Translate

25.2.17

Trends in Christianity.

The most public face of Christianity is Catholic, Russian Orthodox, Evangelical, Left Wing Protestant with is apathetic Protestant and Emergent Protestant.
Evangelical is actually a euphemism for Pentecostal, it is basically the same thing without the theatrics.

So outside of the general spitting of Protestant we see a more fundamental splinting along these lines. Post Modern Protestant, apathetic Protestant, social Justice politically militant Protestant,  emergent Protestant. Apathetic and Evangelical is actually pretty close in doctrine but differ in amounts of fervor.

All go with Paul, who I see as distorting the message of Jesus badly as you can see in the Clementine Homilies and Recognitions.[I would rather not go into the scholarly debates because the Recognitions simply confirm what is already implicit in the NT itself but hidden in such a way as to make it not obvious except to the discerning eye.]
Ken Wilber and Eastern Religions are not all that up on understanding of evolution so their ideas base on faulty understanding of evolution sound good but have no real justification. The Emerging Church just got too caught up in the allure of Post Modernism when we are already in the era when it is been falsified and shown to be based on fallacies. 

Paul does not need the Recognitions of Clement to refute him, because his message is at odds with everything reported in the name of Jesus and it takes too much intellectual gymnastics to ignore Jesus and pretend that Paul understood him better that his actual words say. 

Paul had to contradict himself also because of circumstances that arose due to his original letters. The original letters supported "No Laws". Then as we see in latter letters people acted on what he wrote. Then he had to go back to the Eeny Meeni Miny Moe method about which laws of Moses to keep and which not. So Paul ends up being incoherent at best. To Peter and James, that would be the least of his problems. 

Since all historical Christianity comes from Paul who had enormous success in planting churches all throughout the Roman world which even after he was gone kept on spreading like wild fire, thus the problems in Paul keep on being played out every day.What one person wants to prove from one letter, someone else can always find an opposite statement in another letter.
Luther put the antinomian [anti law of Moses] into this explicit phrase: "We do not want to hear about Moses." {See rejection of Moses}
The whole quote is this: "Now then, let us get to the bottom of it all and say these teachers of sin and Mosaic prophets are not to confuse us with Moses. We don’t want to see or hear Moses. How do you like that, my dear rebels? We say further, that all such Mosaic teachers deny the gospel, banish Christ, and annul the whole New Testament. For Moses is given to the Jewish people alone, and does not concern us Gentiles and Christians. We have our gospel and New Testament." (1967b:170) 

Also from that PhD Thesis: "Nevertheless, we cannot escape Luther’s negative expressions against Moses, for example, “beat Moses to death and throw many stones at him”; “we shall make new Decalogues,” and, “Moses is nothing to us” (Avis 1975:152, 154, 156). 
Luther's sermon on Moses

"But we will not have this sort of thing. We would rather not preach again for the rest of our life than to let Moses return and to let Christ be torn out of our hearts. We will not have Moses as ruler or lawgiver any longer. Indeed God himself will not have it either. Moses was an intermediary solely for the Jewish people. It was to them that he gave the law. We must therefore silence the mouths of those factious spirits who say, "Thus says Moses," etc. Here you simply reply: Moses has nothing to do with us. If I were to accept Moses in one commandment, I would have to accept the entire Moses. Thus the consequence would be that if I accept Moses as master, then I must have myself circumcised, (3) wash my clothes in the Jewish way, eat and drink and dress thus and so, and observe all that stuff. So, then, we will neither observe nor accept Moses. Moses is dead. His rule ended when Christ came. He is of no further service."

In any case the Law of Moses is forever as is stated many times about particular commandments and about the whole law itself in Deuteronomy 6 and also at the very end of the Torah in Haazinu, and at the end of the prophets זכרו תורת משה Remember the Law of Moses. 

So my approach is to say that Paul, Luther, and Calvin, while intending to do well, were mistaken in their approaches and also did not pay much attention to the Law of Moses  in the first place. Their views are simply incoherent and make opposing statements all the time. At least I have to admit Aquinas and Hegel tried hard to make sense out of it all.

I should add that as many people have noticed, "What does it matter?" For attachment with God, sincere service to God surely is not dependent on doctrines? I have to agree with that, but to understand right from wrong is not possible without the Law of Moses.



See the Rambam's approach to natural law and the law of Moses in the Guide.  
There is an any case an argument between R Shimon Ben Yochai and R Yehuda and the sages about if a mizvah applies when the reason for it does not apply. R Shimon said no. It is famous that the law is like R Yehuda but Rav Shach noted that this is  a mistake. The actual Law is like the sages that hold with R. Shimon in certain cases.  But does the Rambam allow hidden reasons for commandments? Clearly he must as we see in the Guide about the difference between natural Law and Torah Law. He says Natural law was a needed stage before Torah Law. So he obviously sees some difference even in essence. So we have to say like this to R Shimon and the Rambam when the open reason for the law does not apply so the hidden reason also vanishes.