People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

Books of many interpretations

christadelphian church kedron brook (1)

christadelphian church kedron brook (1) (Photo credit: bertknot)

People often wonder when they look at persons who read the Bible or discuss the Bible how it comes there are so many interpretations. In Science, scepticism, doubts and beliefs a reader rightly remarks that in certain faith groups a child/young adult may believe that the God of the Bible is real & no further examination of this conclusion is necessary, which could bring in the danger that there will be no-critical thinking any more. The person reacting thinks this leads many Christadelphians to actively seek sources confirming their beliefs and actively avoiding sources that challenge these beliefs – pure confirmation bias. For that reason the Christadelphians ask their members always to search each saying and not to restrict themselves to our own literature, but to read the Bible everyday plus to read also other writings on the different Biblical subjects from all sorts of denominations. In our community we do not want denominational restrictions and prefer to have individual freedom. For others this may look strange and make it that they do not understand that there may be several different opinions over certain matters in the different Christadelphian groups. They also accuse us of not being in union, but than they do not see that we are in union with Christ and that there is also the union in the brotherhood because we accept each-other as brothers and sisters in Christ having the same faith in Christ and having the same hope for the Kingdom of God.

In case there are people in our community who dare not to take up writings from others, or are afraid to listen or look at the new visual and audible media (radio, television, computer) we think they could feel like that because they could be not strong enough in their faith. Somebody who is build firmly in his believes, does not have to fear, when he sincerely surges for the truth and always considers the Will of God in his or her actions.

Origin of different interpretations

Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity church (Photo credit: stevecadman)

The difficulty for humankind today is that we do have the consequences of the adversary by the first human beings. In the Garden of Eden God has given humankind the liberty to decide everything themselves and to find out everything themselves. So we also do have to find our own way. We shall not have to face a dictator of an “omniscient God” who did “ensure that the Scriptures were clear enough to leave no room for interpretation”. In case people would just take God his Words like they are written black on white in the Scriptures there would be no problem and everybody would think the same. But in the past there have been workers against God (the adversaries or satan) who started to twist the words of the Supreme Being and who tried to bring in false teachings and false gods. As such the Trinity also became part of Christendom and created much confusion. One false teaching brought in a passage where again a solution had to be found and some dogma had to be created.

As a Good Father the Elohim Jehovah, the God of gods gave the people living on this earth His advice. Like we as parents can give advice to our children they all may interpret our sayings differently or take liberties with our thoughts. In the same way the creatures of God take the same liberties and some may twist the words their heavenly Father said. This twisting makes them to react differently on one or the other saying. This makes that today we can find many denominations, many churches with even in those churches several interpretations of one passage in the Bible.

Freedom to find out yourself

As God has given freedom to man at the beginning of time, to allow them to rule the world and to find out things on their own, we now have to bear the consequences and live with the possibility of different interpretations. But when people would be prepared just to take the Words of God for what they say, black on white, and would listen to their inner voice, God will be prepared to guide them and to give them inner feelings and insight so that they really shall find the Truth. But it is that preparedness to listen to the heart, which shall make it in many cases difficult, because most people do want to keep onto traditions and want to belong with the majority. They shall have to understand that perhaps the lovers of God do not belong to the majority of the world and that it is that what Jesus is about talking of the small gate to enter the Kingdom of God.

Ability to find God and Truth

To be able to find the God of gods and to find the Truth, people shall have to be willing to open their mind and to give their full attention to the Word of God as it is notated in the Book of books, the Bible.

As the critic on our writings remarks we can see it happening all the time that even two Bible-believing people can have opposing views on a certain passage of Scripture. Both claim to have solid supporting evidence in terms of context, cross-references and consistency. Both make what they think are reasonable arguments for their interpretations. So how can we determine which view is right? And does it matter?

When we do hear or are confronted with different views we should now that it can be that both views are partly right and partly wrong. With the exception of clear-cut fundamental Bible teaching — sometimes called “first principles” — no one should expect to find the full, complete, all-aspects-covered answer. We are all human beings which do not have the possibility to be perfect in everything. We all have our own deficiencies and fallacies. We also do have to face the things which are know but also those which are unknown. Even Christ had to tell his disciples he could not give all answers, because it is only given to God to know everything. Christ even did not know when he would be returning to the earth. He will certainly be involved in that important event where he shall have to come to judge the living and the dead, but even there he could not say when the end-times would take place.

In case Jesus did not know such important things concerning himself, how would we know such things?

A Book of books for discovery

Scripture is so richly significant and interwoven that discovery of another aspect or realization of another line of inquiry is just a matter of time. Several times in the 20th century alone, discoveries of ancient texts — in fact, whole libraries of ancient texts — have thrown new light on Bible passages. Ongoing archaeological investigations continue to help us understand God’s inspired Record better.

Brother George Booker looks into the matter why we even can not be 100% certain of first principles. In Which View is Right? he looks at our first principles which are expressed in man’s imperfect wording and warns us that there is always the possibility of simple misunderstanding of what, precisely, those words mean.

As serious Bible students we should have always an open mind and look at all possibilities. We should be prepared to continually  grow spiritually as disciples of Christ. Everyday our thought should be by the Most High and always we should continually be seeking to increase in knowledge and understanding. God’s Truth and Biblical Truth invites… indeed, it welcomes… investigation. So when encountering a different view, we should seize the opportunity at least to understand the evidence provided. We can always learn something, and if we’re wise, we may need to adjust our own views accordingly.

So what has all this to do with Bible study? Simple. There are many differing interpretations of Scripture. Which view is right? The measuring stick for soundness and rightness must be God’s Word. It’s that simple.

Of course, many other views (with which we may disagree) cite Bible verses as evidence. Thus it becomes a matter of determining:

  • The relevance of the cited passage: Does it contain the same or similar words and ideas?
  • Its validity: Does it really support the point being argued?
  • Its clarity: Is the reference self-explanatory, or does it, too, need interpretation?
  • Its consistency: Is the interpretation in harmony with undisputed fundamentals of Bible teaching?

For example, if an opinion is inconsistent with or contradicts well-known Bible facts and doctrine, then it must be modified accordingly, or abandoned. So just because a view is argued by citing dozens of verses does not, in itself, make it Biblically sound. What counts is clear, relevant evidence, logically arrived at. {Which View is Right?}

Being right or wrong not so evident

It is not up to decide this guy or that one is right in everything. Probably not one of them is right in everything, and both can have many things right but also some thing(s) utterly wrong. Would that be a reason to exclude them? As long as it are not the most important basic elements of faith, we would say “No”. And we also would say those differences of opinion do not have to exclude union in speech. Both can still have the same basic faith for belonging in the “Church of God”.

It does matter if a person’s misunderstanding of a Bible passage, or several passages, will take him or her out of the way that leads to salvation. It doesn’t matter if the view is simply differing details such as timing and location and protagonists.

What is more important is how we deal with our inevitable differences.

Suppose a person with a particular view is 100% right on an issue that could easily affect the salvation of a person with a different view. The matter doesn’t stop here. If the first person (the one who is perfectly right) is not patient, gentle and meek in trying to persuade the second person (2 Tim 2:24,25), but rather impatient, harsh and accusatory (manifested by strong words, condescension, indignation, arrogance, or threats), then his correctness counts for little:

“The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 2:24,25).

Wrong behaviour more than cancels out right knowledge. If anyone has been blessed to have the right understanding of Scripture, then he or she has the responsibility to be forthright but caring toward those who do not yet share that understanding. Such patient, gentle teaching imitates the prophets, the apostles, and Jesus himself.

Getting knowledge at different moments in time

Not every one is at the same time gifted with the same knowledge. For some it make take ‘ages’ before they come to Biblical insight. Others may see things very easily. Some might remember appropriate Bible verses very easily,others easily forget them, though they know and remember what has been said and meant in the verses.

The one who may think he or she is right about the meaning of a certain part in the Bible, has to take on the Agape love of Christ and be patient, willing to give the other person the time to find out how it really is. In the meantime he can provide enough study material and show interest in the other person his or her way of thinking. Together they should unite to go into research of the different matters we should get knowledge of.

When we encounter differences in opinion, we also should ask ourselves if those differences are so important or can interfere with the real belief.

  • Does the difference really matter?
  • How should you deal with the difference?

Clear language

To find clarity we always should look in the Bible to find the Truth, by comparing verses in other books and by looking if one saying does not contradict an other saying of way of thinking. The Bible does not contradict itself. God is a God of order and clarity. He did not speak in “broebeltaal” (a strange language nobody can understand), He also does not speak in a “broddeltaal” (a ‘bungle language) scribbles or a clumsy language. He has given clear words, but people do have to be willing to take them as they are written down. As soon as they fabricate their own dogma’s they shall get in trouble. But that is not because of the Words written in the bible, but because of man’s own fault of thinking god’s Words can only be understood by learned people. God does not ask from man to have a special education to interpret His Words. In all people He has given the possibility to get to understand and to know what they should understand and know at the time.

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Preceding articles:

Finding God amid all the religious externals

Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

To be continued:

People Seeking for God 3 Laws and directions

People Seeking for God 4 Biblical terms

People Seeking for God 5 Bread of life

People Seeking for God 6 Strategy

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Please find also to read:

  1. Faith
  2. Epitome of the one faith
  3. My (Christadelphian) faith
  4. Hope
  5. True Hope
  6. Did the Inspirator exist
  7. God, Creation and the Bible Hope
  8. God of gods
  9. Sayings around God
  10. Full authority belongs to God
  11. Who Wrote the Bible?
  12. Bible Word from God
  13. Pure Words and Testimonies full of Breath of the Most High
  14. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  15. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  16. Creator and Blogger God 12 Old and New Blog 2 Blog for every day
  17. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  18. Bible guide Taking the Bible as a lead
  19. Statutes given unto us
  20. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  21. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  22. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  23. The Metaphorical language of the Bible
  24. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  25. Out of Context: How to Avoid Misinterpreting the Bible
  26. Which View is Right?
  27. Bible in the first place #1/3
  28. Bible in the first place #2/3
  29. Bible in the first place #3/3
  30. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  31. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  32. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  33. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  34. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  35. Story and Typology
  36. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  37. Knowing old sayings to understand the Bible
  38. Archaeology and the Bible
  39. Fear knocked at the door
  40. Getting to know the Truth
  41. Why believing the Bible
  42. The Bible: God’s Word or pious myth?
  43. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  44. Unsure about relevance Bible
  45. Appointed to be read
  46. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  47. Learn to read the Bible effectively
  48. We should use the Bible every day
  49. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t
  50. Of the many books Only the Bible can transform
  51. The manager and Word of God
  52. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  53. What English Bible do you use?
  54. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  55. Christian clergyman defiling book which did not belong to him
  56. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  57. Minimizing the power of God’s Force the Holy Spirit
  58. Prophets making excuses
  59. The Bible is a today book
  60. Bible for you and for life
  61. Bible like puddle of water
  62. Cell phone vs. Bible
  63. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  64. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen
  65. Relapse plan
  66. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  67. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  68. Power in the life of certain
  69. Be an Encourager
  70. Possibility to live
  71. Determined To Stick With Truth.
  72. Feed Your Faith Daily
  73. Faith antithesis of rationality
  74. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  75. First Century of Christianity
  76. Many churches
  77. An ecclesia in your neighborhood

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If Jesus was God, why did he pray to himself?

If Jesus was God, why did he pray to himself? (Photo credit: Zombie Inc. Wholesale Zombies for Over 25 years)

When Jesus is God,
how does it come there are so many pictures and statues made of him by those who say he is God,
whilst God tells His followers not to make any picture of Him?
Why do they not keep to those commandments of the Most High God, who says they may have only One God
and not worship any other being?

  • There are many Trinities! (onthehillgilayjun.blogspot.com)
    While the majority of the Christian world considers the concept of the Trinity vital to Christianity, many historians and Bible scholars agree that the Trinity of Christianity owes more to Greek philosophy and pagan polytheism than to the monotheism of the Jew and the Jewish Jesus.
  • Trinitarianism Is Not __________ (onetheology.com)
    Modalism  (also known as Sabellianism, named after it’s earliest proponent, Sabelius, in the 3rd century.) believes that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are different names for the same God acting in different roles or manifestations at difference times in salvation history. God is not really three distinct persons. In some circles people often call Modalism “Oneness” or “Jesus Only”. This view has also been called “Monarchianism.” Today, the largest Modalist group is the United Pentecostal Church. Modalisms emphasis on there being one God makes it attractive too many.
  • In Another Post On A Really Bad Idea (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com) can be seen how far one can go when start believing one person is the other. Like when is assumed that Jesus is God that would make the mother of Jesus also the mother of God and than it would be very strange if that mother could sin. Therefore ther are people who claim she could not have sinned. they than dare to say:
    “To deny her perfection and her relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost would be heresy.”

“She only questioned the angel as she did not know how she would have Christ without a man. Gabriel explained. Mary, all her life was in harmony with God’s perfect Will. She trusted God. She was not anxious. These are all Protestant interpretations. She did not talk to Joseph as she trusted in God.”

  • Theophany, Epiphany and the Holy Trinity (orthodoxmom3.wordpress.com) may look at “Theophany”, to be celebrated on January 6th being the Feast Day celebrating the manifestation of God. They do not seem to listen to the words of God Who clearly says who is being baptised. At the time of Jesus his baptism by John in the Jordan God revealed not Himself to people as the Holy Trinity (not at all found in Matt. 3:16) but he revealed that the Nazarene Jew was God His beloved son.
    Matthew 3:16-17 according the Bibles we do have clearely states:   Yeshua, when he was immersed, went up directly from the water: and behold, the heavens were opened to him. He saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming on him.  (17)  Behold, a voice out of the heavens said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (HNV)

One can wounder if Scriptures can not be lear enough when one person speak about the other. Do the Trinitarians not want to believe Jesus or iIs jesus also not clear enough with saying: “This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah. ” (John 17:3 HNV)?

  • Nineteenth Century Protestant Doctrines of the Trinity (redeemingthetext.wordpress.com)
    The Oxford Handbook of the Trinity is, in brief form, one of how Enlightenment philosopher-theologians developed innovative ways to discuss the Trinity and their effectiveness leading into the twentieth century. Samuel Powell, Professor of Philosophy and Religion at Point Loma Nazarene University, makes the point that there is a typical narrative associated with nineteenth-century theology: Schleiermacher delivered the final blow and Barth revived it (267).
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    Not being convinced scripturally of the nature or the necessity of the Trinity, nineteenth-century theologians turned to philosophy to answer their questions. Powell describes it as providing “philosophical answers with expressly Trinitarian features (269).” This move loosened the shackles of theological presuppositions and creedal traditions. Nineteenth-century theology was freed to philosophically construct a new horizon for the doctrine of God. Powell examines four prominent figures to structure his argument.
  • How to Identify a Christian Cult (924jeremiah.wordpress.com) overlooks the fact what really makes a cult and talks about a figure, which is according the Bible the adversary of God. Though on the site is also written: “The followers of such cults will say that they believe in Jesus. They will use the terms “God” and “Holy Spirit.” They will talk about baptism, salvation, Heaven and Hell. Some will even acknowledge the cross as a means of atoning for sins.”
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    “Satan simply can’t afford to let his followers get too close to the truth about who Christ is, and what He accomplished on earth. So if you want to find out if you’re talking to a real Christian or not, start drilling them about Jesus.”
    But then overlooks that this Satan has his followers who do not want to accept taht Jesus really was tempted, could sin but did not sin. And gives the impression that those who do not want to take the words of God and Jesus for what they say are the good ones, or the churches to follow, whilst the ones who accept Jesus his offering for our sins (like we) and accept hat he is the “son of God” like God Himself said would be belonging to a sect, though they really believe in what Jesus himself said, accepting that he nor God would ever lie:
    ” (3)  “And this is everlasting life, that they should know You, the only true Elohim, and יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah whom You have sent.” (John 17:3 The Scriptures 1998+)
    What always surprises us is that such websites accusing certain denominations, like the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons to be cult, never leave any place to react on what is said. (On January 23, 2014, there is no possibility to reply on the writings on that website, nor the above mentioned article.)
  • How to Avoid Being Led Astray by False Shepherds (924jeremiah.wordpress.com)
    If you’re like most Christians, you don’t know your Bible very well. You never went to Bible college or seminary. You’ve had no theological training. Can you really engage with the professionals and not get hurt? Can you really become wiser than them even though you don’t have any diplomas in Hebrew or theology? Of course you can. Keep reading.
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    As a member of God’s flock, you need to be constantly listening for His Voice in the things you hear and read.
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    The Holy Spirit is your resident Counselor. He is with you at all times. He is your Guardian, Teacher, and Truth Tester. You must not let any earthly being become equal to Him in your mind. No matter how many brilliant posts, books, or sermons someone cranks out, their next one could be a pack of lies. Never put your trust in a label, a name, a face, or a reputation. Everything must be checked with the Holy Spirit.
  • Like most websites on the Trinity Reflection: The Trinity (sydneystaggs.wordpress.com) does not leave any place to comment. though she writes luckily: “Take a look at scripture. What does it say about God the Father? What does it say about God the Son? What does it say about the Holy Spirit? How are they different?”
    We can only hope people would come to see what God says about Jesus and what Jesus says about his Father.
  • A Call for Division in the Visible Church (5ptsalt.com)
    if Unitarianism by its denial of the Holy Trinity has patently forfeited every claim to the Christian name, it is difficult to see how a church which has wittingly and willfully accepted the control of modernism, with its denial of the essential deity of Christ and such supernatural events as His virgin birth and bodily resurrection, has any right to be called Christian. Such a church should be denominated a false church and declared to be outside the Christian fold. If that were done, one of the greatest obstacles to the unification of the visible church would be eliminated. For theological liberalism, in all its clamor for ecumenism and church union, is working more effectively toward the disruption of the church of Christ than is any other force. The first need of the church of this day is not union, but division; however, division unto union.
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    the failure to keep the various teachings of Scripture in balance with each other and the consequent stressing of one or some of them out of all proportion to others, have frequently destroyed the visible unity of Christ’s church. Riding a theological hobby is by no means an innocent pastime. Of such sins it behooves churches everywhere to repent, and from them they must desist.- R. B. Kuiper, The Glorious Body of Christ, pp. 51-54
  • World Mission Society Church of God is saying the core of the Bible – God: Christ ahnsahnghong and God the mother (followersofahnsahnghong.wordpress.com)
    2000 years ago, the disciples who met Christ could find the way to the kingdom of heaven through his teachings. But as the time passed by, the way taught by Jesus disappeared by Satan who tried to disturb the Work of God’s Redemption (Daniel 7:25; Revelation 5:1.) How can we, human beings who lost the way of salvation, find it again? The Bible prophesies that Christ is to appear once again for our salvation.
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Science, belief, denial and visibility 1

In the previous article we talked about doubt which can be around the believer and non-believer. We have seen in the previous articles that many people have questions about life and surrounding. They wonder if knowledge of science would stand in the way of their belief. Sometimes people may find themselves dangling at the edge of belief not able to take the plunge.

In case you are feeling like that know that “you are not alone”. If  you are ashamed to ask questions or have reservations that seem insurmountable, “you are not alone”.

Some may consider religion “like a merchant selling its own knockoff of the real thing”.  They prefer to look at it as a “similar imitation, but not the authentic product”.

As recognises in 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us is that it are human beings who made a concoction of religion. He writes:

the problem with religion: it is manmade and lacks the integrity of the real thing. Religion offers the “good enough” instead of the “best.”

But the right religion shall always present the best of what is available at that moment and shall never be satisfied with just offering something which might be “good enough”. In case that is so you are probably looking at the wrong religion.

Churches nearby or far away from home

Percentage of state populations that identify ...

Percentage of state populations that identify with a religion rather than “no religion”, 2001. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those Americans who live in the Bible Belt where most people go to a church in their neighbourhoods may be called lucky that they are able to find a church very near by. In certain countries people have to go far for their service in a church. For example our ecclesia its services make that people have to travel between 40 and 360 km to come to the Breaking of the Bread, having our services taking place in Nivelles/Nijvel, HeverleeLeuven, Mons and Paris. This also makes that we do not have many people wanting to join, or to come regularly, because everybody just wants to have their church at the doorstep.

In Belgium the Catholic church shall have to face the distance problem also from now, because most Catholic churches shall become closed from 2014 because there are not enough priests and not enough churchgoers. Five to ten parishes shall be concentrated to one place from now on. We wonder if those Catholics shall travel such one way of 20 km to go to mass. In protestant circles this has not been strange over the years, so they are used to cover some distance to go to church.

The 26 years old, student, writer, sceptic and worshipper (of … ?) says:

Many people are walking away from God.

Faith and religions are some of those things people get confused with. Also the matter if it has something to do with a god or the True God. Strangely enough several people are searching the internet to get something to know about what “religion is.” The young writer finds that our look at religion and its painful presentation of God may be outdated. He writes:

The truth is, religion missed the bus into the 21st Century and now we are faced with an unpopular decision: starting over or being left behind.

and he has good reason to think so. Many churches did not see how time passed but also how times changed. God, Who is One, does not change, but they wanted to create their own pictures of their god how they wanted to see him fitting their age and time and making up their church according to their denominational construction. Most churches do not want to follow the way church has to be formed according to God, but do want to fit it in according their idea of how church should look like. And that is where church went on the wrong track or got on the line of deviations and delays.

English: A map showing the Norwegian Bible Bel...

A map showing the Norwegian Bible Belt. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several churches, certainly in the United States wanted to make science the enemy of religion. In Holland several churches got blinded by the American Mega churches and having more than three hundred television channels to choose from, most home-stayers got pulled away by reality shows, series and some by those television preachers which promise all the gold you can think of. In Belgium, just a few, but also too many, found their way to those television churches, which make it easy to sit at home and say you watched a service, so you have done your Sunday duty.

The fight between science and religion.

We have all the seen the ugly fight between science and religion. Whether it has been in a classroom, a courtroom, or a Sunday morning sermon, we all have heard why one is right and the other is wrong.

continues the writer of 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us, where he suggests this is just not the case and says he does not believe science is the enemy. He has good reason to believe that science and faith can co-exist and even work together.

In America it is possible, like in Holland to go to schools where they do not want to accept the world evolved. the author of the above mentioned article also was taught in high school that evolution was silly because of all the “missing links.” but did they get deeper into the subject of how the world could have been going on for millions of years? He does not tell. But we can see here at the European continent that more fundamentalist Christian churches and Christian schools want to give their youngsters an idea of the evolution of the world which is not according the real Bible teaching nor according to findings many scientists and archaeologists made.

Also at the television churches they mock with all scientific findings and ridicule archaeologists and other scientists.

Luckily the young writer who graduated in 2006 has seen new discoveries.

He came to understand that science can teach us where we came from and how the world as well as humans are evolving.

But I also believe that there is a certain point where science (logic and reason) are limited and this is the place faith takes over. Science cannot and will not explain everything, but neither can religion.

It has never been the aim of Christian religion to do this. It is wrong to think that the Bible would or should have to be a scientific explanation book and scientific instruction book. God provided a Guide for everybody whatever schooling they might have had or even also for those who did not get the chance to get an education.

God His Word had to be available and understandable for everybody. You do not have to be a theological scholar to understand God’s Word; That is one of the biggest misunderstandings and the biggest cause of having ‘religious institutions’ having deformed God His Words and having them made dogma‘s many people just took over, because they believed they had to believe what those theologians said, because they could not understands such ‘godly and divine matters’. Lots of people also wanted to have religion co-inside with their traditions and as such found it acceptable to have a three headed god for example. The Trinity made it also possible to have something mystic or something special ‘attractive’ because incomprehensible. It also made that they continue to worship pictures and have many saints or people where they could pray to. Otherwise they only had to count on One Something, Who was not a man but a Spirit, and could not be seen or pictured, because the God of Abraham can not be seen and may not be pictured.

So What Now?

One of the greatest tragedies in life is when people hold on to something when they know it has failed. The denial of carrying a corpse around can be a tremendous burden.

The problem with getting people to come and see about the different ways of religion and how the God of the Bible wants to have people around Him, is that people do not want to break with the past, with the attitudes of their ancestors and with the traditions of the region where they are living. It often takes a move to an other country before people would take over … some other traditions …

Or are people willing to come to the facts? Or do they only want to have faith in something they can grasp?

Spirit or person, reality or tradition

To get people to decide for their own, taking the words for what they are and how they are written down in the Bible is very difficult. When we do our preaching and read parts from the Bible, lots of people continue to bring into it always their background of their trinitarian teaching. when there is written “this person” does this or that, they consider that there is also said that “that person” does this or that, instead of willing to take the “this” person where is written “this” and the “that” person where is written “that”. And as such they keep mixing figures but keep also not seeing clear.
That way we also do find Christian denominations which say God is a woman because God is Wisdom and the Bible talks about “her” and “she”. Also others say God is a woman because God is Love and love is feminine and the Scriptures talk about “She” when it describes that love. Others say God is a man because He is a warrior, or something else which is masculine. But God is none of them because He is a Spirit.

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

People should try to accept that there can be a Supreme Being that is not like them or does not fit their images. God can not be pictured, except that we know He has some elements of us because we are created in His image. Because nobody has ever been able to see God, we also can have no real picture of Him in our mind and we may not make a picture of Him in our life.

” (1)  And Elohim spoke all these Words, saying,  (2)  “I am יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.  (3)  “You have no other mighty ones against My face.  (4)  “You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of that which is in the heavens above, or which is in the earth beneath, or which is in the waters under the earth,  (5)  you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה {Jehovah} your Elohim am a jealous Ěl, visiting the crookedness of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,  (6)  but showing kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and guard My commands.” (Exodus 20:1-6 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (19)  And He said, “I shall cause all My goodness to pass before you, and I shall proclaim the Name of יהוה {Jehovah} before you. And I shall favour him whom I favour, and shall have compassion on him whom I have compassion.”  (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:19-20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (17)  Now to the Sovereign of the ages, incorruptible, invisible, to Elohim who alone is wise, be respect and esteem forever and ever. Amĕn.” (1Ti 1:17 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (16)  who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or is able to see, to whom be respect and everlasting might. Amĕn.” (1Ti 6:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

Visible or invisible

How many people are wiling to accept that God the Immortal King of the King of kings is and was invisible? In case Jesus was God than nobody could have seen him and stayed alive. Many people saw Jesus of whom the Father in heaven declared that it was His son. In case God twisted His words and the above verses would not be true, nor that what God said from heaven was totally true than people could and should consider God a liar. But God does not tell lies. Though many churches of the Christian Faith made Him one who was not telling the truth or not keeping His words. Those who think Jesus is God should question if Jesus told the truth when he was asked if they could sit next to him or when he would return or when the end times would come. Every time Jesus told them it was not given to him to decide who was to be seated where or when he would come back. He told them he did not know such things. But God does know everything, so those who do not accept Jesus as the son of God but make him the god son are making God into a liar. He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony or witness in himself; he who does not believe God, has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony or record that Jehovah the God of heaven and earth has given concerning His son.

” (10)  The one who believes in the Son of Elohim has the witness in himself, the one who does not believe Elohim has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the witness that Elohim has given concerning His Son.” (1 John 5:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

Denial

Religion Stencil

Religion Stencil (Photo credit: murdelta)

Atheism brings the denial of the existence of God or gods, but those who have faith in the Creator should know that the God of gods exists and that man still make many gods today.

It is narrow-minded to reduce a naturalist’s worldview down to its negative component of atheism, just as it is narrow minded for a Muslim to consider a Christian anti-Muhhamad.

Theo • philogue writes in Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction:

Such reductionist labeling can feed into prejudices and hinder mutual respect and productive dialogue.  On the other hand, … I don’t necessarily think the argument Baggini advances in order to accomplish his redefinition of the word “atheism” is sound.

But he also warns:

It seems to me that evangelicals who hold to exclusivists positions ideologically (i.e. that only Christianity is true and all other religions false) have no choice but to admit with Baggini that human beings in general are not good at interpreting their experiences — especially religious experiences.  How can Muslims be so skeptical about the religious experiences of Christians (or vice versa), but be so confident in their own?

Scientific understanding having more continuity globally than religious understanding

According to the Bible when people die they are just death and can do nothing or think anything. But there are religious people who think their soul is some extra element in their body which shall go out of it. In such an instance, when there would be a soul leaving the body, able to think and do things, this ‘soul’ should remain fully conscious after death. When this would the case you should wonder why the soul does not retain memories for those with brain disease, dementia , Alzheimer, etc..

Here it seems that views of consciousness after death are problematic in light of the dependency relationship established by science between consciousness and brain activity.  This area of science is forcing some evangelicals, for example, to rethink their interpretation of biblical language about souls to accommodate the scientific data. {Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction}

Several people say there is strong evidence for consciousness after death by the “testimony of mediums, supposed appearances of ghosts, and near-death experiences.” First of all they forget the near death experience is an experience the person had when he or she was not death but alive. It is an experience of a ‘living soul’, being the ‘being’ of a person.

Psyche and Amor, also known as Psyche Receiving Cupid’s First Kiss (1798), by François Gérard: a symbolic butterfly hovers over Psyche in a moment of innocence poised before sexual awakening.

In the Bibletranslations we do find the Hebrew ne′phesh and the Greek psy·khe′ in certain languages being translated as “soul” and “psyche”. It is not about Psyche (/ˈsk/, Greek: Ψυχή, “Soul” or “Breath of Life”) or Eros the mythical figure which fell in love with Cupid or Amor. It is about the Psyche (psychology) which is the totality of the human mind, conscious, and unconscious.

When we look at the different texts in the Holy Scriptures we can see that it was God Who placed His Breath in the first human beings, plus in the animals,  and as such the person or animal came into a living being. When spoken about a soul, this person or animal was meant. The soul is the life that a person or an animal enjoys and it does not mean an immaterial or spirit part of a human being that survives the death of the physical body. The Bible tells us that when God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life that after that action man became a living soul.

“(7)  And יהוה {Jehovah} Elohim formed the man out of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils breath of life. And the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 The Scriptures 1998+)

It does not say that man was given a soul but that he became a soul, a living person.

“(5)  “But only your blood for your lives I require, from the hand of every beast I require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I require the life of man.” (Genesis 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)

The “blood of your lives” or the blood of your souls” is not the blood of something different than the normal body we can see. When we see the same word in the original text we should translate it the same or when we use once ‘soul’ and the other time ‘live’ or ‘body’ in the same translation we should know that it is all speaking about the same thing ‘the corps’ the being of something or someone’. The Greek word translated in 1 Corinthians 15:45 for “soul” in many translations is the accusative case of psy·khe′. KJ, AS, Dy, JB, NAB, and Kx also read “soul.” RS, NE, and TEV say “being.”

” (45)  And so it has been written, “The first man Aḏam became a living being,” the last Aḏam a life-giving Spirit.  (46)  The spiritual, however, was not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.  (47)  The first man was of the earth, earthy; the second Man is the Master from heaven.  (48)  As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.  (49)  And as we have borne the likeness of the earthy, we shall also bear the likeness of the heavenly.  (50)  And this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood is unable to inherit the reign of Elohim, neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-50 The Scriptures 1998+)

When something happens with people the Bible says this or that happened with the souls.

“who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.” (1 Peter 3:20 HNV) (NHBESY, NKJV, RNKJV, RV,Sawyer, WORNT,
“eight, souls were brought safely through water.” (WPNT); “eight souls, were delivered through water” (NET)
eight souls, were saved by water (RHB)
“wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (KJV, BRG, LEB, LITV, a.o..)
“Those who in the past were disobedient; and in the days of Noah, when the Spirit of God had patience, he commanded an ark to be made in the hope of their repentance, but only eight souls entered into it, and were saved by it floating upon the water.” (1 Peter 3:20 Lamsa NT ) “which were formerly disobedient, in the days of Noah, when the long suffering of Alaha commanded an ark to be made, in hope of their repentance; and eight souls only entered into it, and were kept alive in the waters.” (1 Peter 3:20 Re. Murdock);  “a few folks” (JMNT)
“those who disobeyed long ago in the days of Noah, when YHVH in extreme patience, commanded an ark to be made, hoping that they would amend their ways, but only eight people entered it and survived the water during the flood.” (1 Peter 3:20 ToY+ )

In several places, like in Joshua 11:11 we can find that those “souls” could be “stricken” or “killed” or could fall under the edge of the sword.Theo Philo writes:

It seems impossible to contest that the traditional Christian anthropology of body-soul dualism is problematic because it requires one to believe that “non-material thinking souls exist along side brains and somehow interact with them, and that, further, the dependency of consciousness on brain activity miraculously disappears at death, when the soul lives on without the body”

But according to the Bible there is no body-soul dualism at all and when people fall asleep, leaving the world of the living they shall be death and will not be able to do anything with what they collected in their life nor shall they be able to think something or do something, except having their body decaying or to dust or in the incinerator coming to ashes. When life comes to an end it is the breath of the person which goes out the person but not to live somewhere else. The breath is the transfer of air caused by breathing or by being alive.

” (2)  While I live I praise יהוה {Jehovah}; I sing praises to my Elohim while I exist.  (3)  Do not put your trust in princes, In a son of man, in whom is no deliverance.  (4)  His spirit goes out, he returns to his earth; In that day his plans perish.” (Psalm 146:2-4 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (5)  For the living know that they shall die, but the dead know naught, nor do they have any more reward, for their remembrance is forgotten.” (Ecclesiastes 9:5 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (9)  See life with the wife whom you love all the days of your futile life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of futility. For that is your share in life, and in your toil which you have laboured under the sun.  (10)  All that your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10 The Scriptures 1998+)
” (14)  I know that whatever Elohim does is forever. There is no adding to it, and there is no taking from it. Elohim does it, that men should fear before Him.  (15)  Whatever is has already been, and what shall be has been before. But Elohim seeks out what has been pursued.  (16)  Then again I saw under the sun: In the place of right-ruling, wrongness was there. And in the place of righteousness, wrongness was there.  (17)  I said in my heart, “Elohim judges the righteous and the wrong, for there is a time for every matter and for every work.”  (18)  I said in my heart, “Concerning the matter of the sons of men, Elohim selects them, so as to see that they themselves are beasts.”  (19)  For the event of the sons of men is also the event of beasts – one event befalls them: as one dies, so dies the other. Indeed, they all have one breath – man has no advantage over beasts. For all is futile.  (20)  All are going to one place – all came from the dust, and all return to dust.  (21)  Who knows the spirit of the sons of men, which goes upward, and the spirit of the beast, which goes down to the earth?  (22)  So I saw that man could do no better but to rejoice in his own works, for that is his portion. For who would bring him to see what shall be after him?” (Ecclesiastes 3:14-22 The Scriptures 1998+)

For us will happen the same as the animals. Our penalty for the sins we have done shall be paid by our death, where we shall end up breathing, thinking, speaking or being able to do anything. For that which happens to us happens also to animals. Even one thing happens to both of us, man and animal alike. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity. There is no evidence at all for life after death and the Holy Scriptures tells us what is going to happen to our body (our souls). We shall all return to dust. Decay shall come over human beings as it comes over plants and animals. We better believe in the stronger evidence for human mortality than in evidence for immortality of human ‘souls’ being some extra spiritual being in man.It is the philosophical ideas of the early writers and of later fantasts which made people dream of adventures lives in some strange after-life worlds or underground-worlds, or several heaven-levels (be it 8 or 12 heavens according some worldly writers).We can not see any different soul than the souls running around on this planet, the masculine and feminine beings, called man and animal. No scientific X-rays or special screening could prove there would be some alternative ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit’ in the human beings. What is scientifically proven is the aura or a sort of temperature change around each living being. The aura appears by humans but also by animals and plants. so that also does not proof any existence of an extra spirit in the human beings which would be an other ‘soul’ than the ‘soul’ spoken of in the many books of the Bible where it is meant the persons.

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Next: Science, belief, denial and visibility 2

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Please do find additional reading:

  1. Faith
  2. Bible a guide – Bijbel als gids
  3. The Trinity – the Truth
  4. Idolatry or idol worship
  5. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. #1 Creator and His Prophets
  6. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  7. Edward Wightman
  8. Dying or not
  9. What happens when we die?
  10. The Soul confronted with Death
  11. Dead and after
  12. Destination of righteous
  13. Destination of the earth
  14. Sheol or the grave
  15. Soul
  16. The Soul not a ghost
  17. Is there an Immortal soul
  18. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  19. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  20. How are the dead?
  21. The soul has no rainbow if the eyes have no tears
  22. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  23. We will all be changed

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Also of interest:

  1. 3 Ways Religion Has Failed Us
  2. Direct Faith & Belief
  3. Can A Theist Appreciate Baggini’s Atheism? :: Book Review of Julian Baggini’s book Atheism: A Very Short Introduction

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  • No religion ‘is the new establishment’ (christiantoday.com)
    Two surveys conducted by YouGov reveal that out of 8,455 British adults polled, 38 per cent – 3,199 in total – said they have ‘no religion’.

    This is most notable in younger generations, with almost half (48 per cent) of those under 30 identifying themselves as having no religion, while only 27 per cent of over 60s said the same.

    Furthermore, for the first time ever, ‘no religion’ has become the identity of the absolute majority of those aged 18 and 19.

    It is important to note that ‘no religion’ is not synonymous with ‘atheist’.

  • UK Supreme Court: Religion Does Not Require God (clrforum.org)
    Last week, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom–since 2009, the highest court in the UK–handed down what looks to be a significant decision on the meaning of “religion” in English law. The decision suggests that, for legal purposes, religion does not require a belief in God.
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    Lord Toulson made clear he was not announcing a categorical test for all circumstances–Scientology qualifies as a religion. The court ordered the government to certify the couple’s church as a place where valid marriages could take place.
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    Religion is inherently communal, and some of the most important benefits the state derives from religion–for example, greater civic participation–depend on religion’s being a group activity. In America, some people have begun to argue for a very individualistic definition of religion, one in which a sole practitioner, following her own inner voice, can qualify as a religion for legal purposes. Earlier this year, a federal appeals court rejected this view, and there are good reasons to do so. I’ll have more to say about all this is a forthcoming paper, to be published next month by the European University Institute. I’ll post more on this subject then.
  • New Statistics: the religious make-up of America (skeptical-science.com)
    The Washington Post has published a rather detailed breakdown of religion in the US … alas statistics, so yes it can indeed be potentially quite dull stuff, I’ll skip a lot of details and cut to the chase of what it is of interest – non-belief is rapidly increasing.
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    40 per cent of people in Boston have no religion at all, and it’s more than half in many counties. As for the 47 per cent of Bostonians who are Catholic “participants” – well, there isn’t much participation going on come Sunday morning. We’re talking about 17 per cent Mass attendance these days –and it was only 20 per cent before the clergy scandals broke. The story is the same in many other supposedly Catholic cities – fewer than one in five Catholics go to church regularly. Compare that to the 70 per cent in the 1950s
  • Ask an Atheist: The Usual Questions (csgroome.wordpress.com)
    I am not 100% certain. I am certain beyond reasonable doubt, enough to state that I see no reason to think supernatural beings exist. Any academic and self respecting atheist who embraces science and reasoning would always leave their opinions open for change and new evidence. This is where Atheism differs from religion, because we are not certain and would change our views if given evidence, but we are convinced by the lack of evidence and by all rational argument, that appealing to myths from intellectually dark parts of human history can not even begin to give us answers to any questions, even moral or epistemological ones.
  • Haunting the chapel: my thoughts on heavy metal and religion. (seanmunger.com)
    Is heavy metal inherently anti-religious? Having been virtually a lifelong metalhead, I can say from experience that many people, both within and without the scene, believe that it is, or should be. Critique of organized religion or aspects of it has been a common lyrical and thematic element in metal for decades.
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    Even without analyzing the long history of Satanic themes in metal, the music itself has always celebrated nonconformity. Its heavy and dissonant tones, developing beginning in the 1950s, by their nature challenge the normal, the usual and the mainstream. Religion, especially orthodox or fundamentalist religion, is the ultimate conformity. It certainly didn’t help that some religious organizations and people, especially evangelical Americans, made metal music a target in the 1970s and 1980s, blaming it for causing suicides, school shootings or indoctrinating kids with Satanism. Against this background, the heavy-handed anti-religiosity of figures like Glen Benton (Deicide) seems more like retaliation than provocation.
  • Visible Religion: Beliefs permeate life in Indonesia (indonesiaful.com)
    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Students praying in West Java. (Elizabeth Kennedy/Indonesiaful)

    Indonesia has six accepted religions: Islam, Catholicism, Christianity (which really means Protestantism), Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism. It is not acceptable, however, to be atheist, agnostic, or Jewish. The first pillar of pancasila, Indonesia’s guiding political policy, is “belief in one God,” which has enough room in it to accept Indonesian versions of Hinduism and Buddhism, but definitely not the lack of any God at all.

    As a result of “knowing” that everyone has more or less similar beliefs, religion takes a highly visible role in everyday society here. My school’s flag ceremony alternates every other week with school-wide prayer, which is separate for Muslims, Christians, and Catholics. There are different uniforms for Muslim girls (long skirts and sleeves for girls, with headscarf) and Christian girls (short sleeves and knee-length skirts). All students take classes in their own religions, and each school has rooms for each religion.

  • Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation? (collectionofclancy.wordpress.com)
    I know of many relatives, friends and people I’ve met in general who are either agnostic or atheist and I don’t judge them for it. However what kills me is that their status gives me the feeling that they are the smarter and more enlightened people. But on the other side, the church gives me the feeling that because I have more liberal beliefs means I cannot truly be as good as the devout. A rock/hard place moment.
  • Does Religion Shape a Person? (meesh14102.wordpress.com)
    My Catholic education and religious family background influenced me to be a devout Catholic; no doubt about it. I attended Church every Sunday, received the sacraments, prayed every night, etc. I was a firm believer in God, heaven, and hell. However, as I matured in my college years, I began to have a few doubts about my religion. There was no traumatic life event or epiphany to lead me to these doubts, I just simply began to question. I began researching different religions, asking people of different beliefs their opinions on God (or lack there of) and finally I read a book. I was assigned to read, “God No!” by author Penn Jillette during my Communication Ethics course.
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    I don’t need a God to influence a good and honest behavior. My mom told me to never speak of my new belief (or lack  there of) ever again and to Never tell my father. I respected these wishes and continue to keep my thoughts about God and religion to myself. I believe a persons’ inner self shapes their character. I do not believe religion is what influences a good or bad character.
  • Religion? (lordmontello.wordpress.com)
    The cause and effect of religion leads to nothing but groups of different beliefs that have waged war on each other for not accepting their beliefs. Without religion their would be no blood shed by religious cults and will prevent mass war between other civilizations belifs.
  • The False Compatibility Of Religion And Science (amitoben.com)
    Religious counterparts will often point out that many scientists are religious, and that most, if not all, scientists in the past were religious as well. This claim is often propped up by such big names as Kepler, Galileo and Newton, and is commonly capped off with a challenge to nonbelievers that takes the form of “Who are you to claim to be smarter than those great religious scientists?”.
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Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

In the previous chapter “Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life“,  we have seen that the relation of religion and spirituality is in the eye of the beholder and that religiosity and spirituality are not always connected with each other.

File:Church Attendance and Welfare Spending Graph.png

Religiosity, Church Attendance and Welfare Spending

Historically, the major world religious traditions have relied upon symbolic forms for breaking outside of the profane world and into an alternative reality known only through its ecstatic qualities and interpretive frames. Even within contemporary, more secular social settings, research suggests that those persons most involved in their religious traditions are more likely to report having strong religious experiences (International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences referring to: Yamane and Polzer 1994, pp. 1–25).

We also said that we should see that there is a distinction between spiritual and religious or religiousness. This  is becoming more commonplace in advanced modern societies like the United States, for example, where the number of people claiming to be “spiritual but not religious” is estimated variously (but with differing empirical measures) as 14 percent (Roof 1999) and 31 percent (Wuthnow 2005) of the adult population.

English: Religious symbols from the top nine o...

Religious symbols (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being religious implies a relationship with a faith, which should not be necessary Christian faith, but the believes in something divine and clinging to participation in institutionally based practices, and having respect for the teachings of a certain tradition or community. In contrast to be spiritual concerns the inner relationship with the inner and puts emphasis upon the experience of connectedness, relationship, or oneness with the Inner-Self and/or a higher power/the sacred/nature. The aim of the spirituality is also to come to satisfaction with the Self and to find appreciation for personal growth and inner awareness in one’s life journey. Aiming for more spirituality the person hopes he can come in a better stadium with himself and for himself, sometimes looking for transcendental forms.

Several people aim to come in a higher stadium coming to have mystical experiences. For some this can be New Age beliefs where they draw on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions, infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational psychology, holistic health, parapsychology, consciousness research and quantum physics. Others may not like to be placed under New Age or post-New Age, for the reason it got negative connotations and because it does not always co-notate to the coming astrological Age of Aquarius,  but more to the “transformational” of the being, though they still may aim to create “a spirituality without borders or confining dogmas” that is inclusive and pluralistic. {Drury 2004, p. 10}

Some may look for a form of a form of monism and unity throughout the universe, where the variety of existing things can be explained in terms of a single reality or substance. But there they also think that all those things being in existence may find their origin on one source which is distinct from a human being. Some call it the Universal Supreme Being or The God of gods. For Christians that Divine Super Power should be their Only One God, the centre piece of everything which was before everything, the Adonai and Most High Elohim. All other beings are lower than That One Who is One and is not restricted like we are but is One unity of substance and essence which is complete in its unity, its spirit and in time being eternal.

Various different religious traditions have be...

Various different religious traditions have been labelled “pagan” over the centuries; including the Classical religion of ancient Greece (left; The Parthenon) and the new religious movement of contemporary Paganism (right; Romuvan priestess). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The body-mind dichotomy in philosophy examines the relationship between mind and matter, and in particular the relationship between consciousness and the brain. The problem was addressed by René Descartes in the 17th century, resulting in Cartesian dualism, and by pre-Aristotelian philosophers. {Robert M. Young (1996). “The mind-body problem”. In RC Olby, GN Cantor, JR Christie, MJS Hodges, eds. Companion to the History of Modern Science (Paperback reprint of Routledge 1990 ed.). Taylor and Francis. pp. 702–11. ISBN 0415145783.} + {Robinson, Howard (Nov 3, 2011). “Dualism”. In Edward N. Zalta, ed. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition).} The Persian Pūr Sinɑʼ, who is regarded as the most famous and influential polymath of the Islamic Golden Age, made a big study the Quran and the Hadith, encountered greater obstacles in the philosophical writings and got greatly troubled by the Metaphysics of Aristotle. Due to Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā or Avicenna’s successful reconciliation between Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism along with Kalam, Avicennism eventually became the leading school of Islamic philosophy by the 12th century, with Avicenna becoming a central authority on philosophy.

He preferred a “short life with width to a narrow one with length” {Aisha Khan. Avicenna (Ibn Sina): Muslim Physician And Philosopher of the Eleventh Century. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 85.} Trying to find logic, ethics this teacher founded also a system for people to come to the essence of life and inner sanctity. It is by placing the ego separate of the world, which is considered in the Holy Scriptures (the Bible) as being “set-apart” often translated in English with the word “holy” or “holiness“.

Several Islamic teachers and Christian theologians got very interested in the ancient philosophers. In medieval Europe the clergy went looking for the mysterious soul in the human being. They wanted to solve the many philosophical problems posed by the years. they wanted to go further than the philosophers who studied the fields of aesthetics, ethics, epistemology, logic, metaphysics, as well as social philosophy and political philosophy. For many clergyman the Catholic teachings had not brought “Logic“. Mainly by all the false teachings in Roman Catholicism they where distracted from the Biblical texts which was confusing them, because they were bombarded with many dogma‘s created over the years. for the bishops and higher placed ones in the ‘holy orders’ Avicennism brought more interesting doctrines on the nature of the soul and his existenceessence distinction. , along with the debates and censure that they raised in scholastic Europe. By 1210 so many people became interested in the Islamic teaching the church took measures to forbid it. A “decree of condemnation to death or banishment” was prescribed. This proscription or “decree of condemnation, outlawry” did not frighten William of Auvergne, Bishop of Paris and Albertus Magnus.  The psychology and theory of knowledge found in Avicennism and its metaphysics had an impact on the thought of Thomas Aquinas.

closer to our times several theologians also went looking in Confucius his philosophical writings.

The philosophers did not determine the value of an idea by the diversity of its applications. Philosophy in itself does not bring spirituality though it may help to form ideas and to give pulses to do thorough research. It may be interesting in its own right, and a substantial minority of philosophers investigate the many and varied interpretations of ideas studied in philosophy itself, testing others their thought experiments and their conclusions of philosophical arguments.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

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Find also:

  1. The Supreme Being God of gods
  2. Only One God
  3. God is One
  4. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  5. Faith
  6. Living in faith
  7. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  8. Religion and spirituality
  9. Theology without spirituality sterile academic exercise
  10. Childish or reasonable ways
  11. Words to push and pull
  12. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  13. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  14. Religious Practices around the world
  15. The Soul not a ghost
  16. Focus on outward appearances
  17. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  18. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  19. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?

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Additional readings:

  1. Some Thoughts about the Integration of Spirituality and Religion
  2. Religion Vs. Spiritual
  3. Reginay’s Religious vs. Spiritual
  4. Who is religious?

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  • Wealth usually distracts one from a spiritual path (transientreflections.com)
    Are you a Materialistic Individual or do you pursue the path of an Academic or of a Spiritual and religious nature? These questions can only be answered by you and which you choose is solely up to you.
  • African Spirituality: What it is and what it ‘ain’t’ (moniquecharles.wordpress.com)
    In this discussion, Asar Imhotep will reassess the common understandings of African spirituality and provide an updated analysis rooted in over a decade’s worth of research as a practitioner of African spiritual systems, and a student of history.
  • Mapping the Possible Relations between “Religious,” “Spiritual,” “Humanistic” and “Secular” Sensibilities (villasophiasalon.wordpress.com)
    One way to map or model the spectrum of consciousness and culture today is to talk about the continuum that connects the religious, spiritual (but not necessarily religious), humanistic (but not necessarily religious or spiritual) and secular ( but not necessarily religious, spiritual or humanistic) sensibilities. Further, there are those who religion is not necessarily hostile or indifferent to the spiritual, humanistic and secular dimensions of life.
    +
    Are you aware that each of these words has a whole range of possible meanings and associations, and that the presumably objective denotative meanings are all but silenced by a cacophony of various subjective connotative meanings. Therefore, any meaningful and constructive dialogue between persons who have front-loaded their own experiential associations and interpretative evaluations of these words make real communication all but impossible.
  • Religion Vs. Spiritual (etsuwmst.wordpress.com)
    Although, religion and spiritually have its differences. Religion should be accompanied with spiritually although sometimes it does not go that way. Most people think you either one or the other. It is possible to be religious and spiritual most people are but then again you could be spiritual without religion. The reason being is because religion is very much forced in many situations. A lot of people can’t live freely in the world because they feel if they do it would conflict with their religion. Just because of the demands religion has on a person’s life. Unlike spiritually, it is a chosen practice so it designed the way you want to.
  • What Wishes to Come to Being through You? (agentleinstigator.wordpress.com)
    “What constitutes personal authority? Stated most simply it means, to find what is true for oneself and to live it in the world. If it is not lived, it is not yet real for us, and we abide in what Sartre called ”bad faith”, the theologian calls ”sin”, the  therapist calls “neurosis”, and the existential philosopher calls ”inauthentic being”. Respectful of the rights and perspectives of others, personal authority is neither narcissistic nor imperialistic. It is a humble acknowledgement of what wishes to come to being through us.“
  • (#7) Family, Huh, Yeah, What Is It Good For… (bushmansblogi.wordpress.com)
    In accordance with Notarianni’s claim, I would like to emphasize the essential nature families play in the spiritual development of children. It is in the home where either a spiritual void is discovered or a spiritual direction is initiated. This is seen in experiences that families go through together and how they adapt, as well as in family traditions, and finally, even the absence of spirituality in the home aids children in determining their own beliefs.
  • Deep Within, We Want it All By Brenda Hoffman (renardmoreau.wordpress.com)
    You wish to recreate some of the glories of past lifetimes. All of you have experienced both depravity, because of religious teachings, and lives with extreme levels of fame and wealth.You are now more interested in your past glories than the religious penitence that marked at least one of your lifetimes. Yet, you will not allow yourself access to the glories and riches you hold dear in this time and place because you are not certain you can achieve your goal – or that you want to.
  • Are Esoteric Teachings Missing from Christianity? (jesusweddingthebook.wordpress.com)
    In the television program Myths of Mankind – The Gnostic Origins of Christianity (Timestamp 43:12-43:54), Elaine Pagels PhD of Princeton University is quoted as saying,“Every great world religious tradition whether its Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism has both the teaching for everyone, exoteric teaching, which every adherent of that faith is supposed to follow and esoteric or mystical teaching. The only one that lacks that is western Christianity. I think it is unfortunate that that which many people find necessary for their own integrity and development has been regarded as either heretical or a path leading nowhere.”
  • Discovering the Truth (cosmicmacduff.wordpress.com)
  • Artists forge their own spiritual path at Promenade Gallery – Mississauga (allowinglove.wordpress.com)
  • Meditation – Do try it! (trishbarcatta.wordpress.com)
    It involves focusing on a single thought, object or feeling and turning your attention inwards. Some people find it hard to drown everything else out so as to quiet the mind, but you don’t need to do that. You can just gently bring your focus back to what you need to and not be so hard on yourself.
  • How To Begin On The Spiritual Path (anandasingapore.wordpress.com)
    The seeker cannot be confined to a particular religion, rather, he or she must embrace the Divine teachings of all religions, and bow humbly, and revere the saints of all religions, for all saints have attained to Godhood, and making any distinction within the Fundamental Unity of God is contrary to the Divine Path.
  • Am I A Religious Person? (elephantjournal.com)
    In the West we tend to think of religion in really narrow terms that most of the ‘religions’ of the east don’t fit into very well.To me, the word ‘religion’ conjures connotations of dogma and authority. I don’t think either of those things are helpful on the spiritual path. I don’t believe in God. Belief or lack thereof in a deity is not considered an important thing in the path of Buddhism.
  • Daily Teaching for Wednesday, November 27th (bishopcraig.com)
    Humility is an absolute prerequisite for progress on the spiritual path, and thankfulness is its evidence.
  • Simply Being With Nothing to Be: A Commentary (edoshonin.com)
    If we have hope, then we automatically have fear. We are fearful that our hopes will not be realized. Many people think that in order to be happy they need hope. But this kind of happiness is very conditional and is reliant upon the presence of external factors.
    +
    We can observe the beings who are born and who pass away – one moment they are present but the next moment they are gone. One moment they are happy but the next moment sad. One moment they are in the company of friends and family but the next moment they are all alone. We see that beings come and go, planets come and go, and even the universes come and go. We observe the passing of time and the passing of space.
  • Gyo-shin-ki Evolution (gyoshinki.wordpress.com)
    Our spiritual center will continue to be Gyo, Shin and Ki. Shinto at the heart, Buddhist at the heart and Taoist at the heart. I continue to receive teaching and guidance and evolve methodology and techniques that allow energetic and spiritual purification and accomplishment. GSK is essentially a spiritual path – truth testing is done via the taijutsu. The taijutsu is a physical analog of the meditaion and purifications.

The Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity

A passionate seeker for spiritual Truth wherever It is found blogs now for one year with ‘Purple Rays‘. This writer knows that we cannot all blaze a trail! But she is aware that we can all Light up our Corners and leave footprints of Light in the sands of time!

2008 Mingdau University Fashion Fusion Show: T...It may sound ridiculous that we as small human beings somewhere in this vast universe would be able to bring words that can change something in the world. But I am convinced we can do bring change, each in our own environment, and in case we join hands, we can even bring change in places far, far away from where we live. I may send messages from tiny split dark and wet Belgium, but looking at the statistics those messages are read more abroad than in the Flemish, Dutch , French and German parts of this section of the Low Countries.

Inspired by an earnest volition and love to share her thoughts with the world and to learn from the world, the writer brought already a few poetic musings while she seems to be aware that there is a battle of two wolves inside us all. She writes:

A war like the raging calm of the sea! A war with an ominous end! A war difficult for man to win! Since he feeds the wolves at both ends! Arming both friend and foe alike! Devout in prayer but wicked in deeds! Angel in words but evil at heart! How can he win the war and find peace? When he rides on the back of a tiger, And can only end in the belly of the tiger! {The Intellect Continuously Wars Against The Spirit!}

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Photo from Purple Rays category Engraved in gold series

Though there may be this constant battle in the world she also sees the solution that there is made available for all who want to grasp the Hand of the Provider.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalms 46:1 CJB)

She is also aware that the gods and goddesses of old are not figments of the imagination but, nature beings existing through the Will of God and still active today. But I would not agree with her calling them ‘servants of God’. Perhaps they ever tried to be a servant for the Divine Creator and were made more than they themselves wished, because it was, like she says, mankind who erred by making them objects of veneration and worship! I think many of those gods created by man are not serving the Most High Creator, the Spirit God.

To 99% of her listeners, the Purple Rays writer is a Buddhist and for non-Buddhists, her person is defined by what she might not be; not a Moslem, not a Christian, not a ‘believer’, not a true child of God and even worse negative descriptions! But for those people criticising others they should know we all are children of God.  Whatever we may believe, even when we do not want to believe that there exist a God who created heaven and earth, That Divine Creator stays the Maker of everything and the Father of all.

It is God Who allows all those people and gods to exist, and He is it who gives certain qualities to people which they can use for the good or the bad. God has given every body the free will to chose which way to go. It is not a dictator Father who only allows His Ways. Every one of us can say ‘I go my way’ or ‘It is My way’. All received a mind to use and have the freedom to think what they want, to follow those who they want to follow and believe in. The only thing is at the end of the trip, we are ourselves responsible and shall not be able to blame others for our own mistakes.

All people in the world are given the free choice by the Creator to choose in what and in whom they want to believe. He allows us to trust and accept what others say. He is not blind for the many teachers, good ones and false-teachers, there have been and still shall come in the world. We too can choose if we learn something from beings like Buddha, Confucius, Darwin, Gandhi, Muhammad or would like to follow the master teacher Jesus Christ, Jeshua the Messiah and the son of God and the best or real Servant of God!

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect ...

Yuzen, a buddhist monk from the Sōtō Zen sect begging at Oigawa, Kyoto. Begging is part of the training of some Buddhist sects. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Purple Rays publishes:

Anyone who is privileged to read the untainted, transmitted accounts of the life and times of these truth bringers, with an open mind, will definitely perceive the Immeasurable Grace bestowed on humanity by their missions on earth! With Divine guidance, they were placed at different times and in different cultures/races to raise the collective consciousness of humanity from one level to the other!
Through countless un-celebrated Sages as well as renowned ones like Krishna, Zoroaster, Lao tse, Cassandra in Atlantis, Buddha, Moses, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Prophet Muhammad down to Abd-ru-shin, mankind has received the truth unblemished! Each teaching dovetails into the other to form a luminous flight of steps: some at the bottom and some at the top, each forming an inevitable step in the stairway to spiritual maturity and emancipation! {Religion, Beliefs And Worship! (religionists are extreme believers of some sort!)}

She has good reason to believe that

If religion had evolved without prejudice like science and technology, today’s humanity would have recognized which piece each Messenger added to the spiritual consciousness jigsaw puzzle! They would have gone past bitter inter and intra religious rivalry, violent conversions, fanaticism and intolerance! They would have drawn the line between the truth and contrived creeds, dogmas and doctrines!
They would recognize and believe the truth irrespective of whether it issues from the mouth of a Bishop, an Imam or the Dalai Lama!

When people would also recognise the language of others, or all could come to understand and speak the same language, they would not have so much confusion and they would come to see that Allah is the title for God of All. And when they look further they will come to know That God, who can and should be recognised as the Divine Creator of heaven and earth. They shall come and should come to know that That Allah or God has a name which shall have to be known by many before the End of Times will come. His holy or set apart name being Jehovah:

2 And Elohim spoke to Mosheh and said to him, “I am יהוה {Jehovah }.” 3 “And I appeared to Aḇraham {Abraham }, to Yitsḥaq {Isaac }, and to Ya’aqoḇ {Jakob }, as Ěl Shaddai {The One Most High; The Almighty }. And by My Name, יהוה {Jehovah }, was I not known to them? 4 “And I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Kena’an, the land of their sojournings, in which they have sojourned. 5 “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Yisra’ĕl whom the Mitsrites are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant. 6 “Say, therefore, to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘I am יהוה {Jehovah}, and I shall bring you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites, and shall deliver you from their enslaving, and shall redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments, 7 and shall take you as My people, and I shall be your Elohim. And you shall know that I am יהוה {Jehovah } your Elohim who is bringing you out from under the burdens of the Mitsrites. 8 ‘And I shall bring you into the land which I swore to give to Aḇraham, to Yitsḥaq, and to Ya’aqoḇ {Jakob }, to give it to you as an inheritance. I am יהוה {Jehovah }.’ ” (Exodus 6:2-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

Though there may be many gods in the world, the God of gods, the Adonai Elohim Hashem יהוה, Jehovah is the Only One God, heavenly Father of every one and Maker and Maintainer or Upkeeper of everything.

Every day we do have to be part of that universe This God of gods allows to exist. In it we do have to find our ways. Without fail and often without even realising it ourselves, we can and we do make some sort of impact on the life of someone else – either directly through our words and actions, or indirectly through our presence and example. We ourselves have to Sow and harvests in the garden of our own heart. We not only have to Control our destiny or somebody else will, we should be careful how we influence others and how we can have an impact on others.

Too many people do forget this impact they can have on others. We all should make more use of the power we have in ourselves, not only to build up or to make ourselves but also the power to change someone’s life, give someone hope, and change someone’s perspective. We should make more use of the power the Creator has given each person to inspire another soul.
Those who believe in That Creator should trust Him more and allow Him to enter their minds and to use them as a messenger, so that He can make us even more powerful and more extraordinary than we may realise and give ourselves credit for.

We shall be surprised that we can shift more stones than we ever thought and that people who see beyond any superficial (imagined) ‘imperfections’ shall be able to find and inspire each other. We also shall be able to meet people who see the magic and the Be You-Ty that lies hidden away in our hearts. {Extraordinary}

With every new heartbeat we may grow and find opportunities to look for wisdom in people their writings and sayings. Above those human beings we do have The Book of books which can guide us through our life as non other. The Words of That Writer, the God of gods, can transform us. And when we are wiling to take the many words of the world in consideration, thinking about them and putting them in the right perspective we can change with every new sunset.

We are not the same person we were yesterday, nor are we the person we will be tomorrow. Somewhere amid the challenges and the frustrations…  the successes and the setbacks… and the hardships and moments of happiness… our cocoon transforms into a butterfly. {Transformation}

When we look at the world, we notice that beauty is born out of every day tensions, suspense, pressure, anxiety and that the beauty is In these tensions because these tensions are called Life.

And life is beautiful.

Let’s remember this season when we are facing again a year coming to its end, soon to face a new year in the ever evolving world, that  there is a reason for everything we are now going though in our lives.

In moments of self-reflection, let’s remember how much we have transformed…and how far we’ve come.

And lets smile at who we have become…and who we are becoming. {Transformation}

World citizen

World citizen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Anne Radmacher said:

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Laugh. Play with abandon. Fail with enthusiasm. Continue to learn. Love well. Appreciate your friends. Practice wellness. Choose with no regrets. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

Autumn reminds us how life can be so short and soon be taken away. It is the now that we do have to live. It is the now we do have to make it. We should not hesitate. We should not postpone until to morrow or until later, to become until never, forbearance being no acquittance. Do not tempt that all would not be lost that is delayed. Be sure that tomorrow never comes for such people.

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Preceding:

Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God

Holidays, holy days and traditions

Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

Please do find to read:

  1. Change
  2. Only I can change my life
  3. Time for global change
  4. The wrong hero
  5. Idolatry or idol worship
  6. Worship and worshipping
  7. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  8. The manager and Word of God
  9. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  10. Did the Inspirator exist
  11. God Helper and Deliverer
  12. God is one
  13. God of gods
  14. Only one God
  15. Attributes to God, titles ascribed to Him or Names given to JHWH, the God of gods.
  16. One God the Father, a compendium of essays
  17. Full authority belongs to God
  18. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  19. God about His name “יהוה“
  20. Praise the God with His Name
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #1 Kings Faith
  22. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #2 Calling upon the Name of God
  23. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #2 Instructions and Laws
  24. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #3 A voice to be taken Seriously
  25. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #4 Words in Scripture
  26. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  27. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  29. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  30. The Divine name of the Creator
  31. Hashem השם, Hebrew for “the Name”
  32. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  33. Who Is Jehovah?
  34. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  35. Lord or Yahuwah, Yeshua or Yahushua
  36. Jesus Messiah
  37. Jesus spitting image of his father
  38. Servant of his Father
  39. Religious Practices around the world
  40. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  41. The Trinity – the Truth
  42. How do trinitarians equate divine nature
  43. About a man who changed history of humankind
  44. The Christ, the anointed of God
  45. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  46. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  47. Promise of Comforter
  48. The inspiring divine spark
  49. Fearing the right person
  50. No prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation
  51. If you think you’re too small to be effective
  52. Communion and day of worship
  53. En Soma: One Body
  54. Parts of the body of Christ
  55. What part of the Body am I?
  56. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  57. United people under Christ
  58. Rebirth and belonging to a church
  59. Making church
  60. A learning process for each of us
  61. Chief means by which men are built up
  62. Character transformed by the influence of our fellowships
  63. If we, in our prosperity, neglect religious instruction and authority
  64. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  65. Being of good courage running the race
  66. Fellowship
  67. An ecclesia in your neighborhood
  68. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  69. Church sent into the world
  70. Sow and harvests in the garden of your heart
  71. Careful what you sow, it might grow
  72. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  73. Act as if everything you think, say and do determines your entire life
  74. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  75. Faith related boycotts
  76. Quit griping about your church
  77. Migrants to the West #6
  78. Migrants to the West #10 Religious freedom
  79. Try driving forward instead of backwards
  80. Aim High: Examples of Godly Characters to follow
  81. Gods hope and our hope
  82. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  83. Only worship the Creator of all things

Additional reading:

  1. Will God’s People Be Stumbled By The Name Of Jehoshua?
  2. Jesus – The Promised Messiah
  3. If the Father is the “only true God” (John 17:3) , does that mean that Jesus is a false god?
  4. The Father (Jehovah) is God Alone
  5. Is God comprised of three persons, or is He just one person?
  6. What Does the Bible Say About Free Will? Is God in Control?

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  • Declaring Your Power (thedivinecovenant.wordpress.com)
    Let it be known to all past, present and future, that this most sacred Covenant known as Pactum De Singularis Caelum, also known as the Covenant of One Heaven, is registered, recorded and recognized in all Heaven and the Universe as the deed that has lawfully conveyed any and all property back to the Society of One Heaven, so that no Level 6 Life Form, person, higher order spirit, entity or aggregate may claim to hold separate title, possession, occupation or ownership of property, unless it has been legitimately granted through the Society of One Heaven or an associated entity;
  • Immeasurably More (poynterjourney.wordpress.com)
    I love the word “immeasurably” – too large to measure! That is our God! He is able to do more than we could ever think or imagine because He is the bomb like that!I think we underestimate God way too much.  We put Him in our mind like He is a human.  Humans fall short, humans fail, humans let each other down.  God is not a flawed human – He’s a Perfect God and He loves you beyond what you could ever imagine.
  • “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible” The DalaiLama (pocketperspectives.wordpress.com)
    Sometimes, it might seem easy to access a sense of kindness. Other times, it seems, at least for me, a bit more “challenging.”  ( “whenever possible” seems to be my range… “always possible” is an aspiration: “look, far away there  in the distance are my highest aspirations”...Louisa May Alcott )
  • An Encounter with the Dalai Lama (asiasketches.wordpress.com)
    If there was a reason we chose McLeod Ganj, it was to be in the Himalayas and encounter a bit of Tibetan culture. We had no idea we would attend a teaching by the Dalai Lama.
    +
    Buddhists must first respect all religions. First respect, then learn, understand. Buddha not want all the world Buddhist, not want all Buddhist teach Buddhism” and I try in vain to imagine the leaders of other major religions saying something similar.He relates the importance of religious pluralism and then says, “OK, so, let’s have some tea,” and releases a deep sincere belly laugh as he raises his cup. The seated admirers raise cups and drink and eat their biscuits.
  • “If you think y… (js250226.wordpress.com)
    “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try getting in bed with a mosquito.”- Dalai Lama XIV
  • Pope Francis I: The Catholic Dalai Lama? (elephantjournal.com)
    Pope Francis:“It is clear that, when we show respect for the religion of our neighbours or when we offer them our good wishes on the occasion of a religious celebration, we simply seek to share their joy, without making reference to the content of their religious convictions.”
  • Gerald O’Donnell ~ Happy Thanksgiving 2013 And Beyond (shiftfrequency.com)
    It is customary in many countries around the world and part of ancient traditions to join in thanksgiving festivities addressed to the Creator for the bounties and the harvest that have been bestowed upon each of us in the prior year.This tradition is not only part of the new world but is as old as mankind’s birth as an organized family and community.
    +

    What really counts is what is alive: humanity, and its living environment of the natural world. What counts is what has consciousness, which is part of the Divine, and not what is but dead matter and dying dreams created by fear and lack-oriented consciousness.

    What really counts is to decide, in common accord, to enter a bountiful oriented consciousness, that knows that all that is needed is already present, some of it in yet unmanifest format, ready to be discovered and activated by us, but most of it already in manifested format.

    What is needed, is to dream and act for the good of all humanity and be willing to gift unconditionally in the name of unconditional Love your presents, and presence to all, without expecting anything in return, as a mother or a father would want to gift to their child.
    +
    You will notice that all other old forms of lack and fear-based systems have all been fundamentally strengthened in recent times, on purpose, as a lesson for all of humanity to feel their painful consequences. These will soon be witnessed, by all of you, as fully and terminally imploding under their own weight as they show us the misguided choices and roads they caused us to travel and travail in hardship for thousands of years.

  • Unpacking Unthankfulness (ccmirvine.org)
    … we are minimizing God’s grace and goodness and trampling on His glory by belittling what He has done for us? Unthankfulness isn’t just a rude or inconsiderate act, it is an affront to God Himself. That is how unthankfulness is offensive to God.
    +
    We have seen the offensiveness of unthankfulness, but what about the effect that this sin has on us?
    +
    If we do not destroy this sin of unthankfulness, it has the potential to destroy us.
  • All BEings are Divine (amuseinharmony.wordpress.com)
    all beings, including human beings are divine manifestations of Creator Source on the physical earth plane materialized in various forms for the purpose of expansion. the earth is mother to us all. we are organisms formed from her womb. as she ascends, so shall we. the mother loves her humans as she does all creatures or our existence would no longer be. our love and unity with her and all her inhabitants is our duty as earth walkers.
    "Mother Earth" by Karl Bang
  • Words Of God (thedivinecovenant.wordpress.com)
    Before any higher order society, religion, or civilization existed within the star system we call the Solar System; Before the first thoughts, symbols or words were ever conceived, drawn or uttered by our higher order flesh ancestors; Before even matter itself existed, the idea of existence did exist in the form of that which we call God, the Universal, the Absolute, the ALL, the Divine Unique Collective Awareness;
  • Tibet in India (asiasketches.wordpress.com)
    Repression of the Tibetan way of life in Tibet and the draw of education at the Tibetan Children’s Village in McLeod Ganj pull these children to India. The stronger magnet, however, is the chance to see and be in the presence of the 14th Dalai Lama, who lives in McLeod Ganj. For Tibetans, the Dalai Lama is the closest thing to a god that exists. In China, Tibetans have been led to believe that he died in 1960.
  • Dalai Lama speaks on harmony to religious followers at Tokyo temple (japandailypress.com)
    The famous leader went on to explain that most of the problems humans encounter are of their own making, and thinking that they are all different from one another. This kind of thinking has a tendency to separate people instead of uniting them. His speech centered on the essential “oneness” of all people and emphasized on the divisiveness that comes with focusing on the “them” and “us,” rather than on the “we”, as a whole. Religious harmony is one thing that His Holiness has committed himself to, and hopes that it is something that Japan can contribute to as well.
  • China vows to silence Dalai Lama in Tibet (nation.com.pk)
    The Dalai Lama, who fled to India in 1959 after a failed uprising against Chinese rule, says he advocates greater autonomy for Tibetans rather than independence.
    Chen referred to Tibet as “a front line of the struggle against separatism” and vowed to “strengthen the role of party committees at every level, as the sole power”, in the editorial.
    Tensions between Tibetans and the Chinese government continue run high, with more than 120 members of the minority setting themselves on fire in protest in recent years, leading to a security crackdown.

Wetenschap en religie zijn met elkaar te rijmen

„Wetenschap en religie [worden] niet langer als onverenigbaar beschouwd.” — The Daily Telegraph, Londen, 26 mei 1999.

The Daily Telegraph's new offices and printing...

De relativiteit van “Nieuw” en kennisvoorziening of wetenschapstoelichting – “The Daily Telegraph’s new offices and printing premises in Fleet Street, London. Illustrated London News, 1882.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bij zowel wetenschap als religie, in hun edelste vorm, gaat het om het zoeken naar waarheid. De wetenschap ontdekt een wereld waar een luisterrijke orde heerst, een heelal dat duidelijke blijken van intelligent ontwerp bevat. De ware religie maakt die ontdekkingen zinvol door te leren dat het intellect van de Schepper achter het ontwerp schuilt dat in de stoffelijke wereld zichtbaar is.

„Ik merk dat mijn inzicht in de wetenschap enorm verrijkt wordt door religie”, zegt de moleculair bioloog Francis Collins. Hij vervolgt: „Wanneer ik iets ontdek over het menselijk genoom, ervaar ik een gevoel van ontzag voor het mysterie van het leven en zeg ik bij mezelf: ’Tjonge, alleen God wist dit eerder.’ Het is een heerlijke en ontroerende gewaarwording, die me helpt God te begrijpen en waarderen en waardoor de wetenschap me nog meer voldoening schenkt.”

Wat zal iemand helpen wetenschap en religie met elkaar te rijmen?

Een voortdurend zoeken

Accepteer de beperkingen:

Het eind van ons zoeken naar antwoorden in verband met het oneindige heelal en de eindeloze ruimte en tijd is nog niet in zicht. De bioloog Lewis Thomas merkte op:

„Er zal geen eind komen aan dit proces, omdat we nu eenmaal een onverzadigbaar weetgierige soort zijn, onderzoekend, speurend en ernaar strevend de dingen te begrijpen. We krijgen het nooit opgelost. Ik kan me geen eindpunt voorstellen waar iedereen een zucht zal slaken en zal zeggen: ’Nu begrijpen we alles.’ Het zal altijd ons verstand te boven gaan.”

Wanneer het gaat om religieuze waarheid is de omvang eveneens onbegrensd. Een van de Bijbelschrijvers, Paulus, verklaarde:

„Nu zien we alleen raadselachtige weerkaatsingen in een spiegel . . . Mijn kennis is nu gedeeltelijk.” — 1 Korinthiërs 13:12, The New English Bible.

Gedeeltelijke kennis over zowel wetenschappelijke als religieuze kwesties weerhoudt ons er echter niet van goed gefundeerde conclusies te trekken op basis van de feiten waarover we beschikken. We hoeven niet in details te weten hoe de zon is ontstaan om er absoluut zeker van te zijn dat hij morgen op zal komen.

Laat de bekende feiten spreken:

English: Bible in candlelight.

Een licht in de duisternis te vinden in de Bijbel, het Woord van God (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Bij het zoeken naar antwoorden moeten we ons laten leiden door deugdelijke beginselen. Als we voor de bewijsvoering niet de hoogste normen hanteren, zijn we makkelijk te misleiden bij onze zoektocht naar wetenschappelijke en religieuze waarheid. Laten we reëel zijn: niemand van ons kan ooit alle wetenschappelijke kennis en denkbeelden, die thans reusachtige bibliotheken vullen, evalueren. Daar staat tegenover dat de Bijbel in een handzaam compendium van geestelijk onderwijs voorziet dat we kunnen beschouwen. De bijbel wordt terdege gestaafd door bekende feiten.*

Voor kennis in het algemeen geldt echter dat het oprechte moeite kost om feit van speculatie en werkelijkheid van bedrog te onderscheiden — zowel in de wetenschap als in de godsdienst. Zoals de Bijbelschrijver Paulus aanraadde, moeten we „de tegenstrijdigheden der valselijk zo genoemde ’kennis’” afwijzen .

20 O Timo̱theüs, behoed wat u is toevertrouwd+ en keer u af van de holle klanken waardoor wat heilig is geweld wordt aangedaan, en van de tegenstrijdigheden der valselijk zo genoemde „kennis”.+ 21 Door met zulk een [kennis] te geuren, zijn sommigen van het geloof afgeweken.+ (1 Timotheüs 6:20).

Om de wetenschap en de Bijbel met elkaar te rijmen, moeten we de feiten voor zich laten spreken, waardoor we gissingen en speculaties vermijden, en nagaan hoe het ene feit het andere staaft en aanvult.

Wanneer we bijvoorbeeld inzien dat de Bijbel de term „dag” gebruikt voor periodes van uiteenlopende duur, begrijpen we dat het verslag over de zes scheppingsdagen in Genesis niet in tegenspraak hoeft te zijn met de wetenschappelijke conclusie dat de leeftijd van de aarde ongeveer vier en een half miljard jaar is. Volgens de Bijbel bestond de aarde al een niet-gespecificeerde tijd voordat de scheppingsdagen begonnen. (Zie de voetnota „De scheppingsdagen — Elk 24 uur lang?”) Zelfs als de wetenschap zichzelf corrigeert en een andere leeftijd voor onze planeet oppert, gaan de uitspraken in de Bijbel nog op. In plaats van de Bijbel tegen te spreken, voorziet de wetenschap ons in dit en veel andere gevallen juist ruimschoots van aanvullende informatie over de stoffelijke wereld, in het verleden en het heden.

Geloof, geen lichtgelovigheid:

De Bijbel verschaft ons kennis over God en zijn voornemens die uit geen enkele andere bron te putten is. Waarom moeten we er vertrouwen in stellen?
De Bijbel zelf nodigt ons uit zijn nauwkeurigheid te testen. Sta eens stil bij de historische authenticiteit, de bruikbaarheid, de eerlijkheid van de schrijvers en de integriteit van de bijbel. Door een onderzoek in te stellen naar de nauwkeurigheid van de Bijbel, met inbegrip van de uitspraken van wetenschappelijke aard en, nog overtuigender, de onfeilbare vervulling van honderden profetieën door de eeuwen heen tot op de huidige dag, kan men er vol overtuiging in gaan geloven als het Woord Gods. Geloof in de Bijbel is geen lichtgelovigheid maar een gefundeerd vertrouwen in de nauwkeurigheid van Schriftuurlijke uitspraken.

Heb respect voor de wetenschap; erken de waarde van geloof:

English: Bible of Neapol

Ook al mogen sommigen het doen uitschijnen heeft de Bijbel geen twee gezichten en spreekt zij niet over een drie-hoofdige of drie-ene godheid. – Bijbel van Neapol (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Ernstige Bijbelstudenten, zoals de Vereniging van Bijbelstudenten,  Jehovah’s Getuigen en Christadelphians nodigen mensen die zowel wetenschappelijk als religieus onbevooroordeeld zijn uit, deel te nemen aan een oprechte speurtocht naar de waarheid op beide terreinen.
In hun gemeenten stimuleren de ernstige Bijbelonderzoekers gezond respect voor de wetenschap en haar bewezen bevindingen en tevens de innige overtuiging dat religieuze waarheid alleen te vinden is in de Bijbel, die ronduit en ruimschoots onderbouwd verklaart het Woord van God te zijn.

Indien een Getuige van Jehovah aan uw deur langs komt durf hem of haar te bevragen en vergelijk datgene wat deze God liefhebbende personen vertellen en wat er in de Bijbel staat. Indien u hun Bijbelvertaling niet vertrouwd durf gerust te vergelijken met uw eigen Bijbelvertaling.

De apostel Paulus verklaarde:

„Toen gij Gods woord hebt ontvangen, hetwelk gij van ons hebt gehoord, hebt gij het niet als het woord van mensen aangenomen, maar, wat het ook inderdaad is, als het woord van God.” — 1 Thessalonicenzen 2:13.

Weet dat Woord van God te vinden en veelvuldig te raadplegen om er de nodige antwoorden in te vinden.

Natuurlijk zijn er, net als bij de wetenschap, schadelijke leugens en praktijken in de godsdienst binnengedrongen. Er bestaat dan ook ware religie en valse religie. Er zijn heel wat religieuze verenigingen in het Christendom die maar al te graag veel mensen lokten met dingen die de bevolking graag hoorde. Heel wat denominaties hebben allerlei dingen aan de mensen opgelegd die eigenlijk niet in overeenstemming zijn met de Bijbel. Zij werden rond de oren geslagen met allerlei dogma‘s, of zaken die zij zo maar moesten geloven omdat het begrip van die leerstelling het menselijk verstand zou te boven gaan. Zodra de mensen de Bijbel werkelijk beter gaan onderzoeken overvalt hen echter een vertrouwensbreuk en zijn zij zeer ontgoocheld hoe hun kerk hen jaren dingen heeft doen geloven die helemaal niet zo in de Bijbel verteld staan.

Na hun ontgoocheling haken meerdere mensen van het geloof af, toch zijn er anderen die juist dan verder gaan grasduinen en dieper op zoek gaan in de Heilige Schrift om de Waarheid te vinden. Hun verder onderzoek maakt dat zij afstand willen nemen van die opgelegde leugens. Daarom hebben veel mensen de georganiseerde gevestigde religies verlaten om lid te worden van een christelijke gemeente van een groep die buiten de gewone traditionele grootkerken valt. Ze zijn teleurgesteld in het gebrek aan bereidheid bij hun vroegere religie om menselijke overleveringen en mythen af te zweren en in plaats daarvan de ontdekte of geopenbaarde waarheid te aanvaarden. Voor hen lijkt het alsof zij daar de enige Gods getrouwe Bijbelonderzoekers kunnen vinden. In vele plaatsen zijn zij de enigen die werkelijk uit gaan om het Woord van God te verkondigen. Maar als mensen goed uitkijken zullen zij nog andere vredelievende Christenen vinden dan de goed gekende Getuigen van Jehovah die zo getrouw mogelijk naar het Woord van God willen leven.

Daar komt nog bij dat ware christenen een echt doel in het leven vinden, gebaseerd op een gedegen kennis van de Schepper, zoals hij in de Bijbel wordt geopenbaard, en van zijn bekendgemaakte bedoelingen met de mensheid en de planeet waarop we leven. Jehovah’s Getuigen kunnen uw levenspad kruisen. U kan van hen gebruik maken om meer te weten te komen over dat Woord van God en hun kijk op het wereldgebeuren. Maar weet dat er naast hen nog andere Bijbelgetrouwe christenen zijn die eveneens uitkijken om u te leren kennen en in hun gemeenschap te ontmoeten.

Weet dat, ook al komt u ze niet dadelijk tegen, er meerdere Bijbelonderzoekers of ernstige ‘Bijbelstudenten‘ zijn die u willen helpen als u vragen over de Bijbel hebt. Zij  die zoeken mogen zo bevredigende, redelijke, op de Bijbel gebaseerde antwoorden ontvangen op vragen als:

Waarom zijn we hier? Waar gaan we heen?

Zij zullen die informatie heel graag met u delen.

*

Voetnota:

1: Feiten van de Bijbel: Zoek ook om te lezen: De bijbel — Gods woord of dat van mensen?, uitgegeven door Jehovah’s Getuigen.

Creationisten die van mening zijn dat fossielen de evolutietheorie tegenspreken

2a: Het creationisme is in de eerste plaats geloof in een schepping. Dit scheppingsgeloof wordt met name in de monotheïstische religies van fundamenteel belang geacht.

De scheppingsdagen — Elk 24 uur lang?
  Sommige fundamentalisten beweren dat niet evolutie maar creationisme de verklaring is voor de voormenselijke geschiedenis. Ze verklaren dat de hele stoffelijke schepping werd voortgebracht in slechts zes dagen van elk 24 uur, zo’n 6000 à 10.000 jaar geleden. Maar daarmee propageren ze een onschriftuurlijke leer die voor velen aanleiding is geweest om de spot te drijven met de Bijbel.
  Is een dag in de Bijbel altijd letterlijk 24 uur lang? Genesis 2:4 spreekt over „de dag waarop Jehovah God aarde en hemel maakte”. Die ene dag omvat alle zes de scheppingsdagen uit Genesis hoofdstuk 1. Volgens het bijbelse taalgebruik is een dag een afgebakende periode en kan hij duizend jaar of vele duizenden jaren lang zijn. De Bijbelse scheppingsdagen laten een tijdsduur van duizenden jaren voor elk ervan toe. Bovendien bestond de aarde reeds voordat de scheppingsdagen begonnen (Genesis 1:1). Op dit punt is het bijbelverslag dus verenigbaar met ware wetenschap.
Laat dit ene feit echter niet aan UW aandacht ontgaan, geliefden, dat bij Jehovah* één dag als duizend jaar is en duizend jaar als één dag.+ (2 Petrus 3:8).
  Over beweringen dat de scheppingsdagen slechts 24 letterlijke uren lang waren, merkt de moleculair bioloog Francis Collins op:
„Niets in de moderne geschiedenis heeft serieuze geloofsopvattingen meer schade toegebracht dan het creationisme.”
2bis: Creationistische wetenschap, een tak van het creationisme, probeert met onderzoek en de theorievorming het ontstaan van de aarde en het ontstaan van het leven te verklaren als scheppingsdaad en de gangbare wetenschap te ontkrachten. Dit wordt in de wetenschappelijke wereld algemeen opgevat als pseudowetenschap.

+

Voorgaande: Stemt de Bijbel overeen met de wetenschap

Engelse versie / English version:  Reconciling Science and Religion

++

Aanvullend leesmateriaal:

  1. Zoeken naar waarheid, studiemateriaal, Jehovah Getuigen, ex-Jehovah Getuigen en anderen
  2. Waarheid speelt nooit valse rollen van welke aard dan ook
  3. Wat Jezus Deed: Wanneer waarheid niet het doel is & Belangrijkste dingen eerst
  4. Geleerd en Gelovig
  5. Vaticaan publiceert procesakten van Galileo Galilei
  6. Wat is Gods doel met de aarde?
  7. We kunnen Gods doel niet zien
  8. De naakte waarheid is altijd beter dan de best geklede leugen
  9. Leugen, handvat dat alle instrumenten past
  10. Priester bederft kerst volgens ouders
  11. Religie en samenleving één geheel
  12. Hersenen beheersen geloof in religie
  13. Overtuiging voor de dingen die God beloofde
  14. Niet alle Getuigen behorend tot Getuige van Jehovah

+++

  • Ohio court upholds firing in school Bible case (star-telegram.com)
    A public school district was legally justified in firing a science instructor who refused to remove religious materials from his classroom, a divided Ohio Supreme Court said Tuesday in a ruling that stopped short of addressing issues the case raised about the teaching of creationism and intelligent design.

    +

    A lawyer for the school board had said Freshwater waved a Bible at his students, distributed religious pamphlets and talked about creationism in evolution lessons, violating the constitutional separation between church and state. Messages were left Tuesday for the superintendent and attorneys for the school district, about 40 miles northeast of Columbus.

    Dunaway had argued that accounts of Freshwater’s conduct were exaggerated and that he was exercising academic freedom to explore controversial ideas.

    Freshwater was dismissed after investigators reported he preached Christian beliefs in class when discussing topics such as evolution and homosexuality and didn’t remove religious materials as ordered. He also was accused of using a science tool to burn students’ arms with the image of a cross, but that allegation was resolved and wasn’t listed as a factor in his firing.

  • Misconception with religion. (venusxfaith.wordpress.com)
    To this man, as well as a lot of people their perception of a super religious person is someone who knocks on doors like a Jehovah’s Witness, attends church daily, but do not follow the laws of the Gospel. To many, super religious means hypocrisy. I do not believe in the term “super religious.” I am a Christian woman, and I was born under sin.
    +
    However, the more I learned and the more I picked up my Bible I started to build a relationship with Him. I cannot explain to you how it feels, but it is the best feeling in the world. I realize that I am nothing without Him. Of course I still go through trials, but I tell myself that God is bigger than my problem and with Faith I will get through it.
  • Secular Sunday: Losing My Religion, Part 2: Islam (rebekkaksteg.com)
    I have been asked several times to share my story of how I went from growing up as an Evangelical Christian, to a Qur’an-only Muslim and finally as an Atheist. The only “beliefs” that give me no cognitive dissonance.
  • Rethinking Faith: Death of the Traditional God (thelonewaste.wordpress.com)
    If science proved God’s non-existent, how do you think the world would react? The world inhabited by the believers of a monotheistic religion. I’m sure the common image to our imagination is a sight of burning cities, crying infants, and and more suicides than a cult Kool-Aid party. But, is that what would really happen? Are people so centered around the idea of a God, that they must cling to the actual fact of Its true existence? Absolutely not. Actually, many people have never seen a glimpse of a God or a higher power. It’s all a creation in their passionate hearts and hopeful minds. It’s the phenomenon called faith. So, telling a person of faith that their God doesn’t exist is like trying to tell a child that their best imaginary friend is dead. They’ll never quit believing.
  • The Anthropological Value of the Bible (declameren.wordpress.com)
    “Yes. Generally all fiction is bullshit. But no amen from me. The Anthropological value of the bible is undermined by crap like this”
    +
    On all cultural levels – art, music, religion, society, legislative, morality. It permeates everything and has saturated the western world with its influence. It has given rise to no more than 85 various different Judeo-Christian religious structures, with a total of 847 denominations sorted in some or other form under the 85. The Bible was translated in its complete form into 469 languages and in part into 2454 languages. There are 1 534 946 000 Jews and Christians (i.e. People Directly influenced by the bible) in the world today. This is 21% of the world’s population.  More than 51% of the world population find some other indirect intrinsic value in the Bible.
  • If You’re Looking For A “Bible Beater” She Isn’t Here… (notyouraveragepreachersdaughter.wordpress.com)
    people think that since my daddy’s a pastor, I am going to shove some biblical prophecies down their throat at their first mention of what they did over the weekend. I am human, I make mistakes, I get in trouble, and I understand struggles.
  • Science & Religion: The Paramount Candour (science-religion-the-paramount-candour)
    science, like religion, is ultimately built on a platform of beliefs and assumptions. No one can prove that the universe is mathematical or that the same laws that seem to hold in the here and now can be applied to the distant quasars or to the first moments of time. These are among the tenets of the faith, marking the point at which reasoning can begin. It is not just the coincidence of the approaching millennium that is inspiring hopes for what would be the grandest of unified theories. But science, too, is feeling its limits, leaving a vacuum that religion is happy to rush into. Neuroscientists can explain the brain, on a rough level, as networks of communicating cells called neurons. But it is hard to imagine a satisfying theory of the conscious experience — what it is like to be alive. And no amount of theorizing is apt to converge on a persuasive explanation of where the mathematical laws are written or what happened before the Big Bang. This is where religion interferes and it depicts the creation of the world and other things science cannot explain, and this shows that there is no skirmish between science and religion.
  • Mendel Medal Recipient Seeks to Reconcile Science and Religion (vutimes.wordpress.com)
    Why do so many people have the impression that one cannot be a scientist and still profess faith? What exactly does it mean to do science? When Dr. Hones’ students are learning Newton’s three laws of motion, are they doing science? Not really. Science is rarely, if ever, done in a classroom setting. What, then, is science? Most people think of science and think of white lab coats and test tubes and rather uninteresting people that always seem to be doing work. Is that what science is? Nope. Science is an endeavor. It is an endless journey to use our imperfect tools to generate imperfect data to be analyzed with our imperfect minds.
    The Villanova University Mendel Medal is an award presented to outstanding scientists, aware of the limitations of science, seeking to bridge the gap between science and religion.
    +
    the pursuit of science, despite its imperfections, is a worthy study, we can begin to realize how there exists no way for science and religion to conflict. Religion, and faith itself, are ultimately a search for truths. Who/What is God? Is there an afterlife? What existed before our universe? Did God create our universe? These are religious questions that science cannot possibly answer through measuring imperfect values or examining imperfect data sets. The scientist who claims he or she has discovered something that ultimately disproves the existence of a God, this scientist has made the grievous error of misunderstanding the nature of his or her work and its inherent uncertainty.
  • Ohio Supreme court: it’s legal to fire a creationist teacher (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    If you follow creationism, you’ll be familiar with the case of John Freshwater, a teacher of eighth-grade science students (i.e., 14-year-olds) in Ohio. He was a goddie who taught creationism, kept a Bible on his desk, bedecked the classroom walls with religious pictures, and became notorious for burning the sign of the cross into one of his student’s arms to demonstrate the principle of a Tesla coil.  Here’s Freshwater’s demonstration of “science”, an exhibit used in the civil court case against him (it was settled out of court)
  • Triangulations : “Studies show…” as a Smokescreen (triangulations.wordpress.com)
    People who preface their sales points by saying “studies show” may also be trying to say, “look, this is science, don’t question it.” or “I know my stuff, don’t question me.”  So it is not just the religion hucksters who play the game.
    +
    beware: In developed countries, among the highly educated, science is the new Bible and “Studies shows” is the equivalent of “In the original Greek” for Bible pushers. Don’t be hoodwinked by either.

 

Wetenschappers, filosofen hun zeggen, geloven en waarheden

Zoektocht naar zingeving

Door de eeuwen heen hebben heel wat mensen naar antwoorden gezocht op de verschillende vragen die meerdere mensen bezig hielden, zoals waar komen wij vandaan, hoe is de wereld ontstaan, wat is er in het heelal, hoe kunnen wij ons leven beïnvloeden en verbeteren, waar gaan wij naar toe wat gebeurt er na de dood, enz.

Mensen hebben hun toevlucht gezocht bij allerlei theorieën en godsdiensten. Langs één kant waren er die geloofden dat de natuurkrachten godheden waren die het leven beheersten. Anderen geloofden dat er eerder één bepaald iets of iemand was dat zorgde dat dingen in ontstaan kwamen. Een hele groep mensen nam hun toevlucht in godsdienst terwijl anderen dan weer juist vonden dat zo iets totaal overbodig was. Zodra mensen rationele verklaringen hadden voor angstaanjagende verschijnselen als donder en bliksem, bleken er voor hen dan ook geen geheimen meer te zijn en leek het allemaal zo simpel dat er niemand of niets boven moest staan.

Afwijking van vroeger geloof

Nederlands: De dichtheid is te berekenen door ...

Ideeën zoals over de dichtheid die is te berekenen door massa delen door volume. Maar met deze driehoek kun je ook de andere eenheden berekenen. je legt de vinger op de eenheid die je wilt weten, en dan blijven er twee eenheden over. de streep staat voor delen door. en de punt staat voor “keer”. voorbeeld: leg de vinger op de m van massa. dan staat er dus: ρ × V = m (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Naast hen die de Schepper God via hun ouders en voorouders kenden en bleven eren waren er die mensen die afgeweken waren van dat geloof in die Ene Ware God en hun toevlucht zochten in het animisme, vervolgens in voorouders die in de hemel hun eigen leven blijven leiden, en later goden. Men zocht naar verklaringen voor aanvankelijk onverklaarbare verschijnselen.

geeft toe dat ook wetenschap een religieus kantje begint te hebben, waarmee hij niet bedoelt dat ‘geloven’ in Charles Darwin iets van dezelfde strekking is als geloven in een god.

Er zijn genoeg wetenschappelijk solide bewijzen voor het bestaan van natuurlijke en seksuele selectie om het geëmmer van creationisten te kunnen ontkrachten. Voor de vele zelfingenomen individuen die vinden dat zij zo waardevol zijn dat ze wel door een almachtige god geschapen móéten zijn, is de evolutietheorie een nachtmerrie. Die impliceert immers dat wij het resultaat zijn van een lang proces via allerhande tussenstadia met monsterachtige vissen, spitsmuisachtige mormels en – godbetert – voorouderlijke apen.

Natuurlijk ziet hij het gevaar uit Amerika komen, dat ook Nederland al begint in te palmen en waar creationisten een zeer enge geloofsopvatting willen doordrukken en negeren wat God hier op aarde tijdens de vele miljarden jaren heeft laten ontwikkelen of ‘evolueren’.

Het al of niet geloven of overtuiging hebben

De eerste betekenis van geloven is de veronderstelling dat iets waar of niet waar is. Het ‘Geloven‘ is iets aannemen als een zekerheid of een overtuiging in iets waar men zich volledig wil op toe leggen en niet wil ontkennen. Algemeen betreft het niet iets dat voor altijd vast moet staan, want daar heeft de geschiedenis meermaals bewezen dat de meeste mensen in datgene wat zij geloofden veranderingen hebben aangebracht. Van een kinderlijk geloof ging het naar een volwassen gedragen geloof waar men fundamenten heeft opgebouwd op stelling die men wenste voor waar te nemen.

Leerkrachten en doorgeven van kennis

English: Caricature of Charles Darwin from Van...

Karikatuur van Charles Darwin uit Vanity Fair magazine met de hoofding “Natuurlijke Selectie”. (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Doorheen de geschiedenis kon men zo opgroeiende kinderen vinden die dingen aannamen van hun ouderen, ouders en onderwijzers, maar met de tijd meer gingen ingaan tegen hun eigen  leerkrachten. Dit maakte zelfs dat sommigen niet in hun proeven slaagden omdat die heren die hen les gaven overtuigd waren van hun gelijk. Maar met de tijd konden die onderzoekers verder dingen ontdekken en bewijzen zodat de goegemeente toch moest over gaan tot het gelijk geven van die mensen, wetenschappers, waar het zich eerst tegen verzette.
Steeds betrof het leerstellingen, gedachten waar men aan wenste te houden omdat zij een zekere vorm van zekerheid gaven.  Het ging om inschattingen die men maakte dat een bewering met een zekere waarschijnlijkheid waar of onwaar zou kunnen zijn. Deze waarschijnlijkheid is in het geval van ‘geloven’ groter dan wanneer men ‘geen idee’ heeft, en kleiner dan wanneer men iets ‘zeker weet’. Deze waarschijnlijkheden worden door individuen persoonlijk toegekend. In deze betekenis van geloven geldt dus dat er geen zekerheid is over de kwestie. Maar daarnaast is er dat stellige vertrouwen in de zekerheid die men denkt te vinden. Er is het hebben van vertrouwen of de overtuiging in een verwachting in iets of iemand, wat bijvoorbeeld tot uiting komt in de uitspraak “ze gelooft in mij”. In deze betekenis gaat het dus om de persoonlijke overtuiging dat iets zo is, gaat gebeuren of vaststaat. Geloven is dan vertrouwen en vervolgens stellen dat iets zo is.

Het waarin geloven

Nu heeft de mens zich al vele ‘kopbrekens’ bezorgd over de vraag van dat geloven en waarin te geloven. Weten en geloven (in de betekenis van overtuiging en vertrouwen) gaan vaak samen, en staan niet in tegenstelling tot elkaar. Geloven en weten of kennis hebben in de betekenis van een wetenschappelijk bewezen waarheid of onwaarheid staan echter vaker tegenover elkaar. Als een feit bewezen is (‘de aarde is rond’), is het moeilijk te geloven in het tegendeel ervan (zou men zeggen)

Bij gebrek aan feitelijke kennis is het menselijk individu echter beperkt tot het geloven van een veronderstelling of het tegendeel daarvan. Dit heeft dan ook tot gevolg gehad dat de mensheid haar geloof in bepaalde dingen regelmatig heeft moeten bijstellen. De logica was dikwijls ver zoek en vele mensen dachten meer zekerheden te vinden in traditionele waarden en overtuigingen die van generatie tot generatie werden overgeleverd. Naast vaste waarden die men wenste aan te nemen of te geloven waren er ook de gedachten naar het onbekende waar men een vermoeden wilde uiten dat men liefst als waar of als dusdanig wenste aan te nemen. Dit was dan een geloven in logische zin, dat kan geïnterpreteerd worden als het toekennen van een waarschijnlijkheid aan de veronderstelling dat deze waar is (bijvoorbeeld: “Ik geloof dat het morgen zal ophouden met regenen.”). De traditionele psychologie heeft vanouds geloven behandeld als was het de eenvoudigste vorm van geestelijke weergave en daardoor een van de bouwstenen van de bewuste gedachte.

Onweerlegbare of herkenbare

Wij moeten er echter  van bewust zijn dat het geloven meer vergt dan een gewoon aanvaarden dat iets zus of zo zou zijn. Velen vergissen zich dat het geloof steeds moet kunnen gehandhaafd worden door een onbepaalbaar iets of veel heeft te maken met het onweerlegbare. De Kerk heeft hiervoor vele dogma’s geschapen, waarbij zij mensen er toe brengt om onverklaarbare dingen zo maar als waar aan te nemen omdat zij het menselijke verstand te boven zouden gaan.

Zoals meerdere filosofen neem ook ik aan (= geloof ik) dat geloven normaal gesproken een persoonlijke keuze moet zijn om tot zekere hoogte spontaan en willekeurig over te gaan tot het aannemen van zaken of gedachten als ‘waarheden’ of ‘onmiskenbaarheden’. Sommigen menen dat men kan kiezen om een zaak te onderzoeken maar dat men niet kan kiezen het te geloven. Hier gaan vele geloofsgemeenschappen verkeerd door onweerlegbaar zaken op te leggen die iedereen maar moet aan nemen ook al kan men ze niet verklaren of verder uitdiepen.

Gevoelen, geloof en filosofie

Willard Van Orman Quine

Eveneens moeten wij toegeven dat er mensen zijn die soms dingen niet geloven omdat zij het niet willen geloven, in het bijzonder in zaken waarin men emotioneel betrokken is. Het gevoelsleven is namelijk een zwakke schakel in de geloofsvorming, die ook mede bepaald wordt door de invloeden die van uit de omgeving ‘gebombardeerd’ worden op de zoekende of afvragende persoon. Door dat de wereld regelmatig geconfronteerd werd door die zoektocht naar waarheden en naar het ‘wat geloven’ zijn er ook meerdere filosofen die belangrijke bijdragen hebben geleverd aan de ideeën over kennis en geloven zoals onder andere René Descartes, Benedictus de Spinoza, David Hume, Immanuel Kant en de logicus in de analytische traditie uit de 20e eeuw Willard Van Orman Quine, volgens wie filosofie meer dan slechts een conceptuele analyse kan zijn.

De wereld kon meerdere denkers vinden die ook zochten de wetenschap te verstaan vanuit de middelen of bronnen van de wetenschap zelf. Daarbij kan men de vraag stellen of zij openheid in hun gedachten hadden om bij meerdere bronnen te rade te gaan of voorkeuren hadden om zich op een welbepaalde groep denkers te richten. Hierdoor kreeg men een afwijking van het objectief denken en belanden veel wetenschappers in het subjectief denken. Geloof en rationalisme en logica werden soms aangetroffen als stoorzenders in het zelfde vaarwater. In de religieuze context werden zij zo soms ten onrechte tegenover elkaar geplaatst, als zouden geloof en rede of verstand elkaar uitsluiten. Er wordt wel beweerd dat waar de wetenschap ophoudt, het geloven begint maar dit is een discutabele opvatting. Er zijn immers ook stromingen die een synthese tot stand proberen te brengen tussen religie en wetenschap: zie bijvoorbeeld Theosofie, Ken Wilber of Intelligent design.

Zin om te bepalen

Hier in het Westen willen wij alles zo graag definiëren. Alles moet in vakjes kunnen opgedeeld worden en moet een etiketje of label krijgen. Alles wat niet in het kader past willen wij ook dikwijls van de hand doen als onwaarheden of ‘rommel’ (‘paardenstront’ of ‘bullshit’) In veel culturen, zoals bij de traditionele Aboriginals in Australië, zijn er geen woorden om geloof en weten te differentiëren. Geloven en weten zijn daar één.

Hier in het Westen moet dat ook verenigbaar kunnen zijn, ook al ‘geloven’ daar veel mensen niet in. Maar alles is voor handen om dat weten en leven samen te laten gaan in een leven met kennis en inzicht voldoende om ons door het leven te krijgen. Het is niet omdat wij iets niet kunnen verklaren dat wij het niet zouden kunnen aannemen als iets dat door de eeuwen heen een vast staand feit is.  Als geschapen elementen, wezens die zijn of bestaan, moeten wij onder ogen zien dat wij eerst en vooral ‘wezens’ zijn. Maar als wezen moeten wij ook durven ‘wezen’ of ‘zijn’. Zonder het ‘zijn’ zijn wij niets. Hiertoe hebben wij eigenschappen in ons zelf die wij moeten ontginnen en leren gebruiken. Ieder van ons heeft de mogelijkheid om toegang te krijgen tot wijsheid, inzet, concentratie (of Samadhi  in het boeddhisme) en gewaarzijn. Volgens de Bijbel, dat wij als Woord van God beschouwen, moeten wij deze krachten als mens trachten te leren beheersen. Volgens dat Woord van God moeten wij aan ons zelf sleutelen om alle innerlijke elementen op elkaar af te stellen. Om een optimaal resultaat te bekomen moeten deze krachten in ons innerlijke in evenwicht komen of in balans zijn, vooraleer wij als mens kunnen slagen ten volle te zijn wie wij horen te zijn.

Vormen van aan te nemen houding

Volgens de Heilige Schrift (de Bijbel) is de correcte attitude essentieel en kan er zonder het werken aan zichzelf geen geloof zijn. Zonder werken is het geloof namelijk dood.

“ja, zoals het lichaam zonder geest dood is, zo is ook het geloof zonder werken dood.” (Jakobus 2:26 NB)

“Zo ook het geloof: als het geen werken inhoudt, is het dood, op zichzelf genomen.” (Jakobus 2:17 NB)

“Wil je erkennen, o lege mens, dat zo’n geloof zonder werken onwerkelijk is?(-)” (Jakobus 2:20 NB)

De Bijbel verzekerd ons dat wij moeten leren inzien dat ‘geloven’ geen zin heeft als wij niet tegelijk ook dóen wat God van ons vraagt. Geloof dat niet met daden  samengaat, is geen echt geloof volgens de Heilige Schrift en getuigd ook niet van dat geloven. Men kan wel zo veel zeggen maar als men er zich zelf er niet aan houdt zal dat ook anderen niet kunnen overtuigen van het gelijk.

Vast te stellen toestanden, verbanden en kwaliteiten

In de wereld zien wij dat de mens hoofdzakelijk naar de wetenschap streeft die zich berust op menselijk verklaarbare en in statistieken weer te geven vaststellingen. Men wil begrippen zien die men als een cognitieve eenheid, als mentale voorstelling van een of meer ideeën kan samenvatten in een hogere klasse van gelijkaardige of verwante verschijnselen of abstracte relaties. Zo heeft de mensheid ‘concepten‘ geschapen die op die manier de denkbeeldige objecten zijn waarmee filosofie wordt bedreven. Het gaat bij iedere filosofische benadering telkens om abstracte voorstellingen van toestanden, verbanden of kwaliteiten, die in de werkelijkheid worden onderscheiden en in een gezamenlijke denkvorm gebracht.

Nieuwe religie

Door de eeuwen heen zag men vele wetenschappers en filosofen hun ideeën verkondigen en wilden zij mensen doen geloven dat natuurkunde en de wetenschap het geloof hebben achterhaald. Vandaag krijgen wij ook soms de indruk dat wetenschappers een allesomvattende claim leggen op wat mensen nog mogen denken en geloven. Die wetenschap lijkt wel een soort nieuwe religie te zijn geworden. Men vindt ook daar meerdere kampen in (gelijk denominaties in de verscheidene kerken), die zich met momenten ook fel gaan bestrijden zoals wij in de kerkgemeenschappen ook zien waarbij de ene geloofsgroep fel afzet tegen de andere.

“Veel wetenschappers gaan zich aan forse uitspraken te buiten”

zegt hoogleraar fysica bij materiaalkunde Arie van den Beukel. Hij vervolgt:

‘Het leven heeft geen zin, het is het resultaat van toevalsprocessen’. ‘De mens is een schitterend ongeluk’; of een uitspraak van de fysicus Weinberg: ‘Hoe meer we het heelal leren kennen, des te zinlozer komt het ons voor’.

Hij onderzocht op welke wetenschappelijke basis dergelijke uitspraken berusten en kwam tot de onthutsende conclusie dat het gebakken lucht is. Geen wonder, voor ons, als wij zien hoe door de jaren heen de wetenschappelijke bevindingen moesten bijgeschroefd worden. Regelmatig moesten de schoolboeken gewijzigd worden met nieuwe wetenschappelijke inzichten, die telkens als dé waarheid werden verkocht, maar enkele jaren toch niet zo volledig de waarheid bleken te zijn.

Zoeken naar inzicht en kennis

Tower Hill Maar Deposits

Opmetingen en optekeningen. – Tower Hill Maar Deposits (Foto credit: only_point_five)

Veel wetenschappers doen echt bewust hun best om tot betere inzichten te komen. Met ernst trachten zij achter de waarheid te komen, maar vergeten daarbij wel eens hun nietigheid als mens. Allen zijn wij namelijk zeer beperkt en moeten wij inzien dat wij die beperktheden hebben. (Een moeilijk te verdragen iets.) Ook moeten wij beseffen dat elk van ons een product van zijn omgeving is, gevormd door onze ouders en onderwijzers in een cultuur die mee bepalend zal zijn voor de keuzes die wij zullen gaan maken. Hierbij kunnen wij ons niet van ontdoen dat die keuzebepaling ook mee gevormd zal worden door al die invloeden rondom ons. Dit zal tot gevolg hebben dat er een vorm van een soort vooringenomenheid zal zijn.

“Wanneer je een wetenschappelijke bril opzet, ontgaan de zinvragen je.”

Bekend de hoogleraar fysica van den Beukel.

Met de wetenschap zijn er verscheidenen die zich die wetenschappelijke boeken als geloofsboeken zijn gaan aan nemen. Sommigen zijn gaan denken dat wetenschap alles is. Het wetenschappelijk denken heeft het rationalisme van Descartes en het irrationalisme gebracht en verscheiden geloofsovertuigingen zoals het darwinisme en andere.

Wittgenstein staat in het centrum van van den Beukel zijn boek ‘Met andere ogen, over wetenschap en het zoeken naar zin’. Hij zegt over de OostenrijksBritse filosoof:

‘Waarover men niet spreken kan, daarover moet men zwijgen’, schreef Wittgenstein in zijn beroemde Tractatus. Wat Wittgenstein hiermee bedoelde, is dat het wetenschappelijk spreken zijn grenzen niet moet overschrijden. Wittgenstein is door de logisch-positivisten altijd misbruikt. Wat hun ontging was de mystieke levenshouding van Wittgenstein die, weliswaar verhuld, in zijn werk naar voren komt. Als wetenschappers bescheidenheid willen leren, moeten ze veel Wittgenstein lezen, zou ik zeggen. Èn begrijpen wat hij bedoeld heeft natuurlijk.”

Geen stilzwijgen

Dat men met taal alleen zinvol kan omgegaan als daarmee “standen van zaken” worden beschreven mag een mogelijkheid van denken zijn dat echter de mens niet tot zwijgen kan brengen. De mens moet namelijk stappen durven ondernemen op onbewandelde paden en zich durven in het ongewisse of de onbekende donkere ruimte durven begeven. Wij kunnen de wereld ervaren zoals hij is, maar moeten er ook durven over nadenken. Zelfs dingen die wij niet weten of nu nog niet kennen moeten wij durven bespreekbaar maken. Dit kan enkel door er over na te denken maar ook door er zelf over te durven praten. Later zag Wittgenstein ook in dat de taal te complex is om de wereld in een één-op-één verhouding te beschrijven. Zo is het onmogelijk om bijvoorbeeld een minachtend zuchten binnen het taalsysteem een duidelijke plaats te geven. In plaats daarvan spreekt hij van taalspelen. De verschillende taalspelen zijn toepasbaar op verschillende situaties, waarbij telkens een “familiegelijkenis” optreedt. Hoewel er voor elke situatie specifieke kenmerken zijn vast te stellen, zijn niet alle kenmerken toepasbaar op alle situaties, zoals leden van eenzelfde familie op elkaar lijken, zonder dat ze precies dezelfde gezichtstrekken hebben. Het is met deze nieuwe visie van taal dat hij veel invloed uitoefende op andere filosofen, voornamelijk in de Ordinary language philosophy. Een bekend criticus van deze latere Wittgensteiniaanse filosofie was de filosoof en antropoloog Ernest Gellner, voornamelijk in zijn boek Words and Things (1959).

Waarnemen en verwoorden

Flickr - NewsPhoto! - 350 climate change in Am...

Over heel wat zaken is er heel wat gedebatteerd en van mening verschild door erkende wetenschappers. – Flickr – NewsPhoto! – 350 climate change in Amsterdam (3) (Foto credit: Wikipedia)

Wij als mens kunnen waarnemen wat er gebeurd en dit trachten te verwoorden. Zin en onzin kunnen wij ook trachten te achterhalen. Ook kunnen wij proberen inzichtelijke argumenten naar voor te schuiven.

Rogeer Hoedemaekers in het boek ‘Iets of niets’ schrijft:

“Toen de natuurwetenschappen steeds meer structuur, orde en wetmatigheid vonden in de kosmos zagen de theologen daarin juist de scheppende kracht van God”

“En toen in de tweede helft van de achttiende en begin negentiende eeuw steeds meer orde, structuur en complexiteit in biologische organismen werd ontdekt, werden ook deze geïnterpreteerd als bewijs van Gods grootheid en almacht.”

Verenigbare analyse

Het is verkeerd te denken dat natuurwetenschap en religie binnen een gemeenschappelijk stelsel van analyse of verklaring niet verenigd of zelfs tot één geheel gemaakt zouden kunnen worden, maar evenmin waarom die twee ondernemingen een onderling conflict zouden moeten voelen.

De agnost Jay Gould, auteur van het boek ‘God en Darwin’, zegt:

“De natuurwetenschappen streven ernaar de werkelijkheid van de natuur in kaart te brengen en theorieën op te stellen die de aangetroffen feiten met elkaar in verband brengen en verklaren. De religie beweegt zich daarentegen op het even belangrijke, maar geheel verschillende terrein van de menselijke strevingen, zingeving en waarden. Onderwerpen die binnen het feitelijk domein van de natuurwetenschappen wel verhelderd, maar nooit opgelost worden.”

Wetenschapper en bewijs van al of niet een God

Geen enkele wetenschapper heeft al kunnen bewijzen dat God niet bestaat, omdat daar ook geen bewijs van is, dat Hij niet zou bestaan. De Schepper God heeft bij Zijn Schepping ons het universum gegeven dat zo oneindig groot is dat wij het gewoon weg niet kunnen vatten, doordat er zelfs zo veel sterren en planeten zijn als zandkorrels op een strand die niet te tellen zijn (Boek Job). God heeft Zijn Schepsels voorzien van Zijn Woord dat een beeld schept van hoe de dingen zijn ontstaan en waar God met de mens naar toe wil. Hij is niet in details getreden om dat dat er eigenlijk niet toe doet. Wij hoeven al die fijnste dingetjes niet echt te weten om ons mens-zijn verder uit te bouwen tot een goed geluk of gelukzalig leven. Wel heeft de Schepper ons verstand gegeven om te gebruiken. Hiermee kunnen wij wetenschap uit voeren, zonder daarmee ons tegen God te hoeven keren. Integendeel, heeft God ons de hersenen gegeven om te gebruiken en verder kennis uit te bouwen. Die hersenen niet gebruiken zou verzuimen aan een van de vele opdrachten die God de mensheid heeft opgedragen.

Gelukkig kunnen wij genoeg wetenschappers aantreffen die dankbaar zijn dat zij de gave van het denken en onderzoeken hebben gekregen.  Deze wetenschappers achten het zeer onwaarschijnlijk dat het heelal bij toeval is ontstaan en voor hen zou het ook gerust kunnen dat er een Bijzonder Hoogwaardig Wezen dat ons begrip te boven gaat, achter zit. De Amerikaans biochemicus en aanhanger van intelligent design Michael Behe geeft een simpel voorbeeld:

“Een muizenval bestaat uit een plankje, een metalen beugel, een veer, een grendel en een scharnierend stukje hout. Alle onderdelen zijn nodig voor het functioneren van de muizenval. Verwijder één onderdeel en het geheel werkt niet meer.”

Dit is een soort onherleidbaar complex systeem. Andere concrete voorbeelden zijn het mechanisme van bloedstolling, trilharen, de werking van het oog, het immuunsysteem en de zweepstaart van de bacterie E. coli.

Bepaalde structuren op biochemisch niveau zijn gewoonweg nu nog te complex om verklaard te kunnen worden met behulp van evolutionaire mechanismen.

Voor hem is het duidelijk dat:

“intelligent design geen wetenschappelijke grondslag heeft, niet door middel van experimenten is getest en niet als wetenschappelijk behoort te worden beschouwd.”

Behe’s hypothese van onherleidbare complexiteit zou volgens door andere wetenschappers voldoende wetenschappelijk weerlegd kunnen worden en bovendien zou een eventueel argument tégen de evolutieleer niet automatisch een argument vóór intelligent design kunnen zijn.

Nog veel onverklaarbaar

Vele wetenschappers zijn nog niet echt tot in de diepste grond van de natuur kunnen geraken en moeten toegeven dat nog vele zaken onverklaarbaar zijn op dit ogenblik. Niets staat in de weg dat wij later meerdere dingen toch nog zullen kunnen verklaren of weer eens anders zullen gaan bekijken, door dat dit of gene weer wordt uitgevonden of verder opzoekingswerk het vroegere weer teniet doet.

Wij zullen daarbij moeten beseffen dat wij als onderdeel in het geheel mogen leven dat wij zullen moeten aan nemen voor wat het ook al kan er per definitie geen antwoord gegeven worden op religieuze vragen over God, zin en ethische waarden.
Daarin zullen wij ons nederig moeten betonen dat de mens niet alles zal te weten kunnen komen en dat wij slechts een klein onderdeel zijn van een geheel dat door God voorzien is en waarmee Hij een Plan heeft. Hij heeft er voor gezorgd dat de mens voldoende inzicht zou kunnen krijgen en heeft als het ware een ‘Blog‘ geschreven voor de mensheid. Wij zouden er ons best op toe leggen om dat Blog van God regelmatig te raadplegen en uit Zijn wijze woorden te leren. Dat Blog is een bundel verzamelde boeken die in meerdere talen in de wereld verspreid zijn en ter beschikking van iedereen liggen. De mens moet dat Boek der boeken, de Bijbel slechts op nemen en lezen en bestuderen, naar eigen goed vermogen.

De woorden van de wetenschappers zijn al dikwijls gewijzigd. al veelvuldig heeft men stellingen van beroemde wetenschappers zien ontkracht worden door andere wetenschappers. Veel woorden van filosofen en wetenschappers zijn al als niet valabel beschouwt. Velen hun woorden zijn al vergaan, maar God Zijn woord is nog steeds blijven bestaan en nog steeds volledig juist en betrouwbaar. Daarom kunnen wij ook best naar dat Woord van God grijpen om ons te laten vormen.

“Het is niet geschreven om hem alleen dat het hem toegerekend werd,” (Romeinen 4:23 NB)

“Want al wat tevoren werd geschreven, werd geschreven om ons te onderrichten, opdat wij door de volharding en door de vertroosting van de Schriften de hoop vasthouden.” (Romeinen 15:4 NB)

“en weet dit allereerst dat alle profetie in de Schrift niet van een eigen uitleg afhangt.” (2 Petrus 1:20 NB)

“Alle schriftwoord is van God doorademd en nuttig tot onderrichting, tot weerlegging, tot verbetering, tot de opvoeding in gerechtigheid,” (2 Timotheüs 3:16 NB)

Wij moeten in deze wereld dus hard opletten ons ook niet te veel gericht te houden op wereldse zaken en op wereldse bevindingen, maar moeten ons meer toeleggen op het doornemen van de Heilige Schrift die ons al het nodige te kennen geeft om iets degelijks van ons leven op te bouwen. wij zouden veel meer vertrouwen in die Oude Boeken moeten stellen dan de vele nieuwe populaire wereldse boeken.

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Voorgaande artikel:

Stemt de Bijbel overeen met de wetenschap

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Aanvullende lectuur:

  1. Wetenschap als surrogaat voor religie
  2. Echte wetenschap en geloof bijten elkaar niet
  3. Geloof en wetenschap: een worsteling om gelijkheid
  4. Zijn religie en wetenschap verzoenbaar?
  5. Geloof en wetenschap
  6. Geloof en wetenschap: een strijd zonder bestaansrecht
  7. Geloof in wetenschap biedt mogelijk steun aan atheïst
  8. God én Darwin: Geloof kan niet om evolutie heen
  9. Paus: “Wetenschap kan zin van het leven niet vatten”
  10. Atheïsme: een heelal zonder God
  11. Geleerd en Gelovig
  12. Geloven om te begrijpen
  13. Fundamenten van het geloof
  14. Woord van God
  15. Boek der boeken de Bijbel
  16. Blog van God opgetekend in een Boek
  17. Schepper en Blogger God 1 Leegte en Beweging
  18. Schepper en Blogger God 2 Beeld en gelijkenis
  19. Schepper en Blogger God 3 Les en oplossing
  20. Schepper en Blogger God 4 Verklarende Stem
  21. Schepper en Blogger God 5 Te Vertellen zaken
  22. Schepper en Blogger God 6 Voor Zijn volk
  23. Schepper en Blogger God 7 Een Blog van een Boek 1 De Blogger geloven
  24. Schepper en Blogger God 8 Een Blog van een Boek 2 Heilig Maker van de Geschriften
  25. Schepper en Blogger God 9 Een Blog van een Boek 3 Over Profetie
  26. Schepper en Blogger God 10 Een Blog van een Boek 4 Luisteren naar Blogger
  27. Schepper en Blogger God 11 Het Oude en Nieuwe Blog 1 Gericht op één mens
  28. Schepper en Blogger God 12 Het Oude en Nieuwe Blog 2 Blog voor elke dag
  29. Belangrijkheid van de Heilige Schrift
  30. Het belang van het lezen van de Schrift
  31. Nut van het lezen van de Bijbel
  32. Plan van God
  33. Plan van God en wereldvrede
  34. Wat is Gods doel met de aarde?
  35. We kunnen Gods doel niet zien
  36. De naakte waarheid is altijd beter dan de best geklede leugen
  37. Een vrije keuze voor iedereen
  38. Voor hen die andere keuzes maken
  39. Weten waarheen te gaan
  40. Elk schepsel is een goddelijk woord omdat het God verkondigd
  41. Tot bewust zijn komen voor huidig leven
  42. Dorst naar geluk en zingeving
  43. Hersenen beheersen geloof in religie

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  • M is for Massive M staat voor massief (connectiv.wordpress.com)
    M is for massive and for MOOC. M is a very misunderstood word in the MOOC acronym.
    In some courses M is just for bulk, or just means very much students are involved. But massive has another connotation, that is of a solid construction or solid big thing.
    This second meaning of massive (geologists use massif for this connotation of massive) is what M of MOOC stands for.De M van Massief en van MOOC. Deze M staat voor een slecht begrepen woord in het acronym MOOC.
    In sommige cursussen betekent de M niet meer dan massaal, maar massief heeft, ook in het engels, nog een andere betekenis. Het betekent vast aaneengesloten, ondeelbaar. Geologen noemen een gebergteketen een massief . Deze tweede betekenis van massief is kenmerkend voor de echte MOOC.
  • Is Christianity Natural? (tasmedes.nl)
    The goal I had in mind was to develop a top-notch project proposal that would bridge the gap between the cognitive science of religion on the one hand and the philosophy of religion and systematic theology on the other.
    +
    For me, the end result was a couple of articles, and a top-notch project proposal that I submitted to the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO) in the end of 2011. The external referees gave the project A+, A+, A+, and A/A+. Yet, the committee that was hired to judge the papers decided in their immeasurable wisdom to overrule the external referees and decided not to fund the project. This was around May 2012.
  • “God bewijzen” door Stefan Paas en Rik Peels (boekbespreking, extern)
    Valt God te bewijzen? Nee, natuurlijk niet, en dat weten Stefan Paas (hoogleraar theologie aan de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam) en Rik Peels (filosoof aan diezelfde universiteit) ook best. Daar gaat het ook helemaal niet om in hun boek. De titel is dan ook misleidend. Dit is helemaal geen boek dat probeert God te bewijzen. Het gaat ook niet om de vraag of God wel of niet bestaat. Wél gaat het om argumenten voor en tegen geloven. Het boek draait dus niet om God, maar om geloof, of beter gezegd over de vraag of geloven redelijk is. En dat is het, zo stellen Paas en Peels, in tegenstelling tot het atheïsme.
    +
    Jan Riemersma schreef in zijn recensie dat de bewijslast bij de gelovige lag, want zo werkt het in een rechtszaak. Dat vond ik meteen al vreemd, want als burger bevindt de gelovige zich bepaald niet in een rechtszaak.
    Zie ook http://www.strangenotions.com/who-has-the-burden-of-proof-when-discussing-god/ waarvan ik niet alle 527 commentaren heb doorgelezen.
    Paas & Peels leggen op blz. 78 ook duidelijk uit dat het niet om een rechtszaak gaat, en ik kan geen flaw in hun redenering vinden, dus ik begrijp niet helemaal hoe de heer Riemersma dan toch kan zeggen dat de bewijslast ligt zoals die in een rechtszaak ligt.
  • Sociale wetenschappen: tussen retoriek en werkelijkheid?
    In een populair-wetenschappelijk discours worden retorische instrumenten gebruikt om de werkelijkheid die uit de wetenschappelijke data “opdoemt” meer contouren te geven, om die duidelijker te laten uitkomen.
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    Schaf retoriek in de sociale wetenschappen af, zo stelt Pels, en de wijze waarop sociale wetenschap verhalen vertelt verdwijnt. Verdwijnt daarmee ook de sociale wetenschap zelf? Hoe wetenschappelijk is daarmee de sociale wetenschap? Is sociale wetenschap louter retoriek en heeft het maar rakelings te maken met de werkelijkheid? Dat laatste zegt Pels niet, dat besef ik ook, maar toch lijkt die conclusie tamelijk aantrekkelijk wanneer je die alinea leest.
  • Is Dawkins debet aan het succes van creationisten in de VS?
    Binnenkort krijgen Amerikaanse scholieren wellicht een creationistisch leerboek aangeboden. Creationisme lijkt in de VS, maar het is tegelijkertijd een globaal fenomeen, te groeien als kool. Hoe kan dat? Zou het kunnen dat het militante atheïsme van Richard Dawkins, met de centrale boodschap dat geloof en wetenschap water en vuur zijn, hier wellicht iets mee te maken heeft?

Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology

One could question if something like Natural theology and Revealed theology makes sense. Getting to know the Godhead and getting insight in the many gods in the world of men is not only revealed in the many worldly writings, but the major book to get to know the real God is the one which is mostly forgotten in the theology schools. Much more attention should be given to the word of God, the Holy Scriptures.

The Bible is the Book of books which can bring us to real, intimate, relational knowledge of the living God, has to be based in actual concrete Christian experience.

People should be very careful for human teachings, conformities and traditions.We may never take traditions as something which should be true or right because it exists already such a long time. No matter how familiar and dear to us certain traditions may be when we come to understand that they are not according to the Will of God we should abandon them. It is not the stream of tradition which must always lead us back to the source that is normative: Holy Scripture.  Traditions become dangerous whenever they are translated from forms into norms.  That can happen with established opinions as well as modern provocative views.

 

English: Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) Nederlands...

Herman Bavinck (1854-1921) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

In Christian dogmatics there is no place for reason as an agency by which, independently of the truth of Christianity, a natural theology may be established according to Herman Bavinck. But when we have dogmatic teaching, presenting something we should understand though we can not understand it, would this be a teaching in accordance with the Word of God, where we can see that God is a god of Order and Clarity. Is a dogma, clarity? We do not think so. god is not somebody who tells lies, so we should listen carefully to Him and take His words for granted.
God His words should go over theologians their words.

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Additional reading:

Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other

 

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  • Herman Bavinck – It’s Hard Work to Be An Atheist (theoldguys.org)
    It therefore requires a certain effort not to believe in a personal God: “No one disbelieves the existence of God except the person to whom God’s existence is not convenient.” There are no atheists so thoroughly sure of their unbelief as to be willing to die a martyr’s death for it. Since atheism is abnormal and unnatural, based not on intuitions but on inferential proofs and fallible reasoning, it is never sure of its causes. The arguments for the existence of God may be weak, but in any case they are stronger than those advanced for its denial. It is even impossible to prove that there is no God. To accomplish that feat a person would have to be omniscient and omnipresent, that is, to be God!
    ~Herman Bavinck~
  • Thinking About Natural Theology (theologiansinc.wordpress.com)
    natural theology: brought within the embrace of positive theology and developed as a complex of rational structures arising in our actual knowledge of God it becomes “natural” in a new way, natural to its proper object, God in self-revealing interaction with us in space and time. Natural theolog then constitutes the epistemological “geometry” as it were, within the fabric of “revealed theology” as it apprehended and articulated within the objectivites and intelligibilites of the space-time medium through which God has made himself known to us.
  • Scripture and Tradition (reformedreader.wordpress.com)
    the confession of the sufficiency of Scripture does not imply that all traditions must be considered useless.  The churches of the Reformation also recognize elements of tradition.  But these are not norms for faith and life, although they can be expressions of faith, ways in which people portray their response to the Word of God.  In this sense traditions are both useful and necessary.  We agree with Bavinck that tradition is the means by which all the treasures and possessions of our ancestors are transmitted to the present and future (cf. R.D., 1:492-94).  There is indeed a variegated Reformed tradition.  There is tradition in our confession, in our worship service, in preaching, in theology, in devotional literature that is nurtured by Scripture.
  • Free e-Book: The Laws of Clean and Unclean Animals of Leviticus 11: Their Nature Theology and Rationale an Inter Textual Study (amologetics.wordpress.com)
  • Apologetics (trueforms.wordpress.com)
    I am, to be sure, opposed to the traditional method of apologetics as this has found its most fundamental expression in the Summae of Thomas Aquinas the Roman Catholic and in Bishop Butler the Arminian. I seek to oppose Roman Catholicism and Arminianism in Apologetics as I seek to oppose it in theology. Does that make my main thesis universally negative? I think there is a better and more truly biblical way of reasoning with and winning unbelievers than Romanist Arminian method permits.
  • Herman Bavinck – It’s Hard Work to Be An Atheist (mydelightandmycounsellors.wordpress.com)
    There are no atheists so thoroughly sure of their unbelief as to be willing to die a martyr’s death for it. Since atheism is abnormal and unnatural, based not on intuitions but on inferential proofs and fallible reasoning, it is never sure of its causes.
  • Author Interview: James Miller (truthmattersblog.wordpress.com)
    There’s a feeling of resonance that we have when we know something is right.  Philosophers call this a “properly basic belief.” No one has to prove to you that you’re sitting on a chair – you just know.  I think the Holy Spirit has the power to convict us of the truth of the gospel, and while we can point to many rationale for why we know it’s true, in the end, we experience the sensibility of it.
  • Van Til interacting with Bavinck and Calvin on Natural Theology (steppingtoes.wordpress.com)
  • Van Til’s An Introduction To Systematic Theology (withalliamgod.wordpress.com)

 

Presuppositionalism 101

According to Bavinck apologetics cannot precede systematics. A true apologetics, he says, presupposes dogma. 5 There is in Christian dogmatics no place for reason as an agency by which, independently of the truth of Christianity, a natural theology may be established. The Roman Catholics are mistaken when they seek to work out a natural theology independently of Scriptures. There was a time, says Bavinck, when Reformed theologians also fell into this mistake. So, for instance, S. Van Til divided his work on theology into two parts, one dealing with natural and one with revealed theology. 6 But all this, says Bavinck, was due to false philosophical influences upon theology. He wants to return to the position of Calvin for whom Scripture was the eyeglass through which the Christian should read the book of nature. 7 “Originally natural theology did not serve the purpose of gradually leading up to revealed…

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