It has been claimed that Plato was an egalitarian; it has been claimed that he was a totalitarian. It has been claimed that he was the utopian, proposing a universal blueprint for the ideal state; it has been claimed that he was an anti-utopian, demonstrating that all political idealism is folly. It has been claimed that he was a populist, concerned with the best interests of all citizens; it has been claimed he was an elitist with disturbing eugenic tendencies. It has been claimed he was a romantic; it has been claimed that he was a prick. It has been claimed that he was a theorizer, with sweeping metaphysical doctrines; it has been claimed that he was the anti-theorizing skeptic, always intent on unsettling convictions. It has been claimed that he was full of humor and play; it has been claimed that he was as solemn as a sermon limining the torments of the damned. It has been claimed he loved his fellow man; it has been claimed he loves his fellow man. It has been claimed he was a philosopher who used his artistic gifts in the service of philosophy; it has been claimed he was an artist who used philosophy in the service of his art.
And yet we have what purports, or professes, or is claimed, to be a contract""the Constitution""made eighty years ago, by men who are now all dead, and who never had any power to bind us, but which (it is claimed) has nevertheless bound three generations of men, consisting of many millions, and which (it is claimed) will be binding upon all the millions that are to come; but which nobody ever signed, sealed, delivered, witnessed, or acknowledged; and which few persons, compared with the whole number that are claimed to be bound by it, have ever read, or even seen, or ever will read, or see.
And yet we have what purports, or professes, or is claimed, to be a contract-the Constitution-made eighty years ago, by men who are now all dead, and who never had any power to bind us, but which (it is claimed) has nevertheless bound three generations of men, consisting of many millions, and which (it is claimed) will be binding upon all the millions that are to come; but which nobody ever signed, sealed, delivered, witnessed, or acknowledged; and which few persons, compared with the whole number that are claimed to be bound by it, have ever read, or even seen, or ever will read, or see.
I called my father, but he pretended to be sleeping at first, then claimed not to know me, and then claimed I had the wrong number. And sure enough, when I looked at the number I dialed after he hung up, he did have a different number. The amazing part is that without him even telling me his new number, I was still able to call him. I think I'll try again in the middle of the night tonight.
The greatest discovery in life, the most precious treasure, is of awareness. Without it you are bound to be in darkness, full of fears. And you will go on creating new fears - there is no end to it. You will live in fear, you will die in fear, and you will never be able to taste something of freedom. And it was all the time your potential; any moment you could have claimed it, but you never claimed it.
On the other hand, inspiration - a criterion for canonization we might expect to play a great role - is not a factor. The Shepherd of Hermas and many writings either claimed inspiration or had it claimed for them, yet were neither universally nor ultimately accepted as canonical. In contrast, no NT writing claims inspiration for itself. The statement in 2 Tim. 3:16 that all Scripture is inspired by God (theopneustos) refers to Torah. Second Peter 3:16 refers to Paul's letters as though they were Scripture but does not say they were 'inspired.' In Revelation, 'inspiration' is certainly implied but not explicitly claimed. No doubt there was an increasingly widespread conviction that the NT writings were divinely inspired, but that notion did not appear to factor in as a criterion for canonization.
Luke Timothy Johnson
The Defiler will not have you, Felicity. I have claimed you for myself." The rumble of those words, soft and dark, sent shivers racing through her. Her imagination supplied all sorts of images of ways she could be claimed by him, and none of them had anything to do with evil. Heat flooded her cheek, then wormed its way lower. It built in the pit of her belly until she couldn't bear it anymore. Her hand shifted from his shoulder to his cheek, and she lifted herself up on her toes. "Show me, " she whispered, just before she pressed her lips to his.
I can remember one time a guy told me, a guy that preached, he claimed to be a preacher, he claimed to be called of God-I asked him about his prayer life one day. He said, 'Yeah, I pray; I pray when I'm brushing my teeth.' I knew immediately that man was not called of God to stand in a pulpit. Every church he's tried to plant has been a failure. He is not a God-called man.
It was no shock to me that my parents, like so many others, emerged out of a kind of fog. My father, an unrepentant chatterbox, claimed that his father had gone to dig for gold in Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana, anbodoning his mother, who was breast-feeding her baby on the Morne e Cayes. Other times he claimed his father was a merchant seaman, shipwrecked off the coast of Sumatra. Where did the truth lie? I think he re-created it at will, taking pleasure in enunciating the syllables that made him dream: Paramaribo, Sumatra. Thanks to him, from a very early age I understood that you forge an identity.
For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.
It was no shock to me that my parents, like so many others, emerged out of a kind of fog. My father, an unrepentant chatterbox, claimed that his father his father had gone to dig for gold in Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana, anbodoning his mother, who was breast-feeding her baby on the Morne e Cayes. Other times he claimed his father was a merchant seaman, shipwrecked off the coast of Sumatra. Where did the truth lie? I think he re-created it at will, taking pleasure in enunciating the syllables that made him dream: Paramaribo, Sumatra. Thanks to him, from a very early age I understood that you forge an identity.