Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Battle For God: Part Four

This part takes me through age of enlightenment, and runs me smack into the colonial era, but with reference to the Muslims, about whom, once again, I know little, so my review peters out in that area.

Page 94: Here I take issue with parentheses. I know. I have stooped to that level. In reference to Darwin's works, she said that "animals, plants, and human beings had not been created fully formed (as the Bible implied)." To this I say hoooey. There is no implication. Read Genesis chapter one, in which it refers to fruit trees, seed-bearing plants, sea creatures, birds, livestock, reptiles, men and women. At every stage it refers to things which would require billions of years of evolution. The Bible states that things were created fully formed, they were, after all "very good."

Page 95: "But this was to miss the point, because, as a myth, the biblical creation story was not an historical account of the origins of life but a more spiritual reflection upon the ultimate significance of life itself..." And the point of the spiritual reflection is that God is lying to you because you can't handle the truth. Man that sucks.

Page 110: This part is more interesting than controversial. Religious disputes begin not by striking a blow against the threat, but in disputes with fellow believers. The future fundamentalists start by accusing their correligionists of making too many concessions to the threatening ideology. They then retreat into an enclave, from where emerges a religious counter-culture to retake the conquered ground.

Page 111: Armstrong speaks disparagingly about the reactions to modern secularism among traditional religious groups, because the fundamentalist approaches are very much modern in their perspective, i.e., they incorporate modern logical, scientific, and attitudinal approaches into a traditional form. I counter that rather than a corruption of religion, this demonstrates that religion adapts to meet the changing needs of its time, only adapts is too weak a word. If one starts with the assumption of an active God, one would expect that He would alter the religion to suit the challenges against it, all while maintaining the veracity of what was said. When one is challenged at the main gate, would you not redirect your resources to that area, rather than reinforcing battlements in the rear? To fight modernity with modernities weapons is to face the enemy with belief in terms that they can understand. In short, such adaptation is sensible and necessary, and, most likely, divinely directed.

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