Well … what can I say?
Over to you lot …..
Well … what can I say?
Over to you lot …..
Ark, (I am that person. )I was reared in a progressive ELCA church as a child and did not come to faith out of fear, trauma, or blind indoctrination. For me, it was a search for “truth” and the reason behind things like the origin of life and the universe that ultimately led me to a conviction of God. It was a process over time, you see.
If one is raised in a Christian environment , no matter if it is considered ”progressive” – I am not really sure what this term actually means – the fundamental tenets of faith regarding the character Jesus of Nazareth and specifically his crucifixion and resurrection are the same.
This still sounds like indoctrination to me.
Like every other conversion claim I have read, I still see no evidence whatsoever for this particular claim either.
Many of you have been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Would any of you consider this person’s ”process over time” to be indoctrination or not?
As a rule I would not dream of posting a video such as this, and it was only that, at first, I did not recognise Greg Koukl
This is a perfect example of what I usually call the Theological Two Step and it really is fascinating to listen how this slime ball wheedles and manipulates a conversation in order to lead the questioner to exactly the point where he can lay out the ‘Gotcha’!
Before you listen to Koukl though, let me write out the question that was posed to him by Deepak Chopra in a debate they had, I’m specifically doing this as, if you are like me, by the time you get to the end of the video – and I urge you to listen to all of it – you will have to think twice to remember what the actual question was.
Here it is: ”So you’re saying that anyone that doesn’t believe just like you is going to Hell.”
Now watch and listen.
Oh, and it’s telling that comments are disabled on the video. But they’re most certainly not on my blog!
When I dialogue with Christians the only thing I am really interested in is evidence – can they demonstrate the veracity of their claims.
The most frequent question I am asked is: ”What do you mean by evidence?”
As soon as you hear this you know that they are going to smother the discussion with theological fertilizer.
So, I will dedicate this video post to those fertilizer merchants whom we all know only too well.
you can skip to about the 7 minute mark if you like
Pay attention class!
As a student about to sit your finals for a degree in New Testament Studies you are surprised to note that the paper has only one question:
New Testament Studies: 3 hours.
Extract and list from the Gospel everything that you regard as historical fact.
Explain in full your methodology and provide a complete list of references.
The Church in the USA has also failed so many. We were told yesterday that 50% of US Christians can’t name all four gospel writers.
(link can be provided)
In fact, there isn’t a person alive who can identify the four gospel writers. However, I’m going to take a shot:
John, Paul, George and Ringo.
I challenge you lot to provide a more historically accurate answer.
In the meanwhilst …
From the Gospel of the Miscreants
Accepting expert consensus on almost every subject is usually the best – or at least the safest – way to go.
Or is it?
Such acceptance presupposes that such experts are truly experts for one thing.
However, that aside, on the face of it one should still demand to see the evidence.
Unfortunately, even this term -evidence – is often fraught with ambiguity.
In this post I am specifically referring to the so-called expert consensus regarding the Empty Tomb of Jesus.
In a somewhat strained dialogue with a fellow non-believer, who has thrown his hat in with a theist over this issue, I am battling to get across the fact that an unsupported claim is not evidence of the fact, no matter how many experts agree.
And when one reads stuff like this from his theist co-conspirator :
I am under the impression that you don’t really quite understand “evidence” from the standpoint of an historian. (and, no, I don’t mean to be either smug or condescending)
( and of course this is exactly how it comes across, to which we can add smug bastard ) I am ready to spit feathers at the intransigence and blatant ignorance.
To accept unsubstantiated consensus on any issue, let alone tales in the bible is to jettison critical thinking and one’s integrity.
Remember the meme:
Eat Horse Shit. 100 billion flies can’t be wrong!
And unlike our bible ”experts” when it comes to shit flies really are expert.
Furthermore, a great many of these so-called bible experts are lecturing out of a school, university or other educational institute with strong theist leanings. Would any neutral reader consider the likes of Habermas, Licona Lennox, Craig to be experts?
I most certainly wouldn’t.
So the next time you are confronted with expert consensus on any matter religious or biblical, demand to see the evidence.
And on the expert consensus of the Empty Tomb …. here’s Ehrman.
The discovery of the empty tomb presupposes that there was a tomb in the first place, and that it was known, and of course that it was discovered. But if serious doubt is cast on whether there ever was a tomb, then the accounts of its discovery are similarly thrown into doubt. Christian apologists often argue that the discovery of the empty tomb is one of the most secure historical data from the history of the early Christian movement. I used to think so myself. But it simply isn’t true. Given our suspicions about the burial tradition, there are plenty of reasons to doubt the discovery of an empty tomb.
But all of this is beside the point, which is that we don’t know whether the tomb was discovered empty because we don’t know whether there even was a tomb.
In this connection I should stress that the discovery of the empty tomb appears to be a late tradition. It occurs in Mark for the first time, some 35 or forty years after Jesus died. Our earliest witness, Paul, does not say anything about it.
To paraphrase the immortal words from Life of Brian:
”They’re making it up as they go along!”
A post about disability included a paragraph about a Christian and former drug addict who approached a blind person on the train and asked for permission to pray that his sight may be restored. The Christian claimed that praying to his god was directly responsible for his own ”healing”
This prompted my response.
I’ll give you the link if you really want to read the entire article.
To my mind there is a profound arrogance from Christians who claim to have been ‘healed’ by the power of prayer, especially when one notes that the problems (illnesses, disease etc) such people have/once had invariably involve an emotional/psychological component as well as the physical.
While addiction to drugs and alcohol, for example, most definitely does have debilitating physical aspects a definite part of recovery from these addictions is ”in the mind”.
And what about those former addicts who cleaned up without supposed Divine Intervention?
My tobacco addiction for example.
Intercessory prayer has been demonstrated to be a fruitless endeavour and has never produced a positive result that could be directly attributed.
In fact, the Templeton Foundation sponsored the largest intercessory prayer program to date involving Christians and hospital patients. Not only was the program an abject failure in terms of its objective but the health of a number of patients who were aware they were being prayed for actually deteriorated. Couldn’t live up to expectations I imagine!
When you consider how many millions of children under five that die that each year from preventable diseases and how many of their parents are religious and prayed to the point of likely becoming ill themselves, certainly traumatized, it makes you wonder why on earth anyone would be so credulous to believe that such action would make a blind bit of difference?
I also wonder how many British soldiers returning from Afghanistan with missing limbs have witnessed a leg or two suddenly grow back after a former drug-addled Christian tapped them on the shoulder and asked if they could pray for them ?
To extend the point of just how ridiculous prayer is, no doubt Spurs’ striker, Lucas Moura will be praying to the Christian god that, as in the semi-finals, he scores another hat trick when they face Liverpool on Saturday in the Champions League final.
Which might annoy Liverpool striker, Mo Salah a bit as his god will no doubt be in Spain watching the final as well.
Pointless, as we all know that Yahweh/Jesus is a Manchester City supporter, and this is why they did the English Treble this year. Furthermore, we all know that Mo’s god is not real, right?
Of course it’s true. Ask Man City’s manager, Pep Guardiola !
But probably the most insidious aspect is the fact religious leaders and those in charge of congregations actively encourage this practice, knowing full well that, all over the planet millions are dying or becoming physically crippled because it seems their god was either unable or unwilling to intervene to help/save them.
Truth be told, such religious leaders are in all likelihood fully aware just how meaningless the gesture of prayer really is.
Seriously, this guy is Brilliant!
A former preacher.
Even if you think you can’t handle the entire video, if you can get to around the 20 minute mark you will be hosing yourself laughing, and I guarantee you will want to watch it all.!
The main reason for holding to the historicity of the figure of Jesus, as his activities are narrated in the Gospels, resides not primarily in historical evidence but derives instead from a modern theological necessity. Had Jesus not lived among mortals and, more importantly, had he not died and been raised from the dead, the kernel of Christian theology would lose its essence. Yet, theological need hardly counts as either sound historical method or evidence. In order to draw critical conclusions and historical rather than religious answers to our questions, a secular perspective on the subject must prevail . . . (pp. 80-81)
From the book, ”Is this not the Carpenter?”
Excellent article from the archives of Neil Godfrey. Worth a read.
It’s interesting to read the continuing back and forth among certain Christians regarding the death and subsequent media debacle over the life and death of Rachel Held Evans.
Amen, Wally! There can be a great deal of controversy and debate….and people still love one another. I take note of the fact that Pastor Wilson, who disagreed vehemently with RHE, still did not exploit her death or act like a lunkhead when he wrote his article about her passing. That was cool.
This is a somewhat typical response.
What this person – and millions like her – fail to recognise or simply refuse to acknowledge – is the belief that someone like Evans will be spending eternity burning in Hell is expounded day in and day out by millions of Christians.
The problem isn’t that such revolting comments were Tweeted after her death, but the fact that such revolting beliefs are indoctrinated and inculcated in the first instance, from Pulpit to Pew, parent to child.
This above example of internet lovey-dovey on blogs and similar is a sham and smacks of the height of deceit and hypocrisy.
”We can all get on just fine, we all love and worship Jesus – even though you are going to burn in Hell for ever because your Christianity is wrong, you heretic!”
Until this morning the name Rachel Evans meant absolutely nothing to me and in the grand scheme of things she is simply another person who died in somewhat tragic circumstances.
That she was a Christian is neither here nor there to me.
What has brought her to the attention of a large slice of the internet is the fact that she was considered a heretic by a rather vocal part of Evangelical Christianity who have been expressing their views on her behaviour.
A former conservative evangelical herself she softened her views and became much more gentle and ”liberal”.
She was also a writer and member on some sort of advisory board for former President Obama.
Admitted to hospital because of flu and a UTI she developed problems and doctors had to put her into an induced coma, from which she never awoke.
Upon hearing of her death the vocal evangelical crowd went after her, announcing to the world that she is now burning in Hell – and deservedly so, apparently!
Gotta love them Christians, right?
Bruce Gerenscer has all the details over on his blog.
As you are completely off yours’, I thought you might appreciate this old ‘rocker’.
He’s at it again.
According to Rev. David Robertson ….
2) This new theology also contains a somewhat simplistic creationism.
Apparently no matter what we are – it is God who is to blame. He made us this way. I remember hearing John Bell from the Iona Community say, ‘If being gay is so wrong, why does God keep making gay people?’ Sexuality is an integral part of our created being, whether heterosexual or homosexual or somewhere in between.
What if someone who was promiscuous was to argue ‘if being promiscuous is so wrong, why did God make me this way?”.
Yes, he really did write that last sentence.
As my comment might not make it out of moderation …
Click on the screenshot to make it easier to read.
Christian education is not about indoctrination – but the values, ethos and foundation of the education…Humanist education is very different from Christian…
Not about indoctrination?
I have always been under the impression that Christianity epitomizes indoctrination – especially the indoctrination of children – and failure to comply with the tenets of this odious belief system meant being sent to Hell to be tortured for eternity.
This pastor seems to believe he is on the front-line when it comes to defending his religion against so many of the ills of secular, humanist society.
There is a certain amount of irony present as we use a product called Front-line to de-flea our cats.
I wonder if our wee Pastor would be amenable to wearing a specially fitted flea collar under his vestments?