Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Seeing the darkness clearly

May 17, 2010

Posted to a Facebook thread (Sam Shropshire) –

At the judgment we are told there were some who said “Lord, Lord! We worked miracles in your name!” Yet they were sent away. Where is THEIR bending of the knee; their confession of tongue?

It is easier to ask difficult questions than it is to answer deceptively obvious ones with platitudes.

If faith takes over when reason fails then where is the logic in theoLOGY. If Isaiah is correct that God’s mind and ways are far from ours; if Paul is correct about “though a glass darkly” then how clearly may we hope to understand in such a darkness at such a distance?

Paltalk Bible Discussion on Wisdom

April 17, 2010

I gained a new insight yesterday during a long Bible discussion in Paltalk.

http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/p80.htm

Excerpt:

..physical anthropology and molecular biology combine to make a convincing case for the origin of the human species in Africa about 150,000 yeas ago in a humanoid population of common genetic lineage.

Here is an excerpt of my reply to a Facebook thread on this:

You all miss the whole point of my post I suspect. Someone in Paltalk said they doubted that the RC would accept anything which contradicts Genesis

    AND I POINTED OUT THAT

, on the contrary, the Pope acknowledges that geneticists and physicists have made strong arguments; i.e. the RC his hardly fundamentalist. There are Roman Catholic Old Testament scholars who deconstruct the Old Testament to reveal the existence of various authors in say Genesis based upon style of language and who entertain as a reasonable conjecture such theories as those of Julius Wellhausen (Prolegomena to the History of Israel – 1878) recognizing four sources of authorship; Yahwest (J), Elohist (E), Priestly (P) and Deuteronomist (D).

In particular I am impressed by “Reading The Old Testament – An Introduction” by Lawrence Boadt, C.S.P, Paulist Press ISBN 0-8091-2631-1

Lawrence Boadt, CSP, is an ordained priest in the Paulist Fathers, and professor emeritus of Scripture Studies at the Washington Theological Union. He has written and spoken widely on Old Testament topics, and currently serves as the president and publisher of Paulist Press in Mahwah, NJ.

Even in the 4th century Basil the Great wrote the Hexemeron essay on the six day creation in Genesis and stressed that something like a day could be a metaphor for an eon, since the psalms say that “for God, one day is a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.” The early century Greek theologians were hardly fundamentalists who took each verse at its literal meaning. At least the Ratzinger was willing to tip his hat to the geneticists and entertain the possibility that they may be on to something. People who insist the Earth is 6000 years old are utterly silly.

(end of excerpt)

First, consider that the serpent in the garden was described as the wisest or shrewdest of all the creatures. Next, consider how King Solomon prayed for wisdom and God promised Solomon that he would not only be wiser that all who came before him but also wiser than all who came after him. Now consider that Jesus calls John the Baptist the greatest man born of WOMAN (which is gyne but not parthenos/virgin). Finally, Jesus states that “a wiser than a Solomon is in your midst” (presumably himself).

We may conjecture from all this the following.

1.) Solomon IS the wisest human of all times, but Jesus is WISER being theos-anthropos and not simply anthropos (i.e. God-man).

2.) If John the Baptist is the greatest born of a non-virgin (gyne) therefore John’s greatest consists in something OTHER than wisdom (i.e. wisdom is necessary but not sufficient).

3.) Genesis concedes that a non-human, the serpent, might be more crafty or shrewd that all other creatures, including humans.

The Greeks like to cite a verse from Isaiah “unless you BELIEVE you shall not UNDERSTAND” to stress that FAITH comes first as a gift from God who foreknows how each recipient will use a gift (yet such foreknowledge in no way robs anyone of free will). Maximos the Confessor (circa 6th century) states in the Philokalia that (paraphrased) “Faith comes first as a gift and from faith proceeds understanding but only as much as is necessary to be salvific for a recipient.”

Aquinas takes the opposite position in the Summa, namely, that understanding comes first and faith follows from understanding.

Capitalizing the G in God

November 17, 2009

William

this is my first day getting ubuntu to run on a 250gig old tower machine with wifi

took me literally 40 hours of experimenting cause documentation is poor and installation programs are not intuitively obvious

5:33am

Nyc
Linux is for Enterprise, not entertainment
more stable than windows
when I worked at FriendFinder it was a 24/7 shop and it took over 3 months before I saw a box crash
at least they finally adopted a GUI for installing programs, not too many years back it was all done via the Command Line

6:19am
William
just now i succeeded in getting into paltalk in ubuntu with foxpro, and it supports mic and headphones
i couldt do that with Wubi Ubuntu intalled on WIndows
but this is a pure Ubuntu system

6:21am
Nyc
wanna field test VivaVox on Ubuntu?

6:25am William
hmmm…. interesting…. i wonder what or IF it will install on my ubuntu
Kamal would know
good questions
try to invite me, and we will see

6:26am William
its installing now
vivox is not compatible with my build of firefox
thats the message i got

6:28am Nyc
bummer, Kamal needs to know that

6:31am William
i just tried to message him and firefox crashed
it restored this session

6:31am Nyc
oops

6:31am William
but you know, i updated TODAY an hour ago
so, i must have the latest firefox ubuntu build

6:31am Nyc
try a complete restart

6:32am William
good idea… i just sent Kamal the message

6:36am William
i just reloaded firefox, but still no install, and this time i got valuable info about the linux build

Linux-x86-gcc3
so i need to tell Kamal

6:37am William
you know, everything is so much faster in this ubuntu
i am amazed
i think windows has too much overhead with antivirus firewalls etc
of course, i never could get one single person to try out vivox with me under windows
so, i dont think I will cry too hard

6:51am Nyc
I’m running Snow Leopard, Ubuntu and xp on this box, with has 2 quad cores running at 2.66 and 16 gigs of DDR3 RAM, so overhead isn’t a problem

6:58am William
I had a LONG talk in that EMPATHY chat client with my long time friend who is a doctor in Tehran
and it is SUPER FAST
cause I was also chatting with a woman in nyc, and a long time friend in Singapore

7:00am Nyc
was in Berlin last week for the Last Hurrah of the West

7:00am William
oh right
pbs is showing some documentary about how the Beatles helped to defeat the Soviet Union

7:01am Nyc
google ‘Plastic People Of the Universe’ + Hungary

7:01am William
this is so fast and it is only WIFI
I couldnt get ethernet to work

7:02am Nyc
The Velvet Underground had more to do with the collapse than the Beatles

7:02am William
but cabled Ethernet is supposed to be faster than wifi

7:02am Nyc
I used to be able to buy Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ in the DDR’s hard currency Intershops as a child
on vinyl. The State allowed it because it was in keeping with their Principles

7:04amWilliam
Socrates and Jesus died over principles. Principles can be rather toxic at times.
Im so clever I scare myself sometimes, ha ha

7:05amNyc
I’ve always believed that both those characters are fictional products of Plato’s Academy
sucker existed for 900 years after Plato’s death

7:06amWilliam
I spend a lot of time in Paltalk Catholic chat, because the average age is 50, so it is some companionship
but some of the people really irritate me
but its better than the other chat rooms

7:07amNyc
no doubt

7:07amWilliam
but this one guy gives everyone a hard time if they do not capitalize the g in God
so I lectured him that he will go to hell for missing the message of the Gospel
I said that in ancient hebrew and greek there was NO LOWER CASE
lower case was a recent innovation

7:08amNyc
logic doesn’t enter into it with the indoctrinated

7:08amWilliam
so i said he would be in the crowd who says “Lord Lord I worked miracles in your name
and Jesus said “go away I never knew you
I told him that he misses the entire point of the Gospels which is HUMILITY
i said that’s why Jesus washed everyone’s feet
he said he just wants to show God respect
I said that he is a control freak who judges others
ha ha, he had a hard time dealing with what i had to say

7:10amNyc
Have you read ‘Jesus Is A Jerk’ ?

7:10amWilliam
then this other goody two shoes preacher type started to say to me “… my friend”
so i told him that i NEVER trust anyone who uses that phrase “…my friend”
and i don’t
i said that in life friends are few and far between, and don’t need to be told “my friend”

all the Paki Muslims that argue with me always, without fail, say “my friend” and “my dear”

I told the preacher guy why i despise all the radio and tv ministers
the fact is that all this “personal relationship with Jesus” is an innovation of the 20th century

7:12amNyc
all the hot dog vendors in NYC say ‘my friend’

7:12amWilliam
because in the 19th century in America, in the 1st and 2nd GREAT AWAKENINGS of the revivalists
the most famous sermon was ‘in the hands of an angry God
and it was all Calvinism
Jesus wasnt your “buddy pal”

7:13amNyc
found it: http://godisimaginary.com/i39.htm
have you seen ‘Dogma’ ?

7:13amWilliam
even Jesus said “you are my friends IF you do as I say”

7:14amNyc
The ‘Buddy Jesus’ plays a role in that movie

7:14amWilliam
there is no place really in the bible which says “yes, Jesus loves me”
like that old song “the bible tells me so”

I searched long and hard, and there is only ONE passage in one gospel that vaguely substantiates Jesus loving someone

and i know a protestant would rebuttal with “greater love hath no man than to give his live”

well, stop and think about heros like Patrick Henry

7:15amNyc
The Buddy Jesus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BEZaPN8gUY

7:15amWilliam
or posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor winners

7:16amNyc
I met a direct descendant of Nathan Hale in DC

7:16amWilliam
yes, they have great love, to give their life for their country, but they do not have a PERSONAL relationship with those for whom they sacrifice

If I gave up my life tomorrow to help the suffering people in some African nation… it is an IMPERSONAL act

7:17amNyc
hmm

7:17amWilliam
and the whole Protestant reformation twists the rhetoric to argue that we are SAVED from our just punishment by our lipservice faith
yet, the epistle of James (which Luther HATED) says, “the devils believe, and tremble”

So, obviously demons had faith and knew who and what Christ was, but that didnt save them

7:19amNyc
The Koine New Testament was the Fox News of its day

7:19amWilliam
and the most christian person of the 20th century was Gandhi, who rejected Christianity as his personal religion

an Athenian in highschool today has an easier time understanding Xenophons greek than Koine greek

and in the gospels where is says jesus took the bread and broke it…

the word is “artos EKLASE”

Which was the koine for break KLASO

but in modern Greek it means HE FARTED

LIKE broke wind

same root

and britches is related to BREECH of a gun, and the root means NOISE

i.e. fart

so, the peasants in church when the gospel is read in koine greek, they cant understand it

7:21amNyc
huh

7:21amWilliam
so, the priest in the sermon usually gives an elaborate explanation
well, a greek priest came to our monastery, and gave a sermon like that, and afterwards, apologized
because he forgot that we all knew koine greek
he was used to the villagers who needed a synopsis recap

7:22amNyc
whoa
what are the odds of a congregation being fluent in koine in the 20th century?

7:23amWilliam
well, unless they studied like we did, they wont know
when i recite church slavonic to russian speakers, they cant understand a word
only people who STUDY church slavonic understand it, even if the speak a modern slavic language

i mean, if you read the entire Philokalia, which was written by 70 authors between 300 ad and 1100ad
you will not see a single HINT of protestant piety

7:25amNyc
kalia?

7:25amWilliam
Philokalia

7:25amNyc
Kalia means?

7:25amWilliam
is a collection of writings for monastic life on Mt. Athos

Kalia means wholesomeness

7:26amNyc
got it

7:26amWilliam
in modern greek “kalos kagathos” means a fine gentleman
fine and dandy
but, it is honorific, not pejorative

7:26amNyc
great song

7:26amWilliam
kalos kai agathos
a contraction to ka’gathos
so philo-sophia is contrasted with philo-kalia

like Paul, on that hill of mars…
the greeks seek after some new idea

7:27amNyc

7:27amWilliam
that sort of thing

7:37amWilliam
hope i didnt gross you out with all the theology
but, that is my lifelong thing, comparative religions
so, when you look at someone like Hans Kung
his mental feat was like climbing mt everest
so, after years of study, he is at the top, and he gets this panoramic view

So, he shouts down to everyone on the ground what he sees
EXCEPT, they cant understand, unless and until THEY climb a mt everest

7:39amNyc
right you’ve mentioned that before

7:39amWilliam
and they cant really hear what he is really saying up there,k because of the distnace,

7:39amNyc
i deal with that everyday

7:40amWilliam
so they dont even know WHAT he is saying, much less WHY

William
same with Kurt Godel’s indefiniteness proof
very few know OF it and its import
but only a handful are cabaple of FOLLOWING IT
and they say that IF You can follow it, it is like an ecstatic revelation
king of like mastering Euclids final theorem where he inscribes all the perfect solids in a sphere
except 1000 times more difficult
which MEANS that most of us take such things on FAITH
LIKE relativity quantum heisenbergs uncertaintity, schroedingers cat
or dna, quarks muons, even atoms

7:52amNyc
65% of all humans alive lack the ability for abstract thought

7:52amWilliam
just like Karl Popper says… we CANNOT Know that every atom of copper in the universe conducts electricity, because we cannot TEST every atom of copper

7:53amNyc
that’s been true for our entire history that we’ve skittered about on the face of the Earth

7:53amWilliam

and much to the chagrin of Noam Chomsky, there is a tribe of 500 in the Brazilian rain forest who speak a language that has no RECURSION

and Chomsky’s big theory is that every language is recursive

So when I say, “yesterday, I saw a man walking down the road wearing a red hat” that is a recursive linguistic structure

The Pidaha tribe (pronounced Piranha) would say “last day. man walking. walking road. has hat. hat like blood
and they dont have words for colors like red
or numbers the way we understand number

William
Cool stuff
but only cool to the really cool few, sadly

I wish I could die on a cross so that all future generations would enjoy such realizations, and i would do it out of LOVE, but not personal individual love, as in a “personal relationship”, but an abstract kind of love.

William

Would you be offended if i posted an edited version of this chat in my facebook notes.. just curious to see what some of the catholics say.

its cools stuff
that only comes out during discourse

8:05amNyc
sure, i was thinking the same thing

8:05amWilliam
great, and i am editing out the parts where you admit to masturbating and picking your nose
ha ha , just kidding

8:06amNyc
leave those in, they’re key

8:06amWilliam
imagine having lunch with ratzinger and kung, and your first question is “have you ever masturbated or picked your nose”
i know everone picks their nose
i am not certain about the universality of masturbation

8:08amWilliam
and Sartre points out that it is utterly impossible to pick your nose AND masturbate simultaneously with the same hand, UNLESS your dick fits in your nostril, in which case it is so small as to be a mere pecadillo

8:09amNyc
i had an encounter at the EPA Building in DC where a guard pointed out the cameras in an attempt to intimidate me, so I faced the cam picked my nose and ate the booger

8:09amWilliam
you do realize that just now i reached a height which surpasses even Seinfeld and Family guy. This may be my apotheosis

8:13amNyc

thanks for the reminder
downloading the Seinfeld reunion on Curb Your Enthusiasm right now

8:17amWilliam

I figure mortality and discord are two survival traits of our species
in theory an individual could be immoratl,… but then the species would not be flexible, to adapt to changing circumstances
and, if we all saw things the same way and agreed, then, there would be no diversity,
you would not have some desert dwellers, some mount dwellers, some sea-farers, some rain forest people
we would not have spread out to occupy diverse ecological niches
our survival trait means we will always be divided on key issues
so, if we used weapons of mass destruction to eleminate all our ideological enemies… why in a few generations,
more sectarian and partisan divisions would arrise

8:22amNyc
there have already been 5 extinctions in Earth’s history. I fail to see what makes humans more specialer than any other species

Someone Asks Regarding Faith

September 13, 2009

Dear Cheryl Lynn,

A young fish once asked an old wise fish how he might make a pilgrimage to the mighty ocean he had heard about. The wise old fish laughed and said, “the ocean is all around you!”

At the end of this comment I will post Paul’s famous words about faith.

If you look at what Paul said, faith is more about having confidence, and persistence… simply to keep on trying.

Now, you will notice that all the Biblical characters that Paul mentions had some kind of challenge, or predicament or problem. It makes no sense to talk about faith, if everything is fine and dandy.

So, Cheryl Lynn, the way I see it, you already have a lot of faith, because you have a big problem that many of us do not have, and you keep on trying. You don’t give up.

Mother Teresa made it through life by being a Roman Catholic nun. She accomplished some amazing things. Tich Naht Hahn made it through life by being a Buddhist monk. Rosa Parks did her thing in a bus. Bertrand Russel and Albert Einstein did their things as an atheist and an agnostic, using math and physics. Anne Frank did her thing with a diary, and a persecution.

You must have heard that old story about someone who complains about the cross they have to bear, so God lets them shop around for a different cross. They tried on so many different crosses, of different sizes and weights and shapes. Finally when they find one that suits them, God laughs and says, “Why that’s the cross I originally gave you.

So, Cheryl Lynn, who would you like to trade places with, and trade crosses with?

I say, it is no picnic to be Cheryl Lynn, me, or Heath Ledger, or Elvis Presley, or any number of other people one can think of

I don’t say that everyone has it equally hard.

I have tried on many different religions and denominations. At this stage of the game, I don’t expect to find a solution to my problems with a particular creed, or guru,

Here is the quote about Faith from St. Paul:

XI.–Now, faith is the confidence of things hoped for, and the conviction of things not seen. By this the ancients obtained reputation. By faith, we understand that the worlds were formed by the word of God; so that the things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear.

4.–By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, on account of which he was commended as righteousness; God testifying in favor of his oblations: and so by it, though dead, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was translated, that he might not see death, and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation, it was testified that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he who comes to God, must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them who diligently seek him. By faith Noah, when he received a revelation concerning things not yet seen, being seized with religious fear, prepared an ark for the salvation of his family; by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when called to go out into a place, which he should after-wards receive as an inheritance, obeyed, and went out, not knowing wither he was going. By faith, he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the joint heirs of the same promise: for he expected the city having foundations, whose builder and maker is God. By faith also Sarah herself received strength for the conception of seed, and brought forth when past the time of life; because she judged him faithful who had promised. And therefore there sprang from one, who was dead in this respect, a race, as the stars of heaven in multitude, and as the sand which is on the sea-shore, innumerable. All these died in faith, not having received the promises. For seeing the things promised afar off, and embracing them, they confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims in the land. Now they who speak such tings, plainly declare that they earnestly seek a country. For truly, if they had remembered that from which they came out, they might have had an opportunity to return to it. But, indeed, they strongly desired a better country; that is, a heavenly. Therefore God is not ashamed of them,–to be called their God; because he has prepared for them a city. By faith Abraham, when tried, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises, offered up his only begotten, concerning whom it was said, that “In Isaac shall they seed be called;” reasoning that God was able to raise him, even from the dead; from whence indeed, he received him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, with respect to things to come. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, bowing on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when dying, made mention concerning the departing of the children of Israel, and gave commandment concerning his bones. By faith, Moes, when born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; choosing rather to suffer evil with the people of God, than to have the temporary fruition of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked forward to the retribution. By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the wrath of the king. For he courageously persevered, as perceiving the invisible God. By faith he appointed the passover, and the sprinkling of the blood; that he who destroyed the first-born, might not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as by dry land, which the Egyptians attempting to do, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, having been encompassed seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot was not destroyed with the unbelievers, having received the spies in peace. And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me to speak of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jepthah, and David also, and Samuel, and the prophets,–who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,–quenched the strength of fire, escaped the edges of the sword, grew strong from sickness, became valiant in battle, overturned the camps of the aliens. Women received their dead by a resurrection, and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockings and scourgings; and moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they died by the slaughter of the sword, they went about in sheep skins, and in goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, maltreated; of these the world was not worthy: they wandered in deserts, and mountains, and in caves and holes of the earth. Now all these, though commended on account of faith, did not receive the promise, God having provided something better for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

Originally posted Saturday, September 27, 2008