For the last several weeks, I have been following the news out of the UK about the Parliament’s vote on PM Theresa May’s foredoomed plan for Brexit, including one installment of “Prime Minister’s questions,” which, for obvious reasons, centered on the still-falling debris from the May government’s unprecedented 230-vote blow-up of Mrs. May's Brexit deal. It had all the tragic dignity of, say, Sophocles’ Oedipus trilogy: you know what is going to happen, but for that very reason, you simply cannot bring yourself to avert your gaze. I was all the more horrified because, knowing the Parliament vote was imminent and that it would be followed by the 29 March deadline imposed by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, I had begun some weeks before to read about the European Union (EU), Brexit, and
Have you ever had the experience of noticing a certain pattern in a wild variety of contexts, a pattern that occurs so consistently that you feel it simply has to mean something … but you have no idea what? I say “in a wild variety of contexts” to rule out cases of patterns that occur within the same context, even though, at the time, you may have no idea of the cause. I remember back in the early 1960s, when I was in junior-high school, I went on a “geology jag”. I spent several months reading books on geology, geophysics, and volcanology that noted with perplexity the mysterious – in the early '60s – pattern whereby volcanic activity tended to be concentrated around the circumference of, e.g., the Pacific Basin, what we today call the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” and similar places.
In my experience, most Christians – on the left no less than on the right – believe in whatever kind of God they want, or often need, to believe in. Fine. Fair enough. But in that case, neither left nor right can claim the name “Christian” and, at the same time, cite the Bible as, in any sense, being authoritative. If you are playing tennis, then you must abide by the rules of tennis. Therefore, you cannot play tennis and simultaneously claim to have defeated your opponent with a score of 5 under par. I.e., you cannot claim to worship God according to the dictates of your own private, idiosyncratic conscience, however enlightened such may be, and simultaneously play the “Christianity-game” by the rules of the publicly examinable document known as the Bible. If, as you claim, the Bible