Exploring Our Matrix
The Blog of Dr. James F. McGrath, Clarence L. Goodwin Chair in New Testament Language and Literature at Butler University, Indianapolis
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Great stuff James!
As I pointed out, it is liberals and not conservatives who pick and choose among contradictory Biblical principles what pleases them:
Believers in Biblical always have to choose verses they believe why completely distorting the original meaning of other verses they equally have to believe.
The typical Evangelical who believes that the Bible shows us a coherent picture of a loving God is dead-wrong.
But the typical militant atheist who is convinced that the Bible consistently depicts us an evil God is equally wrong.
You can find both things within scriptures.
Lovely greetings from continental Europe.
Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son
@Lothar: name one Biblical contradiction. Back it up with Scriptures, please. Thanks.
There are many and you can find them yourself easily with Google or this site.
lol, have you even read the bible bro?
the site he posts is sort of useful…and is a solid attack if you believe God wanted every word in the bible. But as a book of scripture written by various men, many of the contradictions it lists are unimportant. (Eg how should adultery be punished?) I would urge someone to look at how a vengeful God in the old testament conflicts with Jesus’ messages of nothin’-but-love in the new testament. Is there a statement that says, “kill all you hate” and one that says “love everyone,” directly contradicting each other? Well, no, but is there a substantive difference when you justify hating gays with scripture but ignore very explicit messages of love? Yeah, there is, and those ideas conflict.
Maybe God has multiple personality disorder..lol. How about people creating God in their own image? When our description of God happens to coincide with our own faults then it seems like something is off…
But the way, I do not consider whether someone is murdered or not for commiting adultery “unimportant”. It speaks to the character of God as portrayed in the OT.
You can find a fairly decent coleslaw recipe in the Bible, if you look hard enough.
Clever! But one reminder… with debate / dialogue, grace will plant more seeds than sarcasm
Add mouseover popups to the specific Scriptural verses–it would enhance the message.
Sorry- only Schulz should be able to use the Peanuts characters this way. He always managed to make a point and stand his ground with grace while this one seems to be mocking.
Mocked with the truth…
The people in America should get back to these principles, but NOT mandated through the government. It is every individuals responsibility to perform these principles, but government cannot do these things. Private individuals and organizations can do this much more effectively. This is a straw man.
I think you mean government *should* not do these things, since it can and in fact does do some of these things such as providing food and shelter for the poor and show graciousness to some foreigners. But in America, government is “we the people,” so why shouldn’t we do at least some of those things with our government, especially since private individuals and organizations had their chance and have shown themselves to be inadequate to meet the needs especially in times like the Great Depression which is why we instituted things like the New Deal, and nothing (certainly not the government) is stopping private individuals and organizations from continuing to do their part.
No, I mean not mandated. Our federal (key word) government should not be in the business of any social programs that take money forcibly from one group and give to another as they see fit (with plenty of hands grubbing in on the cash along the way). The powers not delegated to the Federal government by the Constitution are the delegated to the individual states.
The problem is the 10th amendment is ignored now a days. If I wanted to live in a state that embraced socialism (i.e California) I should be free to live there and Cali is free to practice what they believe. But if I do not want to participate, I can move to a state like Texas. However, the federal government speaking for all the people cannot and will not work.
I dont see how some of these relate to Biblical principals anyway. “Be gracious to foreigners”. That is ridiculous in the way I am sure the author meant. If that means I am going to allow the government to give cash and forgive illegal activity, I am not for that. I can be gracious to ALL men the same. Based not on the color of their skin or where they are from, but the content of their character.
I don’t see any sort of guarantee that the states will provide different economic set-ups for those with different preferences. But that is neither here nor there. We already mandate people contributing to things that are for the common good – social security and public education are good examples. And so if we agree as a society that healthcare, or having food, are basic necessities that all should have access to, for a Christian to oppose that would seem to me extremely ironic.
I think the Texas reference is mainly because they are very conservative. There are even some people talking about leaving the Union. I do not know how serious that is or how widespread.
I happen to live in California and despite the fact that I live practically on top of the San Andreas fault, I would much prefer living here than in Texas. I get a little annoyed though when people throw the “socialist” label around. I do not consider California to be socialist in the sense that you would call a country socialist. Rather we (and the rest of the country to a greater or lessor extent) have social programs. In fact the way conservatives use the term I really think that it is pretty meaningless, You have to have a firm definition for a term when you use it. It mainly is just an epithet the way it is used now.
I do not see socialist programs to be either good or bad in themselves. Rather it should be framed within the context of whether it is working well or not. Some programs need to be reformed and some others work amazingly well. My examples below are some of those programs that work well.
I just wish people would approach this from a balanced perspective. Our country is so divided now.
Anyway I love the cartoon! How much money I wonder are these bible-thumpers throwing away opposing gay marriage that could be used for the poor?
“Private individuals and organizations can do this much more effectively”
Sorry but that just isn’t true. Charities cannot provide consistent help plus co-ordinate with other sources of help like the government can. There are many things that the government CAN DO BETTER than charities. I used to work for an organiztion called Mental Health America which recieves money from the state Department of Mental Health. One of the things they do is help the homeless mentally ill. They co-ordinate with government agencies to get them medication, a place to live, disability if necessary. Once they get on their feet then they can get help with job training and placement at the state Department of Rehabilitation who helps disabled people. They actually work directly with employers who are willing to take disabled people. Another important thing that both Mental Health America and the state Department of Mental Health both do is provide support groups and counseling in order to help keep people well.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY THAT CHARITY COULD ACCOMPLISH ALL THIS. The best they can do is provide a hot meal and possibly temporary shelter.
What ends up happening when they are left on the street is often repeated short-term involuntary hospitalizations which are paid for by the TAXPAYERS. When they are let out they end up back on the street with no meds and so the cycle continues.
I have seen people in really bad shape who have recovered and are living happy productive lives now. One of them is in a position of upper management with a good company.
So I do not buy this nonsense that the government should not be involved. In fact according to Mosaic Law, when the farmers harvested their crops, they were instructed to leave some food in the field for the poor to harvest. That was not voluntary, it was mandated by law.
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