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Sophisticated Christianity

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#1
D-9

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This is inspired by Alpha's post warning people about sophisticated atheism, so I thought I would make a thread centered around sophisticated Christianity. 

 

I don't think I've ever encountered this type of sophisticated Christianity before, most of the arguments I've encountered are probably summed up by Mere Christianity and a few historical arguments related to things like the probability of the tomb story of Jesus to be made up (i.e. no one would make up a story and have women play such a prominent role). 

 

So I'd like to open the floor up to anything and everything from sophisticated Christianity, from specific arguments to suggested reading. 

 

D-9



#2
alphaparticle

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Probably this Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief. Enjoy.



#3
OneLight

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Is there some sort of question in here pertaining to our beliefs that I don't see?

#4
DRS81

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So I'd like to open the floor up to anything and everything from sophisticated Christianity, from specific arguments to suggested reading. 

 

It's not about who is smarter, it's about how to understand the life of God, Jesus Christ. Dumb people can reach salvation in Jesus Christ. It's not about intellect, rather it's about belief and faith. Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.



#5
WillfromTexas

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DRS really hit it on the head there...  The gospel is simple enough for a child to understand but complex enough to confound the smartest minds in the world.  Spiritual blindness is a real thing and you can read the Bible a million times and it not make much sense. 

 

It's called the Living Word of God because you can also read the Bible, as a believer a million times, and get new messages every time.  While you can understand the words as a nonbeliever- it takes being a true believer to understand the true meaning.

 

Christianity isn't a trick but a revelation in your spirit.  You can give non-believers all the doctrine and proof, to satisfy a sound mind, but they don't/won't want to believe it.  Believing it would mean they are wrong and God is right.  People usually come to God when they have finally figured out they have a genuine need for him.  That's why they call it faith because it isn't all handed to you on a silver platter.

 

Kind of like how God works on you and are completely unaware.  One day you'll probably need him and remember all the things that have been shared with you on these boards and prayers said on your behalf.  You are drawn here for some reason and it isn't just my stellar personality.  :mgcheerful:



#6
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D-9 said:
So I'd like to open the floor up to anything and everything from sophisticated Christianity, from specific arguments to suggested reading.

Can you elaborate on your definition of "sophisticated" Christianity?

#7
kwikphilly

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Greetings D-9

     Let me just wish you a very Happy New Year! I pray this new year bring you revelation From the Lord.....

  I am with One Light,I do not see if there is a question somewhere in you post or understand w4hat it is you hope to acheive

                                                                                                                                     God Bless You,Kwik



#8
D-9

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Probably this Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief. Enjoy.

 

Thanks Alpha, this is the type of thing I was looking for, I just hope I have enough background in philosophy (I've never taken a philosophy course in my life lol) to understand what he is saying. 

 

I don't know how many people on Worthy would even attempt to read this 500 page philosophical essay, but just in case anybody is interested I found a Christian website that has the text (and many many more Christian text) online for free in multiple formats. Now I don't have to spend Christmas money on it  :hurrah: Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

 

Is there some sort of question in here pertaining to our beliefs that I don't see?

 

Not at all. It is no secret that the apologetics I've seen has left me dissatisfied with the faith (I could no longer in good conscious believe so I left the faith), but there is much in apologetics that I have not seen. Alpha's post on sophisticated atheism piqued my own curiosity on the other side of the spectrum over in the Christian camp. I am not looking for an argument to convince me, however I hope I am open minded enough to recognize a good argument that deserves a serious look. What brought me into the agnostic category was that I felt I couldn't justify my belief, and reading reviews of Plantinga's book it looks like the whole book is one giant essay on how the Christian faith is intellectually justifiable in our world with our modern understanding. 

 

!!!Happy New Year!!! 


Edited by D-9, 01 January 2014 - 12:00 AM.


#9
bopeep1909

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So I'd like to open the floor up to anything and everything from sophisticated Christianity, from specific arguments to suggested reading. 

 

It's not about who is smarter, it's about how to understand the life of God, Jesus Christ. Dumb people can reach salvation in Jesus Christ. It's not about intellect, rather it's about belief and faith. Eph 4:18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

 

And the difference in dumb people and intelligent people?Does God love any one of them less?



#10
alphaparticle

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Probably this Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief. Enjoy.

 

Thanks Alpha, this is the type of thing I was looking for, I just hope I have enough background in philosophy (I've never taken a philosophy course in my life lol) to understand what he is saying. 

 

I don't know how many people on Worthy would even attempt to read this 500 page philosophical essay, but just in case anybody is interested I found a Christian website that has the text (and many many more Christian text) online for free in multiple formats. Now I don't have to spend Christmas money on it  :hurrah: Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

 


 

Excellent. Ultimately I think a Plantinga-like argument is what it is going to end up with in terms as, in my opinion, best presentation to a secular crowd. Perhaps I'll get the text out myself and we could have a thread about it or some such.



#11
FresnoJoe

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Excellent. Ultimately I think a Plantinga-like argument is what it is going to end up with in terms as, in my opinion, best presentation to a secular crowd. Perhaps I'll get the text out myself and we could have a thread about it or some such.

 

:thumbsup:

 

Easy

 

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. John 18:38

 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

 

C. Postmodernism a Failure of Nerve   One final note. Postmodernists nearly all reject classical foundationalism; in this they concur with most Christian thinkers and most contemporary philosophers. Momentously enough, however, many postmodernists apparently believe that the demise of classical foundationalism implies something far more startling: that there is no such thing as truth at all, no way things really are. Why make that leap, when as a matter of logic it clearly doesn’t follow? For various reasons, no doubt. Prominent among those reasons is a sort of Promethean desire not to live in a world we have not ourselves constituted or structured. With the early Heidegger, a postmodern may refuse to feel at home in any world he hasn’t himself created. Now some of this may be a bit hard to take seriously (it may seem less Promethean defiance than foolish posturing); so here is another possible reason. As I pointed out (above, p. 73), classical foundationalism arose out of uncertainty, conflict, and clamorous (and rancorous) disagreement; it emerged at a time when everyone did what was right (epistemically speaking) in his own eyes. Now life without sure and secure foundations is frightening and unnerving; hence Descartes’s fateful effort to find a sure and solid footing for the beliefs with which he found himself. (Hence also Kant’s similar effort to find an irrefragable foundation for science.) http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

Peasy

 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

 

Such Christian thinkers as Pascal, Kierkegaard, and Kuyper, however, recognize that there aren’t any certain foundations of the sort Descartes sought—or, if there are, they are exceedingly slim, and there is no way to transfer their certainty to our important non-foundational beliefs about material objects, the past, other persons, and the like. This is a stance that requires a certain epistemic hardihood: there is, indeed, such a thing as truth; the stakes are, indeed, very high (it matters greatly whether you believe the truth); but there is no way to be sure that you have the truth; there is no sure and certain method of attaining truth by starting from beliefs about which you can’t be mistaken and moving infallibly to the rest of your beliefs. Furthermore, many others reject what seems to you to be most important. This is life under uncertainty, life under epistemic risk and fallibility. I believe a thousand things, and many of them are things others—others of great acuity and seriousness—do not believe. Indeed, many of the beliefs that mean the most to me are of that sort. I realize I can be seriously, dreadfully, fatally wrong, and wrong about what it is enormously important to be right. That is simply the human condition: my response must be finally, “Here I stand; this is the way the world looks to me.” http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

See

 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
 

There is, however, another sort of reaction possible here. If it is painful to live at risk, under the gun, with uncertainty but high stakes, maybe the thing to do is just reduce or reject the stakes. If, for example, there just isn’t any such thing as truth, then clearly one can’t go wrong by believing what is false or failing to believe what is true. If we reject the very idea of truth, we needn’t feel anxious about whether we’ve got it. So the thing to do is dispense with the search for truth and retreat into projects of some other sort: self-creation and self-redefinition as with Nietzsche and Heidegger, or Rortian irony, or perhaps playful mockery, as with Derrida. So taken, postmodernism is a kind of failure of epistemic nerve. http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

~

 

Want Guts

 

And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 19:8

 

Drop Your Blankie

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

 

And See The LORD Jesus

 

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:27

 

And Become Bold

 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

 

Love, Joe



#12
kwikphilly

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Blessings D-9

     I was in school when I was first introduced to Platinga,one of my Professors suggested "God & Other Minds" which still remains my personal favorite of his......he has a great simplistic style which makes for very easy reading so don't let the volume of pages scare you-lol

     The last or 3rd of his "Warrant"Trilogy would be a great topic for discussion,as Alpha suggested....if you fellows decide to start a thread let me know,I would be happy to join you

     You may want to consider starting at the beginning with Platingas first & second book of the trilogy,"Current Debate" & "Proper Function"....Proper Function,his evolutionary argument against naturalism may really be of special interest to you ,D-9 as I seem to recall your participation on such a subject in another thread......Anyway,Happy reading-love to hear your thoughts when you are finished

      Well,I do not think any apologetics,concrete or historical evidences are anything anyone could say to a non-believer is going to make any difference if the Holy Spirit does not convict ones heart. If God is not in it....well,I just pray that He is

                                                                                         With love in Christ-Kwik



#13
alphaparticle

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Excellent. Ultimately I think a Plantinga-like argument is what it is going to end up with in terms as, in my opinion, best presentation to a secular crowd. Perhaps I'll get the text out myself and we could have a thread about it or some such.

 

:thumbsup:

 

Easy

 

Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all. John 18:38

 

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

 

C. Postmodernism a Failure of Nerve   One final note. Postmodernists nearly all reject classical foundationalism; in this they concur with most Christian thinkers and most contemporary philosophers. Momentously enough, however, many postmodernists apparently believe that the demise of classical foundationalism implies something far more startling: that there is no such thing as truth at all, no way things really are. Why make that leap, when as a matter of logic it clearly doesn’t follow? For various reasons, no doubt. Prominent among those reasons is a sort of Promethean desire not to live in a world we have not ourselves constituted or structured. With the early Heidegger, a postmodern may refuse to feel at home in any world he hasn’t himself created. Now some of this may be a bit hard to take seriously (it may seem less Promethean defiance than foolish posturing); so here is another possible reason. As I pointed out (above, p. 73), classical foundationalism arose out of uncertainty, conflict, and clamorous (and rancorous) disagreement; it emerged at a time when everyone did what was right (epistemically speaking) in his own eyes. Now life without sure and secure foundations is frightening and unnerving; hence Descartes’s fateful effort to find a sure and solid footing for the beliefs with which he found himself. (Hence also Kant’s similar effort to find an irrefragable foundation for science.) http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

Peasy

 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

 

Such Christian thinkers as Pascal, Kierkegaard, and Kuyper, however, recognize that there aren’t any certain foundations of the sort Descartes sought—or, if there are, they are exceedingly slim, and there is no way to transfer their certainty to our important non-foundational beliefs about material objects, the past, other persons, and the like. This is a stance that requires a certain epistemic hardihood: there is, indeed, such a thing as truth; the stakes are, indeed, very high (it matters greatly whether you believe the truth); but there is no way to be sure that you have the truth; there is no sure and certain method of attaining truth by starting from beliefs about which you can’t be mistaken and moving infallibly to the rest of your beliefs. Furthermore, many others reject what seems to you to be most important. This is life under uncertainty, life under epistemic risk and fallibility. I believe a thousand things, and many of them are things others—others of great acuity and seriousness—do not believe. Indeed, many of the beliefs that mean the most to me are of that sort. I realize I can be seriously, dreadfully, fatally wrong, and wrong about what it is enormously important to be right. That is simply the human condition: my response must be finally, “Here I stand; this is the way the world looks to me.” http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

See

 

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8
 

There is, however, another sort of reaction possible here. If it is painful to live at risk, under the gun, with uncertainty but high stakes, maybe the thing to do is just reduce or reject the stakes. If, for example, there just isn’t any such thing as truth, then clearly one can’t go wrong by believing what is false or failing to believe what is true. If we reject the very idea of truth, we needn’t feel anxious about whether we’ve got it. So the thing to do is dispense with the search for truth and retreat into projects of some other sort: self-creation and self-redefinition as with Nietzsche and Heidegger, or Rortian irony, or perhaps playful mockery, as with Derrida. So taken, postmodernism is a kind of failure of epistemic nerve. http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

~

 

Want Guts

 

And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 19:8

 

Drop Your Blankie

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

 

And See The LORD Jesus

 

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:27

 

And Become Bold

 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

 

Love, Joe

 

I'm confused and intrigued. Why these quotes? I am not sure what the connection to postmodernism is in the context of the thread.



#14
alphaparticle

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Blessings D-9

     I was in school when I was first introduced to Platinga,one of my Professors suggested "God & Other Minds" which still remains my personal favorite of his......he has a great simplistic style which makes for very easy reading so don't let the volume of pages scare you-lol

     The last or 3rd of his "Warrant"Trilogy would be a great topic for discussion,as Alpha suggested....if you fellows decide to start a thread let me know,I would be happy to join you

     You may want to consider starting at the beginning with Platingas first & second book of the trilogy,"Current Debate" & "Proper Function"....Proper Function,his evolutionary argument against naturalism may really be of special interest to you ,D-9 as I seem to recall your participation on such a subject in another thread......Anyway,Happy reading-love to hear your thoughts when you are finished

      Well,I do not think any apologetics,concrete or historical evidences are anything anyone could say to a non-believer is going to make any difference if the Holy Spirit does not convict ones heart. If God is not in it....well,I just pray that He is

                                                                                         With love in Christ-Kwik

Yeah I agree, Plantinga is a lot more accessible than other philosophers, and is a very thorough thinker- true to the analytic position. I think that each of the trilogy can be read independently, but that is my opinion here. It's pretty cool there is someone else here familiar with his stuff!



#15
FresnoJoe

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I'm confused and intrigued. Why these quotes? I am not sure what the connection to postmodernism is in the context of the thread.

 

postmodernism is a kind of failure of epistemic nerve. http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

:thumbsup:

 

Want Guts

 

And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 19:8

 

Drop Your Blankie

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

 

And See The LORD Jesus

 

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:27

 

And Become Bold

 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

 

Love, Joe

 

~

 

Why Not~!

 

This is inspired by Alpha's post warning people about sophisticated atheism, so I thought I would make a thread centered around sophisticated Christianity. 

 

I don't think I've ever encountered this type of sophisticated Christianity before, most of the arguments I've encountered are probably summed up by Mere Christianity and a few historical arguments related to things like the probability of the tomb story of Jesus to be made up (i.e. no one would make up a story and have women play such a prominent role). 

 

So I'd like to open the floor up to anything and everything from sophisticated Christianity, from specific arguments to suggested reading. 

 

:thumbsup:

 

Suggested

 

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Psalms 119:9

 

Reading

 

Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, Psalms 40:7

 

:)



#16
alphaparticle

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I'm confused and intrigued. Why these quotes? I am not sure what the connection to postmodernism is in the context of the thread.

 

postmodernism is a kind of failure of epistemic nerve. http://www.ccel.org/....iii.i.iii.html

 

:thumbsup:

 

Want Guts

 

And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. Acts 19:8

 

Drop Your Blankie

 

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Colossians 2:8

 

And See The LORD Jesus

 

What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. Matthew 10:27

 

And Become Bold

 

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13

 

Love, Joe

 

~

 

Why Not~!

 

This is inspired by Alpha's post warning people about sophisticated atheism, so I thought I would make a thread centered around sophisticated Christianity. 

 

I don't think I've ever encountered this type of sophisticated Christianity before, most of the arguments I've encountered are probably summed up by Mere Christianity and a few historical arguments related to things like the probability of the tomb story of Jesus to be made up (i.e. no one would make up a story and have women play such a prominent role). 

 

So I'd like to open the floor up to anything and everything from sophisticated Christianity, from specific arguments to suggested reading. 

 

:thumbsup:

 

Suggested

 

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. Psalms 119:9

 

Reading

 

Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, Psalms 40:7

 

:)

 

Recommending the Bible yeah, I get that. But Plantinga is not a postmodern type. It doesn't seem like you are saying he is but this is why I'm still confused by your choice of quotes. He's positing a moderate foundationalist epistemic which includes a framework by which we can include the impressions and insights we get from reading the Bible, other interactions we get from the Spirit and so on, to be a part of that foundation of knowledge.



#17
FresnoJoe

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Recommending the Bible yeah, I get that. But Plantinga is not a postmodern type. It doesn't seem like you are saying he is but this is why I'm still confused by your choice of quotes. He's positing a moderate foundationalist epistemic which includes a framework by which we can include the impressions and insights we get from reading the Bible, other interactions we get from the Spirit and so on, to be a part of that foundation of knowledge.

 

~

 

Beloved, Just A Link To The Book Under Discussion

 

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

 

And Some (True) Observations



#18
ConnorLiamBrown

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Probably this Alvin Plantinga's Warranted Christian Belief. Enjoy.

 

Thanks Alpha, this is the type of thing I was looking for, I just hope I have enough background in philosophy (I've never taken a philosophy course in my life lol) to understand what he is saying. 

 

I don't know how many people on Worthy would even attempt to read this 500 page philosophical essay, but just in case anybody is interested I found a Christian website that has the text (and many many more Christian text) online for free in multiple formats. Now I don't have to spend Christmas money on it  :hurrah: Christian Classics Ethereal Library 

 

Is there some sort of question in here pertaining to our beliefs that I don't see?

 

Not at all. It is no secret that the apologetics I've seen has left me dissatisfied with the faith (I could no longer in good conscious believe so I left the faith), but there is much in apologetics that I have not seen. Alpha's post on sophisticated atheism piqued my own curiosity on the other side of the spectrum over in the Christian camp. I am not looking for an argument to convince me, however I hope I am open minded enough to recognize a good argument that deserves a serious look. What brought me into the agnostic category was that I felt I couldn't justify my belief, and reading reviews of Plantinga's book it looks like the whole book is one giant essay on how the Christian faith is intellectually justifiable in our world with our modern understanding. 

 

!!!Happy New Year!!! 

 

Hello,

 

I appreciate your invitation,

 

You mentioned C.S. Lewis' mere Christianity, but seemed to dismiss it.  May I ask why?



#19
kwikphilly

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Hi Connor!

      Welcome to Worthy,why I do believe OP was being facetious & not literal

                                                                                                                                    Praising Jesus-Kwik






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