Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

8319Re: Stories

Expand Messages
  • lady_caritas
    Sep 16, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "Rodney Cecil" <wvdog61@7...>
      > On Sat, 13 Sep 2003 18:08:43 -0000
      > lady_caritas <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
      > "Perhaps you could expand on what you mean by "far left" of
      > orthodoxy? I've had the experience of knowing a few very
      > liberal
      > Christians who have some knowledge of Gnosticism, yet they
      > still
      > retain concepts of a monotheistic, all loving, all
      > powerful, all
      > knowing God, not to mention adherence to atonement theology
      > and a
      > system emphasizing pistis vs. Gnosis."
      > Within Orthodoxy, just as within "Gnosticism" there are
      > many variations. Historically the Orthodox accepted as
      > written in stone the notion of absolute authority, whether
      > that authority came via a person (the Pope), or persons
      > (the Magisterium) or a book (the Bible), or some like
      > combination. Those who would be considered "liberal" tend
      > to reject or go beyond the aforementioned sources, calling
      > in to question their validity in one way or another. In
      > that repect it seems to me that they share much in common
      > with the Chrisitian Gnostics of the first three to four
      > centuries of the Christian movement (forgive me Lady if I
      > sound as though I think you're ignorant of these things as
      > I'm sure you're already aware of most of this and even know
      > it better than I do, its just easier for me to answer this
      > way :),). I was raised in a conservative, Protestant, even
      > fundamentalist atsmosphere, where the Bible was the
      > ultimate source of authority. So when I say that my parish
      > is "left of the spectrum" I'm speaking from my own past
      > background and perhaps forgetting that others may not have
      > had a similar experience. The churches of my upbringing
      > would have declared the Bible to be inerrant, homosexuality
      > a sin worthy of death, abortion to be murder, Democrats in
      > league with Satan (I kid you not!), Alcoholic beverages
      > sinful, etc...the list goes on and on. Episcopalians could
      > care less about most of these things and would even
      > militate *for* many of them, such as Gay rights and
      > abortion rights, a Bible subject to re-interpretation when
      > necessary, etc. But, no matter how far they may have
      > departed from previous beliefs, it is still *Orthodoxy*
      > from which they've departed, and Orthodoxy still informs
      > most of their beliefs, as you mentioned above. So while my
      > parish priest may not believe that God is sitting on a
      > throne "way up there somewhere", or believe in a literal
      > virgin birth, or that the world was created in seven 24
      > hour days, he would still think that the notion of sin and
      > the resulting need for atonement and faith (as opposed to
      > gnosis) in that atoning work as the best means of making
      > sense of the human predicament, as well as resolving its
      > attendent problems and conflicts.
      > Rodney

      Hmmm, there is another possibility that the Bible is still considered
      by some to be authoritative, but just not in a literal sense.
      Reinterpretation of a source that is still regarded as authoritative
      is not uncommon. Literal inerrancy is one thing, but the Bible could
      still be considered infallible by some using symbolic
      interpretations. Mythological/allegorical exegesis might even be
      more accurate in many cases. And, unfortunately there will always be
      those who write and/or interpret scripture to suit their own
      interests or polemical purposes.

      As far as going beyond the Bible to other sources, there undoubtedly
      are going to be those who will still interpret other literature
      through the eyes of orthodox-informed theology, whether it be liberal
      or conservative, as well as those who will attempt to separate from
      their own preconceptions in order to investigate what might be the
      intentions of the authors of this extracanonical literature.

      One example that has been brought up in past discussion is the
      concept of the Divine. Even though we see the term "god" in
      Valentinian scripture, for example, "Bythos" is not a being or the
      creator of our world, is not part of an orthodox concept of Trinity,
      and is infinite and ineffable. The "father" is indeed an image of
      this Unknown. But then, you appear quite well-read, Rodney, and I'm
      preaching to the choir... :-)

    • Show all 25 messages in this topic