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DO YOU HAVE A "SOUL"?
Ken Fortier Ministries ^ | Oct. 2008 | Ken Fortier

Posted on 10/18/2008 12:03:58 PM PDT by Truth Defender

A Preliminary Study on The Biblical Meaning of “Soul”. In the Old Testament the word for soul is “nephesh” and in the New the word is “psuche” — with both terms having the same meaning. “Whoever touches the dead body of anyone and fails to purify himself defiles the LORD's tabernacle. That person must be cut off from Israel” (Numbers 19:13). The bold words in the above verse is the Hebrew word “nephesh”, commonly translated as “soul” in numerous places in the OT Scriptures. Is it valid to question WHY the translators didn’t use the word “soul” in these two places in this verse? We judge that it is very valid to ask that question, for that is the only way we can find out the WHY. We will address that in this article as a part of our study.

(Excerpt) Read more at kenfortier.com ...


TOPICS: Apologetics; Ecumenism; Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: biblicalsoul; immortalsoul
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Ken Fortier has entitled this as A Preliminary Study on The Biblical Meaning of “Soul”. Many people will right off the bat consider this heretical because it goes against Traditionalist teachings of almost all churches in Christendom. However, as Ken says: "As we get further along in this study, you will find that you are forced to choose between what the Scriptures have to say and what traditional orthodoxy in Christianity has to say. I am not afraid, even at this point, to say that the majority of orthodox (so called) Christianity is dead wrong in teaching any 'immortal soul' theory as dogma to be believed; and before we finish this article, you may also find yourself saying the same thing."
1 posted on 10/18/2008 12:03:58 PM PDT by Truth Defender
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To: Truth Defender; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...

Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Poor Ken has too much time on his hands.


2 posted on 10/18/2008 12:08:52 PM PDT by narses (http://www.youtube.com/TheMouthPeace)
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To: narses

Yes, but Michelle Obama has told me it has a hole in it.


3 posted on 10/18/2008 12:09:27 PM PDT by PGR88
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To: Truth Defender
You don't have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. -- C.S. Lewis
4 posted on 10/18/2008 12:12:31 PM PDT by Petronski (Please pray for the success of McCain and Palin. Every day, whenever you pray.)
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To: narses
Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Poor Ken has too much time on his hands.

You haven't read it yet to be able to say anything intelligent.

5 posted on 10/18/2008 12:14:03 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender
"DO YOU HAVE A "SOUL"?"
Yes.
But I'm not a commie moonbat DUmmie atheist, a congress-critter who sold theirs to the Devil, or Obama the Antichrist.
6 posted on 10/18/2008 12:14:21 PM PDT by Condor51 (The only difference between Bill Ayers and Timothy McVeigh is the body count!)
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To: Truth Defender
the majority of orthodox (so called) Christianity is dead wrong in teaching any 'immortal soul' theory

Fortunately, that question isn't on the final exam.

7 posted on 10/18/2008 12:14:39 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Petronski
You don't have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. -- C.S. Lewis

Excellent! I would tend to agree with that from Lewis.

8 posted on 10/18/2008 12:16:16 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Petronski

More multiple choice theology with a liberal answer key that says all the answers are correct if you believe them to be.


9 posted on 10/18/2008 12:17:20 PM PDT by big'ol_freeper (Gen. George S. Patton to Michael Moore... American Carol: "I really like slapping you.")
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To: Larry Lucido
"...the majority of orthodox (so called) Christianity is dead wrong in teaching any 'immortal soul' theory..."

Fortunately, that question isn't on the final exam.

I didn't know that was a question.

10 posted on 10/18/2008 12:18:43 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender

“Do you have soul?”

Some, but I prefer country/western.


11 posted on 10/18/2008 12:30:11 PM PDT by Natchez Hawk (No! YOU'RE the reason G-d made Oklahoma.)
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To: Truth Defender

All dogs go to heaven:

http://www.break.com/pictures/church-marquee-fight570759.html


12 posted on 10/18/2008 12:32:43 PM PDT by bigbob
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To: Truth Defender

LOL, actually I did read it. A pedantic and poorly constructed, heretical argument to ignore the Truth. Sorry, no sale.


13 posted on 10/18/2008 12:36:14 PM PDT by narses (http://www.youtube.com/TheMouthPeace)
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To: bigbob

One of my greatest wishes when I die is to see my dog. She died in 2005 and I miss her so much.


14 posted on 10/18/2008 12:39:25 PM PDT by Vicki (Washington State where anyone can vote .... illegals, non-residents, dead people, dogs, felons)
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To: Petronski

>You don’t have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. — C.S. Lewis

I like that quote, and agree with it. Besides that, if there was no ‘immortal soul’, as it were, what then did Paul mean when he talked about seeing Him [Jesus] being like Him it the Resurrection?

Also, given the above, why is it that some people believe that resurrected beings are ‘ghost-like’ when Jesus plainly says to Thomas “Stick your hands in my holes” (hands and side) as well as ate with the disciples? A spirit/ghost cannot do those things, indicating that the resurrection is indeed physical as well.

Therefore, I believe that the soul and the body will both be resurrected. Whether or not the soul is ‘immortal’ is immaterial at this point because in order to resurrect people long-dead He would have to [re-]create bodies for them; and how hard would it be for God to [re-]create a soul if it had ‘died’? If it hadn’t, then how hard would it be for God to give this soul a new body?

In all, a moot point in the face of an All-powerful God.


15 posted on 10/18/2008 12:42:19 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: narses

A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is tricodimus. We have a soul, body and spirit. We worship God in spirit and truth.


16 posted on 10/18/2008 1:19:31 PM PDT by Millie
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To: Truth Defender
In so far as I had time to read the article I'd agree that Fortier’s correct on the Biblical teaching on what it says about the “soul”. Even God speaks of “my soul” at Isa. 42:1.

Does it matter? Yes, if we believe Jesus’ words at John 4:24 about worshiping God “in truth”.

17 posted on 10/18/2008 1:21:24 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: narses
LOL, actually I did read it. A pedantic and poorly constructed, heretical argument to ignore the Truth. Sorry, no sale.

Sorry, it's not for sale :-)
Just what did you disagree with? Specifically?

18 posted on 10/18/2008 1:24:53 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Millie
A believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is tricodimus. We have a soul, body and spirit.

Please read the whole thesis he present...then say that. We worship God in spirit and truth.

Amen! That is the truth - if it's done.

19 posted on 10/18/2008 1:28:55 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender

LOL, sorry rather than try and dissect the turgid and false teachings of the odd views you posted, I will simply suggest that you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is the Truth I believe and always will.


20 posted on 10/18/2008 1:29:42 PM PDT by narses (http://www.youtube.com/TheMouthPeace)
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To: narses
LOL, sorry rather than try and dissect the turgid and false teachings of the odd views you posted, I will simply suggest that you read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is the Truth I believe and always will.

I have the Catechism, and have read it. It's made up of a lot of philosophical ideas that were constructed over a long period of time. The references are very weak when saying they back up their answers.

But you are entitled to your opinion. Far be it from me to deny your freedom to choose the religious institution of your choice. As for me, I choose to listen to what Jesus said about the topic of this thread. I will let Him lead me into what I should believe, for it is only He who has the words of life and immortality. He is the way, the truth, and the life.

21 posted on 10/18/2008 1:43:37 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: OneWingedShark
In all, a moot point in the face of an All-powerful God.

Yes, one could say that.

In your post to Petronski you raise a bunch of questions. I believe that the article Ken wrote answers them all. Have you read it all? When I first read it I found myself taking a fine-toothed scalpel approach in examining it. Much of what he said I had already known, but he added some finishing touches to what I discovered. I'm thankful that articles like this exist, and that they can be shared.

22 posted on 10/18/2008 2:02:58 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender
However, as Ken says: "As we get further along in this study, you will find that you are forced to choose between what the Scriptures have to say and what traditional orthodoxy in Christianity has to say. I am not afraid, even at this point, to say that the majority of orthodox (so called) Christianity is dead wrong in teaching any 'immortal soul' theory as dogma to be believed; and before we finish this article, you may also find yourself saying the same thing."

I guess I think this is charmingly naive. and I guess I think that because I followed this same line (or, at least, a very similar line) of argument myself in 1971.

As a side comment, I'd offer: Going to lexicographers for theology and philosophy is a risky business.

Here's a distinction: The Platonic idea of the immortality of the soul is that the soul is uncreated, that it is the life principle, and is intrinsically and by nature immortal. In that view the soul of every living thing is immortal by definition.

When this writer gives a list of people with the idea of an immortal soul and puts Aristotle right next to Plato, he makes himself incredible. It's as if he said in a treatise on economy and the idea of private property that "the idea of private property held by such men as Adam Smith, Karl Marx ... ." Aristotle's idea of soul is very different indeed from that of Plato, so different that to lump the two of them together is simply silly.

That the Catholic Church does not have the Platonic idea of soul is easily seen from the Catechism, paragraph 368 where it is stated that the soul of a human is created by God.

Fortier does not seem to appreciate the difference between a Platonic "soul" which is uncreated and intrinsically immortal, so that even if there were a personal deity in the Platonic view that being could not kill the soul, and a soul which is immortal because God made and makes it so.

Further, Fortier makes the mistake of thinking that the Bible is a tome of Systematic Theology, and that its diction is as rigorous as the diction of a theologian. Theology, the discourse about God, is informed by Scripture. Theology addresses, or tries to, what Scripture is as well as what it says. But the Holy Scriptures are not theology.

I don't know who Mr. Fortier is or what he does. I don't have any personal brief one way or the other as far as he's concerned, even though he seems to be a lapsed Catholic.

Having said that, I find it amusing when what purports to be a treatise on the words nephesh and psyche in the Bible includes a lengthy section on how wicked, deceiving, and deceived the people are who disagree with him. And it grates on me when somebody uses words like "thusly" and sentences like, "Is not the Word of God sufficient for us to believe it?" when "Is the Word of God insufficient ...?" would be better, and foregoing rhetorical questions altogether would be better still.

The lack of discipline and reflection suggested by the jumbling together of Plato and Aristotle, the excess of zeal indicated by the time spent examining the defects of those with the effrontery to disagree with Mr. Fortier, and the recourse to frenetic and affected rhetoric all lead me to think that this is, well, not top-drawer stuff.

However, I think it could be edited into a very useful review of the words nephesh and psyche in the Bible.

Yeah. I know. Who asked me?

23 posted on 10/18/2008 2:03:46 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: count-your-change
In so far as I had time to read the article I'd agree that Fortier’s correct on the Biblical teaching on what it says about the “soul”.

I'll let Ken know :-)

Even God speaks of “my soul” at Isa. 42:1.

In the LXX the words "my soul" as found in the KJV appear as "psuche", and in the Hebrew as "nephesh". A little point that both terms mean the same thing. Things like this should be noted, as Ken says, in the margin, in brackets, or in a note at the bottom of the page. In the eyes of most people the words "my soul" insinuates something belonging to them - a mystical, ethereal something within them. Anyone who realizes that it is God Himself speaking in Isa. 42:1 would think that God Himself has within Himself a "soul". But God is a "spirit" scripture tells us. Does a "spirit" have a "soul"? I think that this verse should have been translated different. Maybe like, "my being"? Try to read it that way and see what a difference it makes to your understanding. It opened up my eyes!

Does it matter? Yes, if we believe Jesus’ words at John 4:24 about worshiping God “in truth”.

Excellent point! And we should also not neglect to understand what Jesus said in John 12:47-50 and what is said in Proverbs 30:5-6.

24 posted on 10/18/2008 2:21:52 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender

>In your post to Petronski you raise a bunch of questions.

Actually I didn’t. I was using the form of argument where the answers to the proposed questions negate the claims of the opposing party, or if not negate, at least raise problems witch must be explained/reconciled.

>I believe that the article Ken wrote answers them all.

I don’t. As I said, it’s a form of argument wherein the questions are such that they point out possible fallacies and/or possible false-assumptions.

>Have you read it all?

I read four or five pages. Then I got bored.

>When I first read it I found myself taking a fine-toothed scalpel approach in examining it.

As did I. But like I said before, the whole argument enters the realm of “how many angles can dance on the head of a pin?”, being either ridiculous and/or unimportant. (”Where then is your sting, oh Death?” as Paul would say, it doesn’t matter if the soul is mortal or immortal if God is going to Resurrect me, right?)

>Much of what he said I had already known, but he added some finishing touches to what I discovered.

Really? Like I said, I quickly classified this as unimportant. Besides, it could be argued that the portions of scripture he cited were talking about other subjects than the supposed misinformation of the human soul’s mortality: specifically the portion on hearing and not being able to hear. It is obvious to me that Jesus is speaking of Himself as the Savior; the people who hear about Him and Who He is yet will not believe are whom he is refering to... not some sort of willful ‘dumb following’ of the flock toward incorrect “orthodox christian” teachings.

>I’m thankful that articles like this exist, and that they can be shared.

1st amendment. But I think that the author makes too many bad assumptions... and there is the meta-argumential point, where you step back and ask “does this matter? Why or why not?”

I did skip to that in the previous post saying why it does not matter whether or not the author is correct or not. Also, his misuse of the scriptures (miscontextualization)is not conducive to a clean or compelling argument.


25 posted on 10/18/2008 2:28:47 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Truth Defender
I think that this verse should have been translated different. Maybe like, "my being"?

Or just "I'm troubled." (Elvis translation: I'm all shook up.)

Of course, affecting the problem is that those of us who've heard the KJV as far back as we can remember have OUR language influenced by it. When I say, "My heart is troubled within me," I know I MAY be quoting, but I don't MEAN to be quoting.

I completely agree that at least in "Scholarly" versions of the Bible, when a word like nepesh or psyche is translated in different ways, a note ought to be made of it.

26 posted on 10/18/2008 2:41:22 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Truth Defender
“My being”? Strong’s concordance on nephesh:

“nephesh
neh’-fesh
from ‘naphash’ (5314); properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):—any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead(-ly), desire, X (dis-)contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-)self, them (your)-selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.”

“being” would fit, I guess. But this shows then that “soul” cannot be an intelligence or something that is separate and able to exist beyond the person.

“Anyone who realizes that it is God Himself speaking in Isa. 42:1 would think that God Himself has within Himself a “soul”.”

And that would be because they are attaching their idea of what soul is rather than how the verse and the Scriptures as a whole uses the term.

27 posted on 10/18/2008 2:58:16 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Mad Dawg
Thank you for you input. I'll pass your post on to Ken. But anyhow, let me make a few comments to enliven up the conversation.

As a side comment, I'd offer: Going to lexicographers for theology and philosophy is a risky business.

I tend to agree with you here. Going to Lexicons is all fine and good for definitions of words - after all, lexicons are dictionaries. However, going to them for one's theology and/or philosophy is, as you say, a risky business.

Here's a distinction: The Platonic idea of the immortality of the soul is that the soul is uncreated, that it is the life principle, and is intrinsically and by nature immortal. In that view the soul of every living thing is immortal by definition.

Yes, that is Plato's idea.

When this writer gives a list of people with the idea of an immortal soul and puts Aristotle right next to Plato, he makes himself incredible. It's as if he said in a treatise on economy and the idea of private property that "the idea of private property held by such men as Adam Smith, Karl Marx ... ." Aristotle's idea of soul is very different indeed from that of Plato, so different that to lump the two of them together is simply silly.

Hmmm...where did Ken say that all these people believed the same thing about "soul"? On the contrary, I read that he said that they were at odds with one another on that score: that one believed one thing, and another believed a different thing - and not all believed man had an immortal soul within them. Aristotle believed that man had an immortal soul residing within the body, just as Plato; however, he didn't believe it was pre-existent. Tertullian believed in the immortal soul theory, but like Aristotle, didn't believe it was pre-existent. Same with Augustine and a few others before him. I think Ken lumped them altogether, correctly, because they all believed in an immortal soul within the body of man. One whould think those who read the Bible closely would see that the "soul" is what man "became", not something put into the body by the Creator.

That the Catholic Church does not have the Platonic idea of soul is easily seen from the Catechism, paragraph 368 where it is stated that the soul of a human is created by God.

I would disagree here. And I imagine Ken would also. The Scriptures do not give any indication, explicit or implicit, that man has a "soul", especially that a "soul" is immortal. In fact, it says the opposite; the complete man is mortal. Ken's article points that out in many places, and backs it up with documentation. The Catholic church teaches that man has an immortal soul residing within the body - Plato's idea! Thusly (sorry for that word), they propagate that part of Plato's theory and have made it a dogma of their church. Protestantism has done the same thing - mainly through Calvin.

Fortier does not seem to appreciate the difference between a Platonic "soul" which is uncreated and intrinsically immortal, so that even if there were a personal deity in the Platonic view that being could not kill the soul, and a soul which is immortal because God made and makes it so.

Ken is very aware of what Plato theorised. However, he also knows that nowhere can anyone point to any revealed truth that God created an "immortal soul" in man. This does not mean that one cannot receive one, for at the resurrection of the body man will put on immortality which is the gift of God. Even if God grants man immortality, man still depends upon God to sustain it, for God can destroy it when and if He chooses.

However, I think it could be edited into a very useful review of the words nephesh and psyche in the Bible.

I've mentioned that to him. If you noticed, he calls this a "preliminary" study, not the end-all of what could be said. In fact, he encourages those in Bible Colleges and Seminaries to use the topic for their graduate thesis. I think credit should be given him for that encouragement!

Yeah. I know. Who asked me?

I think I did by starting a thread on the article. That article is not a treatise but a short look at the meanings of the words used by translators. Your input is appreciated by me...and I'll pass it on.

28 posted on 10/18/2008 3:17:51 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Mad Dawg
Dear Mad Dawg,

I love that kinda talk.

;-)


sitetest

29 posted on 10/18/2008 3:31:32 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: Truth Defender
I would disagree here. And I imagine Ken would also. The Scriptures do not give any indication, explicit or implicit, that man has a "soul", especially that a "soul" is immortal. In fact, it says the opposite; the complete man is mortal. Ken's article points that out in many places, and backs it up with documentation. The Catholic church teaches that man has an immortal soul residing within the body - Plato's idea! Thusly (sorry for that word), they propagate that part of Plato's theory and have made it a dogma of their church. Protestantism has done the same thing - mainly through Calvin.

Are you disagreeing with my account of the catechism or with the catechism?

If the latter, I'm REALLY confused.

First The catechism doesn't say we "have" a soul. On the other hand, if IHS says "MY psyche is troubled," (John 12:27) then even our Lord sometimes uses language suggesting something sorta kinda like "having".

The Catechism uses words like aspect, after saying certainly the word is used to denote the entire human person. I think you would find paragraphs 362 - 368 of the catechism not quite so Platonic as all that.

Now, could you tell me where Aristotle says that he believed that man had an immortal soul residing within the body, ... I would not characterize either or Aristotle's or Thomas Aquinas's thought that way, though, while unfamiliar (lately) with both, I am a tad less unfamiliar with Thomas. He is highly technical in his section on the soul, but, speaking loosely and maybe wrongly, I'd say he would say, strictly speaking, a man "has" a soul no more than a fire has burning.

I will eagerly admit that the popular notion of soul is mostly sort of Platonic. Aquinas interestingly refers to Paul's talking of "the inner man".

My outer man has to go eat supper.

30 posted on 10/18/2008 3:52:29 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: sitetest

Heh heh heh.


31 posted on 10/18/2008 5:42:26 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Petronski
you are spirit, soul, and body according to the Word. We are made in the image of God, triune.

1st Thessalonians 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

According to the Word there is a difference between the spirit and soul.

32 posted on 10/18/2008 8:10:56 PM PDT by guitarplayer1953 (Psalm 83:1-8 is on the horizon.)
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To: Petronski
You don't have a Soul. You are a Soul. You have a body. -- C.S. Lewis

Yes I am. And I belong to Him, the Creator of everything.

Eze 18:4

"Behold, all souls5315 are Mine; the soul5315 of the father as well as the soul5315 of the son is Mine. The soul5315 who sins will die.

H5315
נפשׁ
nephesh (659b); from an unused word; a soul, living being, life, self, person, desire, passion, appetite, emotion : - any (1), anyone (2), anyone *(1), appetite (7), being (1), beings (3), body (1), breath (1), corpse (2), creature (6), creatures (3), dead (1), dead person (2), deadly (1), death (1), defenseless *(1), desire (12), desire *(2), discontented *(1), endure *(1), feelings (1), fierce *(2), greedy *(1), heart (5), heart’s (2), herself (12), Himself (4), himself (19), human (1), human being (1), hunger (1), life (146), life *(1), lifeblood *(2), lives (34), living creature (1), longing *(1), man (4), man’s (1), men *(2), mind (2), Myself (3), myself (2), number (1), ones (1), others (1), ourselves (3), own (1), passion *(1), people (2), people *(1), perfume *(1), person (68), person *(1), persons (19), slave (1), some (1), soul (238), soul’s (1), souls (12), strength (1), themselves (6), thirst (1), throat (2), will (1), wish (1), wishes (1), yourself (11), yourselves (13).

33 posted on 10/18/2008 8:44:55 PM PDT by uptoolate (Shhh. If you listen real hard, God is speaking to America.)
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To: Mad Dawg
I will eagerly admit that the popular notion of soul is mostly sort of Platonic.

Then you "mostly sort of" agree with what Ken wrote.

My outer man has to go eat supper.

I hope your psuche enjoyed the meal :-)

Are you disagreeing with my account of the catechism or with the catechism?

Both, in a certain way. While it admits that man himself is a soul, it still maintains that a soul is immortal; and does not present any proof that it is immortal (other than the assertion).

Now, could you tell me where Aristotle says that he believed that man had an immortal soul residing within the body, ... I would not characterize either or Aristotle's or Thomas Aquinas's thought that way, though, while unfamiliar (lately) with both, I am a tad less unfamiliar with Thomas.

While it has been ages since I've looked at what Aristotle had to say on any subject, it may be in his "De Anima (On the Soul)". As with any philosopher, they all seem to speculate or assume many things. I don't consider either of these men to be the "authority" one should look to for their beliefs of Christianity.

34 posted on 10/19/2008 8:15:30 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Mad Dawg
I will eagerly admit that the popular notion of soul is mostly sort of Platonic.

Then you "mostly sort of" agree with what Ken wrote.

My outer man has to go eat supper.

I hope your psuche enjoyed the meal :-)

Are you disagreeing with my account of the catechism or with the catechism?

Both, in a certain way. While it admits that man himself is a soul, it still maintains that a soul is immortal; and does not present any proof that it is immortal (other than the assertion).

Now, could you tell me where Aristotle says that he believed that man had an immortal soul residing within the body, ... I would not characterize either or Aristotle's or Thomas Aquinas's thought that way, though, while unfamiliar (lately) with both, I am a tad less unfamiliar with Thomas.

While it has been ages since I've looked at what Aristotle had to say on any subject, it may be in his "De Anima (On the Soul)". As with any philosopher, they all seem to speculate or assume many things. I don't consider either of these men to be the "authority" one should look to for their beliefs of Christianity.

35 posted on 10/19/2008 8:19:48 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender; sitetest
You can say THAT again!

heh heh heh

Then you "mostly sort of" agree with what Ken wrote.

Well as long as Mr. Fortier is not mostly sort of disagreeing with the teaching of the Catholic Church, I'm okay with that. The popular opinion on something, even the popular opinion on the teaching of the Church, is not in fact what the Church teaches.

On of the reasons I say "mostly sort of" is that I THINK it's right to say that Plato's immortal soul has no personality, and doesn't think of itself as Joe or Sally or Barack. Plato SEEMS to be in the "cosmic soup" school, or close to it, while the popular opinion seems to be that Little Suzi is now one of God's angels, returning to whence she came. (Cf the very weird movie "The Bluebird of Happiness") But in that connection, why do you say

While it admits that man himself is a soul, ...
Are we stating from the position that the Catholic Church is defending, surlily, some suspect position and only grudgingly conceding Mr. Fortier's points when all other options are closed to it? That's not a game I especially want to play.

I think the difference about immortality is on the question of intrinsic vs God-given immortality. The proposition, "God can not bestow immortality on the human soul," is not one I'd like to defend. The proposition that God HAS not bestowed immortality on the human soul is controversial, and while it runs against the general thrust of Mr. Fortier's word study, there are hints ("I shall not die but live," comes to mind) that it may not be a slam-dunk either way.

And there is the problem of God Himself in the Isaiah quote and IHS Himself in my John quote talking about their "souls". If the soul IS the self, then who is it who says "my" in "my soul is troubled?" Are we going to say, "Well God and the Christ were speaking loosely; we can ignore their turns of phrase?" When Paul speaks of "inner" and "outer", and in related discussions, of "sarx" and "pneuma", I come up thinking that it's not going to be that simple.

(Just for giggles, my "Schema" is that my soul, that is "I" died when I was grafted into Christ, and now I live with Christ's life, for it is written, "Now I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me.")

Moving along ... One of the things that brought me up short in my Fortier-like line of thought was that the Jehovah's Witnesses seem to agree with it. For me, if Arians firmly maintain something I've been thinking, I'm going to go over it again ... and carefully, making a list, checking it twice.

Okay, I staggered upstairs and hauled down De Anima. And it's been a few years, but I did a lot of highlinhting and marginal noting back then. Here's what I found. A number of statements about the soul that it is the actuality of the body and inseparable from the body.

The line I have used is, "soul : body :: burning : fire". The last Dominican I asked for an inquisition on this said, "I will quote Obama: That's above my pay grade," and we cracked up.

Anyway, for most of the relevant discussion of soul, Aristotle is right there with Fortier. The brick wall is MIND. And the discussion on mind is very difficult.

At the end of Book III chap 5 Aristotle sounds (but I think it's misleading) really gnostic when he says mind "set free from current conditions" alone is "immortal and eternal".

Here I'd suggest that it's important to understand the difference between "eternal" and "From everlasting to everlasting". I'd suggest that for Aristotle pure intellection is simply outside of time. And it's clear that he has all the appropriate philosophical problems with this. (As in, so how can we think about time?)

As with any philosopher, they all seem to speculate or assume many things.

I'd say it is in the nature of reasonable discourse that things are assumed, and further that the minute THIS conversation leaves being a mere descriptive account of the use of the words nephesh, psyche, etc. in Scripture and gets prescriptive ("We should think of soul in this or that way") we are hauling in assumptions, one of the most debatable of which is that the words are used with technical philosophical or theological rigor in Scripture.

I don't consider either of these men to be the "authority" one should look to for their beliefs of Christianity.

I think they were brought up as presenting a particular incorrect view, or an array of incorrect views of the "soul", not as authorities for our belief.

But at another level: the other day I pompously described myself to someone as a "philosophical theologian." If you ask what such a monster might be, I'd say, "You know how we discuss what a sacrament or ordinance is and wonder what thing the bread and wine are or become? A philosophical theologian is too stupid to be able to discuss such questions. He's still stuck and wondering what a thing is. If you say, 'it's not true that the bread becomes the body of Christ," I'll start dawdling and wondering about 'true' and 'becomes' while the rest of you go on ahead."

The relevance of this verbosity is this: Mr Fortier, you, and I are trying to say something meaningful and true about something we call the soul. If I say, "X," you and Mr. Fortier say,"But don't the Scriptures seem to say, 'Not X?'" If you say,"Y," I say, "But here are verses which seem to require or to suggest at least a soupçon of 'Not Y.'" As far as I can tell, we are the only physical creatures who do this kind of thing. Again as far as I can tell, we are the only physical creatures who wonder about the difference between us and the other creatures.

Now some aspects of this kind of conversation are sort of pre-religious. I mean that the builders of the Hagia Sophia, Notre Dame, or The Greater Park Street Baptist Tabernacle would not hesitate, I believe, to derive some of their techniques of architecture and construction from the unregenerate. Deciding to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified does not mean forgetting all the construction techniques one learned as a sinner.

Similarly, while I am not going to look to Aristotle, Plato, Heidegger, or the disciples of Siddhartha for the ultimate truth about the Ultimate Truth, I think they all have useful things to say about the relationships among certain thoughts and opinions, and about the challenges of grasping and articulating the things that matter with the mind and tongue.

So I won't take any of these guys as guides for the whole journey, but I will still consult them from time to time, just as ded reckoning can tell me, with perilous imprecision, more or less where I am, but only consulting heaven will tell me reliably where I am.

Okay. yeah. that was long.

36 posted on 10/19/2008 12:14:36 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg
***Then you "mostly sort of" agree with what Ken wrote.***

Well as long as Mr. Fortier is not mostly sort of disagreeing with the teaching of the Catholic Church, I'm okay with that. The popular opinion on something, even the popular opinion on the teaching of the Church, is not in fact what the Church teaches.

Ken, I imagine, does not agree with the teachings of the Catholic Church - otherwise he would probably still be in it. However, he does not expound on that very much, rather, he does bring out things he disagrees on, and refers readers to check out exactly what the official teachings are - sending them to Catholic sources. If you don't think that is fair, well, all's fair in love and war, as the saying goes.

On of the reasons I say "mostly sort of" is that I THINK it's right to say that Plato's immortal soul has no personality, and doesn't think of itself as Joe or Sally or Barack. Plato SEEMS to be in the "cosmic soup" school, or close to it, while the popular opinion seems to be that Little Suzi is now one of God's angels, returning to whence she came. (Cf the very weird movie "The Bluebird of Happiness")

Very sharp. I follow you here...

But in that connection, why do you say, While it admits that man himself is a soul, ...

Hmmm...because of the teaching of the Catholic Encyclopedia, which is quite explicit in saying that. How's that for keeping it short and to the point?

Are we stating from the position that the Catholic Church is defending, surlily, some suspect position and only grudgingly conceding Mr. Fortier's points when all other options are closed to it? That's not a game I especially want to play.

Not at all. Just stating what I read. I believe they are being very honest in saying that both the Hebrew "nephesh" and the Greek "psuche" refer to the whole man. And in their follow-up, which is a philosophical stance, I don't believe that Ken, nor I, accept that stance as something we must believe in. It is in the realm of supposition and presumption that other "options", as you say, are put forth.

FYI, Both Ken and I attended College and enrolled in philosophy classes. In Ken's case, he also enrolled in Logic classes at the same time - which he admitted to me caused him problems in accepting much of what philosophy entailed. He rejects philosophy as forming his beliefs, preferring the pure word as found in the Scriptures.

I think the difference about immortality is on the question of intrinsic vs God-given immortality. The proposition, "God can not bestow immortality on the human soul," is not one I'd like to defend. The proposition that God HAS not bestowed immortality on the human soul is controversial, and while it runs against the general thrust of Mr. Fortier's word study, there are hints ("I shall not die but live," comes to mind) that it may not be a slam-dunk either way.

Intrisic vs God-given immortality? Hmmm...I would "off-hand" reject the "intrisic" idea as being purely Platonic. On the other "on-hand" side, hold tight that only God can bestow immortality to man. I would say that the real question is stated by your second sentence; You say it is controversial; I say that God has, in what He chose to reveal to us in the Scriptures, not yet gifted any man, other than Jesus, with immortality. If you would like to discuss it on that thought, I would be willing to accommodate you. What you "hint" at is a good start.

(Just for giggles, my "Schema" is that my soul, that is "I" died when I was grafted into Christ, and now I live with Christ's life, for it is written, "Now I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me.")

Actually (not giggling), I "mostly sort of" agree with you here.

Moving along ... One of the things that brought me up short in my Fortier-like line of thought was that the Jehovah's Witnesses seem to agree with it. For me, if Arians firmly maintain something I've been thinking, I'm going to go over it again ... and carefully, making a list, checking it twice.

Let me make a point here. It will not do to condemn a doctrine because it is sometines held in conjunction with false doctrines. The fact that some sect, such as Jehovah's Witnesses, have grasped a truth is certainly no reason for anyone to discard that truth. Neither does one become one of their followers because he agrees with them on a particular truth they may hold, or why else not accuse all who hold to the Virgin Birth of following Roman Catholicism?

At the end of Book III chap 5 Aristotle sounds (but I think it's misleading) really gnostic when he says mind "set free from current conditions" alone is "immortal and eternal".
Here I'd suggest that it's important to understand the difference between "eternal" and "From everlasting to everlasting".

I agree, and that is a worthy topic for discussion.

***As with any philosopher, they all seem to speculate or assume many things.***
I'd say it is in the nature of reasonable discourse that things are assumed, and further that the minute THIS conversation leaves being a mere descriptive account of the use of the words nephesh, psyche, etc. in Scripture and gets prescriptive ("We should think of soul in this or that way") we are hauling in assumptions, one of the most debatable of which is that the words are used with technical philosophical or theological rigor in Scripture.

I think that this is where we would have to agree to disagree. If I were to say that "I think we should translate this Greek or Hebrew term by this English word", would you say I was making an "assumption"? Or would you agree that my choice of words may or may not be correct in your way of thinking? If the latter, I would then ask you the important question of WHY? Would you say that is philosophical thinking, or just seeking the best word to use?

Similarly, while I am not going to look to Aristotle, Plato, Heidegger, or the disciples of Siddhartha for the ultimate truth about the Ultimate Truth, I think they all have useful things to say about the relationships among certain thoughts and opinions, and about the challenges of grasping and articulating the things that matter with the mind and tongue.

Good for you! Same here!

So I won't take any of these guys as guides for the whole journey, but I will still consult them from time to time, just as ded reckoning can tell me, with perilous imprecision, more or less where I am, but only consulting heaven will tell me reliably where I am.

Well said.

Okay. yeah. that was long.

Yeah, wasn't it. Same as my response. Long but enjoyable. It's been a long time since I've taken part in such a conversation. We can disagree without being disagreeable. I thank you very much.

37 posted on 10/19/2008 3:00:23 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender
Thanks backatcha! This is good.

First on the Witnesses and that thing. I absolutely agree that if a certain candidate says both that I cling bitterly to my Bible and the sky is blue, I can deny the bitterness and affirm the blueness. But if that same candidate says the sky is blue and surrounds that with 99 more propositions all of which are grossly false, I'm inclined to go check the sky again, just in case something happened. So that's all the usefulness I get out of the Witnesses. Check everything twice, or more, hold fast to that which is good.

Hmmm...I would "off-hand" reject the "intrinsic" idea as being purely Platonic.

The line between creator and creature is fuzzy in Plato, and so wide that only a miracle can cross it in Xty. Which is why we bow at the "et incarnatus" in the Creed. Glory be to God, He gave us the miracle we needed!

These are two examples of a very rich problem and difference between the Catholics (and I believe the Orthodox) on one side and the tending more in the direction of "sola scriptura" folks on the other side. Maybe the way to say it is that the concept of "eternity" as we use the word, is not strictly speaking a biblical concept. What I find in the Bible is "L'olam - until forever", and as I said earlier, "from everlasting to everlasting". This is about duration, infinitely extended into the past and into the future.

On the other side, I say things like, God doesn't foresee; He sees; He didn't see Adam fall and the foresee the Cross. Rather He sees the fall and sees the cross (and the consummation.)

Now I have some, to me artificial, arguments, one from Peter, the other from Aristotle which show to my satisfaction why this is a necessary idea.

And where it gets especially dicey is in our thinking about the Asssumption of the BVM (as if that weren't dicey enough, huh?) in that we say that she "currently" enjoys what all the blessed "will" enjoy. And the best I can do to make room for that in my alleged thinking is to say that "eternity" "comprehends" all of time.

In other words, I recognize I am on shaky ground here.

I could go on. For example, you may know that in our thinking Purgatory, which is VERY temporal, is no more after the consummation.

But spare me, unless you're really interested.

I am really committed, barring a memo from the Vatican, to my account of my having died. Let me try to lay it out briefly:

In the day that we ate the forbidden fruit we surely died. But the dying had to work its way out from the central breach of relationship with Life Himself and to this day it takes our poor bodies several decades to figure it out. Okay so far?

IHS brought the death of all humanity to completion. (And also to transformation, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

In that act or event or series of acts or events which we can call "coming to IHS" or his coming to us individually (and leaving aside all the issues about baptism) we are joined with His completed death, and, in the Spirit, His resurrected life is now ours.

Not only does it take our bodies a while to behave accordingly, but even our hearts, or our subjective experience of them at least, are slow on the uptake. I dare to say, "It is well with my soul," but if a bad guy burst into my office now, I bet I would, well, have a few sphincter control issues, an adrenaline dump, and all the physical and many of the psychological signs of mortal fear. This is likely despite my being persuaded to dare to hope that my good Lord will see that all comes out as well as can be and better than I can imagine. I am slow on the uptake, though a tad faster when I remember to leave tempo issues to Him.

Now I think we don't have much witness to the state of humans between their death and the consummation, and what witness we have is, at best, unclear. Do the martyrs sleep under the altar now? What are the Apostles actually doing "right now"? I'm blest if I can tell.

But, in another way, I don't much care one way or another. As long as the "blue-bird of Happiness" or related Platonic, Hindu, neo-Platonic blah blah notions of the soul as a little spark of the divine trapped in my gross body -- as long as they are just stomped on and only thought of again in order to construct counter-arguments, I am happy either to sleep for a spell, which would perhaps involve so awareness at the end of a passage of time, or to pass, directly or in stages, to the Joy of my Lord.

What I will insist upon (until He shows me different) is that it is HIS life in HIS Spirit which lives, not me, not my life.

How's that?

38 posted on 10/19/2008 5:14:21 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Truth Defender
Oh man! I completely forgot to address the "assumptions and translation" question!

(BTW, what college? I went to St. John's Annapolis and to The Episcopal seminary in Alexandria VA.)(I am NOT a good student. I am, however, enthusiastic.)

I think every translation makes a tertium quid. I'd even suggest that translations of the Bible into English have altered English, affecting diction and rhythms.

"To choose the best word" is no small thing in any event. Hebrews 11:1, to take an extreme example, is tough. Finding the best English word for hypostasis?

Would you say that is philosophical thinking, or just seeking the best word to use?

I guess I can't see picking the best word as unphilosophical.

But thanks for the question. I'll chew on it.

39 posted on 10/19/2008 5:27:40 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Mad Dawg; narses; Petronski; sitetest; big'ol_freeper; Condor51

The soul cannot live without love. Its eternity depends on  providing it with a worthy object.

-- St. Francis de Sales


40 posted on 10/19/2008 5:29:01 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Truth Defender
That person must be cut off from Israel

Big whoop.

None of my stuff is there, I don't get my truck inspected there.

My bank isn't there, my ISP isn't based there.

I need Israel for what, exactly?

41 posted on 10/19/2008 5:32:08 PM PDT by humblegunner (If you're gonna die, die with your boots on.)
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To: All; NYer
Questions and answers about the soul in this link posted by NYer.

A Brief Catechism for Adults - Lesson 7: Human Beings and the Purpose of Life

42 posted on 10/19/2008 5:38:20 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: humblegunner
I need Israel for what, exactly?

A hot campaign issue?

43 posted on 10/19/2008 6:32:36 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Salvation

That’s FINE!


44 posted on 10/19/2008 6:42:21 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Petronski

Darn! you beat me to it.


45 posted on 10/19/2008 6:42:28 PM PDT by capn dino (are the good times really over for good? ------- Merle Haggard.)
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To: Mad Dawg
BTW, what college? I went to St. John's Annapolis and to The Episcopal seminary in Alexandria VA.)(I am NOT a good student. I am, however, enthusiastic.)

University of Minnesota and Minnesota Bible College. I majored in Biblical History.

I think every translation makes a tertium quid. I'd even suggest that translations of the Bible into English have altered English, affecting diction and rhythms.
"To choose the best word" is no small thing in any event. Hebrews 11:1, to take an extreme example, is tough. Finding the best English word for hypostasis?

I would add that many translations of the Bible have confounded the meanings of many passages, and even the overall harmonizing of the Scriptures. This is why I stick to etymology and exegesis according to established rules of hermeneutics. Hypostasis is not all that hard to define...depending whether you are speaking philosophically or religiously - philosophically, the underlying nature of a thing, or religiously, the underlying nature of the unity of Diety.

***Would you say that is philosophical thinking, or just seeking the best word to use?***

I guess I can't see picking the best word as unphilosophical.

We will have do agree to disagree here. The best word to use in translating from another language, other than via etymology, is its definition in both languages, controlled by exegesis of the context spoken in. Sometimes one word in one language cannot be expressed with one word in another language - it sometimes requires more than one word to express the meaning of the other language. Am I making sense?

Keep chewing on it, but don't get indigestion. :-)

In the meantime I'll do a little chewing on your other post.

46 posted on 10/19/2008 7:48:18 PM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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To: Truth Defender; null and void

My mate Petersen once brought a pair of shoes with artificial intelligence. Smart Shoes, they were called. It was a neat idea. No matter how blind drunk you were, they would always get you home. Then he got ratted one night in Oslo, and woke up the next morning in Burma. See, the shoes got bored just going from his local to the flat. They wanted to see the world, man, y’know? He had a helluva job getting rid of them. No matter who he sold them to, they’d show up again the next day! He tried to shut them out, but they just kicked the door down, y’know?

Last thing he heard, they’d sort of, erm, robbed a car and drove it into a canal. They couldn’t steer, y’see.

Petersen was really, really blown away by it. He went to see a priest. The priest told him, he said, it was alright, and all that, and the shoes were happy, and they’d gone to heaven. Y’see, it turns out shoes have soles.


47 posted on 10/19/2008 7:56:44 PM PDT by Grizzled Bear ("Does not play well with others.")
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To: Truth Defender

I looked up Ken Fortier’s website, as you (or someone else?) on another thread recommended him as an ex-Roman Catholic Christian thinker. I have to say though, I was singularly unimpressed.

I read several of his essays...and they all had lots of assertions (like the claim that Hell is merely a pagan/medeival construct), with however, zero proof, either from scripture, or scholarship. When someone says, “why the great majority of scholars today say....” without citing who, or, on what basis (even generally) they supposedly say that, my skeptical ears go up...

He had lots of his own high sounding opinions about the supposed extra-scriptural idea of Hell—without ever dealing with the evidence (from scripture, and, mostly, from the very lips of Christ) defenders of orthodox conservative theology (both Roman AND classical Protestant) rely on for their ancient understandings.

Yes, he rejected Rome, only unfortunately to embrace his own brand of liberal Protestantism (or is he an Adventist?)....

From what I read, to my mind, he went from the frying pan to the fire.


48 posted on 10/19/2008 9:24:24 PM PDT by AnalogReigns
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To: Grizzled Bear
If lightning strikes you some time soon, you'll have only yourself to blame. If it doesn't, give thanks to a merciful God.

This reminds me of my argument that computers have souls: nothing without a soul could be so perverse.

49 posted on 10/20/2008 3:26:30 AM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: AnalogReigns
I looked up Ken Fortier’s website, as you (or someone else?) on another thread recommended him as an ex-Roman Catholic Christian thinker. I have to say though, I was singularly unimpressed.

Nothing amazing here. I don't doubt your opinion, nor would I doubt the opinion of others who find it very worthy in showing the "the other side of the story", as the expression goes.

I read several of his essays...and they all had lots of assertions (like the claim that Hell is merely a pagan/medeival construct), with however, zero proof, either from scripture, or scholarship. When someone says, “why the great majority of scholars today say....” without citing who, or, on what basis (even generally) they supposedly say that, my skeptical ears go up...

While I'm not Ken's apologist, I respect him for bringing to the forefront his findings on the words "sheol/hades" translated as "hell" in the scriptures. What you say is not very valuable because you don't bring up the context he spoke in. I guess that would make me "skeptical" of what you just said.

He had lots of his own high sounding opinions about the supposed extra-scriptural idea of Hell—without ever dealing with the evidence (from scripture, and, mostly, from the very lips of Christ) defenders of orthodox conservative theology (both Roman AND classical Protestant) rely on for their ancient understandings.

On this I would disagree. His exegesis of Scripture and conclusions are not just his, but are the same as a great number of scholars. Ken (and I) both have studied what ancient writers, Roman and Protestant, have asserted as their understanding of religious and secular beliefs on that topic. Personally, I have had to throw out most of the teachings that were taught me after examining the topic in depth.

Yes, he rejected Rome, only unfortunately to embrace his own brand of liberal Protestantism (or is he an Adventist?)....

From my knowledge of Ken, which is great, he does not accept either Catholic or Protestant beliefs on the topic you seem to have different opinions on. He is also in no way connected with Adventists denominations. He does not accept being a hypenated Christian, preferring to say he is simply a Christian growing in the knowledge of God and His Christ, Jesus.

From what I read, to my mind, he went from the frying pan to the fire.

That's your opinion, and you are welcomed to it. Others have different opinions.

50 posted on 10/20/2008 7:38:04 AM PDT by Truth Defender (History teaches, if we but listen to it; but no one really listens!)
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