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PaulS last won the day on September 7 2017

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About PaulS

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    Alternate Administrator & Site Sponsor
  • Birthday 08/20/1968

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    Mandurah Western Australia

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  1. PaulS

    Communion Experiences

    Sorry, not having participated in any Episcopalian traditions I'm not sure what the rules are for that type of Church. Like Burl suggested, I would speak with the priest and clarify. Whether you should care about communion or not is a personal matter I guess, although when I check out the Episcopalian Church's position on transubstantiation, I see that they don't particularly embrace it either, see https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/transubstantiation : The belief that the substance (essence) of Christ's body and blood replaces the substance of the eucharistic bread and wine, although the appearances (known as "accidents" or "species") of the bread and wine continue outwardly unchanged. This eucharistic theology is based on the philosophical categories of Aristotle, elaborated at length by medieval Latin theologians, and regarded as definitive in the Roman Catholic tradition. The term is derived from the Latin trans "across" or "over," and substantia, "substance." The classical explanation of transubstantiation was presented by Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologica. Transubstantiation was also defended by the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) and the Council of Trent (1545-1563). Article XXVIII of the Articles of Religion rejected transubstantiation as "repugnant" and unscriptural, asserting instead that Christ is present in the eucharist in a "heavenly and spiritual manner" (BCP, p. 873). The English Test Act of 1673 required a Declaration Against Transubstantiation by all persons holding civil or military office. Some nineteenth-century Tractarians, such as John Henry Newman, found transubstantiation to be compatible with their understanding of the eucharist. But the concept of transubstantiation has generally been avoided and excluded from Anglican theologies of the Real Presence of Christ's body and blood in the eucharist. See Real Presence; see Receptionism. Hope it works out for you whatever way. Cheers Paul
  2. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Wow! Monumental leap in your insults, assumptions and bias. Keep working on becoming that fully human ideal you think has been achieved. Clearly this is going nowhere, so I will finish it for me. Out.
  3. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    So you say. Again. I wouldn't say to no avail - you presented a view on the fig tree that I considered. I'm not hung up on the fig tree and I only mentioned it initially with a raft of other 'questions' pertaining to the character of Jesus. I'm not arguing that Jesus did or didn't curse the fig tree but am trying to demonstrate to you that somebody thought this was a valid action of the loving Jesus. Why? And if they think this was part of how to be fully human, how in turn would it affect how they behave? I never said all opinion was equal, but even scholarly opinion is sometime 'opinion'. If two professionals disagree I would imagine you would say one was wrong, one was right, or they were both wrong. They can't have different opinions and both be right can they? Same with scholars - some scholars may be right, some may be wrong, and some we cannot validate. That's all I'm saying. You seem to place a serious trust in 'scholars' but I am certain you don't feel the same about every scholar, do you? I don't understand what you're asking. Do I research? Okay.
  4. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I don't see it as a paradox at all. I do see myself as being fully human loving my kids a lot of the time and I see myself as fully human when I don't perform so well. You on the other hand have declared Jesus as fully human and have said that we can be that too - but you seem to think that fully human is some version of complete love all the time. What does that actually mean? That is the devil in the detail that you don't seem to be able to explain. How do I get to that state of fully love/fully human? Do I chastise my kids, do I hit them, if I hit them how hard, do I ground them instead, what parenting style demonstrates pure love? etc etc. This 'love' is a completely subjective term so being 'fully love/fully human' has to be subjective too. We can agree on some basics about love but I have no doubt that at some point either we, or others, will disagree on some finer points of what constitutes love. This is my point - fully human seems to be an aspiration, but that aspiration will differ between individuals. Hence why to claim fully human status one should be able to detail what that status actually entails and how to get to that point. Again, this is opinion. Different cultures have different takes on what is proper character/behaviour and what isn't. Yet you say there is one ideal of being fully/truly human - which you cannot precisely describe. It's not a paradox - one is either whole or they are not. My measure of whole is you are a human being that does good stuff and bad stuff and both types of stuff are fully human and what makes us whole. You seem to pick the good bits out and say they're whole (not the bad bits) and when we can transform all those micro seconds into only the good bits then we become fully human. I don't see the good bits in isolation as any kind of 'whole'. Love is a word we use to describe a wide range of actions and emotions. Some would consider it love to physically hurt their child to teach them a lesson. Some would consider it love to let their child do whatever they want so that they don't feel bad. Some probably once thought it was out of love for their God that they would bash the heads of babies from opposing tribes against rocks too. Even the dictionary offers several different definitions of the word love. To say love is 'simply', is rather simple in my opinion. When you say fully human is living love like Jesus, similarly you open up the definition to all sorts of interpretations as to what actual constitutes Jesus love. So when you say fully human is an expression of this complete love, it's not unreasonable to ask - demonstrate how that should be and how to get there. It only matters if I am trying to tell somebody else what they are not and what they need to be. But even though I could do this, it will only be my opinion, even if I do base it on some pretty good books about parenting and psychology.
  5. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    It's not too much to ask, it just doesn't make sense as far as any parameters go concerning making a statement and then not being able to support it with anything other than religious belief. If you're religious, perhaps the argument makes some sense, for the non religious, clearly it doesn't. Again, I'm not demanding anything, I am simply asking you to support what you say with some evidence. You now admit that you cannot. Okay then. I would be very careful saying that you can substantiate what is in the biblical text from credible scholarly works to present, for the very reason you mention - i.e. that it is the 'most likely' interpretation. So a couple of key things there that you note - 'most likely' is not certainty and 'interpretation' is just that, interpretation, again not certainty. So we end up believing what we think is the right belief, until something else comes along that convinces us to change that way of thinking, as has clearly happened throughout the history of Christianity. No doubt you will say the 'main principles' haven't changed, but really, what's the point of going down that path. I think we have done this to death. Or fully. But that is a personal interpretation of fully so please don't ask me to substantiate it. You may have looked critically at some of the writings and there may be theories as to why they should or should not be discounted, but much of it is opinion, whether scholarly or not. That is fact. I have read a number of works by scholars concerning all sorts of speculation and discussion around the NT and some of the Old. I am sure nowhere near as much as the work you have put in. But the one thing I am 100% certain of, and I am sure you will agree, there is no 100% consensus on all that is precisely accurate and what is not when it comes to the bible.. There is no undeniable evidence that the 'less than love' bits mentioned about Jesus are off the mark, or rather, which ones are less accurate than others. Even having done all of that work and after thousands of years of tradition and inclusion in the Jesus story, only now are they being doubted by some. Not a big vote of confidence for me in all verses that could possibly portray Jesus as less than 100% love. We do agree though that Jesus was fully human, just for different reasons. A shame it may be that we don't find common ground on your personal belief which cannot be substantiated, but I don't think my position or effort are lacking completely.
  6. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I think we are at a point where we are just regurgitating our points and talking back past one another. I think to be fully and truly something means there is a target to be established and reached. Otherwise, how can one ever know if they are being fully or truly that thing. You seem to be now arguing that fully or truly is only a partial state of being and that one can never actually achieve that state of being fully or truly human. We can in our moments, and we may do this forever, but we might not reach that point of actually being full or true. You say that in religious belief as in some philosophies, words are stretched or taken out of the 'normal usage. Whilst you say truly or fully human is a becoming, a process, an achieving, an actualization, you then go on to say that the point is to try to 'string those moments together into a whole. So how do you determine what that 'whole' actually is? When do you know you have met this whole? How is whole actually demonstrated? Can you spell it out clearly what that whole consists of? If you think there is a whole then surely you must be able to measure it and determine when that whole has become the sum of its parts. My issue with this way of looking at 'wholeness' is that it is fine for you, but if somebody else's fully and truly is slightly different, how does anyone verify what the correct fully and truly actually is? It seems it can't be done because neither seems to be able to produce any specifications about what this truly or fully consists of. For you, it seems to be this term 'love'. But what is love precisely? You say no-selfishness = love, and when we are broadly talking of course we can see that self-centredness can harm. But where do you draw the line between love and self-centredness precisely? I'm sitting here typing a response to you - is that self-centredness because I could be out helping the homeless? I will eat fairly well tonight at home - is that self-centred because I could be giving half of my food to the starving or less well nourished. I would say the devil is in the detail, so when you are making broad statements like God is love or Jesus was fully human, one normally has to articulate what that standard is to indeed be considered that thing. You don't seem to be able to do this.
  7. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Rather than 'demanding', I am simply debating the belief that you raised in discussion. It's pretty normal in a discussion to substantiate claims when asked. To fall back on 'religious belief' as some disclaimer to not being able to produce such substantiation or evidence, naturally ends the discussion. All power to you in your religious belief in working towards becoming fully human. I have no problem with that. Just don't harm others along the way. Peace and goodwill.
  8. PaulS


    Just wanted to put this out there so anybody participating in the forum or scanning its contents, who might be feeling depressed and suicidal, might find this helpful in some way. In Australia we have a pretty big push about discussing suicide openly and trying to move away from the practice of hushing it up or being ashamed of suicide. Also, there have been a couple of guys from work suicide in the last couple of months and we are entering the Christmas season where typically (at least in Australia) suicide rates jump for this period. In my previous work policing I attended numerous suicides - hangings, drownings, car exhausts, people jumping in front of trains, and many more graphic and imaginative examples. I always used to wonder if these people were brave or weak. Now I realise that they were neither brave or weak, but rather they simply got to a state where they felt that the only way to end their pain was to suicide. It's like sitting at the bottom of a deep hole and the only way you can see yourself getting out is to end your life. So whilst I am not anti-suicide, I think most people don't make this decision in a healthy state of mind. Having been in a similar hole myself, but thankfully not quite prepared at that time to kill myself, I want to let others know that if you just keep breathing, just keep pushing through it, you will get out of that hole in the end. Talking to others, telling them how you feel, telling them even that you are thinking of killing yourself, will help. Just keep breathing, putting one foot in front of the other, going through the motions - you will come out the other side eventually. Talking to a professional psych and/or medication may be helpful, but even then it can still be hard. But just know that it will not last forever. You will come out of this. I really think talking to somebody is the key, so please, if you are in this state then at the very least, what do you have to lose by talking to somebody first. Here are a few numbers: Australia - Lifeline 13 11 14 USA - Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK UK - 0800 068 4141 For other numbers just Google 'suicide help' in your home country. Cheers Paul
  9. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    Hence why I would say you are fully human as you are, Rom ! And I have no issue with people emulating pedestal Jesus either (generally not a bad thing), in fact I actually do remind myself of pedestal Jesus from time to time concerning my behaviour and actions (I expect largely that is because it's a tradition and culture I grew up in and am familiar with). My concern is when an understanding of exactly who Jesus was and what he stood for becomes 'certain', then we potentially can start entering dangerous territory, as history has shown. WWJD if he was in on this discussion? (rhetorical). That does seem to be a sticking point. I think Thormas thinks he is explaining it to us, but both you and I can see that that explanation is lacking completely. I'm not sure we're going to get any better an answer though.
  10. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    You just can't see it, can you. You said Jesus WAS fully human. He made it to fully human, and we can to. So when do you get there? You just keep saying never. That makes no sense . In any normal use of the word full, we mean complete. No filling, no journeying, not 'becoming' but rather we use it in the context of completeness. But it seems you are not going to address this aspect but rather you maintain your assertion that fully human is just a trip and not a destination. I guess you can never be fully human then, as much as you might like to be. Nobody ever can. Except Jesus, he made it to fully human, apparently.
  11. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    You still miss the point - I am not ignoring your good God, I'm just saying one can't only take the 'good bits' and ignore that 'bad bits'. Well, it appears they can, but what I am trying to have you establish is exactly which image of God is precisely the correct one. The one that includes savage God, the one that excludes savage God, or some other shade in between? You have made your choice, that much is clear, I'm just trying to demonstrate that clearly millions of people have millions of different images of God, largely based on their cultural and societal context. Jews 2500 years ago held a different view than you today. You seem to say they were wrong in that view (when the wrote about savage God) and leave it at that. So when you say 'fully human' is a reflection of God, the circle seems to go on and on.
  12. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    I simply don't think you can see the figs for the trees. Whether it be the fig tree, or the temple incident, or the name calling (you vipers, you fools, Jesus referring to Canaanites as dogs, etc) what I am demonstrating to you is that some people reported this as behaviour of Jesus. So naturally, millions of Christians today see this as a reflection of Jesus and to varying degrees interpret this as to how they think Jesus expects them to behave (What Would Jesus Do?). For you, your interpretation of Jesus achieving fully human status (he did it!) pushes these things to the side conveniently because clearly, they don't seem to be the traits of somebody who should embody love itself. And you are entitled to that opinion. But your 'truly human' argument just doesn't seem to stand up with any substance. Terrific that you want to better yourself and/or be the best human you can be, but you still cannot tell me what fully human is. In fact, you seem to even dodge the question which I have asked repeatedly - If Jesus achieved fully human status, how do you measure that? If you cannot measure it and demonstrate it, how can you say he achieved fully human status? It seems a nonsense phrase.
  13. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    It's not narrow because I am not saying this is the only way to look at God. I acknowledge that God was considered in positive and loving ways also. I was simply pointing out that any 'image' of God is susceptible to how one views said God, as this is clearly demonstrated in the OT in many different ways. But you seem to want to ignore these uncomfortable versions of God, perhaps because they conflict with your view of an all loving, fully human, God. Actually, rather than ignoring Judaism and the Jewishness of Jesus, my view is bringing up some of those uncomfortable bits, the bits that don't fit with your picture about image of God and being fully human. Now you are saying there is no end point, no end to becoming fully human, that it is an ongoing process. You seem to have swung away from your earlier view that it is an 'achievement', a 'standard' that Jesus met. You said previously that Jesus made salvation (wholeness or fulfillment of Human Beings) certain: indeed, it is certain because one like us, a mere man, did it. This would seem to indicate an achievement, an end point of reaching fully human status. It may well be ongoing, but you are clearly saying that at some point Jesus actually became fully human and that now you should too.- So what I have been asking all along that you have not yet answered is what is this standard, how does one demonstrate they have reached being fully human. You have not answered that at all other than to say, be like 'Jesus'. Unfortunately, 'be like Jesus' is open to wide interpretation as we all know. I accept you're happy with your version of Jesus, as are most Christians I'm sure, even when their version is different to yours. It is something that is open to interpretation, just as any 'image of God' is open to people's interpretation.
  14. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    You have formed a view of who Jesus was and how he behaved. You get this from the bible and tradition. So when you say Jesus was fully human you must have a picture in mind of what that 'fully human' looks like. So my question is what do you do with the stuff that is said about Jesus that seems to take away from that view of being fully human. It would seem you ignore it.
  15. PaulS

    Some thoughts on Pluralism

    So can you just explain to me how getting angry and aggressive at legal traders, calling people fools, and cursing a fig tree etc, which are all things the Gospels attribute to Jesus, should these be considered fully human traits we should aspire to? What about not getting married - an aspiration to follow like Jesus' example or not? I'm not demanding you agree, I'm just asking you to put forward a coherent argument for this thing you say we are not - i.e 'fully human'. For me so far, you are not answering it and so I keep trying to understand it from different angles. Still to no avail. Okay, so this includes the behaviours outlined above? That's how we should behave also to be fully human?