The year is 1978, and the world is a different place.
No reality TV shows like Survivor Guatemala or Top Chef for starters. Paris Hilton is a building. Oh for the good old days!
But in the pocket universe of COGdom, dire events are afoot.
Garner Ted Armstrong is about to be out-Machiavellied by Stan the Man. The women of the WCG are days away from being declared whores if they use lipstick. The recently divorced apostle is about to declare a doctrine of Petrine primacy - making himself a type of pope. Spanky Meredith is destined to blow a foo-foo valve at Wayne Cole on the stage of the Ambassador Auditorium (put up them dukes) to cries of "shame! shame!"
And the STP would rise and fall before many of us had even registered that it was there.
It was officially the Systematic Theology Project, but there were plenty of unofficial designations, including Slide Toward Protestantism.
As far as I know it never got beyond its published "first draft" before the reactionary elements in the church, freshly blooded from deposing GTA, clubbed it into a bloodless pulp.
You may have thought till now that the only reappearance of this document would be in the third resurrection. But fear not, gentle reader. Lo, after these many years, the original STP is yours to download. Be advised, we're talking about a hefty PDF file of 400 odd pages here (some odder than others) - not a booklet.
Of course, it's not exactly riveting reading. Former Auckland pastor Jack [the Boot] Croucher claimed he never read it because it put him to sleep. Not enough CAPS and exclamation marks (!!!!) I guess.
But still, this is a glimpse of the WCG as it might have been. And if events had turned out differently, who knows how all our lives might have been affected.
Read an earlier post on the STP here.