”Hey Alex. I’m not avoiding you just trying to manage a move and COVID quarantine at the same time. Not exactly easy.”
No doubt, and don’t stress it. The nature of online communication is asynchronous. I hope you and yours are safe.
”In any case, you bring up some good points. There are any number of ways to look at the various faiths and debate their merits and shortcomings. I always come back to a simple outlook though.”
Is the simple outlook always, or even usually, the right one?
”I believe God exists. God made us in his image. God therefore loves us and wants us to reach out to him. He sent Jesus to show the way to live in accordance with God’s wishes and what Jesus showed us was love, forgiveness and less harsh judgement.”
Ok. But what makes you think any of this is true, in the factual sense?
”You mentioned Pliny the Elder and, being a beer nerd, I immediately thought of Pliny the Elder IPA from Russian River Brewing. Now if we could sit down with a growler of that brew there is no telling where the discussion would go.”
I’m a teetotaler
”I have always found it interesting that Christianity, Islam and Judaism all worship the same God but differ in their recognition and importance of who Jesus was. Within each of those three, further factions/denominations exist due to differences of opinion and interpretations on all manner of subjects and teachings.”
The relationship is a touch more complex than that, there’s a branching structure. Christianity is a supercessionist religion intended to fulfill & replace Judaism. Jews don’t agree, being that Jesus does not actually fulfill most of the criteria found in the Torah to qualify as the messiah it predicted.
Islam is also a supercessionist religion, intended to restore what they believe was corrupted in Christianity, replacing it in the process. Likewise with Mormonism, which also purports to be the restoration of the original gospels following their corruption over the ages. Can Islam and Mormonism both be correct, when they each purport to restore the original church, but with wildly different teachings?
What of Hinduism, which I also mentioned? It’s polytheistic, entirely outside of the Abrahamic tradition, also predating it by many centuries.
”I prefer to keep it simple. I suppose because I am a simple person. Or maybe because Jesus said that it is those with the faith of children that will find the Kingdom of God.”
There’s another reason he might’ve said that, besides the one you have in mind. Children will believe anything they’re told by an adult authority figure, hence Proverbs 22:6. They have not yet developed critical thinking faculties and as such make much lower resistance targets for conversion. This is why Sunday schools, youth groups, etc. are a thing.
Anyway I’m content to wrap it up here if you are. You’ll believe whatever you please of course, but I’m satisfied that I’ve furnished you with a new perspective you might explore on your own time, at your own pace, if ever curiosity moves you to.