When Religion Becomes Evil Kindle ¹ When Religion ☆ Epub vivefutbol.co

An expert on religion and the Middle East seeks to distinguish between authentic and corrupt forms of religious expression identifying the ways in which the major religious traditions are vulnerable to corruption and how they can be correctedAn expert on religion and the Middle East seeks to distinguish between authentic and corrupt forms of religious expression identifying the ways in which the major religious traditions are vulnerable to corruption and how they can be correctedAn expert on religion and the Middle East seeks to distinguish between authentic and corrupt forms of religious expression identifying the ways in which the major religious traditions are vulnerable to corruption and how they can be corrected


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    An old saying is that we should never discuss religion and politics among friends This notion has always been suspect aren't these rather important subjects that make for bracing conversation? but after last year's terrorist attacks the idea seems laughable Now that America has been attacked by violent Islamicists the topics are unavoidable How should we understand religions' connections to political and military goals? Can we tell when religions become evil? Religion professor Charles Kimball attempts to shed light on these uestions in his wide ranging book Kimball believes the well established religions should be respected despite evils committed in their name because they all converge in teaching both an orientation toward God or the transcendent and compassionate constructive relationships with others in this world p 39 However this does not imply that all roads lead up the same mountain p 25 Religions may defect from their authentic sources and thus even become evil in several ways For example religions may make absolute truth claims reuire blind obedience establish an 'ideal time' attempt to set up a utopian theocracy teach that the end justifies the means or declare holy war Kimball addresses these matters in the context of various religions ancient and modern such as providing insights into the dynamics of doomsday groups such the Branch Davidians and the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo which reuired total commitment to irrational beliefs that led to destructive behaviors He also attempts to explore the religious motivations of Osama Bin Laden and his followers but spends less time on this than expected or reuired Kimball rightly observes that truth claims are foundational for religion But he claims that believers err when they hold their religious beliefs in a rigid or absolute manner So when some Christians criticize the Islamic view of God Allah as deficient they reveal their ignorance and bigotry Kimball asserts that there is simply no ambiguity here Jews Christians and Muslims are taking about the same deity p 50 This is because the ur'an claims that Allah inspired the Hebrew prophets and Jesus Moreover the Arabic word Allah means God Is this true? While Judaism Christianity and Islam are all monotheistic they differ considerably in their conceptions of God Islam denies the Trinity and the Incarnation both of which are well established Christian doctrines But God cannot be both a Trinity Christian and not a Trinity Islam This is logic not religious intolerance Moreover these religions' different concepts of God explain why Muslims and Christians try to convert each other If mutual understanding is key to tolerance then disagreements between religions should not be dismissed by deleting absolute truth claims from their authentic sources It is certainly possible to tolerate someone who holds religious views uite contrary to one's own If Christ himself called us to love our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us should we not listen to respect and show love for fellow citizens who hold differing religious beliefs?Kimball wants to soften biblical claims about the uniueness and centrality of Jesus by saying that they should be taken as pious exaggerations p 68 70 However such affirmations are central and plentiful in the New Testament and have historically been seen as objective descriptions not embellishments see John 141 6; Acts 412; 1 Timothy 25 6; etc Kimball seems to be calling for a revision of Christianity's authentic sources not a return to them Likewise most Muslims would reject this kind of revision of the ur'an Muslims claim that Muhammad was the last and greatest of the prophets not just one among many Being rigid on this doctrine is necessary to IslamIn addition Kimball never really faces the possibility that a religion's authentic sources themselves may contain moral errors that encourage evils He also tends to overemphasize the abuses of Christians such as the Crusades while underemphasizing similar abuses by Muslims such as dhimmitude an institution that places heavy restrictions on non Muslims in Islamic nations p 201 Nor does he sufficiently treat the subject of jihad or holy war a concept that has been traditionally employed by Muslims as a defense of military conuest and martyrdom to that cause On this see Bernard Lewis The Crisis of Islam Holy War and Unholy Terror New York Modern Library 2003 30 42Kimball's ambitious book highlights the need to make reasoned and well informed judgments on religions and their ethical implications However given Kimball's defective view of Scripture and his errors in reasoning we still await a post September 11 book that adeuately handles this controversial topicDouglas Groothuis