Fanaticism—Canon vs. Community

Sci-fi is undergoing a bit of a renaissance. There are currently five new Star Trek shows and three new Star Wars shows that are all presently in production. And month after month, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is continually pumping out comic-based limited episode streaming shows as well as feature-length films. If the names Kirk and Spock, Luke and Leia, Hulk and Thor sound familiar to you, then you are likely very aware of just how popular these franchises are. And it’s almost impossible to overestimate their importance in some circles.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/11816
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A basic understanding of the limitations of language shows that a belief in the constancy of words is the fundamental problem of all religions, fundamentalist or otherwise.

As every writer knows, his intended meaning shifts slightly, or perhaps slips a lot, when transcribing his thoughts to letters on a page. Then there’s a certain level of difficulty involved in reversing the process and trying to extract the “real” meaning of written words by the reader, during which the writer’s original ideas can be slightly misconstrued or completely misplaced. That is, language being a human endeavor, is plagued by inaccuracy, inefficiency, and possible fraud, so at least part, and possibly all of the truth that any combination of words might have been attempting to express is diminished or destroyed in the translation from person to person, or while passing from language to language.

Put simply, much, if not all can be lost in the processes of communication, thus the Bible is called “non-fiction” not only to differentiate it from pure fantasy or “fiction” but because we do not have a category of books that can rightfully be called “absolute reality” or “conclusive truth”.

Further, and given that words are not the things they describe, the concept of accessing irrefutable truth through language or books is like thinking that one can can gain knowledge and achieve wisdom by eating an encyclopedia.

As the BeeGee’s sang about hundreds of years ago, “It’s Only Words”……

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Thank you, Dr. Ray…this felt like a bit of healing and comfort in these days of seemingly endless conflict about all things, trivial or not. And having just been subjected to the newest full length feature, Dr. Strange, in what was proposed as an act of ‘support’ for my 16 year old granddaughter, I am even more in tune with your insightful observations.

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Appreciate the thoughts shared here, with interesting perspective and connections. Without gospel unification we often find ourselves in strange places (and I don’t mean this only applies to those outside of the church). If anything, especially in the Adventist Church, we have different “gospels” that we can’t agree on. Fanaticism is dangerous anywhere.

[Phl 1:27 NIV] 27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.

2:3- Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

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