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Monday, November 16, 2009

the road to economic prosperity is paved with ...

the belief in hell?

h/t Arts and Letters Daily


Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

Interesting..... I would first want to appologize for the people who have used hell as a scare tactic to "convert" people. I hate religion for this. Yes its true that the bible and even Jesus states that hell is literal. It also says that this fear of God for punishment alone wont save a person James 2:19. So me preaching to you hell and you coming to God for that alone is a false "conversion".
But the Gospel or Good new of God is that Though we were sinners Christs died for us. What does the meaning "sinner" totally entail? Well just basically brokeness, that we as Humans are all broken and to deny such would be foolishness.Why do you think we have so many self help books. But not only that we are broken but that we are born separated from God with a bent towards things what God hates, like lieing, stealing, lusting.etc. If you have ever been around a baby you cant deny this either for they just do these things without being taught how to. Thus we are numb to God's voice.
But God who is rich in Mercy came in the person of Jesus. Who was prophecied by the Prophet Isaiah in the book of Isaiah 53. Also many other places.
But God hated the sin and loved us so much to bring us back though Adam and Eve had sinned and spread it unto us. God allowed them to live to show his grace and to redeem them thru the death of Jesus.
And when it comes to government I would admit so much of the Church state government has hurt us and caused so many wars. But that doesn't also negate the affects of the non-religious governments like china and such hurting people. I believe it the best way is for freedom of people to choose and not to be forced. You cant force anyone to believe in something they don't want to. Thus the past religious forces have been wrong and need to be apologized for.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

I also wanted to add that if you look at what anyone spends their money on you see their heart. there is a verse that says "were your heart is there your money will be also"(paraphrase). So for me as a Christians if I give no money to help the poor, the needy, and my pastors/elders at the church then it just shows I really don't believe what I say I do.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

I was also thinking of a better way to explain it. For me the truth is that I know God. He is greater than anything on this earth. I have tried to find pleasure in all other places and they are good but always leave me empty and never truly satisfy, But God satisfies me at the Core of my being. For he is Love, holy, Eternal, all knowing and perfect. He is who i live for, not money. It would be foolish for me to find my hope in all of these temporal things even money. For money is fleeting and never satisfies. But when I use my money for God it not only reaps eternal benefits but its worth more. God is my greatest treasure.
Also the reason why its hard for the rich to enter into heaven is because its easy for them to have a sense of security and if your rich to have all you think you would ever need. But the end of a very talking about how hard it is for the rich, Jesus says "But all things are possible for God".

Michael Drake said...

"[I]f belief in hell jumps up sharply while actual church attendance stays flat, it correlates with economic growth."

One alternative explanation: economic growth increases resentment against the winners.

"Protestants were more likely to be entrepreneurs than Catholics, and more likely to create bigger firms."

Because Protestants believed more in hell?

Then there's this.

Maybe the article is correct that all else equal, belief in hell is good for growth in developing countries. But I doubt even that.

Mike said...

Michael: Good points. I'm never that impressed with these kinds of studies for similar reasons -- correlation does not imply causation.

Young Preacher: so it sounds like you're a Christian because it's satisfying? How does that have bearing on whether it's true? What makes a mormon, for example, wrong, and your beliefs true when you're both satisfied in similar ways?

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

lol maybe I'm not clear. Satisfaction is a minor point to why I believe in the Triune God of the bible. Satisfaction was the reason I'm willing to give up my money. That was my main point.
I do believe it to be true. What kind of reasons are you looking for? there are many i could dive into.
I know you might swing to the rational aspects of it, but even if i convinced you rationally it would do no good. For then you would become puffed up with knowledge and your heart(seed of emotion, will, etc) would be unchanged.

Mike said...

Yeah, satisfaction just seems irrelevant to me. I mean I enjoy being satisfied as much as anybody but I don't view it as relating to what I should believe. True things may be deeply unsatisfying. Like I believe the speed of light = 299 792 458 m / s but it just doesn't do it for me satisfaction wise. I haven't found a real satisfying use for that truth.

Specifically I'm asking what it is, for you, that makes Christianity true and mormonism false.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

First of all I wanted to totally agree with you. There are many truths which I don't necessarily like and didn't like before.
For instant the truth of Hell. I don't relish in the fact that there will be people there.
But then again I cant deny it because its first of all what the bible says. Second of all logical with the rest of the truth.

But the reason I believe the Triune God of the bible over all is because of the stark truth of who He is.

Yes He is holy and wrathful towards sin and demands perfection. But He is graceful & longsuffering and made a way for salvation.

The Fact that my God loved us so much that He came as a man,Jesus, to live a life like ours, yet live it perfect, and loved us so much to die for our sins and to unite us to God is amazing.

For its not by my good works that I am saved, But it is the Grace and sacifice of Christ that saves. It's His mercy that saves based off of not merit of ourselves.

All other relgions' are self-righteous and works based.

And here i have to make a confession. Much of what masquerades itself as Christianity now a days isn't. People have done so much injustice in Jesus name. That it makes me weep.

But I cannot deny the fact that Jesus is the only way to heaven and that there is no merit of man that can appease God.

There is much more but this is the heart of true Christianity. That the God who Created the universe came as a man to die for man whom he created.

Mike said...

Young Preacher: You wrote a lot of words. I don't think you answered my question.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

Mike- I wish we could talk in person or on the phone so I could better explain myself. But I explained the difference starting with the first sentence.

But did you want specifics relating to Mormonism?

Because if you know of Mormonism, the Central message of Christianity which i explained should be very different.

Mike said...

Well, you touched upon a doctrinal difference but failed to specify an epistemological difference.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

what do you mean? The doctrinal directly impacts their epistemology.

The believe men can become "gods". And Christianity has one triune.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

Now that I thought about it I get what your saying. Are you referring to the point I made about satisfaction and how the Mormons say its how they feel?

Mike said...

The question is more about how you get to know what's true. How does your approach to truth differ from Mormons? Obviously there are doctrinal differences between Mormons and typical Evangelical Christians but in what ways is the approach to truth different? Or is there no difference and the same approach can lead to different doctrinal ends?

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

let me first ask you a question.

How is faith in any "truth" different?

and if it doesn't then does having faith in something make it true?

Mike said...

Those sorts of questions are generally covered in Epistemology. Take a look.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

let me clarify:
How is "having faith" or belief in something different? like me having faith in God and and atheist having faith that there is not god?

Thus does having faith in something make it true?

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

if you wanna talk about it in more depth we could talk on facebook, or on the phone or in person. But I don't want to come across as some creeper but its easier for me to communicate in person or on the phone.

Mike said...

It just seems to me that if you don't have an epistemologically different approach to truth than Mormons you'll just end up in a standstill so I'd suggest you find one if your intent is to evangelize. Right now it just sounds like you're saying "believe in my god, not your god because mine is true" but then when it comes down to criteria for truth you cite doctrine (weird and awkward).

I'm not interested in Facebook/IM/other mediums of communication. In person conversations have a lot of value but you seem to get off on tangents or "confessions" fairly quickly and that's a big time waster.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

okay, i never really got to really broke it down.

I will first assume that we are rational beings who can know truth.
but I will also recognize that reason can't totally get you to god but you must trust in the Jesus's death on the cross for our salvation. That He alone can restore us to God and give us eternal life.

Then we know truth thru special revelation which is the bible. Which has prophecies from the old testament backing it, The fact it lines us doctrinally, and that it has been handed down and has many textual variant to prove its consistency.

Then through General revelation or Creation which has signs of a creator all over.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

what else are you getting at?

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

which Philosopher do you ascribe to for your epistemology?

Mike said...

You say: "I will also recognize that reason can't totally get you to god". But isn't the question more if reason can get you to truth? I'm more interested in the pursuit of truth than in "getting to god". If it's still an open question whether the Christian God truly exists (and if you're evangelizing then you should assume that about your audience) then there should be some sort of criteria (hopefully that the audience shares) that can get a person to that truth.

So maybe you can show me how reason alone doesn't lead to truth in some more ordinary context and extrapolate from there to some sort of Christian notion of truth.

If you believe that the Bible is authoritative and that the Book of Mormon is not then you should have some criteria that shows why the Bible is reliable and the book of Mormon is not. If it's ultimately an appeal to testimony then there's probably not a difference.

Since we have this live footage from hell I think the burden of proof lies on you. ;)

Am I making any sense to you?

Mike said...

Mostly Wittgenstein's "On Certainty" but also Hume and Kant and pragmatism. I'm sure Nietzsche has had an impact as well but it's more complicated for me to synthesize.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

I get what your saying man. I really apperciate the challenge and sharpinging. It's may take me some time to write it all out but I will attempt to.

First of all I want to clarify something. I said "I will also recognize that reason can't totally get you to god" I meant that in the Biblical belief to become a christian its not based off of reason alone, but there has to be faith in the Sacrificial death of Christ on the Cross to give you eternal life.

Thus I do believe that reason can play a part in coming to an understanding of truth and a belief in a higher power.

What kind of truth do you affirm can be known by reason?

Mike said...

This may help elucidate some Wittgenstein views though I probably disagree with myself by now and I'm sure I was just confused on a number of points.

Mike said...

Well, in general I believe things from examination and experience. So for instance if I want to know if my car has enough gas to get me from one place to another then I look at the gauge or perhaps in the tank. At that point I might say "I know we have enough gas" if someone asked me so I believe that's true.

I could I suppose, instead, pray and ask God to tell me the state of my gas tank but I haven't found that method to be truth-tending.

Confessions of A Young Preacher said...

So would you call yourself an Empiricist?

Mike said...

By reason? I suppose mathematical truths and tautologies. Like 2+2=4 and "water is wet". Pretty exciting.

Mike said...

No, I'd call myself an existentialist and pragmatist. But I'm closer to empiricism than rationalism and I'm more of an experimentalist than a theorist.

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