Re: On Tillich

From: George Murphy (
Date: Fri May 23 2003 - 16:55:08 EDT

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    Graham E. Morbey wrote:
    > Hi George, et al,
    > Two points:
    > I was thinking more broadly when I used the term Creeds (meaning that I
    > should have been more careful!). However, Heidlelberg Catchism, Lord's Day
    > 18, Question 46 asks: What do you mean by saying: ''he ascended into
    > heaven"? and the Answer: That Christ, while his disciples watched, was
    > lifted up from earth into heaven and will be there for our good until he
    > comes again to judge the living and the dead.

            This has to be seen as part of the Reformed argument that Christ's humanity is
    restricted to heaven & thus can't be present on earth - & specifically cannot be present
    on the altar in the Eucharist. Question 47 is, "Is not then Christ with us even unto
    the end of the world, as He has promised." The answer is: "Christ is true Man and true
    God: according to His human nature , He is now not on earth; but according to His
    Godhead, majesty, grace, and Spirit, He is at no time absent from us."
            The understanding of the Ascension as simply a motion from one location to
    another contradicts Ephesians 4:10 in which Christ is said to have "ascended far above
    all the heavens, that he might fill all things." (Cf. also Ephesians 1:23.) & science
    has opened up some new possibilities for thinking about the omnipresence of Christ's
    humanity - think quantum non-locality.
    > Also, the three I mentioned on the road to Emmaus reference is
    > Luke24:13-35. My hypothetical camera was focussed on verse 31. John
    > 20:29 could be translated today (before digital technology perhaps) as
    > " Have you believed because you have photos? Blessed are those who have
    > no photos and yet have come to believe."

            There isn't any question that, according to the NT, some people saw the risen
    Christ. But it's begging the question to conclude from that that a camera would have
    recorded the same thing.
            N.B. I'm not arguing that it _wouldn't_ have. I don't know. But it isn't
    heretical in itself to say that a camera would have recorded nothing.


    George L. Murphy

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