Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What in the World?

I've been ill. I've been busy. Or perhaps my views have become more and more pedestrian until I have come to doubt that the reading public would be interested.

But what if I said that Satan had been cast into the lake of fire, oh, about a thousand years ago?

Or that monarchy is the preferred form of government?

Or that Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is a woefully incomplete work of fiction?

Or that people do not have inalienable rights?

Or that the Future does not exist?

Or that the people of Israel spent only 215 years in the land of Egypt?

Or that the snake in the garden was only a snake in the garden?

Or that Roman Catholicism is not Christian?

Or that I speak to the winds?

Or that God changes His mind sometimes?

Or that sex is a metaphor and a different metaphor for men and women?

Or that vitamins are a fraud?

Or that the metric system is of the Pit?

(And I won't even mention what I think of soccer.)

I'm just sayin', "what if".

16 comments:

Matthew N. Petersen said...

The Lord of the Rings is a woefully incomplete work of fiction? Haven't you read An Experiment in Criticism didn't Lewis teach you not to make such statements? You don't like it. But if just one person likes it correctly, you should reevaluate your judgement. Or perhaps you merely give lip-service to Lewis.

The snake was only a snake? What was St. Paul alluding to at the end of Romans? "God will soon bruise Satan under your heel." Was the apostle confused about the serpent's identity?

Roman Catholicism is not Christian? Of course the Pope agrees with you. But, you probably mean Roman Catholics aren't Christian, or the Catholic Church denies Christ? But they trust Christ. They hold the faith handed down. They are baptized. (Or was St. Paul confused, not one lord, not one faith, not one baptism?) And they eat the Bread. Does this not make them one Bread and One Body?

You speak to the winds, Catholics and Orthodox, and Anglicans, and Lutherans pray to the saints. I suppose the second is more reasonable as we at least know they are alive with Christ. But if you want to pray to Aeolus, I suppose perhaps its possible.

Into what does God change his mind? Where was that thing he changes it into before he changes it? Did it exist somewhere else? Or does God create part of himself? If so, how is it God? Or since "change one's mind" really means "change one's will" if God's will is part of the created part of God, what chooses to change his will? Is he compelled?

I suppose you have expertise in heath sufficient to have any sort of an opinion on vitamins? Or are you just a crusty old gentleman, believing many things, but not based on entirely reasonable justifications.

Brian said...

How dare you say such things about the metric system!

Michal said...

I think I have heard you say this stuff before.

Wolfgang Foxglove said...

Yeah, same here, save for the wind thing. Do they have an anthropomorhic quality, or do you just reguire a discursive companion capable of equaling your bluster?

Bom

The Anti-Darwin said...

The decimal numbering system was suggested in 1585. The origins of the metric system occurred in 1670, and the earnest development of the metric system took place in 1790. If Satan was cast into the lake of fire about a thousand years ago, then how could it be that the metric system is of the Pit?

The Oracle said...

Whoo Hoo! Attention, at last!
Matt, No one likes Tolkien correctly.
What makes you think that Paul was speaking of the serpent in the garden? When he does in II Corinthians 11:3, he calls it a serpent.
"But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ."
This even though later in the passage (v.14) Satan's disguises are a topic.
"And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."
Call me suspicious but I wonder why you put the word "heel" when every translation I looked at said "feet"? Did you want to make it look more like the curse on the serpent in Genesis?
The RC church is not Christan because it does not believe the Gospel. You evidence that error in what you suggest makes them "christian".
I speak to wind, I don't pray to it.
He changes His intentions and His plans.
Re. vitamins, I am just a cynic and suspect mankind of being as foolish today as when they believed in "elixirs". Watch commercials. Didn't the American Journal of Medicine, desiring to vindicate me in my lack of expertise, publish just two weeks ago a huge study showing that vitamins, far from helping you, actually killed you quicker. BooYa!

Matthew N. Petersen said...

I used heel because I was quoting it from memory. It still seems obvious to me that it is alluding to Genesis, but not so obvious that it could work as a proof.

You evidence that error in what you suggest makes them "christian".

“There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” I practically quoted these two verses; does St. Paul make the same error? Or was St. Paul using deceptive language? Everyone in his day kept returning to a fleshly religion. Does he not know that never once distinguishing between internal and external baptism, but everywhere talking about baptism would be deceptive? Can they be blamed for believing he meant baptism when he said “baptism”?

Or is he deceptive here? “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

Or was St. Peter’s presentation of the gospel evidencing that same error? “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Uh St. Peter, baptism isn’t really for the remission of sins. And to claim it is is to deny the gospel.

How does God planning this become God not planning this? Either “planning this” is a way of describing God Himself, in which case for God to change from “planning this” to “not planning this” is for there to be a new God. Or “planning this” is uncreated and ontologically equal with God. Plato didn’t have trouble saying adjectives could be nouns, maybe you don’t either. Does God then search out which of the Adjectives he will acquire today? Or “planning this” is less than God. But then God Himself remains unchanged behind all these created accidents that he slaps onto himself from time to time.

The Oracle said...

Matt,
Rather than lengthy comment vs. lengthy comment I will just ask you this. What is wrong with your claim? Where would someone who disagreed with you point to draw attention to your error? I see it but it is more critical that you do. Here, let me help. Is there anything, anywhere in Scripture that suggests that salvation is obtainable baptism free?
Also, don't claim the early apostacy of the churches as the ground of your authority. "Well, they denied the gospel of Christ so fast, I have to be impressed! And they have beards, long ones!" Show some wisdom. "One body, one baptism" does not belong to the Roman apostates because they said "dibs" and you much later remind me that they said "dibs". Not much of an argument for Pauline meaning.

Wolfgang Foxglove said...

I like Gladstone's stab at the Roman Church: "They disguise their arbitrary tyranny with the stench of a cloud of incense."

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Jesus said "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit." Catholics have been baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Where else do we learn what baptism is? Nowhere is the internal vs external distinction made with respect to Baptism. It is made several times with respect to circumcision, but never baptism. So when St. Peter says "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." I believe he means "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins." This either means that baptism is for the remission of sins, or that baptism and repentance are together for the remission of sins. Either way...

Likewise when St. Paul says "One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism." Catholics confess Christ. Catholics believe that Jesus was crucified for us according to the Scriptures and raised again on the third day for our justification. This is what St. Paul says the gospel is. And they have been baptized in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. This is all Scripture anywhere defines baptism as!

Likewise when St. Paul says "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” I believe he is refering to the only type of baptism explained in Scripture, that is water baptism in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Likewise the other verses. When St. Paul or St. Peter or St. John says baptism, they mean baptism. No where in the scriptures is there any other type of baptism distinguished.

Similarly, when Christ says "This is my Body broken for you..." I believe Him. The thing he was holding was His body. He claimed it was! When St. Paul says we are one bread and one body because we partake of one bread, I believe him. We are the Body of Christ because we eat the Body of Christ. This is almost word for word what St. Paul says.

Why is this not a denial of the gospel? Because it is not my eating that saves, but Christ feeding. I, unlike Macbeth, do not baptize myself. Christ baptized me. Christ washed me. Therefore I am clean. But the physical Christ washed me with physical water. Christ gives me his body, and so I am healed and transformed into Him. But the Physical Christ gives physical me Physical Food.

I am not sure what your point is. Yes salvation can be obtained aside from baptism. Even St. Thomas says this. Perhaps there is a not missing from your statement. Or perhaps your argument is "baptism does not save because Christ can use other methods." This is like saying "Matt does not bike to school because he has driven."

Sorry if this is a bit long.

The Oracle said...

Matt says "No where in the scriptures is there any other type of baptism distinguished."

St. Matt quoting John the Baptist says "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

Matt also says "Similarly, when Christ says "This is my Body broken for you..." I believe Him. The thing he was holding was His body. He claimed it was!"

You miss what Christ teaches similarly mystified disciples who think that it is the surface of words he uses.

John 6 says "The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you;he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever." This he said in the synagogue, as he taught at Caper'na-um. Many of his disciples, when they heard it, said, "This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?" But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at it, said to them, "Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of man ascending where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."

Spirit=life, flesh= diddly.
If I may put words in your mouth, you would say, "No, no, Jesus, you said it was your flesh!"
Jesus would say, "Matt, I meant spiritual things with those words. Catch a clue."

In this case Christ makes it clear that you cannot be saved without this "eating". Your hermeneutic seems to labor on making allegory where there is none and massively missing the allegories you are told to acknowledge. If your physical rituals are of what Christ spoke than there is no salvation apart from the ritual and St. Paul errs when he says in Romans 10:8-10 "But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved."

Or St. John himself saying in chapter 1:12-13 "But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."

And not to be too obvious John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

This is the New Covenant. Learn it. You are not saved by faith plus your ritual magics. You are saved by grace through faith.
Not to extend the smack down too much further I merely draw your attention to Acts 10:44-47 "While Peter was still saying this, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word. And the believers from among the circumcised who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared,
"Can any one forbid water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?"

Cornelius was saved by that baptism you were unaware of and baptized with water because the true baptism was already present.

And in Acts 11 when St. Peter reports this event to the doubters in Jerusalem he says, (v.15-18)"As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, `John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?" When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life."

It was the Holy Spirit baptism prophesied by John, common with that of the Apostles which they received when they had faith and it was repentance unto life.

Quoting the Christ,
"You neither know the Scriptures nor the power of God."

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Two points.

"Spirit=life, flesh= diddly."
This is docetism. Perhaps the Church became apostate when it rejected docetism, but I would guess even you reject docetism.

Again, Hebrews says a necessary part of our salvation is that the man Christ is our priest. We have a flesh and blood advocate on high. If flesh is diddly, this is unimportant. Therefore flesh is not diddly.

If Jesus Christ did not come in the flesh then my hope is in vain. Evidently flesh counts. Moreover, man is a physical being. If our bodies are not saved, men are not saved.

Second, I did not say we are saved by ritual. I said we are saved by the actions of Christ. But Christ is a physical man. Welcome to the New Covenant. Physical men have physical actions. We of course are not saved by empty ritual devoid of Christ, but we, physical beings, are saved by the physical actions of the physical man Christ. Unless of course we should embrace your docetism.

I'm not sure what your point with the verses is. No Christian ever denies those verses. But you deny that "This is my body." You deny that "We are one bread and one body because we partake of this one bread." You deny that "The bread which we break is a participation in Christ." You deny that "we are burried with Christ in baptism." You deny that we are "baptized into Christ's death." You deny that "baptism is for the remission of sins." Believing faith believs the words Christ speaks, and does not reject the gifts Christ gives.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Believing faith seeks Christ out. When people came to Christ to be healed, he said "your faith has made you whole." But they acted. They sought out the physical man Jesus Christ. They sought to touch his garment. They sought to be near him. Likewise when I want salvation for my sins, I seek out they physical Christ. This is not a lack of faith, but faith itself. Otherwise Christ would have repremanded those who came to him for their lack of faith.

Do you ever hug your wife? Your children? Or do they know that the flesh is diddly? Of course this is ridiculous. You are a physical being, they are physical beings. You communicate your love physically. Likewise the physical Christ physically communicates his love to physical people. To deny this is docetism.

The Oracle said...

Oh.

Matthew N. Petersen said...

Evan, if flesh equals diddly, the blood of Christ equals diddly and is thus of no avail.

The new covenant you would have me accept is not the New Covenant in Christ's Blood.

jason and liz said...

Ho Hum