For an overview of the key ingredients of my philosophical project...
After decades of studying the Bible, doctrine, Christianity, and Church history, I've come to many original and unique views. Here they all are...
I should note: I didn't set out on a quest to find non-standard things to believe; I came to them one by one in response to rejecting someone's teaching about something as I discovered over time it was untrue. I started out believing all the usual fundamentalist evangelical Protestant teachings (millennialism, pre-trib rapture, young-earth, global flood, bema seat judgment, Sola Scriptura, faith only, Typology, totally depraved, bashing of Catholic Chuch, Charismatic) but rejected them one by one.
Unique or unusual ideas of mine...
- New Heavens and New Earth having children, animals, procreation, marriage, temple with sacrifices, nation of Israel with the 144,000.
- Distinction between inert physical realm and living spiritual realm.
- Modern humans 200,000 years ago. Adam and Eve about 10,000 B.C. who were the first humans of redemption history, the first monotheists who worshipped the one true God.
- Faith and works are two aspects of the same thing.
- Strictly literal Bible interpretation.
- The modern moral law should be applied to Old Testament times and to Christendom. We should not excuse immoral behavior just because it happened in a previous age.
- Days of Genesis 1 literally refer to ages, not 24-hour days.
- The fall of Adam and Eve did not result in instantaneous evolution in which animals began eating each other.
- Everyone meets Jesus face-to-face upon death; he reveals himself and the gospel; they choose to accept or reject. Thus, salvation occurs at death.
- 1,000 years started at the time of Christ and ended about 1054 A.D.
- Creative Frames.
- Lucifer co-reated the universe to be a place of pain and suffering. God granted him this creative power as part of a covenant between them. Redemption history is a working out of this in which God finally judges Lucifer.
- Symbols are literally real and reside in the spiritual realm.
- The flesh (that we are to resist) does not refer to the body; it is a spiritual thing.
- The second coming of Christ has phases and will take a while; perhaps months or years.
- Christ's 2nd coming will first appear in apparitions.
- At Christ's 2nd coming people will gather together to fight him; this, in Israel and the valley near Armageddon.
- The giants were genetically-modified humans created by wicked spirits; demon-possessed males took women as wives.
- Wicked spirits possess animals and humans. In doing so they take on their form; this is why demons look like animals.
- The spiritual realm has things corresponding to the physical realm; thus we have a spiritual body and there is a spiritual earth.
- Unicorns and fairies actually exist in the spiritual realm.
Are all these ideas correct and true? Why of course they are.
Other views of mine shared by others...
- Jesus deified human nature in the incarnation.
- Humans become deified at the general resurrection.
- There will be no yet-future human Antichrist.
- There will not be a literal 1,000 year yet-future millennium.
- There is no rapture.
- Evolution occurs. Creation of new species requires divine intervention, perhaps via a divinely guided "random" genetic modification.
- Old universe, old earth.
- Noah's flood was local, the flooding of the Caspian Sea.
- Mary never had conjugical relations.
- Mary without original sin (by God's grace).
- Mary is the Queen of Heaven.
- Not Sola Scriptura (Scripture Only).
- Not Sola Fide (Faith Only).
- Justification is not a legal transaction in which God applies Jesus' sacrifice to cover our sins.
- Catholic mass, the Eucharist, is a sacrifice.
- Consecrated elements of the Eucharist are literally the body and blood of Christ.
- Eve was created supernaturally from Adam's own body.
- The garden of Eden was a literal location, probably in northern Iran, possibly a walled-in enclosure to protect Adam and Eve from wild animals.
- Sins are remitted during baptism.
- Nicene Creed (except the part about God being a substance, and except the filioque cause).
- Bible is inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God.
- Saints in heaven are interceding and can be prayed to.
- Can lose salvation by mortal sin.
- Mortal sin and venial sin.
- Hell and lake of fire literally exist.
- Ordination is for the purpose of identifying Church leaders. It does not confer power.
- Contraception is not inherently sinful.
- Divorce in a marriage is not part of God's plan, but in cases of abuse and exploitation it is justifiable.
- No literal yet-future 3–1/2 or 7 year great tribulation.
- Mt. Sinai is in Arabia and the Israelites crossed the Red Sea at the southern end of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Are these ideas correct? I'm not the only one to say so.
Ideas I reject...
- Gap theory
- Catholic view of apostolic succession
- Pope is head of Church and infallible
- Catholic view of hierarchical bishops
- That unholy and unqualified bishops are leaders of Christ's Church
- Church is to be visible institution
- Must join the Church outside of baptism (because this implies you don't join the Church via baptism).
- Bema seat judgment
- Sins are merely covered
- Pope is the Antichrist
- Charismatic, speaking in tongues
- Women can't be church leaders
- Men rule over women in marriage and in Church; women must submit to men.
- Word/faith, health/wealth teaching
- Liberal Christianity in all its forms (Bible is myth, modern day critical theories, non-literal)
- Alternate "Christian" theologies such as those of Mormonism, modalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Science, and many others
- Saved by works only
- Natural law (of philosophy)
- Reincarnation and karma
- Pantheism, Panentheism, Deism
- Aristotle, Plato, and almost all philosophers
- Humans deserve hell because of original sin
- Liberation theology
I reject them because they are just plain wrong, some more wrong than others.
Hierarchy of my views and ideas (from less to more unusual)...
- Eschatology — No yet-future:
- 3–1/2 or 7 year great tribulation
- 1,000 year utopia millennium
- Creationism, intelligent design
- therefore, pain and suffering did not begin at the fall
- Noah's flood was local
- intelligent design is not science
- evolution is true
- If there are interpretations of the 6 days of creation that match modern science, it is only accidental. The writers of the Old Testament had a wrong unscientific view.
- Alternate Bible interpretations
- Nephilim were genetically engineered by wicked spirits
- Mt. Sinai was in Arabia
- Eden was in northern Iran
- Christian doctrine
- I reject much of fundamentalist evangelical Protestantism
- I accept some of Catholicism
- Bible only
- faith only
- phony literal interpretations (that are in reality wildly allegorical)
- all sins equally bad
- legal views of justification
- Bema Seat judgment
- communion is symbolic
- women subservient to men
- heaven is not the final eternal goal of the redeemed
- Christians are judged by their works
- Mary sinless
- can pray to Saints
- humans have body and soul (not body, soul, spirit)
- Bible interpretation
- I use a strictly literal interpretation
- Bible has errors
- Apostles made errors
- certain books and sections are fiction
- Torah not all written by Moses
- Old Testament written late
- Old Testament writers didn't have modern views (for example, they believed the firmament was a bowl holding the sky)
- Jesus is not in every verse of the Old Testament except by way of interpretation; the writers did not intend this
- Reflections on Christianity
- Lucifer created the universe bad
- New heavens and new earth is just this universe with no wicked spirits
- God doesn't do bad things
- God doesn't send people to hell
- we are saved at death upon meeting Christ face to face
- God doesn't see sin or evil or pain and suffering
- Science — conclusions from science:
- Adam and Eve not the first humans; they originated monotheism
- universe is old; evolution is true
- behavior constrained by biology and brain function requiring considerations for: psychological disorders, sexual identity, social and political structures
- Philosophy and mysticism
- physical realm and spiritual realm
- scientific considerations of consciousness interfacing with quantum mechanics
- God judges by shining his light; wickedness is repulsed as are those who cling to it
- my creative frames theory
- Lucifer thinks he can be like God because he has conscious experience of wickedness and evil — God can't do this
My Philosophical Project
Philosophy is the study of truth and ideas. Here are they key ingredients of my philosophical project...
God exists. There is a spiritual realm having souls.
The physical realm (the universe) and the spiritual realm are distinct. There is interaction between them by souls across a boundary or interface. In particular, for humans: (1) information is retrieved by the soul from the senses after processing by the brain, and (2) the will of the soul commands the body to act. Probably this involves quantum mechanics. All biochemical processes involved in "life" also communicate information to the corresponding soul (for example, for a tree).
Evil is a spiritual presence, not merely the philosophical absence of good. The souls of evil beings willfully choose to do evil actions.
The conclusions of modern science, ignoring their rejection of the spiritual realm, are trustworthy. This includes archaeology which uses science in dating.
From science we know the first modern humans appeared 200,000 years ago and spread to all continents by 60,000 to 30,000 years ago.
According to the Bible, Adam and Eve were farmers. Farming started about 10,000 B.C. Therefore, Adam and Eve were not the first humans. Original sin was propagated to human nature outside of procreation (since most humans are not descendants of Adam and Eve).
Noah's flood was not global. The three sons of Noah are not the ancestors of all humans, only of some in the areas mentioned.
Miracles are possible but difficult to prove.
It is impossible for 2 to 4 million people to wander in close proximity in the barren desert for 40 years as described in Exodus.
The destruction of Joshua did not occur within one generation. More likely it covered a span of 800 years.
The Israelite kingdom of David and Solomon were not nearly as large and powerful as the Old Testament describes.
There are a variety of contradictory views of Israelite religion expressed in the Old Testament.
The inescapable conclusion of all this is that the Old Testament contains much fiction and expresses ideas that are not of God as if they are of God. The phrase, "Thus says the Lord", cannot be trusted.
The Old Testament historical accounts after Solomon are more reliable but still having many errors, or perhaps we should refer to these as fiction. It's only an error is the writer intends to represent it as truth. Fiction can be used to deceive people into believing certain fictional events actually occurred, but this is not technically error. It may be immoral to deceive people this way. Anyway, it doesn't matter whether we call it error or fiction; all that matters it that it doesn't match what actually occurred. We use modern science and archaeology to highlight these errors.
The historical accounts of the New Testament contain details that only eyewitnesses of the events could get right.
Apostolic teaching via the New Testament is the foundation of Christianity. I believe their eyewitness accounts to be accurate.
Therefore, I believe Jesus is deity, the second person of the Trinity, and that he took on human nature to redeem it through his death and bodily resurrection. I believe those who are redeemed will one day spend eternity in the utopian new heavens and new earth.