Figuring Out Religion

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Stillwaters
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Stillwaters » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:41 pm

Longtime PP’er and Lurker here. This is my attempt to prime the pump on the Religion thread for 2019! Here is an inquiry that has long fascinated me:

The apparent reality that we currently reside seems to be made up of an admixture of various 'Polarity of Opposites".

Light/Dark
Male/Female
Empty/Full
Up/Down

You get the picture. No one polarity could exist without its opposite in the field of space and time. Example: A reasonable mixture of light and darkness is required for the eye to properly discern objects, all light or all darkness and we are blind. Here is my point of confusion. It appears that the Christian God (in the form of God the father) is depicted as male or male in nature as if staking out a position on one end of a polarity. My questions:

1) Do believers believe that God (not Jesus but God the father) is truely male in nature?

2) If the answer is Yes, then what attribute or attributes define this maleness?
Obviously, in the real world maleness can be defined (for simplicity sake lets leave out the new PC gender definitions) as possessing male genitalia, certain levels of male hormones, sperm production, luxurious beard production (as seen in Art). etc. It would seem highly unlikely for God to possess such anthropomorphic physical attributes so thus what then constitutes maleness?

Any answers in one’s own words (as opposed to Scripture) would be greatly appreciated and much better understood.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:54 am

Stillwaters wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:41 pm
Longtime PP’er and Lurker here. This is my attempt to prime the pump on the Religion thread for 2019! Here is an inquiry that has long fascinated me:

The apparent reality that we currently reside seems to be made up of an admixture of various 'Polarity of Opposites".

Light/Dark
Male/Female
Empty/Full
Up/Down

You get the picture. No one polarity could exist without its opposite in the field of space and time. Example: A reasonable mixture of light and darkness is required for the eye to properly discern objects, all light or all darkness and we are blind. Here is my point of confusion. It appears that the Christian God (in the form of God the father) is depicted as male or male in nature as if staking out a position on one end of a polarity. My questions:

1) Do believers believe that God (not Jesus but God the father) is truely male in nature?

2) If the answer is Yes, then what attribute or attributes define this maleness?
Obviously, in the real world maleness can be defined (for simplicity sake lets leave out the new PC gender definitions) as possessing male genitalia, certain levels of male hormones, sperm production, luxurious beard production (as seen in Art). etc. It would seem highly unlikely for God to possess such anthropomorphic physical attributes so thus what then constitutes maleness?

Any answers in one’s own words (as opposed to Scripture) would be greatly appreciated and much better understood.
Stillwater,
Welcome to "posting" on the forum!

Your question is a big one. From my perspective, it deals with trying to understand the Trinity, which from my view point is incomprehensible for man to understand. There are many mysteries in Scripture, the Trinity is one of them. In fact, my tradition says our Pastors are stewards of the mysteries of God. If we understood everything, we would be God. Wanting to be God, or like God, or not trusting His Word, or doubting His Word is the original sin. From my perspective, we can only confess that Scripture is true, not prove it, even though there is quite a bit of evidence that Scripture is true. Thus, faith, which in and of itself is a gift from God. That said, I believe God is Father in a figurative sense (to help us understand Him, albeit to a limited degree) not a physical sense. I suggest you read these sources that may help you delve into more thinking about your questions and perhaps generate some additional ones. Forgive me if I've just confused you.

http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp? ... HER.GODTHE

http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp? ... rd=TRINITY (the Athanasian Creed deals with the Trinity)

http://www.apologeticspress.org/APConte ... ticle=1165

Blessings.
The world removes God; the Word gives Christ.
The devil accuses us; the Word sustains faith.
Sin says live for self; the Word says live for others.

The right-hand statement gives fortification against the unholy trinity of the left-hand statement.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:05 am

Stillwaters wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:41 pm
Longtime PP’er and Lurker here. This is my attempt to prime the pump on the Religion thread for 2019! Here is an inquiry that has long fascinated me:

The apparent reality that we currently reside seems to be made up of an admixture of various 'Polarity of Opposites".

Light/Dark
Male/Female
Empty/Full
Up/Down

You get the picture. No one polarity could exist without its opposite in the field of space and time. Example: A reasonable mixture of light and darkness is required for the eye to properly discern objects, all light or all darkness and we are blind. Here is my point of confusion. It appears that the Christian God (in the form of God the father) is depicted as male or male in nature as if staking out a position on one end of a polarity. My questions:

1) Do believers believe that God (not Jesus but God the father) is truely male in nature?

2) If the answer is Yes, then what attribute or attributes define this maleness?
Obviously, in the real world maleness can be defined (for simplicity sake lets leave out the new PC gender definitions) as possessing male genitalia, certain levels of male hormones, sperm production, luxurious beard production (as seen in Art). etc. It would seem highly unlikely for God to possess such anthropomorphic physical attributes so thus what then constitutes maleness?

Any answers in one’s own words (as opposed to Scripture) would be greatly appreciated and much better understood.
Good luck with your attempt to introduce reason into the religion discussion. You might as well beat your head against a wall.

God is male because the Bible says so. Case closed.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Stillwaters » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:12 am

Mountaineer wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:54 am
Stillwaters wrote:
Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:41 pm
Longtime PP’er and Lurker here. This is my attempt to prime the pump on the Religion thread for 2019! Here is an inquiry that has long fascinated me:

The apparent reality that we currently reside seems to be made up of an admixture of various 'Polarity of Opposites".

Light/Dark
Male/Female
Empty/Full
Up/Down

You get the picture. No one polarity could exist without its opposite in the field of space and time. Example: A reasonable mixture of light and darkness is required for the eye to properly discern objects, all light or all darkness and we are blind. Here is my point of confusion. It appears that the Christian God (in the form of God the father) is depicted as male or male in nature as if staking out a position on one end of a polarity. My questions:

1) Do believers believe that God (not Jesus but God the father) is truely male in nature?

2) If the answer is Yes, then what attribute or attributes define this maleness?
Obviously, in the real world maleness can be defined (for simplicity sake lets leave out the new PC gender definitions) as possessing male genitalia, certain levels of male hormones, sperm production, luxurious beard production (as seen in Art). etc. It would seem highly unlikely for God to possess such anthropomorphic physical attributes so thus what then constitutes maleness?

Any answers in one’s own words (as opposed to Scripture) would be greatly appreciated and much better understood.
Stillwater,
Welcome to "posting" on the forum!

Your question is a big one. From my perspective, it deals with trying to understand the Trinity, which from my view point is incomprehensible for man to understand. There are many mysteries in Scripture, the Trinity is one of them. In fact, my tradition says our Pastors are stewards of the mysteries of God. If we understood everything, we would be God. Wanting to be God, or like God, or not trusting His Word, or doubting His Word is the original sin. From my perspective, we can only confess that Scripture is true, not prove it, even though there is quite a bit of evidence that Scripture is true. Thus, faith, which in and of itself is a gift from God. That said, I believe God is Father in a figurative sense (to help us understand Him, albeit to a limited degree) not a physical sense. I suggest you read these sources that may help you delve into more thinking about your questions and perhaps generate some additional ones. Forgive me if I've just confused you.

http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp? ... HER.GODTHE

http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp? ... rd=TRINITY (the Athanasian Creed deals with the Trinity)

http://www.apologeticspress.org/APConte ... ticle=1165

Blessings.
Thanks for the response Mountaineer. Your position of taking the matter “figuratively” is more sophisticated and nuanced than some other Christians I know. This would suggest a non-literal reading of the text and thus HE, HIM, FATHER are more symbolic. Understanding that the Old Testament Middle East was a very patriarchal society and a only a Father figure type would be related to best in this cultural context. For those in a different cultural milieu it could then be appropriate to view and to refer to God in a strictly gender neutral fashion but that would probably not be practical (i.e. using IT). However, could we even go so far as to say it is appropriate in Matriarchal societies, that have heard the word, to think of God the Mother in order to better assimilate the Christian teaching? I believe from the readings you posted, the answer would be NO.

Anyway, I found interesting the piece you sent to me by Bert Thompson clarifying that there are no genders in heaven:

Spirits—because they are non-corporeal beings—have no physical body, and thus, by definition, are incapable of possessing gender. In speaking of the humans who one day will inhabit the heavenly realm, Jesus remarked that
they “neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as angels” (Matthew 22:30). His point was that we shall not take up our earthly gender roles in heaven, just as the angels, as spirit beings, have played no gender roles
throughout their existence. Similarly, God, as a Spirit Being Who inhabits the heavenly realm, has no gender.

I think I understand your position on Fundamentalists vs. Lutheran interpretation. I did find it quite strange that in a very large and rapidly growing Fundamentalist Church in my city they teach “Yes, there is sex in heaven”. The innumerable sects and enormous variety of interpretation within Christianity is quite confounding.

In any event, the question of God the Father being a man is now cleared up for me at least from a Lutheran perspective.

Finally, one remark of yours did stand out: 'If we understood everything, we would be God. Wanting to be God, or like God, or not trusting His Word, or doubting His Word is the original sin.’
I have no illusions of understanding “everything”. But this statement seems to indicate that honest discussion and exploration to understand is in essence a sin. Does this not automatically shutdown all further dialog between Believers and those that question?
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:21 pm

Stillwaters wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:12 am
Finally, one remark of yours did stand out: 'If we understood everything, we would be God. Wanting to be God, or like God, or not trusting His Word, or doubting His Word is the original sin.’
I have no illusions of understanding “everything”. But this statement seems to indicate that honest discussion and exploration to understand is in essence a sin. Does this not automatically shutdown all further dialog between Believers and those that question?
Stillwater, thanks for the followup. I'll try address your question.

Lutherans do not explore the hidden side of God, i.e. that side which God, for whatever His reasons, has chosen not to reveal to us. That hidden God is the God of wrath which presumably no one wants to encounter (the God of wrath cannot have sin in His presence and we are all sinners). The revealed God comes in His Word in the Holy Scriptures and in the physical presence of Jesus, His Word, on the cross two thousand years ago and in Jesus' body and blood at the sacrament of the Lord's Table. The revealed God is sufficient for our salvation. So, if I understand your question correctly, I do not believe that an understanding of original sin or understanding that we are all sinners shuts down further dialog or exploration to understand God's Word which is a lifelong study with new insights discovered or revealed almost every time I read, ponder, and study a Biblical text. The revealed Word is sufficient to understand that which God wishes us to understand.

One additional comment is that the hermeneutics used to interpret Scripture is very important. A couple of keys, again from the Lutheran perspective, are: Scripture interprets Scripture with the more clear parts used to help with the unclear parts. Scripture is Christocentric, that is read via the lens of Jesus being in the Scriptures both Old and New Testaments (Covenants). Understand the difference between God's Law and God's Gospel - Law is what God tells us to do or not do, Gospel is what God did for us; only the Gospel saves, Law is God's will for all humanity, believers and unbelivers - e.g. do not murder. Understand what is prescriptive and what is descriptive when reading Scripture. 'I don't know', or 'the Scriptures do not say' are acceptable answers, far superior to inventing an answer that is what we think it should be.

Thanks again for taking the time to discuss.
The world removes God; the Word gives Christ.
The devil accuses us; the Word sustains faith.
Sin says live for self; the Word says live for others.

The right-hand statement gives fortification against the unholy trinity of the left-hand statement.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Stillwaters » Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:00 pm

Changing course. Per Mountaineer the gate to salvation is “narrow”. Based on his previous positions and writings I can somewhat appreciate his viewpoint on this. I would like to better understand the nuances that define this.

It seems widely recognized that the path to understanding/belief comes in many forms based on the inherent nature (one could say wiring) of ones personality. All around the world, throughout time and religious traditions there have been those drawn to a belief system based on several different inclinations. The most simple contrasting examples would be the path of devotion (or of the heart) versus say the path of knowledge (or the intellect). Both end in the same place, FAITH, but get there by very different means and are sustained by different means.

This also ties in somewhat to the personality types. I could be wrong, but I believe that you (Mountaineer) mentioned you were an INTJ. I believe that would make you a dominant “intuitive". Someone like a ESFJ would be a dominant “feeler”. I would think one of these “feeler” personality types would have a higher probability toward coming to FAITH though a personal connection or emotion based devotion. To do otherwise would be asking a Dog to act like a Cat. Considering there are something like sixteen personality types we humans come prewired into adulthood with very unique (from each other) ways of viewing and interpreting the world.

So…just how narrow is this gate would be the operative question.

I understand that in the end only God will know who enters the narrow gate. However, I suspect that Mountaineer (or the others) have a sense for how narrow that gate is so I would like your best guess/opinion on the following. (Obviously these are critical distinctions as followers need to clearly understand the boundary lines on such life and death matters.)

Here goes: Which of the following will likely NOT reach salvation among Christian adherents:

1) Someone who came to Belief through a heartfelt personal/emotional connection but is not particularly drawn to scripture writings for inspiration.
2) Someone who came to Belief through an intuitive sense that this is the Truth from a holistic/Gestalt standpoint. Again precise scripture reading and understanding is not central to this person.
3) Someone came to Belief through a mystical encounter that was either supernatural in nature or of a Transcendent “knowing” that confirmed for them the truth of Christianity. This would typically be a one-time water-shed event that changes a persons outlook permanently.
4) Fundamentalists who do NOT "use scripture to interpret scripture" and do NOT interpret scripture in “Context” but are obsessive about literal interpretations and the application thereof.

If all or most of these paths are legitimate then I would think the gate is much less narrow than suspected and the Lutheran/Orthodox path not as critical. Otherwise, the way we are “wired” early in life may be the ultimate “predestination” for which we have no control over.

Again, I would ask that the answers be in one's own words as scriptural language is oftentimes incoherent and/or confusing to me.

Thanks for your patience on these questions.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:47 pm

Stillwaters wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:00 pm
Changing course. Per Mountaineer the gate to salvation is “narrow”. Based on his previous positions and writings I can somewhat appreciate his viewpoint on this. I would like to better understand the nuances that define this.

It seems widely recognized that the path to understanding/belief comes in many forms based on the inherent nature (one could say wiring) of ones personality. All around the world, throughout time and religious traditions there have been those drawn to a belief system based on several different inclinations. The most simple contrasting examples would be the path of devotion (or of the heart) versus say the path of knowledge (or the intellect). Both end in the same place, FAITH, but get there by very different means and are sustained by different means.

This also ties in somewhat to the personality types. I could be wrong, but I believe that you (Mountaineer) mentioned you were an INTJ. I believe that would make you a dominant “intuitive". Someone like a ESFJ would be a dominant “feeler”. I would think one of these “feeler” personality types would have a higher probability toward coming to FAITH though a personal connection or emotion based devotion. To do otherwise would be asking a Dog to act like a Cat. Considering there are something like sixteen personality types we humans come prewired into adulthood with very unique (from each other) ways of viewing and interpreting the world.

So…just how narrow is this gate would be the operative question.

I understand that in the end only God will know who enters the narrow gate. However, I suspect that Mountaineer (or the others) have a sense for how narrow that gate is so I would like your best guess/opinion on the following. (Obviously these are critical distinctions as followers need to clearly understand the boundary lines on such life and death matters.)

Here goes: Which of the following will likely NOT reach salvation among Christian adherents:

1) Someone who came to Belief through a heartfelt personal/emotional connection but is not particularly drawn to scripture writings for inspiration.
2) Someone who came to Belief through an intuitive sense that this is the Truth from a holistic/Gestalt standpoint. Again precise scripture reading and understanding is not central to this person.
3) Someone came to Belief through a mystical encounter that was either supernatural in nature or of a Transcendent “knowing” that confirmed for them the truth of Christianity. This would typically be a one-time water-shed event that changes a persons outlook permanently.
4) Fundamentalists who do NOT "use scripture to interpret scripture" and do NOT interpret scripture in “Context” but are obsessive about literal interpretations and the application thereof.

If all or most of these paths are legitimate then I would think the gate is much less narrow than suspected and the Lutheran/Orthodox path not as critical. Otherwise, the way we are “wired” early in life may be the ultimate “predestination” for which we have no control over.

Again, I would ask that the answers be in one's own words as scriptural language is oftentimes incoherent and/or confusing to me.

Thanks for your patience on these questions.
Stillwater, a few thoughts:

The Good News is God wants everyone to be saved. It is our own fault if we do not pay attention to His call. Perhaps Jesus says the way is narrow because He knows the ways of the world are more attractive to many than the ways of God (after all, who does not want to be their own god - e.g. if it feels good, do it - don't worry, be happy - love self more than neighbor - have sex with whomever you want. The culture via TV, movies, the media, advertisers, pound this into our ears and eyes 24/7/265) and can drown out God's call; Satan does do everything he can to distract us from that which is truly important.

I can address who WILL be saved according to what the Scriptures say. Through the proclamation of the Word of God, people receive ears to hear and eyes to see. When God opens the eyes and ears (paticularly so one understands they are a sinner deserving of God's wrath and who must repent and turn to God) then the heart can be converted by the comforting words of the Gospel. Those who believe are saved because of the work Jesus Christ did on the cross to atone for all sins of everyone of all time. We are justified (made righteous in God's sight for the sake of Jesus) by our faith in Jesus, or in the OT by faith in YHWH (e.g. Abraham believed, Moses believed, David believed). Jesus says I am THE (note, not A way among many) way, the truth and the life. Those who believe in Jesus' promises will be with Him eternally. It is impossible for me (since I am not God) to know what anyone other than myself really believes. Thus, I cannot answer your questions about who will NOT be saved. I think it is much more important that people believe in Jesus than any particular method or way they came to belief. I think those who honestly confess the Apostles Creed will be saved as that is a good summary of Christian belief; I expect there are many others who will be saved as many Christian denominations do not confess the Creed but they do believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ. You may wish to read Romans 10 and John 3 if you have not done so recently. Personally, I like The Lutheran Study Bible, Concordia Publishing House, ESV translation. It is readable and has excellent notes.

Blessings, and keep the questions coming if you like. It is not a bother and I will answer when I can. Of course, there are others on this forum who can also chime in to address your questions from their perspectives.
The world removes God; the Word gives Christ.
The devil accuses us; the Word sustains faith.
Sin says live for self; the Word says live for others.

The right-hand statement gives fortification against the unholy trinity of the left-hand statement.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Stillwaters » Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:04 am

Stillwater, a few thoughts:

The Good News is God wants everyone to be saved. It is our own fault if we do not pay attention to His call. Perhaps Jesus says the way is narrow because He knows the ways of the world are more attractive to many than the ways of God (after all, who does not want to be their own god - e.g. if it feels good, do it - don't worry, be happy - love self more than neighbor - have sex with whomever you want. The culture via TV, movies, the media, advertisers, pound this into our ears and eyes 24/7/265) and can drown out God's call; Satan does do everything he can to distract us from that which is truly important.

I can address who WILL be saved according to what the Scriptures say. Through the proclamation of the Word of God, people receive ears to hear and eyes to see. When God opens the eyes and ears (paticularly so one understands they are a sinner deserving of God's wrath and who must repent and turn to God) then the heart can be converted by the comforting words of the Gospel. Those who believe are saved because of the work Jesus Christ did on the cross to atone for all sins of everyone of all time. We are justified (made righteous in God's sight for the sake of Jesus) by our faith in Jesus, or in the OT by faith in YHWH (e.g. Abraham believed, Moses believed, David believed). Jesus says I am THE (note, not A way among many) way, the truth and the life. Those who believe in Jesus' promises will be with Him eternally. It is impossible for me (since I am not God) to know what anyone other than myself really believes. Thus, I cannot answer your questions about who will NOT be saved. I think it is much more important that people believe in Jesus than any particular method or way they came to belief. I think those who honestly confess the Apostles Creed will be saved as that is a good summary of Christian belief; I expect there are many others who will be saved as many Christian denominations do not confess the Creed but they do believe in the person and work of Jesus Christ. You may wish to read Romans 10 and John 3 if you have not done so recently. Personally, I like The Lutheran Study Bible, Concordia Publishing House, ESV translation. It is readable and has excellent notes.

Blessings, and keep the questions coming if you like. It is not a bother and I will answer when I can. Of course, there are others on this forum who can also chime in to address your questions from their perspectives.
[/quote]



Your response indicates the gate is wide (at least in Christendom) not narrow which seems a little different from earlier thread remarks. To summarize, the key is having complete faith in Jesus as the Way (whether derived by knowledge/study, personal/emotional, supernatural revelation, intuitional revelation, etc). In other words, once the ticket is stamped (Jesus is the Way) it does not matter what vehicle the Believer chooses for their life long worship/practice. It could range from Eastern Orthodox to Roman Catholic to Anglican, Mennonite, Quaker or Tele-evanglelists (Jehovah Witness and Mormons would of course be excluded). The ticket is the only thing of importance. Choosing a church is not all that critical as long as Faith is not compromised. As an extreme(and absurd) example one could even imagine starting their own church where parishioners are required to come to church nude, smoke joints and practice wife swapping. Obviously, they know these practices are violating some of Gods Laws, but the Law is subordinate to the belief/faith and does not matter in the end. All that matters is the ticket which absolves of all sins. I have acquaintances and friends who tell me just that…”Its does not matter what my behavior is because I will be forgiven”. One of these acquaintances (from long ago) even admitted to stealing (from the till) from time to time but tells me his actions will all be forgiven. He is very devout. These are very comforting guarantees and enables one to move through life guilt free without obsessing about morality. What freedom!

Thanks for your responses. I will crawl back under my rock for awhile.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Mountaineer » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:39 pm

Stillwaters, I just realized that I had left the "s" off your name in my responses. Sorry!

Don't stay under the rock too long before you come back, it was a joy and interesting to converse with you.

I have a few questions based on your opening post in this thread about dualities, time, space, etc. if you would care to continue the conversation. Your comments intrigued me.

Christians say God creates ex nihilo (from nothing) by his performative Word (God speaks, things happen). I'm not quite sure if non-Believers have any cohesive understanding of "'from whence the universe(s) comes". At any rate, what are your thoughts about: When did space begin? When did time begin? What existed before "nothing", or did "something" always exist? If so, where did "something" come from? If you believe there is a God, does God exist outside or inside our known dimensions (height, length, width, time, etc.; I've read there may be as many as 10 or more)?

Blessings and best wishes.
The world removes God; the Word gives Christ.
The devil accuses us; the Word sustains faith.
Sin says live for self; the Word says live for others.

The right-hand statement gives fortification against the unholy trinity of the left-hand statement.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:51 am

Mountaineer wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:39 pm
Stillwaters, I just realized that I had left the "s" off your name in my responses. Sorry!

Don't stay under the rock too long before you come back, it was a joy and interesting to converse with you.

I have a few questions based on your opening post in this thread about dualities, time, space, etc. if you would care to continue the conversation. Your comments intrigued me.

Christians say God creates ex nihilo (from nothing) by his performative Word (God speaks, things happen). I'm not quite sure if non-Believers have any cohesive understanding of "'from whence the universe(s) comes". At any rate, what are your thoughts about: When did space begin? When did time begin? What existed before "nothing", or did "something" always exist? If so, where did "something" come from? If you believe there is a God, does God exist outside or inside our known dimensions (height, length, width, time, etc.; I've read there may be as many as 10 or more)?

Blessings and best wishes.
I know these were meant for Stillwaters (interesting Biblical name he has chosen for himself, don't you think? - Psalm 23)

But I'll answer any way.

At this point in my journey through the cosmos I can only see it as the height of arrogance to claim you know the answers to the questions you are posing.

Also I think it is kind of rich that you would ask for these answers when you own answer to puzzling questions is "scripture doesn't tell us".
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by Stillwaters » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:28 pm

jacksonM wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:51 am
Mountaineer wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:39 pm
Stillwaters, I just realized that I had left the "s" off your name in my responses. Sorry!

Don't stay under the rock too long before you come back, it was a joy and interesting to converse with you.

I have a few questions based on your opening post in this thread about dualities, time, space, etc. if you would care to continue the conversation. Your comments intrigued me.

Christians say God creates ex nihilo (from nothing) by his performative Word (God speaks, things happen). I'm not quite sure if non-Believers have any cohesive understanding of "'from whence the universe(s) comes". At any rate, what are your thoughts about: When did space begin? When did time begin? What existed before "nothing", or did "something" always exist? If so, where did "something" come from? If you believe there is a God, does God exist outside or inside our known dimensions (height, length, width, time, etc.; I've read there may be as many as 10 or more)?

Blessings and best wishes.
I know these were meant for Stillwaters (interesting Biblical name he has chosen for himself, don't you think? - Psalm 23)

But I'll answer any way.

At this point in my journey through the cosmos I can only see it as the height of arrogance to claim you know the answers to the questions you are posing.

Also I think it is kind of rich that you would ask for these answers when you own answer to puzzling questions is "scripture doesn't tell us".
jacksonM,

Not Psalms. But rather 'Still Waters Run Deep'. Not in a self referential way but as a Philosophical/Behavioral leaning.

Still internally debating whether to respond to Mountaineer’s question. Not something that two or three paragraphs could appropriately address.

I’ve noticed this thread has lost is oomph. Seems like most have moved on or lost interest. Was an epic multi-year thread though. I discovered it for the first time about two or three weeks ago (only stuck to the PP threads on and off prior to that). Believe it or not I read the entire thing from start to finish. Seems I may have arrived at its death knell. We could say the Mountaineer was the one ultra marathoner who stayed in the race the whole way.
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Re: Figuring Out Religion

Post by jacksonM » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:30 am

Stillwaters wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:28 pm
jacksonM wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 9:51 am
Mountaineer wrote:
Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:39 pm
Stillwaters, I just realized that I had left the "s" off your name in my responses. Sorry!

Don't stay under the rock too long before you come back, it was a joy and interesting to converse with you.

I have a few questions based on your opening post in this thread about dualities, time, space, etc. if you would care to continue the conversation. Your comments intrigued me.

Christians say God creates ex nihilo (from nothing) by his performative Word (God speaks, things happen). I'm not quite sure if non-Believers have any cohesive understanding of "'from whence the universe(s) comes". At any rate, what are your thoughts about: When did space begin? When did time begin? What existed before "nothing", or did "something" always exist? If so, where did "something" come from? If you believe there is a God, does God exist outside or inside our known dimensions (height, length, width, time, etc.; I've read there may be as many as 10 or more)?

Blessings and best wishes.
I know these were meant for Stillwaters (interesting Biblical name he has chosen for himself, don't you think? - Psalm 23)

But I'll answer any way.

At this point in my journey through the cosmos I can only see it as the height of arrogance to claim you know the answers to the questions you are posing.

Also I think it is kind of rich that you would ask for these answers when you own answer to puzzling questions is "scripture doesn't tell us".
jacksonM,

Not Psalms. But rather 'Still Waters Run Deep'. Not in a self referential way but as a Philosophical/Behavioral leaning.

Still internally debating whether to respond to Mountaineer’s question. Not something that two or three paragraphs could appropriately address.

I’ve noticed this thread has lost is oomph. Seems like most have moved on or lost interest. Was an epic multi-year thread though. I discovered it for the first time about two or three weeks ago (only stuck to the PP threads on and off prior to that). Believe it or not I read the entire thing from start to finish. Seems I may have arrived at its death knell. We could say the Mountaineer was the one ultra marathoner who stayed in the race the whole way.
Congratulations on reading the whole thread.

I think that my own arguments aren't really aimed at the religious folk so much as they are the last vestiges of religion remaining within myself. The truth is I was ten times the religious fanatic that Mountaineer is for a good portion of my life. Have you ever worked with someone who carried a Bible to work every day? That was me. I even started Bible study groups and led a lot of people to say the sinners prayer and all of them had a born again experience. Most are still Christians today. (For how to induce a religious experience see a couple of amazing Youtube videos by Darren Brown the magician. I thought it was a "gift" from God at the time but it was pure psychological manipulation.)

Looking back I can definitely see that there were some benefits to having been a devout Christian. I mean, how can it not help to constantly read a book encouraging you to do good and eschew evil? You just have to ignore all the bad stuff. Prayer probably had the same benefit as meditation and I even fasted a lot which is now being recognized as good for your health due to something called "autophagy".

All in all however, those years of my life are not something I'm proud of. I have to avoid thinking of what I could have done with all the time and energy if I had pointed it in a different direction.

Somebody up above made the comment that this thread should be taken out and shot and I'm starting to agree. Gonna try to resist the temptation to click on it but sometimes satan just overpowers me.
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