God’s Jury–Book Review

God’s Jury is a look at The Inquisition and how it was no anomaly, but rather a type of much of what we see in our world today.

The Inquisition was the Catholic Church’s attempt to squash heretics and took many forms over several hundred years.

Inquisition mentality is based on or results in moral certainty (we are right and the only ones who are right), institutional power (a force to perpetuate the movement), supervision (you must know what’s going on with all your subjects) and voluminous record keeping (a by-product of supervision.

Violators of the Inquisitor’s morality were tortured, and torture became a virtue to protect the truth. Torture often resulted in death and encouraged painful ways of dying to warn others to adhere to The Truth.

The author ties this in with Hitler’s Nazi movement, Russian governments, McCarthyism and also the recent Patriot Act and torturing of suspected terrorists. He makes a compelling case, one which I’m not sure I agree with fully, but compelling nonetheless.

His antidote for Inquisitions is, of all things, humility. Pride is what leads people to believe they possess the whole truth with no error to grant the certitude to kill those who disagree. Humility, remembering that we are fallible, keeps one from this mentality, a point I could not agree with more.

This was a fascinating book, one that will inspire thinking. I encourage you to read it.

2 thoughts on “God’s Jury–Book Review”

  1. Well I’m having problems squaring the conclusions with Jesus Christ.

    If confession of fallibility is the one thing that saves us from setting up another inquisition, then Jesus should have set up an Inquisition for He certainly knew He had the truth, and in fact was the Truth.

    The inquisition had it’s beginning on Earth with the murder of Abel by Cain. Cain should have admitted that his sacrifice was wrong, but he was too proud. At the same time, he was angry that his brother’s offering (which was just what God had required, and therefore was an “infallible” offering) was accepted by God. In this case, Cain’s fallibility led him to be an inquisitor.

    There is a kind of humility that is just fig-leaves. In this kind, a person confesses they are fallible, but doesn’t actually believe it. Then when advance truth is presented, they proclaim the bringers as proud, self-sent men. Jesus had to meet just these kind of charges from the Pharisees.

    In this case, the proclamation of fallibility is just a covering to hide the fact that this person does not want to advance in the truth, nor does he want others to advance. “We are all fallible!” he proclaims, “therefore, don’t try to teach me the truth, because you are fallible too!”

    A better remedy against the Inquisition-spirit would be a constant “hungering and thirsting after righteousness.” Jesus had this. Even though He was perfect, and had the truth, He never ceased to seek for more, and to feel His constant dependence upon it.

    To cease to advance is to begin dying. A man who is content to remain where he is, begins to die. The end result will be an inquisition against those who are not content to die.

  2. I agree. The author leaned toward truth being subjective I think. But for a secular author I thought his conclusion was pretty good, not what I was expecting. But you are right, righteousness is the ultimate solution to all problems. Humility for fallen people can be quite helpful as well, but I do think his humility went more into who knows so relax, which I think is problematic.

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