Archive for the ‘history’ Category

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2 Cor 4:4 Who Is The God of This World?

May 21, 2008

I have been in a discussion with someone on Twitter discussing 2 Cor 4:4 and that it seemed inconsistent with Paul’s theology to state this commonly quoted verse.

2 Cor 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For some reason that verse had always bothered me as I saw it did not fit with other verses that Paul wrote.

Like.

Romans 1: 25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. 26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

Notice it is God doing the deluding? Not Satan. Though I do think Satan plays a part in the turning from the knowledge of God, and adding to the “depraved mind”.

I also noted Paul stating things like:

Romans 3: 30. “since there is only one God,” I wondered why then Paul referred to Satan as the “god of this world”… it seemed that it was a bit of an exaggeration at best! LOL!

But the verses that made me wonder the most was in 1 Cor 8: 4. So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6. yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

If Paul was stating that there is only One God over and over here… and stating that “even if there are so-called gods”, then making a slighted reference to all the many “gods” and “lords” (possibly a reference to Caesar worship?) I just could not see him referring to Satan as a god, even in small letters. It seemed out of character for Paul… though he may at times go to extreme rhetoric as in the “height, width, depth of God’s love”…

Anyway I left it alone for quite a few years, but it still bothered me. Then about a year ago (maybe 3) I was reading Irenaeus and found that he was correcting how this passage should be read. Sorry for all the upcoming cut an past

Against Heresies
Chapter VII.—Reply to an objection founded on the words of St. Paul (2 Cor. iv. 4). St. Paul occasionally uses words not in their grammatical sequence.

1. As to their affirming that Paul said plainly in the Second [Epistle] to the Corinthians, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not,”3358 and maintaining that there is indeed one god of this world, but another who is beyond all principality, and beginning, and power, we are not to blame if they, who give out that they do themselves know mysteries beyond God, know not how to read Paul. For if any one read the passage thus—according to Paul’s custom, as I show elsewhere, and by many examples, that he uses transposition of words—“In whom God,” then pointing it off, and making a slight interval, and at the same time read also the rest [of the sentence] in one [clause], “hath blinded the minds of them of this world that believe not,” he shall find out the true [sense]; that it is contained in the expression, “God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this world.” And this is shown by means of the little interval [between the clause]. For Paul does not say, “the God of this world,” as if recognising any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, “the unbelievers of this world,” because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption. I shall show from Paul himself, how it is that God has blinded the minds of them that believe not, in the course of this work, that we may not just at present distract our mind from the matter in hand, [by wandering] at large.

2. From many other instances also, we may discover that the apostle frequently uses a transposed order in his sentences, due to the rapidity of his discourses, and the impetus of the Spirit which is in him. An example occurs in the [Epistle] to the Galatians, where he expresses himself as follows:
“Wherefore then the law of works?3359 It was added, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.”3360 For the order of the words runs thus: “Wherefore then the law of works? Ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator, it was added until the seed should come to whom the promise was made,”— man thus asking the question, and the Spirit making answer. And again, in the Second to the Thessalonians, speaking of Antichrist, he says, “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus Christ3361 shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy him3362 with the presence of his coming; [even him] whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.”3363 Now in these [sentences] the order of the words is this: “And then shall be revealed that wicked, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the presence of His coming.”
For he does not mean that the coming of the Lord is after the working of Satan; but the coming of the wicked one, whom we also call Antichrist. If, then, one does not attend to the [proper] reading [of the passage], and if he do not exhibit the intervals of breathing as they occur, there shall be not only incongruities, but also, when reading, he will utter blasphemy, as if the advent of the Lord could take place according to the working of Satan. So therefore, in such passages, the hyperbaton must be exhibited by the reading, and the apostle’s meaning following on, preserved; and thus we do not read in that passage, “the god of this world,” but, “God,” whom we do truly call God; and we hear [it declared of] the unbelieving and the blinded of this world, that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come.


It really made me start thinking again on all this…

I started to look at the verse again so see what it might really be saying.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who veiled the gospel? It is our own unbelief. How is the veil removed, by believing in Jesus. We learned all this in 2 Cor 3
The Gospel is veiled to those who are perishing.

I see it should read:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The God Eternal has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

It then flows so that we now (again as we learned in 2 Cor 3: 16. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.)

Verse 5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

It is God who blinds the unbeliever so that they cannot see Christ. They can see Christ when God reveals Jesus to them as Paul teaches in 1 Cor 1: 18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Now here is my theory, call it conspiracy if you will. LOL!

Most of us are from the Protestant/reformed view. We spend our time in Calvin and Augustine and other 16th century guys who are well worth the read. I think many manuscripts are mostly from Alexandria which took a Platonist/ Gnostic view point of scripture. Somewhere I think we tossed the baby out with the bathwater in our zeal to attack the Roman Catholic Church. I had not read Irenaeus and when I did it was in my search to follow the disciples of John the Apostle. You might know Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of Ignatius and. So the linage is pretty straight forward as to what was taught from John. I see that maybe we just took to our own traditions instead of looking at our historians of past. Note many are pretty far out there, yet, some that we can see come from apostolic line of teaching, should be considered in their interpretations.

iggy

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2 Cor 4:4 Who Is The God of This World?

May 21, 2008

I have been in a discussion with someone on Twitter discussing 2 Cor 4:4 and that it seemed inconsistent with Paul’s theology to state this commonly quoted verse.

2 Cor 4:4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

For some reason that verse had always bothered me as I saw it did not fit with other verses that Paul wrote.

Like.

Romans 1: 25. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen. 26. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.

Notice it is God doing the deluding? Not Satan. Though I do think Satan plays a part in the turning from the knowledge of God, and adding to the “depraved mind”.

I also noted Paul stating things like:

Romans 3: 30. “since there is only one God,” I wondered why then Paul referred to Satan as the “god of this world”… it seemed that it was a bit of an exaggeration at best! LOL!

But the verses that made me wonder the most was in 1 Cor 8: 4. So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one. 5. For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6. yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.

If Paul was stating that there is only One God over and over here… and stating that “even if there are so-called gods”, then making a slighted reference to all the many “gods” and “lords” (possibly a reference to Caesar worship?) I just could not see him referring to Satan as a god, even in small letters. It seemed out of character for Paul… though he may at times go to extreme rhetoric as in the “height, width, depth of God’s love”…

Anyway I left it alone for quite a few years, but it still bothered me. Then about a year ago (maybe 3) I was reading Irenaeus and found that he was correcting how this passage should be read. Sorry for all the upcoming cut an past

Against Heresies
Chapter VII.—Reply to an objection founded on the words of St. Paul (2 Cor. iv. 4). St. Paul occasionally uses words not in their grammatical sequence.

1. As to their affirming that Paul said plainly in the Second [Epistle] to the Corinthians, “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not,”3358 and maintaining that there is indeed one god of this world, but another who is beyond all principality, and beginning, and power, we are not to blame if they, who give out that they do themselves know mysteries beyond God, know not how to read Paul. For if any one read the passage thus—according to Paul’s custom, as I show elsewhere, and by many examples, that he uses transposition of words—“In whom God,” then pointing it off, and making a slight interval, and at the same time read also the rest [of the sentence] in one [clause], “hath blinded the minds of them of this world that believe not,” he shall find out the true [sense]; that it is contained in the expression, “God hath blinded the minds of the unbelievers of this world.” And this is shown by means of the little interval [between the clause]. For Paul does not say, “the God of this world,” as if recognising any other beyond Him; but he confessed God as indeed God. And he says, “the unbelievers of this world,” because they shall not inherit the future age of incorruption. I shall show from Paul himself, how it is that God has blinded the minds of them that believe not, in the course of this work, that we may not just at present distract our mind from the matter in hand, [by wandering] at large.

2. From many other instances also, we may discover that the apostle frequently uses a transposed order in his sentences, due to the rapidity of his discourses, and the impetus of the Spirit which is in him. An example occurs in the [Epistle] to the Galatians, where he expresses himself as follows:
“Wherefore then the law of works?3359 It was added, until the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator.”3360 For the order of the words runs thus: “Wherefore then the law of works? Ordained by angels in the hand of a Mediator, it was added until the seed should come to whom the promise was made,”— man thus asking the question, and the Spirit making answer. And again, in the Second to the Thessalonians, speaking of Antichrist, he says, “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus Christ3361 shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy him3362 with the presence of his coming; [even him] whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders.”3363 Now in these [sentences] the order of the words is this: “And then shall be revealed that wicked, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the Spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the presence of His coming.”
For he does not mean that the coming of the Lord is after the working of Satan; but the coming of the wicked one, whom we also call Antichrist. If, then, one does not attend to the [proper] reading [of the passage], and if he do not exhibit the intervals of breathing as they occur, there shall be not only incongruities, but also, when reading, he will utter blasphemy, as if the advent of the Lord could take place according to the working of Satan. So therefore, in such passages, the hyperbaton must be exhibited by the reading, and the apostle’s meaning following on, preserved; and thus we do not read in that passage, “the god of this world,” but, “God,” whom we do truly call God; and we hear [it declared of] the unbelieving and the blinded of this world, that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come.


It really made me start thinking again on all this…

I started to look at the verse again so see what it might really be saying.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who veiled the gospel? It is our own unbelief. How is the veil removed, by believing in Jesus. We learned all this in 2 Cor 3
The Gospel is veiled to those who are perishing.

I see it should read:

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The God Eternal has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

It then flows so that we now (again as we learned in 2 Cor 3: 16. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.)

Verse 5. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

It is God who blinds the unbeliever so that they cannot see Christ. They can see Christ when God reveals Jesus to them as Paul teaches in 1 Cor 1: 18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Now here is my theory, call it conspiracy if you will. LOL!

Most of us are from the Protestant/reformed view. We spend our time in Calvin and Augustine and other 16th century guys who are well worth the read. I think many manuscripts are mostly from Alexandria which took a Platonist/ Gnostic view point of scripture. Somewhere I think we tossed the baby out with the bathwater in our zeal to attack the Roman Catholic Church. I had not read Irenaeus and when I did it was in my search to follow the disciples of John the Apostle. You might know Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp who was a disciple of Ignatius and. So the linage is pretty straight forward as to what was taught from John. I see that maybe we just took to our own traditions instead of looking at our historians of past. Note many are pretty far out there, yet, some that we can see come from apostolic line of teaching, should be considered in their interpretations.

iggy

h1

Responding to Ken Silva pt 2… the Mystics and Historical Christianity

February 19, 2008

Responding to Ken Silva… the Mystics and Historical Christianity

Ken Silva was once a Catholic. In that he saw some things that were not “Christian” in the sense that as other denominations, the RCC has strayed in many areas of what I prefer to call Biblical Christian faith.

I prefer to use “Biblical Christian Faith” as often Orthodox is misunderstood or abused or too broad or too narrow. In using the Bible as what is the basis of Christian faith I hope that we can understand some basic things that come from history and the bible.

I am responding to this little blurb, of which in itself is but a small part of an over all misunderstanding of history or our faith. I have read Ken’s view here and there but this attack piece on Shane Claiborne seemed to be the clearest in the way Ken speaks as to the real issue that is between ken and others which is his lack of Historical understanding and the Bible and how they often are truly relative in relationship with each other.

First here is the article from CRN. Note this is posted by the “editor” which is or is not Ken, yet this has “Ken Silva” all over it as all the links lead to Ken’s other site Apprising Ministries.

———————————————————————————————–

Shane Claiborne Mystic Mumbo Jumbo
Published February 16th, 2008 by Editor in Emerging Church, Postevangelicalism
For those who may doubt it Shane Claiborne is definitely into the mystic mumbo jumbo of the Emergent Church. So-called “Christian” mysticism is a core doctrine of the emerging church movement from its very inception.

To be fair, Claiborne is hardly alone in using this perverted reference to experiencing God as one’s “lover”; and what follows from his book The Irresistible Revolution is classic language from those who practice contemplative mysticism: church history is filled with folks who followed God as singles–Jesus, for one; many of the disciples and martyrs, Francis and Claire of Assisi, the desert monastics, to name a few others…

At first it was a rational thing; I was attracted to the idea of God as lover. And then I began to experience God as lover, and I quickly became attracted to the Lover. I read Hosea and got the sense that life is a romance with the divine. I started meeting with a Catholic monk, who had taken a vow of poverty and celibacy. He told me, “We can live without sex, but we cannot live without love, and God is love.” I had come to see God as lover and provider… (111)
———————————————————————————————-

For those who may doubt it Shane Claiborne is definitely into the mystic mumbo jumbo of the Emergent Church. So-called “Christian” mysticism is a core doctrine of the emerging church movement from its very inception.”

Answer:
This is the core issue which I will state Ken misses that by throwing out all mysticism as wrong, misses that historically much what Ken believes was and is attributed to mysticism and its influence on our foundations of our faith and even later the Reformer themselves.

If we say “mysticism is tainted”, then we must go to the root of the mystic teachers and those who promote them. Yet, in saying they are tainted then brings the Fathers of our faith in to question and in that, the bible itself.

Now one of the most misunderstood things is that there is a great history of Christianity both eastern and western. Athanasius of Alexandria would be a great place to start. It was him (Besides the Apostles themselves but I will get to the biblical references for this later) that first wrote about the mystic way of Life of St. Anthony. Yet, if we just stop there we then miss that Athanasius of Alexandria was one that stood against many heresies of his day which includes Arianism and the Meletians who did not accept the Niceae Council’s Creed.

Now, Athanasius was far from perfect, in fact his attack against Ariansim seems historically more of a caricature than the realities of what they believed. There was also controversy as to how he came to the position of Pope.

That being said, Athanasius did do some very great things.

“Athanasius is revered as a saint by the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic Churches. He is traditionally regarded as a great leader of the Church by the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Communion, and most Protestants in general.” (Source Wikipedia)

Of his greatest accomplishments, Athanasius was the secretary at the First Council of Nicaea and also was a major influence in the development of the Cannons of Scripture. Which is why I am starting here. For if we are to question and assert as Ken Silva does, that all mysticism is wrong, then one of the most important figures in the development of the bible as we have it, let alone one of the greater participants of the Council of Nicaea, then we then must be aware that there is a grave issue in whether the bible and the creeds are trustworthy. Of course there is much more to this, but again my focus is on the idea that if a person is tainted with “mysticism”, and all they do is tainted as Ken asserts with Shane Claiborne, even to attack the teaching “God is Love” as perverted by saying “God is our Lover”… misses that there are complete books of the Bible that teach just this. Again I see this as more ignorance which can be fixed with a little education if one cares to gain a bit of knowledge with their zeal.

I recommend that if anyone is interested, Covenant Worldwide has some great “free” courses online. I recommend Ancient & Medieval Church History taught by Dr. David Calhoun. This is a “reformed” school taught by a Calvinist. So in that there is some bias in the teaching, yet, I found it very informative and of great interest. I am now doing Reformation & Modern Church History and will be doing Calvin’s Institutes in the next few months. I am not putting Mr. Silva down, yet will boldly state that ignorance does cause much hate. It is better to state things with a bit of grasp of history than to be ignorant and throw out the baby and the bathwater.

Be blessed,
iggy

h1

Responding to Ken Silva pt 2… the Mystics and Historical Christianity

February 19, 2008

Responding to Ken Silva… the Mystics and Historical Christianity

Ken Silva was once a Catholic. In that he saw some things that were not “Christian” in the sense that as other denominations, the RCC has strayed in many areas of what I prefer to call Biblical Christian faith.

I prefer to use “Biblical Christian Faith” as often Orthodox is misunderstood or abused or too broad or too narrow. In using the Bible as what is the basis of Christian faith I hope that we can understand some basic things that come from history and the bible.

I am responding to this little blurb, of which in itself is but a small part of an over all misunderstanding of history or our faith. I have read Ken’s view here and there but this attack piece on Shane Claiborne seemed to be the clearest in the way Ken speaks as to the real issue that is between ken and others which is his lack of Historical understanding and the Bible and how they often are truly relative in relationship with each other.

First here is the article from CRN. Note this is posted by the “editor” which is or is not Ken, yet this has “Ken Silva” all over it as all the links lead to Ken’s other site Apprising Ministries.

———————————————————————————————–

Shane Claiborne Mystic Mumbo Jumbo
Published February 16th, 2008 by Editor in Emerging Church, Postevangelicalism
For those who may doubt it Shane Claiborne is definitely into the mystic mumbo jumbo of the Emergent Church. So-called “Christian” mysticism is a core doctrine of the emerging church movement from its very inception.

To be fair, Claiborne is hardly alone in using this perverted reference to experiencing God as one’s “lover”; and what follows from his book The Irresistible Revolution is classic language from those who practice contemplative mysticism: church history is filled with folks who followed God as singles–Jesus, for one; many of the disciples and martyrs, Francis and Claire of Assisi, the desert monastics, to name a few others…

At first it was a rational thing; I was attracted to the idea of God as lover. And then I began to experience God as lover, and I quickly became attracted to the Lover. I read Hosea and got the sense that life is a romance with the divine. I started meeting with a Catholic monk, who had taken a vow of poverty and celibacy. He told me, “We can live without sex, but we cannot live without love, and God is love.” I had come to see God as lover and provider… (111)
———————————————————————————————-

For those who may doubt it Shane Claiborne is definitely into the mystic mumbo jumbo of the Emergent Church. So-called “Christian” mysticism is a core doctrine of the emerging church movement from its very inception.”

Answer:
This is the core issue which I will state Ken misses that by throwing out all mysticism as wrong, misses that historically much what Ken believes was and is attributed to mysticism and its influence on our foundations of our faith and even later the Reformer themselves.

If we say “mysticism is tainted”, then we must go to the root of the mystic teachers and those who promote them. Yet, in saying they are tainted then brings the Fathers of our faith in to question and in that, the bible itself.

Now one of the most misunderstood things is that there is a great history of Christianity both eastern and western. Athanasius of Alexandria would be a great place to start. It was him (Besides the Apostles themselves but I will get to the biblical references for this later) that first wrote about the mystic way of Life of St. Anthony. Yet, if we just stop there we then miss that Athanasius of Alexandria was one that stood against many heresies of his day which includes Arianism and the Meletians who did not accept the Niceae Council’s Creed.

Now, Athanasius was far from perfect, in fact his attack against Ariansim seems historically more of a caricature than the realities of what they believed. There was also controversy as to how he came to the position of Pope.

That being said, Athanasius did do some very great things.

“Athanasius is revered as a saint by the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Eastern Catholic Churches. He is traditionally regarded as a great leader of the Church by the Lutheran Church, the Anglican Communion, and most Protestants in general.” (Source Wikipedia)

Of his greatest accomplishments, Athanasius was the secretary at the First Council of Nicaea and also was a major influence in the development of the Cannons of Scripture. Which is why I am starting here. For if we are to question and assert as Ken Silva does, that all mysticism is wrong, then one of the most important figures in the development of the bible as we have it, let alone one of the greater participants of the Council of Nicaea, then we then must be aware that there is a grave issue in whether the bible and the creeds are trustworthy. Of course there is much more to this, but again my focus is on the idea that if a person is tainted with “mysticism”, and all they do is tainted as Ken asserts with Shane Claiborne, even to attack the teaching “God is Love” as perverted by saying “God is our Lover”… misses that there are complete books of the Bible that teach just this. Again I see this as more ignorance which can be fixed with a little education if one cares to gain a bit of knowledge with their zeal.

I recommend that if anyone is interested, Covenant Worldwide has some great “free” courses online. I recommend Ancient & Medieval Church History taught by Dr. David Calhoun. This is a “reformed” school taught by a Calvinist. So in that there is some bias in the teaching, yet, I found it very informative and of great interest. I am now doing Reformation & Modern Church History and will be doing Calvin’s Institutes in the next few months. I am not putting Mr. Silva down, yet will boldly state that ignorance does cause much hate. It is better to state things with a bit of grasp of history than to be ignorant and throw out the baby and the bathwater.

Be blessed,
iggy