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Author Topic: Why should I be a Christian?  (Read 2970 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: August 31, 2006, 01:27:34 PM »

O.K. Pretend that I am agnostic. Why should I be a Christain and not a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Pagan, atheist, deist, etc.? Why Christianity? How would an eastern Christian help me to see the truth?
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« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2006, 02:03:17 PM »

O.K. Pretend that I am agnostic. Why should I be a Christan and not a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Pagan, atheist, deist, etc.? Why Christianity? How would an eastern Christian help me to see the truth?

In nomine Ieus I offer you peace Papist,

Dear Brother-in-Christ I am not an 'eastern' Christian but I know what I would do in the case of a true inquiry.

I would invite the individual to participate in the Holy Liturgies during Great Lent in preparation for Baptism but not as so many in our time do it. I would ask for him or her to take time off from work and time away from his or her family in order to perpare and purify him or herself and attend 'all' the Liturgies and all-night Vigils. To reach the ground of being one must be taken out of the grip of darkness and purified with ardent disciplines of the 'mind' and 'body' for man must be dealt with as a whole (body and spirit) not only with his or her intellectual capacities. Only then will one reach the ground of being and encounter the ineffable source of all life, the Spirit All-Holy.

It would of course all be crowned with Baptistism, Chrismation and First Eucharist. This is how it has been done, from the beginning. Amen.

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« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2006, 02:08:35 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you peace Papist,

Dear Brother-in-Christ I am not an 'eastern' Christian but I know what I would do in the case of a true inquiry.

I would invite the individual to participate in the Holy Liturgies during Great Lent in preparation for Baptism but not as so many in our time do it. I would ask for him or her to take time off from work and time away from his or her family in order to perpare and purify him or herself and attend 'all' the Liturgies and all-night Vigils. To reach the ground of being one must be taken out of the grip of darkness and purified with ardent disciplines of the 'mind' and 'body' for man must be dealt with as a whole (body and spirit) not only with his or her intellectual capacities. Only then will one reach the ground of being and encounter the ineffable source of all life, the Spirit All-Holy.

It would of course all be crowned with Baptistism, Chrismation and First Eucharist. This is how it has been done, from the beginning. Amen.

Pax
Muslims would give the same advice concerning their religion. Sorry, not enough to convert an agnostic person.
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« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2006, 02:33:07 PM »

Muslims would give the same advice concerning their religion. Sorry, not enough to convert an agnostic person.

In nomine Ieus I offer you continued peace Papist,

My dear brother I have had the fortune to dialogue with many Muslims and I have also been witness to their conversion and Baptism into the Church of the Living God. Please be not be so sure of yourself to discard such methods and be not so sure that such experiences as union with the Godhead can be achieved through other means.

Islam for example is a religion of the book (i.e. Al Quran). Inquiry into Islam always starts with intectual instruction of it's contents and ends with the profession of the Shahada. Yes that is prayer and yes it is modeled after our own desert fathers but trust me when I tell you that 'you will know them by their fruit whom God has blessed'.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah was not a prophet of God. The fruit doesn't match the fruit tree.

Please be more open minded.

Pax
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« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2006, 02:45:23 PM »

There could be as many answers to this question as there are Christians, because why one becomes Christian can be different for each individual.

With that in mind, my answer is that Christianity is the path to theosis.  I wish to have eternal life in God's presence.  Christianity provides for that.

If that's not good enough for an agnostic, I am sorry. 

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« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2006, 05:45:16 PM »

I would imagine to myself what I would like to see in a religion, ie what beliefs, creeds, opinions and perspectives an organisation should have that I would like to be affiliated with, that I could acknowledge and personalise as my very own. It would have to be one that would make better, in my eyes, both the lot of the world and my own lot in life. It would be one that teaches virtue and is tolerant of all mankind regardless of race, religion, beliefs or sex. It would be one that is humble and meek in spirit.

Personally, it would definitely begin with what I believe is the most important thing in the world, ie love. An organisation whose God is love, which preaches love, whose greatest virtue is love, and whose every dogma and practise leads to love.

I tell my Sunday School kids, our faith is simple: God is love, the church is the house of love and there is only one rule in this house and that is love.
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« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2006, 06:29:29 PM »

Why be a Christian?  Because the worldview of the agnostic, anti-theist, or secularist is a worldview that presupposes the autonomy of individual human beings under the unprovable mantra "Man is the measure of all things."  However, with this axiomatic or basic belief one cannot derive people's actual behaviors and values, such as their belief that nature is uniform and rational, that the past will resemble the future, that there are any moral codes beyond the will to power, and ultimately that there is any purpose or meaning at all in life.  In other words, any worldview that posits autonomy reduces itself to absurdity and nihilism when carried to its logical conclusion.  Logic, reason, science, and any form of judgement themselves become absurd and unintelligible.

So what then about non-Christian but religious worldviews such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Jainism, Islam, or Judaism?  The general problem many of these face tends to be the problem of the immanent and the transcendent.  Without going deeply into it (and I admit I am still exploring this apologetic), in order for the way we actually live and value our lives to be coherent and intelligible, the following basic beliefs are required:

1.  Theism as opposed to Pantheism, Panentheism, or other conceptions of spiritual reality.
2.  That God is One (some form of monotheism is necessary)
3.  That God must be both immanent and transcendent (leading to the conclusion of the triune nature)
4.  That God must be both personal and impersonal (leading to the conclusion of the necessity of the incarnation as both fully human and fully divine)

All of these axioms are, so the apologetic goes, necessary in order to make the world we actually experience, both the exterior world of the senses and the interior world of thought and feeling, intelligible.  The claim is that those who deny this cannot justify their own beliefs and behaviors without unconsciously borrowing from the Christian worldview, a worldview they know deep in their hearts to be true.

Now, this approach to apologetics is called transcendental (or more recently Presuppositional), and Kant was the one who used it first in the west as far as I understand, though its roots go naturally enough back to Saint Paul.  More recently it seems the Reformed have been the biggest proponents and developers of this approach, especially thinkers such as Van Til and Plantinga.  This is unsurprising given the strong emphasis on logical defense of the faith within Reformed theology.  In my opinion, while evidentialist approaches used by men like C.S. Lewis and Swinburne can be effective, assuming the listener is already predisposed to accept the existence of deity, the transcendental apologetic can be more effective as a means of moving those wedded to the foundational notion of their individual autonomy to a more open "Other-centered" view, and in so doing create a space for the Spirit to begin working.

But ultimately, conversion of the heart can only happen through the Spirit of the Lord, not through any arguments you or I might make, nor through this or that apologetic method.  Christians exert their best influence by the way they live their faith.
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2006, 07:50:10 PM »

Why be a Christian?  Because the worldview of the agnostic, anti-theist, or secularist is a worldview that presupposes the autonomy of individual human beings under the unprovable mantra "Man is the measure of all things."  However, with this axiomatic or basic belief one cannot derive people's actual behaviors and values, such as their belief that nature is uniform and rational, that the past will resemble the future, that there are any moral codes beyond the will to power, and ultimately that there is any purpose or meaning at all in life.  In other words, any worldview that posits autonomy reduces itself to absurdity and nihilism when carried to its logical conclusion.  Logic, reason, science, and any form of judgement themselves become absurd and unintelligible.

So what then about non-Christian but religious worldviews such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Jainism, Islam, or Judaism?  The general problem many of these face tends to be the problem of the immanent and the transcendent.  Without going deeply into it (and I admit I am still exploring this apologetic), in order for the way we actually live and value our lives to be coherent and intelligible, the following basic beliefs are required:

1.  Theism as opposed to Pantheism, Panentheism, or other conceptions of spiritual reality.
2.  That God is One (some form of monotheism is necessary)
3.  That God must be both immanent and transcendent (leading to the conclusion of the triune nature)
4.  That God must be both personal and impersonal (leading to the conclusion of the necessity of the incarnation as both fully human and fully divine)

All of these axioms are, so the apologetic goes, necessary in order to make the world we actually experience, both the exterior world of the senses and the interior world of thought and feeling, intelligible.  The claim is that those who deny this cannot justify their own beliefs and behaviors without unconsciously borrowing from the Christian worldview, a worldview they know deep in their hearts to be true.

Now, this approach to apologetics is called transcendental (or more recently Presuppositional), and Kant was the one who used it first in the west as far as I understand, though its roots go naturally enough back to Saint Paul.  More recently it seems the Reformed have been the biggest proponents and developers of this approach, especially thinkers such as Van Til and Plantinga.  This is unsurprising given the strong emphasis on logical defense of the faith within Reformed theology.  In my opinion, while evidentialist approaches used by men like C.S. Lewis and Swinburne can be effective, assuming the listener is already predisposed to accept the existence of deity, the transcendental apologetic can be more effective as a means of moving those wedded to the foundational notion of their individual autonomy to a more open "Other-centered" view, and in so doing create a space for the Spirit to begin working.

But ultimately, conversion of the heart can only happen through the Spirit of the Lord, not through any arguments you or I might make, nor through this or that apologetic method.  Christians exert their best influence by the way they live their faith.
Best answere I have heard on this forum!
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2006, 01:10:31 PM »

Quote
Best answere I have heard on this forum!

But he didn't answer your question at all. All he said, basically, was, "if you start with the same premises as me, you should end up at the same conclusion as me". I mean, I'm not going to spend 3 hours trying to decipher that whole post, but here's the first paragraph...

Quote
Why be a Christian? Because the worldview of the agnostic, anti-theist, or secularist is a worldview that presupposes the autonomy of individual human beings under the unprovable mantra "Man is the measure of all things."

So basically his argument is that fallible man cannot be the "measure of all things," but that fallible man can interpret and try to contemplate the will of infallible God, who is the "measure of all things". This does not remove fallible, "autonomous" human beings from the equation, it merely changes their function. But either way you slice it, you still have autonomous people, inclined (and indeed one might say required) to err, making judgments about what is right or wrong. The rest of his post shows this. Why be a Christian rather than a buddhist? He judges it to be the right way. Why be a Christian rather than an agnostic? He judges it to be the right way. No matter how you slice it, fallible man judged among the gods/religions, deciding which one he thinks is correct. This is the epistemological issue that no Christian can overcome, because there simply is no valid answer for them to give.

If religionists are intellectually honest, they will say "I think such-and-such a religion/god/belief is right". Of course, that would cut the legs out from under certain other claims that they want to affirm. This is basically the issue with Christianity, though. It makes wonderful sense, if you don't actually look at it from the outside. Once you accept her premises as true, she can maneuver every which way, and eventually will contort herself enough to where you are satisified enough. And of course, if you dare to look at her from without, well then you are just one of those silly non-believers that think that man is the measure of all things. They ignore that only the perspective has changed, and in either case people must decide for themselves.

Quote
However, with this axiomatic or basic belief one cannot derive people's actual behaviors and values, such as their belief that nature is uniform and rational, that the past will resemble the future, that there are any moral codes beyond the will to power, and ultimately that there is any purpose or meaning at all in life.

My morality does not consist of affirming Rand's view of self-interested morality or Nietzsche's will based morality, or anything similar. This argument is based on the completely flawed argument that without God, there would be no morality or no ability to truly understand. Of course, it is difficult to disprove this belief if you are already starting with the premise that God does, in fact, exist. And his statement seems possible, at least on the surface, if you begin from a theistic viewpoint. However, if begin from a neutral or non-theistic viewpoint, you can see that religion really has very little to do with morality. Whether I am a Christian or not, whether I believe in God or not, I would not rape a 10 year old girl. It is wrong. I don't need to be a Christian to know that it is wrong. And it is not wrong just because a supposed God says so.

The theist can offer rebuttals to this, but tellingly, he cannot offer rebuttals from outside his own belief system. All his arguments are circular, and require you to accept a priori his premises. It's just that, living in the west, most people already do hold to his premises. But elsewhere (e.g., among Taoists in Tawain or China) this type of argument would make absolutely no intellectual inroads. Christians accept arguments like this because it seems intuitive: but it is only intuitive because you have already bought into the premises. But the premises that you've bought are rotten.

Quote
In other words, any worldview that posits autonomy reduces itself to absurdity and nihilism when carried to its logical conclusion.  Logic, reason, science, and any form of judgement themselves become absurd and unintelligible.

This is nothing but sophistry. His argument is, "it's illogical, because I say it is". Or probably more accurately, "it's unintelligible because I read Kant/Fr. Seraphim Rose/someone else, and can use fancy words to say that it is unintelligible, so long as these darn non-believers don't point out the strawman that I'm erecting."

Ime goin ta go kill miself now, sense its all meaningles (I'm a nihilist and unintelligible, don'tya know?)  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2006, 02:10:18 PM »

Unfortunately, that does seem the logical end...  :'(
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2006, 03:24:05 PM »

But he didn't answer your question at all.

Correct, I didn't.  I merely outlined one approach to an apologetic, an approach that rightly acknowledges that when worldviews conflict, there is often no agreed upon basis for meaningful argument and evidence.  Therefore the purpose of the apology is not to convince the other of the rightness of one's position, but rather to open their mind and heart to the receipt of the Holy Spirit.  That is the true meaning of conversion, the radical adoption of a new paradigm for life.  We are called to convert every day of our short lives, for there is no faith more radical, more revolutionary, than faith in Christ.

So I say to you in absolute confidence, Asteriktos, you are called to repentance by the Lord of the World, the Lord of Life, the Lord of Truth, the crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ, to repent of your sins and accept the Spirit of the Lord into your heart, and to follow Him into the Kingdom of Heaven.  This call extends to all people, believers and unbelievers and doubters alike, at all moments in life.  No argument I provide may convince you of this, but I say only foolish self-deception and pride will keep you from it.    You are called to die to yourself every day that remains to you, to carry your cross and walk in His footsteps.  Only then shall you find life eternal through Christ our Lord.  Beyond that there is nothing I can do than to point out that your own words betray you, though you speak them in jest...

Quote
Ime goin ta go kill miself now, sense its all meaningles (I'm a nihilist and unintelligible, don'tya know?

Tell me friend, where is there meaning?  Where is there truth?  Only when you confront your death may you begin to live, that is where meaning and truth lay.  You may think me arrogant for saying such things, so be it.  I care not for the judgments of this world, and recommend to you the same attitude.  There is only one judgment that matters.  May the Lord transform and soften our hard hearts of clay.  This I pray in Jesus' name.
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« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2006, 10:10:44 PM »

But he didn't answer your question at all.
I am not saying he gave a complete answer. I just think he has provided the most reasonable answer yet on this thread.
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« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2006, 11:08:31 PM »

Not my quote above...
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« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2006, 12:43:47 AM »

O.K. Pretend that I am agnostic. Why should I be a Christain and not a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Pagan, atheist, deist, etc.? Why Christianity? How would an eastern Christian help me to see the truth?
I would clothe them, feed them, give them all I have and love them as if they were a member of my family. I would forgive them if they do me wrong and if they chose to leave I would let them know they could always come back to me.

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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2006, 09:18:43 AM »

I don't know how an Eastern Christian would answer but the reason  why you should be a Christian is Christ. Only Christianity brings you close in your heart and mind to Jesus. A relationship with Jesus in your spirit and through the sacraments is the sweetest most strengthening relationship possible for a person to have.

Trouble is you need to be a Christian already to know how true that statement is.

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« Reply #15 on: October 12, 2006, 12:16:03 PM »

I would clothe them, feed them, give them all I have and love them as if they were a member of my family. I would forgive them if they do me wrong and if they chose to leave I would let them know they could always come back to me.

Blessings,
Panagiotis
A muslim could do the same.
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« Reply #16 on: October 12, 2006, 12:16:49 PM »

I don't know how an Eastern Christian would answer but the reason  why you should be a Christian is Christ. Only Christianity brings you close in your heart and mind to Jesus. A relationship with Jesus in your spirit and through the sacraments is the sweetest most strengthening relationship possible for a person to have.

Trouble is you need to be a Christian already to know how true that statement is.


So then there is no way to convince an agnostic to become a Christian?
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2006, 12:34:02 PM »

A muslim could do the same.

Then Christs example is not able to bring Christians to Him I guess.

we need to live our life of Christ as the example, but apparently you are correct and Christ is not then if you rejected clothing them, feeding them, sheltering them and loving them as your own, forgiving them and always having an open heart to them if they stray.

But I guess we need to be scholastically minded to be correct in regars to converting wirh words and not actions, much like the Pharisee.

Blessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2006, 12:37:52 PM »

Then Christs example is not able to bring Christians to Him I guess.

we need to live our life of Christ as the example, but apparently you are correct and Christ is not then if you rejected clothing them, feeding them, sheltering them and loving them as your own, forgiving them and always having an open heart to them if they stray.

But I guess we need to be scholastically minded to be correct in regars to converting wirh words and not actions, much like the Pharisee.

Blessings,
Panagiotis
The was nothing wrong with the fact that the Pharisees were scholastic. It was because St. Paul had been a pharisee that he handled theology so well. The problem with the Pharisees was that they never put their theory into practice.
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« Reply #19 on: October 12, 2006, 12:41:05 PM »

So then there is no way to convince an agnostic to become a Christian?

No universally applicable formula no. Otherwise there would be no agnostics left.
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« Reply #20 on: October 12, 2006, 12:46:22 PM »

The was nothing wrong with the fact that the Pharisees were scholastic. It was because St. Paul had been a pharisee that he handled theology so well. The problem with the Pharisees was that they never put their theory into practice.

Did I not state:
Quote
But I guess we need to be scholastically minded to be correct in regards to converting wirh words and not actions, much like the Pharisee.

Look, converting an agnostic, as has wiorked in the past, is by actions, not rumbling words. There is walways something that they can find to hold on to that disables them from converting, except when you show them Christ's Love through your actions. From experience, this has worked time and again.

I have seen what Scholastic debaters have done and how they have converted, not saying it has not converted a few people over to Christendom, but the common agnostic who will minutely nitpick and tear apart a scholastic Christian would rather see someone living the Christian life than hear about the semantics of "religious debate".

Blessings,
Panagiotis
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« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2006, 01:57:40 PM »

Did I not state:
Look, converting an agnostic, as has wiorked in the past, is by actions, not rumbling words. There is walways something that they can find to hold on to that disables them from converting, except when you show them Christ's Love through your actions. From experience, this has worked time and again.

I have seen what Scholastic debaters have done and how they have converted, not saying it has not converted a few people over to Christendom, but the common agnostic who will minutely nitpick and tear apart a scholastic Christian would rather see someone living the Christian life than hear about the semantics of "religious debate".

Blessings,
Panagiotis
It just depends on the person. I would much more easily be convinced of the truth of something by reason than by emotion. Of course, in the end it is God who converts.
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2006, 02:59:43 PM »

It just depends on the person. I would much more easily be convinced of the truth of something by reason than by emotion. Of course, in the end it is God who converts.

Reason alone is insufficient since the Infinite One trancends finite understanding. Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio said-

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html
Quote

Reason before the mystery

13. It should nonetheless be kept in mind that Revelation remains charged with mystery. It is true that Jesus, with his entire life, revealed the countenance of the Father, for he came to teach the secret things of God. But our vision of the face of God is always fragmentary and impaired by the limits of our understanding. Faith alone makes it possible to penetrate the mystery in a way that allows us to understand it coherently.

The Council teaches that “the obedience of faith must be given to God who reveals himself”. This brief but dense statement points to a fundamental truth of Christianity. Faith is said first to be an obedient response to God. This implies that God be acknowledged in his divinity, transcendence and supreme freedom. By the authority of his absolute transcendence, God who makes himself known is also the source of the credibility of what he reveals. By faith, men and women give their assent to this divine testimony. This means that they acknowledge fully and integrally the truth of what is revealed because it is God himself who is the guarantor of that truth. They can make no claim upon this truth which comes to them as gift and which, set within the context of interpersonal communication, urges reason to be open to it and to embrace its profound meaning....

To assist reason in its effort to understand the mystery there are the signs which Revelation itself presents. These serve to lead the search for truth to new depths, enabling the mind in its autonomous exploration to penetrate within the mystery by use of reason's own methods, of which it is rightly jealous. Yet these signs also urge reason to look beyond their status as signs in order to grasp the deeper meaning which they bear. They contain a hidden truth to which the mind is drawn and which it cannot ignore without destroying the very signs which it is given.

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« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2006, 05:17:14 PM »

O.K. Pretend that I am agnostic. Why should I be a Christain and not a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Pagan, atheist, deist, etc.? Why Christianity? How would an eastern Christian help me to see the truth?

For one thing, the historical nature of the Gospels seperates them from any other religious text. C.S. Lewis' trilemma thus immediately comes to mind.
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« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2006, 06:41:01 PM »

For one thing, the historical nature of the Gospels seperates them from any other religious text. C.S. Lewis' trilemma thus immediately comes to mind.
Good answer.
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« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2006, 06:41:40 PM »

Reason alone is insufficient since the Infinite One trancends finite understanding. Pope John Paul II in Fides et Ratio said-

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_15101998_fides-et-ratio_en.html

Yes God is super-rational but not irrational.
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« Reply #26 on: October 13, 2006, 08:50:55 AM »

A muslim could do the same.
Actually no a muslim would not do the same.  The punishment for an apostate in Islam is death.  Rather different to: 'I would forgive them if they do me wrong and if they chose to leave I would let them know they could always come back to me'.

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« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2006, 04:46:55 PM »

Yes God is super-rational but not irrational.

Therefore reason alone will not be sufficient to convert anyone to Christian faith. In his recent controversy inspiring lecture at Regensburg Pope Benedict said
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html

While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith....

A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought - to philosophy and theology. For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding



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« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2006, 05:42:38 PM »

Therefore reason alone will not be sufficient to convert anyone to Christian faith. In his recent controversy inspiring lecture at Regensburg Pope Benedict said
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2006/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20060912_university-regensburg_en.html

While we rejoice in the new possibilities open to humanity, we also see the dangers arising from these possibilities and we must ask ourselves how we can overcome them. We will succeed in doing so only if reason and faith come together in a new way, if we overcome the self-imposed limitation of reason to the empirically falsifiable, and if we once more disclose its vast horizons. In this sense theology rightly belongs in the university and within the wide-ranging dialogue of sciences, not merely as a historical discipline and one of the human sciences, but precisely as theology, as inquiry into the rationality of faith....

A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures. At the same time, as I have attempted to show, modern scientific reason with its intrinsically Platonic element bears within itself a question which points beyond itself and beyond the possibilities of its methodology. Modern scientific reason quite simply has to accept the rational structure of matter and the correspondence between our spirit and the prevailing rational structures of nature as a given, on which its methodology has to be based. Yet the question why this has to be so is a real question, and one which has to be remanded by the natural sciences to other modes and planes of thought - to philosophy and theology. For philosophy and, albeit in a different way, for theology, listening to the great experiences and insights of the religious traditions of humanity, and those of the Christian faith in particular, is a source of knowledge, and to ignore it would be an unacceptable restriction of our listening and responding




I never asserted that reason alone converts a person. However, it is part of the process.
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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2006, 11:57:53 PM »

So, by and by, this whole thread was your assumption of what it takes to convert an agnostic to a faith, in our case, Holy Orthodoxy? We used your critique to attempt to convert an agnostic of a caliber who focuses mainly on rationalism, reason and some empirical attributions who could only be  influenced by cold, hard facts instead of actions.

This, sadly, is not the really-real world layout and you are not an agnostic, so I declare this thread "bias".

How would you convert and agnostic, Papist? Since we fall short of what you consider "the right way", show us what you deem as the right path to converting the uber-agnostic.

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« Reply #30 on: October 14, 2006, 12:09:20 PM »

So, by and by, this whole thread was your assumption of what it takes to convert an agnostic to a faith, in our case, Holy Orthodoxy? We used your critique to attempt to convert an agnostic of a caliber who focuses mainly on rationalism, reason and some empirical attributions who could only be  influenced by cold, hard facts instead of actions.

This, sadly, is not the really-real world layout and you are not an agnostic, so I declare this thread "bias".

How would you convert and agnostic, Papist? Since we fall short of what you consider "the right way", show us what you deem as the right path to converting the uber-agnostic.

Panagiotis
A combination of what both all th Eastern Orthodox on this forum have suggested and the use of reason. People like Lee Strobell, Josh McDowell, and a host of other intellegent and philosophical minds have converted because of a combination of being given evidence for the faith, either historical evidence for the ressurrection or philosphical proof, in conjunction with an expierence of the lively faith of others. I see it as not an either reason and evidence or experience issue. I see it as a both and issue. I think that the combination of philosophical realism and Christian existentialism is the best medicine for the ailment of agnosticism.
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« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2006, 12:46:57 PM »

O.K. Pretend that I am agnostic. Why should I be a Christain and not a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Pagan, atheist, deist, etc.? Why Christianity? How would an eastern Christian help me to see the truth?

Sorry if this isn't specifically Orthodox, but I think the Apostles found the resurrection compelling.

Consider:

http://www.leaderu.com/everystudent/easter/articles/josh2.html
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« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2012, 11:39:41 PM »

O.K. Pretend that I am agnostic. Why should I be a Christain and not a Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, Pagan, atheist, deist, etc.? Why Christianity? How would an eastern Christian help me to see the truth?

Doesn't it all come down to faith, which is what you inherently believe, not necessarily what others think you should believe? I am a Christian because Christianity recognizes my right to not be anyone's doormat. Another reason is because, jesus is claiming to be the only God I admire. A God that sacrifices himself for his people. Not A God that demands people to sacrifice themselves. Not a God that gives life only to demand it back. But a God that gives life, and ways for people to enjoy them. And A god who says, Mercy I want, not sacrifice.
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« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2012, 11:42:34 PM »

In nomine Ieus I offer you peace Papist,

Dear Brother-in-Christ I am not an 'eastern' Christian but I know what I would do in the case of a true inquiry.

I would invite the individual to participate in the Holy Liturgies during Great Lent in preparation for Baptism but not as so many in our time do it. I would ask for him or her to take time off from work and time away from his or her family in order to perpare and purify him or herself and attend 'all' the Liturgies and all-night Vigils. To reach the ground of being one must be taken out of the grip of darkness and purified with ardent disciplines of the 'mind' and 'body' for man must be dealt with as a whole (body and spirit) not only with his or her intellectual capacities. Only then will one reach the ground of being and encounter the ineffable source of all life, the Spirit All-Holy.

It would of course all be crowned with Baptistism, Chrismation and First Eucharist. This is how it has been done, from the beginning. Amen.

Pax
Muslims would give the same advice concerning their religion. Sorry, not enough to convert an agnostic person.


How about because Jesus said he is the way, the life, and the truth.?
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