06/03/2013

An Outline of Apocalyptic Theology from Zoroaster to Al Gore

This Outline traces how  a well-defined apocalyptic worldview made its first appearance around 1500 BCE in the teachings of a Persian prophet by the name of Zoroaster. These teachings were further developed in a great body of literature known as Jewish Apocalyptic in the 2nd Century BCE. This mode of thinking was then taken up in Apocalyptic Christianity. These deep apocalyptic roots have finally found expression in more secular apocalyptic movements such as Marxism and Environmentalism. What all these apocalyptic movements have in common is the shared myth of some ideal or Golden Age at the beginnings of human history and the myth that somehow mankind has fallen away from what things used to be or should have been. Apocalyptic in whatever form is “a theology of despair” in that it takes the pessimistic view that the world and the human condition continues to deteriorate and hastens to some cataclysmic end. This Outline concludes with a far more optimistic view of human history – constant improvement of the human condition and a future that is “infinite in all directions”.

To read this paper n full, click on the link below:

Outline of ApocalypticTheology from Zoaraster to Al Gore

 

 

 

05/03/2013

From Retaliation To Unconditional Love: The Grand Narrative of Human Exodus

In this essay, Wendell Krossa (www.wendellkrossa.com) looks at human history in terms of a great Exodus journey from mankind’s primitive animal past. The dawning and development of human consciousness leads us away from all forms of retaliation, including the forms that have been scralized by religion, to the practice of unconditional love.

Click on the link below to read this essay in full:

Retaliation and Unconditional Last revision (5)

 

 

05/12/2012

Articles by Weston Allen on Bible

Dr. Weston Allen wrote this paper on the nature of Biblical literature about 15 years ago, and never got around to finishing the section on two books of the Old Testament that go by the name of Joshua and Judges. We like what Wes has produced so much that we have decided to publish what he has already completed, hoping that this may also inspire him to finish an excellent project.  RDB for Irenic Publications.

The Bible Says-Weston Allen

APPENDIX to The Bible Says-Weston Allen

 

20/09/2012

The Demolition of Religious Mythology

John B. Brinsmead

Since the 16th century three great paradigm shifts have seriously called into question the religious traditions of the Christian West.

Whilst the scientific disciplines have been able to adapt to these paradigm shifts, the religious establishments have been thrown into disarray and insecurity, and especially because they have been shackled by their own claims to either ecclesiastical or Biblical infallibility.

The first great paradigm shift was the Copernican Revolution.

The heliocentric cosmology of Copernicus freed humanity from the mythic heavens of supernatural beings, be they gods or demons, and gave us the secular heavens governed by the laws of physics. No longer was the earth to be seen as Dante’s centre of the universe with heaven above and hell beneath. In the new cosmology, the sun did not rotate around the earth as the Church and the Bible implied, but the earth actually moved (contrary to what the Church and the Bible emphatically stated) around the sun.
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20/09/2012

Jesus According to the Q – The Earliest Portrait of the Historical Jesus

Author: Robert D. Brinsmead

August 2008

The Significance of the “Q” Document

For some time it has been accepted by the historical Jesus scholars, whether Catholic, Protestant or Jewish, that Mark was the earliest of the four NT Gospels. It was written by an unknown Gentile Christian source around 70 AD. Some 15-25 years later, Matthew and Luke, written also by unknown sources, both copied Mark. They also added sayings of Jesus that were drawn from another common but unsighted source. It was the German scholars who first coined the term “Quelle” (meaning “Source”) to identify this unsighted source material used by Matthew and Luke. It now simply goes by the name Q.

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20/09/2012

The End and Abolition of Religion

Author: Robert D. Brinsmead

I have a dream…” Martin Luther King Jr.

“You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…” John Lennon, Imagine

I too have dreamed…

There was a tribe that lived happily together in the rainforest. They were like one big happy family who worked, played and sang together under the stars.

One day a shaman arrived declaring that the Great Spirit of the forest had a plan to bestow his endless favours on everyone who put devotion to the Great Spirit above everything else, even above family or friends.

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20/09/2012

The Roots of Religious Violence

Robert D. Brinsmead

Extracts from The Scandal of Joshua ben Adam, No God Above and Essay 2A, The Divinity of Jesus, RDB, April 200l

The idea of God as a non-human, vertical, authority is the most destructive weapon ever let loose on the earth. In God’s name the worst tyrannies and inhumanities are legitimised by becoming sacralized.

Let the idea of God being a vertical authority above us be accepted, let the idea that this relationship takes precedence over human relationships be accepted, then the door is wide open for every human atrocity, tyranny, deprivation of liberty and destruction of human rights. This is how a sensitive human being like Saul of Tarsus got caught up dragging Christians in chains before the authorities. He put devotion to his God before human obligations. In the same way good men got involved in torturing people in the Inquisition or carrying out Pogroms against the Jews. For sure they were human enough to hurt as they kicked against the goads of their own human consciousness, but the higher authority called God made them do these inhuman things.

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19/09/2012

What Do We Mean by Theology?

Robert D. Brinsmead

In this section of our website we will discuss the big picture stuff that we could call Worldview rather than Theology. Whether we are theists or atheists makes no difference to the fact that we all hold to things that are of ultimate concern and value to us. We all search for a sense of meaning in the world and in our own existence.

In this sense everybody has a theology or a worldview.  Think of it as a pair of very powerful glasses that colour and shape the way we look at the world. As the ancient Talmud puts it, “We do not see things are they are; we see them as we are.”  Or as Arthur Herman puts it, “Pessimism and optimism are attitudes the scholar brings to his analysis of events, not conclusions that arise from that analysis.” (The Idea of Decline in Western History, p.3) He could have said exactly the same thing about the scientists who analyze climate change data. They too bring their worldview or theology to the interpretation of the data. It is like that old saying, “Two men looked out through the prison bars; one saw mud and the other stars.”  It is the worldview that one holds that determines the way one sees things.

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