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Ben Masada

The Supernatural Man

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THE EXTRAORDINARY MAN

The other day I picked up the book, "Crime and Punishment" and read it wholy in three days. The thing that touched me the most was the concept of the extraordinary man in the Philosophy of the author, Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Dostoevsky postulates in his book that all people are somehow divided into the ordinary and the extraordinary. That the ordinary must live in obedience and have no right to transgress the Law, because they are, after all, ordinary. While the extraordinary have the right to comit all sorts of crimes and in various ways, to transgress the Law, because, in point of fact, they are extraordinary.

Moreover, that the extraordinary man has the right...that is, not an official right, but his own right, to allow his conscience to step over certain obstacles and transgress the Law and stay immune to punishment, considering that his action is salutary to the whole of mankind. Such an extraordinary man, he added further, is so rare that no more than one in ten thousand is born with such a broad independence.

Somehow, as I read about the Dostoevsky concept of the extraordinary man, I could not help thinking of Paul in Romans 7:25. Paul would praise God for the priviledge to be in harmony with God's Law in his mind, while serving the law of sin in his flesh. IOW, he was entitled to enjoy independence of the Law and the right to immunity as an extraordinary man. He agreed that the Law was good, but for ordinary men. He was extraordinary. (Rom. 7:12)

Paul proved so efficiently to be an extraordinary man that once he passed sentence of death to an incestuous man in the church of Corinth, whereas in absence. Obviously, an ordinary man could not be incestuous. He was under the Law. (I Cor.5:1-12) As Dostoevsky killed to prevent evil from its effect among men, Paul killed to prevent the effect of the yeast in the dough. (I Cor. 5:6) Obviously, evil could spread if he did not intervene.

The bottom line is that only extraordinary men could enjoy the status of Romans 7:25.

Ben

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All christians can sin but a sign of being saved is sanctification, a christians chooses not to sin as hes already been forgiven of his sins. but interesting post, i might have to read that book.

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Posted (edited)

The bottom line is that only extraordinary men could enjoy the status of Romans 7:25.

Like these guys --> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311429/

:P Sean Connery is not satisfied with being Bond...he has to be that little bit special lol

Edited by Beckys_Mom

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Never read that book, it on the list though.

thanks,

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From my experience it seems everyone considers themselves to be in the extraordinary catagory.

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Posted (edited)

All christians can sin but a sign of being saved is sanctification, a christians chooses not to sin as hes already been forgiven of his sins. but interesting post, i might have to read that book.

Nevertheless, there is not a single one that does not sin. Paul tried to create an extraordinary people and found out that they don't come by the bunch. Only one in ten thousand perhaps. He finally arrived to that conclusion that, at his time, he was the one. (Rom. 7:25)

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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Like these guys --> http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0311429/

:P Sean Connery is not satisfied with being Bond...he has to be that little bit special lol

Right Mom... How true indeed!

Ben

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Posted (edited)

From my experience it seems everyone considers themselves to be in the extraordinary catagory.

And that's where the blunder resides. Raskolnikov had doubts sometimes about being one himself. I would not try to test myself. I prefer to be under the Law. It's safer that way.

Ben

Edited by Ben Masada

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Nevertheless, there is not a single one that does not sin. Paul tried to create an extraordinary people and found out that they don't come by the bunch. Only one in ten thousand perhaps. He finally arrived to that conclusion that, at his time, he was the one. (Rom. 7:25)

Ben

Nevertheless, there is not a single one that does not sin. Paul tried to create an extraordinary people and found out that they don't come by the bunch. Only one in ten thousand perhaps. He finally arrived to that conclusion that, at his time, he was the one. (Rom. 7:25)

Ben

You seem to come to weird conclusions when you read scripture in english, he wasnt talking just about him self but every one whos a christian.

Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

(Romans 7 ESV)

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I'll step over the law if the law is imoral or unjust or if my circumstances ( life saving) demands it. That may not make it right for society. This does not make me extraordinary it makes me normal.

Now, as in Christian moral law and some extrodinsry person being above it. That just sounds like excuse makeing to me.

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You seem to come to weird conclusions when you read scripture in english, he wasnt talking just about him self but every one whos a christian.

First of all, I apologize for the double post above. My blunder. Then, yes, you are right. Paul's intent, at first, was to raise a people of extraordinary men, but soon he found out that human nature could not be dictated upon as to be recreated into a new person. He alone was unique. And that uniqueness was one in ten thousand.

Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

That was part of his struggle to neutralize the Law that meant death to him. Hence, his doctrine that Jesus had been the end of the Law. (Rom. 10:4) By doing so, he was free to serve the law of sin in his flesh and be immune to punishment. (Rom. 7:25)

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

Yes, the Law is holy, but what could he do? It meant death for him now, that he knew the Law was against his behavior and he just couldn't prevent being weaked, as long as the Law was there to show his weakedness. He couldn't even understand his own action. (Rom. 7:15)

Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.

Interesting to notice is that Paul is speaking in the present tense. One is to wonder what kind of conversion happened to him in the Road to Damascus. Perhaps he thought about that experience and could not understand why he could not quit his evil behavior. That's probably an evidence that his fall from his horse was indeed an attack of epylepsy, and nothing more than.

Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

Such a psychotic personality can be understood to have found a solution in his struggle to find a way to neutralize the Law, by fabricating the doctrine that Jesus had abolished the Law. You know, like Naboleon who abolished the older code of French laws and established his own. Another extraordinary man.

So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Behold! Paul found the solution. Jesus would deliver him from his body of death, but not by quitting his sinful style of life, but by granting him to live with both as if he was the exception to the rule that one could not serve two masters. (Rom. 7:25) Paul had found out he was an extraordinary man.

Ben

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I'll step over the law if the law is imoral or unjust or if my circumstances ( life saving) demands it. That may not make it right for society. This does not make me extraordinary it makes me normal.

Now, as in Christian moral law and some extrodinsry person being above it. That just sounds like excuse makeing to me.

Don't try because Dostoevsky's concept of the estraordinary man didn't work even for himself. It was only in his mind. He himself looked for punishment because he was not 100% sure that he was one. One needs power to go along with it, as in the case of Napoleon Bonaparte, and Raskolnikov didn't have any.

Ben

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Aren't they called psychopaths?

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The concept of extraordinary versus ordinary was a very common idea from past centuries. It was also explored in science fiction stories in the mid 1900s Basically it grew out of the huge divisions in class and education which existed in Dostoevsky's time. It was rational for an educated man to believe that while the masses required the law to regulate their behaviuor an educated man of sensibilities (and one of a higher class and therefore innately superior) did not require those laws. He would be regulated by his informed intelligence, ethics and moralities, which transcended the laws required to keep the mases in line. After all his class created the laws and thus recognised their limited nature, where as to the masses the law had to be absolute and immutable.

Like most christians i dont think paul saw himselef as an extrordinary man; rather the opposite. He recognised the law as gods not mans and thus would have felt as much "Under" the law as any other person Down the centuries there certainly were some church men who saw the law as Dostoevsky's character did. That they had such an "in" with god that the laws did not really apply to them, or that they did not require the laws to be godly.

But honestly, i think paul was as hard on himself as on others, because god was so new to him. He didnt have centuries of tradition and power to "sanctify" him or put him above the law..

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Aren't they called psychopaths?

For power maybe. But a lot more must be taken in consideration to be born as an extraordinary man, especially intellectual power.

Ben

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The concept of extraordinary versus ordinary was a very common idea from past centuries. It was also explored in science fiction stories in the mid 1900s Basically it grew out of the huge divisions in class and education which existed in Dostoevsky's time. It was rational for an educated man to believe that while the masses required the law to regulate their behaviuor an educated man of sensibilities (and one of a higher class and therefore innately superior) did not require those laws. He would be regulated by his informed intelligence, ethics and moralities, which transcended the laws required to keep the mases in line. After all his class created the laws and thus recognised their limited nature, where as to the masses the law had to be absolute and immutable.

Like most christians i dont think paul saw himselef as an extrordinary man; rather the opposite. He recognised the law as gods not mans and thus would have felt as much "Under" the law as any other person Down the centuries there certainly were some church men who saw the law as Dostoevsky's character did. That they had such an "in" with god that the laws did not really apply to them, or that they did not require the laws to be godly.

But honestly, i think paul was as hard on himself as on others, because god was so new to him. He didnt have centuries of tradition and power to "sanctify" him or put him above the law..

IMHO, an extraordinary man has to possess, besides several other qualities, the guts to "feel" and to force recognition as one. In the case of the extraordinary man (Raskolnikov) in Dostoevsky, he was tormented by the doubt that he was one in his generation. Hence his attempt to self inflict punishment for his actions.

It is also my opinion that Paul did see himself as an extraordinary man because, in his case, there was no other option if he had to get rid of that thorn in his flesh which would make his life miserable. As he found out the solution to his problem by using Jesus as the author to end with the Law that would condemn him, he acquired immunity to punishment for keep his sinful style of life, according to Romans 10:4 and 7:25. The point there is that he proved to be unique. No one else could enjoy that status, as he condemned to death the Christian in the church of Corinth, who had committed incest with his stepmother.

Ben

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