Random Religion Thread

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Religion?

Catholicism
26
12%
Protestantism
25
11%
Eastern Orthodox
12
5%
Judaism
5
2%
Sunni Islam
7
3%
Shiite Islam
2
1%
European Neo-Pagan
10
4%
Tribal Religion
2
1%
Hindu
2
1%
Buddhist
10
4%
Shinto
0
No votes
Atheism
76
34%
Agnostic
23
10%
Other (specify)
23
10%
Mormon
1
0%
Scientologist
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 224

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-26, 6:17

vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:
md0 wrote:Why are we taking missionary work outside its historical context? :shock:
It's not a new thing. It was one of the main tools in the colonisers toolkit. And like linguo pointed out, colonisation efforts didn't stop in the 1950s.

Which historical context? Because missionary work didn't start with colonisation, even if it was one of the main tools.

Just because it didn't start with that doesn't mean we should ignore it.

I never said that. But meidei put two ideas together - one about missionary work and its historical context, and the other about colonisation. So I made an inference that the historical context he was referring to was colonisation. In which case I was merely pointing out that there is more to the historical context than colonisation, and, by implication, if you are going to look at missionary work only within historical context then include all the context, or go to the beginnings of the historical context to determine what the original purpose was.

Also, this feels like the third or fourth time you've read into what I wrote and assumed just because I highlighted one aspect of something, I'm ignoring the other aspects. Please stop putting words in my mouth.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-26, 6:24

md0 wrote:It was always about gaining a foothold into new territories by aligning local values with the senders values, before you show up with trade-deals, flags, and guns to back up said deals and flags.
That's been happening even before Christianity was around, with other cultural exports, I'm not focusing just on one religion.

I'm not so sure about that. From what I remember about my history course I recently did, missionary work in any religion was usually borne out of a belief within that religion that your god wanted you to propogate the religion. Many times it went along with conquest and was helpful with things like trade and so forth. But the Mongolian Empire is a great example of where religion was never used to gain a foothold. And the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula is a great example of the conquerors having a religion and not forcing it on locals nor using missionary work in some way to gain a foothold. (It's true they basically created a 2-class system where you got perks for converting to Islam. But that's not the same as forcing, since not converting didn't mean the removal of basic necessities).
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-26, 6:28

dEhiN wrote:Also, this feels like the third or fourth time you've read into what I wrote and assumed just because I highlighted one aspect of something, I'm ignoring the other aspects. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

I'm sorry to hear you feel that way, but I think you're misunderstanding me and am not sure what you're talking about. In this case, I understood the following: md0 said that we should consider missionary work in its historical context; you said, "But colonization wasn't the start of missionary work!" and I said, "But we still should consider missionary work in the context of colonization."
md0 wrote:It was always about gaining a foothold into new territories by aligning local values with the senders values, before you show up with trade-deals, flags, and guns to back up said deals and flags.
That's been happening even before Christianity was around, with other cultural exports, I'm not focusing just on one religion.

I'm not so sure about that. From what I remember about my history course I recently did, missionary work in any religion was usually borne out of a belief within that religion that your god wanted you to propogate the religion. Many times it went along with conquest and was helpful with things like trade and so forth. But the Mongolian Empire is a great example of where religion was never used to gain a foothold. And the Muslim conquest of the Iberian Peninsula is a great example of the conquerors having a religion and not forcing it on locals nor using missionary work in some way to gain a foothold. (It's true they basically created a 2-class system where you got perks for converting to Islam. But that's not the same as forcing, since not converting didn't mean the removal of basic necessities).

I don't understand how this negates what md0 said. EDIT: Or if it doesn't, then what your point is. :hmm:

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby md0 » 2017-01-26, 6:35

You are making one assumption I don't make. I don't think that the missionaries in their heart are imperialists, at least not consciously (some of them did write that they wanted to civilize people, which is a subconscious desire to control them).
But their work was followed by economic interests, be it colonization, or other means of taking over. The link is there, whether missionaries were conscious of the larger scheme or not.
I don't think the Mongols and the Ottomans disprove this, the argument isn't that every imperialist uses religion to expand (the Soviets definitely didn't, they exported other cultural aspects).
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-26, 6:46

vijayjohn wrote:
dEhiN wrote:Also, this feels like the third or fourth time you've read into what I wrote and assumed just because I highlighted one aspect of something, I'm ignoring the other aspects. Please stop putting words in my mouth.

I'm sorry to hear you feel that way, but I think you're misunderstanding me and am not sure what you're talking about. In this case, I understood the following: meidei said that we should consider missionary work in its historical context; you said, "But that wasn't the start of missionary work!" and I said, "But we still should."

Ok, then yes I misunderstood you, both now and in the previous times. So I apologize as well (for asking you to stop putting words in my mouth :D). But in regard to this context, I wasn't saying "because it wasn't the start, we shouldn't consider it".

vijayjohn wrote:I don't understand how this negates what md0 said. EDIT: Or if it doesn't, then what your point is. :hmm:

Well he wrote "it was always", to which I was trying to say "no, it wasn't always". (Personally I would even go so far as to say missionary work usually wasn't about the things md0 said, but that's just me.)

md0 wrote:You are making one assumption I don't make.

What's the assumption? Basically, I read what you wrote as "missionary work in its historical context has always been motivated by conquest, and specifically by a desire to 'smoothen' the way for conquest." Now you're changing what you said by talking about imperialists and their use of religion to expand.

To put it plainly, you said
It was always about gaining a foothold into new territories by aligning local values with the senders values, before you show up with trade-deals, flags, and guns to back up said deals and flags.
And I'm saying it it wasn't always about.
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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-01-26, 13:31

I think you are answering to the argument "all imperialists used missionary work", when I am saying "all missionary work was used by imperialists" (and I stand by that).
It's a one-way relation. All dogs are animals, not all animals are dogs.
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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-26, 13:32

dEhiN wrote:Ok, then yes I misunderstood you, both now and in the previous times. So I apologize as well (for asking you to stop putting words in my mouth :D). But in regard to this context, I wasn't saying "because it wasn't the start, we shouldn't consider it".

I was honestly shocked that you said that because in all the time I've known you, I can't think of any other time you've ever said anything like this to me. I don't understand why that happened all of a sudden.
md0 wrote:I think you are answering to the argument "all imperialists used missionary work", when I am saying "all missionary work was used by imperialists" (and I stand by that).
It's a one-way relation. All dogs are animals, not all animals are dogs.

This.
Last edited by vijayjohn on 2017-01-26, 13:41, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby md0 » 2017-01-26, 13:37

I will concede to not having been clear (what the fuck, tenses!?) though.
I was replying this morning in my timezone, and I had to quickly wrap it up before I missed my bus to uni.
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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-26, 17:46

md0 wrote:I think you are answering to the argument "all imperialists used missionary work", when I am saying "all missionary work was used by imperialists" (and I stand by that).
It's a one-way relation. All dogs are animals, not all animals are dogs.

Ok, then yeah I guess I misunderstood your argument.

md0 wrote:I will concede to not having been clearer (what the fuck, tenses!?) though.
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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Vlürch » 2017-01-27, 12:08

kevin wrote:If you have a belief and you are convinced of it, then you can't also accept the opposite of it as true. Both at the same time can't be true, that's just classical logic.

There's nothing inherently mutually exclusive about beliefs that seem to contradict each other. Paradoxes are commonly used to describe how incomprehensible God is, and although I understand it's meant metaphorically and those kinds of things are intended to strengthen one's faith, the fact is that there is no 100% objective evidence of the existence of anything supernatural or spiritual. For some that's a reason to not believe in anything, but I believe it just means that whatever spiritual there is out there, it's so incomprehensible to us that we can't agree on even the most basic things about it. Maybe there's one God, maybe there are more, I don't see the point in arguing about it. I don't really care if it means I'm insane, but I don't believe there even is such a thing as mutual exclusivity when it comes to spiritual things; all the different religions and personal experiences of people being so different just makes it sound like there are as many possibilities as there are people.

But I mean, the only thing I can be convinced of is that something has saved my life twice when I've tried to kill myself; once when I was 15 and once about a year or so ago. There's no proof that there was anything miraculous about it, of course, the first time especially since no one was around, and the second time there were only two cops that took me to a hospital and only one of them really paid attention. Somehow, no matter how hard and how deep I cut my arms, they literally stopped bleeding in like a minute or two and by the time I saw the doctor, there were barely any scratches left, and the cop that saw the cuts earlier was pretty much speechless. I know there are scientific explanations like adrenalin and that I somehow managed to not hit any veins or whatever, and apparently my shitty diet and malnutrition and whatnot may have had something to do with it (a year earlier, I was hospitalised for deficiencies of potassium and pretty much everything else, and the doctors were concerned my heart could just stop at any second; I still don't really think it was that serious, since I felt fine throughout the whole thing except for my legs being really weak and vomiting and shit, and I've eaten vitamins and shit since in addition to eating more healthily and more), and all that shit together just made me fail at suicide miserably. But still, I can't explain it in any other way except that I was for some reason prevented by something from killing myself, even if it was through perfectly normal things that just stacked together. The first time, especially, since I remember very little about it except that I went to bed, cut my left arm as much as I could, and tried to fall asleep hoping I'd never wake up. Instead, I woke up (if I even fell asleep) and the cuts were gone but there was blood all over my arms and some on the sheets and stuff.

For what it's worth, I'm not fooling myself into believing it could only have been God or an angel or something. It could be Satan for all I know, which wouldn't be very nice, but I don't completely reject the possibility of that having been the case. It also doesn't really bother me that much to be open about my mental health issues and all that, since I'm fine now (except for extreme fucking social anxiety (only in person, thankfully) and some other minor stuff), which I do consider partially to be because I believe in something.

If I'm going to hell when I die, for whatever reason (maybe if it was Satan or some demon or ghost or whatever that saved my life and I had to sell my soul unconsciously in that process or whatever, I don't even know if it's something I believe in being possible but I'm not arrogant enough to claim that it's impossible), that's something I can't do anything to fix. I don't believe people can kiss their ass to heaven, at least not me personally, and that only God decides what happens after death individually; maybe that makes me a megalomaniac, since it means at some point in the future God will personally notice my existence, but I don't think of God as a personal entity that works in any way like humans and has to think about things. I believe in a truly omnipotent and omnipresent God that doesn't have to be one with, part of or separate of the world; something omnipotent and omnipresent can be all three at once even if they seem mutually exclusive to our existential worldview.
kevin wrote: So what you can, and should, do is accepting that someone else holds a different conviction, but you can't accept it as equally true without giving up your own conviction.

Sure I can, as can everyone else. Syncretism and henotheism are things, you know. I don't pray much, but when I do, I pray however and to whatever I feel like at the moment; usually some abstract God that I don't even think about beyond as something that may help me with whatever I feel like I need help with at that moment, even ridiculously pointless things like my internet connection being shitty for a few hours. It's not something I expect to help, for God to be some magical electricity dude or an intestinal relief manager that can make me stop having diarrhoea or whatever else, and I don't really take praying seriously, except when I do it. I don't care if it's stupid or even offensive to all religious people in the world, because it doesn't seem stupid to me in that moment.
kevin wrote:(Forced conversion doesn't even work, by the way. Making someone say they are a Christian doesn't make them a Christian.)

Uhhhhh... do you even history? :para:
kevin wrote:Christian missionaries won't hand out a Koran to people, but if they do read it, what could the missionary do? Point a gun at them or something? (Assuming for a moment that you're right and they want them to stop reading it - which is not an assumption I'm sure I agree with.)

They might... although more often in the opposite situation these days, but still.

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-27, 12:49

Vlürch wrote:
kevin wrote:If you have a belief and you are convinced of it, then you can't also accept the opposite of it as true. Both at the same time can't be true, that's just classical logic.

There's nothing inherently mutually exclusive about beliefs that seem to contradict each other.

You're right, there's nothing inherently mutually exclusive except when you talk about cohesion of someone's worldview. I think kevin might have been referring to a person's worldview. If your worldview is predicated on certain things being true and certain other things not being true, you can't start believing the opposite and not have your worldview continue to be cohesive. Of course most of us can have a worldview that's in flux, including even changing what could potentially be diametrically opposed worldviews. (For example, many people have switched from believing in a supernatural being to believing only in what science can prove, or vice versa. Many have also switched from believing in one religion to another.) But if you're talking about general discourse and mental understanding, then there's no problem with beliefs that seem to contradict each other.

Vlürch wrote:
kevin wrote: So what you can, and should, do is accepting that someone else holds a different conviction, but you can't accept it as equally true without giving up your own conviction.

Sure I can, as can everyone else.

Again, see above. I think it all depends on the worldview you have. Iirc, in kevin's case, his worldview seems to be a Protestant Christian one. As far as I understand it, within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, something like henotheism and syncretism isn't possible. Because the worldviews attached with teach faith are predicated on a belief that there is only one supernatural being called God.

Vlürch wrote:
kevin wrote:(Forced conversion doesn't even work, by the way. Making someone say they are a Christian doesn't make them a Christian.)

Uhhhhh... do you even history? :para:

I believe Vijay or someone else also responded to kevin's comment by basically saying that's what's happened in history. But I see kevin's view and your view as coming from two different focuses. If I'm not mistaken, kevin is speaking from within a Christian worldview, where the belief is that just because someone says they are a Christian, that doesn't make them one. The belief among some Christians, in particular Protestants Christians from what I understand, is that someone has to genuinely believe and accept the "Jesus died for my sins" statement in order to be saved, have a relationship with God, and so effectively be a genuine Christian. So from that point of view, making someone say they are a Christian doesn't make them a Christian. Whereas your view (as well as Vijay's or whoever else responded) is a purely historical one focusing on conquest, forced adoption of new religious practices, etc.
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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby księżycowy » 2017-01-27, 16:19

I'm of the Catholic upbringing, however I don't even nessicarily see accepting the Jesus died for me as being "Christian". I guess I judge more on what they do. (Imagine that. :P )

Having said that, it doesn't change the fact that historically speaking there were forced conversions in the past, and that essentially forced conquered peoples to accept that Jesus died for their sins. Their identity and religious views were altered by force. So, in a sense they had to become what we would consider "good Christians".

As a side note, I'm completely against Missionary work in it's traditional (and most widespread) form. Having a dialogue between equals about beliefs and having both sides gain something, that I'm for.

(I've reading this discussion for a while, and was trying to stay out of it, but I guess I couldn't resist in the end.)

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-27, 16:27

Lol that's pretty much what I just wrote below :)
dEhiN wrote:I believe Vijay or someone else also responded to kevin's comment by basically saying that's what's happened in history. But I see kevin's view and your view as coming from two different focuses. If I'm not mistaken, kevin is speaking from within a Christian worldview, where the belief is that just because someone says they are a Christian, that doesn't make them one. The belief among some Christians, in particular Protestants Christians from what I understand, is that someone has to genuinely believe and accept the "Jesus died for my sins" statement in order to be saved, have a relationship with God, and so effectively be a genuine Christian. So from that point of view, making someone say they are a Christian doesn't make them a Christian. Whereas your view (as well as Vijay's or whoever else responded) is a purely historical one focusing on conquest, forced adoption of new religious practices, etc.

Yes, it was me. :P What I was trying to say was that I know that just because someone says they're a Christian doesn't make them one; however, just because a true Christian has to genuinely believe these things doesn't mean they can't be forced to believe them. By "forced to believe them," I do not mean that people believed these things only because of external pressure. I mean that in some cases at least, due to and following external pressure, they came to a point where they genuinely did believe these things, or at least they had children who then came to genuinely believe these things. (It's like when somebody tells you something you don't believe at first or at least never thought about, then you turn it over in your head and eventually do believe it). If this wasn't the case, wouldn't that mean (at least according to this Protestant view) that the majority of self-declared Christians are not Christian? Wouldn't it amount to denying their genuine beliefs?

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby księżycowy » 2017-01-27, 16:34

vijayjohn wrote:Lol that's pretty much what I just wrote below :)

So I see. :wink:

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Re: Random language thread 4

Postby Vlürch » 2017-01-27, 18:43

dEhiN wrote:As far as I understand it, within Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, something like henotheism and syncretism isn't possible. Because the worldviews attached with teach faith are predicated on a belief that there is only one supernatural being called God.

Yeah, but that's mostly based on world domination being the ultimate goal of all Abrahamic religions. Jews don't go about it as actively as Christians since Jesus preached for conversion (or whatever; "conversion" is probably not the right word for what Jesus preached, since he didn't invent Christianity himself), and Muslims tend to go about it in a more militant way thanks to Muhammed's conquests, but in the end everyone would be converted in one way or another, which makes no sense from an actually religious point of view if Abrahamic theology has any truth to it since the implication of having to convert within one's lifetime undermines God's omnipotence and omniscience; if people decide that God can't do something (for example, having a literal son according to Islam or not having a literal son according to Christianity (with rare exceptions in some denominations)), then God can't be omnipotent and that shakes the whole foundation of monotheism. So, even though it could still be that the Abrahamic God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient, only intentionally leaving people to fight about whether He is or isn't any of those things and whether He is loving and merciful or a complete genocidal monster, or both in different circumstances, and whether Him being both merciful and merciless is possible without implying those qualities of human nature/morality/whatever are universal even for non-human lifeforms.
dEhiN wrote:I believe Vijay or someone else also responded to kevin's comment by basically saying that's what's happened in history. But I see kevin's view and your view as coming from two different focuses. If I'm not mistaken, kevin is speaking from within a Christian worldview, where the belief is that just because someone says they are a Christian, that doesn't make them one. The belief among some Christians, in particular Protestants Christians from what I understand, is that someone has to genuinely believe and accept the "Jesus died for my sins" statement in order to be saved, have a relationship with God, and so effectively be a genuine Christian. So from that point of view, making someone say they are a Christian doesn't make them a Christian. Whereas your view (as well as Vijay's or whoever else responded) is a purely historical one focusing on conquest, forced adoption of new religious practices, etc.

But that's exactly where ISIS and LRA and other terrorist organisations regardless of the religion they're part of derive their credibility from: "we're real believers, those guys over there aren't". The different doctrines and practices are mostly surface things, while the core is the idea that "we're better" and that continues to lead to violent extremists going around killing people for being too peaceful while demanding them to "be peaceful the right way". It isn't purely historical, even if it is mostly historical.
księżycowy wrote:As a side note, I'm completely against Missionary work in it's traditional (and most widespread) form. Having a dialogue between equals about beliefs and having both sides gain something, that I'm for.

That's exactly how I feel and what I'm trying to say, but keep rambling. :lol:

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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-27, 19:06

I'm changing the title in this post because calling it "Re: Random language thread 4" seems pretty silly to me at this point. :lol: (No offense to anyone else participating in the discussion though).
Vlürch wrote:Yeah, but that's mostly based on world domination being the ultimate goal of all Abrahamic religions. Jews don't go about it as actively as Christians since Jesus preached for conversion (or whatever; "conversion" is probably not the right word for what Jesus preached, since he didn't invent Christianity himself), and Muslims tend to go about it in a more militant way thanks to Muhammed's conquests

I don't think that's quite accurate. It doesn't make much sense to claim that Muslims have been more militant about this than Christians have. World domination was the ultimate goal of imperialist powers; religion was merely used as an excuse to help achieve this (though again not in all cases). The spread of both Christianity and Islam seems to me to have far more to do with imperial expansion than with either Jesus or Muhammad.

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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-27, 19:10

Haha, we've been discoursing for so long I forget what the original points were. Vijay, I understand your point now, and yeah you're right: it's totally possible to be forced to assent to something and then later come to believe. (I don't consider saying yes when forced as equal to actual belief, but more assenting because of the external pressure).

Vlürch and księż, I think I actually agree with you two. I guess because I grew up indoctrined in Evangelical Protestantism, there are times when the things I used to believe without question still get triggered and I start to believe it again without questioning. And I think I also believed that modern missionary work, at least within Protestant Christianity, had changed sufficiently from its historical approach to not be considered to be a forcing of others. But perhaps I'm wrong; perhaps it hasn't changed that much due to an inherent flawed belief.

Actually, a recent example of that indoctrination being triggered is when księż said he doesn't necessarily see accepting the Jesus dies for me as being "Christian". My initial internal reaction was what I've heard in so many Evangelical sermons: a Christian is someone who believes in Jesus' death and resurrection, and anyone who doesn't believe in that isn't a Christian. I fucking hate that indoctrination! It's times like this that I question why I'm still attending an Evangelical church!?!?

On a separate, but related note, I know that for Christians the belief about propogating their belief stems from what's called The Great Commission. Basically in the Bible, Jesus says to his disciples, just before he ascends back into heaven after his resurrection, to go and make disciples of all nations. But this discussion on here has got me wondering whether the usualy view that the only way to fulfill that commission is active missionary work, whether that view is the only possible interpretation. I've never heard of any other Christian (Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox) questioning this before, but couldn't one interpretation be something along the lines of what Vlürch and księż believe: having a discussion among equals? Or another interpretation might be to approach things how I prefer to: not actively propogating, but only sharing my experiences if someone comes to me asking for help with their life. I don't know why Christians throughout history have interpreted this Great Commission as meaning to actively propogate the belief, to the point of forced conversions. Perhaps because of the usage of the imperative form of "go"?
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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-27, 19:17

dEhiN wrote:On a separate, but related note, I know that for Christians the belief about propogating their belief stems from what's called The Great Commission. Basically in the Bible, Jesus says to his disciples, just before he ascends back into heaven after his resurrection, to go and make disciples of all nations. But this discussion on here has got me wondering whether the usualy view that the only way to fulfill that commission is active missionary work, whether that view is the only possible interpretation.

I happened to have read a bit about that just now and learned about preterists believing that it's already been fulfilled (which would seem to imply that therefore, missionary activity is no longer necessary). I haven't learned what a preterist is yet, though. :lol:

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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby dEhiN » 2017-01-27, 19:21

vijayjohn wrote:I haven't learned what a preterist is yet, though. :lol:

From Wikipedia:
Preterism is a Christian eschatological view which interprets some (Partial Preterism) or all (Full Preterism) prophecies of the Bible as events which have already happened. This school of thought interprets the Book of Daniel as referring to events that happened in the 2nd century BC, while seeing the prophecies of Revelation as events that happened in the first century AD. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.

The term preterism comes from the Latin praeter, which Webster's 1913 dictionary lists as a prefix denoting that something is "past" or "beyond". Adherents of preterism are commonly known as preterists.

Eschatology basically is theology that deals with the last days; things like what's found in the Biblical book of Revelations, etc.
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Re: Random Religion Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2017-01-27, 19:49

I figured I'd read the Wikipedia article eventually anyway, but thanks!
dEhiN wrote:Eschatology basically is theology that deals with the last days; things like what's found in the Biblical book of Revelations, etc.

Oh good, so it isn't a native speaker of Spanish trying to say "scatology" and throwing in an extra h just because it's from Greek. :lol: :silly:


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