Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Hebrews 10:7
https://youtu.be/Cu6BnzfU7MQ Christianity- Philosophy
.Do words have meaning?
.Tower of Babel
.Development of the ‘Tradition of the elders’
.Man not made for Sabbath [law] but Sabbath for man [‘s benefit]
.Cop did 8 years in prison for murder
.He was framed- and now free
.Finality of the law theory?
.Hannah Overton case
.It’s not just speaking words
.But a demonstration of truth
NEW- [past teaching below]
Words communicate ideas- truth.
Language is a ‘mystery’ to some thinkers.
In scripture we see man created in the image of God-
He is unique in his ability to communicate through language.
We read of the beginnings of various languages in the account of Babel- where man was on a mission to achieve something- and because he had a common language- he was about to do it.
Yet God confounded them- gave them different languages- and the mission stopped.
In the field of philosophy some have challenged objective truth [is anything actually true].
They have challenged that language- words- actually ‘mean’ anything.
They view words- truth- as being relative.
In order to make this argument- well yes- they use words themselves- and write books about it.
I hope you see the irony here.
In scripture we read that Jesus is ‘The Word’ of God.
He is the Logos.
Yet- he is more than just words- he is the incarnation- the embodiment of all that the prophets spoke under the influence of the Spirit of God.
So believers are not just people of the book- we are also manifestations of the Word of God- we are actually the Body of Christ on the earth.
One of the early church fathers asked ‘have we chased God into a book’?
He saw the danger of the early church losing the reality of God among us- and simply seeing our mission as reading the words- and teaching the words- that the prophets spoke.
But we are to be the ‘living epistles’- people who have the nature of God written in us- not with ink and pen- but by the Spirit of God.
The religious thinkers of Jesus day elevated the written law- over the incarnate Word [Jesus].
They challenged him for healing people on the Sabbath- Jesus responded ‘the Sabbath was made for man- not man for the Sabbath’.
Yes- the law of God is good- but man is created in the mage of God- and when you use the law- and elevate it- above the intent- the benefit of man- then you have forgotten the law giver himself.
Jesus challenged their elevating of the words in a book- which could never truly give life.
We do not challenge objective truth—or say that words have no meaning.
No- Jesus challenged the idea that the law- words- should be elevated above the value of men.
I recently saw a case of a man who was wrongfully convicted of a crime.
He appealed while in prison- and during the process it was revealed that another man committed the crime.
The prosecutor in the case found a loophole- she challenged the release of the man from prison- because during his appeal process- he filed something out of order.
But they already knew he was the wrong man.
The judge asked her ‘is it the position of the state- to hold an innocent man in prison- because he failed to file the appeal properly’.
The prosecutor said ‘yes’.
She held the view that the ‘finality of the law’ was more important- then the release of an innocent man.
Meaning- if he initially had a fair trial- and the jurors decided on the evidence they had at the time.
Then the courts should not later rule on new evidence- of his innocence- the courts should only overturn the conviction if it was shown that the initial trial of the man was unfair.
This woman held a view of the law that is not unique-
Some exalt the law- even if it is wrong- because they feel the viability of the system would break down- if the initial ruling is now overturned.
They make the mistake of the Pharisees- who saw their idea of the Sabbath- to be honored over the healing of a man on the Sabbath.
To them- the words written down [the commandments on stone] took priority over humans- over the act of Jesus- the Logos in flesh- healing a man.
And in so doing- fulfilling the intent of the words of the prophets- him being the Logos- the Word made flesh.
As believers we hold to the Word of God- we have the Spirit of God within us- the letter kills- but the Spirt gives life.
It was said of Jesus ‘I come to do thy will O God- in the volume of the book it is written of me’.
Yes- the book had words about Jesus-
When he came- he demonstrated the reality of those words.
He took upon him the sins of man- he went to the Cross- he rose from the dead.
He actually did this- he redeemed us.
We read about this in a book called the bible.
But it was the actual historical event of the Cross- meaning the fact that it happened- that redeems us.
Yes- people can challenge the limitations of words- speech- language.
Truly they are limited.
But the demonstration of what Jesus did- his life- his death- his resurrection.
Those who witnessed of it- and still do- cannot be denied.
The church in the earth today- all the people of God- are a testimony of Jesus Christ.
We too are called upon to carry the Cross- to lay down our lives for others.
To challenge those in society who would prefer a man be executed- or spend his life in prison- because of the ‘finality of the law’.
We are called to defend the defenseless- to not fear retaliation if we speak out against power.
We are to demonstrate the boldness of the early church- and take a stand against injustice in the earth.
Yes- we are the people of God- not just people who read the words about God- in a book.
PAST LINKS [Teaching I did before that relates to today’s post- Christianity- Philosophy]
Talked about Genesis 11- Here’s my study- https://ccoutreach87.com/genesis/
Philosophy too- https://ccoutreach87.com/overview-of-philosophy/
I quoted from these as well- Here are my studies-
(1242) Read a few chapters from Brian McLaren’s ‘everything must change’ thought I’d comment. I like Brian’s writing style, I agree with him on believers needing to be challenged to see things differently, but I disagree on some of his ‘everything’s’. He challenges the idea of objective thinking as defined as foundationalism. He explains well the questioning of modern intellectuals after the world wars and Holocaust of the 20th century. He shows how certain thinkers began looking for answers to the problem of society’s failure as seen in these events. He also shows how some blamed the events on ‘foundationalism’ which is a way of ‘seeing things’ [epistemology] as defined by Rene Descartes. These thinkers diagnosed the problem as society’s acceptance of absolutes, they felt that this led to an ‘overconfidence’ in right and wrong and this in turn allowed for these atrocities to happen. Many modern thinkers would disagree with this conclusion. I find it interesting that Brian makes some statements about Evolution that seem to say he accepts the theory, but yet he fails to see the role that Social Darwinism played as a precursor to the Holocaust. You could make the opposite argument that it was the rejection of absolutes, and the rise of liberal theology from the universities in Germany that led to these events. Many scholars began questioning Gods truth and laid a foundation that said ‘we really can’t trust Gods truth’ [or even know it]. To be honest these debates are a little philosophical and I didn’t think Brian would go down this road, but he does so I will deal with it. Many ‘post moderns’ believe that one of the things that must change is the ‘old’ [what is termed modern] way of thinking. These new thinkers assert that truth itself, as an absolute thing that people can know for sure, is out of mans reach. They question the modern way of thinking that teaches there are certain absolutes [preconceived ways of thinking that everyone accepts]. These new thinkers say this ‘foundationalism’ is the problem. Did the enlightenment invent this mode of objectivism? No. Thinkers from Aristotle to Aquinas to Descartes all approached thinking this way. It was defined more clearly during the enlightenment period. But this is a philosophical debate that goes on in these various camps. You have had very smart people disagree on these things. The great theologian Karl Barth would say you are not truly educated until you can ‘affirm both sides of an argument, accept contradictory definitions of the same thing’ many believe this would lead to lunacy! The two greatest theoretical physicists of the last century also disagreed on this. Neils Bohr would say that you can have two contradictory truths about a subject, and they could both be true, Einstein disagreed. So these things have been around for a while, many of the eastern religions teach the same [Zen]. So I would disagree with Brian on this, but do agree with him on the need for believers to expand their concerns from simple ‘going to heaven when I die’ concerns, to social justice concerns in the nations. He does give some good examples along these lines.
WHAT’S REAL? And HOLY SAVIOR
https://youtu.be/1xlAC-2CHPw What’s real?
https://youtu.be/7RQ85MGE-8I Holy Savior
I made these videos in Texas. Then didn’t have time to write the usual teaching. So I stuck them together and did the best I could.
ON VIDEO’S- note- I mentioned on the video the philosopher who ‘doubted everything’. I wasn’t sure if I got it right. I said ‘maybe Blaise Pascal’- but it was Renee Descartes.
.Bruce Jenner- 2nd thoughts?
.He eats with sinners
.Islam and Christianity
God and Allah
.End times war?
.In defense of cops
.Columbus- Aztecs- Conquistadores
PAST POSTS [verses below]
. REMINDER- This is a commentary I wrote years ago- the videos are new.
.CHAPTER 8- FEW POINTS;
1- Did God choose us to believe- or did we choose him?
2- When Paul says ‘he makes our bodies alive’ is he only speaking about resurrection?
3- Does God use difficulty- or is it to be rebuked?
4- Was Paul a ‘hyper- Calvinist’?
(839)ROMAN 8:1-4 ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh [sinful nature] but after the Spirit [new nature]’. Now, having proved the reality of sin and guilt [chapter 7] Paul teaches that those who ‘are in Christ’ are free from condemnation. Why? Because they ‘walk according to the Spirit’ the ‘righteousness of the law is being fulfilled in them’. Having no condemnation isn’t simply a ‘legal function’ of declared righteousness, and Paul didn’t teach it that way! Paul is saying ‘all those who have believed in Jesus and have been legally justified [earlier arguments in chapters 3-4] are now walking [actually acting out] this new nature. Therefore [because you no longer walk according to the flesh] there is no condemnation’! This argument helps bridge the gap between Catholic and Protestant theology, part of the reason for the ongoing schism is over this understanding. After the Reformation the Catholic Church had a Counter Reformation council, the council of Trent. They dealt with a lot of the abuses of the Catholic Church, things that many Catholic leaders were complaining about before the Reformation. They did deal with some issues and reformed somewhat. To the dismay of the more ‘reform minded’ Catholics [with Protestant leanings] they still came down strong on most pre reform doctrines. This made it next to impossible for the schism to be healed. But one area of disagreement was over ‘legal’ versus ‘actual/experiential’ justification. The Catholic position was ‘God can’t declare/say a person is justified until they actually are’ [experientially]. The Protestant side [Luther] said ‘God does justify [legal declaration] a person by faith alone’. Like I taught before, both of these are true. The Catholic view of ‘justification’ is looking ahead towards a future reality [The same way James speaks of justification in a future sense- He uses the example from Genesis 22, when Abraham does a righteous act] while the Protestant view is focusing on the initial legal act of justification [Genesis 15]. Here Paul agrees with both views, he says ‘those who walk after the Spirit [actually living the changed life] have no condemnation’.
(840)ROMANS 8:5-13 Paul will teach the impossibility of the ‘carnal minds’ ability to submit to Gods law. Those who are ‘in the flesh’ [the unregenerate nature- not simply ‘in the body’. We will get into these distinctions in a minute] can’t submit to God. Society spends so much time and effort trying to get the ‘lost man’ to do what’s right. The prohibition movement [outlawing liquor], the increase in the severity of punishment for crimes dealing with drugs. Making the child kidnappers crime
NEW STUFF- On the video I taught some about Francis Xavier [1506-1552] – one of the founding members of the Jesuit order [Society of Jesus] along with Ignatius Loyola.
He met Ignatius at the University of Paris- while pursuing an intellectual career.
Over time Ignatius example [and prodding] convinced him to abandon his own plans to live a comfortable life and serve as a scholar- and become a very effective missionary to the Far East.
Much like the story of John Calvin- who too was persuaded to abandon his own plans to simply be a scholar- and to serve in forming the community in Geneva.
Xavier arrived in Goa [India] and eventually went to Japan.
The king of Portugal- John the 3rd- requested missionaries for the areas Portugal was colonizing in India.
This century [16th] was one of exploration and colonization.
In Japan Xavier had great success- the city of Nagasaki was started to simply provide a place for all the Japanese converts!
There were reported miracles of healing under the ministry of Xavier- and he became one of the most successful missionaries from the Jesuit order.
Xavier came into some controversy- initially in his missionary efforts he was ‘more conservative’ in that he tried to get new converts to abandon all former cultural ties- in order to embrace the faith.
Over time- he sort of ‘mixed’ [called syncretism] the eastern religious practices with the faith.
When the Dominicans and Franciscans saw what was happening- they reported it to the church.
This became such a controversy among the Japanese- eventually the priests were martyred along the road to Nagasaki.
A sad event indeed.
The Protestants neglected the Far East in their missionary efforts- they were primarily trying to reform the church in Europe.
Yet Ignatius and his society were spreading the gospel- in areas that never heard either the Catholic or Protestant message.
All in all- Xavier did a very effective job- and is well respected by both Catholics and Protestants for the work he did.
. ROMANS 8-10
VIDEO- [I cover stuff on the videos that are not in the post- here are a few]
.Council of Trent- what did the Church say?
.Do we get the final say- at the Judgment?
.What are the Catholic virtues- did Paul teach them?
.Augustine, Calvin, Whitfield and Wesley.
.Infusion or Imputation? How bout both!
At the bottom I added some quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic church- to show that the official teaching of the church DOES NOT TEACH SALVATION BY THE LAW- BUT BY CHRIST.
. REMINDER- This is a commentary I wrote years ago- the videos are new.
.CHAPTER 8- FEW POINTS;
5- Did God choose us to believe- or did we choose him?
ATHEISM- APOLOGETICS [links added- long version]
MY RADIO LINKS-
http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7R Kant, Hume, Sartre
http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-6E Apologetics- Kant, Hume
http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-6F DaVinci code
http://wp.me/a4V5qQ-7Q Something from nothing- Quantum Leap
I cover some church history on this post- here’s a study I did in the past that gets more in depth.
https://ccoutreach87.wordpress.com/1st-2nd-corinthians/ On today’s videos I talk about Paul’s teaching on being single- here’s my complete teaching on Corinthians where it is found
. Let me cover some church history. I have had someone argue with me about the history of Islam. Not a Muslim, but a Christian who was saying ‘why do you say Islam started in the 7th century, it started around the 11th’. My answer was ‘Muhammad lived in the 7th century’. Not to hard to see this. So I thought I should cover some history. During the time of the rise of Islam, the Christian church was already dividing from east and west. After Constantine [4th century Roman emperor] consolidated the Roman Empire in the 4th century he set up the capital city of the eastern empire, Constantinople [named after him]. As time progressed the western church would take on the form of Roman Catholicism, the
(835)ROMANS 7:1-4 Paul uses the analogy of a married woman ‘don’t you know that the law has dominion over a person as long as he is alive’? If a married woman leaves her husband and marries another man she is guilty of breaking the law of adultery. Now, if her husband dies, she is free to marry another man. The act that freed her from sin and guilt was death! Every thing else in the scenario stayed the same. She still married another, she still consummated the new marriage. But because her first husband died, she has no guilt. I always loved this analogy. For years I wondered why these themes in scripture are for the most part not ‘imbedded’ in the collective psyche of the people of God. We have spent so much time ‘proof texting’ the verses on success and wealth, that we have overlooked the really good stuff! Now Paul teaches that we have been made free from the law by the ‘death of our husband’ [Jesus] so we can ‘re-marry’. Who do we marry? Christ! He has not only died to free us from the law, he also rose from the dead to become our ‘husband’ [we are called the bride of Christ]. Paul connects the death and resurrection of Jesus in this analogy. Both are needed for the true gospel to be preached [1st Corinthians 15]. Notice how in this passage Paul emphasizes ‘the death of Christ’s body’. The New Testament doesn’t always make this distinction, but here it does. In the early centuries of Christianity you had various debates over the nature and ‘substance’ of God and Christ. The church hammered out various decrees and creeds that would become the Orthodoxy of the day. Many of these are what you would call the ‘Ecumenical councils’. These are the early councils [many centuries!] that both the eastern [Orthodox church] and western [Catholic] churches would all accept. Some feel that the early church fathers and Latin theologians [Tertullian, Augustine and others] had too much prior influence from philosophy and the ‘forensic’ thinking of their time. They had a tendency to describe things in highly technical ways. Ways that were prominent in the legal and philosophical thinking of the West. Some of the eastern thinkers [Origen] had more of a Greek ‘flavor’ to their theologizing [Alexandria, named after Alexander the great, was a city of philosophy many years prior to Christ. This city was at one time the center of thinking in the East. That’s why Paul would face the thinkers at Athens, they had a history in the east of Greek philosophy]. Well any way the result was highly technical debates over the nature of God and Christ. The historic church would finally decree that Christ had 2 natures, Human and Divine. And that at the Cross the ‘humanity of Jesus’ died, but his ‘Deity’ did not. I think Paul agreed by saying ‘we are free from the law by the death of Christ’s Body’ here Paul distinguishes between the physical death of Jesus and his Deity. Note- actually, Augustine would be in the same school as Origen. Alexandrian.
But man could not know all the truths about God and his nature without ‘special revelation’ [the bible and church tradition]. All Christians did not agree with Aquinas new approach to Christian truth, the very influential bishop Bernard would initially condemn Aquinas over this. Bernard said ‘the faith that believes unto righteousness, believes! It does not doubt’. The Scholastic school taught that the way you arrive at knowledge was thru the continuous questioning and doubting of things until you come to some basic conclusions. These issues would be debated for centuries, and even in the present hour many argue over the issue of Divine revelation versus natural logical reasoning. Tertullian, an early North Afrcian church father, said ‘I believe because it is preposterous, illogical’ he became famous for his saying ‘what does Jerusalem have to do with Athens’ meaning he did not believe that Greek philosophy should have any part with Christian truth. Origen, his contemporary, believed the other way. So the debate rages on. Why talk about this here? Some believers ‘believe’ in a type of knowledge called ‘revelation knowledge’ they mean something different than the historic use of the term. Historically ‘revelation’ meant that which God revealed to us THRU THE BIBLE, not something outside of the bible. For instance, the first canon of scripture put together was by a man called Marcion. His ‘bible’ contained the letters of Paul and parts of :Luke. He believed the revelation God gave Paul was for us today, not the Old Testament or the historical gospels. He was condemned by the church as a heretic. The point being some took Paul’s writings about receiving knowledge from God as an indicator that what God showed Paul was different than what the church got thru the other apostles. In point of fact the things that God revealed to Paul, or to you or me; all truth is consistent, it will not contradict any other part of Gods truth. Paul’s letters are consistent with the gospels, not in contradiction. When believers cling to an idea that their teachers are sharing ‘special revelation’ or a Rhema word that is somehow above the scrutiny of scripture, then they are in dangerous territory. Paul did appeal to his experience with God as a defense of his gospel, but he backed up everything he said with Old Testament scripture. God wasn’t ‘revealing’ things to Paul that were outside of the realm of true knowable ‘truth’. You could examine and test the things Paul was saying, he wasn’t saying ‘because God showed it to me, that’s why I’m correct’. So in today’s church world, we want all the things we learn and believe to be consistent with what the church has believed thru out the centuries. Sure there are always things that are going to be questioned and true reform entails this, but beware of teachers who come to you with ‘revelation knowledge’ or a ‘Rhema word’ that goes against the already revealed word of truth.
THE CROSS- 1
.Alone in a crowd
.Did we chase God into a book?
.Law v Grace
.What was the leaven?
This fits in with the theme of a harsher punishment for those who reject the covenant of grace as opposed to those who rejected the covenant of law. I know these themes are not popular, but this is clearly the way Paul is presenting them. I also am not saying the ‘God’ of the Old Testament is different from the ‘God’ of the new [this is the heresy of Marcion! I think that was his name. He was an early Christian heretic who comprised the first canon of scripture for a ‘new testament’ it included basically Paul’s letters, and he taught that The God of the new testament was different from the God in the old] but Paul is presenting the new covenant in a way that says ‘don’t neglect this new way of salvation, those who do will receive a harsher judgment than those who rejected the law’.
A HEAVENLY CITY.
DON’T BE SAD, HE’S TREATING YOU LIKE A SON.
NO REPENTANCE- OUTSIDE OF CHRIST THAT IS.
CULTURE SHOCK IS HARD ON US ALL.
Once again we see the contrast between ‘he that spoke from earth’ [Moses- the law]- and he that ‘speaks from heaven’ [Jesus covenant is more strict- to those outside of it and reject it- because he has heavenly authority- Moses had earthly]. Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
The writer says ‘don’t be sad- God disciplines every son who he receives’- though this certainly applies to Christians- Hebrews 12:5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
Plato was born in 427 BC- he was the most famous student of Socrates.
He is best known for his theory of Ideas/Forms.
He believed that the material world was an imperfect copy of the Idea world.
That is he believed that Ideas exist apart from the construct of the human mind- that they were the perfect forms of the things we see in the material realm.
He could also be referred to as a Realist- because he believed these Ideas actually existed [for real]. Where did he get this from?
As we study Philosophy- each one that comes down the line has been influenced in some way by those that preceded them.
There was a famous thinker- Pythagoras [his followers were the Pythagoreans] who taught a concept called the Transmigration of the Soul [a sort of Reincarnation].
They believed that the soul of man went thru various stages- and existed independently of the body.
In Greek thought the soul is immortal- it exists before the body.
In Christian teaching the Soul [mind- Spirit] comes into existence when God creates man [the bible says ‘and man BECAME a living soul’- referring to the creation of Adam].
The Greeks saw the soul as preexisting before the natural life.
In the mind of Plato- the body was a receptacle- in this life we recollect the knowledge that comes from the Idea world.
He ascribed Ontological status to ideas themselves.
In Philosophy there are 2 basic ways knowledge comes [we study this in Epistemology- an offshoot of Philosophy- which deals with how we know things].
A Priori knowledge is knowledge obtained independent of experience.
A Posteriori is knowledge obtained thru the senses- what we call Empirical evidence.
In Plato’s schema he believed that the knowledge that comes to us from the Formal world [ideas- forms] was A Priori knowledge- that the human mind recalls- and in the present material world- knowledge comes to us from the perfect idea world.
The Greeks believed that all matter was flawed- that the Body was an imperfect vessel- and after death we are released into the perfect world- and free from the material realm.
Christian Tradition does not hold to this view.
The Church teaches that the created world is good- not evil.
Among Christians there is some confusion about this- because the older versions of the bible [King James] seem to teach that matter [world, flesh] is evil.
Paul the apostle talks about no good thing being in The Flesh- he talks about the Carnal mind- the apostle John says ‘all that is in the World- the lust of the flesh- the pride of life- is not of the Father but is of the world’.
There are many references like this in the bible- but they are speaking about the sinful nature of man [the flesh] and not about the human body itself [For instance Paul says in Romans ‘present your BODIES as living sacrifices unto God- Holy and acceptable’ in Corinthians ‘your BODY is the temple of the Holy Spirit’- there are many references in scripture that speak of the Body as Holy.
When the bible says ‘satan is the god of this world’ it is not speaking of the earth- which God created- and calls GOOD- but it is speaking of the ‘world’ system- an age of wickedness.
So- at times Christians have confused this- and have held a sort of Dualistic view of matter- that is not the biblical view- but a Gnostic view- that all matter is evil.
Plato saw the unseen world of Ideas as the perfect- pure world.
He taught that in this life we obtain the knowledge of the pure- by reason of recollection- that these pure ideas come to us ‘are recalled’ in this life.
He is famous for founding the first Philosophical school- it was called The Academy- named after a man by the name of Academus.
The land was donated for the school- it was previously used as an Olive Grove- and in honor of the donation- Plato named the school after the donor.
This is why we use the phrase ‘The Groves of Academia’ today.
Plato was actually a nick name- he wrestled in Athens- in a sort of precursor to what would later become the Olympic games- and he was broad shouldered- that’s where his name comes from- Plato means broad shouldered.
So- to sum up- Plato believed that Forms [ideas] were eternal, the cause of all that is.
He believed we are born with innate ideas- these are not learned thru sense experience- but exist independently of the mind- and in this bodily life we retrieve [the body is a receptacle] these ideas.
Does the bible teach anything along these lines?
Christians believe that God himself is infinite- without beginning or end.
That wisdom- ideas- ‘forms’ of things do indeed exist- prior to our own life.
But these ideas are not without a Mind- God is Spirit- and he is everywhere [Omnipresent] he knows all tings [Omniscient] – so- in a way- there are indeed ideas- forms- but they come from the ultimate Mind of God.
A good example would be the building of the Tabernacle- and later the Temple- under Moses and King David [his son Solomon actually built it].
God told Moses ‘see that you build it after the Pattern shown to thee in the mount’.
In the book of Hebrews we read that the earthly Tabernacle [Temple] was simply an image- a symbol- of heavenly realities.
That God himself had the ‘form’ in his mind- indeed- like Plato taught- the heavenly form is perfect- the earthly expression imperfect.
But these patterns- forms- ideas- are from the Mind of God- they are not Innate in the soul of man- nor does the soul of man exist before his birth.
In the past few months I have had several Christian friends tell me that they feel like they existed before this life- a type of reincarnation.
I explained to them that in the Christian faith we do not hold to this view.
But- the bible does tell us that God had a purpose for us- Predetermined- before the ‘foundation of the world’.
Meaning that yes- in the Mind of God- in a way- we did exist- but we did not have actual being [called Ontological status in the field of Philosophy] until we were created by God.
God’s purpose for us was already in the Mind of God before our birth.
The bible says that Christ is made unto us wisdom- we are not Receptacles in the sense that Plato taught.
But yes- in time God reveals to us this Hidden Wisdom- about his love and purpose for us.
And in this life we act out- we fulfil this eternal purpose.
Man [or woman] can never find true happiness- true meaning- until they tap into this purpose.
We were created by the hand of God- to bring glory and honor to him- and we in this life can ever find true fulfilment- until we make it back to God.
The famous renaissance artists- DaVinci- Michelangelo- Raphael- used their artwork as a form of knowledge- the images taught things- they were not just paintings.
DaVinci’s most famous work was his painting on the ceiling of the Sistine chapel in the Vatican.
It took him 4 years to complete.
The renaissance period- from about the 13/14th century to the 17th- [though there was a sort of Renaissance that took place- yes- in the Islamic world before the European Renaissance] was marked by what we term Humanism.
Today we associate this term with ‘secular Humanism’ which often has a bad connotation- especially among Christians.
But it meant something different back then.
It was a new focus on breaking the limits off of man- and for man to excel in knowledge and skill- and to see man as having value.
There was somewhat of a break away from the church in a sense- in that the church and its teachings were not the only source of wisdom for man.
But- Jesus himself taught that ‘the Sabbath was made for man- not man for the Sabbath’- so- the Humanist spirit- elevating the value of man- does have a Christian basis in my view.
Leonardo daVinci [15/16th century] was what we refer to as a true Renaissance man- meaning his knowledge was in many fields- not just art.
He actually considered himself a sculptor first- then an artist- though he is most famous for his Fresco mentioned above.
Here’s my study on The Reformation-
And my past teaching on the Western intellectual tradition-
As I read a few chapters every few days- I want to comment on the important- relevant stuff.
One of them being the very word Relativity.
Now- I am tempted to go back and review all the posts we did on physics [you long time blog readers might remember?].
But this book is not a physics book per se’- but a biography.
Yet a quick review might help.
Einstein became famous for a few things- most of us know the famous equation E=mc2.
Simply a conversion of mass into energy formula- it works for all things- not just Nuclear.
His theory of Relativity shook up the world of physics- and Einstein is indeed the father of what we call modern physics [and Quantum theory].
Okay- what he did was he took the centuries old ideas of Newton [the father of classical physics] and he said that time and space were not absolutes.
That’s is- that depending on the observer [and his speed] time actually changes.
Some in the scientific community could not fathom what he was saying.
The book has actual headlines from the NY times- they openly doubted some of Einstein’s work
I remember reading this years ago- but this time I saw the real headlines.
They said stuff like ‘what is this new theory- that space might be limited- this defies the actual definition of space’.
Now- it would take too long to tell you what they were covering- but it is one of the various theories of the universe.
In actuality- the times might have been right in this one case [it’s a theory that the universe is curved- has no detectable edge- if so- you can than argue for an infinite universe in a closed space- because there is no edge- or end].
As a side note- logically- the times was correct.
Just because you can’t find a ‘sharp edge’ to a thing- that does not mean the thing is ‘endless’.
I covered this years ago in our apologetics posts- it was interesting to have re –read this from this author [Isaacson].
He is a good author- and explains stuff well.
Okay what was the other stuff that some objected to?
Some associated- wrongly- the theory of Relativity- with the modernist philosophy called Relativism.
Relativism [remember the philosophy stuff?] said that there was really nothing as objective truth- that what you see might be just as true as what someone else sees.
You might both be looking at the same thing [morally- murder- etc.] yet to one it might be wrong- to the other- right.
This idea- Relativism- was strongly rejected by many philosophers- especially those with a Christians/Theist background.
Even today this is one of the major debates going on in the world of the philosophy.
But- some confused what Einstein was saying- and they thought [or used it] to back up the ‘moral’ philosophy of Relativism.
This was a mistake.
Einstein himself- as I mentioned in an earlier post- was not a relativist at all- that is when speaking about moral absolutes.
So some began to associate him- as one of the new ‘Jew’ scientists- who were introducing dangerous doctrines to the world.
Yes- some of the objectors to Einstein objected on the basis of this new ‘Jewish science’ that was breaking away from the moors of Christian science- whose father was Isaac Newton.
See how both anti Semitism- and religious belief played a role in this?
I’ll end with a quote from a famous man of the time- an up and coming politician- I mean he could awe his audience like no other.
Obama- Clinton- even the great communicator- Reagan- were no match for this man when it came to giving a speech.
He said ‘Science- once our greatest pride- is today being taught by Hebrews’.
Who said this?
The future leader of Germany- Adolph Hitler.
6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:
8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious?
9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.
10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth.
11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.
2 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.
2 And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.
3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
Genesis 11:2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.
Genesis 11:3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter.
Genesis 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Genesis 11:5 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.
Genesis 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
Genesis 11:7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.
Genesis 11:8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.
Genesis 11:9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:10 These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:
Genesis 11:11 And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:12 And Arphaxad lived five and thirty years, and begat Salah:
Genesis 11:13 And Arphaxad lived after he begat Salah four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:14 And Salah lived thirty years, and begat Eber:
Genesis 11:15 And Salah lived after he begat Eber four hundred and three years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:16 And Eber lived four and thirty years, and begat Peleg:
Genesis 11:17 And Eber lived after he begat Peleg four hundred and thirty years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:18 And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu:
Genesis 11:19 And Peleg lived after he begat Reu two hundred and nine years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:20 And Reu lived two and thirty years, and begat Serug:
Genesis 11:21 And Reu lived after he begat Serug two hundred and seven years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:22 And Serug lived thirty years, and begat Nahor:
Genesis 11:23 And Serug lived after he begat Nahor two hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:24 And Nahor lived nine and twenty years, and begat Terah:
Genesis 11:25 And Nahor lived after he begat Terah an hundred and nineteen years, and begat sons and daughters.
Genesis 11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
Genesis 11:27 Now these are the generations of Terah: Terah begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran begat Lot.
Genesis 11:28 And Haran died before his father Terah in the land of his nativity, in Ur of the Chaldees.
Genesis 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took them wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
Genesis 11:30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.
Genesis 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there.
Genesis 11:32 And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.
4 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
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