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Some thoughts on Pluralism

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9 hours ago, romansh said:

OK; how does one move from one's current state to being as God is?

Well I don't think most people are through and through selfish; I think most people love others, particularly (hopefully) their family and friends. So it would seem all one has to do (easier many times said than done) is to become expansive in their concern for others. Of course, more is always necessary even with family and friends. I think most of us know when we have done a poor job at being a friend, a spouse or parent, a son or brother or being simply humane (showing compassion, being compassionate) or what I have termed simply being more human. The two great commandments actually cover the 10 commandments from Moses but the bottom line is 'one moves' by being love (failing, doing a better job next time failing again, trying again and continuing to love). It is not an achievement (as if it is reached and one can rest on their laurels); it is an achieving, a becoming, an actualizing: one must always do to be. Isn't that the way of love? Once you do it, it's not over, it's never over and who would want it to be.

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

Okay, so this includes the behaviours outlined above?  That's how we should behave also to be fully human?

This has been answered with my comment on fools and my last response to Rom.

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9 hours ago, PaulS said:

My point was that Jewish history presents a God who is vengeful, wrathful, and jealous, amongst other things.  So I fail to see how Jewish history of God supports your notion that it's not that hard to determine what an image of God is like, unless of course you mean 'ignore that stuff'.  Clearly you must think that this historical Jewish God is much different to what you believe is Jesus' version of the same God, so how come you cite a Jewish historical perspective as so clearly obvious a notion that supports a God of love?

No, this is a narrow understanding of Jewish history; the God they are in covenant with is not merely "vengeful, wrathful, and jealous." And you never acknowledge this. Plus it is this God of the covenant that Jesus, a Jew, of the 1st C CE believes in and preaches; there is no 'vengeful, wrathful, jealous' God in Jesus. And Jesus also lived at the close of the 1st C BCE and his view was not a one off. He was a traditional Jew and carried into his life that understanding. Yet, consistency, there is no mention of this by you. Plus, you must know the history of the Jews is full of drastic ups and downs that affect their understanding and is presented in their writings and this is true in the centuries leading to the time of Jesus.

Although a Christian whose main focus in on the Jesus of the NT, I recognize that this man was a Jew and the entire idea of covenant, being the chosen people, living by the commandments and the apocalyptic prophecy is his faith. Rather ..........simple. Your view ignores the entirety of Judaism and the actual Jewishness of Jesus.

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

.......you have a view of God vastly different to that of pre-Jesus Jews.  I'm sure we agree on that.  But as for precisely what the God of Jesus meant and represents and is, you seem better positioned to know that precisely than I do, based on the small amount we know of what Jesus said and did.  You have developed a certain opinion of God based on what you believe Jesus was.

Quote

Actually, there is great consistency although as a 21st C person, with a radically different world view, with the benefit of biblical and historical research and a different philosophical approach, I am speaking of that belief in ways that would resonate with modern people. Is there a cultural aspect or advantage? Of course. But one's culture does not stand apart, it (ideally) provides new tools, new information, new thought systems to consider and make one's own (i.e. makes it meaningful for the present) a faith that is share across centuries.  

Actually you have reversed it: we have a greater ability to know more about Jewish life and culture, the genres of biblical authors, Jesus and his followers than generations upon generations that lived before us. I was given a traditional view of Jesus, had the good fortune to avail myself (and I still do) of our present tools that enable us to have a much more nuance understanding of Jesus (and his God). Those tools enable us to better see the heart of that faith and provide the means to present it in today's language, in a way that resonates with our present understanding. So, we do know a considerable amount about the Jesus of the NT and what he said and therefore believed about God and based on that (ongoing) knowledge (different from opinion) the task is to translate it for a contemporary audience and also struggle with what to do when one simply disagrees with Jesus, the theistic explanation of God (which is not an explanation that makes sense  to many today) and what to do when it is clear that Jesus was wrong.

10 hours ago, PaulS said:

I am referring to every 'process philosopher' that ever existed - some include Heraclitus, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Henri Bergson, Martin Heidegger, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Alfred North Whitehead, Alfred Korzybski, R. G. Collingwood, Alan Watts, Robert M. Pirsig, Charles Hartshorne, Arran Gare, Nicholas Rescher, Colin Wilson, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze.

None of them, NONE,  defines what fully human actually means to anybody in any real, practical sense.  They all talk about 'process'.  You raised the term actualisation, so I was pointing out that no process philosopher actually defines what this 'actualisation' actually is.  It seems you agree, but then argue anyway.  If I am mistaken I ask again, name one process philosopher that defines what  'fully human' actually means to anybody in any real, practical sense (by saying it is a process - a process to what.  Surely there must be an end point if one is ever to reach 'fully human', otherwise it is just a nonsense phrase that doesn't have any real meaning.  Fully means complete/entire.  So how do we recognise one that is complete/entire?

Well, good, you have included some that are typically not defined as such but we'll leave it for now. But, you continue to ask the same question even when you have been given the answer:  it is a process: an achieving, an actualizing, a becoming and in Christianity, it is 'described' as likeness (a likening) to God, i.e. love (this is the real.practical sense of what it means to be fully human). I  again refer you to my last response to Rom. There is no end point suggesting that once you're there, it's done; there is no end. When does love stop, when is love done, when does love end? It doesn't, there is only the loving; there is only the being fully human; in each moment, in every moment to love is to be fully and truly human: essence is existence.

I give you three (to begin) theologians and philosophers and specific works: John Macquarrie's 'Principles of Christian Theology,' Gregory Baum's "Man Becoming' and John Hick's, 'Metaphor of God Incarnate.' Actually I first learned of Whitehead and process philosophy in the 70s when I first read Macquarrie. Baum was a bit earlier and Hick not until shortly before his death in 2012.

"So how do we recognise one that is complete/entire?" You will know them by their fruits.

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3 hours ago, thormas said:

 So it would seem all one has to do (easier many times said than done) is to become expansive in their concern for others. Of course, more is always necessary even with family and friends. 

As usual you don't actually answer the question thormas. Its like me asking how do I become more caring of others? You seem to say well just become more caring of others. I suggest adopt behaviours that resemble caring for others and you say oh no not that.

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19 minutes ago, romansh said:

As usual you don't actually answer the question thormas. Its like me asking how do I become more caring of others? You seem to say well just become more caring of others. I suggest adopt behaviours that resemble caring for others and you say oh no not that.

Actually I did but, then again, I always do and thereby answer many more questions than you. Your forte is asking questions, never liking the answers yet never contributing much else. Even when another tries to take you seriously, assumes that you are ' adopting a behavior that resembles genuine interest' and give an answer, rather than taking it, commenting and presenting (and explaining) an alternative, you just (once again) attack. Such a waste of a conversation.

So, I say again: become more caring of others. That is the be all and end all of love: compassionate care. In Christianity, this is what God is, and to be that likeness is to do/be the same. 

To adopt means to take what is another's and make it your own. I'm simply saying there is no need to 'adopt' behaviors that 'resemble caring' (actually why only resemble, are they not genuine caring?) because the capacity to care, to love is already one's own waiting to be actualized.  In Christianity, if one becomes the likeness of God/Love, they are actualizing what is theirs.

If for some reason you don't like this formulation, then by all means "adopt behaviors that resemble caring."   The only caveat is that what you 'adopt' you must truly 'make your own.'

Just a preference Rom, don't get bend out of shape. 

 

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OK here we go again.

In your mind is there a difference between to care for and being caring (for)? If so what is that difference?

I might care for someone ie look after their needs. And I might feel caring and yet actually do nothing (for a variety of reasons). 

There is a school of thought that if you are unhappy, put a smile on your face. The act adopting the behaviour of smiling is postulated that it changes your feelings. I suspect adopting the behaviour of care (the mechanics), might actually change your feeling of care. 

But how do you, yourself, become more caring?

 

Edited by romansh

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9 hours ago, thormas said:

Actually, no. Was there a fig tree, was it cursed, did it wither and die, was it a parable that was played out? As for the temple incident: did it happen; if so did it happen  at the beginning of his mission (John) or the end (Synoptics); was it a huge event; if it actually did happen, especially at a time when the city was teeming with people (and the greater possibility of unrest), why didn't the Roman guard react and arrest Jesus on the spot; was it a symbolic acting out? So, actually, because these had been discussed previously, I didn't go over it again. And I did comment on the 'fool' comment (see above). Marriage vs. celibacy (for example) has nothing to do with anything being truly human.

My argument is coherent, that you don't like it is not on me.It has been answered and I have even moved to human as a verb to present another approach for you. Nothing seems to work for you, so I get that you don't or can't get it. 

 

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.

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6 hours ago, thormas said:

No, this is a narrow understanding of Jewish history; the God they are in covenant with is not merely "vengeful, wrathful, and jealous." And you never acknowledge this. Plus it is this God of the covenant that Jesus, a Jew, of the 1st C CE believes in and preaches; there is no 'vengeful, wrathful, jealous' God in Jesus. And Jesus also lived at the close of the 1st C BCE and his view was not a one off. He was a traditional Jew and carried into his life that understanding. Yet, consistency, there is no mention of this by you. Plus, you must know the history of the Jews is full of drastic ups and downs that affect their understanding and is presented in their writings and this is true in the centuries leading to the time of Jesus.

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.

6 hours ago, thormas said:

Although a Christian whose main focus in on the Jesus of the NT, I recognize that this man was a Jew and the entire idea of covenant, being the chosen people, living by the commandments and the apocalyptic prophecy is his faith. Rather ..........simple. Your view ignores the entirety of Judaism and the actual Jewishness of Jesus.

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.

6 hours ago, thormas said:

Actually, there is great consistency although as a 21st C person, with a radically different world view, with the benefit of biblical and historical research and a different philosophical approach, I am speaking of that belief in ways that would resonate with modern people. Is there a cultural aspect or advantage? Of course. But one's culture does not stand apart, it (ideally) provides new tools, new information, new thought systems to consider and make one's own (i.e. makes it meaningful for the present) a faith that is share across centuries.  

Actually you have reversed it: we have a greater ability to know more about Jewish life and culture, the genres of biblical authors, Jesus and his followers than generations upon generations that lived before us. I was given a traditional view of Jesus, had the good fortune to avail myself (and I still do) of our present tools that enable us to have a much more nuance understanding of Jesus (and his God). Those tools enable us to better see the heart of that faith and provide the means to present it in today's language, in a way that resonates with our present understanding. So, we do know a considerable amount about the Jesus of the NT and what he said and therefore believed about God and based on that (ongoing) knowledge (different from opinion) the task is to translate it for a contemporary audience and also struggle with what to do when one simply disagrees with Jesus, the theistic explanation of God (which is not an explanation that makes sense  to many today) and what to do when it is clear that Jesus was wrong.

Well, good, you have included some that are typically not defined as such but we'll leave it for now. But, you continue to ask the same question even when you have been given the answer:  it is a process: an achieving, an actualizing, a becoming and in Christianity, it is 'described' as likeness (a likening) to God, i.e. love (this is the real.practical sense of what it means to be fully human). I  again refer you to my last response to Rom. There is no end point suggesting that once you're there, it's done; there is no end. When does love stop, when is love done, when does love end? It doesn't, there is only the loving; there is only the being fully human; in each moment, in every moment to love is to be fully and truly human: essence is existence.

I give you three (to begin) theologians and philosophers and specific works: John Macquarrie's 'Principles of Christian Theology,' Gregory Baum's "Man Becoming' and John Hick's, 'Metaphor of God Incarnate.' Actually I first learned of Whitehead and process philosophy in the 70s when I first read Macquarrie. Baum was a bit earlier and Hick not until shortly before his death in 2012.

"So how do we recognise one that is complete/entire?" You will know them by their fruits.

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.

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asked and answered

27 minutes ago, PaulS said:

..................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.

Actually I didn't and I don't ignore it at all. 

We discussed the fig tree and the temple incident and I researched both: their historicity, their meaning and how they fit into the whole "view of Jesus.' And I presented some of that many posts ago. I never really bought into the 'fig tree incident' (as historical) thinking it was a bit weird but discovered that scholars talk about it as the acting out of a parable (parables, as you know, are told to drive home a truth). The Temple intrigued me and I had read an earlier book by Paula Fredriksen on the number of trips Jesus made to Jerusalem and the Temple incident and am in the midst of yet another one by her which also speaks of the same story. So, no, nothing is ignored. Rather, when something comes up, I seek out experts in the field and educate myself so I'm in a position to think critically and comment. As for the 'fool' comment if we're talking about the confrontation with the Scribes and Pharisees, I have answered that.  

I have found nothing that takes away from the Christian confession that in the person, Jesus, one sees God, one sees Love, one sees the one who is 'truly Human.' 

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17 minutes ago, PaulS said:

t'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.

Of course it's not the only way to look at God. It is narrow because you give (your) one limited view of the Jewish experience and reflection on God. In these posts you have spoken and emphasized time and again your genocidal god. 

The rest has been asked and answered.

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25 minutes ago, PaulS said:

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.

We have now entered the Twilight Zone.

Just one example: how many times are you going to bring up figs without having read scholars on the issue? You always go to the fig tree on which you hang your 'argument' that Jesus wasn't always nice.*  However, it is amazing that you bring it up, I do the research, share it with you and yet it is you who accuse others of ignoring 'uncomfortable' information that goes against their position. Weird, Paul, just weird.

 

*BTW, what you also don't realize that even if we decided for fun that the 'fig tree incident' was real, it would not impact anything (see comments on 'fools').

 

 

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49 minutes ago, PaulS said:

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.

Of course. As the runner must run to be a runner, so too, man must love to be truly Human. One does and is what s/he does. In this case one does love and, thereby, is .......Love. How could love ever rest on its past glories and still be love?

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Perhaps we should be taking the Gospels as a parable rather than cherry picking.

Plainly the miracles are likely parables too. Perhaps the bits where Jesus is nice to people in a very ordinary way are parables as well. 

Perhaps Jesus being truly human is a parable … that would make far more sense.

Weird is right thormas.

Edited by romansh

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48 minutes ago, thormas said:

We discussed the fig tree and the temple incident and I researched both: their historicity, their meaning and how they fit into the whole "view of Jesus.' And I presented some of that many posts ago. I never really bought into the 'fig tree incident' (as historical) thinking it was a bit weird but discovered that scholars talk about it as the acting out of a parable (parables, as you know, are told to drive home a truth). The Temple intrigued me and I had read an earlier book by Paula Fredriksen on the number of trips Jesus made to Jerusalem and the Temple incident and am in the midst of yet another one by her which also speaks of the same story. So, no, nothing is ignored. Rather, when something comes up, I seek out experts in the field and educate myself so I'm in a position to think critically and comment. As for the 'fool' comment if we're talking about the confrontation with the Scribes and Pharisees, I have answered that.  

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.

48 minutes ago, thormas said:

I have found nothing that takes away from the Christian confession that in the person, Jesus, one sees God, one sees Love, one sees the one who is 'truly Human.' 

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.

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10 hours ago, thormas said:

Isn't that the way of love? Once you do it, it's not over, it's never over and who would want it to be.

OK how did this mythical Jesus become Truly Human©?

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2 hours ago, thormas said:

Of course it's not the only way to look at God. It is narrow because you give (your) one limited view of the Jewish experience and reflection on God. In these posts you have spoken and emphasized time and again your genocidal god. 

The rest has been asked and answered.

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.

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29 minutes ago, thormas said:

Of course. As the runner must run to be a runner, so too, man must love to be truly Human. One does and is what s/he does. In this case one does love and, thereby, is .......Love. How could love ever rest on its past glories and still be love?

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.

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20 minutes ago, PaulS said:

I guess you can never be fully human then, as much as you might like to be. 

I don't think I have the biochemical activity to be able to love and care for the whole world. Also there are individuals in this world, while not hating them, I do have severe dislikes for. Now this mythical Jesus that thormas has put on a pedestal  might be worthy of emulation, ignoring the bits that thormas is parable-izing. 

But thormas refuses to tell us the mechanism by which we can love all or become all caring. It seems to be all arm waving to me. Here is the point thormas thinks people should be at, but he does not how to get there.

Edited by romansh

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35 minutes ago, romansh said:

I don't think I have the biochemical activity to be able to love and care for the whole world. Also there are individuals in this world, while not hating them, I do have severe dislikes for. Now this mythical Jesus that thormas has put on a pedestal  might be worthy of emulation, ignoring the bits that thormas is parable-izing. 

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).

35 minutes ago, romansh said:

But thormas refuses to tell us the mechanism by which we can love all or become all caring. It seems to be all arm waving to me. Here is the point thormas thinks people should be at, but he does not how to get there.

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.

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

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.

Quote

Ah, an attempt at humor. But............this has been dealt with. Acting out of a parable is not a report of Jesus' behavior. The Temple is more involved but might be similar and the fool thing has been addressed.

I never have heard people contemplating the story of the fig tree, felt Jesus was setting expectations and then  go out and curse figs, trees or fig trees. Nor are many people showing evidence of pressure to call people who browbeat others a brood of vipers. But it would be colorful. Hey, are there many people overturning the collection baskets in churches? I think Burl could have fun with this in the Heatherns section.

You are projecting your issues on millions of innocent Christians. And, nothing is pushed to the side, I'm the only one who researched, read and addressed these issues.

Nice try though.

 

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

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.

Not mere opinion but i know, since you continually say it, it makes you happy. 

Sure it stands up and that you don't agree is fine. As for the rest, see previous posts.

And, we're back to measuring and demanding evidence of what is a religious belief (on that see previous posts).

 

 

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

OK how did this mythical Jesus become Truly Human©?

Well, not mythical and I refer you to Bart Ehrman on the question of the existence of Jesus. That settled, the how was answered.

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

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.

The so called bad bits are not ignored, actually I'm the one who addressed them. Actually, the view 2500 years ago is not as different as you like to suggest to the time of Jesus and through to today however, as mentioned, there is a continuing evolution in both religious thought and human consciousness. Sure there are differences but the Jews and the Christians say that the God of Abraham, Moses, the Prophets, David, Solomon, the Baptizer, Jesus and continuing to today is the same, true God. And where have I said they're wrong? There is a core belief that is consistent (the same/similar view) and much of the cultural, societal, tribal context had fallen away, by your calendar, less than 500 years later. No one is saying there is no cultural context but you take that to mean that all is mere opinion producing radically different views, images and beliefs. Whereas the reality is that there is an understanding, a belief that remains through to this day.

Christians have millions of different images of God? Can you name the first 100,000? And are you talking crop circles now? 
 

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17 minutes ago, thormas said:

And, we're back to measuring and demanding evidence of what is a religious belief (on that see previous posts).

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.

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1 hour ago, PaulS said:

Jesus 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.

Actually the question was raised was it possible for most of us to become 'fully or truly human' in this (one) lifetime and I mentioned that theologians have different theories on this. The belief is that Jesus was truly human in this lifetime and that the life of 'being Love' continues in God (the how, where, what does it look like. etc. no one has any idea). You seem to be having problems with the word fully, so let's move to another word I have used to capture this: truly human. Any of us can be truly human in this life. However, and I did mention this previously, it is an achieving in the moment or moments, a failing and achieving yet again. This captures the idea that being truly human is an ongoing process: complete or full in the moment(s) but not always in all our moments. So, I know you like measurements and evidence and the normal use of words but in religious belief as in some philosophies, words are stretched or taken out of the 'normal usage. So being truly human is indeed a becoming, a process, an achieving, an actualization and the point is to try to 'string those moments together into a whole. Now back to the word full; to be fully human means, in these moments, to be 'fully' the likeness of or the embodiment of love; there is a completeness because one is fully love and there is no selfishness. There is no there to get to; there is only fully being love in the moment, and then there is the next moment and the one after that. So it can be said that one is fully human but they must continue to do love in order to be fully, truly, human. Now what happens after this one lifetime if we are still on the way? Does it, in some way, continue until, as we said many posts age, all is One, until all is fully, truly, completely Love? I vote yes.

So there is a completeness and a becoming; there is a completion and a continuing actualization. So we all can be but it is never ending (I knew you'd like that one). 

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