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Thread: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

  1. #1

    Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    There are two versions of Christianity: intellectual and occult. Which one are you?

    Intellectual looks like this:
    Any honest, intelligent person who enquires into Christianity has enough information publicly available to find out what it is and whether it is true or not. There is no such thing as a dangerous question or dangerous line of enquiry. If they encounter something false, there is sufficient reason to support what is true for this to be demonstrable.

    Occult takes one or more of these forms:
    A person cannot understand what Christianity is unless they have a personal experience, known to a specific group of people who are a subset of people who identify as Christian.
    A person cannot understand what Christianity is unless they follow a particular instruction (e.g. a prayer for guidance while reading the Bible).
    A person cannot understand what Christianity is unless they avoid contact with certain opinions and areas of knowledge, known, again, to a specific group of people who are a subset of people who identify as Christian.

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    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    In your description, "occult" Christianity is anything outside of what you term "intellectual Christianity". So actually, your point is there are only two versions of Christianity, intellectual and non-intellectual. As proof, you already have offered three "forms" of non-intellectual "occult Christianity" that don't have much to do with each other. There would appear to be innumerable forms as long as they weren't the "intellectual" version.

    Anyway, as a Christian, I find myself outside the version of Christianity that you label "intellectual". However, for a number of years, I did practice a form of that while not referring to myself as a Christian. The component that was missing was a belief in the supernatural, specifically special creation, existence after death, spirituality, etc. I hope that helps.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

  3. #3

    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    It is occult because it is hidden, which is what the word means. Those three versions are based on the idea that someone's hidden knowledge, experience or instructions are essential to understanding the Christian message.

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    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    I am an extreme intellectual ... and yea when I first read the New Testament (when I was 23 years old ... I read the 4 Gospels for first time) ... my intellect kicked in ... I said "Hey these are very smart men and they describe the 'politics' of the evil 'winning' over the 'good' ...

    That being said I have also had some personal experiences that 'confuse' my intellect that also have led me to be a BELIEVER ... or as I would rather say ... a follower of Jesus Christ ...
    ***
    Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
    For You are the God of my salvation;
    On You I wait all the day.

    Psalms 25:5
    ***

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    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidYoung View Post
    It is occult because it is hidden, which is what the word means. Those three versions are based on the idea that someone's hidden knowledge, experience or instructions are essential to understanding the Christian message.
    Well, there are two versions of Christianity then, Occult, and non-Occult. Why do you conflate non-hidden with "intellectual"? Your mixing of certain words seems intentional to me.

    I offered in my response the shortcomings of "intellectual" Christianity, as it would seem to inform rather than transform. Transformation assumes the spiritual, where one either dismisses that sort of stuff to the workings of chemistry, or something more which is "hidden" and in need of transforming.

    Christianity is based on "revelation", or the showing of the hidden. So there is much to commend Christianity as non-hidden. Yes, we believe that God is transcendent, and what we know of God is because of His revealing of Himself to humanity. Part of that is by His creation, which can be approached intellectually as God has revealed Himself as Creator. Christianity gets its name from the first advent of Jesus Christ, where the Son of God was hidden but then revealed openly to all. If you can embrace that intellectually, then good. But it gulps down a whole lot of understanding of the supernatural, and a transcendent Creator, sin, the afterlife, judgment, etc. The believing and embracing of the afterlife leaves the realm of your "intellectual Christianity", at least IMHO.

    So, are you a "intellectual Christian"? Or something other?
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

  6. #6

    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    Non-hidden is intellectual because it can be entirely described in language. It is the intellect that is used for understanding ideas expressed in language.

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    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidYoung View Post
    Non-hidden is intellectual because it can be entirely described in language. It is the intellect that is used for understanding ideas expressed in language.
    Well, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is entirely described in language. The Gospel is published to all humanity in countless languages and is not an esoteric offering. One's intellect can also consider the testimony of others who believe on Jesus Christ and their stated reasons and the application in their lives.

    Here is a small passage from the Gospel of Luke concerning Jesus' ministry (from Luke 5, verses 17-26, words of Jesus in red, portions in bold for consideration):

    One day, while [Jesus] was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven you." Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, "Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, "Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, "Stand up and walk'? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - he said to the one who was paralyzed - "I say to you, stand up and take your bed and go to your home." Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."


    In the above story, Jesus refers to the men's faith of those that brought and lowered the paralyzed man into Jesus' presence to be healed.

    Question: In the bold portion, can the actions of the men be considered an "intellectual" response? They had heard the fame of Jesus as a healer, they had decided upon action because of a particular need, i.e. the man was paralyzed and being healed by Jesus would certainly remedy the problem. Was their faith which resulted in this action "occult" or "intellectual"?

    I don't think your terminology suits the story very well, nor do I think it fits Christianity very well either.

    But regardless, what think ye regarding the above? And are you a non-hidden Christian? Tell us some about your beliefs.
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

  8. #8

    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    Would you then agree that Christianity stands or falls solely on its ability to stand up to rational questioning?

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    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidYoung View Post
    Would you then agree that Christianity stands or falls solely on its ability to stand up to rational questioning?
    Huh? Solely? I thought you said there were two versions of Christianity, not one. I might agree that whatever version you think is "intellectual Christianity" might stand or fall solely on whatever qualifications you deem. You are the one in control of these terms and definitions. But remember, I am of the "non-intellectual" version of Christianity, so I can't really speak to what intellectual Christianity stands or falls upon.

    Are you reading my posts? Can you look back and do me the favor of answering some of the questions I posed? Are you an "intellectual Christian"? You seem to know a great deal about "intellectual Christianity", so I am guessing so, right?
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

  10. #10

    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    I am asking about the version of Christianity you regard as Christianity, not a version you don't.

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    Re: Intellectual versus occult Christianity

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidYoung View Post
    I am asking about the version of Christianity you regard as Christianity, not a version you don't.
    I tried to engage you concerning my version with the passage from The Gospel of Luke in an above post. When Jesus "saw their faith", i.e. the men who lowered the paralyzed man down through the roof to put him in the presence of Jesus, were their actions "reasoned"? Was their faith rational?

    If the story is true, and since the man was healed, it would seem their actions and faith were reasoned, right? It really isn't rocket science. Now, they could have defeated themselves if at first they had exercised a biased view that healings weren't rational and therefore no effort should be made to place their friend in the presence of Jesus and that all the hullabaloo regarding Jesus was irrational. But then again, maybe they had heard the fame of Jesus and considered the testimony of others who said they saw Jesus heal so and so, and that He had performed other miracles. With an identified need, i.e. their paralyzed friend, they developed a plan based on faith that if they could get their friend in the presence of Jesus, his need could be met.

    In answer to my post, you asked if I agreed that "Christianity stands or falls solely on its ability to stand up to rational questioning?". Your response is a non sequitur.

    If you want to talk about why I profess Christianity, then engage my posts.

    If you want to talk about "rational questioning", then I assume we are talking about what you think Christianity is, and to do that you would be the one to clarify that version.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidYoung
    Would you then agree that Christianity stands or falls solely on its ability to stand up to rational questioning?
    I would say that Christianity stands or falls on its ability to stand up to rational introspection. As a believer, and with my Worldview (let's call it Theism), Christianity holds up well to my rational inquiries. If it didn't, my "belief system" would crumble and I would be on to the next one that held up to my rational introspection. But I'm good with where I am.

    Where is it that you come into problems with Christianity not standing up to your line of rational questioning?
    Watchinginawe

    I Samuel 3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

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