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PaulS

The Purpose of Life

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OK Burl … I really have no interest in this, but I went to Wiki anyway to understand what on Earth is actually an Apostolic Father … and still I really have little interest in this. According to Wiki:

The Apostolic Fathers were Christian theologians who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been significantly influenced by them.[1]

OK fair enough.

Cyril of Jesusalem … (c. 313[1] – 386 AD).

Athnasius … (c. 296–298 – 2 May 373),

Gregory of Nanzien:

Gregory the Elder, or Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder, (c. 276 – 374) … OK with bit of prayerful imagination he meets the first part of the definition of Apostolic Father.

Gregory of Nazianzus  (c. 329[2] – 25 January 390)

The wiki page names five of the Fathers, none of whom are the ones you listed?

So where do we go from here? … They don't seem like Apostolic Fathers to me, but then I am not an expert on this like what you are. 

 

Edited by romansh

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9 hours ago, romansh said:

OK Burl … I really have no interest in this, but I went to Wiki anyway to understand what on Earth is actually an Apostolic Father … and still I really have little interest in this. According to Wiki:

The Apostolic Fathers were Christian theologians who lived in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, who are believed to have personally known some of the Twelve Apostles, or to have been significantly influenced by them.[1]

OK fair enough.

Cyril of Jesusalem … (c. 313[1] – 386 AD).

Athnasius … (c. 296–298 – 2 May 373),

Gregory of Nanzien:

Gregory the Elder, or Gregory of Nazianzus the Elder, (c. 276 – 374) … OK with bit of prayerful imagination he meets the first part of the definition of Apostolic Father.

Gregory of Nazianzus  (c. 329[2] – 25 January 390)

The wiki page names five of the Fathers, none of whom are the ones you listed?

So where do we go from here? … They don't seem like Apostolic Fathers to me, but then I am not an expert on this like what you are. 

 

 My precise point in not just naming someone.  All of the Apostolic Fathers wrote meditations on Scripture.  These were not cathechisms.  They were lengthy prose ramblings written to people who were being severely persecuted and martyred.  

I believe there are about 12 volumes, and I am not about to go through my 80 semester hours of seminary notes to figure out exactly which lecture covered this for people who don't believe they even have a soul or any reason to be concerned with its care and training or consider divine revelation to be the primary source that it is.

I told you a name was a useless response to a trivial question.  Maybe now you believe me since that you have proven it to yourself.

And for goodness sake give up on Wikipedia.

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6 hours ago, Burl said:

 I told you a name was a useless response to a trivial question.  

Burl, what you clearly don't understand is that the question wasn't trivial to me.  I was genuinely interested in which of the earliest Apostolic Fathers, those closest to the time of Jesus, had formed such views of the Kingdom and why.  The question was not at all unfair to ask after you stated that certain understandings of the Kingdom went back to "about as early as one can get".  I was not aware of this early interpretation of the such a view, hence why I was asking who and how.

The only thing trivial (i.e. of little value or importance) related to the question, was your response.  Rather than discuss the issue in good spirit, you chose to deflect, trivialise the question and attack the questioners.

In good faith I read the article you provided (which did not refer to any such Fathers) and then watched the 15minute Youtube video you provided (which referenced an 18th century Father’s view).  And when I said that these didn’t provide the answers as you proposed, you became attacking.  Why do you do that?

Now after pages of wasted dialogue, it is demonstrated that the earliest Fathers you are referring to are dated from the late 3rd to late 4th centuries – so the ‘earliest’ being some 250 years after Jesus existed – with nothing in between to substantiate how those Fathers substantiated those views other than their own theological summations.

If that works for you, then all the best.  But 12 volumes of work and your 80 semester hours of seminary notes mean very little to me, as I’m sure it would to you if somebody who you considered to be from a 'weirdo' Church cited all the work they had put in studying something that you did not understand as truth.  I gave you an opportunity to share your wisdom, but the evidence is there as to how you instead chose to respond.

I have no problem with you having your views – that is your entitlement.  But I do take issue when you choose to participate in a Debate & Dialogue thread by belittling those who dare ask you to substantiate some of your claims.  I think you should ask yourself why you behave in this manner.  It just seems unreasonable.

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5 hours ago, PaulS said:

Burl, what you clearly don't understand is that the question wasn't trivial to me.  I was genuinely interested in which of the earliest Apostolic Fathers, those closest to the time of Jesus, had formed such views of the Kingdom and why.  The question was not at all unfair to ask after you stated that certain understandings of the Kingdom went back to "about as early as one can get".  I was not aware of this early interpretation of the such a view, hence why I was asking who and how.

The only thing trivial (i.e. of little value or importance) related to the question, was your response.  Rather than discuss the issue in good spirit, you chose to deflect, trivialise the question and attack the questioners.

In good faith I read the article you provided (which did not refer to any such Fathers) and then watched the 15minute Youtube video you provided (which referenced an 18th century Father’s view).  And when I said that these didn’t provide the answers as you proposed, you became attacking.  Why do you do that?

Now after pages of wasted dialogue, it is demonstrated that the earliest Fathers you are referring to are dated from the late 3rd to late 4th centuries – so the ‘earliest’ being some 250 years after Jesus existed – with nothing in between to substantiate how those Fathers substantiated those views other than their own theological summations.

If that works for you, then all the best.  But 12 volumes of work and your 80 semester hours of seminary notes mean very little to me, as I’m sure it would to you if somebody who you considered to be from a 'weirdo' Church cited all the work they had put in studying something that you did not understand as truth.  I gave you an opportunity to share your wisdom, but the evidence is there as to how you instead chose to respond.

I have no problem with you having your views – that is your entitlement.  But I do take issue when you choose to participate in a Debate & Dialogue thread by belittling those who dare ask you to substantiate some of your claims.  I think you should ask yourself why you behave in this manner.  It just seems unreasonable.

The Apostolic fathers were cenobitic monks who lived in isolation with scriptures and prayer.  They lived long before the age of scholasticism, which was a 12-14c Roman tradition.  Theirs was not primarily a intellectual activity but one of faith.

I told you the name would be worthless, which you now demonstrate was completely true.  I also asked you why you were asking the question so I could help you form a useful question but you refused to answer.  Therefore I provided a few references on the physical manifestations of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, which was the subject under discussion, and let you make your own inferences.

You did view all six parts of the interview with St. Seraphim of Sarov?  It is one interview broken up into parts.  Seraphim's glowing, dazzling nature relates directly to the burning bush and the ark of the covenant.  This peculiar spiritual fire is often mentioned in non-Christian spiritual traditions too.  Also his ability to keep him and his interviewer warm in the snow and his interviewer's ability to recognize the Saint's glorification.

Today the physical manifestations of the Holy Ghost are most visible through healing, exorcism, prophecy and speaking in tongues and particularly the biblical charisms.  The spiritual effects of peace, patience and contentment are infinitely more valuable though.

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18 hours ago, Burl said:

I told you the name would be worthless, which you now demonstrate was completely true. 

To the contrary Burl, I find it quite worthy & useful that you finally answered my question and established that there were in fact no Apostolic Fathers less than several hundred years after Jesus that are known to hold the notion that Pentecost was a physical manifestation of the Kingdom.  

At first I thought I must have been missing something when you said that this interpretation of the Kingdom of God at Pentecost went “back to the Apostolic fathers and so was about as early as one can get”. I do like to deal with the facts (where we can) so it was useful that you eventually answered what you meant by as ‘early as one can get’ - early actually being more than 250 years after Jesus.  

Personally, I don’t find it fulfilling taking direction from other people’s ‘faith’, particularly those who may form a view back in 300-400CE based on not much more than their meditations and prayers to interpret text from several hundred years prior (in fragments, mistranslated, altered by scribes, etc).  And I must say I do favour more the intellectual and scholarly view of things.  Personally I see support for that approach when it comes to things like science, medicine, physics, biology etc - basically all those fields who over time review their ideas and continue to build on our understanding of things. 

We all know many people of unassailable faith who hold completely different views yet who are all thoroughly convinced that they are right.  These monks, who several hundred years after Jesus had died, pursued not an intellectual activity to understand scripture but rather a faith view relying on meditation, prayer and their personal & groupthink interpretations of scripture, don't satisfy me at all that they are accurate in their understanding of what Jesus meant about the impending Kingdom of God.  If that’s enough for you, then that’s for you, but it’s not for me.

You seem to think that you know best and that I should be directed by you how to ask the ‘right’ questions.  Clearly, you had a direction in mind that you wanted me to take rather than simply answer the question I was asking.  You pretended to answer it (although you didn't), but at least we got there eventually.

But that doesn’t really work for me.  If it doesn’t work for you then maybe next time you could simply refrain from commenting or advise that you are not prepared to answer, rather than send me off in a different direction.

As for Seraphim – not really my thing, but thanks anyway. 

If you do happen to come up with anything in the gap years between Jesus' teachings and how the Apostolic Fathers you cited from the 300-400's came to form the view that Jesus' teachings of the Kingdom were referring to a physical manifestation at Pentecost, I would love to read more about that.

Cheers

Paul

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