Christian.

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Christian.

Post  MetaPenguin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:07 pm

I guess this is where I make my unholy confession. I am recent college grad with a little too much time on my hands. I ran across this site by chance a few weeks ago and wanted to get on the forum right away but a few things interrupted that. I’ve had enough time to look around the site and do some reading. I have to say, there are some interesting topics, but the name “Truth Saves” might be favorite aspect! I believe that the title is correct. Truth saves.

Beyond being a bit of a religion nerd, I’ve always enjoyed studying science and language. I’ve always come to find that with thoughtful consideration I not only learn a great deal but live differently. I hope to find some good discussion here and if I can, join in a bit!

As the title says, I am a Christian. Perhaps that is a good enough description, I’m not sure if I am to give greater detail. Here’s what I got: I was raised in a home with no real religious affiliation. I suppose we were Christian but church attendance was not a reality. My father held and continues to hold more conservative Christian ideals but from time to time surprises me with bouts of “unorthodox” thought. My mother is much more silent about her religious beliefs and remains so today. From talking to her as I grew up, I found that she is what would generally be considered a liberal Christian. I have two older brothers. One turned out to be religious but not particularly sectarian and the other’s beliefs are unknown to me.

I turned out Christian. Under my father’s guidance I was Baptized in the Southern Baptist Convention, but haven’t been with them for a long time. I found myself not only at odd with some of the doctrine but also with a lot of the attitude. From there, I jumped from one type of church to the next. I dabbled in a little of most Protestant denominations. I ended up attending a college with an affiliation to a liberal “high-church” denomination, the opposite of where I began. During my years there I went to chapel. I would give the place mixed reviews. Nice people, but still I don’t think that’s the community that fits best with me.

My personal beliefs are at best nuanced and at worst cafeteria style. I consider myself socially liberal but have my differences with what is considered the typical Christian Left. My interests include interfaith dialogue, Biblical and non-Biblical religious texts, and the ongoing dialogue between the religious and non-religious.

I think that says about everything. I’m excited to begin talking with you all.
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Re: Christian.

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:13 pm

Religion nerd and a Selleck fan?

We could get along quite fine.
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Re: Christian.

Post  Clint on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:34 pm

G'day there MetaPenguin.

Welcome to the Truth-Saves.com Forums! I hope you enjoy your time here, debating, questioning, learning & what ever else comes a long.

I look forward to your input.

Cheers,
Clint
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Re: Christian.

Post  Niels on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:47 pm

Hello, Penguin, welcome to the forum.

I'm glad to have another Christian aboard, since SySy makes claims about Christianity and religion that I think are not shared by the majority of Christians. Your views on his assertions would be very welcome, like on the following:

- Religion can not be defined;
- Whether religion is good for society is irrelevant;
- Catholicism is the best version of Christianity;
- God does not interact with reality;
- Most of the Bible is mythological;
- Only theologans can understand religion and the Bible;
- The biblical God is not what Christians believe in.

Do you agree with him?
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Re: Christian.

Post  MetaPenguin on Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:03 pm

Niels,

I'll answer in short the prompts you listed and if anything needs expansion, let me know. Also, I should add here that I have not yet read the material in question so my answers should be taken as an outsiders perspective and not a confirmation of or debate on SySy's posts.

- Religion can not be defined;

Religion, as a product of mankind for mankind as interpreted by this man, is able to be defined. Perhaps the concepts they attest are a bit more blurry.

- Whether religion is good for society is irrelevant;

The debate on religions' affect effect on society is far from irrelevant, just as any other aspect of one's culture and its effect on society is relevant.

- Catholicism is the best version of Christianity;

This is a danger to answer, I fear! I am not Catholic. I'm unable to answer a question like that but I am interested in debating the issues.

- God does not interact with reality;

I'll need a little more to answer that.

- Most of the Bible is mythological;

I don't know about most but some of it is, I believe intended to be mythological, Gen. 1-11 for example.

- Only theologans can understand religion and the Bible;

Theology doesn't hurt, I don't guess. But I'm no theologian and I'd like to think I have some points to make. I don't really think one has to have any faith to have insights. It's an interesting text to look at in a number of ways.

- The biblical God is not what Christians believe in.

Christians seem to attest the God of Abraham as described in the Hebrew and Christian testaments.

I hope this doesn't get me on anyone's short list! Haha. I'd like to hear what the other Christian thinks. Is there only one other?
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Re: Christian.

Post  SyntheticSylence on Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:16 pm

Don't worry Meta, Niels is misrepresenting me for the most part.

- Religion can not be defined;

I suppose it would be more proper to say "religion does not exist," but defining religion is notoriously difficult. Whether it is theoretically possible or not, I don't know if there is a good comprehensive definition that does not devolve into something bland or meaningless.

- Whether religion is good for society is irrelevant;

I never said it was irrelevant. I said that it was a meaningless question because it's so vague. What is religion? What is society? What is "good for society?" And how do we establish a causal link in "society?" I think I demonstrated quite well that finding a casual link of the certitude you requested was impossible. You had rendered religion inert, which is something I don't believe it is.

- Catholicism is the best version of Christianity;

I'm United Methodist.

- God does not interact with reality;

This is an outright lie. God creates and sustains reality, which is certainly an "interaction."

- Most of the Bible is mythological;

This is also an outright lie, I never said that. How can I claim that the Letters of Paul are "mythological?" I imagine MetaPenguin and I will be largely on the same page here and agree with his statement.

- Only theologans can understand religion and the Bible;

Never made that claim. If you wish to discredit something you should discredit it at its greatest argument. I don't think anyone can understand the Bible, I would sure hope MetaPenguin doesn't make such a claim. There are certain essentials that I think every Christian grasps. And that is more than enough to live a life of Grace.

- The biblical God is not what Christians believe in.

This is also an outright lie. If you read my intro post I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I believe in the Biblical God.

Do we have points of disagreement MetaPenguin? This would prove enlightening to all involved I think!
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Re: Christian.

Post  Niels on Tue Feb 16, 2010 5:04 pm

Thanks for your clear replies, Penguin. You seem much more down-to-earth than SySy in your beliefs. That makes you a welcome contributer to all threads we have, but what's more: It might lead to a Holy War right on this board. Why would we atheists debate christians, when we can simply put them together and sit back?

SySy may claim that I'm lying about his religion, but since his religion is undefined and undefinable, there is no standard to tell truth from lies. "SySy's religion is Wednesday" is as true as "SySy's religion is (not) alive" or "SySy's religion is (un)definable".
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Re: Christian.

Post  MetaPenguin on Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:25 am

As I read over old posts, two things come to my mind. The first is that this forum has proven to be lively! The second is that as much as I'd like to distance myself from SySy, and will from time to time it seems, in this thread I have only one issue with this post.

SyntheticSylence wrote: I'm United Methodist.

Simply unacceptable! I joke of course.

Niels wrote:It might lead to a Holy War right on this board. Why would we atheists debate christians, when we can simply put them together and sit back?

That is exactly why I am a religion nerd, it's too much fun to get into lively debates!
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Re: Christian.

Post  SyntheticSylence on Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:35 am

Now listen here, MetaPenguin: United Methodism is the one true faith. There is no salvation outside of the United Methodist Church!
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Re: Christian.

Post  MetaPenguin on Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:47 am

Infidel! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912 is the only way!
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Re: Christian.

Post  SyntheticSylence on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:04 am

There is clearly only one way to resolve our differences. We'll bicker a lot!
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Re: Christian.

Post  MetaPenguin on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:11 am

Indeed, good chap.
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Re: Christian.

Post  SyntheticSylence on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:12 am

Now then, we need to find some vague, inessential point of doctrine no one really cares about as an excuse for our disagreement.

What do you say?
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Re: Christian.

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