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Assorted and general Bible questions that really don't fit any of the other categories

Please straighten out my understanding of Christianity

Postby I Am a Bee » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:38 pm

From conversations I have had with others, I feel that my perception of Christians and their portrayal of God is perhaps overly-generalised or straight-up inaccurate. I admit I have had experiences that have painted Christianity in a negative light. I therefore ask: What are some things about your religion or denomination that you feel are misinterpreted or misunderstood?

More specifically: Do most Christians really think atheists are bad people? Are atheists taking the scriptures too literally? Do you believe God created the world in 7 days? What powers and attributes do you believe God has?
I Am a Bee
 

Re: Please straighten out my understanding of Christianity

Postby jimwalton » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:47 pm

> What are some things about your religion or denomination that you feel are misinterpreted or misunderstood?

- There is HUGE misunderstanding of the Bible. There is more to it than there seems on the surface, but a lot of people just want to read it superficially.
- There is a rather common opinion that the Bible doesn't have anything historical in it or that it has stuff that is historically inaccurate, but it just isn't so.
- Faith is greatly misunderstood. Most critics take it to mean "following blindly things that don't make sense or can't be proved," but the Bible speaks of it as "making an assumption of truth based on enough evidence to make the assumption reasonable."
- Lots of detractors seem to think that to be a Christian you have to be intellectually dishonest or you have to check your brains at the door. Not so.
- Critics seem to think that Christians reject science. Not so.

Those are a couple of things that come to mind.

> Do most Christians really think atheists are bad people?

No, just people who think differently than theists do.

> Are atheists taking the scriptures too literally?

Probably, but it's tough to generalize. I happen to think a bunch of Christians try to take the Bible too literally, too. We need to take the Bible with all of the literary flavors written into it. "Literally" becomes a pretty meaningless word when we take the Bible the way it was intended by the authors.

> Do you believe God created the world in 7 days?

No, I believe Genesis 1 is an account of how God ordered the cosmos and the world to make it function as his temple, not as an account of material creation. It's a temple text, not an origins text. In the ancient world, all temple dedications were 7 days long, hence the 7 days of Genesis 1.

> What powers and attributes do you believe God has?

Omnipotence has never been adequately defined. It doesn't mean there are no limits to what God can do. It means God is able to do all things that are proper objects of his power. It is no contradiction that God can realize whatever is possible, but that no number of actualized possibilities exhausts his power. God can realize whatever is possible. The omnipotence of God is all-sufficient power. He is able to overcome apparently insurmountable problems. He has complete power over nature. He has power over the course of history. He has the power to change human personality as individuals allow. He has the power to conquer death and sin, and to save a human soul for eternity. He has power over the spiritual realm.

What all of this means is that God’s will is never frustrated. What he chooses to do, he accomplishes, for he has the ability to do it.

Attributes? Off the top of my head: Eternal, holy, just, good, love, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, creator, sustainer, sovereignty.


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