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Fear God. Honor the Emperor. A Conversation with Robert Louis Wilken

with Robert Louis Wilken
Reader Discussion

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on April 16, 2019 at 06:15:01 am

Well done! Render unto Caesar . . . . The written canon of the NT was completed by 100AD, notwithstanding the subsequent acknowledgement and formality of the Bible. By its very terms (eg Gal 5:1), freedom (and there to conscience) is spoken of as essential to the Faith. With the growth of literacy out of the oral tradition, the Bible became more controlling over Christian thought until the Reformation, the era of sola Scriptura, when, with the advent of the printing press and the proliferation of the Faith through mass distribution, focus became more concentrated on the Bible than the cleric as the primary source of Spiritual authority, literacy at the heart of true religious orientation, as Christ, Himself made clear. It should be noted that the Christian understanding of 'conscience' finds its source in the Scriptures, the gospel and epistles of which were known to have been introduced by the 3rd Century AD into Britain, ante-dating any medieval origin of a Biblical understanding of the term. Respecting 'conscience', it is mentioned up to 35 times in the Bible depending on the version, Douay-Rheims to ESV. KJV has 29 mentions, all NT, which speak of it as a spiritual faculty, not an attribute of the flesh, though it goes to conduct more than thought, without diluting its significance in relation to sin, and there to a 'massa perdix' in the 'city of man'. The NT's emphasis on the individual and personal belief, leads to a polity involving 'religious' affectation without the necessity of combining Church and state, resting on a foundation of private belief sincerely exercised beyond right to privilege, and there in the charity, as Christians AND citizens. And, of course, it goes without saying that the richness of the Biblical heritage, in which meaning remains the same yesterday, today, forever, holistically embodying more than the Church and all its warts, is one of continuity and progression as humanity becomes more conscious of a loving Divinity desirous that all be saved. Professor Wilkins brings much to light. Webster was right - we received a miracle. Can we keep it?

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