3 Lenses With Which to View the So-Called ‘Clear Biblical Truths’

Titian (1542-1544), Cain and Abel, via Wikimedia, Public Domain
Titian (1542-1544), Cain and Abel, via Wikimedia, Public Domain

If you’ve spent any time discussing theology with other Christians, you’ll likely hear about so-called biblical truths. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with using language such as this—that is, there are things that are pretty clear—but what it generally comes to mean is “I’m right, you’re wrong, and the Bible agrees with me.” Then, what will typically happen is that you’ll be met with a litany of prooftexts that, on the surface at least, back up whatever theological claim is being made.

As I’ve gone along in my theological journey, however, I’ve realized that this method of exegesis—if we can even call it that—misses the whole point that the Bible is trying to make. Indeed, the Bible can be made to say whatever one wants it to say. Hence, biblical truths can come in any number of shapes and forms. The reason? As French anthropologist René Girard taught, the Bible is a “text in travail.” In other words, the Bible is a discussion, a debate, an argument over, among a litany of other things, the nature of God. If I could oversimplify this debate, then, I’d say that the Bible includes 3 distinct “voices,” namely the voice of religion, the voice of the retributive victim, and the voice of the forgiving one. In this article, I’d like to elucidate what I mean by this.

Lens 1: The Voice of Religion

Religion goes by many names, but what is behind all things religious is the practice of sacrifice. In its most archaic forms, virgins and other “unblemished ones” are tossed into volcanoes with the hope that the religious community could be not only blessed, but spared from the wrath of the gods. And in a very real way, it’s easy to see why folks think this barbaric practice works. It’s easy to see, for example, that when a religious community can unify around and forever silence an “other”—rather than them spiraling out of control under the weight of their own violence—they find catharsis. It’s also easy to see why they would then think this is some divine blessing.

Allow me to provide an example.

In Numbers 25, we read of a myth about how a plague befalls the Israelites because of their collusion with the Moabites and their god Baal Peor. The solution to this problem, then, at least according to the writer, is that anyone yoked with the Moabites and their god is to be “impaled in the sun before the Lord.” So, what does Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, do? He rams his spear through an interracial couple while they are in their tent, immediately ending the plague (one that kills 24,000 people). In other words, peace, according to sacrificial religion, is believed to have been achieved by killing a surrogate “other” to appease an angry god. To that end, Phinehas is then given a “perpetual covenant of peace and priesthood,” while the voice of the victims are lost to the annals of “history.”

Lens 2: The Voice of Abel

The Bible, however—unlike other religious myths—indeed contains many tales that include the voice of the victim. In the murder myth from Genesis 4, for instance, just after Cain murders Abel in cold blood, Abel’s blood cries out to God from the ground. In other words, after Abel is unjustly slain, he cries for retribution. And it’s easy to see why. It’s easy to see just how unjust this is and why someone would want vengeance to be taken on their victimizers.

Yet, as the Bible so accurately predicts, this “voice” only leads to further violence. In spite of God marking Cain so that “no one who came upon him would kill him,” humanity continues the violent cycle. In a mere handful of generations, a man named Lamech even boasts of his vengeful streak and by the time we get to Noah, the entire world is corrupt and filled with violence.

This is why, if we are truly going to take the Bible seriously, if we are going to ever begin talking about “biblical truths,” then we must transcend this voice of retributive “justice.” Even if we are victims of injustices, even if we want to cry out for vengeance, we must take heed because, as the Bible clearly shows, it will only lead to further violence that can only end in a flood of epic proportions.

Lens 3: The Voice of the Risen Christ

Thankfully there is a third voice: the voice of the forgiving victim. This is the voice that transcends, not only religion, but the voice of the retributive victim. The writer of Hebrews makes this exact point when he writes that the sprinkled blood of Jesus “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.” What is this word? To put it as simply as possible: Shalom. It’s the word of peace, most pointedly witnessed when Christ enters the upper room in John 20. To his disciples, Jesus speaks the following:

Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you . . . Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.

To be a disciple of Jesus, then, is to live in this Spirit. But it is such a difficult thing to do, is it not? Our human urges are to cry for vengeance whenever we are wronged. Conservative Christians are guilty of this. Progressive Christians are guilty of this. And I, first and foremost, am guilty of this. And yet, our Lord always comes to us in the Spirit of Peace. He comes to us when we are our most terrified, when we are shaking with anger, indeed even when we, like Saul of Tarsus, are foaming angrily at the mouth. And he always brings peace.

Now, this doesn’t mean that, as Christians, we sit idly by and allow injustices to happen. Of course not! We must, as Christ did, speak truth to power, confronting the Powers and Principalities that hold others in bondage. However, we mustn’t give in to the urge to fight these Powers with anything but the voice of the forgiving victim (to do so would be to attempt to cast out Satan with Satan). No other way is possible, and in fact will only lead to more death and destruction. And neither those who cling to sacrificial religion nor those who cry for vengeance will ever achieve the peace we all long for. Only following the non-vengeful risen Lord will ever do that.

Be at peace.

Shalom.

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  • Brad Feaker

    I have come to cast fire upon the Earth; and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is accomplished! Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. (Luke 12:49–53)

    This is hardly:

    And yet, our Lord always comes to us in the Spirit of Peace.

    In light of your post today, might I ask how you interpret that passage? Just curious.

    Kind Regards.

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    The radical inclusiveness of Jesus’ message indeed brings division. I’ve seen it in my own life. Once I started preaching the gospel of pure grace and peace, others divided against that message. Why? Because we humans have the propensity to think in “us vs. them” terms. Once you talk away folks’ “them,” watch how much division is caused.

  • Brad Feaker

    Thanks Matthew. And we are natural xenophobes it seems. But I do not think it has anything to do with Jesus’ or any other religious message. I think it is the way evolution made us. And it is up to us to overcome our oft times divisive natures. And religion is NOT helping. And Jesus’ message was not all peace and love either. Remember the entire Hell thing?

    But the main point is we actually have no clue what Jesus said or if he was even a person at all. I do tend to believe that a person existed and he was the one the biblical stories are based on. But all we really have is hearsay…so what exactly is the message of Jesus? It seems to be whatever one wants it to be – which makes it worthless as any sort of basis for morality.

    Kind Regards

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    Well, with regards to hell, I don’t think the infernalists are reading the gospels with very much depth. There is an entire context that goes into Jesus’ teachings on hell (or, more accurately, Gehenna) that seems to be missed by large swaths of folks.

  • Brad Feaker

    But, none the less, it is a doctrine held by most Protestant denominations and the RCC. but my overarching point is that neither you or I know what Jesus actually taught. All we have are stories, myth and legend. No one (seemingly) actually wrote down what Jesus taught during his lifetime – and if they did those words are lost to history (at least at the present time). And his disciples were illiterate…and the oral tradition they would have had to use to preserve his teachings can be extremely unreliable as to detail.

    Now if we just want to address what is recorded in the Gospels (I am leaving Paul out of this) then we have something. But let’s not pretend those are the actual words and teachings of a person called Jesus.

  • Rod Light

    Just curious as to how you determined that “his disciples were illiterate”?

  • Brad Feaker

    I should have qualified it with “probably”. Most people were illiterate then and, outside of Luke, none of the others are presented as educated men. And the Gospels are anonymous – no one has any true idea who the actual authors were.

  • Rod Light

    Thanks for the clarification…was just curious.

  • Brad Feaker

    Thanks for catching my mistake.

    Kind Regards

  • Alonzo

    >”I don’t think the infernalists are reading the gospels with very much depth.”

    Infernalists? Nice made up pejorative and ad hominem. However, it just discounted your entire argument.

  • jamesparson

    You really want to blame this on evolution as opposed to a cultural norm?

  • Brad Feaker

    Yes – We as a species natural xenophobes. FFS – take a look around yourself.

  • jamesparson

    Upon thinking of it, I think you are right

  • Brad Feaker

    And I am sorry it is so :(

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    MATTHEW — Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”

    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Why is any interpretation required? Did Jesus ( assuming he existed) mumble? Did his conversations ramble?

    How are these passages to be interpreted?

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 )

    ( Why not “slavery is wrong & should be avoided”?)

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 )

    (So,you are owned as property by another human being… and the message here is respect your owner. And also it is OK for a Christian to own slaves, even if the slaves are also Christian.)

  • Brad Feaker

    Edit – I am an idiot :) Responding to you with something meant for another thread.

    Let me try again! Back in a minute.

  • Brad Feaker

    Let me try this again :)

    My only point is that passage sort of blows up that whole ‘Prince Of Peace’ persona. And Matthew’s statement : “And yet, our Lord always comes to us in the Spirit of Peace.” seems to be directly contradicted by that passage.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Well, I have heard the Bible called “the great book of choose your own adventure” because you can find a passage somewhere that tells you what you want it to say.

    It is hard to take it seriously when it tells you:

    Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

    and one sentence later tells you:

    Proverbs 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

  • Brad Feaker

    I must agree :)

    Kind Regards

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    C_ALAN_NAUIT —- Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”
    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • C_Alan_Nault

    ????

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    BRAD —- Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”
    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • Brad Feaker

    Sir – you need help.

    Good day

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    WHY? WHAT ABOUT? PROVING THE STUPIDITY OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF? ALONZO GETS PISSED BECAUSE I HAVE PROVEN HIM LOGICALLY AND FACTUALLY WRONG, SO HE LIES ABOUT ME,

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    the Bible can be made to say whatever one wants it to say.

    Agreed. Doesn’t that make it obviously a manmade book?

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    I’m not one who says the Bible is the “word of God,” so yes, it is written by humans.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    Written by humans and about a god (a god that punishes people for the sins of their ancestors & who takes away free will when it suits his purposes) for which no evidence has been presented.

  • Tim Ellison

    This is why Matthew says it is a human book. The things recorded are attributed to God but are false. That god (that punishes and who takes away free will) is not the father that Jesus reveals. This is false ideas that humans have about God.

  • C_Alan_Nault

    With no evidence for any god, any & all ideas about a god can be considered false/mythology,wherever the ideas come from.

  • Alonzo

    Faulty thinking. You make sweeping unsupported generalization without knowledge. How do you know your claims?

  • Alonzo

    >”so yes, it is written by humans.”

    You leave out a major detail” “inspired by God.” So now your definition of “myth” takes shape which you never explained.

  • Phil

    “inspired by….” is a classic ploy by marketing types when they have no evidence or can prove a relationship. Like “The new Wizzo toothbrush with bristle cleansing technology. Inspired by dentists”. Any ad worth it salt nowadays has some technology in it. So perhaps we should expect to see “The bible with myth enhancing technology. Inspired by god”

  • Alonzo

    Hmm, Phil, let’s examine your syllogism.

    PREMISE #1 “”inspired by….” is a classic ploy by marketing types when they have no evidence or can prove a relationship.”

    You fail to define your terms thereby creating the fallacy of definition. The word “classic ploy” is an overly broad and ambiguous phrase, making the entire statement resting on incoherence and meaninglessness. In fact your entire premise is full of meaningless words and phrases.

    You fail to support “no evidence” or proof, making the basis of your premise the fallacy of hasty generalization.

    PREMISE #2 “”The new Wizzo toothbrush with bristle cleansing technology. Inspired by dentists”.

    This statement has no basis in fact. You enclose it with parenthesis as though you are citing something but provide no source unless you are plagiarizing.

    PREMISE #3 Any ad worth it salt nowadays has some technology in it.

    This statement is a non sequitur, that is it has nothing to do with the other two premises.

    CONCLUSION: “So perhaps we should expect to see “The bible with myth enhancing technology. Inspired by god”

    The conclusion is false not only because the premises are faulty but because it is ambiguous and incoherent and has the intent of ridicule, another logical fallacy.

    Your entire set of statements are based on faulty thinking. Better luck next time.

  • Phil

    Sheesh get a life!

  • Alonzo

    Sheesh, get a brain! Open yourself up to embarrassment and you get it. And the best you can provide in reply is “!!”

  • Phil

    I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition!

  • Alonzo

    I don’t expect a reasoned reply from you; and so far you have fulfilled my expectations as so many others who attempt to raise reasons for not believing God or the Bible. You and they fail to support your case but conclude with one logical fallacy after another.

  • Alonzo

    Phil, then perhaps you should not embarrass yourself by boasting about things of which you know nothing.

  • Phil

    Oh go on then if I must. I don’t normally respond to verbal diarrhoea. It rapidly gets tedious.

    1. Here is a few references concerning the misleading use of ‘inspired by’ in advertising.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11768390/Four-in-five-beauty-claims-cannot-be-substantiated.html
    https://www.highya.com/articles-guides/how-to-spot-deceptive-advertising-language
    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=marketingfacpub

    2. Just a made up example of how it is used. My words, my quote.

    3. Musing over other misleading language. Wondering whether we could expect such from religeous types.

    I am astonished you understand what non-sequitur means given the whole of religions is based on such assertions.

  • Alonzo

    Coming back for more refutation, I see. OK here it is.

    Citations of other sources are not YOUR arguments!! Your comment shows that you are attempting to project modern English onto the meaning of a Greek word translated in a few versions of the Bible. Another logical fallacy.

    >”Musing over other misleading language. Wondering whether we could expect such from religeous types.”

    What?? Your statement is a totally incoherent attempt at a personal attack or ad hominem. Learn how to spell.

    >”I am astonished you understand what non-sequitur means given the whole of religions is based on such assertions.”

    Your comment above is still another logical fallacy of hasty generalization. Let me help you with the meaning of that logical fallacy. It means applying a sweeping unsupported generalization in an argument. Your statement also shows your illiteracy.

  • Phil

    Yep you got me, you win, well done you.

  • Alonzo

    No, the Bible “cannot be made to say whatever one wants it to say.” That is called reading into the text what the author never intended. Example, you go to take a test for your driver license. You mark “b” for an answer to a multiple choice selection. The answer according to the law stipulated in the manual is “d.” You cannot claim, “I wanted the manual to say such and such, so the answer is “b.” You are wrong. Did you learn that in grade school?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    The Bible is for slavery, and it’s against slavery. It’s for women’s rights, and it supports conditions that make women property. God is all loving, and yet he commands genocide. The message of Jesus is for the Jews … or maybe it’s for all people. It’s like quantum superposition–it has opposing opinions that collapse into one only when you open it to your preferred passage.

    I’m sure you didn’t learn that in Sunday school, but that helps explain why there are 45,000 Christian denominations.

  • Alonzo

    It seems that you have not read the Bible well, but believe what others tell you. You also do not seem well read in the history of Christianity. Your statement about how x number of denominations came about is a hasty generalization and just plain wrong. What is your source for the 45,000 number?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I have read the interesting parts very thoroughly, but of course there is much more history to learn. But perhaps you can expand on your complaint, “you have not read the Bible well, but believe what others tell you.”

    What is your source for the 45,000 number?

    From the International Bulletin of Mission Research, a Christian source:
    http://www.internationalbulletin.org/issues/2015-01/2015-01-028-johnson.pdf

    What is your concern about my use of that number?

  • Alonzo

    “Interesting parts?” Your statement means nothing. In other words, you are illiterate when it comes to the Bible. “Complaint?” Pejorative. Wow great source! Not. Your article is hardly a source, because it fails to list all the so-called denominations. Therefore, it is an invalid source, and one source does not constitute reliable research.

    >”What is your concern about my use of that number?”
    UNRELIABLE!

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    “Interesting parts?” Your statement means nothing. In other words, you are illiterate when it comes to the Bible.

    Golly. You can read my very soul.

    Wow great source! Not.

    I’d have thought that a Christian research source focused on providing data on missionaries would have some credibility with you. My bad.

    Perhaps you should just tell me what number you want to be the case. Let’s use that instead.

  • Alonzo

    Given your others posts, you demonstrate hostility toward biblical faith. Consequently, no reasoned argument for faith in Christ would serve no useful purpose for you. You would simply reject any argument just as you reject Craig’s arguments. I saw your interchange with William Lane Craig, and you call it “…My attack on faith.” Craig is a brilliant Christian intellectual, and I have read his works. I doubt that you have read his salient works (Reasonable Faith, Does God Exist, and God is Good, God is Great). They would be beyond your capacity, anyway.

    In terms of your citation of my response to your single source, you missed an important point: context. And you know that context: “…it fails to list all the so-called denominations…one source does not constitute reliable research.” Therefore, I am glad you admitted, [Your] bad, because taking out of context is disingenuous. Have fun in continuing without me, because I see no useful or fruitful purpose in continuing a discussion with you.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Yes, I am hostile to faith. However, it doesn’t then follow that I reject any Christian argument. Indeed, I put myself in the way of good Christian arguments every chance I get.

    I saw your interchange with William Lane Craig, and you call it “…My attack on faith.”

    I called it “my attack on faith statements.” Perhaps it’s not me who isn’t reading for comprehension.

    Craig is a brilliant Christian intellectual, and I have read his works.

    I’ve read bits of his Reasonable Faith, I’ve read many of his articles, and I’ve listened to many episodes of his podcast. I think very little of his intellectual capacity.

    But if you’re of a mind, point me to one or two of his arguments that you find most convincing.

    In terms of your citation of my response to your single source, you missed an important point: context.

    A Christian source, with no clear indications of bias, says that there are 45,000 Christian denominations worldwide. Instead of whining about the quality of my source, provide your own–that’s what the adults do when they discuss things.

    Have fun in continuing without me, because I see no useful or fruitful purpose in continuing a discussion with you.

    Gonna take your football and go home? That’ll teach me!

    you would have a continuous trail of illogical comebacks as you have demonstrated.

    Give me one example of my illogic.

  • Alonzo

    >”Gonna take your football and go home? That’ll teach me!”

    Typical bait and an echo of so many others I have encountered who use the same failed tactic. I don’t bite. Have fun. I have blocked you.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Everyone else: now that Alonzo is gone, perhaps the tone of the conversation will become less petulant. If I’ve made errors or relied on illogic, I’d appreciate being told that. Wouldn’t it be nice if he’d used that opportunity?

    If anyone else wants to pick up the empty claims and add some evidence to them, I’d be interested in reading them.

  • Reason0verhate

    Is that your face or uranus?

  • felixcox

    Yep, Bob is right. You are running away because you have no rational arguments. Sad that there are so few honest Christians who are willing to engage in good-faith dialogue. I hope you repent and try again, but I have very little reason for such faith.

  • Alonzo

    So you are digressing also as those who have no argument always do. As I said to Bob and say to you also, why have a discussion with people as you who show that they do not know how to conduct a reasonable interchange? Such discussions amount to no more than a waste of time.

  • felixcox

    Noted you again insult and run away! I guess if I lacked integrity and had your dogma, I too would dodge debates this way. It allows you to pretend to save face by pretending that we really just can’t handle the debate! Run away, run away!!!!!!!

  • Alonzo

    Ad hominem is not a sound argument. You are blocked too. Your insults are irrational.

  • felixcox

    That’s right, your style here does not constitute any kind of argument. Instead, you insult then run far away.

  • Phil

    “reasoned argument for faith in Christ” is an oxymoron.

  • Alonzo

    Really? You failed to support your single premise. Oh, that’s right, a syllogistic argument requires at least two premises, and you have only one faulty premise. Faulty thinking.

  • jamesparson

    Do you have a link to something brilliant that William Lane Craig has written. I only know him for is reworked Kalam Cosmological Argument.

  • Alonzo

    Let me give it to you a step at a time.

    1. Go to Amazon
    2. Put in “William Lane Craig” in the address bar
    3. Scroll through the titles associated with his name
    4. Read the summaries offered
    5. Click on the book picture, and it will take you to the table of contents
    6. Read the table of contents
    7. Buy the book you would like to read.
    8. Place Craig’s name into your Internet browser like this, “William Lane Craig.”
    9. Select the link to his website.

    Bingo, you have everything you need to discover what he has written. You can do that with any other Christian author, also. You can also send him an e-mail with a question. He loves replying to people, especially atheists, who have questions. Do that before you die, otherwise, all will be lost. No Internet, no browsers, no books, no Kindles, no nothing but eternal darkness.

  • jamesparson

    I suppose I deserved that. :-)

  • felixcox

    Noted that you are disingenuous and do not argue in good faith. You asked for a source, then you got one. Instead of being honest and conceding that your skepticism was misplaced, you dig in your heals and claim that the other guy is illiterate. Just ad hominems and non sequiturs. In short, a typical true-believer incapable of civil discourse. Ironically, your dishonestly does far more harm to Christianity than that caused by non-believers.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    ALONZO,, TRY LEARNING THE FACTS AND THE TRUTH,

    Any truth seekers should watch, and carefully listen to, the facts presented in this video

    This video “The Dark Truth of Religion” has information in it which proves the Christian religion and the story of Jesus are taken from previous religions, thus there nothing new in the Christian religion at all.

    https://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=a_aajtzr18w

    I say carefully listen because I know if you take a listening comprehension skills test, most of you will have a less than 23% score. And I know this because in a management training course given to all of us in management at NCR’s Electronics Division, we were given a course on how to effectively listen.

  • Alonzo

    I see no facts in your post. I do not follow and read links. If you cannot make an argument here, then you do not have one. Why do you meander? What does your link have to do with where you work? Nothing. Now scoot along if you have nothing to say, and it seems that you do not.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    ALONZO, HAVE YOU READ YOUR BIBLE FROM FRONT TO BACK COVER? IF NOT, MAYBE YOU SHOULD NOT AS IT MAY TURN YOU INTO AN ATHEIST LIKE DOING SO HAS OTHERS.

  • Alonzo

    Really now? I have been studying the Bible now for nearly 50 years, not just reading it but studying it in the original languages and various contexts. It has left my faith stronger over the years. The reason for that is that I do not read the Bible like atheists who take passages out of context, ridicule it, read into it what is not there, and fail to consider historical and cultural contexts. Virtually all atheists I have encountered claim they have read the Bible, but in quizzing them about it, they demonstrate the opposite. They do not know the Bible at all. They simply repeat what they are told about it and then cherry pick passages out of context. Are you one of them? If not, please explicate Romans for me and provide at the outset a one sentence theme statement.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    WHICH PROVES YOUR PROGRAMMING IS EVEN STRONGER THAN THE PROGRAMMING OF MANY.

  • Alonzo

    FALSE. Logical fallacy of faulty conclusion. Not only is your argument faulty (without premises), but that you place humans in the positions of machines to be programmed. So if you are a machine, you have no free will but are driven totally by forces eternal to you. It also means that you are not writing of you own free will but someone else is programming you to write it.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    THE 775 FORMER CHRISTIAN MINISTERS MEMBERS OF THE CLERGY PROJECT WHO ARE NOW ALL ATHEISTS MOST CERTAINLY KNOW THE BIBLE. AND THE ODDS YOU KNOW IT BETTER THAN DAN BARKER DOES ARE ZERO!

  • Alonzo

    So what. Read my previous response on this. Your argument is fallacious i that you fail to support your premise, and your second sentence has nothing to do with your first. Try making an argument rather than give videos. Videos are not arguments but memes from unprepared minds.

  • Alonzo

    By the way, pointing out what you did only affirm the biblical teaching that all people are sinners and fall short of God’s perfection. And unless they once again turn from their rebellion against Him, they will perish separated eternally from God. And it won’t be pretty. So, where do you stand before God? Still rebellious?

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT
  • Alonzo

    So what? Never heard of him. Many atheists have become defenders of Christian faith:

    Kirk Cameron – actor
    High Ross – physicist
    Rosiland Picard – MIT Media Lab
    CS Lewis – Oxford Professor
    Alister McGrath – peer reviewed chemist of over 200 scientific white papers
    Francis Collins – Driector of the G-nome Project
    Alexis Carrel – Nobel Prize Medicine
    Lee Strobel – Famous Journalist, NYT
    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – author
    Dr Carl Wieland – Australian MD
    Dr Russell Humphreys – Physicist

    I could name so many more, but that would prove nothing except that God intervenes with people converting some and leaving others alone to their own will. Bad argument on your part.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    I will bet every one, of those who SAY they WERE ONCE Atheists and who now say they no longer are Atheists, were, as babies, children and teens raised (programmed) by those who raised them to believe in the same religion and number of gods those who raised them believed in.

    As they grew older, their gaining in experience, logic, knowledge, and common sense, it caused them to consider themselves to be Atheists.

    Then, when something happened which caused their programming to kick back in, they again decided they “Believed”

    If these supposed “Former Atheists” had been able to fully de-program themselves, from the programming they received as babies, children and teens, *** they would still be Atheists

    ****as many millions of the formerly religious, including the more than 770 former Christian ministers, (members of the “Clergy project”) have,

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    ONLY A PROGRAMMED RELIGIOUS ROBOT LIKE YOU WOULD THINK SO!

    AS WHILE YOU HAVE A FEW OF, I WILL BET ALL ONCE PROGRAMMED CHRISTIANS, WHO RETURNED TO BELIEVING, THERE ARE MULTI-MILLIONS OF ONCE PROGRAMMED RELIGIOUS ROBOT CHRISTIANS, WHO ARE NOW ATHEISTS!

  • Alonzo

    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Patheos for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    LIAR! ANY NORMAL, RATIONAL, LOGICAL AND EVEN SEMI-INTELLIGENT PERSON READING WHAT HAVE SAID TO YOU HAS NOT BEEN SLANDEROUS. AND YOU HAVE JUST PROVEN WHAT A TOTAL FAILYURE THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION IS AT TEACHING ETHICS, HONOR, INTEGRITY AND MORALS!

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    I AM ASKING OTHERS POSTING HERE IF THEY AGREE WITH YOU. AND I WILL BET NOT ONE WILL!

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    SO SAYS A PROGRAMMED RELIGIOUS ROBOT CHRISTIAN WHO IS A NO ETHICS, NO HONOR, NO INTEGRITY AND NO MORALS LIAR!

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    The following passage describes the sickening practice of sex slavery. How can anyone think it is moral to sell your own daughter as a sex slave?

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

    So these are the Bible family values! A man can buy as many sex slaves as he wants as long as he feeds them, clothes them, and has sex with them!

    What does the Bible say about beating slaves? It says you can beat both male and female slaves with a rod so hard that as long as they don’t die right away you are cleared of any wrong doing

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)

    You would think that Jesus and the New Testament would have a different view of slavery, but slavery is still approved of in the New Testament, as the following passages show.

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)

    Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)

    In the following parable, Jesus clearly approves of beating slaves even if they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.
    The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. “But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given.” (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Yet more evidence that morality changes as society matures.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    SO TRUE.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    Except that humanity doesn’t deal with acts of pedophilia, the gunning down of helpless little children, brutality, genocide, gang rape, racism or even serial homicide as merely socially improper conduct, like, say, picking your nostrils at the dinner table. Much rather, this jolt, outrage as well as horrify. They’re dealt with as morally abominable facts -as undeniable acts of evil. (This is why, since time immemorial, even the most primitive cultures, regardless of their spiritual values, enforced laws and regulations against homicide and various other acts of evil.)

    On the flip side, love, equality or self-sacrifice are more than just socially useful acts, like, say, bringing a lady roses on a first date. Rather, these are regarded as good moral facts; conduct which is actually good.

    That said, irrational beasts don’t possess such **objective** morals. Just about everything they do is the denouement of behavioral instinct not shared knowledge handed down from one era to the next, their woefully limited cognition notwithstanding. So whenever a lion savagely kills some other, it doesn’t believe it’s committing homicide. Any time a peregrine falcon or a bald eagle snatches prey away from another, it doesn’t think it’s stealing. Each time primates violently force themselves onto females as well as their little ones they’re not tried and convicted of rape or pedophilia. Needless to say, we undoubtedly didn’t “inherit” our **objective** moral sense from these.

    **Objective** morals are never derived from scientific research because science, by its very nature, is morally nihilistic. From where, then perhaps, did we obtain our **universal objective morals**?

    Consider the following:

    (1) If God does not exist, objective moral values and duties don’t exist.
    (2) If evil exists, objective moral values and duties exist.
    (3) Evil exists.
    (4) Therefore, objective moral values and duties do exist.
    (5) Therefore, God exists.
    6) Therefore, God is the locus of all objective moral values and duties.

    That’s to say, as Dostoevsky once mused, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.”

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I’ve see no evidence of objective morality. What people point to instead are examples of either deeply felt morality or universally felt morality. And if you take on the challenge of showing objective morality, don’t forget part 2: this objective morality must be reliably accessible by humans (otherwise, what’s the point?).

    I’ve never found the hypothesis that objective morality exists to be necessary to explain humans’ moral ideas.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    Are you really incapable of distinguishing good from evil?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Are you really incapable of sticking with the subject? I understand good and evil just fine. It’s the objective claim that’s at issue.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    Make up your mind, then. You simply cannot have it both ways.

    Either you can differentiate good from evil because they are objective realities or good and evil don’t exist and you can’t. Which is it?

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    My argument was so devastating it reduced you to silence? Thank you.

    I must admit, though, I love the sound you make when you’re not talking :)

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    BOB, Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”

    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I’m confused.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    DON’T KNOW WHY, IT WAS A SIMPLE QUESTION WHICH CAN BE ANSWERED WITH A “YES” OR A “NO”.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    “DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN?”

    Uh, yeah. It’s a simple question. I have no idea what you’re talking about and even less interest in finding out.

    Slanderous? Banning? Despicable? Huh?

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    YEP. SO FAR, ONE OF THE OTHERS I ASKED HAD NO PROBLEM WITH MY QUESTION. I GUESS ALONZO DOES NOT MY LIKE PROVING HIM WRONG.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    SO FAR, ONE OF THE OTHERS I ASKED HAD NO PROBLEM WITH MY QUESTION.

    How lucky for you.

  • Maxximiliann

    Maybe there were just praying to the wrong god? To which one were these praying to?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I pray to no god(s). Why–does praying to a god do anything beyond meditation?

  • Maxximiliann

    “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing and does his will, he listens to this one.” – John 9:31

    My decades of personal experience, as well as that of several close to me, confirm the veracity of this declaration.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Think of the millions of stupid Christians who declare that God listens to anyone! Good thing you’re here to set them straight.

  • Maxximiliann

    I appreciate the sentiment but I’m didn’t author John 9:31.

  • Maxximiliann

    For your conclusion to obtain you need to prove that dikaiocide is immoral. Can you?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I have a conclusion? And what’s dikaiocide?

  • Maxximiliann

    Don’t you condemn God for all of the evil people he’s been forced to execute?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I condemn him for the innocent people he’s hurt. Or, I would if he existed. As it is, I just condemn the idea.

  • Maxximiliann

    Who has Jehovah God hurt?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    As many people as Zeus hurt.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    I condemn him for the innocent people he’s hurt.

    Hence, my question.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I’m an atheist. I can’t imagine what could still be unclear.

    If your questions are rhetorical or Socratic, then just make your point, if you have one.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    Are you of the type that insists God does not nor cannot exist?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Nope.

    How about you? What’s your position? You don’t have a supernatural claim that you want to defend?

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    If exceptional intellect is required to merely duplicate the breathtaking daedal designs & systems present in nature (Biomimetics) then much more the original being replicated. Creation is thus unshakable evidence of our Creator’s necessary existence. It’s simple, mundane logic.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    “Daedal.” I wasn’t sure whether your argument was correct or not, but because you used a big word, I have much more confidence that it’s correct. Or something.

    So your point is that because reverse-engineering (as it were) nature is hard, it must have had a designer? You need to take that argument back in the shop for a fitting because it makes no sense.

    And thanks for the Ben Stein video. I figure anything out of his mouth must be correct. Or crap—I keep forgetting which.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann
  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    Thank you for clarifying.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    And thank you for clarifying. I now understand your position much better.

  • BlackMamba44
  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    For your conclusion to obtain you need to prove that dikaiocide is evil. Can you?

  • Maxximiliann

    What conclusive evidence do you have that God does not nor cannot exist?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    That’s not my problem. You have the burden of proof. I follow the evidence I have, and I see insufficient evidence for God’s existence.

    But perhaps you have evidence I haven’t considered.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    I just condemn the idea.

    Disbelief is a belief. It is certainly not neutral. The second you adopt the position of disbelief, there are evidentiary assumptions you’ve made along with a stance adopted on that evidence and, therefore, evidentiary burden you’ve assumed.

    As such, you need to prove your claim or risk having it and you dismissed as irrational.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I make no supernatural claim. Do you? If so, then the burden of proof is yours.

    As such, you need to prove your claim or risk having it and you dismissed as irrational.

    I anticipate your dismissing me as irrational, simply because you don’t feel like supporting your claim.

    I have no burden of proof that aliens haven’t done medical experiments on humans. That burden rests on the person who makes that extraordinary claim. Ditto Bigfoot. Ditto God.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann
  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    If anyone were to claim, nevertheless, that aliens have never or cannot perform experiments on humans then a burden of proof is assumed.

    Likewise, if you maintain that God does not nor cannot exist, you too assume a burden of proof.

    Go ahead and present your evidence.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Weird, isn’t it? I’m the one who questions rising from the dead claims, and I’m the one who gets the interrogation.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C Clarke

    Just because you don’t understand the science behind recreating someone who has died it doesn’t mean magic …

    “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and willfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.” ~ Aleister Crowley

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Just because you don’t understand the science behind recreating someone who has died it doesn’t mean magic

    Right . . . but that’s the way to bet.

  • https://medium.com/the-maxximiliann Maxximiliann

    “A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it is not open.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  • Maxximiliann

    “Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ―myth,’ but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ―myth’ theories.” ―The New Testament Documents, F. F. Bruce, Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England

    “No one. No one in scholarly circles dealing with ancient Judaism and early Christianity, of any religious or non―religious persuasion holds the view that Jesus never existed. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own truth.”—Larry Hurtado, former Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology (University of Edinburgh)

    “Jesus did more than just exist. He said and did a great many things that most historians are reasonably certain we can know about today. …. A hundred and fifty years ago a fairly well respected scholar named Bruno Bauer maintained that the historical Jesus never existed. Anyone who says that today ― in the academic world at least ― gets grouped with the skinheads who say there was no Holocaust and the scientific holdouts who want to believe the world is flat.” ―M A Powell

    “Socrates taught for 40 years, Plato for 50, Aristotle for 40, and Jesus for only 3. Yet the influence of Christ’s 3―year ministry infinitely transcends the impact left by the combined 130 years of teaching from these men who were among the greatest philosophers of all antiquity.” ―Unknown

    “There is something so pure and frank and noble about Him that to doubt His sincerity would be like doubting the brightness of the sun.” ―Charles Edward Jefferson

    Here are but a few of the historical facts they’re talking about.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Facts? The fact is that we have stories that date back to the first century. Are they actually history? That has yet to be shown.

  • Maxximiliann
  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Gotta disagree with you there. (Although it is hilarious that you’re an evolution denier.)

    Is that link to your blog?

  • Maxximiliann

    Remember Alchemy, Neptunism, the geocentric universe, Spontaneous Generation, Lamarckism, Emication, the existence of the planet Vulcan, Lysenkoism, Gradualism, Trepanation, Miasma principle of illness, Telegony, junk DNA, the widening earth, the existence of Phlogiston, Martian canals, Luminiferous Aether, the Steady State Theory, Cold Fusion, Hollow Earth Theory, Phrenology etc., etc.?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    Yup.

    Is there a point in there?

  • Maxximiliann

    Instead of delusions of omniscience, then, shouldn’t the fact that the sciences are not infallible nor omniscient lead you to humility rather than contemptuousness and openness rather than bigotry?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I have no delusion of omniscience. Neither does science. But I appreciate your concern.

    Anyone who understands science realizes that every scientific conclusion is provisional.

  • Mr Cleats

    Senile sodomite.
    Go drink your prune juice, you blathering old fool.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined Bob Seidensticker

    I’m feeling a lot of Christian love just now …

  • billwald

    The bad guys in the Bible generate the best quotes, For example, “What is truth?” My favorite good guy quote, “I’m going fishing.”

  • Alonzo

    So many logical fallacies appear in this article that the article make sit difficult to know where to start. So let’s start with some major ones.

    1. Straw man – Throughout the article, he raises straw men and then attacks them
    2. Biased presumptions – Matthew uses “myth” several times, showing his presumptuous bias. In doing so, he makes a claim that certain texts are myths, a claim he never supports.
    3. Use of metaphor to stand for the literal – He does not seem to understand that he uses metaphor to attempt to denigrate Christian doctrine and history (“voice”). He does not inform the reader he uses metaphor, a key lapse in descriptive essay. He generalizes about historical events through ridicule (a form of ad hominem) to attempt to show it bad light and as a myth. He fails, because he fails to support his claims of myth and simply ends up with ridicule.
    4. False association – Matthew associates, falsely, other religious practices with biblical history without explanation. Not only that, but he rips the events out of contexts and discusses them pejoratively (another form of ridicule), thereby giving a false interpretation of the text. He does this with the Numbers event and Abel. He fails to cite Hebrews as the source of Abel speaking, left it out of context with his association Cain and violence. He never explains either. His exegetical skills are totally lacking and ends up with personal attack rather than engaging in sound exegesis.

    Perhaps, Matthew may consider rewriting this article to get his facts right and omitting logical fallacies.

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    1. Where did I use a strawman? Can you specify?
    2. “Myth” is not meant to be a negative term (as in, myth = pre-scientific understanding of things). If you are interested in how I am defining it, Rene Girard lays it out in his book “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning.”
    3. Where did I denigrate Christian doctrine?
    4. I’m not sure I’m following you here. Yes, the Hebrews text is using Abel’s voice as a reference, which I clearly stated.

  • Alonzo

    Thanks for allowing me to reply, Matthew. In terms of straw man, you commit it twice in your first “voice.” First, you call Numbers 25 myth without defining what you mean by myth. You failed to inform the reader how you are using the term, thereby leaving it up to the reader to apply a definition. Although you gave your definition in a subsequent response to me, that is too late. It should have been done in the article. Your subsequent definition even differs from that which literary critics use (See, “A Handbook to Literature,” Thrall & Hibbard). C. S. Lewis even uses the term differently from yours when he refers to the events of Christ’s life as “true myth,” that is it has backing of history. You must explain it in the article. In applying the term “myth” to Numbers, you create a straw man by attributing to the text the author never intended. Second, you commit the same straw man by attributing “voice” to the Numbers text. You must show that the author intended your rendition of “voice,” otherwise, you create a straw man fallacy. Furthermore, you never define how you use voice in Numbers, thereby leaving it up to the reader to apply a definition. Again, you ignore the author intent and read “voice” into the text. Additionally, you claim the voice of the victims are lost. The text does not portray the worshipers of Baal as victims but rejectors of the LORD God. You revise the story and create a straw man.

    Again, when it comes to myth, you failed to define it. A good essayist never leaves it up to the reader to understand terms used, especially literary terms. You do that. In terms of your definition, you gave apart from the article, it is too generalized. Again, according to Thrall and Hibbard and Lewis, myth never depended on “pre-scientific,” whatever that is supposed to mean. Whose science and when? You do not define your terms again. I am not going to go out and read Girard as I read your article, and neither are your readers. You must supply a definition for words you believe the reader may not understand from your perspective. Readers have their own definitions, and a good essayist must be sensitive to that.

    Concerning denigration, you denigrate Christian doctrine by associating it with myth and other fiction. You omit the entire story line in Numbers about God giving a command and the process of the story from there. You claimed that the deaths “appease[d] an angry god. Whose god was angry? The text says nothing about appeasing an angry “god.” You read into the text something that is not there. The only God (proper name) mentioned in the text is the LORD God, not “god.” The text mentions nothing about Baal being angry. Therefore, you must be referring to the LORD God or engage in ambiguity. If so, then you denigrate God by referring to Him with a common noun “god.”

    In terms of Abel, you never cite the text of Hebrews. You do mention Genesis 4, but you refer to it a myth again when if fact the writer to the Hebrews and Jesus Himself points to Abel as true history. I have already pointed out your undefined use of myth so that I will not belabor that point.

    By the way, you use “voice” differently than in literature. In literary style, it means the writing style used (genre) by which authors tell their stories. You do not use it in that sense but project onto the text what is not there except in the case of Abel (metaphorically). You fail to show that the authors of the text intended a voice of the victims or otherwise.

    You may want to rewrite the article in consideration of the above to clarify several aspects of your essay. It is not a very well written essay.

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    Thanks for the response. Two things. In Numbers 25:4, God is described as having “fierce anger.” Is it not then appropriate to use the term “an angry god?” Perhaps I’m wrong to say it is, but I found it fair. Second, I do cite the Hebrews passage, and even link to it. “The writer of Hebrews makes this exact point when he writes that the sprinkled blood of Jesus “speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.”

    Now, with regards to my use of “myth,” you are correct, I should have defined that.

    Thanks again.

    Blessings and peace.

  • Alonzo

    >”Is it not then appropriate to use the term “an angry god?””

    No. First, you do not use the personal pronoun. That is inappropriate. Second, You could be talking of any “god.” You denigrate God by lowering Him to the status of other gods. Third, you did not give a careful reading of the text to exegete the reason for God’s anger. From the very beginning and throughout Torah, that point is clear – people rejected Him and turned to idols (Baal, Moloch, and the gods of the other nations). It is very fair of God to punish those who reject Him since He created them in His image to worship Him and to live His way. God is holy and righteous and therefore has the right to exercise judgment. Just because you do not like His ways does not give you the right to judge God, but you do so on your terms and not on His. Then you misrepresent the text from your terms and ideology. It is one thing to honestly represent the text and still reject it, but it is an entirely different matter to misrepresent the text and reject God. The latter is a straw man. Furthermore, when you make a judgment of “fair,” on what basis do you make it – on your own authority or God’s? If you consider yourself wrong to declare something fair, would that not be a contradiction? When one points to fairness, one assumes a standard for judging that fairness. What is your standard? God’s or your own. When you claim, “…but I found it fair,” you are using your own standard and not God’s standard. For if you were using God’s standard, you would not be judging God but yourself; for we are all unfair in our judgment of God and others. If you are using your own standard, then you judge God. That is a very precarious position in which to be.

    OK, I did see where you referenced the Hebrews text, but in your second reference to it. Normally, good writing provides citation for the first reference and then refers back to it in the second reference to the same passage (cf. Heb. 12). That is the reason I missed it because you provided no citation, a practice of good writing. However, in your first reference to it, you provide poor exegesis in reference to Abel. Neither the Genesis nor the Hebrew text states that Abel’s blood “cries for retribution.” This is reading into the text what is not there and thereby creates a straw man. The Hebrews text discusses Abel within the context of his righteousness and therefore he [Abel] still speaks righteousness. The keys to the passage are faith and righteousness. Those two terms are the crux of the gospel from the beginning to the end of the Bible.

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    I’m guessing you’re a Calvinist…

  • Alonzo

    Keep on guessing. It keeps you digressing and failing to reply. I think for myself. Yes, I have read Calvin’s Institutes several times, but also John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, Paul, Peter, and James many more times. I read many of the early church Fathers, Thomas Odem, Aquinus, Richard Dawkins, CS Lewis, Martin Luther, Charles Spurgeon, John Owen, Tertullian, Ausgutine, Eusebius, Bonhoeffer, Paul Copan, and so many others. I guess that makes me a Calvinarmenianmethodistcatholiclutheranatheistanglicanorthodox. No, it makes me a committed Christian who loves to plumb the depths of God’s word found in the Bible to discover the riches of God’s grace toward all so I can know Him. It makes me a committed Christian who loves to read widely and to explore differing points of view for and against what I believe. But thank you for guessing…wrongly.

  • http://www.allsetfree.com Matthew Distefano

    Gosh, it was just a joke.

  • Alonzo

    Gosh, you didn’t get mine either, eh (except for the last two closing sentences)? But thanks for the rebuttal. By the way, have you read Calvin’s piece in the Institutes, “The Life of the Christian Man?” It’s no joke.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THE PROOF THE STORY OF JESUS AND THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ARE SIMPLY TAKEN FROM PREVIOUS RELIGIONS? IT IS IN THIS VIDEO. Any truth seekers should watch, and carefully listen to, the facts presented in this video

    This video “The Dark Truth of Religion” has information in it which proves the Christian religion and the story of Jesus are taken from previous religions, thus there nothing new in the Christian religion at all.

    https://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=a_aajtzr18w

    I say  carefully listen because I know if you take a listening comprehension skills test, most of you will have a less than 23% score.  And I know this because in a management trianing course given to all of us in managent at NCR’s Electronics Division, we were given a course on how to effectively listen.

  • Alonzo

    A Youtube video is not proof of anything. Youtube videos are for those who are lazy and do not want to do their research.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    FIRST, SINCE YOU STILL BELIEVE IN THE CHRISTIAN GOD, YOU HAVE PROVEN YOU ARE TOO LAZY TO DO SUFFICIENT RESEARCH.

    SECOND, YOUR NOT KNOWING DOING RESEARCH CAN, AND DOES INCLUDE, GETTING INFORMATION FROM VIDEOS, PROVE YOU ARE NOT LOGICAL OR VERY BRIGHT.

    THIRD, THE VIDEO CONTAINS FACTS WHICH CAN BE VERIFIED WITH RESEARCH. SO THE BOTTOM LINE IS YOU JUST DO NOT WANT TO LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT A TOTAL CON THE STORY OF JESUS AND THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION ARE.

  • Alonzo

    So now you have become a mind and motive reader. How do you know these things? You do not know what I know and what research I have done. Again, you commit the logical fallacy of presumption. You make false claims. You show yourself to be lazy by not researching the scholastic field. Rather you rely entirely on other people’s arguments rather than drawing conclusions on your own. You either are incapable of sound reasoning or you are uneducated or both.

    Since you continue to engage in false accusations and other logical fallacies, I see no useful purpose in continuing this discussion. You are incapable of sound discussion.

    Bye. No more from me. You are way over your head in this discussion and don’t know what you are talking about.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    I PITY YOU AS YOU LACK COMMON SENSE. ANYONE WHO BELIEVES IN THE CHRISTIAN GOD HAS OBVIOUSLY NOT DONE SUFFICIENT RESEARCH!!

    THIS IS A FACT AS MANY CHRISTIANS WHO THOUGHT THEY COULD PROVE ATHEISTS WERE WRONG BY RESEARCHING FOR THE FACTS, FOUND THERE WERE NO FACTS PROVING JESUS OR THEIR GOD WAS REAL!

    THUS, THEY BECAME ATHEISTS.

    THIS IS EASILY PROVEN BY THE MANY YOUTUBE VIDEOS MADE BY THESE FORMER CHRISTIANS WHO SAY THIS IS WHY THEY ARE NOW ATHEISTS.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    One of the main reasons many of the multi-millions of former Christians ended up being Atheists is because they wanted to find evidence of the Christian god was real so they could prove we Atheists were wrong, only after researching, and finding no evidence at all, they became Atheists.

    There are many videos made by a black girl who calls herself, “Atheist Minority” who was very sure she was going find enough evidence the Christian god was real, she was going to prove we Atheists were wrong. Only she, as all truth seekers do, found out she was wrong and the Atheists were right.

    HERE ARE HER VIDEOS

    HOW TO REMAIN A CHRISTIAN

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khSo-bgjDT8

    WHAT I MISS ABOUT CHRISTIANITY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27R-X_EF_iU&t=36s

    BIBLE LESSONS # 1 BIRTH OF JESUS

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pWyBqTT2X8

    BIBLE LESSON # 2 THE LAST SUPPER

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU2m3bSlifg

    THE BIBLE IS SELF EVIDENT

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZMcwNduHMg

    AGNOSTICS ARE REALLY ATHEISTS

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kyNSlO_bq4

    THANK GOD FOR SLAVERY

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCZ6PRiQq_w

    GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84gh6d3AjqA

    ATHEISTS ARE IMMORAL

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sppWzs1Dhhc

  • Alonzo

    >”One of the main reasons many of the multi-millions of former Christians ended up being Atheists is because they wanted to find evidence of the Christian god was real so they could prove we Atheists were wrong, only after researching, and finding no evidence at all, they became Atheists.”

    You have faulty reasoning again in that you embed your conclusion in your premise. That is called circular reasoning. It is also the faulty reasoning of hasty generalization, because you do not know the motives of all people, just your own. You do not know how to think for yourself. How many times do you have to be proven wrong because of your faulty reasoning?

    Again, memes are not arguments. I don’t care how many videos you show, you simply borrow, steal from, or depend on others to make an argument rather than make one yourself. You are incapable of thinking for yourself or making an argument against the Christian faith so you must depend on or parrot others.

    The rest of your post is a non-sequitur argument.

  • Mark

    Alonzo, I’m having a hard time understanding your statement: “It is very fair of God to punish those who reject Hims since He created them in His image to worship Him and to live His way.” I can’t understand how one would conceive of a God like this. What does it say about a God who has to make humans in his image so that their sole purpose is to worship him?

  • Alonzo

    Are you Mark or Matthew? The moniker is the same for both names. All people worship something, because it is in their very nature to raise up some god to worship. I am unsure if you understand the meaning of the word from the original language. Also, it is important to trace that meaning from the original to its translation into English in the original translation. In a sense, it is an archaic word, having fallen out of use generally in society and used almost exclusively in religion.

    Let’s first examine it in its original. In Greek it means to esteem, show reverence, awe, or devotion. The Hebrew word has essentially the same meaning – to pay homage, venerate, lie prostrate. Part of worship is to be like God in the way we live and give Him gratitude for all he has given us, as Paul said, “From Him we move, and live, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). The translated word into Old English is “weorthscipe.” That word made its way through Middle and Modern English as “worth ship,” that is “worthy” or giving proper worth or recognition. During the Middle and Early Modern Ages in England, people used to call the King “Your Worship.” That did not mean that they treated him as God or some god but held him in high esteem.

    Should it not be our response to commit our life and ways to Him exclusively and hold Him above all other things? Paul thought so, and explained it as much to the Athenians. Rather than so gratitude, humanity has rejected God and turned to other gods to which to bow down, including oneself. We have all taken other things as first priority in our lives and cling to them, thereby making them our gods: possessions, idols, ourselves, etc. Since God made us in His image, He created us to honor, show gratitude, esteem, and revere Him.

    Today we have lost the sense of gratitude, reverence, commitment, awe, or devotion. Commitments today are short-lived; i.e., divorce, brief encounters, brief jobs, broken families, alienation from others, etc. With that loss, we tend to focus more on ourselves and such worth giving of yesteryear has become foreign to us. So what do we do instead? We give worth to things and hold these things in high esteem (recognition, career, money, cars, homes, and all other material goods). Instead of love, we resort to sexual gratification. Instead of recognizing the way God created us, we resort to changing things about us. We try to change our gender and looks through mutilating ourselves in so many different ways. Some people even try to fashion themselves after animals, because they hate being human. That shows that we really hate or abhor the way God created us. Rather than showing gratitude toward God, we complain and grumble. That shows a lack of gratitude for the way God created us. That lack of gratitude causes us to reject Him and turn away from Him. One of the first causes the Apostle Paul identifies that leads to rejection of God is lack of gratitude (Romans 2:21). So why not worship given that God has given us life and all things to sustain us?

  • Mark

    It is Mark, not Matthew (I have no idea why that moniker is appearing). Your definition of worship is clear and even your question as to whether or not we should willingly commit our life and ways to God is a good one to ask (assuming you believe in God). My issue is with a God needing this worship. Such a God becomes diminutive in the process by being dependent on our adoration. You might reply that God is not dependent on us but if that is the case, why would God punish us for rejecting him?

  • Alonzo

    Moniker=picture or name used. You pose two more issues. One is really a straw man: that God somehow needs our worship. Who was saying that? I wasn’t. That raises a straw man, that is, you say that someone claims what one did not. Your straw man invalidates the first issue you raise.

    Your second issue of God’s punishment has nothing to do with God’s independence. They are two independent ideas that have nothing to do with one another. In terms of punishment, why would a judge impose punishment on someone who broke the law? Suppose a person murders someone else or 30 people such as the event that happened in Texas a couple of weeks ago, should he simply be ignored and not brought to justice? Should we turn a blind eye to such actions and go on our way? Does it matter if someone shot and killed you or if you killed someone? Should you or another be judged for such actions? What about what we consider a lesser crime of lying under oath or breaking and entering a home and stealing your property? Should we just ignore those violations? Why have laws in the first place? What makes circumstances necessary for creating laws? Why are they universal, that is applied to everyone? Once you answer these questions, then we can go to your question about God’s punishment.

  • Mark

    Alonzo, to answer your question about justice, did the judge also create the people he was judging as well as set up the laws for them to follow, which none can do because of their human nature? Before you accuse me of setting up another straw man argument, I am inferring my argument from the very questions you raised. If God did create us and our natural inclination is to follow our own way (and therefore be guilty) then what kind of justice are we talking about? Your analogy of using a judge is therefore not quite correct.

    In regards to God needing our worship, you stated, “He created them in His image to worship Him and to live His way.” That begs the question of God created people in the first place. To worship him? That sounds like dependency.

  • Alonzo

    You failed to reply to my initial arguments in my reply that you created a straw man argument and that you associated God’s justice with dependency. Just to frame it as an accusation does not rebut it. You did make a straw man argument by imputing a claim no one ever made. You also sidestepped my claim that you associated God’s punishment with his dependency. That is called the fallacy of shifting the issue.

    You also did not answer my questions. Besides, you never explain how you are “inferring your argument” from my questions nor how my analogy is not quite correct. Just saying so does not make it so. You must provide a sound syllogistic argument, which you have not done. Furthermore, you have not given an adequate rebuttal about dependency nor how it “begs the question.” Just to state, “That sounds like dependency” and that an argument “begs the question,” are not sound arguments. Again, just to claim they do do not make them so. So, I guess that ends the discussion, because you have given unsound arguments, because they are not complete. Until you reply to my questions with syllogistic arguments, I do not reply to logical fallacies. Make an argument, and I will reply, but I will not do so until you do.

  • Mark

    Alonzo, it will have to wait until next week. Have a good thanksgiving.

  • felixcox

    I see lots of special pleading here. God is described as ‘angry’ and ‘jealous’ explicitly in the hebrew scriptures, and it’s silly to pretend the scriptures do not say what they very clearly say. Also, in such a piece, it is absurd to expect everybody to follow the same protocal as you when addressing ‘god’ or ‘God.’ You very much remind me of fundamentalist Muslims who get angry at non-muslims for not adding the “peace-be-upon-him’ tag whenever they speak of Mohammed. It’s simply unproductive to object to other people’s formula for these things.

  • Alonzo

    >”I see lots of special pleading here.”

    You did not identify any.

    >”and it’s silly to pretend the scriptures do not say what they very clearly say.”

    Straw man. Who was or was not saying what you claimed?

    >”it is absurd to expect everybody to follow the same protocal [sic] as you when addressing ‘god’ or ‘God.'”

    Non sequitur. What does the above have to do with your argument?

    >”You very much remind me…”

    And what does your memory have to do with anything? Another non sequitur.

    >”It’s simply unproductive to object to other people’s formula for these things.”

    What is the antecedent to your pronoun? How is what you claim “unproductive”? Who’s formula? What things?

    You like to meander without making a point. Is your string of disjointed statements how you normally think?

    Totally incoherent. GRADE F

  • felixcox

    It’s okay you don’t want to acknowledge that you ignore the actual words of the scripture; I’ve seen it far too many times. And it’s okay that you lecture somebody on irrelevant protocol, then call ‘non sequitur’ when I point out the irrelevance of such; I’ve seen it all!
    And finally, it is most unsurprising that you avoid the point of my post (which is that your characterization of the bible relies on ignoring inconvenient scripture)!

  • Ian Palmer

    Several comments below that the Bible is mythical stories, but this doesn’t hold up. The biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah took place about 3,700 years ago. The ruins of the city of Sodom have been dug up and the archeological story is remarkably consistent with many aspects of the Bible story. See the book by Steven Collins “Discovering the City of Sodom”, or a summary of the book in IanDexterPalmer.
    At the very least this discovery (way back in Genesis chapter 19) implies we have to be very careful before we consign old and very old Bible stories to myth.

  • Mark

    Out of curiosity, I looked up Steven Collins and found some articles about his digs and interviews in Popular Archaeology. It appears that there is no direct evidence that this is the actual biblical Sodom. On top of that, there also is no evidence that God destroyed it. The most reasonable explanation seems to come from Tel Aviv Univ. archaeologist, Israel Finkelstein: “We are probably dealing here with an etiological story, that is, a legend that developed in order to explain a landmark. In other words, people who lived in the later phase of the Iron Age, the later days of the kingdom of Judah, were familiar with the huge ruins of the Early Bronze cities and told a story of how such important places could be destroyed.” (quote from Washington Post article:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/10/16/the-long-quest-to-find-the-biblical-cities-of-sodom-and-gomorrah/?utm_term=.745f0af6309b

  • Ian Palmer

    Mark, my background is a Ph.D. in physics. I have published over 100 articles in reputable journals. I have listened to hundreds of talks by my peers at conferences. I read the book, and found the evidence compelling. I listened to a presentation by Francis Collins on the Sodom dig, and fingered his artifacts from the dig. Again I found all the evidence compelling. In my professional opinion, the archeological story is remarkably consistent with the biblical story. Your sentence ” The most reasonable explanation seems to come from Tel Aviv Univ. archaeologist, Israel Finkelstein: ‘We are probably dealing here with an etiological story, that is, a legend that developed in order to explain a landmark….'” is a little too soft and waffly an hypothesis on the subject — after reading and hearing about and touching the hard data from Steven Collins. I’m staying with the data thank you.

  • Mark

    Ian, I don’t believe I was insulting you in my previous statement. If it was taken that way, I apologize. Despite your credentials, I don’t know what data you can possibly have that supports a supernatural destruction of the site. That has to be taken solely on faith.

  • jamesparson

    Citation needed

  • Ian Palmer

    See the book by Steven Collins “Discovering the City of Sodom”, or a summary of the book in http://www.iandexterpalmer.com/sodom-discovery-city-bible/.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    Any truth seekers should watch, and carefully listen to, the facts presented in this video

    This video “The Dark Truth of Religion” has information in it which proves the Christian religion and the story of Jesus are taken from previous religions, thus there nothing new in the Christian religion at all.

    https://www.Youtube.Com/watch?V=a_aajtzr18w

    I say carefully listen because I know if you take a listening comprehension skills test, most of you will have a less than 23% score. And I know this because in a management training course given to all of us in management at NCR’s Electronics Division, we were given a course on how to effectively listen.

  • Tim Ellison

    Excellent succinct explanation of how to read scripture through a Girardian lens!

  • Dhammarato

    Christianity is overly complex, but it does have something for everyone. Most predominant in USA is the slave owner’s Religion as is found in Southern Baptist and Republican Party and all across the south. This large group is not the victim, they are now and heretofore the criminal. It is the slaves who are the victims, this was true in 1860 and it is still true in 2017. Soon enough wisdom will become the religion and the slavers know it is coming and they defend their religion to the point of extreme violence. There is no Jesus in American Christianity, it is the religion of the slavers, land owners, the wealthy and those who foolishly think they will become wealthy by doing what the old slavers tell them what to do. Christianity is greed and fear, all greed all the time and fueled by fear. The fears are not real, but the slavers are good in keeping the fools afraid and greedy. No religion like this is peaceful. Greed in not peaceful, fear is not peaceful. may Islam followthese footsteps into death, May Islam goose step its way into oblivion and history, following the lead of the USA slavers religion.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    I reject assumptions that the Bible is the origination of Jewish or Christian faith. Rather, the actual relationship between God and those called by God is the origination. (God also calls those outside the Judeo-Christian tradition.) The Bible is a partial record of the wrestling with that relationship. I would point out that the actual people called, both Jews and Christians still exist on their own accord…their history with all its tragic sin and flashes of redemptive works in a mix reflecting the same seriously flawed mix of humanity portrayed in the Bible.

  • felixcox

    Interesting read, but I believe you are cherry-picking scripture to get your summary of Jesus (“And he always brings peace.”), and for me this undermines your entire conclusion. Jesus never disavows the violent god of the old testament. When asked if he is here to abolish the mosaic law (with its unbelievably dumb and cruel commands), and Jesus unhelpfully said that he’s NOT here to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (and later claims not one word of the Law is changed). Jesus also clearly has vengeance on his mind all the times he goes into detail about the eternal suffering of the damned. Also, he explicitly rejects peace and embraces violence in Matthew 10:34. So no, this piece does not accurately represent Jesus or the Bible in general.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    I do not think you understood what I wrote. It appears that you confine your analysis to the Bible. I do not do that. Then, it would appear that your position is the negative identity of biblical fundamentalism and does not consider historical-critical scholarship which may throw out your favorite anti-Jesus proof texts.

  • felixcox

    As a lapsed Christian who remains quite interested in religion in general and the history of the ancient near east, I am extremely aware that modern Christians have a rational ready for any inconvenient scripture that completely contradicts their pet interpretation. I have to say your dismissive response is quite typical among the devout.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    Thank you for the compliment. Fundamentalists would typically not consider me very devout.

  • felixcox

    Noted that you still won’t address the points I made. Typical post-modern apologist.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    FELIXCOX- Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”
    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • jamesparson

    If the Bible is only a partial record, then what keeps people from inserting whatever they want to complete that record?

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    Nothing. And nothing should. The honest thing to do is to be real about the fact that people are always adding to the record for good or bad. So, it is not about completing a record, but about it being ongoing. In the historic western liturgy, “Christ has died; Christ has risen; Christ will come again” signals the flow of redemptive history. The actual living out of that history entails what you and I do about Jesus….if we have been called into participation of Jesus’ kingdom. What you and I do adds to the record….for good or bad.

  • Alonzo

    So, what if future add ons contradict the “liturgy?” Your reply does not consider this question.

  • jamesparson

    So you are OK with what the Mormons have done?

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    I am more concerned with what Mormons actually do. Many are Republicans, and that doesn’t fit with the authentic Jesus movement.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    JAMES —- Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”
    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • Alonzo

    >”I reject assumptions that the Bible is the origination of Jewish or Christian faith.”

    What do yo mean by the above statement? Given your context, I can take it many ways.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    The faith concerns people and God…which precede and supersede documents. A covenant is not a document. It is an actual relationship.

  • Alonzo

    How is your reply an answer to my question. Your statement about faith has nothing to do with your rejection of assumptions. You never identify your “assumptions” (plural). Please name these assumptions. How does faith supersede documents? You digress without answering.

    You say a “covenant is not a document.” Really? Have you ever worked in business? With a statement like that, I would say that you have never engaged in a contract at all. Covenants are contracts. A covenant is not a relationship. You speak metaphorically, because literally a covenant cannot relate to anyone. It cannot talk, think, acts, and so on. You confuse literal and metaphor. I suggest you start again. Your statements are incoherent as I showed.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    I referred to fundamentalist assumptions that the Bible originates faith. They are not mine.

    Hebraic covenant is not western contract…especially in its modern capitalist version of contract. So, one can observe the ongoing give and take…renegotiation in biblical narrative…which is a reflection of what happens in real life. But, your assumptions about contract even in western law are off the mark. In law school, our contracts prof first taught us that contracts are broken constantly…ain’t no big deal…and that is why the law includes remedy for broken contracts. The nature of remedy in western law may or may not be dissimilar from Hebraic law depending on the actual circumstances.

  • Alonzo

    >”I referred to fundamentalist assumptions that the Bible originates faith. They are not mine.”

    No you did not. There was nothing in your statements about fundamentalist. You commit the logical fallacy of shifting the issue.

    >”Hebraic covenant is not western contract…especially in its modern capitalist version of contract.”

    Source?

    >”So, one can observe the ongoing give and take…renegotiation in biblical narrative…which is a reflection of what happens in real life.”

    What does the above statement have to do with anything? It is a complete non-sequitur.

    >”But, your assumptions about contract even in western law are off the mark.”

    No support. Just because you say so does not make it so.

    >”In law school, our contracts prof first taught us that contracts are broken constantly…”

    So what. Your statement explains nothing.

    >”The nature of remedy in western law may or may not be dissimilar from Hebraic law depending on the actual circumstances.”

    May or may not be??? That says nothing.

    Your answer is a non-reply.

  • Daniel G. Johnson

    So, deal with it.

  • Alonzo

    Wow! What a whimpering reply. I suppose that is the best you can do, so any further discussion with you serves no useful purpose.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    DANIEL, –Alonzo SEZ: “NEIL C. REINHARDT • 7 minutes ago
    You are one slanderous individual with contempt for yourself and others. I have reported you to Linkedin for banning you from from all postings. I am also blocking you for your despicable behavior.”
    DO YOU THINK I HAVE BEEN? THANK YOU. NEIL

  • jamesparson

    Sounds like someone is trying to use fear to get his way.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    TRUE! :-)

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    THE BIBLE IS A COLLECTION OF STORIES TAKEN FROM PREVIOUS RELIGIONS. JUST LIKE ABOUT EVERY THING JESUS SUPPOSEDLY SAID.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    I URGE ALL CHRISTIANS TO CAREFULLY READ THEIR BIBES FROM FRONT TO BACK COVER.

  • jamesparson

    Easy on the caps lock. And you may have the wrong word spelled correctly.

    You do bring up something interesting though. Lower case letters did not exist until the 700s. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolingian_minuscule)

    So perhaps it would be appropriate to always write in all caps.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    ALL CAPS WERE, AND ARE USED ON ALL TELEXS AND ALL TELEGRAMS,

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    AND CHILD, MORE THAN A FEW OF WE ANCIENT PEOPLE USE ALL CAPS.

  • jamesparson

    lol

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    I BE 83 ON 12-26

  • jamesparson

    I hope to be around that long. I have seen some of the other things you write. I might not agree with what you say, but I know write good stuff.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    OMNEG! A COMPLIMENT! THANK YOU, KIND SIR!

    METHINKS A LONGER LIFE IS A COMBINATION OF GREAT GENES AND PURE LUCK.

    FYI, OMNEG! IS: OH MY NON-EXISTENT GOD.

  • jamesparson

    I bet you ate healthy and had a job that kept you fit. I bet you can even drive a car with a stick shift.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    DRIVE WITH A FLOOR SHIFT AND A STICK SHIFT. CAN’T REALLY SAY I EAT HEALTHY AND FOR MANY YEARS I WAS AN ALCOHOLIC. BEEN NEARLY KILLED MANY TIMES AND VERY CLOSE TO DYING SLOWLY OVER THREE TIMES. HAD MANY MORE PROFESSIONS THAN MOST. SO LIKE I SAID, PURE LUCK.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT
  • jamesparson

    I have been enjoying them.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    THANKS!! :-) IF YOU CARE TO, PLEASE E-MAIL ME NEILC@THEXYZ.NET

  • jamesparson

    Thanks for the offer

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    YOUR WELCOME, I HAVE LOTS OF GOOD ATHEIST THINGS I SHARE

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    I WONDER WHY MY POST ABOUT ALL TELEXES AND TELEGRAMS ARE IN ALL CAPS. AND NO ONE CONSIDERED THEM TO BE SHOUTING.

  • NEIL C. REINHARDT

    IF I HAVE TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOU, NEVER MIND