Length of Days, Functional Gnosticism

The days are getting longer as Winter wanes Spring is nearer now.

I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’m reading Metzger’s take on the development of the canon of the New Testament.  Thursday morning 29 January, during a seemingly interminable wait to see a bone and joint specialist about the shoulder that’s been tormenting me the past eight or so months,  I read these words (italics mine):

Valentinus’ system is an elaborate theogonic and cosmogonic epic.  It describes in three acts the creation, the fall, and the redemption; first in heaven, then on earth.  The spiritual world or ‘pleroma’ comprises thirty ‘aeons’ forming a succession of pairs (syzygies).  The visible world owes its origin to the fall of Sophia (‘wisdom’), whose offspring, the Demiurge, is identified with the God of the Old Testament.  Human beings belong to one of three classes, the spiritual people (pneumatikoi, or true Gnostics), those who merely possesses (sic) (psychikoi, or ordinary, unenlightened church members), and the rest of humankind, who are made up solely of matter (hylikoi) and are given over to eternal perdition.

Valentinus derived his teachings from his own fertile imagination, from Oriental and Greek speculations (including Pythagorean elements), and from Christian ideas…

(Metzger 80, 81)

My point in going on like this is not to interest the reader in the dead-end teachings of the so-called “Christian” gnostics.  Rather, I was surprised to find that my own functional worldview, unflattering as it is to admit the fact of it, (that bit I’ve italicized) is like unto that of an early Christian Era gnostic heretic.

Metzger, Bruce M.. The Canon of the New Testament: Its origin, Development, and Significance. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997.

These Guys Sound Like They Feel Threatened

I’m listening as I write to the guys at www.whitehorseinn.org. More and more they’re sounding to me like they define true biblical Christianity as something given by God to the sheep in the pews through religious professionals who stand before the sheep in the place of God between the sheep and God. Sort of a Protestant Catholicism.

They sound like they feel threatened by those followers of Christ who refuse to be followers of religious professionals. They’re kind of freaked out by the fact that the church, as scripture defines church, cannot be contained by organizational hierarchies derived, evidently, from the pagan culture of the ancient world. Too bad, guys.

The thing is, these Whitehorse Inn cats have a lot of right things to say about scripture, but very little that matters about ecclesiology.