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45 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I can relate to this. My parish offers a reverent, traditional, but still Novus Ordo (mostly in vernacular language) Mass. When I travel, I sometimes need to find a Mass and a couple of times the Mass I could attend was more on the "Trentecostal" side, that is, more charismatically expressive. 

My second hand embarrassment interrupts otherwise interesting moments 🤣

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On 1/13/2023 at 6:57 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

In what ways is the "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" teaching important to Latter-day Saints?

There is already a thread on this

AND a paper you must read showing how Augustine thought about this.

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 1/13/2023 at 7:57 AM, Saint Bonaventure said:

In what ways is the "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" teaching important to Latter-day Saints?

When you posted this yesterday I looked up places where this verse has been discussed, and this one stands out to me.  It's from the October 1986 General Conference, from Gordon B. Hinckley:

Quote

I believe without equivocation or reservation in God, the Eternal Father. He is my Father, the Father of my spirit, and the Father of the spirits of all men. He is the great Creator, the Ruler of the Universe. He directed the creation of this earth on which we live. In His image man was created. He is personal. He is real. He is individual. He has “a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s”  D&C 130:22

In the account of the creation of the earth, “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”  Gen. 1:26

Could any language be more explicit? Does it demean God, as some would have us believe, that man was created in His express image? Rather, it should stir within the heart of every man and woman a greater appreciation for himself or herself as a son or daughter of God. 

It's a fundamental truth in the creation story, and it sets the stage of our relationship to God.

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On 1/14/2023 at 4:03 AM, mfbukowski said:

There is already a thread on this

AND a paper you must read showing how Augustine thought about this.

https://www.academia.edu/9848436/Augustine_and_the_Corporeality_of_God?email_work_card=view-paper

This paper you're suggesting is making the cut for my Sunday reading table. I'm sure I'll have questions....

Edited by Saint Bonaventure
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Of what significance is Hebrews 1:1-4 to Latter-day Saints?

Quote

1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the ages. 3 He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.

I imagine that LDS folks may interpret the "sat down" passage in material, and/or physical terms. Is the other material in these verses discussed in Bible classes or by LDS scholars? I haven't found much on it by LDS sources.

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On 1/14/2023 at 4:03 AM, mfbukowski said:

There is already a thread on this

AND a paper you must read showing how Augustine thought about this.

Thanks for sharing this article. Here are a few thoughts I have concerning it:

  • Learning a little more about the implications of St. Augustine's life, thought, and teachings is always a treat.
  • Griffin and Paulsen are doing a quick "fly by" on this stuff. A detailed treatment would take multiple volumes and several years of research.
  • Griffin and Paulsen are, I think, appropriately cautious. There are many uses of "may" "some" "if" and other hedging phrases in this article.
  • They flirt with criticizing Ambrose, an older Augustine, and others for Platonic thought. They don't try to drive this point home, though, and that's probably because they know that the "diversity of early Christian thought" argument is more sustainable than is the Hellenization = apostasy argument. I can say more on this, but for now I'll say that an abundance of Greek thought sits smack dab in the middle of the New Testament, and that Hellenization = apostasy arguments don't leave the launching pad.
  • What Griffin and Paulsen are really after is to show a diverse Christianity in the 4th century, a Christianity that countenances anthropomorphic notions of God. This is what I find most interesting. I don't think it challenges creedal Christianity in any way, though. Teaching the Church's doctrines is a gradual and never-ending pursuit; there are always folks whose understanding doesn't match the doctrine. This is true today, where over a billion Catholics include, among their ranks, some ignoramuses and some well-meaning, but misinformed souls. There are also the German Bishops, some of whose musings are inexplicable. One of the reasons for the Catholic Church's rejection of sola scriptura is that being a disciple of Christ is not necessarily dependent on literacy or precisely articulated meaning. That's one of the reasons why the sacraments, gestures, images, architecture, and Christian service are so important, and even if experiencing them doesn't result in everyone being able to parse the specifics of the ultimately mysterious hypostatic union, etc.
  • I am encouraged by articles such as this one. I think Latter-day Saints are moving in a direction that allows conversations with historic and creedal Christians, and even though both sides will think of the other as on the wrong side of vital, absolute, and uncompromising doctrines. The authority issue won't just dissolve, but articles like this one show a desire for dialogue and a willingness to listen to one another. That is, in my view, a wonderful development.

Again, thanks for sharing this article.   

Edited by Saint Bonaventure
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6 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Thanks for sharing this article. Here are a few thoughts I have concerning it:

  • Learning a little more about the implications of St. Augustine's life, thought, and teachings is always a treat.
  • Griffin and Paulsen are doing a quick "fly by" on this stuff. A detailed treatment would take multiple volumes and several years of research.
  • Griffin and Paulsen are, I think, appropriately cautious. There are many uses of "may" "some" "if" and other hedging phrases in this article.
  • They flirt with criticizing Ambrose, an older Augustine, and others for Platonic thought. They don't try to drive this point home, though, and that's probably because they know that the "diversity of early Christian thought" argument is more sustainable than is the Hellenization = apostasy argument. I can say more on this, but for now I'll say that an abundance of Greek thought sits smack dab in the middle of the New Testament, and that Hellenization = apostasy arguments don't leave the launching pad.
  • What Griffin and Paulsen are really after is to show a diverse Christianity in the 4th century, a Christianity that countenances anthropomorphic notions of God. This is what I find most interesting. I don't think it challenges creedal Christianity in any way, though. Teaching the Church's doctrines is a gradual and never-ending pursuit; there are always folks whose understanding doesn't match the doctrine. This is true today, where over a billion Catholics include, among their ranks, some ignoramuses and some well-meaning, but misinformed souls. There are also the German Bishops, some of whose musings are inexplicable. One of the reasons for the Catholic Church's rejection of sola scriptura is that being a disciple of Christ is not necessarily dependent on literacy or precisely articulated meaning. That's one of the reasons why the sacraments, gestures, images, architecture, and Christian service are so important, and even if experiencing them doesn't result in everyone being able to parse the specifics of the ultimately mysterious hypostatic union, etc.
  • I am encouraged by articles such as this one. I think Latter-day Saints are moving in a direction that allows conversations with historic and creedal Christians, and even though both sides will think of the other as on the wrong side of vital, absolute, and uncompromising doctrines. The authority issue won't just dissolve, but articles like this one show a desire for dialogue and a willingness to listen to one another. That is, in my view, a wonderful development.

Again, thanks for sharing this article.   

I apologize for any problems with the link to the article, when posting it, I did not realize there may have been problems with Academia.edu, but I believe they have been corrected.

Please continue.

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5 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

Indeed! One wonders what is going on over there.

Yeah! What does Harvard Theological Review know about peer review anyway? ;)

Edited by mfbukowski
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8 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I can say more on this, but for now I'll say that an abundance of Greek thought sits smack dab in the middle of the New Testament, and that Hellenization = apostasy arguments don't leave the launching pad.

I would like to see those references if they are handy.

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16 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

I would like to see those references if they are handy.

I appreciate your interest. Beyond the usual commentaries and study Bibles, here is what is on my shelf:

  • George Kennedy's New Testament Interpretation Through Rhetorical Criticism. It details how many arguments in the New Testament were Greek in their structure (which isn't surprising considering how effective the Greeks were as cultural imperialists, and that the New Testament is in Greek). If you enjoy rhetoric, and you might since you seem to mention Wittgenstein a lot, this is a great book.
  • Martin and Parsons in Ancient Rhetoric and the New Testament: The Influence of Elementary Greek Composition. These guys argue that, at a foundational level, the New Testament uses Greek forms of composition to present the Gospel.
  • Eugene Boring, Berger, and Colpe's Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament analyzes hundreds of verses and their connections to Greek culture and storytelling.
  • There's also Holley's classic, Greek Thought in the New Testament. I only have digital access to this one, but it goes into some detail about the influence of the Greek culture on the New Testament church and writings.

 If I were Griffin and Paulsen, I would steer clear of this kind of thing in an article. This is what I was alluding to when I suggested that they were doing a "fly by."

Maybe more to the point, though, is that the Catholic Church relies on a foundation of Sacred Tradition in addition to Sacred Scripture, and it is this Tradition that it relies on as it decides what is doctrine, what is still truthful cultural expression of doctrine, and what is heresy. The Catechism gets into this in paragraphs 172-175. I'm not worried about the Greek influence on the Gospel, whether it's Alpha and Omega in Revelation, Paul's citing pagan, Greek poets in Acts 17 to make his point with the Athenians, the use of Logos in John 1, the whiff of Greek thinking in St. Stephen's claim about God not dwelling in houses made with hands (Steven was a Hellenistic Jew, by the way), the New Testament brimming with the Greek rhetorical structures referenced above, the New Testament texts being written in Greek and extensively quoting the Septuagint, or Ambrose and Augustine using Greek concepts to express ideas relating to the image of God, the Trinity, etc.

I'm just not concerned about this stuff in an apostasy or cultural relativism way, although I do find it interesting.

At the same time, I'm not going to take you to task for your use of terms from Wittgenstein and the Germans upstream from him as you articulate your beliefs. I disagree on important points, but I'm not going to accuse you of apostasy over Germanic thought.

Where our views may diverge is in that I believe that there was a fluid and evolving cultural diversity in the New Testament Church from the beginning, and so I don't have a stake in arguing that Greek cultural influence becomes some kind of contaminant, some impetus for a "great apostasy," some way to justify an assertion that at some point between the apostles and Charlemagne there was a changeling in the manger.

Instead, I think that, when the smoke clears, my friends who believe in a "great apostasy" will make arguments from authority. This book that is mentioned in the other thread is moving in that direction. It's also encouraging everyone to study the mothers and fathers of the Early Church, and I support that idea 100%. 

Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding your intent, though. I apologize if that is the case, and I will gladly be corrected.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I appreciate your interest. Beyond the usual commentaries and study Bibles, here is what is on my shelf:

  • George Kennedy's New Testament Interpretation Through Rhetorical Criticism. It details how many arguments in the New Testament were Greek in their structure (which isn't surprising considering how effective the Greeks were as cultural imperialists, and that the New Testament is in Greek). If you enjoy rhetoric, and you might since you seem to mention Wittgenstein a lot, this is a great book.
  • Martin and Parsons in Ancient Rhetoric and the New Testament: The Influence of Elementary Greek Composition. These guys argue that, at a foundational level, the New Testament uses Greek forms of composition to present the Gospel.
  • Eugene Boring, Berger, and Colpe's Hellenistic Commentary to the New Testament analyzes hundreds of verses and their connections to Greek culture and storytelling.
  • There's also Holley's classic, Greek Thought in the New Testament. I only have digital access to this one, but it goes into some detail about the influence of the Greek culture on the New Testament church and writings.

 If I were Griffin and Paulsen, I would steer clear of this kind of thing in an article. This is what I was alluding to when I suggested that they were doing a "fly by."

Maybe more to the point, though, is that the Catholic Church relies on a foundation of Sacred Tradition in addition to Sacred Scripture, and it is this Tradition that it relies on as it decides what is doctrine, what is still truthful cultural expression of doctrine, and what is heresy. The Catechism gets into this in paragraphs 172-175. I'm not worried about the Greek influence on the Gospel, whether it's Alpha and Omega in Revelation, Paul's citing pagan, Greek poets in Acts 17 to make his point with the Athenians, the use of Logos in John 1, the whiff of Greek thinking in St. Stephen's claim about God not dwelling in houses made with hands (Steven was a Hellenistic Jew, by the way), the New Testament brimming with the Greek rhetorical structures referenced above, the New Testament texts being written in Greek and extensively quoting the Septuagint, or Ambrose and Augustine using Greek concepts to express ideas relating to the image of God, the Trinity, etc.

I'm just not concerned about this stuff in an apostasy or cultural relativism way, although I do find it interesting.

At the same time, I'm not going to take you to task for your use of terms from Wittgenstein and the Germans upstream from him as you articulate your beliefs. I disagree on important points, but I'm not going to accuse you of apostasy over Germanic thought.

Where our views may diverge is in that I believe that there was a fluid and evolving cultural diversity in the New Testament Church from the beginning, and so I don't have a stake in arguing that Greek cultural influence becomes some kind of contaminant, some impetus for a "great apostasy," some way to justify an assertion that at some point between the apostles and Charlemagne there was a changeling in the manger.

Instead, I think that, when the smoke clears, my friends who believe in a "great apostasy" will make arguments from authority. This book that is mentioned in the other thread is moving in that direction. It's also encouraging everyone to study the mothers and fathers of the Early Church, and I support that idea 100%. 

Maybe I'm completely misunderstanding your intent, though. I apologize if that is the case, and I will gladly be corrected.

 

 

Yes I certainly agree that arguments from authority (which happen on both sides) seem useless when it seems highly likely that one side's favorite authority means nothing to the opposing position.

Well, no, in fact I feel closer to your POV than I thought I would; I now see you as accepting the present Catholic paradigms "on faith and testimony" in a very similar way to the way I take the LDS paradigms "on faith and testimony", without worrying too much about the origins.

I have never been one to be at all dogmatic about "apostasy", my positions on faith actually derive from philosophical positions, not religious ones; my philosophical opposition to Cartesianism dualism causes me to be less than a fan of Aquinas and his reliance on Plato and of course especially Aristotle.

I naturally reject any dualism between spirit and body; and that, because such thought has always created an unbridgeable gap between God and mankind, making God otherworldly and, a priori therefore unknowable, and not the God I know from personal experience.  

I see God as an infinitely intelligent Friend who knows me, and has a connection with me so intimate that He is in some ineffable way part of my very consciousness. That is where that phenomenological strain comes in.  He lives somewhere between my conscience and who I am, yet is outside of either.   He is an Other who is not really an Other.  Yes, that makes Him Someone about whom there are no speakable words which will communicate the experience to others adequately (Wittgenstein/Rorty)

I think of the words of two hymns I sometimes mentally compare. I will just quote them from memory, and for space, quote them as prose:

Catholic:

Holy God, we praise thy Name! Lord of all we bow before thee! All on earth thy scepter claim, all in Heaven above adoring; infinite thy vast domain! Everlasting is thy name!

LDS:

O my Father, thou that dwellest In the high and glorious place, when shall I regain thy presence and again behold thy face?  In thy holy habitation, did my spirit once reside? In my first primeval childhood was I nurtured near thy side?

THIS, to me, is the only REAL difference between Catholicism and our Church of Jesus Christ.   The rest is hermeneutics.

Good to get to know you better!  

 

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Quote

I see God as an infinitely intelligent Friend who knows me, and has a connection with me so intimate that He is in some ineffable way part of my very consciousness. That is where that phenomenological strain comes in.  He lives somewhere between my conscience and who I am, yet is outside of either.   He is an Other who is not really an Other.  Yes, that makes Him Someone about whom there are no speakable words which will communicate the experience to others adequately (Wittgenstein/Rorty)

This is beautiful and dead on to my relationship except Friend is inadequate as is Father (probably because my father wasn’t much of a friend to me though he was a great father) and Presence.  Companion and comrade feels closer to what I am searching for.  But also patron, protector, escort (in the sense of guide, but more than a guide just telling the way, he is making sure I go where I need to go by following me in my wandering off the path, nudging me to get back on….guardian and guide and caretaker all in one).

And of course this fits in to your “there are no [adequate] speakable words”…

Edited by Calm
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44 minutes ago, Calm said:

This is beautiful and dead on to my relationship except Friend is inadequate as is Father (probably my father wasn’t much of a friend to me) and Presence.  Companion and comrade feels closer to what I am searching for.  But also patron, protector, escort (in the sense of guide, but more than a guide just telling the way, he is making sure I go where I need to go by following me in my wandering off the path, nudging me to get back on….guardian and guide and caretaker all in one).

And of course this fits in to your “there are no [adequate] speakable words”…

Thanks

And of course Rorty comparing "God" to Truth":  "It's kind of like 'God'.  There's not much you can say about 'God'.

Be good or I will hit you with the video.  ;)

Oops I forgot- somebody got the rights to all those videos now and you have to subscribe or something.   It makes me too angry now to even go there.   And even Davidson did not understand that tape for some reason I cannot fathom.  If anyone can find a one minute video usually titled "Rorty on Truth" that has audio- that's how they control it- I would love to have access to it again.

"Truth" in most of today's society means the same thing that Descartes meant by the word which is not sustainable because correspondence between things and ideas and "the world" is logically impossible- that's why Postmodernism has taken control.  To compare words (appearances) with "reality" (substance/essence etc.) one would have to be in two realms at the same time- the intelectual/ spiritual realm AND the realm of matter means that one was able to be in BOTH realms at the same time so that one could compare the appearance with the "reality" it supposedly represents.

But at the same time, all we can see and sense is in the realm of "appearance" and we can never therefore view "Forms" or "Substance" to get to pure "reality" independent of appearances.

Therefore Postmodernism/ Pragmatism.   If all we get is appearances then we have to do with what seems to be the "best paradigm" we can come up with, forcing those appearances to a description that works for a while, for certain people, in certain contexts etc.   Hermeneutics.

Or one can say that "my experience" is as close as one can get to "reality"- for me.   Of course YOU may experience things differently but.... that's what paradigms are for, and following that great philosopher, Oprah Winfrey, my truth is my truth and your truth may differ.

It's like what finally killed Logical Positivism which held that if a proposition could not be "proven true" with empirical evidence, it could not be "true", and was in fact- "non-sense"

OH NO!!  WE CAN"T PROVE GOD EMPIRICALLY!  So He cannot be shown to exist!  (believers quiver in terror around the world)

Just one thing the positivists forgot :

Their infallible proposition that statements must be proven true by empirical evidence CANNOT ITSELF be "proven true by empirical evidence!"

That makes it non-sense, and therefore no "better" than religious statements!  Positivism itself becomes a kind of religion!

But yet we still argue right here on this board about how God makes things, does things- and makes God a machine.  "God created the earth this way"..."No, He created it that way".   

God becomes a machine fully understandable by the pure brilliance of men.

Sorry.  

That stuff just doesn't float my boat- and without it- all we have are paradigms and postmodernism.

THAT is the problem with language- ambiguity!   And so Wittgenstein and the Germans.....

Enough already!

God is material

God is immaterial

Isn't the argument itself unsolveable ?

I just see Him as my spark of infinity with whom I can regularly communicate in two-ways.   How He does that is none of my business, but maybe someday...

Paradigms are the best we get I think.  Rationalize what is in your heart, unfortunately, is the only option we have.... for now!

 

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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7 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Other than temples, churches, and homes, what spaces do Latter-day Saints find sacred?

 

 

One might argue graves, which are specially dedicated to be a peaceful resting place, but I don't think that is what you had in mind.

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 1/27/2023 at 4:31 PM, Saint Bonaventure said:

Other than temples, churches, and homes, what spaces do Latter-day Saints find sacred?

 

 

All of God’s creation, I would say.   We aren’t being the best stewards, unfortunately.  

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7 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Graves certainly count. Do Latter-day Saint churches have crypts? 

No, nor graveyards.  Churches are always in the middle of life and my guess is we started building at a time when graveyards were moved away from the center to allow for easy expansion.

Do Protestant churches that are not old Catholic Churches have crypts?  Do many American Catholic Churches have crypts?

Edited by Calm
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7 hours ago, Calm said:

No, nor graveyards.  Churches are always in the middle of life and my guess is we started building at a time when graveyards were moved away from the center to allow for easy expansion.

Do Protestant churches that are not old Catholic Churches have crypts?  Do many American Catholic Churches have crypts?

That makes sense. Looking at pictures of the temple in Salt Lake City, it is big enough to have a crypt underneath. 

Most of the crypts are in Europe and North Africa, but I think there are a few around cathedrals on the East Coast, and maybe New Orleans.

The absence of crypts reduces the likelihood of a Dan Brown novel being written about the Latter-day Saints. 

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51 minutes ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

is big enough to have a crypt underneath. 

It has basements.

I had been told temple baptisteries were always on the bottom floor and the water level of the font was at ground level so when you went under it was symbolic of being buried below ground and being brought up out of the grave, but I believe the actual symbolism is the font is at the lower level as baptism is at the beginning of our journey.  I don’t have a clue if they are in basements in some temples.  Been way too long since I did baptisms for the dead and I can’t remember from temple tours, maybe some others can help here.

In some older temples, you would move from room to room, up a stair case each time for each part of the endowment, finishing in the Celestial room at the highest level.  My favorite temple, the Cardston temple, is like that.  Outside it looks like a block of a mountain, so you ascend up the mountain on your spiritual journey to commune with God.

Edited by Calm
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