Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Opus 2011-140, Discernment Watch: Opinion As Fact

I am currently working through a book called Unsolved Mysteries of History by Paul Aron.  It has a real grabber as a subtitle, “An Eye-Opening Investigation into the Most Baffling Events of All Time.”  Sounds good.  It was 50 cents on the used book table.  I thought it was a good deal, but I am finding out I was cheated.

When I got it home I looked through the Table of Contents and was surprised to find one of the chapters was “Did Jesus Die on the Cross?”  I don’t believe that there is any question about that except for certain heretics, some pagans and all Muslims.  People might not believe in the resurrection, but why question the crucifixion?  I read this chapter first and it gave me a good view of his research style.  He went through every attack on Christianity from the early Gnostics to the current Jesus Seminar.  He gave none of the historical or logical reasons to support the death and resurrection.  It was a one sided, anti-Christian hit piece.

I found the “scholarship” to be rather shallow in the rest of the book.  I continue reading to see if there is anything I can learn, but I have my doubts.

What brings me to this today is a statement he made on page 90.  He is discussing the “sign” that Joan of Arc gave to Charles to convince him to trust her.  He establishes in the first few sentences that no one knows but that does not stop him from repeating all the theories produced out of empty air and possible heads running on fumes.  The one position he totally discounts is the one with the most first person support.
“...historians are asking the same questions as Joan’s inquisitors:  Were there angels at work here?  Or devils?
    “To a historian, of course, the answer must be no.”
Why?  He quotes the most ridiculous theories and says they can’t be proven but might be true and discounts the words of the people who were there because he has chosen not to believe in the supernatural.  There is the assumption that people who believe in things science can’t measure are ignorant simpletons who don’t seem to realize that fire can make things hot.

Beware of assumptions when you read.  People come to write with limitations on their thinking.  We all do.  Filter what you read the way you would water from an unknown source.  Paul Aron comes with anti-Christian assumptions.  He seems to be willing to give some credibility to the idea of the Minotaur in the Labyrinths of ancient Crete and the magic of Merlin in King Arthur’s court but assumes that the cross was a hoax and that angels could not have spoken to Joan.

homo unius libri

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.