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The truth and Anamgol UBF 
17th-Jul-2006 11:49 pm
I found a Sunday message on the website of Anamgol UBF which is considered most elite UBF chapter in the UBF world. Anamgol UBF focuses on recruiting students in Korea University, one of the top five universities in Korea. Mark Yang used to be the director. I don’t know who the current director is and who wrote the message. I wanted to discuss problems of this message because it is based on John 8:31-32 and they happen to be my favorite key verses in the Bible. I want to discuss them in the comment section with the following topics:

I. Some comments on my English translation
II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant and Critique of Pure Reason
III. Issues on the author’s interpretation of ‘truth’ in John 8:32
IV. Concluding remarks
Comments 
18th-Jul-2006 04:57 am (UTC) - Excerpt from the Anamgol UBF Sunday message
http://anam.ubf.or.kr/anamdata/technote/read.cgi?board=Lordday_Message&y_number=79&nnew=2

"...그러나 말씀에 거하는 삶을 사는 것의 축복은 여기에 국한되지 않습니다. 다같이 32절 말씀을 읽어보겠습니다. “ 진리를 알지니 진리가 너희를 자유케 하리라 ” 이 말씀은 ‘그러면 너희가 진리를 알게 될 것이다. 그리고 그 진리가 너희를 자유케 할 것이다.’는 뜻입니다.

많은 사람들이 진리를 구도의 문제로 생각합니다. 많은 사람들이 진리는 깊은 학문 속에 있는 것으로 생각합니다. 김진홍 목사님이 계명대학교 철학과 대학원에서 공부를 하시던 조교 시절의 일이었습니다. 교양 철학강의를 하는데 수업시간에 영문과 신입생이 물었습니다. ‘선생님 진리가 무엇입니까?’ 이 질문을 받고 김 진홍 목사님은 '진리라고 하는 것은 내 머리 속에 있는 책상과 지금 여기 앞에 있는 책상이 일치했을 때 그것이 진리이다'라고 대답했습니다. 이는 철학자 칸트가 ‘순수이성비판’ 이라는 책의 표현을 인용한 것입니다. 그러자 그 학생이 다시 묻는데 ‘그것이 진리인 것이 나와 무슨 상관이 있습니까? 책상과 내 머리 속에 있는 책상이 일치해서 그래서 뭐 어쨌다는 것입니까? 그런것 말고요 내가 정말로 목숨을 걸 수 있는, 이것 아니면 안됀다 하는 그런 진리가 무엇입니까’ 하는 것이었습니다. 그때 당시 김 진홍 조교도 진리를 찾고 있는 중이어서 솔직히 대답했습니다. ‘나도 지금 그것을 찾는 중일세’ 그러자 그 학생이 말했습니다. '선생님, 선생님이 첫시간에 철학은 진리를 추구하고 발견하는 학문이다라고 말씀을 하셨는데 그 진리를 선생님이 모르고 계시는데 어떻게 진리를 발견하겠습니까? 그만 수업 종강합시다' 이 말은 너무 충격적이었습니다. ‘ 종강하자’라는 말은 선생님에게 더 이상 배울 것이 없다는 뜻이요, ‘수업을 그만 하자’라고 말 하는 것은 선생님 편에서는 선생으로서 자신의 존재 이유가 없는 것이나 마찬가지입니다. 그래서 그 때 김 진홍 목사님은 학교를 그만두시고 방황의 생활을 하셨습니다. 쓰레기 줍는 넝마생활도 하고 아이스께끼 장사도 하고 온갖 세상일을 하게 되었습니다. 그러다가 다시 신학을 공부하게 되었습니다.

여기서 우리는 이 영문과 학생이 말 한데로 ‘그러면 그 진리가 나와 무슨 상관이 있습니까?’하는 질문이 중요합니다. 진리는 나와 관계가 있어야합니다. 나에게 참 가치고 내 인생의 보람이고 열매여야 합니다. 내 삶의 원동력이 되고 기쁨이고 목적이 되어야합니다. 정말 자기 목숨을 걸 수 있는 절대가치이어야 합니다. 키에르케고르의 진리에 대한 열망도 바로 자신의 목숨을 다 바쳐도 아깝지 않은 바로 그런 진리였습니다. 그러면 우리가 그런 진리를 어디서 알 수 있을까요? 예수님이 말씀하셨습니다. “너희가 내 말에 거하면 참 내 제자가 되고 진리를 알지니 진리가 너희를 자유케 하니라” 우리가 예수님의 말씀에 거하는 삶을 살 때 우리는 진리가 무엇인지 그때 깨닫게 됩니다. 진리는 구도의 문제가 아닙니다. 앞서 나온 데로 학문의 문제도 아닙니다. 그것은 예수님의 말씀 안에서 발견되어지는 것입니다. 예수님은 하나님이 보내신 하나님의 아들이십니다. ‘태초에 말씀이 계시니라 말씀이 하나님과 함께 있었고 그 말씀은 곧 하나님이시라’ 태초에 하나님과 함께 계셨던 말씀 하나님 곧 예수님은 진리가 되십니다. 예수님은 만물을 창조하시고 이 모든 것을 자기 뜻대로 섭리하시는 하나님이십니다. 예수님은 성육신하여 이 땅에 오신 진리이십니다. incarnation, 곧 성육신이라고 하는데 예수님은 이 땅에 오신 진리의 화신이십니다. 이 예수님은 나를 사랑하사 나를 위해 십자가가에 죽으시고 내 생명의 주가 되셨습니다. 이 예수님 안에서 내가 생명을 얻습니다. 이 예수님을 통해 우리가 하나님께로 갈 수 있습니다. 그래서 예수님이 말씀하셨습니다. ‘ 내가 곧 길이요 진리요 생명이나 나로 말미암지 않고는 아버지께로 올자가 없느니라 ’ 우리가 진리되신 예수님을 믿고 감사찬양 합니다..."
18th-Jul-2006 05:05 am (UTC) - English translation of the above excerpt
English translation of the above excerpt

"...However the blessing of ‘holding to’ Jesus’ teaching does not stop here. Let’s read verse 32 together. “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It means that ‘then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”


Some people think that they can find truth by Zen meditation and practicing ascetic life style as Buddhist monks do. Others think that they can find truth by studying hard many different subjects. While Pastor Kim Jin Hong was studying philosophy at the graduate college of Geimyung University, he also taught introductory philosophy to students as a teaching assistant. One day during the lecture, a student whose major was English asked him “Teacher, what is truth?” He answered “When this object called a desk in front of me agrees with my understanding of the desk, then we call it truth.” Pastor Kim was quoting Immanuel Kant from his book “Critique of Pure Reason.” But the student asked him again. “Ok. Let’s say that the desk in front of me agrees with the desk in my understanding. So what? What does its being truth have to do with me? I am not asking about that kind of truth. I am asking about the truth that is second to none in all truths; that I can truly give my whole life for it.” But Pastor Kim at that time was also looking for the same kind of truth that the student was looking for. So he said to the student honestly, “My friend, actually I am looking for the same truth you are looking for.” Then the student said, “Teacher, you said in the first lecture that philosophy is a study of pursuing and discovering truth. But since you do not know truth, how can I discover truth? Why don’t we just end our study here?” The last remark by the student was a shocking blow to Pastor Kim. When the student said ‘why don’t we just end our study here?’, it meant that there was nothing he could learn from his teacher. It also meant that he did not have any meaning in his existence as a teacher. So Pastor Kim finally decided to quit his job as a teaching assistant and his graduate study. He left the school and began to wonder about the world. He tried many things in the world. Sometimes he picked up junks on streets to sell them. He also sold ice cream on a street. Finally he ended himself up in a seminary to study theology.


It is very important for us to ask “what does truth have to do with me?” as the English major student did in the episode of Pastor Kim’s life. Truth must have something to do with my life. It must be truly worthwhile to me, satisfying to me and true fruit to me. It must become the motivation for my life, joy and purpose. It must hold the absolute value that is truly worth my life. Kierkegaard’s earnest desire for truth was the desire to know the truth for which he could give up his life with no hesitation. Then where can we find such truth? Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” When we live the life of holding to Jesus’ teaching, we finally learn what truth is. Truth cannot be discovered through practicing Zen meditation. It is not a matter of pursuing academic discipline. Truth is discovered in Jesus’ word. Jesus is the Son of God send by God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” The Word that was with God in the beginning is Jesus and Jesus is truth. Jesus created every thing in the world and he is God who rules everything according to his will. Jesus is truth who came to this world in human form. This is called incarnation. Jesus came to this world as truth incarnate. Jesus loved so much that he died on the cross for me and became the Lord of my life. I receive life in Jesus. We can come to God through Jesus. That is why Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” We put our faith in Jesus who is truth. We thank him and we praise him..."
18th-Jul-2006 10:06 am (UTC) - Re: Excerpt from the Anamgol UBF Sunday message
Thanks for your thoughts on this.

I think what can be seen here is UBF's trying to downplay the meaning of factual truth. Just as they say "because God is above morals, we are also above morals and need not behave ethically", they say "because God is the ultimate truth, factual truth has become irrelevant for us, so we can create our own truth."

UBF has extreme problems with the concept of truth. One prominent example is how Samuel Lee faked the picture of the MSU conference and added a 3rd balcony to it. But his written letters and lectures are full of that spirit. He always told his own version of UBF history and world history, not being worried about the problem that it is not the truth, but only what he wants others to believe. Another example: Andreas once told me how he asked Peter Chang about one example in his Sunday message, pointing out that this was not true at all. Chang answered: "It does not matter whether the example was true. All that matters is that it was *effective*." I think the one thing that baffled us ex UBFers the most is experiencing that the UBF members and leaders are not interested in the truth at all.

UBF is blurring the meaning of all important words such as love, truth, morals, so people cannot think straightforward any more.

18th-Jul-2006 01:26 pm (UTC) - Re: Excerpt from the Anamgol UBF Sunday message
Another interesting UBF twist on the word "truth" was how Mark Yang tried to explain to one UBF member that "worship in spirit and truth" means that we should wear your best clothes (which in turn always means suit and tie in UBF) for the Sunday worship service. Just the opposite from what the verse really wants to say.
19th-Jul-2006 12:11 am (UTC) - Re: Excerpt from the Anamgol UBF Sunday message
Mark Yang tried to explain to one UBF member that "worship in spirit and truth" means that we should wear your best clothes (which in turn always means suit and tie in UBF) for the Sunday worship service

So Mark Yang's understanding of "worship in spirit and truth" is "worship in suit and tie"?? Where do they get all these weird ideas? I think they all come from UBF subjectivity.
19th-Jul-2006 03:38 pm (UTC) - Re: Excerpt from the Anamgol UBF Sunday message
It is a typical example how they redefine words so that the Bible looses its meaning or means something different. Jesus wanted to explain that outwardness and formality has not much meaning, but the inner attitude and your love for the truth is important. But UBF's interpretation is the opposite, that outward things such as clothing is important.

It's completely illogical. Both of their claims, namely 1) clothing matters and 2) suit+tie is the best clothing. Can you imagine Jesus wearing suit+tie? Or Peter? Or John the Baptist? UBF is so silly.
18th-Jul-2006 10:39 pm (UTC) - III. Issues on the author’s interpretation of ‘truth’ in John 8:32
III. Issues on the author’s interpretation of truth in John 8:32

The Anamgol UBF author seems to sympathize with the position that the English major student took about the meaning of truth in his message. The Anamgol UBF author says in his message, “Truth must have something to do with my life. It must be truly worthwhile to me, satisfying to me and true fruit to me. It must become the motivation for my life, joy and purpose. It must hold the absolute value that is truly worth my life.” Then he finally says that when we live the life of holding to Jesus’ teaching, we finally learn what truth is.

I am sure that we can find such truth in Jesus. In fact the Anamgol author can find anything he wants in Jesus. If he tries, he can find anything good that he can and connect everything somehow with Jesus because after all Jesus is God. Jesus is truth; Jesus is happiness; Jesus is a husband; Jesus is a father; Jesus is a friend; Jesus is good health; Jesus is honor; Jesus is victory; Jesus is whatever good thing you can come up with. The Anamgol author can make a Sunday message out of anything by connecting any Bible verse and Jesus to it. So if things go like this, we don’t even have to study the Bible at all! Well, Jesus is God and he is SO GOOD!

The reason we study the Bible is that we want to know what the Bible says! So if we are studying John’s Gospel, we want to know what John’s Gospel says about truth. If we happen to study John chapter 8, we want to know what John chapter 8 teaches us about truth. After we learn what John chapter 8 teaches us about truth, then we want to examine what I or others think about truth so that I can orient myself toward what the Bible teaches about it. Is this what we see in the Anamgol UBF message? NO! He seems to be too much engrossed in flattering himself with Kant and Kierkegaard!

The Anamgol UBF author talks only about what he thinks about truth. He doesn’t carefully study what John chapter 8 teaches us about truth. Does what the Anamgol UBF author talks about truth in John 8:32 agree with what Jesus had in mind about truth when he said “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”? I don’t think so. To consider this and to understand what John 8:32 teaches us about truth, I suggest that we should focus our attention more on the immediate context of John chapter 8 with, of course, effort to understand it in the whole context of the Bible.

In verse 12, Jesus declared “I am the light of the world.” Jesus was telling the truth when he said this. But the Pharisees challenged him in verse 13, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.” Then Jesus explains to them about his testimony very logically until he comes to verse 43 where he says “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.”

So it seems that the meaning of ‘truth’ in this chapter is related to understanding the “validity” of Jesus’ testimony. Jesus worked very hard to prove the “validity” of his testimony but the Pharisees didn’t believe him and his testimony. But there were some Pharisees who believed Jesus. To these Pharisees Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It seems that some Pharisees were somehow compelled to believe that what Jesus said had to be true but were not fully convinced of the “truth” of it of the “validity” of it. So Jesus said to them “If you hold to my teaching…Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

For example, Jesus said “I am the light of the world.” So even though some Pharisees decided to believe in Jesus, they probably still had the question: “How do I know whether or not it is true?” Jesus’ assuring answer to them was “If you hold to my teaching…Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The validity of Jesus’ testimony has been already proved. So all we have to do is just holding onto them. Then we will know that it is true that Jesus is the light of the world. So the meaning of truth in this chapter should be interpreted as the truth or the validity of Jesus’ testimony. But the Anamgol author talks only about his truth but not Jesus' truth.
19th-Jul-2006 12:05 am (UTC) - Re: Excerpt from the Anamgol UBF Sunday message
UBF has extreme problems with the concept of truth. One prominent example is how Samuel Lee faked the picture of the MSU conference and added a 3rd balcony to it. But his written letters and lectures are full of that spirit. He always told his own version of UBF history and world history, not being worried about the problem that it is not the truth, but only what he wants others to believe.

UBF version of truth seems to be very subjective. Just take a look at what the Anamgol UBF author says about truth:

It is very important for us to ask “what does truth have to do with me?” as the English major student did in the episode of Pastor Kim’s life. Truth must have something to do with my life. It must be truly worthwhile to me, satisfying to me and true fruit to me. It must become the motivation for my life, joy and purpose. It must hold the absolute value that is truly worth my life.

He says that it must be truly worthwhile to me, satisfying to me and true fruit to me. So what if it doesn't? Then it is not truth? He also says that it must become the motivation for my life, joy and purpose; it must hold the absolute value that is truly worth my life. So what if it doesn't? It is not truth? I was having hard time to follow his logic when translating his message. I still don't understand what kind of truth he has in mind.

I guess Samuel Lee doctored the picture maybe because it was truly worthwhile to him, satisfying to him and true fruit to him. Maybe he did it because it was the motivation for his life, joy and purpose. I think it didn't matter to him whether the auditorium was two story or three story building. All that mattered to him was that it was worthwhile to him, satisfying to him and true fruit to him when he turned the two story auditorium into three story building by doctoring the picture. And we see the same reasoning in the Anamgol message. So what is truth in UBF? Maybe whatever is good for UBF business, which seems to be the absolute value in UBF.
18th-Jul-2006 05:14 am (UTC) - I. Some comments on my English translation
I. Some comments on my English translation

The translation of the Anamgol message was not easy. First it was because the content of the message was not clear. The author uses many words and phrases that sound so appealing but are very ambigous in meaning. Second because it was very difficult to follow the logical flow the message.

For example, the author says in the beginning of the excerpt that “많은 사람들이 진리를 구도의 문제로 생각합니다.” I translated it as “Some people think that they can find truth by Zen meditation and practicing ascetic life style as Buddhist monks do.” ‘진리’ is translated in English as ‘truth’. 구도 is translated as ‘seeking after truth’. So if I try to translate the sentence “많은 사람들이 진리를 구도의 문제로 생각합니다” in English according to these dictionary meanings, it becomes something like “A lot of people think that truth is a matter of seeking after truth” which of course didn't make sense to me.

Then I found out that in Korea 구도 is used to describe the way of seeking after truth by Buddhists monks. Buddhist monks practice ascetic life style to discover truth. In fact Buddha himself did the same and it is said that Buddha finally discovered truth through deep meditation under a tree after carrying out very strict ascetic life style. Buddhist monks hit their body with bamboo stick; they throw themselves in a lake in a very cold winter; some of them walk on burning char-coal bed; some walk on their bare feet a very long distance (like 25 miles?); they fast; they meditate etc.. They do all these to seek after truth and to become a Buddha. You can find all the information about them on the web. Anyway this is the reason I translated “많은 사람들이 진리를 구도의 문제로 생각합니다” in English as “Some people think that they can find truth by Zen meditation and practicing ascetic life style as Buddhist monks do.” Any comments are welcome on this translation.
18th-Jul-2006 05:50 am (UTC) - II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant
II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant and Critique of Pure Reason

1.

The author mentions Immanuel Kant and his book Critique of Pure Reason. The author says that Pastor Kim was quoting it from Critique of Pure Reason when he said “When this object called a desk in front of me agrees with my understanding of the desk, then we call it truth.” Now I have an English translation of Critique of Pure Reason. The copy I have is the first edition that came out in 1998.

In this copy, I don’t recall if Kant really used a desk example to explain truth. Kant surely mentions something about the definition of truth as agreement of object and our understanding of the object. It is called Correspondence Theory of Truth. But this theory had been in criculation even before Kant. Besides I don’t think that the main objective of Critique is about Correspondence Theory of Truth. It becomes clear to anyone who reads the following excerpt from the section VI of the introduction to the second edition of Critique. His main objective seems to be the investigation of the possibility of synthetic a priori knowledge in response to Hume’s claim that such an a priori preposition is entirely impossible.


=======
Exceprt from Critique (I did OCR on the book I have. I hope this is not illegal. If it is, I will quickly remove it from this website.)

VI.(pp146)
The general problem of pure reason.

...The real problem of pure reason is now contained in the question: How are synthetic judgments a priori possible?
That metaphysics has until now remained in such a vacillating state of uncertainty and contradictions is to be ascribed solely to the cause that no one has previously thought of this problem and perhaps even of the distinction between analytic and synthetic judgments. On the solution of this problem, or on a satisfactory proof that the possibility that it demands to have explained does not in fact exist at all, metaphysics now stands or falls. David Flume, who among all philosophers came closest to this problem, still did not conceive of it anywhere near determinately enough and in its universality, but rather stopped with the synthetic proposition of the connection of the effect with its cause (Principium causalitatis), believing himself to have brought out that such an a priori preposition is entirely impossible, and according to his inferences everything that we call metaphysics would come down to a mere delusion of an alleged insight of reason into that which has in fact merely been borrowed from experience and from habit has taken on the appearance of necessity; an assertion, destructive of all pure philosophy, on which he would never have fallen if he had had our problem in its generality before his eyes, since then he would have comprehended that according to his argument there could also be no pure mathematics, since this certainly contains synthetic a priori propositions, an assertion from which his sound understanding would surely have protected him.
18th-Jul-2006 09:43 pm (UTC) - II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant
II. Issues related to the author’s presentation of Kant and Critique of Pure Reason

2.

I think that what comes closet to what the Anamgol message talks about in regard to Pastor Kim’s quoting Kant and his book is found in Section III of The Transcendental Logic, the second part of The Transcendental Doctrine of Element. In this section Kant talks about the question: What is truth? He then says that “The nominal definition of truth, namely that it is the agreement of cognition with its object, is here granted and presupposed.” He says that the definition is “granted and presupposed”. He doesn’t go into the details to qualify this definition since it is not his main objective here.

In this section Kant talks about two types of criteria of truth: one is criterion of truth in regard to the agreement of cognition with its object; the other is criterion of truth in terms of the rules of logic. One can find these two criteria of truth in the following excerpt of Section III. Kant clearly states in Section III that “it is equally clear that a logic, so far as it expounds the general and necessary rules of understanding, must present criteria of truth in these very rules. For that which contradicts these is false, since the understanding thereby contradicts its general rules of thinking and thus contradicts itself.” He says that the logical criterion of truth is “the agreement of a cognition with the general and formal laws of understanding and reason”.

But the author of Anamgol UBF takes only one criterion of truth presented in Critique by Kant that is the agreement of cognition with its object. But that is not all that Kant considers in Section III. According to him, a cognition must agree with rules of logic to be true. Otherwise one might come to a false conclusion with cognitions that agree with their objects. For example, many Korean people say that an ear-ring attached to nose is a nose-ring. Even though it is true that the object is an ear-ring and that it is now attached to nose, one cannot say that it is true that the ear-ring is now a nose-ring unless one gives further qualification that the essence of an object is determined by where it is attached. But Kant also says that “For although a cognition may be in complete accord with logical form, i.e., not contradict itself, yet it can still always contradict the object.” So according to Kant both criteria of truth should be taken into consideration. However the author of Anamgol UBF doesn’t seem to understand what Kant says in his Critique of Pure Reason.


====================
Exceprt from Critique

III.(p197-199)
On the division of general logic into analytic and dialectic.

...The old and famous question with which the logicians were to be driven into a corner and brought to such a pass that they must either fall into a miserable circle” or else confess their ignorance, hence the vanity of their entire art, is this: What is truth? The nominal definition of truth, namely that it is the agreement of cognition with its object, is here granted and presupposed; but one demands to know what is the general and certain criterion of the truth of any cognition...

...But concerning the mere form of cognition (setting aside all content), it is equally clear that a logic, so far as it expounds the general and necessary rules of understanding, must present criteria of truth in these very rules. For that which contradicts these is false, since the understanding thereby contradicts its general rules of thinking and thus contradicts itself. But these criteria concern only the form of truth, i.e., of thinking in general, and are to that extent entirely correct but not sufficient. For although a cognition may be in complete accord with logical form, i.e., not contradict itself, yet it can still always contradict the object. The merely logical criterion of truth, namely the agreement of a cognition with the general and formal laws of understanding and reason, is therefore certainly the conditio sine qua non and thus the negative condition of all truth; further, however, logic cannot go, and the error that concerns not form but content cannot be discovered by any touchstone of logic...
19th-Jul-2006 02:42 pm (UTC) - passage here was not studied
I cannot write so logically like human12, but do have a few words to express here.

The Bible passage is dealing with several topics, including, truth, disciples, set free. I see several very disturbing subliminal ubf messages here. One of them is the way the student and the teacher set about in their pursuit of truth. The student sounds very dark and nihilistic, basically saying that if the teacher can't answer his particular question the way he likes, then the class should be disbanded. The teacher's response is equally nihilistic, "It also meant that he did not have any meaning in his existence as a teacher." ubf is saying his only possible response was to drop out of teaching, sell ice cream and trinkets, and live without meaning or direction. This is classic ubf.

Also, the ubfin has de-emphasized what normal Christians would emphasize here, and that is how to have eternal life in Jesus Christ. A genuine Christian would only emphasize the points that Jesus as the truth is radically different from other views about what is the truth, and most people couldn't care less about what Kant thought of as the truth. Most people now think truth is whatever they want it to be (relativism and subjectivism). But truth is actually found in Jesus, that he came from the Father and thru Him we have eternal life. This is the Bible message. Who cares what Kant says? I think ubf prefers to not think or talk about eternal life, they believe that the work of ubf is much more important than eternal life.

I think ubf is also emphasizing the student and teacher emotional problems because ubf believes that a Christian has to struggle to get to the truth as if it is the world's greatest secret, tho truth is pointed out so obviously in the Bible. A sort of Buddhist struggle to attain enlightenment is required for each person at ubf. Here the ubfin ignores any concerns about salvation and eternal life, which does not require a struggle for enlightenment. ubf does not emphasize or confirm anyone's salvation. In contrast ubf is constantly emphasizing their works, both real and imagined. At ubf not enough work means going to hell, but only for the followers, not the leaders. ubf struggling is that of the flesh and not of the spirit.

It is kind of funny, but the ubfin mentions the guy entered the seminary, which is weird because ubf hates seminaries and does not allow anyone to attend and become normal.

Also, ubfin violated the most basic rule of Bible study by destroying the context of the passage. There is no attempt to discuss Jesus' words in the context of his time, and then our time. Bible passages have more than one context, but all context has been violated here. For example, the historical context. There should be some talk about this teaching within the Jewish historical teaching about truth, to the original audience in their own setting. However, the ubfin has nothing to say here. To our astonishment, the ubfin jumps to a scene in recent Korea, and introduces Kant, who is couldn't be more totally out of context.

Proper Bible study methods are not employed at ubf. This message is pure garbage.
19th-Jul-2006 11:08 pm (UTC) - Re: passage here was not studied
VI. Concluding Remarks

Thank you Nick. You seemed to have mentioned all the points I was going to talk about in my VI. Concluding Remarks. Although I might have used different words and mode of discussion if I had to write my concluding remarks, I am happy that someone else has already showed in a better way all the problems of the Anamgol UBF message that I was going to do in my concluding remarks. So with your permission, Nick, I want to use your argument as my concluding remarks.
20th-Jul-2006 01:39 pm (UTC) - please
Dear human12,

Please, we anxiously await your concluding remarks and deep commnetary.
20th-Jul-2006 08:43 pm (UTC) - Re: please
As I stated in the previous post, I do not have anything further to raise as an issue other than what you have already talked about in your post. But if I were to say something, I would talk only about the student’s question and the Anamgol author’s attitude about the question.

The Anamgol author seems to be very sympathetic with the student. But what is very ambiguous to me is this: Does he sympathize with the student himself or does he sympathize with his question and his request to end the lecture?

As you also mentioned about the student’s question, the question sounds very weird. I mean, what kind of question is that? Does he even know what he is asking? The student’s position, as the Anamgol author understands to be the most important part of the question, is: “What does its being truth have to do with me?” I think it is very important for an insurance agent who handles an insurance claim that what is claimed must agree with what has actually happened. Otherwise, it becomes a false claim. But then the student would ask: “So what? What does it have to do with me?” It is important at least to me because too many false claims will raise my premium in the long run. So I would prefer an insurance company that has very good policy against false claims.

The student would ask again: “But is this something that I should die for?” Since I think nobody can answer this question in a reasonabe way, let’s try to answer it in the following way. I want to borrow Kant’s idea from his another book Critique of Practical Reason in roder to vindicate him a little.

What is going to happen if nobody cares about whether an insurance claim is false or not? Let’s say the insurance agent is too tired to investigate the accident. So he just take the claim as it is and processes it thinking that just one time would not make big deal. Now suppose that every insurance agent in Korea does the same. What is going to happen? Suppose nobody cares about whether recent economic statistics from the Korean government is false or not; nobody cares about whether the recent earnings reports from Korean companies are false or not; nobody cares about whether recent mission reports from the Korean churches are false or not. What is going to happen? It is easy to see that Korea as a nation will collapse quickly. Now the answer seems to be obvious to the the student’s question: “But is this something that I or the insurance agent should die for?”

What does the Anamgol UBF author sympathize with in the student’s question? Actually I still don’t know even after I spent sometime to translate his message. I feel that Pastor Kim, the student and the Anamgol UBF author are trying to “milk a billy-goat while holding a sieve underneath” according to Kant’s expression.

I think that what they are doing is deeply rooted in Korean culture in which truth is not absolutely upheld but authority and connection to authority prevail over truth. For example, an insurance agent hides something false about his home-town friend’s claim to cover for him in return for a favor from him later; if a business man such as Samsung CEO has a connection to government authority, he can get away with any false data on his company’s earning report; if a church leader such as Mark Yang is favored by a church authority like Samuel Lee, he can get away with his adultery. Church members do not care about whether Samuel Lee doctored a picture to make 2-story auditorium look like 3-story auditorium as long as they experience religious high through God’s grace and blessing during the conference.

Under this kind of cultural atmosphere, an autonomous individual who can exercise his independent judgment based on his clear conscience is ridiculed. Instead an individual who cab be easily put under the control of tribal authority and who is very manipulative in achieving practical benefits is praised as a successful person. So although there are namy reports about false teachings, unspiritual and unethical practices in UBF, once you are in UBF you cannot distinguish truth from falsehood since you are basically embedded into the mindset of this Korean culture.
20th-Jul-2006 11:45 pm (UTC) - Re: please
Oh, one more thing. I think the best part of the movie, A few good man was when the general cried out "You can't handle the truth! I am going back to my barrack." The movie makers portrayed in a very funny way how some people like Samuel Lee, John Jun, Mark Yang, Peter Chang, and the Anamgol UBF author distort the truth with their authority, which is called boolsheetting with authority.
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