27 Comments

  1. He took on the form of man and accepted the punishment for our sin on our behalf. (Ephesians 1) He is the Supreme Being, the Creator and Ruler of all, He is perfect in power, goodness, and wisdom. God is Spirit (John 4:24), God is the Eternal King (1 Timothy 1:17), God is incomparable (2 Samuel 7:22), He is unchangable (Malachi 3:6), God exists everywhere (Psalm 139:7-12). He is compassionate (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).

    This is all I had time to list but I can go on and on. Of course I have to say that He is Love and Love is patient, love is kind,…(1 Corinthians 13).

    I love to debate and be challenged so I don’t take anything personal or have different feelings toward anybody during discussion. I’m stubborn though…:-)

    See ya in class next week and I’m going to shoot some RAW pics before class!

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  2. “He took on the form of…” Took is a verb, so it describes actions, not substance. “God is incomparable…” isn’t concrete or specific.

    I wasn’t trying to be inflammatory with this post; I am looking for a theist’s description of God that isn’t vague and indeterminate.

    Where is God physically located? Of what physical substance is God made?

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  3. Ahhh, I see what you want….So you actually question the very existence of God, right? I probably don’t have the answers that you are looking for because I have never questioned His existence but remember as a young teenager I always wondered “where” He was. Once I experienced actually “knowing Him” it didn’t matter, I just knew He was real and was overwhelmed and thankful for His existence.

    Have you ever seen the wind? We don’t see the wind but see the effects from the wind. We don’t see God with our eyes but yet see Him work through people.

    Do you believe the devil exists?

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  4. How do you describe a religion without a reference of knowledgement of God? People have to believe that He exists in order to say that He doesn’t, right?

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  5. The wind can be detected by our senses – we can measure and verify it through empirical means. There is a vast body of concrete evidence about wind.

    I understand your point of view. There is a very compelling scene in the movie “Contact,” in which Matthew Matthew McConaughey asks Jodie Foster, “Did you love your father?” She says yes, to which he responds, “Prove it.”

    The belief in God is based on faith, not science or empirical evidence. You can’t point a telescope at God and you can’t detect Him in a cyclotron. Throughout history, ideas that were based on faith – like the notion that the earth is flat or the notion that there were gods like Zeus or Hercules – have been shown through the process of human exploration to be false. Their value at the time was indisputable; claiming the earth was flat probable saved a lot of sailor’s lives. But in the end, the earth wasn’t flat.

    The 20th and 21st centuries are a scientific and intellectual renaissance of unprecedented magnitude in human history. Our technology is allowing us to see and explore things about the universe that were literally beyond the grasp of humanity throughout human history. Whether or not the knowledge gathered through these means is improving the human condition is the subject of another debate, but in the mean time, are the things we are discovering about the universe true? If so, they tend to dispense with theology.

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  6. How can someone not believe in God but yet have to acknowledge Him in order to justify their religion? How can someone explain their beliefs to me without mentioning God? History books agree with the Bible, the walls of Jericho were found, armies were found at the bottom of the red sea. We still can’t “see” the wind but still believe it is there. I agree we can’t point a telescope at Him but I hope people can see Him through me just the same as they saw Him through Jesus. I understand the whole earth is flat idea. I guess the overall best answer is, you know God is real when you are in His presence. However, if somebody doesn’t allow that to happen then it’s probably easier to say He “doesn’t” exist but then again I’ve heard of people “unexpectedly” visited by God.

    Personally, God has given me so much comfort and peace during the last 3 years that I never even really knew I needed. My son will turn 3 in December and was diagnosed with Down’s Syndrom after he was born. This diagnosis was unexpected for us and I know it would have been harder to deal with if I didn’t have the comfort God provided. Here is one example of who God is to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW8B3fxEKTA

    Good discussion going on here! :-)

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  7. Melissa, not to gang up on you, but would you mind throwing up a source about armies being found at the bottom of the Red Sea? I’d be very curious to read more about that. In Kennith C. Davis’ “Don’t Know Much About the Bible,” Davis asserts that the Red Sea was actually a Greek mistranslation of the “Sea of Reeds,” a sea which, thus far, has not been identified. I’d like to read about archeological evidence that contridicts this assertation.

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  8. Interesting site, but I was hoping for one with a more secular, objective view on the subject. Faith-based science always strikes me as an oxymoron of sorts. But thanks for posting it up though.

    I don’t want to threadjack Richard’s post too badly, so I’ll go back to his proposed topic: describe God in a concrete and specific way.

    Me. Oh, and you too, I suppose. And everything else. Dolphins, blades of grass, mean third grade teachers. Alpaca scarves, dental floss, Kim Kardashian, Keystone Light. You name it, it’s God.

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  9. I’ve noticed that I’ve still got some unanswered questions that without responses.

    Judd- Did you watch the entire video?
    So basically you think you’re God, right? What are your thoughts of prayer in school, “…one nation under God”, etc….? Does the devil exist?

    Everbody believes that God either exists or He doesn’t, either way He is acknowledged. There is only one God.

    Have you always felt this way about God?

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  10. Richard-thanks for responding. I’m not one that believes “the devil made me”, it’s our choice to give into temptation or not.

    I hope I’m not aggravating anybody. I actually don’t know how I could, right?

    Judd-
    Christians do not have to use things that don’t exist (like the toothfairy) to explain their belief. However, athiest or any other religion always acknowledge the existence God to define their belief.

    Athiest-One who disbelieves or denies the existence of GOD or gods. (American Heritage Dictionary)(note that God is acknowledged in this definition)

    Do you believe in the Bible?

    Also you stated that you would like secular documentation of the Red Sea. Could you please provide me Christian documentation of “global warming”?
    God does exist eventhough we can’t “see” him.

    I’m sure you could have a much more intellectual conversation about all of this with my husband Nathan Isaacs. Ya’ll went to school together right?

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  11. Sorry for the delay in responding, it’s been a busy day.

    Melissa, I do indeed know Nathan. Although we didn’t go to school together, we’re friends through our mutual friend, Jeremy Cantrell. Lol, I didn’t realize this was Nathan’s wife Melissa I was talking to. Small world, huh? Tell Nathan I said hello, and that from what I’ve heard he should definately try P.F. Changs in the downtown area when he gets to Seattle.

    Regarding your questions, I did indeed watch the video on that site, as well as read the rest of the text on the page. Like I said, an interesting theory, but so is the the one about the government faking the moon landing. Interesting doesn’t equal true. For the video’s part, credability was thrown out the window when it was surmised that Moses was actually Imhotep, and had designed the first pyramid as a tribute to God. Never mind the fact that historically Moses and his crew wouldn’t have been around until over 1000 years after Imhotep’s time. Finding odd-shaped coral in the Red Sea that may or may not be wagon wheels is interesting, but it’s far from any kind of conclusive proof that the mysterious “Pharaoh” and his army was lost there.

    As for the rest of the site, it lost me pretty early on after reading this segment: “The majority of archaeologists today do not have enough faith in the Bible as the accurate word of God. The majority of archaeologists do not even believe in the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt, according to Hershel Shanks, editor of the Biblical Archaeology Review magazine. They are skeptical of the biblical account, perhaps because of a lack of archaeological evidence in the Sinai Peninsula and a lack of faith. We cannot look to these men to tell us where or if the exodus took place.”

    To me, this is like someone saying that fire can only come from God, and not from rubbing two sticks together as the heathen scientists would have people believe. I can’t see the wisdom in defying logic and truth because it contradicts belief and dogma. Like the site said, the (vast) majority of archeologists agree that there’s little to no physical evidence that Moses and the Isreali tribes were ever even in Egypt. They’re not saying that to be mean. Nor are they saying it to suppress religion or dog on Christianity. It’s simply what the facts support. That may change pending a new discovery, as it did with the walls of Jericho and Troy, but as it stands now the absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

    As for your aknowlegment stance, I don’t know how well that stands upon reapplication. For instance, you said there is only one god, which implies that there are not numerous gods. So according to your line of thought,you have to aknowlege multiple other gods to say that you don’t believe in them, thereby reaffirming their existence.

    If someone were to tell me that there were giant six-armed lizards living in Lake Michigan, I would tell them that no, no there are not. I’m not aknowleging the presence of the lizards by rejecting the claim that they exist, I’m simply aknowleging the claim and refuting it. If I told you that there’s such a thing as a six-dollar-bill, it wouldn’t come into existance just becaused you denied that such a thing existed, would it?

    As far as my own religious views go, I’m kind of an agnostic non-practicing buddhist. I don’t believe in God or the Devil as deities or entities or beings that can or should be worshiped. What I was getting at earlier in describing God as myself and everything else is that we’re all connected, everything is a part of life/truth/existence. I describe God as that existence and connection.

    Apologies for the windy reply, but this is an interesting topic. I always enjoy discussing religion and theology.

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  12. The weirdest part of this whole debate is that after Judd left our humble newspaper, he was replaced by a guy who is exactly like this. This could have been written by him.

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  13. Judd- I wasn’t sure if this was you but thought maybe it was since you worked with Richard at the paper. I actually remember meeting you at Cody’s wedding. You questioned the existence of a guy named Terry Tidwell, right? Good ole’ Terry is living in Texas, engaged, and dresses like a cowboy now (at least that’s what he says)! Considering these are things that he typically would not lie about we all figure it’s probably true!

    I will tell Nathan to try PF Changs, they made it to Seattle yesterday.

    Obviously I’m not going to be able “proove” that God exists however I would like to invite you a Night of Praise at our church. What do you have to lose, right? It would at least be good “entertainment” for you.

    As far as the athiest definition, yes I believe there is only one God because I believe the Bible.

    Have you always felt this way toward God?
    How do you explain miracles?

    It would be interesting to listen to a conversation between you and Nathan regarding this topic.

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  14. Richard, in one of your comments, you ask: “Where is God located?” That’s like asking where is outer space located, in the mind of a theist. By very definition, gods (most modern gods, anyway), aren’t *located* anywhere, because they’re everywhere — or at least have the ability to be everywhere.

    Define “the Force” as used in Star Wars… It’s kind of the same thing.

    I would say that your original question itself is flawed, asking for concrete and tangible description of something that is, by very nature, *not* tangible or concrete.

    (In other words, it’s a trick question.)

    Asking a believer to prove God’s existence is just as futile as asking an atheist to disprove God’s existence. We simply don’t have enough scientific evidence to go either way (and I doubt we will in my lifetime).

    Yes, it’s sometimes fun to frustrate a theist by asking these types of questions, because you’ll be right every time. But it’s not very nice. :-)

    That being said, here is my concrete and tangible description of God:
    He’s about 6’2″ and 185 pounds, and not as well-muscled as you’d guess. Dark brown hair and lightly tanned skin. He has a tattoo on his left forearm that says “Mom,” surrounded by thorns. Most days, he wears Wrangler jeans and plain white T-shirts while riding horses and smoking Marlboros. On the rare occasions that he drinks, it’s usually Jack Daniels, straight up. He drives an aging Ford Pinto but secretly longs for a Smart Car, if he can ever catch up on those bills.

    (Oh, and his real name is “Maurice,” but his friends call him “The Kid.”)

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  15. So when Christians use as man (Jesus) to describe God it’s not good enough, it’s only a form, but when athiest or others with similiar beliefs use a man (themselves, anything or everything) to describe God it’s ok? No doublestandards.

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  16. Melissa,
    After four years in Bible College and theological seminary, I don’t believe I ever heard a Christian use Jesus to describe God, per se. In fact, it’s often the other way around — preachers and theologians God’s attributes to describe Jesus (who is believed to be a physical manifestation of God).

    In a similar way, when atheists (actually, I think you meant “humanists”) say “I am god” or “humanity is god,” they’re not using a human to describe God. Rather, they’re using an old religious word (“god”) with a quite different meaning. What they’re actually saying is “humanity is the highest intelligence in the universe,” and are usually not assigning deity-like powers to aforementioned humans.

    In fact, a true atheist could *not* use a man to describe God, because by definition an atheist does not believe in the existence of a non-human higher power.

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  17. Will,
    When I was younger, I always had a desire to go to Bible School and Seminary because the religious system I was a part of taught that if you did, you could know God and really be used by him. Now that I have traveled the world and visited Christians in several impoverished nations, I realize that the American religious system is strong on knowledge and weak on encounters with Jesus in a personal way. One trip with me to Vietnam, Romania, Mali or Senegal would introduce you to people who can barely read and yet they have a strong walk of faith in Christ. They have been beaten, kicked out of their families, left for dead and put in prison. On the other hand, they have supernatural encounters with God, just like in the Book of Acts, see visions and have miracles take place on a regular basis. The church in America is weak and we think we are self-sufficient which causes us to say “Who needs God”.
    Will, I apologize to you or anyone else out there who has been burned by American Dead Religion which has no effect on how people live. My only prayer for you is that you might experience the reality of who Jesus really is. He has not changed and he is still working miracles in people like you and me if we will let him. I could sit and talk to you for hours about what God is doing all over the world. Better yet, I will be in Vietnam in January ministering to Christian leaders who have all been beaten and jailed for their faith, why not go with me and see for yourself. Don’t judge God based on what you see displayed in America.

    Having said all that, I am not giving up on America. I believe that there is coming an awakening in America that will shake all our religious doctrines and systems. I am believing that Jesus will show us how real he is and heal our warped concepts of church, religion and who God is.

    Later,
    Drew

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  18. Drew, thanks for your reply, but I’m not sure what you’re replying to or why you addressed the comment to me. Nothing in my comments above has anything to do with either American religion and its quest for knowledge or religion elsewhere and its focus on “personal encounters.”

    We were, I believe, having a cerebral discussion about descriptions of God, and I was taking the middle ground between the theists and the atheists. It’s simply a position I chose in this particular debate; I could have argued either side.

    My apologies if you misunderstood anything I said.

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  19. hi all, would like to add a few definitions of my own on the subject.

    athiest: obsessed with God. can’t decide they don’t believe in Him without acknowledging Him. hates the idea of organized religion more than the idea of a higher power. is afraid that God won’t let them think anymore…like he created our brains just so he could brainwash us.

    humanist: believes that humans are God or the highest power. but life existed on earth before humans got here. (everyone believes that) So, something “made” humans, and so far, no scientist has been able to prove that something can come from nothing.

    Christian: follower of Christ and His teachings. believes the bible is the truth. all arguments that a true believer make take root at some point within the text. any other root is as humanist as the other views christians claim to despise.

    great discussion and insight from all.

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  20. Nathan, those are some interesting insights as well. I like your point that *all* of us agree on one thing: life existed on Earth before humans got here.

    And I’ve met the atheists you describe. But I’ve also met what I would call “true atheists,” who aren’t obsessed with the idea of God, and just wish the rest of us would shut up about it. :-)

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  21. Hey Nathan, how was the Emerald City? I’ve actually got to go there later today and pick my boss up from the airport, hopefully the traffic won’t be too bad.

    Interesting definitions on the three topics, here are my own.

    Athiest — Entirely divorced from all religion (not just Christianity). Feels no need to be subjected to ancient superstitions or prejudices, focused on living a life here on Earth and not one in the clouds or under the ground after death, or as a dolphin in a new life.

    Humanist — An athiest with commitment issues. Comfortable with walking away from organized religions and all the baggage they bring, but can’t quite take that last step and accept the universal insignifigance that atheism brings to the table. May have something to do with an unconsciously big ego.

    Christian — Entirely divorced from all religion, except for their own. As Richard Dawkins said, the main difference between Christians and athiests is that athiests deny all gods and mysticism, while Christians deny all gods and mysticism except for one. Inherantly wary of anything that would contradict their religious text (science, reality). Often fall into the habit of labling dissenters as enemies of religion who are pushing “agendas.” Okay with the idea that the world is around six thousand years old, and that God planted dinosaur bones in the earth just to screw with people.

    Melissa and I went back and forth on this topic a few posts up, but since you mentioned it in your definition of athiesm, I’ll ask again: how does aknowledgement in denial equal existance? I don’t understand this at all. You don’t believe in Zeus, but according to this aknowledge/deny/exist arguement, in doing so you make him real.

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  22. good points judd.

    the acknowledgement issue is like this:
    to explain my belief system, i don’t have to use what i consider to be make-believe ideas. thus, i don’t need to bring Zeus into the scenario at all to explain my religious beliefs. Athiests have to use god–thiest being in their “religion’s” name. so, yes i would say that acknowledgement doesn’t imply real existence…
    but if the core of my existence (however insignificant an athiest would like it to be) cannot be explained without bringing up what i claim are imaginary beings—then i would have a problem.

    I don’t have to bring up aliens or ufo’s to name my religion. many would call my belief’s alien or ufo-ish, but the key here is that the owner of the belief is having to give acknowledgement of a fairy tale being just to explain their belief system. I view this as quite different from my belief or non belief in Zeus. Zeus is nowhere to be found in my Christian belief scenario.

    also–i like some of your christian definitions. however, i think my christian beliefs would surprise you.
    –while most are looking to an afterlife in the clouds, and view the earth as only thousands of years old. i think Left Behind and the whole rapture theory is grossly unbiblical. i am not looking to escape the earth. i believe the rapture is heresy and that i have biblical reason to believe so.

    also, i believe the earth is as old as science claims it is, T-Rex did exist, and that i have very good biblical reason to believe so there also.

    sounds like the same christians you are frustrated with are the same ones i’m frustrated with.

    I am entirely focused on living life here on earth, not one in the clouds, or in the ground, or returned as a dolphin…just like your athiest definition…and the bible says it’s how i should be living, in my opinion.

    seattle was great, other than the part when we got our truck broke in to and got a gps stolen. luckily, i still found great fish and chips without it–and made it home also.

    later…

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