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Jan 21, 2005

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Caelius Spinator

Excuse me, if I am not exactly coherent. I've been wearing my climatologist hat all day. But I find one omission in your otherwise fine series of theses (?), which I suppose works best under header 9. The reliability of two or three Christians gathered together is guaranteed by Christ on the grounds that He will be present. I find in so many discussions about the authority of Scripture that the faith depends on the absolute truth of the Scripture or the absolute reliability of long tradition of interpreting the Scripture, or else the whole system falls apart. In my life, I've found that it is communal and sacramental relationship with Christ (more so) and my individual relationship with Christ (less so) that defines what is immutable and essential to the faith, the rock to which I cling.

What worries me about the reasserters is that I hear from them too many of the power-anxious criticisms of enthusiasm that you hear from folks like Calvin rather than any assertion of our communal and sacramental relationship with Christ through the Holy Spirit and its relationship to "what the Spirit is saying to the churches." Like the Shar'iah of Islam, the reasserters seem to be telling us that the gate is closed or mutter something about a careful discernment of spirits.

Now I read a little pneumatology (Quaker and Pentecostal) now and then and have experienced enough to think that careful discernment of spirits is good judgment. But I suspect no one really knows how to do it. What I do like is the Quaker assertion that what is truly sacramental relates to the world and changes it for the better, something which Episcopal theology gradually has discovered (or re-discovered) during my fairly short lifetime.

So let me propose some amendment to 9) concerning the basis for community discernment... and then propose

10) If we are commanded by God to do anything, it is to be in a relationship of filial and fraternal love with Him and his good gifts: the universe, Scripture, and our fellow creatures and to avoid relationship with anything that would corrupt and destroy those gifts rather than avoiding relationship with those who have been corrupted.

David Huff

Conservatives believe that if you change rules, there are no rules; if you deny the credibility of a single verse, then it is all irrelevant.

Which is as classic an example of the Fallacy of the False Dilemma as you are likely to come across.

Another thing which strikes me is how extremely well connected to reality that all the "liberal" positions are, which are listed above (as in "how the World and human society actually work") .

Had an old friend who once described sanity as how well correlated your personal world view was with reality ... ;)

Jim, Sr

Good stuff. But I'm still trying to find a way of loving "them" without giving them a label. I know it's possible, but the Way hasn't been opened yet to my blind eyes.

nathan

"10) If we are commanded by God to do anything, it is to be in a relationship of filial and fraternal love with Him and his good gifts: the universe, Scripture, and our fellow creatures and to avoid relationship with anything that would corrupt and destroy those gifts rather than avoiding relationship with those who have been corrupted."

The problem is who gets to decide which of the things we observe/practice are the good gifts and which are the corrupted? Isn't that what this whole thing is about?

"Conservatives believe that if you change rules, there are no rules; if you deny the credibility of a single verse, then it is all irrelevant.

Which is as classic an example of the Fallacy of the False Dilemma as you are likely to come across."

Perhaps it's because people are looking at it from the position of "how convincing would it be to me if I was an ardent mistheist?". I sometimes find myself doing that. If, for example, much of what the Israelites said was just their culture speaking and not God, even though YHWH is written to be saying it, how can we trust anything the Israelites wrote?

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