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On 11/8/2018 at 4:52 PM, Lord Varys said:

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The word  ”conversion” does not always refer to the changing of the formal membership of a religion, but the change from a “worldly” to a religious life. This may be used more often among evangelical protestants, but catholics sometimes does it to; I have seen biographies of StFrancis and Ignatius of Loyola refer to their religious awakenings as “conversion”.

“Democracy” may mean a lot of things. If it means that humanity is the source of ultimate authority, it is irreconcilable with the abrahamite religions (and also hinduism, cofusianism etc). If it just means that free elections is the best way to appoint public officials of various kinds there is no problem at all. If there is something in between, it may vary with religion and individual. 

Edited by Nabarg

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

Quite easily.  Democracy is a political, not a religious, system.  It's like saying there ought to be a Christian position on Brexit or Scottish independence, when there is no religious angle to these political debates.

That's what I mean by cognitive dissonance. Originally, Christianity didn't differentiate between the religious and the political sphere. Doing that means you diminish the role and importance of religious rules for private and public life. That you can only do when you do not (or no longer) believe religious rules are to be interpreted as they were written.

The Catholic Church of the late 19th and early 20th century still knew and accepted that - and subsequently condemned modern nonsense like liberalism, democracy, etc.

4 hours ago, A wilding said:

There is also a difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. Catholicism has historically been very comfortable working with various types of autocratic government. Protestantism not so much, even if it has occasionally drifted towards theocracy.

That's too simple. Protestantism is essentially the Wahhabism of Christianity - back to the roots, back to the sacred text(s). And those sacred texts are not exactly helping you to build a better or modern society. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc. helped to break the power of Rome - but they replaced it with repressive systems of their own. In a proper Protestant state state and church are one - as they should be - not separate (as the Enlightenment thought they should be). 1789 and 1776 have basically nothing to do with Christianity or Christian ideas. The US got lucky that their founders were, for the most part, deists or people who didn't give a damn about religion. That way it could evolve into a state where various Protestant sects could co-exist

The Reformation also rejuvenated the Catholic Church - it gave us the Jesuits, the Council of Trent, etc. Without the zealotry on both sides the Enlightenment could have started in the 16th century rather than 200 years later - the printing press was there since around 1450. They could have started to print texts that made sense instead of bibles for centuries.

31 minutes ago, Nabarg said:

The word  ”conversion” does not always refer to the changing of the formal membership of a religion, but the change from a “worldly” to a religious life. This may be used more often among evangelical protestants, but catholics sometimes does it to; I have seen biographies of StFrancis and Ignatius of Loyola refer to their religious awakenings as “conversion”.

I know that - the point was more that this was not exactly a great change. Lewis was raised as an Anglican, he lived in a Christian country, his peers always were Christians, and his academic work included Christian texts to no small degree.

Him changing his views there doesn't strike me as all that noteworthy - and this kind of 'conversion narrative' is a recurring theme in Christian hagiography since the days of Paul. Just check how many 'die-hard atheists' routinely find Christ on the average evangelical newsite. Most of them either were never atheists in the first place or at best not particularly religious/pious Christians.

31 minutes ago, Nabarg said:

“Democracy” may mean a lot of things. If it means that humanity is the source of ultimate authority, it is irreconcilable with the abrahamite religions (and also hinduism, cofusianism etc). If it just means that free elections is the best way to appoint public officials of various kinds there is no problem at all. If there is something in between, it may vary with religion and individual. 

The Bible doesn't advocate for elections or democracy - it doesn't even know that kind of government. The only forms of government the bible are theocracy and monarchy (kings appointed and deposed by Jahwe starting with Saul).

And if the place we are all going to (i.e. either heaven or hell) is run by a king, then it is clear what the ideal form of government is. There are no elections in heaven, and King Jesus is not going to be deposed.

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4 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That's what I mean by cognitive dissonance. Originally, Christianity didn't differentiate between the religious and the political sphere. Doing that means you diminish the role and importance of religious rules for private and public life. That you can only do when you do not (or no longer) believe religious rules are to be interpreted as they were written.

The Catholic Church of the late 19th and early 20th century still knew and accepted that - and subsequently condemned modern nonsense like liberalism, democracy, etc.

That's too simple. Protestantism is essentially the Wahhabism of Christianity - back to the roots, back to the sacred text(s). And those sacred texts are not exactly helping you to build a better or modern society. Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, etc. helped to break the power of Rome - but they replaced it with repressive systems of their own. In a proper Protestant state state and church are one - as they should be - not separate (as the Enlightenment thought they should be). 1789 and 1776 have basically nothing to do with Christianity or Christian ideas. The US got lucky that their founders were, for the most part, deists or people who didn't give a damn about religion. That way it could evolve into a state where various Protestant sects could co-exist

The Reformation also rejuvenated the Catholic Church - it gave us the Jesuits, the Council of Trent, etc. Without the zealotry on both sides the Enlightenment could have started in the 16th century rather than 200 years later - the printing press was there since around 1450. They could have started to print texts that made sense instead of bibles for centuries.

I know that - the point was more that this was not exactly a great change. Lewis was raised as an Anglican, he lived in a Christian country, his peers always were Christians, and his academic work included Christian texts to no small degree.

Him changing his views there doesn't strike me as all that noteworthy - and this kind of 'conversion narrative' is a recurring theme in Christian hagiography since the days of Paul. Just check how many 'die-hard atheists' routinely find Christ on the average evangelical newsite. Most of them either were never atheists in the first place or at best not particularly religious/pious Christians.

The Bible doesn't advocate for elections or democracy - it doesn't even know that kind of government. The only forms of government the bible are theocracy and monarchy (kings appointed and deposed by Jahwe starting with Saul).

And if the place we are all going to (i.e. either heaven or hell) is run by a king, then it is clear what the ideal form of government is. There are no elections in heaven, and King Jesus is not going to be deposed.

I'd say the whole business about rendering to Caesar that which is Caesar's is drawing a distinction between political and religious affairs.  

I just don't think secular politics was important to the early Christians.  Essentially, they were commanded to pray for the government, and obey it, unless it ordered them to do something positively unChristian.

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18 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I'd say the whole business about rendering to Caesar that which is Caesar's is drawing a distinction between political and religious affairs.

Well, what exactly that means is open to interpretation. But, sure, the fact that Christian developed in the Roman empire meant that they had to deal with that reality - but the overall message of Christianity still is that Jesus is the King of Kings, not some Caesar. There is a clear hierarchy there - especially since it is first mentioned that you render to god what belongs to him.

Once Christianity had the chance to shape policy state and church became one - and remained so for over a thousand years until the fall of Constantinople.

The Reformation reinforced that unity by making princes and kings the heads of their respective churches - a tradition that continued with the state-churches of many Protestant countries into the 20th century.

18 minutes ago, SeanF said:

I just don't think secular politics was important to the early Christians.  Essentially, they were commanded to pray for the government, and obey it, unless it ordered them to do something positively unChristian.

Well, there wouldn't have been any persecution of Christians - however mild and insignificant they actually had been - if they hadn't put their religion over the government.

But you have to keep in mind that ancient religion was fundamentally different from what Christianity effectively made religion to mean. Ancient religions were mostly local cults, rituals revolving around or sanctifying certain acts (think of the Roman cults). It was rituals people did, not things people believed. People cared whether you showed up for the fesitivals and sacrifices and what not, not what actually believed in your heart. Else polytheism - especially in the sense that in a vast city like Rome many cults from around the world get their little corner, too - wouldn't have been possible.

The idea that it was not enough to pay lip service (or rather: go through the ritual motions) is something that crept into religion with Hellenistic savior cults like Christianity (in Judaism - back in the day as well as today - actual faith is much less important than following the rituals and commands).

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Persecution was on the ground of "atheism" (ie refusal to sacrifice to the State gods) not on the ground of sedition or treason.

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25 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

Once Christianity had the chance to shape policy state and church became one - and remained so for over a thousand years until the fall of Constantinople.

Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV just called. They wish you had told them this earlier.

The medieval system had Church and State as rivals. In the East, yes, they were one, but in the West, you had multiple medieval thinkers clearly delineating between the power of the Papacy and the power of the Emperor/Kings. The merger of Church and State came with the Reformation.

As for Christianity and Democracy... there's the obvious point that there is a wee difference between Jesus being a King and a mortal man being King. You know, seeing as we mortals aren't actually divine? Presbyterians elect their elders for a reason. Catholicism's traditional distaste for democracy came from the fact that it predates modern democracy by many hundreds of years - the Church was an entrenched interest group with particular privileges. The eighteenth and nineteenth century people who were pushing back against Throne and Altar were going after the Altar as well as the the Throne.   

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Sorry, Varys, you know very well that a lot of this is historically simply wrong. Constantinople was a Theocracy. But Western Roman Catholicism was always based on the division of worldly and church power (despite the actual church leaders often striving for a lot of the former). In fact, Western Christianity is one of the very few (I am actually not aware of any other but I don't know much about Asia) civilizations in the history of mankind that developed a separation of church and state in modern times (besides also being of course the only civilization to ever develop something like enlightenment and "modernity") and this is clearly rooted in the fact that there was Pope and Emperor with some balance of power (and frequent struggles between them) and precisely not ONE SINGLE God-Emperor as in most or all Asian civilizations.

And again, the Second coming is precisely the reason why it is antichristian to have a "total government" in the way of God-Emperors or Maoism or whatever. Because regardless of whether one actually believes in a second coming the whole point is that the temporal kingdoms are finite and not "the last word". Because the Kingdom of God is "not of this world" and the end of history is not some perfect earthly paradise. It's exactly the opposite of both ancient God-Emperors, Caliphates or modern totaliarianisms.

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6 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV just called. They wish you had told them this earlier.

The medieval system had Church and State as rivals. In the East, yes, they were one, but in the West, you had multiple medieval thinkers clearly delineating between the power of the Papacy and the power of the Emperor/Kings. The merger of Church and State came with the Reformation.

As for Christianity and Democracy... there's the obvious point that there is a wee difference between Jesus being a King and a mortal man being King. You know, seeing as we mortals aren't actually divine? Presbyterians elect their elders for a reason. Catholicism's traditional distaste for democracy came from the fact that it predates modern democracy by many hundreds of years - the Church was an entrenched interest group with particular privileges. The eighteenth and nineteenth century people who were pushing back against Throne and Altar were going after the Altar as well as the the Throne.   

Henry II and Thomas Becket is another example of a Church that was fiercely defending its independence from the State (although Becket was in the wrong, in my view).

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10 hours ago, SeanF said:

Persecution was on the ground of "atheism" (ie refusal to sacrifice to the State gods) not on the ground of sedition or treason.

Sacrificing/participating in the state cults was part of showing that you were a good citizen. It had nothing to do with what you actually believed.

10 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

Pope Gregory VII and Emperor Henry IV just called. They wish you had told them this earlier.

The medieval system had Church and State as rivals. In the East, yes, they were one, but in the West, you had multiple medieval thinkers clearly delineating between the power of the Papacy and the power of the Emperor/Kings. The merger of Church and State came with the Reformation.

But that's a later development, caused by the fact that the Western half of the Roman Empire collapsed. In fact, the time the Papacy installed itself 'at the head of the world', so to speak, only happened around the 11th century with Gregory VII and the reformists who created the new monastic orders, made celibacy for clerics obligatory, etc. Prior to that the Merovingians, Carolingians, and Ottonians had ruled their churches (and the Papacy, too, if/when they came to Rome) with a pretty iron fist.

And technically this wasn't a struggle between two independent spheres - they were all Christians, anyway. State and church were never separate in any meaningful way. It was a struggle about whether a king or prince could actually appoint crucial officials his administration greatly rested on himself or whether he had to accept the choices of the Pope. From the days of the Merovingians and Carolingians the Western Empire put more and more power in the hands of the bishops - who, originally, were appointed by the kings and empereros to keep the power of the hereditary nobility in check. The early HRE essentially had their private church and, especially, their private monasteries which their families controlled.

The right of the Popes to crown and anoint emperors was never questioned or challenged - neither was their spiritual leadership as heads of the entire church. The problem was that they tried to interfere with the ways the princes and kings and emperors had handed their administrations up to that point.

The Reformation just broke the back of the Papacy in the new Protestant state and then transferred all the power - spiritual and temporal - to the princes and kings - as it technically had been in the days before the Roman Empire died in the west. And as, in the end, the OT ideal of kingship had been, too.

10 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

As for Christianity and Democracy... there's the obvious point that there is a wee difference between Jesus being a King and a mortal man being King. You know, seeing as we mortals aren't actually divine? Presbyterians elect their elders for a reason. Catholicism's traditional distaste for democracy came from the fact that it predates modern democracy by many hundreds of years - the Church was an entrenched interest group with particular privileges. The eighteenth and nineteenth century people who were pushing back against Throne and Altar were going after the Altar as well as the the Throne.   

Well, since Jesus was a man, too, I don't understand why he should be king just because he has supernatural powers, too. The stories about him make his special powers proof that he is the special king he is supposed to be, no? Either the stories make him a king because that's the only proper form of government the people who invented those stories knew/accepted or divine kingship is actually the ideal government for humanity because the universe is also overseen by the divine king who created it in the first place - and still sustains it.

If divine providence, miracles, etc. are real things, then following god's chosen monarchs would actually be a good thing, no?

Protestant tendencies to break ties with the established temporal authorities goes back to the fact that those were either Catholic institutions - and thus corrupt - or in the hands of other Protestant sects. The idea is to distance yourself from the wrong temportal authorities - and to establish your own temportal authority (which will then be effectively identical with the spiritual leadership). If the state were in the hands of, say, the Jehovah's Witnesses they wouldn't have any issues with state authorities, would they?

6 hours ago, Jo498 said:

Sorry, Varys, you know very well that a lot of this is historically simply wrong. Constantinople was a Theocracy. But Western Roman Catholicism was always based on the division of worldly and church power (despite the actual church leaders often striving for a lot of the former). In fact, Western Christianity is one of the very few (I am actually not aware of any other but I don't know much about Asia) civilizations in the history of mankind that developed a separation of church and state in modern times (besides also being of course the only civilization to ever develop something like enlightenment and "modernity") and this is clearly rooted in the fact that there was Pope and Emperor with some balance of power (and frequent struggles between them) and precisely not ONE SINGLE God-Emperor as in most or all Asian civilizations.

See above. The Popes from Gregory VII onwards saw themselves as spiritual and temporal rulers of the world. Ideologically they never accepted two different spheres - the Papacy was the head of the world and all others were subject to it.

The fact that they could not exactly often realize that delusion of authority is the explanation as to why things went down as they did.

Separation of church and state as such is a modern (i.e. enlightenment) concept. There were always two legal spheres - but that was due to the fact that the clerics as special people were exempt from temporal judgment, and could only be subjected to cruel punishments if/after they were laicized. At one it was considered unworthy or improper for clerics to stain themselves by going to war or spill blood - which means the ugly business was handed over to temporal authorities (albeit never in the Papal state, for obvious reasons).

In a sense the separation of state and church is somewhat connected to the Reformation, considering that it ensured the fragmentation of the church - burying the idea of a united church for good and all - which, in turn, caused people to come up with the idea that to prevent continuous religious warfare we had to come up with a way to manage existing differences (but that happened only after the Thirty Years' War).

6 hours ago, Jo498 said:

And again, the Second coming is precisely the reason why it is antichristian to have a "total government" in the way of God-Emperors or Maoism or whatever. Because regardless of whether one actually believes in a second coming the whole point is that the temporal kingdoms are finite and not "the last word". Because the Kingdom of God is "not of this world" and the end of history is not some perfect earthly paradise. It's exactly the opposite of both ancient God-Emperors, Caliphates or modern totaliarianisms.

That seems to be a pretty cheap trick. Yes, yes, humans are sinful and all - but there is also divine providence, saints, miracles, etc. Jesus Christ is going to come back and his kingdom will of course be here on earth after things are finally settled. That's what's promised in the Bible I read. People who have seen the light and are chosen by god certainly can and should lead the others - especially in their resistance against the anti-christ and the other challenges in the end times.

And just because the world is not perfect doesn't mean those chosen by god and following him are not better than those who reject him.

I'm also not sure we can make meaningful distinctions between, say, the Hellenistic kings and the Absolutist Kings of France. I mean, yeah, they were not worshiped as deities but they had pretty much exactly the same place in their respective systems than the Hellenistic kings did back in the day. The Catholics also tell everybody that they don't worship Mary and the saints - but that doesn't mean Protestants or Muslims do believe them, no?

6 hours ago, Nabarg said:

Varys, please define what you mean by democracy.

The government system in its various forms, most notably, but not exclusively, the modern variations.

5 hours ago, SeanF said:

Henry II and Thomas Becket is another example of a Church that was fiercely defending its independence from the State (although Becket was in the wrong, in my view).

See above. Again, that's a question of superiority and administration, not one of separation. Church and state were never truly separate in the middle ages, they just had more heads in the West than they had in the East.

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(i) Now, that's cheeky.

When you've got a Gregory VII, you argue that Gregory aspired to temporal domination, therefore Church and State were one. When you've got the Avignon Papacy, you argue that temporal authorities were turning the Popes into puppets, therefore Church and State were one.

But they weren't one. These were two competing sides, squabbling over power, periodically trying to assert their dominance over the other. They were rivals. It's all a very far cry from Henry VIII of England setting up his own Church (with blackjack and hookers). Hell, why on earth were William of Ockham and Dante so keen on putting the papacy back in its box vis-a-vis the Empire? It wasn't because they thought that the Emperor ought to be a spiritual head. It was because they thought the papacy was making illegitimate claims to temporal power. The notion that these things are separate spheres is a key point of Augustine's City of God - one is superior (in Augustine's view) to the other, but they are not one and the same.

(ii) Yes, Catholic doctrine considers Jesus a man. It also considers him God. And men aren't God. Ergo, a kingdom ruled by Jesus isn't comparable to a kingdom ruled by men - even if those men had hypothetical supernatural powers. 

 

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On 10/7/2019 at 3:45 AM, The Marquis de Leech said:

To take the thread back on topic, Tolkien's stance was the norm for 1930s Catholics (there were a few who came out for the Republic, but most backed Franco). This wasn't simply a response to the killing of priests either - it was because, at that point, the Church was still inherently hostile to the legacy of 1789, and Franco loved conflating 1789 with 1917. As historian Eric Hobsbawm (himself a veteran of the War) put it, in the era when liberalism fell, the Church rejoiced at its fall.

The Spanish Civil War is a hole in my historical knowledge.  Why were Republicans killing Roman Catholic priests?

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On 10/8/2019 at 11:45 AM, Lord Varys said:

Well, since Jesus was a man, too, I don't understand why he should be king just because he has supernatural powers, too. The stories about him make his special powers proof that he is the special king he is supposed to be, no? Either the stories make him a king because that's the only proper form of government the people who invented those stories knew/accepted or divine kingship is actually the ideal government for humanity because the universe is also overseen by the divine king who created it in the first place - and still sustains it.

Theologically, Christ is much more than a man with supernatural powers.  He is literally God and Man united in the same body.  To put it in terms that we as Geeks should be able to translate Christ is Dr. Manhattan not Superman. 

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11 hours ago, The Marquis de Leech said:

(i) Now, that's cheeky.

When you've got a Gregory VII, you argue that Gregory aspired to temporal domination, therefore Church and State were one. When you've got the Avignon Papacy, you argue that temporal authorities were turning the Popes into puppets, therefore Church and State were one.

But they weren't one. These were two competing sides, squabbling over power, periodically trying to assert their dominance over the other. They were rivals. It's all a very far cry from Henry VIII of England setting up his own Church (with blackjack and hookers). Hell, why on earth were William of Ockham and Dante so keen on putting the papacy back in its box vis-a-vis the Empire? It wasn't because they thought that the Emperor ought to be a spiritual head. It was because they thought the papacy was making illegitimate claims to temporal power. The notion that these things are separate spheres is a key point of Augustine's City of God - one is superior (in Augustine's view) to the other, but they are not one and the same.

(ii) Yes, Catholic doctrine considers Jesus a man. It also considers him God. And men aren't God. Ergo, a kingdom ruled by Jesus isn't comparable to a kingdom ruled by men - even if those men had hypothetical supernatural powers.

Oh, well, things are complex, aren't they? The general point is that we don't really have church fighting against a secular state in the middle ages - we do have a world completely shaped and in the power of totalitarian Christianity. Every aspect of life is (to various degrees in different times and places, of course) shaped and ruled by Christianity. Kings and princes and lords are all Christian (also at various points in time, depending on what region we are talking about) - and their struggles with the church are not over points of religious doctrine but about who is in charge, who has what right, etc.

Those are, in essence, squabbles over who is in charge beneath King Jesus. Modern struggles between state and church remove the state from the christian sphere and treat (or try or pretend to treat all religions equally). Nobody king or emperor in the middle ages wanted to take over the church - although the Papacy effectively tried to take ultimate authority over all. The kings and princes were trying to keep whatever rights they thought they had.

The history of the Papacy is a history of the usurpation (or acquisition) of temporal power by a powerful cleric which is made possible by both powerful propaganda and various (and often rather long) power vacuums. This was eventually accepted. The struggle we are talking about right now - the Investiture Controversy - was problematic to various European kings and princes because of the role bishops and the church - which they had effectively run insofar as appointments were concerned - had played in their system of power. The Merovingian and Carolingian churches were technically all independent from Rome - which led to the fact that the ruling class used clerical offices to help running the government and build a power base against the high noblity.

In some countries, the controversy was more easily resolved - in part, because bishops never played the same role in the government as in the HRE where you had the powerful prince-bishops who eventually were among the electors of the Holy Roman Emperor.

To the rulers of the HRE the controversy was an existential threat - fueled by the fact that as Holy Roman Emperors they also had claims to Rome itself and were thus a constant military threat to the Papacy. I'm not expert on the matter but from what I recall the resolution was the compromise that the pope choose the bishop/has to agree to a candidate whereas the king or prince or emperor has the retains the right to invest him into any temporal powers/offices he might (also) hold (which are very significant in case of the prince-bishops of the HRE).

As for Jesus - later theological speculations and reinterpretations aside, the point is that heaven/the spiritual realm (and the promise of the ideal eventual divine government on earth) is a divine monarchy with Jesus as its heads. Which means that the ideal government of Christianity - and in fact existence itself - is a monarchy. And historically either popes (in the west) or emperors (in the east) saw themselves as vicars of Christ on earth, so the idea failed and sinful human beings can and should rule over the others (if they are chosen to do so by god, of course) is perfectly fine. It is how it should be.

43 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

The Spanish Civil War is a hole in my historical knowledge.  Why were Republicans killing Roman Catholic priests?

They didn't really do that as far as I know - at least not when they were not supporting the Franco coup. There was an elected leftist government in Spain (not all that leftist, in fact, but more moderately) and Franco staged a coup and a civil war started which was supported by the Nazis (and others) on the Franco side and by volunteers from all over the world on the leftist side. The involvement of the USSR - whose agents and representatives tried take over the leftist movement which was multi-factional - contributed to the Franco victory.

The whole thing was a very bloody affair - and the church should firmly with Franco and the wealthy landowners.

But I'm not expert on that one, either.

39 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Theologically, Christ is much more than a man with supernatural powers.  He is literally God and Man united in the same body.  To put it in terms that we as Geeks should be able to translate Christ is Dr. Manhattan not Superman. 

I know that, but as I said above theological speculations did not precede the holy scriptures - or accompany them when they were written. I have to agree, though, that Alan Moore would have written a much better and gospel than those we have - especially since his Dr. Manhattan is as interested in 'kingship' as a realistically depicted Jesus-like creature (as per theological speculation) also would be if he existed ;-).

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5 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

I know that, but as I said above theological speculations did not precede the holy scriptures - or accompany them when they were written. I have to agree, though, that Alan Moore would have written a much better and gospel than those we have - especially since his Dr. Manhattan is as interested in 'kingship' as a realistically depicted Jesus-like creature (as per theological speculation) also would be if he existed ;-)

I'm not super fond of the scripture as literature but here's the thing.  Moore's description of Dr. Manhattan is clearly making DM something "other".  He was no longer fully human once he came into his power.  He was something more and less than human. 

What the Church is very clear on, and something that is acknowledged as paradox, is that Christ is simultaneously fully human and fully God.  He is everything we are and everything God is all at the same time.  
 

I used the Dr. Manhattan analogy more to illustrate the scale of Christ's power than to say he was exactly like Dr. Manhattan.  I suspect Christ's Kingdom on Earth will be something none of us could ever imagine.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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30 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I'm not super fond of the scripture as literature but here's the thing. 

But that's all you have - theological speculation is just presumed or usurped authority.

30 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

What the Church is very clear on, and something that is acknowledged as paradox, is that Christ is simultaneously fully human and fully God.  He is everything we are and everything God is all at the same time.

Which is a claim that's essentially contradicted by the gospels as such - where the guy never claims to be god, nor acts in a way that implies he is god. And the trinity nonsense - which isn't there in the text either, aside from that one interpolation - doesn't help with that either. If god is one, then the father and christ are one, meaning they have no need to talk to each other to address a moral conflict.

Also, if Jesus truly as god it makes essentially no sense that he died in a meaningful way. The Christian trinity isn't exactly mortal, is it?

30 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I used the Dr. Manhattan analogy more to illustrate the scale of Christ's power than to say he was exactly like Dr. Manhattan.  I suspect Christ's Kingdom on Earth will be something none of us could ever imagine.

Sure, I got that. Just wanted to crack a joke. How do you think something you cannot imagine can be something you can process or enjoy? 'Heaven' as a concept seems to be internally contradictory considering that we have to fundamentally change to no longer commit sins, etc. in such a setting - especially if we take scripture seriously and imagines that it is going to take place on earth after Jesus come back. Because then it would actually be within the known universe.

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44 minutes ago, Lord Varys said:

But that's all you have - theological speculation is just presumed or usurped authority.

Which is a claim that's essentially contradicted by the gospels as such - where the guy never claims to be god, nor acts in a way that implies he is god. And the trinity nonsense - which isn't there in the text either, aside from that one interpolation - doesn't help with that either. If god is one, then the father and christ are one, meaning they have no need to talk to each other to address a moral conflict.

Also, if Jesus truly as god it makes essentially no sense that he died in a meaningful way. The Christian trinity isn't exactly mortal, is it?

Sure, I got that. Just wanted to crack a joke. How do you think something you cannot imagine can be something you can process or enjoy? 'Heaven' as a concept seems to be internally contradictory considering that we have to fundamentally change to no longer commit sins, etc. in such a setting - especially if we take scripture seriously and imagines that it is going to take place on earth after Jesus come back. Because then it would actually be within the known universe.

What organization assembled the Gospels and upon what basis did they do so?  The assertion of Scripture as authoritative over the church that determined what is and is not Apostolic and as such included in the Bible seems very Protestant, to my Orthodox understanding.

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16 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

The Spanish Civil War is a hole in my historical knowledge.  Why were Republicans killing Roman Catholic priests?

Hardline communists, and anarchists saw clergy as the enemy (and many were) and shot them.  Only in the Basque Country and Catalonia, were priests generally pro-Republican.

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