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Rufus_1611
Nov 6th 2008, 05:17 PM
Is it truth to consider someone a Christian who believes that there are many paths to God?

Can one be a believer in Jesus Christ, yet believe that others can believe in Mohammed and go to Heaven?

One who says they are a Christian but believes Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc. all serve the same God, does this person have the truth in him or is he a liar?

daughter
Nov 6th 2008, 05:24 PM
Well, Jesus says "I AM the way, the truth and the light... NO-ONE comes to the Father but by Me." And then again we hear that anyone who denies Christ is a liar, and an anti Christ.

So I'd suggest the Bible makes it quite clear. There is only one path, and it's narrow. We may get on it at different junctures, but whatever path we were on before we were saved, we all have to enter in at the narrow gate that leads to eternal life.

AngelAuthor
Nov 6th 2008, 05:28 PM
It depends on how well-versed a Christian is. For example, if a Christian gets saved today, believing that other people may still get to Heaven, that is fine.

But as they grow and mature and study, and come to those verses that point out that CHRIST IS THE ONLY WAY... and they choose not to believe it, then no, I don't believe they are saved, for they are then calling God (and Christ) a liar in exchange for the world's way.

Christ requires that we depend on Him and ONLY on Him for our salvation. At some level, people who believe in "another way" aren't going to be relying on Him completely.

If Christ is wrong, I'm going to hell...I accept that. Someone who thinks that if Christ is wrong, they can try Buddha, or Allah, or maybe they'll get in because they were good people...

they just don't get it. They don't understand the power in, and need of, Christ's blood. - no, they're not saved, IMO.

daughter
Nov 6th 2008, 05:38 PM
That's a good reply Angyll... when I was first saved I really wanted to believe in universal reconciliation, for example... but reading the Scriptures told me that couldn't be true. Next, I really was hoping for annihilation of the wicked... but again I couldn't hold to that as I read the Word.

I've been Christian a little less than three years, and I do know that what I believed early on simply can't be hung onto, when Scripture says otherwise.

always
Nov 8th 2008, 04:48 AM
Is it truth to consider someone a Christian who believes that there are many paths to God?

Can one be a believer in Jesus Christ, yet believe that others can believe in Mohammed and go to Heaven?

One who says they are a Christian but believes Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc. all serve the same God, does this person have the truth in him or is he a liar?

I agree somewhat with the other posts, and wholly with the bible that one must go through the Son to get to the Father

1John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

But one thing that bothers me about your post is that you included Catholics as if they don't believe in Christ? is this what you mean't?

Ministering to diverse groups of people, I know that ones go through journeys, I have seen atheist give their lives to Christ to be a testimony that God can save anyone.

We all are on different paths , but we must get to Christ.

When one teaches what is called ecumenical religion, then I have a problem with them. God is a jealous God and we can put no god before him. That person is a deceiver.

But for a Christian to say that Christ is there for everyone, no matter the path, and will recieve them when they acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, is in line with the scriptures.

Rufus_1611
Nov 8th 2008, 04:57 AM
I agree somewhat with the other posts, and wholly with the bible that one must go through the Son to get to the Father

1John 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [(but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also].

But one thing that bothers me about your post is that you included Catholics as if they don't believe in Christ? is this what you mean't? The Roman Catholic Church believes in a Christ, just not the same one that is presented in the Holy Bible. Salvation is by grace through faith alone...not via sacraments.



Ministering to diverse groups of people, I know that ones go through journeys, I have seen atheist give their lives to Christ to be a testimony that God can save anyone.

We all are on different paths , but we must get to Christ.

When one teaches what is called ecumenical religion, then I have a problem with them. God is a jealous God and we can put no god before him. That person is a deceiver.

But for a Christian to say that Christ is there for everyone, no matter the path, and will recieve them when they acknowledge that Jesus is Lord, is in line with the scriptures.

AngelAuthor
Nov 8th 2008, 06:02 AM
But one thing that bothers me about your post is that you included Catholics as if they don't believe in Christ? is this what you mean't?

Catholics believe in Christ...

And Mary, and the Church, and the Sacraments, and the Saints, and the Ritual, and the Baptism, and Communion...

They put their faith in MANY things for Salvation and not Christ alone. In this way, they are no different than the heretic who believes that there are many paths (religions) that will get you there.

Revinius
Nov 8th 2008, 12:02 PM
One can be a Christian that goes to a Catholic church, but not (i think) a Catholic who claims themself Christian. The difference being a doctrinal one: It is hard to see how one can believe in Catholic doctrine in its entirety and be a bible-believing Christian.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 8th 2008, 01:15 PM
If somebody does not believe that Catholics are Christians, then the Christian church disappeared from about 300 until 1519.

Rufus_1611
Nov 8th 2008, 01:49 PM
If somebody does not believe that Catholics are Christians, then the Christian church disappeared from about 300 until 1519. Since the time of Jesus Christ on earth, there have always been faithful Christians outside of the Roman Catholic Church. (They have never been as strong as they could have been, as the RCC was busy killing many of them.)

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 8th 2008, 02:08 PM
Since the time of Jesus Christ on earth, there have always been faithful Christians outside of the Roman Catholic Church. (They have never been as strong as they could have been, as the RCC was busy killing many of them.)

Perhaps not part of the RCC, but until the Reformation, saints, icons, relics, etc. were part of the church, whether we liked it or not. Sure they were debated at various times, but anyone wishing to become a Christian would have to choose between Western, Eastern, or Oriental churches while the purely protestant doctrines would be a long time coming.

Believing in these things does not invalidate somebody's Christianity, but it obviously contributed to a very distorted vision of God until the Reformation.

always
Nov 8th 2008, 04:29 PM
Believing in these things does not invalidate somebody's Christianity, but it obviously contributed to a very distorted vision of God until the Reformation.


I have to agree with this, this is a example of ones path, they are going toward Jesus, all of the symbolism yes, is a distortion, but didn't God tell us as well that

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

how many debates do we see here wether or not baptism is nececessary to make it to heaven? the debates about speaking in tongues?, debates about speaking faith?

we have our issues as well as the RCC has theirs

18 says

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.

There are many things the RCC has to overcome as well as we do, but knowing that Christ is Lord is the right path.

God knows where we at, he sees us taking our baby steps and has his arms out for us, HE is ABBA Father.

and as we crawl, step, walk, then run this race whatever curves we take, we have to stay focused on HIM. Others are watching! We don't have time to be critical, for those on other paths have to see how we take our curves.

Dani H
Nov 8th 2008, 04:58 PM
The RCC has much to answer for before God. But we can't condemn a whole association for the mistakes of some of its members. We're each individually responsible for the path we ourselves walk, and whether we obey God or not. There are many who claim the name of Jesus and live their life contrary to His commandments. There are many who have never met Him and yet are nearer to Him than they are aware of. God has put eternity in all of our hearts, and to Him alone we answer.

But we will all be held accountable for what we know. If I know that Jesus is the only way to the Father, then I must live accordingly and talk accordingly, because that is what I am going to get judged by. God alone knows, and I can't answer for somebody else because I cannot see their hearts or witness their life in its entirety. The only life and heart I have such control over, is my own. And once I know truth, then I must walk according to it, or it is sin unto me. Because whatever is not of faith, is sin.

always
Nov 8th 2008, 05:36 PM
. There are many who have never met Him and yet are nearer to Him than they are aware of.

The only life and heart I have such control over, is my own. And once I know truth, then I must walk according to it, or it is sin unto me. Because whatever is not of faith, is sin.


TWO! statements of wisdom

ServantofTruth
Nov 8th 2008, 06:26 PM
One Saviour - Jesus Christ
One bible - the Word of God
One church - divided into denominations, all man made & flawed.

Love SofTy.

always
Nov 8th 2008, 09:12 PM
One Saviour - Jesus Christ
One bible - the Word of God
One church - divided into denominations, all man made & flawed.

Love SofTy.


man is of the flesh, what would one expect, but God will return for the body of Christ, that will be without spot or wrinkle:saint:

AngelAuthor
Nov 10th 2008, 07:53 PM
If somebody does not believe that Catholics are Christians, then the Christian church disappeared from about 300 until 1519.
That's a nice, Catholic, errant view of history.

Catholics like to claim they were the ones there from day One with Peter, but they have no documents proving this, nor does the action/attitudes of the New Testament Church support it, since the New Testament Christians did not act Catholic AT ALL.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 10th 2008, 09:00 PM
That's a nice, Catholic, errant view of history.

Catholics like to claim they were the ones there from day One with Peter, but they have no documents proving this, nor does the action/attitudes of the New Testament Church support it, since the New Testament Christians did not act Catholic AT ALL.

Do I believe that the CC is wrong on many things? Yes.

Do I believe that they are rotten to the core? No.

The Catholic practices (veneration of Mary, saints, etc) were added to the Christian Church, which was all pretty much uniform until the schisms (mostly based on geography and petty politicking) began. I feel the mistake of many Christians is to treat historic Christianity as a blight on the Church, a time when no Christian existed and a time when Christianity was in darkness.

The concepts of "state churches" and "official religions of the empire" are dated and reflect a primitive understanding of the church, in no way do I imply them.

Martin Luther removed much of the garbage, but added some of his own.

God doesn't have denominational goggles, and we shouldn't either. The mistake is to assume that there is one "perfect" denomination. We are all on an individual path to holiness, and to assume that people of any creed, group, confession, philosophy, or church have God in their back pocket is to begin division, persecution, and evil.

AngelAuthor
Nov 10th 2008, 09:03 PM
Do I believe that the CC is wrong on many things? Yes.
Agreed!


Do I believe that they are rotten to the core? No.
The church is rotten to the core, the Catholics in it are not. I fully believe there will be many Catholics in heaven...those that did not buy fully into the church's doctrine or drink all the Kool Aid.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 10th 2008, 10:38 PM
those that did not buy fully into the church's doctrine or drink all the Kool Aid.

Interesting choice of words :lol:

mikebr
Nov 10th 2008, 10:51 PM
I don't believe that there are many paths to God but wouldn't you agree that God could walk down any path He choses?

JesusPhreak27
Nov 10th 2008, 11:50 PM
That's a nice, Catholic, errant view of history.

Catholics like to claim they were the ones there from day One with Peter, but they have no documents proving this, nor does the action/attitudes of the New Testament Church support it, since the New Testament Christians did not act Catholic AT ALL.

So question for you......

Our belief system is founded on faith right? If God wanted to give us tangible proof that He told Noah to build an ark He would have left it somewhere for us to find right?

That being said how in the world is it fair to say that we believe by faith but then require the Catholics to provide tangible proof?

Do they not believe that our Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross? If they dont then you are right....but if they do and want to have to go through the different sacraments so what? Those are nothing more then man made doctrines just like my church reciting the Nicene Creed every service or my wife's old church taking communion every sunday....

Dont you guys see whats going on here? All the evil one has to do is throw the rock into the church...we take care of throwing it at one another....

The Bible requires that each and every one of us believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins....that belief gets us into heaven.....

JesusPhreak27
Nov 10th 2008, 11:51 PM
Agreed!


The church is rotten to the core, the Catholics in it are not. I fully believe there will be many Catholics in heaven...those that did not buy fully into the church's doctrine or drink all the Kool Aid.


Again do they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross?

Gulah Papyrus
Nov 11th 2008, 12:16 AM
Again do they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross?Do they believe that He walked out of that tomb?

Yes = Saved
No = Unsaved

OldChurchGuy
Nov 11th 2008, 02:58 AM
Is it truth to consider someone a Christian who believes that there are many paths to God?

Can one be a believer in Jesus Christ, yet believe that others can believe in Mohammed and go to Heaven?

One who says they are a Christian but believes Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc. all serve the same God, does this person have the truth in him or is he a liar?

As I understand things, the final judgment is in God's hands. Therefore, it is not my place to decide if a given individual is going to heaven or not.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

AngelAuthor
Nov 11th 2008, 06:18 AM
That being said how in the world is it fair to say that we believe by faith but then require the Catholics to provide tangible proof?
We believe GOD by faith, we don't believe the words of men, who seek power unto themselves by faith.

AngelAuthor
Nov 11th 2008, 06:20 AM
Again do they believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross?
Believing that Christ Died on the Cross is not enough for a church or salvation to be valid. Demons know He died on the cross...does them no good.

Ashley274
Nov 11th 2008, 06:50 AM
I have to agree with this, this is a example of ones path, they are going toward Jesus, all of the symbolism yes, is a distortion, but didn't God tell us as well that

Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:

17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body [is] of Christ.

how many debates do we see here wether or not baptism is nececessary to make it to heaven? the debates about speaking in tongues?, debates about speaking faith?

we have our issues as well as the RCC has theirs

18 says

Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind.

There are many things the RCC has to overcome as well as we do, but knowing that Christ is Lord is the right path.

God knows where we at, he sees us taking our baby steps and has his arms out for us, HE is ABBA Father.

and as we crawl, step, walk, then run this race whatever curves we take, we have to stay focused on HIM. Others are watching! We don't have time to be critical, for those on other paths have to see how we take our curves.

Wow Always something we agree in ;):) I too feel many things are messed up in the RCC but many in that church are saved by grace in faith in CHRIST JESUS...how they got there may be off at first but ...those who are not agaist is are for us....

But I do hold JESUS is the ONLY WAY the TRUTH an the LIGHT of the world unless we come to HIM we will not be saved .

Athanasius
Nov 11th 2008, 08:49 AM
The church is rotten to the core, the Catholics in it are not. I fully believe there will be many Catholics in heaven...those that did not buy fully into the church's doctrine or drink all the Kool Aid.

Careful, most of your "Protestant" theology is actually Catholic. Also to add, I know Christ existed and led the life described in the Gospels... It's not a matter of belief, it's fact of knowledge.

Rufus_1611
Nov 11th 2008, 11:49 AM
As I understand things, the final judgment is in God's hands. Therefore, it is not my place to decide if a given individual is going to heaven or not.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy How do you know who to witness to and who to call brother?

JesusPhreak27
Nov 11th 2008, 02:18 PM
Believing that Christ Died on the Cross is not enough for a church or salvation to be valid. Demons know He died on the cross...does them no good.

My bible says that faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins is all that is required to get into heaven....

Now if there is more that I have to do....please let me know?

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 11th 2008, 04:51 PM
The church is rotten to the core, the Catholics in it are not. I fully believe there will be many Catholics in heaven...those that did not buy fully into the church's doctrine or drink all the Kool Aid.

All we can do is our best to follow Christ.

In retrospect, this seems like you have identified perfect truth with your particular understanding of the Bible/ your denomination.

In reality, the differences are not so clean cut.

The Catholics believe that the authors of the Gospels fully intended to prove that Peter was Christ's representative on earth. There are tomes filled with information that backs this up.

We, on the other hand, believe that Peter was not meant to be the infallible interpretor of doctrine. We have tomes to back this up too.

So when Catholics go out, worship and serve Christ, and then pray to Mary, they are not invalidating their Christianity, but they have added a bizarre dimension that is unnecessary at best and turns into idolatry at worst.

But we have uncertainty and debates in the Protestant tradition as well. Take the example of Baptism. If either side is perfectly right, we are either endangering souls or we completely misunderstand Christ's command.

Knowing God isn't all or nothing, my finite mind cannot exhaust the infinite nature of God. So if the Catholics are rotten to the core in their incomplete understanding, then our Protestant view is too, because we cannot confuse our understanding of God with God.

OldChurchGuy
Nov 13th 2008, 12:48 AM
How do you know who to witness to and who to call brother?

As you are aware from Paul's various writings, each of us has different gifts and in different measure. As near as I can tell, mine is not the gift of preaching but rather teaching.

Combine that with an earnest attempt to always be civil toward others, listen carefully as people confide things, and there seems to be plenty of opportunity to witness.

Not sure what you mean about who to call "brother". Do you mean members in the church I attend? Strangers? Male siblings?

As always,

OldChurchGuy

apothanein kerdos
Nov 13th 2008, 01:02 AM
My bible says that faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins is all that is required to get into heaven....

Now if there is more that I have to do....please let me know?

Well it must be your Bible because no other Bible limits salvation to just that alone.

The Bible indicates that there is a context to the name of "Jesus" and title of "Christ," meaning that if one does not accept the contextual definition of either, belief in a death is useless. An example of this would be someone who claims she believes that Jesus died for our sins, only to turn around and say Jesus was nothing more than a man who had a close connection with God. This is blatant heresy and contradicts the contextual definition of who Jesus is.

Revinius
Nov 13th 2008, 01:30 AM
My bible says that faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins is all that is required to get into heaven....

Now if there is more that I have to do....please let me know?

The resurrection is important, let's not overvalue penal substitutionary atonement to the loss of everything else Jesus did.

Revinius
Nov 13th 2008, 01:32 AM
Well it must be your Bible because no other Bible limits salvation to just that alone.

The Bible indicates that there is a context to the name of "Jesus" and title of "Christ," meaning that if one does not accept the contextual definition of either, belief in a death is useless. An example of this would be someone who claims she believes that Jesus died for our sins, only to turn around and say Jesus was nothing more than a man who had a close connection with God. This is blatant heresy and contradicts the contextual definition of who Jesus is.

Indeed, a name without something behind it is not really a name at all. And like i said above, it is the entire life of Jesus that is important, not just His death.

Rufus_1611
Nov 13th 2008, 05:55 AM
As you are aware from Paul's various writings, each of us has different gifts and in different measure. As near as I can tell, mine is not the gift of preaching but rather teaching.

Combine that with an earnest attempt to always be civil toward others, listen carefully as people confide things, and there seems to be plenty of opportunity to witness. To whom would you witness to? If it is not your place to judge who is saved, according to their doctrine, why would you witness to anyone?


Not sure what you mean about who to call "brother". Do you mean members in the church I attend? Strangers? Male siblings? Brothers in Christ.

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." - 2 Thessalonians 3:6
Who were the brethren Paul was referring to in the above passage? Who was the brother that they were to withdraw from? I believe both the brethren and the brother were spiritual brothers in Christ. I believe you ought to know who is your brother and who is playing for the other team. I believe it is your place to know if a given individual is going to heaven or not. If a man says he can get to heaven through Mohammed, you ought to have the spiritual discernment to know that this just isn't the case and he's on his way to hell. Then you will know that you need to do what you can to save him from the fire.



As always,

OldChurchGuy

Revinius
Nov 13th 2008, 08:15 AM
We cannot know who is saved, but for the purposes of an indication for who to call brother, it's about fruit. If someone says: "Hey i am a Christian" but has no fruit, then chances are they arent a Christian (but in the end God knows). If you claim to be a fruit tree (Christian) and you do not bear fruit, chances are you arent a fruit tree (not Christian).

ServantofTruth
Nov 13th 2008, 09:13 AM
I think there is a problem for a lot of Christians, that they either grew up Protestant being told Roman Catholics were totally wrong bordering on evil or grew up Roman Catholic and crossed the floor and embraced the first position.

I am lucky i believe to attend an Anglican church that sits somewhere in the middle. It is catholic with a small 'c', something that confuses many people, especially on this site and the moderators have asked me to stop calling the Anglican church catholic - which is what it correctly is! It is also correctly called Protestant because it is a break away church from the Roman catholic church and only uses the 66 book bible.

This arguement and hate comes not from God/ Jesus but man. I am aware when someone says something unbiblical either in a church or outside. I believe i have seen this in every church i have been to of every denomination.

While some catholics may have picture/ icons? of Jesus and some may lose their focus on true biblical faith, many have not. Some may follow man, like many Protestants with tv preachers and their own positions rather than God's biblical position, but many don't.

I've never been to a Roman Catholic church, but i grew up in an Anglican catholic church, that many of you might consider no different to a Roman Catholic church. The errors are mainly kept to special services, that most of the congregation don't attend - 120 on a sunday? compared to special services 10? So many of the congregation are avoiding error deliberately i believe. Some have even clearly told me.

Hate never comes from God. Love does. I actually live in the divide between Protestants and Catholics, attending a church with people who desribe themselves both ways with friends in both camps.

We do churches together hymn/ chorus singing on the sea front every summer for 2 months, led by a different minister/ pastor each week. Methodists, Baptists, United Reform, Anglicans and many more denominations and yes Roman Catholics. One week is always led by a Roman Catholic priest. Everyone still goes, from all the denominations!

I've attended many churches lately and hope to keep doing so. There is a small Pentecostal church i love going to with a christian friend on sunday evenings.

When someones heart and mind is focused on Jesus like ourselves, it is easier to encourage the good parts of their walk and discuss calmly why you believe certain bits are unbiblical. Work with them, like i have with the Anglicans i know. Because if you critise and show hate, they will not listen. Partly because their faith tells them, like us, that critism and hate don't come from God.

Lastly we are fools if we believe those parts of the body don't have much to teach US. SofTy. :B :pray:

always
Nov 14th 2008, 04:26 PM
How do you know who to witness to and who to call brother?


From Jesus' example

Mar 3:35

For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

quiet dove
Nov 14th 2008, 06:38 PM
From Jesus' example

Mar 3:35

For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.

And the will of God starts with a person believing the truth that there is only one name under heaven in which a man can be saved, Jesus Christ, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation God has provided. Any variation will not get a person saved.

There is only one path to God, period.

AngelAuthor
Nov 14th 2008, 10:24 PM
My bible says that faith that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins is all that is required to get into heaven....

Now if there is more that I have to do....please let me know?
Might want to re-read the book. You have to REPENT of your sins, and believe not only that Jesus died (many hell-bound people believe the same) but that he died FOR YOU, for the remission of your sins. That His blood was the necessary sacrifice for God.

A person has to know they are not righteous, not good, and rely on Christ and His sacrifice alone for salvation. Not only thus but belief in His sinless perfection and resurrection from the dead.

AngelAuthor
Nov 14th 2008, 10:26 PM
Careful, most of your "Protestant" theology is actually Catholic..
Actually, I'm not Protestant. None of my beliefs stem from Catholicism. :D

Rufus_1611
Nov 14th 2008, 10:38 PM
"That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." - Ephesians 2:7-9

Eternal salvation is by grace through faith alone.

OldChurchGuy
Nov 19th 2008, 03:34 AM
To whom would you witness to? If it is not your place to judge who is saved, according to their doctrine, why would you witness to anyone?

Brothers in Christ.

"Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us." - 2 Thessalonians 3:6
Who were the brethren Paul was referring to in the above passage? Who was the brother that they were to withdraw from? I believe both the brethren and the brother were spiritual brothers in Christ. I believe you ought to know who is your brother and who is playing for the other team. I believe it is your place to know if a given individual is going to heaven or not. If a man says he can get to heaven through Mohammed, you ought to have the spiritual discernment to know that this just isn't the case and he's on his way to hell. Then you will know that you need to do what you can to save him from the fire.

The witnessing is to those who inquire about my faith.

While your certainty of faith that all non-Christians are doomed to Hell is impressive, I do not share it. To me, final decisions of a persons destiny are up to God.

For me, Romans 12 is the best single chapter on treating others.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

AngelAuthor
Nov 19th 2008, 03:44 AM
While your certainty of faith that all non-Christians are doomed to Hell is impressive, I do not share it. To me, final decisions of a persons destiny are up to God.
That it is up to God is certainly true.

Doesn't mean that He will lie or contradict Himself though. He said fairly clearly that those who do not believe in Him (Christ) will not enter Heaven.

OldChurchGuy
Nov 19th 2008, 12:36 PM
That it is up to God is certainly true.

Doesn't mean that He will lie or contradict Himself though. He said fairly clearly that those who do not believe in Him (Christ) will not enter Heaven.

Your point is well made. If we had the original manuscripts I would agree with you. Check into the book "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrmann. Interesting reading.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 19th 2008, 01:28 PM
Your point is well made. If we had the original manuscripts I would agree with you. Check into the book "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Ehrmann. Interesting reading.

How does misquoting Jesus have to do with the discussion at hand?

OldChurchGuy
Nov 20th 2008, 10:08 PM
How does misquoting Jesus have to do with the discussion at hand?

The issue seems to be verses in the New Testament writings that indicate the only path to God is Christianity. The book, "Misquoting Jesus" is a study on various verses showing how they are in newer manuscripts but not older ones or were written in the margins as footnotes then moved into the text at a later copying.

My point was that it seems very difficult to conclude exactly what is a true and correct belief since we do not have the original manuscripts. One can have FAITH that the manuscript(s) used for translating from Greek to English are the same as the original but that is different than KNOWING the manuscript(s) used for translating from Greek to English are the same as the original.

As always,

OldChurchGuy

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 20th 2008, 10:23 PM
My point was that it seems very difficult to conclude exactly what is a true and correct belief since we do not have the original manuscripts. One can have FAITH that the manuscript(s) used for translating from Greek to English are the same as the original but that is different than KNOWING the manuscript(s) used for translating from Greek to English are the same as the original.

Ohhhh ok now. I see what you are saying.

By that logic, then yes, I would have to agree with you. Christianity is more than a set of propositional statements that one must have knowledge of and believe. God is just, and wouldn't indiscriminately send people to hell just because they haven't heard of him.

Jerome1
Nov 22nd 2008, 01:56 AM
Is it truth to consider someone a Christian who believes that there are many paths to God?

Can one be a believer in Jesus Christ, yet believe that others can believe in Mohammed and go to Heaven?

One who says they are a Christian but believes Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc. all serve the same God, does this person have the truth in him or is he a liar?

To believe in a God with no knowledge of Christ and his Church may be considered an implicit belief in Christ.

How are people to believe in one whom they have never heard?(Romans10:14-15)

Again we don't know where the wind blows or where it chooses(John3:5).

It may be that God has privately revealed himself and been accepted by one only beknown to him. That is why people shouldn't be so quick to judge others.

th1bill
Nov 22nd 2008, 03:32 AM
OCG,
... For the verification of the Old Testament we have the Dead Sea Scrolls and they show that versions such as the NASB are very accurate and for the New Testament we have over 6,000 original complete and partial manuscripts that verify the New Testament to be accurate. And the crux of the matter is that we serve the only being in all of Creation that deserves to be noted as Awesome. You surely don't believe that He can create everything that has ever been created and yet is so weak that He can't protect the integrity of the only book He authored, do you?
... Now, as for this matter of some of these other religions going to heaven, a study of who their Jesus is will be in order there to see who they believe in. In the case of the Muslims they do not worship the same God that the Jew and the Christian do. Their Jesus not only did not rise on the third day but their imposter sent a look alike to die for him on the cross and is not God but is a servant to some, as yet, unrevieled Prayer Leader. These good folks here have not been misleading anyone, even Satan believes in Jesus but he will not enter into eternal rest in Heaven because he knows the truth. You might want to pick up a copy of The Nave's Topical Bible and do a study on these matters. The Nave's will list every verse in the Bible for any chosen topic and is very inexpensive. You can even download a copy of "e-Sword" for either Windows or Linux and download a free copy of the Nave's to use in it's study program.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 22nd 2008, 07:20 AM
Although we should clarify, we know about 99.9% of the Bible to be accurate. The parts in question are few and far between.

Revinius
Nov 22nd 2008, 06:31 PM
Although we should clarify, we know about 99.9% of the Bible to be accurate. The parts in question are few and far between.

I find it funny that the 0.01% always seems to be something someone doesnt want it to say rather than some mediocre fact.... funny that.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 22nd 2008, 06:52 PM
I find it funny that the 0.01% always seems to be something someone doesnt want it to say rather than some mediocre fact.... funny that.

I don't believe that the bible is the "word of God" in any sense other than it contains the faith journey of early church, everything that we know about Jesus, and the faith of our spiritual ancestors the Jews. But some people make it seem like the "errors" make the Bible hopeless and worthless. I disagree 100%.

That being said, we need to examine the scriptures, keeping in mind that they are a product of human minds, hands, and prejudices. I agree with you, anyone who believes that the scriptures are free of contradiction, written by God, or the product of special divine revelation should open the Bible and read it for a change!

apothanein kerdos
Nov 22nd 2008, 06:54 PM
I don't believe that the bible is the "word of God" in any sense other than it contains the faith journey of early church, everything that we know about Jesus, and the faith of our spiritual ancestors the Jews. But some people make it seem like the "errors" make the Bible hopeless and worthless. I disagree 100%.

That being said, we need to examine the scriptures, keeping in mind that they are a product of human minds, hands, and prejudices. I agree with you, anyone who believes that the scriptures are free of contradiction, written by God, or the product of special divine revelation should open the Bible and read it for a change!

Hooray for heresy! :pp

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 22nd 2008, 07:31 PM
Hooray for heresy! :pp

Where in the Bible does it say

"Thou shalt believe that every single word contained in these pages is taken to be 100% literal and sent by fax from a man in the sky that contains no errors"

Warrior4God
Nov 22nd 2008, 08:33 PM
Is it truth to consider someone a Christian who believes that there are many paths to God?

Can one be a believer in Jesus Christ, yet believe that others can believe in Mohammed and go to Heaven?

One who says they are a Christian but believes Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants etc. all serve the same God, does this person have the truth in him or is he a liar?

Anybody that doesn't accept Jesus Christ as Savior, and Him alone, is NOT going to Heaven, period. The Bible makes it clear the way to Heaven is narrow and it is possible to reach it ONLY by faith in Jesus Christ. Not Allah. Not Buddah. Not the millions of Hindu gods. It doesn't matter how "nice" or "decent" somebody is. Atheists or even satanists can be nice or decent people, when the need arises. That will NOT get them into Heaven.

sheina maidle
Nov 22nd 2008, 09:26 PM
Where in the Bible does it say

"Thou shalt believe that every single word contained in these pages is taken to be 100% literal and sent by fax from a man in the sky that contains no errors"
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:17)

God is not "a man in the sky". Statements such as that are proof of what the psalmist said in Psalm 14:1 & 53:1:

<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. (Psalms 14:1)

<<To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.>> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. (Psalms 53:1)

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 22nd 2008, 10:07 PM
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Timothy 3:16)

This is a reference to the Hebrew Scriptures.


That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:17)

God is not "a man in the sky". Statements such as that are proof of what the psalmist said in Psalm 14:1 & 53:1:

<<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. (Psalms 14:1)

<<To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.>> The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good. (Psalms 53:1)

Well, I'm not saying that there is no God. You are just throwing scripture that is unrelated. It has not addressed the issue at hand. I was using the man in the sky point to illustrate how many people think of God, sending down the Bible in a nicely bound book with a leather cover. I hardly feel that God is a man in the sky.

The issues in question are the authenticity of biblical passages such as the woman being caught in adultery and several others. If God intended the bible to be a fax from heaven, then he would have surely not deceive his people into believing that it had been corrupted in any way. If the Bible is God's writing as many assert, then even one human passage would destroy the integrity of the whole thing.

Warrior4God
Nov 22nd 2008, 10:30 PM
This is a reference to the Hebrew Scriptures

Where do you come up with that conclusion? It says ALL scripture, not "Old Testament alone." This would include New Testament scripture. I don't think as a Christian it's logical to say the Bible isn't God inspired. God made sure what He wanted man to know would be revealed through His Word and He made sure the Bible was accurately written by men under direction of His Holy Spirit and assembled together. Yes, there are other books written by people that were left out of the Bible, such as the "gnostic" stuff like The Gospel Of Thomas, but that's because they weren't actually inspired by The Holy Spirit and God made sure they were left out when the Bible was canonized.

th1bill
Nov 22nd 2008, 10:30 PM
... I'll say it over and over, just as I have in the past, "If the god you serve is so small that he can not maintain the truth and purity of his written word then he is not God!" And having said that you must understand that we do not worship the same God. My LORD divested Himself of His divinity and took on the form of the man, Jesus, the Christ, but at the same time He was and is fully God. He is the one true God and there is nothing that has been created that was not created by Him, John 1.
... To believe the heresy that God, the creator of the entire universe and everything it contains, would be capable of that but is so weak that He is unable to maintain the integrity and the purity of the only book He authored is completely inconceivable to the Christian Believer. First of all, we live by faith, not by proof and that very faith is a gift from Him. You cannot pick and choose the parts of the Bible you like and toss the other parts away! That is what Mohammad did and look at the mess Satan has managed to generate through Islam because of the lies in that book. Any time you have a true story and you remove one sentence to make it more palatable it becomes a complete lie.
... As for the Bible, God said it, I believe it and that is the end of the matter.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 22nd 2008, 11:23 PM
Where do you come up with that conclusion? It says ALL scripture, not "Old Testament alone."

When Paul was writing, do you believe that he was thinking "That which I am writing is going to be in the Bible"?


This would include New Testament scripture. I don't think as a Christian it's logical to say the Bible isn't God inspired.

What does inspiration mean to you? Does it mean that God dictated every word of the Bible? When I speak of inspiration, I mean that quality of conveying life and truth to the world, not being spoken by God.


God made sure what He wanted man to know would be revealed through His Word and He made sure the Bible was accurately written by men under direction of His Holy Spirit and assembled together. Yes, there are other books written by people that were left out of the Bible, such as the "gnostic" stuff like The Gospel Of Thomas, but that's because they weren't actually inspired by The Holy Spirit and God made sure they were left out when the Bible was canonized.

Well, we know the story of the woman taken in adultery has been added to the Bible. It is simply not present in the earliest and most complete manuscripts. This is what is addressed in "Misquoting Jesus".


"If the god you serve is so small that he can not maintain the truth and purity of his written word then he is not God!"

If the God you serve can be condensed into a single book that he is not God!


To believe the heresy that God, the creator of the entire universe and everything it contains, would be capable of that but is so weak that He is unable to maintain the integrity and the purity of the only book He authored is completely inconceivable to the Christian Believer. First of all, we live by faith, not by proof and that very faith is a gift from Him.

Have you actually read the Bible? Have you read about textual criticism?


You cannot pick and choose the parts of the Bible you like and toss the other parts away! That is what Mohammad did and look at the mess Satan has managed to generate through Islam because of the lies in that book. Any time you have a true story and you remove one sentence to make it more palatable it becomes a complete lie.

Mohammed would fall under the umbrella of mental illness. I don't see how he is relevant.

As for the Bible, just read about the Bible (textual criticism), we KNOW that there are passages that are altered, added, etc. Even conservative authors such as Mark Roberts (whom I would highly recommend) don't believe that the Bible was a fax from heaven.

sheina maidle
Nov 23rd 2008, 01:14 AM
... As for the Bible, God said it, I believe it and that is the end of the matter.
Amen! And adding to that...God said it and it doesn't matter if I believe it or not....the fact that God said it is the end of the matter!

Revinius
Nov 23rd 2008, 06:44 AM
When Paul was writing, do you believe that he was thinking "That which I am writing is going to be in the Bible"?

He wrote that he had apostolic authority from Jesus himself. I do not think it is an accident that Paul's letters held authority in the early church. Peter himself attests that Pauls words are from God, and 'hard to understand'.


What does inspiration mean to you? Does it mean that God dictated every word of the Bible? When I speak of inspiration, I mean that quality of conveying life and truth to the world, not being spoken by God.

When i say i am inspired by God does that mean God is using me as u puppet? Nope, but as a vehicle through which his will is revealed.


Well, we know the story of the woman taken in adultery has been added to the Bible. It is simply not present in the earliest and most complete manuscripts. This is what is addressed in "Misquoting Jesus".


I am well familar with that passage. Mainly because EVERYBODY knows it because it is well identified in 99% of published bibles of today as being not of the original manuscripts. Similarly, the bit on the end of the gospel of Mark is well identified as a different part of the whole of Mark, perhaps entered by a good willed but foolish scribe in the 2nd Century. I would recommend you stay away from Ehrman for a bit and read some authors from the other side of the fence. That is what a good historian must do afterall.


If the God you serve can be condensed into a single book that he is not God!

I don't think anyone here is saying God lives in a book, but that much of His work is done through scripture.


Have you actually read the Bible? Have you read about textual criticism?

My major is New Testament history.


Mohammed would fall under the umbrella of mental illness. I don't see how he is relevant.

I wouldnt be so 'western' as to label people who don't agree with me mentally Ill. Muhammed new exactly what he was doing when he created one of the worlds largest religions.


As for the Bible, just read about the Bible (textual criticism), we KNOW that there are passages that are altered, added, etc. Even conservative authors such as Mark Roberts (whom I would highly recommend) don't believe that the Bible was a fax from heaven.

Noone here says it is a fax from heaven. But it's link to the divine is mandated by God himself. There are many techniques for assessing biblical authenticity, please don't latch on to one as your own functional savior. Use them all as they are intended, as a bunch of tools in digging through a text. Much of the 'altering' i have found in my studies is due to a redaction of the text rather than actually changing the words themselves in their meaning. As language changes, so does the text itself, but in redaction, we must always be aware of what came before.

In another sense, i have found if you always have an academic cap on when reading the Bible, it tends to lose it's greater meaning and becomes just another ancient text to critique. I find this not in the spirit of when it was written. We aren't just looking for confirmation of facts etc, but rather a greater feeling of what is the context and feeling of the authors as they write the document, an attempt to understand who and what is going on.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 23rd 2008, 11:03 AM
I wouldnt be so 'western' as to label people who don't agree with me mentally Ill. Muhammed new exactly what he was doing when he created one of the worlds largest religions.
Mohammed claimed to have been visited by angels. Mohammed heard bells and voices in his head. No doubt he was sincere, but anyone who believes these things about himself has a few screws loose. I think modern psychologists have even pinpointed the disorder he suffered from.


When i say i am inspired by God does that mean God is using me as u puppet? Nope, but as a vehicle through which his will is revealed.
Right, I think that many people around here think that the Bible was sent from heaven, not the vehicle through God reveals himself.


I am well familar with that passage. Mainly because EVERYBODY knows it because it is well identified in 99% of published bibles of today as being not of the original manuscripts. Similarly, the bit on the end of the gospel of Mark is well identified as a different part of the whole of Mark, perhaps entered by a good willed but foolish scribe in the 2nd Century.This is enough here to shatter all arguments for the "fax from heaven" hypothesis. The fact is, we don't know some things about the NT.


My major is New Testament history.Touche! :D


In another sense, i have found if you always have an academic cap on when reading the Bible, it tends to lose it's greater meaning and becomes just another ancient text to critique. I find this not in the spirit of when it was written. We aren't just looking for confirmation of facts etc, but rather a greater feeling of what is the context and feeling of the authors as they write the document, an attempt to understand who and what is going on.How refreshing! I'm glad you mention this, because I feel that many people get caught up in minor differences between the gospels and forget to see the message!

Revinius
Nov 23rd 2008, 01:09 PM
Mohammed claimed to have been visited by angels. Mohammed heard bells and voices in his head. No doubt he was sincere, but anyone who believes these things about himself has a few screws loose. I think modern psychologists have even pinpointed the disorder he suffered from.

But at the same time, the definition of miracle is 'something not normal or not of this world as we observe it'. I am not saying Muhammed observed real miracles, for all i know the gas in that cave could have been a cause, but i am saying that the mere mention of miracles does not constitute insanity. God himself has demonstrated time and again His supremacy over the natural order He created, and this to people who certainly were not insane.


Right, I think that many people around here think that the Bible was sent from heaven, not the vehicle through God reveals himself.

That is not my experience. But it is likely some do, and i would encourage everyone (no matter how learned) to keep investigating God and His Word. I think most would find it vindicates itself time and again, but don't let my findings skew your results.


This is enough here to shatter all arguments for the "fax from heaven" hypothesis. The fact is, we don't know some things about the NT.

Sure, we don't know everything. But from an Ancient History perspective, we have alot more than we do from other sources, and the transmission history in itself is exceptional to say the least. I find the main issue people have with it, is that its a set of documents that challenge their state of living and naturally they don't like that. They thus try and find things wrong with it, no matter how minor, to continue justifying themselves and their lifestyle. I find this fallacious and dishonest to say the least. People need to approach documents honestly and with the same whacking stick they would strike other documents with. Otherwise, their 'documentary hypotheses' etc become 'head in the sand hypotheses'.


How refreshing! I'm glad you mention this, because I feel that many people get caught up in minor differences between the gospels and forget to see the message!

Like i said above, some people try to justify self and use a document as a reason to not obey the greater command of the whole. What did Jesus mean when He told people to follow the 'way of the cross'? Find the answer to that and there you have the greater command for Christians.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 23rd 2008, 02:36 PM
I am well familar with that passage. Mainly because EVERYBODY knows it because it is well identified in 99% of published bibles of today as being not of the original manuscripts.

So why isn't there a widespread movement among Christians to throw this passage out on the scrap heap of false scripture along with the gospels of Mary Magdalene, Judas, and Thomas? Why aren't people fighting with all their might to remove this blemish from God's word?


But at the same time, the definition of miracle is 'something not normal or not of this world as we observe it'. I am not saying Muhammed observed real miracles, for all i know the gas in that cave could have been a cause, but i am saying that the mere mention of miracles does not constitute insanity. God himself has demonstrated time and again His supremacy over the natural order He created, and this to people who certainly were not insane.

I'm sure Mohammed meant well, but the fact that he claimed to be visited by angels is nothing more than a sick man's dreams (to quote Hume).


Sure, we don't know everything. But from an Ancient History perspective, we have alot more than we do from other sources, and the transmission history in itself is exceptional to say the least. I find the main issue people have with it, is that its a set of documents that challenge their state of living and naturally they don't like that. They thus try and find things wrong with it, no matter how minor, to continue justifying themselves and their lifestyle. I find this fallacious and dishonest to say the least. People need to approach documents honestly and with the same whacking stick they would strike other documents with. Otherwise, their 'documentary hypotheses' etc become 'head in the sand hypotheses'.

Interesting you should say that. I feel this to be true, but I also feel that the "Biblical inerrantists" are guilty of the same thing (believe me, I was one). A new way of looking at the Bible challenges their prejudices, and they don't like that (i.e. Sarah Palin's candidacy to be an abomination). Otherwise, Biblical inerrancy becomes 'head in the sand inerrancy'.


Like i said above, some people try to justify self and use a document as a reason to not obey the greater command of the whole. What did Jesus mean when He told people to follow the 'way of the cross'? Find the answer to that and there you have the greater command for Christians.

It's a tough issue, bigger than you and I. It is my hope that the people who read this will study the scriptures with renewed intensity.

Scruffy Kid
Nov 23rd 2008, 07:55 PM
Hi, KL!
You wrote:
... The issues in question are the authenticity of biblical passages such as the woman being caught in adultery and several others. If God intended the bible to be a fax from heaven, then he would have surely not deceive his people into believing that it had been corrupted in any way. If the Bible is God's writing as many assert, then even one human passage would destroy the integrity of the whole thing. ... A couple of possible problems with what you wrote

(1) The relationship of the human and Divine elements in the Bible

I'm not sure I understand the context or purport of all your remarks (though I did read through the thread, but I'm puzzled by the statement "If the Bible is God's writing as many assert, then even one human passage would destroy the integrity of the whole thing."

As I understand it, pretty much all Christians understand that the Bible was written by specific people -- Matthew, Jeremiah, Paul, Luke, David, and so on; and the Bible makes it clear that that was the case. But you seem to think that a "human passage would destroy the integrity of the whole thing" -- that is, "if the Bible is God's writing, as many assert."

In order to understand the Bible as well as possible, we need to understand the language of the time, and the culture, and who the (human) authors were, and at least to some extent what their contexts were. This seems pretty uncontroversial.

However, by setting up what appears to be (perhaps I am misreading you here, in which case I apologize and ask to be set straight) a dichotomy between Divine Authorship and Human Authorship, you seem to be using the generally acknowledged consensus that human authors were the instruments of revelation as if it contradicted a strong notion of inspiration.

True, there are people who at least sometimes seem to act as if the human authors were mere scribes taking dictation; and you are reasonably pointing out, I guess, that it's more complicated than that. That would be a misunderstanding of the Biblical text that denied the (genuinely) human authorship in seeking to preserve (or strengthen) the doctrine of Divine authorship. But some of your statements seem (perhaps it's just incaution in the heat of argument, or perhaps I've misunderstood) to be making the opposite error: denying (genuine) Divine authorship by overemphasizing the significance of the human elements.

(2) The question of Canon, and the role of the Church

I find the way you treat John 8, say, a tad peculiar. As I've heard it, the placement of this pericope is disputed; but it's far from clear that the genuineness of the passage is in question. Yet the Church has received the canon as containing this passage and, essentially, as placing it here. It's no different in the Orthodox or Syrian churches than in the West, is it? So if our confidence is in God's rule of His Church, and of the Scriptures, what would make it so hard to receive John 8 as part of the Canon?

My question here is really not mainly about John 8 -- of course throughout I'm referring to the early verses about the woman taken in adultery -- but about the way one takes the human process of composition. That, from the theoretical side, it seems to me, is the problem of canon. Does our belief include -- is our faith robust enough to accept -- the idea that the Bible comes to us reliable and authoritative, or is the nature of that confidence to be nixed by the fact that there are accidents (in the old sense: miscellaneous circumstances) of composition? While understanding that you have legit concerns about reading the Scriptures a-contextually, you seem to be going pretty far.

Let's take "All Scripture written for ...". Certainly, the specific Scriptures Paul had in mind were, no doubt, mainly those of the Tanakh (or perhaps including other books in the Septugint as well?). But could one not understand Paul as making a point that God gives us revelation through canonical books, and that these revealed texts are ... all the things he says. If that is his point, in what sense is his statement in applicable to the writings of the NT? The canon was growing! Perhaps Paul had an awareness of that, perhaps not. What is clear is that the earliest church accepted the apostolic witness to Christ. That witness was accepted on the basis of the Apostles' live testimony, at first; and the books written had the authority they had because of the conviction that they contained the Apostolic witness.

(A side note on accidents of composition: Joseph says to his brothers, in one of the most wonderful of all sayings, "You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good"! The thought here is not far from the statement that "God can use even the wrath of men to praise Him": the core notion is that God works through history, and, as pantocrator, rules it. This thought is again present in speaking of "Cyrus, my annointed." Then it would seem that the fact that Scriptures were written by human authors, as genuine authors, would not get in the way of their being inspired -- directed by God's Spirit, in a way that the human authors were ignorant of, or even had no clue about. In fact, I Peter 1:12 suggests that the Scriptural (OT) authors did not fully understand what they were writing, and knew that it was for a later generation; Col 1:26 similarly speaks of the mystery long hidden, and Eph. 1:9 of the mystery of His will in ways which perhaps suggest that the OT revelation contained more than its authors knew. And of course, the Church has always believed that. Jesus quotes many prophecies (e.g. Ps. 110, or Ps. 22) in ways which, almost certainly, the human authors did not anticipate. The apostles, similarly, see the OT as speaking throughout of Christ. Thus, it seems to me, a robust doctrine of inspiration is needed, which does not reduce inspiration to a general godly current of thought among the prophets -- I'm not saying you said that, of course -- but extends to God's precise and specific directing of the text (as of our lives) to particular ends.)

The Center of Our Faith is Christ Jesus!,
through whom we know and are reconciled to God the Father!

This takes us to a more particular concern I have about the whole discussion: that belief seems to be centered too much in the words of the text, and not enough in Him who gave us the text. As I would understand it, our faith is, first and foremost, in Jesus Christ. For He is, as He said, the savior of the world, and the eternal word, God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, and also died and rose from the dead. Believing is first believing in Him, not first believing in a group of doctrines. (That doesn't mean the doctrines are peripheral: one cannot, ultimately, believe in Jesus without accepting His words, and the content of what He taught is integral to His person, and vice versa.)

Because we believe in Christ, we believe in the Bible, and in God's purposes in history, and the Apostolic witness. And the significance of the Bible is, ultimately, that it directs us to Him who "delivered us from the power of darkness and into His marvelous light" and who
is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: by whom were all things created, ... -- all things were created by him, and for him and he is before all things, and by him all things consist -- ... the firstborn from the dead; ... [by whom God] having made peace through the blood of his cross, reconciled all things to himself.

KATA_LOUKAN
Nov 23rd 2008, 08:54 PM
I'm not sure I understand the context or purport of all your remarks (though I did read through the thread, but I'm puzzled by the statement "If the Bible is God's writing as many assert, then even one human passage would destroy the integrity of the whole thing."

Hmmmm it wasn't my intent to say that the Bible is not the word of God. Sorry if it came across that way! I just wanted to ask those on the board why they believe that the Bible is completely inerrant, a view that I believe has its roots in Bibleolatry. I couldn't agree more, although I have yet to hear someone defend the notion that the Bible is, indeed, a divinely dictated document. If this were the case, the human additions, from a philosophical view, would undermine the entire thing.

But that is one heck of a post. Thanks for the info!