Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Down At The Socinian

The Socinian is a neat new blog by our friend Fausto. I checked it out today and laughed like hell (pardon me, HECK) to see a little shout-out to Yours Truly on one of his recent posts:


In the same post, Fausto quotes at length a letter from Benjamin Franklin to Unitarian minister Ezra Stiles in 1790:

As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals, and his religion, as he left them to us, the best the world ever saw, or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England some doubts as to his divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an opportunity of knowing the truth with less trouble. I see no harm, however, in its being believed, if that belief has the good consequence, as it probably has, of making his doctrines more respected and better observed...

Isn't that wise and tolerant and lovely? If only post-Christians today had the same maturity and respect.


Blogger fausto said...

Aw shucks. You're a hoot too, Peacebang.

Even when you mix up your Ezra Stileses, that's just all part of the fun. The one Franklin wrote to, Ezra Stiles, was a theologically orthodox Congregationalist who was nevertheless so g. d. smart and scientific-minded that he is (very) occasionally called "the Larry Summers of 18th-century Connecticut". The Unitarian one, Ezra Stiles Gannett, was the Congregationalist one's grandson and William Ellery Channing's assistant minister.

Blogger PeaceBang said...

I am so busted! I knew that Ezra Stiles was a precursor to Ezra Stiles Gannett but I didn't know anything else about him. Dear and Reverend Sir in the Great Beyond, I beg your pardon for besmirching your good orthodox name.

Blogger fausto said...

No need to apologize to the Rev. Dr. Stiles. He's had over 225 years now to get used slurs originating within a 50-mile radius of Cambridge. If anything, he would probably be gently amused that you were never taught about him. (Besides, in his theology, apologies presumably don't do much good.)

Ezra Stiles

Blogger fausto said...

uh-oh, typo: should be "get used TO slurs"

Stiles would have blamed Adam. Franklin would have proofread.

Blogger Chalicechick said...

I generally prefer Franklin.

But I always forget to proofread myself.



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