|I cannot live without books. -Thomas Jefferson||Reading Lists|
|Religions of the world generally have good relationships with one another until one of them claims to worship the one and only true God. -Britt Towery||Quotes|
Since all other than orthodox is heretical by definition, it is thereby 'Bad Religion.' Ross, a practicing Catholic, argues that Christianity is a highly paradoxical religion whose orthodox views provide a necessary and hard won narrative: The one true synthesis of those paradoxical elements. The argument is not very compelling to me, particularly as it opens with the usual demagogic description of American society as corrupted, in decline both institutionally and morally, etc., only to be corrected by embracing his religion. (Yawn ... why is it that this theme has been sounded since, I don't know, the dawn of history?)
But the book is nonetheless valuable for its summary of those Christian paradoxes, as well as a survey of various Christian trends like Evangelical fundamentalism, prosperity gospel, liberation theology, revival of Gnosticism, etc., all of which he labels as heresies, and finally an 80 year history of the intersection of politics and Christianity in America.
Book Book Review, Title People of the Book, Author Geraldine Brooks, Rating 4.0,
People of the Book
Geraldine Brook's historical novel, People of the Book, tells the fascinating and uplifting story of how people of different faiths created and protected a Jewish book of worship known as the Sarajevo Haggadah for over five hundred years, a period marked by much religious conflict.
Pope Francis, recently elected, has my attention and admiration.¬† I must admit to having been uninterested in those men who have occupied the papacy during my lifetime; I am not a Catholic, nor particularly religious for that matter.¬†¬† But Francis seems different: He has humbly eschewed the pomp of the office, worries aloud and often about the poor, opens the door to all, emphasizes a loving attitude towards homosexuals (contrary to so many fundamentalists of various religions), openly questions the excesses of the marketplace, has recently taken steps to deal more honestly with the pedophilia issues within his Church, and emphasizes much more the mystery of God rather than the rigid confines of orthodoxy and doctrine.
"Adherents of religion and science too often want to¬†own¬†the unknown"
Victor Stenger, a physicist who has written extensively about religion and science, asserts emphatically that science and religion cannot be reconciled, and at best merely coexist in parallel thought universes. His primary argument is that faith requires no evidence and science does. Alfred North Whitehead, in his essay Religion and Science, emphasizes the commonality of change in both science and religion, and that both are more plastic than the controversialists from either camp would acknowledge. Is Stenger one of those controversialists? Can religion and science be reconciled?
Book Book Review, Title How Now Shall We Live?, Author Charles Colson, Rating 2.0,
How Now Shall We Live?
By the time Charles Colson got out of prison in the mid-70's, having been convicted for acts of political skullduggery during the Watergate scandal, he had converted to Evangelical Christianity. How Now Shall We Live was his best-seller, an homage to Francis Schaeffer's view of Western history. Schaeffer was a presuppositional millennialist who in the 1970's left the quiet life of a Christian intellectual to help lead the evangelicals to the heights of political activism we see today in the U.S.
Just because you believe something to be true doesn't mean it is true.
Conversely, just because something cannot be proven doesn't mean it isn't true.