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Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 02:51 AM
In a critique of Christian theism, an emergent pastor criticized the notion that we can know things (unsurprisingly, it goes unquestioned that we know we can't know things). In this particular critique an imaginary dialogue was presented between a conservative and a liberal, I'll summarize below, however rephrase it between an orthodox Christian and emergent Christian:
Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.
Emergent Christian: What about the 9/11 terrorists?
Orthodox Christian: They were deceived, they didn't know they were dying for a lie. The Apostles lived with Jesus.
Emergent Christian: What about those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh?
From this point the discussion is dropped, the Christian concedes the point and moves on to his or her next argument.

My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?

Moxie
Jul 29th 2009, 03:34 AM
In a critique of Christian theism, an emergent pastor criticized the notion that we can know things (unsurprisingly, it goes unquestioned that we know we can't know things). In this particular critique an imaginary dialogue was presented between a conservative and a liberal, I'll summarize below, however rephrase it between an orthodox Christian and emergent Christian:
Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.
Emergent Christian: What about the 9/11 terrorists?
Orthodox Christian: They were deceived, they didn't know they were dying for a lie. The Apostles lived with Jesus.
Emergent Christian: What about those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh?
From this point the discussion is dropped, the Christian concedes the point and moves on to his or her next argument.

My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?

First, the OC could have chosen a better argument. While it is true that the apostles died for truth, or better stated they died for their Savior Jesus Christ the statement is too vague and leaves room for conjecture. So, assuming the OC has figured this out he/she may respond by saying, "Those followers were also deceived because they were not following the only Savior the world has--Jesus Christ. This could open the discussion to the Bible being the inspired word of God.

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 03:43 AM
First, the OC could have chosen a better argument. While it is true that the apostles died for truth, or better stated they died for their Savior Jesus Christ the statement is too vague and leaves room for conjecture. So, assuming the OC has figured this out he/she may respond by saying, "Those followers were also deceived because they were not following the only Savior the world has--Jesus Christ. This could open the discussion to the Bible being the inspired word of God.

That's not an answer to the question though. Even in rephrasing what was said and their answer, they're still open to the emergent Christians final response. Just as the Apostles believed they were following the Savior, so too did the followers of Jones and Kadesh.

Moxie
Jul 29th 2009, 03:46 AM
Sorry, misunderstood the question.

Moxie
Jul 29th 2009, 03:53 AM
Then the argument could be that although the followers of the false gods believed with all their heart they still were not following the truth. Truth is absolute in God's eyes and we can find it (truth) in His word. Just because two individuals believe with the same degree of passion does not mean they are correct in their beliefs.

Am I understanding this now?

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 04:51 AM
In a critique of Christian theism, an emergent pastor criticized the notion that we can know things (unsurprisingly, it goes unquestioned that we know we can't know things). In this particular critique an imaginary dialogue was presented between a conservative and a liberal, I'll summarize below, however rephrase it between an orthodox Christian and emergent Christian:
Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.
Emergent Christian: What about the 9/11 terrorists?
Orthodox Christian: They were deceived, they didn't know they were dying for a lie. The Apostles lived with Jesus.
Emergent Christian: What about those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh?
From this point the discussion is dropped, the Christian concedes the point and moves on to his or her next argument.

My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?

I would say this:

Unlike Jim Jones and David Koresh, the Apostles not only lived with Jesus, but they were there to witness His crucifixion, and they were there to see the stone rolled away. Jesus didn't just pay lip service to His ideals -- He actually followed through on them and rose from the dead. It was the resurrection of Christ that gave the Apostles the courage to die for the truth. The risen Christ appeared to people. He made Himself known. Men who were previously terrified and in hiding came out of hiding and boldly started to proclaim their faith. Those who followed Jones and Koresh were never able to have faith in their leader the same way the Apostles could.

Moxie
Jul 29th 2009, 05:23 AM
I would say this:

Unlike Jim Jones and David Koresh, the Apostles not only lived with Jesus, but they were there to witness His crucifixion, and they were there to see the stone rolled away. Jesus didn't just pay lip service to His ideals -- He actually followed through on them and rose from the dead. It was the resurrection of Christ that gave the Apostles the courage to die for the truth. The risen Christ appeared to people. He made Himself known. Men who were previously terrified and in hiding came out of hiding and boldly started to proclaim their faith. Those who followed Jones and Koresh were never able to have faith in their leader the same way the Apostles could.

So, how would we transition this argument--this faith the apostles had to our faith in Jesus Christ when we do not physically walk with Him?

*Xel'Naga--I hope this question fits in with your topic; its not my intent to derail.

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 05:38 AM
So, how would we transition this argument--this faith the apostles had to our faith in Jesus Christ when we do not physically walk with Him?

*Xel'Naga--I hope this question fits in with your topic; its not my intent to derail.

I can think of at least a couple things tonight (it's late, but I'll keep thinking), and hopefully others can come up with more?

- Even though we don't walk physically with Christ, we DO walk spiritually with Him. We have a very real relationship with Him, and we grow daily in that relationship and come to know Him more and more through prayer, praise, worship.

- "The proof is in the pudding", as they say -- we don't just believe in Christ.... we live in Christ, and He lives in us, and because of that, our lives can be and are transformed. People turn completely around. The broken is fixed, the empty is filled. Our lives can become a testimony to God, and can be evidence He is real and present.

- We can read the Bible, see God's promises in it, and see how He answered those.... both in the New Testament (Christ) and in our lives. God makes certain claims in the Bible; then He actually fulfills them. He acts in specific, consistent ways and invites us to know Him.... and we find that we can recognize what is and is NOT of Him, by how consistent He is. His promises give us the greatest peace we have, and it's NOT peace the world can give.

No human leader can fully, completely do all of the above in the way God does.... so we have at least a reasonable basis for knowing our God and knowing that what He says is true.

Desperaux
Jul 29th 2009, 05:41 AM
In a critique of Christian theism, an emergent pastor criticized the notion that we can know things (unsurprisingly, it goes unquestioned that we know we can't know things). In this particular critique an imaginary dialogue was presented between a conservative and a liberal, I'll summarize below, however rephrase it between an orthodox Christian and emergent Christian:
Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.
Emergent Christian: What about the 9/11 terrorists?
Orthodox Christian: They were deceived, they didn't know they were dying for a lie. The Apostles lived with Jesus.
Emergent Christian: What about those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh?
From this point the discussion is dropped, the Christian concedes the point and moves on to his or her next argument.

My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?


I don't understand the labels. Care to explain?

wenlock
Jul 29th 2009, 01:12 PM
In a critique of Christian theism, an emergent pastor criticized the notion that we can know things (unsurprisingly, it goes unquestioned that we know we can't know things). In this particular critique an imaginary dialogue was presented between a conservative and a liberal, I'll summarize below, however rephrase it between an orthodox Christian and emergent Christian:
Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.
Emergent Christian: What about the 9/11 terrorists?
Orthodox Christian: They were deceived, they didn't know they were dying for a lie. The Apostles lived with Jesus.
Emergent Christian: What about those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh?
From this point the discussion is dropped, the Christian concedes the point and moves on to his or her next argument.

My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?
The 'Orthodox Christian' made an incorrect first statement. Hundreds of thousands of people died for 'worthy' causes before the apostles, and hundreds of thousands have died for them since. People do die for lies, or for truths, for that matter.

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 01:32 PM
The 'Orthodox Christian' made an incorrect first statement. Hundreds of thousands of people died for 'worthy' causes before the apostles, and hundreds of thousands have for them died since. People do die for lies, or for truths, for that matter.

Not to disagree with everything you say, the statement the orthodox Christian made was correct, it's usually a statement made in defense of the resurrection.

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 02:00 PM
Then the argument could be that although the followers of the false gods believed with all their heart they still were not following the truth. Truth is absolute in God's eyes and we can find it (truth) in His word. Just because two individuals believe with the same degree of passion does not mean they are correct in their beliefs.

Am I understanding this now?

You understand, but what you're saying is still open to the criticism of perspectivism.


I would say this:

Unlike Jim Jones and David Koresh, the Apostles not only lived with Jesus, but they were there to witness His crucifixion, and they were there to see the stone rolled away. Jesus didn't just pay lip service to His ideals -- He actually followed through on them and rose from the dead. It was the resurrection of Christ that gave the Apostles the courage to die for the truth. The risen Christ appeared to people. He made Himself known. Men who were previously terrified and in hiding came out of hiding and boldly started to proclaim their faith. Those who followed Jones and Koresh were never able to have faith in their leader the same way the Apostles could.

This is going in a direction I like. What about those who survived Jim Jones, who realized he was false? I think that is where the emergent's criticism ultimately fails.


So, how would we transition this argument--this faith the apostles had to our faith in Jesus Christ when we do not physically walk with Him?

*Xel'Naga--I hope this question fits in with your topic; its not my intent to derail.

Their hope is the elpida anastaseos - the hope of the resurrection.


I can think of at least a couple things tonight (it's late, but I'll keep thinking), and hopefully others can come up with more?

- Even though we don't walk physically with Christ, we DO walk spiritually with Him. We have a very real relationship with Him, and we grow daily in that relationship and come to know Him more and more through prayer, praise, worship.

- "The proof is in the pudding", as they say -- we don't just believe in Christ.... we live in Christ, and He lives in us, and because of that, our lives can be and are transformed. People turn completely around. The broken is fixed, the empty is filled. Our lives can become a testimony to God, and can be evidence He is real and present.

- We can read the Bible, see God's promises in it, and see how He answered those.... both in the New Testament (Christ) and in our lives. God makes certain claims in the Bible; then He actually fulfills them. He acts in specific, consistent ways and invites us to know Him.... and we find that we can recognize what is and is NOT of Him, by how consistent He is. His promises give us the greatest peace we have, and it's NOT peace the world can give.

No human leader can fully, completely do all of the above in the way God does.... so we have at least a reasonable basis for knowing our God and knowing that what He says is true.

This would definitely go to suggest a different kind of relationship to Jesus than between Jones and Koresh. I'm not sure though if these would be more 'in house' answers, though.


I don't understand the labels. Care to explain?

Orthodox Christian would be anyone from this board. Emergent Christian would be a 'believer' who adopted the presuppositions of postmodernism.

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 02:15 PM
This is going in a direction I like. What about those who survived Jim Jones, who realized he was false? I think that is where the emergent's criticism ultimately fails.

I agree. And if Jesus' disciples had followed Him, believed Him, saw Him die.... and then NEVER saw Him rise again or any evidence or testimony for it.... then they'd also be well within their rights to conclude that their faith in Him was false. As it is, the exact opposite happened. It wasn't mass hysteria. It certainly wasn't a mass delusion -- not with that many people seeing Him. Christ promised very specific things, and then many of those things came to pass. And with the 'track record' He has, if I can even use so casual a term to describe Him, there is EXCELLENT reason to believe that the rest of what He promised WILL happen. It's what we wait for as Christians now.


Their hope is the elpida anastaseos - the hope of the resurrection.

Hey, NOW I know what your user tag means. Sweet -- I like that! :)



This would definitely go to suggest a different kind of relationship to Jesus than between Jones and Koresh. I'm not sure though if these would be more 'in house' answers, though.

Could you clarify what you meant by 'in house' answers? Thanks!

wenlock
Jul 29th 2009, 02:15 PM
Not to disagree with everything you say, the statement the orthodox Christian made was correct, it's usually a statement made in defense of the resurrection.
Of course it is true that the early church suffered for the gospel, as have later saints, but it is not a reason for belief, otherwise one would be a communist, and many other things. It is true that, if the saints were not prepared to die for their faith, it would be a very sound argument not to believe.

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 02:21 PM
Of course it is true that the early church suffered for the gospel, as have later saints, but it is not a reason for belief, otherwise one would be a communist, and many other things. It is true that, if the saints were not prepared to die for their faith, it would be a very sound argument not to believe.

Sorry for answering your comment when it was directed towards Xel, but I wanted to point out that it doesn't seem to be just the gospel the early church suffered for. They suffered for and because of the risen Christ. There was more than just a feel-good message to believe in..... they knew Christ had returned. They had a very good reason to stare death in the face.

Just a thought.

wenlock
Jul 29th 2009, 02:26 PM
Sorry for answering your comment when it was directed towards Xel
It was directed to any and every reader.


but I wanted to point out that it doesn't seem to be just the gospel the early church suffered for. They suffered for and because of the risen Christ. There was more than just a feel-good message to believe in..... they knew Christ had returned. They had a very good reason to stare death in the face. The gospel would not have been the gospel without the resurrection. The significance of that event is that it validated all that had gone before in the minds of the disciples. Had it not occurred, they would have continued to wait for the true Messiah (or not).

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 02:29 PM
It was directed to any and every reader.

The gospel would not have been the gospel without the resurrection. The significance of that event is that it validated all that had gone before in the minds of the disciples. Had it not occurred, they would have continued to wait for the true Messiah (or not).

I agree.

Sometimes, people do separate someone's wordings/sayings (the 'gospel) from what they actually do. In Jesus' time, there were and had been many prophets with an awful lot to say.... but only He followed through.

Anyways, back to Xel's OP. :)

Dani H
Jul 29th 2009, 02:35 PM
John 17:3 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=17&verse=3&version=50&context=verse)
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

1 John 3:14 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=3&verse=14&version=50&context=verse)
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

1 John 3:16 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=3&verse=16&version=50&context=verse)
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 5:13 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=5&verse=13&version=50&context=verse)
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

2 Timothy 1:12 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=62&chapter=1&verse=12&version=50&context=verse)
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.


Obviously, as you can see from Scripture, God wants us to know Him. And His Son. And the fact that we have passed from death to life.

And so if somebody doesn't know, then there's obviously something very wrong. Not with Scripture, nor with God's plan of salvation, but with that person's approach to both.

I've known I was saved from the day I was saved. That was my one focus, at the beginning, to know and to make sure and to rest in that assurance and to not deviate from it. And so here, 17 years later, I still know, deeper and stronger than ever. Because God's Word is truth, and He does not fail. If indeed we a) hear the true Gospel, b) meet the true Jesus, and c) continue in Him as we have received Him.

Desperaux
Jul 29th 2009, 02:42 PM
What, may I ask, is an "Emergent Christian"?

Moxie
Jul 29th 2009, 03:02 PM
Emergent Christian:


Orthodox Christian would be anyone from this board. Emergent Christian would be a 'believer' who adopted the presuppositions of postmodernism.

Moxie
Jul 29th 2009, 03:22 PM
John 17:3 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=50&chapter=17&verse=3&version=50&context=verse)
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

1 John 3:14 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=3&verse=14&version=50&context=verse)
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.

1 John 3:16 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=3&verse=16&version=50&context=verse)
By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 5:13 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=69&chapter=5&verse=13&version=50&context=verse)
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

2 Timothy 1:12 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=62&chapter=1&verse=12&version=50&context=verse)
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.


Obviously, as you can see from Scripture, God wants us to know Him. And His Son. And the fact that we have passed from death to life.

And so if somebody doesn't know, then there's obviously something very wrong. Not with Scripture, nor with God's plan of salvation, but with that person's approach to both.



Therein lies the challenge, postmodern churches/people tend to have a flexible approach to theology; that individual differences in beliefs and morality can be acceptable. I do like your point and it is one that we as Christians need to remember---God works through His word. When we encounter anyone with a different point of view, sometimes we need to let scripture speak.

What I wonder is: If one has a flexible approach to theology then how do they what God's truth is? As you said,


I've known I was saved from the day I was saved. That was my one focus, at the beginning, to know and to make sure and to rest in that assurance and to not deviate from it. And so here, 17 years later, I still know, deeper and stronger than ever. Because God's Word is truth, and He does not fail. If indeed we a) hear the true Gospel, b) meet the true Jesus, and c) continue in Him as we have received Him.

Dani H
Jul 29th 2009, 03:39 PM
I do honestly believe that if people haven't the assurance, it's because they haven't heard the Gospel and haven't met Jesus. And I honestly don't care what arguments they present, because either they're wrong, or the Bible is wrong. And I stake my lot with the Word of God any day. :)

The apostles were railing against the infiltration of the Church by false preachers proclaiming a false gospel and a false Jesus. Obviously, that is still a problem 2000 years later. Which is why we're commanded in the Word to make our calling and election sure. If we're not sure, then there's a reason for it, and God wants us to address it, and fix it, and help one another as a Church to obtain that assurance and encourage one another in it.

Desperaux
Jul 29th 2009, 03:39 PM
Emergent Christian:

With that, I will bow out, as I still don't know what that is apart from it being a carnal, compromised believer.

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 03:53 PM
With that, I will bow out, as I still don't know what that is apart from it being a carnal, compromised believer.

From the Wikipedia article on "Emerging Church": ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergent_church )

"What those involved in the conversation mostly agree on is their disillusionment with the organized and institutional church and their support for the deconstruction of modern Christian worship, modern evangelism, and the nature of modern Christian community."

In other words, emergent Christians are trying to deconstruct the way they look at faith, worship, organized religion, etc. They don't find our current way of doing and believing and worshipping to be terribly useful, and they're seeking change.

Although there are always the usual problems with bias, oversimplification etc when it comes to Wikipedia, I found the above explanation decent enough, so I hope it helped a little.

In the context of Xel's thread, the emergent Christian would be asking the orthodox Christian all of these questions in order to challenge some previously-held assumptions.

Dani H
Jul 29th 2009, 03:57 PM
Well, the OP argument is faulty to begin with, so the whole logic following it will be too:

Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.


Sorry, no. I know Christianity is true, because I have met Jesus for myself and know that He is alive. And because the Bible is God's Word and does not lie.

This is why Jesus said to build on the rock. And pointed to Himself, always. Because He is the resurrection and the life. Christianity is a Person, not some string of arguments. And we either know this Person, Jesus Christ, or we don't.

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 04:05 PM
Well, the OP argument is faulty to begin with, so the whole logic following it will be too:

Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.


Sorry, no. I know Christianity is true, because I have met Jesus for myself and know that He is alive. And because the Bible is God's Word and does not lie.

This is why Jesus said to build on the rock. And pointed to Himself, always. Because He is the resurrection and the life. Christianity is a Person, not some string of arguments. And we either know this Person, Jesus Christ, or we don't.

Very good point, Dani. :)

Here's a question, though, for you or anyone else.... if it doesn't take this too far off the intent of the thread. If it does, just disregard. I have been thinking of this... what if we're JUST looking at the historical time period around when Christ lived on earth? What if our hypothetical orthodox and emergent Christians are only talking about the ministry of Jesus and those who followed Him, and from that context, the orthodox Christian says "well, I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth."

In other words, can someone who does NOT know Christ, as we know Him, actually look the lives of the apostles and the events surrounding the resurrection, and after examination, actually make the claim that yes, Christianity is true?

I ask, because this is the journey I once went on as an atheist. I didn't believe. I didn't know Him. I actually had to take a good solid look at what the apostles died for, and why they'd be so convicted about that.... and that's partly what led me to Christ. But if it worked at least in part for me, does this argument have any merit at all in at least THAT context? Or is it still faulty?

Dani H
Jul 29th 2009, 04:19 PM
Certainly the faith of the apostles cannot be discounted.

But at some point in the game, a believer has to step past second-hand knowledge and obtain their own, and make it solid. Because the discussion in the OP isn't between a believer and an atheist. It's between two supposed "believers". And that is what I find disturbing.

CoffeeCat
Jul 29th 2009, 04:23 PM
Okie dokie, yeah, fair enough. :)

markedward
Jul 29th 2009, 04:30 PM
My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?The apostles and others personally witnessed Jesus' death and resurrection and ascension. They saw irrefutable proof that Jesus was who he claimed to be. They knew for a fact that Jesus was the Son of God, who died for man's sins.

Muslims who die in the name of Muhammed do so out of devotion to their belief, sure... but none of them (not even Muhammed) had irrefutable proof that what they believed was true. They didn't and don't have the same experience that the apostles had. Neither did Jim Jones and his Jonestown, or Joseph Smith and the Mormons, or any other cult.

You will find other religions in which the founding members die for their cause because they will stand strong for the values of their cause... but only Christianity was "founded" upon a group of men and women who saw with their own eyes a Man who was killed, buried, entombed for three days, walked alive again, and ascended into heaven.

The difference between Christianity and any other group is that the "founders" of Christianity have such a substantially unique experience, in relation to those other religions whose people are willing to die for their beliefs.

Dani H
Jul 29th 2009, 04:36 PM
The difference between Christianity and any other group is that the "founders" of Christianity have such a substantially unique experience, in relation to those other religions whose people are willing to die for their beliefs.

That, and the fact that we serve (or claim to serve) a living, resurrected Lord, and our personal lives ought to bear witness to that. There should be that resurrection life within all of us that no-one can deny. And if there isn't, then we have a problem on our hands and need to reevaluate our walk and whatever experience and knowledge we think we have. Because the Spirit gives life, and the Second Adam is a life-giving Spirit. And on and on it goes. Really, we can't miss it, even with a cursory reading of the New Testament. It's right there.

Last I checked Buddha and Muhammad are still dead ... so the best their followers can do is follow them in their death. With no resurrection beyond it. That is our claim as Christians, that is what sets us apart. :)

wenlock
Jul 29th 2009, 05:45 PM
The apostles and others personally witnessed Jesus' death and resurrection and ascension. They saw irrefutable proof that Jesus was who he claimed to be. They knew for a fact that Jesus was the Son of God, who died for man's sins.
How many of the apostles do we know for a fact died for their faith?

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 07:18 PM
How many of the apostles do we know for a fact died for their faith?

All twelve of them.

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 07:22 PM
Well, the OP argument is faulty to begin with, so the whole logic following it will be too:

Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.

Sorry, no. I know Christianity is true, because I have met Jesus for myself and know that He is alive. And because the Bible is God's Word and does not lie.

This is why Jesus said to build on the rock. And pointed to Himself, always. Because He is the resurrection and the life. Christianity is a Person, not some string of arguments. And we either know this Person, Jesus Christ, or we don't.

You're right, that's normally an argument used to show the veracity of the resurrection and the origin of Christianity as a result. As for your answer, it's a good in house answer (as with most here) but it doesn't hold any particular weight if it were a non-Christian posing the same question. Which is fine, I posed the question between two Christians, however iffy I am with emergents.


The apostles and others personally witnessed Jesus' death and resurrection and ascension. They saw irrefutable proof that Jesus was who he claimed to be. They knew for a fact that Jesus was the Son of God, who died for man's sins.

Muslims who die in the name of Muhammed do so out of devotion to their belief, sure... but none of them (not even Muhammed) had irrefutable proof that what they believed was true. They didn't and don't have the same experience that the apostles had. Neither did Jim Jones and his Jonestown, or Joseph Smith and the Mormons, or any other cult.

You will find other religions in which the founding members die for their cause because they will stand strong for the values of their cause... but only Christianity was "founded" upon a group of men and women who saw with their own eyes a Man who was killed, buried, entombed for three days, walked alive again, and ascended into heaven.

The difference between Christianity and any other group is that the "founders" of Christianity have such a substantially unique experience, in relation to those other religions whose people are willing to die for their beliefs.

This is the answer I was looking for. You see you take Jim Jones and even though a lot of people died with him, those who didn't were gunned down or escaped, but why? Because when it came down to it, they realized what they were believing was a lie and they immediately abandoned their belief.

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 07:37 PM
I agree. And if Jesus' disciples had followed Him, believed Him, saw Him die.... and then NEVER saw Him rise again or any evidence or testimony for it.... then they'd also be well within their rights to conclude that their faith in Him was false. As it is, the exact opposite happened. It wasn't mass hysteria. It certainly wasn't a mass delusion -- not with that many people seeing Him. Christ promised very specific things, and then many of those things came to pass. And with the 'track record' He has, if I can even use so casual a term to describe Him, there is EXCELLENT reason to believe that the rest of what He promised WILL happen. It's what we wait for as Christians now.

No matter how one looks at the Gospels accounts, simply the best answer for the origin of Christianity is that God really did raise Jesus from the dead.



Hey, NOW I know what your user tag means. Sweet -- I like that! :)

Yeah, I think it's central to Christianity. No resurrection, pity me...




Could you clarify what you meant by 'in house' answers? Thanks!

Christian to Christian; the implicit assumption that the person you're answering holds to the same basic presuppositions you do. Discussions over atonement, salvation, the personhood and self-identification of Jesus, etc., would be mostly 'in house' discussions. Not in their 'topichood' but in the way we approach and present answers.

wenlock
Jul 29th 2009, 07:58 PM
All twelve of them.
How do we know that?

Athanasius
Jul 29th 2009, 08:07 PM
How do we know that?

Historical testimony of Scripture.

wenlock
Jul 29th 2009, 08:11 PM
Historical testimony of Scripture.
Please provide Scripture references.

JoeChristian
Jul 31st 2009, 10:27 PM
I do honestly believe that if people haven't the assurance, it's because they haven't heard the Gospel and haven't met Jesus.
What do you mean by assurance here? What if someone said they believed in God but had doubts similar to how they doubted the existence of their body or even their own existence?

Dani H
Aug 1st 2009, 02:53 AM
What do you mean by assurance here? What if someone said they believed in God but had doubts similar to how they doubted the existence of their body or even their own existence?

The Biblical definition of "believing" means trust and assurance, not just mere mental assent. I know that my Redeemer lives. It's a knowing to the core of my being that nobody can take away from me, and that God has put there because I have asked Him to. Just as sure as I know my own name. We're either going to trust God or not. We're either going to take our faith and place it in Him, or not.

How can you doubt your own existence? That doesn't even make sense. I've never not known that I exist.

The next time somebody tells you that they doubt their own existence, pinch them. Hard. I bet you they will holler at you loud enough to make it well known that they exist.

Shenanigans. ;)

Doubting has much to do with double-mindedness and halting between two opinions (it's rooted in the same word as the number "two" actually). At some point in the game, we have to make sure that we know what, and who, we believe and that we settle these things within ourselves before we do anything else.

James 1
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Obviously doubt is something that can be addressed and done something about, else James wouldn't make such a statement. I used to have many doubts back in the day. Until I addressed them with God and He delivered me from my constant waivering and double-mindedness.

chisel
Aug 1st 2009, 07:00 PM
In a critique of Christian theism, an emergent pastor criticized the notion that we can know things (unsurprisingly, it goes unquestioned that we know we can't know things). In this particular critique an imaginary dialogue was presented between a conservative and a liberal, I'll summarize below, however rephrase it between an orthodox Christian and emergent Christian:

Orthodox Christian: I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth, people don't die for a lie.
Emergent Christian: What about the 9/11 terrorists?
Orthodox Christian: They were deceived, they didn't know they were dying for a lie. The Apostles lived with Jesus.
Emergent Christian: What about those who followed Jim Jones, David Koresh?
From this point the discussion is dropped, the Christian concedes the point and moves on to his or her next argument.

My question is, how would you have responded to the final response by the emergent Christian? Did he or she actually refute the orthodox Christian? Can we know objective truths?

The emergent Christian has made his own version of the Orthodox Christian argument which is incorrect.

Saying that the apostles died for their faith isn't used to prove Christianity, it is used to prove they weren't mass deceivers.

For them to have claimed what they did, they were either lying, crazy or telling the truth.
"They weren't lying because nobody would die for a lie", is the real argument.

If the 911 terrorists didn't believe their religion they wouldn't have died for it. Suicide cult followers commit suicide because they believe the teaching of the cult. All three instances prove honestly and nothing more.

You can't prove the truth of Christianity itself with the deaths of the apostels, but you can prove that the apostels believed what they claimed.

That's how I see it.

chisel
Aug 1st 2009, 07:01 PM
All twelve of them.

I don't think John died for the faith, but if he didn't he would have been the only one.

Athanasius
Aug 1st 2009, 08:06 PM
I don't think John died for the faith, but if he didn't he would have been the only one.

My mistake, you're correct.

JoeChristian
Aug 1st 2009, 08:10 PM
How can you doubt your own existence? That doesn't even make sense. I've never not known that I exist.
lol, Ask Kierkegaard.



Doubting has much to do with double-mindedness and halting between two opinions (it's rooted in the same word as the number "two" actually).
Didn't know that, very interesting thank you. Is that the word used in the Bible or 'our' word doubt? Whichever it is my word doubt is not the same (something like-lack of certainty).



James 1
6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Obviously doubt is something that can be addressed and done something about, else James wouldn't make such a statement. I used to have many doubts back in the day. Until I addressed them with God and He delivered me from my constant waivering and double-mindedness.
I never liked this verse having also had many doubts. Furthermore, it seemed very unopen (to me) about dealing with them. Look at the verse before, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." So that means when it says, "That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord..." that it is talking about what we request. So if we request help with our doubts-we will not receive it? Doesn't this conflict with your,
because I have asked Him to.? I like your view that James wouldn't make this statement if it wasn't to help us, but I don't know if I agree. Although, I should be easy to persuade since I would prefer it to be the truth. =)


As a far aside I really liked how you conveyed your meaning of that statement to be not that serious.

Shenanigans. ;)

Dani H
Aug 2nd 2009, 02:18 AM
I never liked this verse having also had many doubts. Furthermore, it seemed very unopen (to me) about dealing with them. Look at the verse before, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." So that means when it says, "That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord..." that it is talking about what we request. So if we request help with our doubts-we will not receive it? Doesn't this conflict with your, ? I like your view that James wouldn't make this statement if it wasn't to help us, but I don't know if I agree. Although, I should be easy to persuade since I would prefer it to be the truth. =)

Gonna come back at you with a couple of Scriptures here in hopes that they will help clarify things for you. I'm also praying that Xel won't notice me hijacking his thread to have this bit of conversation with you. ;)

Scriptures are from the OT but God doesn't change, and truth is truth:

Psalm 51:6 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=23&chapter=51&verse=6&version=50&context=verse)
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.

That tells me that wisdom and truth are something that take place inwardly. It also tells me that God wants us to quit lying to ourselves and quit pretending that we don't have an issue with something, when in fact, we do. I've learned over the years that if I really don't believe something, to go to God with it. And that if I have doubts about something, to go to God with it. And that if I am not fully convinced about a matter, to go to God with it (notice the recurring theme here of going to God with these things). Instruction happens when I am completely honest with myself, and with God about a matter and discuss these things with Him openly instead of tucking them away, trying to "scrape by" and hoping they will work out "some other way" (they never do).

1 Kings 18:21 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=11&chapter=18&verse=21&version=50&context=verse)
And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word.

You can see there that double-mindedness (along with pretty much everything else about the human condition before God) isn't a new thing under the sun and was alive and well back in Elijah's day. Notice how he addresses it: Confrontation and calling it what it is. If we learn to do that to ourselves, within ourselves, then God won't have to send a prophet to correct us publicly (and isn't that much better for all involved?).

Oh and one more thing (just to hammer the point home):

Mark 9:24 (http://bibleforums.org/passage/?book_id=48&chapter=9&verse=24&version=50&context=verse)
Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

If you read further down that passage, you will notice that Jesus doesn't rebuke the fella here for being completely honest about his own unbelief, and for asking the Lord's help with it. He just goes about casting the demon out of the child, and that is that. We don't have to pretend our faith is perfect, when it isn't. We just have to stretch it towards God and He will meet us there. God will help us with these things that ail us, if we just go to Him with them and lay them before Him.


Hope this helps. :)

CoffeeCat
Aug 2nd 2009, 03:56 PM
Okie dokie, we're re-opening this thread.

Please stick to the original topic and continue to have a good time, posting on how we can know Christianity's true. :)

A split thread has been moved to our Controversial forum, on 'the nature of heresy' and it can be found here: http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=183645

Thanks!

wenlock
Aug 2nd 2009, 07:39 PM
I don't think John died for the faith, but if he didn't he would have been the only one.
Which of the twelve is known to have died for the faith?

Desperaux
Aug 2nd 2009, 08:06 PM
Which of the twelve is known to have died for the faith?

Try Peter, for one.

CoffeeCat
Aug 2nd 2009, 08:06 PM
Which of the twelve is known to have died for the faith?

Judas not included, the Bible tells us that James, the son of Zebedee, was killed by the sword for his faith (Acts 12:2). According to Roman Historian Hippolytus (a widely accepted source) as well as a few traditional church historians and texts that did not make it into the Bible, Simon Peter was crucified but chose to be crucified upside down. Same with Philip and probably Bartholomew, although there are a few accounts of how he died, as well as where. Andrew was reportedly also crucified. John apparently died an old man, non violently, and it's possible that others died of natural causes, too.

We don't have 'absolute' knowledge of their deaths (as well as the others not mentioned) except for James... and, of course, the other martyrs mentioned in the NT. We do know that those who preached and taught against their respective governments and religious organizations tended to meet death early..... and we know that Jesus' apostles were doing exactly that. Were they all killed brutally? Well... We can read the Roman historians and get a good idea of what likely happened. We can research Christian tradition, oral and otherwise (passed down) and get a good idea of it. We don't know for sure.

And I think that's okay. It does NOT lessen the truth of Christ any, if all of His apostles were not killed for their faith. All of them died believing in Christ, having lived for Him -- so they died in Christ, after having furthered His kingdom. Some DID die because of their faith. And many new Christians as recorded in Acts (take Stephen, for instance) did the same. And they did so for good reason -- they knew the risen Christ.

wenlock
Aug 2nd 2009, 09:18 PM
We don't have 'absolute' knowledge of their deaths
Then the OP premise that

'I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth'

does not apply anyway.


All of them died believing in Christ, having lived for Him
Can that be proved?

Athanasius
Aug 2nd 2009, 09:19 PM
Then the OP premise that

'I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth'

does not apply anyway.

We don't need absolute knowledge, or certainty.



Can that be proved?

Church tradition.

CoffeeCat
Aug 2nd 2009, 09:24 PM
Then the OP premise that

'I know Christianity is true because the apostles died for its truth'

does not apply anyway.

If you change "apostles" to something a little more accurate, like "many of the early Christians", I suppose you could keep going with it. :)



Can that be proved?

No, it can't be proved that all of Jesus' apostles died still believing in Him, but we know from the Bible that Jesus was the one who chose these men, and they were chosen for a reason, even Judas -- so I do not think it is very likely that they would die renouncing Him. He picked them specifically to spread His gospel. I believe they did that, and likely died still believing in Christ and His kingdom.

As it's been said before in this thread, though.... Christianity is NOT true just because Jesus' followers went/go to their deaths believing it. It's true because He rose again. He was seen, resurrected. That's what makes it true.

wenlock
Aug 2nd 2009, 09:28 PM
Try Peter, for one.
Peter's martyrdom is prophesied by Jesus, but for those who do not accept Jesus as being of divine mission/nature, that is no evidence. The argument is circular.

There are very few named persons who can be certainly said to have been given the choice of either living, having denied Christ, or dying, having refused to deny him. Not even James or Stephen qualify.

The OP concept of the nature of proof for Christianity is fundamentally flawed.

Athanasius
Aug 2nd 2009, 09:32 PM
The OP concept of the nature of proof for Christianity is fundamentally flawed.

That's already been established, it's more properly an argument for the resurrection. As to what you believe constitutes proof, your standard is too high. We don't need absolute certainty, we don't need a direct mention.

wenlock
Aug 2nd 2009, 09:43 PM
If you change "apostles" to something a little more accurate, like "many of the early Christians", I suppose you could keep going with it. :)
That is a better basis, agreed, but it is still not 'the' reason for believing in Christianity. Had there been no martyrs, there would have been reason to doubt Christianity, but martyrs are by no means unique to Christianity.


No, it can't be proved that all of Jesus' apostles died still believing in Him, but we know from the Bible that Jesus was the one who chose these men, and they were chosen for a reason, even Judas -- so I do not think it is very likely that they would die renouncing Him.
The reason for their existence was to act as reliable eye-witnesses, not necessarily as those who would persevere to the end. The fact that most of them are not mentioned by name after the resurrection is significant, imv. It is quite possible that there were apostasies among them.


As it's been said before in this thread, though.... Christianity is NOT true just because Jesus' followers went/go to their deaths believing it. It's true because He rose again. He was seen, resurrected. That's what makes it true.That is what made it true to the primitive church of several hundred people. But it is not necessarily true to later generations. Jesus said that he would be believed because of the victorious cross, not the resurrection as such. Evangelists know first hand that it is alone the message of the cross that convinces, irrespective of other factors such as martyrdom.

CoffeeCat
Aug 3rd 2009, 12:45 AM
That is what made it true to the primitive church of several hundred people. But it is not necessarily true to later generations. Jesus said that he would be believed because of the victorious cross, not the resurrection as such. Evangelists know first hand that it is alone the message of the cross that convinces, irrespective of other factors such as martyrdom.

I'd need a scripture reference, please, about what you believe Jesus to have said -- I'm not sure where you're going with it.

I know without a doubt that the Bible DOES focus on Jesus' resurrection as being the reason we believe in Him. Thousands of people went to the cross in that time. It was a common form of execution. Jesus' death on the cross was common, too. It was His resurrection that was UNCOMMON -- the fact that the cross was NOT the end for Him, and that His Father raised Him as He said He would.

To say "victory over the cross" means a return to life -- the resurrection. Evangelists who ONLY spoke about the cross would only have half the story. Yes, what Jesus endured is excruciating. Yes, He died for us and was beaten for us and suffered for us..... but the stone was rolled away and He walked among the living again and God's promises came to pass, and THAT is why we call Him saviour.

tt1106
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:23 AM
That is a better basis, agreed, but it is still not 'the' reason for believing in Christianity. Had there been no martyrs, there would have been reason to doubt Christianity, but martyrs are by no means unique to Christianity.


The reason for their existence was to act as reliable eye-witnesses, not necessarily as those who would persevere to the end. The fact that most of them are not mentioned by name after the resurrection is significant, imv. It is quite possible that there were apostasies among them.

That is what made it true to the primitive church of several hundred people. But it is not necessarily true to later generations. Jesus said that he would be believed because of the victorious cross, not the resurrection as such. Evangelists know first hand that it is alone the message of the cross that convinces, irrespective of other factors such as martyrdom.

I cannot even begin to imagine where you have leaped to the conclusion that the apostles may have been apostate because the Bible does not mention them after the resurrection. You are arguing out of the absence of evidence which makes your position flawed. It's based on your view and nothing else. Christ called the twelve. They immediately followed. I think it far more likely that they did persevere, than they didn't. We know from scripture that Paul took Peter to task, so they weren't perfect, but there is certainly no evidence that they were apostate.

James and Stephen are discussed. Historians like Iraneus and Clement record several more.
Act 12:1 About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church.
Act 12:2 He killed James the brother of John with the sword.

That's funny what you said about Jesus, because Paul understood it quite different.
1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
1Co 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 08:34 AM
I'd need a scripture reference, please, about what you believe Jesus to have said
'"Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me." (In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.)' John 12:31-33 (GNB)

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 11:43 AM
Peter's martyrdom is prophesied by Jesus, but for those who do not accept Jesus as being of divine mission/nature, that is no evidence. The argument is circular.

There are very few named persons who can be certainly said to have been given the choice of either living, having denied Christ, or dying, having refused to deny him. Not even James or Stephen qualify.

The OP concept of the nature of proof for Christianity is fundamentally flawed.

It is historically true that Nero executed Christians. Peter was one of them. It was because of his faith and belief that Peter was killed.


That is a better basis, agreed, but it is still not 'the' reason for believing in Christianity.

Just a side note here: Christians don't "believe" in Christianity. That is a religion. They believe in Jesus Christ the living Saviour and King.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 11:45 AM
It is historically true that Nero executed Christians. Peter was one of them.
How do we know that Peter was one of them?

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 11:50 AM
How do we know that Peter was one of them?

The historical record attests to it.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 12:07 PM
The historical record attests to it.
Then why not demonstrate that fact?

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 12:42 PM
Then why not demonstrate that fact?

Why didn't you consider that fact?

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 12:49 PM
Why didn't you consider that fact?
Do we assume that the historical facts are not going to be produced?

tt1106
Aug 3rd 2009, 12:55 PM
Would you consider early church historians a valid source?

I'm entertained that you are demanding proof, yet you assert your own viewpoint as if it stands on it's own merit.

Provide historical evidence that the Apostles were apostate as you alleged earlier?


Provide proof that they were not martyred as the early church historians documented.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:01 PM
Would you consider early church historians a valid source?
If they are early, and of the church, why are they not canonical?

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:03 PM
Do we assume that the historical facts are not going to be produced?

You can Google!

http://127.0.0.1:4664/&s=I44eb9fpW5juo68aYW_8qX5lBYg





(Love saying that!)

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:11 PM
You can Google!

http://127.0.0.1:4664/&s=I44eb9fpW5juo68aYW_8qX5lBYg





(Love saying that!)
Even if a link works, it very often only appears to provide an answer.

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:29 PM
Even if a link works, it very often only appears to provide an answer.

If only we had a time machine!

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:36 PM
If only we had a time machine!
Pending invention of said object, we cannot know that Peter died as claimed.

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 01:44 PM
Pending invention of said object, we cannot know that Peter died as claimed.

I find it sad that people spend their lives in denial of truth, and make an argument of simple truths. What a waste of one's calling in Christ.

tt1106
Aug 3rd 2009, 03:43 PM
If they are early, and of the church, why are they not canonical?
Ask the council.

Do you have anything to the contrary besides your own conjecture? I think it faulty logic, to think that the burden of proof is on me to prove what is widely considered ot be true. If you have something to refute it, then let's see it.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 04:37 PM
Ask the council.
:) That is why these alleged historians cannot be considered a valid source.


I think it faulty logic, to think that the burden of proof is on me to prove what is widely considered ot be true. But Peter's killing by Nero isn't very widely considered to be true, and neither is it widely true that Christianity is accepted because the twelve apostles were elective martyrs, because nobody knows that even one of them was. It is possible that they all were, but the fact is that people do not know it, so it cannot be evidence for them. Even if the Peter legend was widely believed, it would be necessary to accept it only after proper scrutiny, and even then there would be the need to prove that Peter was given the choice of belief or unbelief under threat. There is a great deal missing from this idea.

The popularity of an idea is no guarantee that it's right, anyway. Popular ideas are popular often precisely because they are not right. People tend to believe what they want to, and need the benefit of scholarship, so scholars have a duty to provide it.

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 04:45 PM
People tend to believe what they want to, and need the benefit of scholarship, so scholars have a duty to provide it.

Are you a scholar, then?

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 04:58 PM
Are you a scholar, then?
I assume that everyone in this sub-forum is a scholar.

HisLeast
Aug 3rd 2009, 05:09 PM
:) That is why these alleged historians cannot be considered a valid source.

But Peter's killing by Nero isn't very widely considered to be true, and neither is it widely true that Christianity is accepted because the twelve apostles were elective martyrs, because nobody knows that even one of them was. It is possible that they all were, but the fact is that people do not know it, so it cannot be evidence for them. Even if the Peter legend was widely believed, it would be necessary to accept it only after proper scrutiny, and even then there would be the need to prove that Peter was given the choice of belief or unbelief under threat. There is a great deal missing from this idea.

But there is good testimony and bad testimony. What about the testimonies of the apostles' martyrdom do you find lacking or illogical? What are your objections, other than "none of us were there so we can't know". I'm also curious as to what stops you from applying the same kind of critique on the life of Christ. After all, none of us were there and all we have is the testimony written in 4 gospels.


The popularity of an idea is no guarantee that it's right, anyway. Popular ideas are popular often precisely because they are not right. People tend to believe what they want to, and need the benefit of scholarship, so scholars have a duty to provide it.
But even when they do their scholarship is immediately put into question because "we can't know".

Desperaux
Aug 3rd 2009, 05:11 PM
I assume that everyone in this sub-forum is a scholar.

I am certainly not a scholar, but I know Jesus. His Word is good enough for me.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 05:16 PM
But there is good testimony and bad testimony. What about the testimonies of the apostles' martyrdom do you find lacking or illogical?
It is the testimony itself that is lacking.

Athanasius
Aug 3rd 2009, 05:41 PM
I assume that everyone in this sub-forum is a scholar.

A scholar who refuses to engage early church history / tradition on the basis that it is 'groundless Catholic myth' ('not found in the Bible / heresy'). How interesting, what are you a scholar of, again? Postmodern Puritanism?


:) That is why these alleged historians cannot be considered a valid source.

Because not everything they wrote is canonical? That is such a blatantly erroneous view to hold it shouldn't need to be pointed out to you. What you are saying is that if the early church said it, but it did not make canon, then we cannot trust what they said. But obviously, people convey true propositions regardless of that proposition being considered canonical, it is no different for the early church, so to hold them to such a standard is ludicrous. Not everything the early church wrote was inspired of God, it's no mystery why it was not considered canon, but carried on through tradition!



But Peter's killing by Nero isn't very widely considered to be true, and neither is it widely true that Christianity is accepted because the twelve apostles were elective martyrs, because nobody knows that even one of them was. It is possible that they all were, but the fact is that people do not know it, so it cannot be evidence for them. Even if the Peter legend was widely believed, it would be necessary to accept it only after proper scrutiny, and even then there would be the need to prove that Peter was given the choice of belief or unbelief under threat. There is a great deal missing from this idea.

You're getting quite postmodern in your treatment of history. Which means you're quite mistaken in your treatment of history.

Consider your statement, "neither is it widely true that Christianity is accepted because the twelve apostles were elective martyrs, because nobody knows that even one of them was". I would think that the early church knew and they passed on that knowledge, why should we reject their testimony? You are failing to carry your criticism to its logical conclusion because of your a priori acceptance of the Gospel accounts and inspiration of Scripture. If the testimony of the early church is not valid, then neither is the testimony of the writers of Scripture. Because, what you're really meaning to say, is that we weren't there. It was the early testimony and willingness of the Apostles to die for their belief in the resurrection that led to the rapid rise of Christianity within the pluralistic society of Rome. To claim that it is not true that Christ was widely accepted because of the twelve disciples is to be ignorant of history.

There is absolutely no need to prove that Peter was given the choice of belief or unbelief under threat. Regardless, he died for his faith. There is no tradition anywhere of him recanting his belief. In fact, the tradition of Peter's crucifixion speaks for the fact that Peter did not recant his faith.



The popularity of an idea is no guarantee that it's right, anyway. Popular ideas are popular often precisely because they are not right. People tend to believe what they want to, and need the benefit of scholarship, so scholars have a duty to provide it.

What you've said here in this thread does not bear the mark of scholarship.
By the way, you made the statement that Jesus said, "he would be believed because of the victorious cross, not the resurrection as such," Coffeecat asked you to provide the instance of Jesus saying this and you responded with what's quoted below:


'"Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me." (In saying this he indicated the kind of death he was going to suffer.)' John 12:31-33 (GNB)

Not that I hate to break it to you, but this doesn't substantiate your (mistaken) view that Jesus said he would be believed because of the cross as opposed to the resurrection.

HisLeast
Aug 3rd 2009, 06:19 PM
It is the testimony itself that is lacking.

How so?
(15 characters)

tt1106
Aug 3rd 2009, 07:17 PM
:) That is why these alleged historians cannot be considered a valid source.
Says you. You don't have any evidence to the contrary, so your assertion, so far, is without merit. It's a slippery slope you are on? By the same token, how do you find anything historical to be true, if that level of scrutiny is to be maintained?



But Peter's killing by Nero isn't very widely considered to be true, and neither is it widely true that Christianity is accepted because the twelve apostles were elective martyrs, because nobody knows that even one of them was. It is possible that they all were, but the fact is that people do not know it, so it cannot be evidence for them. Even if the Peter legend was widely believed, it would be necessary to accept it only after proper scrutiny, and even then there would be the need to prove that Peter was given the choice of belief or unbelief under threat. There is a great deal missing from this idea.
Really, that is quite a burden of proof. I trust that this same analysis is given to all historical facts.
I don't see that as a factual argument at all. The factual argument is not whether we KNOW that Peter was martyred, but is more likely can the early church histories be judged accurate. Without evidence to the contrary, I really don't see that you can make this assertion.
So, your description of martyrdom is whether he was specifically asked about Christ while under the sword and swore allegiance. It would not be enough that he devoted his life to the spreading of the Gospel and was dispatched because of that? That would be less glorious than dying while defending Christ the moment the sword pierced him?



The popularity of an idea is no guarantee that it's right, anyway. Popular ideas are popular often precisely because they are not right. People tend to believe what they want to, and need the benefit of scholarship, so scholars have a duty to provide it.

Enlighten me then. Where has your search for the truth led you? We have seen what we believe to be true, you continue to dispel it as not valid. Yet you have not provided a shred of evidence ot the contrary.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 07:31 PM
Says you. You don't have any evidence to the contrary, so your assertion, so far, is without merit.
No firm assertion has been made except that Peter was killed by Nero for his faith. So far, not a scrap of evidence has been offered, unless that link is now working, and even if it is, there may still be no evidence. Even if it is true that Peter was killed by Nero, it is not proof that he was given a choice in the matter.


The factual argument is not whether we KNOW that Peter was martyred, but is more likely can the early church histories be judged accurate. Unless we know what is alluded to, we do not even know that such histories exist. Can we see some names and works, or even quotes?


Without evidence to the contrary, I really don't see that you can make this assertion.What assertion? I have asked a question.

tt1106
Aug 3rd 2009, 09:56 PM
No firm assertion has been made except that Peter was killed by Nero for his faith. So far, not a scrap of evidence has been offered, unless that link is now working, and even if it is, there may still be no evidence. Even if it is true that Peter was killed by Nero, it is not proof that he was given a choice in the matter.

Unless we know what is alluded to, we do not even know that such histories exist. Can we see some names and works, or even quotes?

What assertion? I have asked a question.
I apologize. Are you inferring then that the apostles were not martyred? Or that there is no evidence proving they were?
We are on a message board, so I'm sure if you googled it you would get a gazillion hits.
Clemente of Alexandria recorded that Peter's was crucified upside down.So did Iraneous. I have no reason to believe otherwise.

wenlock
Aug 3rd 2009, 11:08 PM
Clemente of Alexandria recorded that Peter's was crucified upside down.
How can he have recorded it, when he was not even born until c. 100 years after the alleged event?


I have no reason to believe otherwise.
These men had no vested interest in promoting this idea?

Athanasius
Aug 4th 2009, 01:24 PM
How can he have recorded it, when he was not even born until c. 100 years after the alleged event?

The same way we trust those who wrote the biography of Alexander the great, four hundred years after his death. The same way we trust the authors of the Old Testament, who recorded events they weren't around to see. You are forgetting that Scripture is the exception in ancient literature in terms of the number of documentary support. Again, there are no competing traditions. A thing which would have surely been mentioned in the early debates between pagans, Gnostics and Christians. The early church promoted and defended itself on the basis of the resurrection. Had one of the Apostles, who said he saw the resurrected Jesus, recanted his faith, that would have been devastating. Yet we don't see anything like this in history.



These men had no vested interest in promoting this idea?

If you're suggesting we shouldn't believe them because they believed what they wrote about, then are you likewise suggesting we should not listen to the authors of Scripture, or even you?

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