Musing on theology & philosophy

My musing over the last few years has been largely an attempt to discern and ferret out the differences between Hebrew philosophy and theology and Christian philosophies and theologies .

It seems to me each is summed up as: Christian philosophy is largely about being right and behaving properly while Hebrew philosophy is about becoming a real human who is fully alive.

It seems to me that if ones philosophy is out of balance with ones theology a cognitive disconnect is created, a dissonance.  If Christians are following a God who revealed himself and expressed himself in a Hebrew culture, one that had a unified philosophy albeit some theological discord, how can they follow him in another cultures philosophy altogether?

Much of Christian philosophy was generated by “the Church Fathers” a few hundred years about the reign of Constantine who institutionalized the Christian way to God. Augustine, Clement, Ogden, Aquinas-all where Greek thinkers through and through.

It was Camille Paglia the American academic and social critic who said in her book on “Personas'” that; “The Greeks made gods in the image of men and the Hebrews made men in the image of God”.   This observation from an avowed atheist.

If it is a true that Christian philosophy is generally informed by Greek thinking patterns, dominated by a Greek educational style and Greek definitions of understanding and thought, a clear cognitive disconnect would be created.

If (as I suppose)  integrity is the alignment of intention, action, thought and will when philosophy is out of balance with theology that disconnect becomes more and more apparent over time.

A fact: 40% of Christian pastors admit to having affairs after starting the ministry.

When it comes to a balanced philosophy and theology if one is following a God who expressed himself through Hebrew thought, and philosophy one might wish to consider that particular philosophical environment.

Did not in fact YHVH generate that Hebrew culture in order to reveal himself through it? According to the prophet Daniel that work was to culminate in the 70 week ministry of His Messiah. One might wish to consider the culture and the philosophy that expressed itself in the time that “Christ” ministered, thought and lived.”

 Have Christians thrown the baby out with the bath water?

I think Malcome Muggeridge clarifies best our common ground regarding philosophy and theology on the bottom of page 130 and the top of 131 in his book “Jesus the man who lives”.

” Jesus summarized all his teaching for us in two great propositions. Which have provided Christendom with, it’s moral and spiritual axis. The first and greatest commandment, he said was: “thou shalt love thy God with all they heart, soul and strength, and the second is like it; love thy neighbor as thyself”. 

On these two He  insisted hang all the law and the prophets.

 His manner of presenting them indicates their interdependence; unless we love God we can’t love our neighbor, and correspondingly, unless we love our neighbors we can’t love God. Once again there is the balance…balanced obligations-to God and Caesar, to flesh and spirit, to God and neighbor…

 Happy the man who strikes the balance justly; to its imbalance are due most of  our miseries and misfortunes, individually as well as collectively. “

What is loving God?  Living to please him or living a life of trust in Him? If we truly trust him then how do we live in His world in a way that truly pleases him?

If our intention is to please him and reflect our trust then we would I think honor a life that reflects his will and way not our own.  With all due respect to my Christian brothers and sisters in faith that is what he told Moses and the children of Israel. Many of us have not forgotten nor strayed from his ancient path to peace, wholeness and”the promised land”.

Have we forgotten or ignored the way he purposed for us to live? If so we have been suffering for it.  Israel suffered for it and Christians will suffer for it.

The more we neglect the Torah and the Prophets the more we suffer and estrange ourselves from the reality of the kingdom of YHVH. In the end if we have not been among  those who have “crossed over” becoming “Hebrews” walking in his teachings, adhering to his ways not our own idea’s about them, we likely will still look a lot like the broken world he called us out of.

 See also : https://www.skipmoen.com/2017/08/where-we-live-now/

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