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Posted by John Brook on June 27, 2003 14:08:50 UTC

"my response was in the spirit of trying to find out if apparent meanginglessness in the universe serves a strategic purpose to God rather than as an inherent limitation on our part (eg, our experiences are such that we are exposed to doubt along with our faith - versus meaninglessness playing a somewhat more integral role to the universe than merely our experiences)."

I suppose that would be equivalent to the dilemma about the fall. Did we fall out of our inherent wickedness, or is the fall itself a part of the plan that remains concealed from our eyes? But I think it is beside the point. One may argue that there never was such thing as a fall from grace; one may not, in my humble opinion, try to explain the fall in terms other than it was originally explained.

Christianity says everything matters. A Christian cannot be in the position of saying that some aspects of existence appear meaningless for any reason other than our ability to understand it. The savior's words are double-edged: He feels forsaken but He wants to know the reason, for He is convinced there is one.

"Scripture is one avenue of inspiration."

Scripture is THE avenue of inspiration for Christianity. You may look at the night sky, marvel at the vastnesss of the cosmos, and conclude there must be something far greater than ourselves out there. That will make you a different person but it won't make you a Christian. One only becomes a Christian by studying the life and words of Christ, just as much as one only becomes a physicist by studying physics. With all due respect to a person who engages in such an activity here, you don't become a Christian by marveling at science anymore than you become a physicist by marveling at nursery rhymes.

"But, there are other approaches of thought that I think also play a key role in coming to grips with a religious understanding of God."

Still scripture remains the original source and the final destination. A wise man may discover that the truly meaningful journey is the one that brings him back home. An even wiser man would never have to leave home to discover that home is where he wants to be.

"In the intellectual arena, we depend on scripture (i.e., past religious experiences and inspirational experiences of others in the past), as well as philosophy, physics, anthropology, biological evolutionary science, psychology, economics, sociology, art, music, etc."

The followers of Saint Paul knew next to nothing about philosophy, physics, anthropology, and so on. To understand Christianity means to understand what the first Christians understood. They were prodoundly moved by the message and needed no aid from anything else. What did they see with the naked eye that takes you a microscope and a telescope?

"I think it is a mistake to rely too much on scripture without regard to these other approaches to religion. It is the other approaches to religion that influence the contemporary interpretations of scripture, which is largely how scriptures maintain their meaning from one generation to the next."

There are many interpretations of scripture, but only one is true and eternal. I don't think a true Christian should be worried about fanciful, trendy jargon. Contempoary fancies but cloud the truth, which is as available today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Thanks for your commentary.

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