1. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    06 Apr '05 02:43
    So here we are as I promised in my other thread (Why would we invent God). This is a thread to discuss what C.S. Lewis calls "questions that Christianity claims to answer." Basically, here we will (hopefully) discuss what these questions are, what different people think they are, if other religions attempt to answer the same questions and if not what questions do they attempt to answer. Please feel free to add any other relevant discussion to this list, with relevent meaning having to do with the questions of religion.

    This is a quest for understanding. I hope there are no petty arguments, and I hope we stay on track long enough for everyone to give their thoughts.

    ... --- ...
  2. Donationkirksey957
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    06 Apr '05 02:50
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    So here we are as I promised in my other thread (Why would we invent God). This is a thread to discuss what C.S. Lewis calls "questions that Christianity claims to answer." Basically, here we will (hopefully) discuss what these questions are, what different people think they are, if other religions attempt to answer the same questions and if not what ...[text shortened]... nts, and I hope we stay on track long enough for everyone to give their thoughts.

    ... --- ...
    Let us begin with the most basic. Christianity acknowledges questions as part of the human-God relationship.
  3. Standard memberDarfius
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    06 Apr '05 03:41
    Great thread.

    1)God's character
    2)God's purpose
    3)Man's character
    4)Man's purpose
  4. Subscriberno1marauder
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    06 Apr '05 04:14
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Great thread.

    1)God's character
    2)God's purpose
    3)Man's character
    4)Man's purpose
    What are Christianity's answers, in your view, to your question 2 and 3?
  5. Standard membertelerion
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    06 Apr '05 05:04
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    What are Christianity's answers, in your view, to your question 2 and 3?
    I'm pretty sure what the answer to 3) is.

    2) has me completely stumped.
  6. Standard memberKellyJay
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    06 Apr '05 05:32
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    So here we are as I promised in my other thread (Why would we invent God). This is a thread to discuss what C.S. Lewis calls "questions that Christianity claims to answer." Basically, here we will (hopefully) discuss what these questions are, what different people think they are, if other religions attempt to answer the same questions and if not what ...[text shortened]... nts, and I hope we stay on track long enough for everyone to give their thoughts.

    ... --- ...
    Being a fan of C.S. Lewis, what writting a his are you refering to?
    Kelly
  7. Standard memberDarfius
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    06 Apr '05 07:01
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    What are Christianity's answers, in your view, to your question 2 and 3?
    2) God's purpose was to share the perfect life He has. He is love, happiness, joy and eternal life.

    If He had simply created them already in Heaven, they would have had no free will, and thus could never truly choose to love Him. So He created us on Earth, with free will. However, the Earth we received at first was perfect. And we could choose to walk with God or reject Him. When we rejected Him, we fell, as did the world. Sin is like a virus of the soul. Since God is everything good, if you reject Him, you become the antithesis of good (evil). Since the antithesis of eternal life is death, we were willingly dying just to reject God. Man was in a sad state of affairs. We had chosen to reject God and He could have left it at that and began anew. But He loved us too much. So He looked for and found a group of people who would be His beacon to the world. People who could show that man didn't have to be selfish, evil beings doomed to die. People who would one day be ready for God Himself to enter the world and offer man eternal freedom from the plague of sin. So God gave Moses the Laws that would set them on the path back to God. If they followed these Laws, it showed they had faith in God to forgive them, because they despised sin and loved Him. But NOTHING man can do can defeat sin. So God loved us enough to make Himself finite. To enter the world as a human baby and suffer and die as a human man. Imagine being reincarnated as a slug while retaining your human thoughts. God did that for love of us. The infinite became finite. Since the penalty of sin is death, He gave up His own life so we could have ours. His death on that cross created the vaccine. Since He had willingly lived a sinless life, His perfect blood is our vaccine. If we believe He did it, and rose again to defeat death, and make Him Lord of our lives, we receive what He's wanted for us all along--eternity with Him sharing in His glory and power and love. If we went to Heaven now, we couldn't enjoy it, because sin would gnaw at us. His happiness would spark our jealousy. His love would spark our hatred. His power would spark our resentment. As we walk in the Lord, however, sin becomes less and less a temptation for us. We begin to see it as God sees it--as a plague--rather than through our veiled eyes. What is money to happiness? What is power to mutual servitude? What is lust to love? God knew this all along, and--like children--we've been ignoring what's best for us. But--like children--if we ignore it too long, we will have to face the consequences.

    3) I believe I addressed most of this, but Man's character is vile. We are incapable of selflessness. Oh, sure, we can attain fleeting moments of it, but our sin nature always provails. No matter how happy we are for a friend, we can't supress a feeling of jealosy. No matter how much we love our spouse, their faults are always magnified the more the novelty wears off. We have contempt for other's faults and downplay our own. Sin is a drug. At first it gives you pleasure, but the more you do it, the more it destroys you. You go from wanting it to needing it. And since our souls are eternal, if we choose the drug of sin over God, we lose Him and His love and happiness and instead get more of the drug. We have eternity to get more and more jealous until we suffer from it. We are incapable of happiness because we are consumed by jealousy. Or lust. Or power. Or hatred.

    But God loved us too much to leave us to that fate. He explained it all to us 2,000 years ago in a small city in a small country. He captivated us with His limitless brilliance and love. He rebuked our sinful natures and showed us a better way. His name means more to us--love or hate of it--than anything else. And then He shared in our suffering, took in all of the pain we'd ever have, on that cross. He did it to show His love for us. As they mocked Him, He prayed for them. As they spit on Him, He forgave them still. As He rose and ascended into Heaven, 12 men set out to share His gift with the world. In these last days, His anger--which is slow to kindle--is filling to the brim and will soon overflow. But even when He judges a deserving and sinful world, His love will show as millions more come to Him.

    When I looked into the Mirror and saw my true self, saw us as we really are when compared to Him, I wept. He is Holy. We are corrupt. We hate each other. He will always love us. We are selfish by nature. He died in our place.

    For that, I will always love Him.
  8. Standard memberMaustrauser
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    06 Apr '05 07:11
    Originally posted by Darfius
    [snip] We hate each other. He will always love us. We are selfish by nature. He died in our place.

    For that, I will always love Him.
    I don't hate you Darfius. I am appalled at your behaviour (particularly that sexist remark you made in that other thread), I find your beliefs about slaughtering children repugnant, and I disagree with your creationist dogma.

    But I do not hate you.

    I am sorry if that disappoints you.
  9. Standard memberDarfius
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    06 Apr '05 07:17
    I don't hate you Darfius. I am appalled at your behaviour (particularly that sexist remark you made in that other thread), I find your beliefs about slaughtering children repugnant, and I disagree with your creationist dogma.

    I really didn't mean it as sexist. I had just never met a woman so aggressive. I'm not better than her. I just always found women more pleasant than men. And they smell better, too. 😀

    I would never slaughter a child. But then again, I could never give that same child life again.

    Creationist dogma? That sounds like I'm wearing a robe and chanting. Hehe. I just believe the Creator of heaven and earth made us, that's all. And since evolution is bankrupt, we gotta have some answer!

    But I do not hate you.

    I'm glad.

    I am sorry if that disappoints you.

    Of course not. I love you, so it makes me thrilled to learn you don't hate me. 😀
  10. Standard memberMaustrauser
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    06 Apr '05 10:57
    Fancy a beer then? *hands over beer*
  11. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    06 Apr '05 11:44
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    Being a fan of C.S. Lewis, what writting a his are you refering to?
    Kelly
    Darfius will have to answer this one. He posted the quote here: http://www.redhotpawn.com/board/showthread.php?threadid=22091&page=5 and no one had disputed it's validity. I was assuming that it was from _Mere Christianity_.
  12. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    06 Apr '05 12:48
    Originally posted by Darfius
    Great thread.

    1)God's character
    2)God's purpose
    3)Man's character
    4)Man's purpose
    I disagree slightly with this list. It is the idea that certain religions actually know the will and purpose of God that creates animosity, fear, hatred, and strife between different theological philosophies.

    Now. Even though Christianity offers answers to these explosive questions about God, answers that many people find apt and not at all conrtadictory, my opinion is that to claim the will of God is the greatest and perhaps the only true blasphemy around. But this is not a thread about my beliefs or my opinions of Christianity's various forms. This thread is about the questions that religion asks and the validity of those questions.

    I think that religions certainly should ask the questions that Darfius poses, but I think answering the first two is beyond the scope of our capabilities. It would be like, say, a slug deciding it knows exactly what we are up to. It can decide all it wants, but would it be right? Probably not for it lacks the perspective to even come close. Of course, that slug probably has a better perspective on the Will and Purpose of God than we do. There is no ranking system.

    The second two are much easier for us to answer. Still pretty close to impossible, but easier. Hmmmm.

    I just realized that there was a flaw in my original question. I assumed that there was an accepted difference between questions and the need to provide an answer for said questions. Does religion need to answer the questions, or is it sufficient just to ask them?

    Religion says many profound things about the human condition and humanity's relationship with God. However, it is when religion attempts to answer questions that must forever remain answerless (such as the inner working of the mind of God) that the institution goes astray.

    ... --- ...
  13. Subscriberno1marauder
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    06 Apr '05 15:00
    Originally posted by Darfius
    2) God's purpose was to share the perfect life He has. He is love, happiness, joy and eternal life.

    If He had simply created them already in Heaven, they would have had no free will, and thus could never truly choose to love Him. So He created us on Earth, with free will. However, the Earth we received at first was perfect. And we could choose to w ...[text shortened]... e us. We are selfish by nature. He died in our place.

    For that, I will always love Him.
    I regard your answer to 2 as just the typical gooblygook and assertions from you that we've come to expect; positive statements about the nature of God that are illogical and internally inconsistent. Most of these points have been made mincemeat of in other threads, so I won't bother to respond in detail except to say it seems to border on blasphemous to define God's purpose in terms of what a small percentage of Man is supposedly destined to i.e. "to share his perfect life He has".

    Your answer to 3 is unsurprising and telling. It is no shock that you find Man's character "vile"; you and your fundamentalist cult look forward with glee to the "glorius" day you think that the vast majority of Man will be condemned for all eternity. I reject utterly your description of Man; a billion kindnesses every day refute your characterization of Man as "vile". "We are incapable of happiness" what rot! Speak for yourself and perhaps the rest of your fundamentalist cult, Darfius; the people I know and interact with every day are capable of happiness, of kindness, of caring and of love. I pity a young person who is filled with so much contempt and hatred for his fellow Man and don't waste your breath spouting your platitudes about how much you "love" everybody; in one paragraph you've summed up your worldview and it is based on hatred for your own kind.

    A scientific viewpoint leads me to believe that Man has a social animal is individually "good" in the sense of being inclined to do the things Jesus spoke of; help the weak, nurse the sick, etc. The human species rode to the top by social cooperation; this alone refutes your apparent thesis that "jealousy" is the overriding emotion of Man. It is true that individuals or nations are capable of great cruelties like the Midianite Massacre; however, the overriding theme of Man's development is social order and cooperation to enhance survival. Every winter where I live, people's cars get stuck in the snow and they need help getting them out; and guess what your "vile" human beings do, Darfius? Total strangers pop out of their houses with snow shovels and work in the freezing cold to help someone they might not ever see again. I see people breaking down on the road and needing a jump and someone invariably gives it to them. Every day the lives of the vast majority of people refute your twisted doctrine that the human race is "vile", Darfius and I suggest you find a belief system which accepts the fact of Man's built in tendency to cooperate and help other humans rather than one based on the lie of Man's vileness which justifies punishment for all but a tiny majority so a small cult can make themselves feel superior.
  14. Standard memberColetti
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    06 Apr '05 17:013 edits
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    I disagree slightly with this list. It is the idea that certain religions actually know the will and purpose of God that creates animosity, fear, hatred, and strife between different theological philosophies....
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Even though Christianity offers answers to these explosive questions about God, answers that many people find apt and not at all conrtadictory, my opinion is that to claim the will of God is the greatest and perhaps the only true blasphemy around.


    Strong claim. But if there is a Creator, why would he not reveal his will? Certainly the claim to know God's will is a cause of greatest disagreement, but I think if anything at all can be know, if any propositions can be claimed true, then God would necessarily have to communicate that knowledge. Everything else is speculation.

    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Does religion need to answer the questions, or is it sufficient just to ask them?


    There's always the modern popular philosophy "Why ask why?". If a question can not be answered, is there a reason to ask? I guess that in itself is a philosophical question the depends on your world view.

    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    However, it is when religion attempts to answer questions that must forever remain answerless (such as the inner working of the mind of God) that the institution goes astray.


    I think some questions can not be answered by man, and must be answered by God directly. Either God exists, or there is no absolute truth. Certainly apart from God's direct revelation, all knowledge is speculative. And since you can't know anything certainly without God, can you really know anything at all?

    (P.S. Another excellent thread. I really need to get my star again so I can rec' posts)
  15. Standard membertelerion
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    06 Apr '05 20:31
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I regard your answer to 2 as just the typical gooblygook and assertions from you that we've come to expect; positive statements about the nature of God that are illogical and internally inconsistent. Most of these points have been made mincemeat of in other threads, so I won't bother to respond in detail except to say it seems to border on blas ...[text shortened]... tifies punishment for all but a tiny majority so a small cult can make themselves feel superior.
    Before I jump to conclusions about Darfius' response to 2), I'd like to know his answer to 4).

    3) was exactly what I expected. If I had written out my guess in my previous post, I would have used the word 'vile' as well. Xtianity is so self-deprecating.

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