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Lissy

Jesus's Third Way

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Yes, it does engender discussion. This is why it is important to read in context. As I pointed out, Jesus is not prescribing behavior here. In fact, he is doing the exact opposite by preaching that one must discern the purpose of the law and act intelligently; NOT to brainlessly follow rigid instructions. The law is a compass which points one towards righteousness but if you follow a compass blindly you will walk into a tree.

 

I added the Message transliteration for interest, and because it is really good for first-time and casual readers. Also for our cynics. I am using The Message for my weekly lectionary posts as well. I think it does well here by identifying generosity and not self-sacrifice as a primary theme.

Interesting point but why do you say he is not talking about/prescribing behavior? Once the purpose of the law is discerned, one does act, n'est ce pas?

Edited by thormas

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that our reality is "chaotic" are notmy conclusions.

 

Such conclusions are potentially limiting.

 

Well ... this one as far we can tell is a very accurate description of the way the universe ticks. And not taking this observation into account is also potentially limiting.

 

But a bit more on track ... Looking for strategies for dealing with the so called human condition relying on a modern interpretation of a close to two thousand year old text while interesting is also potentially limiting. Thinking about are our proposed actions is also limiting as is not thinking.

 

Ultimately our ball [desire, will, etc.] is what we are talking about here.

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double post

Edited by romansh

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Interesting point but why do you say he is not talking about/prescribing behavior? Once the purpose of the law is discerned, one does act, n'est ce pas?

Every argument is hyperbole. Jesus was not seriously recommending that people poke out their eyes or cut off their limbs. He was making examples of how imperfect the written law was.

 

I didn't want to get too deep or Tariki might hurt himself looking for more Monty Python clips (funny and on point, btw) but you should catch the quote from Isaiah and how it relates to Jesus proving the inadequacy of the Torah in his conviction and execution. He followed it in every respect, and yet was executed under color of law. This a second line of logic demonstrating that Jesus was preaching the inadequacy of strict interpretation when compared to spiritual and logical suasion.

 

Even Rom agrees with me in his peculiar way, but he will probably deny that three times before sunrise.

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Every argument is hyperbole. Jesus was not seriously recommending that people poke out their eyes or cut off their limbs. He was making examples of how imperfect the written law was.

 

I didn't want to get too deep or Tariki might hurt himself looking for more Monty Python clips (funny and on point, btw) but you should catch the quote from Isaiah and how it relates to Jesus proving the inadequacy of the Torah in his conviction and execution. He followed it in every respect, and yet was executed under color of law. This a second line of logic demonstrating that Jesus was preaching the inadequacy of strict interpretation when compared to spiritual and logical suasion.

 

Even Rom agrees with me in his peculiar way, but he will probably deny that three times before sunrise.

 

True but even with your transliteration, some of his words do seem to prescribe attitude and behavior.

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True but even with your transliteration, some of his words do seem to prescribe attitude and behavior.

Yes but generosity is by nature general, incremental and tempered with reason.

 

The passage argues strongly against strictly literal or legalistic interpretations of Scripture.

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Even Rom agrees with me in his peculiar way, but he will probably deny that three times before sunrise.

 

I am just curious about the value of transliterations ... other than we can put on our own spin in the translation of the transliterated phrase. Is this what you suggest I am agreeing with?

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I am just curious about the value of transliterations ... other than we can put on our own spin in the translation of the transliterated phrase. Is this what you suggest I am agreeing with?

The value of transliterations is that they are easy to read and the authors do add a bit of interpretation. They really can't avoid that. Compared to using a scholarly translation and a commentary it's a bit like doing your lawn with weed 'n feed instead of seperate fertilizer and weed killer. Quick and easy, gets the job done, but not as thorough or effective.

 

Good practice is to first read the whole book in one sitting, making an outline and taking note of whatever strikes your interest. Then you go back through the book a second time slowly and prayerfully.

 

The Message is really good for step one, and a good solid translation is good for the second read. I like the ESV study bible for that. Lots of people try to read the Bible and quit because they pick a difficult translation and get bored. Better to get a good overview first and then go back later and hand pull the nutsedge and thistles.

 

Where I think we agree is that reason and logic are essentials. God gave us brains for a reason so we ought to use them. Right?

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Where I think we agree is that reason and logic are essentials. God gave us brains for a reason so we ought to use them. Right?

 

Depends on what you mean by gave and God I suppose. If you mean some thing like: the universe unfolded and gave us a capacity for thought that can make not totally unreasonable observations and predictions about our environment .. then definitely.

 

I will transliterate a Latvian word for you labdiena ... in its original it is labdiena. So how is this easier to read? A translation (literally good-day) is better I think, which is more useful. Anyway just a curiosity.

 

Which of the Hindu traditions should I read first ... they are older and therefore better, no? And this goes back to my original point to Lissy, why Christianity other than this is a Progressive Christian site and that is her belief system. I suppose it is fair enough, but not very questioning.

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That was great, hadn't seen it before.

 

"don't forget the ball" words to live by.

 

The highlight was Karl Marx warming up. But my Man of the Match was Heidegger, even though he was on the losing side.

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Well ... this one as far we can tell is a very accurate description of the way the universe ticks. And not taking this observation into account is also potentially limiting.

 

But a bit more on track ... Looking for strategies for dealing with the so called human condition relying on a modern interpretation of a close to two thousand year old text while interesting is also potentially limiting. Thinking about are our proposed actions is also limiting as is not thinking.

 

Ultimately our ball [desire, will, etc.] is what we are talking about here.

 

Well, as said previously, we can keep going round in circles.

 

There is "becoming" and there are conclusions.

 

"As far as we can tell"

 

I agree with you that restricting our search in any way is potentially limiting.

 

Yes, we are talking about our "desire and will" - what would BE if both were surrendered? No conclusions please.

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On the thread as a whole, once again, for me "ethics" follow naturally from wisdom/surrender/grace/acceptance. In my own Pure Land way, everything is "made to become so of itself beyond our calculation". To say "thank you" whatever the circumstance and allow Reality-as-is to be. To act according to prescription using any guide or template is, as I experience it, the way of "works" which invites the way of the pharisee.

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The value of transliterations is that they are easy to read and the authors do add a bit of interpretation. They really can't avoid that. Compared to using a scholarly translation and a commentary it's a bit like doing your lawn with weed 'n feed instead of seperate fertilizer and weed killer. Quick and easy, gets the job done, but not as thorough or effective.

Good practice is to first read the whole book in one sitting, making an outline and taking note of whatever strikes your interest. Then you go back through the book a second time slowly and prayerfully.

The Message is really good for step one, and a good solid translation is good for the second read. I like the ESV study bible for that. Lots of people try to read the Bible and quit because they pick a difficult translation and get bored. Better to get a good overview first and then go back later and hand pull the nutsedge and thistles.

Where I think we agree is that reason and logic are essentials. God gave us brains for a reason so we ought to use them. Right?

Hand pulling the nutsedge is not so good. It will just come right back. In my experience it is better to just spray and it will kill the root system. To me it is better time spent to analyze ones own life experience and learn than try to guess what someone else is seeing especially In such matters and writings that primarily embrace faith and belief more than the experience , reason, and logic you speak of.

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What is pure freedom of mind? If you are asking me it is an illusion. Freedom of the mind is not being able to see the strings.

 

And as much as I like Batchelor I think he is misleading us when he says creative freedom of awakening. ​Simply because we cannot see our sources does not mean they are not there. We live in a chaotic universe and occasionally two disparate sources bump into one another and we think of as creative.

To me, on the contrary, freedom of mind IS being able to see the strings.

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Back on topic...... I have found in experience it is best for me to turn away from those who do violence or it is perceived would harm me. I have found it is best to not be the one who takes an eye for an eye. It seems to me that consequences follow actions in the concept of time when the perpetrator finds a victim so inclined. I have found it wise to try to live peaceably with all and when that doesn't seem possible then be the one to walk away before it escalates. It seems to me people will find what they are looking for, if not now then later with a willing victim. I would like to choose not to be that victim by resisting violence if it is in my power to do so. IF not, the capacity for retaliation and self preservation would no doubt be enacted.

Joseph

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Instituting rules, laws and morality never solves our problems because they rise from the individual, outlaws who are beyond the law because they have different moral values and don't care about the institutional laws. Many people lack moral values and use the system to benefit themselves even if it hurts others. I have seen and experienced this in many countries even in the US where out corruption is protected by laws. We lie ourselves into wars so the Defense Industry can profit from missiles that kill innocent children, women and men, labeled peace makers. Therefore, I say spiritual progress, social change. We have people who are religious abusing people and non religious people that spread kindness and compassion so let many interpretations be applied to the law so we have a variety of ways to think and act on a situation. Yes, if being attack we must defend ourselves and if not everyone appreciates love and kindness. Being in the moment we will do the right thing at the level we are at. Some people will act out physically, some intellectually and some being the love they profess, which I use Jesus as my example. I just hope I have the inner strength to do what is right when the time comes. Spiritual progress, social change.

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The Sermon on the Mount is not about pragmatism or utilitarianism.  Jesus isn't laying down a realistic political or social ethic.

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5 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

The Sermon on the Mount is not about pragmatism or utilitarianism.  Jesus isn't laying down a realistic political or social ethic.

There was a good string of posts on this a few months back.  We just changed software and I'm not sure how to find it but I'll look.  Focused on Christian pacifism and the antitheses.

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I'm more into Niebhur-style Christian realism or Bonhoeffer.  I'm not really comfortable with peace-church pacifism where we stand back and merely let our lights shine.  I'm more Augustinian: "to escape sin may be the ultimate guilt", something attributed to Bonhoeffer. 

Edited by FireDragon76

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5 hours ago, FireDragon76 said:

I'm more into Niebhur-style Christian realism or Bonhoeffer.  I'm not really comfortable with peace-church pacifism where we stand back and merely let our lights shine.  I'm more Augustinian: "to escape sin may be the ultimate guilt", something attributed to Bonhoeffer. 

It would be interesting FD76 if you explained your comment more thoroughly. What, specifically, interests you in the three men you mentioned?

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Bonhoeffer and Niebhur are arguably among the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20th century.  Bonhoeffer in particular was brilliant.

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True, thoughts on 'Christian realism' and how they differs from others?  Anything on Augustine's intriguing quote above? Who or what churches practice "peace-church pacifism where we stand back and merely let our lights shine?" Just curious for details.

Edited by thormas

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The quote "To escape sin may be the ultimate guilt" is attributed to Bonhoeffer.

Peace churches are those churches that believe Christians are not free to participate in war or justified violence.  Historically, most Christians have not held this ethical position.  Augustine was probably the first to clearly articulate the argument that Christians could be soldiers in good conscience.  Before then, many local bishops prohibited anyone who had killed, for any reason, from receiving the sacraments without penances.

Christian realism is an outgrowth of neo-orthodox Reformed and Lutheran anthropology and social ethics.  It's not cultural conservativism and quietism of the fundamentalists, but it's also critical of the utopianism and flawed anthropology of the Social Gospel movement.  Even though Bonhoeffer did not identify himself as such, theologically he had more in common with Niebuhr than many of his liberal contemporaries. 

 

 

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Radical Christian pacifism is largely a product of the Menno's overreaction to the evil of Müntzer and the German Peasant's War. It's not wrong, but definitely an extremist position.  Defense of self and others is not wrong.

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