Talk:Introduction to Christianity/The Christian Faith

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Since this is a portal on Christianity in general, nothing should be particular to one faith. If it's in the Bible, that may be adequate, but references should be provided.

The "laws" and "rituals" lists seem to belong to some denomination. Unless there is something in the Bible which explicitly numbers the number of laws and rituals of Christianity, these should be removed, or renamed. Also, where in the Bible does it say that there are seven gifts of the Spirit? I believe the number should be removed—there are a great number of spiritual gifts that exist. The Jade Knight 02:11, 17 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]

This was done without much thought, in an effort to stimulate some interest, that's why there are no references. The "laws" and "rituals" are arbitary headings to show continuity between the Old (i.e. the 10 commandments) and New (i.e. the 3 Loves) Testaments and the many Old Testament scrificial etc. rituals replaced by the (few) New Testament ones. I do think this should be reworked into study material that substantiates these (or agreed) points while still keeping them as a quick overview for the unfamilar reader. PeterMG 17:38, 26 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
On reflection, the changes made are an improvement, except the faith in Jesus. The critical issue between those that believe in Jesus and Christians is over his identity. This can be (and has become) a contentious issue that divides Christians. I am not sure how to proceeed because any references I provide can easily result in a war of references, which may, or may not, be beneficial. PeterMG 17:38, 26 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
If it's a major point of disagreement within Christianity, it should not be included. I think everything here needs to hold true for Christianity in general—we do not want to exclude anyone, if possible. The Jade Knight 05:46, 27 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
If virtually all Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God, I see no reason to not reinclude that. My edit was primarily intended to focus on the other aspects of that sentence that are more universal, rather than whether or not belief in Christ as the son of God is. The Jade Knight 05:52, 27 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I take your point, only I was trying to express the faith according to Scripture, not how it is generally perceived. However, the Bible study courses I've been on refrain from making categorical statements, but rather provide references and then pose pointed questions about the text. Perhaps we could do the same here, let Scripture do the talking and allow readers to draw their own conclusions? PeterMG 03:22, 29 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
I think, for discussions of things among those who are already Christian, that method could be particularly helpful. However, for non-Christians, it might turn many away, and it leads to the problem of them understanding the scriptures in question (often which pack centuries or more of history or culture behind the reading of them), and if a translation were to be used, which translation—that alone could be a matter of great debate. Christianity is, unfortunately, a complicated subject. The only real effective simplification of it I've seen that I found convincing was that put forward by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity.
As just one example: While I think the Hebrews scripture would be effective in discussing the concept of faith among Christians, I think most non-Christians would have a very hard time understanding it. I even have a hard time understanding it, but I was raised on the KJV, and feel more comfortable with it in scriptural discussions. Introducing people to Christianity on a communal level will be no mean feat in this project, I'm afraid. But I'm sure if we put our heads together, we can come up with something effective. I'm actually thinking that using C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity may be a perfect starting point. Have you read the work? What do you think of this idea? The Jade Knight 08:08, 29 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Regardless of all this complication, I do feel that it is a good thing to include scriptural references. The Jade Knight 08:33, 29 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
However, for non-Christians, it might turn many away<-- That's true, but I don't see it as a 'contributor' problem. The choice of studying Christianity (which is why they're here) is left to the individual. The objective is to present Christian theology and doctrine, not to win souls for Christ, increase the number of 'Christians', nor pacify non-believers with a NPOV. I am aware of Paul writing, "I am all things to all people, so I might save some." (1Cor 9:22). Paul, however, spoke and wrote to specific people, so he could adjust the Gospel to each audience. We can't do that here, but need to discover the interests of those who visit wikiversity and address their needs. PeterMG 01:04, 31 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]
If a particular translation is impossible to agree on, simply quoting the reference should serve well enough for most cases. Where conflicts arise, comparing the translations used (with respect to the original text, not each other) might resolve the difficulty. PeterMG
I'm not suggesting that the point of this project is to "win souls for Christ". At the same time, I really think we should try to be clear and simple here, and it seems to me that this project is more designed for those who know less about Christianity (as opposed to those who know more). If it's our presentation that's turning people away, then we're doing something wrong. If it's simply Christianity which is, well, that's another story entirely. The Jade Knight 04:14, 31 July 2007 (UTC)[reply]