Monday, June 24, 2013

A prayer that Post-Christendom crows cannot utter.

"...for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Tim. 2:2

Why does Paul say this? Because it "pleases God our Savior, who wants ALL MEN to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (v.3-4).

How often this second verse and its necessary connection to the first has been overlooked!! Paul is basically saying this: Pray for leaders; God wants them to be saved, and if they are saved they will be sure to use their authority to bring peace to the Christians. Why else would Paul go to the trouble of attaching to his prayer exhortation a theological description of God's salvific purposes? The movement of thought is very plain.

Constraining Jesus by his Jewishness is very foolish indeed.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him..." -John 1:1-3a

It belongs to the person of Jesus, his essential person, to be the Eternal God. Jesus is no less Jesus throughout all of the countless eras existing before there was so much as a human conception of Israel.

amhn amhn legw umin prin abraam genesqai egw eimi

Before Abraham even comes into being, Jesus IS. Making Jewishness THE deciding factor of Jesus' being (and believe me, this seems to be every scholar's wet dream today) is nothing short of atheistic blindness. One might as well say that because Jesus walked the earth with corruptible flesh; his pre-existence must be defined according to the laws of corruptible flesh.

Jewishness is a mere cultural contingency. Culture cannot even be a static quality of humanity, for there is no situation wherein a human is not utterly free to renounce this or that culture in favor of another one. Thus we do not arrive at the irreducible person when we have gained a glimpse at his culture. This is an accidental quality, deserving of proper description and consideration but nonetheless accidental. In the case of Jesus, we can even lay aside these historical principles and simply bow before the fact that Jesus is not FIRST man, but very God of very God. The blind world and the blind christian intelligentsia can stick that in its pipe and smoke it.

It still baffles me that Constantine is hated on by Christians.

For what? Potentially creating a theocracy or a Christendom (although these two endeavors remain to be historically proven)? Why don't these slimeballs direct their wrath against, well, nearly every Old Testament King or political leader? Ah but yes, these were anointed by God for their tasks. Then the Word of God stands against your political theologies you fucking idiots.

That anyone by the name of Christian could reasonably lament the legalisation of Christianity, and the influence of the Christian gospel in the political sphere solidly BAFFLES me. I wish for these asswipes nothing better than a speedy deportation to a land and a situation where no such graces are offered, that they may have neither my prayers nor my concern as they are trampled and gnawed into pieces by the polis of their much-loved heathendom.

Wittgenstein contradicts himself.

"Die Welt ist die Gesamtheit der Tatsachen, nicht der Dinge." (Tractatus 1.1)

So Wittgenstein insists that the world, rather than being a totality of things (der Dinge) is a totality of facts (der Tatsachen).

Very well then. So what exactly ARE facts, Mr. Wittgenstein? Ah, I see that you have defined them not a few lines later:

"Was der Fall ist, die Tatsache, ist das Bestehen von Sachverhalten."  (2)

So facts and the case (der Fall) are synonyms, and both can be defined as states of affairs. And what, finally, is a state of affairs?

"Der Sachverhalt ist eine Verbindung von Gegenständen. (Sachen, Dingen.)"  (2.01)

States of affairs are combinations of Dingen; things. Ding Ding!! We have an answer!!! Facts are nothing other than states of affairs, which are nothing other than things!! Taking Mr. Wittgenstein at his own word, we may express his primordial proposition thus:

"The world is the totality of things, not of things."

Well done sir. In building a whole philosophy on the importance of expressing language meaningfully and sensibly, you have made a buffoon of yourself on the first page.

Wittgenstein, I smack my head at you!

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." -Tractatus Illogico-Pseudo-Philosophicus 5.6

Idealistic nonsense. Language is but one concrete category of concepts, which in turn are but vessels or tools of consciousness as it stands to attention to meet the world. It is perfectly conceivable to imagine a richly contoured world (as richly contoured as our own) with very minute sets of language and very minute inventories of logic. This we would call the world of mystery. Moments of such a world meet us scattered and uncollected throughout our regular day. How often do you attempt to gather the words or the concepts to describe what has revealed itself to you but are unable? Is the revelation, for all that, limited to your paltry set of words? How foolish! We understand that the word mystery collapses into the revelation of the world itself; it crumbles before the thing. As a mere example, take the unveiling of a stunning vista of mountains while a hiker rounds the corner of a forested gendarme. Not even Wordsworth, were he this hiker, would be able to do proper justice to what stands before him, though he would assuredly try. But this very readily bespeaks a transcendence of the world over language. It meets our language and then dashes it to pieces.

The pernicious behavior of Wittgenstein transcends anything language could capture.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Gnostics were right on one count.

"ή σαρξ ουκ ωϕελει ουδέν·" -Jesus (Jn.6:63b)

The flesh really does avail nothing.

To be sure, a psychoanalyst might have a day in paradise showing all of the divers ways in which Gnostics really did think that the flesh profited something. Irenaeus records in his first book Against Heresies not a few examples of Gnostic sects laying down all sorts of rules by which one may go to town and back with his body. Obviously the point of these libertinisms was to demonstrate a complete freedom from the flesh; to show that all of its lusts and activities were equally vain and could no longer touch on the future of the soul. The point, however, is not always the thought. I bet you the Gnostic church had a lot of horny individuals who would have taken up this doctrine and said, "Helllss Yes!!!!" It is these who loved their bodies after all.

Anyways, inasmuch as Gnostics formally recognized the incomparable truth of what Jesus said here, they were a step ahead of the church, which has always clung ferociously to a sort of natural bodily goodness, seeing in sinful flesh a likeness of the Divine.

The value of Israel's story can be summed up in one word.


Who cares about the role of women in the Bible?

Really, who cares? They are just as trifling as men. The object of scriptural investigations is to apprehend the nature and purpose of God. Attempting an anthropology of scripture and then calling it a day is like counting a bundle of dead leaves on the side of a trail and calling it a hike. For goodness sakes.

Paul wasn't really a Jew.

I can't think of any veritable Jew who would call the totality of his heritage σκυβαλα (shit, rubbish, dung, excrement, waste, slime) (Phil.3:8). Nor can I imagine any scholars doing him a favor by focusing on those aspects of his past that he himself considers worthless as if those very aspects were THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS. Once again, behold the sheer stupidity of the modern scholar!

Paul is not a Jew. He is no more a Jew than I am a Mennonite, though I come from that background and flit about a few vestiges of its cultural σκυβαλα.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Coming out from the Mennonite Church.

It is difficult. I realized a few years ago that something was horribly wrong with the denomination, nay, the culture that I have belonged to since my birth. Since that time I have come to see the movement of Menninism as a false religion; as false as the Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons. You can scarcely find a witness in the whole heretical lot of them who will stand up and testify that "τη γαρ χαριτι εστε σεσωσμενοι δια πιστεως. και τουτο ουκ εχ υμων, θεου δωρον. ουκ εξ εργων, ινα μη τις καυχησηται." (Eph.2:8). NO ONE STANDS FOR THIS. Mennonites, as a corporate whole, truly believe that they are saved by their faithful and righteous obedience to Jesus. God help them. They are worse than the Judaizers, who at least limited their soteriological requirements to circumcision and feast days.

I am left adrift, without a family, without a denomination or a body of believers to call my home. Like David on the run, I know not where to turn. This is the season of doubt. To be sure, I will always love Mennonites in the midst of my hatred and contempt. Hatred and love are not so averse as one might think. I love the school that I attend (Canadian Mennonite University) and look forward to continuing my studies there. I also have grown inexorably attached to certain Mennonite intellectuals, most especially Gordon Zerbe but also Sheila Klassen-Wiebe. These strike me as people whom God dotes on. I don't know how to describe it. I love them so much.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Salubrious thoughts from Genesis

"Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you." -Gen.3:16

I have heard blithe egalitarians attempt to wax subtle on the distinction between descriptive and prescriptive words of God. This is a convenient sophistry, for it enables the egalitarian to look on this troubling verse and say, "Ah but here God is not telling us how things must be how they will be." Once this has been settled they go on surreptitiously adding to their wickedness by suggesting that what God describes ought not to be, and finally (good pelagians that they are!) that it doesn't have to be like this at all.

I have no doubt in my mind that the above verse is a curse. It is a curse of God. And when God curses, it is no small thing. It creates precisely the wanton reality that He has uttered; immutably. This is shown quite clearly by the inability of the Israelites to enter Canaan after God swore that they would not; mauger their genuine repentance, mauger their seeking after the blessing with tears. The Word of the LORD stands firm in the heavens. Would that egalitarians could comprehend this!

What is the significance of the Genesis curse? Simply that women will always attempt to get the upper hand over their husbands, and that husbands will respond in kind by subduing them. A war has entered into the cosmos between male and female, without hope of armistice, without hope of abjuration, without hope of end. To be male with respect to the female means to be in conflict with the female. And vice versa. Feminism all too readily proves this point with its parasitic machinations.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Dualism lives on in reasonable philosophy.

"Now the body, whatever may be its function, appears first as the known. We can not therefore refer knowledge back to it or discuss it before we have defined knowing, nor can we derive knowing in its fundamental structure from the body in any way or manner whatsoever." -Sartre (Being and Nothingness, p.297 ET).

Very true! There is a distinction between knowledge and body. And as knowledge is merely one mode of consciousness, there is ultimately a primacy of consciousness over body and thus a greater distinction between the two. But what is this simple, self-evident truth of reflection; what is this elementary thesis but a return to dualism? The human subject is not a monad in the sense of an indistinguishable interpenetration of soul and body. Every time we say or think the concept "body" we are already cutting a void between ourselves and IT. The void becomes veritable; an ontological fact. And since this void is possible and perpetually common (how often consciousness posits its body throughout the course of its existence need not be demonstrated), it can never be reasonably said that soul and body are inseparable. I just fucking separated mine. Maybe the fact that you can't means you are a philistine.

It is a shame that the church's cache of intellectuals have lately attached themselves to monism with a ferocious provincialism. It is a shame because monism is a treachery and a falsehood, or, in the words of Mr. Karl Barth: "A supreme betrayal of religion."

Capitalistic materialism and a common misunderstanding with respect to it.

The strawman: in materialism we attempt to find meaning by purchasing as many glamorous goods and services as we can. This is a sham because the material will never satisfy. A meaningful life can be gleaned through pursuing love, self-sacrifice, community endeavors and other such gaseous baloney.

Critics of materialism (here roughly defined as a lifestyle or philosophy which endeavors to acquire THINGS) are wrong in assuming that we seek meaning in purchase and acquisition. They are dead wrong. Meaning is the plaything; the idol of the delusional. It exists as much as the ghost of Christmas past exists. It exists like a pair of sexually appealing lingerie for overweight women exists. In other words, it doesn't exist. Life is not meaningful. In capitalism, which is the art of individual ownership of divers means to production and distribution, and its subsidiary: materialism, which is the art of multiplying private property by means of these previous instruments....we have no desire to attain to a meaningful status. We have renounced meaning from the get-go. We acknowledge that life is a vapour, a chasing after the wind, and that there is no possible way to escape from chasing after the wind. Thus, we attend to chasing after the wind all the more readily, for such is life, and we endeavor to live the life that is ours with vigour and joy. All of the things which spiritualists and socialists call "meaningless" (as if the word carried within itself an ethical dimension or a prohibition) we sweep up into our purview and take hold of. This is scriptural wisdom, for the sacred and unerring scriptures say:

 "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom" -Ecc.9:10

"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work." -Ecc.2:10

"Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work- this is a gift of God." -Ecc.5:19

What is the evil which may be mentioned in this regard? "God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them. This is...a grievous evil." Ecc. 6:2

This is also precisely what the church of pietism and the socialists esteem as one: shame over one's possessions. They think they are doing a service to God in such devious business; but they are really doing the very opposite.

In conclusion, we do not buy and acquire materials to find meaning. We are wiser than that. We buy and acquire because the very act is meaningless, the very materials are meaningless, and we enjoy them as such.