Welcome Greg to the Forum


(Dr. Patrick Trischitta) #87

I have no problem with design (or the appearance of design) by unintelligent natural processes.


(Neil Rickert) #88

When the DI first announced its ID program, I considered adding my name to the list. But then I discovered that they were not what they appeared to be. They were only interested in conscious intelligence, and not in the kind of intelligence that might be found in nature. They wanted to overturn the science curriculum to include ID.

That’s why I’m against ID.

I welcome people thinking and talking about ID as philosophy. But don’t call it a science until it demonstrably is science.


(Neil Rickert) #89

This is very unpersuasive reasoning. Being a Christian is very different from being a member of a family.

I left Christianity for a several reasons. One of those was the amount of hypocrisy that I saw in the church. And another was that I came to seriously doubt the divinity of Jesus.


(Neil Rickert) #90

My “belief” in evolution is evidence based and is tentative. It is not at all like faith.


(George) #91

@Greg,

Somehow you have missed the key objection: while virtually all Christians believe God is capable of using evolution AND the miraculous … There is a considerable inclination to believe Science can never successfully detect what is miraculous from what is not.


(Greg) #92

I sure would not be the one to deny a truth claim because there are hypocrites around it! That would make me more of a hypocrite and would suggest that the worldview that is supposedly about God is really about man. But thats just me

As far as the issue of family, christianity is a worldview that is completely encapsulated w the idea of family. When a person confesses sin and repents of patterns of disobedience to God, and asks God for His grace when He exerted His wrath upon His Son, which we deserved we become BORN AGAIN. We are born into a new family. The spirit of slavery to sin is exchanged for a spirit of sonship where God is our Abba Father. Once set free from sin and born again into this family, God promises to complete this work He started in us and there will be no condemnation for those found obedient to this gospel. Is that you? Or not?

As far as the divinity of Jesus, Paul,which history very accurately relays to us,once approved of persecuting the church. Then he is blinded and has an encounter with God and becomes a zealous follower and then apostle of Christ.
Historians have tried to explain this away, and have not been able to logically do so. This is what this convert to Christianity writes about Jesus in his letter to collosae:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. In him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

Jesus healed, rose people from the dead, and rose from the dead himself on the third day! Our calenders revolve around his birth year! He sure made a splash in history, did He not? But who is He? When jehovas witnesses come around spewing nonsense about how Scripture denies the divinity of Christ, I become reminded of the hundreds of passages in the Bible that assure that indeed Jesus is the second person of a Triune God who has eternally existed!

Of course, you are free to stake your faith on what you want to…such as on your intuition, or your behavior, or on nature…but these make really bad gods.

Creationism is the only logical explanation for our existence and it sure would not make a lick of sense for that Creator to not reveal Himself…and He did, most importantly through His Son Jesus Christ, the second person of God who loves you more than you can know.

A number of years ago when the economy collapsed and i lost a 300k job a week before it was to commense, through this i became a real prayer warrior (and told lots of folks that i will clean up after their dog and other things for pay. :slight_smile: God saw us through…one of my best years financially actually. But before the workload that ended up in success, i had a revival of sorts. I had this impression that made less of me and showed me the infinite cavern between sinner Greg and the perfect holy God. Combined w this was this overwhelming sense of Gods love for me and all people! I thought to myself, if that is a taste of heaven, i cannot wait to get there, and in the meantime i can tell others that God loves them too! What about you?

Choose today. No guarantees for tomorrow

Joshua 24
14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose THIS day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord


(Neil Rickert) #93

I never suggested that. The hypocrisy soured me on the church. It did not cause me to question my Christian beliefs.

That’s not actually relevant, as far as I am concerned.

I read and reread the gospels many times. I could not find where Jesus had claimed divinity. Some of what he said could perhaps be interpreted that way, but it would be a strained interpretation.

What Paul wrote cannot explain that away.


(Greg) #94

I would suggest to you that if one absorbs both literal historical narratives as well as principles in Scripture to do with Gods nature as well as how He created complex creatures, nowhere and noway can common decent evolution be the vehicle that drives that effort. Not even close. The reason is that evolution, as has been historically described to me by evolutionary creationists, demands long timeframes which immediately suggests that selection and mutation are one of the driving sources for such change. This means death suffering and survival of the fittest are the keys to how God accomplishes His creation and according to the Bible, this would be a better description for satan and nothing close to God.

Sometimes i wonder if you guys drill me w such questions in order to modify your proposed evolutionary methods in order to be more fitting to Scripture… i think, how sad…why not just trust what early Genesis says and move on w life?


(Greg) #95

Then read more carefully and prayerfully. Why did u think that the pharisees wanted to stone Jesus for blasphemy after He declared that He was capable of forgiving people of their sins? Did you read ths first chapter of John? John 10:30. John 17:20-26! Thats a biggie which CS lewis calls “the dance” where the Holy Spirit is the 3rd person of a Triune God.

Some of the most brilliant and rational Bible scholars on the planet could easily defend the premise of Jesus part of the godhead. I have taken a religion course or two by men who had crystals hanging from their necks and who were just strange who would use theological gymnastics to try to capsize the divinity of Jesus…i even as a young college student saw through the smoke and mirrors. Look up Ravi Zacharius or Josh McDowell materials about the divinity of Christ. A good online resource is Gotquestions.org. they seem pretty honest. Of course there is piper, mcarthur, carson, cs lewis…so many brilliant guys who can logically walk you through the NT proving the these texts point directly to the divinity of Christ and that He indeed saw Himself as divine. He would never deny the OT in that there is only one God but would surely proclaim that this one God is formed of three parts if you will. This only makes sense too when we think of God as our Creator, creating man in His own image. God created man as a relational being. God also is an eternally existing relational being where He is three in one…oh John 17 sooo good describing this relationship where there is fellowship occurring within our Triune God!

Today is the day…no guarantees for tomorrow


(Neil Rickert) #96

I became a Christian at around age 11. I first heard of evolution at around the age of 14. I never had to “modify proposed evolutionary methods” to fit scripture. It was already a good fit to my understanding of scripture.

I did not immediately accept evolution when I heard of it at age 14. I thought it was interesting, and would explain a lot. But I held off on acceptance. My initial resistance to accepting was because I understood statistical convergence to be a slow process, and I did not think it could account for the diversity we see. I still think that, which is why I have since abandoned the idea that natural selection is the main mechanism of evolution.

Yes, my ideas of evolution have changed. But that was because of new evidence and an improved understanding of how it could work. By that time, I had already left Christianity and had no reason to conform my understanding of evolution to scripture.

It seems clear that my understanding of evolution is different from yours. And it seems equally clear that my understanding of scripture has always been different from yours. (I’m not arguing that you are wrong; I’m just saying that my understanding is different from yours.)


(Neil Rickert) #97

It doesn’t matter. If I can no longer believe it, then their defenses will not persuade me.


(Greg) #98

How do you know you became a Christian? Im curious


(Greg) #99

Well for what it is worth, you matter to me. I promise you that there is no better place than within the will and love of God. The Bible encourages us to seek Him and we will find Him. I often look up at the stars on clear TN nights asking God for wisdom, strength, grace…He has never failed me. I will pray for you my friend.


(Neil Rickert) #100

I was baptized. I made changes to my life. I spent a lot of time reading scripture.

Beyond that, I don’t think there is a clear definition of what it means to be a Christian.


(Edward Robinson) #101

Neil:

Thanks for your frank and unpretentious comments on your own religious history. They are helpful for interpreting your posts.

I wonder about something. You say that you are unconvinced that the Gospels show Jesus claiming divinity. I won’t bring up the standard Johannine passages here, but will for the sake of argument grant that the meaning of Jesus’ statements is not entirely beyond debate.

So let’s say that you might be right, that Jesus never claimed divinity for himself (but might still have regarded himself as the Messiah, sent by God, with authority to speak for God, etc.). This would put you in a difficult position with regard to historic, Nicene Christianity. But suppose you were to argue that historic, Nicene Christianity does not accurately represent the Gospel teaching. Couldn’t you then (as many have, though often they are sectarians who don’t particularly impress me) argue that one could still be Christian, according to a more correct understanding of the Gospels, without granting divinity to Jesus? In other words, did you actually have to cease being a Christian, merely because you read the Gospels differently? Was there a phase where you tried to stay within Christianity, but as an outlier regarding Nicene theology? If so, how long did that last, and what reactions did you get from other Christians?


(Neil Rickert) #102

There’s no agreement on the meaning of “Christian”.

I still try to follow many of the teachings of Jesus, though I’m sure that I fall short. But I mostly avoid religion.


(Edward Robinson) #103

I’m sorry, Neil, but I don’t think I communicated to you what I really wanted to know. Let me try again:

I thought that in one of your posts (maybe on another thread), you said explicitly that you used to be a Christian, but no longer were a Christian. Did you say that?

If so, have a look again at what I wrote above. If the issue was the divinity of Jesus, and you believed you had strong Gospel evidence that Jesus never claimed such divinity, why did you decide that you could no longer be Christian? Why didn’t you take the line that the Church had fallen out of step with the Gospels, rather than to leave Christianity altogether? In other words, why didn’t you become a sort of modern Reformer, rather than an apostate?


(S. Joshua Swamidass) #104

Jesus is good, is he not?


(Greg) #105

Hi Eddie. Mark 10:17-18 says “And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

Dont you think this passage definitively points to Jesus not claiming divinity? Pretty solid evidence dont you think?


(Neil Rickert) #106

Yes, I said that.

At that time, I was a graduate student in mathematics. I had already made the decision (several years earlier) that I could serve God better in the sciences and mathematics than by going into a theological field. But, in retrospect, it was more a matter that my own nature was better suited to mathematics and science than to ministry. I wasn’t cut out to be that kind of reformer.