Sunday, 5 August 2018

TL:DR: The Genesis Question part fourteen

Hi, Everybody!

Courtesy of

27 April 14

Hi Troy and Mia!

Mr. Ross next cites Romans 11:36.  This is one of those rare instances where Paul actually references God pretty extensively, so I think it's important to cite several of the preceding verses.  This seems (to me, anyway) to align with what I was saying about the overall context of the earth (being the YHWH) and we, as human beings, sharing that context:  

Romans 11:30-35 - [30] "As-even for you sometime you disobeyed to the God, now however, you were shown mercy to the of them disobedience,

This seems to me to be central to God's attitude towards His creations.  "As for you sometime you disobeyed to the God" simultaneous with "Even for you sometime you disobeyed to the God" -- the Greek "as-even" concept.  Basically: disobedience is inescapable, no matter how obedient you're trying to be.  And the really core reality: no one is even seriously trying to be obedient all the time.  Relative to the sure knowledge of Reality generally and our own Reality specifically we'll awaken to on Judgement Day, we are not taking our personal redemption as seriously as we need to.  Universal condition.

[31] thus also these now disobeyed to the your mercy in order that also they now might be shown mercy;

That's all, as I read this verse, in God's plan.  It's all factored in:  the degree of difficulty implicit in maintaining faith and endurance IN faith.  It is the nature into which we were created and the way we have incarnated physically and its the purpose behind that incarnation: no one will be sufficiently obedient ALL the time but everyone has a specific capacity to be much better than they are and "as-even" choose to be.  That's, I suspect, where the most relevant measurement of "how we did" takes place.  All of us will require mercy and all of us will be shown mercy but it's going to depend to a great extent on how much we extended ourselves as to how much mercy we're going to require.

The Muslim part of me is far more aware of this than the Christian and Judaic part of me, mostly because of the prayer times.  It creates a self-evident, self-aware hierarchy of faith.  Do you ACTUALLY hit the five prayer times exactly?  What's your track record?  60%?  90%?  Even if it's unknown to everyone else, it's known to you. What do you choose to do instead of pray?  Work?  Socialize?  It's the reason that the most intolerant Muslims tend to take a lead role as we're seeing in Syria.  It's literally "holier than thou" but without the negative connotation we've given that phrase here in the West. The more devout Muslims judge the less devout Muslims and the less devout Muslims accept, at one level or another, that the more devout Muslims have the moral high ground.

[32] shut up together for the God the all into disobedience in order that the ___s all he might show mercy to.

As I read it:  We're all in this together, all of us incarnated spirits here on -- and in -- planet earth.  Our larger purpose is to be shown mercy that we don't deserve and (in my view) to be made aware of how extensively we will be relying on that mercy on Judgement Day.  "All have fallen short of the glory of God".

[33] O depth of riches and of wisdom and of knowledge of God; as unsearchable the judgements of Him and untraceable the ways of Him. 

This is something that we'll have to face, as well, on Judgement Day.  Although we will have, I think, -- instantaneously! -- exponentially greater awareness of our personal culpability: that we will awaken into that surer knowledge in the same way that we awake every morning from the incoherent reveries of our dreams into a lucid, irrefutable continuous context of our lives, our greater awareness will still be far less than omniscience.  God's "depths of riches and wisdom and of knowledge" will be thrown into even sharper relief by the fact that we will be exponentially aware of so much more and at a far greater depth and all that will show us is how little we actually know STILL.  It will be an interesting experience (alluded to frequently in the Koran):  we will indict ourselves based on our greater, expanded knowledge.  "You will need none to make out account against you in that day".  Our individual knowledge of our individual selves will be near to absolute, but taper off into the distant horizons of God's judgements and God's ways.  Unsearchable judgements and untraceable ways.

[34] Who for knew the mind of YHWH or who counsellor of him became?

Obviously, I'm the only person on planet earth who thinks this way, but this verse seems to point in the very specific direction of the whole purpose of the entire exercise:  bringing the YHWH to a more realistic and sensible awareness of self.  Who knew the mind of YHWH?  Only God.  Or who counsellor of him became?  Only God.  The Torah and the Gospels are like one extended YHWH therapy session, to me, God interjecting Himself very, very rarely and only where there is an opportunity to correct and amend.  As I think is the case here.  Only the YHWH would have caught the reference at the time -- and since! -- but it seems a definite plateau is reached.

[35] Or who gave before to him, and it will be recompensed to him?

It seems to me that this is, again, on one level, God's undeserved kindness that is being referred to, that this is what God has given to the YHWH -- as He has given it to us all -- and that He will receive a recompense for it.  This ties in with my own theory on "the fear of God": that "fear of God" is actually "fear of self".  If you are obedient to God, you have no need to fear Him (I suspect that's true even when your obedience -- the point of this whole passage from Romans -- is actually disobedience: the measurement is in your personal intent. Did you intend disobedience and lie to yourself about it, pretending to be obedient? or did you intend obedience and get it wrong because of misconstruing God's word? I would guess there are two different levels of culpability there.)

On another level, it can be read as the YHWH who "gave before to" God -- was,that is, at one time, obedient someWHERE, someTIME in the cosmological chronology going back to before the Big Bang to God and will be recompensed for that obedience.  As the YHWH will also be recompensed for the extent of his (her/its) own disobedience and, I suspect, on the same basis that we human beings will be recompensed:  intent.  Romans 11 concludes with Mr. Ross' cited verse: 

Romans 11:36 - "Because out of him and through him and into him the all; to him the glory into the ages; amen."

A simple assertion of God's context:  because everything came out of Him and through Him -- He is the sole point of origin of all creation and the sole means by which creation came into being -- and, as it says in The Koran, "we came out from Him and to Him we are returning" -- this is why He is/will be the sole recipient of "the glory into the ages".  Only He determines the extent and manner of redemption, precisely measured, even though all redemption is, in the larger sense of achievement, undeserved.

Mr. Ross next cites  1 Corinthians 8:6.  I may be wrong, but I think it requires going back as far as verse 4 and continuing on through verses 7 and 8 to get the full idea Paul is expressing

[4] About the eating therefore of the ____ sacrificed to idols we have known that nothing idol in the world, and that no one God if not one.

That is, that idols don't represent anything except for the misapprehension behind them -- "nothing idol in the world" -- and that "no one God if not one".  A simple statement of monotheism.  Only God is God.

It's more than a little ambiguous which is the problem I have with Paul whenever he isn't specifically discussing God.  There is actually a great deal of "idol in the world", then and now.  Calling a television show American Idol seems to have passed almost entirely without comment over however many years it's been in production.  It's a bad idea but, contrary to Paul's assertion, it does actually exist. 

[5] Also for if even are ___s being said gods whether in heaven or upon earth, as-even are gods many and lords many

This only, it seems to me, amplifies the ambiguity.  I think that was part of the idea behind Paul's ministry -- that he would phrase things in such a way as to allow for different and contradictory inferences, very like the Synoptic Jesus in that way.  "Being said gods" being different from gods or Gods.  It's just what they're being said to be.  But then the conclusion "are gods many and lords many" doesn't appear to share in the same qualification.  Which I assume that the YHWH would have found a gratifying sentiment. 

And then the actual citation:

1 Corinthians 8:6 -  "but to us, one God, the Father, out of whom the all and we into him, and one out of whom the all and we into him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the all and we through him."

Which is theologically sound from a Christian perspective.  I would take issue with lumping in The Father (which I think of as "the father", non-capitalized, one of God's creations) with God but the assertion that there is one Lord seems pertinent and valid to me:  Jesus Christ, God's creation who was created to take the place of the YHWH as the "one Lord". Jesus Christ as a creation, being the intermediary step between God and "the father".  "The father" couldn't have been created without the entity described in pretty meticulous detail in the first chapter of John's Gospel. "through whom the all and we through him" resonating with "All through him came to be and apart from him came to be not-however one" of John 1:3. 

But I certainly share in the theology that I infer from that:  that the YHWH, even the seminal YHWH prior to the Big Bang, came much later in the process than either "the father" or the seminal, cosmological form of Jesus Christ. 

[7] But not in all the knowledge; some however to the custom until right now of the idol as sacrificed to idol they are eating, and the conscience of them weak being is being defiled.

This appears to me to be Paul trying to get a handle on what it is that he's trying to say about idols, generally, and just ending up being even more confusing.  Although he ends the verse well:  "the conscience of them weak being is being defiled."  That's the problem with not being strict with yourself in these areas.  If your conscience is weak -- which is a personal choice, a choice to be undisciplined when it comes to choosing right instead of wrong -- all you're going to accomplish is to defile your own conscience, eroding your own ability to perceive and choose accurately.  You get into a "feedback loop".  The more you choose to have a weak conscience, the weaker your conscience gets and the more defiled it gets until you literally don't know right from wrong any more and make more and more wrong choices.

[8] Things eaten however us not will make stand beside to the God; neither if ever not we should eat, we are coming behind, nor if ever we should eat we are abounding.

Paul's syntax tends to go this way.  He makes what seems to me a very lucid and pertinent observation -- "the conscience of them weak being is being defiled" -- and then immediately amplifies it with ambiguous-verging-on-incoherent qualifications.  The net effect of verse 8, to me, is to suggest that what you eat has very little to do with anything.  Which isn't true, I don't think.  Again, it comes down to intent. If you are eating flesh sacrificed to an idol, knowingly, and are looking at it as: it doesn't matter whether it was sacrificed to an idol or whether the name of God was pronounced over it (this is the Muslim part of me talking), it's just food, then I think you have already eroded your own conscience and are choosing unwisely. 

Of course, it was Paul's role in the development of Christianity to be the ambassador to the goyim so I would imagine this was all built into God's plan as well.  Christians would become entirely philosophical about Judaic dietary restrictions and then completely unmindful of them.  What Christian so much as thinks twice about eating pork, bacon or ham?  Is it even possible for someone who eats swine flesh to enter the kingdom of God?  The notion is so bizarre to Jews and Muslims that it casts all Christians in an infernal light.

We'll find out on Judgement Day how accurate that one is.

Next Time: Collected Letters: Dave Sim? 


Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

Dave spends a lot of time on this stuff, huh?

-- Damian

whc03grady said...

Wasn’t it mentioned that this someone paid him $10,000? $15,000? for this commentary? Either way, if true, I’m prepared to declare it the most expensive salad in history.


Tony Dunlop said...

The only part of these posts I still find mildly amusing is Dave's rendering of English words with Greek grammar. I still have absolutely no idea what he thinks that accomplishes.