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After many years, I think I finally understand why I disagree

Discussion in 'Controversial Christian Theology' started by TheWhat?, Oct 19, 2021.

  1. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    That is one, more modern pejorative use of the term "mystic." The etymological definition reveals that it took on a pejorative use at around the time of the Enlightenment period. On "mysticism" Etymonline.com actually says:

    mysticism (n.)
    "any mode of thought or life in which reliance is placed upon a spiritual illumination believed to transcend ordinary powers of understanding," 1736, from mystic (adj.) + -ism. Often especially in a religious sense, and since the Enlightenment a term of reproach, implying self-delusion or dreamy confusion of thought.

    Mysticism and rationalism represent opposite poles of theology, rationalism regarding the reason as the highest faculty of man and the sole arbiter in all matters of religious doctrine; mysticism, on the other hand, declaring that spiritual truth cannot be apprehended by the logical faculty, nor adequately expressed in terms of the understanding. [Century Dictionary]

    The first definition would include inspired authors of scripture, and that part in bold is exactly what I'm talking about elsewhere in this thread. Etymological definitions will include pejoratives, which doesn't mean we can take one small use of the term at a certain time and say that that characterizes the use of the term at all times.

    See below:

    Mystics from the christian faith are well known, documented and canonized. If you don't care for christian history, that's your loss, and this thread is not about mysticism.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  2. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    It's actually somewhat difficult to articulate, but in short, two primary things:
    • That the authors of scripture were rationalists. If it were relevant in their time, I'm certain they would have been considered empiricists and mystics.
    • Conceptions of logos which reduce God the Word to something that can be apprehended by use of reason, alone. I do believe in the existence of the Word, and that He has a mind, and this is important, but Paul devoted a bit of writing on the subject which does not point to use of the mind, alone, as the only or even primary faculty through which we apprehend the "mind of Christ." Logic proceeding from holy truths might be valid, but are suspect in my view.
    • This all leads me to the grand conclusion, in a manner similar to Hume's objection to rationalism, that the use of reason without the love of Christ cannot produce divine reason or holy logic, proceeding from the "mind of Christ." Like Hume I've observed that reason, alone, is essentially heartless. It does not "care" to prefer some insignificant or even good thing to a heartless, horrible conclusion. Fortunately for us, the real Logos is not so "heartless" because faith and love are in Christ Jesus.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  3. 2PhiloVoid

    2PhiloVoid Eccentric Eclectic Existentialist at work! Supporter

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    I like your points here, and I might add in the fact that your refrence to Hume's empirical conceptualization about the limits of logic and its "bundled use" is also reflected in some ways by both Pascal (~contra Descartes specifically) and in Kierkegaard.

    Both of these later figures offer Christian applications reflecting similar realizations to those of Hume which they each had about various epistemological complexities (and complications) which exist within our life of the mind and come into play as we use our rational capacties in the attempt to relate spiritually to God in His Spirit.

    You may already be aware of all of this, but I thought I'd plug this here just so we're not relying on the heartless skepticism of Hume alone, being that he wasn't a Christian. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  4. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    If we take Ephesians to be from Paul, though, he's explicitly an empiricist. Bear in mind Hume considered thought to be a sense, though in my opinion, personal thoughts and intuitions would be held in low regard to any mystic worth his salt.

    This along with interdenominational warfare I think is one of the sad results which I think has been affected by the problem I'm getting at.
     
  5. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Meh. His beliefs were suspect like many of the enlightenment philosophers. He was irreligious and skeptical. I've been irreligious and I'm still stubbornly agnostic and skeptical on many things, all while retaining a belief in the trinity, because of unshakeable experiences. I'm just more open about my beliefs.
     
  6. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    His moral sense theory, which strikes me as being the closest thing to ancient Hebrew morality in philosophical thought that I've encountered, implies that he believed in an objective morality, by the way, which would be a little odd for an atheist, but it's beside the point.
     
  7. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    Ah, well, I never would have agreed with all that.

    I think Paul would be annoyed by an attempt to pigeonhole him as an objectivist, or empiricist, or spiritualist...although he'd probably go with spiritualist if forced. True atheists (that is, Skeptics) were outliers in his society. Everyone else left room for acts of the gods.

    The ancient Greeks revered logic more highly the empiricism: Any moron could accept a truth displayed before his own eyes...it took intelligence to deduce a truth logically.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2021
  8. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I am aware of the entomology of the word. I looked it up before I even replied to this thread. It still does not change anything in what I said, though. Again, say the words “mystic” or “mysticism” to your average joe and they will think the negative version of the meaning of that word. Words change in usage with the passage of time.

    Also, who said this word? God inspired authors of God’s Holy Word, or men who are fallible?

    For is “mysticism” a word that is found in the Bible? No.
    Again, we should use terms that the Bible gives us. Clinging to terms that is associated with Hinduism, and the New Age and trying to blend that into Christianity is not good.
    Do you believe all roads lead to Heaven?

    Please provide post numbers or verses of where you believe the authors of Scripture taught any New Age practices like repetitively chanting with candles, or partaking in labyrinths.

    Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God and not Christian history outside of Scripture. See Romans 10:17. I mean, where do you see Christian history as an authority on the same level as Scripture? Men are infallible and they can have all kinds of crazy hair brained ideas or beliefs. It does not mean they are correct. What proof do you have that their beliefs and practices are divine in origin on the same level as Scripture? For me: That requires too much faith to believe that. It also does not appear to line up with God’s Word, as well. Nowhere does the Bible teach that we must look to another source of divine communication beyond Revelation.
     
  9. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I believe Bible Alone is the primary source for all matters of faith and practice.
    In fact, Bible Alone is a biblical concept taught in Scripture itself.

    Check out this CF thread here:

    A Biblical Defense of Sola Scriptura!

    Anyways, Jesus condemned the traditions or extra added teachings by the Pharisees which corrupted God’s Holy Word. Generally, added teachings to the Bible tend to conflict with Scripture (but most who partake of such practices do not see it that way because they are caught up in them and like the rush or feel it gives them). So their experience is one based on feeling rather than sticking to what the Bible says.

    Sorry, I am not a slave to a specific denomination. I simply studied and checked the Bible for myself and asked God for the understanding on it. My beliefs are formulated ultimately by what Scripture says and not what I want it to say or what others want it to mean. I used to believe certain things that the popular churches taught, but I have come out from them.

    In fact, there are many things I have changed in my beliefs over the years based on what God’s Word actually says. Check out this CF thread here:

    What theological things were you mistaken about in your growing knowledge of God's Word?

    Do you believe the original manuscripts were divinely inspired and perfect?
    If so, divine inspiration of the originals is a waste of time if there is no divine preservation.
    For we do not have the originals today.
    We also do not speak or write Biblical Hebrew like Moses, nor do we speak or write Biblical Greek like the apostle Paul. We did not grow up writing and speaking these languages while these languages were still alive. We are only making educated guesses at best when we think we can decipher a dead language. But with the English, a person really cannot really change the meaning of the words without it alerting any alarms because we still speak and write this language today.

    Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35).
    If we really do not know what Jesus really said without knowing the hieroglyphics or without going to a fallible man who appears to have all the answers on that language, his words would have passed away because they would not be words that are alive to the people today.

    God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

    Remember, God was perfectly capable of translating languages in Acts 2 just perfectly fine.
     
  10. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I was loosely quoting Romans 10:17 from memory. It was a general quick reference of the verse and it was not meant to be an exact quote. But there is a symbiotic relationship between the Living Word (Jesus) and the communicated word (Scripture). Jesus is called the Word of God in Revelation.

    The Living Word & the Communicated Word.
     
  11. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    The bible literally speaks of mysteries, but again, this thread isn't about mysticism.

    Your preconceived ideas are probably founded on the philosophy which originated the anti-religious sentiment against mystics in the first place.

    Your inability to apprehend some of the most basic of christian history is showing. Don't talk to me about new age crap. You're derailing the thread.
     
  12. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Aristotle was an empiricist. It's about the foundation of knowledge, not about being against reason. And there's something wrong about assuming truth should be inaccessible to morons.

    "How do we know God is real? He answered our prayers" -> Empiricism

    "How do we know the God of Israel is the true God? He sent fire from heaven." -> Empiricism.

    "How do we know that God will keep His word? He signified that He entered into a covenant with us by a pillar of fire and smoke" -> Empiricism.

    "How do we know what God expects of us? The Word of the Lord came to me, saying..." -> Empiricism.

    "We should instead extrapolate the truth from our axiomatic system inaccessible to the average thinker" -> Rationalism.
     
  13. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    Okay, friend. First, Christians should not swear. Second, I do not hold Christian history in the same regard as you do. Scripture is my sole authority for all matters of faith and practice because nothing else besides Scripture can stand the test as being divine and truly trustworthy. Is Christian history divine in origin like the Bible? I would say… no. But you are free to believe as you wish. Are there some benefits to studying Christian history? I imagine, but I can also see it as a way of getting in the way of the faith or trusting in God’s Word (the Bible). For when we mingle men’s ideas with the Bible, it does not turn out well.
     
  14. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    As for the Bible speaking about mysteries: Well, there are good mysteries of the Kingdom mentioned in Scripture (Which I would stick with using those verses that mention that), but there is also Mystery Babylon mentioned in Revelation, too. Again, the word mystic or mysticism is not used in the Bible, and the word generally carries a negative meaning that others can get the wrong idea about. So why associate with a word that can lead others to think wrong things about us? Do you want to be confused with that YouTube lady who says she is a Christian witch? I sure don’t. I want to be holy and separate from the world. We are called to be followers of Christ and not followers of men.
     
  15. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    "Logic dictates that Joe's grandmother is a sinner worthy of death, and that it would be for the greater good to distribute her wealth" -> Also rationalism.

    "These philistines are transgressing because of their hard, unmerciful, unforgiving, unloving impertinent hearts" -> Empiricism
     
  16. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    Did Jesus and Paul get that memo, because both use a lot of "rationalism"?








     
  17. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian Supporter

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    Indeed, many of the great Christian saints were mystics, and mystical theology is one of my primary areas of interest. I have a particular love for the Philokalia, the Eastern Orthodox anthology of texts on prayer, asceticism, monastic life, hesychasm and mystical theology from the fourth through sixteenth centuries, compiled in the eighteenth century by St. Nicodemus the Hagiorite and St. Macarius of Corinth, and also the writings of Psuedo-Dionysius the Aereopagite.
     
  18. RDKirk

    RDKirk Alien, Pilgrim, and Sojourner Supporter

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    I think Aristotle would disagree. That's the difference between Aristotle and Galileo.

    And I'd still argue that Paul would refuse to be pigeonholed.
     
  19. TheWhat?

    TheWhat? Ate all the treats

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    Well, don't take my word for it then, here's stanford's:

    To gain a better understand of the nature and limits of Aristotle’s empiricism, we must once again make some distinctions. Aristotle can be classed as a tabula rasa empiricist, for he rejects the claim that we have innate ideas or principles of reasoning. He is also, arguably, an explanatory empiricist, although in a different sense from that found among later medical writers and sceptics. We can regard him as a modest kind of justificatory empiricist, who believes that scientific theorizing is answerable to what can be observed. But it is less clear that he can be said to be a cognitive empiricist, given the role of intellectual insight in his account of scientific explanation.
    Plato, on the other hand, would not have been the empiricist, and Aristotle's disagreement seems to me to be a similar iteration of that same old debate of empiricism vs rationalism, more or less.
     
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  20. Bible Highlighter

    Bible Highlighter Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. Supporter

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    I think it is better to adhere to the principles of Christ and what His Word teaches and not the doctrines of men. Doctrines of men is merely chasing after the wind. The words of our Lord will last forever.
     
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