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Source: (consider it) Thread: Mary, consent, and other issues
Brenda Clough
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Yes, but we have to deduce her mental state. The text tells us nothing. One could imagine the text without Mary's words -- it would then become more like Danae and the shower of gold or Europa and the bull, the divine just sweeping the young woman away without asking her opinion. So yes, we know what she -says-. We just don't know about her consent, or anything else about how she feels about it.

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Eutychus
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Even a script doesn't tell you everything. Consider the difference between the "lame" script Betty is going to audition for in Mulholland Drive and how she actually plays it at the audition.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Yes, but we have to deduce her mental state. The text tells us nothing. One could imagine the text without Mary's words -- it would then become more like Danae and the shower of gold or Europa and the bull, the divine just sweeping the young woman away without asking her opinion. So yes, we know what she -says-. We just don't know about her consent, or anything else about how she feels about it.

Wait-- isn't consent generally signified by words??? If not, then what in the world WOULD constitute consent to you???

Yes, I get that consent is complicated and I certainly don't want to be propping up the guys that use "women are so hard to read" as an excuse. But, honestly, I think if someone say "let it be as you have said" you gotta take that as "yes".

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Rossweisse

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
...Check out the response Lewis got from a BRITISH audience in 1983 after joking about his earlier marriage.

Revolting.

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Stejjie
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quote:
Originally posted by Brenda Clough:
Yes, but we have to deduce her mental state. The text tells us nothing. One could imagine the text without Mary's words -- it would then become more like Danae and the shower of gold or Europa and the bull, the divine just sweeping the young woman away without asking her opinion. So yes, we know what she -says-. We just don't know about her consent, or anything else about how she feels about it.

Further to cliffdweller's post, I'd also argue that it's nigh-on impossible to deduce Mary's mental state from this text. For instance, I can think of at least two possibilities:
1) Mary is clearly frightened by the appearance of the angel. The news the angel brings her ("God's going to make you pregnant with Messiah!") does little to calm her fears; Gabriel's talk of the "power of the Most High overshadowing you" hardly helps with this! Her question to the angel is a fearful one, spoken with trembling in the midst of this fear-inducing encounter. Mary's "consent" is .'. comes purely out of her panic at what is happening and her fear of what will happen to her if she says no.

2) Yes, Mary is perplexed/frightened by the appearance of the angel - but this is a common reaction in the Bible to angelic encounters. By the time Gabriel has finished the initial announcement, Mary has recovered sufficiently to question and probe what has been said to her - as many of the great people of faith did: Abraham, Moses, many of the prophets. (To "cheat" a little: we know from the Magnificat that Mary will go on to see her pregnancy and the child she will bear as part of God's work of overturning the powers and systems of the world, raising the humble and casting down the proud etc.) Mary, at heart, is a woman of faith and her consent should be seen ultimately as an expression of that faith and trust in God.

Either of these, I would suggest, is supportable from the passage and they point in very different directions as to what Mary's mental state might be. I'd suggest that this means that trying to deduce it from the text is fraught with difficulties; as cliffdweller says, in the end, don't we have to accept the words?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:


Here in the sovereign south at least the marriage age for women tended to be young as well. That was changing enough at the time Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13 year old that it pooched his career.


I don't know anything about this other than what I read, but at least some think his career took a dive when he bought his "new" bride to London.

quote:
“I was in England when they ran him out of the country,” Kris Kristofferson has said, “and it really seemed unfair to me, because he had no idea he was doing anything wrong. He went immediately from being a guy who made $10,000 a night to a guy who didn’t make $100 a night.”
I also note that it is said he was 22 and still married to Jane Mitcham at the time.

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arse

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Tortuf:

Here in the sovereign south at least the marriage age for women tended to be young as well. That was changing enough at the time Jerry Lee Lewis married a 13 year old that it pooched his career.

ISTR Texas changed the age of marriage with parental consent from 14 to 16 when an FDLS sect became active in state.

Going back to the original post; it appears that there is a cultural context to this in some circles, see here:

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-brightbill-roy-moore-evangelical-culture-20171110-story.html

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lovejoyfeminism/2013/12/the-rest-of-the-maranatha-story.html

The story in the second link is - at very best - bizarre in the extreme.

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Moo

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Luke 1:46-49 gives Mary's state of mind after she had met her cousin Elizabeth.
quote:
And Mary said,
‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour,
for he has looked with favour on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

Whatever her state of mind just after Gabriel had left her, she was happy and strong not long afterwards.

Moo

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Martin60
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Aye. Nice. Not the language of a normal 13 year old. Or even 17 year old. The descending age of menarche just two centuries ago in the West.

A sociobiological argument is that pubescent human females gain secondary sexual characteristics more obviously than males to be treated as pre-childbearing women, to trigger restrained interest. Pubescent males are man-cubs, to be tolerated as they aren't a serious proposition, competition. Females are to be 'protected' from yet older males and betrothed to the highest status bidder for when they are actually more psychologically and physically capable of childbearing with greater pelvic development.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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This is ridiculous. Are we really trying to say that we can tell something about Juliet in R&J because she's not using words like a 12/14/16 (whatever) year old?

Don't you understand the nature of myth and story?

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arse

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Green Mario
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Calvinism creates much bigger issues of consent if God controls everyone's choices
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Gamaliel
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I don't think Calvinism does teach that God 'controls' people's thoughts and choices, rather it would claim that God works in and through them in a mysterious way to achieve his predetermined ends.

It isn't that people are sock-puppets.

There's Calvinism and there's hyper-Calvinism.

Meanwhile, I'm with mr cheesy on the ridiculous speculations about Mary's state of mind and so on.

I re-iterate the threat I made upthread, the next time I hear a preacher say, 'What was Mary / Joseph / Moses / Daniel / Isaiah / the apostle Paul / Jesus ... thinking when ...' I'll throw more than one hymnbook at them ...

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Rossweisse:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
...Check out the response Lewis got from a BRITISH audience in 1983 after joking about his earlier marriage.

Revolting.
Yeah, I just thought I'd post it for anyone who might have been wondering how Brexit could have passed.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This is ridiculous. Are we really trying to say that we can tell something about Juliet in R&J because she's not using words like a 12/14/16 (whatever) year old?

Don't you understand the nature of myth and story?

Oh! You mean Mary didn't ACTUALLY sing the Magnificat? Cuh. Fuh. What can we believe eh? The good doctor ... who? ... made it all up. Ah well.

What about the biology?

Can I still believe in the Incarnation miss?

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Love wins

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Curiosity killed ...

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Wasn't Mary echoing Hannah's Song?

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I don't think Calvinism does teach that God 'controls' people's thoughts and choices, rather it would claim that God works in and through them in a mysterious way to achieve his predetermined ends.

It isn't that people are sock-puppets.

There's Calvinism and there's hyper-Calvinism.

Meanwhile, I'm with mr cheesy on the ridiculous speculations about Mary's state of mind and so on.

I re-iterate the threat I made upthread, the next time I hear a preacher say, 'What was Mary / Joseph / Moses / Daniel / Isaiah / the apostle Paul / Jesus ... thinking when ...' I'll throw more than one hymnbook at them ...

So there's no double predestination? God doesn't reprobate? Calvin didn't write this? "By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death." in Institutes of Christian Religion. Book Three, Chapter 3?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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Martin, you know that paradox is as old as the hills.

The way I resolve it is that at the level of my experience, I feel able to give informed consent to things. Sometimes I might be being conned; if I am, there's often a part of me that gives me a niggling feeling of being conned even when my conscious mind refuses it.

As posted above, I think the Annunciation offers a picture in which God's foreordained will (that at least somebody would bear the Christ child...) interweaves with Mary's informed consent. I trust in the goodness of God enough to believe that he wasn't conning Mary and that Gabriel was not abusing his authority gradient to force the issue.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Ohher
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What Eutychus said, plus this:

Those setting this narrative down in the first place believed consent was essential; that's why it's present in the story. (Mary's age? Apparently not so much.) Consent was so important that a female character was provided with a voice -- not all that common in similar narratives of the time -- and is portrayed both as questioning this angelic visitation and as agreeing to carry out this mission.

Some narrative trouble is gone to here to show us Mary's question, respond to it, and to detail Mary's consent. Her consent has nothing to do with her age or her virginity or her legal status or the biomechanics of the Incarnation. Mary's consent, sought and received, shows us the nature of the relationship God seeks with human creation, and it models the relationship God desires to be followed among Her people.

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Martin60
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I don't see a paradox Eutychus. Simpleton that I am I take the story at face value. God wouldn't have sent archangels (now THERE'S a thing) round to a bunch of random Jewish virgins until one randomly assented to His proposal. Why do we want that to be Pythonesquely so? She was CHOSEN. Known. You know, by God. You're a nice ancient Jewish girl with no hang-ups and an archangel shows up (it was all a dream really? Mary who?). You say yes of course. I mean I would, now, as an old bloke with every hang-up. Archangel. God. Whatever you say.

It's either that or we go the whole Spongiform theolopathy route.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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Ok then. Nothing for it but to unleash some CS Lewis on you, edited down as much as I can:

quote:
The thing had seemed a sheer impossibility... And then, without any apparent movement of the will... There had arisen before him, with perfect certitude, the knowledge 'about this time tomorrow you will have done the impossible'... He knew - almost as a historical proposition - that it was going to be done... The future act stood there, fixed and unalterable as if he had already performed it.

(...)

You might say, if you like, that the power of choice had simply been set aside and an inflexible destiny substituted for it. On the other hand, you might say that he had been delivered from the rhetoric of his passions and had emerged into unassailable freedom. Ransom could not, for the life of him, see any difference between these two statements. Predestination and freedom were apparently identical. He could no longer see any meaning in the many arguments he had heard on this subject.

-Perelandra, chapter 11.

[ 14. November 2017, 14:13: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Honest Ron Bacardi
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quote:
Originally posted by Ohher:
What Eutychus said, plus this:

Those setting this narrative down in the first place believed consent was essential; that's why it's present in the story. (Mary's age? Apparently not so much.) Consent was so important that a female character was provided with a voice -- not all that common in similar narratives of the time -- and is portrayed both as questioning this angelic visitation and as agreeing to carry out this mission.

Some narrative trouble is gone to here to show us Mary's question, respond to it, and to detail Mary's consent. Her consent has nothing to do with her age or her virginity or her legal status or the biomechanics of the Incarnation. Mary's consent, sought and received, shows us the nature of the relationship God seeks with human creation, and it models the relationship God desires to be followed among Her people.

Nicely put, Ohher.

I recently had my attention drawn to how frequently in the OT those who God chose to do something are portrayed as having to engage with him over it. Of course, Jacob is even re-named "Israel" because he struggled with God (another angel!). And I was intrigued to read some rabbinical commentaries on the Cain and Abel narrative, along the lines of "He (Cain) should have wrestled with God" which of course he didn't. So I entirely agree about the literary purpose of this segment concerning Mary.

(Martin -
quote:
It's either that or we go the whole Spongiform theolopathy route.
[Big Grin] )

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Anglo-Cthulhic

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Martin60
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Aye Eutychus, Jack's literary genius shines. But ... it's something he made up. Nobody has ever had such an experience from God. And, of course, God cannot possibly know what's going to happen tomorrow, being as it hasn't happened, especially humanly impossible things, without making it happen.

I fail to see what this has to do with a nice, simple lass like Mary?

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Lamb Chopped
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So you say. [Disappointed]

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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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Martin60
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Do you have a rational alternative?

Apart from "We just don't know."?

[ 14. November 2017, 19:06: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Martin60
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Sorry, that's not rational.

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Love wins

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HCH
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An aside: Curiosity suggested that Mary was echoing or imitating Hannah's song. For her to have done so, she would have to be aware of Hannah's song. Is that likely? Would the average young Jewish woman of that time have such knowledge? This seems to interact with the question of Mary's age. The younger you want her to be, the less likely she is to have any specific education.

(Possibly more relevant) Of course, we know very little of Mary's age. She is old enough to bear a child and young enough to bear a child (although the latter is somewhat flexible in Biblical accounts). We know that she is still alive some thirty-odd years later. She is apparently younger than her cousin Elizabeth (who is rather old to bear her own child). Is there any other evidence?

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Lamb Chopped
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I'm shaking my head at your habit of simply asserting things as if your mere say-so was enough to make it so. Especially when you do this in the very teeth of opposing witness without so much as a "this is how I see it" to soften your blatant contradiction. Very often, it skates on the borderline of calling those who disagree liars.

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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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Gamaliel
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It may be a pedantic point, but might we be better saying that Luke was echoing Hannah's Song by attributing the Magnificat to Mary in his Gospel account?

We are dealing with literary works here not yesterday's newspaper.

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

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Moo

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The discussion of OT people arguing with God reminds me of an inspired book title I once saw, Here am I, Lord, send Aaron.

Moo

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See you later, alligator.

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Martin60
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What, it's my say so that tomorrow hasn't happened yet? Yeaaaahhhh.

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Love wins

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Ohher
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Oh, for pity's sake, Martin. Whatever are you on about? This is a story. It's no more than a story, nor is it any less than one. Most of the Gospel consists of stories, plus some correspondence thrown in for good measure.

Story itself -- originating perhaps among little human clans sitting around firepits in the vast ancient dusk -- is likely the origin of all human civilization. It's certainly the origin of Christianity: without the story -- the "good news" of the itinerant 1st-century rabbi -- Christianity would not exist today.

Are stories history? Perhaps, in the understanding of the original tellers, though not necessarily for us. Are stories science? Possibly, in the understanding of the original tellers, though not necessarily for us.

Yet truth can be found in every story -- even in a lie, which is how some ill-intentioned people work their deeds. Why ask for what the story does not offer, though? Settle for story; taken on its own terms, story will always be enough.

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Martin60
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I'm replying to LC in similar vein Ohher. And postmodern as I belatedly am I agree with you. I'm toying with her too of course, because she actually doesn't believe that tomorrow has already happened, but she does believe that her partner at least was miraculously preserved which is on the same spectrum of identifying with Clive Staples' fairie story. Luke knew Mary of course.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I'm toying with her too of course, because she actually doesn't believe that tomorrow has already happened, but she does believe that her partner at least was miraculously preserved

Toying with other people posting in good faith is not what this board is about. I'm done talking to you here.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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Where have I contravened Purgatory guidelines? Is that Hostly? Or ... junior hosting ... by a host?

Djwanna talk where it's warmer?

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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I said, I'm done. I'm not intervening as a host here because it would be conflict of interest, but I have paged my colleagues.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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Martin, I've no idea what you are on about either.

You appear to be getting cross because people are reacting to your cryptic messages in ways that they're not supposed to.

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arse

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Tortuf
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# 3784

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There is a fascinating, and deeply depressing, story about Roy Moore hitting the news. Among the many other implications of this bit is that Roy's alleged behavior was not approved of by his contemporaries.

The fact that some really . . . something people are now going to great lengths to demonstrate how little tolerance they have for anyone who would attack the pedophile says, that political hatred trumps (pun intended) normal morality says much about how divisive we have become.

Step back from that and consider how strident Roy is about the Ten Commandments and same sex marriage.

It has long been my belief that people who know in their hearts they are doing wrong go to great lengths in public to show how moral and good they are; defending poor, helpless God and all. This is Roy in a nutshell. (Again, pun intended.)

So, as to the prevailing social Moore's (ahem) in Roy's time, I think he damn well knew he was shattering social norms. He just puts on the public face of a fierce christian (pun intended) to make himself feel better about himself.

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Martin60
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# 368

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I'm not cross at all. Energized a tad maybe. There are multiple memes going on here. On the cusp of narrow eyed.

There is a spread of takes on Mary. Mine, in the words of Gamaliel, does both, all. I have a postmodern view of a second circle writer's account ("Luke's") of a first circle player, Mary. As I accept the Incarnation, the ultimate rock in the pond, I accept the ripples - a bad analogy as the closest to the event are the furthest - as static markers, standing waves, concentric circles of degrees of separation.

Luke wasn't there. I bet he knew Mary, who was. And she faithfully described the angelophany and all else. Accurately is another thing.

She wasn't abused, coerced, brainwashed against her will.

With me so far?

Eutychus introduced magic - why I'm not sure, I don't know, in the context of Mary's consent propounded by Ohher - because he clings to it in a dark warm corner. Don't we all. I utterly reject it. I utterly reject transpersonal psychology, mind-melding, possession by God. Or nudges. Even though I might have experienced them, one as recently as yesterday. Lamb Chopped also believes in magic and has defended that here defensively in the story of her partner.

And yes, therefore I insist that no one here, or for a millennium or two, who has even had Lewis' character Ransom's inner experience, that felt like predestination, has. No matter that it all happened as presaged. Not that that happened to Mary.

Because the next Planck tick hasn't happened. And when it does happen according to God's word, it cannot happen because He knew by magic. But by knowledge and power.

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Love wins

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BroJames
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# 9636

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Given the generally understood meaning of ‘magic’, Martin60, your use of the word looks to me like an attempt to dismiss the views of Ohher, Lamb Chopped and Eutychus by caricaturing them in a way which seems to me to be obviously pejorative.

AFAICT, you are the only poster on this thread to use the word ‘magic’ so I think it behoves you to offer good reason for applying that word to the arguments others have made - if you are actually interested in furthering a discussion.

I for one can’t see anyone suggesting anything that implies ‘The use of rituals or actions, especially based on occult knowledge, to subdue or manipulate natural or supernatural beings and forces in order to have some benefit from them’ or ‘A specific ritual or procedure associated with such magic’ or ‘The supernatural forces which are drawn on in such a ritual’ nor even, really, ‘Something producing remarkable results, especially when not fully understood’. Perhaps you are working with a very idiolectic definition of ‘magic’.

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Martin60
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# 368

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No that's fine. For a start. And yes, it is pejorative. The Yemen and the Rohinga could do with some couldn't they? But we are God's magic. And it's a poor show. But people will go on making claims that God has done magic for them and does magic Himself.

[ 15. November 2017, 14:22: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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# 3081

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Since you insist.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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Leave me out of this one, Martin, if you don't mind.

Thanks.

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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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Ohher
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# 18607

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Posit a god who lives outside of time, and we end up with a sort of Schroedinger's cat universe, in which everything has already happened, and in which everything has yet to happen. Fine.

Does this mean that outcomes which have already occurred cannot be diverged from if they also have not yet occurred?

That's not magic. That's "now."

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From the Land of the Native American Brave and the Home of the Buy-One-Get-One-Free

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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This whole thing is a bit mind-bending.

If the deity knew what Mary was going to reply before asking, does she have any autonomy - is she giving true consent?

Assuming that the angel appeared when Mary was already with child on one reading I suppose it is fair to say that the asking for consent is a bit moot because it has already happened.

But then if Mary wouldn't have consented, would the deity have done it anyway? And would Mary have consented to anything that the deity told her to do (given that the deity is.. the deity and Mary is a human (and possibly one with a particular understanding of submission to the wishes of the deity))?

It's all a bit circular.

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arse

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
This whole thing is a bit mind-bending.

If the deity knew what Mary was going to reply before asking, does she have any autonomy - is she giving true consent?

Yes. But that is, of course, true of ALL our choices. Which is why (arguably) Open Theism is a much better paradigm for understanding the world that "classic theism" or Calvinism.


quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Assuming that the angel appeared when Mary was already with child on one reading I suppose it is fair to say that the asking for consent is a bit moot because it has already happened.

But then if Mary wouldn't have consented, would the deity have done it anyway? And would Mary have consented to anything that the deity told her to do (given that the deity is.. the deity and Mary is a human (and possibly one with a particular understanding of submission to the wishes of the deity))?

It's all a bit circular.

Well, yes, it's circular because of all the assumptions you are making above-- none of which appear in the text. Again, coming as this does in a context of the importance of affirming women's voices and believing their stories (i.e. the Moore case) it seems really, really odd that we have come to the point in this discussion where "consent" is seen as something other than taking women's actual, explicitly spoken words as what they actually mean.

[ 15. November 2017, 17:08: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Curiosity killed ...

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# 11770

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
An aside: Curiosity suggested that Mary was echoing or imitating Hannah's song. For her to have done so, she would have to be aware of Hannah's song. Is that likely? Would the average young Jewish woman of that time have such knowledge? This seems to interact with the question of Mary's age. The younger you want her to be, the less likely she is to have any specific education.

From what we know of Elizabeth, married to Zechariah, a priest, it is likely that Mary comes from a priestly line and was aware of the books of the Old Testament. I'd have to go and dig further to find other references and links. It's ages since I read this

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Gamaliel
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# 812

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There's the Orthodox tradition of Mary being raised in the Temple ... rather like some kind of novice nun ...

I'm not sure though what such speculation achieves.

The point, surely, is the theological one that Luke in marshaling/writing the material ('curating' it if we want to apply a contemporary phrase) was inviting his readers to draw those parallels - Hannah's Song / Mary's Song ...

Speculating as to whether Mary would have known sufficient Hebrew scriptures herself to make that kind of connection or parallel seems beside the point to me.

I don't think it's beyond the realm of possibility that she could have done ... but then, virgin births aren't exactly within the realms of possibility strictly speaking ...

We're talking about miracles if we take it literally, or some kind of deliberate parallelism between inherited Myth and contemporary/near contemporary events as far as the Gospel writers were concerned.

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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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Gramps49
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# 16378

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The United States has quite a bit of growing to do in this area. While most states now say you have to be at least 16 to consent, twenty-five states do not set a minimum age at which a person can get married, and eight more set it at an age lower than 16. Alaska and North Carolina, for example, set the age at 14. In New Hampshire, it's 13 for girls, 14 for boys Source

Another source shows that One group, fundamentalist homeschoolers, in particular, thinks it is perfectly normal for grown men to court teenagers.

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Gwai
Host
# 11076

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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
I'm replying to LC in similar vein Ohher. And postmodern as I belatedly am I agree with you. I'm toying with her too of course, because she actually doesn't believe that tomorrow has already happened, but she does believe that her partner at least was miraculously preserved which is on the same spectrum of identifying with Clive Staples' fairie story. Luke knew Mary of course.

Martin,

When you are intentionally "toying" with other posters, you're not having a good faith discussion. You know better.

Gwai,
Purgatory Host

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Martin60
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# 368

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Sorry. To Lamb Chopped most of all and to the Hosts and all.

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Love wins

Posts: 16893 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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