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whag
11-22-2014, 01:04 PM
Where I work, we're undergoing a reorganization after the president discovered gross misdirection and mismanagement deep within the company. A consultant was brought in who's meeting with teams and individual employees to investigate how it happened. Many of us were surprised and glad that this consultant immediately identified a lack of professional courage as being the main culprit that facilitated the failure. Simply put, quasi-nepotism led to many team leads and managers being appointed who were horrible managers--the peter principle in action, essentially. As a result, those unqualified middle managers would never "push back" on upper management when given idiotic orders. A cascade of failure resulted.

During this investigation, a few individuals have been identified who demonstrated professional courage by pushing back on middle management, risking firing in the process. Of course, this obviously made me ponder the book of Genesis. Okay, I'm weird like that.

Couldn't the story of Abraham and Isaac be interpreted a different way? If Abraham had pushed back on God, couldn't that also have been interpreted as courage because of the possible enormity of consequences? Is it possible that God would have honored that reaction, or was faith more important to God than a push back that indicated strong courage? This sounds like something that rabbis might midrash about.

Cow Poke
11-22-2014, 02:04 PM
I think it was part of "forming" Abraham.... proving his faith strengthened him. But that's just a first thought... I'll give this a mull.

robrecht
11-22-2014, 02:28 PM
Speaking of midrash, one can read this as the beginning of the differentiation between God (Elohim) and YHWH. Effectively, the narrator is introducing the successive revelation of YHWH. While Elohim required the sacrifice of Isaac, it is YHWH who sends his angel to prevent the sacrifice of Isaac. Note also that it is the angel of YHWH who also twice saves Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham's other son. We do not hear again from 'the angel of YHWH' until the fuller revelation of YHWH and the etymological meaning of his 'name' to Moses, also at instigation of the angel of YHWH (Ex 3,2).

Cow Poke
11-22-2014, 02:31 PM
Interesting!

Cerebrum123
11-22-2014, 03:38 PM
Speaking of midrash, one can read this as the beginning of the differentiation between God (Elohim) and YHWH. Effectively, the narrator is introducing the successive revelation of YHWH. While Elohim required the sacrifice of Isaac, it is YHWH who sends his angel to prevent the sacrifice of Isaac. Note also that it is the angel of YHWH who also twice saves Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham's other son. We do not hear again from 'the angel of YHWH' until the fuller revelation of YHWH and the etymological meaning of his 'name' to Moses, also at instigation of the angel of YHWH (Ex 3,2).

But the name YHVH is used in Genesis 16 well before the "Binding of Isaac", and by Sarai herself. So, this Midrash is terribly inaccurate.

Kelp(p)
11-22-2014, 04:04 PM
Where I work, we're undergoing a reorganization after the president discovered gross misdirection and mismanagement deep within the company. A consultant was brought in who's meeting with teams and individual employees to investigate how it happened. Many of us were surprised and glad that this consultant immediately identified a lack of professional courage as being the main culprit that facilitated the failure. Simply put, quasi-nepotism led to many team leads and managers being appointed who were horrible managers--the peter principle in action, essentially. As a result, those unqualified middle managers would never "push back" on upper management when given idiotic orders. A cascade of failure resulted.

During this investigation, a few individuals have been identified who demonstrated professional courage by pushing back on middle management, risking firing in the process. Of course, this obviously made me ponder the book of Genesis. Okay, I'm weird like that.

Couldn't the story of Abraham and Isaac be interpreted a different way? If Abraham had pushed back on God, couldn't that also have been interpreted as courage because of the possible enormity of consequences? Is it possible that God would have honored that reaction, or was faith more important to God than a push back that indicated strong courage? This sounds like something that rabbis might midrash about.I forget who it was (Kierkegaard maybe) who said that it wasn't so much God testing Abraham as it was Abraham testing God, as a God who would actually make him go through with it would not be worthy of worship.

Note that Abraham tells his servants that both he and the boy will be back. Abraham knew that God would not take the child of promise that He had just given them. When Isaac asks him where the ram for the sacrifice is, his response is that, "God Himself will provide a ram."

Another possibility is the interpretation by the author of Hebrews- Abraham knew that God could raise Isaac from the dead again anyway.

robrecht
11-22-2014, 04:07 PM
But the name YHVH is used in Genesis 16 well before the "Binding of Isaac", and by Sarai herself. So, this Midrash is terribly inaccurate.YHWH is used lots of times before this, many, many times. That is not the point of the midrash in Genesis 22. The midrash in Genesis 22 is merely to try and make sense of the difficulties of this particular text. Don't confuse midrash with biblical theology.

NormATive
11-22-2014, 07:58 PM
Couldn't the story of Abraham and Isaac be interpreted a different way? If Abraham had pushed back on God, couldn't that also have been interpreted as courage because of the possible enormity of consequences? Is it possible that God would have honored that reaction, or was faith more important to God than a push back that indicated strong courage? This sounds like something that rabbis might midrash about.

Those Jews who believe this story is literally true (mostly Orthodox) do, indeed, argue that point about Abraham possibly pushing back and standing up to G-d, as Moses had done.

But, largely, this story is understood as a primer against human sacrifice. It was written at the time when human sacrifice was practiced by all of the surrounding tribes and people groups. The story was meant to suggest that G-d does not demand human sacrifice.

This is one reason the notion of Jesus as propitiation for sins via death on a cross is anathema to most Jews.

NORM

Quantum Weirdness
11-23-2014, 05:02 AM
Here's a nice vid on this topic.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP0E87LEkRM

whag
11-23-2014, 05:10 AM
Here's a nice vid on this topic.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP0E87LEkRM

Does Holding draw with his foot?

Cerebrum123
11-23-2014, 05:48 AM
YHWH is used lots of times before this, many, many times. That is not the point of the midrash in Genesis 22. The midrash in Genesis 22 is merely to try and make sense of the difficulties of this particular text. Don't confuse midrash with biblical theology.

Isn't midrash an attempt at a Hebrew Biblical theology(it is a form of exegesis after all)? Either way, it's still wildly inaccurate, and doesn't "solve" any of the "difficulties". In fact, this particular one makes about as much sense as some forms of numerology.

robrecht
11-23-2014, 06:01 AM
Isn't midrash an attempt at a Hebrew Biblical theology(it is a form of exegesis after all)? Either way, it's still wildly inaccurate, and doesn't "solve" any of the "difficulties". In fact, this particular one makes about as much sense as some forms of numerology.First, not all exegesis is biblical theology. In fact, most is not. Second, midrash, in my opinion, is sometimes designed to be subversive of the idea of biblical theology or even consistent exegesis of a single passage. Why do you say this midrash is inaccurate? It does not imply that YHWH is not used previously in the bible, it only says that this passage is an early step in the beginning of the differentiation between God (Elohim) and YHWH. Where previously do you see the beginnings of a differentiation between Elohim and YHWH?

Cerebrum123
11-23-2014, 06:09 AM
First, not all exegesis is biblical theology. In fact, most is not. Second, midrash, in my opinion, is sometimes designed to be subversive of the idea of biblical theology or even consistent exegesis of a single passage.

So, it's the Jewish equivalent of Gnostic junk is what you're saying?


Why do you say this midrash is inaccurate? It does not imply that YHWH is not used previously in the bible, it only says that this passage is an early step in the beginning of the differentiation between God (Elohim) and YHWH. Where previously do you see the beginnings of a differentiation between Elohim and YHWH?

Well, because as early as Genesis 2 we see that YHVH Elohim is the only true God, and that Elohim and YHVH are indeed the same. So, there is no "differentiation" between the "two".

robrecht
11-23-2014, 06:15 AM
So, it's the Jewish equivalent of Gnostic junk is what you're saying? No, I never said any such thing. You are attempting to put words in my mouth, false and uncharitable ones at that, and it is not appreciated. Seems like this conversation with you will go down a familiar road if you cannot refrain from such 'tactics'.


Well, because as early as Genesis 2 we see that YHVH Elohim is the only true God, and that Elohim and YHVH are indeed the same. So, there is no "differentiation" between the "two". What do you see as the purpose of the revelation of YHWH in Exodus 3?

Cerebrum123
11-23-2014, 06:40 AM
No, I never said any such thing. You are attempting to put words in my mouth, false and uncharitable ones at that, and it is not appreciated. Seems like this conversation with you will go down a familiar road if you cannot refrain from such 'tactics'.

First, it was a question. So what do you mean when you say "Second, midrash, in my opinion, is sometimes designed to be subversive of the idea of biblical theology or even consistent exegesis of a single passage".

Second, do you always have a problem when someone asks for clarification, and just happens to tell you what they currently perceive you as saying?


What do you see as the purpose of the revelation of YHWH in Exodus 3?

Well, I'm not 100% sure. The use of YHWH in Exodus 3 is because Moses is asking who he's being sent by. Seems like a way to get both Moses and the rest of the Israelites, who have not had any direct dealings with God(in the text anyway), to realize who they are dealing with. They are dealing with the One True God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and the God their ancestors knew.
It also seems to be that YHWH is primarily used when there is interaction between God and man, so this would seem to have some significance as far as covenants.

Why do you think it's so extraordinarily significant considering God had been called by this name long before Moses?

Genesis 4:26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord.

robrecht
11-23-2014, 07:30 AM
First, it was a question. So what do you mean when you say "Second, midrash, in my opinion, is sometimes designed to be subversive of the idea of biblical theology or even consistent exegesis of a single passage".

Second, do you always have a problem when someone asks for clarification, and just happens to tell you what they currently perceive you as saying? It was not merely a question, it was a loaded question: "So, it's the Jewish equivalent of Gnostic junk is what you're saying?" If you seriously, honestly believed that this might have been what I was saying, then we have a very long way to go. I have no problem with questions asking for clarification. I always have a problem when people try to put false and uncharitable words in my mouth.

What part of "Second, midrash, in my opinion, is sometimes designed to be subversive of the idea of biblical theology or even consistent exegesis of a single passage" do you not understand? Do you now understand the first part that exegesis is not necessarily the same thing as biblical theology? Do you understand why some exegetes might want to avoid biblical theology? As for consistent exegesis of a single passage, it is not unusual to find midrashim suggesting opposing interpretations of a single passage or verse.


Well, I'm not 100% sure. The use of YHWH in Exodus 3 is because Moses is asking who he's being sent by. Seems like a way to get both Moses and the rest of the Israelites, who have not had any direct dealings with God(in the text anyway), to realize who they are dealing with. They are dealing with the One True God, the Creator of heaven and earth, and the God their ancestors knew.
It also seems to be that YHWH is primarily used when there is interaction between God and man, so this would seem to have some significance as far as covenants.

Why do you think it's so extraordinarily significant considering God had been called by this name long before Moses?

Genesis 4:26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to call on the name of the Lord. What I consider most significant about the revelation of the name of YHWH in Exodus 3 is the play on words with verbal root of 'to be'. In this sense, it may be understood by some as a refusal to give a name, comparable to what the angel of YHWH said to Jacob in Genesis 32 and later to the parents of Samson in Judges 13, but greater because God cannot be named. In this sense, YHWH means 'he will be who he will be', signifying God's transcendence and our inability to have a hold on him, to control him, or to completely understand him. He will have mercy on whomever he will have mercy. Abraham trusted in a God who would not require the sacrifice of Isaac.

Cerebrum123
11-23-2014, 10:17 AM
It was not merely a question, it was a loaded question: "So, it's the Jewish equivalent of Gnostic junk is what you're saying?" If you seriously, honestly believed that was what I was saying, then we have a very long way to go. I have no problem with questions asking for clarification. I always have a problem when people try to put false and uncharitable words in my mouth.

I'll explain it below, and yes, that's how I saw what you were saying. Why on earth would I say that if I didn't think you were saying that?


What part of "Second, midrash, in my opinion, is sometimes designed to be subversive of the idea of biblical theology or even consistent exegesis of a single passage" do you not understand?

The "subversive to biblical theology", which is basically what Gnostic, and Kabbalah type stuff is. They also appear to be intended to be subversive, hence my reference to them.


Do you now understand the first part that exegesis is not necessarily the same thing as biblical theology?

That part I understood, which is why I wasn't quoting it.


Do you understand why some exegetes might want to avoid biblical theology? As for consistent exegesis of a single passage, it is not unusual to find midrashim suggesting opposing interpretations of a single passage or verse.

What I quoted suggests people who are hostile to the Bible, and are intending to undermine it's authority, like much of early Gnosticism. Now do you see why I think you are saying it's an equivalent to Gnosticism?


What I consider most significant about the revelation of the name of YHWH in Exodus 3 is the play on words with verbal root of 'to be'. In this sense, it may be understood by some as a refusal to give a name, comparable to what the angel of YHWH said to Jacob in Genesis 32 and later to the parents of Samson in Judges 13, but greater because God cannot be named. In this sense, YHWH means 'he will be who he will be', signifying God's transcendence and our inability to have a hold on him, to control him, or to completely understand him. He will have mercy on whomever he will have mercy. Abraham trusted in a God who would not require the sacrifice of Isaac.

So, it's greatest importance to you is that it appears to support apophatic theology? Again, I'm asking for clarification. This certainly seems to be what you are saying. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, I'm trying to ask if the words I'm reading mean what I think they mean.

robrecht
11-23-2014, 10:36 AM
I'll explain it below, and yes, that's how I saw what you were saying. Why on earth would I say that if I didn't think you were saying that? There could be lots of reasons.


The "subversive to biblical theology", which is basically what Gnostic, and Kabbalah type stuff is. They also appear to be intended to be subversive, hence my reference to them.

That part I understood, which is why I wasn't quoting it.

What I quoted suggests people who are hostile to the Bible, and are intending to undermine it's authority, like much of early Gnosticism. Now do you see why I think you are saying it's an equivalent to Gnosticism? It appears you do not yet understand why much exegesis is not intending to be biblical theology, and is frequently opposed to those who construct biblical theologies. It has nothing to do with opposition or hostility to the bible or gnosticism or Kabbalah, but is usually attempting to reconstruct as far as this may be possible, the intent of an historical author or editor of a given text.


So, it's greatest importance to you is that it appears to support apophatic theology? Again, I'm asking for clarification. This certainly seems to be what you are saying. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth, I'm trying to ask if the words I'm reading mean what I think they mean. Genau umgekehrt, mein Freund. For the most part, I think Jewish and Christian apophatic theology developed from pondering the revelation of God in the Bible and not the other way around. But that is not what I said. I did not say that this passage was important to me for any particular reason, but I did say that what I considered most significant about the revelation of the name of YHWH in Exodus 3 is the play on words with verbal root of 'to be'.

Cerebrum123
11-23-2014, 10:46 AM
There could be lots of reasons.

Okay...


It appears you do not yet understand why much exegesis is not intending to be biblical theology, and is frequently opposed to those who construct biblical theologies. It has nothing to do with opposition or hostility to the bible or gnosticism or Kabbalah, but is usually attempting to reconstruct as far as this may be possible, the intent of an historical author or editor of a given text.

You specifically said "subversive to biblical theology" though. Which is they key phrase. Unless you are hostile to Biblical theology, why would you try to subvert it.


Genau umgekehrt, mein Freund. For the most part, I think Jewish and Christian apophatic theology developed from pondering the revelation of God in the Bible and not the other way around.

I didn't say it developed any other way.


But that is not what I said.

Which is why I asked for clarification. Now we're getting somewhere. :smile:


I did not say that this passage was important to me for any particular reason, but I did say that what I considered most significant about the revelation of the name of YHWH in Exodus 3 is the play on words with verbal root of 'to be'.

Okay, not important "to you", but important for that play on words. Which you say is supportive of an apophatic conception of God.

So, other than the "to you" part, I don't see how there's much difference in what I said.

Do you at least see why I'm asking these questions now?

robrecht
11-23-2014, 10:55 AM
Okay...

You specifically said "subversive to biblical theology" though. Which is they key phrase. Unless you are hostile to Biblical theology, why would you try to subvert it. If someone's attempt to construct a biblical theology does short shrift to a particular text I am trying to understand, I will not feel bound to abide by that person's theology. The assumption that everything in the bible somehow means the same thing or is consistent with a particular theology is, in my opinion, usually not very respectful of the texts and books contained in the bible.


I didn't say it developed any other way.

Which is why I asked for clarification. Now we're getting somewhere. :smile:

Okay, not important "to you", but important for that play on words. Which you say is supportive of an apophatic conception of God.

So, other than the "to you" part, I don't see how there's much difference in what I said.

Do you at least see why I'm asking these questions now? No, not if you do not tell me.

shunyadragon
11-23-2014, 11:03 AM
Those Jews who believe this story is literally true (mostly Orthodox) do, indeed, argue that point about Abraham possibly pushing back and standing up to G-d, as Moses had done.

But, largely, this story is understood as a primer against human sacrifice. It was written at the time when human sacrifice was practiced by all of the surrounding tribes and people groups. The story was meant to suggest that G-d does not demand human sacrifice.

This is one reason the notion of Jesus as propitiation for sins via death on a cross is anathema to most Jews.

NORM

I do not believe you can single out the Hebrews as not performing human sacrifice, as in the example of the daughter of Jephtah. Early in Hebrew history they were one a number of Semitic tribes that were polytheistic, and likely committed human sacrifice.

Like virtually all cultures of the world they evolved from Animism, polytheism, human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to monotheism and symbolic sacrifice. This progression parallels the technological evolution from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age, to the Iron Age, and the social evolution of society.

Doug Shaver
11-23-2014, 11:19 AM
The story was meant to suggest that G-d does not demand human sacrifice.How so? The story begins with God demanding a human sacrifice.

whag
11-23-2014, 01:40 PM
How so? The story begins with God demanding a human sacrifice.

It seems an odd way to convey that message. God demands a human sacrifice then changes His mind at the last minute.Then Isaac is honored throughout history for committing to the deed.

Also, the religion ultimately culminates in a human sacrifice.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 02:37 PM
It seems an odd way to convey that message. God demands a human sacrifice then changes His mind at the last minute.Then Isaac is honored throughout history for committing to the deed.

Also, the religion ultimately culminates in a human sacrifice.

Actually, it culminates in a resurrection. If you're referring to Christ, THAT "human sacrifice" was short lived.

JohnnyP
11-23-2014, 02:59 PM
It seems an odd way to convey that message. God demands a human sacrifice then changes His mind at the last minute.Then Isaac is honored throughout history for committing to the deed.

In reality God didn't demand a sacrifice, He demanded an offering. The idea in my view likely being that Abraham would trust God not to demand an actual sacrifice since that would prove God to be a liar, already having established Abraham's Promise with Isaac and his seed yet to be born.


Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.

Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.


Also, the religion ultimately culminates in a human sacrifice.

Not any more than MLK for example was a human sacrifice for the Civil Rights Movement, he was also trying to do God's will. As Jesus was in not bowing to or running away from Jewish and Roman authorities, rather facing martyrdom. It's just that for his obedience God gave him David's Kingdom where he has power to judge us and give us mercy, that's how his death ultimately saves us. Not as a scapegoat or human sacrifice, his death just put him in power to save us. I have a whole thread on that.

whag
11-23-2014, 03:16 PM
Not any more than MLK for example was a human sacrifice for the Civil Rights Movement.

That's wrong. Just look at the many verses that describe Jesus as the Lamb of God, and you'll see how far off the mark you are.

NormATive
11-23-2014, 04:01 PM
I do not believe you can single out the Hebrews as not performing human sacrifice, as in the example of the daughter of Jephtah. Early in Hebrew history they were one a number of Semitic tribes that were polytheistic, and likely committed human sacrifice.

Like virtually all cultures of the world they evolved from Animism, polytheism, human sacrifice to animal sacrifice to monotheism and symbolic sacrifice. This progression parallels the technological evolution from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age, to the Iron Age, and the social evolution of society.

Yes, you may be correct.

But, as the faith progresses, the way in which the books are interpreted change with evolving mores. These days, the Abraham-Isaac story is told as a primer against human sacrifice.

Whether that was the initial intent is beside the point. Religion is meant to be continuously evolving. Otherwise, it becomes stagnant and dies.

NORM

NormATive
11-23-2014, 04:03 PM
How so? The story begins with God demanding a human sacrifice.

But intervenes to keep it from happening.

I suspect (but can't prove, of course) that this little story was inserted much later after people stopped doing human sacrifice.

NORM

whag
11-23-2014, 04:18 PM
Actually, it culminates in a resurrection. If you're referring to Christ, THAT "human sacrifice" was short lived.

All sacrifices are "short-lived" by definition. =P The point being the killing effected the propitiation.

NormATive
11-23-2014, 04:28 PM
How so? The story begins with God demanding a human sacrifice.

I think that this little story was added and inserted in the book as a moral evolution away from human sacrifice. The fact that it begins as it does indicates that at one time, the Hebrew faith condoned it.

NORM

JohnnyP
11-23-2014, 05:02 PM
That's wrong. Just look at the many verses that describe Jesus as the Lamb of God, and you'll see how far off the mark you are.

Like this, yes:


Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Jesus was the leader of them, going among wolves to preach the Gospel. MLK went among wolves to call for civil rights. They were both killed for their beliefs, doing what they thought was right according to the will of God. With Jesus as cited from Hebrews, his obedience to the Father resulted in the Father giving Jesus authority over us.

If you think the NT really says a human sacrifice alone atones for sins, what do you think it means for Jesus to judge, that he just has an opinion of people and that's about it? Or do you think it has something to do with forgiving sins and giving mercy, or not, as he judges?


John 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

2 Timothy 4:1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

So of course it was a personal sacrifice, just as any martyr, fireman, soldier, cop, etc. might sacrifice their lives for God and to save people. But the saving comes through the mercy he is able to give, not by some magical thing of just being nailed to the cross. That's just the way he got to that position of giving mercy and forgiveness of sin.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 05:27 PM
All sacrifices are "short-lived" by definition. =P

Yeah? How many of them stay dead less then a week? :smile:


The point being the killing effected the propitiation.

He had the power to stop it. He chose not to. Not many "human sacrifices" have that power.

whag
11-23-2014, 06:32 PM
Yeah? How many of them stay dead less then a week? :smile:

Granted, assuming it's true, he stayed dead shortly. That doesn't mean it's not a human sacrifice. The same act of scapegoating is involved.



He had the power to stop it. He chose not to. Not many "human sacrifices" have that power.

Not all humans who've been sacrificed were also God, that's true. They had the misfortune of staying permanently dead. Still, the mechanics are the same. The NT definitely calls it a sacrifice and Jesus was definitely a human according to the story, hence human sacrifice. No need to put it in quotes.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 06:38 PM
Granted, assuming it's true, he stayed dead shortly. That doesn't mean it's not a human sacrifice. The same act of scapegoating is involved.

Not all humans who've been sacrificed were also God, that's true. They had the misfortune of staying permanently dead. Still, the mechanics are the same. The NT definitely calls it a sacrifice and Jesus was definitely a human according to the story, hence human sacrifice. No need to put it in quotes.

Meh... I think you're playing games. Calling it a "human sacrifice" has other connotations, and you know it.

JohnnyP
11-23-2014, 06:58 PM
The NT definitely calls it a sacrifice and Jesus was definitely a human according to the story, hence human sacrifice.

So because MLK sacrificed his life doing God's will, you call it a human sacrifice?


Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

whag
11-23-2014, 06:59 PM
Meh... I think you're playing games. Calling it a "human sacrifice" has other connotations, and you know it.

You're in denial. Paul calls it a sacrifice. Jesus is called the Lamb of God. That that concept makes you uncomfortable is something you might want to examine.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 07:00 PM
You're in denial. Paul calls it a sacrifice. Jesus is called the Lamb of God. That that concept makes you uncomfortable is something you might want to examine.

:doh:

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, no doubt about it. Feel free to denigrate it all you want. :shrug:

whag
11-23-2014, 07:05 PM
So because MLK sacrificed his life doing God's will, you call it a human sacrifice?


Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.

I just want to do God's will. And he's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over, and I've seen the promised land! I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.

If true, Jesus' crucifixion was literally "propitiation." That's what Christians believe, hence "human sacrifice."

MLK wasn't referring to his being a scapegoat for people's sins.

whag
11-23-2014, 07:08 PM
:doh:

Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice, no doubt about it. Feel free to denigrate it all you want. :shrug:

I'm not denigrating it by calling it what Paul and the apostles called it. I don't even believe it's true.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 07:13 PM
I'm not denigrating it by calling it what Paul and the apostles called it.

:lmbo: Yeah, Paul called it "human sacrifice" -- he used that very term. :lolo: He was more than Human, he was God incarnate.


I don't even believe it's true.

I am shocked. SHOCKED, I say!

whag
11-23-2014, 07:18 PM
:lmbo: Yeah, Paul called it "human sacrifice" -- he used that very term. :lolo: He was more than Human, he was God incarnate.

Granted that's what the bible says. No argument there. He was a human was was sacrificed, hence a human sacrifice. You're being ridiculous and overly defensive.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 07:25 PM
Granted that's what the bible says. No argument there.

:thumb:


He was a human was was sacrificed, hence a human sacrifice.

I bet you call Babe Ruth "a baseball player". :smile:


You're being ridiculous and overly defensive.

Laughing.

Nope, just bored, and amused at your ... um... tactics. But that's OK! You're certainly free to call it what you like!

All done here!

JohnnyP
11-23-2014, 07:25 PM
If true, Jesus' crucifixion was literally "propitiation." That's what Christians believe, hence "human sacrifice."

MLK wasn't referring to his being a scapegoat for people's sins.

Neither is the NT if you read the whole of it. You never answered my question either, how do you think Jesus judges the quick and the dead, does he just give opinions? Or is it about giving mercy and forgiveness, or punishment, as he chooses? What does the NT say about it?

If you think it says his death on the cross alone atoned for sins as a human sacrifice, then you haven't read the whole thing.

whag
11-23-2014, 07:33 PM
:thumb:



I bet you call Babe Ruth "a baseball player". :smile:

Should I call him a hockey player?






Laughing.

Nope, just bored, and amused at your ... um... tactics. But that's OK! You're certainly free to call it what you like!

All done here!

I'm equally amused that you deny what the Bible affirms. You're weird, Cow Poke.

Cow Poke
11-23-2014, 07:35 PM
Should I call him a hockey player?

Wouldn't surprise me! :tongue:

whag
11-23-2014, 07:36 PM
Neither is the NT if you read the whole of it. You never answered my question either, how do you think Jesus judges the quick and the dead, does he just give opinions? Or is it about giving mercy and forgiveness, or punishment, as he chooses? What does the NT say about it?

If you think it says his death on the cross alone atoned for sins as a human sacrifice, then you haven't read the whole thing.


You called Jesus' sacrifice no more a human sacrifice than MLK's assassination. We're through talking.

JohnnyP
11-23-2014, 07:52 PM
You called Jesus' sacrifice no more a human sacrifice than MLK's assassination. We're through talking.

If you mean like a pagan human sacrifice, no it wasn't. This article kind of reflects my views, you may find it helpful:


Unfortunately, some Christians have turned this one metaphor (among many) into a dogmatic system in which Jesus "had to die" in order to avert God's wrath. Some even go so far as to imagine God punishing Jesus -- an especially bizarre concept when one takes seriously the doctrine of the incarnation.

Like all metaphors, sacrificial language has its limitations. It captures some dimensions of Jesus' death but not others. It cannot provide a final or complete explanation for Jesus' death.

For example, the sacrifice metaphor cannot account for one of the most basic aspects of Christian experience, the sense that Christ's death and resurrection somehow empower believers to live better lives, to "conquer" sin. Early Christian authors, notably Paul, turned to another metaphor for that. Paul talked about "participation," that believers somehow participate in Christ's death, freeing them from bondage to old, deadly ways. Likewise, believers participate in Christ's resurrection life, experiencing divine power for the here and now. -Source (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-carey/jesus-death-as-sacrifice_b_1335912.html)

So you see that we all have to go before the Judgment Seat before it turns into the Mercy Seat, if we are granted it:


2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

If you want to keep arguing that Jesus was just a human sacrifice to appease an angry God, then you are simply cherrypicking and ignoring verses like these showing that isn't how he actually saves people. He saves them by giving them mercy, his death on the cross was how he got that position of power. Pretty simple.

Kelp(p)
11-23-2014, 09:37 PM
Here's how I look at it. Jesus was a "sacrifice" in that He came down to Earth willingly and our sins killed Him, essentially. But in becoming one of us and redeeming the human condition, He made a way for us to be saved and sanctified before God. As St. Gregory the Theologian put it, he was a "ransom" for us to death itself. Because of Him, we can have the life of God in us.

Kelp(p)
11-23-2014, 09:44 PM
That's wrong. Just look at the many verses that describe Jesus as the Lamb of God, and you'll see how far off the mark you are.He was a sacrifice in the sense that He died to accomplish a goal. But as CP pointed out, that's not just what makes one a human sacrifice. This is not like the Aztecs in which the gods demand a human heart to eat in exchange for rain. Christ died at the hands of sinful human beings as part of His general redemption of our life and world. You can't reduce it down to a quid pro quo the way you can an act of theurgy.

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 06:14 AM
Here's how I look at it. Jesus was a "sacrifice" in that He came down to Earth willingly and our sins killed Him, essentially. But in becoming one of us and redeeming the human condition, He made a way for us to be saved and sanctified before God. As St. Gregory the Theologian put it, he was a "ransom" for us to death itself. Because of Him, we can have the life of God in us.

Yes, but to trivialize that and dismiss its incredible significance, one can just hand wave it away as "yet another 'human sacrifice'". :yes:

whag
11-24-2014, 06:19 AM
Yes, but to trivialize that and dismiss its incredible significance, one can just hand wave it away as "yet another 'human sacrifice'". :yes:

I did not say that. If my doubt is a handwave to you, fine, but I never said it was just another human sacrifice. I was emphasizing that it involved the same concept of propitiation that all human sacrifices try to achieve. That is biblically supportable.

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 06:25 AM
I did not say that. If my doubt is a handwave to you, fine, but I never said it was just another human sacrifice.

I never SAID you SAID it, Whag. I inferred it all by myself, but I think it's because you implied it whether you intended to or not.

To describe Babe Ruth as "a baseball player" is similarly ignoring or downplaying the incredible contribution he made to baseball. While it's TRUE that Babe Ruth was, indeed, "a baseball player", somebody who chose that phrase to describe him is really selling him short.

Words have meanings.


I was emphasizing that it involved the same concept of propitiation that all human sacrifices try to achieve. That is biblically supportable.

And the implication is that Christ's atonement is no more significant than "any other 'human sacrifice'". But I should expect no more from you. :shrug:

robrecht
11-24-2014, 06:43 AM
And the implication is that Christ's atonement is no more significant than "any other 'human sacrifice'". But I should expect no more from you. :shrug:I think his implication is that human sacrifice is a bad thing in general, regardless of the exalted nature of the person. It just reflects poorly on God that he would require or desire any human sacrifice. In my opinion, some of this is simply an over literal reading of metaphorical or symbolic language from within a culture that still practiced animal sacrifice as a means of propitiating God.

whag
11-24-2014, 06:43 AM
I never SAID you SAID it, Whag. I inferred it all by myself, but I think it's because you implied it whether you intended to or not.

To describe Babe Ruth as "a baseball player" is similarly ignoring or downplaying the incredible contribution he made to baseball. While it's TRUE that Babe Ruth was, indeed, "a baseball player", somebody who chose that phrase to describe him is really selling him short.

Words have meanings.



And the implication is that Christ's atonement is no more significant than "any other 'human sacrifice'". But I should expect no more from you. :shrug:

It's not my aim to sell him tall or short. It's a given that the sacrifice was different, thanks to thousands of theologians and pastors like yourself who've emphasized the difference over millenia. The more interesting part is the one you tried to deemphasize.

I really like tussling with you, you old geezer.

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 06:49 AM
It's not my aim to sell him tall or short. It's a given that the sacrifice was different, thanks to thousands of theologians and pastors like yourself who've emphasized the difference over millenia. The more interesting part is the one you tried to deemphasize.

Which part was that? The one where you thought Babe Ruth was a football player? (kidding)


I really like tussling with you, you old geezer.

Good, cause there's something about you I USUALLY enjoy! :poke:

whag
11-24-2014, 06:56 AM
Which part was that? The one where you thought Babe Ruth was a football player? (kidding)



Good, cause there's something about you I USUALLY enjoy! :poke:

Amening this, though my conscience told me not to.

whag
11-24-2014, 07:02 AM
I think his implication is that human sacrifice is a bad thing in general, regardless of the exalted nature of the person. It just reflects poorly on God that he would require or desire any human sacrifice. In my opinion, some of this is simply an over literal reading of metaphorical or symbolic language from within a culture that still practiced animal sacrifice as a means of propitiating God.

I think too much, I think. I often wonder if Jesus dying from a heart attack pre-Gethsamane would've accomplished the same work. That sounds decidedly less sacrificial than an event like the crucifixion, but still meets the requirement that he die.

robrecht
11-24-2014, 07:07 AM
I think too much, I think. I often wonder if Jesus dying from a heart attack pre-Gethsamane would've accomplished the same work. That sounds decidedly less sacrificial than an event like the crucifixion, but still meets the requirement that he die.Specifically, what 'requirement that he die' are you thinking of here? Just normal human mortality? Or more probably some use of metaphorical imagery from the Jewish scriptures?

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 07:16 AM
Amening this, though my conscience told me not to.

Agnostics don't have conscienceseseses. :tongue:

whag
11-24-2014, 07:18 AM
Specifically, what 'requirement that he die' are you thinking of here? Just normal human mortality? Or more probably some use of metaphorical imagery from the Jewish scriptures?

That's what I'm getting at. Let's push it further past Gethsemane: Jesus somehow gets pardoned by Pilate, and the Jews calling for his death divert their rage to another person. Jesus grows old and dies normally. What happens then?

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 07:18 AM
I think too much, I think. I often wonder if Jesus dying from a heart attack pre-Gethsamane would've accomplished the same work. That sounds decidedly less sacrificial than an event like the crucifixion, but still meets the requirement that he die.

A bull or a goat dying of natural causes before he reached the altar wouldn't, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered a sacrifice. In fact, it would eliminate him from consideration. :smile:

Kelp(p)
11-24-2014, 07:21 AM
That's what I'm getting at. Let's push it further past Gethsemane: Jesus somehow gets pardoned by Pilate, and the Jews calling for his death divert their rage to another person. Jesus grows old and dies normally. What happens then?Something tells me some people would still object to the idea that God sent Him knowing He would die, certainly mainstream Muslims at the very least. It is an interesting question that I'm not sure about, though.

Cerebrum123
11-24-2014, 07:25 AM
Specifically, what 'requirement that he die' are you thinking of here? Just normal human mortality? Or more probably some use of metaphorical imagery from the Jewish scriptures?

Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

This is just a small sample, but yeah, the Bible teaches that He had to die for us.

robrecht
11-24-2014, 07:25 AM
That's what I'm getting at. Let's push it further past Gethsemane: Jesus somehow gets pardoned by Pilate, and the Jews calling for his death divert their rage to another person. Jesus grows old and dies normally. What happens then?
I don't know. Let's flesh out your hypothetical. Does Jesus continue his teaching, healing and exorcism ministry? Do others pick up where he left off? Is his ministry successful? Does he bring together the schools of Hillel and Shammai? Is the priestly leadership of the temple reformed? Does its role as a house of prayer for all nations continue to expand?

Kelp(p)
11-24-2014, 07:29 AM
Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

This is just a small sample, but yeah, the Bible teaches that He had to die for us.This is true. But those verses by themselves do not imply penal substitution or a formal connection to the Jewish Temple cultus.

Cerebrum123
11-24-2014, 07:50 AM
This is true. But those verses by themselves do not imply penal substitution or a formal connection to the Jewish Temple cultus.

:huh:
My only point was that the Bible teaches Jesus had to die. I didn't argue for any specific model of atonement. However, the verse in Hebrews does link back to Jewish law, and temple practice. Only blood sacrifices were considered to be worthy as sin offerings. Other types of offerings had different rules though.

Kelp(p)
11-24-2014, 08:36 AM
Ok.

whag
11-24-2014, 10:05 AM
Hebrews 9:22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beastóall whose names have not been written in the Lambís book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of Godís grace

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood

This is just a small sample, but yeah, the Bible teaches that He had to die for us.

You mean be killed sacrificially. Dying doesn't fulfill the requirement.

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 10:09 AM
You mean be killed sacrificially. Dying doesn't fulfill the requirement.

And the sacrifice has to be with spot or blemish. :yes:

Cerebrum123
11-24-2014, 11:06 AM
And the sacrifice has to be without spot or blemish. :yes:

fify

whag
11-24-2014, 11:33 AM
And the sacrifice has to be with spot or blemish. :yes:

Symbolically...

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 11:35 AM
Symbolically...

Depends.

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 11:36 AM
fify

OOOOOPS!!!! Thanks, Brum! :thumb:

robrecht
11-24-2014, 11:37 AM
OOOOOPS!!!! Thanks, Brum! :thumb:
I thought maybe you were going all heretic on us again.

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 11:38 AM
I thought maybe you were going all heretic on us again.

Naw, I ain't that smart. :smug:

whag
11-24-2014, 12:16 PM
Depends.

It depends on what? Jesus could have birthmarks and still meet the requirement, yes?

Cow Poke
11-24-2014, 12:34 PM
It depends on what? Jesus could have birthmarks and still meet the requirement, yes?

The animals were not allowed to have spot or blemish. In the case of Christ, that translated to sinlessnessness. (what are those red squiggly lines under that word?)

whag
11-24-2014, 01:09 PM
The animals were not allowed to have spot or blemish. In the case of Christ, that translated to sinlessnessness. (what are those red squiggly lines under that word?)

"What...we've got hee-ya is failya to comyoon-Kate."

AlphaBravo
12-15-2014, 10:18 AM
Couldn't the story of Abraham and Isaac be interpreted a different way? If Abraham had pushed back on God, couldn't that also have been interpreted as courage because of the possible enormity of consequences? Is it possible that God would have honored that reaction, or was faith more important to God than a push back that indicated strong courage?

Abraham does essentially push back with respect to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah but in the end the result is nearly the same. In the matter of Isaac his son it is possible that his appeal is simply not recorded. Either way, I sometimes suspect that the testing of Abraham through his son was similar to the testing of Job in that the test arises because of a direct challenge to God regarding the integrity of Abraham by Satan who is the named accuser in the Job story.

whag
12-15-2014, 10:56 AM
Abraham does essentially push back with respect to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah but in the end the result is nearly the same. In the matter of Isaac his son it is possible that his appeal is simply not recorded. Either way, I sometimes suspect that the testing of Abraham through his son was similar to the testing of Job in that the test arises because of a direct challenge to God regarding the integrity of Abraham by Satan who is the named accuser in the Job story.

That makes God look like a putz, though. Why would he care so much about Satan's opinion of Abraham to make Abraham consider killing his child. Who is Satan that he's that influential?

AlphaBravo
12-15-2014, 12:32 PM
That makes God look like a putz, though. Why would he care so much about Satan's opinion of Abraham to make Abraham consider killing his child. Who is Satan that he's that influential?

It is said of mankind "Ye are gods." and we are described as being "a little lower than the angels". I don't find it surprising that a superlative God would condescend to communicate with and accommodate his own creation, even one like Satan who he knew was errant and would rebel.

Isn't it actually a sign of strength that God knew he could make every concession to Satan with respect to Job/Abraham and still win in the end? It is evidence of his confidence in humanity and of the human form to contain the highest qualities. If God refused to entertain Satan's accusation then he would alternatively be accused of cowardice and of fear that the weaknesses of his administration would be revealed by a simple test.

Peace.

whag
12-15-2014, 01:39 PM
It is said of mankind "Ye are gods." and we are described as being "a little lower than the angels". I don't find it surprising that a superlative God would condescend to communicate with and accommodate his own creation, even one like Satan who he knew was errant and would rebel.

Isn't it actually a sign of strength that God knew he could make every concession to Satan with respect to Job/Abraham and still win in the end? It is evidence of his confidence in humanity and of the human form to contain the highest qualities. If God refused to entertain Satan's accusation then he would alternatively be accused of cowardice and of fear that the weaknesses of his administration would be revealed by a simple test.

Peace.

I find that interpretation sketchy because it assumes Satan is so stupid that he can't figure out that God knows the outcome. Moreover, it's sketchy because implies Job is historical. Job is actually myth.

AlphaBravo
12-15-2014, 03:18 PM
I find that interpretation sketchy because it assumes Satan is so stupid that he can't figure out that God knows the outcome. Moreover, it's sketchy because implies Job is historical. Job is actually myth.

Well I assumed that our conversation was only an academic exercise considering your agnosticism. I certainly understood that you doubted the reality of God and Satan as well. My intent was only to demonstrate that the accounts can be viewed as consistent with the actions of a superlative creator god, and a benevolent one at that.

With respect to the historicity of Job and Abraham, their records are presented in the Jewish and Christian histories with every indication that their accounts are to be taken at face value. I'm not sure on what basis you dismiss Job as myth but I wonder whether other B.C. histories which one might accept can sustain the same scrutiny.

Finally to your main point. We may not know precisely why Satan chose to rebel or in the face of what knowledge he chose to do so. Certainly we understand that seemingly intelligent humans rebel against civil authority on principle even when the odds are apparently insurmountable. Why is it a stretch to understand how Satan as an intelligent and powerful being could make an analogous choice?

Peace.

whag
12-15-2014, 04:07 PM
Well I assumed that our conversation was only an academic exercise considering your agnosticism. I certainly understood that you doubted the reality of God and Satan as well. My intent was only to demonstrate that the accounts can be viewed as consistent with the actions of a superlative creator god, and a benevolent one at that.

With respect to the historicity of Job and Abraham, their records are presented in the Jewish and Christian histories with every indication that their accounts are to be taken at face value. I'm not sure on what basis you dismiss Job as myth but I wonder whether other B.C. histories which one might accept can sustain the same scrutiny.

Finally to your main point. We may not know precisely why Satan chose to rebel or in the face of what knowledge he chose to do so. Certainly we understand that seemingly intelligent humans rebel against civil authority on principle even when the odds are apparently insurmountable. Why is it a stretch to understand how Satan as an intelligent and powerful being could make an analogous choice?

Peace.

Let's agree to disagree on Job being myth.

Re: your last point, you misunderstand me. I'm not questioning Satan's motive for rebellion (though I do find that problematic). What's sketchy are his wagers that certain people will fail while Satan is fully aware that God knows the outcome. It'd be sheer idiocy to accuse a human being that God knows will pass the test, and that's why I think it's not meant to be taken as a historical event.

AlphaBravo
12-15-2014, 05:32 PM
Let's agree to disagree on Job being myth.

Re: your last point, you misunderstand me. I'm not questioning Satan's motive for rebellion (though I do find that problematic). What's sketchy are his wagers that certain people will fail while Satan is fully aware that God knows the outcome. It'd be sheer idiocy to accuse a human being that God knows will pass the test, and that's why I think it's not meant to be taken as a historical event.

Well ok, but isn't the corruption of Job the lesser task of the two? I would think that Satan's confidence in his ability to turn Job would be greater than his confidence in his own ability to defeat God. Satan believed that God had shielded and protected Job, spoiling him in essence. Surely if Satan had free reign to crush Job he could get him to recant. After all, Satan might say, Job is only human.

whag
12-15-2014, 07:08 PM
Well ok, but isn't the corruption of Job the lesser task of the two? I would think that Satan's confidence in his ability to turn Job would be greater than his confidence in his own ability to defeat God.

A smart being wouldn't dismiss God knowing the outcome. That would decrease Satan's confidence in turning Job. Again, he'd have to be stupider than any human being, and is that really possible? It's more likely that it's myth, because myths play out anthropologically and typically make no sense when rationally analyzed. Because they're not meant to be taken literally.

See Samson's killing of 1,000 men with the jawbone of an ass. Did they line up single file to be killed? These are the tortuous rationalizations you have to go through to believe it's pure recorded history.


Satan believed that God had shielded and protected Job, spoiling him in essence. Surely if Satan had free reign to crush Job he could get him to recant. After all, Satan might say, Job is only human.

Again, a smart being would know that God couldn't possibly lose a bet and risk being shamed. God knew the outcome, and that fact couldn't be lost on Satan if this was a real event.

Doug Shaver
12-16-2014, 09:17 AM
Certainly we understand that seemingly intelligent humans rebel against civil authority on principle even when the odds are apparently insurmountable. Why is it a stretch to understand how Satan as an intelligent and powerful being could make an analogous choice?
The analogy doesn't work.

The power of civil authority is known, in every case, to be finite. Therefore, "apparently insurmountable" is not necessarily equivalent to "actually insurmountable." Satan, as an intelligent being -- surely more intelligent than the most intelligent human being -- had to know that God's power was infinite. Unless he was certifiably insane, he could not have thought that his rebellion had any chance of success.

whag
12-16-2014, 09:33 AM
The analogy doesn't work.

The power of civil authority is known, in every case, to be finite. Therefore, "apparently insurmountable" is not necessarily equivalent to "actually insurmountable." Satan, as an intelligent being -- surely more intelligent than the most intelligent human being -- had to know that God's power was infinite. Unless he was certifiably insane, he could not have thought that his rebellion had any chance of success.

It's often said the presence of God is ineffable. When I read the descriptions of God's exchanges with Satan, I get the impression of something else entirely. That impression wouldn't be such an issue for me if the standard apologetics didn't argue these exchanges were true rather than myth.

AlphaBravo
12-16-2014, 02:00 PM
The analogy doesn't work.

The power of civil authority is known, in every case, to be finite. Therefore, "apparently insurmountable" is not necessarily equivalent to "actually insurmountable." Satan, as an intelligent being -- surely more intelligent than the most intelligent human being -- had to know that God's power was infinite. Unless he was certifiably insane, he could not have thought that his rebellion had any chance of success.

I think the analogy does work under my stated premise which were references to Hebrew and Christian texts that represent mankind as transcendent and godlike and being very similar to angelic beings. If one characterizes God, and Satan perhaps, as unimaginable and unrelatable entities then yes, any analogy will fail to add any information.


It's often said the presence of God is ineffable. When I read the descriptions of God's exchanges with Satan, I get the impression of something else entirely. That impression wouldn't be such an issue for me if the standard apologetics didn't argue these exchanges were true rather than myth.

The ineffability of God is your straw man not mine. If the distinction between God and man is characterized as unbridgeable then I don't think I can help resolve the conflict with the Book of Job that you noted.

Peace.

whag
12-16-2014, 03:11 PM
The ineffability of God is your straw man not mine. If the distinction between God and man is characterized as unbridgeable then I don't think I can help resolve the conflict with the Book of Job that you noted.

Peace.

Unbridgeable distinction? I merely pointed out that God's omni attributes would be evident to Satan and not lost on him.

The teleological argument says divine qualities are manifest in what is created. How much more so are they evident in God's very presence?

AlphaBravo
12-17-2014, 09:54 AM
Unbridgeable distinction? I merely pointed out that God's omni attributes would be evident to Satan and not lost on him.

The teleological argument says divine qualities are manifest in what is created. How much more so are they evident in God's very presence?

Perhaps you meant to use a different word than 'ineffable'. If God were ineffable then I wouldn't expect his attributes to be evident to Satan or to ourselves, either through his direct presence or through the created universe.

whag
12-17-2014, 10:21 AM
Perhaps you meant to use a different word than 'ineffable'. If God were ineffable then I wouldn't expect his attributes to be evident to Satan or to ourselves, either through his direct presence or through the created universe.

Forget ineffable, then. If the created universe expresses his attributes, according to Paul, how is it that his actual presence doesn't express the same attributes even moreso? Did Satan know God's omni attributes or not?

AlphaBravo
12-17-2014, 10:33 AM
I agree that that is the question and I must say that I believe Satan rebelled with as full a knowledge of God's power as any created being has ever had. Due to our incomplete knowledge of Satan's motives and knowledge I don't think it is proper to just assume insanity/stupidity.

whag
12-17-2014, 11:18 AM
I agree that that is the question and I must say that I believe Satan rebelled with as full a knowledge of God's power as any created being has ever had. Due to our incomplete knowledge of Satan's motives and knowledge I don't think it is proper to just assume insanity/stupidity.

His motive was to usurp power that he was fully aware he couldn't usurp. Moreover, the Job story has Satan still in the employ of God after that attempt to usurp his power. That doesn't make a lick of sense.

Based on that, it's reasonable to conclude the stories written about Satan are human generated, just like any other mythology. Skepticism of these stories as being real is therefore justified, just like skepticism of the activities of the Greek pantheon is justified.

AlphaBravo
12-17-2014, 11:58 AM
His motive was to usurp power that he was fully aware he couldn't usurp. Moreover, the Job story has Satan still in the employ of God after that attempt to usurp his power. That doesn't make a lick of sense.

Based on that, it's reasonable to conclude the stories written about Satan are human generated, just like any other mythology. Skepticism of these stories as being real is therefore justified, just like skepticism of the activities of the Greek pantheon is justified.

The open revolt of Satan and his ejection from God's presence does not occur until later, but I suppose that is a topic for another thread.

It seems to me that you are selectively imposing motives, capabilities, and values on Satan. You allow that Satan may be logical, insane, stupid, or suicidal in order to reach your desired conclusion but you do not allow that he could be ignorant, proud, jealous, narcissistic, and ambitious. All of these last qualities are adequate to explain his rebellion and to provide an alternate 'reasonable' conclusion.

Peace.

whag
12-17-2014, 12:32 PM
The open revolt of Satan and his ejection from God's presence does not occur until later, but I suppose that is a topic for another thread.

It seems to me that you are selectively imposing motives, capabilities, and values on Satan. You allow that Satan may be logical, insane, stupid, or suicidal in order to reach your desired conclusion but you do not allow that he could be ignorant, proud, jealous, narcissistic, and ambitious. All of these last qualities are adequate to explain his rebellion and to provide an alternate 'reasonable' conclusion.

Peace.

Stupidity and insanity aren't mutually exclusive from the latter adjectives. Satan would necessarily have to start with the base knowledge of God's attributes, which he would know are infinitely more than his. If I had ambition to usurp a king knowing the enormous (but still finite) obstacles I'd need to overcome, I'd be deemed insane or stupid for attempting such a coup. In Satan's case, the obstacle is infinite and he knows it. No matter the level of pride and jealousy, if it overrides that base knowledge of his opponent, that's tantamount to insanity and/or gargantuan stupidity.

What you describe actually makes the story more problematic. What was going on in heaven that provoked such such feelings as pride, ambition, jealousy, and narcissism? The story is saturated with anthropomorphism.

AlphaBravo
12-17-2014, 01:10 PM
Stupidity and insanity aren't mutually exclusive from the latter adjectives.

Thats true, my mistake. But then you are only allowing Satan the traits of being logical and of holding self preservation above all else, which is still self serving to your conclusion.



What you describe actually makes the story more problematic. What was going on in heaven that provoked such such feelings as pride, ambition, jealousy, and narcissism?

Again you seem to only entertain a single scenario which suits your purpose, which is that these feelings must be provoked and can only originate if God has been unjust.




The story is saturated with anthropomorphism.

What you call anthropomorphisms in the accounts can equally be said to be evidence that we were made to be similar beings as God and Satan and can therefore relate with the recorded accounts of them which was my original premise.

jordanriver
12-17-2014, 02:37 PM
What you describe actually makes the story more problematic. What was going on in heaven that provoked such such feelings as pride, ambition, jealousy, and narcissism? The story is saturated with anthropomorphism.

that would make an interesting 'in house' (between Bible believing Christians, ....or also between neutral (https://www.google.com/#q=indifferent) comparative religion scholars) discussion.
...that is, were the other Archangels like Michael and Gabriel created without free will, or are they acting of their own volition in their complete devotion to the will of God

whag
12-17-2014, 04:55 PM
that would make an interesting 'in house' (between Bible believing Christians, ....or also between neutral (https://www.google.com/#q=indifferent) comparative religion scholars) discussion.
...that is, were the other Archangels like Michael and Gabriel created without free will, or are they acting of their own volition in their complete devotion to the will of God

Or do they have free will but their devotion is motivated by fear of punishment rather than genuine love? As long as we're surveying the options, that's as plausible as any.

whag
12-17-2014, 05:23 PM
Thats true, my mistake. But then you are only allowing Satan the traits of being logical and of holding self preservation above all else, which is still self serving to your conclusion.

I'm holding him to being both logical and selfish, which serves your conclusion as well as mine.


Again you seem to only entertain a single scenario which suits your purpose, which is that these feelings must be provoked and can only originate if God has been unjust.

No, rather I'm suggesting that those feelings are primitive and can be traced to human beings. Though some myths describe divine characters as experiencing these feelings, they are obviously projections.

Presumably, the same potential for jealousy and ambition would always exist, even in heaven. If not, we must question why the original environment had that potential and why the future one won't have that potential.




What you call anthropomorphisms in the accounts can equally be said to be evidence that we were made to be similar beings as God and Satan and can therefore relate with the recorded accounts of them which was my original premise.

But some can't relate to it for the reasons I expressed. It seems more geared to those with a predisposition to easy belief, not those who see the totality and commonality of myth and logical problems of taking them literally.

AlphaBravo
12-22-2014, 01:03 PM
No, rather I'm suggesting that those feelings are primitive and can be traced to human beings. Though some myths describe divine characters as experiencing these feelings, they are obviously projections.

But some can't relate to it for the reasons I expressed. It seems more geared to those with a predisposition to easy belief, not those who see the totality and commonality of myth and logical problems of taking them literally.

Agnostics and atheists take too much for granted. That bare matter and energy should acquire "primitive" traits like fear/love/pain/hope/self preservation/a sense of fairness, a desire to explore, to say nothing of the full complexity of life is entirely a scientific tautology.

Furthermore to assign a naturalistic explanation to these traits begs the question as to whether these things have any value at all. If you can have an arbitrary value system than why do you care that Christians and theist have an arbitrary value system that differs somehow from your own. I don't really understand how you escape the nihilism. Probably a topic for another thread I know.

whag
12-22-2014, 06:23 PM
Agnostics and atheists take too much for granted. That bare matter and energy should acquire "primitive" traits like fear/love/pain/hope/self preservation/a sense of fairness, a desire to explore, to say nothing of the full complexity of life is entirely a scientific tautology.

How is that a scientific tautology? Just because some atheists and agnostics honestly can't accept on faith that human beings acquired emotions like fear and hope by way of divine download doesn't make it a redundancy. At worst, the picture of life (Christian teleology) is meant to remain an ambiguous mystery and not meant to be taken literally or perceived dogmatically, as evangelicalism has been wont to do.

We see all those things you listed--even a semblance of love--in chimps and dogs, so it doesn't mystify us as much as theists. Neither does it make it any less meaningful to us than it does to theists.


Furthermore to assign a naturalistic explanation to these traits begs the question as to whether these things have any value at all. If you can have an arbitrary value system than why do you care that Christians and theist have an arbitrary value system that differs somehow from your own. I don't really understand how you escape the nihilism. Probably a topic for another thread I know.

As we can see from evolution being demonstrated as true (the general, progressive revelation), life is more ambiguous than theists initially imagined, and that's had the effect of--for lack of a better phrase--freaking some the heck out. I thing what's happened is that some theists put all their cards in a kind of false hope--like Genesis and Job being literal--and, as the result of those stories being exposed as untrue, try to numb the hurt by calling skepticism "inadvertent nihilism." Better to just accept that the Bible's more sloppily stitched together and messier than you imagined.

Peter Enns arrived at that point long ago, and I think it's the most admirable approach.