Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

The Story of Christianity by Justo Gonzlez

So, I finished reading The Story of Christianity by Justo L. Gonzalez. This is the early Church History text book of the Bible college several of my friends went to, Forerunner School of Ministry. It was good. It just very honestly went through the issues and the happenings in plain language. When there was controversy, Mr. Gonzalez excelled at telling the two sides and explaining why one side believed one thing and why another side believed another.

Church History is probably not something you learned in Sunday school as a kid. I’ve met few people who really know about it, perhaps the Protestant schism from the Catholics has something to do with this. Protestants can sometimes struggle to trace their past back to through the Catholics, particularly if they are raised as a rightist Protestants who believe the office of the Pope will the tool the Antichrist will use to imitate Christ, which I was.

So, reading Justo Gonzalez was good for me, tying together a lot of bits and pieces that had floated through my somewhat wikified mind, as well as expanding on the very sketchy foundations I learned in Christian high school, but saying it was “good for me” doesn’t mean it was fun for me. My dad used to enjoy eating those canned Vienna sausages until he worked in a packing plant. Seeing the actions that made the responses that made the traditions explained what the Protestants were protesting against, and in turn created the Protestant traditions, makes Christianity look pretty, well, ugly.

For my concerned readers I must place my usual disclaimer here: I’m not saying that the teachings of Christ are ugly. I’m saying that studying church history has given me a new understanding of the modern traditions, ideals, teachings, and ways of the Church have absolutely nothing to do with the teachings of Christ. They a have a lot to do, however, with pyramid schemes, organized crime practices, and confidence tricks.

There is a hierarchy of truth in the introduction to narratives. Its starts with research papers and biographies, then based-on-the-events, then inspired-by-the-events, then finally, grabbed-from-the-headlines. “Grabbed from the headlines” basically means “the following is in some shallow way related to a selected parts of third hand information about something the story teller cannot be bothered to research or present deeply.” It is that level of truth following, or perhaps below, which is reserved for the church.

June 3, 2008 Posted by | Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment