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- Activist Feedback
- Essay: What is Theologically Correct?
- The November Peaceable
Table Is Now Online
- This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary
- Humane Critter Catcher
1. Activist Feedback
Super-activist Rick Hershey writes:
I handed out 1200 booklets
this evening at the Independence Event Center for the Matthew West
tour. The crowd was approximately 80% adults and 20% kids.
Upcoming Activist Opportunities
MI Port Huron New Song's Very Merry Christmas Tour
MI Manitowoc Newsong's Very Merry Christmas Tour
AZ Phoenix Sanctus
Real Christian Rock Concert
PA Reading Stephen
Curtis Chapman 12 Gifts Tour
MD Baltimore Stephen Curtis Chapman 12 Gifts Tour
OH Cincinnati Gaither Homecoming Christmas Tour
MI Grand Rapids Gaither Christmas Homecoming Tour
12/15 TN Nashville
Relient K Christian Concert
NC Greensboro Stephen Curtis Chapman 12 Gifts Tour
Stephen Curtis Chapman 12 Gifts
12/30-31 VA Lynchburg
WinterFest Christian Rock Festival
WV Charleston Winter Jam 2013 Tour Spectacular
What is Theologically Correct?
Last Sunday, there was a note
that someone left inside my pew’s hymnal: “This hymn is theologically
incorrect.” This got me wondering: What does theologically incorrect
mean? Who decides what is theologically correct and incorrect, and on
what grounds do they base that claim?
I think it is one thing
to say, “My interpretation of Scripture (or my understanding of God’s
nature) is different,” or to say, “I disagree with your interpretation
of Scripture (or understanding of God’s nature) for the following
reasons …” It is quite another thing to say, “You are wrong.” The last
statement presumes a degree of knowledge and understanding that, I
think, exceeds human capacities. The first statements express an
opinion, which may be an opinion about which one has a high degree of
confidence but, as with all opinions, may be incorrect. The last
statement is expressed as a fact, and in order for such a factual
statement to be valid, rather than just a manifestation of arrogance
and hubris, one must have certain knowledge of the mind of God.
There is a fundamental logical problem with claiming certainty. If one
claims that one is certain about a statement, then it is reasonable
for someone to ask, “On what grounds do you claim such certainty?”
Whatever evidence one might propose is potentially corruptible and,
consequently, cannot be regarded as proof. For example, one might
point to biblical passages for “proof,” yet the skeptic could raise
questions about the degree to which the Bible comes from God, the
validity of the translation, the meaning of the words in their
original languages, the intent of the writers, and what the proper
context of the passage(s) should be. One can have opinions about these
questions, but in order to answer any of these questions with
certainty, one must know the mind of God. In other words, one must be
equal with God, which I strongly doubt any of us can reasonably claim.
Even if we hold that Jesus was one with God, none of us is Jesus.
Alternatively, one might point to personal experiences of divine
presence as showing the path to truth. However, the skeptic could
point out that people with personal religious experiences, which many
have found very compelling, have arrived at a wide range of mutually
exclusive conclusions. This might reflect how religious experiences
often occur during periods of intense emotion or stress, raising
questions about whether the experiences are reflections of the mind
responding to emotions rather than manifestations of truth. Further,
we also know that right temporal lobe epilepsy can yield intense
religious experiences which appear to have a physiologic rather than
divine basis. Therefore, having a profound religious experience does
not necessarily demonstrate the presence of God.
I think we
should exercise a degree of humility. We can still hold opinions, and
we might hold some so strongly that we are willing to die in defense
of what we believe is right. But we should always be ready to change
our minds if evidence compels us to do so.
Stephen R. Kaufman,
3. The November Peaceable Table Is Now Online
* The November PT might be called a
"Fred Rogers" issue, since he takes up no fewer than three sections.
The Editor's Corner Guest Essay, which I have entitled "Our Best
Dreams," is taken from two sections of his book Life's Journeys
According to Mister Rogers. Although Mr. Rogers was very much
aware of the evils and suffering in the world, especially those faced
by children, he focused on the goodness deep within every person's
heart, and everyone's potential to fulfill their best dreams.
Cultivating this aspect of life is important to the spiritual health
of those of us who are working to dismantle the evil system that
causes so much suffering and death to animals, to humans, and to our
* In all three of the Unset Gems by Mr. Rogers, he
encourages us in some way to be our best selves and to stick up for
the right thing, even though it may be unpopular.
you believe that the city council of Los Angeles, one of the largest
cities in the US, voted unanimously to adopt Meatless Mondays?
Check out this NewsNote!
* The November Pioneer is, of
course, Fred Rogers. Children were the chief focus of his life's
work, but his innate compassion, together with his ability to look at
the world from a small child's point of view, led him to progressively
stop eating meat several years before vegetarianism started to become
a highly visible movement in the US.
To read this issue, visit:
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank
and Mary Hoffman
Finding the Truth in the Bible
5. Humane Critter Catcher
Ever wanted a nonviolent approach to
unwanted spiders and other little critters in your home? Now you can
get one, thanks to the My Critter Catcher, which would also make a