The Simple Heart of Christianity

In the New Testament of the Bible, the concepts Jesus taught were love/respect, forgiveness, and thankfulness/thoughtfulness.

Love/Respect – Understood using the idea of the Holy Trinity.  Be accepting of all forces acting upon you (The Father).  Be caring and honest with all humans (The Son).  When you are loving and respectful toward everything, self-respect comes upon you (The Spirit).

Forgiveness* – Know that forgiveness is yours if you take responsibility for your actions and learn from the impact of your sins**.  Be forgiving of others as everyone is trying their best based on their knowledge and experiences.

Thankfulness/Thoughtfulness – Dedicate time to focus on being thankful and thoughtful (prayer), especially when faced with difficult situations.

*belief that Jesus is God not required – forgiveness is available regardless
**sin = an act of selfishness that results in disconnect from one’s greater environment, humanity, and one’s self respect

43 Responses to The Simple Heart of Christianity

  1. Derek says:

    It would be wrong to say you are totally off, but some of your definitions I find troublesome and arrogant. You are arrogant in the sense that you are giving yourself authority to describe things that have already been explained. Sin has been explained by God. I’m not trying to be confrontational necessarily, but I take issue with your misinformation. Sin does not exclusively equal selfishness that affects others in a negative way– although it certainly may sometimes affect others in a negative way. Sin is an individuals rejection of God’s commands. Please understand this is not MY opinion, but God’s truth as revealed in the bible. I find it interesting that you make allowance for people not to believe that Christ is God. Jesus frequently talks about those that will reject this title of him and will, as a result, not receive the gift that Christ’s blood paid for. I do agree with you that Christianity is simple, but only in the sense that through Christ alone, faith alone, and grace alone are we saved from our sins.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Derek, I appreciate your thoughts. Is it arrogant for me to attempt to gain a more thorough understanding of what is written in the Bible rather than follow it without question? I don’t see why God would have given us the ability to make connections and find understanding only to have us accept words at face value. Keep in mind that God’s truth as revealed in the Bible is subject to interpretation as the many translations and denominations demonstrate. It is by no means a literary work that is understood in an absolutely precise manner.

      Do you have any references for where Jesus himself speaks of the result of rejecting his title? I’m coming up empty in my searching.

      I am not approaching my understanding of the Bible from a fearful point of view. If it really is true from the common Christian point of view, in openly and thoughtfully exploring it and testing it, shouldn’t that lead to my acceptance of it?

      “prove all things; hold fast that which is good;” ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21

      • Derek says:

        It is not arrogant to attempt to gain understand of what is written in the bible at all! What I’m suggesting is that you are changing what the bible says. The bible is extremely clear on what sin is. Your definition is not what the bible says. Challenging ideas is not the same as distorting ideas. Do you outright disagree, or are you uncomfortable with what God says and therefore want to change it into something that makes you more comfortable? I’ll accept either choice, but just be transparent about what you’re doing.

        Before I provide my textual evidence to support Jesus’ deity, lets take a moment to discus your other claim that the bible is open to interpretation. You are absolutely right to observe there are numerous denominations of Christianity, but we can’t assume they all have an equal grasp of truth. This is basic philosophy/common sense, although it’s becoming less common in our increasingly post-modern society.

        Someone has to be correct, which brings me to the point: you are on the right track when you ask where’s your proof? References where Jesus speaks of the result of rejecting his title. John 8:58 “Before Abraham was I am”. See Exodus 3:14 to understand why this is such an important statement. If you think it’s a coincidental reference, I would ask you why the Jews picked up stones to stone him, and why Jesus didn’t talk them down and reexplain himself. John 14:6 “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the father but through me”. Those two verses, I hope, clearly illustrate my point that Chris is Lord and you cannot expect to be reunited with God unless you accept what He has done for you.

        You also seem to reply (with haughty undertones I might add) that you are not reading the bible from a place of fear. Great! Neither am I! But the majority of what I’ve read on your blog is not testing; it’s distorting, which scares me for your sake. Testing, in my opinion would probably fall in line more with questions or stumbling blocks you can’t wrap your head around. You are taking clear teaching from the bible and changing them to, it seems, either suit your own views or be sensational, neither of which seem to fall under what I would describe as testing. I love that you ended your response with 1 Thessalonians 5:21, but found the irony overwhelming.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        On the topic of sin, my view is an attempt to identify the attributes of a sinful action to gain a greater understanding of why they are deemed as such in the Bible, if by God or otherwise.

        As you seem so certain that my attempt to find common ground between sins is off-base, what is your interpretation of their commonalities, aside from them having been deemed so by God?

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I am curious, are there any verses outside of the Gospel of John where Jesus’ title rings of such significance?

        I have trouble with John’s Gospel, as compared to the rest of the Gospels, it has a different tone as if the writer wanted to tell the story in a way that makes its significance certain without any doubt. Maybe the writer was so biased in his belief that his bias ended up finding its way into his retelling of the story of Jesus.

        I just find it fishy that it seems like the majority of bold proclamations come from the same Gospel.

      • Derek says:

        I take issue with your “fishy” perception. Is it fishy because it disagrees with your own ideas? I don’t see anything tangibly conspicuous about John. You seem to suggest he’s overly confident or biased. I don’t . We have to have a better defense than: “This disagrees with what I believe so it’s wrong”.

        Matthew 16:13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

        Mark: 12:26 “David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.” ‘ David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with delight.”

        Luke: 22:67 “If you are the Christ, ” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, and if I asked you, you would not answer. But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”

        In regards to your detective work on sin: all sins do have one thing in common. They all are examples of disobedience to a perfect and loving God. Why do we need more of a justification than that unless disobedience to God doesn’t bother us enough to understand sin as wrong.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        It’s “fishy” in the way a salesman describes their product as the ultimate solution for something, when it isn’t necessarily the case.

        As for sin, you don’t care to understand why they are considered disobedient actions? If that is a typical attitude, I understand better why Christians have a general aversion to at least some areas of science.

        I will take a further look into your examples, thank you.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Thank you again Derek, your passage from Luke has brought something significant to my attention. I have written a blog post about it:
        https://christianitysimplified.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/bible-translation-alert-luke-2270/

    • jasonjshaw says:

      In re-reading your comment, I didn’t really address your final statement. In my blog post entitled “Is Jesus the only way?” I examine Biblical evidence that Jesus himself may have somewhat implied otherwise:
      https://christianitysimplified.wordpress.com/2013/12/08/jesus-for-or-against-not-against-is-for-is-jesus-the-only-way/

  2. Derek says:

    It’s “fishy” in the way a salesman describes their product as the ultimate solution for something, when it isn’t necessarily the case.

    Interesting: Christianity isn’t trying to sell you anything, I’m not a salesman. What are you suggesting my product is, and how do you know it doesn’t work? Your condescending remark doesn’t seem to encourage humanity or connection if we’re keeping score on “products”. Through putting your faith in Christ that he has taken the punishment we deserve we will be reunited with God. This has given me a deep peace, as Christ promised, and while I haven’t died yet (shocker) I believe I will be reunited with a perfect and loving God. I hope that in my attempts to defend my faith you understand that it is not about me being right, and you being wrong; it’s about Christ’s truth and promise being defended.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      If you look at the hierarchy of churches, especially those churches that belong to a collective organization of churches, it is definitely a business selling a particular belief. There are procedural expectations within those organizations, and the intent is to expand the reach of those organizations.

      That’s not to say business is at the heart of Christianity, as I know it’s not. But the belief has become business to a large degree, and that is a problem – not unlike the money changers in the Temple.

      I appreciate your approach, and I am understanding of the peace that can come from such belief. Personally, I find peace in understanding why things aren’t the way they are intended to be. I would love to be doing something else with my time, but I feel a great importance in understanding and attempting to reconcile the disconnects associated with Christianity.

  3. Derek says:

    I completely agree with you in that respect! If we look at Joel Osteen or any of the prosperity preachers (people who say God wants to make you rich and make you as happy as can be in this life) or even another international church organization. Those churches are built on philosophies that are not Christ-like and should be called out. That being said, I take issue with your generalizing ALL Christ followers as salesmen and saleswomen. If Christ’s power is real and we listen to what Christ commands of course we will share our beliefs because we want others to experience the same. People can’t even eat something tasty without sharing the restaurant or food truck with others, how much more than should we expect people to share their spiritual joy!

    • jasonjshaw says:

      You kind of make my point there, aren’t we all salespeople for that which we benefit from?

      • Derek says:

        Isn’t salesperson kind of a pejorative term though? If someone said don’t try to sell me Jesus, I would be offended that they reduced Christ to something to be purchased. I would view spiritual redemption as far greater than a vacuum cleaner or a new car.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I guess it does depend. There are a lot of sales-like tactics used within Christianity. In my introduction to the church I attended, it came about through conversation. It was a very casual, organic connection. I expressed a curiosity and was extended an invitation.

        On the other hand, within the church, at the end of each sermon, the pastor went into something that came across as sales pressure. He asked if anyone would like to accept Jesus as saviour to raise their hand. I thought he did a fantastic job with his teachings, but this was one of the most awkward things I have ever experienced. I was hesitant to return after the first time simply because of it. I’m glad I didn’t stop going at the time, but I still cringed every time he did it. Attempting to convince people of something before they really understand it doesn’t seem too far off of the door-to-door salespeople who try to convince you to buy their “super wonderful” product before you take the time to do further research.

      • Derek says:

        I’m sorry you had the experience in church. I’ve sat through similar sermons and found the experience equally awkward, and I’m a Christ follower! That being said, we have to be careful when we generalize all Christians. I don’t find Christ’s message awkward in and of itself, and I certainly don’t read any “sales tactics” in the Bible. Neither Christ nor his true followers are interested in an insincere “conversion” or in duping anyone (you might disagree with the Christ duping anyone part).

      • jasonjshaw says:

        With the possibility I am working from, if what Jesus did was a trick, it was at his own expense for the benefit of everyone else. I don’t see any personal benefit for Jesus. It was a trick intended to uplift humanity. It’s like leading some people to believe they will have a free meal, and then springing it on them that it was a trick, they get their own farm!

        If it was a lie, it was a lie to bring hope. That is why I believe if Jesus was a liar, that maybe it actually was a lie for the greater good.

        And then you get into the second coming of Christ and all that. I can see possibility in that being the big reveal of the deception, a second understanding of Jesus, and the upheaval of all those who turned him into an idol over what he did rather than listen to what he taught. I would think that Jesus knew the truth would come out eventually.

        I know, it’s all a theory. It probably sounds a bit out there. It’s the best explanation I can come up with under the supposition that the supernatural aspects of the Bible do not stretch beyond the understood laws of the universe.

  4. Pingback: Clarification of “sin” | Christianity Simplified

  5. Derek says:

    “I know, it’s all a theory. It probably sounds a bit out there. It’s the best explanation I can come up with under the supposition that the supernatural aspects of the Bible do not stretch beyond the understood laws of the universe.”

    Why couldn’t Jesus just tell us we got the farm? Well he does tell us we got the “farm”: Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.” Why does Jesus talk about people that would not get it in that same section of the text? Can he blame those people if he lived a lie in the first place? Seems a bit harsh to act out a lie, and then get mad at the people who don’t believe you, and then punish them for it.

    Your last sentence I find interesting. What exactly do you mean?

    • Derek says:

      Oh and another thing on faith vs. action which I think you kind of alluded to. I see both as integral. It’s important to understand how they function though, lest we get dangerously confused. We are saved purely through grace and faith. Where do deeds come in then? Deeds are a product of being saved. If you say you are saved and you are an axe murder, you’re not really saved. If you say you are saved and you don’t do anything Christ asked of you, you are not really saved. It’s a delicate balance but it’s important to note that nobody can save themselves through being a really great person, or being extraordinarily selfless only Christ can save us. We demonstrate we are saved through our actions.

  6. jasonjshaw says:

    As I have looked at the Bible from an Earthly perspective, turning the outward supernatural elements inwardly to how humanity functions, I see this passage as basically saying, if you take care of those who need care, you will seen in a positive light and be taken care of. If you ignore those who need care, you will not be looked upon so well – which is quite true. Just look at famous people held in high regard (the Mother Theresas of the world) compared to famous people seen quite negatively (the Hitlers of the world).

    My last sentence is talking about understanding the supernatural elements of the Bible with natural explanations.

  7. Derek says:

    I don’t understand your first sentence at all.

    So we should do things to be seen in a positive light? Are doing kind things in secret worthwhile then? Isn’t that a little self-serving and what if we find that unappealing, or not very motivating?

    Thanks, now I understand you. Seems like quite a feat to explain God’s power without using God’s power. Why not just argue that it’s all made up? And if that doesn’t sit well, what about your understanding is holding you back? To use my own analogy: You can’t unplug a television and then complain when it doesn’t turn on. You can’t explain God without admitting that he is beyond our description in His own description he says: “I AM WHO I AM”. If we take God out of the equation the Bible the claims in the Bible stop making sense because who can manipulate the laws of the universe except for the Creator of the universe? People can’t walk on water, raise people from the dead, part the red sea, get swallowed by giant fish and survive, or predict the future unless God allows such events.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      It’s not so much to be seen in a positive light, but it is making positive connections, and those positive connections tend to reflect well on those who make those connections on account of being caring. Someone who does positive things with the intention of being seen in a positive light will likely expose their agenda as they actually won’t be caring about those they are connecting with.

      And connections are of great importance to us. In helping those who need help the most, it usually takes far less to help them which allows for more connection. Does that make more sense?

      And arguing that it’s all made up is taking the easy way out, not to mention disrespectful to all those who do believe. For so many people to believe in something like Christianity (or any other widespread belief), there must be something to it of value that people are connecting with.

      The only other way to make sense of such stories other than the Creator of the universe manipulating the laws of nature, is for the human memory and imagination to lose information of history and piece it back together to the best of its abilities.

  8. Derek says:

    Ok so we should be good people because it will help us to make positive connections. I don’t disagree entirely, but what’s the end game? The proliferation of human kind? That seems rather empty and cold.

    You seem to be melding conservation of energy laws with humanitarian efforts. Not sure I see the rationale, but I think I understand what you’re trying to say.

    Ok, I agree with you, but that could also be a little patronizing. Christianity is unique because it is based on objective events. It can be tested and argued.

    It’s interesting to me that you are suggesting people remembered Christ coming back to life, or any of the other miracles mixed with a dose of imagination. I think you should write an article about the gospels and when they are believed to have been written. If they were written hundreds of years after Christ, I think that theory would have some weight, but that’s simply not the case. This “imagined” or “misremembered” theory is popular among those who don’t know their Biblical history.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Decades can make a difference too. Think of your own memories of past events, even events from 5 or 10 years ago. How clearly are you able to recall the details of the events that hold some significance to you?

      In my job working in a warehouse and doing some deliveries, I at times am asked to remember things from several months back. I find I can connect general abstract memories to some, but the clarity diminishes with time. Even with things that stand out as being unique at the time. Heck, even relaying stories of something that happened that day – I’ve had experiences where I was involved in the same event as another guy on a job site, and when he is relaying the story of what happened, he has simplified the story to be able to convey it more efficiently to others, while sacrificing accuracy. When I try to tell a story, accuracy is important to me, and I often stumble when attempting to recall and relay a story.

      That gives me the impression that the human mind is not very effective in capturing details, but works well in capturing general feelings and significant events and finding ways to connect them in order to communicate them.

      Multiply that by several decades, as it is suggested of when the Gospels may have been written (the earliest ones in the range of 40-60 years if my memory serves me correctly) and it seems to me that such a possibility of faded memory and reconnecting significant events logically could absolutely have resulted in not fully accurate representations of what actually happened.

  9. Derek says:

    My great grandma passed away 24 years ago. I didn’t accidentally remember her coming back to life and I didn’t try to convince my family she had, they would have proved I was wrong. It seems like an incredible leap that people would exaggerate to such an extent without being immediately dismissed unless there was truth to their claims. Especially when you consider attempts to stamp out the church from all angles. Much more, Christ’s life is not really about “details” but about incredible events what had never happened before. I can’t see Peter thinking “Did Lazarus come back to life, or did he stay dead” and then choosing the latter because his memory was fuzzy. What were the author’s of the gospel doing immediately after Christ’s resurrection? Spreading the same message that I am almost two thousand years later! The first gospel could have been written the day after Christ ascended to heaven (we don’t know that it wasn’t), but we can say with very clear reasoning that the Gospel of at least Matthew was almost surely written before 70 AD. I understand that the events of the Bible are extraordinary, but your contrived explanation seems even more extraordinary.

    Because you always seem to go in this direction, I write this response preemptively. The authors of the Bible were not interested in duping those that would read it to spread a humanistic message. If people have good in them, why would you have to lie to them to get them to do good? The Bible presents a problem from the outset of humanity: man’s sin. Christ solves the problem. That is Christianity simplified. If you don’t want to put your faith in Christ, or do you don’t think a just God will judge you according to your actions it’s Christianity denied. I can’t remember the exact post, but you wrote that you like the way I interpret the Bible. It is an interpretation to be sure, but it’s an interpretation that I can back up because it has the most veracity (that’s why I believe it).

    People find humanism far more cuddly and easier to meld into their thinking, but comfort doesn’t equal truth. The Bible is based on real people that really lived and did actual things through God. What kind of God would be worth admiring if miracles were never performed? In that case I imagine people would questions why God never did anything to prove he was God. Jesus experienced similar skepticism. Basically, people always seem to find a way to not believe.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      That’s why I suggest Jesus may have survived, as memory of him coming back to life is more of a stretch. Then again I imagine a case could be made for prophesy influencing memories.

      Like I have said before, I believe the authors of the Bible believed in what they wrote. I can not find certainty in that what they wrote is actually what happened.

      Some people find Christianity easier to to connect with their understandings of the world, and in that, find comfort. And I agree, comfort doesn’t equal truth.

      Why are miracles required in admiring a God? I don’t need magic tricks to admire the complexity and diversity of existence. I do understand that magic tricks were possibly utilized in drawing support for OT belief, and that witnessing what seems unexplainable does well to connect with people.

  10. Derek says:

    So now prophecy’s are influencing their memories? That’s even crazier than before! I’m not saying miracles are required to admire God, but they certainly help establish authority with whom God has chosen. A miracle is not the same thing as an illusion. I agree that the natural world offers plenty of admiration. Paul says: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Why couldn’t prophesy influence memory? When I was younger, one of my parents had the bumper of their car damaged. I must have had a dream of being in the car when it occurred, because I was sure that I experienced the bumper being hit. When I recalled it as a memory, my parents corrected me in that I wasn’t there when it happened.

      In that experience alone, I don’t think it is unreasonable to suggest that a suggestion can become a memory. There was a study recently where a false memory of being lost in a mall was able to be implanted in the memory of several people simply through suggestion. I don’t think it is a possibility that should be ruled out when considering the origins of the Bible.

      • Derek says:

        I think we both know this is ridiculous. Thousands of people had the exact same memory because every single one knew scriptures that foretold Jesus, keep in mind we’re talking about Jews and gentiles alike. And then Paul, an expert in scriptures, whose job it was to persecute Christians, saw Christ Glorified because the scriptures somehow created such a hallucination? That’s bizarre! Do you genuinely find this convincing? Memory isn’t perfect sure, but what your suggesting is beyond imperfect, it’s complete fabrication. You conveniently neglect how accurate memory can be (that’s how courts are run), and the fact that memory ability is different person to person not everyone is so impressionable as to believe they were once lost in a mall if it never happened. Jesus life, death, and resurrection is not a set of car keys or a childhood memory but a life changing event you’d remember vividly as it happened. These leaps are frustrating because I genuinely can’t empathize with your reasoning. I can’t follow how your theories make sense to you.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I personally don’t think the adopted memory theory holds so much weight in the crucifixion, but is much more possible when it comes to Jesus’ miracles that defy any sort of logic.

  11. Derek says:

    I don’t see much of a difference between the two. What kind of depraved mind could misremember someone walking on water? I think we can agree this quite possibly the least likely explanation for someone getting into a boat with you who didn’t embark with you, especially when we factor in the fact that Peter walked on water too (by the way that was not the specific fulfillment of a prophecy). These suggestions quite honestly make me laugh, and I don’t mean in a belittling way! They’re just genuinely funny, from Jesus faking his crucifixion to the disciples misremembering his non-miracles in the form of miracles, these versions waver so far from an acceptable amount of consistency that they become implausible explanations.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Hallucination is possible, having the story passed from person to person and changing that way is also possible. I don’t expect you to consider these options as you seem to have your mind made up already, but that doesn’t make them any less possibilities.

      Keep in mind that your supernatural-based understandings are not exactly plausible from a testable understanding. It’s a big step to think that some greater force could come in and change physics for some specific events.

  12. Derek says:

    “Hallucination is possible, having the story passed from person to person and changing that way is also possible.”

    Sure it is! But to what extent I would ask? The story was passed from person to person, as it still is, but we don’t have much evidence of the story evolving. This is one fact that supports the theory that the gospels were completed shortly after Christ ascended.

    “I don’t expect you to consider these options as you seem to have your mind made up already, but that doesn’t make them any less possibilities.”

    Interesting, wouldn’t a valid argument force even someone who has their mind made up to rethink their stance? And then in your response you do something very interesting rhetorically, you basically suggest that just because I have valid reasoning doesn’t mean that you’re wrong. And I’m the one with my mind made up!

    “Keep in mind that your supernatural-based understandings are not exactly plausible from a testable understanding.”

    So if it’s outside the realm of a testable understanding it’s not plausible? That seems rather close minded, ironically. If you do a math problem and I don’t understand it, does that make calculus implausible? Of course not!

    “It’s a big step to think that some greater force could come in and change physics for some specific events.”

    So you’re saying the God that created the universe is not powerful enough to manipulate that universe? It’s odd to me you think you’re aware of what God is capable of.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      Is it terrible for me to believe that the universe likely has some consistency? Otherwise, absolutely anything is possible and science would have a rather difficult time even existing in the first place.

      What evidence is there that the per-crucifixion stories was passed from person to person without many changes occurring?

      Is there any argument that would be valid in your mind that I can present to you with your belief that anything we know about existence can be modified at a moments notice to allow anything else to happen? Your mind is made up that magic is beyond explanation. That is the core sticking point we have between our understandings.

      If there is a God, it seems to me that he has created everything with an order to it. I am not aware of any case where there is a disorder in His creation, aside from claims from religious texts. Of course I could be wrong, but so far the more we discover, the less that seems to be likely.

  13. Derek says:

    I think consistency is obvious. I’m not floating in space, but that doesn’t mean their can’t be allowances. I am finite and don’t think I’m qualified to say that the rules of the universe can’t be changed.

    “What evidence is there that the per-crucifixion stories was passed from person to person without many changes occurring?”

    You’re asking a silly question. Why do I have to provide evidence that they didn’t change when there’s been no evidence that they have been? What could I possibly produce? With that logic you could disprove a lot of things that certainly existed.

    “Your mind is made up that magic is beyond explanation. That is the core sticking point we have between our understandings.”

    I don’t completely disagree with you here. My view, I would suggest, is more consistent within the context of our natural understanding though. God is one of the infinitely complex things I don’t understand, along with many others. You make it sound as though you have everything figured out, so it only follows that God must be explainable too.

    “If there is a God, it seems to me that he has created everything with an order to it. I am not aware of any case where there is a disorder in His creation, aside from claims from religious texts. Of course I could be wrong, but so far the more we discover, the less that seems to be likely.”

    You are assuming disorder. Do you know enough to classify the miracles as disorder? The more we discover, the more it seems we don’t know.

    • jasonjshaw says:

      “Why do I have to provide evidence that they didn’t change when there’s been no evidence that they have been? ”

      Have you ever played the child’s game ‘telephone’? When stories are passed along, there is a tendency for them to change.

      “You make it sound as though you have everything figured out, so it only follows that God must be explainable too.”

      Science has done a pretty good job of figuring things out for everyone, and magicians have revealed secrets of the magic trade. Even a possibility for how Elisha made fire from dousing wood with water has been demonstrated. It seems quite likely that all things have an explanation that we can discover that is rationally understood.

      Two loaves of bread adequately feeding thousands seems quite against understood order.

  14. Derek says:

    “Have you ever played the child’s game ‘telephone’? When stories are passed along, there is a tendency for them to change.”

    I love when people bring this one up! Is that how the Bible was copied? And did those who undertook the job of copying what they believed to be God’s words take the job frivolously like children playing telephone? I suggested you do research, but you didn’t take my advice. Why do we have thousands of manuscripts that say almost the exact same thing? Research the Dead Sea scrolls too after you look at how manuscripts were copied. This suggestion is another one of your comedic ones. Two scribes talking:
    “Did you say he rose from the dead or the bed?”
    “Oh well I’ll just write down dead, why would I double check?”

    “Science has done a pretty good job of figuring things out for everyone, and magicians have revealed secrets of the magic trade. Even a possibility for how Elisha made fire from dousing wood with water has been demonstrated. It seems quite likely that all things have an explanation that we can discover that is rationally understood.”

    What has science figured out, to a conclusive end, for anyone? I would imagine even scientists would disagree with you on that one. Science has produced amazing discoveries, but with every discovery comes more questions. I’m not saying things can’t be explained to any extent. I’m saying things don’t have to fit within our brains to be true or tangible. Surely you believe that not everything in the universe is completely within our comprehension. That seems to be a very narrow minded approach.

    “Two loaves of bread adequately feeding thousands seems quite against understood order.”

    You forgot to add the fish! Just kidding! Isn’t your understanding predicated on the idea that you understand “the order” comprehensively? I can sum up your argument like this: This miracle is beyond my ability to fathom based on my own experiences therefore it must be untrue. I am asking you: is everything that exists which is beyond your ability to fully understand it also untrue?

    • jasonjshaw says:

      The telephone example has to do with the retelling of stories before they were written. Very few people were literate in those days from my understanding. Stories pre-crucifixion likely had to be retold before they were written. It wasn’t all common knowledge, as the differences between the Gospels suggests.

      Science does have a decent handle of the order of things. I can recommend some science-related YouTube channels if you are curious to be exposed to more information in that regard.

      • Derek says:

        “The telephone example has to do with the retelling of stories before they were written.”
        Wouldn’t Peter have corrected them then if they were saying things that were untrue, Paul mentions contemporaries of Jesus who are still alive wouldn’t they have set the record straight? It’s not like there were no eye-witnesses once Christ returns to heaven. This is a weak argument. I suspect the pendulum will swing back to the “deceit for a cause” argument.

        “Very few people were literate in those days from my understanding. Stories pre-crucifixion likely had to be retold before they were written. It wasn’t all common knowledge, as the differences between the Gospels suggests.”

        I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. First of all, eye-witness testimony is something we still value today. We use it in court. It seems unlikely to me that people would be flippant about such an extraordinary event. Luke says he did his homework to make sure everything was accurate. I see nothing wrong with eye witness testimony or word of mouth spread of the Gospel. What do the differences in the Gospels suggest? I don’t follow.

        “Science does have a decent handle of the order of things. I can recommend some science-related YouTube channels if you are curious to be exposed to more information in that regard.”

        This epitomizes what I’m trying to point out. Wouldn’t we have to know everything to understand how good a handle science has on understanding the universe? I’ll rattle off some ideas here: We know more about the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean, and we know very little about the moon. We’ve seen something like less than one fifteen-millionth of our galaxy. Those are just from the top of my head. I disagree with you that science, as incredible as it can be, has pretty much wrapped up this whole universe thing. Thanks for the YouTube channel offer, but I’m not short on exposure to science.

  15. Pingback: An atheist who prays…REALLY??? | Christianity Simplified

  16. Pingback: Fighting with Parents to Follow Jesus | Christianity Simplified

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s