Friday, January 14, 2011

The Single Spaced Document

I was really tickled this morning reading this article about whether there should be two spaces or one after a period and before starting the next sentence.

The author rants about the awfulness of the still prevailing practice of putting two spaces after a period and insists that only one belongs there. Those who learned to type on a manual typewriter (and there are so few of us left) learned from the earliest training that two spaces are required in order to make the only type face available (monotype Courier: all the characters take up the same amount of space) more readable. That habit of double spacing has so ingrained itself into my muscle memory that making the switch to single spaces poses quite a retraining challenge for me.

The many comments in response to this article also reminds me how the tiniest things can divide people into irreconcilable camps. Nice to know such divisiveness occurs outside the church as well as inside the church. 

So why do we do this? Why can't the church maintain a stance of holding a wide umbrella that covers as many as possible? What are the absolute non-negotiables of Christianity? The longer that list, the fewer included. 

I come from a world with a 17 page doctrinal statement, a long list of things that indicate the right way to think on just about any theological subject. One mis-step, one disagreement, and I'm pushed out, the entry door now firmly barred against me until I change my mind.

Is this the kingdom of heaven that Jesus spoke of so frequently? I'd surely be interested in hearing the thoughts of others on this one. Comments, emails, postings, all welcome.

PS: this document is carefully single-spaced after each period!

1 comment:

Angie Hammond said...

We as in humans are the ones that complicated religion not Jesus. He didn't have a 17 page doctrinal statement, he just simply stated: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Pretty simple if you ask me. We are the ones that complicated it and put conditions on it etc. When asked which was the greatest commandment he said Love God with all of your being and then your neighbor as yourself. This one commandment pretty much took care of the other ones.

Pretty simple but even back then his disciples didn't get it. They asked him who was their neighbor. We still don't get it, so times haven't changed.

I'm not sure that we can comprehend a Christianity that has only one simple requirement. I mean look at Moses and the Ten Commandments. They became so much more than 10 statements.

Bottom line, Jesus's list of non-negotiables was short since he came for everyone. He had the one requirement and if you did that then the rest fell into place.

So simple and yet we can't seem to wrap our minds around it. Not now or back during jesus's time.

Yes I'm certain that the kingdom of heaven Jesus spoke of so often does not have nor will ever have a 17 page admission application or list of doctrinal rules for entry.

Thankfully we don't have to worry about that if we are his sheep.