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Dan McClellan Twofer

  

Category:  Religion & Ethics

By:  outis  •  one month ago  •  68 comments

 Dan McClellan Twofer



The Trinity is redundant and unnecessary

The Bible talks about other gods the way I talk about the Raiders



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Dan McClellan is thoughtful and informed. ... And entertaining.












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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  JohnRussell    one month ago

I watched the first one .  what is it about them that you like so much?

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
1.1  author  Outis  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one month ago

The Bible has deeply influenced billions of people over thousands of years. When I hear/see some people dismiss such a phenomenon, I have to wonder about their definition of "important".

At the same time, the Bible was written thousands of years ago in a Late Bronze Age / Early Iron Age pastoral society. (The authors were undoubtedly city-dwellers, but their society was largely rural.) How can it have had such lasting impact?

So... I find the Bible a fascination (literally, "fascinating" - it fascinates me). Thoughtful, intelligent discussion of it entertains me.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2  author  Outis    one month ago

My college is now well over a half-a-century is the past. I remember little. 

The professor who impressed me the most, by a wide margin, taught "The Bible". During the First semester, he dissected the Old Testament, showing us how scholars had identified several different authors by their writing styles and their differing agendas. I understand what he taught has since been greatly updated, as better source material has become available. Since he never taught "The Truth, but rather the current state on scholarship, updates are not at all a problem - they are welcomed.

The Second Semester was dedicated to the New Testament, with the same sort of handling.

We students debated among ourselves, whether the prof was a Believer or not, but he refused to say. He was always respectful of the Book he was examining... but then so was the English Lit professor, doing the same sort of dissection of James Joyce's Ulysses. On the last day of the year, he told us that he Believed. He did not explain exactly what he believed...

When I encounter someone like Dan McClellan, I think of that professor, so long ago.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1  JohnRussell  replied to  Outis @2    one month ago

as I understood the first video,  he uses the Old Testament as a complete voice of authority, and I would describe his analysis as "dense" ( demanding concentration to follow or comprehend).   I was just wondering why that appealed to you .

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.1  author  Outis  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    one month ago

The Trinity is, to my mind, an odd invention. Anyone who has read the NT has necessarily noticed that the Trinity is not there. At all.

But the Trinity is now a central tenet for (most) Christian denominations. So obviously, the Trinity was grafted onto earlier doctrine. "Why and how" are always interesting topics.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.2  JohnRussell  replied to  Outis @2.1.1    one month ago

Every tenet of every religion is an 'invention' of sorts. The best explanation is that God works through human beings to achieve its purposes. In my mind there is no objective reason to believe that what is written in the Old Testament is more real or authoritative than any other religious doctrine. They all require the faith of the adherents.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.3  author  Outis  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.2    one month ago

Agreed.

I happen to have been born in a "Christian" country and a "Christian" family. So The Bible was present from an early age. Fortunately, I was allowed to form my own opinions.

I don't think I would have any problem being Buddhist or Confucian. I'm not sure about Hinduism. There are things about Islam that I hope I would find unacceptable... but from-the-cradle-to-the-grave propaganda is very hard to overcome.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.1.4  Drakkonis  replied to  Outis @2.1.1    one month ago
Anyone who has read the NT has necessarily noticed that the Trinity is not there. At all.

If you mean a specific mention of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a Trinity then, no. The word itself isn't there. However, the Trinity is plastered all over the NT and anyone who's read it can see it if they look for it. 

Also, McClellan is not a Christian. He's a Mormon. The god they worship is nothing like the God Christians worship. 

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.5  author  Outis  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1.4    one month ago

You can find anything you desire in the Bible. That doesn't mean it's actually there.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.1.6  Drakkonis  replied to  Outis @2.1.5    one month ago
You can find anything you desire in the Bible.

More accurately, one can read anything they want into the Bible and so many do. However, that being true doesn't eliminate the fact that the Bible is not intended to be read that way and, in fact, has a very specific message. That is, the writers' purpose was to convey specific truths, ideas and concepts in ways that could be understood as they understood them. 

That doesn't mean it's actually there.

Agreed. But again, simply because people often get what they want out of the Bible rather than what's actually there doesn't eliminate what is actually there. Question is, does one want to know what it actually says based on evidence or simply dismiss it because "You can find anything you desire in the Bible"?

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.7  author  Outis  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1.6    one month ago

The Trinity isn't there. God and Christ are there, but "Holy Ghost"... not so much. And "Trinity", the three-faced god... not at all.

But hey! If you want to believe in the Trinity, that's quite all right. Religions evolve. Just because the Trinity was added centuries after the Crucifixion doesn't make it "wrong".

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.8  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.7    one month ago

Excuse me, the doctrine of the Trinity springs from Jesus' statement:

John 14:
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 

Thus, what is evidenced (in scripture) and importantly is validated by Jesus is, "God the Father," God the Son: Jesus (speaking); God the Holy Spirit. It is this verse and any other similar to it that lends credibility to an understanding of the phraseology that developed: "God in three Persons."

Yes, it is clear that Jesus identified and at the same time personified an 'entity' that is on par with the God-head. Therefore, it is inescapable that a designation was mandated to explain that entity's role and the "trinity' emerged in doctrine.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.9  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.8    one month ago

As I said, "you can find anything you desire" and "religions evolve". So if you want to equate "another advocate" and "Spirit of truth" with "Holy Ghost"... and you want to see a trinitarian relationship somewhere in here... that's fine.

In my opinion, these questions are "distractions". The essence of Christianity should be "love one another". Anything that distracts from that is undesirable.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.10  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.9    one month ago

Okay, I am not sure why you moved the 'goalpost,' because you were discussing the doctrine of trinitarianism along with Dan McCellan until you were not!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.11  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.9    one month ago
if you want to equate "another advocate" and "Spirit of truth" with "Holy Ghost"

I don't have to equate the terms myself, because bible translators have done and do so intentionally. Incidental to this: "Holy Ghost" is the King James period phraseology for what "Spirit" is.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.1.12  Drakkonis  replied to  Outis @2.1.7    one month ago

I see. Thank you for your replies. 

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.13  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.10    one month ago

I thought I was discussing McClellan's approach to the Bible...

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.14  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.11    one month ago
"Holy Ghost" is the King James period phraseology

OK.

I've never been comfortable with this corner of the Trinity. I've never seen any reason for a third party. God... of course. Jesus the Son because Messiah... okay. But why this Holy Spirit?

Dan sees it as a Greek philosophical gambit. I can accept that as a historical item, but it doesn't seem to me to add anything to "love one another".

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.1.15  Drakkonis  replied to  Outis @2.1.14    one month ago
But why this Holy Spirit?

For the believer, He is the seal of our salvation, for one thing. 

The Holy Spirit is given to believers as a “first installment” to assure us that our full inheritance as children of God will be delivered. The Holy Spirit is given to us to confirm to us that we belong to God who grants to us His Spirit as a gift, just as grace and faith are gifts ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ). Through the gift of the Spirit, God renews and sanctifies us. He produces in our hearts those feelings, hopes, and desires which are evidence that we are accepted by God, that we are regarded as His adopted children, that our hope is genuine, and that our redemption and salvation are sure in the same way that a seal guarantees a will or an agreement. God grants to us His Holy Spirit as the certain pledge that we are His forever and shall be saved in the last day. The proof of the Spirit’s presence is His operations on the heart which produce repentance, the fruit of the Spirit ( Galatians 5:22-23 ), conformity to God’s commands and will, a passion for prayer and praise, and love for His people. These things are the evidences that the Holy Spirit has renewed the heart and that the Christian is sealed for the day of redemption.

Further, the Holy Spirit is necessary to understand God in more than a general sense. 

10  these are the things God has revealed   to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.   11  For who knows a person’s thoughts   except their own spirit   within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.   12  What we have received is not the spirit   of the world,   but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.   13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom   but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.   14  The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God   but considers them foolishness,   and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.   15  The person with the Spirit   makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,   16  for,

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
     so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

  1 Corinthians 2:10-16

Without the Spirit, we'd never be transformed from what we were to what God desires us to be. We certainly can't do it and scripture is full of references that make it clear that it is God who changes us through His gift of the Holy Spirit in us, if we obey.

The Spirit is from God and is God; one of the three persons that makes up the Trinity. This can be seen in the following verse. 

Do you not know that your bodies are temples  of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19

Temples are made for God and nothing less. Who ever heard of a temple for anyone less in Christianity or Judaism? 

Furthermore, 

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. Ephesians 2:22

It doesn't say " And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives.". It says "... lives by his Spirit", meaning Someone else distinct from Himself. 

In  my  opinion, these questions are "distractions". The essence of Christianity should be "love one another". Anything that distracts from that is undesirable.

I think you need to reconsider this. The essence of Christianity is our reconciliation to God through Christ. Loving one another is a core tenant of that but it isn't the ultimate thing. Besides, Jesus told his disciples to love others as he loved them. If our first concern isn't God and learning His kind of love, then how do we know how to love as Jesus did? People have the mistaken impression that Jesus was okay with what people did as long as they loved each other. To love others in God's way, one must first love God above all else. That's why loving God comes before loving others when Jesus lists the greatest commandments. If one isn't obedient to God's way of doing things, one does not love God. That is why reconciliation with God through Christ is the essence and not simply "love others". 

The Holy Spirit is who teaches us how to love God. Without Him we will just do things our own way. 

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.16  author  Outis  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1.15    one month ago
The essence of Christianity is our reconciliation to God through Christ.

This difference in our perceptions is the crux. I take Christ at His word when he said that the most important commandment is to love God and one's neighbor. All of His teachings have that same message. Then he says that whoever follows that path is His.

In "my" Christianity, it's really that simple. Things like the Trinity are unnecessary complications. Distractions. Christ repeated His message incessantly, so that we would stay focused.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.17  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.16    one month ago

That Outis is where you are making a critical mistake! Jesus validated the coming of the Holy Spirit (or Spirit) and "Pentecost" (Acts 2) states Spirit arrival. Note this, I do not refer to anything that is spiritual using personal pronouns except Jesus, because spiritual beings as it were are not 'flesh, bone, or blood' that is, there is no "she/he/it" personas. 

Jesus, demonstrated a birth, death, and ultimately resurrection into another form (Spirit and "glorified body" (another phrase pulled from scripture) First Corinthians 15:44). 

44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.

I do agree with you that the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ is a simple message told repeatedly and indefinitely. There are more commands and guidance given as a practical matter to live by than just the "Foremost" directives to love thy neighbor and God, nevertheless.

For example:  (I add this with its surrounding context)

Matthew 12:

25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Thus, you have to accept what the Book says about matters it regard. Whether or not you believe it, acknowledge it is there. Whether or not you can/choose to do it, it is there. 

Finally, it is "discernment" which will lead the reader to such understanding and application of words like "Trinity" (not in the text plainly but in the text spiritually).

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.18  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.14    one month ago

I am not sure what Dan's motivation is and so I can't speak to it in great detail. I can discuss the topic of Spirit with you because Spirit is in the Book! There in the form of an entity and change "agent" in believers. Again, validation of Spirit comes from Jesus!

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.19  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.17    one month ago

I agree that there are references to "spirit", but none to a Trinity. Christ referred to His Father, but didn't waste time describing the details of their relationship. On the other hand, Christ spent a great deal of time repeating that we must love one another. His example seems pretty clear to me.

I'm not opposed to anything that helps any Believer to better love their neighbors - so if reflecting on the nature of God can be such a help, then it is a good thing. As long as it doesn't distract from Christ's essential message.

I see s-o-o-o many self-styled "Christians" who can cite chapter and verse ad nauseum... but who never lift a finger to help those in need.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.20  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.19    one month ago

Then you do you. I, have gone through several discussions about Christianity and its Bible that have been shall I say, "unsatisfying." Since I do not feel a need to persuade anybody here about religion. . . all I will say is, "Amen." 

We can talk some more, but not with a goal of persuading you (or me) about it. 

What I will tell you about Jesus will come through the biblical text, experience, revelation, or spiritual discernment. Receive it or leave it accordingly.

One more thing: There are plenty of doctrinal teachings and creeds in shared faith that are not printed on the pages of the Book. . .such as, "theology" or "stained glass windows," or mis-notions of Jesus looking 'local' to the natives around the world. . . but, what we strive for is something which sprangs off the pages of the Bible. . because it is there in spirit if not stated .

Finally, yes. There is a 'confusion' about the Spirit of God and its 'place' in the Godhead, because it is unimaginable to me how God's Spirit can detach itself from God in the form of being its own entity. . .but it is what it is: Jesus validated the Spirit coming "in" to the believer and sealing him or her (believers). . .leaving the reader to accept that God (the "Father") is somewhat above the process. And so, " trinity " ("God in three 'persons') is the phraseology a number of denominations use to explain the phenomenon. 

Also, the Bible in Genesis talks about the Spirit 'hovering over the waters of the Earth' (Genesis 1) and by the "Holy Spirit" Mary would have a child:

Luke 1:26   And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.   31  And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.   32  He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David;   33  and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”   34  But Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I  [ e ] am a virgin?”   35  The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the  [ f ] holy Child will be called the Son of God .

Thus, some things in the Book are not made plain and clear, but we have no choice but to wait it out to learn better of what is meant in reality. (If anything is meant at all really.)

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.1.21  Drakkonis  replied to  Outis @2.1.16    one month ago
This difference in our perceptions is the crux.

Perhaps. Hard to say since your position is light on details. 

I take Christ at His word when he said that the most important commandment is to love God and one's neighbor.

As do I. The question, though, is what do those things mean in God's eyes? Are we doing those things according to our standards or His? To my mind, God gave us His word as recorded in the Bible for a reason and there is no part of it that should be considered superfluous. God gave us His word so that we can understand Him and what He desires of us. It's made pretty clear that this isn't possible without the Holy Spirit working in our lives to help us understand. Without Him we can, as you said, get anything out of the Bible we wish to. I find it hard to fathom the notion that it isn't important just who the Holy Spirit is and what He's there to do. 

All of His teachings have that same message. Then he says that whoever follows that path is His.

Not exactly. The core of Jesus' teaching was twofold. "Repent for the kingdom of God has come near," and "No one can come to the Father except through me." Those who do that are his. Without that, we can't love God and others on God's terms. Only our own, which is insufficient. Worse than that, we wouldn't actually belong to him. His summation of the Law and the prophets as love God and love your neighbor was as much a commentary on how the Jews of his day were missing the point as it was a command for those who would follow him. Having repented and accepted Christ as lord and savior, he gives the Holy Spirit as a gift for a number of reasons, one of which is to help us understand how to love God and others on his terms rather than our own. 

To be sure, I do agree with you that those are the most important commandments. In fact, they are the motto of the church I attend. However, you give the impression that "Love God and love your neighbor" is the sum total of your theology. If so, I think you're missing a lot of important things. And theology is not a dirty word. It simply means "what is understood about God." 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.22  TᵢG  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1.21    one month ago

Not sure if this is Outis' view, but I would not be surprised if Outis considers Jesus a philosopher and Christianity a philosophy.

Philosophy, not necessarily religion.

Just my impression.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Professor Guide
2.1.23  Drakkonis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.22    one month ago

That's about my sense of it as well. 

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
2.1.24  bccrane  replied to  Outis @2.1.1    one month ago
The Trinity is, to my mind, an odd invention.

Not really if you look at it from a different perspective.

Here is how I view the Trinity, The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit (Ghost).  The Father is the known past, The Son is the present that will become the known past, and The Holy Spirit is the unknown future and God is all three at the same time.  

Prophecies were visions of future events and could not be changed, because God already knows the future and people in the future it was already their known past and as you know we cannot change the past.  This is how Jesus was able to do his "miracles", he was in tune with what was already the known past in the future.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
2.1.25  Trout Giggles  replied to  bccrane @2.1.24    one month ago
The Father is the known past, The Son is the present that will become the known past, and The Holy Spirit is the unknown future

Kinda like a Christmas Carol. That makes sense

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.26  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.20    one month ago

I think that in some ways the Bible is a trap.

We are sure that it's important, so we must (of course!) study it closely and in great detail. Those details may become obsessions. We forget that we're working with translations of copies of copies...

As a result, I place very little confidence in any particular verse. I only take seriously things that are often repeated. 

Love one another. No exceptions, not even Samaritans! Not even Romans! Love the poor and helpless. 

Christ repeated His message again and again and again. So that seems important.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.27  author  Outis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.22    one month ago

Was Confucius religious? Buddha?

Is "ethics" a philosophical domain or a religious domain?

We don't see Jesus discussing angels dancing on a pin, but He does take some pretty unconventional positions on ethical questions - "let he who is without blame cast the first stone". 

Interesting question, TiG. As usual, "definitions are needed".

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.28  author  Outis  replied to  bccrane @2.1.24    one month ago

This is the "Rorschach test" aspect of the Bible: you see whatever you want, and what you see may say more about you than about the characters in the Book.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.29  TᵢG  replied to  Outis @2.1.27    one month ago
Was Confucius religious? Buddha?

I view Buddhism as a philosophy, not a religion.   How do you view it?

Is "ethics" a philosophical domain or a religious domain?

Philosophical (to me).

We don't see Jesus discussing angels dancing on a pin, but He does take some pretty unconventional positions on ethical questions - "let he who is without blame cast the first stone". 

Yes, there is a ton of philosophy in the Bible and one can legitimately carve out Jesus philosophy as a distinct, clear domain.

Interesting question, TiG. As usual, "definitions are needed".

Do we need to define philosophy?  There are plenty of philosophical domains that are not religious philosophy.   That is, domains that do not presume the existence of divinity.   One can consider oneself a Christian by living a life per the philosophy of Jesus.   That does not require one to believe in divinity.   Or even that Jesus actually existed (for that matter).

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
Professor Principal
2.1.30  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Outis @2.1.26    one month ago

Hi Outis,

So I have some straight forward questions for you.

  1. Is god real (or any way you want to define a being that created everything)
  2. If you do believe in a god (Budah etc), did Jesus convey a message from him, or was influenced by him in any way?
  3. Do you believe in Jesus' teaching and would you define yourself as a "Christian"?
 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.31  author  Outis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.29    one month ago
Do we need to define philosophy?

No... but Buddha shows us that "religion" may need one.

One can consider oneself a Christian by living a life per the philosophy of Jesus. That does not require one to believe in divinity. Or even that Jesus actually existed (for that matter).

Exactly. This is important because it covers all those who died before Jesus was born. No problem! Were they kind to others? Saved!

(Just don't ask me what "saved" means.  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif )

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.32  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.31    one month ago
John 14:
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 

The Spirit of Truth, the Comforter, The Holy Spirit, The Holy Ghost, and the Advocate are all names for God, The Holy Spirit (member in the Trinity). It is the seal of those who come to 'know' God. That is, follow after Christian divinity. To be clear, receiving and acceptance of the Spirit (of God) is the SIGN of being Saved. 

Note: I know there is "free-willing" talk from fundamentalist types like Billy Graham (deceased) and many other denominations that speak of the "sinner's prayer" recited which creates an illusion of salvation and acceptance, but it is not the sign promised in the Bible. 

To be exceptionally clear, the Spirit in you or another is the SIGN of salvation ("Saved"). 

Many scriptures on the topic can be "entered" into evidence.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.33  author  Outis  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @2.1.30    one month ago

Straightforward doesn't mean simple.

I believe "something" permeates the universe. 

It would be silly for an ape on a backwater planet on the edge of a one ordinary galaxy among the universe's trillions to presume to define that "something". "God" is a convenient placeholder.

I believe that "love" is an essential aspect of this God. This is a belief in the religious sense: I'm sure, but have no evidence whatever. Perhaps the arrow of history tending toward ever more love in the universe... but my statistical sample is not really very convincing... jrSmiley_19_smiley_image.gif

Jesus preached love, so He was aligned with this God, whom He called "Father". Was His usage literal or figurative? Dunno. I'm not sure it matters.

I believe that "Love one another" is how we should live. I think that anyone, anywhere, at any time, who sincerely tries to follow that path is a follower of Christ (even if unaware of the fact). I consider myself a Christian.

(I understand that the label "Christian" is significant in our society. In my mind, that giant butterfly on the planet Gloublamme, who takes in orphaned larvae and nurtures them to chrysalis, is a Christian. It probably neither knows nor cares.)

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.34  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.32    one month ago

I'm not convinced... but that's just me. If a Trinity helps you to better love your neighbors, then that Trinity is a good thing.

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.35  TᵢG  replied to  Outis @2.1.33    one month ago
I believe "something" permeates the universe.  It would be silly for an ape on a backwater planet on the edge of a one ordinary galaxy among the universe's trillions to presume to define that "something". "God" is a convenient placeholder.

That expresses my position well.   

I believe (to the point of knowing) that our universe is the result of something.   That something is beyond our knowledge.   We know nothing whatsoever about that something other than it exists and that it is logically eternal.

Is this something sentient?   We have absolutely no way of knowing this.

My hypothesis is that the quintessential substance of existence is eternal.   This substance (below the level of particle physics) is the irreducible core of all the forms of existence (from energy through matter) that we can perceive (and almost certainly beyond what we can perceive).

In other words, when we are done breaking things down to the lowest possible level, we find the irreducible, eternal substance of existence.   My expectation is that this would not qualify as sentient.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
2.1.36  bccrane  replied to  Outis @2.1.28    one month ago
you see whatever you want, and what you see may say more about you than about the characters in the Book.

Yes, but I can back it up.  I've commented about this before.  I'll tell it again, it's been a few years now, I had a dream one night in which my wife, son, and I were in a parking lot and for some reason there was a large hot dog there and I ended up talking with a man I hadn't seen, at that time, for three years before that dream.  The next day I had to make an unscheduled trip down state, my wife and son wanted me to stop at the mall, when we came out across the parking lot was the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile, my son wanted badly to get closer and take pictures, as we walked up to the vehicle another man had walked up and was taking pictures of it, when he turned around it was the man in the dream of that morning.  We talked for a bit to catch up all the while I'm thinking how profound it is that this actually happening.  I've had several other dreams that later came true and when I realized it was happening I decided to try and change the outcome and found I couldn't that's when I realized that what I was experiencing was a future memory passed back in time and if it is a memory of the future it is already in the past and therefore cannot be changed.  So the question is what is the mechanism that transmits a memory back to the past?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.37  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.34    one month ago

To be clear 2.1.32 was not in the vein of "trinity" but is dealing with the meaning of "Saved" in scripture and how it comes about in the Believer. Another biblical turn of phrase is this: "Born Again." 

The New Birth

      1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;  2 this man came to Him by night, and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”  3 Jesus answered and said to him,

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”  5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit , he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

  6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit .
 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.38  author  Outis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.35    one month ago
My hypothesis is that the quintessential substance of existence is eternal.

Very interesting idea.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.39  author  Outis  replied to  bccrane @2.1.36    one month ago

Dunno.

What you describe sounds like foresight. That implies predestination. I really don't want to believe I'm a marionette.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.40  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.37    one month ago

I don't believe in either heaven or hell. Reincarnation is a possibility.

I don't know.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.41  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.40    one month ago

Again, you wrote about "saved" and "salvation." To which end I responded with scriptural references on how it "becomes" an activity in the life of a believer. That's all. I have not cared to offer you heaven or hell for discussion. As it is not the focus of this discussion so far, anyway. :)

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
2.1.42  CB  replied to  Outis @2.1.40    one month ago

Again, you wrote about "saved" and "salvation." To which end I responded with scriptural references on how it "becomes" an activity in the life of a believer. That's all. I have not cared to offer you heaven or hell for discussion. As it is not the focus of this discussion so far, anyway. :)

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.43  TᵢG  replied to  Outis @2.1.38    one month ago

Seems to me that something must be eternal.   If not then nothing would exist.   

Following suit, it seems logical (inevitable?) that the eternal substrate of existence would be basic — not complex.   Complexity would/could emerge as the substrate interacts with itself (why/'how it interacts is of course unknown).

In this way, we can explain pretty much anything.   We can explain the first cause (an eternal substrate consisting of the quintessential substance of existence), we can explain how everything in reality comes into existence (emergent property of the substance of existence interacting and creating forms ... which then interact ... on and on).    We can even explain divinity.   Since we know that sentience can exist (we exist), there is no reason to think that a vastly superior sentient entity could have emerged prior to us.   And this sentient entity could have amassed the power to direct the creation of life on Earth.   Maybe as a hobby?   Maybe we are one of an untold number of experiments.  But to us, this would qualify as a 'god' by most every definition.

In lieu of information, when I ponder our existence, this is what seems to me as the most likely scenario.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.44  author  Outis  replied to  CB @2.1.41    one month ago

OK. "Salvation" is a difficult subject for me. I don't know what to do with it.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.45  author  Outis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.43    one month ago

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
2.1.46  TᵢG  replied to  Outis @2.1.45    one month ago

Asimov.   Funny how his extremely clever, far-reaching story has certain biases of his time like thinking in terms of transistors and teletypes in 2061.

So AC might be 'God', eh?

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
2.1.47  author  Outis  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.46    one month ago

I seem to remember reading somewhere that Asimov wrote this as an intellectual trick. Still, I've never forgotten it.

Perhaps it says something that it took me seconds to find  an old short story, not knowing the title. There's something poetic about the ease of finding a universal computer on the Internet.

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
2.1.48  bccrane  replied to  Outis @2.1.39    one month ago
That implies predestination.

No matter what you do, free will wise, there is going to be a destination in the future and therefore when that destination is reached it will become the past and once that happens it cannot be changed, the future is fluid until it is in the past then it is set.  The thing is there is something about the future that somehow memories of the future past is transmitted back.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3  CB    one month ago

I don't understand what this man's point is. That is, is he trying to 'kill' off the idea of the Trinity? I ask because he carries on about 'The Angel of the Lord'; an entity of the Bible that never is stated as having a 'beginning and an end' in the Bible to my knowledge. Granted, in the interest of time right now, I have not looked into the listed scriptures he shares on the entity.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
3.1  author  Outis  replied to  CB @3    one month ago

I don't think he's trying to prove anything. Not in the sense of having an agenda. He's cutting through layers of sand to reveal the bedrock.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
4  Nerm_L    one month ago

IMO, the trinity can be explained in this manner:  God is the creator at the beginning.  Christ is the judge at the end.  The Holy Ghost connects the beginning and ending.

In the Book of Revelations, God is identified as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end.  The beginning, middle, and ending represent three states or phases of existence.  Over time each of us are many people but still only one individual.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1  CB  replied to  Nerm_L @4    one month ago
The Incomparable Christ

Colossians 1

      13 For [God] delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,  14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  15 And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.  16 For by Him all things were created,  both  in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created by Him and for Him.  17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.  18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything.  19 For it was the  Father’s  good pleasure for all the fulness to dwell in Him,  20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him,  I say , whether things on earth or things in heaven.
 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2  author  Outis  replied to  Nerm_L @4    one month ago
 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
4.2.1  Nerm_L  replied to  Outis @4.2    one month ago
See 2.1.28

How do you know people only see what they want?  Placing the onus on others is a convenient excuse to avoid confronting one's own beliefs and world view.  

Note that I used a real life example to explain a theological conclusion.  The Bible has not influenced the fact that we all are many different people during our lives but remain a single individual.  So, the idea that one individual can be many people is not unique to Biblical theology.  But recognizing that example requires some introspection which, I contend, is necessary for faith.  

As I suggested, the idea of the Trinity seems rooted in introspection and an understanding of the human condition.  And by attempting to understand the idea of the Trinity we gain a greater understanding of ourselves.  Doesn't that mean God and religion serve a useful purpose?  

 
 
 
bccrane
Freshman Silent
4.2.2  bccrane  replied to  Outis @4.2    one month ago

I actually didn't get that from the Bible, when I realized what was happening I did go searching for similar occurrences and the one place where there are many examples is in the Bible.

Unlike now, people back then were aware of and recorded their visions/dreams and found that some were actually coming to pass, as I have found, and it was not limited to just the Bible.  Other cultures had customs that were odd that didn't even know about the ME religions.  For instance, human sacrifice, Abraham had a vision that the son of man was to be sacrificed and he thought that meant his own son when it was actually a vision of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future, if it hadn't been for the ram stuck in a thicket and taking that as a sign he probably would've succeeded in sacrificing his son. So how many people of different cultures seen the same vision and succeeded in the human sacrifice and kept that as a custom?  BTW, the second coming of Jesus ended that practice. 

The second coming of Jesus was another prophecy which many have misunderstood.

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.3  author  Outis  replied to  Nerm_L @4.2.1    one month ago
the idea of the Trinity seems rooted in introspection and an understanding of the human condition.

As I have said elsewhere, if an idea or dogma helps to love one another, then it is a good thing.

I know that formal religions evolve. First Century Christianity was quite simple. Since then, many branches of Christianity have added various dogmas. The fact that these are sometimes contradictory has persuaded me, personally, to reject all of them. But that's me.

If a belief in whatever helps to better love one's neighbor, then it is a good thing. If it doesn't.....

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.4  author  Outis  replied to  bccrane @4.2.2    one month ago
when it was actually a vision of what was going to happen to Jesus in the future

This is another example of finding whatever one desires. There is no apparent connection between Abraham and Jesus. But lots of people find something. In my opinion, this says far more about those people than about either Abraham or Jesus.

Once again, I insist: finding stuff in the Bible is OK. That's what its authors wanted. If such finds comfort the finder, good! If such finds help to better love one another, great!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.5  CB  replied to  Outis @4.2.4    one month ago
This is another example of finding whatever one desires. There is no apparent connection between Abraham and Jesus. But lots of people find something. In my opinion, this says far more about those people than about either Abraham or Jesus.

I could just 'give' you scriptural references to the foreshadowing of Jesus through the life of Abraham, but that might be presumptuous on my part. So, if you want to understand how "foreshadowing" works in the Bible, just ask!

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.6  author  Outis  replied to  CB @4.2.5    one month ago

Maybe it's just me. Finding foreshadowing in a translation of a copy of a copy... seems... tenuous.

"Love one another" is unambiguous. It's repeated often, so if any one instance is poorly copied or translated, there are all the others.

I'll stick to what seems certain.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.7  CB  replied to  Outis @4.2.6    one month ago

Please don't take this the wrong way: If you are not willing to learn, then be less willing to teach. And I mean that in the best way possible. :)

The Christian faith is about love (and don't I know it), but it is not the only doctrinal position of the Church. That is, in each case of religion, one has to contend with and react to what makes a religion/s uniform. All religions have dos and don't, because it is how they distinguish themselves apart from surrounding religions. The teachings, plural, have to be explored, put into practice, or rejected individually or collectively

Thank you for your time on this. 

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
4.2.8  author  Outis  replied to  CB @4.2.7    one month ago

I'm quite willing to learn. I enjoy learning. I want to learn. I take some care in choosing what to learn.

I don't teach. If asked a question, it's just ordinary courtesy to answer. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.2.9  CB  replied to  Outis @4.2.8    one month ago

When the student is ready the teacher will appear. . . when the student is really ready the teacher will disappear.  

~ Lao Tzu

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Professor Expert
5  Nerm_L    one month ago

Seems to me the various books of the Bible expend much more discussion on prophets and believers than on gods.  Prophets and believers are the influencers for gods.  The Bible, as compendium of theological philosophy, goes to great lengths to influence faith and belief.  So, the competition between religions is really a contest of faith.    

 
 
 
Outis
Freshman Principal
5.1  author  Outis  replied to  Nerm_L @5    one month ago
Seems to me the various books of the Bible expend much more discussion on prophets and believers than on gods. 

I agree. This is actually fairly logical. The authors of the Bible were trying to promote their (various) agendas. They had to avoid angering their audience, so it was safer to talk about prophets rather than God Himself. 

Kinda like discussing Steve Bannon rather than you-know-who.

 
 

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