30 Jan 2015
The Judeo-Christian Scriptures are a very old collection of relics in antiquity. It has many historical events and artifacts associated with it.
As an enthusiastic student of the Bible, it is practical to understand (and appreciate) the different
interpretations made about it. Most of these interpretations are significant in forming theological doctrines. They include the Genesis debate, the Atonement debate, the Nature of Sin debate, and the hell debate/conditional immortality (among others). They are debates that are unresolved as the original text leaves them inexhaustibly vague. There are also theological positions that align with several interpretations at once (Calvinism, Arminianism, Plagiarism, Open Theism). But other debates are extra-biblical, such as the Gnostic gospels, the Shroud of Turin, and commentary/traditions that have taken precedence in Christianity. It is tempting to take the views of your spiritual leader or favorite theologian, but this proves problematic when certain life events occur.
What is one to do if a car wreck happens to a family member, and they are taken without warning? What kind of spiritual foundations prepare one for such an occurrence? It would seem that the beliefs taken from one who has not seen the harrowing grief of such an event might not survive ordeal. Or what if evidence is presented the Christian that is unmistakably articulate that to dismiss it is to superficially claim irrationally… Questions could penetrate the surface of our minds and approach the hearts of someone who limits their exposure to the truth as it is natively written.
It seems to me that best offense is to simply a good defense. By that, I mean that conversion of the opposition is much less important than knowing the structural integrity of one’s own position. People are looking for security and stability in life. If someone who is questioning the validity of Christianity finds the incarnated Spirit of God via a Christian buckling under the pressure, it is going to be an unsafe step into that faith boat. On the one hand, a Christian needs to show a genuine respect for the opponent’ thought process and premise, and reason with them towards the inception roots. On the other hand, agnostics, atheists, and deists need to be able level with Christians and reason with them on the finer, and more technical points of their lifestyle position. It should be ruled out that atheists, agnostics, and deists may bring Christians to a new level of understanding of the material world that Christians neglected to consider, and thus allow a mutual friendship to occur.
A good degree in theology always needs to have a good chunk of history included in it. History is just crucial for a contextual understanding of the Bible, and the doctrines. This includes ancient history and medieval history. As for the inclusion of ancient history, the grand majority of the Judeo-Christian Bible is the Old Testament, where the foundations are laid. Additionally, understanding non-biblical historical events, nations, and cultures enriches the comprehension and appreciation of the Bible and its principles. Medieval for its care and cultivation of a more sophisticated treatment of the interpretations of Scripture. Commentaries from outside the Jewish community greatly extend the exposure of this covenant lifestyle in the world. Scientific, technological, and generally intellectual advance allow for a greater context for the deviation of beliefs around the time of the enlightenment.
The nature of conspiracies is that they cannot be exposed to too much light, or they would shift from the category of “conspiracy” to “fact”, alleviating the shroud of concern. While this might seem to be a natural approach to take, conspiring groups take pride in their semi-hidden nature, and work to keep it that way. It is prudent to be leery of conspiracies, which lack much light from a large audience. It is also wise to be leery of groups that are abusive, slanderous, disrespectful, explicit, or sinister in any way. While preference is certainly a privilege of certain nations these days, it doesn’t make all options safe or healthy choices. Patience should be a guarded characteristic of decision in life, and choosing a group that is a Bible-heavy group when one is an atheist because it is a “good philanthropic route” is setting a course for disaster. Respect is a universal principle, no matter the belief vantage point.
Unity found in objectivity
Certainly people can communicate messages that are misunderstood because of presuppositions and bias. It is easy to dismiss relationships upon the discovery of someone’s theistic background. But rationally, this doesn’t really pan out. Even those who align on 9 out of 10 points are still going to disagree on something, even if it is the type of food served for dinner. Some give and take needs to happen in all relationships, and that’s really the sign of longevity in a relationship in the first place! Theistic roots need to be discovered in all belief systems for them to be whole, and scientifically-technical details help to demystify, and validate belief systems for rational individuals. Everyone starts the journey from one side to the other if they are to make relationships across belief systems. And “belief cross-fitness” needs to be able to bend and not break under the pressure of new and foreign evidence…