An introduction to the issue of religious belief and mythology of a deity

With the expansion of Christianity into the Hellenistic world either to Jews or increasingly to Gentiles, there were various reasons why the Christian message that spread, for example by Paul, met the needs of the Hellenistic Age and world.

An introduction to the issue of religious belief and mythology of a deity

Home The Deity of ChristDecember 10, Introduction I recently received a letter from someone who argues that there is only one God, and that He is called many names and worshiped by many different people who hold to many different faiths.

This kind of thinking about God is common today, but its popularity does not reduce the intellectual problems that may accompany it. For instance, does this notion of god include the god of the Aztecs who required child sacrifice?

What about the warrior gods of Norse mythology: Odin, Thor, and Loki?

An introduction to the issue of religious belief and mythology of a deity

How does the Mormon belief that we can all become Gods if we join their organization and conform to their system of good works fit into this theological framework? Belief that all religious systems worship one God raises difficult questions when we see how different groups portray God and seek to describe how we are to relate to Him.

The issue becomes even more acute when one religious tradition claims that God took on flesh becoming a man and walked on the earth. The Christian tradition has claimed for almost two thousand years that God did just that.

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We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. If what John and the rest of the New Testament writers claim about Jesus is true, then we literally have God in the flesh walking with and teaching a small band of disciples.

If Jesus was God incarnate as He walked the earth, we have a first hand account of what God is like in the biblical record. Truth claims about God that counter those given in the Bible must then be discounted.

In other words, if Jesus was God in the flesh during His time on earth, other religious texts or traditions are wrong when they teach about God or about knowing God in ways that contradict the biblical record. In this essay we will consider the evidence for the deity of Christ.

For if God truly became flesh and spoke directly to His disciples about such things as sin, redemption, a final judgment, false religions and true worship, then we have the God of the universe expressing intolerance towards other religious claims- -specifically claims that discount the reality of sin and remove the need for redemption or the reality of a final judgment.

From there we will consider the teachings of the Apostles and the early church. My goal is to establish that from its inception, Christianity has taught and believed that Jesus was God in the flesh, and that this belief was the result of the very words that Jesus spoke concerning His own essence.

It must first be admitted that Jesus never defines His place in the Trinity in theological language. However, He made many statements about himself that would be not only inappropriate, but blasphemous if He was not God in the flesh. Instead, His life was focused on relationships, first with His disciples, and then with the Jewish people.

The purpose of these relationships was to engender in these people a belief in Jesus as their savior or Messiah, as their only source of salvation. Jesus told the Pharisees, the Jewish religious leaders of His day, that they would die in their sins if they did not believe that He was who He claimed to be John 8: Millard Erickson, in his book Christian Theology, does a nice job of laying out evidence that Jesus considered himself equal in essence with God.

When the paralytic in Mark 2: The scribes knew the implications of this statement, for only God could forgive sin. Their remarks clearly show that they understood Jesus to be exercising a divine privilege.

Jesus had a wonderful opportunity to set the record straight here by denying that He had the authority to do what only God can do. Instead, His response only reinforces His claim to divinity. Two other areas that Jesus claimed authority over was the judging of sin and the observance of the Sabbath.

Honoring the Sabbath is one of the Ten Commandments, and the Jews had been given strict instructions on how to observe it. In the book of Numbers, Moses is told by God to stone to death a man who collects wood on the Sabbath.

However, in Matthew In our next section, we will continue in this vein. A number of comments that Jesus made about His relationship with the Father would be unusual if Jesus did not consider himself equal in essence with God.Belief is the state of mind in which a person thinks something to be the case with or without there being empirical evidence to prove that something is the case with factual certainty.

An introduction to the issue of religious belief and mythology of a deity

Another way of defining belief sees it as a mental representation of an attitude positively oriented towards the likelihood of something being true. In the context of . There are four foundational religious beliefs in the traditional religions: (1) the belief in impersonal (mystical) power(s); (2) the belief in spirit beings; (3) the belief in divinities/gods and (4) the belief in the Supreme Being.

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Philosophy of Religion is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with the philosophical study of religion, including arguments over the nature and existence of God, religious language, miracles, prayer, the problem of evil, and the relationship between religion and other value-systems such as science and ethics.

Myth: Myth, a symbolic narrative, usually of unknown origin and at least partly traditional, that ostensibly relates actual events and that is especially associated with religious belief. It is distinguished from symbolic behaviour (cult, ritual) and symbolic places or objects (temples, icons).

Myths are. Ancient Greek religion encompasses the collection of beliefs, rituals, and mythology originating in ancient Greece in the form of both popular public religion and cult practices. These groups varied enough for it to be possible to speak of Greek religions or "cults" in the plural, though most of them shared similarities.

Besides describing ordinary domestic and civic religion and popular belief (including astrology, divination and "magic"), there is extended discussion of mystery cults, ruler and emperor cults, the religious dimensions of philosophy, and Gnosticism.

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