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High stakes for religion....

By R. A. Landbeck  Posted by R. A. Landbeck (about the submitter)     Permalink
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David vs Goliath hardly seems an adequate metaphor. Expecting a single 365 page manuscript to overthrow two thousands years of global institution sounds laughable. But if the new Christian teaching spreading on the web is authenticated in sufficient numbers to make this new truth claim irrefutable fact, and given the growing number of sites and links for downloading this teaching, and growing antidotal evidence of confirmations, one may surely assume this process is under way. The implications defy imagination!

 

The stakes are fightingly high for monotheism. All three traditions have recently come under mounting critical attack in the West by the fashionable publishing successes of evolutionary biologists and atheists such as Dr. Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and friends, but their impact on religion is superficial at best. These intellectual suicide bombers go bang, but their target is unperturbed and they achieve little; yet the unquestioned veracity of their criticism is a timely reminder of the contradictions and unresolved questions and doubts inhabiting the 'religious' milieu.

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The true origins of Christianity are heavily obscured. History remains unconvinced exactly what 'revelation' was passed on by Jesus two thousand years ago. Thus do three competing monotheisms exist and growing secularisation. Popular fiction like the DaVinci Code thrives in the confusion of an early church divided in disagreement, until Constantine, a forth century secular emperor laid the institutional foundations for a church by forcing a 'theological' settlement on rival factions in return for a bankroll. The rest of Christian history has been built upon the decision to enforce scriptural uniformity by agreeing 'canonical' texts, known as the Bible or New Testament, and the theological development of that collection into the doctrines, dogma and numerous traditions known today. Therefore the claims and very existence of the 'church' rests upon the efficacy of theology as a valid human intellectual endeavour?

And theology is what The Final Freedoms blows right out of the water. First, by using scriptural material drawn not only from canonical sources, but equally relying on the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Nag Hammadi Library of Gnostic Gospels and other non canonical texts, this interpretation demonstrates that any religious claim based solely upon the Bible never contained the revealed teaching of Christ in the first place. And this is not just abstract argument.

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The flaws and cracks in religious thought began showing as the Enlightenment spread rapidly across Europe, scientists giving primacy to experience. Early religious challenges to science soon faded as its secular powers declined and religion withdrew into obscurantism, where the growing authority of science, with it empirical conception of knowledge, could not interfere with or question an unfettered religious imagination.

Even today religion remains hostage to the same primitive thinking that marked its origins. At the same time, the primacy of the scientific method continued from strength to strength and into modernity on the back of its successes in understanding the natural world. Even as that stream of understanding has slowed considerably and it often shirks the moral implications of its research.

From this dichotomy virtually all criticism of monotheism is founded. In brief, as no proof of God has been offered by tradition, religion has no means to either demonstrate or validate its claims to represent what may be a potential reality. Religion [and science] have always presumed a demonstrable proof of God to be impossible.

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And with that thought, the danger of presumption and an appreciation of the full magnitude of religious, no less intellectual and moral paradigm change taking place becomes apparent. For the impossible has become possible. And the difference between a 'theological' counterfeit and a true revelation becomes apparent.

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