SteyrAug started the following thread in GD, but since I think it demands a "religious" answer, I'm opening the discussion over here....
I beleive his intent was to say, given the following two points, ALL religions are on some level equal:
1. That ALL religions basically present a mystical God, that is alrgely beyond understanding, and
2. That ALL religons try to establish their credibility based on their holy text being historically accurate.
But these two points show a misunderstanding of Christian doctrine, and its actually in these two points that Christianity DIFFERENTIATES itself from other religions.
First, re: the mystical God -
The Holy Bible presents a VERY different intent by our God - one of progressive revelation of Himself thru time. At first vaguely to Israel, then in His full glory He revealed Himself in Christ. Consider the following:
Joh 10:32 Jesus answered them, "I showed you many good works from the Father...
Joh 14:9 Jesus saith unto him....he that hath seen me hath seen the Father
Isa 43:10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me.
11 "I, even I, am the LORD, And there is no savior besides Me.
12 "It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed (myself)
These texts BOTH prove God's main intent was to reveal Himself first to I srael, and then for Christ to reveal Himself to His apostles and us.
In fact, GOd's MAIN desire was to be known by ALL men -
Jer 31:31, 34 - Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant .....: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
So, firstly we see God has gone to GREAT lengths to make Himself known. In fact, it is no stretch to say that is His ENTIRE intent - that man know Him. In this, CHristianity is COMPLETELY different from all other religions. Our God has NOTHING to hide.
I can't fully understand why God would reveal Himsef to man, I'm just glad He does.
Now as to Aug's second point -
The fact that the Bible is historically accurate is largely irrelevant as a proof of its truthfulness. That's a nice little peripheral support, but largely immaterial as to why Chrsitians hold the Holy Scriptures as THE truth.
It is the kept promises that Christians largely rely on to bolster our faith -
Consider King David's explanation -
2Sa 7:27 For thou, O LORD of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying, I will build thee an house: therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee.
28 And now, O Lord GOD, thou art that God, and thy words be true, and thou hast promised this goodness unto thy servant:
29 Therefore now let it please thee to bless the house of thy servant, that it may continue for ever before thee: for thou, O Lord GOD, hast spoken it: and with thy blessing let the house of thy servant be blessed for ever.
God promised David a house of His own, and David God his house -in spades.
Or King Nebuchadnezzar, who was HARDLY a Chrsitian himself -
Da 4:37 "Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise, exalt and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride."
God promised Nebuchadnezzar judgment for his rebellion, and Nebby got it in spades.
Experts record ssome 630 promises in teh Bible, that God makes. NOT ONE has failed. Ever.
I could go on endlessly re: the kept promises , but there is one other point before this turns into a really long post.
The other thing that convinces us of the validity of Scripture is in how profoundly perfectly it pegs human nature -
Consider Jeremiahs testimony -
Jer 12:3 But You know me, O LORD; You see me; And You examine my heart's attitude toward You.
Or Davids affirmation of the same -
Psalm 139:1 - O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.
3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all.
I could continue quite some time here as well. I'll spare you.
So we see two things -
1. God tries deliberately to reveal Himself to man. It is man that hides from God - or tries to.
2. It is the kept promises and the deadly accurate diagnosis of human nature that convinces Chrsitians of teh validity of Scripture, and historicity is largely just gravy, but certianly no proof of anything.
Hope this helps explain some things.
Silly garandman... Don't you know that as long as you ignore the differences, everything is the same?
But seriously, I think some people just have a hard time understanding that most similarities between religions are merely superficial, and that most religions at their core are extremely different from one another. Even the Baha'i faith, which claims to be all-inclusivistic and tries to bring a synchronization about betweenthe various religions, ends up violating every religion at its core and ultimately excluding the exclusivists!
I think most of the ancient religions are nothing more than mythology. My point was to demonstrate that with the "ground rules" used by most defenders of religion ANY belief system (including Greek mythology) could be successfully defended against ANYTHING, even modern scientific evidence.
ETA: Amateresu will surely burn you all for your heretical blasphemy and worship of false ways.
how do you know this? was this revealed to you? are you claiming you are a prophet?
It is written.
Then you should have ADDED it there.
Religion is allowed in GD when it applies. If we censor ourselves then what the point?
and what prophecy has he foretold that has come true?
The Holy Bible presents a VERY different intent by our God - one of progressive revelation of Himself thru time. At first vaguely to Israel, then in His full glory He revealed Himself in Christ.
The roots of the Christian bible are so thoroughly intertwined with the Hebrew Torah that your reference to “vagueness” is, despite your many scriptural references, shallow and without insightfulness to any discussion and would probably have greater weight before a less educated audience, perhaps grade-schoolers.
To paraphrase text, let me suggest to you “…seek, and yee shall find, though if in doubt, when cornered, just spew this out of your memory…perhaps, then, shall thoust mind catch up…”
He KNEW you were gonna say that.
Still, Christian doctrine stand 180 degrees out of phase with your two basic ground rules.
So DESPITE the numerous Scripture references I give to make my case, (which you interstingly ignore, and rather just try to paint me as some kind of intentional deceiver) you dispute the progressive revelation of God thru time?
It is NOT by accident I took most of my texts from the Old Testament.
The Word of God is my SOLE source for making definitive statements regarding God.
If you have SPECIFIC texts that disprove my thesis, please, say on.
Outside Scripture, our discussion is just pooled ignorance by both of us.
No one is begging you to stay.
Tho I personally am begging you to add something of greater substance that "AGNTSA" to this discussion.
sorry. I was afraid that this was gonna be another wild, out of control religious debate but it all seems pretty calm right now. as soon as I get done arguing homosexuality with tc556guy ill formulate something here.
What prophecy in the old testament has come true according to the Jewish Faith? What of the discrepencies between how old testament prophecy was fullfilled for the Christian and Muslim Faiths. Muslims believe Muhammed was their messiah and Christian believe it was Jesus. The there are the Mormons who claim that even more of the prophecies have from the old and new testament have come true.
SteryAug is right.
You can't just point to what is alleged to be the inspired literture of your god as arguments for it's own validity. I just finished reading a little work of literature called "What A Christian Believes" by some nitwhit named Ray Pritchard. His argument was the same. Christians believe what they believe because of what it says in the Bible.
World history simply does not support this. Hundreds of thousands of years before Moses is alleged to have visited Mount Sinai thus getting his inspiration to write the book of Genesis there were a plethora of other well established religions in societies completely isolated from the goings on in that very small region of the world.
@garandman: Please do spare us more quotes from your the Bible as a means of proving the existence of your God and the validity of your religion. It is a rather circular pointless endeavor.
Saying that your God is the one true God because is says so in the Bible is roughly the equivalent of saying XP-Pro is the best desktop Operating System because it says so in the Microsoft manual. Look, it says so right there.
@Sgat1r5: I could not agree with your post about cenorship of this forum more. It's probably the only time I have ever agreed with you on this forum.
Lemme see if I got this straight -
You are requiring that I NOT use my holy book, the Bible, in a RELIGION forum, in a discussion about GOD.
IS that your position???
Really??? That's about the most ironic thing I've ever read.
(This may help - For the record - I always put my Bible verses in red text, so when you see a post by me, with red text, just ignore it)