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12:53 PM
ACK! Someone upvote something of mine, I have 1666 rep!
1:32 PM
I was stuck with 666 flags not too long ago, that was kind of awkward.
1 hour later…
2:38 PM
I never realized that you were from Turkey. What an exceptional knowledge of Christianity for being from a muslim country
2:48 PM
@MarcGravell: re this christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/9687/… I'm impressed at your Bible knowledge, for a non-believer. How did you know such an obscure verse?
@Wikis I have found that regarding the bible some of the most knowledgeable people I know have little or no faith in Christianity. Several such as Marc are atheists. It goes with my personal view of, "how can you say you're of the book if you've never read the book?" Some of the most devout Christians I know, know the least about the bible.
However, most people I know are in the middle of the road in regards to both
3:08 PM
@DanAndrews Well, both Marc and I had religious upbringings. And I know Marc has said he has quite a long story. I think he was exposed to many versions of Christianity.
3:31 PM
My wife tells people that everyone in her family (she has two sisters and two brothers) married recovering Catholics.
They're methodist
@Caleb - I didn't think admins had to flag items, I thought they could just deal with the issue.
@DanAndrews @DanAndrews: I kind of agree, though I don't need to read the Koran and the whole library of Hindu scriptures to not believe in them.
4:00 PM
@Wikis Why not?
1 hour later…
5:12 PM
@TRiG I like the way you think. How can someone say that they're NOT something unless they understand what it mean to BE something? It's a simple logic problem - P doesn't imply Q
@DanAndrews Either way, you don't need to read the whole Bible, or even to know very much about it, to know that it has little relationship with reality.
5:39 PM
@TRiG careful, criticism isn't well received around here. You mean Jesus will not return with a sword for a tongue? Oh wait, that's not to be taken literally... but the rest of it is! :)
However, the way I read the bible, it has a lot to do with reality - but not literally.
5:54 PM
@DanAndrews I can generally get away with it in chat.
@DanAndrews And the precise details of which bits of which verses are literal and which aren't is often quite amusing, actually.
@DanAndrews The thing is, if you mean what I think you mean, that a similar form of reading could be taken to many other books, from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet to the Rig Vedas, and be equally rewarding.
There's always a depth to mine in wisdom literature, as it's intended more to provoke thought than to convey information.
As for the many bits of the Bible which aren't wisdom literature, well, when you run out of stuff to read out of the text, you can always start reading stuff in instead.
Seriously, the way some people approach the Bible, they could get as much out of an Ann and Barry book if they tried hard enough.
I could certainly get more out of The Silmarillion.
@TRiG price of it being a holy book
@waxeagle Aye, probably.
@TRiG That statement makes me conflicted. ;-)
@JonEricson I'm rereading The Silmarillion right now.
6:13 PM
@TRiG: great question! Probably the main reason is the USP of Chrisitanity. If God is all powerful, why do I need to earn my way into heaven? Why hasn't He done everything to make sure I can get in, even if I make a deathbed confession. Well, in Christianity, He has.
@Wikis Unique Selling Point?
@TRiG: plus the overwhelming historical evidence.
(Not familiar with that terminology.)
@TRiG: sorry, yes, jargon eh?
@TRiG I should too. It's been a while since I did my "annual" reading of the LotR.
6:14 PM
@TRiG: what does TRiG mean?
@Wikis Timothy Richard Green
Haven't read the Silmarillion yet. Still really need to read the Hobbit, especially before the first movie comes out.
@Wikis Did you see the question here about what was unique about Christianity? I think all of the answers contained misunderstandings of other religions.
@TRiG Ahhh...that's clever.
@El'endiaStarman I believe the Hobbit film is based partly on the book The Hobbit, and partly on some material in the appendices to The Lord of the Rings.
@El'endiaStarman I invented it for myself in primary school, and still use it.
6:16 PM
@TRiG. Re TRiG. Nice one. No, I missed that question, got a link?
Are you guys saying that LotR is a wholesome, godly book? is a little confused
@TRiG What I've heard is that The Hobbit will be made into two films, and there will be a third that fills in the gap between The Hobbit and LotR.
@TRiG: do you have to read all of LOTR to know its true...? :)
@jrg Well I think so. tongue in cheek
@Wikis You have to read The Silmarillion too, to understand the cosmology.
Q: What is unique about Christianity?

FlimzyInspired by this question: How do Christians explain to commonalities between their religion, other major faiths and obscure isolated tribal belief systems? What is fundamentally unique about Christianity? Obviously there are different stories, texts, and traditions associated with Christianity...

@TRiG Oh, I agree. Was just asking. ;)
6:18 PM
@TRiG Ha, same here! I came up with a system for creating pseudonyms from peoples' names for inserting into stories, used it on myself for an author-insert, and subsequently used it for everything online.
@El'endiaStarman I like that. And I like the fact that using a pseudonym on the Internet is perfectly normal, even if that pseudonym is, like mine, trivially easy to attach to an offline identity.
@TRiG: was there a specific answer I should look at?
Anyone who wanted to know who TRiG is could find out very easily (even just by asking, as you've seen), but I still like the fact that it's not at all strange to go by a name I created for myself.
@El'endia Starman: so what's a El'endia Starman?
@Wikis It's-a me, El'endia!
Sorry, couldn't resist the reference. :P
6:22 PM
@Wikis > all of the other religions that I'm aware of are man-centered, focusing on improving or glorifying man
> all of the other religions that I'm aware of are man-centered, focusing on improving or glorifying man
I'm pretty sure that's wrong. Certainly seems like a sweeping statement. Also reads a little like an insult.
The comment below from @Caleb is definitely an insult.
> even the ones that claim to exalt some deity really are focused on glorifying man
@Wikis I formed "El'endia" from my name via the pseudonym generator. "Starman" is because I like stars and space.
That was from @DavidStratton's answer.
And from @Caleb's answer we have a statement which is absolutely and definitely wrong.
> Christianity stands alone in being the only religion whose God gave up his rights and very life on behalf of his constituents
You what?!
The sacrificial god king who dies on behalf of his people is a famous idea.
Also from @Caleb's answer:
> Christianity has a key feature in the Resurrection. No-one else in history has had the authority to lay down their life and take it up again.
You may believe that to be true, but it certainly isn't a unique distinctive of Christianity.
As for @PeterTurner's answer to the question, I can do nothing better than repeat the comment I made on his answer.
You're making a massive leap from "Buddhism is inward facing" to "All religions other than Christianity are inward facing". You have presented no evidence to support this contention, and I think you're flatly wrong. — TRiG Oct 11 '11 at 16:10
I think every single answer on that question is plain wrong.
@Wikis What I'm saying is that the "USP" may not be as unique as you think.
And, of course, if you frame a question in very specifically Christian terms, and then pretend it's amazing that only Christianity provides an adequate answer, you're just being dishonest.
6:54 PM
@TRiG - I certainly didn't mean to be insulting, but I do have an unfortunate tendency to come across that way when I don't mean to.
By "man-Centered" I don't mean anything insulting, but rather that the focus is on making us better people.
My statement about "glorifying man" is particular to Secular Humanism, possibly Anton LeVey's Church of Satan (which is really just atheism with an emphasis on the whole if it feels good, do it mindset) and others that hold that there is no higher power than man. Maybe "glorifying man" is a bad way to phrase it, but it comes from the idea that there is "no known higher power".
@DavidStratton I just think it was a very very sweeping statement.
Whether a religion "glorifies man" or not, largely depends on your perspective.
I suspect many religions would say they don't.
(Arguably, Christianity glorifies man, by saying humans go to heaven to be kings and priests.)
Depends which way you look at it, really.
7:09 PM
@TRiG: ah, thx for the clarification. And when you say, "man" do you mean human or are you referring to the gender?
@TRiG: maybe a fun question: what would need to be different in Christiantity for you to embrace it? Or rather, how would Jesus need to be, if you get my clumsy phrasing....
@Wikis I meant "human"; I wouldn't usually use the language that way, but I was borrowing David's wording.
@El'endia Starman: cool, thx. So what's a pseudonym generator?
@Wikis Well, some supporting evidence would be a nice start. (No, that wasn't an invitation. Not in the mood right now.)
@Wikis Badgering El'endia for his real name when he clearly doesn't want to tell you is rather rude, don't you think?
@TRiG ...I don't see it as him badgering me for my real name.
@El'endiaStarman Okay. Maybe I was misreading it.
7:13 PM
@Wikis A method for creating pseudonyms.
Sorry, then.
@TRiG: sorry, wasn't meant to be badgering, just curious about the generator. Really, I was not after his real name.
@El'endia Starman: thanks and phew!
@TRiG ok, thx for the reply (about Christianity).
@Wikis You can reply to a specific comment by clicking the little arrow that appears to the right of that comment when you hover your mouse over it.
@Wikis Hehe, you're welcome. By the way, you can mouse-over chat messages and click on the arrow at the left. That brings up a dropdown that includes an option to "reply to this message". Use this option when you can as it helps link replies to the message being replied to. Just using the plain @ symbol just sorta points to their last message.
@Wikis And I strongly suspect that wasn't the answer you were looking for, but I have work I should be doing right now.
@El'endiaStarman But the arrow on the right is quicker. (There's three symbols appear on the right when you hover over a message: flag, star, and reply.)
7:18 PM
@TRiG ...d'oh, I can't believe I never noticed that.
@El'endiaStarman It took me quite a while.
@El'endiaStarman Especially since I use the star option on the right...
7:34 PM
@TRiG Deathbed conversions you say? It appears to have worked well for Constantine.
@DanAndrews I don't recall mentioning deathbed conversions.
ah, @Wikis did
@TRiG: great question! Probably the main reason is the USP of Chrisitanity. If God is all powerful, why do I need to earn my way into heaven? Why hasn't He done everything to make sure I can get in, even if I make a deathbed confession. Well, in Christianity, He has.
1 hour later…
8:40 PM
Now that the dust has settled here, I wanted to take up the topic of:
Q: Christian intellectuals and philosophers whose talks are available on the internet

JoebevoSo far I've gobbled up NT Wright, Ravi Zacharias, Peter Kreeft, Alister Mcgrath. I was wondering if someone can point me to more speakers whose stuff is available online either as talks or as accessible articles. Thanks, and apologies if this is considered a "list" question and hence inappropri...

My contribution is desiringgod.org
Like him or not, John Piper is a thoroughly interesting thinker. And virtually everything he's written or said in public can be found on his website.
@Wikis I collected quite a few before I became a mod, but even as a mod I find several reasons to keep flagging.
1) I'm often browsing on mobile and flag things that need attention, but that I cant' deal with at the time. For example an hour ago I flagged a couple things from the metro on my way home. I just looked and another mod has already taken care of them. It takes a little more time to mod well than just surf. You have to check context, history of users, see if it's been brought up in chat, etc. Don't that from mobile is hard, or sometimes I'm just out of time when I spot something. So I flag.
2) Sometimes I see something and want to take action, but want another mod to review it first, so I'll flag it with a note about my thoughts on the matter but let another mod decide if my suggestion has merit or if I'm just reading it wrong or missing something.
3) Sometimes even if I do handle the issue, I want another mod to check back on it later and make sure everything went ok. The flag queue because a kind of to-do list of things that need checking up on.
4) Sometimes I flag even if I'm going to handle it because it leaves a tag on the post in history that says WHY an action was taken that can be reviewed by other moderators/SE staff.
9:06 PM
@TRiG: thx for the click tip, but it doesn't work on an iPad :(
@El'endia Starman: doesn't work on an iPad, so I have to copy paste your name to get a message to you... ;)
@TRiG, was just looking for an honest answer, so your's is perfect, thx
@Dan Andrews, any idea why my message to @TRiG is appearing from you?!
@Caleb, aha, interesting, thx. Yes, mobile browsing is sometimes a pain (see my comments above).
2 hours later…
10:49 PM
My contribution for the list question would be Ray Comfort, only for his "Hell's Best Kept Secret teaching". I don't know if he'd qualify as a philosopher, but that teaching is worth listening to,,even if you don't agree with it.
1 hour later…
11:58 PM
I don't know if this has been discussed before, but is there a guideline on asking a question simply to post your own answer? I may be mis-reading this, but it appears that Mike is doing this to get his own points and views across... It seems to me like a passive-aggressive attempt to posit his views and rile up others in the process. Example: christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/9698/…

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