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    • Daniel Gauss
    • Daniel Gauss is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and Columbia University. He has been published
      on numerous platforms dealing with art and culture and has been working in the field of education for
      over 20 years. He currently teaches in Shenzhen, China.

Do we have to return evil for evil?

Jesus was, however, not the first person to challenge the lex talionis (law of retaliation) – the belief that if you are harmed it is OK to follow your gut and harm the person who harmed you.

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Satan as Trickster in the Desert: An Experiment in Non-literal Interpretation

If one chooses to interpret the story of Jesus fasting in the desert symbolically, the story becomes an allegory of transformation.

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What IS a Theologoumenon and What DOES Changing Water into Wine Mean?

A couple of hurdles to deriving the greatest possible meaning from the Bible are orthodox literalism (everything in the Bible must have happened just because it is in the Bible) and secular denial (since hardly anything in the Bible really happened, the book is of no value).

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Last Meal: Jackie Black at the Parrish Art Museum, NY

Retribution as a form of deterrence is like a fixed action pattern in humanity… We do not worship the Christian God when we do this.

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Christianity Doesn’t Suck: Quo Vadis

Secular Consumerists (aka Secular Humanists) have made a cottage industry of bashing the belief system of totally innocuous and even quite benevolent people and they enjoy gleefully pointing to things like the Crusades, the Inquisition or the 30 Years War to, basically, say that Christianity sucks. They feel the Christian religion is impugned by such atrocities.

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The Devil MAY Care: The Comedy of Job

The story of Job shows us that our wishful thinking is not the case and that if we are to engage “evil” effectively as progressive Christians, or even live meaningfully in the world, we must first imagine what a just God’s expectations of, and trust in, us would involve and what expectations we should have about God.

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Piggy-Backing on Bonhoeffer

At the end of a short story by Heinrich von Kleist there is the line: “I would not have found you to be such a devil if you had not presented yourself as being so angelic.”

I realized that this can apply to our conceptions of God. We have been told many bizarre things about God that have led to unrealistic expectations. So I start with the famous quote from Bonhoeffer “God is weak and powerless in the world…” and explore a proper relationship given this fact.

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The Golden Bough and Magical Analogs toward the Creation of Humane Symbolism in the Jesus Story

The story of Jesus fasting in the desert presents an allegory of transformation. By adding the temptations to the basic story, we even get allegories within an allegory. In fact, the symbolic components of the story of the 40 day fast and temptations present a description of how the flawed activity of the human will can be superseded by a humble receptivity toward humane inner change

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