The following details a conversation that never really finished. The reason is because many who claim the mantle of Christianity (whether truly saved or not, only God knows) often times do not accept the words or positions given to them ~ clearly ~ in the Bible. And while we do not know the heart of those who claim to be Christ followers, when they start to rip out parts of Scripture, not accepting others, thinking portions of it has been changed over time, allegorizing still other portions of it… you can tell that someone else is sitting on the throne of their heart and not their savior.
I have a couple of neighbors who are dear friends, but one can only try to talk about baseball and movies and TV shows so much. Engaging in challenging discussions about worldviews and Christian accountability, is what I like. These lack of deeper conversations has really kept us neighbors, not sojourners to a better place.
I finally bit-the-bullet due to the many “interventions” on my FaceBook via this neighbor’s brother (who himself is a friendly acquaintance). I have become more bold with my neighbor and her brother in regards to topics that do not deal with cute, fluffy kittens. The internet already has enough of those.
Being a “Christian” means something… and it has never been a libertarian island of self. Never. So, one of these important worldview discussion came by way of the Pope recently saying — at least in sensationalized headlines — that God is not “a magician, with a magic wand.” I guess there was no “magic wand” involved in Jesus’ Resurrection either? CBS even went further to note that,
- “Galileo Galilei could have used Pope Francis. The church branded the astronomer a heretic for arguing that the Earth revolved around the sun.”
I swear, people do not know history well. But that dumb historical statement on part of CBS is-neither-here-nor-there.
Theistic evolution is not compatible with the Bible. It just isn’t. And much like atheists and skeptics I deal with, I have come to the firm conclusion that while they have read an uncountable number of fiction books, they have never walked into a Christian book store and bought and read a single book by a person who specializes in making proper distinctions between Intelligent Design, theistic evolution, and evolution. Because neo-Darwinian theory is not compatible with the Christian faith, no matter H-O-W much one tries to fit the square peg through the round hole.
A Longer Presentation That Hash Out Theistic Evolution/Neo-Darwinian Failures
At any rate, I engaged in conversation to try and get a person[s] who is not use to having meaningful conversation about personal subjects such as faith to engage and engage in a way that their stated beliefs would have to have a logical conclusion. A consequence. If they cannot follow this deduction, then there is a cog in the wheel somewhere. You will see where.
What follows is that discussion [minus names to protect privacy and edited for aesthetic purposes and ease of use here ~ with commentary] where I try and get the people involved to latch onto the ideas of the Author of the universe, CLEARLY presented in the Bible. Here is the conversation, and note that if you are regular church goer how this conversation would have gone differently in your mind:
RT, I will do this here instead of on your Facebook. It will be a series of pretty easy questions. There is a point… but it requires honest dialogue. It may seem too simple and come across as demeaning… it is not meant to be. LKD may want to watch or be involved as well. It is partly based on this point in an aforementioned book, here is the page[s] I am thinking of (click to enlarge):
We ~ as Christians ~ should enjoy deep conversation about our Savior that yes, may even challenge our own opinions. It may not change them, but for heaven’s sake (*said like a gray haired older grandma with care and concern*), to insulate oneself from the basics of The Way that challenge assumptions presumed is not the road to growth.
SO, here is the first question: “Who is the founder of Christianity?”
Here is the first response, and it is one I am use to from atheists and skeptics, but I think pride plays more of a role here — something we all exemplify ourselves:
Nope. I am a Christian because I am “what” like?
You must think we are retarded. I said Paul because I heard a debate on that once.
Let me say that if I were to have this conversation face-to-face, LKD would realize how monotone and calm I am in asking this question. The keyboard is an amazing thing, something my wife (for instance) is not immune to. She will read an email to me but put here emotional assumptions or current feelings onto the text that the original sender probably had not in any way meant to convey. (We are reprobate creatures and battle tirelessly with our dual nature with guidance from the Holy Spirit… it is natural we put onto others this emotional state we are experiencing and not the best of intentions.) In previous conversations I have shared my “legal statement” to get this point across, I will place that here for clarity, then back to the conversation:
I think the same thing is happening here so I circle back to my original introduction to reintroduce this idea:
I have already written in the OP (original post): “There is a point… but it requires honest dialogue. It may seem too simple and come across as demeaning… it is not meant to be.” I asked for honest dialogue. Do you feel like talking about Christ is a trap of some sort?
And no, I do not think you are retarded (nor do I think RT is dumb). But do I think some people, rather than coming to logical conclusions about important issues in a faith they aspire to in some way (even if it disagrees with their own opinions), obfuscate the issues at hand? Yes. Mark 8:38:
- “For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation,the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
I know this is VERY simplistic — again — it is NOT meant to be demeaning. Professor Jay Wegter? You want to join in for some very simple talk about the faith? The question is “Who is the founder of Christianity?” A hint from H.G. Wells:
- “I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. ____ _____ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
Who was this mystery person Wells was talking about?
I’m going with The Trinity. God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior and the Holy Spirit aka Ghost which I never cared for as a child.
Okay… I don’t don’t know why you won’t give a simple answer, but you sorta answered the second question. (the H.G. Wells quote did not encompass the doctrine of the Trinity, but simply placed Jesus Christ as this person.)
The next question is “who did Jesus claim to be, which eventually got Him crucified?
The only way to God. The Romans crucified anyone who they deemed as false kings.
He claimed to be God in fact. Right?
That takes me back to the Trinity which is God.
The Father is God. The Son is God. The Holy Spirit is God.
In Matthew 22:43, citing Psalm 110, Jesus said, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’ [Messiah]?” Jesus stumped his skeptical Jewish questioners by presenting then with a dilemma that blew their own neat calculations about the Messiah “Lord” (as he did in Ps. 110), when the Scriptures also say the Messiah would be the “Son of David” (which they do in 2 Samuel 7:12.)? The only answer is that the Messiah must be both a man (David’s son or offspring) and God (David’s Lord). Jesus is claiming to be both God and human, at the same time!
See also John 8:58 and 8:59 — they were gonna kill Jesus for claiming equality with YHWH (God of the Old Testament)….
Theology 101 is fun.
I learned ALL of this starting 50 years ago and actively studied via Zion Lutheran Church and the Navigators for 20 years, you don’t forget this stuff.
Okay, continuing along the dialogue — and keeping it simple. Jesus is God, which is classically defined as:
▶ God is often conceived as the Supreme Being and principal object of faith. The concept of God as described by theologians commonly includes the attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.(Wiki)
He is part of the Trinity, was involved with creating man in “Our” image (Genesis 1:26), was part of the convo with YHWH [that is the Hebrew designation for God that practicing Jews cannot say, they will put in something else there, like Adonai] on earth speaking to YHWH in heaven (“Then the LORD [YHWH] rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD [YHWH] out of heaven.” Genesis 19:24) all the way to Christ Himself in John 8:58 saying he is the Great “I Am” from Exodus (Exodus 3:14), getting Himself “dead” eventually.
So yes, Jesus is God (omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, omnibenevolence) — correctly defined by LKD as part of the Trinity, God proper because of that.
Now, here are some Scripture, where God proper is commenting on nature. I do not want to focus on them all, but rather, want to, as people who understand who Jesus CLAIMED to be — and PROVED it by resurrecting his own body…
A SIDE-NOTE FOR THE WINNER OF THE SUNDAY SCHOOL (@LKD) POP QUIZ:
Here is the Trinity involved in raising Jesus from the dead: God raised Jesus from the dead: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2:32 KJV); The Spirit raised Jesus from the dead: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11 KJV); Jesus raised his own body from the dead: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body.” (John 2:19-21 KJV)
…Okay, here is the portion… and I want you to ignore the age issue, but focus on Adam and Eve. And we can get to the depth in our understanding of where you differ from evolution in believing in where we came from (rocks, or the Creative Hand of God):
….Now, when we search the New Testament Scriptures, we certainly find many interesting statements Jesus made that relate to this issue. Mark 10:6 says, “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’” From this passage, we see that Jesus clearly taught that the creation was young, for Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning,” not billions of years after the universe and earth came into existence. Jesus made a similar statement in Mark 13:19 indicating that man’s sufferings started very near the beginning of creation. The parallel phrases of “from the foundation of the world” and “from the blood of Abel” in Luke 11:50–51 also indicate that Jesus placed Abel very close to the beginning of creation, not billions of years after the beginning. His Jewish listeners would have assumed this meaning in Jesus’ words, for the first-century Jewish historian Josephus indicates that the Jews of his day believed that both the first day of creation and Adam’s creation were about 5,000 years before Christ…. (http://tinyurl.com/n6eahjy)
[Added info of the prevailing views around Jesus and Moses: “In Christ’s day, the prevailing philosophy on origins included evolution and long ages of earth history. Their view, of course, was not Darwinian evolution, but it held that the earth and the universe, acting on itself by the forces of nature (which were given names by some) had organized itself into its present state, and was responsible for all of life. The same was true for the philosophy of Moses’ day, as he prepared the book of Genesis.”]… (ICR)
The most basic thing I want to glean from God’s (Jesus’) own lips is that he believed in a literal Adam and Eve — again, whether you think mankind (homo-sapiens) are millions of years old or thousands, Jesus makes clear that they were created, as He did in Genesis (making them in Our own image). I do not want to debate all the nuances you RT or LKD may have. Jesus Himself believed “a”, so you ~ by understanding ~ this have already tweaked the classical evolutionary story of “goo-to-you.”
SO THE QUESTION IS THIS: “Did Jesus believe in a historical Adam and Eve?”
This is where the conversation effectively ended. Many people do not want to submit all parts of their thinking under God. Jesus believed in a literal Adam and Eve. This goes against evolutionary theory as many understand it. They have no idea what Intelligent Design is and how it responds to many of the issues in an acceptance of an unBiblical theistic evolution.
An Aside for those that LOVE the Bible and their Creator — In talking to Dr Edgar Andrews (see his bio) he points out some verses as well:
I will end with this interview of Dr. Andrews via Apologetics 315: