Friday, September 16, 2011

Adam and Eve and Steve and Alice

Starting through a piece which proposes to answer my question about the compatibility of a historical Fall of Man and the evolutionary picture. A smart and charming Irishman whose writing style reminds me of my own when I am on a roll.

Best line so far:
If I want to know "what Christianity teaches," I would be inclined to ask the Orthodox or Catholic churches, as they have near 2000 years of noodling over it.  Yet when the Coynes* of the world want to tell us 'what Christians believe,' they agitate over the idiosyncratic beliefs of Bill and Ted's Excellent Bible Shack, whose teachings go back to last Tuesday.

*("Coyne" is the man to whom Flynn, the author, is responding.)


Anonymous said...

I enjoy the joke, and am curious over the distinction between "what Christianity teaches" and "what Christians believe."

In any case, the smart and charming Irishman would be refuted by the Cathari adept who scoff'd when a Dominican show'd to him a crucifix: "Too new," the Cathariman said.

That is, the ersatz "perennial philosophy" claims to be a far older tradition than Christianity, and even than the Old Testament. By the smart and charming Irishman's principle, Aquinas must be irrelevant (the "Thomas and Albertus's Excellent Bible Shack" of 1274).

So, what does ex cathedra want? Good grammar or hoary tradition? If good grammar, then even Heidegger's Being and Time (1927) and the works of John Macquarrie written in the 1960s would be well worth studying. If agedness, the utilitaranism should prevail, since Bentham and Mill wrote long before Heidegger.

"Noodling" over something perhaps insinuates a criterion of quality, sc that a long tradition of "trying to understand" will undoubtedly result in improved understanding, and does not usually wend unto decay. But, for example, Eastern Orthodoxy in the twentieth century had to go to Western scholars for an understanding of the Greek Fathers. ...

Slow-witted dullard Martin Luther noticed in Babylonian Captivity of the Church that "Aristotle speaks of accidents and their subject very differently from St. Thomas" (Dillenberger, p. 265) The Renaissance geniuses were not eager to notice Aristotle on ousia and accidents vis-a-vis the eucharist and transubstantiation. Methinks that routine knowledge that Aristotle and Aquinas differ on these things didn't enter academe until long after Luther's time.

(Luther perhaps hints that "the Aristotelian Church" must oppose Aquinas.)

So, all due praise to the charming Irishman for being able to mock the evangelical simpletons of contemporary Christianity. But really, what is most needful is an accurate substantive understanding of Christian doctrine whether by Augustine or Calvin or Aquinas, not a formalist bowing to ostensibly long-standing traditions of Christianity that may have left the building some time ago.

Anonymous said...

P.S. By "Coyne" does he refer to koinê Greek, sc to the new 'new testament' for our nondual aiôn?

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine thinks that the matter of god cursing Eve with great pains in childbirth actually refers to the modern human having larger craniums.

I am not sold on how "knowledge of good and evil" plays in here, with what seems an asymmetry. There's the idea that there has to be knowing evil for there to actually be sin, hence The Fall; But it seems that by the same token there would have to be knowing good for there to be virtue, or whatever we should call the opposite of sin, and the event might as well also be thought of as The Rise -- if not, why not?

Me-- I am neither fallen nor risen, for I have no knowledge of Good and Evil -- at least not as with metaphysicalizing capitalization. "Good is what you like; evil is what you don't like" -- which even non-signing apes know. The reason human society has any moral coherence is because individual people are not as different as apples and air conditioners.


Anonymous said...

Having examined the "a piece," I would say that my original statement still stands. Where are the Catholic, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox in providing an understanding of origins? They have "flynn" from the world and abandon'd the seculum to creationists and evolutionists.

They are like the Thomists of old, who could have crush'd the Cartesians and Spinozists et al but prefer'd to keep understanding of grace and nature and God given the Summae outside the world and 'secularize' only in terms of saints and feast days and piousness and submission.

P.S. Arianism presumably tries to transmogrify the Logos into an explanatory Mythos, defined in this piece of controversy as "an organizing story by which a culture explains itself to itself." The desideratum is not understanding but organization, a technê (cf Heidegger on the making of the modern firmament or frame by the Jovian "power is the name of the game," my friend" »explanation«).

Bill and Ted's Excellent Bible Shack as explain'd by evangelical simpletons may be much more effective for "organization" of the prevailing but unspecify'd "cultural purposes" than the Greek Fathers, or Augustine, or Aquinas, not to mention Calvin whose Institutes of the Christian Religion correlates knowledge of God with knowledge of self, and doesn't try to rescue moral explanations from the doctrine of election, which he declares to be terrifying (to Selfs).

Anonymous said...

When Barth (Rousseau to Ritschl) and Tillich (Intro to Christian Thought) accepts to outline a history of the attempts of Christian theology to contend with the new philosophy *in the seculum* they neglect to treat RC or Eastern personages.

This isn't because the RCC doesn't maintain important elements of Christianity that no doubt Protestantism was trying to jettison, but because the RCC didn't deign to use Thomas Aquinas to crush the moronic "Declaration of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar" (the vicar at issue is RC Swiss).

True, RC and I think Prot clerics too rush'd out to publically burn JJR's »Emile« (in which that declaration of faith occurs), but it's laughable moralism should not have threaten'd any divine who accepted the truth of Calvin or Aquinas. Or indeed Leibniz's Western ecumenical revision of Christian doctrine.

But within the Prot fold at that time, there were efforts to devise safe replies to the new thinking. Thus Barth and Tillich mention these. The RCC's teaching church simply didn't enter the fray, the seculum, though I'm sure that RC documents publish'd without fanfare contain hints at a doctrine of nature that the Savoyard vicar and Socianian progressives in Protestantism could not have answer'd. Hey, don't RC and Eastern Orthodox divines worship the Crucify'd God? not the Mahatma successfully intimidating the British Raj into collapsing. Why are they missing in action *in the seculum*?

Anyway, that's why the secular treatment of origins is dominated by evolutionists and creationists. The Augustinians have left the building.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...