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Featured Resurrection of Christ - What's the evidence for and against a literal resurrection

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by adrian009, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Technically, your right and I'm wrong. In the sense, that we have the discovery of previously unknown phenomena such as x-rays and realms of existence that were previously indiscernable, that is what I meant. So the invisible becomes manifest. However, x-rays are still part of the phenomal world. We have simply expanded our understanding of it, to include that which we previously had no knowledge of.

    I agree, and that is my point in regards traditional Christian viewpoints of heaven and hell. The same problem happens with a literal resurrection narrative, as it has Jesus flying through outerspace.

    The point that the spiritual manifests itself through the material realm, is potentialy through each one of us, if our hearts be attuned to God. However the Manifestations of God can break the laws of science and that's where we have miracles, prophecies, and Divine revelation.

    The problem with the resurrection is thats its simply a bridge to far. We're asked to believe in the phenomal existence of heaven and hell in the sky and earth. Similarly with the young earth theories of the Christian fundamentalists, we're asked to disregard science and reason.
     
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  2. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    Its really a question of degrees. At one extreme we have the fundamentalists claiming the gospels to be one hundred percent relaible and literally true. You have expressed another extreme, in that the gospels in now way represent the Teachings of Christ. As with much of life, the truth lies between these two extremes.
     
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  3. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    That is good that you are looking at many different beliefs and religions. I do not know whether you are searching for a belief or a religion but nobody should just accept a belief without investigating. I did not look at other religions before I became a Baha’i, but that is because I was not even looking for a religion when I became a Baha’i. I became a Baha’i because of the teachings and I was not concerned about God at that time. I later went back and investigated the Baha’i Faith more thoroughly and I looked at other religions, but came to discover that they did not have anything that the Baha’i Faith did not have and they had a lot that I could never believe in. So I know I did not make a mistake after all.

    Anything is fair game on an open debate forum but I think people should be courteous. Baha'u'llah wrote that courtesy is the “Prince of Virtues.” Joking around is okay but there is no need to be facetious. Challenging something someone said is fair game but there is no need to be rude or confrontational.
    I did not know that deists believe that humans are part of God or that everything is God. That is what pantheistic religions believe. I thought deists believe that God did not have anything to do with His Creation after He created it, that God is not personal and does not communicate to humanity. Baha’is believe that God is forever separate from His Creation and that differs from Christian belief, since Christians believe that the Holy Spirit lives inside of them and that they are God’s Children who have a relationship with God, as in being part of a family.

    I do not believe that we can have a relationship with God because that implies that we can be on the same level with God, a “partner” with God. The following passage explains the Baha’i position on this:

    “And now concerning thy reference to the existence of two Gods. Beware, beware, lest thou be led to join partners with the Lord, thy God. He is, and hath from everlasting been, one and alone, without peer or equal, eternal in the past, eternal in the future, detached from all things, ever-abiding, unchangeable, and self-subsisting. He hath assigned no associate unto Himself in His Kingdom, no counsellor to counsel Him, none to compare unto Him, none to rival His glory.”Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 192

    How do you think anyone can have a “relationship” with an entity that is incomprehensible, exalted beyond all that can either be recounted or perceived?
    Well, it would be problematic if the UHJ had any plans to control the world, but the Baha'i Faith is non-political so that is an impossibility:

    “The Faith which this order serves, safeguards and promotes is … essentially supernatural, supranational, entirely non-political, non-partisan, and diametrically opposed to any policy or school of thought that seeks to exalt any particular race, class or nation. It is free from any form of ecclesiasticism, has neither priesthood nor rituals, and is supported exclusively by voluntary contributions made by its avowed adherents. Though loyal to their respective governments, though imbued with the love of their own country, and anxious to promote at all times, its best interests, the followers of the Bahá’í Faith, nevertheless, viewing mankind as one entity, and profoundly attached to its vital interests, will not hesitate to subordinate every particular interest, be it personal, regional or national, to the over-riding interests of the generality of mankind, knowing full well that in a world of interdependent peoples and nations the advantage of the part is best to be reached by the advantage of the whole, and that no lasting result can be achieved by any of the component parts if the general interests of the entity itself are neglected….” The Promised Day Is Come, vi - vii
    I am glad to see you used the word “seems.” :) As far as I know, the only reason a person can be declared a Covenant-Breaker is if they question the authority of the UHJ and/or they try to break away from the Faith and start their own Baha’i Faith. Sure, if you reads what is posted on the internet you are going to find a bunch of disgruntled ex-Baha’is, but without knowing what really happened it is not fair to assume they are telling the truth. Of course they are going to be biased. I have heard this claim that the UHJ is holding back and mostly in regard to the Writings that have not yet been translated into English, but there is a good explanation for that. I think what happens with these CBs is that their ego gets the best of them and they think they know more than the UHJ... The problem is that Baha’u’llah designated the UHJ as the ones to whom authority would be given and they are a voted into those positions; they do not appoint themselves.
    There are no schisms within the Baha’i Faith. There is only one Baha’i Faith, the one that adheres to the Covenant of Baha’u’llah. All of those who broke away are Covenant-Breakers; they are not Baha’is. Why do you think they had to start their own religion? Ego.
    This is only the very beginning of the Golden Age of humanity that will last no less than 500,000 years. Think about 165 years in relation to that many years. :)
    You are correct that the written promises in the Baha’i Writings do not prove anything. We will only have proof when the promises play out in the world, but that is not going to happen overnight because whenever humans are involved, things move rather slowly. ;)

    You are also right about behavior of the Baha’is, for it they do not live up to their own teachings and follow their laws then they are no different from a Christian who does not live up to the teachings of Jesus. Along those lines, Shoghi Effendi wrote:

    “Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching—no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character—not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and sceptical age the supreme claim of the Abhá Revelation. One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh.” Bahá’í Administration, p. 66
    I am free to choose now because I have more than enough money and financial assets. I am just not ready to make the final break because I know that once I do I cannot go back. We have two houses that are paid in full that we are renting, but I am waiting until our house is fully paid off next September before I make any decisions about retiring. The mortgage is most of our monthly expenses so that will put us in a completely different financial situation. The rentals have been very problematic for some time, with tenants who have not paid the rent so it I had my druthers I would just sell them since the market is so high, but I am too practical to do that since they are good investments. I just need to get the rent past due and keep the tenants paying, easier said than done... I will probably be going to small claims court soon... :(
     
  4. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Well-Known Member

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    I am a cartographer by profession so color coding is an occupational hazard. :D
    Fair enough, but the train had already left the tracks when I hopped on board... I was being a good little Baha'i, but then I saw an open window. :) Besides, I just like talking to you so....... you remind me of the forum folks on the forum I just left who were a bit more "challenging" than most folks here...

    Carry On! ;)
     
  5. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    No I haven't - that has never been my point. My point has consistently (by intent if not in the way I have expressed it) been to argue that you can't have one sentence being either completely unreliable or entirely symbolic and the very next both completely reliable and literal. That is what you have done with the Olivet discourse. If we don't have a reliable account of what Jesus said, how do we know he even mentioned the preaching of the gospel to the four corners or that the Jews would literally be able to return to their homeland 1800 years later? And even if he did, how do we know that this was to be taken literally whilst other immediately adjacent remarks were intended as symbolic imagery. Same goes for the OT prophecies like Isaiah 11 which you said had yet to be fulfilled but Abdu'l Baha (according to Tony's comment) felt was fulfilled symbolically in the establishment of Christianity?
     
  6. oldbadger

    oldbadger Skanky Old Mongrel!
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    I'm not so much looking at religions, but listening to other member's beliefs.

    Not here it isn't. The rules are strictly observed and the mods always on duty.
    And if you post in the Bahai 'DIR' forums then no kind of debating against bahai is tolerated.

    Every single force and thing, and all the nothingness in between is a part of God, imo. But that makes me a PanDeist....... I just foreshorten all these titles. :)

    Oh, that's all right in that case. Bahais can ignore the system of government defined by Bahauallah, ignore the legislations, the criminal punishments, etc, and if at any time the World is filled with, say, 85% by Bahais they will not ever try to take charge of the World with armed police forces, but just leave the World's governments to the remaining 15% of non-believers.

    Not. :)

    Are you sure?
    You'll discover much more about Bahai through them than through Bahai sources.

    Of course not! :)

    I used to serve petitions, orders and demands for 'Landlords in Action' and I met so many desperately sad couples who had invested in a property to let out for some retirement return. Smashed up interiors, filth, etc, and non-payment broke many of these poor people. On top of that the legal processes were so expensive.

    And in EVERY single case these landlords had not contracted good quality letting agents to handle all for them. Letting agents can charge as much as 15% of all but they know how to let property safely. Even so a landlord has to choose the right letting agents! :)
     
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  7. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    How do you know the spiritual heaven is beyond the earth’s stratosphere?

    You mean post-Christianity is completely silent about such a phenomena like your religion, Baha'i? Who do you think is the Christ of God? Bahá'u'lláh ? NO! God’s last revelation to man is in the Bible, from the prophets, in the OT, to the apostles, in the NT, all were written under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    What kind of science are you talking about, the one before it was hijacked by atheism or after? Science and Christianity were never in conflict before it was hijacked by atheism.
    Is faith the absence of reason? In your religion is there a presence or an absence of life by mean of creation? How about science, is there a presence or an absence of life?
     
  8. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    The truth is; your failure to disprove the literal resurrection is “self-evident”. What is self-evident here is the truth about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ that was written in the bible and if you can’t find any written proof against this claim then appealing to “self evident” “that He didn’t” is irrational. Whatever you’re claiming as self evident is far from the truth.
     
  9. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    Neb Adrian will reply, I see you missunderstood a lot of the post you replied to.

    As for what you said above, Christianity did indeed surpress science and persecuted many scientists. History has recorded these events, to which everybody can look up.

    Regards Tony
     
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  10. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    The Bible is correct in what it offers about the resurrection. A Spiritual guide. The Spirit gives Life.

    There is no failure to disprove that a dead body does not rise. Science and Christ in turn both say the Flesh decomposes, turns back elements and dust, amounts to nothing.

    Regards Tony
     
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  11. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    Listen to yourself. “The Bible is correct in what it offers about the resurrection”, which is TRUE, then “body does not rise”, which is FALSE as far as the resurrection of Christ is concerned. By contradicting your first TRUE statement with your second FALSE statement, do you think there is no failure on your part? You’re bringing in science, like atheism, so you could disprove what the bible is saying about the resurrection and the same time you’re saying the “Bible is correct”.
     
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  12. Neb

    Neb Active Member

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    The way I understood question is, by challenging the apostles’ writing or the gospels, about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it will make your religion or belief as the true manifestation of God that is FALSE based on the bible. Do you believe in the Old Testament?
     
  13. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to respond to this sequence but I'm afraid my comments would have taken us way off topic so I have posted an old blog post that relates here: Mapping Reality

    I hope you'll have time to look it up.
     
  14. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I do not believe heaven is literally located within any physical realm beyond the stratophere, yet that is what Christians believed for centuries. Therefore it made perfect sense that when Jesus ascended into heaven and the disciples were looking up that it was the physical heaven or sky where Jesus was going.

    Acts of the Apostles 1:9-11

    For centuries Christians believed the earth to be the centre of the universe. Its an irrefutable truth that it isn't and most Christians accept that.

    The scriptural basis for a geocentric cosmology – E-World

    The problem with the resurrection narrative as told in the bible is that it contradicts science in much the same way as a geocentric model of the earth did. For the resurrection narrative to be literally true, then medieval cosmology needs to be literally true as well.

    I was referring to the first century AD in regards to Christianity. How many non-Christian historians affirmed a literal resurrection? How about the events outlined in Matthew 27:51-54? Were any of these events recorded in history?

    Why mention the Baha'i faith other than to deflect attention from a question you seem unable to answer? This discussion is about the evidence supporting or refuting a literal resurrection and has little to do with my religion.

    Once again you are off the topic. To be clear, Baha'is believe God has revealed Himself to man through the OT prophets, apostles and Jesus. We believe in the same bible both OT and NT. We do not believe God's revelation through the Bible was the last revelation though. This is huge topic and the arguments for or against the resurrection do not depend on whether Islam or the Baha'i Faith are from God.

    Science has been hijacked by atheists? What do you mean by that? Many theists (including Christians) and atheists are skilled in the sciences.

    It is true that some of Christianity, particularly the protestant evangelical Christians are in conflict with science. Then again, when has there been a time that significant numbers of Christians haven't been in conflict with science?

    We can agree that a large majority of scientists reject the possibility of a literal resurrection. It contradicts science, and even accounting for an omnipotent, All-Powerful God that we both believe in, the resurrection narrative makes no sense. Therefore, can we find another of understanding the gospels? Bart Ehrman, a Christian, certainly has. I wonder if a growing number of Christians will too.
     
    #474 adrian009, Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
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  15. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    I understand your concern. On one hand the Baha'is reject a literal resurrection of Christ and on the other accept the gospels as a reliable testimony as to what Christ taught.

    Baha'i's do not see the bible as unreliable in regards to either the resurrection or conveying the content of Christ's words.

    The resurrection of Christ is an essential part of Christianity as it is for any religion. It is relaible in telling an allegorical story that conveys essential spiritual truths about the nature of Christ, His revelation, our relationship with God, and life after death. There are contradictions in the stories as told five key books of the NT.

    Compare Biblical Accounts of the Resurrection

    Those contradictions of course do not matter at all if it is not literally true. The story is spiritually true and so there is no contradiction in the essential spiritual message conveyed.

    The Olivet discourse on the other hand has been recorded in three out of the four gospels and I'm not aware of any contradictions.

    A Harmony of the Gospel Accounts of the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) | All Power to the Lamb

    The author of John most likely knew the importance of this final sermon of Jesus but felt it had been well covered with the available synoptics. Therefore he did not include it.

    So we do have a reliable record of what Jesus taught, but it is clear that the meaning was sealed until the end times. For example, no one knew the hour that the Son would come, only the Father, not even the Son.

    Matthew 24:36

    Once again, we need to carefully examine the text in the context of the whole bible, but also consider history too.

    Isaiah 11 was partially fulfilled with Christ and will be fully realised with an age of international peace.

    The prophetic books are there for a reason. Those that believe in God and His prophets accept this as truth. Its understandable that there are many who have lost Faith in God, and to the believer, this is simply a sign of the times.
     
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  16. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Well-Known Member
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    This depends on your frame of reference.

    I see the Bible as a spiritual guide and always look to see how it unfolds Spirituality. Spiritually a body did rise, pyhsically it did not. Adrian has explained this in other posts.

    Stay strong in Christ, it is Spirit of Christ that shows us all that is and can be.

    Regards Tony
     
  17. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Finally! But I knew we'd get there in the end!

    OK - for the sake of argument (and notwithstanding the far more obvious interpretation that these were the confused writings of enthusiastic believers who genuinely thought they were writing down the factual details of a literal historical event) I can go with that...

    Perhaps, but they are certainly not identical are they?

    Hang on a minute. That is an enormous leap. The relative consistency between accounts of the Olivet discourse could simply mean that they all copied from the same source, whereas the more divergent accounts (such as the resurrection) were derived from more diverse sources - couldn't it? There is no more reason to assume that it is a factually reliable record just because they are all saying (more or less) the same thing.

    Right - and if the "end times" happened to be just a few years later (than the supposed/pretended time of writing) then that's what it was talking about - there is absolutely nothing within the Olivet discourse that explicitly demands a far future fulfillment - a point that you have already explicitly conceded.

    Not if its intent was symbolic and allegorical - the Kingdom of the "Prince of Peace" established by the resurrection and ascension of Christ and signaled by the holy spirit anointing of the Christian Church at Pentecost...and the culmination when "the peace of Christ" began to rule in the heart of each believer (Colossians 3:15) and they began to enjoy the "the liberty of the glory of the children of God" (Romans 8:21) under the kind ministrations of their mother "the Jerusalem above" (Galatians 4:26).

    In the context of the whole NT, I don't see how you can possibly have a literal fulfillment of Isaiah 11 AND an allegorical resurrection - if anything the other way round is far more consistent. And if Isaiah 11 is symbolic (and certainly lions and lambs lying down together would appear symbolic) then there is absolutely nothing in it that demands a far future literal fulfillment either.
     
    #477 siti, Jan 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2018
  18. Rough Beast Sloucher

    Rough Beast Sloucher Well-Known Member
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    Acts has Jesus ascend into the clouds, Angels tell the disciples to stop looking into the clouds. Jesus will come back in the clouds as he said. But not yet.

    Acts of the apostles 1:9-11
    9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
    10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
    11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

    The Son of Man coming in the clouds comes from the Olivet Discourse which in turn refers to Daniel :13-14.

    Luke 21:27-28
    27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
    28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

    In Acts, Luke shifts attention away from the return of the Son of Man toward an ongoing and developing church. Jesus will be back, but do not get a kink in your neck from looking up all the time. The point is not what Luke’s cosmological leanings are but his use of an existing image (clouds) as a pivot point to redirect attention.

    The issue of whether the earth is the center of the universe was not so much about what scripture said as what Aristotle said. The diagram at the beginning of the article you linked represents Aristotle’s cosmology (as modified by the later epicycle theory). When the works of Aristotle were rediscovered in Europe in the 13th century, they were seen to be an excellent framework for seeing the world as Christianity wanted to be, orderly and ruled by God, with sinful earth at the bottom and a Prime Mover God at the top. ‘Top’ was in all directions, the spherical earth being understood since antiquity. Aristotle even provided the basis for a logical proof of God. Anything running contrary to Aristotle was theologically dangerous, potentially threatening that whole edifice. Scriptural ammunition was useful to counter such ‘heretical’ notions. But they were dredged up after the fact,

    Aristotle’s cosmology being wrong was in the end a very annoying inconvenience but not a theological catastrophe. Aristotle was not a Christian. His ideas were used to bolster core Christian beliefs but were not the origin of those beliefs. OTOH denying the resurrection of Jesus would have been an attack on a critical element of Christianity

    IMO Matthew was troubled by the problems raised by the minimalist ending of Mark. He went overboard in covering up the perceived deficits. This included uber-dramatic events to counter the anti-climactic ending of Mark. I would not expect those events to have taken place anywhere outside of Matthew’s head.


    The point of the resurrection story is that it IS physically impossible for a truly dead person to get up and live. It had to have been a miracle, a circumvention of natural law performed by God. Paul tells us that this is what it is all about. Jesus rose from the dead so it is reasonable to believe in a future resurrection of the dead and a judgment, with the righteous being rewarded. This life is not all there is. That is why the resurrection story is key to mainstream Christianity.
     
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  19. adrian009

    adrian009 Well-Known Member
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    You are making my argument for me.

    I agree with the connections between Daniel 7:13-14, Luke 21:27-28, and Acts of the Apostles 1:9-11. The language is rich in symbolism though, particularly in the prophecies of Daniel, but also the Olivet discourse. The author of Acts and Luke being one and the same, it is no surprise similar imagery is used as the undeniably apocalytptic Daniel. So why insist that it should be taken literally?

    I agree that the author of Acts is drawing our attention towards the development of the church and its a nice connection you've made with the angels telling the disciples to stop looking up.

    I agree that Copernicus and Galileo did not deal a fatal blow to Christian's theological world, anymore than Darwin had. However in both instances they are wounds that have never fully healed. The Christian Church, the ultimate authority, had been shown irrefutable proof they had been completely wrong from the early days of Christ. It matters not how they got there. It left a huge dent in the seemingly unchallengeable authority of the church, and another crisis far more damaging lurked around the corner.

    Martin Luther - Wikipedia

    I doubt if anyone had the audacity to challenge the churches understanding of the resurrection even a few hundred years ago. To challenge a literally resurrected Christ along with a literal ascension would be deemed heresy. Yet it is the truth that sets us free, not clinging to outdated, man made dogmas.
    John 8:32

    I'm pleased you agree the events recorded didn't happen literally. But they did happen spiritually. With the crucifixion of Christ an earthquake was set off within Judiasm and the Roman empire, the spiritually dead really did arise from their graves, and the temple curtain really was torn as a premonition of what was to happen. Why is it so hard to believe? Why do we have ears that do not hear and eyes that do not see? Through Christ, the crippled can walk the spiritual path of God and the spiritual starved and thirsty have their needs met. Such stories were entirely consistent with the spirit of Christ and the spiritual forces that were released upon the earth with his death.

    I agree with everything here. The problem is when we insist that it is literally true and our faith depends on miracles, rather than the spiritual reality of Christ Himself.

    Matthew 12:38-44
     
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  20. siti

    siti Well-Known Member

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    Egg zackly! And why, if Luke 21:27-28 are so clearly and undeniably apocalyptic and symbolic, should we insist that the "times of the Gentiles" in Luke 21:24 (just 3 verses earlier in the same account of the same speech by the same person recorded by the same author) refers to a literal time period that ended precisely in 1844???!!! There you have my argument in a nutshell.
     
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