Universists? And The Good Book

I’ve nev­er heard of these folks before: Uni­ver­sists. I don’t have time to explore the site now, but if I stick it here, maybe I’ll remem­ber to do it lat­er. Maybe.
Uni­ver­sists are indi­vid­u­als who allow our per­son­al phi­los­o­phy to con­tin­ue evolv­ing. We are uplift­ed by a con­tin­u­ous search for mean­ing in a com­plex uni­verse that deserves our unbound­ed vision and appre­ci­a­tion. Uni­ver­sism posits that reli­gious phi­los­o­phy should not be con­ceived in terms of one’s views toward God, but rather the method and atti­tude with which one approach­es reli­gious ques­tions. Uni­ver­sists embrace the cre­ative force of uncer­tain­ty, which is fun­da­men­tal to human progress. We deter­mine our mean­ing and pur­pose indi­vid­u­al­ly; our under­stand­ing comes through per­son­al rea­son and expe­ri­ence. Our uni­verse is a beau­ti­ful con­stel­la­tion of ideas whose light is threat­ened only by the black hole of faith.

The Good Book

The prob­lem with the Bible is that it is very rare for peo­ple to have read it. They read extracts or the­o­log­i­cal com­men­taries, but rarely the text itself. I decid­ed that if I was going to come to terms with this book, I was­n’t going to read about it—I was going to read the book itself.

So, what is it all about? Well, the Bible is 66 sep­a­rate books writ­ten by 40 authors, over a peri­od of around 1500 years. There are 1400 pages and, so far as I could dis­cov­er, not a sin­gle joke. The Bible was writ­ten between about 700 BC and 500 AD and inspired, among oth­er things, the great cathe­dral build­ing of the Mid­dle Ages, the art of the Renais­sance, the music of Mozart and the spir­it of socialism. 

There’s no doubt­ing the Bible’s his­tor­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance. But the text itself is a mass of moral con­tra­dic­tions, strange sto­ries and arbi­trary laws, such as the one against wear­ing clothes woven of two types of mate­r­i­al (Leviti­cus, 20:6). God appears alter­nate­ly as a bru­tal tyrant and a com­pas­sion­ate father. To make any sense of it, I had to read it twice: first in the 1965 New Inter­na­tion­al trans­la­tion, and then the King James Autho­rised Ver­sion of 1611, the poet­ry of which has so enriched the Eng­lish lan­guage. I have quot­ed here prin­ci­pal­ly from the Old Tes­ta­ment, which makes up four-fifths of the Bible and much of which I find baf­fling. So many of its sto­ries either con­tain no moral mes­sage, or a high­ly ambigu­ous one. This is the Bible on which Chris­t­ian the­ol­o­gy is large­ly silent—the X‑rated version.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙂cheer­ful
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
Posts created 4255

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top