PDA

View Full Version : Does Christian faith amount to guessing in hope?



Sonnet
April 18th, 2016, 03:21 AM
A friend of mine admitted that his faith (Christian) amounted to guessing in hope. Is this the de facto reality for all believers or not?

chrysostom
April 18th, 2016, 03:39 AM
we need to talk about hope
-hope is what you want to believe
-don't ask an atheist if they believe in God
-ask them if they want God
-ask them if they hope there is a God

Sonnet
April 18th, 2016, 03:43 AM
we need to talk about hope
-hope is what you want to believe
-don't ask an atheist if they believe in God
-ask them if they want God
-ask them if they hope there is a God

but is your faith, in reality, guessing in hope?

chrysostom
April 18th, 2016, 03:46 AM
but is your faith, in reality, guessing in hope?

what is
-guessing in hope

-everyone should be able to tell you what they want
-what they hope will happen
-why call it a guess?

Sonnet
April 18th, 2016, 03:54 AM
what is
-guessing in hope

-everyone should be able to tell you what they want
-what they hope will happen
-why call it a guess?

?

Guessing because one cannot prove that scripture is giving us the truth - or some truths.
Hoping because believing in Darwinian evolution is hard to stomach.

chrysostom
April 18th, 2016, 04:00 AM
?

Guessing because one cannot prove that scripture is giving us the truth - or some truths.
Hoping because believing in Darwinian evolution is hard to stomach.

you should know what you want
-you shouldn't have to guess what you want

Sonnet
April 18th, 2016, 04:03 AM
you should know what you want
-you shouldn't have to guess what you want

What one wants is not necessarily truth.

chrysostom
April 18th, 2016, 04:12 AM
What one wants is not necessarily truth.

sometimes you don't know what you want
-but
-when you do, it is the truth
-what you want is not always possible
-and
-how you get what you want may not be clear

Sonnet
April 18th, 2016, 04:16 AM
sometimes you don't know what you want
-but
-when you do, it is the truth
-what you want is not always possible
-and
-how you get what you want may not be clear

I am not following you. The truth is irrespective of what we as humans might think is the truth.

I don't deny the strong evidence for Christ.

csuguy
April 18th, 2016, 04:16 AM
For different people, their faith is different. Scripture speaks of this fact in a few places, and the difference comes down to their level of understanding and knowledge. There are those who are weak in the faith - and they are weak precisely because they don't have a good knowledge of Christianity, of God, etc. Then there are those who are mature in the faith, who have put in the time, effort, and prayer to reach a place of understanding about their faith. Such people are solid in their faith because they understand it.

Additionally, "faith" can mean different things in different contexts. There is "the faith" - aka, Christianity, the religion. And then there is "having faith" - aka, trusting in someone/something. Both are related to knowledge and understanding - for apart from faith their is no knowledge or understanding. A Christian believes in God and his Christ, the prophets and in the truths passed down via the scriptures and, potentially, other theological sources. These form the basis of a Christian's understanding of God and his relation to man, to the world, and of what is expected of us.

Hope, while also important, is not the same as faith proper. While related, faith is more of an intellectual matter, a matter of knowledge and understanding. Hope is a matter of what you want, what you desire. But it is not simply desire - but desire combined with the belief that that desire can be fulfilled. Hope is important because it gives people drive, motivation, a reason to keep fighting for something they cannot yet see. Hope is what allows one to continue to strive for something better than what the world has to offer them - it is the source of revolution, both for individuals and for the world. Faith is essential to hope - for if one does not believe that something is possible, then they will simply consider it a pipe-dream. Nice but unrealistic. It is when one believes that their desire is possible, even if only remotely, that they then become passionate about it and fight for it. So, we can say that faith is a requirement of hope. However, not everything we believe in do we necessarily hope for.

And then, there is love. The most important aspect of Christianity - so much so that God is said to be love. It is distinct from both faith and hope - love is a matter of what is in your heart, your inner-most desires, priorities, and values. It both guides and is shaped by your decisions, your actions - how you live your life. In Christ we find the ultimate expression of love: to give one's life to save another. And indeed, all Christians are called to give their lives. For some this is a literal requirement. But more generally it is metaphorical, referring to letting go of worldly desires and ambitions to instead focus on doing the will of God, to doing what one can to help others in their time of need and suffering, and to teaching people to love one another.


1 Cor 13:1-13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

Lon
April 18th, 2016, 04:17 AM
?

Guessing because one cannot prove that scripture is giving us the truth - or some truths.
Hoping because believing in Darwinian evolution is hard to stomach.
Some of this, I think, is lost in details. Interpretations, on both science and theology circles, have been corrected over time. I've no idea if it was science or theology that came up with a flat earth. At one time science thought that light was unmoving yet scriptures talk about the earth suspended in space etc. So as far as Darwinism, I simply look at what is being described over the bin words like 'evolution.' I have no problem, for instance, with Darwin saying different finches had different kinds of beaks. It is the derivative of 'why/how' they got those that becomes the issue.

Swallows have sticky mouths and tongues. It is interesting that they 'adapted' that way. Now the scientist will say adapted or 'evolved.'
He/she doesn't really care or speculate 'why' the swallow is able to be different but for me, there is something obviously designed going on. Why? Because it 'fits' the need. We are, at that point, arguing 'why' it happened. I don't know why science is so interested in denying design at that point. How do you get a bird with a sticky tongue and inside beak without that need? It seems to me that the right part for the right job carries a certain amount of purpose and design to it at that point. With incredible intelligence, like none known in the rest of the universe, I still cannot paste on wings or grow wings. If I feel a need to eat bugs, I still can't sprout wings and feathers.

In the end, I think there is a bit better than guessing, especially if God meets us on an individual basis. I'm fairly certain that we cannot be Christians without God meeting us on that individual basis somehow. Thomas needed quite a bit of convincing. He is a great example to us who haven't touched Him. His story helps push some of us over the edge beyond doubts.

It is a reasonable faith. We can use our minds to investigate the claims. I believe the truths can be built upon also.
Christ is called the Cornerstone because all truth would be supported by His existence. Josh McDowell's books come to mind, as does C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. We ever come to God on His terms but I think they are solid and reasonable rational terms. -Lon

chrysostom
April 18th, 2016, 04:22 AM
Hope is a matter of what you want, what you desire.

exactly
-so let's talk about what you want
-do you have to guess?

meshak
April 18th, 2016, 05:21 AM
What one wants is not necessarily truth.

You cannot put God into our finite minds.

He is too big for that.

We are too limited.

You have to have faith to believe in God.

If you are happy with current situation, you will not seek God.

Bociferous
April 18th, 2016, 12:31 PM
A friend of mine admitted that his faith (Christian) amounted to guessing in hope. Is this the de facto reality for all believers or not?

Guessing in hope seems an appropriate answer but I think there’s more to it. This is an important question because it derives from the major impasse in virtually all atheist-Christian debate.

My take on this is difficult to explain in the message board format where the 10 second sound bite type of communication rules the roost, but I’ll give it a try.

Primary points:
1. Human essence (spirit or soul) is represented by God metaphorically in the Bible as a single entity made up of multiple parts.
2. The “parts” are not substance but value.
3. There are only two possible values, true or false. Existing in complex combinations these create a “fragmented spirit”.

Adam and Eve falsified their originally wholly true [perfect] souls in sinning. Falsity spread from essence to intellect (in a tripartite scheme) and to the material realm. From this it follows that we’re each born into an existence that is falsified (fallen) and from which we also quickly become falsified.

Because falsity is at natural enmity with Truth (God is absolute, thus the capitalized “T”), God remains in this material realm at a merciful distance from relationship with us; hence our natural lack of face to face relationship. If He draws too close, our falsity burns like kindling, hence the common portrayal of God in Scripture as fire. (Falsity is the raw material of sin, so Godly [hell]fire is the naturally experienced "wrath" to the falsified mind coming in contact with pure Truth.)

This view is taken from Avicenna’s idea that truth (and logically also falsity) is in the essence of things. We are fragmentally falsified beings. Truth and falsity can’t occupy the same “bit” of information, but they can exist fragmentally as constituents within a single entity just as multiple cells exist in a single person. Although from a cognitive standpoint the T-f relation is one of tension (material realm) and resistance (spiritual realm), there is also a T-t relationship, where the intellect unites to varying degrees (depending on the extent to which the soul cleansed or restored to a higher truth state in sanctification) with prescriptive Truth. This uniting of truth in the soul with both propositional prescriptive truth and to some degree with Truth Himself is an unseen vitality—analogous to magnetic force for example—which brings about formulation in our mind the sort of “guessing in hope” that separates a “toward-God” relationship from an “away-from-God” one in cognition. We call this the intuitive power, but the point is that this dynamic arises from an actual—though weak—spiritual vitality or value interactions, of which hope is a natural byproduct.

Truth is by far the single most powerful concept in Scripture, the single biggest contributor to human behavior.

This is how I see it anyway.

Choleric
April 18th, 2016, 01:04 PM
A friend of mine admitted that his faith (Christian) amounted to guessing in hope. Is this the de facto reality for all believers or not?

It sounds as if your friend is like many american christians who can't articulate why they have hope in Christ.

Our hope is sure. It is not something that we think might come to pass and we "sure hope so". The biblical use of the word "hope" is not linked to doubt in any way. Allow me to illustrate:

If I am cold at night, my hope is that the sun will soon rise and I will get warm. I am not hoping "that" the sun will rise, but I am hopeful (able to deal with the cold a little longer) because I know the sun is going to rise and I will soon be warm.

My hope in Christ is the same. We deal with a body bent toward sin, in a world cursed by sin, under the penalty of death and separation from our loved ones. But my hope is that one day I know Christ will set everything straight. It will come to pass andIi patiently wait, in hope.

Sonnet
April 20th, 2016, 12:06 AM
Guessing in hope seems an appropriate answer but I think there’s more to it. This is an important question because it derives from the major impasse in virtually all atheist-Christian debate.

My take on this is difficult to explain in the message board format where the 10 second sound bite type of communication rules the roost, but I’ll give it a try.

Primary points:
1. Human essence (spirit or soul) is represented by God metaphorically in the Bible as a single entity made up of multiple parts.
2. The “parts” are not substance but value.
3. There are only two possible values, true or false. Existing in complex combinations these create a “fragmented spirit”.

Adam and Eve falsified their originally wholly true [perfect] souls in sinning. Falsity spread from essence to intellect (in a tripartite scheme) and to the material realm. From this it follows that we’re each born into an existence that is falsified (fallen) and from which we also quickly become falsified.

Because falsity is at natural enmity with Truth (God is absolute, thus the capitalized “T”), God remains in this material realm at a merciful distance from relationship with us; hence our natural lack of face to face relationship. If He draws too close, our falsity burns like kindling, hence the common portrayal of God in Scripture as fire. (Falsity is the raw material of sin, so Godly [hell]fire is the naturally experienced "wrath" to the falsified mind coming in contact with pure Truth.)

This view is taken from Avicenna’s idea that truth (and logically also falsity) is in the essence of things. We are fragmentally falsified beings. Truth and falsity can’t occupy the same “bit” of information, but they can exist fragmentally as constituents within a single entity just as multiple cells exist in a single person. Although from a cognitive standpoint the T-f relation is one of tension (material realm) and resistance (spiritual realm), there is also a T-t relationship, where the intellect unites to varying degrees (depending on the extent to which the soul cleansed or restored to a higher truth state in sanctification) with prescriptive Truth. This uniting of truth in the soul with both propositional prescriptive truth and to some degree with Truth Himself is an unseen vitality—analogous to magnetic force for example—which brings about formulation in our mind the sort of “guessing in hope” that separates a “toward-God” relationship from an “away-from-God” one in cognition. We call this the intuitive power, but the point is that this dynamic arises from an actual—though weak—spiritual vitality or value interactions, of which hope is a natural byproduct.

Truth is by far the single most powerful concept in Scripture, the single biggest contributor to human behavior.

This is how I see it anyway.

Thanks for this Bociferous but I have no idea what it means.

Sonnet
April 20th, 2016, 12:10 AM
It sounds as if your friend is like many american christians who can't articulate why they have hope in Christ.

Our hope is sure. It is not something that we think might come to pass and we "sure hope so". The biblical use of the word "hope" is not linked to doubt in any way. Allow me to illustrate:

If I am cold at night, my hope is that the sun will soon rise and I will get warm. I am not hoping "that" the sun will rise, but I am hopeful (able to deal with the cold a little longer) because I know the sun is going to rise and I will soon be warm.

My hope in Christ is the same. We deal with a body bent toward sin, in a world cursed by sin, under the penalty of death and separation from our loved ones. But my hope is that one day I know Christ will set everything straight. It will come to pass andIi patiently wait, in hope.

To be sure is to have proof. There is nothing in scripture that proves beyond doubt. Evidence...strong evidence...certainly.

Why are you sure?

Sonnet
April 20th, 2016, 12:21 AM
For different people, their faith is different. Scripture speaks of this fact in a few places, and the difference comes down to their level of understanding and knowledge. There are those who are weak in the faith - and they are weak precisely because they don't have a good knowledge of Christianity, of God, etc. Then there are those who are mature in the faith, who have put in the time, effort, and prayer to reach a place of understanding about their faith. Such people are solid in their faith because they understand it.

Additionally, "faith" can mean different things in different contexts. There is "the faith" - aka, Christianity, the religion. And then there is "having faith" - aka, trusting in someone/something. Both are related to knowledge and understanding - for apart from faith their is no knowledge or understanding. A Christian believes in God and his Christ, the prophets and in the truths passed down via the scriptures and, potentially, other theological sources. These form the basis of a Christian's understanding of God and his relation to man, to the world, and of what is expected of us.

Hope, while also important, is not the same as faith proper. While related, faith is more of an intellectual matter, a matter of knowledge and understanding. Hope is a matter of what you want, what you desire. But it is not simply desire - but desire combined with the belief that that desire can be fulfilled. Hope is important because it gives people drive, motivation, a reason to keep fighting for something they cannot yet see. Hope is what allows one to continue to strive for something better than what the world has to offer them - it is the source of revolution, both for individuals and for the world. Faith is essential to hope - for if one does not believe that something is possible, then they will simply consider it a pipe-dream. Nice but unrealistic. It is when one believes that their desire is possible, even if only remotely, that they then become passionate about it and fight for it. So, we can say that faith is a requirement of hope. However, not everything we believe in do we necessarily hope for.

And then, there is love. The most important aspect of Christianity - so much so that God is said to be love. It is distinct from both faith and hope - love is a matter of what is in your heart, your inner-most desires, priorities, and values. It both guides and is shaped by your decisions, your actions - how you live your life. In Christ we find the ultimate expression of love: to give one's life to save another.

Indeed - which is the essence of why the gospel of Christ dying for us is so powerful.




And indeed, all Christians are called to give their lives. For some this is a literal requirement. But more generally it is metaphorical, referring to letting go of worldly desires and ambitions to instead focus on doing the will of God, to doing what one can to help others in their time of need and suffering, and to teaching people to love one another.


1 Cor 13:1-13 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body [a]to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 [b]bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of [c]prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I [d]became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror [e]dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the [f]greatest of these is love.

Is faith morally neutral, would you say?

csuguy
April 20th, 2016, 05:39 AM
Is faith morally neutral, would you say?

I would agree that to have faith/trust is generally morally neutral - especially since scripture teaches that no one comes to God unless they are called. It is not simply a matter of volition or of what one values - but is highly dependent upon one's experiences, upon what one is taught, etc.


Romans 10:14-17 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who [i]bring good news of good things!”

16 However, they did not all heed the [j]good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word [k]of Christ.




I would qualify that there is a point after which one does become responsible for their faith. Once you do come to accept Christ, truly, then you do become responsible for seeking the truth, seeking understanding - both for your own foundation as a Christian and so that you can properly serve the Lord, knowing his will, spreading the Gospel and teaching others.


2 Cor 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but [b]divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 6 and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.

Of course, to be faithful is a moral matter.

PureX
April 20th, 2016, 08:32 AM
A friend of mine admitted that his faith (Christian) amounted to guessing in hope. Is this the de facto reality for all believers or not?All faith is acting on what we hope to be true. That's what faith is for: to keep us moving toward the light even though we don't know for certain that it's the way out of the darkness.

A lot of people think "faith" is pretending that we KNOW the way out. But that's not faith, that's just blind pretense. It's arrogance, really, and I think it's dishonest, too. Because if we really KNEW the way out we wouldn't need any faith.

Faith is the gift God has given us instead of giving us omniscience. Faith is how we find our way through an existence shrouded by our own ignorance. But we have to be humble enough to accept this predicament, for the faith to become real, and to really work for us. Not everyone is willing to be so humbled.

Bociferous
April 21st, 2016, 06:24 AM
Thanks for this Bociferous but I have no idea what it means.
It means that using the view that truth is an actual property in the essence of all things, the "guessing in hope" can be explained as a weak force--a faint truth-to-Truth "value attraction" analogous to magnetic or gravitational forces. To the extent the mind (both its material and incorporeal components)exists in a truth state to that degree cognition is attracted to truth external to it. Inversely, to the degree cognitive function exists in a fragmentally falsified state it will resist external (propositional and actual) truth.

Followed through, a complex of truth and falsity in all things seems able to explain why we know intuitively, for example, that truth is better than falsehood or why we know the rational is better than the irrational, etc.

dodge
April 23rd, 2016, 03:14 PM
To be sure is to have proof. There is nothing in scripture that proves beyond doubt. Evidence...strong evidence...certainly.

Why are you sure?

There are MANY MANY proofs in scripture that it is written from God to men.

In scripture God says HE will disperse the Hebrews/Jews 3 times from the land He gave them.

God said the last time ( 3rd) He brings them back to the land He gave them NO ONE could remove them from that land.

In 1948 for the 3rd time the Jews were brought back to the land that God gave them.

Peace.

Sonnet
April 23rd, 2016, 03:34 PM
Thanks. Would you give a little more detail please? You are referring to Egypt, Babylon and the Diaspora following 70AD?

dodge
April 23rd, 2016, 04:33 PM
Thanks. Would you give a little more detail please? You are referring to Egypt, Babylon and the Diaspora following 70AD?

There were 3 dispersion's of the Jewish folks !

Sonnet
April 23rd, 2016, 09:27 PM
God said the last time ( 3rd) He brings them back to the land He gave them NO ONE could remove them from that land.



Where does it say the third is the last?

Totton Linnet
April 26th, 2016, 04:31 AM
To be sure is to have proof. There is nothing in scripture that proves beyond doubt. Evidence...strong evidence...certainly.

Why are you sure?

There are 2 basic types of Christian

Those that have Christ and those that do not....those that do have all the proof they will ever need.