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Source: (consider it) Thread: What should we do about 'our own' terrorists?
mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Or does your post represent the extent of your capacity for contributing to a discussion of this particular religious topic?

Yeah, that must be it. I can see how those incapable of reading for content might see that.

What is so different with Charlemagne than any other Christian king killing heathens? Why would they need any other justification than the conquest of Canaan?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Matt Black

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"See those Saxon heads roll, folks!"

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
You keep dodging the 2nd paragraph. I'm not inferring from my POV, I'm presenting an argument. The light blue doesn't mean pre-Constantine evidence of absence, it means absence of evidence. At 2k years ago that means very little.

And your argument is filing in with your preferred interpretation.
quote:

Also, to consider the history of Constantine's involvement with Christianity, he was responding to widespread dissent in his empire regarding the trinity. He wanted to bring the Arian/Catholic controversy to an end, as it was an impediment to a smoothly governed empire.

That is certainly one interpretation. Another is that Constantine was looking for things which would garner him support and/or legitimacy anywhere he could. He also once had a "vision" of himself as Apollo, ruling the world. He used whatever he could to gain advantage or bend perception. I am not arguing that Christianity wasn't present. It gained massive momentum because of Constantine. That it had spread beyond the original disciples is obvious. That it would have gained the massive size it has without Constantine, is not.


quote:

I think you are leaping to a conclusion of what they might be saying. Restricting myself to those that I know, many Africans would repudiate colonialism as a very bad thing that they could have done without, but nevertheless believe that Christianity is a good thing and appreciate the missionaries.

Of course Christians will look to the benefits of Christianity. Christianity is the predominant religion of black people in America. This does not negate the very negative way in which this came to be.
OK, I am not saying Christianity is a bad thing. This part of this thread is how Christianity came to Africa largely at the end of a gun barrel. That some missionaries did not espouse the negative aspects of gunboat conversion, they still benefited from it. Whether or not Christianity itself is a positive or negative is beside the point in this discussion.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

In this case, it was the question of whether and how Charlemagne attempted to justify from the NT his massacre of Germanic heathen for not being Christian.

Any ideas?

Why would he need to 'justify from the NT'. You are assuming your standards are adopted everywhere, always and by all (I assume part of MTs point is that it isn't even accepted today by all three major branches of Christianity)

He saw it as part of his role of defending the church from attack, by subduing the heathen that may overrun the realm in which the church existed.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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Exactly. Isn't "kill 'em all!" from Joshua, Samuel etc. sufficient?

I'd go as far as to say that the reason some are saying that justification must come from the NT is to avoid the problem that taking the whole Bible, including OT, it's all too easy to justify.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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mousethief

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It assumes two unlikely things:

1. Charlemagne went, "I need to justify my killing the Saxons biblically"

and

2. He also said, "and my justification must also be from only the NT and not the whole Bible."

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
What is so different with Charlemagne than any other Christian king killing heathens? Why would they need any other justification than the conquest of Canaan?

Thank you.

Because a Christian (king or otherwise) by definition recognises that the NT supersedes and takes precedence over the OT (which is why you don't practise the OT sacrifices), and in NT terms religious violence is heretical.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
What is so different with Charlemagne than any other Christian king killing heathens? Why would they need any other justification than the conquest of Canaan?

Thank you.

Because a Christian (king or otherwise) by definition recognises that the NT supersedes and takes precedence over the OT (which is why you don't practise the OT sacrifices), and in NT terms religious violence is heretical.

By YOUR definition. Hey guess what? For most of history nobody cared about your definition.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Sioni Sais
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# 5713

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
What is so different with Charlemagne than any other Christian king killing heathens? Why would they need any other justification than the conquest of Canaan?

Thank you.

Because a Christian (king or otherwise) by definition recognises that the NT supersedes and takes precedence over the OT (which is why you don't practise the OT sacrifices), and in NT terms religious violence is heretical.

The NT may supersede and take precedence over the OT but it does not replace it. The OT is still there although the means by which we observe it is now by the Spirit, not the letter.
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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
What is so different with Charlemagne than any other Christian king killing heathens? Why would they need any other justification than the conquest of Canaan?

Thank you.

Because a Christian (king or otherwise) by definition recognises that the NT supersedes and takes precedence over the OT (which is why you don't practise the OT sacrifices), and in NT terms religious violence is heretical.

The NT may supersede and take precedence over the OT but it does not replace it. The OT is still there although the means by which we observe it is now by the Spirit, not the letter.
It's the sliding scale of hermeneutics. If you agree with something in the Old Testament then it's still theologically valid. (A lot of Dead Horse issues seem to be justified this way.) On the other hand if you disagree with something then it has to be affirmatively asserted in the New Testament, or by the direct statements of Jesus in the Gospels, or whatever standard of strenuousness gets you to the 'right' answer. For example, religious violence is heretical because Jesus never explicitly said anything like "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
And your argument is filing in with your preferred interpretation.

Why do you think I have a preferred interpretation? And when will you engage in the argument rather than your view of my motives in making it?

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
That is certainly one interpretation. Another is that Constantine was looking for things which would garner him support and/or legitimacy anywhere he could.

Yes, Constantine gave Christianity massive momentum, as you say later, but it's worth reflecting on what went before. If Christianity gave him legitimacy it implies it was already quite powerful.

It's also worth remembering that the Valentinian dynasty saw the rise of Arians again, and Julian brought back paganism.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
This part of this thread is how Christianity came to Africa largely at the end of a gun barrel. That some missionaries did not espouse the negative aspects of gunboat conversion, they still benefited from it.

If that is the focus of your argument I still find it simplistic. Look at the examples I gave above of Christianity in Freetown and in Coastal Kenya. Those were hardly at the end of a gun barrel. A lot of the spread of Christianity in East Africa occurred before colonialism, and the greatest church growth in Kenya occurred after independence. Very substantial church growth has involved Pentecostal and free church denominations outside the mainstream that were not promoted during colonial rule.

[ 05. July 2017, 04:55: Message edited by: mdijon ]

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:

Because a Christian (king or otherwise) by definition recognises that the NT supersedes and takes precedence over the OT (which is why you don't practise the OT sacrifices), and in NT terms religious violence is heretical.

There are a number of embedded assumptions in your description above.

Looking it at from the view of a hypothetical Charlemagne; The material that addresses the behaviour of governments in the NT would mainly come from the section on how Christians should deal with governments in Romans, where there's a tangential description of the PTB as ordained by God to maintain order. Of course there are descriptions elsewhere on how illegitimate power is confronted - but then his task is to be a legitimate power and faithfully carry out the work described in Romans. Part of which would - of course - consist of defence of the realm. Of course if the Saxons wished to convert - and sometimes they did - they would be handled differently, but until then his task was to wield the sword and maintain order. He would not have recognised your description of such actions being 'religious violence'.

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Martin60
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KC. We all agree. Christendom isn't Christian. Never has been. Remotely. How could it be? Marcus Aurelius was the last and best 'Christian' king in Europe.

[ 05. July 2017, 09:46: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

And now try to understand it from a context of regularly hearing Joshua.

You seem to be suggesting here that only yours is the natural understanding of the text.

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arse

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

You know Jesus was actually just using a figure of speech, as was his wont, and being unintentionally prophetic. To the literal minded from Constantine onwards at least, through the Crusades and the conquest of the Americas by nothing but members of the catholic church who destroyed African civilization to work that new world with slaves for nearly 400 years, it was utterly unambiguous. Despite Vatican teaching.

Internecine violence between overt Christians is the norm in European history you know. More so than Christian violence against non-Christians. Did you know that? Admittedly good Christians like Efraín Ríos Montt, a Pentecostal Evangelical, escalated the war against leftist guerilla insurgents as a holy war against atheistic "forces of evil". Hundreds of thousands died.

It's WJWHD obviously.

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Love wins

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

And now try to understand it from a context of regularly hearing Joshua.

You seem to be suggesting here that only yours is the natural understanding of the text.

More broadly, the only natural hermeneutic. "Only look at the NT when determining acceptable behaviours" isn't how every Christian reads the Bible. Indeed even the people who profess this hermeneutic often apply it selectively, as Barnabas has pointed out. Be that as it may it remains true that this is not the only possible hermeneutic, and reading it back into European religious wars dating back to Constantine is more than a little anachronistic, if not egoistic.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

You know Jesus was actually just using a figure of speech, as was his wont, and being unintentionally prophetic.
Well yes. No one who reads that passage thinks Jesus is talking about a physical, made of metal sword.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Admittedly good Christians like Efraín Ríos Montt, a Pentecostal Evangelical, escalated the war against leftist guerilla insurgents as a holy war against atheistic "forces of evil".

His brother was in charge of the Truth Commission charged with investigating his crimes. That must had made for interesting family reunions round the dinner table...

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
"I did not come to bring peace, but a sword".

Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

You know Jesus was actually just using a figure of speech, as was his wont, and being unintentionally prophetic.
Well yes. No one who reads that passage thinks Jesus is talking about a physical, made of metal sword.
I'm hoist with my own ironic petard. And therefore take you at face value Sir. Christendom has behaved as if He were mind.

[ 05. July 2017, 19:13: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
if I disagree with Catholicism and label that "wrong" is blowing up Catholics vigilantism rather than terrorism?

If you use violence against Catholics in the belief that you are justly punishing their individual wrongdoing, then yes that's vigilantism.

If you use violence against Catholics in response to feelings of hate that you experience, that's just ordinary crime. Or hate-crime if you believe that's a meaningful category. Which is worse.

If you use violence against Catholics in an attempt to pressure the Vatican into changing its policy, that's terrorism. Which is worse again.

I fully appreciate that the difference may seem pretty academic to the Catholics on the receiving end of the violence.

But I don't see anything useful coming out of this sloppy interchangeability between any type of violence you can think of.

Seems like the proposition we're discussing is whether terrorism is intrinsically unChristian. In a way that it isn't intrinsically unIslamic.

We've had lots of examples of nominally-Christian states committing acts of war, of terrorists from Christian countries (including the one I live in) carrying out atrocities without religious motive, of Christian vigilantes.

But to my mind none of those quite make it as "Christian terrorism". To my mind that's a contradiction.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:

And when will you engage in the argument rather than your view of my motives in making it?

I have been. We disagree on what the lack of evidence means.

quote:
Yes, Constantine gave Christianity massive momentum, as you say later, but it's worth reflecting on what went before. If Christianity gave him legitimacy it implies it was already quite powerful.

No. It implies it existed and he used it. That it was well known enough to be of use is a reasonable inference. That it was powerful? Not without more evidence.
quote:

It's also worth remembering that the Valentinian dynasty saw the rise of Arians again, and Julian brought back paganism.

Paganism had not left the empire, true. And that early Christian sects battled it out is also true. Doesn't change the legitimising force of Constantine.
I'm not saying Christianity could not have spread without the force of the state. I am saying it didn't. I think the preponderance of evidence leads this way. The same is true of Judaism and Buddhism. Likely any major religion, as well.

quote:
Look at the examples I gave above of Christianity in Freetown and in Coastal Kenya. Those were hardly at the end of a gun barrel.
Free town was settled by freed American slaves who got their Christianity how?
[QB][QUOTE]
A lot of the spread of Christianity in East Africa occurred before colonialism, and the greatest church growth in Kenya occurred after independence. Very substantial church growth has involved Pentecostal and free church denominations outside the mainstream that were not promoted during colonial rule.

Look, I am not saying that every person or group was forced to convert. I am saying that force was a major component in the predominance of Christianity in Africa and that the legacy of colonialism is entangled in it.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Yep, that's a real clincher.

Looked at in its context, this verse unambiguously presents Jesus teaching that Christians should kill all obdurate heathen and heretics.

And now try to understand it from a context of regularly hearing Joshua.

You seem to be suggesting here that only yours is the natural understanding of the text.

Charlemagne might well have interpreted it in the light of Joshua, but if he did, he was wrong.

Its immediate context is a pericope about family members disagreeing over Christ, and its broader context is that of Christ's teaching in the Gospels, where he nowhere condones religious violence.

It's nothing to do with my understanding, but with recognised hermeneutical and exegetical principles, on the basis of which it would be impossible to see in the verse an exhortation to, or toleration of, religious violence.

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mousethief

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# 953

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
It's nothing to do with my understanding, but with recognised hermeneutical and exegetical principles, on the basis of which it would be impossible to see in the verse an exhortation to, or toleration of, religious violence.

Recognized by whom, and when?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Charlemagne might well have interpreted it in the light of Joshua, but if he did, he was wrong.

Using the categories of right/wrong seem to me to be a different question. Obviously I agree that the theology of violence is wrong otherwise I wouldn't be a pacifist.

But the issue I'm having with what you are writing is you insistence that these things are self-evidently wrong.

They're not.

quote:
Its immediate context is a pericope about family members disagreeing over Christ, and its broader context is that of Christ's teaching in the Gospels, where he nowhere condones religious violence.
No. But the scriptures are only ever understood in a particular context.

quote:
It's nothing to do with my understanding, but with recognised hermeneutical and exegetical principles, on the basis of which it would be impossible to see in the verse an exhortation to, or toleration of, religious violence.
No it isn't, don't talk garbage.

Fair enough to say that one theology is right and another wrong - but total shite to claim that there is a single recognised hermeneutical principle that is obvious to everyone backwards into history if they had bothered to study the bible enough.

The history of Christianity is of various theologies that make sense. Theologies that seek to harmonise the OT and NT, theologies that seek to explain the differences, theologies that are heavily influenced by the contemporary context. The question is not whether there is a single "recognised hermeneutical and exegetical" theology that everyone in their right mind would recognise as correct - because it is the only one that adds up and ticks all the boxes.

There are loads of theologies available that can do that.

The challenge is to identify reasons for thinking that some are bollocks, not for simply standing on a soapbox and declaring that your pet idea is self-evidently correct without any reasoning.

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arse

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
We disagree on what the lack of evidence means.

I characterized your argument as claiming that lack of evidence was in fact evidence of absence. Are you sure that isn't a bit of a reach with near 2000 year old history?

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
It implies it existed and he used it. That it was well known enough to be of use is a reasonable inference. That it was powerful? Not without more evidence.

Maybe not powerful, but certainly a major issue for the empire with numerous and widespread converts. I'm not denying that Constantine was a turning point that made Christianity powerful in the empire, I am denying though that without Constantine Christianity wouldn't have been widespread in the Roman empire.

By any definition the first dark blue map is widespread (although with puzzling gaps that apparently get filled in under Constantinian sponsorship). And by all accounts Christianity (albeit Arian) did pretty well under the Goths, who weren't influenced by Constantine.

quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Look, I am not saying that every person or group was forced to convert. I am saying that force was a major component in the predominance of Christianity in Africa and that the legacy of colonialism is entangled in it.

Sure, I can agree to that. I would balance it with several observations I've made but won't belabour again. A parallel conversation to consider would be if I made a bald statement that force was a major component in the predominance of Buddhism in China and the legacy of the Tang dynasty is entangled in it. Technically true but made without context not much more than half the story.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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beatmenace
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
By any definition the first dark blue map is widespread (although with puzzling gaps that apparently get filled in under Constantinian sponsorship). And by all accounts Christianity (albeit Arian) did pretty well under the Goths, who weren't influenced by Constantine.

And also the Church of the East who separated from Rome quite early on and seemed to be more associated with being persecuted than persecuting different flavours of Christian. Achieved remarkable growth even reaching India and China.

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

The article doesnt suggest they achieved their growth by identifying with the armies of Empire,although being recognised by the Persian Empire probably helped their ideas get disseminated.

No doubt someone with more background in history might be able to fill that out as i am but an Internet Scholar these days.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
total shite to claim that there is a single recognised hermeneutical principle that is obvious to everyone backwards into history if they had bothered to study the bible enough.

Patristic (eg Augustine's) allegorical/typological exposition of the Bible is shite.

Mediaeval interpretations of verses such as Matthew 10:34 which justify religious violence are shite.

Hermeneutical/exegetical relativism is shite.

Modern grammatical-historical exegesis is by no means a perfect science, and certainly cannot guarantee replicable, agreed upon conclusions, but the alternatives are shite.

Which is not to say that there is no value in studying the history of biblical scholarship, and trying to get inside the heads of our ancestors to understand why they thought as they did - in the same way as it is worth trying to comprehend why people once believed in phlogiston.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
total shite to claim that there is a single recognised hermeneutical principle that is obvious to everyone backwards into history if they had bothered to study the bible enough.

Patristic (eg Augustine's) allegorical/typological exposition of the Bible is shite.

Mediaeval interpretations of verses such as Matthew 10:34 which justify religious violence are shite.

Hermeneutical/exegetical relativism is shite.

Modern grammatical-historical exegesis is by no means a perfect science, and certainly cannot guarantee replicable, agreed upon conclusions, but the alternatives are shite.

Which is not to say that there is no value in studying the history of biblical scholarship, and trying to get inside the heads of our ancestors to understand why they thought as they did - in the same way as it is worth trying to comprehend why people once believed in phlogiston.

Nice dodge. I think cheesy's (implied) question was a good one and was looking forward to your answer. Misplaced trust?

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Misplaced trust?

Fight the temptation to react with misanthropic cynicism for the rest of your life.
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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Misplaced trust?

Fight the temptation to react with misanthropic cynicism for the rest of your life.
I see. Another dodge. Misplaced trust it is, then.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Patristic (eg Augustine's) allegorical/typological exposition of the Bible is shite.

Mediaeval interpretations of verses such as Matthew 10:34 which justify religious violence are shite.

Hermeneutical/exegetical relativism is shite.

Modern grammatical-historical exegesis is by no means a perfect science, and certainly cannot guarantee replicable, agreed upon conclusions, but the alternatives are shite.

Oddly, perhaps, I generally agree with this sentiment. But it isn't really the point I was making.

quote:

Which is not to say that there is no value in studying the history of biblical scholarship, and trying to get inside the heads of our ancestors to understand why they thought as they did - in the same way as it is worth trying to comprehend why people once believed in phlogiston.

So why are you insisting that it is so clear they are wrong, no question, no debate, no evidence offered?

My view us that they were wrong, but that they had good reasons to think that, including a body if theological thought. It's not good enough to simply dismiss them as bad theologians.

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arse

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
total shite to claim that there is a single recognised hermeneutical principle that is obvious to everyone backwards into history if they had bothered to study the bible enough.

Patristic (eg Augustine's) allegorical/typological exposition of the Bible is shite.

Mediaeval interpretations of verses such as Matthew 10:34 which justify religious violence are shite.

Hermeneutical/exegetical relativism is shite.

Modern grammatical-historical exegesis is by no means a perfect science, and certainly cannot guarantee replicable, agreed upon conclusions, but the alternatives are shite.

Which is not to say that there is no value in studying the history of biblical scholarship, and trying to get inside the heads of our ancestors to understand why they thought as they did - in the same way as it is worth trying to comprehend why people once believed in phlogiston.

Nice dodge. I think cheesy's (implied) question was a good one and was looking forward to your answer. Misplaced trust?
Why is this a dodge? Kaplan Corday has identified several flawed approaches that some may use. Hermeneutical approaches are all about the assumptions underlying the conclusions.

There are principles such as:

When the plain sense makes sense no other sense need be sought. This is mainly where I get my literalism from.

Then there is the law of double reference which observes the fact that a passage May speak of different persons or events separated in time. An eg is Zechariah 9:9-10. V9 refers to the first coming of Christ and v10 refers to the second. The two are blended so that there is no obvious time gap. This is only clear in retrospect. Another eg of the same point is Is 11:1-5.

Another is the law of recurrence. This is where there are several descriptions of the same event but subsequent descriptions adding detail. An eg is in Eze 38:1-23 and Exe 39:1-16 which repeats the first account but adds detail.

Then of course, there is context. Without a context you usually have a pretext. An eg is Zechariah 13:2-6. It is often taken as a reference to Christ but v6 tells us that it is about false prophets. Consequently it cannot refer to him unless he is a false prophet.

I suppose none of these apply if your underlying assumption is that OT scripture is an inconsistent Bronze Age collection of random Jewish writings and records.

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Martin60
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What fool straw man would?

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Love wins

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
Why is this a dodge? Kaplan Corday has identified several flawed approaches that some may use. Hermeneutical approaches are all about the assumptions underlying the conclusions.

But the challenge wasn't to identify failed approaches. The challenge was to defend his approach as paraphrased by mr cheesy:

quote:
there is a single recognised hermeneutical principle that is obvious to everyone backwards into history if they had bothered to study the bible enough.
Talking about other approaches is a dodge.

(If cheesy's paraphrase was bad, that would have been a non-dodgy thing to point out.)

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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mr cheesy
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Also, y'know, if there is an Evangelical hermeneutical approach which means that we in the 21 century have finally got to the right answer having proven beyond any question that those in the 6th, 8th, 15th etc centuries were completely and fundamentally wrong - then why doesn't this apply to all the other DH issues?

It seems like the most vociferous supporters of the status quo are those who like to try to point to it being "biblical" and "the thing that Christians have always believed" but then suddenly when it comes to things that people in the past believed but that we now think is wrong - oh well then they've got the wrong end of the "recognised hermeneutical and exegetical" that everyone obviously agrees with.

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arse

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Also, y'know, if there is an Evangelical hermeneutical approach which means that we in the 21 century have finally got to the right answer having proven beyond any question that those in the 6th, 8th, 15th etc centuries were completely and fundamentally wrong - then why doesn't this apply to all the other DH issues?

You are making very weather over something on which we all agree: that Christians in the past got some things wrong and some things right.

No-one thinks that everything in the Christian past was all correct or all wrong.

Rather banal and truistic, I'm afraid, but obviously needed to be said.

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Gamaliel
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Sure, it needed to be said, but equally what mr cheesy and Mousethief and Martin 60 wrote also needed to be said.

To some extent there's some 'talking past each other' going on here but also a shed load of assumptions from those of a more conservative bent. I say that as someone who is theologically conservative.

For instance, Jamat claims to get his literalism from the text itself. No he doesn't, he applies that literalism to the text, or, rather, the text becomes a vehicle for his literalism.

Granted, the interaction between reader and text is more complicated than how I've described it there, but it's a lot more dynamic than picking up a text and taking it at face value - if such a thing were possible.

There's also the assumption that we have to have some kind of proof-text to hang everything on. Atheists and agnostics believe religiously motivated violence to be wrong. They don't need to cite a NT verse to come to that conclusion.

Charlemagne's violence was wrong not because there's a particular verse condemning it but because it goes against the tenor of the thrust of Christ's teaching and example - although he and his contemporaries wouldn't have necessarily thought so at the time. Not because they were shite theologically, necessarily, but because they operated within the thought patterns of their time - as we all do.

Sometimes they got things right, sometimes they got things wrong. We can't expect them to have applied later standard of biblical scholarship or interpretation. That doesn't condone or justify what they did, but it does set it in context.

In 150 or 200 years time Christians might look back at us and say, 'Heck, those 21st century Christians, what were they thinking? Couldn't they see X, Y or Z or that this, that or the other wasn't in line with the broad thrust of received tradition or the teaching of scripture?'

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Charlemagne's violence was wrong not because there's a particular verse condemning it but because it goes against the tenor of the thrust of Christ's teaching and example - although he and his contemporaries wouldn't have necessarily thought so at the time.

Actually, this is the original point that was being made. Charlemagne would have thought his violence was divinely sanctioned, and so in that sense it's completely correct to attach the tag 'Christian' to it. You and I may (and Kaplan) may think that he was completely wrong, but that's neither here no there.

[ 08. July 2017, 08:51: Message edited by: chris stiles ]

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Charlemagne's violence was wrong not because there's a particular verse condemning it but because it goes against the tenor of the thrust of Christ's teaching and example - although he and his contemporaries wouldn't have necessarily thought so at the time.

Actually, this is the original point that was being made. Charlemagne would have thought his violence was divinely sanctioned, and so in that sense it's completely correct to attach the tag 'Christian' to it. You and I may (and Kaplan) may think that he was completely wrong, but that's neither here no there.
Of course, I get that - and it was partly the point I was making / underlining.

It would no more have occurred to Charlemagne to think otherwise than it would occur to you or I (and Kaplan) that his violence was divinely sanctioned.

If he'd needed a proof-text, as Kaplan assumes he would have done, then he'd have found it in Romans 13:4:

http://biblehub.com/romans/13-4.htm

We wouldn't agree that the Saxons were 'wrong-doers' simply for remaining pagan instead of converting to Christianity, but Charlemagne and his contemporaries would have done.

I'm simply making the obvious point that we all interpret these texts through the lens of our particular traditions and world-view.

None of it is 'neutral'.

None of it is a 'plain-meaning of the text.'

There is no such thing as a value-free reading of the text, whether it's The Sun, The Guardian, Left-handed Plumbers Weekly or the Gospels.

That doesn't diminish the status of the NT as an inspired text or holy writ. Far from it. It's simply to acknowledge how these things work.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
the interaction between reader and text is more complicated than how I've described it there, but it's a lot more dynamic than picking up a text and taking it at face value - if such a thing were possible.

Yes it's complicated.

Seems to me that the vast majority of text does have a plain meaning. And that learning a language equips someone to decipher that plain meaning.

Sure, some text has additional levels of meaning (e.g double entendre) and sometimes the plain meaning is not the intended one (e.g. sarcasm). Deciphering these involves cultural familiarity above & beyond knowing the language.

But we tend to be (?rightly?) suspicious of those who go against the plain meaning.

Who wants to be in the position of explaining to their boss why they disregarded the plain meaning of his instructions in order to follow some other interpretation of his words ? Or if someone is a member of our group only by a non-plain interpretation of the words that define us, is he really one of us ?

quote:

In 150 or 200 years time Christians might look back at us and say, 'Heck, those 21st century Christians, what were they thinking? Couldn't they see X, Y or Z or that this, that or the other wasn't in line with the broad thrust of received tradition or the teaching of scripture?'

That Christians often go along with ideas of the culture/place/time in which they find themselves is no big news. And baptise them, and own the result. Clearly there's a temptation (for anyone who believes in a Creator) to see the status quo as God-given.

But that's not the same thing as a religion leading the secular power. If 25th-century Christians deny the direction that 21st-century Christianity tries to take the world in, then you have to ask whether "Christian" (unqualified by time and place) has any meaning at all.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Seems to me that the vast majority of text does have a plain meaning. And that learning a language equips someone to decipher that plain meaning.

Right. The idea that a modern person can easily translate a document of oral tradition and third hand accounts written in at least 3 different languages at least 2 millennia ago is patent bullshit. Even assuming it was all meant to have a "plain meaning" when it originated.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Martin60
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Bliss. To understand the Qu'ran, first learn Arabic and then divest oneself of all Western thinking. Period. Perform all of its 'plain' abrogated requirements. THEN you will begin to 'understand'. The same with any tradition. I choose the Incarnation with a postmodern perspective. Your milage WILL vary.

[ 09. July 2017, 17:48: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:

None of it is a 'plain-meaning of the text.'

There is no such thing as a value-free reading of the text, whether it's The Sun, The Guardian, Left-handed Plumbers Weekly or the Gospels.


I don't dispute any of this - the point is that Kaplan's argument is primarily that such differing readings are therefore not 'Christian' in some essential way that mean that its impossible to describe Charlmagne's violence as 'Christian violence'

To which I'd say that this is not how most people have in fact constructed their theologies historically.

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Gamaliel
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Indeed.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Russ
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
Kaplan's argument is primarily that such differing readings are therefore not 'Christian' in some essential way that mean that its impossible to describe Charlmagne's violence as 'Christian violence'

To which I'd say that this is not how most people have in fact constructed their theologies historically.

If you want to use the phrase 'Christian violence" then perhaps you should make clear what you mean by it. Does it include, for example,

- violence perpetrated by soldiers who are Christians, acting under orders from their lawful superiors ?

- violence as part of the normal way of treating enemies, using the distinction Christian/nonChristian as the way to determine who are friends and who are enemies ?

- violence as a God-given imperative within the Christian belief system.

Because Jesus had something to say about how to treat one's enemies...

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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Soror Magna
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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
...
Because Jesus had something to say about how to treat one's enemies...

Yeah, but nobody actually follows Jesus' instructions regarding enemies. If peace and non-violence are an intrinsic part of Christianity, they've been well hidden under a bushel these last two millennia. (Just war, anybody?)

But if they are, this makes any violence committed by Christians even more egregious. After all, if a religion is (supposedly) intrinsically violent, then naturally, the faithful will engage in violence. If a religion is ostensibly non-violent but its followers are constantly finding reasons to be violent, it's clearly a religion that worships hypocrisy above all else.

quote:
CANDIDE (Raising his eyes to heaven, in furious despair). Is there no end? Must men always ravish, massacre? Must they always be brigands, cut-throats, cheats, rapists, fanatics, hypocrites and murderers?

DR. VOLTAIRE (As disembodied voice). Have sparrow-hawks not always slaughtered the pigeons that come their way? Why should what applies to pigeon-hawks not apply to men?

CANDIDE. But surely Man who was chosen by God as his image on earth . . .

DR. VOLTAIRE. His image! Maybe this is his image!

Candide, the 1973 libretto by Hugh Wheeler

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"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
the point is that Kaplan's argument is primarily that such differing readings are therefore not 'Christian'

No, my point is that readings of NT passages can be more or less credible on grammatical-historical principles of interpretation.

This does not mean that we can produce a list of black and white wrongs and rights, but it certainly means the possibility of some distinctively darker and lighter greys.

If Charlemagne did in fact try to justify slaughtering pagan Saxons on the basis of Romans 13:4, then he was wrong, as many Christians have been, and are, on many issues, because Paul was writing about a pagan government punishing criminals, and nothing in the rest of the NT states or implies any reason for using it to condone the killing of heretics or unbelievers.

The epistemological relativism (or nihilism) which says that any statement can mean anything or everything, and therefore nothing, might amuse and impress undergraduates doing literary theory courses, b ut no-one else takes it seriously, and it is sheer sophistry to pretend that it is a viable hermeneutic.

In Hume's famous words in the face of the impracticability of a radical and consistent scepticism: "Most fortunately it happens, that since reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends; and when after three or four hours’ amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther"

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:


If Charlemagne did in fact try to justify slaughtering pagan Saxons on the basis of Romans 13:4, then he was wrong, as many Christians have been, and are, on many issues, because Paul was writing about a pagan government punishing criminals, and nothing in the rest of the NT states or implies any reason for using it to condone the killing of heretics or unbelievers.

So once again you are repeating the same point: these were not proper Christians and didn't know their bibles and didn't have sophisticated theology.

quote:

The epistemological relativism (or nihilism) which says that any statement can mean anything or everything, and therefore nothing, might amuse and impress undergraduates doing literary theory courses, b ut no-one else takes it seriously, and it is sheer sophistry to pretend that it is a viable hermeneutic.

It is a simple fact that proper Christians justified their crusades with reference to the bible. It is only you who seem to be wanting to claim that they lacked a viable hermeneutic because you disagree with it.
quote:

In Hume's famous words in the face of the impracticability of a radical and consistent scepticism: "Most fortunately it happens, that since reason is incapable of dispelling these clouds, nature herself suffices to that purpose, and cures me of this philosophical melancholy and delirium, either by relaxing this bent of mind, or by some avocation, and lively impression of my senses, which obliterate all these chimeras. I dine, I play a game of backgammon, I converse, and am merry with my friends; and when after three or four hours’ amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold, and strained, and ridiculous, that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any farther"

You seem unable to distinguish between things you disagree with on one hand and viable hermeneutics on the other.

I'm starting to doubt your ability to identify viable hermeneutics and suspect you don't really have any idea of what those words mean yond "a theology I agree with".

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arse

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Jamat
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quote:
It's a simple fact that proper Christians justified their crusades with reference to the bible. It is only you who seem to be wanting to claim that they lacked a viable hermeneutic because you disagree with i
It's also a simple fact that the NT writers would have abhorred such actions as crusades for obvious reasons. No apostle advanced social action or political or military power to advance the gospel and this only happened many centuries after the NT era when the church was thoroughly corrupt. Consequently, it's a safe bet that 'proper' Christians were few and far between at the time of Charlemagne. The medieval Papal church did not need any hermeneutic beyond its own authority.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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