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I guess that's why you eat, drink and are merry ??

You have given me a little more incentive to dig back into the OT now, so I won't comment re: soul in the OT until I do. But I will say that pumpkin pasties probably do exist. But maybe we are think

From Another STFI split I know that Vince Finnegan reached the same conclusion [that salvation could be lost] after I dropped out of his offshoot in the late 1990s. It seems to me that th

Posting my thoughts on the difference between soul and spirit, from Tom G's thread in doctrinal.

I don't think soul and spirit are the same, Biblically. But I also think they are invented concepts entirely, and that is why it is so difficult to distinguish between them. It's like comparing the nutritional qualities of lembas bread and pumpkin pasties. They don't exist in real life, so you can say anything you want about either of them.

I suspect "soul" was the ancients' way of saying "consciousness," and they did not quite understand that the "soul" is nothing more than a function of the body. The notion of a soul as distinct from the body appears to be a later development. You don't see it through most of the Old Testament.

Will expand on my thoughts if anyone is interested and/or if I've said something factually/historically incorrect and I am corrected. But my basic position is that neither the soul nor the spirit exist. We are what we are.

You have given me a little more incentive to dig back into the OT now, so I won't comment re: soul in the OT until I do.

But I will say that pumpkin pasties probably do exist. But maybe we are thinking of different "pasties". :biglaugh:

TG

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He was doubtless referring to the snack in the Harry Potter-verse,

as bought on the Hogwarts Express train on the way to the school.

For the record,

I consider the soul to be a function of the body, and to relate to the

consciousness, but I'd be more likely to refer to it as the life-force,

or the animation of the body. I'd consider that anything BUT supernatural.

Of course, I'm sure my usages are not only non-standard, but we'd disagree

as to specifics even if it sounded like we agreed on terms.

We'd agree, more or less, that the "soul" would be the "self", for some

value of the word "self" or another.

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For the record,

I consider the soul to be a function of the body, and to relate to the

consciousness, but I'd be more likely to refer to it as the life-force,

or the animation of the body. I'd consider that anything BUT supernatural.

Of course, I'm sure my usages are not only non-standard, but we'd disagree

as to specifics even if it sounded like we agreed on terms.

We'd agree, more or less, that the "soul" would be the "self", for some

value of the word "self" or another.

Hmmm... while it may be close to what I believe, it's certainly not exact - as I prefer to think of "spirit" as the life-force (which, needless to say, doesn't much "jive" with what was/is taught about spirit by twi.)

While this may or may not communicate some of my thoughts on the matter (as worthless as some will undoubtedly think it), I'll give it a whirl anyway.

IF the body is (or can be) thought of as a (two dimensional) halographic plate, the soul is the (three dimensional) halogram resulting from light (or spirit) moving upon it.

Can the halogram be separated from the plate?

Or can the halogram be separated from the light?

Yet, are the halogram and the light thought or said to be the same thing?

Of course, the analogy itself can lead to other questions or issues, and probably isn't perfect. Such as, where does "free will" emanate from (if it even exists)?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

Picking up from "What Does God Know?"

 

I'll keep this brief: As someone who looked at this intently and came to the conclusion that the Bible depicts a God who absolutely knows the future as well as the past, a lot of this ends up making a LOT more sense when you consider that it was all made up, gradually, by people who had not really thought it all through.

 

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16 hours ago, Raf said:

Picking up from "What Does God Know?"

 

I'll keep this brief: As someone who looked at this intently and came to the conclusion that the Bible depicts a God who absolutely knows the future as well as the past, a lot of this ends up making a LOT more sense when you consider that it was all made up, gradually, by people who had not really thought it all through.

 

sometimes I get this haunting idea that maybe the fine art of theology is just thinking things through in a creative way to make sense of God. :biglaugh:

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It's an oxymoron to say or think that infinite knowledge or wisdom could ever be thought "all through" by anyone.  And wouldn't any god "created" in or by the mind of man  axiomatically (or inherently, if you prefer) be less than its creator?   

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4 minutes ago, TLC said:

It's an oxymoron to say or think that infinite knowledge or wisdom could ever be thought "all through" by anyone.  ?   

Isn't it curious how two people can read something and come away with a different interpretation?

 

If I understand your interpretation correctly, you are implying that what T-Bone is suggesting is to consider something infinite from every possible angle, which would, as you say, be oxymoronic.

My interpretation, on the other hand, would be that what T-Bone is suggesting is to simply consider it from a variety of diverse angles.

There's quite a difference between all and many.

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I think the writers of the Bible came up with the idea of a wise God who ultimately becomes an all-wise God, a smart God who ultimately becomes an all-knowing God, a powerful God who ultimately becomes an Almighty God. The implications of a God THAT wise, powerful, mighty, etc. were not considered.

God knows everything. The utter impracticality of such a thing is never addressed because these men were mythmakers and storytellers, not philosophers. Nothing wrong with not being a philosopher. It's just, when you tread on a theme in which you are not an expert, the experts in that field get to weigh in. And it doesn't take an expert to realize that a God who knows everything everything everything also knows what WOULD have happened if contingencies had worked out differently. And every day, 6 billion people make 100 decisions a day, and God knows what would have happened if we had decided differently. That's 600 billion decisions and, bare minimum, 600 billion alternative decisions, a DAY. Next day, 600 billion more decisions. And each of those measured against the actuality of the 600 billion decisions made the day before AND the 600 billion decisions that could have been made but were not. Plus the 600 billion decisions that could have been made today.

I'm not even going to dare do that math, but quite clearly, the number of contingencies that God would need to know to keep track of "this happened and that happened and this is going to happen and this is what would have happened if you had decided to do that instead..." It gets unwieldy.

Granted, I don't have infinite knowledge, but for real. WHY?

You don't have to give this infinite thought. Just think a little bit. A little.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We speek of God in our point of history or should I write "history" in quotes.  When reading Genesis (as Moses wrote), Adam had a point of view regarding God, quite personal as I thought.  Then later on, as Moses wrote, regarding the relationship with God from Abraham, Isac and then Jacob that relationship became less personal (my perception).  I wonder about that perception I hold.  Do we, thousands of years later, no longer have any personal relationship?  Think how it would be for us if it were not for Jesus; would the concept of God be so diluted from that relationship Adam held of God that we would no longer have a belief in God (Elohim, Jehovah - Yawhah)?  God does not change through time but our demeanor about God does.  Why or how is that so?  Moses in his writings laid it out - we (us), diminish it.  As for me, I desire that God exists.  The sun rises (the earth turns) and I see the burning bush, night falls, I see stars and the bright and morning star (Venus) - reminders of thousands of years past.  If the written word was exiled from my eyes then did not that same word state that even the rocks of the earth would rise and proclaim the glory?  I admit, I often have my doubts but those doubts have fragile validity when I claim the overwhelming evidence, evidence no less than what Adam had - well, yes, a bit less.  Oh hell, maybe that's why I have the Comforter, the Helper: the gift of holy spirit.

Some of the stuff Raf wrote I think of on an almost daily basis: keeping track of so many of us, our thoughts, etc.  Yeh Raf, it's a point of contention in my thoughts about if God exihists then he is required to keep track of all that BS, wow, how is it capable, how big is his server?

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Semi-seriously, if God were all-knowing, or even reasonably intelligent, he would have put the tree of knowledge in Australia. The chance of Adam and Eve being tempted would have been eliminated. The story makes no sense!

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Picking up from previous threads on this (Questioning Faith) forum:

Ok, guys, Uncle.

Over the last 24 hours I realized there were a BUNCH of posts addressed to me on a handful of threads, and I've tried to answer a bunch of them publicly and privately. But as I keep reading, I keep seeing points I want to address buried in posts that were lengthy to begin with. I'm not deliberately ignoring points, but you guys had what looks like a full day's head start on me.

I'm going to try to exercise a little self control by not addressing eVeRyThInG, but if I skipped a point you made and you want me to address it, please feel free to raise it again and I will be more than happy.

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  • 1 year later...

From Another STFI split

I know that Vince Finnegan reached the same conclusion [that salvation could be lost] after I dropped out of his offshoot in the late 1990s.

It seems to me that the Apostle Paul would not warn about using grace as a license to sin if he felt losing your salvation was a possibility.

It does appear, obviously, that VPW and TWI did use grace as a license to sin in practice, and to a lesser extent in doctrine.

I think many sincere Christians believe salvation cannot be lost, and many other sincere Christians believe it can. That this should be the case with TWI and its offshoots should come as no surprise.

Personally (and I'm going slightly off-topic and into doctrinal/questioning faith territory here) I think it's because the New Testament writers were not in agreement with each other. The gospel writers quote Jesus saying he who endures to the end will be saved. Paul at the very least implies once-saved-always-saved. Whoever wrote Hebrews seems to think that salvation can be obtained once and lost once but never regained. Dispensationalism can smooth over the differences between Jesus and Paul, but (to quote Spock) it takes a feat of "linguistic legerdemain" to make the writer of Hebrews say salvation cannot be lost.

My opinion

 

NEW MATERIAL NOW:

Not exactly new. More of a recap.

When you open your mind to the likelihood that the New Testament writers were in frequent, passionate disagreement with each other, a lot of doctrinal questions get resolved right away. There was no single answer to "what did the first century church believe." They argued as much as we do. The insistence that there is one correct answer is what leads to arguments. But it requires each side to ignore passages that obviously prove them wrong.

.

 

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1 hour ago, Raf said:

From Another STFI split

I know that Vince Finnegan reached the same conclusion [that salvation could be lost] after I dropped out of his offshoot in the late 1990s.

It seems to me that the Apostle Paul would not warn about using grace as a license to sin if he felt losing your salvation was a possibility.

It does appear, obviously, that VPW and TWI did use grace as a license to sin in practice, and to a lesser extent in doctrine.

I think many sincere Christians believe salvation cannot be lost, and many other sincere Christians believe it can. That this should be the case with TWI and its offshoots should come as no surprise.

Personally (and I'm going slightly off-topic and into doctrinal/questioning faith territory here) I think it's because the New Testament writers were not in agreement with each other. The gospel writers quote Jesus saying he who endures to the end will be saved. Paul at the very least implies once-saved-always-saved. Whoever wrote Hebrews seems to think that salvation can be obtained once and lost once but never regained. Dispensationalism can smooth over the differences between Jesus and Paul, but (to quote Spock) it takes a feat of "linguistic legerdemain" to make the writer of Hebrews say salvation cannot be lost.

My opinion

 

NEW MATERIAL NOW:

Not exactly new. More of a recap.

When you open your mind to the likelihood that the New Testament writers were in frequent, passionate disagreement with each other, a lot of doctrinal questions get resolved right away. There was no single answer to "what did the first century church believe." They argued as much as we do. The insistence that there is one correct answer is what leads to arguments. But it requires each side to ignore passages that obviously prove them wrong.

.

 

On a personal note - since I left TWI, I have not come to any conclusion on the “once saved always saved” issue - so I lean toward an err-on-the-side-of-caution stance regarding my own salvation in that I’m really not sure if I am saved, so I continue in trying to follow / practice my Lord’s teachings ...sometimes I have this silly notion that maybe this uncertainty is a good thing overall in that it keeps me humble and respectful toward God and others...perhaps the biggest sins I realized I had committed over and over again when I was in TWI were those of pride, arrogance, and an elite sense of spiritual superiority over those not in The Way International...

 

I wonder if there is some protracted process implied in a passage like Matthew 24:13 he who endures to the end will be saved ...and other verses like Philippians 2:12 work out your own salvation with fear and trembling...

 

...I know all that stuff about Christians being saved by what God accomplished for us through Jesus Christ - but I wonder if “the road” to Jesus as my Lord and Savior could be a rather long and arduous journey - and I also think of verses like Matthew 3:8 and Acts 26:20 that speak of us bringing forth fruit that proves our repentance - one could infer that this indicates a protracted process is at play...maybe as we look back on our Christian lifestyle after some time at it - we can garner some sort of assurance we’re on the right track...at least for me it is - at least sometimes I feel I’m on the same page as my Lord - a lot better than when I was in my cavalier “way-daze-of-assumed-spiritual-elitism “.

 

so maybe some self-doubt is a good thing...we question ourselves...we work on self-improvement...and then we do gain some confidence through the whole experience .

Edited by T-Bone
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No longer being a believer rids me of the need to find the "correct doctrine" on "once saved, always saved" (or "incorruptible seed," if one were to insist).

I don't think the Bible's authors agreed on the matter, to be honest. It's only when one posits that there was "one author, but many writers" that the need for a coherent, consistent, correct doctrine becomes necessary.

My advice to you would be, follow the doctrine that inspires you to do the most and greatest good. If you are worried about losing your salvation, don't do anything that would jeopardize it. If you are confident that you're a son of God and nothing, nowhere, nohow can separate you from the love of Christ, then act like it. Don't be a p-grabbing, lying, misogynistic racist boob just because the threat of hell no longer applies to you.

Can a Christian lose salvation? That's for Christians to answer. No matter where you land on that question, there are scriptures to support your view and scriptures that conflict with it. I would think that if God preserves His will in His Word, the fact of such contradictions makes it obvious that it is not a vital concern to Him. And that makes sense. Why would God even WANT to reassure those who, like me, decided to chuck it all because it no longer made sense? I'm not listening to Him anymore! What reassurance does he have for me? "Its okay, you're still my son. I won't send you to hell!" 

That might reassure you guys about me, if you believe in incorruptible seed.

Or you think I'm going to hell, if you don't believe in once saved, always saved.

But to ME, the threat of hell is on par with the threat of a lump of coal in my stocking on Christmas morn.

So from YOUR perspective, I think God is far more concerned with encouraging people to keep on believing and praying and being a part of the One Body, and not at all concerned with letting believers know they have an out if they want to rebel.

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On ‎5‎/‎21‎/‎2018 at 8:47 AM, T-Bone said:

...sometimes I have this silly notion that maybe this uncertainty is a good thing overall in that it keeps me humble and respectful toward God and others...perhaps the biggest sins I realized I had committed over and over again when I was in TWI were those of pride, arrogance, and an elite sense of spiritual superiority over those not in The Way International...

Well, I doubt many could dispute the last part of that... but it seems unfortunate to think that some (any, really) degree of uncertainty would seem to be necessary (or even useful) in staying humble and respectful towards God and others.  However, if forced to choose between the two, it's easy to see why anyone would choose to go that route.

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23 hours ago, Raf said:

I don't think the Bible's authors agreed on the matter, to be honest.

Aside from attributing the originality of it to different men, I would agree that the conditions (requirement, if you prefer) for salvation appear to be different at certain times or places in scripture, and forcing them (or trying to push them) all through the same mold simply doesn't work.

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3 hours ago, TLC said:

Well, I doubt many could dispute the last part of that... but it seems unfortunate to think that some (any, really) degree of uncertainty would seem to be necessary (or even useful) in staying humble and respectful towards God and others.  However, if forced to choose between the two, it's easy to see why anyone would choose to go that route.

I guess you’re right – such a silly notion may be unnecessary…and I certainly did not feel forced to choose between slim options…

maybe it’s a despicable-attitudes-call-for-desperate-measures thing…I dunno.

I would also like to add that you probably did not know me or what I was like when I was in TWI…I feel my current attitude helps me get in a better frame of mind socially – where I’m more apt to listen and learn from others – especially those who do not hold to the same beliefs that I do – cuz it’s not like I’ve got it all figured out or even feel slightly confident that I’m on the right track.

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