Created in His Image?

One of the claims of the Big Three religions (and many other religions that claim to have a perfect God) is the claim that God made us in His image. That is patently absurd on the basis that God is immaterial and has no image, whereas I do have an image (my Facebook photos prove it). But even in the more metaphorical sense, I cannot see what aspects of our identity overlap with the identity of God so strongly that it has lead people to believe we were intentionally created in God’s image. Assuming God is all moral, all-powerful and perfect, why are we so clearly none of those things?

In order to discuss the most likely rebuttal, the Fall, it is best to look at humans in both the pre-Fall and post-Fall narrative. I want to start my investigation with Adam and Eve: were they made in God’s image? Were they moral? No. “No” on more than one count, too. In terms of knowledge, we know Adam and Even had no moral knowledge at all. Adam and Eve had to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil to understand good and evil. Debatably, Adam and Eve also demonstrated their lack of moral knowledge by disobeying God to eat from the tree. On the Divine Command view this is not debatable; it was definitely immoral to disobey God and eat from The Tree. From a moral secular view their ignorance to the consequences of their actions also shows their lack of moral knowledge. If God created Adam and Eve in His image, is God ignorant of morality? If not, why were Adam and Eve, pre-Fall, ignorant of morality?

The narrative of the Big Three claims that we now live in a post-Fall universe. It looks a lot like a Godless universe; evolution explains the behaviour of all animals, including humans, and manifest as lust, fear, food and sex-driven imperfect behaviour. In particular, humans have a tendency to lean towards feelings of vengeance, retribution and tribalism; we re violent and ignorant. These are held to be the very antithesis of what God is: loving, peaceful and moral. There is an irony here: the books of the Big Three depict a vengeful, immoral, warmongering and hateful God. Even though God is defined as peaceful, He is depicted very differently.

In fact, God appears very human. “I, the LORD your God, am a jealous Godโ€ (Exodus 20:4-5). People labeling God as perfect and all loving seems to bear precisely no relationship with the description of God. That is not just true of the God of the Books, but the God we could easily infer if we assumed there was a God and tried to guess His nature from natural nature. If we assume a God, then God created the competition and conflict and pain and strife. God authored our capacity to suffer and God permitted the pain everything can and does feel. In nature, God is asserted in spite of everything we see. In the Books, God is asserted to look almost exactly like us. And we are not perfect.

I am less than perfect: I need sustenance to survive and have a low-efficiency digestive system; I learn slowly when I learn at all and I do not know everything; I am not that strong or powerful or influential. In all these domains there are people who are better than me in them. Am I less in-God’s-image than those people? Have I ‘fallen’ more than them?

From this, I cannot help but imagine we have invented a God in our image, and not the other way around. To quote Carl Sagan in Pale Blue Dot:

“We’ve tended in our cosmologies to make things familiar. Despite all our best efforts, we’ve not been very inventive. In the West, Heaven is placid and fluffy, and Hell is like the inside of a volcano. In many stories, both realms are governed by dominance hierarchies headed by gods or devils. Monotheists talked about the king of kings. In every culture we imagined something like our own political system running the Universe. Few found the similarity suspicious.”

Advertisements

80 thoughts on “Created in His Image?”

  1. I agree with you that we are imperfect and that this does not support the idea that we were made in the image of God. But, the idea that we were made in the image of God can be interpreted in different ways. Maybe it refers to our freedom. We, like God, have the ability to make choices. Being made in the image of God does not mean we are identical to God. I think this is the mistake you are making in this essay. Obviously, we are not identical to God. But, we are like God with respect to our freedom in a way that nothing else in the world is.

    1. Yhwh, an aseitic being, doesn’t have the ability to make choices. Choice denotes change, and change contradicts the forwarded premise

      “I the LORD do not change. (Malachi 3:6)

  2. God, all gods, are creations of mythology and are alive to the extent that myth survives. The moment the myth the dies, the gods die too. So too, the god of the abrahamic faiths will die with us.

        1. Alla,

          Exactly!

          Now go tell Maka just so you can prove to yourself that you are not totally crippled by your own blind ignorance and bias, inability to think.

    1. Stated well Makagutu. The constant fragmentation — let alone the increasing hate & intolerance — of the Abrahamic religions are clear evidence of their eventual extinction. Sooner would do all of humanity very well! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. That man was created in God’s image is actually quite a profound notion worthy of a lifetime’s contemplation.

    When something is reflected in a mirror, the image of that something clearly is not the something itself.

    But in the image, we can see what that something looks like.

    Thus, when we look at one another we can see God.

    This is why the God of the Old Testament and Jesus of the New Testament command us to love our neighbor as we love our self.

    For in loving our neighbor we are also loving God.

    Also, being created in the image of God means that man is far above all other creatures in that he is capable of reason and capable of understanding justice (good and evil).

    1. The god of the Old Testament does not say, Love thy neighbour, rather to the Israelites he commands, Kill thy neighbour, rout them, slash open the pregnant women, and wipe them all from the face of the earth.

      โ€œAlso, being created in the image of God means that man is far above all other creatures in that he is capable of reason and capable of understanding justice (good and evil).โ€

      Thatโ€™s not at all true. I can present countless behavioural studies conducted in the last thirty years that demonstrate (beyond a shadow of a doubt) that concepts such as โ€œjusticeโ€ and โ€œmoralityโ€ and “fair play” are emergent phenomenon, the product of increasing neurological capacity and evident in all higher order animals.

  4. You might also want to consider that God, being all-knowing should have known that Adam and Eve would do what they were claimed to have done. In scripture, though, God does even seem to know where they are for a moment and seems shocked that they would disobey him and proves a lie of his own when he doesn’t kill them straight off.

    The only thing I can think of is that Yahweh was still a youth and hadn’t grown into his all-knowingness yet, so he makes Adam and Eve and they fuck up and He kills them and starts over … and over, and over. Finally, with Adam and Eve v.54, He gives up and instead of killing them and starting over as he did with v. 1-53, he changes direction and banishes them from His Garden, then pays them no further attention, going back to school instead to sharpen His all-knowing faculty.

    1. Hahahaha! That is a GREAT perspective Steve. But I understand your inferred meaning: God is created from the image of man, ME, not vice-versa… well, until another man comes along and either persuades me otherwise, or enslaves me or kills me, huh? ๐Ÿ˜›

  5. Steve,

    You prove that atheists are completely lost when it comes to understanding ancient literature.

    I suggest starting with Homer’s, ‘Iliad.’

    The theme is hubris and how utter stupidity results from it.

    Atheists are like illiterate children who can’t even read a STOP sign.

    So please save the world from your literary ineptitude and spend the next few decades silently learning how to read.

  6. @ steve r.

    ‘God seems shocked…………………………’ and ‘proves a lie of His own…………’

    Ten sighs.

    This about wraps up the theological understanding of they who want answers from scripture while believing none of it. And you folks wonder why believers do not take you seriously, and do not fall for your traps of answering your endless absurd questions.

    Read the scriptures steve, allalt and others. God, who CANNOT LIE………….

    So sez the warp and woof of the book of books, that surely cuts the hands of they who trifle with its contents. Sharper than ANY two-edge sword, able to pierce between bone and marrow, able to show perfectly the thoughts of the heart.

    You will never win an argument against God’s word. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever.

  7. Made in God’s image… it would definitely seem that mankind is reflective of the image of god found in the bible. Violent, selfish, egotistical and narcissistic to a fault at times. Or should we be thinking in reverse? That this god of the Bible is reflective of the image of mankind, or ‘created’ in our image? Yup… over the droning objections of som and cs, this seems to be a more accurate ‘image’ or picture of the true situation.

      1. Hey zande, mike, steve, allalt

        Feel free, as none of you will have the correct answer:

        If man is not made in the image of God, then WHAT distinguishes him from the hyena, other than having the ability to snicker over dinner………………………………?

        Secondly: Why do you not keep genealogy records for prairie dogs?

        Here’s a bonus. If you are honest, if you are honest, IF you are HONEST, when will the common ape be able to teach you how to tie your shoes, and do you think a chimp can beat you in a game of chess………….

        It’s all about the image. Now go play in the sandbox of ignorance.

        1. (1) intelligence and known capacity for range of well-being.
          (2) I don’t keep the genealogy of anything. Prairie dogs seem difficult to keep records of, though.
          (3) I’m not good at chess, so it’s possible.

        2. 1. You are on the right track
          2. You may not keep records.but others do, and rightly so.
          3. It’s the tying the shoe thing………..and chess shows the ability to think in layers at once. Something so foreign to evolution that it hardly needs addressed.

          Man is made in image of God. It would take reams of comments to prove what is obvious to an unbiased mind.

      2. John, I enjoy your comments on this subject. You are always willing to present sound evidence and arguments for a more realistic outlook of our life here. The same cannot be said for your “opponents,” unfortunately. The reason why they cannot or have not is because there is only ONE arena in which they spar/argue from: Jewish, Christian, or Islamic sources. They do not possess any independent sources of verification for the varacity of their entire holy scriptures and their claims. And ironically, that cannot change… by their own restrictions: they have canonized them all. Which means they cannot “move” with the laws of Nature or the Cosmos, and fortunately for us non-believers makes our questions, examining, and verification very easy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Don’t have ‘independent sources………………………’ professor????

          I am laughing in the aisle.

          Yeah, like you need an ‘independent source’ to know that the stars above are suspended in perfection, that you may know they are not a result of a serendipitous accident………………..

          But of course you know this. You don’t need zande to hold your hand to tell you ‘there is no God……………’

          Maybe the Bill Maher show or Time magazine can confirm your bias that Design requires no Designer. Your ‘independent sources’ will all dry up before you can fault God as the sustainer of all things, proven easily by the acts of men.

          His image by the way, is easily proven by your very denial of His existence. Ever heard of the way of Cain? So then what is the value of a PhD which denies the greatest Doctor of all………..

        2. Ahh, hello again CS. I remember you and your fondness for heckling. You seem to enjoy treating strangers — who do not see eye-to-eye with you and your world-view — repeatedly in this way. Aside from it being unattractive and frequently unproductive, it also severely lacks in Christ-like compassion or empathy; yet it does (in a self-described affect & manner) resembles the fanatical “fire and judgement” of biblical prophets, ala John the Baptist. Quite arrogant by comparisons. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I’m sure you’ve been told this by many, both in your circles or outside. So I can laugh with you. LOL

          My comment was direct to John, but I’ll indulge your frivolous reply… if you’d like to offer some “independent sources” please feel free to do so, however, you and I have already approached this subject many long months ago on your blog and you dismissed me and my honest questions. And that’s fine. The wonderful thing about science, logic, comprehensive think-tanks, eusociality, and non-stop investigation is that WE have the freedom to change WITH the Cosmic and planetary conditions with the guarantee and inside perpetual refinement. Sadly, the Abrahamic religions cannot… due to their theological restrictions of canonization, among many other reasons. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Happy holidays and New Year to you CS.

        3. It appears prof. you are inserting your wishful thinking into your analysis.

          And surely you know by now, that when I post a reply to someone, there are invariably ten others who ‘jump in.’

          I don’t care. It’s a public forum, where rules are lax.

          But know this, you have NEVER heard fire and brimstone, so you will stand corrected.

          But heckling? You are not that shallow are you…………

          But certainly happy new year as well.

        4. Forgot to address this part of your reply. Juggling too many bowling-pins at once ๐Ÿ˜› …

          …when I post a reply to someone, there are invariably ten others who โ€˜jump in.โ€™
          I donโ€™t care. Itโ€™s a public forum, where rules are lax.

          This reminds me of a long-time highly successful pandering “shock-jock” on radio called Howard Stern and to a much lesser extent Rush Limbaugh, though both come from the same approach. There is a very simple explanation why Stern was constantly fined by the FCA throughout his career and Limbaugh with his outlandish vernacular: apathy. Probably laziness, but definitely apathy to all of humanity.

          As you stated truthfully, “[you] don’t care.” Your rebel independence I can appreciate to a degree — it’s similar to my tribe of Freethinking Humanists only with less need for taunting. Hope you don’t mind me recognizing some slight similarities. ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Nevertheless CS, thanks for the light brief comic relief and I impart sincere regards for you.

        5. Well let’s see, the last I checked the Big Dipper is still recognizable; the fact that ‘they’ did not evolve by not eloping……….or bumping into each other……..or randomly changing shape or size………so yeah, He who put them there in the first place has it under control; perfect even.

          Of course a godless mind would find fault with this logic, and think that by throwing a pile of sand into the air, a Picasso painting would occur.

        6. I’m sorry allalt that you cannot see the conveniently relevant information.

          ‘The stars are perfectly what they are……………’ while at the same time having no ‘purpose.’ Seriously?

          If they have no purpose, then neither does your life. If they have a purpose, then they also have an architect……….

          The fact that you cannot see nor admit is no weakness on my part to explain the obvious.

        7. Right A, just like the oceans, rain, snow, and rainbows have no purpose.

          If life has a purpose, then all your questions disappear. If not, you will be more lost than London Fog in godless oblivion.

          It’s all in the good book, as well as your conscience.

        8. Professor T’Bo’

          In my first comment I referenced the famous ancient Greek author Homer, and his great work, “Iliad.”

          Clearly, you aren’t reading the comments.

          You are just blabbing the usual knee-jerk, hateful atheist hallucinations.

        9. (yawns)

          First Correction. It isn’t your “first comment”, it was your fifth. And that comment is irrelevant to my specific question/request for you or any “Christian apologist” to provide ANY non-Christian independent sources toward the veracity of the Synoptic gospels. But I’m sure you knew that.

          It seems you are not only avoiding the simple elementary question/request, but perhaps you feel to dialogue with anyone not like you is… beneath you? So you do a sub-par (at best) circular circus act of heckling? (more yawning)

          And 2nd correctionnot that you ever inquired to learn — I am not an athiest. I always make that clear when relevant & it is glaringly obvious on my blog. Third correction my patellar reflexes are perfectly fine. Fourth correction, “hateful” is yours & only your personal opinion; that’s your right no matter how inaccurate (LOL). And fifth correction, I doubt seriously you are a licensed practicing psychiatrist that can properly assess & diagnosis “hallucinations.” After 5-years of employment in clinical Psych/A&D with graduate-studies in the same, I assure you I have never had auditory or visual hallucinations — I know exactly what those resemble and their causes. Again, not that you’d inquire or care about (LOL).

          And finally, I recommended to you days/weeks ago that it would be best for us — and everyone concerned with our/your pointless circus-acts — that we ignore each other in the future… for reasons of this exact non-sense and your childish playground heckling. We have nothing productive to discuss, right?

          So out of simple common courtesy, I wish you & yours a happy New Year.

        10. Professor T’Bo’,

          I am a Christian apologist.

          And because you are basically uneducated, my comments are nothing but Greek to you.

          I am not heckling you.

          I simply can’t stand the way you intellectually retarded atheists demand that we always argue on your terms.

          You see, you are so stupid that you need to rig the game to have any chance of winning.

        11. Is it rigging the game to follow the same rules of other academic discussions? Provide your evidence (preferably empirical) and guided interpretations and listen to criticism.

        12. Allallt,

          You are the one who needs to provide evidence and guided interpretations of the material and listen to criticism.

          That has been my point all along.

          You people just make up a bunch of crap, assign it to the Bible and then demand that Christians explain the crap.

          The Bible is a Catholic book, not a world book.

          It was commissioned by a pope, Pope Damasas I circa 382 Year of Our Lord and translated from the mother tongues into Latin by Saint Jerome.

        13. T’Bo’

          You don’t get to tell anyone to “move along.”

          Who do you think you are?

          What an arrogant, insufferable snob you are.

          Maybe you can see yourself clear to direct traffic from your toilet throne.

        14. Allallt,

          Rigging the game takes a few forms.

          1. Hallucinate a completely absurd alternate reality. Assign that absurdity to your opponent. Then demand that your opponent explain the absurdity.

          John Zande does that routinely with his bizarre interpretations of whatever it is he is seeking to destroy. In this case that would be the Bible.

          2. Bring on the trolls to create an echo chamber for the absurd, to verbally abuse the opposition.

          Enter your buddies, Scottie the Dummy and Professor T’Bo’.

          3. Base a claim about something based on absolute ignorance of that particular something.

          In this case, that would be you with this post.

          You’ve given absolutely no thought whatsoever to anything in biblical literature.

          Consequently, your understanding of man being created in the image of God is a big ZIP-ZERO-zilla.

          Thanks for bringing the conversation back to within a couple of light years of the original topic.

        15. In this case, that would be you with this post.
          Youโ€™ve given absolutely no thought whatsoever to anything in biblical literature.

          Allallt,

          Not that you might need any of my support to this opinionated assertion above, but I can offer you Allallt MUCH thought, under-grad and graduate-seminary education, coupled with 8-years on church-ministry staff & leadership, as well as 12+ years of non-Christian study and research precisely on “biblical literature” which offers an atypical perspective of Fundamentalist theology and their own biblical interpretations/interpolations of the Canonical scriptures they attempt to reference — i.e. both an “inside” understanding and an outside. Most of my work and experience on “biblical literature” can be found abundantly in my blog, if you (Allallt) are interested. I am also happy to briefly, perhaps infrequently, consult/assist if you chose Sir… whichever you might prefer. ๐Ÿ™‚

        16. I’m surprised I have to explain the purpose of my offer, but alas it is revealing your lack of discourse-etiquette and wealth of apathy… so I’ll indulge you this time (long sigh)…

          Your previous comment was specifically directed to Allallt regarding the recent discussion (if it can be called that) between the two of you. My comment, though referencing this blog-post & your opinion I quoted, was specifically directed to Allallt. Why only to him? Because you have never shown any interest, much less common courtesy, in my contributions or my simple questions attempting to engage you and your positions.

          From what I’ve seen here from Allallt, he handles counter-points & personal opinions very well and is quite capable of managing them alone. That said, if Allallt wants my personal contributions based on my background, education, and experience to this particular contention, then I’ll be happy to give them. It’s his decision, his valuable time, his blog.

          Nevertheless SoM, I’ll pass on your baiting and will wait on Allallt if he deems it necessary. ๐Ÿ™‚

        17. Professor T’Bo’,

          Brevity is the soul of wit.

          I don’t have time or energy for your verbose, witless comments.

          This topic is simple.

          Allallt doesn’t understand what “being created in God’s image” means.

          Please explain it to him.

        18. Brevity is the soul of wit” …or the gross oversimplification by the lazy.
          The rest of that sentence you omitted is just as important: “And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.” And would your six word construction from Shakespeare be representative of 24, or 66, or 73 lengthy LENGTHY books of who or what God is in special revelation? Which do you subscribe to SoM and why?

          I donโ€™t have time or energy for your verbose, witless comments.
          Hahaha… then why do you persistently reply? I’ve invited you to ignore my comments. Go. Move along. It’s simple. (shrugs his shoulders & grins)

          This topic is simple.
          On the contrary, an estimated 34,000 Christian denominations in 2000, rising to an estimated 43,000 in 2012 would say otherwise. Does this clearly indicate that the nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the plethora of open interpretations/interpolations of many Canonical scriptures (testimonies) support no brevity of revelation, much less one concept of “created in the image of God”?

          Allallt doesnโ€™t understand what โ€œbeing created in Godโ€™s imageโ€ means.
          Well, the fact that no single consensus exists from all Christians of WHAT or WHO God is, the Trinity, or how this “God” reveals himself, much less single agreement on what books of scripture should be canonized since 325 CE, assuming Allallt doesn’t have a general understanding it’s no wonder he and millions of people don’t understand! This isn’t high-level logic or reasoning.

          Please explain it to him.
          As I’ve already told you, that is up to Allallt. That said, what would help him, us, and anyone else interested would be which specific Christian school, denomination, theology/theism, bible, forms of revelation, and their verifiable sources of those five areas do you subscribe to SoM. Your answers would save all of us an enormous amount of time, or I might say… for the sake of soulful brevity on such a wide range of 43,000+ various interpretations of your religion Christianity.

          I really hope you’ll respond to this reply without your record of arrogant heckling. These are simple assessments and questions to your previous comment to me. Please try to keep it civil. Thank you.

        19. Professor T’Bo’,

          You won’t explain anything to Allallt concerning man being created in the image of God because you can’t.

          It’s as simple and brief as that.

        20. (chuckling & grinning)

          Alright SoM. Awhile back I went to your About Page to see what could be learned about YOUR personal background, education, experience, specifically what denomination of Christianity you follow, ANYTHING that might give a hint. It was blank. Then I went to your About Page again earlier today and again… nothing. BLANK. You also do not have anything on your Gravatar page. Dead ends.

          It doesn’t matter what I think the meaning of “created in the image of God” means. It is what Christians like yourself, and their “Scriptures” and their Holy Spirit says it means. So with brevity ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll return the favor:

          https://www.google.com/webhp?authuser=0#authuser=0&q=created+in+the+image+of+god

          If you feel those 27,200,000 results are not accurate, then please give your personal take on it.

        21. Geezzz, you are one of too many “Christians” I have met over a long time that are poorly poorly equipped to witness to non-Believers. I kid you not. I liken it to continuous cymbal crashing. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The importance of your in the image of God contention is lost now, of no interest… definitely with me! LOL So let’s try another approach with you…

          What is your exegesis of John chapter 4, where Yeshua/Jesus teaches how to witness to non-Believers?

          This question and your answer is important to help establish whether or not YOU are:

          1) a Christian yourself.
          2) whether you have the Holy Spirit in your life personally.
          and 3) if you can give a distilled essence of the gospel so simply, clearly, and convincingly that the people with whom you are sharing your proported “Good News” will be able to make an intelligent decision for your Christ as Savior and Lord. Or in this particular case a distilled essence of “created in the image of God” or a distilled brevity of your particular branch of Christianity.

          By the way, this is one very popular method of teaching Believers how to witness to a world of non-Believers. Many large organizations, such as Campus Crusades for Christ International, use in their curriculum. We used it at our seminary and church ministry as well. Why is this SO DIFFICULT for you to openly share?

        22. Professor T’Bo’,

          In other words you have not idea what you are talking about or what I am talking about.

          The answer I gave here comes straight out of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

          And with regard to man being created in the image of God, Catholic teachings are consistent with mainstream Protestant teachings.

        23. In other words you have not idea what you are talking about or what I am talking about.
          Hahaha… your powers of perception apparently do work. But that would be correct because you haven’t volunteered any sources or citations. To help better understand your position and assertions, I went to your blog — nothing was elucidating or helpful.

          The answer I gave here comes straight out of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
          Ahhh… FINALLY! This is somewhat important because not all Catholics or Protestants and their parishes-Reformed congregations are the same or “mainstream.” For the sake of simple informed objectivity why there are differences should NOT be ignored.

          And with regard to man being created in the image of God, Catholic teachings are consistent with mainstream Protestant teachings.
          There are approx. 1.2 billion Catholics in the world including their Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, etc. There are approx. 850-million Protestants in the world including their ministers & leaders. This is an approx. total of 2.1 billion general Christians and their leadership. A margin-of-error should be factored in to this figure if for no other reason than many young Christians simply follow their familial religious heritage without getting informed of other religions, other ideologies.

          Today there are approx. 7.5 billion people total in the world. This suggests that 72% of the world population and their combined or median intelligence have sufficient reason(s) NOT to follow the theology of Christianity and has been so for over 2,000 years. For me personally, outside of the used & popular scriptural passages that address Godless or Christ-less people, even those ‘Christians not possessing the true Holy Spirit’… indicates either problematic theology, teaching, and modeling (the contention I personally have with all Abrahamic religions)… or that for over 2,000 years around 70% of all people find better reasons to believe or have “faith” in other systems. What I’m stating isn’t rocket science.

          Another approach into WHY approx. 72% of the current world population chooses or has chosen not to follow Christianity is the method Christians, apologists included, explain HOW their God/Christ can be fully known today… after 2,017 years.

        24. Hamlet, Act 2: Scene 2. POLONIUS
          “This business is well ended.
          My liege and madam, to expostulate
          What majesty should be, what duty is,
          Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
          Were nothing but to waste night, day, and time.
          Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit
          And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
          I will be brief: *(My words: This conversation is mad.)*
          Mad call I it, for, to define true madness,
          What is โ€™t but to be nothing else but mad?
          But let that go.”

          Reading these comments is like having my corneas seared out by hot coals. It is literally like being in a school yard of underdeveloped boys screaming, “I know what you are, but what am I?” 100 times over. My Zeus, the idiocy! Why, oh, why, Professor, do you encourage the ramblings of an angry, personality- defective individual hoping to get a coherent answer? Trolls who seek attention to vomit their rage and anger need to be ignored; then they stop. Please note how I’ll ignore this mental ill man’s response to this comment I’m leaving. He’ll curse me, insult me, and call me names, because his instinct for retribution and hate can not be controlled. He simply MUST respond to this comment. Pity him. Pray that his jailers treat him well, and hope his mind clears of its idiocy; then ignore him. I know, it’s hard, but most positive things in life are. Remember what Sonny Bono once said to Cher: “Cher, I like your dress, but I hate the 4 hour long argument we had over whether or not it looked good. It was tedious, and entirely useless.”

        25. Why, oh, why, Professor, do you encourage the ramblings of an angry, personality- defective individual hoping to get a coherent answer?

          Hahahaha! I often ask that question myself. Many of my good Xian friends who have known me for over 36-years state I have more patience and empathy for anyone & everyone, all types, above and beyond most proclaimed Xians! Here in this case, they’re probably right, eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Thank you my friend for the laugh! ๐Ÿ˜›

        26. It’s why I’m here, my friend. Happy New Year to you, and, may I say, I greatly enjoy, and learn from, your intellectual , researched and deeply intelligent writings. You be da man! ๐Ÿ™‚ Like Alexander Pope has written: “True Wit is Nature to advantage dress’d. What oft was thought, but ne’er so well express’d; Something whose truth convinced at sight we find, That gives us back the image of our mind.” ๐Ÿ™‚

        27. Ahhh yes. Laughter is TRULY the best medicine any “created” or highly evolved human could consume and prescribe! ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Thank you for your kind words of support Sir.

        28. Professor T’Bo’,

          Also, to refer me to google means your education level is at the junior high level.

          And to expect me to do your google sorting for you is intellectual laziness and ineptitude on display.

          We didn’t use google in the grad schools where I studied.

          We went directly to primary sources.

          A primary source in this case would be the Catechism of the Catholic Church which I already cited for you.

          Saint Thomas Aquinas’ tour de force, “Summa Theologica” would also be an excellent read.

          Also recommended is understanding the theology of the Nativity since it connects the beginning (Adam and Eve) with the why and wherefore of the birth of Jesus.

          You can still remain an atheist and study these things.

        29. There’s that arrogant heckling again. I’m quickly getting bored from it.

          Nonetheless, my last reply above suspends any need for me to “restudy” the Catachisms or Shorter Catachisms and/or Reformed theology. Today, and for me, there is no need to start in the middle of your theology when your vary sources: General or Special Revelation… cannot be proven. It CAN be taken on individual “faith” which I am perfectly fine with and have no contention. However, it is when people try to make or assert or force upon non-Believers to accept THEIR “infallible inerrant truth” that I have and will take contention.

          Goodnight SoM. (nods)

  8. An excellent post and summation of cyclical theological points and counter-points Allallt. At the very least you beg necessary questions of suspicion about ancient (antequated?) ideas, if not their validity. The minute we stop exploring, questioning and examining and REexamining this existence, both internally AND externally, is the day we invite extinction. Yet, ironically the apocalyptic armageddon is in essense what the Abrahamic religions want and teach; to usher in asap a/the rapture. Sort of satanical, eh? But a very depressing, weak, and apathetic attitude nonetheless for an incredibly wonderful existence right now… well, barring all the abuse and mistreatment of others and this planet. Hah! (laughing) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Hahaha… some fine satire there Jeff! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yet, your inferred point is made and made well, that…

      โ€œNo one has seen God at any timeโ€ฆโ€ (John 1:18)

      โ€œBut on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand. So they saw God, and they ate and drank.โ€ (Exodus 24:11)

      Umm… say/write that again!? ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜‰

        1. Inspired,

          It is better to drink and then see God like a Christian, than to be an atheist and just be blind drunk.

          That’s an old Chinese saying, by the way.

  9. Allallt & anyone else curious,

    This is an excellent blog-post by a U.S. veteran minister who has a cut-to-the-chase “Come to Jesus” approach to American Christianity: My Emancipation From American Christianity. A lot of what he has to say is a huge jagged-pill for many Christians to swallow as the some 943 comments reflect! LOL

    It is an accurate assessment and condition of why over the last several decades the fragmenting, the attendance and membership numbers both are DECLINING in American Christian churches and organizations; and perhaps why other religions and ideologies are on the rise, e.g. Islam, ahead of Christianity. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. @tabbs

      Your arrogance is astounding. You cite a believers disappointment in Christianity to support your villainry, yet neglect to mention how the ‘veteran minister’ maintains his Christianity in spite of any shortcoming. God’s word stands unaccused in spite of your gripes.

      In addition, your so-called mention of 40,000 plus denominations is pathetic. Perhaps you would be so kind to document EACH of them……..or are you relying on the crutches of the google?

      Lastly, since you appreciate ‘laughter’ as the delight of creatures, perhaps you should not neglect to sing the praises of the hyena…………who will embarrass you with such pettiness.

      Oh wait, I forgot, it was the hyena who was created in the image of God and who is responsible for creating the airplane. I’d ask for a refund on that PhD while there is time.

      1. CS,

        Your M.O. and vernacular I see is still overly crude and disrespectful. I’m going to indulge you this last time and try to make it worthwhile for you or anyone else with an identical style.

        I am beginning to believe that you have never experienced what it means or is truly like to love AND be loved in the most vulnerable, raw, liberating ways imaginable. Yes, even beyond the six basic forms the ancient Greeks expected & practiced daily. In fact, you might not even have a clue as to what I’m talking about. So let me give you some hints…

        The moment you experience intimately, intensely ALL of these forms of raw human emotions, your life is never again the same. Most everything you’ve ever experienced PALES compared to being utterly vulnerable, utterly exposed, utterly human. It all humbles you to the point that it is IMPOSSIBLE to keep “hating” any human being, anyone who seeks to show you a different, better method of engaging others, truly impacting other’s lives, rather than trying to antagonize them into useless tantrums of anger, rage or total apathy toward you. With a grin on my face staring straight into your eyes… I will tell you this one time, I hope one day you will grasp in an epiphany (miracle?) what I’m talking about.

        Enquanto isso, vรก correr em sua roda de hamster atรฉ descobrir. Ciao. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Your sleight of hand may work with people who have not a clue as to absolutes in this world, such as truth, God, nature, the God of nature, but don’t pretend to ply your craft of your ‘higher personhood’ when met with facts that you can not respond to.

          I repeat: you will never win an argument against God or His word, and please do not confuse utmost confidence with arrogance. But hatred? Please. Back on point: I notice you have refused the challenge to document your 40k plus alleged denominations.

          It is you sir, who traffic in arrogance. Adios indeed.

          Integra mens augustissama possessio. Two can play your games.

  10. How Christians “Claim” to Know God:

    Allallt, please excuse all the unproductive rambling between SoM, CS, and myself. By initially engaging these two Fundamentalists with open questions, asking for precise supporting sources and terms of their assertions here and other times, all that proceeded was a bunch of rabbit-trails littered with useless heckling and personal opinions. So, if I may, I will attempt to condense what I see is the basic problem for all Abrahamic religions — and in the case of explaining Created in the Image of God — for them to convey or prove this Christian concept, the nature of their God, or how He/She/It can be known. This will also cover their IMPLIED theology of monotheism and/or monism… and how it results in only two outcomes: a) more rabbit-trails due to non-conformity of Christians, or b) merely an individual-personal belief exclusive to themselves, i.e. “individual faith.”

    This is by no means meant to undermine or detract from your excellent post here Sir. Thank you for your patience!

    ————————————–

    Ask any Xian this simple question and their answer(s) will be any combination of 3 explanations below…

    1) through their perceived evidence of Nature (Grand Design), or in theological terms “General Revelation.”

    2) through Scripture (their “Canonized” bible) and how THEY or their priests-ministers, congregation, family, etc, understand it personally, or

    3) through unique personal miracles, the metaphysical, or paranormal experiences. Many scripture passages source these “miracles” from their concept/exegesis of the esoteric “Holy Spirit”.

    Numbers 2 and 3 are known as “Special Revelation.”

    As I’ve stated before — and to offer now fairness via less arrogance (LOL) to these two Fundamentalists — whether Nature, Earth, or the Universe/Multiverse and Cosmos shows emperically one single Grand Designer, can be argued sufficiently in circles either way. This outcome is what greatly weakens General Revelation. I personally think the endless diversity of some 30-plus million projected living species, about 2-million of which we understand & study, trillions upon trillions of stars and planets, none identical, CLEARLY shows infinite pluralism, i.e. anti-monism, anti-monotheism.

    #2 is where Fundamentalists like to go all-in: the veracity of (their) Scriptures. It is more tangible for them and non-Believers than #1 or #3. The arguments for the veracity of Scripture can also quickly become circular and rabbit-trails unless the debate stays on ONE simple two-part question:

    Why was there no ONE Christian consensus of Scripture and its exegesis from 30-33 CE (the estimated date of crucifixion) up to 325 CE (the Council of Nicaea)?

    That wide-spread confusion, arguing, debating in Antiquity took place over almost 3 centuries amongst Christians! To me that is highly problematic for Xian apologists. The variety of exegesis still exists today among Christians and the other two Abrahamic religions.

    #3 is a double-bind for Fundamentalists. Why? Because if one asks 2.1 billion Christians (not their priest-minister!) what THEIR own unique “miracle” by God, or Christ, or the Holy Spirit entailed, in their own words… there will not be a clear consensus of exactly HOW God reveals His/Her/Its existence or personality/nature; i.e. there IS NO one catch-all way, or no John 14:6 to be precise.

    Pausing (likely stopping) here because this is much to process and digest. Thank you Allallt, and again, my sincere apologies we’ve taken up so much useless comment-space here. It isn’t the ideal place to debate or dialogue on such a convoluted subject as divine revelations or the veracity of them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Sorry, there was a tiny omission on my part above. The sentence should’ve read…

      Ask any Xian this simple question How is God known to exist? and their answer(s) will be any combination of 3 explanations below…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s