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Dangers of Liberal Theology in the Church

Discussion in 'Wesley's Parish - Methodist/ Nazarene' started by GadFly, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    I apologize for raising the issue of sarcasm. The fault is most lily on this point. The definition of liberal does go deeper than liberal Christianity. To be a liberal Jew, politician, or Muslim for that matter, all that is needed is to ascribe to a theology or philosophy that does not use God as its primary moral and ethical foundation. There are very Jewish Jews who are atheist. The depend on the formations of society for the foundation of their moral epistemology, if you will. This is a good example of liberal theology and very apparent and visible.

    There are also Christians who may or may not believe in God. For example, the emergent church is not so apparent or visible liberal movement in the UMC and the Church of the Nazarene. These people have an internet forum called Naznet. It is filled with members of the Church of the Nazarene. The leaders of this forum keep the tenants of the emergent church secret from the participants. The emergent church is very strong in Europe. If you do a Google search on the emergent church and attempt to share your findings with the Nazarene church members, your post are altered or deleted all together. Many followers of the emergent church are actually atheist. At the last General Conference of the Church of the Nazarene, all delegate pastors were provided a CD exposing this liberal trend in the Church of the Nazarene. In this church, the wolf in sheep's clothing is now made apparent and is being rejected.

    The issue of liberalism is not confined to disbelieving in God. If you believe in God but do not use God, the Absolute, in your decision making in politics and moral formations, is that not the same thing as not believing in God? This is the danger of liberalism. When you get the correct definition of liberal theology in your understanding, you realize that it is often actually a rejection of God. Many Christians who claim to be liberals are not liberals. They simply have the definition all screwed up. The Devil likes it that way as he is the author of confusion.

    The primary weapon of Satan is confusion and division with the use of semantics. It is urgent that the church get its definitions correct. Use operationally defined terms if you like but give the definition of what you are saying throughout your theology. That is exactly what science does when it test its theories and that is what Christians must do to conserve the Word of God.
     
  2. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    Since we are on the topic of Liberals and the Dangers here is the definition of Conservative Christianity.
    ============================================
    --Conservative Christianity (also called traditional Christianity) is a term applied to a number of groups or movements seen as giving priority to traditional Christian beliefs and practices.[1] It is sometimes called conservative theology, an umbrella term covering various movements within Christianity and describing both corporate denominational and personal views of Scripture.

    The term conservative Christian is frequently used by Protestant evangelicals and Protestant fundamentalists as a way to distinguish themselves from the more liberal Protestant denominations, which stress the teachings of Jesus rather than the more severe methods of social control advocated in the Old Testament. This often leads to different understanding of what is and is not "conservative". It is also applied to the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox churches as well, not only in the case of moral theology, but also more traditional in the sense of the practice of Christianity itself.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------


    The key words in this definition is severe methods vs stressing the teachings of Jesus. Conservative Christians in most cases have blinders on they can't see the whole picture on what the Lord wants us to be or do. A lot of the hard core churches we have been to control the members and use the scriptures to manipulate them to their way of thinking. Now this is the real danger of Conservative Christianity. I have seen this time after time in churches which are hard core conservative thinking and this is mind controlling to the en th degree.
     
  3. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    This post is very misguided and is an attempt to justify the liberal theologians departure from believing in the authority of the Word of God. Protestants have only the authority of the scriptures, especially the New Testament, to define us nfrom the rest of society. The philosophy of Jesus Christ clearly wanted the followers of dabar to be separated from society by a well defined
    lifestyle.

    Protestants recognized the Christian lifestyle was dictated best by the scriptures rather than the authority of an established Roman Catholic Church or the the English Church based on the sexual appetite of a king. Having made this decision, those followers of scriptures were called liberals. Later, those who wanted to keep the traditions or conserve the scriptures as their spiritual authority in protestantism were called conservatives. The words that described Christians transformed over time from liberal to conservative. The people, however, and their belief in the authority of the scriptures, did not change, but the "label" on the product did change.

    The danger of liberal theology today is that liberals want to change the product of what a Bible Christian really is. It is a twist of truth when one says that a liberal wants to emphasize the New Testament teachings of Christ rather than the Old Testament teachins when it is clear that Christ taught dabar was God and that dabar's would never change. The Apostle John confirmed this when he described Christ as the logos.

    An overwhelming characteristic of modern day liberals is that they want to emphasize the wisdom and logic of human society over the authority of scriptures. This true of liberals in religion and politics. You can hardly identify an issue emphasized by liberals, such as the acceptance of homosexuality and moral relativity, that is not justified by society's formations or by premises found in places other than the scriptures. .

    (Rev. 22: 14: .Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
    15: For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.)

    By Christ own words, those who take away or add to the teachings of dabar/logos will have all the curses and plagues listed in the Book of Revelation of Jesus Christ. (Rv:22:18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:)


    From Christ's own words, liberals best hope it is OK to change the teachings of Christ based on reasoning. If God's word is still the authority today for Christians, the liberals are in great trouble. This thread points out the dangers of liberal theology. The challenge to liberals is said clearly here. All liberals in their superior wisdom are welcome to defend your philosophical or theological position here. God's people do not fear your rhetoric and we will not stand for minimizing the scriptures.

    P.S., If anyone disagrees with the definition of liberal theology, get yourself over to "What is Liberal Theology?" and document a different definition.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2011
  4. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    I'm sorry Gadfly but you are the one whom is misleading and not telling the truth. I see now your speaking for the Lord right?? I don't think so. Conservative thinking is dangerous without question. You are singling out the Catholics which is a bias approach. Over many years I have spoken many people with your blinded view points and bias approach to other denominations trying to justifiy in your own mind what is right or try to preach to others and force your ideas on them. Sorry...........Gadfly............your sadly misguided.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  5. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    Gadfly quoted this:
    Protestants recognized the Christian lifestyle was dictated best by the scriptures rather than the authority of an established Roman Catholic Church or the the English Church based on the sexual appetite of a king
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Here is the core valves of the Catholic Church, now for the record I am a Methodist I was raised Catholic.
    ==============================================================================
    --Roman Catholic Church - The Core of Faith
    Like all Christians, members of the Roman Catholic Church should be careful not to misplace their faith. For many of us, our faith is not always centered and founded in God through Jesus Christ, but rather in an organization or religion. Christianity must be a process of developing an abiding, growing, organic relationship with our Creator. It cannot be a trust in an institution or religion, nor can it be a cultural heritage. Religion and organizations are the invention of man, not of God. "I'm Catholic/christian because my father or grandfather was a Catholic" is a misguided view of what Christianity is all about. We must always develop and commit to a personal faith in God through Christ. We serve a personal God who cares about the little things as well as the big things in our lives. He desires from us a personal relationship. The relationships we develop on earth are for the purpose of modeling Christ in our character so that the world can see a minute portion of God's love present and moving outward from our hearts. Our neighbors, friends and family should see evidence of our personal relationship with God governing our speech, actions, character and values.
    Roman Catholic Church - The Basis of Salvation
    Like all Christians, members of the Roman Catholic Church should examine the basis of salvation in their lives. Salvation is not by works, but by grace. The Bible is very clear that we cannot earn our way into eternity with God. Our works are merely evidences of our faith, not the basis for salvation. The reason it's unnecessary to perform good works in order to secure salvation is that God himself, through the work of Christ, has performed all the work necessary. However, one of the very reasons God saved us is so we would perform good works, and if we do not perform good works we are in disobedience to His Word. The Bible is clear on the source of our salvation: "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
    Many of us have confused the doctrine of justification with the doctrine of sanctification. According to the Bible, after a man is justified before God, he begins a lifelong process of sanctification where he grows in holiness and obedience to God's law. Justification is the starting point for sanctification (Romans 6). Justification removes the guilt of sin and restores the sinner to a relationship with God. Sanctification eliminates sinful habits and makes the sinner more and more like Jesus Christ. Justification takes place outside of the sinner in the court of God. Sanctification takes place in the soul and the spirit of man. Justification takes place once and for all. Sanctification is a continuous process of growth, as we "run the race" to the end of our lives. The work of sanctification is never complete in the life of a Christian.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
  6. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    In this post your reasoning is astonishing. You say I am misleading and not telling the truth. If that be the case, it should be easy to point out my errors. You do not. Judge me, fine. I did make some very challenging remarks and knew that these could be challenged. You are doing right to challenge errors but you are in fault if you do not specify the errors. You say conservative thinking is dangerous without question. I have defined conservative thinking as something based on scriptures. If you can convince Christians that thinking according to the scriptures is dangerous to their salvation, you win this debate. But you simply saying conservative thinking is dangerous, not not make a truthful, logical statement. Therefore, I do demonstrate your errors with facts. Where are your facts in this syllogistic equation?

    It is not true that I single out Catholics. The difference in Catholicism and protestantism is the Catholic and the dear old Pope are the final authority on religious doctrine (not the Bible) and the protestant faith depends on the scriptures read by the individual to establish its faith. Now, just how is this singling out the Catholics in anything? You make accusations without foundation. You state things like liberals often do and expect these statements to be accepted as facts. That is not theology. That is poor logic.

    Over many years you have had dealings with people who have blinded eyes and you suggest I am blind. Am I blind because I demand premises bases on scriptures? Is that what you are saying? Jesus Christ said people thinking outside the scriptures were blind and often were the leader of the blind. That is my opinion also and I do say that liberal theology is dangerous for this reason.

    To demonstrate the confusion in your mind, I will address your next post here. All can read it. Your entire post is based on conservative propositions and the scriptures. Conservatives would agree with just about everything you say in that post. I have taken the liberty to read several of your post on other threads. From what you say about your faith in God and the scriptures, you are in no way a liberal Christian according to the accepted definition of liberal theology. You are plainly a conservative Christian and I believe a very good and strong brother in the faith. You and many other Methodist become concerned because you think you are liberals and don't like to here liberalism opposed by conservatives. Conservatives are not fanatics which we all see the dangers in extreme thinking. Conservative theology is not a bad word but liberal theology is, because by definition liberal theology walks outside the scriptures.

    If you disagree, keep bringing it. Maybe somebody will learn something from a good debate. Maybe we will improve each other. Blessings on you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2011
  7. tsr

    tsr Newbie

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    Ok Gadfly you saw thru me, your right I am a conservative christian playing the devils advcate!!!.. Everything you said is 100% correct, I was trying to stir up a debate to bring out the best in all of us on Gods word. Thanks for a great debate. Here is the doctrine of Catholicizm just for the record.
    ====================================================
    Roman Catholic doctrine, as with any other organization, political party or religion, are its beliefs, tenets, principles, or teachings. It is through these beliefs or teachings that they base their practices. Councils, committees, or governing assemblies, decide upon doctrines. In the case of Catholics, the government of the Vatican has decreed their doctrines. That means they are subject to (and have implemented) change.
    Basic practices (or traditions) vary within the Body of Christ. But the foundation of each Christian denomination is the same. God's divine Word is the blueprint for all Christian faith. "Christian" means follower of Jesus Christ. According to Ephesians 2:20 Jesus is the chief corner stone of God's household! And Hebrews 13:8 says, "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for ever." His doctrines will never change.
    The Word of God proclaims that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God whose purpose on earth was to die and be raised again as atonement for the sins of all mankind. This is the basis for all Christian Doctrine. The Catholic Church proclaims these doctrines:
    Teaching that Jesus is the Son of God sent to die for the sins of the world
    God is a triune God, consisting of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
    In accepting Jesus and serving Him, believers are granted life eternal.
    Members must accept the church as having the fullness of revelation, and according to Roman Catholic catechism is the only Christian body that is "holy, universal and apostolic"
    Apostolic succession is key in the faith, saying that the pope and bishops have varying degrees of authority from Jesus.
    Penance and the Eucharist are required at least once a year
    As in all denominations, it is important to study the Word of God for yourself. When studying the above doctrines, you will discover that not all of them come from and have a basis in the Bible. In Hosea 4:6 God says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge [of God and His Word]. . ." Know His Word and keep these two passages in mind when examining any doctrine:
    "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ" (Colossians 2:8).
    "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold on to the teachings (traditions) we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter (epistles)" (2 Thessalonians 2:15). Paul knew that we would face false teachings and worldliness to waver from truth. He reminds us to hold onto the truth of Christ's teachings (doctrines). Therefore, be sure your practices are based on truth and from your own heart with sincerity (Hebrews 10:22).


    My favorite verse from the Bible is Hebrews 4:12

    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twhaoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    Thanks again Gadfly great job done, and God Bless
     
  8. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    TSR, the best way to stir up debate is to attack the other persons propositions. Criticism of one's proposition is the secret to debate. You can not simply state something and expect debaters to assume you are correct. Your Catholic education has not prepared you well to debate on a protestant forum, especially a Wesleyan forum where the scriptures are the main authority. The fact remains that in the Catholic Church has authority over what the scriptures teach. Protestants do not believe the Church is necessary for a trip to heaven. We depend on faith and we believe only God can forgive sins. The UMC believes this to be true. This is not a criticism but we simply note the differences in the UMC and the Catholic Church.

    You have failed to challenge one single premise of my propositions? I have made a career of debating since I was 16 years of age. From the time I began to use God as my premise for everything, it is my contention that I have never lost a debate. The reason for winning is that I have always had the best premise for logical discourse. I would like to tell you it was due to my superior intllect but that would be a lie. The fact is, debaters can not beat Jesus Christ for He is dabar.
     
  9. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

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    Let me comment from within the Wesleyan church. I'm sure you are aware that Wesleyan theology notes that scripture is primary, but theology also involves tradition and human reasoning.

    This is where I submit you are misusing scripture. You are thinking Paul is referring to scripture here. But he could not have been! Why? Because Paul's letters predate the gospels and the NT canon! When Paul wrote this, "gospel" was literally "good news" spread by mouth. And what was the "good news"? That Jesus had risen from the dead.

    I disagree. What Paul is "denouncing" is Greek logic. You need to set Paul in his correct historical time and social context. At the time, Greeks argued from universal premises to conclusions. Paul is arguing from observation. The observation of Jesus' resurrection. That resurrection goes against Greek logic. He is saying that the experience of humans trumps Greek logic. He is not saying "human wisdom" or reasoning. Instead, Paul is advocating the type of reasoning we do now -- empirical.

    Jesus Christ himself and gave an intimidating warning to the churches in Asia minor in John's Revelation, chapter 22:18 &19:18:[/quote]

    LOL! This refers only to Revelations, not scripture. John of Patmos is telling people to pay attention to his book. :) See this: "the things which are written in this book." Not the Bible, but just Revelation. The Bible didn't exist yet. So once again you are misusing the Bible to get it to say something it doesn't.

    To the readers of Revelation at the time. John of Patmos is faced with people abandoning Christianity in the face of terrible persecution. Hey, when your neighbors are being arrested, tortured, and killed, it is very easy to hide your Christianity so you, and particularly, your family don't suffer the same fate.

    So John is trying to hold the congregation together. He tries several tactics in Revelation. Promises. And fear. A lot of fear. This is one example of that. Give people something to be even more afraid of than the Romans.

    This is where I feel conservative theology hurts Christianity. You are making Christianity about a book. Instead, Christianity is about a man. Jesus had no trouble arguing with the conservatives of his day who relied upon the book: the Pharisees. He denounced their way of looking at their religion.

    As another Wesleyan, I don't think you are speaking for the position of Wesleyan Churches. Instead, I think you are trying to infiltrate the doctrine of Fundamentalism into the Wesleyan Churches. I could be wrong, but you have much more an emphasis on a book than John Wesley had.

    From Article V of the UMC:
    "The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

    Look at that carefully. Methodists believe only that scripture tells us what is necessary for salvation. It does not tell us that an emphasis on scripture will give us salvation.

    Scripture is an aid, not an object of veneration.

    Methodism places the emphasis on Christian living, not on the Bible. Methodism allows human reason and experience to influence what we believe:
    "While the Articles of Religion and the Confession of Faith are considered foundational documents, they are not legalistic or dogmatic creeds that do not allow for differing interpretations. They are guidelines that themselves require continuing reflection, interpretation and expansion in light of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. " http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1L...l_Documents_of_The_United_Methodist_Faith.htm

    I'm afraid Methodism is "liberal theology". :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011
  10. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

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    That's too bad. You should know, therefore, that debating is a sport. It's not the way to search for truth. Instead, it's the way to defend a position given to you by the moderator in order to score more points than the other team defending their position.

    Now, are you interested in looking for truth, or are you interested in "winning" the debate?

    But did that bring you closer to God? Or help you live a Christian life? It does seem to have bolstered your ego, but isn't pride one of the deadly sins.

    Again, is this helping you lead a Christian life?

    "Wesley and the early Methodists were particularly concerned about inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living. They placed primary emphasis on Christian living, on putting faith and love into action. This emphasis on what Wesley referred to as "practical divinity" has continued to be a hallmark of United Methodism today" Our Wesleyan Theological Heritage - UMC.org

    How many soup kitchens have you helped out in? Community service? IOW, what are your works that show your faith? You can't possibly think that debating is one of those works. If you do, I strongly recommend Matthew 25. Debating isn't on the list.
     
  11. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    URL]http://www.umc.org/site/c.lwL4KnN1LtH/b.2299855/k.DC15/Foundational_Documents_of_The_United_Methodist_Faith.htm[/URL]

    I'm afraid Methodism is "liberal theology". :)[/QUOTE]

    In your finale summery you say "I am afraid Methodism is liberal theology." None of your supporting statements supports this conclusion unless you make up a definition we are not using on this thread or forum. You do, I give you this much, use liberal logic.

    In liberal logic your premises for reasoning can change. You change your premises several times making your reasoning and criticism false and therefore dangerous to the UMC. Paul did tell Timothy to study the word to rightly divide it. You have not done that. At the end of you post, by a twist of logic you try to reverse this statement, making wisdom and tradition primary. I will note this when we come to it.

    Yes, I am aware that Wesleyan theology involves tradition and human reasoning. You do admit, however, that scripture is primary. At the end of your post, by a twist of logic, you try to reverse this statement, making wisdom and tradition primary. I will note this when we come to it.

    Your argument should not be based on or include what I am thinking as you have no idea what my thoughts are. It is clear that the scriptures Paul used were from the Old Testament and his epistles are clearly supported with references from those scriptures. Many of the things he taught about Christ, Paul received directly from Christ Himself. Where you submit that I misuse the scriptures is a false accusation. My question to you is, why do you beg the question here? You must have a reason.

    You do disagree but out of unfamiliarity with Aristotelian logic, which includes the rules of modern scientific and rational thought. Jesus, Paul, Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, and anybody who has any sense today uses this same logic. Paul was not stupid. He challenged the conclusions of the Greeks by using Greek logic. Jesus and Socrates were so good at using Aristotelian logic that in literature they are known as the Gadfly.

    Your reference to empirical experience is nonsense. If experience does not conform to standard Aristotelian logic, experience is faulty. Doctors determine the sanity of patient's experiences by comparing their experiences to the DSM. Are you beginning to see the eorrors of your twisting in trying to justify liberalism?

    It is clear that the scriptures to which you refer were the words of Jesus Christ. Christ was referring to the Word which also included the Old Testament and all the things Christ said, although these words were not as yet written as the New Testament. Are you saying these words did not count because they were not written down? Of course you are not. You are simply confused in trying to tag me as saying something the scriptures do not say. Instead of finding fault with me, you should search the scriptures better.

    Your logic is very poor here again. You take the scriptures out of context to make the above foolish statements. John probably did not know what he was doing other than writing what Christ told him to write. John had no way of knowing what was going on in the churches of Asia Minor. You talk like John planned all these messages because he knew what these churches needed. That is liberal bull. I am afraid your example is not logical.

    Your logic keeps falling apart. You do not define what you mean by conservative theology but you do infer that liberal theology is superior to conservative theology. In any event, Jesus did not object to the theology of the Pharisees. Jesus told his disciples to listen to these Pharisees but to be sure to not do as they did for the Pharisees said right but did not do right. As for your objections to me relying on the book, let's allow Christ to speak to that very thing. Matthew 5:17: Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
    18: For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    19: Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven

    I would much rather have your criticism rather than that of Jesus Christ. How's that for logic?

    It is difficult to believe that a UMC member would make a ridicules and illogocal statement like this in reference to the Bible. Not only could you be wrong, you are on the verge of being a blasphemer. John Wesley did not deemphasis the word of God in anyway approaching liberal theology. I have not checked your profile as yet but I hope you are not in a teaching position in the Church.
    Brother, you can not read! I did look at it carefully and it said the scriptures contains the things necessary for salvation. The statement does not say deemphasizing the scriptures would save you. Nowhere in the Book of Discipline does it say to not emphasize the scriptures. Liberals do say that, however. You best re-read Matt.5 and that quickly.

    This is so illogical that only God knows what you mean.
     
  12. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    Debate does not have to be a sport or something evil. It can be contending for the faith and giving a reason for our hope in Christ. That is how the Apostle Paul used his debate skills. He was not on a debate team either and he was a Greek and Hebrew scholar. He was very good at debate. Did you ever read Acts 24 where Felix trembled before Paul's debate skills?

    Paul had the truth and used it as his premise in debate. He used debate to influence kings and philosophers. Since he discovered Christ, he did not lose debates. Christians are not suppose to lose debates and when we do, we do not use Christ to His foulness. My question to you is personal. Why do you object to contending about the faith and why do you object to adhering to the Word of God?

    I did qualify that winning was possible only from the time I had the correct premise for debate, which was God. Your intention to make me seem small is noted. The fact you would rather attack me rather than taking a position on liberal theology is evidence of your closeness to God. As far as pride goes, you might know more about that than I.

    Yes, it is. It is good to be able to defend ones lifestyle even if only he believes it is good.

    Yes, your condemnation of me is a great example of the humility of a Christian, right? You know nothing of me but you really like to cast your liberal dispersion on me for what I say. My friend, I try to live by all those things you cite in the above. And you don't know that I do not. More liberal bull.

    Contending for the faith is all through the Bible. Liberals would love for Christians to shut their mouths. Matthew 25 is not the only chapter in the Bible. Liberals need to read all the Bible and conform to the whole Word. That is what John Wesley taught, something like entire sanctification. By the way, if you will publish a list of all your good works, it could motivate us to do likewise, especially if you think that is what will save you.
     
  13. Tim Myers

    Tim Myers Regular Member

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    "In short liberal theology uses human reasoning as its primary premise in religion."

    When has human reasoning not been the primary premise in all religions?
     
  14. mark46

    mark46 Well-Known Member

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    This is a sad commentary from well within the cave of Western European philosophy and its Aristotilian and Platotic roots.

    God does NOT conform to human reason. While Reason is important and a source of Truth, it cannot ever be the primary premise of religion (or faith).

    Almost by definition religion and faith communities are efforts to look beyond the philosophies of man, and his reason. To have reason be primary over faith is seriously misguided. See the following for a discussion from within the West.
    Faith and Reason[bless and do not curse][Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy]

    ==============================
    I have alluded to the idea that there is more in this world than the ideas of Western Europe. While reason is important, I don't think that reason is primary in any of the world's religion, certainly not in Christianity which is ultimately not subject to Aristotle and Plato, no matter how many times such an idea is stated.

    Also, Christainity is not a Western European religion no matter how many times this nonsense is repeated.


     
  15. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

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    In your finale summery you say "I am afraid Methodism is liberal theology." None of your supporting statements supports this conclusion unless you make up a definition we are not using on this thread or forum. You do, I give you this much, use liberal logic. [/quote]

    Have you ever heard of the "Wesleyan Quadrilateral"? Did they go over that in your membership class?


    You don't write your thoughts? You can't have it both ways. Either you write your thoughts (unless you specifically state these are the thoughts of someone eles) or you don't.

    You did not attempt to show how my reasoning was false. You have assertion without evidence or argument. As a debator, you must know that this is invalid in a debate. It's even more invalid in a discussion.

    No, the rules are somewhat different. What is often called "Aristotlean logic" isn't. PlanetMath: Aristotelian logic

    Of course, what I said was "Greek logic". That includes Plato and other Greeks. I can see that your claim to be an experienced debator is true. That's a very good attempt to change the terms. But we are not in a debate. What we call "logic" Aristotle would have called "analytics". He reserved the term "logic" for "dialectics". For instance, the commonly used syllogism to illustrate "Aristotlean syllogism" is:

    All men are mortal.
    Socrates was a man.
    therefore Socrates is mortal.

    This, however, is a Peripatetic syllogism, a form not considered by Aristotle.

    Ooh. You apparently don't realize that Socrates and Plato used different "logic". Nor are you apparently aware that Aristotlean "thinking" was rejected by science during the Middle Ages and Rennaissance. Also, Aristotlean logic fell out of favor in the 19th century.

    Aristotle did use the hypothetico-deductive method, but what Aristotle did was use induction from observations to deduce a hypothesis. Then he made deductions from the hypothesis back to the original observations. It was a closed loop. Lossee, Philospohy of Science: An Historical Introduction. Modern science uses hypotheses to deduce observations that have not been made yet.

    No, he challenged the conclusions by data. Specifically, the Resurrection. Greek logic would be:
    All men die
    All men stay dead.
    Therefore Jesus stayed dead.

    This is what Paul referred to as the "wisdom of men". Paul says this is wrong. How? By the data that Jesus was seen alive after his crucifixion.

    Oh. So wrong. Experience has been trumping Aristotlian logic for hundreds of years in science. I'm surprised that you are putting Aristotle's logic system on a par with God.

    What they do is evaluate the patient's behavior separate from the patient's perception of that behavior. They compare the behavior of the patient to the DSM, not experiences. BUT, what is the DSM. It is not Aristotlean logic. Instead the DSM is a set of hypotheses about human behavior and psychological states based on the experience of observing behavior of other people. Based on those experiences of of the observers, psychologists have devised a classification scheme of types of human behavior: narcissim, borderline, etc. It's not so much about "sanity" but rather classification of behavior.

    In scripture, when is "Word" capitalized? that is, what does "Word" refer to when capitalized? Does it refer to scripture?

    Revelations 19:18 is not said by Jesus. John says clearly that they were spoken by an angel in verse 17. That angel is different from the person sitting on the white horse.

    John of Patmos claims the words in Revelation 22:18 are said by Jesus. It's purpose is to give legitimacy to that particular book. Are you thinking this refers to the entire Bible? Nope. It is referring just to Revelations.

    Using experience and reason, there is considerable reason to doubt the risen Christ said these things. It is too patently an authorization for a book that otherwise is way off the beaten track of Christian theology. so far off that Revelations was barely included in the canon and I know at least 4 Methodist ministers who refuse to do a Bible study on Revelations. Therefore it is presumption on your part to assert that these are the actual words of Jesus. They may have been, or they may have been what John of Patmos wished Jesus would say.

    In the gospels, when Jesus refers to scripture he is referring only to those books the Jews of the time thought of as scripture. That's the way it has to be because his words -- although he stated them as authoritative -- were not considered scripture. Similarly, when Paul wrote about scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16, he was referring only to Jewish scripture. There was no Christian scripture because the gospels had yet to be written.

    Excuse me, but they were written down. That's how we know of them. :) So your argument makes no sense.

    Actually, I am the one putting Revelations into historical and social context. You are the one taking it out of context.

    Wow. Talk about baseless assertions. John knew what was happening to all the Christian churches. After all, he was a victim of the persecution that was being applied to all Christians. Nor is there anything that indicates his exile to Patmos forbade visitors. Someone had to take the manuscript off the island and deliver it to fellow Christians. There's no postal service, after all. That someone would have brought him the news of the outside world, including the news of what was happening to the churches of Asia Minor.

    Before you again choose to accuse me of poor logic, you might want to check your own.

    Not specifically, but you did so implicitly in the OP:
    "In short, God says, don't add to or take away anything from the word of God."

    Is that not what you would consider "conservative theology"?

     
  16. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

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    Debate is a sport.

    That is discussion. Acts 24:25 says"
    "As he reasoned with them about righteousness and self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was terrified. "Go away for now," he replied. "When it is more convenient, I'll call for you again."

    See? This isn't debate; it's reasoning. In debate, you are wholeheartedly on one side. Reasoning is fine, but in debate you use whatever tactic you can to win, don't you?

    What was that truth?

    "contending"? Because that makes another person an "opponent" to be "beaten". That's not in accord with loving your neighbor as yourself. Also, there is no longer need for the Great Commission. Everyone knows about Jesus and the gospel. Those who choose to be of different faiths or different denominations is OK. That's their choice.

    I will defend the faith if wrongfully attacked. But "contend"? Loving your neighbor includes letting him be happy with his beliefs as he lets you be happy with yours.

    "adhering to the Word of God". First, you are using "Word" to refer to scripture. I do object to that. You should be able to guess why. If not, read John 1. Second, I care about God, not scripture. Scripture is a tool to help you find God. People can find God without scripture, or God can find them. An emphasis on "adhering" to scripture detracts from the emphasis on God. An overemphasis on scripture leads to Bibliolatry.

    Noted. So you have never won a debate when you were debating from the side you felt was not true? I see you still think in terms of "winning". That is for your personal glory, isn't it?

    I didn't attack you. Rather I attacked the idea that debate is a way to find truth. Winning seems important to you and it's a source of pride that you always win. I also made a comment about the effect of winning on you. Are you denying that you are proud that you have always wonand therefore seem to have great debating skills? That you see that as a personal attack is not a response. Instead it is a debate tactic -- don't deal with the issue but pretend they are a personal attack.

    But defending a lifestyle is not the same as living a lifestyle, is it?

    Excuse me, but all I did was post a quote about Methodism from the UMC website. How is stating what Methodism is a condemnation of you?

    Yes, I know a bit about you. I know you like debating Christianity and are proud of your winning record. I know you believe in "adhering to the Word of God". And now I know you don't like to be reminded of some of the core beliefs of Methodism.

    I'm asking you to think about some of the things you have said. Is "winning" a debate "inviting people to experience God’s grace and to grow in their knowledge and love of God through disciplined Christian living"? Don't we think of Christian living as other things than winning debates?

    I'm going to take that as a "no" to all my questions.

    Documentation, please. Why?

    But it is one that speaks directly to salvation. Remember when I quoted Article V?
    "The Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation."

    A prime tenet of Methodism is the faith produces works. Jesus tells us what type of works.

    Debate isn't listed. I notice you have not tried to make an argument that debate can be considered "works". Instead you distract into something different:

    The irony meter just pegged, because it is I pointing out that you were not reading "all the Bible" but only Matthew 5:17-19.

    I did NOT say that. Methodist doctrine is that faith produces works. No works, then question whether there is faith. Works don't save you.

    (Altho, come to think of it, Revelations 20:11-15 would seem to say that works do save you. What do you think of those verses?)

    Since you are now trying to change the topic to my works, I'll take it as a "no" that you have not done anything on the list or anything comparable.
     
  17. lucaspa

    lucaspa Legend

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    Wait a minute. Didn't Gadfly tell us that if experience doesn't conform to Aristotlian logic, we discard experience? But if God does not conform to reason or logic, isn't Gadfly's logic saying we discard experience of God?

    I am about to try to mediate between you and Tim, so probably both of you are going to say I'm wrong. :) If I am, so be it and you both can tell me so.

    I think you and Tim are using the word "premise" differently. I think Tim is saying that we are stuck perceiving God thru our human reason. What is outside of that reason we cannot really understand. Therefore, the limitations of human reason are premises behind all religions.

    You, OTOH, are saying that religion and faith communities have experiences of a being that is beyond human reasoning. As you are using "premise" it is this experience that is the primary premise of religions.

    I would say that putting reason (or logic) over experience of
    God is seriously misguided. But then, I'm a scientist and am used to dealing with God's Creation.

    The attempts to insert Greek reasoning into Christianity has resulted in some of the most dangerous heresies: such as Gnosticism and Manicheanism.

    :) True, it originated in the Mid-East and did so long before the Rennaissance, which is what is meant by "Western European" in this context.
     
  18. Tim Myers

    Tim Myers Regular Member

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    "Almost by definition religion and faith communities are efforts to look beyond the philosophies of man, and his reason."

    How can human beings "look beyond reason" except through reason??........
     
  19. Tim Myers

    Tim Myers Regular Member

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    Thanks, lucaspa......

    But, I was referring specifically to "religion," not to belief or faith or a person's personal relationship with God.........

    Mark1 appears to equate one with the other.......
     
  20. GadFly

    GadFly Newbie

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    Tim, we are not questioning human reasoning. We are challenging the premise of reasoning. When has the selection of premises of logic not determined the outcome of inferences?
     
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