The Pokey Finger of God

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Is There a Place for Augustine?

November 16th, 2011 · No Comments · christianity

The fallacy of modern Christianity by Rev. Ed Schneider

I don’t know that it’s necessary to read this particular essay if you’re already familiar with Augustine. The Reverend Ed here is attacking all those “feel good” churches with their sophomoric and hippie mentality that say that we are fundamentally okay and just need God to make us “greater”. Reverend Ed finds this offensive and logically inconsistent with humankind’s long and inglorious history of bad behavior. We are broken, according to Reverend Ed, and require God to make us whole, if we’re properly and sincerely debased before Him.

Personally, I think Augustine was a sadist and a jackass, but he did make a number of big plays for the home team, so we must look to him as an architect of our modern culture. Augustine was the creator of the doctrine of “Original Sin” that says that humans are not just prone to error, but genetically cursed from the very beginning, and that further we require the gifts of the Roman church to heal us from this inherent flaw. This came up because there were congregations after Nicea who taught that humans are fundamentally okay, and Augustine needed to put a stop to that before folks started thinking that they could do away with Church participation.

In a different context, say if you were to create a new religion from scratch and could pick and choose any doctrines or theologies you felt appropriate, which stance is better: “I’m the only one who can help you” or “I’m okay, you’re okay”? Which is better at attracting participants? Which is better at keeping them?

Perhaps this just an opening gambit that must be combined with other techniques in order to snag the interest and passion of those who learn of it. If so, does it matter which doctrine one holds?

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