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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:10 am  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi minn:

Thank you for your kind words, even if "the laugh is on me."

By the way, the topic of this thread is Hitler vs. Obama; nevertheless, the lexical term "vs. [versus]" sandwiched between Hitler and Obama suggests that this particular thread encourages mutually exclusive thinking. Here is an outline:

Reformed Baptists’ Fourfold Exegesis

I. Literal Level—Tells us what happens in the lives of God’s elect and retrobate [in history].
A. Cause—God “hath quickened us” (i.e., saved us from Hell) (Eph. 2.5).
B. Effect—All events in the Bible are true—no one can add to or subtract from the historical events which the Bible chronicles (Rev. 22.18-9).
II. Allegorical Level—Tells us what God’s elect and retrobate believe. [Does the action which an elect or a retrobate person commits constitute a virtue or a vice?]
A. Cause—“I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Rom. 9.15).
B. Effects
1. “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them” (Matt. 13.34).
2. For “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14.23).
III. Tropological Level—Tells us what God’s elect and retrobate do [i.e., how they act].
A. Macrocosm
1. Cause—God claims that He loves some sinners while He hates other transgressors (Rom. 9.13).
2. Effect—“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2. Tim. 3.16).
B. Microcosm
1. Refuse to turn away from sin
a. Cause—Allow sinners to fall victim to their own inequity (Romans 1.24).
b. Effect—They “have refused to receive correction” (Jer. 5.3).
2. Abstain from sin
a. Cause—Believers are “predestined” to be redeemed through Christ, and be guided by the Holy Spirit in making choices (Eph. 1.11-3).
b. Effect—“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (Jas. 4.7).
3. Turn away from sin
a. Causes—Replace a “heart” of stone with “an heart of flesh” (Ezek. 36.26).
b. Effects
i. “Let the wicked man forsake his ways, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon (Isa. 55.7).
ii. People repent of their sins, and realize their need for faith (2 Tim. 2.25-6).
iii. God will bless those who truly feel apologetic for the sins which they have committed, and become fearful of God’s commandments (Ps. 51.17; Isa. 66.2).
iv. God turns sinners away from vice, and towards virtue (1 Thess. 1.6-9).
IV. Anagogical Level—Tells us where God’s elect and retrobate are going [i.e., after they die: to Heaven or to Hell].
A. Macrocosm
1. Cause—God, prior to creation, selected the individuals Christ would redeem (1 Pet. 1.19-20).
2. Effects
a. Store treasures not on Earth, but in Heaven (Matt. 6.19-21).
b. Do not emphasize visible “things,” but, rather, invisible items: “For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Cor. 4.18).
B. Microcosm
1. Death
a. Cause—God understands that, since humans sin, He must select some wrongdoers, prior to the beginning of time, who will be purified through Christ’s blood sacrifice on the cross (Gal. 3.8; Rom. 3.25).
b. Effect—“The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law” (1 Cor. 15.56).
2. Judgment
a. Cause—God preordained some to be made blameless through Christ’s crucifixion (Eph. 1.3-5).
b. Effects
i. The righteous are granted access into the Celestial City (Rev. 21).
ii. The unrighteous are sentenced to Hell (Rev. 20.15).
3. Heaven
a. Eternal reward for turning away from sin
i. Causes
I. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6.44).
II. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim. 2.19)
ii. Effect—One must turn from wickedness to goodness in order to be worthy of Paradise (Matt. 18.3).
b. Eternal reward for abstaining from sin
i. Cause—God will predestine certain people to obey his commandments—while, at the same time, fearing the consequences of disobeying their Heavenly Father—and will guarantee them an eternal prize for behaving righteously while they lived (Jer. 32.39-40).
ii. Effect—Those who accept righteousness, while simultaneously, rejecting unrighteousness, will receive a Heavenly reward (1 Thes. 5.21-3).
4. Hell—Eternal punishment for refusing to turn away from sun
a. Cause—God allows the “retrobate” to act in a wicked manner (1 Rom. 1.28).
b. Effect—“For if we sin wilfully after we received the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Heb. 10.26-7).

Note: The descriptions of the literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical levels are based on a mnemonic compiled by Augustine of Denmark and Nicholas of Lyra, both Roman Catholic exegetes. The outline has been modified to fit Calvinistic way of understanding literature.

I will now present to you the Introduction--and Chapter One--of my unpublished book on Christian hermeneutics (more coming). Each time I respond to you, I will post part of my book. My analysis includes an outline, an introduction, four chapters, a conclusion, and a works cited page, all of which pertain to the concept described herein. (Note: my analysis is in its rough stages, so, therefore, it might contain some errors.)

Reformed Baptists’ Fourfold Exegesis

Introduction

This particular analysis seeks to explain how Scripture supports the employment of fourfold exegesis as an interpretive tool for Reformed Baptists. The borrowing of a Roman Catholic analytical system to evaluate Biblical semantics might outrage many Reformed Baptists, who hold the opinion that Scripture is self-interpretive. Such individuals might express additional concerns that multi-tiered exegetical systems lead to a comprehension of Biblical indoctrination cemented in haphazard guesses as to what certain passages in the Bible mean. Nevertheless, I will illustrate that, through Biblical phrases, and a lucid explanation of the influence of predestination on human conduct, quad-tiered Roman Catholic hermeneutics is compatible with Reformed Baptism’s desire to comprehend the Bible in as clear a manner as a possible. Chapter One of this book will demonstrate the preceding by showing that Reformed Protestants can use a modified form of Roman Catholic analysis to interpret the Scripture, one which neither reads mysterious thoughts into Biblical passages, nor opposes the Reformed Protestant principle that human decisions are predicated upon predestination. Illustrations of the preceding are offered in Chapter Two, which analyzes the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit; in Chapter Three, which illustrates how a crucified Christ asks God to forgive the Roman soldiers who mock Him, Chapter Four, which depicts Christ’s abstinence from temptation, and, Chapter Five, which illustrates how a crucified Christ asks God to forgive the Roman soldiers who mock Him.

Chapter One: The Clarity of Fourfold Reformed Baptist Interpretation

In this chapter, I will begin by tracing the development of Roman Catholic fourfold exegesis from St. Augustine of Hippo to its current connotations as understood by the Vatican. I will then describe how Protestant reformers rejected the quad-tiered Roman Catholic hermeneutical technique on the basis that it permitted the Pope to read meanings beneficial to him, and him alone, into the Scripture. Afterwards, I will devote a section that demonstrates how Protestants have a legitimate gripe about Roman Catholic exegesis being grounded in one literal Biblically-grounded level—and three other façades contingent upon no Biblical evidence whatsoever. However, the same section explains how Roman Catholics rightfully accuse the Protestants of implying multiple senses of language exist, but, simultaneously, relegating all such senses to a literal façade. In the last section, I will discuss how Protestant Reformists’ conception of predestination doctrinally opposes a fourfold Roman Catholic explicative system fashioned on free will. I will, as a result, make two points: that 1) the quad-tiered Roman Catholic exegetical system can be modified to fit the Reformed Baptist demand that every assertion made by Biblical interpreters must be supported by plain Biblical language; 2) that, by making human behavior the result of fatalism (i.e., with the exception of Jesus), a fourfold exegetical system predicated upon free will can be altered to fit the Reformed Baptist requisite that all personal conduct is predetermined. I will illustrate the preceding through a quad-tiered layout referencing clear Biblical passages which reference predestination.
The two Roman Catholics generally accredited with developing the fourfold method are Augustine of Hippo and John Cassian. The Vatican’s official fourfold model is heavily dependent on the works of these two individuals. As will be shown the fourfold Roman Catholic interpretive system, although seemingly simplistic, is actually tremendously complicated, and steeped in years of ecclesiastical tradition.

The first Roman Catholic Church father generally accredited with establishing a fourfold exegetical system for interpreting the Bible is Augustine of Hippo. Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing divides the Bible into four tiers: the historical, allegorical, etiological, and anagogical landings. The historical level describes past human behavior (par. 6). As Augustine of Hippo points out, the Pharisees, in the Bible, accuse Jesus’ disciples of breaking a Mosaic Law by plucking and eating corn as a consequence of being hungry in Luke 6.1-2. Christ responds, though, by stating that a starving David, in 1 Sam. 21.6, eats “showbread,” which is forbidden for anyone except high priests to consume, in Luke 6.3-4. The allegorical value, according to Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing, uses language which is meant to be figuratively comprehended (par. 5). Augustine of Hippo cites Gal. 4.22-6 to illustrate a Biblical passage which first uses allegorical language, then explains the passage’s plain meaning:

For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
The etiological sense, as Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing states, analyzes “for what cause anything has been done or said” (par. 5). When the Pharisees, for instance, justify divorce under the Mosaic Covenant (Mark 10.1-4), Christ responded by saying that Moses issue this dictate due to their hardened hearts (Mark 10.5). Lastly, the analogical landing, as depicted by Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing, establishes harmony between “the two Testaments, the Old and the New” (par. 6). Augustine furnishes his final illustration from Matt. 12.40, which draws a corollary between the Old Testament prophet “Jonas spending three days and three nights in the whale's belly,” which prefigures “the Son of man spending three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” after His crucifixion. While Augustine’s of Hippo Profit of Believing develops the quad-tiered exegetical technique, it never takes a single Biblical idea, and explicates it on all four tiers. Rather, Augustine of Hippo’s tract shelves different subjects on varying interpretive levels.

The second Roman Catholic father who engaged in fourfold interpretation of Scripture is John Cassian. Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) defines four interpretive façades: the historical, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical tiers. Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) depicts the historical level as one which “embraces the knowledge of things past and visible.” As Cassian’s Confessions (14.8) states, the Biblical Jerusalem, on a historical level, represents a Jewish city. The allegorical façade, as Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) notes, illustrates how events which occur in the Old Testament foreshadow ordeals which transpire in the New Testament. Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) opines that, allegorically speaking, Jerusalem epitomizes the Roman Catholic Church. As Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) implies, the tropological tier deals with “moral” information intended to ameliorate one’s “soul.” Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) posits that, from a tropological viewpoint, Jerusalem signifies humankind’s spirits. The anagogical value, as Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) suggests, prophesizes future events not yet visible to humankind (i.e., death, Heaven, Hell, and Judgment Day). From an anagogical standpoint, as Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) points out, Jerusalem represents Heaven.

Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) takes Augustine of Hippo’s fourfold exegetical model in his Profit of Believing (pars. 5-6), and improves upon it. Also, Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) changed the name and scope of the Roman Catholic fourfold interpretive tiers. Whereas Augustine of Hippo’s third and fourth levels, the etiological and analogical landings, deals with, respectively, the reason why a person issues a decree, and the unity which exists between Old and New Testament happenings, Cassian’s tropological sense, in his Conferences (14.8), caters towards learning a moral from the Bible (par. 5), and his anagogical façade foretells the afterlife (par. 6). Also, Cassian’s Conferences alters the meaning of the allegorical sense so that its original definition in Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing, specifically, using concrete thoughts to explain abstract ideas (par. 5), became typological in Cassian’s Conferences (14.8). In essence, Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) defines the allegorical façade in the same manner that Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing explains the preceding term: an exegetical level which establishes a corollary between Old and New Testament events (par. 6). Moreover, Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) is successful in taking a Biblical subject (i.e., Jerusalem), and analyzing it on all four Roman Catholic interpretive tiers, something which Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing does not do (pars. 5-8).

The Vatican’s Catechism of the Catholic Church still encourages modern Roman Catholics to interpret the Bible through a quad-tiered analytical lens (115). The Catechism identifies four interpretive tiers: the literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical levels (116-117.3). As the Catechism states, the literal façade defines the meanings as conveyed by words of the scripture” (116). Just like in Cassian’s Conferences (14.8), Jerusalem, on a literal level, is “a city in the Middle East” (Catechism 119). The allegorical level depicts how Christ fulfills Old Testament prophecies in the New Testament (117.1). Both the Catechism and Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) assert that Jerusalem, when understood allegorically, epitomizes the Roman Catholic Church (Catechism 119). The moral value stresses the importance of conducting oneself in a God-glorifying manner (117.2). The Catechism shares Cassian’s view, which is identified in his Conferences (14.8), that Jerusalem, when perceived on a moral tier, represents “the faithful soul” (Catechism 119). Lastly, according to the Catechism, the anagogical sense establishes an analogical connection between earthly occurrences, and what will happen in the hereafter (i.e., death, Judgment Day, Heaven, and Hell) (117.3). From an anagogical standpoint, Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) interprets Jerusalem as the Celestial City, a viewpoint with which the Catechism concurs (119). The Catechism also provides a medieval mnemonic used for remembering the four layers of Biblical exegesis:
The Letter speaks of deeds;
Allegory to faith;
The Moral how to act;
Anagogy our destiny (118).
Although the Catechism accredits this particular rhyme to Nicholas of Lyra (119), Theocoid, in his “Is My Phylactery Showing? The Four Senses of Scripture,” credits Augustine of Denmark with inventing the ditty described herein.
Even today, the fourfold exegetical system developed by Augustine of Hippo’s Profit of Believing (pars. 5-8) and Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) remain intact. In their Catechism, for instance, the Vatican acknowledges fourfold interpretation of Scripture as steeped in tradition (115). Just as in Cassian’s Conferences (14.8), the Catechism explicates the Biblical city of Jerusalem on four explicative levels (Cassian Conferences 14.8; Catechism 119). The Catechism’s biggest improvement over Cassian’s Conferences (14.8) is that it records a medieval mnemonic employed for assisting Roman Catholics in the Middle Ages in remembering the quad-tiered Roman Catholic Biblical explication system (Catechism 118). Otherwise, the Catechism maintains the quad-tiered structure found in Cassian’s Conferences (14.8), except for two minor differences. First of all, it changes the name of Cassian’s first façade in his Conferences (14.8), the historical tier, to the literal sense (Catechism 116). Additionally, the Catechism alters the name of the third level in Cassian’s Conferences, the tropological landing (14.8), to the moral façade (Catechism 117.2). Despite the strengths of fourfold exegesis listed above, the Roman Catholic Church can only vouch for their literal interpretion of the Biblical Jerusalem (Catechism 119). Hence, even in the Vatican’s Catechism, the fourfold Roman Catholic analysis of Biblical Jerusalem, on the allegorical, moral, and anagogical tiers (119), still remains unsupported by Biblical passages.
As shown above, the Roman Catholic Church has developed a unique system of interpretation that is still in operation today. This hermeneutical approach, known as fourfold exegesis, permits Biblical readers not only to understand how the Scripture operates on a literal level, but how such Biblical words function on three other façades as well. One advantage of the Roman Catholic fourfold hermeneutical system is that it causes Biblical readers to explicate Scriptural passages in profundity.

Not all individuals, though, felt comfortable with the fourfold exegetical system as established by the Roman Catholic Church. Protestant Reformers, such as William Tyndale, and William Perkins, thought that the Holy Spirit, rather than the Pope, should instruct the masses on how to interpret Scripture. Consequently, Tyndale and Perkins recommended analyzing all Biblical information on a literal level. This, in turn, would eliminate extraneous levels unsupported by Scripture where the Pope can read his own self-pleasing interpretations into the Bible. Even contemporary Reformed Baptists, such as Dr. James R. White, adhere to the Tyndalian and Perkinsian hermeneutical system, known as the grammatical-historical model, although both individuals claim this model is just a guide, and does not replace the Holy’s Spirit help in explicating Scripture.

Protestant reformers, notably Tyndale, worried about the Pope using the quad-tiered Roman Catholic analytical technique for distorting Biblical passages until they concurred with his opinion (Obedience of a Christian Man). For instance, Pope Pius XII, who lived roughly four-hundred years after Tyndale, still maintains, in his Divino Affiante Spiritu, that Popes are in a unique position to comprehend the usage of “history, archeology, ethnology, and other sciences, in order to discover what literary forms the writers of those early ages intended to use and did in fact use” in the Bible” (35). Such attitudes provoked Tyndale’s condemnation of the Papacy in his Obedience—and the quad-tiered Roman Catholic interpretive technique—which permits the Pope to exercise unchecked hermeneutical jurisdiction over Scripture. Tyndale rails against Papal interpretive tyranny in his Obedience by proffering that Roman Catholics “divide the scripture into four senses, the literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical. The literal sense has become nothing at all: for the pope hath taken it clean away, and hath made it his possession.”

As a result, Tyndale searched for a method of condensing the four senses of Scripture into one Biblical tier: “the literal sense” (Obedience). Tyndale’s Obedience set out to accomplish the preceding by first eliminating the tropological and anagogical levels. Tyndale’s Obedience points out that, in addition to the allegorical level, “an allegory of faith,” the Roman Catholic Church has annexed two other allegorical façades to their cannon: the tropological level, “an allegory of love,” and the anagogical tier, which functions as “an allegory of hope” (Obedience). Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing?” sheds light on the information above by explaining Marcelino D’Ambrosio’s “Lecture #5: Senses of Scripture and Hermeneutics.” In Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing?,” he explains that the tropological level is associated with love, because, in Matt. 22.37, Christ commands humans to love God fully, and, additionally, to love fellow human beings. Christ then states, as Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing?” notes, that the entire Mosaic Covenant is contingent on the precepts stated above. Simply worded, Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing?” posits that loving God entails respecting all of His commandments, as John 15.9-10 indicates. Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing?” then explains that the anagogical sense pertains to hope because it encourages the believer to place stock not in Earthly desires, but, rather, in Heavenly rewards. Although Tyndale’s Obedience never overtly states that the Roman Catholic Church believes that there are three allegories, “an allegory of faith,” “an allegory of love,” and “an allegory of love,” it strongly implies the aforementioned viewpoint. Tyndale’s concern over using a tripartite allegorical structure is that it gives the Pope considerable leeway to interpret the Scripture in such a way that allows him to reward those who concur with his convictions, and to punish those who do not (Obedience).

Tyndale’s Obedience, having explained why the tropological and anagogical levels are meta-allegorical, and, hence, unnecessary, turns its attention to the allegorical value, the “allegory of faith.” Once again, Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing?” uses D’Ambrosio’s “Lecture #5” to define why the allegorical sense is inextricably linked to faith. According to Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing,” “In every figure, the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament and affirms the truth of Christ.” For this reason, the allegorical sense corresponds to the theological virtue of faith, as it reveals Christ in the history of the chosen people.” Simply put, Theocoid’s “Is My Phylactery Showing” opines that allegory is linked to faith since it prompts Roman Catholics to believe that Christ, in the New Testament, fulfills events and prophesies which transpire in the Old Testament. Tyndale’s Obedience, though, argues that figurative language proves nothing, but points, instead, to a literal command which a Christian must obey. One can find the literal explanation of allegories, as Tyndale’s Obedience opines, in the Bible, although the corresponding plain meaning of metaphors are sometimes difficult to locate, such as the straightforward understanding of the symbolic language used in Revelations. Tyndale’s Obedience, for example, proffers that when the Bible states “Christ is a lamb,” it does not mean a real “lamb,” but, instead, a “meek” and “patient” individual who will suffer crucifixion for humanity’s sins. Tyndale, though, does not explain how to expound the Scripture on a literal tier.

Perkins’ Art of Prophesying improves upon Tyndale’s Obedience by demonstrating how to execute a literal analysis of the Bible. Perkins’ Art of Prophesying describes a hermeneutical system contingent upon bringing “out the single, full, and natural sense” of a Scriptural verse. The preceding interpretive style, according to Perkins’ Art of Prophesying, is intended to interpret Scripture as the Holy Ghost dictates it to each person, free of readings which read Roman Catholic ecclesiastical tradition into Scriptural passages. Perkins’ Art of Prophesying rejects decoding Scripture allegorically on the grounds that it effectuates in semantic redundancy. Instead, Perkins’ Art of Prophesying uses queries intended to help Biblical readers understand a proper Biblical chapter and verse in its proper context. According to Perkins’ Art of Prophesying, when analyzing a Scriptural chapter and verse, the reader should take into account its speaker, its addressee, its “time,” its location, and its teleological purpose. The reader also ought, as Perkins’ Art of Prophesying points out, to pay attention to information which precedes and follows a Biblical passage. Perkins’ Art of Prophesying then lists principles of how to expound Scriptural material. One way consists of searching for “Analogical places,” or areas in the Scripture where various words and phrases are consistent with one another. Perkins’ Art of Prophesying recommends explicating Biblical verses figuratively only if incongruent meanings arise in parallel verses, producing “cryptic and dark” places. It must be emphasized that Perkins’ analogical places resemble Augustine of Hippo’s historical sense, and Perkins’ cryptic and dark places are analogous to Augustine of Hippo’s analogical sense. Since Perkins’ two hermeneutical methods described herein correspond to two of Augustine of Hippo’s interpretive levels, Perkins’ Art of Prophesying fails at establishing a model whereby Scripture can be interpreted at only one level: the literal landing.

Like Perkins’ Art of Prophesying, White’s “Guide to Biblical Interpretation: ‘Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth,’” impresses upon its readers that the Holy Spirit both authors and guides His Scriptural interpreters. White’s “Guide,” then, is just that—it, like the similar system illustrated in Perkins’ Art of Prophesying, is merely a guide—and not a replacement for the way that the Holy Spirit moves Biblical explicators to discover Scriptural truth. Nevertheless, White’s “Guide” attempts to be faithful to Scriptural context, and, as a result, recommends learning the original Hebrew and Greek used in a modern Bible, or studying a contemporary Bible in light of a concordance. A concordance, as White’s “Guide” implies, is a book which informs Biblical readers of the original written languages of the Bible, and how modern-day Bibles translate them. In that fashion, one can check for consistency between the initial Scriptural languages and the ones into which they are translated, which White’s “Guide” recommends doing to ensure that contemporary Biblical passages do not contain errors in them. Doing the aforementioned is also fruitful, as White’s “Guide” infers, to ensure that, if a contemporary Bible is improperly translated, Biblical readers comprehend what the Hebraic and Greek etymons used in the original Bible mean. White’s “Guide” also acknowledges that grammatical-historical system acknowledges one tier of comprehension, the literal level. Nevertheless, White’s “Guide” suggests that different types of narratives exist, such as those which are historical, tautological, or eschatological in nature. Overall, however, White’s “Guide” presents a well-organized summary that both articulates and improves upon literalized methods of understanding Scripture as articulated in Tyndale’s Obedience and Perkins’ Art of Prophesying.

Although White’s “Guide” recognizes that the Bible never definitively authorizes one way of interpreting Scriptural verses, he follows Perkins’ belief stated in his Art of Prophesying that, somehow, the Bible operates only on a literal façade. Even more problematically, White’s “Guide” follows Perkins’ Art of Prophesying in shelving higher levels of meaning under a literal tier. The only difference is that Perkins’ Art of Prophesying assigns figural language to a literal level whereas White’s “Guide” assigns metaphorical, moralistic, and eschatological phrases to a literal façade. The problem inherent in this model is that appropriating meaning to one level is illogical, since doing so effectuates in the pasting together of a collage of language geared towards four different teleological ends. The ensuing analysis, one which tries to mesh together four varying purposes into one, might confuse individuals who read it, thereby leading to a reader’s miscomprehension of a Biblical passage.

The most notable benefit of using the Reformed Baptist grammatical-historical system over the Roman Catholic quadriga is that Biblical readers are ensuring that every conclusion that they draw from a Biblical passage can be linked to specific Scriptural chapters and verses. Additionally, this method ensures that individuals do not plug their personalized meanings into the three Roman Catholic exegetical tiers which are unsupported by clear Biblical passages. Moreover, the historical-grammatical system is more readily comprehensible than fourfold Roman Catholic exegesis, since it is far easier to understand plainly stated Biblical chapters and verses than tiers which possess no overt Scriptural reference, but, instead, are predicated upon inferential deductions concerning a literal Scriptural passage.

The Roman Catholic and Reformist argument over what is the best explicative model to employ for Scriptural interpretation seem deadlocked in a stalemate. Reformists accuse Roman Catholic exegetes of developing a four-tiered system, one in which all levels, save for the literal, are unsupportable by Biblical evidence. Roman Catholics return the accusations, and point out that, although the Reformers frequently admit that language contains multiple senses, they interpret such senses on one tier, rather than on more than one level.
Roman Catholic exegetes defend their fourfold interpretive model on the basis that it is grounded in the literal meaning of a specific Scriptural chapter and verse, as the Catechism states. And, while it is true that the Catechism (115) notes that fourfold Scriptural hermeneutics are enrooted in “tradition,” rather than the Bible itself, evaluating the Bible solely on a literal façade, a method of exposition supported by Tyndale’s Obedience, Perkins’ Art of Prophesying, and White’s “Guide,” is also rooted in Reformist tradition, rather than on Biblical principle. Reformed Baptists, who treat their literal interpretation of Scripture as only a guide, as White’s “Guide” recommends, and interpret the Bible based on the Spirit of God’s guidance, have a legitimate complaint against the fourfold Roman Catholic exegetical system for recognizing the Roman Catholic Church as being more qualified to understand the Bible than the Holy Ghost (Catechism 119). After all, Scripture clearly states, in 2 Pet. 1.21, that the Holy Spirit authored the Bible. As pointed out earlier, Cassian’s Confessions (14.8) and the Roman Catholic Catechism interpret Jerusalem, which is mentioned in Psalm 137, on four tiers. While both works mentioned above connect Jerusalem to Psalm 137 on a literal or historical level, they provide no straightforward, Biblical references for their allegorical, tropological or moral, and anagogical understanding of Jerusalem.

White’s “Guide,” although presented in a manner that seems oppositional to the fourfold Roman Catholic interpretive system, ironically supports it. White’s “Guide” acknowledges that narratives can be historical, parabolic, ethical, or eschatological in nature, despite the fact that he perceives of the aforementioned as type of language a particular passage uses. Specifically, White suggests, in his “Guide,” that the Bible uses various types of language on a literal façade, instead of phrases worded in a way to demarcate a specific interpretive level. One must question, then, whether it is logical to read literal language figuratively, something which every Protestant Reformer tried earnestly to avoid. Logically, Scripture only becomes comprehensible when aspects of a subject are compared with and / or contrasted against at a given exegetical landing. Reason, then, dictates that Biblical readings should be organized in such a manner where literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical terms, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs are appropriated to the particular level to which they belong.

This analysis suggests that reconciling the fourfold Roman Catholic interpretive system with the literalist Reformist expounding method might be impossible. On the one hand, Protestant Reformers are infuriated that Roman Catholics use an interpretive method that permits people to insert their own prejudices into Biblical passages. By contrast, the Roman Catholics reprove of the way that Reformists attempt to interpret language which is meant to interpreted on many levels literally. It seems that the Roman Catholic / Reformist interpretive quarrels will continue ad infinitum.

However, I believe that it is possible to craft a fourfold hermeneutical method which contains clear Scriptural references that supports its use. I also think that plain Scriptural passages both evidence the mechanization of fatalism on every exegetical level of the heretofore described quad-tiered system, and vividly illustrate its causal operation. I will therefore address all of the concerns raised above prior to illustrating how of the elements described herein can be made to function harmoniously.

This brings us back to the central concern of this essay: whether or not fourfold Roman Catholic exegesis can be reconciled with Reformed Baptist theology. The first problem between quad-tiered Roman Catholic and Reformed Baptist interpretive models is that the Roman Catholic fourfold exegetical approach operates under the assumption the Biblical passages operate on more than one level, as opposed to the Reformed Baptist interpretive technique, which functions on only one façade. The second difficulty arises due to the fact that Roman Catholic Scriptural interpreters believe that all human behavior in the Bible is cemented in free will, which is explicitly stated in the Catechism (1730). Reformed Baptists Biblical analysts, by contrast, think that humanity’s decisions in the Scripture are shaped by the process of predestination, a mechanism by which God, according to John Calvin’s Treatises on the Eternal Providence of God: The Secret Providence of God, elects who He will save from eternal damnation prior to His creation. According to Eph. 1.4, “God hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”

I have diagrammed a new interpretive technique which reconciles the Reformed Baptist doctrines of strict Scriptural analysis and predestination with the Roman Catholic fourfold exegetical technique. In the new model, the literal level represents what happens in the lives of God’s elect and retrobate, the allegorical façade depicts whether the actions of the saved or unsaved persons are virtuous or sinful, the tropological tier shows whether the behaviors of God’s children, and those predestined to remain in inequity, are compatible with or contradictory to God’s Laws, and the anagogical landing informs us whether God’s elect and retrobate are going to Heaven, or are Hell-bound, after they die. In the abridged version of fourfold exegesis presented herein, every level of the quad-tiered interpretive design relates to a given passage in the Scripture, and privileges the intended meaning of words in the Bible over assumptive mythical answers forcefully teased from the Biblical text. This principle borrows from Martin Luther’s conviction that “In the Scriptures, no allegory, tropology, or anagogy is valid, unless that same truth is explicitly stated somewhere else. Otherwise, Scripture would become a laughing matter” (Luther qtd. in McGrath 173).
Consequently, my analysis will use the Lutheran explicative model depicted herein to show that the fourfold Roman Catholic exegesis meets Protestant Reformers’ demands that Scriptural interpretation must be overtly grounded in Biblical chapters and verses. It will also demonstrate, as presented above, that my quad-tiered Roman Catholic system does not rehash a point made by the literal level thrice, as Tyndale’s Obedience and Perkins’ Art of Prophesying claim, but, instead, organizes them in such a way to illustrate the logic of shelving similar topics together. The system which I employ presents the most obvious information of a Biblical passage first, and states the least obvious facts last. This is because people must comprehend literal facts before they understand what specific act of faith or sin such acts are directly attributable to. Simply put, allegorical language, which bespeaks of concepts pertaining to good and evil, cannot be fathomed, except if such abstract language is understood in light of a specific instance of human behavior which offers a clear definition of the aforementioned. Also, the moral tier, a level which depicts resistance to, abstinence from, or turning away from sin, cannot be comprehended if one first does not know what the Bible’s stance is on acting in a specific manner. Lastly, it is illogical to decide whether an individual’s behavior makes him or her worthy of Heaven or Hell before knowing whether those actions are moral or immoral. The logic behind this assertion is that God rewards and punishes people in the afterlife based on their conduct, and without having cognition of people’s actions, individuals can never know why God grants them access into Paradise, or sentences them to perdition. This, in turn, necessitates appropriating literal actions, allegorical definitions of faith and sin, tropological accounts of moral behavior, and anagogical rewards and punishments on their own respective tier, instead of pairing unlike components together, which culminates in a model built upon confusion.

Predestination, though, is important too, since, unlike the Reformers, Roman Catholic exegetes believe that humans possess free will, and construct their fourfold interpretive model upon free choice. However, I believe that one can design a Roman Catholic fourfold exegetical system that caters to the Reformed Protestant’s demand that humans are predetermined to make specific choices. At the literal level, Roman Catholics think that acts committed are predicated upon human agency. Nevertheless, this tier can be adapted to the Reformist conception of fatalism by suggesting that God predestined them to act rightly, as opposed to wrongly, in situations which test personal conviction. At the allegorical landing, Roman Catholics maintain that, based on the way a human decides to behave, he or she either honors or violates God’s Law. A Reformist way of reconciling the previously alluded to principle with fatalism requires God to influence a person to honor His dictates, or to leave that individual to his or her own inequity. At the tropological tier, people, according to Roman Catholics, act justly or unjustly of their own volition. Reformists, though, can insert determinism into the tropological façade by stating that God elects some to stay in transgression, while, simultaneously, allowing others to abstain from or turn away from sin. At the anagogical level, Roman Catholics feel that an individual’s personal choices ultimately lead to their salvation or damnation. By contrast, Reformists can build an anagogical façade contingent on God’s decision to predestine some persons to conform to His edicts, and achieve a Heavenly reward in the process, while refraining from causing others to obey His Law, and, as consequence, permitting them to receive a Hellish punishment. All of the modifications stated above allow Reformed Baptists to use a fourfold exegetical model which is consistent with their belief in determinism, rather than the Roman Catholic doctrine of free will.

The Bible actually supports the fourfold use of Scripture read in a deterministic light. Although my system, like the historical-grammatical model James White recommends using in His “Guide,” is not intended to supersede the Holy Spirit’s role in assisting Bible readers in understand Scripture, it will, hopefully, allow Biblical analysts to evaluate Scripture carefully, and to draw logical conclusions based upon the plain evidence inherent in the text. Bible analysts, though, should not feel limited to my system. If another hermeneutical method allows Bible interpreters to become more knowledgeable about Scripture than the one which I espouse, and if their particular system permits them to arrive at logic conclusions drawn from clear Scripture passages, then their interpretive technique is certainly valid. That being said, I will outline the four exegetical levels below—which I borrowed from Roman Catholicism—on which I base my fourfold exegetical system for Reformed Baptists. When reading the information presented, one should note that all levels are cemented in clear Biblical chapters and verses which validate them, and these passages, in turn, clearly conform to the Biblical notion of predestination. One should also note that, with the exception of Christ, who makes decisions of his own volition, all human behavior conduct from being predetermined to act in a given fashion.

Finally, whenever a fourfold analysis of human behavior is presented, it must always be bipartite. The first part should briefly discuss, on each level, what role predestination plays (i.e., with the exception of Christ) in the choices that a given human makes. Even in instances where predestination does not temper human behavior, such as when evaluating the consequences of Jesus’ actions on multiple landings, the first part of an exegetical analysis should still be discussed. The only difference is that, instead of talking about how humans are predetermined to conduct themselves in a given fashion, one should, when addressing Christ’s conduct, make it transparent that Christ’s behavior is predicated upon free will, rather than predestination. The second part of analysis should always use a fourfold model which details, on every tier, human decisions, and consequences which arise from them. The second level, however, should not reference to predestination or free will, so that the readers of the exegesis can devote their entire attention to appreciating the commentary every analytical façade makes about humans acting in a particular way. It must be mentioned, though, that, unlike the four Biblical chapters devoted to fourfold Reformed Baptist exegesis, the illustration below is designed to show only how the preceding Roman Catholic exegetical system is compatible with the Reformed Baptist interpretive method. This constitutes the first part of every fourfold Reformed Baptist interpretive reading of Scripture, and is demonstrated in a much more lengthy fashion than it will be used in the four forthcoming analyses. The raison d’ etre for doing this is to provide a clear depiction of how fourfold Reformed Baptist interpretive analysis seamlessly blends Roman Catholic and Reformed Baptist hermeneutics. The second part of quad-tiered Reformed Baptist Catholic analyses, though, requires a specific Biblical subject to interpret before it can be explicated. Hence, this chapter cannot depict portray the second portion of quad-tiered Reformed Baptist interpretation in a way that the forthcoming chapters can, and, as a result, it will be omitted from the forthcoming explanation of the previously mentioned area of concern. We shall now turn to the Reformed Baptist hermeneutical system which I developed.

One must comprehend, on a literal tier, as Eph. 2.5 acknowledges, that God “hath quickened” some sinners (i.e., God saved them from perdition). Following this logic, all righteous persons uphold God’s Law not on their own volition, but as a result of being preordained to do so. Although the concept of predestination might rouse the ire of some, the Bible, as this analysis will show, teaches preordination, and any attempt to change this theory, unpopular as it is, subtracts from God’s teaching. Conversely, any effort to read the doctrine of free will into the Bible, constitutes adding a manmade idea onto God’s instructional manual for humanity. Rev. 22.8-9 reproves of both the former and the latter, and deems explicating Scripture in this manner as sinful.

From an allegorical perspective, one becomes cognizant of what God’s elect and retrobate believe. The believers’ faith in God’s words, and the unbelievers’ irreverence for God’s commandments, arises because, as Rom. 9.5 admits, God has “mercy on the first group, while opting not to elect the second classification of individuals. The allegorical façade defines an action as either right or wrong, thereby transforming a concrete action (i.e., acting in a manner in accordance or discordance with Biblical edicts) into an abstract thought (i.e., obedience or disobedience). The Bible does, indeed, use parabolic language, and Matt. 13.34 attests to this claim: “All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them.” Thus, the claim, in Rom. 14.23, “for whatsoever is not of faith is sin,” acquires importance, since 1) both words are abstract nouns, and 2) can only be understood through human actions.

The tropological façade describes both the conduct of those chosen for salvation and the behavior of those whom God decides not to select as His children. As Rom. 9.13 notes, God loves some sinners, but hates other transgressors. This is why, despite the fact that, as 2 Tim. 3.17 points out, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction in righteousness, only God’s elect will benefit from the preceding. The retrobate will naturally refuse to turn from sin. This is because, as Roman. 1.24 informs Bible readers, God allows such wrongdoers to fall victim to their own inequity, and, consequently, the unsaved persons refuse “to receive correction,” as noted in Jer. 5.3. By contrast, regenerate persons either abstain from vice, or turn from it. In the first scenario, believers are, as Eph. 1.11-3 states, predestined to receive redemption through Christ, and to be guided by the Holy Spirit in making choices. Hence, God’s elect obey the order of Jas. 4.7 to “Submit yourselves therefore to God,” and to “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you,” since God’s transformation of their souls enable them to honor this Biblical command. In the second situation, God replaces a “heart” of stone in selected unregenerate individuals with “an heart of flesh,” as Ezek. 36.26 explains. Consequently, malefactors, as recorded in Isa. 55.7, can “forsake” their “ways…and…thoughts,” and return to their Heavenly Father, who will absolve them of all wrongdoing.

The last hermeneutical level, the anagogical sense, illustrates how God’s elect receive a Paradisical prize, as opposed to the unregenerate, who God throws into Gehenna. In 1 Pet. 1.19-20, for instance, God, prior to creation, selected the individuals He would redeem. The latter statement, as Matt. 6.19-21 infers, suggests that only God’s chosen ones will place more emphasis on the Celestial than the secular realm. This transpires since the elect’s trust in God, as 2 Cor. 4.18 states, is complete to the point that they do not dwell on items locatable by empiricism, but, instead, infinite “things” that exist, yet cannot be “seen” by the eye. On an atomic scale, the anagogical value evaluates four things: death, Judgment Day, Heaven, and Hell. Gal. 3.8 and Rom. 3.25 both infer that God understands that, since people transgress, He must select certain wrongdoers, prior to the beginning of time, who will be purified through Christ’s blood sacrifice on the cross. However, Christ’s crucifixion saves the elect from Hell, rather than physical death. Even Children of God must perish physically, since, as 1 Cor. 15.56 informs us, “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” After an individual’s death, God judges that particular person. As Eph. 1.3-5 suggests, God preordained some to be made blameless through Christ’s crucifixion. Consequently, God, in Rev. 21, permits the righteous access into the Celestial City, whereas, in Rev. 20.15, He sentences the retrobate to Hell. The Bible speaks about the Heavenly rewards God bestows upon His elect for turning away or refraining from sin in other Biblical books than Revelations, however. In the first instance, Christ says, in John 6.44, that “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me to draw him, and I will raise him up on to the last day.” The preceding situation occurs, as 2 Tim. 2.19 illustrates, due to God naming specific persons He chooses to flee from wrongdoing to Christ to receive forgiveness for his or her misdeeds. This, as implied by Matt. 18.3, effectuates in one turning from wickedness to goodness in order to be worthy of Paradise. In the second example, God bespeaks of the eternal rewards righteous persons attain for resisting vice. The cause of such a phenomenon takes place because God predestines some individuals, as Jer. 39.40 and 1 Thes. 5.21-3 indicate, to accept righteousness and to reject unrighteousness, and to acquire a Heavenly reward in the process. The non-elect, though, will refuse to disband with vice, and will face an eternal punishment for their failure to act accordingly. As 1 Rom. 1.28 notes, God allows the “retrobate” to act wickedly. That, in turn, brings upon the previously mentioned classification of sinners because, as Heb. 10.26-7 tells us, if we sin willfully after we received the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall follow the adversaries.”

As depicted above, the analysis thoroughly demonstrates that Scriptural passages support using fourfold interpretation to analyze the Bible. In the material presented herein, the Biblical notion of predestination does not contradict the literal, allegorical, tropological, and anagogical levels. Just as important, one can link all four explicative façades to clear Biblical chapters and verses which authorize employing them when interpreting the Scripture. Also, as implied by the model described herein, fourfold analysis, as previously alluded to, follows a logical progression, beginning with the literal sense, and ending with the anagogical value. This essay defends applying a Roman Catholic explicative tool to the Bible when investigating it. Nevertheless, I also set various limitations and parameters on the fourfold Roman Catholic explicative technique so that interpreters cannot inject their own whimsical musings, or Popish appeals into Scripture, whenever they read the Bible in light of the quadriga.

The Roman Catholic fourfold exegetical system, and the Reformist grammatical-historical model, both contain strengths and weaknesses. Fourfold Roman Catholic exegesis provides a system whereby Biblical information can be processed on multiple levels, but fails to ground any tier beyond the literal façade in clearly comprehensible Biblical chapters and verses. Inversely, the Reformist grammatical-historical design ensures that one does not read any preconceived notion into Scripture; nevertheless, such a model is ill-equipped at dealing with parabolic, tautological, or eschatological Biblical passages, since all three of the aforementioned Scriptural passages will be interpreted literally. This, in turn leads to Biblical readers appreciating metaphorical, moral, or apocalyptic Biblical passages as fact, rather than Scriptural passages and verses intended to illustrate abstract concepts, teach ethical lessons, and reveal truths about death, the Last Judgment, Heaven, and Hell. Yet, if, as Luther recommends, Biblical readers are taught to use fourfold exegesis, but use clear Scriptural proofs to support every part of the quadriga, then it is possible for Reformed Protestants to use quad-tiered Roman Catholic exegesis when interpreting the Bible. As mentioned earlier, the Reformist idea of fatalism can also be factored in a fourfold exegetical reading of Scripture. All one must do is construct a multi-layered interpretive model whereby human behavior is the output of predestination. It is necessary to reiterate the fact here that only Christ can act righteously of his own volition. Furthermore, every fourfold analysis should be twofold in nature, and offer a concise explanation of how determinism tempers one’s behavior prior to proceeding into a lengthy analysis which details his or her conduct. Every statement above has proven that fourfold Roman Catholic exegesis should be reconciled with the Reformed Protestant grammatical-historical method of assessing literature.

Before concluding this chapter, I would like to make a couple brief points, one which deals with the allegorical tier of the revised fourfold allegorical, and the other which pertains to why this book will not use secondary sources when performing exegeses of Scripture. First of all, in an effort to make D’ Ambrosio’s “Lecture #5” about the allegorical tier transparent, Theocoid, in his “Is My Phylactery Showing?,” explains that allegory is synonymous with typology, since it behooves Christians to believe that Christ, in the New Testament, fulfills Old Testament rituals. I, however, see the aforementioned level is a tier which also defines acts as good or evil, since the Bible states, in Rom. 14.23, for “whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Secondly, the reason why this book refrains from injecting secondary sources into the four forthcoming chapters which engage in a Reformed Baptist quad-tiered exegesis of Scripture is to avoid argumentation over the meaning of Biblical passages, since doing so detracts from the teleological aim of this book: how to, as a Reformed Baptist, expound Scripture on four interpretive levels. It is my fervent hope that this chapter permits future scholastic investigations into Biblical hermeneutics to see the main divisions between Roman Catholic and Reformed Baptist Scriptural interpretation as reconcilable, rather than irreconcilable.

By QuotidianPerfection

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:24 am  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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Have you ever had a spiritual experience?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:32 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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Hi Lord Elevation:

Ever since I left the Family Radio Cult, and began interpreting the Bible based on what Scriptures says, rather than what other people think it says, I experienced a "spiritual" awakening.

Now, here is the rest of my book:

Chapter Two: Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit—A Lesson in Causality

My first explication will analyze blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and demonstrate that the preceding misdeed operates on the principle of causality. In other words, when unelected people authentically voice the conviction that Christ’s Spirit is Satanic, they send an unmistakable message to the Holy Spirit, that He is evil, and should never indwell them. I will therefore illustrate that one can apply fourfold exegesis to the topic regarding the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the only unpardonable sin in the Bible, to discover 1) at a literal level, the situation surrounding the retrobate scribes’ offense; 2) at an allegorical landing, what indiscretion arises from these non-elect Pharisees’ faithless utterance; 3) at a tropological façade, how the unbelieving Pharisees decide to curse to Holy Ghost in lieu of paying Him due reverence; 4) at an anagogical tier, how the ethically blind Scribes fall into a moral black hole, and, in their hereafter, will be forced to confront the Hellish consequences for their transgression.

Structurally, this chapter will be bipartite. The first section briefly demonstrates how the process of election contributes to the Pharisees’ decision to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The second section illustrates how, on each level, specific cause-and-effect relationships, which stem from the Pharisees’ misdeeds, are established.

I

Prior to delving into the exploration of the Pharisees’ crime, though, one must understand how the Pharisees’ unregenerate state affects the decisions which they make. On a literal tier, as Eph. 2.5 suggests, the Pharisees are unsaved individuals. On an allegorical level, their actions, as noted in Rom. 14.23, reflect the conduct of the faithless. Christ also frames some of His reproof of the Pharisees’ behavior in the form of metaphorical responses, the type described in Matt. 13.34. On a tropological landing, the Pharisees, as Rom. 9.13 implies, represent retrobate individuals who God despises prior to creating the world. While 2 Tim 3.17 infers that the Bible is humanity’s guide for ethical wholesomeness, the Pharisees fit the characteristics of persons criticized in Jer. 5.3, namely, those who reject moral adjustment. On the anagogical façade, the Pharisees are, according to 1 Pet. 1.19-20, not among those chosen by God; therefore, they privilege worldly items over Heavenly entities, as implied by Matt. 6.19-21. This infers that, as Cor. 4.18 states, the Pharisees invest their faith in transient, visible items, and discount perpetual elements masked in invisibility. Although, all humans, righteous and unrighteous, must die, as 1 Cor. 15.56 necessitates, the Pharisees, according to Rev. 20.15, are predestined for perdition. It is impossible for the Pharisees to accept Jesus as Messiah, since, as John 6.44 infers, God the Father did not instill a will in them to do so. Hence, as 1 Rom. 1.28 implies, the Pharisees will continuously wallow in sin, even to point of sacrilege. Heb. 10.26-7 is forthright in warning that those who possess a fundamental understanding of God’s Law, such as the Pharisees, but intentionally breach it, have no hope, for redemption, but, instead, face a Hellish punishment for their deeds.

II

In order to comprehend the literal ramifications of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, one must consult the Books of Matthew and Mark, and the First Epistle of John, the Letter to the Hebrews, and the Epistle from James. According to Matthew 12.22-3, the Pharisees observe Christ healing a deaf and mute man, while the crowd witnessing the event recognizes it as a miracle. Matt. 12.24 and Mark 3,22, though, notes that the Pharisees accuse Christ of curing the afflicted person with magic, or Satanic power. Hence, as 1 John 5.16 implies, the Pharisees commit the one sin of which they cannot be absolved: blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. By contrast, all other transgressions, as recorded in 1 John 5.16, are forgivable. Moreover, Heb. 11.26 accurately identifies the Pharisees’ mindsets as ingrained in a continuous attempt to sin deliberately. The fact that the Pharisees receive no pardon for their crime is crucial, since, as Jas. 2.10 notes, committing only one sin violates God’s dictum that every human must behave perfectly.

If one desires to understand the allegorical implications of blaspheming the Holy Ghost, then he or she must look carefully at passages in the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the First Letter of John, and the Epistle to the Hebrews. Mark 3.30 defines blasphemy of the Holy Spirit concisely: the belief that Christ is demon-possessed. The Son of Man then uses logic and parabolic language to refute the Pharisees’ accusation that evil spirits indwell Christ. Jesus begins His logical train of thought in Matt. 12.27 by summarizing the Pharisees’ point: Satan permits the Son of God to perform miracles, and, therefore, His healing constitutes veiled sorcery. Consequently, Jesus labels the Pharisees’ claim as slanderous and sinful, since Christ can exercise demonic spirits, unlike the Pharisees, who lack the divine authority to cleanse souls of devils. Christ proceeds to employ analogical illustrations to unravel the Pharisees’ assertions. Christ opines, in Matt. 12.25-6, and Mark 2.23-6, that, if Satanic forces fight over the possession of one’s soul, this indicates such spirits lack the cohesiveness, as a total power of evil, to conquer one’s spirit. Soon, the demonic spirits, as Christ posits in Matt. 12.25-6, and Mark 2.23-6, will disband into a bunch of atomistic demons, whose strength is far weaker than a unified legion of demons. Yet, as Christ suggests in Matt. 12.29, and Mark 3.27, if the Holy Spirit—a person who is diametrically opposed to evil—can expel demonic entities from one’s soul en toto, then He can enter one’s soul unhindered, and replace wickedness with righteousness. For those reasons, Christ says, in Matt. 12.30, that “He who is not with me is against me, and he who gathereth not scattereth abroad.” The previously mentioned information implies, as Luke 12.8 notes, that, while the Bible mandates that individuals must accept Christ as their Messiah, the Pharisees, as Luke 12.9 suggests, reject Christ’s Messianic significance. 1 John 5.16 elaborates further by implying that the unpardonable vice which the Pharisees commit entails identifying Christ’s Spirit with Satan, rather than the Holy Spirit. 1 John 5.16 assures sinners, though, that Christ pardons all other misdeeds. The Pharisees, however, as Heb. 11.26 suggests, continue to believe that Christ cures others through sorcery.

Tropological appreciation for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is best attained by perusing through the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the First Epistle of John, and the First Epistle to the Hebrews. Matt. 12.31-2, Mark 3.28-9, and Luke 12.10 all state that God forgives almost any wrongful act. Christ, though, as Matt. 12.32, Mark 3.29, and Luke 12.10 informs us, will not redeem the Pharisees, since they blaspheme the Holy Ghost. Nevertheless, Matt. 12.31, Mark 3.28, and Luke 12.10 guarantee that Christ will save transgressors who engage in all other ungodly activities. Although the reason why blaspheming the Holy Ghost constitutes the only unforgivable vice is clad in speculation, Luke 12.8-9 provides a possible explanation to the aforementioned query. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, as Luke 12.9 implies, signifies a perpetual refusal to receive Christ’s Spirit. Since Christ’s Spirit both heals and saves, as Luke 12.8 suggests, anyone infinitely denying the Spirit of God entry into his or her soul cannot be cured of his or her evils. 1 John 5.16 identifies the previously mentioned class of persons as individuals Christians should not pray for. Christians must, as 1 John 5.16 mandates, pray for wrongdoers who partake in all other unscrupulous pursuits. Heb. 11.26 indicates the raison d’ etre 1 John 5.16 orders Christians to refrain from praying for the Pharisees is because they fully comprehend their belief that Christ heals through Satan’s power is errant, but continue to harbor the previously described thought against the Son of Man anyway.

Finally, the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the First Letter of John, Paul’s Second Letter to the Thessalonians, and the First Epistle to the Hebrews assists us, on an anagogical level, in deepening our comprehension about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. The Books of Isaiah, and Revelations, and the Letter to James, also shed light on the aforementioned subject. According to Matt. 12.28 and Mark 3.29, the Pharisees face condemnation to Hell for their moral opprobrium. While Christ, as Luke 12.8 notes, saves those who invest faith in Him from God’s judgment, He, as Luke 12.9 states, refuses to spare individuals who reject Him as Savior from divine retribution. 1 John 5.16 elaborates upon the aforementioned point, warning that God will deny salvation to anyone, such as the Pharisees, that blasphemes the Holy Ghost. That is why Christians, as recorded in 1 John 5.16, ought not to pray for these offenders. God, though, as 1 John 5.16 suggests, can possibly bestow an undeserved Heavenly reward upon sinners. Hence, 1 John 5.16 stresses the importance of children of God praying for wrongdoers who do not blaspheme the Holy Spirit. 2 Thes. 2.12 makes the reason why Christ punishes the Pharisees transparent: “That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” As Heb. 10.28 infers, the Pharisees’ proclivity of continuously blaspheming the Holy Ghost, even though they are fully cognizant that such behavior constitutes unrighteous conduct, thereby renders them hopeless for salvation. God, as Heb. 10.29 suggests, will judge this particular party for their impious behavior. God then, as Heb. 10.29 states, will exile the sinners mentioned to Gehenna. Isa. 5.20 prophesizes that, since the Pharisees deliberately perceive faith as sin, and vice as virtue, God’s wrath will fall upon them. The Pharisees, on Judgment Day, as chronicled in Rev. 21.6, will be eternally damned by God for believing that the Holy Spirit is Satanic, a prevarication rooted in their immoral delineations. Lastly, Jas. 2.10 implies that, since the Pharisees commit one sin, they stand guilty of violating God’s Law in its entirety.

One must wonder why Christ cannot ask the Holy Ghost to forgive the Pharisees of their unpardonable misdeed. After all, if Christ can absolve one of every other sin, then logic dictates that He can forgive the Pharisees for their wrongful and intentional accusation—specifically, that demons indwell Christ’s Soul. Four factors prevent Christ, though, from doing the aforementioned. First and foremost, when Jesus denies absolution to the Pharisees, the Son of God’s actions are not based on His preferences, but, instead, as Phil. 2.5-9 asserts, on His Father’s desires. Also, the Holy Spirit possesses a will, and, if Christ imposes His will on the Holy Ghost, as 1 Cor. 12.11 infers, this can create a schism in a Trinity which has always functioned as a harmonious unit. Moreover, the Holy Spirit, as John 16.8 posits, comes to convict all people—that is, to groom them to behave morally—but only the elect will choose to capitalize on His gift, as Rom. 3.10-2 suggests. Finally, because Christ is conceived by Mary and the sinless Holy Spirit, as Matt. 1.18, 20, and Luke 1.15, 35 point out, labeling the Holy Ghost as Satan in disguise disqualifies Jesus from being humanity’s Savior. This is because Satan, as1 John 3.8 states, is a sinner, and, if a “person shall keep the whole law,” as Jas. 2.10 points out, “and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

This ensuing analysis demonstrates that, on a literal level, blaspheming the Holy Spirit involves, as Mark 12.24 and Mark 3.22 suggest, accusing Christ of curing others through sorcery, or demonic power. On an allegorical tier, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit entails, as Mark 3.30 states, labeling Christ’s Soul as Satanic. Matt. 12.31-2, Mark 3.28-9, and Luke 12.10 all posit that, on a tropological façade, blasphemy against God’s Spirit is the only unpardonable misdeed. On an anagogical landing, Matt. 12.28 and Mark 3.29 both are overt about the destiny of those who commit this sin: they will face eternal damnation. In every level mentioned above, all analytical assertions are inextricably linked to straightforward Biblical chapters and verses which validate such claims. The fact that the first section contains a paragraph explaining how God’s process of preordination influences the actions of the Pharisees guilty of the opprobrium stated herein, and can be backed by Biblical support, also lends support to this support. Hence, when used judiciously, a modified form of fourfold Roman Catholic Biblical interpretation yields pristine and laconic Scriptures sought after by many Reformed Baptist exegetes.

The concept of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is utterly complex to fathom, but Roman Catholic fourfold exegesis provides the Reformed Baptist Biblical interpreter with a hermeneutical system necessary for understanding that particular vice. It is beneficial for Reformed Protestants, too, to use the aforementioned explicative technique to unveil the intricacies of Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, since the previously alluded to sin is rather difficult to comprehend. Perhaps, though, a fourfold interpretation of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost—built both on a thorough Biblical understanding of Scriptural components concerning that given sin, and the predestined actions of those who commit the aforementioned vice—will bridge the gap between the Roman Catholic and Reformed Baptist opinion of what that sin entails.

Chapter Three: Christ’s Forgiveness of His Enemies During His Crucifixion

All Gospels offer an account of Christ’s forgiveness of those who crucify Him. Using Roman Catholic fourfold analysis permits one to comprehend 1) at a literal level, how Christ responds to ill-treatment; 2) at an allegorical tier, how Christ’s refusal to begrudge His adversaries constitutes a virtue; 3) at a tropological landing, how Christ forgives His killers instead of holding a grudge against them; 4) at an anagogical sense, how God rewards His Son’s conduct with a Heavenly prize.

This chapter will contain two sections. The first section demonstrates how Christ, of His own free will, forgives the persons who crucify Him. The fourfold Roman Catholic hermeneutical model which this analysis employs, though, in no way interferes with the Reformed Baptist notion of determinism. Christ, according to John 1.1, 14 and Col. 2.9, is God. Jesus also possesses sovereignty, as alluded to in Pss. 103.19, and, therefore, as Pss. 103.15-6 notes, decides things of His own free choice. The second section explains, causally speaking, what consequences, on all exegetical tiers, effectuate from Christ’s conduct.

I

Literally, Christ forgives those who kill Him. The Bible records Christ’s actions as historical fact, rather than mythological lore, which is suggested by Rev. 22.18-9. Allegorically, Christ’s behavior, as stated herein, epitomizes faithfulness to God’s commandment in Rom. 14.23 to forgive one’s enemies. Tropologically, Christ demonstrates that “scripture…is profitable for doctrine,” as 2 Tim. 3.16 suggests. Jesus demonstrates the aforementioned Biblical principle, as Jas. 4.7 infers, by resisting Satan’s temptation for Him to begrudge wrongdoers. Christ, according to Jas. 4.7, wards off His archenemy by refusing to acquiesce to vice. Anagogically, Christ’s obeys His Father’s dictate to forgive His adversaries. Christ’s conduct, as Matt. 6.19-21 and 2 Cor. 4.18 infer, implies that He favors the intangible items of the infinite Celestial City over the tangible items of His finite world. Gal. 3.8 and Rom. 3.25 demand Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sinners who God intends to redeem, and that means that Christ, as 1 Cor. 15.56 suggests, must die. Ultimately, God acquits His blameless, sacrificial Lamb off all guilt, and grants Him an entranceway into Heaven. Christ’s Celestial prize, as 1 Thes. 5.21-3 infers, results from embracing righteous behavior while, simultaneously, rejecting all forms of unrighteous conduct.

II

One a literal tier, Christ’s forgiveness of His adversaries during His crucifixion historically illustrates proper Christian behavior, even under the most oppressive of conditions. Literal descriptions of Christ’s crucifixion are found in every Gospel. Matt. 27.35, 38, for instance, provides an account of Christ being crucified, and the simultaneous crucifixion of two robbers. Mark 15.24, 27, Luke 23.34, and John 19.18 offer similar details about Christ’s crucifixion. Jesus then submits the following prayer to His Father in Luke 23.34: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

Allegorical demonstrations of Christ’s insistence on forgiving even the most vicious of his adversaries are most clearly shown in the first and third of the three Synoptic Gospels. Christ’s forgiveness of those who mistreat Him demonstrates obedience to the commandment given in Matt. 6.12: “forgive our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” the wisdom of which is echoed in Luke 11.4, which demands individuals to “forgive everyone that is indebted to us.” Also, Christ’s forgiveness of the Romans who disdainfully treat Him depicts Christ’s perfect respect for God’s Law, as Luke 6.37 suggests.

The first Synoptic Gospel vividly shows, from a tropological standpoint, the mechanism by which Christ abstains from transgression. First and foremost, as Matt. 6.14 implies, Christ chooses to forgive His Roman enemies in lieu of holding a grudge against them. Secondly, as Matt. 6.15 infers, Jesus understands that begrudging others constitutes a vice, and God holds grudges against the unforgiving.

All Gospels, on an anagogical level, describe, in complementary fashion, Christ’s death, righteousness, and assurance of Heaven. Because Christ does not begrudge His crucifiers, in Luke 23.34, but, rather, forgives them, Christ’s Father, as Matt. 6.15 implies, will not refuse His Son entrance into Heaven for failing to absolve His enemies of their transgressions. Matt. 21.50, Mark 15.37, Luke 23.46 offer plain statements describing the moment in which Christ dies. While John 19.30 does not describe the precise moment of Christ’s death, Jesus’ utterance that “It is finished” infers that His life has ended. John 19.41 affirms that Jesus “was crucified,” and the past tense form of the word crucify evidences that Christ is dead. One centurion who witnesses Christ’s crucifixion says, in Luke 23.47, “Certainly this was a righteous man,” a testimony bespeaking of Christ’s moral flawlessness. Matt. 27.54 demonstrates how the Roman soldiers and the centurion recognize that Christ is “the Son of God.” The centurion makes a similar confession in Mark 15.39. In Luke 23.47, the centurion praises God, too, for sending the Messiah. Earlier, in Luke 23.43, Jesus tells others that He is headed for Heaven, and the testimony above offered by the Roman soldiers and the centurion attest to Christ’s worthiness to attain such a Heavenly reward of his own volition.

The following fourfold explication demonstrates that one can meld a Roman Catholic interpretation of Christ’s crucifixion with a Reformed Baptist interpretation of it. On a literal level, Christ, in Luke 23.3,4 forgives His crucifiers. On an allegorical tier, Christ obeys God’s commandment in Luke 6.37 not to begrudge wrongdoers who mistreat Him. On a tropological landing, Christ chooses to forgive others, as demanded by Matt. 6.14, instead of refusing to forgive them of their transgression, as recorded in Matt. 6.15. By doing so, God will not indict His Son on the crime of holding a grudge against others, and, in the process, begrudge Jesus, as Matt 6.15 suggests. Anagogically speaking, Christ’s forgiveness of His Roman assassins will lead, after Christ’s death, which is depicted in Matt. 21.50, Mark 15.37, Luke 23.46, and John 19.30, to these same individuals testifying to Christ’s righteousness, and exhibiting signs of becoming Christians. The Roman soldiers’ and the centurion’s words agree with one of Christ’s statements uttered before His death: specifically, that He is destined for Heaven, which is pointed out in Luke 23.43. All of the information above contains direct Biblical support for the validity of all four Roman Catholic exegetical levels, implying that this model is compatible with the Reformed Baptist requirement to remain faithful to the clear, straightforward words printed in the Bible. Since Christ, however is God in human form, as John 1.1, 14 and Col. 2.9 state, and, as Pss. 103.19 notes, is also sovereign, and possesses free will, a fact which appears in Pss. 103.15-6, Christ’s behavior demarcates the only time a human discerns between right and wrong as a result of free will, rather than predestination. Hence, issues involving Christ present the easiest situations to adapt the fourfold Roman Catholic system of interpretation to the Reformed Baptist model of fatalism.

When using Roman Catholic fourfold interpretation to analyze Christ’s forgiveness of the Roman soldiers, one discovers the importance of refraining from holding grudges against another person, a principle taught by Christ in Matt. 6.12, 15, Luke 6.37, and through His actions in Luke 23.34. Christ’s forgiveness of His Roman adversaries in Luke 23.34 also depicts how Christ prays to God to save the Roman soldiers who slay Him, as 1 John 5.16 implies. Consequently, the wording of 1 John 5.16 offers a possibility that both the Roman soldiers and the centurion profess that Christ is God’s only Son. In Luke 23.47, the centurion provides strong proof of becoming a Christian believer when He praises God, and acknowledges Jesus’ righteousness. Christ’s ability to forgive His Roman assassins, in Luke 23.47, roughly parallels Act 7.54-60, where the apostle Paul, then known by the name of Saul of Tarsus, unjustly permits a Christian named Stephen to be stoned to death. Saul of Tarsus’ spiritual blindness, though, is cured in Acts 9.18, and Saul of Tarsus instantly becomes a Christian convert. Saul of Tarsus’ conversion in moral behavior is depicted by the manner in which he, in Acts 9.20, went directly to “the synagogues,” and “preached Christ…is the Son of God.” In Acts 13.9, Saul of Tarsus is referred to as Paul, a name which he maintains from that point on. Holistically speaking, Christ’s forgiveness of His murderers in Luke 23.34 culminates in the possible salvation of His assassins, as Matt. 27.54, Mark 15.39, and Luke 23.47 imply. Stephen’s forgiving demeanor displayed towards his killers in Acts 7.60 also possibly contributes to Saul of Tarsus’ salvation in Acts 9.18. The Roman Catholic fourfold interpretation of Christ’s forgiveness towards His enemies in Luke 23.34, therefore, should be more thoroughly investigated in future studies to analyze the importance of forgiving others to Christianity in more profundity than which is done in this exegetical reading.

Chapter Four: Christ’s Abstinence from Temptation

Every Synoptic Gospel illustrates Christ’s ability to abstain from wrongdoing, even when prodded by others to behave in an ungodly manner. The Roman Catholic quadriga affords a detailed comprehension of how 1) on a literal tier, Christ is tempted by other individuals; 2) on an allegorical façade, Christ’s faithful abstinence from giving into sinful prodding; 3) on a tropological tier, Christ’s simultaneous restraint from and rejection of temptation; 4) at an anangogical sense, the Son of God’s Paradisical reward for conducting Himself justly in a circumstance where he is pressured to transgress.

The essay will be bipartite. The first part will show Christ’s willpower to fight temptation. (See Chapter 3, paragraph 2, for an explanation of why Jesus’ behavior stems from free choice, rather than fatalism, and, therefore, does not contradict the Reformed Baptist ideal of predestination.)

I

Literally, Jesus wards off temptation; this, as Rev. 22.18-9 infers, constitutes historical truth. Allegorically, Christ obeys His Father, as Rom. 14.23 necessitates, even though honoring this edict brings about Jesus’ death. Tropologically, a tested Christ faithfully follows Jas. 4.7 by choosing virtue over vice. Anagogically, Christ acts virtuously, even amidst temptation. Jesus’ actions, as Matt. 6.19-21 and 2 Cor. 4.18 suggest, show that Christ invests enough belief in Heaven to privilege the Celestial City over the kinesthetic matter of His present Earthly inhabitance. Christ knows, though, that His sacrificial slaughter permits those who presently taunt Him to possibly receive salvation, as Gal. 3.8 and Rom. 3.25 imply. As a result, Christ must cede His life to death, as 1 Cor. 15.56 infers. Since Christ dies free of transgression, God allows His son access into the Celestial City. As 1 Thes. 5.21-3 suggests, Christ’s behavior depicts moral opposition to temptation, and, consequently, earns Him a Heavenly reward.

II

From a literal viewpoint, all Synoptic Gospels attest to Christ’s subjection to ethical tests after His crucifixion. Luke 23.35 notes that the Jewish leaders tempt Christ to come down from the cross, and escape death, a depiction which is mirrored in Matt. 27.41-3, and Mark 15.31-2. However, only Luke 23.37 identifies how the Roman soldiers tempt Christ: “If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.” Matt. 21.41-50, Mark 15.31-7, and Luke 23.35-6 demonstrate how Christ, from the time the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers taunt Him, until the time He dies, resists the temptation to escape His punishment.

On an allegorical level, the Letter from James, namely, Jas. 4.7, emphasizes how Christ remains faithful to His Father’s order to refrain from evading his sentence, even though such a commitment effectuates in Christ’s death.

Peter’s First Epistle and the Book of Genesis, when read complimentarily in light of the tropological sense, illustrate the importance of abstaining from vice. Christ’s conduct implies that He follows the following dictate: He is, according to 1 Pet. 5.9, “stedfast in” His “faith,” and resists the devil, who uses Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers to attempt to get Him to sin. It is imperative to understand that Christ behaves in a fashion antithetical to Adam and Eve, who listen to Satan, and eat forbidden fruit, even though God forbids the aforementioned action in Gen. 3.1-6.

Anagogically speaking, every Synoptic Gospel, and Paul’s First Epistle to the Corintians, testifies to Jesus’ worthiness of Heaven. Christ, unlike Adam and Eve, lives a transgression-free life, as stated in 1 Cor. 5.20-1, even when tempted by the Roman soldiers and the Jewish leaders while on the cross, as Matt. 21.41-50, Mark 15.31-7, and Luke 23.35-46 suggest. In Matt. 27.50-4, Mark 15.37-9, and Luke 23.46-7. A centurion, along with other Roman soldiers, observes the manner in which Christ died. The centurion and the Roman soldiers alike, in Matt. 27.54, Mark 15.39, and Luke 23.47, all agree that Christ is a righteous person. Shortly before Christ dies, He tells others in Luke 23.43 that, once His life expires, He will be “in paradise” with His father. The accounts of both the centurion and the Roman soldier, in Matt. 27.54, Mark 15.39, and Luke 23.47, demonstrate that they comprehend that Christ exhibits behavior worthy of a Paradisical prize.

In this analysis, fourfold Roman Catholic hermeneutics act consistent with, as opposed to in opposition to, the Reformed Baptist interpretive method when examining the topic of Christ’s resistance to temptation. Matt. 22.41-50, Mark 15.31-7, and Luke 23.35-6 depict Christ as God’s faithful Son, one who will not be persuaded by those who tempt Him to find a way of escaping His capital punishment, (See Chapter 3, paragraph 8, for a summary of why Jesus’ conduct is willed, and, hence, is not polarized to the Reformed Baptist conception of fatalism.) The reason why Christ resists urges to come down from the cross, as Jas. 4.7 explains, is that God requires His Son to honor His edicts, even if such faithfulness leads to a forfeiture of His life. 1 Pet. 5.9 notes that Christ refuses Satan the dignity of allowing Him to slip into sin, as Adam and Eve do in Gen. 3.1-6, when they, after being tempted by Satan, consume forbidden fruit. Christ, according to 1 Cor. 5.20-1, exhibits perfect behavior during His lifetime. Even the centurion and the Roman soldiers suggest that Christ constitutes the only person who ever behaved in flawless fashion; this is recorded in Matt. 27.54, Mark 15.39, and Luke 23.47. All previously described accounts verify Christ’s claim in, Luke 23.43, that, after He dies, He will ascend into the Celestial City. Every level contains clear Scriptural evidence which allows the reader a profound view of the conception of Christ’s abstinence from engaging in unholy activity, even when dared to act in such a manner. In this fundamental way, the fourfold Roman Catholic exegetical system is not incompatible with a Reformed Baptist interpretation of the same passage.

Christ resist temptation until he dies, which Heb. 12.4 encourages all Christians to follow, although, in reality, it takes a great degree of Christian conviction to honor this given commandment. Jesus’ refusal to submit to sinful dares, as 1 Cor.. 10.13, that God never creates a situation whereby it is impossible for a person to emerge victorious over sin. Although Biblical chapters and verses like Gen. 3.1-6 seem to imply that no human can overcome those who urge him or her to behave wrongfully, 1 Pet. 5.9 promises those who persistently resist temptation, as Christ’s behavior in this exegesis shows, will not fall victim to transgression. Luke 23.43 promises that, while refusing dares can cause one discomfort in his or her secular life, it will bring about that individual’s unending bliss in his or her hereafter. By using a quad-tiered Roman Catholic interpretation of Scripture, and coupling it with the Reformed Baptist practice of ascribing conclusions drawn from Scripture to specific Biblical chapters and verses, one can comprehend the fullness of Biblical instances teaching us to abstain from temptation, irrespective of what degree of pressure we are under when tempted to sin. Perhaps forthcoming studies can use Reformed Baptist fourfold exegesis to interpret Scripture, and to attain deepened appreciation of how important resisting temptation really is.

Chapter Five: Conversion of the Thief Who Tested Christ

Every Synoptic Gospel provides illustrations of how a crucified thief who tests Christ is converted into a person later reproves another robber condemned to the same sentence for behaving in a similar fashion. It is beneficial to apply the Roman Catholic quadriga to the subject mentioned herein to become cognizant of how 1) on a literal landing, a crucified thief tests Christ; 2) on an allegorical façade, the crucified robber’s temptation of Jesus is sinful; 3) on a tropological level, the crucified thief moves away from an attitude which dares Christ to sin, and turns towards a disposition which speaks out against another crucified robber engaging in the actions which he hitherto participated in; 4) on an anagogical tier, the crucified thief whose conduct is reformed is promised by Christ that he will enter into Heaven once he dies.

The structure of this essay will contain two portions. The first portion will show how predestination plays a role in the conversion of the thief who tempts Jesus. The second portion illustrates how, on every tier, particularized causal relationships, which measure the crucified robbers’ metamorphosis from inequity to godly behavior, is shown.

I

In order to comprehend the crucified thief’s conversion, though, individuals must be cognizant of how the crucified robber’s a priori election allows his moral reformation to transpire. At a literal level, as Eph. 2.5 suggests, God predestines the crucified thief to undergo an ethical transformation from malevolence to benevolence. On an allegorical landing, the crucified thief demarcates a sinner chosen by God to receive His Son’s “mercy,” as Rom. 9.15 implies. Thus, although the crucified robber initially tests Christ, which, according to Bible, constitutes immoral conduct, he will later, as Rom. 14.23 infers, act in a just fashion which is diametrically opposed to his current conduct. On a tropological tier, God’s predetermined love for the crucified robber, as Roman. 9.13 implies, saves him, and, as hinted at in 2 Tim. 3.16, the crucified thief experiences ethical “correction” of his formerly wicked ways. Since God, as Ezek. 36.26 notes, replaces the crucified thief’s callous conscience with one sensitive to His commandments, as suggested by Isa. 55.7, he is able to turn away from his former habit of daring Christ to sin, and move towards a mindset whereby he speaks against those who practice his previously mentioned proclivity. On an anagogical tier, God predestines the crucified robber. As 1 Pet. 1.19-20 infers, to receive salvation. Consequently, the crucified thief begins to privilege, according to Matt. 6.19-21, the rewards of Heaven over the prizes of Earth. This is because, as 2 Cor. 4.18 states, Earthly pleasures do not last for eternity, like Heavenly gifts, which do. Although God elects the crucified robber to receive Christ’s blood sacrifice, as implied in Gal. 3.8 and Rom. 3.25, the crucified thief must still suffer the consequences for transgressions, as described in 1 Cor. 15.56: physical death. However, since, in light of Eph. 1.3-5, the crucified thief is now faultless before God, and he will, as Rev. 21 suggests, be given citizenship in Paradise. God, as John 6.44 posits, selects the crucified robber as one who will seek Christ’s forgiveness, thereby procuring security in his afterlife. In the end, the crucified thief is convereted from wickedness to goodness in 2 Tim. 2.19 by God, and is considered, by the standards defined in Matt. 18.3, righteous enough to enter into Paradise.

II

The first two Synoptic Gospels, more precisely, Matt. 27.44 and Mark 15.31, describe how two crucified robbers literally dare Christ to escape His crucifixion and live.

From an allegorical perspective, the Books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Matthew, and Luke explain why tempting Christ constitutes a moral wrongdoing. Christ makes it clear, in Matt. 4.7, that any attempt to “test” God constitutes sin. Testing the Lord, according to Exod. 17.1-7 and Num. 20.1-13, refers to putting any member of the Trinity in a situation where they are prodded to transgress. Such a situation occurs in Exod. 17.1-3 and Num. 20.1-5, where impatient emancipated Jewish slaves complain that God unjustly orchestrates a situation whereby they will perish in the desert due to dehydration. Inferentially, such individuals are trying to place God in a position, as Exod. 17.4 infers, whereby He will lose his composure, and will kill His chosen people out of excessive anger. In Gen. 4.1-7, the preceding vice is demonstrated when Cain slaughters Abel, his brother, because God accepts Abel’s gifts while rejecting Cain’s offerings. Consequently, in Gen. 4.12, God punishes Cain by cursing His agricultural skills, and making him a vagabond. Moses and God both imply, in Exod. 17.2, 7 and Num. 20.2, 13, that testing any member of the Tripartite Godhead is wrong. God, however, abstains from losing His temper, in Exod. 17.1-7 and Num. 20.1-3, when the emancipated Israelites tempt Him. In the heretofore depicted situation, the Israelites, in Exod. 17.4, are at the point where they consider murdering Moses. God, though, as illustrated in Exod. 17.5 and Num. 20.10-1, does not fall victim to temptation—He gives His chosen people water to drink.

The troplogical façade demonstrates how the crucified thief who dares Christ to commit a wrongdoing becomes saved, a topic explained in Deuteronomy and in the final Synoptic Gospel. Luke 23.39-43 illustrates how one of the crucified robbers receives absolution for his misdeeds. In Luke 23.39, one crucified robber continues to tempt Christ to escape His punishment. The other crucified thief, though, in Luke 23.46, reproves the crucified robber who tests Christ. By doing so, the crucified robber follows a Mosaic dictate, namely Deut. 6.16, which demands one to refrain from putting “the LORD your God to the test.” The crucified thief’s actions, as shown in Luke 23.40-2, show a respect for God. The crucified robber’s behavior has metamorphosed; Luke 23.40 furnishes proof of the preceding when the crucified thief says he fears God, and also in Luke 23.41, where the crucified robber acknowledges that he is justly condemned for his crimes. Nevertheless, the crucified thief’s soul is converted from sin to faith by the Holy Spirit, which is illustrated when he realizes, in Luke 23.41 that Christ is perfect, and when he asks the Son of Man for forgiveness in Luke 23.42. As a result, Christ saves the crucified robber in Luke 23.43. All of the preceding illustrations depicted above bear witness to how the saved thief turns away from conduct which tests God, a sin committed by the Israelites, which is recorded in Exod. 17.1-7 and Num. 20.1-13.

When observed through an anagogical lens, the Book of Luke shows how a thief turns away from a disposition which tempts Christ to sin—and, instead, adopts an attitude of reproof towards those who dare any Person in the Trinity to engage in wrongdoing—and, consequently, receives an everlasting prize. This is shown when Christ tells the crucified thief, in Luke 23,43, that God is going to bestow a Paradisical gift upon both of them.

This ensuing fourfold analysis explains how, at a literal tier, two crucified robbers dare Christ to come down from the cross in Matt. 27.44 and Mark 15.31. At an allegorical façade, Matt. 4.7 implies that daring any Person in the Trinity to sin constitutes a transgression. At a tropological landing, the crucified thief demarcates an illustration of how one can, as Luke 23.46 suggests, turn away from an attitude predisposed towards tempting Christ to transgress, and, instead, adopt a disposition which reproves humans who engage in the previous alluded to conduct. At an anagogical level, the crucified robber then asks for the Son of Man to absolve him of wrongdoing in Luke 23.42, and is assured by Christ of his salvation in Luke 23.43. Using a modified form of fourfold Roman Catholic interpretation allows individuals, on every façade, to understand the deterministic and moralistic factors in the crucified thief’s conversion from unrighteousness to righteousness. What is especially useful about the newly devised quadriga is that exegetes no longer must expend tremendous effort trying to organize data gathered in orderly fashions—beginning with most obvious statements, and ending with least obvious ones—since Reformed Baptist fourfold hermeneutics demarcate on exactly what tier an explicator should appropriate a Scriptural fact.

Reformed Baptist fourfold exegesis is crucial for comprehending the crucified robber’s miraculous in behavior because, on each tier, one can understand how determinism influences the crucified thief’s actions before launching into an investigation which studies how the preceding factor tempers the crucified robber’s moral choices. All of the information described above, in the revised fourfold explicative system, can be supported by clear Biblical passages. The quadriga even allows one to compare and contrast information from many Biblical Books pertinent to a certain level so as to provide the interpreter with Biblical data bound by inter-Scriptural congruence. Most importantly, using fourfold Roman Catholic interpretation of Scripture through the lens of the Reformed Baptists’ notion of Sola Scriptura will almost always answer four equally important questions about the Biblical passages examined.

Conclusion

This book illustrates, in Chapter One, that the Roman Catholic quadriga, which is predicated on free will, can be made to conform to Reformed Baptists’ demand that Scriptural information be read in the light of predestination, and refer to clear Biblical passages. The two diverse systems, though, can work in unison if devised in a bipartite manner whereby the first quad-tiered hermeneutical method analyzes whether a person is elect or retrobate, and the second fourfold exegetical design illustrates how fatalism causes one to conduct oneself in a given manner. By doing so, we learned that the Pharisees who blaspheme the Holy Ghost in Chapter Two are retrobate individuals filled with a propensity for vice, as opposed to the crucified robber in Chapter Five, who abandons his practice of tempting Christ as he is morally converted from inequity to faith. In Chapter Three, which deals with Christ’s forgiveness of others, and Chapter Four, which depicts Christ’s abstinence from sin, we learn that Christ is the only individual who does not need election, since decisions of His own volition are always perfect. There are many other Biblical passages besides the ones examined here, though, which are ripe for discovery, and can yield profound answers if the reformed quadriga explained herein is used to probe them. Even if one finds the model of explication illustrated throughout this book not to his or her liking, there will still be the wonderful opportunity for that person to learn how the Holy Spirit can guide them when analyzing Biblical chapters and verses, irrespective of what hermeneutical model they might use.

Works Cited

Augustine. The Profit of Believing. Trans. C. L. Cornish. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, Vol. 3. Ed. Philip Schaff. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature, 1887. Rpt. in New Advent. Rev. and ed. Kevin Knight. Web. 31 May 2012.

Calvin, John. Treatises on the Eternal Promises of God: The Secret Providence of God. 1552. Ed. Henry Cole. Web. 1 Jun. 2012.

Cassian, John. Confessions. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 11. Ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature, 1894.) Rpt. in New Advent. Rev. and ed. Kevin Knight. Web. 1 Jun. 2012.

Catechism of the Catholic Church. 2nd ed. Ed. Vatican Library. Vatican: Vatican Library, 2003. Web. 2 Jun. 2012.

D’Ambrosio, Marcellino. “Lecture #5: Senses of Scripture and Hermeneutics.” Web. 3 Jun. 2012.

King James Bible Online. Robert A. Kraft, gen ed. Madison: U of Virginia Lib.,
1995. Web. 30 May 2012.

McGrath, Alister E. Christian Theology: An Introduction. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2001.

Perkins, Williams. The Art of Prophesying. 2nd ed. 1606. Ed. Lance George Marshall. Web. 10 Jun. 2012.

Pius XII. Divino Affiante Spiritu. Web. 6 Jun. 2012.

Theocoid. “Is my Phylactery Showing? The Four Senses of Scripture.” 16 May 2007. Web. 2 Jun. 2012.

Tyndale. Obedience of a Christian Man. 1528. Web. 11 Jul. 2012.

White, James. “Guide to Biblical interpretation: ‘Rightly Dividing the Word of God.’” 2005-6. Web. 11 Jun. 2012.

By QuotidianPerfection

Takes care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:37 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
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Ok, so that's a no. When I say spiritual experience, I don't mean an awakening, or a realization of an alternate perspective. I mean a direct experience with the divine.

Have you ever read any Alan Watts? You should read The Book On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Really Are.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:40 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
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Location: United States
Hi Lord Elevation:

I've read the book you mentioned many years ago; however, I will probably have to refamiliarize myself with the book. Believe me, though, I have read many philosphers, like Nietzsche, who deny God's existence. Their convictions, as Kirkegaard notes, constitute "a leap of faith." Let me explain the aforementioned concept. All belief systems reach a critical juncture where one must decide between accepting or rejecting a doctrine which is unexplainable. In my religion, Christians do not fully comprehend the conception of the Trinity--they just accept it as the truth. Those who still need a rational explanation for the Trinity, one which they cannot find, often become non-Trinitarians, or, in some cases, choose to follow religions other than Christianity.

Interestingly, Christianity answers one question atheists philosophers cannot field: how did our structured cosmos arise from nothing? Rationalists have a very difficult time dealing with this query, possibly because, in their minds, fathoming the possibility that a Creator sculpted the universe seems irrational. I, however, contend that belief in a Creator explains how our universe came from nothing: God created it. Again, Kirkegaard's principle of "a leap of faith" is at work. In order to explain the scenario above satisfactorily, one, in my opinion, must believe in an Intelligent Designer, even if he or she has a difficult time reconciling that Being with rational thought. Those who are able to do so can then understand the creation process described above: God can do what human cannot. When left to a model where God does nor exist, however, people are stripped of a supernatural Force who defies rational explanation, and therefore must use rational thought to explain natural phenomena, such as the formation of our universe. In this situation, the atheist philosopher will be left with an unanswered question. Logic, while important, is not the only key to comprehending our macrocosm.

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:48 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
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Well, I'm not stupid enough to believe that I can actually understand it, that it is so simple that I can explain it English. I can't. And neither can you.

From my own experiences, and my own revelations of the secrets of the universe, the cosmos is unfathomably paradoxical. It is not as simple as the universe being created, or arising out of something/nothing. It is way weirder than that. It is infinite (though that is an ultimately meaningless statement).

One thing I've realized, too, is that it doesn't matter for shit what you believe. Beliefs are these silly, ultimately meaningless things that we carry around to get in arguments with each other. The truth is that it (and by it, I mean the Holy It, the it that is raining when you say "it's raining outside") doesn't care what you believe. It's going to keep doing what it does, regardless of whether you believe Jesus Christ Almighty died for your sins and your eternal life, or that the entire physical world is nothing but suffering and illusion. Once I realized that, I stopped worrying about what to believe, and I started trying to see things as they are, without any kind of naive moralistic judgment attached to it.

You should also notice that, this entire conversation, I have never said I was an atheist (I am not), nor have I ever said anything about God, or the origin of the universe (aside from the fact that we don't know much). You have inserted all of those ideas into the discussion, so that you can have a comfortable adversary for your silly debate about your theistic beliefs. You think you have been responding to me, and you seem to think that I am an atheist, and you keep making all of these massive, blind assumptions about my personal beliefs (of which I have said little). The truth is that you are having this whole argument with yourself.

You really are capable of some spectacular mental gymnastics.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:59 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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By the way, you should totally read that Alan Watts book again. It is one of those books that you can read at different points in your life, and find something totally new and applicable each time.

Also, he is not an atheist, at all. He studied eastern and western religions extensively, and the sort of philosophy he arrived at is an intriguing bridge between the two.

I don't want to give the secret away of who YOU really are, according to him, so I'm just going to tell you to read it again.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:03 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
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Also, since I actually read your walls of text, I'm gonna respond with one of my own. I hope you read it. This is an excerpt from "In Search of the Miraculous" by Ouspensky.


"There are two lines along which man's development proceeds, the line of knowledge, and the line of being. In right evolution the line of knowledge and the line of being develop simultaneously, parallel to, and helping one another. But if the line of knowledge gets too far ahead of the line of being, or if the line of being gets ahead of the line of knowledge, man's development goes wrong, and sooner or later it must come to a standstill.

"People understand what 'knowledge' means. And they understand the possibility of different levels of knowledge. They understand that knowledge may be lesser or greater, that is to say, of one quality or of another quality. But they do not understand this in relation to 'being.' 'Being,' for them, means simply 'existence' to which is opposed just 'non-existence.' They do not understand that being or existence may be of very different levels and categories. Take for instance the being of a mineral and of a plant. It is a different being. The being of a plant and of an animal is again a different being. The being of an animal and of a man is a different being. But the being of two people can differ from one another more than the being of a mineral and of an animal. This is exactly what people do not understand. And they do not understand that knowledge depends on being. Not only do they not understand this latter but they definitely do not wish to understand it. And especially in Western culture it is considered that a man may possess great knowledge, for example he may be an able scientist, make discoveries, advance science, and at the same time he may be, and has the right to be, a petty, egoistic, caviling, mean, envious, vain, naive, and absent-minded man. It seems to be considered here that a professor must always forget his umbrella everywhere.

"And yet it is his being. And people think that his knowledge does not depend on his being. People of Western culture put great value on the level of man's knowledge but they do not value the level of a man's being and are not ashamed of the low level of their own being. They do not even understand what it means. And they do not understand that a man's knowledge depends on the level of his being.

"If knowledge gets far ahead of being, it becomes theoretical and abstract and inapplicable to life, or actually harmful, because instead of serving life and helping people the better to struggle with the difficulties they meet, it begins to complicate man's life, brings new difficulties into it, new troubles and calamities which were not there before.

"The reason for this is that knowledge which is not in accordance with being cannot be large enough for, or sufficiently suited to, man's real needs. It will always be a knowledge of one thing together with ignorance of another thing; a knowledge of the detail without a knowledge of the whole; a knowledge of the form without a knowledge of the essence.

"Such preponderance of knowledge over being is observed in present-day culture. The idea of the value and importance of the level of being is complete forgotten. And it is forgotten that the level of knowledge is determined by the level of being. Actually at a given level of being the possibilities of knowledge are limited and finite. Within the limits of a given being the quality of knowledge cannot be changed, and the accumulation of information of one and the same nature, within already known limits, alone is possible. A change in the nature of knowledge is possible only with a change in the nature of being.

"Taken in itself a man's being has many different sides. The most characteristic feature of a modern man is the absence of unity in him and, further, the absence in him of even traces of those properties which he most likes to ascribe to himself, that is, 'lucid consciousness,' 'free will,' 'a permanent ego or I,' and the 'ability to do.' It may surprise you if I say that the chief feature of a modern man's being which explains everything else that is lacking in him is sleep.

"A modern man lives in sleep, in sleep he is born and in sleep he dies. About sleep, its significance and its role in life, we will speak later. But at present just think of one thing, what knowledge can a sleeping man have? And if you think about it and at the same time remember that sleep is the chief feature of our being, it will at once become clear to you that if a man really wants knowledge, he must first of all think about how to wake, that is, about how to change his being.

"Exteriorly man's being has many different sides: activity or passivity; truthfulness or a tendency to lie; sincerity or insincerity; courage, cowardice; self-control, profligacy; irritability, egoism, readiness for self-sacrifice, pride, vanity, conceit, industry, laziness morality, depravity; all these and much more besides make up the being of man.

"But all this is entirely mechanical in man. If he lies it means that he cannot help lying. If he tells the truth it means that he cannot help telling the truth, and so it is with everything. Everything happens, a man can do nothing either in himself or outside himself.

"But of course there are limits and bounds. Generally speaking, the being of a modern man is of very inferior quality. But it can be of such bad quality that no change is possible. This must always be remembered. People whose being can still be changed are very lucky. But there are people who are definitely diseased, broken machines with whom nothing can be done. And such people are in the majority. If you think of this you will understand why only few can receive real knowledge. Their being prevents it.

"Generally speaking, the balance between knowledge and being is even more important than a separate development of either one or the other. And a separate development of knowledge or of being is not desirable in any way. Although it is precisely this one-sided development that often seems particularly attractive to people.

"If knowledge outweighs being a man knows but has no power to do. It is useless knowledge. On the other hand if being outweighs knowledge a man has the power to do, but does not know, that is, he can do something but does not know what to do. The being he has acquired becomes aimless and efforts made to attain it prove to be useless.

"In the history of humanity there are known many examples when entire civilizations have perished because knowledge outweighed being or being outweighed knowledge."



"What are the results of the development of the line of knowledge without being, or the development of the line of being without knowledge?" someone asked during a talk upon this subject.

"The development of the line of knowledge without the line of being gives a weak yogi," said G., "that is to say, a man who knows a great deal but can do nothing, a man who does not understand" (he emphasized these words) "what he knows, a man without appreciation, that is, a man for whom there is no difference between one kind of knowledge and another. And the development of the line of being without knowledge gives a stupid saint, that is, a man who can do a great deal but who does not know what to do or with what object; and if he does anything he acts in obedience to his subjective feelings which may lead him greatly astray and cause him to commit grave mistakes, that is, actually to do the opposite of what he wants. In either case both the weak yogi and the stupid saint are brought to a standstill. Neither the one nor the other can develop further.

"In order to understand this and, in general, the nature of knowledge and the nature of being, as well as their interrelation, it is necessary to understand the relation of knowledge and being to 'understand.'

"Knowledge is one thing, understanding is another thing.

"People often confuse these concepts and do not clearly grasp what is the difference between them.

"Knowledge by itself does not give understanding. Nor is understanding increased by an increase of knowledge alone. Understanding depends upon the relation of knowledge to being. Understanding is the resultant of knowledge and being. And knowledge and being must not diverge too far, otherwise understanding will prove to be far removed from either. At the same time the relation of knowledge to being does not change with a mere growth of knowledge. It changes only when being grows simultaneously with knowledge. In other words, understanding grows only with the growth of being.

"And yet a person accustomed to self-observation knows for certain that at different periods of his life he has understood one and the same idea, one and the same thought, in totally different ways. It often seems strange to him that he could have understood so wrongly that which, in his opinion, he now understands rightly. And he realizes, at the same time, that his knowledge has not changed, and that he knew as much about the given subject before as he knows now. What, then, has changed? His being has changed. And once being has changed understanding must change also.

"The difference between knowledge and understanding becomes clear when we realize that knowledge may be the function of one center. Understanding, however, is the function of three centers. Thus the thinking apparatus may know something. But understanding appears only when a man feels and senses what is connected with it.

"In the sphere of practical activity people know very well the difference between mere knowledge and understanding. They realize that to know and to know how to do are two different things, and that knowing how to do is not created by knowledge alone. But outside the sphere of practical activity people do not clearly understand what 'understanding' means.

"As a rule, when people realize that they do not understand a thing they try to find a name for what they do not 'understand,' and when they find a name they say they 'understand.' But to 'find a name' does not mean to 'understand.' Unfortunately, people are usually satisfied with names. A man who knows a great many names, that is, a great many words, is deemed to understand a great deal - again excepting, of course, any sphere of practical activity wherein his ignorance very soon becomes evident."





He goes on to talk about how language is the chief cause of the divergence between knowledge and being, which is also very interesting. You should read this book after you finish that Alan Watts book.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:39 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi Lord Elevation:

I'll read Ouspensky's book on ontology too.

By the way, have you ever watched Wrestling with Shadows? The entire documentary is about a Canadian wrestler in the WWF (now the WWE) named Bret Hart who believes in the ideal of moralistic thinking (i.e., opposing ways which are traditionally considered as wrong.) He "wrestles with," in both the literal and figurative sense of the term, "shadows," or wrestlers who are neither good nor evil. In opposition to Hart's idealistic delineations, the "shadows" represent people who vacillate between benevolent and malevolent situations based on the scenarios they face in real life. This starkly opposes the manner in which Hart portrays his character--which approximates a "virtue figure" borrowed from a medieval morality play.

Here are all the YouTube links to Wrestling with Shadows:

1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7NH8cnKzTE.
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kJSuwpc1CI&feature=relmfu.
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrQHXbFDJzc&feature=relmfu.
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bo1SwM_Mpo&feature=relmfu.
5. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sz3_QlTjQo&feature=relmfu.
6. This part has not yet been uploaded by DoubleDarkZ.

Like Hart, I am one of the individuals who favors the idealism of moralism over the so-called "reality of the world in which I live."

Take care--your last post contained insightful information, concepts which I will make a concerted effort to digest carefully, even if I don't, in the end, agree with your philosophical perspective.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:30 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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Lord Elevation wrote:
You have to be one of the most diabolical trolls in history.

/welldonelol

Hahahahaha, did you read my "debates" with QP some time ago? I, also, thought he must be a troll, but I'm pretty sure he really is what it seems: a high-IQ individual with Asperger's Syndrome and a very deep-rooted religious upbringing. Not someone you can have a debate or meaningful argument with.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:51 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
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Location: United States
Hi RE Virus:

Thanks you for the kind words.

To be honest, one of the biggest motives for Bret Hart leaving the WWF (now the WWE) is that Vince McMahon offered Bret Hart a gaudy sum of money. Nevertheless, McMahon began to regret making the offer because he could not afford to pay Hart that kind of salary. The issue is complicated the fact that Shawn Michaels, a rival of Hart at the time (in real life), said that, after Hart "put Michaels over," or lost an important match so that Michaels could emerge victorious, and attain fanfare in the process, Michaels refused to "return the favor" by allowing Hart, who held a WWE tiitle at the time, to retain his title in 1997 at Survivor Series. Consequently, Hart, who always treated McMahon in a loyal and respectful manner (i.e., "like a father figure"), expectorated on McMahon after the match, and knocked him out with an uppercut after the 1997 Survivor Series main event. McMahon maintained that he had to "screw" Hart because he didn't want to risk the possibility of Bret appearing on WCW with an WWE belt, and, thereby, hurt his television ratings while simultaneously boosting the popularity of Ted Turner's Network (WCW). The emnity between McMahon and Hart, when seen in this light, transpired due to a myriad of reasons, but was also excerbated by McMahon exercising the right to "throw" his loyal wrestlers "under the bus" whenever he faced financial hardships.

Take care.

Best,
QP

P.S. The "1997 Survivor Series Screwjob" is significant because it illustrates that tensions can arise between idealists, such as Hart, and realists, such as McMahon.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:38 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
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Dude, wat

It's still real to me dammit


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 8:05 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
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Hi Lord Elevation:

I have always been an avid fan of professional wrestling. One thing I noticed, though, is, that when the WWF (now the WWE) first staged fights, heroes would fight villains. This was the rule, rather than the exception. Once in a while, a "good guy" would "turn" evil, or a villain would "turn" good. Even less frequently, wrestling shows would feature 'tweeners, who possessed the capabilities of doing heroic or villainous acts. From a historical perspective, it was easy to kayfabe (i.e., pretend to be virtuous, malevolent, or "somewhere inbetween"). This is because society had yet to enter the Internet age, where Googling a name would provide a biographical sketch about that person.

However, after the time during which WWF (now WWE) owner Vince McMahon was tried, and nearly convicted, in a steroid scandal, "the age of innocence" was gone. When testifying against McMahon, Terry Bollea (a.k.a., Hulk Hogan) actually admitted using steroids. This also put a damper on the notion of a "clean" Hulk Hogan bodyslamming Andre Roussimoff (a.k.a., Andre the Giant), who stood over 7 feet, weighed over 500 pounds, and played the role of a bully. Instead, the indelible impression left in some wrestling fans' minds was that Bollea's accomplishment wasn't "clean" at all (i.e., reliance of Bollea's native physiological strength), but, rather, involved some form of "cheating" (i.e., the use of illegal steroids). Now, people were exposed to the truth: "good guys," as Wrestling with Shadows filmmaker Paul Jay suggests, are sometimes worse than "bad guys"--they lie about their misdeeds, as opposed to traditional malefactors, who are often forthright about their wrongdoings.

Here is an interview with Paul Jay about why he made the Wrestling With Shadows film (http://therealnews.com/dvdsales/filmmaker.php):

Q&A With Filmmaker Paul Jay

Your last film, Never-Endum-Referendum, dealt with a serious topic - nationalism and personal identity in Quebec. Why go from there to a film about professional wrestling?

Jay: I guess I could make the obvious joke (about the similarities between the two topics), but in fact, there are parallels. Firstly, in NER I tried to find a human, populist way to delve into a serious subject. In HITMAN HART, I wanted to deal with how we look at morality, at good and evil. Wrestling was a way to do that, again in a human and populist way. As everyone knows, wrestling is about good guys and bad guys.

What attracted you to the Bret Hart story?

Jay: As a Canadian filmmaker, I'm always on the lookout for a story about one of our own who plays on the world stage. I wasn't really a wrestling fan, but I watched once in a while and knew that Bret was a big star. I saw an interview the WWF had done with him from Germany, and clearly the guy had amazing presence. At the time, he was thinking of quitting, and while the interview was a "work" (in wrestling terminology, part of a story line), the guy really seemed to be going through a crisis of some kind. It smelled like a story.

Then I discovered his family background. His father, Stu Hart, is a wrestling legend from Calgary, his mother Helen, a sophisticated New Yorker who hates wrestling with almost as much passion as Stu loves it. They had eight boys and four girls. All the boys became wrestlers and all four girls married wrestlers.

So, with a compelling and articulate subject, this wacky family story and unprecedented access behind the scenes of pro-wrestling, - I knew we had a movie. What I didn't know, is that the gods of documentary film would smile on us. We got all the elements we had hoped for, and then Bret's battle with Vince McMahon, the legendary owner of the WWF, broke out. We wound up in the middle of what's what's been called the "biggest double cross in the history of wrestling". A good story had become a classic drama.

Did you start to take wrestling more seriously?

Jay: I have a lot of respect for mass taste. There is a reason why some things have a mass appeal, and I don't distance myself from those feelings. I don't sneer, even at a Jerry Springer. People want to hear other people's stories, and even if there is a morbid pleasure in seeing someone squirm on TV, the underlying attraction is people's need to understand their own stories. This quite natural desire gets exploited and misused (sometimes venting racism and chauvinism), but it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with what the mass audience is looking for.

So, I'd be zapping around the TV, hit wrestling and invariably I'd stop. There was something in this bizarre theatre that attracted me, even in the pseudo- violence. I'm not a fan of violent movies, I don't get turned on by graphic scenes of bullet hits. But once I really looked, I found that wrestling was a grand, modern day morality play. This was soap opera, melodrama, it was another way people were trying to explore their emotions - but on a mythic, grand scale populated by giants who personify basic human emotions.

You have said you found the French philosopher, Roland Barthes useful.

Jay: I wanted to know more about what buttons wrestling was pushing. Barthes book titled Mythologies, is insightful. He said " The virtue of wrestling is that it is a spectacle of excess. Here we find a grandiloquence which must have been that of ancient theatres . . . Even hidden in the most squalid Parisian halls, wrestling partakes of the nature of great solar spectacles, Greek drama and bull-fights: in both, a light without shadow generates an emotion without reserve. What is portrayed by wrestling is an ideal understanding of things . . . wrestlers remain gods because they are, for a few moments, the key which opens Nature, the pure gesture which separates Good from Evil, and unveils the form of a Justice which is at last intelligible."

There is a lot in this quote, but one thing interesting is his idea "a light without shadow generates an emotion without reserve". When this was written (during the1950's), good guys were easy to understand. They played by the rules, stood up for what was right, never gave up, never ran away from a fight and never betrayed a friend. Bad guys did the opposite. The two forces would struggle against each other, and eventually, after overcoming all odds, the good guy would win and the fans would cheer wildly.

Not so anymore. In recent years, the light has been filled with shadows. As our shoot progressed, the shift in fan loyalty became apparent. The guys who cheated and were supposed to be evil, were getting cheered. A character like Bret Hart, the classic good guy, was starting to get booed. The stories were more complicated. This became an intriguing sub-plot of the film.

Do you understand why this was happening?

Jay: It's a long discussion, but in short, people told us they were fed up with hypocrisy. They felt that good guys lie, cheat and steal - they just hide it. They pointed mostly to politicians to make their point. They liked a hero who at least came out and said what he wanted - to win at any cost. To not give "a shit" about anyone. To fulfill his own ego, and be willing to stomp over anyone in his way. The cheering for a guy like "Stone Cold" Steve Austin was a kind of rebellion, a "we're fed up and not going to take it anymore". Of course, this kind of emotion carries within it seeds of chauvinism and fascism. Austin also became the symbol of the working man finally taking charge. Not in any collective way, but on his own, not needing anybody. In the States, this was identified with America being number one, the best country on earth. Love it or leave it.

As the film unfolds, Bret turns "bad", at least in the United States. He starts a "war with America" where he attacks the American fans for cheering the bad guys. In Canada, Bret becomes a figure standing against American arrogance, and upholding "Canadian" values. It's another form of chauvinism, but perhaps a little more benign.

The fans had great fun with the rivalry. I doubt if Canada has ever had such an impact on the American popular psyche.

The main story is about Bret's real life struggle with Vince McMahon, the owner of the WWF. How did this develop?

Jay: Bret had wrestled for his father in Calgary in the early 1980's. In '84, Stu sold the promotion to Vince and the WWF. Bret, his brother Owen and brother-in-laws Davey "The Bulldog" Smith, and Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, all went to the WWF as part of the deal. Over the next decade, Bret rose to become the biggest star in wrestling, taking over the mantle of top guy in the WWF from Hulk Hogan. In the summer of 1997, Bret's contract with the WWF was up, and he was a free agent of sorts.

The rival WCW made Bret a big offer to jump from the WWF. The WCW, owned by Ted Turner, was involved in a bitter war with the WWF for control of the multi- billion dollar wrestling market. After a lot of soul searching, Bret turned down 9 million dollars US over three years to stay with Vince. His deal was for a lot less money, but with an unprecedented twenty year contract.

There were two main reasons for staying. One was loyalty to Vince, who had become like a surrogate father. Bret had grown up in fear of Stu, a stern disciplinarian who was a master in the martial art of submission wrestling, and wasn't adverse to using it when his sons got out of line. Vince became the only other boss Bret had known, and he rose to stardom on the stage Vince created. Winning the approval of his father and then Vince, was a driving force in Bret's life.

The other reason for staying had to do with Bret's wrestling character, "The Hitman". He was a bonafide hero, loved by people around the world. He was voted most popular athlete in Europe three years in a row by Bravo magazine readers in Germany, and adored by kids and adults from India to South Africa. In Canada he was a national icon for fans, and one of the biggest names wrestling had known in the United States.

Bret took all of this seriously. He believed in his character and what he stood for. He believed he had a responsibility to his fans that went beyond the normal platitudes. He loved his fans, and he loved being loved by them. There are stories of kids who died of cancer, their final wish to be buried with a Bret Hart doll in their coffin.

For Bret, this relationship with his fans was worth more than money, and he believed that in the WWF "this great story" would come to a glorious end. Bret would go out a hero, gracefully handing over the mantle of champion to a deserving successor. He feared if he went to the WCW, his character would lose its focus, and his fans.

Eight months into the new deal, Vince told Bret he couldn't afford the new contract and that he should try to get his deal back with the WCW. This was after Vince had engineered the Canada vs US story line, taking Bret's hero status in the States away from him. Believing he had no choice, Bret made the deal and prepared to leave, heart broken at the prospect.

Vince had found that Bret's run as a classic good guy was waning. People were tired of good guys. He resented the deal he struck with Bret under the pressure of the WCW. By pushing Bret out, he sent a powerful message to the other WWF wrestlers. Don't try to leverage yourself against the WWF. He was going to prove that the WWF was bigger than any single wrestler, even the top guy. For Vince it was about the bottom line, about who holds the power.

Feeling betrayed and lied to by McMahon, Bret's focus turned to the final match. Hart had negotiated a unique clause in his separation agreement. For the last thirty days, he would have "reasonable creative control". This was to prevent Vince from trashing his character on the way out of the federation. As they headed towards "The Survivor Series", a big pay-per-view event in Montreal, McMahon insisted that Bret lose his championship title at what would prove to be his last match in the WWF.

Hart refused, saying he wouldn't lose in Canada, the one place he was still a hero. It had to do with the fans who loved him, and would be devastated by a loss in his own country. It also had commercial considerations, as the WCW wanted Hart partly because he could open up the Canadian market in which they had been weak.

Bret offered to lose the following week, at a match in New York. Vince insisted it be done in Montreal, saying he couldn't risk Hart turning up on the WCW TV show with the WWF belt. They were on a collision course, neither man backing down.

When they got to Montreal, Vince did an about face and agreed with Bret's plan for the match. The end would be a "shamozz", a run in by other wrestlers that would cause a disqualification and thus no change in the status of the championship. The next night, Bret would thank Vince for the good years and voluntarily forfeit the belt.

When the match was half way, Bret was in a submission hold he was supposed to break. Vince arranged with the referee to call for the bell, saying Bret gave up. It ended the match and a new world champion was crowned. In the theatre of wrestling, where scripted double crosses are considered part of the repertoire, this was the real thing.

It's a great story. What meaning does it hold for you?

Jay: The question that always intrigued me as we were filming goes like this: in a world where good and evil does not exist (in the simplistic terms we have known in the past, or in some abstract pure form), does it mean that there is no right and wrong? It seems to me that in the last decade the bottom line has become the only measure of morality. Everything else is considered naive. Vince considers Bret naive for his belief in heros. Heros are something Vince manufactures for profit. Of course there is some truth to this, Bret "The Hitman" Hart didn't save anyone from a burning building. But in real life, at least in his relationship with Vince and his fans, he kept his word. He did what he said he would do, he maintained a sense of personal integrity, even if he lived in a world where the truth exists only to serve an interest. In this way, the struggle between these two men reflects what I believe is the great battle of our time. It is a fight over ideals, whether life is going to be about more than making money.

Does the real Bret Hart really stand for these things? How much is this an idealized portrait of him?

Jay: There is a line where this documentary crosses over into drama. It's not a piece of journalism. We didn't investigate Bret's whole life to see if he is a worthy hero or not. In our film, like in a drama, he represents the yearning for the positive hero. It's not meant to be a biographical piece.

Still, it is a documentary and we aren't as free as we would be in a drama. If we had found that Bret was a shit, we would have made a different film. The character you see in the film, is pretty much the man we came to know.

People can decide for themselves what to make of Bret. While the film is told from Bret's point of view, I don't think people judge others by what they say about themselves. Many viewers, at the end of the film, will think that Bret was naive and self-serving, and that Vince was right to take the steps he did. I guess people will split over this, the way they do about what's going on in our society. I hope people debate it.

The film ends with the death of "The Hitman" character. Does that mean you are pessimistic about our future?

Jay: It is a real story, and we had to tell it as it happened.

I'm not pessimistic, although it would be easy to be so when one looks around the world these days. I do think the pendulum is ready to swing the other way, that people are questioning the fundamental assumptions of our society in a way I haven't heard for a long time. So in that way, I remain optimistic.

This discussion may seem a bit much coming out of a wrestling movie, but as Bret says in the film, "you don't sell out really cheap and just go, 'Okay, it's just a wrestling show'. I've learned that it's not just a wrestling show."

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:17 am  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:13 am
Rank: Sensei
Location: Denver, Colorado
XBL: dontrun letkill
PSN: fishsticks4u
Politics suck :yes


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:59 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi fishsticks4u:

I agree.

By the way, I voted for Barrack Obama because I hoped that his economic plans would ameliorate the fiscal situation in the United States. His plan, however, proved to be a failure. What is even more frightening, however, is Obama's attempt to quash his constituents' right of free speech. This time, I am voting for Mitt Romney, and hope that he is elected so I will not have to watch CBS reporters try to defend Obama illogical stimulus packages as logical on a continuum (see CNN Wants This Video Banned (SEE WHY) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=-Hx_4mBZBjk&NR=1).

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:15 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
Rank: Master
The only explanation I can arrive at is that you are PD~, and you are just laughing your ass off.

/likeisaidwelldonelol


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:33 am  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi Lord Elevation:

I can laugh at certain things which concern myself, such as my annoying proclivity of using diction which proves terribly difficult to comprehend, and can occasionally give my readers cognitive indigestion. However, I do not feel the same way about many of the so-called "liberals" in my home country (i.e., the U.S.) who prove an animated mockery of the term which they embody. To be fair, I disagree with conservatives who persecute individuals who do not practice all the norms of that particular elitist faction. Conservatives, in my view, preach freedom from government, but permit a select few to tell others how they must think and act. Contrariwise, I am appalled by libertarians who pretend to support individual freedom, but allow government to establish grounds of decency for the governed. In the aforementioned scenario, liberals in government exercise jurisdiction over their constituents' delineations and conduct. Seen in this light, there is no such thing as political correctness, since what conservatives deem appropriate libertarians perceive as a faux pas, and vice-versa. Sadly, the United States needs a governing body, or it would simply disintegrate. As a loyal American, I will just have to accept the problems attributable to government in order to have them "protect" my personal freedoms, which sometimes, quite paradoxically, it seems to be "confiscating" (i.e., freedom of speech and expression).

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:13 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:14 pm
Rank: Master
XBL: TruGamer97
@QuotidianPerfection Oh my you have a lot on your mind. o.e


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:39 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi TruGamer97:

Sometimes, I go too much into depth during debates. Nevertheless, I believe that explicating subjects in too much profundity--and acquiring a reputation as "a nitpicker" as a result--is better than to be branded as an individual who fails to "go into detail" when discussing topics, and gains a reputation among the SSX3 community as a simpleton who can only offer shallow renderings of subjects in the process.

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:56 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:37 pm
Rank: Master
Location: Mount Craddock :P
PSN: Crazy_driveR3
seriously though.....you are killing me with the college-status letter writing. with the intro and the signature.......this is a SSX forum

ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) i dont even.........

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HAZAA!! Made this signature myself. Even the Celica GT-FOUR thanks to GT5.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 1:50 am  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi Crazy_driveR3:

I don't happen to believe that such a concept as "college-status letter writing" exists. Many of the best writers went to college, and many of them didn't. Although I happened to fined-tune my writing talent in college, some persons possess the ability to hone their writing skills, void of any formal scholastic instruction. Thus, good writing is best characterized as the ability to articulate one's thoughts clearly and efficiently.

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:09 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
Rank: Master
lol


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:53 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi Lord Elevation:

I stand by my assertions: the way I formulate my letters is just my style, and bears little resemblance to the manner in which I was taught to write seminar papers in college. In fact, I've been reading and writing since I was a child, and consider these activities some of the my most pleasurable ones to engage in.

But, back to the main question: is Barrack Obama like Adolf Hitler? The answer is yes if you define both individuals as thirsty for power and control. Both leaders enjoy 1) their positions of authority, and 2) dictating to others how they should live. In this respect, both leaders are similar.

However, the comparison cannot be carried too far, as Hitler invested faith in a superior Aryan race, and would cringe at the thought of anyone of African descent rising to a position of leadership. Hitler also went far beyond the boundaries of intruding on personal freedoms--he decided which types of individuals were fit to live, and what kinds of persons should be exterminated. Unfortunately, since Hitler hated blacks, Obama would be included in the aforementioned list of undesirables destined to be terminated in gas chambers inside of concentration camps. Hence, in this instance, one can posit that, no, Obama and Hitler are not similar. To the contrary, they are quite dissimilar.

In sum, Obama is, in some ways, congruous to Hitler; yet, the incongruities, by an overwhelming margin, outweigh the congruities. Hence, I will borrow a term from baseball statistician Bill James, and say that Obama "is vaguely similar to" Hitler.

Take care.

Best Wishes,
QuotidianPerfection


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:14 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:21 pm
Rank: Master
lol


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:44 pm  Post subject: Re: Obama vs. Hitler  
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:05 pm
Rank: Master
Location: United States
Hi Lord Elevation:

Other individuals might question whether I am serious about my beliefs, or if I am just putting on a phony facade to seek attention. Nevertheless, in the end, only God can judge me, with one-hundred percent accuracy, as a seeker of truth, or a liar.

Best,
QP


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