Interpret with purpose

I’m reading a book called “the sacredness of questioning everything” by Daniel Dark. In a recent chapter he suggested to interpret the bible however you need in order to change the way you treat people. If you choose a literal interpretation, but your attitude toward others remains cold, what is the point. If an allegorical interpretation causes you to treat others with compassion, continue reading this way. However you need to read the bible so that you understand that the message is love, do so. This view is not relativism. This view accepts the Truth that is love.

Winning an argument.

I know I can be arrogant.  I hate losing an argument, but I try hard to be *capable* of losing an argument. I see so many people who will not concede their position, nor accept the validity of another’s point of view…ever.  I don’t want to be one of those people.  I probably need to try harder to be a questioner rather than a knower.  I know it is cliche, but learning to listen may be the most important lesson.  It is one I know I struggle with and have to learn over and over again.

Working to understand different points of view takes courage.  I hope I can reduce my ego, and courageously admit my shortcomings.  I hope my understanding and compassion will increase if I succeed.

Capitalism & Christianity

I have always had a problem with the conservative political right wing claiming to be the “Christian party”. Perhaps some democratic beliefs are at odds with Christian belief, but the socialist tendencies of the democrats seems to fit better with the way of life of early Christians.  For some indication of what I am talking about, consider the following passage from Acts chapter 2:

43 A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders.44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had.45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.46 They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generositys—47 all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved. (Acts Ch. 2)

There is no competition, no “free market”.  Only people in fellowship with one another taking care of one another.  Perhaps the conservative right, with their emphasis on competition and “survival of the fittest” has more in common with Darwinism than Christianity.  Of course I support both, but that is a different post. :)

I do not understand – Genesis 18 & 19

I have difficulty wrapping my head around some of the disgusting imagery in the Bible.  I can maybe begin to accept that the text was written by people of a very different time and a very different culture, but then I constantly hear conservative Christians defend absolutist interpretation and deny the need to read the Bible with the cultural context of the times in mind.

Questions-Matthew 5 & 6

“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven! (Matthew 5:20)

The passage above seems as though Christ is saying we must uphold the law perfectly, he seems to draw a specific line in sand. But he does not note impossibility of task or how He is the way to eternal life and forgiveness.  It seems as though Jesus himself delivered his own gospel message in parts.  Here he seems to be focusing on the conviction of the Law.

Science is science – nothing more.

This post was taken from a comment I made to a friend on facebook.  Odd the places we find inspiration.

A theory presented without evidence is not a scientific theory at all. Each (science & religion) has a different set of rules. Science is governed by naturalistic evidence, religion is governed by revelation.

Just because science is governed by naturalistic evidence does not mean all areas need to be. I adopt methodological naturalism-meaning that using only natural evidence is a very powerful strategy for understanding nature. I do not adopt metaphysical naturalism-meaning nature is all there is.

Science is uniquely suited to studying nature, but when we take science beyond it’s limits we get into dangerous waters. If we only used evidence to make all decisions, & ignored our hearts, we would find ourselves in a society I would not like to be a part of.

Lineages in the Bible

While reading Genesis chapter 5 I found my thoughts thinking about how people in the past have used the lineages to determine the age of the Earth.  While this seems to be a creative idea to answer such a question using only the Bible, I do not believe we should limit ourselves when trying to understand God’s creation.   Read more