Little-Known Bible Verses XII: Communism

"Atheism and communism always seem to go hand in hand," begins a letter to the editor I recently found through a Google alert. And though the fear of communism has died down since the crumbling of the Soviet Union, the prejudice that this writer was parroting has affected our politics for decades.In the Cold War, when anti-communist fear and paranoia were rampant, we sought to differentiate ourselves from the enemy in every way possible. It was this fear that spurred the U.S. government to … [Read more...]

On Inerrancy

Pandagon's recent post on Carlton Pearson, and the comment thread there, got me thinking about the question of inerrancy.Last February, in "The Aura of Infallibility", I observed that the apologist's claim of scriptural inerrancy is really a claim of personal inerrancy. Even if I believe a book to be without error, I must rationally admit that I could be wrong about that. The only way to maintain a claim of inerrancy with absolute confidence, as many theists do, is to believe that I myself am … [Read more...]

New on Ebon Musings: The Pillars of the Earth

A new essay, "The Pillars of the Earth", has been posted on Ebon Musings. This essay surveys apologist claims that the Bible displays miraculous foreknowledge of modern science, and sets the record straight as to what these verses really mean.This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome. … [Read more...]

Jesus Never Laughed

In The Case for Christ, evangelical psychologist (and demon-believer) Dr. Gary Collins rendered this appraisal of the mental health of Jesus:"We don't see psychological difficulties in Jesus. He spoke clearly, powerfully and eloquently. He was brilliant and had absolutely amazing insights into human nature. He was loving but didn't let his compassion immobilize him; he didn't have a bloated ego, even though he was often surrounded by adoring crowds; he maintained balance despite an often … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses XI: Polygamy

In recent years, anti-gay bigots operating under the guise of "defending traditional marriage" have made many statements like this one:"Since the dawn of mankind, the sacred bond of marriage has been correctly defined as a union between one woman and one man....Our views on marriage are shaped not only by America's laws, but by God's laws. It is part of the shared heritage of the civilized world."—Pat Boone, "Marriage: One man, one woman". Knight Ridder, 14 May 2004.Pat Boone is … [Read more...]

Ten Questions to Ask Your Pastor

The New York Times recently ran a depressing article about the obstacles faced by public school science teachers. I don't envy teachers their job, as important as it is: between surly and unruly students, cash-strapped school districts, incompetent administrators, and the regimented, monotonous teaching needed to drill classes for standardized testing, they have more than enough to deal with. But this outrage may surpass all the others: religious students who have been programmed by their … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses X: Don't Trust Your Heart

I first came across today's little-known Bible verse while reading The Pilgrim's Progress, and it was so amazing to me that I had to set the book aside and look it up on the spot. Search on the internet, and you'll find volumes of Christian apologetics seeking to justify the author's belief in God by claiming that they just know he exists because they can feel his presence in their heart:The imagination knows God and the heart knows God, but the conscience silences the whole person because of … [Read more...]

Invincible Ignorance

The number of different religions on this planet is vast, and all their associated arguments and apologetics form a library that's vaster still. No matter how well-read or well-traveled any atheist is, they're bound to run into claims every so often that they've never heard before. It happens to me at least once a month, on average. And I have to admit, when I first hear a religious apologetic or miracle claim that's new to me, often my initial response is to feel a little tremor, as I wonder, … [Read more...]

The Bible's Broken Promises

In their endless quest to evangelize the world, Christian apologists like this one are prone to making grandiose claims about the supposed perfect accuracy of biblical prophecy:Unique among all books ever written, the Bible accurately foretells specific events - in detail - many years, sometimes centuries, before they occur. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter — no errors.Needless to say, this claim r … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses IX: Better Miracles than Jesus

To Christian believers, Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate and therefore possessed of omnipotent power. According to the Bible, he backed up this claim by doing many miracles while on earth - casting out demons, healing the sick and the crippled, calming storms, walking on water, producing food, and raising the dead. It would seem to be pure hubris for a lay believer to ever aspire to match such miraculous feats, much less entertain the unthinkable idea of surpassing them. But in fact, that's … [Read more...]


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