The Grand Ellipses

I listen patiently when I am waiting for reality to respond. I act impulsively when I have no idea what's going on . . .

"The Grand Ellipses … “? I love that moment when i’m thinking about something, or listening to something and i have that … moment. It’s that pause before you have your realization of clarity. So, i thought that would be a good name for this, to refer to that grand moment when we let our mind settle, let the questions and turbulence stir a bit and allow free thought to reign.

The Third Heaven . . .

12 It is doubtless[a] not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter. 5 Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities. 6 For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

I love reading apologetics regarding this text. I mean, it is abundantly clear that there are actually three levels of heaven . . . right? This description is fun: 

At the time of ancient Israel they did not have as complete an understanding of the universe as we do today. So they wrote in terms with which they were familiar. The Jews spoke of three heavens. The first heaven consisted of the the earth atmosphere where the clouds and birds were. The second heaven was where the sun, stars, and moon was. The third heaven was the dwelling place of God. When Paul said he was caught up to the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2), he was referring to the very dwelling place of God.

As a note, the Mormons erringly teach that the three heavens consist of telestial, terrestrial, and celestial. They divide them into compartments dwelt by people after they die.

It is amazing to me that "the Mormons erringly teach" a different concept of this as though, even if heaven existed at all, Paul's letter to the Corinthians is authoritative enough to proclaim the existence of a literal "Third Heaven". How is it that (in a time where people supposedly had direct contact and conversation with god) god did not inform his people enough to have a more "complete understanding of the universe as we do today"? The omniscience of god is blowing my mind!