What to do with an atoning/non atoning Jesus?

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Comments

  • Do you think Paul thought that Jesus was fulfilling Isaiah 53?
    Given that he quotes Isaiah 53:1 in Romans 10, I think he did see in the reconciling work of Christ at least echos of Isaiah 53, along with various other images of the OT (such as “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us”). That is to say, he at least saw parallels. Whether he saw it as fulfillment in the sense of one-to-one equivalence of prediction and outcome, or whether he saw these OT passages more in a prefiguring sense, like his “new Adam” imagery, is more up in the air for me.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host, Epiphanies Host
    I guess it is worth adding that the four foundational Pauline letters - and there is very little dispute that they came from the same mind and hand - were all penned before the first written gospel.

    So - if those letters give any sort of clue to a powerful mindset in the very early (mid first century) Christian church, it seems clear that it identified both with the notion that his death was sacrificial in some way for us and his resurrection was in some way central to faith.

    Worked out atonement theories were for the future. Whether one talks about Christus Victor, or substitution (with or without a P), or satisfaction, or ransom etc is secondary to the fact that the church was shaped by the crucifixion and resurrection events.

    None of which takes anything away from the radical rabbinical teachings of Jesus on issues of justice for the poor and marginalised, the centrality of unselfish love, of God and others, as a guide to both personal morality and establishing justice.

    But you can't detach the rabbinical Jesus from the sacrificial and victorious Jesus in seeking to understand the faith of the 1st century church. It's clear from Paul's foundational letters of the mid 50s AD that both elements were there, in mutual support of one another.

    Yes but how? Yes but why? We'll, that's why we have all these theories and books and controversies and contrasting and opposing opinions! It's called doing theology in support of the central Christian commitment to follow Jesus.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    I guess it is worth adding that the four foundational Pauline letters - and there is very little dispute that they came from the same mind and hand - were all penned before the first written gospel.

    So - if those letters give any sort of clue to a powerful mindset in the very early (mid first century) Christian church, it seems clear that it identified both with the notion that his death was sacrificial in some way for us and his resurrection was in some way central to faith.

    Worked out atonement theories were for the future. Whether one talks about Christus Victor, or substitution (with or without a P), or satisfaction, or ransom etc is secondary to the fact that the church was shaped by the crucifixion and resurrection events.

    None of which takes anything away from the radical rabbinical teachings of Jesus on issues of justice for the poor and marginalised, the centrality of unselfish love, of God and others, as a guide to both personal morality and establishing justice.

    But you can't detach the rabbinical Jesus from the sacrificial and victorious Jesus in seeking to understand the faith of the 1st century church. It's clear from Paul's foundational letters of the mid 50s AD that both elements were there, in mutual support of one another.

    Yes but how? Yes but why? We'll, that's why we have all these theories and books and controversies and contrasting and opposing opinions! It's called doing theology in support of the central Christian commitment to follow Jesus.

    Well worth the wait.
  • @Barnabas62
    @Martin54
    @Nick Tamen

    VERY well said, Barnabas! Thank you. And yes, Martin, I agree.

    Nick Tamen, I am not going to let you so easily off the hook. In the past you have at times pursued me rather closely; now I shall pursue you a bit.

    First,
    As you know, one of the most primitive creedal statements of Paul occurs at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul says that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures" -- and of course Paul means the Hebrew scriptures, for there were as yet no recognized Christian scriptures.

    Nick Tamen, in accordance with what scriptures? Please list all the Hebrew scriptures you can think of wherein someone dies to bring about the forgiveness of someone else's sins.

    I can think of only one. Isaiah 53, but will be glad to see your list.

    Second,
    How does Paul's statement about Jesus dying for our sins relate to Paul's astounding statement that God made Jesus "who knew no sin to be sin for us"? Is there no connection to Isaish 53 there?

    Third,
    How does it relate to Paul's astounding statement that Christ was made to be "a curse" for us. Is there no connection to Isaiah 53 there"
  • I do not like those statements. But then, I do not like the statement that punishment/chastisement was laid on the righteous servant of Isaiah 53.
  • While we are waiting for your answer, I say this.

    One of the things I have long intended to do here was to try to show how I think Yeshu of Nazareth may have come to be influenced by Isaiah 53. And yes, you are justified in questioning how/why I see Isaiah 53 as the background for Jesus' Gethsemane struggle.

    I think the answer to that -- how Jesus may have come to have been influenced by Isaiah 53 -- is one of the most beautiful things that I know of, and I was headed in the direction in the past, but did not get there. As a matter of fact, I would rather try to answer that question before I say what I think about Jesus' own thinking about his death, but I am not going to do that for two reasons, the main one being that it is complicated and I have promised soon to state what I think about Jesus' own "atonement" thinking -- and I am about to do that
  • I think this whole atonement issue breaks down roughly along these lines:

    There are numerous people in the world today who insist that no one can be a genuine Christian without believing that God placed all our sins on Jesus and made him suffer the punishment we deserve in order that we might receive forgiveness and salvation. But there are many others, including some who consider themselves to be progressive Christians – and even a few evangelicals – who strongly object to such an idea as crassly unworthy either of a divine being or of simple human decency and reasoning.

    Again I want to stress that I too have problems with it. But I am convinced that Jesus also had some kind of problem with it when in Gethsemane he asked not to have to drink from the dreadful cup of suffering and death.

    In those days, at that time, there was another man in Jerusalem who also found such thinking problematic – a young scholar studying there, a Pharisee from Tarsus in Cilicia who became upset when, soon after the crucifixion, Jesus’ followers began proclaiming him as the Messiah – the Messiah who had died and had been raised from an atoning death. Paul of Tarsus was so enraged by that proclamation that he began a violent persecution of the followers of Jesus, and even pursued some of them all the way to Damascus.

    Yet that same young man soon came to believe the very thing he found abhorrent, and later went so far as to state an amazing claim: That God had made his innocent Son Jesus ‘who knew no sin, to be sin’ for the sake of all the world, that all might freely receive God’s gracious gift of righteousness.

    Now, I can agree with anyone who finds no easy rational explanation for the idea that God would make Jesus ‘to be sin,’ or to be made a sacrifice or payment or ransom for sin, or to die in our place bearing our sins – all of which it seems to me the New Testament does emphasize. The early church fathers struggled to explain all that, and I think they failed, and so did all the other great Christian thinkers down through the centuries – Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and many others, right up into modern times, including recent feminist theologians. None of them, it seems to me, has fully succeeded in getting their minds around Jesus’ own understanding of his death. Nor, I think, can we.
  • Even the Apostle Paul in his day found the message of the cross difficult to explain. To the Greeks it didn’t make sense, he said, for it seemed to them like foolishness on the part of God, while to many Jews it seemed scandalous, like weakness on the part of God. But, Paul insisted, even the ‘foolishness’ of God is wiser than human wisdom and the ‘weakness’ of God, stronger than human strength.

    I must admit, the idea of a love so strong it makes itself seem foolish and weak – or even becomes foolish and weak for the sake of the world – that idea has a strong appeal to me. One reason for that, I suppose, is that I’ve always felt particularly drawn to Jesus as he appears in the Gospel of Mark – limited, human, neither all knowing nor all powerful, subordinated to the Father, uncertain about some things, sometimes surprised, sometimes even weak.

    I especially love him when I see him still trying, though unable, to help the people of Nazareth even after most of them have emphatically rejected him, or when in Q I hear him comparing himself to a mother hen who, at the risk of her own life, offers the safety of her protective wings to her endangered chicks. And I love him even more when I see him in Gethsemane, struggling with that core belief.

    I am no theologian. That should be clear to all. But if I were to have to subscribe to a theology, I suppose it might be some form of Kazoh Kitamori’s Theology of the Pain of God, combined with what I would call God’s Vulnerability: A Theology of God’s ‘Weakness’ – a theology wherein Jesus himself may have come to realize that the Father does not so much heap all sin onto his Son, as through the Son takes sin into himself, with all the resultant pain…

    As a mere historian, however, I find that all that I can do is hold to my conviction that the servant passages in Isaiah, regardless of what they may or may not have meant when first they were composed, and regardless of exactly how they were understood and interpreted by Jesus, must deeply have impressed on him the necessity of his death, resulting in his surprising servant attitude… And beyond that, I can say little.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    5 posts in a row = 4 TL/DR
  • :smile: Three were not TL.
  • Nick Tamen, I am not going to let you so easily off the hook. In the past you have at times pursued me rather closely; now I shall pursue you a bit.
    I've generally asked you questions that can be answered with a "yes" or "no" and a few sentences of explanation. If I have pursued you closely, it was because you seemed to be ignoring the questions.
    First,
    As you know, one of the most primitive creedal statements of Paul occurs at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul says that "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures" -- and of course Paul means the Hebrew scriptures, for there were as yet no recognized Christian scriptures.

    Nick Tamen, in accordance with what scriptures? Please list all the Hebrew scriptures you can think of wherein someone dies to bring about the forgiveness of someone else's sins.

    I can think of only one. Isaiah 53, but will be glad to see your list.
    We need the roll-eye emoji from the old Ship.

    You are not my teacher and I am not your student. I am not about to do homework that you assign me, especially when the assignment is something like "list all the Hebrew scriptures you can think of wherein someone dies to bring about the forgiveness of someone else's sins."

    So no, I'm not making a list of verses. I will invite you to consider the sacrificial system of the Torah—particularly sin offerings, guilt offerings and the korban pesach/paschal lamb—which I think Paul also has in mind, and all of which involve the shedding of innocent blood on behalf of others. And I will go ahead and cite one passage:
    For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement."
    Leviticus 17:11

    Granted, the paschal lamb does not have a direct sin connection in the Torah; rather, it has a connection with deliverance. But in Paul and the early church, we see the connection being made between delivery from the bondage of Egypt and delivery from the bondage of sin and death.
    Second,
    How does Paul's statement about Jesus dying for our sins relate to Paul's astounding statement that God made Jesus "who knew no sin to be sin for us"? Is there no connection to Isaiah 53 there?

    Third,
    How does it relate to Paul's astounding statement that Christ was made to be "a curse" for us. Is there no connection to Isaiah 53 there"
    Where did I say there was no connection? I said Paul did see connections with Isaiah 53. I just said that wasn't the only connection he saw, and I cited "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us" as an example of another connection he saw.

  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Jay Bee 2, I've been developing a parallel argument here for several years now. I admire Nick's deconstruction, but I don't buy it. The (Deutero) Isaiah school of C6th BCE Babylonian-Persian exile were remarkable men. But of their bloody, hard time. B62 is always a Godsend and has helped me today turn the aphelion of parallel years of existential despair in outer darkness, which you share I feel, how tight a turn I can't say. But I can put another penny on the poker table. Jesus had to sacrifice Himself to our helpless inadequacy - in His own - or we wouldn't know that God loves us.
  • @Nick Tamen
    I am not your teacher, and you are not mine, but you did ask me for specifics.

    I did not ask you to tell us just whether there's a connection between Paul and Isaiah 53, but whether there's a connection between "dying for our sins in accordance with the scriptures" and any scriptures other than Isaiah 53 where "someone" (a person, not a lamb or other animal) dies for someone else's sins, you refuse to give us any.

    I assume you know of none. I don't either.

    I did not ask you to tell us just whether there's a connection between Paul and Isaiah 53, but whether when Paul talked of Christ being made "to be sin," or being made a "curse," did he somehow have Isaiah 53 in mind? I think he did.
  • @Martin54
    I'm glad you feel you've been helped to make a meaningful turn. :smile:

    Did you mean to say,
    "Jesus had to sacrifice Himself to our helpless inadequacy - in His own [inadequacy] - or we wouldn't know that God loves us"[?]

    If that is what you meant, I find it intriguing, but don't quite see exactly how you mean it or where you discovered it in B63's comment.

  • Another way of trying to state my own admittedly poor and somewhat tenuous "atonement" understanding:

    I'm convinced by what I take to be sufficient historical evidence that Jesus became convinced he had to die as an offering/ransom for sin.

    Now, does that mean primarily that he himself had to be painfully punished for sin, or does it mean primarily that he participated in the Father's act of painfully forgiving by taking sin into God's own self, resulting in pain for both?
  • Too absolutist.
    I already feel a need for revision:

    Now, does that mean that he felt that he himself had to be painfully punished for sin, or does it mean that he felt called to participate in the Father's act of forgiving love by taking sin into God's own self, resulting in pain for both?

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    @James Boswell II, what you said was
    Please list all the Hebrew scriptures you can think of wherein someone dies to bring about the forgiveness of someone else's sins.
    Which @Nick Tamen, quite reasonably in my view, declined to attempt, offering an alternative way forward and a supporting scripture
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    <snip>…I'm not making a list of verses. I will invite you to consider the sacrificial system of the Torah—particularly sin offerings, guilt offerings and the korban pesach/paschal lamb—which I think Paul also has in mind, and all of which involve the shedding of innocent blood on behalf of others. And I will go ahead and cite one passage:
    For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement."
    Leviticus 17:11

    Granted, the paschal lamb does not have a direct sin connection in the Torah; rather, it has a connection with deliverance. But in Paul and the early church, we see the connection being made between delivery from the bondage of Egypt and delivery from the bondage of sin and death.
    I really think it’s not fair for you to conclude from that
    <snip>
    I assume you know of none. I don't either.

  • This is difficult, the nuances.

    ...or does it mean that he felt called to participate in the Father's act of forgiving love by God's taking sin into God's own self, resulting in pain for both?

    Our language is inadequate.
  • @BroJames
    With respect (and I mean that), I clarified to @Nick Tamen what I was asking for:

    "I did not ask you to tell us just whether there's a connection between Paul and Isaiah 53, but whether there's a connection between "dying for our sins in accordance with the scriptures" and any scriptures other than Isaiah 53 where "someone" (a person, not a lamb or other animal) dies for someone else's sins, you refuse to give us any.

    I assume you know of none. I don't either."
    ___________

    I consider that to be fair debate. If he knows of any, he can tell us.
  • BroJames wrote: »
    @James Boswell II, what you said was
    Please list all the Hebrew scriptures you can think of wherein someone dies to bring about the forgiveness of someone else's sins.
    Which @Nick Tamen, quite reasonably in my view, declined to attempt, offering an alternative way forward and a supporting scripture
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    <snip>…I'm not making a list of verses. I will invite you to consider the sacrificial system of the Torah—particularly sin offerings, guilt offerings and the korban pesach/paschal lamb—which I think Paul also has in mind, and all of which involve the shedding of innocent blood on behalf of others. And I will go ahead and cite one passage:
    For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you for making atonement for your lives on the altar; for, as life, it is the blood that makes atonement."
    Leviticus 17:11

    Granted, the paschal lamb does not have a direct sin connection in the Torah; rather, it has a connection with deliverance. But in Paul and the early church, we see the connection being made between delivery from the bondage of Egypt and delivery from the bondage of sin and death.
    Thank you BroJames. That is what I was trying to do.

    My problem with the questions as phrased is that they seem to rest on an assumption that I think is faulty—specifically, an asumption that since Christ was human, and Paul says "Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures," he must have been thinking only of passages of Scripture where a human gives his or her life for the sins of others. I think that is a baseless assumption. I think it is clear that Paul was thinking of many aspects of Scripture: Isaiah 53 yes, but also (and I think probably, more so) the sin, guilt and paschal sacrifices.

    But for the record, no I can't off the top of my head think of anywhere in the OT where "someone" dies for the sins of others.

    And yes, I agree that when Paul talked of Christ being made "to be sin," or being made a "curse," he had Isaiah 53 at least partially in mind. That's what I meant by saying there's a "connection." But I do not think Isaiah 53 is the only thing he had in mind.


    @Nick Tamen
    I am not your teacher, and you are not mine . . . .
    Your question comes across exactly like a teacher's test question to a class: "Please list all the Hebrew scriptures you can think of wherein . . . ." In the two threads you've started here (which are, as far as I can tell and with the exception of a single post, the only threads you've participated in on the Ship), it has been raised numerous times that your style comes across as lecturing, as though you are the teacher and we are the class.

    I accept that may not be your intention, but the style continues nevertheless. And I admit that my own frustration may have led to posts that did not help the situation. For that, I apologize. Like Doone, however, I think the time has come for me to step away.

  • Seems to me that when I answer challenges and try more fully to state or clarify my positions, I am accused of schooling or lecturing.

    Am I not being treated as if I know nothing? It was a long, long time ago that I noticed that there is no other scripture describing a human sacrifice that significant.

    Actually, I'm not interested in being contentious. There is humility in the two long posts above where I attempt sincerely to state my own non absolutist understandings of how I think Jesus may have regarded his own death. I even admit that I can resonate with the objections of others, and that I myself have problems of my own! I admit that my positions are in some ways weak and questionable, and that I even have difficulties formulating them.
    ___________

    Latest attempt:
    Now, does that mean that he felt that he himself had to be painfully punished for sin, or does it mean that he felt called to participate in the Father's act of forgiving love as God takes sin into God's own self, resulting in pain for both?

    Or is there some far better way of saying it?
    Mark 10:45? John 3:16?
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    @Martin54
    I'm glad you feel you've been helped to make a meaningful turn. :smile:

    Did you mean to say,
    "Jesus had to sacrifice Himself to our helpless inadequacy - in His own [inadequacy] - or we wouldn't know that God loves us"[?]

    If that is what you meant, I find it intriguing, but don't quite see exactly how you mean it or where you discovered it in B63's comment.

    Aye. That's what I meant. He was 100% human, inadequate. And 100% faithful, divine. What did He divinely know, how, that trumped what He knew humanly? Inadequately? It's not explicitly in B62. Although I'm sure I can read it in to him! It's in me. And you. And in Jesus, the most complex, paradoxical, polarized entity who walked the Earth.
  • You, Martin, rather seem to have come up with a strange new version of the Nicene creed. Very, very, very, very very God of very God and very, very, very, very, very human of very human.

    More important, does this mean that you're feeling some strange new faith springing up in you?
  • If it does, that surprises me in much the same way that the response of an Episcopalian woman surprised me. After reading my novel, she wrote me a note:

    "Your work, The Dead Sea Gospel, genuinely impacted my life with its theologies and perspectives on the historical Jesus. In fact I can't stop thinking about it, and thoughts of it influence and abide in my Lenten reflections. In sum, I find it liberating -- in no way damaging my faith. but rather enhancing it. Thank you! Your book is a gift. I feel indebted to you."

    And later she surprised me all the more by this review she posted on Amazon:

    *****A Radical Incarnation
    "James Bozwell’s (sic) scholarly presentation of the historical Jesus inserted in storytelling (in his novel) is stunning. His Jesus is radically incarnate, thoroughly and even limitedly human!

    "I find my faith strengthened not lessened by that fact.

    "And paradoxically, as I encounter Bozwell’s Jesus emerging in such (human) form, I find myself grasping and embracing the idea and mystery of atonement as never before! This remarkable novel, grounded in brilliant scholarship, has actually renewed my faith and contributed to my spiritual understanding of Jesus.
    "
    ___

    I am humbly, deeply grateful for any such response like that, whether it comes from a skeptic or a believer. And any "brilliance" in the novel is attributable to the work of scholars far beyond my ken.
  • Whoa, an interesting sort of virtue signaling.
  • If we're checking out your novel, as you keep on insisting we do, there's also this review:
    For many years there have been numerous versions of these religious "If Only the Truth Were Known" thrillers. They work on the idea that the Catholic Church, or Christianity or even Western Civilization, etc., etc. would collapse if the secret of "X, Y or Z" were to come out. I've read quite a few and some, especially "The DaVinci Code" are very good. Unfortunately, just reading the sample on this page showed me enough stilted dialog & stereotyped characters that I knew this book would be a waste of time & money.

    (No, I'm not linking to the thread and advertising any more, but I will quote the blurb:
    NEW Testament scholar Brad Chase is highly skeptical when Rebecca Chatsworth, a graduate student in journalism, tells him she has just stumbled across two recently discovered Dead Sea scrolls. His doubts quickly fade, however, when he learns that one of the scrolls is written in a form of Aramaic spoken by Jesus of Nazareth himself!Soon Brad and Rebecca are caught up in a world-wide controversy as extremists on all sides, both religious and secular, struggle against the possibility that this “Dead Sea Gospel” may irrefutably reveal truths about Jesus never before adequately confronted.Few books today so boldly search out the verifiable realities concerning Jesus.The DaVinci Code was fiction based on fiction.The Dead Sea Gospel is fiction based on facts.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host, 8th Day Host
    Host hat on
    @James Boswell II, posting reviews of your novel is advertising and a breach of Commandment 9 about which you were informed when you joined, and @Curiosity killed you should know better than to egg him on.
    Host hat off
    BroJames Purg Host
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    <admin mode>

    @James Boswell II, you've been warned repeatedly about promoting your novel and website, and in the above vanity post, you've pushed the limits of that once too often.

    You're obviously capable of contributing more than advertising here, but that's no excuse for continuing to advertise.

    Consequently, you've been given two weeks' shore leave (suspension) to consider the Ship's Ten Commandments and how they apply to you, especially in this respect. This suspension is non-negotiable.

    </admin mode>
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    You, Martin, rather seem to have come up with a strange new version of the Nicene creed. Very, very, very, very very God of very God and very, very, very, very, very human of very human.

    More important, does this mean that you're feeling some strange new faith springing up in you?

    Nothing strange about it. It's rational faith. How did the Son of Man commun[icat]e with The Father? What was His epistemology?

    Answers on a postcard please (not a fly leaf!).

    I distrust all upspringing. Apart from the infinite adoration I have for my grandson.
  • @Martin54, I think you're asking questions which have been asked since the beginning of the Christian era...

    ...and which have never been - and which never will be - answered satisfactorily.
  • This is just to see if I really am suspended for two weeks
  • Well, what I meant to do there is this: I assumed that I would not be able to post that. But now I realize that the suspension must be something that I have to observe, and I will do it.
    Back in two weeks.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    @Martin54, I think you're asking questions which have been asked since the beginning of the Christian era...

    ...and which have never been - and which never will be - answered satisfactorily.

    Of course, but they need to be not answered in the light of the increasing scientific answers that we do have.
  • There's some logic in there somewhere...!

    But yes, I think ISWYM.

    [BTW - I, too, assumed that shore leave/suspension meant 'no posting'. Could a Kindly Host please clarify? I'd ask in The Styx, but thought it might be more convenient to do so here. Apologies if I'm wrong.]
  • EutychusEutychus Shipmate
    <admin mode>

    The ability to post was a glitch on my part. Apologies.

    </admin mode>
  • Thanks!
    :wink:
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    There's some logic in there somewhere...!

    But yes, I think ISWYM.

    I'm sure you do! In order to be credible in the WEIRD world at all, especially the E bit, we need to ask the question of ourselves. I'm catching up too little too late in the full glare of strong uniformitarianism, which many here baulk at. To say "we just don't know" and "it's all just speculation" don't cut it.
  • O, I agree that 'We just don't know' etc. is not a particularly satisfactory 'answer' to anything. Blame my intellectual turpitude!

    BTW, by 'uniformitarianism', do you mean that which is explained in this Wikipedia article?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniformitarianism
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Oh aye. And I blame no such thing on your part. I am 60 odd - very odd - years guilty of such. Slug-brained. Which is an insult to mollusks (have you seen the Ted Talk on octopi!?) I chose the wrong parents. I extrapolate uniformity across eternity, including the growing infinity of universes and practically infinite incarnations per infinitesimal inhabited universe.

    Jesus really is the most complex entity who [may] ever [have] walked the Earth.
  • Martin54 wrote: »
    I'm sure you do! In order to be credible in the WEIRD world at all, especially the E bit, we need to ask the question of ourselves. I'm catching up too little too late in the full glare of strong uniformitarianism, which many here baulk at.
    I'm wondering if you think I balk at it, given the discussions we've had on incarnation elsewhere in the universe. Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding.
    To say "we just don't know" and "it's all just speculation" don't cut it.
    But sometimes "we just don't know" is the honest answer. To my mind, one of the problems of the WEIRD world is the belief that we can know and understand everything. I don't buy that.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't do our best to understand it. It just means we have to admit our limitations.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Martin54 wrote: »
    I'm sure you do! In order to be credible in the WEIRD world at all, especially the E bit, we need to ask the question of ourselves. I'm catching up too little too late in the full glare of strong uniformitarianism, which many here baulk at.
    I'm wondering if you think I balk at it, given the discussions we've had on incarnation elsewhere in the universe. Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding.
    To say "we just don't know" and "it's all just speculation" don't cut it.
    But sometimes "we just don't know" is the honest answer. To my mind, one of the problems of the WEIRD world is the belief that we can know and understand everything. I don't buy that.

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't do our best to understand it. It just means we have to admit our limitations.

    I think you're too balanced and open minded to baulk at it Nick. And I agree with everything else you say. But I don't have an open mind on alternatives. For me strong, uniformitarianism at all scales is a fact. If the transcendent is real then there too, including with regard to incarnations: whatever happens in your back yard has always happened everywhere.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    However unsatisfactory 'we don't know' actually is, as an answer, it is at least, as Nick Tamen says, honest!

    At which convenient (for me) point, I leave this thread. I'll be interested to see, however, if it continues in the absence of the OPer, or is revived if and when he returns from shore leave.

    Well done, all, meanwhile, for keeping it going in the face of great odds!
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Been away, came back and cross poster a whole page.

    Move on. nothing to see here.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Aye, it is that Bishops.
  • Bishops FingerBishops Finger Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Oi!

    RL calls...as does BEER...
    :wink:
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    You are indeed a fine one.
  • HE'S BACK! Your favorite exegete is BACK!
    Back from shoreleave!
    Back from suspension!

    (At least I wasn't banished or keelhauled!)
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    Wah HOO! Where ya bin Baby?
  • I've been on shoreleave!

    This Sunday I will meet with a United Methodist study group who want to discuss my -- er ... ah... my ideas. They've been reading my er... ah... ah... my writings!

    They're said to be a highly intelligent group, including even a physicist, and people ranging all the way from believers to atheists or whatever. Could be great fun!
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    edited July 2019
    Ah knows that. I'm in good company. Had a spell or two muh self. Good luck with that, the UM group. Learn the ropes - I see you are - I for one appreciate your presence.
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