Think of this promise

That the biographers of Jesus tell us he made. That those who believed in him should not worry about food, clothing or drink that these would be attended to by great providence. Imagine what men and women would do with the time freed from mundane Labour. That they needn’t worry about housing.

It does seem to me, that every where we look, all christ cultists are busy looking for these necessities just like the rest of us. And if there are any who are not doing useful work, they know there are others who are doing the useful work for them.

Or maybe I misunderstood the promise and it is meant for a future life, at which time they wouldn’t need food or shelter.

Stumping atheists

If god didn’t create atheists, who did?

Maybe you are a catholic or a christian and are confused about evolution. You don’t know whether to reject it outright or to reject genesis. The Roman church has a solution for you. Following Augustine and other church fathers, church tradition recognizes that Genesis uses figurative language and as such cannot be a scientific text that rules out human evolution altogether.

If you had worn your dancing shoes after reading the above paragraph, just remove them. The same church specifically rejects the conclusions of Darwin which insist that evolution was the result of random forces. To the church, evolution is only acceptable if it is guided by an intelligent designer, god. The church having warned scientists to avoid pretentious claims that are beyond the realm of inquiry goes ahead and tells us god could have created human bodies through evolution but immediately created their souls at the moment of conception. How do they know this?

To justify its continued existence, the church then tells us the fall as recorded in Genesis was a real event in time ( curious people want to know the date and place). And following this fall, everyone contracts a sin, original sin, at birth. This hereditary blemish can be cleansed if you get the right baptism, the catholic one. However, this baptism leaves you with some spiritual and moral weaknesses that can only be overcome through god’s grace.

Just in case you are wondering whether Jesus inherited this blemish, he wasn’t because through some god magic, Mary was also born without it.

Any one in business who wants to reap where they didn’t saw for 100 of years if not thousands should follow the model of the church. Tell the people they have a defect. Be the only supplier of the remedy. Embed yourself in their lives, from the cradle to the grave. And make sure they are told about your product before they reach the age of reason and you will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Have a sinful weekend everyone, especially those who were not baptised. Your original sin is still intact.

The things we hear

The author of this post says “We must continue to read the Bible and strive to discern what is truly from God” without telling us what tools we are to use to differentiate between the two. To their credit, they admit, contrary to many fundamentalist believers, that the bible is just made up by people who believed in God, but some of the Bible really does contain a message from our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ. I am sure Ken Ham and his ilk wouldn’t agree.

The author then tells us, without citation

God never told humanity that he would give us a perfect book, so it is not as though God is being dishonest. Rather, God is testing us, finding out if we will seek him regardless of imperfections in the Bible.

Citation needed.

metaphors

I don’t like the voice of the vlogger but I agree with what he says in the first part of the video. Could we be provided with a manual for separating what is factual against what is metaphorical in the good book.

things people have said

it would be better to destroy every other book ever written, and just save the first three verses of Genesis

William Jennings Bryan

If Jennings was granted his wish, what would become of Paul? Of the talking donkey? Of the fall of man? Of the Abrahamic land grab and all those fancy stories told in the bible? Does it mean that only the first three verses are indisputable and the rest being noise?

If there is a contradiction between a definitive [Koranic] text and conjectural science, then the scientific theory is refuted

A speaker at the First International Conference on Scientific Miracles of the Koran and Sunnah

think about this for a moment. you are doing research and then you check your results against the Koran and they contradict the text of the Koran. You don’t even have to publish your findings. They are refuted for all time.

All quotes are from J Rauch’s Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought

Things I never learned in Sunday School

By Nan Yielding

First, thanks Nan for the free copy. It is an interesting and easy read. I think a revised edition is due especially because I think you have in the intervening period learnt something that maybe was not available at the time of first publication.

This book is not a polemic against religion or an apologia. Maybe we could say it is an argument against taking someone as an authority without good reason. In this respect, I think Nan makes her point clearly throughout the book.

That said, I have a few issues with the book.

On the pentatauch, she alludes to Moses writing the first five books. First comment is that the existence of Moses is highly doubtful but that’s a story for later. On the authorship of the first five books, research that I have read point to a multiple group of writers. My preface to the African Bible( used by the Catholic Church) is explicit that while it is commonly believed Moses wrote those books, this is no longer tenable.

On Jesus, Nan writes in a manner that shows she is convinced of at least two things; he existed and had a message of love that he taught. The interesting question here is which Jesus. And having read several researches on Jesus life, I would ask with Ark, which Jesus? Nan writes we are certain Jesus died but this is putting the cart before the horse.

What can be said of the resurrection? She points out the various contradictions in the narratives telling of this special event. And I don’t think much needed to be added. Maybe we can say with Mangassarian that if he went to the sky it is best to live him there.

She writes a lot on Paul which is understandable because of his influence in Christian teaching. The first question is Paul who? Does the author of Acts know Paul? And while her conclusion is correct that without the Pauline literature, we would likely end up with a different religion today. She takes it for granted that Paul was. And I would think, as the theme of the book is not taking things on authority, a little bit of rigour would not be asking for too much.

Her exposition on the devil is quite illuminating. But in that chapter she says we are certain a supreme being exists? But does it really? Are we certain about this? What is the nature of this being & though in the final chapter she makes the argument that resembles that of Aviciena( via negativa) that maybe we can’t begin to name or even describe this being, this gives us no light on whether we should assume such a being exists.

I am not convinced the argument about the Roman empire persecution of Christians hold against scrutiny. I will have to dust my books & update this criticism but her position is not tenable.

I am African and it is a pet peeve of mine when I find African deities or religions referred to as tribal gods. This is following Hegel where everyone else has national gods or just religions but the African, no. His is a tribal god. I know it is not Nan’s fault here that most literature sees Africans only through the lens of tribe.

I think on matters where there is doubt, to express certainties must surely take away from the value of the work. To claim a supreme being/ god certainly exists is to stretch credulity a little far. My other general comment that covers the whole work is on miracles. The bible which is the source document for Christian belief is said to be a miracle- that is, it is not of natural production but involves the action of god(s) in unknown ways- is in need of defence.

While reading the book, a thought occurred to me concerning monotheism. Is it a belief in the existence of only one god or the belief in & worship of only one god While not negating the existence of other gods? The israelites are told not that other gods don’t exist, just that they should worship a specific god. Or as Nietzsche put it, the other gods laughed themselves to death when one of them said I am on the only god. Am I missing something?

Happy Sunday everyone. And thanks again Nan for the book.

just thinking

History is not about the knowledge of the events, it is about the ability to recognise the continuum of the resulting influences on our consciousness, carried through to the present day.

I have been reading a book, Civilised to death, recommended by my good friend, Mary and it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the bible considered not as god speak but as a response to a changing a world. Consider the garden of Eden as the natural habitat of the first humans where they lived as hunters and gathers and the fall as the beginning of agriculture.

The many wars are not really about god’s chosen ones but intertribal wars over land and watering points.

The book of kings can then be seen as state formation with their rigid rules and demands. For example taxes and all. In this way, the author of kings is not writing about things to come but things already experienced.

Jesus, then represents the archetype of the socialist or anarchist opposed to big government (here I kid) but you see where this is going.

I think Schopenhauer, that pessimistic philosopher, already tried to give the bible a very generous reading. Devoid of the claims of god inspiration and what nots, the bible begins to make sense as a response of those living in the crescent to the changes in lifestyle from hunters ad gatherers to farming and all.

What are your thoughts? Am i making any sense?

Some theological aside

I am reading this interesting novel titled job, a comedy of justice. You can see it on the goodreads sidebar of this blog. In some place he writes

Many people seem to believe that the ten commandments forbid lying. Not at all. The prohibition is against bearing false witness against your neighbour- a specific, limited, and despicable sort of lie. But there is no biblical rule forbidding simple untruth. Many theologians believe that no human social organization could stand up under the strain of absolute honesty. If you think their misgivings are unfounded, try telling your friends the ungarnished truth about what you think of their offspring- if you dare risk it.

Job, A comedy of justice

did you know

that it didn’t matter whether the gospels had mistakes? I know you didn’t but now you know. It is important for you to know that Jesus died for your sins but you are still going to hell for that tattoo or for the shrimp you ate.

I don’t think there are mistakes in the gospels; but even if there were, it wouldn’t affect the core of the Gospel: Jesus died for our sins, defeated death by rising again, and is coming back in glory to establish the Kingdom of God. Those truths stand firm forever!

I am glad we have this cleared up.

Thank goodness for apologists.