August 31st, 2004


Theology and history for fun and no profit

I suppose one should not be terribly surprised that, according to Andrew Sullivan - yes, I know he's an irritating squirt, but he keeps track of some interesting stuff - some politicised Evangelicals have taken to referring to Christians of whom they disapprove as 'once-borns'. They really don't ever pay any attention to what it says in the Gospels about spiritual snobbery, do they? Strange that, in people who regard the Bible as a total guide to life.

Meanwhile, on a linked matter, the Archbishop of Canterbury has actually confronted fundamentalists and the Pope on another issue - whether good non-Christians go to Heaven. 'Neither I nor any other Christian controls access to Heaven...I say this as someone who is quite happy to say that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through him. But how God leads people through Jesus to heaven - that can be quite varied I think.'

This is a radical reading of the text - arguing that Christ saved people through intercession and death and not by founding a Church - but my friends who read Greek say it is a rather more plausible reading of the Gospels than the standard sectarian one. It is also an interpretation that I had troubled to work out for myself, hence checking with the friends who read Greek.

You may ask why an atheist like me should care what Christians think, or what Jesus said, and it is a fair question. The answer is partly that I have friends and relatives who are Christians, and who worry endlessly about the fate of my soul and the souls of other friends now dead, and it was an act of kindness to talk to them in their own terms about this. And it is partly that we have to share a planet with Christians who are not our friends, and that anything that gives us a chance of confounding their dangerous certainties is useful.

Meanwhile, I fell on my bad knee again yesterday- in spite of the weather, I am just going to have to wear Docs for a while until my ankle stops being floppy. The annoying thing was that I had planned a day of serious movie-going and, by the time I limped home, clearly wasn't in the mood. So I watched another thirteen episodes of Alias Season Two instead - I have so many other things I should be watching, but I wanted something that was by no means work. Once I have watched the remaining six - which will mean two seasons in less than a week - I shall try and have thoughts.

Trying to make sense of the Rambaldi stuff has meant that I have also been thinking about the historical backstory of the Jossverse. Collapse )

I have too many thoughts. I need to do actual work.