frames of reference must obey a non-Euclidean geometry: that spacetime is curved (by matter and energy), and gravity can be seen purely as a result of this geometry. This then yields many predictions such as gravitational redshifts and light bent around stars, black holes, time slowed by gravitational fields, and slightly modified laws of gravitation even in weak gravitational fields. However, it should be noted that the equivalence principle does not uniquely determine the field equations of curved spacetime, and there is a parameter known as the cosmological constant which can be adjusted.

The modifications to Isaac Newton's law of universal gravitation produced the first great theoretical success of general relativity: the correct prediction of the precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit. Many other quantitative predictions of general relativity have since been confirmed by astronomical observations. However because of the difficulty in making these observations, theories which are similar but not identical to general relativity, such as the Brans-Dicke theory and the Rosen bi-metric theory cannot be ruled out completely, and current experimental tests can be viewed at reducing the deviation from GR which is allowable. There are no known experimental results that suggest that a theory of gravity radically different from general relativity is necessary. (For example, the Allais effect was initially speculated to demonstrate "gravitational shielding," but was subsequently explained by conventional phenomena.)

However, there are good theoretical reasons for considering general relativity to be incomplete. General relativity does not include quantum mechanics, and this causes the theory to break down at sufficiently high energies. A continuing unsolved challenge of modern physics is the question of how to correctly combine general relativity with quantum mechanics, thus applying it also to the smallest scales of time and space.

I hope that that cleared up some of your questions on relativity.
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:32 PM   #24
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Shite....do not quote Isaac Newton......Enemy #1 along with Galileo.

And crap lets tie left handed peoples arms behind their backs. Clearly they are of Satan.
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Old 12-16-2004, 05:49 AM   #25
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer


However, there are good theoretical reasons for considering general relativity to be incomplete. General relativity does not include quantum mechanics, and this causes the theory to break down at sufficiently high energies. A continuing unsolved challenge of modern physics is the question of how to correctly combine general relativity with quantum mechanics, thus applying it also to the smallest scales of time and space.

I hope that that cleared up some of your questions on relativity.
String Theory is considered by some to be a means by which GR and quantum mechanics can be combined harmoniously. But alas it is only a theory. At any rate nicely put A_Wanderer.

Take Care,

Carrie
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Old 12-16-2004, 08:01 AM   #26
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Why not?
By holding God to our standards, we create God in our image.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:00 AM   #27
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Originally posted by john1800
In those statements, Spong denies three of the most crucial beliefs of Christianity:

Virgin birth
Substitutionary atonement
Physical resurrection

Those beliefs have been confessed by the orthodox for nearly two thousand years! If you don't subscribe to any of them, on what grounds do you call yourself a Christian?
I completely agree with you john.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:28 AM   #28
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By holding God to our standards, we create God in our image.
Isn't that what was done?

Isn't the Old Testament God somewhat tainted by the view of the "CHOSEN" people?

Was the plague sent by God to wipe out their enemies?

The Puritains believed that God did this to the Native Americans here in MAssachusetts. He "cleared" the land for them so they could settle.

They fashioned their own belief about God.
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Old 12-16-2004, 10:29 AM   #29
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


Isn't that what was done?

Isn't the Old Testament God somewhat tainted by the view of the "CHOSEN" people?

Was the plague sent by God to wipe out their enemies?

The Puritains believed that God did this to the Native Americans here in MAssachusetts. He "cleared" the land for them so they could settle.

They fashioned their own belief about God.
I never thought about this at all.

Thanks for sparking some new ideas, Dread.
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Old 12-16-2004, 02:05 PM   #30
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I never thought about this at all.

Thanks for sparking some new ideas, Dread.
I never thought about this either, and I even read about the Puritans in school, when we studied the Witch Trials and other stuff about the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Thanks! Damn, I wish I'd lived in Massachusetts longer than a year as a child. We lived in Sherborn while my dad did a sabbatical at MIT. Then we moved back to Birmingham. Damn. In alot of ways I've always felt robbed because we weren't in Massachusetts longer, and I didn't get to learn nearly enough about the place, which is so damned important in the history of our country. I don't think you can completely understand Americans as a people if you're not informed on your Massachusetts Bay Colony history.
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