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Why believe the bible is inerrant?

Discussion in 'NonChristian Help Forum' started by Lunar, May 9, 2008.

  1. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    I figured this deserved its own thread.How is it that many Christians believe the word of the Bible is inerrant, when it has been shown to contain numerous inconsistencies, unfulfilled prophecies, and is most likely the work of a number of people with different theological views who redacted source texts with the intention of pursuing a particular religious agenda?Let's look at the most important prophecy in the bible - the second coming of Jesus. It failed. It was predicted in numerous passages that the second coming would occur within the lifetime of some of Jesus' followers. But it hasn't.
    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord
    - 1 Thessalonians 4:16
    Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
    - Mark 13:30-31
    And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
    - Mark 9:1
    Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
    - Matthew 26:64Eschatology was one of the most important issues in early Christianity, but it got it all wrong.The bible is inconsistent on the other major issue in Christianity: salvation. Paul writes in Galatians that we are saved through faith, not works. But in James, it is explicitly stated that faith without works is dead.The bible contains many other unfulfilled or inaccurate prophecies. I'm sure you are all familiar with them. How can one reconcile this with the supposed inerrancy of the bible?It has also been shown that many of the books of the bible were written under false names. In particular, many of the Pauline epistles (the pastorals, and a handful of others) were undoubtedly pseudonymous works. "Paul" references proper conduct for bishops in 1/2 Timothy and Titus, but this clerical structure did not exist during Paul's lifetime. This means it must have been forged at a later date, using Paul's name as a claim to religious authority.Then there are the Gospels. Why would one need to tell the same story four times? If it's God's perfect and inerrant word, couldn't he just tell the story once, without any contradictions? The gospels contain a number of contradictions between each other - Jesus' lineage is different between Matthew and Luke, various details differ between important scenes, like who was present at Jesus's death and who first saw the empty tomb. Are these stories all supposed to be true? The gospel of Luke even specifically says at the beginning that he is aware there are inaccurate versions of the gospel in circulation and that he's writing this version to be a more correct and accurate version. Aren't the implications of this obvious?My opinion is that the reason the bible is inconsistent with itself is because it is the work of early Christians who had different views about Christianity. Some, like the author of the gospel of Matthew, clearly saw it as an extension of Judaism and wanted to cast Jesus as the new Moses, rather than the leader of a completely new religion. That's why only Matthew contains the sermon on the mount, why his lineage traces Jesus' ancestry back to Abraham, and why only Matthew contains the verse "I have come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it." The Gospel of John's focus on the Word, meanwhile, suggests clear gnostic leanings on behalf of the writer.Can we possibly believe that the bible is inerrant and internally consistent?
     
  2. found in Alaska

    found in Alaska New Member

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  3. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    (found in Alaska;48718)
    This link might help answer "Inerrancy and Infallibility of the Bible", I found it interestinghttp://mb-soft.com/believe/text/inerranc.htm
    I read it and I wasn't impressed. All the arguments that it brought up were things that I've heard before, and they were very fallacious arguments. The Bible is infallible because it claims to be infallible? If that's our standard for infallibility then I ought to start ending all of my posts with "This is infallible."The claim that the Bible must be infallible because that's the view that the church has adopted in the past is preposterous too. Many religions have a text that their institutions have considered infallible; are they all right? Is the Qu'ran infallible now?The Bible's inerrancy is going to have to stand or fall on its own grounds, not on what famous clerics have said.
     
  4. found in Alaska

    found in Alaska New Member

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    Mark 13:30-31Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.The generation that witnesses the events leading up to Mark 13:30-31 will be “this generation”. So it sounds as if all those conditions listed in Mark 13 haven’t been met. So you may witness second coming within your lifetime.
     
  5. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    (found in Alaska;48724)
    The generation that witnesses the events leading up to Mark 13:30-31 will be “this generation”. So it sounds as if all those conditions listed in Mark 13 haven’t been met. So you may witness second coming within your lifetime.
    I don't follow. If I were talking to you in 1995 and I said "this generation," I would be referring to a generation that was living in 1995. If I were talking to you in 32 CE and said "this generation," I would be referring to a generation that was living in 32 CE. That is what he was saying. The generation which he was addressing, living in 32 CE, would experience the second coming of Christ before they died.
     
  6. found in Alaska

    found in Alaska New Member

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    If you "Lunar" witness the events referred to by Jesus in Mark 13:5-31, you would be “this generation”. In the year of our Lord 2008
     
  7. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    This is not difficult reading comprehension. If you read the beginning of the chapter, Mark 13:1-5, it is clear that Jesus is addressing his disciples. Not us. He thought the second coming would occur within their lifetimes because he is talking to them and referring to their generation.
     
  8. Jordan

    Jordan Active Member

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    Oh boy, Christ knowing ALL things from His Father and He is one with the Father, Hence Christ being God, clearly He knows that the Second Coming was not going to be on their time when the First Coming was His flesh self, being human. There is no way Second Coming will come on their time but rather on the End Times...
     
  9. treeoflife

    treeoflife New Member

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    The only contridiction's in the Bible are in our translations of it. It's an amazing thing that God did for us in the Bible.
     
  10. Jordan

    Jordan Active Member

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    Which translation though, It is impossible for me to accept modern perVersion as the Word of God since they clearly attack Him.
     
  11. found in Alaska

    found in Alaska New Member

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    It's not a matter of reading, but understanding; maybe some commentaries would help, try this link http://www.blueletterbible.org/index.htmlThis generation will be no means pass away till all these things take place: What generation does Jesus refer to? It cannot be the generation of the disciples, because they did not see the triumphant return of Jesus. It is undoubtedly the generation that sees these signs - especially the abomination of desolation. These events and Jesus’ return won’t be on some 1,000-year timetable, but will happen in succession.i. It is also possible that the word generation can be understood as a race or people. This may be a promise that the Jewish race will not perish before history comes to a conclusion.http://www.blueletterbible.org/cgi-bin/com...x=16&Select.y=4
     
  12. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    (found in Alaska;48739)
    This generation will be no means pass away till all these things take place: What generation does Jesus refer to? It cannot be the generation of the disciples, because they did not see the triumphant return of Jesus. It is undoubtedly the generation that sees these signs - especially the abomination of desolation. These events and Jesus’ return won’t be on some 1,000-year timetable, but will happen in succession.
    Honestly, I know this sounds condescending but I have a hard time feeling guilty about it given the number of condescending remarks that have been directed towards me here: It is actually tragic to see how strongly your faith has blinded you to reason. Clinging to selective rationalization and being befuddled by poor argumentation is one thing, but when you are unable to grasp the meaning of plain, simple English - a passage which is clear and unambiguous - I have to question whether it's even possible to have a rational discussion with you.The word "generation" simply does not mean race or people. I don't know how you could possibly reach that conclusion. And if Jesus had meant a future generation, he wouldn't have said "this" generation, he would have said "a generation in the future," because "this generation" doesn't mean "a generation in the future." Look at the sheer volume of other passages that I've provided you with, all of which suggest that the meaning of what he is saying is that the second coming would have occurred within the lifetime of Jesus' followers. All of them! Even if you came up with a selective interpretation of any one individual passage (though I hesitate to even call it an interpretation so much as an outright rewriting, since your "interpretation" doesn't even contain an inkling of suggestion in the original passage), you've got others to deal with. What about Mark 9:1?
    And He said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power.”
    There are some standing here. He is again referring to his disciples.And again, in Matthew 26:64:
    Jesus said to him, “It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
    Jesus is clearly speaking to the high priest that lived in that day and age and saying that he, specifically, will see the second coming of Jesus. It doesn't take any more "faith" to believe that that's what it means that it takes faith to believe that when I say I'm going to the store, I mean that I'm going to the store. If you have a basic understanding of English, you can see that that is what those words mean.Please, be honest with yourself. You have read those passages carefully and you really think the obvious meaning of it is that he's not talking about his followers?
     
  13. found in Alaska

    found in Alaska New Member

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    To be condescending you have to come from a superior position, I’m new to Christ and still learning. I don’t know about tragic, but it’s nice to know I’m strong in faith. Maybe faith and reason don’t go hand in hand; I’m not worried about it. You seem to have everything well in hand, nice talking to you Lunar. Bed time
     
  14. Abdul Dawood

    Abdul Dawood New Member

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    Hallo Lunar,I am not going to answer all your questions right away because of time restraints but I will tackle each one one at a time.To understand first why Matthew would write a genealogy of Jesus we have to understand that there are certain requirements which would have to be fulfilled in order for Jesus to be the Messiah. The Messiah has to have legal right to sit on the throne of king David and therefore would have to come from the house of David.Before I continue we need to remember that Matthew, being a Jew, was not writing to us, but to other Jews who would recognize what the requirements would be.Back in Genesis 12, God made a covenant with Abraham telling him that through him, all generations would be blessed.Then, later on, king David, of the house of Abraham, has a son, Solomon through the wife of Uriah, Bathsheba. From Solomon eventually came Jeconiah. In Jeremiah 22, beginning in verse 24 until 30, God proclaims that "even if you, Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would still pull you off." Then in verse 30 he continues, "This is what the Lord says: 'Record this man as if childless, a man who will not prosper in his lifetime, for none of his offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David or rule anymore in Judah."What does this mean? This means that God will not allow any of the descendants of Jehoiachin to sit on the throne of David.Why is this relevant?Well, eventually, from the line of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah) would come Joseph. Now, why would Matthew take the time to write a genealogy of Jesus through the line of Joseph if God had put a curse on his ancestors tracing back to king Jeconiah that decreed that none would sit on the throne of David?For the answer we have to skip down the genealogy in Matthew to verse 15:15: "Eliud the father of Eleazar,Eleazar the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob,16: and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ."The reason I included verse 15 is to show the particular language involved in the genealogy. Every verse before 16 shows "xx the father of xx". But Matthew changes the format for showing how Jesus is related to Joseph. Because Mary was a virgin when she became pregnant, Matthew lists Joseph only as the husband of Mary, not the biological father of Jesus.Again, what does this mean?It means that since Joseph married Mary before Jesus was born, he is the legal father of Jesus, although not the biological father. This means that Jesus has full legal right through Joseph since he comes from the house of David, but he does not inherit the curse through the blood line of Jeconiah passed down to Joseph.So what is the conclusion?Joseph is of the house of David.No biological son of Joseph could be the Messiah because of the curse, although they would have legal right to the throne of David.Jesus, being the adoptive son of Joseph, had legal right to the throne of David, but, by not being the biological son of Joseph, did not carry the curse which God had imposed through Jeconiah.I hope this all makes sense to everyone and I will return at some later time to continue answering the questions which Lunar posted.Shalom!
     
  15. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    Abdul Dawood:You misunderstood the question. It was not about why Matthew would write a genealogy for Jesus, it was about why it is so different from Luke's genealogy.
     
  16. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    (treeoflife;48736)
    The only contridiction's in the Bible are in our translations of it. It's an amazing thing that God did for us in the Bible.
    Agreed when ever you think there is a contradiction futher study into it either through language or study of other translations or customs of the day most always shows the error is mans not Gods.
     
  17. Christina

    Christina New Member

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    The generation spoken of in scripture is described in the Parable of the Fig Tree Parable of the Fig Tree --------------------------------------------------------------------------------PARABLE OF THE FIG TREE(A Parable God tells Us To Learn)------------------------------------------------Everyday its seems we hear or see somthing else about the "END TIMES".We watch to see if God's prophecy's are being played out on the world stage.God tells us that no one knows the hour or day of the return of Christ.However he tells us we should watch and know the season,just as we know when the leaves turn colors and begin to fall,that the seasons are going to change,God tells us to watch for the season of the "End Times"Matthew 24, Mark 13 ,Luke 21, all tell us of the signs of this season,there will be false prophets,wars,rumors of wars,and earthquakesbut these things have always been so how do we know when we are supposed to start watching for this particular season? When being asked of these things Jesus gave a parableLuke 21:29 And he spake to them a parable;Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;Luke29:30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selvesthat summer is now nigh at hand.Luke29:31: So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass,know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.Luke29:32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away,till all be fulfilledA parable is simular to a riddle meaning there is a mystery or hidden meaning in the words. It is saying more than the surface words.So what does this riddle say? It has long been understood by biblical scholars that trees represent"Nations" and the "Fig Tree" represents IsraelSo taking this into account the parable would now read:Behold Israel, and all the NationsWhen they come forth,yea shall know the season is at handSo likewise when you see these things come to pass,know that the kingdom of God is close at handI say unto you,This generation shall not pass away till all things be fufilledNow that we know what the parable says lets inspect it futher. Behold Israel.Israel became a nation,for the first time since Christ's time on May 14,1948 (U.N ratified 1947)NationsThese are the nations that the bible says exsist in the end timesGenerationWhat Generation is it speaking of? the generation that see's Israel become a Nation So we can now see that the Parable of the Fig Tree tells us that the generation that saw the 1948 formation of the state of Israel is the generation that will see the "End Time events and the return of Christ.A generation in the bible is 40 years,70 years,or 120 years.Although we can not completely rule out 120 year generation people in our day do not normally live to 120 years old so it would seem that 40 years or 70 years would be more likely however 40 years has already passed, so by process of elimination we are left with 70 year Generation. God does not say he will wait the full 70 years, only that the generation will not all pass away before the end comes.We are fast aproaching the 70th year May14, 2008 will complete 60 years of the 70 year generation.And the 70 years ends May 14,2018There is another important date that we are approaching that may shed more light on where we stand in the time line.East Jerusalem was part of the so called occupied territories untill the Six Day War of June 5,1967. When Israel finally took position of all of Jerusalam.Which completed the current day state of Israel.In June 2007 Israel will celebrate the 40 year aniversery of the possession of Jerusalam.Forty(40) is an important number in Gods word and often signifies completeness or fullness of time.kriss
     
  18. RaddSpencer

    RaddSpencer New Member

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    (Lunar;48782)
    Abdul Dawood:You misunderstood the question. It was not about why Matthew would write a genealogy for Jesus, it was about why it is so different from Luke's genealogy.
    Come on Lunar, haven't we been through this before? I know you are an educated man who can do excellent research. Why are you asking these questions when I know you can find the answers.I'll just quote the entire website.http://www.carm.org/diff/2geneologies.htmBoth Matthew 1 and Luke 3 contain genealogies of Jesus. But there is one problem. They are different. Luke's Genealogy starts at Adam and goes to David. Matthew's Genealogy starts at Abraham and goes to David. When the genealogies arrive at David, they split with David's sons: Nathan (Mary's side) and Solomon (Joseph's side). There is no discrepancy because one genealogy is for Mary and the other is for Joseph. It was customary to mention the genealogy through the father even though it was clearly known that it was through Mary. Some critics may not accept this explanation no matter what reasoning is produced. Nevertheless, they should first realize that the Bible should be interpreted in the context of its literary style, culture, and history. Breaking up genealogies into male and female representations was acceptable in the ancient Near East culture since it was often impolite to speak of women without proper conditions being met: male presence, etc. Therefore, one genealogy is of Mary and the other of Joseph, even though both mention Joseph. In other words, the Mary was counted "in" Joseph and under his headship. Second, do any critics actually think that those who collected the books of the New Testament, and who believed it was inerrant, were unaware of this blatant differentiation in genealogies? Does anyone actually think that the Christians were so dense that they were unaware of the differences in the genealogy lists, closed their eyes and put the gospels into the canon anyway hoping no one would notice? Not at all. They knew the cultural context and had no problem with it knowing that one was of Joseph and the other of Mary. Third, notice that Luke starts with Mary and goes backwards to Adam. Matthew starts with Abraham and goes forward to Joseph. The intents of the genealogies were obviously different which is clearly seen in their styles. Luke was not written to the Jews, Matthew was. Therefore, Matthew would carry the legal line (from Abraham through David) and Luke the biological one (from Adam through David). Also, notice that Luke's first three chapters mention Mary eleven times; hence, the genealogy from her. Fourth, notice Luke 3:23, "And when He began His ministry, Jesus Himself was about thirty years of age, being supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli," This designation "supposedly" seems to signify the Marian genealogy since it seems to indicate that Jesus is not the biological son of Joseph. Finally, in the Joseph genealogy is a man named Jeconiah. God cursed Jeconiah (also called Coniah), stating that no descendant of his would ever sit on the throne of David, "For no man of his descendants will prosper sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah," (Jer. 22:30). But Jesus, of course, will sit on the throne in the heavenly kingdom. The point is that Jesus is not a biological descendant of Jeconiah, but through the other lineage -- that of Mary. Hence, the prophetic curse upon Jeconiah stands inviolate. But, the legal adoption of Jesus by Joseph reckoned the legal rights of Joseph to Jesus as a son, not the biological curse. This is why we need two genealogies: one of Mary (the actually biological line according to prophecy), and the legal line through Joseph. Again, the early church knew this and had no problem with it. It is only the critics of today who narrow their vision into a literalness and require this to be a "contradiction" when in reality we have an explanation that is more than sufficient.I'm going to be honest with you Lunar:You need to have faith, and you need to have humility before God. Otherwise, you will never know God."God has turned the tables on proud, arrogant, self-righteous man. When he proudly stands outside of the kingdom of God, and seeks to justify his sinfulness through evidence he thinks discredits the Bible, he doesn't realize that God has simply lowered the door of life, so that only those who are prepared to exercise faith, and bow in humility may enter." [url="http://www.christiananswers.net/q-comfort/contradictions-bible.html]http://www.christiananswers.net/q-comfort/...ions-bible.html[/url]
     
  19. Siskim

    Siskim New Member

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    The wisdom of man is foolishness to God. The "Fear" of God is the beginning of knowledge...not the mind of man that he created. Can a man judge God? Or his word? His Word, which he claims is the perfect sinless Christ, can only be faulty if God is faulty, and if God is faulty, so is His Son, and if his Son is, so is His great Salvation, and if it is, we are without a hope and God is a lair or not perfect in love and power and purity as it is said. Purity ofcourse cannot and will not lie or tell anything wrongly. Are you kidding? To actually believe a man can judge the perfect God or His perfect Word? How can a mortal man judge His immortal creator? Most likely the man who does this is judging with an earthly mind, with mortal reasoning, and what makes him think that his mortal reasoning is higher than the knowledge of the immortal God? What else but pride would cause us to think or believe that the knowledge God has allowed us to have gives us ability to out think the knowledge giver?No matter what evidence any man can provide from his own reasoning, I'd lay my life that God's Word will stand when that man no longer can. If it's logic we are using here, I'd say, if we can't see the logic or truth in God's Word, it's not because God is faulty, but because we are. God said himself that he spoke in parables so that believing we should believe and understand but not believing we would still not believe and not understand. God isn't going to even attempt to prove himself or his word to those who deny him or do not love him, but to those who do believe and love him, it's to them he reveals his truth, his secrets. Does that make reasonable sense? Not to man most likely, who thinks what he thinks is the right way to think, until God reveals to him, if he's lucky, that all the knowledge he can accumulate in this world cannot even account for 1% of the knowledge of God. That's how much we know. siskim
     
  20. Lunar

    Lunar New Member

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    (RaddSpencer;48801)
    Come on Lunar, haven't we been through this before? I know you are an educated man who can do excellent research. Why are you asking these questions when I know you can find the answers.
    We've been through it before and I've seen that hypothesis, but it makes no sense. It requires you to move around commas and parentheses arbitrarily and reinterpret words falsely in order for it to fit your description. What it basically says is "If Luke had been written differently, it would suggest that this was a genealogy for Mary." But it wasn't written that way. You just can't do that with language. Or to put it another way, if it's supposed to be a genealogy for Mary, why on earth would Mary's name not be put anywhere in it?(Siskim)
    Are you kidding? To actually believe a man can judge the perfect God or His perfect Word? How can a mortal man judge His immortal creator? Most likely the man who does this is judging with an earthly mind, with mortal reasoning, and what makes him think that his mortal reasoning is higher than the knowledge of the immortal God? What else but pride would cause us to think or believe that the knowledge God has allowed us to have gives us ability to out think the knowledge giver?
    The problem is, how do you know he's an infallible God in the first place? People say "Through the bible!" but that's a circular argument. God is infallible because of the infallible bible, and you have to trust that the bible's infallible because God is infallible. Why isn't this logic applied to the Qu'ran? People will say "Because the Qu'ran isn't infallible" - which is absolutely true, but it shows they're not applying the same logic to different religions. There's no exclusive justification for the Christian God that couldn't be applied to any other God.Let's look at it this way. Supposing you were an atheist, and you had a Christian, a Muslim, and a Hindu all came up to you. The Christian says "You must open your heart to God and have faith in him; then the way will be made clear to you." The Muslim says "You must open your heart to Allah and have faith in him; then the way will be made clear to you." The Hindu says "You must open your heart to Krishna and have faith in him; then the way will be made clear to you."Not presupposing the inerrancy of any of them beforehand, what are you supposed to do? Are you supposed to open your heart to all three and have steadfast faith in all of those religions? And then when the scientologist comes and says you need to be audited, you're supposed to open your heart to him too? Naturally, you aren't going to believe just anyone who tells you that you'll see it their way once you have faith, because almost every religion in the world says this. You're going to want to assess it on some objective terms, right? One would be the historical and factual accuracy of their primary religious documents.So you look at the Bible and see hey, this is full of apparent contradictions. You look at the Qu'ran and see hey, this is full of apparent contradictions. You look at the Vedas and Upanishads and see hey, these are full of apparent contradictions. At this point, you haven't established the belief in any infallible God, because you don't just believe every person who peddles his religious belief to you. So you don't pick one randomly and say "This is the one with the infallible God that his mysterious logic that I can't understand which would explain these contradictions, and the rest of them have actual contradictions." You just wouldn't do that!Anyone should think twice about advocating fideism after looking at it that way.
     
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