Steve Finley (Finley@TTDCE1.COED.TTU.EDU)
Wed, 7 Aug 1996 08:30:59 +0000

>From Phyllis Ryder:

"It seems to me that people are talking about religion as if we don't use
rhetoric to make religious decisions. . . I disagree that, for the
"faithful" the Bible=fact, and is therefore non-negotiable. That seems a
simplistic way to view what happens in churches/synagogues/mosques,

Positively so. You've put your finger on an underlying assumption
that I don't assume is valid at all--that religion and faith are
necessarily distinct from, rather than intermeshed with or growing
within, other elements in people's lives. In fact, the whole notion
of "elements" when you're talking about someone's life is based on a
kind of separateness that breaks down and becomes silly rather
quickly, I think ("How's your love life?"). We forget that we talk
that way out of convenience and convention, and we start to imagine
the world and people's lives are really like that. And it IS a
simplistic way to view what goes on in churches, etc, where honest
and intelligent people spend their whole lives struggling with their
faith and its meaning in their lives, and where ministers of various
kinds indeed do try to persuade, and often--not always, but perhaps
most of the time, despite the Jimmy Swaggarts and Jim Joneses of the
world--in pursuit of what's right and good.

s. finley