At 04:16 PM 5/19/99 +1000, Graeme Bailey wrote:
>Is this true? Do people kill as part of true Christian doctrine,
>or in spite of it?
The Bible is the foundation of Christian doctrine, and in it we find
God exhorting the Israelites to slaughter foreign peoples and take their
land, among other nasty things.
As for "evidence" of Christ provided by prophecy: the problem here is
that (as Northrop Frye noted) we only have the word of the New Testament
that the Old Testament is true, and we only have the word of the Old
Testament that the New Testament is true -- Frye called this "the double
mirror". It does not constitute evidence to outside observers like us.
>My understanding is that the actual beliefs of the Celtic pagans
>were 'secret' therefore probably shameful
They were hardly secret if they were shared by everybody. It wouldn't
necessarily follow in any case that they were shameful.
>What of the documentary evidence that the Roman pagans wrote:
>that the Christians were shaming them by doing good works, looking after
>widows, feeding the poor, and burying the dead etc...
On the other hand another Roman (Lucius Apuleius) wrote of a character
in his novel: "She was malicious, cruel, spiteful, lecherous, drunken,
selfish, obstinate... an enemy of all that was honest and clean. She also
professed perfect scorn for the Immortals and rejected all true religion
in favour of a fantastic and blasphemous cult of an "Only God"." The
historian Suetonius claimed that the Christians were involved in wanton
rioting. Probably early Christians were much like Christians today:
ordinary human beings no better or worse, taken on the whole, than anybody