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Author Topic: Can we trust that God will right wrongs and punish sin?  (Read 1199 times) Average Rating: 0
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William
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« on: April 16, 2013, 10:38:48 PM »

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/04/elder-paisios-never-say-they-will.html
Quote
- Elder, is it alright to say about someone who has caused me an injustice: "They will answer to God".

- Whoever says that is being fooled by the evil one and does not understand that in this way he is cursing politely. There are some who say that they are sensitive and they have love and a delicate hand and they are tolerant of the injustices done to them by people, but they say: "They will answer to God".

What the Elder is saying here seems pretty anti-scriptural to me. The psalms have plenty of "curses" against the ungodly.

Why does it seem that so much of Orthodox spirituality is so unconcerned with justice? There's this, saints completely forgiving and pardoning people who have done terrible things to them, stories from the desert fathers about helping people get away with murder for forgiveness' sake, Isaac the Syrian claiming that God is not just, only merciful. I have a very absolutist sense of right and wrong and justice, always have, and honestly all the encouragement of being a doormat and the like is very jarring to me
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2013, 10:47:45 PM »

I have a very absolutist sense of right and wrong and justice

No kidding. And I don't think this is a virtue.

Seems kinda angry.

To your point about the Psalms I think Walter Brueggemann made some nice insights into the rhythm of the Psalms which surround what we would call justice.

It might be within Praying the Psalms.

http://www.amazon.com/Praying-Psalms-Engaging-Scripture-Spirit/dp/1556352832

Thought it was nice and clear piece of writing the long time ago when I read it.
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2013, 11:22:50 PM »

I have a very absolutist sense of right and wrong and justice

No kidding. And I don't think this is a virtue.

Seems kinda angry.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
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« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2013, 12:16:18 AM »

The "righteousness" of the Beatitudes refers to our personal righteousness. For us to be righteous, to be pure, before God.

Not that I'm worthy to interpret Elder Paisios, who I consider a saint, but to me is seems like he's pointing out that those who say "This person has hurt me and I'll be vindicated by God." actually has pride in himself, and judges the wrongs of the other person, as we are deeming them to be on the receiving end of God's "justice."

While certainly God says "vengeance is mine, I will repay" the point is, such judgments are in fact God's, and it's none of our business to even be thinking about such things, as to do so causes us to fall into pride and judgment, as I said above. Rather, we should focus on ourselves "working out your salvation with fear and trembling." But when it comes to others, Christ tells us to turn the other cheek, and know that we are blessed when we are persecuted. The Fathers teach us that such ridicule is an opportunity for us to accept rebuke and learn true humility, a central and vital virtue. This is especially true of that rebuke or ridicule is unjustly given to us, but our humble acceptance of such rebuke profits us all the more because it is unjust, and we still endure it in Christian love and forgiveness.

I'm not going to pretend these are easy sayings. I myself all too often respond, at least in my heart if not in my thoughts, words and deeds, with anger and pride. This is very hard thing to grasp, harder more to actually practice. But, once we have attained to such a high state and obtained that humility, we will have conquered a host of passions.
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« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2013, 01:01:53 AM »

No, to be honest. The Patristics make it very clear that justice and mercy are opposed to each other, and that God will grant total mercy opposed to a fair judgement. As St. Isaac the Syrian once put it, "Mercy is opposed to just judgment. Just judgment is the leveling of exact measures, because to each is given what is deserved…but mercy is pity, arousing blessings and giving in to all with compassion." The Scriptures also demonstrate this fact through Jesus' parables--many of which emphasize the magnitude of God's mercy even when it is entirely opposed to justice. Such as the parable of the Prodigal Son, where the bad son gets a big celebration instead of the good son, or the parable of the Vinedressers, where the guy at the end gets the same pay as the guys who laboured all day. It's a tough pill for us westerners to swallow, given the judicial sense of black-or-white justice that has been hammered into our heads since infancy, but nonetheless, is still foundational to Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2013, 01:08:26 AM »

No, to be honest. The Patristics make it very clear that justice and mercy are opposed to each other, and that God will grant total mercy opposed to a fair judgement. As St. Isaac the Syrian once put it, "Mercy is opposed to just judgment. Just judgment is the leveling of exact measures, because to each is given what is deserved…but mercy is pity, arousing blessings and giving in to all with compassion." The Scriptures also demonstrate this fact through Jesus' parables--many of which emphasize the magnitude of God's mercy even when it is entirely opposed to justice. Such as the parable of the Prodigal Son, where the bad son gets a big celebration instead of the good son, or the parable of the Vinedressers, where the guy at the end gets the same pay as the guys who laboured all day. It's a tough pill for us westerners to swallow, given the judicial sense of black-or-white justice that has been hammered into our heads since infancy, but nonetheless, is still foundational to Orthodoxy.

I see your St. Isaac and raise you one St. Paul the Apostle:

"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained" (Acts 17:30-31).

The word for righteousness used here also means "justice," and in fact comes from the word for "verdict."
http://biblesuite.com/greek/1343.htm
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2013, 01:17:18 AM »

No, to be honest. The Patristics make it very clear that justice and mercy are opposed to each other, and that God will grant total mercy opposed to a fair judgement. As St. Isaac the Syrian once put it, "Mercy is opposed to just judgment. Just judgment is the leveling of exact measures, because to each is given what is deserved…but mercy is pity, arousing blessings and giving in to all with compassion." The Scriptures also demonstrate this fact through Jesus' parables--many of which emphasize the magnitude of God's mercy even when it is entirely opposed to justice. Such as the parable of the Prodigal Son, where the bad son gets a big celebration instead of the good son, or the parable of the Vinedressers, where the guy at the end gets the same pay as the guys who laboured all day. It's a tough pill for us westerners to swallow, given the judicial sense of black-or-white justice that has been hammered into our heads since infancy, but nonetheless, is still foundational to Orthodoxy.

I see your St. Isaac and raise you one St. Paul the Apostle:

"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained" (Acts 17:30-31).

The word for righteousness used here also means "justice," and in fact comes from the word for "verdict."
http://biblesuite.com/greek/1343.htm

St. Isaac the Syrian also says that all mentions of "judgement" and "justice" in the Bible should be interpreted in a pedagogical manner...
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2013, 01:41:22 AM »

Psalms are the real experience of humans struggling with their enemies. In Christ, our real enemies are not flesh and blood.

Why does it seem that so much of Orthodox spirituality is so unconcerned with justice?
Justice or vengeance?

Justice means setting things right; righteousness. What is proper and just. "It is right and just/meet and right" is said of glorifying God and Christ the Lamb at the liturgy.

In Plato's Republic, I believe Socrates argues that the only true proof of a just man would be if he were to remain just while be considered unjust by all, even rejected by the gods...

I have a very absolutist sense of right and wrong and justice, always have, and honestly all the encouragement of being a doormat and the like is very jarring to me
William,

One who resents his enemies, boils outrage against them, and fantasizes after the day when they "get what's coming to them," is a conquered slave, the most trodden upon of all doormats, too impotent to lay hold of the enemies at hand and silence them. In this impotence, the slave must construct a framework of fallen human retributive morality in order to judge against the conqueror. But the slave remains a conquered slave. His estate remains the same.

Christ is no slave to these things. He does not judge, and even if he did, his judgment would be just. And this is the judgment: That light has come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light, for their deeds were evil.

The word for righteousness used here is also sometimes translated "justice," and in fact comes from a word sometimes translated as "verdict."
I made a few changes. Important to note.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2013, 01:44:38 AM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2013, 02:38:26 AM »

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2013/04/elder-paisios-never-say-they-will.html
Quote
- Elder, is it alright to say about someone who has caused me an injustice: "They will answer to God".

- Whoever says that is being fooled by the evil one and does not understand that in this way he is cursing politely. There are some who say that they are sensitive and they have love and a delicate hand and they are tolerant of the injustices done to them by people, but they say: "They will answer to God".

What the Elder is saying here seems pretty anti-scriptural to me. The psalms have plenty of "curses" against the ungodly.

Why does it seem that so much of Orthodox spirituality is so unconcerned with justice? There's this, saints completely forgiving and pardoning people who have done terrible things to them, stories from the desert fathers about helping people get away with murder for forgiveness' sake, Isaac the Syrian claiming that God is not just, only merciful. I have a very absolutist sense of right and wrong and justice, always have, and honestly all the encouragement of being a doormat and the like is very jarring to me

What did he who suffered the greatest injustice say? Did he curse his enemies and say, "They will answer to God"?
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 09:52:08 AM »


WWJD?  I hated those little bracelets and having WWJD written on pens and pencils, etc.

However, it has validity....and we should all stop and think "what WOULD Jesus do" in this situation.

He would forgive.

He told us to love and forgive, not take revenge.

Leave the rest to God...either He will, or He won't....but, that's His domain and His prerogative.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2013, 10:53:25 AM »

William, I often find myself in the same boat. 

Look at it this way, at the Last Judgement, when you are standing before God, would you rather He be merciful or just?  I'll tell you right now, if God has any amount of justice in Him, I'm probably screwed.  Is it really right for me to wish that God deny the same mercy I hope for to anyone else?  God will show us all the messed up things we have done.  Every time we sin it's a big old "I hate you, God".  And when we stand before Him all we will hope for is that He understands how weak we were and how if we knew what we did at that point, we probably would have been too scared to have done it.  Think about all those child molesters out there (since they are probably the most hated people on the planet), think about what they will have to explain to God.  And keep in mind that for the first time in their lives they will actually be seeing the full magnitude of what they did.   

I don't know.  I am pretty callous in Earthly things.  I certainly wouldn't let this stop me from executing if it were my decision, or using lethal means to protect those I care about.  But at the terrible judgement, we're all in this together, and I hope that God has mercy on me rather than justice, so it is only right that everyone else gets that same chance to tell God, "sorry Lord, I done goofed there."
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2013, 11:59:07 AM »

To your point about the Psalms I think Walter Brueggemann made some nice insights into the rhythm of the Psalms which surround what we would call justice.

Great recommendation! Here's something (sort of on topic) by him to stir your appetite:

Quote
In this narrative (Exodus 11:1-9), Moses and Yahweh reach the final, devastating plague of the exodus. After all else fails, Yahweh finally decides that for the sake of Yahweh’s own “firstborn” (see 4:22), Yahweh will kill the firstborn of the empire. In the preliminary part of the narrative, Yahweh announces that it is time for Israel to leave the empire (vv. 1–2). In leaving, God says to Moses, tell the departing slaves to “ask” the Egyptians for their silver and gold. This is a warrant that the newly liberated should seize some of the goods of their erstwhile captors. The silver and gold is owed them, and they are authorized by this tough God to take what is owed them.

The core of the narrative centers in a profound contrast. On the one hand, all the firstborn of Egypt shall die (vv. 4–6). The script pounds with a fourfold “firstborn”:

every firstborn;
firstborn of pharaoh, even the crown prince;
firstborn of the female slaves;
firstborn of the livestock.

All the best, children, slaves, and calves: I mean all!

The response to the killing is predictable—a loud cry, a cry of distress and anguish and rage, a cry from the empire, a cry like which has never been heard and will never be heard. Empires are impervious and do not cry. But this one will. This empire, the hated empire, will sound the quintessential cry, even though the Egyptians thought it could not happen here. This is indeed the first one becoming the last, desolate one, a terrible inversion.

The cry is evoked by the inscrutable, hidden work of God: “About midnight I will go out through Egypt”—at midnight, when no one can see, when empires have their guard down, when pharaoh is vulnerable. You will not see me, and they will not see me, but you will know the outcome, a land struck with horror. In the narrative this will be the first time pharaoh cries, but it will be the second cry in the story as a whole. The very first cry had been on the lips of the Israelites in their oppression: “We groaned and cried out … ” (2:23; 3:7). Now, at midnight, in vulnerability, the cry has moved, as we never thought it would, from the lips of the slaves to the mouth of the master. The cry has been displaced and reassigned, at midnight, in vulnerability.

And the counterside? Israel, midst all this savage confusion, will sleep soundly (v. 7). Not a dog shall growl. Israel will be completely undisturbed, because the midnight intruder is careful and knowing. The hidden one who savages makes important distinctions. By such care, this agent of death and of peaceful sleep inverts social power. The inversion anticipates the verdict of Jesus in Luke 6:21, 25:

Blessed are you who cry now,
for you will laugh.…
Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.

It is a turn of power that is unexpected and inexplicable. Israel arose the next morning to laugh and rejoice in its odd gift of freedom, for the threat of pharaoh was undone in the darkness of the night.

This story moves against our presumed world. It overcomes our presumed, taken-for-granted world by proposing a different one. We had thought there would be no destructiveness or violence for us, certainly not from God. In our big houses we imagined we were immune from threat, protected and secure. We thought “they” would stay in their place, that there would be no Passover, no inversion. We thought God would not take sides against us, but would be evenhanded and protect the status quo. Or change the perception. We thought, as we bedded down in our huts, that it would be the same in the morning, with more bricks to make. We never imagined there would be a Passover, and we thought if there were crying, it would be us in our misery, one more time. We never thought we would hear pharaoh admit to grief. We never imagined God would notice us, or take our part.

Both parties are stunned by the transformation. When the sun came up, there was an inexplicable novum in Egypt-land, a newness that hurt some terribly, that caused dancing among the slaves. This text is exactly a liturgical memory, not more. It invites celebration, but it never lets us go behind the celebration to see what had happened. The text does not explain, because all is hidden. It does not explain, and neither dare we. It is enough for the slaves to hear and ponder. It is enough for severe pharaoh to hear and tremble. The text invites pondering and trembling. It asserts that things are not too stable and may not last past midnight. We are more vulnerable than we had thought.

The story raises hard questions: What kind of celebration is this? Who should celebrate? Who is the God celebrated, and how does this God enter the story of the gods of Western civilization? This drama may indeed reflect no facticity and yield no certitudes. It is nonetheless played out before our eyes, and we may pick a part in the story, any part we like. We could play state-owned silver, or firstborn cow, or a sleeping dog. We could tremble and cry, or wonder and rejoice. And then we will awaken, and find out it is only a liturgic scenario. We might be haunted by a story we do not relish and a God we do not welcome. The word of the Lord; thanks be to God!

Walter Brueggemann, Texts under negotiation: The Bible and postmodern imagination.
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2013, 12:08:11 PM »

Walter Brueggemann on the Psalms of Vengeance
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2013, 12:30:30 PM »


I've never heard of Walter Brueggemann before, but that means absolutely nothing.  When orthonorm mentioned him earlier in the thread, I was curious about who he is.  Fwiw, wikipedia says this about him, amongst other things:
Quote
Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian and an important figure in Progressive Christianity see this . Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Brueggemann

Just wondering how much use Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter!) should make of Protestant theological exposition?  Serious question--I'm not trying to pick any fights  Wink.  A former priest of mine, himself a convert from Lutheranism, advised to be extremely cautious about it.
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 02:00:48 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2013, 02:36:42 PM »

I see your St. Isaac and raise you one St. Paul the Apostle:

"Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained" (Acts 17:30-31).

The word for righteousness used here also means "justice," and in fact comes from the word for "verdict."
http://biblesuite.com/greek/1343.htm

Yes, God does command us to repent, and God has appointed a day of Judgement and will do so in righteousness. God is perfect, but we are not. He can carry out such justice in perfection without malice and in true love. We unworthy men cannot.

We can be sure what St. Paul tells us is true, and is should stir us to repentance (as St. Paul says) of our own sins, to remember our own faults and failures, and humble ourselves before God. It is not ours to do such for our neighbor. We will not answer for him in that Judgement, but ourselves.


I've never heard of Walter Brueggemann before, but that means absolutely nothing.  When orthonorm mentioned him earlier in the thread, I was curious about who he is.  Fwiw, wikipedia says this about him, amongst other things:

Quote
Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian and an important figure in Progressive Christianity see this . Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Brueggemann

I remember the name from my studies in college, at a Methodist school. I remember agreeing with some of what he had to say, but I haven't read too much of his work. None of it on the Psalms. That was also several years ago, and prior to my conversion to Orthodoxy. I'm unsure if I'd feel the same about him now.

Just wondering how much use Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter!) should make of Protestant theological exposition?  Serious question--I'm not trying to pick any fights  Wink.  A former priest of mine, himself a convert from Lutheranism, advised to be extremely cautious about it.

I'd have to agree with your priest, I think. Orthodoxy has the richness of the Church Fathers, ancient and modern, grace-filled elders to direct us on the way of truth. It's my opinion that we should value these holy men first, and meet Protestant academic (or even devotional) hermeneutics with skepticism.
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2013, 05:41:03 PM »


I've never heard of Walter Brueggemann before, but that means absolutely nothing.  When orthonorm mentioned him earlier in the thread, I was curious about who he is.  Fwiw, wikipedia says this about him, amongst other things:
Quote
Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian and an important figure in Progressive Christianity see this . Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Brueggemann

Just wondering how much use Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter!) should make of Protestant theological exposition?  Serious question--I'm not trying to pick any fights  Wink.  A former priest of mine, himself a convert from Lutheranism, advised to be extremely cautious about it.

And he is a very decent man.Maybe he still resides around here. I haven't him seen since I used to live here 15 or so years back.
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2013, 05:47:52 PM »


I've never heard of Walter Brueggemann before, but that means absolutely nothing.  When orthonorm mentioned him earlier in the thread, I was curious about who he is.  Fwiw, wikipedia says this about him, amongst other things:
Quote
Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian and an important figure in Progressive Christianity see this . Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Brueggemann

Just wondering how much use Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter!) should make of Protestant theological exposition?  Serious question--I'm not trying to pick any fights  Wink.  A former priest of mine, himself a convert from Lutheranism, advised to be extremely cautious about it.

And he is a very decent man.Maybe he still resides around here. I haven't him seen since I used to live here 15 or so years back.

That is so large as to offend the senses. Bold works just as well.

Influential for who? There are plenty of Protestant scholars not worth our time, just as they often discount the Church Fathers.

He may very well be a decent man, I don't think that's on trial. That doesn't mean his ideas are necessarily Orthodox. I'm not saying he's even wrong...just that he isn't Orthodox.
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2013, 10:41:27 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2013, 10:29:00 AM »


I've never heard of Walter Brueggemann before, but that means absolutely nothing.  When orthonorm mentioned him earlier in the thread, I was curious about who he is.  Fwiw, wikipedia says this about him, amongst other things:
Quote
Walter Brueggemann is an American Protestant Old Testament scholar and theologian and an important figure in Progressive Christianity see this . Brueggemann is widely considered one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Brueggemann

Just wondering how much use Orthodox (and Catholics for that matter!) should make of Protestant theological exposition?  Serious question--I'm not trying to pick any fights  Wink.  A former priest of mine, himself a convert from Lutheranism, advised to be extremely cautious about it.

And he is a very decent man.Maybe he still resides around here. I haven't him seen since I used to live here 15 or so years back.

Sheesh, no need to shout through a megaphone, orthonorm!!  Your point could have been made just as easily without doing so.  Or was some kind of nerve touched and you were screaming in pain or something?

Brueggmann's character is not in question, just whether or not what he writes/says is "Orthodox", and how much attention an Orthodox or Catholic Christian should pay it.  Are there not Orthodox writers who have commented on the Old Testament in general, and the Psalms in particular, who might be at least as knowledgeable as him, at least as respected as him, and somewhat more appropriate for an Orthodox reader to study?  St. John Chrysostom is just one who comes immediately to mind. 

Who, other than you, really cares whether you know him or not, have had dinner with him or not, have seen him or not, or have composted with him or not?

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« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2013, 10:30:00 AM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

+ 1.
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« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2013, 10:39:25 AM »

And he is a very decent man.Maybe he still resides around here. I haven't him seen since I used to live here 15 or so years back.

According to Wikipedia, "Dr. Brueggemann currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio (2008)."

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« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2013, 11:01:06 AM »

Brueggmann's character is not in question, just whether or not what he writes/says is "Orthodox", and how much attention an Orthodox or Catholic Christian should pay it.  Are there not Orthodox writers who have commented on the Old Testament in general, and the Psalms in particular, who might be at least as knowledgeable as him, at least as respected as him, and somewhat more appropriate for an Orthodox reader to study?  St. John Chrysostom is just one who comes immediately to mind.

I'm not one to dismiss the Patristic exegesis of Scripture, but modern biblical scholarship is quite a different domain. It is not bound to adhere to any tradition or denomination, nor should it be - if it is to remain scientific. Even an atheist could have meaningful contributions in this area. That is not to say that he is to be considered a Doctor of the Church by the faithful.   

The question would be: was St. Jerome wrong to make use of Hebrew exegesis and take a critical approach to the translation of the LXX? Were the Fathers wrong when they made use of the exegetic methods developed by the scholars of Hellenistic literature?   
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2013, 11:15:12 AM »

I'm not one to dismiss the Patristic exegesis of Scripture, but modern biblical scholarship is quite a different domain. It is not bound to adhere to any tradition or denomination, nor should it be - if it is to remain scientific. Even an atheist could have meaningful contributions in this area. That is not to say that he is to be considered a Doctor of the Church by the faithful.  

The question would be: was St. Jerome wrong to make use of Hebrew exegesis and take a critical approach to the translation of the LXX? Were the Fathers wrong when they made use of the exegetic methods developed by the scholars of Hellenistic literature?    

Which is why modern "scholarship" is, I think, largely useless to us. These are issues on which we as a Church have decided upon. For example, we obviously accept the approach of the Fathers...otherwise they would not be considered Church Fathers. This field simply rehashes old debates and attempts to bring into question intellectually those matters of the Church that have already been settled by, we believe, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Not that it's the worst thing in the world . I mean, there is still "religious studies" out there.
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2013, 11:19:58 AM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

+ 1.
+2
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2013, 11:42:43 AM »

Which is why modern "scholarship" is, I think, largely useless to us. These are issues on which we as a Church have decided upon. For example, we obviously accept the approach of the Fathers...otherwise they would not be considered Church Fathers.

So no one should purport to interpret Scripture from now on?

One should faithfully stick to St. Theophylact's interpretation of the Gospel (the Catena aurea of Aquinas for conservative Catholics) and the comments of Euthymius Zigaben and St. Nicodemus on the Psalms?

Heaven forbid I should have anything against it, if one chooses these for their devotional reading! But, if one also has a historic and scientific interest in how Scripture came to be, these are hardly enough and one is missing out on a lot of new information, which has the potential to be spiritually profitable as well.     
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« Reply #26 on: April 18, 2013, 11:53:28 AM »

Which is why modern "scholarship" is, I think, largely useless to us. These are issues on which we as a Church have decided upon. For example, we obviously accept the approach of the Fathers...otherwise they would not be considered Church Fathers.

So no one should purport to interpret Scripture from now on?

One should faithfully stick to St. Theophylact's interpretation of the Gospel (the Catena aurea of Aquinas for conservative Catholics) and the comments of Euthymius Zigaben and St. Nicodemus on the Psalms?

Heaven forbid I should have anything against it, if one chooses these for their devotional reading! But, if one also has a historic and scientific interest in how Scripture came to be, these are hardly enough and one is missing out on a lot of new information, which has the potential to be spiritually profitable as well.     

I'm speaking specifically to those enclaves of higher criticism or biblical/theological studies a la the Jesus Seminar that get theirs kicks from re-analyzing the truths already well-established by the Church. There's certainly nothing wrong with speaking of and understanding the Scriptures within the proper context of the Church and applying those truths to our life in Christ, that's what the saints do, as you have pointed out. However, that is a different thing entirely.
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« Reply #27 on: April 18, 2013, 12:05:46 PM »

Which is why modern "scholarship" is, I think, largely useless to us. These are issues on which we as a Church have decided upon. For example, we obviously accept the approach of the Fathers...otherwise they would not be considered Church Fathers.

So no one should purport to interpret Scripture from now on?

One should faithfully stick to St. Theophylact's interpretation of the Gospel (the Catena aurea of Aquinas for conservative Catholics) and the comments of Euthymius Zigaben and St. Nicodemus on the Psalms?

Heaven forbid I should have anything against it, if one chooses these for their devotional reading! But, if one also has a historic and scientific interest in how Scripture came to be, these are hardly enough and one is missing out on a lot of new information, which has the potential to be spiritually profitable as well.     

Well, do you as an Orthodox Christian want a Protestant interpretation of and commentary on Scripture or an Orthodox one based on what the Fathers of the Church have taught and what the Church herself teaches?  I'm not criticizing the guy orthonorm was screaming about above, much less anything he's written, which may in fact be quite scholarly and interesting.  If someone has a very thorough and deep understanding of Patristics and Scripture based on years of study and contemplation and prayer, and wants to see what Protestants have to say about similar things, I have no problem with that.  However, for the majority(?) of us who don't have that, wouldn't it just be best to stick with solid orthodox and Orthodox commentary and teachings?
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« Reply #28 on: April 18, 2013, 12:08:12 PM »

I'm speaking specifically to those enclaves of higher criticism or biblical/theological studies a la the Jesus Seminar that get theirs kicks from re-analyzing the truths already well-established by the Church.

Modern biblical scholarship is a tool which can be manipulated for different purposes. There is sound scientific research and there are people who use "science" for less noble purposes. The Jesus Seminar people voted about what Our Lord "probably" said and what he "can't" have said based on nothing but their own fancy. That is not serious scholarship!    
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« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2013, 12:21:31 PM »

Well, do you as an Orthodox Christian want a Protestant interpretation of and commentary on Scripture or an Orthodox one based on what the Fathers of the Church have taught and what the Church herself teaches? 

IMHO there is good biblical exegesis, bad exegesis and a lot of mediocre stuff in between. All this has nothing to do with confessional labels. Sure, the "Orthodox" trade mark should be a guarantee of some sort that what you get is kosher (it is so with the Fathers), but these days it isn't necessarily so.

The Fathers made copious use of Origen as an exegete (he was indeed one of the best), but that doesn't mean they automatically bought into his less orthodox ideas. It is, indeed, all a matter of discernment.     
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2013, 12:39:33 PM »

I'm speaking specifically to those enclaves of higher criticism or biblical/theological studies a la the Jesus Seminar that get theirs kicks from re-analyzing the truths already well-established by the Church.

Modern biblical scholarship is a tool which can be manipulated for different purposes. There is sound scientific research and there are people who use "science" for less noble purposes. The Jesus Seminar people voted about what Our Lord "probably" said and what he "can't" have said based on nothing but their own fancy. That is not serious scholarship!    

An unnecessary tool. If you're approach to faith is to conduct "scientific research" on it, you've failed.
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« Reply #31 on: April 18, 2013, 01:03:30 PM »

Well, do you as an Orthodox Christian want a Protestant interpretation of and commentary on Scripture or an Orthodox one based on what the Fathers of the Church have taught and what the Church herself teaches? 

IMHO there is good biblical exegesis, bad exegesis and a lot of mediocre stuff in between. All this has nothing to do with confessional labels. Sure, the "Orthodox" trade mark should be a guarantee of some sort that what you get is kosher (it is so with the Fathers), but these days it isn't necessarily so.

The Fathers made copious use of Origen as an exegete (he was indeed one of the best), but that doesn't mean they automatically bought into his less orthodox ideas. It is, indeed, all a matter of discernment.     

I'll stick with what's "Orthodox" and orthodox, according to the Church.  I'm not smart enough or well enough educated to plow through Protestant exegesis and discern the nuances between what is "kosher" and what isn't.  Nor do I have the time or interest, really.  I have trouble enough with what is kosher and finding the time for it  Wink.  But, hey, if that (other stuff) is what floats yer boat, go for it  Grin!
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« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2013, 01:05:08 PM »

An unnecessary tool. If you're approach to faith is to conduct "scientific research" on it, you've failed.


No, faith is much bigger than scientific research. You can use any tool faith-fully. And if you feel you have to reject such a tool to stay true to your faith, then your faith is shaking.

All people "live and move and have their being" in God.

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« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2013, 01:09:50 PM »

Which is why modern "scholarship" is, I think, largely useless to us. These are issues on which we as a Church have decided upon. For example, we obviously accept the approach of the Fathers...otherwise they would not be considered Church Fathers.

So no one should purport to interpret Scripture from now on?

One should faithfully stick to St. Theophylact's interpretation of the Gospel (the Catena aurea of Aquinas for conservative Catholics) and the comments of Euthymius Zigaben and St. Nicodemus on the Psalms?

Heaven forbid I should have anything against it, if one chooses these for their devotional reading! But, if one also has a historic and scientific interest in how Scripture came to be, these are hardly enough and one is missing out on a lot of new information, which has the potential to be spiritually profitable as well.     

I'm speaking specifically to those enclaves of higher criticism or biblical/theological studies a la the Jesus Seminar that get theirs kicks from re-analyzing the truths already well-established by the Church.

Which has nothing to do with Mr. Bruggemann.
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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2013, 01:16:11 PM »

I'm speaking specifically to those enclaves of higher criticism or biblical/theological studies a la the Jesus Seminar that get theirs kicks from re-analyzing the truths already well-established by the Church.

Modern biblical scholarship is a tool which can be manipulated for different purposes. There is sound scientific research and there are people who use "science" for less noble purposes. The Jesus Seminar people voted about what Our Lord "probably" said and what he "can't" have said based on nothing but their own fancy. That is not serious scholarship!    

An unnecessary tool. If you're approach to faith is to conduct "scientific research" on it, you've failed.


Wow. You suffer from an extremely Anglo-American misunderstanding of science. Not to mention creating utterly false dichotomies.

Theology is science.
Philosophy is science.
Philology is science.

Have you learned Greek or Latin or something remotely helpful in understanding the Fathers? You can thank scientists for that.

Your hermeneutical approach of trying to ignore that which colors your view will render you even more blind to those prejudices. If you want to be "free" of "modern" Biblical scholarship, to be getter get a good grasp of modernity and how it colors Biblical scholarship. To the degree to you grasp these things is to the degree you will be free of them, but not in the sense of the freedom you are looking for but in a much more radical sense of freedom.

No one is ever more lost than a reactionary. They are always looking behind themselves, thus walking backwards into the unknown with the utmost certainty of where they are going.
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2013, 01:23:46 PM »

Wow. You suffer from an extremely Anglo-American misunderstanding of science. Not to mention creating utterly false dichotomies.

Theology is science.
Philosophy is science.
Philology is science.

Have you learned Greek or Latin or something remotely helpful in understanding the Fathers? You can thank scientists for that.

Sigh.

I'm referring specifically to knowledge attained in an experimental fashion, the scientific method. If you want to argue that the modern English word "science" refers generally to "knowledge" (Which, yes, in fact, does mean that...in ancient Latin. Are you familiar with the development of language, cognates, and etymology?) you render the term useless.

I'm also not discounting "science" by any means. Have you read any of my posts on this forum? ANY of them? I doubt you read for comprehension anyway, so my question is moot.

Quote
Your hermeneutical approach of trying to ignore that which colors your view will render you even more blind to those prejudices. If you want to be "free" of "modern" Biblical scholarship, to be getter get a good grasp of modernity and how it colors Biblical scholarship. To the degree to you grasp these things is to the degree you will be free of them, but not in the sense of the freedom you are looking for but in a much more radical sense of freedom.

No one is ever more lost than a reactionary. They are always looking behind themselves, thus walking backwards into the unknown with the utmost certainty of where they are going.

Thanks for the pop philosophy and snarky judgmentalism. Go read a book, and have a blessed day.
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2013, 02:06:55 PM »

The Russian edition of Brueggemann's Introduction to the Old Testament, published by St. Andrew's Biblical Institute in Moscow:

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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2013, 02:36:50 PM »

The Russian edition of Brueggemann's Introduction to the Old Testament, published by St. Andrew's Biblical Institute in Moscow:



Is the fact of who published it some kind of Orthodox version of a Nihil obstat and/or imprimatur, guaranteeing it's "Orthodoxy" and freedom from doctrinal error?
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« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2013, 02:42:51 PM »

Wow. You suffer from an extremely Anglo-American misunderstanding of science. Not to mention creating utterly false dichotomies.

Theology is science.
Philosophy is science.
Philology is science.

Have you learned Greek or Latin or something remotely helpful in understanding the Fathers? You can thank scientists for that.

Sigh.

I'm referring specifically to knowledge attained in an experimental fashion, the scientific method. If you want to argue that the modern English word "science" refers generally to "knowledge" (Which, yes, in fact, does mean that...in ancient Latin. Are you familiar with the development of language, cognates, and etymology?) you render the term useless.

Sorry Benjamin, you've mopped yourself into a corner.

Much of what you like to call science finds its understanding outside some simplistic notion of the "scientific method". I would be interested in what you've read around the differences in approach among the sciences. And no, I am not using science to mean knowledge, again you are proving my point about your Anglo-American hang-up.

You are arguing about method within the context about why specifically one might want to avoid the writings of Walter Brueggemann.

So to keep this outside what you call pop philosophy, I don't think you up to much else, let's be specific. You've now mentioned the Jesus Seminar and the scientific method within the discussion about the merit of the works of Mr. Brueggemann.

Can you please give me an example of where Mr. Bruggemann contributed to the Jesus Seminar in a direct and significant manner or uses the work conducted by the Jesus Seminar as a substantial basis for his own work?

And please show me where Mr. Brueggemann has used the scientific method in a significant manner within his exegesis of Scripture.

What defines what you call science more properly called the natural sciences is nothing like the scientific method at all. Rather it what is needed to be appropriated by them for them to be productive at all.

Perhaps the other sciences will take on more of the same structure of the natural sciences as the structure of natural science itself become the horizon within which every is necessarily understood; however, today we still remain in a world where theology, philosophy, philology, etc. retain vestiges of a decidedly different structure.

In the end, this has started from a somewhat snide comment about a very general comment made by me about a commentary to the Psalms by a man who I know to be a good and decent person and to be a respected scholar and to have given an interesting (if perhaps facile) insight into the Psalms.

Someone saw Protestant and boom it went.
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« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2013, 05:27:30 PM »

Wow. You suffer from an extremely Anglo-American misunderstanding of science. Not to mention creating utterly false dichotomies.

Theology is science.
Philosophy is science.
Philology is science.

Have you learned Greek or Latin or something remotely helpful in understanding the Fathers? You can thank scientists for that.

Sigh.

I'm referring specifically to knowledge attained in an experimental fashion, the scientific method. If you want to argue that the modern English word "science" refers generally to "knowledge" (Which, yes, in fact, does mean that...in ancient Latin. Are you familiar with the development of language, cognates, and etymology?) you render the term useless.

Sorry Benjamin, you've mopped yourself into a corner.

Much of what you like to call science finds its understanding outside some simplistic notion of the "scientific method". I would be interested in what you've read around the differences in approach among the sciences. And no, I am not using science to mean knowledge, again you are proving my point about your Anglo-American hang-up.

You are arguing about method within the context about why specifically one might want to avoid the writings of Walter Brueggemann.

So to keep this outside what you call pop philosophy, I don't think you up to much else, let's be specific. You've now mentioned the Jesus Seminar and the scientific method within the discussion about the merit of the works of Mr. Brueggemann.

Can you please give me an example of where Mr. Bruggemann contributed to the Jesus Seminar in a direct and significant manner or uses the work conducted by the Jesus Seminar as a substantial basis for his own work?

And please show me where Mr. Brueggemann has used the scientific method in a significant manner within his exegesis of Scripture.

What defines what you call science more properly called the natural sciences is nothing like the scientific method at all. Rather it what is needed to be appropriated by them for them to be productive at all.

Perhaps the other sciences will take on more of the same structure of the natural sciences as the structure of natural science itself become the horizon within which every is necessarily understood; however, today we still remain in a world where theology, philosophy, philology, etc. retain vestiges of a decidedly different structure.

In the end, this has started from a somewhat snide comment about a very general comment made by me about a commentary to the Psalms by a man who I know to be a good and decent person and to be a respected scholar and to have given an interesting (if perhaps facile) insight into the Psalms.

Someone saw Protestant and boom it went.

For the third time, I haven't specifically condemned Brueggemann for anything, and you haven't actually addressed what I've had to say.

My interest in you has waned. Go find someone else to misunderstand.
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« Reply #40 on: April 18, 2013, 07:55:31 PM »

William,

One who resents his enemies, boils outrage against them, and fantasizes after the day when they "get what's coming to them," is a conquered slave, the most trodden upon of all doormats, too impotent to lay hold of the enemies at hand and silence them. In this impotence, the slave must construct a framework of fallen human retributive morality in order to judge against the conqueror. But the slave remains a conquered slave. His estate remains the same.

Christ is no slave to these things. He does not judge, and even if he did, his judgment would be just. And this is the judgment: That light has come into the world, and men loved darkness more than light, for their deeds were evil.

Why do you write of power and slavery? I have to construct this framework where I do not "lay hold of the enemies at hand" in the first place because the Lord says to turn the other cheek. How can the gospel tell you to neither take action into your own hands nor hope that God will right the wrong?
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« Reply #41 on: April 18, 2013, 07:57:02 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.
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« Reply #42 on: April 18, 2013, 11:08:33 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.

Well, enjoy hell. You've already put yourself in the place of God with this statement and your judgment of Hitler and Stalin--just like Satan.
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« Reply #43 on: April 18, 2013, 11:12:08 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.

Well, enjoy hell. You've already put yourself in the place of God with this statement and your judgment of Hitler and Stalin--just like Satan.

To be frank, that is insane. And hypocritical. And not at all consistent with Christian tradition and its assignment of numerous individuals to hell.
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« Reply #44 on: April 18, 2013, 11:12:39 PM »

Yet there is undeniable gnashing of teeth in Christ's teachings.  

The idea that everyone makes it out swell isn't really a scriptural or patristic message (yes, I know there are some who say this, but these teachings have largely been corrected or rebuked).  But, as others have said, vengeance/retribution shouldn't be what we are hoping for.

So yes, we should trust that God will right wrongs and punish sin, but it might not be according to our calculations.  

I struggle with a lot of things we're supposed to believe, but on this, I'll trust His judgment above mine.  
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« Reply #45 on: April 18, 2013, 11:14:37 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.

Well, enjoy hell. You've already put yourself in the place of God with this statement and your judgment of Hitler and Stalin--just like Satan.

To be frank, that is insane. And hypocritical. And not at all consistent with Christian tradition and its assignment of numerous individuals to hell.

You're just fishing there.
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« Reply #46 on: April 18, 2013, 11:20:49 PM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.

Well, enjoy hell. You've already put yourself in the place of God with this statement and your judgment of Hitler and Stalin--just like Satan.

To be frank, that is insane. And hypocritical. And not at all consistent with Christian tradition and its assignment of numerous individuals to hell.

You're just fishing there.

No, I just don't buy the anti-traditional and anti-patristic sentimentalism that we can't say that people are in hell.
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« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2013, 11:27:32 PM »


I just don't buy the anti-traditional and anti-patristic sentimentalism that we can't say that people are in hell.


Welcome to OC.net, where everyone is in communion, no one in the history of the world was a heretic (and certainly no one presently is), and where we collect and respect Buddhist statues while recommending that people integrate Jewish prayer shawls into their worship.
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« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2013, 01:50:03 AM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.

What is it to you where Hitler and Stalin go? Even if they were to inherit paradise (obviously this would be most unlikely), you can be guaranteed that such a treatment would be just, as God is always just, even if it is not apparent how that would be so. You do not know better than God, and it is not your place to determine how people should be recompensed. Follow instead the example of Christ and the Apostles, by forgiving those that do you wrong, and praying for those that persecute you.
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« Reply #49 on: April 19, 2013, 02:23:35 AM »

Quote
Can we trust that God will right wrongs and punish sin?


In His own time and in His own way.
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« Reply #50 on: April 19, 2013, 08:09:26 AM »


I just don't buy the anti-traditional and anti-patristic sentimentalism that we can't say that people are in hell.


Welcome to OC.net, where everyone is in communion, no one in the history of the world was a heretic (and certainly no one presently is), and where we collect and respect Buddhist statues while recommending that people integrate Jewish prayer shawls into their worship.

None of that is what I said. What I did say is that to assign people to hell, to say that so-and-so deserves condemnation while I do not, is a grave error. It has at its heart pride and self-justification, which is what led to the fall of Satan and those who fell with him.
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« Reply #51 on: April 19, 2013, 08:10:35 AM »

I don't feel like reading all the responses here, but all I can say is I really, REALLY hope that God will grant mercy to those who have sinned and have compassion on those who do wrong because if He doesn't, I'm totally screwed.

Behold, the answer!

I do not like this answer at all. I don't want Hitler or Stalin to be shown mercy for murdering millions just because I am shown mercy for resenting others, slothfulness and lust.

What is it to you where Hitler and Stalin go? Even if they were to inherit paradise (obviously this would be most unlikely), you can be guaranteed that such a treatment would be just, as God is always just, even if it is not apparent how that would be so. You do not know better than God, and it is not your place to determine how people should be recompensed. Follow instead the example of Christ and the Apostles, by forgiving those that do you wrong, and praying for those that persecute you.

Amen.
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« Reply #52 on: April 19, 2013, 09:31:29 PM »


I just don't buy the anti-traditional and anti-patristic sentimentalism that we can't say that people are in hell.


Welcome to OC.net, where everyone is in communion, no one in the history of the world was a heretic (and certainly no one presently is), and where we collect and respect Buddhist statues while recommending that people integrate Jewish prayer shawls into their worship.

None of that is what I said. What I did say is that to assign people to hell, to say that so-and-so deserves condemnation while I do not, is a grave error. It has at its heart pride and self-justification, which is what led to the fall of Satan and those who fell with him.

You are right.  My apologies for directing a somewhat scattered criticism in a way that seemed directed at your words; it was not. 
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« Reply #53 on: April 22, 2013, 01:31:17 PM »

How can the gospel tell you to neither take action into your own hands
Loving your enemies must not be merely a passive emotion. It is action.

nor hope that God will right the wrong?
Hope that God will right the wrong, not that he will harm evil-doers in vengeance.

Christian tradition and its assignment of numerous individuals to hell.
Are you talking about pornographic stories of "visions" where the propagandist sees Severus of Antioch or Nestorius in hell?

That's not the Christian tradition.

"Some Greeks did it in medieval times" is not Patristic tradition.

If someone poisoned Arius that was not the Patristic tradition.

"Someone stuck so-and-so's name on an erotic story about visions of hell' is not Patristic tradition. It's stuff that was going on in Patristic times, but during medieval times Bogomils were living in Constantinople, Arians in Rome, mobsters in Alexandria and Nestorians in Arabia. Antiquitas sine veritate vetustas erroris est.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2013, 01:32:54 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #54 on: April 22, 2013, 11:46:54 PM »

How can the gospel tell you to neither take action into your own hands
Loving your enemies must not be merely a passive emotion. It is action.

nor hope that God will right the wrong?
Hope that God will right the wrong, not that he will harm evil-doers in vengeance.

Christian tradition and its assignment of numerous individuals to hell.
Are you talking about pornographic stories of "visions" where the propagandist sees Severus of Antioch or Nestorius in hell?

That's not the Christian tradition.

"Some Greeks did it in medieval times" is not Patristic tradition.

If someone poisoned Arius that was not the Patristic tradition.

"Someone stuck so-and-so's name on an erotic story about visions of hell' is not Patristic tradition. It's stuff that was going on in Patristic times, but during medieval times Bogomils were living in Constantinople, Arians in Rome, mobsters in Alexandria and Nestorians in Arabia. Antiquitas sine veritate vetustas erroris est.

Are patericons not patristic?
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« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2013, 12:32:53 AM »

Are patericons not patristic?
If they're porn they aren't.
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