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finitum non capax infiniti


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Initial post: Feb 19, 2013 11:27:42 AM PST
M. Galishoff says:
The finite cannot grasp the infinite.

Is this why many have a problem accepting God? Or is it spiritual blindness and sin?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 1:24:26 PM PST
"Lauded and glorified art Thou, O Lord, my God! How can I make mention of Thee, assured as I am that no tongue, however deep its wisdom, can befittingly magnify Thy name, nor can the bird of the human heart, however great its longing, ever hope to ascend into the heaven of Thy majesty and knowledge.

If I describe Thee, O my God, as Him Who is the All-Perceiving, I find myself compelled to admit that They Who are the highest Embodiments of perception have been created by virtue of Thy behest. And if I extol Thee as Him Who is the All-Wise, I, likewise, am forced to recognize that the Well Springs of wisdom have themselves been generated through the operation of Thy Will. And if I proclaim Thee as the Incomparable One, I soon discover that they Who are the inmost essence of oneness have been sent down by Thee and are but the evidences of Thine handiwork. And if I acclaim Thee as the Knower of all things, I must confess that they Who are the Quintessence of knowledge are but the creation and instruments of Thy Purpose.

Exalted, immeasurably exalted, art Thou above the strivings of mortal man to unravel Thy mystery, to describe Thy glory, or even to hint at the nature of Thine Essence. For whatever such strivings may accomplish, they never can hope to transcend the limitations imposed upon Thy creatures, inasmuch as these efforts are actuated by Thy decree, and are begotten of Thine invention. The loftiest sentiments which the holiest of saints can express in praise of Thee, and the deepest wisdom which the most learned of men can utter in their attempts to comprehend Thy nature, all revolve around that Center Which is wholly subjected to Thy sovereignty, Which adoreth Thy Beauty, and is propelled through the movement of Thy Pen."

(Baha'u'llah)

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 1:26:40 PM PST
"....Far, far from Thy glory be what mortal man can affirm of Thee, or attribute unto Thee, or the praise with which he can glorify Thee! Whatever duty Thou hast prescribed unto Thy servants of extolling to the utmost Thy majesty and glory is but a token of Thy grace unto them, that they may be enabled to ascend unto the station conferred upon their own inmost being, the station of the knowledge of their own selves.

No one else besides Thee hath, at any time, been able to fathom Thy mystery, or befittingly to extol Thy greatness. Unsearchable and high above the praise of men wilt Thou remain for ever. There is none other God but Thee, the Inaccessible, the Omnipotent, the Omniscient, the Holy of Holies."

(Baha'u'llah)

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 1:31:01 PM PST
"To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving."...

The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying, "His grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them all," hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence.

These sanctified Mirrors, these Day Springs of ancient glory, are, one and all, the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of Divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the Light that can never fade.... These Tabernacles of Holiness, these Primal Mirrors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the revelation of these Gems of Divine virtue all the names and attributes of God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and wisdom, glory, bounty, and grace, are made manifest."

(Baha'u'llah)

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 2:33:28 PM PST
A Customer says:
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama

Rama Rama Hare Hare

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2013 3:49:54 PM PST
false premise

there is a logical reason why we have trouble grokking God
it is not anything about finite/infinite

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 9:18:45 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 20, 2013 9:19:12 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
M. Galishoff says:

[The finite cannot grasp the infinite.]

Well I think there are many concepts which cannot be explained or described using language. That's why the mythological stories use allegories and metaphors to explain great truths in a symbolic rather than a literal way.

The Book Of Genesis states that God created everything in 7 days. This means something but it's not 7 of our days. What it does mean I don't know but that would be interesting to find out. I think Edgar Cayce stated that it refers to 7 epochs or ages. There are other mythologies that talk about the 7 days of creation I believe.

In The Hermetica the great Thoth talks about a vision he had where God created the universe out of a sea of chaos. The laws of nature that we observe represent the order that God imposed on chaos.

I find the following statement from the Edgar Cayce material interesting. Cayce's students asked him to explain the psychic abilities of an Atlantean named Hept-Supht. Cayce said:

"This would almost be impossible. To put such into words would be as impractical as it would be to describe what the multiple of colors as related to vibrations brings, reduced to the 11th or nth degree."

Hept-Supht is an interesting character in Cayce's Egyptian material. That name means "he that keeps the record, that keeps shut".

Hept-Supht was present at a ceremony with Ra Ta and Isis where the Hall Of Records was hermetically sealed and the apex was placed at the top of the Great Pyramid. This was a great day for the ancient Egyptians.

Time itself is a very strange and mysterious subject. I'm not sure how many people truly understand Einstein's Theory Of Relativity for example. I'm not one of them.

The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs [Paperback]
Timothy Freke (Author), Peter Gandy (Author)

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 9:53:24 AM PST
Brian Curtis says:
That's funny, humanity has come up with mathematics, literature, philosophy, physics, and art that all seem to handle the concept of infinity just fine.

In fact, we GET our concept of infinity from the workings of humans minds in the first place, so I'm not sure how anyone can claim there's an aspect to infinity that humanity's incapable of processing.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 10:03:59 AM PST
You have an excellent post, Brian Curtis - very sensible.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 10:13:49 AM PST
Wulfwig Fox says:
Capax means 'is capable of'.

The finite is not capable of the infinite.

Seems it's a notion that was a bone of contention between Lutherans and Calvinists in connection with a doctrinal question I'm not interested in enough to fathom. Something about physical presence in the sacrament.

It's not a boiler plate slogan to bash atheists with.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 11:28:42 AM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Brian

In math and Science the best we can do is "approach" infinity which is really a metaphor. Place infinity into an equation and it seems to blot out everything else. We can infer some things but cannot grasp it all. We can describe what infinity is not but that leaves us to ponder what the infinite really is.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 11:33:53 AM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Bairn

No atheist bashing. People feel they can know all about God, domesticate Him and place Him in their pocket and pull Him out whenever needed. Just look at the first reply above. Utter gibberish trying to explain what can only be revealed and He is a person not an orb. God is knowable in that He is and is the God who reveals Himself. He is the God who saves the ungodly.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 11:35:45 AM PST
Wulfwig Fox says:
What's the definition of 'ungodly'?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 11:50:40 AM PST
M. Galishoff says:
"What's the definition of 'ungodly'?"

Ασεβων (text) ασεβης (lemma)

gen. aseboús, masc.-fem., neut. asebés, adj. from the priv. a (1), without, and sébomai (4576), to worship, venerate. Basically it means godless, without fear and reverence of God. It does not mean irreligious, but one who actively practices the opposite of what the fear of God demands. Asebḗs is one characterized by immoral and impious behavior. Often opposite of díkaios (1342), just (Rom. 4:5; 5:6). Asebḗs also occurs in 2 Pet. 2:5; 3:7; Jude 1:4, 15.
Deriv.: asébeia (763), impiety; asebéō (764), to act impiously.

Syn.: hamartōlós (268), sinful, sinner; anósios (462), wicked, unholy; bébēlos (952), wicked, profane; theostugḗs (2319), impious, hater of God; hubristḗs (5197), an insulter.
Ant.: eusebḗs (2152), pious; sebastós (4575), august; semnós (4586), respectful, worthy of respect; hieroprepḗs (2412), becoming to a sacred place or person; eulabḗs (2126), devout.

Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 11:58:00 AM PST
Wulfwig Fox says:
No mention of atheists.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 12:32:47 PM PST
A Customer says:
It was you guys that mentioned atheists, not him.

Lol

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 12:33:53 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Bairn

Interestingly, during Biblical times Christians and Jews were referred to by the Hellenist as atheists because they only believed in one God instead of a pantheon. In reading Scripture you will find, if I am not mistaken, no one who does not believe in a god. So strictly speaking there were no atheists in that sense of the word. Thus, the ungodly, Paul refers to in Romans 5:6 are really pagans. Man is by nature a religious creature. The issue God had with mankind was that they exchanged the truth for a lie and worshiped false gods of their own vain imagination.

I don't know if we can, by strict definition, find a true atheist. A secular humanist in many ways worships mankind and has made humanity a god. The secular humanist may not sacrifice animals or hold formal religious rites but pays homage to humanity that is truly God's due. The secular humanist can simply do this by using the word "I" when the word "Thou" (addressed to God) should be used.

Do agnostics and atheists really exist or do they just define themselves by not worshiping God or any idol or participate in any organized religious rites? Or is their religious rites coming together and touting the accomplishments of mankind, writing books and articles on the supremacy of mankind and grasping for themselves what is due the Lord?

Homo Religiosus

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 12:35:37 PM PST
Wulfwig Fox says:
I don't know if we can, by strict definition, find a true Christian.

The standard seems impossibly high.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 1:49:20 PM PST
The "Utter gibberish" above makes the same point that you are trying to make, the finite can not fully comprehend the infinite. Maybe you should actually read things before you dismiss them. I'm disappointed, I thought you were better than this.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 2:18:46 PM PST
Kevin Bold says:
Ah, but wasn't the airport the fun place to be in the seventies?

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 2:22:30 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 22, 2013 3:41:10 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 2:30:47 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
"I don't know if we can, by strict definition, find a true Christian."

Bairn - Another great question and observation! And this has been the topic of debate in the last century.

We can start with a Biblical definition:

CHRISTIAN - the name given by the Greeks or Romans, probably in reproach, to the followers of Jesus. It was first used at Antioch. The names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren," "the faithful," "elect," "saints," "believers." But as distinguishing them from the multitude without, the name "Christian" came into use, and was universally accepted. This name occurs but three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16).

Easton, M. G. (1996). Easton's Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

A theological definition would be one who is elect and saved (one who is "in Christ."). This is my simple definition, there are longer ones and they may vary somewhat by denomination. But the common element is one who is truly "in Christ" - an elect saint. I will post a longer definition below.

What your statement is pointing to, however, is what we would term "Christian Evidences" or what attributes constitute a Christian. These are two different things and without going into much detail I will submit that every Christian falls short of any list of attributes and behaviors one can compile. This is because we are not perfect and are undergoing a PROCESS of sanctification which is only finally perfected at death in our glorification, resurrection and life in heaven. Conforming to the image of Christ is another way to describe this process on earth.

Since only God knows the heart and only God chooses who is elect (and therefore chooses who is a Christian) then one cannot use Christian evidences to judge anther's election but a person can use them as a tool for self-reflection.

Karl Barth raised the issue that the only true Christian was Jesus Christ and that we elect saints are Christians in process. He also raised the possibility that Jesus Christ is the only true human and we are not human beings but human becomings. This has ontological as well as noetic implications. First, Barth is referring to Christ's humanity and not his divinity (remember Christ was truly man and truly God, two substances in one person - a hypostatic union). Thus it is the humanity of Christ that concerns us in this thesis. As Christ was the only sinless, perfect human, a necessity as the unblemished lamb whose righteousness is imputed unto the elect saints), it follows that if we are to be just like him in our final, glorified state (in our human attributes) then, indeed, Christ is the true human and the true Christian and we are in flux, becoming truly human (as God intended us to be) and therefore a true Christian (it amounts to the same thing).

So the answer to your statement is "yes" at different levels. It is yes by definition, by God's decree and if you claim Christ to be that one perfect example all elect saints will become like.

Christian (Χριστι^5;νός G5985). The word, which occurs three times in the NT (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16), is really a Latin formation, Christianus. The ending -ianus is common and merely descriptive: in historical writings of classical times it is used to define a group in terms of its allegiance. For example, in Julius CAESAR's Civil War, the troops of Caesar's opponent POMPEY are called Pompeiani, but Caesar's own troops are called Caesariani. TACITUS (Ann. 4.34) records the story that the Emperor AUGUSTUS ridiculed the historian Livy for his republican sympathies, calling him Pompeianus. There is nothing, however, in any way satiric in the ending itself, for Tacitus follows the practice already mentioned of naming combatant groups after their leader (e.g., Galbiani, the legionaries of the brief-lived emperor Galba, Hist. 1.51). In Mk. 12:13 mention is made of the "Herodians," the friends and supporters of HEROD's house, and the name is equally without emotive significance.
It follows that, when the members of the early church (the "brothers" of Acts 1:16; "the believers" of 2:44; the people "of the Way" of 9:2 and 22:4; the "disciples" of 11:26) "were called Christians first at Antioch" (11:26), the word was not necessarily a satiric coinage of the Antiochenes, who were somewhat prone to name-calling. The formation of the word demanded no such content. If it was bestowed (as Harold Mattingly has suggested in JTS 9 [1958]: 26-37) to parallel the Augustiani, the organized "cheerleaders" of the Emperor NERO, it is the context rather than the etymology that puts the contempt into the word. The suggestion of the great expert in Roman coins is rendered dubious by the date. Luke seems to imply that the term was invented at ANTIOCH OF SYRIA at the time of the events he is describing. This would date it around the years A.D. 40 to 44. It is likely to have been a bureaucratic term, invented by some clerk of the Antioch administration to cover a distinct group among the Jewish community of which the authorities had become aware. The scorn that was infused into the word was the mood of all time, and, like the glad acceptance of those who actually found honor in a term bearing the name of their Lord, reflected a certain attitude toward Christ.
There are three classical contexts: Tacitus, SUETONIUS, and PLINY the Younger all use the word in writings of the second decade of the 2nd cent. and within a few years of each other. Tacitus (Ann. 15.44) speaks of the Christians of A.D. 64, the year of the great fire, a minority group that had incurred the hatred of the proletariat and thus became the scapegoats for Nero's crime. Suetonius (Nero 16) uses the same word in the same connection. Pliny, in his famous letter to TRAJAN (A.D. 110-112), describes his repressive acts against the Christians of BITHYNIA in a manner that implies the general acceptance and currency of the term. All this is parallel with the NT evidence.
The first usage, in Syrian Antioch, has been mentioned and dated 40 to 44. Perhaps fifteen years later, Herod Agrippa II (see HEROD VIII), after listening to PAUL, remarked ironically: "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?" (Acts 26:28). Five years later still, or thereabouts, with the Neronian persecution a near or present reality, PETER, possibly writing from ROME, bade those who were in the church in certain eastern provinces not to be ashamed if called to suffer "as a Christian" (1 Pet. 4:16). It would appear that the term, in whatever fashion it was first applied, had become, like "Methodist," accepted by those to whom it was given. It had, after all, a certain appropriateness, for it implied loyalty and acceptance of a person, and that person, the MESSIAH (Christ). The church fathers followed naturally, and in patristic literature, as in the legal codes of Justinian, the term is frequent and regular. (Lewis and Short's Latin Dictionary also lists a superlative, Christianissimus, and an adverb Christiane.)

Christian pilgrim praying beside the Stone of Unction, inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the traditional site where Jesus' body was placed after being taken down from the cross.

The true modern use of the word follows the same tradition. In all evangelical contexts the Christian is one who accepts, with all its implications, the lordship of Jesus Christ. There is also a deviant use, in which sectarian groups have sought an exclusive application of the term, and a popular use, in which the word is employed to signify that which conforms to ethical standards, social attitudes, or even political allegiance alleged to reflect the spirit of a basic Christianity, without creedal connotation of any sort. (It is in this sense that 19th-cent. Unitarianism claimed the appellation.) French, and English by derivation from French, has a strange and pathetic doublet. In French both chrétien and crétin derive from Christianus. A "cretin" was an afflicted unfortunate, a human being, and no brute. Honoré de Balzac discusses the pathos of the term in his novel Médecin de Campagne.
E. M. BLAIKLOCK

Silva, M., & Tenney, M. C. (2009). The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 1, A-C (Revised, Full-Color Edition) (831-832). Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corporation.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 2:42:09 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
There is a major difference. Infinity can be an abstract concept conceived in different ways. But God is infinite as an attribute and the only infinite being. He is infinity. And He is a person and not an abstract conceptualization. One cannot have a relationship with an abstract concept. Personhood is the sine qua non of God. Persons have relationships and the attributes of a person are necessary for a person to be. God has those personal attributes. Edward Farley would view what was above as an "abstract thou, a thou without contents, features, characteristic appearances and behaviors." To pray to and have a relationship with an abstract thou is preposterous. Our God is pure Being and is "pro nobis" as a Being in act. His infinitude is in perichoresis (mutual infilling) with His other attributes such that all are informed and derive their being from each other. He is the infinite God who loves, judges, creates, upholds, manages in providence and saves. What was described above was an abstract thou that exists only in the mind and vain imagination of the author and is not wholly other, Lord above us and independent of us.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 2:42:38 PM PST
M. Galishoff says:
Kevin

I remember!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 20, 2013 3:02:28 PM PST
Wulfwig Fox says:
Being truly human and truly Christian are the same thing?

So what does that mean for my humanity?
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Discussion in:  Christianity forum
Participants:  10
Total posts:  89
Initial post:  Feb 19, 2013
Latest post:  Feb 23, 2013

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