To begin with, it’s worth summarizing my understanding of the Bible. In my view, it is not a single unified book, and not the inerrant Word of God. Instead, I consider the Bible to be primary source material which, together with conscience, can help us to understand and relate to God to the extent we are capable. I consider Jesus Christ to be Himself the Word of God (as alluded to in John 1), and the various books of the Bible are Continue reading “Does the Bible support slavery?”
No. Christianity is clear that God is love, and doesn’t hate any of His children. Anyone claiming to the contrary is badly misrepresenting the Christian faith. Such voices get far more attention than they deserve, and I won’t dignify any of them with a link.
The more significant controversy is whether gay relationships are by their nature sinful, or not. Christian social conservatives use biblical arguments to attack homosexual behavior rather than gay people. They are typically careful to remind people to “love the sinner, hate the sin”. For some, this maxim might just be lip service to cover up a prejudice to which the biblical passages provide convenient support. There is no good reason, however, to believe that all or even a majority fit that description. Just as it is possible to “love the sinner, hate the sin”, it is possible to disagree with someone’s argument, but give their sincerity the benefit of the doubt.
C.S. Lewis gives a good answer to essentially this question in God In The Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics.
I can’t say for certain which bits came into Christianity from earlier religions. An enormous amount did. I should find it hard to believe Christianity if that were not so. I couldn’t believe that nine hundred and ninety-nine religions were completely false and the remaining one true. In reality, Christianity is primarily the fulfillment of the Jewish religion, but also the fulfillment of what was vaguely hinted in all the religions at their best. What was vaguely seen in them all comes into focus in Christianity – just as God Himself comes into focus by becoming a Man.
One observation often made is that Continue reading “Didn’t Christianity just copy from earlier religions?”