REFORM OF CHRISTIANITY Ebook
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Publication Date: December 2009
File Size: 191 Kbytes
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Reform for the World’s Principal Religion In the twenty-first century the religion with the most adherents throughout the world bases its doctrine principally upon a creed written in the fourth century. In the approximately 1800 years since the Nicene Creed was written, scientific knowledge has increased a thousand-fold. Scholars and theologians have studied the ancient records, especially the Bible, and have reached conclusions never imagined in the fourth century. Yet there has been little change in doctrine over these centuries. In the twenty-first century we know many things about the Christian religion that were not known in the fourth century. First, the Bible was written by many ordinary men whose understanding was limited by the small knowledge base of their time. Second, we are learning that many of the stories told about Jesus Christ, for example, the virgin birth, are tales told popularly about many great figures of earlier times and are undoubtedly not literally true. Third, we know that humans have redefined God many times throughout history. In our generation we need to understand what kind of a God could be loving but would not prevent the Holocaust. There is a wonderful Christian religion waiting for our recognition. Biblical scholars and theologians have been writing about it for decades. Unfortunately, the position of many churches is that their doctrine is and will always be infallibly correct. It is instructive to consider the great range of doctrine that we have in the different churches in this nation. They cannot all be infallibly correct. Reflect that Jesus had nothing to do with the doctrine of the Christian churches. When he died, he left only his wonderful teachings. Warring humans established the churches and have murdered thousands of their fellow Christians to try to assure that their particular doctrine is the one that is chosen as infallibly correct. It is time for the Christian Church to focus on the teachings of Jesus and gain a better understanding of God. About the Author: Norman Beecher was born in Florida and grew up in Florida and North Carolina. He went north for college and obtained an ScD degree from MIT. This led to a career in research management. His education was interrupted by 3½ years service in the Second World War. Here he learned something of the theological problem of evil when his division, the 14th Armored Division, led the battle group that opened the Dachau concentration camp. Since his retirement, he has read widely in Christian religious literature and has gained the conviction that the Christian Church must reform or die. He believes strongly in the value of the churches. This is not surprising in view of his many religious ancestors such as the Rev. Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Some of these ancestors also rebelled against archaic doctrine. In the early 1800s his great great-grandfather, the Rev. Lyman Beecher, was tried for heresy by the Presbyterian Church because he did not believe in preordination nor in the damnation of infants who died before they were baptized. Happily, he was unjustly acquitted. Henry Ward Beecher also held reformist ideas. Norman Beecher has written two earlier books, Fortunate Journey, a chronicle of the interesting members of his and his wife’s family and The Pre-Meditated Life, a guide for young people in making decisions.
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