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  • Theophilus
    replied
    Locking This Thread

    Unlocked, per mod review
    Last edited by Theophilus; Aug 14 2008, 03:35 PM.

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  • apothanein kerdos
    replied
    Originally posted by BroRog View Post
    My teacher John A. Crabtree did his doctoral thesis on Plantiga, I believe. If you ask him, he might give you a copy of his thesis for your studies. Or, barring that, he might answer some questions via e-mail.

    You can contact him at Gutenberg College, the address you can find on google.
    I would certainly appreciate it. I've actually been discoursing with Plantinga for a thesis I'm writing, so that has been beneficial. However, it is always helpful to get people's opinions about a person's work because they are less likely to become defensive when questioned.

    Kata,

    What is the failure in orthodox Islam? Aside from the work of Philosophers, it seems as though many people actually believe that Christianity cannot explain the world, and subsequently resort to Islam. Many of the objections raised against Christianity by contemporary Islamic philosophers involve the field of textual criticism of the Bible.
    Islam forces a person to go against the imago Dei. It forces us to treat our neighbors and our women in a way that simply doesn't seem right. Our gut reaction is that the subjection of women in Islam is simply wrong (such as honor killings).

    As for what people believe about Christianity - you are free to point out where you think it's weak and doesn't accurate explain the world.

    It seems it would be a better goal to find what is perfect and right about Christianity. I could, theoretically, create a religion that could explain the world better than Christianity, but would that make it objectively true? Just look at religions like Scientology.
    Name one that explains the world better than Christianity. If you can't, then create one that explains the world better than Christianity, but is also logically consistent with reality.

    That is an interesting theory, although my experience with Philosophers at the post-graduate level has been almost entirely a journey into atheism.
    Most assuredly, but it doesn't discount the fact that there is a huge rise of evangelical Christians entering the PhD realm of philosophy. At the current rates it is expected (and this comes from a philosophical journal) that evangelicals may make up almost half of the student population in graduate programs in the next 20 years.

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  • KATA_LOUKAN
    replied
    Are you a Muslim?

    My point that I was attempting to make is that every religion and thought system - outside of Christianity - will fail to explain the world as it is. Islam falls under this category.
    No, I am not a Muslim. I am a Christian, although I often clarify important parts of Islam that I feel are not communicated in discussions.

    What is the failure in orthodox Islam? Aside from the work of Philosophers, it seems as though many people actually believe that Christianity cannot explain the world, and subsequently resort to Islam. Many of the objections raised against Christianity by contemporary Islamic philosophers involve the field of textual criticism of the Bible.

    Just out of curiosity, do you hold that:

    1. The earth was formed by the process of Young Earth Creationism, Old Earth Creationism, or theistic evolution?

    2. The Old Testament stories are to be interpreted literally or figuratively?

    It seems it would be a better goal to find what is perfect and right about Christianity. I could, theoretically, create a religion that could explain the world better than Christianity, but would that make it objectively true? Just look at religions like Scientology.

    Actually, there is a revival in Christian philosophy in America. One atheist scholar believes that conservative evangelicals might make up approximately 30% of the PhD in philosophy seeking students in the United States (he also believes about 20% of all philosophy professors are conservative evangelicals). I believe the number might be inflated, but it's not overly so. For instance, the latest strides in philosophy, at least in the last 30 years, have been predominately from conservative evangelical Christians. Plantinga's "free will defense," and warrant theory have yet to be properly responded to and have, in fact, almost been accepted wholesale. Craig's revival of the Islamic Kalaam Ontological argument is also making a come back. In fact, the only philosophical attacks in Christianity that have withstood scrutiny have come in the form of pop culture philosophy. At the academic level Christianity is actually considered a plausible theory. This plausibility, of course, is leading many to look into it and some are subsequently converting.
    That is an interesting theory, although my experience with Philosophers at the post-graduate level has been almost entirely a journey into atheism.

    Side Note: This thread has been one of the best I have seen in a long time.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Leave a comment:


  • BroRog
    replied
    Originally posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    Are you a Muslim?

    My point that I was attempting to make is that every religion and thought system - outside of Christianity - will fail to explain the world as it is. Islam falls under this category.



    Actually, there is a revival in Christian philosophy in America. One atheist scholar believes that conservative evangelicals might make up approximately 30% of the PhD in philosophy seeking students in the United States (he also believes about 20% of all philosophy professors are conservative evangelicals). I believe the number might be inflated, but it's not overly so. For instance, the latest strides in philosophy, at least in the last 30 years, have been predominately from conservative evangelical Christians. Plantinga's "free will defense," and warrant theory have yet to be properly responded to and have, in fact, almost been accepted wholesale. Craig's revival of the Islamic Kalaam Ontological argument is also making a come back. In fact, the only philosophical attacks in Christianity that have withstood scrutiny have come in the form of pop culture philosophy. At the academic level Christianity is actually considered a plausible theory. This plausibility, of course, is leading many to look into it and some are subsequently converting.
    My teacher John A. Crabtree did his doctoral thesis on Plantiga, I believe. If you ask him, he might give you a copy of his thesis for your studies. Or, barring that, he might answer some questions via e-mail.

    You can contact him at Gutenberg College, the address you can find on google.

    Leave a comment:


  • apothanein kerdos
    replied
    I take it that you believe in Young Earth or Old Earth creationism?

    Anyway, Islam describes God as actively creating the world and mankind. Also, Islam very clearly describes God as thwarting the will of humans who try to go against his purpose (Sura 105).
    Are you a Muslim?

    My point that I was attempting to make is that every religion and thought system - outside of Christianity - will fail to explain the world as it is. Islam falls under this category.

    I would be curious to know why you believe that more philosophical people are not Christians.
    Actually, there is a revival in Christian philosophy in America. One atheist scholar believes that conservative evangelicals might make up approximately 30% of the PhD in philosophy seeking students in the United States (he also believes about 20% of all philosophy professors are conservative evangelicals). I believe the number might be inflated, but it's not overly so. For instance, the latest strides in philosophy, at least in the last 30 years, have been predominately from conservative evangelical Christians. Plantinga's "free will defense," and warrant theory have yet to be properly responded to and have, in fact, almost been accepted wholesale. Craig's revival of the Islamic Kalaam Ontological argument is also making a come back. In fact, the only philosophical attacks in Christianity that have withstood scrutiny have come in the form of pop culture philosophy. At the academic level Christianity is actually considered a plausible theory. This plausibility, of course, is leading many to look into it and some are subsequently converting.

    Leave a comment:


  • KATA_LOUKAN
    replied
    Side note -

    Are you flying that flag to represent Syria or the United Arab Republic?
    Syria only. I don't believe that a greater Syria needs to form right now.

    As for the flaw in Islam, it's in their acceptance of the Aristotelean view of God. Though it is not purely Aristotelean (I believe it was Al-Farabi that brought in Neo-Platonic themes to Islam), it does put an emphasis on a transcendent god (which is why it is an angel that has Mohammed recite and not the god of Islam manifested in flesh that talks to Mohammed).

    The problem is we know from creation that God is involved in creation. We know that God is personal because we are personal. How can this be if God is solely transcendent?
    I take it that you believe in Young Earth or Old Earth creationism?

    Anyway, Islam describes God as actively creating the world and mankind. Also, Islam very clearly describes God as thwarting the will of humans who try to go against his purpose (Sura 105).

    I'm not as well read on Islamic philosophy as you are, but in the purely religious Islam (i.e. not scholarly, just like Christian philosophy is not entirely Christian) God is an active force in the world.

    I would be curious to know why you believe that more philosophical people are not Christians.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brother Mark
    replied
    Originally posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    But is it always right to let our experiences dictate our interpretation of the Scriptures? What about Paul saying in Galatians 1:8 that even if we're visited by an angel that gives us a different Gospel, we are to ignore that angel? Obviously, the angel can say, "I am from God to give you a message." This experience would obviously challenge your beliefs (look at what it did for Joseph!). Yet, in this instance we see that Paul is insinuating that we should evaluate our experiences against Scripture and not necessarily let them change how we view Scripture (though sometimes we should - discernment is the key).
    Well said brother, well said.

    ...and yet they didn't remain uneducated.
    Not in God they didn't. But never a formal education did they receive. But when they preached in power, those around them knew it and were amazed because they were uneducated.

    I have spent time reading Christian intellectualism (which I am also against) that comes in the form of German Higher Criticism. Now, why do I bring this up? The reason is they say that Peter didn't actually write the epistles of Peter because they are so nuanced and educated that a fisherman simply couldn't have written them.
    Perhaps it is intellectualism I am against. I greatly value good thinking. Surely you can see that in my responses. Yet, for many years my thinking led me astray. It took a long time for me to learn how to control my thoughts and to lead my thoughts instead of having my thoughts control me and lead me. Anyway, I see God railing against knowledge without Him often in scripture. And today, I see far more preachers than think they are qualified based on education instead of based on time in the desert and life experiences. When God speaks of qualifications he also mentions experience of family, etc.

    John the Baptist spent his life in the desert, 30 years or so, for a 6 months ministry. And we take kids after 4 years of college and ask them to preach. Moses spent 40 years being educated in Egypt and killed a man. Only after 40 years in the desert with God did God think he was finally qualified and equipped to lead his people to freedom.


    What is interesting is that their analysis is correct. The epistles of Peter are actually structured as though written by someone with a formal education. Their conclusion is severely off however. What we can guess is that the epistles were written later in Peter's life and that he had gained some form of an education. It obviously wouldn't have been formalized, but it would have been been of the same quality of education.
    One education he did receive was the sifting of the enemy. His lack of education did not prevent him from saying "that which I have I give thee, take up your bed and walk". He probably learned much from Paul as he said in his letters that Paul was difficult to understand. My guess is their time together was where he learned how to write.

    I don't think one has to go to college or seminary to be a pastor. I do think, however, one has to have the same quality of education (even if self-taught, or learned along the way) in order to be a bishop or pastor. Look at 1 Timothy - the job of teaching is listed under the qualifications. In the Greek, the teaching refers to both practical skills and theoretical knowledge (that is, knowledge of the mind).
    Nothing wrong with learning. Let us learn of God and the Holy Spirit and teach others what we have learned.

    Though he doesn't need to go to seminary, his educational level (even if not formalized) better be pretty high.
    Better that his understanding of the Lord and the ways of God be high. If that is what you mean by education, then I agree. If you simply mean that he needs to be able to think clearly about philosophy, then I disagree. Moses was full of education from Egypt, yet it did not prepare him for leading Israel to freedom. What prepared him was the time he spent in the desert learning from God. His experiences in the desert taught him much that Egypt could not. The same with Paul's education from Ciaiphas. Later Paul spent, what? 13 years in Arabia having the cross of Christ worked in him and learning from God. This is the education to value! Not punctuation, or spelling, etc. Those things are good. But they do not prepare a man for great ability to minister. They do not teach him how to say "Take up your bed and walk" or how to have faith and trust in God when there is nothing other than the word of God to stand on. Until a man has been through the desert of life and learned to say no to the boastful pride of life, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, then he is not so useful in the ministry.

    What I am saying can be summed up in this sentence... better to eat from the Tree of Life than from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eating from the Tree of Life is educational but does not puff up and is useful when speaking to a widow with 1 child about where her next meal is going to come from when you have no money to help her either. As we hear God, perhaps we can say "make me a meal first and then you and the child will eat" and she will be fed through a great famine.

    Why do you keep putting education and reason as opposed or as different than God's power and authority? Where does Scripture differentiate between the two?
    Scripture often speaks about the difference between wisdom and power.

    1 Cor 2:3-5
    4 And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.
    NASB

    When "Sinners in the hand of an angry God" was preached, it was preached by a highly educated man! But it was Jonathon Edwards walk with God and the Spirit behind that message that made it powerful. Peter, an unlearned man preached with power.

    What I am getting at is education is not necessary to power. But the right education is very useful. Apollos was pulled aside and educated in the way by Priscillia and Aquilla.

    Education does not equate to power and authority. That is the point I want to make very clear. One can be educated or uneducated and still have great power! God used Paul's education. He used Peter's uneducated persona to win a multitude. They were amazed at his power even though he was uneducated.

    My bottom line, give me a man that knows God and experiences him daily whether he has a formal education or not. If he doesn't know God and has not had major experiences with the Lord and gone through the desert with him, then why would I wish to hear him speak whether he is educated or not?

    What man of God in scripture that was truly a man of God did not have amazing experiences with God and did not have a desert time with him as well?

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  • apothanein kerdos
    replied
    When Peter had a vision from God concerning clean and unclean, did he let that impact his interpretation of scripture? God often uses experiences to show us things we did not understand before. Paul had an experience on the road to Damascus that radically changed his view of scripture. If one has an experience, best to check it with scripture. But like Peter and Paul, we should not be surprised if our experiences from God change our understanding of scriptures.
    But is it always right to let our experiences dictate our interpretation of the Scriptures? What about Paul saying in Galatians 1:8 that even if we're visited by an angel that gives us a different Gospel, we are to ignore that angel? Obviously, the angel can say, "I am from God to give you a message." This experience would obviously challenge your beliefs (look at what it did for Joseph!). Yet, in this instance we see that Paul is insinuating that we should evaluate our experiences against Scripture and not necessarily let them change how we view Scripture (though sometimes we should - discernment is the key).

    Better to sit under a Peter or a Paul than a Caiaphas or an uneducated hireling. But if we look at example, did God select highly educated men or more fishermen? He selected both, but far more plain ole fishermen than educated. That's one thing I see over and over and over again in scripture. He selects the simple things in life. Is education wrong? No. Is it useful? Yes. But if we are to know God, better to spend 40 years in the wilderness like Moses did. Or 40 days like Jesus. Or like David, Joseph or countless other men. We learn from God by spending time with God and going through firey trials. Books can help. But nothing will ever replace the desert experience.
    ...and yet they didn't remain uneducated.

    I have spent time reading Christian intellectualism (which I am also against) that comes in the form of German Higher Criticism. Now, why do I bring this up? The reason is they say that Peter didn't actually write the epistles of Peter because they are so nuanced and educated that a fisherman simply couldn't have written them.

    What is interesting is that their analysis is correct. The epistles of Peter are actually structured as though written by someone with a formal education. Their conclusion is severely off however. What we can guess is that the epistles were written later in Peter's life and that he had gained some form of an education. It obviously wouldn't have been formalized, but it would have been been of the same quality of education.

    Pastor is mentioned once in scripture. Would you prefer bishop or elder? Show me where God values formal education in scripture as a means to become qualified. Can it be useful? Sure. Required? No. What he does value, is spending time with Him and learning to have the cross worked in us.
    I don't think one has to go to college or seminary to be a pastor. I do think, however, one has to have the same quality of education (even if self-taught, or learned along the way) in order to be a bishop or pastor. Look at 1 Timothy - the job of teaching is listed under the qualifications. In the Greek, the teaching refers to both practical skills and theoretical knowledge (that is, knowledge of the mind).

    Though he doesn't need to go to seminary, his educational level (even if not formalized) better be pretty high.

    Not sure what your getting at here. If the sermon was dry, then it did not have the Living Water of the Holy Spirit involved. But if you mean the delivery was poor, and stale and perhaps staid, then you miss my point. Jonathan Edwards read his sermon, perhaps in a monotone voice, but it had POWER! Was this power because of his education or his holiness? Give me power and authority from God delivered by a holy man that has been to God's university of the desert.
    __________________
    Why do you keep putting education and reason as opposed or as different than God's power and authority? Where does Scripture differentiate between the two?

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  • Brother Mark
    replied
    Originally posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    Well let me ask you a few questions:

    1) Do you think you're letting your experiences affect your interpretation of Scripture?
    When Peter had a vision from God concerning clean and unclean, did he let that impact his interpretation of scripture? God often uses experiences to show us things we did not understand before. Paul had an experience on the road to Damascus that radically changed his view of scripture. If one has an experience, best to check it with scripture. But like Peter and Paul, we should not be surprised if our experiences from God change our understanding of scriptures.

    2) What about those of us that have sat under uneducated pastors and had problems?
    Better to sit under a Peter or a Paul than a Caiaphas or an uneducated hireling. But if we look at example, did God select highly educated men or more fishermen? He selected both, but far more plain ole fishermen than educated. That's one thing I see over and over and over again in scripture. He selects the simple things in life. Is education wrong? No. Is it useful? Yes. But if we are to know God, better to spend 40 years in the wilderness like Moses did. Or 40 days like Jesus. Or like David, Joseph or countless other men. We learn from God by spending time with God and going through firey trials. Books can help. But nothing will ever replace the desert experience.

    3) What does Scripture say about the qualifications of a pastor, regardless of what you experienced?
    Pastor is mentioned once in scripture. Would you prefer bishop or elder? Show me where God values formal education in scripture as a means to become qualified. Can it be useful? Sure. Required? No. What he does value, is spending time with Him and learning to have the cross worked in us.

    4) If I've had an experience where the sermon was dry but absolutely truthful and saw people come to Christ, does this negate your experiences?
    Not sure what your getting at here. If the sermon was dry, then it did not have the Living Water of the Holy Spirit involved. But if you mean the delivery was poor, and stale and perhaps staid, then you miss my point. Jonathan Edwards read his sermon, perhaps in a monotone voice, but it had POWER! Was this power because of his education or his holiness? Give me power and authority from God delivered by a holy man that has been to God's university of the desert.

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  • apothanein kerdos
    replied
    Originally posted by Brother Mark View Post
    Probably. I have heard many a very smart preacher preach with little power. I have set under reformed preachers who value mind over spirit and was board out of my mind. I have set under those with no education that preached with power and authority and watched the sick get healed. Is it any wonder our definitions were different?

    We do not completely agree but our definitions of words are definitely a problem.
    Well let me ask you a few questions:

    1) Do you think you're letting your experiences affect your interpretation of Scripture?

    2) What about those of us that have sat under uneducated pastors and had problems?

    3) What does Scripture say about the qualifications of a pastor, regardless of what you experienced?

    4) If I've had an experience where the sermon was dry but absolutely truthful and saw people come to Christ, does this negate your experiences?

    Not to distract the thread... But I'm going to the UK this fall, limited space. True Spirituality and The Francis Schaeffer Collection are for sure coming along. Don't even know if I'll have room for any other books... But those four books? There's a lot to them, don't think I'll be running out of material for a long time.
    Like I said, his writings are a hidden treasure trove. The problem is, he is one of the most misunderstood people out there (even by his own son....though his son does admit to making up some of the stories about his father) and therefore ignored. I think you'll find his writings will help you immensely in your studies in the UK (side note - I might be your neighbor in a few years as I'm looking at graduate schools in Ireland).

    Leave a comment:


  • Athanasius
    replied
    Originally posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    It's one of the hidden treasures of Christianity. I've always said (and in speaking with his daughters and son-in-law, they have confirmed I'm right on this) that in order to understand any of his writings, one has to realize that True Spirituality is the foundation for it all.

    That book was life changing for me.

    Reading through it, then, you probably understand what I'm saying in this topic. You probably understand why I'm saying both reason and experience are on par with each other.

    Man I love that book.
    Not to distract the thread... But I'm going to the UK this fall, limited space. True Spirituality and The Francis Schaeffer Collection are for sure coming along. Don't even know if I'll have room for any other books... But those four books? There's a lot to them, don't think I'll be running out of material for a long time.

    And yes, I know what you mean.

    Leave a comment:


  • Brother Mark
    replied
    Originally posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    But that's what I've been arguing the entire time.......

    Are you and I so far apart on our definition of words that we didn't see we probably agree? Oy.
    Probably. I have heard many a very smart preacher preach with little power. I have set under reformed preachers who value mind over spirit and was board out of my mind. I have set under those with no education that preached with power and authority and watched the sick get healed. Is it any wonder our definitions were different?

    We do not completely agree but our definitions of words are definitely a problem.

    Leave a comment:


  • apothanein kerdos
    replied
    Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
    Going through it right now, actually. Very good book... Very eye opening, actually. Everything he's been saying has been a 'lightbulb' thought. Never would have thought of those things at this point in my life.
    It's one of the hidden treasures of Christianity. I've always said (and in speaking with his daughters and son-in-law, they have confirmed I'm right on this) that in order to understand any of his writings, one has to realize that True Spirituality is the foundation for it all.


    That book was life changing for me.

    Reading through it, then, you probably understand what I'm saying in this topic. You probably understand why I'm saying both reason and experience are on par with each other.

    Man I love that book.

    Leave a comment:


  • Athanasius
    replied
    Originally posted by apothanein kerdos View Post
    This reminds me of the conversion experience of Francis Schaeffer. When hired by an immigrant to help teach the immigrant English, he accidentally ordered some books in Greek philosophy. After reading the Greek philosophy he realized there were questions about the world that he had no answer to. Someone gave him a Bible and he read it from Genesis to Revelation and discovered that Christianity answered the problems left over from Greek philosophy. From that, he accepted Christ.

    I'd encourage everyone in this thread - those who agree and disagree - to read True Spirituality which explains what I've been trying to say. It is by Schaeffer.
    Going through it right now, actually. Very good book... Very eye opening, actually. Everything he's been saying has been a 'lightbulb' thought. Never would have thought of those things at this point in my life.

    Leave a comment:


  • apothanein kerdos
    replied
    Originally posted by Xel'Naga View Post
    Huh, that's odd. Me and C.S. Lewis were both called by God and used a little bit of reason in the process I mean, come on... How many people reasoned out before they were saved that the answers Christian had to offer were more fulfilling than the answers of every other world system? A lot. But hey... Not saying we choose solely on reason, either.
    This reminds me of the conversion experience of Francis Schaeffer. When hired by an immigrant to help teach the immigrant English, he accidentally ordered some books in Greek philosophy. After reading the Greek philosophy he realized there were questions about the world that he had no answer to. Someone gave him a Bible and he read it from Genesis to Revelation and discovered that Christianity answered the problems left over from Greek philosophy. From that, he accepted Christ.

    I'd encourage everyone in this thread - those who agree and disagree - to read True Spirituality which explains what I've been trying to say. It is by Schaeffer.

    Leave a comment:

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