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Thread: Ancient of Days, Indeed

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    tWebber
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    Ancient of Days, Indeed

    We as Christian's worship a glorified Jew. We believe God is Triune -- localized in heaven -- yet omnipresent, even within us. When we try to visualize this God -- right now -- what do we envision? Perhaps a large "Spirit-being" "sitting" on a "throne" in another dimension, with a physical-ish Jesus seated next to him, meanwhile the Holy Spirit is...hovering around...in the midst of innumerable angels, elders, and saints "glorifying" this invisible God continually. This is literally happening right now.

    This biblical and ancient view of God fits snugly in ancient Jewish minds, perhaps against the backdrop of a three-tiered cosmos or the like. But in our more honest and reflective moments, perhaps we start to experience cognitive dissonance when we internalize the nature of our universe and our place in it. Our modern minds struggle with our reality, our existence, our knowledge, and the one we hold dear and regard as revelatory. Suddenly the God of the bible seems out of place. Here we are with our smartphones in hand, spinning on this pale blue dot in an absurdly vast cosmos, one earth-like planet among billions in one galaxy...among billions...and God is waiting in heaven for the pre-determined time when his glorified sandals will touch down once again in Jerusalem (Acts. 1:11).

    OT scholar Peter Enns shares similar thoughts and struggles in his recent blog post. Check it out and share your thoughts.

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    tWebber
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    I don't see any difference in the way God is comprehended in the Psalms from how I think of God. I say this mainly about the way we comprehend God in his existence in the heavens, since of course, Jesus, having come as God incarnate, adds a new facet to our understanding, a new complexity. But even with Jesus having died and been raised, we still know (and probably in a better way) how God can be beyond creation but a participant within creation at the same time.

    Even the apparent (seemingly) harsh treatments of nations in the Old Testament (and some aspects of wrath, flowing into the New Testament), seem defensible from God's position -- and then knowable by us, to some extent. I see God first as giving us our breath, our existence, without which -- what is there even to speculate about in the case where we didn't exist? It is a gift that we even exist. If this gift required God to take severe actions, we still have come to enjoy the gift of life that we have -- even if life isn't always as grand as we might hope. What is there even to speculate about in the case where we didn't exit?

  3. Amen Scrawly amen'd this post.
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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    I don't see any difference in the way God is comprehended in the Psalms from how I think of God. I say this mainly about the way we comprehend God in his existence in the heavens, since of course, Jesus, having come as God incarnate, adds a new facet to our understanding, a new complexity. But even with Jesus having died and been raised, we still know (and probably in a better way) how God can be beyond creation but a participant within creation at the same time.

    Even the apparent (seemingly) harsh treatments of nations in the Old Testament (and some aspects of wrath, flowing into the New Testament), seem defensible from God's position -- and then knowable by us, to some extent. I see God first as giving us our breath, our existence, without which -- what is there even to speculate about in the case where we didn't exist? It is a gift that we even exist. If this gift required God to take severe actions, we still have come to enjoy the gift of life that we have -- even if life isn't always as grand as we might hope. What is there even to speculate about in the case where we didn't exit?
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Mike. There is much to resonate with.

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    It seems that your link addressed the problems people face when trying to understand God through scriptures. This could be useful to many people, as an introduction to the explanation or justification of how God has acted to fix things in the world. I think his description is leading to the explanation behind God's actions, as we can possibly discern them.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    It seems that your link addressed the problems people face when trying to understand God through scriptures. This could be useful to many people, as an introduction to the explanation or justification of how God has acted to fix things in the world. I think his description is leading to the explanation behind God's actions, as we can possibly discern them.
    Pete seems to be lamenting the muddled thinking we believers often go through in order to hold on to our beliefs. I think it's healthy to acknowledge this and perhaps even see it as a characteristic of faith itself.

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    tWebber Rushing Jaws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrawly View Post
    We as Christian's worship a glorified Jew. We believe God is Triune -- localized in heaven -- yet omnipresent, even within us. When we try to visualize this God -- right now -- what do we envision? Perhaps a large "Spirit-being" "sitting" on a "throne" in another dimension, with a physical-ish Jesus seated next to him, meanwhile the Holy Spirit is...hovering around...in the midst of innumerable angels, elders, and saints "glorifying" this invisible God continually. This is literally happening right now.

    This biblical and ancient view of God fits snugly in ancient Jewish minds, perhaps against the backdrop of a three-tiered cosmos or the like. But in our more honest and reflective moments, perhaps we start to experience cognitive dissonance when we internalize the nature of our universe and our place in it. Our modern minds struggle with our reality, our existence, our knowledge, and the one we hold dear and regard as revelatory. Suddenly the God of the bible seems out of place. Here we are with our smartphones in hand, spinning on this pale blue dot in an absurdly vast cosmos, one earth-like planet among billions in one galaxy...among billions...and God is waiting in heaven for the pre-determined time when his glorified sandals will touch down once again in Jerusalem (Acts. 1:11).

    OT scholar Peter Enns shares similar thoughts and struggles in his recent blog post. Check it out and share your thoughts.
    I don’t visualise God at all (which is in no way a claim to be More Spiritual Than Thou !). Am I being mean to quibble with your use of the word “localised” ?

    OTOH, the Bible does not shy away from saying that JHWH is “enthroned between/above the cherubim”, upon the Ark of the Covenant; nor from describing the vision of the Ancient of Days in Daniel 7; nor from narrating St John’s vision of the Glorified Christ in Rev 1.11-20. OTO, it corrects any tendency to an overly material conception of God that the reader might have, by using symbolic and unmaterial language: as when the Glorified Christ is described as a Lamb in Rev 5, or as when Deuteronomy 4.11 denies that God has a bodily form; or as when it is flatly denied that God lives “in a House built with hands”.

    The Bible uses many various and logically incompatible verbal images for God - Rock, Husband, Warrior, Shepherd, King, Father, Lord, Kinsman-Redeemer, mother hen, sun, fire, clothing, shade, and so on - not because the authors were confused, but because the impossibility that all these images could be logically harmonised is a hint that though all these images say something about God, God cannot be exhausted by, or identified with, or reduced to, any of them. If anything, these images convey, not what God is in Himself, but, what God is for His People. These images witness to the inexhaustible adequacy and all-sufficiency of God for His People. As if that were not enough, there is not only the Incarnation of the Word, but also Isa. 40.12,15, to show that God cannot be thought of as a man and that man is insignificant: https://biblehub.com/nasb/isaiah/40.htm

    The point is not that God is some particular kind of thing - as though God were, not material, but spiritual instead. The point is rather that God is inconceivable. “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him ?” (Rev 13.4) is a blasphemous parody of “Whoislike unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ps. 113.5; cf. Exodus 15.11; Micah 7.18). The question is answered in Rev 19. God is utterly Incomparable. There is nothing whatsoever in creation that can be compared with God. This is, from one POV, a way of saying that God “dwells in inaccessible light”; that God is the Holy One. And the hymn of the seraphim in Isa. 6.3 emphasises the Holiness of God, by declaring it not once, but three times. As if that were not enough, the description of the Four Living Creatures in Rev 4 emphasises the emphasis:

    6And before the throne was something like a sea of glass, as clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, covered with eyes in front and back. 7The first living creature was like a lion, the second like a calf, the third had a face like a man, and the fourth was like an eagle in flight. 8And each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around and within. Day and night they never stop saying:

    “Holy, Holy, Holy,
    is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”

    9And whenever the living creatures give glory, honor, and thanks to the One seated on the throne who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before the One seated on the throne, and they worship Him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

    11“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things; by Your will they exist, and came to be.”

    https://biblehub.com/bsb/revelation/4.htm

    This is highly abstract - for the description is spent, not upon the One sitting upon the Throne, but upon the Four Living Creatures. It is no objection to say they are biologically impossible - St John is not concerned with biology, but with putting into words “things difficult to think”. They have the qualities he ascribes to them, not because he is writing a work of literary art, but for the sake of the OT passages - & their attendant theologies - that those described qualities recall.

    The Uniqueness of God is shown by the defeat of the pseudo-Son of Man/Messiah that is the First Beast of Rev 13. The Likeness of the Son to the Father is shown by statements about the Dignity of Christ, by the application to Him of passages from the Prophets, and by passages in which what the OT ascribes to JHWH, is ascribed to Christ: for instance, Philippians 2.10 applies Isa. 45.23 to Christ. Or there are Ps 65.7 & 89.9, which St Matthew 8.26 & St Mark 4.39 show Jesus doing. https://biblehub.com/psalms/65-7.htm The use of Ark of the Covenant imagery for Christ show Who, and What He is, and does.

  8. #7
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    I thought this was a thread about mossy, and wondered why it was in this forum.


    Oh, and bacon.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I thought this was a thread about mossy, and wondered why it was in this forum.


    Oh, and bacon.
    mossy is the ancient of AFTERNOONS. There is but one Ancient of Days.

    I'm always still in trouble again

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  10. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
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    tWebber Obsidian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rushing Jaws
    I don’t visualise God at all (which is in no way a claim to be More Spiritual Than Thou !). Am I being mean to quibble with your use of the word “localised” ?
    Jesus is material. And he is localized.
    The Father is localized, but is not material.
    The Holy Spirit is neither localized nor material.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogue06 View Post
    mossy is the ancient of AFTERNOONS. There is but one Ancient of Days.
    Mossy is just ancient...
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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