Author Topic: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?  (Read 7961 times)

Offline John Lamb

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #75 on: July 11, 2019, 03:47:09 PM »
Ishmael is the son of the slave woman. He has not inherited the liberty of the true children of God. The Mohammedans do not accept the freedom of sonship that has been given to us in Christ; they are rebellious, envious slaves of God who persecute God's true children: the Christians. Their righteousness and zeal is a false and ungodly righteousness and zeal, driven by the lust to dominate, not charity.

This is a family dispute:
The Jews are the prodigal elder brother who has left the house cursing it.
The Muslims are the rejected slave who assaults the house out of envy and hatred.
The Christians are the faithful son who abides in the house.

That's why we alone call God "Father".
« Last Edit: July 11, 2019, 03:53:07 PM by John Lamb »
As many as received him, he gave them power to be made the sons of God, to them that believe in his name. (John 1:12)
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #76 on: July 11, 2019, 04:33:56 PM »
It's the same problem Jews have, actually.  They worship a Father without His Son.

No. This is where you're also wrong. They do not worship the Father or any father. And they do not worship God, as God, who has no existence separate from the concrete reality of his hypostases, is only worshipable in these.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Christians will think that a unitarian deity, like Allah for example, is the Father. Perhaps this is born of an implicit bias against the coequality of the three hypostases.

Quote
For Jews, their limited understanding of the Torah -- limited in that it lacks the fulfillment of the prophecies, assuming they have yet to be fulfilled -- is an interpretation that distorts the Fatherhood of God.

It's not a limited understanding but a misunderstanding: they do not understand the divinity as Father, Son and Holy Spirit and therefore do not understand the Hebrew scriptures, which are based in this idea. The Old Testament is, like the New, fundamentally about the Son, Yahweh, who is clearly named as the son of the Most High unto whom the nation of Israel was alotted (Deuteronomy 32:8-9, whose correct reading is preserved in the Septuagint).
 

Offline mikemac

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #77 on: July 11, 2019, 07:18:02 PM »
If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

You should consult the entry in the dictionary where proselytism is defined. That might help.

These videos help you understand Islam straight from the horse's mouth. They help you avoid bearing false witness about what Muslims believe, explaining what and how they believe from their own perspective and sources. And if you know and understand them better, you can love them better.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.

Zelus sine scientia est ignis sine lumine.

I didn't need to look it up, but I did anyway.

proselytize
verb
convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
advocate or promote (a belief or course of action).

Yep, your zeal for knowledge of Islam gives you away.

By the way, I don't care what Muslims believe, because I believe Islam is a false religion.  I could know, understand and love them better if they converted to the Catholic Faith.
Like John Vennari (RIP) said "Why not just do it?  What would it hurt?"
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Offline Miriam_M

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #78 on: July 11, 2019, 07:32:23 PM »
Kreuzritter,
The technicalities of Jewish and Muslim belief are immaterial to Catholicism because neither non/Catholic religion professes the Trinitarian God professed by the One True Religion. Different concept of deity, not harmonious with Catholic belief.  Theologically, there is nothing for Catholics to “learn” from Islam.
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #79 on: July 11, 2019, 09:05:03 PM »
If that is not proselytizing for Islam I don't know what is.

You should consult the entry in the dictionary where proselytism is defined. That might help.

These videos help you understand Islam straight from the horse's mouth. They help you avoid bearing false witness about what Muslims believe, explaining what and how they believe from their own perspective and sources. And if you know and understand them better, you can love them better.

As if anyone around here would want to waste 6 hours listening to mullahs explain a false religion.

Zelus sine scientia est ignis sine lumine.

I didn't need to look it up, but I did anyway.

proselytize
verb
convert or attempt to convert (someone) from one religion, belief, or opinion to another.
advocate or promote (a belief or course of action).

Yep, your zeal for knowledge of Islam gives you away.

By the way, I don't care what Muslims believe, because I believe Islam is a false religion.  I could know, understand and love them better if they converted to the Catholic Faith.

Ignorantia non est ineluctabilis sed excogitata.
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2019, 07:43:48 AM »
Here's another excellent lecture that touches on a fundamental point of Islamic theology with many ramifications to everyday life: rida which means the acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree. There are some very interesting insights shared by British Sunni scholar and Sufi master Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad that I feel are also applicable to Christianity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi8lJXqLP8

This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface.  But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.  Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified.

However, the fable of the ant crawling over the Persian carpet is a poor analogy.  It is essentially the same thing Bishop Berkeley offered: "the very blemishes and defects of nature are not without their use, in that they make an agreeable sort of variety, and augment the beauty of the rest of creation, as shades in a picture serve to set off the brighter and more enlightened parts."  Woe to the poor souls who have the misfortune of being the shade in God's painting instead of the light.  But we need not rehash our theodicy debates here.

Where this fellow becomes more interesting is towards the end, when he discusses the future of the ummah.  In terms of birth rates, immigration, and the watered-down offerings of Christianity, he has a good point that Islam might position itself as an attractive alternative to seekers as secularism fails.  But I think he is wrong.  Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.  Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses").  There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism.  Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #81 on: July 12, 2019, 09:36:27 AM »
Here's another excellent lecture that touches on a fundamental point of Islamic theology with many ramifications to everyday life: rida which means the acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree. There are some very interesting insights shared by British Sunni scholar and Sufi master Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad that I feel are also applicable to Christianity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oxi8lJXqLP8

This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface.

And why would I or any Catholic shy away from such a description? What you call "semi-Pelagianism" is the Patristic synergist doctrine and has never been condemned by the Church. But note that even you admit, by that term, that it is not Pelagianism; on the other hand, the Augustinianism, and moreso the Baneisianism, toward which you appear to have a peculiar bias for an "agnostic", I have no problem in declaring to be, looking past the scholastic word games, indistinguishable from Calvinism.

As expected, even for a Sufi, the conception of "acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree" is from a perspective of law, authority and slavery. And of course, like Calvinism, it cannot resolve the logical contradiction inherent in its conception of Allah as the sole cosmic agent and the supposed ability of human beings to "choose" and be morally accountable for their actions, and has to talk about "mystery" and "miracles".

Quote
But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.

It's not a "problem" at all for Christianity, since it, not the vision of the dictatorial clockmaker of authoritarian, legalistic religions, is truth.

Quote
Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified

Allah is quite readily identified by those with eyes to see:

Al-Mutakabbir The Proud
Al-Baari    The Evolver
Al-Qaabid    The Restricting One
Al-Muzil    The Abaser
Al-Mumeet    The Inflictor of Death
Al-Waahid    The Only One
Al-Mu’akhkhir    The Procrastinator
Ad-Daarr    The Distressor


and let's not forget the one left out from the list

Al-Makireena The Deceiver

and the Lord of Sirius, also the Morning Star.

Quote from: Ezekiel 28
1 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

2 Son of man, say unto the prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord God; Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas; yet thou art a man, and not God, though thou set thine heart as the heart of God:

3 Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee:

4 With thy wisdom and with thine understanding thou hast gotten thee riches, and hast gotten gold and silver into thy treasures:

5 By thy great wisdom and by thy traffick hast thou increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy riches:

6 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God;

7 Behold, therefore I will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations: and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of thy wisdom, and they shall defile thy brightness.

8 They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are slain in the midst of the seas.

9 Wilt thou yet say before him that slayeth thee, I am God? but thou shalt be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slayeth thee.

10 Thou shalt die the deaths of the uncircumcised by the hand of strangers: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God.

11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

12 Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty.

13 Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

18 Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

19 All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.


Quote from:  Isaiah 14
12
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O [a]Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’
15
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.

Quote from:  John 8
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

Quote from:  2 Corinthians 4
3 And if our gospel be also hid, it is hid to them that are lost,

4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of unbelievers, that the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should not shine unto them.

Quote from:  2 Corinthians 11
14: And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.

Quote
Hebrews 2: 14 That is why Jesus became one of us. That through his death he might bring to nothing the one having the means to cause death, that is, the Devil.

The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was not convincing the world that he does not exist; it was convincing the world that he is God. It's there, for all to see, but Christians seem to be struck with a peculiar blindness as to the nature and identity of Lucifer.

So is the lord of the devils:

Surah 19:83: See you not that We have sent the Shayatin against the disbelievers to push them to do evil.

Surah 6:112: Thus have We appointed unto every Prophet an advesary, – evil one among men and jinns, inspiring each other with flowery discourses by way of deception.

What a psychotic sociopath.

Surah 32:13: If We had so willed, We could certainly have brought every soul its true guidance: but the Word from Me will come true, “I will fill Hell with Jinns and men all together.

Sahih al-Bukhari Book 60 Hadith 475 Once Allah's Apostle became sick and could not offer his night prayer (Tahajjud) for two or three nights. Then a lady (the wife of Abu Lahab) came and said, "O Muhammad! I think that your Satan has forsaken you, for I have not seen him with you for two or three nights!" On that Allah revealed: 'By the fore-noon, and by the night when it darkens, your Lord (O Muhammad) has neither forsaken you, nor hated you.' (93.1-3)


Quote
Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.

What precisely is "the Western mind" and how can Christianity, which presumably shaped much of it, be alien to it?
 
Quote
Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses"). 

What do ancient Greeks have to do with Germans apart from their culture having influenced the German by way of Rome and eventually the Western Catholic adoption of classicla philosophy and the philo-Hellenism of the Renaissance?

Quote
There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism.  Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.

There are relatively few converts from any culturally entrenched religion into another. Even from a human perspective it requires mustering some degree of intelligence and indifference toward institutionalised authority in order to dare to question what one has been raised in. That might tell one something about actual faith and the fewness of the saved.
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #82 on: July 12, 2019, 09:48:30 AM »
Kreuzritter,
The technicalities of Jewish and Muslim belief are immaterial to Catholicism because neither non/Catholic religion professes the Trinitarian God professed by the One True Religion. Different concept of deity, not harmonious with Catholic belief.  Theologically, there is nothing for Catholics to “learn” from Islam.

Maybe, but Catholic conceptions of them can certainly reveal a Catholic's underlying ideas. Again: why would you say that Jews worship a Father without His Son?!? I find this ubiquitous inference among Christians befuddling, as I do any inference that identifies "Hashem", "Allah" etc. with the Father. If they are merely misunderstanding the nature of God, why would you not identify these with the Trinity? Why the Father specifically?
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #83 on: July 12, 2019, 10:10:01 AM »
Quote
Because thine heart is lifted up, and thou hast said, I am a God, I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the seas

Naturally this lead me to look ...


And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and His Throne had been upon water…
(Quran 11:7)
 

Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #84 on: July 12, 2019, 01:17:43 PM »
And why would I or any Catholic shy away from such a description? What you call "semi-Pelagianism" is the Patristic synergist doctrine and has never been condemned by the Church. But note that even you admit, by that term, that it is not Pelagianism; on the other hand, the Augustinianism, and moreso the Baneisianism, toward which you appear to have a peculiar bias for an "agnostic", I have no problem in declaring to be, looking past the scholastic word games, indistinguishable from Calvinism.

As expected, even for a Sufi, the conception of "acceptance, satisfaction or perfect contentment with God's will or decree" is from a perspective of law, authority and slavery. And of course, like Calvinism, it cannot resolve the logical contradiction inherent in its conception of Allah as the sole cosmic agent and the supposed ability of human beings to "choose" and be morally accountable for their actions, and has to talk about "mystery" and "miracles".

Yes, I agree.  Every theology ends in paradox.  Even as an agnostic, however, my bias is still for Augustinianism, because it correctly diagnoses man's sickness.  More so than any other theological system, it is the most honest concerning man's wretchedness and depravity.  Islam, so far as I know, does not do this, because it lacks the doctrine of Original Sin.

It's not a "problem" at all for Christianity, since it, not the vision of the dictatorial clockmaker of authoritarian, legalistic religions, is truth.

Allah is quite readily identified by those with eyes to see.

The speaker's point, which I was only repeating, is that Allah is multi-faceted and not strictly identified with love.  The Islamic apologist has more maneuver room on that particular point of the theodicy problem, though as far as I'm concerned it doesn't come close to getting him out of it.

What precisely is "the Western mind" and how can Christianity, which presumably shaped much of it, be alien to it?
 
What do ancient Greeks have to do with Germans apart from their culture having influenced the German by way of Rome and eventually the Western Catholic adoption of classicla philosophy and the philo-Hellenism of the Renaissance?

Virtually all of the pre-Christian European cultures were polytheistic in devotion and monistic in philosophy.  The Greeks had a refined form, emphasizing the latter, and the Saxons, Celts, and Norse had a crude form, emphasizing the former.  Philosophy requires R&D.  The warmer climes of the Mediterranean are most hospitable to it.  But the desert breeds something else entirely.

There are relatively few converts from any culturally entrenched religion into another. Even from a human perspective it requires mustering some degree of intelligence and indifference toward institutionalised authority in order to dare to question what one has been raised in. That might tell one something about actual faith and the fewness of the saved.

This is true, but there are always ebbs and flows.  Conversion rates from paganism to Christianity were far higher in the fourth and fifth centuries than they were in the first.  The same with rates of conversion from Christianity to Islam when the Prophet's armies first swept across N. Africa and into Iberia.  More Christians in the past sixty years have probably converted from Christianity to Buddhism than they had done in the previous sixty.  In a time of stasis, the rates slow down.  But in an age of spiritual anxiety, they tend to go up.


« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:40:00 PM by Pon de Replay »
 
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Offline Pon de Replay

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #85 on: July 12, 2019, 01:28:21 PM »
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was not convincing the world that he does not exist; it was convincing the world that he is God.

I agree completely.  It wasn't for no reason at all that Marcion arrived at his theology.
 

Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #86 on: July 12, 2019, 03:53:03 PM »
This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface. But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.  Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified.

However, the fable of the ant crawling over the Persian carpet is a poor analogy.  It is essentially the same thing Bishop Berkeley offered: "the very blemishes and defects of nature are not without their use, in that they make an agreeable sort of variety, and augment the beauty of the rest of creation, as shades in a picture serve to set off the brighter and more enlightened parts."  Woe to the poor souls who have the misfortune of being the shade in God's painting instead of the light.  But we need not rehash our theodicy debates here.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video, Pon.

My point about rida, or the acceptance of the divine will, being applicable to Christianity deserves further elaboration, though. I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes. As Scripture often reminds us, "there are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm" (Prov. 19:21), or even "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it?" (Daniel 4:35).

We can still find in Islam, sadly more than in our modern churches (even if traditional), a striking of example of this profoundly religious mentality. And it is the correct answer, I believe. Theodicy is inherently paradoxical but the only reasonable solution is submission to the divine will and a humble admission, in a fair Socratic fashion, that when it comes to these mysteries we know that we know nothing. When some tragedy befalls a Muslim man, and he is tempted to curse God, you have his family or friends immediately begging him not to do it, to even stop thinking those thoughts, urging him not to sin because all that happens is part of God's will and decree. That is profoundly true and soothing. It brings peace of mind, it puts man in his proper place and it reinvigorates faith. It is a spiritual remedy to any community, as the good sheikh said, and as any good priest should say. And we see that attitude in the history of Catholicism before semi-Pelagianism won the day during the counterreformational efforts and the controversies on grace. It's a tragedy that contemporaneous Christianity lost sight of this truth and I believe it's a huge problem with practical implications in real life and in the faith of many. When you only speak of God as the one who wants everyone to be saved and the one who creates good in our lives, people get confused and angered when real evil and tragedy befalls them. And then you have unnecessary crises of faith.

Complete acceptance of fate or providence is an essential component of the true faith. And it is liberating.

Where this fellow becomes more interesting is towards the end, when he discusses the future of the ummah.  In terms of birth rates, immigration, and the watered-down offerings of Christianity, he has a good point that Islam might position itself as an attractive alternative to seekers as secularism fails.  But I think he is wrong.  Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.  Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses").  There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism. Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.

Islam is surely Semitic in spirit. One cannot fail to feel the dry wind of the desert and the beauty of Arabic chant when listening to the Koran. But its philosophy is perhaps more adaptable than what you may initially think. Look at Zaytuna College in California, for instance. It presents a successful blend of traditional Islamic thought with Western scholarship. In a sense, these are serious attempts to create an indigenous Western Islam.
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
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Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #87 on: July 12, 2019, 05:31:49 PM »
1. I don’t see how every theology ends in paradox. Molinism or derivatives only end in “paradox” from an outside and unprovable perspective on what God’s power supposedly encompasses, not from any internal inconsistency; the usual alternatives actually contradict their own terms, like Thomism with free will, which it tries to wiggle itself out of with characteristic semantic juggling acts. In the synergistic approach of the Fathers, it’s obvious that sufficient prevenient grace confronts man with God and frees him to be able to make a self-determined choice in favour of God or not, and there is no Pelagianism in this, no undermining of grace and no paradox. The only paradoxes come from Jonny-come-latelies who, trained in Greek pagan philosophy with all its preconceptions, felt a need to one-up the original teaching with sophisticated theological innovations. Exactly the same thing can be said of Anselm’s theory of atonement by satisfaction, derived in part from Augustine, supplanting the patristic ransom theory and Christus Victor still taught in the East: there is no way in hell this was actually taught by the Apostles and is not a Medieval theological innovation. “Original sin”, considered ontologically rather than as a monstrous inherited moral guilt, is well and good, but then I don’t see how it is an Augustinian innovation, which no doctrine should be - an innovation.

2. Well, I think the theodicy problem is actually rather easily “solved” by defining “good” and “evil” in legalistic moral, rather than ontological, senses and painting God as a monster who is, by definition, not “evil”, as Calvinism and Islam appear to do.

3. I think what you describe fits virtually every culture, including pre-Christian desert ones. You even see it in Africa with “monotheistic” beings like Nzambi or Bondye alongside the “polytheistic” Orisha and Lwa. The concept of “monotheism” opposed to “polytheism” is basically a Western invention, a load of bollocks and a nonsense that bears little relation to the historical and current realities of religion and, frankly, isn’t even Hebraeo-Christian: the Christian distinction is between worship of the Trinity on the one hand and idolatry on the other, with licit veneration of creatures forming a middle ground between the two. To take it back to two examples, Zoroastrianism is supposedly “monotheistic”, yet spirits like the Yazata and ones personal Fravashi are venerated in it; on the other hand, Vodou is seen as “polytheistic”, yet alongside what generally amounts to idolatry of the Lwa, these are in fact seen as either ancestors or divine messengers of God, or Bondye, who is also worshipped, in fact often in syncretism with Catholicism.

Peace.
 

Offline Kreuzritter

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #88 on: July 12, 2019, 06:00:39 PM »
This one was good too, albeit a bit triumphalist.  I agree that this topic is relevant to Christianity: scratch almost any Catholic, and you will find a semi-Pelagian right below the surface. But as the speaker indicates, this is more of a problem for Christianity, where God is said to be love.  Allah, elusive with his ninety-nine names, is not so readily identified.

However, the fable of the ant crawling over the Persian carpet is a poor analogy.  It is essentially the same thing Bishop Berkeley offered: "the very blemishes and defects of nature are not without their use, in that they make an agreeable sort of variety, and augment the beauty of the rest of creation, as shades in a picture serve to set off the brighter and more enlightened parts."  Woe to the poor souls who have the misfortune of being the shade in God's painting instead of the light.  But we need not rehash our theodicy debates here.

I'm glad you enjoyed the video, Pon.

My point about rida, or the acceptance of the divine will, being applicable to Christianity deserves further elaboration, though. I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes. As Scripture often reminds us, "there are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm" (Prov. 19:21), or even "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it?" (Daniel 4:35).

We can still find in Islam, sadly more than in our modern churches (even if traditional), a striking of example of this profoundly religious mentality. And it is the correct answer, I believe. Theodicy is inherently paradoxical but the only reasonable solution is submission to the divine will and a humble admission, in a fair Socratic fashion, that when it comes to these mysteries we know that we know nothing. When some tragedy befalls a Muslim man, and he is tempted to curse God, you have his family or friends immediately begging him not to do it, to even stop thinking those thoughts, urging him not to sin because all that happens is part of God's will and decree. That is profoundly true and soothing. It brings peace of mind, it puts man in his proper place and it reinvigorates faith. It is a spiritual remedy to any community, as the good sheikh said, and as any good priest should say. And we see that attitude in the history of Catholicism before semi-Pelagianism won the day during the counterreformational efforts and the controversies on grace. It's a tragedy that contemporaneous Christianity lost sight of this truth and I believe it's a huge problem with practical implications in real life and in the faith of many. When you only speak of God as the one who wants everyone to be saved and the one who creates good in our lives, people get confused and angered when real evil and tragedy befalls them. And then you have unnecessary crises of faith.

Complete acceptance of fate or providence is an essential component of the true faith. And it is liberating.

Where this fellow becomes more interesting is towards the end, when he discusses the future of the ummah.  In terms of birth rates, immigration, and the watered-down offerings of Christianity, he has a good point that Islam might position itself as an attractive alternative to seekers as secularism fails.  But I think he is wrong.  Islam is more Semitic than Christianity, and Semitism is alien to the Western mind.  Even though we were converted to a Semitic religion, it is easily the most Hellenistic of the three (Nietzsche referred to it as "Plato for the masses").  There are relatively few converts among Europeans to Islam and Judaism. Orthodox Christianity probably stands the best chance as a serious option.

Islam is surely Semitic in spirit. One cannot fail to feel the dry wind of the desert and the beauty of Arabic chant when listening to the Koran. But its philosophy is perhaps more adaptable than what you may initially think. Look at Zaytuna College in California, for instance. It presents a successful blend of traditional Islamic thought with Western scholarship. In a sense, these are serious attempts to create an indigenous Western Islam.

Ugghh. False dichotomies. This again is so Western. This Stoic (Why? Because if God determines everything then, self-contradiction aside, trying to fight what happens is “irrational”, the great sin of the Stoics; yes, but it’s still heroic and kicks the ass of being the Fates little bitch) resignation to fate is so unlike the Christian concept still alive in the East, guided by the idea of theosis, which seeks an ontological participation in the will of God through the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart and to which suffering becomes not something passive, to which one submits like a puppet to a puppeteer, but something active, a sharing in the mystery of the cross through which one comes closer to union with God. Nothing like this exists in Islam, as the Islamic deity does not suffer, and suffering becomes at best an ascetic exercise in detachment and strengthening the will, though usually a passive resignation which never conquers it.

Again, there is nothing for the Christian to learn from Islam, unless he wants to learn half-truths rather than fill his empty exoteric religion with the pearls of his own tradition. It would even make more sense to point him to Hermeticism or such like before imbibing Islamic theology with the intention of supplementing his faith! But “occultism” is worse than a Christ-denying religion, as the CCC implicitly tells us: better a false exoteric worship than a man dare to plumb the mysteries of the cosmos by experiencing them for himself.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 06:06:26 PM by Kreuzritter »
 

Offline mikemac

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Re: Muhammad: A Mercy to the Worlds?
« Reply #89 on: July 12, 2019, 11:23:49 PM »
... I believe it is an integral part of the Christian faith that somehow got lost when we fully transitioned into modernity in the 17th and 18th centuries. I still find remnants of it in the popular psyche of Iberian Catholicism, for instance, where you have a strong emphasis on fate and the notion that when bad things happen, it is also God's will that we must accept with humility and docility. Indeed, man may propose, but it is God alone who disposes. As Scripture often reminds us, "there are many thoughts in the heart of a man: but the will of the Lord shall stand firm" (Prov. 19:21), or even "all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before him: for he doth according to his will, as well with the powers of heaven, as among the inhabitants of the earth: and there is none that can resist his hand, and say to him: Why hast thou done it?" (Daniel 4:35).
...

This is what I am reading in 'The Following of Christ in Four Books' by Thomas A. Kempis.  I'm still reading a small chapter every day.  Not only does he say to accept bad things with humility and docility, but with thanksgiving.  If we put everything in God's hands we actually benefit when bad things happen to us, you know, looking at the eternal as the prize.  He says forget about pride and the comforts of life, consider ourselves lowly and always striving for the eternal.  Obviously this is paraphrased.  As I am reading this book I am surprising myself at how often I am thinking of Chestertonians situation.

Thomas A. Kempis lived between 1380 and 1471.  Better known as The Imitation of Christ, it is still one of the most popular and best known Christian devotional books.  What I am getting at is that we do not have to go outside of our Catholic Faith to find what we are looking for.  Just pick up a good Catholic traditional devotional book.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 11:26:03 PM by mikemac »
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