Monday, April 2, 2007

Introduction

Hi there!

I deleted the old blog. It was full of hate and reminded me of my sin. Although I fully admit to being a sinner if I choose to live in that sin I know that I am not yet forgiven. I do not claim that I am spotless, but I do claim that Jesus has forgiven me of my sins, and therefore I am not subject to dwell on them.

I am hoping to start soon, I have been in the process of discovering which translation to use. I think I want to use the Evidence bible (www.wayofthemaster.com). It seems to be a good representation of the King James and has really good research added. I will also be using e-sword's (www.e-sword.org) many free bible references.

Here is a summary of what I want to do:

What I would like to do is start a research column - in my spare time (like I have any). It will be dedicated to the following concepts:

1. The origin of the Bible. Where did it come from. This topic is very important to a Christian. Anyone who believes it is some kind of 'fax from God' is seriously not, in my humble* opinion, thinking the way God wants us to. Deut. 6:4 - "And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Might (Jewish 'meh-ode') in this context refers to 'wholly' or 'utterly' - the gift of personal thought is such a wonderful gift that to not use brain power for God seems a waste.

*I'm very humble, ask anyone - I've already told them. I'm modest too.

2. The truth of the Bible. Does it make sense as a stand alone literal document? I believe it does, but I'm an Academic. The purpose of this section is to understand the internals of the Bible by itself (are there verses that contradict, cannot be applied today, etc.) Of course a lot of the discussion will have to relate to where I am in the Bible at the moment, meaning I need to read the whole Bible. It's about time anyway. This section will take a long time. I want to blog it.

3. The official arguments (i.e. publications) of others against the Bible. The first person that I will start with is Thomas Paine, as he is the only author I know of to actually read the Bible when arguing with it (my only basis for this argument is my dad - he isn't a 'Christian' - but he studied the Bible and related texts). I look forward to that, but section 1 needs to be completed first.

4. Doctrine that contradicts the Bible. This field includes evolution (Rev Charles Darwin). This is such a hot topic right now I can't help but feel excited at the prospect of researching this. I want to look at the arguments for and against the doctrines of the Bible. Strangely enough we do know where the Bible came from, it's not 'a fax from God', but it's not some crazy guys' ramblings either. The origin of the Bible is very important.

5. Doctrine that seemingly 'goes with' the Bible. I have to admit that I have been inspired by THE TEACHINGS of Kent Hovind (www.drdino.com). He is a teacher that has some really good arguments and has excellent evidence. But know this: I believe in Jesus Christ, not Kent Hovind. Do NOT DARE to assume I completely agree with Kent Hovind, or that I condone his actions (especially with regard to taxes). I have myself noticed a direct contradiction in his DVDs - nothing big, but I do intend to analyze what he says critically. But that is what is great about Kent Hovind, he encourages the study of the Bible. This is where, I feel, a lot of evangelists go wrong. Evangelistic techniques will also be discussed, I feel very passionate about this.

6. A 'Quiet Time' section. I want to look at some documents and discuss them in relation to the Bible. I don't know if they are for or against God. That's why I bought them. I find that a daily devotional is to weak nowadays.

Here is where I make a note. I'm open to logical arguments, I really am. But I admit that I am religiously biased towards the Bible. I believe that it is correct. If you want to argue, please bring it on - I want to be strong for God. However, should you want to demonstrate a FACT, you must come with proof. If you BELIEVE something, you do not need proof. I would love to PROVE that the Bible is the word of God, but I cannot. I admit this. I do BELIEVE though, that this is where our faith begins. Everything else can form a basis from here. So yes, my arguments will be on a foundation of faith, however, I know it to be consistent with the Bible. In Luke 6:48 Jesus talks about a man who built his house on the rock, I believe that the Bible is right. Show me proper proof otherwise - I challenge you to look at my foundation and shake it.

I am also an academic. I usually don't believe anything without a reason. I make an exception for the Bible simply because I felt God's presence. I know a source when I see one. And don't think that I am easily fooled - if wikipedia says something - i am very suspicious of it. I like to look at two sides of an argument. I believe you can't prove the Bible is the word of God just as much as I can prove it is. I believe that people don't like being told to 'love their neighbour as themselves' etc.

Ok before I write the book before I start I'm going to finish off here - I am trying to do a Masters in Artificial Intelligence. I am a lecturer of Information Technology for managers and I run around a lot.

I'll create the sections and I look forward to this. I pray God will bless this, and keep my enthusiasm for it as fresh as it is now.

4 comments:

Corey said...

Here's an interesting question for you on evolution. Are you an animal?

Qjay said...

Yes I am.

Unfortunately in terms of the Oxford English Dictionary (www.oed.com): "A living being; a member of the higher of the two series of organized beings, of which the typical forms are endowed with life, sensation, and voluntary motion, but of which the lowest forms are hardly distinguishable from the lowest vegetable forms by any more certain marks than their evident relationship to other animal forms, and thus to the animal series as a whole rather than to the vegetable series." Just out of interest I looked up human as well: "Of, belonging to, or characteristic of mankind, distinguished from animals by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright posture."

I also found a really awesome etymological dictionary (http://www.etymonline.com)
ANIMAL: "...living being, being which breathes..."
HUMAN: "...of or belonging to man... (cf. Heb. adam 'man,' from adamah 'ground')..."

I am a living being. I cannot refute this. I would like to know what side you are on before you post comments but I have problems both sides:

1. If you take some of the more typical Christian viewpoints - I've heard arguments where people try to make a mockery of evolution. I certainly do not intend to take it lightly. I will not say that I am not an animal, because the word is quite clear on it's meaning.

2. The non-Christian viewpoint - I assumed from your blog entitled "The Truth Hurts: What Is Wrong With The Christian Right" that this is your standpoint. So yes, I am an animal, I am a human as well (being "distinguished from animals", OED). The only reason for my acceptance of this is that the definition of the word dictates. It does not prove evolution, not that I'm saying you would try to use that to prove evolution. All it does prove, however, is that there is a classification under which breathing organisms exist together. That's like saying there is only one kind of love.

Do I have ANIMAL rights? Of course not, I have HUMAN rights. Do animals deserve HUMAN rights? No. So why does my Bible draw the distinction (Gen 1:26, Gen 2:7)? I believe God had it in his design. We both breath, so there is intelligent design going on.

I also believe that all living things require a living parent. Thankfully I was created by a living God (Gen 2:7), not born of rock.

Corey said...

But there is more to it than being just an animal. Humans are also defined as mammals, primates and apes. This is science, not religion.

Not born of rock? Then why does Genesis say that man (Adam) was formed "from the dust of the ground" (non-living matter)?

If you say that evolution is stupid because humans comes from rocks, does that not mean that creation is stupid because it says the say same thing?

Intelligent design, huh? In the United States, there is debate about teaching this in science classes. If intelligent design is taught, shoudn't other theories be taught as well, such as aliens cloned humans?

Qjay said...

I got some definitions off the web:

Here it defines primates quite well. Wikipedia has quite an awesome definition as well.

I can understand the groupings as well - common design - I'm not in the same groupings as fish because they are so different. I would even be GLAD to say that I am a part of this grouping (Ecclesiastes 3:19 "For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.") I believe that we have DOMINION over creation (we are supposed to look after it), but we have no claim to say that we are BETTER than creation (preeminence). Even though God made us special, we must remember our place.

The Bible is quite clear that Adam was formed from the dust in the ground, but only his flesh. It did not live on it's own. It required the breathe of life (Genesis 2:7). Please note even the Bible clearly states that animals where formed in the same manner (Gen 1:24, Gen 2:19, Ecc 3:19). I think this is why man is so desperate to find an alternative to special creation, he wants his own will to be done, this is not new - and Christianity is so offensive to that.

I have been misunderstood, I do not think evolution is 'stupid'. I found a site where they think that, and I find it ironic that this person uses the "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools" verse - what on earth makes them so wise as to despise evolution?

Here is a quote I find interesting: "Evolution is for stupid people, stupid because they refuse to acknowledge the Word of God in their life" - I have many problems with this- 1.Matt 5:22 "...but whosoever, shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" 2.How are people to believe in a God without the Holy Spirit? If you do not have the Holy Spirit - you will not seek God, and therefore have a RIGHT not to acknowledge the Word of God in your life.

I think evolution is for intelligent people, people who want to seek the truth, regardless of their faith, but then it must be sought - not simply believed. To violently attack something I don't understand would be wrong and extremely non-Christian-like. I learned my lesson just a short while ago. I am interested in the truth.

Unfortunately I am not an American, and I don't know what should be taught in your schools. But I will give my opinion on all schools. We shouldn't teach them lies (I'm not saying evolution is a lie, only claiming that the theory as it is now is 100% correct - and proven, is). It is with this that I advocate a little bit of agnosticism (believe it or not I actually have a great respect for agnostics - they fit in with my theology), I don't think we should teach creation EITHER. People have a right to believe what they want to believe. We can teach religion and theories in two different classes, but that is not the point of school. I would say only teach that which is IMMEDIATELY provable and look at the world as it is, not how we think it was or will be - unless we state that these are theories.

So here is where I stand: Evolution is no threat to Christianity. I would like to know the proven facts and I think that only things that can be DEMONSTRATED should be taught in school. Can we demonstrate the existence of God? Yes we can, but with deep philosophy (I will write an argument soon), not science. Can we demonstrate the Christian God? Of course not, he reveals himself to those who he chooses. Is evolution theory stupid? No way, it is an attempt to discover the workings of the world. God tells us to do that (1 Thess 5:21). Do I like they way that some people handle evolution? No.