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4 hours ago, Spammer said:

Of course not. You stand outside the Apostolic Tradition. Why would you? :)

How can that be when we don't stand at all during our services?

;)

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11 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

How can that be when we don't stand at all during our services?

;)

Hahaha

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6 hours ago, Spammer said:

Yes, foreign eunuchs and even Book of Mormon devotees can enjoy those benefits. The true church is open to all.  😎 

The true church was promised to be sons and daughters. This promise is to receive a name better - to receive the name YHVH. Rewriting the scriptures is apparently nothing too new for orthodoxy, but we have the original Isaiah... so rewriting it won't wash. It says what it says.... and the truth will win in the end.

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9 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

The true church was promised to be sons and daughters. This promise is to receive a name better - to receive the name YHVH. Rewriting the scriptures is apparently nothing too new for orthodoxy, but we have the original Isaiah... so rewriting it won't wash. It says what it says.... and the truth will win in the end.

This is obviously true from within your paradigm, but I don’t share it and mine is the one true paradigm.  Obviously. 

:)

 

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11 hours ago, Spammer said:

This is obviously true from within your paradigm, but I don’t share it and mine is the one true paradigm.  Obviously. 

:)

 

It won't be so obvious to you in the near future friend.... :) 

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7 hours ago, RevTestament said:

It won't be so obvious to you in the near future friend.... :) 

Well spoken and true -  from within your own one, true paradigm. 😎

I appreciate the sentiment. I don’t worry about such things, since whether a given spiritual paradigm is objectively true is in principle unknowable. If yours works for you, go for it!

Edited by Spammer

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On 7/6/2019 at 6:02 PM, Jane_Doe said:

But from an LDS standpoint...honestly I find that Creedal Christians have a much more negative or lesser view of man than LDS Christians (speaking both of present-day man and eventual perfected man).  

Which reflects the evidence of the Greek philosophy causing the apostasy.

Mankind is of a lesser substance and nature than the divine, which is straight out of Plato.

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38 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Mankind is of a lesser substance and nature than the divine, which is straight out of Plato.

That is not the teaching of Creedal Christianity. Measuring greater and lesser requires being on the same scale. God is not a being among beings. You can’t start somewhere on the scale and progress until you arrive at God. God is not on the scale. Measurement is ruled out. There is no scale that applies to God. There is only God and everything else that isn’t God. Scaling is possible only for the everything else, everything that exists concurrently alongside everything else inside the cosmos - like Plato’s god. Plato’s god is part of the universe and matter is eternal. The same as in LDS teaching. The God of Creedal Christians made the universe out of nothing. LDS teaching is closer to Plato than Creedal Christianity.

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5 hours ago, Spammer said:

Well spoken and true -  from within your own one, true paradigm. 😎

I appreciate the sentiment. I don’t worry about such things, since whether a given spiritual paradigm is objectively true is in principle unknowable. If yours works for you, go for it!

Don't say I didn't try to help you.... I am glad you at least appreciate the sentiment.... As for whether a principle is knowable... I wonder what the apostles thought they knew when they saw the risen Christ. :) 

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53 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

Don't say I didn't try to help you.... I am glad you at least appreciate the sentiment.... As for whether a principle is knowable... I wonder what the apostles thought they knew when they saw the risen Christ. :) 

They had a direct experience of the event. We didn’t. They knew; we have faith. No matter how powerful the spiritual experience confirming the truth of the apostles’ witness, it’s only an experience of something we ‘feel,’  whether it's an actual feeling or the sense of 'tasting sweet' since it makes our life better and more meaningful. Whether our interpretation of the feel aligns with the objective reality of an ancient event is unknowable.  

 

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1 hour ago, Spammer said:

That is not the teaching of Creedal Christianity. Measuring greater and lesser requires being on the same scale. God is not a being among beings. You can’t start somewhere on the scale and progress until you arrive at God. God is not on the scale. Measurement is ruled out. There is no scale that applies to God. There is only God and everything else that isn’t God. Scaling is possible only for the everything else, everything that exists concurrently alongside everything else inside the cosmos - like Plato’s god. Plato’s god is part of the universe and matter is eternal. The same as in LDS teaching. The God of Creedal Christians made the universe out of nothing. LDS teaching is closer to Plato than Creedal Christianity.

I respect that these are your thoughts but... my thoughts very much disagree.  Honestly, if a person truly wants to understand Creedal Christianity, (such as the Trinity), I find that Plato's writings are essential readings.  the talk of substances, different classes of beings, the very scale you describe, the need to be ex nihilio to trump the "natural world", etc.  Coming from a background that doesn't have all of that huge amount of Greek philiosphy... it's huge.  

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19 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

I respect that these are your thoughts but... my thoughts very much disagree.  Honestly, if a person truly wants to understand Creedal Christianity, (such as the Trinity), I find that Plato's writings are essential readings.  the talk of substances, different classes of beings, the very scale you describe, the need to be ex nihilio to trump the "natural world", etc.  Coming from a background that doesn't have all of that huge amount of Greek philiosphy... it's huge.  

Hello.  Plato's substances belong to the cosmos and are material.  Plato's god did not make them.  They exist alongside him. Plato's god is part of the cosmos.  The Trinitarian God's 'substance' (note the quotes) is immaterial.  Creedal Christians use a term (substance) rooted in our material existence and inseparable from it in an attempt to explain the immaterial.  The attempt fails.  Still, what else are we going to do? All we have are materially-grounded concepts and terms.  We can't talk or think otherwise.  

Plato's chain of being leads to Plato's god.  Plato's god and everything that isn't god is on the same scale.  Plato's god is a being among beings, one of the classes of beings in the cosmos.  The Trinitarian God is not on any scale.  Unlike Plato's god, you can't climb or progress on any scale and end up at God.  Plato never entertained the idea of God existing even if nothing else but God existed.  No one thought that until Christians came along and made that radical distinction - the Christian distinction.  Until then, no one had posited a cosmos that didn't also contain the divine as a part of the cosmos. 

Only Creedal Christianity posits a God that would still be God and exactly the same, even if nothing else but God existed.

It follows, therefore, and you can see why, that, for Plato, since both God and matter are eternal:

Plato did not teach ex nihilo.  He taught ex materia creation, the same as the LDS Church.

Anyone who thinks Plato taught ex nihilo hasn't read much Plato.

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8 minutes ago, Spammer said:

Hello.  Plato's substances belong to the cosmos and are material.  Plato's god did not make them.  They exist alongside him.

Plato has substances.  "Substances" is even a concept.  And it is also Creedal Christianity (along with the need to supersede it with ex nihilio).

 

In LDS Christianity, this isn't even a concept.  Talking about "substances" and "ex nihilism" and classes of beings and "mutable and immutable traits" are completely foreign and baffling.  To understand even this concept, a person must go read Plato, and then can better understand Creedal response to it.

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22 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

I respect that these are your thoughts but... my thoughts very much disagree.  Honestly, if a person truly wants to understand Creedal Christianity, (such as the Trinity), I find that Plato's writings are essential readings.  the talk of substances, different classes of beings, the very scale you describe, the need to be ex nihilio to trump the "natural world", etc.  Coming from a background that doesn't have all of that huge amount of Greek philiosphy... it's huge.  

I agree.

People speak of Plato's "God" which is itself kind of a misnomer.  His "God" is the Form of Goodness from whom we derive every possible idea of what is "good" vs "bad".   Such a God is totally transcendent, and in no way a person in any sense.  The entity is compared to the Sun.  To regard such an entity as a person would be "blasphemy" IF such was even a Greek notion.  Plato himself would probably see such an idea as an ignorant fantasy of the common folk who were uneducated craftsmen and slaves, the lowest rung of society.  Obviously the Greeks had gods of all kinds, regarded as kind of super-humans, but Plato and Parmenides did not take such ideas seriously 

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24 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

Plato has substances.  "Substances" is even a concept.  And it is also Creedal Christianity (along with the need to supersede it with ex nihilio).

Yes, Plato has substances.  I never said otherwise. So, what exactly do you think Creedal Christianity borrowed from Plato?  It's neither Plato's concept of the divine substance nor his ex materia creation (Plato's divine substance was not personal and separate from the cosmos, like in Creedal Christianity, nor was he into ex nihilo).  Are you saying it's the mere use of the term 'substance' in Creedal Christianity?

24 minutes ago, Jane_Doe said:

In LDS Christianity, this isn't even a concept.  Talking about "substances" and "ex nihilism" and classes of beings and "mutable and immutable traits" are completely foreign and baffling.  To understand even this concept, a person must go read Plato, and then can better understand Creedal response to it.

I think I understand what you're saying better.  You're saying that understanding what Creedal Christianity means by God requires some understanding of Plato.  Ok.  I can agree with that, if only because when the Creeds were developed the formulations needed to defend against Plato's philosophy, which permeated the ancient world.  Given the milieu, Plato's terms were employed and given new meanings - Christian meanings.  If that's what you mean, then I agree.  Where we'll disagree is that Creedal Christians mean what Plato meant by 'substance,' 'cosmos,' 'God,' and 'creation' and based their theology on Plato's meanings.  That's flat wrong.

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Just now, mfbukowski said:

I agree.

People speak of Plato's "God" which is itself kind of a misnomer.  His "God" is the Form of Goodness from whom we derive every possible idea of what is "good" vs "bad".   Such a God is totally transcendent, and in no way a person in any sense.  The entity is compared to the Sun.  To regard such an entity as a person would be "blasphemy" IF such was even a Greek notion.  Plato himself would probably see such an idea as an ignorant fantasy of the common folk who were uneducated craftsmen and slaves, the lowest rung of society.  Obviously the Greeks had gods of all kinds, regarded as kind of super-humans, but Plato and Parmenides did not take such ideas seriously 

Which is why all of the above in Plato was condemned by the Church.  Plato's god is alien and far removed from the Trinitarian god.  So what exactly did Creedal Christians get from Plato?

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1 hour ago, Spammer said:

Hello.  Plato's substances belong to the cosmos and are material.  Plato's god did not make them.  They exist alongside him. Plato's god is part of the cosmos.  The Trinitarian God's 'substance' (note the quotes) is immaterial.  Creedal Christians use a term (substance) rooted in our material existence and inseparable from it in an attempt to explain the immaterial.  The attempt fails.  Still, what else are we going to do? All we have are materially-grounded concepts and terms.  We can't talk or think otherwise.  

Plato's chain of being leads to Plato's god.  Plato's god and everything that isn't god is on the same scale.  Plato's god is a being among beings, one of the classes of beings in the cosmos.  The Trinitarian God is not on any scale.  Unlike Plato's god, you can't climb or progress on any scale and end up at God.  Plato never entertained the idea of God existing even if nothing else but God existed.  No one thought that until Christians came along and made that radical distinction - the Christian distinction.  Until then, no one had posited a cosmos that didn't also contain the divine as a part of the cosmos. 

Only Creedal Christianity posits a God that would still be God and exactly the same, even if nothing else but God existed.

It follows, therefore, and you can see why, that, for Plato, since both God and matter are eternal:

Plato did not teach ex nihilo.  He taught ex materia creation, the same as the LDS Church.

Anyone who thinks Plato taught ex nihilo hasn't read much Plato.

Well really you should be talking about Aristotle where Augustine and Aquinas got a lot of their theology.

Of course ex nihilo did not come from Plato but it is quite a bit more complicated than all that

This is not too bad a discussion of it all .  For Plato God is not really a "being" at all.  So even discussing it this way is imposing a lot on Plato that isn't there.  But there isn't any doubt that things of the soul are far superior to material objects.

https://www.plato-dialogues.org/email/960211_1.htm

 

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55 minutes ago, Spammer said:

Which is why all of the above in Plato was condemned by the Church.  Plato's god is alien and far removed from the Trinitarian god.  So what exactly did Creedal Christians get from Plato?

Seriously?

http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rdwallin/syl/GreatBooks/202.W99/Augustine/AugPlaton.htm

Quote

 

At Milan, Augustine was given ëPlatonic books' in a Latin translation by Marius Victorinus (7.9.13, 8.2.3), and, he says, they changed his life. The Platonism Augustine encountered at Milan, in books and discussion groups and Ambrose's preaching, was ëNew Platonism' (Neoplatonism), which set out to explicate Plato in the belief that he had understood the eternal truth and had expounded it in a consistent philosophical system which was passed on by his followers. It required great ingenuity of mind to reconcile Plato's various experiments in thought, Aristotle's critique, and the arguments of their successors, and many debates continued among the New Platonists. Milanese Neoplatonism was very much influenced by the third-century philosopher Plotinus, an impressive ascetic who refused to give formal philosophical lectures, and by his pupil Porphyry, who revised Plotinus' brief written records of his thinking and organised them into groups of nine, the Enneads... The ëPlatonic books' may have included writings by Plotinus and Porphyry: certainly, by the time he wrote theConfessions, Augustine had read some Plotinus and had been profoundly impressed. Plotinus' style, as well as his arguments, is heard in the Confessions, both in the tenacious strings of questions with which Augustine pursues a difficult problem (as in 1.3.3-4.4) and in occasional flashes of exhortation (as at 1.18.28).

Plato's philosophy contrasts the uncertain, transitory world we perceive with the senses, and the unchanging reality, grasped by reason, from which the world derives its existence. The dominant Neoplatonist image was of the One, the highest level of being, from which emanates (literally, flows out), or radiates, all else that there is, as if in concentric circles. The circles of being turn back towards the original unity, and thereby define themselves in relation to it, but the outermost circle, the material world, turns away from unity into multiplicity and fragmentation, and finally into nothingness. But even in this material world there is the human mind, which is connected with the centre. Augustine found in this image a powerful expression of his own choice between focussing on God and dispersing himself among the concerns of the world (2.1.1, 2.3.3, 3.8.16). It also allowed him to challenge the Manichaean account of evil as a substance, an independent and invasive power: instead, evil could be understood as distance from the One which is the source of all being, so that complete alienation from the One is non-existence (2.6.12; 7.12.18). But what Augustine found most important was that Platonism helped him to think of God as spirit. The Manichaeans attacked what they said was crude Christian anthropomorphism, but themselves taught in terms of very subtle bodies (3.6.10, 5.10.20); this caused Augustine great difficulties in explaining how God can be present throughout the universe (1.2.2-3.3). He tried (7.1.2) to imagine God permeating the universe like sunlight, but this suggests that some parts of the universe would have more of God than others, ëan elephant's body would have more of you than a sparrow's'. Later (7.5.7) he imagined the universe as a great but finite sponge, saturated by an infinite ocean. The Platonist books made him think in terms of his own thought, the mental power which forms images of everything yet occupies no space (7.1.2), and which can aspire to union with God.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mfbukowski said:

Well really you should be talking about Aristotle where Augustine and Aquinas got a lot of their theology.

Of course ex nihilo did not come from Plato but it is quite a bit more complicated than all that

This is not too bad a discussion of it all .  For Plato God is not really a "being" at all.  So even discussing it this way is imposing a lot on Plato that isn't there.  But there isn't any doubt that things of the soul are far superior to material objects.

https://www.plato-dialogues.org/email/960211_1.htm

 

Right, Plato’s god is not a ‘being’ at all, whereas Creedal Christianity's God is Being Itself.

And to the extent that any church father placed the body lower than the soul, Augustine or whomever, he reveals his Neoplatonist impulses, which are not orthodox. Creedal Christianity teaches that both soul and body (matter) are creations of God and he made them good. Soul and material objects are understood as equally good.

Regarding the influence of Augustine and Aquinas (and Aristotle through him), Creedal theology is older than both and they really only impacted the Latin Church. Both are doctors of the church and saints only in the West. The Greek churches in the East (both Catholic and Orthodox) reject scholasticism and Aquinas's substance theology, yet East and West, Greek and Latin, all accept the theology defined at the Council of Nicea.  Go figure.

I’m still not seeing the influence of Platonism on the the doctrines underpinning the Creeds. 

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40 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

Augustine does not speak for all Creedal Christians, not even all Roman Catholics, especially if he’s interpreted to mean that matter is inferior to spirit. That is not orthodox. Trinitarian theology is older than Augustine and it remains exactly the same - hardly Platonist, less so than some elements of LDS cosmology - if you take him out of the equation.  

Neoplatonism asserts that matter emanates from God, is part of God, and is far from God. Augustine certainly never taught that. He was ex nihilo through and through. 

At most, where Creedal Christianity and Neoplatonism are similar is in God’s oneness and transcendence. The former also asserts that God is simultaneously immanent and created matter as a great good - a point which Neoplatonists vigorously deny.

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1 hour ago, Spammer said:

I think I understand what you're saying better.  You're saying that understanding what Creedal Christianity means by God requires some understanding of Plato.  Ok.  I can agree with that, if only because when the Creeds were developed the formulations needed to defend against Plato's philosophy, which permeated the ancient world.  Given the milieu, Plato's terms were employed and given new meanings - Christian meanings.  If that's what you mean, then I agree.  Where we'll disagree is that Creedal Christians mean what Plato meant by 'substance,' 'cosmos,' 'God,' and 'creation' and based their theology on Plato's meanings.  That's flat wrong.

I think this is a self-contradictory statement.

Quote

 

Where we'll disagree is that Creedal Christians mean what Plato meant by 'substance,' 'cosmos,' 'God,' and 'creation' and based their theology on Plato's meanings.

 

That is quite confusing especially when you mix it with the statement

Quote

...Creeds were developed the formulations needed to defend against Plato's philosophy, which permeated the ancient world.  Given the milieu, Plato's terms were employed and given new meanings - Christian meanings.

If Plato's philosophy "permeated" the ancient world, and the same terms were used with "new meanings"- how could they possibly convey the "new meanings" while they "permeated" the world with the "old meanings"?  In a world where even priests could barely read Latin and everyone else was pretty much illiterate?  Such finely nuanced language?

It's like saying to a small group- well the world thinks that "red" means this while in fact in our new meaning it clearly means this

So everyone Christian now believed - when the people were largely illiterate anyway- that "Substance" suddenly meant some kind of Christian Substance as opposed to Platonic/Aristotelian Substance?

While Augustine was clearly enamored with Plato and Aquinas with Aristotle?

And where were the linguistic comparisons defined between Christian Substance and Platonic/Aristotelian Substance?

Seriously where is the lexicon with the new meanings?

And why when you read Aquinas is it clear as a bell that he is using Aristotelian language?  Like discussion about if multiple objects made of immaterial substances can occupy the same space?  (The fabled angels on a pinhead discussion)

I like you dude but I think this is untenable as a hypothesis.  :)

 

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Ousia (/ˈuːziə, ˈuːsiə, ˈuːʒə, ˈuːʃə/; Greek: οὐσία) is a philosophical and theologicalterm, originally used in Ancient Greek philosophy, and also in Christian theology. It was used by various Ancient Greek philosophers, like Plato and Aristotle, as a primary designation for philosophical concepts of essence or substance. In contemporary philosophy, it is analogous to English concepts of being and ontic. In Christian theology, the concept of θεία ουσία (divine essence) is one of the most important doctrinal concepts, central to the development of trinitarian doctrine.[1]

The Ancient Greek term Ousia was translated in Latin as essentia or substantia, and hence in English as essence or substance.[2]...

Etymology[edit]

The term οὐσία is an Ancient Greek noun, formed on the feminine present participle of the verb εἰμί, eimí, i.e., "to be, I am". In Latin, it was translated as essentia or substantia. Ancient Roman philosopher Seneca and rhetorician Quintilian used essentia as equivalent for οὐσία, while Apuleius rendered οὐσίαboth as essentia or substantia. In order to designate οὐσία, Early Christiantheologian Tertullian favored the use of substantia over essentia, while Augustine of Hippo and Boethius took the opposite stance, preferring the use of essentia as designation for οὐσία.[3][4] Some of the most prominent Latin authors, like Hilary of Poitiers, noted that those variants were often being used with different meanings.[5] Some modern authors also point out that the Greek term οὐσία is properly translated as essentia (essence), while substantia has a wider spectrum of meanings.[6]

From οὐσία (essence), philosophical and theological term οὐσιότης (essentiality) was also derived. It was used by Platonists, like Alcinous, as designation for one of the basic properties of divinity or godhead.[7]

Philosophy[edit]

Aristotle defined protai ousiai (πρῶται οὐσίαι), "primary substances", in the Categories as that which is neither said of nor in any subject, e.g., "this human" in particular, or "this ox". The genera in biology and other natural kinds are substances in a secondary sense, as universals, formally defined by the essential qualities of the primary substances; i.e., the individual members of those kinds.[8]

In Book IV of Metaphysics Aristotle explores the nature and attributes of being (ousia). Aristotle divides the things that there are, or "beings," into categories. Aristotle calls these substances and argues that there are many senses in which a thing may be said "to be" but it is related to one central point and is ambiguous.[9]

Aristotle states that there are both primary and secondary substances. In Categories Aristotle argues that primary substances are ontologically based and if the primary substances did not exist then it would be impossible for other things to exist.[10] The other things are regarded as the secondary substances (also known as accidents). Secondary substances are thus ontologically dependent on substances. [11]

In Metaphysics, Aristotle states that everything which is healthy is related to health (primary substance) as in one sense because it preserves health and in the other because it is capable of it. Without the primary substance (health) we would not be able to have the secondary substances (anything related to health). While all the secondary substances are deemed "to be" it is in relation to the primary substance.[12]

The question, what is being, is seeking an answer to something "that is." A contemporary example in rhetoric would be to look at a color. Using white as an example, when we define a color, we define it by association. Snow is white. Paper is white. A cow is white. But what is white? While we are saying things that are white, we are not defining what white is without qualification. Ousia is thus the answer to the question of "what is being" when the question is without qualification. The unqualified answer of what is white is the ousia of white.

Much later, Martin Heidegger said that the original meaning of the word ousia was lost in its translation to the Latin, and, subsequently, in its translation to modern languages. For him, ousia means Being, not substance, that is, not some thing or some being that "stood" (-stance) "under" (sub-). Moreover, he also used the binomial parousia–apousia, denoting presence–absence,[clarification needed] and hypostasis denoting existence.[13]

Christian theology[edit]

The concept of θεία ουσία (divine essence) is one of the most important concepts in Christian theology. It was developed gradually, by Early Church Fathers during the first centuries of Christian History. Central debates over the doctrinal use and meaning of ουσία were held during the 4th century, and also continued later, some of them lasting up to the present day.[1]

New Testament[edit]

The word ousia is used in the New Testament only in relation to the substance in the sense of goods, twice in the parable of the Prodigal Son where the son asked his father to divide to him his inheritance, and then wasted it on riotous living.[14][15]

An apparently related word, epiousios (affixing the prefix epi- to the word), is used in the Lord's Prayer, but nowhere else in the scriptures. Elsewhere, it was believed to be present in one papyrus (a list of expenses) among expenses for chick-peas, straw, etc., and for material.[16] In 1998, according to a xerographic copy of a papyrus found in the Yale Papyrus Collection (from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library) inventory 19 (a.k.a. P.C.+YBR inv 19), it was suggested that the document had been transcribed differently from other early manuscripts and that the actual word used in that particular papyrus was elaiou, meaning "oil".[17]

Early Christianity[edit]

Origen (d. 251) used ousia in defining God as one genus of ousia, while being three, distinct species of hypostasis: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Synods of Antioch condemned the word homoousios (same essence) because it originated in pagan Greek philosophy.[citation needed] The Catholic Encyclopedia entry for Paul of Samosata states:

It must be regarded as certain that the council, which condemned Paul, rejected the term homoousios; but, naturally, only in a false sense, used by Paul; not, it seems, because he meant by it a unity of Hypostasis in the Trinity (so St. Hilary), but because he intended, by it, a common essence, out of which both Father and Son proceeded, or which it divided between them — so St. Basil and St. Athanasius; but the question is not clear. The objectors to the Nicene doctrine in the fourth century made copious use of this disapproval of the Nicene word by a famous council.[18]

In 325, the First Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism and formulated a creed, which stated that in the Godhead the Son was Homoousios (same in essence) of the Father. However, controversy did not stop and many Eastern clerics rejected the term because of its earlier condemnation in the usage of Paul of Samosata. Subsequent Emperors Constantius II (reigned 337-361) and Valens (reigned 364-378) supported Arianism and theologians came up with alternative wordings like Homoios(similar), homoiousios (similar in essence), or Anomoios (unsimilar). While the Homoios achieved the support of several councils and the Emperors, those of an opposing view were suppressed. The adherents of the Homoiousios eventually joined forces with the (mostly Western) adherents of the Homoousios and accepted the formulation of the Nicene creed.

The generally agreed-upon meaning of ousia in Eastern Christianity is "all that subsists by itself and which has not its being in another" - in contrast to hypostasis, which is used to mean "reality" or "existence".[19] John Damascene gives the following definition of the conceptual value of the two terms in his Dialectic: Ousia is a thing that exists by itself, and which has need of nothing else for its consistency. Again, ousia is all that subsists by itself and which has not its being in another.[20]

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ousia

Yes it's wikipedia.  Even they get it right sometimes.

Where are any of these terms in the Bible?  Even the Greek?

Only in the use of such ideas as "a person of substance", and at that only once or twice as I recall.

And yet it becomes the cornerstone of the Trinity.  No wonder the "Treasury of Merit" evolved from this kind of "substance".  

http://www.calledtocommunion.com/2011/01/indulgences-the-treasury-of-merit-and-the-communion-of-saints/

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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42 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I think this is a self-contradictory statement.

That is quite confusing especially when you mix it with the statement

If Plato's philosophy "permeated" the ancient world, and the same terms were used with "new meanings"- how could they possibly convey the "new meanings" while they "permeated" the world with the "old meanings"?  In a world where even priests could barely read Latin and everyone else was pretty much illiterate?  Such finely nuanced language?

It's like saying to a small group- well the world thinks that "red" means this while in fact in our new meaning it clearly means this

So everyone Christian now believed - when the people were largely illiterate anyway- that "Substance" suddenly meant some kind of Christian Substance as opposed to Platonic/Aristotelian Substance?

While Augustine was clearly enamored with Plato and Aquinas with Aristotle?

And where were the linguistic comparisons defined between Christian Substance and Platonic/Aristotelian Substance?

Seriously where is the lexicon with the new meanings?

And why when you read Aquinas is it clear as a bell that he is using Aristotelian language?  Like discussion about if multiple objects made of immaterial substances can occupy the same space?  (The fabled angels on a pinhead discussion)

I like you dude but I think this is untenable as a hypothesis.  :)

 

Let's define our terms.  What do we mean by substance?  Plato's eternal form existing in a hypothesized third realm (the mind of God for the Neoplatonists) or Aristotle's essence or nature, 'what it is,' with the form embedded in the matter and perceived by the intellect?  As for Christian 'substance,' are we talking the definition of the Latin Church or the Greek church?  They aren't the same.  Like I've said, the Christian East never accepted Augustine's and Aquinas's formulations, yet they still believe in an immaterial Holy Trinity who is simultaneously transcendent and immanent.

In the Roman Church, it's true that Aristotle's substances align with the language used (from Aquinas) to describe the natures of things, including the  nature/substance of the Eucharist after the transformation into the Body and Blood of Christ.  It's not just Aristotle, though.  Plato's form-substances have also been used to explain what the transformation.  E.g., the dogness inherent in every dog is the substance/form/universal contained in every particular dog.  So, after the transformation the substance/form/universal of bread and wine are changed into the substance/form/universal of God, while the particulars (accidents) remain the same.  The language of both Plato and Aristotle is used (in the West only!) to explain the transformation, but it's definitely not the case that what Christians really mean by the substance of the Eucharist is exactly what Plato or Aristotle meant.  It's philosophical language used in an attempt to explain something ineffable that no language can describe.  Whatever the Eucharistic substance or the divine substance is (they're the same thing, actually - the Body of Christ, God Himself, so open your mouth and receive your Lord), it most definitely is not believed that the divine substance is what either Plato or Aristotle think substance is.  Creedal Christians hijack their terminology and make it serve a different end.  

So, if you're looking for a lexicon that precisely defines 'Christian substance,' you won't find one.  At best, all you can do is understand that what Creedal Christians mean by substance isn't what Plato or Aristotle meant, even though their terminology was hijacked by some (in the West only!) in an attempt to explain what can't be explained - what Christians mean by divine substance.  The Christian definition of substance can only be captured by the word 'Mystery,' which is why we use the word a lot. If you must have a formal definition of Christian substance, 'Mystery' is probably the best choice. 

In the Christian East, the sacraments aren't called sacraments - they're Mysteries.  All of this stuff about Aristotle, Plato and Aquinas and Christian substance theology is a Western Thing.  The East rejects the dogma of transubstantiation, scholasticism and any attempt to use philosophical concepts or reasoning to explain what happens in the Eucharistic transformation or to explain the divine substance.  Yet, both West and East worship the same Holy Trinity and both believe that however it happens, the bread and wine really do somehow, mysteriously, become the Body and Blood of Christ.  It's perfectly acceptable in the Roman church to reject scholasticism and Western substance theology. Byzantine, Coptic, Aramaic, Syrian and Persian Christians do just that and are still fully Catholic, in communion with the See of Rome.  Like I said, Plato and Aristotle are only used insofar as their terminology is useful to point at the transcendent and ineffable. That's what Augustine liked about Plato, not that Plato underpins the dogmas contained in the Creed.  He doesn't.

Edited by Spammer

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Aquinas on the Soul- simplified

https://readingthesumma.blogspot.com/2013/08/question-75-essence-of-human-soul.html

The logic is often baffling to modern ears.

Quote

Aquinas is careful to point out that it is easy to be misled by thinking of the being-in-place of angel in the same way that we think of the being-in-place of a material object. We mustn’t think of an angel “being here” and “being over there”, rather we must think of an angel being where he is by where his power is directed. As such, we must think of his act of power as being determinate to a particular task; God’s power acts everywhere in everything, but an angel’s power acts on a particular determinate task. As an example, our Guardian Angels are present to us at all time; they don’t moonlight on some other task at the same time. Therefore, in the sense that an angel is in place, he is in only one place. However, the exercise of an angel’s power cannot be localized in a material sense to a particular point in space and time but rather is associated with wherever the exercise of power is occurring. Therefore an angel may be exercising his one determinate act in a region of space that may be extended (and which may even be disconnected).

A3: Dual to the question of whether an angel can be in more than one place at one time is the question of whether more than one angel can be in one place at one time. Because Aquinas has defined the notion of place for an angel in terms of the power that the angel exerts in a place, his answer to this latter question is immediate. One and the same thing cannot depend entirely and immediately on more than one cause, therefore two angels cannot exercise their power in the same place at the same time and therefore there cannot be more than one angel in a place at one time. We must be careful to understand that this does not preclude, for example, two angels being present in the same room. What it bars is the two angels “overlapping”; they cannot both carry out the one determinate action.

Aspects of this answer may seem puzzling. In the material world, we are quite used to the idea of causes collaborating or coming together in some other way in some action; can’t this be true of angels as well? Aquinas appears to be arguing a very subtle point here. If we think about two people pulling on a rope attached to a boat in a canal then in one sense we are quite justified in thinking of their causality acting together in some way to pull the boat along. But in another sense we might think of the power of one person acting on one segment of the rope and the power of the other acting on another segment. The power of these two pullers may be considered to act through the rope to form one power acting on the connection between rope and heavy object. Aquinas seems to divide any possible collaborative activity this way when it comes to angels. The power of acting of an angel is a determinate power of acting and at such a level of determination it is not shareable.

So if we think of examples such as the possession of someone by many evil spirits (e.g. Mark 5:9, where the spirit is spoken of in singular and plural terms) we might wish to consider the possession as a singular thing, but we should more rightly consider it the action of a multitude of spirits each acting in its determinate way, each different within the subject of the possession.

http://readingthesumma.blogspot.com/2011/07/question-52-angels-and-space.html
 

 

Edited by mfbukowski

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11 minutes ago, Spammer said:

So, if you're looking for a lexicon that precisely defines 'Christian substance,' you won't find one.  At best, all you can do is understand that what Creedal Christians mean by substance isn't really when Plato or Aristotle meant, even though their terminology was hijacked by some (in the West only!) in an attempt to explain what Christians mean by substance.  The Christian definition of substance can only be captured by the word 'Mystery,' which is why we use the word a lot.  In the Christian East, the sacraments aren't called sacraments - they're Mysteries.  The East rejects scholasticism and any attempt to use philosophical concepts or reasoning to explain what happens in the Eucharistic transformation.  Transubstantiation and substance theology is a Roman (Western) thing.  Yet, both West and East worship the same Holy Trinity and both believe that however it happens, the bread and wine really do somehow, mysteriously, become the Body and Blood of Christ.

OK so there is no translation then.  You just threw Miserere under the bus.  ;)

He's a big boy and can handle it, I know ;)

No way to define any of it.   I am fine with that it should be left there.

I am with Wittgenstein and Theresa of Avila on that one.  "Mystery" is fine with me since the only way we know if these old guys get it right is by personal revelation which I maintain is largely non-verbal.  Not always but usually.

But trying to dice and slice and parse the meaning of "substance" and "essence" is just a waste of time especially when they mean virtually nothing in today's world

I have no problem with a faithful Catholic contemplating/adoring the Eucharist and receiving personal revelations of unity with Christ - that's wonderful, and perhaps one of the most beautiful types of experiences possible to humanity.

But if he is arguing transubstantiation the way Aquinas might, I draw the line.

Christianity could all be one if we stopped quibbling about words that no one understands anyway.

It's God and us.  Period, end of story.  One on one.  The different stories help some folks but then the literalism hurts the unity.  It's getting tough out there, and we aren't gonna get closer by arguing about words

And I agree I contribute to the problem.

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