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FREE Digital Audio "Old Testament Theology" by Dr. Tremper Longman @ Credo Courses

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30 Audio Sessions

Dr. Tremper Longman is the author of over 10 books. This course provides an overview of the Old Testament from a theological perspective addressing discrepancies, themes, and controversies.

Description
The Old Testament
Most of us get our theology from the New Testament (NT). But where did the authors of the NT get their theology? They got it from the Old Testament (OT).

The religious leaders had misunderstood what God was telling them. Jesus and his disciples showed how the OT had been prophesying about Jesus and the new covenant that he would institute.

Dr. Tremper Longman is the author, editor, or contributor to over 22 titles including: An Introduction to the Old Testament, Song of Songs, and Literary Approaches to Biblical Interpretation.

This course contains 30 sessions covering all aspects of this topic:

Sessions
Introduction to Old Testament Theology (What is Theology?)
How the Old Testament Relates to the New Testament?
The Synoptic Issue in the Old Testament (Part 1)
The Synoptic Issue in the Old Testament (Part 2)
The Exodus Theme in the Old Testament (Part 1)
The Exodus Theme in the Old Testament (Part 2)
The Exodus Theme in the New Testament
Abraham
Joseph
God as King
Noahic and Abrahamic Covenants
Mosaic and Davidic Covenants
Jesus Fulfills the Covenants
God as Warrior in the OT: Harem Warfare
God as Warrior in the OT: 5 Phases of Holy War
God as Warrior in the NT
God as Husband: Love and Marriage
God as Husband: Song of Songs
God as Wisdom (Part 1)
God as Wisdom (Part 2)
God as Shepherd
God as Father and Mother
Genesis 1–3: What it Doesn’t Teach
Genesis 1–3: What it Does Teach
Holy Places (Part 1)
Holy Places (Part 2)
Holy People: The Priesthood
Holy Actions: Sacrifices
Holy Time: The Sabbath
Ecclesiastes: Life Is Difficult and Then You Die

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closed Comments

  • +7

    Let me start the comments
    I am not an atheist
    I grew up a Christian
    I have lapsed as a Christian because I have doubts that God exists
    I have doubts that the Bible is God's word

    It was so easy for God to talk to his people before the invention of the radio/ telephone etc
    However now that the means of communication have improved, why is God silent?

    Why is the Quran not God's word, or the Gita? or any other Holy Book? Why exclusively the Bible
    How do I know if any of this is real?

    I am not saying prove to me that God exists, because I know he doesn't. Personally I am not sure but leaning towards the no

    All I am saying is I wish I knew in my heart of hearts, one way or the other

    • +11

      Why do you look at God's existence as if it's an objective property like matter in the universe? The authors of the bible weren't scientists. They mapped human behavior into a narrative, providing a transcendent morality for the people.

      • +1

        Why do you look at God's existence as if it's an objective property like matter in the universe? The authors of the bible weren't scientists. They mapped human behavior into a narrative, providing a transcendent morality for the people.

        How else do I know if this is not a fairy tale?
        How else do I know if Moses et al were not hallucinating?

        • +5

          How else do I know if this is not a fairy tale?

          you lack faith little grasshopper.

        • +9

          Narrative is the first form of storytelling humans figured out. The age of enlightenment didn't begin until the 18th century. Before then, we were not interested in claims of objective fact. The Bible is packed with immense levels of symbolism and designed in such a way that the average farmer can comprehend the moral lessons as well as the ivory tower intellectual. The fundamentalist interpretation - that all claims in the bible are objective claims - is only one of multiple intended interpretations, so as to cater to a society with differing levels of intellectual capacity.

        • @jv:

          isn't that what I said: I have lapsed as a Christian because I have doubts that God exists :)

        • @mgexiled:

          The Bible is packed with immense levels of symbolism and designed in such a way that the average farmer can comprehend the moral lessons as well as the ivory tower intellectual.

          I must have been reading a different Bible then

          from Matthew 13
          The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

          this is followed by Jesus having to explain to his disciples what the parable meant, because they did not understand what he was trying to convey.

          No he did not explain every parable

        • +5

          @docians: I don't know what your argument is but it's a lower resolution than my Atari 2600.

        • @docians: John 14:26
          But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you.

        • +6

          @mgexiled: sounds like someone has been listening to Jordan Peterson…

          Edit: didn't notice you mention him in another post below.

        • @gto21:

          waiting patiently for this advocate
          Unless he reserves himself for the good
          Hang on didn't Jesus say he was here for the sinners and not the good folk.
          How come then this advocate has not taught me anything? How much longer must I sin?

        • +1

          @docians: Mark 10:18 "“ Why do you call Me good? Jesus replied, “No one is good except God alone."

        • @gto21:

          better tell that to the Good Guys
          wait isn't Jesus God?

          but you still haven't told me why you seem to have met the advocate, but I haven't
          Nice that you evade the topic :)

        • -3

          @docians:

          I have lapsed as a Christian

          Or you've achieved enlightenment…think of it that way!

        • @docians: Haha I knew that what you will think the verse meant. That's exegesis 101. From the same chapter Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." verse 21: "…Then come, follow me." John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd…" I don't know you how will I know if you met the advocate or not?

        • @jv: God bless you jv:)

        • +4

          Noone becomes a Christian through intellectual assent alone. However, here are some thoughts.

          The one question that everything in the Bible should be staked on is did Jesus rise from the dead? The reason I say this is because one of his disciples the Apostle Paul argued very clearly and emphatically that if Jesus didn't rise from the dead, then it's all pointless.

          But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15)

          So, did he? What we know is that we have four written eyewitness accounts saying so. And these documents are well respected and highly regarded by scholars. The academic consensus is that there was a man named Jesus of Nazareth, and many people in his time believed he did miracles and rose from the dead and were convinced that he is God and followed him, often to violent death. In fact, historians puzzle and agonise over this last point. For three hundred years Christianity spread like wildfire over Europe while they were actively hunted down by the Roman Empire (burned alive, fed to lions, crucified, etc) until Constantine sanctioned it in 313AD. Jesus' first disciples were peasant fishermen who had no riches nor fame and nearly all died gruesomely. 'Come follow Jesus and die a violent death'. Not exactly an easy sell. What accounts for this spread? Historians can't just say Jesus rose from the dead because miracles aren't presupposed in the field of ancient history. But this is exactly' Paul's reason.

          Compare this to Islam, where Muhammed the prophet's one miracle is the Qu'ran. Muhammend grew up in a privileged family and Islam early early rise spread by the sword, through conquest and forced conversions. There is only one version of the Qu'ran, the others were banned. And it's one person saying he was given a divine message (basically the same as Mormonism). No corroboration, no miracles.

          My point is that you should look at each holy text on its merits. Unfortunately there is a lot of uninformed misinformation online. I can recommend some books instead.

        • @haru:

          No one becomes a Christian through intellectual assent

          Nailed it. They can stop being one that way though.

        • @haru: very well said

        • +1

          @ely: Nice job misquoting me. If you're implying that only dumb and stupid people become religious then you'll have to please explain Issac Newton, James Clerk Maxwell, Blaise Pascal, among many others.

        • @haru: I quoted you exactly, and I'm agreeing with the sentiment of that part of your comment.

          You're taking offence and reading more in to it than I intended, maybe a little bit too defensive? This type of bargain does always stimulate a vigorous discussion so I can appreciate that you're probably on guard ;)

          I'm not religious, and agree that you can't reason yourself into being so. I think that you can reason yourself out of it, but that doesn't make any comment about the intelligence of anyone that does or does not do so and I didn't mean to suggest that either.

        • @ely: Nope, what I wrote was no one becomes a Christian through intellectual assent alone.

        • @haru: Clearly you see some difference in meaning that I don't; the key point was that intellectual assent was insufficient. Happy to edit to add it (except that I can't now), because I see no difference in meaning - that was just what I happened to copy :)

    • +2

      It's just a book.

      This one is pretty good. It's the prequel to the Jesus part. Much more gore and magic.

      • +5

        Hey, spoilers!

        • The series finale was ages ago.

          Don't expect people not to know Ned Stark lost his head when the white walkers are literally marching against the wall.

        • Did you seriously just spoil that last bit?

      • +2

        Actually it's not the pre-Jesus part - the whole Bible is about Jesus. Eg Jn5:39,46

        • -2

          Yes yes. And the Hobbit was all about the one ring.

        • Have you read the bible? Jesus doesn't show up til the second act.

        • +2

          @stormii: just a few days ago I was reading Genesis 3:15, but other obvious references are in books like Isaiah. Read in context, every book of the old testament points to the coming saviour and tells us about his character.

          If you're genuinely interested, send me a PM. I'd be happy to shout you a coffee and show you where each book of the old testament tells us about Jesus or, depending on where you are in Sydney, put you in touch with someone who can.

        • @newdad: Thanks for the kind offer.

      • Don't forget the begatting, so much geriatric begatting.

    • +4

      I don’t quite understand what you mean about God going silent after the invention of communication devices. God speaking directly to people has never been a common occurrence.

      • +1

        God is always speaking to us. You just need to listen.

        • Which god?

        • What channel?

        • @H_J: It doesn't matter

      • -2

        God speaking directly to people has never been a common occurrence.

        FTFY

    • +11

      Hi docians, I will attempt to answer your questions. I became a Christian ten years ago. Although Ozbargain is not an ideal place for spiritual stuff I feel your frustration and wish to answer you from what I know and experienced.

      Q: It was so easy for God to talk to his people before the invention of the radio/ telephone etc
      However now that the means of communication have improved, why is God silent?
      A: God gave us the Bible and taught us how to pray to Him. You must accept that you are a sinner for you to begin communicating with Him.

      Hebrews 1:1-2 ESV
      Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

      Romans 10:17 ESV
      So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

      John 10:27-28 ESV
      My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.

      Q: Why is the Quran not God's word, or the Gita? or any other Holy Book? Why exclusively the Bible

      A: The other religious scriptures say there are other ways to salvation/eternal life/heaven. Christianity says Jesus is the sole and only way. Either all other religions are correct and Christianity is wrong or vice versa. The choice is entirely and absolutely yours but if you are agnostic I invite you to read the Gospel of John from the New Testament first so that you may be able to decide for yourself.

      John 14:6 ESV
      Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

      John 3:16 ESV
      “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

      Acts 4:12 ESV
      And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

      Q: How do I know if any of this is real?

      A: It is a personal experience. Objective answer is that you don't as it is about having faith and belief.

      Hebrews 11:1 ESV
      Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

      John 1:12 ESV
      But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

      John 20:29 ESV
      Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

      I know that I am not proving the legitimacy of the Bible or God as I am quoting from the Bible. I am simply presenting a few examples of what the Bible has to say about that topic. The decision to believe is entirely yours but please do and try to finish the Gospel of John.

      If you want certainty I warmly suggest you approach Him wholeheartedly through prayer. Sincerity is the key I believe.

      • +1

        God gave us the Bible and taught us how to pray to Him. You must accept that you are a sinner for you to begin communicating with Him

        The assumption is that I have not prayed
        The truth is that I have been praying, and when you go through decades of prayer and only silence from the other end, that is when the doubts arise

        Since I heard nothing after decades (not days/ weeks/ hours/ months/ years) of prayer, I now wonder if I've been doing it wrong

        Yet others seem to find him/ the advocate so easily

        It is like a man who is hungry
        You ask him to pray
        He prays, for decades, gets not response, no food, no nourishment
        Only to be told it is his fault that he is hungry and that he didn't have faith

        • +2

          I'm not sure someone can live for decades without food.

        • +3

          oh man I'm sorry to hear that. I have some friends as well, they prayed prayed prayed and no answers from the other side.

          Please let me tell you my little experience - God spoke to me very very few times (maybe 2or5) but those times God spoke to me it is remarkable, will never forget. Sometimes God also sent me pics tho - God might "speak" in different ways. A couple of times I'm pretty sure God spoke through me: actually last week I had a friend who was going through a very rough time, he called me however i don't know what i said but the words that came out of me were very powerful. I could really feel the words touched his heart, he was very thankful.

          But most times I get silence as well. So, I start to realise that silence is a way for God to tell me I'm in right track, so I keep going and going and if it doesn't work out I still keep going - hardly give up!! God will close ALL the doors before I give up, but I must lucky for now as it happened perhaps once.

          Saying that, I don't pray much for myself - most times I pray for others. I'm already very happy with all God has given to me already. Also, the church I am in taught me many things - without those people perhaps I wouldn't pray like I do. And pray for others really helped me too.

          Praying for decades about one thing - it must have been huge huge huge!!! wow, can't even imagine. I really hope your soul will find peace.

        • +2

          Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

          That's Matthew 6, just after Jesus teaches his disciples on his to pray

          God feeds the birds, but they still have to get up early, fly and catch the worm. The two are not contradictory.

          There's a funny illustration of a guy who wants God to prove himself, so he jumps in the ocean and says God if you are there save me. A surfer comes along and if he needs help, guy says no thanks God is going to save me, a boat comes along and asks the guy if he needs help. The guy says no thanks God is going to save me. A helicopter comes along says do you need help, he says no God is going to save me. The guy drowns. He Gets to heaven and sees God and says Hey why didn't you save me. God says what are you talking about I sent you a surfer, a boat and a helicopter.

          Doubts and questions are good, finding real answers are better.
          Great place to start might be "the reason for God" by Tim Keller who tries to shows why faith is reasonable

          Or if you like hard evidence over philosophy perhaps " the case for Christ" by Lee strobel who was an investigative journalist who became a Christian after investigating the claimed of Christianity while trying to disprove it

          All the best on your journey

        • +2

          You need the Holy Spirit.

          Without it, we don't even know how to pray Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."

          Without it, we don't belong to Jesus Romans 8:9 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his."

          The problem is these days, a lot of churches don't see this, they blindly quote John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." ignoring the verses in the same chapter that come before it
          John 3:5-7 "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."

          You need the Holy Spirit

          if you repent (give up what you think you know about God, realize you're a sinner and turn to him) and are baptized (like they did in the bible days, by full immersion) and simply ask, he will give you the Holy Spirit, and with it comes power, knowledge and a connection to God.
          Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptised every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."

          We can show you all this and more, from the word of God if you're willing to give God a go.

          www.therevivalfellowship.com

        • @Cazman: You need pray five times a day, or send your kids to private school…

        • +1

          @bruschetta: What a lovely passage of words. God bless you:)

    • I don't think words or reason can help with doubt, but I do hope you come across someone spiritual where you will see it in everything they say and do, and your doubt will go.

    • It is the conceit of mankind if he thinks a god would directly address him.

    • +1

      "It was so easy for God to talk to his people before the invention of the radio/ telephone etc
      However now that the means of communication have improved, why is God silent?"

      Actually, I don't think it so so much a matter of God being silent, as people being unable to hear because their heads are so filled with noise & egoistic thoughts: the constant hum of machines, rooms dominated by radio & television, planes, cars and so on. People living in close proximity in urban jungles rather than simple agrarian subsistance farming existences. People have no room for God because they worship themselves as a God (narcissism).

      Easterners have the right idea: you need to slow down your mind, empty your thought processes (the Monkey mind), achieve a on-pointed mind, and then let the divine in. You cannot pour whisky (spirits) into a barrel completely filled with excrement.

    • +1
      1. God isn't silent, He's still talking, we just need to learn to listen.

      2. Because when you know Truth, you find God will not contradict Himself. Even logically, why would the true God look like an animal that is lesser than us? I. E. Vishnu

      3. Keep searching, God desires for you to know the Truth more than you do.

    • Hopsin - Ill Mind 7

  • +13

    Thanks a lot OP! I think it's great that Theological material is being posted on oz-bargain, especially considering the erosion of faith in the West. Anyone who hasn't should consider watching Jordan Peterson's Psychological Significance of the Biblical Stories series on YouTube to get an understanding of how integral Christianity is to the foundations of Western Civilization. Thanks to the materialist perspective we have laughed Christianity out of regular discourse, throwing the baby out with the bathwater thanks to a materialist objectivist interpretation of the bible. I saw lots of negative comments on previous Christian offers so i just wanted to offer my perspective. Cheers.

    • +5

      I am not particularly religious but I must accept that the morality we grow up with in western society stems from Christian beliefs. In stark contrast the moral vacuum in countries such as China is precisely due to the lack of Christian beliefs.

      • Yeah, those Chinese sure do need a bit more Christ in 'em!!! That'd sort them out no wuckaz!

        • +2

          You would prefer the State as God then, I see.

        • +4

          @mgexiled:

          Nope, just taking the piss out of a ridiculous comment.

        • +2

          @Cubist:

          How is making a claim that a Communist state could do with a moral borometer outside of the Word of the Government a ridiculous comment?

        • @mgexiled:

          Now that's a little bit dishonest. That wasn't the comment at all.
          The comment was that China's issues were as a result of lacking Christian influence.

        • @mgexiled:

          could do with a moral borometer

          moral barometer?

        • +2

          @docians: a spelling correction how will I ever recover?

        • +1

          @mgexiled:
          by sincerely apologizing for your erroneous ways at a confession

        • I'm not sure about whether the Chinese need Christ. But how about if Australia gets Chinese leadership for about 50 years with a little discriminate killing thrown in and banishment of all religions. Will it be a better country?

        • @Risto:

          The problem with his line of thought is that you are posting the only two options as either China needing Christianity, or Australia becoming a Chinese dictatorship. Best to ask a more open ended question, instead of trying to steer someone's answer to make your own position look more logical and reasonable.

          Why not just ask people "How would you like to see the country in 50 years?". If someone answers "Banishing all religions and killing indiscriminately", then by all means proceed to educate them on why Christianity is the better offer. If you need to present the only two options as indiscriminate killings, or Christianity… Then it's completely understandable why you think that Christianity is the attractive choice to base our future upon.

        • @Risto:

          At least we would have some form of leadership :) And yes banishment of all religion and the embracing of truths based on facts would probably make us s better country IMO.

        • @Cubist: I understand what you're saying Cubist. (And I can see you worship cubes). As I mentioned in the first instance, I am not particularly religious, so it is not particularly thrilling for me to accept the influence of Christianity on our society. The modern Chinese have largely abandoned their spirituality (including Confucian beliefs) and it's not a culture that represents a beacon for spiritual enlightenment. I am not sure we can even judge what the "ideal" is without accepting how we got to this point in our social development in the western world. In any case, bless cube.

        • @PCAviator: The more we think and analyse facts, the more they become meaningless. To be brutally honest under the benefit of anonymity, I am jealous of the comfort some people gain from their spirituality. Conversely, I can't stand the smugness others have because of their faith. If someone is happier because they have faith, who am I to judge?

          You know the suggestion from the Communist elite party in China is for all the State controlled churches to replace Jesus pictures with those of Xi Jinping. He seems a pleasant enough bloke to look at, but maybe not everywhere.

        • That might be, but that could be a correlation over causation. You have the same abandonment present in Scandenavia with vastly different outcomes. No need to look abroad though, we can see the same thing in our own country, with the secularisation of the legal system.

        • @PCAviator: Whose facts would you refer to though?

        • +1

          @PCAviator:

          This is only one metric, but the utopia of 'banishment of all religions and embracing of truths based on facts' has some interesting effects on gender equality.

          And I am not talking about the number of women in the highest level of government (but you can Google search 'women in the Chinese politburo' if you want to check that metric), or even women in major company board positions.

          An even more basic equality difference is displayed by the alarming gender-gap in China compared to Australia, due to 'missing females' at birth.
          The gap is estimated at approximately 1 million missing girls per year for much of the past twenty-five years (boy-girl ratio approx 1.15 vs the 'normal' boy-girl ratio at birth worldwide 1.05).

          Does this have anything to do with religious belief, or advocated lack thereof?

          China publishes rather opaque statistics regarding religion at the best of the times, but gender-birth ratios by province data has been available. The only two provinces/autonomous regions with close to the 'normal' gender ratio at birth are Tibet and Xinjiang, both with noticeably large and prominent religious populations (Buddhist and Muslim respectively).

          South Korea previously also had a high gender-imbalance ratio at birth, which has since 'normalized'. At the time of high gender-imbalance, beliefs in theistic (Christian) religion was correlated with more normal gender ratios at birth (Does Religion Matter? A study of regional variations in sex ratio at birth in Korea), as well as less induced abortions in general.

          Similarly a study of East and South Asian migrants to Canada also found near-balanced gender preference (not quite the same as gender selection) among Christians and Muslims compared to other groups.

          In early studies, the effect of urbanization, education and wealth did not dramatically change sex-selection amongst Indian or Chinese populations. In some studies, educated people were even more sex-selective.

          I have heard the different attitudes towards 'child selection' during pregnancy between local Chinese Christian groups and the general (well educated) medical profession in China. I think it is not unreasonable to suppose that 3+% of the Chinese population who publicly confess to being Christians have contributed perhaps to an additional 30,000 girls being born each year.

        • @mgexiled: People don't need a book to tell them what's moral and immoral.

        • @WinstonWithAY: I agree. But what do they need instead and why?

      • +3

        Yeah those Buddhist lack morals. Probably why they've started all those wars over the centuries.

        • +1

          At a very high level - Christianity embraces the world through a life of service to others. Buddhism withdraws from the world as implied by its doctrine that desire is impermanence and suffering

        • +8

          @mgexiled: well for starters Christianity is following Christ. Last time I read the bible he didn't turn up until the new testament. So the old testament isn't christian.

          Secondly like christs teachings, Buddhism is about enlightenment through self betterment and example.

          To claim a Buddhist country like China lack morals, is made by someone who obviously has an over abundance of ignorance.

        • @supabrudda:

          To claim a Buddhist country like China lack morals, is made by someone who obviously has an over abundance of ignorance

          agree esp on the over abundance of ignorace :)

        • +4

          @docians: Because China is a real haven for spiritual freedom LOL

        • +1

          @mgexiled: Bullet to the back of the head = spirit freed. Blackmarket (legal now I think) organs = profits! ※(^o^)/※

        • +1

          @mgexiled:
          At a practical level, Christians impose their religion through violence, or have used religion as an excuse for conquest.

          I'd rather be ignored by Bhuddists than invaded by a Christians.

        • -2

          @tshow: Try Buddist in Burma who teach religious chauvinism to their followers.

        • @gto21:
          I guess their level wasn't high enough to withdraw from the world.

          Time to do more spirit push ups.

        • @gto21:

          Try Buddist in Burma who teach religious chauvinism to their followers.

          Go there and you will see that on the whole they are warm, friendly and peaceful people.

          Be careful with politics, religion and media. It's easy to point the finger, plus take a look at Christian based countries and the violence that comes from them

        • @supabrudda: To claim China is a Buddhist country is optimistic.

        • @slipperypete: like you said its easy to point the finger. As a result this is an argument against your criticism of Christianity. You just refuted your own claim.

        • @slipperypete: can you explain why when Buddhist kills other people is peaceful?

        • @gto21:

          The point I am making is not to criticise others beliefs or look for holes. We all live in glass houses.

          People are people, on the whole good, however, always some bad apples. The loudest get noticed, the media promotes these and the dull minded see them as representative of the whole country, religion or whatever.

          Just because it is a Christian based country doesn't mean the violence is from Christianity. Same as Buddhist countries. Burma is a colonial country put together by the Brits with many different factions who struggle to get along. Buddhists kill each other, same as EVERY SINGLE RELIGION on this planet. But it isnt the religion that kills, it is almost always used as an excuse to kill or to claim righteousness.

          As a result this is an argument against your criticism of Christianity

          I am not criticising Christianity. I don't have a religion but to be honest I will always stick up for any persons' belief as long as they aren't judgmental and follow equanimity and acceptance.

        • @gto21:

          can you explain why when Buddhist kills other people is peaceful?

          It isn't

        • @tshow: They're not the only two options. Getting a clue is another - https://www.news.com.au/world/asia/violence-in-myanmar-shows...

        • @Mic Cullen:
          Be careful with all that information /misinformation. You may start forming your own opinions.

          We all know that's the devil's playground.

        • @tshow: Err, yeah. Sure.

      • +2

        You sure it's not from the British insurgency and forced use of opium onto the Chinese so they can invade and secure their tea trade?

        BTW, the British were Christian.

      • +4

        If we look at human history, we have done horrible things to each other both in the name of God and from a completely secular perspective.

      • +2

        That same morality kept gay people as second class citizens for all of Australia's history up until recently. Your acceptance of that morality system is cold comfort for religious parents of gay children who killed themselves because that institutionalised morality system said they don't belong.

        • +3

          Gays have their freedom is society and Christians as well. Both are allowed to do what they want as long as they don't break any laws or harm others. You have non-religious people who hate gays. I'm Christians, I don't hate gays and know many Christians who don't hate gays.

        • Christians have to confess that there has been a bad history of negative and discriminatory attitudes from both individual Christians and Christian organizations towards those who choose to have same-sex relationships.

          With regard to 'kept gay people as second class citizens for all of Australia's history up until recently', I think one needs to reflect more globally, and over more than just the current century, that the discriminatory attitudes and laws were universal, including in places where non-religious ideologies dominated.

          As a rough estimate to the practical influence of Christianity and atheism on an issue such as same-sex marriage:

          Number of countries in the world : 195
          Number of countries where same-sex marriage is performed : 28

          Number of countries in the modern era where Christianity is recognized as a state religion : 17
          Number of those 'Christian' countries where same-sex marriage is performed and recognized : 6

          Number of countries in the modern era which practiced Marxist state atheism : 9
          Number of those 'atheistic' countries where same-sex marriage is performed and recognized : 0.5 (East Germany)

          Of course, whatever is written in the constitution or has been formalized as a state-sponsored organizations does not necessarily equate to the unanimous beliefs amongst the population. However, constitutional and state-sponsored organizations have 'deep' and persistent effects on the adoption of laws and rights within the country.

          It is a cause of great sorrow when anyone takes their own life, and a great shame upon others if that has been the result of discrimination or persecution. It is to the great credit of countries in the modern era today that at least some of the legal framework of that persecution has been removed.

        • It's all moot though. Christianity in the west has already peaked in growth, percent of population, and influence. In 2050 there is projected to be the same percent of Christians in the world, except a lot less will be found in the west and 4/10ths of them will be found in subsaharan Africa (according to Pew Forum). Christians will never get same sex marriage banned in Australia again. The legal framework of Australia will never again be owned by Christians and Christians and will always protect the right of gay people to marry. Christians could start setting themselves on fire in front of Parliament House and it wouldn't reverse that. But in subsaharan Africa it might have some sway? Have to wonder what's so special about Christianity that it now only thrives in third world shitholes and is projected to be a dying belief system for old people in the west.

        • +1

          @AustriaBargain:

          what's so special about Christianity that it now only thrives in third world shitholes

          Perhaps it is because when I and other Christians work without pay in Kenya, rural Bangladesh or impoverished rural areas of China I would not consider calling those countries, regions or people as belonging to 'third world shitholes'

          Christians could start setting themselves on fire in front of Parliament House and it wouldn't reverse that

          Nor when I work in a community health service in Victoria seeing refugees, asylum seekers, non-English speaking, homeless, transgender and same-sex attracted people would I consider or wish that they should attempt societal change or make a political point by setting themselves on fire … I haven't reached that level of anger yet. Though that is perhaps because I haven't spent enough time recently on online forums like this one (part of my recent 'fast' was not to view Ozbargain for a few weeks!, difficult when various friends keep posting me links to bargains on this site!).

        • Have you considered doing actual charity instead of proselytising?

        • @AustriaBargain: Nice Trumpism replication. It suits you.

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