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Source: (consider it) Thread: Healthy scepticism or ...
mr cheesy
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# 3330

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I've lost the plot. Why are we talking about gravity?

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And I am to judge the foolishness, the hubris that led those men to die for no faith at all, for no reason at all, no purpose, no gain for the Kingdom, for the gospel. Turkey is sealed, impervious for another thousand years. And another. And another.

I am mystified as to how you can be so sure of any of this. How can you know all the motives, causes, and effects? - and that they were inferior to your "incarnational" examples?

I'm mystified how you can't be. The naivete, the lack of due diligence. Who led these young men to belive that sticking their heads in a wasps' nest wasn't going to get them killed? The inferiority is obvious. Diagne and Fatba were fully aware of the risks they were taking in defending the weak. That's qualitatively superior along two axes. It's all easily quantifiable, like all faith.
quote:

quote:

I don't know why or how you believe in God's capacity for supernatural intervention and that cannot be transferred. I am averse. I'm leadenly, grimly content that He consistently never does. Ever. Apart from in and around the Incarnation.

Why the exception? He decided to intervene just once? My view is that if supernatural intervention is acknowledged at least once, there is no reason it shouldn't happen more than once. It's either never at all or always a theoretical possibility. If you write off all the biblical accounts of supernatural intervention as primitive/mythological/ex-post fabrications, why change the rules when it comes to the Incarnation?

There is no comparison between the Incarnation and any other phenomenon in human experience. Why do I have to say this? No supernatural claim outside the context of the Incarnation, its first couple of circles has any traction whatsoever. Except for the credulous.
Talking of which:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Just what the devil wants you to think. The Screwtape letters come to mind. God's weather 😳

quote:

Besides, to my mind that supernatual invervention is ongoing to the extent that even as God became flesh in Christ, today he gives us his Spirit. That's at the heart of being "incarnational" today.

Agreed. Which has nothing to do with claims of external intervention, breaking the laws of physics, stupefying border guards whilst letting three naive young men be psychotically butchered.
quote:

quote:

I can't see how it helps to believe otherwise apart from how it helps those who have to to get through the day.

I never made any claim to it helping. In many ways life would be a lot easier (at least intellectually) if that option could be ruled out entirely. But like I say, as far as I'm concerned ruling it out entirely rules out the claims about the Incarnation too, and yes I do think that leaves one without hope.

Burning the dross leaves the gold. The Incarnation cannot be touched. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. The Incarnation is all that justifies hope. I have none that God will intervene to let a bible past a border guard, or protect naïve young men from psychosis in others.
quote:

quote:

I won't see any tomorrow night bar the twitching of a little finger during the 1% of my time and 0.1% of my 'potential'

I have no idea at all what this means. But it looks as though you are being hard on yourself. If you are, and it's a byproduct of your "leaden, grimly content" stance, then I dare to think that your deterministic views are not the whole truth.

I 'give' 1% of my time to being 'incarnational' on a Friday night on average. My faith is quantifiable to that degree. When we look at the effectiveness of that time, it'll be an order of magnitude less. At least. How much time I spend encouraging, while the rest is spent in crowd management, clearing up. It's a twitch of my little finger. In being my 86 year old mother's prime carer it feels worse. I undo all the care work with hardness. I am become as nothing.
quote:

quote:

What has faith got to do with it? What?

Reflecting on your comments above, I think a large part of the answer is freedom. Faith stands over and against determinism. It generates hope, even when it is "hoping against hope". Because it has a personal dimension, it sets us free from the judgement of others. It spurs us to responsibility and maturity as we seek to live with both the personal conviction we have forged and a clear conscience, not simply before our peers but also in the sight of God.

Nice rhetoric. I happen to completely agree with it. But again, it has nothing to do with external magic.
quote:

This is beginning to sound like Romans 5:1-5:
quote:

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.


Amen.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I've lost the plot. Why are we talking about gravity?

Some people say God miraculously makes good things happen for bible smugglers - the border guard nips off to the loo at the crucial moment - but does nothing for a family in the Yemen - three successive rockets hit the house killing all the children, the mother, the sister, the cousins. Some other people get very angry about this.

If God is riding alongside us as an observer, watching and deciding within the same stream of time we inhabit as a conscious agent, then there is a real problem, I think. If we conceive of God as less like us, less like a delinquent president, and more like gravity, more like a fact of nature, an aspect of how things are, then the problem is not solved, but different and less acute.

Of course, we might want to still say that God is personal, and perhaps we can be ingenious enough to find ways that enable us to think of God as personal, but not like a conscious agent.

So gravity was just an analogy, and quite an interesting one. Does gravity exist? Is it real? Is it true? Do you believe in it? Is it a construct? Did Newton invent it?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I'm mystified how you can't be. The naivete, the lack of due diligence. Who led these young men to belive that sticking their heads in a wasps' nest wasn't going to get them killed? The inferiority is obvious. Diagne and Fatba were fully aware of the risks they were taking in defending the weak. That's qualitatively superior along two axes. It's all easily quantifiable, like all faith.

This sort of gets us back to the OP.

I agree it might look like that, but the fact is that these are second or third-hand reports. It's that much harder to check the facts and gauge what's really going on. The reporters have an agenda too. That's why my emphasis is on what we do individually rather than making much out of testimonies.

quote:
There is no comparison between the Incarnation and any other phenomenon in human experience. Why do I have to say this? No supernatural claim outside the context of the Incarnation, its first couple of circles has any traction whatsoever.
I note you have to allow yourself some wiggle room there. What are these "first couple of circles" and how far out do they extend?
quote:
quote:

Besides, to my mind that supernatual invervention is ongoing to the extent that even as God became flesh in Christ, today he gives us his Spirit. That's at the heart of being "incarnational" today.

Agreed. Which has nothing to do with claims of external intervention, breaking the laws of physics, stupefying border guards whilst letting three naive young men be psychotically butchered.
It's external intervention nonetheless. It's not just determinism, which is what you seemed to be arguing for earlier. It's God intentionally engaging in the system, even if this aspect is only mediated via human agency, and doing so via the Spirit, i.e. in a way Scripture ties to faith in him.
quote:
I 'give' 1% of my time to being 'incarnational' on a Friday night on average. My faith is quantifiable to that degree. When we look at the effectiveness of that time, it'll be an order of magnitude less. At least. How much time I spend encouraging, while the rest is spent in crowd management, clearing up. It's a twitch of my little finger. In being my 86 year old mother's prime carer it feels worse. I undo all the care work with hardness. I am become as nothing.
To be brutal, this sounds like a pity party to me.

As I see it, if the Spirit dwells within us we are "incarnational" all the time, we just do more or less of a good job at it. We can't decide to "be" incarnational at some times and not at others; that's a contradiction in terms!

I think it's a real mistake to attempt to quantify it and a real mistake to attempt to reduce incarnationality to a list of actions we judge to be righteous or effective. Of course we might prioritise those but we have no way of assessing their actual effectiveness.

How often I have been gratified to learn as a preacher that something I said has had a profound impact on somebody's life only to find out it was an off-the-cuff remark I can't even remember.
quote:
Nice rhetoric. I happen to completely agree with it.
Glad you liked it [Cool] especially as my eyes weren't yet properly open at the time.
quote:
But again, it has nothing to do with external magic.
I don't think that term has come up before. I would define magic as engaging in a specific practice invoking supernatural power with the intent of achieving a specific outcome. This covers a lot of charismania, but it covers a lot else as well. And doesn't necessarily cover bible-smugglers.

I owe this understanding to ex-Southern Baptist Wimberite Jack Deere and his book Surprised by the Voice of God which seeing as how I have pretty much disavowed all things charismatic (or at least charismaniac) is confusing.

Go well.

[ 09. December 2016, 10:33: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
From the edge
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Of course, we might want to still say that God is personal, and perhaps we can be ingenious enough to find ways that enable us to think of God as personal, but not like a conscious agent.

Yes, I want to still say he is personal. That is perhaps the definitive distinction between science and Christian faith. Christianity affirms that there is a person, a personality behind the universe.

(And yes, I believe evil can have a personality, too, if only the tiniest bit above a complete negation of all that is personal).

People today feel alienated. They groan under the weight of impersonal and "depersonalised", inhuman systems. That suggests a personal creator to me.

quote:
So gravity was just an analogy, and quite an interesting one. Does gravity exist? Is it real? Is it true? Do you believe in it? Is it a construct? Did Newton invent it?
At the end of the day all science is a set of models with varying degrees of sophistication that attempt to explain the universe around us in objective, replicable ways.

The models often have to be refined; sometimes, as with gravity (in my very limited understanding), terms and conditions apply; sometimes, albeit rarely, they are thrown out altogether in favour of a better and sometimes dramatically different model.

One can of course look at belief in similar terms, but from a Christian point of view the difference is the assumption that one is attempting to understand a person. I rejoice in the fact that Scripture tells us the truth is a person and not a law or a theory.

[ 09. December 2016, 11:33: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
The naivete, the lack of due diligence. Who led these young men to belive that sticking their heads in a wasps' nest wasn't going to get them killed?

Sorry for the triple post but I wanted to come back to this as it touches on my stance on faith and also on what I said about freedom earlier.

Romans 4:19 tells us that Abraham "faced the fact" that his body was as good as dead. From this two things can be inferred:

Firstly, that due diligence is part of genuine faith, not opposed to it.

Secondly, that genuine faith may press on even taking account of due diligence.

I don't know whether those guys in Turkey did reasonable due diligence or not, and I cannot decide categorically that their death means they failed.

(Hebrews 11 lists people who died in the outworking of their faith and specifically includes those sawn in two, which is not too far from the fate these men suffered).

I (and presumably you) are far removed from these stories. We are not in their heads any more than we are in the heads of the two "incarnationalists" you cite. The only person whose head I'm in, and for whom I can make a reasonable stab at assessing faith, is mine and mine alone (even then, I should not be presumptive; "My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me", 1 Cor 4:4). Just as at the end of the day, you are the only person for you.

Jesus' words "According to your faith let it be done to you" (Mt 9:20) are central to my understanding here.

As a church leader people are forever coming to me with projects for which they claim to "have the faith" but want my congregation to provide a good chunk of the resources*. If I don't have confidence in the soundness of their project (starting out with due diligence, see above) I feel no compunction whatsoever to lend them support and no guilt whatsoever about withholding it.

(This stance of mine makes a lot of guilt-sensitive Christians very unhappy).

That doesn't mean I think their project is necessarily "not of God" or crap. It just means I don't have the faith for it. If their faith is genuine, then "according to their faith let it be done to them". That way they are free to take responsibility before God for their actions, and I am free to take responsibility before him for mine.

Having got all that out, it's time for me to go off and be incarnational for a bit [Biased]

==

*I am forever reminded of the family who came with several others to plant a church here in what they deemed pretty much "virgin territory" and expected all the existing churches to provide language training and child care while they did so...

[ 09. December 2016, 11:57: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Billy Graham says in his autobiography somewhere that he could never fathom the relationship between God and weather.

I wonder whether he really, I mean really questioned, and examined, with impartiality, the lack of actual facts about God, or any god?

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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mr cheesy
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I wouldn't like to attempt to get into the mind of Billy Graham, but my mind is still rather scrambled by the idea that anyone seriously thinks that the deity rearranges the weather for their convenience.

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overheard on a Welsh bus-stop: Jesus don't care about you, he's only interested in your soul

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SusanDoris

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Eutychus

Interesting posts. May I ask how you would (approximately) define or recognise 'genuine faith'?

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
I don't know why or how you believe in God's capacity for supernatural intervention and that cannot be transferred. I am averse. I'm leadenly, grimly content that He consistently never does
Just what the devil wants you to think. The Screwtape letters come to mind. God's weather 😳
Satan doesn't want me to believe that the chaotic peregrinations of a sandstorm stopping at an isocline on a mountain range means that SCIS can't invade Israel? He needn't worry. They can't any way. Under any circumstances. Anything else? Is there anything else Satan is willing me to think contrary to love? I can give you a list, but none will be on yours.

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Love wins

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Brenda Clough
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People who create things know. The power of creating is very very great indeed. If God has the power over His creation that I have over mine, He can handle this stuff. No huhu. If I can do mine, He can surely manage His.

For instance: He has within His creation (as I do within mine) all power over all coincidence. The card dealt turns up an ace or a three. The girl turns towards you at the xerox machine, or away. The raindrop falls to the left of the leaf, or to the right. And the whole story changes; within the story you cannot know how it changes, but the author does. I was the girl at the xerox machine; the guy next in line is now my husband.

Things may be totally shitty right now. You may not see a way out of the situation; in fact there may not be any way out but through. It may be the whole point of the story, that Frodo treks through the Dead Marshes and crawls up Mount Doom. Within the confines of the narrative we're in, we can't know. You can only know from outside the work, with the entire plot line and all the characters under your hand.

I sit here watching the fictional rain dropping down the imaginary leaf. Will it fall to the right, or the left? The characters don't know, but I do. And if I do, I find it easy to believe that God does.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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hatless

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Do you not find, as you create, that your characters sometimes refuse to behave as you had intended? That things happen that you hadn't thought of?

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Brenda Clough
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But of course. That is in fact desirable -- then you know they are real.
No one wants to read about puppets. The reader has to know and feel that Frodo really could have taken the Ring, that Hamlet on the battlements at Elsinore could really have said, "Oh Dad, c'mon. Mom owns her sexuality. You want me, her son, to call her on it? It's too creepy, man. And I have to finish my Ph.D in heuristics at Wittenberg, you know."

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Boogie

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Gravity is a great analogy for the God I believe in.

God exists, holds the whole of everything together, is intimately involved with the whole caboodle - but doesn't control any of it. She's there, she loves us and she leaves us - and everything - with total freedom because she loves us.

God has no 'ifs' imo. 'If you love me' 'If you pray'. 'If you give'. No ifs - just love and support.

It depends what mood I'm in whether I'm angry with this God or not. Mostly I wish she would intervene - but then how would that happen without unbelievable inequity?

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Garden. Room. Walk

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
But of course. That is in fact desirable -- then you know they are real.
No one wants to read about puppets. The reader has to know and feel that Frodo really could have taken the Ring, that Hamlet on the battlements at Elsinore could really have said, "Oh Dad, c'mon. Mom owns her sexuality. You want me, her son, to call her on it? It's too creepy, man. And I have to finish my Ph.D in heuristics at Wittenberg, you know."

It seems to me that a good author has to respect their creation, and out of that respect grows a personal relationship between creator and creature. The author limits her power. Only another analogy, but suggesting ways to talk about God.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Gravity is a great analogy for the God I believe in.

God exists, holds the whole of everything together, is intimately involved with the whole caboodle - but doesn't control any of it. She's there, she loves us and she leaves us - and everything - with total freedom because she loves us.

God has no 'ifs' imo. 'If you love me' 'If you pray'. 'If you give'. No ifs - just love and support.

It depends what mood I'm in whether I'm angry with this God or not. Mostly I wish she would intervene - but then how would that happen without unbelievable inequity?

Why would there be inequity? If God is all-powerful, he could make things equitable. Isn't this how heaven would be?

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no path

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Brenda Clough
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But then it wouldn't be a good book. It wouldn't be a good -story-. You need inequality, to make the plot go. Just like you need a hilly landscape if you want a waterfall.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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hatless

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You don't fancy John Donne's house of heaven with neither darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light? Not sure I do, either.

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My crazy theology in novel form

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Y'all need to read Sophie's World, a narrative history of philosophy in which the protagonists eventually manage to escape from the author.

Then go and read The solitaire mystery, also by Jostein Gaarder, and go mad on kabbalism and numerology.

SusanDoris, I'll give it some thought and try and get back to you.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Raptor Eye
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# 16649

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Gravity is a great analogy for the God I believe in.

God exists, holds the whole of everything together, is intimately involved with the whole caboodle - but doesn't control any of it. She's there, she loves us and she leaves us - and everything - with total freedom because she loves us.

God has no 'ifs' imo. 'If you love me' 'If you pray'. 'If you give'. No ifs - just love and support.

It depends what mood I'm in whether I'm angry with this God or not. Mostly I wish she would intervene - but then how would that happen without unbelievable inequity?

God does intervene, I am convinced of that, and it does not depend upon us, but upon God - except that God would only intervene if invited to, and then never predictably. God is not under our control, nor does God control us.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
May I ask how you would (approximately) define or recognise 'genuine faith'?

Here is one attempt.

Of Peter's audience on the Day of Pentecost, it is said in Acts 2:37 that
quote:
when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, ‘Brothers, what should we do?’
I'd say that faith has an intellectual component: these people heard an explanation of the Good News.

I'd say it also has an emotional, affective, component: they were "cut to the heart". It might not be particularly intense, but there is an element of personal conviction, intuition if you will; something felt.

And finally I'd say it leads to a desire to take action: "what should we do?".

This is just one text but it sums up a fair bit of my thought nicely. Christian faith involves assent to some propositions about God, an experiential dimension (not necessarily extravagant though), and a practical outworking of that.

Those are the kind of things I might look for when trying to discern "genuine faith" in others, but in line with what I've posted earlier, I'd be extremely cautious about passing definitive judgement on others and more concerned with what I personally have faith for, as I think that's what I'm accountable for.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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Faith, hope, charity. It's a progression. No? I have infinite faith because I say so. I'm sure the poor young guys butchered alive in Turkey had infinite faith. However if faith is the substance of things hoped for and faith is shown by works, of charity, the substance, the quantitative, balance sheet measurement of faith, is charity. I can quantify my infinite claim with 1% of my time. And even my other works are suspect as I am found wanting in the heart of charity of service of care and yes please pity me in that. There is nothing like caring for an 86 year old going on 3 year old to expose ones, my, lack of the heart of charity. Inside I can feel utterly dead. Externally I ... can raise my voice. Pity me. It's unbelievably hard being incarnational. For me. I pray and still raise my voice. Who then will deliver me from this body of death?

Talking of externals, God is external, yes, and affects my internals in many ways. None by interfering with my feelings, my thinking. And certainly not in interfering with other externals.

Comparing the victims of Zirve with Isaiah, sawn in half from the groin up, inside a hollow log, with a giant wooden saw, on the orders of Manasseh, probably in his adamant, sneering presence, is a category error. Not as bad as comparing anything with Christ. Manasseh repented. Turkey can't. Turkey won't. Not for ten thousand years. Anymore than she can repent of the Armenian Christian genocide.

And agreed, the circles around the Incarnation attenuate rapidly. Because of what God had to work with. Superstitious fisherman and the like.

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Eutychus

Interesting posts. May I ask how you would (approximately) define or recognise 'genuine faith'?

You can observe the faith of others, you can observe changed lives, you can read the scriptures and investigate their claims and finally, if you have the mettle for it,you could jump in the water rather than just observe others bathing.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's unbelievably hard being incarnational. For me. I pray and still raise my voice. Who then will deliver me from this body of death?

[Votive] I still think you're too hard on yourself, too quick to do your own actions down and too quick to be impressed by others' without imagining what their inner lives might be like.

Nobody bothers putting the routine and unsightly stuff in the glowing reports of bullet-taking heroes like those you cite. Even the Bible concentrates on the remarkable not the routine. We just get to read the highlights, not actually have to follow others' lives in all their fulness and mundanity (unless they have a Twitter account); it would be unbearably long and boring.

Believers are all simul iustus et peccator, all of us. That's what grace (charis) is for.

quote:
Talking of externals, God is external, yes, and affects my internals in many ways. None by interfering with my feelings, my thinking.
So how then?

quote:
Comparing the victims of Zirve with Isaiah, sawn in half from the groin up, inside a hollow log, with a giant wooden saw, on the orders of Manasseh, probably in his adamant, sneering presence, is a category error.
I don't know who the writer to the Hebrews had in mind but assuming it was Isaiah, why would this be a category error?
quote:
Manasseh repented. Turkey can't. Turkey won't.
Now that's a category error. Manasseh was an individual. Turkey is a country. Repentance is an individual thing. Could the individuals who killed the guys in Turkey repent? Quite possibly. Why not?

And how can you be so categorical even about an entire country's fate? You're always sentencing people and situations to thousands of years more of the same. Why? Your friend Isaiah himself talks about the unheard-of possibility of a nation being born in a day.

quote:
And agreed, the circles around the Incarnation attenuate rapidly. Because of what God had to work with. Superstitious fisherman and the like.
You're agreeing with yourself only there. I asked you how quickly you thought they attenuated and you have yet to answer.

Did only Jesus do supernatural stuff (for the benefit of his primitive audience) or did the apostles get to do it too? If the records of them doing it are culturally blinkered (or just plain gullible) accounts of carnival tricks by primitives, or ex-post fabrication and embellishment, why should their records of the life and work of Christ be any different?

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
Eutychus

Interesting posts. May I ask how you would (approximately) define or recognise 'genuine faith'?

You can observe the faith of others, you can observe changed lives, you can read the scriptures and investigate their claims and finally, if you have the mettle for it,you could jump in the water rather than just observe others bathing.
And how would anyone know you had faith?

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Love wins

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
And how would anyone know you had faith?

Why does it matter what anyone else thinks they know about your spiritual life?

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Martin60
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It doesn't as long as I keep my claims to myself. But when I start making claims about how faithful I am or others are, I better be able to back it up. I can. 1% in time, 0.1% in quality on a good day.

Jamat is implying mettle, implying that he is not just observing; tacitly inviting that inference. What %?

[ 10. December 2016, 14:53: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Martin60
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@Eutychus, thanks for the votive and all that follows, I shall engage after the dust has settled on the most recent flurry I've precipitated.

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Love wins

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
But when I start making claims about how faithful I am or others are, I better be able to back it up.

Maybe making such claims is the problem. Faith isn't a competition. It doesn't matter which of us has the most of it, it matters that we all have some of it.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Martin60
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That's mighty conciliatory of you Marvin the Martian. I mean, what's the point of THAT?! Aye, we've all been gifted with a measure.

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Love wins

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Raptor Eye
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While I agree that the fruits of someone's faith is the observable measure of it, faith is not reduced to this. It is about relationship, give and take.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

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Moo

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
[QUOTE]Faith isn't a competition. It doesn't matter which of us has the most of it, it matters that we all have some of it.

This reminds me of a saying. "How much of God you have is much less important than how much of you God has."

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Martin60
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@Eutychus, as before I appreciate the section from the votive, I cannot believe how wanting I am found, how exposed as unincarnational in 'caring' for my mother when she rages against the dermatosis treatment I'm responsible for and literally isn't in the mood to have her teeth cleaned; tea is a cleansing herb and that's good enough apparently. I'm sure the excellent Captain Mbaye Diagne found it easier being a peerless hero in Rwanda than in his own front room with his wife and kids. Father Xavier Fagba similarly in the CAR, without the demands of family. Being a hero is sodding easy! I am adored at Triangle where they would kill for me without a nod. But I don't live there … Are we scumbags on the Internet because we're as we are at home?

"Believers are all simul iustus et peccator, all of us. That's what grace (charis) is for.", aye, grace certainly abounds round here ...

So, as to God not interfering with my internals: He's given me you hasn't He? In His provision.

Categories: Isaiah and the martyrs of Zirve. I over egged the pudding with Isaiah, or my original cultic sources on him did, or worse I over egged what they told me myself. More likely. The tree he was hiding in was cut through laterally according to rabbinic sources. At least Isaiah had the sense to run away; he should have kept on running. It was his job to prophesy to the king, his calling. And it worked. As you say, Turkey isn't a king, but there again as goes the king goes the country. We can do this rhetoric endlessly. The satanically - boy does he get a bad name - evil killers of the Zirve martyrs may well repent in this life, I'm sure I should pray that they do. In that self-sealing culture I very much doubt it is possible. Jesus will save them in His good time. And the whole of Turkey [in] one day. But not for a few million yet I'll wager.

Ever decreasing circles: Attenuation, this occurred in Christ. The Incarnation guaranteed that. The ultimate dumbing down. His hard sayings are very hard indeed, as hard as the time, as the culture. As hard as He? Not trajectorily. After Him it gets much murkier straight away. We know that God didn't assassinate Herod with parasitic worms. Peter knew He did. The same penniless Peter who commanded the paralysed to get up and walk in Christ's name. God knows what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. Did the God we only know in Christ have them executed? The apostles believed all sorts of things that aren't true. Virtually every claim in the Old Testament. Like our Master. That didn't stop Him walking on water and turning it in to Château Musar. This is something you loop over, why is that?
<TRASHED MY LAPTOP! Life was over. Managed to network from my desktop and grab this draft. There IS a God!>

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Ever decreasing circles: Attenuation, this occurred in Christ. The Incarnation guaranteed that. The ultimate dumbing down. His hard sayings are very hard indeed, as hard as the time, as the culture. As hard as He? Not trajectorily. After Him it gets much murkier straight away. We know that God didn't assassinate Herod with parasitic worms. Peter knew He did. The same penniless Peter who commanded the paralysed to get up and walk in Christ's name. God knows what happened to Ananias and Sapphira. Did the God we only know in Christ have them executed? The apostles believed all sorts of things that aren't true. Virtually every claim in the Old Testament. Like our Master. That didn't stop Him walking on water and turning it in to Château Musar. This is something you loop over, why is that?

If Jesus rose from the dead, that's a "law-of-physics-breaking" miracle.

If he in fact did turn water into wine and walk on it, so apparently are those (I'm not clear as to whether you actually believe those things to have happened or not).

So if Jesus can do it and the Father can do it to the Son's body while the Son is AWOL, why, in theory at least, should he not have been able to do the same things by his Spirit through the disciples? And if through them, why not through others even down to the present day?

I think your problem is an emotional one, not an intellectual one. If God really did break the laws of physics, he still can. The harder question is why he doesn't do so more often and all the more so in the situations that cause us the most personal suffering.

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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Sod me man! How many times? Of COURSE I believe in the miracle and miracles of Jesus and the disciples. Because of THE category. Him. I don't believe in any one else's claim since because there is no need to, whatsoever. There is no warrant, intellectually. None at all. Not in ANY claim of healing or any other supernatural interference in the laws of physics. Such claims make a childish travesty, an impossibility of theodicy, of the gospel. They prevent incarnationality, they distract from it with homeopathic fanaticism. They give hope in the wrong, the false, the untrue direction. In random grains of wheat in a blizzard of chaff being significant.

Scepticism is weak. DENY the nonsense and get on with universal social justice starting in ones own front room.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Sod me man! How many times? Of COURSE I believe in the miracle and miracles of Jesus and the disciples. Because of THE category. Him.

I don't see how that follows. Him /= the disciples and still less the disciples after he'd ascended.
quote:
I don't believe in any one else's claim since because there is no need to, whatsoever.
Being parsimonious with belief? That's a new one on me. You believe only what you need to?
quote:
There is no warrant, intellectually. None at all. Not in ANY claim of healing or any other supernatural interference in the laws of physics.
I'm sorry, I still don't get it. Why should Jesus and/or his disciples and possibly a few of their disciples be an exception to this?
quote:
Such claims make a childish travesty, an impossibility of theodicy, of the gospel. They prevent incarnationality, they distract from it with homeopathic fanaticism. They give hope in the wrong, the false, the untrue direction.
Ah, the claims might well. They might well be a distraction from all the "incarnational" stuff. Largely with you on that. There's evidence of that right from when Jesus enjoined the eyewitnesses not to tell anyone. (Indeed, it's odd how bothered and exasperated he often seems to be by the whole miracle business).

But don't thrown the baby out with the bathwater by jumping from bad claims to no actual possibility. I think there's more theological room than you allow for, and more theological wrestling to be done than blanket denial.
quote:
DENY the nonsense and get on with universal social justice starting in ones own front room.
I'll deny nonsense, certainly, and have made a few enemies doing so.

But I'll not deny the prerogative of God to surpass my understanding of how the world works at his discretion. I think that is the "safe" option ever since the resurrection (Os Guinness: "gravedigging has been a less than certain business ever since").

The challenge - much harder work than denial - is to teach that in a way that isn't a distraction from being incarnational, and live with the implications, theodicy and all.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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I deny God nothing. He makes no claims that I can refute. As for there being no miracles beyond the first generation, why would there be?

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Love wins

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I deny God nothing. He makes no claims that I can refute. As for there being no miracles beyond the first generation, why would there be?

To show the weensiest little bit of consistency?

Which is why a faith based on miracles may be a little shaky. Or at least mine was and required a full rewiring, replumbing, reconfiguration, reboot. I thought of a bonfire, discarding it all, but that didn't fit for me. So I gave up on miracles, and thought I should set aside such things, and just make an effort to live a decent life, trying to be kind to others. Missing the mark of course, but not paying much attention to the miracle claims, and just trying to, as a friend from another country told me his church says "live like Jesus".

I'm okay with the miracles if you really need them, I just don't give them much mind, not really caring much if they are true any more.

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Maybe I should stop to consider that I'm not worthy of an epiphany and just take what life has to offer
(formerly was just "no prophet") \_(ツ)_/

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I deny God nothing. He makes no claims that I can refute. As for there being no miracles beyond the first generation, why would there be?

Do you believe all of the Bible's, or let's say for simplicity's sake, the NT's, claims to miracles/supernatural intervention? It didn't sound like you thought Herod was eaten by divinely appointed worms. What about Peter's shadow? If you doubt those claims, why are you so sure about the incarnation/resurrection?

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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Why do you ask? You decide. All the information you need is in front of you. Again. As always. WWJD? WWYD?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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I'm challenging you as to the consistency of your views on supernatural intervention.

I can understand you rejecting spurious contemporary claims on the grounds that they are a distraction and often poorly reported or fabricated outright, but I cannot understand on what basis you reject the principle of supernatural intervention via individuals other than Jesus if you accept that it really did happen during and immediately after his time on earth.

I understand your idea of "attenuation" and how you link it to "putting away childish things", but that is not the same as "extinction". I don't think what is perfect has come yet.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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Moses' face glowed.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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Your elliptical responses are certainly the equivalent to seeing (what you're getting at) through a glass darkly [brick wall]

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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Clearly. You don't see the analogy?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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No. Conversation requires a minimum of effort to make oneself understood. I've requested clarification, clarification which I'm sure on past experience you're capable of giving should you so wish.

I think you might have a lot of insights I'd find interesting and personally helpful, but your current mode of interaction makes me feel like a potential intiate struggling to achieve higher, esoteric knowledge.

If you can't (or won't) make your discourse simpler than that, then I don't believe it's consistent with the truth of the Gospel, which I believe to be fundamentally accessible and simple, and I'm not interested.

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Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Martin60
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The disciples - like Moses and more so - came literally closer to God than any of us. He told them that they would do greater things than he. They did. Jesus' shadow didn't heal.

Again, like faith, it's very easy to quantify and qualify. It would be wouldn't it? Nothing complicated. Nothing esoteric.

After His resurrection a handful more, if that, experienced anything claim-worthy. Stephen. Paul. The odd move, direction, vision, dream, divination by the Spirit involving the first couple of circles. Lots of glossolalia by everybody, whatever that was. Anyone, anything else? Oh yes, the entire Jerusalem communist Christian community in, what, 66 AD (halfway through the un-intervened persecution by Nero, which took Paul the following year), heard "Let us remove hence." prior to the holocaust of 70, presaged by Jesus but not recorded biblically.

Nowadays? In your or anyone else's experience? From the C2nd on?

Nothing.

How does that deny God? How does it deny the activity of the Holy Ghost normative after The Acts of the Apostles? Whose exceptional category of faces metaphorically glowed, having basked in The Presence in and beyond His Incarnation.

If one wants to claim qualitative equality with them, then ones shadow will be healing, prison doors will be opening. The Church will be growing exponentially due to the power of incarnational example, leading the way in the transformation of society along the trajectory Jesus started ...

Not doing and claiming everything and anything else (including what ordinary people regard as witchcraft) but and pretending that that is the same.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by no prophet's flag is set so...:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I deny God nothing. He makes no claims that I can refute. As for there being no miracles beyond the first generation, why would there be?

To show the weensiest little bit of consistency?

Which is why a faith based on miracles may be a little shaky. Or at least mine was and required a full rewiring, replumbing, reconfiguration, reboot. I thought of a bonfire, discarding it all, but that didn't fit for me. So I gave up on miracles, and thought I should set aside such things, and just make an effort to live a decent life, trying to be kind to others. Missing the mark of course, but not paying much attention to the miracle claims, and just trying to, as a friend from another country told me his church says "live like Jesus".

I'm okay with the miracles if you really need them, I just don't give them much mind, not really caring much if they are true any more.

I see Him being perfectly consistent: no miracles beyond Jesus' hugging generation. Agreed on everything else of course.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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Thanks for being more explicit. It really makes a difference.

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
After His resurrection a handful more, if that, experienced anything claim-worthy.

That we know of.
quote:
Nowadays? In your or anyone else's experience? From the C2nd on?

Nothing.

How can you be so sure? Who knows what has happened in this big wide world that believers have had the common sense to obey Jesus about and keep schtum? "Things of which it is not permitted to speak."
quote:
How does that deny God?
It denies God the faculty of acting as he wishes if you say he's never done anything like that since. Whether it matters if he actually has for the solidity of our personal faith is another question entirely.
quote:
If one wants to claim qualitative equality with them, then ones shadow will be healing, prison doors will be opening.
It's you that's chasing windmills here, at least as far as I'm concerned. I don't believe these things are eschatalogical imperatives. I'm not a proponent of "kingdom now" theology. But I think they can happen. That they don't most of the time is no different from Jesus not healing everyone at the pool of Bethesda.
quote:
Not doing and claiming everything and anything else (including what ordinary people regard as witchcraft) but and pretending that that is the same.
Again, don't mix up actual happenings, claims, and interpretation of happenings. Those are three very different things.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Raptor Eye
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Yes, Martin, it does happen today too, and it has happened over the last 2000 years. Check out the recorded saints! I myself have been given a vision - not because I am anything special, but because it was necessary.

The pendulum has always swung one way and the other, toward religion and away from it, according to the pull of the world against that of the desire to carry out the will of God for the good of all. The latter can only be done in isolation with limited effect. Christianity is about co-operation, working together to utilise all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

You hold great store by good works, rightly so where they are the fruit of the spirit. Good works do not express worship of Christ unless they are carried out through love of God and the love of other people, and not through self interest.

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Be still, and know that I am God! Psalm 46.10

Posts: 4224 | From: The United Kingdom | Registered: Sep 2011  |  IP: Logged
Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Thanks for being more explicit. It really makes a difference.

You and your bloody graciousness.
quote:

quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
After His resurrection a handful more, if that, experienced anything claim-worthy.

That we know of.

Which is a lot (Brit. understatement) more than happens nowadays.
quote:

quote:

Nowadays? In your or anyone else's experience? From the C2nd on?

Nothing.

How can you be so sure? Who knows what has happened in this big wide world that believers have had the common sense to obey Jesus about and keep schtum? "Things of which it is not permitted to speak."

Not the believers I've known for 40 years. And the believers at Lourdes and the believers all over the Internet and the believers publishing before that in the likes of Colin Urquart or Jack Deere etc, etc, etc. If believers would only keep schtum that would be great.
quote:

quote:

How does that deny God?

It denies God the faculty of acting as he wishes if you say he's never done anything like that since. Whether it matters if he actually has for the solidity of our personal faith is another question entirely.

God does not wish other than He acts.
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quote:

If one wants to claim qualitative equality with them, then ones shadow will be healing, prison doors will be opening.

It's you that's chasing windmills here, at least as far as I'm concerned. I don't believe these things are eschatalogical imperatives. I'm not a proponent of "kingdom now" theology. But I think they can happen. That they don't most of the time is no different from Jesus not healing everyone at the pool of Bethesda.

Can you quantify most?
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quote:

Not doing and claiming everything and anything else (including what ordinary people regard as witchcraft) but and pretending that that is the same.

Again, don't mix up actual happenings, claims, and interpretation of happenings. Those are three very different things.

Not to me. They are all part of the same distraction.

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Love wins

Posts: 16593 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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