notes on christianity

This page is a series of incomplete essays aiming to sympathetically understand different schools of chrisitanity.

My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.


the religious society of friends



i do not believe in sin. i believe that some things are morally wrong, but i do not believe that those things breach a divine law.

The trinity


can we take jesus as a moral teacher without the divine aspects of his teaching?

we can. but sometimes this misses the point, and other times it doesn't paint jesus in a great light by today's standards.

without god, jesus was a cult leader.


quietism is a christian doctrine which suggests that perfection comes from having a quiet soul, therefore enabling divinity to take hold of your life.

taking god as a given

yhwh is "being" not god

eternal life comes from filling existence with being

i recently read "no other gods", a book which goes through the ten commandments and lays them out with essentially that premise: yhwh refers to being itself, rather than being a cryptic answer on god's part. existence is what is to be valued and worshipped above all else.

it covers the commandments one by one, and endorses a very ascetic lifestyle if you are to follow them properly.

TODO expand

well, it led me to thinking, lots of philosophers from the past are criticised for assuming the existence of god (descartes, kant, etc). they make strong, elaborate arguemnts, that all just drop god, this complex, controversial idea in there, no question. how do they stand up if we take god to refer to being itself instead?

the problem with eg. kant is that god isn't just important for god, also the other things god entails in the christian tradition are brought along too.

aquinas's primary precepts are so true bestie

like, his conclusions are really bad. but those precepts have something going for them

thomas aquinas defined five primary precepts as part of his natural law theory, which states that humans have an innate desire to try and do good and avoid evil. the primary precepts are revealed to us through god, which is to say, we know them within us because god put them within us.

secondary precepts are rules developed by humans as parts of systems of morality. aquinas suggests that any ethical stance we have can be derived from the primary precepts. as an example, sex for pleasure is wrong because it is abusing its natural function, reproduction.

that's obviously up for debate; i think it's not wrong to have sex for pleasure. but the general theory stands. people have their primary precepts, and use them to develop secondary precepts.

i also think that in a more abstract sense, humans must worship something. this may be a god concept, or it might be something more physical such as money or a celebrity. it could also be more abstract, like a cultural identity or science.


Parables are stories used to demonstrate a point. Jesus used them throughout his ministry. It is often suggested that jesus's goal with the parables was to make his teachings easier to understand. This is not the case; the parables were meant to be obscure:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?" He answered and said to them,”Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. (matthew 13:10-13, nkjv)

Agreeing with Your Adversary Matthew 5:21-26
Ask Seek Knock Matthew 7:7-12 Luke 11:9-13
Barren Fig Tree Luke 13:6-9
Become As Little Children Matthew 18:1-9 Mark 10:14-16 Luke 18:16
Blind Leading the Blind Matthew 15:13-14 Luke 6:39-42
Boiling Pot, and it's scum
Bridegroom (Children of the Bridechamber) Matthew 8:15 Mark 2:19-20 Luke 5:34-35
Cedar in Lebanon
Children of the Marketplace Matthew 11:16-19 Luke 7:31-32
Dead Bury the Dead Luke 9:60
Dishonest Steward Luke 16:1-13
Dry Bones in the valley
Elijah Must Come Matthew 17:10-13
Escaped Prisoner
Eye of The Needle Matthew 19:23-24 Mark 19:23-27
Foxes Have Holes Matthew 8:20 Luke 9:58
Fruit Tree Matthew 7:15-20 Matthew 12:33-37 Luke 6:43-45
God's Vineyard (The Unfruitful Vineyard)
Good Samaritan Luke 10:25-37
Good Shepherd 0
Great Eagles and the Vine
Guests and Wedding Host Luke 14:7-14
Hand to the Plow Luke 9:62
Harvest is Great Matthew 9:37-38 Luke 10:1-2 0
Hidden Treasure Matthew 13:44
House (Kingdom) Divided, Beelzibub Matthew 12:25-28 Mark 3:20-30 Luke 11:17-20
Jerusalem's Confinement
Jerusalem's Iniquity
Jerusalem's Seige
Jerusalem's Sinfulness
Jerusalem's Starvation
King of the Trees
Laborers in the Vineyard Matthew 20:1-16
Lesson of the Fig Tree Matthew 24:32-35 Mark 13:28-31 Luke 21:29-33
Leven (Yeast) in the Meal Matthew 13:33 Luke 13:20-21
Light (Candle) Under a Basket (vessel) Matthew 5:14-16 Mark 4:21-23 Luke 8:16-18
Light of the Body Matthew 6:22-23 Luke 11:34-36
Linen Waist-Cloth
Lion's Whelps
Living Waters
Lost Coin Luke 15:8-10
Lost Sheep Matthew 18:12-14 Luke 15:3-7
Mustard Seed Matthew 13:31-32 Mark 4:30-32 Luke 13:18-20
Net (Dragnet) Matthew 13:47-50
New Cloth Old Garment Matthew 9:16 Mark 2:21 Luke 5:36
Old and New Wine Bottles Matthew 9:17 Mark 2:22 Luke 5:37-39
Pearl of Great Price Matthew 13:45-46
Pearls to the Swine Matthew 7:6
Pharisee and the Tax Collector Luke 18:9-14
Plowman (good out of evil)
Poor Man's Ewe Lamb
Poor Wise Man
Potter, The
Prodigal Son Luke 15:11-32
Prophet Without Honor Matthew 13:57
Purpose of Parables Matthew 13:10-17 Mark 4:10-12 Luke 8:9-10
Rebuild the Temple 0
Red Sky Matthew 16:2-4 Mark 8:11-13 Luke 12:54-55
Reluctant Friend Luke 11:5-13
Rich Fool Luke 12:13-21
Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31
Salt Without Savor Matthew 5:13 Mark 9:49-50 Luke 14:34-35
Samson's Riddle
Scattered Seed Mark 4:26-29
Sea Monster
Servants, Faithful or Unfaithful Matthew 24:45-51 Mark 13:32-37 Luke 12:41-48
Serving Two Masters Matthew 6:24
Sheep and Goats Matthew 25:31-46
Sheepfold 0
Shepherds and the Flock
Sign of the Prophet Jonas Matthew 12:39-42
Sluggard and His Vineyard (Field)
Sower Matthew 13:3-9 Mark 4:1-9 Luke 8:4-8
Sower Explained Matthew 13:18-23 Mark 4:13-20 Luke 8:11-15
Speck in the Eye Matthew 7:1-5
Strait Gate - Narrow Is the Way Matthew 7:13-14 Luke 13:24
Strongman's House Matthew 12:29-30 Luke 11:21-23
Talents, Three Servants Matthew 25:14-30 Luke 19:11-27
Ten Virgins Matthew 25:1-13
Theif In the Night Matthew 24:36-37 Mark 13:24-27 Luke 17:26-30, 34-36
Things That Defile Man Matthew 15:10-11 Mark 7:14-16
Things That Defile Man Explained Matthew 15:15-20
Thistle and Cedar
Treasures in Heaven Matthew 6:19-21 Luke 12:33-34
Treasures New and Old, Householder Matthew 13:52
Tree and Its Fruit Matthew 12:33-37 Luke 6:43-45
Trees making a King
True and False Shepherd
Two Debtors Luke 7:41-43
Two Harlots
Two Housebuilders, House Upon the Rock Matthew 7:24-27 Luke 6:46-49
Two Sons Matthew 21:28-31
Unclean Spirit Matthew 12:43-45 Luke 11:24-26
Unforgiving Servant Matthew 18:21-35
Use of Parables Matthew 13:34-35 Mark 4:33-34
Vineyard and Vine Dressers (Husbandmen) Matthew 21:33-46 Mark 12:1-12 Luke 20:9-19
Vision of Micaiah
Watchful Servants Matthew 24:45-51 Luke 12:45-48
Wedding Banquet and Garments Matthew 22:1-14 Luke 14:15-23
Wheat and Tares (Weeds) Matthew 13:24-30
Wheat and Tares (Weeds) Explained Matthew 13:36-43
Widow and Unjust Judge Luke 18:1-8
Widow's Olive Oil
Woman of Tekoah, etc.

§further reading


Chrisitanity is meant to be viral

why "you do your thing and i'll do mine" is an unreasonable thing to say

okay my thoughts on this are currently pretty unordered but i think a lot of people are very dismissive of this issue, both religious and non-religious.

this mostly applies to evangelical abrahamic religions, the one i am most familiar with is chrisianity but there have been enough muslim crusades and my surface-level understanding suggests to me that there is a similar strain there

the main thought i'm working with is that the core message of christianity, as it is overwhelmingly interpreted, is that if you repent of your sins then you will go to heaven and have eternal life. therefore the morally right thing to do is to spread this knowledge so that as many people as possible get the opportunity to experience eternal life

seen in this way, it is impossible for christianity to be a personal thing without you being quite a selfish person.

Facts and logic considered futile

I see videos and articles fairly regularly claiming to Destroy an astrologist with Logic, or Obliterate a christian with Science, and i think that these are nonsense. Such evangelism does play into my thoughts about science as a religion, but ill talk about that in more detail another time. Furthermore, such videos only serve to widen a divide between science and religion that is for all intents artificial.

Most of the times, the process seems quite unscientific: two people will be sat down, and one will slowly dominate the discussion by talking louder, interrupting, and dropping fallacious arguments to draw applause from the crowd, who are usually of the same mindset as the winning party. It is just as easy to find videos in the other direction, where a Christion Spreads the Word to a Born-Again Scientist or something, but that isn't the focus of this article. It's a process that makes me quite uncomfortable and i think misses the point of religion.

I should note here that in this article i am going to be making statements as facts that reflect the dominant christian understanding of God. For the purpose of following along, you too should take them as known truths, because for many christians From now on im not going to use determiners when i mean the majority of christians. they are known truths, and its christians youre arguing against.

God is omnipotent

God is the most powerful being in the universe. Can we come up with tricky logic games where God makes a rock that God cant lift? Yes. Should we? No, because i believe in interpreting any argument in the strongest light, and it seems to me that this is an issue of language. Let me know if you disagree. With that in mind, God can do whatever God wants, including not being limited to universal laws.

i want to put like a little story here about someone who was lost but when someone showed them a map with directions, they were like no but see look at my map and both maps were internally correct but they showed slightly different things but i can't think of an easy way to explain that. maybe an abstract map like the tube or something would work?