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spiffy75

Salvation of All is Allegoric

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THE ALLEGORIC STANDARD

 

I propose that God has orchestrated His plan to save all humans in the Bible in an allegorical configuration. This symbolic organization is systematic, coherent, non-contradictory and found in dozens of passages in both Old and New Testaments. This arrangement has the following organizational form and components:

 

ORGANIZTION

A single supervising metaphor establishes interpretive conventions to which multiple associated metaphors in the Bible conform. The semantic structure is similar to the way words are grouped to form sentences, but here metaphors are grouped to form a coherent allegoric system revealing God’s plan of salvation for the human race made available by Jesus’ atoning sacrifice.

 

COMPONENTS

1. The primary metaphor as the interpretive standard (what I call the “Standard”) outlines the key features of the salvation process, a blueprint of sorts for the “spiritual mechanics” God uses to restore [save] souls.

2. There exist dozens of metaphoric passages in the figurative language from multiple books of the Bible that correspond to the Standard by virtue of their possession of one or more of the interpretive features set forth in the Standard. I call these Level One (L1) metaphors.

3. In addition to L1 metaphors, there are multiple passages in the Bible’s non-figurative language, or text not normally considered to be metaphoric in nature that conform to the conventions of the Standard. These I term Level Two (L2) metaphors. L1 and L2 metaphors differs in that L1 metaphors combine with the Gen 18/19 pattern as in immediate harmony with the interpretive framework of the Standard, while L2 metaphors are revealed to be such by the Standard. Another way of putting it is that the combination of the Standard and its L1 examples reveal the L2 metaphors’ interpretive alliance with this framework in a subsequent role.

 

Interestingly, the Standard which establishes the allegoric scheme is itself a Level 2 metaphor as it seems typically understood in tradition as merely one of the characteristic set of passages contributing to God’s basic moral code, told in an interesting story.

 

The supervising metaphor is found in passages in Genesis chapters 18 and 19, established in Abraham’s well known conversation with God regarding Sodom’s destruction and ends with the event itself in chapter 19. In this event, God presents a logical problem in announcing His intention to destroy Sodom for its evil, prompting Abraham’s well-known protest in Genesis 18:23-25, "... 'Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; wilt Thou indeed sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? Far be it from Thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from Thee! Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?'"

 

Abraham correctly identifies the violation of God’s perfection here. For God to destroy good along with bad, righteous with unrighteous denies the perfection of God’s justice. I propose that perfection is the supervising principle for all God’s attributes. If God’s justice, love, holiness, wisdom, etc. are anything less than perfect, God is not the God revealed to us in Scripture. Abraham saw this problem when he exclaimed, "Far be it from thee to do such a thing, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and wicked are treated alike…Shall not the Judge of all the earth deal justly?" The first interpretive principle is thus established:

 

1) God will not destroy a whole in which good exists.

 

God then reveals the solution to the problem and establishes the spiritual parameters of salvation by separating and removing righteous Lot and family from Sodom before destroying it and the unrighteous residents. A second interpretive convention is established here in two parts, culminating in what I call the principle of the fragmented spirit:

 

2) Spirit or soul is value-fragmented. In God’s treatment of the residents of Sodom,

a) Human spirit or soul is portrayed metaphorically as analogous to the physical body, a whole made up of many parts, and,

b) each part consists in a single value state, true or false. Goods derive from the true, evils from the false; i.e., sin obtains from the fragmentally falsified soul, therefore falsity is the object of God’s (Who is pure Truth) wrath.

 

In short, the story of Abraham's and God's conversation and God's subsequent treatment of Sodom represent both how the problem of the violation of perfection of His justice is resolved and provides a glimpse at the blueprint God designed to accomplish the spiritual work of salvation.

 

These are the primary interpretive conventions established in the Genesis Standard. These passages depict the first part (destruction) of the twofold pattern of Christian salvation, DEATH and RESURRECTION, which the Lord underwent as the greatest of all metaphors as a symbol for the methodology God planned for the salvation of every human soul. Restoration as the second part of God’s plan is found in many of the metaphors supporting the Standard. This format is nothing new, it’s pattern is easily recognized in the Bible’s literal understanding as the accounts of God’s wrath typically followed by descriptions of His healing and grace.

 

I’ll wait to post supporting L1 and L2 metaphors until discussion has run its course as the Universalism I contend for essentially hinges on whether I am justified in making the claims above. I’ve gone to some effort in the “Is Universalism Biblical?” thread to identify the typical errors in approach my literalist brethren have used in their characteristically zealous rebuttals to my views in the past. Hopefully these kinds of mistakes can be avoided in this thread. For the sake of valid, intellectually honest discussion please avoid the circularity of using the tenets of literalism as “proofs” that all can’t be saved, e.g., “The Bible says ____________, therefore universalism is false!” This is a discussion about a view of the Bible’s meaning that competes with grammatical-historical literalism. Questions that need to be answered will refer to things like proper metaphoric structure, whether one is warranted, given the established attributes, character and modus operandi of God, in believing that He has orchestrated or would use an underlying allegoric structure in the Bible, whether it’s semantically reasonable to propose the interpretive standards above from the passages used, etc.

 

It might be beneficial to remember, metaphor is established by the use of specific literal things, persons, circumstances and events. If you wish to claim that passages I use as metaphors are only literal, please explain on what basis you find this to be true.

 

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Spiffy, I want to understand what you're saying, but what I'm getting is: God won't destroy the good with the bad, therefore God saves the bad, as well as the good.

 

I didn't get #2 at all.

 

 

 

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Spiffy, I want to understand what you're saying, but what I'm getting is: God won't destroy the good with the bad, therefore God saves the bad, as well as the good.

 

I didn't get #2 at all.

 

That's exactly what I was thinking, Cornelius. Daniel, Ezekiel, and Ezra, and others like them, who worshipped God in purity in their own country, were suddenly hurried away into exile. Seems Spiffy is ignoring an evident discrimination that'll take place, a separation of: wheat, tares, sheep, and goats. Abraham asked God to spare the people of Sodom, because he had a good hope of the repentance of the wicked. Seems to me the obvious is being overlooked, Sodom was not spared, because there were not ten righteous persons in Sodom - Romans 3:10-11. Lastly, God does not bind himself to a rule in Genesis 18:23-25, the rule has been established by Spiffy, one that would make it unlawful for God to bring the wicked and the just together to punishment, because God sees good. For example, God refused to grant the same pardon to Sodom on account of ten righteous persons to Jerusalem - Matthew 11:24. Do not ignore Romans 3:5-6 and detract from the honor of God's righteousness.

 

God bless,

William

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Spiffy, I want to understand what you're saying, but what I'm getting is: God won't destroy the good with the bad, therefore God saves the bad, as well as the good.

 

I didn't get #2 at all.

 

 

 

Sorry I didn't make it more clear. No, God does destroy the bad. I assumed this went without saying based on His action taken against Sodom. He separated the righteous parts (Lot and family) and destroyed the unrighteous parts (Sodomites).

 

There are two primary points established in the metaphor,

1) God destroys only the bad, never the good.

 

2) The structure God shows in this metaphor is of a multiplicity of value elements. Since righteousness and unrighteousness are terms associated with moral status rather than actual literal states when applied to persons--and since strong arguments can be made that good and evil can be found in every saint and sinner--it seems an obvious conclusion that the metaphor represents a spiritual, not physical state. Supporting metaphors solidly bear this distinction out. In the Gen 18-19 metaphor God is showing us how the violation of His perfection, properly identified by Abraham, is resolved: He separates good and bad and destroys [and, we will later find out , restores] the bad while saving the good. The separation of good from bad in essence or spirit and destruction of evil in that same spirit is a display of perfect justice.

 

I might note: the good/evil dualism is common to Christian conversation, but good/evil or righteousness/unrighteousness are effects, not causes. I agree with Aquinas Summa, P1, Q16, a4) that truth logically precedes the good. This being so, I tend to move discussion to what I feel is a more technically correct sense by substituting the terms true and false for good and evil when referencing the Gen 18-19 metaphor and the principle of salvation it engenders . By destroying the false God removes impediment from the human soul as falsity logically causes all manner of imperfections resulting in unrighteousness, sin, badness, etc. as effects produced in human thinking and behavior. This, I intend to show if the thread advances far enough, is Biblical salvation.

 

As to William's comment,

 

God does not bind himself to a rule in Genesis 18:23-25 the rule has been established by Spiffy, one that would make it unlawful for God to bring the wicked and the just together to punishment, because God sees good.

You did exactly what I asked folks to avoid, William, you offer an opinion with no basis for showing how the rule I have allegedly imposed is inconsistent with Scripture or why/how the principle I noted is false. Do you feel it is logically correct for God to destroy good or is it illogical to suppose that He destroys only bad? Please elaborate. In my defense I simply interpreted what God inspired His author to write. Your implying that I "established a rule" is patently false--not only is the destruction evil and preservation of good well within the dictates of logic and consistent with the character of God, this principle is also uniformly supported throughout the entirety of the Bible. If you know of a place in the Bible that God indiscriminately destroys good, please share it. It is God who placed the rule in Scripture, not I.

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strong arguments can be made that good and evil can be found in every saint and sinner

 

 

I agree with that. And, I'll even raise you. Most people we think of as good aren't as good as we think. And, most people we think of as bad aren't as bad as we think. And, yet, if we break one law of God, we're guilty of breaking all the laws of God. Even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags to God.

 

Is it your argument that because none of us are pure evil that all of us will be saved? Why don't you speak clearly?

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Is it your argument that because none of us are pure evil that all of us will be saved? Why don't you speak clearly?

I don't know why you think I'm not speaking "clearly" but this may have something to do with your having to consider a theological position from a viewpoint [abstract] you're not used to. It's simplistic to suggest it's my argument that because none are pure evil all will be saved. Pure evil is a logical impossibility because the nature of evil--defect, corruption, decay, hatred, etc.--leads to chaos and death. We self-destruct long before our spirit reaches a state of total falsification.

 

It's my argument that none are wholly evil and all will be saved because--as I stated in the op--I understand God to be revealing this in the Gen 18-19 passages.​ I believe this not because those passages state that explicitly, but because once the interpretive Standard is established in these passages there are dozens, possibly hundreds, of passages that qualify as supporting metaphors leading to the same conclusion. If true, there is not another view I know of in Christianity able to provide stronger evidence of God's authorship of the Bible. He has in this view orchestrated in His word dozens of unified, coherent metaphors from multiple authors experiencing different cultures, educational backgrounds and separated by centuries of time, from both Testaments of the Bible--all building to the same view of salvation through the atonement of Christ Jesus. This is completely beyond the capability of human ability and superior to God's authorship portrayed by secularized grammatical-historical literalism..

 

Do you have arguments to show my presentation of the Genesis Standard is invalid?

 

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As a Calvinist I hold to the five points of TULIP. The T is Total Depravity. Apart from God, we are wholly evil.

 

When God destroyed Sodom, destroyed the kingdom of Israel, flooded the world, and other acts of judgement, everyone who died still died in spite of your position that they weren't wholly evil.

 

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When God destroyed Sodom, destroyed the kingdom of Israel, flooded the world, and other acts of judgement, everyone who died still died in spite of your position that they weren't wholly evil.

Yes, they did. The fact that you noted, "...in spite of your position" tells me you don't yet understand what was presented. Your comment is completely irrelevant. How do you suppose the fact the Sodomites died negatively impacts my position?

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Your comment is completely irrelevant.

 

You're language is vague and I believe it leads to a dead end, anyway.

 

) God will not destroy a whole in which good exists.

 

You assume a premise that you haven't supported, that there is good in everyone. So, it's irrelevant to your position that God will not destroy a whole in which good exists therefor he won't destroy anyone. Even if I assume there is good in everyone, God has destroyed people in spite of that good. Jesus even withered a perfectly good fig tree.

 

When God has spared people from his judgement, I don't think it was so much for their goodness. I doubt Noah's family were the only "good" people in the whole world, yet God only spared Noah's family. Preserving mankind was necessary to the sake of Christ. God spared Judea (until after Jesus came) while he destroyed Israel, even though he said Judea was even more wicked than Israel. God spared Judea to preserve the line of Jesus. Even Sodom, a mere town any good person could just walk away from, as with every other example of judgment in which people are spared, there's the message that God will destroy the wicked, i.e. that they won't be saved.

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Just a few posts ago I stated, “strong arguments can be made that good and evil can be found in every saint and sinner” to which you replied, I agree with that.” Now you suddenly take the opposite position:

 

You assume a premise that you haven't supported, that there is good in everyone. So, it's irrelevant to your position that God will not destroy a whole in which good exists therefore he won't destroy anyone
.

 

On top of this sudden reversal, you prove my earlier pointt that you don’t seem to grasp my posts by stating,

 

Even if I assume there is good in everyone, God has destroyed people in spite of that good. When God has spared people from his judgment, I don't think it was so much for their goodness. I doubt Noah's family were the only "good" people in the whole world, yet God only spared Noah's family. Preserving mankind was necessary to the sake of Christ…

 

I suspect the literalist-theological mind has trouble breaking free from thinking along those lines. The Gen 18/19 Standard requires that basic logical, metaphysical, epistemological and semantic questions be answered prior to establishing its doctrinal value or lack of it. Literalists only seem to know how (or want) to discuss doctrine. I think you’re unable to break away from looking at the issue through eyes that only see issues from a theological and personal doctrinal standpoint.

 

It matters not a whit that the Sodomites died [literalist doctrinal view] because the Genesis Standard establishes

1) a logical point [Abraham’s noting the violation of the perfection of God’s justice in destroying good],

 

2) a metaphysical point [God shows us the resolution of the problem using the philosophical problem of ‘the one and the many’ (human spirit and God’s work in it is presented in a multiplicity of parts); Question: are you a single person or an entity made up of many parts? This is the problem of the one and the many; it’s a metaphysical format that aids understanding.],

 

3) a spiritual view is developed in His orchestration of people and events as a metaphor to reveal how sanctification and salvation are achieved in human essence;

 

4) a question of semantics [affirming or denying that the structure of the presented metaphor is appropriate to the meaning asserted] and

 

5) requires epistemic scrutiny [am I justified in claiming that what is presented leads to warranted belief, i.e., is it able to meet basic truth criteria?]

 

To point out that the Sodomites died anyway stands completely outside the issues that should be considered. Because my claim is that the revelation of the Genesis 18-19 account sets an explanatory stage for revealing the spiritual principles and mechanics of salvation, physical death is irrelevant because God is revealing what He accomplishes in human spirit leading up to [sanctification] and in the final moments [or possibly postmortem] of each person’s physical death. Physical death is unimportant; this is about what happens to the soul.

 

Jesus even withered a perfectly good fig tree.

Same principle, God causing physical life to cease reveals nothing to the human eye about His treatment of animation. Besides, though vegetation is life it’s not prescriptive in nature like human spirit…the designation “good” applied to the fig tree is goodness of a different aspect or category from the goodness of the spiritual. God never pronounced salvation to trees.

 

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Just a few posts ago I stated, “strong arguments can be made that good and evil can be found in every saint and sinner” to which you replied, I agree with that.” Now you suddenly take the opposite position:

 

Those are your words. I agreed with it, but with the caveat that "If we break one law of God, we're guilty of breaking all the laws of God. Even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags to God." What we see as good in others still isn't good in God's eyes. If there is any good in wicked people, in God's eyes, it's by the grace of God, goodness that is from God, not from the sinner. And, God is free to withdraw his grace at any time. We are totally depraved, apart from God. I've made no reversal.

 

Your premise is that all men have some goodness in them, apart from God. I don't accept that promise without proof and I think the Bible is very clear to the contrary.

 

 

 

 

 

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I agreed with it, but with the caveat that "If we break one law of God, we're guilty of breaking all the laws of God. Even our righteous deeds are like filthy rags to God." What we see as good in others still isn't good in God's eyes. If there is any good in wicked people, in God's eyes, it's by the grace of God, goodness that is from God, not from the sinner.

But this rambling doesn't mean anything, Cornelius. Talk about imputed righteousness and making unsupported claims (If there is any good in wicked people, in God's eyes, it's by the grace of God) that have nothing to do with the subject at hand do nothing to advance the discussion. As I tried to explain in last post, this isn't about your take on Bible doctrine. In fact, I did offer evidence for my claim. I pointed out that a wholly falsified or evil soul is a logical impossibility. You've offered no rebuttal. It can also be claimed that every good act only ever arises from truth (good) in the fabric of spirit. One doesn't get apples from an oak tree, and moral properties have to fit their proper spiritual, moral and intellectual categories.

 

The presentation in the op requires metaphysical--not doctrinal--attention.

 

Your premise is that all men have some goodness in them, apart from God. I don't accept that promise without proof and I think the Bible is very clear to the contrary.

If you have "very clear" evidence from the Bible to show that not all humans have goodness in them, don't offer this as an opinion.....show it.

 

Those are your words. I agreed with it

We are totally depraved, apart from God. I've made no reversal.

1) You quite clearly have made a reversal. 2) Total depravity doesn't require a totally falsified soul, it only requires a soul falsified to the extent it's unable to unite in intellectual operation with external (absolute) moral truth:

"But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1Cor 2:14)

 

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Total depravity doesn't require a totally falsified soul, it only requires a soul falsified to the extent it's unable to unite in intellectual operation with external (absolute) moral truth:

 

Total means total, not merely just to a significant extent. If righteousness were intelligence, on our own, we'd have IQs of zero. We wouldn't just be marginally dumb enough to not understand the things of God.

 

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Total means total, not merely just to a significant extent. If righteousness were intelligence, on our own, we'd have IQs of zero. We wouldn't just be marginally dumb enough to not understand the things of God.

It would benefit you to dig deeper Cornelius. Everything isn't black and white, though it would be easier for us if this were so. A state of total depravity doesn't logically necessitate a wholly falsified soul. In fact, I pointed out that pure evil or falsity is a logical impossibility. You've presented no refutation of this, yet still seem to reject the idea that total depravity need not be equated with a wholly evil soul. You now appear to take the same stance as most traditionalists I've corresponded with in the past--determined to 'refute' every statement with whatever gets dreamed up on the spur of the moment. No fruitful discussion can come from a conversation in which someone only has a mind to dismiss his opponent's comments on virtually any basis whatever.

 

Car tires are typically inflated to 32 psi. if the tire leaks and pressure falls to 3 psi, the tire is considered flat...the car is now riding on the rim. The tire need not completely lose all its air to be deemed "flat", it only has to be rendered incapable of proper operation. Likewise, a mind only needs to be sufficiently falsified to be unable to unite with absolute truth to be totally depraved. Dig deeper.

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To continue....

 

Here are a few examples of the dozens of metaphors that align with the Standard by their possession of one or more of the its interpretive principles.

 

Mat 13:24-30 is the parable of wheat and tares where wheat represents elements of truth or good in the soul and tares symbolize the false, which are separated from the whole and destroyed, in accordance with the Gen 18-19 metaphor.

 

Ezek 21:2-5 speaks of the sword of God cutting off the righteous from the wicked from a whole, Israel. This is another representation of the internal separation of good and bad parts from the soul. Note this is decreed by God through Ezekiel to be to "all flesh".

 

Jer 5:10-11 speaks to the destruction of false elements (bad branches) in the whole (vine). God’s command to "…not execute a complete destruction" is in accord with the metaphor of Sodom’s destruction, where the few righteous were separated and the unrighteous majority were then destroyed.

 

In the 24th chapter of Jeremiah true and false elements are portrayed by good figs and bad. The good were being separated from the whole of Israel and sent to wilderness captivity to be spared while the bad were left in the land to meet their destruction. Included is God’s promise to the good of salvation’s second phase of restoration—“…I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. And I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.” When God plants, things grow, and they grow properly.

 

Isa 65:8-9 is one of the more powerful metaphors, in which God declares through Isaiah, "…'As the new wine [or good grapes] is found in the cluster', And one says, 'Do not destroy it, for there is benefit in it,’ So I will act on behalf of My servants In order not to destroy all of them'" The decree to not destroy the whole because of the intrinsic benefit that parts of the cluster were good echoes the substance of the Genesis 18 metaphor. These verses present the cluster as a whole in which both good and bad grapes exist. The One who stands as intercessor, preventing a complete destruction is obviously Christ. Once the false elements are removed, a rebirth to new life is promised: "'And I will bring forth offspring from Jacob, And an heir of My mountains from Judah; Even My chosen ones shall inherit it, And My servants shall dwell there.'"

 

In Amos 9:8-10 Although God will destroy the "sinful nation" (falsehood in the human soul) from the face of the earth, yet He "will not totally destroy the house of Jacob". The house of Jacob is used here to represent the whole. Truth in the soul produces a proclivity for righteous thought and act in the whole, and again the whole person is marked for salvation by the principle that God will not destroy a whole in which good exists. Though shaken "as grain is shaken in a sieve", not a kernel (or no component of truth) will fall to the ground, but all "sinners" (false elements) are given over to the sword. This is yet another metaphor in agreement with the features of the supervising metaphor of Sodom’s destruction.

 

Mat 25:32-46 is one of the more popular salvation passages in the New Testament. Here, the concept of “all nations” is the whole. Sheep or true value components are separated from goats as false parts, with destruction decreed for the latter and benefit to the former. The eternal punishment decreed in v. 46 moves in symbolic language from individuals to the false [goat] portions within each person. Eternality also takes on new shape in the allegorical; here it’s not applied as duration of separation and punishment of individuals, but is a decree of the banishment of all things false from the perfection of existence in the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21, a type of heaven. Good example of how God has designed the wrath of the literal to be nullified to grace in the allegorical.

 

Zech 13:8-9 In the totality of “all the land”, true and false parts are portrayed in a somewhat unusual quotient of measurement by Zechariah as "two parts in it [the bad] will be cut off and perish", yet, "the third [or the good] will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them [note the purification of Godly fire] as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The LORD is my God.'" Being exposed to Godly fire results in the greater good of restoration to the whole. This is one example among many in the Bible that hell is itself a metaphor for cleansing and restoration, not an eternal place of separation and suffering for individuals as the literal leads us to suppose.

 

1Cor 3:11-15 The products of the true (goods represented by gold, silver, precious stones) or false (wood, hay, straw) inherent in the whole person are tested in the purifying fire of absolute Truth. The false is destroyed from the whole, the true remains. Yet another passage consistent in its metaphoric sense with the parameters established in the Standard.

 

These are just a few of dozens of Level One metaphors. Using the interpretive dictates established in the Genesis Standard, Level One metaphors can be spotted throughout both Testaments, primarily in the prophets whose startling declarations of wrath were inspired by God as the literal building blocks and harbingers of His plan to restore all souls to the only qualitative state [wholly true] possible for personal union with Him. Again, this plan portrays the twofold salvific principles of Christianity—death and resurrection. The literal is grounded in death, separation and annihilation, and the allegoric reveals how even His wrath is supervised by His love and grace. This blueprint begins with the Genesis Standard and is hidden in plain sight throughout the Bible. It’s worth mentioning again that this coherent, symbolic blueprint for salvation would have been completely impossible for human understanding to engineer. Only God could orchestrate the magnificence of dozens of unified metaphors by authors of highly varying backgrounds and educations scattered over centuries of time—and cause them to culminate in a congruous, allegoric whole able to resolve the logical tensions imposed by the literal reading of the Bible. There is no more compelling evidence I know of for the existence of God and His authorship of the Bible than these facts.

 

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Mat 13:24-30 is the parable of wheat and tares where wheat represents elements of truth or good in the soul and tares symbolize the false, which are separated from the whole and destroyed, in accordance with the Gen 18-19 metaphor.

 

If you could find a passage that really supported you, you wouldn't have resorted to recruiting Mat 13:24-30. That passage refers to good vs. bad people, not good and bad within each person. How do you know it refers to good and bad in each of us? Your interpretation means that the Bible teaches that we should let evil freely grow in us (until harvest). That's absurd. On the other hand, God lets evil people live until judgement. You're left equating individuals with populations (if God won't destroy a whole population, he won't destroy a whole person), which is a leap of logic that I won't make. Ironically, all your metaphors contradict you in that whole people are destroyed in those accounts.

 

There is no more compelling evidence I know of for the existence of God and His authorship of the Bible than these facts.

 

On the contrary, your doctrine of Universalism makes faith in God irrelevant. What good is being compelled by evidence of something irrelevant?

 

 

 

 

 

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Cornelius, you’re quickly becoming the poster boy for how not to conduct rational discussion.

 

The strength of the position I’m presenting lies in its ability to show the rich variety of unified metaphors that build the overarching allegorical structure God has orchestrated throughout the Bible. I’ve pointed out this structure repeatedly in my posts. A few metaphors can always be found in the Bible with similar semantic characteristics. But a handful of comparable metaphors picked from the Bible would prove nothing. Anyone could dig up and put together a few passages with shared meaning elements.

 

What is being tendered here differs radically from this in its disclosure of a supervising metaphor which serves as an interpretive blueprint to which dozens of first order metaphors from notably symbolic passages immediately correspond. Even more incredibly, many more second order metaphors--in passages not normally understood to be symbolic in nature--are found to also conform to this structure. Some of these L2 metaphors find even stronger unity with the Standard than the symbolic passages. Theology message boards provide a limited venue for complex theological positions. I’ve posted a few L1--and will soon post L2--examples. I feel these provide a sufficient starting point to anyone who wishes to study this out further in their Bible. What I present here is only the tip of the iceberg. This degree of correspondence is not possible for a human to invent.

 

But you won’t study them, Cornelius. You’ve given in to blindly parroting the same tired party line stuff that 95% of theology board participants engage in. You haven’t responded to a single point I’ve made. Instead, you skip right past them in apparent haste to post the same cursory opinions as though you’re actually engaging in meaningful dialog. I’ve tried repeatedly to provide direction to you on what some of the issues in conversation appropriate to this topic are, but you continue to ignore them and post your doctrinal opinions.

 

“If you could find a passage that really supported you, you wouldn't have resorted to recruiting Mat 13:24-30. That passage refers to good vs. bad people, not good and bad within each person. How do you know it refers to good and bad in each of us?”

 

As I pointed out earlier, metaphor is structured by the use of particular persons, circumstances and events to signify—in the case of the Bible, whose author is God—higher spiritual truth. This being so, arguing that passages are talking about good and bad people shows a vigorous ignorance of 1) the fact that all the L1 passages in my last post are taken from obviously figurative language, and, 2) any intelligent refutation that sheep and goats must indicatepeople. To insist that Jesus be held to a literalist view of particular people in light of the fact that the entire passage is unquestionably symbolic in nature indicates to me that you have no interest in seeking truth, you’re only interested in refuting, by whatever means necessary, anything I post. You can’t “hear” anything I say. I get it. I’m ‘the enemy’, and what I say is automatically wrong. What’s important is that you throw out some sort of rebuttal after each of my posts, trying to make each post sound like a firm confutation, as though this will mask their underlying superficiality. So be it. I’m posting not for you now, but in case the Lord might touch other minds judicious enough to actually analyze these arguments and test them to see if they pass established truth criteria.

 

Anyone reading here willing to respond with intellectual honesty to the points made in previous posts?

 

 

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Spiffy, you not only haven't convinced of the position you're arguing for, but you haven't even convinced me that you yourself believe it.

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Spiffy, you not only haven't convinced of the position you're arguing for, but you haven't even convinced me that you yourself believe it.

 

Have you taken the time to study the ideas presented in my posts using your Bible Cornelius?

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Level Two Metaphors

 

The allegoric Standard is further reinforced by what I call Level 2 metaphors. Level 2 metaphors are found in non-metaphoric passages, or at least text that isn't normally considered to be metaphoric in nature. The contribution of Level 2 metaphors to the allegoric structure differs from Level 1 metaphors in that Level 1’s are read as concurrent with the interpretive framework of the Standard, while Level 2 metaphors are revealed to be such by the Standard itself. They lend themselves to interpretive alliance in a subsequent role.

 

The Exodus of Israel

 

One of the most powerful symbols in the Bible is the Level 2 metaphor of the Exodus story. Here, the nation of Israel is a metaphor for a single individual, a whole made up of many parts (see Exo 12:37-38). The rabble or mixed multitude of Numbers 11:4 as the false elements in Israel influence him to lose faith and to complain time and again. This idea transfers to the concept of fragmental falsity staining the soul, producing dispositions to sin. Using Adam and Eve’s fall (Gen chapters 2-5) as a model for how inappropriate choice stains or falsifies essence, creating bad dispositions—i.e., the mind’s uniting with the false rather than the true—produces deeper falsification and increased disunion with truth. After two years of wandering these false elements provoked doubt in Israel (see Num chapters 13 and 14), degrading previously believing (true) elements to unbelief, resulting in Israel lacking faith to take the promised land. Moses (as Christ) intercedes for Israel (Num 14:11-20) and prevents his destruction. Israel is sent instead back into the wilderness where he undergoes hardships which gradually destroy the false "complaining parts" while at the same time bringing forth new offspring, a depiction of spiritual birth—in other words, restoration of destroyed falsity to a new true state. As a result, Israel’s spirit (and, causally, his mind) is modified, resulting in a newfound faith and willingness to enter the promised land. This is God’s sovereign work in human spirit.

 

This complex metaphor follows the Genesis 18/19 pattern by representing not only the destruction of the false from within a whole, but includes salvation’s second aspect, spiritual restoration or rebirth. The Exodus story portrays the remaking of an individual’s spiritual (and causally, volitional) disposition. Israel, dulled by falsification to a lack of faith, is remade in the wilderness spiritually, providing a new propensity toward—and union with—absolute truth, with faith a natural byproduct of the process used to establish this union. This grand metaphor of Israel in the Exodus exemplifies the discovery of Level Two metaphors in the Bible by means of their ready adaption to the allegoric framework established in the Standard.

 

Psalms 1:1-6 is typical of the Level 2 pattern. The Psalmist notes the effects proceeding from the truth-bearing spirit; "How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers..." There is an allusion to the bringing forth of new life and of preservation: "…he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither…" The familiar metaphor of the destruction of the wicked develops this passage's relationship as an L2 affiliate: "The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish." Chaff is of course a multiplicity of the worthless parts of grain, and all things false are naturally denied participation in perfection. Passages like this point up a common interpretive convention found in the allegorical, that one may read passages in their literal and allegorical aspects simultaneously without contradiction. For example, those portions of one’s belief system in union with absolute truth creates those facets of “…the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers.” while falsity creates within each soul who unites with it in intellect to produce willing sin, “…the way of the wicked [that] will perish." The reader using both literal and allegorical contexts sees in passages both the separation of individuals according to righteousness and at the same time separation within individuals creating or disparaging righteousness. The Bible is presented in a dualistic structure to help us see the dual nature within us all.

 

The Standard tends to establish its own contexts. For example, the Bible authors each obviously wrote for a particular audience. They perceived and wrote in a literal sense. Human understanding is based on living in a literal world full of particular, interactive things, and it’s natural that the subject matter shown them by God was interpreted by the authors to apply to literal people, to individuals. But God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours. One interpretive convention common to the allegorical method is that He doesn’t always direct meaning only to persons. For example, though His pronouncements of wrath toward evil are aimed at individuals or nations as warnings, those admonitions are simultaneously structured to address that stain in human essence that causes sin. As carriers of falsity in spirit, Scripture suggests we are only fractionally culpable for our sin (see Num 15:22-29 and Luke 12:47-48). The Standard allows us to read the Bible blending literal and allegoric elements together concurrently.

 

The literal by itself is unable to rise above God’s wrath directed toward whole people, which has produced horrific doctrines like eternal torment or annihilation. The allegorical reading of God’s word moves from condemnation to grace, from destruction to restoration, from death to life, for every created soul.

 

In Hebrews 6:4-8 God’s lovingkindness is hidden within Paul’s admonitions and analogies. He warns that “…those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame.” But when the interpretive principles of the Standard are applied to the verse, the mystery of God’s ways and the tremendous depth of His grace allows us to realize that the useful vegetation from the “ground that drinks the rain” [of truth] and the “thorns and thistles” (falsity) brought forth from the ground are yet another metaphor for fragmental good and bad inside all humans. The burning of the false elements, hurtful though it is, now brings hope in the realization made possible by the allegorical pattern that the stain we darken our soul with is being expunged while God’s grace restores the darkness with new light.

 

The interpretive power of the Standard identifies not only passages, but elements within passages qualifying them as possessing second level metaphoric meaning. For example, uses of the terms “flesh and spirit” by Jesus (Mark 14:38, Jn 3:6 & 6:63), Peter (1Pet 4:6) and Paul (Rom 8:4-13, 1Cor 5:5, Gal 3:3, Gal 4:29, Gal 5:16-17, Gal 6:8, Phlp 3:3) can be read into the passages as false and true.

 

Rom 8:6 is a good fit for the concepts elicited by the Standard. For instance, "…the mind set on the flesh is death" is congruous with the notion of falsity as a "stain" in spirit, creating those features of spiritual death found in intellectual operation (1Cor 2:14). Paul notes this effect also in verse 7 of Rom 8 that, "…the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so…". Conversely, "…the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace" is theoretically so in intellectual operation due to precedent spiritual causes as demonstrated in the metaphoric pattern. Life, harmony, peace etc. are goods natural to a true-true relationship of two things in proximity. The true-false relationship naturally produces tension and resistance. Truth in human essence is consequentially in harmony with the Truth that is God while concurrently in tension in other areas of essence and associated belief. Increased levels of truth (following a decrease of falsity) in human essence arguably brings about in the whole person those spiritual fruits which proceed from the true—higher levels of prescriptive understanding, faith, , empathy, peace, unity with the like minded, etc.

 

There are, of course, passages from Paul that are clearly a comparison of physical flesh to spirit (2Cor 7:1, 1Tim 3:16), but these differences are easy to spot by their context.

 

The process revealed in the Exodus account—consistent with Paul’s teaching above—is one of human spirit as the primary causal force for human behavior, a position that’s been mocked by materialists at least since the Enlightenment, but the concept is entirely Biblical nonetheless. Important to this view is that volition in regard to spiritual affairs does not exist in an either/or ability as a libertarian view of free agency holds, but the will exists in a “for/against” or “towards/away from” status with respect to absolute Truth. The value-fragmented mind exists in degrees of union or discord in our beliefs and relationship with God, who in Christ is Truth incarnate. Hence, to punish for all eternity or annihilate a soul not subject to the law of God due to inability to unite with it produces a mad, vengeful God in light of the realization that in fixing the cause of enmity (by repair of the spirit) He is fully able to release the soul from its hatred of truth and allow it to gravitate toward Him as a wholly true spirit would naturally, if unhindered.

 

 

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I mean, Spiffy, you've presented your case. Your position is completely arbitrary and contradictory to the overwhelming evidence, so what point is there to continue? You've confused your imaginative interpretation with something compelling. It isn't compelling.

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I mean, Spiffy, you've presented your case. Your position is completely arbitrary and contradictory to the overwhelming evidence, so what point is there to continue? You've confused your imaginative interpretation with something compelling. It isn't compelling.

Traditional Christians, behold your champion! You travel about on sea and land to make proselytes like this, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of literalism as yourselves. Cornelius has fulfilled the literalist theological persona I outlined in the Is Universalism Biblical thread. He don't need no stinking intellectual honesty. His chest is puffed out with pride in recent posts from his ability to determine the falsity of an opposing position by virtue of the tenets of the literalist manifesto: if it ain't grammatical-historical literalism, it ain't true.

 

Of course, I believe the truth is that those who licked their chops in anticipation of easily refuting the heretic allegorist have fallen silent because y'all have no idea how to respond to an interpretation of the Bible that is coherent, unified, non-contradictory and congruous which also happens to be allegorical. I learned long ago that truth is not high on the literalist's list of important things. Only the truth of doctrine is important to the literalist, regardless of persuasion.

 

Encountering a competing interpretation able pass truth tests to a higher degree than grammatical-historical literalism is, as Cornelius has so decisively shown in recent posts, of no consequence. Nothing is able to penetrate that magnificent tower of doctrine. The question that remains is, how deep can the relationship to Truth be of those who ignore tensions in order to maintain doctrine? We'll all give thanks to God at the end for His unfathomable grace in bringing all to perfection by satisfaction of the work of Christ Jesus...even the wide path of Mat 7 leads inexorably to perfection in Christ.

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Locking thread due to it being derailed through personal attacks.

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