Christianity

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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

Post by Immanuel Can »

Alexis Jacobi wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:07 pm For the Early Christians there was no *Christian philosophy*. In fact the religion was so new, so untried, so speculative in a sense, that it could not ever have become a part of the culture it came to unless the culture assimilated and adapted it.
The truth is more straightforward.

When Christianity first came into existence, it was already culturally situated. It was Jewish. It was a story of the Jewish Messiah coming to the Jewish people to fulfill all the promises and prophecies of the Torah and Tanakh, with specific reference to the latter. It was articulated in Aramaic, and couched in Mideastern idioms and expressions. It did not appear as a sort of "blank" or cultureless thing, ready to sponge up Greek culture; it had its own identity, culturally speaking.
When God gave commands to the Hebrews he did not offer options. It was not to be rationalized. It could not be objected to on ethical or moral grounds nor any intellectual ground. Commands had to be obeyed or the consequences would be dealt with. When a command was disobeyed, starting from that fateful apple, sin resulted. Sin is a result of disobedience. I don't think there can be any doubt about this.
That was precisely the Pharisaic understanding of things.

But you can see that Christ Himself took them sharply to task for their legalism -- whether it was their Sabbath prohibitions, their limited understanding of moral sins, their myopic view of God Himself, their trite understanding of history, or their imperious assumption of racial superiority. He took them on, on all these points.

For Jesus Christ, a command was never just a command. It was instead, a principle as well, a principle indicating that which is harmonious with the character of God Himself. And failure to understand or actualize a command could happen on terms much more broad than simply failing to follow the letter of it. We see this in his indicting of their view of enemies, of adultery, or of murder in the famous Sermon on the Mount, for example. Knowing HaShem was never about mere commandments, single axioms devoid of resonances and applications. It was always about total character and relationship.
Alexis Jacobi
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:44 pmIf I can remark without offense, it seems to me that for some reason you seem inextricably wedded to melding "Catholic" and "Christian." I can only surmise it must be for the convenience of holding to some thesis you find winsome...maybe your theory of "Christian" civilization. Maybe a (rather Modern) desire to remain "inclusive" at all costs. Maybe because that supposition is foundational to another you are at pains to hold. I don't know. But I think the facts, examined carefully, simply won't assist that thesis. And keeping the thesis will only be purchasable by the expedient of keeping the facts in very fuzzy focus.
Yet I think I have explained my reasoning. One aspect of it is that I do not, and don't feel that I reliably can, solely base my commitment on what I refer to as The Stories. When I say The Stories I mean the descriptions that are presented which, I must say, I have little choice but to understand as embellishments. So our own Willy recently ridiculed the 'He fed 5000 with some fish and a few loaves' story. Though I know the story, and though I know that it is part of the Narrative, I do not feel I have to depend on the story, or doubt about the story, when I consider what I call the larger picture. The larger picture is: what is being referred to.

The larger picture transcends the specific Story. And as I tried to point out the larger picture refers to the higher metaphysical truths. I tried to use the example (you shot it down definitively) of a Christian revelation on some other world. You shot it down because, of course, you could shoot it down (we have no evidence that there are other intelligent beings in this Universe). But the Idea is sound nonetheless. (And I do believe, and feel I must believe, there are other intelligent beings in our Universe).

What I take away from this is that in each aspect of the Story there is a 'truth' expressed. The truth either exists on its own and beyond the reference to the Story itself, or it does not. The story refers to a truth, but the story is not the truth. If the God we define is a God of all the Universe and of all worlds in it, and all possibilities, it is in that sense that I understand 'God'. I am sorry if the way I think about God is unconventional but, you know, you work with what you have!

I do meld Christianity with Catholicism, no doubt, because that is what Christianity really was for most of its history. Also, thinking about your objections, I referred myself to an influential book The Historic Reality of Christian Culture: A Way to the Renewal of Human Life by Christopher Dawson. The fact is that Dawson, effectively, answers so many of your objections. We have to look at a larger picture. See his chapter What Is A Christian Civilization?

Here is a sort of reflection on those ideas.

Your objections caused me to plow back through The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages Upon the Christian Church ... and now I will have to go back through Dawson again. I sense that you believe that I am defending those specific aspects of Catholic Doctrine. That is not so. I do not know how to believe in ascending Virgins and Virgin births.

Do you believe in a virgin birth? Do you believe in angels appearing before people and bringing messages? If you believe in those things, all other things are possible, that I assure you! 🙃
Alexis Jacobi
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Re: Christianity

Post by Alexis Jacobi »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:53 pm When Christianity first came into existence, it was already culturally situated. It was Jewish. It was a story of the Jewish Messiah coming to the Jewish people to fulfill all the promises and prophecies of the Torah and Tanakh, with specific reference to the latter. It was articulated in Aramaic, and couched in Mideastern idioms and expressions. It did not appear as a sort of "blank" or cultureless thing, ready to sponge up Greek culture; it had its own identity, culturally speaking.
According the the Story though all of that was soundly rejected. I mean, the culture of Judaism, for so many reasons, rejected all of it.

Things come, logically, in the colors of their surroundings. But the ideas transcend the colors.

This too we have been over some of this, at least somewhat. You are not of the supersessionism school. I definitely am. By the transfer, or the displacement (?) of the Christian message to the Gentile world, the Jewish world no longer had relevancy. And Indo-European culture took on these ideas and literally built a world with them, and built civilization.

And that Indo-European culture, those people, also reconfigured certain aspects of the idea and the doctrine. I referred to this when I mentioned The Germanization of Early Mediaeval Christianity. The book involves itself in another level of the transfer of the Christian ideal from the Greek world into the Northern European world.

Jewish culture is necessarily anti-Christian unless Christianity is denatured. And Jews who become Christian cease to be Jews. You cannot be a Jew and a Christian. And if a Jew becomes a Christian that Jew must pay attention to what Europeans did with these ideas and the doctrines. They do not *own* Christianity. (I am not fully sure how to express this and it could take me a bit more work).

I recognize that this is an area of tremendous contention. There is a coherent critique of Christian Zionism. And there is a very coherent critique of Christians who are Zionists. I have exposed myself to enough of it that, largely, I accept it.
Alexis Jacobi
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Re: Christianity

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Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:53 pm For Jesus Christ, a command was never just a command. It was instead, a principle as well, a principle indicating that which is harmonious with the character of God Himself.
Here you have expressed a notion that I agree with. Under the 'command', as it were, is a coherent idea. And if that idea is sound it applies, let me say, in this world and all worlds. That is, if we understand God to be a universal entity.

It actually harkens back to God himself, in my view, as the source of the principle. While I do understand the trinitarian notion of God also being equally present in the Son, I do not believe that there is really enough information to go on when it comes to Jesus Christ. Years ago I mentioned this to you in PM. You felt differently.

What I try to express here -- you have done nothing to convince me differently -- is that the Greeks and the Greek world took on the Ideas and translated the ideas into those elements through which a world, a civilization, could be built. In that sense they worked with the *principles* you refer to.

And I take this idea even further, as I have expressed.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

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Alexis Jacobi wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 9:53 pm The larger picture transcends the specific Story. And as I tried to point out the larger picture refers to the higher metaphysical truths.
As an explanation, though, that one comes up a little dusty.

Take the feeding of the 5,000...let's suppose we treat it as a metaphor. Let's then ask, what is the metaphorical meaning? What are these particular "truths" of which you speak? What could they even plausibly be?

Well, I can help a bit with that: Christians have made the following kinds of applications to that story: that Christ is the Messiah, that God is capable of providing, that God hears prayer, that God can do more than you think He can with less than you think He needs...and so on. There are probably more, but I think we can regard those as representative.

So then, how does any of that metaphorization take us even one step toward what Catholicism has done? How does that justify syncretism with Rome, or the Inquisition, or the Reichskonkordat, or the Rat Lines, or the Deification of Mary, or Indulgences, or the promotion of salvation by works, or saints and prayers for the dead, or rosary beads, or the Papacy...or any of that? In other words, how does making metaphor of the life of Christ help justify anything at all that Catholicism has done? Help me out here, if you think there's a miracle in the New Testament the metaphorical meaning of which will explain.

But is it not obvious that when we try to glue the pieces together, that kind of explanation just doesn't stick? It doesn't help make any case.
I tried to use the example (you shot it down definitively) of a Christian revelation on some other world.

Well, it, too, didn't make any case. That was the problem. From mere speculation, one cannot derive a conclusion. So that's a logical problem, not an ideological one.
I do not know how to believe in ascending Virgins and Virgin births.
Well,for the latter, you have Torah (See Isaiah 7:14) and the New Testament. For the former, there is absolutely nothing. The Papacy just unilaterally declared as fact something the Bible flatly denies, and something that was unknown in any theology until 1950. So I'd say the cases are quite different.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

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Alexis Jacobi wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:14 pm
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:53 pm When Christianity first came into existence, it was already culturally situated. It was Jewish. It was a story of the Jewish Messiah coming to the Jewish people to fulfill all the promises and prophecies of the Torah and Tanakh, with specific reference to the latter. It was articulated in Aramaic, and couched in Mideastern idioms and expressions. It did not appear as a sort of "blank" or cultureless thing, ready to sponge up Greek culture; it had its own identity, culturally speaking.
According the the Story though all of that was soundly rejected. I mean, the culture of Judaism, for so many reasons, rejected all of it.
Modern Judaism has rejected Messiah and everything that goes along with Him, it's true. But that does not somehow purge the Jewishness from the Bible. The Torah and the Tanahk are as Jewish as they ever were. The Messiah is the Jewish king. Every one of the original disciples and the apostles were also Jews. Paul was a Pharisee taught by Gamaliel, as a matter of fact.

So many Jews today may not like the New Testament...that doesn't at all make it a less-Jewish document. The facts remain the facts.
You are not of the supersessionism school. I definitely am.
Oh, that's too bad. That "school" has done a lot of evil. Without that theology, the Reichskonkordat would not have been possible, and many more Jews might have been spared the Holocaust.
Jewish culture is necessarily anti-Christian

No, not "necessarily." Only until "they mourn for Him whom they pierced," (Zechariah 12:10), as the prophets have foretold. And that, I expect, will be soon.
You cannot be a Jew and a Christian.
There are Christian Jews. The larger community tries to deny them any existence, but they exist. In fact, I would argue that to be a real Jew, you need to love Messiah. That is why Christian Jews sometimes also refer to themselves as "Completed Jews."

I've learned so very much about my faith from Jewish people. I can't tell you. As a group, they've proved to be very diligent Bilbical scholars...to a certain point, of course, but wonderfully so. Scholars like (Jewish-Christian) Alfred Edersheim, or Martin Buber (Jewish-Existentialist), or Abraham Heschel (Orthodox Jew) and others have been amazing. Some of the deepest insights about being a Christian I've ever gotten I've gotten from Jews. A lot of people could tell you the same.

So not only do I think you can be a Jew and a Christian, I think it's a great double. You get immersion in OT culture, plus Messiah and the NT. Nothing could be better, surely.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

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Alexis Jacobi wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 10:21 pm What I try to express here -- you have done nothing to convince me differently -- is that the Greeks and the Greek world took on the Ideas and translated the ideas into those elements through which a world, a civilization, could be built.
Yes, I understand. It was called "Catholic Europe." And if it's an idea you like, I guess it's an idea you like. I'm not as fond of it.
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Re: Christianity

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Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 11:15 pmTake the feeding of the 5,000...let's suppose we treat it as a metaphor.
The other alternative is simply not to treat it, and not to focus on it, because in fact it does not have a tremendous relevancy to much that pertains to us. Some see those sorts of stories, as you well know, as being within the Miracle Tradition. On the other side of things, such stories were always -- always! -- seen as having allegorical sense.

I have no idea how to finally adjudicate that story. I assume that your strategy is to take it at face value: there were a limited number of fish and loaves. The quantity was increased by magical-divine command, and a multitude were fed. (I always wondered how, or when, the fish were cooked) Because that would have involved another miracle. Enough combustable material in that area and 1000-2000 campfires).
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Christianity

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Alexis Jacobi wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:14 am The other alternative is simply not to treat it,
Okay, let's do that, then.

We'll simply ignore all the "story" stuff, and all the miracles. We'll stick with just the teaching of Christ, such as the Sermon on the Mount, or whatever you like.

Can you point to any part of Christ's teaching that gets us closer to excusing the excesses of Catholicism? Can you point out to me Purgatory, or a Deified Mary, or Indulgences? Can you show me where the teachings of Jesus warrant the Reichskonkordat or the Inquisition or the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre? Can you show me the papacy, the college of cardinals or the celebate priesthood? Can you show me where Christ tells us to Helenize his teachings? Any of that?

And if you can't...any of it...from metaphorizing the miracles, or allegorizing the stories, or interpreting the teaching...then what business have we calling what Catholicism has done "Christian"? :shock:
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Re: Christianity

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Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 11:15 pm So then, how does any of that metaphorization take us even one step toward what Catholicism has done? How does that justify syncretism with Rome, or the Inquisition, or the Reichskonkordat, or the Rat Lines, or the Deification of Mary, or Indulgences, or the promotion of salvation by works, or saints and prayers for the dead, or rosary beads, or the Papacy...or any of that? In other words, how does making metaphor of the life of Christ help justify anything at all that Catholicism has done? Help me out here, if you think there's a miracle in the New Testament the metaphorical meaning of which will explain.
Catholicism has *done* all sorts of things, and many of them do not appear on your List of Horrors. So I would suggest taking the sort of perspective that Christopher Dawson takes and offers to us.

Yet do not be mistaken: I fully grasp your anti-Catholic stance and I do not ask you to modify it. As I have said that stance is melded with certain Protestant traditions. Indeed it is one part of the *engine* of Protestantism.

I do not know if 'justify' is the term I would seek.

Oddly, all who ascend to heaven, if I have it right, becomes Sons (and Daughter? of God. To enter heaven is a sort of divinization, is it not? The role of Mary in the manifestation of Jesus, in the process of Incarnation, is given emphasis, and is in accord with a coherent logic. The vehicle through which the Savior came also has relevance. Mary's status has to do, logically, with her role. But I would not deny that her femininity became in an obvious sense a way for impulses toward the feminine-divine to be allowed to be expressed. There is the syncretism you mention. It definitely had a function in empowering women in Western culture. Some resent that empowerment (seeing it more as servitude) but on the whole it really had a powerful role within Occidental culture.

I am pretty sure that you are moving in the direction of associating Catholicism with Nazism -- am I right? (I am clutching my rosary beads and hoping, praying that this is not so). 😁 Everyone empowered Nazism, and many praised it in its early days. When looked at more closely the entire situation becomes intensely convoluted.

Note that the cult of the Saints also has a definite *logic* within the system. If the Saints are in Heaven and outside of time & space, then communication is possible between the denizens of the Earth, no? If not, why not?

What do you have to say about the Christian notion of a 'guardian angel'? May I also say that you have not to my knowledge made a definite statement about any of the more outrageous Christian beliefs. Do you believe that angels are real? Do you believe that angels operate in our world? Do you believe that Elijah ascended to Heaven in a whirlwind?
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:19 pm
Age wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 5:36 am Let us PLAY like this.
Let's not.
GREAT. Especially considering that the GAME you STARTED here, and which you were PLAYING, was, what you would call "A VERY CHILDISH GAME", I find it BEST to NOT PLAY YOUR GAME, also.
Immanuel Can wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:19 pmI've said what I've said. You can listen or not, as you please. Nobody can make you.
I have said what I have said also, (and OBVIOUSLY). You can listen or not, (and you OBVIOUSLY have NOT). And, NO one can make you LISTEN, nor HEAR what has been SAID and POINTED OUT here.

One of which I have SAID and POINTED OUT is that you have CLAIMED that you could so easily prove my replies wrong, and so easily contest what I write. Yet, you have FAILED ABSOLUTELY in doing any such thing, ONCE AGAIN.

In fact you have FAILED EVERY time you have ATTEMPTED to do so, and this is probably the very reason WHY you will NOT even ATTEMPT to try AGAIN.

See, making CLAIMS like you have here, and NOT actually doing ANY thing, is just like the bully TELLING the "other", "I can beat you up in a fight", but when you are CHALLENGED to PROVE your CLAIM is true, you run away and hide like the LITTLE COWARD.

And, by the way, NONE of DISTRACTING TACTICS have worked so far.

But please feel FREE to carry on as you have been and are.

What is becoming even MORE OBVIOUS now is that the INTERPRETATION of "christianity" that just about ALL of these people, in the days of when this was being written, was based on absolutely NOTHING of ANY substance. As every time these so-called "christians" are CHALLENGED on their FAITH and BELIEFS, by me, they CRUMBLE to PIECES.

What they STILL had NOT YET realized, in those days, is that the ACTUAL 'foundations' that they build their BELIEFS and FAITH upon is ABSOLUTELY ROCK SOLID, but it is their OWN INTERPRETATIONS that are build on ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL.

Which has ALREADY BEEN PROVED ABSOLUTELY and IRREFUTABLY True. They WERE just NOT YET READY to become OPEN to these PROOFS and Truths.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Dontaskme wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 2:31 pm
Age wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 7:02 am I neither BELIEVE nor DISBELIEVE ANY 'thing'.
Image
If you ever STOP, to INQUIRE, and STOP BELIEVING or DISBELIEVING, only then you CAN learn more, and become WISER, as well.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

henry quirk wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:17 pm THE Fact that you CLAIM a person is 'self-possessed' BUT 'you' can STILL SHOOT people DEAD when you so CHOOSE TO.

there's no contradiction here: theft (of a car or a life) is takin' that which is not your own
YES. SHOOTING one DEAD is, as you put it, 'theft of a life', and thus taking 'that', which is NOT 'your own'.

Can you STILL REALLY NOT SEE 'this' YET?
henry quirk wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:17 pm if you kill me without just cause, you steal from me (literally, you steal me)
BUT, when "henry quirk", KILLS "another" it is (laughably) ALWAYS with 'just cause', correct?

And this is NOT even taking into consideration ALL of the animals you have, literally, STOLE FROM, as well.
henry quirk wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:17 pm ownership implies the possibility of theft

no contradiction (and no facts, still, from you)
LOL
LOL
LOL

Because of your OBVIOUS Dishonesty here you will NEVER SEE what WE BLATANTLY CAN.

By the way you are NOT even addressing thee ACTUAL POINTS that I am MAKING here.

And, the REASON for this is if you DID, then you would HAVE TO ACCEPT thee Truth of 'things' here.

And, saying; "no facts, still, from you", ONCE AGAIN, just SHOWS you have completely IGNORED ALL of what I WROTE, and which AGAIN, PROVES my CLAIM:

You do NOT like to ACCEPT the Facts that I SHOW and PROVIDE here.

You do NOT like to ACCEPT them that much you COMPLETELY IGNORE, and then make the MOST RIDICULOUS CLAIM of ALL that I have NOT provided ANY facts and all, and NEVER will.

The adult human beings, in that day and age, were, literally, so FULL of "themselves" and their OWN BELIEFS, that they would, literally, BELIEVE that what they wrote and said was ABSOLUTELY and IRREFUTABLY TRUE even when there was ACTUAL PROOF SHOWING OTHERWISE.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Lacewing wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:49 pm
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pm "Fool's gold exists because there is real gold." –Rumi
Might Christianity be 'fool's gold'?
If yes, then what would be 'real christianity'?

LOOK, when, and IF, 'you', human beings, EVER get around to discussing and coming to AN AGREEMENT on; 'What is 'chiristianity' EXACTLY?', then 'you' WILL get somewhere. Until then, you will remain STUCK, exactly, where you are now.
Lacewing wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:49 pm
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pmSomething in the depth of the inner man senses a the deep truth of Christianity.
Are you trying to apply this as a Universe truth about the 'inner man' of everyone? That would be false.
WHY EXACTLY would that be false?

Or, is EVERY so-called "man" just supposed to ACCEPT that "this is false", because the one known as "lacewing" here SAY SO?
Lacewing wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:49 pm
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pmYet something within the shallowness of the egoistic personality
Such as what you demonstrate with your false pronouncements? :wink:
But you to "lacewing' just made a 'false pronouncement', correct?
Lacewing wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:49 pm
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pmAnyone capable of going beyond blind belief or blind denial is presented with the problem "how to begin."
What beginning do you suggest, and what do you imagine we will see beyond this blindness you refer to?
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pmWhat is square one for the seeker of truth
Do you imagine you know?
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pmessential to experience what the soul needs to experience "meaning"
How do you know there's a soul and that it needs something? Perhaps there is one creative force that is simply exploring potential.
Nick_A wrote: Thu Jan 20, 2022 10:51 pmand who has the need and the courage to face it?
Are you imagining the way you have faced the story you believe in?

It seems that you are compelled to imagine your story as an epic battle that involves everyone. Perhaps this reflects quite clearly (thank you) the drive of Christianity. The greatest story ever told: an epic battle over a man's 'soul'.
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Re: Christianity

Post by Age »

Lacewing wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 4:28 pm
Alexis Jacobi to Dubious wrote: Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:19 pm my developing understanding about what happens to *us* when we disconnect, and I do mean this literally, from a connection to the Divine.
How do you know what the 'divine' is or should be for everyone, such that you know they are disconnected from it?
The SAME WAY you say EVERY one SHOULD BE.
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