The core question to Universalists

Discussion in 'Theology and Doctrine' started by anglican74, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    Boehme's mysticism was a blend Kabbalah and other Eastern philosophies to create his extremely complex system of metaphysics. He is readily called a "Teutonic Theosopher" by his followers and some of his smaller works are now being published by Shambala the Buddhist publisher.

    Some reading:

    Gnostic Apocalypse

    The Complete Works of Boehme translated by William Law

    A series of books on Boehme and Law titled Gnostic Alchemy

    What you can easily gleam from their works is the idea of special or secret knowledge/sofia/wisdom that will bring you into a better, deeper experience of the Source of all.

    His doctrine on "sounds" is oddly similar to the gnostic teaching of "emanations."

    "Theosophy teaches that human beings and all organisms including animals and all matter "flow" from a pure spiritual formation in the absolute to a material one over time to become materialised but later will return to the absolute after the cosmic cycle of life." Wiki

    "And man wants nothing but the wise Master that can strike his Instrument which is the true spirit of the high might of eternity. If that be quickened in man, that it stirs and acts in the center of the mind, then it plays on the instrument of the human form and even then the form is uttered with the Sound in the Word." Boehme

    Law promoted Boehme and "has done more than any other to promote Boehme in the English-speaking world, and was himself a penetrating spiritual writer and masterful stylist."



    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  2. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I see what I believe the problem is here. Theosophy is a new age religion started in the 19th century by Madame Blavatsky et al. Its followers are called theosophists. Given that Boehme died in 1624 and Law died in 1761, the term "theosopher" could not refer to that. I believe when Law referred to Boehme as the "Teutonic Theosopher" it was a colorful way of saying German mystic ("God-lover"). Boehme was a respected philosopher, mystic, and Lutheran theologian. Law was an Anglican mystic so the two were kindred spirits. How people misuse and reinterpret their works centuries after their deaths has no bearing on their standing as Christian thinkers.

    By the way, who declared them heretics? What is the basis of such a claim?

    ...btw wasn't this post about a core question? I'm lost on what exactly it was or why we're litigating the orthodoxy of Boehme an Law... wasn't this supposed to be about Universalism?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
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  3. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    Theosophy was a new expression of old gnostic ideas. The issue here is a misunderstanding of how old, bad ideas have a habit of popping up again and again. Both Boehme and Law held to unorthodox and down right heretical ideas and I have provided ample information for the readers to examine and decide for themselves.

    We can return to the topic at hand.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
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  4. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Interesting, you give no examples of where the two were declared heretics and you offer no specific examples of heresy but state that we can suss them out if we read them for ourselves. I have read them and found them very orthodox and quite beautiful when read within the tradition of Christian mystical writings that have always been a part of the church.

    One should consider though they weren't written with literal and dogmatic precision but with symbolism, allegory, and poetic prose. One short-changes oneself and the authors if one reads them in any other light.
     
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  5. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    I thought you wanted to push your unorthodox view of universalism but instead you want to defend the Gnostic views of Boehme and Law.

    That's interesting!

    I have worked in a library for 25 years now and have been reading theological works for over 20 of those years. I've learned it's best to read the sources for yourself and be convinced in your own mind. I can't make you read but the information has been given.

    Since you won't read the info I presented I will offer a quote from a source used above, "A copy fell into the hands of Gregorius Richter, the chief pastor of Görlitz, who considered it heretical and threatened Böhme with exile if he continued working on it."

    The Johannite Gnostic Church have read Boehome and found him to be Gnostic.




    That goes without saying.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  6. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Again, what are the specific examples of heresy you have against Boehme and Law?

    Guilt by association doesn't hold water when 300 years seperate the associates.

    Quotes in a youtube video without any context don't hold water, especially when you claim you are against proof-texting.

    Do you consider Pastor Gorlitz so authoritative that you accept his declaration of heresy without further evidence? Do you have any reason to expect Anglicans on this site to accord Gorlitz the same deference?

    And lastly, being well read is a great thing, and I applaud you for it, but it does not make you immune from being wrong.

    Friend, if you conclude they are heretics, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but your personal opinions are not sufficiently persuasive to make me change my views on them. I need more.
     
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  7. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    I didn't know that Boehme was actually condemned as heretical by the Lutheran authorities of the time.. thanks for digging this out


    I think it should be fair to say that while Law was certainly an Englishman he was not an Anglican because he was not a part of the Church of England.. There are a number of instances of people who were English but not a part of the Church, mainly the dissenters, Isaac Watts, and others, and William Law was in the same category, certainly not a subscribed Anglican

    I certainly think it's relevant, because you said it yourself:

    I would certainly trust a judgement against someone who was a convicted Lutheran heretic! The fact that Law far from eschewing Boehme's heresies in fact translated all of his works, shows that he had deeply erroneous errors about the nature of salvation and the nature of God, which should put us on alert
     
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  8. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    I get it, you do not want to do the work...

    "Sophia, the eternal Virgin, the virginalness is an heavenly element within man. Boehme definitively teaches, that Sophia is non-created: "die Jungfrau ist ewig, ungeschaffen und ungeboren: sie ist Gottes Weisheit und ein Ebenbild der Gottheit" {"The Virgin is eternal, uncreated and unborn: it is the Wisdom of God and a likeness of the Godhead"}. For Boehme therefore man also is more, than a mere creature, in him there is the eternal, the heavenly, the Divine element, the element of Sophia. The soul was as a virgin, man was created with a virginal and pure soul, i.e. to it corresponded the heavenly and Divine element. It is necessary to seek the Sophia-virgin in man. "Denn er weiss die Jungfrau nun nirgends zu suchen als im Menschen, da er sie zum ersten hat erblicket" {"Thus he knows now to search out the Virgin nowhere but in man, for there he hath first perceived it"}."

    Guilt by promotion. Law promoted Boehme's works believing in them.

    You wrote, "what are the specific examples of heresy you have against Boehme and Law"

    I gave you youtube video and quotations with sources.

    You wrote, "of where the two were declared heretics" and I answered. You reject the answer.

    True, so what.

    The old saying proves true, "you can lead a horse to water but can't make him drink."

    I offered plenty of sources...

    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  9. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    That maybe true but what he taught has been condemned.

    I never knew he wasn't Anglican. Thank you.


    Thank you for pointing that out. He asked - I tried to answer.


    May God bless all who read this.

    I do not mean to sound combative but I'm pressed for time and my posts often comes off sounding rushed and harsh.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  10. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    Don't the Fathers of the Church make the parallel between Wisdom and the Word of God? Didn't certain Hellenistic Jews as well? Heck, I think I even sussed that out...
     
  11. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Proverbs 31, Holy Wisdom --Sophia--is personified as a woman.
     
  12. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    They do and Wisdom according to the Fathers and the scriptures is the word of God, both Jesus Christ and the revealed will of God. Gnosticism trys to express wisdom as something apart from God, something emanated and expressed, and something that is eternal. The emanation/wisdom/light is the impersonal thing that connects us with the Source of all.

    Quote:

    “In the Light of God which is called the Kingdom of Heaven the Sound is wholly soft, pleasant, lovely, pure and thin, yea as a stillness in reference to our outward gross shrillness in our pronouncing, speaking, sounding, singing and chanting as if the mind did play and melodize in a Kingdom of Joy within itself, and did hear in a most entire inward manner such a sweet pleasing melody and tune and yet outwardly did neither hear or understand it. For in the Essence of Light all is subtle.” (4)

    “If you should in this world bring many thousand sorts of musical instruments together, and all should be tuned in the best manner most artificially, and the most skillful masters of music should play on them in concert together, all would be no more than the howlings and barkings of dogs in comparison of the Divine Music, which rises through the Divine Sound and tunes from Eternity to Eternity.” (5)

    It is by this Divine Sound, Boehme tells us, that the soul is manifested, that all powers are moved and by which all of “man’s science of knowledge of the invisible and visible essence” is made known and from that contemplation he himself learned everything. Man, says Boehme, has nothing more necessary or profitable in this lifetime than to know himself and then to know God of whom he is the same essence. And to do so one must come in contact with the Divine Light and Sound Principle in the human body. And Christ teaches the same (saying) “That His Light shineth in us.”

    “All Christian Religion consisteth in this: to learn to know ourselves . . . Where will you seek God? In the deep above the stars? You will not find Him there. Seek Him in your Heart in the center of your birth.” (6)

    “O! Thou blind mind full of darkness, the Heaven where God dwells is also in thee.” (7)

    “Now go whither thou wilt, thou hast the center of the Deity in thee in the Sound.” (8)

    Whatever Jesus has done through the Christ, viz., through his and my humanity, the same he does yet today in me and in all my Fellow-Members…Thus now I live in God and my selfhood does not know it.” (14)

    end quote

    "Böhme believed that the Son of God became human through the Virgin Mary. Before the birth of Christ, God recognized himself as a virgin. This virgin is therefore a mirror of God's wisdom and knowledge."

    "According to F. von Ingen, to Böhme, in order to reach God, man has to go through hell first."

    Nondualism

    "In Richard Bucke's 1901 treatise Cosmic Consciousness, special attention was given to the profundity of Böhme's spiritual enlightenment, which seemed to reveal to Böhme an ultimate nondifference, or nonduality, between human beings and God."

    Wiki quote: In spirituality, nondualism, also called non-duality, means "not two" or "one undivided without a second".[1][2] Nondualism primarily refers to a mature state of consciousness, in which the dichotomy of I-other is 'transcended', and awareness is described as 'centerless' and 'without dichotomies'.[web 1] Although this state of consciousness may seem to appear spontaneous,[note 1] it usually is the "result" of prolonged ascetic or meditative/contemplative practice, which includes ethical injunctions. While the term "nondualism" is derived from Advaita Vedanta, descriptions of nondual consciousness can be found within Hinduism (Turiya, sahaja), Buddhism (Buddha-nature, rigpa, shentong), and western Christian and neo-Platonic traditions (henosis, mystical union). end quote
     
  13. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    Thought I would attempt to get us back on topic.

    As you read the scriptures presented and the few comments I’ve added please keep the words of R. L. Dabney in mind.

    A truth is not necessary, because we negatively are not able to conceive the actual existence of the opposite thereof; but a truth is necessary when we positively are able to apprehend that the negation thereof includes an inevitable contradiction. It is not that we cannot see how the opposite comes to be true, but it is that we are able to see that that the opposite cannot possibly be true. (Systematic Theology, sect. 1, chap. 6, lect. 8[1]).​

    DOES THE BIBLE TEACH UNIVERSALism?

    That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. (Joh 1:9)

    The Universalist tradition believes this light is unto salvation, a reference to prevenient grace or preparatory grace but the passage, when examined, doesn’t allow it. The context is found in the verses immediately following, v.12 “as many received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God…” v.13 “Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God.” You must be born again and that is not within the power of fallen man for the scriptures are clear, “but of God.”

    The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (Joh 1:29)

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (Joh 3:16-17)

    And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. (Joh 4:42)​

    The word “world” in this context cannot be understood as referring to salvation for the whole world for orthodox Christianity denies universalism. Using scripture we can come to understand the text the way it was meant to be interpreted.

    Let me demonstrate.

    And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (Luk 2:1)​

    In Luke 2 we find the word “world” being used to identify a specific geographic location, that being, the Roman Empire. It is not used in a universal sense at all but a very limited sense. If we assume the Universalist understanding of this word when reading this passage one would have to assume China was taxed, Japan, Russia, the whole world in the universal sense of the word.

    That simply is not true due to the context.

    The same can be said for the passages in John. Therefore, the universal passages often cited in support of the universal nature of Christ’s sin offering cannot be used to teach Universalism. In fact John limited the sin offering of Christ to those “that believe.” It can be demonstrated that God is the one who gives faith, so the limiter is God, through Jesus Christ.

    Another passage cited by Universalists;

    For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (2Co 5:14-15)​

    Let’s examine the context leading up to these verses;

    v.1 “For we know…”

    v.2 “For in this we groan…”

    v.3 “…we shall not be found naked.”

    v.4 “For we that in this tabernacle do groan…”

    2 Corinthians is addressed to believers who “know” and “groan” over their sin, and know that because of Christ “we shall not be found naked.” When we set aside tradition and read 2 Cor. 5 again we see that it is addressed to believers, Christ’s love is directed to “us” at the beginning of the verse, and the use of “all” in proper context should be understood as referring to “all” of Christ’s people. In verses 18-19 we see that “all” is in direct relationship to the reconciling work of Jesus Christ.

    Address before;

    Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1Ti 2:4-6)​

    The context is given before we arrive at v.4. Paul instructs believers to pray for all kinds of people, “kings, and for all that are in authority…” If God wills all men to be saved all men will be saved, I have demonstrated above that Christ’s death is effectual.

    But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Heb 2:9)​

    The Universalist views this passage as meaning Christ somehow “tasted death” for every single person who ever lived making salvation a possible. This notion can’t be supported by the biblical text. It is said that Christ was the captain of their salvation. This passage is directed to the “many sons” v. 10 and not all, it's the church body collectively, but not every single person who ever lived.

    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2Pe 3:9)​

    Does this verse teach that God is waiting for “all” as in every single person who ever lived, even if they had never heard the Gospel, to “come to repentance.” I don’t believe it does. Peter addresses this Epistle to the “beloved” to “stir up” their minds to remember the things he has preached to them. In verse 8 he tells the church that, “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years” and continues in verse 9 reminding the church to be patient. The use of “us-ward” is in reference to the “promise” and only believers have the promise of salvation. Christ is not willing that any of His people will perish and His people will come to repentance.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  14. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    I hate to divert so much from the original topic (though, through a process of prayer, study, and honesty, I've come to regard myself as a universalist, which I can no longer deny, if that matters at all), but none of what you quoted seems unorthodox or heterodox, though maybe somewhat idiosyncratic in expression.
     
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  15. PotterMcKinney

    PotterMcKinney Active Member Typist Anglican

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    I do not have the time tonight to treat this reply with all the attention it requires, but I will say, you seem to believe that universalism implies that salvation comes from within people and not God. Why do you make this connection, and try to refute it about three times I can pick out? If I thought salvation stemmed from anything within us, I wouldn't be a universalist.

    Actually, are you even attacking universalism here, or unlimited atonement?
     
  16. Lowly Layman

    Lowly Layman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    You seem to have extremely keen insight into how all Universalists think and interpret scripture (it would be nice in some respects if we were that monolithic) But where did "Does the Bible Teach Universalism" come from? Are these your own thoughts or is this a quote from someone else? Is he a Universalist or not? If not, I am doubtful that universalism was given a fair shot. There are a great many works out there that firmly believe the Bible does teach Universalism. Hope Beyond Hell is a popular one.

    Also, this "world" business is really very confusing. The argument is that when John uses "world" he can't really mean world because when Luke "world" once, he meant the Roman Empire. That doesn't hold water. Are you seriously suggesting that John should be interpreted to mean that Jesus is the savior of the Roman Empire only?! :confused: That is definitely a new one for me.
     
  17. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    Fair enough. Moving along...
     
  18. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    I'm actually pointing to scripture that limits atonement to God given faith, faith that is a gift of God and not something we have done. This limits the atoning work of Christ to those who have faith. When Christ shed His blood it was for "many." Of course, I have already mentioned that on the first page, in my first post, but rabbit trails have been created and it seems to have been forgotten.

    I have made a video to help explain.



    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  19. JayEhm

    JayEhm Member

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    At this point Brother Layman I can see you have become entrench in your position. It happens. You will not convince me and I will not convince you.

    I will post this for the reader.

    You can see the word "world" has seven uses and meanings. Lowly is trying to limit the Greek use of the term kosmos to one meaning to fit his doctrine.

    From the work of A. W. Pink:

    “Kosmos” is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17: 24 – “God that made the world and all things therein seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth.” is used of the Universe as a whole: Acts 17: 24 – “God that made the world and all things therein seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth.”

    “Kosmos” is used of the earth: John 13:1; Eph. 1:4, etc., etc.- “When Jesus knew that his hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end.” “Depart out of this world” signifies, leave this earth. “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world.” This expression signifies, before the earth was founded—compare Job 38:4 etc.

    “Kosmos” is used of the world-system: John 12:31 etc. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the Prince of this world be cast out”— compare Matt. 4:8 and I John 5:19, R. V.

    “Kosmos” is used of the whole human race: Rom. 3: 19, etc.—”Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

    “Kosmos” is used of humanity minus believers: John 15:18; Rom. 3:6 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” Believers do not “hate” Christ, so that “the world” here must signify the world of unbelievers in contrast from believers who love Christ. “God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world.” Here is another passage where “the world” cannot mean “you, me, and everybody,” for believers will not be “judged” by God, see John 5:24. So that here, too, it must be the world of unbelievers which is in view. is used of humanity minus believers: John 15:18; Rom. 3:6“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you.” Believers do not “hate” Christ, so that “the world” here must signify the world of unbelievers in contrast from believers who love Christ. “God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world.” Here is another passage where “the world” cannot mean “you, me, and everybody,” for believers will not be “judged” by God, see John 5:24. So that here, too, it must be the world of unbelievers which is in view.

    “Kosmos” is used of Gentiles in contrast from Jews: Rom. 11:12 etc. “Now if the fall of them (Israel) be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them (Israel) the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their (Israel’s) fulness.” Note how the first clause in italics is defined by the latter clause placed in italics. Here, again, “the world” cannot signify all humanity for it excludes Israel!

    “Kosmos” is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 6:33; 12;47; I Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19. We leave our readers to turn to these passages, asking them to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of “the world” in each place. is used of believers only: John 1:29; 3:16, 17; 6:33; 12;47; I Cor. 4:9; 2 Cor. 5:19. We leave our readers to turn to these passages, asking them to note, carefully, exactly what is said and predicated of “the world” in each place.
    Yours in the Lord,

    jay
     
  20. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    But what do these words mean? None of the passages you quote were written in English!

    As we both would agree, Scripture has it various traditions of interpretation... and thus whichever interpreters you read will determine the meaning you yourself will derive

    Thus I will ask, my friend, can you show me ANY notable historic Anglicans who have interpreted these verses in the way you do?.. Since 99% of the faithful Christian tradition interprets these words differently from Universalists, you must accept that your interpretation is in the minority

    So far all I have seen is this transmission of interpretation: Jacob Bohme -> William Law -> @LowlyLayman.

    I do not see this as a faithful or orthodox tradition of interpretation...
     

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