How to look at thoughts of philosophers and philosophical systems

In certain religious groups there are people who say one may not read philosophers their work.

Many philosophers their thought have influenced lots of people. We always should remember that their thoughts are best read in context. In the context of the lives that they lived, the times that they lived in, and the history of what came before and what happened after.

Many of the ideas of great thinkers of the past, so many centuries later might look dated to us. And our post-modern sensibilities make it easy for us to find fault, to criticize and to deconstruct these earlier works. Some even think that there is not much real value to be found in their works, whilst others think today some people give not enough interest to those ancient thinkers.

The real value for us is to hunt down the true genius that was driving the ideas. What was the inspiration, the spark that fuelled truly original thinking? We should wonder how they came to think about certain matters and how their thinking was   original or could bring something extra to that period of thinking or for later generations.

If they had not much to tell, I do not think we would still speak of them or would not be interested to read those ancient writings.

What did for example Ralph Waldo Emerson or William James bring that was new, that was passed on from them to the next generations? What made it that people were willing to listen to them or to give them so much attention? Or what did James offer that had not been thought of before and how has that affected the course of things since?

thinks

This is where the value is to be found. You won’t find answers to these questions through only reading the ideas, you have to know about culture and history and personality. {How Do You Read Philosophy?}

What we do have to question is

  • what has this person to tell us
  • in what kind of light is that person looking at things
  • how are their thought fed by the trends in their time or what was the general thinking of their time
  • in which way where such thinkers willing to listen to people of their time
  • how were they willing to place their ideas in context with other ways of thinking
  • what is are were the angles to look at things
  • how could they cope with agreement or disagreement and what were their reactions on critique

Today we have to try to approach the ancient and the present philosophers from different sides.

According

Philosophy is generally seen to be comprised of three main components; Metaphysics, which tells you what is real; Epistemology which tells you how you know what is real; and Ethics which tells you what you should value.

To his understanding

a philosophical system is complete in the sense that it fulfills all of these functions. {Why do worldviews clash?}

His generalised idea of Christians is limited to Trinitarian Christians who believe in hell to be a place of torture, and the belief that man

will abide in one or the other after death based on the way you live and the state of some invisible part of you called a soul. {Why do worldviews clash?}

He writes

Epistemologically the way Christians know what is real is that God has told human beings what is real through the Bible, so what is true is what is written in the Bible. Christian Ethics revolve around things like charity, loving thy neighbor, duty to family, etc. In a closed system like this you can always ask questions from within the system. Question: Should I steal? Answer: No. Justification: Because the Bible dictates that you don’t. But when you start to ask questions from outside of the system such as: Does God exist? Things get more challenging. {Why do worldviews clash?}

He seems to forget many Christians wonder in their life if God exists. So to call it a non-christian question is in our eyes not exactly right or forgetting that all people question matters of life, what is behind it and what is in it.

He probably agrees that

a complete philosophical system – a worldview – dictates what is real, how you know what is real and what to value about what is real. Without those agreements there is only flimsy basis for discussion. {Why do worldviews clash?}

As such we not need as such the Bible to explain that there is a god or The God. Though the problem can be when one says or thinks:

If the question is inserted into the system from the outside, a Christian could answer by saying, ‘yes, God exists because the Bible says so.’ But that argument only works if someone shares the epistemological presupposition that the Bible is the source of truth. {Why do worldviews clash?}

A Christian shall consider the credibility of the Bible being it the infallible Word of God, but a real Christian shall also be able to point to the Divine Creator God and His possessions without having to need the Bible.

also seems to know only creationist or to classify Christians as creationists or people who would not believe in any form of evolution. He also calls his view modernist whilst the Hebrews already had his modernist view then. Perhaps he should come to know some present and ancient views of Bereshith or Genesis.

He writes:

So a complete philosophical system – a worldview – dictates what is real, how you know what is real and what to value about what is real. Without those agreements there is only flimsy basis for discussion.

If we think about the modernist worldview we have a different system. Metaphysically we have a universe that is composed of matter that has evolved to a complexity that gave rise to human beings and a mysterious property we call consciousness. Epistemologically we know what is true based on ‘logical positivism’ which means adhering to certain laws of logic applied to the evidence we gather through our senses. And the ethics of modernism revolves around the inherent goodness of progress. This is also a complete philosophical system.

It looks like he does think we Christians have no sense or “laws of logic” and that because we live by old “ethics of …..” wich would not be the same as his ethics of modernism even when he considers himself a post-modernists. Seemingly believing we as Christians can not have different views about matters, or would not have similar worldviews as certain philosophers.

He argues:

As postmodernists we recognize that there are different worldviews and we value that diversity. We also recognize that we can’t impose one worldview on another because they rest on different fundamental beliefs and each person has a right to believe as they wish as long as they don’t hurt one another.

We wonder where he gets it that Christians would not say that behaviourism is something that can be true.

The pragmatists were trying to find a way that takes us beyond the deadends of clashing worldviews when debating what is true. That is why they said that it was more useful to argue the truth of something by examining its effect. It isn’t that useful to debate, for instance, whether Behaviorism is true or not.

A Christian might say no because that is not the view that the Bible tells us. (This lets us wonder if he has ever read the Bible); A modernist might say yes because that is what the evidence proves. The question that is more useful to ask is what results from a belief in Behaviorism. Does it work? When does it work? Does it work in this instance and not in that? What results from materialism, what results from a belief in the soul, a belief in freewill, a belief in God? Everything can be examined based on Pragmatic grounds. {Why do worldviews clash?}

All the time man is bombarded in his mind with the question of what should he believe, or what is true or what is real. In his postings Carreira also argued that

if a philosophy dictates “what is real,” “how you determine what is real,” and “how you value what is real,” then it is a closed system. Internally it will be completely consistent, and as long as you “believe” in these three pillars everything (to lift a phrase from Carl) on the inside will look like non-fiction (ie. true) and everything on the outside will look like fiction (ie. not true.) {Test Drive a Worldview}

Carreira continues:

A worldview is not only a set of ideas or beliefs about the world; it is a complete psycho-emotional mental filter of the world. It is a 360 panoramic view of the real. Your worldview dictates how you think about the world, how you feel about the world and how you respond to the world. It envelops us so that the world from inside what worldview looks and feels completely different than the world seen from inside another. {Test Drive a Worldview}

We totally agree with his view that it is each individual his or her worldview which shall dictate how that person thinks and how he or she is going to react to certain matters.  How a person feels about the world and how he or she shall respond to the world depends firstly on the way that person looks at the world and secondly how that person his ethics and moral ideas are formed.

We do not need the the romantic poets, philosophers and scientists to see

a world of open and unlimited possibility in which strangely marvelous and unseen natural forces were guiding the movement of life. {Test Drive a Worldview}

Christians are aware of the many sometimes incomprehensible ways of nature. For him

These natural invisible movements were continuously revealing themselves and there was a sense of awe and wonder at the marvel of life and reality. {Test Drive a Worldview}

And that is just where we say is the Power of God. There, by the wonders of nature, man is able to come to see the invisible Hand of the Divine Creator.

Carreira has been thinking about how challenging philosophical discussion can be and he thinks that part of that difficulty comes about when we are not discussing ideas within a single worldview, but are actually clashing one worldview against another.

As I see it a worldview is a belief in a complete philosophical system. Discussing within a given philosophical system is easy, discussing across one system into another gets challenging. {The Trouble with Worldviews}

Is not that the nice challenging idea of our world where everyone may think freely?

William James believed that humanity had evolved beyond the point of absolute truth. We don’t know the absolute truth; we only know part of the truth and what that truth is, is always changing. For that reason truth had to be seen as evolving; utilized for as long as it worked in those circumstances in which it worked. He, along with his Pragmatist colleagues imagined a complete revisioning of all of philosophy based on Pragmatic grounds. {The Trouble with Worldviews}

Dividing walls of “race”

Dividing walls of “race”

All human beings are created in the image of God. This makes that we are or should be, all accepting the other as being allowed to be here by God and to be co-images of God and ourselves.

The Divine Creator, Jehovah, the God above all gods, did not create more than one race. Of the kind that now usually walks on two legs, God created only one kind: a man taken from the red earth, hence his name “A·dham“.

Dr. George Gallant says

Racism, implies that our Creator made more then one race of people. There is but one race the human race. Get use to it people and stop using the word Racism. One Blood, One People, One set of Parents, Adam and Eve.

He has good reason to call for stopping to divide people in races or a sort of brands. We all come from the same original human beings, who probably were not white at all. The first man and mannin Adam and Eve (Chavah or Isha) got children and their children got again children and in the end we come from those children their children.

William D Tillman says

the majority of people have bought into the false construct of color/ethnicity equals – species (sic race). This is really a question of supremacywhite supremacy in particular. The dividing walls of “race” were erected to not only keep “the races pure” but to subjugate all to so-called white people. My real concern is how silent the church is on this.

“let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think…”

is a principle that is espoused but today’s rhetoric indicates it’s one that rather needs to be lived. The statement,

“I don’t see race”

is another method to dismiss the systematic denigration and disenfanchisement of a whole sector of the population because it places the blame of perception of the suffering and relieves the “race-blind” of the guilt of apathy.

We always should remember we could be born in another region, another culture, or we could have been born with either lighter or darker skin, God chose what we are on the outside but the inside is the same. The inside is the most important factor of our being.

In the life and teaching of Jesus we nowhere can find that he had a particular predilection for a sort human being. The places he went to had Hebrew, Palestinian, Arab and other Eastern people walking around and also listening to him. Never gave he a sign to have a certain preference for or over one or the other person. In Jesus’ teaching is no such thing as racial preference. He teaches that all people are the same. Also for God everybody is equal and shall be equally judged.

As followers of Christ or Christians, we all should be like brothers and sisters and share that brotherly love with each other.

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Find also to read:

  1. How did the original readers understand Gen 1:1?
  2. A dark skinned Jesus
  3. Why I’m Angry
  4. What is Racism??
  5. A last note concerning civil rights
  6. Even in the so-called freeworld countries racism exist
  7. Where It All Needs to Start
  8. Need to reject an archaic, racist inspired interpretation of the Bible and animosity against other believers
  9. Speciesism and racism
  10. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  11. Apartheid or Apartness #1 Suppression and Apartness
  12. Institutional Racism
  13. Immigration consternation
  14. Migrants to the West #1
  15. 150 Years after the 13th Amendment
  16. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  17. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  18. Looking at an American nightmare
  19. At the closing hours of 2016 #2 Low but also highlights
  20. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism
  21. American social perception, classes and fear mongering
  22. A president daring to use the Bible for underlining his hate speech
  23. Trump going over the top bringing a blasphemous act
  24. Apocalyptic Extremism: No Longer a Laughing Matter
  25. It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!
  26. My Multi-Cultural Childhood Could be the Answer to Racism & Xenophobia

Known and unknown things

For ages, man has been confronted with loads of questions. Millions of people tried to find answers but never got to the point where they could say they were satisfied.

There are things that we think we do know. But often when we grow up we come to see we did not know it really. And there are things that we know that we don’t know. Looking at this world and outer space there are so many things that we don’t know, that we don’t know. Those things that we don’t even know enough to know that we don’t know lay so far outside of our existing frame of reference that we can’t even imagine them. They are too far out of our box to hold in mind.

Most of the time we are already so busy with coping about the things we do seem to think are there in the unknown, that we do not have time to think further about those things which are the very far unknown. Lots of things are also matters we do not understand or do not seem to get a grip on to have a good view of them.

Many philosophers were busy with the unknown and wanted to have a clear view of the known. The American philosopher William James was fascinated by the unknown unknowns and assumed that what we knew about reality (and even what we can imagine to be true about reality) is always a tiny fraction of the totality of what is. Question also should be “what is reality”. These days people are confronted a lot by things which are not at all true. The greatest caller and accuser that others are fake is mostly presenting the world with a lot of fake news and very dangerous ideas. (Even when he, as 45th president of the U.S.A. is proud to tell the world he takes this or that product to avoid having Corona, and brings others in danger when they follow him.)

James was a free thinker who held loosely to what he thought was true and assumed that whatever seemed true now would yield to much bigger and more encompassing truths soon. Rather than defend what we know and expand on it slowly, he wanted to inquire directly into what we don’t already know by focusing on the anomalies and oddities that don’t fit into our current understanding.

James felt that our attention should be on the outer fringes of what we know. The next big idea doesn’t come from the center. It comes from the dim outer edge where the light of what we currently know fades into the blackness of the unknown beyond. James risked his career and his reputation as a scientist to study things that others thought were absurdities. As the president of the American Psychical Society he studied spirits, mediums, and life after death. Most scientists felt this was worthless, but James felt that it was out there on the fringes that we would find our way to new and unexpected vistas of truth.

{, How to Move Beyond Vicious Intellectualism}

For mankind has been created by an invisible Source, which is the Being. Without that Being there is no being at all. And that seems very difficult for lots of people to cope with. They want to have something they can touch and see. That is why so many people took themselves some visible god or gods, be it Jesus, cows or other animals or trees.
The two originators of the philosophy of Pragmatism – Charles Sanders Peirce and William James – were both very concerned with unknown unknowns. Both realized that human beings find it very difficult to even imagine that there could be things that we don’t know that we don’t know. Sure we know that there are things that we don’t know. I don’t know lots of scientific and cultural facts, the distance to the nearest star, the president of Monaco and so on. But I know there are such facts that I don’t know. (The film maker and columnist Errol Morris has written for the New York Times recently on the concept of unknown unknowns.)
We all should know that there is so much that we even do not know, which is a manifold of what we know. Are brain is just too limited to cope with everything there is and exists. Bounded unto this earth there is also space which goes beyond our dreams and far away from our own capacity to understand and know what is all there.
Problem with man is also that he thinks to have enough knowledge to understand or to analyse the things in the known and unknown.
Those things that we don’t even know enough to know that we don’t know lay so far outside of our existing frame of reference that we can’t even imagine them. They are too far out of our box to hold in mind. What endears me to Pragmatism more than anything else is the respect given to the existence of truth beyond our current ability to imagine. James and Peirce both assumed that what we knew about reality (and even what we can imagine to be true about reality) is only a tiny part of the totality of reality. And they envisioned a way of going about philosophy in light of this. They created a form of inquiry and a philosophical attitude that was militantly open ended. “Never block the road to inquiry” was Peirce’s motto. And William James railed against what he called vicious intellectualism.

Every day we are requested to look around us and to recognise the truth and untruth, the known and unknown. Each day we have to examine how we want to look at things, because that is going to decide if we are going to be able to go further to understand the unknown as well as the truth or reality.

We must take steps to dare to go out of our comfort zone to come to new visions and coming to known more unknown things. We have to dare to step outside of our own frame of reference. If we are consciously or unconsciously assuming that what we think is true actually is true and negates all other possibilities, our inquiry proceeds by expanding on what we already know. There is the trap for mankind that we focus on what we know and not many try to push at the borders, “creeping slowly out into the vast oceans of unknown that surrounds our small island of known”.

If we want to come to a better world we should dare to look at the darkness and see the light the divine Creator offers the world. He has also given His Word to look into and to find answers. Though not many people take the effort to read that Book of books and come to see more clearly in so many matters that bother us every day.

Danger also for mankind is that people are often so sure that what they think is the truth. Many dare not to question their own value or their own way of looking at things and their own analysation of matters. We should dare to question how we want to look at things. Certainly for looking at things we do not really understand we should consider which glasses we want to use.

James and Peirce wanted our thinking to be free. They wanted to hold on loosely to what we think is true by assuming that whatever we think is true now will yield tomorrow to a much bigger and more encompassing truth. Rather than defend what we know and expand on it slowly they wanted to inquire directly into what we don’t already know by focusing on the anomalies and oddities that don’t fit into our current understanding.

James felt that our attention should be on the outer fringes of what we know. The next big idea doesn’t come from the center. It comes from the dim outer edge where the light of what we currently know fades into the blackness of the unknown beyond. James risked his career and his reputation as a scientist to study things that others thought were absurdities.
{Vicious Intellectualism and the Reality of the Unknown, }

It is not that we have to know how it really is to come to believe. It can very well be that we do not know all the  facts, but may consider that there is some truth or some existence of that what we assume there to be. We have our own sensations and thoughts and can listen to others their thoughts, combining those ideas to form some other ideas, transpiring to come to certain conclusions. Though often we still can’t be sure we would have made the right conclusion.

People should know that even if we cannot point to direct irrefutable evidence of something we should not be afraid to believe in it. As such the belief in God is grounded.

Michael Shermer in his book “How We Believe” describes the mind as a “belief engine” that is constantly creating patterns of belief. From fractured information and sense impressions the mind weaves together plausible pictures of reality that we believe in.
{Belief and Fact, }

Question is also

How do we want to believe?

and

In what do we want to believe?

Most often man only wants to believe in what he can see and feel. For going to believe in certain matters, he wants direct irrefutable evidence. For the matter of God, the divine Creator that is very difficult. To explain God there are also not always common sense definitions. We must be honest, in the God matter, we mostly cannot point to direct irrefutable evidence. To convince others about the existence of God it is also difficult to give really direct evidence.

*

Perhaps the following articles can make you think about the matter

  1. 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
  2. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #1 Many gods
  3. Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)
  4. Nature Is A Reflection Of God
  5. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #3 Transcendence or Surpassing other gods and man
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #4
  7. 4th Question: Who or What is God
  8. A 1st reply to the 4th Question Who is God 1 A Creating Being to be worshipped

Human nature designed for love

GOD DESIGNED HUMAN NATURE FOR LOVE 

By Jesse Morrell
Everything God created has a function and a design.

God created human nature.

Therefore, human nature has a proper function and a design.

What is the proper function that human nature was designed by God for?

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves”

Romans 2:14

The proper function of a thing is determined by its design.

When a thing operates according to its design, it functions properly and orderly.

When it malfunctions, it violates its design and is in a state of disorder.

Our moral obligations (how we should function properly) are according to the design of our human nature.

We were created to love God and love our neighbor. We were designed for love. Love is our proper function.

A holy man is simply a man who lives according to his true human nature – the way God designed mankind to live.

Sin is a malfunction – a violation of our design.

Sin has damaging affects upon our soul, heart, mind, and body precisely because it is a violation of our design.

Our world is in a state of disorder because men choose by their free will to violate their God given nature, just like Adam and Eve did.

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving], trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

2 Timothy 3:1-5

Emphasis: without natural affection [ἄστοργος: inhuman, unloving]

It’s natural and human to be loving.

It is unnatural and inhuman to be unloving.

Human nature was designed by God for love.

The ones blessing

Often people say God is the Only One Who Saves and Who blesses. Many trinitarians therefore also say the Jesus must be God because Jesus is the Saviour. First of all they do forget that many people can save other people, animals and plants, though those firefighters, surgeons, medics, animal protectors are not God. Secondly they also forget that in many religious institutions there are priests who are accepted to give blessings and to give forgiveness of sins.

Several people may question then the role of the priest when he can do nothing in the Name of God. Others may ask

If the priest who delivers blessing to the people isn’t the ultimate source of that blessing, what is her/his role?
And what does conveying or sharing blessings with or to another person even mean?

A pair of teachings, both found in Midrash Tanhuma, aim to answer the first question.

It does not suit My dignity that I should have to bless My creatures [Myself]. Rather, I am handing the blessings over to Abraham and to his progeny, and so, whosoever they bless, I will back up his blessing, as it is written: “and be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2) [Midrash Tanhuma, V’zot ha’Berakha 1]

When we read between the lines of the Torah we also may find how God requires Abraham to take care for God’s People and to make sure they can be blessed. In the set apart Scriptures we also do find requests from god to bring over blessings to others.

And it came to pass, [on the day that Moses had made an end of setting up the tabernacle] – the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “In this world, I commanded Aaron and his sons to bless them, but in the future, I, in My glory, will bless them, as it is written, ‘YHWH bless thee out of Zion; even He that made heaven and earth.’” (Psalm 134:3) [Midrash Tanhuma, Naso 18]

Similarly, Midrash Tanhuma explains the role of the priest.

“In this way you shall bless” (Numbers 6:23) – Speak [amor] to them [using the ‘full’ spelling, i.e. with a vav], thus meaning: Say to them, to the priests, that just because I have told you to bless the people Israel, this does not imply that you may bless them begrudgingly or hastily [b’angaria u’v’vehilut]; rather, you should bless them wholeheartedly, so that the blessings have power for them; and thus is it written amor lahem, using the ‘full’ spelling. [Tanhuma Buber, Naso 18]

“Speak to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the people of Israel. Say to them: The Eternal bless you and protect you! The Eternal deal kindly and graciously with you! The Eternal bestow [divine] favor upon you and grant you peace!” (Numbers 6:23–26 TMC-E)

In pronouncing God’s favour on the people, we also find in several writings that the priest was to use a formula or blessing. Also do we find that the Elohim shall bless those who bless;

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will pronounce doom on those who curse you; through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.””
(Genesis 12:3 TMC-E)

In the past people made use of that opportunity to bless others.

“‘Bring me game and make me tasty dishes, that I may eat—and [then] bless you before the Eternal before my death.’”
(Genesis 27:7 TMC-E)

“Let peoples serve you, nations bow down to you. Be a ruler to your brothers, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed; may those who bless you be blessed.””
(Genesis 27:29 TMC-E)

“bestowing this blessing upon Rebekah: “Sister, may you become thousands of myriads; may your descendants take possession of the gates of their foes!” Rebekah and her servant girls got up and mounted the camels and followed the man, as the slave took Rebekah and went off.”
(Genesis 24:60–61 TMC-E)

Like in ancient time children asked their parents blessing, those responsible of others still should give blessings to those which they should protect. At the same time we too should ask our parents and God the Father their blessings.

“When Esau heard his father’s words, he broke into an exceedingly loud and bitter howl and said to his father, “Bless me! Me too, Father!””
(Genesis 27:34 TMC-E)

“And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” He [Jacob] said, “Bring them to me, pray, that I may bless them.””
(Genesis 48:9 TMC-E)

In those text we also read that people could bow down for others, this not meaning that they would worship that person. Lots of trinitarians say because Jesus did not resist when a person bowed his head before Christ that this meant that Jesus wanted to be honoured as the God and did not refuse that people worshipped him. But the bowing down before some one has not to mean that one worships that person. It is a matter of showing respect.

 

By facing one another and desiring goodness for one another with a full heart, we get to bring a bit of Divine goodness into the world. Priests had to be and still should be partners with God to draw down goodness. Lots of people forget that in this present age all believers in God are all priests.

To bless one another is to increase the flow of love and compassion in the world. No wonder birkat kohanim is (perhaps) our oldest and most beloved prayer!

“And may God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful and numerous, so that you become a host of peoples,”
(Genesis 28:3 TMC-E)

That you may go out into the world blessing others!

Be safe and take care of yourself and others,
Being blessed and blessing in the Name of God, so that the Name of the elohim be mentioned and He will come to you and bless you.

“Make for Me an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your sacrifices of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be mentioned I will come to you and bless you.”
(Exodus 20:21 TMC-E)

 

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Related

  1. Blessing
  2. The Wise Father’s Possession
  3. Pray Faith Filled Solutions!
  4. Tuesday: Morning Prayer
  5. As to the Lord
  6. God Rejoices Over You!
  7. His Voice
  8. The Power of Blessing: 24 Word Blessing Birthed A Nation

A truth to face often to do with time

A truth we all have to face is that the days pass by and that we are always limited by time. It is the ticking of the clock which may remind us that we have to take in account the time. Day and night bring us to face the reality of the day, where we have to make a distinction between the real and the unreal; between knowledge and perception.

We may not forget that “Truth” is unalterable, eternal and unambiguous. Truth might be unrecognised, but it will not be changed. Truth applies to everything that God created, and only what God created or allows to exists is real and true. This is beyond learning because it is beyond time and beyond the limited awareness of processing thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.

Truth has no opposite; no beginning and no end. Truth is real, unchanging and it is the serene peace of faithfulness.

Manny may be looking for truth at the wrong place. We would like to know that the best place to find truth is the Bible.

As we come to the end of 2018 it is perhaps not bad to check how media distorted truth and how much we were confronted with fake news. True news shall be that we soon shall have to face an other year with again new steps to undertake. People should know that there is also the truth that time is starting to run out. Every hour, every day, every week, every month, every year, we are getting closer to the moment of truth. Before it is so far, make sure you are ready. Come to know who is the way to God and how you should be ready for hard times to come.

Today we are still connected to the time, not able to escape it. We are not able to stay young and healthy. We are all confronted with difficulties in life and illnesses. And at a certain point in life we shall have to face it that we shall not be able to be under the living on this earth. We even shall not be able to stop the time when we die. Then our body shall decay to become dust and nothingness again.

The truth of life is that there is no nothingness. When you get drown in the idea of being a nothing or to live in a nothing, you are strangling yourself. Speak of nothing can bring to mind a sense of desolation and darkness, plus can bring you in a space where you feel the emptiness

Although we may describe times of our life interchangeably using nothingness or emptiness, they have different meanings for Christians.

We should not be afraid of the time passing, of empty moments, of scaring moments, of darkness coming over this world. By time we should come to see the signs of the times the book of books speaks so many times. We as Christians are to pour ourselves out in time, treasure, and talent and be ready for others to help them come through the times. When others are afraid of darkness or certain times coming we can show the the light in that darkness.

When at 24.00 hours today sounds the fireworks and light up the skies, we should be happy, because we know we received again one more year to be here on earth and to come closer to better times. And let us not forget, having time, it means also we have to consider our obligation brought by the time. Our responsibility to make the best out of time and to take up a responsible position in times to come. Are you aware of the content you are going to bring in time, this coming new year?

For the time being, we hope you had a nice 2018 and wish you all the best for 2019.

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Concerning time, read: Coming to the end of 2018

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Related

  1. Now that autumn is over, winter is here
  2. A cogitative and brief interpretation concerning time
  3. Lose All That Importance
  4. Nothing Remains
  5. Ego, you go
  6. Nihilism – not waving, drowning.

An Escape Mechanism

To remember

  • God = a ‘wish fulfillment; a fictional father figure projected in the sky of our imagination + created by our desire for security.’
  • Heaven = imaginary projection of our extinction + death
  • religion = psychological escape mechanism => we don’t have to face life as it really is.
  • atheism = flight from reality > projection of desire not to have to meet God one day + give account for your life.

God does not believe in atheists

escape

The new Atheists quote Sigmund Freud, that God is a ‘wish fulfillment; a fictional father figure projected in the sky of our imagination and created by our desire for security.’ On this view, Heaven is an imaginary projection of our extinction and death. And religion is simply a psychological escape mechanism so that we don’t have to face life as it really is. Well, of course, that’s all true; provided only that God does not exist. But if God does exist, exactly the same Freudian argument will show you equally convincingly that it is atheism that is the flight from reality. A projection of the desire not to have to meet God one day and give account for your life. If God does exist, then atheism can easily be seen as a psychological escape mechanism; to avoid taking responsibility for one’s life.

–John Lennox

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Yehowah in the Leningrad Codex

Since my childhood in the Old Roman Catholic Church I had been brought up with the Holy Name of God, though two versions of His Name were used: Jehovah (at that time written Yehowah or YHWH, later Jehovah and still later Jehovah or JHWH) and Yahweh (also later receiving the J for the Y and becoming Jahweh).

In the 1960ies the Jehovah’s Witnesses gaining more foot on the ground and the Catholic church starting loosing people to other faith groups and even having people (like me) totally abandoning the Holy Trinity, they started to create a hate against the Name Jehovah.

In a certain way we could see the growing hate against Jehovah, because most people, like still today, co-notate it with the faith group from the American organisation Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. In the land of the origin of that organisation we also could see a growing hate against non-trinitarians and users of God’s Name. On the other hand around the turn of the 20th to 21st century we saw also in the United States more people coming up for God’s Name, though they refused the contemporary or modern spelling which was by then also used in most other languages and as such said God His Name was not Jehovah, because a Y did not exist yet in ancient Hebrew, instead of accepting that it is exactly the same and in modern spelling it is agreed to write Jehovah, like others also write Jesus or Jeshua and not Iesus (e.g. like in the King James Bible of 1611) or Yeshua (like some also claim Christ his name to be).

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To remember

Leningrad Codex (or Codex Leningradensis) = oldest complete manuscript of Hebrew Bible using the Masoretic Text +Tiberian vocalization = oldest complete codex of the Tiberian mesorah

Masoretic vowel points in Leningrad Codex allow for pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton​ — the four Hebrew consonants making up the divine name — ​as Yeho·wah’.

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Additional reading

  1. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  2. Een Naam voor een God #11 Y of J Kiezen
  3. Lord in place of the divine name
  4. Lord Of The Creation
  5. Anti Jehovah sites
  6. Al-Fatiha [The Opening/De Opening] Süra 1:1-3 In the name of Allah the Merciful
  7. Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #11 Muslim Idiom Translations
  8. Jehovah in the BASF
  9. Americans their stars, pretension, God, Allah and end of times signs #1 Abrahamic religions

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Related

  1. The Tetragrammaton
  2. Questions and Answers About the Name of God
  3. Blog 1903 Names of God: Adonai
  4. What is the name of God?
  5. Yes, Yes; No, No; Men are men; Women are Women. Numbers 30 – part 1
  6. What’s in a name?
  7. His Name Upon Us – Numbers 6:23-27
  8. Respecting God’s name
  9. Why is God called by different names in different ages? What are the significances of God’s names? |Eastern Lightning

Review: What happened at the cross?

We never hear such thing as people having an “idea that God killed Jesus”, but with trinitarians such ideas are possible, the same as they think God gave Himself on the cross for the sins of the people.

Naturally when a church creates all sorts of false teachings, starting with making Jesus in their god, they continually have to create new false teachings, like Jesus having a mother than God would have to have a mother a.o..

It is curious to see how different protestant groups handle with the atonement and do not see that Jesus did not do his own will (what he would have done if he is God) but did the will of God, and as such gave himself as a ransom for all.

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To remember

Jesus is the most fully realized revelation of God that we’ve got, and what we can see of God in the life of Jesus is the perfect example of self-limitation and humility. (p238)

  • many Christians naively believe that the Payment Model (or penal substitution theory) = commonest view in Western world =  only one => ‘atonement wars’
  • Tony Jones, associated with the ‘emergent’ stream of Christianity, his book sets out all the major (plus a few minor) theories of the atonement and tries to reach a balanced assessment of each one.
  • God’s with us, expressed in the cross, => ours with him. = what the atonement is really all about.
  • Trinitarians must believe God is by nature self-limiting, choosing to use his sovereign freedom to unite himself to humanity in the person of Jesus, and especially in the sufferings of Calvary.
  • Some believe that the frequent emphasis on a bloodthirsty God, marked by punishment and sending folk to hell, is one reason for the decline of Christianity in some of its historic bastions.
  • rivalries developed, leading to violence. Sacrifice developed as a safety-valve: violence was perpetrated on an innocent victim, making everyone feel better, at least for a while. Meanwhile, the person sacrificed was perceived as almost divine, because their death had had such a powerful violence-quenching effect on the society
  • Nowhere does the OT law explicitly condemn child sacrifice (the closest it comes is Lev 18:21), though the practice was common among Israel’s neighbours.
    But Israel did not practise it (Jephthah’s killing of his daughter is a rare exception).
    Animal sacrifice, by contrast, soon became an integral part of Israel’s worship, and it was the blood that made it valid
    (Lev 17:10-16). Two kinds of blood sacrifices were seen as appeasing God: the guilt offering and the sin offering (the kind offered at Yom Kippur). These continued through the desert years, and continued when the Israelites were settled in the land, becoming more elaborate, in spite of the prophets’ condemnation (e.g. Hos 6:6). Their practice continued into the time of Jesus.
  • So God took something that humans were already doing — being violent and shedding blood — and made it sacred. He
    went along with them where they were at, but did not see it as the ideal, and he took human sacrifice out of the picture.
    The sacrificial system controls violence, giving it boundaries.
  • occasional verse talks of God’s anger at particular sins or human behavior that God considers an abomination, > overarching message of scripture is clear = God created us, God loves us, + God wants the best for us. => Bible = rife with stories of God going out of his way to set people on the right path — despite our failures, despite our sins.
  • A lot of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with the regnant interpretation of Jesus’ death as primarily the propitiation of a wrathful God. 1. we don’t experience God as uber-wrathful toward us. 2. it simply doesn’t make sense that God would game the whole system so that he has to kill his own son just to vitiate this wrath. It just doesn’t smell right. (p26)
  • Calvin + others upped the ante from Anselm => not just that Jesus made our payment for us, = he pays a penalty on our behalf — a penalty that we cannot pay. In theological jargon, this is how it goes from substitution to penal substitution, the “penal” connoting the penalty. This change happened during the Reformation, and it remains popular today. (p113)

  • supposed to learn about love from God => idea God predestined us to sin = results in our eternal damnation + requires God’s Son to die on the cross, teaches very little about love. (p132)

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Additional reading

  1. Atonement And Fellowship 6/8
  2. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  3. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  4. Omniscient God opposite a not knowing Jesus
  5. Redemption #2 Biblical solution
  6. Redemption #4 The Passover Lamb

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Further related

  1. 15/01/2018: Atonement 10
  2. Facets Of Redemption
  3. Mimesis and atonement
  4. A better way to view the atonement of Christ: Christus Victor
  5. Athanasius as Interpreter of the Trinity: Why the Nicene Creed and Penal Substitution Are Incompatible, Part 2 | New Humanity Institute
  6. Thinking Outloud: Atonement
  7. Triune Atonement in Westminster
  8. How to Understand the Once for All Sacrifice of Jesus Christ
  9. What the crucifiers didn’t understand
  10. Penal Substitutionary Atonement Exemplified In Film
  11. Irenaeus and the Problem of (Greater) New Testament Wrath
  12. Penal Substitutionary Atonement – a myopic narrative.
  13. Review: Tom Wright on the Crucifixion

Dave's Deliberations

This book’s title may mislead you. It is really an examination of the main theories of the atonement; the idea that God killed Jesus on the cross is just one aspect of the Payment Model of the atonement. The book is:

Did God Kill Jesus?: Searching for love in history’s most famous execution by Tony Jones (HarperOne, 2015).   

dgkjlargeThe ‘atonement wars’ are raging right now, in spite of the fact that many Christians naively believe that the Payment Model (or penal substitution theory) that they have been taught—and which remains the commonest view in the Western world—is the only one there is. Jones’s book sets out all the major (plus a few minor) theories of the atonement and tries to reach a balanced assessment of each one.

The major ones he designates the Payment, Victory, Magnet, Divinity and Mirror models. He assesses each against the answers it offers to…

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The Memorial Title

Actually “YahwEH” (is given to MoshEH) is the Memorial Title given in Exodus in 3:15 (that is the third person singular form); the first person form is EhyEH (Exodus 3:14), and that name is for the Father Himself and unto Himself only. We know it has long been common for many Hebrew Males to have “EL” or “EH” in the last Syllable of their names is because of the words like “El Shaddai”, “Eloah”, “Elohiym”, and then the ending syllable of the divine ones and their conjugations having “EH” in them… MASCULINE, NOT FEMININE (“-ah”)…

Conjugations (p.=person). “|” = Syllable Divider.
1st p. h: אהיה :h Eh|yEH = I exist (I am)
2nd p. h: תהיה :h Tih|yEH = You exist (You are)
3rd p. h: יהיה :h Yih|yEH = He exists (He is)
1st p. h: אהוה :h Eh|wEH = I exist (I am)
2nd p. h: תהוה :h Tih|wEH = You exist (You are)
3rd p. h: יהוה :h Yih|wEH = He exists (He is)