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Teke
Sep 26th 2007, 06:50 PM
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
redeeming the time. Ephesians 5:15,16

I've been thinking about "time" and what it means. The 'Red Shift' thread and talk of speed of light had my mind on how "time" relates to us, and what it may mean theologically. Time defines so many things for us.

So that is what I'd like to look at and discuss in this thread.

Is 'time' a prison or a path to freedom. It may well be like beauty and in the eye of the beholder.;)

There are three historic views of time, they are 1)circle, 2)line, 3)spiral.

In the NT Jesus begins His ministry by speaking of time, "the time is fulfilled" (Mark 1:15), and speaks of time at the end of His earthly life as immediately before His Ascension He says to the Apostles, "it is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father has fixed by His own authority" (Acts 1:7).
Both at the outset and at the conclusion of the story, the question of time confronts us. Time as fulfilled in Christ, time as mystery still hidden in God. What do we mean by time?

The poet Philip Larkin's query is posed to us all.
What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over....
Where can we live but days?

The question is what is time for? Not what are days for.

Oscar Cullmann, in his classic work "Christ and Time", offers two basic images. Time may be seen as cyclical, as a circle, ring or wheel. Or else it may be seen as linear, as a straight path, a river or an arrow. Without asserting to sharp a dichotomy between Hellenism and Judaism, it may be said that the first manner of envisaging time is characteristically Greek- in Aristotles words (Physics), "For indeed time itself seems to be a sort of circle"- while the second approach predominates in Hebraic and Iranian thought. Not that the two symbols need be mutually exclusive, for they both embody an aspect of truth.

The image of the circle reflects the recurrent rhythms in the world of nature, the line expresses our sense of time as direction, progress and evolution. What strikes us at once is that these symbols are both alike double-edged.

The circle of time may be best viewed as redemptive, as the means of our return to the golden age, to the lost paradise, or it may be viewed as meaningless repetition, as boredom and futility. It may serve as an image of celestial eternity-Henry Vaughan's "great ring of pure and endless light"- or it may be a sign of hell, a closed and vicious cycle. So it is also with linear time. Which may be strictly horizontal, and therefore neutral. But equally it may be seen as oblique or sloping, and in that case inclined either upward or downward.

Interpretive positively, the line of time becomes a path of ascent to the summit of the holy mountain. Understood negatively, it signifies deterioration and decline.
The image is equivocal.

A better symbol of time, than the circle or line, is the spiral. Combining elements from both the other figures, yet avoiding their defects. The spiral more truly reflects the basic patterns in the physical universe, from the movements of the galaxies to the folds of the human cerebral cortex. It includes the cyclic rhythms of nature, yet in the case of the spiral the circle is not closed but suggests continuous advance toward a goal.

Above all the spiral has the advantage of being, at any rate in some instance, three-dimensional, thus expressing the post Einsteinian sense of living in a space-time continuum. St Dionysius the Areopagite regarded the spiral as the highest type of movement, the form most befitting the angelic powers. Italy's Joachim of Fiore thought the same, and I agree.

Then what is our perception of this spiral to be. They can be ascending or descending or both these at once, as the sailor discovered in Poe's story A Descent into the Maelstrom.

These three symbols of time indicate our experience of time is deeply ambivalent.

Ecclesiastes speaks of time. In the opening chapter the Preacher sees time as vain repetition, as the cause of "weariness" and disilluion. (Ecc. 1:2-9)
Taken as a whole, the scriptural attitude towards time is markedly less hostile than this. The Preacher himself in a later section links time with beauty and with eternity, "For everything there is a time, and an appointed moment for every matter under heaven...He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man's mind" (Ecc. 3:1,11).

In the NT this positive approach is reaffirmed, "The time is fulfilled (Mk 1:15). Time is not pointless but purposive. Christ comes in the fullness of time. Far from being meaningless and arbitrary, time is something which "the Father has fixed by His own authority" (Acts 1:7). St Paul speaks of "the accepted time" or "time of God's favor" (2 Cor. 6:12). Time can be "redeemed" (Eph. 5:16). God has made the "ages" or "aeons" of time (Heb. 1:12), and He is the "king of the ages" (1 Tim. 1:17).

This all rattles through my mind along with Jesus Christ and what the Incarnation means in 'time'. To use a phrase of TS Eliot from The Four Quartets, an "intersection of the timeless with time". Christ's birth is an event within time and yet transforming time. As he puts it in "The Rock",
Then came at a predetermined moment, a moment in time and of time,
A moment not out of time, but in time, in what we call history: transecting, bisecting the world of time, a moment in time but not like a moment of time,
A moment in time but time was made through that moment:
for without the meaning there is no time, and
that moment of time gave the meaning.

That "transecting, bisecting the world of time" is brought out in the 'Protevangelion or Book of James", when Joseph speaks of time as standing still at the moment of the Nativity.

Now I Joseph was walking about, and yet I did not walk. And I looked up into the vault of heaven, and saw it standing still, and I looked up to the air, and saw the air in amazement, and the birds of heaven remain motionless. And I looked at the earth, and saw a dish placed there and workmen lying round it with their hands in the dish. But those who chewed did not chew, and those who lifted up anything lifted up nothing, and those who put something to their mouth put nothing to their mouth, but all had their faces turned upwards. And behold, sheep were being driven, and yet they did not come forward, but stood still; and the shepherd raised his hand to strike them with his staff, but his hand remained up. And I looked at the flow of the river, and and saw the mouths of the kids over it and yet they did not drink. And then all at once everything went on it's course again.

Each moment of time is open to eternity. At each moment it is possible for eternity to break into the temporal sequence. Eternity is turned towards time and goes out to meet it, and time, when taken up into eternity is not annihilated but transfigured.

These are some thoughts on the subject. I'm thinking further on 'time' as the freedom to love, a second point to make.:D

Teke
Sep 27th 2007, 02:07 PM
In the Incarnation we find a clue to the meaning of time. As the "moment in and out of time". It shows us the interdependence of time and eternity, only sub specie aeternitatis (under the aspect of eternity) does time acquire it's authentic resonance and depth. And the Incarnation, as an act of love addressed to our human freedom, also indicates how time is to be understood in terms of personal relationship, reciprocity, and dialogue.

So time is also to be understood in terms of freedom and love. The notion of freedom- both divine freedom and human freedom- is fundamental to the Christian doctrine of creation. "God is truly present and operative only in freedom" as Nickoli Berdyaev says. "Freedom alone should be recognized as possessing sacred quality".

God created the world in freedom, and He willed that the beings whom He formed in His image should likewise be free. As a Trinitarian God, a God of shared interpersonal love, He desired that we humans in our turn should be joined to Him in a relationship of mutual love.

Mutual love, however, presupposes freedom, for where there is no voluntary choice there can be no love. Love cannot be constrained, but can only be tendered willingly. God can do anything except compel us to love Him. Love comes always as an offer to which the beloved is invited to respond in freedom.

By creating in this way a world of persons capable of freely responding to Him in love, God accepted to restrict, in some measure, the exercise of His omnipotence. He 'withdrew' as it were from His creation, 'distancing' Himself so that His creatures might have room to love. Creation involves a divine limitation, which could be termed 'contraction' or 'concentration'.

In bringing into existence free persons with the power of rejecting Him, God inevitably took a risk. Had He not taken this risk, there would have been a universe without love. As Lossky observed, "This divine risk, inherent in the decision to create beings in the image and likeness of God, is the summit of almighty power, or rather a surpassing of that summit in a voluntarily undertaken powerlessness...He who takes no risks does not love."

The risk taking or kenosis on God's part, inaugurated at the creation, came to its full expression at the Incarnation. In choosing to become a creature, the divine Creator embraced a situation of complete vulnerability, an entire and unreserved solidarity with us humans in our pain and brokenness. He willed to effect our salvation, not through any exercise of transcendent power, but through the utter powerlessness of His incarnate state. "My strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9) Such exactly is the supreme paradox of Christology. God is never so strong as when He is most weak, never so truly divine as when He empties Himself.

St Gregory of Nyssa saw this, "The fact that the omnipotent nature should have been capable of descending to the humiliated condition of humanity provides a clearer proof of power than great and supernatural miracles...His descent to our lowliness is the supreme expression of His power." Nestorius made the same point, "All greatness grows great by self-abasement, and not by exalting itself." And the reason God chose to save us not by force but with our voluntary consent is specifically that He loves us and therefore desires us to be free.

It is in this context of freedom and love that the meaning of time can best be appreciated. Time is part of the 'distancing' or 'contraction' on God's side which makes it possible for us humans freely to love. An interspace which enables us to move towards God unconstrained by our voluntary choice. "Behold I stand at the door and knock" says Christ, "if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20). God is a gentleman, He doesn't break down the door, but gently knocks. He waits for us to open. This waiting on God's part is exactly the essence of time.

God issues His appeal to human freedom, "Whom shall I send, and who go for us?". After that He awaits the voluntary response from our side, "Then I said, 'Here am I! send me'" (Is. 6:8)

Our goal is not timelessness but time transfigured. As the angel in Rev. says, "There shall be time no longer" (Rev. 10:6), some would render as "there shall be no more delay". The time that is to be abolished is that fallen time of death. For the Apocalypse also states that within heavenly Jerusalem there will be " the tree of life with it's twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month" (Rev. 22:2). I take this to mean that in the eternal Kingdom of the Age to come, the rhythms of cyclic time are not abolished but transformed.

punk
Sep 29th 2007, 09:35 PM
If I understood correctly, then you have proposed a link between free will and time.

That is if one has free will then one needs time within which to express it.

If there were no free will, then I imagine some argument would deduce that time were superfluous.

In that case the obvious existence of time would lead one to conclude that there must be free will (using some sort of argument that the universe is "perfect" and free from unnecessary extras).

Anyway, the question then drives to one's existence after death. If, after death, the saved cannot become damned nor the damned saved, then, similarly, there would no longer be any need for time. So existence after death is timeless (and thus utterly and completely alien to our present experience, so much so that one can question whether we continue to "exist" after death in any sense meaningful to us at present. Kierkegaard went in this direction, and posited an afterlife so alien to us as to cause his philosophy to border on being purely materialistic in this regard).

Of course, the flip side is that if time continues after death (or after the Last Judgement) then that leaves open the possibility at any time of a new Fall of some sort, since time means freedom of the will and the ability of the elect to choose to walk away from God. Then too, it might indicate the ongoing ability of the damned to return to God.

Teke
Oct 2nd 2007, 07:31 PM
Well it does bring up what is known as "the doctrine of Apocatastasis" (from Greek: apo, from; kata, down; histemi, stand - literally, "restoration" or "return"), the teaching that everyone will, in the end, be saved. It looks toward the ultimate reconciliation of good and evil; all creatures endowed with reason, angels and humans, will eventually come to a harmony in God's kingdom. ie. wheat and tares grow together and only God separates them and God is all in all.

In the twentieth-century, this doctrine was reinvigorated especially by Hans Urs von Balthasar, who, in his book Dare We Hope “That All Men Be Saved� (1988), expressed a qualified version of apocatastasis in which we may "hope" that all will be saved. Keeping in mind the conciliar condemnation of Origen, Orthodox theologians who tend towards universalism (the belief that all will be saved) usually adopt von Balthasar's qualified way of expressing this, and do not flatly deny the possibility of eternal damnation.

Modern proponents include, Nicolas Berdyaev and such apologetics of his as "Freedom and the Spirit" and CS Lewis who asserts this claim in his dissertation "All Will Be Well". I've also read it in other works of CS Lewis which didn't address it specifically but indirectly such as "The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment".

And then of course there is scripture which states, the gifts of God are irrevocable. In which case He would never take away from us our power of voluntary free choice. Which would mean some could go on saying "no" to God through eternity.

The appeal to the power of divine love constitutes the strongest argument in favor of apocatastasis (aka universal salvation). Each side, whether for or against, in different ways, seek their main support from the fact that God is love.

As the Pietist theolgoian Christian Gottlieb Barth remarks, "Anyone who does not believe in the universal restoration is an ox, but anyone who teaches it is an ass". I would add, the ox and the ass were already at the stable before the wise men found it.

St Isaac the Syrian deals with the problem in a different way, as it would make an immeasurable difference to us, he points out, whether we respond to divine love here and now or only after countless aeons.

So our belief in human freedom means that we have no right to categorically affirm, "all must be saved". As hell exists as a possibility because free will exists. But our faith in God's love makes us dare to hope that all will be saved.

punk
Oct 3rd 2007, 06:36 PM
What about the flip side:

Namely, that even after death the saved can still lose their salvation?

Teke
Oct 3rd 2007, 09:04 PM
What about the flip side:

Namely, that even after death the saved can still lose their salvation?

The devil is that same query in the equation.
Maybe it's gravitational and like the spiral. What power would it take to change the direction of a gravitational force in a spiral?

punk
Oct 3rd 2007, 09:56 PM
The devil is that same query in the equation.
Maybe it's gravitational and like the spiral. What power would it take to change the direction of a gravitational force in a spiral?

Yeah, but then you are going to have to account for the original Fall in the first place.

If humanity began in a state of grace, how did it fall out of it in the beginning?

Of course, that event really is poorly explained in all Christian discourse.

mikebr
Oct 3rd 2007, 10:04 PM
Yeah, but then you are going to have to account for the original Fall in the first place.

If humanity began in a state of grace, how did it fall out of it in the beginning?

Of course, that event really is poorly explained in all Christian discourse.
Sorry for jumping in

If humanity began "in" a state of grace then grace was here before humans. If grace existed prior to creation grace will exist regardless of humanity's fall.

Grace, like God, is outside time. It just poked its head in to show us God.

Carry on.......:kiss:

Teke
Oct 3rd 2007, 10:30 PM
Yeah, but then you are going to have to account for the original Fall in the first place.

If humanity began in a state of grace, how did it fall out of it in the beginning?

Of course, that event really is poorly explained in all Christian discourse.

You mean if one believes in a fall from grace, which I don't.;)

If the whole of scripture is to prove God's grace and mercy, then why relate the Fall to a falling of God in some way, such as grace failing or falling, as to have let such happen. Nay, God's grace and love never fails.:saint:


1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].


Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

punk
Oct 4th 2007, 12:06 AM
You mean if one believes in a fall from grace, which I don't.;)

If the whole of scripture is to prove God's grace and mercy, then why relate the Fall to a falling of God in some way, such as grace failing or falling, as to have let such happen. Nay, God's grace and love never fails.:saint:


1Pe 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].


Eph 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:

Maybe, "grace" is a poor choice (and I wasn't too keen on it to begin with).

Let us rephrase:

Humankind fell from some primordial pre-Fall state.

It would seem that the end result of salvation is a return to that same primordial pre-Fall state.

If so, then if humanity fell once then humanity might fall again after the Judgement.

One might say that a lack of understanding of the primordial state and the Fall will breed a lack of understanding in Salvation and the state after the Judgement (since they are mirrors of each other).

Of course one might want to argue that the pre-Fall state and the post-Judgement state of the saved are entirely different things.

Teke
Oct 4th 2007, 04:25 PM
In Christ we explore the primordial mystery about the origin of divine being. In the east known as "theosis". Compared to God, both beginning and end.

In short, enlightened and self-realized expression of pure Being. ie. ascent to God is one way of terming it.
The world of duality is non existent in the uncreated and immortal essence of being.

Exemplified in scripture.
Hbr 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Duane Morse
Oct 4th 2007, 04:47 PM
Maybe, "grace" is a poor choice (and I wasn't too keen on it to begin with).

Let us rephrase:

Humankind fell from some primordial pre-Fall state.

It would seem that the end result of salvation is a return to that same primordial pre-Fall state.

If so, then if humanity fell once then humanity might fall again after the Judgement.

One might say that a lack of understanding of the primordial state and the Fall will breed a lack of understanding in Salvation and the state after the Judgement (since they are mirrors of each other).

Of course one might want to argue that the pre-Fall state and the post-Judgement state of the saved are entirely different things.
I don't think that rising from a fallen state would result in the same ignorance that perpetrated the fall in the first place.

The whole point is that we learn from our mistakes and rise above them, so that we do not repeat them.

The period of grace is to ensure that those mistakes (which were inevitable in the first place) do not have to ultimately doom us.

punk
Oct 4th 2007, 06:12 PM
In Christ we explore the primordial mystery about the origin of divine being. In the east known as "theosis". Compared to God, both beginning and end.

In short, enlightened and self-realized expression of pure Being. ie. ascent to God is one way of terming it.
The world of duality is non existent in the uncreated and immortal essence of being.

Exemplified in scripture.
Hbr 7:3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

I would assert duality must have been present before the Fall, else the Fall itself would have been impossible.

Or is the non-dual somehow capable of 'dividing' itself into the dual?

If duality didn't exist before the Fall, then duality wouldn't exist afterwards either.

punk
Oct 4th 2007, 06:13 PM
The period of grace is to ensure that those mistakes (which were inevitable in the first place) do not have to ultimately doom us.

How were they inevitable in the first place?

Teke
Oct 4th 2007, 08:31 PM
I would assert duality must have been present before the Fall, else the Fall itself would have been impossible.

Or is the non-dual somehow capable of 'dividing' itself into the dual?

If duality didn't exist before the Fall, then duality wouldn't exist afterwards either.

I'm in accord with Chalcedon Christology. :D There is no duality.

Here is a translation of that statement.

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body, of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from his sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer;; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized IN TWO NATURES, WITHOUT CONFUSION, WITHOUT CHANGE, WITHOUT DIVISION, WITHOUT SEPARATION; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the Fathers has handed down to us.
Translation from H. Bettenson, Documents of the Christian Church (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1947)

punk
Oct 4th 2007, 09:05 PM
I'm in accord with Chalcedon Christology. :D There is no duality.

Here is a translation of that statement.

I'm confused now. I didn't think we were talking about duality regarding the person of the Son. I thought we were talking about duality regarding the relation of the individual to God.

I don't think anything from Chalcedon covers this.

Teke
Oct 4th 2007, 09:56 PM
I'm confused now. I didn't think we were talking about duality regarding the person of the Son. I thought we were talking about duality regarding the relation of the individual to God.

I don't think anything from Chalcedon covers this.

You said, "If duality didn't exist before the Fall, then duality wouldn't exist afterwards either." To which I agree, it never existed (maybe an illusion).

Does a metaphorical story of a fall create duality?
If I mutilate an image does it become another image?

Is scripture literal when "fall' is written to imply a duality. If so then we'd have to consider seven falls of the righteous.;)

Pro 24:16 For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

So I could just reply to you in a general sense, that man will fall again and again, yet that is not duality. But you wouldn't really understand that unless it was understood in the Being of Christ, who is both fully human and fully God.

The union of God and man in Christ, and through Christ for all those adopted in Him, is not seen simply as a remedy made necessary by the fall. It is, according to St Maximus the Confessor, the very purpose and meaning of creation itself. It is:

... the blessed end, on account of which all things were constituted. This is the foreknown divine purpose of the beginning of beings ... on account of which all things are, but itself on account of nothing. ... God the Word became man ... reveals in Himself the end on account of which the things that are made ... received beginning in being. For on account of Christ, that is, the mystery of Christ, all the ages, and the things in the ages, take in Christ their beginning and end of being . Ad Thal 60 (PG 90.621ab), cited in E. Perl, "'... that man might become God': Central themes in Byzantine Theology", in L. Safran, ed., Heaven on Earth: Art and the Church in Byzantium (Penn State Univ., 1998),

Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?


Have I misunderstood what you mean by duality?

punk
Oct 4th 2007, 11:14 PM
You said, "If duality didn't exist before the Fall, then duality wouldn't exist afterwards either." To which I agree, it never existed (maybe an illusion).

Does a metaphorical story of a fall create duality?
If I mutilate an image does it become another image?

Is scripture literal when "fall' is written to imply a duality. If so then we'd have to consider seven falls of the righteous.;)

Pro 24:16 For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

So I could just reply to you in a general sense, that man will fall again and again, yet that is not duality. But you wouldn't really understand that unless it was understood in the Being of Christ, who is both fully human and fully God.

The union of God and man in Christ, and through Christ for all those adopted in Him, is not seen simply as a remedy made necessary by the fall. It is, according to St Maximus the Confessor, the very purpose and meaning of creation itself. It is:

... the blessed end, on account of which all things were constituted. This is the foreknown divine purpose of the beginning of beings ... on account of which all things are, but itself on account of nothing. ... God the Word became man ... reveals in Himself the end on account of which the things that are made ... received beginning in being. For on account of Christ, that is, the mystery of Christ, all the ages, and the things in the ages, take in Christ their beginning and end of being . Ad Thal 60 (PG 90.621ab), cited in E. Perl, "'... that man might become God': Central themes in Byzantine Theology", in L. Safran, ed., Heaven on Earth: Art and the Church in Byzantium (Penn State Univ., 1998),

Jhn 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?


Have I misunderstood what you mean by duality?

Well I was understanding "duality" in distinction to the "unity" of the indvidual with God.

Assuming "theosis" referred to a kind of unifying of the individual with God.

So by "duality" I intended to denote the separation of the individual with God.

Thus my point was that if there was separation of the individual from God following the Fall, there had to be separation prior to the Fall or else the Fall could never have happened. And (if we continue to assume a likeness between the pre-Fall and post-Judgement state) the saved believer after the Judgement still has a separation from God.

Perhaps I was making the notion of "theosis" into a greater unity than intended.

Duane Morse
Oct 5th 2007, 01:20 AM
How were they inevitable in the first place?
Adam was only restricted in one way.
Human nature - curiosity coupled with free will - made it inevitable that Adam would test the restriction.

Teke
Oct 5th 2007, 02:34 PM
Well I was understanding "duality" in distinction to the "unity" of the indvidual with God.

Assuming "theosis" referred to a kind of unifying of the individual with God.

So by "duality" I intended to denote the separation of the individual with God.

Thus my point was that if there was separation of the individual from God following the Fall, there had to be separation prior to the Fall or else the Fall could never have happened. And (if we continue to assume a likeness between the pre-Fall and post-Judgement state) the saved believer after the Judgement still has a separation from God.

Perhaps I was making the notion of "theosis" into a greater unity than intended.



My view would be the one of synergy or a synergism. Christ expresses this in his words, "For where two or three are gathered together(Greek word synagō, synergy) in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20)

Synergism is "...the doctrine that there are two efficient agents in regeneration, namely the human will and the divine Spirit, which, in the strict sense of the term, cooperate. This theory accordingly holds that the soul has not lost in the fall all inclination toward holiness, nor all power to seek for it under the influence of ordinary motives."

Theosis would or could also be expressed as beauty.

A couple quotes that are expressions as beauty.

Beauty is the adjustment of all parts proportionately so that one
cannot add or subtract or change without impairing the harmony of the whole.
- Leon B. Alberti

Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable;
what it is or what it means can never be said.
- George Santayana


Scripture uses the descriptive 'beauty' many times.
Isa 33:17 ¶ Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

As you can see I'm following patristics on aesthetics, which expand upon the implications of beauty and transcendental predication.

Like the substance of Jacques Maritain argument, that if beauty is a transcendental, and if being is everywhere various, then beauty is everywhere various. "Each kind of being is in its own way, is good in its own way, is beautiful in its own way."

Expressed in a sense in Ecclesiastes.
Ecc 3:1 ¶ To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

:)

punk
Oct 5th 2007, 05:30 PM
Adam was only restricted in one way.
Human nature - curiosity coupled with free will - made it inevitable that Adam would test the restriction.

If he has free will he always has the free will to choose not to take the fruit.

punk
Oct 6th 2007, 12:38 AM
My view would be the one of synergy or a synergism. Christ expresses this in his words, "For where two or three are gathered together(Greek word synagō, synergy) in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matt. 18:20)

Synergism is "...the doctrine that there are two efficient agents in regeneration, namely the human will and the divine Spirit, which, in the strict sense of the term, cooperate. This theory accordingly holds that the soul has not lost in the fall all inclination toward holiness, nor all power to seek for it under the influence of ordinary motives."

Theosis would or could also be expressed as beauty.

A couple quotes that are expressions as beauty.

Beauty is the adjustment of all parts proportionately so that one
cannot add or subtract or change without impairing the harmony of the whole.
- Leon B. Alberti

Beauty as we feel it is something indescribable;
what it is or what it means can never be said.
- George Santayana


Scripture uses the descriptive 'beauty' many times.
Isa 33:17 ¶ Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

As you can see I'm following patristics on aesthetics, which expand upon the implications of beauty and transcendental predication.

Like the substance of Jacques Maritain argument, that if beauty is a transcendental, and if being is everywhere various, then beauty is everywhere various. "Each kind of being is in its own way, is good in its own way, is beautiful in its own way."

Expressed in a sense in Ecclesiastes.
Ecc 3:1 ¶ To every [thing there is] a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

:)

I'm still curious about how you fit the transition from the pre-Fall to the post-Fall worlds into all this.

My concern is that most descriptions of pre-Fall or post-Judgement states seem to make the Fall an impossibility.

Is the post-Fall world just an expression of beauty already contained in the pre-Fall world (do we then go in the direction of Leibniz and claim that even this fallen world is still the best of all possible worlds?)

Teke
Oct 6th 2007, 08:22 PM
My concern is that most descriptions of pre-Fall or post-Judgement states seem to make the Fall an impossibility.

Anything is possible.


Is the post-Fall world just an expression of beauty already contained in the pre-Fall world

Yes


(do we then go in the direction of Leibniz and claim that even this fallen world is still the best of all possible worlds?)

No.
The mystery of the Christian revelation concerning human personality and its individual destiny can be expressed neither through the medium of Thomism, nor the pluralism Leibniz with its monadology, nor yet through the monism of Hegel or of Hartmann.

Mystics have given expression to the mystery of divine-human life and of its ways and ends. Not scholastic philosophers and metaphysicians.

The cosmos is regarded as a particular degree in the hierarchy of the spirit and as the symbol of its inner life. The natural and cosmical elements are also the elements which make up the soul of man and they are united in the spiritual world. The microcosm and macrocosm are revealed in spiritual life, not in separateness and in 'extrinsicism', but in unity and in interpenetration.

When man lost Paradise it meant his separation from the cosmos and from the divine nature, and at the same time the formation of a strange, new, exterior nature bringing with it dissension and subordination. But the winning of Paradise means the return of the cosmos, a consummation achieved only in a really spiritual life and in the Kingdom of God. This experience begins in the experience of love and in the contemplation of beauty. A purely external concept of nature means a hardening and drying up of the spirit. For the cosmos is life, and not merely a collection of hard, material, objects and inert substances.

In the course of the long struggle which is waged in the natural world on behalf of the higher spiritual life and in the name of God, of love, of liberty, and of knowledge, the means employed to secure these spiritual realities often become ends in themselves, and here we have the origin of the greatest of all tragedies in the spiritual life.

In the history of the world nothing has ever been fully realized, in the true and ontological sense of the word, because the means to which recourse was had in order to attain to the spiritual life obscured in some measure the ends to be achieved. Mankind was pent up within the defenses of the spirit without ever being able to attain to the spiritual life itself.
(I've stated this simply many times in saying, "man made the world his means to an end" and "its easier to be a slave than free";))
In their endeavours to reach God men made use of every kind of profanity, as for instance, when hate and animosity were appealed to for the realization of the purposes of love, and violence and oppression were employed in the service of liberty. In civilized societies the state and the external organization of the Church gained the upper hand by methods which were totally opposed to the true goals of the spiritual life and of the divine world. Violence and hate were justified by an appeal to the lofty ends which they were intended to achieve. God Himself was forgotten in favor of the approach designed to lead men to Him.

Men set themselves to hate in the cause of love, to use compulsion in the name of freedom, and to become practicing materialist for the vindication of spiritual principles.

Immortality means an entering into the life of the spirit and a laying hold upon it. It means the restoration of spirit to man who has been separated from it. The source of immortality is in God and not in nature, and it is impossible to conceive of immortality apart from the life in God and apart from the divine. The way to eternal and immortal life is given to us in Christ. In the Kingdom of Christ there is revealed an immortality for man of which neither Jews nor Greeks could conceive. Spirit is restored to man and thus he ceases to be a self-contained, psycho-corporeal, monad.

This restoration and this entry upon the spiritual life does not imply either the suppression or the mortification of soul and body, but, rather, their transfiguration, their illumination and spiritualization, their absorption into the higher spiritual life. That is why Christianity teaches resurrection of the flesh. To understand this mystery there is no need to naturalist metaphysics nor to regard the flesh and the body as a substance. The "flesh" is a religious category, that is to say, it is spiritual and not naturalist.

The fundamental distinction between spirit and nature, as between realities and orders of being of different quality, does not imply any denial of the unity of the cosmos, or a separation of spiritual man from the life of the universe. The cosmos, the divine world, and the divine nature are only revealed in spiritual experience and in spiritual life.

It is only in the interior, spiritual, world that the cosmos is presented to us in all the beauty of its inner life.

Teke
Oct 9th 2007, 07:44 PM
Punk,
What is your take on the subject?

punk
Oct 9th 2007, 08:18 PM
The physicist in me isn't really certain how to look at time to begin with.

Einstein, for example, took his theory of relativity to its logical conclusion and proposed a kind of immortality in a 4 dimensional space by understanding that time was merely a way of looking at things locally, but was ultimately something of an "illusion" (perhaps not the best word).

So time doesn't really exist in any absolute sense, it only exists from some point of view (so your past present and future all exist in an eternal 4-dimensional now without time). Nothing changes at death but your point of view on the whole thing.

Julian Barbour in his book "The End of Time" takes a similar but more extreme approach in keeping with modern quantum theories.

I've become increasingly anti-realist and postivist in my take on things. The great works of philosophy are Plato's "Apology" (Socrates is wise because he knows that he knows nothing), and Wittgenstein's "Tractatus" (There are certain things that language can talk about, and things that language cannot talk about no matter how sensible it seems).

I don't know what the Fall meant once upon a time (assuming it was a real event), I can only know what the Fall might mean right now. I have no idea what Salvation means in the future (assuming there will be a judgement), I only know what it means right now.

The Bible is a book about action. We don't act in the past or the future, we only act right now. So the Bible can only have meaning in the immediate present.

Too often concern with past and future serves an excuse not to act in the present.