Friday, September 07, 2007

Some good reading...

Brian has some things to say, as usual, much better than I.
I want to link a couple more of you, but I'm really bad at that hyperlink stuff! I'm working on it!


codepoke said...

So, I have read Brian's thoughts on scripture and Buddha. He seems to hold all truth to be equal.

Do you?

karen said...

Brian is a Christian Universalist. That post is the reading to which I was referring. It lays out a lot of the things that I was posting and wondering about here.

I don't follow Buddha, but I know many Christians who are open to learning about the ways of others. It educates us and helps us to be good witnesses. I'm sure that if I hadn't been exposed to some New Age stuff in my college days, I wouldn't have found my way to God. Looking back, I see the journey, and I'm sure He orchestrated that.

All Truth (if it's indeed the Truth) IS equal and comes from God. Sometimes people who are not followers of God don't realize where they are getting their wisdom. We can pray that they will see.

karen said...

Where'd you get the "all truth is equal" thing? I saw a couple of posts on Buddhism, but didn't arrive at that conclusion.

brian said...


Brian here. Please allow me to clarify a few things. I am not a Buddha worshipper or even a Buddha follower. I am a student of Buddhist philosophy, which is really just a subset of philosophy and wisdom in general.

I've written very little (if anything) about my thoughts on Buddha because I don't think about Buddha all that much. I think he was a brilliant, enlightened man who made a lot of amazing observations about life and the human mind. But, I don't pray to Buddha, I have not made any commitments to Buddha and I really would hesitate to even call myself a Buddhist.

Yes, I hold all truth to be equal. To say some truth is more equal than other is way too much like Animal Farm for my taste. There are not different types of truths. Truth is Truth.

Thanks Karen for the link to my blog. If you ever have any questions about my beliefs/philosophy, I'm very happy to try to answer them.


karen said...

Thanks, Brian!

codepoke said...

Hello Brian,

The Internet is an odd place to meet, and controversy is a sad way to do it. My apologies for the unpleasant circumstances of our first encounter.

I really would hesitate to even call myself a Buddhist.

I hope you will forgive me if I have misinterpreted some of the things you said on your blog. I got the impression from reading your post, "The Wanting" in which you express sorrow for not having found buddhism sooner and talk about it at some length.

I did not comment directly on your site on the subject, because you were making some sweet points about Wanting things and I did not really have a beef with you anyway. Karen and I have been having an ongoing discussion about Christian Universalism, and she added your thoughts to the mix.

Karen asked with regard to my thoughts on your blog, "Where'd you get the 'all truth is equal' thing?"

Of course, you confirmed my suggestion that this is what you believe, but allow me to quote from your post, "God Is Still Speaking..." to let her know that I did not come up with the thought at random.

I do think the writers of the Bible were inspired. But, I think Lao Tzu (author of the Tao Te Ching) was also inspired. I think the verses in the Dhammapada are inspired.

Brian, I question the way you mean to use the word, "inspired." I definitely have exciting, inspired moments on the tennis court. I have found inspiration with pen and keyboard many times (though I doubt this will end up being one of them). But when I claim that the bible is inspired, I mean that God inspired it.

Lao Tzu's most famous work was undoubtedly inspired in the same sense as my tennis, but do you mean to say that his work was inspired by God? Or maybe do you mean to say that the bible was not inspired by God? Either of those is a valid opinion, of course, but it indicates a profound gap in world-view between us.

My question to Karen was strictly intended to find out how wide the gap was between our world-views. There is only one truth, and none of the three of us has it, and none of us can tell how far we are from that perfect center. But it is still a profitable exercise to find out how far we are from each other before the conversation goes too far.

For me it is as simple as this. Jesus declared that not one jot nor tittle from the word of God would ever pass away, and then He backed His declaration by rising from the dead. I cannot flex beyond that simple declaration and the overwhelming demonstration of Jesus' authority to make it.

Within that boundary, I'm willing to discuss Christian Universalism at length. Your tripart argument is sound. Only Universalists are able to hold that all 3 of your assertions are true. But if you do not hold that the words of Jesus are God-inspired truth faithfully recorded and skillfully transmitted to us, then discussing the subject with me will be pretty pointless.

My first question was whether all truth is equal. No, it isn't because all statements are made as true but some are false. If God says, "You will surely die," and Satan says, "You will not surely die," one statement is true and one is false, but both are presented as true. Adam and Eve believed Satan's was true to their destruction. They called it truth, but it was not true.

Since there is a liar in the world, and since he was smarter than the sinless man, we know there is a struggle to separate lies from the truth. The things we feel and think can deceive us just like they did Adam and Eve. Hence God revealed truth for us through the prophets, and in these latter days through His own Son.

Bible idolatry is indeed a problem, but casting free of the bible is also dangerous. The bible and the church are the only heavenly things on this planet. Throwing either away is a risk I will not entertain.

I hope some of that helps.


karen said...

Well, Kevin, I can't speak for Brian...and Brian may not want to engage and that's cool. I didn't intend to put him on the spot, just to have anyone interested read what he articulated about Christian Universalism. He put it in very good words.

I personally believe that, yes, all TRUTH is equal. That is TRUTH. What transpired in Eden with the devil's words were never truth. It was a lie.

Our son's teacher at one of his schools was teaching that all truth is relative. One person's truth might be different than anothers' and must be accepted as theirs. But it was all truth, he said. However, we pointed out that a criminal's truth is for crime, and if it happens to affect his family...then is he going to accept it? He certainly must, because he said it must be so. That shut that up.

If you look into most "religions" they contain a common thread of the Truth of God. "You reap what you sow" "Ask and you will receive" "Your words become action" etc.,
Yes, some folks are inspired by God to do great things and write great things. Unfortunately, they don't always acknowledge their source. I had miracles and all kinds of wisdom pour out of me before I knew Him, and I didn't acknowledge Him as the source of that wonder. I certainly do now, because I know the Truth.

I know you won't agree that the Lord works through non-Christians, but I think He does. We'll agree to disagree on this.

Kansas Bob said...

Guess that I am a bit late to this one but think that I'll toss one thought in there about truth:

I don't think that Christians have a corner on truth but I do believe that we do worship The Truth (ala John 14:6). This is where we part ways with many others ... we believe that Jesus is The Truth and that anyone/anything that disagrees with Jesus is not truth.

For example, those who say that there are many ways to the Father do not speak truth ... people who say that there is real life outside of The Life do not speak truth. This is not to say that all bible spin is truth ... we all know better than that :)

codepoke said...


> I know you won't agree that the Lord works through non-Christians, but I think He does. We'll agree to disagree on this.

As you wish.

karen said...

Kevin, I'm sorry...didn't mean to shut you down. I hope we're okay. It's just that we would probably go round on this one. I don't know the answers. We do agree on Jesus, though!
Bob, I see what you're saying.

codepoke said...

We're good, Karen. I really didn't mean to sound shut down, either. :-)

On the other hand, everyone I know doesn't call me the energizer bunny for nothing.

karen said...

Energizer bunny, eh? Hmmm...send some of that energy this way, okay?

Kansas Bob said...

I think that sometimes when we agree to disagree the word 'disagree' is accentuated rather than 'agree' and it comes off negative. I think that it is good to know when to stop the debate and just say I now better understand where you are cooming from ... thanks for helping me see your point ... I need some room to think and you probably do as well ... lets just disagree for now and maybe talk about it later - or not :)

Some of the best blog dialogs that I have had ended when no one agreed but everyone was a bit better informed ... it is what communication is all about ... I think.

karen said...

Bob...I agree! ;-)

I know we will revisit this...especially since you asked me to repost my healing from Crohn's!

Don said...

"Facts are accumulated by effort, but Truth reveals itself effortlessly"….

Dr. David Hawkins- "Power vs. Force"

Don said...

I would refer CP to the 29th verse of the Tao Te Ching, written during the time of the Old Testament. Does it sound familar? I doubt there was contact with the Semite people of the middle east at the time, but it sounds similar to the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiates. Is it a coincidence? After checking the definition of coincidence, I don't believe in coincidences any more

codepoke said...


Is that the chapter that asserts, "The kingdom is a spirit-like thing, and cannot be got by active doing. He who would so win it destroys it; he who would hold it in his grasp loses it."

If so that's a wildly distant cry from:
Ecc 3:14&15
I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

The difference is that of God versus man. Yes, I see the similarities, but the Golden Mean by any other name is just as devoid of God.

I would in turn refer you to:
Ex 34:14
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Or in the new testament

2Co 11:2
For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Don R said...

CP- The one I was referring to starts: "To everything there is a season..." I'm sorry you see things that way. Blessings to you.