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spiffy

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    philosophy, theology, playin the blues...

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  1. I've read the Bible, many times over. I agree that the Bible is God's perspective. Are you prepared to discuss the matter intelligently instead of using the 'hit-n-run' posting of snide comments? If so, let's discuss. If not, I'm supposing, based on years of experience posting to various theology boards, that you're merely one of the legion of religious posters either incapable or unwilling to engage in intellectually honest dialog. These are champions at posting opinions in order to get 'high fives' from other hit-n-runs. Sad state of affairs for a Christianity that's supposed to be born of the Spirit of God. Are you capable and willing to discuss honestly and intelligently?
  2. I assume by this you mean only the Bible? If so please elaborate. What is "God's perspective" on the proper understanding of spirit and soul?
  3. You know nothing of my opinion of Scripture. You'd do well to make an effort to ascertain what beliefs a person actually holds before charging him with having this or that opinion. And I have no idea what this gibberish... ...is supposed to mean. I doubt you have any legitimate idea of what I fail or succeed in seeing. I presented a simple proof that the doctrine that the soul is wholly and actually made clean in a single "born again" experience is not borne out by evidence that is plain for any thinking human being to see: both Christian and atheist sin and exhibit fruits associated with the possession of spiritual life. You appear to pen this as a "defense"... Since your wording isn't clear, I'm assuming you're suggesting that atheists and those who hate God perform good acts 'accidentally' or with some evil motive in mind or some such argument. This is a common attack by those attempting to defend the "wholly clean" born again doctrine. The problem, for any thinking person, is that the atheist often does good and the Christian bad. I've seen plenty of evil performed by members of organized Christianity and I'm sure you have too if you'll be honest about it. Read Luke 10:30-35...Jesus Himself refutes this sort of reasoning. Yes, the Bible teaches that only one man was without sin. The Lord will decide how "oblivious [I am] to s/Spiritual realities" in His own good time. In the meantime He's given me a brain to think with. All good derives from the true. God is truth (Jn 14:6, Psa 31:5, etc.). A work is good because it involves truth in the soul in union with Truth Himself. When the hated Pharisee had compassion on the man beaten by robbers, his compassion (as with all truly good virtues) was grounded in this true-True relationship. Absolute Truth in union with truth in the human soul produces good thoughts and acts. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles. Good follows naturally from the true, evil naturally from the false. All are spiritually awakened (Jn 1:9) and possess by this awakening (spiritual birth; the imparting of truth to the essence [spirit] of man) the capacity to do good. To the extent one chooses wrong or falsehood, one falsifies his/her soul and must die for that transgression: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 6:23) Even though we allow hatred to grow, yet all possess some truth in inner being, and the mystery of the Scriptures is not that one man dies for his sin and goes to hell while the other lives for his faith, it is that ALL die for their sin and ALL are restored [at some point, some in life, others at the end of life] to faith. Jesus did not die to prevent us from killing ourselves with self-imposed spiritual death, He died so that all who kill themselves are brought back to life: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (Jn 12:24). All those He grants life to (Jn 1:9) He claims from their self-imposed death: "A bruised reed He will not break, And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice." (Isa 42:3) Isaiah 28:14-18 sums this up nicely. Enoob57, you've accused me of pride, told me I'm oblivious to "spiritual realities", suggested I'm developing a "bias against God", etc. There was nothing in my previous posts that justified your judgments; your responses tell me you failed to understand my position, have not the interest to ask questions to actually find out what I believe but instead prefer to blindly impose your erroneous interpretations as though they are the very truth of God [they are not, though all doctrine contains some truth]. I believe the reason for your irritation is that I provided light that incited the darkness inside you to go on the offensive. Like most religionists, you beat the Scriptures into submission to your interpretive will. You are legion, all trained by the same society. Christ Jesus doesn't lend Himself to our religious formations, to our doctrinal fortresses built with the mortar of falsehood. They'll all come tumbling down when the time comes, but the Lord is merciful to those who hide behind doctrinal walls just as He is to those who mouth their hatred for him. Seems to me it's time for this thread to 'die on the rim' as they say, as nothing fruitful is developing here. Finis. PS why do you sign your posts "Love, Steven"? What do you love, your doctrines? Your interpretations? Your religion?
  4. Scripture alone is not sufficient to properly distinguish between soul and spirit from a metaphysical point of view. Ask 100 Christians to define soul and spirit and you'll get 40 different explanations, some version of which the remaining 60 will be scattered in opinion between the 40. From a metaphysical standpoint, the Scriptural accounts (from both Testaments) are incoherent because, for example, some verses assign cognitive functions to soul while others assign similar functions to spirit. Your graphic illustrates another example of interpretive incoherence popular among evangelicals, i.e., the doctrine that man's spirit is either wholly alive or wholly dead in sin. Assuming one's spiritual condition is to a large degree responsible for the way one thinks and acts, this doctrine is unable to explain how it is that the atheist who hates God (and is presumably spiritually dead) yet shows compassion toward others, exhibits a conscience toward many moral goods and tries to get along and love his neighbor to the extent most Christians do. Likewise, the professing Christian who claims a whole rebirth and cleansed, alive spirit still sins. How can this be? I've seen lots of Christians who claim to be born again treat others badly, lust after their neighbors, cheat on their taxes, etc. So, yes, I'm well aware of popular doctrine. Are you aware of its logical dilemmas? My own theology attempts to incorporate both philosophical and theological concepts into as coherent a whole as possible. I've found that those who abide wholly by Scripture, demanding that the word of God be their only guide only parrot the popular stuff they've been taught, most often from childhood (for those having grown up in the church). The problem is, Christianity is merely a religion--one that has evolved over time into various doctrinally distinct 'clubs'. The word of God can't contradict, yet most Christians zealously hold contradictory doctrines [as demonstrated with the wholly born again doctrine above] with nary a blink of the eye or loss of sleep. Most settle on a version taught them by men, then defend that version to the grave without ever realizing that they have no desire in their heart to know the truth--if they did they would not accept a doctrine with blatant contradictions--but are wiling to represent their version of what the Bible says no matter the evidence shown them that some of those doctrines deny truth. The title of this section of the board [The substance of man: Body, Soul and Spirit] suggests discussion that would include looking at things from both theological and philosophical points of view, but all I'm seeing are the usual doctrinal constructs.
  5. "Material" is certainly a Scriptural concept, regardless of whether the word itself is found in the Bible. The things of heaven were recognized to be [primarily] non-material in contradistinction to the material or [in some contexts] fleshly existence. [Flesh can also have a spiritual sense of badness, of course.] I don't see that if follows that there can be no heaven without earth or vise versa, or that Rev 21:1 suggests this. Okay, sounds like you embrace a tripartite view of man, soul-spirit-flesh (or matter). I prefer to use this construct myself, despite its problems. The problem with this view is that if soul is produced by the union of spirit and matter--and spirit leaves the body after physical death--then whence goes sentience/mind/consciousness of soul? Apparently recognizing this metaphysical problem, the bipartite view of man was put forth roughly in the time of the Reformers: man is two things, the soul-mind (same thing) and matter or physical body. This seems to soften the separation problem of the tripartite view, but is unable to erase it completely. As science progressed, stronger correlations were found between brain and consciousness. Materialsts were in 7th heaven (pun intended); they hooted and hollered, celebrating that they at last had proof that man is purely machine and spirit was contrived by religion. But Materialism took a hard hit with Chalmers' caveat that the "hard problem" still existed: the materialist doctrine could not explain the deepest experience of consciousness, e.g., what it is like to experience "redness" or any such quality. There simply is no material path to such experiences. In the last decade or more materialism had been and is today losing ground, despite its stubborn hanging on in the realm of science and among the non-theist crowd, especially in light of recent findings in quantum physics, revealing that there are some really spooky non-material things going on below the microscopic level of reality. How do you arrive at the notion that "the significant difference is between good and evil, not material and immaterial" from what was posted in the op? In retrospect, the question was awkwardly put. I should have asked, "are there any valid connections for the theological concept of soul from the metaphysical point of view?" From a purely theological point of view, sure, good and evil is the pronounced and most significant dualism. But I think metaphysics can also have a hand in helping define the theology of good and evil. This may not be the right board for discussing the issue, though.
  6. I'll take a stab at it. As I understand the issue, the single "God concept" that fits the bill as the potentially valid path to a unified, objective morality is truth. Jesus seems to have dropped a hint (He was good at dropping hints) for us to look there when He claimed to be the way, life and truth (Jn 14:6). If this doesn't fit the bill please tell me why. Bonk-man.
  7. I agree that regeneration provides insights into spiritual or prescriptive truth. But I don't agree that whether one is born again is essential to the thread's topic. It can be factored in, but isn't essential. I suspect you mean most Christians who share with you a particular view of what it means to be born again delight in the their testimony of it with one another. My views on regeneration stand a bit outside the traditional so starting a side discussion on it would almost certainly detract from the body-soul-spirit discussion targeted here. The 'static' as you put it stems from being first told I should ask myself if I am born again--which is mildly offensive--to what appears to be demanding to know if I am born again--in bright red text no less. I don't see why this is a mystery to you. If you've covered all you have to say on the topic, then thanks for your contribution to the discussion Youm.
  8. Oh, now I see. If I was "really" born again I'd just fall into place with everything you believe and say, right? Do you "born again" folks--those like you who are "really" born again--all just read one another's minds so that discussion among you is fruitless and unnecessary? Look, if you can't or don't want to discuss the topics raised in the thread, just don't post any more. No wonder this message board is dying. If one posts something someone doesn't like and gets grilled about his spiritual "legitimacy", participation in reasonable, forward-moving discussion can't take place.
  9. So the soul is by your definition as an "interrelational product" a definable entity. I'm trying to follow your thinking. What properties does this entity you identify as "soul" have? For example, does the interrelational product you call the soul consist of those properties and characteristics typically applied to cognition and reason? Or do these things belong to spirit? I don't see that my, your or anyone's being born again has anything to do with the discussion at hand. If you want to discuss the parameters of what entails being 'born again', start a new thread and I'll participate in it. I'd rather this thread not be derailed by non-essential topics.
  10. So how do you define the word soul? You haven't answered any of my questions. Assuming you belong to the group who you seemed to suggest is in possession of the greatest share of truth, this is puzzling.
  11. I tried to read some more from Logoman's posts but they seem to be gone. Were they removed?
  12. If those who are born again have a more direct path to truth, how does one find this group? What are the true and proper teachings of this group? How do they know they hold the greatest degree of truth? I've seen a lot of different people who claim to be Christian hold a lot of different views of what God says in the Bible. Virtually all seem to think they are born again in some sense that parallels the Bible's teachings. Which of these groups is really born again and which are mistaken? If the body-spirit interrelationship is undone at physical death, what happens to the soul that this union produces? I assume you consider the soul to be equivalent to the mind? In the resurrection does the incorruptible body and spirit begin to form a new soul? Sorry the 'quote' tag didn't seem to be working last night so I copied pasted. Seems to work fine today.
  13. Sorry, I don't know what you're talking about. I don't think anyone suggests that matter has consciousness. Is this a reference to my comment about materialists equating consciousness to brain activity?
  14. Wow. You're making some strong claims there Logoman. Is there a website where one can read a summarization of these truths you claim are from God? I'd be interested to hear more. Most will react with strong disgust at claims like this, and all with a degree of suspicion. Probably unlike many here I've come to believe the power of Scripture lies not in its literal sense as most Christianity teaches but in its metaphorical meaning. However, I've come to believe that God has designed His metaphoric or allegoric meaning in ways that pass the same tests of truth (non-contradiction, congruity, unity, etc.) that the literal is subject to. Any reading of Scripture--literal or allegorical--thus must be able to "ring true" according to these principles. But you must realize that claiming to mouth the very words of God is going to subject you to intense scrutiny, right?
  15. There are generally two main theories of the structure of humankind from a Christian viewpoint. These are typical descriptions for the purpose of discussion, there are of course variations: 1) Tripartite (man is three: body, soul, spirit) 2) Bipartite (man is two: soul and body) The 3 crowd typically argues that spirit is a vivifying principle that animates body to produce soul or mind. In the Tri crowd we're two parts immaterial (soul/spirit) and one part material (body). The 2 crowd uses soul as a single immaterial part in union with the material body. When looking at these positions form a metaphysical point of view, the problem with the Tri position is that by separating soul and spirit there is no good explanation for why, if spirit animates body to produce soul, there would be the presence of a soul after physical death. How can there be a soul since there's no longer a body to animate to produce it? This tends to align to some degree with the atheist/materialist view that the self is only the brain, that there's nothing after physical death. The Bipartite folks overcome this problem by combining spirit and soul into one. If the soul is both animating principle of the body and also holds all the properties unique to conscious intellectual operation, the immaterial soul leaves the body with all the intellectual properties attached at physical death. This solves the problem raised by the tripartite approach. For my part, I find the 3 version--despite the problem raised above--is somewhat easier to mount an explanation for sin, i.e., its presence and effects in consciousness and human behavior, than the 2 version. The next logical question is, after adopting a material/immaterial structure (which philosophy rejects because no intellectually satisfactory connection can be found between matter and an immateriality) of humanity, how does sin or good and evil fit into the puzzle?
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