Saturday, November 18, 2006

I had a long talk with my wife a few days ago and am feeling less alone with my beliefs. She's less lazy then I am but also less of a mormon. We agree that if Jesus was God or a god at the time of crucifixion then his experience would be cheapened. In other words an immortal god could spend a day on the cross and it would be little more than a stubbed toe or a hang nail. Christ's suffering only means anything if he were fully human at the time. If he wasn't then how could he relate to us and our suffering. At this point she concedes that Jesus might have become God or a god after that as an exaltation but I disagree with that idea. There is no god but God in my humble opinion.

Which leads to my next book - The Koran Interpreted (A. J. Arberry). I finished Mere Christianity and found little comfort in Lewis' strict Trinitarianism. I took a short break from serious reading with a Piers Anthony book which I flew through, and I started reading the Koran yesterday. I tend to be on dangerous ground when reading Scripture (even someone else's scripture), because I've got so many ideas of my own that I tend to argue with even the best of it. That trait is the reason I've only read the Book of Mormon once so far. I get to about the end of King Benjamin's speech and I've had so many arguments that I put it down not feeling very spiritual.

For me the Koran is little different. I feel like I had better know what is in it. But the sense that it's important doesn't transfer to a faith that it's infallible. I have believed for a long time that Scripture is both useful and dangerous. There are people in every faith that work to live by the letter of the law, but forget the spirit of God that the law represents. One of my personal quests for instance is to play whatever part I can in ending the crusades. For nearly a thousand years Christians and Muslims have been killing each other, and I for one find that situation appalling. I'm certain that if more people understood the spirit of the Scripture instead of insisting on lockstep conformity to peculiar dogmas that the world would be a better place. Can my voice help stop the killing? I don't know and sometimes I despair of it.

My own part in this drama is small. I have neither great power nor great eloquence. Still I pray for a better, safer world where piety is the rule rather than the exception. May God bless you and keep you and bring us closer as the human family should be.



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