Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Men of whom the world was not worthy

May your terrible ordeals glorify your Lord and Savior.

52 comments:

MICHAEL said...

Greetings Rhoblogy
I wonder if this might interest you;
As St. Augustine wrote against the Pelagians, man is completely unable to avail himself in meriting the free grace of God, but his natural will can cooperate with this prevenient grace when it is quickened by the Holy Spirit.

And St. Augustine wrote against the Manichaeans, the mystery of election is in the hidden counsels of God and singularly unto salvation (not "double" unto reprobation); yet, anyone that enters hell

CALVINISM AND CATHOLICISM CONTRASTED
Calvin: God's sovereignty determines the will.
Catholic: God's sovereignty includes free will.
Calvin: Predestination as predetermination.
Catholic: Predestination as infallible foreknowledge.
Calvin: God desires only the salvation of the elect.
Catholic: God desires the salvation of all.
Calvin: God provides grace only to the elect.
Catholic: God provides grace to all, though not all accept it.
Calvin: Christ died only for the elect.
Catholic: Christ died for all men.
Calvin: God predetermines some for hell.
Catholic :Men merit hell by their own wickedness.
Calvin: The elect include all those born-again.
Catholic: The elect are those who persevere to the end.
Calvin: Grace co-opts human free will.
Catholic: Grace perfects the free will that cooperates.
Calvin: Those in grace (born-again) can't fall away.
Catholic: Those in grace can freely sin and lose grace.
Calvin: The elect will unfailingly persevere.
Catholic: The elect are those who have persevered.
Calvin: The elect are assured of their salvation.
Catholic: Yes, but only God knows who they are.
Calvin: Predestination eliminates merit and guilt.
Catholic: Predestination includes merit and guilt.
The Pelagian heretics held that man alone (apart from God's grace) is responsible for his salvation. Calvinists start with the opposite premise that God alone is responsible for man's salvation.

I understand more clearly the difference between Calvinism & Catholicism. I was saved, I am saved, and I am being saved. Yes, but only God knows who they are.

Peace Be With You
Micky

Salva said...

I don't think this is a very helpful comparison at all. It reduces Calvin (who believe it or not was kind of smart and rather thoughtful) to five year old soundbites, and says things on the other hand at which the church would take violent exception, at least these days. (Except it wouldn't be violent, because they sold their pretty creeds in an effort to be friendly.) Actually, even from the stiffer perspective of medievel theology I don't think the Catholic answers are particularly legit. So, it seems to me we are comparing two things by the curious tactic of falsifying one and retarding the other, and I do not understand how this is meant to be helpful.

Of course, it's possible that I'm entirely wrong. Micheal, perhaps you're know Calvin and the Fathers and the Schoolmen better than I - would you care to shed a lttle more light on the matter?

Craciun Lucian said...

...Who was sawn asunder?

P.S.: Have You already read the Golden-Mouth's commentary upon those verses? ;) [Seriously now].

Rhology said...

Lucian,

What verses? John 10?

Of course - didn't you see I pasted the relevant section in my comment?

Or do you refer to some other verses, like Heb 11? In that case, no, not yet. I haven't read anyone's commentary on Heb 11 (it's fairly self-explanatory as far as that goes).

Lucian said...

(I know You've pasted the relevant passage there).
Yes, the one on the Hymn of Faith in Paul's encyclical.
it's fairly self-explanatory -- I'm a mathematician, son of a mathematician, and I just LOVE reading, or hearing about, the obvious. :) [I must therefore assume You to be a humanist].

Rhology said...

Hi Mickey,

I'm not a 5-pt Calvinist, though I do have 5-pt Calvinist sympathies.

I hold to the T and the P of the TULIP w/ sympathies more specifically towards the L. A 2.5-pt Calvinist. It's fun being me.

Just a few stick out to me:

-Calvin: God predetermines some for hell.
Catholic :Men merit hell by their own wickedness.


Actually, men merit hell by their own wickedness is a very properly Calvinist position. The Roman position here would be better stated: Men merit Hell b/c they didn't work hard enough at being righteous.

-Calvin: The elect include all those born-again.
-Calvin: Those in grace (born-again) can't fall away.
-Calvin: The elect will unfailingly persevere.

Put me down w/ Calvin on these.


-Calvin: Grace co-opts human free will.
Stop for a minute and think about how strange this really is. You're gonna complain if God overcomes your sinful, blind "free" will in order to bring you to glorious fellowship w/ Him? How horrible!

-Calvin: The elect are assured of their salvation.
Catholic: Yes, but only God knows who they are.

The fact that the elect will unfailingly persevere and the idea that they KNOW it (ie, are assured of it) are 2 diff things.

-Catholic: Predestination includes merit and guilt.
The Roman idea of merit is a fiction.

Thanks for stopping by! Say hi anytime.

Peace,
ALAN

Rhology said...

Lucian,

You're calling a guy who has strong Calvinist sympathies a "humanist"?
Maybe I'm not thinking w/ the same definition as you are. Could you help me out?

Lucian said...

No, I really can't, sorry.

Lucian said...

So, ... who were the ones sawn asunder, for the hope of attaining a better resurrection?

Rhology said...

Lucian,

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[a] they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated-- 38of whom the world was not worthy--wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.


"All these" (v. 39) who were faithful and who came before the writing of this epistle to the Hebrews; they are those who hoped to gain a better resurrection by refusing to dishonor God even under torture.

Why do you ask?

Lucian said...

I ask because I'm curious who were the ones sawn assunder for the hope of attaining a better resurrection, of whom Paul speaks of... that's all. So, ... who were they anyway?

Salva said...

uh... Christian martyrs, whose names, it would seem, the Spirit has not seen fit to pass down to us these days. I think that's about all we have in the text.

Alan - seeing as 'tulip' is self-referrential, how is it possible to hold to some points and reject others? That is, if you really believe T (mankind is totally depraved, and therefore impotent to act towards their own salvation), how can you logically reject U (that mankind, being in fact all equally dead, was not chosen on the basis of personal merit)? Or, if you hold T in conjunction with P (all true believers lack the ability to change their minds and forego salvation), how can you ignore I (that grace is compelling)? This seems strange and paradoxical to me. Plenty of people simply reject the whole thing (and largish portions of the Text) outright, and that's at least defensible (logically if not Biblically); your position, tactically speaking, reminds me of a fortress whose cannons all point inward.

But perhaps you understand the acronym differently; care to expand?

Rhology said...

I would hasten to add that, since the Ep to the Hebrews was written at the very beginning of the Christian era, Heb 11 is probably referring more to OT believers who had faith in spite of the persecutions they had to endure.
As for the "sawn in 2," some propose that he is indirectly referencing the Prophet Isaiah who (as tradition has it) was sawn in 2 by King Manasseh before Manasseh's repentance.

Salva,

I use TULIP as any Calvinist would, or at least I aspire to.
Total Depravity
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints

Simply speaking (and I will confess ahead of time that my appetite to discuss this topic right now will very possibly prove to reach its limit soon), I hold to the T and the P, flirt w/ the L, and reject the U and I for exegetical and philosophical reasons.

A few more notes:
You said:
if you really believe T...how can you logically reject U (that mankind, being in fact all equally dead, was not chosen on the basis of personal merit)?
I believe this to be a false dilemma. Mankind is all equally dead, yes. They were not chosen ahead of time, however, but rather the election is based on God's foreknowledge. But they were not, as you said, "chosen on the basis of personal merit." The merit in there is what makes me balk at accepting your statement.

You said:
Or, if you hold T in conjunction with P (all true believers lack the ability to change their minds and forego salvation), how can you ignore I (that grace is compelling)?
Again, a fine question, and I see what you mean. I must confess that I would appeal to exegetical reasons to reject I while holding to P (for which the evidence is overwhelming).

You said:
Plenty of people simply reject the whole thing (and largish portions of the Text) outright, and that's at least defensible (logically if not Biblically);
I don't find the more Arminian approaches to be very consistent at all, actually, whether logically or Biblically. Nor do all 5 pts work. I don't see why, just b/c I pick out some pieces of a theological construct for reasons that I believe to be fully justifiable, I am automatically married to the whole thing. I don't think the filioque is a very good idea; that doesn't make me Eastern Orthodox. It makes me a guy who doesn't think the filioque is a very good idea.

I hope that clarifies, but feel free to tangle more w/ it. I'll go w/ it until I get exhausted. ;-)

Peace,
ALAN

Lucian said...

I was just curious as to why on earth did it took for 9 or 10 posts (mine and Yours), to come up with [or 'spew out'] one word: ISAIAH.

Rhology said...

It may be for the same reason as that for which you didn't back off from your suggestion that I contact (the late) St John Chrysostom when I cited the psg out of Deuteronomy that lets me know I shouldn't call up dead people; that is, proper exegesis.

This is an example of coming to the text w/ one's ideas vs taking from the text one's ideas. The Heb 11 psg doesn't identify Isaiah, but rather says "they were sawn in two." Doesn't rule out it being a figurative way of referring to one person but it doesn't mean the author had only one person in mind either. I hesitated to say "it was Isaiah" w/ any great confidence b/c the text doesn't say it.

Salva said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Salva said...

Heh, I'm not Arminian, so defensible in the relative sense of 'contrary to reality and scripture'.

So we may just be quibbling about words, but let us see. No worries if you get bored - I'm sure you've had this discussion plenty of times.

Okay. My point about U is that 'unconditional' means 'without reference to (not conditioned upon)our own moral capacities, whether past, present, or future.' Thus, when you say talk of God's foreknowledge, what's the referent? What is he knowing? The standard Arminian response is 'my future decision to accept his gift of grace', to which the Calvinist adds 'the decision that I, being dead, did not have the capacity to make, and would never have made, unless he'd given me the grace to do so in the first place; really - he would add testily, for Calvinists I am sorry to say have that reputation - it's all nonesense: God foreloved me, and very much in despite of all my feelings on the matter.'

This is my understanding of Unconditional Election, at least - is yours similar?

'Textual reasons' is a bit vague, but I, like any polite guest, will try to fill out my end of the conversation so you can just nod or shake your head :-).

So if everyone is dead, in the sense of Romans 3 - unqualified, unlimited moral incompetence - it follows that their wills are similarly dead, so to me the libero arbitrio is rather nonsensical. To put it another way, I would say that the will is about as free as the corpse in which it rots; therefore, a man in such a state can be redeemed, can come near to God, can live, can be made holy - in short, can to do all that is utterly contrary to his nature - only on condition of the utter violation and replacement of his will. This is why grace must be irresistible: man is born a rebel, and will not 'come quiet'.

A couple of passages that spring to mind: the two hearts, or the dead bones from Ezekiel; the usual suspects from Romans (3, 8).

Basically, I am arguing that Total Depravity necessarily implies both Unconditional Election and Irresistable Grace. If election were otherwise - that is, conditioned upon something other than God's completely independent calling and choosing - it would entail moral capacity in the sinner. If grace were otherwise, every self-respecting dead man would reject it immediately, necessarily, and forever.

I am interested to hear your thoughts, but no stress if you haven't time. Cheers

Lucian said...

The reason You don't contact dead people is because, for You, they're dead (Wisdom 3:2).
If the Golden-Mouth's not good-enough for You, then ask Elijah.
No, -strike that!-, better yet: Enoch (I mean, he's not just called 'Teacher' for nothin', You know).

The reason we like to contact dead people is because they're very much alive (more alive than we are, anyway -- comes with being in the presence of "the living God", I guess).
Alive and well (since the Face of the One Who is the Fountain of all Goodness, Perfection and Happiness shines perpetually on them, and they continuously delight in it).

That's why you have no life in you. That's why your religion is dead. [I'm aware of how this must sound, but I really don't mean it that way -- seriously :(].

Christ, God's Living Wisdom, didn't dwell among us (Baruch 3:35-38) in order to leave us with 27 Books at His Ascension, but instead He came so that his sheep may have life, and that even in abundance.
He came so that we might have life in us, even as the Father Himself hath Life in Himself.

Rhology said...

I guess I don't get it: What part of "who calls up the dead" is unclear to you?

Lucian said...

Which part of "our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead", said in specific reference to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is unclear to You?

Lucian said...

And when did Enoch die? Or Elijah, for that matter? (Did the Apocalypse come already? And did I somehow 'miss' it?)

Rhology said...

Scenario: an Israelite has been calling up a dead believing ancestor and has been caught and brought before Moses for judgment.
His defense: "our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead"

Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?

Lucian said...

An Israelite has been caught and has been brought before the ones sitting in the chair of Moses. He's OWN words accuse him bitterly for calling himself to be one with God, Who is only One, and besides Whom there are no other Gods. (Deuteronomy 5:7; 6:4; 11:16; 11:28; 28:14; 29:26-28; 30:17-18).

Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?

Rhology said...

No he should not be exonerated. Nobody coming before the throne of Moses could have been the theanthropos, the Messiah promised of God (b/c God did not send the Messiah during Moses' time). He should be executed. And he would have been.

Now will you please break pattern and answer my question?

Lucian said...

I said "the ones sitting in the chair of Moses" (see Matthew 23:2), not Moses himself. (And please DON'T tell me You've 'missed' that).

Rhology said...

Ooops. I confess I did miss it.

The new answer: It depends. Is this guy Jesus Christ? If so, He should be exonerated (but that is impossible since God predestined to put him to death).

If this guy is anyone else, he should and would be executed.

Now, my question?

Salva said...

temper temper. So as a member of the unenlightened, non-talking-to-stiffs party, I wonder if I might pose a lexical question: Does Mr Lucian agree that there is a state similar to physical death that happens to human people? Has he any objections the Christian doctrine of the soul's immortality? Or is this just a discussion about communication methods?

Lucian said...

Salva,

regarding Your question: Does Mr Lucian agree that there is a state similar to physical death that happens to human people? Has he any objections the Christian doctrine of the soul's immortality?

www.ccel.org/fathers.html --> go there and download "Volume I" of the "Ante-Nicene Fathers". Read:

[1]. Justin Marytr --> Dialogue with Trypho --> Chapter V.

[2]. Irenaeus --> Against Heresies: Book II --> Chapter XXXIV [34] --> Paragraph 4.

Also download "Volume XII: Homilies on First and Second Corinthians" from the 1st series of "Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers". Read:

[3]. John-the-Golden-Mouth's commentary on the words: "and they shall all be saved, but as through fire", from Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians (3:15 and the surrounding verses).

[4]. romanity.org/htm/rom.10.en.original_sin_according_to_st._paul.01.htm
--> especially the chapter on "Anthropology of St. Paul".

I think that should do it.

Lucian said...

[4].
http://romanity.org/htm/rom.10.en.original_sin_according_to_st._paul.01.htm

(Sorry -- I hope it will show the entire net-address this time).

Lucian said...

Well, no, it doesn't. It won't. Sorry.

Rhology said...

Can you go to www.tinyurl.com and make it a Tiny URL?

that might work.

Lucian said...

And while You're at it, read also

[0]. Justin Martyr --> Dialogue with Trypho --> Chapter VI.

(And sorry for posting 4 times instead of one, like normal people do.) :D

Lucian said...

Yep. And, -voila!-, here it is, in all it's Orthodox splendor :D

http://tinyurl.com/3d5umj

Lucian said...

And if you're still hungry for more, here's a real philosophical jewel:

geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/sherrard06.html

Rhology said...

Lucian,

1) Salva asked if YOU "agree that there is a state similar to physical death that happens to human people?"

I didn't see a request for a dozen links.

2) You had time to track all that stuff down and post the URLs. Would you mind getting to my question next?

Lucian said...

1) Salva asked if YOU "agree that there is a state similar to physical death that happens to human people?"

I didn't see a request for a dozen links.


This is because neither You, nor Salva, knew anything beforehand of the mess that you were getting yourselves into by asking this seemingly innocent question. Congratulations, You've just opened a Pandora's box.

[I suggest you 2 read the links].

Rhology said...

Read the 1st two. They are dealing w/ the immortality of the soul. I'm w/ you 100% on that.

So, my question?

Lucian said...

Oh-kay ... back to the world of the living again ... Finally! (I'm alive!). So, ... which question? (No pun, ... but I just couldn't backtrack it without doubts as to what You're original question might've been ... sorry). :( Please post it again.

Salva said...

I know they're not particularly Orthodox, but the words 'oy vey' spring gazelle-like to mind...

I for one find it highly suspect when a gentlemen cannot answer two yes-or-no questions without the Encyclopedia Britannica as assigned reading. If this were one of my esteemed college professors, I would assume he hadn't the first notion of the answer and was trying to make me go away. As these were enquiries about your personal opinion, that seems unlikely; I'll refer you to my questions again in hope of better results. Um, and Rhobology's too.

Salva said...

haven't made it through the whole stack yet, but a note to whomever vomited up 'Original Sin According to Paul': while I am quite prepared to concede that S Paul was not a dualist, the author bally well acts like one, and his idea about sin and its penalty are sheer nonsense.

He posits a universe in which God is somehow not the ultimate author of sin or corruption, and in which the devil is 'not a finished product of God, nor can the death of Adam, or of any man, be considered the outcome of any decision of God to punish.'

(much as I would enjoy quoting it in the Original Pelopennesian...) Genesis 3.17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast etc, etc...for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

So much for no penalties; I'm actually rather more interested in his oddly Manichean notion that Satan's existence and capacity for evil - and by extension, ours - were not among God's works. I suppose if it might be just a heretically sloppy paraphrase of James; otherwise, I am rather intrigued as to where else he thinks evil (or any other noun, for that matter) could originate, if not in God? If Satan was 'not a finished product', does that mean God released him into society before working out the kinks, like Lucifer 1.0? Did Satan create himself? This is absurd.

I suppose this, then, would be the answer to my second question: may genoitos, in sum. Mi dispiace.

Lucian said...

Salva,

I (Craciun Lucian) am a Romanian Orthodox Christian, and it is that view that I've presented to You. You've asked me a question that is very deep and profound and CANNOT be answered by smart soundbites (a la TULIP, for instance). IF You are indeed curious about the Orthodox Christian answer to Your question, read the links. IF You put questions only for the sake of asking questions, then don't.

AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO AGREE WITH IT. (It's the Orthodox Christian position, and You're NOT an Orthodox Christian -- OBVIOUSLY You can't agree with it, and I'm NOT asking You to do this).

-----

So much for no penalties

To learn more on the Christian Orthodox interpretation of this, read:

geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/riveroffire.html

Salva said...

On the contrary, if 'orthodox' ever meant 'right belief', in the sense of valuing God's holy word above the twisted thoughts of men, I would say I am pretty orthodox. Not completely, doubtless, but insofar God in his grace has given me to understand.

A telling quote from that last link, after a section execrating God's vengeance upon sin: "How can one love such a God? How can we have faith in someone we detest?" In the case there are two possibilities. Either God is different, not Lord of vengeance, as your camp suggests; or else he is as he ever was, as the Scripture clearly presents, and we in our iniquitous pride, unwilling to endure such holiness, throw out the truth and summon the ear-ticklers.

In any case, if you choose to submit articles in place of arguments, it doesn't make much sense to be offended when someone points out the blasphemous sections. If you feel they are not blasphemous, or have been misunderstood, you are more than welcome to explain why.

Lucian said...

It's OK to be angry. (Still, it would be best You wouldn't--but we're not made of stone either).

I'm not mad at You, or at anyone else here. (I'm sorry if I've unwillingly upset You, BUT You DID ask me aquestion, and I gave You as reduced a highlight as I could on the respective subjects).

[If You think this is only going for the worse, and differences of opinion are seen, or taken, by You instantaneously to mean "disrespect", or "insult", then I apologize for that, but then may I suggest that it would be wise to refrain from asking me any questions in the future] ... Even the formal name of my religion seems to upset You ... I really don't understand such a behaviour. :|

---

Dear Alan,
I honestly meant no joke by asking You to repeat the question ... I really don't know now which one of the past questions You were refering to.

Rhology said...

Lucian,

Props to you for not running away.
Demerits to you for
1) seeing my question
2) responding to it w/ a question that is so like it that it is obvious to anyone that you DID see my question
3) ignoring subsequent requests to answer my question
4) posting long articles in place of arguments

Of those #s 2 and 3 are the more egregious.

My question is this:

Scenario: an Israelite has been calling up a dead believing ancestor and has been caught and brought before Moses for judgment.
His defense: "our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead"

Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?



On to other things...
TULIP is no "soundbite"; it's an easy way to sum up a very complete (and I might add, long-winded) theological construct.

You've also been making some noise about the idea that our penalty of sin is not owed to God. It will probably forever escape me how you Orthodox can remain sane while not ripping Colossians 2:13-15 right out of your Bibles (which shouldn't be that hard - you're quite adept at adding stuff to them).

I read the article you posted most recently and I liked several things out of it.

-All Roman Catholics and most Protestants consider death as a punishment from God.
No chance that could have been derived from Genesis and Romans.

-Do not Western theologians consider hell, the eternal spiritual death of man, as a punishment from God?
Paul, John, Peter, and Jude did too.

-Did not God kill God in order to satisfy His pride, which the Westerners euphemistically call justice? And is it not by this infinite satisfaction that He deigns to accept the salvation of some of us? What is salvation for Western theology? Is it not salvation from the wrath of God?
Oh the humanity!
This article is a clumsily-written diatribe against the biblical construct of the Atonement of Christ. I'm not impressed.

-How can one love such a God? How can we have faith in someone we detest?
We can't.
I think Salva already pointed out that 1 John says someplace that we love b/c God first loved us. It doesn't start w/ man in the Bible like it does in EO-xy.

OK, maybe I've said enough here. No I didn't read the whole thing; it's just more of the same stuff I've already heard, mostly from liberal Protestants and atheists. "God is so mean! He killed Himself - that doesn't make sense! How could He send people to Hell for offending His conscience?!?!"
It's what I expect from those who reject God's wisdom - their thoughts are rendered foolishness.

That said, I'd love to hear your answer to my question, which I'll paste here a 2nd time to make sure you can see it:

Scenario: an Israelite has been calling up a dead believing ancestor and has been caught and brought before Moses for judgment.
His defense: "our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead"

Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?



Peace,
ALAN

Lucian said...

[0]. Did I, or did I not, kindly suggest You should read the "Anthropology"-chapter? (since it was the only one that had anything to do with Salva's question).

[1]. Been a mathematician, I've answered Your question with a simmetrical question. [An eye for an eye, like the Jews would say ... the Jews who don't believe in Jesus ... because, not only do they have no reason to, but also because it goes against some 5500 yrs of God-to-man relationship ... I mean God stroke their ancestors dead whenever they even as much as counted their own people, even much more so when they winked at, or even worse, bowed down to other Gods... -- and to this problem You very serenely answered with a smile -- like that was gonna cut it]:

It depends.
Yeah... right... on what? I failed to see any of these 'dependencies' in the Shema, or in the 1st Commandment].
Is this guy Jesus Christ? If so, He should be exonerated OK. -- Why?? :|

Whom exactly did You want to impress with such an answer?

[2]. THE ANSWER : Since been an Orthodox doesn't make me quite a fan of 'immediate gratification', here's another cute little link for You to read and enjoy:

faculty.biu.ac.il/~testsm/Angels_Intermed.html

[See also : Matthew 27:47; Mark 15:35].

Lucian said...

Chances are You're probably NOT gonna like too much paragraph [1] of my previous post ... if so, then please PLAY PRETEND You were to talk to Jew about Christ, and convince him about cuttin' Jesus some slack, notwithstanding EVERYTHING that the Torah, and the entire O.T. [in his opinion], EVER stood for... -- if You're gonna find an answer to this, You're also gonna find an answer for Youself to the question You've asked me -- I'm not kiddin' You around here!

P.S.: Please DO read the link that I gave You at the end of my previou post, OK?

Rhology said...

Salva,

I'm not going to be able to get to those TULIP questions anytime soon; I apologise. Another time, perhaps.

Lucian,
You said:
I've answered Your question with a simmetrical question.
...which have often avoided the issue at hand. Mathematicians typically don't run away from questions.

You said:
the Jews who don't believe in Jesus ... because, not only do they have no reason to, but also because it goes against some 5500 yrs of God-to-man relationship
You are ignorant of the Scriptures to a very high degree. (So much for EO-xy being "highly Incarnational".)
As the Epistle to the Hebrews makes plain, the Incarnation is not AGAINST that established relationship; it is the FULFILLMENT thereof, w/o which the OT Laws are empty and pointless.

RHOLOGY: It depends.
-Yeah... right... on what?
On whether that guy is God incarnate or not, as I explained.

-I failed to see any of these 'dependencies' in the Shema, or in the 1st Commandment
As if the Incarnation of Jesus Christ is contrary to the Shema or 1st Commandment.
I am 100% serious - you should be ashamed of your ignorance of the Scriptures. This is just basic stuff. Why should I take you seriously?

RHOLOGY: Is this guy Jesus Christ? If so, He should be exonerated
-Why??
B/c then He would actually be God.



OK, now from the article you cited...


-Although no actual prayers have come down to us from this time
Translation: We're making this up b/c we are fairly desperate for bkgrd support for our position, since we don't have any from the Scriptures.

-a not inconsiderable number are known from a later period, the Middle Ages
Oh, very impressive.

-However, it is assumed that these late prayers were continuing a tradition from the Mishnah and Talmud periods or the first centuries C.E. (if not earlier).
B/c you have to.

-PT Ber 9:1, 13a, cites the following (presumably in the name of the Lord):
"If a person faces trouble, he should not cry out to the angels Michael or Gabriel. But he should cry out to me, and I will immediately answer him. In this regard [it says], ‘All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered’ [Joel 2:32]."

Haha, and then the article goes right on to say "well, yeah it says that but we don't care. It's a better thing for our position to cling to the parts where this command is disobeyed." That's brilliant.

- the story of Moses entreating intermediaries to plead for him before God
As if, even if it were true and authentic, it would support your position at all. We're talking about prayer to the dead, not to living people.

-It would appear, therefore, that according to this tradition, even Moses prayed to intermediaries, including the heavens, the sun and the moon, Mt. Sinai(!),[27] rivers
And you expect me to take this seriously. Moses was a pagan, OK, I understand.

- The appeal is not made to the inanimate object itself, but to the angel appointed over it, not to the earth of the Land of Israel but to its appointed angel.
Hmm, where did the cited text say that?

-Thus, for example, the people turned to the prophet and pleaded (Jer. 42:2): ‘Pray for us to the Lord your God.’
There's a pretty good chance Jeremiah was alive when they did that. Did you EO-dox get this pathetic argument from Jewish sources, from Roman Catholics, or was it a product of your own brilliance?

-However, the gradual disappearance of the laws of purity and impurity enabled the people to begin to visit graves and solicit the help of the deceased.
Basing part of your argument on disobedience of the Law is not a great way to go.

-Similarly, one of the Palestinian Amoraim of the third century believed in visiting cemeteries on fast days, ‘so that the dead shall plead for mercy on us’
3rd cent.
Breaking Deuteronomic laws.

-Once the practice became widely established in popular circles, community leaders seem to have followed in their wake
Precisely. Itching ears and all that.

-Go summon Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses for they know how to weep.
He even said "summon". That's not too far from "call up".

-Conclusion
The sources presented above clearly indicate that the Jews in Palestine in the Talmud period

Well Lucian, not only are you not into delayed gratification, you're not into answering questions either.

Just for the record, here is my question again. Would it really kill you to answer it?

Scenario: an Israelite has been calling up a dead believing ancestor and has been caught and brought before Moses for judgment.
His defense: "our God is a God of the living, not one of the dead"

Is it your position that he would be exonerated? Should he be?



Peace,
ALAN

Salva said...

I certainly have no intention of confusing you, so let me try to clarify a few things.

1. The name of your religion doesn't upset me expect in the strict lexical sense of it not being true, in the same way that a homosexual man may or may not actually be happy, whatever they call themselves. You observed - erroneously, in my view - that my faith was not orthodox, and I attempted to correct the misperception. It was not my intent to sound irritated.

2. In response to my question, you submitted a series of articles; to which I in turn have responded with at least a couple of critiques. Whatever merit they may have, these are at least intelligible, and ought from any view of courtesy to be addressed.

3. It is difficult for me to say whether this is 'going for the worse' or not: you as yet refused to respond specifically to anything I've said. Some would call that a forfeit...

Rhology said...

Updated, if anyone cares.

Lucian said...

Ok. I see You've read the link I gave You. That's good, and it's a start.

[1]. A I've already said on a comment to Your latest post, it's pre-Christian as well.

[2]. These prayers still survive today in the Jewish Liturgy. (the one at Yom Kippur, by all means!)

[3]. I've e-mailed the Professor who wrote the piece, and asked him speciffically about prayer addressed to Elijah, done by the Jews at around the time of Christ. Here's his response:

Meir Bar-Ilan: I want to declare: though among Jews
prayer to Saints and Angels is idol-worship, many still do! (those who formerly lived in Europe or in North Africa..)
I am in no position to tell you anything about Christianity but in the 1st. century Judaism there were Jews who called upon Elijah.


(That's why I've asked You to read the verses from the 2 Gospels).

[4]. The thing that got me thinking 'bout this in the 1st place was this little jewel I stumbled over while surfing the net:

In fact, even the Jews prayed to Elijah in times of great trouble, knowing that he was already present with God, and the custom was so widespread and so widely-accepted in our Lord's day that, when he cried from the cross, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani", some of those standing by thought he was calling upon Elijah.

[5]. It's no good preachin' to the choir ... as I've said: pretend You're talking to a Jew. (If You think that will impress them, then ... )

Lucian said...

err, ... Salva ... HOW ON EARTH did I "refuse" to address the question by giving You A HANDFULL of extremely relevant links ???

I guess it's true what I've read as I was a little bit younger in a religious book: when the divine daughters copme to present their respect to their Father: when Mercy comes, Thanksgiving stands at the corner; and when Thanksgiving comes, Mercy stands at the corner.

Rhology said...

You know, since we're just so impossibly dense, maybe you could accommodate our low mental abilities and give a straight answer.