The First Question

The First Question

Spirituality

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@Proper-Knob

Define ‘meaning’.


Define 'define'.

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@Ghost-of-a-Duke

I would prefer to speak more to the speaking serpent before we jump ship and go over to Balaam's donkey.

When I sit down to a feast of barbecue chicken wings, I don't like to just lick the juice off the top and throw the wing away. Before reaching for another barbecue wing, I like to chew and taste more of the first wing.

Let me continue with the serpent in Genesis and we will get to its parallel miracle - Balaam's talking donkey in the book of Numbers..

Otherwise everything is only touched lightly, superficially.

I would say this though. It is interesting that many of the miracles in the Bible come in pairs of twos. Many times there is a parallel match like instance of a miracle.

To me that is like the Spirit of God saying --- "That's right. You heard Me right the first time. And here's partner similar to it."

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@sonship said
@Proper-Knob

Define ‘meaning’.


Define 'define'.
I'l play ball. I put to you this -

You are here by accident just as much as me and everybody else, and you will die by accident just like me and everybody else. For whatever reason, you decided upon subscribing to ancient Jewish mythology to give your life meaning.

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@Proper-Knob

You are here by accident just as much as me


I didn't say I thought you were here by accident.
I asked assuming you take an atheistic / naturalistic view of life.

I would say Christ's love for you renders your life very meaningful indeed - just as much as myself.

But IF atheism / naturalistic world view WERE true, and you WERE only the result of a freak accident, what difference would it make if you ever were or were not ?


and everybody else, and you will die by accident just like me and everybody else.


Unless I am living when the Lord Jesus returns physically, that is true. I certainly will die as typical humans all die.

But you see we have this One Christ whose resurrection was not just for His own sake.

Death is called "the last enemy" .
God hates death more than He hates sin.

Neither death nor life nor any other creature can separate us believers from the love of God in Christ our Lord.

"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor things present nor things to come nor powers nor height nor depth nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:28,29)


I wrote a song to these verses. Some of you may enjoy it on Soundcloud -

https://soundcloud.com/jack-wilmore/i-am-persuaded-rom-838


For whatever reason, you decided upon subscribing to ancient Jewish mythology to give your life meaning.


That is what you have to prove - the New Testament is Jewish mythology.

For my part the changes that occurred in my heart when I first called on the name of Jesus to take me to Himself, persuades me that I am on the right track.

Jesus Christ is believable.

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@sonship said
That is what you have to prove - the New Testament is Jewish mythology.
No, I’m afraid the onus is on you. It’s up to you to prove that the Bible is not Jewish mythology. We don’t accept talking sheep and serpents, Biblical floods, miracles, virgin births, resurrected people et al as normal and try to prove otherwise. That’s nonsensical. The burned of proof lies with you - ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.

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@proper-knob said
No, I’m afraid the onus is on you. It’s up to you to prove that the Bible is not Jewish mythology. We don’t accept talking sheep and serpents, Biblical floods, miracles, virgin births, resurrected people et al as normal and try to prove otherwise. That’s nonsensical. The burned of proof lies with you - ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.
Proof doesn't come to man in most things, even in our sciences things have to be
left open to change if new information comes. You can dig into the past and see
those things spoken about occurred, and not just Jewish people's beginning but
many of the other races we see today can have their roots traced back within
scripture as well.

If you are looking for proof, you will never find it. It doesn't mean you will not
see the truth, you will just ignore it.

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@Proper-Knob

No, I’m afraid the onus is on you. It’s up to you to prove that the Bible is not Jewish mythology.


I don't need other than to be convinced I am on the right track to believe the Bible.

I would submit that a nation writing a fictional mythology about itself would probably not include the candid things about itself. This is one of the first things I noticed about the Old Testament.

There is an overabundance of material about Israel that is so completely unlike self flattery that it is preposterous to imagine what is being read is a self serving propagandizing national myth.

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We don’t accept talking sheep and serpents,

There are only two instances of this miracle - a speaking serpent in Genesis matched with a speaking donkey in Numbers.

To me it is naive to think that all there are are these peculiar stories. There is an abundance of surrounding material along side of these two matters which demand more serious consideration.

I do not come to the Bible and think there are only these two funny stories about a talking serpent and a talking donkey. I have to notice the greater amount of surrounding information about God's nature, character, purpose, and obstacles of all kinds TO His divine purpose. The surrounding backround information serves as a realistic context within which the two peculiar accounts make sense.

Take for instance the whole rest of the book of Genesis. It is impossible for me to assume the writer is given to superstition and imprecision though he does relate some peculiar matters.

The table of nations and the origin of the spread of human tribes across the earth, for instance as in Genesis 10, is the stuff of detailed geopolitical history.

We are not dealing with a "Once Upon A Time" kind of writing. If I honed in on NOTHING except a talking serpent and noticed nothing esle, then perhaps I would dismiss it all as a Grimm's Fairy Tale type imaginative myth.

As it stands there is simply too much ELSE which demands I take in that peculiar account along with much other significant communications.

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Biblical floods,


Before the tsunami of this century I did believe the Bible's flood but had a hard time imagining it.

After seeing video footage of the tsunami in Indonesia, a ancient flood devastating civilization seemed less far fetched then before.

Viewing houses, cars, buildings, equipment, people being swept across the country side in those terrible Japanese tsunami's I never again thought the Noah flood account described something unimaginable.


miracles, virgin births, resurrected people


These matters are not in a vacuum. The backround context of each of these matters has too much realistic history so as to cause me to imagine the writers as given to fanciful tales for their own sake.

If the New Testament just said "There was once a man called Jesus, He walked on the water and fed five thousand people with a minimum amount of food" then I might think I am just reading entertaining myths.

But there is practically miracle in what He SAID and with the authority with which He said things. No man ever spoke as Jesus Christ did.

The power of His deeds is absolutely matched by the power of His words and the power of His character. I have to take it all in. It would not be realistic for me to hunt through to only noticed supernatural miracles to be skeptical of.

I HAVE to consider with His death conquering resurrection the darkness and ignorant conquering power of His personality and words.

et al as normal and try to prove otherwise.


The process of believing the Bible was for me a gradual matter. The first step was probably being so impressed with the character of Jesus Christ as to place His integrity beyond questioning.

I would suggest that it may take awhile for one to come over completely to trusting the words of the Bible. I would suggest you start with the things about Jesus you can take.

Eventually, I think, if you are willing to be changed by God, you will come to realize that some things had to occur from Him to match the power of His personality. Overcoming death seems entirely consistent with His overcoming every other kind of moral obstacle opposed to His carrying out God's work.

With me it was Christ FIRST became trusted.
Then I went on to accept in retrospect everything else in the Bible about God. This was a gradual evolving matter as I both read the Bible and experienced Christ's saving work in my life.

That’s nonsensical. The burned [sic] of proof lies with you - ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’.


I don't think I can prove the Bible true with mathematical like proofs. I think I can give rationale that we are on the right track to trust the Bible.

Eventually you will put your trust in someone.
I would argue that we are on the right track to trust in Christ.

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@sonship

There has 'never' been a 'global' flood, though I'm sure to those ancient folk it seemed like the whole world was under water. (You know, before the internet).

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@Ghost-of-a-Duke

There has 'never' been a 'global' flood, though I'm sure to those ancient folk it seemed like the whole world was under water. (You know, before the internet).


Personally, I leave room for the possibility that Moses may have been speaking of the world as known by the people then living.

Not all readers of Genesis insist that no other interpretation is valid except the entire planet was covered with a flood. Some brethren argue strenuously for that view. I do not, as of yet at least.

But when I watched video after video of the tsunami it hit home that what Noah's flood story describes is believable to me.

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@sonship said
@Ghost-of-a-Duke

There has 'never' been a 'global' flood, though I'm sure to those ancient folk it seemed like the whole world was under water. (You know, before the internet).


Personally, I leave room for the possibility that Moses may have been speaking of the world as known by the people then living.

Not all readers of Genesis insist that ...[text shortened]... o after video of the tsunami it hit home that what Noah's flood story describes is believable to me.
Yes, acts of natural catastrophe can and have happened on an imperfect planet.

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@Ghost-of-a-Duke

Yes, acts of natural catastrophe can and have happened on an imperfect planet.


I am not suggesting that we look for God's judging behind every storm, flood, or natural disaster.

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@sonship said
@Ghost-of-a-Duke

Yes, acts of natural catastrophe can and have happened on an imperfect planet.


I am not suggesting that we look for God's judging behind every storm, flood, or natural disaster.
When a natural disaster does occur, say a tsunami that causes untold destruction and random loss of life, where 'is' God (the all-powerful and perfectly loving deity) in that?

Did He:

A. Send the disaster?
B. Allow it to happen?
C. Lack the power to prevent it?
D. Simply not care enough to intervene?

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@Ghost-of-a-Duke

When a natural disaster does occur, say a tsunami that causes untold destruction and random loss of life, where 'is' God (the all-powerful and perfectly loving deity) in that?


I do not think every natural misfortune is proof that God does not love us.

Did He:
A. Send the disaster?
B. Allow it to happen?
C. Lack the power to prevent it?
D. Simply not care enough to intervene?


I think things that happen can have more than one layer of purpose.

The same hurricane may:

1.) Tend to cause one person to draw closer to the heavenly Father.

2.) Tend to cause another to learn that her material possessions are not all there is to her life.

3.) Give opportunity for a third person to share their supply with someone else who is deprived.

4.) Move another person still to realize the need to pray more often for themselves and their loved ones. It even may cause them to realize the need to pray for larger segments of society.

5.) Cause another person to be disciplined by losing something gained by dishonest means, perhaps in an act of temporal justice.

6.) Cause another family to draw closer together.

As you can see the same calamity may result in different outcomes and purposes.

Overall a hurricane may also be a reminder to all mankind that things in creation are not the way we would like them. In your body, the presence of discomfort is a warning that something is wrong.

Since the fall of man God is faithful that we have these reminders that things seem NOT to be ideal. Christ commanding the storm to be quiet and calming the roaring waves demonstrate that something in nature is out of perfect harmony with God original intentions.

"And to Adam He said, Because you listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tee concerning which
I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it;

Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil will you eat of it all the days of your life.

And thorns and thistles will it bring forth for you, and you wull eat the herbs of the field; By the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground,

Because out of it you were taken; For dust you are and to dust you shall return." (Genesis 3:17-19)


Ie. "Creation for you will be somewhat out of kilter.
Things will not run as they had been intended by Me.
Your being out of harmony with God will result in nature being not in full harmony with YOU. "

But God may use the same natural catastrophe to be a catalyst for a number of different needed things.

God is the Original Multitasker. He can supervise the effect of billions of things going on simultaneously.

To the one who loves God he has assurance that the Great Multitasker Who is sovereign over eternity is able to cause ALL THINGS to work together for good of His blessed ultimate outcome.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Rom. 8:28)


That is all the time I have this morning. I have more to say.

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