What does 'having faith' mean to you?

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#31

Post by Byblos » Wed May 03, 2017 5:57 am

Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Philip wrote:
What does Richard Dawkins have to do with the price of tea in China?

K
Only that Byblos referenced him, and that Dawkins believes what he does - not on empirical evidence, but upon faith in unseen things.
And that one of Dawkins' favorite quotes that Ken used, i.e. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". One of the most meaningless phrases ever uttered, a self-refuting contradiction requiring an extraordinary amount of evidence to support.
Why do you consider it a meaningless phrase, that is contridiction?

Ken
Because it IS an extraordinary claim. Go ahead and present the extraordinary evidence it is requiring.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#32

Post by Philip » Wed May 03, 2017 11:52 am

Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

Norman Geisler's take on Ephesians 2: 8 is that the GIFT of God is NOT faith, but is salvation. The Gift comes after OUR faith is exercised in our hearts and minds to receive and commit ourselves to Jesus.

Geisler says extreme Calvinists take "it" in the above verse to refer to faith. This was used by the Calvinist Synod of Dort to supposedly prove that very point. But Geisler notes that even John Calvin said of this text that "he does not mean FAITH is the gift of God, but that SALVATION is given to us by God, or that we obtain it (salvation) by the gift of God." Geisler says that it is very clear from the Greek that Ephesians 2:8-9 is not referring to faith as a gift from God. As "that" (touto) is neuter in form and cannot refer to "faith" (pistis), which is feminine. Further, he says by "that," Paul is referring to the whole process of "salvation by grace through faith." He references Gregory Sanot, who notes that "if Paul wanted to refer to pistis ('faith'), he could have written the feminine taute, instead of the neuger, touto, and his meaning would have been clear." But he did not.

WHO must have faith? Us! WHOSE faith in Christ must it be, then? Ours! Otherwise, you are right back to the Calvinist nonsense, that God decided who to bestow salvation upon and who not to, and that no decision before or made by man (in response) has anything to do with it - as it is asserted that God determined this distribution of people's eternal fates before time. Of course, God KNOWS people's response to Him (whether they will ultimately embrace or reject Him), and He HAS accordingly determined/always known their fates per their response to Him. It is OUR faith, and God's gift of SALVATION! Important difference. He did predetermine those who would be saved - because He foreknew Who would respond by embracing Him - AND those are the ones that meet His criteria, which is bound up in His will. The rebels were also foreknown. But everyone chooses freely to embrace or reject God. The rebels and rejecters ALSO have the opportunity to embrace God - He's not withheld such opportunity from anyone. But as the rebels will forever refuse God, then He will forever deny them His gift (Salvation!). A last note, ALL saved clearly had to choose God, but even they could not do so if He had not first decided to provide the opportunity to receive the Gift (per the Cross and Christ's sacrifice).

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#33

Post by Kenny » Wed May 03, 2017 3:59 pm

Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Philip wrote:
What does Richard Dawkins have to do with the price of tea in China?

K
Only that Byblos referenced him, and that Dawkins believes what he does - not on empirical evidence, but upon faith in unseen things.
And that one of Dawkins' favorite quotes that Ken used, i.e. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". One of the most meaningless phrases ever uttered, a self-refuting contradiction requiring an extraordinary amount of evidence to support.
Why do you consider it a meaningless phrase, that is contridiction?

Ken
Because it IS an extraordinary claim. Go ahead and present the extraordinary evidence it is requiring.
If you told me you had a chicken that lays 2-3 eggs per day, I would believe you. As a matter of fact; I would probably buy one from you if I were interested in buying chickens, based strictly on your word.
However; if you told me you had a chicken that would lay golden eggs, eggs made of solid gold; and you were willing to sell me this chicken at a reasonable price, now your word is no longer sufficient; before I make such an investment, I am going to require you provide evidence to prove your claim has merit. At minimum I am going to require you provide me one of those eggs for personal inspection; I will probably go as far as requiring a demonstration from your chicken under observed conditions.
Does this sound reasonable to you?

Ken

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#34

Post by Kurieuo » Wed May 03, 2017 8:01 pm

Philip wrote:Ephesians 2:8: For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

Norman Geisler's take on Ephesians 2: 8 is that the GIFT of God is NOT faith, but is salvation. The Gift comes after OUR faith is exercised in our hearts and minds to receive and commit ourselves to Jesus.

Geisler says extreme Calvinists take "it" in the above verse to refer to faith. This was used by the Calvinist Synod of Dort to supposedly prove that very point. But Geisler notes that even John Calvin said of this text that "he does not mean FAITH is the gift of God, but that SALVATION is given to us by God, or that we obtain it (salvation) by the gift of God." Geisler says that it is very clear from the Greek that Ephesians 2:8-9 is not referring to faith as a gift from God. As "that" (touto) is neuter in form and cannot refer to "faith" (pistis), which is feminine. Further, he says by "that," Paul is referring to the whole process of "salvation by grace through faith." He references Gregory Sanot, who notes that "if Paul wanted to refer to pistis ('faith'), he could have written the feminine taute, instead of the neuger, touto, and his meaning would have been clear." But he did not.

WHO must have faith? Us! WHOSE faith in Christ must it be, then? Ours! Otherwise, you are right back to the Calvinist nonsense, that God decided who to bestow salvation upon and who not to, and that no decision before or made by man (in response) has anything to do with it - as it is asserted that God determined this distribution of people's eternal fates before time. Of course, God KNOWS people's response to Him (whether they will ultimately embrace or reject Him), and He HAS accordingly determined/always known their fates per their response to Him. It is OUR faith, and God's gift of SALVATION! Important difference. He did predetermine those who would be saved - because He foreknew Who would respond by embracing Him - AND those are the ones that meet His criteria, which is bound up in His will. The rebels were also foreknown. But everyone chooses freely to embrace or reject God. The rebels and rejecters ALSO have the opportunity to embrace God - He's not withheld such opportunity from anyone. But as the rebels will forever refuse God, then He will forever deny them His gift (Salvation!). A last note, ALL saved clearly had to choose God, but even they could not do so if He had not first decided to provide the opportunity to receive the Gift (per the Cross and Christ's sacrifice).
I knew that might start something. ;) You're quite perceptive there and even right to question this verse I cited.

I'm not sure it's clear cut either way, but neither do I necessarily see an issue either way it is interpreted. Evangelicals often have a specific formula for how one is saved, and in my experience, seeing people follow that formula of the sinner's prayer asking Jesus into their life, it doesn't always work. Some say it, and yet, there is something missing. Their hearts aren't really there, they don't truly believe, they're just trying out some "magical" formula, perhaps testing if God exists as the Christian says He does or something such. Some transformation only seems to happen when God spiritually moves to seal someone in Christ. And, you see that transformation in a person when it happens, the person being born again spiritually, God's touch on the person, such faith I believe is immovable. Equally, you can see a person try themselves, following the formula, even appearing sincerely open, and they still seem spiritually dead.

Fact is, that cited passage "by grace through faith" is shortly followed up by our being predestined before the creation of the world to be conformed into the image of Jesus. We might adopt Craig's Molinism view here, which tries to reconcile God's predestining with our free will. When push comes to shove though, it's ultimately God who gives us faith, because on our own, we'd not respond to God drawing us to Himself. If God placed us in a different world, we were born at a different location and time, perhaps we might not respond at all. It's not that we aren't free to respond in the actualised world we do actually live in, but ultimately we see that it always falls back to God. As per John 6:44, "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up on the last day."

As I see matters, and see in life with others trying to "seek" out God for themselves, a saving faith seems to me most definitely something that comes via the Holy Spirit sealing a person in Christ. This is what I see taught in Scripture also. Without God, we'd be like at the bottom of a dark well, our searching would be in vain because we're in darkness and walled in. God must throw down a rope, draw us upward to Himself, yet we must be willing to respond and go, willing to even climb that rope. Once at the top, out of the darkness and in the full light, our blindness is removed and we can see. Such is only a metaphor here, but consider the passages which state there are none who seek God, none that understand. All we merely do is respond to God's drawing. Either our heart moves closer to God, or we don't budge and further harden ourselves to God.

In summary then, I believe if God didn't care to bother drawing us to Himself, then no one would care about or seek God. No one could come to a faith in Christ on their own. So then, theologically, I think "by grace through faith" is more correct, even if contextually based on the words alone one argues that "grace" is the better referent.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#35

Post by Philip » Thu May 04, 2017 9:23 am

K: I knew that might start something. You're quite perceptive there and even right to question this verse I cited.

I'm not sure it's clear cut either way, but neither do I necessarily see an issue either way it is interpreted.
As this is a really important issue, and one dear to my heart, I want to weigh in with a bit of depth - this is a bit long (not per K's standards, perhaps, haha, but by mine ;) ).

OK, this is how I see it. This issue of what we cannot know without God revealing it to us has to do with: A) His creation of us in HIS Image; B) God's desire (which comes first) to love us; C) Him giving us our free will; D) Him making salvation possible by His sacrifice upon the Cross; E) Him giving US the choice of what He desires for us, but that He won't force upon us (a desire and love for Him); F) Upon His standards and Holy Character, per how He frames the choices (to accept or reject Him) AND their consequences. And subsequent to what God puts before all people, is a matter of their freedom of will to make a choice – He has also provided and enabled and this choice (to embrace Him) possible, but not certain - as that is dependent upon their RESPONSE. Notice that ALL of items A - F are per what God first has done and desires. None of what our salvation depends upon - including the fact that He must FIRST woo and enlighten us to Himself - is dependent upon us. Our choice is FIRST also given by Him. So, He allows us a choice in RESPONSE to all that He first does for us. And that response would be impossible without Him first giving us the choice and ability to respond. So, Salvation is, ultimately, ALL due to the Lord. There is no cooperation in Salvation, only a response to what only God can provide. So, the question becomes, WHAT exactly does God wish to provide, and to WHOM - inclusively?

God clearly has stated that He loves ALL: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." First off, this world God loved, was a world of unsaved persons who needed saving - His stated purpose for coming here. So, BEFORE saving people in this unsaved world, He loved them. To whom does God show His love, concern, and willingness for an unfathomable Sacrifice (Jesus!)? ALL, as all need saving!

As Paul writes to Timothy: “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for ALL people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires ALL people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man[a] Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for ALL."

So, who does God inclusively desire to repent (turn to Him)? "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that ALL people EVERYWHERE should repent..." So, we see that God has an ALL-inclusive desire as to whom He loves AND that He desires to save. But doe's He show favorites?

Peter, having just realized that God desires the salvation of Gentiles as well (as before He had the Jewish understanding that God was only concerned with the Jews), reveals his enlightenment: "Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism." In fact, Scripture reveals in multiple places that God does not show favoritism as to whom He wishes would come to Him and love Him BACK: 2 Chronicles 19:7, ACTS 10:34, Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, 1 Peter 1:17. But He does set a standard for all who He'll apply Christ's sacrifice to - a different matter.

Repeatedly, God also models His love for all in His commandments to us: Remember the lawyer, who wanted to find a technicality over whom inclusively Jesus says we are to love – the lawyer cynically asks, yeah, but “who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds with the story of the Good Samaritan – showing that we are to love ALL. God does not qualify who He loves – He doesn't show favorites! And Scripture reveals He doesn't expect us to, either. God is not a hypocrite, that He loves only select people while teaching US to love ALL – as HE loves all and desires all would love Him BACK. But He gives ALL a choice in his response.

Repeatedly, across Scripture, God warns of those who will not turn to Him. WHY so, if they do not have a choice in the matter? Why would He be upset if anyone doesn't choose Him IF HE hasn't made it possible – that NO MATTER WHAT ONE MIGHT DESIRE, He's supposedly locked the parameters so that only some can choose to love Him back? This is a concept not found in Scripture! God ALWAYS rails against the evils of rebellion and rejection of Him and His ways, per the evils of of the human heart and mind. Those who are not saved are ONLY those who have rejected the door (Jesus) through Whom ALL may and MUST enter God's Kingdom to receive salvation. GOD first gave us the choice – which without we could not choose Him BACK. Repeatedly, Scripture urges all to embrace the Lord - AS IF THEY CAN! Does God implore something that is impossible to obey? Does God withhold salvation from anyone for any reason other than that THEY reject Him? Absolutely NOT!

So is God’s favor arbitrary? Do our choices have any impact on whether we are among His favorites? Isaiah 66:2 says, “THESE are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word.” Hmmm, sounds like something to do with the WILL of a man - He looks upon with favor those who have a certain willingness and humbleness about them. But there is more.

OK, so WHY doesn't God make Himself far more obvious to many of the currently unsaved (as, obviously, some of those currently unsaved will eventually embrace the Lord)? Because THEY are unwilling to place their faith in Him. And even before that, they reject what He's already made them aware of about Himself. God DOES give people enough to know He exists and to want to know Him, to know more - but THEY refuse what He FIRST and has ALREADY shown them about Himself. Remember, even some of the unsaved religious rulers, having received full knowledge of Jesus' teachings and miracles, had enough knowledge to believe Who Jesus was/is: “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities BELIEVED in Him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it...” (John 12:42). Clearly, these leaders knew ENOUGH, but refused to confess Jesus. What does God say about ALL people - even those of ancient times who did not possess the words of the Prophets or The Law: “... because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse ” (Romans 1: 19-20). So, people are responsible, NOT for what God HASN'T shown them yet, but because of what He has ALREADY "made evident to them." Notice, this says nothing about one having not heard the Gospel message - which is because one can reject God BEFORE ever hearing the Gospel - and that is enough to condemn them. God knows that the Gospel would just be further rejected by many. Again, how much more knowledge did those religious leaders who "believed" need? Knowledge isn't many people's true problem or blockage. It's not GOD that blocks salvation - it is people's hard hearts and minds!

OK, so, we see that people DO know enough about God, because HE tells us He FIRST reaches to and reveals various things about Himself to them – and, for many, does so before they ever hear the Gospel. WHY would He even do that – why is that important to God to give people some upfront knowledge of Himself? It's because He is JUST! He does not condemn because of things HE doesn't provide, but only due to their UNWILLINGNESS to appreciate or embrace such enlightenment which He has already given them. So, instead of wanting to know more, and “though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, THEY became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and [o]crawling creatures.” So, people made their own gods, and did so in THEIR own images - or desires how to craft their own gods.

God, lamenting His heartbreak over Israel's unwillingness to embrace Him, says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and YOU were not willing!" (Matthew 23:37)

The issue is that God HAS shown us enough to want to know more; enough to receive more – of which He desires to give but not FORCE upon us. For some, like those in ancient Israel and those with the Gospel, God provides a LOT more knowledge of Himself and desires for us. But knowledge is not most people's TRUE issue relating to their lack of faith in God. Yes, God has to move first – and He already HAS, and to whatever individual extent He perfectly knows is appropriate and adequate for a given individual to know He exists, and that He wants them, and that He has more for them, IF only they would be WILLING. So, it has always been that God wants us, has FIRST reached to us – and that He provides all needed to know more, and is more than willing to provide whatever we need, and to lead us all the way to salvation. However, He desires to give us a choice that also allows us to exercise our free will: Either to move toward Him or away from Him – He's allowed us to truly have the freedom of will to RESPOND to what He's already first done for us. For those never saved, their fate has absolutely nothing to do with anything God desires to withhold from them – it has to do with things He has already provided them and wants to show them more of – but that they refuse Him.

The block to salvation isn't God, it is a man's hard heart and mind: Men are UNWILLING. And all those permanently unwilling will die unsaved!

Note God, on the unwilling: "Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?"

Quotes:

"Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?" (Ezekiel)

"The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter)

"“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon." (From Isaiah - note the contingencies that are to do with the will of man - as God's will is for them to turn to Him!

"We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast." (2 Samuel) (So, God HAS provided ALL the "means" to not remain an outcast - will we receive His "means?"

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#36

Post by Byblos » Thu May 04, 2017 11:13 am

Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Philip wrote:
Only that Byblos referenced him, and that Dawkins believes what he does - not on empirical evidence, but upon faith in unseen things.
And that one of Dawkins' favorite quotes that Ken used, i.e. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". One of the most meaningless phrases ever uttered, a self-refuting contradiction requiring an extraordinary amount of evidence to support.
Why do you consider it a meaningless phrase, that is contridiction?

Ken
Because it IS an extraordinary claim. Go ahead and present the extraordinary evidence it is requiring.
If you told me you had a chicken that lays 2-3 eggs per day, I would believe you. As a matter of fact; I would probably buy one from you if I were interested in buying chickens, based strictly on your word.
However; if you told me you had a chicken that would lay golden eggs, eggs made of solid gold; and you were willing to sell me this chicken at a reasonable price, now your word is no longer sufficient; before I make such an investment, I am going to require you provide evidence to prove your claim has merit. At minimum I am going to require you provide me one of those eggs for personal inspection; I will probably go as far as requiring a demonstration from your chicken under observed conditions.
Does this sound reasonable to you?

Ken
Sounds very reasonable. And utterly besides my point. My contention is not with the fact that claims require evidence, that's just trivially true. My contention is with the label 'extraordinary' on both, the claim and its evidence. You are the one making the claim that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". And make no mistake about it (actually you made several), it is, in fact a claim. As such, the onus is on you to define what an extraordinary claim means, how to define it as such, who defines it and why, what are the rules, the parameters, constraints, etc. etc. In the absence of such a rigorous definition, we are left with an arbitrary definition, rendering said claim meaningless, for the claim does not even apply to itself, therefore self-defeating.

I will leave you with this thought though, the most extraordinary metaphysical claim (pardon the pun) for the ultimate explanation for reality itself, as incomprehensibly complex as it is, is absolute simplicity. There goes your claim.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#37

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Thu May 04, 2017 2:01 pm

Philip wrote: OK, so WHY doesn't God make Himself far more obvious to many of the currently unsaved (as, obviously, some of those currently unsaved will eventually embrace the Lord)? Because THEY are unwilling to place their faith in Him. And even before that, they reject what He's already made them aware of about Himself. God DOES give people enough to know He exists and to want to know Him, to know more - but THEY refuse what He FIRST and has ALREADY shown them about Himself.
When I was young I would feel a slight emptiness sometimes. I still get it if I am distanced from God. I think that is a sign that we are programmed to seek God.

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#38

Post by Kenny » Thu May 04, 2017 7:03 pm

Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
And that one of Dawkins' favorite quotes that Ken used, i.e. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". One of the most meaningless phrases ever uttered, a self-refuting contradiction requiring an extraordinary amount of evidence to support.
Why do you consider it a meaningless phrase, that is contridiction?

Ken
Because it IS an extraordinary claim. Go ahead and present the extraordinary evidence it is requiring.
If you told me you had a chicken that lays 2-3 eggs per day, I would believe you. As a matter of fact; I would probably buy one from you if I were interested in buying chickens, based strictly on your word.
However; if you told me you had a chicken that would lay golden eggs, eggs made of solid gold; and you were willing to sell me this chicken at a reasonable price, now your word is no longer sufficient; before I make such an investment, I am going to require you provide evidence to prove your claim has merit. At minimum I am going to require you provide me one of those eggs for personal inspection; I will probably go as far as requiring a demonstration from your chicken under observed conditions.
Does this sound reasonable to you?

Ken
Byblos wrote: Sounds very reasonable.
Great! Sounds like we understand each other.
Byblos wrote: And utterly besides my point.
Dang spoke too soon.
Byblos wrote: My contention is not with the fact that claims require evidence, that's just trivially true. My contention is with the label 'extraordinary' on both, the claim and its evidence. You are the one making the claim that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". And make no mistake about it (actually you made several), it is, in fact a claim. As such, the onus is on you to define what an extraordinary claim means, how to define it as such, who defines it and why, what are the rules, the parameters, constraints, etc. etc. In the absence of such a rigorous definition, we are left with an arbitrary definition, rendering said claim meaningless, for the claim does not even apply to itself, therefore self-defeating.
Okay! I think I can see why we are misunderstanding each other.
Extra ordinary is not objective, it is subjective; meaning it is based on personal opinions, assumptions, beliefs, and perceptions; not empirical evidence, proof, or facts. So when I say “extra ordinary claims require an extra ordinary amount of evidence," I am explaining what is required in order to convince me; not anybody else, or everybody else; that a claim is true. A more detailed way perhaps would have been to say; "what I consider to be an extra ordinary claim will require what I determine to be an extra ordinary amount of evidence in order for me to accept as true."

So to answer your questions :
Q What is an extra ordinary claim?
A A claim I consider to be extra ordinary.

Q Parameters, constraints, etc. etc.?
A These are determined on a case by case basis, by myself.

For me this is just another way of saying, I do not give all claims equal consideration.
If we go back to the Chicken that lays golden eggs, I would consider it absurd to consider a chicken laying eggs of solid gold the same consideration as a claim that a chicken lays typical eggs.

Does this sound reasonable to you?

Ken

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#39

Post by Byblos » Thu May 04, 2017 7:43 pm

Kenny wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
Kenny wrote:
Byblos wrote:
And that one of Dawkins' favorite quotes that Ken used, i.e. "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". One of the most meaningless phrases ever uttered, a self-refuting contradiction requiring an extraordinary amount of evidence to support.
Why do you consider it a meaningless phrase, that is contridiction?

Ken
Because it IS an extraordinary claim. Go ahead and present the extraordinary evidence it is requiring.
If you told me you had a chicken that lays 2-3 eggs per day, I would believe you. As a matter of fact; I would probably buy one from you if I were interested in buying chickens, based strictly on your word.
However; if you told me you had a chicken that would lay golden eggs, eggs made of solid gold; and you were willing to sell me this chicken at a reasonable price, now your word is no longer sufficient; before I make such an investment, I am going to require you provide evidence to prove your claim has merit. At minimum I am going to require you provide me one of those eggs for personal inspection; I will probably go as far as requiring a demonstration from your chicken under observed conditions.
Does this sound reasonable to you?

Ken
Byblos wrote: Sounds very reasonable.
Great! Sounds like we understand each other.
Byblos wrote: And utterly besides my point.
Dang spoke too soon.
Byblos wrote: My contention is not with the fact that claims require evidence, that's just trivially true. My contention is with the label 'extraordinary' on both, the claim and its evidence. You are the one making the claim that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". And make no mistake about it (actually you made several), it is, in fact a claim. As such, the onus is on you to define what an extraordinary claim means, how to define it as such, who defines it and why, what are the rules, the parameters, constraints, etc. etc. In the absence of such a rigorous definition, we are left with an arbitrary definition, rendering said claim meaningless, for the claim does not even apply to itself, therefore self-defeating.
Okay! I think I can see why we are misunderstanding each other.
Extra ordinary is not objective, it is subjective; meaning it is based on personal opinions, assumptions, beliefs, and perceptions; not empirical evidence, proof, or facts. So when I say “extra ordinary claims require an extra ordinary amount of evidence," I am explaining what is required in order to convince me; not anybody else, or everybody else; that a claim is true. A more detailed way perhaps would have been to say; "what I consider to be an extra ordinary claim will require what I determine to be an extra ordinary amount of evidence in order for me to accept as true."

So to answer your questions :
Q What is an extra ordinary claim?
A A claim I consider to be extra ordinary.

Q Parameters, constraints, etc. etc.?
A These are determined on a case by case basis, by myself.

For me this is just another way of saying, I do not give all claims equal consideration.
If we go back to the Chicken that lays golden eggs, I would consider it absurd to consider a chicken laying eggs of solid gold the same consideration as a claim that a chicken lays typical eggs.

Does this sound reasonable to you?

Ken
It stopped being reasonable the moment you mentioned subjectivity. Nothing to add after that, I'm good. Thanks kenny.
Let us proclaim the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.

Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#40

Post by Kurieuo » Thu May 04, 2017 9:02 pm

Philip wrote:The block to salvation isn't God, it is a man's hard heart and mind: Men are UNWILLING. And all those permanently unwilling will die unsaved!
Seems you went off on a related tangent (like I often do), but this part at the end brings it back more to my last post. It is the main the issue. We are UNWILLING, so then how can our heart and mind change?

Note Romans 3:10-12, Psalm 14:1-3 and Psalm 53:1-3 which is summed up in the Romans passage that says:
  • “None is righteous, no, not one;
    11 no one understands;
    no one seeks for God.
    12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
    no one does good,
    not even one.”
If we accept this, then we must in line with Scripture point out that in our fallen (pre-Christ) state, there are none who seek God. If none seek God, how is it we can seek God? Contrast these passages with other passages that appear to contradict no one seeks God.
  • Proverbs 8:17 I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me.
    Jeremiah 29:13 And ye shall seek Me and find Me when ye shall search for Me with all your heart.
    Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Consider if no one truly seeks God, how then can we seek God to find Him? I can see only one clear answer, which I'll withhold, but have covered variously here and there in the past.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#41

Post by Philip » Thu May 04, 2017 9:26 pm

K: Consider if no one truly seeks God, how then can we seek God to find Him?
God must (for anyone to be saved) and does show Himself to us FIRST - and He does so, in different ways to different people. Only He knows what each needs to begin to respond to Him. Some need faint prompting. Others need radical shoves. He will woo, draw, enlighten, and even employ drastic means for one who He knows whatever approach will be effective upon them (those who, at some point, with His help, will become willing and no longer resistant). But He also knows there are those for whom the only level of drawing that would be effective would be to FORCE Himself upon them - meaning that ALL approaches short of brute force would be totally ineffective upon them. This He will not do! He will not force them to love Him - as forced love is not true love. And that would also be a violation of the free will He gave them, per how they are made in His Image. This is why God sends NO one to Hell - they choose it for themselves, whether they realize that's what they are doing, or not. So, the ONLY thing we can do is to be eventually receptive to that God gives us first - and that will require our will to eventually relinquish and be receptive and open to God's continuing overtures. Look at what some of those who would not confess Jesus were given - God in the flesh, right before them, doing all manner of impossible things, fulfilling Scripture right in front of these religious Jews so well versed in the Scriptures. Saying and doing the most astonishing things with unparalleled power, wisdom and authority. But it wasn't enough, for most of them. One must ask, what WOULD it have taken to have broken their resistance? "Irresistible Grace!": God would have had to FORCE them against their wills to no longer resist Him. Such people received the ultimate Apologetic (Jesus!) - right in the Flesh before them - having observed astonishing evidences the rest of humanity isn't provided - yet, even experiencing Jesus and His miracles wasn't enough for them. That should tell us something about the human will in regards to what God puts before us. God's prompts are effective only upon those so WILLING, but not upon those with hearts, minds, and thus, WILLS, determinedly and permanently resistant and avoiding of Him.
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thatkidakayoungguy (Fri May 05, 2017 10:42 am)

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#42

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Fri May 05, 2017 10:45 am

I've heard a question from someone on a discussion forum once that makes a good point. Why did God not reveal Himself to everyone at the same time? Like at the tower of Babel? We know that God works in different ways yet most don't realize it, and that when God revels Himself to everyone it will be too late. My answer to their question is it's not time yet, what about yours?

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#43

Post by Philip » Fri May 05, 2017 11:13 am

The Kid: I've heard a question from someone on a discussion forum once that makes a good point. Why did God not reveal Himself to everyone at the same time? Like at the tower of Babel? We know that God works in different ways yet most don't realize it, and that when God revels Himself to everyone it will be too late. My answer to their question is it's not time yet, what about yours?
For one thing, everyone in history wasn't in one place at one time. Also, God knows the perfect timing, per people mindsets and circumstances, as to precisely WHEN and for WHOM His overtures and prompting will be most effective. Again, God not putting a big "video screen in the sky, that looped Him expressing Who He is and what He wants from us," is not how He desires to reach us. Remember, God is the one driving salvation - as He is the Beginner and Completer of it. And it is HIS salvation! He is not limited in effectiveness to touching hearts and minds via HIS methods - as opposed to the way WE would do it. Again, information and knowledge crucial to the willing and open heart and mind, God WILL provide. And everyone doesn't need the same things to believe. But, as with those who watched Jesus, for many people, their issue in lacking faith is NOT a knowledge problem - it's a heart/mind/will problem! If a person first needs enlightenment or certain knowledge before becoming receptive to God, He will provide what is truly needed and effective. But He often doesn't give a certain level of knowledge to people He knows will only dig in further, in their determined resistance to Him - as A), the reality is often that they don't have a knowledge problem, and B), He perfectly knows all of those for whom further knowledge would be a worthless thing.

Again, Romans indicates that since the Creation, God has revealed to all people that He exists, but that THEY purposely distort and obscure that to a point that they often have convinced themselves that He does not. Men are exceptionally clever at deluding themselves concerning God.
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thatkidakayoungguy (Sat May 06, 2017 10:07 am)

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#44

Post by thatkidakayoungguy » Sat May 06, 2017 10:10 am

Philip wrote:
The Kid: I've heard a question from someone on a discussion forum once that makes a good point. Why did God not reveal Himself to everyone at the same time? Like at the tower of Babel? We know that God works in different ways yet most don't realize it, and that when God revels Himself to everyone it will be too late. My answer to their question is it's not time yet, what about yours?
For one thing, everyone in history wasn't in one place at one time.
The tower of babel is the closest to that you'll get though.
Philip wrote:Again, Romans indicates that since the Creation, God has revealed to all people that He exists, but that THEY purposely distort and obscure that to a point that they often have convinced themselves that He does not. Men are exceptionally clever at deluding themselves concerning God.
Just like how I see through many arguments atheists have, yet they can't understand it when I explain it to them.

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Re: What does 'having faith' mean to you?

#45

Post by Mallz » Sun May 07, 2017 6:00 pm

Kenny wrote:
Mallz wrote:
Kenny wrote:But once empirical evidence is presented, is it really faith at that point?
I like this question, it gets at what faith is. Yes, it would be faith after having empirical evidence. Faith, at least defined by the bible, is: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen".
Evidence of things NOT seen. If it is not seen, how can you call that empirical? Empirical is that which has been repeatedly tested and verified. Evidence of things not seen sounds like something that lacks physical verification aka blind faith. Do you agree?

Ken
Hey, Kenny. Sorry for being in and out (you already know my presence here is spotty, aye?).
Evidence of things NOT seen, I gave examples such as: gravity or wisdom or love. It IS empirical. I know God is real through empirical evidence. And you won't get that empirical evidence until you approach Him and test Him on His terms (unless you're very lucky/unlucky), which would give an acknowledgment to Him and is the beginning of humility. Only humility (from our end) leads to knowledge, wisdom and truth. I think you're limiting what is empirical to something that is not scientific. I can verify His existence and my relationship with Him from observation and experience. If you look back over the years, you will see I have always made this claim (which leads me to conclusions such as: all babies love Jesus). One of the biggest differences between God and 'that chair' is God is a person and demands to be respected in the very basic level (like you and I would), and that is to be acknowledged and believed in (how you and I acknowledge and believe in each other). And btw, metaphysics has empirical areas of study, and much of it does not. Where something can be engaged with on an empirical level, I agree it should be. And example of an interdisciplinary study that brought forth results with God (not of God, btw) would be theology, philosophy, metaphysics, physics, quantum physics, pneumatology, and microbiology. Or, simply, praying and watching Him work. And it's repeatable and with its results.

The reason why you can't get here, though, is because you're engaging in a discipline yet denying the discipline is true and should be followed to be educated in it. How can you do math if you refuse to learn and engage in algorithms and instead color animals instead of using numbers and learning mathematical formulas? That's the biggest mistake I see most people make and one you are also making.

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