Enough of this kumba ya. Read the Bible and creeds. You are distorting Christian doctrine.
WRM, when we perceive the power of ideas and ideals…meaning and coherence of existence, we are not merely enthralled by transcendence but awaken to the idea/meaning of faith; “something triggers a moment of special clarity and insight….”
2011-12 Yule Blogs have been both celebratory and meaningful – gracious thanks.
“God is the baby in the heart of his family, the adored child whose presence gives new meaning and hope to the parents and friends.” WRM
But what do we do when the child has grown up and moved away? Into a crumbling democracy ruled by corporate greed and irresponsibility?
I have dark feelings in this Yule Tide season.
Very moving post and I think that such ideas will be the basis of an eventual revival of faith among educated people who are now largely missing from the pews of traditional churches. I wonder which other writers share some of WRM’s perspective. Where in Christendom would a seeker now find such a congregation?
WRM I have done a search for the word grace on all your 2010-2011 yule blogs to-date and have come up empty except for one obscure entry. The concept of grace is one of the cornerstones of Christianity “But by grace are ye saved..” Eph 2:8 KJV. That is but one example of my reference earlier to you distorting Christian doctrine. When we are not knowledgeable about our Christian foundation we will be doomed. What is your understanding of grace? Do you believe in the Trinity? Do you know what salvation means? These are the cornerstones of Christianity are they not? Don’t misunderstand, I think your essays are fine, but as they say, remember the basics.
[email protected]: Isn’t Aram the place Abraham had to leave before he could more fully perceive God?
@Kris- Abraham perceived God the minute he obeyed God’s command to leave Haran.The rest of one’s life is the hard work of sanctification. Haran is in the Mesopotamia.Aram is the biblical name for Syria (high land). Haran approximately borders Syria’s northern boundry.
We all have to make the commitment to leave Haran( our old selves) and follow the Lord.
“All human beings encounter something in life that seems to transcend ordinary experience.”
I’ve experienced awe at standing in Charlemange’s tomb and felt the weight of history. I’ve stood in the Alps and experienced an intense vertigo. I’ve held my daughter and wondered what the hell I’ve done now.
I can’t say I’ve experienced something that transcends ordinary experience. Sorry.
An atheist who claims meaning is experiencing the most extreme form of cognitive dissonance that I can think of. If it ultimately doesn’t matter in the future, then why does it matter now? However, I suppose that’s the only way to convince oneself to get out of bed everyday and accomplish anything without going mad by fully acknowledging the consequence of a life that ultimately leads to nothingness. I suspect that most claimed Atheists actually fall under Agnostic thinking. I suspect Barack Obama is actually Agnostic, given what we know of his past church activities along with words and actions that strike me as similar to Agnostics I know.
Here is one Christian’s approach to the Bible.
1. Interpret everything in light of what Christ said were the two greatests commandments: to love the Lord with all your heart and strength and soul and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
2. It follows that the Gospels are the most important texts, particularly the sayings attributed to Jesus. (Matthew 5-7 is amazing.)
3. Next in importance are the epistles, followed by the Old Testament, as guides to how Christians should behave.
4. Contradictions should be resolved with reference to 1.
5. Never forget that all the characters are people of their time. What sounds horrific to 21st century ears may make a great deal of sense and even beauty when one learns more about those places and those times.
What does it profit a man if he should gain “personal meaning”, but lose his soul?
It’s fashionable for Christian intellectuals (even the likes of Niebuhr fell into this trap) to identify too much with atheists who have found “meaning” or “morality”… without Christ.
But remember, by rejecting God they reject their eternal salvation.
How can giving them aid, comfort, and fellowship along this path possibly be right?