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posted
So many of our theological discussions seem to hinge on how we understand the relationship between God and creation. Hence, I am posting on this site conference 2 of the "Wonderfully Made" Premium Group series in pdf format as a reference for this board. Printing and copying have been disabled, but the full conference can be read online. You can also save it to your hard drive and read it there as well.

(If you want to be able to print and discuss this material, the link to register for the premium group is listed. Wink )

-----

See http://shalomplace.com/res/premium/GodAndCreation.pdf


Enjoy and discuss. Smiler
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You might skip down to "Creation ex nihilo" on page 3 for the beginning of the fun part of the essay.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm evolving into a theistic evolutionary view, which is not easy for an old fundy, but Aurobindo is considered by Ken Wilber to be the greatest philosopher since Plato and Plotinus, so I'm keeping my mind open... Will my brain leak out? Wink Maybe it already did.
 
Posts: 2559 | Registered: 14 June 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"In the beginning,God created the heavens and the earth." From this statement we see that:
A. The universe has a beginning; it is not eternal; there-fore, it is not God,who is eternal, as the previous session affirmed

We know God is infinite and that the universe is finite. Infinite has no beginning and no end. It is everything. Now, this person concludes that the universe was made out of something besides God or that there is something that exist besides God, which says that God is not everything. That something existed before God.

"In the beginning was the Word;
the Word was with God
and the the Word was God Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not-one-thing had its being but through him.
- John 1: 1-3

Everything had its being through God which says God created everything out of himself because before God there was nothing. From this it can be concluded that all there is is God. Therefore, the first conslusion contradicts the second. From my Catholic upbringing I learned that God is everything, created everything and is everything.
 
Posts: 65 | Registered: 12 January 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Everything had its being through God which says God created everything out of himself because before God there was nothing. From this it can be concluded that all there is is God. Therefore, the first conslusion contradicts the second. From my Catholic upbringing I learned that God is everything, created everything and is everything.

It seems you're not making a fundamental distinction between God and creation, soma. You should have kept reading my essay a little further, to the part about creation as "words of the Word."
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's a relevant section from one of my books, Here Now in Love. There are a few implications for the "God as pure consciousness?" thread as well.

------------

quote:
. . . What I have learned is that the energy of life, when untainted by negative desires, is sweet, intelligent, nurturing and blissful. When one experiences life so purely, one�s faith comes alive, and the presence of God as the Intelligence behind the flow of life is immediately known through intuition. There is complete self-forgetfulness, and, paradoxically, complete self-awareness during such times. This awareness of self and God are not in any way separate, and are by no means a product of intellectual reflection. Such an experience is what many have called the True Self. It is the heritage of every human being who lives.

You might think of the True Self experience as White Light. White light, as physicists have learned, contains all the colors that we know of. When you hold a prism before a white light, it separates these colors, giving a rainbow effect. Each color is not separate from the white light, but is a particular frequency within that light.

So it is with God and creation. The Light of God contains all things, and all things are a unique expression and manifestation of that Light. These creatures (animate, inanimate, etc.) possess different capacities of intelligence and freedom for manifesting Light--capacities which belong to the creature, which the creature may use to manifest the Light, or to restrict Its appearance. This means, then, that what is manifesting through all creatures is naught but the one Light, although refracted by the form given the creature by its Creator, and the form the creature has given itself through its conditioning. To contact anything in creation is to make contact with both the creature and God who is manifesting through the creature. This is experiential truth for those whose hearts and minds have been purified.

Human beings have been given a very mighty power: to form our reality and that of the creation around us through the use of thought. Thought, as such, is a capacity for forming and shaping energy. It is a sharing in the Word, or form-giving activity in God, and is the means by which we were to be co-creators with God. Every thought that happens within us--consciously or not--is thus giving some kind of form to our energy.

When the mind is at peace and the will is open and loving, the Light shines freely, and the energy which moves through us is Love Itself. Because we are connected with one another and all of creation in God, we bring the Light of God more fully into the universe.
-----

The quote above is using more the language of mysticism than theology and metaphysics, as the opening post does.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If you get the time check out this webiste:

http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/t...html#basiccriticisms

I had to take a few aspirins after visiting it. It is pretty deep and I find it to be a great intellectual resource for different arguments for the existence of God.
 
Posts: 470 | Location: Greensboro, NC | Registered: 05 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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BTW, Phil. If I bought the e-book versions of your books am I able to print them out?

I have a hard time sitting at the computer. If not is "Here now in Love" still in print?
 
Posts: 470 | Location: Greensboro, NC | Registered: 05 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The Creation ex nihilo part was very interesting, Phil.

I just don't think it is possible for something to be called into existence from nothing. As scientist are currently trying to say. If it is true then it is called into existence by God.

Here is the current view on the "God Particle",

"The boson particle, the most elusive speck of matter in the universe. Often called the God particle, it's supposed to be the key to explaining why matter has mass. Physicists believe that Higgs particles generate a kind of soupy ether through which other particles move, picking up drag that translates into mass on the macroscopic scale."

Here we go again with the �ether�. It seems ether has its use when science can�t explain something. It has been killed and revived in the last few hundred years of modern science. Isn�t it interesting that science is based on facts and observations? Then how is it any different to use God as an explanation as to using an �ether� for explanation?


There is still the view that these particles don't just appear and disappear into and out of existence. But rather travel through some small fractional dimension that may be spiral shaped. I tend to agree with that one more so than the other theories.
 
Posts: 470 | Location: Greensboro, NC | Registered: 05 February 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Phil,
I just wanted to comment that this paper is probably one of the best I've read on relating creation and "word" to each other. The whole thing is really good, but that part was especially edifying for me.

I like the way you said that words take on a life of their own. That is so true, and even apart from the divine Word, we see this in our every day lives.

I know this isn't what your paper was about, but, to me, it is connected in the sense that even on the human level, words can create and destroy.

A few years ago, one of the lay leaders at church (who also happened to be the Highschool Principal at the time) was filling in for the Pastor, and he gave a wonderful talk about the power of words. He told us of an incident in his own life where he had said something hurtful and unkind to one of his co-workers that he had worked with for over 20 years. Those words severed their relationship for a time, and even after apologizing, the scar remained. He told of how tragic it was that even though he had spoken the words in haste and hadn't meant them, this relationship was forever changed and would never return to the place of trust that it had been at one time...all because of his words.

There is so much truth in this scripture that he used:

Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

So, to me, seeing creation as an expression of God through His Word, truly brings home the idea of life and death through Him. I also see it as a teaching to us that there is great power in our words. People kill each other all the time with words..maybe not physically, but emotionally and psychologically. It is a huge responsibility and not to be taken lightly, imho.

The ex nihilo part is a non-issue for me, as I don't have any qualms whatsoever of believing that God can create anything He wants from "nothing." (I also liked the way you wove in no-thing and every-thing.)

Great paper. I really liked that Smiler

God bles,
Terri
 
Posts: 609 | Location: Oklahoma | Registered: 27 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the affirming feedback, Terri and Eric. I should have noted that the essay in the opening post is not meant to be any kind of proof for God's existence, as it was written for Christians who already believe in God. Rather, it was an attempt to say something about how the Judeo-Christian tradition understands the relationship between God and creation.

You will note how in your own life, there is "creation ex-nihilo" with regard to your own words and creations. You exist as a being prior to the words you speak in a manner analogous to God's existence prior to creation. When you speak a creative word or express yourself in some other manner, you bring forth from yourself something that had no existence before, except as a potential within your own being. The sound of the word is not there before you speak it; that comes into being when you express yourself. So we, too, are doing something akin to "creation ex nihilo" when we speak, especially when we share something of importance to us.

Terri, I think the example you gave about how our speech can have such powerful influence is worth keeping in mind. This power we have been given to share in the creative power of the Word is one that Christ taught us to keep in mind:
quote:
I assure you, on judgment day people will be held accountable for every
unguarded word they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by
your words you will be condemned.
Matthew 12:36-37
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I believe it is vital to work out a positive view of creation and its relation to God...especially given the damage our rampant material lifestyles are doing to the environment.

There is a remarkably rich range of theological thinking on creation, which doesn't stoop to the low levels of so called 'creation science.'

Classically, I am strongly attracted to the views of St Augustine, Scotus Eriugena, Plotinus, and Denys the Aeropagite.

These mystics and theologians strongly affirmed the created universe was 'good' in opposition to the Gnostics and Manicheans who believed the created universe was made by a flawed being (the Demiurge). I have studied Gnostic belief in some depth and despite some positive aspects, statements like 'This world came into being by a mistake' (Gospel of Phillip) hardly seem to give one hope.

However, St Augustine and Plotinus developed the view that the created universe, through its visible but transient beauty, leads you inwards to the hidden and transcendant source of all beauty. St Augustine borrowed the notion of the 'One' from Plotinus and elevanted the One in place of God the Father in Christian theology. Plotinus however, held the One to be beyond being in contrast to Augustine, to who the One (God) was just the 'supreme' being in a chain of beings.

Eriugena and Denys however (in my view correctly) emphasized God was beyond being and unknowable directly in his essence to any created mind, including the angels. However, these thinkers also emphasized the universe is like a mirror in which God creates a likeness to himself to extend his being and richness, infinite in itself, into a created order. This 'unfolding' is a process of self-discovery in which God also creates creatures along with countless 'signs' which point towards God but do not disclose his essence directly. Denys says we give 'names' to these theophanies but God remains at the same time 'a most hidden deity, the hidden transcendant One beyond all names, concepts, and categories.'

The Son, or the Logos (Word) plays a vital role in this process. The Word is endlessly 'streaming' from the Father (to use a beautiful phrase from Eckhart) and creating the things in the universe, and also, all things are returning to the hidden One in a grand process of return, which is like a heart beating. The Bible clearly says that the Logos creates all beings and gives them life, and also that all things 'live, move and breathe' in God (to quote Paul in his famous address in Acts. God has created in the past (as the Genesis story indicates), is doing so now (as Paul's speeches indicate) and God will also renew and restore all things in the future; in a threefold way this all indicates God is endlessly creating and has done so through all eternity. (This is another point Eckhart makes in one sermon).

We can also link this up with the 'Wisdom' or 'Sophia' tradition in some of the Old Testament books, such as Proverbs, the Psalms, and the Wisdom of Solomon. In these books God makes things and renews them through Wisdom, which itself is a 'breath' of God and a mirror of his being.

A more crude view has emerged in which God made the universe somewhat like a potter makes clay, or like a master architect 'designing' a building. This view is popular in the Protestant tradition and unfortunately the notion of God as the supreme 'designer' was destroyed by David Hume and Kant in their critiques of the 'design' argument and has also been ridiculed by people like Richard Dawkins.

I believe it is possible to develop a decent theology of creation, but at the same time we must be careful not to think of God in crude anthropomorphic terms and set him up as a cosmic magician or architect, because this view has been easily demolished by atheist critics of religion. We need a more sophisticated view which retains the hiddeness and mystery of God while at the same time permitting his incomprehensible self-disclosure to human beings.
 
Posts: 32 | Location: Perth, Australia | Registered: 09 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I love that question. If God is so great can he make some thing so big that he could not move it.

I always answered yes to that Question.

God made our hearts. and God himself can not move it. We have to make that chose our self. To except him.
 
Posts: 1 | Registered: 29 March 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by mysticalmichael9:
[qb] I'm evolving into a theistic evolutionary view, which is not easy for an old fundy, but Aurobindo is considered by Ken Wilber to be the greatest philosopher since Plato and Plotinus, so I'm keeping my mind open... Will my brain leak out? Wink Maybe it already did. [/qb]
G> evolutionary vs darwinism ; which one?
Did'nt see your brain laying around when I just
went for coffee. You must still have it. Smiler
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Florida USA | Registered: 28 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Soma,
G> What do you mean by this?

Quote
S> "In the beginning was the Word;
the Word was with God
and the the Word was God Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
Through him all things came to be,
not-one-thing had its being but through him.
- John 1: 1-3
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Florida USA | Registered: 28 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Gregory,

Quote:
Greg > "The Son, or the Logos (Word) plays a vital role in this process. "

G> The Son received the logos word from his father.
The Son spoke the reema word in which the logos
was to be found.
 
Posts: 10 | Location: Florida USA | Registered: 28 November 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi everyone,

What an interesting discussion and article!

"In the beginning God created the the heavens and the earth."
Scientifically this poses several really fascinating questions.... most of which you have already mentioned.... how...out of what...etc.
Theologically however, this asserts several different things:
a. God created... not us. All that we have, all that we are, all that was, is or ever will be came from God. What an amazing thing... what a wonderful gift!
b. because God created... God "owns". All things belong ultimately to God and we are but caretakers...stewards of creation.
c. because all things belong to God, God may do with all things as he so chooses.
d. because God created out of nothing...and we can't even conceive of how that is possible (or at least I can't)..we are assured that we are not gods.
e. and last, yes Phil... through creation - as through the work of any artist, we can learn, experience something of God.


Now as to the logos..I am finding it hard to engage this without engaging the doctrine of the Trinity.

Phil... While I agree wholeheartedly with your understanding of creation as an icon so to speak of God, I'm a bit confused. If I am reading you right, in the article you speak of creation as a word of God....almost as if you are equating creation - the Logos - with Christ.

What place do you see Christ and for that matter the Spirit having in the act of creation?

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."
"The Son received the logos word from his father.."

Now if this is true... that the Word was indeed God as John proclaims, then Jesus- the Word -must have received the logos from himself.

Another way to look at this Trinitarily (is that a word?...grin) is to say that the Father is the thought or conception of God at creation - the Logos or Son the expression of God and the Spirit the action or enlivening of God in creation.

What do you all think?

Blessings,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wanda, good to hear from you. Smiler

I don't think my introductory article equates creation with the Logos, but as words of the Logos, "through whom all things came to be." John 1. Jesus as the Logos incarnate receives a human soul just as we do, if that's what you're asking.

Lots of ways to envision the Trinity, and we have a few threads going on this, if you do a search for "Trinity." Lately, I prefer thinking of the persons in terms of their "missions" rather than in who they are in the Godhead.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Phil,

First, thanks for the clarification about your understanding of the Logos. Yes, for the work of Christ to be completed, in my opinion anyhow, Jesus had to be both fully human and fully divine.
A couple of thoughts here:

While I find it helpful to acknowledge the missions of the three persons of the Godhead, I struggle with defining them primarily by their actions, ie via the economic trinity. For me this lessens the relational or communal understanding of God as love as well as enabling the possibility of seeing our relationship with God as more functional than covenantal. If I think of the Trinity primarily as functional, then I risk engaging God primarily as someone who can satisfy my needs and desires rather than as someone that I am in relationship with. Am I making any sense to you here?

But I have drifted off topic.. God and creation.

Many theologians refer to Christ as the new Adam..."behold I make all things new". This understanding asserts that the saving work of Christ was more a re-creation or rejuvination of humanity and a means reconciliation between humanity and God rather than a sacrifice offered or satisfaction of a debt paid to God. Each of these are imaged in various places in Scripture but each of these also imply different understandings of what we "owe" or how we relate to God.
I would be interested in hearing others' understanding of the atonement... what exactly did Christ do for us and what if anything do we "owe" God in return?
Blessings,
Wanda
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wanda, it's refreshing to have someone interested in the Trinity. Smiler You might check out this thread where we once had a discussion going, though it might not be quite what you're looking for. Historically, it seems the "economic Trinity" was affirmed prior to the metaphysical/theological Trinity, which eventually replaced it in emphasis. A great book on this topic is "God For Us," by Catherine Mowry Lacugna. (Use the search on this page if you purchase; helps with the expenses). The topic isn't irrelevant to creation, in that the Creator creates through the Word, or Second Person of the Trinity, thus indicating a very intimate connection between God and creation, the latter being "words of the Word," if you will.

This takes us to your second point, where we can say that because of sin, the human race lost its "natural" sense of God's presence and a disorder relationship ensued. This was put right again by Christ, who "upgraded," as it were, human nature, raising it to a new level of participation in the Trinity.

You might check out some of the conferences on the Christian Mysteries forum on this board. The "Wonderfully Made" series on the premium groups board goes into all of this in much more depth.
 
Posts: 7539 | Location: Wichita, KS | Registered: 09 August 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I like your image for us as "words of the Word". Continuing with that image, could you say that the words became garbled or distorted through sin.

Question... and you may have already answered this somewhere earlier... do you think that the fall distorted all of creation or only mankind? And if all of creation was Christ's passion redemptive of all?
 
Posts: 278 | Location: Pennslyvania | Registered: 12 September 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Whether this is relevant to the current conversation is no matter though it stems from a question concerning Creationism.I have something that should be communicated that is indicative of the obvious philosophical slants of not only the internet browsers yet the various search engines.I recently via engines Alta Vista and Google asked the same question and the intitial responses are clearly revealing.The question was precisely "Did Christ ever speak of the Creation?"I was looking for exacting Biblical quotes.Google's response was only from the book of Mark and specifically Mark Chapter 10 between verses 4-12 that says ..."But from the beginning God made them male and female".Alta Vista did not give any immediate clearly seeming answer with its search answer.I did do some research presuming that there was no such resembling quote contained via Matthew's book.Wrong!Matthew chapter 19 between verses 4-7says"Have you not read that the creator from the beginning made them male and female-".The biblical source I consulted was a Jerusalem bible printed forty years ago.No they did not print a question mark after the quote thus I wasn't being grammatically mistaken.Yikes what seems important is the obvious fact that oh during recent years for whatever invariable whim besets them Alta Vista who has provided some great Christian witness information becomes suddenly seemingly noncompliant and or hide and seekish with easily detected information.The obvious problem wih Google though they a very stridently providing engine only included and primarily featured the book of Mark.Why didn't they include the sequentially authored information that being Matthew who is thought to have been the apostle?Anyone doing serious biblical new Testament research I advise wise consderation of the intent of each engine.Google is obviously tied to the chamber of commerce of San Fransisco!Alta Vista seems purposefully obscuring of whatever their mood deems compliant and though Netscape seems invariably productive they have an obvious Anti Christian intermittently conducive camoflauged response.I was after an Alta Vista Christian research question looking at a site that supposedly contained the information that neared the subject matter of my inquiry.There was an article that said do you want to know the theory of Anti Christ?From a detectorial inspired Christian perspective I clicked the site and attempted numerous connections and every attempt the site changed immediately to the Netscape front desk Logo.Seriously every attempt at connecting with the anti Christ theories the computer blinked and highlighted the Netscape front desk logo .Yikes were they literally saying that was the answer to who is the anti Christ and or who or what caused that computer protocol response and or revelation?Consider this information if anyone sincerely considers the internet as a tool of Spritual research.Remember if you pay for an Isp you are a paying customer of the entire internet therefore no Browser and or site can say You should be overly appreciative of any information compliantly received as if you've taken advantage of their services.Take care and God bless the blessed!Absolutely no twisted parallels1Absolutely straight forward!Gary V. Giardina!
 
Posts: 39 | Location: Illinois | Registered: 27 March 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
Everything had its being through God which says God created everything out of himself because before God there was nothing. From this it can be concluded that all there is is God. Therefore, the first conslusion contradicts the second. From my Catholic upbringing I learned that God is everything, created everything and is everything.<br /><br />It seems you're not making a fundamental distinction between God and creation, soma. You should have kept reading my essay a little further, to the part about creation as "words of the Word."


I do not have any money and I do not seem to be able to read your original posted evidence.

love,

tuck
 
Posts: 368 | Location: USA | Registered: 04 April 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Wanda:
I like your image for us as "words of the Word". Continuing with that image, could you say that the words became garbled or distorted through sin. <br /><br />Question... and you may have already answered this somewhere earlier... do you think that the fall distorted all of creation or only mankind? And if all of creation was Christ's passion redemptive of all?


Valid question.
 
Posts: 368 | Location: USA | Registered: 04 April 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Phil:
Wanda, it's refreshing to have someone interested in the Trinity. Smiler You might check out this thread where we once had a discussion going, though it might not be quite what you're looking for. Historically, it seems the "economic Trinity" was affirmed prior to the metaphysical/theological Trinity, which eventually replaced it in emphasis. A great book on this topic is "God For Us," by Catherine Mowry Lacugna. (Use the search on this page if you purchase; helps with the expenses). The topic isn't irrelevant to creation, in that the Creator creates through the Word, or Second Person of the Trinity, thus indicating a very intimate connection between God and creation, the latter being "words of the Word," if you will.<br /><br />This takes us to your second point, where we can say that because of sin, the human race lost its "natural" sense of God's presence and a disorder relationship ensued. This was put right again by Christ, who "upgraded," as it were, human nature, raising it to a new level of participation in the Trinity.<br /><br />You might check out some of the conferences on the Christian Mysteries forum on this board. The "Wonderfully Made" series on the premium groups board goes into all of this in much more depth.


Premium groups?

Sorry Phil, I am a newbe.

just love,

tuck
 
Posts: 368 | Location: USA | Registered: 04 April 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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