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Guilty Innocence

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Dr. Dan Campana

REL 349

22 April 2005

"Guilty Innocence"

"We are those who from the beginning have had to live beyond the myth of innocence." V. P. Elizondo

As I sit in church on Sunday mornings, I am reminded of where I am because of the message I hear coming from the pulpit. I am aware of the beliefs and doctrines that go forth in any given sermon. This is where I belong, in this setting, in this congregation. Amongst believers is where I have spent countless hours. Praise and worship has been the cornerstone of my existence. I know no other way of life. There has never been any doubt in my mind that what the Bible says is true. I have lived my life accordingly, falling from grace and again falling on my knees in repentance. God is to me what he is to my mother and her mother. This class, this paper raises questions that I would have not been aware of otherwise. I need to know now, I question before I believe, and I study for truth. As is the case among those who seek to understand, what their role is in a belief system that comes from a perspective of those in power. I will look at evolution, creation, the trinity, and humanity from a Hispanic view of theology. In comparison, I will also look at the same topics from what is understood to be a normative, universal theology, Evangelicalism.

First, evolution is the idea that man evolved into what we are today based on the scientific theory that the fittest and the strongest survive. This basic belief is Social Darwinism; the majority culture is ahead of the barbarians because they are the more evolved species. If you are not part of that majority, you are lesser, you are not fully human, and therefore you do not command the same standards of living as those in power. This belief has been the basis for genocide, racism, and complete degradation of entire races of people. From a Hispanic point of view, one can see why this example of evolution could cause question and further need for investigation.

According to Justo Gonzalez, to explain evolution in this manner is ridiculous and antibiblical. One cannot simply deduce that because one was born into a particular status his opinions or beliefs are more valid than another's is. One also cannot deduce that ones life is more valuable to God just because of the color of their skin, or the amount of money they have in their bank account. On the contrary, God created man to worship him, to have fellowship with him. The ultimate reason for creation is the victory of love. God clearly shows this by allowing his son to die on a cross for his creation. Destroyed as unfit by the fittest empire of his time, yet Jesus Christ rose from the dead. To claim that survival of the fittest is the law of the land is also to assert that those in power can subjugate the oppressed in order to make a better world. For this reason, Hispanic Americans have cause to reject this view of evolution because they are the oppressed. To Justo, this theory sounds like the basis for social policy as opposed to biological theory.

Now, let us look at the issue of the Triune God. From an Evangelical standpoint, the trinity is what it is. The Bible teaches us that God the father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one in the same in 1 John 5:7. That these three operate in the realm of unity. Evangelical theology goes about trying to explain this unexplainable truth. Whereas Hispanic theology sees this truth for what it is an example of sharing. The trinity is an example of a God who sent his

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