Actually, I'm going to have to go w Elliott on this one. Not on rejecting the vision of Guadalupe, about which I know nothing, but on the criterion that visions that contradict the Bible are not of God. If the Bible is what God says, naturally anything that contradicts it will be contrary to what God says. Seems logical enough!
I can get that. I've seen so many "contradictions" in the bible justified away, I guess I assumed the same could apply here. God cannot contradict himself, so it is likely we are misunderstanding the vision, or the passage in the bible it contradicts?
Can visions that seem to challenge the bible, actually be god trying to clarify our human flaws in understanding it.
If the Bible is the Word of God why are there two Testaments? Wasn't the Old Testament good enough? If it wasn't perfect, which apparently it wasn't good enough and therefore imperfect, then how can it be the Word of God? Also, why is God so different in the two Testaments? He went from a vengeful, wrathful, do as I say or else God of the Old Testament to the Love and Peace God of the New Testament. What happened, did he grow up?
In answer to your query concerning the two Testaments, or Covenants, Rick; I was always taught in Sunday School that the Old Covenant was broken, through human fallacy, and that Christ brought the New Covenant to man to fulfill the Law, and the Will of God, and to ensure Salvation for all mankind.
So, Elliott, how old do you think the earth is?
I have no idea... anywhere between 6000 and 6 billion solar years, give or take a few...
So you don't believe the Bible 100%.
Another baseless assumption of my beliefs based on your own lack of understanding of what the Bible says and how it says it... do you realize that the Bible uses poetic devices, symbolic language, and well as literal descriptions of things... and that there is an entire science of theological inquiry called hermeneutics that specializes in determining which is which..?
Using a proper hermeneutic, I don't know if the Hebrew word for "day" used in Genesis 1 is referring to a literal rotation-of-the-earth day or a symbolic "era or epoch" day... or both... and I don't believe it matters all that much, since it has little to no bearing on my life or one's salvation...
I do see it as a manufactured wedge-issue that both secular scientists and dogmatic theologians and cultural christians and armchair atheists use to shout at each other about... I don't have a dog in that fight... but if you'd like to learn more about this topic, or discuss it further, check out the discussion "is evolution relevant?" in the Christian men's group...
Translation: "I pick and choose what supports my position."
Is the bible true or not. If it uses poetic devices, symbolic language, parables then all the accounts in the bible are not accurate. Did Jonah spend time in the belly of a whale? Did Jesus feed the multitude? Was there an Adam and Eve? Can you tell me with any certainty that all of what is written in the bible actually happened and if not then how can you tell me that every prohesy in the bible will come true?
In light of many of the plain assertions that have been made above all these questions which you raise are fair and reasonable. While in general I might privately agree with most of said assertions I do realize that merely posting a long list without any justification or foundation gives little room for real faith in the assertions. So, that being and yet being fair, which one of your questions might you like to deal with in a little more detail? Perhaps if we look at these things one at a time might be useful.
I'm not sure how to put this but I'll try. I'm Christian but I don't believe that everything in the bible is true in the sense it actually happened. The only thing I know, with any certainty, is that we are here (at least I think I am) and it all started somehow. Now, I know a bit about science, physics that is, and quantum uncertainty, the big-bang theory, etc. Now if, as a scientist I can't find anything that disproves the big-bang then that theory holds some water, so to speak. If there was a big-bang resulting in the current universe then what set the thing off? Why did that tiny point of infinite energy suddenly start expanding? That is where God comes in. The bible, in a way, follows the theory. "Let there be light" That was the first thing there was, light, energy and no matter. Then there came particles and forces and space. So I believe that the bible is a simple explanation for things that were beyond the comprehension of the peoples of the time, an interpretation if you will.
Now that was the Old Testament, what about the New? I believe there was a Jesus who was/is the Son of God. Other than that I can't say anything for certain as too many 'books' were not put into the bible, many were written hundreds of years after Christ by people who heard a story from someone who heard a story from someone who heard a story... Yeah, you can say its the word of God but it's interpreted by man and we know how capricious man is. And whats worse, its all up to interpretation by the readers who consistently interpret it to support their own beliefs.