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Diego last won the day on August 25 2018

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About Diego

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    Chess, Writing, reading, time with the wife and family...


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    Historian and writer.

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  1. Thank you, WILLIAM. I appreciate the welcome. Interesting response, and, I think, quite logical in its own way. I am not certain I agree with everything you said, but I certainly think you have covered everything that I asked in Question 1. Care to have a go at Questions 2-5?
  2. Actually, I am more inclined to agree with this than at one time I would have been. I am also a much more conservative Christian than I once was. Ultimately, if one reads the Genesis account critically, one has to acknowledge that Earth was created BEFORE the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. That does not mean that there definitively is no life in universe other than ourselves, but it DOES set up some kind of limits on what that life might be, and how it would be effected by the Incarnation of our Lord. There are several questions with which we must deal. Question 1: Would alien life, if it exists, be subject to Adam and Eve's Sin in the Garden? In other words, would they need to "be saved" (a very un-Lutheran phrase, that; I don't believe that Luther ever talked about that in so many words, although he certainly discussed salvation often enough) by the Blood of Jesus Christ shed on the Cross, or would salvation for them be subject to rules specific to their own planetary development? Question 2: If in fact they are dependent on Christ's Death and Resurrection, how exactly does that work? How do Klingons (I am using theoretical "Star Trek" aliens in my discussion, not because I think they actually exist [that would be absurd], but because it works as a good reference point for our discussion) need to respond to the idea that they, as a race, are dependent on the HUMAN race, and the Human Messiah, for their salvation? Question 3: How does the Sin of Adam and Eve effect non-Humans? Are they even responsible to it? Question 4: Is the entire Universe (at least, this Universe, which sounds like a contradiction in terms; how can there be more than one Universe? But in certain conceptions of Physics, we live, not in a UNIVERSE, but in one of many MULTIVERSES, outside of which [ie, in another Multiverse] the laws of Physics [our Physics] and the laws of Religion [ie, our Religion, Christianity, or even more specifically, Evangelical {that word being used in the sense that Martin Luther used it, to refer to those of us who accept the Augsburg Confession as our Statement of Faith}] do not apply) subject to the laws of our Physics (terrestrial Physics) and the laws of our Religion (terrestrial True Religion [again, Christianity, or even more specifically Evangelical {as Luther used that term} Religion])? And if so, can there even conceivably BE life in this Universe (Multiverse?) outside of Earth? Question 5: If in fact the Multiverse Theory of Physics is true, then clearly, even if extra-terrestrial life does not exist in this Multiverse, God could have created other Multiverses where non-Earth life exists, perhaps where even Earth itself either (A), does not exist at all, or (B), exists, but is dependent on some other planet for its salvation, as in this Multiverse, life elsewhere appears to be subject to salvation in Christ, or (C), perhaps in another Multiverse, life here or elsewhere never experienced the Fall, and thus is not in need of salvation. Which of these, if any, or all of these, or some theory not here presented, is in fact the case, if the Multiverse Theory of Physics is true? And IS the Multiverse Theory of Physics true, and if so, or if not, how would we begin to find out? Ok, I shall grant, that last was actually THREE questions, but, as you were. So those are MY two cents contribution to this discussion. Once there is more of a response, I shall process that and present further thought on the matter. God bless all.
  3. Question: What do you all think of the possibility that Mars, at one time, may have harboured intelligent life? For many years, men like Percival Lowell and Giovanni Schiaparelli believed that Mars CURRENTLY had intelligent life, and that the Martian Canals they observed on the planet were evidence of this fact. Of course, when NASA finally got to Mars, there were no canals of any sort. So my question is, what were men like Lowell seeing, if not canals? Of course, there was an argument made that one of Lowell's telescopes may have been made in such a manner that he was observing the retina of his own eye, and the blood vessels thereof. I do not accept this argument, as he ALSO saw canals in other telescopes, as did Schiaparelli and other men. Furthermore, these men all reported seeing canals that were straight, and blood vessels are not perfectly straight, by definition. I am currently reading a book titled "Mars and its Canals" by Lowell. He also wrote a book that I have read called simply "Mars". "Mars" was written first, followed by "Mars and its Canals". Alfred Russell Wallace wrote a response to the second book entitled "Is Mars Habitable?", in which he suggested that it was not. Lowell responded with a book called "Mars as the Abode of Life", in which he defended his ideas that Mars was not only habitable, but that it WAS in fact inhabited by an intelligent race of beings. I have all of these books, and am reading them in order of their publishing. Of course, science fiction writers took off with ideas of Mars and canals, and wrote all about intelligent Martians who were piping water from the polar regions to the rest of a desert planet to save a dying a civilization. The John Carter of Mars series by Edgar Rice Burroughs (who also wrote the Tarzan series) goes into some detail on the subject, as do other science fiction books. Naturally, people were curious to see what the first photographs of the Martian surface would look like. In the 1960's, proof seems to have demonstrated the simple fact: there are no canals, either of the irrigation sort (the kind envisioned by Lowell et al.) or of the shipping sort (the kind with which most of us are familiar, such as the Erie, the Suez, and the Panama). So were there EVER canals on the surface of Mars, whether in the 19th Century or at any other time? WHAT DID THESE MEN SEE? Any guesses, anyone? Any ideas? It should be noted that "Mars" was written in the 1890's, "Mars and its Canals" in the first decade of the 20th Century, "Is Mars Habitable?" also in that decade, and "Mars as the Abode of Life" in about 1912 or so.
  4. I remember a Priest I knew in the Catholic Church once said that the Holy Ghost "was the forgotten member of the Holy Trinity". In a very real way he was absolutely right. Very few people ever think about the fact that it is entirely permissible, even NECESSARY, to worship the Holy Ghost. I know a Pastor in ELCA who refers often to welcoming visitors "to worship our Triune God with us this Sunday". This is ALSO entirely appropriate. What, after all, does it mean to make the Sign of the Cross, which is made by Catholics, the Orthodox, many Anglicans, and many Lutherans? When Luther tells us in the Small Catechism that before we say our Morning and Evening Prayers, we "should make the sign of the Holy Cross and then say the following or some other appropriate prayer", what does he mean? What he means, at least, I think, is that ALL members of the Trinity are to be worshipped and glorified equally. How can one even BE Trinitarian and NOT worship all the members of the Trinity? To refuse to give Divine Honour to the Holy Ghost is to at best be Dyarchic, or Binitarian, if you will. From some of the passages I have read here, quoting Exodus 20 and so-forth, the same argument could be made against worshipping Jesus, God made Flesh. In sum, one HAS to worship all THREE members of the Holy Trinity to be a true Christian. Even if one's own PERSONAL prayers generally take the form of prayers to the Father or the Son, to reject the idea of prayers to the Holy Ghost is to outright deny that God is Triune. Many Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans, and Anglicans begin and end prayers by invoking the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and making the Sign of the Cross. Many who do not explicitly invoke the Trinity verbally will still do so by the Sign of the Cross itself before, during, or after the prayer they are saying. In my particular parish of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, I shall admit, Protestantism reigns. I am the only member of the parish who makes the Sign of the Cross except for the Pastor, who of course makes it on us to bless us, but not on himself. I make it on myself, probably due to my upbringing as a Roman Catholic and an Anglo-Catholic. Particularly in High Anglicanism (and High Lutheranism), the Sign of the Cross is made every time one passes in front of the Altar, and frequently throughout Divine Service. Of course, one bows slightly at the Name of Jesus as well. In pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism this is also done, and the Orthodox are still similar to this day.
  5. If I walk into my Psychiatrist, and say I want my left arm surgically removed, I will be placed in therapy and on meds. But tell her I want my cock and balls surgically removed, and somehow this is NORMAL! It's disgusting, and pardon my earlier language, but there is no NICE way to say it. At the same time though, we are ALL sinners. Every single one of us. And sexual sin can be committed by normal heterosexual persons just as easily as by homosexuals or transgender people. You like butt-sex with a woman? Guess what? It's Biblically forbidden. Oral sex? Debatable at best. I apologise for my "French" in this post. But let us be completely direct. Ever sleep with your neighbour's wife or want to? Ever had a threesome with your wife and another woman? All sin. HIV/AIDS is now passed predominantly by needles and HETEROsexuals having promiscuous sex. So, as much as I find banging another dude absolutely repulsive, or dressing as a woman disgusting, and even more vile mutilating my privates to BE a woman, let's try and realise, we ALL sin. We must treat these men and women with respect and kindness. We must avoid course jokes at their expense. We must in no way brutalise them physically or emotionally. While we MUST gently encourage them to improve their conduct, and turn from their sin, we need to remind ourselves that there, but for the Grace of God, go ANY of us!
  6. Thank you. Holy Lent has started. I shall be off the Internet for the Lenten period, to focus more on my Faith. You will see me back on Easter Monday. Peace.
  7. Since the Liturgy existed before 181, when the first authoritative list of the NT came out, that is not only impossible, but unnecessary.
  8. I would disagree that Rome relies on the Fathers even to the disagreement of Scripture. Although I have my issues with Rome and they are legion, that is not one of them. The fact that only Calvin agrees with Calvin is a very interesting point to me. Even ZWINGLI does not agree with Calvin. Of course, no one agrees with him either, which is a good thing. Fundamentally, Calvin separated himself from the Church Catholick, certainly. Their is no disputing that Calvinists ARE Christian. Denying that would simply be stupid. Anyone who believes in the Trinity is Christian, and their Baptism is valid, and if they later join the Church Catholick, it is NOT repeated. This is clearly different, than say, the Mormons, or the Jehovah's Witnesses, neither of whom believe in the Trinity. If THEY join the Church Catholick, they are rebaptised in EVERY circumstance. Of course, keep in mind that the Church Catholick often disagrees about who belongs to it! Lutherans and Anglicans generally recognise each other as members, as well as the Roman, Eastern, Oriental, (both Orthodox), and the Assyrian Church of the East. Some Anglicans may recognise the Methodists, particularly in Britain. The Roman Catholics and the Orthodox (both East and Oriental), and the Assyrian Church of the East generally will not recognise the Anglicans, the Lutherans, and certainly not the Methodists, although their is of course occasional communication between them all. But there is still a lot of mutual suspicion between the groups. But just looking at it from a liturgical perspective, it is quite clear that Calvinists and Zwinglians occupy a distinctively NON-liturgical part of Christianity. This places them outside of the Church Catholick. Mind you, by saying this, I am NOT saying ANYTHING about the personal holiness of the individual who may be a communicant of these traditions. In fact, there may be much holiness in the individual. But that is not the point. As for a thread on the Creed, indeed, that might be interesting. Feel free to start it, if you wish.
  9. Actually, I don't have a problem so much with the THEORY of Transubstantiation as I have with it being made an Article of Faith. It is one of many ways one can explain the change of the bread and the wine into the Body and the Blood. It is not one I personally like all that well, but that is simply because confining God to Aristotelian rules of logic doesn't make all that much sense to me. At least those who accept the idea do believe in the Real Presence. This is better than some spiritual, but non-effective presence, or worse, a Zwinglian non-presence. Personally, I much prefer the Sacramental Union, which presents the idea more as Sacred Mystery, which is rather how Anglicans understand it as well, most of them, and even Methodists, for that matter, although Lutherans tend to be more emphatic about it than either group. Neither of the other two understand the concept in terms of Sacramental Union. But the Calvinist rejection of the Real Presence has ALWAYS seemed a sacrilege to me. It has never made sense, and never will. It goes alongside that rejection of Free Will, the Double Predestination, and all that. It's just, strange, and definitely out of touch with the experience of the Church Catholick for the past 2000+ years.
  10. I think the fact that more than Catholics have upheld the doctrine of the Real Presence is in fact indicative of the truth of it, similarly to the concept of the Trinity, which is also not found explicitly in the Bible, although it can be inferred, just as the Real Presence can.
  11. I still think you are tilting at windmills when you try to say that Scripture does not teach the Real Presence. When you look at the simple statement "is", I agree, that of itself is not sufficient to make an opinion. But when you go to the Bread of Life Discourse, I think that, combined with Jesus's statements during the Last Supper, the weight of evidence falls on the side of the Real Presence. As far as the Church Fathers, I will check my earlier statement and rephrase it. The majority of them believed in the Real Presence, some were equivocal. I will also note that in some points where a Father APPEARS to deny the Real Presence, what he is in fact denying is cannibalism, which was a charge thrown at Christians by the Imperial State. The manner in which Christ is present in the Eucharistic Feast is clearly a Sacramental manner, but no less real manner. This should not be ignored. I further continue to point to the 2000+ year experience of the Universal Church in its belief in the Real Presence, no less than its belief in the Trinity. During that entire two millennia, only the Calvinists, and those ecclesial communities to the more radical than they, have even questioned the Real Presence.
  12. I still think you would have to argue that the other two did since they were part of the Early Church. Also, St. Augustine IS NOT a heavy hitter. In the Eastern Church he is NOT considered a Church Father. He wrote in Latin, spoke NO Greek, and was not even translated to Greek until the 19th Century. Cyril is far more relevant to the East and the West. Only Protestants make a big deal about Augustine. As for quoting, I can't. On this small Kindle, cutting and pasting, or quoting, or anything like is not an option.
  13. Like I said, we could bat this around a bit, but since the Church Fathers were all part of the pre-1054 Schism Church, and they all seem to have not had a problem communing with each other... I think you have to err on the side on conservativism, especially given the 2000 year witness of the Church mentioned earlier. Also, at the bottom of Cyril's page are other links to other homilies of Church Fathers on the subject.
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