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On 11/11/11, Let’s Crank it to 11!

An amplifier dial has volume numbers from 0 to 10 but it goes beyond to 11 (Spinal Tap)You only get one 11/11/11 each century, and today is it.  And if today is all about 11, it must be Spin̈al Tap Day!

The 1984 film This is Spinal Tap, a mocumentary of Britain’s loudest heavy metal band, has a scene where the lead guitarist explains why they’re so loud—the dials on their amplifiers don’t stop at 10 but go up to 11.  When the interviewer asks why they don’t just recalibrate the numbers so that 10 is the loudest, there’s a confused pause, after which Nigel repeats, “These go to 11.”

And isn’t every day Spin̈al Tap Day within Christianity?  Let’s look at a few areas where Christianity stares blankly into space and then repeats, “These go to 11.”

The Catholic Church is a great source of 11-isms.  To see immutable religion changing, look at the position of Jesus’s mother Mary within the Catholic Church.  By 1854 it concluded, without scriptural evidence, that she must have been born of a virgin herself and in 1950 that she couldn’t have died but must have risen to heaven.

Or consider Limbo, the place that’s neither heaven nor hell, where unbaptized babies go when they die.  The idea was discarded by the church in 2007.

The Trinity is always a fun topic.  The Jews in the Old Testament saw the move from polytheism to monotheism as foundational, but then Christianity (Judaism 2.0) invented the Trinity.  They had a have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too problem in that they wanted to keep monotheism except that their “single” deity would be formed of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  First off, we have a problem with language—can’t Christianity think of a better name for its god than “God”?

And if Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the persons, what do you call the union of these into one god?  That is, Father + Son + Holy Spirit = who?  You need a fourth name.  Do you call it “God”?  But “God” is the one who created everything, and that’s supposed to be the Father.  The Father can’t both be the first person of the Trinity and the overall god at the same time.  You can use “the Trinity” as the umbrella name, but that’s an odd name for a monotheistic god.

There’s another way to see the problem.  Consider this passage:

I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me.  I am the LORD [that is, Jehovah], and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:5-6)

There’s nothing confusing here from a Jewish viewpoint, which was the intended audience.  Let’s ignore for now that the Old Testament uses several names, possibly for different gods (Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim), that are conflated when convenient.

The verse says that there is no other besides Jehovah.  If Jehovah is a synonym for “the Father,” this means that he reigns alone and the Trinity is no more.  But if Jehovah is a synonym for the Trinity, then it makes nonsense of the singular pronouns (Me and I) in these verses and confuses passages such as “Then [Jehovah] spoke to Moses” (Ex. 40:1) or “After [Jehovah] had spoken these things to Job” (Job 42:7).  The problem, of course, is demanding a Christian interpretation of a Jewish text.

Here are a few more 11-isms.

  • Why blame Adam and Eve for disobeying God when they didn’t know that that was wrong?  Remember that they hadn’t yet eaten from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
  • Why does the Bible contain nutty superstitions like the one about how you can change the appearance of animals’ young by changing what they see when mating (Gen. 30:37–9)?
  • Why does God give no new science, even information as simple and life saving as germ theory or the recipe for soap?
  • Why was slavery in Egypt that big a deal when the Israelites promptly enslaved a tribe once they returned to Canaan (Josh. 9)?
  • How can those in heaven enjoy the experience when they know of the suffering of billions in hell?
  • If God deeply wants us to make it into heaven and belief in Jesus is mandatory, why is he so hidden?
  • And why would he get furious because we’re imperfect when that’s precisely how he made us?

I’ve read more sensible things in Alice in Wonderland.  As Thomas Jefferson said, “Sweep away [the priests’] gossamer fabrics of fictitious religion, and they would catch no more flies.”

Let’s end with an 11-ism video.  This one weighs the profound love Jesus has for us against that whole hell thing.

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About Bob Seidensticker
  • http://www.facebook.com/karludy Karl Udy

    Bad News beats Spinal Tap hands down

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      I’m not familiar with that band. But did they have amps that went to 11?!

      • http://www.facebook.com/karludy Karl Udy

        No, but they’re worth a search on youtube

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        Wait a minute–is that some of the guys from the Young Ones??

  • Bob Calvan

    As usual Bob ignores what he has been told many times. His 11ism starts with the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) which is NOT a Christian church. In fact the RCC does not have the gospel of Jesus Christ. The RCC is a synergistic sacramental system of salvation. Invented by an alleged infallible magisterium as it’s authority. It is the opposite of christianity.

    Then Bob goes after the Trinity. This is like a person born blind telling us what the Grand Canyon looks like. Or a person born deaf telling us what the Moonlight Sonata sounds like.

    I can say I have never seen a more ignorant definition of what someone thinks the Trinity is.

    Bob does not care to at least present what Christians believe about their faith.

    That is why Bob’s blog site is so pathetic. And full of deceit and lies. He includes everything under the sun in the Christian umbrella . As I have told him over and over to stop doing..In his arguments he includes people and religions that are not Christians, for his arguments to diss Christianity.

    Then he takes biblical doctrines and makes thing up about them that Christians and the bible do not teach?

    This is why his website is bogus. At least present a scholarly argument of what we believe and attack that. Present a biblical definition of the Trinity and attack that.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      I should’ve known that Bob C. was going to have to corral me back into the fold! Thanks, Bob C.!

      As usual Bob ignores what he has been told many times. His 11ism starts with the RCC (Roman Catholic Church) which is NOT a Christian church.

      OK, you don’t think the Catholic church is Christian. Got it. But they do. If you want to imagine that you can decide what’s Christian and what’s not, that’s fine, but I’m not going to. When a billion people claim to worship Jesus Christ and call themselves “Christians,” that’s good enough for me.

      Then Bob goes after the Trinity. This is like a person born blind telling us what the Grand Canyon looks like. Or a person born deaf telling us what the Moonlight Sonata sounds like.

      OK, seeing man: tell us blind folks what the Trinity is. (Brief, please!)

      I can say I have never seen a more ignorant definition of what someone thinks the Trinity is.

      Woo hoo! Who’s number 1?! (You’re lookin’ at him!)

      Bob does not care to at least present what Christians believe about their faith.

      I care very much to accurately present Christianity. That I talk about a wider spectrum of Christian claims than just yours is, sadly, a burden we both must bear.

      And full of deceit and lies.

      Lies are intentional deceits. I do not intentionally deceive. Do I deceive by inadvertent error? Could be, and this is where you come in: point these out to me.

      In his arguments he includes people and religions that are not Christians…

      Translated: “the posts in this blog include ideas that, in the opinion of Bob Calvan, are not Christian.”

      This is why his website is bogus. At least present a scholarly argument of what we believe and attack that.

      I believe that if a leading apologist (Greg Kokul, William Lane Craig, Gary Habermas, etc.) came here, he wouldn’t have these objections. He might find my arguments silly or competent, trivial or powerful. But I can’t imagine he would say that I’m arguing against a religion that has no relationship to his own.

  • Bob Calvan

    Tomorrow I will correct your false attacks on the Trinity. Point by point. I will believe you for now when you say you did not intentionally deceive. But I will also say it is very easy to look up the biblical definiton of the Trinity. (Which was not invented, as you falsely claim.)

    I noticed on your list of leading apologist you left out Dr. James White? Care to tell your 3 listeners why? And I am pretty sure there is nothing I have said that Dr. White would disagree with.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      My goal was not to defend the definition of the Trinity but to point out its holes, so that explains my emphasis.

      Why did I leave out James White? Because (1) I’ve never heard of him (though I have heard of Alpha and Omega Ministries) and (2) he’s already there, in the “etc.” I’m pretty sure I didn’t claim that my list was exhaustive.

      (Am I missing something? Is he the most famous apologist?)

      • http://www.theologyweb.com lao tzu

        (Decorum demands that any list of well-known Christians must include one with a bogus doctorate.)

      • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

        LZ:
        :-) Nice catch! I usually think of accredidation being an issue in the area of Creationism, but apparently I need to be more ecumenical.

    • Retro

      “But I will also say it is very easy to look up the biblical definiton of the Trinity.”

      Is this so? Just how easy is it? For starters, the word “Trinity” does not actually appear in the Bible.

      As far as the teaching of the Trinity, one must remember that a verse such as Matthew 28:19 does not appear until the fourth century.

      1 John 5:7 – 8 is not found in any Greek manuscript before the sixteenth century.”

      This leads us to the question: Why add something that’s supposedly already there?

  • Bob Calvan

    Bob says:

    1) “The Trinity is always a fun topic. The Jews in the Old Testament saw the move from polytheism to monotheism as foundational, but then Christianity (Judaism 2.0) invented the Trinity…”

    Truth is:

    Yes, God is monotheistic as told by hundreds of scriptures.. No argument there. And the Trinitarian is Monotheistic..There is only one God as taught in the OT and NT..Same God YHWH. Trinity was not invented.. It starts is revelation in the OT. Is fully revealed in the inter-tesament time at the incarnation. The Apostles were experiential Trinitarians. And explained in the NT.

    Bob says:

    2) ” They had a have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too problem in that they wanted to keep monotheism except that their “single” deity would be formed of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. First off, we have a problem with language—can’t Christianity think of a better name for its god than “God” ?

    Truth is:

    It is the same Monotheistic God. God is one eternal being ( essence) who reveals Himself in three Persons. Each person is called YHWH irrefutable.

    Bob says:

    3) “And if Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the persons, what do you call the union of these into one god? That is, Father + Son + Holy Spirit = who? You need a fourth name. Do you call it “God”?…

    Truth is:

    The three persons are not united into one God. God is one being ( essence) eternal. The Father , Son, and Spirit are eternal and equal.. God is not 1/3 Father and 1/3 Son and 1/3 Spirit and together form One God. God is one being ( Monotheistic) and within that one eternal being there exist 3 eternal persons..The being and the persons are not the same. An example may be we are all human beings but we are all different persons ( I do not like using that example because it falls apart in some cases. But the point is the Father is not the Son, and the Spirit is not the Father or the Son.

    Bob says:

    4) ” But “God” is the one who created everything, and that’s supposed to be the Father. The Father can’t both be the first person of the Trinity and the overall god at the same time…”

    Truth is:

    Yup YHWH (God) created everything by Himself. And yet what does the Scripture tell us. That Jesus created everything. ” For by Him (Jesus my emphasis) all things were created both in the heavens and the earth, visible and invisible. Weather thrones, dominions, principalities, or powers ALL things were created by Him and for Him. And He was before All things and in Him all things hold together”. Also John1:3 and Hebrews 1 1 -14 tells us Jesus created all things. So we have the Triune God as Creator..Also in the OT we see God speaking in plural as He says things like “Lets us make man…” And we see God and the Spirit in Creation.. We see Jehovah from Heaven raining fire and brimstone on Gomorrah from Jehovah on earth. Here we have two Jehovah’s? ( Which really makes the JW scratch his head went he knocks on your door Sat morning) All Persons are at work in the Creation. But the One Being of God created alone.

    Bob says:

    5) “There’s another way to see the problem. Consider this passage:

    I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD [that is, Jehovah], and there is no other. (Isaiah 45:5-6)”

    Truth is:

    Amen’ no Problem that is what the Trinitarian believes. Only one God we are Monotheistic.

    Bob says:

    6) “There’s nothing confusing here from a Jewish viewpoint, which was the intended audience. Let’s ignore for now that the Old Testament uses several names, possibly for different gods (Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim), that are conflated when convenient….”

    Truth is:

    Jehovah which is YHWH ( no different) and Elohim are the same God.. Want proof? O.K.

    Deuteronomy 4:35 ” Today it may be shown that you may know that the LORD ( Hebrew for YHWH) He is GOD ( Hebrew for Elomim): There is no other besides Him. Same being!

    Bob says:

    7) “The verse says that there is no other besides Jehovah. If Jehovah is a synonym for “the Father,” this means that he reigns alone and the Trinity is no more. But if Jehovah is a synonym for the Trinity, then it makes nonsense of the singular pronouns (Me and I) in these verses and confuses passages such as “Then [Jehovah] spoke to Moses” (Ex. 40:1) or “After [Jehovah] had spoken these things to Job” (Job 42:7). The problem, of course, is demanding a Christian interpretation of a Jewish text.”

    Truth is:

    True there is no one but Jehovah ( YHWH, Elohim )

    Context , context, context! In many passages we have God speaking as one voice. And in others we have YHWH speaking in persons..When Jesus speaks to His father for example.. And in other cases we see the revelation of the Trinity..At Jesus baptism we see the Son ( YHWH) the Spirit (YHWH) in the form of a dove, and we hear the Father (YHWH).

    Also keep in mind that Jesus said no man can see the Father and live. So what are we to do with all the God sightings in the Bible? Who they saw was the reincarnate Christ. Perfectly logical.

    In Isaiah 6 .. Isaiah said I saw the LORD ( YHWH) on His throne. Wow! how can a man see God? Well in John 12 He tells us Who Isaiah saw on the throne was Jesus.

    So if you ask Isaiah who he saw he will tell you Jehovah the only God. If you ask John who Isaiah saw he will tell you Jesus ( Jehovah). One of the roles of Jesus was to reveal the Father. And we can see that throughout the OT and the inter-testament and the NT.

    So I hope this helps you (Bob) not make false arguments of the Trinity..I made this brief but if you wish I can go into great detail if you have more questions.

    You said you did not intentionally try to deceive and I believe you..I know your Atheist worldview will not convince you of these truths..But I want you to see you misrepresented the Triune God. The only Monotheistic God. The Creator God of the OT and the NT..

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Whoa! You’ve got a lot on your mind today, Bob C.!

      Trinity was not invented.. It starts is revelation in the OT.

      Sure, that’s one interpretation. I think, though, that if you presented the idea to the Jews of OT times that they would laugh at the idea. They were the target audience, so I’ll go with their view.

      Your view imagines a trickster god who doesn’t speak plainly.

      God is one eternal being ( essence) who reveals Himself in three Persons. Each person is called YHWH irrefutable.

      So “Yahweh” is the name of the union of the three persons? Or “Yahweh” is a synonym for each of the names of the three persons?

      God is one being ( Monotheistic) and within that one eternal being there exist 3 eternal persons.

      My view of the Trinity is that it makes no sense and that humans are simply not able to make sense of it. If you disagree, is there an analogy that works here? I think I’ve heard something like: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is to God as steam, liquid water, and ice are to water.

      Obviously, that’s a poor analogy, but perhaps you have one that works? You gave Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are to God as different persons are to humanity, but there is no amalgam as the Trinity claims to be. There’s no unity (except belonging to the same set) for the persons.

      Also in the OT we see God speaking in plural as He says things like “Lets us make man…”

      We do indeed see that—it’s a vestige of the polytheism that Judaism evolved from. This is also seen in Deut. 32:8: “When the Most High [El Elyon] gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel [sons of God].”

      no Problem that is what the Trinitarian believes.

      You can’t have one god with three independent persons. That’s the problem. The Isaiah passage explores this.

      In many passages we have God speaking as one voice. And in others we have YHWH speaking in persons.

      And if you open your mind a bit, you can see even more plausible explanations. Judaism evolved from polytheism to henotheism to monotheism, and we can see fragments of this transition in the OT. Let’s do the Bible the service of interpreting it without an agenda.

      Also keep in mind that Jesus said no man can see the Father and live.

      And yet you know that’s nonsense. Abraham saw him and lived.

      So what are we to do with all the God sightings in the Bible?

      Exactly what we do to deity sightings in any other ancient religious book.

      Who they saw was the reincarnate Christ. Perfectly logical.

      Sure. Perfectly plausible.

      But I want you to see you misrepresented the Triune God.

      As Retro said, the Trinity is a late conception. It exists in the OT only when you put on Christianity’s Glasses of Preconception and reinterpret it.

  • Bob Calvan

    Why did I leave out James White? Because (1) I’ve never heard of him (though I have heard of Alpha and Omega Ministries)

    Side note, Bob says He never heard of James White? Yet in Bob’s blog dated Sept 19, 2011 called ” Comments Price vs. James White debate.” Bob listened to and quotes James White whom Bob never heard of.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Good catch!

      That debate was there because of Bob Price, not James White. I have a lot of respect for Bob Price (and his qualifications). James White I hadn’t heard of.

  • Bob Calvan

    Wow! You said a few days ago “you never heard of James White.. But you have heard of James White. Months ago you listened to Him and quoted Him..
    Why the lies? I don’t get it? All you have to say was sorry Bob C. I have heard of James White?

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Why the lies?

      I’ll leave it as a little puzzle for you:

      1. I am on Satan’s payroll, and I enjoy lying so much that I really can’t imagine doing much else. Indeed, deceiving one of God’s own, even in something so pointless like this, is a small victory for the Dark Lord.

      2. I forgot.

      I’ll leave this connundrum in your capable hands.

  • Bob Calvan

    i WILL EXCEPT THAT YOU FORGOT. THAT IS ALL YOU HAD TO SAY.

    • http://galileounchained.com Bob Seidensticker

      Yep, I forgot. I’m pretty sure I said that. I even applauded your pointing that out with “Good catch!”

  • RandomFunction2

    Wow… BobC claims Catholics are not Christians. BobC, Catholics don’t hold that you absolutely need to have water poured on you to make it to heaven. Though it’s the normal way.

    They do think that faith in God and faith in Christ are necessary, but they have a broad interpretation of what faith means.

  • Bob Calvan

    RF2
    What I am saying if one dogmatically holds to the doctrines of the RCC they are not Christians. As I would say most protestants and Apologist would agree.

    I am also saying within the RCC, I am sure there are people who being ignorant of the false gospel of the RCC, and just serve Jesus Christ are saved Christians.

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