The Moment of Decisive Significance.

Do we really understand human nature?

Can we generalize humanity into a common nature?

What is modern philosophy?

What is religion?

Is it all ‘relative’?

“…Through a truly unique telling of the Gospels… Lance Kair confronts philosophical assumptions that have accompanied philosophical and religious approaches alike through the ages.”
-Cedric Nathaniel.

– “No longer are we to merely sit and argue over theism and atheism, religion and science…, Mr. Kair has given us the beginnings of a whole new manner of looking at not only the Bible, but the institution of philosophy itself.”
– Edmund Doza; The Heights Manner

“…simply crass and confrontative to most of what we have been given…”
The Complicit Cosmonaut.

– “Religion, Spirituality, philosophy, history… in the latest installment of The Philosophical Hack, Mr. Kair pulls no punches. He is willing to step out on a limb and tell us that the categories by which we traditionally reckon human subjectivity are, at best, weak estimations of Being that have become nearly useless for talking about what is occurring in the human condition. In fact, he suggests, they are real approximations that always serve to keep human Beings in a state of deference.”

– “Calling to our prejudices and vehement opinions about religion, Mr. Kair asks us to place “what is first, last” in order to understand what we are dealing with in the philosophy that proposes itself a secular and separate entity from religion and religious comment. He deliberately and unflinchingly challenges us to place what is “last, first”; he knows the conventional philosopher will balk, and the priest will turn away from such a suggestion.”

– “I found that, though as a philosopher I was resistant at first, I could [not set aside] Mr Kair ‘s proposal.”

– David Smith.

– “Excellent… Confronting. Startling.”

– Sonja Alejandra Pritchett.

 

 

* Please look for the revised edition, soft cover, out soon. *

___

Thanks guys.
LK
In the interest of fairness, Dave has this to say

-“… in his context and within The Bible’s context, and he showed little regard for what the Gospel of John says that Jesus did.”

But, also in fairness, I think Daves appraisal is based on our discussions and not the book itself. 

63 thoughts on “The Moment of Decisive Significance.

  1. K so were moving the discussion over to the post I just posted, which is obvious which one :))

    But you have to comment first, so I can then reply on it. Maybe just put “hi”.

    you know. Its been I think 4 years we’ve been doing this, with some breaks. that kinda long time.

    This is going to sound kind of arrogant, but its just the plain truth:

    That last reply about Bethany is the first time since I started this whole thing maybe 8 years ago that anyone has said something where I had to admit I was wrong about it. I mean this in the argumentative sense, not in the living life sense. In the philosophical argument sense. And I want to thank you.

    I appreciate people who understand and agree in general to what Im saying, the ‘yea’ people yes they are good, I appreciate them of course, they help.

    But you are the first in sustained discussion who actually has said something that I had to admit my defeat. No one (maybe one or two there times, but I think this is actually the first) has ever argued anything with me or about anything where I had to step back. There has been no discussion where I have not had a reasonable rebuttal.
    Im not sure how else to say it; I have never been shown where I was wrong about what I cannot escape is right. Its like a curse.

    So…

    thank you.

    I appreciate your steadfast willingness to continue to discuss whenever it comes up. I appreciate you taking the time to actually consider what I have said and thoughtfully return a ‘nay’.

    though it really doesn’t affect the larger description of the scene to defeat the argument ( lol, I know I said its not an argument, but there is an aspect of it which does enter into debate), it is these small detail that I truly enjoy and need people picking at. I hope we can continue in various other sections.

    OK…goto the new post…

  2. >>>>>>>>>
    >>>>>

    7/17/17 11pm mountain time — Hi !

    Our threads kind of get all managed when we get into it. So Im putting the date and some ornaments so you might notice this is new.

    Ok.. My anemic big story. lol.

    When you got a minute.

    (Don’t worry. I sensed your jabbery 😉 We are not enemies.

    Here it is:

    The Bible tells a simple story of people having a particular kind of experience, as well as the reaction of people who do not understand the experience, those who have not had it, their reaction to these people who have-had it. The Big Story is the Story of a minority of people having a particular kind of experience that is common to those people.

    It tells the story, implicitly, of how people –not just the people who have the experience but everyone around them also — come to terms with their existence.

    Here is my counter to the accusation that my Big Story meaning of the Bible is anemic:

    *Warning* – long wind:

    Yes. it is very thin and lacking in satisfaction if you are looking for some more meat, because if you are always hungry there is never enough meat; especially if you are starving, it cannot come quick enough.

    But what if you have eaten all the meat and are still hungry, what are you to do? There is no more meat. What do you do?

    God supplies the meat… God keeps giving and giving giving meaning, supplying purpose, giving more more meat, until one day all that meat is just meat. The meat is just meat. Thats it. You realize that there is nothing really special about the meat because its just meat.

    Every time hunger occurs, theres meat, there is food to satisfy the hunger; sooner or later it always comes. Sometimes it comes in a day or an hour, sometimes it takes years, but it always comes. Every time you are hungry, your need is met.

    Like Soren Kierkegaard says: In this mundane world, he who puts in the work does not always get the bread; in fact, often enough, he who puts in very little work gets most of the bread…But in the spiritual world, he who puts in the work always gets the bread.

    Kind of boring after a while. In a way, very thin and anemic in its way of being so full: like gluttonous almost. lol

    So then you look around and you go “how interesting. Every time I need something, my need is filled. wow. All this difficulty I was putting into wondering and worrying and speculating and pondering, it just leads to me getting my needs filled. ”

    So then, eventually, you stop asking. And what happens? Your needs still get filled. and then you ponder, well, how is that possible? and after a few or a few hundred or a few thousand times of going through the same experiment, of asking, needing, getting fulfillment, not asking, giving up, wanting, sometimes getting, but then needing and then getting fulfilled, not asking, but needing and getting fulfilled anyways, asking again, wanting again, needing again…after many many cycles of repeating this same motion, it is possible to realize that you are not doing anything, or rather, that you are doing things and thinking things and having various meaning over this and that, but it doesn’t matter what you do or think because your needs are met. You find that your wants only sometimes get met, whether you ask or not, but your needs always get met, yet again, whether you ask or not. You start to realize that God is not just there when you ask or when you pray. It begins to dawn on you that He is there all the time, constantly tending to your every need in exactly the way he wants regardless of what you are doing or thinking.

    Then you do some more experiments. You think bad thoughts; you allow yourself to sink into darkness and depression; you allow yourself to take things personally and try to think into other peoples devious motivations; you sulk; you get mad when things don’t go your way; you purposely make yourself deny God. Still your needs become met but you are not happy with them. After a few (or thousands) of these rounds, you begin to entertain the possibility that God does not go away, that only your attitude changes upon what is already occurring or what will occur, that changes occur despite what attitude you might have, that your attitude is not affecting whether or not you have an attitude or not; sometimes you get a bad attitude even while things are great; sometimes you have a great attitude when things are terrible. Still God remains, tending to your every need. And you figure, “what is the point of entertaining anything about God when it all falls into my attitude and not God himself. Why worry about whether God is with me when he is there all the time regardless of what attitude I want to indulge?” So you experiment some more; the same thing happens. And you begin to see that the bad (or even good) attitude is not affecting the relationship between you and God, it is only affecting the relationship you have with the life around you, and in fact, that this whole up and down that appears to be the result of your attitude upon things, always ends in your approaching God and having your needs met, and that this then must be taking place outside the veracity of God as such, that God must be the source for all the phases of attitudes: No matter what you do, God is always there and shows himself that he was always there despite what you did or thought. Everything, not something, you think.

    Then the Big Story gets really Full and interesting, because now you’re no longer asking for anything. Now you’re no longer wondering about life eternal or not or happiness or sadness, because you’re no longer worried about what you need. All your wonder goes into God himself, comes from this strange and wonderful relationship that occurs despite what you might think about it, because you are no longer ‘oriented upon self’, you are oriented ‘upon God’. You are no longer ‘believing’; you are ‘knowing’.

    __

    The only difference, or a problem that I can see between you and I with this, lay only in that Jesus is not mentioned here as The one and only source and route between ‘here and there’: Man — God.

    Besides that — what I consider small — discrepancy between us, I would say you know exactly what I mean.

    I am saying that Jesus is a person who discovered the divine within him such that he IS (not became) the Son of God. The Christ. The One who saves man from himself; the one who absolves the ‘sin’ of want, the ‘sin’ of desiring to do God’s will (a contradiction in terms: How can a person ‘want’ to be ‘without want/doing God’s will’?), the ‘sin’ of being separated from God.

    But I could be wrong.

    What do you think?

    1. I don’t understand your “Part 2” response at all.

      You said, “She is someone who Jesus loves, thats it. When he gets there, she is mad, he asks her.. she says yes, thats it.”

      No. She also says, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

      And you said, “there is no context around what either of them means; not what Martha understands nor what Jesus is really saying.”

      No. Jesus gives this interaction a stunning context. He makes the audacious claim that He is the resurrection and the life (and soon after, raises a man from the dead), and He applies His resurrection power and authority in the broadest way; saying that “whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” And then, He calls specifically for a response from Martha. She responds with the confession quoted just above.

      Both of them, being Jews and living in the context of God’s actions and promises among the Jews during the previous centuries, gives amazingly rich context to this interaction.

      I know you have written a lot more, and I can respond to it, but we seem to have a bad misunderstanding about this passage and I think it might be an essential matter.

      1. That first misunderstanding. Was just that I was being brief; like. Four score and 7 years ago….conceived in … created equal. 😁

        More in a bit….

      2. 7/18 1235pm mtn time.

        It may be a stunning context, but Martha doesn’t seem to be stunned. He says, she says, he says, she say yes. I think that John could have said something to the effect of how she was affected in the same manner that he conveys something going on with Martha ‘secretly’ telling Mary; this implicates a mood of Martha, Mary and Jesus, but as well the mood or other factor of the others who were with Mary that Martha did not want to alert. Also, just prior to this John is quite descriptive about Martha’s attitude so we get a very human glimpse into her thoughts and attitudes because she is mad Jesus was too late. I don’t know about you but if I knew someone could save my Brother and didn’t, Id be kinda mad too. And then if that person said “hey don’t worry, don’t you believe that I can resurrect him”, Id be kinda like “who do you think you are?” Don’t come here and tell me..lalala…Id still be mad even if I DID believe in him. Id probably say sure sure, well go do it then. Why did John even suggest anything of a reaction? Is it because Jesus was using magic on her? a kind of wizardry glamour?

        To Martha’s being upset, Jesus just says ‘do you believe in the resurrection..etc..’ and she says OK yup, thank you bye. Ill go get Mary.

        To me thats kind of weird. To me it means that she already knew something that he just reminded her of. that she forgot because, as I’ve said in my book, she was not a disciple who was privy to aways being around Jesus and how he was; she did not walk around with him. This is what the “are there not 12 hours in the day?” bit is talking about. Those who were disciples who did not always walk around with Jesus were more prone to ‘stumble’ because they were not yet ‘firm’ in their ‘belief’. Lazarus is one of these who ‘stumbled’. He thought he was dead, and so he was dead. His sisters also thought he was dead, so he was dead. But Jesus says, He is sick, but a sickness not unto death. He sleeps.

        To me, this is saying that this ‘sleep’ is not the kind that ‘becomes’ (unto) death in the physical sense, not the kind of death that you are thinking it is. He says this because he is not making distinctions between, what we could call, figurative or perceptive death, and actual physical death. The vagueness here i think John is using on purpose: Lazarus thought he was dead and so he was dead. His sisters also came across Lazarus’s death as death, like everyone else: they did not have the same ability to distinguish death from death.
        Think about even 1500 years later how in cemeteries people would string a bell from the coffin of the dead person to the surface just in case they were accidentally buried alive. This is a fact. Before our modern current time, the criteria upon which people were pronounced ‘dead’ was highly vague and based in quite unscientific ideas.

        But Jesus knew this kind of death. He knew that whatever various kinds of unknowns about death there was, This one he knew was not the kind where the person would actually physically stop living.

        But John did not. It appears to me that Martha took it rather in stride. sh says Yup, OK, yes. Ill go get Mary.

      3. 7/18 7:08 Mtn time

        I’m having a hard time with this.

        You say, “It may be stunning context,” but that doesn’t seem worthy of much consideration because. . . .

        You say, “Martha doesn’t seem to be stunned.”

        Since Martha doesn’t seem to be stunned, you infer that “Martha is mad Jesus is too late.”

        Martha might have been mad, but I’m looking for something in the text that implies anger more than sadness as a leading emotion – the one that should shape my understanding of this story as it has yours. You have made something of the idea that Jesus could have gotten there quicker, and clearly, He could have responded more quickly. However, it doesn’t look like He was just a couple of miles away. Since Jesus makes a reference to going “back to Judea,” (verse 7) I take it that they weren’t in Judea. So, there’s a decent chance that He was at least a day’s journey away from Lazarus’ home. This is pretty speculative though. We just don’t really know.

        But, we also don’t know that Martha had any kind of mental calculation regarding the timing of Jesus’ response. We are told in the story that Jesus remains in place for two days, but nothing indicates that Martha and Mary would have known that.

        When Martha and Mary come face-to-face with Jesus, they are both quoted as saying, “if you had been here my brother would not have died.” Martha adds, “But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” You could argue that the most remarkable emotion in their interactions with Jesus in this situation is confidence.

        So, I’m reluctant to follow you down the hermeneutical path that opens with, Martha “is mad Jesus is too late. I don’t know about you but if I knew someone could save my Brother and didn’t, Id be kinda mad too.” I don’t think it’s the most worthwhile path.

        I would follow the path that moves into the story from the “stunning context” of hundreds of years of promises and prophecies from God; a context that Jesus, Martha, Mary, Lazarus, and the other Jewish mourners share.

        And I would listen to what Martha says.

        I hope I don’t offend you by putting it in all caps, but I’m not sure how else how to invite you to consider what Martha says, explicitly.

        Two more times in your 7/18 1235pm comments you continue an unfaithful telling of this part of the story:

        You say, “To Martha’s being upset Jesus just says ‘do you believe in the resurrection. . etc. .’ and she says OK yup, thank you bye, Ill go get Mary.”

        And you say, “It appears to me that Martha took it rather in stride. She says Yup, OK, yes. I’ll go get Mary.

        No.

        She says,

        “YES LORD, I BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD, WHO IS TO COME INTO THE WORLD.”

        If Martha isn’t stunned, she is certainly making a stunning confession. I would listen to it, and consider it in the rich context that she shares with Jesus.

        ***

        You do make a curious allowance for Jesus’ miraculous power when you portray Him as knowing, from a considerable distance away, that Lazarus is not dead in spite of receiving a message that he is dead.

        You also portray Lazarus as someone who “thought he was dead, and so he was dead.”

        So, it would seem that Lazarus was experiencing a mostly spiritual/existential crisis as he was lying in a tomb for four days wrapped in suffocating, or at least stifling, funeral cloths, having been buried by people who mistook his mostly spiritual/existential crisis for physical death. He probably really did appear physically dead to those people, but he was able to rally physically while in a tomb, wrapped in suffocating, or at least stifling, funeral cloths. And, he did it on command, when Jesus came to his tomb.

        (I hope this part below the asterisks made you lol and wonder a bit, but the portion above the asterisks is more important, by far.)

      4. Ill answer in pieces 🙂
        7.18 tues part 1:

        John 11:18: “Now Bethany was nigh uno Jerusalem…” Nigh: near.

        “…about 15 furlongs off.”

        Wiki: furlong:”The furlong was historically viewed as being equivalent to the Roman stade (stadium),[4] which in turn derived from the Greek system. For example, the King James Bible uses the term “furlong” in place of the Greek stadion, although more recent translations often use miles or kilometres in the main text and give the original numbers in footnotes.

        In the Roman system, there were 625 feet to the stadium, eight stadia to the mile, and three miles to the league. A league was considered to be the distance a man could walk in one hour.”

        8 stadium to the mile = 8 furlongs. the verse says it was 15 furlongs from Bethany to Jerusalem , and this goes along with that Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem.

        even if these are just rough estimates, thats 2 miles. Even if this is way wrong, even if it was one days journey, he took 4 days to arrive.

        *

        more in a bit…

      5. Yes. That is the only challenge/rebuttal .

        But i think it say that Jesus waited 2days. And when he arrived L was in the tomb for 4 days. .so even so. He could have gotten there earlier. And Martha andMsry could have been expressing sadness. But if you were human, I’m sure there would be at least a little resentment if the person that could have saved your brothers life took his time 😁. Don’t u think ?

      6. I don’t know what “yes, that is the only challenge/rebuttal” means.

        I think verse 18 is connected to verse 19: “and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary. . . .” I don’t think it’s giving us the location of Jesus and His disciples at the beginning of the chapter. Jerusalem is in Judea, so it would be kind of strange for Jesus to say “Let’s go to Judea again” (v. 7) if they were already in Jerusalem.

        Is it important to you that Martha’s anger be available to you as a primary shaper of your understanding of this story? Or, are you just kind of doing a wellness check on me; making sure that I haven’t become an emotionless shell of a human being?

      7. Lol. Well all right. I guess I should’ve done a little bit of the ancient geography research. I think I well I think in the back of my Bible there’s a map of ancient towns and cities and territories in that area.
        Thank you I think I’m going to do a revised edition and make a paper back so it’ll be cheaper. But hey you’re helping me even if you were not trying to help me so thank you.

        So why do you think the Bible was saying how close Bethany is to Jerusalem? The other disciples were worried about Jesus going back to Judaea I think and so maybe that could be why it mentions how close Bethany is juju there. Yeah I think you’re right.

        But does it not say that by the time Jesus got there after waiting two days Lazarus was in the grave for four days?

        Hold on I’m coming home right now so I’m gonna look in my Bible there and I’m gonna look at back over and then I’ll comment again

      8. Hey. I made another post just for the purpose of having a cleaner discussion thread. Let’s continue there. Oki doki?

      9. ….and why would it say that Jerusalem was nigh to Bethany? If you were telling a story, about me coming to Dallas, and I’m in Denver and you are in Dallas, you would frame distance relevant to the journey, I would think. You wouldn’t tell me: Dallas is 2days from Los Angles. No?

      10. (part 2 1030p 7 18 17 ) But lets move over to the new post… you have to post a comment first.

        I am not debating what the verse is. I am just being brief for these comments.

        it doesn’t matter that they said the whole phrase. I mean think about it.

        John 11: Martha hears Jesus is coming and goes outside to meet him, mary is still in the house, presumably with the the other Jews.

        The picture I get is that a bunch of Jews came over to the house to comfort the sister because their brother died. Many of the Jews in the area don’t like Jesus. So the girls hear Jesus is coming, Martha goes outside to wait for him, he comes. She says:

        “if thou had been here, my brother would not have died”

        sure she’s sad. But she is also doubting Jesus. Don’t you agree?
        But do you imagine the scene is all happy? Like she comes out all in chipper spirits, smiling and greet him thus? She is sad, but just the fact that she say that, in my mind, shows that she is reprimanding him. She is not informing him, he already knows and she knows he knows. she is upset at him. Im not sure why you can’t admit this.

        And no, it is not imperative to my argument that she is mad, it is just to notice that Martha is a human being acting like a human being who’s brother just died because (she thinks) the dude who could have saved him took his time. It brings the tone of the story back to human beings, because this telling is the consistency that involves actually human beings without super human powers. My point is that I can tell the story and account for all the action while retaining the merely human beings who cannot perform actual supernatural magic or people who actually came down from some extra-earthly plane of existence called heaven.

        So:

        Martha then says, as a kind of apology for being so rash, “but I know whatever thou ask of God, God will give it to thee”.

        she is saying ‘what ever YOU ask’ like , I know that whatever you Jesus asks God God will give you.

        Jesus says “Thy brother will rise again”. He doesn’t say ‘yes you are correct’. He only says that Martha, you brother will rise again.

        to this Martha misunderstands what he said, and thinks he is referring to the “last day”. (11:24)

        Jesus then says “I am the resurrection and the life: He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” and then he asks her “Do you believe this?”

        and she says “Yea, Lord. I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world”.

        Do I really need to type this all out everytime or can you just believe that I got the Bible right here and we both have access to what it actually is printed? lol.

        So, my explanation of this whole bit here centers on what I talked about with the “I am” earlier in the book. maybe you can look at that so I don’t have to send all this time in the comments. Its the part about Moses.( pg 89 in one pdf I have. I just realized I have 2 pdfs and Im not sure which one I sent to you. One of them has ;’absolution; on the top of every other page, the newer one has ‘a heresy’ on the top. Its been so long Im not sure if I made more edits on the latter. I think they are the same, but I don’t remember. sorry)

      11. (part 3 11pm 7 18 17)

        In short: he asks, she say yes I agree, and runs inside to secretly tell Mary he is here. But then everyone follows.

        Im not sure what the significance you are trying to get across with that he said that and then she said that he was the Christ the so of God etc..

        To me they were just communicating. He was not telling her anything she didn’t already know.

        lol.. No. Lazarus was not having a spiritual crisis while they were wrapping him up and spreading oil on him, as if he was still conscious. The scene and event does involve a ‘secret knowledge’ though.

        and btw: Jesus get a message that Lazarus is sick, not that he is dead. 11:3

        (btw: if you are interested: The Nag Hammadi Library are Biblical era books that were found. Most are what are generalized a Gnostic, but also, heretical. But they do show that regardless of what the institution of Christianity might say, there was a significant number of people who saw Christ in a different way.

        Indeed, in the 4 cen. I believe, the argument between Justin and Augustine exemplifies the difference in Chrsitian ideas that were floating around.

        But see that my reading of the Gnostic texts came after the understanding I gained form the Bible; it is quite amazing and coincidental to me that I found and am finding that it seems I am not far off the mark of what others 2000 years ago may have thought and understood, even though no one had to ‘teach’ me about the Gnostics for me to see what I see. )

        If you read the other reply: even until the 19th century, people across the world did not have a sure-fire reliable manner of being able to tell in certain instances if someone was actually dead. There are and were many physical situations (disease, poison, for two) that can bring people to a state that appears like they are dead, and, as I said, up until at least the 19th century there were so many accidental burials of people who were still alive that they actually had graves outfitted with a string that went into the coffin that was attached to a bell above ground, so if someone came out of whatever coma or whatever death-like state they were in, they could ring the bell and alert people they were still alive. (wow lol can you imagine?)

        I read what Jesus says as literal, not figurative, here.

        when he says ‘he is sleeping’ it is because Lazarus is not actually dead, not merely sleeping as the disciples thought who were with Jesus. When he reiterates ‘he is dead’, it is because Jesus is referring to the cultural and group consensus of what constitutes death. When he says ‘he is sick’ it is because he is indeed ‘sick’. I do not read these as indicating some extra worldly poetic license speaking of his soul or something.

        It appears that Jesus knew what exactly he was sick from, because 11:6 When he heard that he was sick, he waited for 2 days in the same place where he was. I talk about the rest in my book. He knew that whatever it was that made him sick, its cycle was roughly as long as the walk to Bethany plus 2 days. at the end of which he would stop being sick. But Lazarus, not being privy to the effects of this sickness, of seeing his sickness and its unfolding as indeed that he was dying, and his sisters likewise, dead, all thought he wa dead because the sickness proceeded in that fashion.

        Jesus was a master. He knew things that other did not. he was teaching them about such knowledge. Lazarus was an occasion for such teaching, but the group that was with Mary thwarted his teaching to his disciples, such that he had to keep such knowledge to those who ‘already understood’; as I talk about in the beginning of my book, ‘fishers of men’.

        btw: you are right: Thomas says :lets go die with him” When they arrived Jesus found L in the gave for four days. — now bethany is nigh…and many of the Jews came.

        yup.

        Jesus waited two days because he knew how long the cycle was. He wanted to get there when he would was up because Lazarus would not have understood what was occurring, because it was exceptional. But it is no coincidence that right after this event the Passover happens 6 days later, and the events turn to lead up to Jesus’s crucifixion.

        I do not equate Lazarus death with Jesus death. Jesus did not sleep, he was not sick. Jesus resurrection is not the same as Lazarus.

  3. My questioning really comes down to what about people who simple don’t believe. In the whole Christ thing? Are they condemned? If they are not condemned or if something significantly bad does not happen because they don’t believe, then what is the point of believing in Christ? What is the motivation?

    It seems you like to think of the ‘biggest’ situation. What does it say about the biggest situation of your belief does require others having the same belief? What if you simply cannot convince them? Nor they you of their belief?

  4. Hi Lance. I hope you are doing well!

    I don’t know that you would want to include this on a book jacket, but I would say:

    I don’t think Lance listened to Jesus very well, in his context and within The Bible’s context, and he showed little regard for what the Gospel of John says that Jesus did.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Lol. Hi Dave! I’ve recently been reading about the period from Jesus and the development of the church, Rome. Gnostics, Justin, Augustine, alot of the early guys before the Romans picked it up and after. And it reminded me of our discussions.

      I’m not sure if the current renditions of Christianity really is the same as when it came about.

      For example; we were talking about original sin, and it seems that before Augustine the Christians really didn’t have an idea that condemned us all. It was more that we are prone to sinning but due to Christ we now have a choice. Where as Augustine turned it into a lineage from Adam where we actually exist in a sinful condition that only by grace Jesus and faith can we escape.

      I’m not sure Augustine was correct; I think he twisted some things around to make him feel better and to accommodate the fact that the government was now using Christianity as a power source. I think the people who were alive when Jesus was around and close there after had a better idea of what was occurring with this Christ business.

      Also. Paul, it seems, only actually wrote a couple of the books attributed to him, and other people after he died wrote books that were less strict and then put his name to them.

      A lot of interesting stuff I’ve been learning. A lot to consider .

      1. Romans 5 was a key passage that Augustine dealt with, having to do with the death of humanity (www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans+5&version=NIV).

        I’m not familiar with evidence challenging the provenance of Paul’s letters.

        I appreciate the CSP links that come my way. I haven’t done much musically for a lot of years, and I miss it. I have a feeling that your music will be one of the things that inspires me to finally set aside some time to make music again. I’ll have to let you know if/when your inspiration actually gets me moving!

        (Hey — there’s something you could put on liner notes. I feel better about savaging your book now.)

      2. Cool. I hope the CSP stuff can inspire you to do some music!

        Here’s from wiki: authenticity: Edit

        Main article: Authorship of the Pauline epistles
        In all of these epistles besides Epistle to the Hebrews, Paul does claim to be the author and writer. However, the contested letters may have been forgeries, as that seems to have been a problem among the early church as a whole.[4]

        Seven letters (with consensus dates)[5] considered genuine by most scholars:

        First Thessalonians (c. 50 AD)
        Galatians (c. 53)
        First Corinthians (c. 53–54)
        Philippians (c. 55)
        Philemon (c. 55)
        Second Corinthians (c. 55–56)
        Romans (c. 57)
        The letters on which scholars are about evenly divided:[6]

        Colossians
        Second Thessalonians
        The letters thought to be pseudepigraphic by about 80% of scholars:[6]

        Ephesians
        First Timothy
        Second Timothy
        Titus

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_epistles

      3. I’m not aware of a problem with Pauline letter forgeries in the early church that should cause us to conclude that the implied author is not the actual author, so I don’t know why books such as Ephesians and Colossians are considered pseudonymous in the minds of some scholars.

        In John, Jesus’ death and resurrection would be the central and essential act to consider. His raising of Lazarus, and the claims He made to Martha during that event are interesting and important too.

      4. I think they make a difference in the Pauline letters because the message changes. I think in general the ‘actual’ Paul letters were more strict for God (sexual abstinence) and less accommodating for secular institutions. Such as marriage. For one.

        And:I can send you a PDF file of the book if you want to read it. I address the Lazarus issue. Maybe you could help me in identifying some text and format errors if not anything else. 🙂

      5. I have an e-copy of the book, but I don’t know how it compares to the final draft in the pdf you mentioned. If you want to send me the pdf and refer me to pages that you would like me to consider, I’ll be glad to take a look.

      6. “. . .the proposition of this essay, that Christ may not have been a particular single individual, but that there was a minority of people who had an experience who were together in a sufficient density to come upon one another, and that this occasion lent itself to some of these individuals eventually writing of their experience against the significant occasion itself such that they could speak of it as an Object, Jesus Christ, so that they might be heard.” (p.191)

        Lance, this represents a radical departure from the author’s stated intention at the end of the gospel of John. The author locates himself within the story (chapter 21, especially verses 20-23), and concludes with this statement:

        “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

        “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (21:24-25)

        What would warrant my taking your approach of reading John as one who is giving an account of an author-invented Christ rather than as one who “testifies to these things”?

        As a result, it’s difficult for me to see how we might discuss the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection, and Lazarus’ resurrection.

        And so, I just have one stylistic edit to suggest at this point. On page 185, consider changing to:

        He puts on an act for the others, tells Martha to open the grave, and in dramatic pose basically tells Lazarus to cut the B.S., snap out of it and come out already, and let’s get minimal, dude.

      7. It is a radical departure, but not from the authors statement at the end of John; actually it is consistent with that intension. The author of John was conveying an intact experience. the radical interpretation is that he was reporting upon events that actually occurred with him, the author, but being communicated through a communicational means that had or was being developed by the few people for whom such an experience was not extricable from actual living, which is to say, they could not put it in terms of ‘religion’ or something that ‘could be the case’. It was the case, but a case so radically different than what ‘regular’ religious approximations would allow. they had to develop their own way to communicate about it.

        The point I am making is that this is an innate experience of Christ. One that is not reducible to the story about someone else. That the ‘faith’ in Christ as a story is one that denies that the story is actually taking place in the reader to allow him to understand ‘Christ’ in the manner he does. that in order for a person to understand ‘Christ’. which is to say, to be able to relate to it as some sort of ‘belief’, there must be something innate in that person. the issue is then whether the person is establishing this ‘innate-ness’ as itself is innate, or whether the person as attempting to justify such meaning through something ‘else’. I am saying there is no need to justify what is innate through something else, and that Gospels are speaking of an innate, native and intact experience of Being.

        What warrants taking the approach is tat it has already been taken. As you have said, ‘cogent’; this is why this interpretation is radical: Because it speaks of ‘another’ cogency that cannot be ‘proven’ to the other manner of cogency. I am not putting forth an argument. As I said in the beginning of the book: It is a description and an example. It is able to be viewed as an argument, but then that view has, basically, missed the intent behind the book. It is a description of a situation, as well as the example of the same situation.

      8. lol,,,yes it is a description and an example of what it is to be human with minimal qualification, what it is to be human right here, right now, nowhere else, and without need for external justification. humans do need external justification; we operate with it all the time.

      9. a little more:

        There is a basic assumption going on in certain types of writing and certain types of subjects.
        Take an example of a building. I can talk about the building and say it is silver-gray and was large reflecting windows, houses various kinds of offices, manages 1000 or so people and their business every day, etc… We have no problem with that and if I say this to you, you have no problem with agreeing with those aspects. If I say I am going to the grocery store on 2nd and Pine, you don’t argue with me about those facts. Usually, you would say, OK, because you implicitly agree with what I mean.

        If I say ‘that building is huge’, now you might argue that it is not huge but only big and we could discuss it. But the fact of the building being there, whether it is big, small or large does not change the fact of the building. The discussion we might have over the qualities of the building are incidental to the fact upon which we are having our discussion. We could argue over the existence of it, even if it is ethical building, but these discussions do not alter the fact that 1000’s of people go in and out and conduct business in there, nor what business they conduct (from a general view).

        My book take the approach of description, like “I am going to the store now”. The book is “this is the picture”. Yet, most people when they read the Bible see it as a discussion about what the ‘actual’ building is, whether or not, by going shopping I am actually going to the store. They see any talk about the Bible’s content as more than an opinion. It like is Im going to the bank to get some money, but in order to do this I have to establish all these existential meanings prior to going to get my money. Its as if in reading the Bible, every time I have to decide whether or not money is real, or if I really do need to eat, such that every time someone talks about the content of the Bible, they are getting in the way of me eating or getting my money.

        My book is not about such existential questions. It is describing, as well as being the example. It is saying ‘food:eat’; ‘bank:money’. I am going to the bank; I walk to the bank; I go in and get the money. I need to eat; I go to the store; I get food; I eat; it tastes good; I like it. The book is not asking or answering the question of what is the quality of ‘liking’ the food, or why do I need money’. It is looking at the bible like I look at someone who goes into the store: They walked into the store, they bought such and such, they didn’t like that cashier, etc…

        This does not mean that there is not these other questions, or that other questions don’t have meaning. I am not arguing that ‘going to the store’ is not true or real, I am simply saying that people go to the store regardless of these other metaphysical questions. I am looking at the bible through a minimal qualification, by a view which simple reads the text without any ‘extra’ or outside implications. I read it as a story about some people do stuff, saying stuff. Such a reading does not negate or argue that such moral and existential questions are not valid; it simply suffices with simplicity, with what is presented. It does not argue that more complex ideas are not in play or valid.

        There is a building. Despite what ethical concerns I have: there it is.

      10. During the Lazarus event, Jesus says to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

        Then, during His death and resurrection, He demonstrates that He is the resurrection and the life.

        Food:Eat
        Bank:Money
        “Do you believe this?”:__________________

      11. If you read further, I talk about Martha and Mary and Mary. It is difficult to discuss pieces of the book in this comment area if you have not read the whole book. Because I am painting a picture. It would be like me telling you about ‘waves’ but you haven’t understood what I mean by ‘water’. I define and situate terms and place them in context of the Bible and Gospels in a consistency of meaning that puts the whole BiBle in the same context, as people who are having a particular experience upon living so particular things and speaking in a particular manner that is not traditional or usual, but is consistent throughout once you can have the same view as those people (an unconventional and non-traditional manner of looking at the world) .

      12. Yes, you “define and situate terms and place them in context of the Bible and Gospels in a consistency of meaning that puts the whole Bible in the same context”

      13. I guess my question aside from my book to you is whY should I case about whether I am saved or not? Should I be afraid of being damned. Or condemned of some sort?

      14. If there is such a thing as being damned, condemned, I would think it would make sense to fear it. And, if it’s possible to be saved from condemnation, that seems desirable to me.

      15. But if me life is good, why would (or could ) I refer to such a conceptual idea that does not seem to have anything to do with how my life is going? Why would I voluntarily decide to ‘degrade’ my perception of what kind of person I am or how my life is?

        Or in short, I’m always returning to the question: Why would I need to choose Christ (in the usual Christian sense)v

      16. Have you ever regretted something you’ve done — known that you’ve hurt someone or mistreated someone? Have you ever felt a desire to make amends, or to take steps to repair a relationship that matters to you?

        The reason I ask is because I think experiences like that indicate that the conceptual idea has had something to do with how your life has gone, even if it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with how your life is going now.

      17. I would add that, if it seems that the concept of condemnation does not have anything to do with how your life is going, it might just be a matter of extending your view a concentric circle or two beyond your interior experience. You might not be feeling worthy of condemnation, yourself, right now, but I think it was just yesterday that you declared that you are in favor of the death penalty for rapists (and child abusers?). The concept of condemnation seems operative in your life right now.

        Regarding reconciliation, the question would be: Who/what needs to be reconciled to whom/what, and how can it take place?

      18. I think there are ethical limits. It appears to me that now days everyone is so afraid to offend possibility and enact a kind of human allowance toward healing and correction they don’t want to ‘presume’ to enact judgment. I don’t worry about such universal justifications; I simply say you rape you are removed permanently. You molest a child, you have given up your right to exist in my world. I need no larger justification and, incidentally, a God who would condemn me for such presumptuous ness I would freely accept it’s judgement what ever that might be.

        I don’t know what would need to be reconciled, that is the question I am asking you , The whole idea of usual Christianity is based in reconciling some sort of developed guilt or feeling bad.

        I’m good with just noticing that my feelings of guilt are just feelings and I can accept that I may feel guilty at times.

        Other kinds of trauma could make people feel that they need some larger forgiveness and so might look to some ‘reason’ why the feel ‘less’ that good about themselves.

        I guess the question becomes very philosophical: do feelings point to or otherwise indicate true situations?

      19. You think there are ethical limits. I think that, when those limits are breached, condemnation and reconciliation are probably the two main routes on which to proceed. (The only other possibility I can think of right now would be something like neglect/abdication/apathy.) Reconciliation is, at least, one wonderful possibility.

        Maybe you don’t want to worry about “universal justifications.” Maybe you want to make the judgment – the condemnation – that certain individuals have given up their right to live “in my world.” The problem is, you don’t live “in my world.” You live in “our” world.

        Since we live in our world, we have to consider the ethical limits together. And, I think the more important question has to do with the nature of the authority underlying ethical limits.

        Of course, I think the story/context for all of this is crucial. I don’t think it’s the story of “my world” where Lance is king. And, I don’t think it’s the story of “our world” in which we negotiate ethical limits. I think it’s the story of God’s world, most faithfully told about in The Bible. It’s a story/context in which some events are profoundly worthy of condemnation, and profound reconciliation is a wonderful possibility.

      20. Yeah thorny of ethical limits is the government of the United States in this case. I think that if someone molested my young daughter I would have them killed but of course that person’s fate would lie in our legal system.

        I know you referring back to the story as in the Bible is telling the story, and we’ve had this discussion before, but it seems that you are unable to understand what I’m saying. It appears to me, and I could be wrong I’m still open, that you are unable to understand what I’m saying about the story of the Bible.

        It seems to me that the story that you are conveying or attempting to get me to see has to do with some sort of moral or an ethical implications of the story as it is applied to this world that we all live in. When I describe to you something about what the Bible is saying then you ask me an ethical question about that and I tell you that what I’m saying about the story doesn’t really have anything to do with ethics, that it has to do with the facts.

        For example there is a blue car in front of me. Jesus was crucified on the cross.

        If I say Jesus was crucified on the cross then you automatically go to well why was he crucified on the cross the Bible tells us etc. our souls are spirit we can be saved etc..

        But if I say the car in front of me is blue and then we ask why it is blue you don’t give me any sort of ethical thing about it blueness being something that can affect my life in some sort of ethical manner.

        If I read the story of Lazarus has a bunch of people having the same experience where Jesus kind of understands the experience and is explaining it to the small group of people that are also having the experience that seems to me like I’m saying the car is blue because someone painted it blue.

        But when you read this story of Lazarus and do you say that Las Vegas was actually physical Lee dead as if you know someone actually shot a bullet or stuck at Spirit through his heart so is his heart was no longer pumping he was blue dad absolutely no longer physical living and then Jesus came over and God work through him and restored to his soul back into his body, to me that’s like you saying the car is blue because blue means that you are a compassionate person and that you should go over here and tell this person they love them and you will feel better and your soul will be saved, or something.

        When I tell you what I mean or what I see in the story of Lazarus, it seems you turn around and you say well how could that be possible without this hall talk about solos being saved in God loving his creation and stuff like that.

        It’s as if I say the car is blue and you say well the only way that it could be blue was if God was part of my life and is some sort of part of my ethical being or some sort of my spiritual soul being saved.

        I describe the manufacturing of a car and I describe the chemical process by which they make paint the motions certain shades or hues of colour; do you want to reduce step process and say that the reason why it exists has something to do with God or the devil and our E ternal soul is being saved.

        I’m not saying that you’re wrong in that but I’m saying that you are not addressing me in the same way that I am attempting to address you. I have written something and I’m attempting to tell you the manner or a certain way to approach what I’m saying about this particular book or about this particular story, and I’m saying that it doesn’t discount your ethical spiritual telling of God’s grace.

        But it seems to me that you were on able to remove yourself from the context of God’s grace in the telling of the story of the Gospels sufficiently enough to understand what I’m saying about the Bible in order to talk to me kind of in the same way that I’m talking to you.

        I’m not saying anything about God’s grace or my soil or ethics or anything like that. I’m saying that the story can be told without all that ethical connotations it doesn’t mean that the ethical meaning is incorrect.

        Do you see the problem I have when you asked me certain questions?

      21. If the “whats” of a story are what you are most interested in, I’m probably not going to stay interested with you very long. I think the “whys” are pretty important – especially in interpersonal dynamics. If you tell me that Jesus drove into the world in a blue car (imagining for a minute that that is what happened), I can just say “okay.” However, if you tell me God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus into the world so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life, I can say “okay,” AND I’m going to be interested to know quite a bit more about what’s going on between God and me – love, belief, the possibility of not perishing, everlasting life. . . .

      22. Ok. And I’m saying that what is going on between God and you is innate and native to your Being . And the story does not require a ‘distant’ God to be consistent with this state of being.

        There are two ‘whys’ that do not function in their truth to invalidate the other one. It may seem to you that the blue car is blue because someone made blue paint and put it on the car is not very ‘deep’, but it is quite deep because it is a necessary part of your being that you cannot negate through any ethical concept: in fact it relies upon upon you evaluation of good and bad in order to exist. And God made it that way.

      23. To say that somebody making a car blue is a necessary part of my being seems to over-estimate the quality of my relationship with the blue-ness of the car, the car, or even the person who made it blue.

        When you say that having a “distant” God is not necessary to having a state of being in which what is going on between God and me is innate, I think it depends on what you mean by “distant.” The Bible’s story portrays God as one who is both other and intimate.

      24. How are you able to have a thought about a blue car without it somehow being a part of you? What part of any of the blueness occurs outside of your ability to have an idea about it? In what manner are you able to make the car not exist?

        And. Yes. Distant and innate. What part of God is distant? What part innate?

        Is that it the same with any conceived thing or entity? Or no ?

      25. Just because my experiences of blue cars are limited to my experiences of blue cars, I don’t suppose that there is no blue car stuff going on outside my experience. In fact, I assume that there is a lot of blue car stuff going on outside of my experience.

        When, for example, the Gospel of John quotes Jesus as saying, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” I believe that it is the quote of an other — Jesus — who is making claims and is calling for a response (first, from Martha, and also from me) to those claims.

        In an important sense, I might be limited to my experience of Jesus, but when He speaks in broad terms like “the one who believes in me” and “whoever”, it is suggestive of an experience and a story that I share with others.

        I think that to read Jesus’ story as if He is graciously offering Himself as an object, for the time being, in order to invite the people around Him toward basic human-ness represents a misguided reading of The Bible. One of the problems I have with it will be familiar to you. I think it presumes a story that is broader/bigger/more of-the-essence than The Bible’s story. I don’t know what that broader story is, and (I hope you will hear the good-natured vibe in this) you have been so reluctant to offer one, and the couple of throw-dave-a-bone attempts you have made over the past few years have been ANEMIC.

      26. Before I start my next comment, I will reiterate: I am not saying that what I’m describing argues against what you are saying. To say what I am meaning means “limited to my own experience” tends to already convey an individual human being segregated from everything else, as if there is some sort of essentials subjectivity that I’m thinking something that is separate or different from what you were thinking or that the tree is thinking or the sky is thinking or God is thinking or whoever is thinking. What I am describing does not by what it means attempt to argue against this other description that I just stated.

        What I’m saying then is I’m not reducing everything to some sort of one wholeness like I’m arguing of this over that as if I am correct and you are incorrect.

        If I’m walking down a path and I say there is poison ivy right there you do not question what I mean by poison ivy. You simply know what I’m talking about innately. We do not have to have a discussion about what the actual existence of the poison ivy is. There is something about the poison ivy that exists within you and within me that makes there is some sort of common thing that we cannot extricate ourselves from by any manner.

        And this is to say that the only manner that I am able to extricate myself or you from the situation of the common poison ivy is to theoretically apply some sort of metaphysical or ethical ideas about what is the foundation or what is the truth or what is really going on with the poison ivy itself or what is going on with me when I say poison ivy or is that really poison ivy or is the poison ivy that I am understanding the same as the poison ivy is your understanding etc..

        What I have just shown it’s two different ways of experience seeing and knowing something.

        The first way is just innate understanding through description.

        The second way is metaphysical and ethical.

        The only way that I can conflate those two types of knowing is to revert to the second type; The only way that those two types of statements those two types of knowledge can’t conflate into one essential type meaning is to categorize everything as either a metaphysical or ethical construction. But when people do this they are not egg knowledge Ing the first statement in its meaning. They are missing the meaning of the first statement by asking questions into it and reducing it back into his subjectivity of individual opinion.

        The fact of the matter is is as we live I’m talking into my phone and it is voice dictating and putting down this text and you reading that statement you know exactly what I’m talking about. There is no ethics behind it there is no metaphysical structure behind it it is simply that you already write then no it without any explanation to yourself without proving it to me or yourself or to anyone else you already know innately what I mean when I say that I’m speaking into the phone and it is voice dictating text.

        And so I say again, it is possible to ask questions into that situation but those questions really don’t account for the fact that you already understand what I’m saying.. those questions and answers that come up actually caused you or relying upon you retreating into what actually occurring between us, into a metaphysical existence of yourself thinking certain thoughts. Within that space the only way to escape is to understand that there’s something beyond yourself that you cannot comprehend, in the usual case God.

        The problem we are having in our discussion right here I think is that you are not able to discern between the communication that is occurring between us innately and automatically and the metaphysical speculative subject of thoughts that you were having about why this may be the case that attaches itself to something that supersedes the fact that we already understand that we’re talking into the phones to each other over text.

        I will say it again these two situations do not reduce to one another. And, the only way that they reduced to one another is to apply a metaphysical ideal to both, basically to purposely and with intent bring the essential difference under the umbrella of the single unity, and again most people referred to this operation the functioning of this operation, as “spirit”, “God”, whatever term they want to use to occupy that empty space that exist once we retreat into subjective thoughts and opinions about how or why things may be such that they are.

        I am saying that when a person doesn’t retreat or establishes some sort of understanding which allows those two types of experiences not to fall into any other then a person can understand really what is occurring with God and what is occurring with humanity and then perhaps they begin to read things and they begin to view things differently than they did before.

        In a certain way I’m saying this is already happened to you but somehow you don’t want to see it.

        But I don’t really know

      27. .. and as I have said before, I agree with you, but, it seems you don’t want to believe it or agree with me about my agreeing with you about the Big Story of the Bible.

        So it would seem, to you I think, that one of us is wrong or incorrect, so I ask you what happens then? What is the motivation to change what I already know is true .? .

      28. This is interesting: ,”… if you tell me God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus into the world so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life, I can say “okay,” AND I’m going to be interested to know quite a bit more about what’s going on between God and me – love, belief, the possibility of not perishing, everlasting life. . . ”

        This is good and fine. But Martha did not ask into it. In that section of John, that was it; Jesus asked, she said yes, and went and got Mary.

        I think the next question would be “Why?” why such a silence where you ask into the relationship? Why wouldn’t the Bible, the source of all the knowledge and inspiration about God and how to have a relationship with God, not speak into what Martha was thinking about? One would think that would have been a perfect opportunity for John to put in something about person-God-Jesus relationship and how to go about it.

        Im sure we could come up with a number of plausible reasons. But if I just read the text for what is there, and not extrapolate a thousand means into it –all of which can be debated and have been debated for 2000 years –the simplest answer (and I think the simpler the answer is preferable) is that he asked, she answered: He knew what he was asking her and she was reminded through him asking. thats it. nothing else needed to be said there.

        a disciple of Jesus, I contend, is a person who understood (understands) what he was saying. not necessarily someone who ‘has a personal relationship with God through believing in a broker’. Yet, I’m not saying that you can’t or shouldn’t look into what the relationship is about; I am not even saying that such a belief of needing a broker is bad or incorrect. I simply saying that the relationship becomes as it is already intact and is innate. That the relationship can be about what one is actually doing. Sure. we can ask into what the ‘true quality for reality and purpose’ might be’, but my question is then “What am I asking For?” What is the purpose behind me asking into, or God, what my purpose Is? Isn’t God my purpose? Isn’t having a one on one relationship with God my entire purpose?

        If not, am I then to say that I have other purposes, like making money? So then what? Is God not a part of that purpose too? If I ask into what part of Gods plan is me making money, what does it tell me? Am I not segregating out God into tiny portions of my momentary insecurity and then turning around and asking (what) some ‘whole’ God to (what) reconcile these ‘partial God-nesses’ to the ‘whole’ God-ness?

        What am I asking into the relationship with God? What am I asking about? for what purpose? Am I not doubting God himself by asking into what the relationship means or is?

        Is not my total understanding of God actually the Most understanding of God I can have at any moment?

        Id say that the continual communion with God is what i am after. every moment knowing that indeed God is with me and that I am doing the best I can at being involved with that relationship.

        Is that not what you do?
        Are there times when you doubt that God is indeed working on you, in your life, doing exactly the things for you, involved with you, helping you, teaching you? and yet, even when I doubt, am I not relying upon God as a truth by which I am even able to have such doubt?

        What purpose is being fulfilled in me asking what that relationship is when every moment fulfills that relationship?

        And: while everlasting life is a nice idea. why should I value it? Is it assumed that if I don’t value everlasting life that something is wrong with me.? Is it a sin not to wish for everlasting life?

        Again, Im not saying that no-one should be concerned with the notion. I am asking if there is something essentially wrong with a person who is not concerned with its possibility?

        Further: If ‘Blind Faith’ is preferable, then why ask into the relationship? If merely believing in Christ is the only thing that is required, then once I believe and profess and witness, why would I want to use any part of my intellectual ability to ask into it?

        It seem kind of a contradiction of terms to spend all this energy when you really just have to ‘believe’, to spend all this intellectual energy asking about more than believing. It seems almost like Im doubting that I believe when I do that.

        Is the the issue? That once we profess in Christ we are really then supposed to proceed to doubt what is being professed?

      29. …. I have said this to you before: (regarding the ANEMIC jab): I think the Bible taken as itself reveals itself. It refers only to itself. I don’t see my rendition of it as indicating something ‘even more broader’; exactly the opposite. Id say that the reading of the Bible as a divinely inspired Book is seeing the bible as implicating a broader story. My rendition takes the text as the story of people doing stuff, with no other information or implication needed. It read plainly, with no transformative revelation required, no outside broader referred is needed.

      30. You have written quite a lot, and I don’t think I’m understanding what you’re driving at very well.

        I hope it will help if I stay brief and close to the biblical text. . . .

        Your characterization of Martha doesn’t look accurate to me. You said:

        “Martha did not ask into it. In that section of John, that was it; Jesus asked, she said yes, and went and got Mary. . . . He knew what he was asking her and she was reminded through him asking. that’s it. nothing else needed to be said there.”

        But, here’s the exchange from John 11:25-28:

        “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’

        ‘Yes, Lord,’ she told him, ‘I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.’

        And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. . . .”

        I’m not sure exactly what you mean by the phrase “ask into it,” but after Martha says “Yes,” doesn’t she “ask into it” — possibly even beginning with the word “Lord”? When she says, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world,” isn’t she doing some pretty heavy duty “asking into it” or “speaking into it”?

        (Is this question helpful to the conversation at this point, or do you feel like I just blew off what you have written above?)

      31. (part 1) No I don’t think you blew anything off. I tend to ramble sometimes and I was actually wishing I didn’t send the whole blibber blabber. lol

        If I remember correctly, Martha is kind mad at Jesus because he took so long to get there. After all, they were only two miles away ( looked up the modern measure of the measure it says in the bible of how far Bethany is from their town; maybe Im wrong, but I don’t think it was two days walk.) But it took them 4 days to get there.

        If I remember correctly (I’m not looking in my bible right now), Martha says Lazarus would not have died if you would have come earlier. then Jesus says ‘don’t you believe in the resurrection’ and she says ‘yes, I believe in the resurrection in the last days, or the end of days’.

        It is to this reference that Jesus says “I am” the resurrection. It seems to me that he is saying that we don’t need to wait until the end of time, that Jesus, literally “I am” the resurrection and the life…”

        …let me go get my bible…. hold on one mint. (part 1)

      32. …(part2) yes…he says 11:26: “do you believe this?” she says yes..the Christ..son of God..”

        11:28 – and when she has so said, she went her way and called Mary her sister secretly, the master has come and calleth for thee”.

        Basically, Jesus stalls and then comes; Martha is pissed at him because her brother died and if Jesus would have hurried up, he would have lived, and Jesus says to her don’t you believe in the resurrection. she says yes, at the “last day”, and he says “I am the resurrection..” do you believe this? and she says yes and (we are to assume) Jesus says ‘great, now go get your sister please.

        She does not ask into what it means, nor does the Bible say anything about what she believes or considers. She is someone who Jesus loves, thats it. When he gets there, she is mad, he asks her.. she says yes, thats it.

        there is no context around what either of them means; not what Martha understands nor what Jesus is really saying.

        To me, he communicated something very simple to her, to which she needed answer as simply.

        what is left blatantly open is just what they both meant. We are supposed from religious tradition to bring in what we have already been taught, so as to read it in the context of some other worldly occurrence filled with deep spiritual meaning. but none of that is there in the story of Lazarus. It is simple: He spoke in such a manner as to remind her about what she already knew, that they both knew. solved. thats it, no worries. I think the blatant and abrupt end to the Martha thing shows that that was all that was needed to the encounter, an indication of how thoroughly and absolute the ideas were.

        but Mary was also worried, as we see that all the people came to comfort her. so Martha Secretly says ‘hey, Jesus is here, he wants you’. He was a ‘master’ because he thoroughly understood the experience that they all (the disciples that were more than the counted 12) were privy to. Not that he was ‘the master’ because he was the son of God. Why would the Son of God be a master? Why wouldn’t she have said ‘God’ wants you, or ‘the son of God’? What is Jesus a master of?

        a master is someone who is viewed to understand things perfectly because they arte able to teach such knowledge, not someone who is perfect.

        I think my book tells it pretty straight forwardly. That it is a simple situation if you read it as a simple situation where there are a few people who understand something that most of the people do not.

      33. … Jesus asks Mary if she believes in the resurrection. She says yes I believe in the last days… and he says back “I am the redirection “. Do you believe that? And she says yes. That’s all he needed to hear because that’s all she needed to witness there. She goes back, reaffirmed in the experience they are all having, and tells then Mary now you go and see what s up. Martha acknowledges the understanding that she ‘forgot’ because she is not one of the disciplines that is always with Jesus constantly having the experiences reified. She ‘stumbles’ like Lazarus.

        I talk about this in this section, but maybe I went to fast over Martha. Maybe I need to add a little more.

      34. …. I think o didn’t elaborate there because it is an example of the confusion that starts the paragraph, but also it is no lie to witness that ‘you are the Christ’ .

        In Buddhist Hindu thought there is a word ‘”namaste”, which means ‘I acknowledge the light that is you’. It is a greeting of acknowledging the equality of spirit that resides in all of us. It does not deny me ‘light’ to say that you are ‘the light’, it gives up my centrality to acknowledge that ‘the light’ is you. I humble myself by doing so. A Christian idea that I’d say was largely lost with the institutionalization of Christianity after the 4th century.

        There are Many correlations between the more ‘hard core’ (early) Christian ideas and Buddhism.

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