Christianity is fundamentally anti-critical thinking and the U.S. is not a Christian nation

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Behold

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People often confuse "You're not listening to me" with "You're not agreeing with me". I've got some very hard core Christian family members who tell me that I'm "Just fighting the truth". But this is all a mere projection of them giving up on using their brains. They have admitted to asking questions at one point...but they ultimately had to stop. Critical thinking and skepticism thrives on asking questions, they've stunted their own mental growth.

The problem with Atheism is that it tries to prove there is no God, yet, trying to prove what "does not exist" : is actually affirming it.

Also, Christianity does not require that you turn off your Brain.
But it does require that you understand that things with God are not understood by the "natural mind".
The Natural mind, says.>"seeing is believing".
Christianity, does not enlist the eyes, it requires the Heart....and thats a totally different way to understand, yet, its THE only Way that we discover all that God requires us to Know.......about HIM.

Think of a FM Radio band.
Can you turn on an FM Radio, and find a AM Radio Station?
You cannot, because you are doing the wrong search, and that is what happens when a person, a skeptic, tries to find God by analytical thinking or similar pursuit.
God is not on that Skeptic's AM band.....>He is FM, and they are not Dialed in. God exists is the Spiritual Realm, and you can't find Him or even begin to understand Jesus or The Cross, or Heaven...when you try to diagnose all of this with human reasoning.
You'll never find the SIGNAL that way., Animal2692... you'll only stay disconnected.
 

ScottA

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Some people will say I'm making a gross overgeneralization and come up with all sorts of tidbits and details as to why Christianity is complementary with science and critical thinking. However, most if not all of those reasons are superficial at the end of the day (if not straight up lies) and they ultimately hold no water. Christianity discourages skepticism, you are not supposed to use your brain at full capacity under the guise "of having faith". It is a statistical fact that education is associated with an increased chance of a loss of faith. I hear all these apologetics talk and they're essentially rationalizing against critical thinking. If you ask too many questions, you cannot be Christian in the end for the simple reason that one must come to a point where the questions stop completely, you effectively become intellectually lazy. If you keep asking questions, you end up being told that a true Christian doesn't question the authority of God, for example. There are so many controversial verses in the Bible (such as Romans 13 where one must obey the government since God put it there) that one must come up with all these copes and rationalizations for each one in particular in order to uphold their core beliefs.

The second issue is the idea that the U.S. is a Christian nation. This is a problem because it closes the separation between church & state. In 1797, the Senate ratified the Treaty of Tripoli, which declares that “the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” And "In God We Trust" was only added to U.S. currency in 1956 which is fairly recent in American history. Sure there are many Christians in the U.S. and even some of the founding fathers were Christian, but by no means does that make the U.S. a Christian nation.

People often confuse "You're not listening to me" with "You're not agreeing with me". I've got some very hard core Christian family members who tell me that I'm "Just fighting the truth". But this is all a mere projection of them giving up on using their brains. They have admitted to asking questions at one point...but they ultimately had to stop. Critical thinking and skepticism thrives on asking questions, they've stunted their own mental growth.
The world is God's snow globe.

Many speculate, many rant, but the snow globe is unshaken.
 
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Behold

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The world is God's snow globe.

Many speculate, many rant, but the snow globe is unshaken.

Thats a good one.

I like this one...(its Russian) (translated) The dogs all around are barking at the Elephant, but the Elephant just keeps moving forward.
 
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stunnedbygrace

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My daughter and I were just discussing gas prices...she asked me where I was and I said at the QT getting gold...I mean gas...for my car...lol.
She said she just filled up as well and it was over 50 dollars. Then she started sharing where they were cutting certain things to balance their budget.
I said yes, I don't know what I can cut...then I stopped and said HEY....wait a minute....I am not going to do this worry stuff....God is my source and He supplies my EVERY need.
So that was the end of that subject. Lol

I needed this uplift. I really needed it. I broke into cheers as if I was watching a touchdown being scored and scared my little dog. Run to win sister!
 
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stunnedbygrace

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What makes Christendom (not real Christianity which is spiritual in nature) anti-critical thinking is that it is based on a dogmatic ideology based on human certainty....rather than on faith. To realize that biblical faith has nothing to do with beliefs is the first step in critical thinking.

The West likes ideology. What goes down easy and fills the pews is not what's good for it. Saved by beliefs? Adopting ready-made creeds to be memorized? Not allowing people to question teachings in the meetings?

Men have not been faithful in their attempt to perpetuate an ecclesiastical equivalent to the Church of God. There is no equivalent to an eternal life.

And…I needed this too. You guys are awesome! Neither of you had any idea you’d be feeding me tonight! I had no idea either.
 

ScottA

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Thats a good one.

I like this one...(its Russian) (translated) The dogs all around are barking at the Elephant, but the Elephant just keeps moving forward.
:D The oxen are slow but the earth is patient. :)
 

dhh712

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Actually some aspects of Christian theology are quite intellectual. You may want to consider reading the Westminster Confessions of Faith one day if you have not already; I found it to be quite an intellectual and logical document.

Any church that does not encourage questions does not have a good grasp of the correct objective interpretation of God's revelation of himself to us.

Unfortunately many of those questions are not able to be answered. God's word is not exhaustive of himself nor is it written to satisfy all of our intellectual curiosity. Rather it provides us with what is needed most: reconciliation with our Creator.

And no, I by no means consider the United States to be a Christian nation.

Critical thinking is closely associated with skepticism. To say that, "Oh, the creator transcends all critical thinking" is meaningless, it's word salad. If I can't know the creator through critical thinking, then so be it. Even more reason to focus on what's pragmatic and discard what's of no use. People just overcomplicate life and create hell by trying to do the impossible because they're insecure and afraid of the unknown deep down.

Who cares what happens after death when you haven't even gotten around to living this life fully


I take it that you mean "The Creator transcends the limits of our mind". If so, yes that is correct. If a being were to be completely apprehended by someone of our limited perspectives then that being would definitely not be God; by necessity it would be a creation of our own minds since our minds would be able to encompass it.

A lot of answers the Bible gives are not satisfactory to those who consider themselves intellectual, critical-thinkers. It's just the way it is because, like I said, that's not what the Bible was given to us for to answer all those questions.

It would be of no use if we never have to deal with it; however, that may not be the case. By faith I know it not to be. By faith I know that after death we will stand before God and have to answer to him for our actions (those that are outside of Jesus that is).

And if that is not the case, then so what. Then there is nothing and nothing will be lost by me. I won't be pining at the life I've given up when I'm dead beyond the grave and non-existent.

Life however, can be tragic. It often is that way for most. Perhaps some will be "fortunate" to skate by and not come into great loss. This life is also very, very brief; before you know it, it's over.

I'm glad I have something to hope for because I state factually that if that were not the case I would have killed myself after I lost my husband unexpectedly. The grief was and is absolutely unbearable. The only thing I have to look forward to now is to be in my eternal home with my Lord Jesus and all my brothers and sisters in Him. And being in the presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus when I come together with my church family to worship him is the happiest time of all my days here; there is so much joy I find in worship that it is truly sad when the service comes to an end. That to me is living life to the fullest that I can.


...In general, the secular mindset that this life is "all there is" is most certainly contributing to it. The unsaved and ungodly are placing their hope in exactly the wrong place, and there are about to be multitudes who get hit square in the face with that realization. At this point in history, the systems the world once depended on are about to start going off the cliff in a raging lemming march.

The question is, how many will wake up from their delusion soon enough not to go over the edge, economically, psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, or in any other way under the sun trying to cope.

But mankind's true Hope has always been in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone, so the sooner they finally wake up to that truth, the better.

Praise the Lord for his merciful gift of salvation which is open to all! This world is an extreme wreck of a place and it's coming apart at the seams; there is no hope for anyone if they should hope only in this world.

What a rest there is in Jesus. "A home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way; from the burning of the noontide heat and the burden of the day."
 
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farouk

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Actually some aspects of Christian theology are quite intellectual. You may want to consider reading the Westminster Confessions of Faith one day if you have not already; I found it to be quite an intellectual and logical document.

Any church that does not encourage questions does not have a good grasp of the correct objective interpretation of God's revelation of himself to us.

Unfortunately many of those questions are not able to be answered. God's word is not exhaustive of himself nor is it written to satisfy all of our intellectual curiosity. Rather it provides us with what is needed most: reconciliation with our Creator.

And no, I by no means consider the United States to be a Christian nation.




I take it that you mean "The Creator transcends the limits of our mind". If so, yes that is correct. If a being were to be completely apprehended by someone of our limited perspectives then that being would definitely not be God; by necessity it would be a creation of our own minds since our minds would be able to encompass it.

A lot of answers the Bible gives are not satisfactory to those who consider themselves intellectual, critical-thinkers. It's just the way it is because, like I said, that's not what the Bible was given to us for to answer all those questions.

It would be of no use if we never have to deal with it; however, that may not be the case. By faith I know it not to be. By faith I know that after death we will stand before God and have to answer to him for our actions (those that are outside of Jesus that is).

And if that is not the case, then so what. Then there is nothing and nothing will be lost by me. I won't be pining at the life I've given up when I'm dead beyond the grave and non-existent.

Life however, can be tragic. It often is that way for most. Perhaps some will be "fortunate" to skate by and not come into great loss. This life is also very, very brief; before you know it, it's over.

I'm glad I have something to hope for because I state factually that if that were not the case I would have killed myself after I lost my husband unexpectedly. The grief was and is absolutely unbearable. The only thing I have to look forward to now is to be in my eternal home with my Lord Jesus and all my brothers and sisters in Him. And being in the presence of my Lord and Savior Jesus when I come together with my church family to worship him is the happiest time of all my days here; there is so much joy I find in worship that it is truly sad when the service comes to an end. That to me is living life to the fullest that I can.
@dhh712 And what about Paul, indeed: he had a tremendous mind, educated at the feet of Gamaliel; an Hebrew of the Hebrews, etc.: but he counted it all but dung that he might win Christ.....(Philippians 3.8). :)
 
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Dropship

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I'm all for kids finding a job and making an honest living, I just don't think that's what their self-worth should be based on, or what they should be living for. I've been working at insignificant jobs my whole life yet have always been fully provided for, because my self-worth was never tied to my job anyway, and my purpose was in serving the Lord not the Almighty dollar.
As a result I am blessed, and don't have a care in the world, even as I watch this train wreck of an economy now heading straight for financial Armageddon, LoL.


UnimportantLastingAchillestang-size_restricted.gif

Yes, and maybe monks have got the right idea, renouncing the world completely to live a life of quiet meditation in monasteries.
We too can become "monks" in our own way, being in the world but not part of it..:)
 
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Lifelong_sinner

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Actually some aspects of Christian theology are quite intellectual. You may want to consider reading the Westminster Confessions of Faith one day if you have not already; I found it to be quite an intellectual and logical document.

are you a fellow presbyterian????? o_Oo_Oo_Oo_O
I hope so, theres so few of us around here.
 
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dhh712

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are you a fellow presbyterian????? o_Oo_Oo_Oo_O
I hope so, theres so few of us around here.

Yes I am, good to meet you. I'm a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (also known as the "Only Perfect Church"--lol, just kidding of course!). I was actually converted by mean of the WCF--I identify completely with the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip spoke with in Acts; I definitely needed someone to explain the Scriptures to me else they were a closed book (and another example of that sort of explanation is when Jesus in his resurrected body spoke with the two travelers to Emmaus explaining everything in the books of Moses and the prophets pertaining to himself). Years prior to my conversion in 2/2013, I read almost entirely through the Bible under a pastor who had an entirely different theology; but when I went back through to reread it, it was like I had never read it before. Looking forward to talking with you more on here!

Also, Christianity does not require that you turn off your Brain.
But it does require that you understand that things with God are not understood by the "natural mind".
The Natural mind, says.>"seeing is believing".
Christianity, does not enlist the eyes, it requires the Heart....and thats a totally different way to understand, yet, its THE only Way that we discover all that God requires us to Know.......about HIM.

Think of a FM Radio band.
Can you turn on an FM Radio, and find a AM Radio Station?
You cannot, because you are doing the wrong search, and that is what happens when a person, a skeptic, tries to find God by analytical thinking or similar pursuit.
God is not on that Skeptic's AM band.....>He is FM, and they are not Dialed in. God exists is the Spiritual Realm, and you can't find Him or even begin to understand Jesus or The Cross, or Heaven...when you try to diagnose all of this with human reasoning.
You'll never find the SIGNAL that way., Animal2692... you'll only stay disconnected.

What an excellent explanation Behold! Yes--it requires a different kind of understanding, a different way of thinking. Someone on a different board, an atheist actually, got it (for the most part, I think); he explained it as "compartmentalizing". I found this to be very much on target.

I was discussing this topic on there how some of God's revelation of himself is illogical. For instance regarding where did sin come from? If you take our logic, you say okay God created everything so he must have created sin too. Yet, God's revelation of himself is quite emphatic that he is not the author of sin. Yet, according to our logic that can't be possible.

This is when we realize that this is the understanding we have with our fallen minds which are corrupt. We as believers regard God's word to be absolute truth. Thus, since we arrive at the opposite conclusion as God's word does, then something must be wrong with our understanding. It is us that's on the stand at the trial, not God.

That is where atheists have it backwards. They set up God to judge him, but it is actually the other way around (they will only find this out when they stand before him on judgment day, but of course this means nothing to them since they do not believe anything like that exists).

None of this would mean much of anything to anyone if they did not have a spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Afterall, if my mental capacities have served me exceptionally well in my life, why would I believe an illogical set of words on a paper over my own ability to grasp what is logical and what is not? That is why explaining the Bible in as logical a way as possible will do nothing to convince the unbeliever of the truth of God's word.

Actually, the story of Lazarus and the Rich man spells it out quite clearly that is it only by the working of the Holy Spirit to convince us of the truth of God's word that anyone will believe (and I believe that what is actually going on in this situation is that you encounter the Holy Spirit spiritually and he conveys to you in a real way the holiness of God; and in that way you meet the Lord Jesus in Scripture). Even should someone return from the dead to tell them of what is beyond life--no one would believe by that. They would think they are having an hallucination.

If I'm remembering correctly Behold, you are not too fond of the WCF. I believe I can understand your view on that perhaps; should one comprehend that work and have an amazing grasp of theology that would still mean nothing regarding their faith in Jesus. It is the relationship of the heart that matters, the only thing that matters. One could have the best theology out there, an A+ on an exam, but if their heart doesn't have that relationship with God then they do not really know him.

I love to say this--that the Lord God does not give us a doctrinal exam when we stand before him in judgment. Jesus saves, not our knowledge of theology. I find Reformed believers to be a bit heavy in the way of theological and doctrinal matters (which is fine by all means; I think it's great to have a good doctrinal base by which one understands God's revelation of himself to us. There's definitely nothing wrong with that). But they need to have a love for Jesus as well.
 
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farouk

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Yes I am, good to meet you. I'm a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (also known as the "Only Perfect Church"--lol, just kidding of course!). I was actually converted by mean of the WCF--I identify completely with the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip spoke with in Acts; I definitely needed someone to explain the Scriptures to me else they were a closed book (and another example of that sort of explanation is when Jesus in his resurrected body spoke with the two travelers to Emmaus explaining everything in the books of Moses and the prophets pertaining to himself). Years prior to my conversion in 2/2013, I read almost entirely through the Bible under a pastor who had an entirely different theology; but when I went back through to reread it, it was like I had never read it before. Looking forward to talking with you more on here!



What an excellent explanation Behold! Yes--it requires a different kind of understanding, a different way of thinking. Someone on a different board, an atheist actually, got it (for the most part, I think); he explained it as "compartmentalizing". I found this to be very much on target.

I was discussing this topic on there how some of God's revelation of himself is illogical. For instance regarding where did sin come from? If you take our logic, you say okay God created everything so he must have created sin too. Yet, God's revelation of himself is quite emphatic that he is not the author of sin. Yet, according to our logic that can't be possible.

This is when we realize that this is the understanding we have with our fallen minds which are corrupt. We as believers regard God's word to be absolute truth. Thus, since we arrive at the opposite conclusion as God's word does, then something must be wrong with our understanding. It is us that's on the stand at the trial, not God.

That is where atheists have it backwards. They set up God to judge him, but it is actually the other way around (they will only find this out when they stand before him on judgment day, but of course this means nothing to them since they do not believe anything like that exists).

None of this would mean much of anything to anyone if they did not have a spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Afterall, if my mental capacities have served me exceptionally well in my life, why would I believe an illogical set of words on a paper over my own ability to grasp what is logical and what is not? That is why explaining the Bible in as logical a way as possible will do nothing to convince the unbeliever of the truth of God's word.

Actually, the story of Lazarus and the Rich man spells it out quite clearly that is it only by the working of the Holy Spirit to convince us of the truth of God's word that anyone will believe (and I believe that what is actually going on in this situation is that you encounter the Holy Spirit spiritually and he conveys to you in a real way the holiness of God; and in that way you meet the Lord Jesus in Scripture). Even should someone return from the dead to tell them of what is beyond life--no one would believe by that. They would think they are having an hallucination.

If I'm remembering correctly Behold, you are not too fond of the WCF. I believe I can understand your view on that perhaps; should one comprehend that work and have an amazing grasp of theology that would still mean nothing regarding their faith in Jesus. It is the relationship of the heart that matters, the only thing that matters. One could have the best theology out there, an A+ on an exam, but if their heart doesn't have that relationship with God then they do not really know him.

I love to say this--that the Lord God does not give us a doctrinal exam when we stand before him in judgment. Jesus saves, not our knowledge of theology. I find Reformed believers to be a bit heavy in the way of theological and doctrinal matters (which is fine by all means; I think it's great to have a good doctrinal base by which one understands God's revelation of himself to us. There's definitely nothing wrong with that). But they need to have a love for Jesus as well.
Hi @dhh712 Your post reminds me of what Paul says in 1 Timothy 4.13:

"Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine."

I love the words of Godly Anne Steele from the 18th century:

"O may these hallowed pages be
My ever dear delight!
And still new beauties may I see,
And still increasing light!

Divine instructor, gracious Lord,
Be Thou for ever near:
Teach me to love Thy sacred Word,
And view my Saviour there."
 

Lifelong_sinner

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Yes I am, good to meet you. I'm a member of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (also known as the "Only Perfect Church"--lol, just kidding of course!). I was actually converted by mean of the WCF--I identify completely with the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip spoke with in Acts.

**runs around the room**
She’s OPC!!! She’s OPC!!!!!
:D:D:D

You are literally the only other OPC person i have run into on here. Amazing. I do hope you like the WCF, as i am always posting it on here. OPC folk are few and far between so i look forward to discussing the WCF more now.
 
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dhh712

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**runs around the room**
She’s OPC!!! She’s OPC!!!!!
:D:D:D

You are literally the only other OPC person i have run into on here. Amazing. I do hope you like the WCF, as i am always posting it on here. OPC folk are few and far between so i look forward to discussing the WCF more now.

That's so cool that you're OPC too! How awesome is that! Which church do you go to? I'm at Living Hope in Gettysburg. Pastor VanMeerbeke's my pastor; we just got a new pastor, Shane Bennett (after Zack Siggons left us!) and Kyle Brown's our associate pastor. Usually everyone knows everyone in the OPC. I listen to a lot of OPC church sermons on sermon audio too (my favorite OPC pastors on there so far are Cliff Blair and Stephen Tracey; I listen to a couple RPCna pastors too). My first church I joined was RPCna---and Zack said as a joke while talking about that, "Everyone knows everyone in the OPC but everyone's related to everyone in the RPCna". Lol.

I just love the WCF. I mean, it like totally opened my eyes to God's word. It really was like that Ethiopian eunuch who needed Philip to take him by the hand and explain what was going on in Scripture. I was raised Catholic and at that time I would have said I believed in Jesus. But he was like there and I knew something about him but it was just some vague idea that he died on a cross and that was supposed to mean something to me. Then my family stopped going to church (we were nominal Catholics) and my dad got involved with this non-denominational preacher (maybe you've heard of him--Arnold Murray and the Shepherd's Chapel). He taught these way out there doctrines. I started listening to him too, thought what he said about the Bible was pretty interesting. That was when I almost made it through the entire Bible.

Then my brother (he is an avowed atheist) started talking to me about the logical flaws of the Bible and God and I'm like, "Yeah, you know that really doesn't add up" (I forgot exactly what he said). So I became an atheist for a long time (about almost 15 years). (And doing research on American Civil War General D.H. Hill is what led me to reading the Confessions).

The Confessions just make so much sense. There's just nothing that there's not an answer to in God's word when you read it by way of that interpretation (and there's absolutely no part of the Bible that is left out or skimmed over. Every single verse is accounted for). Some of the answers aren't "good enough" and may seem like "cop outs" to unbelievers, but that's the answer that God gives; and some answers are not going to be well-received. I was just stunned by the intellectualism of that document. After reading it, I'm like "How can anyone NOT believe in God's word??" But I realized it was a change of heart (I gave it to my mom to read and she didn't care for it). That the Lord has to open your eyes and make you see yourself as a sinner before a perfectly holy God and that you need a Saviour to be reconciled to God whom is the only thing we desire with all our being and is the only thing that will bring us lasting joy and satisfaction.

I'm way overdue to read it again though; have been meaning to for a while now. But my--how time just never seems to be there! And then there's my ever growing stack of books I'd like to read (theology and Civil War non-fiction, about the only things I read).

Well I'm really looking forward to talking to you more!
 

farouk

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That's so cool that you're OPC too! How awesome is that! Which church do you go to? I'm at Living Hope in Gettysburg. Pastor VanMeerbeke's my pastor; we just got a new pastor, Shane Bennett (after Zack Siggons left us!) and Kyle Brown's our associate pastor. Usually everyone knows everyone in the OPC. I listen to a lot of OPC church sermons on sermon audio too (my favorite OPC pastors on there so far are Cliff Blair and Stephen Tracey; I listen to a couple RPCna pastors too). My first church I joined was RPCna---and Zack said as a joke while talking about that, "Everyone knows everyone in the OPC but everyone's related to everyone in the RPCna". Lol.

I just love the WCF. I mean, it like totally opened my eyes to God's word. It really was like that Ethiopian eunuch who needed Philip to take him by the hand and explain what was going on in Scripture. I was raised Catholic and at that time I would have said I believed in Jesus. But he was like there and I knew something about him but it was just some vague idea that he died on a cross and that was supposed to mean something to me. Then my family stopped going to church (we were nominal Catholics) and my dad got involved with this non-denominational preacher (maybe you've heard of him--Arnold Murray and the Shepherd's Chapel). He taught these way out there doctrines. I started listening to him too, thought what he said about the Bible was pretty interesting. That was when I almost made it through the entire Bible.

Then my brother (he is an avowed atheist) started talking to me about the logical flaws of the Bible and God and I'm like, "Yeah, you know that really doesn't add up" (I forgot exactly what he said). So I became an atheist for a long time (about almost 15 years). (And doing research on American Civil War General D.H. Hill is what led me to reading the Confessions).

The Confessions just make so much sense. There's just nothing that there's not an answer to in God's word when you read it by way of that interpretation (and there's absolutely no part of the Bible that is left out or skimmed over. Every single verse is accounted for). Some of the answers aren't "good enough" and may seem like "cop outs" to unbelievers, but that's the answer that God gives; and some answers are not going to be well-received. I was just stunned by the intellectualism of that document. After reading it, I'm like "How can anyone NOT believe in God's word??" But I realized it was a change of heart (I gave it to my mom to read and she didn't care for it). That the Lord has to open your eyes and make you see yourself as a sinner before a perfectly holy God and that you need a Saviour to be reconciled to God whom is the only thing we desire with all our being and is the only thing that will bring us lasting joy and satisfaction.

I'm way overdue to read it again though; have been meaning to for a while now. But my--how time just never seems to be there! And then there's my ever growing stack of books I'd like to read (theology and Civil War non-fiction, about the only things I read).

Well I'm really looking forward to talking to you more!
@dhh712 I love that Acts 8 passage, how Isaiah 53 came alive to the Ethiopian eunuch.......
 
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