TRANSPONDER wrote: ↑Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:51 am
You may have persuaded yourself that the intent of the Bible is to 'promote human welfare' but that you have found a way to insulate your Faith from doubt and question is irrelevant.
Yes, I've only made a claim without justification. I'll present arguments to support it later.
nobspeople wrote: ↑Mon Oct 11, 2021 10:01 am
I've been told by christians that god can do anything, but purposefully limits its ability and power (as this would, according to them, answer your proposed definition and limitation). So it seems, this 'god' is so out of the reach of human understanding most, if not all, definitions of it, are, at best, guesses to fit one's chosen lifestyle agenda.
Just because someone told you something, why should it be true, esp from a Christian?
Yes, a lot of Christians claim God is omnipotent, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's true.
Diagoras wrote: ↑Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:13 pm
To address this, the claim is that this direct communication is only optimal for such recipient(s), therefore it’s not at odds with rejecting the second-hand messaging of such a person to a non-recipient
by posting about it here.
My position on this is direct communication between God and man is possible. I'm not so sure it's "optimal", because we have instances of people directly hearing from God and didn't result in any change in belief. And accepting the testimony of a single person who has claimed to have heard from God is definitely not optimal.
otseng wrote: ↑Sun Oct 10, 2021 3:25 pm
I do believe other cultures have had independent knowledge of God and other historical events in the Bible (such as the global flood).
One book that talks about this is The Discovery of Genesis: How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language
by C. H. Kang. He goes though many examples of how the early Chinese knew about YHVH and how it's recorded in the Chinese language.
Correlation does not imply causation, as I'm sure you know. The rather slight coincidence of using the same number as found in one particular Bible story is hardly any kind of proof. Apophenia
is also a thing.
Never claimed there was only a single example. As I mentioned, the book contains multiple examples, not just one. I guess I could go through the book and present more from it if necessary.
So, yes, God has and does speak directly to other cultures and is not "limited in his communication skills".
These two things are clearly not equivalent.
How are they not examples of God directly speaking to disparate cultures? Now, you might not accept these claims, but it is an example of the Chinese and Muslim cultures knowing about God independently from the Bible.
The Bible is best thought of as an anthology by multiple authors and not just a single (human) author. We have multiple people attesting to what God has done. And not only that, it has gone through a "verification" process in which only the books that has been de facto accepted has made it into the canon.
Surely a circular argument?
To be clear, I'm not arguing the books selected to be in the Bible are authoritative because they were selected to be in the Bible. All I'm saying is there was popular opinion at work in what books was selected as top tier. Books such as the NT apocryphal books
were not considered top tier so were not widely accepted.
Two comments: Plenty of people seek God directly through prayer. Yet surprisingly few are ‘rewarded’ by being directly communicated with. Why would that be? Secondly, if God wasn’t wanting to be obvious, why dictate the Ten Commandments, appear to Job in a whirlwind, etc.?
What constitutes a "reward"? Is God a Santa Claus in the sky that rewards all good people who ask for things?
As for God revealing himself, it's not an either/or scenario. It's not either God revealing directly all the time or revealing indirectly all the time. Yes, there are times where God directly speaks to people, like Moses or Job.
If it doesn’t matter how someone interprets the Bible then, it sounds awfully like “searching their own hearts and minds - their own conscience and reason - for whatever they consider worthy enough to maybe be divine guidance”, doesn’t it?
Like I said, the core doctrines are pretty clear. Ancillary views like how long is a day in the days of creation, how much water covered the earth during the flood, should we be premillennial or postmillennial, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, etc. are not of critical importance.
What evidence can you provide to show that God will never directly speak to you until you are in heaven?
It's certainly possible, but not probable. In all my Christian experience, I have never met anyone that has audibly heard from God. So, I do not consider it likely I would.
Have you any evidence for God decreeing that everything need not be ideal and perfect now?
Never said God "decrees" an imperfect world. But, it is a core Christian doctrine that we live in a fallen world. And the only time where things will finally be restored to perfection is at the end when Jesus returns. In the meantime, we live in an unredeemed world. Jesus said, "in the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering" (John 16:33).
Furthermore, you’re claiming that some trivial coincidences between disparate cultures provide proof that he did indeed communicate with each of them.
The ancient Chinese and modern Muslims are just two examples I've brought up. And I'm sure if I bring up more it'll just be chalked up to coincidences.
I’m left thinking that you are ascribing to God unverifiable qualities in order to now excuse his ‘standoffishness’. To wit: a desire to ‘not be obvious’, and an acceptance of things ‘not having to be perfect now – only in heaven’.
I think this hinges on the word "unverifiable". Yes, God's qualities are not verifiable in the sense we can't put God in a lab and run tests on him. But if God does exist, how can we know any of his qualities? I think there are two ways. One is for God to directly communicate with humans (God speaking audibly) and another is to reveal himself to humans (God incarnating himself to man). And these have been recorded for us in the Bible. In the Old Testament, it's primarily a record of the former. In the New Testament (the gospels in particular), it's a record of the latter of Jesus's life and teachings.
But why should we take what they wrote as trustworthy?
Taking the NT first, we have multiple people recording the life of Jesus not too long after Jesus's death (70-110 AD). Paul, though he did not see Jesus, was a contemporary of the disciples, also recorded the ministry of Jesus. And though their testimonies might not align 100%, it's close enough for us to discern what Jesus was like and what was his main teachings.
So, for seekers of the Christian faith, the Bible as we have it is the best we have to know what are the qualities of Jesus through the testimony of authors who lived in that time.
Could it be Jesus never existed and everything is just a vast conspiracy by NT writers? Could it be just a coincidence that they wrote what they wrote? I guess that could be possibility, but I think highly unlikely.