The Table of Contents and Organization of
Parallels between the principles of science and of religion help to confirm the non-orthodox gospel of the Spirit of God With All People.
The Spirit of God With All People, Recognizing and Confirming the Non-Orthodox Gospel of Jesus
Conventional and non-conventional sources of theological information are integrated into three major parts:
- Ancient Evidence of the Presence of the Spirit of God,
- Modern Evidence of the Presence of the Spirit of God, and
- Interpreting the Teachings of Jesus Regarding his Gospel of the Spirit of God.
|TABLE OF CONTENTS|
|PART I. ANCIENT EVIDENCE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD|
|1. Recognizing the Gospel of the Spirit of God
2. Competing Views of Jesus’ Teachings
3. Jewish Texts and the Spirit of God
4. The Letters of Paul and the Spirit of God
5. The Gospels and the Spirit of God
6. The Divinity of Jesus or the Divine with Jesus
|PART II. MODERN EVIDENCE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD|
|7. Spiritual Growth and Awareness
8. Parallels Between Scientific and Spiritual Principles
|PART III. INTERPRETING THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS|
|9. Personal Relationship with the Spirit of God
10. Relationships Enabled by the Spirit of God
11. Because of the Presence of the Spirit of God
|Spirit of God-Related Passages in the Gospels
Cited Author Index
The first part, consisting of Chapters 1 through 6, presents a chronologically-oriented summary of the evidence consistent with the Gospel of the Spirit of God in texts prepared prior to and during the first century C.E. A summary of the Gospel of the Spirit of God as preached by Jesus is in Chapter 1. Chapter 2 presents a summary of factors contributing to competing views of Jesus. Chapter 2 also presents a brief summary of the ancient and present-day societies and religions that hold beliefs having some similarity with the Gospel of the Spirit of God.
Jewish texts such as Genesis, Deuteronomy, Sirach, and the Wisdom of Solomon may have stimulated Jesus’ awareness of the presence of the Spirit of God discovered by others long before him. The Books of Isaiah, Daniel, and 1 Enoch probably provided the seed concepts of a divine-redeemer myth that might have influenced the Apostle Paul and the Gospel authors. Chapter 2 discusses relevant portions of these texts.
Chapter 4 presents the reasons for not emphasizing material from the letters of Paul. Beyond his powerful influence on emerging orthodox Christianity, Paul remains of interest because his statements concerning the Spirit of God provide some evidence that he was also trying to speak to some who held beliefs concerning the importance of the Spirit of God. In this respect, he inadvertently helped to confirm the existence of the Gospel of the Spirit of God in the period soon after the crucifixion of Jesus.
In Chapter 5, attention shifts to the numerous fragments of Jesus’ teaching concerning the Spirit of God in the canonical Gospels, the Q Document, and the Gospel of Thomas. Most of the information consistent with the Gospel of the Spirit of God in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke originated with the Q Document.
The Gospel of the Spirit of God emerges not just from passages in the Gospels, but also from the trends in the content and emphasis in the Gospels over the seventy year period following the death of Jesus. The Gospel texts prepared soon after his death—the Gospel of Thomas and the Q Document—included little that suggested his divinity. Instead, they emphasized his preachings and parables related to the Spirit of God. The Gospel texts prepared much later in the first century emphasized an understanding of Jesus as the divine Son of God. The early Gospels are inherently more reliable.
The claimed divinity of Jesus looms as a major issue in the discussion of the Gospel of the Spirit of God. Chapter 6 addresses the question: Is Jesus divine, or was the divine with Jesus? Despite the emphasis on the divine-redeemer theology, the Gospels provide considerable information pointing toward the presence of the Spirit of God with a quite human Jesus. This information includes the baptismal account, Jesus’ actions in the Temple, the messianic secret passages, and the actions of those close to Jesus during his ministry and his trial. Jesus’ adherence to the Jewish faith provides strong evidence that Jesus is not God—instead, the divine Spirit of God was with Jesus.
The second part of this book, consisting of Chapters 7 and 8, concerns modern evidence of the Spirit of God. We must approach the Gospels differently if Jesus is not God, but was instead empowered by the divine Spirit of God with him. Even if a complete and accurate summary of his teachings surfaces in the future, the possibility remains that Jesus was not omniscient. Perhaps his relationship with the Spirit of God with him was not perfect, and he was still growing spiritually during his ministry. Before evaluating the implications of his teachings, it is prudent to determine if modern day spiritual experiences are consistent with his teachings. If Jesus was accurate in his Gospel of the Spirit of God, there should be spiritual evidence of the blessing of this divine presence in all people.
Supporting evidence exists. Present-day spiritual evidence of the presence of the Spirit of God takes center stage in Chapters 7 and 8. Chapter 7 concerns the types of every-day evidence available both in the time of Jesus and in the present time. Then as now, the faith and actions of good people demonstrate the presence of the Spirit of God. Despite the conclusions of Christian fundamentalists, evil is not increasing in the world. Evil fails to overwhelm many good people and the communities of good people. These people gradually overcome hardships as they persevere, serve others, and grow spiritually.
There is an awareness of God felt by people stimulated by the presence of the Spirit of God with them. This awareness provides strong confirming evidence that is meaningful on a strictly personal basis.
Chapter 8 concerns parallels between scientific principles and spiritual principles. The force of gravity suggests a spiritual force exerted by God on all spiritual beings. Principles of thermodynamics and evolution suggest that there is no devil or Anti-Christ—just the evil of nothingness.
The third part of this book, consisting of Chapters 9 through 11, addresses Jesus’ teachings concerning relationships. Chapter 9 starts with the personal relationship with the Spirit of God. The discussion then expands in Chapter 10 to address interpersonal relationships. Chapter 10 also addresses responsibilities to those in need throughout the world.
Because of the importance of the personal relationship with God, some might incorrectly assume that churches, synagogues, mosques, or temples have no purpose. This conclusion conflicts with the actions of Jesus. As Jesus and his disciples continued as devout Jews, we can recognize the presence of the Spirit of God while actively participating as members of various religious organizations.
Chapter 11 summarizes an understanding of the importance of the relationship with the Spirit of God. This personal relationship with God ensures our spiritual life, empowers our spiritual growth, facilitates service to those in need, and helps people find common ground.