Little-Known Bible Verses VI: Slavery

Of all the civil rights movements that have swept across America in its history, none is so intimately connected with religion in the popular consciousness as the struggle against racism. Civil rights leaders like the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were famous for their use of biblical allusions to demand liberty for all human beings, and from their writings, many believers today have gotten the idea that the Bible teaches the equality of all people. But nothing could be farther from the truth, as … [Read more...]

The Bible Is Not a Book of Love

I have been thinking lately about the Christian symbol of the crucifix. It is almost always seen in settings that attempt to create a mood of peace, calm and serenity: on the walls of churches, in the patients' rooms in Catholic-run hospitals, in funeral parlors and cemeteries, to name a few.The ubiquity and familiarity of this icon, I think, often blinds people to what a brutal thing it is. What the cross merely suggests, the crucifix makes explicit. Look at one, or imagine it, and see … [Read more...]

CAP Alert Reviews III

It occurred to me recently that I haven't done a post poking fun at the CAP Alert site in quite a while. Well, I intend to correct that oversight right now. For your entertainment, here are some of the more laughably bizarre reasons why the CAP reviewer saw fit to deduct points from various movies:Dungeons & Dragons: "many, many images of a form fitting breastplate - female"How dare those depraved Hollywood liberals imply that men and women are different shapes!King Kong: "human … [Read more...]

The Harris-Sullivan Debate: I

Since last month, Beliefnet has been hosting a debate between Sam Harris, atheist author and neuroscientist, and Andrew Sullivan, the conservative commentator and devout Catholic.This is a wonderful debate, and I strongly encourage my visitors to read it for themselves. Both participants are highly educated, articulate and persuasive, and both do an admirable job of advocating for their respective positions, with excellent points traded on both sides and a refreshing lack of animosity. Harris … [Read more...]

Footprints

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord."Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through."—Lamentations 3:43-44Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one belonging to him, and the other to the Lord."Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses V: God Creates Evil

The passage that today's edition of "Little-Known Bible Verses" will examine is, if I say so myself, one of the most shocking in the entire Bible. In a book that contains talking snakes and donkeys, a man taking two of every living species to survive a flood in a wooden boat, and a god who hates pillows, shrimp, mixed fabrics, and fig trees for some reason, that is no mean feat, but I believe this verse lives up to that promise.The problem of evil has vexed Christian theologians for nearly two … [Read more...]

Religion’s Harm to Women

In our society, it is still widely considered rude to criticize opinions and practices that arise from religious belief, no matter how evil or abhorrent they are. Even when it comes to the murderous fanatics who kill in the name of Islam, politicians and other public figures who criticize them often take pains to label their actions as arising from a twisted or self-serving interpretation, as though it would be impossible for a legitimate and sincere interpretation of any religion to inspire … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses IV: The Age of Accountability

What happens to children who die before they are old enough to reasonably understand and accept the Bible's doctrine of salvation? This vexing theological question was not always so vexing. The renowned theologians of antiquity answered it quite simply: they were cast out of God's presence to suffer the eternal torture of Hell's flames. Here is St. Augustine on the fate awaiting infants who died prior to baptism:But even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses III: Every Plant of the Garden

Discerning God's will is always a tricky business, but Billy Graham seems confident that he has it down pat. Witness one of his "My Answer" columns in which he declares that it is not God's will for anyone to smoke marijuana, even if they are a Christian and believe otherwise:Q: A friend of mine gave his life to Jesus a few months ago, and I really believe he meant it. But he's always been kind of a free spirit and says he doesn't see anything wrong with continuing to smoke pot, just like … [Read more...]

Initial Inspiration

Most religions that exist today are of ancient origin, and their scriptures and creeds reflect the immoral beliefs of their times. However, social progress in the civilized world has led to widespread recognition of the immorality of those practices, and many churches today are in the awkward position of disavowing such evils while simultaneously maintaining the sacredness and inerrancy of the texts that teach them. The Bible, for example, explicitly states that women must remain silent in the … [Read more...]


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