Nature of Jesus and Time

Is that not the Greek influenced history? The Greeks got their history from the ANE. Sure Satan was cast out because of rebellion. But the Greeks re-wrote history for their own taste. More like proto-science fiction. Saying that rebellion is sin does not make sin any more significant for one being to embody sin than for say an Adam to disobey and bring sin into physical reality.

Genesis does not glorify that act of sin. But you want me to be convinced that Satan brings more glamor to such reality? The moon maybbe synonymous with sin as well. If you interpret the Enuma Elish which came way before the Greek’s fictional account. Satan lost his planet, now the moon, and both worlds were totally changed after that. But the Mesopotamians worshipped Satan. The Greeks just sent him to the underground.

But all that happened thousands of years after Adam lost his position and control in the Garden. A Garden where Satan was seemingly a guest of honor. Even at the time of Job, Satan was not confined to chains away from humanity. But since he lost a place of habitation and alledgedly (until the cross) had some say in the affairs of mankind, being confined to just the underground did not seem to be a thing like the Greeks held.

It would seem to me that Adam was the lord of earth amd represented humanity before God, until he lost that position. But it was never given directly to Satan until Adam’s world was destroyed, and Satan was confined to earth. I have no problem if Satan is now only confined to sheol. But the process seemed to be understood that Jesus or a restored Israel would rule over the earth. But that was not the case, when the church was supposed to spread the Gospel around the world. Humans messed that up quite royally. It is assumed the church followed after it’s own desires and manipulations on earth. Instead of making life heaven on earth, it alienated all who would not conform to it’s doctrine and religion. The church became the new Babylon in place of Satan’s original Babylon. But Satan was not needed. Humans did that all on their own. Humans do not need to pay their way back to God like Jesus. Jesus was God and paid the price. We just have to live like we believe that plan. We have to accept there is nothing of our own volition, no matter how wise and knowledgeable we are, that can restore us to God.

Actually I do not equate sin with disobedience. That is where I loose you in my posting. It was Adam’s act that brought sin. Some act out of disobedience, because disobedience is a natural human act. It is not an act of sin, if that is your interpretation. But choosing God’s will is incorporated into obedience, not because of control, but because of will. But not sure how to say a clash of will is not implied in disobedience. It is also natural to obey. If you refute that God gave The Law, then why is The Law part of the Bible? But to say sin is the only cause of death is missing the bigger picture. Righteous humans also die. Because God does not count such righteousness as a means of “not dying”. The cause of death is sin in the physical experience. All humans sin. The nature of the physical experience brings death. Sin is still just a result. Unless you do claim that sin is a condition. Because association of sin with nature indicates a condition. What is not being mentioned is Adam may not have had a choice to do anything against God. The only act against God would be allowing humans to choose sin, or acts against what it means to be God. How could God know what good and evil was if such evil had never been experienced? Satan’s only choice seemed to also be rebellion, but Satan was not created in God’s image.

It is an issue of Euthyphro’s dillemna. Is it a sin because God forbids it or does God forbid it because it is a sin, and if the latter then what makes it a sin? Clearly I say the latter and that it is the self-destructive nature of these habits which makes them a sin. For example…

Adam starts this bad habit of blaming others for his own mistakes. This is self-destructive because it gets in the way of learning from his mistakes.

Cain starts this bad habit of killing others when he thinks they get in the way of what he wants. This is self-destructive because it gets in the way of learning to love and work with others, which modern times has proven to have the far greater potential in getting us things of value.

I do not refute that God gives commands but I do refute the idea that all these commands are absolute and for all time. Like the parental command, “do go in the street or you will die,” they are given for a reason at the time but as a child grows the situation changes.

But I didn’t say any such thing. I only said it is the nature of sin to cause death – in other words these are self-destructive habits.


Not Biblical so I don’t believe that sort of stuff

Sin is neither God forbidding nor a thing that God forbids. That is in reference to sin and the law. The law defines sin, but it does not make sin a “thing” or condition. Besides sin before the law was “just tolerated” which you deny, except you only tolerate sin as a “bad habit”. I think that God can handle bad habits. God did get tired of the Spirit always in a struggle with the human spirit, which not only carried out sin to the end, but also imagined sin as the only option of life.

The example is a bunch of good fruit does not make a rotten fruit whole again. A rotten fruit will turn the whole bunch of fruit rotten. God does not forbid decay because it is destructive. Does God force us to live in a natural existence where decay is normal? If God forbids sin, why let it into reality? If Sin is from God then God is evil. That is why equating sin with the Law gets dicy. God would be forcing humans into a position that they could never escape death and sin. The Law was a means to show how far short humans fall from being “without sin”. I view it more as a moral economy and testament or covenant that God made with a chosen group of humans to show God interacting in a meaningful way. But morals and laws are only good if lived and kept, not abused and a means to just control and manipulate humans.

I agree that sin is a result of bad habits. Sin is living in death. Death is the end of such a life as lived. But saying that Adam started a trend, is your plan of salvation for humankind and not God’s plan. If you claim God is not just in the plan as presented, that is between you and God.

I think that morals are only part of the human physical experience. Perhaps there is a heaven separate from God, but what was Jesus going to prepare? Was it just the death and resurrection that was the preparation? If Jesus was preparing a place as just a room in another created space, we still are not getting to a position where we are where God is outside of created spaces. We are only getting back to the image of God, and sin is no longer part of physical existence.

Dear Tim,
Actually, it was the enlightened Greeks who brought new thinking to the world, creating a logical timeline of events. Not every Greek was enlightened as we clearly see in Plato’s symposium, and it was it truly a minority who held this enlightened view, as it is today.

The fall of Adam is the second Fall, and Satan was created in the first Fall of the angels. both of these falls happened before the Big Bang. The failure of Adam and Eve was the reason why a material world needed to be created in the first place.

The law does not define sin, Jesus demonstrated that in the sermon on the mount. The law is only a signpost to make us aware of sin. It is the Bible which makes sin a thing and a condition so I have to disagree with you on that. We both say sin is a choice, but that is only how it starts because it certainly does have a life of its own after that and people wrestle with it. It is very much like a beast waiting at the door just like God says to Cain because that is the nature of bad habits – once they get rolling they are hard to stop. They have an addictive quality to them and are very much like a drug and easy way of doing things that only does us harm.

Indeed! God can handle sin. It is your idea that the problem with sin is God’s inability to tolerate it – something which the story of Jesus does not support.

Exactly because that rotten-ness is a living organism growing in the fruit. It is most definitely a thing and a condition. Sin is the same. It grows to destroy everything else of value within you.\

It is not a matter of God forcing us to do anything but a matter of what we are. God made a universe built on laws of nature because they are the substance of our very being as living organisms without which we would not exist.

Because God chooses love and freedom over power and control in the creation of a universe of natural law supporting the self-organizing phenomenon of life. By letting us participate in our own creation through growth and learning God has puts Himself in the role of shepherd and parent rather than designer where He can only warn us to avoid what is self-destructive. The freedom to fail and make the wrong choice is part of what it means to be alive.

But I don’t agree with that. The bad habits, these self-destructive habits which tear down our freedom of will, our potential, and the things of value in us, is the totality of what sin consists of. And I reject any magical additions to their demonstrable existence. That is giving too much freedom to those who would use religion for their own power and benefit.

Incorrect. That is just reading the Bible. I think you only say this because you are the one with an invented plan of salvation where this Biblical teaching is getting in the way.


I don’t believe in a magical solution to the problem of sin. I don’t believe there is any escape or get out of jail free card either. There is only a choice between fighting sin or following where it leads to hell and destruction. So what would Jesus be going to prepare? A surgery or operating room where the sin can be removed however long and however pain that might take.

People have suggested that maybe hell is just a place where sin is removed. I replied that maybe they are participating in the delusion that anyone is without sin. And thus the place they are really describing is not hell but heaven. Hell is the more easy and comfortable option of the boiled frog as the sins within you eat you alive… until there is nothing left. Which of these you go to is your own choice, though I do not doubt that burden of your sins is likely to affect that choice. The mistake of universalism is thinking that you can just endure in a torture chamber until you change your mind. But there is no torture chamber except in the minds of sadists. When you let sin have its way with you in hell you become less and less capable of change not more so.

First of all the orthodox word is not essence , but nature.

Second, God is One, but not simple, in nature, while each Person of the Trinity is distinct (not really different.) Agreed that this is a paradox, a seeming contradiction, a mystery that best describes the facts as we know them, but does not quite fit our human understanding. Is it a surprise that God is not a neat package that is easily comprehended?


very confusing, yes

the Eastern Orthodox term is ousia (Greek) translating to substantia (Latin) generally rendered essence (English). Nature has additional connotations of action, activity.

Saint Thomas Aquinas clarified that “God is simple” being indivisible, unpartitionable. Accordingly, God is, in essence, by being, “simple”.

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The law defines sin, not bad habits. I think what is going on with the disagreement is the fact two different concepts lead to the same result.

Is it wise to conflate sin with subconscious behavior? Most people assign that to morals and morality. It seems you have taken it to the level that we have no choice. I think Paul would define that as a reprobate mind. But is that not putting the cart before the horse? We are not born with a reprobate mind, and have to dig ourselves out of the mud. The concept of behavior and habits is a natural human condition, but sin is a result. That we form habits is natural, but the key is “forming” not that sin is the default nature. It is logical to look back in hindsight and give credit to the sin nature, but is that the correct view?

I guess we are free to pick and choose what to accept and believe. We are back to the point though that if Jesus was 100% human then he would be 100% sinful, at least by your definition that sin is a natural human condition. That Jesus is 100% human without sin is the only proof, I need. All other scripture is man’s opinion looking back at the human condition.

Nothwithstanding that Jesus himself defined sin at the thought level in the mind. Because that is where the process starts, not because sin is a condition.

No… They do not lead to the same result. Defining it by the law puts you in a ridiculous position because that makes the law absolute and unchanging. Then you will have a devil of a time handling the some of the absurd laws given in the Bible, such as those calling acts of personal hygiene not only a sin but an abomination. I can only conclude that you adopt such an absurd position because you pick and choose them under the table to justify personal prejudices, and no doubt even add some of your own outright. It is all part of the authoritarian morality package which is so useful to those using religion for the purpose power and control.

Yes. ABSOLUTELY! It is very very wise to hold people responsible for their bad habits because they made that choice to begin with. We are well warned that these things will drag us down and when we ignore the warning and they take away our choices then we are responsible for doing for what we have done to ourselves.

If something truly is not a choice then it does not define who we are and that is a very different matter. Take for example some of the ways that a brain tumor can affect human behavior. They are not responsible in that case. It is the choices we make that matter because that is the connection to our eternal spiritual being.

It is logical to look back and give credit to the choices which created those bad habits.

Jesus had an unbreakable relationship with God and unlike Adam He always followed the guidance of God in the living of His life… even unto death. Therefore sin is not a condition which ever applied to Jesus. But your black and white approach is a false dichotomy, saying that if sin is a choice then it is not a condition. I certainly agree that sin is not human nature. It is a choice that creates a condition. That is what bad habits are. We make a choice and it becomes a part of us thereafter.

Sin is a condition because bad behavior is a choice. Thus sin is not a condition if we do not choose it. What is false about this point is the claim we come into being with this condition and have no choice in the matter. I am not sure why this then heads into religious control territory. We are not born with religion in our genetic makeup either.

We do not have to have laws. We can just hope that things magically work out.

Sin is a condition because our choices change us.

If we do not choose it then there is no sin.

We do no not come into being with sin. But by the time we learn to speak we imitate some of the bad habits of others, and thus none can say they are without sin. We were never meant to live without the guidance of God.

What heads into religion being used for power and control is when it is made about obedience to a set of laws, because then it is all about supporting some supposed authority and not about any real measurable effect.

Let’s take a concrete example. Somebody says something (whether homosexuality or cutting your hair) is a sin. Why? Because you said so? Because some book said so? Or because we can see some bad effect on human life?

I wouldn’t bet on that one if I were you.

Correction… we do not have to have religious laws or some supposed god or self-proclaimed religious authority to dictate them. We can establish secular government systems to pass and repeal laws according to whether they improve our lives or not.

In a blog called Strange Nations which explores the thought of St. Thomas the y wrote that the meaning of the statement that God is Simple is only that God has no beginning or is self created. Surely if something is simple, it cannot change, which would means that it would have no beginning and no end, but can we definitely cay that God must be Simple, because God has no beginning.

There are two problems with this justification fore the simplicity of God. First, no one can say and should never say that God has to do anything or has to be anything. God IS WHO GOD IS. God alone determines Who God is and What God does, which are identical. God is Good, because God does Good.

Second, humans do not know how God self-creates so how can we know that there is a connection between simplicity and self-creation. May be there is, but it appears to me that this is an educated guess, and since it is a guess, it should not be the foundation of our understanding of Who God is and the discipline of philosophy.

Paul made his understanding of the character of the human being the basis of his understanding of the Church, the Body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:12-26. He points out that a Person is O(ne even though it has Many parts or members. The Oneness of the Person is not threatened because of the diversity of its parts, but the diversity of the parts is required for the Person to live and carry out his/her purposes.

A human being is known as an individual, something that cannot be divided. Does that mean that an individual is indivisible and unpartitionable like God? I think not, but God made humans in God’s own Image, which means that they are one, just like God is, but not perfectly One. It also means that God created humans to be many, because God is Many or Three. God is Trinity, One and Three, One and Many, just not Simple and Complex. God is not a square circle. God is a Paradox, not a contradiction in terms.

The fundamental role of philosophy is to explore how humans understand nature, others, and God. It is not to tell Who God is and what nature is. It is to tell us how wisdom and knowledge works.

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Latin simplex is opposite of complex. The Latin root sim- (e.g. similar, simultaneous) is cognate with Greek homo-

So, the root idea is “sameness, similarity, homogeneity” and relates to the Orthodox understanding (as revealed to humanity) that the entire Godhead in heaven is homousian (“of one and the same essence”).

When Saint Thomas Aquinas says (in Latin) that “God is simple” he is merely restating that the entire Godhead (Father / Word / Spirit) is (revealed to be) homousian. Not “complex” and composite and divisible and partitionable.

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The homousian formula concerns the unity of the Trinity. There was no question that the Father and the Son were and are not the same. I do not know is Thomas really thought they are or not, but I doubt it. Certainly there is no evidence in the Bible that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the Same or Simple.

Many theologians subscribe to the concept of the Godhead, which says that the Trinity is not simple, so to satisfy the view that God is in Essence Simple, there is the Godhead which is Simple and unites the three Persons of the Trinity.

The problem with this view in my understanding is that it creates two parts of God, a Head and a Trinitarian Body. If you want a faith where God is Simple, then Islam is your faith. It clearly says that Allah is unequivocally One and Simple, and not the God of Judaism or Christianity.

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