43
   

Obama..... not religious?

 
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:11 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
There's very little to distinguish someone who says "I follow the 'golden rule' laid down by Jesus, but I don't accept that he was divine" with someone who says "I follow the 'golden rule' because it's morally defensible, and I don't give a fico for that guy Jesus."

That's a pretty simplistic version of what Jesus taught, though.
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:15 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
There's very little to distinguish someone who says "I follow the 'golden rule' laid down by Jesus, but I don't accept that he was divine" with someone who says "I follow the 'golden rule' because it's morally defensible, and I don't give a fico for that guy Jesus."

That's a pretty simplistic version of what Jesus taught, though.

Indeed it is.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:20 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
If that's true, what distinguishes a Presbyterian who believes that Christ was divine from a Muslim or Bahai who believes that Christ was just a really righteous dude?


The next prophet.
0 Replies
 
George
 
  9  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:25 am
I guess it's time for us hypocrites to check in here.

I really hate being called a hypocrite. It implies deception and an
attempt to appear better than you are, two things I try to avoid. In
point of fact, however, I refer to myself as Roman Catholic.
Sometimes I add, "though technically I'm a heretic", but not always.
I will confess to you that I do not believe (or do) everything that a
Catholic should. In the eyes of many in the Church that makes me a
"cafeteria Catholic". In the eyes of Frank and Thomas, that makes me
a hypocrite.

Many who call themselves Catholic would fail to pass a strict
examination. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I think some
really beieve they are practicing Catholics and others just never
think it all the way through. And still others may in fact be
hypocrites.

I call myself a Catholic because that is the religious tradition I
grew up in and whose tenets I was taught. That tradition and those
tenets have had a profound influence on the way I think about God and
my relationship with other people and the world around me. I attend
services at St. Pat's and acknowledge my religious affiliation when
questioned or when I think it helps explain something about me.

I will continue to call myself Catholic even if that is not completely
accurate. Maybe I'll get t-shirt with a big red H on it. I bet I
could find one at the Harvard Coop.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:38 am
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
You conclude that Arians weren't Christians because they didn't believe in the Catholic version of Christ . . .


This is probably the most flagrant straw man i've seen you attempt to prop up. In fact, it was precisely my point that the Arians were Christians who didn't believe in the divinity of the boy Jesus. Once again, in this case, in rejecting the Catholic Encyclopedia, you are relying upon ipse dixit. I see no reason to accept your version of in what consisted Arianism over anyone else's. I cannot rattle off the sources off the top of my head, because i did most of my reading in early Christianity 40 years ago now, but there are far more sources for that description of Arianism than just the Catholic Encyclopedia. I'll offer that as my modest ipse dixit to your huge, inflated examples relating to your unsubstantiated claim that a Christian must, perforce, believe in the divinity of the putative Christ, and that Catholics are an unreliable source for the nature of Arianism.

Here, you made an error in one of your sentences . . . an oversight, i'm sure . . . so i've corrected it for you:

Quote:
Someone who merely follows the precepts of Jesus, without accepting his divinity, is probably on the fringes of what I would consider to be the definition of "Christian."


You're playing fast and loose once again. This:

Quote:
If "Christian" is to be a meaningful category, it must mean more than just thinking that Christ was a smart cookie.


. . . is not a description of what i offered as a reasonable definition of a Christian. I could no care less what your view of definitions and dictionaries is, nor your theological position. Attempting to refute what i've written by simply trivializing my position ought to be beneath your dignity . . . guess i was wrong about that, at least.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:39 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
DrewDad wrote:
That's a pretty simplistic version of what Jesus taught, though.
Indeed it is.

Then why bother to subject us to such a pitiful argument? Exactly how many of these the-only-thing-I-learned-about-Jesus-is-the-Golden-Rule Christians do you think are running around out there?
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:40 am
@George,
Thanks, George.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:41 am
@sozobe,
Ditto. +1
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:46 am
@nimh,
Quote:
That was clever.


It does not, however, constitute a substantive argument in favor of his position.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:48 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Quote:
That was clever.

It does not, however, constitute a substantive argument in favor of his position.

Nimh's just buttering him up to get him to post more on Observationalism.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:55 am
@DrewDad,
That is very much to the point. I prefaced my remarks about Joe's version of what is necessary to be Christian by pointing out that a claim that Christians must hew to the law of Leviticus is a more valid basis for determining who is a Christian than is accepting the belief that the boy Jesus was divine precisely because there is a scriptural basis for such claim (which i cited earlier). Additionally, scripture alleges to us that Jesus considered works to be important, arguably as important as faith (despite the puling hypocrisy of some charismatics and fundamentalists), as is shown in Matthew Chapter 25 (verses 34-40, in the King James Version):

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


There is indeed a great deal more to be alleged as being the teachings of the putative Christ than what can be contained on a fortune cookie slip.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 10:57 am
@DrewDad,
That Habibi is pretty damned sly, ain't he?
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:13 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
This is probably the most flagrant straw man i've seen you attempt to prop up. In fact, it was precisely my point that the Arians were Christians who didn't believe in the divinity of the boy Jesus.

And my point is that you're merely repeating the Catholic version of Arianism. It's unlikely that an Arian would have said that Christ wasn't divine, it's just that a Catholic would say that an Arian would say that Christ wasn't divine. That's a pretty big difference -- one that seems to have largely escaped you. You are happy to parrot the Catholic party line about Arianism. I'm not sure why you accept the Catholic side of this debate, but accept it you certainly do.

Setanta wrote:
Once again, in this case, in rejecting the Catholic Encyclopedia, you are relying upon ipse dixit. I see no reason to accept your version of in what consisted Arianism over anyone else's. I cannot rattle off the sources off the top of my head, because i did most of my reading in early Christianity 40 years ago now, but there are far more sources for that description of Arianism than just the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Indeed there are, and I've pointed out before. Here's what that source had to say on this particular point:
Quote:
Arius denied the full deity of the preexistent Son of God who became incarnate in Jesus Christ. He held that the Son, while divine and like God ("of like substance"), was created by God as the agent through whom he created the universe.

The Arians, in other words, believed that Christ was divine. They just didn't believe that Christ was divine in the same way that Catholics believe Christ was divine. I make no judgment as to who is right in this debate. That you have made such a judgment is, on the other hand, a matter between you and your deity.

Setanta wrote:
Here, you made an error in one of your sentences . . . an oversight, i'm sure . . . so i've corrected it for you:

The day I start seeking advice from you on writing shall be the day before I give up writing entirely.

Setanta wrote:
You're playing fast and loose once again. This:

Quote:
If "Christian" is to be a meaningful category, it must mean more than just thinking that Christ was a smart cookie.


. . . is not a description of what i offered as a reasonable definition of a Christian. I could no care less what your view of definitions and dictionaries is, nor your theological position. Attempting to refute what i've written by simply trivializing my position ought to be beneath your dignity . . . guess i was wrong about that, at least.

My point is that your "reasonable" definition of a Christian isn't very reasonable at all.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:16 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

joefromchicago wrote:
DrewDad wrote:
That's a pretty simplistic version of what Jesus taught, though.
Indeed it is.

Then why bother to subject us to such a pitiful argument? Exactly how many of these the-only-thing-I-learned-about-Jesus-is-the-Golden-Rule Christians do you think are running around out there?

I doubt there are very many of them at all. But then I didn't introduce the notion of "people-who-follow-Christ's-teachings-but-who-don't-believe-in-Christ's-divinity Christians." That was Setanta. I was merely responding to his argument. Try to keep up.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:17 am
@DrewDad,
Setanta wrote:

It does not, however, constitute a substantive argument in favor of his position.

Hence where I said that I may not agree with him, but...

DrewDad wrote:
Nimh's just buttering him up to get him to post more on Observationalism.

Funny, but no. Smile (Jeez, have we gotten to the point where you cant make an opponent a compliment without it being suspect?)
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:19 am
@nimh,
It was a joke, Nimh.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:21 am
@joefromchicago,
joefromchicago wrote:
I doubt there are very many of them at all. But then I didn't introduce the notion of "people-who-follow-Christ's-teachings-but-who-don't-believe-in-Christ's-divinity Christians." That was Setanta. I was merely responding to his argument. Try to keep up.

You introduced a self-serving subset, resulting in a strawman.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:21 am
@DrewDad,
Ditto. +2

It's funny how far these theoretical discussions of theology become removed from people's day-to-day experience, and how much that doesn't stop those engaged in the discussions from declaring who is a real Christian and who is not. But it's all the funnier when none of those partaking in the "angels on the head of a pin" discussions at hand are actually Christian.
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:22 am
@DrewDad,
I said "funny", DrewDad.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Feb, 2009 11:28 am
Your continuing remarks about Arianism, including the quotes from the previous thread, in which you similarly side-stepped Socianism and the Jehovah's Witnesses, is simply a continuation of your ipse dixit. You say that one cannot be a Christian unless they accept the divinity of the putative Christ. If i offer any examples of people who considered themselves Christian, and who have been considered Christians by others, who don't believe that the putative Christ was divine, you simply revisit your fall back position that if they don't believe the putative Christ was divine, they can't be Christians. A convenient, if silly and facile position for you to take.

The day you have the right to include me (or anyone else in any of these debates) in your statements by using we while delineating your personal position is the day Hell will freeze over. It's cold here today, but not even remotely that cold.

And my point is that my reference to definitions from others which i have provided (as opposed to simply my personal definition) is not only entirely reasonable, it's a good deal more reasonable than your ipse dixit, no matter how frequently you repeat it, and no matter to what extent you preen yourself with a conceit that you do so cleverly.
 

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