Re: Gnostics

Date: Sun Dec 15 2002 - 10:48:09 EST

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    In a message dated 12/14/02 5:13:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:

    > A variety of gnostic views existed, so a general characterization
    > will probably not fit all. In general, they tended to deny the
    > importance of the body, if not actually seeing it as bad. This could
    > take the form of claiming that Jesus, being fully God, must not have
    > been fully human in body, but was more like a case of possession, in
    > which God was sort of located inside a human body. That is the
    > heresy alluded to in the discussion.

    And that is precisely what I have a problem with. My questions arise because
    I was introduced to a dichotomy in Crosson's Birth of Christianity. The
    resurrection account is split into what Crosson calls the life tradition and
    the death tradition. The life tradition said a man could be reunited with God
    in the flesh in the here and now before he died. This is what I understand to
    be the gnostic tradition. Men achieved 'gnosis' while they were alive. The
    death tradition said a man was reunited with God after death. Crosson finds
    both traditions in the gospels. The problem is that with this dichotomy
    gnosticism is not a supernatural state. Being gnostic is being fully human,
    experiencing but not 'becoming' God. In your words above, gnosticism appears
    to be a supernatural state when you say, "God was sort of located inside a
    human body." I don't see that fitting the conventional understanding of
    gnosticism and I wonder where you got this concept.

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