I like to keep it simple. Religion is what you do religiously. There is a lot I
don't know and Ill never understand, than to think about the supernatural.
Wow, a realm beyond me.
Excellent article… even if it doesn’t end up anywhere.So
here’s one direction we might go – how would Dr. Peterson tease out
the implications of someone like, say, Sam Harris who argues brilliantly against
the Abrahamic religions, both as vehicles for objective truth and as foundations
for morality; but then expresses sympathies with other religions (loosely
defined in the Wittgensteinian sense)? An obvious implication is
perhaps the world is not so black & white as many religious people (and
analogously, strong political partisans) would have of believe.
The difference between Christianity and Religion: Christianity is unique in the
fact that it is the ONLY faith which is not a religion- as a
'religion'- by definition means "to be bound" by rules and
regulations and rituals in order that one MAY attain salvation. (whatever their
definition of salvation may be).This is in stark contrast to the
teachings of THE most anti-religious person there ever lived- Jesus the
Christ.Jesus taught that the truth would SET YOU FREE and that it
would be faith ALONE in His sacrificial death and resurrection for our sins
which would save us and NOT our good deeds."For it is by God's
grace that you have been saved, through faith. It is not the result of your own
efforts, but God's GIFT, so that no one can boast about it." (Ephesians
2: 8-9).This means that (although good in themselves and
recommended) it is NOT by attending 'church', being baptised** or even
believing in God! (Satan is not an atheist himself!)To put it
plainly: We are saved by faith and DEMONSTRATED by good works- but it isn't
the works themselves that actually save us.
Scattered comments of his seem to suggest, Tyler D, that Professor Peterson
isn't nearly as impressed with Sam Harris as you seem to be.But
why do you appear to think that it's only "religious people" (and
"strong political partisans") who see the world as black and white?
What of Christopher Htichens, for example, with his "religion poisons
everything" slogan? He seems to have held about as black and white a view
on such matters as it's possible for a human to hold.
Doing good is a true religion that all should embrace. It can be understood and
practiced by all to and for the benefit of all. Organized church religion is
just politics and superstition that no one understands or practices. But it does
make some people rich while keeping others from thinking for themselves.
@Verdad – “…Professor Peterson isn't nearly as impressed
with Sam Harris as you seem to be.”True, but do you think it
is because he has found his arguments to be inaccurate or deeply flawed,
logically or otherwise? Or is it because Harris is criticizing something Dr.
Peterson holds dear?As for Hitchens, I agree… he certainly was
polemical. But some degree of that was just his schtick – and someone had
to hold the line against the intellectual dishonesty of people like Lane Craig.
And let’s be honest, he did so in a far more entertaining and human way
than most – RIP Hitch.
I'm surprised BYU fans didn't make the list of "religions".
“If, on the Sabbath day, when we are assembled here to worship the Lord,
one of the Elders should be prompted to give us a lecture on any branch of
education with which he is acquainted, is it outside the pale of our
religion?“Or if an Elder shall give us a lecture upon
astronomy, chemistry, or geology, our religion embraces it all. It matters not
what the subject be, if it tends to improve the mind, exalt the feelings, and
enlarge the capacity. The truth that is in all the arts and sciences forms a
part of our religion. Faith is no more a part of it than any other true
principle of philosophy.”- Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of
Discourses, v. 1, pp. 334-335.
Donn,There is no doubt that none of us earns our way into the
kingdom. But sola fide was Martin Luther, not Christ. Christ taught this when
asked:“And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master,
what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest
thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the
commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear
false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I
kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet
lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor,
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.”So, the commandments are important (a prerequisite) and then higher sacrifice
and followership.BTW, if Christianity is not a religion (and we need
to define which branch/denomination of the many) then is it protected by the
You know, if Bill Craig is as much of a charlatan as all these philosophy 101,
atheist blogs say, it should be a cake walk to expose this guy during one of the
many public events he participates in."But he's just too
slick; his unparalleled debating skills cover up the lies with a veneer of
rhetoric," you say. You keep telling yourself that. Also, you may want to
(re)watch the Craig/Hitchens debate. I'm pretty sure Hitchens went home
that night crying to his mom.But suppose Hitchens was right. Whether
during his life he devoted 90 years to strict religious monasticism, whether he
went out in a blaze of violence as a 20 year old nihilist, or whether he died of
cancer mid-life after a successful new atheist career, it's all
inconsequential to him now. And the legacy he left behind will one day share
that same fate-- as will we all.The evil never requited, the
injustices never restituted, and the good never rewarded.He was
wrong. There will be a resurrection, and He says, "At the set time that I
appoint, I will judge with equity."
I like the Hitchens debates where they conduct informal polls before and after.
Now we can expect those already in the Hitchens and camp or the Craig (et al)
camp to not change minds, but the interesting results are from the
self-proclaimed undecideds – Hitchens almost always brings some portion
over to his side and I have yet to hear of this going to other way.I
admit it’s unscientific but it does belie your claim that Hitchens ever
“went home crying to his mom.”In fact most of the
sophistry heard from the apologists in these debates – the vast majority
being retreads of unconvincing arguments original to Aquinas or Anselm –
are easily dismissed by Hitchens’ most famous quote:“That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without
evidence.”Or“Religion comes from the bawling
and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our
inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance, and other
infantile needs). Today the least educated of my children knows much more about
the natural order than any of the founders of religion.”
Tyler: The Bible is evidence, as is the Christian tradition of worship and
belief. The Book of Mormon is evidence, as is the testimony of Joseph Smith and
the 11 other men who witnessed the reality of the original record inscribed on
golden metal plates bound with rings. Testimony is often the primary evidence
by which we decide matters of life and death in our courts, and when two or more
witnesses attest to being present at an event, that evidence cannot be rejected
simply because you don't like it. Most of Joseph Smith's
recorded revelatory experiences were shared with other people, including Oliver
Cowdery and Sydney Rigdon. Smith and the 11 others who signed affidavits
attesting to the reality of the original Book of Mormon record were honest men
to affirmed their terstimony gthrough the end of their lives, even when under
pressure to recant. That is evidence every bit as reliable as what we use in
court every day. Accepting that testimony is a rational action.
Semi-Strong, The 10 commandments and other laws were designed to show us that we
are sinners. There is NO way any human could keep all of them-I.e..,
How many things do you have to steal (regardless of value) in order to be a
thief? -Just one.How many lies do you have to tell (no matter how
‘big’ or ‘small’ it is to be a liar? - Just one.So
how many sins does it take for us to be a sinner? -Just one.These
were just two of the ten commandments ..and every one of us has broken them
all! "For whoever shall keep the whole law and stumble in one
point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10).… the tax collector
stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed.
Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me,
for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, ‘this Sinner’, Not the
Pharisee(Religionist), returned home ‘justified(saved) before God.’
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves
will be exalted.”(Luke 18;13-14)
Donn,We are not supposed to keep the 10 Commandments? Christ was
assigning to the young man an impossible task (essentially taunting him)?
Nothing in the narrative indicates that. Christ did not argue with him when he
said he had kept the commandments. Instead Christ asked him to take a deep step
forward.Agreed we all sin. There is no dispute there. "For all
have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his
grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus".But there
is a price to forgiveness. The commandment is to "go, and sin no more"
not "do whatever you want".The Pharisee was proud and was
not pardoned (why would he be, he didn't ask for any forgiveness – he
didn't think he needed any). The Publican was blessed because he was
humble, recognized his need, and asked for forgiveness.
Twin Lights,Paul had the same problem(Phil 3:6)Religious righteousness Vs
Righteousness by faith (Romans 10:6).“Threefold Use of the
Law”:1. The law is to be a mirror. On the one hand, the law of God
reflects and mirrors the perfect righteousness of God. The law tells us much
about who God is. Perhaps more important, the law illumines human sinfulness.
The law highlights our weakness so that we might seek the strength found in
Christ. The law acts as a severe schoolmaster who drives us to Christ. 2. The law is the restraint of evil. The law, in and of itself, cannot change
human hearts. It can, however, serve to protect the righteous from the unjust.
3. The law is to reveal what is pleasing to God. As
Born-again(G.anothen/from above) children of God, the law enlightens us as to
what is pleasing to our Father, whom we seek to serve. The Christian delights in
the law as God Himself delights in it. “If you love Me, keep My
commandments” (John 14:15). This is the highest function of the law, is an
instrument for the people of God to give Him honor and glory.
Donn,My compliments to RC Sproul.I think Christ's
interactions with the young man were much simpler and more straightforward. The
young man had an honest question. Christ gave him an honest answer. First you
keep the commandments. Then you follow close and serve.Some parts
of the Mosaic Law passed away in Christ. Not the 10 Commandments. If we are to
follow, we are to obey the very best we can.To follow, we are to
"Repent, and be baptized every one of [us] in the name of Jesus Christ for
the remission of sins, and [we] shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
@coltakashi – “The Bible is evidence… The Book of Mormon is
evidence… Testimony is often the primary evidence by which we decide
matters of life and death in our courts.”The Bible – I
doubt there is any court in the land that would find in favor based on four
sometimes conflicting written accounts, all written many years or decades after
Jesus’ death (i.e., the telephone game), and none by actual eyewitnesses.
The closest we have is a physician (author of Luke & Acts) to Paul, and Paul
himself was not an eyewitness. Further, the written accounts
(fragments, really) we have are actually copies of copies of copies, etc…
As for BoM testimony, isn’t it the case that the only witness
ever cross examined in court admitted that they did not actually see the plates
with their physical eyes, but rather with their “spiritual” eyes?And I think if the history in BoM was fact (e.g., horses, steel, Jewish
DNA, etc…) this would have been confirmed by scores of unbiased scientists
by now – it has not.There’s a reason why it’s
called faith. Reached comment limit…
Twin Lights, My compliments to RC Sproul,actually John Calvin and Luther. “*Go and sin no more.”A of F #8 as translated
correctly, “the gift of the Holy Ghost/Spirit(pneuma)same Greek
word.." We have accurate well- preserved Copies of the
original text. There are some 5,500 early N.T. MS, and they contain all or
nearly all of the original text . The original text can be reconstructed 99%
accuracy. There is a distinction between the text and the truth of the text.
While we have 99% of the original text, 100% of the truth comes through.Over 26,000 N.T. quotes from the(2nd c) disciples of the apostles and
early church fathers can reconstruct the N.T. except 12 verses. I
have the Greek apparatus of John. (John 7:53-*8:11) is not contained in the
earliest and best mss and was not an original part of the Gospel of John. . B.
M. Metzger summarizes: “the evidence for the non-Johannine origin of the
pericope of the adulteress is overwhelming”. Vs 3Nephi 14:5, 5b &
D&C 42:25a. JS was unaware. One of the many reasons LDS do not have modern
Donn,I am aware of the controversy. But this appears in the NIV and
I thought most born-again Christians thought that was the best translation. So,
looks sufficiently authoritative to me.As to whether we LDS have
modern translations, the KJV we use has exceptional footnotes that give