Quote of the Day

…it would be perfectly possible to change the entire contents of our beliefs without altering the way our beliefs function.

Take the example of someone who identifies as an evangelical Christian and for whom that belief acts as a type of emotional crutch.  Let us imagine this person growing up in an overtly religious environment in which evangelical belief functioned primarily as a means of defining oneself over and against others.

If this belief is later rejected in favor of some other religious or political system, it might look like a fundamental change has taken place.  However, at a structural level, these different beliefs will operate in broadly the same way as the old ones.  Regardless of which view might provide a more accurate description of reality, we discover that the new set of beliefs also functions as a security blanket, a tribal identity, and a means of coping with the sense of cosmic insecurity.

Christianity, as a religious system, does not aim to transform the way we believe, but strives to mold and shape the content of our beliefs.  What is judged here to be of prime importance is the actual belief that one affirms. So those who agree are deemed ‘saved’ and those who disagree are at best heretics, or at worst ‘lost’.

 – Peter Rollins, The Divine Magician, pg. 169-170

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