Joseph Priestly

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Joseph PriestleyJoseph Priestly and his major role as a scientist, minister and friend to powerful men such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin have continually fascinated me.

Although raised in the tradition of Calvin, Priestley rejected the divinity of Christ, the doctrine of the atonement, the trinity and the inspiration of the Bible.

On the atonement Priestley taught:

“the present doctrine of the atonement, founded on the idea of the absolute necessity of and infinite satisfaction being made by one infinite being for offenses of an infinite magnitude, as committed against another infinite being, is subsequent to the Reformation.  This doctrine was advanced by the Reformers in the course of their controversy with the Papists, about the doctrine of human merit, works of penance, and the power of granting indulgences. Now can it be supposed that a doctrine of so much importance, as this is always represented to be, should have been unknown so many ages?… Thus all these boasted ancient doctrines are in fact of late date…”

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About The Pluralist Advocate

The Pluralist Advocate started out this life in a conservative Military oriented community, and he later moved to that bastion of liberal activism called the San Francisco Bay Area. Having lived both ends of the political spectrum he has a unique understanding of both sides of most issues. He was also very religious growing up, serving as a studying the Christian scriptures and even spending some time as a foreign missionary. He used to think he had all the answers to life's greatest questions, but the more he looks around the world, the more he finds a wide variety of different values that work for different people. This blog is an exploration of thought and consideration from as many points of view as can be held at one time. He now holds the position that truth is found in many different disciplines. You may know the Pluralist Advocate around the web and twitter as brihartwell, or his given name of Brian Hartwell. He hates to be narrowly defined by one title, so as you read these musings you may find things you identify with, and others that you despise. That is good. Please share your reactions to the thoughts here and we will all grow together.