I finished the new testament... interesting stuff... a whole lot more, and whole lot less than I expected.... The Jesus thing is pretty simple, really... if you are looking at "what" and "who" rather than "how"... Pretty much Jesus tell us to love each other, and gives examples... the rest, the miracles and such, are there to show the authority Jesus had... why he has the right to tell us how to live. And what he asks of us is simple... love each other. Meet needs where you see them...
As to the whole after-death and hell question... the new testament has very little to say... there are a few parables, which are meant to teach other lessons, not tell about the after life... and there is the place prepared for the devil, the beast, and the whore of Babylon (i think i got that right)... and it is said to be where non-believers are destroyed after the judgement. NOT the place where they are eternally tormented... that is reserved for the 3 mentioned above.
The second coming, Armageddon, and all the plagues and such of revelation are really not made so "big" upon actually reading the text... nor is there much, if anything, said about a rapture... one place, not in revelations, mentions that 'some will be taken, the other remain'... "two men in a field" and such... As to Armageddon, its over before it begins... everyone is gathered and ready, and God comes in and declares Himself victor... done. shrug The only hint we have about the 'when' of the 2ND coming of Jesus is that it won't happen until all the nations have been preached to....
Now, on to Genesis 1
In reading it, I'm trying not to look at it as historically accurate, nor as a reason to accept or deny scientific thoughts... but as a way to see what God is like...
This is what I see of God...
He has a plan... a well thought out plan.... when something is created, He has pre-loaded the environment for its success... Before something is even created, God has already provided for its needs! That's pretty amazing.
With God, words make it real.
God sees His creation as "good" ... fundamentally Good... wow!
Now, looking at how "man" is different from the rest of creation...
Man was made in the likeness or image of God
Male and Female are mentioned ... ( not true of the other beasties)
We are not only to 'fill the earth' but to subdue it.
People are to rule over the other creatures on the earth
oh, and initially, we were vegetarians.
So, the big difference between man and beasties... the likeness or image of God and a command to subdue and rule over the other creatures...
and what do we know of God from just Genesis 1?
That he is able to plan ahead, and does so.
That he HAS a plan, and carries it out.
That he meets needs.
That he sees his creation as Good.
So, what does that mean for us? for me?
So, Alaska is in the news again...
4 months ago