Friday, January 28, 2005

Angels and Some Certainty and Certitude

Here's another angel scripture I love that fits in with my notion of angels as independent minded agents entrusted with God's plan and carry it out. Again, Stephen in Acts 7:53 says:

Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.

This next scripture is from Joshua 5:13-15. Interesting because the angel makes it clear that he is neither on Joshua's side nor his advesary's side. Rather he is there carrying out God's plan.

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

The angel made Joshua remove his shoes because he was on holy ground. Now many insist that this "captain of the Lord's host" is Christ. After all, no way would Joshua treat the ground around an angel as holy ground. Let's recall Moses' experience:

And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.

This also resonates with Gabriel in Lk 1 in his experience with Zechariah. He is well aware of awesomeness of his presence and the fact that his mere presence is imbued with God's credibility.

Here are another couple of verses from Revelation;

Rev. 22:8,9
And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

Love it.

I had few thought on the issue of certitude a la this discussion and post by Joe. John Henry Newman makes a distinction between certainty and certitude. Certainty is the surety attained in science and logic that is indubitable and irrefutable. For instance, given the right conditions, 2+2=4. But that sort of certainty is not achievable in human life, but according to Newman, it shouldn't even be sought because doesn't belong in our human lives.

Certitude is the subjective correlate. Certitude is what we have when we are subjectively certain. Our certitude will never pass a logical test, but Newman notes that certainty, as that attainable in logic, is artificial. To arrive a logical certainty, you have to manufacter the context and conditions. Certitude, however, is what operates for us as human and counts for a solid foundation.

My point is that we can know things, not just think we know. I'll post more on this because it is something that interests me beaucoup. Joe's post is interesting because it brings up issues of hermenuetics, one's method, and one's foundational guiding principle, i.e, ultimate, what is the philosophy or viewpoint behind your mode of intepreting your spiritual experience, life and truth.


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