Theological questions - U2 Feedback

Go Back   U2 Feedback > Lypton Village > Free Your Mind > Free Your Mind Archive
Click Here to Login
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 02-26-2005, 05:06 AM   #1
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Theological questions

1. Does God need man more than man needs God? ie,
does God have meaning outside of the context of man?
2. Was Lucifer God's first experiment in the realm of free will?
Obviously a fallen angel chooses to fall. And if so, didn't
God learn his lesson? Or does God too despair and need
to know if he could be freely loved? (Apparently, this is
part II of question 1)
3. There is so little written on Judas in the New Testament
and he is such a pivotal character. Why do you think he
betrayed Jesus? Seems to me as treasurer to a Messiah
who had many rich supporters, he'd have access to
all the funds he could embezzle and he wouldn't need
to betray him for money. There is something more
going on here? Any theories? I've heard theories that Judas
was a revolutionary and things weren't quite going as
planned--that he wanted the arrest of Jesus as a catalyst,
never knowing they would go so far. Jesus calls him Friend
in the NT. I don't believe the term was meant lightly. Was
he a pawn--a necessary catalyst? What is the dynamic?
Was there an agreement between the two that Judas would
betray him so his mission could be fulfilled?
__________________

__________________
BonosSaint is offline  
Old 02-26-2005, 12:18 PM   #2
Blue Crack Supplier
 
Irvine511's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 30,473
Local Time: 12:24 AM
these are pretty specific textual questions, but i'll take a stab at #1:

God needs man more than man needs God, because God doesn't exist until men created him -- note that i don't think this disproves the existence of God, but if man didn't exist, neither would god.
__________________

__________________
Irvine511 is online now  
Old 02-26-2005, 08:43 PM   #3
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Thank you. I agree with your assessment. Without man, God has no meaning.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline  
Old 02-26-2005, 08:55 PM   #4
Jesus Online
 
Angela Harlem's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1969
Location: a glass castle
Posts: 30,163
Local Time: 04:24 PM
Isn't that a tad arrogant? Not you guys personally, but for humankind.
__________________
<a href=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v196/angelaharlem/thPaul_Roos28.jpg target=_blank>http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...aul_Roos28.jpg</a>
Angela Harlem is offline  
Old 02-26-2005, 08:57 PM   #5
ONE
love, blood, life
 
A_Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: The Wild West
Posts: 12,518
Local Time: 03:24 PM
It is like the anthropic principle but for God.
__________________
A_Wanderer is offline  
Old 02-26-2005, 10:49 PM   #6
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Macfistowannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,129
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Re: Theological questions

1. Does God need man more than man needs God? ie,
does God have meaning outside of the context of man?

Tough question, I think it's quite mutual. God and man are for each other. I think perhaps God may work through other forms of life, but that's just me.

"If God did not exist, man would have to invent God in order to offer and threaten sufficient rewards to inspire an orderly society." - http://www.thirdmill.org/answers/ans...ions/site/iiim

2. Was Lucifer God's first experiment in the realm of free will?
Obviously a fallen angel chooses to fall. And if so, didn't
God learn his lesson? Or does God too despair and need
to know if he could be freely loved? (Apparently, this is
part II of question 1)

I suppose so, although I don't think it would be a "screw up" by God, if you believed he was all-knowing. Perhaps just as you said - an experiment. Maybe someone else has a better answer for this one.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From http://www.thirdmill.org/answers/ans...ions/site/iiim

First, there is the free-will answer: Man/Satan chose by his own free will to be evil. Evil exists, but God had nothing to do with it. Satan is the author of evil, not God. The problem with that is there is no sufficient cause for the effect. If Satan was perfect, then a suitable cause for the effect of evil could not come from him. Having a free will doesn’t create motivations or causes where there are none.

Second, you have the honorable St. Augustine who said that evil is not a thing, but the absence of a thing. It is the absence of good we see when we sense evil. So, God didn’t create evil—neither did man. It does not exist. Problem: Evil sure does seem real. It may not exist like I do, like beings do, it’s not on the same level as the number 12 or the color “white”. Its effects are far too obvious to not exist in some form. Plus, Augustine said in other places that moral good is absent from all sorts of soulless objects like chairs or neckties, but that absence of good does not instantly make them evil. God pronounced creation good, but Augustine’s solution seems to leave any thing that is absent of moral good as evil. Though I really don’t like neckties and have a sneaky suspicion they are evil. So Augustine was only mostly wrong.

Modern Charismatics have a solution: God is good all the time! God only gives, the devil takes, suffering and evil do not come from God, but from the devil. Problem: I don’t mean to be uncharitable towards our charismatic friends, but that’s not in the Bible. The Scriptures say the opposite, that those who live godly lives will necessarily find suffering and persecution as part of their daily bread. God gives a painful promise to his people when Paul says to Timothy, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”(2TI 3:12 ) So that solution is just not possible.

The “normal” Reformed answer is that we don’t have a problem of evil, but a problem of good. The mystery isn’t that God could allow evil to begin and continue to exist in the world—the mystery is that God would allow any good to happen to bad people like us. True enough, but that’s no help. It’s an answer to a question, but not the question of why do we have evil in this world. But it is true—it’s just not the answer to “Why is there evil in the world?”

I believe the reason why Satan could be created perfect, and yet fall, is that while he was perfect, he was still a creature, not a creator. He was not a deity — he was lower than God. Only God is immutable (1 Samuel 15:29; Malachi 3:6; James 1:17). Thus, Satan could “naturally” degrade without God forcing him to sin or inject him with unbelief. God allowed it to happen for his greater glory, but he did not force it upon Satan or mankind.

This is how “perfect” beings could sin—they were created perfect, but were vulnerable to the impact of time upon those who are not God.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a pretty interesting read though: http://www.thirdmill.org/answers/ans...ions/site/iiim

3. There is so little written on Judas in the New Testament
and he is such a pivotal character. Why do you think he
betrayed Jesus? Seems to me as treasurer to a Messiah
who had many rich supporters, he'd have access to
all the funds he could embezzle and he wouldn't need
to betray him for money. There is something more
going on here? Any theories? I've heard theories that Judas
was a revolutionary and things weren't quite going as
planned--that he wanted the arrest of Jesus as a catalyst,
never knowing they would go so far. Jesus calls him Friend
in the NT. I don't believe the term was meant lightly. Was
he a pawn--a necessary catalyst? What is the dynamic?
Was there an agreement between the two that Judas would
betray him so his mission could be fulfilled?

I think Judas betrayed Jesus because Jesus didn't fit his own version of the messiah. Perhaps he did not expect the messiah to show true human emotions or associate with the outcasts of society. More going on here? I think he had plenty of doubts about Jesus being the real messiah, and money was all it took for him to betray. I don't think there was an "agreement", but some have suggested to me that somebody had to do it. The answer is arguably dependent on which doctorine makes the most sense I guess.
__________________
Macfistowannabe is offline  
Old 02-27-2005, 03:30 AM   #7
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Brave posters,

Macfist, I knew I could count on you to wade these waters.

Re: your Lucifer explanation--which was fascinating:

Was God's "flaw" in creating Lucifer-- reportedly his best angel--
that he allowed his creature to create as he did for man. Free will would necessitate independence of some sort. As Lucifer
could create and man can create outside of the influence of
God (although admittedly, not in the same scope), it was a setup
for rebellion. All creatures capable of free will rebel against something. It may have taken the form of evil, but all in all it was rebellion. The Creator created creators.

I didn't expect anyone to be able to answer the Judas question.
Just a particular fascination of mine.

Is God all-knowing? Is God all good? Is God immutable? Or are these concepts just necessary for our comfort level? Does he have to be all these things in order to be God? I'm making no judgment here. Just posing the questions.

I'll cop to being a little arrogant. However, I think the God-man need is mutual. God requires recognition and only those with free will are truly capable of that recognition.

I'll check out your link.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline  
Old 02-27-2005, 03:32 AM   #8
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:24 AM
OK, I read Macfist's link. For the purpose of clarity here--I'll still use Lucifer interchangeably with Satan. Otherwise, it opens up a whole new thread.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline  
Old 02-27-2005, 09:26 PM   #9
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Macfistowannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,129
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Brave posters,

Macfist, I knew I could count on you to wade these waters.
I try.

Is God all-knowing? - I believe so.
Is God all good? - Yes.
Is God immutable? - I think so.

Or are these concepts just necessary for our comfort level? - No.
Does he have to be all these things in order to be God? - I would think so.
__________________
Macfistowannabe is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 06:12 AM   #10
Rock n' Roll Doggie
ALL ACCESS
 
sulawesigirl4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7,416
Local Time: 12:24 AM
I don't think that God is all-knowing. Now, before you kill me, let me explain. I believe that God knows all that can be known. That includes all likely possibilities and outcomes of multiple combinations of actions. But in a world where free-will agents have a true choice, those choices by definition cannot be known 100%. There are plenty of examples in the Bible of God wishing his people to do XYZ or saying "I had hoped that you would do this, but instead you chose to do that, therefore, I will now do this." Leading one to believe that the relationship is a real one of give and take. I believe a truly powerful being would not be threatened by the idea of people and events happening freely, but that he would be flexible and wise enough to be able to react perfectly.

I think that the other model of God as an all-controlling being is much too limiting and makes God the author of evil. Explaining evil becomes a semantic game.

Doubtful that I have explained myself sufficiently. Nonetheless, this theological idea is not a new one, nor am I the first or only one to argue it. A rather well-known author and theologian named Greg Boyd has written very extensively and eloquently on it, if anyone is interested.
__________________
"I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me." - Bono

sulawesigirl4 is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 06:26 AM   #11
Rock n' Roll Doggie
Band-aid
 
Macfistowannabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 4,129
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4
I don't think that God is all-knowing. Now, before you kill me, let me explain. I believe that God knows all that can be known. That includes all likely possibilities and outcomes of multiple combinations of actions. But in a world where free-will agents have a true choice, those choices by definition cannot be known 100%.
I think this makes sense, I believe we are responsible for our decisions based on free will. I do think the paths based on our choices are mapped out for us.
__________________
Macfistowannabe is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 02:20 PM   #12
ONE
love, blood, life
 
melon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 11,781
Local Time: 12:24 AM
Re: Theological questions

1. Does God need man more than man needs God? ie, does God have meaning outside of the context of man?

"Meaning" is a human construct, just like "perfection." Just because we assign "meaning" and define "perfection," it doesn't mean that God must fall in line with our narrow categorizations.

2. Was Lucifer God's first experiment in the realm of free will? Obviously a fallen angel chooses to fall. And if so, didn't God learn his lesson? Or does God too despair and need to know if he could be freely loved?

The Christian concept of "Satan" borrows from Zoroastrianism ("Ahriman," or "Shaitan"), who was the evil god in that Persian religion. Since Judeo-Christianity is monotheistic, Satan was subsequently demoted to an "angel." However, since "Satan" was originally designed to be an "evil god," that's probably why he has so many powers that other angels don't have.

3. There is so little written on Judas in the New Testament and he is such a pivotal character. Why do you think he betrayed Jesus? Seems to me as treasurer to a Messiah who had many rich supporters, he'd have access to all the funds he could embezzle and he didn't need to betray him for money. There is something more going on here? Any theories? I've heard theories that Judas was a revolutionary and things weren't quite going as planned--that he wanted the arrest of Jesus as a catalyst, never knowing they would go so far. Jesus calls him Friend in the NT. I don't believe the term was meant lightly. Was he a pawn--a necessary catalyst? What is the dynamic? Was there an agreement between the two that Judas would betray him so his mission could be fulfilled?

Looking just at his name, "Judas Iscariot," he's likely an overtly anti-Semitic literary device. "Judas," in Latin, is almost identical to the word for "Judaism," and "Iscariot" either means "man from Kerioth" (a town/city we know nothing at all about) or is a derivative of "sicarii," which referred to Jewish assassins during the Roman era. Regardless, his name was clearly interpreted as an anti-Semitic device during the Middle Ages, as he was portrayed in "passion plays" as having a big nose and red hair (the anti-Semitic stereotypes of the era).

In other words, I wonder if NT writers took some liberties in writing the story of Jesus' life.

Melon
__________________
melon is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 03:19 PM   #13
Rock n' Roll Doggie
 
BonosSaint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 3,566
Local Time: 01:24 AM
Best explanation of Judas I have heard.

One of the theories that always seemed right to me was that Christ was sent down as much to learn about man as to save him.
For much of the Old Testament, God doesn't seem really to have much of a clue about his creation. Okay, reward them, punish them, destroy them--what will work? What is this thing I've created? Christ arrives, experiences anger, doubt, impatience, I suspect fear, love, confusion, rebellion. I can't imagine God being all-knowing, and really all powerful. I can acknowledge that my mind cannot grasp all or most. But I cannot fathom him as all good--look at the pettiness, the rage, the gratuitousness of some of the actions in the Old Testament. If God is flawed, then
does all faith crumble? Maybe I'm a little perverse, but I can take
more comfort in the notion of a flawed God than the notion of an indifferent God. And I think at least some people would look at the world and find an indifferent God.
__________________
BonosSaint is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 03:29 PM   #14
ONE
love, blood, life
 
financeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 10,122
Local Time: 06:24 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
Maybe I'm a little perverse, but I can take
more comfort in the notion of a flawed God than the notion of an indifferent God. And I think at least some people would look at the world and find an indifferent God.
Indeed. In this regard I find the philosophies of the Manicheans, Cathars and other duallist beliefs instructive.
__________________
financeguy is offline  
Old 02-28-2005, 03:30 PM   #15
Blue Crack Addict
 
nbcrusader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Southern California
Posts: 22,071
Local Time: 09:24 PM
Re: Theological questions

Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
1. Does God need man more than man needs God? ie,
does God have meaning outside of the context of man?
Why do we limit God to only our own understanding? A god that needs man isn't much of a god.
__________________

__________________
nbcrusader is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Design, images and all things inclusive copyright © Interference.com