Book Review: The Universal Christ by Richard Rohr. SPCK. Kindle Edition.

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by CRfromQld, Feb 3, 2022.

  1. ZachT

    ZachT Well-Known Member

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    Although I have no concerns with the Dante version of Hell, I think it's healthy to remind people the pop-culture conceptions of heaven and hell are not usually biblically accurate, and mostly human inventions. That doesn't mean they are misleading or damaging, but just that reality might be very different from what Dante and the Simpsons lead us to believe.

    I'm perfectly happy accepting a "less punishing" version of hell as simply a place absent God, because in my mind that's no less terrifying than a fiery underground cavern of pain and torment.

    I hope you're safe and mostly unaffected by the floods at the moment.
     
  2. worldcitizen

    worldcitizen New Member

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    I agree fully here that God and creation are distinct like a painting and the painter. The lamp maker is not in the lamp but the lamp is a sign and proof the lamp maker exists. Nature reflects the grandeur and beauty of its maker but events such as natural disasters I believe are a result of man turning away from God. When man again becomes obedient and virtuous obeying God’s laws and commandments these calamities will cease. I believe disobedience to God affects the physical globe as it is all connected.

    This is from a book I’ve read.

    Events like these happen because of the connection between the parts of the universe, for every small part has connection with every great part, and what affects one affects the other or all others. On account of this connection, the actions of man have effect. Whenever a promise is broken, it causes a commotion. For instance, suppose two nations have a disagreement. It is a difference in ideas only, and not a physical thing, not anything we can touch or see; yet this disagreement has a physical effect. It causes war, and thousands of men are cut in pieces. So, when man breaks his promise to God, in other words when he "violates the Covenant," the effect is physical, and calamities appear."

    The suffering that follows error is not vindictive, however, but educative and remedial. It is God's Voice proclaiming to man that he has strayed from the right path.
     
  3. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I have sometime speculated that, if every person on earth were fully obedient to the Lord and prayed accordingly by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, perhaps all disasters would be averted.
     
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I could agree that such natural events as earthquakes could cause much less fatalities and injury and cause much less damage if only human beings were sensible enough not to live in regions where large earthquakes occur and other human beings share the parts of the world less affected by earthquakes and volcanoes or we become wise enough to predict well in advance when these natural events are about to occur. Even though the whole of mankind might one day be righteous though, or even if everyone responds positively to the Gospel, THAT would not stop earthquakes. Without earthquakes and volcanoes there would/could be no life on earth. It would be a dead planet, unprotected from the radiation of the sun, having no magnetic field and no replenishment of fertile agricultural land. The Lisbon Earthquake was something of a watershed for theological reflection in Christian Europe. Some Christians suggested that the disaster was the retribution of a righteous God against the sinfulness of Lisbon, but it is hard to see how Lisbon was qualitatively more sinful than other areas of Europe at the time. And many of those killed were killed because they were in church at the time, while unbelievers, being out and about escaped being crushed by falling masonry.
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  5. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Natural events are just that, nothing more.
     
  6. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I thought I'd said that but admittedly with more words :laugh: and somewhat less succinctly. Thank you. :) There IS one thing though. Natural events happen for a reason but it is not to do with how sinful anyone is. It is to do with the way God has designed the universe to operate normally. God is not unreasonable and neither is his creation.
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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2022
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    More accurately, it has to do with the way this cursed world operates.... thorns, thistles and all.... but not how it would have operated sans the original sin and the fall. Now, though, man has "made his bed" and must "lie in it" until the coming day of the New Creation.
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I think that 'thorns and thistles' too, were created by God and declared 'good' by him, along with the 'all', so I don't interpret the meaning of the genesis narrative quite as literally as that. What is wrong with God's world is more a matter of the 'fallen' human race actually being on earth and doing damage to it, each other, and everything else it touches and lays it's wicked, greedy hands upon. This included the murder of God's very own Son, by our politics, religion and law, when we accused Him, tried Him, and hounded Him to death by nailing Him naked to a piece of wood, and yet God forgives us even that. His life was under threat by fellow members of the human race from the very moment of his birth.

    God is so forgiving, isn't THAT worth some life-changing gratitude?
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    Last edited: Nov 27, 2022 at 3:49 AM
  9. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    In the beginning, there was no death or decay. Everything was in, shall we say, a state of equilibrium and perfect balance. After the original sin, we see death and decay set in. God pronounces the very ground "cursed", and this appears to correspond to a loss of that perfect equilibrium; entropy sets in and everything begins to slowly "wind down." The very planet became subject to the upheavals of volcanic activity, continental drift, earthquakes, etc.

    We see evidence that these so-called "natural phenomena" are not "God's best," and are reminded that the ground is cursed, when we read in Rev. 21 that God causes this old earth to "pass away" in favor of a new earth He will create; this new earth will be untouched by corruption and will be completely stable. "Behold, I make all things new" means God will make the universe and us truly new, not "refurbished." Just as we are "new creations" in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17), the earth and space will be brand new creations.
     
  10. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I just don't know how I can answer that without upsetting you. :laugh:
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  11. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    These things predate the emergence of human beings by several billion years…
     
  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I understand how you feel about the creation story. We will have to agree to disagree about much of that, I'm afraid, since I accept a more literal reading of Genesis.

    That said, think upon the greatness of God. He created all things out of nothing. He created time itself. He created a set of physical laws and properties to govern the universe. Would such a powerful God find Himself limited by His creation and by those physical laws, or would God be transcendent over all? I say the latter. Therefore, if we postulate that the time of earth's creation was actually protracted (billions of years), we still can also postulate that God took action at some specific time to create Adam, followed by Eve. And we can postulate, since they did not know death at that time and place (garden of Eden), that entropy was in abeyance by God's power in that time and place. This may or may not have been the case worldwide, however, and in fact probably it was not, since their ejection from Eden found them in a place where death, decay, and disaster could occur.
     
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Geological facts are what they are. There’s not much you are I can do about that.

    It is possible to interpret Genesis 1:1-2:4a as ‘literal’ but not ‘historical’. When the text says “one day”, “the second day”, “the third day”, etc., I think it means exactly what it says, especially since the text itself defines what the word ‘day’ means: “and there was evening, and there was morning, one day”. Do I think this describes the first six days of the universe’s existence, and that this is what the author intended? No, of course not, and neither did the Jewish interpreters in Jesus’ day. There is no compelling reason to conflate the ‘literal’ with the ‘historical’ here, except to protect the text from error, which represents a misunderstanding of its canonical function.
     
  14. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    This is a story about how God created the worlds. It is not a scientific treatise on the subject of cosmology. Neither is it, strictly speaking, a historical record of the physical origins of mankind and other creatures on earth. It is a fabulous story with spiritual meaning about the origins of the misery human beings currently endure.
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  15. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    It is a myth, written to counter other myths in the Ancient Near East, using elements from their own mythologies. It is also a rather late addition to the biblical text. The earlier creation myths (in the Psalms, for example), bear much more obvious signs of their cultural milieu.
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I hardly know whether to :biglaugh: or :cry::facepalm:.
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Why? That’s been the mainstream understanding for almost two centuries now. Anyone familiar with Ancient Near Eastern myths can recognize the parallels.
     
  18. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I'll tell you why. Your warped view of Scripture is so off-base, it is sick. Labeling parts of Scripture (including Genesis 1) as "myth" flies in the face of orthodox Christian beliefs that have stood for the entire history of the church. Moreover, it appears to me that you have violated the terms of service of this forum:

    3. Scripture
    There shall be no derogatory statements about Scripture, such as that it is not the word of God, not fully inspired, or teaches anything but the truth.
    "Myth" is about as far from "truth" as one can get!
     
  19. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    You are misunderstanding the meaning of the way the word "Myth" as it is being used here. Myth is as likely, even more likely, to convey truth, sometimes deeper truth, than history, as a genre. Particularly when history is written by the victors and the defeated have no say in what is recorded as "Truth".

    Myth is a thematic scheme of events expressing the essential characteristics of a national culture or group, expressed symbolically through drama, art, poetry etc. In this case it expresses the essential differences between Pagan theories of creation history and Hebrew theories of creation history. Essentially the difference being that Yahweh caused everything to happen and no other being was involved in the creation business. Unlike all the Pagan creation myths, which involved a lot of fighting between Gods in the heavens.
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022 at 11:41 AM
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  20. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I really think that is an overreaction. I strongly believe that this is not a violation. It is an unformed view that to say something is a myth is to say it is untrue. Myth is always anchored in a perception that has been gained, however, these stories arise in culture, and through tradition and oral cultural tradition.

    Truth is not simply conformity to historic events, truth is carried in many and various ways, and I think it belittles scripture and serves the gospel no purpose to try and defend an historic only understanding of the truth of the Genesis accounts. As a genre, I prefer to speak of them as stories of origin, It is not required for faith that we reject helio-centricity, even though this was not the view of those who write Genesis, whose words suggest terra-centricity was at the heart of their cosmology.