After reading [Martin Heidegger's] Sein und Zeit (Being and Time) again, I tend to agree [that his language is turgid]. I also sometimes wonder if Heidegger wasn't pulling a fast one on us all. Does HE even know what he's talking about in S & Z?Blosser:
I employ "Godself" because it is standard terminology in the Trinitarian literature I regularly assimilate, plus I believe the nomenclature does full justice to Origen's concept of autotheos.Blosser:
Well, I suppose as a technical translation of 'autotheos' in Origen studies, it's excusable, at least, if barely. =)Foster:
My point is that Justin viewed the title "Father" as a "form of address" that humans have coined based on God's benefices and works. Justin indicates that "Father" (as a designation for God) does not imply God is masculine IN SE or immanently: the term "Father" does not tell us anything about God's essence or what God is like AD INTRA.Blosser:
I agree that it's a form of address, though I wouldn't want to say that it's (merely!) coined by humans. Isn't God the primary cause of His revelation? Also, I'm hesitant to say that this doesn't reflect in some way on God's nature in the following sense: even if we say that God is not masculine IN SE [in Himself], but only in His relationship AD NOS [to us], why is it that we do NOT say that He is feminine AD NOS? There must be a reason. What's the status of that reason? That's what I would want to explore.Foster:
I, as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, have no problem with believing God has a proper name (NOMEN PROPRIUM). Isa 42:8 suggests that YHWH is God's proper designation and so does Ps 83:18 along with Exod 3:14-15. This is elementary in Judaism and Christianity. However, Justin does not believe God has a NOMEN PROPRIUM nor does he think that words such as PATHR or PANTOKRATWR are ONOMATA (in the strictest sense). Rather, they are ways in which humans invoke God based on the almighty deity's special and general revelatory works. For Justin, "Father" not only fails to function as a proper noun, it is not even a name, but a form of address that is a product (in part) of human language.Blosser:
I am now speaking about what Justin believes, not myself.
Fair enough. I would also hesitate to say that he speaks for me at this point.Foster:
I have no problem calling God YHWH or "Father" or Creator. Nevertheless, with Justin, I too must say (as the Martyr implies) that the Bible writers do not ontolgoize God's gender when they call God "Father." There is nothing being said about God as Godself when one speaks of the Christian deity as "Father," IMHO.Blosser:
Let's keep Origen out of this. I personally find really offensive the use of "GODSELF" for the reasons mentioned in the earlier email [such as preemption by New Age gnosticism: see book right]. How about "autotheos" if we're talking about Origen's theology, and otherwise, "God Himself"?
As to your assertions, I have utterly no confidence that one can surmise whether or not a biblical author was or was not "ontologizing" anything. Certainly they were not philosophers.
But who knows what they were assuming about God's own nature? Do we have any solid reason for assuming they DIDN'T think of God as masculine, even if that
With Minucius Felix, I'm not denying that God is (in some sense) Father or King or Lord. However, Minucius Felix seems to believe that none of these figures of speech truly tell us what God IS. Take away these designations, Minucius Felix argues, and then one will have a clear portrait of Godself. God may be a Father in a metaphorical sense. This does not mean that God is masculine, however, any more than the metaphorical proposition "Juliet is the sun" indicates Romeo's lover is a gaseous fiery blob of helium and hydrogen located at the center of our solar system. In other words, the proposition concerning Juliet doesn't tell us a thing about her ontology or secondary substance.Blosser:
Doesn't it? Does it tell us only about Romeo's perception of Julia? Or does it not tell us also something about her. If I say Julia is "bright" like the sun, as opposed to "dark," couldn't this tell us that she's not gloomy and moody but cheerful and positive? Just a question.Foster:
If what Schoonenberg says is true though, one cannot legitimately reason from God's soi-di-sant fatherhood to human fatherhood. The philosopher or natural theologian must reason from the divine economy to the divine being, from the phenomenal to the noumenal realm.Blosser:
With all the due qualifications about God being the ultimate initiator of communication to man, via Revelation, etc. Speaking of man's taking the initiative in seeking God, Lewis says, is like speaking about the mouse's search for the cat.