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12:25 AM
@LeeWoofenden Alas, time I cannot change, money I cannot enjoy, and effort that wanes quickly.
@LeeWoofenden Yes, but I was criticizing the Pauline Epistles, not the Gospels. For a Jew, one who understands the OT very well, the Synoptics are much easier to stomach. But the Epistles would be too much to consider worth anything.
The Epistles do a lot more "allegorizing" of the OT than Jesus' words in the Gospels does. In fact, Jesus' own words, which in my opinion stand in contrast with a good deal of what Paul and Peter say in their epistles, says:
> Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
But Paul and Peter go on and on about how the Law is "nailed to the Cross".
I realize that others interpret it differently, but it doesn't ever actually explain how Jesus can say the Law ain't going anywhere, but Paul and Peter say "actually, it's all done."
 
12:58 AM
@curiousdannii I hope you are right. But most of the fundamentalist and evangelical literature, articles, comments, and so on that I've read lean so heavily on interpreting the Bible literally that practically speaking they ignore the obviously (to me) metaphorical nature of much of the Bible.
@fredsbend Hmm, sounds like you're saying, "Life sucks and then you die." I hope your life is better than that . . .
 
lol. no
Just stressful, busy, and sometimes a really wild ride.
 
@fredsbend That's life in the fast lane . . .
 
That's what I get for driving a sporty little coup.
 
@fredsbend If it makes a difference, Swedenborg did not consider the Acts and the Epistles to be canonical. He considered them to be historical and doctrinal works--i.e., Christian history and doctrinal interpretation--rather than being the Word of God.
Having said that, he also said that they are "good books for the church," and that they do not contradict the genuine Christian teachings found in the Gospels.
Still, I consider the Gospels (and Revelation) to be primary sources, and the Acts and the Epistles to be secondary sources. Of course, that puts us an our little band of Swedenborgians at odds with the vast bulk of Christianity, whose theology is primarily derived from Paul, and only secondarily derived from Jesus' own teachings in the Gospels.
 
I haven't gotten to his book yet, but he seems to have played semantic games somewhat often.
 
1:04 AM
Count the references in fundamentalist tracts. Most of them come from Paul. Only a few come from the Gospels.
 
@LeeWoofenden I do agree that most Christs love the epistles for their doctrine.
 
@fredsbend Whose book. And which book?
 
Swedenborg's. There's a link somewhere in these chatrooms.
 
The Word of God itself (as Sw's see it) is mostly poetry and story, with very little doctrine or theology. That's why it's so hard to draw doctrine out of it. The Epistles are explicitly doctrinal works, so they're much easier to quote for making doctrinal points.
 
I mean to say that there doesn't seem to be much difference between saying they are canon and saying they are in perfect line with the canon.
 
1:06 AM
Our idea of "canon," and what makes it canon, is quite different from traditional Christian ideas on the subject.
 
@LeeWoofenden What about the Old Testament?
 
From our perspective, the Word of God is a conduit for deeper spiritual and divine truth that is embodied in and shines through the literal meaning. Doctrinal works, by contrast, are a case of "what you see is what you get." There may be a few metaphors here and there, but mostly it's explicit exposition of doctrine as understood by the human writers.
 
Take SDA for example. They say all the time that EG White was a prophet, but the Bible supersedes her works. If she was a prophet all the same with Issiah et. al. then her words are God's all the same.
 
@Mr.Bultitude Our Old Testament canon consists of the Jewish Torah and Prophets, plus Psalms, Daniel, and Lamentations. The rest of the books in the Jewish Writings (K'tubim) are not in our canon.
 
@fredsbend Would you agree that the New Testament asserts that those themes are present throughout the Old Testament?
 
1:08 AM
@LeeWoofenden Well, right now, I'm using it to mean "genuinely from God, not only a man".
 
@LeeWoofenden Fascinating.
 
@Mr.Bultitude Especially in the epistles, yes.
@LeeWoofenden So how many books in total?
 
@fredsbend Then wouldn't it be exegesis to say that it's present throughout the whole Bible, if many pieces of the Bible say it is?
 
@fredsbend Yes, but what does it mean for a book to be "genuinely from God"? Did God dictate the words to a human amanuensis? What is the nature of the inspiration that makes a book "the Word of God"? After all, doesn't everything ultimately come from God (assuming God exists, etc.)?
@fredsbend Hmm, haven't actually counted 'em lol
 
@Mr.Bultitude No. That would be systematic theology, which regularly falls prey to eisegesis. Instead, the reasonable conclusion that two books of the Bible (written by different people at different times) are at odds is always ignored and some other solution is devised.
 
1:12 AM
But here's the list: Old Testament: The Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Psalms, the four Major Prophets, the twelve Minor Prophets. New Testament: The four Gospels and the book of Revelation.
It's not that we reject the other books so much as that we don't think of them as having a deeper, spiritual meaning, and thus as not inspired by God in the manner that the books of the Word of God are inspired.
 
@LeeWoofenden idk. That's a little to existential for me, atm.
@LeeWoofenden 33!
 
@fredsbend Well, there's got to be some criteria by which we decide what books are and aren't the Word of God beyond simply accepting the authority of the church. Why are some books in and other books out?
 
It's like a nickel on the dollar.
 
Oops, forgot Lamentations.
So it's 34.
 
@LeeWoofenden I'm no longer a believer, so canon decisions are no longer a problem and not really of interest. How and why others solve that issue is interesting to me.
 
1:15 AM
@fredsbend Yeh, but we're in the chatrooms now. We can talk about truth questions here! :P
 
When I was a believer, answering why I accepted the 66 Protestant canon was never something I really looked at. That was always a base assumption.
As I'm sure it is for nearly all Christians.
 
@fredsbend Right. However, Catholics have a different canon, which includes the Apocrypha. So even in traditional Christianity you at least have to think about it a little.
 
very little
 
@fredsbend Thing is, Swedenborg went back before all of the councils, and didn't assume that anything the creeds or councils promulgated necessarily had any truth or validity to it. So he built up his theology on an entirely non-creedal, non-council basis.
 
To most Protestants I know, Catholic is not really something they even know about. Every now and then they flame off on how they worship Mary and believe non-biblical books are written by God too, but that's about it.
 
1:19 AM
Unlike the Protestant reformers, he did not accept the early Christian (read: Catholic) councils as a given. He threw them out as well, so his "reformation" of Christianity was far more radical than theirs.
 
@LeeWoofenden Neat. Probably why his theology is largely rejected.
 
His three pillars were the Bible, reason, and experience. Everything he wrote was based on those, with the primary emphasis on the Bible when it comes to the theology of the church.
 
@LeeWoofenden I do not believe you answered it previously, would Swedenborgism (sp?) be considered a restorationist movement or a reformationist movement?
 
@LeeWoofenden The reformers at least claimed to accept the early councils based on their study of the Bible, rather than as a "given."
 
(I should add that the "three pillars" is not from Swedenborg himself. That's something Swedenborgian scholars came up with.)
 
1:20 AM
Did he claim a gift of prophecy?
 
@fredsbend He considered his experience to be entirely different from the Prophets and other Bible writers. He never called himself a prophet. But he did say that he got the theology in his writings "from the Lord alone while reading the Word."
@Mr.Bultitude I think they rode on Catholic coattails a lot more than they would like to admit. I was rather surprised some years ago to hear a fundamentalist Christian assure me that due to original sin, unbaptized babies would go to hell.
 
Yes. SDA point that out a lot, especially with Sunday worship. Where's Swedenborg on that issue?
 
@fredsbend I think I did answer that before, but in a nutshell, Swedenborg considered the Christian church as it had existed up to his time to be at an end theologically and as the reigning "church" or religion on earth. He stated that a whole new church was now beginning--one that he saw as truly Christian rather than only nominally Christian as he believed the previous Christian Church had been at least since the Council of Nicaea.
 
I hear restoration, but an unwillingness to say so.
 
I'm not sure where that puts him in your definitions of "restorationist movement" or "reformationist movement." I sort of suspect he was neither.
@fredsbend What do you mean by "restoration"?
 
1:25 AM
@LeeWoofenden The whole church is messed up and divine intervention is required to fix it.
LDS are a prime example.
"reformation" is the Church has a lot of messed up things going on, but can be saved with changes in doctrine and practice.
 
@fredsbend It's the "fix it" that Swedenborg had a problem with. He did not think that the Christian church as it had existed up to that time would be "fixed." Rather, he thought that it was at the end of its (spiritual) life cycle, and was dying, to be replaced by an entirely new church.
 
If there's any new canon, that is a tell tale sign for restorationist. If there's wholesale adoption of previous things, that is a tell tale sign for reformationist.
Swedenborg didn't really do either, you tell me.
 
I say "spiritually" because he didn't deny that institutionally the church would continue. He simply saw it as having lots its spiritual power as the leading conduit for God's presence in the world.
 
So was the Church in apostasy?
 
@fredsbend I wouldn't say that Swedenborg's was so much a new canon as a subset of the accepted Catholic and Protestant canons.
@fredsbend I suppose you could say that the church was in apostasy, though I don't think that's a word Swedenborg used. He said that the church was "devastated" as to truth, such that there was no truth left in it.
 
1:30 AM
So it just kind of happened? It wasn't an intentional effort by God or Satan?
Any kind of fulfillment of prophecy?
 
@fredsbend It happened, he said, due to two forces within human beings. To use the traditional Swedenborgian terminology: "love of dominion from love of self" and "love of the world." Or in more modern terminology, a desire for power and a desire for wealth and pleasure.
 
@fredsbend Sounds more like Marcionism
 
These things, he said, are the primary evil and hellish loves, which invaded the church and led to its downfall both doctrinally and in terms of its life.
 
@fredsbend Well, what Jesus meant by "fulfil the law" isn't perfectly clear.
 
The Catholic Church, he said, had been infected by a love for power, which caused it to become completely corrupt. Protestantism, he said, was infected by faith-alone theology, which caused it to divorce religion from life, which was its destruction.
 
1:35 AM
I think though that Jesus and Paul both have the same perspective on the law: it expresses God's ethical and moral will, but is not a path to redemption.
 
I don't think it's a coincidence that he traced the doctrinal downfall of Christianity to the Council of Nicaea, which, historically, was precisely when Christianity became a state religion wielding worldly power.
 
@LeeWoofenden All I'm hearing is assertions. I'd prefer to hear more arguments.
 
That power, and the grasping for it, corrupted the church and led to doctrinal dissension and heresy.
@curiousdannii The questions were about what Swedenborg (and I) taught, believed, etc. If you want to get into the arguments, we should probably go over to the Polemics chatroom.
 
@LeeWoofenden Have you seen this question yet?
 
Not every single argument needs to go there, only ones that disrupt this channel. This current discussion seems to be fine IMO
 
1:38 AM
@curiousdannii Well, with only about 100 years since Christ, I don't know what Marcoinism can be called, if either of those two.
@LeeWoofenden I can certainly agree that there was a lot of power mongering in the Church in the Middle Ages.
 
@Mr.Bultitude I'll have to get on that. Unfortunately, I don't understand Oneness Pentecostal theology as well as I should. I spent some time reading up on it a while back, but not enough to really feel that I'd gotten the full story.
 
@curiousdannii But it's perfectly clear that it's not to be abolished.
 
@fredsbend Yeah it isn't either. Swedenborgianism sounds to me like it isn't either of them either. Just old fashioned heresies.
 
@Mr.Bultitude However, Swedenborg did reject Sabellianism as a heresy, and his theology is not modalist.
 
@curiousdannii lol
 
1:40 AM
@fredsbend True, but I don't think Paul teaches it should be abolished either
@LeeWoofenden Well explain that then.
@LeeWoofenden Oneness Pentecostalism is just a new name for Modalism and Sabellianism.
 
@curiousdannii I have yet to look into an "old heresy" attributed to Swedenborg without finding that he rejected that "old heresy"
 
@curiousdannii Whew, I hope not. Otherwise, there's a lot of stupid things that are important to God for some reason.
 
Folks want to put Swedenborg in a quick box so that they don't have to actually read and learn what he taught. But he does not fit into any of those old boxes.
 
@fredsbend Eh?
@LeeWoofenden Based on your own words I haven't seen anything to distinguish his Christology from Modalism.
 
The closest I've found (outside of the Bible) of an old theology that Swedenborg subscribed to is that his soteriology seems to be fairly close to Christus Victor. However, I haven't yet read the book on Christus Victor, and I think Swedenborg rejected some aspects of that theology, too.
 
1:42 AM
I admit I haven't read him myself yet, but I trust that you are presenting him accurately.
 
@curiousdannii Not to be blunt, or anything, but that's because you don't yet understand Swedenborg's theology. Or if you do, then you don't understand Modalism.
 
@LeeWoofenden Then please answer @Mr.Bultitude's question
 
Modalism says that God appears in three different ways, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Swedenborg rejects that. He says the Father never appears, but appears only through the Son, and the Holy Spirit is God's love, wisdom, and power flowing out, so it is God's presence us.
 
@LeeWoofenden Ah. Interesting.
What do you make of the NT passages that talk of the Father doing stuff on his own
 
@curiousdannii What specific NT passages do you have in mind?
 
1:46 AM
@LeeWoofenden Maybe you weren't here, but the polemics room sort of got its start so we could have a legitimate reason to tell crazies and spammers to go somewhere else.
 
@curiousdannii That's going to take some time--mostly because I'll have to read the linked articles and try to get a better handle on Oneness Pentecostal doctrine.
@fredsbend Haha! Well, it didn't work for me!
 
At the time, there was a guy posting tons of crazy stuff in here and we were all pretty annoyed.
@LeeWoofenden Oh, I mean for real crazy. Nobody understood what he was talking about most of the time.
 
@fredsbend When I was young and even more foolish than I am now, I lived for argument! Now, I'm not so excited about it. I'm more interested in reaching minds that can be reached, and "shaking the dust off my feet" from those who can't. On my blog, I simply delete most fundamentalist comments aimed at "converting" me. Not gonna waste my time arguing with them.
 
@curiousdannii But unclean foods are suddenly okay, for example?
 
@curiousdannii What I did read of Oneness Pentecostalism indicated that, like Swedenborg, they rejected the Trinity of Persons and believed in one Person of God instead. But by the time I got distracted to other things I was starting to get the impression that the two theologies go in pretty different directions from there.
 
1:49 AM
Do you realize that unclean foods are actually pre-law?
 
@fredsbend If they were unclean they wouldn't be. But they've been "made clean."
 
Is Oneness Pentecostalism considered modalist? If so, do Oneness Pentecostals accept that label, and identify with Sabellius, or do they reject it?
 
@fredsbend They seem to have been rooted in laws of sacrifice. And in the New Testament, there's a particular sacrifice that seems to have had a bunch of consequences.
 
@fredsbend I would see laws such as that as being essentially arbitrary. The purpose was to demonstrate that the people lived distinct lives from the nations around them.
 
@curiousdannii Read Leviticus and Deuteronomy. If that's all important to God then God's ... nuts.
 
1:50 AM
@fredsbend What "you" are you talking to? If it's me, I don't consider any of the ritual laws to be derived from God, but rather derived from human culture and put to use for God's purposes, for particular reasons relating to the nature of human beings and human culture.
 
@fredsbend Other parts are likely referencing pagan rituals which we don't understand now, such as the boiling a calf in its mother's milk
 
@Mr.Bultitude lol. An amendment that removes a law, but somehow manages to not abolish it.
 
But I'm getting a little behind on this chat . . . .
 
@fredsbend It changed the circumstances that the law was addressing.
 
1:52 AM
@LeeWoofenden I'm looking. A lot of the ones I would use in John I can see could be read with your understanding
And as you reject Paul, then there's not a lot else
 
@curiousdannii Silly. "We don't eat bugs and lizards and things. That means we're different because God loves us."
 
@fredsbend I admit, I laughed.
 
@curiousdannii Haha! So I want to know: How can we stigmatize the Trinity of Persons so that people will run away from it whenever they hear that any church teaches it?!?
 
@fredsbend They lived in a very different culture.
@LeeWoofenden To start, you'd need to show what the bad implications of the Trinity are.
 
@LeeWoofenden By associating the term "Trinity" with an unbiblical doctrine? ;)
 
1:54 AM
@curiousdannii I don't really reject Paul. I just don't consider his letters to be part of the Word of God. But for purposes of debating doctrine, I have no problem using the Protestant canon.
 
@Mr.Bultitude That's a good strategy too. Keep claiming to believe in the Trinity and real Trinitarians will have to come up with different terms to distinguish themselves.
 
I do not think Paul teaches what most Christians--especially Protestants--think he teaches.
 
@fredsbend In a polytheistic and animistic culture, the animals could have been seen as avatars of spirits.
 
@curiousdannii Do you think the surrounding people noticed or even cared? God had a lot of opportunity to amaze people then and today and show He's really Almighty. Instead, we're left with myths, an aggressive people that still behaves badly, and an ancient text that mostly can't relate to people today without significant study.
 
@Mr.Bultitude Well, I already think that the Trinity is an unbiblical doctrine.
 
1:57 AM
@fredsbend But that is admittedly quite speculative. We know some of their gods, but not all.
 
@curiousdannii The problem is that the speculations requires that God was trying and all we really got out of it was the OT. If we take the reasonable conclusion, we should say that the whole lot of it is just a bunch of ancient ideas for an ancient people that have long since passed.
 
@fredsbend A lot of these issues are addressed (for a popular audience) in my article, How God Speaks in the Bible to Us Boneheads. Our concept of what makes the Word of God the Word of God is really quite different from the reigning authority-based models.
 
@fredsbend One more thought. I've heard the idea that the food laws are based on idealistic categories. God created an ordered creation, but creatures that seemed to blur the lines, such as flying featureless creatures (bats) or sea creatures that didn't swim (crustaceons) weren't to be eaten.
 
I don't understand the relevance. If he was going to give dietary restrictions, if could have impressed us with it being a remarkably healthy diet, instead of a list of what animals you can't eat.
 
@fredsbend The purpose wasn't for health, but to act out a life of distinctions. "Be holy because I am holy"
 
2:02 AM
@fredsbend I actually agree with Paul, and with the Letter to the Hebrews (whoever wrote it) on this subject: the OT is "a copy and a shadow" of things to come. I.e., it is a symbolic and metaphorical representation of deeper, spiritual things that would be revealed in Christianity.
From Sw's perspective, the cultures of Old Testament times were wholly materialistic and earth-focused, and could not accept or follow any religion that had any genuine spirituality in it. They were therefore given a very guttural, physical, earth-focused religion that meant something to them in their materialistic state.
 
@curiousdannii So God eats now?
Last I checked, He doesn't even have a body!
 
@fredsbend That's not what I meant.
 
But that religion also embodied a symbolism that expressed through material, cultural cultic practices a deeper spiritual meaning that could not be opened up and revealed until people became less materialistic and more spiritual--something that didn't happen until Christ came, turned the tide of spiritual history, and gave new and more inward-looking teachings.
 
@curiousdannii Well, if God doesn't eat, then why does it matter? Be Holy like God, but God doesn't eat because He doesn't have a body.
 
The cultic practices, dietary laws, and so on, were derived entirely from the cultures of the day. They were not divine in any way in and of themselves. But they were adopted and used as a bearer of deeper meanings that would be revealed in the future.
 
2:05 AM
btw, any diet would be a distinct diet.
Why not be a pragmatic one?
 
This is much of what Hebrews is all about: seeing the deeper meanings in the ancient Jewish priesthood, tabernacle, and ritual practices.
 
You know, if God cares so much for us, He should request that we take care of our bodies, which He does, but when it comes to diet the restrictions are rather arbitrary.
 
@fredsbend If God doesn't have a body, he certainly has an awful lot of human body parts, according to the Bible . . . .
 
And entirely animal focused.
@LeeWoofenden You know what those verses are, Mr. Metaphor.
 
@fredsbend God was saying "I am not part of the creation. The plants and animals around you are not spirits. Honour me by living lives different from the nations around you. The creepy creatures of the seas are not to be honoured through sacrifice. You are not to attempt to attain a spiritual experience through temple prostitutes"
 
2:08 AM
@fredsbend Sure. :-) But how could they even serve as metaphors if they didn't point to some corresponding reality about God.
 
The Law was given in a very specific and reactionary context
 
Also, Jesus certainly had a body. And according to the Gospels, he took it with him when he went.
 
@LeeWoofenden Where are you on Creation? Special instance, theistic evolution, etc.
@LeeWoofenden They do. God acts, and by his "hand" his will is done.
Onan was evil in God's "eyes".
and so on.
 
Hebrew seems to be a very concrete language. Even the poetic books are not very abstract
 
@fredsbend I'm content to let science tell us how the physical universe unfolded. Swedenborg was pre-Darwin, so he believed in spontaneous generation and special creation. However, I think that's just because it's all he had based on the science of his day.
 
2:11 AM
@curiousdannii Another problem. Omniscient God only move when it's a reaction. Another way He could have impressed us.
 
@fredsbend From a Swedenborgian perspective, creation is not something that happens through time, but something that happens through discrete layers of reality from within (the Divine Being) outward through the spiritual and material layers of reality.
 
@LeeWoofenden Well, there were others before him, but they never explained it well. Darwin didn't come up with evolution. He came up with Natural Selection, a method of evolution that makes sense.
 
@fredsbend I don't think it any way makes God look bad by making the overt contrasts of the law contrast with the cultures of the time
 
Swedenborg said that "subsistence is perpetual creation." I.e. God is continually creating everything from within, at every moment.
 
@fredsbend Apparently natural selection is pre-Darwin, as creationists love to point out. Darwin paired natural selection with mutation
 
2:13 AM
@curiousdannii News to me.
 
@fredsbend To my knowledge, there was not a coherent theory of evolution or development of species in Swedenborg's day. If there were, he certainly would have known about it, because he was an avid scientist.
 
@LeeWoofenden I agree.
 
Anyway, what I'm attempting to say is that I don't think Swedenborg's science was any more advanced than the best science of his day. So I don't look to Swedenborg for answers about the nature of the material world and its laws.
 
@curiousdannii No, creating a distinct culture would be neat. But creating a distinct culture via arbitrary and purposeless nonsense is plain stupid. It doesn't look like something an omniscient God would do.
 
@fredsbend What??
 
2:15 AM
His scientific knowledge was very good for his day, but "his day" was the 18th century. We've made just a few scientific advances since then . . . .
 
The purpose of the culture is to be distinct. Most of the changes are very rational - no child sacrifice, no temple prostitutes etc
There are relatively few things which to us seem arbitrary, and I'm suggesting that their basis is to directly contradict the other nation's religions.
 
What I do think is that the laws of the material universe were created by God, and are expressions of God's nature as it manifests in a world constructed of physical matter. God's role is to create and maintain both the laws and the existence of everything in nature from within.
 
@curiousdannii I think you missed my point. Making a distinct culture is not really remarkable by itself. Making a distinct culture via something actually useful and obviously divine would be remarkable.
The people in the OT look like a bunch of primitive, violent morons.
 
@fredsbend The culture wasn't meant to be remarkable. It was meant to demonstrate that civilisation won't result in salvation.
 
@curiousdannii Yes, in terms of laws and cultic practices, I believe that ancient Hebrew culture made some distinct advances over common practices in the time.
 
2:17 AM
@LeeWoofenden Monotheism, being one.
 
@fredsbend How does that make them qualitatively different than modern violent morons?
@fredsbend Yes, that was the biggie. Took 'em a long time to really get it, though.
 
@LeeWoofenden It does not. That's the point.
 
@fredsbend Edward Blyth has the basic ideas of natural selection
 
I would listen to or care about them, why should I Israel?
 
@fredsbend So the stuff they were doing back then relates quite directly to the stuff we're still doing. But they did it in very physical, pragmatic ways, which makes it a lot easier to see than some of our modern, more psychological shenanigans.
 
2:19 AM
@curiousdannii Right, but he was a contemporary of Darwin.
 
@LeeWoofenden John 15:9, John 15:26, Romans 8:26, rev 3:5
 
ok i gtg now.
 
I think that the Bible--the OT specifically--was written among "bronze age nomads" (to use a favorite atheist term) precisely because they were primitive, violent morons whose "sins" were so clear and obvious that no moron, primitive or modern, could fail to get the point.
@fredsbend k, good chatting. cya later.
 
@fredsbend He published before Darwin
@LeeWoofenden Eventually I'd be interested to hear how Sweedenborgians explain the role of Jesus as mediator
 
@curiousdannii He was still post-Swedenborg by several decades.
 
2:21 AM
@LeeWoofenden Yeah I wasn't talking about that at all
@fredsbend bye
 
@curiousdannii Well, you've got a captivated Swedenborgian here, who just can't help answering questions that relate to Swedenborg when they're posted on the main site! ;-)
 
@LeeWoofenden After you prove that he wasn't a modalist then I will ;)
 
@curiousdannii Right. Multiple threads of conversation going on here. I'm not keeping up with all of them.
@curiousdannii <rubs hands together>
 
Jesus' role as mediator is one of the things which I think all mono-person Christologies (whether modalist or not) will struggle to explain
 
@curiousdannii It all depends what you think needs mediation. We don't think God requires a mediator, but that humans require a mediator. In a nutshell, Jesus Christ is God serving as his own mediator for human beings who have divorced themselves from God.
 
2:26 AM
@LeeWoofenden But who is he mediating between? People and who?
 
To use the Bible's own language (in the traditional KJV), "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). Not reconciling God to the world, or to humanity, but reconciling the world (meaning humanity) to God.
In Swedenborgian theology, God never was angry at us, and never required us to go to hell or any such thing. Rather, we humans had rejected God, and were separating ourselves from God, and sending ourselves to hell. God reached down as Jesus Christ in order to turn us around and get us moving back toward God.
 
As I wrote in a comment to my question "Because you only need a mediator when you can't peaceably interact with them yourself." Non-trinitarians will probably have a different understanding of the idea of 'mediator'.
@LeeWoofenden Ah yep. Well the wrath of God is all over the Bible I think.
@LeeWoofenden I don't think this represents the Biblical language of mediator or intecessor
 
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20). God is there at the door, waiting and wanting to come to us. If we'll only open the door, he will. Jesus is the one standing at the door knocking.
@curiousdannii I actually don't think "mediator" and "intercessor" are the strongest themes in the Bible.
 
@LeeWoofenden 1 Samuel 2:25
@LeeWoofenden Yeah it isn't the biggest theme. It's relatively small. But I think it's still there.
 
However, to get more specific, in Swedenborgian theology Jesus is the divine humanity of God, which mediates between the core divinity of God and human beings. We cannot approach the core divinity of God (called "the Father" in the Bible) directly, because it's beyond our ability. But we can approach God through his human presence, which is Jesus Christ.
@curiousdannii Yes, it's there. But I think it has been over-emphasized for the purpose of supporting Catholic and Protestant doctrine.
 
2:33 AM
@LeeWoofenden Hmm, okay interesting. I can see internal logic there.
@LeeWoofenden I think you're under-emphasising it and ignoring the wrath of God to support your own doctrines ;)
 
I'm not denying that Christ serves as a mediator. I just think that's more of a metaphor than a literal ambassador type role.
 
@LeeWoofenden I never thought you would deny it, just didn't know how you would understand it. Same with the modalists in my question.
 
@curiousdannii It's covered rather nicely in Psalm 18:25-26:
With the loyal you show yourself loyal;
with the blameless you show yourself blameless;
with the pure you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you show yourself perverse.
God appears to us according to our own state of mind and heart. To someone opposed to God's love, God's love looks like wrath.
Think of how a snowman regards the warmth of the sun.
The warmth of the sun is God's love. But if you are ice cold in spirit, that love becomes a destroying fire.
God isn't actually perverse. But to the crooked he appears perverse.
 
@LeeWoofenden That is true
I've got to go now. Been good chatting
 
So when Swedenborg interprets Bible passages that speak of "God's wrath," he interprets it as God's love as it appears to those who are opposed to divine love, but live from hatred, anger, and wrath themselves.
k cya.
good chatting
 

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