Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

PS: Theism vs. Atheism:

Expand Messages
  • Chris Criminger
    Hi Werner, Yes, I am on CETA list. I will say atheists often want to debate God like a Christian s view of God is simply a philisophical construct. In that
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 29, 2004
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Werner,
      Yes, I am on CETA list.  I will say atheists often want to debate God like a Christian's view of God is simply a philisophical construct.  In that sense, that is not the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.  I would try to focus on the Christian *story* versus the atheist story and see where that goes as a posssibility?
       
      What do you think?
       
      Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
       
       


      Do you Yahoo!?
      Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.
    • Werner Peters
      I just finished reading The Life of Pi . In there is an interesting quote. So, you want another story? We would like to know what really happened.
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 30, 2004
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        I just finished reading "The Life of Pi". In there is an interesting quote.
         
        "So, you want another story?"
            "We would like to know what really happened."
        "Doesn't the telling of something always become a story?"
            "Uhh.. perhaps in English. In Japanese a story would have an element of invention in it. We don't want any invention. We want the 'straight facts' as you say in English."
        "Isn't telling about something - using words already something of an invention?"
        "Uhhh.."
        "The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?"
         
        I have been trying, as a preacher to understand what the gaggle of the most recent books are telling us preachers. Something about a 'meta-narrative'.
        At the same time, I have a couple of Christians in our church who are excited about "The Life of Pi." So I read it.
         
        I cannot escape the fact that the author himself, in trying to teach us that we each bring something to reality (and alter it, of course) is bringing something to reality himself..
         
        And it's as if this post-modern world has no place for "factuals" anymore.
         
        I don't know whether to grieve or to immerse myself in fiction.
        What have I brought to reality with my understanding of it?
         
        All this was triggered by your post below.. :) Maybe you can help me out.
        (If I have not made myself comprehensible, please forgive and ignore..)
         
        Werner

         
        Hi Werner,
        Yes, I am on CETA list.  I will say atheists often want to debate God like a Christian's view of God is simply a philisophical construct.  In that sense, that is not the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.  I would try to focus on the Christian *story* versus the atheist story and see where that goes as a posssibility?
         
        What do you think?
         
        Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
         
         


        Do you Yahoo!?
        Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.

      • Chris Criminger
        Hi Werner, I think it was C. S. Lewis who used to speak of true myth (story). History and story come together in the gospel s good news story. The
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 31, 2004
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          Hi Werner,
          I think it was C. S. Lewis who used to speak of "true myth (story).  History and story come together in the gospel's "good news" story.  The Christian story is the greatest story ever told.  It is epic in scope, grounded in history, symphonic in truth, and infinite in its transforming power.  The old theist/athiest arguments simply sucks the life out of the living God of the Bible and God simply becomes a dead concept for philosphy.  That is why I focus discussions on Israel, Jesus, and the gospel story in relation to the atheist's counter narrative of history and reality (there really is no comparison and Atheists like discussing issues from their familiar territory of modern science, autonomous reason, and situation ethics).  Try comparing stories, they often don't even know where to begin or even how to think how their meta-narrative is really a grand narrative (story). 
           
          I think it's time for Christians to be less preoccupied with rational certainty and doctrinal precision (although these have their place and importance) and more concerned with telling the Christian story with its rich interplay of meanings that speak to all our human needs.  I am reminded of an old Jewish folktale where God is trying to detrmine who will be his chosen people.  God asks the Greeks and they offer their finest art and loftiest thinking.  God asks the Romans and they offer their great weapons of warfare and fine technology and road systems.  God asks the Jews and they offer to tell his story to the whole world.  God says *yes* to the Jews and the rest is His-story!"
           
          Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
           
           
           
          *****************

          Werner Peters <wernerpeters@...> wrote:
          I just finished reading "The Life of Pi". In there is an interesting quote.
           
          "So, you want another story?"
              "We would like to know what really happened."
          "Doesn't the telling of something always become a story?"
              "Uhh.. perhaps in English. In Japanese a story would have an element of invention in it. We don't want any invention. We want the 'straight facts' as you say in English."
          "Isn't telling about something - using words already something of an invention?"
          "Uhhh.."
          "The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no? And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no? Doesn't that make life a story?"
           
          I have been trying, as a preacher to understand what the gaggle of the most recent books are telling us preachers. Something about a 'meta-narrative'.
          At the same time, I have a couple of Christians in our church who are excited about "The Life of Pi." So I read it.
           
          I cannot escape the fact that the author himself, in trying to teach us that we each bring something to reality (and alter it, of course) is bringing something to reality himself..
           
          And it's as if this post-modern world has no place for "factuals" anymore.
           
          I don't know whether to grieve or to immerse myself in fiction.
          What have I brought to reality with my understanding of it?
           
          All this was triggered by your post below.. :) Maybe you can help me out.
          (If I have not made myself comprehensible, please forgive and ignore..)
           
          Werner

           
          Hi Werner,
          Yes, I am on CETA list.  I will say atheists often want to debate God like a Christian's view of God is simply a philisophical construct.  In that sense, that is not the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac.  I would try to focus on the Christian *story* versus the atheist story and see where that goes as a posssibility?
           
          What do you think?
           
          Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
           
           


          Do you Yahoo!?
          Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.


          Do you Yahoo!?
          Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.

        • Werner Peters
          Thanks for your repsonse. If you have the time or inclination, can you point me to a good example of such interaction? Two competing stories perhaps between an
          Message 4 of 7 , Oct 31, 2004
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            Thanks for your repsonse.
             
            If you have the time or inclination, can you point me to a good example of such interaction? Two competing stories perhaps between an atheist and a Christian?
             
            Or at least show me an example of the Christian use of story in the sense to which you refer in your post. Perhaps an example of how you have shared your tory to a dis-believer.
             
            Thanks.

            *********************************
            *  Visit my weblog              *
            http://www.wernerpeters.com  *
            *********************************
             

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Chris Criminger [mailto:chris_criminger@...]
            Sent: October 31, 2004 10:32 PM
            To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [biblicalapologetics] PS: Theism vs. Atheism:

            Hi Werner,
            I think it was C. S. Lewis who used to speak of "true myth (story).  History and story come together in the gospel's "good news" story.  The Christian story is the greatest story ever told.  It is epic in scope, grounded in history, symphonic in truth, and infinite in its transforming power.  The old theist/athiest arguments simply sucks the life out of the living God of the Bible and God simply becomes a dead concept for philosphy.  That is why I focus discussions on Israel, Jesus, and the gospel story in relation to the atheist's counter narrative of history and reality (there really is no comparison and Atheists like discussing issues from their familiar territory of modern science, autonomous reason, and situation ethics).  Try comparing stories, they often don't even know where to begin or even how to think how their meta-narrative is really a grand narrative (story). 
             
            I think it's time for Christians to be less preoccupied with rational certainty and doctrinal precision (although these have their place and importance) and more concerned with telling the Christian story with its rich interplay of meanings that speak to all our human needs.  I am reminded of an old Jewish folktale where God is trying to detrmine who will be his chosen people.  God asks the Greeks and they offer their finest art and loftiest thinking.  God asks the Romans and they offer their great weapons of warfare and fine technology and road systems.  God asks the Jews and they offer to tell his story to the whole world.  God says *yes* to the Jews and the rest is His-story!"
             
            Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
             
          • Chris Criminger
            Hi Werner, On an academic level, you might take a look at Clark Pinnock s ground breaking work at the time, Tracking the Maze where he develops narrative
            Message 5 of 7 , Oct 31, 2004
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Werner,
              On an academic level, you might take a look at Clark Pinnock's ground breaking work at the time, "Tracking the Maze" where he develops narrative (story) theology in part three of his book.  Then there is the much deeper theological work by Gary Dorrien called "The Word as True Myth" Interpreting  Modern Theology."
              In regards to a practical model, one place to begin is to look at how Stanley Hauerwas approaches the problem of evil and suffering differently from atheists in his "Naming the Silences."  If you get to read this last work, I think you will be both challenged and encouraged by it.
               
              Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
               
              PS  -  The few times I have tried to shift the discussion in the way I have suggested with atheists: (1) they each time basically either *refused* to deal with their own narrative and "tradition" or (2) simply say *it's not fair* to try to compare them at that level since either their aims or goals are so radically different or there is no such thing as an atheist metanarrative since all atheists pretty much approach even big issues differently.  So my experience is they either won't do this or try to as quickly as posible "get out" of this kind of discussion because they know they will lose at this level of discourse or on this kind of playing field.
               
               
               
              **************
              Werner Peters <wernerpeters@...> wrote:
              Thanks for your repsonse.
               
              If you have the time or inclination, can you point me to a good example of such interaction? Two competing stories perhaps between an atheist and a Christian?
               
              Or at least show me an example of the Christian use of story in the sense to which you refer in your post. Perhaps an example of how you have shared your tory to a dis-believer.
               
              Thanks.

              *********************************
              *  Visit my weblog              *
              http://www.wernerpeters.com  *
              *********************************
               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Chris Criminger [mailto:chris_criminger@...]
              Sent: October 31, 2004 10:32 PM
              To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [biblicalapologetics] PS: Theism vs. Atheism:

              Hi Werner,
              I think it was C. S. Lewis who used to speak of "true myth (story).  History and story come together in the gospel's "good news" story.  The Christian story is the greatest story ever told.  It is epic in scope, grounded in history, symphonic in truth, and infinite in its transforming power.  The old theist/athiest arguments simply sucks the life out of the living God of the Bible and God simply becomes a dead concept for philosphy.  That is why I focus discussions on Israel, Jesus, and the gospel story in relation to the atheist's counter narrative of history and reality (there really is no comparison and Atheists like discussing issues from their familiar territory of modern science, autonomous reason, and situation ethics).  Try comparing stories, they often don't even know where to begin or even how to think how their meta-narrative is really a grand narrative (story). 
               
              I think it's time for Christians to be less preoccupied with rational certainty and doctrinal precision (although these have their place and importance) and more concerned with telling the Christian story with its rich interplay of meanings that speak to all our human needs.  I am reminded of an old Jewish folktale where God is trying to detrmine who will be his chosen people.  God asks the Greeks and they offer their finest art and loftiest thinking.  God asks the Romans and they offer their great weapons of warfare and fine technology and road systems.  God asks the Jews and they offer to tell his story to the whole world.  God says *yes* to the Jews and the rest is His-story!"
               
              Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
               


              Do you Yahoo!?
              Yahoo! Mail - You care about security. So do we.

            • Werner Peters
              My attempts at sharing at that level is that it simply gets shrugged off as anecdotal.. Here s something odd: I find that atheists and agnostics that look for
              Message 6 of 7 , Nov 1, 2004
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                My attempts at sharing at that level is that it simply gets shrugged off as anecdotal..
                 
                Here's something odd:
                I find that atheists and agnostics that look for arguments on the web are not postmodern at all. They are solid modernists when it comes to trying to discredit our faith, but put on a pomo hat for other occasions.
                 
                Werner

                *********************************
                *  Visit my weblog              *
                http://www.wernerpeters.com  *
                *********************************
                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Chris Criminger [mailto:chris_criminger@...]
                Sent: October 31, 2004 11:05 PM
                To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [biblicalapologetics] PS: Theism vs. Atheism:

                Hi Werner,
                On an academic level, you might take a look at Clark Pinnock's ground breaking work at the time, "Tracking the Maze" where he develops narrative (story) theology in part three of his book.  Then there is the much deeper theological work by Gary Dorrien called "The Word as True Myth" Interpreting  Modern Theology."
                In regards to a practical model, one place to begin is to look at how Stanley Hauerwas approaches the problem of evil and suffering differently from atheists in his "Naming the Silences."  If you get to read this last work, I think you will be both challenged and encouraged by it.
                 
                Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
                 
                PS  -  The few times I have tried to shift the discussion in the way I have suggested with atheists: (1) they each time basically either *refused* to deal with their own narrative and "tradition" or (2) simply say *it's not fair* to try to compare them at that level since either their aims or goals are so radically different or there is no such thing as an atheist metanarrative since all atheists pretty much approach even big issues differently.  So my experience is they either won't do this or try to as quickly as posible "get out" of this kind of discussion because they know they will lose at this level of discourse or on this kind of playing field.
                 
              • Chris Criminger
                Werner said, attempts at sharing at that level is that it simply gets shrugged off as anecdotal.. RE: Hi Werner, Been there, done that :---) Werner said,
                Message 7 of 7 , Nov 1, 2004
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  Werner said,
                   attempts at sharing at that level is that it simply gets shrugged off as anecdotal..
                   
                  RE:  Hi Werner,
                  Been there, done that :---)
                   
                  Werner said, 
                  Here's something odd:
                  I find that atheists and agnostics that look for arguments on the web are not postmodern at all. They are solid modernists when it comes to trying to discredit our faith, but put on a pomo hat for other occasions.

                  RE:  You got it . . . This has exactly been my experience and understanding afterwards of the kinds of dynamics that goes on in these kind of discussion in cyber world with atheists.  Most atheists hate postmodernity because it ruins their apologetic.  The irony is I have heard that from some Christians too :--) 

                  Shalom  -  Chris C.

                   


                   

                  *********************************
                  *  Visit my weblog              *
                  http://www.wernerpeters.com  *
                  *********************************
                   

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Chris Criminger [mailto:chris_criminger@...]
                  Sent: October 31, 2004 11:05 PM
                  To: biblicalapologetics@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: RE: [biblicalapologetics] PS: Theism vs. Atheism:

                  Hi Werner,
                  On an academic level, you might take a look at Clark Pinnock's ground breaking work at the time, "Tracking the Maze" where he develops narrative (story) theology in part three of his book.  Then there is the much deeper theological work by Gary Dorrien called "The Word as True Myth" Interpreting  Modern Theology."
                  In regards to a practical model, one place to begin is to look at how Stanley Hauerwas approaches the problem of evil and suffering differently from atheists in his "Naming the Silences."  If you get to read this last work, I think you will be both challenged and encouraged by it.
                   
                  Grace and peace  -  Chris C.
                   
                  PS  -  The few times I have tried to shift the discussion in the way I have suggested with atheists: (1) they each time basically either *refused* to deal with their own narrative and "tradition" or (2) simply say *it's not fair* to try to compare them at that level since either their aims or goals are so radically different or there is no such thing as an atheist metanarrative since all atheists pretty much approach even big issues differently.  So my experience is they either won't do this or try to as quickly as posible "get out" of this kind of discussion because they know they will lose at this level of discourse or on this kind of playing field.
                   


                  Do you Yahoo!?
                  Yahoo! Mail - Helps protect you from nasty viruses.
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.