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July 29th, 2010
10:44 AM ET

soundoff (271 Responses)
  1. Tray

    No NL, it doesn't bother me at all .. the gobbledegook that Reality posted from some purported "Most" NT exegetes doesn't bother me either .. To not understand in my case is not to be able to give a rational explanation .. OTOH I see clear evidence that there are three persons in the Godhead .. Let me see if I've got this right .. The Father's voice from Heaven speaking as the Holy Spirit descended upon Christ the Son in the form of a dove is an embellishment by the NT writers???? Some people are just determined to split Hell wide open ..

    I'll just add my comments about the famous Schillebeeckx here .. I've never heard of him as he has never heard of me .. The question is posed would any God ..... God gets to define who He is and what He is like .. Of course if we can force Him into our definition then we become God .. And that was the original sin as I perceive it!

    July 31, 2010 at 1:59 am |
    • NL

      Sorry Tray, I didn't notice that you were quoting someone else.

      July 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Reality

      Tray,

      Google "Schillebeeckx". Other attempts to add biographical information about Professor Schillebeeckx's life and accomplishments were blocked by the moderators. Very strange moderators!!!

      July 31, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Tray, To put a point on it, God does not define who or what he/she/it is man does. If there is a God that is so far outside of our understanding and reality (time, space, and reason) then how could such a being tell us what he/she/it likes? Strange how such a being likes and dislikes the same things that man likes or dislike.

      August 1, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  2. Reality

    Correcting a typo:

    Hell is possible BUT would any god tolerate satanic spirits and contaminated souls? (The singularity would not according to Father Edward Schillebeeckx, the famous contemporary theologian). As per Schillebeeckx, contaminated souls at time of human death would no longer exist. By the way, most of Schillebeeckx's books are not easy to read so speed read to the conclusions of each chapter.

    July 31, 2010 at 12:21 am |
  3. Tray

    JohnQuest .. Do you understand the Trinity? Most of us don't but we clearly see that there are three persons in the Godhead .. the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit .. They are all God .. You just need to study the scriptures some more . You ignored my point about the Jews recognizing that Jesus said He was God and that's why they had Him crucified .. Jesus knew that He was God .. He told His disciples .. If you have seen me you have seen the Father ..

    So in more direct response to your question .. they would see two disitinct beings both God
    Don't stumble over the phrase "Son of God" .. the Jews recognized this to mean God, so why shouldn't you?

    July 30, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
    • NL

      Tray-
      Does it bother you at all that you, and most Christians, don't understand such a key part of Christian theology as the Trinity?

      July 31, 2010 at 12:04 am |
    • Reality

      Most contemporary NT exegetes have concluded that the NT passages that support the existence of a trinity are simply more embellishment by the authors of the NT.

      An example:

      Gerd Luedemann

      Matt 28:16-20 The description of Jesus's appearance is minimal, as attention is focused on the content of Jesus' message to the Eleven. Luedemann notes that "the historical yield is extremely meager." He accepts the early tradition that various disciples had visionary experiences, most probably located in Galilee, and that these experiences led to the founding of "a community which preached the resurrection and exaltation of Jesus as the Messiah and/or the Son of Man among their Jewish contemporaries." [Jesus, 255f.]

      Luke 24:36-53 The emphatic realism in the recognition scene that begins this appearance story mans "one can hardly avoid seeing this as a thrust against docetism. Evidently in this verse Luke is combating the same challenges to the bodily reality of Jesus as Ignatius, To the Smyrneans 3.2, does at the beginning of the second century." Luedemann concludes, "The historical yield is nil, both in respect of the real historical event and in connection with the visions which were the catalyst for the rise of Christianity." [Jesus, 413-415]

      July 31, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  4. JohnQuest

    Tray, it sound to me like you are reading what want to believe not what it says. We are not talking about parables. If you are right then it makes even less sense, Jesus didn't know that he and God were the same? If Jesus wanted people to believe the he was God, would it not have been easy to" I am God" and not "I am the Son of God". I am my fathers son, we look alike, have the same powers, same likes and dislikes, but we are not the same. Why is it the only way to get to the father is through the son, again not the same person or being. If a person that has never had bible lesson from anyone in the christian clergy were to read the bible would they come way with the idea the Jesus and God are same being or two different being? Now be honest not only with me but to yourself and the God you believe in.

    July 30, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  5. Amunaka

    Well it's about time ..now in relation to the Mayan calenders 2012 end date ...it all makes sense now

    July 30, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
    • NL

      Well, if the Mayans are going to end the world in 2012 anyway, then Jesus kinda has to step up his date. No sense coming after the world is already destroyed, right?

      July 31, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  6. Tray

    Luke wrote:

    "I don't think anyone disagrees with you, Joseph. What you seem to be missing is the rate at which science has advanced society and how much religion, particularly the Christian Dark Ages, held it up. We also do not pick on just Christianity. Other religions also held up the pace of societal progression. But hey, they didn't know any better. "

    Did you ever hear the saying about the baby and the bath water? Because some, even many, have failed to put the Bible into practice, this is NOT Christianity holding up the world. Man is holding up the world or advancing it based on the decisions he makes. Some men use science to bomb and kill others; exactly, what are they advancing????

    July 30, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  7. Tray

    JohnQuest .. I just read thru your list and noticed your comment that God cannot die, even temporarily .. that's right, and neither can you or I .. Jesus' body died and so will ours .. but no one ever dies as our spirits are eternal!

    July 30, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  8. Tray

    To JohnQuest: (re Jesus being some sort of angel)

    Hebrews 1:4-6 (Amplified Bible)

    4[Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.

    5For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, You are My Son, today I have begotten You [established You in an official Sonship relation, with kingly dignity]? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son? [II Sam. 7:14; Ps. 2:7.]

    6Moreover, when He brings the firstborn Son [a]again into the habitable world, He says, Let all the angels of God worship Him.

    Look .. if you don't want ot believe Jesus is God then that's cool. But don't try to justify your position by claiming that the Bible doesn't say so .. It's the whole basis and theme of the Bible that Jesus is God. You might as well try to deny that 2+2=4. It just doesn't wash!

    July 30, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  9. Tray

    Uh John, do you understand mathematics say? If I say A=B does that mean they are the same??? The scripture says that He was equal with God, get it. He was not a created being and thereby NOT EQUAL with God. Did you read the passage?

    As for John 14:28 there is quite a simple explanation which is answered in the passage I already quoted. Jesus emptied Himself of His Godly attributes and came to earth in human form. In John he's talking about Himself in human form and of course God (the Father) is greater than Jesus in his human form.

    If you are familiar with scripture at all you would realize that the Jews had Jesus crucified because He claimed to be God.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  10. DustyNW

    Here we go again... Another religious 'expert' claims to have figured out the exact date of Jesus' return. Like most things in Christianity, this is not new, not original, and it has all been done before. Wikipedia the 'Great Disappointment' of 1844, and you'll see what you really have to look forward to come May 21st, 2011.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  11. Tray

    to Mike who wrote: "It's insulting that the religious nuts don't think that a godless person can have any kind of fulfililng, satisfying life. Rational, scientific thinking is infinitely rewarding, and I'm almost always in a constant state of awe and wonder"

    Certainly, I for one don't think a non-believer can't have a fulfilling life. Neither did Jesus. He just asked a simple question:
    "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world yet lose his own soul?" Many non-believers have failed to grasp the reality of their own creation; namely, that they are a spirit living in a body. The body will die but the spirit will live forever. That's why Jesus posed the question.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  12. JohnQuest

    I especially like John 14:28, how does anyone rationalize their way out of this. If these are Jesus words and Jesus is GOD then Who is greater then GOD. The only why this makes sense is that Jesus is not GOD.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Tray

    To JohnQuest .. Scriptures are not of any private interpretation .. You cite scripture then give us what you think it means .. Scripture is to be compared to scripture to gain the truth .. I noticed you didn't quote this one:

    Philippians 2:6-8 (Amplified Bible)

    6Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained,

    7But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.

    8And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!

    July 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Tray, at most you are describing an Angel of some sort "essentially one with God" is not the same as God, "in the form of God" kind of like man created in the image of God. Where in what you posted on in the Bible does Jesus say that he is God?

      July 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  14. Tray

    To Luke who wrote: "2) He was supposed to return an infinite amount of times, as each true Christian believes he will return during their lifetime, meaning that millions of people have died disappointed over the last 2,000 years or so."

    Again this is a false statement .. whether or not many Christians have believed this or not it is of little relevance. Jesus CLEARLY taught He would not be returning before the Abomination of Desolation which has not occurred. Read the Bible and know what it says before touting untruths.

    July 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Tray

    Hey, Hey Paul .. Give me a passage that says Jesus is not God. Also, you are incorrect on the Trinity. It has nothing to do with gnosticism and is clearly shown in Scripture. Seems like you don't know Scripture very well!

    July 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Tray, Here are a few (there are more) taken from the Bible:

      "the firstfruits of them that slept." (God doesn’t sleep) (1 Cor. 15:20; fulfilling Lev. 23:10).
      "APOSTLE" (Heb. 3:1) – How could God send Himself?
      "Advocate,"
      "faithful witness,"
      "Mediator" (1 Tim. 2:5) – If he were God, there would be no need for a mediator.

      When he walked the earth, Yeshua was not omniscient and omnipresent, as God is.

      "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." (Mk. 2:52)
      God couldn't become more pleased with himself.

      "My Father is greater than I." (John 14:28)
      Self-evident and self-explanatory.

      "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matt. 28:18)
      He wasn’t born with it.

      "But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." (Mk. 13:32)
      God (the Father) knows. The son is not all-knowing.

      "Christ pleased not himself" (Rom. 15:3).
      His mission and intent was to please the Father.

      "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures" (1 Cor. 15:3)
      God cannot die, even temporarily!

      "The head of Christ is God" (1 Cor. 11:3).
      Shows seniority, not equality.

      "God was in Christ" (2 Cor. 5:19)
      Can God be in Himself?

      He was "obedient unto death" (Phil. 2:8)
      Is it necessary for God to obey Himself?

      "God FOR Messiah's sake has forgiven you." (Eph. 4:32)
      Else God would simply forgive by Himself.

      "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh" (1 John 4:2)
      NOWHERE is it said that GOD came in the flesh.

      "angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him." (after ascending to heaven) (1 Pet. 3:22)
      Implies and can be inferred that they were not previously subject to him.

      "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him" (Rev. 1:1)
      God gave it to him; he did not already have it, did not give it of himself.

      Devils called him "son of God," NOT God (Matt. 8:29; Mark 5:6-9)
      Surely they, as created spiritual beings, would know the difference.

      July 30, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  16. Paul

    The unending bicker about whether Jesus is God or only a man will never be resolved, as long as fundamentalists mediate the argument. Some passages say Jesus is not God, others say he is ! Christianity was an amalgam of 2 different religions -Gnoticism which has a chain of command of gods between God and the cosmos, and Judaism which rigidly belives in ONE God in ONE person. The result: an incomprehensible Trinity (3 Gods in 1). This is one reason why I reject Christianity and all its unending bicker over 10-11 different things.

    July 30, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
    • JohnQuest

      Paul, I reject it and all other religions (that are based on a deity) because you have to believe the unbelievable. I just cannot suspend reasoning or rational thinking.

      July 30, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  17. Johanna

    Gary...lol

    July 30, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
    • Luke

      Johanna – I think I won said debate. Thoughts?

      July 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  18. Johanna

    I just want to say it's refreshing to read a civil debate here that doesn't resort to name calling. Good work Luke and JosephMA...I enjoyed your comments.

    July 30, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
    • Gary

      Johanna you are a poo poo head.....just kidding

      July 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  19. Tray

    Sorry .. but Jesus will return at the time of the Feast of Tabrnacles which is a fall feast .. so no matter the year it cannot be in the month of May

    July 30, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  20. Joseph MA

    That is it for me today. Better finish up some work for the week.

    Have a nice weekend everyone.

    July 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.