I Have Started a Theology Thread

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Post by gaining_age » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:44 pm

infidel wrote:
Rusty wrote:
infidel wrote:
coco wrote:
infidel wrote:I'm with Del on the simplicity thing. People are quick to say that God's X is infinitely more complex than our X (for any value of X), and I can understand why they say this, but it seems to me like it's the exact opposite of what must be, in sort of a Zen way.
So, in what way are our thoughts like God's thoughts? (Presuming of course, that you believe there is some resemblance)
I don't know if there's a resemblance or not. I don't think that our thoughts are just simpler shadows of God's thoughts. And I'm not sure that God "thinks" in any that we understand the word. That sounds a lot like what Rusty has said God should be like. It kind of implies some some infinitely complex "mind" and that just doesn't sound right to me.

Isn't it when we stop thinking that we can hear the still small voice?
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Post by dasmokeryaget » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:49 pm

Thunktank wrote:
dasmokeryaget wrote:
coco wrote:
Del wrote:
coco wrote:What do you think of this:
Between what the words of the Bible say, and what abides in the infinite mind of the Creator, there exists an ISOMORPHISM. This is a congruity of form such that what is knowable to us is MAPPABLE to the information that exists in perfection in the mind of God, where there is infinitely more to know and each idea is infinitely more complex than what the Creator has made known to us. As God knows all things, there are no categories, systems of truth, or separable ideas. All things merge into one complete yet personal awareness. Since we finite beings can only know truth in parts, and must relate those parts with one another merging them into manageable ideas, God has made himself known in such a manner to us.
I think this writer imagines that the Bible is a completeness of everything that God wants us to know. As much as God wants us to understand anything, it is found in the Bible.

I don't know why he thinks this, since Jesus made no such claim about the Bible, and the Bible makes such a claim about itself.

As to the bolded part: B-(as in B) and S-(as in S). God made the categories of things. Truth and false, beasts and rational creatures, material and spiritual. It is strained metaphysical gymnastics to imagine that the reality which God made for our understanding is not the reality which God made.

God made eggs with a shell, a white, and a yolk. And God can tell these apart just as well as we can. There is no need to scramble an egg in order to see the egg as God sees it. And there is no need to scramble one's brain to see the egg as God sees it!
Feel free to step in, Wos.
Please.
Well, what do you guys (coco and Das) think of that quote?

I have mixed thoughts on it. I certainly agree with Del in that the Bible cannot and is not intended to be the sole keeper of knowledge concerning the salvation of mankind. In fact, I believe that creation to include human philosophy can help us know the Word much like the written word can. Of course the Word itself who is Truth does require revelation and the Bible reveals a great deal of that. In fact, the Bible is the Chief Tradition that shares with us that revelation of the Word. In the hierarchy of all systems and categories, the Bible ranks them all. Of course, we must not place the Bible ahead of the Holy Trinity itself our our special relationship with it.

On the other hand, I completely agree with the idea, that in fact, God does not think in categories or systems of truth. That it is us men that are limited to such means and that we do in fact require revelation to know that which God means for us to know about Him and our salvation. So we need the Bible, we need systems of theology and philosophy, we need Holy Traditions, we need God's creation to help us know that we have a creator. And chiefly, we need the revelation of the Word who became flesh for us. God is so awesome, in many ways beyond our ability to understand. Thank God that He gave us His Word, his prophets, His Traditions and the Bible! It helps us a great deal to know what we need to know.
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Post by OldWorldSwine » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:52 pm

Can an omnipotent God create a rock so heavy He can't lift it?
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Post by Rusty » Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:29 pm

OldWorldSwine wrote:Can an omnipotent God create a rock so heavy He can't lift it?
There is a reasonably convincing answer for that question...
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Post by Jocosoe » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:48 pm

I can't relate™.
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Post by Thunktank » Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:03 am

Jocosoe wrote:I can't relate™.
again

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Post by A_Morley » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:32 pm

What did I do?

I do wonder if I have any theological beliefs that are strange, crankish, or otherwise generally unsupportable. I generally define myself as a rigidly orthodox Anglo-Catholic and I take the Nicene Creed quite literally.

Would any of you be willing to say that that I am somehow missing something or if there are any spiritual matters I need to address?
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Post by Thunktank » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:10 am

A_Morley wrote: Would any of you be willing to say that that I am somehow missing something. . .
Well, since you asked, I am still somewhat sore that you bailed on Eastern Orthodoxy just days before Holy Christmation. :(

The only justification I've heard for it was the overly demonstrative cultural behaviors that is more typical in Orthodoxy. That seems a strange reason to reject the spiritual depth the Orthodox Church provides. How much you're missing I can't say, but I'm quite certain that you missed out on some things making the choice you did. I guess I must wonder what an orthodox Anglo-Catholic faith provides you that Orthodoxy doesn't? :?

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Post by A_Morley » Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:48 am

Well, I thank you for your interest in my spiritual development. My reasons for deciding to not become Eastern Orthodox were thus: I believe nearly all of the claims made by the Orthodox Church aside from two rather major issues. I have no problems with the West's conception of the Filioque. That, I think, is a major issue. Secondly, I could not reject the notion that the Church of England and thus Anglicanism as a whole was not part of the Church Catholic. Nobody was specifically asking me to do so, but it seemed heavily implied.

When I sat down and prayerfully considered what I actually believed about Jesus Christ and His Church, I realized that I was still a convinced and committed Anglican, albeit a rather addle-brained, dangerously antiquarian one. I still fundamentally believe the contention of the Oxford Movement that there are three branches or the Church Catholic, being the Byzantine, the Roman, and the Anglican.

I do not believe that my expression of the Catholic faith is in schism or in error, so why should I go seeking after a new one?

I am also somewhat ashamed to admit that I was seeking after Eastern Orthodoxy as some sort of temporary patch or perceived panacea for my rapidly deteriorating marriage. My first wife, God bless her, was a practicing Roman Catholic at that time. We fought about religion constantly. Constantly. It was awful. We both decided at that time that the Orthodox Church might be something we could agree upon and raise our family in. Well that didn't work. I told her that I didn't want to convert and she told me that she didn't believe in God anymore and that she had been going through the motions of being Catholic just to annoy me because she was justifiably pissed off by my domineering insistence that I was always right. She moved out and took the children with her shortly thereafter.

Please note, I think my first wife is a great lady and she is still my best friend and a wonderful mother to our children. I am sorry that she now openly proclaims to be a postmodern atheist with "strong Buddhist leanings", but I refuse to be mad at her because I am, after all a crazy son of a b**** and insanely difficult to live with, even if I am right about absolutely about everything.
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Post by Thunktank » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:21 am

Wow. Thank you for humoring my inquiry. I actually do feel much less sore about it now. I honestly respect and honor your honesty in it as well. I'm not inclined to tell you that you are mistaken or wrong about any of this. So what I'm about to say below is just my own take on some of these matters. But I will only respond to the first few paragraphs as the rest were very personal to you of which I have little to say.
A_Morley wrote:Well, I thank you for your interest in my spiritual development. My reasons for deciding to not become Eastern Orthodox were thus: I believe nearly all of the claims made by the Orthodox Church aside from two rather major issues. I have no problems with the West's conception of the Filioque. That, I think, is a major issue. Secondly, I could not reject the notion that the Church of England and thus Anglicanism as a whole was not part of the Church Catholic. Nobody was specifically asking me to do so, but it seemed heavily implied.

When I sat down and prayerfully considered what I actually believed about Jesus Christ and His Church, I realized that I was still a convinced and committed Anglican, albeit a rather addle-brained, dangerously antiquarian one. I still fundamentally believe the contention of the Oxford Movement that there are three branches or the Church Catholic, being the Byzantine, the Roman, and the Anglican.

I do not believe that my expression of the Catholic faith is in schism or in error, so why should I go seeking after a new one?
Here's my thoughts, and remember they are MY thoughts and not to be mistaken for Orthodox dogma or even popular Orthodox belief. I do however come to my thoughts on this via well established Orthodox dogmas and beliefs. Hopefully they're good thoughts.

Let me start with the filioque

First of all, as to the Filioque. Is it a church dividing issue? I don't fully know. But from what I've gathered I'm open to the idea that within the theological framework of the western church it isn't heresy. The Filioque is however a heresy within Orthodox theological framework, which is perhaps why such men as Saint Photius so strongly rejected it. Not to mention the manner in which it was placed into the Creed itself. It goes to the importance of making sure that whenever there is primacy being exercised there ought to be consensus as well.

I personally find it very helpful that the Popes in recent decades have offered to settle it by not mandating it's use for the it's eastern rites and have made the same offer to the Orthodox, if full communion was ever to be realized again. Meaning that they did not desire to force us to accept the Filioque within our own reciting of the creed. While it doesn't offer a complete solution to the whole problem caused by it, it's a start. But in the end we all should remember just how out of touch the east and west was by the time of the Great Schism. In nearly every way, we now have a broader understanding of each other now than then. In fact, when the bull of excommunication was placed on the alter in Constantinople, the Latins charged us with omitting the Filioque from the Creed when in fact, it's plainly obvious to us today that it was they who added it to theirs. The original did not have it!

Now what about the Great Schism and the Orthodox Church's relation to the Anglican Church? You gave me your honest thoughts on the matter. Schisms plainly happened and we are obviously not in full communion with each other. What started out with ex communications between a couple of hot tempered hierarchs turned into an estranged brotherhood following the sack of Constantinople. What I don't know is how deep those schism go and how culpable the faithful are for those schisms in each of the respective churches. I'm not sure this is a question we will ever fully know on this side of heaven. But what we can do and should do is take those common elements of faith we do share and see how much more of orthodoxy we can embrace together. Can the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican churches fully embrace the Truth? Is there a bases for there to be such hope?

At the Council of Florence, which happened long after the Great Schism of 1054, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches dealt with each other like churches. There are good reasons to interrupt shared communion between churches sometimes, even though it's never an ideal situation, Those interruptions have happened many times in the history of the church, even long before the Great Schism. If we can come to a place, where once again, we can treat each other like churches to solve problems. Then there's hope I think. Of course we must consider what a church is for this purpose. The situation with the various Anglican churches is very complicated to say the least!

But anyway, you've lived in So Cal recently haven't you? Have you seen the state of the local RCC parishes? What about the lions share of Episcopal and Anglican churches? I have witnessed some Anglo Catholic parishes do a better job at mass than the Roman Catholic churches they have tried to emulate. I don't know what it is, but the RCC I hope for isn't the RCC I see around here. The traditional minded Anglicans at least have more in common with our worship style and ideal, even though they fail to give the Theotokos enough praise. :wink:

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Post by ElgarAlienPooh » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:00 pm

Can an omnipotent God create a rock so heavy He can't lift it?
That's kind of like saying "Is space infinite ?"

Which is kind of like saying, "Where does your lap go when you stand up ?"

It's all just playing with abstractions.

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Post by John-Boy » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:05 pm

ElgarAlienPooh wrote:
Can an omnipotent God create a rock so heavy He can't lift it?
That's kind of like saying "Is space infinite ?"

Which is kind of like saying, "Where does your lap go when you stand up ?"

It's all just playing with abstractions.
Don't interrupt... this is a great dialog.
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Post by AFRS » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:59 pm

John-Boy wrote:
ElgarAlienPooh wrote:
Can an omnipotent God create a rock so heavy He can't lift it?
That's kind of like saying "Is space infinite ?"

Which is kind of like saying, "Where does your lap go when you stand up ?"

It's all just playing with abstractions.
Don't interrupt... this is a great dialog.
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Post by wosbald » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:12 pm

+JMJ+
Wrong thread.
Last edited by wosbald on Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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Post by Thunktank » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:16 pm

Thunktank wrote:Wow. Thank you for humoring my inquiry. I actually do feel much less sore about it now. I honestly respect and honor your honesty in it as well. I'm not inclined to tell you that you are mistaken or wrong about any of this. So what I'm about to say below is just my own take on some of these matters. But I will only respond to the first few paragraphs as the rest were very personal to you of which I have little to say.
A_Morley wrote:Well, I thank you for your interest in my spiritual development. My reasons for deciding to not become Eastern Orthodox were thus: I believe nearly all of the claims made by the Orthodox Church aside from two rather major issues. I have no problems with the West's conception of the Filioque. That, I think, is a major issue. Secondly, I could not reject the notion that the Church of England and thus Anglicanism as a whole was not part of the Church Catholic. Nobody was specifically asking me to do so, but it seemed heavily implied.

When I sat down and prayerfully considered what I actually believed about Jesus Christ and His Church, I realized that I was still a convinced and committed Anglican, albeit a rather addle-brained, dangerously antiquarian one. I still fundamentally believe the contention of the Oxford Movement that there are three branches or the Church Catholic, being the Byzantine, the Roman, and the Anglican.

I do not believe that my expression of the Catholic faith is in schism or in error, so why should I go seeking after a new one?
Here's my thoughts, and remember they are MY thoughts and not to be mistaken for Orthodox dogma or even popular Orthodox belief. I do however come to my thoughts on this via well established Orthodox dogmas and beliefs. Hopefully they're good thoughts.

Let me start with the filioque

First of all, as to the Filioque. Is it a church dividing issue? I don't fully know. But from what I've gathered I'm open to the idea that within the theological framework of the western church it isn't heresy. The Filioque is however a heresy within Orthodox theological framework, which is perhaps why such men as Saint Photius so strongly rejected it. Not to mention the manner in which it was placed into the Creed itself. It goes to the importance of making sure that whenever there is primacy being exercised there ought to be consensus as well.

I personally find it very helpful that the Popes in recent decades have offered to settle it by not mandating it's use for the it's eastern rites and have made the same offer to the Orthodox, if full communion was ever to be realized again. Meaning that they did not desire to force us to accept the Filioque within our own reciting of the creed. While it doesn't offer a complete solution to the whole problem caused by it, it's a start. But in the end we all should remember just how out of touch the east and west was by the time of the Great Schism. In nearly every way, we now have a broader understanding of each other now than then. In fact, when the bull of excommunication was placed on the alter in Constantinople, the Latins charged us with omitting the Filioque from the Creed when in fact, it's plainly obvious to us today that it was they who added it to theirs. The original did not have it!

Now what about the Great Schism and the Orthodox Church's relation to the Anglican Church? You gave me your honest thoughts on the matter. Schisms plainly happened and we are obviously not in full communion with each other. What started out with ex communications between a couple of hot tempered hierarchs turned into an estranged brotherhood following the sack of Constantinople. What I don't know is how deep those schism go and how culpable the faithful are for those schisms in each of the respective churches. I'm not sure this is a question we will ever fully know on this side of heaven. But what we can do and should do is take those common elements of faith we do share and see how much more of orthodoxy we can embrace together. Can the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Anglican churches fully embrace the Truth? Is there a bases for there to be such hope?

At the Council of Florence, which happened long after the Great Schism of 1054, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches dealt with each other like churches. There are good reasons to interrupt shared communion between churches sometimes, even though it's never an ideal situation, Those interruptions have happened many times in the history of the church, even long before the Great Schism. If we can come to a place, where once again, we can treat each other like churches to solve problems. Then there's hope I think. Of course we must consider what a church is for this purpose. The situation with the various Anglican churches is very complicated to say the least!

But anyway, you've lived in So Cal recently haven't you? Have you seen the state of the local RCC parishes? What about the lions share of Episcopal and Anglican churches? I have witnessed some Anglo Catholic parishes do a better job at mass than the Roman Catholic churches they have tried to emulate. I don't know what it is, but the RCC I hope for isn't the RCC I see around here. The traditional minded Anglicans at least have more in common with our worship style and ideal, even though they fail to give the Theotokos enough praise. :wink:

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Post by A_Morley » Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:27 pm

For my part, I believe the fullness of the faith cannot be found outside the Church Catholic, but that none of those three branches of that Church have any greater monopoly on that truth and grace.

I was far more inclined the grouse and bemoan over ecclesiastical matters when I was living far from a decent, traditional Anglican parish, but now that I live right up the street from one of the finest churches in all the continuum, it is amazing how much my apprehensions have evaporated.

I believe that the English Church is doing exactly the same thing and playing the same role as the Greek or Antiochian Church, it is merely doing so in the cultural and linguistic context of the Anglicized west. I suppose I am small minded to find it strange that English speakers should want to worship God in the Churches of Greece or Rome. Then again, I also don't understand why people like Monday Night football better than my Monday Night Wordsworth recitations.
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Post by Thunktank » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:01 pm

A_Morley wrote:For my part, I believe the fullness of the faith cannot be found outside the Church Catholic, but that none of those three branches of that Church have any greater monopoly on that truth and grace.

I was far more inclined the grouse and bemoan over ecclesiastical matters when I was living far from a decent, traditional Anglican parish, but now that I live right up the street from one of the finest churches in all the continuum, it is amazing how much my apprehensions have evaporated.

I believe that the English Church is doing exactly the same thing and playing the same role as the Greek or Antiochian Church, it is merely doing so in the cultural and linguistic context of the Anglicized west. I suppose I am small minded to find it strange that English speakers should want to worship God in the Churches of Greece or Rome. Then again, I also don't understand why people like Monday Night football better than my Monday Night Wordsworth recitations.
I like Monday night football! At least I used to when I was a bachelor living among bachelors. And WOE is Monday Night Wordsworth? :)

I remember when I went from regularly attending an high church Anglo-Catholic parish to the Roman rite and later the Byzantine rite I felt a bit remorseful that they weren't the Anglican rite. I found the Byzantine rite truly the equal and just as beautiful, but without a doubt it also felt somewhat unnatural to me for a while. To this day, I tend to keep my mannerisms more in line with my English roots than the long sweeping gestures of my middle eastern brethren. Having said that, I fully love my Byzantine rite now with it's richness. Besides, we developed iconography and who can beat that? :P

I've often considered visiting a nearby western rite Antiochian Orthodox church not far from here. They supposedly use a version of the Anglican rite but it's clear that they have adopted much from Byzantine rite. So for the person who's very interested in the purity of traditional English worship it probably won't do. I've seen that once when I visited a Byzantine Catholic parish once. I felt a bit confused the whole time. Naturally, I understand that as churches interact they will likely rub off on each other. It can't be helped. OTOH, when these interactions take place from a liturgical standpoint we must remember the holy traditions found in each rite. There can be no willy nilly mixing of rites without due process. I won't even try to wrap my head around the canonical aspects of mixing rites within a single nation! Yikes!

Anyway, I find the topic of certain strains of Anglicanism quite interesting within an orthodox POV and I think many Orthodox have made attempts to build bridges with the Anglicans. The Anglicans like yourself aren't all that unlike many a Russian or Greek really. I would caution however that we all remember that the church is headquarted in heaven and not of the world. For me personally, I just don't know how fully orthodox your form of Anglicanism is. I guess that's what good ecumenism is there to find out.

Anyway hail to King Charles I. Who knows what the Anglican church might have become if he had greater co-operation from his fellows.

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Re: I Have Started a Theology Thread

Post by UncleBob » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:05 pm

This is the greatest Theology thread, ever.

BTW--still waiting on the funk.
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Re: I Have Started a Theology Thread

Post by Goose55 » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:07 pm

Quite a significant thing He said here, speaking to the Pharisees, who had quite a lot of theological training:

"If you were blind, you should have no sin: but now you say, 'We see'; therefore your sin remains." ~ John 9:41

To some, theology is held onto tightly, as if it were money in the bank. Part of the script from the Eastwood western film Unforgiven illustrates this

Schofield Kid: "Go on. Keep it [the reward money]. All of it. It's yours."

William Munny: "What about the spectacles and the fancy clothes?"

Schofield Kid: "I guess I'd rather be blind and ragged, than dead."
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Re: I Have Started a Theology Thread

Post by coco » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:04 pm

UncleBob wrote:
Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:05 pm
This is the greatest Theology thread, ever.

BTW--still waiting on the funk.
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