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A Newbie here to learn, to share God's grace, to share in God's grace

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  • A Newbie here to learn, to share God's grace, to share in God's grace

    Hi, I joined recently and have already learned a lot from this forum. A few things about me:
    1. I am a child at heart. I am a quiet but very emotional guy. I love stories, and am into many animated films, children's literature, and many alternative Christian music artists.
    2. I am fairly ecumenical. I love Christianity. I love the wisdom and power and imagery in God's Word and love talking about this to others.
    3. I'm kind of weird.
    4. I very much like spaghetti and dark chocolate.
    I realize some of those bullet points are more than one thing. Sorry.

  • #2
    Also, I love the fact that Christians get to believe in amazing things far beyond what the world considers rational.
    A favorite psalm verse, from Psalm 84: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by thborn View Post
      Also, I love the fact that Christians get to believe in amazing things far beyond what the world considers rational.
      A favorite psalm verse, from Psalm 84: "For the LORD God is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory"
      That's an interesting comment - "what the world considers rational".

      Can you explain what you mean?


      Oh, and by the way...

      Welcome to TOL!
      sigpic
      "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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      • #4
        Welcome!
        "The most terrifying words in the English language are 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" - Ronald Reagan



        Check out the "rightest" of all right wing moms. FarRightMom


        Upgrade your TOL membership.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Clete View Post

          That's an interesting comment - "what the world considers rational".

          Can you explain what you mean?


          Oh, and by the way...

          Welcome to TOL!
          Thanks for the welcome!

          What I meant about rationalism and the world...

          One horrible aspect of secular humanism--and with the attitude of many Christians who need to be brought back to the Truth--is the denial of 'supernatural' events in the Bible, like the virgin birth of our Lord. However, these events are the truth. They are something to celebrate, part of a wise, straightforward understanding of the Bible. For Christians, God must be understood and invoked as personal. He enters the world.

          I'm not a huge fan of science. It's cool, sometimes, but don't put me in charge of some sort of STEM curriculum. I'll botch it. I'll start talking about architecture or books or Jesus or something.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by thborn View Post

            Thanks for the welcome!

            What I meant about rationalism and the world...

            One horrible aspect of secular humanism--and with the attitude of many Christians who need to be brought back to the Truth--is the denial of 'supernatural' events in the Bible, like the virgin birth of our Lord. However, these events are the truth. They are something to celebrate, part of a wise, straightforward understanding of the Bible. For Christians, God must be understood and invoked as personal. He enters the world.

            I'm not a huge fan of science. It's cool, sometimes, but don't put me in charge of some sort of STEM curriculum. I'll botch it. I'll start talking about architecture or books or Jesus or something.
            Holy cow! I asked a question and got a substantive answer! TOL is improved by your presence already! (Getting such answers, unfortunately, doesn't happen very often on TOL.)

            Leaving my admittedly snide remarks aside....


            Do you believe miracles are irrational?

            Or, asked another way...

            Do you believe that the irrational can actually happen?

            (By "irrational" I do not mean "unexplained", by the way. I mean that which is actually irrational in the sense of being self-contradictory or otherwise nonsensical.)

            I, for one, do not believe that miracles are in any way irrational. It is not irrational to think that the One Who created nature can do the supernatural. In fact, to think otherwise would be a contradiction on its face. The irrational cannot be true, by definition. The bible is entirely true and must therefore be entirely rational, again, by definition.

            I invite you to check out my opening post in the following thread....

            Is God Moral?

            Clete
            sigpic
            "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Clete View Post
              Do you believe miracles are irrational?

              Or, asked another way...

              Do you believe that the irrational can actually happen?

              (By "irrational" I do not mean "unexplained", by the way. I mean that which is actually irrational in the sense of being self-contradictory or otherwise nonsensical.)

              I, for one, do not believe that miracles are in any way irrational. It is not irrational to think that the One Who created nature can do the supernatural. In fact, to think otherwise would be a contradiction on its face. The irrational cannot be true, by definition. The bible is entirely true and must therefore be entirely rational, again, by definition.

              I invite you to check out my opening post in the following thread....

              Is God Moral?

              Clete

              Good points. I did read your post in the other thread. I think your conclusion there is correct. I think another way to say it would be that the best and absolute and highest form of love, goodness, life, mind, and etc., can be found in God. And we can't really separate these attributes from God. In the world, we sometimes mean different things at different times when we talk about these things. But when the Bible speaks about the love of God, or about Jesus or God being our life, "love" and "life" mean the ultimate form. If it makes sense to think As you said, God is the measure of goodness.

              I think you're also saying that "rationalism" kind of stops being a distinct thing when we apply it to God, that it merges with goodness and other concepts as we understand them. In that sense, I don't think that miracles are irrational. In a similar sense, atheism and deism are irrational even though a lot of people who have said they follow those paths embrace a lot of rational concepts


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              • #8
                Sorry, error above. Please ignore the "If it makes sense to think" that precedes "As you said, God is the measure of goodness." It does make sense. I was going off on some other tangent with that sentence fragment.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by thborn View Post


                  Good points. I did read your post in the other thread. I think your conclusion there is correct. I think another way to say it would be that the best and absolute and highest form of love, goodness, life, mind, and etc., can be found in God. And we can't really separate these attributes from God. In the world, we sometimes mean different things at different times when we talk about these things. But when the Bible speaks about the love of God, or about Jesus or God being our life, "love" and "life" mean the ultimate form. If it makes sense to think As you said, God is the measure of goodness.
                  It gets a little hard to follow because you're totally right but one must be careful to make certain distinctions or at least keep them in the back of your mind when you say that God is the measure of goodness or else you end up turning that statement into a meaningless tautology.

                  If you accept the premise that goodness is defined by that which is proper to life, as I go into in some detail in the other thread, then God can be meaningfully said to be good because everything He does is entirely proper to life. It is, however, quite true that God is Life and so what is really being said is that God is consistent with His own nature and by extention He is therefore, as you say, the measure of goodness. This is where Euthyphro's Dilemma comes into play, which, in turn, is answered only by the Christian theist in that God exists as a Trinity and the truth of a matter is establish by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

                  (Wow! I don't think I've ever summed it up so concisely before!)

                  I think you're also saying that "rationalism" kind of stops being a distinct thing when we apply it to God, that it merges with goodness and other concepts as we understand them. In that sense, I don't think that miracles are irrational. In a similar sense, atheism and deism are irrational even though a lot of people who have said they follow those paths embrace a lot of rational concepts.
                  You keep saying really interesting things!

                  First, just to define terms, insisting that all truth is rational is not at all the same thing as "Rationalism". Rationalism, in its purest form is the philosophical position that human reasoning is the SOURCE of all knowledge; that reason is "the unique path to knowledge" and that any truth claim which comes from any other source is rejected. A Rationalist then would reject any sort of revelation from God and may even reject the need for experimental proof of an idea that is established rationally. In common language, the insistence upon the notion that all truth is rational could be considered a form of rationalism but only in a very loose way that is rather unproductive and even confusing in a discussion about epistemology (or any other branch of philosophy for that matter).

                  When I talk about something being rational vs. irrational, what I'm talking about is whether it is consistent both with itself and with the limitations of reality (and by reality I mean all real things, whether created or not.) All that is true is consistent with reality. That's what the word "true" means - consistent. Thus any truth claim that is not consistent, either with itself or with reality is false, by definition. This concept is most concisely stated in what is called the Law of Identity - What is, is. A is A. This is the fundamental building block of all knowledge, understanding and discourse. The Law of Identity has two corollaries, the Law of Excluded Middle which simply states that any truth claim is either true or it is false (never both), and the Law of Contradiction which states that and two truth claims that contradict each other cannot both be true. These three ideas are what make any meaningful thought, understanding or communication possible. To deny them is to call yourself a liar because the very act of denying them makes use of them.

                  Now, you said that "In that sense, I don't think that miracles are irrational.". Given the above understanding of what it means to be "rational", is there a sense in which you do consider miracles to be irrational? In other words, when you say that, are you simply saying that miracles are explainable due to a lack of knowledge or understanding or are you saying something more than that? Do you believe, for example, that God can do the logically absurd, like making a rock that He can't lift and then lift it or create a flat sided sphere, or something like that?

                  Lastly, you say that atheism and deism are irrational. I agree completely, of course, but I'd enjoy finding out just why you think they are.

                  Clete
                  sigpic
                  "The [open view] is an attempt to provide a more Biblically faithful, rationally coherent, and practically satisfying account of God and the divine-human relationship..." - Dr. John Sanders

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