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Posted by Harvey on June 27, 2003 14:45:36 UTC

Hello John,

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.

What do you mean that we cannot explain the fall in terms other than it was originally explained? Are we to accept that the world was without malice and evil prior to humanity? Obviously this cannot be the case since even parasites appeared perhaps a billion or more years ago, long before the time that a fall could have taken place. Hence, we are left with no choice but to explain the fall in other terms if the fall is to have any meaning for our scientifically advanced age.

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.

Herein lies my point. Is the feeling of being forsaken or the appearance of meaninglessness itself a necessary criteria to our universe? If so, then what is the purpose of apparent meaninglessness? Is it human-laden (i.e., the purpose is for the benefit of humans), or is it more than that (i.e., something much more integral to God's creation)? I think apparent meaninglessness is much more integral than just a human-laden reason. The universe was not created with an apparent meaninglessness just for humans, but something much more fundamental is the reason (or so I think).

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.

This is true to a point. I say to a point because all the study of scripture in the world is not going to make you a Christian. Scripture is in conjuction with other things, both crucial and yet not by itself near sufficient.

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?

But, they did know a little philosophy, a little physics, a little anthropology, etc. The message of Christianity was tailored to their needs at the time, and some of those needs were intellectual needs. Had Christianity contradicted those needs, Christianity would have never been successful. Similarly, Christianity must evolve to continue to meeting the needs of each society, including our intellectual needs in a period of advanced science and philosophical understanding.

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.

Well, here I think you are advocating a form of elitism that has a way of distinguishing which Christians are 'true' and which are 'false' and one is in danger of limiting the Christian religion to its own agenda.

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