Literalism vs. postmodernism

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:27 pm

My own question is, what does the Moody Bible Institute see as the deep meaning of the Christ tale? I daresay they don't see it as yet another dying-and-rising-god metaphor for the cycles of agriculture- which I think is perhaps the root of it. I strongly suspect that they insist on a considerably more literal interpretation- much the same as what Koy describes.

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Post by Politesse » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:45 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]My own question is, what does the Moody Bible Institute see as the deep meaning of the Christ tale? I daresay they don't see it as yet another dying-and-rising-god metaphor for the cycles of agriculture- which I think is perhaps the root of it. I strongly suspect that they insist on a considerably more literal interpretation- much the same as what Koy describes.[/quote]

They would ascribe both kinds of meaning to it, of course, the figurative and the literal. I assure they would not be shocked by the idea that Adam is a prefigurement of Christ, this has been Christian doctrine since the third century. The figurative is always instantiated as the literal, in conservative thinking, from miracles to incarnations to divine atonements. But that doesn't mean that deeper symbolic meaning does not exist in this tradition, or even that it is not only that has become tangled in a certain hermeneutic. Ultimately, the symbolic is the reason something like a miracle is important. But they also see it as very important, and sign of the power of God, that god's metaphors should always be expressed through tangible, observable fact. On a certain level, both fundamentalism and atheism are manifestations of a deeply materialist philosophy. This is one reason why atheist and fundamentalist portrayals of what "true" Christians look like are usually identical.
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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:03 pm

I've been perusing a copy of the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy which is mentioned in the article. The Summary and Articles of Affirmation and Denial are surprisingly short. I do note that the Statement is hedged about with such limits as "We acknowledge the limitations of a document prepared in a brief, intensive conference and do not propose that this Statement be given creedal weight." Still a target-rich field for us skeptics...

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Post by Jobar » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:12 pm

On a certain level, both fundamentalism and atheism are manifestations of a deeply materialist philosophy. This is one reason why atheist and fundamentalist portrayals of what "true" Christians look like are usually identical.
I suspect that if we had any fundamentalists posting here, Poli, that would get you attacked from both sides. :D

Personally I've never been able to figure out how anyone can determine what a 'true Christian' is, or believes. In my extensive experience, every single Christian has their own version. And even when they don't claim to follow that version perfectly, or even very well, still they consider their version 'true'- no matter how much it contradicts others' versions.

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Post by Politesse » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:21 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]I suspect that if we had any fundamentalists posting here, Poli, that would get you attacked from both sides. :D [/quote]Nothing new there. And you wonder why I'm not eager to start the whole process over again on a new "freethinking" forum!
Personally I've never been able to figure out how anyone can determine what a 'true Christian' is, or believes. In my extensive experience, every single Christian has their own version. And even when they don't claim to follow that version perfectly, or even very well, still they consider their version 'true'- no matter how much it contradicts others' versions.

Outsiders have their own implied definitions. How many times in this very week have my credentials as a "normal" Christian been challenged in various SC threads? The entire remaining Christian population of this forum is represented by one spacey Gnostic and one over-educated Leftist, and neither is taken as a fair representation of their own community. I guess no one here has ever met a progressive Christian before :confused: but I assure you that we do exist as a community, I'm not the only person in Christendom who knows how to read a text critically. I'm not in the habit of telling other people what they believe, but I do know what I believe, and that I am not, in fact, alone in most of those beliefs. Indeed I am a heretic, but, as the t-shirt says, I am a heretic in very good company.

Back in the day, I remember a funny thread where Sub was appalled that I was attending both a church and a coven, as was true at the time. He insisted that if the church ever found out my deep dark secret, I would be shown the door.... (or WORSE!!!!). I remember this because it made me bust out laughing when the whole thing came true a few months later. What actually happened, of course, was that they put me on the labyrinth-building committee as like some expert guest on spirals. :D Only a punishment if you count dealing with bureaucracy and hauling woodchips around as punishment.
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Tharmas
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Post by Tharmas » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:37 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]I guess no one here has ever met a progressive Christian before :confused: but I assure you that we do exist as a community, I'm not the only person in Christendom who knows how to read a text critically. I'm not in the habit of telling other people what they believe, but I do know what I believe, and that I am not, in fact, alone in most of those beliefs. Indeed I am a heretic, but, as the t-shirt says, I am a heretic in very good company.
[/quote]

Well I believe you Poli. I myself was raised in a liberal Christian sect (Quakers) and was first steered toward a critical reading of the Bible our Meeting Secretary (which role passes for Pastor in a Quaker Meeting, although he doesn't preach a sermon).

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Post by Politesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:21 am

Ah, that sounds fun! I used to meet with a Friends group now and again when I lived in Berkeley. They couldn't be my permanent faith home, as I love music too much and they didn't really go in for it. But I enjoyed the conversations.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:05 pm

:needcoffee:
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Post by Jobar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:29 pm

Do keep in mind that the topic here is literalism and inerrancy- and I knew when I posted it that we don't presently have any believers here who hold to those positions. And though Koy may attack you if you seem to defend those, I think he's clear that you aren't actually a literalist or inerrantist.

Still, I might wish that Quantrill was still around. I'd be interested to hear his opinion of the dispute at Moody.

Oh, yes- I have to admit that I too was quite surprised when you said you'd been attending both Lutheran and Wiccan services. Anyone aware of history knows those two are ancient enemies! And a true literalist would be more than just surprised; "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" and all that.

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Jobar
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Post by Jobar » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:48 pm

Politesse wrote:Outsiders have their own implied definitions.
But my point there was that every single Christian also seems to have their own implied definition. We outsiders who want to understand 'true Christianity' are thus unable to find a good general one.

If we skeptics seem prone to adopt the definitions offered by fundamentalists, I think that's because we can at least see where those are coming from, by just reading the Bible and taking it more or less at face value.

And of course, even the fundamentalists aren't clear on their own definitions- witness the problems at Moody.

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Post by Hermit » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:36 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]If we skeptics seem prone to adopt the definitions offered by fundamentalists, I think that's because we can at least see where those are coming from, by just reading the Bible and taking it more or less at face value.[/quote]
Having been raised by parents who were practising Catholicism of a decidedly liberal strand, I have understood that much of the Bible needs to be understood as allegorical, metaphor, parable, or whatever right from the start. Evolution, for instance, trumped Adam and Eve from the word go.

What strikes me as odd is that for many Christians the criterion for deciding what is the literal truth and what is not is: Does it fit my mindset?

In the end Christianity insists that there are some literal truths. I simply cannot see how anyone can argue that using a sacrificial human scapegoat was unnecessary for atonement. Without it there would not be a New Testament. It is the core of Christianity. That, along with waiting for the second coming, which was supposed to take place within the apostles' lifetimes, but keeps getting rescheduled.

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 5:43 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]
Politesse wrote:Outsiders have their own implied definitions.
But my point there was that every single Christian also seems to have their own implied definition. We outsiders who want to understand 'true Christianity' are thus unable to find a good general one.

If we skeptics seem prone to adopt the definitions offered by fundamentalists, I think that's because we can at least see where those are coming from, by just reading the Bible and taking it more or less at face value.

And of course, even the fundamentalists aren't clear on their own definitions- witness the problems at Moody.[/QUOTE]

I'm with Jobar on this.

This is not the only discussion board I hang at, and one is replete with Anglican clerics. A dear friend spent many years as the registrar at a Presbyterian seminary. I also have two close friends who've been through Catholic seminary. By and large, I find them really decent folks. But then, they aren't into aggressive evangelizing. I suspect they find me a mildly amusing curiosity, but they hear me out. I also tend to like the company of Friends and Unitarians, but most of my social circle is non-theists, agnostics, and apatheists. A few hardcore atheists dot the landscape, but they are blessedly rare.
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Post by Politesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:47 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]What strikes me as odd is that for many Christians the criterion for deciding what is the literal truth and what is not is: Does it fit my mindset?[/quote]What Christian says this? :confused:

In moments of strain, I've been known to make a similar petty accusation of fundamentalism, that they pick and choose what to accept as law or not. The old aphorism about using the Bible as the drunk uses the lamppost, etc. But that isn't what they think their criterion is, and it's probably not the most fair or accurate accusation.

And I don't see how this makes any sense when applied to a non-literalist, who has no reason to consider "literal" truths to be superior to metaphorical ones in the first place. Why use literalism as a bludgeon-o-truth if you don't value it? I've only seldom heard a non-fundamentalist try to use a literal event or object as "proof" of faith in the way that fundamentalists do, and I tend to think that's their transplanted roots showing when it happens.
In the end Christianity insists that there are some literal truths.
Why would anyone, Christian or not, deny that literal truths exist? The literalism question is whether one can write about them in human terms without losing something or biasing the portrayal, not whether truth exists.
I simply cannot see how anyone can argue that using a sacrificial human scapegoat was unnecessary for atonement. Without it there would not be a New Testament. It is the core of Christianity.
If this is the case, why did most "Gnostics" - in the early 3rd century, the numerical majority of Christians - not believe that Jesus had truly died on the cross at all, instead ascending to the pleroma in spiritual form and leaving a false body behind? Were they, in your opinion, "not true Christians"?
Last edited by Politesse on Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Politesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:01 pm

[quote=""Jobar""]If we skeptics seem prone to adopt the definitions offered by fundamentalists, I think that's because we can at least see where those are coming from, by just reading the Bible and taking it more or less at face value.[/quote]
Sorry Jobar, to me that sounds like using Deepak Chopra as an authority on quantum physics because his books are easier to understand than Richard Feynman's.

Of course the fundies' version of the faith is easier for an outsider to grasp. They're mass-market evangelists to the core, and their theology has literally been designed to be accessible to outsiders, mostly by paring it down so much that a sedated baboon could grasp it. Which is not to say that conservatives don't have a deeper theology and subtly deep symbolic life, they just hide it beneath a veneer of simplistic truths and "proof-texts" so you don't realize what all is being asked of you until you are well-in.
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Post by Hermit » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:28 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683552 wrote:What strikes me as odd is that for many Christians the criterion for deciding what is the literal truth and what is not is: Does it fit my mindset?
What Christian says this? :confused: [/QUOTE]
I have yet to hear a single Christian say this, and most likely never will.

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683552 wrote:I simply cannot see how anyone can argue that using a sacrificial human scapegoat was unnecessary for atonement. Without it there would not be a New Testament. It is the core of Christianity.
If this is the case, why did most "Gnostics" - in the early 3rd century, the numerical majority of Christians - not believe that Jesus had truly died on the cross at all, instead ascending to the pleroma in spiritual form and leaving a false body behind? Were they, in your opinion, "not true Christians"?[/QUOTE]
Christians have been beating each other on the heads with The Truth™ from the get go. I will not join the discussion concerning True Scotsmen. It's pointless.

As for the issue of atonement by god-ordained human sacrifice, we have recently discussed it in another thread. Koyaanisqatsi tried to draw your attention to specific spots in the Bible in this post and that one. You resolutely avoided addressing any of them. I am still curious about what you might make of them. Are they instances of the Bible being figurative or something like that?

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Post by Politesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:44 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]
Politesse;683556 wrote:
Hermit;683552 wrote:What strikes me as odd is that for many Christians the criterion for deciding what is the literal truth and what is not is: Does it fit my mindset?
What Christian says this? :confused:
I have yet to hear a single Christian say this, and most likely never will.

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683552 wrote:I simply cannot see how anyone can argue that using a sacrificial human scapegoat was unnecessary for atonement. Without it there would not be a New Testament. It is the core of Christianity.
If this is the case, why did most "Gnostics" - in the early 3rd century, the numerical majority of Christians - not believe that Jesus had truly died on the cross at all, instead ascending to the pleroma in spiritual form and leaving a false body behind? Were they, in your opinion, "not true Christians"?[/QUOTE]
Christians have been beating each other on the heads with The Truth™ from the get go. I will not join the discussion concerning True Scotsmen. It's pointless.

As for the issue of atonement by god-ordained human sacrifice, we have recently discussed it in another thread. Koyaanisqatsi tried to draw your attention to specific spots in the Bible in this post and that one. You resolutely avoided addressing any of them. I am still curious about what you might make of them. Are they instances of the Bible being figurative or something like that?[/QUOTE]
Well, no I didn't. I pointed out that they make no sense as strictly literal statements.

What does it mean for instance, for Jesus to have "blood of the covenant"? Does that mean that it is still his blood, or is it "the covenant's" blood? And what is the covenant? I know what it is as a figure: a symbol of the divine relationship unde the law. But what is it literally? Literally, it is the ink and paper of the Torah. So how does a literal book have literal blood, and how did it get in Jesus' veins? Then Jesus throws another curveball by saying the wine that he is pouring is also the blood, which is his, which is additionally the blood of the covenant. So if everything is literal, the wine has just become made of blood rather than grapes, and also maybe paper. And it is that blood, the literal blood which was poured into a cup and then drunk by a bunch of dicsciples, that literally forgave sins. The rest of us, not having literally drunk that particular magical blood, are completely screwed, and Koy's argument that the crucifixion is somehow relevant is non-sensical. Jesus doesn't say, "the blood I will spill in a few days". He says "this blood". Taking him literally, the crufixion means nothing at all.

One sentence into Koy's proof-text, and we have at least six concepts that have deep symbolic meaning if they are figurative in intent, but make no logical sense as literal statements. And I note that even the most avid of literalists in fact is happy to accept things like blood in this passage being figurative. They just don't call it a non-literal reading, because non-literal readings are anathema to them.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:31 pm

You keep skating around the issue Poli. What is the “real”—the equivalent of the physics Einstein is describing—in the “metaphor” of a man being killed by the Romans?

Here’s what you’re missing or perhaps deliberately obfuscating (or even are just straight up blind to); just like with the contradictory nonsense of the trinity it is both literal and figurative to cult members. That’s the whole point of the transubstantiation. It is intended to merge the literal with the figurative so that there is no difference between them. Magic, which cannot be real, is magically real. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the cult programming book; cognitive dissonance instantiated by forcing adherents to hold two contradictory concepts simultaneously.

I suspect this is why you keep dodging any direct response to my questions, because you know full well that it can’t be reconciled. Jesus’ death must be both symbolic and actual; the sacrifice must be both symbolic and actual; Adam’s sin must be both symbolic and actual; etc.

So let’s see if you can actually do it. What is the “real” that the metaphor of the Genesis/Adam & Eve to GMark/Passion Narrative describes? The figurative aspects are well established, so all you need to do is to tell us what is the non-figurative reality that they describe?
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Post by Hermit » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:34 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683558 wrote:
Politesse;683556 wrote:
Hermit;683552 wrote:What strikes me as odd is that for many Christians the criterion for deciding what is the literal truth and what is not is: Does it fit my mindset?
What Christian says this? :confused:
I have yet to hear a single Christian say this, and most likely never will.

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683552 wrote:I simply cannot see how anyone can argue that using a sacrificial human scapegoat was unnecessary for atonement. Without it there would not be a New Testament. It is the core of Christianity.
If this is the case, why did most "Gnostics" - in the early 3rd century, the numerical majority of Christians - not believe that Jesus had truly died on the cross at all, instead ascending to the pleroma in spiritual form and leaving a false body behind? Were they, in your opinion, "not true Christians"?
Christians have been beating each other on the heads with The Truth™ from the get go. I will not join the discussion concerning True Scotsmen. It's pointless.

As for the issue of atonement by god-ordained human sacrifice, we have recently discussed it in another thread. Koyaanisqatsi tried to draw your attention to specific spots in the Bible in this post and that one. You resolutely avoided addressing any of them. I am still curious about what you might make of them. Are they instances of the Bible being figurative or something like that?[/QUOTE]
Well, no I didn't. I pointed out that they make no sense as strictly literal statements.[/QUOTE]
I snipped the rest of your post because it only makes sense by ignoring Mark 14:35-36, which Koy quoted in the same post:

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?

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Post by Politesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:57 pm

[quote=""Hermit""]
Politesse;683559 wrote:
Hermit;683558 wrote:
Politesse;683556 wrote:What Christian says this? :confused:
I have yet to hear a single Christian say this, and most likely never will.

[quote=""Politesse""]
If this is the case, why did most "Gnostics" - in the early 3rd century, the numerical majority of Christians - not believe that Jesus had truly died on the cross at all, instead ascending to the pleroma in spiritual form and leaving a false body behind? Were they, in your opinion, "not true Christians"?
Christians have been beating each other on the heads with The Truth™ from the get go. I will not join the discussion concerning True Scotsmen. It's pointless.

As for the issue of atonement by god-ordained human sacrifice, we have recently discussed it in another thread. Koyaanisqatsi tried to draw your attention to specific spots in the Bible in this post and that one. You resolutely avoided addressing any of them. I am still curious about what you might make of them. Are they instances of the Bible being figurative or something like that?
Well, no I didn't. I pointed out that they make no sense as strictly literal statements.[/QUOTE]
I snipped the rest of your post because it only makes sense by ignoring Mark 14:35-36, which Koy quoted in the same post:

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?[/QUOTE]
How does that sentence change the literal meaning of the other?
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Post by Politesse » Fri Feb 09, 2018 10:59 pm

[quote=""Koyaanisqatsi""]You keep skating around the issue Poli. What is the “real”—the equivalent of the physics Einstein is describing—in the “metaphor” of a man being killed by the Romans?

Here’s what you’re missing or perhaps deliberately obfuscating (or even are just straight up blind to); just like with the contradictory nonsense of the trinity it is both literal and figurative to cult members. That’s the whole point of the transubstantiation. It is intended to merge the literal with the figurative so that there is no difference between them. Magic, which cannot be real, is magically real. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the cult programming book; cognitive dissonance instantiated by forcing adherents to hold two contradictory concepts simultaneously.

I suspect this is why you keep dodging any direct response to my questions, because you know full well that it can’t be reconciled. Jesus’ death must be both symbolic and actual; the sacrifice must be both symbolic and actual; Adam’s sin must be both symbolic and actual; etc.

So let’s see if you can actually do it. What is the “real” that the metaphor of the Genesis/Adam & Eve to GMark/Passion Narrative describes? The figurative aspects are well established, so all you need to do is to tell us what is the non-figurative reality that they describe?[/quote]

Yes, literalists ascribe both literal and figurative meaning to the Bible. Thank god you have finally caught up to the bus on this.

Now, what is actually more important? The physical parameters of the act, or the symbolic meaning of the act? For instance, if Adam had eaten a tomato instead of an apple, would we now be liberated from sin and death, since the important thing was the literal apple, rather than the symbolic act of defiance against God?
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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:55 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683562 wrote:
Politesse;683559 wrote:
Hermit;683558 wrote: I have yet to hear a single Christian say this, and most likely never will.


Christians have been beating each other on the heads with The Truth™ from the get go. I will not join the discussion concerning True Scotsmen. It's pointless.

As for the issue of atonement by god-ordained human sacrifice, we have recently discussed it in another thread. Koyaanisqatsi tried to draw your attention to specific spots in the Bible in this post and that one. You resolutely avoided addressing any of them. I am still curious about what you might make of them. Are they instances of the Bible being figurative or something like that?
Well, no I didn't. I pointed out that they make no sense as strictly literal statements.
I snipped the rest of your post because it only makes sense by ignoring Mark 14:35-36, which Koy quoted in the same post:

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?
How does that sentence change the literal meaning of the other?[/QUOTE]
You first, thanks: Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?

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Post by Politesse » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:10 am

[quote=""Hermit""]
Politesse;683564 wrote:
Hermit;683562 wrote:
Politesse;683559 wrote: Well, no I didn't. I pointed out that they make no sense as strictly literal statements.
I snipped the rest of your post because it only makes sense by ignoring Mark 14:35-36, which Koy quoted in the same post:

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?
How does that sentence change the literal meaning of the other?
You first, thanks: Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?[/QUOTE]

No, that sentence doesn't seem especially illogical when read literally (unless one asks who witnessed it and why Jesus is speaking Greek in his private prayers). It is full of symbolic meaning.
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Post by Hermit » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:32 am

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683566 wrote:
Politesse;683564 wrote:
Hermit;683562 wrote: I snipped the rest of your post because it only makes sense by ignoring Mark 14:35-36, which Koy quoted in the same post:

He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him. And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.”

Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?
How does that sentence change the literal meaning of the other?
You first, thanks: Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?
No, that sentence doesn't seem especially illogical when read literally[/QUOTE]
Thank you. Reading it literally, it indicates that according to the Gospel God sent his son Jesus to earth so he may be killed - serve as a scapegoat, that is - which for some unstated reason was a necessary condition for atonement. Jesus begged: "Please, dad, I'd rather not go through with this dying like a sacrificial lamb stuff, but if you will it, so be it." Dad willed it.

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Post by Politesse » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:42 am

[quote=""Hermit""]
Politesse;683567 wrote:
Hermit;683566 wrote:
Politesse;683564 wrote: How does that sentence change the literal meaning of the other?
You first, thanks: Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?
No, that sentence doesn't seem especially illogical when read literally
Thank you. Reading it literally, it indicates that according to the Gospel God sent his son Jesus to earth so he may be killed - serve as a scapegoat, that is - which for some unstated reason was a necessary condition for atonement. Jesus begged: "Please, dad, I'd rather not go through with this dying like a sacrificial lamb stuff, but if you will it, so be it." Dad willed it.[/QUOTE]

Literally, none of that is present in the passage we are discussing, aside from the sections I bolded.

Are you going to answer my question, now that I answered yours first.
"The truth about stories is that's all we are" ~Thomas King

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Hermit
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Post by Hermit » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:02 am

[quote=""Politesse""]
Hermit;683568 wrote:
Politesse;683567 wrote:
Hermit;683566 wrote: You first, thanks: Is that also full of deep symbolic meaning, figurative in intent, but making no logical sense as literal statements?
No, that sentence doesn't seem especially illogical when read literally
Thank you. Reading it literally, it indicates that according to the Gospel God sent his son Jesus to earth so he may be killed - serve as a scapegoat, that is - which for some unstated reason was a necessary condition for atonement. Jesus begged: "Please, dad, I'd rather not go through with this dying like a sacrificial lamb stuff, but if you will it, so be it." Dad willed it.
Literally, none of that is present in the passage we are discussing, aside from the sections I bolded.

Are you going to answer my question, now that I answered yours first.[/QUOTE]
We're not quite there yet. About the bolded bit: What might the "it" in "so be it" be that Jesus was begging? What is this cup he wanted taken away from him? Something figurative? Something symbolic?

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