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« This Week's Acquisitions | Main | Dialogue for the day »

November 26, 2006



You've illuminated this whole debate for me very nicely, and I see something analogous in Judaism. Although Orthodox Jews won't usually acknowledge it, progressive Judaism has antecedents in antiquity. E.g., Jesus and other sects contemporary with his had ideas not so different from modern Judaism. In the ensuing centuries, moreover, Orthodox Judaism developed as a reaction formation against Christianity, in that it hardened itself in order to survive but also absorbed a number of idealist notions from Christianity. It might be said that Orthodox Judaism changed away from the spirit of early Judaism.


Regarding the above, I should make clear that the Jewish view is that Jesus and his followers were one of several Jewish groups that were seeking to steer Judaism in new directions, not start a new religion. In this view, it was Paul and the writers of the gospels who changed what Jesus had in mind when they created Christianity. Thus, both the Jewish establishment and the early Christians abandoned the openness Jesus and others were preaching. I'm not a religious person, but I think a religion that values openness is good.

Jonathan Dresner

Interestingly, I had very similar reactions to Bob when I read this, but not quite articulate enough to put into words. Thanks, Bob.

The Mormon is/vs. Christian thing is interesting... I'm not entirely sure what the value is in defining the Latter-Day Saints out of the fold, or into it, for that matter.

daphne sayed

I found you via Bookstalker's blog.How fascinating is the sermon and what a load of codswallop say I as an unbiased Roman Catholic of the practising variety.They contradict themselves all the time but I do know a Protestant missionary family who are sure that a) I can't be born again and B) hell is my destination.Hope I have a long wait to find out lol


John Gore Tipper? That's really his name? You didn't make it up?


He really is (or was...) John Gore Tipper, yes.


"Popery" isn't a term one hears often nowadays. I've been watching the old BBC adaptation of Trollope's Palliser novels, and just witnessed this dialogue between the odiously strict Scotsman Mr Kennedy and Phineas Finn, the dashing young Irish MP. Kennedy bans Finn from visiting his wife on Sunday, "on the Sabbath." In his view Finn can't possibly be expected to behave correctly in such matters; he's not much better than a heathen. "You are, I believe, a Papist?" he says, practically spitting. "I am a Catholic!" Finn replies.

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