Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Responding to Holly Ordway

S5E47 – AH – "Imaginative Apologetics" – After Hours with Dr. Holly Ordway
May 31st 2022 | Pints with Jack

The "talking snake" is not a metaphor, it is, like the talking donkey in conditions closer to us and Moses, a question of angelic beings vocalising through the apparatus of a snake and a donkey. Or despite it. This is at least the common RC scholastic understanding of what happened. (Note, I'm excluding modernist understanding as irrelevant, like bishop Robertson's Honest to God understanding of Gospel miracles).

In fact, most centuries of Christians do have taken statements about Heaven more literally than CSL would have done. He documented part of this story in "The Discarded Image" - which is a belated, but welcome self rebuttal against that statement in Mere Christianity.

Saying Our Lord "ascended to Heaven" as meaning a place, higher up and therefore further away from the centre of the Earth, is literally true. Above the planets you have fix stars, above fix stars Empyrean Heaven, and in Empyrean Heaven a heavenly city sharing the coordinates of Jerusalem much further down, and in that city, there is a throne, a material throne.

Why? Because unlike what certain ill chosen phrases by CSL suggested (I think of the chapter "Horrid Red Things" and his equation of ancient Platonism with Hegelianism or even worse) Our Lord did not cease to be fully Man and fully resurrected as to the body at Ascension. He was not "absorbed back into the Deity" since He never ceased being God. He was not ever separate from God.

Calvin and St. Robert agree that Our Lord now has a physical body, which in its natural proportions (I like to refer to them as "six heavenly feet" since a "foot" is the sixth of a human height of reference and He is the reference up there - never mind if they were six English or French feet or between or above the French or below the English) is situated in Heavenly Jerusalem and habitually often seated on a throne there, especially when judging deceased souls. They only disagree on whether this same body is also miraculously present in the Blessed Sacrament. As to this issue; obviously. Or for Calvin, put King James VI and I, who, while Anglican, was educated a Calvinist. He actually had debates with St. Robert Bellarmine.

33:13 You know the new translation of a stanza in Havamal?

Cats die,
kindred die,
to be candid, so do you
one thing wot I
that will not die
the word on a dead dude

This kind of brings home what sin is - it's the reason why cats die (some are more callous about kindred or self). If Adam hadn't bitten in a certain fruit (yes, that's taken literally by most centuries, at least as the literal concrete level of God's testing his obedience) either cats wouldn't have died or at a minimum, no animals dying would suffer unnecessarily before that (view of St. Augustine, St. Bede and St. Thomas, as I recall).

35:37 Possible example of a guilty pleasure : feeling relief (for oneself) someone died.

Probably not even there, unless one hastened it and as long as not getting on to exultation for a world without so and so.

41:59 It's not just "people who have money, who can afford to have beautiful things in their homes" ... sometimes they prefer having ugly things, like Picasso, and the poor may actually have a cheap print of a devotional painting that is beautiful. I don't know your reaction to the guardian angel who is leading a boy or a girl or both across a bridge, but I find it beautiful, and it is in many poor homes.

It is more like people who don't like beauty to be spent on liturgic and therefore historic Christianity. They may tolerate beauty in a Jack Chick setting, but often enough, even Jack Chick is too close to what Christianity is mostly about. Renouncing sins, getting peace with God, even if Jack Chick's ideas on how to do it are more idiosyncratic than this Jack's. They would prefer beauty in a bank, a police station, a hospital, a scientific institution and so on ... especially in a Carl Sagan like evocation of galaxies.

And in some cases, they are thinking, as did Judas about a certain ointment, on how much money they could get if abstracting certain objects and materials from the use in honouring Our Lord Jesus from Nazareth, the Christ and Saviour as well as God who made us.

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