Reply with quote #1
I am not sure exactly the reason, but ever since I first heard the story of the resurrection as a child, I always associated with Thomas. Even though he was a follower of Jesus, and even though everyone else around him believed that Jesus had bodily resurrected, he refused to believe it until he could verify it himself. I think I would be exactly the same if I were him, I would almost like to think that one of the major differences between us is that he was able to get verification, while I cannot.
Is it really that wrong of me to want some sort of verification, like Thomas received?
Reply with quote #2
No, I think that is a normal thought. That is why John has Jesus say something to the effect of "blessed are those who have not seen but believe".
Reply with quote #3
No it's not wrong, questioning these things is exactly what led every one of the apologists on this forum into apologetics. Pretty well every apologist on this board was a doubting Thomas of one form or another.
Reply with quote #4
Which is true, but what do you think would have happened to Thomas, had he no been given the verification he needed? Imagine if he had been out of town during the time Jesus was back and then he came back after the ascension. Would he have condemned for the lack of belief ?
Also, if those who have not seen but believe are blessed, that does not imply that those who do not believe because they have not seen are cursed, right ?
Reply with quote #5
Uhm...no...no it doesnt... Just because some people are exalted for their belief doesn't mean that anyone who isn't exalted by that same belief is also cursed. They said, "Blessed are the peace keepers". That doesn't go to say that anyone who doesn't become a peace keeper is cursed.
As for what would have happened to Thomas if he hadn't physically stuck his fingers in the wounds of Christ I honestly wouldn't know, any discussions on the matter would be purely speculative.
Reply with quote #6
Jb, this seems like a very candid thread. Is the door still open for christianity as a possibility?
Reply with quote #7
Also, I've always wondered if Thomas actually touched Jesus. Jesus invites him to, and then Thomas says "My Lord and my God". Was the offer to touch him enough for Thomas to believe? Not that it makes a real theological difference, just always wondered haha.
Reply with quote #8
Jb, this seems like a very candid thread. Is the door still open for christianity as a possibility?
I always leave the door open, and if the evidence were to tip in favor, I could be convinced. I also have learned lately that it may be better to approach issues like this along this vain, rather then attacking the belief.
It also made me wonder that if even an apostle could have not believed until he had the claims verified, that it shouldn't be so absurd that I would as well.
Reply with quote #9
When you were in church did you ever experience God?
To be a bit clearer, did you ever feel the presence of God?
Reply with quote #10
I cannot honestly say that I did, or if I did, I attributed it so something other then God. Perhaps that is why it was not so painful for me to drift away from belief.
Reply with quote #11
Asking questions isn't the problem at all, in fact I think that every believer should have their belief questioned, studied, and challenged. In my opinion that creates a stronger believer. To quote the Hagakure, the sort of "Samurai Bible":
It is bad when one thing becomes two. One should not look for anything else in the Way of the Samurai. It is the same for anything that is called a way. If one understands things in this manner, he should be able to hear about all ways and be more and more in accord with his own.
Where I think the line is drawn, and where the problem begins, is when we strike our "breaking point". Though many of us don't want to admit it, each one of us is entrenched in our own personal belief system, even small things like subjective interpretations of events. And getting us to uproot ourselves from this belief structure, while simultaneously maintaining a solid worldview, is nearly impossible. If one abandons their ideology on a whim and adopts another, he is weak in will and will simply abandon this new ideology when another comes along. But if one is too strong of will and refuses to ever abandon their ideology, then one will never see the benefit of growth and learning, and will always remain firmly rooted in their beliefs.
This second person is not bad, or wrong, really. It's just a matter of whether they
want to learn. Ask yourself, when you ask a Christian a question are you genuinely seeking the answer to that question because you are curious, or do you already anticipate the response you're going to be given and you're lining up a counter argument to lodge against it? If you are anticipating, then you are not there to learn, you're there to fight.
Now us apologists are those Christians from the flock who are the
most stubborn and the most combative. lol My pastor describes apologists as the rams of the sheep herd, who charge at perceived threats and head butt them until they go away.
So asking questions is absolutely appropriate, when you start from the position of curiosity and open mindedness, however if you begin from the stance that unbelief is more warranted and wish to be proven wrong, it's a whole different story. One is discussion, the other is debate. One is open, friendly, and jovial, the other is logical, combative, and argumentative.
Reply with quote #12
I would describe you as a ram rather then a sheep.
If you are anticipating, then you are not there to learn, you're there to fight.
I guess this means that you are here to fight, rather then learn. I suppose that is why many people including myself are having a hard time having conversations with you, you are on the attack rather then having a discussion. While I appreciate the attack approach, I find all it does is leave both sides where they started. If this is your goal, then it succeeds. If you are like me and want to learn your weakness and grow, then its counterproductive to attack a contrary position. Rather then firing missiles at the base in a head on full frontal assault, I prefer to fight small incremental battles, or even better then that would be to negotiate a peaceful resolution rather then fighting.
Reply with quote #13
I guess this means that you are here to fight, rather then learn. I suppose that is why many people including myself are having a hard time having conversations with you, you are on the attack rather then having a discussion.
Actually as I noted in a thread about a week ago the reason why I'm on this board is to debate the topic and improve my ability to both keep my calm, and to recollect factual information faster. Sometimes you get stuck in the "Uh....uh...uh..." frame of mind when you're on stage and your opponent has made a point that you didn't consider. So it's good to work with these boards and improve your debating skills. Don't get me wrong, I won't deny that I'm here to defend the faith. The whole reason I want to do this is because there are people who are lodging attacks against Christianity, and I want to defend that faith and save as many people as I can from walking down the dark road of atheism due to lies and misdirection. There are atheists who are going after who they consider to be the weakest of the Christians, and I want to get those atheists on stage and debate them into the ground to show the Christians in the audience that the atheist has nothing in his arsenal. Now don't get me wrong JB, that doesn't mean that if you ask me a question I'm going to strike up a debate. Honestly ask anything and I'll honestly respond without any combativeness or anticipation of debate. I absolutely love talking about this stuff, especially with a friendly listener. Just ask my wife and watch her eyes roll so fast they break the sound barrier. lol I've talked her ear off about things ranging from Moral Epistemology to Neo-Platonism. I find these subjects enthralling and exciting, and love to discuss them and expand my mind. If a thread starts that's like, "Hey what about the A and B theory of time? Anyone wanna talk about this fascinating subject?" I will be happy to jump in and talk in a friendly manner. But, as with the other thread, when you end it with, "And therefore the Kalaam Argument is false" you're obviously seeking a debate. So there are some Christians on here who prefer the friendly discussions, like iDunno, and some who get into the debates like me and Archsage.
Reply with quote #14
Its very similar for me, but I think you need to lay off the anticipation a little. I have to spend more time correcting what you thought I was going to say then actually saying it, and it gets tiring. That style may work for formal debates, but that is part of the reason that I loathe formal debates.
Reply with quote #15
I wouldn't consider myself a ram, its not who I am naturally and I do see it as detrimental to good natured dialogue.
I would say I'm here to learn, but the issue of Gods existence is firmly established by my experience. Some will no doubt see this as being close minded non the less, but again its easy to disregard experiences you never had. I'd say my confidence in God's existence is also due to the way I approach knowledge. I genuinely try to give ear to all perspectives while still holding on to my, and conclusions I draw are not knee jerk reactions to given arguments rather they're the product of study and dialogue. Jb, I think you know one of the older posters here who immediately clings to every argument he finds convincing (hope he's OK), my approach is the polar opposite to that one.
I assume you're not looking for scientific proof for Gods existence, some would say that's not possible and I would agree. Also when we look at the arguments offered by Craig what it seems to come down to is a disagreement on the validity of the premises, for the most part the theist would agree that they are valid while the atheist would not. It seems we're coming at this from different presuppositions. Anyway, I guess I'm asking what kind of verification are you looking for?