jeudi 24 mars 2016

The Heavens don't have a voice, Lita?

1) Creation vs. Evolution: The Heavens don't have a voice, Lita? · 2) Great Bishop of Geneva!: Third item of Lita's series on Psalms

Here is a nearly very good article* by Lita Cosner, but I will highlight a somewhat problematic passage:

Even though the heavens do not have a voice, their witness to the glory of their Creator could not be clearer. The sun by day and the moon and stars by night are unmistakable evidence of God’s design of the universe. In fact, the psalmist can command creation itself to praise God:

Praise Yahweh!
Praise Yahweh from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
Praise him, all his angels;
praise him all his hosts

As we saw previously, the psalmists can exhort even the angels to praise Yahweh.

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens

The sun, moon, and stars were frequent objects of idolatrous worship, but the psalmist places them in their proper context as creations which glorify God. The detail of “waters above the heavens” is clearly taken from Day 2 of creation.

Wait a second ... what if we take out a piece of text:

the psalmists can exhort even the angels to praise Yahweh.

Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens

Sounds better. If each star and planet and other celestial body, sun, moon, comets and so on, has its angel, the exhortation makes very good sense. These angels do, in a sense, "have a voice".

And harmony "of the spheres" may of course contribute to their orchestra.

Now, some Bible study outside this psalm ...

Job 38: [6] Upon what are its bases grounded? or who laid the corner stone thereof, [7] When the morning stars praised me together, and all the sons of God made a joyful melody?

Note that the speaker is not Elihud or some fallible man, but God. It is a very early on question in what Kent Hovind calls "the creation quiz" of God to Job.

We here see earth created while angels - including those called morning stars because they do carry stars - were praising God. They were not yet holding their celestial bodies like luminaries for us, but they were already having a kind of voice with which to praise God.

Prophecy Of Baruch, Chapter 3: [33] He that sendeth forth light, and it goeth: and hath called it, and it obeyeth him with trembling. [34] And the stars have given light in their watches, and rejoiced: [35] They were called, and they said: Here we are: and with cheerfulness they have shined forth to him that made them.

If physical light were all there were to lightbeams ... sorry, actually "it obeyeth him with trembling" may refer to light as a wave phenomenon ... then, at least: if physical rocks, liquid gas masses or fire were all there was to all luminaries, they would not be able to say "here we are" or to rejoice. Their shining would not be in any real sense cheerful.

So, each luminary created on day four has with it a guiding spirit, controlling its position in space and perhaps also its luminosity, who was created already "in the beginning", four days earlier.

I am well aware that Lita, alas, does not consider Baruch a canonic book. But she cannot be unaware that (as with Maccabees) it was a book read by lots of Hellenistic Jews in the time of Jesus. That its doctrine therefore was very likely to be present either to Christ (as Pharisaic tithes on thyme**) or to Apostles after Pentecost (like quarrels between Pharisees and Sadducees in the carreer of St Paul).

This means that if the position were clearly illicit, Christ or His Apostles would have rejected it.

And furthermore, on the Protestant view of Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), which I do not share but Lita does, alas, share, that rejection would have needed to be expressed in preserved Scripture.

Plus, the position is involved in Job as well as in Judges, here:

Judges 5:20
War from heaven was made against them, the stars remaining in their order and courses fought against Sisara.

Makes no sense at all on modern view of nature of stars, but perfect sense on one of two alternative older views, or both together:

  • astrological influences (like Venus causing that soldier of Sisara to think of sex when he should have been thinking of battle, like Mars causing another one to feel irritation against one neighbouring one, like Saturn making a lot of them afraid, like Sun heating up them, like Moon giving them too much moisture in their sweat ... you just ask that fellow Oxford Don*** who wrote Planet Narnia about more detail, since he is certain to interpret passage like that;
  • or angels using the stars like a kind of battleships (but with what projectiles, unless the physical aspects of astrology have some truth?).

Of course, a modernist scholar could state that Debbora and Barac son of Abinoem were in error about what happened, but this will not work if Debbora was a real prophetess and if prophets enjoy verbal inspiration, since the Holy Ghost, we also believe in, Who hath spoken through the prophets.

I'd say that if heavens have any kind of armament, they also have voices.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Maundy Thursday

* Praising the Creator in the Psalms
by Lita Cosner
Published: 24 March 2016

** Excuse pun, but the Lenten fast is kind of a tithe on time! 365:10=36/37 days, make it forty for good measure (this relation was actually stated by St Augustine, within less than 2 centuries from 313 or 325 when the Church started Lenten fasting, having before only fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, as per Didaché).

*** Can a lady like Lita be called a "Don"? Anyway, the other (?) Don is called, as a little google told me, Michael Ward.

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