1. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    17 Jul '05 03:584 edits
    Upon a personal recommendation from a respected theologian, I am
    currently reading C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, which allegorically addresses
    several questions of theology in general, and in particular, some
    central aspects of Christian theology.

    I came across the following passage today, where I have substituted
    standard Christian terminology for the allegorical terminology for the
    purpose of this thread:

    "If [Eve, or Man] were to be kept in obediance only be the forcible
    removal of the [Devil], what was the use of that? What would it prove?
    And if the temptation were not a proving or testing, why was it allowed to
    happen at all? [Might we] have been saved if an elephant had
    accidentally trodden on the serpent a moment before Eve was about to
    yield? Was it as easy and as un-moral as that?"

    And this related passage:

    "If the serpent had been foiled, and returned the next day, and
    the next ... what then? Would the trial have lasted for ever?"


    Your assignment: answer Lewis's questions.

    I hope to receive some thoughtful responses.

    Dr. S
  2. Standard memberKellyJay
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    17 Jul '05 07:571 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Upon a personal recommendation from a respected theologian, I am
    currently reading C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, which allegorically addresses
    several questions of theology in general, and in particular, some
    central aspects of Ch ...[text shortened]... uestions.

    I hope to receive some thoughtful responses.

    Dr. S
    How many times do you have to take a test if you get all the answers
    right, time after time? Jesus was here a very short time, so I suppose
    it wouldn't have taken all that long for Adam and Eve. Whet would
    happen after them to the kids, that I don't know, and never even
    thought about till now.
    Kelly
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    17 Jul '05 10:10
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Upon a personal recommendation from a respected theologian, I am
    currently reading C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, which allegorically addresses
    several questions of theology in general, and in particular, some
    central aspects of Christian theology.

    I came across the following passage today, where I have substituted
    standard Christian terminology ...[text shortened]... assignment: answer Lewis's questions.

    I hope to receive some thoughtful responses.

    Dr. S


    Very interesting question..

    But why say "what if?" That was God's will and no power in the Heavens or Earth would have been able to change it..

    C.S. Lewis, live with it..!! Every day is just as crucial and decisive test as biting from that apple.
  4. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    17 Jul '05 11:27
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Upon a personal recommendation from a respected theologian, I am
    currently reading C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, which allegorically addresses
    several questions of theology in general, and in particular, some
    central aspects of Christian theology.

    I came across the following passage today, where I have substituted
    standard Christian terminology ...[text shortened]... assignment: answer Lewis's questions.

    I hope to receive some thoughtful responses.

    Dr. S
    Genesis only makes sense as a collection of folklore, refurbished mythologys and cultural rules. Any reading of it as literally true is bound to be the genesis of error in doctrine.
    One possible and probable meaning of the Adam and Eve story is it's allegory of the change from a hunter-gatherer culture to an agricultural one.
    The Garden was the range they traveled the Forbidden fruit was the produce they seen when their travels took them to the farming area of the Sumerians, whose Serpent god enticed them to give up the gathering part. Only when they found they had to use a hoe to till the soil did they realize that farming was hard work .
    Human nature, being what it is, the stories of their ancestors life in the forest changed from the hard hunger-driven search for food to an idyllic lifestyle almost like being children.
    Into this setting came a technological innovation that changed not only farming but began to change the peoples view of god from the bull god that had been around for 10,000 years to a god that had more meaning in their daily life. The name they gave this god , shows both the relevance and the reason for the transition.
    Aleph Lamed .

    at least it's a consistent story and doesn't make the Holy Spirit look foolish.
  5. Standard memberWulebgr
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    17 Jul '05 15:30
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    One possible and probable meaning of the Adam and Eve story is it's allegory of the change from a hunter-gatherer culture to an agricultural one.
    Calvin Luther Martin makes this case in In the Spirit of the Earth, and Peter Berger in The Sacred Canopy traces the rise of monotheism, and with monotheism human alienation (he uses the term the way Marx did, but in a philosophical and spiritual, rather than economic context), to the neolithic revolution--the historical era mythologized in Genesis.
  6. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    17 Jul '05 16:50
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    Calvin Luther Martin makes this case in In the Spirit of the Earth, and Peter Berger in The Sacred Canopy traces the rise of monotheism, and with monotheism human alienation (he uses the term the way Marx did, but in a philosophical and spiritual, rather than economic context), to the neolithic revolution--the historical era mythologized in Genesis.
    Thats way too early , much more likely to have be in middle to late Bronze Age , Joshua is not too far removed from Abram and by Joshua's time, Iron was already being used by the "valley" people.



  7. Standard memberWulebgr
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    17 Jul '05 20:311 edit
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    Thats way too early , much more likely to have be in middle to late Bronze Age , Joshua is not too far removed from Abram and by Joshua's time, Iron was already being used by the "valley" people.



    It is only too early if you think the genealogies are in any sense literal. There is no way that they can be.
  8. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    17 Jul '05 21:30
    Originally posted by Wulebgr
    It is only too early if you think the geneologies are in any sense literal. There is no way that they can be.
    there are outside sources dating the bronze age c3300 bce in Mesopotamia.
    Abram's father was a follower of the polytheistic gods of Sumer.

    also a c1800bce dating of Hammurabi's code which has much the same style as Mose's "judgments" and some very similar , legal rules.

    Is very clear that the israelites had been heavily influences by the Sumerian culture.
  9. Standard memberWulebgr
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    18 Jul '05 15:40
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    there are outside sources dating the bronze age c3300 bce in Mesopotamia.
    Abram's father was a follower of the polytheistic gods of Sumer.

    also a c1800bce dating of Hammurabi's code which has much the same style as Mose's "judgments" and some very similar , legal rules.

    Is very clear that the israelites had been heavily influences by the Sumerian culture.
    Berger recognizes the process of the development of monotheism as a long one. You are correct that it does not become explicit until the Bronze Age, but the seeds of these technological and religious developments can be be found in the neolithic revolution.

    Honestly, I find such grand generalizations a bit difficult to fully accept. But they do help contextualize the myths in the Bible and other so-called scriptures.
  10. Standard memberNemesio
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    18 Jul '05 21:111 edit
    Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
    Upon a personal recommendation from a respected theologian, I am
    currently reading C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, which allegorically addresses
    several questions of theology in general, and in particular, some
    central aspects of Ch ...[text shortened]... uestions.

    I hope to receive some thoughtful responses.

    Dr. S
    I might reflect upon your questions and provide an answer and
    end my self-imposed exile from this forum if I get the sense that this
    space is going to be used productively.

    But, in the meantime, I will provide you with this. Elaine Pagels
    (among others) has done studies of Gnostic Christianity (a so-called
    'heresy' in the early centuries of the Church). Specifically dealing with
    these first few chapters in Genesis, she tackles issues regarding how
    sexuality was viewed in early Christian sects.

    She offers a summary of the following Gnostic 'reinterpretation'
    (or 'improvisation,' if I recall her word correctly):

    God was the snake, not the 'Father Figure' in Eden. The 'Father Figure'
    (let's call it FF) has all the hallmarks of not being God: the FF made
    a demonstrably imperfect creation (one which 'fell' from 'temptation'😉,
    the FF was obviously unable to predict this 'Fall' (as evinced by the FF's
    surprise upon walking in the Garden), and that the FF had to readjust
    his strategy of interacting with the humans. The Gnostics concluded
    that, had God been truly omniscient and omnipotent, He would have
    made a Creation that would have adhered to what amounted to a
    simple command (don't eat these two fruits!), one which would have
    been basking in His Glory for all of Eternity.

    The Gnostics, then, concluded that, while the essential elements of the
    story was correct, that the characters were erroneously labeled. God
    (in the serpent) wanted humankind to enjoy the full bounty of its
    capacity and freedoms, that being in Eden was sycophantic slavery, a
    mindless torture. By keeping humankind ignorant, it was no different
    than the animals -- unthinking, uncaring, unknowing. The actual
    temptation was to rest on one's laurels of mindless servitude in
    luxurious splendor, to never know the joy of thoughtfulness, freedom,
    and (Pagels argues) sexuality. Our proto-parents were, for all intents
    and purposes, infants in everything but body.

    God recognized that this was not the way that His Creation should be
    and that the Devil (i.e., the FF) compelled them to be in this state.
    And, thus, in the mode of a serpent compelled them to eat of the Tree
    of Good and Evil, to come to a fuller knowledge of God and what it
    means to be His Creation.

    It is an interesting theological perspective.

    Nemesio

    Edit: Forgot my citation -- Adam, Eve and the Serpent, by Elaine Pagels.
  11. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    18 Jul '05 21:21
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I might reflect upon your questions and provide an answer and
    end my self-imposed exile from this forum if I get the sense that this
    space is going to be used productively.
    I, too, am testing the Spiritual waters with this thread. So far, it's pretty chilly.
  12. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    19 Jul '05 12:12
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    I might reflect upon your questions and provide an answer and
    end my self-imposed exile from this forum if I get the sense that this
    space is going to be used productively.

    But, in the meantime, I will provide you with this. Elaine Pagels
    (among others) has done studies of Gnostic Christianity (a so-called
    'heresy' in the early centuries of ...[text shortened]... spective.

    Nemesio

    Edit: Forgot my citation -- Adam, Eve and the Serpent, by Elaine Pagels.
    Gnosticism covers a wide range of beliefs: ranging from somewhat pagan to totally spiritual , depending on which sect or writer the source came from.
    Valentinus' Gospel of Truth represents the Gnostic Christians, seeing he was a Presbyter in the Roman Church and was almost made the Bishop of Rome. before Ireneaus of Lyon began his tirades against the Gnostics, by associating Valentinus with the pagan gnostic ideas.
    Whatever Valentinus thought about paganism, the Gospel of Truth was not the slightest bit pagan.
  13. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    19 Jul '05 18:291 edit
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    How many times do you have to take a test if you get all the answers
    right, time after time? Jesus was here a very short time, so I suppose
    it wouldn't have taken all that long for Adam and Eve.
    I believe that Lewis doesn't agree that given enough successes at avoiding temptation, the Devil will cease his tempting. This is evidenced by one scene in the novel which takes place between the Temptor and Ransom the protagonist.

    The Temptor pesters Ransom by repeatedly calling his name, "Ransom...Ransom...Ransom..." Whenever Ransom answers "What?," the Temptor replies, "Nothing." And shortly thereafter, the cycle repeats and repeats: "Ransom...Ransom...Ransom..." "Nothing."

    Ransom eventually resigns himself to accepting that the Temptor is not going to cease pestering him and stops responding. "I'd rather hear Ransom a million times than Nothing."

    I think Lewis is saying that man will continuously be faced with temptation, but it is better to live under that constant nuisance than to give in to it. But Lewis is also demonstrating that simply ignoring the temptation, (i.e., passing the test) will not make it go away. Ransom eventually must kill the Temptor in order to make it cease.

    Dr. S
  14. Standard memberDoctorScribbles
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    21 Jul '05 21:57
    Calling out kingdanwa...

    What say you?
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    22 Jul '05 16:49
    I think Lewis is saying that man will continuously be faced with temptation, but it is better to live under that constant nuisance than to give in to it. But Lewis is also demonstrating that simply ignoring the temptation, (i.e., passing the test) will not make it go away. Ransom eventually must kill the Temptor in order to make it cease.

    Dr. S[/b]
    By "temptation" and "test," are we dealing with man's daily struggles or with the Genesis 3 account of Adam and Eve?
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