Russell's Criticisms of Christianity & Jesus

cjab

Well-known member
He's presenting criticism of Jesus and Christianity. You can choose to address that or not.
But he's not, actually. He's got no idea who Jesus is, which is why he aimlessly directs criticisms at Christians rather than at Jesus himself.

If he knew anything, he wouldn't endlessly confound the worst of and the excesses of State churches especially Roman Catholic (which have litttle to do with what Jesus taught as they are flagrantly disobedient to his commands) and Jesus himself.

You've got to make up your mind whether you're going to attack Jesus, or anyone calling themselves a "Christian." They are not the same.

As for the cursing of the fig tree, that was done with a specific reason, which was to instruct mankind that if they bore no fruit towards God, but merely pretended to, even where it was "not the season," they would be cursed.

Russell arrogantly fails to apply the lesson of the fig tree to his own critiques of "Christians." He should have realized that there are plenty of "Christians" who bear no fruit and so cannot be accounted followers of Christ. To tar such as being "Christian" merely by association or by outward profession is anti-intellectual.
 
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Nouveau

Well-known member
I have addressed it, it requires a spiritual revelation. His basic requirement for being a Christian, is his idea and not really what Jesus taught or what the Biblical testimony describes.
So can I contribute what I think about it or can posters only approach it from your standpoint?
Addressing it would mean actually engaging with the specific points Russell makes.
 

BMS

Well-known member
I must admit to having this experience as well, but with suspicion (you would call it repressing the truth in unrighteousness).

Since the seat of the soul is "wholly other" does it have its own intellect apart from our common intellect? That I do not feel. I sense every affect in me starting/entering via the common intellect, not an intellect of the soul.

I also recognize varying degrees of emotional affect from moderate to intense. You seem to be saying a more intense emotional affect gets routed to the soul - the wholly other. To me that's not wholly other... seems more of a spill-over reservoir when emotions get intense.

I remember when I felt a strong connection to God, and felt the difference between my intense feelings towards that concept and the lesser affect of my girlfriends.... until I would lose one of those girlfriends. Then I would discover an intense loss that wholly eclipsed this feeling I had towards the concept I had of God. I sensed I was fabricating and manipulating my feelings about God once I felt the real full-on affect of my temporal relationships. God seemed something I controlled and played with. My temporal relations - not so much. They ended up affecting me in a more real place as I had no control over them like I had with whatever I was thinking about a God that never challenged me in the way the real world did.
Great post. I have to say that sounds a bit like my experience before I came to be 'born again' At that moment I felt a mixture of freedom and conviction that Jesus Christ is the truth way and life and my life was no longer my own.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
But he's not, actually.
He is. You just don't want to address his points.

You've got to make up your mind whether you're going to attack Jesus...
So address his criticisms of Jesus. They were that he was wrong about the second coming, he reacted with indignation towards doubters, and he promoted the harmful doctrine of Hell.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Addressing it would mean actually engaging with the specific points Russell makes.
Or as cjab points out, addressing what Jesus said and did; examining the author and perfector of faith rather than people who.discuss it.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Or as cjab points out, addressing what Jesus said and did; examining the author and perfector of faith rather than people who.discuss it.
To address Russell's criticism of Jesus and Christianity you would need to actually engage with the specific points Russell makes. Again, you can choose to do that or not.
 

BMS

Well-known member
To address Russell's criticism of Jesus and Christianity you would need to actually engage with the specific points Russell makes. Again, you can choose to do that or not.
So Russell starts by concluding that three things are minimally necessary for qualifying as a Christian: Belief in God and immortality, and that Jesus was at least the best and wisest of all men. These therefore will be the targets of his criticism.
According to Jesus Christ's New testament witness this doesn't make sense because Jesus said if we love Him we will seek to obey all He taught (John 14-17, Mathew 28 etc) Jesus said He sits at the right hand of the father and Jesus said before Abraham was 'I AM' and Jesus said if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Jesus said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, so at least that rather than "at least the best and wisest of all men"

So Russell says therefore 'these' will be the targets of criticism. No, 'these' are wrong. Build your house on shifting sand.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
So Russell starts by concluding that three things are minimally necessary for qualifying as a Christian: Belief in God and immortality, and that Jesus was at least the best and wisest of all men. These therefore will be the targets of his criticism.
According to Jesus Christ's New testament witness this doesn't make sense because Jesus said if we love Him we will seek to obey all He taught (John 14-17, Mathew 28 etc) Jesus said He sits at the right hand of the father and Jesus said before Abraham was 'I AM' and Jesus said if we have seen Him we have seen the Father. Jesus said all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, so at least that rather than "at least the best and wisest of all men"

So Russell says therefore 'these' will be the targets of criticism. No, 'these' are wrong. Build your house on shifting sand.
Do you think one can be a Christian if they think there are other people wiser or better than Jesus?
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
So you asked me to address the criticism which I have done. What are your thoughts about it?
My thoughts are that you may be misunderstanding him, hence my question.

Do you think one can be a Christian if they think there are other people wiser or better than Jesus?
 

BMS

Well-known member
My thoughts are that you may be misunderstanding him, hence my question.
In what way would I be misunderstanding him. I can see what he has said about the minimum definition isn't even what Christians historically have said is the least requirements. The Nicene Creed for example. I don't see how I can be misunderstanding him. His first premise which he says he will use, is faulty.

Do you think one can be a Christian if they think there are other people wiser or better than Jesus?
Jesus says He is the way, the truth and the life. Your question sells that short. Remember, I like others are telling you here, seek to follow Jesus, not Russel or other Christians
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
In what way would I be misunderstanding him. I can see what he has said about the minimum definition isn't even what Christians historically have said is the least requirements. The Nicene Creed for example. I don't see how I can be misunderstanding him. His first premise which he says he will use, is faulty.

Jesus says He is the way, the truth and the life. Your question sells that short. Remember, I like others are telling you here, seek to follow Jesus, not Russel or other Christians
Do you think one can be a Christian if they think there are other people wiser or better than Jesus?
 

BMS

Well-known member
Do you think one can be a Christian if they think there are other people wiser or better than Jesus?
No because Jesus is God the Son and created people. If Russell knew Jesus he wouldn't have made the claim he did
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
No because Jesus is God the Son and created people.
Right, so you are agreeing with Russell that it is minimally necessary (not sufficient!) for being a Christian that one consider Jesus to have been the best and wisest of men. That's where your response misses its mark.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Right, so you are agreeing with Russell that it is minimally necessary (not sufficient!) for being a Christian that one consider Jesus to have been the best and wisest of men. That's where your response misses its mark.
So I am disagreeing with Russell because his basic definition is not sufficient as basis for being a Christian, the minimum requirement according to Jesus is much more that that. That is where Russell misses the mark. If one wants to know what a Christian is, look to all Jesus taught.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
So I am disagreeing with Russell because his basic definition is not sufficient as basis for being a Christian, the minimum requirement according to Jesus is much more that that.
Russell didn't say anything about what is sufficient for being a Christian. He spoke only to what is "minimally necessary" and on that you agree.
 

BMS

Well-known member
Russell didn't say anything about what is sufficient for being a Christian. He spoke only to what is "minimally necessary".
Yes ok. So I am disagreeing with Russell because his minimally necessary for being a Christian is short of what is minimally necessary, according to Jesus
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
Yes ok. So I am disagreeing with Russell because his minimally necessary for being a Christian is short of what is minimally necessary, according to Jesus
But you just agreed that his minimal requirements are necessary for being a Christian.
 

BMS

Well-known member
But you just agreed that his minimal requirements are necessary for being a Christian.
The belief would be necessary otherwise it would be contrary to the minimal requirements, but that belief is not the minimal requirements according to Jesus.
One could not be a Christian if one thought like Russell, follow Jesus not Russell.
 

Nouveau

Well-known member
The belief would be necessary otherwise it would be contrary to the minimal requirements, but that belief is not the minimal requirements
You're talking about what is minimally sufficient. Russell was talking about what is minimally necessary. So you are not disagreeing with him at all.

One could not be a Christian if one thought like Russell
Obviously. That's the whole point of his essay.
 
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