Monday, June 1
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Tag: Calvinism

Two Cheers For The Reformation … Well … Sorta … Kinda … Part II

Two Cheers For The Reformation … Well … Sorta … Kinda … Part II

Abrahamic Traditions, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, bigotry, Calvinism, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Christianity/Catholicism, Church, conflict, constitution, critical judgment, culture, Discernment, Ecumenism, Enlightenment, epistemology, Evangelicalism, faith, faithfulness, First Amendment, Fundamentalism, God, Ideology, law, Lutheranism, Martin Luther, monotheism, Politics, predestination, Rationality, Reformation, Religion, Religious War, Renaissance, Science, Scripture, Secularity, Seeing the Holy Spirit, separation of Church and State, theocracy, Theology, Tolerance, Uncategorized
From Part I:  So why and how did the warring parties finally settle the internecine dispute? Why is Europe not still being ravaged by sectarian warfare? Two-part answer:  (1) in places it is, e.g., the Balkan War, northern Ireland, et al.; (2) see Part II next week. Beginning around 1500 – we might not-quite-arbitrarily want to start with Columbus’s discovery of the New World in 1492 ... or maybe the invention of the printing press in the 1450s – two things began to occur in parallel with the raging religious war that was consuming the European Continent:  (a) the rise of science, and (b) the rediscovery and rejuvenation of the faculty of Reason in human beings. The combination of (a) and (b) led over time to that great efflorescence of autonomy and intellect that came to be known a...
The Unnecessary Hazards Of Promiscuous Mystery

The Unnecessary Hazards Of Promiscuous Mystery

Abrahamic Traditions, Archetypes, Challenge, Change, Christianity, critical judgment, culture, Dualism, Elie Wiesel, epistemology, faith, God, Holy Mystery, Ideology, Isaiah, Judaism, monotheism, Mystery, paradox, physics, quantum physics, Rationality, Religion, Science, Skeptic, spiritual growth, Spirituality, Theodicy, Uncategorized
As anyone knows who has read any of these “Skeptics” columns, I have very little patience, and even less respect, for that sub-discipline of theology known as theodicy:  the systematic process whereby a theologian attempts to “justify the ways of God to man,” in John Milton’s immortal phrase.  But there is one particular theodical tactic that puzzles me by virtue of its sheer persistence: the resort to mystery.  The “mystery response” is typically elicited when, in a theological conversation or debate, one cites radically different outcomes that, despite their incompatibility, a believer, Christian or otherwise, seeks to place on an equal footing in terms of supporting the goodness of God. A plane crashes. A hundred people are killed. A hundred survive. If during the conversation one a...