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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> Some basic questions about Christianity
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01/31/2007 08:05:41 PM · #1
I'm going to try this here, in the hopes it won't turn into a rant and it won't get hijacked.

Christianity says it's monotheistic. But everything seems to be done in Jesus' name. If that's not worship, what is it? And if Jesus doesn't have all of God's powers, why pray to him instead of God? Also, how does the Holy Spirit fit in? Finally, how do you reconcile three deity-like beings with monotheism?

Here's another one: Jesus is supposed to have risen from the dead three days after he died, right? But wasn't he supposed to have died on Good Friday? And Easter is Sunday, two days later. If I said I'd meet you three days from now, and today was Tuesday, wouldn't you show up on Friday, not Thursday? I'm not looking for answers like "he didn't really," but rather an explanation of it within the framework of Christianity.

On both questions, I'm assuming I'm missing some easy reference, since I'm Jewish. But I'm genuinely asking in an attempt to learn about another religion, not trying to poke fun, so I look forward to your answers.

Thanks!
01/31/2007 08:09:12 PM · #2
What a potential can of worms. But here goes:

The doctrine of the trinity (not universally accepted in Christian sects) says that each member, God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equally God, equally divine. All equal manifestations of the person of God.

Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose on Sunday. Sunday was the "third" day (e.g., Friday was the first).
01/31/2007 08:11:41 PM · #3
Originally posted by strangeghost:

What a potential can of worms. But here goes:

The doctrine of the trinity (not universally accepted in Christian sects) says that each member, God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are equally God, equally divine. All equal manifestations of the person of God.

Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose on Sunday. Sunday was the "third" day (e.g., Friday was the first).

Accurate and succinct, I believe.
01/31/2007 08:12:38 PM · #4
I think that Christianity views God and Christ and the Holy spirit (the trinity) as one being, so its still monotheistic, so I think that that's the answer to your first question.
Q: How many Christians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: 1, but it's actually 3, bit it's really 1.

As for the scheduling issue, suppose he died Friday Morning and came back on Sunday night, It would be closer to 72 hours than 48, so they might have just rounded. idk. (I'm Jewish too)

edit- oops, took me too long to type.

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 20:13:19.
01/31/2007 08:14:00 PM · #5
Interesting questions :0)

IM(Christian)O, there is one God, the same "I AM" that Abraham worshiped. The concept of the Trinity is grantedly ambiguous, but Jesus said, "I and my Father are one". In fact that's why he was rejected and crucified by the Jewish establishment of the time, because He claims to be God. God the Father, the Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, are all one God.... ergo Christianity's claim to monotheism.

As for the second point, I've never considered that Sunday wasn't 3 days after Friday... hmmm. I think the scripture says he was raised "on the third day"... maybe that's it? Or maybe the counting was inclusive. He died on Friday (day 1), remained in the tomb through Saturday (day 2), and on Sunday was resurrected (day 3). In any event, the fact that He WAS resurrected is what's important!

That's my understanding of the matter. Thanks for asking! _Ray
01/31/2007 08:16:30 PM · #6
Originally posted by Quickshutter:

As for the scheduling issue, suppose he died Friday Morning and came back on Sunday night, It would be closer to 72 hours than 48, so they might have just rounded. idk. (I'm Jewish too)

I think it's supposed to have been 3pm on the Friday he was crucified (well, that's the time on Good Friday that the sky is supposed to turn black)

Incidently, it's strange for me to see Jewish people on here, I've never met one in real life!... (Oh, I did once, over in London)
01/31/2007 08:20:07 PM · #7
To the General Public that reads this (not just levy413)
Disclaimor -- I am not a theologian, by any stretch, but I will try to explain it to you as I understand it. I will also preface this with I will not "argue" on a public forum about it, but am perfectly willing to discuss via pm's. "Arguing" about religion is like teaching a pig to sing, it wastes my time (you won't change my mind about most things, the two issues at hand being two of them, and if you are only seeking to argue, I won't change yours) and it annoys the pig. :)

That said,

The trinity. Yes, Christians believe in God, the Father; God, the Son; and God, the Holy Spirit. Three-in-one, or the Trinity. Most mainstream Christians (I'm sure there are divisions that don't) believe that all three are indeed one, but different manifestations. Jesus is God in the flesh. When he went back to Heaven, the manifestation of God that we call the Holy Spirit came to Earth.

Another way to look at it -- I am Karma. Wife of Bernard. Mother to Travis and Kristi. Sister to Kelly, Kevin and Kasey. I am the same person, but have different relationships based on how I am related.

Another illustration -- In front of you is a cherry pie. I cut it into three pieces. The pieces are distinct and separate, but underneath, all the filling is the same.

I know those are oversimplified, and I'm sure there are many who can give you more in depth philosophical answers, but that is how I understand it. The Trinity is also one of the most difficult parts of Christianity to attempt to understand or accept.

Three days -- Being Jewish, you can probably answer better than I can, but if I remember correctly, it has something to do with the time He was crucified being day one. Good Friday (obviously not called that then) would begin at 6 pm on Thursday. So, 6 pm R to 6 pm F would be day 1. 6 pm F to 6 pm S is day 2 and 6 pm to 6pm Sunday (Easter) is day three. I may not have that exactly correct, and will try to research it if I get some time, to fill in the gaps.

And that, is your daily religious lesson as delivered by karmat. :)

edit -- all those others responded while i was typing. :)

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 20:21:22.
01/31/2007 09:18:03 PM · #8
Originally posted by karmat:

Another illustration -- In front of you is a cherry pie. I cut it into three pieces. The pieces are distinct and separate, but underneath, all the filling is the same.


i think if you believe in the existence of a "god", then try pondering about this - what if there was only ONE god all along (or some energy force, whatever your religion is making you believe) but due to our diversed religious beliefs, we are all paying respects in different ways? and if that is true, then i think all these holy wars that's been going on is one stupid thing.
01/31/2007 09:24:15 PM · #9
forgive the simplicity of this but I think of the 3 in 1 as they are the same just like a human can be a parent, child and spouse.

They each have a different role, but they are still the same one.
01/31/2007 09:31:46 PM · #10
Originally posted by strangeghost:

Jesus was crucified on a Friday and rose on Sunday. Sunday was the "third" day (e.g., Friday was the first).


' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' strangeghost is right about this one. Days are counted differently depending on where you live. Here is the United States most would consider that from Friday, in three days, it would be Monday. However while living in Mexico for some time I quickly learned that they always include the current day as day one. This would make Friday day 1 (no matter what time it occurred at), Saturday day 2, and Sunday day 3.

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 21:32:23.
01/31/2007 09:51:51 PM · #11
Okay,I know it's really not for another 3ish hours, but let's say today is February 1. Three days from now would be the 4th, but the 3rd day will always be the 3rd day, just as today would stay the 1st.

He rose on the third day, not 3 days later than the first day :)
01/31/2007 10:20:02 PM · #12
This has been covered already, but I wanted to throw my metaphor out there. When I went to church, the Trinity was explained as ice, water, and steam. They are all forms of water, and yet all are different.
01/31/2007 10:36:15 PM · #13
Soooo Jeffrey, does that answer your questions satisfactorily??????

01/31/2007 10:37:54 PM · #14
Many of us forget the story of Abraham and Sarah before the birth of their first child...

Genesis 18 v1,2:
1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

(These men - The Lord - Told Abraham that Sarah would be with child when they returned.)

The Torah itself shows us that God is triune.
01/31/2007 11:03:30 PM · #15
Good questions, definitely.

As for the three days thing:
Jesus was crucified under Roman law, and the Romans counted days inclusively. They would count each day on the end as well as the ones in the middle - so :
Friday (day 1)
Saturday (2)
Sunday (3)

It's like what BeeCee said - it's not three days later, but the third day.


Also, to the distress of moderns trying to work out dates in Roman calendar documents, they counted inclusively, so that 2 September is considered 4 days before 5 September, rather than 3 days before.
-- from Wikipedia
01/31/2007 11:10:09 PM · #16
I'm not religious, but I think it's an interesting bit of trivia that it used to be the "Holy Ghost", but the name was recently changed to the "Holy Spirit" because 'they' were concerned that the ghost name might scare the kidlets.

If I'm wrong about this, it's a rumour I'd like to start.
:-)
01/31/2007 11:14:46 PM · #17
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

I'm not religious, but I think it's an interesting bit of trivia that it used to be the "Holy Ghost", but the name was recently changed to the "Holy Spirit" because 'they' were concerned that the ghost name might scare the kidlets.

If I'm wrong about this, it's a rumour I'd like to start.
:-)


eh, more just a change to reflect the change in English, the "spirit" term now more closely matches in current english thought what the koine greek meant. Ghost was used in the King James, which has it's own translation problems.
01/31/2007 11:16:39 PM · #18
Originally posted by wavelength:

eh, more just a change to reflect the change in English, the "spirit" term now more closely matches in current english thought what the koine greek meant. Ghost was used in the King James, which has it's own translation problems.


yep...
01/31/2007 11:21:17 PM · #19
Originally posted by Strikeslip:

I'm not religious, but I think it's an interesting bit of trivia that it used to be the "Holy Ghost", but the name was recently changed to the "Holy Spirit" because 'they' were concerned that the ghost name might scare the kidlets.

If I'm wrong about this, it's a rumour I'd like to start.
:-)


i've
heard
both used
interchangeably my whole life
01/31/2007 11:21:53 PM · #20
Originally posted by SandyP:

Soooo Jeffrey, does that answer your questions satisfactorily??????


Yep. :) Thanks very much, everyone. I didn't know that Jesus was considered to be part of God, but rather thought he was a separate being.

I especially enjoyed learning the bit about how the Romans counted days (or, apparently, how Mexicans currently count them). That one stumped my wife's minister when I asked him.

As for the question of whether Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all worship the same God, I'm guessing we do. A book called "Job: A Comedy of Justice" by Robert Heinlein explores this humorously.

Here's the next one:
The Christmas carol "We Three Kings of Orient Are" has the following chorus:
O star of wonder, star of light,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.

Wasn't the star in the east? How could it lead them to the west? That question also stumped my wife's minister.

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 23:22:56.
01/31/2007 11:28:08 PM · #21
Originally posted by levyj413:

I didn't know that Jesus was considered to be part of God, but rather thought he was a separate being.


Not all Christians believe that way.
01/31/2007 11:28:30 PM · #22
The kings were coming from the Orient, which is east of Bethlehem/Jerusalem/Israel. So, they would have to be travelling West to get there .

As far as Judaism and Christianity and Islam worshipping the same God, I don't think so. In the Koran (and I have no idea where to find the exact quote), it specifically says that Allah has no children. This directly contradicts the idea of Jesus being the "son." And while the Jewish people don't recognize Jesus as the Messiah, they are still waiting for His coming as the Son of God. (Have I got that last part right?)
01/31/2007 11:38:56 PM · #23
Oh, as for "basic", the triune God is NOT a basic question. The best relation (to me) is given by the Bible, referring to God as living water. The three states of water being gas, liquid, and solid. If you also take into account Gods omnipresent state, water everywhere is in all states at all times.

01/31/2007 11:39:02 PM · #24
Originally posted by karmat:


As far as Judaism and Christianity and Islam worshipping the same God, I don't think so.


I'm going to trend lightly here, because I really shouldn't say much on the matter, but I believe the foundation for all three is the same. The Old Testament is the foundation for all three sects. It is after the old Testament where they don't follow the same scriptures. You may say that Moromonism is another branch off Christianity, but I'll leave it at that. I maybe wrong though about it all though...
01/31/2007 11:40:00 PM · #25
Originally posted by karmat:

In the Koran (and I have no idea where to find the exact quote), it specifically says that Allah has no children. This directly contradicts the idea of Jesus being the "son." And while the Jewish people don't recognize Jesus as the Messiah, they are still waiting for His coming as the Son of God. (Have I got that last part right?)


Depends on which sect of Judaism you ask. The more traditional view is that, yes, we're waiting for the Messiah. Not in the guise of the son of God in particular, thoughm as far as I know. In Reform Judaism (which includes me), I usually hear of the Messianic age, a time of peace and prosperity, as opposed to a single person coming to save everyone. That's why I don't know much about what other Jews believe about the Messiah.

Message edited by author 2007-01-31 23:41:19.
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