Bringing the Text to Life

Christ the Snake 2 Corinthians 5:16-21

Medical science has made so many advances in treating and eradicating diseases that now when we are confronted with an illness that cannot be controlled, we are filled with suspicious rage. Likewise, we have heard the story of Jesus'' death on the cross so many times that the painful, bloody details, which made possible an incredibly miraculous cure, are lost to us. We take for granted the fact that the impossible has been achieved; we have been redeemed from death and reconciled to God through the terrible tragedy of Christ''s crucifixion.


In the 19th century there were two distinctly different schools of thought vying for supremacy in the field of medicine. If you became ill, you had to decide whether you were going to consult an allopath or a homeopath. Allopathic physicians worked under the assumption that "opposites cure," while homeopathic physicians claimed "like cures like." Allopathic physicians would use powerful purges and poisonous chemicals, such as calomel or mercury, to violently force the body's humoral imbalance - the believed cause of most diseases - back into stasis. Homeopaths, on the other hand, would give small amounts of substances which weakly mimicked the afflicting disease's symptoms, to reach the same end - a new balance of the body's humors.

By the late 19th century the allopaths were rapidly gaining the upper hand, dominating both the market and the medical profession. Yet homeopathic popularity hung on, strengthened by their early refutation of some of what were finally being recognized as...

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