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  1. #51
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    This is a long-term discussion... we can take it slow... I mean, the Bible wasn't written in a day, right?
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

  2. #52
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    I'd actually enjoy having some textual reference (which is why I pulled out Ezekiel)... maybe we can take this discussion to the next level!
    Could be tricky, since my computer with all its convenient biblical/theological software is dead. I'm not even sure if I still own a concordance. Will see what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    First of all... establish what the "authoritative" Biblical view on soul, spirit, and body is...
    Ha! That's a thread in itself. Soul and spirit and body, or soul and body? I've spent a lot of time researching that single question (during my wild youth) and came to no conclusion, let alone an authoritative one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Then Original Sin... every statement must be backed up by at least one textual reference (Book, Chapter, Verse).
    Well that shouldn't be too hard. I was a resolved Calvinist once upon a time. Which is basically a resolved Augustinian. I ate Pelagians/open theists for breakfast. Of course, they have a fair bit of textual evidence on their side too. But their position is fundamentally internally-inconsistent I still believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    Game?
    No promises. But I've been intending to start rereading theology and this is an ideal place to start. So. Probably, but not today. You go ahead though.

  3. #53
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Ha! That's a thread in itself. Soul and spirit and body, or soul and body? I've spent a lot of time researching that single question (during my wild youth) and came to no conclusion, let alone an authoritative one.
    And wait until you start asking the rabbis (since, after all, Christianity derived from Old testament Judaism) what their tradition teaches, without the influence of Greek philosophy.

    * * * *

    My two cents:

    My best friend just did an interview with a prof who was researching all of this. One of his premises for the book he recently published was that "The Four Spiritual Laws" and this whole modern emphasis on "Original Sin" was not really part of how Jesus and the church even dealt with people at the beginning. (And really, did Jesus ever use the "Romans Road" to try to convert people?)

    The gist of the message was something much more like
    - JHVH is the true God, and Jesus is the incarnation / Son of God and ushering in a new kingdom.
    - Follow him.

    Paul came along later and wanted to tie things together as best he could, to create an underlying theology for people to understand their faith. This is the context of much of his writing. It was never the emphasis. All this "original sin" is Paul pulling together his understanding of things -- but it was never a witnessing tool.

    The harshest words Jesus had were for the religious select, the self-appointed holies; and the kindest words he had were for the people currently rejected by the church. But if you notice, his message was always an invitation and NOT some sort of theological proof or starting out with, "You're a sinner, but God wants to save you from going to hell, which is where you're going to end up no matter how good you are. Don't you want to be saved?"

    Here's a small tangent, hence the small print: As far as a practical mechanism, the notion of sin being transferred in this style is one reason I broke from those beliefs because of the destructive resonance -- the outcome is bad. (At core, it creates a feeling like this: "Your heart sucks just because you're human, in fact God can't stand you in his presence because of your suckiness, and so you're damned to not be allowed near him ; but He loves you despite how sucky you are and is so kind and gracious that he'd like to save you if you just let him somehow." It's a "shame" mechanism at core, even if it allows a possible good in that you might think someone be kind enough to "love you anyway" -- gee, that makes it better. I could never treat my kids that way, I see it as destructive, not healthy.)

    I see people as flawed, a mix of profane and profound; selfish ego needs to be broken; apologies need to be made; sacrifice and love needs to be encouraged; we can't demand or earn love, it has to be given; etc. To me, basically the same gist as the 'Christian love' theology, except avoiding all the psychologically destructive stuff that tends to do more harm than good in developing kids.


    In any case, I don't really think the Original Sin was ever the focus, and Jesus really didn't waste time on it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #54
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    And wait until you start asking the rabbis (since, after all, Christianity derived from Old testament Judaism) what their tradition teaches, without the influence of Greek philosophy.
    We don't have many rabbis in this part of the world. In fact, I'm guessing there's not a rabbi to be found for about 3000 miles in any direction. I'm in a rabbiless zone. However, I've read some pretty solid, scholarly OT commentaries and so I have a pretty good idea what a rabbi would tell me. Before he started arguing with himself.

  5. #55
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Hmm, and Christians don't believe in supernatural events.

    I just don't see why you should think disembodied souls are devoid of means of perception (or expression). Didn't Moses and Elijah talk to Jesus? Didn't the spirit of Samuel talk to Saul?
    Christians do believe in supernatural events.

    The two passages you refer to are good examples.

    My point is that disembodied human spirits, (very important that they're human), don't have natural means to interact with the physical world; their inherent qualities don't enable such interaction--some power, external to their nature, must enable them to do so; e.g. a necromancer, or God.

    Quote Originally Posted by Samuel De Mazarin View Post
    1) I would refer you to my reductio ad absurdum regarding the body tainting the soul.

    2) If you deny the argument, then it seems you must accept, contrary to your own statements to Jivin, that souls can act without bodies, incurring sin and whatnot.

    3) This denial of body affecting soul may satisfy the Descartian dilemma about the material and the immaterial not being able to affect one another... it brings down the argument I was laying out... and leaves us with the problem of transmission of Original Sin all over again. Denying that the body affects the soul, how do you explain Original Sin, particularly since you said elsewhere that you believe in the simultaneous generation of soul and body? From an agglomeration of your comments, I'm lead to believe you deny Original Sin.
    I didn't mean to imply that human souls cannot act at all; I meant that they cannot make themselves known. E.g., I'm using my fingers to type these words so that you may read them and come to know what is on my mind. No body-->no fingers-->no typing-->no revelation of my spirit.

    Oh, and I do believe that the soul and body may affect one another. But I would say the reality of sin is a spiritual reality that is made manifest, is expressed, made visible, etc., by the body. So old age, sickness, and death are all signs of the spiritual reality. Similarly, bowing to idols, being given over to debauchery, etc., also reveal the spiritual condition.

    On the other hand, my occipital lobe enables me to see. My nerves enable me to feel pain and pleasure, etc. But does my body make me sin? The body provides the mind with data that must interpreted, and based on the mind's interpretation we act. Interpretation is a faculty of the mind, and so sin originates in the mind.

    Need... want... continue writing... must work... will be back...

    Edit: LIND is going to be furious when he sees what we've done to his thread!
    Last edited by Owl; 07-03-2008 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Speed typing at work = poor English

  6. #56
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Jennifer's two cents
    I don't think anyone here is suggesting Original Sin is an evangelistic (or pastoral) tool. But it is fundamental to developing a coherent, systematic doctrine. Some may say that's a bad thing. Personally, I think any N (especially) will grope towards it, since doctrine is organic. You can't believe one thing without that affecting something else (and so on and so on). So whenever issues like original sin, freewill and predestination are discussed, and someone inevitably jumps in saying it's unproductive or even counterproductive, I get a bit annoyed (in my INFP way). I can see where they're coming from, but we're not preaching the gospel to people who don't know anything about Christianity here. Not intentionally, at least. We're discussing doctrine. I would think that INTPs would be all in favour of being systematic in their doctrine. I think original sin is an extremely beneficial topic to have a good understanding of if your Christian worldview is to have a strong and/or consistent foundation. Even if that understanding is to reject it totally.

    As for Jesus' emphasis, they were different times back then. Different battles that needed to be fought. If he were to walk the earth now, I'm not at all sure that his focus would communicate itself in the same way. That's not to say that he would give lectures on original sin to the 5000. But I think he may have added a few things at different stages. And who's to say he didn't?

    Right now with humanism in the ascendant (in the West, at least), it's pretty bloody hard to talk to anyone about Christianity before the assertion of inherent human sinfulness is called into question. The essential goodness (or neutrality at least) of people vs the essential sinfulness of people. Do "good" people who aren't Christians go to hell? What about my dad, who was a good bloke but not religious? If you aren't certain of the fundamentals, your reply is basically going to be "I don't know, but hey: God's pretty cool! I'm sure he has it all worked out." I guess that's good enough for a lot of people, but I for one can't live with that sort of uncertainty on such fundamental issues. Maybe it's the Fi. Original sin, predestination, election of the saints, the nature of freewill; these are all things which need to be addressed and resolved imo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Here's a small tangent, hence the small print: As far as a practical mechanism, the notion of sin being transferred in this style is one reason I broke from those beliefs because of the destructive resonance -- the outcome is bad. (At core, it creates a feeling like this: "Your heart sucks just because you're human, in fact God can't stand you in his presence because of your suckiness, and so you're damned to not be allowed near him ; but He loves you despite how sucky you are and is so kind and gracious that he'd like to save you if you just let him somehow." It's a "shame" mechanism at core, even if it allows a possible good in that you might think someone be kind enough to "love you anyway" -- gee, that makes it better. I could never treat my kids that way, I see it as destructive, not healthy.)
    I hear where you're coming from, I guess. Or I think I do. But what's the alternative? "You're AWESOME! God thinks you're RAD! He thinks you're so cool and wants you to accept his love because it would make him really really really happy! Don't worry about the sin stuff because it doesn't really matter and you can work on that a bit later"? Okay, so the sarcasm was cheap, but I dunno, I don't see that in the bible. I think people think Jesus was way more tolerant than he actually gave any indications of being.

    I dunno, maybe I've misunderstood your position. I'm pretty sure you're more widely read in Christian literature than I am. Which may mean something, or may not. I dunno.


    And I can't believe you would slip all that in on an edit. Tsk. Tsk. Again I say: tsk!

  7. #57
    Wonderer Samuel De Mazarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    Personally, I think any N (especially) will grope towards [a coherent, systematic doctrine], since doctrine is organic. You can't believe one thing without that affecting something else (and so on and so on). So whenever issues like original sin, freewill and predestination are discussed, and someone inevitably jumps in saying it's unproductive or even counterproductive, I get a bit annoyed (in my INFP way). I can see where they're coming from, but we're not preaching the gospel to people who don't know anything about Christianity here. Not intentionally, at least. We're discussing doctrine. I would think that INTPs would be all in favour of being systematic in their doctrine. I think original sin is an extremely beneficial topic to have a good understanding of if your Christian worldview is to have a strong and/or consistent foundation. Even if that understanding is to reject it totally.

    Original sin, predestination, election of the saints, the nature of freewill; these are all things which need to be addressed and resolved imo.
    To Owl, Orangey, and Jivin'... I'm wishing this thread a good long life, and if my replies don't come fast and furious at points, is either cause I'm busy researching the topic or busy with something else entirely... but this is quite exciting for me.

    Secondly... particularly to Jennifer... everything that Jivin' said: yes... yes indeed.

    Even if one is ardently not Christian and thinks everything in the Bible is bunkum... I think it's extremely important to have, for the sake of cross-communal dialogue, an intelligently fleshed out understanding of the key doctrines of Christianity. Discussing transmission of original sin is tantamount to accepting a responsibility to investigate practically every major element of Biblical Christianity... I would favor hermeneutics while relying on major thinkers and saints (like Augustine or Boethius or modern day Christian philosophers, what have you) as what they are: commentators who may clarify certain topics... obviously, what we're doing will be pretty lightweight compared to what lifetime scholars and students of theology do... but I'm sure we can go pretty far and deep.

    The whole point is that by digging deeply, we can appreciate that Christianity (from a purist's perspective) isn't so transparent... it needs to be contemplated and wrestled with, as I'm sure is a reasonable idea... I mean, these are pronouncements on life and its meaning... one has to go through a dark night of the soul... as Jivin said, one thing leads to another leads to another...

    This is certainly not going to be 'criticism' of Christian doctrine from a standpoint of representing the best possible system of religion or spirituality... this is going to be (I'm assuming) an investigation of the Bible from within, linking various ideas together and subjecting them to scrutiny... this way, we tighten concepts (in our minds) and ultimately come to a far better understanding of this marvelously complex thought-system known as Christianity.

    For instance, what Jivin said here: "I was a resolved Calvinist once upon a time. Which is basically a resolved Augustinian. I ate Pelagians/open theists for breakfast."

    I know what Calvinism is... but I'm fuzzy on how it's a resolved Augustinian, because my recollection of St. Augustine is limited to "city on the hill" and his experience of divine light... I need to re-read him... And what a Pelagian or an "open theist" is, God knows. But I'll find out... learning is so much FUN!

    Well, I'm not tackling debate issues today, but I'll see you guys in here soon enough. My rah-rah speech is over.
    Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.

    Realize us, Madman!

    I razed a slum, Amen.

    ...............................................

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