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Religion must outgrow fundamentalism to survive

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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"There is no future for Christianity, unless the essence of Christian truth can be extracted from its pre-scientific framework." I take the liberty to translate this

as follows: there is no future for Christianity unless the pearl of Christian truth can be extracted from the oyster of fundamentalism and literalism. I'll take another liberty.

There is no future for any religion unless that religion can outgrow fundamentalism and somehow harmonize its truths with the truths of science. I'm not saying that

science has all the answers, but given the explosion of scientific and technological knowledge and the fascination with electronics and gadgetry, it seems to have

more answers than religion does, especially if religion is interpreted literally rather than symbolically.

Religion, generally, deals with more important questions, concerning our origin and future, than science does. Every religion, I believe, does have pearls of truth hidden

in its oysters. William Byrd wrote about the essentials of religion: “the distinction between good and evil, the belief in a higher power, and the belief in rewards and

punishments in another life.” I would change "another life" to "immediately or eventually." Every "good" deed will be rewarded. Every "bad" deed" will be punished.

Someone wrote that God may forgive you, but your nervous system will not. The novel, “Crime and Punishment,” teaches the same thing. In “The Scarlett Letter,” the

minister escapes the public consequences of his behavior, but his conscience destroys him.

JIM BRIDGES

Elizabeth City

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