Jerry Avins <jya at ieee.org> wrote in message news:<3DF90C4E.54C2ECCC at ieee.org>...
> We agree about much of this. Devising religious edicts to get people to
> do what is good for them may at one time have been sound governance, but
> it hardly leads to sound theology. Similarly, that a prophet should have
> spoken of "gather[ing] the remnants from the four corners of the earth"
> ought not be taken as evidence that Earth is rectangular or even flat.
Whether it's sound theology or not depends upon one's view of the
deity's role in life. If the role is for the diety to help his
people live happier healthier lives then it's quite good theology.
It makes more sense to me to enourage people to live healthier
then to simply say "pray to me when you get sick". The modern
healthcare system could learn something from that. ;-)
With regards to your "four corners" point I would add that
prophetic books such as Daniel and Revelation were clearly
meant to be read symbolicly as opposed to literally. In fact
some of the symbols were explained (i.e. Daniel was "told"
that the beasts he saw represented kingdoms). Others are
left to open to interpretation. (i.e. No direct statement
as to what 666 stands for other than it being "the number of
a man"). I view four corners as "four areas" (Northern-
Southern Eastern-Western hemispheres). Ironicly the Bible
also refers to the earth as being round in Isaiah 40:22
John M. Drake