The Scope and and Methodology of Philosophy of Religion

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Philosophies-of-disciplines, while not a return to the ancient and medieval view that philosophy encompasses all knowledge, allow philosophy to “invade” other disciplines and discuss their foundational principles. The philosophy of science, for example, discusses such topics as the nature of theory change, the nature of scientific explanation, scientific realism vs. nonrealism, and the demarcation of science from nonscience, among others. Its complexity has grown amidst the recognition that scientific methodology differs from discipline to discipline, and the “unity of science” thesis seems dead for now.

A similar growth in complexity has affected contemporary philosophy of religion. The initial struggle in the establishment of philosophy of religion as a subdiscipline involved separating the field from Christian theology. To what degree should philosophy of religion be tied to a particular religion. After all, if it is the philosophy of religion, rather than the philosophy of the Christian religion, its scope would be broader than a philosophical examination of Christian belief and practice and broader than monotheistic faith in general. However, Western philosophy of religion is dominated by examination of monotheistic claims about the existence of God, the attributes of God, the problem of evil, and life after death. Take most undergraduate (and graduate) texts in the field in the United States and in the UK, such issues dominate the textbook. If someone wants to study the philosophy of East Asian religions, the student usually takes courses in a religious studies department.

Strangely enough, methodology seems to fit such divisions. For example, analytic (or Anglo-American) philosophy of religion focuses on monotheistic claims. This has been consistently the case since the 1955 publication of the anthology edited by Antony Flew and Alasdair MacIntyre, New Essays in Philosophical Theology. This anthology marked the rebirth of philosophy of religion in Anglo-American philosophy after its short sleep when logical positivism dominated analytic philosophy. The trend of focusing on traditional monotheistic claims continued in an influential anthology edited by Baruch Brody, Philosophy of Religion: An Analytic Approach (first edition 1974) and later anthologies and textbooks as well as most articles in the field. Following Alvin Plantinga’s lead, some analytic philosophers of religion used analytic methodology in the study of Christian theology; examples abound, including Plantinga, Richard Swinburne, and Eleonore Stump. Sometimes this approach is labeled “philosophical theology;” and sometimes it is classified as “philosophy of religion.” Neo-Thomists, from the analytic tradition, more traditional Thomistic positions and Transcendental Thomism, followed this focus as well. For those interested in a broader philosophy of religion, the later Wittgenstein offered them the opening of classifying religions in terms of language games. D. Z. Phillips held that religious language does not make truth claims about reality but functions in particular expressive ways within religious communities in guiding worship and practice. The process philosopher Rem Edwards used such a Wittgensteinian approach in his classification of religious beliefs and practices in his 1972 text, Philosophy of Religion.

Continental philosophers of religion took a broader approach and generally did not limit their study of philosophy of religion to monotheistic traditions. Their use of the phenomenological approach to the study of religions allowed them to discover both similarities and differences between disparate world religions without dealing with religious truth claims. A good example is the widely used textbook by James C. Livingston, Anatomy of the Sacred, now in its sixth edition. Even though Livingston’s book uses phenomenology, a well-established philosophical methodology, it is generally classified as a book in religious studies and not as a book in the philosophy of religion.

Process philosophers who work in philosophy of religion are interested in religious truth claims and often focus on similarities between world religions. Recently prominent have been meetings between Christian process philosophers and Buddhist philosophers in order to foster interreligious dialogue.

In 2014 a book by the Eastern Orthodox philosophical theologian, David Bentley Hart, was published, entitled, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss. His own methodology could be called eclectic, and he finds similarities between Hindu and Christian conceptions of God, an interesting conclusion for a conservative Eastern Orthodox scholar. His book could be classified as Christian theology, philosophy of religion, or philosophical theology, given the fluidity of such terms in the West.

My question is, “Is such apparent narrowness in Western philosophy of religion necessarily a bad thing?” I do not believe so. Areas of contact between Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian philosophers are growing, even among traditional Christian thinkers. In addition, India has a rich tradition of Hindu philosophy of religion, which is difficult to separate from religious studies—a similar situation to that in the West. Although American society is increasingly diverse, and religion is in rapid decline, the dominant cultural force religiously remains Christianity and to a lesser extent, Judaism. The inroads Muslims are making only introduces another monotheistic faith into the fray. Students should be, in my judgment, exposed to Western ideas first and then to ideas from other traditions so they can make accurate comparisons between traditions.

Methodologically, in the field of philosophy of religion, pluralism should be welcomed. Whether a philosopher of religion uses analytic methods, phenomenological methods, or the careful but not mathematical logic dominated approach of traditional Thomists—each method has its uses. It would be a positive development if analytic philosophers would study East Asian and African religions using that approach. Another positive approach would be more dialogue between phenomenologists and analytic philosophers. Each should be more familiar with the other’s methods.

My own approach to methodology in philosophy of religion is eclectic. I approach the field as a traditional Scholastic with affinities for both Thomas Aquinas and Duns Scotus. I tend to keep my arguments in English rather than putting them in symbolic form, so I do not share the emphasis of analytic philosophy on formal logic. It seems to me that analytic philosophers are often unaware of the limits of formal deductive logic. It does not, by itself, capture well inductive and abductive thinking and ignores intuitive knowledge and what Scholastics label “connatural knowledge.” Phenomenology is useful in describing religious experience, although eventually I will get to evaluating truth claims. I am not sympathetic with postmodernism with its tendency toward epistemological relativism. Subject-wise, I focus on Christian beliefs, although I am open to insight from other religions if they help solve a problem on which I am working. My first philosophical love is metaphysics, and I tend to approach problems in the philosophy of religion from that standpoint, although I realize that metaphysics influences epistemology and vice versa. Overall, I could pigeonhole myself as a “pragmatic eclectic Scholastic,” although I would never expect or want other people who work in the field to follow that particular approach. Any philosopher of religion, regardless of method or focus, should be willing to learn from anyone, no matter what method he or she uses.

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Your Brain is Trying to Kill You

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[I am open to correction in any point of the post below].

….all diseases may, in some sense, be called affections of the nervous system, because in almost every disease the nerves are more or less hurt; and in consequence of this, various sensations, motions and changes, are produced in the body.

–Robert Whytt (1714-1766), Scottish Physician

 

One of my obsessions as a child (and as an adult) is probably related to my having Autism Spectrum Disorder, Level 1 (in my case, what used to be called “Asperger’s Syndrome). I have always been fascinated by the heart and death and why a particular medical condition caused the heart to stop beating, especially if the condition was not itself a heart disease. I’d wonder about how a gunshot that missed the heart could sometimes cause rapid (or in the case of certain head wounds, nearly immediate) cardiac arrest. I would see Daddy shoot a rabbit, and it would run for ten or twenty yards, then collapse, dead. Why did its heart beat strongly enough to support its running, then suddenly stop. Or, in another scenario, why can a human being hold her breath over three minutes (and for free divers, close to ten minutes), yet someone who slips underwater or chokes on a piece of meat suffers cardiac arrest, in some cases, in a minute or two. Recently I heard of a case of a twenty-eight year old man who choked on food, and when rescue arrived two minutes later, his heart had already stopped. He was revived and had no neurological effects—but what caused his heart to stop so quickly.

Now I am not a medical doctor; the furthest I got in the medical field was as an EMT-Basic who was not even certified to give IVs or advanced cardiac life support. However, I can read, and over the years I learned that people shot often bleed out and that people who drown in fresh water can suffer cardiac arrest within a couple of minutes from electrolyte imbalances, but what about the choking victim. In the case of the gunshot victim, why does the loss of 30-50% of blood volume arrest the heart? Surely that is enough blood to stretch the sarcomeres enough for systole to continue.

I used to blame the heart—it was strong, yes, but also very fragile—too fragile, and stops too easily or too quickly for doctors to halt the underlying cause of the arrest in time to avoid brain damage or death. It turns out that often the real culprit is not the heart, but the brain.

The brain responds to bodily trauma in a way that is often destructive to the body. True, there is the diving reflex that diverts blood flow to the heart and brain that allows some drowning victims to survive. However, the rapid release of neurotransmitters in trauma or asphyxia or even in a myocardial infarction (heart attack) can result in stoppage of the heart. In effect, the sympathetic nervous system which speeds up the body, with its neurotransmitters, conflicts with the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the bodily functions, and this conflict can lead to cardiac instability and a fatal arrhythmia. While the electrical instability of the heart itself can cause a fatal ventricular arrhythmia during an MI, often the big straw that breaks the small camel’s back is a massive release of stress hormones that is “ordered” by the brain. In the case of severe bleeding, such as occurs in gunshot wounds, a nervous system mechanism causes the heart to slow down (“brady down”) and stop after 30-50% of blood volume is lost. Some head injuries, such as bullet wounds that affect key areas of the brain associated with the brain stem, cause, according to a military medic with whom I talked, almost immediate Torsades de Pointes (a chaotic heart rhythm) which progresses to ventricular fibrillation and death. The military uses pharmacological blockers to cut off sympathetic and parasympathetic signals to the heart, and sometimes that buys extra time to treat the patient. A recent animal study published by the National Academy of Sciences found that it is the release of neurotransmitters with conflicting effects on the body that leads to cardiac arrest, and when such parasympathetic and sympathetic signals are blocked, it buys several minutes in which the heart continues to beat until oxygen is totally exhausted. Yet this time could allow doctors to reverse the asphyxia without going through the (far more often than not) unsuccessful CPR and advanced cardiac life support in the face of cardiac arrest. Some scientists are not suggesting that in cases of asphyxia cardiac arrest, animal studies be done to determine whether pharmacological blocking agents to stop both parasympathetic and sympathetic signals from reaching the heart during asphyxia crises will keep the heart beating longer. Apparently there is a pattern to the course of dying in such cases, and knowing the pattern can help the timing of intervention. If blocking agents work in animals, this may be an option for human treatment.

Thus I should stop blaming the heart for early cardiac arrest in these conditions, at least in most cases, and blame the brain instead. A person with the strongest heart in the world could go into cardiac arrest quickly from asphyxia or blood loss if her nervous system effects cause the arrest.

As a philosopher of religion, this raises some issues for intelligent design arguments, at least those in the British natural theology tradition. Animal bodies are filled with examples of poor design; Francis Collins, who is a devout Christian, mentions some of them in his attack on intelligent design arguments (one of the design flaws is that instead of a totally separate, two-tube system for food and air, we have a system in which a flap closes the airway while we eat so that air goes into the trachea rather than the esophagus. Collins points out that any human engineer would have enough sense to avoid such a flawed design. The fact that our brains “try” to kill us during severe disease, trauma, or asphyxia does not suggest intelligent design—it suggests that some of the so-called protective mechanisms of the brain can make cardiac arrest occur more rapidly, resulting in less time for doctors to focus on underlying causes and resulting in the deaths of many people who would not otherwise die. Give me a good cosmological contingency argument any day over an intelligent design argument. Now I am not calling God incompetent; I believe it is possible that evolution became flawed due to an angelic fall (as we see in J. R. R. Tolkien’s mythical account, in which Melkor (or Morgoth) and his allies damaged nature itself in their rebellion against Eru (God).

I suppose the satisfaction of curiosity is a good feeling, but I am also frustrated with the slow progress of medicine in this area in which very few studies have been done. I am glad some scientists are working in this seminal area of science and medicine and hope that their efforts result in lives saved from an early death.

Mr. Trump is Right about Monuments

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I watched Donald Trump’s news conference yesterday (August 15, 2017) and agree with most of what he said. The only disagreement I have is that I do not believe that economic growth in itself will improve race relations. However, he is correct that it is hypocritical to take Confederate monuments down and still support monuments to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. The Left, big business, and establishment Republicans like Mitch McConnell are doing their best to turn people into rootless, homeless machines who work for the technocratic state. If history is erased except for a whitewashed history that supposedly is non-controversial, this helps produce the robot-like, echo-chamber world they desire. I have ancestors who fought on both sides in the War between the States. I am a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans. I find the removal of monuments to Robert E. Lee and others who were involved with the Confederacy to be a travesty, an act of historical vandalism fueled by corrupt “history professors” and other members of the Academic Left, the radical Left in general, and the corporate Right to destroy the heritage of an entire group of people. The sheer hypocrisy of such people is astounding. They ignore the fact that most people in the North supported slavery because it kept blacks from moving into their states. They ignore the racism of Lincoln–even most of the Abolitionists were racists. They ignore the fact that one of their most hated figures, Nathan Bedford Forrest, supported full civil rights for blacks in his old age. They ignore the fact that many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, including those mentioned above, Washington and Jefferson. They ignore the fact that General Ulysses S. Grant owned slaves and refused to release them after the war until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed. Related to that, they ignore the fact that Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation only applied to the Confederate States, not to the other states that remained part of the United States. They pay attention to the Succession Documents of the deep South states, ignoring other motivations for war in the middle South in which states opposed Lincoln’s unjust and illegal invasion of the South. They ignore the brutal war crimes committed by the Union Army, especially but not exclusively under General Sherman. They bring up atrocities in Andersonville yet ignore greater atrocities and a higher death toll in Union POW camps. They ignore the fact that many blacks fought for the South as attested by newspapers covering the war. They ignore the stirring up of the former slaves by corrupt Northern agents during Reconstruction.

Their hypocrisy is bare for all to see, yet the elites–both Democrat and Republican–have power and use that power to suppress dissent and destroy monuments. Organizations such as the SCV and United Daughters of the Confederacy can work to buy up private land on which to put the monuments, but that will not help in places like Baltimore, where the mayor desires not only to remove the monuments in that city, but destroy them. In Durham, North Carolina, a mob destroyed a Confederate monument. These actions are fundamentally evil, and some of the people in Virginia were opposing the removal of the statues and were not part of any white supremacist group. But lumping legitimate groups together with racists such as Nazis is a favorite–if dishonest and unfair–tactic by the Left (and by Mitch McConnell).

Yesterday when I heard Mr. Trump, I felt proud to have him as President of the United States.

De Facto Treason

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A loose coalition of Democrats, mainstream Republicans, and mainstream media figures are traitors against the United States of America. They are attempting a coup against the duly elected president of the United States, Donald Trump, by appealing to a concocted story of collusion between Mr. Trump and his allies and Russia to alter the results of the 2016 presidential election. With the help of Obama operatives already appointed in the federal agencies, especially the intelligence community, they have orchestrated “leaks” from unnamed sources who may or may not be real persons. I would bet that at least some of them are made up. Those in power do not like to be challenged. Like the bureaucracy of ancient Rome, the powers behind the scenes are often the most powerful figures in a nation. For the United States, that is a dangerous situation, threatening the integrity of what is left of the republic.

None of this should be a surprise. Power corrupts, and the entrenched powers in the federal bureaucracy hate Mr. Trump for challenging them. In the past, outsiders have had mixed results, with Andrew Jackson finding some success, but Jimmy Carter being caught up in battles with his own party in Congress, similar to the situation in which Mr. Trump finds himself.

In addition, anarchists, Marxists, and other radical groups have joined together in violent protests against the expression of any conservative views or of any support for Mr. Trump. They are sending a clear message that if they do not remove Mr. Trump in a bloodless coup, they will take the opposite route. Spoiled, stupid millennials have listened to aging baby boomer New Leftists and are protesting something they know not what. Blinded by public school educations and leftist propaganda from colleges and universities, they have lost the ability to think and only react like zombies. There are exceptions, but most millennials make up a generation second in destructiveness only to the spoiled baby boomers who sponsored the 1960s cultural revolution.

The only group that has kept the United States from falling into a shooting civil war have been the subset of the working classes who supported Mr. Trump. With elites trying to reverse an election through lies and innuendo and a congressional and court witch hunt, those individuals may come to believe their only option is violence.

The politicians and media elites involved in this attempted coup should be arrested and charged with treason. If convicted, they should serve prison time. Freedom of the press does not protect treason and sedition–or at least it should not. However, with both parties caught up in corruption, no one will be held responsible for this coup. Mr. Trump should fight it to the best of his ability. If this coup works, God help us all.

The Sick Sense of Betrayal on Immigration

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For those of us who believe in “American First,” the time beginning April 7, 2017 marked the time we realized that we had been hoodwinked. President Trump went back on his promise to stay out of foreign entanglements and attacked Syria, something he thought was a stupid idea in 2013. Now the situation has worsened, with John F. Kelly at Homeland Security saying that the wall between the United States and Mexico is “just a figure of speech.” Mr. Kelly is soft overall in immigration. As a Trump supporter who attended two rallies and gave $70.00 to his campaign as well as enthusiastically voting for him, I feel as I have been kicked in the gut. From some of the reaction I have seen online, others feel the same way.

Mr. Trump came across as the essence of sincerity on the campaign trail. He clearly communicated that the United States would build a literal wall between Mexico and the U. S. His supporters understood, of course, that if terrain made it the case that concrete or brick was not an option, alternative ways of controlling the border at those points would be found. Now it appears that the term “wall” was merely metaphorical. If that is so, the disastrous and uncontrolled illegal immigration will most likely continue with the Mexican pipeline gushing nearly unchecked.

Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is said to be the one encouraging Mr. Trump to “moderate” his views. Of course, Jared’s wife and Trump’s daughter Ivanka are going to have a strong influence on the President as well. This may not only involve a more internationalist approach to foreign policy and an easing off from planned immigration restrictions, but also a more liberal stance on social issues. The American public did not elect Jared Kushner as President, nor did they elect Ivanka Trump. They elected Donald Trump. Perhaps the Trump we are seeing now is the real Trump and not the person we saw on the campaign trail. I hope that is not the case, but it may be that voters have been intentionally deceived into voting from a man who does not share their values. If that is the case, not only has Mr. Trump effectively guaranteed he will lose in 2020, the Republicans could suffer a devastating electoral defeat in the 2018 mid term elections. Voters do not appreciate betrayal.

Now Mr. Trump did keep his word on one big issue: the Supreme Court. That would have been enough by itself to guarantee my vote for Mr. Trump. However, I feel now as if I de facto voted for Marco Rubio. Mr. Trump, as he is now behaving, is the new Rubio. On foreign policy, he is becoming increasingly indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton. When it comes to which party is in power in the form of the president, the situation has become “six of one, heal-dozen of the other.” Or, as the late George Wallace used to say, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two parties.”

Mr. Trump Joins the Swamp

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There is no feeling worse than realizing that one has been betrayed—that the person in whom you trusted has lied to you and that “you have been had.” This is how I feel now that Donald Trump has betrayed the people who voted for him in part because he promised to keep the United States out of foreign conflicts. Mr. Trump’s missile attack on a Syrian air force base marks the day that Mr. Trump officially joined the swamp. Without waiting for an investigation to determine whether Syria is the culprit of the attack, Mr. Trump, apparently moved by the photo of dead children and babies and by his daughter, Ivanka’s, understandable emotional reaction to the photos, let his emotions overpower his reason. This, in addition to his Neoconservative and Internationalist advisors in foreign policy, moved him to a disastrous decision. He did not stop to consider why Mr. Assad, near victory in the Syrian civil war, would throw that away with a stupid and militarily useless attack on civilians. The rebels themselves are known to have chemical weapons, and they have used them before to provoke the West by blaming the Syrian government, which discarded its chemical weapons years ago. There are other interested parties, such as Israel, who also have access to chemical weapons and who could have assisted in a false flag attack. Without a full investigation, we do not really know.

Corporate interests in the United States, the military-industrial complex, lust for war profits. Mr. Trump is a man of the corporation, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, is the representative of the “moderate,” corporate wing of both political parties, and he now has the president’s ear. Mr. Trump is pushing aside his conservative advisors such as Mr. Bannon and Mr. Priebus. He is no longer his own man, trying to drain the swamp; he is merely another stooge of the military-industrial complex, no different from Mrs. Clinton. He has become part of the swamp, part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Worst of all, he has betrayed his strongest supporters and revealed himself to lack the virtue of integrity. In addition, his impulsiveness is frightening since he controls the nuclear button. Voters who supported Mr. Trump instead of Mrs. Clinton to avoid World War III may end up in a devastated world due to a man who refused to let his reason control his passions. To those who say the attack was a one-time thing, consider that the Secretary of State said that the United States is now committed to regime change in Syria, the very kind of thing Mr. Trump condemned in his campaign for president. All that will result is an Islamic state filled with the dead bodies of Christians and Alawites. Mr. Trump will have their blood on his hands.

There are more disturbing trends as well. The nepotism that has characterized the Trump Administration is worsening with the growing influence of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. Ivanka recently had a secret meeting with Planned Parenthood, and her liberal views on abortion and other social issues are well-known. Will this mean a shift in Mr. Trump’s policies on social issues, betraying his strongest supporters once again? This couple have been a continual leftward influence on Mr. Trump, and right now it appears they will win the ideological battle at the White House. Once again, conservatives are betrayed by a Republican president. Once again, the swamp only grows deeper.

Today I will finish removing the Trump/Pence sticker from the back of my truck—a sad task, but now a necessary one.

A Liturgy on the Occasion of the Death of a Beloved Animal

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This is a liturgy I put together for a service of remembrances for a beloved animal companion. You are free to modify the language from the King James style English if you wish. Sorry for the strange spacing; strange things happen when I cut and paste from Word.

A Liturgy on the Occasion of the Death of a Beloved Animal

C: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy spirit

Let us pray:

Almighty and everliving God, whom all creatures praise and glorify according to their station, we give the thanks for the life of  ****, who offered his/her life in love and companionship to his/her human friends. As we mourn his/her passing, may we be ever mindful of the promise that Thy entire creation will be redeemed and remade, and for the hope that we will see our companion once again. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Our Lord, who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. A-men.

Canticle: Ps. 148:1-12 (read responsively at the level of the whole verse):

O PRAISE the LORD from the heavens: * praise him in the heights.

Praise him, all ye angels of his: * praise him, all his host.

Praise him, sun and moon: * praise him, all ye stars and light.

Praise him, all ye heavens, * and ye waters that are above the heavens.

Let them praise the Name of the LORD: * for he spake the word, and they were made; he commanded, and they were created.

He hath made them fast for ever and ever: * he hath given them a law which shall not be broken.

Praise the LORD from the earth, * ye dragons and all deeps;

Fire and hail, snow and vapours, * wind and storm, fulfilling his word;

Mountains and all hills; * fruitful trees and all cedars;

Beasts and all cattle; * creeping things and flying fowls;

Kings of the earth, and all peoples; * princes, and all judges of the world;

Young men and maidens, old men and children, praise the Name of the LORD: * for his Name only is excellent, and his praise above heaven and earth.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son * and to the Holy Ghost:

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be * world without end. A-men.

Reading: Genesis 1:24-25:

And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

C: Here endeth the lesson.

R: Thanks be to God.

C: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy spirit.

C: Let us pray:

Together:

Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Canticle: Ps. 36:5-9 (read responsively at the level of the whole verse):

Thy mercy, O LORD, reacheth unto the heavens, * and thy faithfulness unto the clouds.

Thy righteousness standeth like the strong mountains: * thy judgments are like the great deep.

Thou, LORD, shalt save both man and beast: how excellent is thy mercy, O God! * and the children of men shall put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.

They shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house; * and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the river.

For with thee is the well of life; * and in thy light shall we see light.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son * and to the Holy Ghost:

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be * world without end. A-men.

Reading: Romans 8:18-23:

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

C: Here endeth the lesson.

R: Thanks be to God.

C: The Lord be with you.

R: And with thy spirit.

C: Let us pray:

We commend this Thy creature **** to Thy loving care, that at the restoration of all creation at the end of time, **** may rise and live again to glorify Thee and to be our friend and companion once more. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son Our Lord, who livest and reignest with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. A-men.

 

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