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  • I have been on TOL for a number of years now and my views have substantially changed and grown in many respect.

    For example, I originally was a traditional Arminianist - I maintained that God was omniscient and knew all our future decisions and yet at the same time we have freewill. Through my debates on TOL I cam to realize that this was an unbiblical position as it never says that God knows the future indefinately. To the contrary, the idea that God knows all our decisions means that our decisions have already been decided in some form - and so freewill cannot truly exist. Thus upon realizing these and other points I became and Open Theist. This has also caused me to rethink my understanding of prophecy as well. Before I kind of thought of it as fortune-telling. Now I think of it as God's promise to us - prophecy is God telling us what he is going to bring about before the fact.

    TOL also helped me work through my issues with the Trinity (although not with the result most would have liked). My Junior/Senior year I really started questioning the Trinity. A big part of this, I think, had to do with my debates with a Mormon at highschool and I took the traditional approach that the Trinity is a defining belief of a true Christian. He was never able to refute this and in fact he was not much for debate - but nevertheless I started questioning my own position. I looked all over scripture for support for it - I asked for support here on TOL, but there was and is no support for such a position. So I started to question the Trinity altogether and when I did that it put me in a precarious position for a while- I began questioning the roots of Christianity, and I couldn't accept the traditional answers on the pure basis of tradition. It took on many positions trying to come to grips with the issue, and the people on TOL (like godrulz) helped me do this via debate. Now adays I am confident in the Arian position: Jesus is God's Son, not God himself. I first came to this realization via scripture and I have subsequently reaffirmed my rejection of the Trinity via an indepth study of the early church. While my position is contra most on TOL - they were nonetheless an invaluable resource in helping me reason through the matter.

    I have also changed my position on faith-only. Through studying scripture I have come to realize that we are required to do works to be saved. This issue has gotten confused since the traditional Protestant objection is to say that we are not saved via our own works - we can't save ourself. And this is true! But that doesn't mean that works are not required to recieve the gift of salvation. There are not too many, I don't think, on here who hold this position - but I have found it to be the only truly scriptural position.

    Politically my views have not changed - I still avoid politics and have no desire to deal with them. My love is for theology and reason, not politics and rhetoric. Further, from a theological perspective - our kingdom is not of this world, so we should not think of ourselves as belonging to any country. We belong to God.

    Apart from all this I have come to the realization that I need to watch myself when I debate people. I'm not like some people on here who start calling people "deamons" or saying they are unsaved (I am actually quite ecumenical), but I do have a tendency to think of people as stupid when they don't accept things which seem obvious to me - and if a debate gets heated enough or goes on long enough then this can really come out in my posts. I suppose it comes with the territory of being an INTP... So I need to watch out for that and for getting caught up in the debate and reasoning so much that I forget about the person on the other side.

    To sum it up: TOL has had a great influence on my theology and the people on here have been a great aid in helping me to expand and refine my views.
    If you have material wealth, but do not give to those in need, then the love of God is not in you. Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for HIM. To give to the poor is to lend to the LORD.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by csuguy View Post
      I have also changed my position on faith-only. Through studying scripture I have come to realize that we are required to do works to be saved. This issue has gotten confused since the traditional Protestant objection is to say that we are not saved via our own works - we can't save ourself. And this is true! But that doesn't mean that works are not required to recieve the gift of salvation. There are not too many, I don't think, on here who hold this position - but I have found it to be the only truly scriptural position.
      this is the position of the Catholics
      but
      would you say that you are saved?
      a voice crying in the wilderness :chrysost:

      Comment


      • Originally posted by chrysostom View Post
        this is the position of the Catholics
        but
        would you say that you are saved?
        Yes - this is one of several issues that I have found I am more in line with Catholicism than the traditional Protestants... I don't fit in any specific camp really

        And yes, I believed I am saved - or more correctly will be saved. Salvation is not said and done until the judgement takes place
        If you have material wealth, but do not give to those in need, then the love of God is not in you. Whatever you have done for the least of these you have done for HIM. To give to the poor is to lend to the LORD.

        Comment


        • I wanted to respond to this thread and explain how I have changed as a Christian, thanks to the influence of TOL (some of which occurred thanks to at-the-time regulars at TOL whom I knew, before I ever came to TOL myself, but they had an impact on me and I came here and continue to grow. So, I was going to explain how I've changed... but then I decided to let a bunch of you explain it for me. Thanks for putting into words better than I could!



          Originally posted by zoo22
          I've been thinking about that recently. TOL's changed me. I'm more willing to listen and try to hear other people, I'm more likely to investigate deeper before jumping to conclusions, more likely to (try to) look before I leap. I'm less willing to get involved in discussions which I know there'll be nothing but disagreement; those endless disagreements just seem increasingly pointless (though I haven't managed yet to completely strike them out). My politics have changed a bit, some further right, mostly further left, though I've changed the way I approach it. There are specific things that have changed in ways I think of people, and about the ways our minds work.
          TOL changed me (as did people who were regulars here and knew me before I ever heard of TOL). I'm more willing to listen and try to hear other people, I'm more likely to investigate deeper before jumping to conclusions, more likely to (try to) look before I leap. I'm less willing to get involved in discussions which I know there'll be nothing but disagreement; those endless disagreements just seem increasingly pointless (though I haven't managed yet to completely strike them out). My politics have changed a bit, strongly to the right. There are specific things that have changed in ways I think of people, and about the ways our minds work.


          Originally posted by Untellectual View Post
          I have learned more about what the Bible has to say, and what men say (opinions, perspectives).
          I have learned more about what the Bible has to say, and what men say (opinions, perspectives).


          Originally posted by Knight View Post
          In the past 14 years I have changed dramatically. I have become far less concerned about winning every argument and more concerned about just stating my beliefs on any given topic. There was a time not so long ago that I felt I needed to have the last word in every TOL debate, but now I really don't care if I have the last word. I prefer to state my case based on the facts as I see them and then... let the chips fall where they may.
          In the past 12 years I have changed dramatically. I have become far less concerned about winning every argument and more concerned about just stating my beliefs on any given topic. There was a time not so long ago that I felt I needed to have the last word in every TOL debate, but now I really don't care if I have the last word. I prefer to state my case based on the facts as I see them and then... let the chips fall where they may.


          Originally posted by chrysostom View Post
          I have learned a lot about the bible
          but
          being a Catholic you would expect that

          I have become more tolerant of most views
          except
          those who say they are really against abortion
          but
          will not vote republican
          and
          that I will never tolerate
          I have learned a lot about the bible
          but
          being a non-denominational theology geek you would expect that

          I have become more tolerant of some views
          and less tolerant of others
          such as
          those who say they are really republican
          but
          will not vote pro-life
          and
          that I will never tolerate



          Originally posted by vegascowboy View Post
          One thing (and there are many!) that TOL has taught me is that people do not always take your meaning from your words as you intended it to be taken. You can try your mightiest to say your piece clearly, only to encounter a lot of "blank stares." And some things that you are sure will convey your idea with power and convention are barely glossed over.

          TOL is like no other forum on the internet, and that is a good thing. I truly love being here, and I find myself missing it on the days when I am away (even though I wouldn't exchange the time spent with my wife and children for anything).

          TOL has taught me about humility. Obviously I have a great deal more learning ahead of me.
          One thing (and there are many!) that TOL has taught me is that people do not always take your meaning from your words as you intended it to be taken. You can try your mightiest to say your piece clearly, only to encounter a lot of "blank stares." And some things that you are sure will convey your idea with power and convention are barely glossed over.

          TOL is like no other forum on the internet, and that is a good thing. I truly love being here, and I find myself missing it on the days when I am away (even though I wouldn't exchange the time spent with my wife and children for anything).

          TOL has taught me about humility. Obviously I have a great deal more learning ahead of me.


          Originally posted by Nydhogg View Post
          I've become more of an extremist.
          I've become more of an extremist.


          Originally posted by Persephone66 View Post
          I used to think Christians, even fundies, were decent human beings.
          I used to think Christians, even fundies, were decent human beings. Now I realize that a large percentage of them (even many "fundies") are apathetic, hypocritical, wimpy, lazy bums who can't seem to bring themselves to expend some effort to love their neighbor even when some of those neighbors are being butchered "legally" down the street.


          Originally posted by Lighthouse
          Well, I used to be Arminian and now I believe in the open view. I also believed salvation could be lost, and was lost, every time I sinned and I had to confess and repent to be saved again. I now believe in eternal security. And I believed we should never judge people for any reason. I now believe we should judge, but only according to righteous judgment. All of this as a result of TOL and people who post[ed] here.
          Well, I used to be Arminian and now I believe in the open view. I also believed salvation could be lost, and was lost, every time I sinned and I had to confess and repent to be saved again. I now believe in eternal security. And I was pretty weak when it came to judging people for many reasons. I now believe we should judge, but only according to righteous judgment. All of this as a result of TOL and people who post[ed] here.

          Comment


          • Originally posted by The Graphite View Post
            I wanted to respond to this thread and explain how I have changed as a Christian, thanks to the influence of TOL (some of which occurred thanks to at-the-time regulars at TOL whom I knew, before I ever came to TOL myself, but they had an impact on me and I came here and continue to grow. So, I was going to explain how I've changed... but then I decided to let a bunch of you explain it for me. Thanks for putting into words better than I could!




            TOL changed me (as did people who were regulars here and knew me before I ever heard of TOL). I'm more willing to listen and try to hear other people, I'm more likely to investigate deeper before jumping to conclusions, more likely to (try to) look before I leap. I'm less willing to get involved in discussions which I know there'll be nothing but disagreement; those endless disagreements just seem increasingly pointless (though I haven't managed yet to completely strike them out). My politics have changed a bit, strongly to the right. There are specific things that have changed in ways I think of people, and about the ways our minds work.



            I have learned more about what the Bible has to say, and what men say (opinions, perspectives).



            In the past 12 years I have changed dramatically. I have become far less concerned about winning every argument and more concerned about just stating my beliefs on any given topic. There was a time not so long ago that I felt I needed to have the last word in every TOL debate, but now I really don't care if I have the last word. I prefer to state my case based on the facts as I see them and then... let the chips fall where they may.



            I have learned a lot about the bible
            but
            being a non-denominational theology geek you would expect that

            I have become more tolerant of some views
            and less tolerant of others
            such as
            those who say they are really republican
            but
            will not vote pro-life
            and
            that I will never tolerate




            One thing (and there are many!) that TOL has taught me is that people do not always take your meaning from your words as you intended it to be taken. You can try your mightiest to say your piece clearly, only to encounter a lot of "blank stares." And some things that you are sure will convey your idea with power and convention are barely glossed over.

            TOL is like no other forum on the internet, and that is a good thing. I truly love being here, and I find myself missing it on the days when I am away (even though I wouldn't exchange the time spent with my wife and children for anything).

            TOL has taught me about humility. Obviously I have a great deal more learning ahead of me.



            I've become more of an extremist.



            I used to think Christians, even fundies, were decent human beings. Now I realize that a large percentage of them (even many "fundies") are apathetic, hypocritical, wimpy, lazy bums who can't seem to bring themselves to expend some effort to love their neighbor even when some of those neighbors are being butchered "legally" down the street.



            Well, I used to be Arminian and now I believe in the open view. I also believed salvation could be lost, and was lost, every time I sinned and I had to confess and repent to be saved again. I now believe in eternal security. And I was pretty weak when it came to judging people for many reasons. I now believe we should judge, but only according to righteous judgment. All of this as a result of TOL and people who post[ed] here.



            Why am I not in your Weird Al edition?

            Comment


            • Originally posted by The Graphite View Post
              I have learned more about what the Bible has to say, and what men say (opinions, perspectives).

              Comment


              • Originally posted by JoeyArnold View Post
                Why am I not in your Weird Al edition?
                I read the whole thread. I didn't have anything in common with what you posted.

                Is this supposed to be about you? Are you envious, for some reason?

                Comment


                • Originally posted by vegascowboy View Post
                  How many of you would say that you have changed...

                  ...theologically, politically, etc....

                  ...since you have been an active participator on TOL.


                  NOTE: This change need not be as a direct result of being on TOL (through the ideas and words of others), although those stories, I think, would be the most interesting.

                  Thanks.
                  I have. I was actually considering the teachings of Jesus as a good thing ( I would have dismissed the OT though as it is a cruel insane thing) to adopt before joining TOL. But after witnessing the buffoonery and dishonesty of the flock I quickly reconsidered. If his teachings don't make the flock any better than those not of it, then there is no need to join in. Besides that, it seems you have to believe too many nonsensical things to be considered a REAL Christian. I haven't experienced this much craziness from Christians in person. Maybe it's the online behind closed doors part that allows most to show how crazy they really are. Yep, changed by TOL.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by No Sheep Here View Post
                    I have. I was actually considering the teachings of Jesus as a good thing ( I would have dismissed the OT though as it is a cruel insane thing) to adopt before joining TOL. But after witnessing the buffoonery and dishonesty of the flock I quickly reconsidered.
                    Without getting into the particular arguments (there being a number of disparate understandings around here) if you're willing to let your rule be established by anecdotal consideration you aren't likely to have been serious or considered to begin with...Or, if you really are this ill considered it was only a matter of time before some other disappointment altered your course and there's nothing for it until you found your thinking more substantively.

                    If his teachings don't make the flock any better than those not of it, then there is no need to join in.
                    Again, as rational as suggesting we reject democracy because your neighbor thinks the proper use is narrowing your right or expanding his own. Some people are profoundly altered by conversion. History is replete with examples. Some cling to bad habits and cheat themselves of the larger walk. It happens.

                    Besides that, it seems you have to believe too many nonsensical things to be considered a REAL Christian.
                    Depends on who you ask, which would be an argument against joining in fellowship with those who take positions you don't find sustainable and not the foundation for a general dismissal, unless that was rather the point all along or, again, you aren't thinking it through.

                    I haven't experienced this much craziness from Christians in person.
                    And yet you're willing to let a smattering of anonymous people overwhelm your larger experience? :squint:

                    Maybe it's the online behind closed doors part that allows most to show how crazy they really are. Yep, changed by TOL.
                    Then you meant to be or you're too easily dissuaded. In either case it was bound to happen.
                    You aren't what you eat, but you're always what you swallow.

                    Pro-Life






                    Comment


                    • I've had a couple close calls on here.

                      I almost became MAD.

                      I almost became an Open Theist.

                      I almost became a Calvini.....wait a second. No I didn't. I've stayed away from that pitfall.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by Persephone66 View Post
                        I used to think Christians, even fundies, were decent human beings.
                        What did Michael Coreleone mean by: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer--" probably nothing nice.

                        Who is friendlier--one who tolerates you or one who tells you the truth? Gal 4:16
                        Last edited by serpentdove; January 25th, 2011, 01:06 PM. Reason: post error

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by serpentdove View Post
                          What did Michael Coreleone mean by: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer--" probably nothing nice.

                          Who is friendlier--one who tolerates you or one who tells you the truth? Gal 4:16
                          I know who isn't friendly. Someone who lies about others in their signatures.

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by kmoney View Post
                            I know who isn't friendly. Someone who lies about others in their signatures.
                            Proof please.

                            It may not be friendly to you, Dooku but it's friendly to any passer by who might mistake you for a Christian. Tell us how concerned you are for Persephone66's soul? 2 Cor 5:11.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by serpentdove View Post
                              What did Michael Coreleone mean by: "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer--" probably nothing nice.
                              Seemed to me like he was quoting Sun Tzu's Art of War.

                              Who is friendlier--one who tolerates you or one who tells you the truth? Gal 4:16
                              Why one who it honest, something I rarely see in a Christian, especially you.

                              And thank you for proving my point.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by The Graphite View Post
                                I read the whole thread. I didn't have anything in common with what you posted.

                                Is this supposed to be about you? Are you envious, for some reason?


                                I'm unique then.

                                Comment

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