Classical Theism, Philosophy, and Religion Forum

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3/18/2016 4:36 pm  #11

Re: Classical theism and revelation

884heid wrote:

I do have a few worries that have obviously been further substantiated elsewhere. For example, regarding religious experience, i've had acquaintances that have experienced religious experiences so powerful that they have converted (meeting Prophet Muhammad, Krishna ordering to recite a Vedic text to unlock the truth and so on). We can obviously deduce that certain religious experiences might be faulty, but where does that really lead us?

 Where it leads us I do not know (I can only speculate here) but religious experiences are an important step on a personal level to know God, no doubt about it. I know of acquaintances as well who while belonging to another religion have had experiences of Jesus Christ and converted because of it. As a matter of fact some of my closest Muslim friends rely on dreams (& their interpretation) to make major life decisions.  God will communicate with His children only in the way they understand. As an analogy if tomorrow I get an “experience” lets say from God of the solution to the [url= ]Continuum hypothesis[/url] I would not understand it in the least (since I am no mathematician). I would also not value that “experience” as much as a mathematician would. So God also considering our limitations, will meet you where you are on your journey; plus half the fun of the journey is in the travelling rather than the destination.  As human beings, especially with ideas that we are emotionally attached to, we tend to only look at things that validates our own point of view (even if that may or may not be true). I am guilty as charged of this. It is only when we debate and discuss with others of apposing views, with an open mind, do we realize points that we may have missed. That is why we are lucky to be in societies where debate on an intellectual level about religion is allowed and protected. We should be very grateful of that. 

884heid wrote:

I can accept that one religion has the real truth like Jesus being incarnated as an example, but wouldn't it take make more sense to adopt a pereniallist account regarding other religions when juxtaposed with religious experiences? I mean, soteriology is so crucial in determining our afterlife experiences that it almost seems unfair when taken into account of how revelation, past the rational arguments for a God, doesn't really ground itself on anything outside its own texts.

 I think it would be unfair only if we were not rational human beings with the free will to choose our own paths. Also it seems unfair from our perspective but not if you look at it from the perspective of a God who is not only Loving but also the Perfect Judge who sees all. No one will get the short end of the stick in the afterlife, this I am sure of. Totally from a christian point of view we are asked to test the spirits see [url= ]here[/url] the reason being that there are other forces at work in the world also, whose main purpose is to deceive us. Now I do not in anyway discount the religious experiences of other people as I know most, if not all, are sincere and loving people (my purpose is nothing like that), but there is a possibility that we could be deceived by a “religious experience”. We need to “test” those experiences. All I can say here is that even if I agree that all religions point to the one universal truth (which I do not think so) I cannot take all the paths at the same time to get to the truth, I would have to choose one or the other. 

884heid wrote:

I find Aquinas and Augustine's take on hermeunetics highly fascinating but i also find Mulla Sadra's approach to the Quran and Maimonides to the Torah just as moving. And in response to the sin problem, Sufism also has interesting answers to it.

 One thing that we have to separate from the truth is the sincerity of their followers. A sincere follower does not neccessarily mean that they are following the truth. These are great people that you have mentioned (I owe a lot to Aquinas and Augustine on my own journey) but ultimately it boils down to what the core truths of each religion is. In Sufism, (forgive me if I am mistaken) good and evil are considered relative (which I think is a major flaw; on the other hand I have great respect for the poetry that came from Rumi, and love some of his quotations).  As I mentioned earlier experiences are important but they may or may not point to the truth. @DanielCC, you raised some interesting points, I will reply as soon as I can


3/19/2016 1:42 pm  #12

Re: Classical theism and revelation

Not sure why the url’s did not come up correctly in my previous post. Sorry about that.  

DanielCC wrote:

Can anything accord with God's perfection though or is that a false requirement (after all, all beings strive to be as like God as possible but it doesn't mean any one of them is capable of doing so completely)? Maybe our becoming like God has no upper limmit so to speak.

 I think from a christian perspective though we are not striving for perfection of God (at least not in this life) but we are striving for the specific perfection of Holiness of God within us (which as I mentioned earlier we cannot achieve on our own but only through Jesus Christ). The reason why we need to be holy is because God’s Holiness is so pure that even a tiny bit of impurity within us will not make it possible for us to exist in His presence. (Reminds me of the Sanctus prayer we say at mass “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest” ). Being holy is I think the first step towards the journey of perfection which we will embark on when we get to heaven. I agree there is no upper limit which is why we would need an eternity in heaven to get to it.  

DanielCC wrote:

See I'd take the affirmative for that question as evident through the very fact that we are aware of the nature of God as Ground of Being and our ontological relation to such - in fact these show we are already in the process of doing so! True dialectical consciousness of it the Divine Nature is inferior to direct intuitive experiential consciousness, but still the very growth of this consciousness is part of this journey (also: I wonder is to too simplistic to say that if we experience the Divine Presence it has to be in a bolt from the blue kind of way? Surely there are less extreme variations such as experience of Divine Immanence in the world).

 I do not deny that we are aware of the nature of God after all we were created in the image of God or the inferiority of the experiential, what I do deny is the “direct” part in your statement. I do not think we can go “directly” to God in our current state. We need at least to be holy in order to be even present with God. There are only two ways I think around this either we “lower” the standard of God’s Holiness or we become holy ourselves. I would go for being holy, which cannot be achieved without the Cross of Jesus Christ. Yeah I agree it would be too simplistic to think that it has be to grand experience, most christians (I know of personally and myself included) experience God in a very subtle way every day of our lives.  

DanielCC wrote:

I would query the relationship idea in as much I think it's wrong to think of God as a person in that sense, so He cannot be said to act as an agent in a personal relationship. It is better (though still only an analogy) to think of God as a Platonic Form we all participate in whether knowingly or unknowingly.

 I would respectfully disagree and my reasons for it is the person of Jesus Christ. God’s entire purpose from Genesis to Revelations in the Bible is to bring back (redeem) each and every child personally to Heaven (respecting their free will), so that we can spend an eternity with Him in the new Heaven and the new Earth. We can think of God as a Platonic Form but that undermines His Holiness, now I think what we are participating in instead is the image of God. 

DanielCC wrote:

Unlike other beings though we as persons do not have a fixed ontological position - we are capable participating in the Divine Nature to an ever greater extent through our actions or of turning away from God with the accompanied diminished of our being (even then such a state can never be total).

I agree that as persons we do not have a fixed ontological position and that is very much true, in this journey sometimes you feel that you are close to God while at other times you do not (every christian has felt that one time or the other). Ultimately though I think our main purpose here is to reconcile ourselves with God through Jesus Christ and guarantee our place in Heaven where we will begin our eternity in the presence of the most Holy God and begin our journey towards perfection.


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