(urth) Information, etc.

Dan'l Danehy-Oakes danldo at gmail.com
Wed Apr 12 22:23:06 PDT 2006

On 4/12/06, Jeff Wilson <jwilson at io.com> wrote:
> I mean things like disproving God's omnipotence by asking can God make a
> rock so big He can't lift it. This shortcoming is only valid in a
> superficial, rhetorical sense.

Oh, ayuh. In fact, the paradox is based on a kind of dimbulb definition
of "omnipotence." (Oddly, you can defuse it by using a very folksy
definition: "the ability to do anything one wants." Then, if God wants
to make a stone so heavy He can't lift it, He can make it. To say "He
can't lift it" is irrelevant because, since He wants it to be so heavy
He can't lift it, lifting it is not covered by this definition...)

> Mathematically, this is a comparison of
> two infinite quantities, and their lack of finite magnitude is more
> apparent.


> I think this leads to another rhetorical paradox; how can the church be
> truly catholic and universal if they exclude followers of Jesus who
> don't have the same "miracles believed in" boxes checked off?

Actually, the position of the Roman Catholic Church -- which understandably
offends some Protestants -- is that all Christians (including "anonymous
Christians," those saved by the grace of Christ though they never in this
life accepted, or even heard, the Gospel) _are_ members of the Catholic
Church. They are sometimes referred to in Catholic documents as
"separated brethren." -- Most Protestants also believe in a single
Church, the supernatural Body of Christ and all that, also; this is what
Credal Protestants refer to in the "one Catholic church" bit of the
Apostle's creed. It's the Roman church's insistence that the Roman
church _is_ that one Catholic Church that offends many Protestants...

> I am going by the Nicean Creed when I say the miracle of Christ's
> Resurrection is the only overt miracle required for belief.


This is, I believe, the Lutheran Book of Worship translation:

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

In this I see (at least!) the following miracules specifically
mentioned or referenced:

- Creation
- Incarnation of the eternal Son
- Virgin birth
- Christ's Resurrection
- Christ's ascension
- Prophecy (fulfilled)
- General resurrection (expected, not already happened,
  but belief in it is still part of this definitional Creed)

> The divine and virginal origin of Jesus is not something that would
> require obvious mirqaculous goings on,

Um ... _how's_ that again? On what planet are these things ordinary
occurrences? _Not_ the one I grew up on.

> but an obviously dead first century man gettinng
> up and talking, then floating into the sky, in front of multiple
> witnesses, that would have to be miraculous.

Well, yes...


I do not fear Satan half so much as I fear those who fear him.
                        -- St Teresa of Avila

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