Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Theological theses

The following are snippets from posts of some religious import; click on the link for the full essay.

I am not saying that numbers are ideas.  Or if they are that, they are that in addition, where they keep such scruffy company as the Idea of a Unicorn and the Idea of a Ham Sandwich. They are, rather, facts as hard as baseballs, packing quite as much wallop. (Also, admittedly, we are interested in the Pitcher …)

Now Solly got thoughtful.   “Y’know… Just indulge me here, okay?  Because I heard a rumor there’s this, some kind of Church doctrine, in this general area -- I won’t even try to quote it, I’d just screw it up:   but something along the lines of, like, a woman and a man, yadda yadda, and they get hitched up by God, in just the right way:  and from then on,  it’s like trying to yank a horseshoe loose from the hoof -- or no:  more like, trying to yank the blue right out of the sky.”
            Murphy raised a respectful eyebrow.  “That’s pretty much it, Solly.  That’s very well put.”   He nodded again, and savored.  The blue, right out of the sky.

Sober orthodoxy of each camp would doubtless concede that the others “believe in” the “same” God (whatever it means to “believe in” something ultimately unknowable  this side the grave, and whatever “same” means  when comparing finitely described infinites); adding simply, that they worship Him amiss.

But now here is the key -- and it is a key to Christianity as well, that faith that embraces paradox …

Sidenote on theologoumenon.  It is not every day that Dr. J. learns a new word;  this one’s a doozer. 

Sin has a certain dignity, as only upon a foundation of Morality can it raise its head.  Chimps in their lubricious oestrus cannot be considered “adulterers”.  In this sense, we are not certain that M. Hollande has actually committed any “sin”.

Such creatures are needful, lest the scala naturae  wane at its base.

Age-old Theological Conundra cheerfully solved by Dr J

We are sweaty, dust-caked survival machines -- that has been shown -- much like the cockroach and the rat.  Are we anything else as well ?

This frame of clay which Thou hast shaped
and quickened with Thine inblown Word,
a cloak about my spirit draped:
Mold it a little longer, Lord.

I may well have much more free time after I die.  (No more dealing with the Department of Motor Vehicles!  Free at last, Lord -- Free at last !!!)

“Gödel turned out to be an unadulterated Platonist, and apparently believed that an eternal ‘not’ was laid up in heaven, where virtuous logicians might hope to meet it hereafter.”

Tares planted in the Endarkenment (humorously known as the Enlightenment) have sprouted to weeds that choke the vacant lots where atheists briefly couple and depart …

I believe I have successfully defended C.S.Lewis against any suggestions that he was either a prude or a scold;  but what of his original suggestion that the sexual instinct in modern man has somehow gone wrong?  That is indeed a startling thesis -- and utterly at variance with the  contemporary climate of right-thinking opinion that anything goes and that’s just dandy.

Whether the evidence of the Apostles for all that they saw and sensed and heard, was indeed no greater than that whereby we announce, “Hullo!  A penny-bun upon the table.” -- the testimony of the senses, the notoriously wayward senses -- I cannot say.   Wasn’t there; only read the book. 

On this Landscape question, Hawking notwithstanding, I’ll go with the Pope.

Die ganzen Zahlen hat der liebe Gott gemacht …

We know, on scientific grounds, that penguins cannot exist.  How, then, to explain the persistence, among the unlettered, of a belief in these fanciful creatures?

Desecrating a sacrament is, no doubt, protected “speech”, in the greatly and sometimes grievously distended sense that that simple word has gradually acquired in secular law;  but that doesn’t mean the Church has to put up with it.

Erdős sees the Deity, not exactly through a glass darkly, but under some distortion -- perhaps a projective transformation.

That God is simply the sum of All that Is, is mere pantheism.  We shall posit rather, that He is its Stone–Čech compactification.

What makes a movie moral  is by no means that the ultimate verdict of Judgment Day shall be anticipated here in this life -- as it so manifestly is not, despite the hype and come-ons from certain motivational evangelists outside the discipline of the Historical Church.

Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” does not come from this world.  It’s less a traditional film than a passion play, a ritual re-enactment.  If you weren’t well versed in the Gospels, most of it wouldn’t even make sense

There is something prelapsarian about the penguins, a thing that indeed tugs at us  like a magnet  the filings, we in our fallen state.

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