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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 03-28-16, 03:52 PM   #126
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Mickey, I know that you can't immediately respond to every question, but honestly, it seems that every time you make an allegation and are asked to explain or provide proof, you perform a disappearing act...and then reappear when the smoke clears.
Wow. Are you seriously going to go there?

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
It wasn't an attempt to derail the thread, and I'm not particularly interested in getting into a prolonged discussion about the latter at the moment since my dance card is full for the next 4-5 days.
I've gone out of my way to explain (multiple times) how often I have very little time to post here and why I keep my posts (and any typing for that matter) at a minimum. At this point I'm really at a loss how I'm supposed to believe this is anything but just a personal issue and I'm wasting my time ever responding to you.

And as I posted earlier, I really don't have much time this week. So that is it for now.
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Old 03-28-16, 07:36 PM   #127
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
Wow. Are you seriously going to go there?

I've gone out of my way to explain (multiple times) how often I have very little time to post here and why I keep my posts (and any typing for that matter) at a minimum. At this point I'm really at a loss how I'm supposed to believe this is anything but just a personal issue and I'm wasting my time ever responding to you.

And as I posted earlier, I really don't have much time this week. So that is it for now.
Wow.

For someone who already has almost 6,000 posts in around a year and a half, you certainly seem to find a spare moment or two.

You have over half as many posts as I do, and I've been here fourteen years.

But you continue to demonstrate one point of agreement...for you, it certainly is a personal issue.

Which poster took not only remembered your problem with your hands (posted some time back) but took the time to ask about them?

Look, man, you're free to express your animosity all you want. But when your targets ask you to back up what you say, please don't insult the board by always pleading that you "don't have time." You found the time to enter a thread designed for posters (primarily for Christians) to discuss Christianity...and then to attack the comments of other posters as being off-topic.

You are wasting everyone's time by trying to derail threads and then not responding when challenged...which you have done consistently over the brief time you've been around here. I would say that you are wasting your time, too, but you obviously get some sort of reinforcement from it.

Don't worry...I won't bother asking you to back up your statements from now on since you're not inclined to do so.

I suppose someone will think that's "picking on you," but at least the conversation didn't degenerate into the heated arguments you've had with other posters in other threads (culminating in your vulgar proposal of what they could do). So thanks, I guess.

Meanwhile, let's get the thread back on topic.
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Old 03-28-16, 11:18 PM   #128
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Thanks creek and story for the responses. Vibs, to me, prayer is an act of asking a god/angel/supernatural power to intercede. I believe in none of those things, so I do not pray.

Story, I was hoping to hear your thoughts on this. I think you are pretty close when you describe it like an act of solidarity. I actually rarely use 'vibes' (except for maybe more light hearted situations) and I usually say "my thoughts are with you" and or "thinking about you". I don't believe in telepathy or vibes (whatever they are), and I don't believe my thinking about them does any actual good...except for the sentiment. Most people find the sentiment comforting. So I like to try and ease someone's pain, even just a little, by saying comforting words, even if that's all they are.

That's a good question, about if I'd pray for someone if they requested it. In my personal life, absolutely. If I thought that it would make someone happier/feel better, etc., why wouldn't I? It only costs me a few seconds. The only scenario I can imagine in which I'd reject the request is if there was some ulterior motive (I.e. Someone from my wife's family trying to convert me, or if someone requested it specifically because they know that I am an atheist and they are doing it to provoke me (most likely someone from my family), etc).

Professionally, that's an interesting question. I talk about religious and spiritual issues, of all different varieties, all of the time. Yet I'd never have had a client ask me to pray with them. I have had a couple ask me to pray for a loved one of theirs, and I said I would (and did), but never someone ask me to actively do it with them. I'd need to think it through more, and of course it would depend entirely on the context of my relationship with the client (and the context of their own life and reasons for seeking treatment), but my initial reaction is yes I would. If I felt that it would help a client, and their request was not unreasonable (i.e. no animal sacrifices), than I think I would pray with them. And since I never reveal my religious views to my clients, they wouldn't even know what I think about praying.
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Old 03-29-16, 12:00 AM   #129
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by movielib View Post
I don't have trouble with moral absolutes. But I don't see how believing in Jesus has anything to do with morality.
My pithy "Jesus is the path to Salvation" was a summation of the Scripture I quoted. That is how most mainstream Christians have interpreted the aforementioned verses for centuries. It's a direct statement from Jesus himself. I was mostly responding to creekdipper's comments on the matter.

I understand that Western culture has increasingly tried to separate morality from religious thought and belief. I'm not really here to discuss that philosophical divide.
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Old 03-29-16, 12:06 AM   #130
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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I thought for sure PhantomStranger was an atheist .
Yes, I am believing Christian. I have to imagine there are others on this site that are Christians and don't necessarily advertise it. There are probably more of us here than you think.
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Old 03-29-16, 02:35 AM   #131
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post
My pithy "Jesus is the path to Salvation" was a summation of the Scripture I quoted. That is how most mainstream Christians have interpreted the aforementioned verses for centuries. It's a direct statement from Jesus himself. I was mostly responding to creekdipper's comments on the matter.

I understand that Western culture has increasingly tried to separate morality from religious thought and belief. I'm not really here to discuss that philosophical divide.
Yeah, I've been in that discussion many times and I'm not eager for another.

Thanks for the non-walloftext answer.
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Old 03-29-16, 05:30 AM   #132
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Lib, you brought up an interesting scenario, and it expanded during the discussion (from "thoughts" to "prayers").

I thought about pulling quotes from several of your & story's posts to establish a basis for further questions/comments but will just throw out questions randomly.

Do you make a distinction between telling clients you will pray for them (in their absence) and praying with them (in their presence)?

With the latter, does that mean participating silently while they pray or actively saying words?

Since you are only answerable to yourself, does it violate any personal ethics for you to participate?

Do you feel any sense of deception on your part in doing so, or does the ends justify the means especially if they don't pry into your beliefs (although it probably wouldn't matter to them if they are hurting badly)?



Also, are you interested in hearing from various Christian perspectives about the efficaciousness of prayer?

Btw, I agree totally with you that "prayer" is not typically regarded as a euphemism for "thoughts, vibes, etc." That may be one reason why some (including myself) extend "thoughts and prayers" to comfort others. Can't speak for others, but the "thoughts" is a conscious effort to include non-believers who don't believe in prayer or might actually take offense. I listened for quite a while when a Christian relative was questioning God's providence when her daughter fell ill to meningitis and was gone within 48 hours. She was very bitter and confused and felt that her prayers were ignored, and a sympathetic & silent ear was what she needed rather than "I'll pray for you."

But anyway, you do bring up an interesting challenge for non-theist professionals. You could even expand that question to ask how members of one religion respond if asked to pray with members of another religion.
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Old 03-29-16, 06:53 AM   #133
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Lib, you brought up an interesting scenario, and it expanded during the discussion (from "thoughts" to "prayers").

I thought about pulling quotes from several of your & story's posts to establish a basis for further questions/comments but will just throw out questions randomly.

Do you make a distinction between telling clients you will pray for them (in their absence) and praying with them (in their presence)?

With the latter, does that mean participating silently while they pray or actively saying words?

Since you are only answerable to yourself, does it violate any personal ethics for you to participate?

Do you feel any sense of deception on your part in doing so, or does the ends justify the means especially if they don't pry into your beliefs (although it probably wouldn't matter to them if they are hurting badly)?



Also, are you interested in hearing from various Christian perspectives about the efficaciousness of prayer?

Btw, I agree totally with you that "prayer" is not typically regarded as a euphemism for "thoughts, vibes, etc." That may be one reason why some (including myself) extend "thoughts and prayers" to comfort others. Can't speak for others, but the "thoughts" is a conscious effort to include non-believers who don't believe in prayer or might actually take offense. I listened for quite a while when a Christian relative was questioning God's providence when her daughter fell ill to meningitis and was gone within 48 hours. She was very bitter and confused and felt that her prayers were ignored, and a sympathetic & silent ear was what she needed rather than "I'll pray for you."

But anyway, you do bring up an interesting challenge for non-theist professionals. You could even expand that question to ask how members of one religion respond if asked to pray with members of another religion.
I think this is directed at me, as far as I can remember Lib is not a psychologist. I'll answer your questions in order, as best as I can...

1.) I have never had to make that distinction, as I have never had anyone ask me to pray with them or while in their presence. The couple of times it has happened, it was a quick request (typically at the end of a session).

2.) I have never had to actively say religious words in a professional setting. It would of course depend on the context and the words I'm repeating, but if a client asked me to read a prayer with them, I would first explore it with them, and if it was helpful and meaningful for them, I don't see why I would not do it.

3.) I'm not only answerable to myself. My full time job is at a public university (with a small private practice). Even in my private practice I have to answer to the state licensing board, the APA ethics committee, and the MPA ethics committee as well. Depending on the context of the request, it may violate one or more of the ethics codes of these entities. As far as my own personal ethics, no it does not violate them ( not in and of itself anyways). I spend most of my day mixing in comforting words with therpeutic interventions, so I certainly understand the value of them and since prayer is meaningless to me (other than the comfort it provides) I am not violating any personal ethics.

Keep in mind, there is such a thing as 'Christian counseling' and religious/spiritual counseling. If a client is looking for that, I would refer them elsewhere if appropriate. It is a whole other topic, so I won't get into it here. But there are some very real dangers in mixing religion and the work I do. Unfortunately, a pastor or religious leader, who happened to get their 'counseling' degree online, can cause some very real damage to unsuspecting clients. I have seen this happen first hand many times. For this and other reasons, I am usually cautious when mixing religion with my therapeutic interventions.

4.) I don't feel I'm being deceptive. The couple of times people have asked me to pray for some one, they prefaced it with..."I don't know what you believe, but..." Or something similar. Even without this, I do not view it as deceptive as I am not deceiving them. They are not asking me to believe in prayer, but just to do it. I have had many clients ask me about my religious background. There are a few things that I have never told any client and most likely never will (i.e. my religious views, my political views, my sexual orientation).


On the flips side of this discussion, I do not get offended when people say they are praying for me (assuming they are genuine and there is no ulterior motive). That would be silly. If someone wants to do something kind for me, even if I don't believe in it, I'm appreciative of their thought and intent. It even may bring me comfort. Not the praying, but the fact that someone cares enough to do so.

As far as the efficacy of prayers, I'm not really interested in that (maybe some other time in another thread). A few years ago I dove down that rabbit hole, reviewed the established scientific literature on the topic and confidently concluded there is no efficacy (at least beyond the comfort they get and any placebo effects).
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Old 03-29-16, 07:17 AM   #134
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Thanks for the detailed answers, dave.

On this board, everyone is a psychologist!!! And if you say they're not, they'll analyze you!

Re: "answerable only to yourself," I almost added "excepting professional licensing regulations, of course," but I'm trying to reign in the walls of text. Obviously there are limits to what you can professionally do, but I was asking about actions which wouldn't violate professional standards but might violate your own set of personal ethics.

And you answered quite nicely.

As for "efficacy," I was speaking in a spiritual sense of actual supernatural intervention, not just therapeutic effects upon the patient in the same way that counseling might provide.

The reason for bringing that up was to see if there was interest in exploring whether prayer actually "works" as an outside operating force, if prayers are "answered" (and in what ways), if prayer must be offered in certain manners following certain rules, if the prayers of everyone are heard, etc.

If prayer is regarded as a simple expression along the lines of "I wish" without any real expectation of having anything happen, it's a pretty simple topic. Otherwise, there's a lot to explore and a lot of different traditions and opinions on the subject.
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Old 03-29-16, 09:50 AM   #135
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Baby #9 has arrived!

They have named her Ruth Verity; 8 lbs., 2 oz.

Ruth & Amy both doing fine.

Our congregation lost one Ruth shortly ago; we regained another today.

Just think...in three months, Ruth will be one year old!

Thanks for [email protected]!

Last edited by creekdipper; 03-29-16 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 03-29-16, 10:23 AM   #136
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Baby #9 has arrived!

They have named her Ruth Verity; 8 lbs., 2 oz.

Ruth & Amy both doing fine.

Our congregation lost one Ruth shortly ago; we regained another today.

Just think...in three months, Ruth will be one year old!

Thanks for [email protected]!
Seeing as how brain birth likely happened about 3.5 months ago, she should be one year old in about 8.5 months.

(Apropos of nothing, my mother's name was Ruth. Middle name Naomi. Named after Ruth and Naomi from the Book of Ruth.)
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Old 03-29-16, 11:32 AM   #137
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Even an atheist can be happy when a baby is born. I'm glad for your friends, creek. And I love the middle name. "Virtue" names like Patience and Constance need to make a comeback. They're timeless.
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Old 03-29-16, 11:33 AM   #138
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by dave-o View Post
Vibs, to me, prayer is an act of asking a god/angel/supernatural power to intercede. I believe in none of those things, so I do not pray.
Even when I did pray, I was mindful of my parents' lessons that prayer wasn't about asking for what you wanted; it was about asking for the strength to accept what you got. I don't believe or pray anymore either, obviously.
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Old 03-29-16, 11:47 AM   #139
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Even when I did pray, I was mindful of my parents' lessons that prayer wasn't about asking for what you wanted; it was about asking for the strength to accept what you got. I don't believe or pray anymore either, obviously.
Good point.
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Old 03-29-16, 04:48 PM   #140
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Baby #9 has arrived!

They have named her Ruth Verity; 8 lbs., 2 oz.

Ruth & Amy both doing fine.

Our congregation lost one Ruth shortly ago; we regained another today.

Just think...in three months, Ruth will be one year old!

Thanks for [email protected]!
People still give kids real names like Ruth? In a world of Courtny, Courtnie, Cortnie, Kourtney, Kourtnee, Kourtny, Kortny, Kourtney, Kourtnie, Kortnee, and Kourtnee, I'm impressed.
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Old 03-29-16, 06:51 PM   #141
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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People still give kids real names like Ruth?
Religious people giving their kids religious names, say it ain't so?

I used to work with a guy who was named Mohammed. He had six brothers who were also named Mohammed. At least they had different middle names to differentiate them.
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Old 03-29-16, 06:57 PM   #142
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Religious people giving their kids religious names, say it ain't so?

I used to work with a guy who was named Mohammed. He had six brothers who were also named Mohammed. At least they had different middle names to differentiate them.
Any with the middle name Ali?
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Old 03-29-16, 11:08 PM   #143
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Originally Posted by movielib View Post
As for thoughts and good wishes upon a happy occasion? Mazel tov!
Well, yeah!

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That's a good question, about if I'd pray for someone if they requested it. In my personal life, absolutely. If I thought that it would make someone happier/feel better, etc., why wouldn't I? It only costs me a few seconds. The only scenario I can imagine in which I'd reject the request is if there was some ulterior motive (I.e. Someone from my wife's family trying to convert me, or if someone requested it specifically because they know that I am an atheist and they are doing it to provoke me (most likely someone from my family), etc).
Pretty much what I said, too, in terms of provocation motivations. Hoping those potential family situations are only hypothetical.

Quote:
Professionally, that's an interesting question. I talk about religious and spiritual issues, of all different varieties, all of the time. Yet I'd never have had a client ask me to pray with them. I have had a couple ask me to pray for a loved one of theirs, and I said I would (and did), but never someone ask me to actively do it with them. I'd need to think it through more, and of course it would depend entirely on the context of my relationship with the client (and the context of their own life and reasons for seeking treatment), but my initial reaction is yes I would. If I felt that it would help a client, and their request was not unreasonable (i.e. no animal sacrifices), than I think I would pray with them. And since I never reveal my religious views to my clients, they wouldn't even know what I think about praying.
Context, context, context, absolutely. If it ever comes up, I'd be glad to read an update.

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Even when I did pray, I was mindful of my parents' lessons that prayer wasn't about asking for what you wanted; it was about asking for the strength to accept what you got.
I like that.
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Old 03-29-16, 11:54 PM   #144
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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What are everyone's Christian CCM listening experiences?.
My experiences with CCM is that most of it isn't my cup of tea. I don't listen to it very much.

When I was a teen in the 1990s, it felt like adults were trying to get teens to embrace it and it had an automatic artificiality, to me. Went to a couple concerts, had a handful of CDs, but beyond some Jars of Clay songs none of it really did much for me. Not the way Pearl Jam did, for example. There are some old school CCM songs from the 1970s/80s I like but that's probably because I learned them at camp and I had a good connection with them there.

As an adult, I'm not into it, really. My following opinions are based on a very small sampling and from only my limited perspective. Unfortunately, I don't have examples because I haven't paid enough attention to know which songs or artists I'm not excited by in the genre. Most of what I hear doesn't excite me, lyrically, and there are only so many times I can repeat a chorus in worship along with a praise band.

I'd like to hear more CCM that cast a broader theological net. Songs with exclusively male-centric language for God (Father, he, him, his, King, etc.) aren't exciting for Christians interested in expansive/inclusive theological language. The blood of Christ is important, and yet... CCM feels so bloody to me. Yes, there is blood and violence and suffering in the cross. AND... are there CCM songs about the teachings of Jesus? The parables? The healings? There seems to be an emphasis on "Jesus and Me" thanks to the cross in what I hear of CCM instead of "Jesus and We" as the hands and feet of Christ in the world. I'm much more interested in a song that tells people God loves them and inspires communities to go out into the world together to share the love of Christ with active, everyday choices. Are these CCM songs out there? Maybe it's not that the theological net needs to be cast wider to be meaningful to many Christian traditions. Maybe it's that that net needs to be cast deeper to get at more messages than how great Jesus is and how grateful we are for the cross. No matter how great a message that is, if the songs get stuck on the cross, we'll miss a whole lot more great stuff. Again, I barely know the genre, I don't have examples, and I'm talking in very general language and with ignorance.

I did recently hear a song by Matthew Sweet that I like. It emphasizes the relationship between God and humankind as one of created to share love as a "We" in the name of Christ. I like that a lot.
Spoiler:


I do enjoy some modern artist covers of traditional hymns. Those can be really fun. Here's an example:
Spoiler:
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Old 03-30-16, 12:28 AM   #145
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Is the Jewish god and the Christian god the same? I get confused.

I know you get in trouble if you say the Muslim god and the Christian god are the same. Though I know many have said that on both sides.

If it gets this confusing over these three gods, what about the other thousands of current gods out there?
I'm not the expert, but Reverend Lovejoy is:



Short answer yes, if God is a God that continues to reveal Godself in the world to humankind in many ways understood then, understood now, understood later, and never understood at all in an effort to offer grace and empower justice throughout creation.

Long answer no, but they all go back, in scripture, to God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis. Abraham and Sarah have a son, Isaac (Genesis 18, 21), but before that Abraham and Sarah's servant, Hagar, had a son, Ishamael (Genesis 16). Later, Hagar and Ishmael are sent away. From the house of Isaac, we get Judaism and then Christianity. From the house of Ishmael, we get Islam. God explains that it's through Isaac that Abraham's offspring are named for Abraham (Jews), and yet scripture says God was with Ishamael as he grew up (Muslims). There's a lot more detail and crossover and interpretation in there, too, about who the covenant continues through and/or if God is a part of both (all three) streams of faith. So even with a no, there are plenty of apologetics to explain why it's no. After a while, we get into soteriology and other winding paths. One could hedge one's bets and at least affirm the Hebrew God story, the Christian God story, and the Muslim God story all stem from the same origin story, the same flashpoint, and from there the stories take different routes. But that doesn't get at whether God is the god.

The other few thousand gods out there? It's possible one could find some compatibility with the yes, if response above. What would you do with them?
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Old 03-30-16, 05:17 AM   #146
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Let's assume that we're talking about orthodox Judaism & Christianity and not Jews for Jesus or Christians Without Christ.

Jews do not believe in the Trinity (or that Jesus was divine); therefore, their view of God's nature is different.

Christians believe that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all divine...three persons in one godhead.

Therefore, the answer is "No."

[Food for thought edit: Since God is the Creator of all, then in that sense He is the God of all things created, even those who do not acknowledge Him or worship false gods. On the other hand, not everyone is a spiritually-adopted child of God.]

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Old 03-30-16, 05:22 AM   #147
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Questions For Christians:

What is the gospel? (and where specifically do you find the definition?)

(Wanted to keep it to one question at a time, but this one is closely related):

What is the Great Commission?

Last edited by creekdipper; 03-30-16 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 03-30-16, 06:09 AM   #148
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

Additional question since this seems to be coming up a lot lately (both here & in the "bashing" thread):

Is the focus of Christianity about questions or answers?

(Clarification: Not talking about those having questions seeking answers. Talking about whether Christianity is meant to provide answers or to provoke more questions).

And, as always, what is the source of your opinion?
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Old 03-30-16, 06:16 AM   #149
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

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Well, yeah!



Pretty much what I said, too, in terms of provocation motivations. Hoping those potential family situations are only hypothetical.



Context, context, context, absolutely. If it ever comes up, I'd be glad to read an update.



I like that.
Unfortunately the family situations are not hypothetical. My family is barely a minor annoyance at this point. They know who I am by now and stopped hoping I'd be something else awhile ago. My wife's family are lovely people who happen to be Jehovas Witnesses. That has been a whole other story with exactly what you'd expect...
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Old 03-30-16, 09:27 AM   #150
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Re: Christian Idea Exchange

That sounds challenging, or at least is was for a while. Out of curiosity, were there ways they were trying to show you they wanted you to be someone else that eventually stopped or slowed down?

We get Jehovah's Witnesses at our door every once in a while. They've always been nice it hasn't taken long to come to a "Thanks, but no thanks" place and end on a cordial note. I haven't met one who has been in my face and it's easy to return kindness with kindness and I hope that trend continues. I've got to hand it to anyone who goes door to door to share about faith like that: it takes guts, good for them.
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