A theological discussion for Christmas

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Davethedog | 11:07 Wed 21st Dec 2011 | Society & Culture
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Isn't it odd that the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-loving, perfect creator of the universe has written a book, but he was unable to write clearly, so we need human theologians to interpret it for us? Why would a perfect god say "Nothing will be impossible for you" unless he meant "Nothing will be impossible for you?" Surely God knows how humans interpret sentences. So why didn't he speak the truth?

The reason why God speaks so unclearly, and why God fails to speak the truth so often in the Bible, and the reason why we need theologians, is because God is imaginary. You can see that in the following dialog with a theologian:

Norm: Hello Chris, it is nice to meet you. I understand that you are a theologian with a PhD in theology.
Chris: Yes, I am a trained theologian. How may I help you?

Norm: Can you answer a question for me: Does God answer prayers?

Chris: Yes, certainly. He has answered hundreds of my prayers.

Norm: Pray for him to put $10,000 in my pocket right now.

Chris: It does not work that way. I said God answers prayers, not that he is a cosmic genie.

Norm: So, in Mark 11:24, when Jesus says, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," what did he mean? That sounds like you can have whatever you pray for.

Chris: He means that you pray for something, and if it is his will then you shall receive it. Jesus is under no obligation to answer any prayer. Nor is he obligated to provide the answer that you expect. There are thousands of ways for Jesus to answer a prayer indirectly.

Norm: If it is his will, aren't I going to get it anyway? Why pray?

Chris: Ask, and you shall receive. You have to ask...

Norm: ...and then you should receive. Jesus does not say, "Ask, and you might receive if it is my will." His statement has no conditions.

Chris: He meant that. It is implied. You need to see Jesus in the context of the rabbinical doctrine in the early fist century AD.

Norm: OK, why does God never answer impossible prayers? For example, if I pray to fly like superman, or to restore my friends amputated limb, why will it never happen?

Chris: It is not God's will. It would eliminate faith in God if God answered an impossible prayer as you are suggesting. Our God is a God of faith. That is his intention and is clearly stated throughout the Bible.

Norm: So why did God part the Red Sea? Surely that took away faith.

Chris: You clearly have no understanding of God's intentions or purposes in the Bible. At the time of Genesis, under Mosaic law, God's relationship with mankind was completely different than it is today.

Norm: I see. So in Matthew 17:20, when Jesus says, "nothing will be impossible to you," why isn't flying-like-superman or $10,000-in-my-pocket-right-now part of that?

Chris: Quite clearly you have never bothered with any sort of exegetical understanding of the Bible's promises on prayer. God is under no obligation to answer any prayer.

Norm: So when Jesus uses the example of moving a mountain, which is clearly impossible, what did he mean?

Chris: Jesus clearly was speaking metaphorically, as was common in the first century.


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Norm: So when Jesus said "anyone with faith can move a mountain," what he actually meant was, "No one with faith can move a mountain."

Chris: No.

Norm: Then, who can move a mountain?

Chris: God can move a mountain.

Norm: But he never does.

Chris: It is not his will. And keep in mind that God must remain hidden.

Norm: Let me make sure I have this straight. Here is what Jesus said in Matthew 17:20:

You will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

But here is what you think he meant:
You will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you, as long as it is possible and as long as it is my will.

Is that right?

Chris: You are completely clueless, and an idiot besides. No biblical commentary, and no Christian denominational body agrees with any of your interpretations of these passages, nor do I.

Norm: Answer the question. Is that what he meant?

Chris: This is irrelevant to the conversation.

Norm: Here's what I do not understand. What Jesus said in the Bible is obviously wrong. If God is perfect, there is no reason why God would put something that is completely wrong in the Bible. Why do we need human beings like you to interpret and massage and explain what God might have meant in the Bible? Why wouldn't an omnipotent, all-knowing, perfect God have written it the way he meant it, in an understandable, clear, unambiguous, truthful, correct way? There isn't anything vague about, "Nothing will be impossible for you" or, "Ask, and you shall receive." Yet, it is completely wrong. Explain that to me.

Chris: You are completely missing the point.

And so on...
Most people can see the problem that is apparent in this conversation. There is no reason why an all-knowing, perfect God would write down, "you can move mountains" or, "nothing will be impossible for you" or, "Ask, and you shall receive" unless he meant that.

Unfortunately, the reality is that no one can move mountains, and thousands of things will be impossible for you. Not even Jesus moved a mountain. In fact, not one of Jesus' supposed miracles left any evidence for us to examine today.
So, in Mark 11:24, when Jesus says, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," what did he mean? That sounds like you can have whatever you pray for,NO,

You will benefit from the lesson taught by Jesus’ cursing of the fig tree. Were we to lose faith in God’s ability to answer the prayers of his servants and to reward those earnestly seeking him, this would lead to our rejection, to our being cursed like unproductive fig trees. God’s Word tells us: “Without faith it is impossible to please [God] well, for he that approaches God must believe that he is and that he becomes the rewarder of those earnestly seeking him.”—Heb. 11:6.So you with no Faith is answered.
Jesus explained why, saying: “Because of your little faith.” Then he continued: “If you have faith the size of a mustard grain, you will say to this mountain, ‘Transfer from here to there,’ and it will transfer, and nothing will be impossible for you.”—Matthew 17:14-20.

From this true-life experience, it is evident that faith is powerful. But just what is faith? Can it be built up and strengthened? Can it really move mountains? and to you will never find the answer because you have no faith in God.
Spot the circular argument!!! ^^^^

That's one argument but it starts from the assumption that Christians all believe what is in the Bible

That tends to be true for protestants but has more ambiguity outside of that

The trouble with Protestant thought is that in rejecting the authority of Rome and the priesthood, they needed a new source of authority and they picked the Bible for that.

In doing so they've fallen victim to the same problem that Muslims face in pinning everything on a fixed text that has been unable to evolve with time.

consequently they get themselves in the sort of muddle you encounterred above.

Imagine if we said Newton was right and infallible and that Einstein was a heretic!
-- answer removed --
Love the names, Dave. :o)

I think Elderman has completely missed the point - again.
I think you have completely missed the point - again. Theological Seminary, commenting on the present state of Christianity, is reported to have said: “That which has been on trial all these years is not Christianity at all. The experiment of living in a Christian way has not been made and until it is we just do not know anything about it. . . . Perhaps the world no longer persecutes Christians because there are no longer any Christians.
And which Theological Seminary would that be?
I will not rise to the bait
I will not rise to the bait
I will not rise..................
Maggie, I suspect you're one of those Elderman is talking about.
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Naomi - He only has one point and its never anyone elses. :-) Merry Normtmas
Ha ha! You too Dave. :o)
naomi, you never fail to amaze me with your patient questioning of people who you know have no sensible answers to what you ask. Why don't you give it up? Flat-earthists and religionists are programmed to believe their nonsense. Reason doesn't work.

Anyway I rang (so to speak) to congratulate you and me for getting 100 in 'The Quiz'.
^god smiled on you for your patience and perseverance. Perhaps he is relying on you to get his message across as he hasn't written anything since the 10 commandments and the bible has been a complete disaster.,
Hello Chakka, imagine Elderman having no opposition here. Why, people may begin to take him seriously. ;o)

Congratulations to you too on your hundred percent. :o)
The whole affair seems to have been written to mislead and although guarantees disappointment to all its followers, like a politician before an election, it has maintained a faithful flock of followers who are not just impossible to deliver to, but are happy for it to be so.

Unfortunately it is human nature. Enough people treat belief and opinion the way others only treat facts, and as a result are able to make excuses for every single failing in their system although in reality there is no system in the first place.

I'm sure there are many things we can do we are not able to as yet, but it won't be through religious sources, they may be garbled versions of some actual facts known long before they were written and the meaning lost long before written for us, or deliberately hidden as back then only the personal disciples of religious teachers received the true teachings while the masses were basically controlled and distracted by fairy stories.

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