EppsNet Archive: Christianity

Word of the Day

14 May 2013 /

so·te·ri·ol·o·gy \suh-teer-ee-ol-uh-jee\, noun:

  1. spiritual salvation, esp. by divine agency.
  2. the branch of theology dealing with this.

The Grand Inquisitor Addresses Jesus

11 Nov 2012 /
Jesus and the Grand Inquisitor

And now, do You see those stones in this parched and barren desert? Turn them into loaves of bread and men will follow You like cattle, grateful and docile, although constantly fearful lest You withdraw Your hand and they lose Your loaves. . . . You thought, what sort of freedom would they have if their obedience was bought with bread? You replied that man does not live by bread alone. . . .

So, in the end, they will lay their freedom at our feet and say to us, “Enslave us but feed us!” And they will finally understand that freedom and the assurance of daily bread for everyone are two incompatible notions that could never co-exist! . . .

They will marvel at us and worship us like gods, because, by becoming their masters, we have accepted the burden of freedom that they were too frightened to face, just because we have agreed to rule over them — that is how terrifying freedom will have become to them finally! . . .

I tell You once more that man has no more pressing, agonizing need than the need to find someone to whom he can hand over as quickly as possible the gift of freedom with which the poor wretch comes into the world. . . .

We have corrected Your work and have now founded it on miracle, mystery and authority. And men rejoice at being led like cattle again, with the terrible gift of freedom that brought them so much suffering removed from them. . . .

They will tell us the secrets that most torment their consciences, they will tell us everything, and we shall solve all their problems, and they will trust to our solutions completely, because they will be rid of the terrible worry and the frightening torment they know today when they have to decide for themselves how to act.

— Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Twitter: 2010-10-09

9 Oct 2010 /
Twitter
  • RT @Jesus_M_Christ: The best argument against Christianity is a five-minute conversation with the average Christian. #

God in America

28 Sep 2010 /
Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach. The Protestant...

Americans are by all measures a deeply religious people, but they are also deeply ignorant about religion.

The article describes a study in which researchers phoned up 3,400 Americans and asked them 32 questions about religion.

On average, respondents got half the questions wrong. Breaking down the results by faith (or lack thereof), the highest scores were registered by atheists and agnostics, closely followed by Jews and Mormons.

Some of the knowledge gaps are amazing:

  • Fifty-three percent of Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the man who started the Protestant Reformation.
  • Forty-five percent of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ.

As Nietzsche used to say: If you want happiness and peace of mind, believe. If you want truth, investigate.

You can test your own knowledge of religious lore with an abbreviated, 15-question version of the survey, available here.