The Bible term most misused by Christians today: An interview with Scot McKnight

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New Testament scholar Scot Mcknight says "kingdom" is the biblical term most misused by Christians today. He plans to set the record straight. - Image courtesy of Scot McKnight

New Testament scholar Scot Mcknight says "kingdom" is the biblical term most misused by Christians today. He plans to set the record straight. - Image courtesy of Scot McKnight

New Testament scholar Scot Mcknight says "kingdom" is the biblical term most misused by Christians today. He plans to set the record straight. - Image courtesy of Scot McKnight

New Testament scholar Scot Mcknight says “kingdom” is the biblical term most misused by Christians today. He plans to set the record straight. – Image courtesy of Scot McKnight

A few years ago, New Testament scholar Scot McKnight had grown irritated with the overuse and misapplication of the word “Gospel” by many Christians. He gave a lecture on the matter entitled, “Did Jesus Preach the Gospel?” in which he said, “When all words mean the same thing, no words mean anything. When the “Gospel,” which is the favorite word for people to use today, means everything, it loses all meaning.”

McKnight might as well have been talking about the word “kingdom,” which he says is the most misused Bible term today. He’s written a book, “Kingdom Conspiracy: Returning to the Radical Mission of the Local Church.” In it, McKnight argues that “kingdom” has “taken on meanings that are completely at odds with what the Bible says.” Here we discuss how Christians have misunderstood the term and why he thinks it is important that they get it right.

RNS: Define “kingdom” in a sentence.

SM: The people of God living under God as king, both in his saving and governing relations, by embodying and obeying the king’s will in the place God calls them to live.

Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

Image courtesy of Baker Publishing Group

RNS: You address two competing visions of the Kingdom today among “skinny jeans” and “pleated pants” Christians. What are they and how do they fall flat? 

SM: The “skinny jeans” view focuses on kingdom as social activism in the causes of justice and peace. The “pleated pants” view focuses on kingdom as redemptive moments with three moments at the top of the list: evangelism, healing or miracles, and influencing various spheres of society.

There are five elements of the term “kingdom” in the Bible: for there to be a kingdom (God’s kingdom), there must be a king (God, Christ), a rule (God rules redemptively and by governing or lordship), a people (Israel and the church), a law (Torah, the teachings of Jesus and life in the Spirit), and a land (holy land expands in the pages of the Bible.).

Both skinny jeans and pleated pants folks reduce the kingdom to less than the full five. The skinny jeans crowd focuses on the law – and focuses that on justice and peace. The pleated pants crowd focuses on God as redemptive king, so it focuses on elements of redemption in the Christian life: evangelism, healing, and influencing the public sector. Sadly, neither focuses on the kingdom as a people.

RNS: Give me the most damaging myth about the kingdom that is popular among American Christians today–in a sentence.

It is a myth to contend that the kingdom and the church do not overlap or that they barely overlap.

We have lots of folks today who want to “sanctify” or “find ultimate approval for” what they do as a vocation – engineering, artistic creation, building water wells – and the word “kingdom” has become the word of choice to give those noble vocations an ultimate justification. I too want those acts to be seen as good and proper for a Christian, but that is not how the Bible uses the term “kingdom.”

Open your Bible and you will see throughout the Old Testament and into the New, and then skip around in the Jewish sources like Josephus and you will see that the natural equivalent for “kingdom” is “nation.” That is, kingdom is a people under a governing and saving king. That people is Israel and the church.

RNS: How much does this really matter? Is this just something seminary professors argue about or does it have practical implications for the way Christians live?

SM: Here’s what matters: hordes of American Christians are far less committed to their local church because they are committed to doing “kingdom work.” Kingdom for many means the bigger things God is doing in this world. A proper kingdom theology leads people to the middle of the church, not away from it. So it makes a difference when church is on the decline and people are saying they are committed to the kingdom but not so much to the church. [tweetable]You can’t have kingdom without church.[/tweetable]

What you are doing for the common good should first be done for those in your local church fellowship. Let’s start there, and we’ll have a fellowship revival worth talking about.

RNS: You’ve had some public disagreements with some in the “New Calvinist” camp. How do you think their understanding of the kingdom is off?

SM: My read is that most of them are Kuyperians, and that means they see “kingdom” as close in meaning to “God’s common grace” at work in the world. So they do “kingdom” work by “culture-making” (to use Andy Crouch’s well-known expression) and they see church as but one “sphere” (a technical term for Kuyperians) in God’s much larger kingdom. I totally disagree that the Bible means “common grace” by kingdom.

To the Kuyperians I say this: there is no such thing as a Kuyperian in the early church. That theory arose in a pluralistic European world when the former dominant culture (church) was losing ground. I acknowledge the realism of the Kuyperian approach and its many gains but I want to place into the center of the picture the church.

RNS: What do you say to people who counter that all this talk about “kings” and “kingdoms” and “reigning” sounds a bit triumphalist?

SM: The issue is how “kingdom” is understood when it comes to Jesus, and a big theme in my book is that [tweetable]the character of the king determines the character of the kingdom and its citizens.[/tweetable] As Hitler’s ruthlessness determined the character of his henchmen and too many of its laws and acts, and as apartheid’s oppressive leaders determined the ways of life for Africans in South Africa, so a king’s or leader’s character shapes the people.

Any kingdom-as-church that is imperial or triumphalist is not living under king Jesus.

  • John McGrath

    “Getting to heaven,” “being saved,” “helping people get to heaven” are also attitude and practice obstacles to Biblical Kingdom. So is having a “representative of the King” in charge, whether it is the pope or a local authoritarian pastor idolized as the fount of all wisdom and truth.

    But if Christianity has come to depend on the centrality of “helping people get to heaven,” often justifying all sorts of abuses, in reality is this true Christianity no matter what Jesus said or meant? After all Jesus never called himself Christ.

  • Bob

    Given all the debate and commentary about different interpretations of the bible, it seems that the Christian god, a purportedly omnipotent being, has major communication and marketing weaknesses. It can’t reliably get its message out.

    So, Christians, think about this a bit more. This is an all-powerful, “perfect” being that you are claiming, yet it apparently needs a clunky book to get its message across. and the messaging is subject to multiple interpretations. That’s utterly ridiculous for a “god”. An all-powerful being could easily just insert its message into its subjects minds, no book required and no room for interpretation.

    Really, why is it that your “god”, a purportedly omnipotent creature, can’t do better than a book to get its message out, especially one for which the words can be so readily twisted or misinterpreted or taken out of context? Where is your god’s website (and no, religious shill sites don’t count), and why can’t he even push a few tweets out? Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from him is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

    Also, the message isn’t even accepted by billions of potential flock members, some of whom instead accept messages of very different purported gods. So, in that regard, the communication is also flawed, and Christian “god” is again clearly not omnipotent, nor omnipresent; the god presented in the Christian myths clearly does not exist.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Tim

    Good interview, Jonathan. One quibble I have with Scot’s fifth aspect of the kingdom is that he used the word “land” without defining it. Jesus said his “kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) so unless the expansion of “land” as Scot sees it includes expansion of the understanding of God’s kingdom in this spiritual sense Jesus spoke of, that fifth point falls short of what the Bible actually says about the kingdom of God.

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  • Tim McCoy

    Bob, I deeply appreciate your points. God exists, God doesn’t exist (I hear your rationale for his non-existence)? Certainty on either of those seems futile. I noticed the website you offered concerning amputees. Theodicy is the journey of many. If an all good, all powerful god does exist then why . . . . . . . . . . . . . ? I came to believe in God through just such a journey. My dad was in Normandy and then Germany. He returned kind of. After years of struggle with nightmares, alcohol, and diabetes he died. I was a teenager, bewildered and angry. Not much of the Christian story made any sense after the reasoning you gave. I don’t know what else to say except thank you. Your perspective is appreciated by this Christian.

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  • Jack

    Bob, I suggest you open your eyes and look around. The Biblical message has literally gone to the ends of the earth, and as CS Lewis stressed in Mere Christianity, Christians agree far more than they disagree. And given that we’re talking about people from every country, culture, and language group, that’s remarkable indeed.

  • There are only two kingdoms: the Kingdom of God and the world. And these are at war. We are not here to serve or improve the world but to save people out of it. The world is the Titanic and all those who are not in the lifeboat of Christ are going down with the ship, regardless of all attempts at remodeling and renovation. How can you repair a world that is at enmity with God?
    Many of Titanic’s lifeboats were launched half full, others could not be launched because they waited too long. Many refused to get in the boats because they believed the ship unsinkable –and they perished.
    God sent His Son into the world to save us from our sins. He did not come to establish a social welfare program. Today the “Church” is filled with people who are not even in the Kingdom because they have never been born of the Spirit. The “evangelical church” is little more than the world in religious garb and appears ready to go down with the ship.

  • Tim McCoy

    Jack, I am curious if you can relate to any of the points Bob has? I think this is a both/and conversation. I find it fascinating it has taken place regarding an article about the Kingdom of God. What do you think? Bob, would you hang with us in this?

  • Bob

    Jack, that’s false. The disagreements on bible content are severe on abortion, homosexuality, and many other topics, and even if they were more minor, my points still stand.

    Furthermore, other messages of fiction, such as The Lord of the Rings, and the Harry Potter series, have recently had comparable or greater popularity than your Christian book of horrors, yet we do not (so far) consider their authors to be gods. A successfully propagating meme does not a deity make, especially when the meme has evolved so dramatically and has so many splinter cults such as the Christian blood cult has -each one with its own bizarre rituals and disagreements with the others.

    So again, consider this. Why is it that your “god”, a purportedly omnipotent creature, can’t do better than a book to get its message out, especially one for which the words can be so readily twisted or misinterpreted or taken out of context? Where is your god’s website (and no, religious shill sites don’t count), and why can’t he even push a few tweets out? Even the pope, that shelterer of child molesters, can do that much, as can many modern children, yet your “god” cannot. Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from your Christian sky fairy is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

    Also, the message isn’t even accepted by billions of potential flock members, some of whom instead accept very different messages of very different purported gods. So, in that regard, the communication is definitely also flawed, and Christian “god” is again clearly not omnipotent, nor omnipresent; the god presented in the Christian myths clearly does not exist.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    So Stephen, according to your statements, your god put us on what he must have known was a sinking ship, despite him being omnipotent and therefore able to do better for us than that. He then left us to fend for ourselves. Well, that’s at least consistent with the vicious god creature that the bible describes.

    Well, no thanks. I reject your nasty jerk of a god. He should be interred in a prison for crimes against humanity.

  • Jennifer Ellen

    If the local, institutional church is no longer doing kingdom work, maybe it’s not really “the kingdom,” and maybe it’s not really even “the church.”

    A lot of us use “kingdom” language in order to distinguish ourselves from and critique the local church. God knows something needs to!

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  • Tim McCoy

    Bob, is it safe to say we won’t be able to “hug this out”? These forums are tough because they connect people in awkward ways and make authentic connection quite hard. I hope you can hear me when I say I am deeply sorry for whatever you have experienced that leads to your reaction. Your reaction and anger are good in my mind. They give me hope that the questions and pursuit is worth it for me. In the perspective of all perspectives, and in a holistic universe they all seem to fit, yours, mine, Steve, Jack, Jennifer etc. God, god, I hope that is true. Peace.

  • jeffrey Greenberg

    In regard to Jennifer’s comment about the local church. With great sadness I must agree that the Kingdom can not reside PRIMARILY in the congregations. Our biblical perspectives are historical extrapolations back to when things most certainly were different in too many respects. Today, the People of God = The Church are all over the place and serve in many extra-congregational settings that are not “church”. The Kingdom is bigger than all of that. It is the redeemed everywhere at home, work, or in staged worship. Many of us do recognize the present condition of most congregations and see a faint reflection of the First-Century Church. I tend to sense a rather apocalyptic move ahead to purify the Church to help usher in the ultimate Kingdom (with the King fully in our presence again!) It may indeed take judgement as correction for us to lean not on our own construction but come to the Lord more completely as our comforts are lost. Interesting times. God is up to something, and we can only guess.

  • Frank

    The bible is clear to me.

  • Frank

    Do you know how foolish you sound!

  • Bob

    Got anything better than that ad hominem to offer, Frank? If not, you are more foolish than I, so if I look bad, well…

  • Bob

    Tim, it is not so much experience, but straightforward reasons, exactly as I have stated, that lead to my reaction to the Christian myth book. I’d suggest you review those reasons, as stated in my post. BTW, it is viewpoint, not perspective, that you should be considering.

  • Bob

    Even the many parts that contradict each other? Enjoy your mustard trees and your flat, round earth.

  • Tim McCoy

    Bob, wow, I guess I just do not understand where you are coming from. I guess I am questioning how your reasons get your reaction. They do not resonate with me. Your viewpoint has validity in my mind because it is your viewpoint but it is simply one amongst many. Does it have room for other viewpoints? Even those you may disagree with? I have read the bible in English, Greek and Hebrew. While I see your viewpoint and can even see where you have drawn your conclusions, they are just your conclusions amongst a million others. You can’t be that attached to them can you? I am sorry. This is a limited place to have this conversation. I live in iowa. My email is tm9046@gmail.com. My phone number is 319-530-3781. If you have interest in a further conversation. Frank, I love you man! Be nice!

  • Bob

    Tim, the conclusions follow from the reasons. Don’t try to wedge in supposed alternate viewpoints that are actually not supportable; that would be a very sneaky trick. If you disagree with my conclusions, then please present your reasoning, and do so publicly, as I have done.

  • Pastor John

    Matthew 13:44 – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.”

    Matthew 13:45 – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:”

    Matthew 13:47 – “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:”

    Matthew 16:19 -“And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

    “Matthew 16:28 -“Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.”

    Revelation 1:9 -” I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

    Amen

    http://KJAVB.COM

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  • Joseph Steel

    All people hope. Therefore all people express faith. Therefore all people express belief in the unseen.

    I choose to reference the unseen that I believe in, to the compilation of writings found in a book called the bible; and I’m more than good with that.

    Bob on the other hand, doesn’t. He references his belief to something else. And I’m cool with that, as the scripture that I read tells us that some will believe in God, and others won’t.

    Beyond that, Bob really has nothing to contribute.

    Moving on to the article/interview… Believers will not have a proper view of the full gospel of the kingdom when limited to ministry that ends at our salvation.

    God is not after mankind’s salvation, God desires a habitation, a dwelling place, within mankind. And according to the scriptures, this dwelling place will be the New Jerusalem, spoken of in the final chapters of the book of Revelation.

    To see the kingdom of God as God sees it, we need to see the reality of the New Jerusalem.

  • Jack

    Wait a second, Bob, you originally said that those who believe in the Bible have “major communicating and marketing weaknesses” and that they differ profoundly from one another on opinions.

    As I said, Christians agree far more than they disagree on the basics of their faith, and that if the God of the Bible had a marketing “weakness,” as you say, there is no way that Christianity would have spread across countries and cultures in such an extraordinary way. If a message is able to penetrate a wide array of countries and culture, it is obviously a clear-cut one that is being communicated quite successfully.

  • Jack

    Bob, you haven’t proved a thing. You’ve merely filled your posts with polemics, and made a ton of assertions, which add up to nothing.

  • Jack

    To watch Bob rage against a deity he claims does not exist is to watch the contradiction that is atheism play itself out before our eyes. Logically, Bob and friends may say they’re consistent because they’re raging against an imaginary god that religion created, but it’s a psychological impossibility to be genuinely angry at something while at that very same moment disbelieving its existence.

  • Jack

    Bob, you do look awfully silly, but you have yourself to blame for that.

  • Jack

    Tim, that’s a fair question.

    If I were a teenager, and just beginning to ask life’s deepest questions, I might find Bob’s thoughts interesting, despite the polemical tone.

    But having thought such questions through a long time ago, when, in fact, I was a teenager, it’s old hat to me. What is interesting and new when you’re 13 years old is hardly that when you’re 35 or 40 or older.

    It’s similar to what another poster once wrote about free will vs. determinism. Again, that’s interesting when you’re a kid, but as an adult, you eventually figure out that life is full of paradoxes — of mind-teasers that have no cut-and-dried answers.

  • Jack

    God does appear to be up to something, Jeffrey.

  • Jack

    Tim, please be careful. Bob is probably harmless, and you sound like a good person, but you’re taking a risk by posting personal info.

  • gilhcan

    How about the whole Bible being used in the wrong ways!

  • Tim McCoy

    Jack, thank you. The internet is such a difficult place because it allows anonymity and a very difficult time telling our stories. Our narratives have shaped us. My “theology” is an ever shifting set of ideas, beliefs and thoughts. I am not attached to any of them. Debate, discussion without connection and sincere love seems violent to me. It is easy to distance from each other and hurl vitriolic remarks. So brave we are behind this “modern technology”. I do not fear Bob. I assume he has honest gripes with God, or god as he puts it. The God I believe in is not threatened, angry or impatient with Bob’s reasoning. Ah, reasoning, remember not so many years ago mankind thought it would save the world. Blessings to you Jack.

  • Tim McCoy

    Joseph, I respectfully say, you cannot simply dismiss Bob like that. He has much, much to offer us. Just think, a blog about the “Kingdom of God” has evoked an angry outcry from one (My view now) of God’s precious, invaluable imago des. As Jack points out that rage is directed toward a being, a deity, a relationship, a person whom he does not even believe exists. Fighting against a ghost? Have you ever been there? Angry, only to discover you created a reality that was false, a separation that was an illusion. I have sat with so many people to whom this was life, and a good life, a life we might say was the honest pursuit of God, although obviously uncomfortable with. Bob is a gift, as are you.

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  • Frank

    Ok I would assume people would have the intelligence and maturity to understand my comment. For you I’ll dumb it down…. What God needs us to know is clear in the bible.

    There are no contradictions just a lack of human understanding.

  • Frank

    I am sorry the truth is painful for you. But you will be better off when you accept it.

  • Bob

    False, Jack. Think about the meaning and consequences of “omnipotent”. All you have is a successfully propagating, but very significantly mutating, meme. Its source is clearly not a “god”. Christianity is one of many popular religions, none of them with any valid or modern evidence to support them. Furthermore, the various sects of the Christian blood cult disagree vehemently on issues such as homosexuality and abortion. And notably, other superstitions such as the Islamic ones have comparable marketing success, but have rather grave disagreements with the tenets of your own cult. Neither superstition has more substance than other similarly popular fictions that I have listed.

    Again, this is an all-powerful, “perfect” being that you are claiming, yet it apparently needs a clunky book to get its message across. and the messaging is subject to multiple interpretations. That’s utterly ridiculous for a “god”. An all-powerful being could easily just insert its message into its subjects minds, no book required and no room for interpretation. Omnipotent is an absolute, and you should think more carefully about the consequences of it.

    Really, why is it that your “god”, a purportedly omnipotent creature, can’t do better than a book to get its message out, especially one for which the words can be so readily twisted or misinterpreted or taken out of context? Where is your god’s website (and no, religious shill sites don’t count), and why can’t he even push a few tweets out? Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from him is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

    Also, the message isn’t even accepted by billions of potential flock members, some of whom instead accept messages of very different purported gods. So, in that regard, the communication is also flawed, and Christian “god” is again clearly not omnipotent, nor omnipresent; the god presented in the Christian myths clearly does not exist.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    No, Jack. My posts have been pretty well supported. The same cannot be said for your claims, and you fail to understand the absolutes that you are dealing with. See above.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    Frank, again, enough with the ad hominems. Well, perhaps they are the best that you can do, since you clearly cannot defend your statements with anything of substance.

    To look at some specifics, why would anyone follow your supposed “word of god” when it contains such nasty guidances as in these direct quotes:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    No, Jack. Again, it is your awful delusion that I oppose, this superstition known as Christianity. And for good reasons that I have already provided.

    You would do well to look more critically at your own beliefs, if you can find the courage to do so. So far, you have been unable to counter my statements with anything valid or concrete, and you have no modern evidence for your beliefs in your specific deity stories.

  • Bob

    That’s a pretty banal ad hominem, Jack. You are effectively calling your opposition immature. I’d suggest that instead you try to tackle the severe criticisms of your (unfounded) beliefs that have been presented.

  • Bob

    It is notable that Frank and Jack have essentially only presented ad hominems in the above. That just weakens their already weak “case”.

  • Tim McCoy

    Bob, my original comment to you used the word theodicy. How can an all knowing, all powerful God allow pain and suffering in the world. To that you may add make the kinds of statements you quoted from the bible. I could also line up another list of wonderful, positive, human affirming, women affirming, children affirming statements. They are both there. This book they are found in is messy, confusing, frustrating and may lead one to not believe in the God reported therein. However, it also may lead to believing in that God, as evidenced by your interchange with those who do. This to me is the definition of paradox. Your logic seems quite sound to me and your conclusion is you do not believe and kind of suggest (although that is totally my read) we Christians should not. I have studied most of the religions of the world including Atheism (Ah yes, it is a religion by definition) and am left with the same paradox. It is illogical to care about a god who does not exist, or are you angry about the God who does exist as depicted in the Bible. You and I probably have way more in common than you may know. My Christian tribe, etc., have many times chopped up this book and depicted it as coming from heaven on a ladder, delivered by angels and is tantamount to my car’s operating manual. As you have pointed out that is crazy, well without reason. I agree, kind of. The Bible is all you have said and more. It is even messier than you point out, but with all these problems it is not illogical to believe in it or the God of it. I believe in Fairies. That is not illogical, nor unreasonable (I have my reasons). You believe in a god who does not exist so you can point out his flaws to Christians. Paradox, but not illogical because you have to create that to make the points you are making. At the end of the day this only creates separation. In my view that is a false view of reality. Quantum Physics is a fact and we are taught you and I are not separate objects. We are connected. I do not see the world as it is. i see the world as I am. You and I are one and yet distinct. This is why there has to be room for your viewpoint in the totality, what I called the perspective of perspectives yesterday. In this I do not need to make you wrong, argue with you, call you names, get mad at you because you are me on this energetic level. I listen to you from not knowing. I seek dialogue (Toward truth) because I seek God and neighbor. Are there things that trouble me in Christianity? Hell yes! Are there things to be troubled about? I have your list, 🙂 and mine. But at the end of the day this is all part of the whole and I am sure of what I hope for and certain of what I cannot see. Finally, I live in the tension you have reminded me of. To your charges I do not know and I can live with that. My faith in Jesus Christ whom I have encountered in nature, in my children, in the Eucharist, in silence, in tragedy, and yes my friend in you does not waver. You and I and all those on this post are stuck with each other. Ain’t it great!

  • Joseph Steel

    Tim, I believe I spoke honestly… Beyond his belief Bob has nothing to contribute.

    And that is how it is with all people.

    No person can contribute more than his or her measure.

    Perhaps the view you chose to see my comment from was just a poor view.

    Tim says… “Bob is a gift, as are you.”

    Tim, did I say anything to the contrary. No, I didn’t.

    And suggesting that I did would be dishonest… It is what is referred to as building a straw man argument.

    With respect… And with the correction regarding the foundation of my speaking, may I suggest you once again read what I wrote.

  • Joseph Steel

    Bob says… “it is not so much experience, but straightforward reasons”

    But reality says that the two cannot be separated… Our reasoning is inseparable from our experience.

    This reality therefore exposes the folly of your argument’s foundation.

  • Jack

    False, Jack.

    >What is “false,” Bob?

    Think about the meaning and consequences of “omnipotent”.

    >You’re still not responding to the content of my post.

    All you have is a successfully propagating, but very significantly mutating, meme. Its source is clearly not a “god”.

    >”Clearly?” Your false bravado is spilling out again.

    Christianity is one of many popular religions, none of them with any valid or modern evidence to support them.

    >A meaningless statement on your part. We haven’t even begun to debate the evidence.

    Furthermore, the various sects of the Christian blood cult disagree vehemently on issues such as homosexuality and abortion.

    >Once you characterize an opposing side the way you just did, you signal that you have no interest in honest debate, nor good will toward the person you’re purporting to debate. The way to debate is to stick to issues, with each side labeling the other’s belief system in neutral terms.

    >As for homosexuality and abortion, the differences over those issues are largely differences not about what the Bible says, but whether what it says is accurate. You know that as well as anyone.

    And notably, other superstitions such as the Islamic ones have comparable marketing success, but have rather grave disagreements with the tenets of your own cult.

    >You’re assuming we both agree that all religion is superstition. That’s your opinion, and if you were a class act, you would preface it by saying it’s a superstition “in my opinion.”

    >And as to the substance of what you just said, I have no idea what your point is. You boxed yourself into a corner by saying that the God of the Bible doesn’t communicate a coherent message, and I responded by saying that He’s doing pretty well in that the message is clear enough to be understood by all cultures, given its success in penetrating them. The fact that Islam has spread successfully, too, doesn’t do a thing to rehabilitate your argument.

    Neither superstition has more substance than other similarly popular fictions that I have listed.

    >More false bravado on your part. You have failed to establish the premise behind your thought — which is that all religion is superstition. Just because you say so, that doesn’t make it so. Mere utterances are poor substitutes for well-reasoned points.

    Again, this is an all-powerful, “perfect” being that you are claiming, yet it apparently needs a clunky book to get its message across. and the messaging is subject to multiple interpretations.

    >Again, if the messaging were so garbled, it would not have gone successfully to the ends of the earth, including across cultures. You need a new argument because that one is failing rather embarrassingly.

    That’s utterly ridiculous for a “god”.

    >What is “ridiculous?” I’ve just established that the message was clear enough for people of every culture to respond. Not only is it clearly understandable, it can be readily translated into every culture. Were it not, it would have gone nowhere.

    An all-powerful being could easily just insert its message into its subjects minds, no book required and no room for interpretation.

    >Perhaps, but you’re assuming what you’ve yet to prove, which is that the Bible and its message aren’t clear enough for most people to understand and either accept or reject. The facts on the ground say the opposite, as I have said. Again, people don’t accept messages that confuse them. There has to be basic consistency or intelligibility. And there is….the proof being that a billion-and-half people understand and believe. And what they all share with each other — the basics of the Bible and the Gospel — far outweighs their disagreements.

    Omnipotent is an absolute, and you should think more carefully about the consequences of it. Really, why is it that your “god”, a purportedly omnipotent creature, can’t do better than a book to get its message out, especially one for which the words can be so readily twisted or misinterpreted or taken out of context?

    >Again, you’re really proving the opposite of what you intend. To an astonishing extent, the message from that “book” has gone everywhere….and people who believe come from every time and place, culture and nation…and profession. They range from female professors at Harvard to tribal herdsmen in Asia — and the beliefs they have regarding God and the Bible are remarkably the same.

    Where is your god’s website (and no, religious shill sites don’t count), and why can’t he even push a few tweets out?

    >That’s like asking a Special Forces leader “where’s your spiked club?”

    Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from him is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

    >If it were that simple, then people who are smarter than you and me put together would not be believers. But as you well know, many were and many are — and they ground their beliefs not on blind faith but on reason and common sense.

    Also, the message isn’t even accepted by billions of potential flock members, some of whom instead accept messages of very different purported gods.

    >And……..?

    So, in that regard, the communication is also flawed, and Christian “god” is again clearly not omnipotent, nor omnipresent; the god presented in the Christian myths clearly does not exist.

    >No, not at all. Perfect communication doesn’t lead to 100% acceptance….we see that every day in human interactions. If I communicate perfectly to someone not to do something reckless, they’re still free to spurn my advice.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.

    >Before you post next time, do your homework….and stay off the fanatical atheist sites…..they’re high on rhetoric and fluff but come up empty on logic and sense.

  • Bob

    No, Joseph. Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish. Further, you would do well to review Kurt Gödel’s work regarding extent and validity. I’ll summarize it for you if you come back with nonsense similar to your last post.

    I have not spoken much re the experience side yet. I readily can, but before I do, I’ll simply wait for you to present anything that you think is valid evidence in support of the Christian beliefs. I doubt that you can present anything that will stand up to examination.

  • Bob

    ” Beyond his belief Bob has nothing to contribute.” -that is a pathetically wrong statement about most humans. Creative output is merely one counterexample of contribution that blows it out of the water.

    I’ll wait to see if you can summon the courage to retract your baseless insult.

  • Bob

    That was quite the diatribe you just spouted, Jack, but it does not rebut my points despite your unfounded claims. It is very clear that you and I disagree sincerely and vehemently on the content of your nasty holy book, and even that alone demonstrates what I am saying.

    Again, this is an all-powerful, “perfect” being that you are claiming, yet it apparently needs a clunky book to get its message across. and the messaging is subject to multiple interpretations. That’s utterly ridiculous for a “god”. An all-powerful being could easily just insert its message into its subjects minds, no book required and no room for interpretation.

    Also, the message isn’t even accepted by billions of potential flock members, many of whom accept a very different story about a very different deity. So, in that sense, the communication is also flawed, and Christian “god” is again clearly not omnipotent, nor omnipresent.

    You would do well to consider that more closely before you respond again. I’m not impressed with your non-omnipotent, and rather incapable, “god”, particularly given its bible-stated tendencies toward vengeance, mass killing, and other horrors.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Joseph Steel

    Bob says… “Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish.”

    Thing is Bob… You’re dancing away from what I actually said, which was in reply to your foolish statement.

    But I understand why you would, as you have no way to come back from your own speaking. It’s called being caught between a rock and a hard place.

  • Joseph Steel

    Bob says… “Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish.”

    Thing is Bob… You’re dancing away from what I actually said, which was in reply to your foolish statement.

    But I understand why you would, as you have no way to come back from your own speaking. It’s called being caught between a rock and a hard place.

  • Joseph Steel

    Bob
    Oct 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    ” Beyond his belief Bob has nothing to contribute.” -that is a pathetically wrong statement about most humans. Creative output is merely one counterexample of contribution that blows it out of the water.

    Bob says… “I’ll wait to see if you can summon the courage to retract your baseless insult.”

    No need to retract Bob… It’s certainly not baseless, and only an insult if you see it that way.

    Think about it Bob… Can you contribute anything beyond your belief measure to contribute?

  • Bob

    Joseph. I feel that I responded quite directly to your (invalid) claim with a counterargument that I feel directly rebuts what you said. Perhaps you could explain further what you are claiming, if you disagree with that point. I’ll repeat my response, and expect that you will consider it more carefully this time. I’m not letting you get away with your false claim that I “danced around” what you said. Again:

    Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish. Further, you would do well to review Kurt Gödel’s work regarding extent and validity. I’ll summarize it for you if you come back with nonsense similar to your last post.

    I have not spoken much re the experience side yet. I readily can, but before I do, I’ll simply wait for you to present anything that you think is valid evidence in support of the Christian beliefs. I doubt that you can present anything that will stand up to examination.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    I’m waiting for a retraction of your obvious insult, Joseph. It’s clear that others here read it the same way.

  • Bob

    Joseph, I feel that I responded quite directly to your (invalid) claim with a counterargument that I feel directly rebuts what you said. Perhaps you could explain further what you are claiming, if you disagree with that point. I’ll repeat my response, and expect that you will consider it more carefully this time. I’m not letting you get away with your false claim that I “danced around” what you said. Again:

    Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish. Further, you would do well to review Kurt Gödel’s work regarding extent and validity. I’ll summarize it for you if you come back with nonsense similar to your last post.

    I have not spoken much re the experience side yet. I readily can, but before I do, I’ll simply wait for you to present anything that you think is valid evidence in support of the Christian beliefs. I doubt that you can present anything that will stand up to examination.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Jack

    Actually, Bob, it was not a diatribe, but a refutation of your last post, line by line.

    At this point, all you’re doing is repeating points that have already been refuted. And in response, I will say you need to reread my refutations. There’s no need to repeat them when they’re already there.

  • Jack

    Bob, all you’ve done is make statements you consider to be settled fact, and try to slip them by the reader. But that won’t work, because none of us are teenagers anymore.

  • Jack

    Tim, I think what you may be describing is the tension in a flawed world between truth and love. The pursuit, finding, and articulating of truth without love can sound harsh, cutting, and bloodless. And it often is. Your presence on this board is a welcome reminder of the need to keep love in the picture even when contesting for truth. It’s not an easy thing to do….which is why the apostle Paul exhorted readers to preach the truth in love…..he was rightly assuming a tension between the two in this life.

  • Jack

    Bob, you’re sounding like a teenager rebelling against the adults. No well-read adult can say with a straight face and honest heart that “both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish.” It is obvious that you have read few if any of the Christian apologists across the decades and centuries. I have yet to meet a person, theist, atheist, or agnostic, who, after reading CS Lewis, GK Chesterton, or others of their caliber, say as you do that their beliefs are rubbish. You may still disagree with them all after reading them, of course, but you will gain an appreciation of how and why they just don’t see ultimate reality as you do.

  • Tim McCoy

    Jack, thank you. Ah, what is truth? As I have read our posts the last few days we seem caught on content. As far as I can see we have yet to agree on much. It is obvious there is little agreement on content. Each sees his perspective as “obvious” truth. I have seen this so long, doing the same thing and expecting different results. You know what that is. Bob has been an incredible gift this week because he has jumped into a blog usually filled with Christians disagreeing over this nuance or that nuance, this interpretation or that etc. Right-Wrong, Truth-Error, Good-Bad are dualistic categories no longer supported by what we know of reality. We are not separate objects floating in space. We are joined in a holistic and holographic universe. I just think the nature of the conversation needs to shift. This means my eternal destiny does not ride on being right about anything. There seem to be as many perspectives as there are people and they all seem to fit. How do we make this work for everyone here and not be divided as God’s creatures. I will bet we all have families, kids, grandkids, great friends, common interests, common humanity. I am far more interested in where you all came from, where you are and where you see your life going etc., than reacting to any one of your extrapolations of the bible. That said, this has been an awesome experience. The last time I experienced anything like this was a debate between a John Hopkins philosophy professor and an evangelical philosophy professor in a church. It was like the Roman Colliseum only the atheist was in the arena. The Christian received a standing ovation, declared the winner of the bludgeoning. I was depressed for days. My God, is this what my faith in Jesus comes down to. I never went back and began studying quantum mechanics after traveling in eastern europe after communism. The whole structure shifted for me. The world got so much bigger. I began to listen from not knowing. Bob has “reasons and experiences” as do you and Joseph and me. Now what? Peace.

  • Pingback: The Weekly Hit List: October 17, 2014()

  • Jack

    But Bob, in your opposition to that supposedly “awful delusion” (ie God), your own words and tenor betray you. Reread your own posts and see for yourself…..You appear to be trashing a being that you yourself consider to be altogether real at the moment you’re trashing him.

    Again, reread and see.

  • Jack

    Thanks for your post, Tim. Part of this is the old division between the immanence and the transcendence of God. Eastern religion stresses the former through pantheism and western religion the latter through dualism. The answer seems to be a little of both. Western Christianity has been too dualistic and the religions of the East too pantheistic. Call it Athens vs. India. Maybe we need a little Jerusalem to combine the two or as a third way….with God as both immanent and transcendent and people as being both connected to each other and yet each person retaining a unique individuality. I think we have to embrace both….just as we must embrace both truth and love….although on boards like this, the pursuit of truth without love leads to egoism…..Mea culpa on that…certainly at times.

  • Bob

    False again from you, Jack. You have not refuted any of my points with any validity. Perhaps you should seek shelter under a biblical mustard tree…

    Now, seriously, the fact that you and I sincerely disagree about what your nasty holy book says, and many others obviously have very different views from yours, demonstrates unequivocally what I have said.

    Another key point that you have not refuted, despite your cumbersome attempts thus far, is as follows.Your purportedly omnipotent sky fairy can’t even use modern technology, even at the level that many modern children can! Where is your god’s website (and no, religious shill sites don’t count), and why can’t he even push a few tweets out? Furthermore, 2000+ years without a peep from him is more than sufficient grounds for doubt, to say the least.

    Pretty pathetic “god” that you’ve made for yourself there.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    Jack, enough with the ad hominems. That just shows how weak your case really is.

  • Bob

    False, Jack. Generally I use the word “purportedly” re statements and quotes about Christian-claimed traits of your sky fairy. You too should read again.

    Again, it is your awful Christian delusion, not your non-existent sky creature, that I work to dispel. I consider it a public service to do so.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Joseph Steel

    Bob says… “I feel that I responded quite directly to your (invalid) claim with a counterargument that I feel directly rebuts what you said.”

    I’m sure you do… Which only serves to prove the validity of what I said originally… That you can contribute nothing more.

    Bob says, again… Yawn… “Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish.”

    My argument fails?

    Silly fellow… I wasn’t arguing, and there was certainly no intention for my speaking to “succeed.”

    I stated. Punto finale.

    What anyone wants to do with it is there choice.

    Bob says… “I’ll simply wait for you to present anything that you think is valid evidence in support of the Christian beliefs.”

    No such thing as “Christian beliefs” . . . Only human beliefs… Of which we both… Meaning you and I, Bob… And every other human, living and having lived, both possess.

    See, even your requirements (as expressed in your speaking) expose that you really have little clue regarding the matter you’d like to converse on.

  • Bob

    Again, Jack, enough with the ad hominems. Further, you do not know what I have read, and what I have not read. My list of books read would rather surprise you, to say the least. Your flimsy appeals to authority also have no impact on my views, which I have supported above.

    The Christian beliefs really are complete nonsense. The whole Jesus-sacrifice story is absurd and unnecessary for a deity, for reasons as already stated, and why would anyone follow your supposed “word of god” when it contains such nasty guidances as these, according to your Christian book of nasty AKA the bible? From both foul testaments:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    No, Jack. Please stop the insulting tone and the ad hominems.

  • Bob

    Joseph, please stop the ad hominems. I am not being “silly”, and your ongoing insults do not help your already weak case.

    Present any modern evidence for the existence of your specific god of your Christian stories, that can be examined. Good luck with that; no one else has succeeded.

  • Bob

    Joseph, please stop the insults. Thanks. I’m waiting for your retraction of the last ones.

  • Joseph Steel

    Nice writing, Tim… I appreciate you for speaking it.

    You ask this at the end… “Bob has “reasons and experiences” as do you and Joseph and me. Now what? Peace.”

    The answer can be found in the final question, and your last word… “What now?” . . . “Peace.”

    Yes, Tim… Peace.

    After all reason has been reasoned, and after all experience has been experienced, what is left… Really, what is left?

    Peace. Only peace.

    Who can “reason” peace? How can peace be “experienced?”

    What is “peace” to be reasoned, or experienced?

    Humans love to use all these words, having little or no understanding of the reality of these words… And therefore only speaking them in folly.

    You say… “I just think the nature of the conversation needs to shift.”

    It does… And it has… Your own speaking is proof of this.

    What you’re touching on is the reality of the church, expressed in the oneness that is the church-life. And there are many who hold to this.

    The body began to move away from the reality of oneness we have in Christ back in the early year. Paul even speaks to this in his letter to Timothy. And the matter is brought up again in the small epistles of John and Peter.

    But the Lord is faithful and retained His “seven thousand” throughout the years, regardless of how much folly was presented by the institution of Christianity.

    Today, as the this age closes, the Lord is again gathering His people… Like yourself, He is revealing His person to all who believe… Which means, He is revealing the reality of His headship, and His body, for both go together.

    What the Lord needs is absolutely along the lines of what you have begin to see… That being oneness.

    The question of how the Lord will gain this oneness is therefore on our minds… And the answer is simple… It will not be accomplished through the rightness of any particular doctrine of mankind… No who can best “follow” Jesus… It will be accomplished in and through what has always been His way… His one way… His one economy, as revealed and carried out in His one ministry.

    Paul was clear… His ministry… Meaning Paul’s ministry… Is the one ministry of Christ. This is what was lost through the ages by the majority who believed, but the Lord has been recovering Paul’s ministry over the decades, and now there are those who speak only it.

    Even you own speaking in your comment above is beginning to echo the speaking of Paul.

    Yet keep in mind, that this one ministry of Christ is not for the building of individual human institutions… It is for the building of His church, unto the consummation of the God’s desire that He had in eternity past, that being to dwell within His creation, specifically, making mankind His dwelling place, which is revealed in the consummation of the New Jerusalem.

    In the beginning there was God and man… In the end there is God in man.

    How peacefully will that be.

  • Joseph Steel

    I’m not insulting you Bob. I calling it as I see it. How you take it is your choice.

  • Joseph Steel

    How “others” read it is again up to the individuals that make up these others.

    The fact remains… You are unable to contribute anything beyond your measure.

    Punto finale.

  • MARK OSTERTAG

    If the Kingdom is “Israel and the church” then I would ask who is Israel. I thought the people of the church in the beginning were all Jews at first and then the gentiles were brought in and they all became one Church [body]. Eph 3:6 “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” Where do you make this distinction between Israel and the Church? At what point in church history did they separate? ‎The terminology used to describe the children of Israel in the OT is ascribed to the Church in the NT. ‎1 Pe 2:9-10 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God…” The true Church is true Israel and true Israel is truly the Church.

  • Bob

    No, Joseph. It was an insult and you know it. Others here clearly feel the same way.

    Show your best courage now that you can summon. Retraction, please.

  • Joseph Steel

    Mark, scripture tells us that there is neither Greek nor Jew (or any other type of human denomination/relationship) in Christ.

    Christ is all,and in all.

    Colossians 3:11… “Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all and in all.”

    “The true Church is true Israel and true Israel is truly the Church.”

    And what (meaning who) makes up this true church?

    Those who believe into Christ… All those who believe into Christ.

    There will come a time when Jews (really, Israelites) — meaning those who are of Jacob — will be saved by God, but this will not be salvation unto the reward that belongs to the church of God. It will be a recovering of Israelites into a proper standing before God.

    The church will be the temple in which God dwells with His creation, the New Jerusalem. And Israel will be a nation in eternity.

  • Joseph Steel

    Oh, Bob, Bob, Bob… Like many others of your ilk, you also think you can bully people.

    You, and you alone are responsible for your offended feelings.

    Again… I stand by what I said… It is a fact… You cannot contribute anything more than your measure.

    So that all can know what is being discussed, here it is…

    I said… “I choose to reference the unseen that I believe in, to the compilation of writings found in a book called the bible; and I’m more than good with that.

    Bob on the other hand, doesn’t. He references his belief to something else. And I’m cool with that, as the scripture that I read tells us that some will believe in God, and others won’t.

    Beyond that, Bob really has nothing to contribute.”

    Punto finale, Bob.

    Punto finale.

  • Bob

    Joseph, I’m not letting you get away with that. It was an insult and you know it. Others here clearly feel the same way.

    Surely you can do better than your latest continued personal attacks. Calling me a bully is absurd.

    Come on, don’t run away. Show your best courage now that you can summon. Retraction, please.

  • Bob

    Joseph, nice try at running away, but no, I’m not letting you get away with that. It was an insult and you know it. Others here clearly feel the same way.

    Surely you can do better than your latest continued personal attacks. Calling me a bully is absurd.

    Come on, don’t run away. Show your best courage now that you can summon. Retraction, please. I am actually known for my patience.

  • Bob

    Nice attempt at moving the goalposts, Joseph. Now it is “nothing beyond measure”, rather than “nothing”. You are a slippery one, but you’ve been caught.

    Look, you clearly laid down an insult, and now your response is to run away rather than face up to what you said.

    Again, try to summon your best courage. Retraction, please.

  • Bob

    Joseph, the whole Christ-sacrifice story, the foundation of your superstition and that you keep trying to sell others on, is nonsense out of the gate. How is it again that your omnipotent being couldn’t do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus’ death a “sacrifice”, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic “god” that you’ve made for yourself there.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Shelley

    Yo Bob – I like how Joseph calls you a bully right after he talks about your sensitive feelings. Awww. Such a sensitive bully you are :P.

    No contradiction there Joseph? Here’s a sponge to wipe that egg off your face!

  • Joseph Steel

    Oh, Bob, Bob, Bob… Like many others of your ilk, you also think you can bully people.

    You, and you alone are responsible for your offended feelings.

    Again… I stand by what I said… It is a fact… You cannot contribute anything more than your measure.

    So that all can know what is being discussed, here it is…

    I said… “I choose to reference the unseen that I believe in, to the compilation of writings found in a book called the bible; and I’m more than good with that.

    Bob on the other hand, doesn’t. He references his belief to something else. And I’m cool with that, as the scripture that I read tells us that some will believe in God, and others won’t.

    Beyond that, Bob really has nothing to contribute.”

    Punto finale, Bob.

    Punto finale.
    – See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/15/christians-misunderstand-kingdom-scot-mcknight/?replytocom=207050#respond

  • Joseph Steel

    Oh… The gang has arrived… I so scared.

    Shelley, so that we’re all on the same page… Remind me of where I used the adjective “sensitive” in my speaking to Bob. I just took a look through my comments and couldn’t find the word.

    🙂

  • Joseph Steel

    Bobby says… “How is it again that…,” “And how was…,”

    God is God… God can do whatever God wants, however God wants.

    If some in God’s creation do agree with God… Tough.

    That’s how.

    “Pretty pathetic “god” that you’ve made for yourself there.”

    Says a human who can only die.

  • Joseph Steel

    And now you are again being dishonest, Bobby…

    I originally said… “Beyond that, Bob really has nothing to contribute.”

    Do you not understand the context of the phrase “Beyond that?”

    Let me help you…

    I said… “All people hope. Therefore all people express faith. Therefore all people express belief in the unseen.

    I choose to reference the unseen that I believe in, to the compilation of writings found in a book called the bible; and I’m more than good with that.

    Bob on the other hand, doesn’t. He references his belief to something else. And I’m cool with that, as the scripture that I read tells us that some will believe in God, and others won’t.”

    This clear shows that the context of my speaking was the matter of your belief… As in “…He references his belief to…”

    Hence… And try and follow me so as not to get lost Bob…

    When I say “You are unable to contribute anything beyond your measure” since we are both referring to my original comment, the context must remain the same… That context being “…He references his belief to…”

    So, again I say…

    The fact remains… You are unable to contribute anything beyond your measure.

    Punto finale.

    Which, to any reasonable person, would be understood as…

    The fact remains… You are unable to contribute anything beyond your measure of what you reference your belief to.

    It really should not be so difficult for you Bob… Unless of course you have ulterior motives… Which I certainly believe you do… Such as being a bully.

  • Bob

    No, Joseph. Stop dodging. Summon your utmost courage. Please make a retraction of your insult.

  • Bob

    I’m alive now, Joseph, and here to face you. Your sky creature of your Christian tales has never existed, so I am actually a far greater being than that fictional thing you worship is. Any other human is also greater than your (non-existent) sky daddy.

    Now, summon your best courage that you can Joseph. The audience here is witness. Make your retraction of your insult.

  • Jerry

    Hey Bobbo, why don’t you got to a site other than this one to evangelize and spew your disbelief, you wont convert anyone here. Go to a porn site or a democratic liberal site, where you might find folk that will agree with you, as you and your ilk often spout we don’t want you “shoving your opinion down our throats” May God grant you mercy and grace.

  • After listening to this video, I ran to my Bible and tore out Matthew 25. NOT

  • Joseph Steel

    Shelley says… “Joseph, you are very stupid.”

    Perhaps, but if so, that would be my problem, not yours, right.

    Shelley says… “You state that Bob’s feelings were offended, which definitely means that you think that he is sensitive whether you used that word “sensitive” or not.”

    Actually it doesn’t… But I understand why you would have a hard time admitting your error; it’s hard to be honest.

    My words were… “You, and you alone are responsible for your offended feelings.”

    Nothing about my thinking he is sensitive or not.

    Let’s see if I can help you understand the root of offended feelings, Shelley, the perhaps you’ll come to see why your speaking, like Bob’s is foolishness.

    Scientists call the feeling of being offended a narcissistic injury.

    And here’s something you can go read to learn more about it… http://www.deconstructingjezebel.com/narcissistic-injury.html

    Shelley says… “So how’s that egg dripping down your fat face feeling, dummy?”

    See that it hasn’t happened to me, I really can’t say.

    But I’m sure if you weren’t so full of yourself you’d be able to tells us from your own experience.

  • Jerry

    Bob must have recently learned about “ad hominem” and is really enjoying finding ways to use the term.

  • @Jack,

    Jesus demands executions as one of his commands to enter heaven.

    Now why would Jesus do that? Why would he tell people to judge others so harshly that they should be executed?

    Why can’t Jesus wait until people die of natural causes and then send them to ETERNAL Hell – like he promised he would?

    Why the force execution of one human at the hands of another in the first place?

  • Jerry

    Careful Shelly that’s an ad hominem and Bob doesn’t like those. Bob’s god will get you.

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  • Hello Bob,

    The confusion you’re talking about is in people’s mind, not on the pages of the Bible. Since the fall of man, people will always find ways to disagree with God. “…God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecc. 7:29).

    To an honest mind, God’s will can be known, and they do obey Him. On the contrary, non-christian believes are hard to comprehend, because every person seems to be an island to himself – just think of the 5000+ volumes of the Buddhist scriptures and you’ll get an idea.

    You can know God also, through Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for YOU – there is nothing vague about it. And, He rose from the dead to give you eternal life – no hidden agenda can be found here – if only you believe.

    I pray that God can open your eyes to see the love of Jesus, so you can believe on Him and be saved by Him.

    In Christ,

    WSong
    (http://RealConversion.com)

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  • Bob

    Jerry, the vengeant, vicious god of your sick Christian myths doesn’t offer “grace”. Take a look at this awful guidance that he gives you, in these direct quotes from both awful testaments of your mythbook:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    False, “Song”, and it is a lie that you sing. I’ve already commented on such individual interpretation problems, so read more closely after the quotes this time, and think harder about “ominpotent”. Again, from both foul testaments of the Christian myth book:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    No, Jerry. Again, your latest post is ad hominem, and I won’t let you get away with that. You are just reinforcing that you do not have a valid case.

    Now, let’s take a closer look at the awful guidances in your Christian myth book, purportedly from your nasty “god”. From both foul testaments, and note the comments after the quotes:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Ted

    Yum, Joseph’s lickin that dripping egg bigtime.

    He could sure use less calories feeding that fat face though. Gluttony’s a sin Joesy boy.

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  • Jack

    Wow, you’re still at it, Bob…..Looks like we need a third person as a referee, since you’re denying the obvious.

  • Jack

    Not at all, Bob. All you’re doing is inserting strings of pejorative adjectives in front of words like Bible or God and thinking that somehow you’re making a case. I could get a child to do likewise. It’s kids’ stuff.

  • Jack

    Bob, you’re doing it to yourself. Just reread your posts. All you’re saying in all of them is how you love to hate theism and biblical theism especially. And that’s your right, but telling people how much you hate something doesn’t contribute anything meaningful to the discussion. It proves or disproves nothing…..it convinces no one of anything. It’s the cyber equivalent of a man on a soapbox on a street corner, venting.

    Even when people try to engage you in constructive discussion, all you do is repeat robotically what you hate. Again, you end up saying nothing, proving nothing, adding nothing, and convincing no one of anything.

  • Don

    Believe and truth are both choices. They are not absolutes. If one can accept our own ignorance and simply choose. Who is to Bob or Jack are right. Emotive words indicate pain on one side which contradict the implied lack of belief. Someone just needs a hug…

  • Joseph Steel

    And to the victor goes the spoils… In this case, the spoils being the clear exposing of the nothingness speakers like Ted and Shelley bring to discussions like this.

  • Joseph Steel

    Justice.

  • Bob

    Joseph, if that is what your evil (and fictional) jerk in the sky takes as “justice”, well, no wonder you come out with such insults as you have been directing at others here. Furthermore, there’s a lot of other nastiness that your Christian book of nasty prescribes, as these direct quotes from both foul testaments clearly show:

    Numbers 31:17-18
    17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man,
    18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

    Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

    1 Timothy 2:11
    “Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”

    Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

    Leviticus 25
    44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
    45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
    46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

    Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don’t get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

    Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it’s in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god’s mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

    And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your “god” couldn’t come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken “out of context”, and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you’ve made for yourself.

    So get out your sacrificial knife or your nasty sky creature will torture you eternally. Or just take a closer look at your foolish supersti-tions, understand that they are just silly, and toss them into the dustbin with all the rest of the gods that man has created.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    No, Jack. The real problem in your case is your own inability to look critically at the obvious problems with your religion. A basic course in the elements of logic would probably serve you well.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    No, Jack. You are the one denying the obvious, and you are unable to come up with valid responses to very serious questions about your Christian delusion.

    Let’s focus in on just one of many problem areas for your Christian superstition, one that is really at the core of it and one of many that really shows what idiocy your religious beliefs really are. It’s the whole Christ-sacrifice-salvation bit. How is it that your omnipotent being couldn’t do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus’ death a “sacrifice”, when an omnipotent being could just pop up a replacement son any time with less than a snap of his fingers? That’s just the tip of the iceberg of problems with that whole Jesus myth that your cult is based on.

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
    Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

  • Bob

    Again, Jack, enough with the personal attacks. They just show how weak your case really is.

  • Bob

    No, Don. Your concluding lines are pure ad hominem and do not support a case for belief in the Christian myth set (not that one exists elsewhere).

  • Joseph Steel

    LOL…. You silly, foolish fellow, Bob.

    Keep waiting… Thinking I serve your vanity.

    LOL.

  • Joseph Steel

    LOL…. You silly, foolish fellow, Bob.

    Keep waiting… Thinking I serve your vanity.

    LOL.
    – See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/15/christians-misunderstand-kingdom-scot-mcknight/#comment-219451

  • The Bible on the subject of the “kingdom of God” or “kingdom of heaven” is very clear. It is the theologians of the various so-called “churches” that are making a mess of the term. Luke 17:20-21 clearly rules out any one and all visible churches as being the “kingdom of God or of heaven.”

    [Luke 17:20-21: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” NIV]

    The purely Biblical, uninterpreted “kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven” is the reign of God in the human mind, heart, and soul – all three as one doing the WILL of God as Father – as exemplified by the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as Son of Man in the flesh and Son of God in Spirit.

  • The Bible on the subject of the “kingdom of God” or “kingdom of heaven” is very clear. It is the theologians of the various so-called “churches” that are making a mess of the term. Luke 17:20-21 clearly rules out any one and all visible churches as being the “kingdom of God or of heaven.”

    [Luke 17:20-21: Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” NIV]

    The purely Biblical, uninterpreted “kingdom of God or kingdom of heaven” is the reign of God in the human mind, heart, and soul – all three as one doing the WILL of God as Father – as exemplified by the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as Son of Man in the flesh and Son of God in Spirit.

    Matt 7:21-23

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
    NIV

    That living in the kingdom of God is DOING THE WILL OF GOD as our heavenly Father is again made clear by Jesus in Matt,Matt 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ NIV

    Finally, in “Jesus A New Revelation” revealed by angelic personalities in The Urantia Book, Jesus restated this gospel of the kingdom of God or heaven. saying, “This is the kingdom of heaven, ‘God is your Father and you are His son, and this good news, if you wholehearted believe it, [that is, act on it accordingly as did Jesus as being the Father’s Will] is your eternal salvation”

  • Joseph Steel

    LOL…. You silly, foolish fellow, Bob.

    Keep waiting… Thinking I serve your vanity.

    LOL.

  • Joseph Steel

    LOL…. You silly, foolish fellow, Bob.

    Keep waiting… Thinking I serve your vanity.

    LOL.

  • Joseph Steel

    Amen… Lord Jesus, how we love you… God of all creation… He who holds all creation in His hand… How we love your ways… Your righteous and just ways… How beautiful you are… Who can know your abundant wisdom… Who can measure your unmeasurable awe… All that we who You have created can say in truth is… Amen, Lord Jesus.

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  • Tim McCoy

    Dear Bob, I have sat around silently for the past week observing your exchange with various people whom I assume are Christian. The internet is fascinating to me because I never know if the person speaking is really the person off the internet, face to face with people. There are no words that will bring any type of unity to the “discussion” I have observed. You do not believe in the God of the bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the God of Jesus. In spite of the reasons you have given, tough passages for anyone to ignore, and the experiences you have to go with them. Some of us are Christians and at ease with the totality of scripture including the issue of theodicy. We believe, you do not. We cannot prove God exists and you cannot prove he does not. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Those dots are the silence I have sat in waiting for my next words. You may be right but that offers me little trouble intellectually, emotionally, psychologically, or spirituality. My only concern is my congruency and integrity with the person I claim to follow, Jesus of Nazareth. In the end the only question that matters to me was did we love you? Did you experience the respect and value due you simply as a person regardless of what you believe or how much it differs from me. Dogma, interpreting the Bible, philosophical schools pale in comparison to that for me. Though I speak with the tongues of angels and do not have love I am simply a big bag of wind. There was a time in history where Christians understood that and then our crosses were exchanged for swords. The history after that is not so flattering at points. Peace my friend and I bless.

  • Bob

    Tim, thanks very much for your comments. However, it actually has been proven that the god described in the Christian bible does not exist; it is not the case that the existence of bible god cannot be disproven -that is already a done thing. This is so because the claimed characteristics for that described creature are self-inconsistent, among many other reasons. Perhaps you are worshiping a different god, one with more ideal characteristics to you than bible god that suits your perceived need for answers and a governing being, but really your own case for your god seems to be partly what is formally known as an argument from ignorance, which I do not accept.

  • Tim McCoy

    Bob, doesn’t an argument from ignorance mean I am assuming God exists because there is no evidence to the contrary? Logic 101 was many years ago for me. I come at this from I do not know. If the God of the bible does exist we are all going to have to come to grips with the he/she includes all the tough passages you have referred us to. A God who saves and a God who kills. A God who loves and a God who hates. That is paradoxical but not self-inconsistent. It is a both/and world. It says yes to your construct that you have used to prove God does not exist! This is where the fun begins and the adventure continues. I do not want both/and you cannot stand both, in fact you reject the idea. I think there is a third option rather than exist or not exist. At that point I think I am saying unknowable, while being left with the quest. For me personally this is no less illogical than believing we come from slime, or chance etc. Quantum physics has taught me the universe is personal, as David Bohm said it is upheld by a pair of hands. I believe there is someone who transcends us and is the source of all that is, but that transcendent one seems incomprehensible to me. you and I would have much agreement on the way the God of the Bible is depicted by Christians. Why do you take this much time arguing about something you know has been proven not to exist? How do you explain that? I gotta say it has made for interesting reading these past two weeks but at the end of the weeks nothing is solved. I believe in a God that has been proven not to exist (your words) and you do not believe in a god who does not exist anyway. After a few beers I gotta believe you and I and Joseph and Jack would be laughing our asses off. Peace.

  • Bob

    No, Tim. The inconsistencies and factual errors throughout the bible are more common than that. We aren’t talking mysterious “paradoxes” either. Regarding argument from ignorance, have a look at fallacyfiles.org for a good explanation. See the discussion above for other points, such as the fact that the Christian sky creature can’t even use modern communications.

    I really regard the bible as quaint fiction at best, with a few historical markers thrown in just like a lot of other historical fiction. To me, the Jesus-on-sticks sacrifice tale is also not credible, as already stated, and I’m not interested in arguments about such an obsolete, error-filled book of obvious fables. I hope that it is just a matter of time before more of mankind leaves the Christian tales of the horrid bible and its vengeful sky jerk “god” behind, as well as those of the Quran and its similarly nasty sky fairy. That all would be a significant advance for humanity.

  • Bob

    No, Tim. The inconsistencies and factual errors seen throughout the bible are more common than that. We aren’t talking mysterious “paradoxes” either. Regarding argument from ignorance, have a look at fallacyfiles.org for a good explanation. See the discussion above for other points, such as the fact that the Christian sky creature can’t even use modern communications.

    I really regard the bible as quaint fiction at best, with a few historical markers thrown in just like a lot of other historical fiction. To me, the Jesus-on-sticks sacrifice tale is also not credible, as already stated, and I’m not interested in arguments about such an obsolete, error-filled book of obvious fables. I hope that it is just a matter of time before more of mankind leaves the Christian tales of the horrid bible and its vengeful sky jerk “god” behind, as well as those of the Quran and its similarly nasty sky fairy. That all would be a significant advance for humanity.

  • Bob

    PS, Tim, since you asked, part of the reason I put time into it, like I said before, is that I feel that it is a public service to dispel harmful delusions such as the Christian tales. Large scale belief in those tales and adherence to some of the very odd and often harmful guidance in the bible is holding humanity back from wonderful progress on many fronts, and is responsible for a lot of hate and bigotry. Many Christian sects have declined in the past few decades, and I say, great riddance.

  • Tim McCoy

    Bob, thank you for the website. I enjoyed reading about logical fallacies. As I said it has been a while. Also, dispelling fallacy is a good pursuit. However, let me play with this. I have concluded God exists, not just any God, but the God revealed in the Bible (With its many consistencies and inconsistencies), in nature, in Jesus of Nazareth (Whom I am a disciple), in the Eucharist (Many mystical experiences like it), in the church. The God I experience in all these places is a God of love, mercy, compassion, justice and freedom. With the exception of Jesus I experience other things in all those places that are inconsistent and fallacious. The Premisses I have just pointed out all support my conclusion. This is my experience, I know, I know, I know. Not by logic, not by rational explanation based in conceptual ideas and argument, not even by intuition but by intent in an observer created reality we now call the quantum world. Inconsistencies, factual errors and your call to eradicate them I say I am behind you. I assume these are also based in your experience. Again, you have a Conclusion and Premisses. I do not believe mine are factual error nor logical error. What I do have is the factor of “I do not know”. Listening from not knowing keeps me grounded in love, toward you and those on this post who have not treated you all the time in the same manner. I return to the first reply I sent you – – – – Theodicy. How can? How indeed? I owe you a debt of gratitude and I sincerely mean that. If you only knew my story, if you only knew me you would understand that gratitude. Peace.

  • Tim McCoy

    PSS If you would like to continue interacting could we please do it via email. You have mine. Thank you.

  • Joseph Steel

    Bob says… “…is that I feel that it is a public service to dispel harmful delusions such as the Christian tales.”

    “…that I feel that…”

    Hypocrite.

    So it’s okay for you to “…that I feel that…” but not okay for folks with other preferences to hold to their own “…that I feel that…”

    Again… H Y P O C R I T E.

    And you’re so blind you don’t even see your own fallen condition, yet want to tell others that they are in error.

    Bob continues his foolish speaking… “is holding humanity back from wonderful progress on many fronts.”

    Sure Bob… And what is your hypocrisy doing, moving humanity ahead at light speed?

    “…is responsible for a lot of hate and bigotry.”

    You are Bob, by your own speaking, exposing yourself to be a hate-filled bigot.

    So I guess it’s the old pot calling the kettle black scenario.

  • Bob

    Hey, Tim. Interesting. I also appreciate your remarks. I’ll still pull in Kurt Gödel’s work; a logical system can be incomplete in its coverage, but where it works, well, it works. FWIW, I actually am a certified quantum mechanic; I’ve spent decades in that field, and I find nothing in quantum theory that supports the Christian dogma. Quite the opposite, in fact.

  • Joseph Steel

    Bobby says… “I’ve spent decades in that field, and I find nothing in quantum theory that supports the Christian dogma.”

    And tells us, expert quantum mechanic, what have you found supports hope?

  • Joseph Steel

    Bobby says… “I’ve spent decades in that field, and I find nothing in quantum theory that supports the Christian dogma.”

    And tells us, expert quantum mechanic, what have you found supports hope?
    – See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/15/christians-misunderstand-kingdom-scot-mcknight/#comment-239923

  • Bob

    No, Joseph. Your comment is mainly ad hominem, and is without merit. Your shouting does not help your weak case either.

  • Bob

    Joseph, summon your utmost courage. Please make a retraction of your insults.

  • Bob

    Joseph, summon your utmost courage now. Please make a retraction of your insult.

  • joseph Steel

    Bob says… “I feel that I responded quite directly to your (invalid) claim with a counterargument that I feel directly rebuts what you said.”

    I’m sure you do… Which only serves to prove the validity of what I said originally… That you can contribute nothing more.

    Bob says, again… Yawn… “Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish.”

    My argument fails?

    Silly fellow… I wasn’t arguing, and there was certainly no intention for my speaking to “succeed.”

    I stated. Punto finale.

    What anyone wants to do with it is there choice.

    Bob says… “I’ll simply wait for you to present anything that you think is valid evidence in support of the Christian beliefs.”

    No such thing as “Christian beliefs” . . . Only human beliefs… Of which we both… Meaning you and I, Bob… And every other human, living and having lived, both possess.

    See, even your requirements (as expressed in your speaking) expose that you really have little clue regarding the matter you’d like to converse on.
    – See more at: http://jonathanmerritt.religionnews.com/2014/10/15/christians-misunderstand-kingdom-scot-mcknight/?replytocom=238953#respond

  • joseph Steel

    Bob says… “Your argument as stated fails. Both reason and experience show that the Christian beliefs are utter rubbish.”

    Thing is Bob… You’re dancing away from what I actually said, which was in reply to your foolish statement.

    But I understand why you would, as you have no way to come back from your own speaking. It’s called being caught between a rock and a hard place.

  • joseph Steel

    Bobby says… “I actually am a certified quantum mechanic; I’ve spent decades in that field, and I find nothing in quantum theory that supports the Christian dogma.”

    So what.

    Are you God? Does the world hang on your every declaration?

    Silly vain man, shouting his silly vain nothingnesses.

  • Bob

    Joseph, summon your utmost courage now. Please make a retraction of your insults.

  • Joseph Steel

    Yawn…. Zzzzzzzzzzzz…

  • Bob

    Joseph, enough with your insulting and derogatory remarks. How very typically Christian of you. You represent your hurtful blood cult well.

    Summon your utmost courage now. Please make a retraction of your insults.

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  • Bob

    Joseph Steel, you gutless, spineless coward, grow some courage and apologize for your insults.

  • Bob

    Stop dodging, Joseph, you gutless coward. Apologize for what was an obvious insult that you made. Grow a spine.

  • Bob

    Stop dodging, Joseph, you coward. Apologize for what was an obvious insult that you made. Grow a spine.

  • Bob

    Stop dodging, Joseph, you spineless coward. Apologize for what was an obvious insult that you made.

  • Bob

    No, Joseph. Stop dodging. Summon your utmost courage, although you seem to have little of that. Please make a retraction of your insult.

  • Bob

    Joseph, stop dodging, you coward. Summon your utmost courage, although you seem to have very little of that. Please make a retraction of your insult.

  • Bob

    No, Jack. Your god does not exist, and is therefore plainly up to nothing at all.

  • Bob

    Joseph, you have exhausted all your arguments and have failed to make a valid case for your god. Neither evidence, nor reason, nor experience, support the wild claims of your crazy Christian doctrine.

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