The God Who’s Always Known Me

16 Responses

  1. evagrius says:

    I don't think Isaiah feared for his life or soul. That's too puny a reaction.

    I don't think you have any idea of what happened.

    You're too attached to your own conception of God. Let that go and then look around. Of course, that will take a lifetime, according to the Fathers of the Church.

  2. Elmo says:

    Thanks for that insight. A few thoughts though:

    Did you have anything to say about the first 7 paragraphs, or is your goal just to find something you don't like?

    If fearing for you life or soul is "too puny a reaction", what's big enough?

    What's so wrong with my "own conception of God", and why are you so upset with me for having it?

  3. Elmo says:

    Okay, I get that you have different beliefs than me, and I'm glad to debate them with you. It's actually kind of fun. But you've stopped offering anything to the conversation.

    To just swoop in and say, "you don't know what you're talking about," then leave doesn't make an argument.

    I'm starting to get the idea that you don't actually have any thoughts on the critiques you've made of my theology, from what John meant when he wrote "believe" to what Isaiah's exclamation may have meant. You hide behind the "Fathers of the Church", but never offer any insight from them.

    Are you afraid to offer anything to the discussion? Or do you think that strafing my post and flying away without offering anything shows humility?

  4. evagrius says:

    I was waiting for your response since you've been unpredictable of late.

    You really should read the Fathers of the Church.

    Borg doesn't say anything knew. The themes he discusses were well known to the Fathers. I suggest you reading Dionysius the Aeropagite and his "Mystical Theology", "Celestial Hiearchy" and "On the Divine Names", all found in a paperback published by the Paulist Press.

    Also, read Gregory of Nyssa's "Life of Moses" also by Paulist Press.

    Maybe a little Origen wouldn't hurt. His Contra Celsum deals with objections to Christianity by a pagan whose objections aren't all that different from modern ones.

    The early Christians confronted the same problems as today.

    And their answers are based on both the Bible and experience.

  5. Elmo says:

    I don't think Borg is saying anything new. I think he's saying something wrong.

    Thanks for offering some thoughts…I'm working on Bloesch's A Theology of Word & Spirit right now, but I'll see about Dionysus…I don't know that I have time for much more in the immediate future. Then again, I could be wrong.

    What do they say that sticks out particularly to you? Do any of them fall on the same side as Borg? If so, what Biblical arguments do they use to support their view(s)? What do you think, and why?

  6. evagrius says:

    What side is Borg on? What do you mean by side?

    What Biblical arguments do the Fathers make? Read them and find out.

    Origen was the first great Christian commentator on the Bible. Lots of homiles and commentaries by him.

    Gregory of Nyssa was an astute reader of Origen and an excellent commentator on the Bible. Read his Great Catechism.

    Me…I seek to read the Fathers and try to understand their views. After all, they were there first.

  7. Elmo says:

    What side is Borg on? What do you mean by side?

    What Biblical arguments do the Fathers make? Read them and find out.

    Why do you comment here? You've done nothing but drop names. This is meant to be a discussion of theology. What do you call what you're doing? You're like the reference section of a library. Well, at least there I'd get some kind of synopsis.

    A while back you used to make points and form arguments. What are you doing now?

    And, BTW…I seek to read the Apostles and try to understand their views. After all, they were the first, and the Fathers spent almost all of their time writing about their statements.

  8. evagrius says:

    How can it be a discussion of theology if it's only your theology to be discussed?

    Name-dropping? I don't think so. They're not "names". They're individuals who created the theological language you use without thinking.

    Which Apostles? You mean the Gospel writers, Paul and Peter?

    Yes. The Fathers commented on them. Isn't that how theology was created?

  9. Elmo says:

    I'm happy to discuss theology other than mine, but you haven't brought any into the forum. Stating the names of books and their authors is not engaging in theological discussion. Why don't you tell me what you've learned about the subject at hand from Origen, Chrysostom, and Gregory of Nyssa, instead of deflecting the focus?

  10. evagrius says:

    It's what I said at the beginning. What Borg argues isn't much different than what they argue, it's just in a more contemporary language.

    The immanent God and the transcendent God are one and the same. Panentheism is what the Fathers taught. Hence the reason for sacraments, especially the Eucharist, icons, blessings and other rituals that sacralize matter, or rather make the sacredness of matter visible.

  11. evagrius says:

    Just another note.

    Rather than Isaiah, read about the Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor. The reactions of the Apostles is quite interesting.

  12. Elmo says:

    Ok, not being a patristics student I won't challenge your assertion that the Eastern Fathers taught panentheism. Perhaps you could answer some questions for me with a few more specifics:

    Where in Scripture did the Eastern Fathers find panentheism, as I find Borg describing it. (Note: I'm not far in, only 35 pages or so, so some of my understanding of him is based on summaries of his positions found elsewhere)

    If I'm understanding him correctly, Borg is saying that God is not actually a personal being, but the verses speaking of him as such are anthropomorphic.

    I believe that God is "over all and through all and in all (Eph. 4:6)," and that "in him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28)." But I also believe that we are created in the image of God, that he is the "heavenly father" that Christ spoke of, and that Christ was his incarnation.

    I know that Borg, as a member of the Jesus Seminar, does not believe that last little tidbit. How does that affect his panentheism? Do the Eastern Fathers agree with him on that point?

    This Orthodox Christian panentheism is distinct from a fundamentalist panentheism in that it maintains an ontological gulf or distance between the created and the Uncreated. Creation is not "part of" God, and the Godhead is still distinct from creation; however, God is "within" all creation, thus the Orthodox parsing of the word is "pan-entheism" (God indwells in all things) and not "panen-theism" (All things are part of God but God is more than the sum of all things).

    I don't see any problem with Orthodox Christian panentheism based on the essay I read today. But, it would seem that Borg falls into the second category set forth in this Wiki tidbit; is he a pan-entheist, or a panen-theist?

  13. evagrius says:

    Have you read anything else by Borg? How do you know he does not believe in the incarnation?

    As for "person", you have to do a little digging on that. The Trinity is "hypostatic", three hypostases in one ousia.

    The term person, in the original sense, does NOT mean a self-contained entity of will, logic and purpose. Person is not ego.

    That's what's confusing people. We now think of person in the sense of an independent ego. That's not the original meaning.

    So, Borg may very well be someone who could accept the original definition of person.

  14. Elmo says:

    What is the original definition of person? And where do you find that God is not "self contained"?

  15. evagrius says:

    Hypostasis was the original Greek term. It was translated into Latin as persona using prosopon, mask, as the term, ( which was only used in Christology basically) rather than hypostsis, ( which got translated as substansia).

    Ousia gets translated as esse, being, but it's not completely accurate.

    Self-contained here means ego. God is not an ego, nor three egos in one.

    The only human person, the only actual one is Jesus Christ. We're all individuals striving to be persons, with more or less success.

  1. August 12, 2007

    […] not only are the two not mutually exclusive, but they are both true.  Just like Marcus Borg (see here), Einstein is denying an incorrect perception.  He’s disagreeing with something that […]

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