Reasons not to be Eastern Orthodox #237: "Aerial Toll Houses"

Discussion in 'Non-Anglican Discussion' started by Stalwart, May 18, 2021.

  1. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Insofar as “place” is a physical description and angels are not physical beings, they cannot be said to be located in one place rather than another. This does not mean that they have the ability to act in all places simultaneously.

    Job is a work of literature, the inspiration of which regards what it was intended to teach. There is no contradiction between claiming full inspiration for the work and recognizing that the understanding of Satan evolved over time.
     
  2. Silvan

    Silvan Active Member

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    Question:

    Do all Eastern Orthodox Churches believe in this "toll house" idea?

    Btw: I first read "Toll-Haus" - the German word for "lunatic asylum".
     
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  3. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    It would seem then that it's not only the French that, 'have a word for it'. :laugh:
    .
     
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  4. Silvan

    Silvan Active Member

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    And btw: Your "toll house" is our German "Zoll-Haus". :)
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    When we say that a person dies, we mean the person's body has ceased to function. The essence of that person (whether we call it soul or spirit) is not physical and at death it is no longer tied to the physical realm. So when the person's spirit leaves the body, it passes into the spiritual realm which is not a physical space. Later, when Jesus Christ returns, we are reunited with a physical, incorruptible body and will live in a physical realm once again (we believers will be on the 'new earth' and the unbelievers will be in the lake of fire.)
     
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  6. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Anything non-physical is ‘uncircumscribed’, by definition. Thus to say that God is ‘omnipresent’ is true but not strictly literal. The omnipresence refers to His power rather than to physical extension.
     
  7. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    I would disagree, on both ends of the spectrum. The Holy Spirit is literally living within each believer, even though He is not in us in a physical form. And when a person's body quits, that person's spirit literally lives on and continues to be circumscribed in that he only exists in one locale in the spirit realm at any given moment. I think it is a mistake to conflate literalness with physicality.
     
  8. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    I agree we are not talking about a 'physical' omnipresence when thinking about God's presence everywhere but God's spiritual presence is essentially God Himself because God is essentially spirit. John 4:24. Before the physical creation existed God perveyed all that was, nothing existed apart from God. After God spoke the cosmos into existence it did not replace God or exist outside of God, it has its entire existence IN God. So there is nowhere in the physical or spiritual realm that anyone can go to escape God's presence because God is spiritually omnipresent, everywhere, in everything and everthing, including all of us, in God. Ps.139:7-12. In God we live and move and have our being. Acts 17:24-28.
     
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  9. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    I do not know what it could mean for there to be “locales” or “moments” in a “spirit realm”.
     
  10. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    St. Paul speak of heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies. Angel's do have heavenly bodies, and are limited to being in a particular place. Have you not read the book of Daniel, chapter 10?

    Can you point me to one Christian interpreter of Job prior to the 1700's who interpreted Satan in Job to be something other than the Satan found everywhere else in Scripture?
     
  11. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    All Orthodox Christians use service books that speak of Toll Houses as a spiritual reality. This is part of the universally received Liturgical worship of the Church, and so anyone who doesn't believe that they are a reality is in error, or ignorant.
     
  12. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    The Holy Spirit is uncircumscribed. When a person dies physically, they still have a soul, which, while it has no form that we can see with human eyes, is nevertheless limited and a spiritual body that must be in a particular place at a particular time.
     
  13. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Agree to disagree.
    No, probably not. I can't point to any Christian interpreter prior to the 1700s who thought diseases were caused by microbes, either, or who believed that matter was composed of atoms, but that doesn't mean the previous 1700 years of interpreters weren't still wrong on those subjects. Nor does it mean that only Christians had anything valuable to say about the biblical text or the stories they contain. If I'm approaching the Book of Job from a presuppositionless standpoint (in the ecclesiastical sense), the depiction of Satan in that book bears little resemblance to the understanding of Satan in some sects of Christianity. That is simply a reality that an honest interpreter should face soberly, rather than try to explain it away or try to force the text to mean something other than what it plainly says. Archaeological evidence shows that ANE cultures along the eastern Mediterranean coast held to henotheistic ideas, embodied most recognizably in the idea of a 'divine council'. The depiction of the heavenly court in ch. 1 & 2 of the Book of Job fit within this paradigm quite nicely, as do other passages (e.g., Gen. 1, Dan. 7, some of the Psalms, etc.). We know that eventually this framework gave way to monolatry and still later to monotheism, with the 'divine council' understood to be "angels" or created beings. But the comparative lateness of Gen. 1 and Daniel shows just how long this cultural viewpoint lasted among the ancient Hebrews before it was displaced, possibly under the influence of Persian (and later, Greek) ideas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  14. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    Anything that is not bound to a particular place at a particular time is omnipresent. Angels and human souls are neither. God is not bound by space or time, but any circumscribed being must be.
     
  15. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    The problem with what you say here is that microbes are an empirical reality, and Satan is not So if you think that anyone who was unaware of microbes can't be trusted to convey truths about the spiritual realm, just toss your Bible and be done with it.
     
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  16. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    Also, if your point is that prior to the Enlightenment, no one properly understood the Bible, you are not far from being an atheist already. The Bible is not a book about microbes, but it is a book about God, and spiritual realities that God wishes us to understand.
     
  17. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    How can something have a body and yet not be empirical?
    How is it "not far from atheism" to suggest that more recent interpreters might have some valuable insights, especially given the scientific discoveries that have been made, not only about the historical era in which the Bible was written, but even the biblical text itself, just within the last hundred years? The only "atheism" I see here is in the suggestion that not all genuine knowledge ultimately comes from God.
    You keep shifting the goalposts. Throughout this thread you have been insisting not only only that the Bible reveals to us spiritual realities but that if it teaches a particular cosmology that is at variance with modern science, then we should accept the Bible's statements at face value and disregard the modern scientific understanding. Now you appear to be saying the exact opposite, that the Bible's purpose is to teach us about spiritual realities and isn't concerned about things like "microbes" (but isn't it...are there not stories - and laws - about diseases in the Bible, and their supposed causes?). Which is it?
     
  18. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    Empirical realities are things capable of examination by the human senses. Angels and Demons are not typically visible, unless there is some reason why they wish to appear visibly. If you don't think there is an invisible spiritual reality, I would refer you to the first article of the Nicene Creed.

    Because human scientific discoveries tell us nothing about spiritual realities beyond empirical examination, and if you reduce truth to the empirical, you are an atheist. And when it comes to discerning spiritual realities, there is no reason why the Apostles, who graduated from Jesus University, are at any disadvantage in comparison with the wise-guys of our time.

    I don't believe I have said that the Bible teaches anything contrary to modern science... at least nothing modern science is actually capable of proving. Spiritual realities are beyond the realm of science. When Kruschev said that the Cosmonauts went into space and didn't see God, I would hope that you would agree that this was not actual proof that God does not exist. There is no demonoscope capable of viewing demons, or measuring them, and no scientist can conduct tests on them to see if they are real or not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  19. Invictus

    Invictus Well-Known Member

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    Who is suggesting that all reality is empirical? The only point I was making with regard to the non-physical realm is that if we're going to talk about it, we should do so consistently and coherently:
    All three quotations above are concerned with mixing categories. I don't deny the reality of a non-physical realm anymore than Plato or Descartes or Russell did.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
  20. Fr. John Whiteford

    Fr. John Whiteford Member

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    Of course, and it should be consistent with Scripture too. And Scripture talks about heavenly bodies, and Angels, Demons, and the Souls of both the righteous and the unrighteous being in particular places at particular times.