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 a proud Mommy & Mémé, professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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