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Adam and Eve's relationship w/ God after the Fall and dispensationalism / covenant doctrines

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9 hours ago, WordWolf said:

But-  are they different time periods because they're required to be-  as in "this period ended and this other one began at the same time",  or because different people are under different rules because that's what was asked of them?   Jesus told a parable about the workers in the field, with some angry because others got a better deal even though theirs was good.    Right now, if we're "under grace",  is "the law" just as effective as it was before, even if it's outmoded and obsolete?   If the answer is "yes",  then the critical difference is not the TIME, it is the RULES.  IF that is so, then it's not "time periods" as much as the relationships or covenants or sets of rules someone is under, and 2 or more sets can be in effect and work at the same time.    If it's  time-periods, then that can't be true- just as there's only one president of a nation at a time, only one government can legally rule a nation at a time (Obama's term ended and Trump's began, etc.) 

Geesh... can't say that I've ever even heard reasoning against seeing it as periods of time because there was some hard cut off point where one starts the other ends.  When or where or why did "transition periods" get cut out of that picture?  But, perhaps the intention is merely to make that particular aspect or perspective sound as difficult or as "unlikely" as possible...

Personally, I've become rather fond of thinking of it in terms of an economy.  Economies change (or evolve, if you prefer) over time.  Even though that may not be a perfect way to see it, it makes plenty of sense to me.  In a particular economic environment, certain things work great, some things sort work, and other things don't at all (i.e., you end up in the poor house.)  Factor into that equation what is prescribed (or,  "dispensed") for physical and/or spiritual health and well being in that particular economic environment, and you have a "dispensation."  Furthermore, it makes the most sense from a global position, not having isolated bits and pieces or parts that operate independently or apart from the whole... 'cause when two economic systems enter the picture, one eventually overcomes or overwhelms the other and pushes it out or subjugates it. (i.e., puts it in the poor house.)  which is why, I suppose, that the grace administration - as "good" and as overwhelming as it is - will need to be removed and taken out of the way for any other "system" to be viable.

  

 

Edited by TLC
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TLC:

"Geesh... can't say that I've ever even heard reasoning against seeing it as periods of time because there was some hard cut off point where one starts the other ends.  When or where or why did "transition periods" get cut out of that picture?  But, perhaps the intention is merely to make that particular aspect or perspective sound as difficult or as "unlikely" as possible... "

 

I have to see it work "on paper" if I'm going to take it seriously.  If it's "administrations" like the US government, then at any point, technically, one President or another is officially in charge, and the Secret Service are clear on who it is if no one else is.  In college, I was in a student organization for a number of years, and I discovered that it was actually important to know exactly who was in charge at any moment in the school year.  (I had written into the group's constitution the specific determinant on when the group's president changed- it was tied to the Final Exam schedule of the semester, so that the next president and cabinet was in power during Winter or Summer break, so they could get things prepared, and we were clear who was supposed to be prepping things.)     If it's a governmental thing, the US is hardly the only government where "who is in charge this minute" after elections has become a sticking point- I saw one country's president decide to vanish as soon as they lost re-election,  which prompted the president-elect to immediately assume the office to prevent an absence of president (he got sworn in immediately.)

It's not about how the ideas are made to sound, it's about trying to get clear concepts, then looking at them coldly and seeing if they hold up under scrutiny.  I don't hold to a doctrine if it doesn't withstand my scrutiny, whether or not I LIKE the doctrine.  (That's been true for a VERY long time.)     When vpw introduced the concept of "administrations" in pfal, he himself said that some of them ended ABRUPTLY, so the idea was introduced by him.  If that's not true but the rest is, I'm open to hearing how "transition periods" are supposed to work.   Adam and Eve were cast out of Paradise, and the Patriarchal "administration" supposedly began immediately.  Moses was given the Law, and the Law "administration" was in effect.  

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17 hours ago, WordWolf said:

I have to see it work "on paper" if I'm going to take it seriously.  If it's "administrations" like the US government, then at any point, technically, one President or another is officially in charge, and the Secret Service are clear on who it is if no one else is.  In college, I was in a student organization for a number of years, and I discovered that it was actually important to know exactly who was in charge at any moment in the school year.  (I had written into the group's constitution the specific determinant on when the group's president changed- it was tied to the Final Exam schedule of the semester, so that the next president and cabinet was in power during Winter or Summer break, so they could get things prepared, and we were clear who was supposed to be prepping things.)     If it's a governmental thing, the US is hardly the only government where "who is in charge this minute" after elections has become a sticking point- I saw one country's president decide to vanish as soon as they lost re-election,  which prompted the president-elect to immediately assume the office to prevent an absence of president (he got sworn in immediately.)

This "who is in charge" angle (or approach, if you prefer) to oikinomia is not something I've really encountered or thought much about before, and quite frankly, I'm just not sure how or someone else might see or want to frame it in those terms, aside from it being a strawman.  It seems to me that a more biblical perspective deals with (and hence, is more important to understand) what is dispensed or administered, and perhaps why it is so... and not really so much (if at all) with who or where it comes from, and when or how it arrives.

17 hours ago, WordWolf said:

It's not about how the ideas are made to sound, it's about trying to get clear concepts, then looking at them coldly and seeing if they hold up under scrutiny.  I don't hold to a doctrine if it doesn't withstand my scrutiny, whether or not I LIKE the doctrine.  (That's been true for a VERY long time.)     When vpw introduced the concept of "administrations" in pfal, he himself said that some of them ended ABRUPTLY, so the idea was introduced by him.  If that's not true but the rest is, I'm open to hearing how "transition periods" are supposed to work. 

Regardless of whether or not anyone says they ended abruptly, even that can lack contextual meaning.  In other words, "abruptly"... as compared to what? For instance, was there supposedly some blink of the eye when Adam instantly moved from one administration to the next? And if so, when was it? As soon as he ate, and "eyes were opened"? Or, when God asks, "Where art thou?" Or, when God said, "...unto dust shalt thou return"? Or, when God clothed them? Or, maybe when God "sent him forth from the garden"? Or, was it when God "placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims"?

Well, perhaps all in one day is "abrupt" enough.  But then, what about the change that occurred with Noah? Was that at the beginning of building the ark... or, after the flood ended and they disembarked?  And then, what does one then say when it comes to the change with Abraham? Or with Moses?  Is there some "abrupt" that happens in their life where some switch is flipped? One instant before it was this, the instant after it was that?

17 hours ago, WordWolf said:

Adam and Eve were cast out of Paradise, and the Patriarchal "administration" supposedly began immediately.  Moses was given the Law, and the Law "administration" was in effect.  

Well, I don't doubt that you are well aware of the fact that there was some sort of change that occurred and is recorded in Genesis 3.  Likewise with Moses... although you seem to have missed or skipped over both Noah and Abraham.  Does it really makes much difference what name might be used (i.e., Paradise, Patriarchal, Law, Grace, etc.) to label and/or identify these changes? Not so much, I think.  Call them whatever, as long as it's not too misleading or inappropriate.  Seems to me it's far more important to realize what changed, and perhaps, why it changed.  AND, is what appears to have changed so significant that it should be called a change in oikinomia?  Ah... so now we arrive at the real heart of the issue.  What sets apart or distinguishes one oikinomia from another? And it's back to possible definition(s) of oikinomia.  In short, I think how someone defines it can certainly limit or restrict what "changes" they do or don't see (or want to see) or acknowledge in scripture. 

As noted in a previous post, I currently lean towards thinking of it as an economy.  Didn't always think of it that way... but I do now.  Economies tend to be rather intricate, though not necessarily complex.  But almost always not easily understood, even by the most intelligent.  Sometimes it just take the right angle, or perspective, on it to make perfectly good sense.

Hence, there is beauty and wisdom inherent within "rightly dividing" (...separating?) the word of truth. 

Try forgetting anything that vpw or twi or anyone else has said about, or what you think you know about, 2Tim.2:15...  and just for a minute, consider what that verse might really mean if the separating (right dividing) that is written there is about making the appropriate distinctions between the word of truth that was given "prescribed" for this day and time, and that which was given for any other day and time.   Why else would Paul refer to it as "my gospel" (Rom.2:16).  which (according to Gal.1:11,12) was not received from man, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ?

 

 

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TLC:

"But, perhaps the intention is merely to make that particular aspect or perspective sound as difficult or as "unlikely" as possible... "

TLC:

"This "who is in charge" angle (or approach, if you prefer) to oikinomia is not something I've really encountered or thought much about before, and quite frankly, I'm just not sure how or someone else might see or want to frame it in those terms, aside from it being a strawman."

That's twice in 2 successive posts you've accused me of handling things dishonestly.   I don't know if you intended to be insulting like that, but that's what you're posting.  I was under the impression that you wanted to get into all of this because you wanted an intelligent discussion,  so I stayed in out of respect,  but I'm not going to bother if this is how it's going to be. 

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So, that's your only care and concern?  Not, what the truth is?

Look, the fact here is, I really don't care much what your reason is or isn't for posting what you did.  I was simply stating what it looks like, AND some number of reasons why it does.  Why do you have to take this so personal?  We both know it's not even a point of view that you actually believe, but rather, some bit of a reasoning process (that I plainly stated I wasn't familiar with and didn't make sense) which now appears far easier to avoid for what appears to me to be some rather emotional and artificial reason, rather than given much of any real thought to the points or questions already posed.     

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"Why do you have to take this so personal?"

You wouldn't like it if you were in a discussion, and suddenly disagreements went from actual discussing into

"So, that's your only care and concern?  Not, what the truth is?'

and .     

"...what appears to me to be some rather emotional and artificial reason, rather than given much of any real thought to the points or questions already posed"

I think you're being a bit more honest with "Look, the fact here is, I really don't care much what your reason is or isn't for posting what you did. "    Antagonistic responses are arriving independent of whether we're having a nice discussion or whether someone's trying to be dishonest, underhanded, or deliberately obtuse or obstructive.   If that's going to be the response style to everything, then go ahead and have the last word on the subject.  I thought you wanted to discuss and have an intelligent process going, I was obviously mistaken.

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Well, since I started this with a kind of dual-subject post, will just say how much I appreciate the  responses, and how cool it is to view ppls interactions and thoughts as a way of yes, gaining critical thinking confidence when one gets to think about different positions, different perspectives, and what one does or doees not agree with. Thank you GSCers!!

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On 9/12/2019 at 7:36 PM, annio said:

Please guide me if there has already been a post on this topic, couldn't find it recently discussed- So! I have been realizing that the doctrine that A&E were totally separated from God/"died spiritually" immediately after falling in a totally black and white "picture", and the dispensational (administrations) doctrinal "boxing" taught by vpw et al has affected my life negatively. (I realize this is a huge topic, so will just throw out some  thoughts, and see if anyone is interested...)  There was zero Imago Dei teaching - that A&E were still functioning somewhat as God's image bearers. Or that GOD'S heart of unconditional love towards them did not change one iota; logically He would have grieved for the loss of the perfect relationship. And He had the plan for the Savior "ready to go". Eve believed she had birthed "a man from the Lord" - they still had many of the same Godly mental, emotional, etc patterns they had had, but now these would have been under attack, and the tempting, hindering, accusing, fear mongering, etc which is satan's influence in the world, would be influencing them. But they still had Truth deeply embedded and experimentally learned, correct?

I also think Dispensationalism keeps us (it did me) from really connecting Jesus' character to that of Jehovah, Elohim, (et al His names and "sides") in the Old Testament. So, yes, A&E became carnal, as we were/I was before getting born again. However, God had knit me together in my Mom's womb, He was working over-time to draw me to Him, and I was drawing towards Him years before I actually invited Jesus into my heart. And He still works thru many ppl and situations, and is not at all limited to just those who have His spirit residing them and have declared a life-long commitment to Him.  The "people without spirit are on the level of animals with just body and soul" teaching... That eroded humility and built up pride, and contributed to the "us/them dichotomy, like being the "special ppl", the born again ones, and then being in the "household" as well.

Covenant theology, the little that I know of it, seems much more revealing of a God of continual Presence, grace, relationship, mercy, support, and love. God had a covenant w/ A&E which they broke, but He was right there with the solution in Jesus; He just continually "adjusted things" to give room for man's free will. BUT all along He had His Plan A, what with foreknowledge and all. :anim-smile:  I think there is a lot more accurate continuity with the perspective that God is always interacting w/ His ppl (and often others) as the same covenanting Father, rather than thinking of Him primarily as a "boxer upper" of administrations...

And back to Adam and Eve - after they blew it, I think God got to really teach and help them, and then all mankind, right? (Well except for the nincompoops who just didn't listen.) Kind of like interacting with your teen-age adolescents - never a dull moment! Or like the younger son in the forgiving father parable, and the older bro as well...  After A&E turned away and disobeyed (maybe even just for a few seconds?), He could really reveal so much more about His character and person than they could have known before the fall, especially for us in Jesus and after Pentecost...

All for now. Blessings all!

On face value the Bible is a story, a history that follows a timeline. As such it's a complete history - starts at "in the beginning" of everything and ends with the Book of Revelations and events in the future. The perspective, the "one telling the story" is man. It can be believed to be inspired by God and what God wants us to know and to be authored by God and be God's Word. But the story doesn't begin with something like "I the God of all creation will now tell you about myself and what I've done - in the beginning...." It starts with a person writing about what God did in the beginning and what happened, someone recounting and telling the story. Figurative, metaphorical, literal, that's the voice of the Book. Within it there are many places where God is then quoted, or where God speaks in the story and the story unfolds of God, His creation and mankind. Etc. Etc. 

So - everything within it speaks for itself and to the degree we can understand it we know what it says. 

"Administrations", I started looking at that in Bullingers Companion Bible after PFAL in 1968, and his book "How to Enjoy the Bible". More important than understanding the jots and tittles of the breakdown for me was understanding his presentation of "structure" in the Bible and how the Bible reads out as a written work. Structure adds well, structure to context, near, distant, all contexts, by allowing a means of getting the rhythm and flow of it. The further I stepped back and view the parts, the more the overall context reveals itself. It also aids in just reading the Bible as I learned to begin to see the repetition and flow of it. 

And pretty much all language has that. Not every written work does though, and the more I read the Bible for that flow and connectivity the more I appreciated it. 

I never saw a real conflict with the idea of "administrations" or covenant theology or any of that. The Bible covers all known history from "in the beginning" and within that it does appear that God has made and held to arrangements with mankind, and specifically "His people". Today we're all drawn together under Faith in Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church. For me, the old, the new and everything in-between flows into that and is governed by the Lordship of Christ and what He taught and revealed to His followers, a reign that will come into fulness over time and ultimately bring everyone and everything into God's purposed plan. 

See you there!  

Wanted to add: I was a Gentile. I now get to know all of the Bible now as it was brought forth by Jesus Christ and taught, interpreted and then revealed through His own life, death, resurrection and ascendancy to heaven, the "right hand of God". 

Coming into this as a Gentile, a "non Jew", I have no direct right or claim to any of it. I am not a "child of promise" of any lineage of the 12 Tribes, as far as I know anyway. I'm in the Big Tent of Jesus because that's what God has allowed and through that grace we all are now brought together into this new temple of the Living God. Called before the foundations of the world, yes but it was not clearly understood that this was going to be the plan. Surprise!

I only say that because until the day I was born again I had no part of the previous promises and agreements of God with you His people. Called, by Christ, sure but not of the previous nation of Israel. A "new covenant", etc. That's me. So while I do care about the history of God and His people, and all that he's done both in this world and any others, my place is in this one NOW.

Everything is of God, and from God and has been, is and will be as God says it will be in the "big picture" - we live on the earth because at some point in the past God put things into place so that there could be an earth so this is our primary domain. Key to everything is that none of this is of our planning or direction. So the variations and changes of any concern to me at all are those that God has set forth. Mankind - we'll change a law or make a law for any reasons, no reasons, or just to have something to do. God's laws are the important ones. 

 



 

Edited by socks
Danger Will Robinson, danger! That's the last doughnut!!!
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And Adam and Eve and the Fall and that stuff - 

This may seem a little sideways, but I'm thinking of how Disney's Mickey Mouse has been described by some writers as "Adam before the Fall", a character who has no guile, no ill intent, and would deliberately cause no harm to someone else but who is overwhelmingly happy living "in the moment", etc. etc. 

In Disney's world Mickey might do something wrong but it wouldn't be with a deliberate intent to break the rules. This is elaborated on in "The Sorcerers Apprentice" (based on a poem by  Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1797) where Mickey's "sin" is to try and be the "Sorcerer". Mickey's fine in the beginning working in and with what he's been given but going on his own to try and wield the power and authority of his "Boss" he's not able to do it and it gets out of hand. Without the correct training and oversight and ultimately by stepping outside his role by his own will, he fails.

So there the pure heart of the character goes it's own way thinking he's up to the task - there's no subtle voice of disobedience from another telling him to disobey - step out of his given authority - he decides on his own. It's within him to want to be like the Sorcerer and to go outside his apprenticeship. 

That's not the Bible's story of course but it makes me think of Adam and Eve, before "the fall"....and if their error was disobedience we have to accept that they were knowledgable enough to not make that mistake. Genesis makes it sound like it was a "once and done" sort of thing, they were told what to do and what not to do and it was fully expected they had all the resources they needed to act accordingly. So what happened? 

That question takes me to the question, what is "sin". Disobedience, yes, but not every rule that's broken is done by deliberate disobedience. A toddler child will knock over a glass on a table but doesn't even know what the glass or table really is or why they shouldn't hit it with their hand and knock it over. We don't punish that child - or do we? Jesus taught for use to become like children, that to be great in the Kingdom of God we must be humble, like children. Children aren't perfect and their humility isn't the result of a perfect decision on their part. 

Which brings me to the body/soul/spirit part of all this and the loss of mankinds status with God in the original setting they were placed. There's a lot of theological struggle around understanding what man lost through his disobedience and gains through faith in the obedience of Christ. Cause from that angle it's all about our inability to be 100 per cent obedient to God - right? But Christ, the Perfect Son, lives and dies on our behalf and opens the door to the future for all who follow Him and believe "in Him"  which means to accept his being the son of God, who lived, died BUT was resurrected by God's doing and who now resides in a place or state with God, in a favored status of "His right hand". 

We're told in Genesis that the disobedience will cause them to die. They're told by someone else, no that's not what happens. There may be some specific thing about the "Tree" but if it's a matter of the knowledge of good and evil being revealed BY the act of disobedience then it's pretty simple - while they may have been pure at heart, they would be able to make a logical decision to do something other than what God told them AND to do it as if God was wrong, as if sure, that's what God said but now they're thinking otherwise, maybe not. So "sin" was made not as a mistake but as a decision. Seems unlikely doesn't it? But even today we have the saying "cut your nose off to spite your face", so maybe it's not so unlikely. 

And following the storyline of Genesis into the rest of the Bible they did start dying. Assuming they weren't going to die physically before that, now they would die physically. That was and is more than these bodies, it's all about "us", the me of me, the life, indeed, the pneuma of me and who I am. 

To me the Bible's all about LIFE, life, our lives, this life, the fact that we come into being, are born with an expiration termination date based on a bunch of factors but the overall state of our "pneuma" is that it will end and "die" at some point. 

"Pneuma hagion", spirit or life that is holy, separate, God's pneuma, won't. Doesn't. 

If I stop for just a second and look at "pneuma" as less a thing and more a kind of thing, with a quality and characteristic of life, it's much easier for me to understand. Instead of it being like a change in batteries, it's more of a transformation, one that we can actually now participate in to a degree in these "old wineskins" to some degree by the transformation of our minds, thoughts and actions, and even in a renewal of our "heart", our innermost essence of our being. 

To me the administrational thing isn't a tug of war, or a matter of theological debate. It only exists in any form because of the overall timeline and the events. If I follow the events and learn from them, I end up in the same place today - a rank Gentile who is now part of God's family. What was lost is reborn. I am now entered into a series of events that go forward into eternity. 

Edited by socks
etaoin shrdlu
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8 hours ago, socks said:

And Adam and Eve and the Fall and that stuff - 

This may seem a little sideways, but I'm thinking of how Disney's Mickey Mouse has been described by some writers as "Adam before the Fall", a character who has no guile, no ill intent, and would deliberately cause no harm to someone else but who is overwhelmingly happy living "in the moment", etc. etc. 

In Disney's world Mickey might do something wrong but it wouldn't be with a deliberate intent to break the rules. This is elaborated on in "The Sorcerers Apprentice" (based on a poem by  Johann Wolfgang Goethe in 1797) where Mickey's "sin" is to try and be the "Sorcerer". Mickey's fine in the beginning working in and with what he's been given but going on his own to try and wield the power and authority of his "Boss" he's not able to do it and it gets out of hand. Without the correct training and oversight and ultimately by stepping outside his role by his own will, he fails.

So there the pure heart of the character goes it's own way thinking he's up to the task - there's no subtle voice of disobedience from another telling him to disobey - step out of his given authority - he decides on his own. It's within him to want to be like the Sorcerer and to go outside his apprenticeship. 

That's not the Bible's story of course but it makes me think of Adam and Eve, before "the fall"....and if their error was disobedience we have to accept that they were knowledgable enough to not make that mistake. Genesis makes it sound like it was a "once and done" sort of thing, they were told what to do and what not to do and it was fully expected they had all the resources they needed to act accordingly. So what happened? 

That question takes me to the question, what is "sin". Disobedience, yes, but not every rule that's broken is done by deliberate disobedience. A toddler child will knock over a glass on a table but doesn't even know what the glass or table really is or why they shouldn't hit it with their hand and knock it over. We don't punish that child - or do we? Jesus taught for use to become like children, that to be great in the Kingdom of God we must be humble, like children. Children aren't perfect and their humility isn't the result of a perfect decision on their part. 

Which brings me to the body/soul/spirit part of all this and the loss of mankinds status with God in the original setting they were placed. There's a lot of theological struggle around understanding what man lost through his disobedience and gains through faith in the obedience of Christ. Cause from that angle it's all about our inability to be 100 per cent obedient to God - right? But Christ, the Perfect Son, lives and dies on our behalf and opens the door to the future for all who follow Him and believe "in Him"  which means to accept his being the son of God, who lived, died BUT was resurrected by God's doing and who now resides in a place or state with God, in a favored status of "His right hand". 

We're told in Genesis that the disobedience will cause them to die. They're told by someone else, no that's not what happens. There may be some specific thing about the "Tree" but if it's a matter of the knowledge of good and evil being revealed BY the act of disobedience then it's pretty simple - while they may have been pure at heart, they would be able to make a logical decision to do something other than what God told them AND to do it as if God was wrong, as if sure, that's what God said but now they're thinking otherwise, maybe not. So "sin" was made not as a mistake but as a decision. Seems unlikely doesn't it? But even today we have the saying "cut your nose off to spite your face", so maybe it's not so unlikely. 

And following the storyline of Genesis into the rest of the Bible they did start dying. Assuming they weren't going to die physically before that, now they would die physically. That was and is more than these bodies, it's all about "us", the me of me, the life, indeed, the pneuma of me and who I am. 

To me the Bible's all about LIFE, life, our lives, this life, the fact that we come into being, are born with an expiration termination date based on a bunch of factors but the overall state of our "pneuma" is that it will end and "die" at some point. 

"Pneuma hagion", spirit or life that is holy, separate, God's pneuma, won't. Doesn't. 

If I stop for just a second and look at "pneuma" as less a thing and more a kind of thing, with a quality and characteristic of life, it's much easier for me to understand. Instead of it being like a change in batteries, it's more of a transformation, one that we can actually now participate in to a degree in these "old wineskins" to some degree by the transformation of our minds, thoughts and actions, and even in a renewal of our "heart", our innermost essence of our being. 

To me the administrational thing isn't a tug of war, or a matter of theological debate. It only exists in any form because of the overall timeline and the events. If I follow the events and learn from them, I end up in the same place today - a rank Gentile who is now part of God's family. What was lost is reborn. I am now entered into a series of events that go forward into eternity. 

Socks,

Did you ever take any philosophy classes in college?

"Philosophy courses are different from other college courses you may have taken. Tests in philosophy require you to explain concepts in a clear and concise manner rather than to simply regurgitate information. Philosophers do not write research papers but instead write argument papers and this too can be a daunting task for those students that are unfamiliar with it."

Your ability to ponder Christian/biblical concepts/notions, think them through and explain what you think about them is probably most why I enjoy reading your posts and comments. The one I quoted above included. I don't know that I would have ever come up with anything like you did but I find it quite intriguing.

I see you as a philosopher of Christianity. Hopefully, that doesn't offend you.

As for me, I'm inclined to look at the Bible as (you mentioned the other day) a story or rather (in my case) a collection of stories. Stories are intrinsically crucial to humanity. But not necessarily because they may or may not be factual.

Greek and Roman mythology is all about communicating important stories/concepts to people even though we understand them to not be factual.

That said (about how I now view the Bible), I see great value in how you explained Mickey Mouse as analog to Adam. And how you described a new(er) understanding of sin than I had thought of maybe ever.

So, again, thanks for sharing your insights.

Edited by Rocky
What does "etaoin shrdlu" mean? Actually, I was correcting typos.
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6 hours ago, Rocky said:

Stories are intrinsically crucial to humanity. But not necessarily because they may or may not be factual.

Some might enjoy THIS series with Joseph Campbell. It explores the power and necessity of myths and heroes.

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14 hours ago, waysider said:

Some might enjoy THIS series with Joseph Campbell. It explores the power and necessity of myths and heroes.

Campbell seems to focus on the mythology of the "hero." Which, IMO, is all well and good but stories and myths that communicate life aren't always about a, or the, hero.

They are about concepts, ideas, notions. Making the abstract more tangible.

In terms of the topic of this thread, I would ask if we consider Adam, or Eve, heros?

 

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They are a vital component of the narrative because they create the need for a hero.

 

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On 2/2/2020 at 10:24 PM, Rocky said:

Socks,

Did you ever take any philosophy classes in college?

"Philosophy courses are different from other college courses you may have taken. Tests in philosophy require you to explain concepts in a clear and concise manner rather than to simply regurgitate information. Philosophers do not write research papers but instead write argument papers and this too can be a daunting task for those students that are unfamiliar with it."

Your ability to ponder Christian/biblical concepts/notions, think them through and explain what you think about them is probably most why I enjoy reading your posts and comments. The one I quoted above included. I don't know that I would have ever come up with anything like you did but I find it quite intriguing.

I see you as a philosopher of Christianity. Hopefully, that doesn't offend you.

As for me, I'm inclined to look at the Bible as (you mentioned the other day) a story or rather (in my case) a collection of stories. Stories are intrinsically crucial to humanity. But not necessarily because they may or may not be factual.

Greek and Roman mythology is all about communicating important stories/concepts to people even though we understand them to not be factual.

That said (about how I now view the Bible), I see great value in how you explained Mickey Mouse as analog to Adam. And how you described a new(er) understanding of sin than I had thought of maybe ever.

So, again, thanks for sharing your insights.

You're welcome! 

Yes, I have. A little early in my youth but moreso in later adulthood. I've read quite a bit about it and have some favorites in the field, although not many. 

Philosophy wasn't a popular term in the Way anytime I was involved (68 - 89). Philosophy is often considered antithetical to Christianity which is thought to be anti-intellectual by many. 

That line of thought contrasts Christianity the religion as being a set of revealed truths, a faith in a revelation that defines life with Philosophy as an inquiry into the fundamentals of life that tries to consider it as a whole and reason through what we know by our senses, not "super senses" so to speak, if there were to be such a thing. 

My thought on that is that if I take it all off the table and go back to zero - what have I got?

Christianity itself is a bit of a hybrid, but not for obvious reasons. Christ is "the Logos", the Word, the intent and meaning, the purposes, of God. God who can not be seen by my human eyes can be seen through the human being Jesus Christ, "He that has seen me has seen the Father". 

A logos is very much attached to it's source, if I can put it that way - it's essentially an expression of the reasoning of the one reasoning. And it's why Jesus Christ can't "Be God" literally, if he's the Logos of God anymore than say, a child I might have and raise whose sole purpose would be to carry on my work and legacy can literally "Be Me". It's a matter of consciousness, Jesus had a conscious life that was not "the same" as God's, they both didn't think through the same conscious facility, seen in how Jesus prayed TO God, and described Him as "Father". So in a way, even considering all the permutations and conjecture throughout history on Jesus Christ "the Word" and what that means, it could never really mean that he's God. He is by intention a necessary part of the means I am given BY God to understand and relate to Himself. That's not a small thing in an of itself by any means. 

So - that being the case (either way but easier to see through reasoning the "Logos" of God) Christianity is a revealed belief that doesn't rely on human reasoning to exist but the revelation itself is now a part of the physical world and I can now reason with and through it and learn both from it and about it. 

Now - Paul wrote that the "full" revelation of Christ wasn't a product of man's effort and was unknown, a mystery, secret. He wrote about the physical not being able to understand the spiritual and since I accept that to be true I also have to accept that when and if the spiritual is expressed in the physical, it's expression must then be able to be reasoned to it's source - without that "domain" context I can't really know it in a meaningful way and that's eXACTly what Christianity does, it gives domain context to everything it covers. And I'd argue that while it's outside of the reasoning we see in history it's not outside the range of human reasoning to have considered this time we are in - something that gets missed in theology I think. Granted the Jews and the other nations weren't thinking that way and they were being generally led as Israel to their separate and chosen status - but it wouldn't have been impossible for anyone sitting down and considering what the Messiah might really be like and do in His coming to consider "...hey! What if God draws all mankind to Himself through our Messiah??!!  I know, I know, that's not supposed to happen but doesn't it kinda make sense in a weird way...? What if - hey, that's a crazy idea but think about it....."... and then say "nawwwww! that's too crazy".....

Point being that everything about Christianity as it's been revealed and passed down including it's heritage history, is a physical reality, a moment in history, a tangible event, something that happened or was said and that had meaning and understanding in it's day and time. It's been written down, given the stamp of authenticity and can be now clearly understood to be "in" "The Word of God". 

In the same way we believe in Jesus Christ, not as an idea of an intention - but as person who lived, died, rose again, ascended. A real person. 

Point to the point being that in order to learn that, know it, understand it and get to the point I'm living it, everything I am doing in believing in Christ is essentially believing in the meaning of past events that have meaning now. So in it's own world it's not just a fuzzy idea or a revealed truth - it's a real man, a real God, and a real meaning for things I now really consider to be - well, real. 

So the effort I engage in is one of observation and consideration. In this same way the essentials of my own Christianity are tangible, with real events and real things that also have lead me to believe what I believe in - including what I've learned in the Bible. It's not only a belief in a set of values I've been taught or a fact someone told me is true - my own facts follow suit with the ones I've learned from others and in fact are probably at least as important to my beliefs now as what's in the Bible. 

I guess I choose to not get stuck in arguing objectivity and subjectivity and never get to the real meat of it all which is - is there really anything going on here with all this and if there is, how can I learn and understand it. 

And since the spirit of God is now in me and I have the "mind of Christ", my new capacity to live in this life would logically include the ability to reason within my new universe. 

- Glad you liked the Mickey Mouse stuff - an idea once fell on me like a cinder block once - that "the truth" can always be seen from any angle. God is with us always, even to the depths of hell or the furthest reaches of life - God is with us. Some people see God as being someone who does good things.  I kinda see good wherever I find it, and see God. Or try to anyway. 

PEACE! 

 

 

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Great post Socks !!! That's some deep stuff...I always enjoy reading your posts - they give me a lot to think about.

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20 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Great post Socks !!! That's some deep stuff...I always enjoy reading your posts - they give me a lot to think about.

Thank you! It's a learning exercise to write my thoughts out this way. Over the years I have notes, we all probably do on different things and it's fun to to write it out. For me it writes different than it speaks, and speaks different than it thinks, and it gets clarified in the process, if that makes sense. 

annio really said it all regarding the study of administrations in this original statement - " I think there is a lot more accurate continuity with the perspective that God is always interacting w/ His ppl (and often others) as the same covenanting Father, rather than thinking of Him primarily as a "boxer upper" of administrations..."

"Administrations" aren't outlined in the Bible the way we try to outline them as a hierarchy with hard stops and starts and break points noted in the texts by the author. Rocky's noted that the Bible is a collection of stories, of books, and that's true. We can understand them as an entire story and narrative then with a beginning and end (page 1, page 200, last page, etc) but that's not the actual story - is it? That's the book. It came to us in the format of the writers and their times. I would always see it first as history, a historical view of mankind's story from the earliest creation to the future completion of God's purposes for it all, and it's all told from the human angle, our voice. Today everything has rolled up into Christ the Savior. 

As annio stated there's a flow of events between God and His creation, and the changes that occur within that. It's a much easier way to read the Bible and if it does indeed speak for itself it will as we read it and learn it. So while I might use the idea of labelling the more obvious segments of the history and learning what changes and what stays the same I haven't found any great value to nailing that down till it hurts. Like say, the debate over the ending of the era of the apostles and there being an end to the gifts of holy spirit life manifesting in tongues, prophecy, healing, etc. Clarifying it as a change or no-change in "administrations" doesn't really do anything to move the needle on the real question which is - what does it say happened and does it say anywhere or read in the story we see that anyone written about declared an end to it, or for that matter even a start? And the answer I think is "no". So again, if I clear the table of the arguments over how many administrations can balance on the head of a goldfish, is there anything left and if so, what? And I figure, yes there is and it's.....etc. etc. 

We know the Bible didn't come to us as a textbook or manual. It does contain some things like that, Proverbs, Psalms, but they're not organized and cross referenced with footnotes as directed by God, they stand on their own word and order, as - is. So, it's not a textbook with an index, it doesn't start out "I the Lord God of all creation will now explain myself, my purposes and how this is all going to work. Let's start at the beginning. Remember there's maps and a glossary at the back of your set of manuals so make sure you have the current versions...." Nor does it lay out as a set of instructions - "Chapter 1 - What To Do Immediately After You're Born", or anything like that. 

As I grew up in the Way years, when I used to integrate these things into teachings people would usually get it and sometimes I could almost see light bulbs going off in our heads, first the bulb then the soft glow of awareness. Kind of like being in a well lit bookstore, in the back around a table in a room with windows, on a sunny day. That's how if feels to me anyway. : ) It goes to a place where there's no fight or debate or struggle. Instead there's study, discussion, listening, learning and hopefully understanding. God gave me peace with Him through Christ, I enjoy it. 

Cheers! 

Edited by socks
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Socks, thanks for sharing some of your process. As always great stuff in your post. I probably should knuckle down and write out some of the things I read and think about. I used to do that some on Grease Spot a few years ago…but I dunno…some of it was half-baked…not fully developed…whatever…anyway…

I like what you (and Annio) said about observing the flow of events between God and his creation - making for an easier way to read the Bible – letting it speak for itself (as the expression goes) would mean we may not have to get into a whole lot of elaborate explanations…as you said:

“As annio stated there's a flow of events between God and His creation, and the changes that occur within that. It's a much easier way to read the Bible and if it does indeed speak for itself it will as we read it and learn it. So while I might use the idea of labelling the more obvious segments of the history and learning what changes and what stays the same I haven't found any great value to nailing that down till it hurts.”

The flow of events in the past is history. What is history? It’s the study of past events, particularly in human affairs; the whole series of past events connected with someone or something. And usually historians have some keen sense that observes developments, trends, progress, changes, etc. Along with observations an historian might offer explanations to connect certain events in an effort to make sense out of things – that all being the historian’s own “lens” or perspective.

 I tend to think of dispensationalism or covenant theology (and for that matter even systematic theology in general) as a lens also – through which the reader views and tries to make sense of the Bible. But along the lines that you said, the Bible isn’t like a modern textbook – with everything organized by topics with charts, diagrams, index, and ALL the verses on a given subject are gathered together in one chapter so there’s no guesswork as to how this verse relates to that verse. That would be a book on systematic theology or something like an encyclopedia on the Bible. Don’t get me wrong – I do think being somewhat organized (theologically speaking) in how we look at the stuff of the Bible is necessary. But I think it’s detrimental to growth and expanding our horizons if we exclusively cling to one perspective as if it were set in stone. I probably use more of an amateur historian’s lens when I read through the Bible – sometimes noting the developments and changes in people – maybe as a way of understanding my own personal journey. Maybe that has something to do with what Annio said:

“Covenant theology, the little that I know of it, seems much more revealing of a God of continual Presence, grace, relationship, mercy, support, and love.”

I really like that!

Maybe this is a bit of exaggeration or overly simplistic but to me covenant theology has a subjective feel to it and seems to focus more on folks developing a working relationship WITH God…written by ordinary folks like you or me – inspired by God, yes – but conveying God’s message through their own experiences…so it’s ya know, touchy feely kind of stuff :rolleyes: ; whereas dispensationalism is more objective-ish and seems to be more about man versus God, Old Testament versus New Testament, law versus grace, what’s God’s rules and regs for a particular time…not saying either viewpoint has it all right or all wrong – but my ever-evolving “theology” tends to aim toward a synthesis of various ideas. Perhaps Galatians 5:14 is like a synthesis of sorts – “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself."

Some of what I believe about the Bible and certain topics are still in a state of flux – and I’m comfortable with that – although it’s been a long time for me to get to the point where I’m okay with not feeling like I have to be a Bible-know-it-all or thinking “The Word takes the place of the absent Christ”. Any of my studies in the Bible are usually geared more to helping me think about my relationship with God and the people in my life, understanding more about Jesus Christ, and sometimes even reevaluating my priorities.

Theologies and philosophies can be helpful. On a journey through the Bible or in life - we need to have a feel for the lay of the land. When I was young, I felt fully equipped for the journey with the knowledge, hopes, and plans that were wrapped up in my TWI life…now I’ve come to realize there’s lots of stuff in the Bible (and in life!) I may never figure out or truly understand…I’ve got a lot more of open-ended questions that simple pat answers can’t satisfy. ..I’m okay with that - it makes for a much more interesting journey... So I’ll leave you with this quote:

"If it were all truly known and planned and determined, life wouldn’t be worth living, just a giant to-do list waiting to be crossed off"…Helen Mirren

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12 hours ago, T-Bone said:

Socks, thanks for sharing some of your process. As always great stuff in your post. I probably should knuckle down and write out some of the things I read and think about. I used to do that some on Grease Spot a few years ago…but I dunno…some of it was half-baked…not fully developed…whatever…anyway…

I like what you (and Annio) said about observing the flow of events between God and his creation - making for an easier way to read the Bible – letting it speak for itself (as the expression goes) would mean we may not have to get into a whole lot of elaborate explanations…as you said:

“As annio stated there's a flow of events between God and His creation, and the changes that occur within that. It's a much easier way to read the Bible and if it does indeed speak for itself it will as we read it and learn it. So while I might use the idea of labelling the more obvious segments of the history and learning what changes and what stays the same I haven't found any great value to nailing that down till it hurts.”

The flow of events in the past is history. What is history? It’s the study of past events, particularly in human affairs; the whole series of past events connected with someone or something. And usually historians have some keen sense that observes developments, trends, progress, changes, etc. Along with observations an historian might offer explanations to connect certain events in an effort to make sense out of things – that all being the historian’s own “lens” or perspective.

 I tend to think of dispensationalism or covenant theology (and for that matter even systematic theology in general) as a lens also – through which the reader views and tries to make sense of the Bible. But along the lines that you said, the Bible isn’t like a modern textbook – with everything organized by topics with charts, diagrams, index, and ALL the verses on a given subject are gathered together in one chapter so there’s no guesswork as to how this verse relates to that verse. That would be a book on systematic theology or something like an encyclopedia on the Bible. Don’t get me wrong – I do think being somewhat organized (theologically speaking) in how we look at the stuff of the Bible is necessary. But I think it’s detrimental to growth and expanding our horizons if we exclusively cling to one perspective as if it were set in stone. I probably use more of an amateur historian’s lens when I read through the Bible – sometimes noting the developments and changes in people – maybe as a way of understanding my own personal journey. Maybe that has something to do with what Annio said:

“Covenant theology, the little that I know of it, seems much more revealing of a God of continual Presence, grace, relationship, mercy, support, and love.”

I really like that!

Maybe this is a bit of exaggeration or overly simplistic but to me covenant theology has a subjective feel to it and seems to focus more on folks developing a working relationship WITH God…written by ordinary folks like you or me – inspired by God, yes – but conveying God’s message through their own experiences…so it’s ya know, touchy feely kind of stuff :rolleyes: ; whereas dispensationalism is more objective-ish and seems to be more about man versus God, Old Testament versus New Testament, law versus grace, what’s God’s rules and regs for a particular time…not saying either viewpoint has it all right or all wrong – but my ever-evolving “theology” tends to aim toward a synthesis of various ideas. Perhaps Galatians 5:14 is like a synthesis of sorts – “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself."

Some of what I believe about the Bible and certain topics are still in a state of flux – and I’m comfortable with that – although it’s been a long time for me to get to the point where I’m okay with not feeling like I have to be a Bible-know-it-all or thinking “The Word takes the place of the absent Christ”. Any of my studies in the Bible are usually geared more to helping me think about my relationship with God and the people in my life, understanding more about Jesus Christ, and sometimes even reevaluating my priorities.

Theologies and philosophies can be helpful. On a journey through the Bible or in life - we need to have a feel for the lay of the land. When I was young, I felt fully equipped for the journey with the knowledge, hopes, and plans that were wrapped up in my TWI life…now I’ve come to realize there’s lots of stuff in the Bible (and in life!) I may never figure out or truly understand…I’ve got a lot more of open-ended questions that simple pat answers can’t satisfy. ..I’m okay with that - it makes for a much more interesting journey... So I’ll leave you with this quote:

"If it were all truly known and planned and determined, life wouldn’t be worth living, just a giant to-do list waiting to be crossed off"…Helen Mirren

Sure, my pleasure. : )

There are certainly "dispensations" in the Bible. Administrations, "oikonomia" deal with "house-law". How things are done, engaged with, managed, carried out, between God and man. That's changed over time, since Genesis. Those periods of time and what went on in them are important to understand if we want to get a real handle on our own relationship with God and gain an understanding of our Creator and Father. It's much more than just dates on a calendar of course. There are covenants agreements, between God and man during these times and those provide the structure to how things are done between us. 

There's consistencies too of course. God's mercy and grace are consistent themes, God's justice. 

I'm now a bona fide part of God's family, a fully vested child of the Creator. I WAS a Gentile before that, as far as the Old Covenant pre-Christ arrangement and in those administrations God dealt with the other nations of the world differently than with Israel and the bloodline of believers. 

I can see the transitional phase out - phase in, in Acts during their first Council at which they determined that the new Gentile converts would not be required to become fully invested in Jewish observance of their traditions and laws. They were given a broad encouragement to steer clear of pagan practices and sexual promiscuity and basically live the faith of Christ. Etc. It's easy to see that some of the disciples viewed their faith through their heritage and wanted to maintain that. It was being revealed however that the new identity of God's people would no longer by Israel or the 12 Tribes, but rather this new "church" of all those who followed Christ and accepted salvation by grace. 

So, first the exegetical work and then the hermeneutics, right? And it's at the hermeneutical stage that this becomes very important because teaching the doctrine of salvation in Christ doesn't have any additional requirements or attachments, it's by grace - and a very simple way to understand that is from the Gentile's perspective, since we, I, wasn't part of the Abrahamic bloodline and would not come into the faith with any of the expectations of a Jew. Everything past and everything coming is clearly understood for me today through Christ, all things are of and will be in Christ. Which is pretty much what the N.T. teaches - when I share salvation therefore I never take the approach that PFAL or Dr. Wierwille did, as if I need to square up some previously misunderstood division of the "administrations". The important part right now is a relatively simple message that spans history in a snapshot of events. 

The topic of "sin" though - have to get back to that, I guess. Romans 5 covers most of it, for me. A lot of it anyway. 

 

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To add - where the dividing lines of administrational thinking helps is understanding that today, we aren't a mix of all the stuff from before but rather have a unique arrangement with and through Christ.

Take tithing - the concept of recognizing God's provision with a portion of what I have is consistent since Abraham and Melchizidech, hundred of years before Moses and the old covenant law  and while it can recognize a human agency in it's execution it is not meant as a recognition of what a person does for us - it's an act of gratitude and recognition of what God does for us. And we always have reason and cause to do that.

Abraham believed God and it was credited to him for righteousness, he was made right to God by doing it. Today, I can tithe but it's not "counted to (me) for righteousness" - that's in the sacrifice of Christ, redemption and salvation.

So - the roots of tithing are ingrained in a faithful life throughs out all administrations since it was first recorded being done - faith in God, God's provision, our recognition of that by taking a part and devoting it to God. But today, it's not credited to make us righteous, if we don't tithe our identification with Christ remains.

Does God continue to bless us? Well, again I could go back to Church history, Acts 15 - there's no such "imperial entanglements" placed upon Gentiles entering the new Church of Christ, but clearly they were taught and encouraged to give "of their abundance" and shared back to the Church. I'd find it hard to think they didn't learn about the Jewish laws of tithes and offerings but I have to assume they learned "giving" in the context of Christ - freely you receive, now freely give - that's conceptual but is also very practical.

Anyway - I'll add Romans 5 to the discussion on sin - Romans 5 repeats three elements - that sin entered by one man, grace and justification abounded by another man, and that those following were "made sinners" by that sin of the one man as well as being justified by another man. 

- Adam sinned (one man, sin enters)
- those following were made sinners by that transgression *even if they didn't commit the same transgression of Adam - v 14.
- Christ justified (one man reputes sin)
- all made righteous through Christ and "grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." for all who believe. * even if we're not part of the old covenant promises, we are saved by the new covenant. 

Romans states that when there was no law, there was no sin imputed. This is a very fundamental point of God's justice - man wasn't judged because he broke a law he didn't know about or understand, he was judged by what he knew. 

Vv 12 - 14 add a very interesting perspective to the idea of sin and what it is and how it relates to "death"........it's worth pondering what the relationship of those two things are and the records of Adam and Eve. 

12 Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all sinned:— 13 for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come.

Several things happened as a result of the transgression - Adam would have to labor the earth to produce bread, Eve with the pain of pregnancy, birth, and childrearing, coupled with subservience to her husband. Human life would end in death. They were both banished from the "Garden". 

All of those things aren't immediately reversed when we accept Christ and identify with His righteousness but there is a new beginning into a new future - Man must work still but Christ taught that God provides for the birds who have no barns and don't sow or reap - how much more are we to our Father?.....In Christ, men and women have roles where the woman submits to the man but the man gives his life for the woman, and their role is collaborative in the body of Christ as "one".......women still bear a burden in childbirth and we still die - but these things will change in our future. 

The consistent theme is trust in God and His son, Jesus Christ and the "law of love" in Christ Jesus - grace, mercy and forgiveness. 

When we are "born again" we no longer have a "sin consciousness" to weigh us down because we are technically "citizens" of the heavenly kingdom now - so sin no longer governs our life. 

I am renewed in the "life of my mind" says the Bible, transformed by it's renewal - none of that effort replaces what Christ has done, it only transforms me in this life - spiritual renewal has it's privileges and one of those is that we can now pattern our lives after Christ's example and live as the righteous of God. 

Etc.have to pause....

 

 

 

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On 2/7/2020 at 11:32 PM, socks said:

To add - where the dividing lines of administrational thinking helps is understanding that today, we aren't a mix of all the stuff from before but rather have a unique arrangement with and through Christ.

Take tithing - the concept of recognizing God's provision with a portion of what I have is consistent since Abraham and Melchizidech, hundred of years before Moses and the old covenant law  and while it can recognize a human agency in it's execution it is not meant as a recognition of what a person does for us - it's an act of gratitude and recognition of what God does for us. And we always have reason and cause to do that.

Abraham believed God and it was credited to him for righteousness, he was made right to God by doing it. Today, I can tithe but it's not "counted to (me) for righteousness" - that's in the sacrifice of Christ, redemption and salvation.

So - the roots of tithing are ingrained in a faithful life throughs out all administrations since it was first recorded being done - faith in God, God's provision, our recognition of that by taking a part and devoting it to God. But today, it's not credited to make us righteous, if we don't tithe our identification with Christ remains.

Does God continue to bless us? Well, again I could go back to Church history, Acts 15 - there's no such "imperial entanglements" placed upon Gentiles entering the new Church of Christ, but clearly they were taught and encouraged to give "of their abundance" and shared back to the Church. I'd find it hard to think they didn't learn about the Jewish laws of tithes and offerings but I have to assume they learned "giving" in the context of Christ - freely you receive, now freely give - that's conceptual but is also very practical.

...(snip)

 

I agree - saying we are not a mix of all that stuff from before but we now have something special worked out with what Jesus Christ accomplished is a big spiritually defining deal! Besides all that he achieved for us spiritually, I think there might be a practical interpretive tool that the Gospels/his earthly life provided. I’ll get to that further down  – but first I want to mention something that got me thinking along that line.

I just finished reading an interesting book “Making Sense of the Bible” by Adam Hamilton and will probably reread it a few more times down the road since I found a few of the author’s ideas very intriguing. One of the ideas is about how God inspires people today may not be all that different than it was in biblical times… That alone is a lot to think about... And spoiler alert -  in case you haven't noticed - a while back I started leaning to a more liberal theology ( which I shared on another thread  concerning the Bible       ).

Our current knowledge of the world often presents challenges when studying the Bible because of the much larger frame of reference that we have.  I feel  - to be honest - within that larger frame of reference -  I must differentiate between the human and divine elements of scripture.  Viewing the Bible through an historical lens might recognize certain changes as religious developments. But that’s not to say God is developing…evolving… or has been brainstorming all along the way as if flying by the seat of his long flowing robes, making sure “the changes to policy and procedure” memos get out on time, informing folks of the current way God behaves or superintends his creation…I’m thinking more along the lines of how people mature in their understanding of God.

 

What if the “fabric” of the God-inspired scriptures isn’t so seamless? One of the things that Hamilton’s book got me to think more deeply about is the idea of a dual authorship of scripture. I believe scripture is inspired of God - but there’s the human element of each author. What exactly does that mean to us when trying to understand it? How much of a nuance do we allow for when taking into account the author’s humanness, individual style, historical outlook and cultural context? One of the problems I have with the fundamentalist’s viewpoint of scripture as being inerrant even when speaking of the things of science, history, geography, etc. - is that this viewpoint ignores the human component of authorship and might give the impression that the God who created the cosmos is an ignorant old coot who forgets details and glosses over errors.

 

What does all this have to do with an “administrations” viewpoint? maybe a lot...I dunno – maybe it's important when it comes to practical application. Some scholars suggest one of the things we should do in trying to understand the scriptures is try to understand what a passage meant to the original recipients. But if we look back at when a certain passage occurred and just say that’s how God ran things at that time – we might miss its relevancy for today. For instance, in “The NIV Cultural Background Study Bible” (editors John Walton & Craig Keener) when handling the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3   say that one can imagine a variety of ways that people might strive to “be like God”; some commendable, others inappropriately ambitious or subversive… and that in the ancient near east the aspirations of wisdom and godlikeness were defensibly laudable pursuits… and that back then it was common for folks to meditate on ways in which people succeeded or failed in achieving wisdom and godlike noble qualities.

TWI / Fundamentalists take a lot of stuff as very literal – so they focus on the forbidden fruit. What was it exactly? And if not speculating at what the fruit was they usually have a very rigid interpretation of the fall of mankind saying in an act of disobedience they questioned God’s word. While I do agree it was insubordination, I don’t think it was a specific fruit or item in the Garden of Eden – even though it says  “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”  

since Genesis 1     Informs us that mankind was made in God’s image and was given a very comprehensive mandate to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” – and besides the fact that we are given very little details of the drama unfolding in Genesis 3 – leads me to believe there’s more here than just someone refusing to simply follow God’s Word without question.

 

I mean that pretty much puts the kibosh on critical thinking. And in my opinion critical thinking is pretty much the cornerstone or foundation of how mankind still continues to fill the earth and subdue it. In my opinion asking questions...challenging ideas are all part of the critical thinking process for any discipline - theology, philosophy, the sciences. Even in matters of faith the intellect has its place.II Corinthians 5:7 says we walk by faith and not by sight. It does NOT say we walk by faith and not by reason...I go back and forth -  sometimes it's faith in pursuit of reason and sometimes it's reason in the pursuit of faith. :confused:  oy vey !

 

…For me among other things what the story of Adam and Eve shows is the danger of pursuing a shortcut to success. They were already godlike – made in the image of God….this is overly simplistic speculation here – but what if they were freaking out over God’s comprehensive mandate – wondering how they were going to accomplish all that and perhaps the tree of the knowledge of good & evil represented a way to circumvent a lot of long hard work. I dunno…just thinking out loud. ..anyway it seems to have a lot more relevancy for me today if I see the fall of mankind as a life lesson – there’s no such thing as a free lunch.    Well, I know there’s a lot more to it than that –  just gotta lighten up sometimes. :rolleyes:

 

When I get into my critical thinking mode and look at the grand scheme of things in the Bible - why is it I sometimes get bugged by the inconsistencies between one book and another and sometimes find it very difficult to nail down “ the biblical view” on certain topics? Also the character of God seems to change within dispensational or covenant theology...but maybe that's just the way I see things...this point is not a deal breaker.

If Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh then why does it seem the loving and forgiving God he reveals is quite different from the law giving , sometimes violence advocating , sometimes outright vengeful God of the Old Testament? It’s also interesting to note that Jesus Christ himself never wrote a book of the Bible... I don’t mean to trash these theologies – but maybe I’m looking for a viewpoint that looks for common ground. Again this is not a deal breaker for me. At the end of this post I will offer some redeeming qualities of these theologies.

So anyway, with Jesus Christ being the Word made flesh  I find myself trying to work out a Christ-centric theology as an “interpretive filter” when I study the Bible – maybe that’s the common ground...maybe similar to that what-would-Jesus-do thing. May not be the most scholarly way of practical application but it might help me see what’s relevant to living the Christian lifestyle today. In other words, how would Jesus address a certain issue?  Take for example how Jesus reinterpreted some Old Testament stuff in Matthew 5: 38 to 48   - what the law said about an eye for an eye.

== == ==

Going over the draft of my post several times – and not wanting to give anyone  the idea that  I am totally opposed to dispensational or covenant theology - I kept thinking about  Galatians 4   Where it says “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” I have sometimes wondered why Jesus Christ was born in the first century. Recalling all the prophecies in the Old Testament, all the laws that were laid down, all the accounts that exposed the human condition – I see all that as God’s way of preparing people…helping to guide them in their spiritual growth...in that regard dispensational or covenant theology goes a long way in showing how people grow practically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually as well as gaining a deeper understanding of God.

 that's all I have for now...I've tried to edit out the duplicate paragraphs the best I can...sorry for the mess of copying and pasting from my laptop to Grease Spot - - I think next time I will copy the entire draft to Grease Spot, minus the links to outside references - then I will go back and edit in the links...anyway thanks all for listening to my ramblings...time to go to bed...sweet dreams everyone

 

Edited by T-Bone
revision - gotta lot to say
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15 hours ago, T-Bone said:

I agree - saying we are not a mix of all that stuff from before but we now have something special worked out with what Jesus Christ accomplished is a big spiritually defining deal! Besides all that he achieved for us spiritually, I think there might be a practical interpretive tool that the Gospels/his earthly life provided. I’ll get to that further down  – but first I want to mention something that got me thinking along that line.

I just finished reading an interesting book “Making Sense of the Bible” by Adam Hamilton and will probably reread it a few more times down the road since I found a few of the author’s ideas very intriguing. One of the ideas is about how God inspires people today may not be all that different than it was in biblical times… That alone is a lot to think about... And spoiler alert -  in case you haven't noticed - a while back I started leaning to a more liberal theology ( which I shared on another thread  concerning the Bible       ).

Our current knowledge of the world often presents challenges when studying the Bible because of the much larger frame of reference that we have.  I feel  - to be honest - within that larger frame of reference -  I must differentiate between the human and divine elements of scripture.  Viewing the Bible through an historical lens might recognize certain changes as religious developments. But that’s not to say God is developing…evolving… or has been brainstorming all along the way as if flying by the seat of his long flowing robes, making sure “the changes to policy and procedure” memos get out on time, informing folks of the current way God behaves or superintends his creation…I’m thinking more along the lines of how people mature in their understanding of God.

 

What if the “fabric” of the God-inspired scriptures isn’t so seamless? One of the things that Hamilton’s book got me to think more deeply about is the idea of a dual authorship of scripture. I believe scripture is inspired of God - but there’s the human element of each author. What exactly does that mean to us when trying to understand it? How much of a nuance do we allow for when taking into account the author’s humanness, individual style, historical outlook and cultural context? One of the problems I have with the fundamentalist’s viewpoint of scripture as being inerrant even when speaking of the things of science, history, geography, etc. - is that this viewpoint ignores the human component of authorship and might give the impression that the God who created the cosmos is an ignorant old coot who forgets details and glosses over errors.

 

What does all this have to do with an “administrations” viewpoint? maybe a lot...I dunno – maybe it's important when it comes to practical application. Some scholars suggest one of the things we should do in trying to understand the scriptures is try to understand what a passage meant to the original recipients. But if we look back at when a certain passage occurred and just say that’s how God ran things at that time – we might miss its relevancy for today. For instance, in “The NIV Cultural Background Study Bible” (editors John Walton & Craig Keener) when handling the fall of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3   say that one can imagine a variety of ways that people might strive to “be like God”; some commendable, others inappropriately ambitious or subversive… and that in the ancient near east the aspirations of wisdom and godlikeness were defensibly laudable pursuits… and that back then it was common for folks to meditate on ways in which people succeeded or failed in achieving wisdom and godlike noble qualities.

TWI / Fundamentalists take a lot of stuff as very literal – so they focus on the forbidden fruit. What was it exactly? And if not speculating at what the fruit was they usually have a very rigid interpretation of the fall of mankind saying in an act of disobedience they questioned God’s word. While I do agree it was insubordination, I don’t think it was a specific fruit or item in the Garden of Eden – even though it says  “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”  

since Genesis 1     Informs us that mankind was made in God’s image and was given a very comprehensive mandate to “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” – and besides the fact that we are given very little details of the drama unfolding in Genesis 3 – leads me to believe there’s more here than just someone refusing to simply follow God’s Word without question.

 

I mean that pretty much puts the kibosh on critical thinking. And in my opinion critical thinking is pretty much the cornerstone or foundation of how mankind still continues to fill the earth and subdue it. In my opinion asking questions...challenging ideas are all part of the critical thinking process for any discipline - theology, philosophy, the sciences. Even in matters of faith the intellect has its place.II Corinthians 5:7 says we walk by faith and not by sight. It does NOT say we walk by faith and not by reason...I go back and forth -  sometimes it's faith in pursuit of reason and sometimes it's reason in the pursuit of faith. :confused:  oy vey !

 

…For me among other things what the story of Adam and Eve shows is the danger of pursuing a shortcut to success. They were already godlike – made in the image of God….this is overly simplistic speculation here – but what if they were freaking out over God’s comprehensive mandate – wondering how they were going to accomplish all that and perhaps the tree of the knowledge of good & evil represented a way to circumvent a lot of long hard work. I dunno…just thinking out loud. ..anyway it seems to have a lot more relevancy for me today if I see the fall of mankind as a life lesson – there’s no such thing as a free lunch.    Well, I know there’s a lot more to it than that –  just gotta lighten up sometimes. :rolleyes:

 

When I get into my critical thinking mode and look at the grand scheme of things in the Bible - why is it I sometimes get bugged by the inconsistencies between one book and another and sometimes find it very difficult to nail down “ the biblical view” on certain topics? Also the character of God seems to change within dispensational or covenant theology...but maybe that's just the way I see things...this point is not a deal breaker.

If Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh then why does it seem the loving and forgiving God he reveals is quite different from the law giving , sometimes violence advocating , sometimes outright vengeful God of the Old Testament? It’s also interesting to note that Jesus Christ himself never wrote a book of the Bible... I don’t mean to trash these theologies – but maybe I’m looking for a viewpoint that looks for common ground. Again this is not a deal breaker for me. At the end of this post I will offer some redeeming qualities of these theologies.

So anyway, with Jesus Christ being the Word made flesh  I find myself trying to work out a Christ-centric theology as an “interpretive filter” when I study the Bible – maybe that’s the common ground...maybe similar to that what-would-Jesus-do thing. May not be the most scholarly way of practical application but it might help me see what’s relevant to living the Christian lifestyle today. In other words, how would Jesus address a certain issue?  Take for example how Jesus reinterpreted some Old Testament stuff in Matthew 5: 38 to 48   - what the law said about an eye for an eye.

== == ==

Going over the draft of my post several times – and not wanting to give anyone  the idea that  I am totally opposed to dispensational or covenant theology - I kept thinking about  Galatians 4   Where it says “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” I have sometimes wondered why Jesus Christ was born in the first century. Recalling all the prophecies in the Old Testament, all the laws that were laid down, all the accounts that exposed the human condition – I see all that as God’s way of preparing people…helping to guide them in their spiritual growth...in that regard dispensational or covenant theology goes a long way in showing how people grow practically, intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually as well as gaining a deeper understanding of God.

 that's all I have for now...I've tried to edit out the duplicate paragraphs the best I can...sorry for the mess of copying and pasting from my laptop to Grease Spot - - I think next time I will copy the entire draft to Grease Spot, minus the links to outside references - then I will go back and edit in the links...anyway thanks all for listening to my ramblings...time to go to bed...sweet dreams everyone

 

"<I mean that pretty much puts the kibosh on critical thinking. And in my opinion critical thinking is pretty much the cornerstone or foundation of how mankind still continues to fill the earth and subdue it. In my opinion asking questions...challenging ideas are all part of the critical thinking process for any discipline - theology, philosophy, the sciences. Even in matters of faith the intellect has its place.II Corinthians 5:7 says we walk by faith and not by sight. It does NOT say we walk by faith and not by reason...I go back and forth -  sometimes it's faith in pursuit of reason and sometimes it's reason in the pursuit of faith.   oy vey !>"

 

That seems to be the most likely way to understand our current state and status - 

I was struck by the ideas of a relatively modern philosopher Henri Bergson who did a great deal of work presenting an understanding of time. He described it as duration...although human comprehension may tend to look at time as a way to measure our existence as we experience it and as a long connected stream of events, duration would be more like water. Water in a river running into another river and into an ocean that feeds the river, etc. forever, has been used as a metaphor for "time" and that's one way of understanding it - that we live and exist "in" a state of consciousness that has movement and change but primarily ENDURES and exists as it's most natural state. 

Things go on that can be measured but our primary means of understanding time as something that "passes" or moves in a direction is through our own physical experience....and without the faculties to remember and anticipate we would simply be in a "now" state - which by human standards wouldn't be a great existence....in fact it can then be postulated that to live in the "now" of a moment is to 1. increase our store of memories and 2. collectively build our understanding of the future. "Learning" by another word. 

So again, back to basics - Bergson disagreed with Einsteins definition of time as only a physical piece of existence and considered it more perceptual. Their positions most clearly clashed in the consideration of two things happening at the same time -"simultaneity".....and on a practical level I would back out of it all and just say that time is existence, measured by consciousness. If there were no self awareness there would be no concern for the idea anyway, of course. 

So to me, covenant and dispensational theories are somewhat similar in what they're trying to  do - but without a self aware human being living and learning in it's own lifecycle they're meaningless.

If I read the Bible the changes in time became self-revealing, it puts them forth in it's own story BECAUSE it's a story and not a set of measured, expected events. 

In "eternity" our timeline story is actually an impossibly small slice of everything that can't even be seen without getting closer to it....a year in eternity isn't even as big or as "long" as a drop of water in the ocean, .....again, back to basics - that gives a way to understand how God would view it all, much much much much much different than I would or can I have to assume because God is both eternal and now, as seen in God's interactions with humans in our history - assuming that God doesn't move in and out, further and nearer, earlier and later....then He is just "here", "now" and "forever"....and that's pretty much what the Bible tries to say about Him. 

 

 

Edited by socks
What's the frequency Kenneth?

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16 hours ago, T-Bone said:

I mean that pretty much puts the kibosh on critical thinking. And in my opinion critical thinking is pretty much the cornerstone or foundation of how mankind still continues to fill the earth and subdue it. In my opinion asking questions...challenging ideas are all part of the critical thinking process for any discipline - theology, philosophy, the sciences. Even in matters of faith the intellect has its place.II Corinthians 5:7 says we walk by faith and not by sight. It does NOT say we walk by faith and not by reason...I go back and forth -  sometimes it's faith in pursuit of reason and sometimes it's reason in the pursuit of faith.

Word!

 

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On 2/25/2020 at 3:23 PM, socks said:

(snip)...

That seems to be the most likely way to understand our current state and status - 

I was struck by the ideas of a relatively modern philosopher Henri Bergson who did a great deal of work presenting an understanding of time. He described it as duration...although human comprehension may tend to look at time as a way to measure our existence as we experience it and as a long connected stream of events, duration would be more like water. Water in a river running into another river and into an ocean that feeds the river, etc. forever, has been used as a metaphor for "time" and that's one way of understanding it - that we live and exist "in" a state of consciousness that has movement and change but primarily ENDURES and exists as it's most natural state. 

Things go on that can be measured but our primary means of understanding time as something that "passes" or moves in a direction is through our own physical experience....and without the faculties to remember and anticipate we would simply be in a "now" state - which by human standards wouldn't be a great existence....in fact it can then be postulated that to live in the "now" of a moment is to 1. increase our store of memories and 2. collectively build our understanding of the future. "Learning" by another word. 

So again, back to basics - Bergson disagreed with Einsteins definition of time as only a physical piece of existence and considered it more perceptual. Their positions most clearly clashed in the consideration of two things happening at the same time -"simultaneity".....and on a practical level I would back out of it all and just say that time is existence, measured by consciousness. If there were no self awareness there would be no concern for the idea anyway, of course. 

So to me, covenant and dispensational theories are somewhat similar in what they're trying to  do - but without a self aware human being living and learning in it's own lifecycle they're meaningless.

If I read the Bible the changes in time became self-revealing, it puts them forth in it's own story BECAUSE it's a story and not a set of measured, expected events. 

In "eternity" our timeline story is actually an impossibly small slice of everything that can't even be seen without getting closer to it....a year in eternity isn't even as big or as "long" as a drop of water in the ocean, .....again, back to basics - that gives a way to understand how God would view it all, much much much much much different than I would or can I have to assume because God is both eternal and now, as seen in God's interactions with humans in our history - assuming that God doesn't move in and out, further and nearer, earlier and later....then He is just "here", "now" and "forever"....and that's pretty much what the Bible tries to say about Him. 

 

Your post reminded me of some stuff I read by the Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli…I have his book “The Order of Time”  (copyright 2017 Riverhead Books)  on my Kindle…what follows are some thought provoking excerpts from that book, as you’ll see the author refers to previous chapters of the book…some of this touched upon what you were talking about – especially when you mentioned Bergson , the flow of time, eternity, existence, and consciousness - this book came to mind…anyway here’s some choice excerpts from pages 96 -204:

 

"…Divested of the trappings with which Newtonian theory had draped it, and to which we had become so accustomed, it now shines out with greater clarity: the world is nothing but change. None of the pieces that time has lost (singularity, direction, independence, the present, continuity) puts into question the fact that the world is a network of events. On the one hand, there was time, with its many determinations; on the other, the simple fact that nothing is: things happen…

 

…We started out with the image of time that is familiar to us: something that flows uniformly and equally throughout the universe, in the course of which all things happen. With the idea that there exists throughout the cosmos a present, a “now” that constitutes reality. The past for everyone is fixed, is gone, having already happened. The future is open, yet to be determined. Reality flows from the past, through the present, toward the future—and the evolution of things between past and future is intrinsically asymmetrical. This, we thought, is the basic structure of the world. This familiar picture has fallen apart, has shown itself to be only an approximation of a much more complex reality. A present that is common throughout the whole universe does not exist (chapter 3). Events are not ordered in pasts, presents, and futures; they are only “partially” ordered. There is a present that is near to us, but nothing that is “present” in a far-off galaxy. The present is a localized rather than a global phenomenon…

 

Perhaps we belong to a particular subset of the world that interacts with the rest of it in such a way that this entropy is lower in one direction of our thermal time. The directionality of time is therefore real but perspectival (chapter 10): the entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time. We see the occurrence of things ordered in this variable, which we simply call “time,” and the growth of entropy distinguishes the past from the future for us and leads to the unfolding of the cosmos. It determines the existence of traces, residues, and memories of the past (chapter 11). We human beings are an effect of this great history of the increase of entropy, held together by the memory that is enabled by these traces. Each one of us is a unified being because we reflect the world, because we have formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because it is a perspective on the world unified by memory (chapter 12). From this comes what we call the “flowing” of time.

This is what we are listening to when we listen to the passing of time. The variable “time” is one of many variables that describe the world. It is one of the variables of the gravitational field (chapter 4): at our scale, we do not register quantum fluctuations (chapter 5), hence it is possible to think of spacetime as determined, as Einstein’s great mollusk; at our scale, the movements of the mollusk are small and can be overlooked. Hence we can think of spacetime as being as rigid as a table. This table has dimensions: the one that we call space, and the one along which entropy grows, called time. In our everyday life we move at low speeds in relation to the speed of light and so we do not perceive the discrepancies between the different proper times of different clocks, and the differences in speed at which time passes at different distances from a mass are too small for us to distinguish.

In the end, therefore, instead of many possible times, we can speak only of a single time: the time of our experience—uniform, universal, and ordered. This is the approximation of an approximation of an approximation of a description of the world made from our particular perspective as human beings who are dependent on the growth of entropy, anchored to the flowing of time. We for whom, as Ecclesiastes has it, there is a time to be born and a time to die.

This is time for us: a multilayered, complex concept with multiple, distinct properties deriving from various different approximations. Many discussions of the concept of time are confused because they simply do not recognize its complex and multilayered aspect. They make the mistake of not seeing that the different layers are independent. This is the physical structure of time as I understand it, after a lifetime of revolving around it…

 

…What is entirely credible, in any case, is the general fact that the temporal structure of the world is different from the naïve image that we have of it. This naïve image is suitable for our daily life, but it’s not suitable for understanding the world in its minute folds, or in its vastness. In all likelihood, it is not even sufficient for understanding our own nature, because the mystery of time intersects with the mystery of our personal identity, with the mystery of consciousness. The mystery of time has always troubled us, stirring deep emotions. So deep as to have nourished philosophies and religions.

 

I believe, as Hans Reichenbach suggests in one of the most lucid books on the nature of time, The Direction of Time, that it was in order to escape from the anxiety time causes us that Parmenides wanted to deny its existence, that Plato imagined a world of ideas that exist outside of it, and that Hegel speaks of the moment in which the Spirit transcends temporality and knows itself in its plenitude. It is in order to escape this anxiety that we have imagined the existence of “eternity,” a strange world outside of time that we would like to be inhabited by gods, by a God, or by immortal souls.* Our deeply emotional attitude toward time has contributed more to the construction of cathedrals of philosophy than has logic or reason. The opposite emotional attitude, the veneration of time—Heraclitus or Bergson—has given rise to just as many philosophies, without getting us any nearer to understanding what time is.

Physics helps us to penetrate layers of the mystery. It shows how the temporal structure of the world is different from our perception of it. It gives us the hope of being able to study the nature of time free from the fog caused by our emotions. But in our search for time, advancing increasingly away from ourselves, we have ended up by discovering something about ourselves, perhaps—just as Copernicus, by studying the movements of the heavens, ended up understanding how the Earth moved beneath his feet.

Perhaps, ultimately, the emotional dimension of time is not the film of mist that prevents us from apprehending the nature of time objectively. Perhaps the emotion of time is precisely what time is for us. I don’t think there is much more than this to be understood. We may ask further questions, but we should be careful with questions that it is not possible to formulate properly. When we have found all the aspects of time that can be spoken of, then we have found time. We may gesture clumsily toward an immediate sense of time beyond what we can articulate (“Fine, but why does it ‘pass’?”), but I believe that at this point we are merely confusing matters, attempting illegitimately to transform approximate words into things. When we cannot formulate a problem with precision, it is often not because the problem is profound: it’s because the problem is false.

Will we be able to understand things better in the future? I think so. Our understanding of nature has increased vertiginously over the course of centuries, and we are continuing to learn. We are glimpsing something about the mystery of time. We can see the world without time: we can perceive with the mind’s eye the profound structure of the world where time as we know it no longer exists—like the Fool on the Hill who sees the Earth turn when he sees the setting sun. And we begin to see that we are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come. The clearing that is opened up in this way, by memory and by anticipation, anticipation, is time: a source of anguish sometimes, but in the end a tremendous gift. A precious miracle that the infinite play of combinations has unlocked for us, allowing us to exist. We may smile now. We can go back to serenely immersing ourselves in time—in our finite time—to savoring the clear intensity of every fleeting and cherished moment of the brief circle of our existence."

***End of excerpts***

from:   "The Order of Time" at Amazon

== == == ==

I know - - kind of a long post of just quoting from a book – but I thought some folks might enjoy sifting through the ideas – I know I do – sometimes authors express an idea I already am somewhat familiar with – but they say it with such fluency and coherency! And sometimes I just like hearing someone make a point that is coming from a totally different perspective from mine.

The last few years I have gotten more into reading up on philosophy – to be honest, a lot of stuff goes way over my head…but who knows, maybe I’ll learn to swim at the deep end of the pool …but I guess we’re all philosophers to some degree – even if you don’t have a degree :rolleyes:

 

== == == 

 Philosophy: "The original meaning of the word philosophy comes from the Greek roots philo- meaning "love" and -sophos, or "wisdom." When someone studies philosophy they want to understand how and why people do certain things and how to live a good life. In other words, they want to know the meaning of life. Add the suffix -er to philosophy, and you get a word for someone whose job it is to think these big thoughts… the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics… any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation"

 philosophy definition from the internet

 

Edited by T-Bone
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On 2/26/2020 at 1:23 PM, T-Bone said:

Your post reminded me of some stuff I read by the Italian theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli…I have his book “The Order of Time”  (copyright 2017 Riverhead Books)  on my Kindle…what follows are some thought provoking excerpts from that book, as you’ll see the author refers to previous chapters of the book…some of this touched upon what you were talking about – especially when you mentioned Bergson , the flow of time, eternity, existence, and consciousness - this book came to mind…anyway here’s some choice excerpts from pages 96 -204:

 

"…Divested of the trappings with which Newtonian theory had draped it, and to which we had become so accustomed, it now shines out with greater clarity: the world is nothing but change. None of the pieces that time has lost (singularity, direction, independence, the present, continuity) puts into question the fact that the world is a network of events. On the one hand, there was time, with its many determinations; on the other, the simple fact that nothing is: things happen…

 

…We started out with the image of time that is familiar to us: something that flows uniformly and equally throughout the universe, in the course of which all things happen. With the idea that there exists throughout the cosmos a present, a “now” that constitutes reality. The past for everyone is fixed, is gone, having already happened. The future is open, yet to be determined. Reality flows from the past, through the present, toward the future—and the evolution of things between past and future is intrinsically asymmetrical. This, we thought, is the basic structure of the world. This familiar picture has fallen apart, has shown itself to be only an approximation of a much more complex reality. A present that is common throughout the whole universe does not exist (chapter 3). Events are not ordered in pasts, presents, and futures; they are only “partially” ordered. There is a present that is near to us, but nothing that is “present” in a far-off galaxy. The present is a localized rather than a global phenomenon…

 

Perhaps we belong to a particular subset of the world that interacts with the rest of it in such a way that this entropy is lower in one direction of our thermal time. The directionality of time is therefore real but perspectival (chapter 10): the entropy of the world in relation to us increases with our thermal time. We see the occurrence of things ordered in this variable, which we simply call “time,” and the growth of entropy distinguishes the past from the future for us and leads to the unfolding of the cosmos. It determines the existence of traces, residues, and memories of the past (chapter 11). We human beings are an effect of this great history of the increase of entropy, held together by the memory that is enabled by these traces. Each one of us is a unified being because we reflect the world, because we have formed an image of a unified entity by interacting with our kind, and because it is a perspective on the world unified by memory (chapter 12). From this comes what we call the “flowing” of time.

This is what we are listening to when we listen to the passing of time. The variable “time” is one of many variables that describe the world. It is one of the variables of the gravitational field (chapter 4): at our scale, we do not register quantum fluctuations (chapter 5), hence it is possible to think of spacetime as determined, as Einstein’s great mollusk; at our scale, the movements of the mollusk are small and can be overlooked. Hence we can think of spacetime as being as rigid as a table. This table has dimensions: the one that we call space, and the one along which entropy grows, called time. In our everyday life we move at low speeds in relation to the speed of light and so we do not perceive the discrepancies between the different proper times of different clocks, and the differences in speed at which time passes at different distances from a mass are too small for us to distinguish.

In the end, therefore, instead of many possible times, we can speak only of a single time: the time of our experience—uniform, universal, and ordered. This is the approximation of an approximation of an approximation of a description of the world made from our particular perspective as human beings who are dependent on the growth of entropy, anchored to the flowing of time. We for whom, as Ecclesiastes has it, there is a time to be born and a time to die.

This is time for us: a multilayered, complex concept with multiple, distinct properties deriving from various different approximations. Many discussions of the concept of time are confused because they simply do not recognize its complex and multilayered aspect. They make the mistake of not seeing that the different layers are independent. This is the physical structure of time as I understand it, after a lifetime of revolving around it…

 

…What is entirely credible, in any case, is the general fact that the temporal structure of the world is different from the naïve image that we have of it. This naïve image is suitable for our daily life, but it’s not suitable for understanding the world in its minute folds, or in its vastness. In all likelihood, it is not even sufficient for understanding our own nature, because the mystery of time intersects with the mystery of our personal identity, with the mystery of consciousness. The mystery of time has always troubled us, stirring deep emotions. So deep as to have nourished philosophies and religions.

 

I believe, as Hans Reichenbach suggests in one of the most lucid books on the nature of time, The Direction of Time, that it was in order to escape from the anxiety time causes us that Parmenides wanted to deny its existence, that Plato imagined a world of ideas that exist outside of it, and that Hegel speaks of the moment in which the Spirit transcends temporality and knows itself in its plenitude. It is in order to escape this anxiety that we have imagined the existence of “eternity,” a strange world outside of time that we would like to be inhabited by gods, by a God, or by immortal souls.* Our deeply emotional attitude toward time has contributed more to the construction of cathedrals of philosophy than has logic or reason. The opposite emotional attitude, the veneration of time—Heraclitus or Bergson—has given rise to just as many philosophies, without getting us any nearer to understanding what time is.

Physics helps us to penetrate layers of the mystery. It shows how the temporal structure of the world is different from our perception of it. It gives us the hope of being able to study the nature of time free from the fog caused by our emotions. But in our search for time, advancing increasingly away from ourselves, we have ended up by discovering something about ourselves, perhaps—just as Copernicus, by studying the movements of the heavens, ended up understanding how the Earth moved beneath his feet.

Perhaps, ultimately, the emotional dimension of time is not the film of mist that prevents us from apprehending the nature of time objectively. Perhaps the emotion of time is precisely what time is for us. I don’t think there is much more than this to be understood. We may ask further questions, but we should be careful with questions that it is not possible to formulate properly. When we have found all the aspects of time that can be spoken of, then we have found time. We may gesture clumsily toward an immediate sense of time beyond what we can articulate (“Fine, but why does it ‘pass’?”), but I believe that at this point we are merely confusing matters, attempting illegitimately to transform approximate words into things. When we cannot formulate a problem with precision, it is often not because the problem is profound: it’s because the problem is false.

Will we be able to understand things better in the future? I think so. Our understanding of nature has increased vertiginously over the course of centuries, and we are continuing to learn. We are glimpsing something about the mystery of time. We can see the world without time: we can perceive with the mind’s eye the profound structure of the world where time as we know it no longer exists—like the Fool on the Hill who sees the Earth turn when he sees the setting sun. And we begin to see that we are time. We are this space, this clearing opened by the traces of memory inside the connections between our neurons. We are memory. We are nostalgia. We are longing for a future that will not come. The clearing that is opened up in this way, by memory and by anticipation, anticipation, is time: a source of anguish sometimes, but in the end a tremendous gift. A precious miracle that the infinite play of combinations has unlocked for us, allowing us to exist. We may smile now. We can go back to serenely immersing ourselves in time—in our finite time—to savoring the clear intensity of every fleeting and cherished moment of the brief circle of our existence."

***End of excerpts***

from:   "The Order of Time" at Amazon

== == == ==

I know - - kind of a long post of just quoting from a book – but I thought some folks might enjoy sifting through the ideas – I know I do – sometimes authors express an idea I already am somewhat familiar with – but they say it with such fluency and coherency! And sometimes I just like hearing someone make a point that is coming from a totally different perspective from mine.

The last few years I have gotten more into reading up on philosophy – to be honest, a lot of stuff goes way over my head…but who knows, maybe I’ll learn to swim at the deep end of the pool …but I guess we’re all philosophers to some degree – even if you don’t have a degree :rolleyes:

 

== == == 

 Philosophy: "The original meaning of the word philosophy comes from the Greek roots philo- meaning "love" and -sophos, or "wisdom." When someone studies philosophy they want to understand how and why people do certain things and how to live a good life. In other words, they want to know the meaning of life. Add the suffix -er to philosophy, and you get a word for someone whose job it is to think these big thoughts… the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics… any personal belief about how to live or how to deal with a situation"

 philosophy definition from the internet

 

Nice stuff, T-Bone. Thanks for what you posted, I'll be checking it all out. I read TOOT (I like the acronym) , and moderately familiar with the track he's on. He reminds me that Bergson and Einstein were somewhat at odds - well, they were at odds by their own choice, but from my little cat perch seat I found a strong middle ground to kind of nest in. I think Rovelli's statement "we can see the world without time".....sums it all up. Its less important to me now whether or not it exists as a tangible component or artifact of life.  Existence, consciousness, my self awareness is the only fork I have at the table, it's the starting point but more importantly is arguably the end point. So sure, I think therefore I am - but that's a little like asking the nail if it needs a hammer...to what and how do I pin my existence on so as to view it from another angle so that I can judge it or value it? 

So the measurement of life is like using a mirror - how does it look today? but the mirror isn't me, it's a reflection. 

Etc etc blah blah. 

That there "is" God and a larger reality of the pneuma is an absolute truth for me. So I never work from the position of "what if there's no god" or "maybe in this scenario I am god and I create the myths".....I get that llne of thinking and maintain several paths of inquiry that work from that kind of premise but I do that to better understand what I'm missing, what I don't see, what is still "really there" when I take everything I assume or believe away. Under it all - maybe more in it all - how to put this....? - I'm not trying to figure out what "it all is" or isn't or if there's "a God" or not anymore - my own sense of reality is of the relationship I have with God, which is very real, it's not a mental construct, or set of rules or just beliefs. Things happen in my timeline that interrupt, intersect, my perception in ways I now know aren't of my origin, aren't reflections or products of my own but are real confluences from within what I might call the 'greater reality' in which I, we all live. I could describe it easier by just saying "I am never alone", or "I am not forsaken" or even "God is always with me"....the same sentiments expressed by others in the Bible. It's not wishful thinking or a self-fulfilling declaration. 

So for me it's not all moot or a mental exercise or like in the past, well, I'll just study the Bible and that'll tell me everything. It doesn't - but it tells me everything it's intended to as a history of God's dealing with His creation and there are clear signposts, pointers, guidance and instruction. It is NOT everything that God has ever done or will do or can do anything else like that but it's a start in that it is mostly a statement of what HAS been and a view into what WILL be. What it really does for us is give us place from which to live and learn in our own "fleshly tables of the heart" this life we have with God and each other. 

My 2 cents, plus a quarter for the meter. : )

 

 

Edited by socks
Dont' worry, it's going to be like I'm not even here.

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On 2/27/2020 at 2:11 PM, socks said:

Nice stuff, T-Bone. Thanks for what you posted, I'll be checking it all out. I read TOOT (I like the acronym) , and moderately familiar with the track he's on. He reminds me that Bergson and Einstein were somewhat at odds - well, they were at odds by their own choice, but from my little cat perch seat I found a strong middle ground to kind of nest in. I think Rovelli's statement "we can see the world without time".....sums it all up. Its less important to me now whether or not it exists as a tangible component or artifact of life.  Existence, consciousness, my self awareness is the only fork I have at the table, it's the starting point but more importantly is arguably the end point. So sure, I think therefore I am - but that's a little like asking the nail if it needs a hammer...to what and how do I pin my existence on so as to view it from another angle so that I can judge it or value it? 

So the measurement of life is like using a mirror - how does it look today? but the mirror isn't me, it's a reflection. 

Etc etc blah blah. 

That there "is" God and a larger reality of the pneuma is an absolute truth for me. So I never work from the position of "what if there's no god" or "maybe in this scenario I am god and I create the myths".....I get that llne of thinking and maintain several paths of inquiry that work from that kind of premise but I do that to better understand what I'm missing, what I don't see, what is still "really there" when I take everything I assume or believe away. Under it all - maybe more in it all - how to put this....? - I'm not trying to figure out what "it all is" or isn't or if there's "a God" or not anymore - my own sense of reality is of the relationship I have with God, which is very real, it's not a mental construct, or set of rules or just beliefs. Things happen in my timeline that interrupt, intersect, my perception in ways I now know aren't of my origin, aren't reflections or products of my own but are real confluences from within what I might call the 'greater reality' in which I, we all live. I could describe it easier by just saying "I am never alone", or "I am not forsaken" or even "God is always with me"....the same sentiments expressed by others in the Bible. It's not wishful thinking or a self-fulfilling declaration. 

So for me it's not all moot or a mental exercise or like in the past, well, I'll just study the Bible and that'll tell me everything. It doesn't - but it tells me everything it's intended to as a history of God's dealing with His creation and there are clear signposts, pointers, guidance and instruction. It is NOT everything that God has ever done or will do or can do anything else like that but it's a start in that it is mostly a statement of what HAS been and a view into what WILL be. What it really does for us is give us place from which to live and learn in our own "fleshly tables of the heart" this life we have with God and each other. 

My 2 cents, plus a quarter for the meter. : )

 

 I hear ya Socks…sounds similar to my approach…your cat perch analogy is a good one…cats are entertaining to watch when they’re in their hunt mode – even if it’s playing at hunting - and observing their incredible curiosity are some characteristics I can identify with (we had a cat when we first got married - left her with my father-in-law when we went in the corps; we have another cat now - adopted him from a shelter last Halloween ...oh weird I know...he's a black cat...ooooo doubly weird   :biglaugh: )…I’m on some kind of a hunt I guess…in search of the meaning of my life…that’s not to say I currently have no meaning – for I believe I do. I’ve always believed there is a higher power. I feel the twists and turns of my journey are ...deepening…unfolding…expanding what my life means.

Being brought up in a good Christian home is probably what “anchored” me to a belief in God - more than anything else. I still haven't found a good reason to let go of that anchor...faith or stubbornness? I don't know  :rolleyes: ...not that worried about it either...Anyway my belief in God wasn’t so much based on a book although we did have a big fancy Bible on the credenza. I probably owe a lot more of how my belief system developed to Mom & Dad in terms of the way they just lived life. My parents were hard working folks and were just good honest people too. And maybe I got the philosophical bug from my Dad – I always enjoyed watching sci-fi movies, The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, and One Step Beyond with him and we’d usually figure out something from the show to “philosophize” about after the show was over.

While I will say that I got a taste for studying the Bible when I got in TWI, but as time went on I wound up being more focused on what wierwille had to say about the Bible than being interested in what anyone else thought – even myself. So I’ve been readjusting where I look and how I think – trying to see the bigger picture.

I guess my curiosity used to be stifled way back when – thought there was no need to go beyond just studying the Bible…now over the years since I left, I have removed some intellectual restraints, I haven’t dumped my love of studying the Bible – but I continue to expand my awareness of other “breadcrumbs” in hope of connecting some of  the pieces that make sense to me… The scriptures, other books, the things that others have said – from philosophers, theologians, theoretical physicists, friends, family, Grease Spotters to the technical support folks at AT&T  - sometimes it all becomes like catnip to me (ya know the cat psychiatrist said that stuff can make you crazy or it can calm you down…was she referring to me or my cat?    - just kidding   :biglaugh:     here’s the real story        how does catnip work on cats   )- So from my little cat perch I’ll continue the hunt.

Edited by T-Bone
revisions from a CAT-atonic state

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