Although we have moved on from the last series of posts where I examined the ‘Closed Universe’ of my background and tradition – I was reminded today that part of belonging to that universe was a distinct ‘them and us’ attitude – although it would not be couched in such stark terms.
Of course this is far from an issue reserved for religious people. It has been found in every culture, tribe and tradition since the creation of the human race. In or out – belonging or not belonging – our village or outsider – local or incomer – and so the list could go on. Continue Reading
In our last post we ended by asking how the simplicity we see in the teaching of Jesus morphed into abusive systems of religion, which, in concert with the state has caused so much war, killing, abuse and persecution.
This is true both in the history of the Catholic and Protestant movements and their various branches such as, in my own background and universe, the Calvinist/ Reformed tradition here in Scotland which we examined in more detail in our last post. Continue Reading
Sometimes in life it is an off the cuff comment or sudden realisation that changes completely how you see things or even changes how you comprehend your universe. Such was the case for me a few years ago when I happened to read the statistics of literacy throughout the ages. Even as late as 1820 it is estimated only 12% of the people in the world could read and write.
One of the watchwords of the ‘Reformed’ tradition, in which I was brought up, is ‘Sola Scriptura’. Most traditional reformed theologians emphasise the Bible as the unique means by which God communicates with men and women. Of course this raises a very serious issue. What about the other 88% in 1820 – and what about the millions of people who lived before them? Was it not until after this time that the bulk of the world’s population could know God? Continue Reading
The prerequisite to hearing is listening. I find it very interesting that Jesus says to each and every one of the seven churches addressed by him in the book of Revelation – “Let the person who is able to hear, listen ..” (TV) Continue Reading
Earlier this week I spoke to a friend who lives in a very remote part of the Highlands of Scotland. I wondered how he was coping with the extra isolation he was facing as a result of the current crisis. Continue Reading