The fundamental problem in Christianity

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The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on September 24th, 2010, 2:47 pm 

While looking at the various gospels, and figuring out the timelines, for a previous thread about Jesus, I noticed what I think to be a fundamental problem: Jesus was killed about 29 CE, and hasn't returned.

You can see the early evangelicals - Matthew, Luke, Paul, etc - stretching this out, sort of stalling for time, but what then? In modern Christianity, ministers and priests simply finesse this stumbling block, but how did they make that transition? Did a bishop in 109 simply say, "Ah, well, let's make that a test of faith. That'll stop the questions."?

Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby Riddler_This on September 24th, 2010, 5:16 pm 

CanadysPeak wrote:While looking at the various gospels, and figuring out the timelines, for a previous thread about Jesus, I noticed what I think to be a fundamental problem: Jesus was killed about 29 CE, and hasn't returned.

You can see the early evangelicals - Matthew, Luke, Paul, etc - stretching this out, sort of stalling for time, but what then? In modern Christianity, ministers and priests simply finesse this stumbling block, but how did they make that transition? Did a bishop in 109 simply say, "Ah, well, let's make that a test of faith. That'll stop the questions."?

Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?



Cite your sources please, there are a lot of statements here.

Your primary contention is that Christian leaders are stretching-out a specific time-line? What time-line? Also, what religious group are you speaking about? It sounds like you're referring to the Catholics?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on September 24th, 2010, 7:27 pm 

Riddler_This wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:While looking at the various gospels, and figuring out the timelines, for a previous thread about Jesus, I noticed what I think to be a fundamental problem: Jesus was killed about 29 CE, and hasn't returned.

You can see the early evangelicals - Matthew, Luke, Paul, etc - stretching this out, sort of stalling for time, but what then? In modern Christianity, ministers and priests simply finesse this stumbling block, but how did they make that transition? Did a bishop in 109 simply say, "Ah, well, let's make that a test of faith. That'll stop the questions."?

Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?



Cite your sources please, there are a lot of statements here.

Your primary contention is that Christian leaders are stretching-out a specific time-line? What time-line? Also, what religious group are you speaking about? It sounds like you're referring to the Catholics?


Which part do you need a source for: whether Jesus died in 29 or 30, or whether he stayed dead?

The Synoptic gospels provide the best sources for the death. Josephus mentions it as well. I just looked in the Pittsburgh Press and saw that over a dozen Christian churches are having services this Sunday; I accept that as prima facie evidence he's still dead.

There were no Catholics in the first century. If you're going to argue here, please do some preparation.
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby Riddler_This on September 28th, 2010, 2:51 am 

CanadysPeak wrote:
Riddler_This wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:While looking at the various gospels, and figuring out the timelines, for a previous thread about Jesus, I noticed what I think to be a fundamental problem: Jesus was killed about 29 CE, and hasn't returned.

You can see the early evangelicals - Matthew, Luke, Paul, etc - stretching this out, sort of stalling for time, but what then? In modern Christianity, ministers and priests simply finesse this stumbling block, but how did they make that transition? Did a bishop in 109 simply say, "Ah, well, let's make that a test of faith. That'll stop the questions."?

Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?



Cite your sources please, there are a lot of statements here.

Your primary contention is that Christian leaders are stretching-out a specific time-line? What time-line? Also, what religious group are you speaking about? It sounds like you're referring to the Catholics?


Which part do you need a source for: whether Jesus died in 29 or 30, or whether he stayed dead?

The Synoptic gospels provide the best sources for the death. Josephus mentions it as well. I just looked in the Pittsburgh Press and saw that over a dozen Christian churches are having services this Sunday; I accept that as prima facie evidence he's still dead.

There were no Catholics in the first century. If you're going to argue here, please do some preparation.


A fundamental problem that Jesus hasn't returned?

I might have missed something here because I am a very factual, word-by-word serious type of reader and often times when I read something I will get a different conclusion than the one inferred :P sorry if I've just done that!
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby QuiteDragon on September 28th, 2010, 1:11 pm 

I am having a bit of a problem with CanadysPeak's question about the timeline, too, as there seems to be some conflation of resurrection and "return". There are, I believe, significant distinctions between the two in Christian philosophy. Perhaps that should be clarified?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on September 28th, 2010, 3:57 pm 

QuiteDragon wrote:I am having a bit of a problem with CanadysPeak's question about the timeline, too, as there seems to be some conflation of resurrection and "return". There are, I believe, significant distinctions between the two in Christian philosophy. Perhaps that should be clarified?


Conflation? Not on my part. I said Jesus died and stayed dead. Thus, no return. Now, the whole resurrection myth solves the problem of that I suppose, but the question is really about how the early fathers handled the very long delay. If it's three days and Jesus is still dead, you can say, "Ah, it's the Jonah prophecy." If it's a year or two, you can rewrite the scenario and have Jesus say, "Some of you will still be alive when I return." If it's going on a century, the best you can do is say, "Well, he probably stopped for a beer and got distracted by the Knicks game." But, somewhere in there you have to use some flash powder and a pretty assistant to distract them while you get the story out that, yes, he did return but went back to heaven, there to await ...?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby Riddler_This on September 28th, 2010, 5:34 pm 

CanadysPeak wrote:
QuiteDragon wrote:I am having a bit of a problem with CanadysPeak's question about the timeline, too, as there seems to be some conflation of resurrection and "return". There are, I believe, significant distinctions between the two in Christian philosophy. Perhaps that should be clarified?


Conflation? Not on my part. I said Jesus died and stayed dead. Thus, no return. Now, the whole resurrection myth solves the problem of that I suppose, but the question is really about how the early fathers handled the very long delay. If it's three days and Jesus is still dead, you can say, "Ah, it's the Jonah prophecy." If it's a year or two, you can rewrite the scenario and have Jesus say, "Some of you will still be alive when I return." If it's going on a century, the best you can do is say, "Well, he probably stopped for a beer and got distracted by the Knicks game." But, somewhere in there you have to use some flash powder and a pretty assistant to distract them while you get the story out that, yes, he did return but went back to heaven, there to await ...?


Yes Jesus returned once already, but that was not the 'return' He was referring to. He said He would rise from the dead three days after His death. I am still at a loss as to what your point is Canady?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby Whut on September 28th, 2010, 6:02 pm 

CanadysPeak wrote:Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?


If you mean like create a new religeon based on what we know today, and not just myths, and what in essence is a 2000 year old version of santa clause, I really think so.

I dont mean to be rude against anyone with cirtain beliefs but i think its wrong people are fed this stuff.

And yes this assumes its all fairy tales, but really, even if one was true, thats how many other religeons that arnt? that alone is alot of people being fooled big time, and when its 100% sure that some of them most defenatly must be wrong, i think its then most likely all of them are.

The teachings and morals etc are good, and something new should be made based opon that, one that says you should be good becuase we will help each others life more etc, not just be good or go to hell!

"Messages from God" aside, in theory, wouldnt an ideal "bible" be one that always changed as we gained knowledge about ourselves as a race in general?

we still follow a book made for people many years ago, mabie we should hold on to the morals and let go of the superstitous side?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on September 28th, 2010, 6:10 pm 

Whut wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?


If you mean like create a new religeon based on what we know today, and not just myths, and what in essence is a 2000 year old version of santa clause, I really think so.

I dont mean to be rude against anyone with cirtain beliefs but i think its wrong people are fed this stuff.

Do people need to be fooled into being good people at this day and age?

That is pretty much what Spong is saying. Though I don't particularly agree with his theology, he makes a darn good point that religion has some value - the sense of togetherness, the moral compass, the spirituality, and the health benefits of meditation (OK, the last one is me, not Spong) - but that the whole fairy tale thing has made it impossible for rational humans to practice religion. He wants to update it and do it without the fables.
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby Whut on September 28th, 2010, 6:13 pm 

CanadysPeak wrote:
Whut wrote:
CanadysPeak wrote:Or, as John Shelby Spong seems to argue, do we have to reformulate Jesus without the magic?


If you mean like create a new religeon based on what we know today, and not just myths, and what in essence is a 2000 year old version of santa clause, I really think so.

I dont mean to be rude against anyone with cirtain beliefs but i think its wrong people are fed this stuff.

Do people need to be fooled into being good people at this day and age?

That is pretty much what Spong is saying. Though I don't particularly agree with his theology, he makes a darn good point that religion has some value - the sense of togetherness, the moral compass, the spirituality, and the health benefits of meditation (OK, the last one is me, not Spong) - but that the whole fairy tale thing has made it impossible for rational humans to practice religion. He wants to update it and do it without the fables.


I had not previously heard of him but from what i gather here i personaly belive hes got the right idea and its something we should all think about.
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on September 28th, 2010, 6:27 pm 

Whut,

I suspect the folks like him are the only hope Christianity (at least Protestant Christianity) has of surviving another century. His best book on this topic is Why Christianity Must Change or Die: A Bishop Speaks to Believers In Exile. Most good libraries should have a copy; just look in the heresy section - that's 666 in the Dewey Decimal. :>)
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby HigherLvlofThinking on September 28th, 2010, 6:41 pm 

Canady, That does sound very interesting but by fables does he also mean the beliefs in "God"?
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby Whut on September 28th, 2010, 7:03 pm 

CanadysPeak wrote:just look in the heresy section - that's 666 in the Dewey Decimal. :>)


Really? Wow. thats stooping real low. so much trickery...

That cant be a coincedence really?

So wait, they class anything against religeon under 666?

And i assume Melvil Dewey was a Christian?

With these sorts of things going on its no suprise alot of people are stuck on this stuff for the wrong reasons.
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on September 28th, 2010, 7:08 pm 

curly_kid13 wrote:Canady, That does sound very interesting but by fables does he also mean the beliefs in "God"?

Probably a better way to put that is to say that people who think they have the only true belief are people who believe in fables. People who think they are supposed to impose their values on others believe in fables. People who hate other people because of opinion differences believe in fables. God might be a fable or might be a useful tool; it all depends on what you do with your belief.
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby stlekee on October 1st, 2010, 6:55 pm 

I read Spong's book 'Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalists' and I like his ideas. He seems to be focusing on a christian religion that is more focused on Jesus than Christ. I think this is where the discussions will boil down to: Jesus or Christ. A role model or a diety. Jesus' life and teachings reveal a spiritually evolved human, a role model if you like. The Christ concept developed over time as people tried to make sense of their disappointment that the world at large didn't change as a result of Jesus' life. I mean if God sent his son to Earth to die for all our sins, why didn't he make that clear so there wouldn't be any confusion? Instead we have people developing a religion over hundreds of years to try to explain the confusion.
It seems to me that there is a big divide in what many theologians think and believe, and what is preached and believed in many churches. I remember an account I read of 2 people discussing theology. One went on and on about Paulune and Petrine doctrine. The other listened patiently and finally responded by saying he didn't believe in Paul or Pater, he believed Jesus. I think the point is that a very simple message of love, compassion, tolerance, and inner peace got all complicated by people who didn't or accept that simple message. So instead of Jesus we have Christ.
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Re: The fundamental problem in Christianity

Postby CanadysPeak on October 1st, 2010, 7:23 pm 

stlekee wrote:I read Spong's book 'Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalists' and I like his ideas. He seems to be focusing on a christian religion that is more focused on Jesus than Christ. I think this is where the discussions will boil down to: Jesus or Christ. A role model or a diety. Jesus' life and teachings reveal a spiritually evolved human, a role model if you like. The Christ concept developed over time as people tried to make sense of their disappointment that the world at large didn't change as a result of Jesus' life. I mean if God sent his son to Earth to die for all our sins, why didn't he make that clear so there wouldn't be any confusion? Instead we have people developing a religion over hundreds of years to try to explain the confusion.
It seems to me that there is a big divide in what many theologians think and believe, and what is preached and believed in many churches. I remember an account I read of 2 people discussing theology. One went on and on about Paulune and Petrine doctrine. The other listened patiently and finally responded by saying he didn't believe in Paul or Pater, he believed Jesus. I think the point is that a very simple message of love, compassion, tolerance, and inner peace got all complicated by people who didn't or accept that simple message. So instead of Jesus we have Christ.


If you're interested in that transition, I can recommend two pretty good studies. One is Albert Nolan's Jesus before Christianity. Nolan is very Catholic, but somehow gets away with seeing Jesus quite apart from the religion. The other is Paula Fredriksen's From Jesus to Christ. She is a religion scholar, but is less in awe of the man Jesus.

I think there must have been something extraordinarily charismatic about Jesus and the message that he preached. Else it would be hard to explain the large number of people, who having heard and seen him, and knowing the likely consequences, went to their deaths as a consequence of being followers. Yet, very little of what that message must have been actually comes through after the filter of 2000 years of ritual and dogma and myth.

We have no difficulty today studying Gautama without being Buddhist. We can study Hitler without being a Nazi. But, we inevitably run into problems when we try to study Jesus without being Christian. Secular folk are deeply suspicious, while orthodox Christians get out the stakes and pine faggots.
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