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Source: (consider it) Thread: The Fear of the Lord
Chorister

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Is it my imagination, or is Christianity generally getting kinder these days?

I can remember a time when both Catholic and Evangelical versions of the faith were very much geared towards fear - of sinning, being lukewarm, being a backslider, being sexually deviant, or of 101 infringements of the 'rules' made up by your elders and betters.

And then, if that wasn't enough, you were issued with vague threats that your thoughts and actions might be grieving the Holy Spirit and therefore there was no hope for you!

I am not sure why the climate has changed - maybe it is the fear across denominations that the new generation will leave Christianity behind altogether if a culture of fear reigns supreme. But now there seems to be a lot more understanding of different lifestyles, different types of sexuality, different ways of expressing one's faith. Young Christians appear to look happy rather than haunted.

Or is this only part of the story?

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

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Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Maybe the church is less fearful because we've got a bit wiser?

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Mudfrog
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Or maybe we're not fearing the Lord because we've become a lot more foolish?

To quote CS Lewis, :
quote:
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion." "Ooh" said Susan. "I'd thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you.”
God is love - that's the first thing anyone should know about him.
The heart of the eternal is most wonderfully kind.

I personally thank God for his mercy and g=for his grace - I have no idea where I would be without them.

BUT

God is not benignly self-indulgent; the cross is not merely a sign of love, it's a reminder of judgment and consequence.

I thank God for Frederick Faber's hymn that includes these lines:

quote:
O how I fear Thee, living One,
With deepest, tenderest fears,
And worship Thee with trembling hope,
And penitential tears!

Yet I may love Thee too, O Lord,
Almighty as Thou art;
For Thou hast stooped to ask of me
The love of my poor heart.

No earthly father loves like Thee,
No mother, e’er so mild,
Bears and forbears as Thou hast done,
With me, Thy sinful child.

Of course I fear him - and that makes me stand and ask for mercy.
But I love him too because in his kindness and gentleness he spares me.

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Anglican_Brat
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There must be a sane and happy medium between:

1) We are evil, rotten, loathsome sinners who deserve God's hatred.

AndC

2) We are wonderful, perfect, goody, little creatures who are marvelously righteous and oh so splendid.

The decreased emphasis on hellfire and brimstone is a reaction to the first option, which frankly has dominated much of Christian preaching over 2000 years ago.

The second option is probably a result of the 1960s/70s feel good self-esteem pop psychology affecting the Church.

[ 29. August 2017, 17:03: Message edited by: Anglican_Brat ]

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It's Reformation Day! Do your part to promote Christian unity and brotherly love and hug a schismatic.

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Tortuf
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# 3784

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I used to be afraid of God. I just knew I was going to hell for my sins. That led to analyzing God and trying to contain God so that I was not afraid. I also tried to out Christian everyone else so I could think better of myself.

At a moment when I thought I was already in hell and God could never love me I experienced a glimpse of the love God has for me (and everyone else.) The concept that God loves me because God is good instead of because I am good gradually began to sink in and I lost my fear of God.

Even before that I had discounted the notion of penal substitutionary atonement. Such a vision of God is chilling and does not comport with the God of Love that I have experienced.

That being said, the outbreak of the "no Wedding Cake for You" and "No Wedding License for You" crapola seems to still be very much a part of our society. You might go straight to hell if you die from an attack in the company of a trans gender soldier is still evidently very much with us.

That seems to come from some confluence of the concept of God as vengeful warrior against sin and the concept that if you are not with God in this fight you must be against God. What else explains how free people feel to punish others for acting differently than themselves; even when it does not affect them at all?

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Boogie

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Fear of God = respect, not terror imo.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Lamb Chopped
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Even in deep love there can be a certain amount of ... terror? Not the terror of what-is-he-going-to-do-to-me, but the terror that comes from suddenly realizing just how far out of your league you are. Sort of an extreme version of awe.

Like a prayer I heard recently: "Oh you who make the very dust to love you..."

Basically a brief mental wipeout, like getting creamed by the surf on the California coast.

--------------------
Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Martin60
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It's all so Bronze Age. What's to fear?

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Love wins

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Bishops Finger
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Or even respect, given the horrors perpetrated by the god of the Old Testament...?

Respect for Jesus, yes.

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Lyda*Rose

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I've never ever figured out how you love someone you fear. It reminds me of abused people who when asked why they stay with the abuser say, "But I love him/her!" Really?

And why should I love someone who'll only love me if I love him back in exactly the right way, otherwise this God-who-is-love will send me to eternal torment. [Paranoid]

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Even in deep love there can be a certain amount of ... terror?

Yes. Since being married I've come to know the sheer terror that comes along with realising you've done something that hurts your loved one. The fear that they might stop loving you because of it.

I sense it's the same sort of fear that we're supposed to feel towards God.

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Hail Gallaxhar

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rolyn
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Isn't there a translation issue on the word Fear which crops up so regularly in Scripture? Some thinking is that Holy Fear to be taken as extreme reverence, respect and awe.

Like as has already been said, it is the enormity of God's Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and, I suppose we have to say Judgement, against our pitiful tininess which is liable to cause the knees to tremble.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Mudfrog
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It might be helpful, I feel, if we were to use words that accurately reflected Tradition and Scripture rather than using terminology that is at best unhelpful and at worst downright inflammatory when describing theological truth or teaching.

So:
quote:
1) We are evil, rotten, loathsome sinners who deserve God's hatred.
is wide of the mark because even if we were all those things, there would never be any hatred towards us in the mind of God.

And:
quote:
And why should I love someone who'll only love me if I love him back in exactly the right way, otherwise this God-who-is-love will send me to eternal torment. [Paranoid]
The Bible is absolutely clear that God loves us first and that it is only because of his love that we can love him in return; it is just not the case that God will only love those who love him in a prescribed way.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Kwesi
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Mudfrog, are you going soft?! What about Romans 1: 18-32?
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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Isn't there a translation issue on the word Fear which crops up so regularly in Scripture? Some thinking is that Holy Fear to be taken as extreme reverence, respect and awe.

Like as has already been said, it is the enormity of God's Love, Mercy, Forgiveness and, I suppose we have to say Judgement, against our pitiful tininess which is liable to cause the knees to tremble.

Again, that's all pretty Bronze Age.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Even in deep love there can be a certain amount of ... terror?

Yes. Since being married I've come to know the sheer terror that comes along with realising you've done something that hurts your loved one. The fear that they might stop loving you because of it.

I sense it's the same sort of fear that we're supposed to feel towards God.

Says who?

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Love wins

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Mudfrog
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Kwesi, I would add to that John 3 v 16 and not forgetting verse 17 and 18.

God's wrath doesn't cancel out love; rather his love is extended to us in that he has provided the perfect way to be saved from his wrath against sin.

If he didn't love us then he wouldn't have bothered to send a redeemer.

Two verses:
Whle we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

We love him because he first loved us and sent his Son to be an atoning sacrifice.

[ 29. August 2017, 21:36: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

--------------------
"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Lamb Chopped
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I've been abused, and the fear/love I feel for God has nothing to do with that. In fact, what I have with/from God is a major part of how I got OVER that. (and am still getting over that)

As for terror of him stopping loving me--

No, I think that has finally left the building. It was probably a result of the early abuse. Now when i screw up massively, there isn't a hint of that particular fear left--I don't think there's even any real connection between my screw-ups and my fear of the Lord. It's not a punishment thing.

IIUC, it has much more to do with our relative stature in the universe--a mouse loving an elephant, the dust loving the Lord of All. It's cheeky. It feels like lese-majeste. It's commanded--but how in the &*(&)&! could God command such a thing! and then my brain whites out again.

As an analogy, perhaps those of you who don't recognize this might think about the first time you fell in love? (not mere lust, real love) And the object of your love seemed as far above you as the stars and sky. He/she looked at you and you got the shakes. If you were incredibly lucky, he/she agreed to go on a date with you and you felt like you'd been given all creation on a plate. The basic feeling here is "Who am I to have THIS?" Now magnify that about a zillion times. That IMHO is the fear of the Lord.

Lewis, I think it was, quoted Grahame's Toad of Toad Hall on the feeling:

quote:
"Rat!" he found breath to whisper, shaking. "Are you afraid?"

"Afraid?" murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love. "Afraid! Of HIM? O, never, never! And yet--and yet--O Mole, I am afraid!"

Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.



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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Rossweisse

High Church Valkyrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
...2) We are wonderful, perfect, goody, little creatures who are marvelously righteous and oh so splendid. ...
(This) option is probably a result of the 1960s/70s feel good self-esteem pop psychology affecting the Church.

I first read that as "afflicting the Church." It works.

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I'm not dead yet.

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Martin60
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Hmmmm. If He is, i.e. ontologically, it will be cool. I won't stop smiling. Forever.

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Love wins

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Barnabas62
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The interplay between love and fear is an important theme in the first letter of John, and personally that's something in scripture that has helped me in understanding. As the understanding of God moves in scripture from tribal henotheism to monotheism, then eventually to something approaching the mystery and wonder of Trinitarianism, so something also happens about love and fear.

In the first letter of John, perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

This suggests to me a journey in our relationship with God. From an understandable sense of awe or fear because of the awesomeness, beauty and terror of the created order in which we find ourselves, to the finding that God is indeed good, and ultimately to the revelation and acceptance that He is love.

Perhaps fear is both a natural and a necessary step on that journey for many, maybe most of us? I'm not sure it's all that good an idea to be complacent about God if we experience him from a distance. Love, agape love, is a challenging ideal to seek for ourselves as a way to live in harmony with God and our fellow travellers on life's journey.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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simontoad
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Thanks everyone for their posts so far, especially the reference to Toad of Toad Hall. I have a strong sense of being rescued from myself by God in this life, so there is no sense in which I am afraid. I continue to be an arsehole at times, for which I feel remorse both towards my victims and towards God. It's a sense of failure and of being unworthy, not because of God's judgement directed at me, but because of my own failure to live up to my own standards of who I should be as an individual rescued by God.

Finally, I wish to advise you all that this was typed with a cat sticking her claws into my left shoulder. Clearly she is an instrument of God's retribution.

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Human

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Rossweisse

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Cats are good at that, when it's called for.

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I'm not dead yet.

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SusanDoris

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
Fear of God = respect, not terror imo.

That was what I too learnt when young.
Re OP: It is people generally who are
kinder, not just those belonging to a particular religion. World-wide communication means that we know more about people everywhere, not just in the local area or country.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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MaryLouise
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The mixed feelings of awe, dread, reluctance and hopefulness I get when I think of one of my more desperate prayers being taken seriously.

I've come back at times to the process described by Rudolf Otto. Entering into a Mysterium tremendum et fascinans in the presence of the living God. As mysterium, the numinous is "wholly Other" and distinct from anything we experience in ordinary life. This otherness evokes a reaction of silence, wordless awe. But the numinous is also a Mysterium tremendum. It provokes terror because it presents itself as overwhelming power and purity in difference, what is not us. Finally, the numinous presents itself as fascinans, as merciful and gracious.

As Hebrews 10:31 puts it: 'It is a fearful and terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.'

Not because this God is cruel or wilful or heartless, but because we shall be transformed by the force of that Love and Unknowability. A crucible of transformation. And once we experience something of that change, we are better able to appreciate the mercy and grace, the kindness of God.

Not that I feel this mystical or reverent most of the time, but every now and again...

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“As regards plots I find real life no help at all. Real life seems to have no plots.”

-- Ivy Compton-Burnett

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
Even in deep love there can be a certain amount of ... terror?

Yes. Since being married I've come to know the sheer terror that comes along with realising you've done something that hurts your loved one. The fear that they might stop loving you because of it.

I sense it's the same sort of fear that we're supposed to feel towards God.

Says who?
Me, obviously. My name's at the top of the post and everything.

--------------------
Hail Gallaxhar

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Martin60
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Ohhhh, that's all right then, I thought you were merely projecting as we've been doing since the Bronze Age.

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Love wins

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Mudfrog
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Why are you obsessed with the Bronze Age?
It seems to me you are suggesting that we can discount the Bible because some of it comes from that era.

It also seems to me, and this is only my inference, that the perjorative 'Bronze Age' only applies to the bits you don't agree with.

One of the arrogances of modern man is to believe that there is little of any value whatever in the past and that only what we have become or know is of any use of validity.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Anselmina
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Why are you obsessed with the Bronze Age?

Well, they did make some nice jewellery.
[Big Grin]

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Irish dogs needing homes! http://www.dogactionwelfaregroup.ie/ Greyhounds and Lurchers are shipped over to England for rehoming too!

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Alan Cresswell

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He did say "since the Bronze Age", which covers the full span of time until the present day.

Which begs the question, what did the Neolithic do to be left out?

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All I want for Christmas is EU

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Why are you obsessed with the Bronze Age?
It seems to me you are suggesting that we can discount the Bible because some of it comes from that era.

It also seems to me, and this is only my inference, that the perjorative 'Bronze Age' only applies to the bits you don't agree with.

One of the arrogances of modern man is to believe that there is little of any value whatever in the past and that only what we have become or know is of any use of validity.

C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield called it chronological snobbery.

But I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread about the seemingly reflexive rejection of attitudes or ideas as Bronze Age. I fear one may miss a fair amount of wisdom with that approach.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
He did say "since the Bronze Age", which covers the full span of time until the present day.

Which begs the question, what did the Neolithic do to be left out?

It didn't write much down. Thank God! How bad would 'theology' be then?!

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Love wins

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simontoad
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Bronze Age Orientation: That Mitchell & Webb Look

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Human

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Why are you obsessed with the Bronze Age?
It seems to me you are suggesting that we can discount the Bible because some of it comes from that era.

It also seems to me, and this is only my inference, that the perjorative 'Bronze Age' only applies to the bits you don't agree with.

One of the arrogances of modern man is to believe that there is little of any value whatever in the past and that only what we have become or know is of any use of validity.

What's to disagree with? I don't understand. I'm a postmodern man and apart from the fact the older the more expensive as a rule, I wouldn't dream of not valuing the story of stories, all the better to understand our own. The problem comes when invariably modern people take those stories as prescriptive, as having divine authority in denial of science and any divine intent that could actually possibly be reconciled with that.

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Love wins

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Why are you obsessed with the Bronze Age?
It seems to me you are suggesting that we can discount the Bible because some of it comes from that era.

It also seems to me, and this is only my inference, that the perjorative 'Bronze Age' only applies to the bits you don't agree with.

One of the arrogances of modern man is to believe that there is little of any value whatever in the past and that only what we have become or know is of any use of validity.

C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield called it chronological snobbery.

But I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread about the seemingly reflexive rejection of attitudes or ideas as Bronze Age. I fear one may miss a fair amount of wisdom with that approach.

I agree completely. That would be a very modern trap. What sort of wisdom, what gems, do you have that someone who's in that trap and doesn't even know it doesn't have?

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Love wins

Posts: 16989 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eirenist
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# 13343

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Pedantic reversion to several posts back:
It's 'The Wind in the Willows', by Kenneth Grahame. 'Toad of Toad Hall' is a play derived from that book, by A.A. Milne, and does not contain the passage quoted.
Just setting the record straight.

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'I think I think, therefore I think I am'

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Martin60
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# 368

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I was just caught out by this on the BBC, I repress my reactions usually, but this just got through and I wept (it's all about me I know): 'A toddler is in stable condition in Texas after she was found clinging to her drowned mother's body in a flooded canal during Tropical Storm Harvey.

The mother was seen trying to save her 18-month-old from a flooded parking lot when they were swept away into a ditch'.

Fear? Respect? What on EARTH for? Grenfell? Yemen? Barcelona? Sierra Leone? Genghis Khan? The Cretaceous? What?

Glad it's all happening in Him, as obviously, if He is, this is the best of all possible worlds and always has been and He's on it. And He fixes all of the eternal infinity of that and I have Jesus to thank for the glint of that.

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Love wins

Posts: 16989 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
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# 16840

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Were it not for that 'glint', as you put it, then every single thing that happens on this unique and desolate pebble would be of absolute nothing worth.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Martin60
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# 368

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How would you put it?

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Love wins

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Lamb Chopped
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# 5528

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Thanks, Eirenist!

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Were it not for that 'glint', as you put it, then every single thing that happens on this unique and desolate pebble would be of absolute nothing worth.

My goodness, what a pessimistic thing to say! Do you mean that everything that happens, the natural way of things in the universe, the fact that I am going to see an old friend today, the way this planet is lucky enough to have evolved with an atmosphere* so that life was able to begin, all that has no worth without the 'glint' of a God/Jesus/Holy spirit or something? I can't believe that you think that really.

*I have just been reading the chapter about atmospheres of planets in 'The Solar System' by Prof Brian Cox.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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rolyn
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# 16840

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In terms of the 'natural' obviously, the reality in which we find ourselves is unbelievably wonderous. In terms of the 'other' (I refrain from using the word religion), it is miraculous.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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SusanDoris

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# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
In terms of the 'natural' obviously, the reality in which we find ourselves is unbelievably wonderous. In terms of the 'other' (I refrain from using the word religion), it is miraculous.

Okay! [Smile]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Martin60
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# 368

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Were it not for that 'glint', as you put it, then every single thing that happens on this unique and desolate pebble would be of absolute nothing worth.

My goodness, what a pessimistic thing to say! Do you mean that everything that happens, the natural way of things in the universe, the fact that I am going to see an old friend today, the way this planet is lucky enough to have evolved with an atmosphere* so that life was able to begin, all that has no worth without the 'glint' of a God/Jesus/Holy spirit or something? I can't believe that you think that really.

*I have just been reading the chapter about atmospheres of planets in 'The Solar System' by Prof Brian Cox.

Worth is the beholder's share. And what's luck got to do with it?

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Love wins

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balaam

Making an ass of myself
# 4543

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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
[the way this planet is lucky enough to have evolved with an atmosphere* so that life was able to begin, all that has no worth without the 'glint' of a God/Jesus/Holy spirit or something? I can't believe that you think that really.

On the other hand the Golilocks zone is really small.

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Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
ن
blog

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wild haggis
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# 15555

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I'm not sure that the "fear of the Lord" is the "shake at the knees, bite the nails, fear and trembling" meaning of fear.

My Biblical languages are practically none existant. But what are the semantics of "fear of the Lord" ? Have we actually got the meaning correct?

Is it being frightened or is it something else akin to awe and wonder?

If the later then some of us have been had over a barrel by the preachers of old, whether presbyterian, RC or tight evangelical.

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wild haggis

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Nick Tamen

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# 15164

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Why are you obsessed with the Bronze Age?
It seems to me you are suggesting that we can discount the Bible because some of it comes from that era.

It also seems to me, and this is only my inference, that the perjorative 'Bronze Age' only applies to the bits you don't agree with.

One of the arrogances of modern man is to believe that there is little of any value whatever in the past and that only what we have become or know is of any use of validity.

C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield called it chronological snobbery.

But I was thinking the same thing reading through this thread about the seemingly reflexive rejection of attitudes or ideas as Bronze Age. I fear one may miss a fair amount of wisdom with that approach.

I agree completely. That would be a very modern trap. What sort of wisdom, what gems, do you have that someone who's in that trap and doesn't even know it doesn't have?
Martin, I'm sure it's me, not you—I'm not very much of a postmodern guy—but I'm not sure what you're asking here. Of course, it may be my lack of affinity with postmodernism that has me seeing the value of Bronze Age stories differently from you to start with.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Martin60
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# 368

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It ain't you Nick. What am I missing? From the Bronze Age?

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Love wins

Posts: 16989 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
rolyn
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# 16840

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
How would you put it?

The same way as you have put it. Spiritual insight can come in snatches, maybe the Fear of the Lord comes the same way I dunno.

Some put it in a way that suggests Jesus is the only glimmer of light in a cave full of darkness, now that is pessimism to me.

Coming back to Susan D. more fully, as this morning I had to dash. Indeed a secular non-lord fearing person can have every motivation to get up and achieve a load of stuff, similarly a Lord fearing person may be poorly motivated and sat on their hands.
It still comes back the Why are we here? thing. Yes we are here because certain chance circumstances splurged chemicals together, but for what purpose? The modern secular viewpoint seems to say there is no purpose. No purpose other than to have a jolly good time until the Sun explodes.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
# 12618

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Coming back to Susan D. more fully, as this morning I had to dash. Indeed a secular non-lord fearing person can have every motivation to get up and achieve a load of stuff, similarly a Lord fearing person may be poorly motivated and sat on their hands.
It still comes back the Why are we here? thing. Yes we are here because certain chance circumstances splurged chemicals together, but for what purpose? The modern secular viewpoint seems to say there is no purpose. No purpose other than to have a jolly good time until the Sun explodes.

Thank you for your reply.
All our purposes are thought of by ourselves. If it is posited, imagined or stated that there is a purpose to life, then that presupposes a purpose existing independently, which immediately implies a something to think of the purpose. The evolved instinct to survive would, I expect, have gradually been given the name of purpose which immediately made humans think, ‘Ah, there must be another reason for our existence,’ and thus began the search for this non-existent purpose-provider!!

I think that during the next billion or so years, a human purpose should be to find a way of getting to another Earth-type planet somewhere before the sun does burn out!

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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