Considering Truth and Reality. Where Science, Religion and Superstition meet; The Communicative Move.

Everyone has an idea of what is true and real. In fact, most do not see any difference between these ideas. Against this we have the notion of superstition, in the historical mythological sense. Superstition is the justification of faith, and together they form a basis by which the activities to solve the problems of reality are justified.
When superstition is excluded in the consideration of what is true, that is, when it is taken as a ‘false’ by which ‘truth’ is situated, meaning if it is included then it is so by a negation, here we have not only reality, but the evidence of faith.

There is a different route before us. Let us take the example from what we can call Biblical mythology.

*

It would seem we have at least two possibilities; the universe of Adam and Eve that does not adhere to our modern scientific version of laws that have governed the workings of the universe since its beginning, and the the universe (of them) that has operated the same since their time to our time.

It seems it has to be one or the other. A beginning of the universe that actually began with two God created people must have existed, as humans like us, in a universe that was completely foreign to our understanding, that is, by contrast, if we live in our present world of scientific type methodology of real things, where evolutionary theory describes the actual universe for all times.

The former universe, one could say, had ‘miracles’, a universe where a serpent at times could talk and be motivated by ‘more than instinctual’ animal processes. This universe also has staves that could turn into snakes (Moses), a certain finite number of creatures that Noah could gather, and ‘works’ of Jesus, where a person that was dead could actually come back to life physically, and probably a myrad of other miraculous possibilities spoken about by other cultures. A universe where extra-universal energies (God?) still were involved directly with the universe.

Now, see though, I am not being facetious. I am not even thinking about ‘what if’.

The other universe is one where the humanity we know now, the capacity and ability we count as human today, including that part which extends into science, is The universe that has always been, running by the same Laws, the same limitations, one of which says that serpents could never speak to humans let alone convey a complex thought in speaking, or staves that could become snakes, or if such things could happen, then it was a mistaken apprehension of the events.

Also see that I feel that in being human, I should explore the world with all my capacities, barring no thought, considering all that might be able to come under my view. Granted, this view involves a certain morality so far as to what I may enact, but so far as the possibility of truth in the world, I must be at least willing to consider it in its possibility, including the possibility that may offend my idea of what is real and true. To me, this is a God given capacity and ability, that It gave me (us) to use to its fullest. In other words, I should, within this capacity and ability, be at least willing to try to set aside what I know is correct; the truth lay then with all that is known. The transition from real discourse to true communication occurs as we move to the experience itself.

Under this maxim for being in the world, this is why I can say or have said I do not have faith, but my faith is in doubt. For, if I do not have faith, then the faith that I do have is defacto, by definition, doubt. But inso much as somehow I have a commitment or an imperative of my being that does not allow me to have faith, by virtue of this situation, I am having faith in a meaning from which I derive that statement ‘I do not have faith’ in order to be able to say it and mean it, and thereby this condition admits, my condition, my faith is in doubt. I become subject to a peculiar situation whereby the position I advocate betrays itself, and I am left nowhere by what I may say, except that somehow I have said it, because the faith that I do have, the faith that allows me to speak and mean with conviction, is in question by the very fact that I may say and mean ‘my faith is in doubt’.

So it is that the possibility that there was a singular and momentous human being who was the Son of God, sent into this world for the forgiveness of sins, that those who believe in him may not die, but have everlasting life, this actual person-God 2000 years ago as the Bible tells – I do not have faith in this, which I to say I do not believe it, but yet I do believe, have faith in the idea, that it is just as possible as the truth I know, by which I have faith in doubt. This is ironic, the situation of irony: to have faith in doubt.

*

The possible situations of the universe as I presented above, both rely upon an implicit idea of progress. The former, where a serpent actually talks to Eve, suggests a universe that has been moving away from God, a universe that began with a God and where God used to interact, where miraculous things could and indeed did happen as they are told about, but that the universe is or has been moving in a manner where such strange occurrence, one could say at least, become less and less, leading ultimately to our time, wherein any and all miraculous events are immediately usurped and explained by our modern understanding, thus stripping them from the truly miraculous and leaving them, at most, merely strange or mysterious.

The latter universe extends its reaches to the ‘beginning’ and proclaims that humans a long time ago were not as intelligent as we are now. Even though they had the capacity innate in the (our) developed brain, its processes, as an adapted mechanism of natural selection of acquired traits, needed time in trial and error in dealing with the true universe to find out what is actually real and true. Early man was superstitious, and believed in all sorts of spirits and demons, gods and deities, supermen and fantastic creatures, and was prone to believing false ideas such as a geocentric universe, four basic elements, and the body’s functioning through chakras and humors. Eve talking to a serpent is explained as analogy or as ignorance, as a real human event hidden in symbolism or clouded by superstition. This universe is of a progress toward true knowledge, of humans learning and understanding their true place and the true structure of the universe.

I am unable to have faith in either one of these universes, to believe , which is to say, will myself, choose, to have one or the other be true; ‘evidence’ merely begs the question of and announces simultaneously to what ‘faith’ is being attested. I can only consider their possibility in regards to possibility. In fact, so much as what is true, is that they are both possible given the condition of knowledge that I inhabit; and this is to say, they are both true, and this truth requires, as an act of will, no faith. But my faith is in doubt. That which I come upon as true has given these sensible conclusions. What is real as to the world in which I live, while tending toward the latter, ‘scientific’ universe, comes to be in question because of what is true. This question then brings what can be called ‘commitment’ (see my posts “Tangent 3.9: Love”, and “Concerning Commitment…”) and develops along lines that can be called faith. Which universe do I choose?

*

As I invite the reader to truth, I can confront your faith.

The point, I suppose, that I am getting at so far as Eve and the serpent is that I am incapable of coming to a Big Story of the history of humanity. Or, I would have to say that it is ‘in between’.

It is this in between-ness that is the problem between us, between individuals, maybe. Because, in a way, what the story the Bible presents I can say to be true, but the meaning I have of this truth seems not the same as what you mean when you say it is true or false. In part, I would say my Story is both stories, the former and the latter. What this would mean is that taken separately their veracity must be taken in faith, an ‘either/or’. Taken together would show something to the effect that the historical move away from God is the move toward God, that in one way, God is knowledge of truth, and in another way God is false knowledge; this totality then would deny that there was ever a ‘true’ history designated by either the Bible’s Big Story or the Science/evolution Big Story, but that the apparent contrary movements reveal no movement, or a movement that exists only in the ever-present moment, and that on one hand, the promise of Jesus can come ‘in the blink of an eye’, at the end of time, or on the other hand, in the ‘thoughtful’ realization of the oppressively limiting power that ‘scientific’ knowledge has over the individual in reality right now. Since the Subject of both stories is the single human being’s relationship with the world, and how that Subject really has nothing to do with the world, but has everything to do with him or herself as a Subject of worldly things, the true issue cannot be so much what one believes is true, not so much what their faith ‘witnesses’; rather, the issue has more to do with what it is to be the Subject of God.

**

***

Now, the notion presented in the foregoing essay might seem to many quite…ridiculous. We are quite comfortable with what our scientific reasonings say; basically, we got it down. Our explanation of reality is true; evolution is the right fit, even though we still are working on the details. Fundamentalist Christians have their Biblical creation truth. Then there is the debate that crosses these two truths that attempts to pull ideas from either side and argue which one is more true, and this occurs at all levels, between all sorts of ‘fundamental’ ideas, their arenas of discourse.

This essay poses the issue upon the more religious horizon. But this is not merely an isolated ‘what if’; it is a sound reasoning based in the same ability that I would say is stuck in its own faith.

Science is also offering it own reconciliation of the problem of such faith; here is a link to an essay that describes this same motion put into the rhetoric of science:

http://darkecologies.com/2014/02/22/lee-semolina-time-physics-and-climate-change/

Likewise Quentin Meillassoux, for one, offers his more scholarly reduction in his discussions referring to analytical appropriations of historical philosophical authors and their ideas.

The issue I address through this ‘coincidence’ of reality, has to do with how it is possible that such a reduction is being made. Reality has it that there is an historical context that is informing our ability to know of things, and the conclusions and assertions of truth, put forth usually as theory and or hypothesis, are likewise informed due to these previous delineations of ideas. Such it is that we have the individual who exists because and due to the information that was before him or her, mediated by a sort of transcendent consciousness of free will, determining by this contingency of essential forces what the present is as well as what the future has to deal with in ideas of the world.

When we move from superstition, which is of faith, which includes what is otherwise metaphysical, conventional science, to what could be called true science, we find our place in the statement, “I doubt this causal formulation”.

66 thoughts on “Considering Truth and Reality. Where Science, Religion and Superstition meet; The Communicative Move.

  1. “. . .the issue has more to do with what it is to be the Subject of God.”

    There is a lot I like about this statement.

    This idea: god, whatever god is, in relation to each human being is powerfully suggestive of our shared story – human beings in relation to god; a true history of human beings in relation to god, whatever god is.

    I don’t know how helpful your characterization of two discrete “universes” is. And, I don’t see any reason why your telling of The Big Story can’t emerge “in between” those “universes.” What appears to me to be central to your story (and any rendition of The Big Story) is that it tells, as faithfully as possible, the story of human beings in relation to god, whatever god is.

    As I mentioned recently, I believe it is a mistake to reduce the story to the single human being’s relationship with the world (and God) even though every human being’s relationship with the world and God is important. I think it is also a mistake to discern “movement” in two (questionably) discrete universes that actually reveals “no movement, or a movement that only exists in the ever-present moment.”

    I don’t see any sense in the concept of an ever-present moment. Just because there is always a present moment doesn’t mean that there is an ever-present moment.

    Time passes, human beings have experiences within that passing time, and human beings have their experiences in relation to god, whatever god is. We should try to tell that story of humanity and god as faithfully as we can.

    1. Lol! And some hummus to go with that. . Ah… It was this reply to which I just replied. I missed it when you posted it I guess. Oh, or maybe I just reread it and forgot I read it, or I had replied about some other portion of this. Lol.
      And, once again, your (2nd) latest reply has generated a post from me, that will be up soon. I’m posting another essay before that though.

      1. Since I understand God to be a being who interacts with humans and acts within nature — rather than a god that is a non-personal ground of existence — it isn’t hard for me to account for a staff turning into a snake.

        What is interesting to me is that Moses could do it “on demand”. What’s more, Pharaoh’s magicians could do it as well.

        The plagues that followed the staff-to-snake episode are also interesting examples of God intervening in nature to bring about unusual events that demonstrated His power and sovereignty to the Egyptians.

        And, I don’t assume that God never acts miraculously anymore — although I’ve never seen a stick turn into a snake.

      2. Yes but Pharohs were done by their secret arts. So what if Jacobs ate theirs; isn’t it enough that they too had staves that turned to snakes? Why can’t I have one?

      3. An impressive trick, eaten or not.

        Sorry, I really don’t know how to help you get into the Staves-to-Snakes Club.

      4. I’m just saying; here is a book revered by millions throughout human history. It tells of such staves and parting of waters and stopping the sun. These things do not happen now. Unless one is talking figuratively. Given our inability to know for certain what the past was as it actually was, it may be that it was actually how it says, and that how we are now is just how we are Now, asserting that how it is now was how it was then. Does that make sense?

      5. Pt2. But there is more. The geocentric universe; maybe that was the exact condition of the universe at that time. Not merely of our knowing, but of the universe itself. History the unfolding of Gods ‘plan’.

      6. I don’t know that it makes for a geocentric universe, but yes, maybe it is the (essential) history of God’s ‘plan’.

      7. The point is that if we only have a condition if present knowledge, then the Laws of nature may be also changing as time passes. So if we are a part of the universe, not in any way segregate from it, then what they recorded of how God interacted n the world could be actually, not metaphorically, true. This might seem to indicate an actual ‘moving away’ from God. Not so much one of ‘faith’ but one of actual ‘knowledge/universe’.

      8. I don’t understand how these interactions, if actual rather than metaphorical, indicate a moving away from God, and I don’t understand the connection to faith and knowledge.

      9. If the Bible is an actual recording of actual events – a staff did indeed turn into a snake – perhaps God was more directly involved then. Things like that do not happen now.

        If knowledge only occurs in the present, as this knowledge has of itself a condition that presents the past, but as only a present condition, then the recording of supposed past could be a recording of what actually occurred. The natural Laws that supposedly extend throughout time are also only a condition of our present knowledge, because they only extend as far as the present knowledge of what is ‘natural’. The past as an actual past could have its own ‘natural law’, such as allowing staves to turn into snakes.

      10. I think our interaction with the past has more vitality than you are suggesting. I agree that my knowledge of the past is a present condition, but it is not “only” so. I think my knowledge of the past interacts, to some degree, with “an actual past.”

        I also think that the the natural laws you are referring to are more than “only a condition of our present knowledge.” I think the disruption of those laws that you are considering right now have more to do with the actions of an interpersonal God than a condition of knowledge.

      11. How do you know what is of a ‘condition’ of the past as different than an ‘actual’ past?

        Does not the evidence of eternal natural laws occur in the present knowledge, as what is past is of a certain condition with reference to what is present?

        Perhaps God as ‘disrupting’ is only disrupting our present condition of knowledge that tells us that the past existed and was governed by the same ‘laws’ that we know now, the knowing of which being also but a condition.

        Perhaps this disruption that occurs more ‘personally’ is disrupting how we are seeing miracles with reference to our condition, that the meaning of ‘miracle’ only has meaning in our real condition in that way, but that the condition of the past was different, such that ‘disruptions’ occurred more ‘naturally’ as part of their real condition.

        The movement between these different conditions could be said to be the true relation of history and God. Where ‘in the beginning’ condition God actually walked on earth, and an actual serpent spoke with Eve.

      12. I’m not sure what you are getting at. I’m fairly comfortable with the fact that there is much of our actual past that we don’t know.

        And, I probably mostly agree with you when you say, “The movement between these different conditions could be said to be the true relation of history and God.” I think our orientation toward God is the key element of that statement.

      13. Ok well leave it at that for now, concerning the God part :)). The point in the link I gave in my post about the science part, is that the laws iof nature deemed so by Science ( at least what I get out of the essay) may only be accounting for our present state, that ‘natures laws’ may indeed change through time. So, as I indicated, the state of the universe back when humans knew of a geocentric universe may have indeed been geocentric; but not as a ‘we only know it that way’ so much as the universe was indeed geo centric and humanity was reporting upon then the actual state of the universe as it was according to the natural laws that operated during that time.

      14. Yes. That sort of idea of only presence is a logical conclusion in my take on things, but it is not really the line I’m working on; it’s just an interesting result. Some philosophers from the 90’s call this line “speculative realism’. It’s very coincidental to me that I happened to come upon those authors recently when I had already come accross that possibility. But they are missing something…. Talk soon.

      15. In the meantime..
        In our talk about the Promise of Jesus I’ve been wondering; what happens if some one does not receive the Promise?

      16. When you have raised this question in the past, you have wondered about what the “promise of Jesus” has to do with living. You have also wondered what the promise of Jesus has to do with hell.

        Do you have either of these in mind now? Both? Something different?

      17. My question concerns all the possibilities of people not getting the Promise. What if they never heard of it. And then grow old and die? What if they heard of it and just figure it’s nonsense ?

      18. Your underlying question seems to be, “Is God just?” Does everyone get a real opportunity to receive the promise? Is there an overly high price for ignorance, an honest mistake, or carelessness?

        My baseline assumption is that God is just. Throughout the big story, I think He has demonstrated that He is just. So, I assume that there is no valid accusation of God to be found in “all the possibilities of people not getting the Promise.” But, I think that explaining how things play out, specifically, in every individual possibility is beyond the scope of what I, or any human being, can do.

        Regarding your concerns, I think keeping big story context in mind is important. I think it’s important to remember the historical event in which God breathed the breath of life (the Holy Spirit) into humanity. I think it’s important to remember the historical event in which humanity died – lost the breath of life, the Holy Spirit. These are important, shared events to remember when considering “all the possibilities of people not getting the Promise.” We all share this condition of being dead – living without the breath of God, the Holy Spirit.

        Jesus’ death and resurrection, and His expressed intention to return the breath of life – the Holy Spirit – to those who believe in Him are also important historical events to remember. Jesus has made a way for the breath of life to be restored to humanity. I don’t know of a good reason to think that it isn’t open to everybody.

      19. I understand leaving things in Gods hands, but what if u talk with someone, they go read the Bible, listen to you about what it means ( if they didn’t understand after reading it), and they still do not think they are spiritually dead or in need of the Promise of the Bible; what does that mean then?

      20. The important questions are: Is that person spiritually dead? And, is that person in need of Jesus (the Promise of the Bible)? If The Bible is correct, and “yes” is the answer to both questions, then the person is wrong.

      21. I suppose I am attempting to bridge the Bible’s assertion with daily experience of meeting someone. What if they had an equal idea that they are not spiritually dead but you are naive or ignorant? How do we breach that stalemate in that hypothetically both you and the person are concerned for each other’s ‘salvation’ ?

      22. It won’t surprise you at all that I would be interested in hearing their rendition of our story, and the way it highlights my naivete and ignorance. I would especially be interested in what their story says about spiritual life for human beings.

      23. Well. You’ve been seeing how mine story plays out in telling. Lol. But say they are Buddhist. Their beliefs have no context for a Promise or a Savior. Their context is that all such categories are but illusions of dharma and Kharma , of this world moving as it does and us moving in it as we do. And salvation occurs when one had shed all attachment to these worldly categories, and because everyone only realizes such according to the moving of the universe, one is reincarnated until that life when they are relieved of the burden of desire that is sangsaric karma. A promise or a savior are but categories also of desire that keeps a person in the karmic cycle. But I can’t really speak to what they’d say cuz I’m not a Buddhist.

      24. Maybe our story is one of dharma (or tao) and kharma. Maybe we journey through this world in order to shed all attachment to illusory categories. Maybe our journey is complete when we are relieved of the burden of desire.

        I don’t understand our origin within this Buddhist universe though. I don’t understand the devolution of this universe into unenlightenment or unawakeness.
        And, I don’t understand this universe’s kharmic “demand” on itself. What is it moving toward?

        Those are some things I would be listening for in a Buddhist rendition of The Big Story.

      25. Well, that’s kinda my point. From what I understand of Hindu/Buddism, they would say that karma’s ‘moving toward’ is a part of one’s karma, and that it is likewise a category one has not yet trascended, stuck as they are in the cycle of karma.

        So they would say to you that your Big Story resides within theirs. So how does one deal with this stalemate?

      26. So, when the process of transcendence is complete, it affirms that there is no process?

        ***

        I don’t think there is a stalemate. If the Buddhist really has a story that is bigger, more consistent, coherent, and cogent, then I think he has a more faithful telling of The Big Story.

      27. I’m just posing an issue: both of you would adhere to each of your stories’ cogentcy (sp?). Yet, Is not the function in a mathematical equation balance, where the sum of both sides is zero?

      28. I’ve never heard that the function in a mathematical equation is balance. But, even if that is the case, I don’t think that our (the hypothetical Buddhist and myself) adherence to our stories sort of mathematically reveals a zero sum in our discourse.

        The Bible’s rendition of The Big Story and the Buddhist’s rendition of The Big Story are significantly different. I think one tells our story more faithfully than the other.

      29. You asked that the culmination of the process of transcendence reveals that there was no process’. In a way yes. I have read that some Buddist sages have said that once they reached enlightenment they realized everyone is enlightened, and also read that once nirvana was reached they saw that there is no nirvana. And as to math: what does “=” mean if it doesn’t mean that both sides of an equation are equal?

      30. I’m not sure I understand the math (“The sum of both sides is zero”?). And, I’m not sure I understand the math reference. Our adherence to our different stories represents a zero sum?

        ***

        I don’t know what the word “enlightened” means if, once you “reach” it, you find that you always were enlightened.

        And if, once you reach nirvana, you find that there is no nirvana, it seems to me that either you haven’t reached nirvana or there is no nirvana. The idea that you have reached something that isn’t there sounds like nonsense to me.

      31. Yes, well I’m just talking about what I understand of what Buddhism/Hinduism says. It seems that most westerners must have a significant issue with Eastern religious philosophies because in the 50s some Bud guy came over and invented Shambala type Buddism because he saw that Western thought was entirely different and thus the West required a different approach to teaching.

        But that only goes to my point: you cannot understand this other religious truth, cannot see how it might be true and accounting just as well as your belief. What does that mean? Does that mean that you are correct and they are not? Or vice versa? If I cannot really know, yet have knowledge of the situation, then it seems to be there is a reasonable standpoint to say that There is more going on with God than what I thought before i became aware that other people cannot understand me, And what they understand, I cannot.

        The risk involved in having faith is including other people in my experience as equally valid. Everyone has their own idea of what is true and sit and proclaim how others are ignorant. What can it mean if I honestly consider another person’s idea of what is true equally as true as mine ? Without proclaiming my truth as accounting for theirs? What does it say about me? About what I think Is true?

        Why is it compassionate to suffer people who are stubbornly and obstinately ignorant? Isn’t God going to send them to hell anyways for not accepting Jesus?

      32. There certainly is “more going on with God” than what I think.

        So, what is humanity’s story in relation to dharma or the tao? What is humanity’s story in relation to God? I think that comparing such big stories could be tremendously helpful. I have a feeling that our disagreements would be fewer and less critical than a lot of people think. And, I expect that such a conversation would help me discover some of the “more going on with God.”

        (Getting people to articulate their understanding of The Big Story might be harder than one might think though. . . . *huge sigh of exasperation with the author of this blog*)

        But, I also think there would be a few very important events or story features on which we would disagree. And I think whether one is correct on those points matters quite a bit.

      33. I forgot to complete it. Lol. This may sound dense, but I think I’m beginning to see: the story is necessary. Because we all have one. And you’d like to hear it. And that you see the Bible as a sort of reduction of all those stories. So hearing them sort of puts to the test your ‘running theory’. Is that a fair access ment?

      34. Yes, I think the story is necessary. And yes, I’m very interested in comparing renditions of the story. I see The Bible, not so much as a reduction of many renditions of The Big Story, but as the most faithful, essential telling of our story.

        I think that hearing other renditions of The Big Story is likely to put my “running theory” to the test. But – full disclosure (and I’ve mentioned this before) – I have more of an evangelistic impulse in discussing The Big Story. I think Jesus’ incomparable greatness becomes apparent in the most faithful telling of our story, and I love to see people discover Him.

      35. Well. In a way. 🙂 But my issue as I have said many times, is that is agree but we don’t agree. On the BS. (Oh! How funny; I just saw that ;). Lol.

        More in a bit.

      36. The story of the Fall and the Promise (as a short synopsis) appears to me to be a good Big Story. I can agree.

        I think the Story tells two stories that are the same story, maybe even to say that one is a direct telling, one indirect. I suppose I am involved with telling the one that is indirect.

      37. Makes it hard to abbreviate “Bible Study” too.

        When you refer to an indirect telling, it looks to me like you are indicating a more comprehensive and faithful telling of The Big Story; one that is less conventional, less provincial.

        So, for example, what is the story that “the story of the Fall and the Promise” is really telling?

      38. Yes! I agree. What is that story? In a way, I am studying the Bible also, that the BIble tells the story of the human condition. But what does this mean? What does spiritually dead mean to someone who does not have that problem, or cannot understand it no matter how it is explained ? What does ‘beginning’ mean to someone who understands the universe as having no knowable beginning? What does ‘the promise’ mean to someone that is fully content in life and their relationship with God and their role in the world?

        It appears to me that as the Bible story goes, that no one, or very few, people care. And that the message that is carried might be the problem. That the terms are ‘loaded’ with meaning that ‘has very little meaning’ as the same language is used in an attempt to incorporate whatever contemporary humanity is present. That the direct message has lost its significance except to those who really have little concern with humanity, beyond the right /wrong idea that justifies their belief against other beliefs .

        I think the Bible is saying more than a righteous comparison of belief . It speaks of eternal truth. And perhaps it it the language that has ‘lost’ it’s ability to sensibly mean the truth, so the rhetoric becomes one of belief.

      39. I think you have to say more than, “Yes! I agree. What is that story?” If you agree that you are indicating a more comprehensive and faithful telling of The Big Story, I think it would be most helpful if you would go ahead and tell it.

        To set the hypothetical “someone” aside for a moment. . . .

        Do you think that you were not born spiritually dead, without the Holy Spirit in you as God intended?

        Do you think that the universe had no beginning?

        What is “the promise” and what does it have to do with one’s “relationship with God” and one’s “role in the world”?

        If it’s true that “no one, or very few, people care” about The Bible’s story, then I think that situation has a very important big story context. What is that story, conveyed in a way that has very MUCH meaning?

        You seem to be suggesting that this more meaningful message/story of “eternal truth” will have broader appeal. I’m interested to hear how that might turn out to be the case in your rendition of our story.

      40. Our thread here is coming very close to running into the reply from ‘In the Salt Mine’ that he posted recently in my “concerning commitment” post. His ‘part 2’ where he answers by telling me an anecdotal story.

        But aside from that; I think we have already brushed over what it means to have the Promise without claiming Jesus. I think you do not allow that possibility. I can say that the story of Jesus is an example of a particular human experience, and thereby say ‘yes, Jesus has saved me’. Further I can say that I have received the Promise, that I was spiritually dead but now I have been restored to life. But none of these these really says anything, since they only mean something for people that already have a context that places those meanings. But nevertheless, I can say those things have no meaning in exactly the meaning that means it is not necessary to use those terms. And thus say I am not Christian. That those terms can also be used to describe a variety of experiences.

        *
        I was thinking that perhaps you might give me a place in your blog that talks specifically about these things, so I can get a better understanding of what they are supposed to mean.

      41. “Brushed over” – to be sure! Without big story context, I have no idea what it means “to have the Promise” much less what it means “to have the Promise without claiming Jesus.”

        You said that you have received the Promise; that you were spiritually dead but now you have been restored to life. I don’t think it’s true that “none of these really says anything.” I think they mean something, most significantly, because we share a context that places those meanings. (I don’t think it’s enough to say that those things have meaning for you because you have a context to place those meanings.)

        And so I keep asking for your articulation of our shared context; your rendition of The Big Story.

        ***

        You asked for places in my blog that speak specifically about “these things.” What things are you asking about?

      42. What it means is what I write about. 🙂

        The Promise; I would like some context so It can have substance for meaning something. In your blog, I know you have running commentary with Bible passages; can you refer me to a section that talks about the Promise so I can have context about what this means so far as being spiritually dead.

        And then, are there passages that tell me or describe to me what this death is, or what it means.

        I am only somewhat familiar with the Bible; very in some parts, not very in others.

        *

        I can say that I have received the Promise because I have talked with you and I understand how to situate the idea in the context of the other ideas, like the Fall, Spiritual Death, Jesus, and such.

        I understand the context because I was raised Lutheran.

        But my experience had no basis in the Christian context; only after the experience occurred did I notice that the Bible seems to be describing it.

        I suppose one could say that it was because I was raised Christian that of course I had an experience that resonated with its doctrine.
        But such conditioning would defy that such a Christian experience would be thereby universally human, so it is ridiculous to speak about how one may have been conditioned, so far as that particular environment would somehow make me privy to a general human experience that is beyond my mere upbringing.

        But my experience was a question of truth, and not of God. Hence, then, coincidentally my life proceeded to reveal to me the truth. Ironically, and perhaps unfortunately, I have found that it is also not real. Lol. 😉

      43. What follows might look like a lot of reading. I think it will actually turn out to be more clicking, but about the same amount of reading as a typical (epic) Constructive Undoing post!

        I’ve selected 6 posts and two Bible passages to communicate the narrative flow of the need for the promise and the fulfillment of the promise, according to The Bible’s story. The posts tend to be short, meant to highlight the Bible passage.

        I hope this is helpful.

        “God Breathed”
        http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/god-breathed/

        “‘You Will Certainly Die’”

        http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/you-will-certainly-die/

        “The Death-to-Life Project”

        http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/the-death-to-life-project/

        “More and Less Than King”

        http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/more-and-less-than-king/

        The angel’s message to Mary regarding Jesus’ birth

        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+1%3A26-38&version=NIV

        John the Baptist’s message regarding Jesus

        http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+1%3A1-8&version=NIV

        “Time of Death”

        http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/time-of-death/

        “Jesus and the Breath of God”

        http://bigstoryguide.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/jesus-and-the-breath-of-god/

      44. I read the passages your sent. Unfortunately, the passages did not describe in the type of meaning I was hoping for.
        I suppose I am trying to ‘nail down’ what feelings, experiences, thoughts that I may have that specifically correlate with what the Bible is saying in the sense of Promise, death and life.

        Of course as I have said, the Bible has significance in a similar way as it does you, but it is not the same significance, at least from what i gather from our interaction.

        But These passages do not tell me what the Promise is outside of the context of the Bible; they tell me basically nothing about what it means to be dead and what the promise means; they assume that a person will already understand and are thus caught in a situation of acceptance or resistance to what I guess is supposed to be a ‘natural human state’.
        My question is then: how am I to gain context from a context for which I have no context? Am I (is a person) supposed to already have access to human experience that is available to everyone? How do you know this? Because it seems that the experience I have had as to the meaning of the Bible and the Promise and such is not the same as what you see. This right here should pose a problem of context, instead of a problem of ‘convincing’ or ‘accessing’.

      45. Oh. And my new posts ‘irony and the individual’ parts 1 and I havnt posted 2 yet, I think arose largely from a reply to you a bit ago. If u feel like stepping into the labyrinth again. Lol.

      46. To add a little to my last reply. . . .

        Since we (the hypothetical person and I) share a concern for our salvation, what is the most faithful telling of our salvation story? What is the need for salvation, and how is salvation possible?

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