As to this idea of predestination in Protestant circles of mental speculation, we do not buy it.
Because it negates human free will. You cannot have both free will and predestination.
Here is how we see it. As Boethius (died circa 521 A.D.) wrote that God exists outside of time, it follows that He sees past, present and future all in one glance so to speak. But God’s foreknowledge (remember we are taught to believe that God is all-knowing) of what we will choose does not condition or necessitate that choice. God knows how we will freely choose, but His advance knowledge does not make us choose what we choose.
This is Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi, India. The picture was taken on 3 February 2017.
From the late Middle Ages, this work of art depicts the Holy Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (as a dove). These pictures are of works that are on display at the Legion of Honor museum in San Francisco.
The purpose of religion is to teach people how to love God. That was said by Srila Prabhupada (1896 – 1977), a Vedic religious teacher and prolific author who helped to popularize the Vedic religion, Hinduism, in the West in the 1960s and 1970s.
If we accept this statement, then we will likely conclude that some religions are doing a poor job of fulfilling their purpose.
Loving God, we think, requires more than just attendance at ritualized worship services, more than reciting (by rote) Scripture verses, more than socializing and fellowship with like-minded co-religionists. Loving God requires an internal change – call it a change of heart if you like. One needs to go beyond the mere outward displays of religiosity and work at centering one’s consciousness on God and awakening what Prabhupada referred to as our “innate love for God” – that is deep within our souls.
In California, there is a ballot initiative (Proposition 62) this November election to do away with capital punishment in the state. Effectively, there is no death penalty now as a death sentence translates to 20 to 30 years of court appeals, and death row inmates are dying of old age in San Quentin prison. There have been very few executions in the past 50 years in California, yet there have been many, many murders over the years.
The Catholic Church is publicly endorsing Proposition 62 as the Church opposes capital punishment for convicted capital murderers.
Here we reprint with editorial comment our earlier essay (from June, 2012) on this issue.
The Shroud of Turin is believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.
I had wondered about the history of the Shroud of Turin prior to it entering recorded West European history in the 14th century (shortly after the time of the “Black Death” or pandemic of bubonic plague).
Many Christians are ardent supporters and defenders of Israel and of the Jewish people. Unquestioning support for Israel has been promoted by many Protestant pastors and leaders (including some on the TV and radio) over the years.
In this essay, we point out some errors of this Christian Zionism.
Do we really know about the nature of God?
Well, yes, we have the revealed religions to tell us of God’s nature.
But, some may wonder: do we humans impute our hangups, our biases, our character traits (or even character flaws) on to God, or at least on to our concept of God?