Author Topic: Different sects of Christianity.  (Read 2498 times)

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Raylight

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Different sects of Christianity.
« on: September 29, 2015, 03:37:43 PM »

Some people claim that there were many sects of Christianity in its beginning, and that is used to question the authenticity of Christianity as we know it. I had a nice conversation with a student, and I must say it was nice to sit down and discuss such topics. So,  What would be the response to someone who questions how can we know that Christianity today is the true Christianity ? How do you respond to someone who claims that we can never know for sure that our Christianity is the actual and true one ?  I mentioned the Holy Apostolic Tradition, but that is also questioned by the student. Asked if we can be certain that what we call "Holy Tradition" is the actual Tradition that of the Apostles?
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 03:41:57 PM by Raylight »

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 03:50:02 PM »
People seem to have this idea that there were a bunch of groups and gradually, one got bigger than the rest and pushed the rest to the side. That theory doesn't hold up with history. I study of ancient texts demonstrate that Apostolic Christianity was by far and away the largest group. Groups like the Ebionites and Gnostics were much smaller and it should also be noted, were openly fought against by the Apostles. The Ebionites threw out pretty much the entire New Testament except for the Gospel of St. Matthew and even then only used an abridged version that avoided parts that implicated Christ's divinity.  They threw out the teachings of Sts. Paul, Peter and John. I'm not sure how someone can come to the conclusion that that would be an accurate understanding of Apostolic Christianity. The Gnostics were even more out in left field and can be clearly traced to a date later than Christ. Really, the only way we even know about these groups is because of Christian writings that refute them.

It is kind of like someone far in the future saying that Westboro Baptist Church might be the true representation of Christianity because they found some ancient 21st century books denouncing them, so perhaps they were really the true expression of 21st century Christendom.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 03:50:31 PM »

Some people claim that there were many sects of Christianity in its beginning, and that is used to question the authenticity of Christianity as we know it. I had a nice conversation with a student, and I must say it was nice to sit down and discuss such topics. So,  What would be the response to someone who questions how can we know that Christianity today is the true Christianity ? How do you respond to someone who claims that we can never know for sure that our Christianity is the actual and true one ?  I mentioned the Holy Apostolic Tradition, but that is also questioned by the student. Asked if we can be certain that what we call "Holy Tradition" is the actual Tradition that of the Apostles?

Let reality speak. Check incorrupt bodies, tangible miracles that are related to signalling the True Church (Holy Fire, Reversal of Jordan, Cloud of Sinai).

One thing you can be sure, wherever people think it is only about an intellectual puzzle to sort out the right doctrine, that's not the Church.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Raylight

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 03:56:23 PM »

Some people claim that there were many sects of Christianity in its beginning, and that is used to question the authenticity of Christianity as we know it. I had a nice conversation with a student, and I must say it was nice to sit down and discuss such topics. So,  What would be the response to someone who questions how can we know that Christianity today is the true Christianity ? How do you respond to someone who claims that we can never know for sure that our Christianity is the actual and true one ?  I mentioned the Holy Apostolic Tradition, but that is also questioned by the student. Asked if we can be certain that what we call "Holy Tradition" is the actual Tradition that of the Apostles?

Let reality speak. Check incorrupt bodies, tangible miracles that are related to signalling the True Church (Holy Fire, Reversal of Jordan, Cloud of Sinai).

One thing you can be sure, wherever people think it is only about an intellectual puzzle to sort out the right doctrine, that's not the Church.

How could you use such examples with someone who denies any possibility for the existence of Supernatural world? This is why I didn't use such answers because he is very confident about his naturalistic/materialist views. There is almost no place for faith ( with or without capital F ) in his view.

Raylight

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 03:57:58 PM »
People seem to have this idea that there were a bunch of groups and gradually, one got bigger than the rest and pushed the rest to the side. That theory doesn't hold up with history. I study of ancient texts demonstrate that Apostolic Christianity was by far and away the largest group. Groups like the Ebionites and Gnostics were much smaller and it should also be noted, were openly fought against by the Apostles. The Ebionites threw out pretty much the entire New Testament except for the Gospel of St. Matthew and even then only used an abridged version that avoided parts that implicated Christ's divinity.  They threw out the teachings of Sts. Paul, Peter and John. I'm not sure how someone can come to the conclusion that that would be an accurate understanding of Apostolic Christianity. The Gnostics were even more out in left field and can be clearly traced to a date later than Christ. Really, the only way we even know about these groups is because of Christian writings that refute them.

It is kind of like someone far in the future saying that Westboro Baptist Church might be the true representation of Christianity because they found some ancient 21st century books denouncing them, so perhaps they were really the true expression of 21st century Christendom.

It seems that some "historians" somehow come up with their own theories that are primarily based on imagination. That somehow the whole Christianity thing is a big conspiracy, and our beliefs are based on some fake version.  Funny how a historian in 21th century thinks that he/she able to see exactly what happened 2000 years ago!!
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 03:59:50 PM by Raylight »

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 04:05:09 PM »

Some people claim that there were many sects of Christianity in its beginning, and that is used to question the authenticity of Christianity as we know it. I had a nice conversation with a student, and I must say it was nice to sit down and discuss such topics. So,  What would be the response to someone who questions how can we know that Christianity today is the true Christianity ? How do you respond to someone who claims that we can never know for sure that our Christianity is the actual and true one ?  I mentioned the Holy Apostolic Tradition, but that is also questioned by the student. Asked if we can be certain that what we call "Holy Tradition" is the actual Tradition that of the Apostles?

Let reality speak. Check incorrupt bodies, tangible miracles that are related to signalling the True Church (Holy Fire, Reversal of Jordan, Cloud of Sinai).

One thing you can be sure, wherever people think it is only about an intellectual puzzle to sort out the right doctrine, that's not the Church.

How could you use such examples with someone who denies any possibility for the existence of Supernatural world? This is why I didn't use such answers because he is very confident about his naturalistic/materialist views. There is almost no place for faith ( with or without capital F ) in his view.

If he has a supernatural event registered right in front of him (like incorrupt bodies), maybe he has cognitive problems that have to be treated before intellectual arguments can have effect.

It's like aliens. If you had one, just one, in front of you, and you still denied it, than the problem is not abou the logic or probability of their existance, but some issue.

He may deny that they are miracles at all, and it is reasonable that he wants to be better informed. Provide material about the existance of miracles first.

If he does not see God in concrete tangible action, he is in his right to think it is all an ellaborate and probably false bunch of words, all with the same value.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 04:06:30 PM »
People seem to have this idea that there were a bunch of groups and gradually, one got bigger than the rest and pushed the rest to the side. That theory doesn't hold up with history. I study of ancient texts demonstrate that Apostolic Christianity was by far and away the largest group. Groups like the Ebionites and Gnostics were much smaller and it should also be noted, were openly fought against by the Apostles. The Ebionites threw out pretty much the entire New Testament except for the Gospel of St. Matthew and even then only used an abridged version that avoided parts that implicated Christ's divinity.  They threw out the teachings of Sts. Paul, Peter and John. I'm not sure how someone can come to the conclusion that that would be an accurate understanding of Apostolic Christianity. The Gnostics were even more out in left field and can be clearly traced to a date later than Christ. Really, the only way we even know about these groups is because of Christian writings that refute them.

It is kind of like someone far in the future saying that Westboro Baptist Church might be the true representation of Christianity because they found some ancient 21st century books denouncing them, so perhaps they were really the true expression of 21st century Christendom.

I was to add ore to what you said. It seems that some "historians" somehow come up with their own theory that are primarily based on imagination. That somehow the whole things is a big conspiracy.
This movement to promote other schismatic sects of Christianity was first promoted by a theologian, Walter Bauer. I'm sure you can find more out about him and his work if you google him. One significant point against his theory is the fact that you can find Christian writings that support Apostolic Christianity from all over the ancient world. From Rome to Alexandria, from Carthage to Armenia, the ancient world is replete with Orthodox Christian writings from very early times. In contrast, Ebionism was confined to small areas of Palestine. Gnosticism was concentrated to portions of Egypt and then eventually after several centuries spread from there, but even then not getting the same spread as Orthodox Christianity. If one of those were the "original" and Orthodoxy is the offshoot, you would expect to see the reverse.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 04:36:44 PM »
No. There was one Church organization founded by the Apostles. Within that organization various viewpoints arose, but there was only ever one organization until the issue between Nestorius and Cyril, and the Cyrillians and Chalcedonians which led to that organization's being cleft asunder.

Gnostics, Arians, Ebionites, Marcionites or even the Catholics, they all operated within the framework of the organization of the Church. They never established their own organization outside of her until the Christological controversies of the 5th century.
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Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 04:38:35 PM »
People seem to have this idea that there were a bunch of groups and gradually, one got bigger than the rest and pushed the rest to the side. That theory doesn't hold up with history. I study of ancient texts demonstrate that Apostolic Christianity was by far and away the largest group. Groups like the Ebionites and Gnostics were much smaller and it should also be noted, were openly fought against by the Apostles. The Ebionites threw out pretty much the entire New Testament except for the Gospel of St. Matthew and even then only used an abridged version that avoided parts that implicated Christ's divinity.  They threw out the teachings of Sts. Paul, Peter and John. I'm not sure how someone can come to the conclusion that that would be an accurate understanding of Apostolic Christianity. The Gnostics were even more out in left field and can be clearly traced to a date later than Christ. Really, the only way we even know about these groups is because of Christian writings that refute them.

It is kind of like someone far in the future saying that Westboro Baptist Church might be the true representation of Christianity because they found some ancient 21st century books denouncing them, so perhaps they were really the true expression of 21st century Christendom.

I was to add ore to what you said. It seems that some "historians" somehow come up with their own theory that are primarily based on imagination. That somehow the whole things is a big conspiracy.
This movement to promote other schismatic sects of Christianity was first promoted by a theologian, Walter Bauer. I'm sure you can find more out about him and his work if you google him. One significant point against his theory is the fact that you can find Christian writings that support Apostolic Christianity from all over the ancient world. From Rome to Alexandria, from Carthage to Armenia, the ancient world is replete with Orthodox Christian writings from very early times. In contrast, Ebionism was confined to small areas of Palestine. Gnosticism was concentrated to portions of Egypt and then eventually after several centuries spread from there, but even then not getting the same spread as Orthodox Christianity. If one of those were the "original" and Orthodoxy is the offshoot, you would expect to see the reverse.

Walter Bauer is a good linguist though, he wrote an excellent lexical text.
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Offline seekeroftruth777

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 05:42:17 PM »
People seem to have this idea that there were a bunch of groups and gradually, one got bigger than the rest and pushed the rest to the side. That theory doesn't hold up with history. I study of ancient texts demonstrate that Apostolic Christianity was by far and away the largest group. Groups like the Ebionites and Gnostics were much smaller and it should also be noted, were openly fought against by the Apostles. The Ebionites threw out pretty much the entire New Testament except for the Gospel of St. Matthew and even then only used an abridged version that avoided parts that implicated Christ's divinity.  They threw out the teachings of Sts. Paul, Peter and John. I'm not sure how someone can come to the conclusion that that would be an accurate understanding of Apostolic Christianity. The Gnostics were even more out in left field and can be clearly traced to a date later than Christ. Really, the only way we even know about these groups is because of Christian writings that refute them.

It is kind of like someone far in the future saying that Westboro Baptist Church might be the true representation of Christianity because they found some ancient 21st century books denouncing them, so perhaps they were really the true expression of 21st century Christendom.

It seems that some "historians" somehow come up with their own theories that are primarily based on imagination. That somehow the whole Christianity thing is a big conspiracy, and our beliefs are based on some fake version.  Funny how a historian in 21th century thinks that he/she able to see exactly what happened 2000 years ago!!

very insightful raylight! not until going to college have I realize some of the biggest conspiracy theorists are the teachers especially concerning history and religion.

Offline Minnesotan

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 08:43:28 PM »
I'd be extremely careful about citing alleged miracles as proof of which is the true church. I've heard far too many such claims from Pentecostals to be able to take most alleged miraculous "proofs" at face value. And, of course, Rome has by far the most miracle stories of any church, but that doesn't automatically make Rome the winner.

I think it's better to just focus on which tradition has changed the least in the past 2,000 years, rather than constantly reinventing the wheel as Protestants seem to do every generation, or as Rome did thrice (once via Scholasticism, second via the Counter-Reformation and the third time being Vatican II). If the Apostles were transported forward in time to the present, which church would seem the most familiar to them? That's the "test" I'd use.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 08:45:12 PM by Minnesotan »
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Offline William T

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 11:29:15 PM »
When dealing with these kinds of interpretations of history it unfortunately sends us into horribly boring areas of talking about history rather than doing history.  All those awful "meta" words get thrown out "metanarrative", "metahistory", "superstructure", and all those other awful polysyllabic sounding academic words that only cloistered academic Germans get excited about.

Long story short, no matter how you cut the mustard, the Copts, Catholics, and Orthodox all have a very consistent narrative and if the "Christianities" theory is trying to undermine or disprove one of the claims of said bodies, it can't by its own logic.  To show multiplicities or to show that is possible to deconstruct something a certain way does absolutely nothing.  I may go so far as to say these approaches to history as a primary method are dead at the gate....unfortunately though, that leads to boring and fruitless debates about methodology and history.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 11:33:18 PM by William T »

Offline wgw

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 11:48:47 PM »
I'd be extremely careful about citing alleged miracles as proof of which is the true church. I've heard far too many such claims from Pentecostals to be able to take most alleged miraculous "proofs" at face value. And, of course, Rome has by far the most miracle stories of any church, but that doesn't automatically make Rome the winner.

I think it's better to just focus on which tradition has changed the least in the past 2,000 years, rather than constantly reinventing the wheel as Protestants seem to do every generation, or as Rome did thrice (once via Scholasticism, second via the Counter-Reformation and the third time being Vatican II). If the Apostles were transported forward in time to the present, which church would seem the most familiar to them? That's the "test" I'd use.

Agreed. I think continuity with the early church is the most reliable test.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 11:49:23 PM by wgw »
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Offline William T

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2015, 11:55:55 PM »
I'd be extremely careful about citing alleged miracles as proof of which is the true church. I've heard far too many such claims from Pentecostals to be able to take most alleged miraculous "proofs" at face value. And, of course, Rome has by far the most miracle stories of any church, but that doesn't automatically make Rome the winner.

I think it's better to just focus on which tradition has changed the least in the past 2,000 years, rather than constantly reinventing the wheel as Protestants seem to do every generation, or as Rome did thrice (once via Scholasticism, second via the Counter-Reformation and the third time being Vatican II). If the Apostles were transported forward in time to the present, which church would seem the most familiar to them? That's the "test" I'd use.

Yeah.  Wonders can be used to "preach" to outsiders, but that is probably a very very rare thing to actually do, and none of us should ever consider it.  I don't think we should really preach too much morality or "Sermon on the Mount" stuff either to be honest.  I think we are instructed to preach the scandal of Christ crucified and the Resurrection.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2015, 11:58:08 PM by William T »

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 10:01:33 AM »
I'd be extremely careful about citing alleged miracles as proof of which is the true church. I've heard far too many such claims from Pentecostals to be able to take most alleged miraculous "proofs" at face value. And, of course, Rome has by far the most miracle stories of any church, but that doesn't automatically make Rome the winner.

I don't think Rome has more miracles than anyone else. With the exception of some money-digging churches, I think Protestants also have lots of them.

Rome just has the benefit of being large enough to kind of systematize the miracles that are scientifically tested into a coherent narrative.

But a miracle is not just supernatural filling of a natural gap. It's not about the "God of the gaps".

A miracle is an illuminating event through which other facts can be better understood. I turn food and liquids into my own body and blood everyday and that's not a miracle, it's just digestion. It means nothing.

Said that, we see miraculous healings happening in every church, in every religion and even among disbelievers. That tells me that God's mercy knows no bounderies.

When you get to 1st millenium churches, miracles start to become "heavy metal"... incorrupt bodies, apparitions, etc etc. But even these do not seem to carry any significance towards the subject of the true Church.

But, those three miracles I mentioned, the Cloud of Sinai, the Holy Fire and the Reversal of Jordan, bear profound ecclesiastical meaning.

Roman Marian apparitions have one consistent message: return to the faith. Eucharistic miracles, since Lanciano, have one consistent context: lack of true faith of those witnessing the miracle and these have been common among Romans who mistake it for a confirmation.

Zeitun's Coptic Marian apparition, significantly, says nothing of the faith like she did about Romans, but just hovers over the church, not entering it.

The Cloud of Sinai is a classic symbol of the descent of the Holy Spirit. It only descends over the Orthodox monastery.

The light of Christ's resurrection, from the very place of His resurrection, only shines from the Orthodox Patriarch's hands.

The authority to lose and bind, even over Nature, is manifest also only from the Orthodox bishops in river Jordan.

Taken all these into account mean one thing to me: Our Lord has entrusted His Holy Mother to personally call back the lost sheep to His Church while at the same time, like a lighthouse in a fog, He lights up a guiding fire for all to see where His Church is and where the prodigal children should head to when they are called to "return to the faith".

« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 10:03:32 AM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2015, 10:04:20 AM »
People who come to Christ because of miracles are inevitably going to be disappointed in what they find.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2015, 10:14:24 AM »
People who come to Christ because of miracles are inevitably going to be disappointed in what they find.

Quote
This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

John's disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, he sent them to the Lord to ask, "Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?"

When the men came to Jesus, they said, "John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, 'Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?'"

At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind.

So he replied to the messengers, "Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.
Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me."
St. Luke 7:17-23

When someone wants to know if the Messiah is in a certain place, those are the signs, according to Christ Himself: miracles and the good news being correctly proclaimed to those who need it.

If you have just the supernatural it's either fraud or something worse. When you have just the message it's an intelletcual or rethorical endeavour and nothing more.

One of the reasons society as a whole lost faith in God is because precisely churches announce Him as just a good idea, even if the idea of a supremely loving person. But God acts, here, now, all the time. And not even us see it. Jesus spoke for 3 years but only the resurrection  could prepare their hearts to receive the Holy Spirit.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 10:17:12 AM by Fabio Leite »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2015, 10:24:07 AM »
People who come to Christ because of miracles are inevitably going to be disappointed in what they find.

What about the Resurrection? The whole Christian faith is based on a miracle.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2015, 10:28:00 AM »
St. John the Forerunner believed in Christ, as is evident in Luke 3. The miracles were to confirm and strengthen his faith. What we are discussing in this thread is completely different. It is someone who is skeptical of the teachings of Christ and doubts that He was who the Church says He was. We see numerous times in Scripture that Christ either did not do miracles (Matt 13:58) or did them secretly in situations where there was either lack of belief or people just looking for a show (Mark 1:41-45). People who are just looking for a flashy show are not the population segment that Christ sought to attract.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2015, 10:34:32 AM »
People who come to Christ because of miracles are inevitably going to be disappointed in what they find.

What about the Resurrection? The whole Christian faith is based on a miracle.
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection. They believe in Christ and as a result, accept the Resurrection. Unless, of course, you're Lee Strobel and you make lots of money writing books on your fictional "investigation"  of the "facts".

There are many people/deities who are claimed to have risen from the dead. There is a reason we accept the story of Christ's Resurrection and doubt the others. Christ's Resurrection is confirmation that He was who He said He was, but trying to use it as prove to convince a skeptic isn't going to get you far.
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Offline PeterTheAleut

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #20 on: September 30, 2015, 10:38:05 AM »
Unless, of course, you're Lee Strobel and you make lots of money writing books on your fictional "investigation"  of the "facts".
Where do you get this idea that Strobel's investigation of the facts is fictional? Did he or anyone else ever come out and say he was lying, that he never conducted his investigations?
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2015, 10:59:35 AM »
Unless, of course, you're Lee Strobel and you make lots of money writing books on your fictional "investigation"  of the "facts".
Where do you get this idea that Strobel's investigation of the facts is fictional? Did he or anyone else ever come out and say he was lying, that he never conducted his investigations?
Have you read Strobel's books? His investigations consist of talking to Biblical inerrantist theologians who all agree with each other and then at the end of each book, he proclaims that a study of the facts overwhelmingly demonstrate that (fill in the blank) must be true.

It is a cute literary device to be sure, and makes for an entertaining read, but lets not pretend that his supposed forensic analysis is anything but an advocacy piece. The same sort of investigation can easily be done on the other side by interviewing a bunch of New Atheists who all agree with each other and then proclaiming that your forensic analysis leads you to believe that all religious people are mentally ill. It is all tripe. Christ is not going to be found in some sort of faux-investigation.
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2015, 11:07:01 AM »
Quote
The same sort of investigation can easily be done on the other side by interviewing a bunch of New Atheists who all agree with each other and then proclaiming that your forensic analysis leads you to believe that all religious people are mentally ill. It is all tripe. Christ is not going to be found in some sort of faux-investigation
^ x 1000

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2015, 11:11:05 AM »

Some people claim that there were many sects of Christianity in its beginning, and that is used to question the authenticity of Christianity as we know it. I had a nice conversation with a student, and I must say it was nice to sit down and discuss such topics. So,  What would be the response to someone who questions how can we know that Christianity today is the true Christianity ? How do you respond to someone who claims that we can never know for sure that our Christianity is the actual and true one ?  I mentioned the Holy Apostolic Tradition, but that is also questioned by the student. Asked if we can be certain that what we call "Holy Tradition" is the actual Tradition that of the Apostles?

This smells of the Bauer/Ehrman theory, which is debunked thoroughly by this book by two Protestant theologians. Obviously, they are not out to prove anything about our Holy Tradition, but they demolish the Bauer/Ehrman theory. Here are some reviews of the book:

The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity by Andreas Köstenberger and Michael Kruger.

"In the beginning was Diversity. And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made. And it came to pass that nasty old 'orthodox' people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes. I am grateful to Andreas Köstenberger and Michael Kruger for patiently, carefully, and politely exposing this shameful nakedness for what it is."
—D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"The Heresy of Orthodoxy will help many to make sense of what is happening in early Christian studies today. It explains, critiques, and provides an alternative to, the so-called 'Bauer Thesis,' an approach which undergirds a large segment of scholarship on early Christianity. The 'doctrine' that Christianity before the fourth century was but a seething mass of diverse and competing factions, with no theological center which could claim historical continuity with Jesus and his apostles, has become the new 'orthodoxy' for many. The authors of this book do more than expose the faults of this doctrine, they point the way to a better foundation for early Christian studies, focusing on the cornerstone issues of the canon and the text of the New Testament. Chapter 8, which demonstrates how one scholar's highly-publicized twist on New Testament textual criticism only tightens the tourniquet on his own views, is alone worth the price of the book. Köstenberger and Kruger have done the Christian reading public a real service."
—Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary

"The Bauer thesis, taken up in many university circles and popularized by Bart Ehrman and through TV specials, has long needed a thorough examination. The Heresy of Orthodoxy is that work. Whether looking at Bauer's thesis of diversity, at contemporary use made of the theory to argue for the early origin of Gnosticism, at the process that led to the canon, or what our manuscript evidence is, this study shows that Bauer's theory, though long embraced, is full of problems that need to be faced. What emerges from this study is an appreciation that some times new theories are not better than what they seek to replace, despite the hype that often comes from being the new kid on the block. It is high time this kid be exposed as lacking the substance of a genuinely mature view. This book does that well, and also gives a fresh take on what the alternative is that has much better historical roots."
—Darrell L. Bock, Executive Director of Cultural Engagement, Howard G. Hendricks Center, and Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary   

"This is an admirably lucid and highly convincing rebuttal of the thesis that the earliest form of Christianity in many places was what would later be judged as 'heresy' and that earliest Christianity was so diverse that it should not be considered as a single movement—a thesis first presented by Walter Bauer but most recently advocated by Bart Ehrman. As Köstenberger and Kruger show with such clarity and compelling force, this still highly influential thesis simply does not stand up to scrutiny. By looking at a whole range of evidence—early Christian communities in different regions in the Roman Empire, the New Testament documents themselves, the emergence and boundaries of the canon and its connection to covenant, and the evidence for Christian scribes and the reliable transmission of the text of the New Testament—they show step by step that another view of early Christianity is much more in keeping with the evidence. That is, that there is a unified doctrinal core in the New Testament, as well as a degree of legitimate diversity, and that the sense of orthodoxy among New Testament writers is widespread and pervasive. They also unmask the way contemporary culture has been mesmerized by diversity and the impact this has had on some readers of the New Testament. In this astute and highly readable book—a tour de force—Köstenberger and Kruger have done us all a great service. It is essential reading for all who want to understand the New Testament and recent controversies that have arisen in New Testament Studies."
—Paul Trebilco, Professor of New Testament Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

"Köstenberger and Kruger have written a book which not only introduces the reader to the problematic Bauer thesis and its contemporary resurgence, but which, layer by layer, demonstrates its failure to account reliably for the history of communities, texts, and ideas which flourished in the era of early Christianity. In their arguments, the authors demonstrate their competence in the world of New Testament studies. But, additionally, they weave throughout the book insights into how fallacies within contemporary culture provide fuel for a thesis which long ago should have been buried. Believers will find in these pages inspiration to 'contend earnestly for the faith once for all delivered to the saints.'"
—D. Jeffrey Bingham, Department Chair and Professor of Theological Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

"In recent times, certain media darlings have been telling us that earliest Christianity knew nothing of the 'narrowness' of orthodox belief. Now the authors of The Heresy of Orthodoxy have provided a scholarly yet highly accessible rebuttal, showing that what is actually 'narrow' here is the historical evidence on which this old thesis is based. In a culture which wants to recreate early Christianity after its own stultifying image, this book adds a much-needed breath of balance and sanity."
—Nicholas Perrin, Dean, Wheaton College Graduate School

"Köstenberger and Kruger have produced a volume that is oozing with common sense and is backed up with solid research and documentation. This work is a comprehensive critique of the Bauer-Ehrman thesis that the earliest form of Christianity was pluralistic, that there were multiple Christianities, and that heresy was prior to orthodoxy. Respectful yet without pulling any punches, The Heresy of Orthodoxy at every turn makes a convincing case that the Bauer-Ehrman thesis is dead wrong. All those who have surrendered to the siren song of postmodern relativism and tolerance, any who are flirting with it, and everyone concerned about what this seismic sociological-epistemological shift is doing to the Christian faith should read this book."
—Daniel B. Wallace, Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

About the Authors:

Andreas J. Köstenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is a prolific author, distinguished evangelical scholar, and editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society. His books include The Heresy of Orthodoxy, God, Marriage, and Family, The Final Days of Jesus (with Justin Taylor), and God's Design for Man and Woman (with Margaret Köstenberger). Dr. Köstenberger and his wife have four children.

Michael J. Kruger (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is president and professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, and the author of a number of articles and books on early Christianity.

Offline RobS

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2015, 11:37:20 AM »
Unless, of course, you're Lee Strobel and you make lots of money writing books on your fictional "investigation"  of the "facts".
Where do you get this idea that Strobel's investigation of the facts is fictional? Did he or anyone else ever come out and say he was lying, that he never conducted his investigations?
Have you read Strobel's books? His investigations consist of talking to Biblical inerrantist theologians who all agree with each other and then at the end of each book, he proclaims that a study of the facts overwhelmingly demonstrate that (fill in the blank) must be true.

It is a cute literary device to be sure, and makes for an entertaining read, but lets not pretend that his supposed forensic analysis is anything but an advocacy piece. The same sort of investigation can easily be done on the other side by interviewing a bunch of New Atheists who all agree with each other and then proclaiming that your forensic analysis leads you to believe that all religious people are mentally ill. It is all tripe. Christ is not going to be found in some sort of faux-investigation.
From what I recall of Strobel, and its been a couple of years since I've read popular Protestant apologetics, he argues that God didn't do well enough job of proving he exists to mankind and just needs a better attorney.

That's why a lot of these popular Christian debates with atheists are really boring because its nothing more than arguing over an ontic view of God, which is completely foreign to the meaning of Christianity. Faith becomes irrelevant, the gospel is nothing more than a record of events that "really happened", triumphantly using reason as the vehicle for salvation, and so on.

It's not surprising Strobel is a fundamentalist, this view of Christianity is at its last gasp and will probably disappear this century, with the last refuge probably in some backwaters rural Southern state.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 11:38:20 AM by nothing »
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Offline Iconodule

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #25 on: September 30, 2015, 11:49:01 AM »
My mom's AOG pastor gave me a copy of one of Strobel's books... I was already pretty turned off to Christianity and that book did not help at all.
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #26 on: September 30, 2015, 12:13:58 PM »
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection.

And right there is why Christianity is dying. Both Christians and atheists have opinions and facts, but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts. The atheists godless universe at least is presented as something real. Christians present our God as something never revealed, much less incarnated, in this material world, just a convenient interpretation of the world.

We present a beautiful truth-filled worldview based on personal dreams despite the facts that support them. They present ugly awfully wrong worldview based on twisted interpretations of facts, but they *do* refer to facts. To anyone arriving (the youth) we sound like at best like that lovely hallucinating grandma and they sound like the rough yet sane person try to make the best of what they get. To construe that the lovely old-lady is just pretending to be crazy in order to persecute the weaker is a very small step, and that's where we are now.

We can't believe stuff just because it feels right. It does not have to  rely on physical material events, but it has to be based on objective facts.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 12:20:56 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2015, 12:18:04 PM »
Quote
but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts
I sort of agree. However, Christians are dying off because they are equating faith and fact. They are entirely different things. We are playing into their game.

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #28 on: September 30, 2015, 12:23:07 PM »
Quote
but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts
I sort of agree. However, Christians are dying off because they are equating faith and fact. They are entirely different things. We are playing into their game.

PP

Faith and fact are different things, but you have to have faith on a real fact. You cannot have faith on a guess or on an impression. If that was not that way, Jesus would not have incarnated, we could believe Him just out of the words of the Prophets.

We are not playing into their game. We are loosing in the only game there is, because at the core, most Christians have lost precisely the faith that what they believe is a real fact in any sense and conform to lesser, many times lousy, excuses for why they believe (phyletism is one direct consequence of that: "I believe because it's what "greeks/russians/irish/italians" do" instead of "I believe because it's true, it really happened").

Jesus is a fact, His resurrection is a fact and historically verifiable facts at that.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 12:28:30 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #29 on: September 30, 2015, 12:26:13 PM »
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection.

And right there is why Christianity is dying. Both Christians and atheists have opinions and facts, but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts.

We present a beautiful truth-filled worldview based on personal dreams despite the facts that support them. They present ugly awfully wrong worldview based on twisted interpretations of facts, but they *do* refer to facts. To anyone arriving (the youth) we sound like at best like that lovely hallucinating grandma and they sound like the rough yet sane person try to make the best of what they get. To construe that the lovely old-lady is just pretending to be crazy in order to persecute the weaker is a very small step, and that's where we are now.

We can't believe stuff just because it feels right. It does not have to  rely on physical material events, but it has to be based on objective facts.
I'm curious about how many people you think heard of a miracle and decided to become a Christian. I've personally never encountered a convert to Christianity that came to Christ in that manner. I know that is just anecdotal, but there is a deeper truth that attracts men to Christ, not just stories of Holy Fire and snakes in a church.
God bless!

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #30 on: September 30, 2015, 12:27:21 PM »
Quote
have faith on a real fact
Jesus' resurrection is not a fact in the traditional sense. It is impossible to "prove". This is precisely my point.

Quote
Jesus is a fact, His resurrection is a fact and historically verifiable facts at that
No they're not. If the resurrection was a historically verifiable fact, there would be no other religions in the world.

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #31 on: September 30, 2015, 12:31:27 PM »
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection.

And right there is why Christianity is dying. Both Christians and atheists have opinions and facts, but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts.

We present a beautiful truth-filled worldview based on personal dreams despite the facts that support them. They present ugly awfully wrong worldview based on twisted interpretations of facts, but they *do* refer to facts. To anyone arriving (the youth) we sound like at best like that lovely hallucinating grandma and they sound like the rough yet sane person try to make the best of what they get. To construe that the lovely old-lady is just pretending to be crazy in order to persecute the weaker is a very small step, and that's where we are now.

We can't believe stuff just because it feels right. It does not have to  rely on physical material events, but it has to be based on objective facts.
I'm curious about how many people you think heard of a miracle and decided to become a Christian. I've personally never encountered a convert to Christianity that came to Christ in that manner. I know that is just anecdotal, but there is a deeper truth that attracts men to Christ, not just stories of Holy Fire and snakes in a church.

Have you heard of the increase of Christianity in Africa? Or heard interviews with people who were raised and live in places where Christianity is still "a thing"? If anything, they can be accused of seeing miracles even where they don't happen. Miracles is, by far, the main reason why people convert. And if they are not given news of the real miracles, they will fall prey of those who present false miracles.

People don't want to hear about the Glory of God. They want to jump into it. Either God is here and acting in palpable ways or He does not exist. There is no third option.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 12:38:17 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #32 on: September 30, 2015, 12:36:10 PM »
Quote
have faith on a real fact
Jesus' resurrection is not a fact in the traditional sense. It is impossible to "prove". This is precisely my point.

Quote
Jesus is a fact, His resurrection is a fact and historically verifiable facts at that
No they're not. If the resurrection was a historically verifiable fact, there would be no other religions in the world.

PP

Yeah, because noone would deny the holocaust despite the fact it happened a couple of decades ago in a age with photographs and widespread printing press.

The resurrection *is* proved by all normal processes of scientific historical research that are adequate to investigate that time and age. To deny their probatory strength would put in doubt just about everything that you did not witness personally 15 seconds ago.

The fact that there are people who would rather deny their probatory strength just shows how people are committed to their unfactual and irrational wishful thinking that no resurrection ever happened.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline William T

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #33 on: September 30, 2015, 12:38:26 PM »
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection.

And right there is why Christianity is dying. Both Christians and atheists have opinions and facts, but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts.

We present a beautiful truth-filled worldview based on personal dreams despite the facts that support them. They present ugly awfully wrong worldview based on twisted interpretations of facts, but they *do* refer to facts. To anyone arriving (the youth) we sound like at best like that lovely hallucinating grandma and they sound like the rough yet sane person try to make the best of what they get. To construe that the lovely old-lady is just pretending to be crazy in order to persecute the weaker is a very small step, and that's where we are now.

We can't believe stuff just because it feels right. It does not have to  rely on physical material events, but it has to be based on objective facts.
I'm curious about how many people you think heard of a miracle and decided to become a Christian. I've personally never encountered a convert to Christianity that came to Christ in that manner. I know that is just anecdotal, but there is a deeper truth that attracts men to Christ, not just stories of Holy Fire and snakes in a church.

Enough is enough!  I've had it with these mother loving snakes in this mother loving church

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2015, 12:39:45 PM »
Quote
The resurrection *is* proved by all normal processes of scientific historical research to investigate that time and age
If this is the standard, the world is still flat and there are dragons in the edge of the Earth because it was proven with the normal processes of research for the time.

Quote
The fact that there are people who would rather deny their probatory strength just shows how people are committed to their unfactual and irrational wishful thinking that no resurrection ever happened.
No, it proves that you have no idea what the definition of fact is. This is precisely why we are dying off.

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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2015, 12:48:27 PM »
Quote
The resurrection *is* proved by all normal processes of scientific historical research to investigate that time and age
If this is the standard, the world is still flat and there are dragons in the edge of the Earth because it was proven with the normal processes of research for the time.

Quote
The fact that there are people who would rather deny their probatory strength just shows how people are committed to their unfactual and irrational wishful thinking that no resurrection ever happened.
No, it proves that you have no idea what the definition of fact is. This is precisely why we are dying off.

PP

And you just proved what I said: in your heart of hearts, the resurection is right there with dragons and flat earth, just like atheists tell Christians think.

The resurrection is in the same category of my shirt and the taste of my breakfast, it stands next to the Parthenon and Kennedy's assassination.

Why Christ's resurrection and not dragons? Why His ascension and not zombies? Why Christ and not Zeus?

For one simple reason, all those alternatives are fictions, and Christ is a fact (or to get Areopagitan, He is more factual than all facts).

Two thousand years ago a man was unjustly crucified and three days later He resurrected. Historical proof of that is abundant and the reason why the world still denies it, is in John 1. The mistake is to give respect to the bad reasoning that leads to deny that. Anyone who denies the historical evidence of the resurrection is either ill-intended or ill-talented to work with history.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #36 on: September 30, 2015, 01:26:26 PM »
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection.

And right there is why Christianity is dying. Both Christians and atheists have opinions and facts, but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts.

We present a beautiful truth-filled worldview based on personal dreams despite the facts that support them. They present ugly awfully wrong worldview based on twisted interpretations of facts, but they *do* refer to facts. To anyone arriving (the youth) we sound like at best like that lovely hallucinating grandma and they sound like the rough yet sane person try to make the best of what they get. To construe that the lovely old-lady is just pretending to be crazy in order to persecute the weaker is a very small step, and that's where we are now.

We can't believe stuff just because it feels right. It does not have to  rely on physical material events, but it has to be based on objective facts.
I'm curious about how many people you think heard of a miracle and decided to become a Christian. I've personally never encountered a convert to Christianity that came to Christ in that manner. I know that is just anecdotal, but there is a deeper truth that attracts men to Christ, not just stories of Holy Fire and snakes in a church.

Have you heard of the increase of Christianity in Africa? Or heard interviews with people who were raised and live in places where Christianity is still "a thing"? If anything, they can be accused of seeing miracles even where they don't happen. Miracles is, by far, the main reason why people convert. And if they are not given news of the real miracles, they will fall prey of those who present false miracles.

People don't want to hear about the Glory of God. They want to jump into it. Either God is here and acting in palpable ways or He does not exist. There is no third option.
Do you have any proof that Africa is becoming Christianized due to miracles?

I don't disagree that God is here and acting in palpable ways, but I do disagree that somehow miracles are a necessary function of that. Most people never witness a miracle. Scripture cautions us about seeking after signs and wonders. Miracles are not the point of our faith. They can be a spiritual encouragement to those who witness them, but they aren't an evangelization tool.
God bless!

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #37 on: September 30, 2015, 01:38:39 PM »
People don't believe in Christ because of the Resurrection.

And right there is why Christianity is dying. Both Christians and atheists have opinions and facts, but Christians seem to be proud of believing even despite and not because of facts, while atheists, even when they interpret the facts wrongly, only believe because at least they think those are the facts.

We present a beautiful truth-filled worldview based on personal dreams despite the facts that support them. They present ugly awfully wrong worldview based on twisted interpretations of facts, but they *do* refer to facts. To anyone arriving (the youth) we sound like at best like that lovely hallucinating grandma and they sound like the rough yet sane person try to make the best of what they get. To construe that the lovely old-lady is just pretending to be crazy in order to persecute the weaker is a very small step, and that's where we are now.

We can't believe stuff just because it feels right. It does not have to  rely on physical material events, but it has to be based on objective facts.
I'm curious about how many people you think heard of a miracle and decided to become a Christian. I've personally never encountered a convert to Christianity that came to Christ in that manner. I know that is just anecdotal, but there is a deeper truth that attracts men to Christ, not just stories of Holy Fire and snakes in a church.

Have you heard of the increase of Christianity in Africa? Or heard interviews with people who were raised and live in places where Christianity is still "a thing"? If anything, they can be accused of seeing miracles even where they don't happen. Miracles is, by far, the main reason why people convert. And if they are not given news of the real miracles, they will fall prey of those who present false miracles.

People don't want to hear about the Glory of God. They want to jump into it. Either God is here and acting in palpable ways or He does not exist. There is no third option.
Do you have any proof that Africa is becoming Christianized due to miracles?

I don't disagree that God is here and acting in palpable ways, but I do disagree that somehow miracles are a necessary function of that. Most people never witness a miracle. Scripture cautions us about seeking after signs and wonders. Miracles are not the point of our faith. They can be a spiritual encouragement to those who witness them, but they aren't an evangelization tool.

Check the witness of African converts *and* the complaints of those who criticize it. As always, a couple of real miracles amidst a plethora of human fraud and demonic deception.

I agree that miracles are not the point. To me, that means they are not the end, but they *are* part of the why (as seen in John Baptist and so many others in the Scriptures). I don't believe in Christ to get miracles. But *the only reason* we should trust Christ is because He resurrected. Many spoke of morality. Many spoke of God. A few have even resurrected other people.

Noone ever resurected himself, which is an obvious contradiction: if you ceased to exist you cannot act to bring yourself back. Except Christ. He did exactly that and the only explanation for someone dead to self-resurrect is because this someone is the very fundament of reality itself.

We have faith in Christ's promises only because some of them did not happen yet (if they did we would not need trust, we would know). We have faith in His words because some are beyond our capacity to verify. But we have faith *because* He given us proof that He is able to fulfill all that by resurrecting Himself, not as an opinion, not as an impression or as a guess, but "under Pontius Pilates" which is an expression that was used to mark a historical period, to remember us that His resurrection was a historical fact, and if He can do that, in history, He can do anything. And if it is a historical fact, it *has* to be verifiable by historical methods. And it is.

It seems people think that Christian faith is faith about the very occurrence of the resurrection "I believe that He resurrected". If that were so, materialists and atheists would be right to consider us some kind of anachronic superstitious believers and Christianity just another mythology among many, valuable sometimes as symbols of human psychology but deep ignorance if taken literally.

As St.Paul said, our faith relies *entirely* on the factual historicity of the resurrection. It's all or nothing. Either we are on the life-boat while the universe sinks into enthropy, or we are fools and mad people. It all depends on whether the resurrection is a "common", verifiable fact or not.

It means we do not have faith on the resurrection, but we have faith on a number of things Jesus revealed, commanded and promised, because we know the resurrection to be a fact and that changes *everything* we know about the universe and who Jesus is.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 01:51:40 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #38 on: September 30, 2015, 02:32:19 PM »
Quote
And you just proved what I said: in your heart of hearts, the resurection is right there with dragons and flat earth, just like atheists tell Christians think.
Not at all. The ressurrection, to me literally happened in every sense of the word. I just have no need to redefine a word to prove it. I dont need proof, nor fact. But if it makes you feel better to doubt my faith, go right ahead. I wont lose any sleep over a nameless, faceless stranger on some website doubting me.

Now, if you want to redefine fact, be my guest, but it doesn't make it so. In the actual definition of fact, Christ's resurrection is un-provable, and it doesnt have to be for me. Thats faith.

PP
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Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #39 on: September 30, 2015, 02:48:56 PM »
to me literally happened in every sense of the word.

In every sense except as historical fact? Or it's like a physical fact that is beyond study by physics, literature that we like but is beyond the use of any reading technique... if it is historical, it is historically verifiable or not. If not, consult St. Paul.

You really think that a faith with no "becauses" is faith in the sense the Church uses it? We have faith in God *because* of the wonders that He performs and we witness - in fact, the meaning of the word "martyr" is "witness". True, not every miracle is "supernatural", but if we don't witness anything, what would our faith be based upon?

And although miracles, in general, may not be necessary for everybody, the miracle of the resurrection, with its dense factuality and historicity is the one miracle *all* our further testimonies depend upon.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 02:54:19 PM by Fabio Leite »
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #40 on: September 30, 2015, 02:50:07 PM »
to me literally happened in every sense of the word.

In every sense except as historical fact?

You really think that a faith with no "becauses" is faith in the theological sense the Church uses it?
What are you talking about? Who is saying that Christ's resurrection wasn't historical fact?  :o
God bless!

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #41 on: September 30, 2015, 03:02:21 PM »
to me literally happened in every sense of the word.

In every sense except as historical fact?

You really think that a faith with no "becauses" is faith in the theological sense the Church uses it?
What are you talking about? Who is saying that Christ's resurrection wasn't historical fact?  :o

The discussion followed the line of thought related to if miracles are necessary or not to be the fundament of faith.

I defended that yes, they are necessary, and gave the resurrection as an example that *all* our faith is dependent on, not having faith that a miracle has happened, but *knowing* it has happened, and from that point on, having faith on a number of things because of that. I also defended that our faith *depends* not on "believing* the resurrection, but knowing it to be a historical fact verifiable by usual historical methods with the same degree of certainty (if not greater) than for similar events in the same period.

Primuspilus defended that neither the resurrection is verifiable nor our faith depends on that. I contended that not only that is not true, but St. Paul makes a point that *everything* in Christianity depends on being sure of the resurrection by the same means we are sure that something happened or not, and that faith starts from that point on, not before. I also pointed out that even the Symbol of the Faith the historical verifiability of the resurrection is alluded to by highlighting that Christ was crucified "under Pontius Pilates", naming a king being a typical way of that time to mark a historical period.
Many Energies, 3 Persons, 2 Natures, 1 God, 1 Church, 1 Baptism, and 1 Cup. The Son begotten only from the Father, the Spirit proceeding only from the Father, Each glorifying the Other. The Son sends the Spirit, the Spirit Reveals the Son, the Father is seen in the Son. The Spirit spoke through the Prophets and Fathers and does so even today.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #42 on: September 30, 2015, 03:37:59 PM »
I think you are misunderstanding why I and PP are advocating. The Resurrection is absolutely essential to the Christian faith. Its historicity is absolutely essential. The ability to come up with some sort of forensic "proof" is not. We accept it on faith. Christ said to St. Thomas, you have seen and you believe, blessed are they who have not seen and believe. It was a gentle rebuke that we should not require proofs of God.

Further, there is a significant difference between the Resurrection and other miracles. The Resurrection was a restoration of the relationship between God and man. The same cannot be said of any other miracle. You began the conversation by advocating using miracles as a proof of the rightness of Orthodoxy. That is problematic for a host of reasons, the main ones being the proclivity of people to claim false miracles and the inability to produce miracles on demand. Almost every religion claims miracles and for a nonbeliever, there is little if any ability, for them to decipher what miracles are legitimate or not. The Truth of Christianity is demonstrated through our lives, not through miracles.

This does not mean miracles are not an integral part of our faith, they are, but it is not an evangelization tool. They are for the edification of believers. I can show a dozen atheists a weeping icon, none of them are going to change their belief system over it. I can show a dozen Orthodox Christians a weeping icon and some will themselves be moved to tears.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2015, 03:39:36 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline RobS

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #43 on: September 30, 2015, 05:51:08 PM »
The Resurrection is absolutely essential to the Christian faith. Its historicity is absolutely essential. The ability to come up with some sort of forensic "proof" is not.
Have you ever watched the Last Passion of Christ?

Anyway, what does a historical resurrection mean and why does that matter?

See this is getting into why I think the story of the risen Christ is much more powerful and transformative than the actual person of Jesus.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Different sects of Christianity.
« Reply #44 on: September 30, 2015, 06:46:19 PM »
The Resurrection is absolutely essential to the Christian faith. Its historicity is absolutely essential. The ability to come up with some sort of forensic "proof" is not.
Have you ever watched the Last Passion of Christ?

Anyway, what does a historical resurrection mean and why does that matter?

See this is getting into why I think the story of the risen Christ is much more powerful and transformative than the actual person of Jesus.
Are you referring to the Last Temptation of Christ by Martin Scorsese? I have a hard time taking seriously any portrayal of Christ that is only based someone's imagination.

You can't separate His Resurrection from Christ. Christ literally trampled down death by death and restored life. The entirety of Christianity rests on that principle. None of the rest of it makes sense without that being an actual event.
God bless!