Christians have not been ‘reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years’

Whenever I write something critical of the relatively recent dogma of “biblical inerrancy,” someone always responds by insisting that Christians have been reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years.

That’s not true. It’s not possible.

Christians haven’t been reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years, because for most of the last 2,000 years, most Christians weren’t reading the Bible at all.

For the first of those 20 centuries, Christians weren’t reading the New Testament because it was still being written. Even 1,900 years ago, many of the texts we refer to as the New Testament were still a work in progress.

For much of Christian history, many of the biblical texts read by most Christians were neither texts nor biblical. (“Descent of Christ to Limbo,” church fresco in Florence by Andrea di Bonaiuto, ca. 1368.)

It took another 200 years after that for those texts to be collected into anything like a formal canon. That only came about after Emperor Constantine made Christianity Rome’s official religion. The next step, then, was to translate the Bible into Latin so that every Roman-therefore-newly-Christian could read it. Jerome didn’t finish that project until 405.

At that point — 1,600 years ago — it might finally have become possible for Christians to start reading the Bible in the same way that white evangelical inerrantists read it today, but that’s not how they read the Bible. Take a look at Augustine or any of the other early church writers from the first five centuries of Christianity and you’ll find all kinds of approaches to the text — wildly inventive allegorical schemes, symbolism, reinterpretations of the New Testament almost as radical as the NT authors’ reinterpretations of the OT — that would give contemporary defenders of “biblical inerrancy” the howling fantods.

Well, then, what about after Augustine? How did Christians read the Bible in the next several centuries?

They didn’t. Not most of them, anyway. The Western Roman Empire fell in 476 and literacy in western Europe collapsed right along with it. During the Dark Ages, books were hard to come by, and people who could read and understand them were too. Christians were reading the Bible during those many long centuries, but not most Christians. It was read by, and within, the church. The prevailing hermeneutic, in other words, was nothing like the individualistic, face-value literalism that characterizes the approach of modern inerrantists. The prevailing hermeneutic was to interpret the Bible as meaning what the church says it means.

The majority of Christians during those centuries didn’t read the Bible at all, lacking both the ability and the opportunity to do so. They heard bits of the Bible read to them — in Latin, which they may not have understood — and they learned a lot of biblical lore from songs, statuary, pageants and plays. That was mixed in, of course, with a lot of other lore that was likely regarded as biblical, even though it came instead from, say, the Gospel of Nicodemas or the Vision of Tundale.

That’s how things remained for about half of those 2,000 years during which Christians have supposedly been reading the Bible in just exactly the way we’re reading it today.

The big changes didn’t come until more than 1,000 years after St. Jerome finished his Latin translation. The biggest change didn’t have anything to do with the church itself. The biggest change was technological — the invention of the printing press and the publication of the Gutenberg Bible in 1454.

Another big change came with first the Geneva Bible and then the King James Version in 1611 — more than a century after Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press, these made English translations of the Bible widely available for the first time. And thus, for the first time in the English-speaking world, it became possible to begin reading the Bible the way that proponents of “inerrancy” read it today.

So if we can’t say that most Christians have been reading the Bible this way for 2,000 years, can we at least say that some Christians have been reading the Bible this way for 400 years?

Yes, I think that’s fair. I think the same hermeneutic now championed by Al Mohler’s Southern Baptist faction and by things like the “Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy” first began to take shape about 400 years ago.

And here’s a brief timeline of some of that theological development:

1607: Jamestown founded in Virginia.

1611: King James Bible published.

1619: First 20 Africans sold into slavery in Jamestown.

1620: Plymouth Bay Colony founded in Massachusetts.

1636: The Desire, the first North American slave ship, built and launched in Massachusetts.

1643: Plymouth adopts a fugitive slave law.

1657: Virginia adopts a fugitive slave law.

1661: King Charles II of England calls for the Christian conversion of African slaves.

1667: Virginia passes law saying that slaves who convert to Christianity will remain slaves.

From there on it’s just a matter of filling in the details.

The shape of contemporary white evangelicalism — including the way it reads and interprets and wields the Bible — flows from that. That’s where the argument began and that’s where the argument remains.

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  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The point is what you said in the beginning:

    I want politicians to be men of biblical faith if possible, everyone legislates based on their internal moral or ethical (read spiritual) codes. If a politican is a practicing bible Christian I would HOPE (big if) that He would legislate in a way that is pleasing to God.

    And I reply, they are and they do and that’s exactly the problem.

  • nolidad

    It appears you confuse people sitting in a pew with practicing Christians. Though that sounds judgmental it is not intended to judge. Proof is in the pudding as they say. And many fall far short of governing as Bible believing practicing Christians. They may attend a “christian” church but if the Word of God doesn’t influence how they wish to act when legislation covers basic morals, ethics and thte like then they are not acting biblically.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    For one who just offered yourself a pat on the back for not judging, you’re keen to place a distinction between Christians and people merely going through the motions. I suppose it’s because no true Christian does the kinds of things that result in bad outcomes. You’re welcome to make that distinction. I’m inclined to a certain form of Christianity myself, but I suspect you and I would disagree on the details.

  • nolidad

    I am merely stating a truth. I for one am unable nor qualified to determine who may be a true Christian and who is one like found in Matt. 7. And I am glad that I am not the judge- I would do a lousy job.
    Christians do many things that result in bad outcomes. We are not perfect, just forgiven and hopefully growing in His holiness.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Then why do you keep insisting that our government isn’t filled with Christians who pore over the Bible for their every decision? Is it just that convenient to your narrative that the country is sliding into decay?

  • nolidad

    Well I only know of a few. If it is filled with them could you please forward me a list of the ones you say are? I really would appreciate to know we have a government “filled” with legislators poring over the Scriptures. Maybe I am looking on the wrong websites.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Incidentally, the practice of bewailing the evils of the modern world is a venerable tradition: http://www.anxietyculture.com/antisocial.htm

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “Lije,” said the Commissioner, “you’re a modernist. That’s your trouble. In Medieval times, people lived in the open. I don’t mean on the farms only. I mean in the cities, too. Even in New York. When it rained, they didn’t think of it as waste. They gloried in it. They lived close to nature. It’s healthier, better. The troubles of modern life come from being divorced from nature. Read up on the Coal Century, sometimes.”

    Baley had. He had heard many people moaning about the invention of the atomic pile. He moaned about it himself when things went wrong, or when he got tired. Moaning like that was a built-in facet of human nature. Back in the Coal Century, people moaned about the invention of the steam engine. In one of Shakespeare’s plays, a character moaned about the invention of gunpowder. A thousand years in the future, they’d be moaning about the invention of the positronic brain.

    Apt quote from The Caves of Steel is apt. :D

  • Betwixt-and-Between

    …d’oh!
    Clearly, I need to work on my reading comprehension. I’ll just go back to lurking, thanks.

  • arcseconds

    If everyone who had less than optimal reading comprehension conceded so gracefully, the internet would be a better place for it :-)

    Please don’t re-lurk on my account…

  • nolidad

    I know that in this post Christian era in America- try8ng to legislate using Scripture as a guide is trouble (though many of our laws were based on Scripture even if non biblical lands mirrored those laws)

    Even ethical questions are solved based on ones worldview perspective. In the middle east it is not wrong to kill and rape and beqat people ini many situations- their ethics are based on their moral background which comes from the Quran.

    The issue about the ham sandwich is a real problem. the solution is not difficult but is not easily posted here for it goes into issues of systematic theological studies and applications.

    You bring up the gay issue. When did this become a basic human right? Is pedophilia abasic human right if a 9 year old consents? Is bestiality? Is polygamy if the wives consent? What is your authority for declaring something a “basic human right”. Both the old and new testaments declare that homosexuality is sin against God (as well as adultery and fornication) If God is God and I am convinced beyond doubt He is- then we should obey Him. I am also convinced our nation is continuing its death spiral because though not perfect and guilty of many things it has not just turned its back on God but is growing hostile towards HIm and God is ratcheting up His judgment. It is no coincidence that we went from the greatest exporter of missions and bibles to now the greatest exporter of porn. We cannot slaughter over 60 million children and not have God react. HE is loving and kind BUT above all else He is holy and will not be mocked. A nation that begins with covenants and charters and its first nationally elected leader in his first act leads all the fed governemnt to church to consecrate this nation to the glory of God and then falls so far from that lofty goal will be judged if it doesn’t return to the Lord. Most people do not realize we are balancing on a very precarious ledge as a nation and one puff of trouble could topple this nation.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Ahem.

    Is pedophilia abasic human right if a 9 year old consents? Is bestiality? Is polygamy if the wives consent?

    This shows you really don’t understand consent if you think a nine year old or an animal can offer it. That’s why the word is always paired with the qualifier: meaningful consent. Consent must be provided by someone presently capable of understanding the full ramifications of what it is they are consenting to. Some also add other qualifiers to that, like “enthusiastic” and “ongoing.” All of these disqualify children and animals, as well as most forms of incest between closely related family members.
    Polygamy is a different issue in that it’s more of a legal issue. Marriage can be tricky enough with only two partners involved when it goes sour! I think it’s still fully possible to make polygamy work if every partner is involved in ongoing legal agreements with what happens to what property in the event of a divorce (meaning each new partner causes all previous legal agreements to become void and necessitates the drafting of another one), but ultimately this would have to be a case-by-case basis sort of thing with a lot of legal facilitation.

    I am also convinced our nation is continuing its death spiral because though not perfect and guilty of many things it has not just turned its back on God but is growing hostile towards HIm and God is ratcheting up His judgment.

    Actually, for the most part, we’ve been doing a lot better in recent decades than we’ve done in a long time. Homicide rates in particular have been dropping like a stone since the 1990’s.

    It is no coincidence that we went from the greatest exporter of missions and bibles to now the grea test exp orter of porn.

    We are still the greatest source of missionaries in the world– 127,000 to Brazil’s 34,000.

    As for pornography, no pun intended, but: Beats me. The most religious states in the US are also the largest consumers of porn. Go figure.

    We cannot slaughter over 60 million children and not have God react.
    This is usually the time I point out Numbers 5:11-31, Numbers 31:17, Hosea 13:16, 2 Kings 2:23-24, 2 Kings 15:16, 1 Samuel 15:3, Psalms 137:9, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Leviticus 20:9, Exodus 12:29…

    The Bible… isn’t a good place to be for a child, though the first example is the most egregious.

    “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband, may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

    Still love the repeated statements that our elected leaders aren’t Christian, when it’s almost impossible to become elected if you aren’t.

  • nolidad

    The Bible is a great place to bew a child- even in the Jewish Theocracy that has been long done away with. Crimes were different and punished differently. I will not apologize for God establishing what He chose to establish for a specific time period.

    If consent really means fully informed of all the ramifications, then we need to raise the age for everything in this country cuz most people still do not understand the full ramifications of their actions.

    We still send out lots of mission aries true, but our biggest export is still porn. I cannot attest to teh viewing habits of individuals in “religious ” states, I am not tasked with spying on them like the NSA does.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Iiiiii don’t see porn on heeeeeeeeere.

    You know, at first you seemed like you wanted to have actual discussions about things but you are increasingly retreating to what I have experienced are common Christian fundamentalist talking points. Whether you are doing this because you never intended to have a good-faith discussion in the first place or because you have failed to win over those who you are having discussions with–

    I have no idea, but I do know that fundamentalism tends to create binary modes of thinking about the world and it is doing you a disservice here because it seems to me you think either you must “win” or “lose”, not that both parties may come away having thought about things even if they agree to disagree.

  • nolidad

    If I have to explain it to you then you dont belong on teh internet!

    Well as I do not know what “talking points” you are talking about I can’t honestly answer to them. I am not connected to some “fundamentalist clearing house” to be on this thread so I would need you to be specific.

    I completely agree that both parties have thoughts on issues and we can agree to disagree. I am not looking to win debates. I am merely trying to express Gods truth as stated in His word in th ehopes someone may try to seek HIm. If there are absolute answers one should not shy away from them just because our society retreats from absolutes.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well as I do not know what “talking points” you are talking about I
    can’t honestly answer to them. I am not connected to some
    “fundamentalist clearing house” to be on this thread so I would need you
    to be specific.

    It’s not necessary for there to be a central clearing house per se.

    What does tend to happen, however, is that certain turns of phrase become indicative of one’s particular stance and/or perspective as a representative of a larger subcultural group.

    In your case, one telling aspect is your uncritical repetition of the kinds of hot-button one-liners that are intended to shut down any discussion by appealing to emotions such as revulsion or disgust.

    Examples:

    1. Claiming, without backup, that two prominent researchers on sex campaigned, in essence, for the total repeal of all age of consent laws. Such a bombshell would be well known and well established.

    2. Repeating the “60 million babies dead = Holocaust” while neatly sliding over the fact that that number tries to equate the number of abortions, undertaken at the individual discretion of each woman who has gone to get an abortion, with a comprehensive, industrial-scale* program of mass murder.

    3. Claiming the Bible as a source of “absolute” morality without any consideration for the fact that the Bible’s texts are deeply rooted in a culture and time period vastly different from our own and whose languages many people can no longer read or understand**.

    —-
    * The chilling aspect of watching this re-enactment of the Wannsee conference is how technical they could get at times over the details of how to cover everything up, as well as how to work the logistics involved. And Heydrich driving everything along and bullying anyone who wouldn’t go along with it is rather unsettling as well.

    ** Relatively few people in this world can read the original Hebrew in which the Old Testament (i.e. approximately the equivalent of the Tanakh, although I should caution I am not by any means an expert on Judaism or their hloly texts) is written. The mere fact of a linguistic shift from Hebrew to English is enough to introduce uncertainties in the faithfulness of a rendition of the text without also introducing stated and unstated cultural biases into the translation.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    And here I thought Heaven and the Earth would pass away before the smallest iota of the law would become invalid! :P No, I’m actually very glad the laws of Moses were edited and in some cases repealed altogether (by the Jews themselves in the first century). The last thing I would want is for, say, Deuteronomy 13 to still be applicable.

    But Romans 14, etc, etc.

    Tracking down precise numbers is unsurprisingly difficult, but the highest estimates place pornography’s total gross revenue (among all companies and counting illegal sources) at $13 billion (though it should be noted that no two companies agree on numbers even particularly close to each other, and Forbes, which seems to have undertaken the most comprehensive effort to estimate it, places the number at about $2.6 to 3.9 billion total). To put that into perspective, our agriculture industry has a gross revenue of $173 billion, so pornography doesn’t even rank in the top 10. Well, you could be counting sheer consumption, not just of sales, and a lot of porn is free… but regardless, exports of capital goods (materials used to produce goods, such as tools and factory parts) are actually top of the list as far as economics go.

    But again, I imagine this isn’t convenient to the narrative that we’re sliding into a pit of doom. Nebulous, ill-defined and unverifiable or even contradictory threats are the best kind!

    If consent really means fully informed of all the ramifications, then we need to raise the age for everything in this country cuz most people still do not understand the full ramifications of their actions.

    Age alone isn’t adequate. I gather you’ve got a few years over me, and you clearly do not understand the purpose or function of consent, which is… rather quite embarrassing, really, when you know a little something about me. I was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder, meaning my emotional development was stunted and I have little if any conscience or empathy, at least as reckoned by others. Consequently, I’ve made psychology, sociology and ethics my primary focuses in order to minimize how often I cause unintentional injury to others. If I can be thus educated, then there must be hope for others.

  • nolidad

    Well I shall try to be more specific in my language . I was using export idiomatically not literally. Porn has outstripped every category on teh web as a general category site.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/30-of-webs-total-traffic-is-for-porn-tech-magazine

    Its growth is explosive if its revenues are not.

    Here is the actual site the above quotes:

    http://www.extremetech.com/computing/123929-just-how-big-are-porn-sites

    http://theweek.com/article/index/204156/

    Yeah porn output in teh US is far outpacing missionaries –It is a huge export despite the amount of money it takes in.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    People have been moaning about porn for a long time. Moaning about it was in fashion back when Perversion for Profit came out in 1965.

    And probably even before then people have been moaning about porn. If it really were a contributor to the decline of civilization, why then is the Soviet Union a vanished empire and the USA still around? The USSR’s bans on porn were far past anything the US ever had. By your logic the Soviet Union, having banned the stuff rather effectively for quite some time, should still be chugging right along.

    It’s almost like their economic planning problems had a lot more to do with it.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Which sounds like a lot, until you put it against the larger context and discover that pornography constitutes only about 30% of the Internet — not all that much for the world’s oldest industry. Besides, when I want something hardcore and erotic, I just read Ezekiel. Now there was a man with a filthy mind. :p

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Even ethical questions are solved based on ones worldview perspective. In the middle east it is not wrong to kill and rape and beqat people ini many situations- their ethics are based on their moral background which comes from the Quran.

    I pointed out that a standard of governance that starts from the principle that harming another human being is to be prevented if possible, punished if not, is one that does not depend on any religious faith at all and actually depends only on the fact that we all have nerve endings that tell us that pain is bad, so purposely inflicting pain is doing harm.

    It’s about the closest way to root an ethical code in our evolutionary history/development that I know of.

    Obviously there are more complex gradients of harm than the purely physical, but that’s only because we’re capable of certain abstractions which other species probably aren’t.

    I am also convinced our nation is continuing its death spiral because though not perfect and guilty of many things it has not just turned its back on God but is growing hostile towards HIm and God is ratcheting up His judgment.

    If you believe the social gospel and things like James 5:1, then I definitely agree that this business of constantly succouring the wealthy at the expense of the poor is causing problems.

    But in terms of things like crimes, for all the sensationalism in the press–

    well, shit, don’t believe the numbers. Go to New York City or any other place that used to be perceived as some kind of crime-ridden anthill back in the 1970s and 1980s.

    The crime’s not there anymore.

    That’s what AnonymousSam is driving at with the homicide stats.

  • nolidad

    Well as we were created and not involved I would disagree with that premise. Besides the evolutionary standard is survival of the fittest. Nature apart from man has no ethics.

    I agree that favoring the wealthy is sin in Gods eyes. But that is not a code written to government but churches, though it is good practice for government, that is why in America the top 10% pay more than the bottom 90% combined.

    I don’t know why crime stats were brought up. If it is inreference to my death spiral, I am referring to our nation go ing down the tubes rapidly ala Rome in its heyday. We are doing it faster

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There are valid reasons to consider Roman imperial decline in the context of the USA today, but not, I suspect, for the reasons you think exist.

    The similarities are:

    1. An overreliance on the military with consequent overemphasis on its cultural significance within broader society (consider that what an army/navy/air force/marine person has to say is often unduly accorded weight beyond that which can be granted it on the merits of the statement).
    2. A tendency to let the wealthy escape their assessed (or should-be-assessed) portion of taxes in exchange for rising bribery and corruption.
    3. A general deterioration of the infrastructure because too much of the money goes elsewhere.
    4. So the wealthy go, so goes society. The coarsening of attitudes among the rich – the habit they have of scorning society as a whole and championing a mythical individualistic ideal – this inevitably is the one thing that DOES “Trickle down” and is reflected among the masses as well.

  • nolidad

    You forget teh degeneration of morals
    2. An advanced welfare state to mask the crumbling empire (Bread and Circus, I can spell that out if you like)
    3. Sexual promiscuity.
    4. Breakdown of societal standards..
    as far as the rich not paying their fair share, if the top 10% who pay more than the bottom 90% combined isn’t fair, what do you call fair?

    When and if I get rich I would love to find out if I scorn society or if I still live by the God who I seek to serve now.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Besides the evolutionary standard is survival of the fittest. Nature apart from man has no ethics.

    As was just discussed on this here blog, calling it ‘survival of the fittest’ is an extreme oversimplification of what actually happens as species evolve.

    Yes, Darwin did say the “fittest”, but the word is better rendered as “the most well-adapted”.

    The inexorable work of natural or artificial selection to bias a species’ allele frequencies (in short, how their genes express themselves on average across many members of the species) one way or another means that the members of the species most-adapted to whatever environment they live in will be the ones most likely to survive and reproduce.

    While it is not a directed force and is a blind process of adaptation, nonetheless evolution exists.

    And no, nature does not have ethics, but nature also does not actively insist that the devil take the hindmost, as has too often been supported by Christians who have no problem accepting Social Darwinist positions on how humans within human societies survive and reproduce.

    Incidentally, Darwin himself insisted that his theories could not be applied to human society that way because evolutionary theory cannot be used to make value judgements about who is “most fit” to survive, only that it describes the way in which species adapt to their environment.

  • nolidad

    Well just because Darwin is dead wrong about macro evolution doesn’t mean that evrything he says is wrong. Islam is a false religion but contains many truths.

  • Daniel

    “Islam is a false religion but contains many truths.”
    Why is it a false religion? How do you grade truth and falsity in religions that specifically state you shouldn’t require any evidence to believe them?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    Is pedophilia abasic human right if a 9 year old consents? Is bestiality? Is polygamy if the wives consent?

    Well, the first two are impossible since neither an animal nor a nine year old child can meaningfully consent.

    But I’m sure you didn’t mean to pull the classic bigot-move of equating beastiality, pedophilia, and homosexuality.

    We cannot slaughter over 60 million children and not have God react.

    Absolutely true. Thankfully, no one’s slaughtering 60 million children.

    In fact, the complete and utter lack of divine retribution, by your own standards, confirms this to be the case.

    As an american, the attempts to conflate church and state and let religion determine law angers and frightens me. As a christian, attempts to blame your own bigotry and small-mindedness on the bible enrages me.

  • nolidad

    Well do not tell that to Masters and JOhnson, they testified before congress to legalize pedophilia. But all those sexual practices are condemned by God along with adultery and fornication.

    No no one right now is slaughtering 60 million children. That has been done in America over the past 40 years.

    Do not confuse Gods patience with His lack of retribution. His patience is in order for man to see the errors of his ways so that man will not force Gods hand of judgment.

    Well then you must be a very angry man as many of the laws of this land were argued for over a century on the basis of Christianity.

    As for your accusations towards me, THANK YOU!! Jesus was called the most narrow minded person whoever lived by the crowd that condemned Him. Jesus said the road to heaven is a narrow way and only a few find it, but the path to hell is a broad way and the majority go down that. I will not apologize for seeking to see people escape eternal punishment nor seeking to see the nation I love avoid divine wrath.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well do not tell that to Masters and JOhnson, they testified before congress to legalize pedophilia.

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

    Not proven. You do yourself a profound disservice repeating unreferenced scurrilous accusations such as the above.

  • nolidad

    Well I will seek to find the cite asnd post it. But for now I wish all on the thread a joyous and blessed Thanksgiving. For me the rest of teh day is devoted to my family. I appreciate this opportunity to interact with all of you.

  • AnonaMiss

    Jesus was called the most narrow minded person whoever lived by the crowd that condemned Him.

    Uh, no, actually, most of Jesus’s persecutors thought Jesus was radically, dangerously open-minded. He was criticized for hanging out with tax collectors, prostitutes and ritually unclean people; he spoke to the Samaritan woman as to an equal.

    You have a poor understanding of the Christ if you believe he was condemned as narrow-minded.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Well, what’s important is that if someone is criticizing a Christian, then they must be doing something right because the unsaved and Christianists cannot appreciate the morals of a Real True Christian. After all, did Jesus not say “If they hate you, know that they hated me first”? Therefore hate is equal to being Jesus. QED, if you do things that make people hate you, you’re in the right!

  • nolidad

    I think you need to study the gospels again. Jesus said He was THE wayTHE truth and THE life not A way. He said He was it period. If you consider Jesus actions open minded, then my church is one of the most open minded churches in America despite being called close minded by the religious crowd.

  • AnonaMiss

    Brother, the topic of conversation was not what Jesus was, but what he was persecuted as. You said Jesus was persecuted as closed-minded, but the gospels clearly state that he was all about breaking the rules of Jewish society at the time – eating and drinking with unclean people, not ritually cleaning himself before eating or after being made ritually unclean by a menstruating woman, doing miracles on Sundays, eating unclean foods and saying that it’s what comes out of a man, not what goes into him, that makes him unclean.

    By the standards of the time and place, Jesus was open-minded, and that is what he was persecuted for.

  • Daniel

    “But all those sexual practices are condemned by God along with adultery and fornication.”
    Genesis 19:30-36. Still waiting for God to punish that one.

  • dpolicar

    Oh, you’re adorable.

    You bring up the gay issue. When did this become a basic human right?

    For my own part, I don’t care much about hairsplitting about what is or isn’t a “basic human right.”

    For example, if getting the support of my neighbors in building a committed family relationship with someone I love and trust and respect, and who loves and trusts and respects me, isn’t a basic human right, that’s OK with me. I still think it’s a good idea, because it makes life better for people.

    And if you think it’s a good idea for people like you to have their lives made better in this way, but not a good idea for people like me to get the same support… well, in an egalitarian society it’s not up to me to prove otherwise. It’s up to you to demonstrate compelling reasons to discriminate against people like me. And yes, as you say, in this era in America, a particular religious denomination’s interpretation of a particular scripture doesn’t qualify as a compelling reason.

    We cannot slaughter over 60 million children and not have God react.

    I assume you’re referring to terminating fetuses here. Far more fetuses are terminated by natural processes — that is, by the hand of God, on your account — than by the hand of Man. If God objects to terminating fetuses, God should stop doing quite so much of it.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I also find it singularly curious how uninterested pro-life folks are over the fact that in all species besides* humans there are spontaneous miscarriages that must surely be known to God.

    Of course, the sheer absurdity of getting worked up over that immediately presents itself which leads to the rather easily obtained conclusion that pro-life people just want something to be offended about.

    —-
    * I probably should have said “and not just” instead.

  • nolidad

    As for the gay issue i was just responding to someone who brought it up. I also do not say that gays are malicious or nasty or have warts. They may be fine upstanding and compassionate caring people, but their orientation is hated by God just like the adulterer, and the fornicator.

    As for killing children in the womb, using your rationality, we should do away with laws against murder, because after all more people die every year of natural causes in America than are murdered by Americans. Sorry but that is a false argument.

    And if and that is IF steps God into the order he has prescribed for the planet and chooses for a woman to miscarry- that is His right and prerogative as creator and Sovereign of the Universe. I trust in His mercy and compassion more than I do mine or any person’s.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    They may be fine upstanding and compassionate caring people, but their
    orientation is hated by God just like the adulterer, and the fornicator.

    You probably can’t see it, but the patronizing is oozing off my monitor. You do yourself no favors setting yourself up, even indirectly, as an arbiter over whose particular sexual expression with people who are capable of consent shall be considered good or bad.

    To be able to privilege one social-sexual group over another is not the proper function of law. If no harm is done, then all the law is doing is reinforcing aspects of social oppression and that in itself is harmful. In short, the law does what the law should avoid doing.

    As for killing children in the womb, using your rationality, we should do away with laws against murder

    The inherent absurdity of your straw-person argument should be evident here.

    While a simplified description is that the law should seek to prevent/punish harm done by one individual to another, I have also said that we humans are capable of shades of abstraction and meaning not generally accessible to other species.

    As a result when it comes to pregnant women the temptation can be to simply assume that abortion should be illegal on the grounds that that would best prevent harm.

    But actually, the situation is not so clear-cut; medical researchers have established that at least in some cases, pregnancy is actually dangerous to a woman’s health.

    Furthermore, while the law is best at preventing physical harm, there is the question of emotional and financial harm. Even if a woman is perfectly capable of carrying a baby to term, she may not be emotionally or financially equipped to do so or to raise the child so born.

    Adoption is an insufficient alternative. It is not a magic bullet. Those who favor adoption tend to gloss over the very real issue that:

    1. Prospective parents are often implicitly, if not explicitly, desired to be heterosexual, of sufficient income, and do not profess “unusual” religious views.

    2. Prospective parents often want their children to have no significant developmental problems and to be of the same race as themselves, and to be as young as possible so they lack possibly-ingrained psychological issues that can make raising the child a challenge.

    This automatically biases the adoption system in favor of adopting out white, healthy newborn babies to middle-class or wealthier white couples who are a man and a woman. Furthermore, it is a mathematical certainty that there are fewer well-off people than the preponderance of the working class and the poor. In short it is almost inevitable that not as many children born and given up are adopted, so that there is always a pool of children growing up who in the old days were put into orphanages and today who bounce around the Charlie Foxtrot of a foster care system which is astonishingly negligent in the big things and unreasonably interfering in the small things (See, for example, numerous anecdotes of perfectly ordinary parents whose children have been taken away by social services because something got misconstrued along the way, while simultaneously abusive and neglectful foster parents can milk the system for years on end and not get caught until it makes a big enough stink).

    Very well. Adoption is not the cure-all so often trumpeted by pro-life advocates. So what then? If pregnancy can be dangerous the option of abortion has to be left open. If adoption is not the cure-all then abortion has to remain an option also. There are other cases that could be considered that ultimately boil down to needing to leave abortion as an option.

    It is therefore an unfortunate necessity that a choice has to be made about who to protect more in the case of a pregnancy and I have just gotten done saying that in general the law is a bad thing to use in privileging one group over another. On balance, however, it seems that the mother should be given preference since it can be argued that harm to the mother is likely greater than harm to the zygote/embryo/fetus*, and this is the way it works in a number of countries around the world: until a baby is actually born it is not legally a person and may be aborted**.

    And if and that is IF steps God into the order he has prescribed for the planet and chooses for a woman to miscarry

    You really don’t want to go there. You really, really, don’t.

    “God’s plan” profferred as The Reason for bad things to happen to decent people is a profoundly offensive thing. It implies that for all the talk of “God is love”, “God’s infinite mercy”, what is really the case is that “God” is fundamentally capricious and fickle and doesn’t really give a damn about what “God” does to people.

    —-
    * Different terms apply depending on the exact stage of pregnancy.

    ** Believe me when I say that if you are any student at all of human nature, you would grasp that very few women casually get elective abortions. Cultural and social significance accorded pregnancy implies that the “well, fuck a duck, I’m getting an abortion!” types of people who are implicitly used by anti-abortion advocates as their reason for “stopping the abortion Holocaust” are in the extreme minority.

  • nolidad

    I am not the arbiter, I am only saying what Gods Word declares, before I became a Christian I was a live and let live kind of guy.

    You r arguments used in supporting the murder of the unborn could also be said of the mother of a young child. She may not be in an emotional, psychological and financial place to raise a child and adoption or foster care is not the magic bullet for those children outside of the womb either.

    As to a pregnance endangering the life of a mother I agree. My wife had an ectopic pregnance and because the baby could not be moved, we saved the life we could.

    I do go into the what if scenario simply because I am not omniscient and know that God can choose when and IF He wants to step into the affairs of man and do certain things. I do not ascribe all things and cannot know when God does unless it is revealed. But I do knkow that even when “evil” occurs, God will work it for the good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purposes.

    Well I only know of the anti abortion advocates I know and we do not use the rhetoric you ascribe us to use. Some do most don’t. I know many women struggle with abortion–that is good their conscience is stil alive. Even NOW has recognized the reality of P.A.S.and its debilitating effects emotionally on many women.

    Well abortion is casual. It happens almost 3,000 times a day in America alone.

    If abortion isn’t the deliberate taking of a human life–what is it????? What is the “thing” that is killed in the womb???? It is alive.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well abortion is casual. It happens almost 3,000 times a day in America alone.

    Out of a country of 300 million people, so 3000 is a small number, comparatively speaking. It adds up to ~1 million per year.

    Even NOW has recognized the reality of P.A.S.and its debilitating effects emotionally on many women.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-abortion_syndrome

    Not medically proven. NOW not listed as recognizing it.

    But I do knkow that even when “evil” occurs, God will work it for the good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purposes.

    I dare you to tell all the Serbs, Croats and Muslims in Bosnia who died meaninglessly that the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the war that followed was “for the good of those who love [God]”.

    Bosnian Serbs are as a rule Serbian Orthodox (Christian!) and Bosnian Croats are as a rule Catholic (Christian!) and Muslims believe in the same God as Christians do.

    You’re not gonna be able to skate on the “they were heathens so it doesn’t matter” defence.

    You r arguments used in supporting the murder of the unborn could also be said of the mother of a young child. She may not be in an emotional,psychological and financial place to raise a child and adoption or foster care is not the magic bullet for those children outside of the
    womb either.

    No, because the young child has an independent existence and so all the prohibitions against harm must apply. Thus we do not murder young children. But we also put in place positive measures: some countries give money to women who are not able to afford to raise their own children, and offer broad-based daycare services to take some of the burden off single mothers.

    I am not the arbiter, I am only saying what Gods Word declares, before I became a Christian I was a live and let live kind of guy.

    Implying that you now “Speak for God”, which is a kind of admission that you are claiming a moral authority.

  • nolidad

    As for PASS-right disorder- wrong attribution my apologies :

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/somatic-psychology/201010/post-abortion-stress-syndrome-pass-does-it-exist

    Well I cannot get into who is and is not saved.within Christian churches Mathew 7 and Matthew 13:24-30 that not everyone who names the name of Christ or is part of a Christian “sect” is necessarily a believer. I showed that earlier, religion doesn’t save a single person.

    As for national events I cannot tell you for I do not know. What I do know I now quote:

    Romans 8:

    28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover
    whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He
    also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

    Gods word doesn’t and I did not say all things are good, but that all things wortk for the good. How that plays out I can;t answer for anyuone else, sometimes not even for me- I just trust the one who inspired those words to be written.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The writer of the PASS article has an accredited Master’s and a non-accredited doctorate. She also concedes that it is not a special syndrome all its own, but rather appears as a subset of PTSD.

    In short, your case is not buttressed very well.

    Gods word doesn’t and I did not say all things are good, but that all things wortk for the good. How that plays out I can;t answer for anyuone else, sometimes not even for me- I just trust the one who inspired those words to be written.

    Which is no answer at all.

    You’ve as much as said you are happy to tell someone who has suffered a bad thing that it is somehow necessary to a larger plan.

    I press you again on the matter: Would you look a Bosnian Muslim in the eye and tell him or her that the Bosnian Serb that killed their family was simply a cog in God’s machine for a greater good?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    For that matter, for a closer to my heart example, why some Christians feel the need to abuse their children in the name of their religion to the point that said children, now adults, associate Christianity with abuse and thus are forever turned away from God?

    That seems like a pretty shitty thing to do, if God also adheres to eternal damnation for anyone who doesn’t say the exact right magic words.

    Fortunately, this turns out to not be the case.

  • P J Evans

    Who appointed you as Speaker for God? She’s quite capable of speaking for herself.

  • nolidad

    Anyone who bothers to read HIS Word can qoute the decrees He made known for man. As His child and being a born again believer it is required to represent Him. I hope to do so faithfully all the time.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You’re conflating “alive” with “human life.” The two are not equal. Algae is alive, but nobody complains about killing it. Cows are alive, but nobody complains about killing them.

    Speaking as someone whose actually *had* an abortion, please refrain from telling me what I felt about my medical procedures. You’re a male…You will never even be put in the situation to have to make that choice. And even if you were, you couldn’t begin to speak for any of the other people who have to make it. Your off-handed comment that abortion is “casual” simply because the number of them that happen is higher than you’d like is false and disrespectful.

    And no, you are not saying what “god’s word declares” about abortion. You are saying what you choose to read into the bible about the matter. There are several spots that clearly state that a fetus isn’t a life, and there’s a chapter in Numbers where god orders abortion. And then there are all the times god murdered pregnant women and their fetuses himself. There are also verses that, if forced into a specific context, could be read as “pro-life.” The bible is rife with situations like that…It’s full of contradictory statements. If you choose to read it one way, that’s fine. But keep your personal beliefs in your personal life, and leave my medical decisions alone.

    Also, please keep your delusions about god working everything out for the best to yourself. That’s highly insulting to people that your god did nothing to save from painful, senselessly bad things. If you choose to believe it yourself, then more power to you. But those of us he tossed to the wolves don’t need it rubbed in our faces.

    Lastly, no. A lot of the arguments for abortion cannot also be tied to a young child. A young child is not literally attached to it’s mother and leeching off her body. Every time you make that claim, you erase the woman, her effort, and the risk you’re trying to force her to take by demanding that she carry the fetus to satisfy your fuzzy feelings.

  • nolidad

    No as a man I can not ever hope to know what teh trauma of abortion is. But 1.5 million procedures in a society is a societal casualness towards it. We would need to peel off a separate thread to speak of the supposed “contradictions” you allege exist. What I find interesting is that every church that holds the Bible to be the inspired word of God all say the same thing- abortion is the taking of human life by a deliberate and willful act.Even if traumatic. I do not seek to condemn you. I would love to see a verse in the Bible that declares a living fetus is not a life.

    And you misquote me. I did not say that God makes all things good. Nor did I say that all things are good. I did say that God works all things for the good for His children. If someone is outside the family of God then no sadly God will not work bad things out for the good.

    If you think the baby inside a womb is not a child in just a different stage of human development, then please tell me what kind of life exists inside a mothers womb?

    Are you so cynical about children you refer to providing a baby nutrition as leeching? I am very pro choice! A woman has a right to get pregnant or not get pregnant, but once that new life is inside of her- she has made a choice whehter she likes it or not. And boy considering that several hundred million babies are born yearly, the risks are quite minimal medically speaking unless there are unique medical issues attached.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    What I find interesting is that every church that holds the Bible to be the inspired word of God all say the same thing- abortion is the taking of human life by a deliberate and willful act.

    I don’t find it interesting at all. When I predefine being a true Christian to mean “having coinciding views to my own,” I often find that all Christians agree with my opinions as well. However, you will be interested to note that among the people you are excluding as apparently not believing the Bible to be the inspired word of God would be Saint Augustine himself. Since Augustine believed in delayed ensoulment, it was his judgment that abortion was not murder before a certain point of development (usually before quickening, i.e., when the fetus is noticeably animated, kicking, etc.)

    I am very pro choice! A woman has a right to get pregnant or not get pregnant

    I’m glad rape doesn’t exist in this world, nor sexual abuse, nor sexual coercion, nor denial of access to or sabotage of birth control!

    And boy considering that several hundred million babies are born yearly, the risks are quite minimal medically speaking unless there are unique medical issues attached.

    The United States has the highest rate of maternal death of any industrialized nation.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Not all stages of development are equivalent to one another. Consider how many zygotes are naturally flushed from the body. If a woman were to insist, every time she had a particularly late or heavy period, on putting her issue into a tiny coffin and mourning over it, we’d think there was something terribly wrong with her — yet we understand and sympathize if she mourns over a stillbirth.

    Similarly, if it is discovered that someone absorbed their twin in utero (like this: http://boingboing.net/2009/05/01/the-mind-blowing-wor.html ), we do not consider them to have committed manslaughter.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Do you need to stubbornly insist that we’re “casual” monsters to maintain what you have to believe about us so it fits your narrative? Because you have someone whose actually made the decision telling you that you’re wrong. You’re completely erasing the experience of a person whose actually done what you willingly acknowledge you cannot…You’re making a purposeful choice to refuse accurate information so as to cling to what you choose to believe.

    No, really, we don’t need a whole new thread for that point. I can give you citation and you can go look them up yourself. Or you can just ignore them and falsely claim that all Real True Christians believe as you do, like you did. Not every Christian who claims to follow the word of god believes a fetus is a life. You’re posting on the blog of a person who proves your example false. Have you ever stopped and thought that maybe you don’t have the right interpretation?

    Oh, and as for the evidence you ask for…Numbers 20. The usual punishment for a loss of life is not given of the woman is forced to miscarry, and further, even if the woman dies, there’s no mention of reparations for the fetus as a loss of life. It’s treated as a property loss.

    I’ve heard the verses people use for the “pro-life” argument. None of them apply. They’re one man talking to god about what said man thinks of his specific situation, all written long before people ever tied sex to reproduction, muchless had any idea about conception.

    And you would willingly worship a god who lets horrible things happen to his beloved creation simply because they don’t suck up to him? That says pages more about you, and none of it the good you think it does.

    There is no such thing as an unborn baby. By the very definition of the word, a baby is born. this is another of the lies your side tells to pull heartstrings…There is nothing at all similar between a first trimester fetus (when the vast majority of abortions take place) and an infant.

    And, really, if you want my answer? It’s all potential until late in the second trimester. See, I’ve actually been pregnant. I know the huge number of ways things can go horribly, scarily wrong during a pregnancy…Something that most people on your side either are completely unaware of or totally ignore. 85% of pregnancies end in miscarriages before the person pregnant even knows what happened. Would a god who thought that life started at conception really kill all those people? And if he does, why are you so worried about humans killing an infinitely smaller number? And that’s before we go into things like ectopic pregnancies, molar pregnancies, fatally conjoined twins….

    No, I’m not cynical. I’m educated about how the process goes. That’s exactly what happens. Maybe you’re just unaware of how pregnancy happens? Or are you just trying to romance it for your narrative?

    Who are you to decide what a woman does and doesn’t do with her body? What do you think gives you the right to make this decision for people? Do you honestly think that your beliefs are so important that they should trump a person’s bodily autonomy? How do you justify this?

    And what do you say about women who didn’t get pregnant voluntarily? Where birth control failed, where xe was lied to about BC/it was sabotaged, rape?

    Lastly, please educate yourself before you speak on this topic again. You’re really talking about things you have no idea of. The risks are *not* minimal. Pregnancy and childbirth are still one of the highest ranking killers of women, even here in America. And that’s just the physical toll it takes.

    Not knowing of what you speak completely undermines your argument. the fact that you would presume to dictate peoples’ lives to them anyway just because of your translation of a book, quite frankly, belies your claim to have any morals.

  • Baby_Raptor

    One other thing–To imply that people lack a conscience because they don’t buy into your particular views?

    Why should anyone take you seriously when you so casually dehumanize anyone who disagrees with you?

    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Your views leave any number of ways that one could accuse you of having no conscience.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Heyyy, since when is having no conscience a bad th–oh, right. :p

    (I’m so glad my group identity as a sociopath is limited to poking fun at the automatic assumption that empathy is necessary for morals and ethics…)

  • Baby_Raptor

    Hey, you know I don’t claim to have morals. /shrug

  • nolidad

    With so many people firing replies to me, could you please direct me to the post where I say people have no conscience if they are not born again Christians? I do not remember saying such a thing, but my words could have implied, but I would like to see the specific qoute to know if I was over aggressive.

  • Baby_Raptor

    You claimed that a woman who feels bad about her abortion “still has a conscience,” implying that those of us who don’t do not.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    If abortion isn’t the deliberate taking of a human life–what is it?????
    What is the “thing” that is killed in the womb???? It is alive.

    Abortion is a medical procedure performed on a woman which terminates a pregnancy. It is not a procedure perfomred on a baby, a child, or a “human life”. It is not even a procedure performed on a fetus. It is a procedure performed on a pregnant woman.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    It’s not just psychological harm that needs to be considered concerning the legality of abortion. When legal access to abortion is restricted, it has very little impact on the actual number of abortions performed, but a dramatic impact on the safety of women.

    Stuff like this happens: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/03/health/views/03essa.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&

    This essay explains a little more. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2004/09/way-it-was?page=1 I’ll pull a few quotes from the last page:

    Ironically, it was the medical profession, which had made abortion illegal in the first place, that started to speak out. Doctors treating the desperately sick women who landed in hospitals with raging peritonitis, hemorrhages, perforated uteruses, and septic shock often had to futilely watch them die, because the women had waited too long to get help—because they were confused and terrified, because what they had done was “illegal” and “immoral.”

    …a man who assisted in autopsies in a big urban hospital, starting in the mid-1950s, describes the many deaths from botched abortions that he saw. “The deaths stopped overnight in 1973.” He never saw another in the 18 years before he retired. “That,” he says, “ought to tell people something about keeping abortion legal.”

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Pregnancy also poses problems in and of itself which don’t cease to exist if the womb owner chooses to adopt rather than abort. Pregnancy places huge stress upon the body and complications can cause permanent and sometimes highly negative health conditions (such as weakening the heart, making the person significantly more likely to have a heart attack). Employers are often perfectly willing to fire pregnant employees or find ways to shuffle them out of the picture, such as by giving them a position that pays a lot less. Even if all goes perfectly well and a healthy baby is born and sent off to be adopted, pregnancy can still permanently change the body in undesirable ways.

  • dpolicar

    I also do not say that gays are malicious or nasty or have warts.

    Many of us are, and do. Of course, the same goes for straights.

    their orientation is hated by God just like the adulterer, and the fornicator.

    Maybe God hates my orientation, maybe God hates yours, maybe God loves everyone and all the ways we find to live lives as “fine upstanding and compassionate caring people”.

    I don’t know and I don’t presume to speak for God.

    You do presume to speak for God, which I find distasteful, but I support your freedom to do so. I simply insist that my secular nation not treat people like me worse than people like you.

    using your rationality, we should do away with laws against murder, because after all more people die every year of natural causes in America than are murdered by Americans. Sorry but that is a false argument.

    Your comment, which I quoted, was about God’s reaction, not about America’s laws. I was replying to that. If you want to change the subject to secular laws against abortion that’s fine with me, but I won’t let you retroactively decide that my comment was about a different topic.

    IF steps God into the order he has prescribed for the planet and chooses for a woman to miscarry

    You misunderstand. It is the prescribed order itself that causes miscarriage. Millions of them every day. No special intervention is required; this is the ordained path… not just for humans, but for all species.

  • nolidad

    Maybe you should seek to find out. He is not beyond the reach of anyone if they really want to know.

    I am not Gods mouthpiece. I just quote His Word. Well many societies have found my brethren in the past distasteful as well. Some they killed, others they imprisoned . I still live in a nation that has yet to outlaw religious freedom, so I just must put up with peoples disdain.

    Well I cannot know Gods reaction, I only said IF which is a condition I do not know unless specifically guided to.

    How can “evolution” be random, mindless and without a plan and yet have a “prescribed order”. How can random nothingness ordain things?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    There are numerous aspects of the formation of body parts in animals and humans that clearly indicate that they are path-dependent results from suboptimal initial conditions*.

    For example, the human back. We evolved from beings that, in large part, walk on four legs, not two.

    But being as we do in fact walk on two legs, the survival advantage accorded humans who did only pushed adaptation so far within the environmental selective pressures exerted on the species as a whole.

    And so today people get pinched nerves, sore backs, and all manner of issues that arise because the body part that evolved in the context of four-legged ancestors of humans had to be “carried over” to us, the two-legged mammals.

    If we were made de novo from a Grand Designer, the human body simply wouldn’t have the structure it does. No intelligent being designing a human from scratch would give it all the structural and metabolic weaknesses that we as a species are prone to.


    * In short, kludges which can be perfectly explained through the action of evolution.

  • dpolicar

    He is not beyond the reach of anyone if they really want to know.

    Good to know.

    I still live in a nation that has yet to outlaw religious freedom, so I just must put up with peoples disdain.

    Yup, exactly. You must put up with my disdain, and I must put up with your belief that my loving marriage is hated by God. The law allows you your religion and me my marriage, and I endorse that.

    I cannot know Gods reaction

    Absolutely agreed.

    How can “evolution” be random, mindless and without a plan and yet have a “prescribed order”.

    You’re putting words in my mouth again; I wish you’d stop it. I didn’t say a word about evolution.

    But since you bring it up:millions of fetuses are terminated every day. On your account, is that the result of random, mindless evolution? Or the result of a Creator’s ordained plan?

  • P J Evans

    Tell that to women who have had fetuses die in the seventh month, and need an abortion to save their own lives. Or the woman I know who lost a pregnancy literally during labor.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com/ Ross

    They may be fine upstanding and compassionate caring people, but their
    orientation is hated by God just like the adulterer, and the
    fornicator.

    Then why did God make them gay?

    Did God create these people just so He’d have someone to despise?

    Also, you’re wrong. God does not hate anyone’s orientation, nor does the bible say he does. You’re projecting your own 21st century homophobia onto the bible; the homophobia you’ll find in the bible is radically different in nature than the homophobia you’ll find in, say. 21st century america.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    One who may go to a Christian church but is trusting their goodness to save them is not a Christian.

    So you believe in works, not faith? That’s a change. :)

  • nolidad

    Quite the opposite- Man is saved by faith alone through grace, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God and not of works lest any man should boast Eph. 2 The above quote should have made that clear..

  • Jamoche

    Faith without works is dead.

  • arcseconds

    It is clear also that, as we can only deal with the manifold in our representations, and as the x corresponding to them (the object), since it is to be something different from all our representations, is really nothing to us, it is clear, I say, that the unity, necessitated by the object, cannot be anything but the formal unity of our consciousness in the synthesis of the manifold in our representations. Then and then only do we say that we know an object, if we have produced synthetical unity in the manifold of intuition. Such unity is impossible, if the intuition could not be produced, according to a rule, by such a function of synthesis as makes the reproduction of the manifold a priori necessary, and a concept in which that manifold is united, possible.

    A more common reaction to opening the Critique in the middle is “hold on, this is completely incomprehensible!”

  • $7768756

    Also, upon opening the Critique at the beginning. At any point really. Kant did not write for understanding.

  • arcseconds

    Well, granted that Kant was not exactly a model for clear writing, even if he had been, something like the Critique would still not be an easy read, although one could hope that at least the beginning would be. If you’re trying to get someone to see the world in a completely different way than ‘normal’, that’s always going to strike one as either incomprehensible or nonsense on first blush.

    Apparently he initially had heaps of examples in the first Critique, which he took out because they made the text too long and (he felt) didn’t add anything.

    The sad thing is, one gets the impression that he’s actually trying to be clear, or at least strike a balance between clarity and precision. He wanted people to understand his work. With some authors, one sometimes gets the sense that they’re reveling in their opacity…

  • Daniel

    That’s the problem with his writing style- very experimental. He didn’t believe in beginnings, or middles, just that every page should be an end in itself.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    He reeeeeeeeeeeally likes his frikkin’ manifolds.

  • P J Evans

    ‘flood of idolatry’ ?
    Oh puh-leeze. Go read about the Iconoclasts.

  • nolidad

    Sorry but the historic record proves otherwise. That is why after a few centuries Europe entered teh dark ages. The improper marriage of church and state. Constantine s legitimizing Christianity brought more harm to the faith than 3 centuries of Roman persecution did.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The improper marriage of church and state.

    So what do you say about folks like Ernest Istook who have tried to have constitutional amendments passed which would mandate school prayer?

  • Jenny Islander

    . . . Wow. How far down into your particular rabbit-hole do you have to be to think that “Here’s a menacing guy with a gun!” will get people to come to your church?

  • Baby_Raptor

    It would probably work for other gun nuts.

  • Adam Nehr

    Actually it was worse than that the card was appealing to those already in the rabbit hole to band together at this particular church. Down here in Florida there is a small group of people that actually believe that our military should inscribe Christian sayings on their weapons and go to war with all of Islam peaceful and terrorist alike because they are all non Christian and therefore evil. To them war is not the inhumane abomination that reality has proven it to be but a holy quest to be hoped for and sought out against any enemy that does not think like they do. It is quite upsetting to see which is why I called the cops!

  • alexfigment

    I don’t see the link between inerrancy and slavery. Am I missing something here?

  • Fanraeth

    The supposed writings of the Biblical figure Peter can hardly be considered primary sources when we do not have the original copies and have utterly no evidence that they were even written by Peter.

  • David Andrew Robertson

    Not quite grasped the concept of primary sources have you? We do not have the ‘original’ copies of many documents but that does not cast doubt on their authenticity. And there is plenty evidence they were written by Peter….but i suspect you are not really interested in evidences are you?

  • AnonaMiss

    Well there’s the fact that they’re dated to a time when the apostle Peter would have been dead, unless he had a divinely extended lifespan…

  • David Andrew Robertson

    Not a fact – at all. In fact 1 Peter was dated to AD 63. But of course you don’t want to believe that. You start with the pre-supposition it could not have been written by Peter and go on to cherry pick whatever ‘evidence’ you can find.

  • Fanraeth

    Really? You have evidence that people from this blog did that? Can you supply the names of these people from the blog who down-voted you?

  • Shaul

    What about those who claim to practice ‘New Testament Christianity’ simply because they share all their possessions, don’t hold jobs, sit around all day long singing Kumbaya?

  • jobeob987

    With the invention of the printing press, is there any wonder that the reformation would shortly follow? And then just a little later the radical Reformation (the Anabaptist) one of the few groups since the earliest Christians to think that Jesus actually meant the things he said. What remains true is that the words of Christ show us a radical way to live that places people over profit and comfort. This is what the world needs most now but it will upset profit margins and get in the way of business as usual. Scripture is the only place where real revolution can start.

  • http://annaredsand.com/ Anna Redsand

    Also, the Bible, when it was read with any understanding, was not regarded as literal or historical until the so-called Age of Enlightenment or Age of Reason in the late 17th century and 18th century.