Statesboro, GA, USA
No it's more like saying a '57 Chevy has horrible fuel efficiency, is incredibly heavy and has little aerodynamics due to poor
engineering by the manufacturer. If we are indeed created in the image of god then the faults that contributed to the 'fall' of man
were already within us, just exploited by the serpent.
Not really. The Bible gives an account of the pristine conditions of "man" in the beginning. If you want to call it a "fault" to have the freedom to obey or disobey, to either choose simple childlike trust or to go on humanistic autonomy, that's your prerogative. It was actually a glorious opportunity for us to repress temptation, and to choose love and life over rebellion (we still have that opportunity in Christ). The pathological conditions of mankind came into play after the choice was made.
You can also claim that God was at fault for giving us this capacity, but again that's your prerogative to think so. Criticizing God is like hacking at the very limb you are standing on, but we are still (in the spirit of Adamic autonomy) free to do so. And you can't really say it was a bad move on God's part to give us this freedom, until all of the returns are in ... until the final outcome of what mankind is. Some feel (not contrary to reason, though perhaps contrary to pessimism) there is a redemption that is and will prove to be more manifestly worth the fall, at least scripture leads us to believe and hope so.
Whenever omniscience chooses a path, a human cerebrum just so many inches in diameter, is not really equipped to make such sweeping condemning judgements. So I've found that certain refrain, trust, and optimistic hope has been helpful. Mind you, I'm not ruling out use of the brain but encouraging it. Faith and Reason, despite the commonly believed lie, are not mutually exclusive. It's two types of thinking that we are contrasting ... not a quantitative comparison.
This attitude is evident in Opeth's quip that "common sense and critical thought rule". Well who doesn't agree with that statement? But we can be equally critical of hyper-rationalism, as we can of faith. For one, it destroys itself. Consider a naturalist philosophy like David Hume's. Remember he told us that if a text wasn't quantitatively measurable, or if it wasn't purely empirical, to "commit it to the flames"? As someone else has said, Hume couldn't find anywhere to store his universal solvent, because it destroyed whatever form he tried to carry it in. Self-refuting, his statement was purely philosophical, neither mathematical, nor scientific. So I took his advice ... I pitched it in the fire.
Consider this quote, which is most suggestive coming from the mouth of an atheist:
In speaking of the fear of religion, I don't mean to refer to the entirely reasonable hostility toward certain established religionsÖin virtue of their objectionable moral doctrines, social policies, and political influence. Nor am I referring to the association of many religious beliefs with superstition and the acceptance of evident empirical falsehoods. I am talking about something much deeper - namely, the fear of religion itselfÖ. I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and naturally, hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that.
(Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy and Law at NYU)
The point is, that we all must decide what we believe about these issues, but there is nothing intellectually deficient in believing that God created mankindís possibility of a fall, with a higher purpose in mind ... and with a justification that will most fully show itself in the future, when the fulness of redemption is realized.
but it is hard for me to see the reasonableness of a moral relativism, that will still attempt to impose ďmoralityĒ upon God, and get offended whenever God hasnít acted according to oneís idea of morals. For example, how inconsistent is it for someone to defend ďThe right to chooseĒ, and then turn around and blame God for his?
In Genesis 6:7 god states:
"...for I am sorry I have made them."
God admits he's made a mistake in creating humans, or at least shows he has doubts about his own work, and that I can appreciate.
But your vision of God, being perfect, all powerful and all knowing should easily have been able to create a flawless, loyal, intelligent being but he created humans instead..in his own image.
Because we as humans, have grief, and are made in the ďimageĒ of God, our emotions relate, though in some dim and imperfect way, to Godís own emotions. Sure, you can think of this scripture as over-anthropomorphizing. But I think it is necessary. Letís use an example of a teenage rapist and murderer. Do you really think that the parent, who is driven to the point of saying ďI wish my child had never been bornĒ, is really questioning the wisdom of their decision to have a child? No, it is simply an expression of intense sorrow, regret, and moral indignation.
Of course this analogy isnít perfect (what analogy CAN be with an eternal being?). Admittedly, God didnít beget, but created the human race. But that is neither here nor there, because it is beyond our grasp. God was simply communicating a reality to us, to show us how he feels about sin and rebellion which gradually corrodes his image from our faces, and replaces it with something like that of a ghoul.
You want evidence that God didnít really regret his decision to create the human race? Well, he didnít end it right there did he? A remnant survived, which he foreknew. He must have been merely communicating an emotion to us when he spoke of his regret. If he seems double-minded, it is so that the double-minded (since the fruit was eaten) like ourselves could understand. He wasnít giving us a theological exposition of himself, but a glimpse of his own tears. You seem to be mistaking something quite poetic (with admittedly some doctrinal implications), for something coldly theoretical and purely systematic.
I still maintain he's been incredibly narcissistic/ego-centric from day one. He created man in his own image, then he demands man obey and worship him (not exactly altruistic is he?)
So he created man in his own image. Thatís not at all selfish if his was indeed a good image. I freely feel that it is. Who ever censured a man for giving a shirt off of his back, simply because it belonged to him? He does require obedience and worship. Thatís because man is not an autonomous being. Yet man is also an inherently religious being. He will always end up worshipping something, whether it be the true God, nature, or just himself. And God, knowing of the horror of worshipping something that was never meant to be worshipped, has benevolently decreed that we find our rest in himself. As Augustine said ďOur hearts are restless until they find their rest in theeĒ. Isnít this like getting mad a car manufacturer for insisting that its gasoline engines run on gasoline only? If God is our reference point ... if we are really contingent upon him, then I donít see where selfishness applies. What you call selfish, I call desiring the best for us.
Not exactly altruistic? I still hold up the cross to you. One who would die for you might suffer from an undying love which would blind his reason, but certainly not from narcissism. And I understand that you do not accept the biblical claim that Jesus is in reality the incarnation of God, that God suffered for our sins in Christ, but the bible teaches it all the same.
As for being angry at sin..well explain that to the people of Jericho. There's no mention of any sin against God from Jericho, at
least none that I have read, only that God helps destroy and turn the city over to the Jews.
You need to read some more then. Consider Genesis 15:16: ďIn the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measureĒ
Amorite: n. A member of a people inhabiting Canaan before the Israelites, mentioned frequently in the Old Testament.
(The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)
ďThe Old Testament frequently uses ĎAmoritesí as a synonym for Canaanites in general. The book of Genesis cites Canaan as the ancestor of the Amorites (Gen 10:16).Ē
(Nelsonís Illustrated Bible Dictionary)
Now Iím sure thereís no need to remind you that the inhabitants of Jericho were indeed Canaanites. But I will mention it just in case. Hereís some more information which might interest you:
ďJust how sinful many Canaanite religious practices were is now known from archaeological artifacts and from their own epic literature, discovered at Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) on the north Syrian coast beginning in 1929. Their Ďworshipí was polytheistic and included child sacrifice, idolatry, religious prostitution and divination.(c.f. Dt. 18:9-12).Ē
So even if the bible doesnít specifically mention the sins of Jericho, it abundantly mentions the sins of the Canaanites, of whom they were part. But, let me ask ... if Jericho hadnít been part of Canaan, and the bible didnít so much as hint in the text what they had done to deserve punishment, God would not be obligated to let us know would he? Is God somehow accountable to you? If a man had a track record of just dealings for the past 10 years, would not he be trusted even without documentation?
The rub lies here. The Bible is not written as if God is subject to our judgement. God is not accountable to our endless scrutiny. Itís the other way around. The Bible was written to a people who understood the truth that God is not in the dock. We are. Since the Bible is written with this understanding, it is no surprise that it doesnít read as if it was penned by a defense lawyer.
I'm not saying I don't believe in a creator, it's the images and words surrounding the creator(s) that we have created Stephanos.
The Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptians, Celts believed just as strongly in their gods as you do and yet we now relegate their beliefs to mythology. In my opinion it's shame we don't have half the sense our ancestors did and do the same now with some current ones.
Well, when you believe in a Creator, but hold no definite beliefs, then you are conveniently safe from the Charge of mythology, right? But by doing this, you only escape scrutiny by surrendering all claims to truth. Throw out dogmatism, and you can be glad that your god canít be hurt ... because a spectral, agnostic, or extreme deist god, doesnít have any toes inside of reality to be stepped on.
Of course I may be judging you wrongly. You may have a well defensible theology, or revelation, or system of belief. Would you mind sharing it, since you are so wont to be critical of the Christian view? I think a comparison would be great. I might learn something from you, too.
God gets off scot free, and all the wickedness of the tests fall instead into the hands of the Adversary. Yet I don't see how anyone can justify God's role in Job's horror. He does nothing to stop the Adversary, in fact, he gives him free reign to prove his point:
Youíre not taking into account, the same thing you missed in discussing ďthe fallĒ ... that something might rest at the end which would justify the whole ordeal. Read the context of Job. Jobís ďfaithfulnessĒ and ďblamelessnessĒ is noted by God as the highest form of praise and honor. In other words, it is even more important that mere temporal blessings, even temporal health. Satanís accusation is that it is all a sham. He jeers that when trouble comes, Jobís piety will vanish like a wisp of smoke in a wind storm. God, knowing Jobís character, agrees to this challenge, while placing limits. There is something at the end, which apparently justifies this whole process. You say it doesnít. But neither are you Job. How are you going to call his judgement wrong, when he, not you was the receiver of these sufferings and the rewards?
I want to ask ... why should it be that the sufferer himself is aware (though dimly at first) of some kind of purpose and blessing beyond the suffering, and finally comes to experience that purpose and blessing, while you remain offended? Itís like you are offended for Jobís sake, but he (the party concerned) doesnít seem to agree with your estimation. On the other side of the trial, where the sun was shining, he was changed inside and was joyful. When it comes to arguing about the justice of God in Job, Iíll let you take it up with Job. In the end, I think maybe even his wife ended up repenting of her sullen mindset.
If it's all a matter of believing in Jesus to redeem myself. Essentially, I could then, commit as many sins and transgressions as I like as long as I realize that they are and in the end confess and repent, correct?
Incorrect. By ďcommitting as many sins and transgressions as you likeĒ one is not demonstrating the biblical definition of belief. You are essentially saying, why couldnít I just not repent until Iíve had my fill, and then try to fake it at the end. That like suggesting that someone can not repent, and yet also repent. Itís one or the other. The mindset that has this knowledge, and yet plots to ďpull one overĒ on God for as long as possible, is not even guaranteed the ability to repent ... in fact it wouldnít be likely.