Does God the Father have ’emotions’?

(If you are short of time, the answer is “we don’t know, for sure”).

We can only know about the Father through the Son. That is what makes us Christians.

The Son certainly had emotions: fear, love, humour, anger, grief, resignation, and all the rest that I fail to name. The latter are all a matter of public record.

That He had them, makes it OK for us to have them too. OK? In my walk of life, I meet a lot of extremely emotional people (mostly upset emotions). I am sure I am not alone; the problem is always: “How do I see the Christ in this (upset) person”?

The answer is in the Gospels, of course. Repentance and forgiveness, forbearance and selflessness are the heart of His message. These are all painful and risky. An aversion to self pity and personal risk are a mark of the true follower of Christ. (If you are a person who lacks those beatitudes, then delay your mission for Christ. You are not ready!!)

In these ways, we resemble Christ and, by inference, we resemble His Father, and His Mother:

Loving  Kindness, in Truth.

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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101 Responses to Does God the Father have ’emotions’?

  1. golden chersonnese says:

    Ah, but Burrito, HF says “God is Love”, “Deus Caritas Est”.

    I think there may have been an epistle/gospel writer of the same persuasion.

    There even be some who say that the Scriptures are God’s love letters.

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  2. The Raven says:

    Golden, is love an “emotion”?

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  3. golden chersonnese says:

    Well, my dear Raven, in my limited experience it certainly seems to have been.

    Indeed, God seems to have been a rather tetchy lover in the OT, loving, jealous, angry, mollified, relenting, moody, getting warmer, getting colder in turns. A veritable emotional blackmailer just spoiling for a lover’s tiff.

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  4. toadspittle says:

    “God seems to have been a rather tetchy lover in the OT, loving, jealous, angry, mollified, relenting, moody, getting warmer, getting colder in turns..”

    This is a puzzler for Toad (one of many, to be sure). If God is perfect, He is unchangeable, says Aquinas, does he not?.

    In which case the OT God is still just as nasty as He was when, for example, He cheered on the massacre of Jericho (Vide Joyful’s joyus justification of beastly biblical brutality on her splendid blog.) Although, it hardly seems like ‘perfect’ behaviour in the first place.

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  5. joyfulpapist says:

    Cheered on the massacre, Toad? Ordering a cleansing so that Israel had a place to grow into a nation is not the same thing as cheering on a massacre.

    I held my son down while doctors injected caustic substances into his veins, knowing that it might not work but hoping it would save his life. Am I nasty? I’ve been known to kill baby birds that had been caught by cats, and that were too young to survive apart from their parents. Am I nasty? I’ve sent a pair of foolish drug dealers who were battening onto my son to an interview with a pair of ex-undercover cops who promised to threaten them with grevious bodily harm – and who were prepared to carry out the threat if they did not leave town. Okay, maybe that was nasty.

    Without knowing the full facts of the case, who are we to judge God – or anyone else, for that matter.

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  6. joyfulpapist says:

    God is the Prodigal Father. Elizabeth Scalia wrote this on Patheos:

    What sort of God is this? A God who yields to a people who do not understand, and who — like spoiled adolescents — tell Him time and time again that they’re not patient enough, not mature enough, just too darned human to put up with doing things His way, which is the way of wisdom?

    This is remarkable, almost reckless love. This is a love so all-in-all, so unconditional, that it is willing to be not just vulnerable, but by human standards almost foolish in its boundless unconditional reality. Look at the profundity of God’s love for His people, Israel, and for those of us grafted onto their branch. He gives His people something better than a king — something transcendent and eternal and incorruptible. But because they are so body-bound, so captive to their senses and the need to touch, hear, taste and smell, they cannot see what He shows, which is Everything. And so they whine, “well, we want a king, like they have over there,” and God acquiesces.

    God takes pity on human limitations and tries another way of teaching and reaching, a better way to know the transcendence. He says, in essence:

    My love and my law are not enough? You need a corporeal king? All right then, I will come down and be your corporeal king. I will teach you what I know — that love serves, and that a king is a servant — and I will teach you how to be a servant in order to share in my kingship. In this way, we shall be one — as a husband and wife are one — as nearly as this may be possible between what is Whole and Holy, and what is Broken. For your sake, I will become broken, too, but in a way meant to render you more Whole, and Holy, so that our love may be mutual, complete, constantly renewed, and alive. I love you so much that I will Incarnate, and surrender myself to you. I will enter into you (stubborn, faulty, incomplete you, adored you, the you that can never fully know me or love me back) and I will give you my whole body. I will give you all of myself, unto my very blood, and then it will finally be consummated between us, and you will understand that I have been not just your God, but your lover, your espoused, your bridegroom. Come to me, and let me love you. Be my bride; accept your bridegroom and let the scent and sense of our love course over and through the whole world through the church I beget to you. I am your God; you are my people. I am your bridegroom; you are my bride. This is the great love story, the great intercourse, the great espousal, and you cannot imagine where I mean to take you, if you will only be faithful . . . as I am always faithful.

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  7. golden chersonnese says:

    joyful @ 18:55

    Powerful stuff.

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  8. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa said:
    . . .the expressions of emotions used to describe God in the OT are only figurative and don’t mean that God was really angry or happy etc.

    Yes I have often heard it said that we can speak analogically of God, meaning supposedly that His love and His anger and His joy are like ours. But in that sense He must have something like love, anger and joy, something like “emotions”.

    If He doesn’t, we are left with Toad’s “god of the philosphers” or “god of the Deists”, the “watchmaker” god.

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  9. toadspittle says:

    .
    Joyful is getting in a bit deep here, thinks Toad.

    “Cheered on the massacre, Toad? Ordering a cleansing so that Israel had a place to grow into a nation is not the same thing as cheering on a massacre.”

    In a masterpiece of Orwellian doublethink, a bloody massacre becomes a ‘cleansing,’ and clearly ‘ethnic’ at that. Surely that will raise a few other hackles, even on CP&S? Even Toad is a bit horrified. Couldn’t Israel have found some other, equally dismal, but uninhabited, spot to ‘grow into a nation’?

    Yes, Teresa, Toad’s questions are old ones, often. But they never get satisfactorily answered, for him, at least.
    To him ‘figurative’ here is a fig leaf, the same as ‘culture’ a label stuck on to obscure the unpleasant fact that in this particular case – God seems to be as nasty and human as we are. Toad thinks there are obvious reasons for this.

    “Jesus, in opposite, as the hypostastic union of the God Nature and human nature, has the same emotions like we.”

    Including, no doubt, as well as love and forgiveness, hate, fear and loathing. If he doesn’t then he doesn’t have the same emotions.

    And No, Golden C, Toad’s God is none of the above. Toad has yet to be persuaded that there is a God at all. And the ethnic cleansing God will certainly not do. For Toad, at least. For Joyful, certainly. And for you?

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  10. joyfulpapist says:

    Ethnic cleansing? Rubbish. They were relatives. They were all Semites, most of them descended from Abraham or his relatives.

    For me, I don’t know whether God ordered the killing of any Canaanites who wouldn’t co-operate, or whether that wild desert rabble did it on their own and blamed God after. But I’m not going to remake God into a tame 21st century metrosexual just because parts of the Old Testament make me uncomfortable.

    I don’t like the idea of God ordering the Israelites to kill everyone in Jericho. But then, I don’t like the idea of God making a world that has the bubonic plague bacillus in it, or earthquakes and tornadoes that tear apart orphanages. I fail to see how we can blame God for one, but not the other. And if He is responsible for both, then I feel that I need to face up to it and try to understand how this is consistent with God being Love.

    It helps that such a dire and drastic necessity, if indeed it was a necessity and not just the Israelites being people of their time, was short-term and soon over, and that – long before the coming of Jesus – the Israelites had learned (through Ruth and other sojourners) to share their land. And Jesus, of course, taught us that we are all children of the one Father.

    I mean what I say (most of the time), but I’m becoming just a little irritated at being persistently misrepresented by Toad, who keeps adding unnecessary and misleading adjectives in his dissertations on his interpretation of my speculations.

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  11. joyfulpapist says:

    By the way, Toad didn’t specifically answer my questions, but he clearly thinks that, yes, I am nasty. And maybe he’s right.

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  12. toadspittle says:

    Joyful, you have made Toad ashamed. He had no idea that the Jericans were relatives.- Of course it’s OK to bump off relatives! That’s what they are for! Blood is thicker than water, they say – yes, and it’s a damned sight nastier, too!

    Here is God speaking, below. And He should know. It’s His train set.

    “Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,
    Hivites and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you.
    Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God”
    (Deuteronomy. 20:17-18).

    Lucky the Catholics don’t do ‘detestable’ things. Lovely word!
    (Toad wouldn’t be surprised if other people on here weren’t thinking, “What’s all this got to do with the Pope and pedophilia?” He’s rather thinking it himself.)

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  13. joyfulpapist says:

    Abraham Lincoln set an excellent example of how to completely destroy an enemy.

    Following a particularly hardfought election campaign, he appointed a man who had virulently criticised him to a plum job.

    “But why did you do that,” he was asked. “He’s the best man for the job,” replied the President. “But he’s your enemy. Didn’t you want to get rid of your enemy?” “The best way to destroy an enemy,” said Abe Lincoln, “is to make him your friend.”

    As, indeed, also happened in Canaan, way back then.

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  14. toadspittle says:

    Well, fond of a parable as Toad is – he can’t make head nor tale of the ‘Abe’ one. What friend in Caanan? The Jews had killed them all, hadn’t they?

    As Toad understands it now, ‘Ethnic Cleansing,’ is bad, ‘Relative Cleansing,’ is good. Clear case of ‘relativism’. Relativism unto death, in fact. (The Pope won’t care for this.)
    What it means to us lucky people in the 21st century, is that, if the Israelis massacre all the Palestinians, which most of them would be only too happy to do – it won’t be ‘ethnic,’ but ‘relative’ cleansing. So, that’s all right, then!

    But he (Toad, that is, not the Pope) is getting to feel guilty and weary of pummeling poor Joyful, and so will give the last word on Israel (for the moment, anyway) to our mutual friend and mentor, Voltaire.
    “On seeing this detestable(!) country Frederic ll said publicly that Moses was very ill-advised to lead his company of lepers to it. “Why didn’t he go to Naples?” said Frederick.

    (Voltaire omits to mention if Frederick added, “And die.”)

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  15. toadspittle says:

    .
    Teresa, you say..
    “… but you insist on judging this being according to your limited human feeling and morality..”

    Well, I certainly do, but, as ‘ a limited human, with limited feeling and morality’ I feel I have no alternative.
    How do you judge things?

    And, for what it’s worth, Toad is not very fond of Nietzsche. He’s too soft-hearted (Toad, that is, of course, not Nietzsche)

    Toad is not an Ubertoad.

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  16. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa says:
    The main point is, the Holy Scripture was inspired by the Holy Spirit, but written by human beings, who couldn’t express the revelation of God otherwise than in human expressions, and thus expressions like “jealous”, “angry”, … as if God had emotions like human. But it is only their human way to describe the revelation of God in the history.

    Yes Teresa, I think that what must be the case is that God has things that are analogous to our emotions. Plato’s divine does not seem to have, since you mentioned the ancient philosophers.

    I sense HF’s encyclical Deus Caritas Est may assist here:

    http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20051225_deus-caritas-est_en.html

    A problem of language

    2. God’s love for us is fundamental for our lives, and it raises important questions about who God is and who we are. In considering this, we immediately find ourselves hampered by a problem of language. Today, the term “love” has become one of the most frequently used and misused of words, a word to which we attach quite different meanings. Even though this Encyclical will deal primarily with the understanding and practice of love in sacred Scripture and in the Church’s Tradition, we cannot simply prescind from the meaning of the word in the different cultures and in present-day usage.

    No prescinding, Teresa!

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  17. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad castigates:
    What friend in Caanan? The Jews had killed them all, hadn’t they?

    Well, cheer up, dear Toad, no they hadn’t, as, according to the following book of Holy Writ, Judges, most of the Canaanites had the good fortune of working for the Israelites or just living together amongst them.

    In answer to your question, of course, who in this day and age would countenance “ethnic cleansing”, as you say. But we are even now not that far removed from it as the fate of Armenians and Assyrians show in 20th century Turkey and also that of the Christians in Iraq and Palestine. We have not advanced all that much, if at all.

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  18. toadspittle says:

    “Love, as applied to God, is not an emotion, he has love but love is an act of will, not an emotion.”

    Well, Teresa, if love is not an emotion, then Toad has no clue what it is. For God or anybody else. Surely the act of love transends will, if we are doing it right? Isn’t that faith?
    Surely we take our timing from God – if we believe in Him? He tells us what love is. How can he do that if he thinks it’s something different from that which we do?
    Toad’s little green head is starting to ache.

    And Christ, who along with the Holy Ghost, is All God, has totally different notions to his Dad, who is the same person?

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  19. manus2 says:

    Toad,

    I’m very busy so haven’t been able to chip in much, but I’m reading the blogs. Your position appears to be as follows: If the Christian God existed, things would be other than as they are. It would be very kind of you to spell out what you might have expected to see. I’m afraid I must limit your scope to a plan of Redemption for actual human beings. Do share.

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  20. toadspittle says:

    Manus,

    As always, a very perceptive question. Yes. if God did exist, I would expect a nicer, kinder world. A better world than this. A world where, for a start, everyone would live, or a tleast begin – on the same economic level. Where there would be no awful things, like malaria, earthquakes, and Mel Gibson movies. I would admit, given that, the necessity of free will. And possibly a longer lifespan to accomplish more.
    Easy stuff for an omnipotent God. I don’t expect things to be perfect – that would be both impossible and dull.

    But, as there is apparently no God, or at least no God who feels like I do, we must just rub along as best we can, blundering from disaster to disaster.
    Some of us, like myself, are incredibly fortunate and lead wonderful lives. Others like the Haitians, (or the ancient Jericans) get beaten up every other day.
    Take Haiti – first earthquake, then cholera, now Sara Palin.
    It’s just not fair!

    As to Redemption, I have no notion. We are an awful, mad, lot, so insane that, “…to be sane is simply another form of madness,” as Pascal opines. But we need improving, not redeeming, I reckon.
    The idea of being born guilty and in sin, is idiotic and horrible and self-destructive.

    But improvement ain’t gonna happen. Any time soon. Or ever.

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  21. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa says:
    Golden, it can’t be that God has emotions, emotions are defined as “passiones animae”, and God can’t have these kinds of “passiones”.

    Fair enough, lovely Teresa. We are human and bodily so our ’emotions’ are naturally accompanied by physical changes.

    But surely God also loves us with a passion. Again, we can listen to HF:

    Deus Caritas Est
    Part 1
    9. . . . the Prophets, particularly Hosea and Ezekiel, described God’s passion for his people using boldly erotic images. God’s relationship with Israel is described using the metaphors of betrothal and marriage; idolatry is thus adultery and prostitution . . .

    10. We have seen that God’s eros for man is also totally agape. This is not only because it is bestowed in a completely gratuitous manner, without any previous merit, but also because it is love which forgives. Hosea above all shows us that this agape dimension of God’s love for man goes far beyond the aspect of gratuity. Israel has committed “adultery” and has broken the covenant; God should judge and repudiate her. It is precisely at this point that God is revealed to be God and not man: “How can I give you up, O Ephraim! How can I hand you over, O Israel! … My heart recoils within me, my compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my fierce anger, I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst” (Hos 11:8-9).

    God’s passionate love for his people—for humanity—is at the same time a forgiving love. It is so great that it turns God against himself, his love against his justice. Here Christians can see a dim prefigurement of the mystery of the Cross: so great is God’s love for man that by becoming man he follows him even into death, and so reconciles justice and love.

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  22. toadspittle says:

    And… Teresa, at 12.44:

    Wow! Just look at all those angles boogying on the head of that pin! Cool!

    But seriously, isn’t it an axiom that, “God so loved the world, that he sacrificed His only son to save it.”?

    But you still say, “… God has no emotions. ”

    Mind you, Toad agrees on that. But for very different reasons.

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  23. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa says (at 13:20)
    Golden, again, this is the same case like OT, we must use our language to describe God, but to say God has emotions is not correct.

    Well, Teresa, He does the next best thing, or even better. 🙂

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  24. teresa says:

    And here an article from the Orthodox viewpoint:
    http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/09/impassibility-of-god-and-church-fathers.html
    the terminus technicus for this discussion is “impassibility” (that God is incapable to suffer passion)
    “There was no difference of opinion on this subject among orthodox theologians of the ancient Church. Even Tertulian, perhaps the most antiphilosophy theologian among important early writers, vehemently opposed the notion that God could suffer pain. Reading of the Cappadocian Fathers (Gregory Nazianzus, Gregory of Nyssa and Basil the Great) in preparation for a paper on the post-Nicea (324) apologetics of orthodoxy sparked my notice of uniform and vehement agreement of Christians on God’s impassibility. In January of this year (1996) I carefully read J. N. D. Kelly’s Early Christian Doctrines. He confirms that all the Fathers, including even most heretics, strongly believed the divine Being is impassible“.

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  25. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa says:
    . . . it seems today this question is again discussed by the modern theologians . . . by Patrick Lee, John N. and Jamie D. McAleer . . . Franciscan University of Steubenville . . .

    Teresa, many thanks for the interesting and very relevant read!

    Yet, I remain very “religiously unsatisfied” after the read.

    The upshot of the writer appears to be that God does not have emotions (because He is necessary and immutable), but nevertheless He is capable of, or it is completely within His perfection to enter into “relationships” with His completely unnecessary creatures as a sort of divertissement.

    I demand that I am more adorable than that! It’s hardly better than my being, in Toad’s view, nothing but a moderately slow computer with a digestive system.

    Well, ta very much. But it’s a bit underwhelming.

    HF’s language of passion and prostitution in Deus Caritas Est is much more invigorating and might actually detain one from turning on the telly so that one might have a closer read of these Papal insights.

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  26. golden chersonnese says:

    joyful says (at 7:44)
    By the way, Toad didn’t specifically answer my questions, but he clearly thinks that, yes, I am nasty. And maybe he’s right.

    joyful, nobody could ever think that of you or, come to think of it, of Toad either.

    Personally, I would gladly have Toad stuffed and mounted on my mantelshelf for remembrance, the handsome beast. 😉

    As for OT smiting of Canaanites, I think we need to remember two things:

    1) that general mutual smiting was quite the order of the day in those olden days &

    2) OT Scripture, if it is history (as the Church requests us to accept it is), is very much history with “attitood” (when isn’t history just that?).

    Thus, if Canaanites got smited several times in the course of an ordinary day, as it appears was the rule (the Israelites copped it as well), it’s more than likely that the writer of Joshua, writing at a later date, would try to use it all (rather over-dramatically) as a means to instruct his brethren (and us!) in some important lessons about how very serious God is in His purposes for Earth.

    Hark, what is that? A toadish gurgling? Nay, never mind!

    In spite of these gurgulations, we have the whole of the OT to show us so much about God, which even from its earliest passages tells us, seemingly somewhat in contradiction of the Joshua story (but not really, considering the whole), that:
    “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin.”
    Exodus34:6-7

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  27. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa says:
    Golden, I agree fully that the rational conception of God doesn’t represent God in His fullness. So it will be the mystics who tell us more about the loving relationship between God and man.

    Quite so, Teresa, and it reminds me of earlier blogs here, especially that about St Teresa of Avila, with the photo of Bernini’s sculpture of the Ecstasy of St Teresa, in which we see a seraph plunging a fiery spear into the heart of St Teresa.

    I’ve since learnt that this is called a “reverberation” in the relevant literature, which Padre Pio also experienced.

    http://www.boosey.com/cr/sample_detail/Padre-Pio-s-Prayer-2008/12624

    (by James MacMillan, 2008)

    I see too that in Islam, the Sufis are a manifestation of seeking to have and return God’s love, which is largely absent in the Qur’an. Indeed, it is mentioned only negatively there, as a means to warn against sin.

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  28. toadspittle says:

    “I demand that I am more adorable than that! It’s hardly better than my being, in Toad’s view, nothing but a moderately slow computer with a digestive system.”

    Come, come, Golden!

    You know full well that Toad regards you (and Teresa, and everyone else on here, even Omvendt!) – as more adorable than mere prosaic words can express!

    And he does not regard you as you claim he does – not even as a fast computer with an intestinal tract!
    He is sure you have a love for music, or art, or literature, or stamp collecting, or dogs, or Mel Gibson movies – or whatever – just as he does (not for Mel, though!) – all very mysterious things – useless, in practical terms.
    Computers don’t, and can’t, do that.
    Yet the fact that people are capable of appreciating Mahler, for example, does not lead Toad to jump to the conclusion that there is a loving and caring God.
    Why should it?

    People on CP&S seem to think I am annoyed with God because many things are so unsatisfactory. I’m not, because I don’t believe God is responsible for any of it, whether He exists or not.
    I might be persuaded otherwise one day. Maybe.

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  29. joyfulpapist says:

    To see whether someone – a human someone – is loving and caring, we need to look at their whole behaviour, not just at incidents taken out of context and without considering motivations. A mother who puts her child in the corner and refuses to speak to her for ten minutes may be a bad mother, or she may be a good mother attempting to teach the child a valuable lesson about the consequences of hitting a sibling. If a loving parent does something that appears unloving, we assume there must be a reason, and we seek to understand the reason. GC points out that the Old Testament, taken as a whole, shows us a God passionately interested in and concerned about us. I assume that God cannot act in a way that is out of character. So I seek to understand how the actions I don’t like are consistent with the nature of the God I love.

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  30. omvendt says:

    “And Christ, who along with the Holy Ghost, is All God, has totally different notions to his Dad, who is the same person? enquires Toad.

    The Blessed Trinity is three Persons in one God.

    A mystery but not a contradiction.

    Fascinating conversation!

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  31. joyfulpapist says:

    If anyone is interested, I’ve blogged three questions on joyfulpapist.wordpress.com: When is it wrong to kill? Who is it wrong to kill? Why is it wrong to kill? I’d be pleased to have your thoughts.

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  32. toadspittle says:

    1) that general mutual smiting was quite the order of the day in those olden days &
    2) OT Scripture, if it is history (as the Church requests us to accept it is), is very much history with “attitood” (when isn’t history just that?)….
    ….”Thus, if Canaanites got smited several times in the course of an ordinary day, as it appears was the rule (the Israelites copped it as well), “

    Thus spake Golden C. at 16.09 yesterday. (Toad would suggest ‘smitten,’ ) She cunningly, he suspects, doesn’t use the word ‘culture’ to explain the Jew’s (and their ‘relatives’, to be sure) naughty and destructive behaviour. But she was thinking about it, Toad bets.

    Anyway, the point is surely, that God is reputed to have commanded, “Thou shalt not kill.” And signally failed to qualify this fairly all-encompassing edict with, “Unless, of course, you are an Israelite and the other guy is a Philistine, in which case you can cut his head off tout suite
    So, what’s up wit dat, as we used to say in Pittsburgh?
    .

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  33. joyfulpapist says:

    The Hebrew word “ratsach” – translated as ‘kill’ in the King James Bible – is commonly believed to describe the premeditated and unprovoked killing of a human being (murder, in other words), or – through carelessness or wantonness – allowing another human being to die (which we would call manslaughter).

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  34. manus2 says:

    Toad,

    Thank-you for a clear statement of your position. Voltaire’s got you firmly in his grip, hasn’t he? Anyway, I’ll ponder on it. There’s some fascinating blogging going on right now and I’m completely snowed under with the inconveniences of work …

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  35. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad protests:
    (Toad would suggest ‘smitten,’ )

    Golden would suggest “smote”

    “Smitten” sounds too much like what Toad is with Voltaire. 😉

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  36. toadspittle says:

    Well, at least we both agree about ‘smited,’ But we still would like clarification on what’s up wid dat.

    Toad is, (apropos of nothing,) rapidly becoming smitten with Unamuno, as well.

    … But is not yet in his grip, if agreeing with someone necessitates being in their grip. Toad supposes he is in Montaigne’s grip as well, by that yardstick .

    “The Hebrew word “ratsach” – translated as ‘kill’ in the King James Bible – is commonly believed to describe the premeditated and unprovoked killing of a human being (murder, in other words)
    Joyful tells us ignoramuses, who don’t even speak Hebrew. (Lovely word, ‘ratsach’ don’t we think?)
    The implication here is that unpremeditated killing is not murder. Such as Cain, in a rage.
    Right?

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  37. toadspittle says:

    ” ….So I seek to understand how the actions I don’t like are consistent with the nature of the God I love.”

    Says Joyful. And the best of luck with that one.
    To paraphrase Sidney Smith, (its OK, he’s as dead as Carlyle!)
    “You might as well stroke the dome of Saint Paul’s to please the Dean and Chapter!”

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  38. golden chersonnese says:

    joyful says:
    I assume that God cannot act in a way that is out of character. So I seek to understand how the actions I don’t like are consistent with the nature of the God I love.

    joyful, some more OT verses (of many, no doubt) that just flatly contradict the idea of Toad’s bloody Canaanite-smiting God.

    These should muddy the waters sufficiently.

    As you suggest, the God who helps to smite Canaanites and the God of these verses need to be reconciled in some way.

    Psalm 11:5 –
    The LORD examines the righteous,
    but the wicked, those who love violence,
    he hates with a passion.

    Jeremiah 22:3 –
    This is what the LORD says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.

    Ezekiel 45:9 –
    This is what the Sovereign LORD says: You have gone far enough, princes of Israel! Give up your violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Stop dispossessing my people, declares the Sovereign LORD.

    Like

  39. toadspittle says:

    Adorable Golden,

    In case your attention span is even shorter than Toad’s, (God forbid!) here’s what he ran yesterday. Maybe you didn’t see it, though.

    God speaking, apparently.

    “Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,
    Hivites and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you.
    Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God”
    (Deuteronomy. 20:17-18).

    Now while Toad will cherish you comment on this, he also suggests that, taking into account the bible bits quoted by your adorable self, God is not only nasty, he is totally inconsistent as well.

    Like

  40. toadspittle says:

    Blimey.

    When Toad finds himself quoting from a book which he regards as largely pernicious balls anyway – to make a point about a God whose existence he doubts in any case – surely the apocalypse cannot be far away.

    Like

  41. golden chersonnese says:

    All in good time, Toad.

    In the meantime, congratulations CP&S on reaching another milestone – your 150,000th visitor!

    Like

  42. omvendt says:

    States GC: “Yes I have often heard it said that we can speak analogically of God, meaning supposedly that His love and His anger and His joy are like ours. But in that sense He must have something like love, anger and joy, something like “emotions”.”

    Vatican 1 teaches that: “The absolute ontological goodness of God is the basis of His Infinite Bliss. In knowing and loving Himself as the Supreme Good He is infinitely blissful in the possession and enjoyment of Himself.”

    ‘Bliss’ means: “perfect happiness; great joy”.

    I don’t think anyone would deny that happiness and joy are emotions: it necessarily follows, then, that God the Father ‘has’ emotions.

    Like

  43. omvendt says:

    Quotes Toad: “Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites,
    Hivites and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you.”

    And yet in Deuteronomy 7: 2-5, immediately following the command to “completely destroy them” (the Canaanites) God tells the Israelites not to “intermarry with them”.

    Does this not suggest that “completely destroy” was not to be taken literally?

    Could it be that this passage in Deuteronomy was meant to be understood as part of the rhetoric of war?

    Is it not the case that God wanted the destruction of the pagan Canaanite religion, rather than the literal destruction of all the Canaanites?

    This is my crude and selective ‘presentation’ of a snippet of an argument advanced by the Evangelical scholar, Paul Copan.

    He’s just written a book (that sounds rather interesting) called, ‘Is God a Moral Monster?’

    By the looks of things it may shed some light on issues raised (quite understandably) by our own dear Toad.

    Like

  44. omvendt says:

    ” ‘You just quoted from Ludwig Ott’s “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma.”’

    Yep. Got from Ott, who got that from Vatican 1. 🙂

    Like

  45. omvendt says:

    Nevertheless, the word ‘bliss’ does have a specific meaning – and (pace Prof Lee) that meaning inextricably involves emotions.

    I feel we are perhaps in danger of getting into a ‘Derek and Clive’ type “What is the meaning of getting out of the cab?” discussion here.

    Now, I quoted (or so I thought) from Vatican 1 – and I found the ‘quotation’ in Ott’s book. I did not wittingly ‘quote Ott’s theology’. Had I done so, I would have said so.

    In any case, looking at the relevant passage again from ‘The Fundamentals of Catholic Theology’, ( Ludwig Ott, ‘The Mercier Press Limited, Cork, 1954, p21), it does not seem to me that the word ‘bliss’ has been idiosyncratically redefined to denude the word of emotional ‘content’.

    But maybe that’s just me. 😉

    Like

  46. Brother Burrito says:

    Teresa,

    You make it sound to my ears that God wants us to be his happy house guests!

    The spiritual quest is simply to find God’s house, and knock-assuming we are in party dress.

    I bet the party inside really rocks, and lasts for ever and ever too!

    What a good neighbour God is, to us scamps.

    Like

  47. omvendt says:

    Before I head for ‘me Uncle Ned’ (as Toad would say), is it not the case that the Holy Spirit is like an eternal ‘expression’ of the love between the eternally existing Father and the Son? (I’m not trying to suggest that the Holy Spirit is not wholly God too – bear with me.)

    That love can’t be simply ‘wishing the good for another’ or ‘acting for the good of another’: each Person of the Trinity is wholly good and perfect, so ‘desiring a good’ etc, would be utterly superfluous.

    The idea of God the Father as a Person Who’s love is ‘disinterested’ and whose joy is actually a kind of ‘rest’ is certainly a challenging one.

    Like

  48. joyfulpapist says:

    As Burro said at the outset, the answer to the question is ‘we don’t know’.

    When God says He loves us, He doesn’t mean the emotion – mediated through our physical systems and affected by our appetites, our hormones, and our health – that we mean when we say ‘love’. But He mean something – something better? Is it that God’s Love is the ontological reality for which our emotion is a pale analogue? And the same for the other emotions.

    But from our perspective: “If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.” (Douglas Adams)

    Like

  49. Brother Burrito says:

    I am in that same state!

    Let me float this: If Baptism can be had by desire, then why not Reconciliation?

    The DESIRE for Confession must count for something, in Our Lord’s eyes? Surely?

    He knows our cowardice, though He never experienced it Himself.

    I do not wish to start another heresy, but, in this confused day and age, we must offer hope that though sin abounds, His Mercy abounds greater,

    Thanks be to Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

    “I wish for all men to be saved”, says the Lord, surely.

    (Will better people than me correct me, please).

    (Enough from me, I must rest, silly fool).

    Like

  50. omvendt says:

    “omvendt, it was not an objection when I wrote Ott, I am only used to tracking back to the text itself and it has always been important for me to learn what the source exactly is, a pedantic habit. ”

    Sources are very important, Teresa. It’s not pedantic to want to know or assess the credentials of a source.

    The fact is, I thought the quotation came straight from Vatican 1 (so that was the ‘source’) and I was too lazy to add that I located the ‘quotation’ in Ott’s book.

    I’ll be more punctilious in future. 😉

    “Is it that God’s Love is the ontological reality for which our emotion is a pale analogue? And the same for the other emotions.”

    What a thrilling idea, JP!

    Like

  51. Brother Burrito says:

    From what you say, we shall be partners in hell,

    but Our Lord has other plans, methinks!

    Don’t be consumed with scruples, dear Teresa.

    I am trying not to be. -Burrito

    God bless you!

    Like

  52. Brother Burrito says:

    Omvendt,

    Any conception we have of God’s Love is a pale analogy, by definition.

    I’m sorry that language fails, but it does.

    We have to look beyond language, and into Spirit, perhaps?

    Like

  53. omvendt says:

    “Burrito, God bless you too, you are an example of real goodness.”

    Mos def.

    My feeling is that compared to most on here I am a moral and spiritual pygmy (Toad excepted of course 😉 ).

    This thread has certainly given me plenty to think about.

    So much from everyone!

    Fascinating, witty, humorous, exciting and compelling stuff!

    Good night to everyone – and God bless!

    Like

  54. joyfulpapist says:

    Thank God for Purgatory! I expect a long stay, and a happy conclusion.

    Like

  55. manus2 says:

    Well God bless you too, JP, you can act as night watch on the blog.

    Burrito: “I do not wish to start another heresy” – I admire your ambition! I’m not sure I have the spiritual imagination.

    Night all.

    Like

  56. toadspittle says:

    .
    Omvendt opines, re The Good Book …

    “Does this not suggest that “completely destroy” was not to be taken literally?”

    Indeed it does! Crikey! (as Golden C. would ejaculate!) Agreement at last!

    And Toad is of the opinion (for what it’s worth) that NOTHING in the bible should ever be taken literally, or any other way, for that matter.
    Except with a very, very big, pinch of salt!

    Like

  57. toadspittle says:

    .
    Toad must read Ott auf Gott, he thinks.

    And Golden C., quotes

    The LORD examines the righteous,
    but the wicked, those who love violence,
    he hates with a passion.
    Psalm 11:5 –

    It seems that if He can’t, or doesn’t, love, he certainly does the opposite.
    (Contrariwise, as Tweedledee might say.) All these ‘posts’ and we’re none the wiser, are we? (A message there, thinks Toad.)
    A shame, as Toad rather hoped that, after having dispatched the Philistines and the Pizzarites and Co, we could take another look at everyone’s pin-up saint, Joan of Arc – the Lady Gaga of her day.
    The one who got a big sword for killing Englishmen delivered by a sort of celestial Fedex, directly from the God, who commanded us, “Thou shalt not kill.”

    Oh, well. As Joyful put it, if I remember rightly, the sword was merely ‘symbolic’ or ‘figurative’ (i.e. ‘cultural’) and was, in fact, only used by Joan to cut her toenails and sharpen her eyebrow pencil. Not to cut off heads. Hateful, that would be!

    So, that’s all right, then.

    Like

  58. manus2 says:

    Well, I discover I have a copy of Ott on my shelf too. Looking rather dusty. And, ahem, it appears to have been ‘borrowed’ from the Catholic Chaplaincy at York not too short of 30 years ago. Of course these days OTT means ‘over the top’, which apparently matches my borrowing habits. Seems like I’d better read it. Or better still, take it back.

    Like

  59. joyfulpapist says:

    Or both, Manus. (This is my favourite answer to such choices, which is why I could do with losing a few pounds.)

    Like

  60. kathleen says:

    Congratulations Burrito! You certainly initiated a fascinating topic for discussion. Surely this thread must be put down as one of the most interesting and enlightening (in spite of Toad’s latest dampener, “…we’re none the wiser, are we?”) since CP&S was founded. In spite of being as busy as a bee these last days, I’ve found myself dashing back to the computer every few hours to read the next batch of fascinating comments.

    Dear Omvendt,
    Please let me wear the hat of the moral and spiritual pygmy on here; you certainly don’t deserve it 😉 . I shall add my grain of sand, after reading your:

    “Is it that God’s Love is the ontological reality for which our emotion is a pale analogue? And the same for the other emotions.”

    Yes, we have been created in the image and likeness of God. In a minuscule way we are a reflection of all that God is, all that is included in goodness, love and beauty, and our tiny limited hearts constantly yearn towards that supreme goodness – as has been mentioned above. Original sin has impaired our vision of what we were created for, to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, but the desire is always there, and the yearning and restlessness never cease.

    No, (as I believe has been established above) God does not have emotions such as we understand or interpret them. He is transcendent, supremely happy in the Holy Trinitarian unity of the Godhead (ie. not lonely) and therefore cannot be affected by transitory feelings such as “emotions”.

    So, why did He create us? Why did He bother with fickle mankind when He had no need of us? Why did His Son take on human flesh, suffer and die such an agonizing death to redeem us, when there was nothing to gain for God by doing so?

    I believe there is only one explanation for these profound questions that we have been asking ourselves for at least 2000 years. (Although words are so poor a way of explaining such a tremendous mystery, they are all we have.)
    Generosity and a desire to spread happiness are attributes to goodness and love. God is GOOD and God is LOVE – the true meaning of these words, not the emotion, which is the only way we understand them. He wants to share them with His creatures, so that we too can attain true happiness. He gave us free will so that we should not go towards Him as programmed robots, but as free beings who choose to respond to the calling for which we were created.
    “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it even entered into the heart of man, the wonders that God has created for those that love Him.”

    What God has in store for us is so tremendous, our gratitude should be overwhelming. We have heard that God is never outdone in generosity……. (again, going back to our human emotional understanding of generosity!) So how can our thanks and adoration ever be enough in response? We can never fully understand it.

    Like

  61. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad vouchsafes:
    NOTHING in the bible should ever be taken literally, or any other way, for that matter.
    Except with a very, very big, pinch of salt!

    Golden, however, has it on the highest authority that Toads cannot abide salt; it’s bad for his thick hide. 😉

    Like

  62. toadspittle says:

    “Golden, however, has it on the highest authority that Toads cannot abide salt; it’s bad for his thick hide. ;-)”

    Golden is both right and wrong here.
    Right – that salt is bad for Toad, wrong – that he cannot abide it. In fact, Toad loves anything that’s bad for him, including salt, gin and tonics, two-mile handicap hurdles, dangerous women, (although, to be honest – he’s way past that one, these days) and CP&S.

    Kathleen,
    Surely you mean because of Toad’s ‘latest dampener’? Thought so!

    Like

  63. golden chersonnese says:

    Burrito thinks:
    The spiritual quest is simply to find God’s house, and knock-assuming we are in party dress.

    I bet the party inside really rocks, and lasts for ever and ever too!

    I hope the neighbours are understanding types.

    Like

  64. golden chersonnese says:

    Teresa says (at December 14 at 6:48.)
    . . James MacMillan, heard his music for the first time, it is great! Nice to see that we still have great contemporary composers.</i

    Yes Teresa, I like it too. We are both of us, then, like the blogmeister of another unmentionable blogue.

    Personally, I find James MacMillan's music quite archaic with an undoubtably strong hint, nevertheless, of the 20th century. Very enrapturing.

    Strange how the archaic is now appealing again as we see with the general popularity now of Gregorian chant, synthesised and all (the chant, not MacMillan) though it may be.

    I see we can order it all at Boozey & Hawkes:

    http://www.boosey.com/shop/powersearch/powersearch_results.asp?searchPT=&search=MacMillan&x=5&y=12

    Like

  65. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad puzzles:
    God is not only nasty, he is totally inconsistent as well.

    God is obviously an Italian. Live with it.

    Like

  66. golden chersonnese says:

    Kathleen at December 15 10:37

    Inspiring! Thank you.

    Like

  67. golden chersonnese says:

    omvendt ponders:
    Could it be that this passage in Deuteronomy was meant to be understood as part of the rhetoric of war?

    Is it not the case that God wanted the destruction of the pagan Canaanite religion, rather than the literal destruction of all the Canaanites?

    Well, my dear omvendt, we may both get a roasting here. We’re used to it.

    But to be truthful, we must recognise that Joshua was written well after events and that it is ‘literature’, although it be God-breathed’ literature. But literature it remains, whose events mediated through an intellect that is weighing religious, not historical, concerns. Toad, I’m sure, will identify with that.

    Besides Toad, all others must allow that any literature is somewhat constrained by its time, even if it challenges and questions the conventions of its time. It rather narrowly just kicks against the times, rarely more than that.

    Literature also, even somewhat monotonously, always marshalls selected events of its time to make its various points. It may even, no, probably WILL ENLARGE the events of its time rhetorically (as you say) to make its point. It would hardly be literature otherwise. We see this in the literature of the Greeks and Roman, such as Homer, and in other such sublime literature such as Beowulf, in which your ancestors are implicated. Toad will no doubt ask you to apologise to Grendel and his mum.

    This, however, is where Toad parts company and won’t play along any more. Such are Toads.

    We are asked by the Church to accept that the OT portrays real historical events. I don’t think we are asked to accept every grim specific detail. We are asked, moreover, to accept its points.

    This is where I am going to trap Toad.

    Like

  68. omvendt says:

    “I shall add my grain of sand, after reading your:

    “Is it that God’s Love is the ontological reality for which our emotion is a pale analogue? And the same for the other emotions.”

    If only I had said that, dear Kathleen! 😉

    (And don’t bother throwing Whistler at me, Toad. 😉 )

    I’m afraid JP is the source of that exhilarating speculation.

    Like

  69. omvendt says:

    “This is where I am going to trap Toad.”

    That’s the spirit, Golden!

    But, as I’m sure you are well aware, Toads are notoriously slippery. 😉

    Like

  70. toadspittle says:

    “God is obviously an Italian. Live with it.”

    Snaps adorable Golden to poor old Toad. Damn! Toad thought God was a Spaniard!

    But, seriously, (not really!) Toad sees the word ‘literature’ being elevated to the level, as he has boringly said before, of words like, ‘cultural’, figurative’, and ‘symbolic.’

    That is to say, that when the ‘truth’ (of, for example, the multitudinous horrors of the Holy Bible) is not palatable, it must be re-assigned to some less disturbing concept. Very Orwellian. Just as Joyful cheerfully called mass murder, ‘cleansing.’
    I kid you not.

    Anyway, what about the belligerent Joan of Arc? Licensed – (and personally armed!) – to kill – by Our Loving God?
    Long after Jericho, and all that pre-Jesus stuff.
    No answers as of yet.
    Toad is patient. But he’s beginning to think this one might be proving a bit tricky. Surely not?

    Like

  71. toadspittle says:

    Omvent is, for once, wrong about Toads.
    They are not slippery at all.
    He is thinking of frogs. Toads are actually dry and cuddly. Opines Toad. (But then, he would, wouldn’t he?)
    Omvendt has clearly never handled one. They are delightful and beautiful.
    Boasts Toad. (But, then he would, wouldn’t he?)

    Like

  72. toadspittle says:

    What is more, Toad wouldn’t dream of ‘throwing’ Whistler at Omvent. Or his dog (Whistler’s dog that is, of course, not Omvendt’s!)

    But seriously (not!) regardless of what Kathleen says, Toad believes we still have reached no sort of consensus as to whether God is in favour of murder – either in the Good Old Jewish days, or the Bad Old Modern days.

    Ah, the heck with it. Let’s just deep six it all, and get back to the Pope and pedophilia! We were happy there.
    Anyone see the story on German orphanages? Bet Teresa did! What do we think?

    Like

  73. manus2 says:

    OK, Toad,

    I don’t know very much about Joan of Arc, but given our discussion over at JP’s blog too, let’s look at her.

    What precisely are you accusing her and God of doing? Resisting an invading army? Of fighting soldiers? If that’s all, then why bother with Joan of Arc? My recollection is that the Vatican approved the First Gulf War on the basis that there had been an unwarranted invasion of Kuwait. The Church has over the centuries come to the conclusion that killing practically anyone – even child murderers – is a bad thing, but nevertheless recognises that in extremis a country may defend itself from invasion. This tradition has been maintained by the last couple of Popes who have seen this stuff up close and personal.

    You seem very sure that pacifism is the only morally acceptable choice. On what basis? The Church reported lost 1 million members to slaughter by governments of one flavour or another during the last century. It can do the pacifist thing when it seems morally appropriate. But it still allows for the just war in certain circumstances. Please explain why this is self-evidently wrong, or how this offers evidence of a semi-dormant blood lust on God’s part.

    Or perhaps I’m missing some pivotal historical detail. Did Joan take part in the slaughter of civilians? Did she howl at the departing English to come back because she hadn’t finished killing yet?

    But wait, according to Wikipedia (that well-known refuge of the knowledge-bereft) she “may have struck one stubborn camp follower with the flat of a sword”. Blimey, I see what you mean! What a monster! Perhaps you are on to something.

    Like

  74. toadspittle says:

    Manus, your posts are great.

    So, I will do my modest best to answer you, point by point.

    1: I am accusing God of encouraging Joan to kill people, regardless of His own Commandment, not to do so. (Of course I don’t think this ever happened, as I don’t believe in an intervening God, but there we are.)

    Then you say;
    “My recollection is that the Vatican approved the First Gulf War…” well so did Toad. Nuff said.
    All wars are bad, but sometimes they are less bad than the alternatives. Including the Second World War.Toad would be happy to go along with any Christians when they, like the Quakers, say, “Include us out.” Toad has never worn a uniform, apart from a school one, in all his life, and if he believed in God, he would thank Him for it.

    Toad is a bit surprised a that there is any argument regarding pacificism. Surely, when Christ says , “Turn the other cheek,” that is exactly what he is ordering/asking/ commanding/wishing? “Don’t respond,” he says, ” Ever, at all, in any way.”
    Or is Toad wrong, as usual? Probably.

    (Toad is getting too preachy. Which is silly. Sorry. Preaching is CP&S’s metier.

    Like

  75. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad conjures as with a rabbit out of a hat:
    But, seriously, (not really!) Toad sees the word ‘literature’ being elevated to the level, as he has boringly said before, of words like, ‘cultural’, figurative’, and ‘symbolic.’

    Toad would have us accept that books of Holy Writ like Joshua are blow-by-blow running detailed commentaries of events, somewhat like the radio coverage of the third Ashes test. He does this even though Joshua et al. were written well after stumps.

    If we even slightly demur, Toad then accuses us of being “cultural” and “figurative” and rude too, no doubt. 😉

    Like

  76. Brother Burrito says:

    Enough of your cheek, young whippersnapper GC!

    The noble Toadster is this blog’s loyal “Chief Fire Officer”.

    His mission is to prevent the fire of our ardour running out of control.

    And a very good job he does too! After sufficient length of service, he will receive a (gold plated) galvanised bucket, full of sand, as a token of our appreciation.

    All hail the chief!

    Like

  77. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad further prestidigitates:
    That is to say, that when the ‘truth’ (of, for example, the multitudinous horrors of the Holy Bible) is not palatable, it must be re-assigned to some less disturbing concept.

    Too bad for any of us who might suspect that the whole of Scripture might be “religious literature” and not the Inspector’s detailed report or something like that.

    That means that, after all, it is indubitably historically accurate that:

    How beautiful you are, my darling!
    Oh, how beautiful!
    Your eyes are doves.

    How handsome you are, my beloved!
    Oh, how charming!
    And our bed is verdant.

    The beams of our house are cedars;
    our rafters are firs.

    Sounds pretty good to me.

    Like

  78. Brother Burrito says:

    Steady on GC,

    This is a ‘family’ blog you know!

    Like

  79. golden chersonnese says:

    Hello Burrito, “just funnin’ “, as they say in Pittsburgh. 🙂

    Shouldn’t you be handing over the watch to joyful papist by now and going bye-byes?

    Like

  80. Brother Burrito says:

    [snore, snore, snort-violent turn-snore….]

    Like

  81. omvendt says:

    “Toad is a bit surprised a that there is any argument regarding pacificism. Surely, when Christ says , “Turn the other cheek,” that is exactly what he is ordering/asking/ commanding/wishing? “Don’t respond,” he says, ” Ever, at all, in any way.”
    Or is Toad wrong, as usual? Probably.”

    ‘Turning the other cheek’ can, according to Augustine (I believe) take the form of an ‘interior disposition’

    Gotta run now; train to catch.

    Get back to you, Toad.

    Like

  82. toadspittle says:

    Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair; thou hast doves’ eyes within thy locks: thy hair is as a flock of goats, that appear from mount Gilead.
    Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even shorn, which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them.
    Thy lips are like a thread of scarlet, and thy speech is comely: thy temples are like a piece of a pomegranate within thy locks.
    Thy neck is like the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.
    Thy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies.
    Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.
    Thou art all fair, my love; there is no spot in thee.

    Pretty good description of Golden Chersonnese, Toad likes to imagine.
    Quite what it’s got to do with the Pope and pedophilia, is unclear.

    But what the heck! It’s adorable!

    Like

  83. golden chersonnese says:

    Toad flattersThy two breasts are like two young roes that are twins, which feed among the lilies . .

    Pretty good description of Golden Chersonnese, Toad likes to imagine.

    Point taken, Toad.

    The Bible is after all, we now see, a thoroughly accurate historical record. 😉

    Like

  84. manus2 says:

    Ooh, erm, blimey.

    Come back Joan of Arc, all is forgiven! Sort out this nonsense for us, will you please? There’s a Toad over there wants squashing! And, erm, the Malay Peninsula (is that what your name means?!) needs, erm, a thorough purging. But be a pacifist, there’s a love, or you’ll upset the Toad. Even after you’ve squashed him.

    Like

  85. golden chersonnese says:

    You can purge my peninsula any day, hon. 🙂

    Like

  86. golden chersonnese says:

    Or alternatively, DO TELL, Mr Handy (is that what your name means?).

    Like

  87. golden chersonnese says:

    manus2 says: December 16 at 11:53
    There’s a Toad over there wants squashing!

    How nifty! A Hand ( or should that be second-hand, Mr Manus2) and a squashed Toad. 😉

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:AqbrdFkbxXcJ:www.travelpod.com/travel-photo/nickyloo/2/1248922443/squashed-cane-toad.jpg/tpod.html+squashed+cane+toad&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=my

    Like

  88. golden chersonnese says:

    Joyful, omvendt and Toad, a most interesting read by the Right Reverend Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright (is he still there? I heard he was considering a career move), a well-known Scripture scholar , which I throw into the muddied waters concerning the Canaanite-cum-English-smiting God of the OT and collected works of St Joan of Arc.

    Though my lord is clearly trying to be neither evangelical nor Catholic in a hopeful attempt to make the Anglicans look special, there is much in his lecture that repays handsomely the effort of reading him and that sheds light on the weighty matters that Toad skirts raises.

    A few snippets:

    – Rather, God’s authority vested in scripture is designed, as all God’s authority is designed, to liberate human beings, to judge and condemn evil and sin in the world in order to set people free to be fully human. That’s what God is in the business of doing. That is what his authority is there for.

    – How does God exercise that authority? Again and again, in the biblical story itself we see that he does so through human agents anointed and equipped by the Holy Spirit. And this is itself an expression of his love, because he does not will, simply to come into the world in a blinding flash of light and obliterate all opposition. He wants to reveal himself meaningfully within the space/time universe not just passing it by tangentially; to reveal himself in judgement and in mercy in a way which will save people. So, we get the prophets. We get obedient writers in the Old Testament, not only prophets but those who wrote the psalms and so on. As the climax of the story we get Jesus himself as the great prophet, but how much more than a prophet.

    – This is especially interesting, because the false prophets appear to have everything going for them. They are quoting Deuteronomy 33—one of them makes horns and puts them on his head and says, ‘with these you will crush the enemy until they are overthrown’. They had scripture on their side, so it seemed. They had tradition on their side; after all, Yahweh was the God of Battles and he would fight for Israel. They had reason on their side; Israel and Judah together can beat these northern enemies quite easily. But they didn’t have God on their side. Micaiah had stood in the council of the Lord and in that private, strange, secret meeting he had learned that even the apparent scriptural authority which these prophets had, and the apparent tradition and reason, wasn’t good enough; God wanted to judge Ahab and so save Israel. And so God delegated his authority to the prophet Micaiah who, inspired by the Spirit, stood humbly in the council of God and then stood boldly in the councils of men. He put his life and liberty on the line, like Daniel and so many others. That is how God brought his authority to bear on Israel: not by revealing to them a set of timeless truths, but by delegating his authority to obedient men through whose words he brought judgement and salvation to Israel and the world.

    http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Bible_Authoritative.htm ;-

    Like

  89. manus2 says:

    GC,

    Wonderful stuff! The snap shot of Toad and me warms the cockles … (that’s enough bodily parts, Ed).

    I’ve just bought some of NT Wright’s tomes, and apparently he has retired as Bishop of Durham. I was teasing Toad just a couple of days ago on JP’s blog that this was one of the signs of the end of the world: A Bishop of Durham believing in the Resurrection.

    Thanks for the snippet, I look forward to reading lots more. He was cited favourably by Anthony Flew, the celebrated atheist turned, erm, deist, I think. Flew’s book is a hoot on Dawkins, btw. And Mr Badger from JP’s blog (and now his own) says Wright is a good thing too.

    Like

  90. golden chersonnese says:

    Yes, Manus2, I was just having fun, hope you don’t mind.

    Though life is plenteous, colourful and warmish on the Golden Chersonese, there aren’t too many laughs. Even fewer opportunities to get hold of scholars like Wright, who appealed greatly to me in other things I’ve managed to read that drew on him.

    Must see if my developing world salary stretches to buying him, Flew and sundry others on Amazon etc. 🙂

    (PS: did you notice how the Toad’s thick hide was totally intact even though he had been totally flattened by a super-lorry?)

    Like

  91. omvendt says:

    “Joyful, omvendt and Toad, a most interesting read by the Right Reverend Bishop of Durham, N.T. Wright … ”

    Yes, Golden. Always a pleasure reading the Wright stuff.

    Like

  92. manus2 says:

    Hi GC,

    Squashed by a super-lorry? And I thought it had been my hand, or perhaps the flat of the sword of Joan of Arc. Oh well, there’s always next time.

    Like

  93. golden chersonnese says:

    manus2 exclaims Squashed by a super-lorry? And I thought it had been my hand, or perhaps the flat of the sword of Joan of Arc.

    No, manus2, I hear it actually required a superlorry. 😉

    Like

  94. toadspittle says:

    TOAD..,

    Is saddened – and surprised – by the callous mockery over his flattened fellow crittur. He (the dead toad, that is,) should be slipped into a large buff envelope and buried with all due rites and solemnity.

    But he (the live one, barely,) will turn the other cheek.

    Like

  95. golden chersonnese says:

    Yes very sad indeed, Toad.

    Here’s the official photo of dad the bereaved family has sent out, dad in happier times when he was young and courting.

    http://sciencelush.typepad.com/.a/6a00d835171dd053ef0120a7d729a4970b-pi

    Like

  96. kathleen says:

    Omvendt,

    Tardy apologies for attributing those inspiring words of Joyful’s to you :oops:. Silly me! (And apologies to Joyful too of course.)

    Like

  97. Toadspitttle says:

    What nostalgia! Or it would be, if I could remember writing any of it.
    I seemed to be of much the same mindset then as now.
    Not getting any wiser, for sure.
    And those long-forgotten names! Joyfulpapist, Omvent, Manus, Teresa, Sponge Bag Square Pants.

    All dead now, I suppose.

    Like

  98. GC says:

    Good old friends and very gifted souls, all greatly missed, Toad. I’m not so sure, however, about a certain Mr Sponge Bag Square Pants. Surely there has been some mistake?

    Like

  99. Toadspitttle says:

    Doh!
    Right, yet again, GC!
    Toad had forgotten even that there never was anyone called Square Bob Sponge Pants on CP&S.
    That’s forgetting on an industrial scale!

    Like

  100. kathleen says:

    Ah, I remember it well!…. Younger neurons, you know Toad. 😉

    Sorry to see that our dear Teresa moved her excellent comments to the Trash though.

    And about those long lost commenters (with a big hug and a kiss to our faithful GC), this is what I know:
    Teresa is busy elsewhere but we all hope she will be back one day.
    Manus is still around on other places on the blogosphere I believe; the other day I saw a comment of his from last August.
    I have a strong suspicion where our regular commenter Omvendt is these days, but as I can’t prove it, I shall keep quiet.
    Joyfulpapist is our one big worry – no one seems to have the slightest idea what has happened to her. Anyone got any idea how we can find out?

    Like

  101. Toadspitttle says:

    Omvendt was wont to vanish from time to time, back then.
    Toad unkindly used to suggest it was because he was “banged up,” doing “his porridge.”
    An idea you now subtly seem to endorse, Kathleen.

    Seriously, Joyful is a concern. I have tried what little I can. No good.

    Like

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