Danger Zone History

Closed Universe – Part 3

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

Danger Zone History

Closed Universe – Part 2

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

Hard Talk History

Closed Universe – Part 1

This post and those that follow in this short series are of necessity longer than normal. So I will gave a spoiler alert at the beginning. If any of the following applies to you then you need not read these posts any further.

  • You are happy to live inside your closed universe.
  • You have no interest in any spiritual aspect of life outside your universe.
  • If you are religious and you believe your church, denomination, tradition or group is the only true one.
  • You do not have any nagging questions about your belief system.
  • You are happy to be told what to think.

On the other hand if you have questions about any of the above – perhaps this post will be worth reading. Continue Reading

The Heart of God

Childlike God

Held close to his mother the baby fed gently at her breast. A short time later, full and satisfied, he lay in her arms as she smiled down at him. As all infants this baby too was helpless – totally dependent on his mother for sustenance, care, love and life. Yet this baby was God – a God unconditionally restricted and absolutely resigned to the care and love of a human mother – she his benefactor and yet he, mysteriously, hers. Continue Reading

Hard Talk

The Stick

Guido Brunetti, Commissario of Police in Venice, Italy, does not believe in God and has a very low opinion of all religion. However, one evening, in pursuit of a case, he found himself in a small house church in Venice listening to Brother Leonardo. The record of Leonardo’s talk to the group, in Donna Leon’s fictional account, is fairly extensive. Continue Reading