A “Challenge” from Ray Comfort

Ray Comfort requests your responses:

As briefly as you can, give me your best reasons why you think that God doesn’t exist, or why the Bible isn’t His Word.

The proposition itself is futile and sheds light on how illogical Ray’s mind is (shocking, I know). You can’t prove a negative, and the onus is on him to prove why he thinks God exists and why the Bible is his word.

But if you want to have some fun and watch Ray completely ignore everything you write, go for it.


[tags]atheist, atheism, Christian, fundamentalist[/tags]

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    His page took forever to load. I wonder if he’s getting tons of responses. I’ll bite.

  • http://t3knomanser.livejournal.com t3knomanser

    My best reason? My best reason is that I have no reason to think otherwise.

  • Miko

    I won’t discuss this with Banana Man, but perhaps a brief answer here:

    Consider the hypothesis of luminiferous aether from the 19th century. Through numerous experiments attempting to measure it giving null results (most famously, that of Michelson and Morley, which was either a part of everyone’s high school education or should have been) and a changing conceptual framework making the hypothesis unnecessary, a scientific consensus was reached that the concept did not exist in reality. Thus we have established the precedent that a proposed explanation for reality which can not be demonstrated to exist and which is not theoretically necessary for any scientific theory ought to be supposed not to exist pending the time when/if evidence in its favor is discovered. (For another example, consider why no one today who is possessed of all facts on the matter seriously believes that G. Washington said his “I cannot tell a lie” bit.) By these criteria, not believing that gods exist is the reasonable thing to do.

    But most importantly, note this is not a reason to believe that gods do not exist but rather a reason not to believe that gods do exist. I sense a bit of petitio principii (or perhaps just perpetual ignorance) in Ray’s formulation of the question.

  • http://www.SecularDignity.net Secular Dignity

    I just checked his page, and so far no responses.

    The fact that he is issuing this “challenge” suggests that he has not proven his own viewpoint.

    One last point: Posting on a Sunday? Shame on you, Ray Comfort!

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    I’m guessing that he screens replies. I’ll post my response both here and there.

    My response:

    I used to be a Christian Apologist. For years I defended the faith, the Bible as the Word of God, and Jesus The Christ, King of Kings, Lord of Lords. As much as I was defending against the attacks of Satan and other enemies of the Cross, I was also defending against my doubts. Every apologetics book I devoured or new Bible I studied, was all part of strengthening the armor of God so that I could go forth to do battle. I surrounded my self with fellow believers, God’s Word, Christian Music, Christian books and T-Shirts. I truly prayed without ceasing, my every thought directed at God. I prayed daily that his will would become my will, that I would be nothing but humble before him and that I would spread his love and compassion to everyone I met.

    I knew that Christianity had to be about more than feelings, but all I ever received back were warm fuzzies.

    So here it is: Why, if God exists, can’t he speak to me directly, like the friend he’s supposed to be? Every single piece of “evidence” that I ever presented in defense of the Gospel was either a major stretch, just plain coincidence, or a flat out lie. The more desperate I was to prove God’s existence, the more it dawned on me that I was really trying to justify this mother of all irrational beliefs to myself.

    Since being born again as an Agnostic Atheist I have experienced peace and joy that I never knew were possible. I no longer have to think that I am a member of a club, the one true club, the club with the only answer to life’s questions. I can truly love people for who they are and not because God tells me to. I can truly love them without judging them. No more hate the sin, but love the sinner crap for me. I didn’t come to this decision because I’m angry at God or Christianity. I had wonderful experiences as a Christian and have made and kept wonderful friends. I came to this decision because I realized that for all my protestations against the nonbelievers, I was actually amongst them. I did it to be honest to my friends, family, and to myself.

    Sorry, that’s as brief as I could make it.

    Best regards,
    Mike aka MonolithTMA

  • http://butchbailey.com/ Butch

    Because I’ve seen no good evidence that God(s) does exist. Simple as that.

  • Daniel

    No Proof.

  • JimboB

    Well isn’t it obvious? The Quran is the infallible word of Gawd. Duh ;)

  • http://merkdorp.blogspot.com J. J. Ramsey

    “You can’t prove a negative”

    That isn’t true, actually: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/07-12-05.html#feature

  • http://bornagainblog.wordpress.com Justin McKean

    Comfort’s an atheist.

    If he talked about homosexuality as much as he talks about atheism, everyone would be saying he’s a closeted homosexual.

    So, I think we should out him. I went ahead and started. We’ll see what he says.

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    Justin, that is very true. I was very vocal in defending my faith for many years and here I stand today as an Atheist.

  • http://friar-zero.blogspot.com Friar Zero

    Best and shortest reason the bible isn’t god’s word?

    Argument from inconsistent revelation.

  • esmesqualor

    Mike, they printed your response and basically said “false conversion” and that you didn’t try hard enough. This is so head-bangingly frustrating. I remember when I gave up on Christianity, and how liberating it was to be able to, as you state, love people for who they are and not because I was supposed to, and to actually take people at their word and not tell them what they ‘really’ mean or ‘really’ think or ‘really’ feel.

  • GodlessHeathen

    It’s fun to read the responses so far, however there seems little point in responding. Ray has on his side a carefully constructed set of pat answers thousands of years in the making, all of which are used to carefully skirt any rational argument. Just look at his response to Mike’s answer for an example.

    Faith is an emotional response. Folks like Ray consider reason to be a “bad thing” for a variety of reasons and will not be swayed by it.

    Of course, that’s Ray. Who knows who else may be reading and get that li’l spark of “oh, yeah, huh?” =^_^=

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    smesqualor, thanks for pointing out the responses. Ray’s response was to be expected, but I’m pretty sure Charles was being sarcastic if you read his initial response to the challenge. You are correct, it is frustrating, but I still wanted to answer his challenge.

  • http://brettmaxwell.com brett maxwell

    Feel free to keep bashing Ray Comfort, but please keep in mind there are TONS of Christians like me who are equally annoyed with his tactics and logic.

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    Hi Brett,

    I’m pretty sure most know that Ray Comfort doesn’t speak for all Christians. Even when I was a Christian he certainly didn’t speak for me.

  • Cade

    This is what I posted on his site.

    Probably the best evidence (according to me) that a powerful, knowledgeable, god that wants us to know he exists doesn’t exist is religious confusion. In the hundreds of thousands of years that humans have existed (or the 6,000 for you if you want) no religion has gotten a unanimous vote. Even your beloved Christianity can’t even get a majority, and those who are Christian are splintered into various denominations.

    It isn’t by lack of sincere searching that people haven’t turned to Christianity. Most people (especially atheists that I know) will tell you that they would start believing if credible evidence would be presented. If Jesus would appear in front of me right now, and there were witnesses so I could verify it later, I would believe.

    The god i defined above (which would include the Christian god) would be able to provide conclusive evidence and would want to provide conclusive evidence. The fact that so many people sincerely search for it and fail (or get wildly different conclusions) is good evidence that no such god exists.

    On a side note:

    Comfort’s an atheist.

    If that were true, I’d have to seriously reconsider my position on the issue. :)

  • BZ

    I think the best policy when it comes to Ray Comfort(and others like them) is to ignore them. Responding is just a waste of time, because the Christians who are likely to listen are most likely not spending time on his blog. Of course you miss out on the feeling of superiority, but developing a sense of superiority isn’t healthy even though it feels good.

  • Darryl

    But most importantly, note this is not a reason to believe that gods do not exist but rather a reason not to believe that gods do exist.

    This is vague. It would be better said that one has no reason to think gods exist, but one has no certain knowledge that they do not.

  • Mriana

    I don’t feel like playing with the nutbag. First he’d have to define “God”, which reading over the replies, he hasn’t really replied to any of them. He’s just unloaded a bunch of garbage. GIGO. I’d poke holes in it and before it was over, he’d get ticked and boot me off his blog- probably with his banana. The parting thing… He doesn’t realize it’s just a form of literature filled with astrotheology, and didn’t literally happen, but even if I do show this, he’s just going to get ticked. He wouldn’t give me more than 4 or 5 posts before he booted me.

    If I did get lucky and got past that, I’d have to ask why he puts so much stock in that book and how he knew for sure that it was not inspired by man and written by man. Then, because I know what his answer would be, I’d have to ask him how he knows this for sure, besides just faith alone. What evidence does he have for it. Either way, he’d end up booting me, because he has nothing.

  • esmesqualor

    “but I’m pretty sure Charles was being sarcastic…”
    thanks, I didn’t realize who said that. I blame it on the time-change and that fine line between parody and reality ;)

  • http://atheists.meetup.com/531 benjdm

    As briefly as you can, give me your best reasons why you think that God doesn’t exist

    Who?

    (can’t get much briefer than that)

  • http://dmcleish.id.au Shishberg

    Well looky what we have here.

    “hua sheng said… Mr. Comfort, is a new book in the works (e.g. “The Questions Skeptics Ask” or some such thing)?”

    How did you know? :) Working title:
    101 Questions About God. I was hoping for some challenging questions from some atheists.

    Anyone want to get into one of Ray Comfort’s books? Get over there and leave a comment! (Of course, whatever you say will probably be mangled into an unrecognisable strawman, but it’s the thought that counts.)

  • http://www.xanga.com/drew85 Drew

    NOOOO!

    Impossible to prove a negative?

    Hemant! I’m ashamed at you!

    Yes, indeed, it is impossible to prove anything. Any deductive argument requires absolute knowledge of the accuracy of the premises to be infallible. And any inductive argument is inherently fallible.

    But to the degree that you can prove a positive, it is equally easy to prove a negative. It is just as easy, for example, to create a syllogism based on accepted truths that results in a logical proof of a negative. And there is no reason why an inductive argument can’t be just as convincing in proving a negative as it is in proving a positive.

    All geese are white? Impossible to know unless you’ve seen every one. There is no God? Well, if you can show that every stated claim of evidence for God is false, thus refuting all known evidence for God, you’ve got a convincing argument that there is no evidence for God’s existence.

    It’s just as easy to prove that “Hemant’s hair is not green” as it is to prove “Hemant’s hair is black.”

    http://www.bloomu.edu/departments/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/proveanegative.pdf

    It’s hard to believe, considering how often you hear people saying the opposite. But it’s true! There is no reason why a negative is harder to prove than an affirmative.

  • Jen

    I was going to respond, but then I thought about it: it would be far more productive to simply stab myself repeatedly in the thigh with a letter opener.

    As I do not own a letter opener, I think I will just read a book.

  • Siamang

    As briefly as you can, give me your best reasons why you think that God doesn’t exist,

    I can make it as brief as two words: Ray Comfort.

    If Ray’s perfect conception of God exists… that is God as Ray sees it, and describes it, then by definition, Ray is the best defender “Ray’s God”‘s got.

    If Ray’s God existed, surely he could get a better spokesdroid than the Banana man. He’s so full of fail that he makes Inspector Clouseau look like Nelson Mandela.

  • Richard Wade

    I’ll get to Comfort’s challenge just as soon as I finish the 10,000 other more important things I have to do first. Top of the list: Clean my toenails.

  • Tim_G

    Both Comfort’s questions have been answered many times over. I won’t reinvent the wheel, but Christopher Hitchens answers these quite well in God is not Great. I’d tell him to read that.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I posted the following on Ray Comfort’s site:

    Although the idea of a perfect omnipotent, omniscient God is attractive in the abstract, as soon as you start attaching descriptive detail to God, the perfection dissipates leaving an imperfect human invention. Every detail in the Christian (or any other) bible serves to diminish the idea of a perfect God. The more stories about God, the less God-like God becomes. The Christian concept of God thus becomes something like a slightly more powerful (than human) judgmental schizophrenic tyrant/nurturer. Hardly anything resembling the perfect omnipotent/omniscient being imagined in the abstract. I can only conclude that man created God in his own image.

  • Mriana

    Jen said,

    March 9, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I was going to respond, but then I thought about it: it would be far more productive to simply stab myself repeatedly in the thigh with a letter opener.

    :lol: Pretty much. I get this picture of him being very much like my Fundamgelical relatives in his mentality. There is no winning with them, not matter how knowledgable you are about it all. The only evidence that matters is if it’s in the Bible. Scientists are wrong, because it’s not in the Bible and there is no Philo or Aquinias either in Church history, because they aren’t in the Bible. :roll: That type of ignorant warped mentality, you just can’t win. Using their own book against them goes only so far and then you get the Inquisition when they realize they aren’t winning.

    The letter opener to the thigh repeatedly is much easier and shows a great understanding of the insaness one is up against with Comfort’s sick ignorant warped mentality.

  • Neon Genesis

    Here is the best reason not to believe that the bible is the word of God. Isaiah 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” Here God clearly states he created evil, so why worship a God that is clearly evil? Now, ask yourself this question, if God commanded you to kill me, would you do it?

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    It looks as if he would benefit from an introductory course in philosophy. He’s trying to put the burden of proof on us, but this isn’t where it falls.

  • QrazyQat

    The fact that apologetics uses the same old discredited claims again and again centuries after they were first discredited.

  • http://steingrueblwe.blogspot.com Heather

    I can’t believe nobody has stated the obvious yet:

    Kirk Cameron’s acting career.

  • Ajax

    Hey, instead of wasting time on Comfort’s lame site, we could use some fresh faces and new posts on the Friendly Atheist Forum.
    The conversation there is much better for sure!.

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com/ NYCatheist

    J.J., Drew,

    Thanks for posting those comments. We shouldn’t get into the habit of repeating the usual atheist sound bites without thinking.

    Maybe a more useful response to Ray’s question (instead of saying “can’t prove the negative!”) is to show that he is trying to set the atheist up to use his negative proof fallacy:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_proof

    We atheists would like to say the burden of proof is on the one making the claim, but having a negative claim does not relieve you of the burden in all cases. Imagine a maverick scientist who claimed Einstein’s equations were false. It’s a negative claim, but the scientific community would certainly expect the burden to be on his shoulders to prove it. I guess from a theist’s perspective the existence of God seems so obvious to them the the claim of his non-existence is like that wacky scientist who says E=mc^3.

  • http://breakfastindavenport.blogspot.com markbt73

    Just a couple of the many reasons…

    -Hiccups. Obvious proof of a design flaw, and therefore evidence of lack of a creator.

    -Breasts. No deity could make something so lovely and yet claim they’re somehow wrong.

    -Mark Knopfler’s outro solo on “Telegraph Road.” It has nothing to do with religion, and yet it sounds like the voice of God if there was one. Surely the narcissistic God of the Bible would demand credit for something so divine-sounding, yet his followers claim that rock music is the work of the Devil.

  • Siamang

    Proof there is no God:

    Ray cannot see the beauty in Klimt.

    I’ve never felt truly sad for Ray-ray until this moment. When I see those Klimts, especially in person, it’s as though I hear a choir of angels, and the top of my head has been opened up and molten gold has been poured inside. If anything approaches the divine majesty of God in this life, it’s that feeling. To hear Ray Comfort spit at them tells me all I need to know about Ray and his tiny, insignificant, small-minded ghost of a god. That’s a god made only of Ray’s discomforts, fears and a severe lack of reverence. There is no beauty in Ray’s god… it’s an ugly troll of a thing.

    To hear him complaining about the work of Gustav Klimt as if he were a Nazi complaining about degenerate art, is to realize that this man has closed off something vitally human inside him.

  • Mriana

    You know, I would really like to see him try to prove that his god exists. I can’t see him succeeding though. I think I would have an easier time proving that human love and compassion exists and even give a neuro-scientific explaination. There would not be any anthropomorphic deity there, so that would not prove or disprove any god, but it would show that love and compassion is a human condition. :lol:

  • Mriana

    Here’s a question for Ray: How does he know which deity he is worshipping? That is how does he know it is not Jealous, el Shaddai who was demonized in Psalm 106:37, Adonai/Adonis, El Elyon, El Chay, El Naqamah, El Ma’al, El (which is the day star/Saturn, El Qanna, Dani, Amen/Ammon, etc. for which they are all different deities in Hebrew. How does he know that Christ is not another form of Krishna, Osiris/Horus, Mithra etc. Secondly, can he prove his deity is not one of the others? The Bible alone won’t get it either.

    Now two questions for you all: Should I post that inquiry on his blog? :twisted: And do you think I can show verses from at least Krishna (and other available religious texts) showing that he could be mistaken in his theory? Mind you, he will probably come up with the lame fall back that it is the devil’s work trying to fool us. Thus, he will have to prove it is the devil’s work if he attempts that route. Written Biblical text alone won’t get it though, for that would be a cop out… IMO of course.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Mriana,

    You might as well post something at Ray’s site. It probably won’t make any difference to him but it might reach someone else reading through the comments.

    He ignored my comment but that might simply be due to the fact that lots of people have posted comments and he doesn’t have time to respond to everything.

  • Mriana

    He could end up ignoring my comment too or it could strike up a very interesting debate, in which we all could get a very good laugh out of in the end. :lol:

  • Mriana

    OK I posted it, but his blog is on moderate, so I guess we’ll see it when we see it, IF we see it. Since he can’t prove his answer, I doubt he will reply to it. IF he does, none of it will be rational.

    Here’s what I posted:

    Here’s a question for Ray: How do you know which deity you are worshipping? That is how do you know it is not Jealous, el Shaddai who was demonized in Psalm 106:37, Adonai/Adonis, El Elyon, El Chay, El Naqamah, El Ma’al, El (which is the day star/Saturn, El Qanna, Dani, Amen/Ammon, etc. for which they are all different deities in Hebrew. How do you know that Christ is not another form of Krishna, Osiris/Horus, Mithra etc.

    Secondly, can you prove your deity is not one of the others? The Bible alone won’t get it either nor the answer that the devil was trying to us. IF that is your answer then can you prove it? Again the Bible alone won’t work.

    Lucifer, Satan, and the devil are different entities, so if your answer is any of them, then you still have to prove it.

    —–

    Wonder IF the game is a foot?

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    I wish the game would be afoot Mriana, but the way Ray and the others have dismissed other sincere answers I doubt he will really answer.

  • Roger Scott

    A kind, loving, just God does not exist because people like Ray Comfort prosper and live super comfortable lives.

  • Richard Wade

    Mriana, you asked,

    Now two questions for you all: Should I post that inquiry on his blog?

    I think we should all treat him as the troll that he is. Ignore him. He is an attention addict, a parasite on the mind of anyone who thinks a thought about him. Starve him to death. His worst fear is to become an “unperson” as in Orwell’s “1984.” He will never respond sincerely to a truly challenging question or to a truly questioning challenge. If he responds at all, he will twist and spin it until there’s no trace of your original idea but he can hear himself crowing triumphantly like a rooster. You have wasted your time and talent and given the troll another snack. So have I by making these nine statements that mention him. ‘Nuff said.

  • Mriana

    He probably won’t even bother.

  • Mriana

    Who is this PJ person answering for the Banana man?

  • Mriana

    MonolithTMA said,

    March 10, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    I wish the game would be afoot Mriana, but the way Ray and the others have dismissed other sincere answers I doubt he will really answer.

    I see that. IMHO, if one is going to pick on people, the questions I asked him are legit questions for him to consider and research, but of course, I am asking too much of a theistic extremist. It would probably blow his brain cells if he even considered those questions. Of course, IF he did consider them and actually researched them, he might lose his faith. That would be good for us, but in his opinion a bad thing due to his anti-intellectualism.

  • Siamang

    Mriana,

    The guy can’t even see the beauty in a Gustav Klimt painting, and condemns them by comparing them to the scribbling on the inside of a men’s room stall. In other words, not only does he not enjoy them, they are filthy and only filthy-minded people can find them enjoyable. In typical Ray fashion, he doesn’t consider the experience or possibility that women might enjoy Klimt’s paintings… no they are just smut for the male perverts. (We’ll ignore the zillions of non-nudes)

    He’s not going to respond to your thoughts and ideas. He’s done taking input from the outside world for this lifetime. It’s all solipsism from here on out.

  • Mriana

    The man has some sexual hang ups if he thinks Klimt’s paintings are filthy. :roll: Humm… I wonder what Frued would say? :lol:

    He’s not going to respond because he knows he can’t win even with solipsism. The man doesn’t even have a theological degree and if he can read anything into my questions, then he might guess I have some aces up my sleeve. Thing is, I’m not going to reveal them anytime soon, but if he’s figured out anything based on my questions, he’s not even going to try which shows how much theology and mythology he really knows. Which is didley because he doesn’t even have a degree.

  • Mriana

    Ray’s blog is a prime example of How Evangelicalism Corrupts Truth and Love.

    I’ve been watching this very closely and I see what they are doing. They are going after what seems like easy targets. My post shows a degree of education and extremely difficult questions not addressed in apologestic, because I made those answers unavailable to them when I stipulated they could not use them without substancial evidence. Secondly, I showed that I had some theological training in that I knew which deity was which and which ones were demonized based on which scripture.

    Because they have the warped idea of Truth and Love, along with only training in apologics and no actual theological training, they are going to avoid me like the plague in favour of those who appear to be easy targets and possibly fall for apolgetics. I’m not a target that falls within their frame work and they are categorizing me in with the ones who are being hostile.

    I told one of my liberal Christian friends about this and she felt my question was a reasonable question given Ray’s attitude, but she also said that it does show a level of education that they obviously don’t have. She also thinks I’m playing my cards right by not informing Ray and his cronies my position and that I do have a degree of education that out weighs theirs.

    However, my question is not an easy target like some others, esp since I said they could not use apolgetics, so they aren’t going to go for it. They are simply going to dodge it and say I’m hostile. Now that is corruption at it’s finest. I find it rather sad that they are afraid to debate me on the subject. It shows their degree of ignorance.

  • Siamang

    Rereading your question, Mriana, I think it goes way beyond him.

  • Mriana

    :lol: I know it does. Remember, Ray doesn’t have any REAL theological study under his belt. He is an uneducated off the street preacher. IF he had an education, he would not be so bizarre. Then again, along with his lack of education, there maybe some degree of mental illness too. No, not his belief in and of itself, but rather is could be a symptom of a mental illness. Either that, or he has deluded himself into cult-like thinking, which is just as bizarre and attracts people with emotional issues.

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    Mriana,

    I really enjoyed your response and have heard similar things before, but never with that level of detail. Can you recommend any further reading on the things you addressed?

    Thanks!

  • Mriana

    The reason I italized How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Truth and Love is because it is part of a book title by Valerie Tarico (a doctor of Psychology). The full title is The Dark Side: How Evangelical Teachings Corrupt Love and Truth. (Sorry, I reversed two words, as usual)

    You can also read books by Tom Harpur, John Shelby Spong, Robert Price, and alike that address some of the apologists statements or if you are so brave, you can read an apologist’s book, but I am not as up on them as I am those who are very liberal. C. S. Lewis and Billy Graham are apologist though.

    Spong addresses the idea of original sin, as well as other things, and how damaging that is to a person in some of his books, one being Why Christianity Must Change or Die. He addresses some of the other fallicies of Evangelicalism in Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism and Sins of Scripture. Price addresses his thoughts concerning all of this when he response to the author of Purpose Driven Life with his book Reason Driven Life. I would also recommend a book on the psychology of religion, but they are very expensive, but IF you can find one at your local library check it out because they also address cults, cult-like behaviour, and the “norm” of religious ideology.

    As for the multitude of deities in the OT, Victor Matthews has a book called Old Testament Parallels, which discusses not only the gods, but also how Hebrew stories relate to the Egyptian stories. (He teaches a similar class using his book here at the local university in the religious studies dept.) Harpur discusses the Horus/Osiris myth in his book The Pagan Christ and Karen Armstrong discusses mythology in her book The Short History of Myth. And if you are so willing to venture into the realm of mythology further and how it all relates there are Acharya’s books too.

    As for the differences in theological training, that comes with knowing a variety of ministers and observation. My relatives go to church that pull people off the street and make them ministers all because those people say things that move them and they have this superstitious belief that that person has the message of God. That is a far cry different from Mike Clawson and Bishop Spong’s training. Both went to different seminary schools, but even so they have a knowledge far beyond those pulled off the streets. Again, the knowledge of what those who do have some sort of training is also based on experience too, because what one learns in religion classes is a far cry than just reading the book and being trained in apologetics. Apologetics is easily taught in a few weekend seminars or retreat. It is not necessarily a class in a seminary or university study of religion, although one can take a course on C. S. Lewis or alike if they wish.

    The ones who go to seminary and alike are ordain in a far different manner too. They aren’t just pulled off the streets and told, “OK you move us, therefore you have the “word of God” and are now a minister.” There is the Rite of Succession (the idea of laying on of hands by other ministers that supposedly dates back to the original apostles who were “ordain” by Jesus) among those churches as well as an indepth study of religion, with the focus being on Christianity.

    Ray Comfort has none of that under his belt and he is destinctly different from any of those I mentioned, including Mike C. Ray has a destinct air of cultish brainwashing and if it doesn’t fit into what he was taught, he can’t reply to it in any manner (doesn’t fit his programming). I asked the same question of Mike C. once and actually got an answer from him that was reasonably rational, logical, and educated. Observe and you can see a destinct difference between Ray (and his cronies) and Mike. Ray et al are “programmed” and Mike is not (although some here may beg to differ, but observation of the two says otherwise). It is the difference between cult-like behaviour and non-cult-like behaviour, which is addressed in books concerning the psychology of religion.

  • http://merelyadequate.net MonolithTMA

    Wow! That’s more than I could have hoped for. Thanks! My list of books keeps getting longer!

    I just received these three:

    The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
    By: Neil Asher Silberman (Author), Israel Finkelstein (Author)

    David and Solomon: In Search of the Bible’s Sacred Kings and the Roots of the Western Tradition [Bargain Price]
    By: Israel Finkelstein (Author), Neil Asher Silberman (Author)

    Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist
    By: Dan Barker

    And I’m currently reading this one and loving it so far:

    Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why
    By: Bart D. Ehrman

    I’ve got a pretty good background in world religions and in different denominations of Christianity, but all of my historical data comes from Christian apologists, so I’m trying to get an unbiased perspective now that I’m free of Christianity.

    Thanks again.

  • Mriana

    :lol: You’re welcome. Mine keeps getting longer and longer too.

    I just recently got Dan Barker’s book Losing Faith and In Faith, so I’ve not had a chance to read it yet. Currently I’m trying to find time to finish Earl Doherty’s The Jesus Puzzle. I just finished Acharya’s (D. M. Murdock) book Who Was Jesus and wrote a review for her, which I need to place on my site soon.

    I haven’t read the other three books you suggested (except for Misquoting Jesus they’re not on my book list yet). My problem is trying to find time to read all these other books, but then I also get VERY sick of religion sometimes too. I was there for a while, with two religion courses (one World Religions, required, and the other Buddhism) and the topic in my literature class having to do with early American lit. I’ll be glad to be done with this degree. All I need it one more English class (major requirement) and I’m done. I sometimes regret taking religion as a minor, but my curiousity of other religions got the best of me. They’re all alike though- as far as story senerios and thinking goes (some more illogical and/or cruel than others). We’re not really missing much.

  • Pingback: MerryAtheist Blog » Comfort food

  • Pingback: ChickenGirl.net » Blog Archive » The Comfort challenge


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X