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May 6, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

David Brooks on Finding Meaning and Purpose in Our Lives at Dartmouth 2015

May 5, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

What are the sources of apparent contradictions in the New Testament Gospel accounts

Five Common Sources of Apparent Contradiction

1) Carelessness—interpreting a phrase or sentence without regard to genre or narrative context.

2) Completeness—assuming that every account of an event includes every single detail about it.

3) Conflation—treating two different events or persons as the same.

4) Confusion—treating the same event or person as different (common with names).

5) Context—ignoring facts about the language and culture of the events, or assuming that those are identical to the cultural context we share today.

Dr. Timothy McGrew–Professor of Philosophy

I would also point out that RC Sproul recommends Dr. Gleason L. Archer Jr. who has two books on this subject.  I’m guessing his more recent is probably more comprehensive, in that its an “Encyclopedia”  Its called the New International Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties.  It runs about $20 on Amazon here.

May 1, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Kant on Christianity, Religion, Epistemology, and the Human Life

Two things awe me most, the starry sky above me and the moral law within me.”

Immanuel Kant

What Kant may in fact partially get wrong:
Religion is the recognition of all our duties as divine commands.

Immanuel Kant

Life is more than science. Wisdom is a higher order of understanding:

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

Immanuel Kant

Thoughts without content are empty, intuitions without concepts are blind.

Immanuel Kant

You need theory and practice together:
Experience without theory is blind, but theory without experience is mere intellectual play.

Immanuel Kant

Reason includes more than data, intuition is at its core:
All thought must, directly or indirectly, by way of certain characters, relate ultimately to intuitions, and therefore, with us, to sensibility, because in no other way can an object be given to us.

Immanuel Kant

Life beyond just reason:

What can I know? What ought I to do? What can I hope?

Immanuel Kant

Human imperfection

From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned.

Immanuel Kant

Curious and/or mysterious quote:
Metaphysics is a dark ocean without shores or lighthouse, strewn with many a philosophic wreck.

Immanuel Kant

It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.

Immanuel Kant

If man makes himself a worm he must not complain when he is trodden on.

Immanuel Kant

April 26, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel on Awe and the Experience of God, the Divine, and the Spiritual in Everyday Life

The meaning of awe is to realize that life takes place under wide horizons, horizons that range beyond the span of an individual life or even the life of a nation, a generation, or an era. Awe enables us to perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal…

Awe precedes faith; it is at the root of faith. We must grow in awe in order to reach faith. We must be guided by awe to be worthy of faith.  (75, 77 italics in original).

April 18, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Answering the Synoptic Problem in Relation to Mark as Source Material

I’m answering a bizarree critique of the Gospel which posits Mark as the only source material for the other gospels.

First, there is zero way to prove that all the gospels are copies of Mark.  Otherwise they would be copies of Mark–there would be zero diversity in perspective.  That Mark influenced other authors isn’t all that unusual.  All books are written in the context of community and culture.  Thats what a community and culture is by definition.  And cross-references are an intrinsic part of Biblical literature.

 

The heuristic “partial similarities in histories are untrue” is the hidden premise in your argument.  Its false on its face.  Its not a heuristic that any history could realistically withstand.  Right, the best in academic histories uses citation.  This was their version of citation.

 

That they re-mixed some of Mark’s material to provide more context to their own writing is a benefit, not a subtraction.

“If Matthew, Mark, and Luke did not use a “Q” document, why are their Gospels so similar? There are several possible explanations. It is possible that, whichever Gospel was written first (possibly Mark, although the church fathers reported that Matthew was written first), the other Gospel writers had access to it. There is absolutely no problem with the idea that Matthew and/or Luke copied some text from Mark’s Gospel and used it in their Gospels. Perhaps Luke had access to Mark and Matthew and used texts from both of them in his own Gospel. Luke 1:1–4 tells us, “Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

Ultimately, the Synoptic “Problem” is not as big a problem as some try to make it out to be. The explanation as to why the Synoptic Gospels are so similar is that they are all inspired by the same Holy Spirit and are all written by people who witnessed or were told about the same events.”

Source: Link

Finally if you want a long explanation of the Synoptic Problem from Daniel Wallace you can read here.

April 4, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Did Jesus Think He Was God: Evidence of Jesus’ Divinity from the Synoptic Gospels and Old Testament

“Other features of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, such as the sea of miracles, Jesus’ sending of prophets, his exercise of super natural knowledge, his belonging in the divine triad Father-Son-Spirit (Matt 28:19), all imply Jesus shares in the identity of the one true God of Israel.”

Simon J. Gathercole

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 100

“Several stories and sayings in the Synoptic gospels point toward Jesus’ unique role as a divine agent with an unprecedented authority and who undertakes divine action.”

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 57

“Clearly Jesus’ declaration of forgiveness in such a context was tantamount to assuming the authority to forgive on God’s behalf.” (Referencing Mark 2:7 and Isiah 43: 25)

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 58

“We must remember that the whole point of Daniel 7 is that when God acted in history to deliver his people, the agent through whom he acted would be vindicated, honored, enthroned, and exalted in an unprecedented manner.”

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p.66

“The resurrection alone did not create a divine Christiology.  Easter faith did not turn Jesus into something other than what he was before.  Jesus made extravagant claims about himself as to his authority, mission, and origin, and the resurrection was a divine affirmation that those claims were good.  Viewed in this way, the resurrection magnified rather than manufactured Jesus’ claim to a divine status.  Viewed in this way, the resurrection intensified rather than initiated belief in Jesus’ unique relationship with God.  Viewed in this way, the resurrection transposed rather than trigger recognition of Jesus as a divine figure.”

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 67

Also p. 59 through 61 from How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature

Did the Historical Jesus Claim Divinity?

“Other features of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, such as the sea of miracles, Jesus’ sending of prophets, his exercise of super natural knowledge, his belonging in the divine triad Father-Son-Spirit (Matt 28:19), all imply Jesus shares in the identity of the one true God of Israel.”

Simon J. Gathercole

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 100

“Several stories and sayings in the Synoptic gospels point toward Jesus’ unique role as a divine agent with an unprecedented authority and who undertakes divine action.”

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 57

“Clearly Jesus’ declaration of forgiveness in such a context was tantamount to assuming the authority to forgive on God’s behalf.” (Referencing Mark 2:7 and Isiah 43: 25)

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 58

“We must remember that the whole point of Daniel 7 is that when God acted in history to deliver his people, the agent through whom he acted would be vindicated, honored, enthroned, and exalted in an unprecedented manner.”

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p.66

“The resurrection alone did not create a divine Christiology.  Easter faith did not turn Jesus into something other than what he was before.  Jesus made extravagant claims about himself as to his authority, mission, and origin, and the resurrection was a divine affirmation that those claims were good.  Viewed in this way, the resurrection magnified rather than manufactured Jesus’ claim to a divine status.  Viewed in this way, the resurrection intensified rather than initiated belief in Jesus’ unique relationship with God.  Viewed in this way, the resurrection transposed rather than trigger recognition of Jesus as a divine figure.”

Michael F. Bird

How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature, p. 67

Also p. 59 through 61 from How God Became Jesus: The Real Origins of Belief in Jesus’ Divine Nature

Did the Historical Jesus Claim to be Divine?

This has a breakdown of the time and topics covered, along with the video

March 31, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Medical Critique of the Jesus Swoon Theory

From the Journal of the American Medical Association  article “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ” from March 21, in 1986 points out that our best evidence says he died on the cross:

Thus, it remains unsettled whether Jesus  died  of  cardiac  rupture  or of cardiorespiratory   failure.   However, the  important  feature  may be  not how he  died  but  rather  whether he  died. Clearly, the weight of historical and  medical  evidence  indicates  that Jesus  was  dead  before  the  wound to  his  side  was  inflicted  and  supports  the  traditional  view  that  the  spear,  thrust  between  his  right  ribs,  probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby  ensured  his  death  (Fig  7).  Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge.

 

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