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Featured Are These Mainstream Doctrines In Need of Reform?

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by JAL, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. InterestedApologist

    InterestedApologist Member

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    You are about to.

    Dodge #1. Your philosophy is grounded in materialism. Material is observable and testable through science. I asked for some scientific backing for your origin of God. You provided none, yet attacked creation exnihilo as though I made any mention of it. Philosophy is not enough to prove a materialistic theology. Try again.

    Dodge #2: you say God cannot pre-exist matter and call it gibberish. At the same time, you believe matter pre-exists God but have no problem with that. You believe in a totality made up of matter, but have no scientific evidence for the Totality’s origin. Since this totality is material and observable, please provide scientific theory as to its origin. An eternal pre-existent totality meets your definition of gibberish. Your theory is self contradictory.

    Dodge #3: Correct. It is concerned with the observable and material universe. In short, your view cannot stand without scientific substantiation.

    Scientific evidence please

    The word totality implies uniformity. You imply uniformity by virtue of saying that 99.9% of all matter has the same characteristics. Try again

    Let’s see, God is made up of the same matter as man, is finite like man, re-purposes matter to create just like man, is subject to the same temptations and disorders as man, etc. In your view, I fail to see any difference other than age.


    No, you have to prove it’s origin and it’s sentience.

    You’re the one with the revolutionary new view, not me. It is your obligation to prove it. BTW, I have not given a position on materialism vs. immaterialism myself.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  2. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Do some of you guys really believe what you write? I'm seriously expected to prove to you that matter exists while you guys keep asserting some weird fairytale about magical immaterial substance? What do you want from me? The biblical evidence points to a material God - I've cited Augustine, Tertullian, and others, plus lots of verses confirming aerodynamics, physical collisions (e.g. Jacob wrestled with God), etc, etc, etc. Meanwhile you don't give me ANYTHING from the Bible.

    So what is it you want from me, exactly?

    Um yes. Was there an argument here? Creation ex nihilo is indeed gibberish.

    So to assert the opposite position would, by definition, be NON-gibberish. (Was that so difficult?).



    Um yes. Since it didn't come out of nothing, it must be a preexistent, and thus doesn't have an origin. It just exists (even as immaterialists assert that God 'simply exists'). Again, was that so difficult?


    You say I'm dodging questions, but in point of fact it would be an insult for me to keep repeating the obvious.

    See above.


    Um no. My definition of gibberish is a NON-existent reality that emerges out of nothing magically.


    You're really confused. No theologian feels the need to provide apodictic proof of everything. For example when Millard J Erickson makes the weird claim that the immaterial soul becomes material when God places it within the human body, he provides no scientific proof. His Systematic Theology volume is a standard textbook in present-day evangelical seminaries.


    Here we again we see the double standard. You're fine with mainstream Christians extrapolating as much as they want, even if they assert ridiculous conclusions, but the moment that I express an opinion, you're suddenly up in arms.




    Matter seems to exist. That proves the viability of the system - which is all I'm trying to do here. I can't give you apodictic proof of anything. I can't even prove that you exist.

    You seem to assume that all matter MUST be detectable. Not if God hides some of it from detection.

    This is an oversimplification - a favorite pasttime for those who love a strawman. All matter is alike in the sense of:
    (1) All matter is tangible. Doesn't have to be in a atomic/molecular form, doesn't even have to be under the force of gravity, it merely has to be tangible (susceptible to collisions). Period.
    (2)All matter is at least PRIMORDIALLY sentient (which includes NEGLIGIBLY sentient, a fact you keep conveniently ignoring, as part of your strawman argument).

    You said I apply the above 2 principles to 99.9% of matter. Wrong again. 100% of matter. No exceptions.

    And don't ask me to prove it apodictically. The best I can do is:
    (1) Demonstrate that there is more biblical data to support it than contrary views.
    (2) Demonstrate that it resolves more contradictions, and liberates us from more gibberish, than contrary views do.


    Strawman argument. You conveniently ignore my MAIN argument on this topic (repeated probably 20 times on this thread), namely divine merit achieved by labor (13 billion years).

    Your attitude seems to be, "I just don't want to worship a God who, like men, is just matter." So in your view, Calvary merits no worship, if Christ's soul was material? Merit has NOTHING to do with the materialism debate. Meriting worship is all about labor, suffering, self-sacrifice, and so on.

    Divest Calvary of suffering, and guess what? It merits no worship! Even if God is immaterial!

    I'll assume you won't spit on Calvary (3 days of suffering). But you'd quickly spit on 13 billion years?


    Actually I'm the one with the sensible view. Fallen man has a penchant for insane religion. That's his nature. That's the norm (take a hard look at Isa 44:16-20). So it's not the ones with the sensible views that need to prove something but those who believe in fairy tales such as immaterial substance.

    Revolutionary? Tertullian (200 A.D) was one of the earlist church fathers. He invented the word Trinity and was a staunch materialist. So stop pretending that I'm introducing a novel view.
     
  3. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    This is actually a misuse of language. I don't claim that matter precedes God. Rather, God is material.
     
  4. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Regardless of how many dictionary definitions you cite, the whole church holds to only one definition of merit. Every sermon is founded on it. You can sit in denial all you want, but you aren't fooling anyone.

    And you're gonna feel pretty ashamed at heaven's gates for having given Him no praise for 13 billion years of labor, even if you did give some praise for 3 days at Calvary.
    Correct. And?
    My claim is that He is far more deserving than what you currently give Him credit for. Only you don't want to hear about it. "I totally love you, Lord, but I adamantly refuse to hear out someone who wants to give you a little more credit than you've been getting for the last 2,000 years. Won't give him the time of day."

    Well, what Has He accomplished, in the mainstream view? I don't see where the church is giving Him any credit at all. They say He acts like He does just because he's holy. Basically He was lucky enough to be 'born' holy (so to speak).

    So if He dies on the cross, it's just because he was lucky enough to be holy from the getgo. Dying on a cross is what holy beings do. It's their nature. It's an immutable nature. Nothing they can do about it.

    Oh I most certainly do think He's worthy of praise. I'm just not convinced that YOU think He has done anything that merits praise.
     
  5. 2tim_215

    2tim_215 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, I could use many different dictionaries but none of them would conform to your definition.

    Where do you come to the conclusion that I (not to mention all other Christians) give God no praise? I agree that none of us (you included) give Him the amount of praise He deserves. Ultimately it will be God who will make the determination as to whether or not it is enough, not you. And how do you know how I'm going to feel?

    I agree with that and I believe no one (including you) can give God the amount of credit He deserves because no man is capable of doing it. Fortunately salvation is not based on what we do, it's much more to do with God's grace and our faith (to a lesser degree).

    I don't know what church you attend (my guess is that you don't since you appear to want to put all churches down) but there are many churches which spend a great deal of their time praising God.

    Oh really? Who else is it that you know who stepped off their throne to become a man knowing full well that eventually he'd be put to a horrible death without having committed one sin in His 33 years of life? No one that I can think of who would even come close to achieving what He did.

    Well you think entirely wrong although I'm happy to hear that you at least believe that He's worthy of praise. At least you got one thing right.
     
  6. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    It's YOUR definition. Would Calvary merit any praise if no suffering were involved? (Say if the Father had anesthetized Him both physcically and pscychologically to shield Him from all pain.


    Some of what you say below seems unrelated to what I said. So I'll just mark those remarks as N/A.
    N/A

    It's an opinion - Isn't that what this forum is for?


    Suppose you worked all day and went to school all evening for, say, 50 years, as to be qualified for some of the most technical assignments in the world. But no one acknowledged this effort - in fact they DENIED IT TO YOUR FACE (suppose they won't even give you a technical assignment). But let's assume they do give you some PRAISE. They proclaim, "We praise you for being born human. We realize you didn't have much choice in the matter, but we praise you for it anyway."

    Would that be fully satisfying to you? I mean, it's a bit insulting, isn't it?


    Did He do it because that's how a holy being behaves?
    Do you breathe, and eat, because your're human? Shall I praise you for it?


    Well at this point I don't see where your position makes sense, or has been adequately defended. But you can call me wrong if it makes you feel better.
     
  7. InterestedApologist

    InterestedApologist Member

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    Sorry, your indignation isn’t helping validate your view, in fact, you have re-affirmed my original premise that your view is too narrow in scope to be of any real value.

    You have no evidence other than wishful thinking that your theories are true. You have zero scientific evidence or theory on the origin of the “totality”, sentient matter, or how matter randomly groups together to spontaneously become conscious. There is also zero scriptural evidence for God’s immune system, necessity to create, or His evolution to holiness.

    Compounding these problems is your redefinition of terms. You have picked your own definition of love (which as previously shown does not match God’ Scriptural definition). You have created your own definition of merit and what is required to make anything worthy of praise.

    It seems to me that in your effort to explain away the “problem of evil”, you have simply traded it for a problem of origin, and consequently, a need to completely redefine God. Unfortunately, you have invested so much time and energy into your effort that you have convinced yourself that your conclusions are irrefutable, and there is no amount of scripture, science or reason that will change that. This is sad given your statement that the reformation was intended to be an ongoing process. As I stated before, I believe you are in danger of creating a god in your own image, as you wish him to be, not as the scripture has revealed.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  8. rjs330

    rjs330 Well-Known Member

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    I'm afraid your extrapolation of the holiness of God is once again based upon human characteristics rather than on scriptural grounds. You seem to have a problem likening God to us. We would be praised for "becoming holy" because we are not that way innately. But God isn't like us. He is the one who says "I am holy". No where can we extrapolate from scripture that God became holy. We praise God for who he is, not because of what he became.

    Concept 2 is innacurrate because Paul tells us in Philippians that Jesus humbled himself. Jesus had the ability in his human form to sin. He could have sinned but he didn't. That has NO merit that God isn't holy or became holy.

    See what Philippians says.
    Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force.On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being,he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death — death on a stake as a criminal!Therefore God raised him to the highest place and gave him the name above every name; - Philippians 2:6-9 Bible Gateway passage: Philippians 2:6-9 - Complete Jewish Bible

    He emptied himself and became like humans are. It was a choice Jesus made to do that. That was a change of his nature. He didn't change to be more God like. He changed to be human.

    Once again your extrapolation is based upon a preconcieved notion. You do not conform your beliefs to what the Bible actually teaches.

    Consider these verses.
    “With whom, then, will you compare me? With whom am I equal?” asks the Holy One. - Isaiah 40:25 Bible Gateway passage: Isaiah 40:25 - Complete Jewish Bible
    Exalt Adonai our God! Prostrate yourselves at his footstool (he is holy). - Psalm 99:5 Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 99:5 - Complete Jewish Bible
    For I am Adonai your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; and do not defile yourselves with any kind of swarming creature that moves along the ground.(Maftir) For I am Adonai, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy. - Leviticus 11:44-45 Bible Gateway passage: Leviticus 11:44-45 - Complete Jewish Bible

    These are just a couple of verses of the many describing God AS holy. There is ZERO evidence in scripture that God became holy. You made that up out of your own human darkened mind. You CANNOT extrapolate God became holy from anything in scripture.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  9. rjs330

    rjs330 Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting that you didn't respond to my post about God being a spirit and what that means biblically. You are so limited in your understanding that you can't conceive of a being so powerful that He is immaterial but has the ability to have shape and power. It is you my friend that lacks understanding. It is you that is limited. Read the scriptures and you will see that God is a spirit. But the scriptural understanding of an immaterial spirit is not the same one you hold to. It's like you have the notion that an immaterial God is like some invisible gas or something. Yet the Bible declairs God is a breath or wind and yet has shape and power. It seems you are self limiting here.
     
  10. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    You don't seem to address the force of the objection very well but I'm going to help you out, at least with Calvary.

    You should have responded that God's holinesss isn't all-consuming, that He has enough freedom of the will to make SOME decisions and thus the atonement IS consistent with merit. Fine. On that assumption I think we can both agree that Calvary has merit.

    But it also exposes other cans of worms in mainstream thinking. First and foremost, what if He had freely chosen to refrain? What ELSE has He done that has merit? You praise Him for His holiness. Why? Did He have it from the getgo,or did He work to achieve it? You praise Him for creation. Why? For a mere 7 days of 'work'? And has He always had knowledge and skills built-in? If so, why praise Him?

    And if He does have free will, how can He have foreknowledge? Free will means you don't know the final outcome until you make up your mind.

    We need to prefer a theological system which seems to rescue us from all apparent contradictions, unless we aim to be sloppy, irresponsible interpreters of Scripture. I've been presenting my own theology on this thread, and I think it's the only fully viable system to date.
     
  11. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    (Sigh) My time is pretty limited, I put in a lot of hours at work, and I'm always exhausted because I'm in poor health.

    Oh my God. I've addressed the word 'spirit' probably a dozen times on this thread, starting with post# 5. Again, the word 'Spirit' is an ENGLISH word. There are no English words in the Bible. The biblical word is PNEUMA which means physical breath or wind. I think you've heard of modern pneumatic tools (air-powered tools).

    In Scripture, the OT precedent for the Greek word was the Hebrew word ruach (same meaning).

    Picture an old man trying to learn a new language (say English) for the first time. The older we get, the harder it is to think in unusual terms. So if I said something like this, "Things really went haywire today", he would say, "ER...what? Hay? Wire? Were you working on a farm?"

    You have the same problem with breath/wind as a term for the mind or soul. You have to try to get into a different mindset because you've been brainwashed about 'spirit' for 2,000 years. Here's the mindset.
    (1) Are souls normally invisible? Yes. (But not always, for example John saw the Third Person as a dove).
    (2) Is it physical? Yes.
    So is there a common term for a fairly widespread invisible substance that is physical? Yes - air/breath/wind. And after all, God breathed Adam's soul into his body (Gen 2:7).

    Thus for the Hebrew mindset, which carried over into the Greek NT, we can CLASSIFY souls as breath/wind (just as you would classify ordinary objects as 'steel' or 'liquid' or 'plastic'.

    You're about 3,000 years anachronistic from Genesis 2:7. You have to try to get your mind into an ancient mindset, if you want to avoid reading Scripture with modern bias.

    You are the one so limited - you see everything through a modern lens.
    First of all, to claim that God has size and shape contradicts the mainstream definition of immaterial. You're trying to have it both ways because I've exposed contradictions.

    Um yes, the words in bold do describe some aspects of my materialism, as long as you understand that this material God is a person. So thanks for acknowledging what the bible declares, even though it flies in the face of immaterialism.

    In scripture, God is sometimes an invisible Breath/Wind/Gas (see Ex 15 where a blast of breath from God's nostrils parted the waters of the Red Sea slowly, over the course of an evening).

    At other times He is a visible Breath/Wind/Gas (see the smoke billowing up at Ex 19, cf Rev 15:8, also the pillars of cloud and fire, Isa 6, etc).

    He can assume any kind of material shape, form, or modality. He can be liquid, solid, or gas.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2018
  12. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    (Sigh). It doesn't have an origin. Everyone has to believe in a first substance. You say the first substance is an immaterial God. I say the first substance is a material Totality.

    (Sigh). You misrepresent my views, because this is the only avenue of attack. This is called a strawman argument. I expressly repudiated the notion of consciousness arising out of DEAD matter. Rather I claimed that all matter is innately conscious, albeit only negligibly self-aware at the outset.

    Please stop lumping me with atheists who only believe in dead matter, out of which conscoiusness 'arises'. I don't buy into such nonsense. Dead matter cannot self-propel by free will - it is inert, something has to push it. It is 'inanimate' matter. I only believe in animate matter although most of the matter around us is (currently) negligibly animate and thus functions, for us, as inanimate matter.

    (Sigh). Double standard. When mainstream Christians extrapolate from Scripture, you're okay with it, even when it's ridiculous.

    I see no evidence of that and I answered this objection many times. For example I pointed out that I used the term 'love' as a catch-all for all His benevolent qualities. Is this your best 'rebuttal' of me?

    And after 200 posts, no has been able to refute it! I've challenged everyone to prove me wrong. Again and again I've challenged them to show me how Calvary has merit without suffering, labor, or self-sacrifice.

    No response. Clearly, you don't CARE what Scripture has to say about the issues in debate here. I've been demonstrating this fact over and over and over again.

    There is no substance to this kind of random generalization. Can we please get back to Scripture, real arguments, and real debate?
     
  13. InterestedApologist

    InterestedApologist Member

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    If it is 100% physical, it MUST have an origin! No free lunch here on this matter. You don’t believe God can pre-exist the material universe (despite the Bible declaring him the creator, not the re-shaper or re-molder of the existing universe of material). You call this gibberish! Somehow, though, you believe that matter is eternal with no origin. Your claim is gibberish by your own standard! This is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty.

    Also, stop telling me what I believe on materialism vs immaterialism. I have not stated my position one way or the other. Your view is the one I am asking for proof on, my view is irrelevant to you proving your own.

    The dead matter argument has no weight. Your words are that 99.9% of it has free will! To have free will requires consciousness. Conscious matter can then choose to do whatever it wants. Just as conscious man with free will can break moral laws, so to conscious matter would have the ability to break them, and presumably any other law as well, making the nature of the universe one of total chaos! This claim is not only scripturally absurd, but scientifically laughable. Look, you are a materialist, and as such you are constrained by natural laws and science. This is the box within which you have placed yourself, so defend your views with something more than rambling philosophy. There is no straw man here, only a request that you defend your own statements.

    You are contradicting yourself. Did God arise from a “giant lump” of matter or not? If so, that lump of matter is made up of scores of particles (matter) with individual sentience that suddenly place aside their own autonomy to become a single or triune entity with a unified consciousness. That is your proposal! You cannot justify it scientifically or scripturally. In fact, your own observational skills tell you it isn’t true, so now you are trying to change your position to most matter being negligibly animate? Either it is sentient or not!

    At least we agree that consciousness doesn’t arise from nothing, (even though it contradicts your entire origin of God theory), so if you now believe there needed to be a push to awaken God, what was that push? It had to be conscious itself, and why aren’t you then worshipping the source of that push, as it is the creator of God? Again, your argument is far from irrefutable here.

    Irrelevant. You have the answers, or so you claim, so prove them. At least provide mare than a theory that contradicts science AND scripture!

    I gave you the very definition of love as recorded by scripture and you cast it aside in favor of your own definition. Now you are trying to expand your definition. Your beliefs have been successfully rebutted through this entire thread. You are too attached to your system to acknowledge it, and you change the language and definitions of it to suite whatever you need to prop it back up at the time.

    Calvary has meaning because God has made it a propitiation for our sins. It has meaning because through it, God has created a path of fellowship, restoration and forgiveness. While the suffering endured shows the depth of the sacrifice, it isn’t the exclusive reason for the act having merit. Again, you are making huge assumptions.

    There is no debate here, or at least not an honest one, you simply won’t allow it.
     
  14. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    I don't get the logic of this argument. I think we must be talking past each other. Does anyone understand the argument here? I mean, the church father Tertuallian (200 A.D.) held that God was material (eternal matter). The famous church historian Phillip Schaffe classified Tertullian as one of the most astute defenders of mainstream Christianity in church history. No one, as far as I know, levied against him some weird contradiction about the origin of eternal matter. How can eternal matter have an origin?

    It's almost funny because you write with a kind of triumphant 'Aha ! I caught him in a contradiction!" and yet no one but you seems to think there's any kind of an argument here.

    That IS my standard of non-gibberish. How then would it be gibberish by my own standard? You're not making sense.

    There must be some kind of underlying assumption that's misguiding you here, but I don't know what it is. All I know is that you can't seem to understand the concept of eternal matter without origin.

    If it had an ORIGIN, that would mean it came out of nothing. I deny these things. I deny origin. I deny emergence out of nothing. I affirm eternal matter.

    I can only guess here that the underlying assumption misguiding you is time (which I discussed at length). Perhaps you think I'm saying that 'eternal matter' means 'matter with an infinite past'. To address this, I argued that time isn't an existing reality/substance. All that's real is matter, and 'time' is just a convenient label for counted motions (viz a hand moving around a clock). In this sense the first thought/motion of the totality began 'time'.

    So if you're arguing against an infinite past, I absolutely agree that such is non-sense. There must be a first thought/motion that begins time, which is one of the reasons I reject the notion of a sentient immaterial God sitting 'out there' (where?) for eternity past until He finally decides to create the world. That's gibberish.
    Don't be silly. Noted mainstream scholars acknowledge that the Bible has no clear basis for creation ex nihilo. The Hebrew words for 'create' for example, allow for creation out of preexisting material.

    No, I'll keep doing that because I can't be bothered to guess unstated assumptions. As long as you keep debating against my materialism, I'm going to assume you're an immaterialist. I only know of those two positions. You reject the one, I classify you as the other. If you have a third position, you can state it and I'll try to keep up.

    A fetus thrashes around in the womb by free will. Chaotic? I suppose one could call it that although I prefer 'free will' rather than 'chaos'. Catastrophically chaotic? Hardly. You keep ignoring the word NEGLIGIBLE. A universe filled with particles that are, currently, MINIMALLY awakened and thus MINIMALLY active would be MINIMALLY chaotic and thus NEGLIGIBLY so. This isn't CATASTROPHIC chaos or, to use your term TOTAL chaos. That simply doesn't follow - especially not if God's hand is upon all matter in our universe to further GUARANTEE that no particle gets out of control (as I already asserted). You're trying so hard to cherry pick my position, so desperate to find the fruit on the tree, but you have no substantive objections that I've seen yet.

    And why do you say of me that 99.9% has free will. (Sigh). Again, 100%.

    But yes, as far as our universe is concerned (which might actually be just a small spec of the larger Totality), it is mostly 'inanimate' (i.e. negligibly animate) matter, it's currently stranded in a state of a largely under-realized potential for full freedom.

    What's laughable is that you are too immature a thinker to think outside the box. And so you lump me in a particular category of your choosing and then charge me with contradiction, despite how I define a different position than your tunnel-vision will conceive. The following is a silly assessment of my position:
    I've clearly stated (at least twice) that gravity is a fabrication. It's the hand of a material God at work and, as such, not a constraint on matter, it is rather an artificial creation BY (divine) matter, and exerted only where He deigns. He does NOT deign to fully subjugate the soul to such forces. Were He to do so, you'd have no free will, you couldn't rightly be found guilty of a crime, your body would move only according to such physical laws, and you'd be innocent of all.

    You're begging the question. You're assuming what's in debate here - whether there is such a thing as animate matter. But were I wrong about it, you'd be innocent no matter what your body did. Period.

    I'll follow up if I have time.
     
  15. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Again, tunnel vision. An embryo is NEGLIGIBLY sentient at the outset. It STILL isn't terribly sentient as a fetus. Even after birth, a GORILLA is more intelligent than a newborn babe. Sentience is a process - it takes time. In fact for earthly species, it actually proceeds pretty quickly, because God gave us brains to accelerate the process. The brain organizes thought-currents, causing them to move in directions beneficial to the acquisition of sentient or sentient-like cognitions such as the five senses.

    These are not opposites. You're arguing that a single entity/individual cannot consist of multiple particles cooperating. So you must think that the human brain doesn't exist. Where do I find the real you? Particle-A of the brain? Or particle-B? C? D? Earlier I mentioned that traditional definitions of the new birth are logically incoherent. This is because, per Scripture (and our own experience confirms it), we remain, after the new birth, a multiplicity - you have at least ONE volition that continues to choose sin (the so-called 'sinful nature') and at least ONE volition that opts to follow God (the newborn nature). Traditional systems cannot account for it, because they deny multiplicity.

    If it helps, you can imagine dividing your brain into 3 major divisions as an analogy for the Trinity. Thus there are three PRIMARY volitions in the Trinity, although yes, as you stated, each particle has an autonomy of its own.

    Take a needle and prick yourself in the foot. WHERE do you feel the pain? In the brain? Science tells us that a pain signal traveled to the brain. That may be true, but such could at most cause an ache in the HEAD. It doesn't explain pain in the FEET. (Recall that the soul feels pain, not the body). In order for you to feel pain all over the body, your soul must be physically distributed throughout it. Andrew Murray was insistent on this fact, as was Tertullian. YOU my friend, are a multiplicity.

    I earlier mentioned Merleau Ponty's famous book, where he demonstrates that clinical research points to our body-as-consciousness. He wrote, "The consciousness of the body invades the body, the soul spreads over all of its parts." Based on his research, Ponty believed in animate matter. He was not a Christian.


    (Sigh). Do you actually read anything I write? Or just say whatever?

    God didn't need a push. That's precisely what I DENIED. I said that animate matter is self-propelling, by free will. Your soul pushes and pulls your body in this manner, rendering itself culpable for any crimes of the body.

    As an immaterialist, how do YOU believe God acts? Does He need a push? Or does He act by the power of His own free will? I hope we can agree on this point.
     
  16. 2tim_215

    2tim_215 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No but He did. You're using a hypothetical here which is just not true. He did suffer, tremendously probably far beyond what anyone else had to suffer.

    Some of what you say below seems unrelated to what I said. So I'll just mark those remarks as N/A.
    N/A

    It's an opinion - Isn't that what this forum is for?
    And so are my feelings material? And where did you get your "opinion" from? Are you a mind reader or something? And do you consider that what's in one's mind material?

    Suppose you worked all day and went to school all evening for, say, 50 years, as to be qualified for some of the most technical assignments in the world. But no one acknowledged this effort - in fact they DENIED IT TO YOUR FACE (suppose they won't even give you a technical assignment). But let's assume they do give you some PRAISE. They proclaim, "We praise you for being born human. We realize you didn't have much choice in the matter, but we praise you for it anyway."
    Personally, I'd be ok with it. I'd be satisfied in my own accomplishments. I don't need anyone else to validate it. Perhaps that's because I'm confident and secure enough in myself. The truth is, as long as I feel God is satisfied, I don't feel the need to satisfy anyone else. I don't feel I have to PROVE anything to anyone as long as I satisfy God. I guess I'm comfortable in my own skin, are you?

    Would that be fully satisfying to you? I mean, it's a bit insulting, isn't it?
    No, see above answer.

    Did He do it because that's how a holy being behaves?
    Do you breathe, and eat, because your're human? Shall I praise you for it?
    He did it simply because He wanted to. Yes, as a hum,an I have to do all those things in order to survive (God doesn't, He's from eternity past and will exist throughout eternity, He doesn't have to do anything to survive). I eat, breathe and do those things for my own benefit, why should Ideserve any praise for it?

    Well at this point I don't see where your position makes sense, or has been adequately defended. But you can call me wrong if it makes you feel better.
     
  17. 2tim_215

    2tim_215 Well-Known Member Supporter

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  18. rjs330

    rjs330 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah you have addressed YOUR understanding of spirit. You have not addressed the biblical perspective on spirit. It's not the same as yours. I actually have a degree in Biblical literature, so I understand the ancient writings just fine.

    I think you misunderstand immaterialism thought. We get it. Immaterialism does not mean God cannot manifest himself in form or material. It simply means his natural state is not material. But at anytime he can manifest in a material way such as a pillar of fire etc.
     
  19. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    Manifest? Yes I'm well aware that many immaterialists make that claim (I was the one who mentioned the Orthodox church a couple of times, if you recall) but it's gibberish. The mainstream definition of spirit is:
    (1) No size and shape
    (2) Indivisibility into parts (which is at odds with the Trinity).
    (3) Intangible.
    And then, when faced with the overwhelming biblical materialism contradicting the above points, they 'solve' it by claiming that God MANIFESTS materially.

    They're trying to have it both ways - I already mentioned Millard J. Erickson who claims that, when God places an immaterial soul inside a human body, it suddenly becomes material!

    They're trying to have it both ways and, in so doing, adding a scripturally unsupported fairy-tale (a figment of Plato's imagination) to biblical metaphysics.

    The two are opposites. You might as well claim, 'God is 100% holy but He MANIFESTS as a sinner from time to time.'

    Or again, "I ate half of my peanut-butter sandwich but unfortunately the other half MANIFESTED immaterial for a while. Later, when it manifested as matter again, I finished it off."

    This is total nonsense. Look, I can't give you apodictic proofs of anything. I can't even prove that you exist. All I can do is show you a more COGENT theological system than traditionalism. But if you prefer to believe total nonsense, that's your choice.
     
  20. JAL

    JAL Veteran Supporter

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    This is evasive. Hypotheticals are not SUPPOSED to be currently true. Hence the name.

    People ask me why I feel so confident about my views. Well that's an example - as soon I start asking everyone tough questions, they become evasive.

    Yes, you're right, He DID suffer patiently, and He did it out of free will, and for a righteous purpose, which is precisely WHY the cross has merit, and this is precisely the definition of merit stipulated by me on this thread and upheld by the whole church for the last 2,000 years. So you can sit here and try to deny that you too hold to that same definition, but you're not fooling anyone.

    Conscious experience, in my view, is neither a material substance nor an immaterial substance but rather an experience had BY a (material) substance known as the mind (or heart, or spirit, or soul, whichever term you prefer). That's one of the conclusions I've been defending over the last 200 posts


    My opinions are common-sense extrapolations of Scripture. One of my complaints is that mainstream doctrine needs reform in a few (very important) areas, but most Christians seem too brainwashed to question it, or think outside the box. Hence this thread.

    No actually I'm not comfortable, I don't think you are either, much as your kidding yourself about it at the moment. Just look at how quick you are to defend yourself on this thread (as though you should care what I think). I'll bet you've literally been in over a hundred conversations, or situations, in the course of a lifetime, where someone misjudged you, or misunderstood you, and you were quick to speak up for yourself - and these were just on MINOR issues. So if you went to school for 50 years and earned, say, 10 PHDs, but every one treated you like an uneducated imbecile, giving you no credit at all, you honestly want me to believe that you'd never speak up for yourself - that you don't care what ANYONE thinks? How stupid do you think I am?

    But the main point here is that, even though YOU claim to be indifferent to credit/praise, God makes no bones about it. Yahweh wants praise, and that's why He gave us a bible full of allusions to it. You might be kidding yourself about it, but He most certainly is not.

    Trouble is, unless He's a jerk, He won't demand UNMERITED praise (see the above definition of merit). Which poses a significant logical problem for the traditional Doctrine of God.

    Thank you. Exactly my point. You don't merit praise for innate characteristics. Neither does God. He deserves no praise for being holy unless He labored/suffered to BECOME holy (for 13 billion years minimum, in my opinion).
     
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