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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A New Perspective on an Old Meme

As you may well know, I am fascinated by Christian thought, rationalization, and theology. I read as much as I can, given my resources (of course). I generally prefer reading and learning about the more popular Christian sources -- in spite of the fact that I write about the more, shall we say, extremist, sources. Very rarely do I ever write about, say, liberal Christian views or theology.

There is a reason for that. It is not really interesting. The differences between liberal Christianity and secularism is almost undetectable. The only difference being the source of the supernatural (or lack thereof). Morality and life-views are almost identical outside of this mysterious supernatural realm. Giving liberal Christians, or even lapse Christians a pass is hardly difficult to fathom. They view the real world much as agnostics and atheists do: It is all up to us to make our lives better; some magical fairy sky-god isn't going to do all our work for us.

Which leads me to this abrupt realization. I, throughout all my reading journeys, have never come across something so stark and so startling as this statement:
Many religions describe many different gods. Buddhism has Buddha and other gods; Islam has Allah; Hinduism has 300 million different gods from which to choose; and while Judaism’s god seems very similar to the Biblical version, Judaism’s god is one that requires little faith and lots of works. Any god that is different than God Himself is a false god, and there are many in the world today. [emphasis mine]

In other words, there is no Judeo-Christian God. There is a Jewish god and the one, true, Christian God. The two are not the same.

I just wonder if the god of the epistle writer, James, is not the one true God either...
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble! 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? [James 2:18-22 NKJV]

James seems to be saying that gobs of faith (as was shown by Abraham) and lots of works. But then again James only wrote one minor epistle in the New Testament, so he can be ignored.

Oh and the source of that quote? Jason Lovelace in his piece, "The False Gods of this World" over at Rapture Ready.

Would it be bad of me to remember this and pull it out any time some Christian mentions "Judeo-Christian God" or uses the Jewish (i.e. Old Testament) bible as proof that Jesus is part of some trinity of gods which includes said Jewish "God"?

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