Statesboro, GA, USA
You have not addressed the point I raised here. The point I raised is that through use of the Passive Voice, you have attempted to usurp a position of authority in this discussion that you believe you are entitled to by virtue of your beliefs only. When you use the phrase "not quite convincing" you presume to be speaking from that place.
I may not be in any real sense quite convincing in any ultimate sense. That's open to discussion.
That you have the right, by not specifying "convincing to whom" to suggest that my statement is ultimately false or misleading within the confines of a discussion of this sort is a position I need to have explained to me. As near as I can tell, you have a right to speak for yourself here, but not to assume a general authority without a clear display of your bone-fides. Call me wild.
It seems there's a bit of over-analysis going on. The adjective "not convincing" (an estimation not made apart from an appeal to both reason and a body of scripture ) is not all that much different from the kind of statement you make when you say that the New Testament cannot be believed without smugness ... or in saying that insisting that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah amounts to something like anti-semitism.
The only difference, it seems to me, is that your moral certitude has not been shown to be based upon any defense of traditional Judaism, or any such thing. I have appealed to a number of things beyond my own beliefs, which you have not touched upon.
The Theodicy of the incident between Abraham and Isaac (the very subject matter of this thread) is unremitted apart from this event preshadowing God's own gift. You are right to say that Theodicy is only a problem within the context of faith ... and in contrasting/comparing Jewish Religion and Christianity, we are dealing with faith.
Please don't force me into a pluralism that I don't practice of believe in.
I need not force you into anything. Hey, I didn't say "relativist" did I? Wasn't the pluralism apparent when you earlier suggested that democratic ideals were to be the benchmark for interpreting Jewish scripture?
The actual straight pure draught of the pure "stuff" of religion seems to taste delicious and to come from a common spring.
Can I at least call you a syncretist now? You are arguing that most religions are fundamentally the same, and superficially different. But it seems to me this might flow from your philosophy of metaphysical agnosticism (actually I see no other conclusion for a humanitarian agnostic such as yourself). But if there is anything true in the metaphysical sense, the ontology of God, the historicity of the Christian Faith, etc ... etc ..., then religions are superficially the same, and fundamentally different.
as far as you're concerned, I suspect, the Jews just won't be doing it right until they aren't Jews any more, but Christians, who believe in the Cross and the Christ and who do it your way. Nor, I suspect, will anybody else.
Nice slip in of "do it your way". Actually I believe many are saved and redeemed who don't do it my way. I don't approve of much that is in Roman Catholic practice and theology, but if they love Jesus Christ and call him God's son, who am I to argue with God about their acceptance? Those Reformed Calvinists are pesky in their beliefs too .. but same answer. My definition of a Christian is still rooted in the sayings and teachings of Jesus Christ and the apostles. I am only insisting upon a very basic tenet that he himself spoke "No one comes to the Father except through me". That's a far cry from vaunting "my way", even if I choose to try and make his way mine.
If I've got this wrong here, please forgive me, but there are an amazing number of Jews who are absolutely clear that this is exactly the way the world works. Not to mention Buddhists and Muslims and you name it.
Okay, I already knew there is disagreement. What was your point, if not pluralism/ syncretism in spiritual matters?
It's actually sort of offensive to be told that we can be forgiven for being the perfectly regular people we have pretty much always felt ourselves to be.
See, religions are fundamentally different! Secular humanism generally flows with the idea that we're not sinners. So you're okay in that camp. But, you'd better check your Jewish Theology again if you think it asserts that we're all pretty good and decent fellows, not in need of sacrifice and atonement.
For any who think they're okay in this regard, Jesus did give the kind of answer they might find tasteful ... He only came for those who are in need of forgiveness, who feel themselves to be sinners. Whether this bypassing is by lively choice and concurrence with said personal estimation, or one of patronizing in sad necessity, is another question entirely. I personally think we all need redemption.
Before you keep going on about potential anti-semitism, you really should ask which precondition fits the Jewish record better, natural autonomous human goodness, or fallen human nature?
Oh, don't misunderstand me Bob, I appreciate day-to-day common decency as much as anyone. But if redemption has anything to do with something else (which it does in both Jewish and Christian Theology), to bring this up as a protest against a need for God's forgiveness is a misapplication.
I find it offensive that you would think that Jesus represents a completion of the Jewish point of view.
Unless you could fathom that animal sacrifice was a pre-figure, and anticipatory; Unless you can fathom that much that is given by God has been provisional and pro-tempore; unless you can imagine revelation as both regulative and progressive. But if not, then we simply disagree. No need to take too much offense, though some, I understand, is unavoidable. I'm wondering though, if Christ as the fulfillment of atonement offends you, I wonder if your view of natural human goodness would offend an ordthodox Jew, since it essentially denies any need for atonement.
Secondly, the Christian interest is not in nurturing the Jewish world view, but in bringing it to an end as a precondition for The Second Coming.
Hmmmm. Be specific. In what sense are Christians for the "bringing to an end" of the Jewish world view, as a precondition for the Second Coming? I can't respond to a statement as ambiguous as this. Maybe your explanation will make it easier.
Calling The Jewish Bible pejoratively, "The Old Testament," and calling the Christian Bible "The New Testament" even suggest that the one is better than the other. The word "supercession," which I know you are not fond of, does come to mind here.
Well, a statement of Chronology, or even a statement of consummation in one, and fulfillment in another, may be taken perjoratively. But it need not be so. From a Christian perspective, there is no Old without the New, and there is a deep reverence for the Jewish Scriptures in Christendom. As Gentile believers, we are the ingrafted branches of a very precious tree. You are welcome to use the term "supercession" if you acknowledge that it may be taken to mean something different than "God is through with the Jews". A more dispensational view (which concords with Paul's teaching in the New Testament) tells us that God loves Israel, and is by no means done. It is significant to me (a sign of divine grace) that they are the only scattered and banished people to ever have returned home again, and retain a national identity.
See, its about perspective here. You can skew the Christian position to appear antagonistic to the Jewish people (though there's some legitimacy in that, whenever this has truly been the case). But I can think someone is wrong, and still have a personal respect. You're obviously wrong, and I respect you. You obviously think I'm wrong, and you respect me. I've only been pointing out to you that all your grumbling is groundless, if you consider how far afield your own theological views are from Orthodox Jewish. If the truth be known YOU think they're wrong (in a religious sense) as much as I. Having accused Abraham of dishonoring Isaac, suggested that God cannot be known by his creatures, suggested that truth is democratic in nature, and asserted that we're all pretty decent and not in need of atonement for sin ... these are all affronts to Jewish theology, every bit as much as calling Yeshua the only Jewish Messiah. In defending the honor of Jewry, you have not been so willing to discuss or defend their own views of scripture in the process, exegetically. Though this is understandable for a Taoist Agnostic, your pretense of neutrality is getting old, since you've shared your beliefs copiously (if subtly) throughout, even reprimanding me based upon their assumptions.
Why don't we let this one go for now, eh?
I'll gladly discuss. But the "quit telling the Jews they're not right about their own stuff (and in more reserved tones 'by the way they're not right and neither are you'), is wearying me a bit.
To invoke a very Jewish phrase, which might have meant a metrical pause ... "Selah".
[This message has been edited by Stephanos (02-24-2009 12:56 AM).]