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Re: This is the right track!

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  • BrianCRCC@aol.com
    Matt -- good! glad this was helpful! a few quick responses below...
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 18, 2000
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      Matt -- good! glad this was helpful! a few quick responses below...

      << Do other Christians know you feel this way?
      My favorite novelist, walker percy, wrote a lot about this in his wonderful
      collection of essays called "The Message in the Bottle" (farrar, straus, and
      giroux).

      One immediate thought...God's perspective is certainly His own...implying
      subjectivity...but hypothetically if God pre-exists all things and other
      perspectives, and all things have descended from His essences, dosen't this
      render a sort of default objectivity to God's perspectives. It just seems
      to me that the nomenclature of subjectivity demands another possible
      different perspective in order to create a subjective environment...if God
      is omnipresent, omniscient, and comprises the totality of existence then His
      perspective must be objective in some final sense since it has no
      competition or "other" to contend with... I don't know if that makes sense
      exactly...its just a thought.

      --yes, that's one way to look at it. but many of our theological problems
      hinge on a failure to really take seriously (i think) the doctrine of
      creation ... that God has created a really, real universe ... that something
      that is given the gift of being is real. that means that if God makes
      personal beings ... then they are real, and they count. This in no way
      detracts from God's transcendence, etc., but rather becomes a mark of God's
      power, generosity, goodness, etc., in creation. In other words, God's act of
      creating other creatures for intersubjective relation to him (and not just
      humans ... also sparrows, whales, crocodiles, bull terriers, etc.)
      strengthens our belief in the subjectivity of God; we can't let God's
      transcendence zero out or nullify God's personality/intersubjectivity in our
      minds. (BTW -- this is where the Christian doctrine of the trinity has some
      pretty staggering implications ... that the God who exists is eternally
      intersubjective ... not an objective monad ... deep stuff, eh?!) HTH - Brian

      I will write a more thorough reaction to your response when I feel I've
      really digested it and given it the time it deserves...respond to it
      whenever you're able, but thanks again...this is encouraging.

      >>
    • Matthew Knox
      Brian, Thanks for the reply... I am still processing some of this info and will be bouncing it around for a while longer before I respond. In order that I can
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 18, 2000
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        Brian,

        Thanks for the reply...

        I am still processing some of this info and will be bouncing it around for a
        while longer before I respond. In order that I can be sure that I get what
        you're saying, can you please qualify a few terms a little more thoroughly
        for me so that I understand the way you are using them; (whenever you get a
        chance)

        1.) "real" as in your description of the magnitude of our creation

        2.) "intersubjectivity" = a dialogue? a relational search for agreeance
        between two seperate perspectives?

        3.) "God" - where do your presuppositions of God's characteristics,
        intentions, and moral affinity come from...and what are they?

        I do agree very much with your depiction of the trinity as an amazingly
        significant (and very strange) characteristic implying divine or eternal
        intersubjectivity (if its defined like my question above). I have never
        thought about it quite that way before...but I definately need more data
        from you on this one.

        Thanks again Brian,

        Matt


        >From: BrianCRCC@...
        >Reply-To: findingfaith@egroups.com
        >To: findingfaith@egroups.com
        >Subject: Re: This is the right track!
        >Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2000 11:54:36 EST
        >
        >
        >Matt -- good! glad this was helpful! a few quick responses below...
        >
        ><< Do other Christians know you feel this way?
        >My favorite novelist, walker percy, wrote a lot about this in his wonderful
        >collection of essays called "The Message in the Bottle" (farrar, straus,
        >and
        >giroux).
        >
        > One immediate thought...God's perspective is certainly His own...implying
        > subjectivity...but hypothetically if God pre-exists all things and other
        > perspectives, and all things have descended from His essences, dosen't
        >this
        > render a sort of default objectivity to God's perspectives. It just
        >seems
        > to me that the nomenclature of subjectivity demands another possible
        > different perspective in order to create a subjective environment...if
        >God
        > is omnipresent, omniscient, and comprises the totality of existence then
        >His
        > perspective must be objective in some final sense since it has no
        > competition or "other" to contend with... I don't know if that makes
        >sense
        > exactly...its just a thought.
        >
        >--yes, that's one way to look at it. but many of our theological problems
        >hinge on a failure to really take seriously (i think) the doctrine of
        >creation ... that God has created a really, real universe ... that
        >something
        >that is given the gift of being is real. that means that if God makes
        >personal beings ... then they are real, and they count. This in no way
        >detracts from God's transcendence, etc., but rather becomes a mark of God's
        >power, generosity, goodness, etc., in creation. In other words, God's act
        >of
        >creating other creatures for intersubjective relation to him (and not just
        >humans ... also sparrows, whales, crocodiles, bull terriers, etc.)
        >strengthens our belief in the subjectivity of God; we can't let God's
        >transcendence zero out or nullify God's personality/intersubjectivity in
        >our
        >minds. (BTW -- this is where the Christian doctrine of the trinity has
        >some
        >pretty staggering implications ... that the God who exists is eternally
        >intersubjective ... not an objective monad ... deep stuff, eh?!) HTH -
        >Brian
        >
        > I will write a more thorough reaction to your response when I feel I've
        > really digested it and given it the time it deserves...respond to it
        > whenever you're able, but thanks again...this is encouraging.
        >
        > >>
        >
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        ______________________________________________________
      • BrianCRCC@aol.com
        In a message dated 1/18/00 3:59:46 PM Eastern Standard Time, memasterhimblaster@hotmail.com writes:
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 18, 2000
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          In a message dated 1/18/00 3:59:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,
          memasterhimblaster@... writes:

          <<
          1.) "real" as in your description of the magnitude of our creation

          I'm not sure how to explain this. I guess I just mean "real" -- as opposed
          to an illusion, a mind-game of God, a farce, a facade, a simulation, etc. I
          don't mean (in the modern sense) corresponding exactly to our mental
          conceptual schemes and language ... but I do mean "really there," "out
          there," "existing." Maybe, if you're familiar with Heidegger ... I mean
          "being."



          2.) "intersubjectivity" = a dialogue? a relational search for agreeance
          between two seperate perspectives?

          -- In modernity, we pretend to be objective individuals, as if we have no
          subjective bias, position, etc. In radical postmodernity, we pretend to be
          subjective individuals, each prisoners in our own prison of isolated echoing
          alienation. What I mean by intersubjective means that both the previous
          alternatives are unacceptable ... that we acknowledge our subjectivity, but
          we also affirm our ability -- through community, communication, love -- to
          connect with other people and in some way transcend (not perfectly, but
          substantially, and meaningfully) our isolation. In other words, through
          community, we share our perspectives, each limited, and in the process share
          in something bigger than any of us. I also mean that in this encounter, we
          don't reduce "the other" to an object ... but we respect the other's
          perspective as we expect our own (i.e. we love our neighbor as ourselves, or
          at least we seek to).

          3.) "God" - where do your presuppositions of God's characteristics,
          intentions, and moral affinity come from...and what are they?

          --My presuppositions come from my subjective position as a member of a faith
          community, who listens to others in various faith communities, and tries to
          match what I hear with what I experience and what I understand and what makes
          sense ... So, for me, they come from my basic identity as a Christian (in the
          broadest, most classical sense of the word). But one of my first
          presuppositions is that God is pretty cool, and way awesome, and that any of
          our attempts to describe him are like 4 year olds trying to describe their
          parents ... only more so! (By the way, that analogy is fitting .. because
          the best thing a 4 year old can do in relation to his parents is not
          "describe" -- other words like trust, learn from, enjoy, etc., are more
          fitting for the relationship. Which must be true of us too, I would think.)

          One of the struggles we face, John, is that modernity told us we were only
          pursuing truth when we were arguing from a position of "objectivity" -- i.e.
          with no identity, no experience, and no affiliation to bias us. I think we
          don't have that luxury. I think that's an impossible, and dishonest,
          approach. To be human is to be limited, to have history and identity, to
          have a bank of experience, to have affiliations. One of the things the Bible
          (read more postmodernly) makes very clear is that everyone who meets God
          meets God in the context of his subjective situation ... his predicament, if
          you will. (There's a great essay in Walker Percy's "Message in the Bottle"
          which I mentioned before which goes into this. Actually, I think I referred
          to it in Finding Faith .... so you probably are already familiar with it.)

          HTH -- Brian

          >>
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