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Biblical Worldview -- Pagan Worldview
or the Great Mother?
a Video Seminar Outline
F. Earle Fox
This page begins the online lecture series on the two fundamental worldviews, the division between which marks the watershed between good and evil, the Kingdom of God and the Fallen world initiated by the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, using Adam and Eve as his tools.
What we will be looking at is not two "interesting options" before us, we are looking at the divide in the spiritual war between God and the kingdom of rebellion and ignorance. That will no doubt seem rude to many readers, but I do not believe that any other conclusion can be reached when the facts are laid out on the table.
We begin with the Biblical view of the cosmos as an open circle, running two sessions, and then follow up with the secular/pagan view of the closed circle cosmos, with two more sessions, and a final 5th session for wrap-up and discussion on how to put this to work on the street.
See Worldview Page; Biblical Worldview; Pagan Worldview
Beginning on September 14, 2010, at 10 p.m. Eastern time & 7 p.m. Pacific time, the Road to Emmaus and Earle Fox, on the www.ustream.tv video streaming website, will present 5 sessions on the topic, Yahweh or the Great Mother? -- two on the Biblical worldview and two on the secular/pagan worldview.
Anyone may join in. This will be the starting video steaming program in what we hope will continue until the Lord returns, on various subjects concerning Biblical religion, and how it can steadily, gracefully, and reasonably present a compelling case for the truth of Biblical religion.
Fox will speak for about an hour, and then open discussion up for Q & A. We will aim for about one and a half hours, or more as interest indicates.
During the talk, please limit questions to clarification issues. For debate and discussion, wait until the presentation is finished. Otherwise, you may join the conversation at any point when there is a jump-in space. The event will go about an hour and a half, or longer if there is interest.
Sessions will be
recorded, and available with your same password at Ustream (go
to your account) and at
The Road to Emmaus Shopping Mall -- http://www.emmausmall.org/SemDesc.html#Yahweh .
Session 1 (Sept. 14) = Biblical Worldview -
Session 2 (Sept. 21) = Biblical Worldview -
Session 3 (Sept. 28) = Pagan Worldview -
Session 4 (Oct. 12) = Pagan Worldview -
Session 5 (Oct. 17) = Pagan Worldview
Session 6 (Oct 26) = Catch up, & How to use this material on the street -- Restoring Western Civ. to Biblical Foundations. No, it is not impossible...
...be ready to aim your
computer at this page, and have other pages (see 2 links below) on other browser
window-tabs for easy access. We will go back and forth between
some of them.
Whether or not you have an account, log in to www.ustream.tv/channel/the-road-to-emmaus
A box will show asking for the password to the show. Type that in (all lower case), and that should bring you to the broadcast with the screen on the left.. (If the screen remains blank, and there is an “Off Air” message just below the screen after you put in the password, that means that the broadcast has not yet started. It will normally begin “warming up” about 15 minutes before broadcast time. You will see me at my computer...)
You should have received the password in an email if you purchased an eticket to the show. If you have not received a password, call me at 562-697-5049 at least an hour before the show (or call a friend who has the password). During the show, my phone will be on the answering machine.
To the right of the rectangular viewing screen is the square Chat Box. If you try to send a message (type in at the line at the bottom of the Chat Box just below the word ‘audience’) you will be asked for your personal account login information. If you have no account, you can still view and hear the presentation, but not communicate with others. The screen asking for your login information gives the option of starting your new account. If you have time, go for it. The Chat Box enables spirited conversation at the end of the presentation.
One of the prices we pay for free use of the Ustream system is the occasional intrusion of an advert. It will show on your screen for the first 15 seconds or so when you start up, so be patient. Again, log in a bit early. That seems to be the only intrusion into the viewing screen. You may be insulted with some inappropriate ads on the sides or top. They should not interfere with viewing so long as you do not click on (or hover the mouse over) them. So just ignore them and keep your mouse pointer away.
Be sure to log in (on another browser tab) ahead of time to this current main outline page (Yahweh or the Great Mother?, to read directions just below on how to set up your four browser windows so that you will be most easily able to navigate as we go through the presentation. Set up other tabs with the key pages at The Road to Emmaus website.
After the broadcast starts, you will see the live picture of the presenter at the Ustream logon site, and at some points during the seminar, especially on the general outline.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Before Broadcast starts -- Set up four
browser windows with tabs on the
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Control + Click on #2 & #3 above will put them in their own windows with tabs. Do the same with any other links below you choose so you can keep the three main pages alive, plus whatever else might be helpful. Do not use simple "click", click either the page-tab at the top of the page, or use "control + click". Then you will not lose the pages needed for keeping up with the discussion. You can always delete tabs you do not need. If you do happen to delete one of the three main pages, go to one of the two remaining main pages to get back to the lost page . The three are all interlinked at the top and at the bottom of the pages.
You will not lose contact with the audio by changing pages if you do not tune into any other audio. You will get your directions from the leader of the seminar as to where to go, and occasionally from written pointers on this website.
Some links are for later use at your leisure. Follow only those links as directed by the leader so as not to get off track from the flow of the material.
After the seminar is over, to view or download a copy of the seminar for which you have paid, go with your seminar password either to your account on Ustream, or to http://www.emmausmall.org/SemDesc.html#Yahweh for information.
- Part I -
the Biblical Worldview
Section I -
the Personhood of God
Section II - Gender & the Tri-Personhood of God
Part II - The Pagan
Section III -
The Great Mother: a Cosmic Organism
Section IV - Secularism: Masculine Revolt Against Mother
Section V - Spiritualism: Return to the Eternal (& Lethal) Embrace
Part III -
How to Put This to Work
Section VI - Winning Back Western Civilization for Jesus Christ
Sec. I. The Personhood of God
I-A. Why This Matters
the preservation of truth and morality...
Intro: Secularism has led to erosion and coming destruction of Western Civilization.
I-A-1. Age of pseudo-pluralism - decided (not discovered)
that "no ultimate truth" -
all religions of equal value - no way to tell who right
A self-condemning & self-contradictory idea.
"What right have you to condemn someone else's beliefs?" Answer?
What right? or obligation?
Loss of belief in objective truth -
word 'truth' factored our of education process - in humanities
Not in hard sciences, but in ethics, morality, cultural issues, politics, history --
Alan Bloom - The Closing of the American Mind - (1970's??) documented deliberate dumbing down
Closing of Christian mind.
Leading (deliberately) to moral and political collapse -- collapse
of moral consensus, thus moral anarchy
Power rules, not righteousness. Loss of moral consensus leads to amoral society.
No society can withstand loss of sense of objective truth and objective morality.
Loss of moral consensus important to power-grabbers -- enables divide-&-conquer strategy.
Leads to absolute depersonalization of all entities,
no persons survive, or any personal qualities.
E.g., Beyond Freedom & Dignity by B. F. Skinner ((dup below))
Logical end of both secularism & paganism is
privatizing of morality & religion, leading to
Exhibit A: the 20th century power grab - globalists, et al.
I-A-2. Honest Pluralism -- to judge beliefs,
opinions, behavior - not persons (belongs to God alone)
"I have a right to my opinion...!" No - You have an obligation to be truth-seeker
Have right only to opinions which you test & allow to be tested in public arena.
Falsehood has no rights -- Public arena discussion has
duty to seek truth
Note: how used wrongly, e.g., in Reformation
Ideas vs. persons - Dangers of "infallibility" - common among tyrants
Voters & legislators making laws to be imposed on others who cannot be there for discussion
Thus, absolute obligation to get objectively right laws, not subjective feel-good laws.
Real Pluralism -- truth is singular -
views are plural -- All views are welcome into the debate --
but not because all views are "right", rather to discern which view is true and right.
rejection of view is not rejection of person. Free to come back & try again.
Thus, need truth-testing technique:
1. Logical consistency -- any statement which contradicts itself is false.
2. Empirically accuracy -- consistent with and descriptive of observed experience
3. Able to integrate varied experiences - unify under common explanation - common sets of
a. natural laws (how does nature operate?)
b. moral laws (how ought we to behave? what is goal of life?)
c. spiritual laws (who is God? what does He want?)
I-B. Two basic worldviews:
Biblical (Yahweh) vs. secular/pagan ("Perennial" - the Great Mother)
Test two worldviews on above criteria
& on two issues:
How do worldviews handle "power" (ability to be myself) & "authority" (for doing, commanding)?
Two primary realities of all life, all experience. Ontological & moral stability.
Working Principles - which require & imply each other - neither will survive
without the other:
1. Objective truth (needs love)
2. Unconditional love (needs truth)
-- Yahweh well known - who on earth is
GM is the earth - for primitive minds - or totality of cosmos for more sophisticated
Cosmos as self-sufficient entity, totality of all that is, autonomous, independent, self-existing
Circle of life includes totality, nothing outside, no appeal beyond circle, no Creator ex nihilo.
GM is object of worship of probably all pagan religion & of all secular philosophy. Same basic pattern.
Basic distinction - in nature of ultimate reality -- Personal God vs.
absolutely Impersonal Yin-Yang
(See Personality, Empiricism, & God, Volume I of A Personalist Cosmology in the Imago Dei)
on Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God.
understand these two opposed ways of looking at life, well prepared to witness
for Biblical faith.
Trinity College, Hartford, CT. 1955, jr. year, religion prof. Edmond Cherbonnier
included courses on far eastern religions -- "Two ways to look at life... Biblical and Perennial."
Aldous Huxley - book,
Perennial Philosophy - All religions saying same
thing, one basic theme
Fundamental entity in Perennial Philosophy - the Great Mother - source - all else evolves out of her.
Arthur O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being -- describes Perennial worldview -
from lowest material stratum to highest intellectual/spiritual stratum
Confusion of logic, reason, of empirical world, & place of revelation.
But basis of most of world's religion and philosophy.
"Biblical way is only logically consistent
philosophy/religion -- all others contradictory..."
I-C. Yahweh - the Biblical Worldview - the Personhood of God
Genesis 1:1 creates watershed between Bible and all other religions -- flow in
"In the beginning...." (of the world, not of God) unique to Bible - the cosmos is created, not eternal
(see Personality, Empiricism, & God for cosmological argument for existence of God)
I-C-2. Q: What is the nature of the basic substance of universe?
Substance: (1) Durable with respect to time, endures the same through time and change
(2) thus Reliable as explanation of all contingent, created things.
Biblical Answer: God is the substantial being of the
Durable - because eternal - identically the same through all time and change
Reliable - because the necessary and sufficient causal explanation of the whole created order.
(Click here for Secular/Pagan answer -- beginning at 3rd lecture.)
Human Persons = substance in same, but diminished
way, a diminished "eternity"...
I am reliable explanation of all my activities.
I-C-3. God is a "person", a "someone", not a
"something" -- Personhood:
a. Creative - a doer;
b. Free - able to initiate, freewill;
c. Purposive - intelligent designer, going somewhere
Purpose for existence (heaven, family, Kingdom, law of love) for whole created
is only objective basis for Moral Order
Biblical Definition of 'God' (not of God) -- Creator & Sovereign
Omni-Scient - knows all that is possible to be known
God does not "know" contradictions (;
Omni-Present - able to be present at all places, with all persons,
instantaneously in a personal & individual way --
Difference between Incarnate Jesus & Holy Spirit;
Omni-Potent - able to do anything that is logically possible.
Denial to God of illogical capacity is not a diminution of
Godly power or authority
Nature of God grounded in reality, not unreality, God of living, not of dead.
God eternal -- no entropy - persons are the only anti-entropic entities in
Only intelligent design can reverse entropy
God is the Omni-Intelligent & Omni-Potent Designer.
Entropy may be that to which God was referring when He told Adam:
"...for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die." Genesis 2:17.
Adam & Eve did not die instantaneously, but cast selves into dying world,
where, lacking the grace of God, everything dies. Everything.
A world increasingly separated from its Source of existence dies.
See Augustine - City of God - a response to the Sack of Rome.
A & E cast themselves into the Close Circle of Paganism/Secularism
I-C-4. Three characteristics (creative/doer, free,
purposive) always implied in Bible, seldom stated specifically
Hebrews not psychologists, theologians, or philosophers - spoke historically, poetically, experientially
they were telling a story, of God with His people... History = His Story
I-C-4-a. God = creator, doer, initiator
-- actor, not just reactor. (Abraham Heschel - God Who Acts) Foreign to pagan philosophical mind.
Not static, not a concept, ideal, or Idea (Plato), not essence, state of being
(as in Perennial or Platonic view)
Active agent - creating something out of nothing, out of "pure
possibility" alone, not stuff lying around
(Click on Biblical Worldview tab at top of browser - scroll down to picture)
Triune God above open circle of creation -- Hand of God on right arches down to support Cosmos
("He's got the whole world in His hand, the whole wide world in His hand....")
Hand of God stands for power of God to bring things into existence, the power of being,
can give power of being to other beings, including persons other than Himself.
Act of creation means God eternally distinct from creation -- God will be God with or without us
We cannot be ourselves without Him. We contingent upon Him, not He on us.
Time Machine - crank cosmic time back to T=1;
then to T=0; then
to T= -1. One minute before T=0 ,
What see as look out window of Time Machine?
Total nothingness, nothing to see, hear, feel, touch, taste. Total blank, total nothingness.
Similar to Buddhist "Nirvana" (= Place of No Wind), Yin-Yang, center of Perennial cosmos
Disturbing thought -- total unending, infinite nothingness.
Q: How get from T= -1, where there is nothing, past T=0, to T= 1 where
there is something?
Was there an eternity of nothing, then nothing somethinged?
If something came out of nothing, then existence is capricious & knowledge of
as in science, is impossible
A: Possible only if something is already there --
(Control + click) Cosmological argument for God: If anything exists,
then something must exist eternally and necessarily, uncreated.
or else, cannot explain presence of what is.
Philosophical principle behind both philosophy and science,
second only to principle of non-contradiction:
principle of Sufficient Cause - (sometimes called principle of Sufficient Reason)
The reasonable understanding of an event requires knowing the
cause sufficient to explain it.
E.g: You own a heavy Mack Truck - find it totaled, smashed, twisted,
on its side.
a 3-year old boy on tricycle sheepishly rides up and says,
"I'm sorry, mister, I wasn't watching where I was going..."
But alleged cause not sufficient to explain effect.
Intuitively true, everyone understands it.
Creator = One always there, before anything else - called all else into being - ex nihilo.
Doctrine of Creation makes watershed between
Biblical and all pagan and secular views
Pagan gods & goddesses not creator ex nihilo -- So-called "creation stories" about
how gods and goddesses themselves emerged out of primal soup (Yin-Yang)
womb of Great Mother -- or about how they construct out of prior "stuff".
E.g., Marduk - Mesopotamian "creation" story --
Bible said to be "Just another one of those!"
but Mesopotamian story not creation story -- but construction story
Marduk, rising masculine god, battles Tiamat, Mesopotamian "Great Mother"
slays her, cuts in half -- one half = heaven, other half = earth
Marduk = Mesopotamian "dragon slayer" Uses dragon's body as material for construction
I-C-4-b. God is Free -
Causes, creates, but does not have to. Can do nothing at all, or many things.
Creation does not "emanate" out of God by necessary principle nor by chance, accident
only by free, "intelligent design" choice.
Total ultimate freewill = omnipotence -- ability to cause, create anything that can be created
limited only by logical possibility -- any logically possible state of affairs.
Out of total range of possibilities, God can pick any - and cause it.
Pure possibility is God's sandbox -- By author-ity of creation, He owns it, lock, stock, & barrel.
Author-ship gives owner-ship -- as per patent and copyright laws.
Law of Non-contradiction - a thing cannot both be and not be in the same time, place, and respect.
God cannot do self-contradictory -- seems like inhibition on omnipotence of God
Cannot create "round square", "rock so heavy He cannot lift it", etc.
Self-contradictions not possible to be --
Truth = "what is", falsehood = "What is not."
Possibility contains both together - either could come to be
But existence/truth creates divide between what-is & what-is-not, between being and non-being,
thus allowing rational cosmos with truth & falsehood distinction
Causal power is what creates that divide between what-is-not (still only possible)
So attributing self-contradictive power to God defeats the whole point of creation,
(i.e., desire to select specific possibilities for reality),
thus rendering creation chaotic, absolutely meaningless, unlivable
would be no such thing as a meaningful declarative sentence.
(click tab above for..) Pagan
Worldview - Yin-Yang, Coincidentia Oppositorum = cosmos
built on self-contradiction
no objective truth, no objective distinction between what-is & what-is-not.
of Non-Contradiction thus defines boundaries of Omnipotence & thus of
God can do whatever is not self-contradictory
Omnipotence = ability, freedom, to create whatever is logically possible
Pagan cosmologies - no room for freedom - submerged under Fortune (Luck) and
both make freewill impossible in any rational sense.
Isaiah 65:11-12 - But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain, who set a table for
Fortune and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny; I will destine you to the sword... because
when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen...
Luck & Destiny are the cosmic arch-enemies of God.
I-C-4-c. God is Purposive --
Isaiah 45:18-19 - For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he
is God!), who formed the earth
and made it, (he established it), he did not make it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited!)....
...I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, "seek me in chaos." I, the Lord, speak the truth,
I declare what is right.
[Click on Biblical Cosmos tab above,
Power of Being (Hand of God) & Authority for Doing (Voice of God)]
going somewhere with creation - goals, purpose, intentions. Cosmos thus has
not accidental, chance. Meant to be inhabited
(anthropic principle & Intelligent Design Movement).
INSERT PIX OF COSMIC ARROW ===>>> SHOWING PURPOSE linear time
& Cosmos not identical - God = Creator & thus distinct - thus able to give
purpose to cosmos
Meaning of 'Lord' - basis for all moral, political, spiritual authority
Purpose of God for cosmos gives shape & direction for all cosmos
Cosmos has a history, not only local histories.
See City of God, Augustine -- first written philosophy of history.
Purposive behavior of God establishes God as rational, capable of
Relationships (not abstract thought) force us toward rationality
can believe self-contradiction -- but cannot act or relate using them.
Purposive behavior of God makes possible rational cosmos
thus natural laws are consistent, so we can act on them.
Rationality of cosmos is necessary basis for science.
the Cosmic Purpose?
Query (Mt. 22): "What is the meaning of the Law?" Response: 2 Great Commandments
Love = freewill covenant -- freewill required
Thus "space" between power & authority (difference between my being & my doing)
Creatures (1) supported by power (Hand of God)
(2) obligated by authority (Voice of God)
Pressure of obligation pulled back to leave wiggle room to make free decision
God guarantees freedom of will - even though consequences to behavior
God requires a choice, but not which choice.
Biblical view of heaven unique in world religions
No other culture ever guessed purpose of cosmos
creation of beings with freewill who could rebel, say "NO!"
God asking creatures to willingly, freely submit selves to Him - Lord & Savior
& freely choose to love one another as He loves each of us
Inconceivable among pagans & secular
that God would pay unimaginable price to bring it about.
Never occurs outside Bible.
I-C-4-d. 'Personhood' definition = 3 concepts united - creative, free, purposive - thus rational &
vs. robot (R2-D2) Person = conscious, self-aware, initiates freely, purposively
Omni-Person - (see above)
= omni-potent; omni-scient; omni-present
Bible puts "omni-" qualities together with "person" = Hebrew "God"
Pagan-Secular (Perennial) persons cannot be "omni-)
Always child of Great Mother, cosmic process, Yin-Yang, never freestanding adult.
(See Perennial Worldview.)
Summary: Two Basic Concepts: Power &
How does each worldview handle these two?
Lays foundation for understanding all aspects of cosmology, including gender & sex.
All emerges out of Genesis 1 & 2. Made in the Imago Dei, male and female.
Biblical worldview has objective power & authority,
see next session, Tri-Personhood of God.
Sec. II. Gender & the Tri-Personhood of God
Introduction: Part I above, the Personhood of God, lays the foundation
for Part II, the Tri-Personhood of God,
a possible framework for better understanding the One, Holy, & Undivided Trinity -- the family in God.
Possible framework for integrating comprehensive understanding of gender in Scripture, how masculine and feminine interact, clues to how gender is related to cosmic, not just human, issues, uniquely distinguishing Biblical world from secular/pagan worlds. The other gender shoe, the feminine, has been waiting to drop for centuries. It may now be happening.
Back ground: Pagan world saturated in sexual promiscuity, monogamy almost unknown, sex = pagan sacrament of choice -- to "find themselves", the quest for the heiros gamos (sacred marriage) dominated all pagan religion, attempt to unite two fundamental polarities-yet-complementarities - masculine with feminine -- never succeeded. The Battle of the Sexes continued unabated. Only God of Bible can integrally and peacefully unite masculine and feminine -- the two fundamental poles of all personhood - because they are inherently already united within Himself. (See Dennis Prager on Jewish view of Homosexuality for some of the cosmic consequences of sexuality. We will do much more with this in sessions 3 and 4 on the Pagan worldview.)
II-A. The One, Holy, & Undivided Trinity -- of Christian Creeds
The PROBLEM - 3 in 1??? Jews & Pagans: "Are you polytheists?" Christians: "Monotheists!"
Seeking ways of explaining - Analogy from
Mask "Persona" - large, stock figures - 1 actor wore many masks. Analogy: "Trinity like that..."
Father / Son / Holy Spirit - all different, 3 personae, but one "substance" - i.e., one God.
Analogy stuck -- but...
'Persona' (= person) changed meaning over centuries
Modern 'person' = unique, self-aware, free-willed, purposive, initiator, individual -- not mask.
More like old "substance"
Modern person = core of one's being. 3 persons = tri-theism - Not the Christian God.
Trinity = 1 Person (in modern sense), 3 Personae (in old sense)
Hebrew notion of "substance" is personal, not impersonal as in abstract Hellenic philosophy, ,
Testimony of 2 Great Commandments
- Purpose for existence -
Communal Unity is God's purpose (see John 17 - High Priestly Prayer) -
deepest meaning of "Holy Communion"
Archetypal realities of life find unity in family, community, Kingdom of God
Possible because unity (community) already pre-exists in God - & we made in His Image.
In Trinity - God - on silver platter - gives answer
1. How personal God relates to His personal creation -- people, persons.
2. Irresolvable gender structure of fallen pagan/secular worlds
II-C. How Personal God relates to Personal Creation
Father - God
independently of cosmos, outside circle of creation
(click at top on Biblical Worldview tab for picture of open circle cosmos)
God is the only substantial, independent, autonomous being
Monotheism - Primary circuit (between God and creation) separate from Secondary (between creatures)
Not true in pagan world -- all deities within circle of existence.
Father - masculine centered, distant, objective -- necessary aspect of God in relation to creation.
But if only masculine, leads to deism, clockmaker, no intimate communion. (See Islam, Allah)
Son - God as one of us - Hard for non-Biblical
mentality to imagine -
Son leaves glory of Father (Philippians 2) kenosis, self-emptying -- scales Self down to our size.
Hard part of that - not becoming human, but entering conditions of fallen,
murderous, closed circle world
which wants to keep circle closed. Keep out intrusive God.
Not "out of character" for God to become human - tells us of "humanity" of God
in which Image we made -- male & female
Incarnation = "reduction", but not distortion, of Godhead.
Holy Spirit - similar to Son - experienced here in
creation, but not as "one of us"
rather, dwelling within and among us -- Pentecost -
can be with all of us at same time and different places (as distinct from Incarnate Jesus)
Monotheism becomes more intimate & inclusive, surrounding and aiding.
Undergirding. Hand of God. Power of being.
I Peter 2 - we are spiritual house, living stones
St. Paul - I Cor. 6:19 Bodies = Temple of Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit = God - never merges with cosmos,
not the "world spirit" of New Age or other paganism - where we become God.
But God dwelling in us.
II-D. Irresolvable Gender Structure of Pagan/Secular cosmos
Failure of heiros gamos (sacred marriage) -
Battle of Sexes continues in pagan/secular world, no resolution
All beings remain "children" of Great Mother -- never outgrow her
Thus, no possibility of Great Father. All masculine figures remain children of Great Mother --
thus, no possibility of marriage of equals. Great Mother always wins conflict in the end -
swallows everything in death.
Battle of Sexes irresolvable because masculine & feminine not complementaries, but conflicting self-interest
feminine seductiveness competes with masculine power & strategy for dominance.
Trinity as Family
3 Personae of Trinity give framework for understanding personal relation between Creator and creature
Sets stage for "family" in God, & how Biblical gender structure resolves Pagan dilemmas
verses - Gen. 1:26-27.
1. "We" verse (26) -- "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,
and let them have dominion...." Who are "we"? Editorial or royal "we" not yet invented.
2. Gen. 1:27 - "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them."
Hebrew says clearly that male and female in A & E reflect something parallel in God.
God a spiritual, not physical, being. Sex (male and female in A & E), physical quality, not in God,
but gender (masculine & feminine), a spiritual quality, is.
"made in image of..." - comparisons always 2-way, never only 1-way.
If we like God, God must be like us.
thus something in God similar to what we see in A & E.
Different but complementary "down here",
must be two things different, but complimentary "up there" also.
Only candidate is spiritual gender, masculine & feminine in God
corresponds to physical male and female, sex, in humans.
Of all qualities in Imago Dei in which humans participate (rationality, feelings, purpose, etc.)
only sex & gender mentioned in Bible.
God saying - "Pay attention to this!!!"
Transforms pagan/secular meaning of sex & gender (see
Dennis Prager article).
Feminine means mothering, nurturing (not "sex pot").
Masculine means fathering, moral authority (not "big and tough").
Humans to embody spiritual qualities of God --
outward and visible signs (sacraments) of mothering & fathering qualities of God -
Eve to embody image of God as Creator, life-giver. Adam - image of God as Sovereign - decision-maker.
In God, totally complementary - not competing. Heiros gamos in God eternally at one,
Two aspects, masculine & feminine, eternally wedded. No "battle of sexes". Model for humans.
Obvious place in Trinity -- initiating creation - sovereign, spiritual authority, decider - purpose for existence,
autonomy, freestanding adulthood, eternal, protector, warrior
Hebrew - 'father' = 'ab' = 'deciding one', 'decision-maker' -- spiritual head of household
Authority - ability to command - i.e., assign purpose for existence.
Core of fatherhood = Spiritual Authority - decision-making.
Gift passed on by father to children -- authority, personal boundaries,
purpose for existence, personal identity
Freedom "to do that for which I was created" = Authority against all Tyranny (i.e., bad, pseudo-authority).
Authority has to do with "doing", deciding action, behavior. Based on
secure sense of "being".
hence two primal stabilities: 1. of being, personhood, ontology -- mothering gift
2. of moral direction, value, purpose -- fathering gift
Child in God -
specifically masculine in role as Savior
in Salvation in first stages opposite order of Creation, Birth - where mothering comes first
in Salvation - fathering comes first -- bringing order out of chaos of Fall.
love cannot happen in chaos -- Law takes charge - aggressively creates orderly space, society.
Broader sense of "child" includes both sons and daughters.
Qualities of Child --
A. vulnerable, impotent, needy -- Jesus experienced these with human parents
B. (1) dependent/trusting, (2) obedient, (3) carry image of -- Jesus experienced these with Father.
In doing so, becomes revealer of the Father
(I and the Father are one; If you have seen me, you have seen the Father).
Jesus the Archetypal Child, model for all rest of us...
who by nature invested in God -- the only begotten Son
We become children of God - adoption & grace - share in childhood/sonship/daughterhood
II-E-4 Holy Spirit
In what sense can the Holy Spirit be the feminine side of God?
Q: Who missing to make this a family? Where is the mother?
Strong resistance to feminine in Christian community vs. feminine in God.
Good reasons: Great Mother always primary enemy of Biblical worldview
GM eradicates fatherhood - absorbs all back into herself.
Can we talk of motherhood in God in way compatible with Father? i.e.,
Mother not swallowing up Father?
Fear of feminine common among men. Fear of being "infantilized".
But: Genesis 1:27 - Would expect God to combine masculine (doing) with feminine (being)
masculine & feminine not just "ways of behaving", but fundamental aspects of who we are.
This error (merely ways of behaving) supports notion of relative morality.
But - each logically implies the other: like up/down, right/left -- complementaries require each other.
See Personality, Empiricism, & God on Cosmological Argument for Existence of God
necessary logical distinction in fundamental reality of personhood --
between deciding/doing (masculine) & power of being (feminine).
Much needs to be sorted out, but this presentation suggests that the answer to
the gender & sex
confusion rampant throughout human history, is contained in Genesis 1:26-8.
All tied to child begetting and raising - forming of personhood by being first mothered & then fathered,
& then brothered & sistered.
associated with Holy Spirit?
Paraclete - military term, called along side..., support, sustain;
Comforter - Latin: cum + fortis = with strength. "A mighty fortress is our God..." walled comfort
Comfort of Holy Spirit within, inner strength, ability to be myself anywhere, any time, with anyone.
Creed - "Lord & Giver of Life..." mothering image
Jesus (John 3:3-6) - must be "born again" ditto - mothering image
One in the Spirit -- integrating, uniting -- mothering activity (masculine is individuating...)
All feminine images - mothering, not sex-pot of fallen world.
Q: If core of fathering image is Spiritual
Authority, what is core of mothering image?
A: Spiritual Power - (not worldly power, coercion, ability to get my way)
but Power of Being - ability to BE myself. Primal gift of mother to infant.
child soaks up stability (or instability) of mother.
See Acts 1:8 ff. What kind of power needed to witness?
Ability to be myself in the face of conflict. Stability. "Comfort"
Thus have: Feminine mothering -- power of being
Masculine fathering - authority for doing
II-E-5 Names for God
Old Testament - El Elyon - God Most High
Adonai - Lord, Ruler
Elohim - God ("-im" ending indicates plural word)
Yahweh - I AM - Uncaused Cause - Law Giver, Warrior, the One to Reckon With
New Testament - Paraclete, Comforter
Another OT name - El Shaddai - usually translated "God Omnipotent"
Root meaning - 'shad' = 'breast' Literally, 'the breasted God'.
Q: Why omnipotence connected with nurturing power?
A: stands for power of being, that which gives inner strength, backbone, selfhood.
The substantial power of life is our ability to be our real selves in the face of conflict or temptation.
Power of Being far more "powerful" than coercive power: military, police, political, etc.
II-E-6 Family in God
Feminine Power of Being = necessary feminine counterpart to Masculine Authority
Creates ontological complementarity and mutual attraction (my other half). No battle of sexes implied.
This marriage = true heiros gamos fruitlessly sought in pagan and secular worlds.
In God, marriage is eternal - model for all other marriages - "'til death do us
Family/Community in God becomes basis for all human family and community life --
pointing, leading to Kingdom of Heaven. "...Thy will be done on earth... as it is in heaven."
II-E-7 Trinity in God -- One Person in Three Personae
In Hebrew/Biblical cosmology, Person replaces impersonal Hellenic 'substance'
or 'ousia' (
(as used in Creeds - written using Hellenic philosophical categories)
Persons are basic entities, as "I AM" - uncaused cause of all else - a Someone
Not a Something as in Plato "Ideas", or neo-Platonic essences, cosmic consciousness.
All these impersonal, destructive of personal life
Cause of theological trouble all through Christian history (See The Law & the Grace of God)
Personae - three integral aspects of Person -- Mothering
- Power of Being, Fathering - Authority for
Child - Receiving Being from Mother and Authority from Father - two basic stabilities
Son, Child in God, lives in space between Father & Mother - place of freedom to
be, freedom to do --
in center of love between Father & Mother.
Place of heavenly delight. Overflow of love between Parents
Receives two stabilities, Power & Authority, eternally & unlimitedly.
Son, eternally generated, thus represents freestanding adulthood to creation --
As Jesus does to world - I AM.
Jesus sends Paraclete, to "come along side"
Relation of Holy Spirit to us, to undergird our being - Hand of God - by design & grace.
Also relation of Holy Spirit to Father -- Holy Spirit = eternal being of the Godhead
by nature, not by design.
Father = sovereign, director, purpose-giver over feminine Power of Being, by nature -
Sovereign over us by design & by creation.
Trinity in human beings -- same trinitarian character -- 3
Personae - being, deciding, doing
each uniquely different from the other, yet each an aspect of same person as individual.
Q: What is Relation of
Power to Authority?
Men & Women all have both Power & Authority -
How do you want your personal Power to be related to your personal Authority?
A: Power must
submit to Authority, give substance to Authority
E.g., in creation - Power of Being called forth -
Mothering Power of Being responds to Fathering word of Command
(See The Meaning of Sexual Intercourse)
Q: What is Relation
of Authority to Power?
How do you want your personal Authority to relate to your personal Power?
A: Eph. 5:21-33 Authority - gives protection, purpose, direction, shape, goal -- Spiritual Leadership
Relation between gasoline and engine
- when gas burns uncontrolled, undirected -- destructive
In engine, explosion given shape, direction, purpose. Directed power = meaningful work.
Power without Authority = chaos. Authority
without Power = impotence, ineffective, goes nowhere
Life requires marriage of the two -
Fallen world cannot accomplish this union --
heiros gamos - the Sacred Marriage in God - in which we participate - made in His Image.
Inner Marriage = fundamental aspect of our personhood -- trinitarian nature
Father, Mother, Child
Holy Spirit always points
on to Father = essential step in child's life-
Mother points child on to Father - about age 4-9
individual process, finding one's being independently of human mother.
Father, standing straight & tall = stepping stone to independence.
Exodus (ex-homosexual ministry) speaker: "The child see in the mother and
how the world reacts to God."
For small child, mother is the world, for child 3-7 father "owns" the world - authority over it.
Money = authority. All the money in the world comes out of daddy's pocket.
Later, about 9-20, child leaving father, more independence, thinking on his/her own.
Now looks at how father relates to higher authorities -- pointing to God.
Essential steps in child's spiritual growth.
Q: How might this understanding of masculine/feminine change or effect usual view of sex & gender?
Q: Does this work theologically? Does this meet aims given in Introduction above?
Q: Are there problems with the feminine in God?
- Part II -
the Pagan (Perennial) Worldview
Section III -
The Great Mother: a Cosmic Organism
Section IV - Secularism: Masculine Revolt Against Mother
Section V - Spiritualism: Return to the Eternal (& Lethal) Embrace
Review -- click
on Biblical Worldview tab at top of browser -- or "control-click"
here for separate tab --
Sec. III. The Great Mother - a Cosmic Organism
Extraordinary age -- demolition of Biblical worldview of 4 millennia
even within Christian community -
Trying to be "relevant", up to date with "science" --
or deliberately subversive, planted change agents.
atheists, humanists to abandon or subvert Biblical view -- but bishops?
John Robinson (English bishop) - "The Death of God"
Would expect Anton LaVey - Satanist high priest, to proclaim Satan hero in Garden of Eden
but John Sanford - Episcopal priest, Jungian counselor in Man who Wrestled with God --?
Would expect Alfred Kinsey - secular (pseudo-) sexologist -
to prefer Canaanite fertility cults to worship of Yahweh
Some Episcopal bishops worshipped at Buddhist temples
One - "Sex is so powerful a religious experience that it should not be limited to marriage..."
(see Dennis Prager's article on Judaism and homosexuality for Biblical view
All over Western Christendom -- (I just know Episcopal Church best....)
Film 1980s - Last Temptation of Christ - a confused Jesus, could not distinguish God from Satan --
Judas the better man.
Many Christian clergy -- "I do not see the problem."
Rise of anti-rationalist "New Age" - conglomeration
of Eastern religion & Occult
Specifically opposed to Biblical view of last two weeks.
E.g., Joseph Campbell - mythologist - 4 vol. Masks of God = "Power of Myth" TV series.
Debt of gratitude to pagan authors - esp. J. Campbell and Erich Neuman "The Great Mother" -- helped build
foundations for Trinity College (Hartford, CT) course on Mythology = "Comparative Theology"
where present material began to take shape in 1969. Contrasted with Biblical.
Last two weeks, Biblical Worldview -- This week & next, World's suggestion as viable replacement.
Extraordinary age - Foundations of Western Civ uprooted, destroyed...
Curious - God did not warn Adam of Satan in Garden of Eden -- only of Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil
Satan intrudes later
Meaning of Tree similar to Pagan Cosmic Tree - Yggdrasill - World Tree of Scandinavia
(Click on Pagan Worldview Tab above
[or control/click here to create separate tab --http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/WrldV/WvwPag.htm ]
then near bottom of page, control/click on link to "Norse World Tree" - Yggdrasill.
Note the serpent biting its tail around the base of the tree -- click on picture to enlarge it.
of existence plunge downward, but find no secure foundation. They just
Hindu image of world resting on the back of a cosmic turtle.
Cosmos is self-sustaining - no Creator -
nothing beyond itself and its eternal cycles of growth and destruction -
Ragnarok, Gotterdammerung = "Twilight of the God's" & then a new world.
Genesis 2:16 - (NKJV) - "And the Lord God
commanded the man saying, 'of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but
of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil, you shall not eat, for in the day
that you eat of it, you shall surely die."
"K of G & E" Hebrew idiom - "A to Z" - self-contained, self-sufficient knowledge
as you need to "be on your own".
No warning of Satan - safe if with God - Satan = toothless tiger, harmless.
Tree of K of G & E = Satan's realm - "prince of this world"
That is world we investigating - Philosophy of the Fallen World
Depressing experience - (as The Wasteland by T. S. Eliot)
The Perennial Philosophy - Aldous
Only 1 philosophy - not 2 or dozen - all saying same thing -- Campbell's "monomyth"
Bp. Spong, Jungian cosmology, Alfred Kinsey, et al.
Worldview of forbidden tree - no personal Creator, evolved out of primal substance
Same view behind "relative truth", celebration of "individuality", promiscuous freedom,
leads always to centralized government, loss of freedom of individual.
No Creator God - Cosmos is God -- the eternal entity.
Ultimate, divine, eternal, substantial being
Takes 3 forms which go in cycle
1. Ancient paganism - the "cosmic organism", alive, pulsing, life-giving;
2. Materialism - make it on our own here in space/time
Much deeper roots than "modern" materialism --
Early Greek philosophers - 4-500 BC primitive science -
the 4 physical elements: earth, air, fire, water
the beginnings of "history" - linear time;
3. Spiritualism - we cannot make it here & now, in space/time -
thus Must Exit to world of pure spirit.
Two directions: Platonism, intellectual or mystery religions, emotional
III-D - the Cosmic Organism
Primitive drive to find "substantial" -
(see Pagan Worldview tab...)
durable through change
reliable - explanation for all other things
Mother Earth best candidate --
cycles of nature, birth, life, waning, death... eternally.....
Mother Earth seemed to stay the same, source of all life, end of all life.
Earth not inert, dead, lifeless, but organic, alive, breathing, bringing forth...
ultimate object of worship --
though often faded into background, became impersonal, quiescent, distant
behind the more personal, active, & local deities.
Search for "substantial" emerges out of our own experience of
not being substantial
fragile, vulnerable, at risk, dependent on things beyond us and our control.
Life without God depicted in continuing plunge downhill deeper into violence & chaos after
Cain slays Abel.
Abraham - ca. 1900 BC
-- no Bible, synagogues, Torah, only a sea of paganism
(but with dim distant memories of a "high God" from whom they had fallen
Read Eternity in Their Hearts by Don Richardson)
Canaanites, Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians, et al -- what were they believing?
....some version of Huxley's Perennial Philosophy, or Campbell's Monomyth
Begins in strange place -- Polar opposite of
Personal Creator - Yahweh.
[Click on Pagan Worldview browser tab above --
Or control/click here http://www.theroadtoemmaus.org/RdLb/11Phl/WrldV/WvwPag.htm
(Keep that tab)
scroll down to big picture of Pagan worldview - with Yin-Yang symbol at center ... ]
Yin-yang at center is the "coincidence of
opposites", the union of all exact opposites.
Popularly seen as black/white, cold/hot, right/left, etc.
But most basic opposite is being/non-being, everything & its exact opposite,
hot/not-hot, up/not-up, good/not-good
cannot go any deeper than that - the ultimate opposition.
Contrast with Yahweh - in very nature "built on" rationality, reason, law of
[See Personality, Empiricism, & God - PEG - cosmological argument for God]
Origin of all things is built on exact self-contradiction -
mystical substance beyond all intellectual comprehension.
Cosmic Womb -- Indefinable, ineffable "stuff" - spiritual or physical
Imagine cosmic blender -- primordial soup - container of all opposites - "Coincidentia oppositorum"
No clear, unambiguous statement/description possible
Corresponds to root of Cosmic Tree, Yggdrasill, source of existence...
Good never wins, evil always equally there -- balance of opposites.
III-E. Individuality Emerges
Life Emerges/Evolves -- out of Cosmic Soup
[Click above again on Pagan Worldview tab - scroll to large picture of Uroboros & Yin-Yang]
Mother Earth object of worship - enduring object
All comes from...., All goes back to.....
Time - cyclical, not linear, going nowhere
Goal - to get into eternal rhythms of nature cycles -- the flow
The "Eternal Return" -- endless aeons, generations,
Fatalistic, deterministic, absolute repetition endlessly, eternally - whole cosmos.
Ontogeny follows Phylogeny -- (and vice-versa) The
growth of the individual child
follows the same patterns through which culture, clan followed.
Cultures begin in primordial attachment to mother earth, just as child
begins in primordial attachment to mother. Both grow through similar stages
But child limited by ceiling of culture -- cultures begin to press against their ceilings
& break through when some "hero" or "wise man", etc introduces new insight,
new way of doing things. E.g., discovery of planting seeds, of wheel, etc.
or new moral insight, spiritual insight.
Q: If Great Mother is
feminine image, where is masculine image?
Masculine is essentially individual, a self, a somebody
A: All opposites contained in Great Mother - contains Masculine image also --
As beings emerge, opposites separate out as identifiable entities or qualities -
now distinguishable -- no longer "uroboric" -- i.e., opposites combined.
Q: by what mechanism can this possibly be done?
A: no adequate explanation offered in pagan or secular world.
Requires First Cause [see Personality, Empiricism, & God]
"children" of Great Mother often masculine - become her consorts, have other
e.g., Gaia is Great Mother in Greek mythology - has Uranus - becomes her consort
Uranus has Chronos, who has Zeus. Uroboros one of early masculine gods
Drive in human psyche to unite, or reunite, these opposites of masculine & feminine
as if we somehow got separated from each other...
Feminine is enfolding, incorporating, merging, togetherness.
Masculine contained in "that which is emerging..."
child of GM, but moving toward individuality, personhood
most forcefully in hero, king, leader -- "the Great Individual" -- the "Somebody"
But that comes next week -- first immersed in nature, clan, tribe --
individuality did not count
as small child, attached to mother, no clear independent personhood
Aboriginal people saw selves attached to Cosmic Organism -- part of her flow through cycle
Yet, masculine principle slowly growing, forming -- as distinct identity
emergence of individuality, separateness from mother, tribe, clan, culture, rising above...
signifies emergence of masculine person
Caused by nurturing of Mother herself -- guarantees growth, maturing of child
as with individual human children -- come to stage where being to launch out on own.
Investigate world... Stand up on own two feet.
Fertilizing the Great Mother
Mother Earth needed to be fertilized by masculine principle --
king, clan leader = epitome
Fertility cults (most of near east) used slain king to fertilized Mother Earth
King for a Year... slain on winter solstice - shortest day -
to revive Mother Earth
Nature religions - aim to "participate in" rhythms of nature
World was a living sexual organism -
(nothing "romantic" about it!) Matter of life & death
hard for mechanistic moderns to imagine.
New Age = return to old paganism.
Attempt: to wed the masculine and feminine into compatible whole
real world terribly fractured - Battle of the Sexes began with Fall, never stopped.
The Wedding - Hieros Gamos = Sacred Marriage, attempt to create the "good life"
inner marriage of me with "my other half" -- seldom worked, never stable
Two reigning deities - Luck - Fortune - & exact opposite
- Fate, Determinism
Not a rational universe -- reason not yet consciously employed
Like pre-8-year-old child - operating on perception & intuition, not abstract reasoning.
Life hard, cruel, barbaric -- but also, apparently, happily unself-conscious --
go with the flow - even to death
Not much aware of a "self" - Thus did not miss what had not yet experienced.
Q: If cosmic Mother is total cosmos, & if masculine image born by emerging ego,
How get a cosmic Great Father -- to stand on equal terms with Great Mother?
i.e., how have masculine & feminine happily wedded? Heiros Gamos?
A: Not possible - In the end, Great Mother wins any contest.
True wedding of masculine with feminine can happen only in Biblical cosmos.
[See above, Part II, The Tri-Personhood of God]
Without God - life is closed circle -- only two choices -
(1) Pagan/Secular (no creator God) - life is closed circle - Cycle of life unbreakable.
(2) Biblical (with creator God - life is open circle -
Only God can break that cycle back into death in closed circle.
By opening the circle -- Incarnation -- Revelation -- Personal presence.
Sec. IV. Secularism/Materialism - the Masculine Revolt against Mother
Modern secular people tend to think
of secularism as "scientific materialism" -
post Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Industrial Revolution,
modern technology, etc.
But materialism was (in a sense) 1st child of ancient GM - long before Biblical times.
The first child (in the archetypal sense, a pattern, not necessarily a specific child
see second child below) of GM was boy-child --
masculine principle struggling upward to assert self
Mother needed a male consort to fulfill her role...
Feminine - mothering - represents the containing, including, enfolding, encompassing
Masculine - fathering - represents individuating, separate selfhood,
climbing upward, self-assertion, differentiating, distancing.
Task of child (boy or girl) to separate from mother, then later from father
to become free-standing individual.... an adult in the world....
the very nurturing by GM of boy-child - ensures his maturing, outgrowing of
developing sense of individuality, personhood, separateness.
Just as any child -- "I am a somebody!"
If do not sense
separateness, individuality -- do not mind losing it.
As swing past prime in circle of life (at pinnacle) downward - death seems natural, acceptable
Cf. Eskimo old folks -- go off to die in ice & snow -- not be drain on scarce tribal resources.
IV-B. Then - New Thing emerges
Ownership of something new - "I am a somebody!"
Realizes - being a person, individual, selfhood = prerequisite to all else
part of very meaning of life.... "Terrible two's...." Individuating....
Retaining personhood becomes priority - major item in understanding survival
starts right at foundation of myths...
Great Mother brings forth 1st child -- Boy Child... - creates 1st Cosmic Split (see 2nd)
Child moves from position #1 in womb, Yin-Yang, non-being
upwards to position #2 development of individuality, personhood,
but -- then begins to wane, descend toward death of individuality,
back to womb of nothingness, nonbeing.
Mythical battle between rising hero and GM - Marduk vs.
Tiamat, Zeus vs. earth monsters
Masculine ego declaring independence. Ontogeny follows phylogeny.
Individual growth reflects growth of clan, tribe, family... with a lid...
until another breakthrough.
Says: "Put on the brakes! Stop the world-cycle, I want to get off!"
Grabs Rim of Uroboros -- pulls self up to stand on surface - position #3 --
took millennia to accomplish
No longer "enveloped" & controlled by nature, now taking charge of own history, free-standing
-- or so it seemed - by comparison -- much more to come.
[Memory of discovering that we live in surface of earth, not inside it.
not uncommon experience. Feeling of loneliness. Exposed to empty cosmos. ]
But -- still hooked - kingly sacrifices (see
Fertilizing GM) - to
fertilize Great Mother at Winter Solstice
Revive dying Mother. King for a year -- then fertilizer.
Love/hate relation with GM -- cannot get along with her or without her.
As time progressed - king took more charge of event - substitutes for sacrifices, relative, slave,
captured enemy, animal -- as Eskimo totem animals.
Goal increasingly to survive - masculine ego asserting self increasingly
seeking to break ties with enveloping maternal bond. Like child leaving mother.
role of fathers to draw boy-child out into male culture.
Implicit rejection of death as consequence of fleshly dependency
beginning of quest for ultimate autonomy, independence, self-sufficiency
i.e., eternal life.
Every human child goes through similar stages - so far as culture has generated
we can become as individuated as our culture models for us...
IV-C. Shift in Cosmic Imagery
replacing cyclical with angular, upward thrusting linear
Pyramid replaces circle - e.g., Egypt, Babylon, Aztecs, and others....
driving forces for Pyramid-building -
1. drive for Autonomy
2. Pathological fear of sinking ground under feet -- GM
Bottom level of pyramid = Platform over Mother Earth - over sinking ground, quicksand
Natural ground no longer safe for personhood --
Mother Earth ambiguous - giver of both life and death.
"Down" now becomes dangerous - the Pit - Sheol - Gehenna - Hell - the Black Hole
Each level of pyramid = one more buffer against forces of disintegration -
gravitational pull downward - back into nature cycles & disintegration of selfhood
One more level of increasing control over circumstances.
One's "being" no longer a gift, rather a struggle to create & sustain oneself
Attempt to build one's own ground under oneself.
Cyclical Time - Time clocked by reign of kings - the
"Great Individual" - the "Somebody"
But only local linear times -- because at first only local kings - era lasted as long as king did
or series of kings
Dominated by drive for autonomy, safety against opposing forces - Thus pyramid building
Inherently competitive - need to control resources, people
The wider the base, the higher up -- At top = King of the Mountain -
Position #4 = "The Great Individual" the Somebody.
at bottom = the Nobodies...
Life about Power Struggle -- as Roman quest for glory (Augustine in City of God)
glory was the meaning of life.... Conquest.
Review: 1. Womb; 2. top of cycle of life;
3. outside of Uroboros; 4. top of pyramid.
Two more to come....
Pyramids competing - power struggle - Empire building - age of heroic myths
Marduk, Gilgamesh, Iliad, Odyssey, heroic gods & goddesses - mostly at war with each other.
Warfare now on two fronts -- GM beneath - & Siblings all around.
Sense of history beginning to develop - as chronology of
heroic events, sagas, epics
Homer & Trojan wars, Thucydides Greek history.... et al
Problem: no king able to conquer all (cf. Alexander the Great - never lost a battle, but died --
left all to his squabbling underlings.
But heroic image - dragon
slayer = son of GM who slays or tames devouring Mother
Marduk in Mesopotamian, Zeus in Hellenic culture, Horus in Egypt
achieves independence of child -- Powerful model for others
to imagine their own history....
Iliad & Odyssey (ca. 700 BC?) become "Bible" for Hellenic culture.
Led to "high Hellenic culture" of 400's BC.
Nevertheless, deadly fear of pull of GM always there -- floating underneath...
Hero striving for autonomy - gets to "top" - Position #4
Devouring Mother beneath
Looks up to heavens - into empty cosmos - No Great Father there to draw them on
Q: Where is there a cosmic Father?
IV- D. Early Myths -
gods & goddesses all located down in Mother Earth -- Deities, gods & goddesses, all of the earth.
Appearance of Sky gods = sign of secular/materialist age - individual
Masculine ego seeking to wrest boon of immortality from cosmic forces...
Pyramids thrust skyward to heavens - residence of "the Immortals"
Those who supposedly had sprung free from grip of GM --
(Tower of Babel takes on new meaning....)
Horus - Egyptian god - rising ego consciousness -
slain by Set, monster representing earth forces
Horus is dismembered, body parts scattered -- his Eye rescued - "resurrected"
Eye becomes "Sun God" in the Sky = Light of consciousness - emerging ego.
[Q: where is Eye of Horus today??? In direct opposition to
pyramid with eye of Horus at top.... Who is the light of the world? Jesus or Satan?
who is Lord, Jesus or civil government?]
Uranus - Hellenic god - 1st offspring of Gaia - GM
-- Uranus not equal to or independent of Gaia - but her child
Chronos (time) - son of Uranus -- killed (or castrated) Uranus to get his power
Uranus dies - to heavenly glory -- planet up in sky = Position #5 - the Immortals
represents man's dream (yes, a bit contradictory....)
Review: Position 1 - womb; Position 2 - top
of circle of life; Position 3 - over the rim of Uroboros;
Position 4 - at the top of the Pyramid - king of the mountain;
Position 5 - the "immortals" in the sky - the sought-for eternal life.
(one more to go... next week.)
Zeus - son of Chronos - slew Chronos, same reason to get to top of Pyramid.
Note: pattern of Freudian "Oedipal complex" son competing with father
for control of resources of "mother", i.e., mother earth, mother nature...
Zeus - top of Mt. Olympus - natural pyramid -
by force of arms - defeats earth/sea monsters & sibling rivals
But - impossible task - Original Source of being of Zeus = stuff of GM
still ruled by GM -- cannot break laws of cosmos - as Greeks knew...
3 Fates - one spins, one measures, one snips off the fate of us all -- none of us immortal
Gotterdammerung comes - Twilight of the gods.
Fates determined our fate: Zeus to die by one of his sons - same future as his ancestors.
Uroboros smiles -- at our pretensions to outwit GM
-- releases, stretches, encloses us
We cannot step outside circle of existence - we just take the world and nature with us
Nature is the GM - womb of life -- Ultimate Beginning & Ultimate End.
Thus personhood always temporary - Life & Death always mixed
Vulnerability of Hero inescapable -- Man at Top dependent on his control to get support
from underlings. "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown..." Shakespeare
Underlings climbing up pyramid to knock off one at top.
Eternal life not given - Mythology replete with heroic figures -- seeking
Fountain of Youth, Tree, Bush,
magic amulet -- to give eternal life --- gods always deny
1960s (?) song "Hotel California" - occult theme - hotel may be Satanic temple
of Anton Levay.
Line at end: "You can check out anytime you want, but you can never leave...."
Fallen world is a labyrinth from which we can check out any time we want, but
can never leave....
locked into forces and laws of that cosmos -- no reprieve - no outwitting Uroboros.
Not without help from outside. Revelation - Incarnation.
IV-E. Failure of Father -
Not there at start, not fundamental to Origins --
thus not possible for masculine figure to emerge on par with GM -- always a child...
Society thus always founded on power struggle -- not on
justice or righteousness or moral obligation
(role of Father God...)
not "patriarchy", but "fratriarchy" -- rule of the siblings, would-be fathers
No Great Father -- only Big Brother. And in the end -- only the GM.
New Dimensions Magazine - May 1990 -- article Gangs, Drugs, & Single Parent
p. 21 - "The deadly combination of disintegrating families and lucrative illicit drug trade
is creating a national epidemic of violent gangs."
P. 24 - "One trait common among gang members:
'The absence of a positive male role model in their own family.'"
Prisons full of men who hate or ignore their fathers... Father's Day vs. Mother's Day
The so-called "death of God" of the 1960's was not the death
of mother goddess, Gaia was
very much reasserting herself. It was the death of Father God -- not really, of course, but
in the minds and hearts of our people. The death of Father God led directly to the
family chaos of the 1980's and -90's -- and still counting.
The Five Stages of
by Gilbert Murray describes, in chapter "The Failure of Nerve")
how the High Hellenic culture fell from poise and beauty of the 400's BC
into what Murray called "Hellenistic Lowlands". When father is absent, the failure of nerve
soon follows. The age of heroes was over, and culture was cycling downward, back again
Failure of nerve is flowing full tide through males in Western culture - Boys
falling into peer culture
no longer raised by fathers, but by peers -- not patriarchy, but fratriarchy -
the rule of Big Brother -- the loud mouth, the clever fellow, not the wise man.
IV-F. Cosmic Return to Mother -
Ancient materialism is long way from modern.... & yet...
widely acclaimed - by Carl Sagan...
"Cosmos" - book & TV series - on alleged beauties of evolutionary theory --
described supposed Big Bang of evolution...
nature of original "nugget" that exploded, made of simplest element, hydrogen
similar to undifferentiated cosmic soup pattern of Great Mother
As with "cosmic blender" -- reduces everything at beginning to undifferentiated soup --
Potential out of which all else will "evolve" --
But -- (says Sagan) One day, sun will expand into supernova, incinerate solar system
Total cosmos - 2 choices -
1. if enough mass to create sufficient gravitational pull,
cosmos will stop expanding, shrink back to nugget, re-expand again, recreating new cosmos.
2. if not enough mass or gravity, will continue expanding toward absolute cold, death
Then Ultimate Beginning = Ultimate End -- Common pattern in
all non-Biblical worldviews --
Beauty, truth, relationship, love - all froth tossed on sea of chaos,
temporary appearance of meaning, order, but dissolved as next wave of cosmic
sea sweeps over.
In chapter ten, "The Edge of Forever", Sagan acknowledges his Hindu preferences.
...does not recognize that the Hindu cosmos is incapable of science.
Sagan's choice of Hinduism is one more example of how
secularism is not capable of sustaining a culture.
Too impersonal, anti-personal. Destroys persons and personality. Book "Cosmos", full of poetry
(or pathetic fallacy, at which he is quite good) but which carries more weight in his presentation
than does fact and logic. Poetry substitutes for honest metaphysics.
And thereby, he illustrates our next section - spiritualism......
Secularism - has proved itself unattractive -- least
attractive of all worldviews - impersonal, depersonalizing
succeeded on well propagated illusion that it owned "science" & "reason" & "industry" etc.
We are watching Western culture go through the final stages of the cycle of the GM...
from original beginnings in paganism, rising out of paganism
via Biblical worldview & Good News -
leading to extraordinary development of Individuality in Community context
with realistic hope of overcoming despair inherent in pagan view & secularism
but now - Biblical culture derailed, undermined, & led to despair by secular atomizing
of individuals isolating from supportive local communities (
families, churches, neighborhoods increasingly controlled by centralized govts.,
giving up, losing desire for life, not even repopulating itself,
being taken over by Globalists -- using Islam and sexual perversion
to finish off remains of Biblical view....
God -- only two choices -
(1) Pagan/Secular (no creator God) - life is closed circle -
No intelligent, meaningful, hopeful breaking of Cycle of life
(2) Biblical (with creator God) - life is open circle -
Only God can break that life-back-into-death-cycle in closed circle.
By opening the circle -- Incarnation -- Revelation -- Personal presence
restoration of two stabilities.
Next week - the final stage of dissolution -
Spiritualism --- & our Western "failure of nerve...."
falling from our own High Biblical Foundations.....
then final week, Where do we go from here? Part III - Recovery....
Sec. V. Spiritualism - Return to the Eternal (& Lethal) Embrace...
V-A. The Collapse of Selfhood
The second child (again,
in the archetypal sense, a pattern, not necessarily a specific child - see
was girl-child, Spiritualism, sister to her brother, Materialism.
Gautama - born ca. 570
BC In India (Hebrews were in Exile in Babylon) - rich family, protected life --
wandered out of family conclave, discovered horrors that afflicted most people.
Sense of compassion - went on quest to find secret of good life, peace - spiritual quest.
India long into materialist age - Hinduism formed over previous millennium --
Gautama found orthodox Hinduism unsatisfactory - did not give answers for the downtrodden masses.
Enlightenment under Bo Tree -- "discovery" - All pain caused by desire,
Peace comes by cessation of desire, attachment, longing.
Enlightenment came out of profound discouragement with world of human affairs -- pyramid building, etc.
[Q: How did you feel at end of last session about man's hope for good life?]
Gautama became the "Buddha" -- not
alone in conclusions - most of world's religions arrive at same
discouragement with world -- e.g., Greek philosophy, then Hellenistic religions, Neo-Platonism,
the "Perennial Philosophy" World not seen as human-friendly, not place of fulfillment
secularism, pyramid-building, soon wears thin .
Socrates' quest for the "meaning of man as man..." never found answer in Greek philosophy.
(see The Law & the Grace of God, section I-D on Socrates...)
no meaning (purpose) beyond pragmatic, what we can assign...
Worldview of pagans could not imagine a Creator ex-nihilo who loved His creation.
Mankind at war with GM beneath, no adequate Father above --
Human race decides to make peace with the Great Mother again...
abort the drive toward personhood -- return to her embrace
to cosmic cycles of "eternal return".
V-B. Thus -
Second Great Cosmic Split (see
rejection of our own history, meaning, purpose in life - as unattainable.
Man on his own not capable of establishing meaning, purpose,
direction for himself.
Can give meaning to his activity, but not to his being.
Who I am is different from what I do. Logical fact: I cannot give my own reason for existence,
only my Creator can (if He exists).
Mission aborted - process of individuation rejected, reversed.
Desire, yearning, planning, relationship -- are all part of being a person, an individual.
Desire is an individuating activity -- like learning to say "yes" and "no".
Rejection of desire means rejection of individuality, selfhood, personal & cultural history.
Western Culture at this same point --
Rejection of science - even by secularists -- as giving us truth
Rejection of objective truth - especially in morality & religion, meaning of life
Not wanting to repopulate our own culture -- giving up....
West still too entranced with power to go fully for Great Mother -- stumbling, uncertain.
Position #6 - back to Primal Matter - Yin-Yang -
womb of Mother --
Nirvana = "place of no (nir) wind (vana)". No breath of God, no Power of Being - no Holy Spirit.
Spirituality - to help divest you of your self , personhood,
Move into time, history, & human control - tragic mistake
thus pursue flow back into our Mother Cosmos.
Gilbert Murray again, in
The Five Stages of Greek Religion, "Failure of Nerve" -
Greek culture rose to monumental heights - ca. 800-400 BC. - beauty, balance, poise
Homer, ca. 700 BC, - Iliad & Odyssey primary inspiration - became "Bible" of rising Hellenic culture -
heroic life-affirming ideal - rooted in family, home, hearth
What it means to be a "somebody"
About same time as Hebrew prophets - Isaiah, Jeremiah, et al. 300 years after King David
Different development of personhood and individuality -
Effect of prophets & Hebrew religion - to rescue from fall into Great Mother,
leading to only possible solution to Gautama's or Socrates' problem.
Execution of Socrates was execution of move toward honest selfhood -- truth-seeking.
Socrates an upstart, anti-conservative, rebel, dangerous to status quo.
Human efforts at spiritual growth & maturation reaches
point of "somebody", individuation, personhood
beyond which unable to sustain self - a ceiling. Top of pyramid. Vision falters, life drains
Replaced by mechanical effort to copy heroes of bygone days.
Failure = failure
of individuation - to be a real self in world, freestanding adult on earth.
Failure of fathering -- masculine dream of being able to stand on terms equal w. GM
No heiros gamos (sacred marriage - integral union of male/female, masculine/feminine) possible....
"On the day that you eat of it, you shall die...."
Labyrinth, no way out.
Hotel California: You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.
Gilbert Murray's Fifth Stage - "The Last
Protest" -- retreat in to mystery cults, fertility cults,
orgiastic - feel-good cults, and intellectualism.
Sound familiar? Nothing new under the sun....
with Neo-paganism -- West has peaked - dream of self-sufficiency increasingly sought within...
isolation from relationship [Cf. Sartre - "Hell is other people..." - character in No Exit (?)]
Buddha seems right -- give up personhood, individuality
Globalists today only a last final gasp at being a "Somebody" --
No possibility of their pyramid succeeding.
Typical materialist illusion that power, deception, mind-control can win
& hold the pyramid.
Best Perennial Way can offer = choice of 2 worlds:
(a) inherently & lethally competitive world, climbing pyramid
hovering over pit of Nothingness
(b) world which renounces pyramid, embraces that Nothingness of the GM
makes tragic virtue out of woeful necessity
Spiritualism - similar to Parent,
original Cosmic Organism - but also Radical Difference
Spiritualism born of profound disillusionment & rejection of space-time & individuality
Cosmic Organism not yet experienced disillusionment - naive self-contentment, innocence
Spiritualism not original naive, innocent, & unself-conscious acceptance of what is
but self-controlled, deliberate acceptance of fate
deliberate self-conscious rejection of selfhood.
Deliberately induced "schizophrenia" - disjunction from relationship reality.
Theme of all Eastern religions - Hinduism, Buddhism,
Transcendental Meditation (TM), Yoga
& many Western adaptations in New Age
Spiritualism, today our neo-paganism, in other words, tends to be cynical
C. S. Lewis points to this, responding to someone -- March 17, 1953
(Quoted from The Journal, p. 2, at www.summit.org, October 2010.) :
"What you say about the present state of mankind is true: indeed, it is even worse than you say.
For they neglect not only the law of Christ, but even the Law of Nature as known by the Pagans.
For now they do not blush at adultery, treachery, perjury, theft, and the other crimes which
I will not say Christian Doctors, but the pagans and the barbarous have themselves denounced.
They err who say "the world is turning pagan again." Would that it were! The truth is that we are falling into a much worse state.
Post-Christian man" is not the same as "pre-Christian man." He is as far removed as virgin is from widow: there is nothing in common except a want of a spouse: but there is a great difference between a spouse-to-come and a spouse lost."
The first pagans, that is, had a better grasp than do
present pagans of the "good", even though they
could not truly understand the "right" (see The Law & the Grace of God)
for which they needed the Biblical worldview.
V-C. Rules of the Game - 10 Points of the Perennial Cosmic Order --
(1) God & Cosmos Identical - not
Original pure form - undifferentiated Soup - Monism not Mono-theism
Move to individuality thus IS the Fall -- into unreality
Difference between Creation & Evolution (in its various forms)
thus is Continental Divide between Bible & Perennial Philosophy
from which all other differences flow.
(2) Truth is relative & subjective
- not objective
Coincidence of opposites means - no possible positive statement or proposition
the negative also always true - thus propagates illusion: all truth "relative", not objective
true for you but not me. We all cling to some truth - even if only "relative"
(3) Moral judgements relative --
situational - not objective
If no fundamental truth, then no moral truth either
Values relativized, privatized
No moral difference between Hitler & Jesus
Reality not just non-rational, but anti-rational
"Once truth becomes optional, it will soon become forbidden, criminalized.
Morality (like truth) becomes tool of tyrant --
forbids truth-seeking because truth-seekers are greatest enemies of tyrants.
(4) Time cyclical - Nature
dominates persons - no meaningful scientific control of nature...
No cosmic purpose or goal - no direction to history -
Existence either random, chance, or totally deterministic - no place for rational freewill.
(5) Intellect abandoned in search
for divine -
Mind good only to analyze, distinguish True from False -- but no such distinction exists.
Thus focus on experience as feeling, not on objective truth.
3 areas of soul (Mind, Will, Feelings-Emotions)
When mind abandoned, Feeling rules the will -- tyranny of the spoiled child.
(6) Pendulum Swing -
between compulsive self-sufficiency, self-containment
Rejection of dependency (too dangerous)
vs. bondage to immature, manipulative relations - co-dependency
Feelings divorced from relationships, become entities in themselves
rather than "relationship information".
Spiritual Life thus is quest to get in touch with one's own inherent autonomy - divinity,
to find the "substantial" within oneself -
this "knowledge" lost when one "falls" into individuallity
See Hindu (and other) mendalas -- cosmic circle often with Self at the center
especially in Jungian interpretations.
(7) Personal existence therefore
Only froth on waves of chaos, life essentially impersonal
Genesis 2:16-17 - "And the Lord God commanded the man saying,
'You many freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die.'"
Not a threat, but warning of natural consequences --
when distance self from Source of Being, existence erodes.
(8) Hostile, irresolvable
autonomy vs. dependency
spiritual vs. material
masculine vs. feminine
parent vs. child - sibling rivalry
luck/chance vs. determinism/fate -- no secure principle of rational freewill and choice.
(9) Masculine-feminine - battle of
built-in contradiction in gender structure of cosmos
leads to breakdown & rejection of gender distinctions
from masculine-materialist over-emphasis to dissatisfaction, rejection, & unisex
Leads to Failure of Father figure -- no equal footing with Great Mother
Drive toward legitimate masculine individuality fails... life is like...
Charlie Brown & Lucy -- with football
Sisyphus & the Rock -- endless meaningless toil
Fails also because no objective morality -- spiritual authority, prime masculine role -- gone.
(10) Cosmos controlled by
Fortune (luck, chance) and Fate (Determinism)
Consequent elimination of freewill, and of both reason and moral choice - from human nature.
Reason dependent on conscious freewill decision making
To trust statements as utterances of truth, I must believe that you observe
reality, & intend to tell me the truth of what you observe.
V-D. What Does
God Think of All This???
Each of 10 opposed to Biblical cosmology -
"For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is God)
who formed the earth and made it (He established it;
He did not create it a chaos, He formed it to be inhabited!);
I am the lord, and here is no other.
I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness;
I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, 'Seek me in chaos.'
I, the Lord, speak the truth, I declare what is right." Isaiah 45:18-19
"But you who forsake the Lord, who forget my holy mountain,
Who set a table for Fortune, and fill cups of mixed wine for Destiny;
I will destine you to the sword, and all of you shall bow down to the slaughter;
because, when I called, you did not answer, when I spoke, you did not listen,
but you did what was evil in my eyes, and chose what I did not delight in" Isaiah 65:11
In those 2 passages, God rejects the whole Perennial Cosmos.
He is Creator, an intelligent designer, with a purpose and plan, He formed the world
to be inhabited, there is a truth which He speaks to His people,
and a moral order which He requires to be followed.
Clear strong current drifting in West today (I first wrote this about 1988) -
strongly back into cyclical cosmos of paganism
Deliberate demolition of Western culture -- & of Biblical roots.
Hebrews spent 70 years in Babylonian captivity 6th century BC --
West today captive again to same pagan cosmology, same dynamics of closed circle
that brought Babylonian captivity 25 centuries ago.
God speaking to us right out of Isaiah:
"Have you not known, Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in...." (40:21-22)
In paradoxical way, Aldous Huxley
is right, there is only one philosophy -- but not the Perennial
Perennial Philosophy does not qualify as philosophy -- which is reasonable, rational explanation
of how things are...
P. Ph. is rather an explanation of how they fail, fall apart, & die
a philosophy of hell - masquerading as heaven,
Gehenna (cosmic dump where things go which have lost their reason for existence...)
The nature of the substantial being or "stuff" of the cosmos
will determine the nature of all else --
That is why we search for atoms - smallest building block - to explain other things
Common sense - if we believe in a
substance, the nature of which violates the canons of
reason and explanation - we end up with chaotic & irrational cosmos -- garbage in, garbage out.
2 Basic Principles:
1. non-contradiction: a thing cannot both be and not be in the same time, place, & respect
2. sufficient cause: every event requires a cause sufficient to explain it
Creator God of Bible is only
substantial foundation for rational universe.
10 Points of pagan/Perennial cosmos show a cosmos floating on a sea of chaos - cosmic black hole
incapable of reason or order, and thus incapable of science, or rational living.
God -- only two choices -
(1) Pagan/Secular (no creator God) - life is closed circle -
No intelligent, meaningful, hopeful breaking of Cycle of life
(2) Biblical (with creator God) - life is open circle -
Only God can break that life-back-into-death-cycle in closed circle.
By opening the circle -- Incarnation -- Revelation -- Personal presence
restoration of two stabilities.
What to do? --
tune in next Tuesday, October 26, for final session --
What God has done and continues to do....
How to Put This Information to Work in the Trenches....
& how to recapture the public imagination & the public arena
Won't be easy, there will be casualties, and it will take several generations,
but it will happen - God will not be mocked.
Question for us: will we be among those who help get it started???
NOTE: sign on to get your account on Ustream.tv so that we
can have a discussion via the Chat Box....
Lots of interesting issues to discuss next time, and questions to raise.
- Part III -
How to Put This to Work in the Trenches
Sec. VI. Winning Back Western Civilization for Jesus Christ
- Fundamental Issue: Worldview & Stability
- which worldview can supply stabilities???
Theme all through 1st 5 sessions -- two stabilities - (1) of personhood,
ontological, ability to be oneself
(2) of moral direction & political -- private & public
purpose, direction of life, basis of all authority. Know where I am going, the right way...
(go to two worldview tabs -- compare the two worldviews.....)
Each age needs to retell basic Biblical story -- Progress of Western Civ created
in lifestyle, thinking patterns, understanding of personhood, selfhood --
often conflicting with received religious opinion... Creating conflict.
Problem - to sort out wheat from chaff -- in both old ways and new.
Western Civ. resolved problem -- blossoming of basic Biblical theme --
Universities & Science --
Free market of ideas for all persons - Perhaps first time in history
Conflict inherent where no freedom of thought, search for truth secondary, subject to power struggle
Pagan world -- goodness of idea or policy based on pragmatism, not generally on moral order
because works (for someone) not because right.
Morality in West local and sporadic, not universal,
Roman law generalized into Natural Law -- by Stoics
Pagan morality & politics not wedded - because little idea of generally authoritative morality
Greek philosophers began to develop notion of universal truth -- but difficult
to translate into
personal life, or political life. Too abstract, and no clear basis for moral obligation.
Personal morality generally came with mystery religions,
or with code of military honor - as described in Augustine's City of God
but neither had clear link between objective truth & objective morality which
could support morality in politics, civil government.
Biblical view had both objective truth and objective & universal morality
relevant to both personal and political realms.
Moral Commitment depends on whom you worship -- which depends on worldview
Perennial worldview does not supply moral order --
Reality of assumed or attempted moral order demands explanation
in world where no basis for it --
Either a delusion (a la Freud - projection of father on cosmos)
or a vague echo of Voice of God in consciences of pagans.
Socrates' quest for moral order began with quest for "meaning of man as man".
Understood meaning of man as artisan, physician, warrior, etc, but
as man himself.
[See The Law & the Grace of God, addenda to chap. 1 on Greek philosophers.]
Meaning based on purpose -- obvious with artisan, physician, warrior
these gave their activity a purpose & thus an identity.
But not obvious as man per se --
No purpose for their being -- because no personal God who could give
purpose for man -- as our creator.
World as such meaningless, purposeless -- only purpose given by man himself
Thus meaning limited to our personal purposes
Universal meaning depended on doctrine of Creation, Intelligent Designer.
So two stabilities tied together.... Ontological & moral.
- A Sea Change in the West --
Strong tradition of truth-seeking in Bible & early Church fathers --
But not yet a clear statement of open, level playing field for discussion
or for freemarket of ideas, every side (including Church) had to explain & defend position
against all challengers. (See sermon on definition of 'catholic' and relation to truth-seeking)
Constantine put Christians in power -- power seduced Christians, to use force
to convert and maintain Christian faith -- e.g., Inquisition (greatly misunderstood)
Assumption that society required one religion --
True -- but the "oneness" could not be maintained by force
only by truth-seeking.
But, in Western civilization, basic Biblical assumptions gradually replaced old
respect for truth and morality, & unique Biblical theme of all persons equal
led to democratization of education -- aided by printing press -- led to universities
where science developed in late middle ages.
Free market of ideas -- to become truth-seekers rather than position-defenders
let truth & Lord of truth win their own battles.
When truth wins, everybody wins....
Moral commitment to truth (very slowly) became a primary focus
for moral & political unity --
developed via English common law, & American democratic republic - both under God.
Education: teaching based on open, public debate between positions
Politics: passing of laws based on open, public debate between positions.
In both cases, often subverted, but the ideal was there,
& became a plumbline for judging quality of education & politics.
Beginnings of honest "pluralism" -- after
Christian Post-Reformation carnage...
-- admission that society could have competing religions - not enforced by coercive power --
False "modern" pluralism -- truth relative -- truth is plural, everyone right - only charlatans benefit
True pluralism -- all invited to public arena, not because everyone right
but to test for who is right -- Positions plural, truth singular.
God wins primarily in open contest of truth -- as I Kings 18, Elijah on Mount Carmel...
Jeffersonian (vs. false) liberalism -- Truth can be found only if have
free-market of ideas
where each side required to prove its case in context of public debate.
Began with universities and rise of science.
Christians being equipped with more finely honed Two-edged Sword of Spirit -
reason & revelation welded back to back...
First Commandment - before all others: Thou shalt be a Truth-Seeker....
required - to make sense of all other commandments.
Christian failure, during 1800s - Fear of
Thus opposed revelation to reason, retreat into "revelation"
failure to see both need each other, neither will survive without other.
failure to see reason is NOT a possession of secularists.
God is the supremely reasonable one...
Led to disaster of 20th century -- most brutal century in history.
Perceived irrelevance of God, Church, faith -- sidelining of Church, failure of public witness.
"So who needs salvation? We have science!" Mantra of
The failure of science -- admitted by some of most important philosophers of science
e,g., Bertrand Russell -- "science does not give us the truth." (or words to that effect).
Science will fail to produce the "good life" -- so long as God left out.
Christians again need to learn how to retell our story -- in line not with
secularists, but in line
with what God has done in our midst, which we have rejected, ignored.
Rise of science & freemarket of ideas is gift of God, right out of Biblical inheritance
(see Science Library)
Science requires moral commitment to truth - thus cannot survive loss of God --
much of science today co-opted by forces of power struggle, back to paganism.
Christians must again learn how to tell story of salvation and Kingdom of God,
relevant to all facets of life, both personal and public arena
West far slidden into thinking of GM -- alive & well.
Confusion about nature of choices -- because lost grasp of Biblical worldview
& how radically different from Pagan/Perennial
& how intellectually, morally, & spiritually far more credible....
- What is "Salvation"???
& Who needs it?
Everyone understands "stability" & our need for it --
We spend enormous amounts of money, time, effort -- at stabilizing ourselves
Insurance policies, saving up resources, planning for "rainy day", etc.
Not everyone understands two basic stabilities -- believe that money, power are the big stabilizers
Ontological, stability of our being, personhood --
we scrape for worldly stabilizers: money, power, fame -- all of which more often destabilize
Moral stability -- for our doing, behavior, attitude
Requires reason for existence -- purpose of creator
pagan/secular cosmos -- no personal cause of existence,
Thus no possible reason for existence. Impersonality eats up persons. Meaningless.
God to Adam: "You may
freely eat of every tree of the garden;
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it,
you shall die."
Forbidden tree = tree of independence from God -- Universal knowledge - from good to evil, a to z.
Cast themselves into dying cosmos -- subject to entropy, descent into chaos.
Their tiny efforts unable to prevent it.
Pagan/secular world is world of the Fall - separation from Creator & Sovereign
Thus separation from two primal stabilities - into meaninglessness & death.
Like labyrinth, no way out.
No I AM in fallen world, no possibility of Great Father to stand with devouring
World of siblings, no Father, and only ambiguous Mother.
creator God, hence no explanation for existence, all chance, no meaning.
Nothing on which to rest ontological dependency, nothing to follow as reason for existence.
Personalist Cosmology -
persons are primary objects, not "things" (atoms, electrons, cows,
a Person creates cosmos for fellowship with created persons -- us humans.
Physical part of cosmos is stage upon which community can happen --
built for that community -- anthropic principle.
Rich resources for sustaining and directing created persons -- Hand & Voice of God
Genesis 1 source for doctrine of Trinity brings personal character of cosmos
into full focus
Not as GM, but as creation designed by and for persons.
Personalist cosmos -- persons primary
subjects. Not flotsam and jetsam of chaos - accidents.
Biblical source of Trinity - Gen 1:26-28 - brings personality of cosmos into full focus.
Not as Great M (which destroys persons) but as creation designed by and for persons.
God both mothers and fathers us -- and in Jesus, brothers us.
- An Offensive Strategy - for recovering
Recovery of Western Civ. vital -- has been primary focus of Satan's attack
primarily to unglue Sword of Spirit -- union of Reason with Revelation - invincible weapon.
Has brought West to its knees spiritually -- Church all but irrelevant --
of good Christian apologists --
Many dedicated to Truth Principle -- that truth comes first before all else
be truth-seekers & truth-speakers... at any cost to ourselves.
If we wrong, we want to know -- based on evidence.
Open, level playing field -- is where Kingdom of God is built...
Personal Salvation --
Ontological stability - "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."
Witnessing requires ability to be my real self with a real testimony in front of potentially hostile
magistrates, neighbors, friends, family -- anywhere, anytime, with anyone
Power of being, power of Holy Spirit - gives us that stability which Jesus had.
No one could make Him back down from being fully Jesus, Son of God.
We then have that ontological stability which world cannot give - a very
practical, down to earth,
ordinary, yet extraordinary stability -- which no one, not even Satan, can touch
Comes from Hand of God, too deep for anyone to touch.
Moral stability - "For this commandment which I
command you this day is not too hard for you,
neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up for us to heaven,
and bring it to us that we may do it.... But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth
and in your heart, so that you can do it." Deuteronomy 30:11 ff.
Repentance, forgiveness, get right with God and fellow man...
Christians must further say that Jesus, Son of God, has brought the living Word down to us
No excuses for Christians being confused about the word of God
IF we are truth-seekers -- at any cost to ourselves.
To be adults (freestanding individuals with moral
and spiritual focus) we must be children in God
Mothered, Fathered, & Brothered by God.
only then no longer children of world, subject to destructive, self-defeating forces of world
We in (openly engaged with) world,
but not of (ontologically or morally dependent upon) world...
Worldly - of world, but unable fully to be in it -- always defensive, walled off
Only children of God can be fully in world -- because not of it.
Political Salvation -
Primary political question: Whom or What do I Worship?
I.e., What gives personal stability of my being? What defines my moral direction?
If we do not know answer to that question -- our Christian faith is in doubt.
Bedrock question of all life.
Political Bondage -- see I Samuel 8 - God's warning what
centralized government will do to you
Godly government -- centralized only in God
dispersed everywhere else -- to bring use of coercive force under law & grace of God
save us from our worship of power.
Political Freedom - ordered freedom - ordered by law & grace of God
as American Declaration of Independence & Constitution signify....
Only possible cure for political bondage -
Creator God who loves His creatures.
Sovereign over all things, including civil government
Jesus is Lord is political claim.
How unite separated & unfocused populace against
small and narrowly focused government?
Difficulty of secular/pagan societies to unite -- must seek enemy, war, great cause (go to moon), etc.
will deliberately create crises to bring unity --- justify centralization of govt.
stability - able to give powerful witness in face of threat, will not back down
from telling truth... Face today's magistrates when they require
pinch of incense on secular/pagan altar
2. Moral stability -- Moral unity among people supplies unity which rebellious government
cannot divide and conquer.
Foundation of free people is ontological stability
& moral stability among the people --
unifying them in moral & thus also political direction
Intellectual, Moral, & Spiritual consensus among people
will take down any evil government opposing them.
"Their arms are too short to box with God..." (Title of play)
Western Christians have been divided & conquered --
like hard drives, we need defragging - excellent parallel --
our worldview and morality files need to be defragged.
Only God can do that -- restore intellectual, moral, & spiritual consensus.
We had it at beginning of America - to significant degree -- now mostly lost
Will require deep spiritual renewal among Christian population
working together with Jews who share our basic foundations.
To be adults in the world who can take on
tyrannical government, we must be children in God
Our adulthood in world stands on our childhood in God.
Our political freedoms come from God just as personal salvation freedoms
Only God of Bible can supply those stabilities.
The secular/pagan/perennial world can only take them all away.
But secure in Christ, we are more than a match for anything world, flesh, or devil can throw at us.
Evangelism -- therefore
MUST include clear presentation of worldview issues --
clear presentation of differences
clear presentation of two stabilities.
clear presentation of gender roles under God
all built on primal commandment -- to be truth-seekers at any cost to ourselves
defenders of open public arena & freemarket of ideas
Requires (1) ending totally all government control of education - returning to parents & students & NGOs;
(2) rebuilding of family life with husband as spiritual leader and wife as spiritual power;
(3) recovery of Biblical form of government which alone can supply govt. for free people.
See http://www.emmausmall.org/seminars.html for coming seminars.
Biblical Worldview -- Pagan Worldview
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Date Posted - 05/03/2010 - Date Last Edited - 07/07/2012