Stafford's "Three Dissertations" arrived

by TheOldHippie 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TheOldHippie

    I got the new Stafford book yesterday, and spent two hours running thru it, just getting an overview. And Greg Stafford's book is a must, an incredibly "good book". I hope everyone here gets it and reads it, and takes it for what it is - an honest study, research, where the theology, the Bible-based teachings are held in high esteem, and the organizational, man-made practices, the legalism of the Society, is critizised and exposed. I do not know how to put, but the book really spoke to my heart, really was what I have been waiting for, really was just what have been my thoughts for some years, the need to separate the theology of the Witnesses which is based on and follows the Bible, from the chronology speculations, the man-made legalism and restrictions etc.
    Stafford has delivered the goods. Regretfully to some, he also partly critizes Franz's books, where they fall short, and that is not in the areas of the Society workings, but in the areas of theology.
    Stafford has placed himself in a difficult position, much like Gorbachow's in the days of the Soviet Union. You know, the communists hated him because he had destroyed their good, old system - and the liberals and democrats hated him because his reforms did not go far enough according to their wishes. So Stafford so sharply critizises the Society, that he surely in their eyes now must be an "apostate" (not towards the Bible, but towards "God's Organization on earth") - but on the other hand the same "apostates" will critizise him, because he upholds that the Witnesses' theology when it comes to trinity, soul and a lot of other things, is basically correct, and also in that he partly critizises "apostate icons" as Penton and Franz. He is a man in the middle, and they never have easy days in our world.
    Again, read it - it is a must, and I hope it will be read and discussed on this site, and treated with the respect it deserves. Stafford is a scholar and never takes lightly on things, and should not be shrugged off with three lines by self-appointed "scholars" and universal experts .............

  • cyberguy

    Before considering getting it I have one basic question:

    Does Stafford uphold Watchtower's teachings about 1914/1919?

  • AlanF

    : Does Stafford uphold Watchtower's teachings about 1914/1919?

    No. He explicitly states that it ought to be a matter of conscience.

    Of course, we know very well that any JW who refuses to explicitly support those teachings already disbelieves them. There really is little room for reserving judgment on this, since once a JW gets to doubting that the teachings are 100% correct, he must have judged that the Society's reasoning and/or means of support are somewhat flawed. And if he goes that far, he's got enough mental ammunition to soon go all the way.


  • hillary_step

    Quite right Alan -

    *any* verbalised doubt is viewed by the WTS as enemy action and they *will* move in their own time to subdue it.

    Greg Stafford's 'theocratic' downfall may await the glare of publicity to die down, but it is as sure as the sunrise. I am also sure that he is well aware of this and has prepared himself for it as well as he can.

    On the matter of conscience, you must remember that it was Theo Jarascz who once said at an elders school on a West Coast US venue; "There is the Bible-trained conscience and a bad conscience, that is the only two options open to a true Christian".

    Of course we all know that what he meant by a 'Bible-trained' conscience is a WTS trained conscience, especially given that he publicly states that he views conformity as a requirement and not an option.

    Best regards and good luck to Mr. Stafford!


  • herbert

    I also received Stafford's latest and it is a vast improvement over his previous attempts. However, Stafford does not yet deserve to be called a scholar - he remains something of an apologist. For example, AlanF stated that Stafford's view is that the 1914 teaching should be a matter of "conscience." How on earth conscience comes in to the evaluation of (a) historical and astronomical evidence and (b) clear statements in the Bible that negate the Society's 607/70years/1914 chronology are beyond me. A scholar does not normally recommend that failed theories are believable if one's conscience so decides.

    Essentially, Stafford is stating that JWs should be free to decide to believe what now amounts to a lie if their consciences so dictate. That is neither scholarly nor Christian.

    Greg still has a long way to go. Nevertheless, his latest is laudable despite his sedulous attempts to find good in obviously failed doctrines.


  • TheOldHippie

    By "scholar" I referred to the fact that he both by education and by profession as a University teacher is one, as opposed to the many self-named "experts". If one wishes to draw further lines, between what oneself feels is a "true scholar" and a "formally yes, but in reality no, scholar" etc., was not my point.

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