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Source: (consider it) Thread: Is theological liberalism unwelcome in the "liberal" Church
mr cheesy
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Also I think the strictest Evangelical memorial sense of the Eucharist makes little sense anyway.

Jesus' followers had experienced the incarnation, had been around for three years and had experienced the shame of the crucifixion followed by the resurrection and Pentecost.

Why would they need to have a memorial meal?

It seems to me that the Evangelical sensibility is so numb and so committed to the idea that God is everywhere that they're now basically announcing that he's nowhere. That eating the Eucharist is no different to eating a baked beans from a can.

As to thinking that they've got the "authentic" understanding of the Eucharist [Killing me]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
It seems logical to me that as Jesus reclined at the tables with all the elements of the Passover meal arrayed before them
Forget Da Vinci!, when he said 'Do this in remembrance of me', the 'This' he was referring to was the Passover meal in its entirety with all its constituent elements - liturgical questions and prayers; the bread, wine, lamb, herbs, etc, etc....

There are a couple of problems with that approach. First, when you talk about the Seder with its "liturgical questions" etc., you're talking about a form of the Seder that hadn't yet developed in the First Century AD.

Second, the Scriptural text doesn't support it. Leaving aside the synoptic-Johannine issue of whether it actually was the Passover meal, the text is very clear that Jesus took bread and wine, blessed, broke and gave them saying "take and eat/drink." Nothing is said at all about other food on the table. Paul is also clear—"as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes again. Paul couldn't be clearer in linking the remembrance to eating and drinking the bread and wine.

quote:
1) What was the 'this'? (I suggest it was the Passover meal.)
Which, again, is at odds with the text.

quote:
Is it a memorial celebration or is there, as has been suggested, more going on? I would like to know what happens in the heart and mind of a Jewish person as he, even today, remembers the Exodus every Friday night or at Passover.
The Jewish idea of memorial was and is that by making the memorial, one participates in the event remembered, making it a present reality for those participating. So, for example, those participating in the Passover meal are not just recalling the Exodus as an event in the past—they are, in a sense, participating in it in the present, with implications for a future of freedom. Another example is the Avowal said with the offering of First Fruits, which is a way of participating in the redemption of Israel.

That's the understanding of "remembrance" or "memorial" the disciples would have had. They would have understood Jesus to be talking of remembering his death in such a way that they were participants with him in it. That's part of what Paul is getting at when he says we "proclaim" Jesus's death when we follow his command to "remember" him in the eating of the bread and drinking of the cup.

quote:
I find it difficult - along with all Evangelicals - to go beyond the memorialist stage. It seems t me to be a reading back into the words of Jesus something he never intended, and something alien to the Apostles' Jewish mindset.
And I'm afraid that to me the Evangelical memorialist view comes across as trying to rationalize away what Jesus actually said. It seems more grounded in a Western post-enlightenment framework than a scriptural one.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Yeah, for that reason I tend to take the Iona Community usage which is 're-member' rather than 'remember'.

Yes, I like that too.

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Martin60
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Didn't John Wayne Bobbitt have that done?

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SvitlanaV2
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mr cheesy


But is God everywhere or not?

With regard to the topic of the thread, the idea that God is somehow in the bread and wine more than anywhere else doesn't strike me as a particularly liberal belief to hold. What about the majority of self-professed Christians who don't go to church? Doesn't that exclude them?

And I don't think memorialism is an especially evangelical position to take. I should think that many MOTR Christians with liberal inclinations also lean in that direction, including many (but not all) Methodists. Nevertheless, there's great respect for communion, and its place in the life and heritage of the church is valued.

Communion certainly has a spiritual quality. It's also one of those rituals that bind churchgoers together, which is why I think some churches are so eager for visitors to participate; the open table is a kind of recruitment tool. But is it presented as an extra special way of meeting God? Not really, IME.

But there's a range of theological perspectives. It all adds to the gaiety of nations, so to speak. God will be merciful.

[ 03. October 2017, 13:53: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
mr cheesy


But is God everywhere or not?

Seems to me that's the wrong question.

quote:
With regard to the topic of the thread, the idea that God is somehow in the bread and wine more than anywhere else doesn't strike me as a particularly liberal belief to hold. What about the majority of self-professed Christians who don't go to church? Doesn't that exclude them?
Take it up with Jesus.

quote:
And I don't think memorialism is an especially evangelical position to take. I should think that many MOTR Christians with liberal inclinations also lean in that direction, including many (but not all) Methodists. Nevertheless, there's great respect for communion, and its place in the life and heritage of the church is valued.
Fair comment - although the distinction I was making was between those who aren't extreme Evangelicals and those who are. Memorialists who aren't evangelicals are very likely to be open to other understandings of the Eucharist and are likely to be aware of the shortcomings of their own understanding. The most extreme Evangelicals are militantly memorialist and seem to think that they've got the whole Eucharist thing sewn up, end of story.

quote:
Communion certainly has a spiritual quality. It's also one of those rituals that bind churchgoers together, which is why I think some churches are so eager for visitors to participate; the open table is a kind of recruitment tool. But is it presented as an extra special way of meeting God? Not really, IME.
I don't see the Eucharist as any kind of recruitment tool. So I can't really comment on this.

quote:
But there's a range of theological perspectives. It all adds to the gaiety of nations, so to speak. God will be merciful.
Right. There are many theological perspectives on the Eucharist, but most of them are wrong.

Not really - I'm mostly reacting against the idea that memorialism is the only possible correct explanation and that other ideas are obviously wrong. I don't think it is obvious and it seems to me that memorialism has as many problems - possibly more - as the other explanations.

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Martin60
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Wrong?

Most?

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SvitlanaV2
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Well, extreme evangelicals think they're right about all sorts of things. That's what makes them extreme!

I'm just a MOTR pew dweller, so my own perspective is probably wrong too. But I've listened to far too many sermons in my life, and never heard any of them try to convince me that communion was of monumental importance in bringing me into God's presence. And it's not an idea that presents itself to me naturally.

Nevertheless, it's not a problem for me that different denominations or traditions have different emphases. It's something that I value.

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Mudfrog
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Mr cheesy, I don't think you can possibly use one passage as an argument against another. Why are you doing it? The different Gospel references and the Pauline reference are all describing the very same event.

There is no way that if this was a Passover meal -let;s assume that it is because John and Paul very definitely say it was - (Christ our Passover, included as a reference to that) - that there would have only been a patten and a chalice on that table as if Jesus were presiding, priest-like over an AD33-style Roman Mass!

Neither am I saying that it was a seder meal or Passover meal as we see today in modern Judaism; I am well aware that there is no surviving order of service for a 1st Century Passover meal. But it would be an argument from silence to suggest that what Jesus did - along with thousands of other households that night - bore no relation whatever to the original passover and the subsequent Passover commemorations of the Jews in the last 2000 years.

What I will say is that Jesus did not celebrate the Eucharist on that night.
The 'This' is heavily implied to be the Passover meal that Jesus gave new meaning to - otherwise, why bother?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Mr cheesy, I don't think you can possibly use one passage as an argument against another. Why are you doing it? The different Gospel references and the Pauline reference are all describing the very same event.


I was mostly making a point about grammar. Taken together, the "this" you are building a case around cannot be the passover meal.

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Mudfrog
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Cheesy, you yourself quoted Luke's account describing Jesus as saying 'eat this Passover...'

What else makes you believe that
1) it was not the Passover and
2) it was not even a meal?

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mr cheesy
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The question is about this phrase:

"Do this in remembrance of me" and a debate about what "this" is.

Grammatically, the Corinthians verse doesn't work if the "this" is referring to the passover meal.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Yeah, for that reason I tend to take the Iona Community usage which is 're-member' rather than 'remember'.

Yes, I use that setting quite often, and like it. But sometimes I feel it's a bit too clever and precious for its own good.
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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The question is about this phrase:

"Do this in remembrance of me" and a debate about what "this" is.

Grammatically, the Corinthians verse doesn't work if the "this" is referring to the passover meal.

And yet Paul specifically calls Jesus Christ our Passover (lamb). A bit pointless if Jesus didn't link his death to the Passover celebration where they ate a lamb.

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mr cheesy
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Sigh. Never mind then.

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Mudfrog
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I'm sorry if I have an alternative reading and won't just accept your view.
It all seems so simple to me.
Jesus celebrated a Passover meal and asked the disciples to remember him every time they did it because he was the new means of redemption and freedom, the new Passover lamb.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
There is no way that if this was a Passover meal -let;s assume that it is because John and Paul very definitely say it was - (Christ our Passover, included as a reference to that) ....

To the contrary, John says very definitely that it was not the Passover meal. He says quite clearly that what we call the Last Supper was before the Festival of the Passover, and that the crucifixion occurred on "the Day of Preparation." This is important to John and his understanding of Jesus as the Paschal Lamb, because it means that the crucifixion happened at the same time that the lambs for the Passover meal were being slaughtered, identifying Jesus with those lambs. In John's description, the Passover meal would have been on Friday night, after Jesus had died.


quote:
The 'This' is heavily implied to be the Passover meal that Jesus gave new meaning to - otherwise, why bother?
I simply do not see that as implied at all, much less heavily implied. How do you deal with Paul saying "as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup"? How do you deal with the fact that all accounts say that Jesus took the bread and said "this is my body," and to the cup and said "this is my blood," but no account mentions any other aspect of the meal itself?

There's no questions that in the early church, the Eucharist was celebrated in the context of a full meal (and celebrated weekly, not yearly like the Passover.). But I see nothing in any account suggesting "this" means anything other than eating the broken bread and drinking from the cup.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Well, extreme evangelicals think they're right about all sorts of things. That's what makes them extreme!

Whereas the Orthodox, the Catholics and other sacramentalists are so laid back they have no dogmas at all! [Biased]

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
. . . and that the crucifixion occurred on "the Day of Preparation."

Brain fart on my part. Sorry.

"Day of Preparation," of course, refers to the day before the Sabbath. But John goes further to note that the Sabbath that year was "a day of great solemnity." That, I'd suggest, coupled with John's statement that the supper occurred the day before the Passover, is a heavy implication that the Passover fell on the Sabbath that year, not on Friday.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Communion certainly has a spiritual quality. It's also one of those rituals that bind churchgoers together, which is why I think some churches are so eager for visitors to participate; the open table is a kind of recruitment tool. But is it presented as an extra special way of meeting God? Not really, IME.
I don't see the Eucharist as any kind of recruitment tool. So I can't really comment on this.
John Weslky saw it as 'a converting ordinance' and Sarah Miles was converted by receiving and wrote about it in 'Eat This Bread.'

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Cheesy, you yourself quoted Luke's account describing Jesus as saying 'eat this Passover...'

No, he didn't. He inserted the words 'this Passover' to show that it doesn't make sense as an interpretation of the instruction.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Mr cheesy, I don't think you can possibly use one passage as an argument against another. Why are you doing it? The different Gospel references and the Pauline reference are all describing the very same event.

There is no way that if this was a Passover meal -let;s assume that it is because John and Paul very definitely say it was - (Christ our Passover, included as a reference to that) - that there would have only been a patten and a chalice on that table as if Jesus were presiding, priest-like over an AD33-style Roman Mass!

Neither am I saying that it was a seder meal or Passover meal as we see today in modern Judaism; I am well aware that there is no surviving order of service for a 1st Century Passover meal. But it would be an argument from silence to suggest that what Jesus did - along with thousands of other households that night - bore no relation whatever to the original passover and the subsequent Passover commemorations of the Jews in the last 2000 years.

What I will say is that Jesus did not celebrate the Eucharist on that night.
The 'This' is heavily implied to be the Passover meal that Jesus gave new meaning to - otherwise, why bother?

Because thousands of other households that night didn't do a thing. None of them did. It wasn't the Jews' Passover. 'This' was taking bread, 'My body', and wine, 'My blood'.

[ 03. October 2017, 18:45: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Moo

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There is a thread in Limbo discussing the meaning of anamnesis

Moo

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hatless

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Isn't the feature of this discussion that is relevant to the thread the liberal pleasure in living with questions?

Biblical fundamentalists can insist on their readings of scripture, and strict sacramentalists on their beliefs about what God does in partnership with a priest, but liberals are content to not know exactly which day the Last Supper was, pleased that the gospels and Paul offer different accounts, and happy to entertain the next new interpretation.

Liberals like metaphor, and prefer things that remain open and undecided. They may be from a high church base or be of evangelical origins, but what makes them liberal is not their particular take on the Eucharist but their willingness to hold it as a provisional opinion. Someone who disagrees is not a threat, but offers an interesting point of view that the liberal might learn from.

What matters is not being right - how could we do that anyway? - but having our eyes opened. The joy is in the journey, letting go of old ideas and learning to understand afresh. It's not the understanding itself, but the coming to understand anew.

Parables are where liberals are most at home. They have no propositional truth content, but they are designed to get behind knowledge and operate at the level of what we want; feelings and self-identity.

So a discussion about the Eucharist that focuses on 'this' and the date, misses the point for liberals. Who cares what happened? What does it do to me? That's the issue! Is there life in this new idea? Or how about that one over there?

And in truth, this is how it is for everyone, it's just that a lot of people don't recognise it.

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
... And in truth, this is how it is for everyone, it's just that a lot of people don't recognise it.

Is it? You make it all sound as though the difference between theological liberals and the rest of us ceases to be much to do with theology or spirituality and just comes down to which Myers-Briggs letters a person is.

Or perhaps that is all that it is.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Mr cheesy, I don't think you can possibly use one passage as an argument against another. Why are you doing it? The different Gospel references and the Pauline reference are all describing the very same event.

There is no way that if this was a Passover meal -let;s assume that it is because John and Paul very definitely say it was - (Christ our Passover, included as a reference to that) - that there would have only been a patten and a chalice on that table as if Jesus were presiding, priest-like over an AD33-style Roman Mass!

Neither am I saying that it was a seder meal or Passover meal as we see today in modern Judaism; I am well aware that there is no surviving order of service for a 1st Century Passover meal. But it would be an argument from silence to suggest that what Jesus did - along with thousands of other households that night - bore no relation whatever to the original passover and the subsequent Passover commemorations of the Jews in the last 2000 years.

What I will say is that Jesus did not celebrate the Eucharist on that night.
The 'This' is heavily implied to be the Passover meal that Jesus gave new meaning to - otherwise, why bother?

Because thousands of other households that night didn't do a thing. None of them did. It wasn't the Jews' Passover. 'This' was taking bread, 'My body', and wine, 'My blood'.
It was not a Mass. There was no altar, Jesus was not a priest. This was a Jewish occasion.
Thee was bread and wine as part of the occasion, it was not the only thing on the table.

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G.K. Chesterton

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Isn't the feature of this discussion that is relevant to the thread the liberal pleasure in living with questions? ...
What matters is not being right - how could we do that anyway? - but having our eyes opened. The joy is in the journey, letting go of old ideas and learning to understand afresh. It's not the understanding itself, but the coming to understand anew.

That seems to me to express the liberal position beautifully. My problem is that so many so-called liberals seem to have become locked into particular "liberal" interpretations and are not open to the kind of provisionality which you so rightly welcome. In fact they are as "closed" as any fundamentalist (and, dare I say, even more snooty about it?)
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
It was not a Mass. There was no altar, Jesus was not a priest. This was a Jewish occasion.
Thee was bread and wine as part of the occasion, it was not the only thing on the table.

Mudfrog, I'm going to try one last time - as I've been trying to say, this isn't about a difference of interpretation or timing, it is about linguistics and grammar.

quote:
From 1 Corinthians 11

11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, 11:24 and after he had given thanks he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 11:25 In the same way, he also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, every time you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 11:26 For every time you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

Let me try to spell it out in steps:

1. You seem to be saying that the thing which the Lord here tells us to do is the passover meal
2. So you seem to be saying that the instruction in 11:24 and 11:25 is to have a meal, in remembrance of him
3. But that doesn't make any grammatical sense because how can you "have a passover meal" together with "every time you drink it"?
4. It might be arguable about how one eats and drinks, but it seems to me to be clear that the thing we're instructed to do is beyond simply eating and drinking. Because the construction of the instruction doesn't allow the idea that we're supposed to be remembering via a passover meal.

We're supposed to be remembering whilst eating and drinking. The thing we're supposed to do - the "this" - is something more than eating and drinking.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That seems to me to express the liberal position beautifully. My problem is that so many so-called liberals seem to have become locked into particular "liberal" interpretations and are not open to the kind of provisionality which you so rightly welcome. In fact they are as "closed" as any fundamentalist (and, dare I say, even more snooty about it?)

I think it misses something subtle - it isn't just that liberals don't think that it is just about things being provisional but that there is a necessary acceptance of doubt, uncertainty and not-knowing. The deep sense that the explanations we have don't fully explain things, that on some deeper level it is going to turn out that a lot of what we think we know is wrong.

I don't think it is a contradiction when a liberal rejects a strident view - by being liberal that doesn't have to mean that all views are equal and that strident conservative views are as likely to be true as any other.

In truth, I think most liberals find it easier to get a handle on the things we don't agree with (or believe) than the things we do.

But a closed, fundamental, strident view that has lost that sense of uncertainty and not-knowing and that what we believe could be partly or entirely wrong is not a liberal view.

That's the dichotomy. Liberals might be able to define what they don't believe but struggle to define what they do, and will hold many of those things quite lightly.

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Jengie jon

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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Biblical fundamentalists can insist on their readings of scripture, and strict sacramentalists on their beliefs about what God does in partnership with a priest, but liberals are content to not know exactly which day the Last Supper was, pleased that the gospels and Paul offer different accounts, and happy to entertain the next new interpretation.

Some liberals but I know of many liberals who are as doctrinaire over their liberal interpretation as any conservative. Liberal can be as creedal (you must not believe in the virgin birth, God does not intervene in the world, you must not take the Old Testament seriously etc) as either fundamentalism or high sacramentalism. My experience with high sacramentalists is that they are as happy with metaphor as anyone else they just use it in different places. It is so long since I have mixed with fundamentalists, if I ever did, I cannot speak for them. This is why I maintain there are two types of liberal.

Jengie

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
Liberals like metaphor, and prefer things that remain open and undecided. They may be from a high church base or be of evangelical origins, but what makes them liberal is not their particular take on the Eucharist but their willingness to hold it as a provisional opinion. Someone who disagrees is not a threat, but offers an interesting point of view that the liberal might learn from.

Parables are where liberals are most at home. They have no propositional truth content, but they are designed to get behind knowledge and operate at the level of what we want; feelings and self-identity.

This is all of course not intended to have any propositional truth content. It is not meant to be propositionally true that liberals like metaphors or that anyone who disagrees is not seen as a threat or that parables are where liberals are most at home. The propositional truth is that most liberals like a bland beige intellectual-lite prose in which all the metaphors are safely dead ('where liberals are most at home', 'having our eyes opened', 'the joy is in the journey'). But as with Boris Johnson, propositional truth isn't the issue; it's about how it makes the speaker and allied hearers feel about themselves. It may not be propositionally true that liberals like metaphor, but they like to feel that they are the sort of people who do like metaphor. They may not be at home with parables, but they like to invoke the word 'parables' at the head of a paragraph like a statue of a saint in procession.
And it's not propositionally true that it's about self-identity. The most important piece of hatless' post is:
quote:
Biblical fundamentalists can insist on their readings of scripture, and strict sacramentalists on their beliefs about what God does in partnership with a priest
The propositional truth here is that the liberal defines himself (usually) over and against the fundamentalist and sacramentalist (strawman or not; their truth is irrelevant).

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hatless

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If it is strongly linked to personality type, then for some of us it will be tiring to maintain a liberal position. Faced with disagreement from without or unsettling thoughts within, we may look for something certain and solid to respond with. It's inconsistent, but understandable.

Don't we see it in politics? You might be a leftie in your opinions about punishment, but when police start cracking your friends' heads with batons you may well wish for overwhelming force on your side, or at least a handy brick.

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hatless

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Dafyd said
quote:
The propositional truth is that most liberals like a bland beige intellectual-lite prose in which all the metaphors are safely dead ('where liberals are most at home', 'having our eyes opened', 'the joy is in the journey'). But as with Boris Johnson, propositional truth isn't the issue; it's about how it makes the speaker and allied hearers feel about themselves.
I can see that you really hate what I said; not for the first time. I'm not quite sure why, though. It seems as if you are defending a bridge against some ancient evil that threatens to turn the world to jelly, and I am the carrier of this evil - but what is it?

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I can see that you really hate what I said; not for the first time.

May I take it that this is not meant to have any propositional truth content? It's about your feelings? It's not literally true that you can see that I really hate what you said: rather you are expressing a wish that it were the case?

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
I know of many liberals who are as doctrinaire over their liberal interpretation as any conservative. Liberal can be as creedal (you must not believe in the virgin birth, God does not intervene in the world, you must not take the Old Testament seriously etc) as either fundamentalism or high sacramentalism.

That's really the point I was trying to make. And, if I have found conservatism in Baptist circles, I have also found the liberalism you describe in the Methodist and URC, and especially in my admittedly limited experience of "Sea of Faith".

[ 04. October 2017, 09:48: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
May I take it that this is not meant to have any propositional truth content? It's about your feelings? It's not literally true that you can see that I really hate what you said: rather you are expressing a wish that it were the case?

I see what you did there.

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Baptist Trainfan
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At the risk of (rightly) being accused of junior hosting, isn't this becoming a bit too personal for Purgatory?

[ 04. October 2017, 10:01: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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hatless

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
I can see that you really hate what I said; not for the first time.

May I take it that this is not meant to have any propositional truth content? It's about your feelings? It's not literally true that you can see that I really hate what you said: rather you are expressing a wish that it were the case?
I said that parables have no propositional truth content. The Good Samaritan does not tell us about travellers on the road to Jericho, it is intended to play with our prejudices. It doesn't even answer the lawyer's question. It is a story to be told and heard.

What do you think is at stake here?

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
May I take it that this is not meant to have any propositional truth content? It's about your feelings? It's not literally true that you can see that I really hate what you said: rather you are expressing a wish that it were the case?

I said that parables have no propositional truth content. The Good Samaritan does not tell us about travellers on the road to Jericho, it is intended to play with our prejudices. It doesn't even answer the lawyer's question. It is a story to be told and heard.

What do you think is at stake here?

So you're saying that there's one attitude to parables which takes them as serious play, intended to disrupt our prejudices, to overturn our smug self-congratulations and more smug dismissals of others; and another attitude that impatient with play and irony demands to have it said straight out literalistically, "What do you think is at stake here?"

And I take it you assert that the "What do you think is at stake here?" attitude is the really evasive one, the one that wants to avoid the truth (propositional or otherwise), because actually everything at stake has already been stated, put on the table, out in the open?

[ 04. October 2017, 10:27: Message edited by: Dafyd ]

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hatless

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"What do you think is at stake here?" was a direct question to you, Dafyd. Why do these things we are talking about matter?

Regarding parables, I mentioned them as a good example of how liberals like to operate. Others will tend to look elsewhere rather than do parables badly, though you do come across some literalistic interpretations of them.

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Jengie jon

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Hatless

What would you classify someone who holds quite determinedly that:
  1. God does not intervene in the natural order
  2. That the Biblical miracles did not happen, there are natural explanations
  3. The Bible must be seen as conveying truth through analogically and does not relate to history at all
  4. That we should ignore all parts of scripture that portray God as judging particularly those in the Old Testament
  5. That the sacraments are human created symbolic actions.

These are equally truth propositions and can be held dogmatically as any conservative or sacramentalist line.

Jengie

p.s. I know of people who maintain 2 dogmatically but not 1. So basically accept in certain circumstances that God does miracles today but do not consider the possibility that the Biblical miracles are genuine.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
It was not a Mass. There was no altar, Jesus was not a priest. This was a Jewish occasion.
Thee was bread and wine as part of the occasion, it was not the only thing on the table.

No one has said that the bread and wine were the only things on the table, or that Jesus's taking of the bread and wine didn't happen in the context of a meal, or that the Last Supper looked like a Catholic Mass.

What people have been saying is that the bread and wine are the only aspects of the meal to which the texts record Jesus giving significance, and that the texts do not support the idea that by "this" Jesus meant the Passover meal or the idea that the disciples understood him to mean the Passover meal.

Of course, there is a Passover connection and context. But Jesus is clearly taking that Passover context and turning it into something new and different, not just adding a new layer to the traditional Feast of Unleavened Bread.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Mr cheesy, I don't think you can possibly use one passage as an argument against another. Why are you doing it? The different Gospel references and the Pauline reference are all describing the very same event.

There is no way that if this was a Passover meal -let;s assume that it is because John and Paul very definitely say it was - (Christ our Passover, included as a reference to that) - that there would have only been a patten and a chalice on that table as if Jesus were presiding, priest-like over an AD33-style Roman Mass!

Neither am I saying that it was a seder meal or Passover meal as we see today in modern Judaism; I am well aware that there is no surviving order of service for a 1st Century Passover meal. But it would be an argument from silence to suggest that what Jesus did - along with thousands of other households that night - bore no relation whatever to the original passover and the subsequent Passover commemorations of the Jews in the last 2000 years.

What I will say is that Jesus did not celebrate the Eucharist on that night.
The 'This' is heavily implied to be the Passover meal that Jesus gave new meaning to - otherwise, why bother?

Because thousands of other households that night didn't do a thing. None of them did. It wasn't the Jews' Passover. 'This' was taking bread, 'My body', and wine, 'My blood'.
It was not a Mass. There was no altar, Jesus was not a priest. This was a Jewish occasion.
Thee was bread and wine as part of the occasion, it was not the only thing on the table.

Mass is when we do it in remembrance of Him with the tokens. Mass, the Eucharist, Divine Liturgy, is our formal, collective remembrance with whatever substantial narrative one has to have. In my case, none at all. Not that I would ever take the tokens in a restrictive environment despite happily sitting, standing, singing, praying through the service in Catholic churches. I haven't gone forward to bow my head, but would do next time.

This was a Jewish occasion because a couple of handsful of Jews were doing it.

No one else.

It wasn't the Nisan 15th Jews Passover Seder or even Friday night Oneg Shabbat, although it would became both for the first wave of predominantly Jewish Christians. It was a unique event on the evening start of Nisan 14th. I.e. the start of that day, in the evening after the sundown of the 13th.

Jesus was slaughtered whilst the hundreds of thousands of lambs were being slaughtered, during the quartodeciman day of Nisan 14th, in preparation for the Jews' Passover Seder, after sunset at the evening start of Nisan 15th, the First of Unleavened Bread.

That's how Jesus fulfilled the Passover, became korban Pesach, the Pascal Lamb, prefigured in the first Eucharist the evening before.

During the silence of the lambs.

It's quite simple.

Whatever else was on the table is irrelevant.

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hatless

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Holding any opinions determinedly, any opinions in a contested area, would seem to be an illiberal attitude. The position you set out could be one influenced by biblical criticism, informed by scientific thought, and prepared to question biblical morality from another viewpoint. Those would all be marks of a liberal process of questioning. But if the position is subsequently held rigidly and defensively, then that is not so liberal.

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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Are the dimensions "liberal" and "tolerance" orthogonal or correlated? To say more simply, might a liberal be rigid in their liberality, or do we conflate tolerance and liberality frequently, and might this be wrong? I suspect that the relationship is complex, such that liberality is tolerant in some things but intolerant of others. Which means our simple understanding of correlation isn't enough between these two things.
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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
"What do you think is at stake here?" was a direct question to you, Dafyd. Why do these things we are talking about matter?

Regarding parables, I mentioned them as a good example of how liberals like to operate.

Of course it was a direct question to me. But you'd mentioned how liberals like to keep things open and how Jesus in telling the parable of the Good Samaritan didn't answer the question, so I thought that you wouldn't like a direct answer.

Maybe you would like a direct answer, and therefore parables (as you characterise them) are not in fact how you as a liberal like to operate after all?

That said, as I hinted, I'm not sure that a direct or straight question is always the same thing as a sincere question. Because I think I've repeatedly said why I think the things we're talking about matter. You just don't seem to want to accept that I really mean the stuff about 'our smug self-congratulations and more smug dismissals of others'. Or the bit about Boris Johnson for that matter.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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