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Passions in Poetry

for curiosities sake?

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jbouder
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Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


25 posted 09-23-2002 07:08 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Miah:

Because faith always has an object.  For the Christian, the object of faith is the life, death, resurrection, ascention and, additionally, the promises to believers in Christ associated with those events.

Faith is grounded in fact.  In Christianity, faith wasn't considered a "blind leap" until the likes of Karl Barth and Soren Kierkegard entered the scene.  It seems that your definition of faith has been influenced by the philosophies of these men.

Besides, if you cannot ascertain the object of your faith, what is there to distinguish a spiritual experience from a case of hearburn?

Jim
Miah
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26 posted 09-23-2002 10:54 AM       View Profile for Miah   Email Miah   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Miah

Thanks, I never really looked at it in that light before.  

Stephanos
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27 posted 09-24-2002 10:40 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

indeed that is a good point and I agree.  However I think it would be wisdom to consider something else in light of what you said about Faith not being enough, but rather faith based on facts.  

An important point is that Faith in those facts is enough, even when one does not have indisputable empirical proof about their occurrence.  Even the abundant evidence supplied (and I agree with you that there is plenty) does not provide the absolute "proof" that many are demanding of God.  In other words, the evidence still leaves a space ... a choice ... a question mark that can only be answered by faith.  Perhaps that's why the apostles were instructed to "Preach the Gospel to all of creation" and not to prove the gospel to all of creation.  The accounts are to be believed for their own sake ... for, if they are real, they have the power and sense of realism behind them.  I'm just saying that not everyone needs the stringent arguments of the apologists in order to believe the gospel.  They seem to be more for those who are having some intellectual difficulty believing.  For those who are, apologetics and "proofs" are wonderful at helping to remove a haunting sense of implausibility so that faith may have a clear path to walk on.  But Finding Christ as God in your own heart and mind (apart from historical, and philosophical proofs) is no small thing ... especially if he presents himself in such a way that only a God can.  But having said that, I still think we agree ... Faith alone is not enough (hang on Martin before you shout 'heresy')   ... but faith founded in the truth and supported by compelling facts is enough.  And that is exactly what the Christian "Faith" is.  Oh yeah... and let us not forget that behind the Christian Faith is a living God who can communicate and convey his truth in any avenue he desires... experience, science, history, art, allegory, emotion ... and the list goes on.

Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-24-2002 10:52 AM).]

Opeth
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28 posted 09-24-2002 10:53 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

"Opeth, I envy you your certainty. But not your need to justify it. Eating can be traced as far back as archeology and history can reach, too. So?"

Certainty through studying history. Many people are mere parrots, repeating what is told to them. The key is to be able to rid oneself of the worldview in which one holds onto; To be completely objective in one's search. This is a very difficult task, indeed. It may cause one to become a piriah in their community.

Through much research on the subject matter, after shedding my worldview and own beliefs, and with a completely objective mind, I too have faith, faith that what I have discovered is indeed the truth.

I wrote a paper on Christianity and the Immortal Soul doctrine, and through reading the historical references, I have no doubt in my mind that the issue of the immortality of the soul was injected into Christianity through the philosophy of Socrates and Plato, in which Thomas Aquinas, Augustine and the other early church followers believed in.

jbouder
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29 posted 09-24-2002 03:15 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Stephan:

I thought I smelled a seminarian ...

I agree with most of your points, although (and I think you agree) the object of saving faith in Christianity can be reduced to the life and resurrection of the historical Jesus Christ.  Acknowledgement of these facts is, after all, an element of saving faith.  In most Christian theology, faith in an abstract "concept" of God is insufficient ... that is, it is not "saving" faith.

As far as God being able to convey his truth through "experience, science, history, art, allegory, emotion" ... I hope you are not suggesting an "open canon" of sorts.  That would most certainly be a minority view.  In terms of General Revelation, I agree with you ... if you are suggesting Special Revelation exists through these mediums, I would have to strongly disagree.

Jim
Stephanos
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30 posted 09-24-2002 05:04 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

never been to seminary, but I'm very interested in the one whom seminarians say it's all about.  


I think we are in agreement.  What I was referring to about revelation through "experience, science, history, art, allegory, emotion..." is either general revelation that will facilitate seeking in those who recieve it, or Christian expression which is more specific.  General revelation can cause men to know that God exists... specific revelation causes men to know that God saves.


The Christian expression I see as coming primarily through the arts.  These are no new revelations but different ways to convey the gospel.  If a man is a poet, and becomes a devoted Christian, he cannont in my opinion write poetry that will not reflect Christ is some degree or another.  Why?  Because Christ is in him.  Even his poetry that is not overtly "Christian" will be reflecting the truth.  


Take for example J.R.R. Tolkien, a Christian who wrote The Lord of the Rings, which is not overtly Christian but reflective of a Judeo-Christian worldview and full of allegorical truth.  Then you have more overt renderings such as Bunyan's Pilgrim's progress.  


I'm rambling, but my point is that the gospel is preached in many ways.  But to ease your concern... No, I do not believe in any saving revelation to mankind apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Bible.  I don't believe any other books in history are "God-breathed" like those 66 are, though many works are blessed of God and have led men to the Bible to learn the truth more accurately.


Stephen.

[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-24-2002 05:06 PM).]

jbouder
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31 posted 09-24-2002 05:23 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Stephan:

You know Tolkien adamantly insisted that the Rings trilogy was not allegorical (even though I think there are too many "coincidences" in his writing that contradict his assertion).  An interesting read for you might be "Myth, Allegory and Gospel" ed. John Warwick Montgomery.  

Enjoyed the exchange.

Jim
Stephanos
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32 posted 09-24-2002 05:40 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Opeth,

you wrote:

"The key is to be able to rid oneself of the worldview in which one holds onto; To be completely objective in one's search."

and,

"Through much research on the subject matter, after shedding my worldview and own beliefs, and with a completely objective mind, I too have faith, faith that what I have discovered is indeed the truth."


To rid oneself of his worldview is only  possible in the sense of slipping into another worldview.  I doubt that anyone could do this so completely as to not be influenced by the culture of what they are rejecting.  My point is, I think it is  impossible for someone to become completely objective and stand "outside" of all worldviews and choose one arbitrarily.  


Because your worldview includes your values and ethics (something on which to base your judgement and choosing), you cannot dispense of it, or choose anything without it.  If you could get completely outside of this kind of thing, what basis would have for choosing a worldview?  What standard are you appealing to?  You are now choosing a worldview from the standards of your worldview already.  


I don't really think you have "shed" all worldviews in order to choose.  That would be as impossible as leaving your mind and history and thoughts in order to obtain something original.  It would be kind of like plucking out your eyes in order to see them.  All things of your past are part of your choosing now.   I think what may have happened is that a great deal of what is your worldview has changed.  


Also, the idea of your worldview being original seems to me questionable.  Nothing I've heard you say strikes me as new or novel in the world of ideas.  I would suggest that the worldview which has been adopted by you has and is held by others.  I'm not quite sure how your beliefs differ from atheism, or agnosticism, or secular humanism.  If you think they do I would like to hear how.    


Even though I am a Christian I am aware that my worldview is not new, novel, or original.  The Christian worldview itself was built upon the foundation of a monotheistic worldview held by the Jews.  However, I am in no way saying that all worldviews are equally valid, or invalid.  I just don't think there are any "new" ones to choose from.  The ones that are here are basically the ones that always were ... with some expansions, contractions, and alterations here and there.  (and Brad, yes this includes the possiblity of divine Revelation to augment what is already here by God's providence).  It may seem to some, that by my view I am saying that truth is of humanity and wholly cultural but I am not.  


Opeth, for you to say that you shed yourself of all worldviews and that you discovered the "truth" is amazing.  If this is so, you have to say that your present viewpoint has been held by none prior to you, and yet is the absolute truth apart from your own previous views.  You are suggesting objective truth that no one else but you has seen.  Is the truth that veiled?  Or are you that priviledge to be the sole finder?  


Brad knows that I would also agree that there is objective truth (God's own)... but that doesn't mean that it is not obtained through humanity, history, and culture.  My whole assertion is that it is impossible to completely extricate yourself from the arena of worldviews in order to decide on one.  They are already here... and you and I both hold one or another of them.  


Stephen.


[This message has been edited by Stephanos (09-24-2002 09:53 PM).]

Stephanos
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33 posted 09-24-2002 06:06 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim,

you may be right in saying that Tolkien denied that LOTR was allegory.  However I just read a biography of C.S. Lewis where Tolkien was described as persuading Lewis to the truth of Christianity.  The way he did so was by analyzing Lewis' own love of mythology.  He always professed that there seemed to be something "other", something "beyond", expressed through good storytelling... something he craved and loved.  But his atheistic worldview told him that this was non-sense.  He considered myths to be "lies".  But Tolkien helped him to see that myths are not mere lies, but stories that reflect the truth.  The "truth" they convey is their captivating power.   He even referred to the gospel of Christ as God's myth... the one grand myth that was true and that truly happened in history.  I guess this is a literary way of understanding and coming to Christ, but it worked for them.


But even if Tokien denied that LOTR was allegory about the Christian faith (which I never thought it explicitly was like Bunyan), this would prove my point even moreso.  A Christian man expresses Christ in his art, consciously or unconsiously.  Because it is inside of him and his worldview.

Interesting topic,

Stephen

Opeth
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34 posted 09-25-2002 09:25 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth


"To rid oneself of his worldview is only  possible in the sense of slipping into another worldview."


~ This statement alone could be argued.

"I doubt that anyone could do this so completely as to not be influenced by the culture of what they are rejecting."


~ If that is true, that is okay. Because if one is still somewhat influenced by their own culture and in their search/study still find grounds to reject it, then they were still objective in their search.

"My point is, I think it is  impossible for someone to become completely objective and stand "outside" of all worldviews and choose one arbitrarily."


~ Difficult, but not impossible.
  
"Because your worldview includes your values and ethics (something on which to base your judgement and choosing), you cannot dispense of it, or choose anything without it.  If you could get completely outside of this kind of thing, what basis would have for choosing a worldview?"


~ Because this is the Internet, and because I myself lack the time to be as thorough as I would like to be when discussing these issues, let me quickly put this way...the worldview of religion/God that I personaly held, not really talking about values and ethics persay. Sticking with the issue of a worldview and religion/God/faith = my beliefs.

"What standard are you appealing to?  You are now choosing a worldview from the standards of your worldview already."


~ I was raised and taught that a Christian God is THE God = worldview on religion. I shed myself of that worldview and with a totally objective mind, free from automatically believing in what I was taught my whole life and went on my own spiritual journey.  

"Opeth, for you to say that you shed yourself of all worldviews and that you discovered the "truth" is amazing."


~ I beg to differ, far less amazing then christians proclaiming that Jesus is the only way to salvation. That one must believe and accept Christ as one's saviour and become "born again."

"If this is so, you have to say that your present viewpoint has been held by none prior to you, and yet is the absolute truth apart from your own previous views."


~ I do not have to say that. I am not saying that. This isn't a one way or another situation. My truth may indeed be unique, but then again it may not. Others may have discovered the same. I do not make any such claims either way. Nor do I care to.

[This message has been edited by Opeth (09-25-2002 09:25 AM).]

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