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Thread: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

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    Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    To follow up from recent threads in this forum, I would like to invite the believers amongst us to sincerely explain their beliefs, and answer questions on them.
    Based on the Christian/Biblical theology studdies that I did a few years ago, this is my understanding of the core beliefs of the Christian believer. For the sake of argument, I am ignoring denominational differences when listing core beliefs, although I would invite discussion on those differences and how they figure biblically.

    1. The belief in God as Father and creator of the universe.
    2. The belief that God revealed himself to humanity through the patriarchs and prophets, and gave devine instruction in the form of commandments and laws.
    3. The belief that God sent his son Jesus to be a savior to mankind, in human form via a devine conception 2000 years ago.
    4. The belief that Jesus was born of a virgin mother, was concieved by the Holy Spirit, was baptized and started his ministry in palestine, performed many mirricles including curing disease and deformaty and raising people from the dead.
    5. The belief that the teachings and preachments of Jesus were for moral and ethical instruction, and for prophetic instruction.
    6. The belief that Jesus was arrested, tortured, crucified, died as a result, was burried, then rose from the dead and was resurrected after 3 days, revealed himself to his appostles and at least 500 other people, remained for aprox 40 days and then ascended to heaven where he remains to this day.
    7. The belief that the appostles recieved the Holy spirit and started the new church, performed mirricles, healed the sick etc.
    8. The belief that the epistles of Paul, Peter, James, Jude and John are moral and ethical instruction to the new Church and to believers.
    9. That the revalation of Jesus given to John at Patmos is Gods final revalation of the end times and his final judgements on humanity.

    If I have missed any of the core beliefs of Christians that are no denominational differences, please feel free to list them.
    Lets discuss.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours ." Steven Roberts

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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Shouldn't that be preceded by an explanation of why those believers think there is such a thing as a god and/or why they think that Jesus was either a real person and/or why he actually had any realistic claim to any divine powers? Unless those two assumptions are shown to be true, even beyond the bounds of reasonable doubt, any subsequent discussion is based on unproven or non-existent foundations and therefore can't be held as valid - at least it wouldn't be in discussions relating to any other subject apart from religion!

    Having said that, it would indeed be interesting to see what rationale believers can come up with for their belief in the unproven, fallacious and flatly impossible. Somehow I doubt whether you'll get any serious takers Dave; a lifetime's experience of talking to theists about atheism and trying to find out what underlies their belief has shown me that they fall into three main groups.
    • There are people like Flash who just repeat the same thing round and round again in circles without listening to a word you have to say, totally dismissing anything they don't want to hear yet absolutely refusing to make any attempt to justify their belief.
    • There are people like Barry who refuse to join in a discussion beyond saying something like a meaningless "I know what I know and I don't have to explain it to you".
    • Then there are the rest, people who will genuinely listen to what you have to say, but won't go beyond hmm-ing and ha-ing when you get to factually demonstrating how wrong the bible, the basis of their belief, is in so many ways.
    Occasionally you'll get someone who will really think about what you say and will actually question the foundations for their belief, but even then, the majority would rather remain in ignorance, because to question enough to show their ignorance is real and their belief is therefore based on nothing, is psychologically problematic for most people.
    Last edited by Midas; 02-08-2010 at 02:08 PM. Reason: Added to last paragraph
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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    It will indeed be interesting to see if any of the believers here are willing to take up the challenge to explain their beliefs. And you make a valid point that conclusive evidence should be provided of the basic premise that God actually exists before any other discussion takes place.
    In my experience of debating theists myself (some very serious thoughtful ones at that I shoud add), it's easier to get them started if that assumption is granted at the outset, that God exists, because they still have all their explaining ahead of them and usually fail.

    I should add an edit to my initial list of core beliefs..........the belief that the Bible is the inerrant inspired word of God.
    No takers so far. Maybe they are studying their argument, lets give them the benifit of the doubt.
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours ." Steven Roberts

    The likelyhood of you being observed is directly proportionate to the stupidity of your actions.

    Barack Hussein Obama, the president that got Bin Laden!

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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Frankly the belief in God boggles me. It is essentially supplication to an entity who is, for all intents and purposes, a genocidal maniac obsessed with control.

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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    What we really need on this site is some Christians who know enough about their beliefs and are willing to share. I'd be very interested to find a site that has some christians who would be willing to debate or talk about their beliefs in a rational way. Being that i was indoctrinated at a young age it is clear why i believed, but i can't understand why a normally functioning adult would believe. It wasn't until i really got into studying the scriptures and talking with people of other faiths that i began to feel like i was being conned. It took a lot to over come the hell fire and brimstone abuse that i was put through to finally make that split from the church.

    I just wonder if other adults are indoctrinated as well and just can't open their minds out of fear for their souls.

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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by crazylilting View Post
    What we really need on this site is some Christians who know enough about their beliefs and are willing to share.
    Good luck , I am still waiting for an answer to a simple question i asked in the atheism thread.
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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Midas View Post
    [*]There are people like Barry who refuse to join in a discussion beyond saying something like a meaningless "I know what I know and I don't have to explain it to you".
    I haven't even posted in this thread and you are attacking me.
    Maybe I should obtain permission from Midas the great before I make my posts.

    All I can say is, "I know what I believe and I don't have to explain it to you or anyone else".
    It's really amusing to see non believers back slapping in a thread like this. How pathetic.
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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I haven't even posted in this thread and you are attacking me.
    Maybe I should obtain permission from Midas the great before I make my posts.

    All I can say is, "I know what I believe and I don't have to explain it to you or anyone else".
    It's really amusing to see non believers back slapping in a thread like this. How pathetic.
    You weren't being attacked in the slightest Barry, I don't know why you'd think that, you were simply being used as a good example of giving one type of response often given by theists. And really, no permission to post needed, honest
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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    I haven't even posted in this thread and you are attacking me.
    Maybe I should obtain permission from Midas the great before I make my posts.

    All I can say is, "I know what I believe and I don't have to explain it to you or anyone else".
    It's really amusing to see non believers back slapping in a thread like this. How pathetic.
    That's dissapointing, and a little disengenuous. I was merely trying to start an interesting theological discussion. It's interesting that believers were more than happy to pose questions and critique answers in the atheist thread, but when the question is turned around in a genuine attempt to start a discussion, no believers are to be seen.

    You are right Barry, you don't have to explain your beliefs to anyone in the eyes of an atheist, it's your business. However, according to the Bible you do. Peter commanded that you always be ready with an answer for the hope that lies in you. Believers were compelled to preach the Gospel to the world. They were not preaching to the conerted Barry, they were preaching to Jews, Roman Pagans, Greeks, and many more. Had the appostles and the new Church taken your stance, the Chuch would never have made out of Palestine.
    Where's the harm in a discussion? What do you have to fear?
    "I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours ." Steven Roberts

    The likelyhood of you being observed is directly proportionate to the stupidity of your actions.

    Barack Hussein Obama, the president that got Bin Laden!

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    Re: Christianity; what it is and what it isn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveUK View Post
    It's interesting that believers were more than happy to pose questions and critique answers in the atheist thread, but when the question is turned around in a genuine attempt to start a discussion, no believers are to be seen.

    [ ... ]

    Where's the harm in a discussion? What do you have to fear?
    Theists are very quick to criticise and comment on atheism because they can't understand how anyone can not believe in a god, however when it comes to being objective and answering questions on their own beliefs, they aren't able to do so because they can't offer up any rational evidence at all, hence the silence.
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