Number of saved
#41
(02-10-2020, 04:43 PM)Zedta Wrote: I suppose you may have a short memory, but the way you have responded to me in the past was taken as though you were my personal troll, by me. I could make citation, but I think it would be pointless at this juncture and further hijacking of this thread is also unnecessary. That was/is my perception and if I am in error or misreading you, I regret that and apologize.

I think you may over-estimate my concern about you. I've never once thought "What's Zedta posting now, and how can I pick at him."

And if you did do that survey and citation, I think you'd find that I've probably replied over the 14 years here to fewer than 50 of your posts, certainly less than 0.1% and when I did, rarely did I take any issue.

So, yeah, if you think I'm trying to troll you, then I can promise that it's just in your head. Never once has that been my intention or even crossed my mind to seek out some means to chase you down or haunt you.

If you had that impression, though, I'd have appreciated you writing privately to me about it, rather than airing your frustrations publicly. Given you took Jovan to task for that earlier, I would think you should have practiced what you were preaching.

Apology accepted.

I'm not your enemy.
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#42
The topic itself is painful. No surprise that anyone should lose peace over it.

My mother is writing her memoirs, the history of her life with my father now deceased. The process is both marvelous and terrifying, and along the way I'm learning things about the family that perhaps I would be happier not knowing.

For example, in my grandparents' generation there were no divorces despite living through the Great Depression and two world wars; all were practicing Catholics. My parents' generation saw two divorces, a sibling leave the Catholic Church (he married an ex-nun), and two failed religious vocations. My generation was raised Catholic but a very few practice their faith (as I noted elsewhere, I am the sole remaining Catholic of five children). In my children's generation, there are exactly ZERO Catholics.

I don't care how you frame it, Vatican II did little to add to the number of the saved. It's a scandal.
Qui me amat, amet et Deum meum.
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#43
My regrets to the author of this thread for the hijacking that seemed to take place and any part in it, I may have played.

Perhaps we can get it back on track.

So, to be more on point:

Here's an article I saw that is on subject an an interesting read as well:


Article Wrote:Link to Original Article

Theological Fraud

by Michael Pakaluk

One benefit of doing academic work in accounting ethics, as I have done, is that one gets a sense of the high standards of truthfulness that public companies must meet in their disclosures. I want to take those high standards and apply them to what theologian David Bentley Hart has written about Basil the Great. Theologians, of course, should be held to even higher standards, because what theologians teach affects people’s lives and souls. But the public company standard suffices to make the point.

Let’s examine what Hart says in his recent book, That All Shall Be Saved, as if it were a public company disclosure:
Quote:The great fourth-century church father Basil of Caesarea (c. 329-379) once observed that, in his time, a large majority of his fellow Christians (at least, in the Greek-speaking Eastern Christian world that he knew) believed that hell was not everlasting, and that all in the end would attain salvation.

Hart cites Basil to support his view that universalists—those who believe that all persons will eventually be saved and united with God—were not an “especially eccentric” group in the early Church. They “cherished the same scriptures as other Christians, worshipped in the same basilicas, lived the same sacramental lives.” They simply did not believe in an everlasting hell. Basil’s observation shows, Hart claims, that universalists were even a majority in some places. Alas, he writes, that enlightened view dwindled away over time because of “certain obvious institutional imperatives”—until the rise of the Unitarian-Universalists in the late nineteenth century.

Hart clearly thinks Basil’s observation is important. It’s on the first page of his new book and is the lead statement on the inside flap. It’s prominent on the book’s Amazon page. And no wonder Hart thinks it’s important: “Basil of Caesarea” is the famous St. Basil, one of the great Greek Doctors of the Church.

Hart has repeated the statement in different places with different emphases. In the New York Times, he wrote:
Quote:Late in the fourth century, in fact, the theologian Basil the Great reported that the dominant view of hell among the believers he knew was of a limited, “purgatorial” suffering.

In his translation of the New Testament, published three years ago, Hart noted:
Quote:Late in the fourth century, for instance, Basil the Great, bishop of Caesarea, reported that the vast majority of his fellow Christians (at least, in the Greek-speaking East with which he was familiar) assumed that “hell” is not an eternal condition.

In each version, Hart maintains three things: (1) Basil is making an “observation” or “report”; (2) he is remarking about a “large” or “vast” majority; and (3) he is commenting on his “fellow Christians.” In That All Shall Be Saved, Hart adds that Basil reports on (4) the profession, or credo, of this large or vast majority, and that (5) their profession includes the article that “all in the end would attain salvation.” One pictures a confident throng of universalists filling the basilicas in the East in the early centuries.

Sometimes Hart refers to Basil’s “observation” to make a point about how, he thinks, the Greek language was understood in the fourth century. The point is a bit technical, but bear with me, because it is important.
 
When Jesus says in the last judgment that the unrighteous will “go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. 25:46), the Greek word rendered “eternal” is aiōnios, and that rendered “punishment” is kolasis. Hart reasons that if, as Basil reports, the vast majority of Christians in his day believed that hell was limited and purgatorial, while they accepted the words of Jesus, then they must have thought that the word aiōnios meant only “for a long time” or “for the Age” (as Hart likes to render it in his translation of the New Testament), rather than “eternal.” Similarly, they must have thought that kolasis meant only purgatorial cleansing, not retributive punishment.

Here’s how he puts it in That All Shall Be Saved:
Quote:As I noted in my introduction, Basil the Great reported that the great majority of his fellow Eastern Christians assumed that the aiōnios kolasis, the “chastening of the Age” (or, as it is usually translated in English, “eternal punishment”) mentioned in Matthew 25:46 would consist in only a temporary probation of the soul; and he offered no specifically lexicographic objection to such a reading.

In other words—and this is the sixth thing Hart claims about the interpretation of the Bible and the meaning of words—(6) this vast majority of Christians interpreted that verse from Matthew in a universalist way, Basil knew this, Basil reported the fact, and he implicitly accepted that that interpretation was plausible, since he did not object to it.
Hart, then, makes six claims. If, say, I were a plaintiff’s lawyer in a class action lawsuit against a corporation, this is how I would lay out and distinguish all the separate claims put forward in the corporation’s disclosure. Now we need to consider whether these six claims are misleading.
  
First, consider the passage from Basil on which Hart is relying. It is a question and reply found in Basil’s “short” ascetical rules. (The scholarly reference is J.P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 31, columns 1263–6.) The question posed to Basil is, how can the punishment of hell be eternal, if in one place in Scripture Jesus says that some of the unrighteous will be punished more severely than others? If hell is eternal, wouldn’t they all get the same punishment? 

Basil answers that, although hell is eternal, there are levels of hell. So the eternal punishment can be worse for some than for others. Basically, this saint’s view of hell and Dante’s are the same. Basil adds that the more obscure passages of Scripture need to be interpreted in terms of the more explicit passages elsewhere, and that Jesus teaches very explicitly—and in multiple places—that hell’s punishments are eternal:
Quote:Now, the Lord says in one passage that they will proceed to everlasting (aiōnios) punishment [Mt. 25:46], and in another passage he sends some people to the everlasting (aiōniov) fire that is prepared for the devil and his angels [Mt 25:41], and yet another time he mentions the Gehenna of fire, and adds: “where their worm does not die, and the fire is not extinguished”. . . [Mk 9:44, 48]. In the divinely inspired Scripture there are these and similar passages in many places.

We see that Hart has misrepresented Basil as regards (6). Basil could not possibly cite these passages as he does—against the view that the punishments of hell are temporary—unless he believed that they must be interpreted as saying that those punishments are eternal, as he plainly states. Basil leaves no room for other interpretations to be plausible.  

Basil continues: 
Quote:Although such things have been set down by Scripture, here too it’s the Devil’s artifice to make it so that the many, like men who have been induced to forget these and like words and statements of the Lord, sign on to the view that there is an end to the punishment—doing so with even greater daring than when they sin.  
Quote:After all, if at some future point there will be an end of everlasting punishment, then surely everlasting life, too, will have an end. But if, in the case of life, we do not allow this to be thought, what sort of reason could there be for gratuitously assigning an end to the everlasting punishment? For the attribute of “everlasting” (aiōnios) is applied equally in the case of each. For “these will go,” he says, “into everlasting punishment, and the righteous, into everlasting life.”

Basil goes on to say that, once these matters have been agreed upon, we ought to understand the singular, more obscure statement of the Lord (that punishments will vary in severity) to refer to different degrees of punishment without end.

These lines from Basil, which I have translated literally, are the sole basis for Hart’s various representations. So how truthful are those representations? Let’s go through the claims one by one.

Hart says (1) that Basil is making a “report” or “observation.” This is not true. Basil is giving a warning. He warns against the artifice of the Devil and certain incoherent interpretations of Scripture.

Next, Hart says that Basil is reporting about (2) a “vast” or “large” majority of (3) his fellow Christians. It’s best to take these claims together. The relevant expression in the quoted text is “the many.” In the Greek, the expression is actually “the many among the human race” (hoi polloi tōn anthrōpōn), which is an expanded form of the common expression hoi polloi, “the many,” a term often used pejoratively.

Basil uses the expanded expression in some other works, and there he seems to mean something like “humankind insofar as it is left to its own devices” or “humankind considered apart from the gospel and its grace.” For example, in one place he says “the many” seem to him to be like clouds in the sky, blown from place to place by the wind—that’s how they shift about in their convictions, from one thing to another. Elsewhere, he writes that “the many” dismiss and ignore their sins and suppose that no punishment is forthcoming for them.

So the phrase has the sense here, apparently, of “the human race as showing its characteristic faults and twisted failings,” and, indeed, as susceptible to the deceptive plots of the Devil. It functions more as an idealization of our bad tendencies than as a head count. Thus Hart's claim (2) is highly misleading.
 
Moreover, Hart has somehow added “believers” or “fellow Christians” to the text. But Basil is speaking about the human race insofar as they are oblivious to the words of Christ, that is, precisely insofar as they are not, or do not act as, believers or Christians.  He certainly is not referring to faithful Christians who are like others in every way except by being universalists. So Hart’s claim (3) is also misleading. In fact, it is the opposite of what Basil is saying.

Finally, as regards (4), in no sense is Basil speaking about what Christians profess, but only about what the Devil tricks people into holding, which plays into their sense of self-protection or self-justification as sinners. And, contrary to (5), there is absolutely nothing in the passage concerning the putative conviction of Christians that all persons (presumably including the Devil) become reconciled to God in the end.

Hart is also wrong to say that Basil “offered no specifically lexicographic [sic] objection to such a reading.” Basil does discuss the meaning of words. He says that those who think the punishment of the unrighteous comes to an end are not paying attention to the meaning of the Lord’s words, like people who have forgotten them. He even goes so far as to say that “we do not allow it to be thought” that everlasting punishment has an end. So here is even more evidence that Hart speaks falsely about (6).

If I were a plaintiff’s attorney in a class action lawsuit, at this point—after showing that the company’s disclosure was materially misleading on all six matters—I would rewrite the “disclosure” to show what it ought to have said for it to be truthful.

This is how I might do that:
Quote:Warning. St. Basil the Great, a doctor of the Church—who loved Origen but nonetheless did not embrace universalism—as early as the fourth century, warned the faithful against teachings like those which you will find in this book by David Bentley Hart.  
Quote:Basil taught firmly that such views could only be entertained by those who had, as it were, lost sight of the plain and repeated teachings of the Lord. It would be the height of daring to believe such things, he said—and so, obviously, to teach and promote them would be much worse. To do so, Basil would say, amounts to collaboration with the Devil, who, in his characteristically deceitful ways, would like nothing more than for people to suppose that the everlasting punishment of hell does not exist.  

However, in this case, rather than rewrite what Hart writes about Basil, I would keep it at the front of his book, and then add the warning above, along with this line: “You can get a good sense of how deceitful this book is by noting that its author has somehow twisted St. Basil’s warnings against the Devil’s trickery into—what Basil himself would call—support for the Devil and his purposes.” It really is a masterful bit of trickery.

If this essay were a complaint in a class action lawsuit, I would be confident that the case would be successful. The defendant would need to settle, or be found guilty. Either way, the defendant would need to issue a retraction and a restatement. I would expect a parallel lawsuit against the auditors to be equally successful. But will Yale University Press, which edited the book, playing a role not unlike auditors, insist on corrections? Will David Bentley Hart retract his misleading statements?
 
Michael Pakaluk is Ordinary Professor of Ethics and Social Philosophy at the Busch School of Business at The Catholic University of America. His latest book is The Memoirs of St. Peter.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
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I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
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Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
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If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
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“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
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#44
"After all, if at some future point there will be an end of everlasting punishment, then surely everlasting life, too, will have an end. But if, in the case of life, we do not allow this to be thought, what sort of reason could there be for gratuitously assigning an end to the everlasting punishment?" (St. Basil)

To grapple with a vision like St. Basil's requires one at the very least to be able to grasp what he sees. David Bentley Hart's simple-minded mistakes ought to be an embarrassment to a university press like Yale's. My guess is there'll be no correction.
Qui me amat, amet et Deum meum.
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#45
(02-11-2020, 01:12 PM)Teresa Agrorum Wrote: David Bentley Hart's simple-minded mistakes ought to be an embarrassment to a university press like Yale's.

Increasingly well-known fact: most universities, including the Ivy Leagues, are an embarrassment.  More loony nonsense come out of those places than a psych ward.  And at least the poor psych patients have an excuse.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#46
Thanks for that article Zedta. I've been very skeptical of Hart ever since being introduced to him by an Orthodox friend on Twitter. The thing that really made me wary was his remarks about his dislike of actually attending liturgy and participating in right worship of God.


It's clear Hart is one of those who have fallen in love with the intellectual traditions of the Church rather than Christ Himself.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#47
(02-11-2020, 01:17 PM)SeekerofChrist Wrote: Increasingly well-known fact: most universities, including the Ivy Leagues, are an embarrassment.  More loony nonsense come out of those places than a psych ward.  And at least the poor psych patients have an excuse.

Off the topic of the thread, but apropos the idiocy of modern academia:

Item from Cambridge News


A new book 'argues that due to the damage done to other living creatures on Earth, (humanity) should start gradually phasing out reproduction.' The total, mind boggling insanity of the left! 

From A Political Refugee From the Global Village

Quote:'Patricia MacCormack, a professor of continental philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University, has just released her new book The Ahuman Manifesto, which will officially be launched in Cambridge today (Wednesday, February 5).

'The book argues that due to the damage done to other living creatures on Earth, we should start gradually phasing out reproduction. But rather than offering a bleak look at the future of humanity, it has generated discussion due to its joyful and optimistic tone, as it sets out a positive view for the future of Earth - without mankind.

'It also touches on several hot-button topics, from religion and veganism to the concept of identity politics, tying these into how the creation of a hierarchal world among humans has left us blind to the destruction we are causing to our habitat and other forms of life.'
Cambridge News was such a boring paper when I was up. Perhaps it still is, but this story isn't.

Another news story that reminds me that we should defend and celebrate hierarchy and oppose the principle of equality.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

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#48
(02-11-2020, 04:18 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: Another news story that reminds me that we should defend and celebrate hierarchy and oppose the principle of equality.

I wish this were a more common mindset. Right now my employer is making all of us management folks go through extensive "training" which basically collapses the concept of hierarchy. They even demonize the word itself in this "class." From personal experience supervising a staff of 30 people, most of which are millennials, proves that people today have no respect for hierarchy whatsoever. The communist propaganda in our schools and media has really programmed people to hate the vertical and prefer the horizontal.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#49
(02-11-2020, 07:06 PM)Augustinian Wrote: Right now my employer is making all of us management folks go through extensive "training" which basically collapses the concept of hierarchy. They even demonize the word itself in this "class."

Refuse to go and tell them they're oppressing you by making you go. If hierarchy is bad, what right do they have to tell you what to do?
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#50
(02-11-2020, 08:24 PM)Paul Wrote:
(02-11-2020, 07:06 PM)Augustinian Wrote: Right now my employer is making all of us management folks go through extensive "training" which basically collapses the concept of hierarchy. They even demonize the word itself in this "class."

Refuse to go and tell them they're oppressing you by making you go. If hierarchy is bad, what right do they have to tell you what to do?

And, like all liberals, they will ignore the logic and fire him for insubordination, something that can only happen in a hierarchy.
Jovan-Marya of the Immaculate Conception Weismiller, T.O.Carm.

Vive le Christ-roi! Vive le roi, Louis XX!
Deum timete, regem honorificate.
Kansan by birth! Albertan by choice! Jayhawk by the Grace of God!
“Qui me amat, amet et canem meum. (Who loves me will love my dog.)” 
St Bernard of Clairvaux

My Blog 'Musings of an Old Curmudgeon'
FishEaters Group on MeWe
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