Note: Once I sought to utilize the term "man" to represent "man and/or woman". This is so strained that it makes reading difficult and I shall change this to "man" or "man and woman" in the near future.
Slave And Free (12/21/08 12/28/08 12/28/08) A consideration of some religious groups as slaves and their identification with atheists as fundamentally immoral . And then a contrast with a religious group which is both free and moral.
Sagan and Kant. (9/9/07 11/15/10 11/15/10). Kantian response to Sagan's criticism of Kant's moral "proof" of the existence of God. See also companion Handbook For Atheists which includes a comparison of the atheist and Wesleyan Christians with respect to expected honesty.
Christianity in a Nutshell. (11/10/02 12/07/02 12/07/02) In this very brief essay I see to encompass and exhibit the essential elements of practical Christianity. The might be a helpful guide for evangelising, especially on behalf of the Wesleyans.
The Golden Rule - A Scriptural Proxy. (4/94, 10/31/97, 11/18/02) Here I argue that the Golden Rule of Matthew 7:12 is Jesus' proxy for all scripture; and indeed is the means of dividing that portion of scripture which can be attributed to God from that portion which represents the thinking and prejudices of humans.
While not immediately inspired by, certainly this essay is compatible with, and spiritually kin to, Wesley's (Standard) Sermon XXV, "Upon Our Lord's Sermon On the Mount" (Discourse X), and especially paragraph 21 forward.
Letter to John Beyers. (4/8/98 5/2/98 5/2/98) In this letter the procedures for implementing Golden Rule behavior in a Christian community are enunciated, especially with regard to dealing with objections to the conduct of any given individual Christian. Some additional editing for style may still be needed. The writer here has sought to show that the Golden Rule serves as a universal arbiter of the conscience of the Christian and is modified only by the Friends Commandment of John 15 and as expressed by Paul in Romans 14 and 1 Corinthians 10. PostScrip1 treats briefly of the practical superiority of the Christian faith. PostScript2 is a missive to a fundamentalist Christian regarding the logic of the procedures expressed in the letter and a defense against a charge of an inherent antinomianism. PostScript3 is another such missive, but this time on the recognition of the inanity of trying to make the scriptures say what we want them to say. This is a "Magna Charter" for the Christian conscience. PostScript 4 presents a response to a challenge to the individual conscience such that we might be supposed to accept the understanding of another person if that be presented in the scripture. This is an attempted refutation of that position based on reason and the scriptures.
Twelve Points of Wesleyan Thinking (4/23/98 4/23/98 4/23/98) Here I seek to prepare almost a catachism of Wesleyan beliefs. It comes out nicely in 12 parts, although this is subject to modification as I try to reformulate the thinking here and make it more concise and expressive.
The Dynamic of the Wesleyan Experience (12/13/95 4/29/97 7/22/97) This essay is an preliminary attempt to formulate with some precision and in a rather concise way the essential elements of the Wesleyan doctrine of Christian experience (with a few jibes at the thinking of the [intellectual] followers of John Calvin). It includes (what I tentatively call) the Logic of Salvation, namely: the Compulsion of Faith, the Experience of Love and the Realization of Hope.
Essentials of Baptist Thinking (1993 7/31/94 6/4/02) Here we have an early attempt to bring together the moral and religious thinking of Kant and Wesley. The principle advantage to the Wesleyan here is the precision of the concept of moral perfection provided by Kant (which, I think, while present in Wesley, was more intuitive with him). In the essay the Baptist and Wesleyan "attitudes" and envisagements (Anschauungen) are contrasted in terms of this concept such that the Baptist is found to exemplify enlightenment or rational thinking, while the Wesleyan exhibits characteristics of transformation thinking.
Included also are some appendices of more or less interest. The appendix on the atonement reflects an attempt to unclutter my own thinking [but which is not overly successful (and will be supplemented "some day" in an essay dedicated to that subject alone)]. These appendices suggest someone (myself) who is striving to get through a maze of dogmatic assertions to find the clarity of the logic. This essay may be left as it is as a historical record of the first attempt (to my knowledge) to differentiate beliefs according to the caliber of the moral concept underlying the doctrine. It is an effort toward conceptual clarity, the intention behind which, I am sure, would be approved by both Kant and Wesley.
I certainly hope to get some comments from both Wesleyans and Baptists in order that the comparison might be more even-handed and accurate.
The Wesleyan Quadrilateral. (11/4/96 2/5/97 2/5/97) Here we have a (somewhat [and not uncharacteristicly] rambling) dissertation on the Wesleyan quadrilateral, the four sources of Wesleyan truth,namely reason, scripture, tradition and scripture. The framework is a view of the Christian faith which has the history of the Jewish people (including scripture and Jewish tradition) leading to the psychological readiness of Mary and Joseph and, through them, to the awakening of Jesus, from birth, as the Son of God. This Jesus then enables the (otherwise shy?) Holy Spirit to walk with him on earth, and then to enter into the hearts of the apostles whose excited (and occasionally garbled) tale excites others to join the throng "marching to Pretoria". In this way the scriptures and the tradition and the experience are unified, and to which then reason is added as the foundation for the truth of the conscience as the voice of God and arbiter of experience.
A Wesleyan Apocalypse. (1994 6/27/97 6/27/97) The essay might also be called "The Wink of God." Here the writer draws on some notions not normally associated with Christian thinking in order to depict a Judgment Day scene which is compatible with the notion of divine love.*
[* The Wesleyan is necessitated to find good in and/or through all things, for heshe asserts the love of God as the fundamental revelation of the person of Christ. I do not presume to think that I have lighted here upon the details of the close of this age, but only that I offer a means of thinking scripture, i.e., a different vision, which can be derived from the text as well as the next, and therefore such that we cannot be so sure of that next, i.e., we cannot be so sure that the concept of deliberately and eternally induced pain is the intention of God--that is not a necessary conclusion at all.]
Besides the general conception I have added two appendices. The first presents a fairly coherent and brief elaboration of Kant's theory for the reconciliation of the good in the man with the evil. The second, also known as Sam's appendix, deals with the verbiage of the New Testament which suggests a painful and continuing punishment for sinners.
Apocalypse, Briefly Considered. (7/1/97 7/1/97 7/1/97) This is a brief rendering of the thinking contained in the essay above, i.e., A Wesleyan Apocalypse.
Christian Liberty and Promise (from a Wesleyan Perspective). (11/3/97 11/3/97 11/3/97) Here I seek to formulate as clearly as possible the liberation of the Christian faith from the materialism of the context of its Jewish origins. The case is presented in the form of theses (which are also included in the of my home page below [for debate]), and is very concise.
Reflections at Fort Mountain (10/4/98, 10/5/98, 10/5/98) These thoughts were prompted by the sighting of very busy and very unperturbed birds, and in light of Matthew's Gospel, verses 6:25 - 34.
In Aid of Trinitarians. (2001? 2001 9/17/02). A consideration of real "multinities" and how they can provide an analogy for a trinity. Based on Kant's fascination with incongruent counterparts like the left and right hands.