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The Forum > Article Comments > Religious feeling > Comments

Religious feeling : Comments

By Peter Sellick, published 24/3/2005

Peter Sellick discusses our religious feelings and emotions at Easter time.

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I am surprised that there are no responses to this article. I did note. Peter that you wrote that you do not regard God as first cause and yet that is exactly what one of the so called Christians who regularly respond to OLO wrote recently.

I enjoyed your article. There is much to speculate about as to why recent manifestations of religious feeling are emphasising the Ďpassion and painí and de-emphasising the rationality of the Christian faith.

I am a bit bothered by your comment about modern persecutors of the Christian faith. Iím not sure who you mean here. Do you mean people such as me who strenuously object to those Christians who are proud of their irrational belief in the Bible as the actual word of God
Posted by Mollydukes, Sunday, 27 March 2005 6:42:58 PM
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I can only guess that this article has not attracted comment because it has nothing to say about sex or politics. God as first cause is more borrowed from Aristotle than the Judeo/Christian tradition. I has become part of modernisms concept of God via the early Enlightenment scientists. For example, when Newton found that he did not need God to correct the orbits of the planets he then ascribed their original lateral motion to God as first cause. It is my opinion that this has been a huge mistake because it has removed God from a very sophisticated theological tradition whose basis was in the experience of Israel and which was developed in the early church as the doctrine of the Trinity. God as first cause is monistic and hence unchristian. As regards the bible being Godís Word this requires interpretation. It is not as though this monad, that is called God by some, transmitted the text of the bible directly into our minds and onto the page. However, to say that the bible is the Word of God bears witness to a common spirit in its pages. This is not testable by modern empirical historiography because it is obvious that much that is related could not have happened in the world we know and understand. But it does say that what the writers were saying bore a common thread of truth and is thus the Word of God. When this is understood we can say that the bible is infallible, not that it relates events as they actually happened, as if we had a video of the red sea parting, but that it never fails to speak the truth.
Posted by Sells, Sunday, 27 March 2005 8:32:42 PM
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I didn't read all of this, but you mentioned something about Jesus not having to suffer. Physically? IDK, maybe not. Christian tradition states that mankind dies because of "the Fall", so perhaps it is appropriate that Jesus suffered in his death. The true pain, however, is that he was completely separated from God the Father, (i.e. he suffered the pain of hell). This kind of spiritual suffering, I imagine, would have been felt quite strongly physically, particularly if he was only barely alive.
Posted by YngNLuvnIt, Monday, 28 March 2005 12:47:35 PM
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Peter, as you say, the 'truth' in the Bible requires interpretation, and constant re-assessment. I would agree that the Bible never fails to speak the truth, as long as the person is listening and not simply reading in search of easy answers.

The reversion to fundamentalism is to be expected in response to the lack of spiritual and psychological solace that our materialistic society provides and is perhaps a better reaction than depression.

But as Lloyd Geering, the Presbyterian progressive theologian that I heard on Radio National this afternoon seemed to be saying, the real 'truth' in the Bible transcends the time in which the documents were written.
Posted by Mollydukes, Monday, 28 March 2005 6:35:47 PM
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