I have a couple of questions. I am asking here because I have found that this website is at least willing to consider possibilities, so is a good
place to ask without having a certain doctrine shoved down your throat, which means I will get different views and will be able to decide for myself
and hopefully not judged to harshly anyway.
This is about christianity, although I do not mind the the inclusion of information on other religions,
but only if you note that you are refering to another religion so as not to confuse me, I appreciate it.
Ok, first I am ignorant and that bothers me, so pretending that I have never been exposed to the ideas of christianity, where would be a good starting
point--which book or letter--in scripture would give a good foundation of the faith of this religion?
Second is in my ignorance, like many (at least modern American christians), have very little understanding of why their are so many denominations, so
what makes them different theologically? What is their fundimental disagreement that made them decide to form a different group, and what are some
good books to read about this?
Thirdly, what are some of the important terms that I should understand, when reading about different things within this subject, so as not to be
confused when reading? For example reading people like Thomas Aquinus(sp?), Vladimir Lossky(sp?), Calvin, Luther, etc.
Fourth, if I belive in a god as a personal matter and subscribe to the idea of Jesus as the messiah, and that his death was the sacrifice to end the
nessesity of the yearly sacrifice at the temple, and that his resurection occured after three days, during the feast of unleavened bread, professing
as my Lord, then am I Christian at least in the basic since? However, because of my complete ignorance of the faith have many qustions concerning the
religion as a whole, am I also agnostic? Does that make me an agnostic christian?
Fifth, what is a good resource for seperating the folklore, by which I mean the "sunday school" myths that every one knows growing up in a
semi-christian secular culture like America, because they seem to lead to missrepresentation of the religion, and not just in christianity but in
other faiths? the study of folklore as part of oral or symbolic tradition within a religion is an interesting study in and of itself, but that is not
what I am looking for at this time.
I have more questions, and I appologize if the way I have worded things is a little confusing, but like most things now days, we get hit with so much
information about everything, I often wonder if people have even learned how to manage it yet. lol
The main reason I am asking all of this is because I have to honestly ask myself, how can I consider myself a christian, or really claim to follow any
religion for that matter, if I do not learn about it and understand it at first at a basic level, but also study it. It just seems a bit
hypocryitical, and it seems likely to lead to misunderstandings and zelous following of erroroneous beliefs and practices based on hearsay, which in
turn would only hurt the faith. I mean if you think about it I guess the ultimate ememy of any religion is not those who argue against it or oppose it
for what ever reason, but is actually those very people who claim to be its followers.
Anyway any help or direction would be much appreciated, I feel that the best way to combat ignorance is first to accept that you, no matter how much
you learn, are ignorant, and then to pursue knowledge and wisdom until the day you die, and be wiling to listen to the ideas and discussions of others
in civility. Essentially if you are wrong admit you are wrong, if it is something unknowable, being willing to admit that it can not be known. There
is no need to stifle curiosity because of petty argument spurred out of emotional reaction. Anyway I don't even think I communicated what I meant in
this paragraph. lol ^.^ Also, I would like to apologize for my poor grammar and spelling, blame it on years of spell check, but I am practicing to