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[at-l] OFF TOPIC: Extinction?
- Subject: [at-l] OFF TOPIC: Extinction?
- From: Bror8588 at aol.com (Bror8588@aol.com)
- Date: Sat Apr 9 11:11:49 2005
In a message dated 4/9/2005 9:17:37 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
No, actually that is another article of faith. There is no record of what
happened to the disciple John. The 'history' you refer to is 'inferred'
from interpretations which are the subject of debate among Biblical
historians. Authors of apocalyptic writings frequently used pseudonyms
taken from heroic figures in their tradition. Some *believe* that it was
the same John but no one *knows* that as a historically demonstrable fact.
It could just as easily have been someone using his name, which is what my
mother was told in divinity school.
Divinity School -- I went to one of those. Lately there have been a whole
series of people who have gone to Divinity School who are promoting another
view of Christianity than that taught in the Church over the years. Some
people, in order to get their Ph.D.s or Th.D.s have felt it necessary to surmise
and stretch for a new idea and in the struggle for accreditation have begun to
become something different -- an evolving of the faith if you will -- and so
the story expands and the original beliefs get challenged. It was so simple
years ago. Now, there is an uncertainty that has been introduced so that
Kierkegaard's "Leap of Faith" has ramifications that extend beyond a mere
belief in God to whatever it is one holds as true. Revisionist factions are prone
to come up with something new and different.
Proof is always the challenger's task. The early church in the
establishment of the Canon stated that The Apostle John was the author of the Gospel of
John, the Letters of John (I,II,and III), and The Revelation of John. Later
Scholars, in modern times, have challenged the earlier held beliefs. The
proof that they have come up with is speculation at best and fraud at worst.
Some sincerely wanted to earn their doctorates in Theology or Philosophy. The
criteria is that something new has to be discovered. The method was that old
beliefs about the Apostles and their writings had to be replaced by a new set
of beliefs. Hence, we have a never ending source of "new knowledge" which
is not necessarily knowledge but conjecture, albeit from a scholarly
investigation that yields "possibilities" rather than absolute knowledge.
I maintain that if one wants to start a new religion then the
Judeo/Christianity religion is a good place to begin for it provides basic themes of
universal reality and gives a foundation that can be utilized in producing new ways
of thinking. Don't want to believe in accountability for your actions?
Throw out the original prohibition and replace it with a softer, easier set of
expectations. Can't take the brutality of the crucifixion? Change the view.
Don't want to believe in an actual resurrection? Spiritualize it so that it
is easier to believe. Does the prohibition against certain life styles as
portrayed in the Old and New Testaments offend or condemn? Challenge their
validity and interpret the words differently.
The beginning point of entry into the life of faith is one which each person
is able to choose or reject for themselves. It is perhaps easier to believe
in a God -- some entity in control -- who is caring and good and who has an
ultimate purpose in mind, than nothing. We all have a sense that there is a
life force that makes life worthwhile. There are medical doctors who care
about keeping people alive and well and yet who do not believe in a God, but
who do recognize the value of the individual and ascribe to societal standards
of doing no harm in order to promote life. Of course there are those who do
not care about the "ultimates" and just find the practice of medicine
exciting and an end in itself. This would be similar to those who work for a living
without regard to any end purpose of their production but who simply like
what they do and enjoy living well on their earnings. Some see miracles in
life and others do not. Some see confusion, chaos, and disorganization, while
others see order, intention, and purpose. Like a kaleidoscope the turns of
experience enable many to see different colors and patterns.
There are some vital themes that religious people hold in common, but so do
those who hold to an ethical culture. Love of family and friends and
extending to wider circles of society, caring of the weak and infirm, and those who
need protection from society at large or from "big business": or dishonest
business practices, etc., productivity, sacrifice for the good of others,
purpose in living and working, enjoyment of nature and advocacy of preserving
what we have, accumulation of knowledge and discovery (including exploration and
examination) of the natural world, Ethical practices in lifestyle and high
ideals for living. Because no one is perfect we all fail at our ideals and we
have doubts that creep in and corrupt our belief systems. The actions of
people of faith (whatever leap in the dark one takes) molds and builds
character and assists in the progress that mankind makes over the eons of existence.
At each juncture (each one chooses) there will be failure experienced and so
the old "two steps forward and one step back" slows progress at times and
almost smothers it at other times and yet when one examines history we see a
progression. The color of your tinted glasses of vision will tell you how much
or how little you see.
Thank God (oops) for the delete button!