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February 15, 2006



Bill, you have to knock this off, my building is starting to shake! (Sorry, I've been very serious on you web post and had to blow of steam)

So, are these questions your response to what you are studing?


They are roughly based on the way that Nancey Murphy (my prof) applies Lakatos to theology in here book "Beyond Liberalism & Fundamentalism."

She only spends a couple of paragraphs on it, though. We have put more emphasis on the views of Alasdair MacIntyre, who I'm coming to next.


Ok. There were what? 9 questions in this post?! (too much input, systems overloading...)
3)I think that some Christians in history (and present day) have forgotten/missed the point that when God says to destroy all in the old testament, he was telling the Hebrews to destroy the non-jews...that would be most of us. So, your average white-supremist technically shouldn't exist (unless he's a JEWISH white supremisist).

6-10) I think that we change our web of belief in different ways, at different times. Sometimes it is just a rewording/explanation of what we already believe. Sometimes it is to allow a new concept to fit into our web of belief, even if it may seem contrary to other beliefs.
Then there are the changes that affect the whole web, kinda like a stiff breeze. They send ripples thru the whole system change it for good and/or bad.
Speaking of word games.... ;-)
Final Question) I think that our openness to that possibility fluctuates. There are times and situations where we are able to accept/handle this kind of 'blow' to our web of belief. Other times, we may not be so...accepting of the concept.

How's that for an answer that doesn't actually answer the questions? Do we have to only accept one type of change to the web? Or can we intermingle all of them? Have I asked as many questions as Bill yet? Or do I need to ask more? ;-)


John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave his only beggoten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
This is the basic core of Christianity.
What is your theory on all scripture being inspired by God?
Because this may effect your "data" and your" hypoyheses"



I think there will always be a mixture of ways that we make changes. I think the idea is to look at what happens over time as opposed to specific instances.

Oh, and sorry about all the questions! I didn't mean for you to try to answer them all. I was just putting them out there so I could answer them myself. ;-)



I get the feeling that the scientific language Lakatos uses is putting you off. The point is that this is a way to look at how we can compare our views to the views of other people.

I do think that the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Christ are key to understanding Christianity.

Inspiration is a tough question to tackle in this small of a space. No matter what, I don't think I can say something is true just because the Bible says so. I'm not a foundationalist, as described in the first post, so I don't like the idea of basing all of my arguments on one unshakeable "foundation." I just don't think that's the way things work. I don't think that's what the Bible is for.

You can read this recent post if you want to see some more of my thoughts about the Bible in general. I hesitate to link to that one because I was being intentionally provocative when I wrote it. I wanted to share some of the problems I have with the way the Bible is viewed sometimes. My intention is not to provoke a fight with you, though!


I am not trying to start a fight, I am sorry if I am coming across that way. I do however feel that discusion is good and that by sharing what I personally believe to be truth perhaps will encourage all of us to know what we believe in order that when we are questions by those outside the faith we will not waver.(2 tim 4:2-4, Col 2:6-8)
How do you believe the purpose of being an ambassador of the Lord should be defined?


Thanks. Sometimes it's tough to have these conversations over the internet because things can get lost in the translation, if you know what I mean.

"...not waver..." is an interesting phrase. I think sometimes Christians come across too strong in sharing their beliefs. As ambassadors for the Lord, maybe we need to be a little more open to hearing what the other person has to say. People sometimes believe that because they are following Christ, they have all of the answers. I don't think that's the case.

I do, however, believe that we have the ability to compare our beliefs to others and learn from them as they learn from us. As ambassadors, I think part of our mission is to help people see the good in following Christ rather than themselves or "the basic principles of this world." (Col. 2:8)


That's a good point, Bill. The Mormons do a lot of good thing (or at least their commercials claim they do). Debbie and I have often said that we (as Christians) could learn a lot from them. I am not necessarily talking about Biblical principles/beliefs...more about living like Christians. What we as a church could and should be doing FOR the community.

The fundamentalists that I have known were always very close-minded when it came to learning from other religions (as per above). It was 'tainted' and therefore unusable because other religions that we didn't agree with had used this. What a close-minded and harmful attitude this can be.


Your right we don't have ALL the answers, however we do have THE answer, do we not?
It has been my experience that "other " religions are not interested at all in learning from us, I wonder why. Instead they are completely willing to let us hear their side, again the question is why?
You are right, one of our purposes is to show how great is to follow the Almighty.


I agree that people often don't want to learn from Christians. We have a bad "rep" in many ways and that's a shame.

I think one of the things we can do about that is try to minister to others from a position of weakness. We can do a little less bashing and a little more washing of feet.

Don't get me wrong, I think Christians have answers that people need. I also think, however, that we have been misguided by Modern Western European ideas about Christianity. Specifically, fundamentalism has also taken its toll.


I do agree with you on that, perhaps we need to take a position of grace, instead of a position of "know it alls" (col 4:5-6 nas)


This is great, people! I haven't had this much conversation on my blog in a while. I appreciate the comments.



Have you read this paper on Lakatos and Theology? You might find it interesting.

William Arnold

That looks like it could be good. Maybe I'll read it if I ever get some extra free time!

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